Letters for February 24, 2005

Correction: In the Feb. 17 Fine Arts review, “Change is good,” the roles attributed to—and accolades for—actresses Asia Love-Brock and Erika Sorenson were reversed. The News & Review regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Save the El Rey
I find it remarkable that there is not more of an outcry to preserve such a historic building, especially considering what is planned for it—offices and a parking structure? Yeah, there’s a real burning need for more offices downtown. Maybe we could tear down Bidwell Mansion and put in a Super Wal-Mart while we’re at it. Perhaps Chico should start taking its cues from Redding and try to preserve its historic theaters while they still exist.

Michael Kuker

Clark Park?
I hear that Community Park, also known as 20th Street Park, might be re-named the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park. Come on, Chico. One of our own, one who was born and raised in this community, in that community, has been forgotten.

Let me give you a little reminder. Arron Ray Clark was born Jan. 27, 1983, to Tamela Lyne Clark and raised in the Chapmantown area. He attended Chapman School, participated in the Chico Area Recreation District programs all of his life and quit school early so he could get his GED and join the U.S. Army to fight for his country, for you, so you can enjoy all the freedoms we have!

Spec. Clark was killed Dec. 5, 2003, by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq. He died defending something he believed in, his country. He believed so much that, as he was in an active war zone, he re-enlisted in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.

Remember how they plastered his funeral all over the news, how complete strangers showed up at his service to pay respect to his mother? How complete strangers continue to support his mother? What is wrong with you people? Don’t you think that it would be more appropriate to rename the Community Park “Spec. Arron R. Clark Community Park"? I can’t even begin to say how disappointed in this town I am. This young boy gave his life and all Chico can do is forget him. Don’t worry, Arron, I will never forget you. You will always be close in our hearts and memories.

Aunt Robin Clark

Take to the streets
How many of you who are incensed at the possibility of school closures voted for the governator or for the national political machinery that ultimately put him in office? If our government is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” then we are not doing our part in this democracy.

We should not allow this type of budget cut. We should not take it. We should take to the streets in a good old-fashioned revolt if “they” try to ram it down our throats. Basic education for our children, fire protection, police and infrastructure should never be up for budget cuts! What the heck do we pay taxes for? We need to stop being so docile.

I applaud and respect everyone who is volunteering their time to meet and serve on the committees the aim of which is to propose better options to school closures. However, the real issue is that we have to consider a million-dollar public school budget cut. That’s not acceptable, and I propose we make sure “they” know it by whatever peaceful means necessary.

Jeff Forehan

Cliff dwellers
With the spring hiking season beginning, people are beginning to notice the desecration of Upper Bidwell Park from the large homes perched on the south rim. City Planner Patrick Murphy told us that he negotiated the setbacks. California Native Plant Society leader Josephine Guardino told us that she was employed to do the botanical studies for the developer. And Park Director Dennis Beardsley told us that he met with the developer to discuss impacts on the park.

Personally I find this interesting, since Murphy, Guardino and Beardsley are the same three who cooperated in an ultimately successful effort to shut down a Park Commission-approved upgrading of the Yahi Trail that I was working on. City staffers don’t normally have the authority to override policies set by the Park Commission, but with the assistance of a supposed “letter from a lawyer” provided by Ms. Guardino, that’s just what they did.

Michael Jones

Welcome to Fresno
We are in the process of closing elementary schools, the high schools are over-crowded, and we are facing another huge development in the foothills east of town, on Highway 32. There is a lot of empty office space throughout town. Something is wrong with this picture.

What is the vision for growth and sustainability for our community? Do you want to see the foothills overlooking Bidwell Park and hills on the east side impacted with more ugly housing complexes, as traffic increases and our roads and other services deteriorate? If not, then let your voice be heard.

We can stop the ugly sprawl called the Oak Valley Master Plan, which is a project to develop 340 acres into a 1,300 single- and multi-family residential and commercial development.

How many more businesses can we truly sustain without gutting our unique downtown? How much like Fresno do they want us to become? Attend the Planning Commission meeting on Feb. 24.

Luisa Garza

Let the kids pay
I am very concerned about the flurry of misinformation coming from the Bush administration regarding the so-called Social Security crisis. The Congressional Budget Office states the trust fund is in surplus and will remain so for nearly another 50 years. Our president insists otherwise, but he is not coming clean with all the facts.

President Bush’s risky privatization scheme cuts benefits 46 percent. A-20-year-old who enters the workforce this year would lose $152,000 in Social Security benefits under President Bush’s privatization scheme. By hiding behind talk of “re-indexing” benefits, President Bush failed to level with the American people.

President Bush hides the cost of his secret privatization plan. It will require the American people to borrow $2 trillion (that’s 12 zeros) in the 10 years following its implementation, $6 trillion over the next 20 years and $15 trillion over the next 40 years. Young people will have to pay that debt, through both higher taxes and less-effective government.

Marla J. Crites