Letters for August 5, 2010

Addicted to food

Re “Fat free thinking” (Cover story, by Jason Cassidy, July 29):

The science behind obesity has been known for years: The hypothalamus in the brain controls eating. It tells us what to eat and when to start and stop eating and is largely controlled by three hormones (leptin, ghrelin and obestatin). There’s no big mystery.

Food is also a drug: They’ve found 10 times the normal amount of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens in the brain of obese people, meth freaks and coke heads. They’ve also found an unusual amount of opioids in the brain’s amygdala in overweight people.

Many people are addicted to food but they don’t know it, nor do they want to know it—ever try to take a druggie’s stash away from him? Obesity is an addiction problem, pure and simple. I hope this brief info helps people with weight problems and sheds some light on the matter. I understand it’s frustrating to be overweight and not know what’s causing it.

Michael M. Peters

Your article on weight loss had a variety of good tips, and I’m happy for the author for being able to successfully lose weight. Unfortunately, many people who are overweight or who are unhappy with their eating behavior cannot change on their own, whether or not they have “confidence, knowledge, and emotional maturity” to make the changes listed.

For people like us, there is hope in Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step group for compulsive eaters. I was sad to see that this wasn’t listed as a free resource at the end of the article. Please let people know that this resource is available. There are OA groups in Chico, Paradise, Redding, and the surrounding areas. To find a group near you, go to www.oa.org.

Jane C.

In Flynn’s defense

Re “Say something, Ms. Flynn” (Letters, by Ronald Wootten, July 29):

To the community of Chico: Don’t let Mr. Wootten make false accusations about Mary Flynn. Mary Flynn’s students actually call her “the CAVE mom,” and she serves her students and community to the fullest.

CAVE parents know Ms. Flynn as someone who has a heart of gold, is a public servant in her community and as someone who looks out for the common welfare of everyone she comes in contact with. Ms. Flynn has made a positive impact in so many young people’s lives and looks out for the best interests of so many Chico citizens.

Mr. Wootten, you have no justification for putting words in the mouths of her students. I don’t see you stepping up to the plate and running for City Council. Remember that when you point your finger at someone else and judge them, there are always three fingers pointing right back at you.

Jarrod Riggins

Shaping the future

Re “Paving paradise” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, July 29):

Melissa Daugherty’s piece about Comanche Creek/Edgar Slough was a good one, with a significant exception. She failed to mention that the waterway is actually an irrigation canal. It is about as natural in origin as are Teichert Ponds next to Highway 99.

With that in mind, however, I should say that I am in favor of preserving this riparian area as closely to its present condition as possible. It is an impressive result of nature stamping human creation.

At the same time, people who want to keep all development away ought to realize that progress will continue marching, and that it’s possible for well-planned development to take place next to such a feature as this waterway. A good example is how businesses in downtown Ashland, Ore., coexist nicely with Ashland Creek (a natural waterway). The businesses—including restaurants and inns—prominently feature the creek, resulting in an ambiance difficult to match elsewhere.

While I doubt anyone’s going to build a hotel or restaurant next to Comanche “Creek,” having an attractive waterway next to a parkway or other landscaped street is entirely desirable. People like Emily Alma would be wise to collaborate with developers/landowners interested in a bridge and road, helping to shape the future, rather than having moneyed (and often out-of-town) interests do it for them.

Edward Booth

Dolan’s political hubris?

Re “Why Dolan lost” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, July 22):

Great article, and it was interesting to see that, aside from her husband, Bob Mulholland, “falling on his sword” (by saying he didn’t help campaign enough), there seemed to be no “takeaways” or “lessons learned” from the whole experience, and certainly no soul-searching concerning the wishes of the voters.

So rather than showing even any remote appreciation of the reminder that she serves at the discretion of the people, what comes across instead is that Ms. Dolan basically feels “entitled” to be wielding a position of power here.

Mat DelFave

Is there a silver lining?

Re “Screenworld” (Cover story, by Michael Ventura, July 22):

It was a treat to read Michael Ventura again. Ventura co-wrote one of my favorite books, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy—and the World Is Getting Worse.

Even before I had a computer I was fascinated with the idea of virtual reality, the screen in the hood, the gloves, etc. I went so far as to register for a two-day workshop in San Francisco despite fears over my lack of experience in cyberworld.

Shortly after paying a pretty hefty registration fee, I read a brief critique of VR. It’s expensive, it isn’t real, it doesn’t go anywhere. That did it for me. Workshop organizers gladly refunded my fee.

“Screenworld” further reminded me of Bill Joy’s WIRED article, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us.” Quotes from the Unabomber Manifesto appear early in the article and drove me to read the entire piece. Ouch.

Are there any positive scenarios down this road?

Ed Mclaughlin

‘Tongue’ lashing

Re “Watch your tongue” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, July 29):

Rather than worry about watching my tongue, I think I’ll speak my mind. I admit I’m [the author of some of] the now more than 200 comments on the E-R forum, which overwhelmingly isn’t in support of the CUSD’s latest stunt of seeing the sights of China.

There’s a “Great Wall” here in Chico that I suggest Superintendent [Kelly] Staley seek to bring down. It’s a wall of complexities and deceptions that has grown upward in recent years, due to continued secrecy and misunderstandings between administrators and parents and students.

Many in this community were lied to with regard to the desperate call for a needed Canyon View High. The 1998 voter-approved money has been redirected to repairs and the new arts building at PV High. I’ve read in recent board meetings that it was Jann Reed’s suggestion to spend money for a memorable gala event on the Oct. 29 grand opening of that building. Suggestion: Shop at Dollar Tree for party favors. The piggy bank of grant and general-fund money should be prioritized for students.

Truth is, the E-R article stated $2,700 was spent on registration fees for the principals from grant money. It seems a conflict of interest for the president of the school board, Jann Reed, to have gone. I’ve reviewed past meetings of CUSD, and there’s no agenda topic on this trip beforehand. Why? And why was the July 21 board meeting canceled?

Anita Allbee
(aka “bethevoice”)