Letters for January 20, 2005

Correction: In last week’s Downstroke column, a story about the Campus Consolidation Committee incorrectly stated that the committee agreed to put off closure of the three small schools, Forest Ranch, Nord and Cohasset. In fact, the committee merely agreed that there are problems connected to closing those campuses. For a complete and accurate account please go to the CN&R Web site at http://www.newsreview.com/issues/chico/2005-01-13/education.asp. The CN&R regrets the error and apologizes for any inconvenience it may have caused.

No-fault construction
You really should have interviewed me or my father, Richard Leighty, before printing the one-sided article that I read today [“Crack house,” Newslines, Jan. 13]. There are always two sides to every story.

You should have included the fact that the main reason for the cracking in the slab is that the concrete supplier forgot to add a reinforcing fiber material, generally used in place of steel rebar. As a result, the concrete supplier paid to fix the cracks in the floor.

The owner threw several temper tantrums, and because of his childish behavior we decided to end the necessary improvements required to fix the slab, hoping cooler heads would help us come to a solution.

After grinding the concrete slab, the superintendent of Drake Homes called Towne Carpet, who sent out a flooring professional. The flooring professional told us and the owner that the floor would be perfectly acceptable for wood flooring after applying a topping compound (at a cost of only a few hundred dollars), which is frequently used when installing wood floor onto concrete.

Your story does not note that in approximately 35 years in the concrete and general contracting business, Richard Leighty Construction has never had a complaint filed with the State Contractors License Board, and I would hope that next time you might consult both parties of a dispute before recklessly printing a story to obtain a headline and damage the impeccable reputation of a local contractor and well-respected member of the business community.

H. Leighty

The Wiseguys
I was having a good laugh at some of your suggestions for alternative names for Chico’s newest baseball team ("the Criminally Insane,” “the Scott Petersons,” etc.) until I came upon “the Realtors” [Inside view, Dec. 30]. Surely this name was inadvertently taken from the list of “good names” that you neglected to print, you know, like: “the Mother Teresas,” “the Sugar and Spices,” “the Honor Students,” “the newspaper editors". …

Scott Huber

Peace plan
The ongoing insurgency in Iraq is primarily by the Sunni and Kurd minorities who fear (with cause) rule by the Shiite majority. The solution is to apply the principle of self-determination, established by the Atlantic Charter as one of the goals for which the United States and the United Kingdom fought World War II. Postpone the elections while Iraq is partitioned into three self-governing states, Kurds in the north, Sunni in the central area and Shiite in southern and eastern Iraq, with boundaries reflecting the geographic distribution of each ethnic group. Then elections can be held in peace with participation by all. Then the United States can withdraw honorably, having achieved its goal of democracy.

Bill McCord

Where’s the justice?
I read in the Enterprise-Record today that a man was sentenced to six months in jail for causing a traffic fatality. It seems he was driving 65 to 75 miles per hour, failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another vehicle, causing the death of the other driver. He was charged with “misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.”

My son was driving 50 mph, failed to stop at a stoplight, collided with another vehicle, causing the death of the other driver. No drugs or alcohol was a factor in either accident.

The disparity between the respective sentences is remarkable! My son got life in prison for his crime. He was charged with second-degree murder. They called it “implied malice.” According to the law, anyone who drives recklessly and causes the death of another person is guilty of a disregard of human life, ergo, “implied malice.” My son has been driving for 20 years without so much as a traffic citation.

Because of a severe head injury incurred during the accident, my son was unable to express remorse because he cannot recall being involved in the accident.

I recall the following cliché: “What is wrong with this picture?”

Larry Phipps

What is it good for?
Yes, Mr. Talbott, war is horrible [“It’s war,” Letters Dec. 30]. It’s even more heinous when there is no cause. The Iraqi people are not our enemies, as there was no Al-Qaeda link and they never asked to be “liberated,” I mean invaded. What strikes me in your letter is the cold, hateful attitude, which perpetuates war. Nationalism appears to divide the human family.

In my humble opinion, the “innocents” do die because of politics: War makes rich men richer, and this war imperialistically establishes power, dominance and political mapping—for greed. It’s completely political!

Mr. Talbott blames the victims for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time"—being in your own home is the wrong place? Don’t buy it. And also, Mr. Talbott, if the Iraqis “don’t give a flying fuck about us,” to quote you, this makes it right for us to torture murder and destroy them? Please help me understand this logic. War is murder and will never be moral.

Carrie Smith

Secure security
I own JMAX Productions, which books concerts and provides security at the Senator Theatre. I am totally committed to bringing the best and most exciting performers to Chico for concerts that are safe and enjoyable for all. I write in response to the letters of Patrick Walker [“Dangerous security,” Nov. 24, 2004] and Michael M. Peters [“Don’t call security,” Dec. 9, 2004] concerning security at the Nov. 5 Built to Spill concert.

Mr. Walker said the three attendees who clashed with security were his brother, wife and friend. Mr. Walker was no mere “witness,” as he portrayed himself in his letter; he was an active participant in the incident.

Mr. Walker admits the incident was caused by his friend “trying to stir up some enthusiasm down on the floor.” It is the performer’s task to stir up enthusiasm. Built to Spill gave an excellent performance; there was no need for Mr. Walker’s friend to try to “stir up” anything.

Mr. Peters was not at the concert. “Ushers,” as he wrote, may indeed be appropriate at “ballets, plays, musicals, operas and such"; however, rock/punk concerts are different events.

I take very seriously my responsibility to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. No matter how hard you try, there seems to always be a tiny percentage of the concert-going public looking to be rowdy. At the Built to Spill concert, there were about 400 concertgoers. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker, his wife, brother and friend comprised that 1 percent who cross the line and, if left unchecked, ruin the concert for everyone.

Justin Maximov