Letters for April 22, 2010

Psychic skepticism

Re “Real-life ghost whisperer” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, April 15):

I am glad to see that someone with a true gift of Second Sight has discovered her abilities and decided to use these abilities to help others.

Many people who have Second Sight are afraid to tell anyone or act on their information because they fear being labeled as crazy. Sometimes the information received is not specific enough for any action to be taken. The more cases like this that are published and presented in a positive light in the media, the more likely those who possess the double-edged “gift” of Second Sight will come forward with valuable information regarding unsolved crimes.

Patricia Mulder

No solution to this abhorrent crime is preferable to abandoning reason and skepticism and resorting to supernatural explanations. Why not ask the Easter Bunny who committed this crime? Oh, right, the Easter Bunny tells lies.

I had a dream the other night that the CN&R started writing credible stories. Guess I’ll have to wait for the evidence.

J Mahoney

Little sympathy

Re “Student says teacher violated his rights” (Newslines, by Hillary Feeney, April 15):

Let me get this straight: Student assaults teacher, calls her the most odious of names, and then whines about the consequences? She didn’t follow “protocol”? Wow.

Maybe what she should have done was to charge him with assault and file for a restraining order against him. How would he enjoy that “protocol”? My advice to Little Paul is to grow up and act like a man before quitting gets to be a habit. Maybe it’s not too late.

Robert Quist

While professor Withers may not have followed the precise steps necessary to have this student dropped from her class, she is certainly within her rights to do so. Fortunately, I have never had to deal with this sort of situation in the courses that I have taught. However, I would drop a student who behaved in such a manner, as it is disrespectful to both myself and other students.

Meanwhile, I cannot muster sympathy for Paul Davis. Perhaps he will use this experience to reflect upon his poor judgment, but your article does not encourage him to do so.

Hope Munro Smith

I am a former student of Julie Withers, from the same class that Davis was enrolled in. If Julie minimized [Paul Davis’] opinion, it was probably done to keep the class on the same page with the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Frankly, I am surprised that their disagreement about something so trivial resulted in Davis’ losing his cool. Of all the discussions I can reminisce about, the difference between nationality and ethnicity wasn’t one that stuck out as controversial.

Julie Withers exemplifies what it means to be a great instructor, period. She is one of the reasons I truly miss Butte College. I have only good things to say about her, and I am sure that 99 percent of her students would agree, no matter which side of a debate they stood on.

Jason Emmons
UC Davis

Some smart-ass, know-it-all kid who probably always got the last word at home and whose parents probably stroked his enormous ego rather than helped him hone his intellect, spouts off to an instructor in class, becomes disruptive and defiant, admits that he’s a blowhard to the media, but still somehow wants to blame the teacher for interrupting the trajectory of his college career?

Where’s the accountability for this young man making his own choices—something he should have learned long before college but obviously didn’t? And if this one situation is enough to “derail” him and make him “hesitant about returning to school,” I also question his commitment to his own education. Seems like he was just looking for a ready-made excuse not to be in school.

Carrie Watson

Eyesore or gem?

Re “Clean up the eyesore” (Editorial, April 15):

Am I the only one who sees the beauty in the former Taylor’s Drive-In building? It is a classic example of mid-20th-century Americana. While it is true that the building is decrepit and cannot be restored, maybe the new building could incorporate the lines, curves and sleek, modern design of the original.

Chico is losing its landmarks from the previous century. Let’s not lose this one. It is a gem. Mark my word; buildings like this one are as much a part of the history of this town as Bidwell Mansion. Once they are gone, they’re gone.

Stephen Deroski

Preservation takes time

Re “Canyon residents fight another threat” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, April 15):

Tuesday’s victory was just one step in the ongoing struggle to preserve the jewel known as Butte Creek Canyon.

One of the groups heading up the charge to protect the canyon is the Butte Creek Canyon Coalition (www.buttecreekcanyon.net). I believe the Butte Environmental Council was on the job even before the coalition was formed. BEC has a Web site, too (www.becnet.org).

Protecting our natural treasures requires endless vigilance and personal sacrifice. Go to their Web sites and show your support in any way you can.

Thanks again to these two groups, to community members that supported them, and anyone else who gave of their time and energy!

Sam Yanez

Draconian laws to blame

Re “Back to the border” (Newslines, by Leslie Layton, April 8):

There are an estimated 12 million individuals in this country illegally. There are two main reasons for our illegals: borders that are almost impossible to close and draconian immigration laws. Actually, our immigration laws are, and always have been, anti-immigration, designed to favor certain racial or ethnic groups and limit or bar others.

Those who wish to come here are frustrated with our quotas and almost insurmountable rules and requirements. That, along with our porous borders, creates a strong temptation to bypass the legal route. Those who advocate, “Deport them all,” ignore the impracticality, or rather, the impossibility of rounding up and deporting 12 million individuals.

Also ignored is the disruption and forced suffering of millions who are legal citizens of this country. Such an action could be looked upon by other nations equal to the ethnic cleansing we abhor when committed by other groups. In essence, that is what it would amount to. I used to think that Americans were better than that. History, however, tells a different story. The deportation of illegals would be no different than deporting the Native Americans to reservations. That too was blatant ethnic cleansing, as was the importation of Africans as slaves. Remember, other nations and majority groups took the small step from ethnic cleansing to outright genocide. Of course, that couldn’t happen here; or could it?

Robert Grignon Sr.

Once again a nation of immigrants is deporting immigrants. But if you’re Irish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, African, etc., your American ancestors were discriminated against, enslaved, and/or deported. If this isn’t reason enough to stand by today’s “illegals” like David and Margarita, consider this. Ellis Island is closed. Legal paths are clogged. Legalization can take decades. (David tried twice.) Twelve million undocumented immigrants live in fear as glorified vigilantes like the ICE pick up families with kids and tear them apart.

NAFTA contributed to this no-win fraudulent system. Corporations hire wage slaves in Mexico, pay $6 a day, stripping Americans of jobs, then ship products back duty free to the USA. Yearly surpluses of government subsidized American corn continues to destroy farmers in Mexico. Immigrants work as wage slaves, or go north.

Our choice is whether to put an end to NAFTA and give 12 million a path to citizenship, or continue the fraud. Fortunately there is a precedent for change.

The European trading union was created largely to address immigration from Spain and Portugal to higher paying jobs in Northern Europe. By lifting countries up, everyone benefited. Si, se puede.

Ed Schilling