Friday, November 19, 2010

News from SN&R

Frontpage of the Nov 18 issue of the Sac­ra­men­to News & Review.
The latest issue of the Sacramento News & Review has a few items of interest to homeless folk — and if not to us, then to me.

First off, an eight-page advertising supplement is in the middle for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, wherein the Food Bank, itself, is promoted and the Run to Feed the Hungry — a 10K or 5K run on Thanksgiving Day — with proceeds going to SFB&FS has a fullpage ad.

Good stuff, but it bugs me a bit when charities spend what seems to be a lot of money asking for money — even as I fully understand why that's necessary.

The start of the Run to Feed the Hungry in 2009.
Of interest to me is that there is a blurb on the sidebar on the frontpage of SN&R (which you can vaguely make out in the tiny pic) which says "Fighting Hunger in Sac
see SN&R special advertising supplement, inside."

It bugs me a bit when journalistic enterprises put advertising, or advertising about advertising, on their front page -- even as I fully understand [$$$!] why that's necessary, these days.

A featured article this week is about the Greyhound stations: The one that is soon to be abandoned on L Street; the new one soon to be constructed on Richards Blvd close to the Union Gospel Mission; and the future one near the Amtrak station downtown.

While the hoity-toity folks downtown will be gleeful to be rid of the Greyhound station there — because of the riffraff it attracts — there remains a question of what to do with the terminal building.  That building (and not the bus barn, next door) is a "landmark that dates back to the 1930s."  My guess is that, whatever its historical interest, it's more eyesore than icon and, unless a swanky restaurant wants to gut it and utilize its retro charms, bulldozers will soon be on the scene to tear it to shreds.

I'm impressed to learn that the Richards Blvd terminal will be rather amazing and is "designed to be moved," such that it could be dismantled and positioned near the train station as part of a metropolitan transportation hub.  The amenities are all this:
This new Greyhound terminal … "will be a modern and contemporary building complete with sustainable features such as on-site storm drainage, water-efficient fixtures and stained concrete flooring. The terminal lobby will be blanketed by a soaring, overhanging roof and flanked by towering glass windows in the front and multicolored panels on the sides."
One issue that comes up in Homeless World Sacramento is What will the close proximity of the bus terminal to the Union Gospel Mission mean?  There is concern that the mission will end up getting used as a free motel by many thrifty solo-male bus passengers visiting Capital City, pushing Sacramento homeless men off onto the curbside.

With River District development underway, the Union Gospel Mission won't be hidden away in the hinterlands.  And that can only result in yet more competition for scarce resources: beds in the dorm and chairs in the chapel when Jimmy Roughton is preaching.

In an SN&R editorial titled "Socks and Toothpaste," Jeff vonKaenel asks readers to donate tarps, sleeping bags, warm socks [he probably means thick socks, not ones straight from the dryer], and new (and not used!) long underwear to SafeGround.  His Christmas gift-giving wish for Loaves & Fishes is shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, cough drops and all the stuff you already gave to SafeGround.

My Christmas wish for Jeff vonKaenel is that he stop assuming that just because certain charities are in an eyes-well-up-with-tears industry it means they are efficient, wise and compassionate.  vonKaenel, as the President and CEO of an important Sacramento news source, should tend to his prime task:  finding the truth and putting it out there.

News vending services, like SN&R, are the eyes and the ears of the public. See clearly and hear well, and give the public credit that it can take care of things from there.

SafeGround and Loaves & Fishes aint run by Saint Francis and Gandhi, Mr. vonKaenel. Put that truth in your pot pipe and smoke it. [And, put that in your weekly by reporting it.]

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