Letter for June 13th, 2019

Note from Safe Space

Re “Walmart decides” (Downstroke, June 6):

While we at Safe Space Winter Shelter are deeply saddened by Walmart’s decision regarding financial support for the Orange Street Shelter, we remain committed to our mission and will continue to strive for solutions that benefit the entire community.

We hope the organizations to which the money was allocated move forward swiftly with low-barrier shelter options. We need immediate, accessible shelter for those with the greatest needs. Without ready access to shelter and services for these folks, their problems and our problems as a community will continue to escalate. Low-barrier shelter offers the most humane, compassionate solution for those in need, and the most pragmatic solution for the broader community.

We’d also like to pause to thank the many supporters of our project. So many of you have bolstered us with your kind words and deeds. You’ve written letters, helped share the project with the community, volunteered for Safe Space … it’s beyond words. This has truly been a community project, and what a community we have.

Lastly, we need to thank Graham Hutton. We were beyond lucky to have found such a patient and supportive landlord as we worked on this project. His openness and unwavering support meant the world to us.

Angela McLaughlin


More about Orange Street

Re “NIMBY cowardice” and “Deadly status quo” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, May 30 and June 6):

Editor Melissa Daugherty has courageously illuminated the dismal performance of CSUC President Gayle Hutchinson and Jesus Center Executive Director Laura Cootsona—both instrumental in dashing hope for a centrally located homeless shelter.

Thwarting progress on the Orange Street Shelter was a human rights violation: When we prevent a class of people from residing among us—precisely what we did—we remove their fundamental right to exist. I know of no other class of people experiencing this level of discrimination, especially discrimination blatantly countenanced by a university president and a high-profile homeless “advocate.”

While it was heartening to see Orange Street garner support from a swath of citizens, justice for the visibly poor remains elusive. As of now, even our “progressives”—while making a show of supporting diversity, from LGBTQ to XYZ—support geographic segregation for those without affordable shelter. As of today, Chico’s current “consolidation” plan rests firmly on coercive criminalization and deprivation, as promoted by the most authoritarian among us.

Lastly, it should be said, in no uncertain terms, that Safe Space board President Angela McLaughlin has made extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of Orange Street—and Safe Space in general. Win or lose, it’s an inspiring thing to behold.

Patrick Newman


The Orange Street Shelter is a long-overdue and much-needed resource in Chico for our entire community, and specifically for our LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, agender, aromantic, two-spirit) community.

With all of the current permanent shelters in Chico being faith-based and/or higher barrier, sex-segregated and without gender-inclusive policies and training, the many unhoused LGBTQIA2S+ people in Chico are falling through cracks that the larger community is responsible for.

LGBTQIA2S+ young adults are at a 120 percent higher risk of homelessness, and comprise approximately 40 percent of the homeless youth population. Furthermore, nearly one-third of trans people surveyed in a 2015 U.S. survey had experienced homelessness during their lifetime. And, we know these are low estimates, as many unhoused LGBTQIA2S+ people go uncounted and miscounted.

Even so, none of the year-round shelters currently focuses on serving this population, and many of their policies create barriers and conditions that render the space effectively inaccessible for the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

Marin Hambley


Sweets at the plaza

There will be a free ice cream social on Saturday, June 15, from 2-4 p.m. at the City Plaza. Emily’s Band of Ne’er Do Wells will be providing music. Safe Space Winter Shelter is our sponsor. Donations will not be requested but will be accepted for Safe Space. Volunteers are from Chico Friends on the Street. We will have plenty of ice cream, and hope many people will join us for a laid back, fun afternoon.

Nancy Wirtz


Help him plug in

At the last City Council meeting a man spoke up with a simple request. He wanted to be able to charge his electric wheelchair while in the downtown area. He described how he has run out of power multiple times, including being stranded in the middle of crossing the street.

He described the difficulty of having to leave his chair behind to come back for later and how it would be impounded by the police. Most people in Chico don’t have to worry about this kind of dilemma. That’s why we have laws like the ADA. The response from the council was silence.

Technically, they cannot take action during business from the floor, but it would have been easy for them to acknowledge the request or perhaps offer to email about it later. They do that all the time. Does the council support disabled folks having equal access to downtown?

Rain Scher


What about other elders?

Re “California’s elderly crises” (Cover story, by David Wagner and Elizabeth Aguilera, May 30):

I agree the state should be looking at the increased needs of a growing elderly population. Unfortunately, this article only addresses the increased need for elderly that meet the income qualifications for the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program.

Yes, there are thousands of people being paid by the state to care for elderly family members who meet poverty income requirements. But there are millions more Californians who worked and paid taxes their entire lives, yet the high cost of living in California leaves them unable to pay for long-term care, home health care, rent, medical expenses, transportation, energy costs and food, etc.

