Letters for December 28, 2017

‘Smoke and mirrors’

Hidden under the layers of smoke and mirrors that make up Trump’s tax scam is a provision that allows churches to launch political campaign endorsements from the pulpit without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status. So much for separation of church and state.

It is important to note that this blatant inspiration of unethical legislation is based on the overwhelming support for Republican policies favorable to white, evangelical Christians, in particular their proclivity for demanding control over women’s reproductive rights and so-called traditional marriage. All in the name of the unborn who they demand to speak for.

Therefore, it is interesting to note that Republicans consistently voted to cut funding for school lunch programs, called for the end to food stamps for low-income families, and slashed funding for after-school programs for disadvantaged youth.

So Republicans, and their very important white Christian political bloc, have consistently railed against those that support abortion, while voting for a budget that will add $1.5 trillion to the country’s debt, something down the road that today’s children will be burdened with.

Republicans demand that children be protected. Once they are born, however, all bets are off.

Roger S. Beadle


Of Trump and LaMalfa

And the Golden-Haired One traveled from the East with his host of pale-faced minions. And he took “The Hat” high into the Sutter Buttes. And he spread his arms across District 1 and said, “I can confer all this upon you. For I shall teach you how to make the truth a lie, and a lie the truth.

“And I, the Great Divider, shall aid you in teaching the people how to hate their neighbors and quake with fear of those not of their color, their religion, their sex, their language. And the people will seek your protection, cast money at you and praise you abundantly.

“And I will teach you to despise the poor and helpless, for they are the least among us. And when they have nothing left, we turn to the billions squandered in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. And the moneyed chorus shouts, ‘It is not finished. We who have all, need more. Those with little or nothing need less.’ And it shall be given to us. The people shall render a little to you, their Hat, and most to me, their Caesar.”

“What do you ask of me?” asked the Hat. The Golden-Haired One replied: “You will praise me, bless me, kneel down before me and say there is none other but me.” And the Hat did. And the minions fell to their knees and sang, “Hail to the Chief!” And he stood high before them, raised his hands, looked around and said, “It is good!”

Lynn Elliott


Incentivize green tech

Re “Gaining ground” (Newslines, by Julie Cart, Dec. 7):

There was good news in a CN&R story revealing the state cut greenhouse gas emissions last year even as our economy boomed. But the story pointed out the reductions were not because of California’s landmark cap-and-trade law, designed to ratchet down climate changing pollution over time. The decrease was mostly because the exceptionally wet winter boosted hydropower production.

This points to the problem with cap-and-trade, a strategy in which regulators set total emission levels and then auction off pollution permits. The idea is that polluters who have to pay for the gunk they put in our air will put less gunk in the air. It can work, but only if regulators take the right actions at the right time so energy prices rise sufficiently to make conservation cost-effective. That isn’t happening.

A much simpler and more effective way is to put a small but gradually increasing fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels. That tells producers and consumers energy cost will rise over time and, therefore, clean technology and conservation measures will become increasingly economical. The plan can also protect individuals from rising costs by returning the fees to citizens. For details, Google “carbon fee and dividend.”

Gordon Gregory


City ignores the course

Over the last three years at several meetings of the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission (BPPC) and separately with city of Chico staff, representatives of Friends of Bidwell Park and the Mount Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society have expressed concern that mitigation and monitoring measures at Peregrine Point Disc Golf Course have not been successfully implemented. These measures were prescribed by the legally binding California Environmental Quality Act document adopted by the city for development of this course.

Measures designed to promote the survival and health of species (blue oak, Butte County checkerbloom, Bidwell’s knotweed and wildflower fields) adversely impacted by disc golf are: tree protection devices (disc deflectors); relocation of baskets (holes) away from impacted oaks; replenishment of wood chips around pads (tees) and baskets; concentration of foot traffic on fairways with barriers; and interpretive signs throughout the course.

Monitoring the efficacy of these mitigation measures has not been done quantitatively in the last two years. The BPPC has not received a comprehensive report on the status of the city’s management of the disc golf course since August 2016. The BPPC with city staff need to adequately manage this conflict of natural and recreational resources.

Woody Elliott


A feel-good story

Something amazing happened at the Oasis Bar & Grill the other night. While I was bartending, a homeless man came in and turned in a wallet he had found out front. He just handed it to me and walked away. I opened the wallet and was stunned to see that there was easily over $3,000 in cash in it, not counting the credit cards and checks that were there as well.

I looked at the ID and recognized the wallet’s owner as a regular I had served earlier. I gave it to the bar owner, Stacy Schaefer, and went after the homeless guy, asked him his name—he said it was Zack—and told him I wanted to buy him a beer. He came back inside and Stacy and I thanked him by buying him a couple of drinks and giving him some of the ham and cookies left over from our Christmas party, some chips and a burger all in a goody bag for him. Stacy had contacted the owner of the wallet, who arrived and shook Zack’s hand, thanked him personally, and handed him $100 for his kind gesture.

I thanked Zack again, asked if I could take his picture, then he disappeared into the night. Merry Christmas, Zack, you’re the man.

Terry Smith