Letters for December 12, 2013

Three on cops shop

Re “The thin blue line” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Dec. 5.):

I think you have sorted the police department mess out logically and accurately, with facts to corroborate your conclusions. Fine work!

Nancy M. Riley

Everybody has their underwear in a knot over Chico Police Officer Todd Boothe’s Facebook postings, or City Councilman Randall Stone’s response to same, but why aren’t more people paying attention to the contract talks?

Earlier this year, Stone asked police and fire to pay their own pensions and benefits. The city of Chico spent over $10 million last year on employee benefits, $2 million of that on the “employee share.” Most of that goes to the police employees, who pay none of their own share, but retire at 90 percent of their salary at age 50.

Earlier this year, the police offered to pay their share, but only if they were reimbursed with the same amount in salary increases. They also demanded promotions, including one officer who will retire in less than a year at 90 percent of his newly “spiked” salary.

Please join the Chico Taxpayers Association in asking council and staff to come up with contracts we can afford. The average Chico police officer makes over $70,000 per year, plus overtime, while the average family makes less than $40,000 per year. All we’re asking is that these generously compensated employees pay for their exorbitant pension and benefits packages.

Juanita Sumner

I appreciate the perspective from you and your editors, but I have a serious problem with your assertion that the financial problems of the city fall on the shoulders of its public-safety employees. It wasn’t police or fire departments that created a $15.2 million deficit by stirring 239 accounts.

As for City Councilman Randall Stone, he has manipulated numbers to propel his agenda. All he’s pushed are lies (e.g., lowest-paid firefighters start out making $116,000).

Stone has every right to request an investigation into his feeling that there is racism in the police department, but what you’re not talking about is the violation of due process. He started off that way, but couldn’t contain his ego. Contacting the media before the investigation even started is where Stone crossed the line.

People can think anything they want about what I make. I would just appreciate it if they got—and understood—the facts, asked questions about things they don’t understand, and then based their (your) opinion on those facts. This city doesn’t need any more writers that make stuff up and post it on their blog as fact.

We all should have learned from previous city staff that you can’t believe everything they tell you!

Ken Campbell, firefighter

About those trails

Re “Mystery overhead” (Greenways, by Evan Tuchinsky, Dec. 5):

Kudos to Evan Tuchinsky for his integrity in reporting this heavily manipulated and secretive agenda, and also to the others who may have had a role in exposing this. The government needs to come clean on this.

Raymond Million
Elk, Wash.

While I was disappointed with the one-sidedness of this article—I am sure there are plenty of respected folks out there available to provide a different opinion of “chemtrails”—it was only when I read the excerpt from the 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that I chose to respond. The quotation is taken out of context and seems to imply that solar radiation management (SRM) is presently occurring. Here is a more complete excerpt on this topic, from page 21 of the IPCC report:

“Methods that aim to deliberately alter the climate system to counter climate change, termed geoengineering, have been proposed. Limited evidence precludes a comprehensive quantitative assessment of both Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and their impact on the climate system. … Modeling indicates that SRM methods, if realizable, have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise, but they would also modify the global water cycle, and would not reduce ocean acidification.”

In summary, the IPCC is talking about possible SRM in the future and its potential consequences. If anything, it is an argument against SRM. The brief snippet that Evan Tuchinsky used appears on a number of conspiracy theory websites, but the real deal sets a different tone.

Jeremy Miller

Contrails are formed right behind aircraft engines and are simply a manifestation of exhaust: Moisture in the air, impacted by pressure and temperature changes, is condensed and freezes, making snow.

Think of the exhaust of a four-engine jet liner as being four giant snow-blowing machines. The only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory for aerial spraying of chemicals is the C-130 Mobile Aerial Spray System (MASS); the C-130 has a loaded service ceiling of 23,000 feet (and contrails appear only at conditions above 26,000 feet and -40 degrees C).

So the next time you see “chemtrails” in the sky, it’s just an airliner making snow while the passengers aboard sing festive holiday songs.

Mike Peters

City of (chopped) trees

Re “Valley oak to get axed” (Downstroke, Dec. 5):

For a City of Trees, this is indeed a sad tale. I do not blame BEC for dropping this issue, nor the Salvation Army for its efforts to provide housing. But had an urban-forestry department been in existence, a win-win might have been found. City of Chico, get your act together!

Joni Stellar

Obamacare for the win

If I had a megaphone in my possession, and didn’t mind annoying the world, I’d be on my rooftop right now, singing the praises of Obamacare.

Here are the facts: My new health-insurance policy, purchased on the Covered California website yesterday, will cost me $262 less per month than my existing policy. That’s for a lower deductible, lower annual out-of-pocket maximum, and lower co-pays for doctors, hospitals and medication. Really.

Don’t just listen to me and definitely don’t listen to trash-talkers. Go online and find out for yourself. For me, the $3,000 a year that I’ll save in premiums alone more than makes up for the website’s inconveniences.

Eve Werner

Reform is necessary

Generational theft is taking place by us seniors, as AARP has become so strong. There are now fewer seniors—and more children—in poverty.

Medicare is not sustainable without reform. At the very least, it should be “means-tested.” Only 30 percent to 40 percent of seniors really need it.

The great majority of cost comes in the last three years of life. For me, create a free pill that would painlessly end this life. If I can only exist on a machine, pull the plug.

A family of two having a good job will contribute an estimated $119,000 to the Medicare fund until reaching age 65, and will then receive an estimated $357,000 in benefits before dying. The difference is made up by current taxpayers and there will soon be fewer taxpayers as “baby boomers” retire and make Medicare even more unsustainable.

This is part of the message being given by two philanthropists to college students, saying they must get as organized as the AARP if they want to get their share of the spending pie.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/gentheft to see charts and the rest of their message. Go to www.vimeo.com/65731171 to see a video of their presentation to college students.

Young people, get involved!

Norm Dillinger