Letters for August 31, 2006

‘A little common sense’
Re: “A bridge too high” (Newslines, by Joe Krulder, CN&R, Aug. 24):

I feel compelled to address the article that was written about the guy who “jumped” from the West Branch Bridge on Highway 70 in Yankee Hill. Although I feel for the widowed girlfriend, anybody who knows that bridge knows that if you jump, you die. A little common sense should be used when approaching such a decision.

I personally do not want to see memorialized on a plaque the names of people who used no common sense whatsoever while showing off or just wanted to kill themselves on the bridge. I can understand putting a warning sign on the bridge, but to list the names of the people who died because of a stupid decision is insane. The state of California and Union Pacific Railroad have more important things to spend their money on. As do the taxpayers of Butte County.

Kit Corbett
Yankee Hill

Accelerator addiction
Re: “Gas-saving tip” (Letters, by Rob Arbus, CN&R, Aug. 17):

Thank you, Rob, for your comment about driving the legal speed limit. I thought I was the only person who drives slower to conserve on gas.

I have a 1986 Toyota truck; I bought it new, and it has over 300,000 miles on it. I went from 21 to 31 miles per gallon by dropping my speed to 61-62 miles per hour. On long trips, it makes a big difference on what I spend on gas. It’s also better on my truck and safer.

Driving fast is a little like smoking. You know it bad for you, it’s very expensive, and someday your grandchildren may have to watch you die because of it, but you still do it!

Jerry Koontz

Active Marine speaks up
Re: “Gathering momentum” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Aug. 17):

I think it is great that people can get together and try to spread the word of what they believe in. If all of America could do that, we would see a lot of changes.

Here is the part that just didn’t sit well with me. This article mentioned Army Lt. Ehren Watada. It almost seems that they celebrate him because he is refusing to go to Iraq. I am not familiar with the Army too much, but if he is a first lieutenant, that would have made him join really close to 9/11.

Now, being from a military background, I know when you enlist you swear to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Knowing this, he must have known that there could be a chance for him to deploy into a war zone.

I just don’t understand how Jennifer Harris can spread the world about this guy and almost make him out to be someone to look up to. Why is it that people back home like to support this type of behavior? Why can’t they support our troops who are in Iraq, missing their families, not seeing their children born, missing out on a year of life, getting shot at and taking mortar rounds, having to dive down main supply routes and hope not to get blown up? Why can’t these men and women get support?

Cpl. James M. Hair,
United States Marine Corps

Serving in Iraq

A better recipe
Re: “Getting heated about meat” (Letters, by Susan Essinger, CN&R, Aug. 17):

I suggest that Chico Natural Foods put someone in charge of their kitchen who knows how to cook and put something in their deli case other than the tasteless, saltless glop that has been available for the last 31 years. Then maybe people would stop demanding meat to be sold in their establishment with the subconscious desire to get some pleasure from the food that they are eating.

Besides, what god came down from the heavens to proclaim vegetarianism to be the law of the land? Chico Natural Foods’ rigidity and exclusive thinking is right on the mark for the people who run it.

David Spirek

Path tense
Re: “Farley’s long ride” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Aug. 10):

We should all be embarrassed. I am. As a community we have all stood by and watched as some of the last remaining vestiges of our local pioneer history are threatened with destruction.

Fran Farley has stood up—virtually alone—to be counted and to fight our fight for us. He has been a nearly one-man defender of the historic Humboldt Road in the foothills near Chico from degradation by development. The unique wagon wheel ruts in the lava rock, the old rock wall and the old road, all in their original rural setting, form an historic environment found in only several places in America.

We all should have stood up from the start to defend this part of our heritage. Actually, it should already have been protected and shouldn’t now need to be defended.

Most of us aren’t living in Chico because of the cool summer breezes or high-paying jobs. Most of us are here—and stay here—because of myriad cultural and environmental aspects that make the Chico area so unique and wonderful. But, if we don’t work harder to preserve our tangible history, we will lose it.

Thank you, Fran Farley, for showing us what we should have been doing all along. I challenge everyone to visit the Humboldt Road site (and help pick up some of the garbage while you’re there!) to see and appreciate it before it is forever changed for the worse.

John Gallardo
Chico Heritage Association

Enough is enough
The ever-increasing problems associated with the 5th and Ivy area have reached a climax for me. When will our city and officials step up to the plate and take the necessary steps to correct this problematic area?

How many crowds of thousands of disrespectful and unregulated teens and trash will it take? It is not just the frats and private parties. It is the whole package. I want my police back protecting my business and family, not having to deal with the rioting, destructive, underage partiers on 5th and Ivy streets.

I don’t have it out for Chico bars, and I am not opposed to (legal) drinking. I do, from time to time, go out and have a drink or two. Maybe cut a rug now and then. OK, I’ve partied like hell in my day. But I don’t see the problems with other (responsible) bars in Chico as I see at this intersection.

Let’s come up with a plan. Let’s take back our 5th and Ivy area.

Judy Baldwin

Déja eww!
Folks have been critical of the new downtown plaza, so I thought I’d provide the worst-case scenario:

The vast amount of cement, which makes the park look like the cemetery, will generate heat probably in the 120-degree range, become covered with graffiti and be used by skateboarders for ramps. The restrooms will remain locked all the time to avoid vandalism; the fountain will be shut off most of the time and will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. The lights for the bandstand will become broken in short order, and musicians will trash the dimmer board so that if anyone wants lights they’ll have to bring their own, making the bandstand economically prohibitive. The park will be a hangout for bums and dope pushers, and a large sign will be posted with municipal ordinances. A fence will have to be erected to keep people out. Might as well keep the one we’ve got now.

Sound far-fetched? My dad built Dog Island River Park in Red Bluff when he was the director of parks and recreation. The park was shut down by the city and is now just a bunch of broken picnic tables covered with overgrowth.

I think the city of Chico inadvertently built a skateboard park. We should have taken the $4 million and built a 500-seat theater instead. Now that would be an improvement that everybody would embrace.

Michael M. Peters