Letters for August 3, 2017

One on the cover

Re “The high road to health” (Cover story, by Howard Hardee, July 27):

What you forgot to mention in your piece on psychedelics as therapy is an end-of-life study conducted by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center helping terminal patients deal with the anxiety involved with their impending deaths using psilocybin. In addition, there is a study being conducted by a Harvard Medical training facility and another study conducted at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center using MDMA to treat PTSD patients. All of these studies show great promise in treating these ailments. In some respects, ancient civilizations were more advanced than our current medical institutions when dealing with psychedelics!

Michael Pulliam


Cameras needed now

Re “Delayed deployment” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, July 27):

Once again, the Chico Police Department refuses to take responsibility for its lack of use of body cameras. Along with D.A. Mike Ramsey, they will not fully implement using body or car cameras. The police department always cries monetary constraints, but when it gets funding, it seems to fail to follow through. It is a terrible injustice for people to be charged with crimes they did not commit. When are the citizens going to stand up and fight this injustice?

Bradley Sellers


Editor’s note: For more on this subject, see Editorials on page 4.

‘Strange brew’ review

Re “The raunchy and sweet” (Scene, by Carey Wilson, July 27):

Beginning a strange brew sort of review, we have this paragraph—followed by some of my “reflections”: “One of the oldest, and therefore probably most true, clichés in the world is that men will never truly understand the minds of women.” A cliché is probably more true because it’s old? Are men uniquely mystified by women? Isn’t this struggling to “truly understand” people—regardless of gender—part of the human condition?

The author continues, “Many men do respect, accept and cherish our feminine counterparts in this endlessly diverse and challenging universe, and we do our best to prove worthy of their acceptance.” It sounds to me as if the author is trying to gain the acceptance/approval of an entire gender. What advice would we give a woman trying to prove herself worthy of acceptance to all men?

And more from the author: “But male-bonding activities of sport, rock music or whatever else can’t really compare to a similar gathering of beings who also have the exclusive power to bring life into this world.” Was this channeled from Oprah Magazine? Nothing can compare with a gathering of “beings” biologically equipped to pop out offspring? Huh? How does this sound: Nothing can compare to a gathering of beings with the power to impregnate?

Patrick Newman


Also an altruist

Re “From draft denier to burial artist” (Fifteen Minutes, by Pam Figge, July 27):

While David Hopper is indeed a well-respected artist by the world art glass community, his company Paradise Pictures is not an artistic endeavor. The term “burial artist” is ghoulish and misleading. David and master photographer/technical guru Michael Sandquist have a unique company that enables families to memorialize their loved ones by digitizing the family’s photo and making a decal that is fired onto enameling steel. The result a very stable commemorative ceramic plaque. The process is complex and visionary. It is a scientific achievement.

David Hopper has the unique talent to actualize business ventures, Orient & Flume and Paradise Pictures being notable examples. But David is also altruistic. He is one of a few forces who has spearheaded the restoration of the Veterans Memorial Hall into Monca, the Museum of Northern California Art. As a friend, I know David to derive satisfaction from connecting people and just doing the right thing.

Ron Schwager


‘Privilege, not a right’

Re “Senate health hypocrisy” (Letters, by Roger S. Beadle, July 27):

Entitlements are the problem with our Obamacare nightmare. People want free health care, but have a very gullible view of how to get there. Medicaid is an entitlement program that has good intentions but is unsustainable.

People like Roger Beadle act as if you can keep giving people government health care and let all the healthy young people pay for it.

Tough decisions need to be made, Roger. Obamacare is a high-deductible, high-premium plan that is spiraling down the toilet bowl. Everyone in a system needs to pay into the system. Paying nothing isn’t an option. Health care is a privilege, not a right. Democrats won’t admit failure, and Republicans can’t make the right but tough choices.

Something for nothing gives you exactly what Obamacare is—a big fat zero!

Brad Pankratz


Inquiring minds …

Ever wonder why fire trucks show up when you call for help in a medical emergency? I sure did when a truck showed up before the ambulance for my husband’s medical crisis. I’m indebted to the kind and knowledgeable people who helped. But for years I’ve asked myself, whenever I heard fire trucks roaring down the street, “Why are fire trucks called in medical emergencies?”

Seven out of 10 times these huge, fully equipped-for-fire trucks with four or five employees are not going to a fire! How can this make efficient or economic sense? At a recent Mobilize Chico meeting my ears pricked up when guest speaker and City Councilman Randall Stone talked about Chico’s budget challenges. It costs the city $168,000 total (salary and benefits) per firefighter (times four firefighters per truck), verses $60,000 per paramedic and EMT (two of them).

