Letters for February 15, 2018
A note of thanks
Re “Not safe at home,” by Robert Speer, Feb. 8):
I would like to thank Robert Speer for the excellent article that covered Jim Tanimoto and me on the topic of the World War II Japanese-American incarceration camps and the effects of racism. I also encourage the community to visit the excellent exhibit Imprisoned at Home at Chico State’s Museum of Anthropology. The article ends with the poignant message, “Don’t let what happened in 1942 happen again.” I couldn’t agree more.
Some good news for the critical times we live in with the current administration is that on the anniversary of the Korematsu v. United States Supreme Court decision, in December, Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono introduced S. 2250 the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017. The legislation seeks to prevent human rights violations like the Japanese-American incarceration from happening again. Rep. Mark Takano also introduced HR. 4680 Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017 to the House of Representatives.
Re “DA sues DWR over dam” (Downstroke, Feb. 8):
In regards to the article about Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey suing the Department of Water Resources, the Department of Fish and Game has been renamed Fish and Wildlife for some years. Ramsey should look into the Sierra Silica Resources mines on Table Mountain, visible on Google Earth, to see if they are polluting the Feather River and causing damage to the fish population.
Re “The Crusades come to America” (Guest comment, by Roger S. Beadle, Feb. 8):
After reading Roger S. Beadle’s contribution to your newspaper, I took some time and researched his assertion that “… which harms tens of thousands of women …”
It didn’t take long to find that Mr. Beadle did no research on his own or inflated the numbers to make the issue sound more ominous. While there are stories of women not being told of their options during miscarriage at some Catholic hospitals, most cited the same two or three articles and patients to whom this had occurred, including two articles put forth by the ACLU.
If there are 381 or so Catholic hospitals, then each would have had 50 or so incidents to achieve Mr. Beadle’s assertion, yet these same articles discussed only five to seven incidents over the previous 18 months at the hospitals they were flagging as bad.
Response to criticism
Re “‘Hardly reliable’” (Letters, by Lynn Elliott, Feb. 8):
There has been some criticism of my letter, raising the possibility that Americans are getting flawed information on issues concerning our nation.
One letter writer, in the CN&R, suggested that I advocated just one news source, namely One America News. Not so! My hope is that all Americans distrust any one source of their information!
I’m hoping that before we judge any idea or adopt it as our own, we keep our minds open to the very real possibility that there are facts we’re not aware of. That we ask ourselves first: Who is the source? Who is paying for it? Who is benefiting from this article or news item?
In short, be a critical thinker. Find several sources that reinforce your opinion. And, just as importantly, make sure those sources are not owned by the same conglomerate.
When others write to criticize my opinions, going so far as to misunderstand my statements, it leads me to believe I must have hit a nerve.
Loretta Ann Torres
‘A valuable asset’
Re “Scrap metal musings” (Letters, by Suzie Garrett, Feb. 8):
Regarding Chico Scrap Metal (CSM), Suzie Garrett wrote: “If people would stop using their ‘services,’ their business would close.” That’s true. However, we might want to ask ourselves where we would bring approximately 1,000 leaking water heaters per year that need to be discarded and recycled as there isn’t any other place in Chico that provides that important service.
Speaking as an environmentalist, I feel that a centrally located scrap metal recycling yard that accepts large items, which only CSM does in Chico, is a valuable asset to our environment as it saves a lot of gas/energy.
In other words, if we didn’t have CSM in Chico, all leaking water heaters, old refrigerators, ovens, stoves and so on would have to be transported all the way to Durham or even farther. What a waste to our environment! What a waste of so many people’s precious time having to drive out of town to recycle.
Let’s demand that Chico Scrap Metal make their fences look attractive and that they must test for contamination every few years, but let’s not force them to move from their location as they are a very valuable asset to our environment and all of us citizens of Chico.
Chico Scrap Metal is a needed, viable business. If not, it wouldn’t have stayed in business so long.
There is a need for this business. It affords people a local location to recycle their scrap, cans, bottles and cardboard without having to drive clear out to Neal Road dump. It also pays cash to people instead of them paying at the dump plus the time and gas costs to drive out there. It keeps a lot of durable materials out of the dump or from being thrown out alongside a rural road.
It has been greatly cleaned up and will improve more if allowed to stay. It is not the toxic dump it has been made out to be. How many complaints have come from Chapmantown residents? How many incidents of harmful toxic exposure have been noted? Why would Habitat for Humanity build four homes directly adjacent if the environment was toxic?
How many of the 9,000 petition signatures were from persons living by Chico Scrap Metal? How many even know where it is? How many have considered the benefits for many Chico residents and the environment?
Instead of vilifying the business, visit it and see how it is utilized by Chico citizens every day.
