Letters for August 4, 2011

‘Blood is not everything’

Re “Digging for roots” (Cover story, by Jason Cassidy, July 28):

To Jason Cassidy: I am happy you were able to meet your biological dad. I agree that you already have a dad, the man who raised you. Consider yourself a lucky man.

When I divorced my husband 20 years ago, he divorced our children. I am thankful that they have a wonderful stepdad in their lives now. Blood is not everything.

Good luck to you.

Trish Holman

‘Hypocrites’: two views

Re “Hypocrites in the Statehouse” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, July 21):

Ending farm programs won’t solve the problems in our food system. Rather, we need to make them work better for small and mid-sized farmers.

Farm programs were created as a safety net for farmers to blunt the effects of wild price swings and uncontrollable weather patterns. It is a misconception that these payments are the main reason U.S. farmers grow lots of commodity crops. Farmers plant these crops because they are in demand from the largest buyers, companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland. The payments to farmers allow these buyers to pay less for the crops than their true values.

If markets were fair, farmers wouldn’t need the safety net and instead would get paid a fair price for their products. Robert Speer is correct that the current structure allows for corporate welfare, but it doesn’t go to the farmer, it goes directly into the pockets of these multinational corporations.

Speer is also correct that the farm bill should be a food bill, and that’s exactly why programs like Farmers Market Promotion (FMPP), Value-Added Producer Grants and Beginning Farmer-Rancher programs are important. Glenn County’s Resource Conservation District received an FMPP grant from the 2008 Farm Bill and started a farmers’ market. The Northern California Regional Land Trust received a Beginning Farmer-Rancher (BFR) development grant to launch a training program for BFR.

Noelle Ferdon

Yes, government is filled with hypocrites, but we let them in!

In Butte County’s last election, out of 160,000 eligible voters, 45,000 people who could have registered to vote didn’t, and 83,000 people who could have voted didn’t.

Mr. LaMalfa was elected with approximately 53,000 votes—45 percent of the registered and 33 percent of the eligible voters.

As long as Democrats let themselves get cynical about all the hypocrites in office and defer our public responsibility to vote, people like LaMalfa and the Tea Party idiots who are trying to dismantle Social Security and the social safety net in the name of deficit reduction will continue to hold good governance hostage.

Richard Meyers

What’s the difference?

Re “Who loves ya?” (Sifter, July 28):

Of course the GOP cares more for its big-money, special-interest political backers than its does about middle-class working people. This should come as no surprise to anyone.

What is surprising is the large percentage of people who feel there is any difference between the GOP and Obama when it comes to caring about us and our families. In light of the massive economic fraud perpetrated on millions of us by members of Congress, who were mostly Democrats, that’s especially discouraging.

Upon reading “Who loves ya?” it is again clear how thoroughly news sources have become willing participants in our political parties’ propaganda campaigns. Where are our unbiased journalists when we need ’em most?

Wayne Rice

Targeting Chico

Re “Cops revolt against city ordinance” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, July 28):

What does U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner have against Chico? I drove through Redding last weekend, and there must have been 10 dispensaries open.

And didn’t Obama tell the DEA to back off and let states with medical-marijuana laws tend to themselves? Wagner is not making any sense to me. But then, the federal government threw logic to the wayside years ago.

Brad Jenkins

Unfriendly people

Re “Labeled disabled” (Cover story, by Stacey Kennelly, July 21):

I am an avid reader of your paper, and many articles touch my sensitive and humanitarian heart. This article is especially touching because of the callousness of the people of Chico that it reveals, and the struggle of a mother to show her love in the only way she can.

The one thing missing was the father of Briana. I am very curious to know whether he helps this struggling woman/child to overcome her handicap and to learn to be a survivor in a world of quitters.

I go on reading your paper and see a most inquisitive Streetalk article about “Are you invisible?” This is so captivating and mind boggling because it hooks in with the Briana Beaver article. What can I say? I am a Native American son who has been in Chico for a little more than three months and have yet to meet one friendly person at any civic event.

How odd that you can walk the streets of Chico on Thursday night downtown, when they have their gala vegetable sale, and no one even is willing to greet me as a stranger in their midst! I can definitely relate to Miss Briana Beaver, because I knew a young man who has cerebral palsy, and his family dumped him in some care center. I pray that some good comes for the child when the Judgment Day comes, for she has truly paid her dues for any past sins of transgression.

Michael Philip Piña

Our house of cards

Re “A nation at risk” (Editorial, July 28):

As the publisher of slickpeoplemagazine.com, we and our more than 10,000 monthly readers are saying, “What the hell is going on in this country?” House Speaker John A. Boehner has said, “I am going to hold Obama’s feet to the fire.” The Ku Klux Klan could not have said it better.

