Letters for August 12, 2004

Corrections: The music review, “Decidedly done,” in last week’s News & Review failed to properly identify Shawn Freyer as the lead singer for Indecisive Youth. The cover story, “Here comes the sun,” should have said that solar power company Sun Power is based in San Raphael. In Downstroke ("Will harmony prevail?") Joe Persons Sr. not Joe Persons Jr., addressed the Chico City Council Aug. 3. In another Downstroke story, “He’s the bomb,” the Butte County district attorney did not seek a felony charge against former Butte County Emergency Services Director Mike Madden. Finally, in the Newsline “Avoidable tragedy?” Donavan Phipps was convicted of assault on a police officer for striking a Butte County sheriff’s deputy in the head with a carpenter’s square, and, according to the DA, deputies did respond to his parents’ call for aid the night before their son was involved in a fatal auto collision. The News & Review regrets any inconvenience that may have resulted from these errors. When it rains it pours.

I usually agree with your editorial policies. However, I think you are wrong in your assessment of the two supervisors who voted against raising the sales tax, and the suggestion of a referendum [“Supes fail the people,” Aug. 5]. The concept of taking one’s marbles and going home may work OK on the playground, but the last time I looked, ours was a representative form of government, and in this instance, the system worked just the way it’s supposed to.

Roger Klaves

Kerry guns for votes
Conservative propaganda loves to show Sen. John Kerry as an extreme liberal, especially when it comes to issues such as gun control. Don’t listen to the radio talk show hosts. Kerry is a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights and will work to protect common-sense gun laws. Kerry has worked with law enforcement agencies to ban military assault weapons. He strongly supports the current ban on assault weapons and voted to restrict the manufacturing, transfer or possession of these weapons in the United States, including AK-47s and similar weapons used by terrorists in Afghanistan.

Kerry voted for the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act” that banned military-style assault weapons and was supported by virtually every national law enforcement organization in the United States,

The senator promises to close the gun show loophole, which allows felons, stalkers and violent juveniles to purchase guns at gun shows, since unlicensed gun sellers are not required to perform criminal background checks on potential buyers.

He will continue to work to keep guns out of the hands of those who are not legally allowed to have them through modest and sensible measures.

We need a president who is brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby and say “enough is enough.” Vote for Sen. Kerry to get dangerous guns off the streets.

Mark Hall

John’s no Dick
Letter writer C. F. Passantino says Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards is no Dick Cheney [Letters, Aug. 5]. I say, thank God! Now, maybe, if the Kerry-Edwards ticket is elected we really can have peace, and resolution, in the Middle East along with freedom, prosperity and security here at home. Who’s with me on this? Lots of you, I hope. This November, get out and vote!

Jay Castor

COBA coma
In 2000, Jeff Goulsby and Geno Lucich of Mountain Valley Arts approached the Chico Arts Commission to secure initial funding for the Chico Open Board (COBA).

Four COBA panels were selected by the public to be permanently displayed at the downtown parking garage. The other 20 4-foot by 4-foot paintings not selected were displayed at Zucchini & Vine during the summer and then auctioned off by COBA. Half of the auction proceeds went to the individual artist, the other to the fund for the following year’s COBA project.

Local Chico artist Gregg Payne then took over COBA and instituted the mini-board project concept the following year, with continuing Arts Commission funding.

Subsequently, the COBA project was taken over by the Chico Art Center, under the direction of President Daniel Donnelley, who has managed both the COBA and mini-board projects for the last two years, with continued city funding.

Due to major budget cuts by the city this past year, the Arts Commission found its re-granting program halved. This unfortunate situation will mean that there will be no more city funding for COBA after this summer. Maybe the city’s budget will improve by 2006, and restitution of COBA may be possible then.

What can be done in the intervening two years? Maybe the Downtown City Business Association (DCBA) could assist in underwriting the project. Maybe a consortium of downtown businesses can jointly fund COBA for the next two years. It would be a shame to lose this popular program. I hope there is a creative way to keep COBA alive!

Juri Brilts

Don’t ever forget
Over the past three months Chico has lost two very important women, Coleen Jarvis and Dido Hasper. Both packed significant influence and impact into lives too shortly lived. We are all better off because of what they dedicated their lives to—Coleen’s commitment to social justice for the less privileged and Dido’s local, national and international contributions to reproductive rights for all people.

In the face of our current national administration’s calloused disregard for anyone but the privileged, its simplistic and malicious use of fear (real and imagined) to manipulate and usurp our freedoms, its members’ arrogant failure to even pretend to be “statesmen,” its profound lack of respect for individuals’ rights and competence to control our own bodies and behaviors, we must not let all that Coleen and Dido fought for be eroded and stolen from us. The current administration’s fear of imagination and its mean-spirited views of human nature and human potential must not go unchallenged.

As Michael Franti says, “Power to the peaceful.” Let’s make it happen.

Leslie Mahon-Russo
Received via e-mail

Time is now
As I watched the Democratic Convention, I was proud to be a Democrat. The convention was about hope. It was about standing up for our country. It was about real issues. It was about inclusion. And it was about standing shoulder to shoulder with all of our fellow Americans. For years now our country has been headed in the wrong direction, but the tide is finally turning in America. It’s time to put Democrats back in the White House and Congress and get this country back on the right track.

Reta Rickmers