Letters for January 29, 2015

Inspiring equality

Re “Digging deeper for equality” (Editorial, Jan. 22):

In your editorial last week, you commented, “we need to have the conversations that will help move forward the work of Dr. King.” We couldn’t agree more! The theme of this year’s MLK Celebration at Trinity Methodist Church last Sunday was “’Til Justice Rolls Down.”

Many who attended declared this year the best in 37 years. Created by Chicoans to educate and inspire people of all races, religions and generations, MLK Unity is appreciative of the standing-room-only crowd of 300. Together we are building Beloved Community as we express our grief, loss and intention to continue nonviolent activism “until justice rolls down.”

It has been deeply meaningful to work with MLK Unity. As collaborative creators of performance pieces designed to give voice to the issues of our day, we have experienced numerous authentic conversations.

This year’s piece will be presented again on Feb. 21 at the South Oroville Community Center as part of Black History Month. We hope that members of Doin’ It Justice Community Chorus and some of the other choirs and vocalists will be there, too. Thank you for your paper’s continued coverage of the local movement for equal treatment under the law for all Americans.

Aramenta Hawkins, Mharia Ross-Walcott and Rosemary Quinn
MLK Unity, Chico

Would Jesus have approved?

Re “The good in godlessness” (Guest comment, by George Gold, Jan. 22):

Mr. Gold’s comments before the Jan. 6 City Council meeting seemed reasonable and rational. He isn’t sectarian, so I don’t understand why some would be surprised that his words were of a secular nature. According to the Pew study of religion in America, the country is majority sectarian by somewhere over 80 percent. Other studies set that number higher or lower, but always within the neighborhood.

What seems to be ignored by the council is that, even among those claiming some religious affiliation, there are major divisions. Offering a secular invocation rather than a Christian prayer was the fair and neighborly thing to do. The council members giving Mr. Gold a cold shoulder need to read their own holy book. I sincerely don’t think Jesus would have approved of their behavior.

D.E. Barnes
Alvarado, Texas

In solidarity

Re “Proud of his heritage” (Letters, by Ali Sarsour, Jan. 15):

I am Ali Sarsour!

Dave Moore

Donors are winners

At the Sept. 16 Chico City Council meeting, Mardi Worley, myself and others spoke up against the council’s desire to change the process of selecting citizens who apply to serve on city boards and commissions.

Instead of selecting all applicants at a public hearing, in a 4-3 vote, they permitted themselves to directly choose their own favorites for the Planning Commission and the Bidwell Park and Playground Committee. That night, I said changing this city policy could result in applicants believing that they would have to be a friend and/or a donor to be considered for a board or commission position.

Sure enough, last week, two council members appointed campaign donors. Mayor Mark Sorensen received $150 from his and Councilwoman Reanette Fillmer received $50 from hers. No public disclosure of the donations occurred before the appointees were seated.

These campaign dollars are petty amounts. But now, the perception of patronage is real. Now donors are winners. Now the door has been opened for future council members to follow this dubious example.

The issue at stake is about principles, and principles are not petty.

Dave Kelley

Tricked out of revenue

A traveler who is looking for an overnight stay encounters a full hotel. What do they do? Stay elsewhere.

Does it financially matter to the city where the traveler stays? No, because the city collects a transient occupancy tax (TOT) from wherever the traveler stays.

This bit of obvious information seems to have been lost on our newly seated, fiscally prudent “conservative” City Council.

The Hotel Diamond wants to expand. But it wants to push city drivers—who paid taxes for the parking garage—to find parking spots elsewhere. It wants more parking for more guests in order to make more money.

But [this arrangement includes] not paying the city for the parking spaces and not helping the city create alternative parking elsewhere. The effort included tricking the City Council into believing that the TOT would more than make up for the lost parking meter revenue, and the displaced downtown Chico drivers. They conveniently neglected the fact that the city would have collected the TOT from an alternative hotel, and did not have to give up revenue.

