Letters for December 25, 2008

If only shelters weren’t needed …
Re: “For animals’ sake” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Dec. 18):

Animal shelters are the one service provided by government and nonprofits (like the Humane Society) that are 100 percent the result of people being irresponsible. If people would just take responsibility for their pets, have them spayed or neutered, and keep them in good care, animal shelters would be entirely unnecessary.

What a waste just because people cannot take care of their pets!

Paul McIntosh

… and in such dire need …
While I applaud the Butte Humane Society for its positive local changes, I feel it necessary to point out some flaws in the Humane Society of the United States. According to the HSUS’s 2006 tax returns, they have more than $250 million in the bank. With that amount of money, the HSUS could easily afford to support all local shelters like ours.

Instead of supporting our local shelters in desperate need of help, the HSUS spends the majority of that money on lobbying for anti-breeder laws, anti-farming laws and other special interests to achieve its true goal of total animal liberation. In fact, HSUS spent more than $4.1 million to support Prop 2, which is expected to cost our already-broke state $648 million and 3,561 jobs, not to mention it will do very little to change the treatment of most farm animals.

If you want to help the animals that we love, please donate to our local shelters and not the special-interest group that is the Humane Society of the United States.

Megan Brown

… but since they are: thanks!
Heather Schoeppach is not only a wonderful person but she is already an outstanding director of the Butte Humane Society! She is definitely the best person for the job, and I have faith that the shelter will only improve under her care.

I’m so grateful that CN&R wrote a story about BHS. The shelter, and the animals that pass through the shelter, deserve attention now more than ever, especially during these economic times. I hope that the residents of Chico will band together and support BHS on zootoo.com and within the community. They deserve it!

Shannon York

The birds and the (Fris)bees
Re: “Upper Park echo: ‘Silent spring’ “ (Guest Comment, by Karen Laslo, CN&R, Dec. 18):

The disc-golf conversation has been frustrating because there is so much hype thrown in. Karen Laslo likens disc golf to DDT and implies that humans and birds cannot coexist on the same piece of property.

In our old neighborhood in mid-town Chico, we enjoy a variety of birds. Juncos, gold finches and bush tits strip the sunflower heads still standing in my garden. A towhee scratches through the leaves in my driveway, looking for bugs. There is a new nest in the hedge along my driveway every spring.

Cedar waxwings cleaned the last berries from my dogwoods last week. Sitting together, one bird picks the berries, handing them down the line. Tiny vitreos eat them one little bite at a time, leaving a perfectly stripped seed.

Laslo says raptors won’t mate or nest around people. Last spring as I was working in my yard, I looked up into my oaks to see a hawk noisily and unabashedly mounting his mate. Every year they nest in one of the large trees near our house, making a loud, aerobatic display.

All this among kids playing Frisbee, baseball, basketball and hockey with their barky dogs, go figure. Two blocks from Highway 99.

Likewise, animals coexist happily at the Highway 32 disc-golf course. When the acorns were ripening, the place was alive with the chatter of woodpeckers and mountain jays. There are always titmice, finches and juncos in the trees, and quail scurrying through the grass.

Let’s just stick to the facts, ma’am.

Juanita Sumner

Clearing up water issue
Re: “Better solution to water problem” (Letters, CN&R, Dec. 18):

“Yikes,” I shouted as I read Robin Huffman’s letter about Butte County’s Tuscan study and exploitation of the Tuscan Aquifer. We must do everything we can to keep local control over our water resources and protect the Tuscan. Then I realized that the county was already doing that, and what she described was wrong. Well, except the fact that state initiatives will jeopardize the sustainability of our water resources.

Contrary to Ms. Huffman’s description, the study only involves putting in monitoring wells, measuring streams, better understanding how our groundwater recharges and assessing how existing uses of the Tuscan affect the basin.

