Letters for August 2, 2012

Keeping the poor poor

Re “You can’t have it both ways” (Guest comment, by Nikki Schlaishunt, July 26):

Nikki Schlaishunt makes a brilliant socialist case. Fortunately (I believe) we live in a capitalist society.

The crux of the article is the statement, “When we all chip in as we are able….” The idea behind capitalism is that people are rewarded for grit, hard work and taking risks with their own money and that they then get to keep that money. For every Kennedy who made money on bootleg hooch, there were and are many other hard-working businessmen who build their capital the old fashioned way: They work for it. When they leave it to their children, it is still not suddenly community funds.

I returned to college at the age of 28 and worked hard when my friends were partying and having fun. I then worked 60-hour weeks as an engineer. Much is broken in the USA right now, and I mourn the loss of quality education at reasonable costs. However, taking from the rich to feed the poor will not save our country. The poor in the United States have cars, TVs and video games. What they really need is jobs and the desire to work to get a bigger piece of the pie.

Filling their minds with the idea that the rich should cough up more via taxes will ensure they stay poor.

Patty Grace McKee

Change weakens the Greenline

Re “The Greenline works” (Editorial, July 26):

The Greenline at 30 years is an amazing accomplishment. I hope it will last 30 more. It can be changed by the city or county at any time.

Mayor Ann Schwab will continue to be diligent when re-elected, but more developer-oriented candidates must be licking their chops. Any change weakens the line, encourages speculators.

It may have been missed in your coverage that the Greenline was a compromise. Previous city “greenlines” had been overrun by developers sidestepping the city by getting county approvals, spreading sprawl.

Then, in 1982, the newly elected progressive City Council struck a deal brokered by Supervisor Jane Dolan and others, and we approved the massive southeast and northeast sewer assessment districts. By opening the hardpan soils on Chico’s east side to development—from Lassen Avenue to the Skyway, including the Chico Mall, Dan Drake’s subdivisions and California Park—we gave developers an alternative to cementing over rich agricultural land.

Break the Greenline? Sure, we can trade. Convert eastside development back to grassland for every orchard lost.

Karl Ory

Editor’s note: The author, a former mayor, was a member of the “progressive” City Council he mentions above.

She’s doing it right

Re “When Maria said good-bye” (Guest comment, by Tim Milhorn, July 19):

Although it is sad that this bright and talented young lady was deported, you are overlooking one thing: She is doing the legal and proper thing to stay in this country.

We can’t blame her for her troubles. It was her parents who brought her here illegally and under a false name. And, unfortunately, she’s the one who is paying the price. (Is she the only one in her family to be deported?)

However, once this young lady takes cares of her illegal status legally, I’m sure she’ll be back to get on with what sounds like a promising future. You should be proud of her and the example she is setting for others, adults and children alike.

Dara Reynolds

Put a damper on it

Re “What’s worse, noise or poop?” (Letters, by V. Richard Troia, July 19):

For countless years, citizens have been abandoned by our city when faced with the problem of chronic noise. Their suffering has manifested in many ways: stress-related illnesses, endless calls to the police, landlords, tenants and neighbors with no resolution. In desperation, some have sought legal advice, and when all else failed they sold their family home. We have paid an astronomical price for this unenforceable noise ordinance: violence, diminished quality of life, disintegration of historic neighborhoods, and the high cost to taxpayers for the futile efforts of our police. It is a shameful, city-wide epidemic.

According to the Chico PD, of the 2,908 calls they received in 2010 for noise disturbances, only 11 were cited. The police consider the existing ordinance unenforceable and have made the following recommendations to the City Council:

1. Remove the second complaint within 72 hours of a written warning required in order to issue a citation.

2. Remove the required written complaint. This would be replaced with a verbal complaint to issue a citation.

On Aug. 7, 2012, the topic of noise is back on the City Council agenda. Isn’t it time that we provide security for all citizens and foster a mature, academic environment? Isn’t it time to do what is right for our community?

Melinda Vasquez

Two for Taber

Re “Blame the progressives” (Letters, by Stephanie L. Taber, July 26):

Once again, the Larry Wahl/Stephanie Taber team wants to shift the blame for the cost of their Measure A special election in June 2011.