So a liberal council flushes money down the drain; a conservative council neglects to collect from downtown property owners. Either way, the citizens get shortchanged.

Barry Johnson

Say no to fracking

Last week I interviewed Jose Flores of Delano, in Kern County, where fracking is going on. He talked about the undrinkable water, how the teachers have to keep the kids in at recess and lunch due to the toxic odors, and about the high asthma rates because of the poor air quality.

He reminded me that Butte County has an opportunity that won’t come again. We can ban fracking now, but not after it starts. The new state “regulations” don’t protect the air or water or residents from the risks of fracking chemicals or when an earthquake cracks a well casing.

People say we don’t have to worry about fracking here, because there are only pockets of natural gas. But if exports begin, prices will go back up and the oil and gas industry will want every little bit of profit. That’s why they have spent so much in Butte County to defeat the citizens’ initiative.

We must support the county ban. Protect our land values, water, agriculture and air quality. Urge the Butte County supervisors to do what they said they would do back in April. The vote is coming up Feb. 10 and they want to back down to the demands of big money and big influence. Make your voice heard!

Chris Nelson

Germs and juicing

Re “Germs and reusable bags” (Healthlines, by Evan Tuchinsky, Jan. 8) and “All juiced up” (Homegrown, by Meredith J. Graham, Jan. 8):

Here are two apparently unrelated items, but health issues are related. Wash your bags! Don’t you wash your underwear? If not, stay away from me. I’m not a dirty hippie, but a clean one. Give your blender to the Shalom Thrift Store, Meredith. For a mere $100, you can buy a NutriBullet. It’s the only way to extract all the goodness from your food, and, my, is it tasty. Gives you energy and clarity!

James Dwyer

Recall ’em

Why are we letting the Tea Party Republicans rule us? Chico is a progressive city. It is time to fight back. We should recall the Republicans on the City Council and Board of Supervisors. There is money for the arts and social spending. Our public servants are overpaid and they should take a pay cut for the public good. We should raise taxes on our wealthier citizens. Whatever happened to government that represents everybody and the common good of all people?

Rod Caudill

Notes from a Fox junkie

Re “Where’s that education?” (Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, Jan. 15):

The picture of Dean Carrier in the CN&R has the appearance of a happy, retired government employee on a government pension.

I have a graduate degree and I am a Fox News junkie. By berating Fox News, Carrier happily amplifies the audience. Fox has fair-and-balanced debate over all current and important issues. I also like Glen Beck, although some of the programs are rather juvenile; however, when Beck is focused, he is unequaled.

I suspect Carrier gets his information and news from MSNBC, CNBC and the networks’ evening news.

If you can receive Fox News and/or Glen Beck, you will be educated on current events. Try them for a while, Mr. Carrier; you might learn something. Surely, in your spectacular education, you must have read 1984 or Animal Farm. Now read Agenda 21 for a revelation of the progressives’ agenda outcome. The book will open your eyes and other progressives to the endgame of President Obama’s transforming of America.

Hugh Rhodes

‘There is only medicine’

Almost every morning the local NPR radio station plays a brief ad for a veterinary clinic that is one of its sponsors. The spot from the clinic includes the phrase that “in addition to traditional treatments” the clinic offers physical therapy, acupuncture and herbal medicine.

What they refer to as “traditional treatments” is actually medicine. Specifically, it is evidence-based medicine. It is not traditional. Medical treatments change as we learn more and the science advances. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are the traditional treatments. That is, treatments based on long-standing traditions and not scientifically sound. I’m not sure how physical therapy would work on your cat or your dog, so I won’t comment on it. However, there is no scientific evidence that acupuncture or herbal medicine work on people, let alone animals.

There can be a placebo effect, but I’m relatively sure that your pet would not have one. Herbs are drugs that are not regulated. They can be dangerous. There is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine. If it’s alternative, it’s not medicine. I understand that medicine is not an exact science but it is evidence-based treatment. Anything else is a sham and especially ridiculous when it’s offered as an option for your pet.

Chuck Samuels