Letters for February 18, 2010

Politics beat, cont’d

Re “The politics beat” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 11):

The local election campaign has started with intention-to-run forms being filed by incumbent council members. So the question is: Do you feel you are truly represented by your City Council?

Let’s take a quick look at the city of Chico. Its population has grown to more than 87,700 and its area to more than 33 square miles.

Currently, two council members live on the same street. Two other members live within three short blocks of each other. Only one council member lives on the west side of town, and no council member lives north of Second Avenue.

It’s time to change the city charter and elect the council members by district. The city should have six districts, with each district electing one council member. The mayor would be elected at large, not chosen by the council. The mayor would vote only to break tie votes of the council.

It should be less costly for the candidates to run, since they only need their district to vote for them, not the city at large. Hopefully more people would look at running, knowing they are truly representing the needs of there district/neighborhood.

So the next time you talk to a council member or a candidate, ask them if they will support changing the city charter to district representation.

Michael Reilley

It just so happens that this 89-year-old lady has been following Wally [Herger] for a good many years, having come to Redding in ’78. Whatever the Tea Partiers are about, they’ve got one thing right: Twenty-three years of letting the country down is enough.

Wally’s favorite stunt is showing how little he cares about the Constitution he took an oath to uphold by ignoring the question and changing the subject. He’s a smart politician with a nice smile, but that’s not why he was elected to office. Obama got one thing right: It’s time for change—but in the right direction, of course!

Incidentally, who voted for NAFTA, TARP, most-favored nation for China? You guessed it! Mr. Herger.

(Mrs.) Dorothy Robbins

Make Chico ‘Gestapo’ free

Re “The fateful flier” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Feb. 11):

Like most citizens, I’m outraged at the accounts of what happened to Jeff Newman at the hands of the Forest Service over a flier on a bulletin board.

What most people don’t realize is that cops aren’t picked for their level-headedness, but for their underlying psychotic personalities, enabling them to beat people up. Cops are basically the biggest drug addicts of them all, getting high on steroids and adrenaline rushes.

And, yes, we live in a police state—the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.

I’m a combat veteran with FBI clearances, and I’ve taught schools, and yet I’ve been harassed by punk street cops on their Freudian domination trips. They’re a plague on civilization.

We need to fire the Forest Service cop involved in this outrage, as well as his superiors, since a corporation takes its tone from the top.

On a broader plain, I think we should declare Chico a “Gestapo Free Zone.” Our cops should be screened to weed out the psycho nut cases, they should wear suits and ties, be polite and not carry weapons (they can have M-16s in the trunks of their cars in case something does erupt). It’s amazing what a little politeness can achieve.

Chico constantly touts what a progressive, peacenik, liberal city it is, so let’s see it actually do something progressive for a change. I, for one, am tired of living in the Stone Ages.

Michael M. Peters

Alpaca is hot

Re “Fleecing creatures” (Greenways feature, by Alastair Bland, Jan. 28):

Most of what [Alastair Bland] wrote is correct except for the part about the animals being worthless or a pyramid scheme. He quotes a guy named Sexton, who in my opinion is one sorry individual.

As president of the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America Inc. (AFCNA), I’m here to tell you that the industry is strong, growing, profitable and exciting.

Mr. Bland did talk to the right people, and their belief in this industry is spot on. Yes, the economy is in the tank and prices have come down. But, new ideas and goals are emerging that will lead those of us who have had that “profession” to realize there is more to life than working a mundane job, as Sexton and Mr. Bland have.

Larry Vellozzi
Grants Pass, OR

‘Small signs of hope’

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

The recession has hit the community very hard, as it has communities across the country. My wife and I both work at Improvement Direct (referred to as Faucet Direct in the article), and she was laid off at the same time as [Stephanie] Bird. Lisa Holeman married Bethany and me in November of 2008, and it’s saddening to see her struggling as well.

But there are small signs of hope. Our company, ID, has hired back seven of the 30 who were laid off last year, and brought on roughly 60 new hires from around the area since our downturn. I hope that, as business improves around the nation, jobs will be easier to find for all.

Andrew Flicker

Needed: affordable S&N

Paws of Chico’s Spay and Neuter Program is attempting to reduce the overpopulation of cats and dogs in the Chico area. We help pet owners who are struggling to pay bills with the cost of having their cats and dogs spayed or neutered.

In 2009 we assisted owners with 567 animals. Because Chico does not have a low-cost S&N clinic, we were forced to send these animals to Orland and Oroville. We spent more than $35,000 out of the area. We expect to spend $50,000 this year. What happened to “Keep it Local”?

The answer to the cat and dog overpopulation problem is a community-wide system for managing the feral-cat population and affordable, accessible spay and neuter. We need a low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic in Chico. It is time for the problem to be recognized and addressed by both our community and our Chico city officials.

Cynthia Gerrie, President
Paws of Chico Spay & Neuter Program


Let the park be

The “non-native” or “invasive” excuse for removing healthy evergreen plants from Lower Park is wrong. The Bidwells imported vegetation from around the world.

Volunteers will soon have Lower Park looking like City Plaza.

I would like the park to be “wild,” taken over by non-native and invasive evergreen plants and trees and providing habitat for birds and animals and beauty for visitors.

I have never seen a volunteer remove one weed, yet one civilian lady and her volunteers are allowed to remove all kinds of evergreen plants and trees.

Back to the wild!

Norm Dillinger

The ‘real’ economy

This phrase that gets thrown around so much: “economic recovery”—what exactly is it that we are going to recover? Wasn’t the big lesson in this whole mess that you can only float a bubble of inflated real-estate and fractional reserve lending for so long?

So what is it we are striving for in a “recovery”? To magically make our current economy (which is now far more “real,” in that values have almost come down to where they should be) into one as strong as the fake pile of dung we built up and collapsed? We must be clear on this: The prosperity of the last decade was a scam.

If we don’t repeat our disgusting orgy of false credit, how exactly is it that people are going to start buying houses in enough numbers to drive home values back up? If we have no plans to curb our nanny-state spending or decrease the heavy tax burden on businesses, how are we going to create jobs? If SEIU cannot be broken and kicked out of state government, how will we get employee benefit costs under control?

The reality is, this is America now. What we had in 2006 was a dream world built on the ghosts of Rothschilds past. In fact, the worst thing you could hear in the next five years is that we are recovering to 2006 levels. That would mean that our buddies at the Federal Reserve are right back pulling the same scam all over again.

Ruben Leon