Letters for February 6, 2014

Health-care law’s flaws

Re “Rolling out Obamacare” (Healthlines, by Robert Speer, Jan. 30):

Obamacare working? You must have a sick sense of humor if you believe that!

The Affordable Care Act is a total fiasco. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take the word of the spin doctors in Washington for it. Talk to the local doctors who now turn away Medi-Cal patients because they lose money to treat them under Obamacare. Talk to the local medical clinics that have lost existing patients due the cancellation of their medical-insurance coverage due to the rules of Obamacare.

One local medical clinic in Magalia lost 800 patients when their medical-insurance plans were canceled. Call around and find out the facts for yourself and remember what is happening all over the county during the elections of 2014.

David L. Sanders

He likes GMOs

Re “You are what you eat” (Greenways, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, Jan. 30):

GMO crops have provided many benefits without one single demonstrated case of harm to humans or animals. GMO crops require less pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and for some, none at all. GMO crops enable higher yields, especially on marginal land—crucial in developing countries.

GMO crops can make staples like grains more nutritious: Witness the Golden Rice project, in which rice was genetically modified to provide the vitamin A missing in ordinary rice, with the potential to prevent 500,000 cases of blindness each year in children in countries where rice is the dietary staple.

The Golden Rice experimental farm in the Philippines was destroyed by GreenWar, delaying the availability of this sight-saving and lifesaving GMO crop to people in need of it (typical anti-human eco-imperialist enviro-lunatic superstitious ideology at work).

Every crop grown for human use is genetically modified—the only question is how and when was it was done. Other GMO techniques besides selective breeding date back to ancient times. Do you think teosinte grass morphed into maize without modification? Get real.

Chad Wozniak

Editor’s note: As the story notes, research published in the Journal of Organic Systems found that pigs fed with GMOs experienced a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation, among other adverse health effects, than those fed a comparable non-GMO diet.

Say no to pot petition

Re “Reefer rules reconsidered” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Jan. 30):

The pot traders are not happy with anything the residents, voters, property owners, business owners and stakeholders come up with. They (the pot traders and large growers who are destructive to the environment, and use potent pesticides—killers of all wildlife) want everything their own way all the time.

Devaluation of our properties, our quality of life, the right to enjoy our own homes, as well as the safety of our children and grandchildren doesn’t matter to them. They are not medi-pot advocates—they are money-pot advocates. And they couldn’t care less what or who they harm.

More petitions and referendums are circulating, or will be in the near future. Do not sign any of them. The last initiative on the ballot was confusing, badly written and misleading.

We do not have enough water for our farms, let alone for the pot plants that use 10 gallons per day per plant.

Bonnie Masarik
Yankee Hill

Two on plaza protest

Re “Out of sight, out of mind” (Cover feature, by Patrick Newman, Jan. 23):

This was a well-researched article, checking records, interviews and personal experience.

Why was it so important to move the homeless being fed out at the town square—a public place? Why were they moved? As Mr. Newman points out, things develop incrementally to those out of favor. What might be next if no one takes note?

Jonathan Swift wrote A Modest Proposal about an idea he had.

Jhan Patricia Tullin

After reading the article by Patrick Newman, I was pulled into the pages like no other article. The homeless have weighed heavily on my mind. The problem appears complicated; how do we untangle the mess and handle it with ease?

The following Sunday I drove to the Chico City Plaza to see for myself what was happening. I saw a group of people with signs protesting the removal of the Orchard Church and their weekly feeding of the homeless. I recognized Patrick right away. We spoke of the article and he introduced me to James, a homeless person. James and I discovered that we went to the same high school in San Jose, a middle-class area.

I was struck by the interchange that day. The homeless are people from our hometowns—people who went to our high schools, each with his or her own story.

I don’t know the answer to the homeless problem, but I do know what it is not. It is not a problem to be swept under the rug or “relocated.” It is a problem that deserves deep consideration.

Linda Fleischman

Ode to women

Women are Goddesses! We must respect them as our mothers and creators, not objectified and unequal. Teach our sons to cherish and respect, not use and discard. Hope lies in each womb for a better tomorrow.

I am a man and I am guilty of objectifying, using and discarding. Being taught to lust and control the ones who loved me, exploiting the one I loved, not knowing what love truly was, but knowing deep down this was not the way.

Yet she believed in me, knowing one day I would finally become the man who could see that she is my Goddess! Giver of love and life!

Goddesses! Release your love upon this world; it needs healing from the pain and suffering caused by fools like me. Help us remember that there is hope for us all, and that we can all love again!

