Letters to the Editor

Oak Park, Bernie Sanders, sidewalks

Oak Park stirs memories of Harlem

Re “Oak Park residents rue cost” (Erika D. Smith, Aug. 9): I remember the vibrant culture of Harlem years ago, and of Spanish Harlem where I lived in the early 1960s. Most of that is gone now. The buildings were rehabbed into upscale apartments and private residences, and the cultural events, like Harlem’s Saturday drumming in the park, which attracted worldwide talent, shut down because the rich new neighbors objected.

This is a symptom of the growing and desperate income, incarceration, health and education disparity. We give legislative lip service to equality with no backup to make it real.

Feel-good stuff bolsters racist anger and allows blame to be laid at the door of minorities for their plight. Is it any wonder that we have grave social unrest, and just when are we going to pay substantive attention?

Roxanne Bate, West Sacramento

Careful with those descriptions

Re “So pot is popular – no biggie” (Erika D. Smith, Aug. 6): Erika D. Smith is certainly privileged to her opinion that Bernie Sanders is “the senator-turned-political messiah,” or even her eyebrow-raising remark about his “fighting a losing battle for his political life.” Bernie, politically and otherwise, is alive and well.

But she crosses the line with remarks that label him a “stubborn old man,” which links his determined, if pertinacious nature, to issues of age and, thus, implies that is what drives his politics. That’s ageism.

Would anyone use “old” derisively in a sentence about our two U.S. senators? And no gentle person would ever note that Sanders is actually younger than both Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

Spencer P. Le Gate, Sacramento

It’s dangerous out there

Re “Sidewalks are for walking” (Letters Aug. 6): I have felt the pain of a bicyclist coming in contact with a pedestrian. A couple of years ago, I was riding my bicycle on the sidewalk in front of the Central Library when a gentleman backed into me after paying for parking. I went down in a heap.

I ride on the sidewalk exclusively for safety reasons. I ride my bike on average 10 miles a day so, or about 3,600 miles a year. Given that my Toyota Prius delivers 50 miles per gallon, I lessen my carbon footprint by at least 70 gallons of gasoline annually by riding my bicycle. That fact is due some respect and consideration.

Don Knutson, Sacramento

In praise of good writing

Re “Reverend finds ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ at Burning Man” (Page 3A, Aug. 9): This article, written by Stephen Magagnini, is an exceptionally well-done piece. It offers hope and humanity in a world too often seen as being beset by travail. My wife and I love the optimism, the artful writing and the sublime beauty of the story itself. Many thanks to a great writer.

Stephen R. Hoover, Sacramento

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