Letters for September 5, 2013

Homelessness could happen to you

Re “My days living homeless in Sacramento” by Dave Kempa (SN&R Feature Story, August 29):

As a formerly homeless human, I enjoyed Dave Kempa's story about being faux homeless for a week, since it was well-written and accurate. I spent two-and-a-half years living in the bushes, getting wet in the winter, sweating in the summer, and avoiding the wrath of rangers. I moved to Quinn Cottages a month ago, so I am one of the few who's managed to crawl out of the abyss that is the poverty and utter boredom of being homeless. I've kinda gotten to know Kempa, since he interviewed me a while ago. (I gave him the sound bite “Same shit, different day” that he used to full advantage.) I've also run into him at homeless feedings and at my fave bar, Henry's Lounge, where he sometimes repairs on Wednesdays after the paper's been put to bed. He enjoys talking to me, since we can talk shop, since I was a journalist in a former life, and he's appalled at the reason why I became homeless. I know many of the folks he wrote about so well, and he described them with feeling and flair. Great story.

One thing I would add: It could happen to you. (My personal mantra about homelessness.) Divorces happen. Layoffs happen. Foreclosures happen. Illnesses depleting one's savings, happen. Or to someone you love.

Stacy Selmants


Say yes to superfoods!

Re “Up for a food challenge?” by Shoka (The V Word, August 29):

I gave up meat and fish about 30 years ago and immediately stopped coming down with the flu, which had been a regular, annual experience. Then, 10 years later, I gave up dairy and eggs, and immediately stopped catching colds once or twice a year, which had been my experience in my younger years. Clearly, animal foods in my diet had suppressed my immune system all those years, and today, with the abundant evidence of what the superfoods like kale, blueberries and tempeh can do to boost the effectiveness of one’s immune system, nuisance diseases no longer need be a dreaded expectation of winter.

Don Knutson


SN&R overlooks Walmart’s good deeds

Re “Walmart gives to Wind Youth Services to feed homeless teens” by Dave Kempa (Beats, August 8):

The SN&R overlooked two decades worth of supporting nonprofits in Sacramento to take a cheap shot at our company and draw inaccurate conclusions about our motivation. That’s insulting to our customers, associates and the thousands of organizations and individuals that have been positively impacted throughout the years due to a boost in philanthropic funding.

Our track record speaks for itself. We’re proud of our contributions here over the past 20 years to organizations including Sacramento Veterans Resource Center, River City Food Bank, Roberts Family Development Center and many others. … Last year, we gave more than $26 million to nonprofits throughout California.

Giving back to the communities where we do business is part of our culture, and it’s something we’re proud to do in every market we serve across California. It’s a shame that the SN&R only chooses to pay attention to those contributions when it suits their needs.

Rachel Wall

senior manager of community affairs

Walmart (and proud Sacramento native)

‘9/11 truth’ and the NSA

Re “NSA surveillance necessary” (SN&R Editorial, August 15):

I’m afraid that your argument is flawed from the get-go, as it is based on an emotion and an assumption, both of which seem to always lead to poor consequences. The emotion is fear, and the assumption is that “the end justifies the means.” …

Perhaps worse, however, is that this editorial is based on the disgracefully still-popular, though long-discredited notion that we were attacked by Muslim terrorists on September 11, 2001. We were attacked by terrorists, all right—the same ones who are bringing us the NSA and all the other agencies of totalitarianism. Wake up, folks!

Thomas Lambie



In “Chelsea, lately” by Blake Gillespie (SN&R Music, August 29), Chelsea Wolfe’s album title was misidentified. The correct title is Pain Is Beauty. It has been corrected online.