Letters for August 8, 2002

Chump change
Richard Ek’s Guest Comment [“Deposit law would benefit renters,” July 25] presents some very large dollar figures in his appeal for tenants to receive interest on their security deposit: $8.5 million in deposits and $212,000 in interest. Let’s look at these numbers from a more realistic perspective.

As a property manager, I would agree with the $600 per unit figure; in fact, it is most likely higher. But in most properties there are two, three or four tenants in each unit. If we had to pay them interest on their security deposit, we would also be required to give each resident an IRS 1098, showing the amount of interest received.

Let’s use Chestnut Arms as our example. We hold an $800 security deposit per unit, $400 from each resident. We earn 1.8 percent interest on our checking account, so the interest due each resident would be $7.20 per year. If we had to pay or credit that each year, we would have to issue 64 IRS 1098s at a cost, including mailing, of about $5.00 each. The owner has to either absorb this cost or pass it on to the resident. If the latter were the case, the intrerest due would amount to about $2.20 per year for the resident and a lot of hassle for all concerned.

As always, the folks in the large urban areas, where rents, deposits and (more important) hard feelings between owners and residents are higher, want to get a law passed that will affect the entire state. This would be a bad law because it tries to solve a very small issue with a lot of paper and hassle.

Tim Edwards
Edwards Property Management

Polluting liberals
Recent letters from liberals like Juanita Sumner and Dan Carter have criticized the Chico City Council for allowing more homes to be built but have offered no real solutions of their own for the current housing crunch.

Young homebuyers throughout the state are feeling the burden of this housing crisis. Cities have a choice of building more homes to keep prices down or putting up walls to growth and becoming elitist compounds. The first choice is certainly fairer and more equitable to the young and the working class, as building more homes will help to offset demand.

The second choice of defying growth is both futile and cruel. No matter how much Chico’s more liberal environmentalists want to preserve open areas filled with dead weeds and rocks, they cannot prevent new development outside of their political sphere of influence. If homebuyers are forced to buy in places like Orland, then sprawl is encouraged, and the use of automobiles goes up.

As always, liberal policy drives up pollution and hurts the working class. If liberals would only open their minds to this fact, perhaps they could become a part of the solution instead of being obstinate roadblocks to progress.

Chico currently has a conservative City Council that follows the general plan and engages in thoughtful planning. Let’s hope it stays that way come November.

Steve Thompson

Declaration of independents
Even though Chico has a reasonable number of movie theaters, there is a dearth of films worth watching. In the July 18 Chico News & Review, 17 films were reviewed as follows:

Excellent, none; Very Good, one; Good, 12; Fair, three; Poor, one. The Very Good one was The Powder Puff Girls Movie.

On July 25, 19 movies were rated as: Excellent, none; Very Good, one; Good, 15; Fair, two; Poor, one. The Very Good one was Stuart Little 2. Noting the “winners,” one must be aware that the “good” ratings were probably very generous.

That doesn’t mean that there are not hundreds of excellent productions out there, but few ever reach here. The multiplexes owned by Hollywood distribute the films they produce that are tailored for a specific audience. That means many of us are denied a lot of fine entertainment.

What Chico needs is a first-rate independent theater to bring independent and foreign films and documentaries to us on a reliable schedule with matinees. The ever-burgeoning American independent film scene is here. Major stars are participating. It is reported that at last count there were 713 independent film festivals worldwide and more coming.

We have the Senator and the El Rey theaters with possibilities, or “if we build one they will come.” Can’t we get with it?

Kathryn Byrd

Editor’s response: While we agree with most of what Ms. Byrd’s says, we must point out that for the past 20 years Chicoans have had access to The Pageant, an independent theater that we believe is first-rate, at least by Chico standards.

Little piggies
Are you proud to be an American? America is the most wasteful country on this planet. We represent a minute percentage of the world’s population yet consume most of its resources. Shouldn’t we be called the “land of gluttony” instead of the “land of the free"? We are consuming and wasting our children’s futures away. Whatever happened to “family values,” or does that only come into play when the conservatives want to pass some antigay legislation?

Why do they call themselves conservatives, anyway? They want government spending (of our tax dollars) to stop when it comes to helping feed hungry children, but when it comes to corporate subsidies (handouts) in the billions (still our tax dollars), they are all for it, as it will most likely increase the value of their stocks.

How can we be so proud of what we and our pro-greed, anti-people, anti-environment government are doing? Unless we quickly change our ways, we really have no reason to be.

Sherri Quammen

The DA deal?
At a time when Butte County is short of funds, we have a district attorney wasting more than $100,000 bringing bogus charges against people who worked at the First Amendment Club. Many taxpayers like myself are outraged at how our tax money is being wasted. Why is it that we read so little about this utter waste of taxpayer money in your paper?

And even more curious, why did your paper endorse this idiot in the last election? Could it be that your paper has some kind of a deal with the DA’s Office?

I (and many others) find all of this very interesting and would like to hear an explanation of why the News & Review is so quiet on what’s going on and why it endorsed Ramsey.

Ken Demorro

Great Scott
I first met Chico City Council candidate Scott Gruendl a few years back, when we both were running for council. I found Scott to be a very well informed person on all the issues that affect Chico. I’m proud to be a supporter of Scott Gruendl for Chico City Council, and I know when he’s elected he will do a super job in representing all the residents of Chico.

Unlike some of the candidates, Scott looks at both side of the issue before him regardless of his political registration. In short, nobody owns Scott but the good citizens of Chico. To his detractor John Gillander: Thanks for reminding me to send Scott another contribution to his campaign. I urge all to send Scott a check to help with his campaign costs. Plus, Mr. Gillander, a quote: “Methinks you protest too much, sir.”

Paul McCormick