Letters for February 20, 2014

California nightmare

Re “The big squeeze” (Cover feature, by Alastair Bland, Feb. 13):

Facts: 1) 75 percent to 80 percent of California water is used in agriculture. 2) The vast majority of California produce is exported. 3) California exports far more produce than it imports. 4) California water is exported worldwide in food.

Conclusion: 1) California’s water problems are caused by 7 billion people in a one world economy with infinite money and finite resources. 2) Any water savings by individuals and business will be sucked up by agriculture immediately. 3) California’s water problem will never end.

Reality: Even if the heavens open up from now through the end of April, which is highly improbable, California will see only a temporary reprieve, because its water problem is rooted in the New World Order’s Brave New World. There will be a mass exodus from California. California will suffer a huge depression. California will become third-world.

Dream: The government will save California.

Nightmare: The government will enslave California.

Joseph Robinson

‘Don’t sign it’

Re “Medi-pot rules finalized, maybe” (Downstroke, Feb. 13):

How about the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday (Feb. 11)? The pot traders, users, buyers, growers, etc. were their usual rude, rowdy, selfish selves—shouting down others who do not agree with them.

How about the diatribe from Supervisor Steve Lambert? The board is supposed to be neutral, not favoring one side over the other. Not so with Lambert. Now we all know where he stands, and his favoritism is repulsive, especially when the “board” is supposed to be the caretaker of the whole county. Thank you, Andrew Merkel, for mentioning my name. I take it as a compliment.

By the way, has anyone read the initiative that’s going around? It’s just as confusing as the one last year. If you don’t understand it, don’t sign it—the same with the pro-pot petition.

We are in a severe drought right now. If the farmers don’t have enough water for their crops to feed us, and we are all trying to conserve water, then why should the large legal pot growers get to use it all up?

Bonnie Masarik
Yankee Hill

Please don’t sign the marijuana referendum petition—it stinks! It benefits only the for-profit growers. They are using paid signature-gatherers. It will freeze the amended ordinance and we’ll see a repeat of 2013’s Green Rush, with the accompanying crime wave, environmental damage, ruined neighborhoods and rogue Mad Max outlaw growers.

The amended ordinance lets anyone complain and provides for hardship cases to ensure patients can grow what they need. Everyone suffers alike—pot lovers, pot haters, patients, or the ambivalent—when crime skyrockets, when land gets ruined, when wildlife gets poisoned, when the air stinks, when ugly fences go up, when our county becomes a Green Ghetto. The ordinance limits grows to 150 square feet instead of 99 plants, which is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The referendum stinks. Please see www.bsane.org for more info.

Chris Sommers

All about Dan

Re “Missing Dan Nguyen-Tan” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Feb. 13):

Recently, I visited with old friend and former Chico City Councilman Dan Nguyen-Tan, in San Francisco. I saw both his studio in the South of Market and his neighborhood—the recently gentrified Divisidero area. Not yet 40, unassuming Dan has been a powerful supportive force in launching the Public Bikes Co.—“Public” in that it contributes to the bike and “pedestrian-friendly-ization” of the public spaces of San Francisco.

Dan is heavily involved with the SF Bike Coalition, which has 13,000 paid members. He and others have fought local battles to install more dedicated bike paths on the streets—thus inviting many more to ride the streets in safety.

What impresses me most about Dan, then and now, is his desire to be a “civil servant” in an age where the meaning of that phrase has been virtually lost. As a Chico council member, he gave of his time, energy and expertise (as a Harvard graduate in business economics) and sought to see his vision of a growing sense of community become a reality for our town—just by virtue of good city planning.

Dan is a caring and generous person besides being a passionate and savvy politician. I am glad to call him my friend.

Elizabeth Devereaux

Re “Missing Dan Nguyen-Tan” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Feb. 13) and “Mismanagement here, too” (Letters, Feb. 13):

I hate to use clichés, but Dan Nguyen-Tan was a “breath of fresh air” compared to what our City Council was used to. Nguyen-Tan was progressive and wasn’t polluted by the old guard’s pressure.

It was interesting to note a letter commenting about how City Manager Brian Nakamura dismissed people to clean up the disaster they created. It required someone from the outside, without the personal affiliations, to come in with fresh perspectives. The letter then compared the situation to Chico Unified School District’s mess. Right on! I think that Leslie Elena Thompson hit it perfectly with the need to [seek outside help].

Five older women sit on the CUSD Board of Trustees. Not good. You cannot expect people without children in the system to be effective. It would be like having a City Council of out-of-towners. Five students would run our district better than five grandparents.

Additionally, on all boards, we are better off with one-term limits. Board members and City Council members: Do what you know you should, instead of worrying about re-election or alienating groups.

Our goal shouldn’t be a token one young person. Let’s get a majority and reap the results!

Tam Hammersly

Editor’s note: Not all of the members of the school board are grandmothers.

Respect wildlife

Re “Coyote killings under review” (Newslines, by Allan Stellar, Feb. 13):

Like dog fighting, wildlife-killing contests are not a sport and they are not a cultural right; they are simply animal abuse for human entertainment.

I often hear these events justified by participants and ranchers who claim that the killing of predators protects livestock. However, study after study has shown that the killing of coyotes does nothing to lower livestock predation. In fact, it may actually increase coyote problems by splintering packs and leaving adolescents orphaned and desperate.

Experts have long understood that hunting coyotes also increases their numbers. My husband and I raise hundreds of cattle that calve in pastures with coyote packs with no problems, despite the fact that we use no lethal means to protect our livestock. Stable coyote populations keep lands healthier by controlling rodents. This helps prevent the spread of diseases, as well as lowering the need for rodenticides, which have been causing widespread secondary poisonings of raptors and other animals all the way up the food chain.

