Context and construction

On the mind-boggling support for Trump, and the roundabout that’s finally getting beautified

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.

That’s a quote to keep in mind when writing letters to the editor to this newspaper. A couple printed in these pages this week are accompanied by editor’s notes containing important nuance. I loathe writing them but feel increasingly responsible to do so in this era of so-called “fake news.”

Indeed, the most egregious lies on the national front are emanating from the forked tongue of the president of the United States—not the media, as POTUS would like you to believe. What’s disturbing to me is that so many people keep giving him a pass.

Even now, following Trump’s disturbing remarks in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, I’m skeptical that his supporters will stop defending him. I doubt even the fact that folks from Fox News have lambasted the president for toeing the Kremlin line can break the spell.

Speaking of Fox, that network and Trump likely are the sources for a couple of letter writers parroting the false equivalence that President Obama did the exact same thing as President Trump when it comes to illegal immigrant children. For example, as Fox talking head Matt Schlapp put it, “This is the problem with all of these things, the outrage you see coming from the left. There wasn’t outrage over Barack Obama separating kids from adults.”

Obama was nicknamed the deporter-in-chief and is deserving of criticism when it comes to how he addressed illegal immigration, but to say his administration handled immigrant children the same way Trump’s has is patently false (see Letters, page 3).

One of the letter writers this week laments how the CN&R’s letters page has devolved into a “dumping ground” for hatred for the president. Its author makes a great point about listening to the opinions of others and engaging in civil discourse, but that followed her dubious claim that “guns deter much more crime than they cause” and an inference to that aforementioned false equivalence.

I certainly don’t see the letters section as a cesspool. To me, it’s a shared space for community members to weigh in on local topics, where their voices may spur action, and national happenings, including reactions to how the demagogue in the White House is running the country, as a form of protest and catharsis.

Next week, I expect to see many letters about the president’s press conference with Putin. I look forward to the creative ways his supporters twist themselves into knots to defend him.

It’s happening On Monday, Brendan Ottoboni, the city of Chico’s director of public works-engineering, told me landscaping construction will begin on the Second and Flume streets roundabout and nearby city-owned property on Monday (July 23).

The plan for the circular traffic feature: think Ringel Park, the triangular property leading into downtown from The Esplanade. Included in the project is the installation of four electric vehicle chargers in Parking Lot 1 (aka the location of the Saturday farmers’ market). Also, in case you missed it, 13 spaces were added to downtown’s parking inventory when when the city reconfigured Flume Street, from Second to Fourth, to diagonal parking.

Ottoboni says construction should last about two months, during which roadways in the area will remain open, though there may be some delays. Consider yourselves warned.