Letters for January 27, 2005

Clarification: A story in last week’s Newsline section, “KHSL shucks Cobb from evening news,” included a poorly constructed sentence that seemed to imply that weatherman Anthony Watts was arrested for DUI last year. Not true. In fact, Watts tells us, he’s never had a traffic ticket. The News & Review regrets the confusion and apologizes for any inconvenience it may have caused.

Don’t close Nord
As a member of the Nord Cana Community Association, I am deeply concerned about the possible closure of the Nord Elementary School. It would be more appropriate to fulfill the Chico Unified School District promises that have been made to our community by giving us the overflow from Shasta and Emma Wilson elementary schools.

Changing Nord’s borders makes sense. Expanding Nord School would eliminate the cost of a future new school site. A proposed construction site of 4,428 new residents in Northwest Chico borders Nord. There’s little or no room for these future students, let alone the displaced Nord students, in Shasta or Emma Wilson.

Nord is an important and badly needed asset to our community. I hope the CUSD and the board members consider enhancing a great opportunity instead of destroying something valuable that would be hard to rebuild and reclaim. I urge them to stand behind the promise made by the board members and school district when Nord joined the district, that Nord would never be closed.

Carol Galland

George is no John
We have re-elected to the presidency of the United States a leader with a tragically impoverished imagination. It’s not that George Bush has no imagination; he has in fact invented for himself a fiction so grand, and one of which he is so certain, that the whole world is reeling from its drastic repercussions.

The poverty of the president’s imagination lies in its narrowness and in his incapacity to entertain even the slightest doubt regarding its validity and truth. George Bush’s world is one of simple good and evil, and he knows exactly which is which.

The tragedy of this story that the president tells himself is that it unfolds in a plot of suffering and hatred. It is a tale that hardens the mind and prevents one from understanding the circumstances of others, a tale of arrogance and pride and disregard. But the greater tragedy, the one that reaches beyond the president’s personal delusion, the one that really sinks the heart, is that more than half the eligible voters in this country of ours let themselves be convinced by this starved little narrative of paranoia and grandeur. More than half the voters simply had no capacity to imagine something other than the simple dualism the president was serving up.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace.” John Lennon sang. “Imagine all the people sharing all the world.” We can’t seem to do that; we prefer the president’s frightened tale of irreconcilable opposites. It’s a pity.

Lin Jensen

With kindergarten registration slated for the first week in February, many parents are actively investigating the educational options offered in the CUSD schools. My children have attended the Open Structured Classroom (OSC) program at Hooker Oak School for six years. We have found this program to be an enriching and rewarding experience for our entire family.

Parents considering the OSC option are invited to attend a public tour of OSC classrooms. These tours are offered as an opportunity to see OSC teachers and students in action and to learn about the unique characteristics of this successful alternative program.

OSC has been an educational choice for Chico families for 31 years. The program was started by parents who wanted an educational philosophy that fostered the development of the whole child coupled with classroom teaching practices that emphasized hands-on learning processes. Today, this heritage continues in multi-age classrooms that engage students with integrated and thematic curriculum. Students develop individual responsibility and acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills as they “learn by doing.” Cross-age tutoring and parent participation create a community of families connected by learning. Teachers and students develop a unique bond in the two-year classroom design.

Anyone can sign up for OSC. Please join us for a tour by calling Hooker Oak School and making a reservation. We look forward to your visit.

Karen Gage

America in ruins
I see in the news that Bush said his re-election means that the majority of the American people are in favor of the so-called war in Iraq. It is a well known fact that the 50,000 evangelical and other right-wing Christian groups are the ones that got Bush elected. But there are 260 million people in America, and more are against the so-called war than are for it. The billion dollars a week that is spent in Iraq could be much better spent here at home or helping the people in Southeast Asia.

Our infrastructure here in America is falling apart. There are bridges and dams all around the state and country that need replacing or repair. And now we are $7 trillion in debt because of the Iraq War.

And while I am at it, I would like to protest the city of Corning not honoring Martin Luther King’s birthday as a holiday. It seems it’s OK for blacks to die for America in wars, but Corning city officials cannot honor Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Lloyd Johnson

Great Wal-Mart of China
One has to wonder if Michael Jones’ recent letter is an instance of poorly conveyed sarcasm, or if he has finally and definitively flipped his lid [“Bless Wal-Mart,” Letters, Jan. 13].

The notion that Wal-Mart is somehow ushering China’s rural peasantry into the promised land of a “post-industrial-age economy,” like some great globalizing Moses, while simultaneously bringing down class barriers and raising up the American working class by providing access to alleged “technological marvels"—well, it’s enough to give anyone with a shred of true intelligence and heart, anyone whose soul hasn’t yet been turned to dust by the sheer cosmic sinister goofiness of these times, a bad case of the giggles.

Jesse Mills

Never waver
“Repairing American democracy” by Brad Sundeen is one of the sanest, most intelligent and well-written post-election essays I’ve seen [Guest comment, Jan. 6]. If progressives hope to affect the American future in a positive manner, we must stop trying to be more conservative and instead hold true to our own ideals.

I’ve had one overwhelming thought in my mind ever since Nov. 2, and I haven’t been able to present it as articulately as Brad has, but he says exactly what I believe: “….the Democratic Party should not give in to the belief that the majority is always right.” Rarely has that been as clear as it is in present-day America.

Cate McLain