Letters for January 14, 2016

Not going away

Re “Standing tall” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Jan. 7):

I appreciate the informative article by Meredith J. Cooper about the rising consciousness in the U.S. of the dreadfully cruel drone warfare program, and of my and fellow citizen activist Chris Nelson’s part in the ever-increasing noncooperating (read: civil disobedience) resistance to this way of dealing with terrorism.

The day after the article was in the stands, the federal district attorney dismissed the charges, so the “Beale 10” will not go to trial and will not be afforded our rightful opportunity to relate the urgent reasons for trespassing onto the military base. Nevertheless, Beale 10 and many more rallied at the courthouse with street theater and delivered the message of protest and demanded a response from our representative in the Senate and its subcommittee on Foreign Relations, Barbara Boxer.

We will continue to do what needs to be done, even in the face of no apparent result, but trusting in the goodness of our action, the rightness of our cause, the urgency of public response. We are part of a movement—most feared by those in power—of ordinary Americans that will not go away.

Cathy Webster


‘Missed the boat’

Re “Respect both perspectives” (Letters, by Sherri Quammen, Jan. 7):

I say men ought to be angry with the status quo and begin searching for a radically new ethos—especially environmentally. Sherrie Quammen says softer “feminine emotions” are the answer and I’ve missed the boat. But how do Quammen’s emotional adjustments translate into radical behavioral change?

For example, to address our monster problem of biospheric collapse, we have to do at least seven things: 1) Push for a “one child” policy worldwide, 2) cut animal-product consumption by 90 percent, 3) cut our transportation-related fuel consumption by 80 percent, 4) cut heating and cooling of living space by 80 percent, 5) localize food production, 6) phase in alternative power generation, and 7) do all this while protecting the poorest people.

As of today, there is no widely accepted moral imperative driving any of the above. Is Quammen offering her female supremacist vision as the moral vehicle of choice? Quammen’s dream of “fixing” men through emotional transgenderism is noble in intent, but it leaves our core culture of denial, consumerism and greed fully intact. Millions of affluent men and women already conform to Quammen’s model: the Oprah-feminist-materialist way of life is entirely valid within Quammen’s criteria and, far from being a panacea, it remains a disaster for the planet.

Patrick Newman


‘It’s gotta move’

Re “Junkyard watchdogs” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Jan. 7):

I think Chico’s best days are ahead of us. Chico is a beautiful place to live and work. Sierra Nevada Brewery is one of Chico’s treasures and our leading tourist attraction with 370,000 visits each year.

Unfortunately, as tourists finish a tour of Sierra Nevada, they step outside and see the junkyard, protected by Councilman Andrew Coolidge. Four council members, led by Coolidge, who was a paid consultant for [a political action committee led by Chico Scrap Metal’s owner], voted to keep the junkyard. Evidently, they see no ethical conflict with Coolidge leading the effort.

Eleven years of delays, postponements, extensions, broken promises—enough! The junk heap is not in compliance, and it is 165 feet from Chapman Elementary School. Moving the junkyard will bring new businesses and new jobs to East 20th Street. It’s gotta move.

Karl Ory


Editor’s note: Mr. Ory is a former mayor of Chico.

Unhappy with editing

Re “Undermining the public’s trust” (Guest comment, by Nathan Esplanade, Jan. 7):

Apparently to undermine my anti-alcohol and -marijuana guest comment last week, the CN&R changed and deleted some of my words and made others insensible, and completely omitted my conclusion.

In the same issue, the CN&R published more propaganda arguing legalizing pot would enable pain relief for the poor and enrich local governments. In so doing, it once again ignored the elephant in the room: Patients with a prescription can already acquire affordable medication via the Internet.

The CN&R’s argument that legalizing recreational marijuana would enrich local governments is similarly manipulative and short-sighted. Legalizing likely would enrich local governments by increasing demand for police, fire, legal, judicial, penal, health care and social services. However, handling this increase would force governments to raise taxes of even those who don’t use the drug.

Why doesn’t the CN&R just admit it wants marijuana legal so its staff, friends and other recreational users can enjoy disproportionate euphoria and wealth—at the expense of public and environmental health, wealth and safety—without guilt or fear of arrest? Probably because it realizes citizens so enlightened wouldn’t support such a self-serving and socially destructive mission.

