Letters for August 25, 2011

Comments on campus stories

Re “Birth control on the cheap” (Cover story, by Stacey Kennelly, Aug. 18):

I am delighted to see that you have done an article regarding free birth-control services through a state program called Family PACT. Butte County Public Health Department has been a Family PACT provider for many years.

In addition to birth control, Family PACT pays for emergency contraception (the no-longer-just-morning-after pill), sexually transmitted disease tests and treatment for men and women, treatment for vaginitis and urinary tract infections, and mammograms for women over 40. Also available is a program called Every Woman Counts that offers free mammograms and Pap smears for women who are no longer at risk for pregnancy.

Our Family PACT services are available at 695 Oleander Ave., Chico, and 78 Table Mountain Blvd. in Oroville. Both locations offer appointments or drop-in services.

Thank you for letting people know about this valuable resource at a time when there are so many uninsured people.

Sandee Renault
Physician Assistant

Butte County Public Health Department

Re “Paving the way” (Cover story, by Allie Colosky, Aug. 18):

I was so pleased and encouraged by your coverage of Tray Robinson and the diversity efforts at Chico State. As California becomes more diverse so will the great city of Chico.

Within the coming decade Spanish-first people will become a majority in California. We started out with a strong Hispanic presence back in the mission days. This is not new. It is also good to see that veterans are part of the minority among the majority of Chico students. That is a very forward-thinking effort on the part of the school.

As an out gay man, I would have welcomed that kind of guide when I started college.

Thanks for your good coverage of the issues, and hats off to Chico State.

Andrew Metcalfe

Educational advances

Re “Bigger education issues” (Letters, by Michael Peters, Aug. 18):

Having had the chance to teach college students as an ad honorem philosophy instructor at Chico State, I must agree with Mr. Peters: The American education system has failed many of our children. Countless times I have encountered students who lack basic knowledge of English spelling, grammar and syntax.

However—pace, Mr. Peters—I consider it a triumph of our education system that I have seldom found a student who did not believe that women are as worthy of respect as men (a basic tenet of feminism). Likewise, I have never encountered a student who used pejorative language to refer to people of a different gender, ethnicity, culture, or sexual orientation (a key idea behind political correctness).

Also, Marxism and the Frankfurt School are not interchangeable terms for a monolithic ideology, movement or school of thought. While Karl Marx and the scholars associated with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research have influenced social movements, institutions and various intellectual disciplines, it would be historically inaccurate to attribute feminism or political correctness to either of them.

Susanna F. Boxall

Arctic no place for drilling

Re “Shell gets OK to drill in Arctic” (EarthWatch, Aug. 18):

This area should be off limits to any program having any potential harm to this very pristine area. There is enough petroleum in recent discoveries in the Four Corners area of the United States, in the oil shale that was discovered several years ago, to supply our country for many, many years, as reported when this discovery was made.

Oil-company greed has little regard for keeping our planet safe and beautiful. No drilling in any pristine area should be allowed!

Tony Hopps

Bikeway to nowhere

I need to know the cost of the 99 bikeway path and who the hell authorized wasting so much darned money on something so useless. I mean, this whole damned nation and its states and counties are in dire straits financially, at the point of absolute bankruptcy, to put it mildly. I am an avid bicyclist who appreciates the many good bike paths and lanes that are available for my safety and enjoyment, but this is an absolute loser!

First, it is out of the way of anything of interest or value, and you have to go out of your way to find the useless path that leads to nowhere and empties out on a residential Panama Avenue that has to be negotiated to Tom Polk Street in order to get to East Avenue near a Beacon gas station!

Whoever authorized this waste of taxpayers’ money should be put on public display as an idiot. Someone made a lot of money on that stupid wall that was not needed to protect the owners’ privacy. Please print this letter and let us taxpaying citizens know how much money was wasted on that 99 bikeway!

Michael Philip Piña

Which one’s Grumpy?

Did you happen to see the Republican Party’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs take it on the road Thursday night [Aug. 11] on television from Iowa? Boy, weren’t that a hoot!

Dick Sullivan

Trickle-down sewage

Re “The bigger problem” (Editorial, Aug. 11):

While it’s true that Republicans are responsible for much of the current national debt, the whole of this economic “crisis” can be blamed on some dangerous trends not limited to either party, including waging warrantless wars, deregulation and campaign finance.

Imperialist ventures under the guise of “wars on terror” have placed our country in financial and moral danger. War is very profitable, that is, unless you’re a soldier.

Deregulation led to several U.S. banks and mortgage companies profiting in the billions while causing tens of thousands of Americans to lose their homes. The crooks even had the audacity to ask for bailouts, which Obama and other Democrats, along with even greedier corporate-shill Republicans, obliged. The Tea Party and other deregulation activists still can’t fathom that corporations, left to their unbridled greed, might take advantage of the lack of oversight.

The bigger problem is that neither party cares about the needs of the average American. They care about those of the exorbitantly rich who donate hefty sums to their elections. In return, they receive huge tax breaks, government contracts, bailouts and other generous, taxpayer funded subsidies.

Now the same politicians are saying that there’s not enough left to pay for so-called “entitlement programs” like Social Security. Once again, it seems the only thing “trickling down” to us belongs in a sewer.

Sherri Quammen

Rearranging the seats

News item: Ted Gaines, Republican state senator from Roseville, will move so he can run in the new 1st Senate District, rather than face Republican Doug LaMalfa, who is the current state senator from District 4.

Now, that is certainly a novel approach to ensure that a politician truly represents the interests of constituents who actually reside in his (or her) district!

Following the example set by his Republican colleagues Gaines and LaMalfa, I strongly urge 2nd District Assemblyman Jim Nielsen to come clean on the ongoing ruse that he maintains a permanent residence in a double-wide mobile home in Gerber (2nd District), when he actually lives in a gated community in Woodland (5th District).

My unsolicited advice to Sen. Nielsen: Either actually move to the district that you purport to represent (2nd District) or launch a bona-fide political campaign in your home district (5th District) against the current senator there, Democrat Lois Wolk.

It’s way past time for you to do the right thing!

Mark Gailey

Editor’s note: Sen. Gaines isn’t the only local Republican legislator who is moving to avoid running against a fellow Republican legislator. As Robert Speer noted in his Aug. 11 From This Corner column, Assemblyman Dan Logue reportedly is moving from Linda to another city—probably Grass Valley—so he can run in the new District 1.