Letters for August 14, 2008

Bush won elections? ‘Propaganda'!
Re: “Will the Constitution survive?” (Cover story, by R.V. Scheide, CN&R, Aug. 7):

The author gives the impression that Bush won both elections in 2000 and 2004. He didn’t win either election. He didn’t even come close to winning.

In 2000, the Bush family stole 1.9 million votes. In 2004, the Bush people stole 3 million votes. When the writer says that Bush won two elections, it dulls the mind of the public and serves as a form of propaganda.

Why do so many writers gloss over the issue of stolen votes? Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, the public remains uninformed.

John Breen

Editor’s note: The Center for Public Integrity examines the 2000 and 2004 elections in a 2008 series of articles titled “Broken Elections, Stolen Votes.”

Flip-floppery a case of chicanery
Re: “You’ve flipped, Charlie Brown” (Letters, by Colton Reed, CN&R, Aug. 7):

I don’t know where letter-writers and blogsters get their information, but a simple inquiry to [congressional candidate] Charlie Brown’s campaign manager, Todd Stenhouse, would reveal the statement that Charlie Brown supports John McCain rather than Barack Obama is totally untrue. I am suspicious that a rumor like this one came from the GOP “dirty trick department” in an effort to sabotage the ability of Charlie to obtain campaign donations from an energized Democratic Party.

I have included Todd Stenhouse’s response to my inquiry for further verification of Brown’s position: “What I can tell you is that whoever wrote this letter did not hear this from us, as Charlie is not supporting John McCain for president.”

John Cecil
Paradise Ridge Democratic Club

Not anti-gay, yet still selective
Re: “Mea culpa, Grubbs says” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Aug. 7):

It is good that Candace Grubbs explained what went into the budget process that resulted in her decision to stop conducting civil wedding ceremonies out of her office, even though the [public] record is sparse. And it is good that she acknowledged she mishandled the communication on the matter. And it is good that she went on to say that her personal views about whether particular couples should be married did, in fact, play a role in her decision.

I am new in Chico, so I may not be familiar with Ms. Grubbs’ qualifications to assess if a couple are serious about their commitment to one another. I am confident, though, that the job description of county clerk-recorder does not include passing judgment on the people who come to her office seeking a marriage license.

As a pastor who spends time with couples, even with education and training in premarital assessment, I have no way of knowing if any marriage will or will not last. That some couples I have married may eventually have problems or divorce has not stopped me from presiding at weddings.

“Yuck factor” is not a sound basis for any public policy decision. In fact, “yuck factor” could very well be considered arbitrary and capricious, which courts have ruled cannot be the basis for public policy. How will she next apply her personal standards?

Pastor Jim Peck
Congregational Church of Chico

Although she has served 20 years as our county’s clerk-recorder, perhaps it is time that Candace Grubbs find herself another place to plant her behind in employment, one that allows her to avoid having to deal with the problem that “people who got married at her office weren’t serious about it and didn’t seem committed to each other … and it wasn’t a pleasure to preside at their ceremonies.”

All of Butte County really does feel for Candace and her office for having to perform duties that are not a pleasure. It would seem to me that if one is to make that as a requirement for their employment, then many people would indeed be unhappy with their positions because many jobs involve things that are not a pleasure.

Now about the pay she and her staff receive for those non-pleasured duties …

William Miller

‘Outsider’ musician
Re: “Taking over” (Music, by Jason Cassidy, CN&R, Aug. 7):

Most of the bands posted in the News & Review I have never heard of, but when I think about LaSalles, it’s very easy to please a crowd in that club—due to the relationship the club has with Chico and its location, all you need to do is supply drinks [and] any band sounds good.

You cannot just put together a band; you need talented players. It takes years to master an instrument and become a good singer. You must have the gift. You cannot teach someone how to play from the inside out, only outside in.

I’ve been here in Chico for about 14 years. To me, Chico is missing out on good talented musicians who have the gift. But every blue noon, you get a good band.

Outsider musicians are not welcome—why is this? These musicians have the talent. You find them playing on the streets at Thursday Night Market for tips—no mention of them in the News & Review. It’s about whom you know in this world. If Chico wants to glow with good entertainment the door needs to open and be fair to everyone. Let Chico’s eyes open and see all the talented players here in Chico.

Charles Terry

Editor’s note: Chuck Terry is a jazz/blues guitarist.

Alive and kickin’ …
Re: “No life on Planet Live” (Days of Lore, by Mark Lore, CN&R, Aug. 7):

Mark Lore’s admission that “there aren’t any local bands really doing it for me live” underscores the point that I’ve made for years: This fellow has no place reviewing the Chico music scene. The diversity of bands here requires someone with an open mind and a pulse. How long must we endure his nerd-rock drivel?

The vitality of rock ‘n’ roll, embodied in the twirl of young lovelies, is alive and well in our fine nightclubs. Rock on, dude!

Snake Holmes

Letter-writer’s apology
Re: “Commissioner responds” (Letters, by Jim Walker, CN&R, Aug. 7):

I would like to do the right thing and correct the record.

Recently, I wrote to this paper claiming Jim Walker had voted to remove the Bidwell Deed’s vision and conditions from the policy section of the draft Bidwell Park Master Management Plan.

Completely wrong. It was four other park commissioners, not Walker. In fact two similar instances occurred: one in which a 6-2 vote removed consideration of the deed’s conditions from future decisions, and second a motion to incorporate the “1905 resolution by the City to honor the Deed in perpetuity” into an appendix of the draft plan that passed 4-3 (with Walker among the no votes—apparently these three commissioners preferred the resolution be included in the draft’s vision statement).

You see, it gets confusing.

By the way, despite a commission majority vote, staff never included the historic resolution, alongside the abandoned deed, in the appendix.

I also want to correct the record and note that, yes, Jim was absent when the commission voted 3-2 to approve cell towers in Bidwell Park, bucking a municipal code prohibiting such a thing in public parks.

Anyway, I’ve unintentionally been a fool, and now I know what it feels like to make false statements about someone else. A horrible feeling!

Randy Abbott

Sarsour is all set
Re: “Three is enough” (Downstroke, CN&R, Aug. 7):

You reported correctly that I had not submitted my paperwork to the city clerk by CN&R deadline. To avoid any misunderstanding, I did submit my paperwork after your deadline and before the city deadline. I was informed by City Clerk Debbie Presson that my paperwork was in order and was approved by the county election office.

Ali Sarsour

Editor’s note: Indeed, Mr. Sarsour is a certified candidate for Chico City Council. The final deadline was Wednesday (Aug. 13) after—wait for it—the CN&R’s publication deadline for this issue.

Two-wheel commuting
Re: “Riders, unite!” (GreenWays, by Cory Farley, CN&R, Aug. 7):

The route is probably one of the most important considerations for bike riding. The distance is also important. You should not push yourself if you aren’t ready for a really long ride. It is harder on the way home, when it is also hotter.

If you live too far from work, or you can’t find a safe route, don’t despair. There is another option: remote office centers. Tell your boss that you want to work remotely, and you can say goodbye to that frustrating commute in a car, and get a good workout in the sun each day.

Art Ullman
Arlington, Texas

Watch where you bike
I’m pleased to see so many cyclists in Chico now. It’s a great way to get around and save on gas.

However, I’d like to remind some cyclists to use the bike lanes. That’s what they’re for. The street is also for biking on. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, not bicycles. Unless you are a child, don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk.

There really is enough room on the street for a bike and a car. If you are anxious about sharing the road with cars, choose a less-congested route. Please use common sense and no one will get hurt.

Keep on biking, Chico!

Anita Ingrao