Killing contests are about the wanton waste of wildlife by a few backward-thinking individuals. It is time for California to show the rest of this country that in this state, wildlife is to be treated with respect, not served up for target practice and buried in a pit.

Keli Hendricks

No thanks, LAFCo

Re “Annexation back on the table” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Feb. 6):

Why is LAFCo in such a big hurry to annex Stewart Avenue into the city of Chico? How do they think we will benefit from this? We will not be getting any city services. In fact, the only thing that will be different is a utility tax we will be paying.

Oh, wait a minute! We will be able to participate in city elections! The fact that one parcel on this street wanted to be in the city determines the fate of 54 other parcels. This is the type of politics I want to stay away from!

We have been receiving all of our services from the county and have been more than satisfied for many, many years.

I also take issue with comments made by LAFCo’s Executive Officer Stephen Lucas about Stewart Avenue being a “disadvantaged unincorporated community” that would benefit from being in the city. Are you kidding me? If we felt disadvantaged by living here, we would have moved years ago, Mr. Lucas! You have a unique talent for using propaganda to sway things the way you think they should go. The financial situation that Chico is facing right now should be a lesson on wasteful spending of city funds. Leave Stewart Avenue alone.

Martine Stillwell

Doctor knows best

Re “The flu demystified” (Healthlines, by Evan Tuchinsky, Feb. 13):

I find it irresponsible that you would give an unqualified chiropractor the same level of coverage and credibility as the health officer—a physician—for the county on the subject of vaccination and, specifically, flu vaccination.

The statements the chiropractor made about vaccinations not protecting against disease and leading to developmental disorders have been debunked by data and actual scientific evidence repeatedly. The “researcher” who publicized that hypothesis was demonstrated to have fabricated findings years ago, yet people like this woman continue to further misinformation as if it is based on any evidence at all.

Your publication has a responsibility to fact-check and put forth accurate information in context. This article probably did damage and risked more lives because ill-informed, fearful people will choose to weigh the chiropractor’s misinformation over a medically trained expert, and avoid vaccinations.

Jennifer Flattery

She wants updates

Modern-day technology has created a huge convenience for people who choose to use it. I was appalled this past weekend that not one paid city of Chico official could find the time to get on their computer or smartphone to update the conditions of Upper Park trails. The status remained “closed” throughout the entire sunny weekend. I suppose this simple update on the website was too much to ask for.

Allison Paul

Thanks, participants

Chico Taxpayers Association thanks 3rd District Supervisor Maureen Kirk for coming in to the Chico library on Feb. 16 to talk to a group of voters about issues facing Butte County. This is the third in a series of speaking engagements with candidates for city and county positions in the June and November elections.

Alan Petersen, a candidate for Butte County Assessor, opened our series, describing the necessity of keeping the taxpayers’ rolls accurate and being available for the public. Bob Evans was our second speaker, sharing his concerns about overregulation and jobs, as well as staff shortages in the Behavioral Health and Sheriff’s departments.

Please visit www.chicotaxpayers.com for upcoming speakers. We have District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl scheduled for March 9 at noon; Ryan Schohr, District 3 Assembly candidate, on March 30 at noon; and Chico City Council candidate Andrew Coolidge, April 27, also at noon.

The Republican Women are also doing a speaker series. Make it a point to get informed before you pick up that Sharpie.

Juanita Sumner

Dump trucks should go

I believe in a business’ right to honest advertising, but shouldn’t it also be safe? I refer to the old trailers parked around our neighborhoods the last few years by a firm that does dump runs; it seems obvious to me that this is done to advertise their services, which, if the trailer is currently licensed, is legal, albeit possibly tacky.

However, I wonder about the very obvious fact that they are usually full of trash. What might be in the load is what should worry us. If someone else is getting rid of it, why would I want it in front of or even near my home or business? On one occasion, I saw kids playing around the stuff.

Besides possibly containing noxious or even toxic junk, it is surely flammable; one tossed-away smoke or an act of vandalism, and the resident has a dangerous, possibly deadly bonfire close by.

What precipitated this letter is seeing one parked for days less than 100 feet from my daughter’s preschool on The Esplanade. Isn’t this something the fire marshal should be concerned with? What is the liability of the hauler? Trash, ostensibly in transit to the dump, shouldn’t be at our curbs.

Wick Humble

Speak up for wildlife

Re “Coyote killings under review” (Newslines, by Allan Stellar, Feb. 13):

As noted, “wildlife-killing contests” (and not just coyotes) will be on the Fish and Game Commission’s April 16 agenda in Ventura. The commission will also be voting on the status of the gray wolf in California at this same meeting.

The public is encouraged to attend and speak. In the interim, some letters of concern could be helpful: Both the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the five-member Fish and Game Commission may be written c/o The Resources Building, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95814. (Commission members are Mike Sutton, president; Jack Baylis, vice-president; Richard Rogers; Jim Kellogg; and Jacque Hostler-Carmesin. Sonke Mastrup is the commission’s executive director.) Email DFW Director Chuck Bonham at director@wildlife.ca.gov. Email the commission at fgc@fgc.ca.gov. (Note: Letters carry more weight than emails.)

And while you’re at it, please ask the Fish and Game Commission to restore “public forum” to its rightful place on the agenda: first thing up, where it used to be. Currently, public forum is dead last on the agenda, and the public is often speaking to a near-empty room. Doing so does not lengthen the meetings, and is far more user-friendly, allowing speakers to allocate their time better.

Eric Mills