Letters for April 28, 2011

Memorialize Ishi

Re “Ishi in the roundabout” (Cover story sidebar, by Christine G.K. LaPado, April 21):

I think it’s wonderful to honor Ishi with a memorial. According to the history books Ishi and a few others escaped the terrible Dersch massacre. The Indians were accused of shooting Maria Dersch in the back. She suffered for three days before she died. And the local men took up arms to protect their women. They took out their anger and frustration on the peaceful Digger Indians.

My grandson is a direct descendant of Maria Dersch, the last white women killed by Indians in California. She is buried at Parkville Cemetery in Anderson. Parkville is considered the most haunted place in Shasta County. The story is tragic for the pioneers as well as the natives. This could be an interesting bit of history to add to your monument.

Katherine Wimberley

Democracy in action

Re “Café Culture catches a break” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, April 21):

There are many things to be critical about our country, such as its being the largest arms dealer in the world and interfering in the governments of others countries—including assassinations or multiple failed attempts, as in the case of Fidel Castro. However, I love democracy in action in our country.

I saw it at the City Council meeting April 19 when four members voted to assist Café Culture to stay in business by overturning a denial of a beer and liquor use permit at musical events. One of the council members, Bob Evans, said he came to the meeting inclined to vote against Café Culture, but changed his mind when he heard the 22 diverse community members speak; as he said, people ranging from a Ph.D. (me) to a grandmother.

I’m sorry that Ann Schwab and Mark Sorensen didn’t join our other representatives in being willing to work with Café Culture to keep this rich cultural resource alive. I hope they will come and check out some of the diverse activities that enrich our community.

Gayle Kimball

Good work—almost

Re “The boiling point” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, April 21):

I want to thank Tom Gascoyne for the kind review of the Tea Party tax protest on April 18. It was, all in all, almost unbiased journalism, with only spotty attempts to rain on our parade. But I would like to correct him on some points.

First, Tom’s description of me as “a hefty guy with an edgy sense of humor” is only partially right. Tom, I am fat, no doubt about it.

Tom commented on what he called an “altered sign” (one of hundreds put up throughout Butte County) that had racist and violent overtones on it. It was not an altered sign but a complete fabrication. We put up nothing like it and promptly denounced it.

Tom also seemed to miss the point of all the booing and hissing when I repeated [Nancy] Pelosi’s recent speech to the Republicans. It was not over her call to work together to shape a budget but her following statement, which I read verbatim: “But the fact is that elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do.” Interesting words from a lady whose electorate includes San Francisco, where full ballot boxes have a tendency to be found floating in the bay or park lakes after elections and no culprits ever caught.

Our message is simple. You cannot balance a budget with continuing tax increases, fee hikes, hidden fines, unfriendly business climate and massive government spending well beyond what is coming in from the taxpayer.

BK Brooks

Protecting wild horses

Re “What will be the fate of the wild mustangs?” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, April 21):

The American public, including our two senators, want the wild horses and burros on their rightful land running wild and free, not in private holding facilities at a cost to the taxpayers of $120,000 per day.

The Bureau of Land Management claims the wild horses and burros are a burden on the public lands, but 4 million head of livestock are responsible for approximately 70 percent of all grazing on public lands. Wildlife gets only 25 percent, and the wild horses and burros less than 5 percent of forage available to all other species.

International wildlife ecologiest and longtime wild-horse advocate Craig Downer states, “As of January 2010, BLM is engaged in zeroing out sparse wild horse and burro populations from millions of their legal acres and reducing the remaining herds to crippling low nonviable numbers.” As of March 2011 BLM has asked and received another $12 million from Congress for further roundups this year.

The passage of the R.O.A.M. Act and the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act would have returned the wild horses and burros back to their legal and rightful lands and also prevented all American horses from being exported for slaughter. Both bills were recently killed in the Senate. So we will start all over again. All we are asking for is restoring what the 1971 original act gave to the wild horses and burros.

Helen Madeleine
Brushy Mountain Chapter
Wild Horse Sanctuary

Oxymoronic question

I think the CN&R stand on tax issues can first be stated by the oxymoron Streetalk question of April 14, “Would you pay higher taxes for free health care?” If you can’t see the problem with this sentence, then you need an economic, English or maybe even a history lesson.

James Jenkins

Measure A’s ‘wake-up call’

The recently approved Chico general plan anticipates an increase in population of about 40,000. At projected occupancy rates, this increase would be accommodated through the construction of more than 17,000 new residential units. That many new houses, built on 50-foot lots, would stretch from Chico to the Oregon border. At 1.5 cars per new residence, we anticipate adding the equivalent of a line of cars—bumper to bumper—65 miles long. Welcome to the land of “moderate growth.”

For some, this simply isn’t enough. Our illustrious councilmen, Mr. Sorensen and Mr. Evans, are not interested in living in the land of moderate growth. They voted against this new plan because they are pro-growth extremists. Since their campaigns are funded by unlimited-urban-sprawl advocates, I suppose they were doing what they were sent to do. But, for any citizen of Chico who cares about quality of life, this should be a wake-up call.

