Letters for September 17, 2009

Letter of the week
Lose farms, lose towns

Re “The big suck” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, September 10):

R.V. Scheide wrote a great piece, but he, like everyone else in the media, it seems, manages to miss the biggest reason why people from Isleton to Clarksburg are upset with the new peripheral canal proposal.

The Delta Vision and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan are cleverly dealing with the local opposition to their grand scheme by eliminating the localities. Yep, they plan on “habitat restoration,” and that’s a euphemism for deliberately flooding 176,000 acres of productive farmland. Sure, they’ll build “ring levees” around the towns, but the reason the towns exist—that’s the farms—will all be flooded. In short, the towns will become ghost towns as the agriculture that drives their economies is destroyed.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is actively buying up Delta land and water rights in advance of this plan. When the plan is fully implemented, the water that used to irrigate 176,000 acres of Delta produce will be shipped to Southern California.

See, without the farms and the farmers of the Delta, there will be no one around to notice the saltwater intrusion that will come up as far as Freeport because water at the rate of 30,000 cubic feet per minute will be shipped around the Delta in two canals.

Scheide missed that, too. The plan is now for two canals, not one.

Our own Delta will be just like the Owens Valley when the water vampires of Southern California get done with it. The towns, the farms, the unique culture of the region will be gone. The only difference is that the once verdant Owens Valley is a desert and the currently verdant Delta will be a saltwater lake. But the naturalists employed by the metropolitan water commission say the salt water will be good for the environment. Never mind their obvious conflict of interest.

To the readers of SN&R, all I can do is implore you to take the drive down the river and go see the towns, the farms, the vineyards and the history while it’s still there. If our governor and his masters have their way, it won’t be there in a few years.

Peter Finn
via e-mail

People on the street don’t get it

Re “Is the president killing your grandma with his new health-care plan?” (SN&R Streetalk, September 10):

I have been talking to people about health-care reform all summer, and I get a lot of “I don’t know what’s in the plan,” so I wasn’t surprised to see the same comment in Streetalk.

The president has addressed the country like a bazillion times to say what’s in the plan, but here goes: Keep the health care you have, if you like it; see the doctor of your choice; equitably shares costs and contains costs between the public, large and small businesses, and government; enables small businesses (under 50 employees) to afford to provide health care for its employees; increases quality of care for all Americans; reforms the insurance market so you never lose your coverage; keeps what works in health care [and] repair what’s broken; creates a new Health Insurance Exchange with a public health-insurance option alongside private plans, forcing private plans to be more competitive on both price and quality; tax credits for citizens at or below three times the federal poverty line, on a sliding scale based on income and what you can afford; specifically prohibits government funding of health care for illegal immigrants and for abortion services; pays for, but does not mandate, voluntary discussions with your doctor about what level of end-of-life care you want (insurance does not currently pay for these discussions); raises the age where students are still covered under parents’ insurance from 23 to 25; makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, or to cancel coverage when you become ill or injured; pays for preventive care, such as cancer screenings (prevention is cheaper than treatment); increases communication and cooperation between hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices to reduce overhead, contain costs and improve quality of care. Learn more at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/health_care/plan, or simply Google “HR 3200.”

Ed Hass
Elk Grove

List the local douches!

Re “‘What’s a douche?’” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Arts&Culture, September 3):

I read your recent article about the douche. I think it would be great if SN&R would let its readers decide on who the 100 biggest douche bags are in Sacramento. Have people vote. It would be hilarious.

In their vote would be their reasons for feeling this person should make the Douche 100 list. This town is so full of d-bags it would be easy to compile a list of 100. Thanks for your time.

Gerbz Wilson
Elk Grove

Standing against tribalization

Re “Rebel in the record biz” by Niki Kangas (SN&R 15 Minutes, September 3):

I’ve felt a little closed off by the things that Pyrate Punx do, and other crews involved in punk in the area, so I have been a little ambivalent to become more involved in local music. But it makes me happy to know someone recognizes the tribalization of the music scene and is standing against it.

I wish more people thought like Ken [Fury]. I like his catch-all term of “rebel music,” as I think it is more representative of the music than a simple classification. Keep up the good work, guys!

Brian Williams

Sympathy for the Bee

Re “Full frontal” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Snog, August 27):

Our society is changing, and the way people seek and receive news is changing with it. It is affecting not only The Sacramento Bee, but virtually all daily newspapers in the country. We are in the midst of this huge change, and, as you yourself wrote, who knows when it will end?

The Sacramento Bee has made many, many changes to cope with this changing society. One of the changes, accepting ads on the front page, is something they feel is done out of necessity in order to survive.

You and the rest of the SN&R hierarchy owe The Sacramento Bee a public apology for giving them grief about front page ads, not because you were wrong, but because you were right and you did it anyway. It didn’t take a genius to figure out why the Bee put ads on the front page. They’re hurting for more business, and you know it, but you still give them a hard time for it. Don’t you people believe in ethics?

How and why you get the ads in your paper is your business—and I’ve never said anything about it before—but when you carry these ads (only a moron can’t see behind them) and then put down the Bee for putting legitimate ads on the front page, I have to speak up. Is your next target the British papers? I hear they run their news on the back page.

I read your paper and the Bee, and will continue to do so, and when a paper crosses the lines like you did, you’ll hear from me.

James Sakauye


In last week’s news story on the Senior Safe House (“This old house” by Veronica Bartell, SN&R Frontlines, September 10), the photo was of program director Juanita Daniel, not Maxine Krugman as indicated. We regret the error. This has been corrected online.