Wahl brought in a company from Florida, and their paid circulators told potential signers of Measure A that the voters would still vote at their regular polling places. And Taber put in the official Yes on A ballot statement the following: “Measure A would join our city elections at the same time and at Chico polling places where county elections are taking place.”

This all happened before the measure came to the City Council, which by state law had to call a special election in June 2011 as Measure A required. So for months Wahl and Taber told voters that under Measure A, voters would go to their regular polling places. The City Council saw the promises made, that people would vote at their regular polling places.

Wahl and Taber and the Tea Party and Toby Schindelbeck (who lived in Paradise then) all supported Measure A, but I guess, since it went down in flames by 68 percent, that they are trying to shift the $151,000 cost to others. That $151,000 hurt the police budget, and these Measure A sponsors should just apologize to the people of Chico!

And it’s always interesting that Taber, who is a political appointee as a county employee for Wahl, never mentions that in her letters. Is she embarrassed that she works for Wahl or just wants to come across as some neutral resident?

Laurel Heath

In her response to the late Quentin Colgan’s letter [“The real cause,” July 12], Measure A signatory Stephanie L. Taber blames “the progressives on the City Council” for the $150,000 it cost the city to hold the special election, noting that a mail-only election might have cost half as much.

Complaining that a special election, held at a time when as few people as possible would vote, to consider a measure designed to move future City Council elections to a time when as few people as possible would vote, was not held in such a manner so that as few people as possible would vote on it, reveals an astonishing lack of irony (not to mention shame) on Ms. Taber’s part. I suppose we can’t fault her for inconsistency.

Nathaniel Perry

There’s no stopping madmen

Re “Who needs an assault rifle?” (Editorial, July 26):

It was predictable in the wake of the tragic theater shooting in Colorado that there would be renewed cries to ban certain weapons and magazines. Sadly, those advocating new laws apparently haven’t seen the video of the lady who appeared before a Senate investigating committee. She had a semi-automatic weapon with a 7- or 10-round clip and showed the committee how simple it was to carry a number of such clips and change them in seconds.

Many cities, counties and states have outlawed various weapons by terming them as “assault weapons.” The devil is in the details. The definitions are all over the map depending upon where one lives. Often, just a small change in the shape of the grip will cause the weapon to be placed in the “assault” category.

The sad truth is that no laws that could be passed, including a complete ban on all weapons and ammunition, would prevent some deranged individual from carrying out a mass killing. The terrorist suicide bombers have demonstrated this to be true. Those who trash the NRA are probably not aware that many law enforcement officers have received training from NRA instructors and that the organization conducts many shooting events in which law enforcement officers participate.

Maurice Picard

This time is different

We can all agree that we’re in a deep financial crisis. We can’t agree on what to label it—a recession, a depression, or the “new normal” which was in vogue a few years ago? We certainly can’t agree on who to blame. We don’t really know if we are “through it” yet, or not.

History can provide insights. The 2010 New York Times bestseller, This Time Is Different, is a historical reconstruction of financial disasters from 66 countries over the last 800 years. The authors, who are economics professors, say that most countries affected in the Great Depression took an average of 10 years to reach the same pre-crash level of economic activity. Their data show that the current housing-price decline is already more than twice that registered in the United States during the Great Depression.

Given our “crash” officially started in August 2007, their analysis suggests that we may be at the halfway point for economic output; however, the decline in housing values could very well extend that recovery timeframe.

Pundits tell us the crisis is a liquidity problem (not enough money), and not many talk about solvency, which is being unable to meet financial obligations. An example is being unable to make monthly house mortgage payments.

The historical data presented are real. Credible solutions require an understanding of what caused the crisis, regardless of how we characterize the events. Focusing on how we proceed forward from here is the most critical collective decision we face.

Dave Kelley

Editor’s note: The author is a candidate for Chico City Council.

Be nice to chicks

Re “Hot dishes” (Chow, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, July 12):

As a vegan and member of PETA, I too want to applaud the new business [app] Cooking to Impress Chicks. It’s about time we did something nice for chickens instead of butchering, cooking and eating them.

Beau Grosscup