Letters for February 1, 2007

‘Zero pollution'—really?
Re: “Helpful hybrids” (Editorial, CN&R, Jan. 25):

In last week’s editorial, you used the term “zero pollution” [regarding plug-in hybrid cars]. This is an obvious misnomer.

Every day in the United States we discard hundreds of thousands of tires. For every paint job, a lot of stuff goes into the world that you don’t want your kids eating, drinking or breathing. There are hundreds of millions of lead-acid batteries in service in this country.

Increased use of electric cars will require increased generating capacity, meaning more coal, natural gas, hydro or nuclear power.

Mechanical contrivances do not function within the living systems that have developed, over very long periods, to work elegantly and in a self-sustaining fashion. One of the most basic facts we know about our physical universe is that we never get something for nothing. Failure to deal intelligently and responsibly with these facts is a failure to adequately function as a free citizen.

Nelson H. Kaiser

Faulting letter-writer’s logic
Re: “He chooses to dissent” (Letters, by Michael M. Peters, CN&R, Jan. 25):

Mr. Peters, are you arguing against feminism, or abortion, or both at once? I am by no means a feminist, but even I can’t help but sense the faulty logic in your claim that feminism has produced increases in heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, etc. That reeks of a false cause attribution.

As for the divorce rate and increased stress, is it not important to consider other factors, such as the increased number of women with jobs over the span of time that you mentioned? The 1960s saw the passing of critical laws regarding employment rights and discrimination; according to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 60 percent of women hold jobs today compared to 33.9 percent in 1950.

As for abortion: I did not see a point in Ms. Heckert’s article (the Jan. 18 Guest Comment) in which she said that abortions are “good for you.” She was celebrating the fact that for 34 years now, women in our country have been given the ability to actively choose whether they are ready to be a mother or not—or, in the case of adoption, whether they simply want to put their body through the long physical stress of pregnancy.

Perhaps you should just keep to your trout fishing and leave your fallacious reasoning out of important issues.

Alys DiMercurio

Local TV critic airs new gripe
Re: “A second bad review” (Letters, by G. Willett, CN&R, Jan. 11):

OK, I said I would never watch the North State channels again after they failed to televise our governor’s swearing-in. Then I thought, “Oops, maybe I screwed up.”

On Jan. 27, Hillary Clinton was the first candidate to give a speech on what she wants to do for our country. Though she is not the first woman to run for the presidency, she is the first woman to have a good chance of winning.

Only two channels televised Mrs. Clinton’s speech: Fox [News] Channel, thank you for those few minutes, and CNN, thank your commentator for overriding Mrs. Clinton. North State channels thought Power Rangers and basketball were more important.

We are at war, and it seems to me the media should assist us in choosing the right candidate and other pertinent information; 2008 is not that far away. As for Bush, we just have to wait for time to run out. In the meantime hundreds of soldiers are dying, jobs are being sent to other countries, and farmers are being paid not to grow crops. Are the media about making money or informing the public?

G. Willett

Deep thoughts
Re: “Killing” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, CN&R, Jan. 11):

Mr. Porter implies that if you don’t think about something, it can’t get you. Just don’t think about sex with children (if you don’t want any) or poor leaders (dictators or the voted-in kind, it doesn’t matter). It reminds me of the “Just Say No” slogan. “Just don’t think it"—it’s all going to go on anyway.

Now that might be true. Or, it might matter how we think about things, and not whether we are thinking or not.

I wonder how many thoughts Mr. Porter has that he is fully aware he has? The thoughts we don’t know we are thinking, our unconscious thoughts, now those can get you.

Carla Maxwell

Tow away ad campaign
I was totally surprised and upset this [Tuesday] morning when I was driving down The Esplanade at approximately 8:20 a.m. Here is this pick-up truck towing a trailer with advertising. What, is this #%$&-ing Vegas?!?

Talk about an unenvironmental way to advertise, much less take up the space of two cars while everyone is trying to get to work. I admit, being a single parent, I don’t get out a lot in the mornings, so how long has this stupidity been going on? Don’t we have enough ads thrown at us on a continual basis? I can’t even remember what the ad was for.

I would hope the people who are doing this could come up with some better way to waste fuel and space. Let’s move forward—why don’t you do the same thing with smaller signs and bicycles? I bet you would get more attention and support.

W.A. Strom

Residential education
It’s encouraging to learn about CSU Chico’s recent and well-publicized commitment to campus sustainability. The university impacts a great many lives and occupies a lion’s share of downtown properties, so any change in campus habits and policies that attempts to create a more environmentally sound institution is an asset not only for an impressionable student body but the community at large, as well.

Recent comments by administrators, however, have left this alumna scratching her head. It’s confusing to learn about plans for campus expansion—with larger dorms, extravagant gyms, the acquisition of Chico High School or the veterans building, and the demolition of urban green space and a treasured old sports field for new construction and parking needs—when the same administrators who champion sustainability escape the urban environment for rural homes beyond our city limits.

If the message really is about underscoring a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to “walk the talk, and practice the values of sustainability … to live our strategic plan and teach by example,” CSUC leaders need to make serious changes in their personal lives, eliminate the commute, and become city residents. Otherwise, the message they risk sending the student body is to do as they say and not as they do, and to city residents that high-density plans and continued expansion are acceptable as long as they are not personally expected to reside within them.

Christina Aranguren

Stand up for the park
Are you saddened by the sight of private mansions overlooking Upper Bidwell Park? Are you angered because you know the city failed to enforce mitigation for the project designed to limit the visibility of this portion of Chico’s sole gated community? Wouldn’t you love for this never to happen again?

If you answered “yes,” “yes,” but especially “yes,” listen up.

Tuesday (Feb. 6), the Chico City Council will be asked to establish a Bidwell Park Sphere of Influence (BPSI), defined as within 1,000 feet from the boundaries of Upper Park and Middle Park and immediately adjacent to the boundaries of Lower Park.

The good news: If the city can actually muster the guts to protect the viewshed using rock-solid ordinances, then we and our descendants can enjoy relatively pristine views from within historic and wild Upper Bidwell Park.

The bad news: What is being sent up from the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission essentially amounts to a request to allow the BPPC to comment on discretionary developments within the proposed BPSI boundary.

Come on, City Council, let’s put some teeth into park protections!

Randy Abbott