Letters for October 23, 2003

Hey, lay off Goldberg

Re “Look homeward, Arnold” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, October 16):

I wish now that I had kept track of how many times Jill Stewart has negatively mentioned Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg by name in her column. I think SN&R needs to do some investigating into Stewart’s personal vendetta against Goldberg.

I believe Goldberg is one of the few good politicians out there, and she certainly doesn’t warrant such a juvenile attack as “They’ll see foolish Jackie Goldberg wagging her lefty finger at her moderate and conservative colleagues as she heaps them with ridicule for refusing to ban school mascot names like ‘The Chiefs.’” This is one of two incidents of Goldberg name-calling in this article alone!

I understand that Stewart has her conservative thing going, but I truly think that her attacks on Goldberg are personal.

Denise Clarke

15,000 years’ worth of warming

Re “Drip, drip, drop” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Essay, October 9):

Welsh misses the self-evident point that a global warming disaster has already taken place. The glacier she writes about is only a pitiful fragment of a once spectacular continent-spanning ice sheet that reflected the warming rays of the sun back into space.

The once fragile ecosystem of the San Francisco Valley is now awash in salt water and is called the San Francisco Bay. The ancestral lands of the Inuit are entombed under the Bering Strait by the melt waters that flooded the oceans after the great ice sheets melted. 7,500 years ago, the level of the Black Sea catastrophically rose over 700 feet due to global warming. The breadbasket of the Canadian prairies was once covered with over a mile thick glacier of blue, pure ice. Lake Tahoe is merely the desiccated remains of a noble glacier. Yosemite is the gravesite of another.

It’s not too late! If only we stop driving SUVs and burning fossil fuels, we can restore the splendor of glaciers whose waters once fed the lake that is now Death Valley. We can once again rest easy with Wisconsin and 90 percent of Canada buried under a protective layer of ice. Schoolchildren in Sacramento will experience the exhilaration of blizzards in July and 20-foot snowdrifts on Arden Way.

Yes, it’s true: Global warming has been going on for over 15,000 years, and we must stop it now!

Peter Finn
Rancho Cordova

The drip of big oil

Re “Drip, drip, drop” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Essay, October 9):

I am not a tree hugger, nor am I a bleeding heart liberal, but your story on the melting glaciers in Canada struck a nerve. Someday, perhaps not in my lifetime but certainly our kids’ lifetime, there will be a drastic change in America’s lifestyle if we don’t take control over our dependence on Middle East oil, the oil companies, car manufacturers, and the politicians they hold in their pocket.

The effect—100 feet of melted ice—of pollution caused by cars, trucks, and SUVs is nature’s warning sign, telling us something is wrong. It’s time to listen to nature, not big oil, Ford, GM, and the politicians. The deadlines for EPA standards and requirements have been pushed back because big oil and the automakers have convinced our politicians that compliance is impossible.

I submit that technology exists today that would allow SUVs to use less gas while passing EPA standards for California in 2005, yet nothing is done about it. For example, direct fuel injection is a major source of fuel economy (see www.orbeng.com) from currently available technology.

Also, local companies like Chula Vista-based Green Star Products, Inc., is working with alternative fuel producers, including biodiesel made from soybeans and corn grown in our valley, as well as ethanol. The exhaust from this form of energy is less damaging to the ozone layer, and thus would help save the glaciers.

Doug Fitch
via e-mail

Salads and sprouts get stamp of approval

Re “On the road to independence” (SN&R Guest Comment, October 9):

Maybe Darrell Steinberg has never worked a check-out lane at a grocery store. The food stamp program seems like a great idea—give phony paper money to poor people so they don’t starve.

This program, which he states is a “remarkable success,” has been instrumental in poor people buying large quantities of soda, cookies, candy, and chips, as well as crab, shrimp, and expensive steaks.

I am a grocery manager in Rancho Cordova and see the masses of immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European [countries]—people who routinely use food stamps without the ability to say thank you in English to the taxpayers in line behind them. Middle-aged folks in non-matching thrift store clothing drag their legions of kids to the store, almost all of whom are signed up for food stamps and WIC vouchers.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) vouchers provide baby formula, milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, and juice to low income families. Apparently the stereotypical food-stamp user doesn’t exist. I see all races, colors, and creeds using and abusing the program, which could use a major overhaul.

Hey, Darrell—here’s an idea. Use the WIC model of “healthy food” for food stamps. There’s no reason why we can’t limit food stamps (and the subsequent ATM-style cards) to healthy foods. There’s even a picture of the food pyramid on each booklet of food stamps—maybe they’re holding it upside down, and “use sweets sparingly” appears at the bottom.

Name withheld by request
Rancho Cordova

No shortage of elimination suggestions

Re “Hey, Joe; they’re not the only ones” (SN&R Letters, October 9):

Apparently having escaped from an insane asylum, a letter-writer from Davis recently condemned two people (who he labels “morons”) for having answered “George W. Bush” to a hypothetical question posed by SN&R about whom they would like to see eliminated from the planet.

Perhaps this indignant letter-writer, when he is through wiping the drool from his chin, will recall comments made by Rush Limbaugh to Time magazine reporter Margaret Carlson. (Oh, you do remember Rush Limbaugh, don’t you, letter-writer? He’s the bloated, loud-mouthed, lie-spewing, hypocritical, self-confessed drug addict who once demanded that the government round up drug users, “convict them and send them up the river.”)

Limbaugh told Carlson: “I tell people, don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough around so that we can have two on every campus … so we will never forget what these people stood for.” Of course, this is nothing less than the advocacy of genocide which, of course, our logic-impaired letter-writer undoubtedly thinks is just peachy. Perhaps it would be better for us all if he just admitted to his stupidity and let it go at that.

Ross Woodbury
Grass Valley

We’d need fewer police if we kept the volleyball players

Re “The rights stuff” (SN&R Editorial, September 25):

Mayor [Heather] Fargo and City Manager [Robert] Thomas seem to be unduly proud of their buy-in to the Bush doctrine of Shock & Awe. Their trampling of the Bill of Rights and the millions of dollars spent on bringing this high-risk dog and pony show to town demonstrates an arrogant and misguided approach to making Sacramento a “world class city.” The world may have been watching, but what the hell was the message?

What did the residents of our city get for the $2 million week-long military occupation? From my front porch, I watched the daily parade of armed troops roll right past the glut of crack dealers who rule Mansion Flats—all in pursuit of those dangerous kids in butterfly costumes. This peculiar vision of law and order seems dead wrong in my neighborhood.

The mayor may see a public relations coup for the city’s convention business, but what about the women’s indoor volleyball conference that followed the ag ministers’ meeting? This low profile, peaceful, family gathering that brought millions of dollars into downtown over the years will not be returning to Sactown because the city refused to negotiate incentives to keep them here. Was the priority really to buck up the convention trade, or is Mayor Fargo auditioning for a post with U.S. Attorney General [John] Ashcroft? Will she be parading down J Street in a Hummer with Arnold next?

Alan Dismuke


In our story “Squeeze play” (SN&R Cover, October 9), the writer wrongly credited Ed Gyles Jr. with having directed for Main Street Theatre Works. Gyles has performed with Main Street Theatre Works and directed at the California Stage theater company. Also, the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival is associated with City Theater at Sacramento City College, not the Sacramento Theatre Company.