Letters for January 15, 2009

One healthy decision; how ’bout two?
Re: “New leadership at Enloe” (Downstroke, CN&R, Jan. 8):

It looks like Enloe Hospital is getting off to a good start in 2009. The long-hanging contract with SEIU was settled at the end of ‘08, and now the News & Review brings another good Enloe story: the appointment of Matt Jackson to the position of chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Matt Jackson’s background in administration and high standing in the Chico community surely give him the required resources to take the board in a good direction.

With his ability to make good financial choices, he may be the person to approach with a comprehensive study of a single-payer (like Medicare) approach to health insurance. The bill that twice passed in the California legislature is now in the competent hands of Mark Leno. The soon-to-be president, Barack Obama, is leaning in that direction, and he will need all the help he can get to make it happen.

Is it too much to dream that, like others in the Western world, our currently uninsured could have access to conventional health care instead of waiting until they are so ill [that] emergency service is required? It would save lives and dollars as well.

Carole Eberling

Parliamentarian puts us in our place
Re: “Making it safe to help” (Editorial, CN&R, Jan. 8):

Your lead editorial is indeed a thoughtful reflection on a very important issue. Your recognition of state Sen. John Benoit (R-Riverside) having the courage to introduce the much-needed legislation, to assure the universal application of California’s Good Samaritan law, is also worthy of note.

However, this registered parliamentarian is always distressed whenever media take it upon themselves to make disparaging statements about the decisions rendered by any Supreme Court in the U.S., as in your editorial: “That’s because, in December, ruling on a case that resulted from a vehicle accident on Halloween night in 2004, the state Supreme Court issued a dangerously narrow interpretation of California’s Good Samaritan law.”

The qualifying words “dangerously narrow interpretation” somehow endow you with the supreme scholarship in constitutional law. It is this assumption by the media, even if the decision is by the narrowest margin, that needs change.

The constitutions of all the states and the U.S. explicitly provide for the respective legislative bodies to enact legislation to assure the different interpretation of the constitution in the future. Hence, the media should focus on how the Legislature can change the law and not harp upon the decision made by the Supreme Court.

Keep in mind, the final word of interpreting the constitution is vested in the Supreme Court, not the public at large. If we do not like the decision, use the existing constitutional provision to amend the law, subject to the final interpretation by the Supreme Court.

Brahama D. Sharma

Déjà ‘screw you!’
Re: “Disc-ussion reheats up” (Letters, by C. Kasey Kitterman, CN&R, Dec. 31):

“My idea is to deed the 40-acre site to Gregg Payne.” Great idea. If this deed goes through, then I will have to start denuding 40 acres of Upper Bidwell Park, say, around Salmon Hole. I will then request and expect the same deed for myself and open a fly-fishing and cliff-rappelling adventure tourism site.

As for the lack of salmon: No problem! Those waters have plenty of sucker fish. Imagine a tourist destination, generating dollars for the city of Chico, geared to guiding clients on fishing for suckers.

I’ll get on it right away.

In the meantime, I am currently uploading photos of massive erosion on not the short but the long course onto Google Earth for the entire world to see. I mean, 6,000 people and both editors of our city’s papers can’t be wrong!

P.S. Oops. Almost forgot. Screw you, News & Review!

Andy Tomaselli

Another confession
Re: “Walmart guilt (or, my dirty little secret)” (Guest Comment, by Emily Brannen, CN&R, Dec. 31):

Oh, my sista, you are forgiven. I, too, took the plunge—getting off the bus, walking across the huge parking lot to hunt down a bargain. I was not looking for curtains, or a curtain rod. I was looking for a gift for my granddaughter for Christmas.

The gift? A Leapster [educational game system]. After searching several stores—Target and Toys ‘R’ Us, to name two—I went into that nasty Walmart store. And, lo and behold, there it was. Twenty dollars cheaper. I put it into my shopping cart.