Nathan Esplanade

Tehama County

Editor’s note: Mr. Esplanade’s guest comment was trimmed for space and edited for libel, as per CN&R’s policy.

‘Appallingly predictable’

Re “Death and justice” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Dec. 24):

It is appallingly predictable that District Attorney Mike Ramsey found the Patrick Feaster shooting “not criminal.” The video from Feaster’s dashboard camera clearly shows that he, without deliberation, shot Andrew Thomas as he was climbing out of his overturned vehicle. Feaster should also be held on criminal charges for neglecting to adequately attend to Darien Ehorn, who lay dying while he was looking for his bullet casing.

Ramsey has repeatedly failed the citizens of this county with his criminal bias. It appears he hasn’t seen a police shooting he didn’t consider “noncriminal,” even when police shot 19-year-old Breanne Sharpe, claiming her vehicle was endangering their lives.

Every questionable officer shooting that Ramsey has determined to be justified or “noncriminal” should be reinvestigated by a citizen’s panel and charges filed against him if it is found that he played a role in covering up criminal police abuses and excessive use of force. Let justice finally be served.

Sherri Quammen


Councilwoman says thanks

Re “What were they thinking?” (Cover story, by CN&R staff, Dec. 31)

I hesitate to respond, but I wanted to thank you. The incident at the council meeting was described as “stunning” and should have been described as “inappropriate.” Looking back (it was the first time I saw my words in print), I realized that my actions need to speak louder than my words.

Many citizens don’t know me outside of the council meetings and are unaware of the hours that I spend working directly with those in our community who need to get off the streets and into a safe environment. I do outreach in the creeks and tributaries of Chico and I’m confident that anybody would be shocked by the needles and drugs that we come across. I’m sure you will agree that it is not safe for anybody to live in that environment. There are many amazing individuals out there who are not engaging in criminal activity who need new boots on the ground. It takes a team to help one get back on their feet.

I invite you or staff who care about Chico in the same way that I do to engage in similar activities that have a direct impact on those who need us the most.

Reanette Fillmer


Editor’s note: Ms. Fillmer is a member of the Chico City Council.

Indiscriminate killings

Most our lives we hear echoed the value of consistency. From parents, coaches, educators and employers, some learn steadfastness in our approach to daily affairs. Doesn’t matter if you’re a chef, educator, landscaper or policy maker. The cuisine, curriculum, project beautification and decision-making should be consistent. One prescribed method of raising our children is with unwavering consistency. Of the countless sources available for learning this fine quality, none has been more instructive than being a near life-long passionate observer of American foreign policy.

This is exemplified by the presence of American F-16s in Iraq indiscriminately killing humans and animals again. As I read The New York Times, I’m reminded of Einstein’s insight that the difference between intelligence and stupidity is “intelligence has limits.” After the immeasurable horror and injustice levied forever on the people of Iraq—and consequently Americans—during Bonehead Bush and Black Water, Washington invariably declares we can somehow ameliorate conditions with this abhorrent policy. To think my extremely hard-earned legal tender is implicit in this inexcusable homicide.

Here we go again, fellow citizens: ready, fire!!! Now aim.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

Gun control his way

Re “Blame Congress” (Editorial, Jan. 7):

Remember when President Obama claimed Australia as the civilized model for gun control? Recall Australia had a gun buyout and criminalized all weapons not turned over to the government. Pictures were shown of shotguns and rifles being cut and ground into fragments. Now we hear Obama and cohorts touting executive power for more gun control. We have yet to see the full rollout of his intentions.

Now, I’m for “gun control,” but with our interpretation. Gun control is a steady hand on the gun to hit at what you are shooting. As a former boy scout—their motto and mine—be prepared! Call 911 after you pick up your .38 or .357 caliber or 12-gauge.

Hugh Rhodes


Way to go, Inspire!

We just got back from Inspire School of the Art’s Make Your Mark Super Gala. If you missed it, let me recap. Beyond spectacular! The talent of these high-schoolers is truly phenomenal. And if any of the past musicals are the norm, Annie Get Your Gun [opening Feb. 26] will be delightful. Way to go, Inspire! Another home run out of the ballpark!

Marian and Larry Adamson