Letters for February 21, 2013

The racism of liberals

Re “Shall we overcome? Lessons for Black History Month” (Cover story, by Jaime O’Neill, Feb. 14):

Funny how racism shows itself in the most unexpected (no, not really) places.

White “liberals” gather in mostly black East Nashville where Walmart proposes to build a new store—so the local people don’t have to drive 10 miles for cheap shopping—to protest because “it hurts the environment.” Well, “liberals,” you weren’t doing those black folks, many of them living on low incomes and needing access to cheap shopping close by, a favor.

White “liberals” push measures to control global warming (aka chasing the bogeyman known as carbon dioxide). What does capping CO2 emissions do? It restricts energy supplies. What happens when you restrict energy supplies? Prices of everything go up. Who gets hurt the most? Poor people—disproportionately people of color.

Oh, but white “liberals” say, as they say to African Americans, “You people can’t think for yourselves; we’ll tell you what to think—the bigotry of low expectations a la mode—which is why they trashed Herman Cain: He did think for himself. Scratch any white “liberal” deep enough and out comes the good-ol’-boy mentality.

It disgusts me that white “liberal” fat cats like Al Gore get richer from global warming scaremongering, and people of color suffer the results.

Chad Wozniak

Bag-ban baloney

Re “Deadly bag ordinances” (Letters, by John Salyer, Feb. 14):

John Salyer, in his diatribe against reusable grocery bags, refers to a Bloomberg editorial by right-wing sophist Romesh Ponnuru.

Ponnuru’s exhibit No. 1 in his attack on reusable bags is an event reported in the Los Angeles Times in May 2012: A member of a girls’ soccer team contracted a norovirus before an out-of-town game. Unfortunately, the girl’s symptoms worsened and she was confined to a hotel room. She used a bathroom where the team stored their snacks, in a reusable grocery bag. The virus aerosolized and contaminated the snacks, and eight other girls got sick.

Without much difficulty, Mr. Salyer should be able to see that citing this “evidence” is a dishonest and asinine attempt to associate grocery shopping with a contamination event that has no bearing on anything remotely related to grocery shopping. It is a fine example of the Fox News logic that the general public has grown so weary of in recent months.

Also, the statistics—claiming higher death rates after bag bans—have been thoroughly debunked by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Patrick Newman

A plastic-bag ban doesn’t have “negative economic consequences” for stores or the poor. Stores like Grocery Outlet in Chico pay a quarter when you bring your own bag—they save money and consumers make money.

The authors of the bogus study about the San Francisco bag ban resulting in a “46 percent increase in deaths from food-borne illnesses” got big money from the American Chemistry Council, the folks who represent plastic-bag manufacturers. Big oil funds similar propaganda.

Many European, African and Asian countries have outright bans on thin plastic bags. These single-use bags have been in grocery stores since only the early 1980s, yet now the rights of the poor are at stake, even our health? It’s oil-slick propaganda.

Our environment is what’s really at stake. Scientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains about 46,000 bits of floating plastic. This plastic is deadly for marine animals, who often mistake plastic for plankton.

Only 1 percent of plastic bags gets recycled, yet “every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap Texas.” Let’s join a worldwide effort to ban plastic bags.

Ed Schilling

Picking the USPS plum

Re “Set the USPS free” (Editorial, Feb. 14):

The USPS situation has to be viewed in the larger context of an ongoing privatization binge, which has already made significant progress in the realm of our military, schools and prison system.

The Postal Service represents a ripe plum for profit-addicted oligarchs, to be acquired by any means possible, and facilitated with the help of both wings of the Republicrat Party. Likely suitors for the acquisition and merger are FedEx and UPS, to which those of us who are thoroughly disgusted with the process should assign the fitting new Logo of “FedUp.”

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

What a terrific doc!

“Joint adventure” (Healthlines feature, by Evan Tuchinsky, Feb. 14):

What a great story about a great surgeon! He is a wonderful human being who truly cares about his patients, family and community.

Angela Stevens

Supervisors’ ‘wild claims’

There have been a number of bizarre hearings over medical marijuana, and the Feb. 12 Board of Supervisors meeting was no different. Usually, the strange behavior and wild claims come from the pro-pot folks. This time, that behavior came from two elected officials.

One, a supervisor, claimed that he had talked to many people who were afraid to speak out due to fear of evil-neighbor growers. He even included an anonymous letter from a family in his motion to kill the pot law. In over 30 years of [attending] public hearings, I have never seen a motion with an anonymous letter included. (His motion died for lack of support.)

Excuse me, these people are afraid? We are the ones who go to jail, have our bank accounts confiscated, our property seized, and our children taken from us.

Not to be outdone, another elected official said the reason we won was because the wording on the ballot was confusing. The aforementioned supervisor agreed wholeheartedly. Insulting the intelligence of the voters is never a good thing, especially by elected officials.

We are not afraid; we gathered thousands of signatures to force an election that we won last June. I don’t know how the supervisors will vote on Feb. 26, but I do know two things. One is that we must end this needless and unwinnable war on drugs. The other is that we have history and the people on our side.

