Letters for August 26, 2004

Correction: Last week’s story in Newslines, “Market troubles,” incorrectly reported that the Downtown Chico Business Association receives about one-third of its budget through transient occupancy tax passed on from the city and its own assessment tax on downtown businesses. Those sources account for only one-fifth of the DCBA’s budget. The News & Review regrets any inconvenience this may have caused.

The kids are alright
So there was some agitated activity downtown at the Thursday Night Market [“Market troubles,” CN&R Newslines, Aug. 19]. Call Homeland Security pronto. We can’t allow teenagers to wander freely without parental supervision because, as we all know, teenagers can’t be controlled. They might not buy stuff.

Fortunately, the ubiquitous vilification of teenagers was exposed for what it is when the downtown business manager, who shall remain nameless, states, “they’re consumers, they have a right to be here.” (Emphasis mine.)

Shall we just concede that we’re raising kids not to be human beings but to be consumers? As one media critic claims, we have evolved into something called “homo vendens.” We are here to sell and consume. All acts and all things have been emptied of content; our only value is what the market declares.

God forbid our teenagers go to the Thursday Night Market to hang out. They might not buy stuff and fight instead. Then some adult would have to step in and say, “Stop this guys, or girls, let’s talk…..”

Teenagers of Chico, you’re OK. You don’t have to buy crap to be OK. Go hang out at the Thursday Night Market. Be cool. Don’t hit, and try to use your words.

Julie Cambridge

Old brown boot
I am old-school, brown-boot army, so I’ll get right to it. Tom Gascoyne, you’re a miserable pile of buzzard puke!

How dare you write such a slanted article about Dr. Mangus [“It’s OK, I’m a doctor,” Newslines, Aug. 5]. Let me tell you just a little bit about the doc. He’s been practicing medicine for over 40 years, doing miracles on deformed burn patients. He’s volunteered years of medical work aboard the USS Hope, where he traveled to underdeveloped countries and performed surgeries of reconstructive nature.

He also started the burn clinic in Chico. Have you ever seen a severely burned patient, Tom? Well, Doc performed miracles on these burn victims and gave them back their lives. That’s not easy work, skillfully or emotionally. The doc is an avid sponsor of arts, music and sports, all in Butte County.

He’s a pillar in our community, and we’re a lot better off having him in Chico. Let me ask you, Tom, what the hell have you ever done to improve mankind? Personally I’d love to teach you some manners up close and personal. What say ye?

Stephen M. Bell

Lone Star soldier
Despite the current attacks on John Kerry and the attacks on Al Gore in the last presidential election, one fact is obvious: Both of those men did indeed go to Vietnam to serve their country. Of that there is no doubt.

Of course, Al Gore was just a photographer and never really fought in combat, and we all now know John Kerry lied about saving someone while being under enemy fire. Why, I bet he might just have wounded himself so he could look better as a politician 35 years later.

Certainly, there could be no better place for an American to serve his country during the Vietnam War than by being a member of the Texas Air National Guard.

Tim Milhorn

The Bush blues
President Bush says we should re-elect him to the White House because he has the right plan to get our economy going again. In every campaign speech he claims the economy is strong and getting stronger. Oh, if that were only true.

Let’s look at some of the facts: The latest employment report showed that only 32,000 jobs were created in July, when the U.S. needs around 200,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with the growing number of new workers. Overall economic growth slumped to a 0.3 annual rate in the second quarter, down from 4.5 percent in this year’s first quarter. Consumer spending fell 0.07 percent in June, which was the steepest decline in nearly three years. We face a record $445 billion national budget deficit, and the 10-year outlook has gone from predictions of a $5 trillion surplus to a $2.7 trillion deficit.

And what does President Bush say? He continues to claim that the economy is “turning the corner,” even though the stock market is shaky, oil prices are climbing to record highs and job creation is next to nothing.

Bush may become the first president since Herbert Hoover to experience a net decline in the number of jobs as he runs for re-election. We need more than empty campaign claims. We need a new president who has new ideas to offer, not just worn-out rhetoric and empty promises.

Mark Hall

Gen. LeMay Way?
If someone other than Willie Hyman had requested that a street be renamed in honor of say, for instance, Ronald Reagan, or one of our great generals, would it have caused such a stir and attention from Chico city officials?

Hyman’s demand that a street be renamed to honor Martin Luther King Jr. has a scent similar to a racial statement. It’s time that government officials at all levels of government stop pandering and allowing themselves to be intimidated by pressure groups of all persuasions and do what’s best for all the people regardless of race, gender and all the rest of human categories.

Pandering by racial categories is divisive and creates distrust.

Joe Canzoneri

Table manners
Here is a conversation you will never hear: “Hey son, drink your milk. It has recombinant bovine growth hormone in it. And here are some strawberries. I hear they are genetically engineered with DNA from a flounder to withstand colder temperature. Isn’t that wonderful?”

Or this: “Mom, can we have soy beans genetically engineered to be resistant to the overspray of herbicide and corn that is engineered with an insecticide for dinner tonight?'”

The Cattlemen’s Association sent a representative to Butte County to organize the opposition to the anti-GMO initiative. He says laws like this prevent farmers from making their own choices and these choices are demanded by consumers. That is you and me; will these conversations ever occur in your house? If consumer demand is driving the market, then it is time to take notice to what is happening to our food supply. Go to gefreebutte.org to learn how you can help.

Luisa Garza