Letters for December 15, 2011

Zingg’s commitment

Re “Chico gets another slice of ‘occu’ pie” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Dec. 8):

This story really captured the essence of Chico State students during Occupy Kendall Hall; however, I feel like even though President [Paul] Zingg was quoted, he was made to sound sinister and angry at the students for occupying in front of the building.

I was in attendance, and while he did get rather upset with the one speaker who angrily questioned him, he also told the students, “You will not be silenced on this campus.” He gave the students hope and ideas of how to improve their future within the CSU system.

He stayed there at the gathering for more than three hours, standing in the cold surrounded by students who had verbally attacked him just minutes before.

Kellie Sones

Where are the sources?

Re “Money to burn” (Cover story, by Liza Gross, Dec. 1):

I do not feel that strong or even mild evidence was given to support Ms. Gross’ claims. At no point in the story did she cite even one source for the alleged scientific evidence that these flame retardants posed a significant heath risk for anyone. For all I know her source was Wikipedia.

In fact, the only evidence I found in the whole article to support her claims was that some people made money off of selling chemicals. This is just logically flawed thinking, as someone makes money off almost any thing.

Kyle Hopkins

Transforming Israel

Re: “Local grandmas experience West Bank and Israel” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Nov. 23):

The information in the article about West Bank/Israel is correct. There are highways in occupied West Bank built for exclusive use by Israeli residents of illegal settlements situated on West Bank Palestinian land, where Palestinians are not allowed to live, and West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to drive on the roads. Palestinians living in the West Bank are not allowed to travel freely in Israel, nor to pass through checkpoints into Israel without a permit, and permits are difficult to obtain.

Regarding children being shot near the separation wall: A Google search reveals many stories of children being killed at the wall. The Nov. 3, 2011, issue of Al-Haq reports, “on October 25 four-year-old Asil Mahmoud ‘Ara’ra was shot in the neck while she was playing about a hundred meters away from the wall. Asil was first taken to the emergency center in ‘Anata, but her injury was too severe and doctors were unable to treat her and called for an ambulance. The ambulance was unable to enter through the ‘Anata–Shu’fat checkpoint due to traffic and the failure of Israeli soldiers to facilitate its entry. Several minutes later, Israeli soldiers finally allowed Asil’s grandmother and a nurse from the clinic to carry Asil across the checkpoint into the waiting ambulance.” Asil died of her wounds in the hospital.

In response to the letter, “No room for hate” (Nov. 23), I don’t feel hatred, just great sadness, and would love to share positive experiences. We had many in our travels, but we must shine a light on these terrible practices of the Israeli government if they are ever to be transformed.

Emily Alma

Such a deal

Re “Hail to the chief” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, Dec. 8):

Ninety percent of his “highest” salary! No wonder California is so broke. That is outrageous. [Chico Police Chief Mike Maloney] will make more money being retired and teaching an extra class and living a life of leisure than working. I see why other states are fighting with their public employees over benefits.

Marion Dearman

Buttered bread

Re “Bread box” (Greenhouse, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Dec. 1):

Great Harvest Bread has three stores in Chico. We have been open since 1998 and have shipped thousands of bread boxes across the United States. We specialize in whole-grain breads and mill all our flour in our own store. Chico also has other fine bakeries that do a good job.

It would have been nice if your article would have featured local establishments. I really cannot see how your piece is newsworthy. Very disappointing, I must say.

Wade Overson
Great Harvest Bread Co.

Editor’s note: Mr. Overson’s hand-delivered letter was accompanied by a box of quite delicious bread. Thank you, sir. For the record, the CN&R published an article about Great Harvest in its April 3, 2009, Chow section, praising the bakery highly and giving it a rating of 4 1/2 stars (out of five).

Immigration: two views

Re “Dream Act on ICE (Newslines, by Leslie Layton, Dec. 1):

My great-grandparents were Irish immigrants. They stepped off the boat with very little going for them. I’m sure Mr. Escobar will happily jump through every hoop and cut down every piece of red tape needed to become a citizen.

