Letters for September 16, 2010

DESIGN/OPS: There’s a reference to CO2 in the “Does it feel good yet?” letter. Please subscript the “2”. Thanks!

Letter of the week

Gore’s just the messenger

Re “Heat, floods, melting—get it?” by Bill McKibben (SN&R Feature, September 2):

The right wing has been flailing about for decades trying to discredit the scientific consensus that human activities are forcing climate change. They have amassed a long list of canards, misrepresentations and lies.

At Skeptical Science (www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php), they’ve debunked every such attempt from the right wing I’ve heard, and then some.

For instance, there are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. There are a handful of scientific institutions that are neutral and say that the subject needs more study. One of them is, naturally, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. They were, at one time, the lone remaining institution that was skeptical regarding human influence, but changed their position to neutral in 2007.

Specifically, regarding one debate tactic in particular, whenever someone invokes [former Vice President Al] Gore’s name in a climate-change debate, it’s a telltale sign that they are a [Rush] Limbaugh clone. They’re attempting character assassination on a messenger, but actually end up discrediting themselves by attacking a politician in a scientific debate, and demonstrating that they probably rely on right-wing propagandists for their information.

Gore merely presented the science. If you want to disprove something in science, you have to demonstrate why the theory is false. Shooting a messenger, particularly one you hate because of his politics, gets you nowhere.

Doug Wolfinger

Let ’em go

Re “Keep your eye on the ball” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, September 9):

What would it look like if the Kings left? There are so many contingencies in this plan that it will probably fail, and then the Kings would leave anyway. Professional sports are in a very big economic bubble, and when it bursts, the taxpayers are going to be hurt. Sacramento would be wise to back off from deals like this.

Something to think about is that a team owner cannot afford to find raw land, build an arena, hire a team and still make money without taxpayer welfare. The team owner needs all the parking revenue for the site (even when the team is not playing), plus the revenue from overpriced food and drink. Major-league sports teams are overpriced and a bad investment. Sports teams are entertainment and not a necessity.

If this is what it takes to keep the Kings, let them go.

Charles R. Donaldson

Sacramento = not even cubic zirconium

Re “Keep your eye on the ball” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, September 9):

There is so much wrong with this plan that there is not enough room to vent. What is wrong with tearing down the existing arena and rebuilding it with the wonderful state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex proposed? Why was Arco [Arena] allowed to be built so poorly to begin with? Gosh, sounds like greed to me. Are we moving the arena so that someone can have their cake and eat it, too? All the businesses that depend on the arena being where it is—how do they feel about this move?

The amount of traffic that would be added to one of the worst bottlenecks in Sacramento just makes no sense at all. Let’s add that to the list of reasons not to put an arena at [Cal Expo].

Cal Expo just needs to be rethought to be more practical. This is another case of a greedy developer [who] wants to get his hands on the property, so let’s move it. Have we learned nothing in the past two years? Go ahead put this on the ballot, again, and find out what the people want. I will bet this is not it!

Greed, a.k.a. developers and their shortsighted plans, should not be the reason to do any of this. This is all about how much money the players are going to make and not about what is good for the area or the people who live and work here!

Sacramento should be the crown jewel of California. Instead, it is beginning to look like chipped glass.

Mary Ferris

Vote for Powell

Re “Race to wha?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, September 9):

How about race to objective fact-based journalism! It is very disconcerting to see a public-school teacher’s union oppose the election of a celebrated public-school teacher to a public-school board of education.

Instead, Sacramento City Teachers Association has shortsightedly opted to support a social worker who has never taught a day in the classroom—much less 12 years—and the educationally and fiscally irresponsible policies she propagates. At a time when the Sacramento City Unified School District faces nearly $600 million in unfunded pension and health obligations, failing test scores and a “business as usual” mentality, it is critical District 1 voters support a candidate who will address these challenges and put the focus back where it belongs: the students and the classroom.

Relating to Sacramento Charter High School, [Ellyne] Bell makes a mountain of a molehill. Lest we forget, it was the Sac City Unified School District board that in June of 2003 voted in favor of closing the school. Sac High now ranks within the top 10 percent of California high schools with comparable demographics. Further, Sac High’s attendance rates continue their modest climb, while dropout rates steadily decline. [The] graduation statistics for 2009 indicate that nearly three out of four graduating seniors were accepted to a four-year university. Certainly, by any objective measure, Sacramento High has indeed been an astounding success story.

For Paige Powell, it is a race to bring new blood in the form of objectivity, impartiality and experience to a badly broken system. It is a race to remove the focus from unions and special interests, and put it where it belongs: in the classroom.

