Letters for August 31, 2017

‘A single voice’

Feel that breeze? The nation is changing. For over two years, we have been bombarded with the language of divisiveness. Neighbors against neighbors, regions against regions, and us against them.

Now, on the cusp of one of this nation’s greatest natural disasters, America is again coming together, neighbor helping neighbor. When Congress reconvenes, expect unprecedented levels of cooperation. Across the country, we are going to tune out a single voice of hate and learn to again speak with one voice for disaster victims in crisis. And in the background, other voices will be heard, saying softly: “Look, the Emperor has no clothes.”

Ronald Angle


[Expletive] Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists. Hurricane Harvey is proving that the words of Wilbert Harrison are true: “Let’s work together.”

Ed Pitman


Swampier than ever

Re “Fed-up voters” (Letters, by Sherri Quammen, Aug. 24):

I loved the letter writer who says that Trump was elected because Americans are fed up with politics as usual and fed up with trillion-dollar bailouts to banker billionaires, cuts to Social Security, etc. I would like to ask her who Trump has surrounded himself with? Those same billionaires she’s talking about. I would love to ask every friend of mine who doesn’t have a pot to piss in and who voted for him—what do you think he’s going to do for you?

Frances Perata


Lacking representation

In our vast congressional district, we are severely underrepresented.

We have Doug LaMalfa in Washington, James Gallagher, Jim Nielsen and Brian Dahle in the state Legislature, and nobody who cares about the issues that people face every day. This hit me forcefully during the Wall Fire east of Oroville, when a single helicopter dropped a small bucket of water on the gathering blaze that eventually took a heavy toll on the people there. That fire destroyed 41 residences and damaged three, and destroyed or damaged 57 other structures.

A few years ago, when a fire started in Forest Ranch, air tankers were immediately dispatched to drop retardant and stop the beginning blaze. The fine facility in Chester that once protected the region with large-capacity air tankers has been reduced to a helicopter base, with little activity apparent.

When fires are beginning, every moment is critical and millions of dollars and even lives can be saved by quick action. I’ve never heard any of the above legislators address the great issues that face our people, including fire protection, climate change or the economy.

If we have the will to elect better representatives, 2018 will be our opportunity.

Robert Woods

Forest Ranch

Questioning the cops

Re “Another fatal encounter” (Downstroke, July 27):

Once again, I have to question the training of Chico police. In the latest incident, they have a suspect who is wounded and trapped in a restroom. They should have just waited him out. It may take a day, but that would have given him time to come down from whatever high he may have been on—and calm down. This would have prevented two officers from being wounded and saved the life of the suspect.

Kelly Youngs


This is our president

In case anyone was in doubt, Trump has now made it crystal clear that he supports racial bias toward people of color by his pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arpaio’s Maricopa jails violated constitutional rights of inmates in medical and other care-related issues. He described his “Tent City” as a concentration camp, where he once measured [the heat] at 145 degrees. Arpaio regularly conducted immigration sweeps in Latino communities.

A Justice Department report in 2011 stated that under Arpaio the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” and oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history.

Cecillia Wang of the ACLU states, “[Trump’s] pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism.” Puente Arizona Executive Director Carlos Garcia states, “A sheriff who claims pride in being called KKK is who Trump sees as a ‘great American patriot.’”

Let’s make Chico a sanctuary city.

Diane Suzuki-Brobeck


‘Money junkies’

The influence of money on our political system is largely responsible for the long and dangerous trend of steadily increasing excess and opulence for the wealthy to wallow in, while the rest of us struggle ever harder to survive withering austerity. If we don’t gather together to advance an alternative to broad escalating inequality, then the economic elite will continue waving the banner of infinite growth while grinding all beauty into gold and smoldering slag heaps.

We’re all inclined to favor those who give us things we enjoy, and this leaves elected officials especially vulnerable to expectation driven generosity. Our politicians across the spectrum are now mostly money junkies whose craving for the next fix outweighs all other priorities; the problem is so pervasive among them that few even question its sanity. Continuing to cooperate with their destructive habit means we share blame for the social and environmental consequences our grandchildren will inherit.

California is one of 24 states that allow voter initiatives with the capacity to compel policy changes; we could limit the toxic influence money exerts through a referendum that proposes all campaign donations be collected into a common fund and distributed evenly among all eligible candidates.

Dan Everhart


Alliteration time

Teaching tender toddlers today translates to total time testing toward training tomorrow’s technocrats.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

Call him something

Call me a racist if you must …

Because I see nothing wrong with President Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville event where he condemned all acts of bigotry, hatred and violence.

Call me a racist if you must …

Because I believe using violence in support of a cause, worthy or not, should be condemned and face the full measure of the law.

Call me a racist if you must …

Because I’m tired of being blamed for the sins of my forefathers from generations far removed, even though I personally and consistently condemn such egregious behavior.

Call me a racist if you must …

Because I don’t agree with the removal of American symbols reminding us of our nation’s historical past, warts and all.

Go ahead, call me a racist if you must. The word means little to nothing to me anymore.

Through your flagrant abuse for political and personal gain, a once powerfully effective verbal tool has been weakened, if not squandered, forever. Your desperation and appallingly weak ability to dialog on the facts have led you down the path of threats, insults, name-calling and violence.

Dare I say, call me a fellow American instead, with a shared culture, language and love for the USA.

Pete Stiglich