Letters for January 11, 2018
The distractor’s destruction
Re “Don’t be fooled by the distractor-in-chief” (Guest comment, by Roger Beadle, Jan. 4):
Destructive policies are the keynote of the Trump regime, as Mr. Beadle’s research illustrates. He’s done his homework on Scott Pruitt and the EPA, which, under the Trump regime, might as well be renamed the Environmental Destruction Agency.
Trump has assaulted every agency, and with his lies and provocations wages a daily assault on sanity and human decency. His assault on the reality of climate change is perhaps the most egregious and enduring, second only to bullying a despot and playing with the idea of nuclear war, which is, for sane people at least, unthinkable.
Mr. Trump is a petulant child who is delusional, ignorant, impulsive and dangerous. He needs to be removed from office before it’s too late. We can’t wait for the year 2020.
One possible solution
Re “Stalemate” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Dec. 21):
The single most vexing and divisive problem facing our community for years now is homelessness. If we don’t insist on making it the central issue of upcoming elections, then we deserve the inaction bound to follow. Some upcoming City Council decisions hold promise for progress.
Several states are using granny units, or accessory dwelling units (ADU), to increase the volume of affordable housing stock. Chico is updating local policy to comply with recent state laws intended to reduce obstacles to homeowners building ADUs. Councilmembers Karl Ory and Ann Schwab are to be thanked for vocally advancing affordable housing goals and Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer also expressed some openness. Only Mayor Sean Morgan was flatly opposed to reducing fees for affordable units, stating that housing prices don’t drive homelessness here, but he might want to review the housing element of the Chico general plan again, because it indicates otherwise.
Title 19 land-use code is also being updated soon, and increasing flexibility to allow creative and very low-cost options for our neighbors experiencing homelessness would be outstanding.
Please ask the members of the City Council to establish whatever incentives and support possible in order to encourage building the quantity of affordable housing ADUs required by our crisis.
Open your eyes
Re “About that village” (Letters, by Charles Withuhn, Jan. 4):
Charles Withuhn says that if you build Simplicity Village (SV), it will not attract homeless to Chico. But of course, it will.
Think Black Friday. One thousand people for 100 TVs. Nine hundred don’t get one, but they show up and look around to see what bargains are to be had. SV may “sell out” quickly, but it isn’t permanent housing. There will be some influx of homeless hoping to get a vacancy and sticking around just in case.
Withuhn’s defense of his project seems based on his point of view, and not that of the homeless. They will come regardless of a complex application process and a limited number of spots. They will come based on their needs and hopes. They will come because Chico is saying, “We are homeless-friendly.” They will come for everything else besides SV.
The number of homeless people in California is daunting, so let me be clear. SV will decrease net homelessness. That’s a good thing. But it will also incentivize a demographic shift of homeless toward and into Chico. Therefore, SV is more than 60 beds. It is a defining moment for the city.
Make your decision with eyes wide open, not wool pulled over them.
On Trump’s tweets
Perhaps the Trump tweets are: Merging emotional tales from the past with “prestige enhanced memory distortion.” On the other hand, that is far too polite an explanation. Maybe Shakespeare said it better: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
I see that 45 maintains that he’s a “very stable genius.” The only connection he has with the word “stable” is that he’s full of what you try not to step in when you visit one.
When the Chico City Council was reorganizing the companies to pick up garbage in Chico, the panel announced that if you had to switch companies, your bill would remain the same. My last bill from Recology was $64.85 (two cans) for a quarter. My bill now with Waste Management is $85.38 (one can). That is an increase of $20.82.
When I called the phone number on the bill and asked why my new bill was not the same as the City Council said it would be, the lady responded by saying, “Oh, I wasn’t at the meeting, because I live in Phoenix, Ariz.” (How is that for an intelligent response from Waste Management?)
A supervisor was not available. The lady went on to say that, since I was 87, I could apply for a senior discount, but I would have to appear in person at 2569 Scott Ave., Chico, with a picture ID card and it had to be for the smallest can for $42.33 a quarter. It just so happened that there were about a dozen people behind me in line with similar problems.
