Letters for February 17, 2011

Polyamory’s possibilities

Re “Love, multiplied” (Cover feature, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Feb. 10):

Polyamory could help save the world a great deal of grief. I certainly don’t think the whole world should “go poly,” but it is an option that can be incredibly enlightening.

When people ask me about all the dangers poly could bring the world—instability! possible breakups!—I ask them to tote up the number of murders, murder-suicides and abuses that go on among monogamous folks. If everyone went through a poly relationship when young, explicitly and openly, it would make things so much easier in later years—and quite possibly more fun.

(I would remind Christian folk that the Old Testament patriarchs were certainly polygamous—and I hope that they were polyamorous to boot!)

Michael R. Brown

No mania, just fun

Re “Rodgers mania” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 10):

My wife and I are not sports fans and haven’t followed a football game since the Buffalo Bills went to the Super Bowl back in the ’90s. At that time, we lived near Buffalo, so it was only right that we should be rooting for the Bills and for Jim Kelly.

The Bills went to four Super Bowls and, unfortunately, lost each time.

But, looking back, it was the fun and the excitement of the moment, and that’s why we were caught up in the “Rodgers mania” this past week. Since we now live in “Rodgers Territory” and my wife works at Butte College … we had to do it.

So, yeah, it was just a fun time.

Floyd Stearns

Memories of a Green Bay gal

Re “Cheez Whiz” (From this Corner, by Robert Speer, Jan. 27):

I was born in Green Bay in 1955. Mom and Dad met and married there.

They, of course, were huge Packers fans and hung out with all the players at the local pubs and events. Dad was close friends with Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi (Mom, too), and I remember getting Christmas cards from them when we moved to Michigan and an occasional call from Bart.

The part that jumped out at me in your article was “to designate a recipient of their season tickets in their wills …” Yes, this is true. My grandmother, Kathryn McMillin, bought a share back in the 1930s that also included season tickets, and she rarely missed a home game into her 80s. She wanted to will her season tickets to us, but we were in Michigan with no plans to return to Wisconsin. Bummer!

I used to substitute at Pleasant Valley H.S. often, and worked there when Aaron was attending. Though I was big Brett fan, I was always hoping that Aaron would get his shot at leading the Pack.

That young man is a shining example of patience, dedication and true hard work. He has proven himself a great NFL “Starr.”

Kathryn Fossum

City Council: two views

Re “Chico moderates: Step forward!” (Guest comment, by Ron Angle, Feb. 10) and “Improving the City Council” (Editorial, Feb. 10):

You miss the very essence of what the City Council’s function is. The misconception that the City Council is a political entity needs immediate change to the concept that the council is a civic entity.

The shift from liberal and conservative labels to diversity labels and even moderate is a Band-Aid that fails to address the real issues facing the city of Chico.

The proposed solution of electing council members from districts is a simplistic emotional reaction. By doing so one sows the seeds of more division and entrenchment to please airtight compartmented constituencies leading to certain deadlocks on issues vital to the city as a whole.

It is imperative that the council abide by rules of order to conduct its business as required by state laws.

Brahama D. Sharma

I fail to understand the many expressions of deep concern regarding the adversarial nature of the recent City Council appointment process. We witnessed nothing more than a passionate mob of developers and a passionate mob of environmentalists seeking, by democratic means, to advance their respective causes. Hasn’t anyone ever seen the British Parliament in action?

In this case, the mob of developers won the day, and that is an outcome that no broadly informed citizen could possibly celebrate. We are entering an Environmental Age, in which all of our decisions, both personal and governmental, must be made within non-negotiable environmental parameters. Our survival depends on making this transition.

The only thing wrong with the council process was the net result. We now have one more government official applying obsolete criteria to crucial decisions. We simply cannot afford to continue to indulge the illusion that more high-carbon economic growth will do anything other than precipitate a deeper crisis.

Those truly concerned about social harmony might wish to ponder the potential for conflict in a society unprepared for inevitable resource deficits—especially in the context of accelerating environmental degradation.

Patrick Newman

An educational alternative

Re “Blue Oak regroups after getting its charter yanked” (Newslines, by Leslie Layton, Jan. 13):

Seven years ago, I moved to Chico to become a class teacher and mentor at Blue Oak School. I know that my colleagues in the Chico elementary schools are devoted, skilled educators. I esteem them, and have enjoyed working alongside them. All of us strive to educate the young.

The vision behind the charter movement was to provide funds for those with a good idea to try it out, independent of much of the oversight of a traditional school. Blue Oak offers a program replete with art, movement, music, field trips and crafts. Our teachers are not better or worse than our colleagues at that school down the street; our teachers certainly are not more dedicated. We are set apart by offering a different educational schema to Chico’s families.

Visit us for one of our bi-monthly tours to see that alternative in action. Please know that having the choice our school provides is a boon to the Chico community.

Carol Fegte

Listen up, Wally Herger

Why are you goofing off? Where are the jobs? Why is there no legislative agenda to promote the creation of jobs?

Where are the education initiatives, the creation of new green industry, the revitalization of manufacturing in America?

Why is abortion legislation relevant to the creation of jobs?

All I need is a job or I will be in the street!

Leave my uterus alone and get me work!!!

Marne Bass

Drugs and common sense

Re “The eternal Drug War” (Guest comment, by William A. Collins, Jan. 27):

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket legalization. Switzerland’s heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users. The success of the Swiss program has inspired heroin maintenance pilot projects in Canada, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands.

If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations addiction. Marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, only without the ubiquitous advertising.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. This “gateway” is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe, MPA
Policy Analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington, D.C.


An alert reader informed us that the officers shown in the photo accompanying last week’s Newslines story, “County wants to ban alcohol on river,” by Robert Speer, are state park rangers, not Chico police officers, as the caption suggested. Our apologies for the error.—ed.