The study does not involve artificial recharge or conjunctive management, nor does it support any efforts to facilitate movement of water outside the county. Her notion that Butte County would be engaged in installing pipes to move water to Southern California is pure fiction. Butte County will continue its strong record of fighting to protect our water resources through litigation, local rules and advocacy.

I cannot be more succinct than the Dec. 11 CN&R editorial “BEC’s misguided lawsuit.” Given the stakes that lie ahead, we must stand together to protect our water resources, and base our dialogue on facts.

Paul Gosselin
Butte County Department of Water & Resource Conservation

Attention to detail
Re: “Aging, with an open mind” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Dec. 18):

I would like to thank Meredith Cooper for her excellent article on Trinity United Methodist Church. She hit the highlights of our history, and she did her homework. For instance, she made clear that the Rev. Cyprian Gridley, who was the pastor present when our church (soon to be called the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church) was founded, was not the person for whom Gridley, Calif., was named. Great job!

Pastor David Moss

Controversial comments
Re: “Did the Orion censor this Palestinian writer?” (Newslines, by Katie Booth, CN&R, Dec. 18):

I decided to do some undercover investigation in the College of Education at Chico State and had a talk with Dave Waddell about writing for the Orion. I was a professional journalist and was enrolled in the university as a graduate student. The impression I got from Waddell was that he did not want controversy.

Even the Chico News & Review will not print some of the letters I write dealing with feminism and the negative effect it has on our schoolchildren (91 percent of all grade-school teachers are female and 80 percent of all high-school dropouts are male, for instance).

The fact is, newspapers are commercial enterprises looking at the bottom line and are run by editors who are biased and have their own political agenda and who pander to their reader and advertising base. There is no freedom of the press. That’s why the Internet has become predominant and why newspapers are dying.

Michael M. Peters

A Chico State faculty member described Amro Jayousi’s works as “anti-Semitic,” and “threatening to my existence as a Jew.” As practicing and non-practicing Jewish members of the Chico community, we are offended that such language is used against a colleague of ours who couldn’t be more undeserving of such defamation.

That terminology like this can be publicly applied to such an outstanding student and contributing member of this community is alarming.

Possibly greater than the damage done to the name of Amro Jayousi is the damage done to the term “anti-Semitic.” It is a term that must be reserved for use only when absolutely appropriate.

To utilize the term in an illegitimate manner as this faculty member has is to cheapen and devalue it. The term has won a hard-fought place in our vocabulary, and to apply it lacking proper cause is to jeopardize its significance.

Criticizing the policies of the state of Israel does not constitute anti-Semitism. Policies of occupation, impoverishment, and oppression are policies Amro Jayousi has rigorously criticized, and he has done so rightly.

William Barone, Jeremy Benintende, Scott Hoopingarner and Michael Hoopingarner

Editor’s note: Mr. Jayousi echoes this opinion in this week’s Guest Comment.

Heed her lesson
Re: “Survivor tells her story of life in hell” (Newslines, by Katie Booth, CN&R, Dec. 4):

I saw the talk given by Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Renee Firestone at Chico State. It was so powerful to see and hear true tales by this sweet, 84-year-old woman who had gone through the worst torture camp the Nazis could muster.

She was full of positive energy, and spoke with grace and kindness, but rightly pointed out how we have not learned our lesson from this genocidal chapter. She strongly condemned the world community for allowing further acts of genocide to continue, such as occurred in Rwanda, Cambodia and the ongoing travesty in Darfur.

I totally agree. We should all take heed of history’s worst tragedies to prevent a new one. At least write, e-mail or call your local and national elected leaders to combat another version of the Holocaust as it is being played out in Darfur.

Victor Cantu

What’s in a name
The incredible depth of corruption and rip-off prevalent in this system has taken on a new perspective. It now has extended to the crooks scamming their own, with Bernard Madoff cleaning out more of the elite than people and charities.

A caveat, unnoticed, was contained in his name: “Mad(e)off.”

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff