Letters for December 28, 2006

Poor reception for antenna tower
Re: “Cell tower static” (Downstroke, CN&R, Dec, 21):

A cell tower in Hooker Oak park? Bad idea. Move it into Upper Park next to the power lines away from the kids or better yet not at all.

Here is how these cell tower deals work. Communication companies give monthly rent, in this case a hefty $2,000 a month to CARD for the placement of a cell tower in Hooker Oak park. These deals are rushed through city councils without proper environmental-impact studies and without sufficient public debate.

It’s simply reckless not to follow federal guidelines considering cell tower sites. They recommend keeping cell towers one-quarter mile from schools. There are no schools in Hooker Oak park, but there are plenty of kids, playing in two playgrounds just feet from the proposed cell tower site. CARD should increase its revenues with healthy programs that serve the community, not by questionable political deals.

Annie Bidwell would ask for a proper environmental-impact study before putting a cell tower in her beloved park. I support the lawsuit that will stop this nonsense. Let’s honor Annie Bidwell’s charter, step back, and find a sensible solution to protect Chico’s ultimate treasures.

Dan Corbin

I was delighted to learn that a group calling itself Citizens for Community Justice is filing a lawsuit to block the cell phone tower in Bidwell Park. We don’t need non-native, invasive plants or cell phone towers in our beloved park. I am doubtful, however, that this group will succeed in stopping it.

Citizens’ groups and entire communities all over America, after going through all the usual steps in the democratic process to stop corporations from polluting or building yet another giant chain store, have turned to the courts in desperation. But most of the time they lose. We’ve been told that in a democracy the majority rules, but our history demonstrates that corporations rule.

Thanks to lobbying by the communications industry, the FCC, which is neither a health nor an environmental agency, has pre-empted locals from deciding whether cell tower emissions affect health. Since so many young people use the Hooker Oak Recreation Area, I think we should adopt the Precautionary Principle in this case. It states that proponents of a potentially harmful technology must prove that the technology is harmless before it is used.

I congratulate the Citizens for Community Justice for their courageous action to try to protect our park and our children. Carpe diem!

Renee Renaud

Re: “Fore!” (Letters, by Lyle Nelson, CN&R, Dec. 14):

Friends of Bidwell Park’s primary mission is to preserve the natural qualities of Bidwell Park through the support of sustainable park uses such as hiking, biking and horseback riding. Contrary to Mr. Nelson’s recent letter, there is ample evidence that disc golf at the current Upper Park location is having negative impacts on the soils, native vegetation and wildlife of the area.

The original conclusions of the 1999 Mitigated Negative Declaration were based on inadequate data, and subsequently the city of Chico required additional environmental review for the disc golf project as well as review of other proposed park projects. The City Council never approved the project per se; rather, it approved funding for construction, pending the outcome of the environmental review.

This Draft Environmental Impact Report is currently being reviewed by city staff and will become available for public review shortly. The public will then have 45 days to review and comment on the details of the potential impacts of proposed projects for the park and the mitigation measures proposed to offset those impacts.

We believe the citizens of Chico would benefit more by preserving Upper Park in its natural state and that it would be more appropriate to build the course in an alternative location. Upper Park is indeed a sanctuary for a rich diversity of native plant and animal life, as it is a sanctuary for people who appreciate nature. Activities in Upper Park should remain conducive to sustaining such a rare and valuable natural resource.

Susan Mason

Read carefully
Re: “ ‘I feel safer already’ “ (Letters, by Mat Bacior, CN&R, Dec. 14):

I’m unhappy with the editing of my Dec. 7 letter ("Impending doom?"). You left out my motivation for writing the letter! Those who read it felt my “propaganda and Republican fear-mongering” were too shameful for you to print.

I was a Democrat for 35 years before I began informing myself about the dangers this country faces. My letter was written to encourage as many people as possible to read Showdown with a Nuclear Iran by [Michael] Evans and [Jerome] Corsi. It names people, places and dates, backing up the opinions concerning our country’s mortal danger from extreme Islam. Every American should feel it’s his duty to study the history and beliefs of the people who think we are the “Great Satan,” who think when they destroy us they’ll gain huge rewards in heaven.

If you can’t spend 30 minutes a week in a bookstore researching our enemies for yourself—instead preferring to sit in front of the TV listening to ABC, CBS, NBC, being brainwashed as I was six years ago—you will be cursing our leaders when you should be blaming yourself. Our country gets the government it deserves. The voters have spoken. Can any government, Democrat or Republican, protect us from radical Islam?

Spend a few minutes reading America Alone by Mark Steyn. Debate his ideas. If you are unwilling to read and inform yourself and others, you will still be cursing the president when you are on your knees watching the rising mushroom clouds to the south in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Loretta Ann Torres

Editor’s note: In Ms. Torres’ first letter, the sentence on the Evans and Corsi book got trimmed for space reasons. Nothing was cut from this follow-up letter.

Gravel voice
Re: “Rolling rocks” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Dec. 21):

Thanks to Robert Speer for the article on the proposed gravel mine on River Road.

The information was very precise, and the article was informative and interesting.

Many of us hope such a mine proposal will not be accepted.

Louie Ricci

‘Bless Pat Murphy’
Re: “African dreams” (Cover Story, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Dec. 7):

Thank you so much for such a wonderful write-up. I loved the photos. Pat Murphy is a brave and courageous soul to reach out and extend his talents to those in dire straits. And yes, the beseeching eyes of tender children who cannot choose their lives’ pathways are heart-rendering.

My dreams of going to Kenya out of high school got squelched, so I love to read any stories that deal with those who have been blessed to go. God bless Doctors Without Borders and bless Pat Murphy.

Felecia Berg

Nasty by nature
The grass was removed from the small toilet/park area at First Street and Main Street. An iron fence now surrounds the new landscaping. I have also seen at least one public bench removed from downtown Chico, apparently because someone kept sitting on it.

Clearly, Chico now chooses landscape and architecture that is designed to discourage the homeless and transient people. Other cities have done the same. The long-term result is a fortress-like city in which people do not get out of their cars because there is no place to walk, no place to sit, and no place to just “hang out.”

I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Chico has chosen such mean-spirited and short-sighted styles of landscape architecture.

D. Griggs