Letters for April 26, 2012

Let’s ‘green’ One-Mile

Re “The green issue” (Cover package, April 19):

In spite of Chico’s “green” efforts and attitude, I noticed a huge oversight this weekend while bike riding in Bidwell Park. We stopped to rest at One-Mile, which was very crowded, and I saw a trash bin overflowing. What bothered me was that most of it appeared to be recyclable items such as soda cans and water bottles.

It occurred to me that there should be recycling bins next to the trash bins in the park. In a city as eco-friendly as ours, I am surprised that this hasn’t been done yet, at least around One-Mile and the picnic tables and such. After all, people are going to do what is most convenient, and if we can make recycling just as easy as throwing something away, I believe that most will put that empty can in the green bin.

Sarah Garcia

He didn’t say that

Re “Tea Party stages tax rally” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, April 19):

The article was good; however I need to correct some of what Tom Gascoyne wrote. First, I never said that the city redesign in front of my Forest Avenue location was “proof Chico officials don’t understand how to run a business.” What I actually said was, “At my first meeting with the city to get this resolved, the city engineer told me I would ‘just have to retrain my customers.’” That statement made me realize that the city has no clue how to run a business.

Anyone who owns a retail business knows that we are lucky and blessed to have customers walk in the door. There is no “retraining” customers. Telling us that we need to “retrain” customers is just foolish talk from a bureaucrat with no business experience.

Second, Tom spelled my first name wrong in paragraph 14.

Third, I didn’t criticize spending money on art in general, but specifically when our city is over budget and our reserves are depleted, it is irresponsible to spend taxpayer money on non-essentials. When times are better and we have the money, that is when we can be altruistic with our tax dollars.

Toby Schindelbeck

Editor’s note: Mr. Schindelbeck is a candidate for Chico City Council.

Questions of judgment

Re “He’s no victim” (Letters, by Matt Wolfe, April 19) and “Rush to judgment” (Cover story, by David Waddell, April 12):

I wonder how loud Mr. Wolfe would be whining if he spent five days in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

I also wonder about Chief Maloney’s sense of justice when he says, “I’ll tell you, to this day, from our perspective [Sayavong] was involved in that thing.” Maloney added, “There has never been sufficient information to constitute proof of innocence.” Last I heard, we still use innocent until proven guilty as a standard.

Even if Mr. Sayavong is brown (seemingly his only crime), he doesn’t have to “prove” anything! I am amazed that Chief Maloney would even make this prejudicial statement.

Rich Meyers
Oroville (Butte Valley)

Restoring the dream

Re “Builder sentenced in fraud case” (Downstroke, April 19):

Tony Symmes is just one of a vast number of real-estate professionals engaged in illegal profiteering. Such ethical lapses now endemic in the development, construction, sales, financing, and management of homes and communities in America brought about the near collapse of the economy.

It is only fair that those that enriched themselves in such pursuits be brought to justice and have their assets encumbered to help innocent buyers and the nation as a whole survive the undertow of their greed.

Government regulators and industry leaders have been complicit in this egregious behavior. This calls for a wholesale reset and literal cleaning of the house to restore integrity to the housing development, construction, and financing industries to restore faith and honor to the pursuit of the American dream.

Richard Mazzucchi
Los Molinos

Where’s my car?

When he turned 50 on April 20, Chief of Police Mike Maloney retired, and the city of Chico began paying him to do nothing for the rest of his life. This after he effectively commandeered and sold my car, van and work tools in 2009.

I had explained to him and Officer Person in the field that my registrations were paid, but that I was still waiting for the DMV to send my stickers. Rather than confirming that my registrations were in fact paid, the Chico police towed my vehicles, forcing me to walk 30 miles home. Without my vehicles and work tools then, I was forced to abandon my job, deplete my savings, and live off credit cards as a prisoner in my rural Tehama County home for the past 2 1/2 years.

At the time, I begged Chief Maloney to stop the sale of my vehicles and return my property, but he would not. The City Council’s been equally complacent, and they’ve refused to reimburse me for anything.

Nathan Esplanade

Give BMA its job back

Re “BMA needs LaMalfa’s help” (Editorial, April 19):

I don’t live in Chico (yet), but I do love the town and the legacy of the Bidwells. I’ve been following this story, and I have to admit (like the CN&R does) that I have no idea why State Parks has suddenly decided to turn its relationship with the BMA acrimonious.

I hope that Assemblyman Logue and Senator LaMalfa will work to resolve this issue quickly and return the handling of Bidwell Mansion to the BMA, which has done a great job of maintaining it for so many years.

