Letters for April 14, 2016
Re “An invitation” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, April 7):
I’m happy to accept Patrick Newman’s invitation to make a case against helping the homeless to remain homeless (Newman!).
But, what does he mean by “affirming [homeless] people” and “addressing systemic injustice”? Has he really thought this through, or does he think invoking the names of Jesus and Buddha, et al., is enough?
I suppose that affirming someone means saying “yes” to them. But it’s far better to say “no” to street people’s rotten behaviors, regardless of their particular problems. They need to be educated. Be real with them. If a guy stinks, tell him he stinks. Just holding your nose and pitying him doesn’t solve anything. Newman would say the guy has a right to stink. I say the community’s rights matter more in this regard.
Injustice I understand, but why “systemic”? What system? The establishment? The homeless have no part in that system, and anyhow, it’s irrelevant whether society caused their problem or if they did themselves. What matters is that the problem be solved once and for all.
Justice isn’t only for the unfortunate individual but for the community, too. We have a right to stop people from trashing our town, no matter who they are, especially the hundreds of transients who come to Chico in order to be homeless.
Continuing the conversation
Re “Home of the homeless” (Letters, by Michael Bagwell, March 31):
According to Michael Bagwell, the answer to the issue of homelessness is to eliminate it. Brilliant. Let’s do it. Lock ’em up—at least those darn vagrants. Oh yeah, we tried that and discovered keeping everyone we didn’t like in prison gobbled up taxpayer dollars.
Put ’em on a bus back to their hometown? I think Chico is their hometown, mostly, and what if all the other towns and cities struggling with homelessness got the same bright idea? We might discover that we export more than we import.
Rent control? More money for low-income housing? A sales tax with the money going to provide some worthwhile services? I don’t think any of those ideas would sit well with our current City Council.
So, since we aren’t willing to shell out the dough to provide even minimal care for the growing numbers of folks who can’t make it, the least we could do is treat people with a little dignity and kindness.
Thanks, Patrick Newman, for reminding us that, as much as it makes us feel better to blame people for their own problems, our fellow human beings on the street are there, for the most part, due to tragic life circumstances.
Welcome, new president
Re “Homecoming” (Cover story, by Howard Hardee, March 24):
Many years ago, Steven King was hired as Chico State’s dean of the College of Communication. In short order, he set our finances straight and established a structure and climate of professionalism that kept us in good stead.
There were times when I publicly disagreed with Steve, but he never held our disagreements against me nor did he even chastise me for my tactlessness. Steve was not the only good administrator we have had. I have known and worked with deans James Haehn (Behavioral Sciences), Steve Stevens (Natural Sciences), Roger Lederer (also Natural Sciences), Don Heinz (Humanities and Fine Arts), Joel Zimbelman (also Humanities and Fine Arts), Ralph Meuter (Continuing Education) and others. All have been credits to our university and provided competent, respectful, supportive, ethical leadership.
Gayle Hutchinson promises to be of the same caliber. She is known by many to be a knowledgeable, hard-working, courteous, thoughtful administrator. Our community deserves and is fortunate to have her as our new president. We have had a rough year at the university. I would wish her luck, but an administrator as competent and ethical as she doesn’t need it.
Primary is coming
Re “Another reason to ban fracking” (Editorial, April 7):
Pundits praising fracking as safe to our environment and good for our economy are lobbying for politicians who want contributions from the fossil fuel industry, or they lack any understanding of how damaging this extreme extraction process is to our environment—our air, land and groundwater.
If fracking is so great, why have so many states and cities banned fracking, or enacted moratoriums to stop fracking? New York, Vermont, Maryland and Boulder County, Colo., have prohibitions in place. In California, Beverly Hills, San Benito, Mendocino, Santa Cruz and the city of Los Angeles have banned fracking. There are many other regions around the world that have done likewise (search Google “fracking banned”).
Protect Butte County’s water: Support Measure E on the June 7 ballot. Encourage your friends to vote yes on Measure E. Protect our children, and all future Butte County generations.
Avoid these streets
I have spent thousands of dollars replacing all of the possible sources of my front end suspension. It was squeaking and rattling so much that I considered selling the car.
The good news is that my vehicle is fun to drive again and I saved myself $25,000-plus on a newer vehicle I had considered purchasing. The bad news is that your car may be the next vehicle to succumb to the effects of driving on Chico’s streets, which I blame for my suspension problem. Rather than whine about it, I think we can all be proactive by giving street locations to avoid. Topping my list is Ceanothus Avenue between East and Manzanita avenues. That part of Ceanothus gets heavy use because it is adjacent to Pleasant Valley High School’s athletic field and parking lot.
OK, it is your turn to name the streets you avoid. Hopefully the editor of this fine newspaper will see the intrinsic value and print each week’s Streets to Avoid column. She may see it as a public service.
Derogatory name, photo
I am an advocate for people with disabilities. I have worked with Far Northern Regional Center and Caminar for several years now. I noticed an advertisement in your last issue for Colusa Casino. It referred to [a band called] the Spazmatics.
I have seen the word “spaz” used in a derogatory way ever since I was in high school. People would use this to make fun of people with disabilities and people who were different than them. If the group that is going to be at the casino wants to use that name, that is up to them, but I don’t think that the Chico News & Review should publish an advertisement for the casino with this group’s name. I would think that the newspaper had higher standards than this. It appears from [the photo in] this advertisement that this group is making fun of people with disabilities and people who are different.
The remarks below, responding a letter to the editor in the Chico E-R, appear on that paper’s online forum in March, roughly 70 years after the United States, at great cost in lives and treasure, led Allied forces in defeating Nazi Germany.
“The worst thing to happen to our country is the same worst thing that has happened to our planet- hyper-breeding humans with I.Q.’s below 110.
“The continual purification of the human species (Nature’s rule of ‘survival of the fittest’) has been almost completely reversed—watered down and heavily burdened by a new ‘sub-species’ of fat, lazy, demanding, sexually deviate, uneducated, entitled, single-parent family, immoral hybrids.
“Don’t ask me what the remedy for that is, I haven’t thought of one yet that would be humane.”
We are blessed with a language enabling us to express nearly any thought imaginable and a First Amendment that protects our right to express almost anything, but it doesn’t follow that everything that can be thought and stated should be. The subject’s thoughts are vile and it seems appropriate that someone say so.
Hail Havana! Against a senseless and inhumane 56-year embargo (El Bloqueo), Cuba, this neighboring “nemesis,” while also somehow hosting an American naval base, has held its own and survived intact. Now it’s merely an investment—nothing more. Adios, Cubanos—que tengas suerte! Here come the U.S.S. Xerox and Air Force One to save the day with exploitation and economic hegemony.
Cubans, we’re setting up business in your hood and shutting yours down. Our mutual love of baseball and the Rolling Stones won’t sustain us. The best will be preserved for those who need it least and the others will continue to search for the ever-elusive great white whale. Just look at Puerto Rico today!
The top prize you will have ever received from America came from Detroit with all those Chevy and Ford clunkers you geniuses converted into magical machines. You got the better of us there, too! Cruise on Cubans—the best is behind you. Who are we to speak of human rights? If Washington were serious, we would have helped the undernourished and impoverished Cuban people decades ago.
Kenneth B. Keith