Letters for February 26, 2009

Golden thread links success stories
Re: “Lessons in longevity” (cover story, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Feb. 19):

Evan, I think once again you have hit the nail on the head. Each “Survivor” mentioned has a common thread. They all must be able to morph with the ebb and flow of our community and their needs. What has made them so successful is the ability to understand the customer’s needs and react in a timely fashion.

Chico, from a business standpoint, in many ways is not unlike other communities across America. We find ourselves challenged by the demographics of customers and their individual needs. What I believe makes these companies and their counterparts continue to grow and prosper is listening skills.

Truly what is heard and acted upon is every bit as important as what is said. Kudos to those who continue to prosper in these trying times.

Ken Pordes

Clearing the air on candle burning
Re: “Lighting the way to sustainability” (GreenWays, by Mandy Feder, CN&R, Feb. 19):

Thanks to many loyal customers in Chico, I have been a candlemaker for the past 15 years. A few years back, I attended gift shows and noticed soy wax was the hyped-up buzzword. After experimenting with it and researching the wax, I soon learned any soy wax I could purchase was/is genetically modified. It was not a clean burn.

Paraffin is a petroleum byproduct. (Are we all on bikes yet?) Carcinogenic compounds also can be added to soy but are not necessarily found in paraffin. Most candles are made with a cheap, low-grade paraffin that contains a lot of petroleum residues. Food grade is a higher-grade, higher-quality and more costly wax.

We use beeswax in our formula and make pure-beeswax candles as well. Our candles are clean burning, smokeless and dripless. Find Goldenspirits at the Saturday farmers market and Made in Chico!

C.M. Kavanaugh

There’s a greener way to insulate
Re: “Fill those empty spaces!” (Sustainable Space, by Greg Kallio, CN&R, Feb. 19):

Great article pointing out the importance of improving energy efficiency through increased insulation. However, I’m surprised at the recommendation to use fiberglass insulation published in a “Green Guide.” I would encourage your readers to seek more sustainable options.

Cellulose insulation uses 85 percent recycled content. Not only does it perform better than blown fiberglass, it’s safer, uses less energy to produce, and is the true “green” option. It’s easily available at most home improvement stores and numerous insulation contractors.

Scott Anderson
via newsreview.com

Question of relevance
Re: “Hen finds a new home” (EarthWatch, CN&R, Feb. 19):

I fail to see why a community-based paper, such as this, continues to write about a special-interest group located in Tehama County. How is this relevant news? Why not cover the job fair that CSU Chico’s University Farm hosted recently—that is far more germane to our community’s needs.

Megan Brown
Butte Valley

Editor’s note: Farm Sanctuary, located in Glenn County near the Tehama County line, draws visitors and support from Butte County as well.

Sensitive design
Re: “Designing for autism” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, CN&R, Feb. 19):

This environment [inside the new COVE building] would naturally coincide with the normal functioning of the autistic brain. I am sure the child found many interesting things to focus on.

Autistic children easily can pick out things and tediously focus on them without regard to any other thing or person. It is almost like they determine the world they live in. In this case, many things were the object of focus in his “newly discovered world"! I am sure he didn’t take them in as a group, but spent the time necessary on each thing.

The place would also bring peace and calm into his world, which would be a major contribution to his well-being.

Nice place to pique an autistic kid’s interests. Good job!

Keith Wren
Tacoma, Wash.

Listen up, students!
We just had an 18-year-old coed drink too much alcohol and pretty near die. Apparently our public-education system isn’t educating our kids, so I’ll educate them:

At 20 drinks, people die from respiratory failure.
At 17 drinks, they are in a deep coma.
At 14 drinks, they are unconscious.
At 10 drinks, they are barely conscious.
At five drinks, they are stumbling drunks.
At four drinks, they are legally drunk in most states.

The maximum amount of drinks a man should have is two; for women, it is 1-1/2. The liver only processes one drink an hour.

Post these guidelines on your wall and read them before you go out drinking.

Michael M. Peters

Editor’s note: The incident Mr. Peters mentions is covered in Downstroke.

‘Purple Thursdays’
Wear purple on Thursdays in March to honor the women of our campus and community.

The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, Calif. March 8 was selected as International Women’s Day. In 1981, a joint congressional resolution proclaimed a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.

Why purple? “Purple has long been the color of the women’s movement, beginning with the suffragettes and is a symbol of pain and suffering,” according to a men-centric, pro-feminist Web site. Purple is associated with the cause to stop violence against women and children.

On Thursdays, March 5, 12, 19 and 26, wear something purple: a ribbon, a shirt, a sweater, a pair of socks, your hair—whatever! I got this idea from the National Communication Association annual meeting where Thursdays are called “Purple Thursday” to honor the contributions of women scholars to the communication field.

I am sure many of you will don green on March 17, even if you are not Irish. But we all had mothers—so purple it is!

Let’s make March Purple Thursdays work here at Chico State and in Chico.

Kurt E. Nordstrom
professor, Journalism Dept.
Chico State

Derision and division
Many people presently energized by Barack Obama to participate and take ownership in their government are offended and appalled by the politics of division and derision practiced by those who detract from this laudable objective. Conservatives would be better served exercising grace and knowing they are a shrinking minority of the electorate precisely because of such arrogant behavior.

Cries of supporting socialism, pandering to terrorists, advocating wanton spending, and disloyalty to our country ring hollow and are offensive to patriots with a more literal interpretation of the desires of our founding fathers and their offspring.

Many believe that our civil liberties and international reputation for peaceful coexistence have been severely jeopardized by eight years of Republican administration. The widespread support for Obama by our youth, people of color, and those of limited means speaks volumes of the need for a government that meets the needs of all, rather than a privileged few.

Conservatives wishing to regain the respect of more of the electorate might be well advised to stop acting like poor losers and begin espousing policies and perspectives that respond to our new realities. I, for one, am much more likely to seriously consider alternative opinions when approached with respect and a modicum of humility rather than hostility and condescension.

Richard P. Mazzucchi
Los Molinos

Editor’s note: For more on this subject, please see In My Eyes.

Logue-ian logic
Not wanting to seem uninformed, I have paid fairly close attention to our state budget battles waged in Sacramento since late last summer. I’ve seen the dire consequences because of our elected representatives’ ineffective running of California. Everyone must sacrifice, except them and apparently one other group.

Our elected officials have forced cuts to education, health care for the elderly, police and fire protection, and the list goes on. What I have not heard, not once through the entire ordeal, is where any cuts have or are going to be made in the billions of dollars the state willingly spends on illegal immigrants every year. Why?

Louis G. Brooner

Editor’s note: This point was the centerpiece of Assemblyman Dan Logue’s campaign last fall.

Alrighty then!
If Chico is so against a Walmart supercenter, send it to Oroville. We could use the revenue and low prices, and it’d cut down on my long trips to Marysville/Yuba City super-Walmarts!

Dan Silva