Letters for February 21, 2019

About that justification

Re “A very loving individual” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Feb. 14):

Recently the Butte County district attorney found that Butte County sheriff’s deputies acted in reasonable self-defense when they shot to death a Palermo woman in April 2018. Concerned Citizens for Justice disagrees with that decision.

We believe that the community should find the following facts alarming: 1. Both deputies were wearing body cameras that they did not turn on until after the shooting. 2. The victim was shot five times in the back. 3. She was not armed. 4. She was known to be mentally ill. 5. The DA said that people exercising self-defense are not required to retreat, even if safety could have been achieved by retreating. We think that this is an uncivil conclusion to reach in a civilized community. Retreat is preferable to shooting an unarmed, mentally ill human being.

We want guardians—not warriors—to police our communities. We want de-escalation techniques to become normal practice for every officer. We grieve for the officers who must live with this tragedy knowing that they could have avoided killing a person had they been adequately trained in and practiced both de-escalation and behavioral-health intervention. We ask, “Do you find this shooting reasonable?”

Margaret Swick


‘Rest my case’

Re “Help for Trump?” (Letters, by Robert Woods, Feb. 14):

Just a shout-out to Robert Woods for proving my point on the 2016 presidential election, albeit Woods chose to ignore the double-dealing Tad Devine, and the alleged sexual harassment charges in Bernie’s ill-fated campaign. Not to mention Bernie’s third home.

Let’s look at the results in the three states that enabled Comrade Trump to take the White House hostage. Clinton lost to Comrade Trump in Michigan by 10,264 votes; Jill Stein had 51,463 votes. Clinton lost to Comrade Trump in Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes; Stein had 49,292 votes. And Clinton lost to Comrade Trump in Wisconsin by 22,748 votes; Stein had 30,980.

Pissed-off Bernie backers registered in droves as protest to the DNC’s “poor treatment” of Bernie Sanders (i.e., Butte College students). Could the results in the three aforementioned states have been from the same fateful situation?

Furthermore, Jill Stein sat next to Michael Flynn and Vladimir Putin at the 10-year anniversary dinner in Moscow for the Russian state TV, aka RT. I rest my case. Thanks, Bob.

Ray Estes


Remembering Loretta

Chico is mourning the death of Loretta Metcalf, though she would prefer that we eat pasta and drink wine.

Loretta graduated from Chico State, worked as a grief counselor, then in the university’s EOP office in the early 1980s.

In her off hours, Loretta founded a women’s newspaper, The New Voice. She also co-starred with Rose Febbo on KZFR’s cooking show, Mangia with the Mamas.

Loretta met the love of her life, the late professor Homer Metcalf, in the 1980s. They married and threw wild, joyous parties at their Cohasset lake and estate while spending community time in LaSalles as part of the “Westenders’ Club.” (Their photo hangs above the bar.)

Loretta and Homer contributed to the Chico Creek Nature Center, the Feminist Women’s Health Center and KZFR. Loretta worked as a hospice volunteer and guided me into hospice counseling following my mother’s death in 2011.

Loretta was a dynamic, vibrant role model for the women of Chico. Please tune in to KZFR Monday (Feb. 25), at 10 a.m., as host Dave Guzzetti toasts Loretta with her favorite music and local friends. Patrick and Sheila Metcalf and Loretta’s loving grandkids will be happy you did.

Vernon Andrews


Not antisemitism

I am sick to death of criticism of Israel being conflated with antisemitism. It cheapens the terrible reality of true antisemitism, and constrains American citizens from their obligation to take action against human rights abuses, particularly those empowered by the U.S. government.

Palestinians in their homeland are violently oppressed by Israeli policies, many fear to the point of genocide. U.S. citizens who criticize Israeli policies, advocate for BDS and demand justice for Palestine are expressing outrage against human rights violations. [These actions have] nothing to do with prejudice against the Jewish people.

I am a Jewish American and registered Democrat. I am ashamed that accusations of antisemitism are being used by our most powerful elected officials—Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Donald Trump—to protect Israel’s cruel and inhumane policies.