I checked out the toy section and was able to also find a singing Hannah Montana doll for her as well. The price was way below other stores'.

A few co-workers were appalled that I went into that nasty old store to shop. Did I not have a conscience? (They don’t have children.)

You are forgiven, my sister. For in these times or in any time, especially those of us with children, getting more for our dollar is more important than where you shop. The money you saved put food on your table.

Mary Hayden

Reviewing the review
Re: “Mere curiosity” (Reel World, by Juan-Carlos Selznick, CN&R, Dec. 31):

I just saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and strongly disagree with Mr. Selznick’s perception of the film. Benjamin, though having a bit of the wooden naiveté and life philosophy of Forrest Gump, deserves every minute of its three-hour run.

The film offers vignettes of a life—anyone’s life/everyone’s life. Its anchor is an old-age home where people regularly die. It deals with love, sex, war, cowardice, bravery, bravura—the stuff of life—and also with idyllic times we all have and want to stretch into forever, and can’t.

The film deals beautifully with one of the hardest themes in our lives, mortality, and does it such that one leaves the theater not depressed, but touched. There’s a bittersweet irony present throughout, and an opening and closing of tenderness and emotions brought poignantly forth by [Brad] Pitt and [Cate] Blanchett.

I thought it very well done and very worth my while. That’s why I take the time to respond to his critique. Thank you for the opportunity.

Yudit Ecsedy

Sculptor speaks
Re: “Art economics” (Arts DEVO, by Jason Cassidy, CN&R, Dec. 11):

I was surprised, to say the least, that Pat Macias, the former director of 1078 Gallery, was dismissed. I usually don’t get involved in local art politics, but Pat brought some sophistication to this local gallery. She also put on some interesting shows.

The “Chico art world” is small enough, and since I arrived here, a little over a year ago, I have noticed that an enterprising and commercial writer crowned Chico as the “best little art town in America” (10 years ago, I think), and they have gotten drunk on it.

I usually say to local artists: Don’t be satisfied with just being local artists unless that is where you want to be. Chico is a great city—good food, music, and people—but please don’t delude yourselves that it is some sort of art mecca.

Jerry Harris

Golden opportunity
In 1861, the first Chico classroom was in a farmhouse on the southern banks of Little Chico Creek. In 2008, one of the most Googled items was “Beijing.” It is not a coincidence that Chico Country Day School, occupying the original 1861 site, chose “Go for the Gold” for its 2008-09 theme-based-learning slogan.

On Jan. 28, CCDS and Chico Unified School District have a golden opportunity provided by Proposition 1D (Public Education Facilities Bond Act) to rehabilitate the historic school site with nearly $8 million in eligible funding. This project would be 50 percent grant-funded and 2.75 percent interest on the remainder, repaid by CCDS.

The state funds are already appropriated, and the money will be spent somewhere else if not locally. This project is consistent with the Southwest Chico Neighborhood Planning activities on common goals for improving Park Avenue frontage and the Barber Neighborhood gateway.

Staffs at CCDS and CUSD are diligently working to develop the necessary agreement to be adopted by CUSD Board of Trustees. This is a great opportunity for CUSD to support additional innovative educational alternatives, rehabilitate the oldest school site in Chico, and to invest in local infrastructure all benefiting the community parents, students, and neighborhood residences and businesses.

Let’s go for the gold.

Matt Colwell

Re: “Great values, hard sales” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Jan. 8): In explaining the mechanics of a short sale, we may have given the impression that a homeowner could continue to remain in the house indefinitely without making a mortgage payment. The homeowner can stay there during the short-sale process. We have reworded the sentence online and apologize for any misinterpretation.

Re: “New leadership at Enloe” (Downstroke, CN&R, Jan. 8): The item about new members of the medical center’s board described Dr. Forrest Olson, chief of the medical staff, as a family-practice physician without mentioning that he’s a hospitalist—a distinction made for the Chief-of-Staff-elect Dr. Attila Kasza. We’ve noted this in our online edition.