Letters for August 9, 2007

Columnist criticized anew …
Re: “Words” (From The Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, CN&R, Aug. 2):

I am a 22-year-old student. I have lived in Paradise, Chico and Butte Valley for nine years now. When I first read Mr. Porter’s articles, I enjoyed them greatly. I enjoy his ideas that help me think of new things; he has interesting perspectives that never fail to stimulate my mind. But why does he have to be so rude and perpetuate ideas that “retard” mental growth and love for all?

His article really offended me, and I have no family or friendly ties to anyone “pure of heart” or “disabled.” As a society, we need to always act with the thought of the whole in mind—especially someone who reaches thousands of people each week.

I understand your point (I think) that words have meanings we give them, and if we use them differently, we can change their meanings. But, Mr. Porter, if you or your child had mental or physical difficulties, how would you feel if you opened up to the last page of the CN&R and saw the commentary using “tardos” and “cripples” and “crazies"?

Use your power for good, or lose it, because there are many good-hearted people who could use that opportunity for so much better. Let’s make the world a brighter and happier place instead of reiterating the negative and harmful.

Write something good and stimulating again. I miss those articles.

Abigail Moore
Butte County

Mr. Porter, I respectfully suggest that you show a little understanding or feeling for respect. Initially acknowledging and respecting all persons for their humanity is a trait worth striving for and worth making a part of oneself. Sadly, too often in life, members of our human family finally convince most of us that they are not worthy of respect.

A distant relative of mine, Elbert Hubbard, once said, “The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.” You appear to have demonstrated the truth in this saying …

I appreciate that anyone who wants to accomplish something or to make a difference must take risks, but when a mistake is made, or an unintended consequence occurs, acknowledge that, learn from it and be better.

Abe Baily

Editor’s note: For Mr. Baily’s advice to the CN&R, plus reaction to this discussion from renowned disability-rights advocate Dave Hingsburger, check here.

… but he has his fans, too
Has anyone else noticed or commented on the thought-provoking articles by Anthony Peyton Porter? I now enjoy some of the most well-written, challenging and entertaining pieces I have ever seen in the CN&R. I am glad to be in Chico and to read articles like these that should be read by many more.

I have yet to read a single article of his that I have not thoroughly contemplated for much time after. Regardless of my previous opinion, he always makes me rethink it and then again set my own opinion on the subject.

Some of his subject matter may make people contemplate issues they don’t want to talk about. I am glad to see the CN&R publishing some material like APP’s and pushing the thought process to the “Edge” a little more.

Joey Weber

I like Anthony, and I enjoy his column very much. I thought Anthony was making reference to mean people in the “Masochists” column (July 19). Maybe he should start using a winking emoticon to let some of you know how you should be feeling—because if you were offended, you need to know that he meant the other tardos.

I think it strange that the person “from the fray” [Christine G.K. LaPado], who was irreversibly damaged by Mr. Porter, was quick to use the word “nigger” in her column. This is where Mr. Porter should grab her hopscotch marker, yank her pigtails and run for the monkey bars, where the yard-duty teacher defuses the situation by making them apologize and play nice. (I could use an emoticon or two myself.)

Lighten up, people!

Ed Baughman

Resonant echoes
Re: “The way to Mauthausen” (Cover story, by Jaime O’Neill, CN&R, Aug. 2):

I was sickened after reading Jaime O’Neill’s article, which recounts the Holocaust experiences of Magalia resident Lubertus Schapelhouman. I never thought such a graphic description of human atrocities would ever appear in a community-minded paper. Thank you so much for having the courage and wisdom to publish this piece.

Jeremy Miller

One of the best personal accounts I have ever read. I always was curious when Hollanders turned their backs on German tourists and “wouldn’t give the time of day"; now I know. It is awful to realize that such bestiality to human beings occurred in our lifetime.

Julie Clark

Thanks to Mr. Schapelhouman for another reason we cannot forget. In further articles about his experiences as a prisoner, please show the permanent tattoo on his arm. Tattoos are permanent and attest to the truth about the Holocaust. Until the younger generation actually sees those tattoos and knows why they are there, they will be likely to believe that the Holocaust did not exist.

