Letters for October 3, 2013

Bravo, Farm-to-Fork (now get to work)

Re “Rich dinner, poor dinner” by Alastair Bland (SN&R Feature Story, September 19):

I want to applaud the efforts of David Shabazian at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Supervisor Don Saylor in Yolo County, Tom Tomich at UC Davis, and all of the chefs of our community who are working hard to bridge the gap between Sacramento's production and consumption of food.

As Alastair Bland's article makes clear, there are many intertwined aspects of our local food system that provide both challenges and opportunities to addressing hunger, increasing economic opportunity and raising our region's profile as a food “destination.”

Mayor Kevin Johnson's proclamation that Sacramento is America's “Farm-to-Fork Capital” has spurred a lot of conversation among food-justice advocates about the steps we can take to make sure that our embrace of local food is equitable as well as economically successful. I believe this effort is incomplete without official efforts to address community food insecurity, but that is not to say it's a failure.

Failure would be the continued marginalization of food insecurity and hunger in favor of tourism promotion and branding efforts that engage only the most fortunate among us. …

When the Tower Bridge dinner is packed away and the prix fixe specials expire, let's start planning for next year. Food-justice advocates, foodies and local leaders need to take the lead to make sure that … everyone has a place at the table.

Matt Read


Health-care reform reveals GOP lies

Re “What the health?!?” by Daniel Weintraub (SN&R Feature Story, September 26):

All the Republican and tea-party lies and misinformation the American public has heard for the past three years about the Affordable Care Act are about to be found out starting October 1, when the ACA goes into effect. Tea-party and Republican politicians must be shaking in their wing tips (shoes) as the true value of the ACA becomes apparent.

You do have to feel sorry for the people residing in states under the yoke of Republican governors and legislatures. … But, hey, nobody twisted their arm to vote for these Republican ideologues.

We are already seeing significant savings in California and New York and other states who have embraced and implemented America’s new health-care law.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City

Tired of Wal-Mart, low-wage jobs

Re “SN&R overlooks Walmart’s good deeds” by Rachel Wall (SN&R Letters, September 5):

The next time you find yourself contemplating shopping at Wal-Mart, consider spending your money at Costco instead. Costco pays its workers almost $7 more per hour than Wal-Mart employees receive. Costco also offers a pension plan and affordable health care to its employees. …

Taxpayers will pay between $900,000 and $1.75 million in Medicaid and other government subsidies per year for Wal-Mart employees if Wal-Mart goes into the Delta Shores project. The Delta Shores project is an appealing location for Wal-Mart and other big-box stores, because of the freeway interchange being built that will cost taxpayers approximately $50 million.

It seems the city of Sacramento bends over backward to bring poverty-level jobs to Sacramento. Currently, Sacramento residents make $10,851 less than the average city in California. We also have 18.6 percent of our population living below the poverty level. The average for California is only 14.4 percent. The city of Sacramento and our city council need to focus on bringing good jobs, like those offered by Costco, to Sacramento, instead of the poverty-level jobs Wal-Mart will bring to our community. As a taxpayer, I’m tired of subsidizing one of the largest companies in the world, Wal-Mart.

Michael Murphy



On SN&R’s Page Burner blog it was incorrectly reported that construction on the downtown Sacramento Kings arena might begin before the environmental-impact report is completed. A corrected version of the story can be read at www.newsreview.com/pageburner.