Letters for April 6, 2017

Truth talk

Re “An unraveling web” (Editorial, March 30):

I wholeheartedly agree with you that there should be a thorough investigation into the Russian involvement with the 2016 presidential election. The evidence that led to this accusation will finally come to light.

But I have a feeling there isn’t evidence, and the only “nefarious” people involved are people in the CIA who have shamelessly leaked unverified information to support one candidate over another and the mainstream media who have rushed to spread their leaks, cynically assuming the electorate would blindly trust their veracity. How out of touch with the people can two such hallowed institutions be?

I’m sure Russia is an evil empire, and, of course, the U.S. is not. Let’s do have the hearings. We need to know the truth.

Linda Furr


Making what great?

I’m befuddled by these “born again Democrats.”

Trump’s cabinet is worth a combined $12 billion; he “drained the swamp” and moved the swamp creatures to the West Wing of the White House. Trump wants to “make America great again,” yet these swamp creatures apparently never had it so good, as they raked in their billions during Obama’s eight-year tenure. The Kushners—Jared and Ivanka Trump—are worth an estimated $700-plus million and had to have made their dough during the Obama administration, as young as they are.

Speaking of an astonishing contrast: Unemployment stood at 4.6 percent when Trump (with Russia’s help) stole the White House, compared with 7.8 percent when Obama was sworn in after the Bush administration. America was hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs per month when Obama took over as compared with the 250,000 new jobs created in January of this year, which he handed over to grab-happy Trump.

Ray Estes


Speaking of Dems

The Democratic National Committee, Democratic establishment and its media rigged the Democratic primary elections for its predetermined candidate. And that had consequences.

The cowardice and lack of conviction by establishment Democrats gave us Trump.

Gov. Jerry Brown was clearly impressed by Bernie Sanders, even claiming that he had attempted a similar campaign, but like so many establishment Democrats, he did not have the vision or courage to support Sanders. Asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd about Democratic leadership, Brown responded, “There’s a total vacuum.”

A recent poll shows Bernie Sanders with a favorable rating of 61 percent, but his integrity makes establishment Democrats nervous. Sanders was clearly the Democrat who could have beaten Trump, as polls indicated.

Yes, climate change is an extraordinarily important issue. Does anyone know the carbon footprint of Hillary Clinton-backed military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia? Military interventionist, regime change Democrats have inflicted enormous environmental damage on the world, creating toxic hellholes in the Middle East.

Democrats, change your agenda and stop supporting military solutions—and, resist Trump!

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

More on Monca

Re “The making of Monca” (Cover story, March 23):

When I first met Reed Applegate 34 years ago, he described his wish to donate his art collection so that it could be enjoyed by the Chico community; it was then that he envisioned his collection being housed in a space he called the Museum of Northern California Art.

There have been many fundraising efforts to support Monca in the last five years. Potential donors assumed they were supporting a museum that would house the well-curated collection of a connoisseur who had spent over 40 years accumulating valuable work by known artists.

Now I read that Applegate was, in essence, ousted by a small board of people led by a retired art educator from the Bay Area. His request to the board was that for one year his collection be shown so that museum-goers would get a sense of a cohesive collection, not a hodge-podge.

My conclusion is that Reed Applegate trusted a group of people he believed would help make his vision a reality, but then he was abruptly, and disrespectfully, thrown overboard by those who now have a different vision. I wonder what donors to Monca think about this? Our community will not be getting the museum they believed their donations were going to establish.

Margaret Bierly


Reed Applegate has been purchasing pieces of art created by Northern California artists for over 40 years with the purpose of housing and displaying them in a museum in Chico. All of the purchases have been made using his private funds. He has personally selected each piece with the total collection in mind.

A decision was made by Reed in 2013 to donate approximately 130 works to Monca instead of his entire collection of approximately 400 pieces until there was a permanent location to house them. The original 130 works were then moved to a storage location. They became the property of Monca. These pieces were used in pop-up exhibits, etc.

