Letters for August 29, 2002

Corrections: In the Aug. 22 story “Hot shots,” Aaron Ross-Swain’s position with the Chico State University Associated Students government was misnamed. He is chairman of the Referendum Development Committee. Also, only three of 11 A.S. government officers belong to Greek organizations. We apologize for any inconvenience the misinformation may have caused.

Welfare for the wealthy
I read with some interest the first paragraph of Tom Gascoyne’s Inside view [“Junk in public,” Aug. 8]. It describes the plea before the Chico City Council for a $350,000 loan to Wayne Cook so he might purchase the old Municipal Building for $300,000.

This architectural gem of a building is a community-owned cultural asset and should be treated as such. If the council is in favor of social-welfare programs that gift our historic buildings to the wealthy, we need to know about it.

I did not know that the Municipal Building was for sale. I’ll give $300,000 for it, and I’ll arrange my own financing. Stop sniffing glue, please.

Robert Herbusky

Indar defense
Because of some rather honest commentary by stand-out Chico News & Review writer Josh Indar about how, as a young man, he confesses his hormones may be a bit out of control whenever he sees a “sexy looking” young woman walking down Main Street, Danielle Kantrowitz literally throws a fit [“Indar alert,” Letters, Aug. 22].

In my opinion, Josh is a talented, aspiring journalist, as witness his riveting article on the saga of Corning resident Ali Mubarak, who as a legal immigrant and successful businessman married to an American woman is trying to fight deportation to Pakistan by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Doesn’t someone like Ms. Kantrowitz find anything redeeming about Mr. Indar’s writings at all? And I’d dare say that Josh Indar, in his time, being the person he is, has probably walked down some pretty mean streets himself.

So, simmer down Danielle; for once Josh gets to be my age, which is a lot older than he is now, the power to resist temptation will increase, and he will no longer be at the complete mercy of his lusty male hormones!

Jay Castor

What about us?
As elected officers of the staff and faculty collective bargaining units (CSEA and CFA), we applaud the News & Review article introducing students to the campus VIPs [“It’s who you know,” Goin’ Chico]. While we don’t embrace the title of VIP for ourselves, the people we represent, the faculty and staff of CSU Chico, do deserve such status. We believe students should know that the staff and faculty they deal with on a daily basis are organized not only to serve their individual and collective professional interests, but also that of CSU Chico students as well.

In addition to the President’s Office, the Academic Senate and the Associated Students, CSEA and CFA members are here to assist students in whatever capacity we may or can.

Beau Grosscup
President, CFA Chico

Tom Alden
President, CSEA Chico

Remember the future
As your small jet approaches the expanded Chico airport in the year 2027 and you look down on the houses stretching along Highway 32 and Humboldt Road, I hope you can see that Humboldt Road, east of Bruce Road, does not bear any traffic [“25 years from now,” cover story, Aug. 15]. Nearby roads teem with cars in and out of the developments below, but nothing moves on Humboldt except some bicycles, runners and walkers. And there’s no trash or piles of refrigerators to be seen!

Thanks to our future-looking Planning Commission in 2002, the road was closed and turned into a people refuge in the midst of border-to-border houses and vehicles. Annie Bidwell would be proud of the city for doing to Humboldt Road what she did for Bidwell Park.

Actually, at a Planning Commission meeting on July 11 concerning the 324-acre Valley Oak Project, between Hwy 32 and Humboldt, the commission seemed to be receptive to the idea of turning the old road into a pedestrian/bike path instead of a widened, paved collector road (two 12-foot-wide lanes) carrying hundreds and hundreds of vehicles every day in and out of the developments there. But the commissioners are not convinced that the present recreational, historic and scenic uses are that important. Nor are they considering the use of the road by others 25 years from now.

The commissioners need to be inspired by the spirit of Annie Bidwell. They need to hear from people who will speak up for the fate of Old Humboldt Road and present and future users. Please add your voices to others trying to create a stretch of greenery that preserves and protects the history, recreation and (some) scenery of this grand old road.

Write, fax, e-mail: Chico City Planning Commission, P.O. Box 3420, Chico, CA, 95927.

Francis Farley

Council vision
I was at the Chico City Council meeting Aug. 20, basking in the civility and pleased to see Coleen Jarvis back at her place on the dais.

When the discussion turned to campaign finance reform, the council heard from a few citizens, including John Gillander and Kelly Meagher.

Gillander blithered through his time trying, I think, to convince Councilmember Maureen Kirk that the campaign finance reform concocted by his boss Rick Keene was somehow good. I’m thinking, “Is this the guy who actually writes those nasty letters? He doesn’t even speak in complete sentences.”

When Kelly Meagher stepped to the podium, he was clearly displeased with what Rick and Co. were about to foist upon us. He made the point that our leaders could enact meaningful reform at the federal level but the best the local government could do is actually make it more complicated and difficult for grassroots candidates to mount a campaign.

This is a perfect example of Keene’s conservatives in action. “Reform” turns out to be a euphemism for “undermine real democracy and maintain the power of the moneyed development and real estate interests in local politics.”

In the end, Dan Nguyen-Tan referenced another “well-meaning” campaign finance reform attempt in Fresno that was overturned after an election resulted in a shift in the political balance.

For just a brief second I had a vision of the possibility of a leader with the people and the community’s interest at heart sitting in the seat the Rick Keene will be vacating. The leader I saw was Scott Grundl.

Dan Carter

TV blessings
Why are you always knocking KHSL and KNVN news? If you could see their small studio, you would understand why the morning and noon news is aired as it is. With their dinner news, they divide up the hour, each station with 30 minutes. While it might work with the morning news, each receiving 30 minutes, it won’t work with the noon news. Also, the Chico station does a much better job covering the Chico news area than the Redding TV station. Considering the size of Chico, we are lucky to have two network stations.

Now, if you want to knock a news program, what about the FOX station? Their news is from San Francisco, which is an excellent newscast for the Bay Area. However, Chico is a long way from the Bay Area. The Chico FOX station should take a lesson from the Miami FOX station; they’re tops over the other networks.

I like your publication. I wish you had restaurant reviews and more restaurant advertising.

Richard Calhoun