I think the Chico City Council should revisit this matter and inform Waste Management to abide by their agreement or forfeit its business in Chico.
Is anyone else dissatisfied with Waste Management trash service?
1. On Dec. 30, there was a three-man crew going through our neighborhood changing out trash cans. These men were not adequately protected for the job they were doing. They had to transfer full trash cans into the new cans. Yet, the scheduled pickup came by shortly after their switch out. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have them exchange the new cans for the old, after the trash cans had been emptied? Why would WM subject these men to exposure of trash that may contain dangerous items or substances? What kind of company exposes workers to this kind of risk?
2. When I called in to discuss my bill, the hold time was unreasonably long. WM has been given a monopoly on residential trash service in Chico, yet the company now charges more per bill to use this monopoly. So we get to pay more and have longer hold times. Why?
3. WM invoices state, for payment: “Due Upon Receipt.” Not everyone is able to pay their bills on day of receipt. Why is there no reasonable due date? How easy would this be to remedy?
Biased toward BHS
It was recently announced that the city of Chico is looking to contract out city animal services and is currently accepting bids. As director of the League of Humane Voters, Butte County affiliate, I wrote a letter to each City Council member and the city manager, stating my opposition to the expected bid from the Butte Humane Society (BHS), which is undoubtedly the front-runner. BHS ran animal services for 25 years and ran it poorly. BHS asked for more funds from the city on an annual basis; it was never enough.
As a result, my letter was shared with the executive director of BHS, Katrina Woodcox, who reached out to me wanting to discuss my letter and dispute my concerns. This shows blatant bias and favoritism toward BHS and is extremely inappropriate.
In 2012, the city finally took charge of the Chico Animal Shelter and since then has made major improvements to the quality of the staff and vast improvements to the care of the animals it takes in. The euthanasia rate has plummeted to an all-time low as well. This is something we can be proud of, and it is my belief that the Chico Animal Shelter should continue to be run as-is.
People want pot
Our so-called president and attorney general seem to have an “ax to grind” over cannabis in their campaign against liberal Californians, but what about our veterans with medical cannabis and others who have the opportunity to live a better life?
Cannabis is not a violence-inducing drug like meth and other drugs or alcohol. People who are violent with cannabis in their system likely have something else in their body, most likely alcohol.
I am a Vietnam vet with a Silver Star and Purple Heart who has been using cannabis for almost 51 years, which is as long as I’ve been married. I retired at 68 and excelled in all of my jobs. History of violence—none. Tried other drugs—none. PTSD—no signs. I had been an alcohol drinker (sociably) for many years, but my whole attitude changes for the worse when I drink, so I quit that.
The president, Jeff Sessions and the Butte County Board of Supervisors need to wake up and do what the people voted for.
At the Golden Globes, the red carpet was replete with actresses donning black dresses, purportedly to make a statement against men in power touching women inappropriately. The rationale, as I understand it, is that men see women as sex objects, and therefore touch them.
To make sense of this, one needs to accept that a black dress makes a woman less attractive. Want to make a statement? Come in a burqa and donate to charity the thousands otherwise spent on your hair, makeup and revealing black dresses.
I personally do not know any men who see women as sex objects. I know many who see women as sexual human beings. Evolution has made it that way. There are men (and women) who abuse power. We are justified in rebelling against such.
This letter is about touching. No woman has ever been a man. Often women are unaware of the image they portray. People are imperfect beings. Garrison Keillor, one of the warmest, most gentle people I have ever met, was reportedly fired for putting his hand on the back of a woman during a photo op. Zero tolerance is euphemistic for infinite intolerance. That cannot stand.
Chico Unified Teachers Association (CUTA) will provide an opportunity to view the movie Backpack Full of Cash, a documentary exploring the growing trend of privatizing public schools. Only a limited number of screenings have been scheduled throughout the nation at present. The movie will be shown on Monday, Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at Pleasant Valley High School, 1475 East Ave., at 3 p.m. It is narrated by Matt Damon. For more details, call the CUTA office at 343-0226 or visit the group on Facebook.
Everyone who is rooting for the survival of public education, and wants to support our great public school teachers and thank them for the sacrifices they make in order to teach, will want to see this movie.