The white ace is out to beat the black spade, and the American house of economic cards is ready to fall. What is this fear of a black man? Sure, many white people voted for Obama; how else would he be sitting in the White House? The Tea Party people would rather have this country go under instead of all of us coming together to bring this great country back to economic health. And Michelle Bachmann is saying, “Burn, baby, burn.”

Jerry Harris, chief dog
Slick People Magazine
San Francisco/Chico

The willingness of much of the Republican leadership to further damage, or even destroy, the U.S. economy in order to protect wealthy individuals and corporations from sharing in the financial sacrifices of the majority of Americans is appalling. Perhaps it’s time to relabel the Republican Party from GOP (Grand Old Party) to RPP (Rich Peoples Party).

Victor Mlotok

Rush to judgment

Re “Reacting to racism” (Guest comment, by George Gold, July 28):

It’s amazing that from a single simple statement—“Way to go, you Nazi stud!”—you were able to glean the true meaning of what the man was saying: “But wasn’t Mr. Nazi Stud really saying that white players are a distinct minority in the NBA and that this white man, this German from the master race, had just shown all those black men how to play basketball?”

Do you know the man? How do you know that he was not putting down Dirk [Nowitzki] for being German? From your picture and caption I would assume you to be a middle-aged man who just graduated college—sponging the system the whole way—and now makes sure back-ups are performed properly for way too much money. Would I be right, or did I just judge the book by the cover?

Larry Barrett

Twists of history

Re “Making history honest” (Editorial, July 21):

To say that history should teach sexual orientation sounds strange … at face value. Why should the history books care if George Washington had a same-sex encounter in his 20s, making him bisexual? Or Bill Clinton and his sexual exploits: Should we put Monica and the cigar in the history books? It was a pretty big deal at the time, although now, just thinking about it, it seems so ’90s and dated.

Why stop at LGBT? Include affairs, polygamy, incest, fetishes, rape, molestation, man on man, woman on woman, many women on one man or any flavor or combination thereof. These things would normally fall into the scope of a person’s personal life.

They say that everyone has a horse thief and a preacher somewhere in their family lineage. It’s probably true about LGBT also. But how can you properly teach about someone’s private bedroom dealings in the public-school classroom without diluting the facts of history? Children might remember the “gay president” but entirely forget who signed the Constitution.

Andrew Palmquist

Health care for all

America still needs universal health care.

In the current debates on the budget and deficit, a major issue is what to do about Medicare. Republicans propose to move toward its privatization. This is a good idea if your goal is to promote the profits and power of the insurance industry. It is complete madness, though, for anyone genuinely concerned with the health and financial solvency of the American people.

Most Democrats want to preserve Medicare in pretty much its present form, but fail to really come to grips with the fact that the Republicans are right about one thing: Medicare in its present form is financially unsustainable in the mid to long term.

The solution is neither to ignore Medicare’s real financial crisis nor to pursue some lunatic fantasy that “unleashing market forces” will result in a viable and equitable system of health-care financing and delivery.

The real solution is to expand Medicare to cover all Americans, removing private insurers from the loop and thereby saving hundreds of billions of dollars and insuring us all.

Legislation to establish a system of “Medicare for All” (HR 676) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). That legislation will control health-care costs while insuring all Americans. It deserves the support of all of us. For more information, go to www.pnhp.org.

Tom Reed

There is a great misconception being foisted upon the American people by politicians and the media that Medicare is very costly and contributes to our nation’s budgetary problems. The truth is that Medicare is not the problem but is the solution. The real problem is the costs that lie beneath Medicare in the form of rising deductibles and premiums.

Doctors prescribing unnecessary tests, MRI’s, drugs, and surgeries also contribute enormously to the costs of health care.

The solution is to extend improved Medicare to everyone that promotes high quality health care while discouraging the unnecessary items I mentioned. SB810 by State Senator Mark Leno will provide an improved “Medicare for all” system in California.

Medicare and Social Security are not “entitlement” programs. They are social-insurance programs and do not contribute to the deficit.

Walter Ballin

When Chico was ideal

Those who have called Chico home for several decades can attest to a time when the biggest crime was a student smoking marijuana. No guns, knives or gangs. A time when women could walk the park day or night with impunity.

Whether it is serious crime, traffic congestion, graffiti, water or air quality, etc., overgrowth has brought them to our doorstep. A rush to be bigger, oiled by greed, weighed in on our environment and way of life, when a willingness to preserve and protect would have safeguarded the ideal state of Chico.

Jerry Olio

Progressives need to vote

Elections, and our votes, have consequences. Last November the U.S. elections put all of us under the thumb of a conservative House of Representatives, and today we are paying the price. We will suffer the penalty of slow growth, curtailed services, declining infrastructure, and uncertain response to natural disasters and global warming. Our lifelines of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are at hazard. We did it to ourselves.

