Letters for December 27, 2001

Vote ’em all out
Enough already. We’ve been long-suffering and patient, but there is only so much that a beleaguered Butte County resident can take.

Butte County is a noble blending of rural areas with small cities and conservatives and liberals. A decade ago, a county supervisor formed her own district. Probably using the advice of the state Democratic Party adviser she married, her district’s lines were cleverly drawn to be dominated by the Chico urban area, thus pocketing the voters most likely to vote for her. She has held a grip on this area since first elected in 1978.

Understand the irony of this. Because she crassly hoarded as many of the liberal voters into one district as possible (to ensure re-election), she made the rest of the districts more conservative.

Now the three conservatives on the board are not satisfied with having a majority. They want it all. So, learning from Dolan’s playbook, they contacted a Republican Party adviser and redrew the district lines. Like Captain Renault in Casablanca, Houx and Dolan are shocked to find politics going on. Lawsuits aplenty, at our expense.

This dysfunctional board should not continue. We must consider voting them all out and starting fresh with people who are actually interested in Butte County.

Alternatively, we could check whether we can have an open vote, where the top vote getters can be seated. This works in Chico’s City Council to have both liberal and conservative voices heard.

Or we could re-elect those who created this mess.

Barry Johnson

Tireless effort
After much thought and contemplation, this south Butte County resident has the last word for low-/no-cost garbage and tire disposal. No, I don’t want money or fame for what I’m about to give south Butte County. (You can buy me a beer the next time you see me, however.) No need for those pricey experts. (Ex is a has-been; spurt is a drip under pressure.) None of that. Let my community spirit shine by freely giving what I know!

Here’s the deal: Use the roadsides for dumpsites. Think of it; the roads are already loaded with trash, so why not finish the job? No more expensive land fills; dump your stuff close to home; no noisy garbage trucks at 5 a.m. Getting rid of tires is even better. If you figure about 10,000 tires per mile over 100 or so miles, well, do the math, a million tires evenly distributes! No more big tire dumps to catch on fire and pollute the skies.

It gets better yet! No opposition! The Oroville City Council bought in years ago when they stopped any cleanup. The county is a buy-in, too. I gave Bob Beeler 10 bucks for his campaign, and he’s on board. No complaints from the residents, either. They see trash and tires along the roads all the time and not one peep of complaint or worry. And CDF? Well, they have allowed so much fuel load to accumulate along the roads that a little more won’t hurt.

As a loyal resident I’m proud to give these ideas freely. I will be pissed, however, if I find that later the county or city pays a consultant for my ideas!

Peter Maki

For what you do
It has been 12 months since the California Nurses Association and Enloe Medical Center began negotiating Enloe RNs’ first union contract. As a registered nurse at Enloe, I am ready to have the negotiations end and to finally begin comfortably working under a contract that better ensures an environment of justice for registered nurses.

Over the past two years I have had the privilege of getting to know better many of the articulate, intelligent and impassioned nurses who work at Enloe. This whole process of organizing and negotiating has given many of us a chance to look a little more closely at the role of a nurse and the current state and future of our profession.

It is becoming ever clearer that nurses must not only look honestly at the value of what we do, but also collectively at what we are and what we must be. We know our patients deserve and count on our efficacy to advocate for their individual needs. In order to do this most effectively we must advocate in a strong clear voice what we need. Nursing and our patients deserve nothing less.

So, I challenge every nurse to look upward and dare to envision the best that may be for nursing, and at the same time look closely and honestly into the eyes of your patients. Where the two meet is the truth of what every nurse is. Know your worth because it is vital that you do.

The time has come when every competent nurse has a job at any hospital in America. We’re past the point of begging for recognition and compensation. Expect it. Support yourself, your fellow nurses and your profession. Let’s have a true voice at Enloe Medical Center for our own sake and our patients’ optimal care.

Nicky McKinney RN
Enloe Hospital


Lunatic fringe
I have lived in Chico for 12 years, and the sheer lunacy of the opinions expressed in the Chico News & Review never ceases to amaze me when I am foolish enough to open its pages and read the commentaries published therein.

In the Nov. 8 edition, “peace activist” John-Michael Sun [“Don’t ignore the war,” Guest comment] condemns our military actions in Afghanistan because “the truth is, the ‘they’ who did it [murdered more than 3,000 innocent Americans on Sept. 11] to us are already dead.” Apparently Mr. Sun would absolve the leaders who gave these terrorists their marching orders of any wrong-doing, or, regardless, we should leave them alone because they choose to hide behind innocent women and children held hostage in their own country.

It has always struck me that the term “peace activist” is oxymoronic, for it is merely a euphemism for a do-nothing-to-defend-the-cause-of-freedom philosophy. The real “truth” Mr. Sun should have learned from Sept. 11 is the truth that all it takes for evil to proliferate in the world is for good people to stand by and do nothing, precisely the policy toward terrorism taken during the eight years we endured under another great “peace activist,” William Jefferson Clinton.

Did it ever occur to Mr. Sun that one of the reasons some of the Sept. 11 murderers are dead is because the heroes of flight 93 took it upon themselves to thwart their evil intentions even at the sacrifice of their own lives? Had they done nothing, how many more innocents would have been murdered that day if the plane had reached its intended target? To my mind, the men and women who acted on flight 93 that day are the true activists of peace, and so are the men and women of the world coalition who are currently putting themselves in harm’s way to obliterate the threat of future terrorism and secure Mr. Sun’s freedom to express himself in your pages.

Joseph A. Pratt