Letters for August 28, 2003

Correction: In last week’s Newsline story, “Frats aflame,” one of the fraternities, “Delta Psi Delta” was misspelled. Also, the young man charged with torching the frat was not a “jilted pledge” but rather an acquaintance of some of the brothers, according to alumni adviser Charlie Preusser.

Bittersweet thanks
I want to thank the Chico News & Review for publishing my commentary letter two weeks ago that described my family’s feelings about the hit-and-run of our 25-year-old son Matthew.

Matt was hit at the intersection of Pamona Avenue and Miller Place, just off River Road on June 17. He died due to his injuries two days later.

No person has come forward yet to take responsibility for this and the California Highway Patrol has not yet made an apprehension. But the leads and the investigation continue and beyond the four days I spent in Chico a couple of weeks ago, I will continue to make inroads.

Through investigation, or human decency, this matter will eventually be resolved, giving closure to my family, and some peace to the person that hit Matt.

I want to also say that my family and I could not have warmer feelings in our hearts for the support, care and love offered by all of the people and organizations in Chico.

When I come back to Chico I will be following up on Matt’s case and taking appropriate actions in that regard, and my wife and daughters will visit the people and places that were very special to Matt. But I will also come back to visit people that, although our time spent together was short, I consider good friends.

Sam Messina
Received via e-mail

More than a feud
Mrs. Beverly Beale’s depiction of our serious neighborhood problem as a “feud” has so many distortions of the truth that we feel compelled to address them [“Foothill feud,” Newslines, Aug. 21]. It began 20 years ago as soon as Beale moved in and continues today. Kurtis Duncan has not been the only arrest; there have been many. This can be verified by police records.

Among the almost 500 vehicle plates given to the police were some company cars, and owners of businesses were notified when their vehicles were used to make frequent and short visits to the Beale house. In every case that we did this, we were told that the vehicles had no authorization to be there. We never saw those vehicles again.

One of the many vehicles that were acting suspiciously in our neighborhood was called into police, and it was a private detective hired by “someone associated with the Beale house to investigate” us. This incident followed the arrest of Kurtis Duncan and Beale’s son and is part of the many incidents of intimidation and harassment we have had to endure over the years.

Beale’s dog was alive during the period of all the meetings, and there is no good reason for her failure to respond to phone calls and knocks on the door and written invitations to those meetings.

She fails to grasp the concept of homeowner responsibility for the questionable activity that she invites, allows, or attracts, more than 20 years now. And distortion of the truth will not solve this neighborhood problem, so perhaps a solution isn’t Beale’s agenda.

Marianne and John Deurloo

Political puppy love
The CN&R’s infatuation with our local politicians really needs to end so we can get on to something interesting. The comparison of LaMalfa/ Keene seemed to say that you love them and hate them at the same time [“A tale of two assemblymen,” Editorial, Aug. 7, 2003]. Make up your minds. And the rant against Keene/ Aanestad was just pathetic [“No state representative response,” Guest comment, Aug. 14]. The guy got to present his case to Keene’s staff, he got written responses but he has an ax for Keene because Gray Davis and the Democrats cut his favorite social program. Hello, anyone home?

The Anthony Watts/environmentalist war is getting old too. Everyone knows the enviro movement lost its steam because liberal enviros couldn’t drop their addiction to socialism. Find a market-friendly cure for the earth and the problem will be solved. Of course a lot of public employee bureaucrats will lose their jobs and Sierra Club execs won’t get paid millions anymore if the problem is solved. Makes you wonder if they really want to save the earth.

Anyway, lose all this boring stuff and get more interviews with the recall candidates. Davis is history; let’s hear from some people who want his job. I heard the X-rated actress wants to make people on the unemployment rolls first in line for jury duty. Now that is original thinking! Get her on the cover and CN&R will certainly push more copy.

Dane Langston

Not the Best buy
It sounds like you might agree with Bob Best that selling almost half of Bidwell Ranch property for a cool $20 to $25 million is a great fund-raising opportunity for Chico [Inside view, Aug. 7]. The only problem is overcoming this strange prejudice Chico folks have with a subdivision right up against Upper Park.

The facts in the matter of Bidwell Ranch have not changed since the city purchased the property. The cost to the city to provide the necessary infrastructure to develop the land would negate any profit made from selling it. The value of the land as permanent open space is more and more apparent as much of the open land we once took for granted is being filled with homes.

As Chico grows, every one of those 750 acres becomes more precious. We ask that the City Council have the same foresight that Annie Bidwell did and annex the Bidwell Ranch property the park.

Hilary Locke

Early and often
All but one of the ideas in your “Vote ‘no’ on apathy,” editorial are ones that I’ve advocated for years [CN&R, Aug. 14]. The first one I’m not so sure about. I’m not necessarily averse to it, but I have a concern that it could discourage the non-affluent from voting. Being poor doesn’t equate to being ignorant or apathetic. I’ve been poor all but 20 of my 77 years on this planet and I’ve never missed voting in any election since I became old enough to vote. Furthermore, friends call me to discuss issues before they vote because I’ve earned the reputation of fully informing myself about issues and candidates and their records.

A final thought; we want more than people just voting. We want people to be knowledgeable about candidates and issues when they vote. Your idea (and mine) about free airtime would help in that area. A caveat; the free airtime should not consist of 20-second sound bites.

Dorothy L. Subke