Letters for December 9, 2004

Correction: The photo last week in the Newslines section of the IHSS rally outside the Butte County Board of Supervisors’ meeting incorrectly identified the speaker, who was Evan Levang, from Independent Living Services of Northern California. The News & Review regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience it may have caused.

Don’t call security
I am outraged by the events described by Patrick Walker in his letter of Nov. 24, “Dangerous security.”

I have two degrees, in theater and film, have been in IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), have designed lighting for everybody from B. B. King to Ray Charles to Dave Brubeck and have done hundreds of shows in every conceivable capacity.

The worst people in show business are the so-called “security” people and the “roadies.” At ballets, plays, musicals, operas and such we have ushers. These are polite, well-mannered people who assist patrons, hand out programs, etc. These are the kinds of people who should be at concerts, not thugs. For all you hoodlums out there who get off wearing T-shirts that say “SECURITY,” I should like to translate your T-shirt for you: What it really says is “LOSER.”

It’s time we got rid of thug “security” personnel. Perhaps we can start by boycotting the Senator Theatre until they learn to treat their patrons with respect and dignity. Or we’re going to have another Altamont, God forbid.

Michael M. Peters
Red Bluff

No disc respect
Recent letters regarding the illegal disc golf course in Upper Bidwell Park reflect general misunderstanding and the unfortunate muckraking of a few enthusiastic project proponents.

First, it is not appropriate to label someone as an “environmental extremist” or “eco-terrorist” just because poorly planned projects on public land are questioned. Our Bidwell Park deserves discourse better than these simplistic, polarizing attacks allow. Ultimately, facts are more useful than heated opinions.

The bootleg disc golf course site is zoned in the Chico General Plan as a Natural Resource Conservation Area. Furthermore, the existing Bidwell Park Management Plan has designated Upper Park for “wilderness recreation” and explicitly prohibits building recreational facilities there. Contrary to what some believe, these are not meaningless designations.

Importantly, the disc golf course impact assessment that is often cited as complete is functionally nonexistent. There were no project-specific wildlife or botanical surveys, no analysis of soil compaction or discussion of potential consequences for blue oaks and other native flora. The city cannot mitigate for impacts that are not understood.

Finally, the attorney hired by concerned citizens was not retained to “stop the disc golf course.” Rather, he was hired to help explain how the city was not complying with city and state laws while pet projects were fast-tracked in Upper Park. The illegal negative declaration issued for the bootleg disc golf course reflects the unfortunate consequences of allowing “foxes to design and build the henhouse” and the city’s inadequate oversight.

The city and disc golfers should start playing by the rules.

John Dittes
Los Molinos

King of suggestions
Amazing that, after publishing two editorials that openly advocated to honor directly the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, you publish the letter by Mr. Charles Geshekter titled “Keep it local.”

This letter is a transparent contradiction of your editorials. It compounds the issue by being obsessed with the terms “local” and “Chico-style” without specifying what these terms convey.

My letter pointing out that the suggestion by Mr. Anthony Watts is just a token gesture was not published by you. Maybe the reason was that it contradicted your editorial and your ego was bruised. Obviously that is not the case.

Let me again suggest that to give a meaning to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, the city of Chico rename the stretch of Highway 32 from West East Avenue to Highway 99 as Martin Luther King Way. The stretch between West Eighth Avenue and West Fifth Street is heavily used by our young, and they will possibly be exposed to some ideas of promoting human dignity as a result of honoring the name of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Brahama D. Sharma

Serve and protect
Seems like a day does not go by without someone having an opinion as to how a Chico police officer has, or has not, performed to the level expected of him or her by the citizens of this great town. Many of their thoughts are often printed by your newspaper. Trust me, we read each and every one of them. If the complaint is legitimate, we make an effort to respond accordingly. We welcome the ongoing assessment of the job we are doing.

Having said that, please allow me to point to an incident that occurred this past week, a frantic call came to the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center from a mother whose 11-year-old son was not breathing. The call was simultaneously put out to police, fire and ambulance. Officer Jose Lara was in close proximity to the call. He immediately responded to the South Chico location. Upon arrival, he found the hysterical mother in her son’s bedroom. The boy was not breathing. Jose initiated the proper steps and began to administer CPR. He was soon joined by another Chico police officer. In less than one minute, they had the young boy breathing. He is alive and was expected to recover at Enloe Hospital. His life was saved.

Officer Lara is a great friend of mine. Because of that incident, he now has some new friends. And yes, he is paid to protect and serve. He gets an A+ for yesterday.

Terry A. Moore
President, Chico Police Officers Association

Another worthy writer
Featuring local authors is interesting and worthy. I would add to Robert Speer’s article on “Why Not Books?” [Holiday Gift guide, Nov. 24] one of the most prolific Chico authors, Gayle Kimball, who has written at least 10 books that I know of. I’ve seen some of her books in Lyon Bookstore, including titles specifically for kids, teens and young adults, as well as her Energy Tools book. I’ve given her books as gifts because they’re so applicable to daily life.

Dolores Blalock

Straight story?
I think the Butte County supervisors’ trash proposals reek of a new “tax,” excessive spending and imposing an extra burden on all legal trash disposers in Butte County.

Isn’t there a $500-$1,000 littering fine in effect already? Why not fine the offenders for their acts rather than the whole Butte County footing the bill?

How many tons per day (seven-days-per-week average) are processed at the landfill on Neal Road? This proposed fee at $3.35 per ton quickly generates a lot of money. A lot. The disbursement of the fee(s) sounds gray and mysterious at best. I think the concept of cleaning up Butte County is good, but I think this proposal needs more investigation and truth before the “trash can lid” falls on us all.

David Lynch