Letters for August 7, 2008

Mustang-lovers concerned
Re: “The last of the wild horses” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, CN&R, July 31):

There are many things I don’t understand about the BLM’s decision to “euthanize” (shoot) all of these horses. One of the statements that really doesn’t make sense to me is that if the horses weren’t rounded up they would starve—well, then why don’t the cattle grazing on the mustangs’ land starve?

Seems to me if the cattle ranchers would remove their cattle, then the horses would be fine—even the 30,000 in holding pens. Let ’em loose!

D.L. Neeley
Spring Branch, Texas

I do not understand why the mustangs have to get off their land so the cattle and ranchers can have it. They were living just fine until somebody else wanted what they had. Now BLM wants to kill them because they made a mistake of rounding them up when they should have been left to eat on their own range instead of the beef industry feeding their fat asses.

Sarah Taft
Andover, N.H.

Taking issue with Enloe’s COO
Re: “ ‘Questionable care’ is a misdiagnosis” (Guest Comment, by Mike Wiltermood, CN&R, July 31):

I will try to subdue my angst for workers at Enloe who are struggling for a contract in this response to the comments written by Mike Wiltermood.

1. Mr. Wiltermood refers to “market-competitive wages.” It would be nice to know if the wages he refers to are comparable to wages paid to workers at St. Elizabeth’s just up Highway 99 in Red Bluff.

2. “Conditions of participation in the Medicare program” and “joint commission” were referred to as being “satisfied” and being “fully accredited.” It was unbelievable that hospital management was so slip-shod that passing was ever even a question. Maybe management’s lack of insight in keeping the hospital up to expected standards is reflected in its inability to resolve labor relations with grace and virtue.

Please, Enloe, just treat your employees respectfully and fairly. Be nice; maybe if you don’t choke on it, be generous, and those of us who see ourselves as your future patients, clients (whatever you want to call us), will be much happier going through your doors.

Carol Eberling

You’ve flipped, Charlie Brown
Re: “Where and when issues” (Letters, by Jordan Harp, CN&R, July 31)

Please know, too, that Charlie Brown has sold out to the right. As much as I would like to see a strong Democrat get elected in my district, I refuse to support a man who has given up on voters such as myself, who still believe in good Democratic ideals and philosophies. Lately, he has pandered to the right, touting himself as a conservative Democrat, and says he will support John McCain.

In regards to moving from other districts, this is not an issue to me. If Cindy Sheehan were to move into the district, she would absolutely receive my vote.

Under your philosophy, we should no longer support career politicians. I disagree, because there are many career politicians who I admire for their unwavering service, such as Willie Brown and Nancy Pelosi.

Surely we should not criticize them for having aspirations to achieve higher office. It is more important to stay true to the cause, and worry less about where somebody comes from and if they aspire to higher political offices.

Maybe Charlie Brown could learn a thing or two from our future President Barack Obama, and stay true to his party and the cause.

Colton Reed

We’re fighting why?
Re: “No thanks to him” (Letters, by Gene Willett, CN&R, July 31):

You asked the question: “Did Obama and the party forget why we are fighting this war?” Now I’m not a fan of Obama, I’m a Ron Paul man myself, but please tell us, why are we fighting this war?

Please don’t say it is because of 9/11. After more than seven years, even 6-year-olds know 9/11 was an inside job! So, why are we fighting this war? War is a game for little boys who refuse to grow up!

Mike Peters

Commissioner responds
Re: “Progress past labels” (Letters, by Randy Abbott, CN&R, July 24):

Randy Abbott makes a good point in his recent letter regarding labels we find ourselves attached to. Labels such as “progressive” may mean any number of things and we are better served to look at a person’s record before we make any decisions. However, Mr. Abbott misrepresented several of my Park Commission decisions, which deserve to be corrected.

Abbott expresses displeasure with my vote regarding cell-phone towers at Hooker Oak Park. How he determined my position is unclear to me because I was out of town on vacation during that particular meeting and obviously could not have cast a vote.

He is unhappy at the “self-inflated majority” that placed Annie Bidwell’s deed in the appendix of the Master Management Plan, rather than in the body. If he were to check the record, he would see that I was in the minority on that vote. I preferred to have the deed in the body of the MMP.

Regarding the Park Commission’s conversations with Bill Brouhard: I find it ironic that Abbott was in a small minority that opposed the Bidwell Park sphere-of-influence policy that has allowed us to hold conversations regarding a very important issue.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Randy’s opinions regarding park issues. I think we can respectfully disagree on important issues and continue a healthy dialogue.

Jim Walker

Speaking of whom …
Despite the efforts of preservationists to ensure a full disclosure of impacts to Bidwell Park resulting from proposed developments within the park, the environmental-impact report released in June 2007, and the responses to public comments published in July 2008, demonstrate clearly that the park administration is uninterested in following a variety of existing policies that govern the park, and is more interested in encouraging planning that sets its own rules as it goes.

