Letters for January 24, 2002

The same goal
Congratulations to registered nurses of Enloe Medical Center in ratifying your first contract in labor relations, and to the community at large, which will ultimately benefit from this.

This is a great first step in healing a nursing shortage at Enloe and fostering professional satisfaction in your workplace—and ultimately improved patient care, which all RNs at Enloe strive for. The California Nurses Association/Enloe RNs pact provides statewide standards and a significant voice/activism needed at a time of continued health care flux and changes.

To Enloe’s administration, welcome to a new era of proactive efforts in establishing an improved relationship in providing health/patient care to our community and the region we serve. Our efforts together, not apart, will assist in bringing this about.

I know Enloe strives for the best care possible, as signified by an improved heart care program, the near-completion of a new cancer center, and plans to enlarge the primary medical center to serve a growing population in our region. Enloe RNs strive for the same, as we have much at stake—our patients, our profession, our workplace.

Brian Johnson RN
Enloe Medical Center

The Reade factor
Your article regarding David Reade’s involvement with the current Butte County redistricting fiasco [“Just the fax,” Jan. 10] is consistent with my limited political experiences related to Mr. Reade. We never met or exchanged any communication, but I have observed him in the shadows of various Republican political endeavors. His specialty dealt with Bernie Richter’s leftover campaign money. Bernie would donate the money to a local nonprofit political group, and that same group would hire Reade as a political consultant for a similar, if not identical, amount.

I would wager that much, if not all, of the $26,000 your article mentions as being donated to Pacific Law Foundation from Bernie’s final campaign fund later returns (or has already returned) to Mr. Reade in the form of consultation or speaker fees.

Fortunately, only Mr. Reade and a few of his close associates appear to be deluded by his self-image of being a powerful political dealmaker. My perception of David Reade is that he is inept almost to the point of laughter. The sloppy paper trail uncovered by the CN&R regarding the current redistricting fiasco is a clear testament to the quality, or lack thereof, of David Reade’s work.

If Mr. Reade were only a minor political figure with an over-inflated ego, his actions might be labeled as merely pathetic. But, his apparent rise to a position of serious influence in local Republican politics is a tragedy that undermines the fundamental integrity of Butte County democracy.

Ken Donnell

Familiar territory
What about this Enron thing? Do you suppose that President Bush and his cronies put the squeeze on California, causing its energy crisis and embarrassing a Democratic governor? Bush promises a full investigation, but I’ll bet he’s squirming a bit about any revelations concerning his and Cheney’s connections with big energy in Texas and its manipulations in California.

It probably didn’t bother them too much when seniors in Sacramento and elsewhere had to turn their thermostats down to the 50s last winter during the crisis in order to pay their bills.

It isn’t the first time that big-business manipulation has helped the Republicans maintain themselves in office despite their poor performance in governing.

Maybe Enron’s shredding all those documents will save Bush’s skin. They’re good at that.

Robert Woods
Forest Ranch

Unhappy trails
Close to half of the money to purchase the ecological preserve came from the state of California [“Question of balance,” Jan 17]. The terms and conditions of that grant read: “Such acquisition will be for the purposes of wildlife habitat preservation, restoration and management, wildlife-oriented education and research, hunting, fishing and for other compatible public uses, all as may be consistent with wildlife habitat preservation and public recreation.” CSUC Provost Scott McNall signed this on April 10, 2000.

Full text is posted at http://chicopolitics.com/Reference/Big_Chico_Creek_Ecological_Preserve/Ecological_Preserve.htm.

The Butte County General Plan calls for a trail through the area; disappointingly, Butte County Supervisors Mary Anne Houx and Jane Dolan have not been supportive of the public-recreation requirement in the grant agreement or the recreation element of the General Plan.

Michael Jones

Shack attack
Tom Barrett went easy on Michael Jones [“A developer in green clothing,” Guest comment, Jan. 10]. Most egregious among Jones’ destructive forays in Bidwell Park was tearing down the old cabin at the bottom of Green Gate/Ten Mile House Road.

That old shack held some sweet memories for me: sitting out a spring shower, then watching the rainbows blossom; spending an afternoon with the cowboys who lived there one summer a few years back. It also provided a clear landmark for giving directions to hikers and bikers new to the area. It’s apparent that no one on the City Council, Park Commission or city staff has the huevos to tell Jones to take a hike.

Ed McLaughlin

Enron’s end run
Some time ago Democratic Party adviser Bob Mulholland wrote to the local media advocating playing “hardball” with the Republican Party, just as they did with Clinton over stupid things like Whitewater and Monicagate. Kind of a complicated variant of “what goes around, comes around.” And although other Democrats, such as Magalia citizen John Cecil, vehemently protested such proposed tactics, I rather took Mulholland’s message to heart.

Well, guess what. The worst has happened, so, “Let the games begin!”

I simply don’t believe Bush administration officials when they claim they didn’t know Enron was about to go “belly up” and thus couldn’t alert all the “ordinary” citizens who owned Enron stock and who subsequently took a real drubbing financially.

Do you really believe Enron bigwigs made all those phone calls to Bush cabinet officials without going into some detail about their problems? If they didn’t, why would they call in the first place?

Enron was a major contributor to the Bush campaign. Not only do I think Enron told everything to Bush cabinet officials, but I also believe that George W. himself was about as much “out of the loop” as his old man probably was during the Iran-Contra affair.

Jay Castor

Pay as you grow?
Our City Council has recently been discussing (and deciding) who should be paying for new development (streets, sewers, etc.) in undeveloped areas of the city. For some reason, the more-conservative councilmembers don’t want to impose any additional fees—like the cost of new street sweepers—on the developers and homebuilders.

Street sweepers are expensive, after all, and Chico will need three new ones in the next 15 years. The additional fees requested from developers for the sweepers amounted to $6 per home. The developers pass the costs on to the people who buy the new homes. These are the people who are actually using the new services. The taxpayers are you and I—the current residents of Chico.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Chico, but I don’t want to pay the bill for all the new sprawl.

Our mayor, Dan Herbert, thinks you and I should pay for the new development. I think the builders should pay. What do you think? Let the City Council know!

John Geiger