Letters for December 6, 2001

Bertagna MIA
The redistricting circus being played out by three members of the Butte County Board of Supervisors is an embarrassment and disservice to the citizens of Butte County. These three supervisors represent districts outside the Chico area and seem hell bent on changing the district boundaries in Chico.

I have known both Jane Dolan and Mary Anne Houx for 30-plus years. Mary Anne in particular is exactly what I believe a true representative should be. She returns phone calls. She has an open mind and truly listens. I do not always agree with her, but you know where she stands on the issues, and why. She is fair and does an excellent job of representing those she serves. She has done this for many years.

She is up for re-election, and I hope for the good of the people of Butte County she will be reelected. Her opponent, Steve Bertagna, seems to be missing in action on this redistricting mess. He did not vote to have the Chico City Council oppose the outrageous actions of the “Chico-bashing supervisors” and has been silent on the broader issues involved. If he refuses to be part of the solution, he becomes part of the problem. Mr. Bertagna has been a good city councilmember, but his silence on this matter is deafening. Does Steve want to represent the interests of Chico, or is he hoping to be a part of the “Good Old Boy’s Network"?

Charlie Preusser

Soup’s on
On the evening of Nov. 20 more than 400 people came to Chico High School for a simple meal of soup and bread, the first local Empty Bowls dinner. Through ticket sales, a raffle and a silent auction, we raised $6,000. The proceeds will go to the Chico Community Shelter Partnership to help alleviate hunger in our community.

The Chico High Leadership Through Service class would like to thank everyone who helped make this wonderful night possible. Through the support of Chico High students, teachers and staff, local businesses and organizations and numerous other people, we were able to serve the community and meet our goals for this project. As a class we wanted to raise at least $5,000 for the Shelter Partnership, promote awareness among students and the community about hunger and develop our own leadership skills. With help from all segments of our community we were successful. Thank you.

Chico High Leadership Through Service

America-haters, go home
Earlier this year the ACLU threatened the Virginia Military Institute with legal action because their cadets—get this—say grace before eating! Oh my God! Oops … can I say “God"?

This band of tyrants, this time the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, had nothing better to do than go after military cadets for thanking God for their blessings and their meals. Two cadets complained that this made them feel uncomfortable, even though the prayer thanked “God,” not Christ, and it was not mandatory for them to take part in the thanksgiving.

In this time of war it is vital that we expose America-haters like the ACLU. These rebels are not being candidly honest. It has nothing to do with civil liberties! What civil liberties are being violated in the Virginia Military Institute? Which article or amendment in the Constitution gives freedom from the saying of grace or freedom from religion?

These people, like many folks in the Middle East, have only one thing on their mind. They care only about destroying America! They are committing terrorism against the American culture. The only civil right they care about is their invented right of freedom from America! If anybody out there wants freedom from America—this includes the bandits of higher education—I suggest that you get out! Take your tired euphemisms and go live in Syria or India. Stop pretending you care about anything other than destroying the United States and Western civilization!

You’re wasting your time. Osama’s bombs can’t beat us back, and neither will your pathetic protests.

Pete Dunning

Bounced-check writers
Thanks for your coverage of the district attorney’s pre-holiday bad-check arrest sweep ["DA gets coverage galore for well-publicized ‘Bad Check Strike,'” Briefly, Nov. 15]. Such coverage is always appreciated, as it demonstrates the consequences of irresponsible behavior (the bad check writers', not mine) and allows for those similarly inclined to be properly warned. However, it is important in the name of accuracy to point out a few inaccurate and/or misleading statements in the article.

Your article stated I dispatched “a whole bunch” of investigators to serve 35 arrest warrants for writing bad checks—"many of which were for less than $40.” In fact, only three teams of two DA investigators were sent to serve a total of 22 arrest warrants. And only one warrant was for a check in an amount less than $40. These 22 suspects owed local businesses $4,926.71 in bounced checks. Most owed $100 or more, the highest amount being $784.60.

Prior to the warrant stage, we try very hard to resolve all checks submitted to our Bad Check Unit by allowing multiple chances for the bad-check writers to divert out of the criminal-justice system by making good on their bad checks. Those arrested failed to heed these multiple opportunities. It must be remembered that writing a bad check is a form of theft, regardless of the amount. If we choose not to enforce the law on amounts less than, say, $50, we would expect bad check writers to understand and act upon such information.

Mike Ramsey
Butte County District Attorney

Road to ruin
At the Nov. 27 Chico City Council meeting, the pro-development majority (Rick Keene, Dan Herbert, Larry Wahl, Steve Bertagna) voted to spend public money on 12 expensive environmental-impact reports. They propose to “study” all potential growth expansion areas, from Keefer Road in the north to Neal Road in the south. What this vote means is that a de facto process has been put into motion that once begun will be hard to stop. With this vote the assumption has already been made that this long corridor of Highway 99 will inevitably be developed.

Must we assume the fate of other Central Valley towns that didn’t pause to plan their growth? Must we make the same old dreary mistake and string our growth haphazardly down Highway 99 until it merges with Sacramento? Must we usher in those ugly, graffiti-prone concrete walls designed to stop the traffic noise from reaching the endless look-alike houses crowding the edges of the freeway? And someday, when we’re biding away our time stuck in traffic somewhere south of town, will we remember the grasslands and groves we once forfeited to bad planning? Is this the only future the council majority can imagine for us, the best it has to offer?

Karen Laslo