Letters for September 4, 2003

Center of the state, er, galaxy

Re “To boldly go” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, August 21):

Dr. Leonard McCoy has examined water samples from Sacramento and reports that, contrary to your article, there do not appear to be any particles that would account for the popularity of Star Trek tribute bands in the city. He did, however, find trace elements of Rigelian mud mites, Copernican turlo greet (dung) and several microscopic bacteria from an outpost in Sector Four.

But he does offer an answer to this strange predicament. As Bones tells it: “Mr. Sulu once explained to me that he’s often asked by Capt. Kirk to set a course for a specific ‘quadrant’ in space. Since that means the galaxy is divided into fourths, I asked Sulu to give me the coordinates for its precise center. He computed the distance, consulted Mr. Spock to verify his findings and contacted me in Sick Bay immediately. ‘You won’t believe this, doctor,’ he blurted. ‘But the precise center of our galaxy is Sacramento, California.’”

Matt Perry

Bites is ashen for it

Re “Back to the garden” (SN&R Bites, August 21):

So, Bites conjectures that most of the folks behind Ward Connerly’s Proposition 54 are white, since his funding sources are so far anonymous. Or rather, “pretty damned white”—gotta figure out a way to include those pesky Asians in empty-headed generalizations about race, after all.

Most of the faces in every issue of SN&R are white, and most of the people behind its production are, too. I’ll go out on a limb myself and bet that even the (wisely, anonymous) person who wrote that throwaway was white. But so-effin-what? That “Bite” was stupid on its face, regardless of the color of its author’s face.

Charlie Barnes

It’s the Dems, not Proposition 13

Re “Moody blues” (SN&R Editorial, August 14):

SN&R never misses an opportunity to bash and pass on misinformation concerning Proposition 13. According to SN&R and the Democratic Party, Proposition 13 is responsible for California’s dismal fiscal predicament, rather than incompetence on the part of the Democrat-controlled state government.

We suffer the plight we are in due in large part to the liberal/socialist spending policies of the Democratic Party. Their 30-year-plus experiment in social programs and victimization advocacy is bankrupting the state. The unbridled giveaways to their constituents and special interests in order to retain control of the government are finally coming home to roost.

Last year, for the first time in over 50 years, more people and businesses left California than came in. Who is leaving? The individuals and businesses that are tired of the exorbitant costs associated with living and doing business in this state. People that are fed up with seeing the will of the majority of voters nullified. Every time the majority of the state voices an opinion on an issue that some minority faction disagrees with, the majority’s will is muted, stayed or overturned by the American Civil Liberties Union, some liberal judge or the wonderful [9th Circuit Court of Appeals].

Wake up, Californians! If you do not restore leaders that will exercise fiscal accountability, obey the laws and constitution of the state and the federal government that they take an oath to protect; if we do not secure our borders and institute intelligent, reasonable immigration policies; if we do not stop unbridled development and urban sprawl; if we do not come to the realization that our resources are finite; and if we do not embrace the concept of zero population growth, then we will be responsible for destroying one of the most beautiful and progressive places on Earth and turning it into a Third World-like nation-state within the United States.

Frederick T. Cianci

Bustamante’s no knife-wielder

Re “Cartoon” by John Kloss (SN&R Opinion, August 21):

John Kloss’ cartoon of Governor Gray Davis having been stabbed in the back of the neck by Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante is way off.

I wish that Bustamante had not insisted he would not run in the recall election. He should have known that, in politics, you always keep options open and don’t paint yourself into a corner.

But Davis is solely responsible for his fate. He has been an aloof autocrat since he was first elected in 1998.

Let’s not blame Davis’ downfall on Cruz Bustamante, the only Democratic official who seems to have acknowledged reality: With an astounding approval rating of 22 percent, Davis will be recalled. And if no Democratic alternative were on the recall ballot—as the Democratic leadership stupidly had insisted should have been the case—the chances of a Governor Schwarzenegger would have been much higher than they are now.

Vote no on the recall and yes on Cruz Bustamante.

Robert Crook

How ’bout some secular advice?

Re “Let me fix you!” by Joey Garcia (SN&R Ask Joey, August 21):

Usually, I find “Ask Joey” merely amusing, a benign diversion on my way to the personals (which, by the way, offer some of the best writing in your fine publication). But this column goes over the top.

Not only does she, without provocation or cause, advise a writer to get on her knees and pray to God, but she also suggests that the writer may have unexpressed sexual feelings for her female friend. Read the letter and tell me if you can find where she pulls that nugget from. This kind of advice is unhelpful to both the public and those who seek her advice.

Not being a “certified spiritual counselor and theology teacher” myself, I’ll confess that I’m skeptical to begin with. I’ll grant that there might be readers cut from the same cloth as Joey who enjoy her column. But if she’s to be your advice columnist, I submit that this reflects badly on your paper, which otherwise seems to make an effort to encourage critical thought and inquiry.

It’s safe to say that many of your readers find Joey—well, irrelevant—if not offensive. If you can’t swap her for a columnist more in touch with your readership, how ’bout mixing it up a bit with another columnist who’s a little more happening? Dan Savage would probably be too much to ask for in Sacramento, but, geez, there has to be somebody else out there who could give some secular advice.

Matt Morbello

Don’t post this review …

Re “Burning love” by Lark Park (SN&R Dish, August 21):

I’m surprised that your restaurant critic couldn’t find a more tasteful theme to use when describing her “adventure” at Paree’s Thai Garden.

I’m sure that both SN&R readers and the restaurateurs will agree that devoting a column to the intestinal gas suffered by her husband as a result of a “welcome tangle of noodles” (pad Thai) and other delicious dishes is a backhanded compliment at best. She liked the food, but her husband farted all the way to Chico? I can hear the restaurateurs now: “Thanks for visiting, but we won’t post this review on our wall, if you don’t mind.”

As a travel writer who visits and submits reviews of day-spa facilities, I’d never write, and we’d never publish, a column that stated, “What a wonderful spa, but the masseuse pressed my abdomen so hard I farted and we had to open a window.”

Come on, Lark. Show us, your husband and the restaurant a little class next time.

Kristina Fitzhugh

… ‘cause it does them no favors

Re “Burning love” by Lark Park (SN&R Dish, August 21):

What was your restaurant reviewer thinking when she wrote her review of Paree’s Thai Garden? Did she actually think she was being amusing by pointing out the obvious—too much of a good thing gives one gas?

She suffered her husband’s “bombs,” and I guess misery loves company, because she felt she needed to give all of us a “blow by blow.” The restaurant ought to demand a free advertisement from you guys. Your publication of that review did them no favors, and that is undeserved. With friends like Lark Park, who needs enemas?

Carole Kite
via e-mail

Chads aren’t so bad

Re “A new voting-rights struggle” by Kim Alexander (SN&R Essay, August 14):

Having worked at Sacramento County elections since 1972 as a poll worker, I see no problems with the old-style “punch card” system and the hanging chads.

Sacramento County trains its poll workers as many times as elections are held. The workers are paid for their time and training before any election. There is intense training that each poll worker is required to take prior to working at any polling place in Sacramento County. We are not even close to Florida—never have been and never will be. We pride ourselves on action taken on Election Day by being ready to accept your ballots from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

However, when the secretary of state says, “We expect a low turnout of voters today,” it sets up an attitude of “My vote doesn’t count,” and few people make the effort to vote. If, however, the secretary of state declared that a high turnout of voters was expected on Election Day, maybe more people would vote with punch cards on October 7, instead of voting with their mouths on October 8.

Thomas John Prittie