Adam Willoughby
campaign manager

Paige Powell for School Board

They ‘cruise,’ not ‘race’

Re “Taken for a ride” by Mark Drolette (SN&R Essay, September 9):

Funny you should speak to something that has been a sore spot for me. Living in downtown myself and having a cruiser, I ride on the sidewalks always.

I am not dangerous or in a hurry. My speed would be at the pace of a slow jog, and I always almost stop at blind corners, as I have met fellow bikers traveling way too fast for the conditions!

Most of us that ride cruisers here do just that: “cruise”! The spandex, helmet, speed types have no business on the sidewalk and only make it a problem for those of us who do. How do these people enjoy all there is too see around town at a speed that only allows for constant and feverish peddling?

I tried to use the road at times, but had too many close calls with cars to continue the practice.

Rod Chandler

Does it feel good yet?

Re “Heat, floods, melting—get it?” by Bill McKibben (SN&R Feature, September 2):

This entire obsession with “reducing humanity’s carbon footprint” is totally misplaced. It is a moneymaking machine movement perpetuated by fear, ignorance, and those seeking power and control over our lives. It has no solid science behind it, and people are willing to give up national sovereignty, pay astronomical taxes and do stupid things just to believe that CO2 is a “poison.” Tell that to the trees.

But I’m sure I’m just talking to no one, since most of you who buy this crap are already Kool-Aid drinkers. How can you be so stupid as to buy into [former Vice President] Al Gore’s huge moneymaking machine? I have some swamp land in Florida for sale that you can buy, should you care to protect the local environment. Doesn’t anyone read the literature? I guess not. It’s more important to “feel” good than to use common sense.

Don Price

Blame the Chinese and Indians

Re “Heat, floods, melting—get it?” by Bill McKibben (SN&R Feature, September 2):

It’s great to be concerned about our impact on the environment, but this is a global issue.

As long as China and India continue to build 1950s-style coal-burning factories at a rate of one every 15 minutes, what overall effect will it have to put more regulations on the United States? Currently, 30-40 percent of the pollution on the West Coast of America comes from China, and it’s getting worse. China and India consistently give the finger to the world as far as environmental issues are concerned, and they are protected as “emerging countries.”

We can all walk to work and return to horse and buggies, but without these emerging countries’ cooperation, our efforts aren’t worth squat.

Greg Greening

Joy and strength

Re “Strong art” by Larry Dalton (SN&R 15 Minutes, September 2):

Thank you for your interview with Kanika Marshall. She is such a dynamic and talented artist, reflective of the wide diversity of Sacramento. Her unique art, with its rich colors, shapes and textures, is a joy to behold.

Belva Seaberry

And Jerry is McMurphy?

Re “Meg Whitman reminds me of … ” (SN&R Streetalk, August 19):

Meg Whitman reminds me of the Nurse Ratched character from the 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Louise Fletcher plays Nurse Ratched, the tyrannical chief nurse who humiliates and dominates the patients of a mental institution into submission. Even the hairstyles of Whitman and Nurse Ratched are similar!

Sheila Robinson

Our bats eat bugs

Re “Bat crazy” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Frontlines, August 19):

I was very pleased to see a positive article about bats in your paper! The little guys need all the good press they can get. This being said, I still felt that I had to respond to a few details I noted in the article.

For one, the Yolo Basin Foundation does not rescue bats; Corky Quirk, founder of NorCal Bats, does the rescuing (as do I—Flying Mammal Rescue). …

Unfortunately, we don’t have any fruit bats native to this country. All of our bats here eat insects, and some down in Arizona are nectar feeders. The closest we get to having fruit bats is a few Jamaican fruit bats that somehow make it to Florida.

And lastly (OK, this might be nit-picky, but if you’re a bat lover and know how bad their reputation still is, it’s important), the proper term for a group of bats flying is a “cloud,” not a “murder.” That term is reserved for a gathering of crows.

Thanks for letting me put in my two cents. And please keep up with the positive bat articles! Sacramento could become another Austin if we could just get people to accept our bats instead of freaking out about them. Who knows? Maybe the bats could bring in some revenue!

Frances E. Zitano
Flying Mammal Rescue



Re “Curtisfest” by Joe Atkins (SN&R Nightbeat, September 9):

The pick in last week’s SN&R regarding last Saturday’s fourth annual Curtisfest community festival in the Curtis Park neighborhood contained erroneous and dated information. We apologize for this error.