Letters: A governor against his Capital Region, why CEQA matters, and the Sacramentans we’ll always remember

Photograph by Kenta Miyahara

Re: “Newsom’s war with California environmental groups keeps Sacramento County in its cross-hairs” by Dan Bacher (News, May 26)

We are seeing the same assault on the environment in Southern California with Governor Newsom’s stubborn insistence on wreaking havoc on existing habitats at the Ballona Wetlands just north of Los Angeles International Airport. He is no longer seeking the best policies for California but rather he is seeking what he thinks are the best policies for his national brand. Our kids will pay the price for his naked ambition.

-Walter Lamb

Re: “Newsom’s war with California environmental groups keeps Sacramento County in its cross-hairs” by Dan Bacher (News, May 2)

“It’s time to make the most out of taxpayer dollars and deliver results while creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs.” Or … how about making all of California’s millionaires and billionaires and global corporations and the real estate and construction sector pay a lot more of the taxes they should be paying – instead of cutting corners by making the whole environment suffer along with the millions of residents unable to afford decent housing? We’re arguably the wealthiest state in wealthiest nation on the planet. But there is no way to increase revenues to deliver greater results?

-Richard Seyman

Re: “An experience for all: Sacramento area performing arts venues find new ways to take patrons with disabilities on the stage’s journey” by Patti Roberts (Arts & Culture, May 25)

I am so excited to see SN&R in my email box! I have missed you! I miss being able to pick up the paper at the corner store. Are you in print again? I haven’t seen it in any stores or anywhere. Well, no matter. The important thing is I see you now. Like a long, lost friend that turned up again thank you!

-Leslie Billings

Re: “Stripping the grime and gears to go forward: SacRT plans revamp of its decrepit trains, causing delays” by Jacob Peterson (News, May 9)

Coming from growing up in major cities like Atlanta and Chicago, I know from experience the “hustle and bustle” of using mass-transit. Although Sacramento transit infrastructure is nowhere near what the major cities are, I still think SacRT does a pretty good job providing service for riders. Yes, there are some areas that I feel could be tweaked for better rider-efficiency, however, SacRT is solid in maintaining a strong dependability for its patrons.

-Pat King

Re: “Remembering the Music Man: Sacramento says goodbye to Skip Maggiora, the store founder who created an enduring culture” by Casey Rafter (Arts & Culture, April 21)

I started teaching voice at Skip’s in 1989 … We were a tight knit bunch. ‘Stairway’ was an exciting program that helped “birth” many newcomers to the Sac music scene! I used to write a column every month for Skip’s news about vocal technique for rock’n roll. We used to have staff parties. I seem to recall a whitewater rafting and picnic event at Coloma! I came back to teach after several decades’ absence to find the staff pretty much changed but the vibe and camaraderie were intact! David Crosby nailed in his song, “Music Is Love.” Godspeed, dear Skip!

-Sana Christian

Re: “Remembering the Music Man: Sacramento says goodbye to Skip Maggiora, the store founder who created an enduring culture” by Casey Rafter (Arts & Culture, April 21)

Mr. Maggiora, thanks so much for the neat place to shop, great people whose brains were available to pick, and the most awesome place to go into.

-Chris White

Re: “Remembering Sacramento reporter Amy Yannello” by Scott Thomas Anderson (Voices, April 7)

Thank you for this lovely tribute. Amy’s DNA directed her to journalism. How often was her work called “the homeless beat?” How many people did she give a voice to? Thank you, News & Review for appreciating her work.

-Carol Terracina Hartman

Re: “Remembering Sacramento reporter Amy Yannello” by Scott Thomas Anderson (Voices, April 7)

I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. I first met her when I was homeless and so much admired her covering homelessness, including our voice and perspectives. It wasn’t as common back then (early 2000’s). We stayed in tough a bit after I became homed and she retired, again, saying something about her friend-inclusiveness.

-Paula Lomazzi

Re: “Remembering Sacramento reporter Amy Yannello” by Scott Thomas Anderson (Voices, April 7)

A lovely tribute indeed! Thank you for this. I worked with Amy at the Press Tribune many years ago. She was a tremendous journalist and colleague.