All Holocaust survivors are heroes.

Felecia Berg

In “The Way to Mauthausen,” I read this quote: “An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland.” I was amazed that it was attributed to Adolph Hitler, for it sounded to me like President George W. Bush.

We are living in an atmosphere of fear from them. Our president and his administration have chosen to use fear and this nation’s energies and resources to try and protect us from them. We need to build a strong country where all citizens have health care; sufficient food; adequate housing; clean water, air, and food; and a safe infrastructure.

Strong and healthy people can stand up to threats and evil. Scared people hide.

Sadie Urbanowicz

Feds, get off pot
Re: “Reefer madness” (Editorial, CN&R, Aug. 2):

America’s citizens are under attack by their government. Obviously the prohibition of cannabis has nothing to do with the safety or welfare of the citizenry. The issue is social control. Nixon found the drug war to be such an effective cudgel to wail on his political opponents that his successors took note and have all pressed it up.

Why, after 70 years, does cannabis remain illegal? The roots of the prohibition lie in racism: Blacks seducing white women with jazz music and “muggles,” along with Mexican invaders with their weird weed, provided the backdrop for the initial prohibition. Presently the “demon weed” remains identified with the counterculture of the past century.

My congressman, Wally Herger, remains intransigent, obviously fearful of being identified as limp on drugs—the same charge that led even Bill Clinton to ramp up the drug war. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Do we really believe in freedom and liberty, or have these become just words that we print on our (fiat) money? Wise up, America! I echo your editorial’s sentiment: Legalize, tax and regulate cannabis just like wine.

Jay Bergstrom
Forest Ranch

Editor’s note: We received a number of letters on this issue from beyond the North State; check here

Call it Bridgezilla?
Re: “An old name gets new life” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, July 26):

Ninety-eight-year-old Merle McAndrews at Wick’s Corner might like to call the junction of highways 70 and 149 more than the “jungle” where she used to ride her horse. I find it fitting that Ma Nature wants it to remain a jungle. The wild lilies grew naturally in the spring-fed ponds, and now, scraped and muddied, lurks a huge Godzilla monster bridge that collapsed.

Has the Environmental Protection Agency been invited to the mandatory investigation? Could it be that pier pilings are needed, as there is a natural spring at the foot of the structure?

Ma Nature is the No. 1 suspect. Man failure is suspect No. 2, and one point for the lilies.

Ann Navarro

Look farther back
Re: “Chico rock city” (Cover story, by Mark Lore, CN&R, July 26):

I am writing this letter because this has been bothering me for years. Rock (I mean ass-kicking original) bands in Chico did not start with Spark ‘N’ Cinder and 28th Day. There was a thriving rock scene in Chico all through the ‘60s.

The early bands that I know about, having grown up in Chico, were probably the best of all. The Apollos, Big Timers, Mike and the Mystics, Drew Sallee and the Dead—unbelievably hot musicians.

The next wave of bands, which I was involved with, were pretty damn hot. Boy Blues, Flight 13, Midnight Reign were good rockin’ bands and had loyal, rabid followings. Sundance and Hamlet were signed and released LPs on major labels, and played venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium, Avalon Ballroom, Cow Palace, etc.

Later [after 1977] there was Habbit, the Ralph Shine Blues Band, Fat City Ramblers, to name just a few. These bands are regularly left out of articles in your paper. Spectra even had a cover story in your paper, and they are never mentioned when you talk about the history of rock in Chico. I think it really is a shame.

There is a cult of ‘60s garage band collectors. CDs are being made, and released of local ‘60s bands as we speak. These CDs are sold internationally. You should do a little research; you’d probably be blown away!

Steve Cooley
Ruston, Wash.

Editor’s note: This particular story focused on the past 30 years in Chico music.

Re: “Child’s play” (Scene, by Miles Jordan, CN&R, Aug. 2): Because of an editing error, the location where NewmanAmiYumi recorded Classroom Jazz was incorrect. The recording took place at Electric Canyon Studios, with Dale Price. This has been corrected online.

Re: “An old name gets new life” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, July 26): Merle McAndrews’ cousin was misidentified. His name is Jerry Inman. This has been corrected online.