Even if the administration’s assertions that the City Council and the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission have unlimited power over the fate of the park is true—and that’s debatable—not disclosing what policies from the General Plan and Municipal Code apply to the use and preservation of the park in the EIR is a slap in the face to members of the public who value long-range planning and fully informed decision-making.

An even crasser example of where the city feels comfortable with changing the facts to fit the proposal is found in the EIR’s claim that the original environmental document for disc golf was dropped, rather than continued, as part of the EIR.

A place as unique, historic, and fragile as Bidwell Park deserves the stewardship of those who pay attention to the science of natural-resource conservation and the needs of the ecosystem, not just the desires of vocal special-interest groups.

If the city wants to earn the trust of preservationists, it can start with honesty and full disclosure.

Randy Abbott

No city funds for art
In response to Maria Phillips’ guest commentary currently running in the CN&R, I must say I don’t think the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is abstract art because anyone looking at it knows instantly what it is and what it means. To me and to the lay public in general, a piece of art is abstract if you need to be told what it is and/or what it means. Simple test.

Cutting to the bottom financial line, I point to the professional public opinion poll commissioned last March by the city Finance Committee that found 70 percent of the Chico public doesn’t like publicly funded public art. I agree with that convincing majority and believe the city should stop funding the part of its art program that buys art to be stuffed down the public throat without public approval using redevelopment money from bonds that were issued without a vote of public approval but which the public must pay back at double the cost.

The City Council simply changes hats to become the redevelopment board of directors and floats these bonds on its own. That’s where the $4,738,450 came from to create the downtown plaza concrete wonderland park (with its privately funded veterans memorial).

I agree with Councilman Steve Bertagna when he asks: Why should the city buy art? He thinks art in Chico should be a self-supporting industry, which I applaud. The City Council needs to wake up and smell the coffee on this forever controversial program. Think about it.

Richard Ek

A healthy care bill
Now that Congress has saved Medicare, our doctors and those of us who are old have a little breathing space, but what about the rest of the population?

All of us need to get behind the 90 co-sponsors of Rep. John Conyers’ HR 676, which offers comprehensive health insurance for all U.S. residents—in other words, a real safety net. This bill is basically improved Medicare for all with a choice of providers, a policy option that treats health care as a human right.

Almost all Western countries have offered such a right for little more than half the price we pay, and their infant mortality rates and longevity figures are far better than those of the U.S.

We can do better. We do not have to let insurance companies, hospital industries and pharmaceutical companies play dice with our lives for their profits. We can make sure that we let Democrats, Republicans and all other parties know that there is life and indeed health after we remove ungovernable greed from our health system.

Gerda Seaman

Don’t insult us, sir
Our illustrious congressman, Wally Herger, assures us that offshore and Alaskan oil drilling will show instant results. A pipeline will arrive, overnight, from the oil derrick to our car’s gas tank!

Unfortunately, our congressman neglects to mention some important facts. The Energy Information Administration’s 2007 report states that should we drill in these areas now, no new oil will appear until 2017, and the effect on oil prices will be insignificant.

Oil needs to be processed in a refinery. And who owns said refineries? Our friendly oil companies who just posted an $11 billion profit in the second quarter of 2008. That’s about $1,400 per second!

So either our congressman is confused or he’s trying an Enron on us. Please don’t insult your constituents’ intelligence, congressman.

Lynn H. Elliott

Words speak volumes
Jerusalem’s 2,000-year-old Western Wall is revered as Judaism’s holiest site. It stands where the [Torah] says King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple. Today it is not unusual for visitors to the wall to leave notes bearing their prayers and requests in the wall’s cracks.

During his overseas visit recently, Barack Obama left a hand-written prayer in the wall that was, in violation of rabbinic prohibition, recovered by a Jewish seminary student and shared with a newspaper.

Here is Obama’s prayer:

“Lord—Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.”

I have neither credentials nor inclination to judge any man’s private prayer, but the simple and humble tone of his words, to me, speak volumes about his character and motivation.

Recently the McCain campaign has gone negative, using distortion and lies to try and slime Obama. In light of McCain’s pledge last spring to conduct a “respectful” campaign, what are we to think of his character?

As McCain and the Republicans delve deeper and deeper into the Karl Rove playbook, and the swift-boaters launch salvo after salvo, keep in mind that the kind of “change” that Barack Obama is talking about comes from the heart of a man who prays for “wisdom to do what is right and just.”

Dan Carter

Re: “iCannotBelieveIt” (Technobabble, by Morgan Paar, CN&R, July 31): The iPhone 3G was misidentified. This has been corrected in the online version.