Lee Dent

Do more to fix insolvency

At the State of the City address on Thursday (Jan. 31), Chico’s mayor reported the city’s financial condition is even worse than previously known. The vice mayor said an additional $7 million in spending may need to be cut in the next year.

However, just last week the City Council gave final approval to a three-year contract with the firefighters’ union that cut the average yearly wages and benefits only from $170,000 to $161,000 per firefighter. Furthermore, at the State of the City address, the firefighters were featured prominently carrying the American flag. Turns out the firefighters’ union has made major campaign contributions to four of the seven council members.

The police union contract is soon to be finalized. The police average $145,000 each in wages and benefits. Police union President Officer Peter Durfee was seen palling around with city leaders at yesterday’s meeting. The police union spent more than $10,000 helping elect three of the council members. And during the two-week “sunshine period” when the public had a chance to review the firefighters’ proposed contract, the Chico daily newspaper ran six articles on Chico firefighters. All were unfailingly positive of the firefighters’ union. None mentioned their average income. Um, Chico, we have a problem here.

Michael Jones

‘Illusions of superiority’

“Make love in the microwave/ Think of all the time you’d save.” These Carly Simon lyrics satirize self-improvement. They also befit America’s courts.

Since my 2005 assault by a drunken career felon, I’ve learned through litigation in both state and federal courts that the goal of judges, presumably to save money, is to avoid trial. That is, regardless of the outrageousness of an insurer’s evading restitution to an injury victim.

Despite my drive for trial for the insurer’s embezzlement of interest and for negligently and needlessly causing me to endure unconscionable legal fees and four years’ life delay, the Tehama County Superior Court dismissed my injury suit in 2009. I was accordingly forced to endure another four years’ embezzlement, hardship and life delay unsuccessfully appealing that ruling.

“Pay no mind to the man behind the curtain,” from The Wizard of Oz, is another apt metaphor. It illustrates judges are flawed human beings but wear majestic robes and isolate themselves from litigants to effect illusions of superiority. Ironically, this isolation also enables them to shirk accountability for both employing and allowing unlawful tactics to avoid trial. Insurers’ and attorneys’ exploitation of injury victims is accordingly reinforced.

Nathan Esplanade

Thanks, dog-park users

I’d like to thank the person who found my misplaced cell phone and the whole community of dog owners at the DeGarmo Dog Park who kept it safe for me there for the entire afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 30, until I could retrace my steps and find the phone still there.

You all know the hassle involved in losing a cell phone, and I thankfully was spared that hassle. I have always been impressed with the overall quality of the regular users at the dog park—and their dogs. There are good, thoughtful people who use this park, and I applaud them all.

Mark Gailey

Lamenting library decision

This is Black History Month. I approached the Butte County Public Library in Chico about doing a sculpture exhibition. At my own expense, I was going to ship 10 sculptures to the library from my San Francisco studio.

After some back-and-forth wrangling with the librarian and her boss, it was determined that they could spare me and the public a week. Later, they called and said that I would need insurance. This would have cost me $500 for a four-day showing. I said that I would absolve them from any responsibility. No thanks.

The library has sponsored many public events and could have taken this on, thus avoiding me having to insure the work. I have previously exhibited my work at Chico City Hall and there was no problem with insurance. I am an internationally and nationally known sculptor, quite familiar with insurance issues.

Chico is not the most diverse city, so the show was more directed to the public at large who have not been exposed to black culture and history. I know that Chico is a small Northern California city, but I was really amazed at this exiguous thinking on the library administration’s rejection of this exhibition.

Jerry Harris
San Francisco/Chico

City Plaza

There are many very compassionate people in this town who do not believe the downtown should be allowed to be a giant illegal campground. Maybe discouraging large gatherings for outdoor meals in the City Plaza, and moving them to a less central location, does not “mostly benefit a small interest group of wealthy property owners,” but is reasonable public policy.

The truly homeless, as well as the people who choose to live on the streets, are not the only “victims” here. It is difficult for young families to feel comfortable using public facilities where potentially aggressive, unvaccinated dogs, random loud obscenities, and open drug use are often present. It is challenging for small businesses to thrive in an atmosphere that does not feel safe or clean. Those are the same small businesses whose taxes pay for much of the infrastructure of this beautiful place.

I applaud Pastor Jim Culp for being willing to move his private ministry to another public property a few blocks away. Hopefully we can all work together to find some compassionate compromises that truly respect the rights of all the people who are impacted by this social issue. Civil discourse will be a good start.

Dave Hollingsworth