Letters for January 31, 2002

Correction: In the Jan. 24 cover story, “Given the pink slip,” Warren Leathers should have been identified as a former senior coating technician for Spectra-Physics. We regret any inconvenience this error may have caused.— ed.

Lessons learned
The statements of pending ex-Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi at his recent press rally add significant information to his firmly established record of politically inappropriate behavior. On Jan. 14 he said “he hoped his redistricting Plan 5 would remove them [Jane Dolan and Mary Ann Houx] from office.” During the many supervisors’ meetings involving redistricting (I attended them all), Mr. Yamaguchi never would admit that Plan 5 was designed as a method to remove any fellow supervisor from office. His “Return to Fairness” was never presented or discussed as anything other than a method to balance the numbers of ag-rural and urban voters in the districts.

On Jan. 14, Yamaguchi also stated that his plan is “needed because the current supervisorial district lines are unfair and practically guarantee that Dolan will hold office indefinitely.” He should realize that re-election is common in all branches of government. It is a normal part of the political process, and it is usually interpreted as evidence that voters approve of the actions of their elected officials.

The most significant conclusion that can be made is that we now clearly see an elected official who has given considerable effort and spent huge sums of taxpayer money in an attack on fellow supervisors in hopes of removing them from office. This is not the purpose for which people are elected to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Yamaguchi’s actions have obliterated all political lines by uniting in opposition to him people who share a variety of political views. Here is our lesson. Supervisors are elected to serve the public, not to pursue their own agendas. We need supervisors supported by people holding diverse political views. Yes, this is a bit idealistic, but it is a goal worth pursuing: the true non-partisan system for supervisorial elections. (No, I do not believe in the Easter Bunny or the Great Pumpkin.)

Lee Edwards

A vote for Reniff
As former chief investigator for the district attorney, I have known and worked with both candidates for the office of sheriff for more than 20 years. Though I consider both candidates friends, obviously there comes a time when I must decide which candidate I believe will best serve the citizens of Butte County.

I am endorsing Perry Reniff for sheriff.

Perry is a career law enforcement officer with no political ambitions beyond the office of sheriff. He is a “cop” and will always be a “cop.”

When he was assistant sheriff, Perry was very supportive of the Neighborhood Watch and Drug Free Zones (something near and dear to my heart). He established the Community Deputy Program to support the citizens in their fight to take back their neighborhoods. I observed him at many meetings tirelessly encouraging citizens and empowering them to become part of the solution to the problems they face. I believe Perry will re-establish this grassroots connection with the community.

Perry established the STARS program, bringing volunteer support to a department needing services the county could not afford. Not only did the taxpayers benefit from the program, the retirees working in the program also were able to use the valuable experience and talent they possessed.

Perry is fiscally responsible. As assistant sheriff under Mick Grey, Perry was responsible for the Patrol Division budget and operated within the means of that budget.

Perry Reniff is a professional law enforcement executive. He is a dedicated public servant of high integrity. I will be voting for him on March 5.

Ed Szendrey
District Attorney Chief Investigator (Retired)


Somebody had to do it
Ed McLaughlin expresses regret over the removal of the old shack on Ten Mile Road in Bidwell Park he frequented in years past [“Shack attack,” Letters, Jan.24]. Park Director Dennis Beardsley ordered me to remove it before he would let me do any trail maintenance work. It was a dirty and difficult job, and I didn’t enjoy it. Several tons of waste and lots of trash were removed from Bidwell Park in this effort. The site is much more pleasant now, without the broken glass and other waste left by years of less-than-desirable users.

Michael Jones

Jewel watching
Bidwell Park is truly Chico’s crown jewel. And all jewels need to be protected and cared for. To help the park rangers care for our park, Park Watch volunteers commit to putting in a minimum of four hours a month patrolling the park, answering questions, picking up litter and reporting any infringements of regulations they observe.

Park watchers wear identification and walk, bicycle, ride horses, skate or simply sit while “on duty.” Some do their patrol while walking their dogs (on leash, of course). They set their own schedules, pay no dues and have no meetings to attend. There is a monthly newsletter, and from time to time special events are offered.

A training session for new volunteers takes place Thursday, March 21. Anyone interested in becoming a park watcher should go to the park office in City Hall (third floor) and pick up a training packet.

For more information, call 343-5168, 342-6582 or 343-1748.

Phyllis Lindley
Park Watch volunteer


Learn to share
Suzanne Gibbs helped to do some good things in Chico. It’s a shame that she has decided to “pick up her toys and leave,” just because she cannot tolerate someone else’s view of how a resource should be shared [“Question of balance,” cover story, Jan. 17].

Compromise is part of the game of land use. The decision to allow “severely limited” hunting opportunities is a reasonable one, considering that hunters are the primary source of support for California wildlife. Without the funds provided by hunting and fishing licenses as well as the millions of dollars directed toward habitat protection by sportsmen’s groups such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited, there would likely be little left in the way of wildlife in our modern world.

Habitat protection often necessitates the making of strange bedfellows. In this case the fellows in bed include hunters and anti-hunters. Get over it and savor the accomplishment of the preservation of more than 3,900 acres!

Scott Huber

Suffer the children
Did you know that Gov. Gray Davis might cut child care funding in July? All of us families who receive child care payment help from Valley Oak Children’s Services, Stage Three, may be without help in July. Stage Three is for is for families who have been off of any kind of government aid for two years or more.

I received aid for a short time a couple of years ago when my family was having a hard time. Now I have been employed steadily for over two years by Butte County. I would have to pay $1,000 out of pocket for child care if it weren’t for Valley Oak Children’s Services’ payment help. I could not afford that. Even with my husband’s income, we could not cover rent, food, utilities, gas, car repairs, etc.

I am begging your readers to please write to Gov. Gray Davis (at State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 94814) and tell him how your local, low- to moderate-income families need this child care help. The more letters he receives, the more effort he’ll put into arriving at a better solution than cutting this much needed funding.

Fauna Rice