Letters for February 28, 2013

We shall not be moved

Re “Think outside the block” (Guest comment, by Doug Fogel, Feb. 14):

I have been a farmer at the Saturday market for the last 11 years. I was a Chico Certified Farmers’ Market board member when the city tried to build a “parking structure” at parking lot No. 1. I was also there when they tried to move us to the municipal lot at Fourth and Flume.

Both times I argued against the changes. I still do. As the writer says, we are an “icon,” and as such the folks know exactly where their favorite vendor is. As for moving next to Lost Park, I can see all of us arguing about who sets up near the trees that get urinated on the most, and whose vomit is this?

We would like more space and more parking for customers, but moving (according to all polls taken of our vendors) is out! If the city is really behind the Saturday market, then step up and lend a hand instead of the “Move first, then we see if we still like you” attitude. Otherwise it’s acrimony as usual.

Mike Wiedeman

Wrong ones to ask

The Feb. 14 cover story, “Shall we overcome?” was a timely article during Black History Month. However, your reporter could have done a more thorough job with that week’s Streetalk question, “Have you witnessed racism in Chico?”

All four of the respondents pictured were men, and not one of them was African-American. (There was one man who may have been Latino.) It seemed glaringly obvious that more effort should have been made to locate a more diverse pool of responses for this particular question.

Desiree Gonzalez

Racism on the right

Re “The racism of liberals” (Letters, by Chad Wozniak, Feb. 21):

We’re long used to reading and hearing right-wingers accuse liberals of racism. This is the symptom of projection that pervades right-wing talk shows and other false propaganda mills that spew out a constant stream of lies on all sorts of subjects.

The letter from Mr. Wozniak was no exception.

The writer expects us to believe that liberals were trying to prevent a Walmart in East Nashville from serving its mostly African-American community. A little research quickly proved this to be a lie (it always does). The basis for the protest was a labor dispute, not an effort to prevent Walmart from doing business in the community.

But the big reveal for the racism of the right is that one of their favorite slanders is the one the writer used by claiming the left considers minorities incapable of making up their own minds, when in fact the right wing, through its political arm, the Republican Party, is doing everything it can to prevent minorities from voting, or failing that, from having those votes counted.

Who do they think they’re fooling?

John Wilkinson

The fracking next door

Re “The fate of the planet” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 21):

Yes, we have a lot to fear from the Keystone XL pipeline. We also have a local problem: hydraulic fracturing. California is the home of fracking.

Monterey Shale is the second-largest shale deposit in the United States, and oil companies want to tap it. All along Highway 33 oil companies have extracted for years. It is a wasteland. This area parallels the San Andreas Fault.

The Elk Hills oil fields west of Bakersfield are the first target. How much of our water will go south to be destroyed in fracking? One barrel of fracked oil equals nine barrels of polluted water.

A California landowner has already won $8.56 million in court because his water was destroyed by this process. With the hazard of earthquakes that come with this type of extraction, will fracking trigger “the big one”?

Let’s stop the XL, and let’s stop our own local looming disaster. And local I mean: Sutter Buttes now has 17 fracking wells owned by Halliburton.

R. Sterling Ogden

Pawprints fixes too

Re “Get your cat fixed, please” (Guest comment, by Cynthia Gerrie, Feb. 21):

Paws of Chico is not “the only organization in Chico that provides financial assistance to owners of both dogs and cats who cannot otherwise afford to spay/neuter,” as stated by Cynthia Gerrie.

For almost nine years Pawprints Thrift Store, located at 1346 Longfellow Ave., in Chico, has been helping local people fix their cats and dogs from sales of generously donated items.

We are a 501(c)3 all volunteer thrift store very dedicated to animal welfare.

Ms. Gerrie is doing important work, but she needs to remember that Paws is not the only program helping people fix their pets.

Together, we are making a huge difference.

Pawprints Thrift Store’s spay/neuter hotline is 530-895-1791.