The strident criticism of Ilhan Omar’s honest comments about the power of American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Israeli lobby over U.S. policy, and of Rashida Tlaib’s simple suggestion that a congressional delegation travel to Palestine, reveals the stranglehold Israel has over our government. I implore my fellow citizens to speak out in defense of democracy, against our government’s protection of injustice.

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” —Voltaire

Emily Alma


Where’s the Shasta Pack?

I’m deeply saddened and concerned by the loss of, and the circumstances surrounding, the Shasta Pack.

It is highly unlikely that the wolves would suddenly “pack up” and leave. Furthermore, it is disturbing that their sudden departure came a few weeks after a standoff between ranchers and wolf advocates and a sighting of wolves feeding on a calf carcass.

Killing in retribution should not be the answer. Barriers and avoidance strategies are. Livestock growers, wolf advocates and hunters should share “tending the flock.”

I will gladly contribute to funding for ranchers who have lost animals to wolves. I also expect responsible people to pay the cost of replacement for a wolf killed by humans or their animals. Because wolves have protected status, ecological value as a top carnivore, are scarce and have commercial value as tourist attractions, their value is significantly higher than a calf, lamb or pet.

Competitive interests have driven the value of both private and public land to the breaking point. I believe open range grazing is the healthiest way to raise livestock. We also need to preserve even greater range for wolves on public land. With cooperative management, we can provide for the needs of present and future generations.

Dick Cory


Camp Fire care

We have been providing health care to our community for over 40 years, and like so many in the area, we at Women’s Health Specialists understand the great loss that so many have faced, and immediately felt the strong desire to reach out to survivors and their families.

In order to better help serve our beloved neighbors and community members who have been impacted by the Camp Fire, we were able to obtain a grant that allows us to provide rides to and from appointments at our clinic until the end of March, for a variety of reproductive health services for men and women who were affected by the fire, whether it be because they are a survivor, housed survivors after the fire, or received medical care from an affected provider.

We are grateful for the opportunity to offer help and support to our community in any way that we can. Some of our staff were deeply affected by the Camp Fire, and we continue to keep all survivors in our hearts, as we understand that the journey to recovery is a long and arduous road, and has only just begun.

Laura Morehouse


America, the oligarchy

Political discussion around Venezuela rarely mentions our embargoes or sanctions that have driven Venezuela into the ditch. No mention of CIA money and support for the opposition that continue to destabilize.

How about some comparisons, including our destruction of the Middle East, with the same excuses: “We are bringing freedom and democracy.” No mention of the fact that our ideas of freedom and democracy come at the cost of destruction and death. How many of the dead are enjoying our form of freedom and democracy? How about those who have lost loved ones, homes and communities? Why is it that only oil- and mineral-rich nations must be saved by our righteous bombing and destruction? How much have the leaders we have installed in place of the “despots” done for their citizens?

You must be asleep not to recognize that we are no longer a democracy ourselves, according to Princeton and Harvard, which have declared that we are now officially an oligarchy. Maybe we need to start a bombing and killing rampage here, to save ourselves for our own democracy.

Jeanne Thatcher


More on Venezuela

Do we really want to live in this New World Order where the United States decides who can or cannot lead other countries—as in the case of Venezuela today? Or Syria yesterday? Libya in 2011 or Honduras in 2009? Iraq in 2003 or Afghanistan in 2001?

The grandiose concepts of U.S. exceptionalism (i.e., Project for a New American Century—1998 & the U.S. State Department’s “Strategy for National Defense—2002”) have brought nothing but misery and death to modern/ancient civilizations, and hatred for America around the world. And who’s leading today’s coup in Venezuela to oust the elected President Nicolas Madura? None other than two of the architects of Project for A New America Century and the Strategy for National Defense—2002, Elliott Abrams and John Bolton. Yes, Abrams, who supported death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala during the Reagan 1980s, and Bolton, who became George W. Bush’s U.N. envoy despite 59 former U.S. ambassadors’ (including 46 who had served in Republican administrations) signing a letter opposing his nomination.

We and our endless cast of characters straight out of Marquis de Sade U. should not be deciding the fate of the world’s nations.

Linda Furr