Letters for August 1, 2002

For the record: Last week’s paper included a story about the court trial of Steve Clark, manager of the First Amendment Club, reporting that the Butte County District Attorney’s Office had “balked” at requests to release costs of the undercover investigation. District Attorney Mike Ramsey says such a request was never made and thus he’s “had no chance to balk.” Reporter Laura Smith, however, says she made a verbal request for that information months before the case came to trial. The News & Review stands by the story.

Save the Senator
An open letter to the community of Chico:

The Board of Directors of the Right Now Foundation believes the restoration of the Senator Theatre, home of the Chico Community Performing Arts Center, is vital to Chico and must survive. Your support is needed right now to meet basic operating expenses and to create a fund for the structural renovation of this art deco masterpiece. The first phase will be getting the heating and cooling system repaired.

A restored Senator Theatre will be the jewel of downtown Chico, a home for the performing arts, music of many varieties, lecture series, educational programs and a place where young and old can come together to enjoy all of the arts. Other communities, by restoring their local theaters, have created the type of center the Right Now Foundation is working to build. Chico can too!

Currently the Senator is closed for renovation. While the Board of Directors is working hard applying for local and national grants, immediate funding is desperately needed to reopen the doors of the theater in the near future. Funds are forthcoming, but your generous donation can move the building fund closer to our goal of this revival.

View our Web site for historical information and news at www.senatortheatre.com.

Time is of the essence. Please help preserve a rich history while building for an enriched future! Do it right now!

Board of Directors
Senator TheatreChico

Blood sport
In our society hunting is not a necessity. Those who hunt do so for the thrill of the kill. In his letter to the editor [“Hunting for understanding,” June 13], Mr. Huber refers to hunters as sportsmen, as if killing were a sport. Life is precious; killing is not a sport.

Mr. Huber claims all hunters have respect for wildlife. How can you have respect when your intent is to destroy? You show respect for life by preserving, not destroying. If hunters truly had the welfare of wildlife at heart, they would leave their weapons at home and care for the animals instead. It would be nice if the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve could be a credible place where wildlife could live in peace without fear of being ambushed.

I encourage all those who have a passion to kill to join the Army. You will have opportunities to show respect toward the terrorists by hunting them down in the great outdoors of Afghanistan.

Joel Felice

Tree party
Andrew Meghdadi isn’t the only developer who cuts down trees. Other developers routinely cut them down, with and without the city’s official sanction. Sometimes the cutting of trees is justified and sometimes not. But, as it now stands, there’s no legal means to control the cutting of trees and no clear policy to guide the decision of when to cut a tree and when not to. While other cities have responded to this challenge by adopting comprehensive tree ordinances requiring the incorporation of existing trees into projects wherever feasible, Chico, a town noted for its tree canopy, has no such ordinance.

Thus, little restraint is placed upon the wasteful and regrettable sacrifice of mature trees for convenience and profit. Subdivisions and commercial parking lots are especially destructive of trees. Although replacement trees are routinely required, many such replacements won’t reach maturity within the lifetime of our youngest child—a long wait when you’re trying to squeeze into the shade beneath some struggling sapling in an otherwise barren and sweltering parking lot.

The truth is that most of us in Chico don’t want more trees cut down. Trees shade our homes, reduce energy costs and add value to our property.

This November we need to elect councilmembers who aren’t indebted to developers for campaign contributions and who will have the courage to adopt a comprehensive tree ordinance that will truly save our trees. I urge you to question all candidates on this matter.

Karen Laslo

Share the knowledge
In her letter [“Market watch,” July 25] Karen Duncan gave us her take on local economics. She suggested that Greg Webb buy an existing apartment house and evict the paying tenants rather than build in her neighborhood, but the Sterling student apartment neighbors can just “Get over it.” I’m “just plain stupid” if I argue with her logic.

I won’t be bullied out of expressing my opinions regarding the actions of our elected officials. Let’s not let ugly rhetoric cloud the issues here.

Councilmember Rick Keene has been criticized by well-informed Chicoans for taking a large contribution from an out-of-state corporation and then voting in its favor and against the will of his constituency. Now he is running for our Assembly seat, and many of us fear he will continue to sell favors on an even bigger scale. He also wants to carry legislation that would remove park status from Lindo Channel and leave it open for everything from housing to gravel mining.

If you do not like Keene’s agenda, write letters. Write to papers within the 3rd Assembly District to let others know what you know about Keene. Tell those voters what they can expect. Don’t be intimidated by someone whose argument is so weak she has to fall back on childish insults.

Juanita Sumner

Hawk on the wing
This letter concerns the plan to build 14 homes on the property between West 11th and 12th avenues, near Fern. Our family has lived in this neighborhood for the past 10 years, and during this time we have watched the beautiful old oak trees on the property become “home” to a variety of birds. Just recently we have had a noticeable increase in hawk activity.

Have you, Greg Webb (Webb Homes, prospective developer of this property), ever observed the red-tailed hawk in flight? I’m not a poet, but it touches me deeply when I observe their beauty and grace and hear their piercing cry. What will happen to them as well as to many wintering birds (yellow-rumped warbler or cedar waxwing) when you replace their natural habitat with more houses? You say you’ll leave a few oaks—but this is only a token gesture to appease the neighborhood, as those oaks left standing will not live long from over-watering (lawns), since they need dry conditions.

The argument in favor of developing areas like this property is always to avoid urban sprawl (like San Jose) with the rationalization that people need more housing—but when does it end? After every open space is developed, it will just be a matter of time before it spreads outside Chico. There will not be any wildlife left as we continue to squeeze them onto smaller and smaller quarters; eventually, many become extinct. Our neighborhood will just have to deal with already heavy traffic as well as the loss of old oak trees, but what will happen to the hawk, warbler, possum and other wildlife?

M. Nordeen