Sue Evans
Manager/ Pawprints Thrift


In addition to Paws of Chico, Pawprints Thrift Store has been helping people spay and neuter their animals for nine years. Last year, Pawprints Thrift assisted in the altering of 392 animals.

In addition, on Friday, March 22, an event will be held to benefit Pawprints Thrift, “Spay-ghetti and No-balls,” at The DownLo in downtown Chico at 7 p.m. Come on out and support a very important and thriving organization. Your money will go toward spaying and neutering hundreds of animals.

Sarah Downs

Ban bad people, not bags

Bans of weapons and plastic bags may appear to most as unrelated subjects. It is my opinion that there is a direct correlation. The tendency of lawmakers is to control the objects themselves rather than address the real cause, which is “people.”

Weapons do not shoot and kill by themselves. Plastic bags do not jump into streams, rivers and oceans by themselves until irresponsible people enter the mix. I urge lawmakers to consider this prior to introducing more wheel spinning and ineffective laws to solve these problems.

It will not be an easy task but one that I believe is the real answer.

Maurice Picard

Will they walk the walk?

Ten of the 11 2012 City Council candidates attended five debates together. In order of importance, the top four campaign issues were: police (safety), homelessness, pension reform and the economy (or jobs). Recently our new mayor identified her top 10 priorities for 2013, which included economic prosperity as being No. 1. Good choice! Certainly my No. 1 topic during the council race. The mayor made downtown her sixth choice. Another good choice! That was my No. 2 campaign topic.

I’ve always watched elected politicians to see if they follow their own campaign issues (sometimes promises), or if they were simply intended to be a ruse.

The four newly elected and re-elected candidates form a simple majority on the council. They alone could band together and enact their common top campaign priorities. Let’s all watch and see if they truly practice what they preach.

Dave Kelley

Our own Sandy Hook

Wednesday I saw a friend standing in front of Planned Parenthood. Stopping to say hello, I learned that Wednesdays are abortion days for this business. I counted 20 cars in the front parking lot. The overall atmosphere was quiet and calm. Traffic along Cohasset Road was busy.

While observing this scenario it hit me—20 pre-born babies were being killed within this facility! This was the same number of little ones murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. How could this be? Where is the outrage? Where are our activists who advocate protection for the marginalized; the ones most at risk for exploitation? These mothers and their babies should be at the top of their list!

With new eyes, I looked as a car pulled into the parking lot and another young woman got out. I then realized we have our own Sandy Hook tragedy occurring every week, but the cars keep going past, and no one but the mothers cry when they leave Planned Parenthood.

Susan Birtcil

Earth’s cooling, not heating

Re “The fate of the planet” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 21):

Before you make any more blanket statements that the “globe is warming,” let me point readers to 31,000-plus scientists who say it ain’t so: Google the Petition Project, presenting a statement signed by and listing the names and credentials of these practicing degreed scientists.

Also Google the following: Steve McIntyre, Frederick Seitz, Richard Lindzen, (Lord) Nigel Lawson, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus and, most incriminating of all, “Climategate emails,” in which the global-warming fraudsters themselves describe in detail exactly how they falsify temperature data, rig computer “models” to regurgitate foregone conclusions, and act to silence scientists who don’t buy their lies.

If you’re really sure of your facts, why bully skeptics and demand they be imprisoned (David Suzuki) or put to death (Richard Parncutt)? That ought to cast suspicion on anything these people say. Of course, if you can’t win an argument by reason and facts, you undertake to win it by deception and force.

The physical fact is, Earth has cooled overall since the 1930s (the hottest years of the last 100), and especially since 1998, despite alarmist predictions of catastrophic warming by 2010—and continuing increases of CO2 in the atmosphere. It was recently revealed through a FOIA inquiry that the NOAA has been publishing false temperature data, which is the basis for claims that 2012 was the hottest year ever. At most it was ninth in the United States and average worldwide.

I’ll be happy to share my long list of global warming lies with anyone.

Chad Wozniak