Letters for January 30, 2020
Time for a do-over
Re “Boundaries and bathrooms” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Jan. 23):
I would never have expected Chico City Councilmen Sean Morgan and Karl Ory to be wallowing in the same trough of self-protection and self-aggrandizement, but it is happening right now. True, Ory claims he will not run again for the City Council, but he indeed will still be a player in the game if the proposed district plan is adopted as presented.
There is only one solution. Start the process over again, using an impartial and balanced citizen panel to create a truly fair council districts map.
Bryce Goldstein moved the dial a tad by submitting a pair of alternative maps that tried to incorporate neighborhoods rather than politicians. She was never seriously acknowledged by the council majority.
In my 40 years of living in the greater Chico area, I don’t believe I have ever seen such a fiasco as that generated by the council shift to district elections. Perhaps we, the citizens, could stipulate that all candidates in the new districts be first-time candidates. In a rare moment, altruism might triumph over ambition.
And if the public really is angry, they may consider establishing a one-term limit.
Hire an outsider
Re “Long goodbye” (Newslines, by Andre Byik, Jan. 23):
The retirement of Police Chief Mike O’Brien gives the good people of Chico the opportunity to end the secrecy and nontransparency inside the Chico Police Department. Mr. O’Brien’s refusal to cooperate with a state law, Senate Bill 1421, is symptomatic of his pattern of cover-up and misleading the public.
Citizens of Chico, do not let Mr. O’Brien handpick his successor. Press the council and city manager to hire a new chief from outside of the department. New ideas will facilitate the end of the nontransparent policies of Mr. O’Brien. Now is the time to end the department’s history of trigger-happy “peace officers” who shoot first and ask questions later.
Re “Bioneers pioneers” (Greenways, by Evan Tuchinsky, Jan. 23):
Thank you for the article alerting us that the Chico Women’s Club is bringing back community viewing of some of the keynote speakers at the annual Bioneers conference.
Pioneer Bioneers have been working to save our planet for 30 years with some amazing solutions to our ecological problems. As I have watched our Earth literally become more “hellish” all these years, it has been the Bioneers that have helped me stay positive enough to keep on hoping and behaving like we will act in time to save it and ourselves. Adding live local speakers to tell us what we can do here in Butte County, where we have all suffered from the disaster of the Camp Fire, is an excellent addition to the videos.
I am looking forward to the buzz created by the coming speakers on Project Drawdown, and the Green New Deal, both of which can help us reduce our carbon footprint.
Chico is blessed with a rich agricultural environment and farmers’ markets that offer a cornucopia of wonderful local items. Community comes together at the markets to support local farmers, artisans and social movements. The Chico Housing Action Team support team is at these markets, helping to educate the public and take donations, to get our elderly, unhoused veterans into tiny houses.
I recently attended a Bioneers film event at the Chico Women’s Club that is a benefit for CHAT. The films will continue tonight (Jan. 30) and next Thursday, at 7 p.m., by donation. Bioneers films are rich with information on how communities can come together and sustain themselves in terms of the global climate crisis. Please join us and help support the work that is making Chico a place we want to continue to love and live.
Re “Speaking of POTUS” (Letters, by Travis Smith, Jan. 23):
I agree we should give credit where it’s due.
When President Obama took office in the middle of the Great Recession (caused by the previous Republican president’s tax cuts and out-of-control spending), the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 7,550. By the end of Obama’s presidency, it had almost tripled to 19,732. Since Trump took office, it’s gone up to 28,989, an increase of less than 50 percent. Thanks, Obama.
Under Obama, the black unemployment rate decreased from 15.9 percent to 7.6 percent, a drop of 8.3 percent. Since then, it has only dropped an additional 1.7 percent. So why does Trump take all of the credit?
Most critically, the federal budget deficit (as a percentage of gross domestic product) last year was more than double what Obama achieved in 2015, and is now the highest ever recorded during “good” economic times. Thanks, Trump.
Oh, and the “less regulation” you touted under Trump? That also means less protection for our air and water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone, nitrous oxide and particulate matter levels have gotten higher since Trump took office, and the number of unhealthy air days increased 14 percent from 2016 to 2018. Thanks a lot, Trump.
More on POTUS
Among 20 of the most powerful people in government environmental jobs, most have ties to the fossil fuel chemical and agriculture industries or have actively fought against the regulations they now are supposed to enforce. At least four have direct ties to Koch Industries, which has spent millions of dollars to defeat climate change and clean energy measures.
During their time in government they have been responsible for loosening or undoing nearly 100 environmental protections from pollution and pesticides, as well as weakening efforts to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump falsely claimed that “the United States has the cleanest air in the world.” During an August rally, he said: “I want crystal clean water. And we’ve got it. We’ve got the cleanest country in the planet right now.”
But under his watch, the Environmental Protection Agency has allowed farmers and property developers to release pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants directly into many waterways, as well as destroy or fill in wetlands for construction projects. The EPA also is relaxing regulations on the release of methane and mercury into the air.
Trump continues to lie while fossil fuel corporations get richer and Americans get sicker.