Nothing against dishwashers, but Mr. Escobar has found a different calling in life and has done what he needed to do in order to achieve his goals up until now. I know plenty of people who were given every opportunity imaginable and just squandered it.

Americans should be happy to have someone who demonstrates the kind of ambition that ideally represents this country. Our success as a nation will depend on our ability to work together not to exclude one another.

Tim Donnelly
Fort Worth, Texas

My great-grandparents came to this country from Latvia and Italy. They followed the correct procedures to legally become United States citizens. I am proud of what they did and how they went about it … legally. I love that our great country is diverse and I have no issue with individuals who follow the proper procedures to become citizens.

I do not, however, feel that intelligence, looks or religious affiliation should grant you immunity from the laws that we have to protect our country from illegal aliens. We cannot pervert and twist the laws to apply only to those who we deem worthy of becoming citizens, either.

While this young man has worked hard, that doesn’t make him more entitled than, say, a farm worker or dish washer. If he isn’t here legally he is taking the place of someone who could have benefited from an immense amount of resources that he is taking up.

I believe that the Dream Act is a nightmare for U.S. citizens. We cannot piggyback a large percentage of a country and expect to come out unscathed.

Camy Buttersfield

Know your food

Re “Good eats: Cooking the perfect steak” (Cover story, by Jason Cassidy, Dec. 8):

Chef Mike Hall says that prime steak may be costly and hard to come across, so he recommends buying select. However, what happened to all the meat graded choice?

As a beef producer it has come to my attention that many consumers are ignorant about not only meat grades, but also agriculture in general. From the two hopeless girls in front of me at the post office pointing at a picture of a cow and honestly thinking it was a donkey to the average consumer buying a steak at Safeway and not knowing what marbling is, most people don’t understand where their food comes from.

I am not saying consumers need to know which farm their steak came from, but I ask that, when you’re at the grocery store, be educated. Know what quality grades are. Know what marbling is. Know the truth about organic. Know how cattle, sheep and pigs are raised. Farmers all over the world are willing to share their story with you; know more than simply how to cook it.

Rachel LaFranchi

Editor’s note: As Ms. LaFranchi suggests, in the section of our cover story last week that she discusses we incorrectly stated that the cut of beef one should ask for at the meat counter is “select.” In fact, the author meant to suggest consumers seek out “choice” cuts whenever available.

A short letter

Wally Herger is against consumer protection. He voted to kill Medicare. Think about it.

Judy Kane

Memory and sex

Re “The Republican Roadshow” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Dec. 8):

I read Mr. Speer’s editorial in which he mocks the current G.O.P. candidates and the “memory lapses” pertaining to sex scandals involving some of the candidates. If memory serves me correctly, when Bill Clinton was president it was called “shenanigans,” but who’s counting?

I will be looking for next week’s issue to see if Mr. Speer will mock John Corzine or Eric Holder over their “memory lapses” concerning some real crimes. Somehow I doubt that we will see that. If he does address the issue, I’m sure it will be full of excuses for the Dems. More liberal propaganda.

Jimmy Hendryx
Live Oak

Herger loves lobbyists

The 2010 Citizens United 5-4 Supreme Court decision declared that big-money interests, like unions and corporations, are officially people. It also deemed that money is equivalent to speech, protected by the First Amendment. It proclaimed that attempts by the American people to limit big money in politics are unconstitutional. This ruling removed any restrictions on what you or I would consider political influence peddling.

Regarding Citizens United, our Congressman Herger stated, “I believe that the decision properly upholds the freedom of speech and facilitates efforts to educate voters about important issues.” Herger has already raised $305,169 toward the 2012 election. Two of his biggest contributors represent the banking and financial industry.

Contrasting Herger is his challenger in the election, Jim Reed, who stated, “I am of course against the Citizens United ruling, as it gives corporations too much influence in our elections and makes it harder for non-corporate-funded candidates to compete. I would support reversing the decision in any way possible.” Mr. Reed has so far raised $5,150 for his 2012 bid to be our new representative.

Voting matters.

Craig Vivas
Mt. Shasta