The wiener idea
Trump has announced that he wants a military parade. He was “awestruck” by the massive two-hour Bastille Day military parade in Paris he viewed while a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Naturally, he wants his bigger and better, which is this president’s standard behavior and one, unfortunately, that we’ve come to expect.
This is nothing more than a childhood fantasy. It is fiscally unsound, will put stress on the city’s infrastructure, and be very disruptive to our military.
Here’s a better idea: Let’s buy the original Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It will need some modifications. First and foremost—no bun, wiener only. Spiff up its basic features and add some enhancements, like a saddle, possibly stirrups. Imagine the possibilities. Perhaps a fountain in front and he could push the button to activate it. After all, isn’t that what this is all about: my button’s bigger than yours?
Cadet Bone Spurs can ride it all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue, while waving a Make America Great Again hat high in the air.
Roger S. Beadle
Two views on shelter
Re “BHS has a proposal” (Letters, by Christy Norton, Feb. 8):
Who should manage Chico’s stray and unwanted animals—Chico Animal Shelter (CAS) or Butte Humane Society (BHS)? Is CAS a financial drain to Chico? Will BHS will save the taxpayers money by taking over?
No one will provide this service for free! Recent comments give the impression someone will. Any organization putting in a bid to handle these services will be providing their cost to the city to do so. That is an expense to the taxpayers, just as it currently is.
Currently, CAS handles this service. The agency works with BHS by freely offering unclaimed dogs to BHS after a hold period ends. BHS will put the dogs up for adoption and collect adoption fees that are not returned to the city. Dogs not accepted by BHS remain with CAS to adopt out and collect fees that do go to the city. CAS feeds the animals, cleans kennels, maintains grounds and utilities, at city expense for both for CAS and BHS.
This service will still be paid for at city of Chico taxpayer expense whether CAS or BHS run the shelter—either as actual expenses incurred or as per the accepted bid proposal, which may not be a value.
I have had the privilege of being on the board of directors of Butte Humane Society for nine years. I have watched the organization evolve out of a time of horrendous conditions into the present day, as we embark on building an animal campus that all of Chico can be proud of.
It’s been an honor watching and working with a dedicated, hardworking and caring bunch of staff and volunteers with one mission—to save lives, find homes and inspire compassion. Be it adoptions, low-cost spay/neuter, child education, or providing friends for seniors.
BHS has excelled, often on some very embarrassing budgets. Without handouts from government agencies; not city, state or federal funds do we receive. In 106 years of continuous service, BHS has not received money from the ASPCA or any chartered agency.
BHS staff and volunteers (many thousands) work tirelessly, putting the animals first and foremost. There is much confusion over BHS and the city’s roles concerning our furry friends. BHS has demonstrated its ability to provide animal sheltering and animal control services to the good people of Chico at a cost savings to the city. The revenue we save the city should be used for other critical issues: police, fire and infrastructure.
District 1 Rep. Doug LaMalfa signed his name to a little-known pledge, known as the “Koch Brothers’ Pledge.” LaMalfa promised that he would vote against all climate change legislation, which causes a net increase in government revenue.
“Since most solutions to the problems of greenhouse-gas emissions require costs to polluters and the public, the pledge essentially commits those who sign it to vote against any meaningful bill regarding global warming …” That’s according to the New Yorker, Jan. 30, 2013.
All of Republican leadership and about 400 Republicans have signed the Koch Brothers’ Pledge.
The Political Economy Research Institute reported that “Koch Industries and its subsidiaries emitted over 24 million tons of carbon dioxides from 50 sites.” The Koch brothers are two oil billionaires whose combined wealth exceeds that of Bill Gates.
LaMalfa, a right-wing Republican, recently told a Nevada County town hall that he does not believe in human-caused climate change. Moreover, he just received his first Koch brothers donations through their PACs for his war chest for the 2018 midterm elections. The Koch brothers and members of the fossil fuel industry were heavy contributors for LaMalfa’s 2016 campaign.
The Oroville City Council recently decided to not increase the city’s Tobacco Retail License fee despite overwhelming evidence that cities with a fee that is used to help fund local enforcement of youth access laws have dramatically lower tobacco use rates among youth.
With one of the highest smoking rates in the state, Oroville’s elected officials had the chance to greatly reduce the deaths and disabilities attributed to smoking from among its citizens simply by raising the fee. I would like to correct an erroneous statement made at the meeting. One council member stated that the proposed fee was suggested by outside influences and not by the city administrator. That is false. The California Health Collaborative, a local nonprofit, provided city staff with a list of California cities with Tobacco Retail Licenses that included the fee amount and the population of the city.
City staff determined the amount to propose. Although it didn’t garner the necessary number of votes, I want to thank Councilwoman Marlene Del Rosario for seeing through the “smokescreens” and proposing to bring the issue back. Thank you for supporting the health of Oroville youth.