Letters for October 11, 2007

Moe’s woes …

Re “Moe foes” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature Story, October 4):

Moe Mohanna a developer? Don’t make me laugh. He follows the classic pattern of accumulating as much property as possible in a redevelopment area and then hits the jackpot when taxpayers buy him out.

Of course he loves the homeless and Loaves & Fishes: They are his bread and butter. They are paying his overhead while he waits for the jackpot.

Moe is no different from “investors” who buy property in the residential areas in Midtown, then rent them out to anyone who’ll pay the rent. These “investors” do as little upkeep as possible waiting to make their speculation killing on the property in the future. In the meantime, neighbors suffer with rundown properties and Animal House tenants.

Mohanna’s use of his properties is not beneficial to the economic and social health of the city.

Ken Lauszus

… are of his own making

Re “Moe foes” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature Story, October 4):

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Mohanna says.

Maybe in some cases. But for some time K Street has looked—and even smelled—like shit. Mohanna is largely responsible for that. And how many people does he know, I wonder, who can find the beauty in a pile of shit?

Chad VanDerVeen

Jokin’ and smokin’

Re “Tobacco ban redux” (SN&R Editorial, October 4):

Was this editorial meant as a joke? Or was SN&R—which is infamous both for its full-page tobacco ads and those cardboard tobacco ad inserts that fall to the ground as litter when one opens an issue of the paper—seriously suggesting that the University of California ban tobacco company-financed research in order to get out of the business of assisting the tobacco industry in killing people?

When will SN&R begin editorializing against itself for a similar lapse of social responsibility? After all, isn’t UC’s tobacco-related research data likely to be much more comprehensive and far less misleading than the advertising text provided to SN&R by the tobacco companies?

As a Sacramentan who has long read SN&R, am I wrong to think that I’ve noticed a pattern that tobacco ads and tobacco inserts seldom appear in SN&R issues which contain major articles or editorials that condemn or criticize the tobacco industry (as was the case with the October 4 issue)? And if that is true, how do the tobacco companies know beforehand which upcoming SN&R issues (like October 4) would be poor choices to advertise cigarettes in?

Gary Sawyer

An emphysematous editor responds: Since Big Tobaccy pays for its ads with Camel Cash and closely monitors our redemption habits, it knows our stocking up on Joe Camel windbreakers, pocket watches and Zippo lighters must mean we’re about the zing the industry.

Kloss and bathroom humor

Re “Cartoon” by John Kloss (SN&R Opinion, September 20):

Give John Kloss the award for best toilet humorist in Sacramento. His cartoon features a Republican toilet bowl with the caption, “Circling the drain.” Charming.

Most political cartoonists address salient issues with humor, such as health care, foreign policy, or immigration. But not Kloss. He apparently believes this kind of low-brow humor will be met with knee-slapping approval from his lefty friends. It’s not surprising, because this is the level of political discourse we’ve come to expect from today’s far left.

Gregg M. Wardrip

For shame!

Re “Stand up for justice” (SN&R Guest Comment, September 20):

Shame on Jena!

Now, that’s a little harsh. Let me be more specific: Shame on the people of Jena who think that things were just fine in terms of race relations in Jena. Shame on the people of Jena who don’t remember the recent history of David Duke and his popularity in Jena. Shame on the people of Jena who think that a “white tree” is just a joke. Shame on the people of Jena who think that hanging nooses from the “white” tree is just a prank. Shame on the people of Jena who think that an all-white jury is a jury of peers for these young black men, the Jena Six. Shame on the white people of Jena who did not speak out about the injustices of charging these young men with “attempted murder” and trying them as adults. Shame on the people of Jena who think that these young men deserve to have their lives ruined!

Shame on you—you know who you are and now the whole world is watching.

Michael Stavros

The other internees

Re “On war” by Edward Dunn (SN&R Arts&Culture, September 20):

Ken Burns’ new epic documentary on World War II appears to thoroughly discuss the internment of Japanese-Americans, but it appears that Burns completely failed to mention the thousands of Italian and German Americans who were also interned during World War II by the U.S. government.

Roughly 600,000 Italians were required to carry identity cards that labeled them “resident aliens.” Some 10,000 people of Italian ancestry in war zones on the West Coast were required to move inland, while hundreds of others were held in military camps for up to two years. After Italy declared war on the U.S., many Italian language papers and schools were forced, almost overnight, to close because of their past support for an enemy government.

Under the authority of the Alien Enemies Act of 1798, more than 11,000 Germans and German Americans were selectively detained and interned at the start of WWII. Pressured by the United States, Latin American governments collectively arrested at least 4,050 German Latin Americans. Most were shipped in dark boat holds to the United States and interned. At least 2,000 Germans, German Americans and Latin American internees were later exchanged for Americans and Latin Americans held by the Third Reich in Germany.

