The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 23, 2009
Oprah highlights homelessness in Sacramento

It's not the most flattering landmark in Sacramento, nonetheless, the capital city's burgeoning tent city will be featured on Oprah Winfrey's talk show on Wednesday at 4 p.m. on Channel 3 and again at 9 p.m. on channel 58. The show is about the recession and homelessness; part of it was filmed in Sacramento.  Below, you can read what Joan Burke, director of advocacy at Loaves & Fishes, had to say about the program. 


Dear Friend of Loaves & Fishes,


Watch the Oprah Show at 4 PM this Wednesday, February 25! It's about the recession and homelessness and was filmed at Loaves & Fishes, Sacramento homeless shelters and Sacramento's Tent City. They also filmed in other cities to show this is a national problem.


Please pass the word by forwarding this on to your e-mail groups, colleagues and friends.


The Oprah Winfrey Show asked Loaves & Fishes if they could interview one of the homeless mothers at Maryhouse. Favor Whitesides, a very devoted mother of three bright and beautiful children, agreed to share her story.  Oprah Correspondent Lisa Ling, Sister Libby and I also visited the large tent city in Sacramento with over 100 tents spread out over several acres as far as the eye can see. Over 200 people live there in a scene straight out of the Great Depression. When I asked the film crew if they had seen anything like it anywhere else, the sound man replied, "Only in a war zone."


The show airs this Wednesday, Feb. 25.  In Sacramento it will be shown at 4PM on Channel 3 KCRA and again at 9 PM on Channel 58 KQCA. Showing times in other cities vary. A link to info on Oprah's website is below:


Tent Cities in America: A Lisa Ling Special Report 

Correspondent Lisa Ling brings us the new faces of the recession. The desperate search for work, a hot meal, a place to sleep. Meet families who are struggling every day to get by.

The spiraling economy and the foreclosure crisis are causing an increasing number of middle-class Americans to suffer. On today's show, Lisa Ling investigates the emergence of tent cities--makeshift temporary shelters set up by people who simply have nowhere else to go. Our cameras follow a family that went from living in a condo and driving a Lincoln Navigator a year ago to sleeping in homeless shelters and carrying all their possessions in garbage bags. Then, hear from a woman who was making $70,000 a year and is facing eviction. Get an inside look at how more and more families are struggling every day just to get by.


We believe, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, that sunshine is the best disinfectant. We hope that those who see this show and its sad and shocking depiction of the pain of homelessness will be motivated to both seek solutions and to help the families and individuals who are homeless now. We will have a special page set up on Loaves & Fishes website by Wednesday for those who wish to help:  


Joan Burke
Director of Advocacy
Loaves & Fishes
P O Box 2161
Sacramento, CA 96812
(916) 446-0874
February 18, 2009
Hollingsworth postpones fundraiser

At 2:50 this afternoon,just hours into his reign new Republican Senate Leader Dennis Hollingsworth sent out a fresh e-mail invitation for his $1,000 per guest "Third House Reception," ie, fundraiser.  This one  trumpeted his new title. It reads  in relevant part "Don't Miss the Reception TONIGHT with the NEW Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth"

Approximately two hours later the brain trust in the Senators office, apparently  reconsidered. The sight of the newly minted Republican Leader gobbling up campaign cash while the state sinks into a fiscal abyss  and workers lose their jobs might not go over well, even with "No Tax Never Republicans." A new notice went out announcing that the Hollingsworth fundraiser was postponed. " RECEPTION TONIGHT POSTPONED!! The Reception at Cosmo Cafe with Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth has been Postponed Until Further Notice"

February 18, 2009
Hollingsworth holds fundraiser as state sinks

On the day he was elected the new Republican Leader in the state Senate, Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta, had schedued a $1,000 fundraising reception at the Cosmo Cafe in downtown Sacramento. "You are Cordially Invited to a Reception in Support of Senator Dennis Hollingsworth" the invitation reads.  "$1,000 per guest."

Republican Leader Hollingsworth isn't alone in his ill timed fundraising appeal. On Wednesday, a day when the state stands poised to pull the plug on 374 infrastructure projects worth $5.58 billion because of the budget stalemate, five other legislators have scheduled fundraisers. In fact 38 legislators in all have scheduled fundraisers between today and March 5th.While inaction on the budget is wreaking financial havoc and throwing people out of work up and down the state, legislators continue to do what they do best - raise campaign funds. 

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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