Letters for November 29, 2001

Dear Thom, you’re right

Re “Dear John Letter” ( SN&R Editorial, November 21):

Regarding your editorial showing that John Ashcroft’s Justice Department and FBI have practically ignored the anthrax terrorism hoaxes perpetrated on 200 abortion clinics strongly implies that since he is anti-abortion he is not providing the clinics equal protection of the law as he has sworn to do during his confirmation hearings before the Senate.

While many people will find this disturbing news, I was even more amazed when I read that some of these clinics have received anthrax threats as long ago as 1999. Yes, 1999. That is not a typo. I thought it might be a typo when I first read it, but the source, the New Yorker, is known for its accuracy. (Check it out. See page 34, October 29, 2001 issue.)

Why didn’t we know about this sooner? This is the strongest evidence that the anthrax hoaxes and, most probably, the real anthrax attacks are domestic-based.

Thom Pultz
via e-mail

Zoning joke

Our representatives have declared that city planning and zoning is a fantasy, like trying to predict the future. Mixed-use communities are too complicated to achieve consensus among all the bureaucracy and self-interests. They require a level of responsibility that is inconvenient and not economically viable.

So forget the Community Plan and surrounding neighborhoods. “As a city we can certainly survive,” says our Council. And it echoes across Elk Grove, Roseville, Lincoln, El Dorado, Placerville, Woodland, Davis, Vacaville, Galt and Folsom.

As I drive on I-80 between I-5 and Northgate Boulevard, I see cheap rooftops and big boxes. This area has been carved up solely for the gain of a few developers and a variety of huge conglomerates where Sacramento is just another demographic strategy.

North Natomas is neither a neighborhood nor a community. It is a desert of stucco, air-conditioners and discount stores in a flood plain under the flight path of the airport.

People who live in North Natomas are not neighbors or residents. They are tax fodder, commuters and consumers.

That is what our representatives and developers think of us. But hey, let’s not get an ulcer over it, everybody is doing it. How about a contest? The person who comes closest to the date and time when sound walls are erected along I-5 wins a shopping spree at Target.

Kenneth Caldwell

Do the math

Re “Solutions to AIDS are Ignored” by Alisa Highfill-Pryor ( SN&R Guest Comment, November 8):

I just read the piece by Alisa Highfill-Pryor regarding the spread of AIDS in Africa. One statement in the article raised a question in my mind. She stated that a woman is raped in South Africa every 26 seconds.

Presuming Ms. Highfill-Pryor meant a rape is committed on an average of once every 26 seconds, my calculator says that would be 3,323 women raped a day. That would amount to 1,212,895 women raped a year. According to a Web site, the total population of South Africa is 43.5 million, of which 21 million are female under the age of 65. That’s 5.7 percent of the female population under 65 being raped every year, yet Ms. Highfill-Pryor states that the government denies there’s a rape problem. Where did she get her statistics?

Don Wright

Forced to pay dues

Re “Union Divided” by Jim Evans ( SN&R News, November 15):

Your article on the problems with CSEA failed to note that thousands of state workers are forced to be represented by CSEA but have refused to join.

These workers are forced to pay a “fair share” to the union. This is to compensate the union for its costs in bargaining for them. These workers have no voice in how the union is run, and do not even get the opportunity to vote on the negotiated contract. Many of us look at the unionization of state workers under the Dills Act as a grave mistake. The state worker does not have the same protections under unionization that a worker in industry does. We feel that we were better represented by CSEA when it was an employee association.

Millions of dollars of state workers’ money have been sent to SEIU and we feel that we have not gotten much for it. SEIU now wants even more. I do not know who you talked to about the reform group’s leaders getting CSEA posts. There is a movement among the “fair share” payers to join the union prior to the elections so they can vote all of them out. I believe that many of the people who have joined recently are part of this group.

Brian Groves
via e-mail