Why is it that the liberal-dominated news media never even mentions this issue? I’m a lesbian of Italian heritage and I’m going to make sure that what happened to my people during WWII by the U.S. government will never be forgotten.

Sandy Biroli

Scheide’s fair

Re “Travis Gruber’s day off” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R News, September 20):

It’s about time someone took a fair approach to Travis Gruber’s story. He’s a good man who serves the people of the United States and utilizes his right to freedom of speech.

Craig Motsko
via e-mail

Obey rules

Re “Obey Webster’s” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Night&Day, September 20):

This has to be one of the most disappointing and pointless commentaries I have read in quite a long time. What a total cop out by Josh Fernandez. I could liken it to a third-grade anecdote ending, “and then I woke up.” No doubt Mr. Fernandez was perhaps daydreaming when he thought he could review an art show without physically going to it. Now that’s weird … actually no, it’s quite disappointing.

Personally, I happen to like art and feel that the roots of my interest sparked with local Davis and Sacramento artists and friends while I was a student some 12 years ago. I still am a very frequent art connoisseur and find myself visiting Sacramento, especially the second and third respective weekends to view the art openings and also to visit close friends.

It is my suggestion that SN&R propose to Mr. Fernandez to visit the Toyroom Gallery [and see] Shepard Fairey’s One Man Army show for a true account of the show and his real impressions based on the exhibit, not his speculations. Similarly, I would recommend that no reviews on musical albums be accepted without the reviewer having listened to the actual music on the album, and no restaurant suggestions be made without the reviewer having actually eaten the food. These tips I make to you in jest, but with earnest intent to point out the obvious.

Lloyd Park
San Jose

Craig’s hypocritical, too

Re “The latest scandal” (SN&R Editorial, September 13):

Republicans forcing the resignations of Senator Larry Craig and Representative Mark Foley are not “hypocritical.” It is in perfect lockstep with the Republican Party platform of gay-bashing.

The story gains wings due to the fact that it tells us of yet another hypocritical Republican seeking man-sex while vocally abusing homosexuals (perhaps even simultaneously). This provides perverse delight to liberals and discomfiture to “conservatives,” because there is a war going on out there, and it was started by hypocrites like these.

L.C. Bennett

Reject junk

Re “Getting jack in the box” by Sena Christian (SN&R Green Days, September 13):

Glad to know there’s a kindred soul [Matt Conens] who abhors unsolicited mail as I do. Ditto to unsolicited phone calls.

I consider unsolicited mail an invasion of my privacy. My reaction to it is the same as if it were a Nigerian scam letter. I feel I must take action to stop it. I would never purchase from these unsolicited sales advertisements. Why do they persist?

The post office encourages junk mail for one thing: It’s money to them, and that’s the only green they care about. I hope more recipients reject it.

Kathy Ramirez

It’s up to the people

Re “We’re fucked” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R News, September 13):

As one of the organizers of the September 7 peace rally at the state Capitol, I am a bit perplexed at the tone of the story published by SN&R. If the general population supports the purpose of the rally, perhaps the story should have been on why there was such a low turnout rather than criticizing/ridiculing those who did turn out. I suppose the reporter’s job is to critique the organizers, speakers and musicians, but the tone of ridicule of the participants is difficult to understand.

The Bush Administration has kept this war from affecting the lives of the vast majority of ordinary Americans. The American public does not appear ready to come out into the streets to stop the extremist actions of the U.S. government. Gas is still pretty cheap and everyone is pretty busy. How we get U.S. citizens to confront our government to put an end to the humanitarian disaster that the U.S. government and military have created might be a story you can have your reporter look into. To me, that would be preferable to exclamations pertaining to sexual intercourse.

Edward Barakatt

Head for the lifeboats

Re “We’re fucked” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R News, September 13):

What is a pitiful flop was O’Neill’s insipid, negatively biased report of the September 7 anti-war rally; not the successful rally, which about 400 people attended.

True, 400 people will not stop the war, but millions out on the streets before the 2003 invasion did not stop it either.

Clearly, it is going to take a lot more people and work to turn the U.S. foreign policy Titanic around. A better use of SN&R space would be to focus on how we collectively are going to do that. If O’Neill has some new ideas, let’s hear them; otherwise, he can go back to his stupor in the Titanic’s bar while others try to change its course and find the lifeboats.

Maggie Coulter
via e-mail

Peace, not pieces

Re “We’re fucked” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R News, September 13):

Jaime O’Neill’s article about the People’s Rally to End the War was cruel, mean-spirited and obscene.

I’m proud to say that I attended the rally and worked as a crowd monitor. And while it would have been nice to have more attendees, I feel that the 200-plus people who did attend were happy to be there. The Sacramento peace movement is not in pieces! It is alive and well and continues to grow and is not to be judged by one awful and degrading article that SN&R somehow saw fit to print.

Maurya Perazzo