Letters for August 16, 2018

Scrap metal musings

Re “Far from settled” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Aug. 9):

There is only one issue with the junkyard on East 20th Street with its rear up against the Chapman Elementary School. The issue is the site has been out of compliance with the Chapman Mulberry Neighborhood Plan for years. Five other businesses, including an asphalt plant, moved after the plan was approved.

When the junkyard owners went to the City Council twice over the years, they asked for an extension before they moved and were granted them in good faith. The council did not vote to let the junkyard ignore the plan, but rather to give them a few more years to move.

Then, in November 2014, the Republicans, led by the junkyard’s onetime public relations consultant, Andrew Coolidge, took over the council and all of a sudden Coolidge fights for his former employer.

The four Republicans vote to gut the neighborhood plan. Over 9,200 voters sign a referendum to keep the plan. The Republicans ignore the referendum. After spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, a judge rules that the plan be upheld. The junkyard will move.

Bob Mulholland


Consider the critters

Re “Treasure map” (Greenways, by Evan Tuchinsky, Aug. 9):

I have been thinking of writing a letter about land use and farming practices in our area for a while, so this article got me off the dime. As a longtime Chico resident and master falconer, I have watched the degradation of our open spaces due to housing and agricultural lands eliminating any feral place for animals to breed and have cover.

This valley used to be considered one of the best places in the world for not only hunting but also wildlife in general. If you look at the rice fields and orchards, they are farmed road to road and every berry bush and plant has been removed. What is up with that and how does it benefit anyone but the farmer? Don’t they make enough money already? How about leaving a little land for the critters?

Steve Kasprzyk


No more dribble

Re “Less service, bigger CEO salaries” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Aug. 9):

Jaime O’Neill’s Comcast commentary sounded like the typical old fart’s effort to complain about his declining position in life.

Where did he get the information that Comcast is rated one of the most hated companies? I recently switched to Comcast for internet access because it is well known that Comcast has one of the best (fastest and most reliable) programs available. Yes, it is more expensive but so far they have lived up to their reputation. And I have not been exposed to the problems Jaime relates. Nobody is forcing the O’Neills to use Comcast; other internet access companies are available.

Please use other folks in your guest comment column that can provide truthful information rather than dribble.

Bill Pahland


Editor’s note: In 2017, PC Magazine named Comcast America’s Most Hated Company.

Her obsession

Re “Simmer down, snowflakes” (Letters, by Gary Janosz, Aug. 9:

Mr. Janosz, why are you afraid of Russia?

Look carefully at whatever social media posting Russia did and it looks like farcical play, just poking the self-righteous giant.

What do you think about James R. Clapper, former director of national intelligence, whose book describes 81 examples of U.S. interference in foreign elections. Bloomberg News quotes Clapper, “I guess the way I think about that is that through our history, when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments, it was done with the best interests of the people in that country in mind—given the traditional reverence for human rights.”

Do you seriously believe the U.S. is motivated by anything other than protecting its “national interest” and preserving the existing world order, with the U.S. as king, judge and executioner?

What do you think about the U.S. breaking promises made to Mikhail Gorbachev by the George H.W. Bush administration in 1990 that NATO would not expand eastward?

The U.S. is a threat to Russia. Russia only threatens U.S. global ambitions.

Mr. Janosz, you may not like my letters. Tough. I am obsessed with forcing Democrats to see themselves for the warmongers and shrill, hateful McCarthyites they have become.

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

Don’t celebrate losses

A recent story in the national news bragged that Democrat Danny O’Connor almost won his race against Republican Troy Balderson and then went on to crow about the ensuing future “blue wave.”

Well, I hate to rain on your parade, progressives, but celebrating “almost winning” doesn’t get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

I’m a progressive who wants to see America continue to move forward as a democratic society, not a fascist state; as a leader in science, education and human rights, not as a puppet of the oligarchs; toward what inspired those who wrote our Constitution and who looked to the day when we might be world leaders.

Where do you think we’d be if on June 7, 1944, Dwight Eisenhower had said, “Don’t be discouraged because we almost won!” Yet I see the pundits yelling “Looking good because we almost won that one.” The truth is, if you “almost won,” you’d better try harder.

Come on, Butte residents, you’ve had Republican representation since 1975—that’s 43 years—and where has that gotten you? Yet you keep voting the same way and expecting things will change. This November you have a valid choice, and it’s not “one of us!”

Dean Carrier


‘Pathetic individuals’

This week marks the one-year anniversary of a white nationalists rally in Charlottesville, Va., in which violence broke out between white nationalists and counter-protesters. This should remind us all that racism and hatred are alive and well in cities all across the U.S.

I have two points related to racism and related thinking that I would like to make. First, racists and angry haters are idiots (I’ll get more into that in point No. 2). If idiots want to put on a parade, let them. Don’t ignore them, because idiots can be dangerous. However, attention is exactly what they desire, so don’t give it to them.

My second point is that people who hate others are pathetic individuals. Think about it. Their anger is just a reflection of how they feel about themselves.

Someone with true self-esteem does not need to look down upon another. As a species, we will get there. It just will take much longer and be much more painful with politicians exploiting our differences for political gain.

Wolfgang Jeffrey Straub


POTUS’ perfect storm

Bad government and planning and lack of enforcement are causing devastating fires, burning up our communities, flooding our lowlands with the help of lying and corrupt officials, embroiling America in drowning our Constitution with several illegal and unethical scandals by Trump and his cabinet of criminals.

It gets worse with each insane tweet and uneducated mandate from Trump. When he deregulated every environmental law so his rich contributors could get richer, Trump significantly turned up the heat on our planet. The result: fires in the West and floods and hurricanes in the East and South. Meanwhile, the middle of the country is getting whacked and torn up with everything in between, just as former Vice President Al Gore and all the real scientists predicted.

Yet, Trump supporters pray for victims and bemoan the loss of our forest, for however they use it personally, while they are the ones supporting our arsonist-in-chief, as he ravages the beauty of God’s creation in America. Our blue skies are black with smoke, our land and forests charred! Bad forest management, clear cuts, dehydrated slash left from over logging, soil depletion, polluted skies and drought have created the perfect storm to ravage our forests.

Pat Johnston

Red Bluff

Taxpayer-funded mailer

We just received our first slick mailer from Doug “He’s one of us” LaMalfa. Printed at the top of the page, “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.” Wow. Even with help from the Igor Trump flunkey Devin Nunes at a recent fundraiser, I guess Doug doesn’t have the money in his campaign fund to pay for this himself. Sad.

The glossy mailer focused on the tax cuts Doug helped pass, which benefit the wealthiest of our citizens and do not much for the working poor. This is the only major legislation passed in the last 18 months by our hard-working Congress, which is now in the midst of its hard-earned summer vacation. Then they will start campaigning in earnest for the November election.

Where’s Doug? How about a town hall or two while he’s here in his district? My guess is he’s afraid to face his constituents. Meanwhile, his opponent this fall is Audrey Denney, who pledged not to accept any corporate donations. What a concept. I know who I’m voting for in November.

Ed Pitman


Ode to Molly

I held your golden heart for a precious moment, that moment I treasure forever. Words come and go, but silence breaks the heart with every waking.

Sterling Ogden


Another Trump tirade

A recent Trump tweet accuses [former White House staffer] Omarosa Manigault Newman of being a “dog.” Although rude and shameful, this might be preferable to being called a human. It would be a compliment to be compared to our brilliant and harmless border collie.

Kenneth B. Keith