-Linda DeBois

Re: “The past and future of Franklin Boulevard” by Graham Womack (March 9)

During the years I was a member of redevelopment’s project area committee, the tax increment money was used for facades to make things look better without actually making fundamental improvements like affordable housing. Making Franklin Boulevard truly pedestrian-friendly would require moving sidewalks to be next to buildings rather than between the street and parking lots. Also, it would be nice to have level sidewalks instead of the many slopes for cars to enter parking lots.

Muriel Strand

Re: “Real-estate expert Greg Paquin on how Sacramento’s lack of housing affordability impacts younger generations” by Ken Magri (News, Feb. 7)

A belated comment: when I read an interview subject’s bald misstatement that the purpose of the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA  “…is to inform the public about the potential environmental impacts of all types of development, including housing,’” and then it goes on to state as an accusation that “CEQA is often used as a lever for litigation to stop or delay housing projects on environmental grounds,” it’s clear that the interviewee’s intentions are disingenuous.

The purpose of CEQA is to limit development projects’ negative impacts on the environment, whether by requiring mitigation measures or by providing the basis for a lawsuit to halt a harmful project. That’s why developers of many of the biggest and most potentially harmful projects run to Sacramento to get their favorite politicians to sponsor special carve-outs from CEQA. A real estate consultant like Pequin knows this full well. The interviewer… should have called it out.

-David Ewing

Re: “The boldest bass: How Sacramento’s Gabe Nelson went from a famous band to his new life prolonging the magic” by Casey Rafter, (Arts, Nov. 3) 

I’m a 49-year-old drummer (as of 2023) and was first introduced to Gabe’s playing while I was living in San Diego in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The bassist in my band at that time played “Let Me Go” by Cake through our PA system during one of our band practices and he was absolutely fanatical about it. I’ve never seen a musician get so giddy about a song. But I’ve been a diehard Gabe Nelson fan ever since that day, and it gave me an everlasting appreciation for the bass. Gabe’s groove and tone are second to none and totally define Cake’s sound, at least from my perspective. I’ve seen him perform with Cake maybe 5 times, and each time was a treat. I live on the East Coast now, but if I lived in Sacramento, you could bet your ass I’d be taking lessons from him. All Hail Gabe Nelson!

-Gabe Schick

Re: “Financially bashed by DoorDash? Sacramento driver left out to dry despite company’s boast of ‘excess insurance’” by Scott Thomas Anderson (News, June 17, 2021)

My son’s car was hit by a ‘dasher.’ The door dash driver had just picked up their order. They were clearly at fault, which was backed up by witnesses, and the police report clearly stated that they were at fault. The door dash driver’s insurance company denied the claim since they were dashing and did not purchase coverage for commercial driving. Long story sorta short, my son’s car was totaled, and his insurance company had to pick up the bill. Worse yet, his car was totaled and since he did not have gap insurance, he wound up paying the $7,000 difference between what he owed on the car and what his insurance company paid out for his totaled car. We are pursuing this in small claims court, but who knows what if anything he will recover. Door Dash and other food delivery companies are knowingly putting uninsured drivers out on the road. They do not check to see if their drivers have purchased the required liability insurance for their delivery driving. From what I understand, these commercial insurance riders are not easy to purchase and can be expensive. The typical door dash driver is highly unlikely to buy the extra coverage. So, the public winds up footing the bill for Door Dash’s legal liability.

-Kay Whitcomb

Re: “Del Paso Boulevard’s History” by News & Review publications, Nov. 14, 2019

I was born and raised in North Sacramento in 1941 … and graduated from Norte Del Rio High School class of 1959. So, with this background you might understand better how I loved growing up in my small-town America. I moved to Utah many years ago and visit home often to visit with family and friends. I remember when my young friends and I could walk up and down Del Paso Boulevard and never worry about being accosted by strangers. The police had a constant presence on the street. Capt. Bill Wilson made himself know to all children in the city by visiting at schools. We felt safe. I visited my family and friends two years ago for a class reunion. I was shocked and disgusted to see what has happened to my town … I’m sorry to see what has happened to North Sacramento. It all started with the I60 [highway] taking the business away, but it also happened when Sacramento annexed North Sac. The North Sacto that I was raised in is gone. The police don’t have much of a presence, that I could see. I know there is a lot of crime in the area. All these things contribute to the slide downwards that has happened. But, there’s got to be some answers

-Nancy Birdsong Lee

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