Letters for October 23, 2008

Lost on the fringe

Re “Don’t believe the hype” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, October 9):

Cosmo Garvin forgot to mention the biggest losers in that analog-to-digital signal TV conversion, fringe-reception viewers! With several channels to deliver, stations won’t be powering their main channels with those multikilowatts which fringe viewers have come to rely on.

When Walnut Grove went from one major transmission tower to multitowers back in 1985, the resulting radio-frequency interference from all that extra kilowattage greatly hindered long distance (DX) reception of San Francisco’s FM and TV signals from Mount Sutro. KGO 7, which used to come in with damn-near local signal strength via rooftop antennas, suffered greatly hindered reception quality around Sactown.

Relatively low-powered original “soft and warm” smooth jazzer KBLX [102.9], whose transmission tower borders Highway 80 outside Berkeley, became spotty on even the best of vintage hi-fi tuners and receivers; buried under RFI-induced harmonic hash (current high-definition FM only concerns itself with local reception, but its sidebands curtail analog signal reception of more distant signals bordering its central frequency, which is why KQED’s 89.3 megahertz translator digital signal negates Nevada City’s KVMR 89.5 megahertz analog signal in wide swaths of Sacramento).

Nowadays, you might be able to get a snowy analog KGO 7, but their three digital transponders are mostly missing in action. Digital signals are supposed to be free of analog’s signal degradation, but that benefit is negated when there’s no signal to receive. Which means next football season, Raiders fans who were used to watching blacked-out games from Chico’s channels KHSL 12 or KCVU 30 from Cohasset Ridge, propagation permitting, will be S.O.L. (signal outta luck). Considering how the Yorks are trashing the Niners, their fans will suffer a similar fate also!

I think it was world band media commentator Glenn Hauser who said digital broadcasting is a cure for a disease which doesn’t exist!

E.L. Gardner III

City needs balance

Re “The hunger” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, October 16):

This commentary about Kevin Johnson’s promise to raise spending on police and fire protection is absolutely correct.

The city treasurer’s report on the financial crisis states that property values have gone down by $10 billion over the past three years and sales-tax revenues have declined, resulting in less revenue for the city. The report also states that spending needs to fall below incoming revenue for these reasons.

We need to pay down the debt. We can’t borrow any more because of the increased risk of lowering our credit rating. The city will also need to contribute more money to the city retirement fund because of the downturn in the stock market.

Facing the possibility of working families losing their retirement and the city’s credit rating falling further, it seems to me very irresponsible for Johnson to propose this huge increase in spending.

We need to be focusing on figuring which other city departments also need attention. It should be a priority also to keep our parks properly maintained, libraries open for patrons and garbage picked up, as well as making sure other services get their share of the ever-shrinking pie. Voters should also keep in mind there will also be further cuts in state government, which will also affect budget decisions at the city level.

For Kevin Johnson to simply give over a blank check is nothing more than a false promise. Any savings that the city has, after taking care of these obligations as outlined by the city treasurer, should be to minimize cuts for all departments, not to increase the spending for only fire and police and then cut everything else.

The pledge Johnson signed acknowledges further cuts in other departments is possible. For his campaign to say otherwise is simply nothing more than a magic act. This huge spending increase is against working families and is very anti-public employee. He is clearly trying to lay all the blame on Mayor [Heather] Fargo, when in fact the economic reality is that much of this is beyond her control and the rest of the city council as well.

Vote for the endorsed candidate of the Sacramento County Democratic Party and the major Democratic clubs in the greater Sacramento County, Mayor Heather Fargo.

Richard Wake

Just do the right thing

Re “Carbon traders or corporate raiders?” by Sena Christian (SN&R Frontlines, October 9):

For so many, many times I hear the phrase “carbon trading,” I can’t fathom why companies won’t do the right and proper thing and reduce their carbon footprint instead of buying other credits so they can still pollute.

This is a complete farce and just another way to circumvent the pollution regulations!

Lee Rappaport
via e-mail

Yep, Sena’s mama was a hippie

Re “Sarah Palin: Be warned” by Sena Christian (SN&R Essay, October 9):

Let me understand this. You feel that a wolf, a polar bear and a beluga whale are more important to the eco-system than a human baby, who has no real choice in who its father is?

The sad thing is [that] you poor folks are regurgitating the same swill as you did in the ’60s. Was your mama a hippie, too? Too bad we couldn’t manufacture an alternate fuel for my Hummer [made] out of ground-up liberals and socialists.

Oh, and goddamn you, too!

Joe Vona
via e-mail

Scared of Palin

Re “Sarah Palin: Be warned” by Sena Christian (SN&R Essay, October 9):

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for Sena Christian’s wonderful article on Gov. Sarah Palin. Every word in that article is exactly my same gut feelings.

I have had the pleasure of sharing 28 years of my life with wolves. Defenders of Wildlife sent me the video of Palin’s barbaric aerial shooting of wolves, and I get an upset stomach just listening to her.

Her “hockey mom” personality and [Sen. John] McCain’s aggressiveness to “fight” just validates another four more years of war. I haven’t heard any words of “negotiations with our enemies,” and I can almost guarantee McCain and Palin will initiate World War III with their aggressiveness. Like you said, “Conservatives: Be warned!”

Also Palin’s “drill, baby drill” chant is another reason she scares the hell out of me. How ridiculously stupid. If you think drilling for more oil instead of investing that money in alternative energy is good for America, you should have your IQ checked at the door. If you are taking millions of gallons of oil out of the Earth without a replacement, don’t you think the Earth will have to compensate?

I can’t believe with all the millions of Americans in the United States, we end up with McCain and Palin as nominees for president and vice president of the United States. Thank God we still have a right to vote!

Sue Stack
via e-mail

Good and Religulous

Re “Grow up and try again” by Kel Munger (SN&R Sacreligious!, October 9):

I found the opinion of Bill Maher’s film, Religulous, a bit harsh and negative. Though I don’t always agree with Bill Maher, I found the film a fresh relief from the superstitious nonsense our country has been battling in the political and public arenas.

My background is in comparative world literature, and it was nice to see the mythology finally brought to light about the various religions and their similarities. He also was not offensive in the least. He nicely asked questions and let the foolish folk respond to hang and bury themselves. Well done, Bill.

Rosalie McClung