Locally we turned out our longtime Supervisor Jane Dolan in favor of Larry Wahl, and now we’re seeing the results. Wahl has manipulated our supervisorial District 2, taking away middle- and low-income voters and adding many high-end constituents who will certainly reward Wahl in the foreseeable future.

These are the consequences of a lazy and uninformed electorate. If we are to progress in the way of our wonderful system of government and our blessed great nation, with its wealth of resources, we must pay attention to what’s going on and realize what is at stake.

For the sake of all, register and vote. The other guys do.

Robert Woods

Good dogs, bad owners

I take my son to the park every day, and it’s strange to me how dogs are allowed to run unleashed in the 20th Street Park. My son is 2 1/2 years old and loves to play with dogs but is a bit heavy-handed and will always pull the tail or the ear of a dog. I try to avoid the dogs, but many dog-walkers seem to zero in on my son and walk their dogs over to where we are, and that annoys me.

In addition, I think it’s sick to toilet your dog by the children’s playgound and family picnic areas, and I watch as people get out of their cars and head straight for these areas. I just wish dog-walkers would keep their dogs to themselves and stop forcing their dogs on my child.

It’s hard to watch someone lifting their dog up to drink out of the fountains meant for humans to use without wanting to scream. My child wants to drink, too, and I don’t think he should be forced to share with the dogs. Chico is missing a lot of revenue by not giving tickets to irresponsible dog owners who don’t obey posted signs that tell all visiting the park to keep their dogs on leashes.

The homeless dog owners are more responsible with their pets. The back end of the 20th Street Park should be reserved as a dog run, far removed from areas children might be in.

So, when you see my child and me off to ourselves, please don’t walk your dog to where we are, and don’t toilet the dogs where we sit.

God bless you all with wisdom to be considerate to all those around you.

Raphael Hameed

More eco-conscious cookware

Re “Eco-conscious cookware” (Uncommon Sense, July 28):

There are a few new products on the market, including the new Italian-designed nano-ceramic line available locally at Greenfeet.com. It features the same great performance of nonstick without the nasty PFOAs.

And it won’t flake, so while there are newer, safer nonstick coatings, they still flake, making it a disposable pan. With nano-ceramic, flaking is not an issue, making them longer-lasting pans. Of course, there’s always cast iron and pure glass safe for oven and stovetop use as well. You can view the safe cookware collection at Greenfeet.com based here in Chico!

Valerie Reddemann

Editor’s note: The author is owner of Greenfeet.com.

Living with CP

Re “About Briana’s story” (Letters, by Desi Hatton, July 28) and “Labeled disabled’ (Cover story, by Stacey Kennelly, July 21):

First of all I’d like to say to Briana and Faelin, you ladies are very beautiful, and true beauty is more than skin deep.

I’m the proud mother of Desi and her three sisters. Being married to Roger, life has been a rollercoaster of surgeries for Roger to help him be as mobile as possible.

I have been blessed to be involved with many people who have CP, starting in high school and at Chico State. I am a direct-care staff in some group homes; I also am a teacher’s aide in special-needs and/or mainstream classes. I feel strongly that the Lord wanted me to help in various ways.

But I am the one who over and over has been helped by seeing how strong people can be when faced with such adversity. They want so much to prove themselves, yet they should not have to work so hard to do so.

No matter what level of CP a person has, they are truly unique and can teach us how to just simply live without limits or labels that society puts on people.

I wish I could get some kids involved in your Sunshine Connection from this area. I know a few sad kids who would love to feel like they belong to something. It breaks my heart. We have a family friend with CP; she’s about 9 and in a wheelchair. She asks why she cannot be like others. Her family is afraid of her having surgery to help her walk.

Briana and Faelin, I’d like to talk to you or get feedback from you. Thanks for your story; it is eye-opening and touching on all that you have accomplished and will. GBU all!!!

Charlene Hatton

While it is wonderful that a story is being shared, your readers should clearly understand that these two women aren’t chained by the negativity. One only has to see their smiles to know they are empowered with compassion and the strength to live their lives to the fullest. There is much to learn from them. I hope the city of Chico appreciates the gem in their midst and supports their programs both with their heart and with their financial support.

Michael Orosco

Rebel spirit

Five players from the Chico Rebel Lacrosse JV team were among several North State players to make the elite Sacramento Heat lacrosse team. They traveled as far north as Washington state, where they took third in the Battle of Bothell June 24-26 and second place in the All West Lacrosse Showcase at Treasure Island July 16 and 17, where they turned up the heat for recruiters from Michigan and Duke.

The Chico talent included AJ Johnson, Aiden Cronin, Luke Rath, Benji Whitmore and Ben Nokelby. A big congratulations to our local talent and to the Chico Rebels for bringing this sport to Chico.

Cyndee Johnson