Letters for November 8, 2007

Would-be vigilantes need real sarcasm

Re “City of Angels” by Luke Gianni (SN&R News, November 1):

Please, please tell me that this piece was meant to be ironic, and that writer Luke Gianni just needs to hone his sarcasm a bit more sharply. Surely, SN&R doesn’t intend to paint would-be vigilantes as the answer to crime!

Jan Kline

Good enough for her

Re “SN&R not for me” (SN&R Letters, November 1) and “Chust not good enough” by Kate Washington (SN&R Dish, November 1):

I enjoy SN&R. In each issue I find work that is informative and/or entertaining. I had dinner at Cheffery’s and thought the food and service very good.

I was not aware of my intellectual limitations and pedestrian taste until I read the letter from Diane Smith and the review by Kate Washington.

Oh well.

Sharon Goodnight

Here’s a job for the psychics

Re “Ghost hunters” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, October 25):

Let me get this straight: On one hand, psychic investigator [Paul Dale] Roberts and his partners claim to have seen ghosts and recorded two-way conversations with them; are able to detect “imprints in time”; and are perplexed when their “electromagnetic-frequency detector” fails to find a portal to the spirit world in a bedroom wall. But when two sisters tell Roberts that they become werewolves when the moon is full, his assessment of them is, “[T]hey were a couple of oddballs and I didn’t believe a word they were saying”?

As for the self-proclaimed “psychics” in his group and the other “hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ‘ghost hunting societies’ worldwide,” with all of those psychics out there able to communicate with the dead, see the future and communicate with animals (Afghan camels are animals, right?), how is it that Osama bin Laden remains alive and uncaptured, his $25 million bounty uncollected, more than six years after the Twin Towers fell? Doesn’t it occur to people that if even one reputable psychic existed in the free world, Osama would have been in (or under) Gitmo by now, and Bush and Homeland Security would have any credible psychics far too gainfully employed protecting our country for them to have free time to party and discuss dead grandmothers with SN&R writers?

SN&R, what you did with this story wasn’t in-depth, responsible reporting; it was an infomercial for Roberts and his pals. If they had been claiming to detect AIDS or cancer (instead of ghosts and trans-world portals) with their “electromagnetic-frequency detector,” would SN&R have published a similar five-page story about them with nary a documented or proven fact? Would you not have cross-checked their claims? Did it never occur to SN&R to ask experts at Kodak and Sony for their explanations regarding those photographic blurs and audiotape mumblings that Roberts’ people claim are evidence of ghosts?

Where are the facts?

Gary Sawyer

Could it be … Satan?

Re “Ghost hunters” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, October 25):

“Ghost hunters” do not see dead people. For ghosts to exist, there has to be something left over with intelligence after a person dies. Religion calls this the “immortal soul,” a phrase not found in the Bible anywhere. Instead, God clearly states: “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Is there anyone who does not sin?

After Adam sinned, God said his life would be hard, “till thou return unto the ground … for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19). God didn’t mention further punishment after death or an afterlife in the spirit realm. When he died, Adam returned to lifeless non-existence.

Note Solomon’s description of the dead: “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. … The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing. … Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished” (Ecclesiastes 3:20; 9:5-6). Thus, the dead are not aware of the living. When someone dies, “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:4).

Since the dead return to the dust, are unknowing, without emotions or ability to think, can they haunt the living? The scriptural facts prove that ghosts can only be demonic angels of Satan pretending to be dead humans in order to keep people from believing what is written in the Bible about the condition of the dead. One day we will see dead people, in the resurrection, when God restores them to life after he restores the earth to the paradise conditions he created for us in the beginning (Revelation 21:1, 4; Acts 24:15).

Diane Church

Where’s SN&R on domestic violence?

October 31st marked the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), a nationally observed annual campaign to raise public awareness about the prevalence and societal cost of domestic violence. As executive director of California’s statewide domestic violence coalition, I was gravely disappointed by the glaring lack of DVAM coverage in the SN&R. There were numerous events around the city this month—including an October 2nd rally at the State Capitol that drew over 400 people from across the state—none of which were covered by your newspaper. Your silence on the subject of domestic violence, during its national month of awareness, was deafening.

The lack of coverage could not have been due to a shortage of story topics. Intimate partner violence affects its victims in every facet of their lives, and therefore is relevant to stories that cover law enforcement, mental health, business, education and health care.