Roger S. Beadle
As Trump’s defenders labor hourly in the Senate’s nontrial establishing new self-serving standards for dissembling and lies, the universe sends regular reminders that reality disregards even the most unabashed, pervasive and popular human spin.
Successfully misrepresenting the nature and reliability of their product to customers, the FAA and the flying public for years—employees sometimes gleefully dismissive of the truth as to the need for training or testing of its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, for example—a once-invincible aviation conglomerate nevertheless imploded. Boeing’s lies eventually resulted in hundreds of deaths and, likely more disappointing to income-obsessed CEO Dennis Muilenburg and his depraved board, cratering sales.
Likewise, the China-mock coronavirus is self-evidently no more respectful of political talking points than gravity. If Chinese officials claim to have implemented proper containment measures, but have not, or misrepresent its range and origins, millions will die. Truth ultimately intervenes whether we acknowledge it or not.
It’s as clear as the pristine waters of Butte Creek that the voters’ choice for Butte County Board of Supervisors in District 4 is a contrast between an ideologue and a pragmatic.
Sue Hilderbrand has rolled her sleeves up countless times during my seven years in Butte County to defend and protect the common good of our community— including bipartisan initiatives like the Butte Regional Conservation Plan. I have no doubt she will advocate passionately for our ag community, of all shapes and sizes, by defending our sacred land and water as vigorously as she does for marginalized communities, and the health and safety of a county I proudly call home.
Although Sue Hilderbrand may not have deep pockets, she has something money can’t buy: gumption and the ability to make the right and tough choices, ideology aside.
I’m reaching out—years after the fact—to recognize CN&R for past, in-depth coverage it has given to Tod Kimmelshue and his involvement as president of the Northern California Regional Land Trust. I stumbled across two stories while looking for a more recent letter alleging Tod’s farm supporters are trying to “control our water” (uh, I think they want to irrigate their crops?).
As CN&R has reported in depth (Dec. 15, 2011 and July 19, 2012), Kimmelshue has been a commander in preserving green space around Chico. For years he led a broad-based coalition of environmentalists, farmers and other community leaders to ensure that Chico grew in ways that were smart—no sprawl. It’s because of Tod and a handful of others that Chico still has a small-town, agrarian vibe. I know Tod to be a politically moderate, down-to-earth leader who will represent the south county and Chico very well.
I’m a Sue Hildebrand for Butte County supervisor supporter wondering why her opponent, Tod Kimmelshue, has come out against the Butte Regional Conservation Plan? Although it is not entirely to my liking, it is an effort to create coordinated development planning in our region to ensure protection of key natural resources. It “provides streamlined state and federal endangered species act and wetlands permitting for transportation projects, land development and other covered activities over the 50-year term of the permits. It also provides comprehensive species, wetlands and ecosystem conservation and contributes to the recovery of endangered species within the Plan Area.”
I can only assume that Mr. Kimmulshue cares more about the concerns of agribusiness interests than the long-term viability and health of our county and the planning process to guarantee it?
As a member of Sons and Daughters of Italy Vincenzo Bellini Lodge 2519, I believe playing bocce ball is an important activity for Italians. At a Chico Area Recreation and Park District meeting, the topic of adding courts to a local park was discussed. Measure A, foisted on Chico by CARD, could provide this but at what cost?! The parcel tax, to be on our March 3 primary, is not the solution.
CARD gives lip service to what the public wants or thinks it needs. The recreation department, like all forms of government, feeds itself first of any and all funds, then cries wolf when it comes to everyone else.
They’ll tell you: We need more money to do stuff for you! We promise to keep our word and spend only on you. From the news comes word of potential revenue—most of it will go for debt service. That’s loan interest, folks! They are in hock up to their ears in pension deficits. It is easy to see why they always need more; they can’t pass up an expense for themselves and, therefore, they are broke, were it not for this proposed biased, ever-increasing, perpetual tax borne by homeowners and businesses.
Remember no on A.
Has anyone ever wondered why Butte County has been able to balance its budgets and hasn’t fallen into near bankruptcy as Chico did only six years ago? Did any of you know that Butte County has been guided by a common-sense majority of conservative supervisors for many years? Sadly, two years ago, two liberal women supervisors were elected. In March the conservative majority could dangerously change.
If you don’t want Butte County to go the way Chico’s liberal council has taken us: more homeless downtown, needle distribution, with pot and vape shops easily accessible to children, then you must vote for Tod Kimmelshue, Bill Connelly and Doug Teeter for supervisor.
Pay no attention to the name calling by liberal activists. These are good men who have given back to their communities for years.
Our county’s future is at stake. Write down those names and remember to vote for these men for Butte County supervisor this March.
Loretta Ann Torres
This year’s presidential election is, quite literally, the fight for our lives.
No other candidate will as comprehensively, skillfully and fearlessly tackle climate change as Bernie Sanders. (See berniesanders.com/issues/green-new-deal.)
I’m a mother, organic family farmer, and lifelong progressive activist who wholeheartedly supports Sanders for President.