Last year, Chico had 100 structure fires with an estimated loss of $1.8 million, but cost the city of $10.5 million in fire salaries and benefits. And, when fire trucks are dispatched, the city also must pay the county for “auto aid” backup coverage. As a citizen and taxpayer, I urge the city to mobilize better emergency solutions. Lord knows we could use the money.

Robin Keehn


Editor’s note: Just to be clear, the city does not pay for paramedics or EMTs.

Protect our water

If Congressman Doug LaMalfa truly is “one of us,” he will do everything in his power to stop his fellow rice growers from selling Northern California water to Los Angeles or the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California.

According to a legal notice published on July 28, the Richvale Irrigation District (RID) and the Western Canal Water District (WCWD) are planning to permit water sales and exports out of Butte County for the next five years (2018-22).

This is outrageous! While an occasional sale of surplus water to farmers in neighboring counties might be a reasonable way for our rice growers to make a few extra bucks once in a while, selling to voracious urban consumers in Southern California is quite a different matter that directly threatens the economic and environmental health of Butte County.

Rather than marketing water to Los Angeles or the MWD, the directors of the RID and the WCWD should adopt strict “no export” policies that prohibit the commercial transfer of local water beyond the Sacramento Valley.

As perhaps the most powerful and influential denizen of the RID, Doug LaMalfa should publicly urge his rice-growing brethren to keep our water right here in the North State.

Michael Magliari


Editor’s note: For more on LaMalfa, see Downstroke, page 8.

Truth seekin’

Where do we go for truthful news today?

When we trusted CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN, it was easy. Now, when reporters print facts not substantiated by two outside sources (example: the Churchill bust in the Oval Office story, January 2017), mistrust abounds!

I used to trust Fox News. But it’s become less reliable since the company’s been taken over by executives who want to “water down” conservative stories.

Our country’s enemies are delighted by this division and hatred in America! It’s fomented by the media and the enemies of our current president’s administration.

I believe it’s every citizen’s duty to educate and research at least two sources before believing anything!

My main source of information now is talk radio and Facebook. I’m wary of any news report without first digging around on the Internet for corroboration.

To quote President Ronald Reagan (whom I did not vote for when I was a Democrat): “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Don’t be a pawn of our enemies; be a truth seeker!

Loretta Ann Torres


Tiny houses will help

The 2017 Homeless Point-in-Time Census and Survey Report makes it clear Butte County has a housing crisis. Without shelter, in bad weather, a person can die in just three hours.

Yuba County declared a “shelter crisis” in 2016 with a homeless population in Yuba County that was less than half of what the homeless population is now in Butte County. This action was a step that county found it had to take to get the State Housing Commission’s OK with its village “14 Forward” (detached sleeping cabins, aka tiny homes).

Just before the Chico Housing Action Team’s Safe Space Winter Shelter started last winter, two Chico homeless people died from issues related to exposure.

CHAT’s research indicates that the most effective way to deal with our homeless issue is for the city and the county to declare a “shelter crisis,” so we can utilize the option of tiny home housing.

CHAT’s proposal, Simplicity Village, would shelter 33 participants. Our existing unmet need is so urgent and so great that the vacancies will be filled so quickly there won’t be time to be “attracting more homeless people.” All applicants will get a background check, as well as go through an interview process.

Charles Withuhn


Protect your children

Many among us help the downtrodden whenever possible, even while embattled in the relentless 12-hour grind that prevents loved ones from also falling prey to the savage streets. One prescribed method for alleviating the homeless crisis is to assure our own precious children never capitulate to the cultural erosion that is rapidly increasing every moment. Circumstances dictate that this is the most generous solution some people can truly offer.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

Judgment day

The history of civilization is a scary scenario. Every political and economic system has failed, every civilization has collapsed.

And here we are, the human race, at the height of our powers. We can put a man on the moon, we can aim plastic at the sun and get energy. But the world’s economies are bankrupt and we have nuclear missiles aimed at each other.

If history repeats itself, we should have already had a war and the survivors could have started all over again. But it’s the nuclear era and it’s too late.

Everybody knows that there has to be a better way. That’s why we have religions. The forces of good and evil become so intense that there is a judgment day and we have a choice of repeating history or being nice to each other.

God and the golden rule will prevail. Organized voluntarism will replace taxation. There will be order without a military. Heaven on earth is just around the bend. Don’t give up.

Rick Spettel