Letters for February 8, 2007

Unsentimental journey
Re: “Field trip to the future” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Feb. 1):

I have lived in Chico for most of the past 30 years. I read with some interest the article about the wonderful future for Chico with the adoption of New Urbanism, creating tightly packed “neighborhoods” where people will get to know and enjoy their neighbors, reduce suburban sprawl, and create a little green space by living more closely together.

My attention was immediately drawn to the word “patina.” I guess that means that as the buildings assume the delightful nuances of aging, the beauty and warmth of the neighborhood will twinkle like a Thomas Kincaid painting. We will rejoice in sidewalk living unencumbered by driveways, reminiscent of a bygone era. And because little shops will be close by, we will be able to walk to the store to buy our groceries and flowers.

Are we to believe that Chico will in the end benefit from this new urban densification, and that the quality of life will improve, or at least remain the same? Are we to believe that New Urbanism is the answer to suburban sprawl? Or do you think that New Urbanism will in reality only increase the density of the sprawl?

And what will become of New Urbanism in 20, 30 or 40 years? Can anyone remember tenements? Is patina a precursor to blight?

Will Chico be a new “urbanist” paradise, or will Chico be a new “urbanist” developer’s paradise?

New Urbanism? Give me a break.

Lytle Williams

He votes for an early primary
Re: “One election too many” (Editorial, CN&R, Feb. 1):

I could not disagree more. The role of California voters in national elections should not be to foot the bill for candidates while having virtually no say in their selection. With the current calendar, the primary is essentially over long before California voters go to the ballot box. If anything is a waste of public funds, it is an election where the voters’ choices have no effect on the outcome of the contest.

As the nation’s most populous state, it is appropriate for California to play a significant role in the selection of candidates for national office that extends beyond bankrolling their campaigns. I applaud the governor for his foresight on this issue and urge all Californians, regardless of party affiliation, to support this effort.

James Short

Fondness for this ‘08 forecast
Re: “Handicapping the derby” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Feb. 1):

I agree with your forecast regarding an Edwards-Obama ticket! This voter longs for an electable ticket with candidates who are intelligent, humane, and flexible—willing to grapple with complexities and ambiguities as they lead our country.

Edwards, although currently wealthy, grew up in a working-class home and “gets” the fact that there are, in fact, two Americas. He is a passionate spokesperson for the working and middle classes. A candidate will not be perfect on all of the issues for all of us, but Edwards is right on enough of them: eliminating poverty, fighting global warming, strong on civil rights, providing universal health care. He has acknowledged his error in voting in 2002 for the catastrophic war on Iraq.

Clinton is largely disliked for a number of reasons including her blatantly opportunistic style and baggage left over from Bill. The latter is not fair to her, but the far right wing does not play fair. Along those lines, every racial stereotype will be used in an attempt to discredit Obama. Obama is a captivating figure who offers inspiration to a dispirited country.

I predict that Obama will be the candidate in 2020 after Edwards wins the presidency and holds it for two terms. It would be nice to think that any distraction over race will be a non-issue once Obama has served as the vice president for two terms.

Silona Reyman

The history of Helen’s
Re: “Sweet, fried goodness” (Chow, by L.R. Rose, CN&R, Feb. 1):

I am compelled to write regarding the article on Helen’s Donut Nook. I would like to correct an error. The author wrote, “Pat and her family have owned the business for 40 years.” This is incorrect.

Helen Turner opened the business in 1968 and ran it until she sold it to Don Del Carlo in 1974. Don ran the business (and trained his brother Joe Del Carlo) until 1980, when his long-time friend, Rico, bought the shop. Rico Devon owned Helen’s Donut Nook until 1993, when Pat and her family came from Laos and bought it from him.

Therefore, the current owners have only had the donut shop for about 14 years. This is also why most people in town think the same family owns both donut shops. However, The Donut Nook on East Avenue has been owned and operated by Joe Del Carlo’s family since 1977. Joe Del Carlo started the business, and when he died in 1996, his son Joey took over the business. (For a few short years, Dorian Dodds bought the shop, where Joey remained employed until he bought it back.)

The Donut Nook on East Avenue is proudly steeped in the Del Carlo family tradition and should be recognized as the longest local family-owned donut shop in Chico.

Jodi Putnam

Billboard driver replies
Re: “Tow away ad campaign” (Letters, by W.A. Strom, CN&R, Feb. 1):

I read the letter from Mr. Strom. He was “upset” when he was driving on The Esplanade. Please allow me to respond.

I want to assure everyone that I am in compliance with all city and county codes. Safety is my No. 1 concern, and I am courteous to other drivers while on my route. I am pleased to provide this valuable service to our local businesses.

Mr. Strom does not support my service, but I am thrilled I was noticed by a person who admits he doesn’t “get out a lot.” Thank you for noticing the billboard trailer—that is the point.

B. Lapple
Cruzin Chico Ads

Serene connection
Re: “Why meditate?” (Health Issue story, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Jan. 18):

I read with great interest the article on meditation. I have been doing mantra meditation for 30 years. I became a Hare Krishna devotee and a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This movement predates Buddhism and is 5,000 years old.

The people that you interviewed basically meditate for material reasons. There is another reason to meditate, and that is to be able to approach and connect with God, or Krishna, as we call Him. We meditate to achieve pure, unmotivated love of God. This form of meditation purifies the heart and consciousness. Since we are part and parcel of Krishna, it is a natural thing for the soul to chant.

I spend a minimum of two hours a day chanting on my beads. It is the foundation of my life. There is no mundane motivation for me; if anything, I try to keep my life simple and not be so entangled in the material world. I have a peace in my life I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Bhaktilila Dasi
Forest Ranch

Losing a winner
Prop. 36 has saved $1.3 billion in just five years, has allowed more than 140,000 Californians to enter drug treatment and has kept more people out of prison than anything the governor has ever proposed.

Despite these strong returns on the Prop. 36 investment, the governor seems determined to starve the program to death.

Larry Phipps

Editor’s note: For a story about Prop. 36 and Butte County, see Drug treatment funding up in air.

Re: “The ups and downs of retail” (Cover story, CN&R, Feb. 1): The nature of the departure of two stores from the Chico Mall was stated incorrectly. Chico Bike & Board and the toy store near Sears both had seasonal license agreements that ended.