Letters for August 18, 2016

About the revolt

Re “‘We are robbers, or we must be conquerors’” (Cover story, by Ken Smith, Aug. 11):

The Bear Flag Revolt is a small footnote among the struggles that ultimately led to establishment of California as a U.S. territory.

The Bear Flaggers were a small bunch of drunken thugs that kidnapped a general without an army for three weeks. The influence of these men on the general’s wine cellar was greater than their influence on the establishment of California.

Please remember that the Mexican government at that time was much the same as it is now—that being incompetent and corrupt in its dealings with the California citizens of the time (Californios).

California militias had already routed Gov. Micheltorena in 1847, making absent any significant Mexican military presence above San Francisco. Capt. Silva surrendered Monterey without a shot fired. The Battle of San Pasqual near Los Angeles was fought to a draw in 1846.

Hostilities ended with the Treaty of Caheunga in 1847 between the Californios (not Mexico) and the U.S. (one year before the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo). This treaty kept intact Californio property rights and was incorporated into later treaties. These treaties were honored by the U.S government.

The important point is that the California citizens of 1847 gave to us a beautiful state in return for their continued property rights and a more secure government.

Oscar Hooton

Red Bluff

Cabby speaks out

Re “Fare share” (Newsline, by Howard Hardee, Aug. 4):

I appreciate your article drawing attention to the local taxi-cab industry and reactions to transportation network companies (TNCs) entering the market. I’d like to offer just a few corrections. First, drug testing is actually mandated by California Government Code. Also, our background checks are conducted by the Chico Police Department, not the FBI. I think that this is an important distinction, as our checks are performed by officers who live, work and have families in the city of Chico and have a genuine interest in the safety of our community. These two checks are also just the bare minimum of our screening process.

Drivers who wish to be licensed to service Sacramento Airport have similar screenings performed by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and drivers that deliver courier packages also receive a security threat assessment administered by the TSA.

I also don’t want to give the impression that my company isn’t interested in establishing a level playing field between taxi-cab companies and TNCs. We just feel that the city level is not the appropriate place for this argument. We’re members of both the Taxicab Paratransit Association of California and the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, both of which are working toward leveling the playing field in the for-hire transportation industry at both the state and national levels.

Gianni Caponera


Editor’s note: The author is a general partner at Liberty Cab. The factual errors he identified are further noted below.

Walmart, the job-killer

Re “What about Costco” (Letters, by Vic Makau, Aug. 4):

While business expansion appears to be a positive thing, that is not true if it negatively impacts other businesses and employment. That is a very compelling reason why so many people are opposed to the planned Walmart expansion here in Chico.

Some people have mentioned that there was no opposition to Costco expanding, so why single out Walmart? It should be noted that Costco consistently pays better salaries and offers better benefits to its employees. And it should be noted that right across the street FoodMaxx is still open, employing 85 people with good wages and benefits. As stated in the draft EIR, an expanded Walmart will more than likely cause the closure of FoodMaxx, as well as other existing businesses in the area. A study by UC Irvine showed that a Walmart opening/expansion causes the loss of approximately 150 jobs. Put another way, for every job Walmart creates, 1.4 jobs are lost. It also reduces a county’s payroll by $1.2 million.

As for comments about additional out-of-town shoppers and additional tax revenues: Red Bluff and Willows have supercenters, and plans are underway for supercenters in Oroville and Paradise; the primary expansion plan is for groceries, which aren’t taxed, while discounted taxable items will reduce overall city tax revenue.

So, all things considered, expanding Walmart will result in local businesses closing, creating overall job losses and reducing disposable incomes that actually benefit local businesses and city tax revenue. So to the City Council I ask, which side are you on?

Roger S. Beadle


Three on The Donald

Despite Donald Trump’s constant attacks on women, minorities, the media, Gold Star parents, Muslims and many others, and despite the latest news that Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has allegedly taken $12 million from a Putin ally in Ukraine, local Republicans are going forward with and for Trump.

On Saturday (Aug. 20), local Republicans will open up the Chico headquarters for Trump. Republicans will do the ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. at 1058 Mangrove Ave., the southeast corner of East First and Mangrove avenues. Everyone is invited to hold signs for your favorite candidates, whether Hillary Clinton for President, Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate, or Congressional or City Council candidates.

