Letters for April 27, 2006

Culture clash
Re: “He’s upward bound” (Newslines, CN&R, April 20):

It must be nice to be a man—and of two worlds at that! What man would not encourage the youngsters in his culture to “value” and “admire” their culture? Given that in the Hmong culture each man is born into his own kingdom—has total control and power of his world and the women around him—why wouldn’t Mr. Vue encourage the youngsters, male and especially female, to embrace their culture?

As a woman, I find it hard to “embrace” my culture. And I have tried, believe me. It’s hard to embrace a culture that consents to polygamy, so much so that even its women are dizzy with confusion and compliance. A culture where women are scorned by other women at the drop of a rumor, and yes, in this sense, their voices are faster than light. A culture where I am asked who my husband, father, brother, or son is when I become visible to those in my community, or have what is considered an important position in the community.

I estimate it’ll take much longer than 10 to 20 years for us to assimilate, unfortunately, and I can’t wait, if assimilation is what it takes to rid us of the above matters (and other matters, at that). I am with Mr. Vue’s brothers and sisters: I am kind of ashamed of the culture, although probably for different reasons.

L. Xiong
Butte County

Sobering thought
Re: “Where’s the funding?” (Editorial, CN&R, April 13):

I read with interest and dismay your editorial about the $16,000 decrease in drug treatment programs for Butte County. To put it in perspective, I couldn’t help but think of the approximately $1 per second that is Butte County’s share of the cost of the war in Iraq. That is over $80,000 per day. That yearly loss of $16,000 for this one worthy program could be recouped in less than five hours if we did not have that awful tap.

Richard Roth

Judging judicial system
Re: “In the shadow of death” (Cover story, CN&R, April 13):

“In the shadow of death” really showcased the problems in our judicial system. It makes one wonder how many other Andre Burtons there have been. Surely, there are countless numbers of people who have been unjustly judged due to the cracks in the system.

As it stands, defendants have a slim chance of being exonerated for crimes they’ve been charged with. From judges with political agendas to unqualified lawyers, it is no wonder how problems like this surface. Since the system that claims to be fair has failed, it is up to us, the society that claims to be enlightened, to make the change before we also fail.

Lili Trujillo
Santa Cruz

Critique of a critic
Re: “Fine Arts” (Four Columns, CN&R, April 20):

Carla Resnick’s insufferable mission of self-promotion and self adoration has been a silly distraction for me until now. Have you ever been in an elevator with someone who is so annoying that you’ll get off on any floor to escape the noise? The elevator ride with Ms. Resnick has reached that point.

In her latest column, she states proudly, “There’s nothing like a good power trip. Judging artwork for exhibition is especially gratifying. I love looking at packets artists submit for consideration and then making rash judgments based on little thought. Such fun. My power-drunkenness really picked up a swagger when Alan Carrier, gallery production and sculpture instructor at Butte College, asked me to jury the student art show.”

Now I know that Ms. Resnick is attempting to maintain a persona of being hip, cool, avant-garde, and CN&R is providing a platform for her fantasies (fine). My only reason for wasting my valuable time is in defense of the Butte College students who submitted nearly 200 pieces of artwork for this exhibition. Many of the students were surprised and disheartened when their entries were not chosen. This is a valuable life lesson for students (the best submissions are selected) only if their work was judged fairly, with some level of competency, and by a jury that cares about the advancement of student artists.

The students submitted works for a Butte College art exhibit, not Ms. Resnick’s 1078 Gallery.

Gary McHargue

Local traditions
Chico has two institutions that are worth a Saturday visit. The Farmers’ Market downtown is well known to the local populace, and if the weather cooperates, you will find a large crowd of patrons through the morning hours.

The other attraction is the Saturday Book Sale in the public library at First Avenue and Sherman. Library volunteers have made this a prime weekly event, and if one wants to build a quality personal library, bring your book bag and a few dollars to the book sale, 10-11:30 a.m. I’ve spoken to people from other cities who marvel at the selection and the fact that the sale is held weekly.

Robert Woods

A sweet(s) story
Living in a time when no one seems to have any time for living, I wanted to tell you a story about The Sweet Shoppe on East Avenue in Chico, its owner, Don Miller, and his daughter/manager, Jennifer Harper. They did take the time, and a lot of extra effort, not for a huge sales order, but for something more “priceless.”

My husband and I have been almost life-long friends with Alan Schmidt and his family. We’ve all moved around, we settling in Florida and they in Chico. A few years ago, Alan embarked on a new, midlife career, enrolling in law studies. He also took on a part-time job as a law clerk.

I received an email from him thanking us for an Easter card. He remarked he’d been so busy he hadn’t realized it was almost Easter and commented he needed to get some “black jelly beans.”

I Googled my way to The Sweet Shoppe, less than a mile from their home. I explained I was calling from Florida, would have to use a credit card to pay, and asked if they would possibly consider delivering this gift of black jelly beans (and some sugar-free assorted beans for the rest of the family). Now, this was not part of their ordinary business. For one thing, I needed to e-mail an authorization for using the credit card. Don Miller had to go to his home to retrieve the e-mail. Besides the email, there were several phone calls back and forth, but the task got done.

You can imagine how dumbfounded Alan and family were when they received this bag full of jelly beans, only hours after he sent us his email!

We’ve heard a lot about Chico and its people and small businesses like this that make it a “home town.” Not too many people or businesses would do something like this, especially for an order under $20! I thought Chico residents should know why they definitely should stop by The Sweet Shoppe—not just for the ice cream and jelly beans, but also for the sweet souls who will serve up a scoop with a smile.

Cindy and Jim Mallien
St. Petersburg, Fla.