In June, Measure A will either pass or fail. If it passes, extreme growth advocates will be a little closer to packing the council with lackeys of the development industry. Two more votes are all they need to break the Greenline and demolish the middle ground—as exemplified in the general plan.

If Measure A fails, the people of Chico will have voted down one more attempt to remake us as the San Jose of the North State. Vote NO on Measure A!

Patrick Newman

Let’s call a spade a spade. Sarah Palin’s Chico chapter of the Tea Party has hypocritically forced a very costly special election this June to alter the local election playing field to conservative advantage. No matter how disingenuously they couch their motivations, it is a bald-faced power grab and nothing more.

Let’s look at the county clerk’s cost estimate. A June 2012 City Council election will cost $130,000, as opposed to $57,000 for the same election in November. It’s brilliant actually: For Tom Dauterman’s initial $31,500 investment to get Measure A on a June special election ballot, they get the taxpayers to fund the political steamroller that could change Chico forever, and not for the better.

June voter turnout is traditionally half the turnout for November. The teabaggers know that, when they can suppress voter turnout, conservatives win. Ask Larry Wahl if you don’t believe me.

Look people, our work is cut out for us. We need to stop Sarah’s teabagger power grab in Chico. Of course Vote no on Measure A, but do more than that if you can at all. If you care about the Chico you know and love, help us raise awareness and get out the vote. Visit www.StopMeasureA.org to find out how.

Dan Carter

Safe flood protection

Re “Too dammed expensive” (Editorial, April 14):

Your editorial contends a water-storage Auburn Dam would cost too much and sit astride an earthquake fault. Neither contention is accurate.

In 1988 the Bureau of Reclamation asked the Army Corps of Engineers to design a flood-control Auburn Dam. All involved agreed flood protection was more important than water storage.

Sacramento’s flood protection is aimed at the 200-year storm, lower than any major city in the United States. All involved agree the best protection would be a flood-control dam providing 500-year protection. Protected would be more than 250,000 people and billions in real and personal property. The dam could also provide water and clean electric power.

Contention the dam is unsafe due to a fault is refuted by state and federal officials. Established were worst-case conditions in the dam’s new design. The bureau’s report, “Seismic Safety and Auburn Dam,” points out fault and seismic studies involved the bureau, the U.S. Geological Survey, and internationally known consultants. Further, California’s Division of Mines and Geology and Department of Water Resources Division of Dam Safety also published findings.

Reclamation Commissioner Keith Higgenson noted there was “more seismic information about the Auburn dam site than a dam site anywhere else in the world.” Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus announced: “A safe dam could be constructed on the American River.”

The new “gravity” dam would be located at the site originally selected, oriented straight across the canyon. The COE reported the dam’s alignment is outside the trace of the fault.

Joe Sullivan
Sacramento County

Let the bosses take the cut

This is in response to Chico Unified School District’s insulting and ridiculous suggestion that the best solution to save money for athletics is for the coaches to work for nothing. Boy, what an idea! Maybe that intellect should extend to other things. Maybe the district should propose for PG&E not to charge for their power or for Chevron to pay for all gas for the buses. Maybe the district could also ask for the referees not to get a salary, donate it to athletics, and make them feel like they are denying our children if they don’t take a salary hit. Maybe the school board members could turn down their health benefits.

Wait a minute. Maybe if Bob Feaster and Kelly Staley didn’t get paid, the $300,000 can be put toward athletics instead. Yes, that would work just fine. Instead of 50 coaches who work their tails off and deserve every penny, why not have a superintendent and an assistant superintendent work for nothing? Would anyone complain about those two not getting a salary when they have mismanaged so much?

I say that we should put it out to the voting public. Would we rather cut the outstanding coaches or incompetent district office administrators? Want to place bets on the landslide outcome of that one?

Dale Gregory

Editor’s note: The CUSD trustees have mentioned the possibility of reducing coaches’ stipends, but not ending them altogether.

Hungry for fresh music

Chico deserves an FM station that actually plays fresh and interesting new music.

None of these stations that Results Radio or Deer Creek Broadcasting have put out are even worthwhile to listen to. They are just CBS/Clear Channel retread stations that no one gives a shit about in larger towns/cities.

This music is completely laughed at and ridiculed in Los Angeles. No one down by the beach even listens to this shit. Not at strand/beach parties, NADA, NOTHING. That may disappoint some wannabes, but that’s just the way it is when you get to a more intelligent demographic.

The point is, If people in Los Angeles get to hear new rock and good-quality electro music on the FM dial, why aren’t we allowed to?

Chico residents have been scammed by this for years now, and the scam needs to end. I encourage everyone to file an FCC complaint about the lack of diversity on our FM dial.

And let me tell you something: Lady Gag Gag (and similar acts) ain’t no edgy artist. If you think she’s the “in, new thing,” then you’ve been living in a barn.

Rolondo Jeliosou


Robert Speer’s From This Corner column last week, “Tea and Controversy,” mistakenly gave the wrong period for the Book in Common project that featured Greg Mortenson’s book Three Cups of Tea. It was 2008-09; Mortenson spoke on campus on April 21, 2009.

Last week’s cover story, “Ishi’s Legacy” by Meredith J. Graham, incorrectly identified John W. Duncan III. He was a white man with strong respect for the Konkow Maidu tribe.