Letters for February 11, 2010

It’s the liberals’ fault

Re “Out of work and weary” (Cover story, by Shannon Rooney, Feb. 4):

I knew four years ago that, with the liberals in control of California, job-producing companies would move out of California due to high taxes and the red tape you have to go through to do business in this state. Things are not going to get better any time soon, as other business won’t locate in this state because of the liberals and the EPA’s controls on business.

I’m lucky. I paid my house off instead of taking a vacation every six months and saved my money to survive these hard times.

Dennis Partlow

Move health care forward

Re “Mr. President: Don’t give up. Please” (Editorial, Feb. 4):

The president isn’t the one who isn’t doing his job—it is Congress, specifically the Senate and Harry Reid. Instead of worrying about the Republicans and their threats of a filibuster, the Democrats should pass the legislation they want and that is needed.

If the Republicans want to filibuster every bill that is passed, let them. It would only show the public that they truly are the party of no. It would also force the Republicans to try to work with the president and the Democrats, instead of just trying to obstruct everything.

Bruce Allen
Forest Ranch

My birthday is in January. Every January I get a love letter from my health-insurance provider. I’m self-employed and pay 100 percent of my premiums and costs, so these letters are very important. When I turned 40, that letter was a whopper. They raised my premium nearly $100 per month. “Happy birthday!” I thought.

This year, they told me I’m going to pay $80 more per month. I’m healthy, take care of myself and am being rewarded with nearly a $1,000-a-year increase in my premiums.

Since I’ve not had a cost-of-living adjustment for nearly 10 years—unless I go after additional contract work (something I can’t do since I’m maxed out on time)—a $1,000-a-year increase has a direct impact on the way I live.

No more cable TV. No more wine club. No more eating out. Why? I need to pay for the health-insurance plan I infrequently use.

A new federal study shows that health-care spending rose to an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009, or $8,047 per person—and is now projected to nearly double by 2019.

Thanks to my monthly health-care increase, one winery will be less supported, the cable company … well … they’ll do just fine; and local restaurants will suffer my absence.

Did I mention we’re having a raffle for an artist friend who is in need of cancer treatments? This is what America has come to: raffles and car washes for people who can’t afford health care. Despicable.

Washington insists health-care reforms should be delayed or even given up on. We need action not rhetoric. People are literally dying. Issues like this are a constant chipping away at our ability to live the “American Dream.” It’s apparent that the “dream” has become a nightmare for many.

Happy birthday to me.

Debra Lucero

Examples of corruption

Re “Let the bird-dogging continue” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Feb. 4):

This guy [Don Bird] should just shut up. It has been proven there is no probable cause to arrest this man [Assemblyman Jim Nielsen]. Hell, look at our governor; he wasn’t even born in this state. But because he married a Kennedy he got the job. His wife breaks all the rules about cell phones. He wrecks his Harley and breaks a finger. I bet he never got a ticket. Just shows how corrupt our politics are.

Phillip Belcher
Shasta Lake City

Having fun at Nick’s

Re “ ‘A loophole for stripping’ ” (Letters, by Michael Morse, Jan. 28):

Being one of the dancers at the Saturday-night “burlesque” shows at Nick’s Nightclub, I was surprised to read Michael Morse’s letter. I have been there every night we’ve had dancing girls, and I can say I’ve never seen him there. I used to be good friends with his wife and even attended their wedding in Reno. How can he have an opinion on something he’s never witnessed?

We do realize the show isn’t exactly burlesque and should have a different name for it. I am very strict about how the girls dress. They all check with me on any outfit they wish to wear. I also watch them dance on stage to make sure everything is covered. I am a bartender at Nick’s as we’ll as a dancer, so I don’t want anything to happen that could put the bar in jeopardy.

Ken Smith [author of “Live girls! (Nearly) nude!” (Scene, Jan. 21)] failed to do any sort of proper reporting. He didn’t speak with the owner of the bar or Tony Eidem, who runs the show every Saturday night. Ken didn’t talk to any of the other girls or customers. What Ken neglected to report is that most everyone who goes though that red curtain stays and enjoys themselves. I try to talk to everyone in there and always ask them what they think of what we do. I’ve never once heard anyone complain.

I’m sure in Michael’s case it would be more worthwhile to drive 20 minutes outside of town to go to Centerfolds, where his wife is a dancer and manager at the strip club. Why wouldn’t he do what he can to get people out there? I used to work there and couldn’t be happier since I quit.

All we’re trying to do at Nick’s is offer a fun night out—a place in town where you can drink, watch girls dance and not break the bank. Leaving the bar on a Saturday night with your girlfriend, I’ve heard, has a very happy ending!

Kiersti B.

Editor’s note: As his story indicates, Ken Smith talked at length with both the woman who managed the show (and who also sometimes doubles as a dancer) and one of that night’s dancers.

Horses run to death

Re “Wild horse hullabaloo” (Earthwatch, Feb. 4):

Last I heard, there were 42 deaths, two of which were foals. They were run so hard that basically they ran their hooves off. One of the foals was then loaded in a truck, hauled for four hours, unloaded and shot.

The public and the horses are paying a very high price for the irresponsible decisions of the BLM. This is costing the taxpayers millions, but saving the cattle ranchers millions. I believe the Humane Society of the United States needs to step up to the plate regarding the animal abuse that is going on. And an investigation of the BLM needs to happen—soon.

Catherine Jackson

Think teaching’s easy?

Re: “Chico’s school dilemma” (Letters, by Eric Schumacher, Nov. 25):

Mr. Schumacher sourly points out that the median income for a full-time teacher in the CUSD is nearly $80,000, versus his stated local median of approximately $36,000 for men and $10,000 less for women. I hope that he recalls his math well enough to realize that teacher salaries are averaged into those latter figures as well!

I’ve successfully been a firefighter, a soldier, a Class-1 trucker and a businessperson, and I am a published author—and this is the hardest job I’ve ever held! I’m 64 years of age and earn a bit over 60,000-odd bucks a year, with 14 years in the public school classroom (22 years total with CUSD), and I still like, respect and—for money—worry about your kids.

By the way, California ranks near the bottom in the USA in per-student spending, not academics, as Mr. Schumacher misstated!

Wick Humble
Kindergarten teacher


‘Fear-mongering hysteria’

Here they go again with their fear-mongering hysteria regarding the early release of inmates from California prisons due to extreme overcrowding.

Once again, let me say that only the low-level, nonviolent offenders who are in their last year of confinement and have been well behaved will even be considered for this program. This is not a massive release of murderers or rapists or any other violent offenders. It will be phased in over a period of two years, allowing for a gradual release, not a mass exodus, as some law-enforcement people would have us believe.

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) routinely releases more than 120,000 inmates annually anyway. More are being sent to prison than are being released. Hence the overcrowding and the revolving-door syndrome.

Very little rehabilitation is occurring, and health care is atrocious. That is why the judges ordered the release.

Larry Phipps