Now that there is a permanent location for the remaining pieces in the Reed Applegate Collection, I do not think that Reed Applegate has made any conditions that are not within his right as the originator and largest contributor of the Museum of Northern California Art. Of course he should curate his own collection and ask for specific locations during the first months of operation. I am surprised that the board did not suggest the arrangement themselves.

Joanne Harley


What exceptionalism?

Re “Trump talk” (Letters, by Brad Pankratz, March 30):

In his letter, Orland reader Brad Pankratz claims that “A majority of Americans wanted … American exceptionalism.”

A few comments: First, how did Mr. Pankratz compile his data supporting his claims of America’s desires? Second, what is meant by American exceptionalism? Are not all peoples exceptional? I was taught that God created man in His own image; there was no special exceptionalism awarded to any people in that miraculous single act of Creation. Unless Mr. Pankratz can prove that Adam and Eve were Americans, I reject the nationalist myth of American “exceptionalism.” It sounds too much like the Nazi myth of an Aryan master race.

Pankratz goes on to claim that California is “a perfect model for failure.” Really?! If he is right, failure never tasted so sweet! California is the most successful state in the union, and the world’s sixth-largest economy. Liberal progressivism must be doing something right, since by contrast the least successful states economically are the red states, without exception.

Joe Hlebica

Red Bluff

ICE targets North State

Elections have consequences, and the people in the sleepy little village of Gerber are feeling the pain. Trump’s federal immigration agents spent a couple of days in Gerber recently, causing the absence of a significant number of students from school, as the kids and their parents were afraid to leave their homes. Pretty ominous when federal agents begin to remind us of the German gestapo of the Hitler era. When they come looking for hard-working Latinos, how long before they come looking for the rest of us?

Robert Woods

Forest Ranch

Single-payer solution

Californians have the opportunity to get Medicare for All health insurance with state Senate Bill 562. The bill would cover everyone in California from cradle to grave, and it would control administrative costs by creating a single state agency that will process all claims and will work with a board of providers and stakeholders to set fair provider rates.

This means cost savings for consumers, because overhead will be much lower than that of the insurance companies. The ever-escalating premiums and ever-higher deductibles we are now paying are attempts by the insurance industry to recover their high overhead costs and make a huge profit. SB 562 would also save money by allowing negotiation of drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. SB 562 will also retain our private choice of doctors; no more insurance company provider networks that limit choices.

There are a number of myths and misconceptions regarding Medicare for All (also called single-payer). One myth is that people would lose their personal choice of doctors and other medical providers. False. Another myth is that Medicare for All would drive up the cost of health care. False. In fact, it will cost less because it is more efficient.

More info about Medicare for All is available on Facebook at Campaign for a Healthy California and at www.HealthyCA.org .

Carolyn Dorn


Help fight tobacco use

PV High KLEAN (Kids Leading Everyone Against Nicotine) students are focused on tobacco advocacy, bringing attention to the dangerously persuasive retail environment of tobacco.

Big Tobacco fools youth into thinking electronic cigarettes are the new trend. Many youth are mistaken by the idea “it’s just flavored water vapor.” Teenage use of e-cigarettes grew 900 percent from 2011 to 2015. Obviously, teens see it as an alternative [to typical cigarettes], but e-cigarettes contain highly addictive nicotine.

Cheap tobacco products are another problem. Although they reduce the worry of finances, they target youth with four quarters lying around to spend. When cigarillos are three for a dollar, money no longer is a burden. A system like this takes an incentive to quit away from a victim of tobacco.

Affordable products and unsupervised stores equal higher tobacco use among youth. We propose a local tobacco retail license, giving our community some control over how and where tobacco products are sold. We believe higher prices on tobacco products will discourage youth from using them. We believe the Big Tobacco companies should stop targeting us with ads and new products, just to make a profit. Adopting a local tobacco retail license will create a healthier and better environment for everyone.

Ann Brodsky