Letters for April 25, 2002

Tangled Web
Are you kidding me? The Chico Chamber of Commerce has simply made a mockery of itself as an authority on local businesses.

I just read the insert provided by them showcasing what they call the “Web Awards.” They claim that the Web Awards are meant “to recognize local businesses that have taken advantage of the Web to improve their business.” The judging is done by focusing “on businesses where web use has significantly affected their operation and profitability or those that use the web in unique and innovative ways.” What a ridiculous statement after reviewing some of the “2002 Web Award Nominees.”

Take for example the first business listed under “Product Oriented": www.ExpressJava.com. This has to be the most boring and user-unfriendly Web site that I have experienced since Windows 95 came out. There is no way that this “has significantly affected their operation and profitability” in a positive manner. By the way, I was the lucky 147th visitor to this prime example of a Web-savvy Chico business.

Better yet: www.ThortonsChevron.com. This site does not even exist. It doesn’t even have a domain name registered. How can a site that doesn’t even exist become a nominee for an award? How can it “have taken advantage of the Web to improve their business?” This must qualify as using “the Web in unique and innovative ways.” Good job Chamber. Did you even bother to look at the Web sites?

I could go on and on because there were really only two or three sites that deserved any recognition whatsoever. It would be best to just let the chamber know it really dropped the ball on this one. Way to go, guys!

Jim Cronin
Internet consultant

ChicoEditor’s note: Don’t blame Thornton’s Chevron for the missing Web site. The Chico Chamber of Commerce advertising supplement inserted in the News & Review last week had a typographical error that left an “n” out of Thornton for that Web site address.

Spinning in circles
Why is Gray Davis making abortion an issue? “By the time of the election, [Republican candidate for Governor Bill] Simon is going to think that abortion is part of every issue and every question,” said Bob Mulholland, the Democrats’ political director.

Maybe someone should help the governor understand that the abortion issue was decided in the 1970s on the federal level. Federal, not California. All 50 states, including conservative places like Utah, allow abortion, and whoever gets elected in the governor’s race will not change that. Especially with a Democratic Legislature.

So drop the spin.

Barry Johnson

Student praise
Every day I utilize the Meriam Library at Chico State University and personally have the pleasure of witnessing these marvelous young adults at work. These future leaders, artists and active participants in society are cause for celebration. All in all, I’ve discovered that these students are most grand and well prepared to move forward with their lives and contribute greatly to the world in which we live.

All too often, all anyone knows or sees of these students is their letting off steam at parties and by the rambunctious antics of youth. But this too is part of their greatness. I once was on the hiring end for a major resort in Colorado, and I found time and time again that the new employees who performed the best also worked the hardest and played the hardest.

The most important part of my experience with the students of Chico is they have a vision for a better world than we have now. Their sense of responsibility, community spirit and priorities are intact like no other generation before us. They are by and large a silent force for infinite good, even, if they don’t know it yet. There’s raw power here of hope and better tomorrows.

I’m watching, and you should too. The best of the best is right here in droves all over our community. Support them anyway you can. Their candle is burning; help them spread that light around the globe. They “can” do it!!!

Michael J. McCarthy

Unnatural museum?
According to the Enterprise-Record, the plans for a Natural History Museum right next to Bidwell Mansion continue unabated. It seems that Manuel Esteban, president of CSUC, has gifted the property next to the mansion to the museum.

The museum is just one of many projects he has planned for the grounds surrounding the mansion. He is also determined to squeeze as many classrooms onto the property as he possibly can. It is hard to believe that the gift of the Bidwells can be so abused, so disrespected.

Dr. Esteban is striking at the historic heart of Chico with his thoughtless plans. He may embellish his reputation by building more classrooms on this campus than any former president, but he is destroying our future. We are at a critical point in the history of this town. The pressures to keep building and growing can overwhelm us. We stand to loose all that makes our town great. So much damage can be done that it will be impossible to recapture the beauty of the city or the significance of our most important landmark. Once buildings are towering over and crowding around Bidwell Mansion, we will face a situation that is impossible to reverse.

As I said in an earlier letter, the only suitable location near the mansion for the proposed museum is where Aymer Jay Hamilton [hall] stands. Aymer Jay is due to be torn down anyway. The museum would fit there nicely without impinging on the mansion. The beautiful open grounds surrounding the mansion must be retained. That area speaks volumes about who we are as a community.

Jeanne Thatcher

Tree ordinance needed
Andrew Meghdadi is the bad guy of Chico. This sweet-faced fellow stood before all of us the other night to profusely apologize, “No one can be more sorry that I am.” This is the developer who conveniently was in an airplane while the 400-plus-year-old trees were being cut for his subdivision. Um—let’s see … 430 years ago was … 1572. I leave it to your imagination to create the vision of Chico in 1572.

Obviously, Meghdadi has responsibility, and he told us, “I accept responsibility for what happened.” However, that doesn’t put the 400-year-old trees back in place. There is nothing anyone can do to reinstate the life of the 130 trees that were cut. Will Meghdadi go to jail for his crime? Unlikely—the criminal-justice system is for the poor.

One very direct and positive action we can take is to encourage the city of Chico to develop a tree ordinance to protect some of the beautiful heritage trees around us. Many cities in California have such ordinances. One is the city of Folsom. If you look on its Web site and select “Municipal Codes, Title 12,” you will find the tree ordinance. Our city staff can use that as a starting point to develop an ordinance for this area. The public is demanding actions be taken. To create a tree ordinance will be a lasting and proactive thing to do for our community and its beautiful heritage trees. The sooner we do it, the better!

Tanya Henrich