Jamie Boelter

I am disappointed, disillusioned and angered by the notion that State Parks cannot work with the Bidwell Mansion Association. As a life-long resident of Chico, I remember what the BMA has done for the Bidwell Mansion over the years.

I think back across the BMA membership and remember a strength of Chico’s best citizenry—people like Ted Meriam, my parents John and Penny Nopel, W. H. “Old Hutch” Hutchinson, Etta Chiapella, Helen Gage, Mary Goni, Lois McDonald, Glenn Kendall, John Steward, Dorothy Hill, Clarence McIntosh, Helen Carlyle, Ramona Flynn, Mackay Martin, Leonard Whitegon, Martha Slade, John Hopkins, Maggie Gisslow, Steve Brown, John Copeland, Marilyn Warrens and many others.

Their vision, generosity and prudent financial wisdom guided the BMA and produced a steady source of money to support the mansion right down to today. They would never stand for the state’s taking control of our local involvement.

I am outraged by the state’s attempting to seize these funds, which is an insult to this Chico community and all those who invested so much time and energy and financing in support of Bidwell Mansion. I am adding my voice in telling State Parks to take a step back, pause, and then take a positive step forward toward renewed cooperation and respect.

Dave Nopel

RDA ‘shell game’

I have a great solution for the redistribution of the loss of RDA money: All departments/personnel that had a percentage of money given to them out of RDA funds should have their funding reduced by the same percentage. Hey, the city manager had 30 percent of his salary paid by RDA; is he going to take a cut, or did the City Council reduce the salary proposed for the new city manager? No!

How did the finance director get a $40,000 raise since she was hired in 2005? Money must have come from one of those 200 different accounts that money comes from.

I’ve been going to council meetings and committee meetings and trying to get a decent answer on where is the money. How about the PDF (private development fund) money that comes from impact fees to developments; it had $9 million and they moved it over to the general fund and were suppose to pay back $100,000 for the next 18 years. Shell game at its finest.

Dave Donnan

Editor’s note: Mr. Donnan has stated his intention to run for Chico City Council.

Turn out for Reed

Republicans in the Senate blocked the “Buffett rule,” which would have required those with incomes in excess of $1 million to pay taxes at a rate comparable to what middle-income earners pay. Republican politicians are bound by oath to Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Norquist, an unelected activist, thought this idea up when he was 13 years old! Who would have guessed that a major American party would become enslaved by the idea of a middle-school student?

What it means to the American people is that the tax advantages bequeathed upon the top 1 percent are now locked in, leaving the rest of us with massive debt, cuts to education, and crumbling infrastructure. Republican politicians pretend that they are concerned with the debt, but their proposed budget would actually increase military spending, which is about equal to what the rest of the world combined spends already.

Congressional candidate Jim Reed is not bound by the Norquist pledge and favors rational cuts to our bloated military budget.

The new open-primary rule passed on a ballot initiative in the last election allows voters to vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. Only the top two candidates go to the November election. Republicans are highly motivated to vote because they want to win back the presidency. If the rest of us don’t show up, it might become a congressional race between Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber. Go to the polls on June 5 and vote for Jim Reed.

Craig Vivas
Mt. Shasta

Occupy live and well

This week a radio reporter asked me why there’s not more progressive impact in our area, and I heard someone say the Occupy Movement is dead. They should have attended the 99 percent Spring Training on the 14th, attended by more than 50 people of various ages. It was followed by an Occupy Chico workshop with more than 160 people participating.

What was on the mind of the 99 percent was the necessity to save our democracy by reducing corporate control (think Koch brothers) over our government, media, education, environment and perpetual war. In order to continue the dialogue we created a Facebook page called “Norcal Progressives for the 99 percent” that is open to all. A link to the training video and manual is on the FB page.

They should have come to a packed City Council meeting on April 17. More than 20 speakers, ranging from age 17 on up, expressed the majority support for a resolution to overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision that led to powerful super PACs eroding our election process. We still have hope.

Gayle Kimball

Fighting for access

Today is April 19, and tomorrow will be the ninth anniversary of the Chico Cannabis Club. I did all I could to help provide cannabis to my members.

I got off parole on Monday, but my appeal is still in the works. I will cost the county about $200,000 and the state about the same before I am through.

The Chico Cannabis Club is open and doing well. We meet Saturdays at Has Beans on Main Street at noon.

This is an example of living in a society that would rather see you in jail/prison then helping to gain “safe access” to my members. You will see this outcome if I live long enough to come out in my favor. I am fighting for the rights of patients to have safe access, and the district attorney is fighting to keep the criminals rich. No matter. When the real truth be told, he will be the criminal, and I will be exonerated.

Joel Castle