Letters for April 12, 2001
Gone but not forgotten
The passing of Jonathan Studebaker gives us pause to reflect on his dedication and commitment to the Chico community as well as those things that he taught us. He served on many public commissions as well as community agencies.
His service on the Chico Planning Commission and Butte County Transit Advisory Commission stands out. Jonathan was not one to sit and let the world pass him by. He made a positive impact by his dedication to improving the world around him. He served on the ARC board of directors for many years, providing many hours of volunteer time to the organization.
I never met a person with more courage, persistence and integrity. Jonathan taught us that challenges could be met. He taught us that someone who couldn’t kick a football could teach someone else to kick field goals. Most of all he taught us that the impossible is possible.
The Chico community will miss him but will not forget him. I too will miss Jonathan, a person I was lucky enough to call my friend. He was truly one of my heroes.
A creek is a creek
Many are making arguments, pro and con, regarding the Otterson Drive extension over Comanche Creek. Some are using the fact that it is a manmade waterway as an excuse to disregard the creek’s validity and as a reason to diminish its value. The diverse ecosystem of Edgar Slough doesn’t care how it became a creek called Comanche, any more than the fishing eagles of a flooded mountain valley care about how it became a lake called Almanor.
I imagine every registered voter in Chico has received the slick mail brochure from the Otterson Drive supporters. Those of us most affected, in south Chico, would like to clear up a few lies in this expensive mailer.
Measure A is your tax money, folks, not a private slush fund to be used by developers. The $3 million for this boondoggle (opposed by both fiscal conservatives and the neighbors) could fund three-quarters of our much-needed family recreation center, for example.
The south Chico neighborhoods are not supportive of this measure. This project will actually threaten our homes, not protect them, by bringing in large trucks via the proposed creek crossing. And we do not consider additional paving and bridges to be a neighborhood park!
The need for this traffic project pales in comparison to the problems on Highway 99, East Avenue, The Esplanade and Cohasset Road. Folks, take a ride one day to Hegan Lane at 5 p.m. (it may save you $50) and then compare that situation to your own.
Stop developer welfare. The Coalition for Parks (how cynical can you get?) and Jobs is a front group for the same developers who own the four City Council members who voted for this unneeded project. This $3 million driveway giveaway will cost all 60,000 city residents $50 each! Now that’s taxing. Vote no on Measure A June 5th.
Perhaps we wouldn’t be so opposed to the idea of flying 86 flags through the heart of our town if it weren’t such a tasteless, ostentatious, and vulgar display of self-declared patriotism. “Look how patriotic we are, don’t our flags prove that? How many flags do you have in your town?”
Couldn’t we opt for a little modesty here and a lot less public posturing? Couldn’t we express our love of country without broadcasting it so visibly? Maybe we could just take good care of the Earth we’ve been given to preside over and good care of our neighbors who sometimes need our help. Surely patriotism is more a matter of community than it is a matter of how many and how high we wave our flags.
In a town that can’t yet manage a year-round shelter for its homeless, many of whom are veterans, it seems so shrill and public to pump ourselves up by lining our streets with a year-round display of 86 flags attesting to our avowed patriotism.
The numbers here are pretty interesting: Would 85 flags be less patriotic than 86? Would 87 be more so? How about 106? Why not plant flags along all the freeway approaches, so that visitors can really see how patriotic we are? “Welcome to Chico, the Gateway to Patriotism.”
We’ve got to get out to the mall and get me a bunch of flags before the market on patriotism is sold out.
With due respect to those fine and patriotic individuals who would have our nation’s flag on permanent display on The Esplanade, Park Avenue and in downtown Chico, I must for the following reasons respectfully disagree.
No more than I would wish to see Christmas decorations up year-round, or appreciate a fireworks display every night, would I think it a good idea to display the flag in such an excessive way. In my mind such a display would serve to diminish, not enhance, the importance of the flag in our community.
As the cub master for Pack 12 here in Chico, I have participated in formal training on flag etiquette and have engaged in considerable personal research on the subject. Having our flag on permanent display could be a violation of at least one and perhaps more, depending on interpretation, of the tenets of the Federal Flag Code.
In reality the Federal Flag Code is routinely violated by those who use our flag in advertising, like the Wittmeier Auto Center or Congressman Herger on his campaign signage, for example. Our flag was improperly displayed on the Republican headquarters at Mangrove and Vallombrosa last fall and every night at the bus terminal at First and Main Streets.
Personally, I would love to see all those beautiful flags displayed along the streets of this wonderful place we call home, just not all day, every day. Our flag is very special, precious in fact. It is a symbol of our nation, which holds very deep meaning for many people. Let us display it to underscore special times of year, not as a symbol of one element of this community’s ability to intimidate our leadership with the specter of being labeled unpatriotic.
The Police Department wants Halloween to be an autumnal equine-nox.
Stephen T. Davis
Good news. The words “shortage,” “cutbacks,” “crises” and “blackouts” aren’t mentioned in the Bible. The word “power” is, however.
Admittedly, the Bible doesn’t speak of the power of gas and electricity, but it speaks volumes regarding the power of God, the power of God’s words regarding creation and the Bible, the power of the Holy Spirit regarding the new birth, the power of the blood of Jesus in cleansing our sins, the power of the resurrection and so much more.
With Easter coming up and the emphasis on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, one can continue to have a host of carefree and secure thoughts knowing the Creator of the universe as heavenly father.
This isn’t to minimize the seriousness of the gas and electricity troubles—especially for the folks on low incomes and those seeking the solutions to the problems. But it’s just a comfort knowing God is all powerful and He’s my heavenly father because of the resurrection.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Bible: Rev. 4:11)
What security in troubled times!