Kelly Meagher

‘Animals get treated better’

Re “In the know: Homeless man helps conduct homeless survey” (Newslines, by Don Regis-Bilar, Feb. 14):

This is the first time Behavioral Health has done anything constructive, in my opinion.

As for the abused women and/or with children, it is a crime for them to be sleeping in a car or on the street, in the bushes or so-called camping. There needs to be advertisement and a working number they can call for a safe house or home that can take them in for a few days until further help can be arranged, even if they have mental illness or drug problems.

I’ve called numbers in the phone book to see if there is help, and there was nothing immediate for anyone. I picked up a mentally ill woman, and she had taken a ride with some males who took her out to a lake in Magalia and forced her to do the unthinkable. Feather River Hospital would not help her, and she had lost her teeth and medication in all of it. The police at the hospital did nothing. Animals get treated better. What a shame, Butte County.

Thanks to the homeless man who helped with the survey. Praying for you for a nice safe room and meal.

Cynthia Fabian

Dogs well cared for

Re “Animals suffering under city” (Letters, by Laine Vinson, Feb. 14):

I took a trip to Chico’s new animal shelter on Friday to check it out myself. I didn’t find it all that bad. True, there are no windows, but the dogs are not sleeping on the cement floor; they have cots that keep them up off the floor.

The new building is climate controlled; that will keep them comfortable during the very hot summer and cold winter nights. They have it much better than some dogs in my neighborhood that are tied up all day and defenseless to mountain lions coming up from the canyon.

I did not find it smelly or dirty. In my opinion, the dogs are being well cared for. Now, if more pet owners would practice spaying and neutering we would not have this problem in the future.

Joan Hardie

True romance

Thank you so much for this year’s Love, Sex and Marriage issue [Feb. 7]. Your paper is always good to read.

There was a letter from Mr. [Anthony Peyton] Porter entitled “Dear Janice” [in his column From the Edge]. That letter to me was the most romantic thing I’ve seen in a long time. Nothing is more romantic than a man who is willing to share his feelings. Thank you, Mr. Porter, for your heartfelt contribution, and thank you, CN&R, for publishing it.

It takes a long time to revive oneself after the death of someone with whom you are close. Your coach was very wise in his advice to you. Hope it helps.

Colleen Blair

Cops’ ‘wildly reckless response’

Ex-policeman Christopher Dorner shot and killed other officers, presumably because of being fired. Unfortunately, this is a scenario that has become relatively commonplace in this great country of ours—disgruntled ex-employees releasing their pent-up frustrations via crazy shooting sprees.

What was really compelling about the Dorner case was the police freak-out that ensued in response to the killings. A description of Dorner and his pickup truck was released in an APB, and that’s when the real crazy began. Let’s just say that you wouldn’t have wanted to be a pickup-truck owner anywhere within a 60-mile radius of that area when the bulletin hit the streets.

The cops ended up shooting up a truck that was being driven by two women newspaper delivery people like they were Bonnie & Clyde. The truck was riddled with bullet holes, and both women were wounded, albeit non-lethally. It’s almost a miracle they weren’t killed.

Twenty minutes later, the scenario repeated itself in another part of Torrance: Police shot up another truck. Luckily, no one was injured in that go-around.

There wasn’t much mention in the mainstream media about the extreme and wildly reckless police response to the situation. Maybe because the police are supposed to be highly trained professionals who are prepared to deal “professionally” with locating and apprehending suspects, and not letting adrenaline, fear, and the desire for revenge get the best of them. In this case it did.

Aaron Pico

Store owners say thanks

Through the overwhelming generosity of so many, The Bookstore fundraisers have collectively stopped the closure of the store.

When our family decided to attempt the unconventional idea of crowd-funding just before Christmas, we had no idea what to expect, only that we had to try and that we had very little time. This community supported our efforts not only with funding, but also with kind words, talent, arts and services. It has been a beautiful and humbling experience.

As members of the community from past and present pulled together with us, we witnessed a moving example of the power of community. We will keep our promise to work hard, keep books coming and involve ourselves with other businesses, individuals and endeavors.

This movement transcends our family and this store. Collectively we can continue creating the type of community we want to live in and share in a way that is peaceful and generous. There are so many to thank, and you all have our deepest gratitude and appreciation.

The Mills Family

Beer Town USA

There is an alcohol problem in Chico. We all know it. We have all seen it. We have not dealt with it.

There is nothing wrong with a local landmark being named No. 1 tourist destination in Northern California for its beverages. There is something wrong with the fact that you can find at least three of that company’s products on tap in every bar in town. Most of the time the local product is the lowest-priced drink on tap. It is also constantly on sale during happy hours.

Since the company’s opening, we have had problems increase. A few years after its opening we lost Pioneer Days and Chico State was named top party school in the U.S. There is a connection, and questions should be asked. Some places that create this product do not allow consumption in the community. They seem aware of the problems that can happen.

Elvert Richardson