The state guidelines need to address the actual cost of an elderly person’s survival level of expenses subtracted from income.

Marion Dearman


Left-wing hypocrisy

Re “Chico’s blind eye to racism” (Editorial, June 6):

Your claims of racism at the hands of white nationalism are ridiculous. Fake news and the leftist propaganda machine is falsely toxifying the white race in this country in order to discredit and create lies about the president.

Leftists are continuing to deny real racists, like Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, while acting like the white male is the perfect example of evil.

Racists come from all colors and all creeds. This myth that Donald Trump is creating this racist white move- ment in America is a laughable lie.

Propaganda by a partisan left-wing media machine is the root cause for divisiveness in this country. Demonizing the white race is somehow OK with today’s media. This hypocrisy is stunning and blatantly wrong.

Brad Pankratz


Editor’s note: The editorial in question does not “demonize” anyone. It asks white folks to do more to counter local incidents of race-based hate.

Right-wing hypocrisy

It’s a bit telling that five of the nine states that recently passed brutally repressive anti-abortion laws are ranked within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 15 most polluted states, based on cancer rates and analysis of the average daily fine particulate matter in the air.

Republicans and the evangelical faithful proclaim they’re “protecting the children.” Well, at least until they’re born. Then it’s, “Sorry, kid, you’re now an afterthought,” as evidenced by Trump’s efforts to overturn Obama’s Clean Power Plan (and the GOP and evangelical support for his agenda). The plan projected that by 2030 America could expect 90,000 fewer asthma attacks a year, 300,000 fewer work or school days missed, and 3,600 fewer premature deaths annually.

Hypocrisy is alive and well. Republicans court the evangelical political leadership vote, and evangelicals turn their backs on Jesus by supporting draconian treatment of immigrants and the impoverished, while ignoring the millions of American families struggling financially.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who benefited from Social Security survivor benefits after his father died, declared the Republican Party’s attitude toward those in need: “Government assistance programs are no longer a safety net; they have become a hammock.”

Roger S. Beadle


Here we go again

It’s obvious that DNC Chairman Tom Perez didn’t learn a thing from the catastrophic presidential election in 2016, be it primary or general. Allowing a lifetime independent, and self-proclaimed “socialist” to run on the Democratic ticket was an exercise in futility.

Evidently, Bernie Sanders isn’t satisfied with only four years of the disastrous debacle (aka Trump). Or is Bernie once again vying for the 2020 Ralph Nader trophy? “Destroy and divide” are quotes from former Bernie staffer Tezlyn Figaro, who also says that “Bernie’s supporters will not get behind anyone else who wins the Democratic nomination.”

If this isn’t proof of what I’ve been saying from the get go, hop in that booth and pull the handle for four more years of Russian asset Comrade Trump. Furthermore, with friends like Tom Perez, who needs enemies?

Ray Estes


Opioid crackdown harmful

Dogs are given better pain relief than humans during this so-called “opioid epidemic.” If animals in our culture were treated like this, the care practitioner would be accused of animal abuse.

My husband is terminally ill in California in 2019, but pain relief is not given, because doctors are running scared from the scrutiny they are under. Hey, thanks also to individuals who put fuel to this fire and let genuine pain patients feel the burning fire of unrelieved pain.

Compassion for genuine human pain patients has gone the way of all flesh. The quality of greed and ignorance are at the root of this existential situation, from beginning to end. The only redeeming thing about pain is that you pray like a madman to the Supreme, because nobody else is gonna help you.

Being in pain is the most alone feeling you can get. Take a few deep breaths. Now see your pain as though observing yourself through a window, dissociate yourself. What is the purpose of this pain? Is something to be learned from this austerity? Who wants to live like this?

Adrienne Wingfield

Red Bluff

Re “Giving Trump props” Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, June 6):

Referencing a book Trump didn’t write to defend his presidency is appropriate since it’s been ghost written, too. A fraud presidency authored by …

Bankers that profited from his bankrupted business ventures.

The military industrial complex, the only workforce profiting in Trump’s economy.

And Zionists who support the expansion of Israel into Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt.

This unholy trinity of war profiteers conspire in every way imaginable to further their shady successes. This criminal conglomerate consistently puts its own evil desires in front of the will of the American people, using regime change, assassinations, sabotage, media lies and outright military attacks—in other words, terrorism.

The Trumps and Kutchners have been good friends with Benjamin Netanyahu for decades. Their shameless support of his corrupt racist regime eliminates any potential Middle East peace. The Nazi’s agenda of reclaiming their homeland by force, which supposedly necessitated the creation of Israel, is currently used by Israel to reclaim their homeland as referenced in the Bible. Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism, said regarding the possible founding of Israel, “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Unfortunately, 120 years later, the reality is: “If you lie, cheat, steal and kill to make Palestinian life a nightmare, Israel can grow greater.” What would Moses say?

David Kiefer