Letters for December 13, 2007

Another candidate speaks out
Re: “Think voters pick the winner? Sure …” (Guest Comment, by Jack Lee, CN&R, Dec. 6):

I have had a similar experience running for state Assembly in District 2 [the seat held for the maximum three terms by Doug LaMalfa, also a Republican]. Here are some of the points I raised in a letter published by the Redding Record Searchlight on Dec. 9.

Although the final slate of candidates will not be available until March 7, 2008, one candidate’s press release claims to already have the following endorsements: “23 current Assembly Members as well as several GOP Senators, dozens of local elected officials, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC, among others.”

Endorsing a candidate without first seeking out and evaluating the views of all others seems short-sighted, biased and not in the spirit of promoting a free and open exchange of ideas. I’ll leave it up to the voters of Northern California to come to their own conclusion. As for me, I’ll be working hard to earn the support of all citizens of the North State and the honor to serve them in the Assembly.

Col. Pete Stiglich
USAF (ret.)


More bumper sticklers
Re: “Sticker schlock” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Dec. 6):



I think this is more true [than other gun slogans].

Warren Dodge

“I survived Roe v. Wade” isn’t a statement made by a woman who has an abortion safely. It is a statement made by people who legally could have been aborted after Roe v. Wade was implemented. It is basically an expression of gratitude for being alive today, because after Roe v. Wade that might not have happened. Sounds like wisdom to me.

Justin Canter

Needs for protection connected
Re: “Snuff hucksters barred” (Downstroke, CN&R, Dec. 6):

Banning handing out chewing tobacco in bars still supports personal choice. Buying tobacco involves activating personal willpower. This is different than being overpowered by external forces when one is less than fully capacitated.

So, it is consistent when some people who oppose the disorderly events ordinance (for stepping on constitutional rights) also oppose using undue influence to push harmful products onto people. Both positions involve not wanting people to be overpowered. People like a balance of power.

When we recognize we are powerful but not all-powerful (because other forces and people are also powerful), we recognize we are also vulnerable. It takes strength to admit this vulnerability.

Irene Cardenas

No, thank you!
Re: “Memories of Pearl Harbor” (Newslines, by Monica Unhold, CN&R, Dec. 6):

I don’t usually write so many letters to the editor; however, the article this week about my good friend Lynn Thomas by Monica Unhold was really nice and informative. So was the piece about the Copelands [Local Heroes, Nov. 21, by Robert Speer] and the “Old Patrick House” [Newslines, Dec. 6, also by Robert Speer].

Bob Speer does a real nice job of investigative reporting. Thank you so much.

Gerda Lydon

Turnabout phrase
Re: “Profits over people” (Letters, by Gerda Seaman, CN&R, Dec. 6):

I couldn’t agree with her more, but would like to differ on the comment regarding socialism ["socialized medicine"], which seems to be the bogeyman closely related to communism.

Obviously, countries in Europe provide universal health care for their citizens and subscribe to capitalism, yet socialism is a component part of their system. I like to refer to it as a conduit to inject the “people’s” agenda into the “profit” agenda, which results in entitlements unheard of here and conveniently dismissed as evil, lest such demands be made by U.S. citizens.

What boggles the mind is that a word or phrase is sufficient to control public opinion, even managing to turn it against itself.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

Hot for hybrids
Re: “Would you buy a hybrid?” (Streetalk, CN&R, Dec. 6):

I must admit I was hesitant about buying a hybrid, thinking maybe they were more of an experimental car or maybe underpowered, but I bought a 2007 Toyota Prius last summer and I am thoroughly impressed.

The car is very comfortable, has a great sound system and it has plenty of power. I can easily keep up with anything else on the road. Matter of fact, I live up in Forest Ranch, and I never have a problem heading up the hill and passing anything in my way, or anything I want to pass, up Highway 32.

And the gas mileage is the best there is on the road. The price is comparable to any other mid-sized car, and the quality is much better.

I love the car and would encourage anybody else thinking of buying one to take one for a ride. I’m sure you’ll be impressed, too.

Phil Elkins
Forest Ranch

FONSI is a big deal
Re: “Mechoopda inch closer to casino” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Nov. 15):

I appreciate the effort the CN&R has made to report on the major milestone our tribe has achieved along the road to becoming economically self-sufficient.

Unfortunately, the comments by Bruce Alpert, Butte County’s counsel, continue the county’s pattern of belittling the Mechoopda tribe, both publicly and privately. For Alpert to say that the National Indian Gaming Commission’s finding of no significant impact (FONSI) is “not really a big deal” shows a complete lack of understanding about the federal process the tribe is undertaking to regain a small piece of our aboriginal lands.

