Letters for February 7, 2002

So long, Suzanne
What is it about Suzanne Gibbs that brings out the nasty side of people? Scott Huber [“Learn to share,” Letters, Jan. 31] is just the latest to vilify Gibbs over her work to help purchase and create the large nature preserve adjacent to Upper Bidwell Park.

There is certainly plenty of room for a variety of opinions on how the new preserve should be managed, including the kind of activities that should and should not be allowed. However, Huber’s chastisement of Gibbs in such phrases as “she has decided to pick up her toys and leave” and “get over it” insert an unnecessarily condescending tone into the discussion.

Huber’s attack follows Michael Jones’ below-the-belt attacks on Gibbs on his Web site. The fact of the matter is that Suzanne Gibbs is a sincere, dedicated environmentalist and community activist. Instead of attacking Gibbs, we should be thanking her for her tireless work on behalf of the preserve, her chairing of the Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance, her service on the Chico Park and Playgrounds Commission and her many hours helping various progressive political causes and candidates. Chico needs more caring citizens like Suzanne Gibbs.

Unfortunately, Gibbs is leaving the area. She will be greatly missed. I know she will be an asset to the community in which she relocates. I wish her well.

Nancy Park

Ike’s early warning
President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of an uncontrolled growth of the military-industrial complex. A blank check to the military will result in a more fearful world and loss of freedoms and social programs at home.

The last two one-sided bombings of other countries called “wars,” with the resulting destruction of their infrastructures, has resulted in the deaths of many more innocent civilians than “enemies.”

The planners and perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attack may well have died in the attack. These leaderless terrorist cells are located in 80 countries. How many countries must we destroy before we become the “terrorists"?

Let’s www.stophungernow.com.

Norm Dillinger

People’s park
“Parks are for people,” and people need trails. True enough. That sentiment is often expressed in response to the issue of losing healthy environment to trail development in Bidwell Park. But the value of parks to people goes way beyond trails.

If it was just about trails, Bidwell Park could be replaced by a much smaller place where trails were laid out very efficiently in serpentine fashion, supplemented by treadmills, to provide all the hiking one could want. And in the middle could be a concrete-coated rubble pile laced with bike trails to accommodate the off-road bicyclists. Not a very appealing picture.

The real enjoyment of hiking or biking on trails in Bidwell Park comes not from the trail itself, but from what you hike/bike through; not so much in being on the trail, but being in the natural environment.

One’s enjoyable and special experience of the park is created by the beauty and appeal of the plant community and its creatures, the rocks and the water. So making a park “for people” is very much about taking care of that environment.

Trails degrade the environment, and great care to minimize their impacts is necessary. Regaining healthy natural environments once they are damaged is next to impossible. All of this argues strongly for thoughtful and restrained trail development in the park, to make sure the park is truly “for people.”

Helen H. Scull

While campaigning for sheriff throughout Butte County, many people asked me what I am going to do with the various sheriff’s volunteer organizations once elected. They were concerned because they had heard rumors I planned on disbanding the units. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In 1993, I was proud to organize a group of community volunteers and sheriff’s staff that founded the Sheriff’s Team of Active Retired Seniors. The STARS organization was so successful it became a model program for all other agencies in California and became the largest all-volunteer group at the Sheriff’s Office and in Northern California.

The Sheriff’s Office has many volunteer auxiliary groups, such as the Chaplainry Corps, Communications Reserves, Honorary Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Reserve Deputy Program, Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and the STARS.

We have come to rely on these highly dedicated and professional volunteers to provide many thousands of hours of service to our community. Their extraordinary efforts free our regular deputies to fight crime and capture criminals.

Once elected, I will do everything possible to continue to build the membership in these valuable assets. Further, I will also provide the specialized training that is essential so that each member and unit will be successful in carrying out his or her or its missions.

Perry Reniff

Keene is keen
As a student at Chico State and a voting Republican, I have been interested in the recent political activity by Butte College instructor Dan Ostrander, who is running for the 3rd District Assembly seat. Ostrander has been running everything from TV ads to a newspaper campaign piece. My first impression of his ads was that his message is very generic, with slogans like “Protect the North State” and “Fighting Red Tape.” After some personal research, I’ve concluded that Ostrander’s use of generic slogans is intended to hide his real beliefs.

Mr. Ostrander apparently was a Democrat until just recently, and has been noted in the past as having fairly liberal views. He wants to portray himself as a conservative, but in a debate recently he admitted that he would have voted for Gray Davis’ state budget, which both raised taxes and put the state into a deficit. Where the heck is the conservatism in raising taxes? I’m personally not convinced.

Fortunately, there is a true conservative running in this race, and his name is Rick Keene. Rick has served on the Chico City Council and has an actual voting record to prove that he is a real Republican. I had the opportunity to meet Rick once, and he seemed like a very straightforward and honest person.

The Republican Party doesn’t need liberal representatives to sell us out. On March 5 I’m voting for Rick Keene.

Jeremy Spencer

I like Perry
I have worked in the Butte County criminal-justice system for 16 years. During that time, as a former deputy district attorney and as the former chief probation officer, I have worked with both candidates for sheriff. Based on my experience, I believe it is imperative that the citizens return the Sheriff’s Office to responsible leadership and fiscal responsibility.

That can be best accomplished by voting for Perry Reniff. He has worked tirelessly to involve the community through innovative programs such as STARS, drug-free zones and other collaborative programs that improve neighborhoods. He is also a great criminal investigator who has worked major homicide cases.

Perry is an experienced law enforcement officer who puts people before politics. He has integrity. We need Reniff in command of the Sheriff’s Office.

Helen Harberts

Out of sight
Many of my former associates [at Spectra-Physics] loved Devanie Angel’s story [""Given the pink slip,” cover story, Jan. 24]. However, I was told that some were not given the chance to read it while in the workplace. Although there was always a large stack of recent editions in the lunchroom, someone rounded up as many as possible and had them thrown out. Hmmm, I wonder if these same people can look at themselves in the mirror?

Warren Leathers