Letters for August 3, 2006

‘Plaza is an abomination’
Re: “Plaza view: ‘I hate it’ “ (Letters, CN&R, July 27):

I would like to second everything Tom Steele said about the city plaza.

Several good friends from out of town who love Chico have looked through the fence with tears in their eyes: “What is happening to Chico?!” The new city plaza is an abomination.

It sure would be nice to see the City Council have the courage to say: “We fugged up!!” Ooops. Sorry.

So trees drop branches. Let’s cut the whole National Forest since we may wind up with a liability suit? What nonsense. According to my insurance policy, a tree drops branches and it is “an act of God.”

I’ll donate the second jackhammer. Come on, council, let’s have a party, do away with the concrete and PLANT SOME TREES!

Rochanah Weissinger

See a pattern here?
Re: “City plaza: Not what it used to be …” (Newslines, CN&R, July 20):

Boy, that’s for sure. Despite the uninspired comments of Ann Schwab and Dennis Beardsley, there are a lot of people who vastly preferred the simplicity of the old park; it most likely could have been redone for a half-million to everyone’s satisfaction. Especially as a bond issue, the true cost will probably be more like $5 million to $6 million. What a waste of money.

The view from the air is most interesting, and a trifle alarming: It appears to be an iron cross, with a stylized, flowing sun sign in the middle—in other words, a swastika. It is moving widdershins, to the right, unlike the swastika of the Tibetans, which moves deasil, to the left.

Finally, City Plaza just doesn’t do it. After much thought, the correct name burst upon me like an epiphany: Cement Park.

Lonny Martin
Forest Ranch

Sticking up for his principles
Re: “Where’s Wally” (Editorial, CN&R, July 27):

As a liberal Democrat, I know the sting of advancing unpopular ideas in a world dominated by big business, big finance and big military. Yet, here I am, writing a letter of support for Congressman Herger, a conservative Republican.

Don’t get me wrong; I disagree with Congressman Herger, and believe the federal ban on funding stem-cell research makes our country appear backwards and uneducated. I compare the funding ban to the ban on discussions of whether the sun circled the Earth.

Nevertheless, Congressman Herger deserves our respect (if not our support) for standing by his convictions and opposing a bill on moral grounds. In so doing, he maintained an unpopular moral position rather than adopting a popular cause for political gain.

Courage of conviction is rare in this day and age, especially in Washington. A man who displays such conviction should be celebrated, not castigated by the local press.

Scott Hubbard

Upper downer
Re: “Unwanted neighbors” (Cover Story, CN&R, July 27):

Thanks for giving the public a look at the planning debacle that has left us with such visually intrusive homes overlooking Upper Park from Parcel 7. There are similar and ongoing issues that may affect Bidwell Park that both the city and the public must come to terms with or eventually pay the price for assuming everything is hunky-dory.

You mention John Schooling’s very provocative letter that raises points relating to the south boundary of the park, calling it “detailed and remarkably sophisticated.” The city has had this letter in hand since January. As a citizen who is deeply concerned that the city understand the importance of Bidwell Park to this and future generations, the city’s very slow response to the well-researched questions raised by Schooling is not encouraging.

Your article claims that we have unwanted impacts to the park in part due to assumptions that were not questioned. Having followed the “update” of the park’s Master Management Plan for close to two years, I suggest Chicoans question the following assumptions:

1. The city values Bidwell Park the same way you or I do, and prioritizes its preservation.

2. Policies have been put in place that will protect the viewshed and habitat of the park.

3. The policies and recommendations that do exist to protect the park are adequately enforced and implemented.

4. The native habitats of Bidwell Park are resilient and do not require careful management in the face of impacts.

Randy Abbott

A particular plant
Re: “Unwanted neighbors” (Cover Story, CN&R, July 27):

The cover story refers to Sidalcea robusta (Butte County checkerbloom) as endangered. It is not endangered and is not threatened. It is listed as rare due to limited distribution. It is fairly common in the foothills above Chico, but has not been documented outside of Butte County.

City staff become hypersensitive to Sidalcea robusta when our local California Native Plant Society leaders, Friends of Bidwell Park and City Council candidate John Merz successfully used its presence to block my project (Annie Bidwell Trail), and the disc golf improvements. City staff had previously prepared mitigated negative declarations for both projects (i.e. no significant environmental impact if mitigations followed), but CNPS, FoBP and Merz made rumblings about legal action, and we went back to square one.

Michael Jones

Omnivorous shopper
Re: “CNF debate continues” (Letters, CN&R, July 27):

Having read Mr. Donnelly’s last two letters about the meat debate, I thought it time to weigh in. CNF has held to its mostly vegetarian position for all the years it has existed. The last time the directors asked the membership (of which my wife and I are a part), the members voted against having meat in the store.

Even if the current members wanted it, where would the store put it? There’s no room for a butcher shop. If they did a Trader Joe’s and simply put up a wall refrigerator, full of pre-packaged meat—again, where? They have generated a great deal of attention and revenue by simply letting Chicoans know their plight, without adding or subtracting anything from their selections.

That said, I will confess to shopping elsewhere on a regular basis. I buy meat and produce from S&S. I like their produce better because it looks better, tastes better and there is more of it. I buy meat there because we eat meat and feel no guilt over that. I don’t buy meat anywhere else because we trust the Butcher Shop to provide the best available.

We buy our coffee, eggs, milk, juices and other things at CNF. We support our store. I wouldn’t object the inclusion of meat but would prefer better quality and variety of produce. I see no problem with animal flesh as long as it is of the highest quality in every way of choosing it.

Samuel Handley

More on CNF
Perhaps it is obvious, but there is no need for Chico Natural Foods to carry meat products. S&S Produce already does. What has separated CNF from all other vendors is its commitment to a conscientious place in the market. I have frequented S&S Produce less and less since they began to carry meat several years ago.

CNF was a conscience-consumer’s stronghold. I can now assure the folks of CNF that should meat products take up their already-limited shelf space, I will take my business elsewhere.

Erica Peterson
Chico and Fair Oaks

Re: “Grocer joins CARE in Wal-Mart crusade” (Newslines, CN&R, July 27):

A breakdown of Wal-Marts near Chico misidentified one of the cities with a store. Willows has a standard Wal-Mart, as do Oroville, Red Bluff and Redding. This has been corrected on the Web site.