For the record, the FONSI confirms that our tribe has been successful in selecting an appropriate site for economic development, and that after years of exhaustive studies, our proposed project has been found not to have a significant impact on the environment.

Also troubling are Mr. Alpert’s comments that the county has tried to work with the tribe to find another site. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although the county did approach the tribe, they did not do so until years had passed and millions of dollar had been spent on the existing site; all the while the tribe believed the county supported the location.

As we continue the necessary federal steps toward achieving self-sufficiency, we hope that Butte County will open a line of communication with us, so we can work together to create an amenity for the community while responsibly mitigating environmental impacts.

Sandra Knight
Mechoopda Indian Tribe

Investigate CUSD
A bond must be approved by a certain proportion of registered voters. The majority decide to tax themselves, and they decide for what purpose the money can be spent. That’s all in the language of the bond measure when it is placed on the ballot.

How can the Chico Unified school board, without a legally monitored public vote, just change the mandate of the people and decide they will spend a bond however they please? Is that legal? Have Chico Unified voters been victims of the old bait and switch?

One way to find out is to ask the Butte County Grand Jury to investigate this situation. They have a printable complaint form on their Web site [www.buttecounty.net]. They have investigated the school district before and found fault. Maybe this bond thing is a big mistake, too. We won’t know unless we ask.

Go to the grand jury site or ask your public librarian for a copy. We’re certainly not getting anywhere talking to the school board.

Juanita Sumner

Editor’s note: For more about the district’s decision, please see Newslines.

Town, limit gown
As a new Chico general plan is created, I urge that the impact of university growth be addressed more directly than it has in the past.

Traditionally, city leadership has been unwilling to confront the university regarding problems created as a result of increasing enrollment. The city has stayed on the sidelines while this has led to downtown traffic and parking problems, the flight of families and homeowners from Chico’s traditional neighborhoods, increased crime, and an overall deterioration of the quality of life for many residents.

Recent court rulings give local government the power to hold the university responsible for ameliorating these impacts. We should not simply give in to their expansion plans.

This is not to say that the presence of the university is not of great benefit to our community. Rather, this is to implore our city leadership to pay closer attention to university growth and to stand up for the rights of local residents who will otherwise be overwhelmed by the tremendous resources and autonomy the university has used to its advantage.

The new general plan presents an opportunity for the city to exert control over all aspects of our growth, including the university.

Lee Laney

More of the same
At Enloe Hospital, it’s tiring when concerns go unanswered or addressed. To others it’s just the same old thing: “We’ve heard it all before, nothing is new, same old same old!” Try dealing with this all the time.

Try fighting for three to four years over issues of staffing problems, for patient-safety issues that could make the difference between caring and compromise. [Change] could improve quality of care and morale so that patient treatment is delivered effectively without overworked and understaffed employees who are stretched to the limit and who feel true concern for what happens in such an environment.

Yes, it’s the same old issues, but if we as employees and administrators don’t work them out, we stand the risk of diminished care and values. Enloe has a dedicated work force that delivers top-notch medical treatment and service, but if our concerns are not addressed, then care and morale go down, and staff [members] leave or are not recruited.

How can our hospital survive if it doesn’t take into account its work force’s concerns and treatment? Other hospitals have worked it out, are still viable and are contributing positively to the community.

Enloe’s image could be better. Maybe we should get advice from those down the road who work together as management and employees for the better. It could work here too.

Peter Calo

Pre-emptive strikes
A recent national intelligence report concludes that Iran has not actively worked toward developing nuclear weapons since 2003, and that diplomacy and sanctions have been effective in curbing this threat. Yet the president states his policy on Iran will not change: a policy that has beaten the war drums for months. The president even contradicts his own national security adviser in stating he was unaware of the report, on which he had been briefed in August or September.

Bush lies, people die. Here we go again.

Jennifer Rossovich
ChicoCongress must act now and make it clear that President Bush has no authority to strike Iran. Bush has been ignoring the intelligence as he’s saber-rattled for months against Iran—recklessly pushing toward war with Iran like he did with Iraq. This is not what I want for generations to come.

Donna Jean Strobie

Editor’s note: A handful of other letter-writers expressed the same view, with some of the same wording.

Re: “A season of cheer” (Backbeat, CN&R, Dec. 6): The photo of the menorah lighting, supplied by the Chabad Jewish Center, did not credit Jason Halley of the Chico Enterprise-Record, which published it last December. We have removed the uncredited photo from our Web site and apologize for the oversight.