Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Regarding the state budget (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 15), it was stated that California does not know how to handle the volatility of revenue. Owners of small businesses  and those who run households know how to handle interruptions in income: It’s called a savings account. California is the eighth-largest economy in the world. The next time we amass a surplus of billions of dollars, we need to remember how big we are and stop acting like a kid in a candy store.

Ann Sinnett

Dear Editor,

I would like to make an additional comment about the commentary by Sen. Jenny Oropeza, “Massage therapy now in the mainstream” (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 15).

The article states, “San Francisco has created a dual system that recognizes therapeutic massage practitioners on one hand and adult entertainment massage workers on the other.”

Note that while it is true that Article 29 was endorsed by several “sex work” advocates, there is no mention of “adult entertainment” massage workers anywhere, just a lot of loopholes specifically written to benefit “sex workers.”

I suspect Jenny Oropeza’s statement is based on an article published in Massage Today in July 2004, which I may have instigated by calling Massage Today about it. The analysis made by David Palmer and Massage Today avoids mention of the “trainee permit” and the fact that it is not a dual system , it is a three-tier system. The article in Massage Today misquotes me and intentionally skews the facts, but here is a link to that article .

The issues of prostitution, massage and government regulation are obviously difficult and complex, but I would hope we could do a better job than we are doing now. This is why I reached out to Robyn Few, of the Sex Workers Outreach Project, to Tim Barnett, author of New Zealand’s bill decriminalising prostitution, as well as to those adamantly opposed to accepting prostitution, like Norma Hotaling, Melissa Farley, Donna Hughes, etc.

When I was a volunteer Massage Therapist at the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, I worked with people from Sweden, which arrests “johns”, and Japan, where prostitution is legal. California seems perpetually confused. Where I live, in San Rafael in Marin County north of San Francsisco, there are a bare minimum of 10 “massage” brothels downtown. Everyone knows.

Can we please make a balanced assessment of reality on the issue of prostitution, even a little bit?

Brian Keith Goodwin,
San Rafael

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