If you want information on how to get involved to defeat Trump, email democrats@chicodemocrats.com. We will soon announce the opening of the Democratic Party headquarters.

Bob Mulholland


It’s actually been over for a while. Everything else has been a hysterical and sickening sideshow that demonstrates clearly the low depth to which a nation-state can sink by allowing such rat filth to compete for the presidency. The troubled tycoon is unraveling fast and it is a pure pleasure to observe the breakdown.

The left wing will fly solo for at least eight more years and continue to fulfill the mission of pulling us out of the gutter we were left in by the Bush administration. The disgrace levied on America by the ridiculous right wing for believing in this idiot may put them on the sidelines for decades to come—and rightfully so.

It feels like we were very recently backed into our own end zone and ready to lose it all until President Obama’s tenure. Now we have at least marched back to the 30 yard line and are heading upfield with much better trajectory than in 2008.

It is impossible to believe anyone would support such a blatant fool and risk taking us back to the near collapse we so narrowly escaped just eight years ago.

Kenneth B. Keith.

Los Molinos

Pain is a warning system for our bodies to alert us about something harmful. We need to get away from the source of pain or try to alleviate it in some way.

Hatred is a warning system for our emotions. It tells us there is a problem we need to solve or avoid. Intense or prolonged pain can cause faulty perception and outright delirium. Prolonged hatred results in much the same. It clouds judgment. It causes anguish. Yet, in our society today, many embrace it. Donald J. Trump is such a person.

Trump’s true platform is hatred, and more importantly for him, it is revenge. He says we need to get stronger. What is stronger? Someone steals from me and I retaliate by stealing from them. Problem solved? No, now we’re both thieves.

Hate is a natural part of being human. Many of us can say we hate injustice, and rightly so. The problem arises when our hatred of injustice overpowers our love for justice. We all need something to hold on to. I’d rather hold on to something constructive than something destructive.

Phil Frankenberg


‘An outdated attempt’

Marco Rubio’s opinion that women with Zika virus should be denied abortions is an outdated attempt to impose sexual sanctions and nothing more.

Human life has never been sacred to any religion. Religions have instigated wars, denigrated and enslaved women and encouraged homicide. Read the Old Testament, the Koran, etc.

We do not feed the poor; we kill each other in wars; we don’t provide medical care for the poor.

Throughout history, women have been denied the choice of giving birth. We have been, and still are, victims of rape, forced marriage and social pressures.

The abortion debate is not now and has never been about the sanctity of life. A fetus is a potential life.

It’s easier to force a woman to bear a child than it is to comfort the poor, the ill and the indisposed.

Lest you think I am a heartless brute, let me add abortions in the second or third trimester make me feel ill. Children are indeed miracles, but all living children should be fed, cared for, comforted. Let’s not waste our sympathy on what could have been but never was.

Linda Valine


Hemp is beneficial

Just as cotton is grown for fabric and twine, so is industrial hemp; just as nut trees yield seeds for food and oils, so does hemp; just as hay is grown for animal feed, so is hemp; just as agricultural products are used for building materials, so is hemp (Oakland Museum of California hemp exhibit). Opposition to industrial hemp stems from the misconception that hemp is psychotropic. It is not. Hemp is a variety of cannabis (sativa) containing less than 1 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal compound effecting euphoria.

By contrast, cannabis indica is a disparate variety containing 10 to 19 percent of THC. One is as likely to get as high from smoking hemp as one is of getting inebriated from drinking nonalcoholic beer.

Hemp also contains high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound counteracting the effects of THC. Because of its lack of psychoactive properties, CBD shows promise for ameliorating epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, but without getting the patient high. Over 20 countries already market medicinal cannabidiol (sativaTm). Given these facts, there is no legitimate reason to deny hemp farmers the rights afforded other farmers.

William Todd-Mancillas



Howard Hardee’s Aug. Newsline about local cab companies and transportation network companies contained two factual errors. First, it incorrectly stated that local cab drivers are subject to drug tests mandated by the Department of Transportation. In fact, drug tests are mandated by state law. Second, the story misidentified the agency to which cab drivers must submit fingerprints. Fingerprints are conducted at the Chico Police Department.

We regret the errors, which have been corrected. --ed.