Neither could it be argued that the topic wasn’t timely. On October 9th, Tyler Peterson shot and killed six people [in Wisconsin], including Jordanne Murray, his estranged girlfriend and primary target that day. Because Peterson worked as a sheriff’s deputy the incident received ample press coverage, but few reporters chose to focus on intimate partner violence. Your newspaper also overlooked the connection, despite the many domestic violence awareness events taking place in our community this month, all of which were drawn to your attention by my agency and our member programs.

In ignoring the plight of the millions of victims of intimate partner violence, you have done them and your readership a disservice. You have also highlighted the need for increased community education, including members of the media who cavalierly overlook the epidemic of violence that ends the lives of three American women every day. DVAM 2007 is over, but the struggle to end domestic violence goes on, and it will require a coordinated community effort if we are to prevail. I urge SN&R to join us in this struggle for safety, justice and peace.

Marivic Mabanag
executive director California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Bravo for critique of capitalism

Re “We love capitalism” (SN&R Guest Comment, October 18):

I’m so glad to know someone else shares my disdain for capitalism. My wife hates it when I bring up things like [author Terry Lamphier] mentioned, and yells, “Maybe you should go live in Russia!” I’m trying to think of a famous author who also put down capitalism. I hate it when it borders on predatory, and I’m very happy to see how some people who wanted to make big bucks buying up all the houses and make money are now forced to deal with a bust. I predicted that one from here.

Keep on writin’, Lamphier. I loved your piece.

Eddie Perez
via e-mail

Arena gridlock …

Re “There’s absolutely no doubt about it: We’re doomed!” (SN&R Bites, November 1):

Bites hit the nail on the head when it comes to Sacramento’s NBA franchise. Not only are the Kings a marginal team, but we have to put up with the reprobate behavior of players like Ron Artest and efforts by the owners to locate a new arena in the most ridiculous places.

The latest trial balloon is to build a new arena at Cal Expo. Can you imagine the traffic tie-ups on game days if an arena is built at Cal Expo? The already gridlocked Business 80 would have to accommodate 18,000 fans trying to drive to and from the arena using the one freeway interchange that serves Cal Expo. Compare that to the three freeway interchanges that usher traffic to and from the existing Arco Arena in North Natomas, and you can envision the traffic nightmare that would surround Cal Expo.

I am surprised that former Governor Pete Wilson would agree to promote a Cal Expo arena. Every opinion poll and election result show deep public skepticism about these ill-conceived arena schemes. The smart Vegas money says Bites is right: the Cal Expo effort is likely to fail.

Gregg M. Wardrip

… requires cooler heads

Re “There’s absolutely no doubt about it: We’re doomed!” (SN&R Bites, November 1):

In another fast-handed move the Maloofs, the NBA, and our city leaders have hidden the ball of truth regarding the new proposed arena at Cal Expo. They tell us that the proposed site will cost no taxpayer dollars, yet state taxpayers own the land at Cal Expo.

First, they tried to switch their fair share with our tax dollars. Then they wined and dined our local leaders, elected officials in Vegas with giant cheeseburgers and $8,000 dollar bottles of wine. Our leaders got drunk on enthusiasm, but the cooler heads of the taxpayers prevailed.

Now, they tell us that the Cal Expo site is more agreeable and available.

They fail to mention who owns the land, nor any other details that caused the last deal to quickly turn purple.

If the Kings and the NBA want an arena in Sacramento, why don’t they build one? The taxpayers – local and state – have more pressing issues far more important than a three-point shot.

I think the NBA, the Kings, and those in support of this latest proposal are fine organizations, however, typically land is purchased or leased for such purposes, with a map of where the facility would be located—as the most vital piece of information—released for the public’s consideration.

It is time for cooler heads to prevail again.

R. Baker

He belongs in L.A.

Re “From Sacramento to L.A.—and Paris?” by Emily Page (SN&R News, November 1)

Your article failed to mention that “life coach” Gary Quinn considers himself a psychic that communes with angels. He wrote a book, published in 2001, titled May the Angels Be with You: A Psychic Helps You Find Your Spirit Guides and Your True Purpose, in which he gives advice on how to summon celestial beings to aide you in life.

There is probably good reason, besides the $89 fee or the location, that only 10 people showed up for his Sacramento seminar: Most people around here try to avoid sellers of snake oil.

It’s no wonder he moved to Los Angeles, because that’s where he belongs.

Jeff Abbott
via e-mail


In “Best of Sacramento 2007” (SN&R Special Section, September 27), an incorrect phone number and Web address for New Century Cycles is listed. The correct phone number is (916) 226-6613, and the Web address is www.newcenturycycle.com.