Canalgate: R.E. Graswich compares Greenhaven to slums of Mumbai

by Cosmo Garvin,

R.E. Graswich, former Sacramento Bee columnist and former special assistant to Mayor Kevin Johnson, really doesn’t like Councilman Darrell Fong. Mostly because of Fong’s skepticism on the King’s arena deal, but there’s probably more.

Graswich took to Twitter last Saturday to savage Fong for some nasty-looking garbage that had accumulated in a canal in part of Fong’s district in the Pocket area.

And the arena deal. “Sac Councilman D Fong has made stopping Kings top priority, while people in his district live with disgusting condition,” Graswich tweeted.

It is true that most city council districts have problems with illegal dumping. The avenues off Franklin Boulevard in Jay Schenirer’s District 5 come to mind. Atrocious, but probably not related to his support for arena subsidies.

And it’s true that Fong’s office contacted the city utilities department in early May, asking for the canals to be cleaned, and was told they would be done “ASAP.”

On Saturday afternoon following Graswich’s tweet attack, Fong’s district director Noah Painter again made contact with the utilities department, asking why the cleanup hadn’t occurred.

Around that same time, high-school teacher and Pocket resident Will Cannady, seeing Graswich’s rant, bought himself a pool skimmer and went to clean the canal alone, even though the temperature was above 100 degrees.

After several hours of cleaning, Cannady went home, determined to finish the next morning. City crews finally showed up that evening to finish the job.

At that point, Graswich claimed victory—and credit. “Twitter followers: Let me know what outrage you want resolved next,” he wrote.

This and other heroic tweets were dutifully retweeted by many of Graswich’s 1,347 followers.

As for Cannady, “It just felt good to do my part.”

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