Letters for January 31, 2019
Re “Double down” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Jan. 24) and “Shelter no more” (by Meredith J. Cooper, Jan. 17):
Thank you, Editor Melissa Daugherty and the staff of the Chico News & Review, for your role in encouraging the American Red Cross to shelter fire refugees beyond Jan. 31.
In your coverage and editorial comment, I see journalism at its finest: A bright light shed on an issue, bringing the facts forward. Then, the articulation of a principled response to the facts on the ground; in this case, saying loudly and clearly that it is unconscionable for a massively funded charity to allow people to go unsheltered in the dead of winter.
On Jan. 28, I stood with members of the Chico Homeless Union in a well-organized and inspiring protest against what appears to be an impending “soft closure” of the fairgrounds shelter—a closure now appearing more and more like a public relations gambit, designed to blunt opposition.
Notwithstanding the above, we are deluding ourselves in thinking charities can or will comprehensively address major social problems, like shelter deprivation. We have a full-scale, national, governmental failure in the realm of housing—and poverty in general.
And, right here at home, once again, where are Chico’s share of the FEMA trailers?
Ask the developers
Re “About the Red Cross” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Jan. 24):
A number of people have questioned what the city [of Chico] is doing about placing FEMA housing for Camp Fire victims. The question might be better posed to our local developers.
The city owns parks, reserves and facilities that have purposes other than housing. Our local developers have bare land that is earmarked for what FEMA needs—parcels zoned for dwellings. The developers have land-banked substantial acreage around town in the hopes of future development. One such parcel on Eaton Road was proposed for FEMA manufactured housing units, but the developer pulled the piece from consideration.
Our developers appear to be better positioned than the city to assist with suitable land for emergency housing. If FEMA is not asking them about it, perhaps community members should be.
Editor’s note: The author is a member of the Chico City Council.
Pets still need help
Re “For the pets” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, Jan. 24):
The article has a feel-good tone and sense of “mission accomplished” that doesn’t do the current situation justice. There are over 500 unclaimed cats and over 100 unclaimed dogs, and more cats are found every single day (200-plus cats found in January alone).
The county hopes that unclaimed pets will be adopted, but they are not promising anything. They are transferring these pets to other shelters and have stated it is up to these shelters to now deal with this issue. They are distancing themselves from any euthanasia that may occur. The fact is that many frantically searched for their pets in the initial weeks, but—having gone through the trauma of escaping and then viewing the devastation—have assumed their pets died.
The pets were constantly moved and scattered, and the online resources have been equally chaotic. People stopped looking. If you lost a pet, please look for it again! Please post your lost pet photos to CampFirePetRescue.org and CampFireRescuedAnimals.com, and look for your animals on these photo sites. We also need people to adopt, foster and volunteer! Please help if you can.
Rx for survival
Re “Why we care about ‘the homeless’” (Editorial, Jan. 24):
I definitely agree “Love thy neighbor” isn’t a platitude. I believe it is a prescription for survival.
We humans have always relied on those living nearby for help in times of need. Our pioneers helped raise each others’ barns and traded resources. New immigrants deliberately settled in the same neighborhood in order to support each other.
During the Great Depression, employed neighbors fed unemployed ones. The first responders at the recent climate-related disasters of hurricanes, floods and fires were neighbors, not the federal government. The homeless among us, no matter why they are homeless or where they are from, are here now and, so, are our neighbors.
The prescription for their survival, as well as our own, is “Love they neighbor.”
The Paradise nightmare has provided a picture of what traffic will look like in the future: congested. Past overgrowth has given birth to serious crime, gangs, graffiti, the homeless, traffic pressure, threats to clear water and blue skies.
Thirty years ago, none of these perils existed. Concerned citizens rallied under the flag of “No Way San Jose” to protect and preserve the bucolic Chico of old and its sensitive environment. The contractors, the city councils, the city staff, the Chico Enterprise-Record and the Chico Chamber of Commerce cost us our unsurpassed town. Their motives vary from “bigger is better” to plain greed and monopoly-building. What a shame!
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
Dust off the 2016 Ralph Nader trophy, and change the date to 2020: Bernie Sanders just tossed his hat into the 2020 Democratic presidential race. Fresh off the heels of apologizing to 12 of his campaign workers who were allegedly sexually harassed during his last ill-fated, Comrade Trump-enabling campaign, Bernie is basking in his third residence—a four-bedroom, three-bathroom summer home on Lake Champlain, in Vermont.
Blend in pro-Kremlin former Viktor Yanukovych Campaign Manger Tad Devine, who worked alongside Paul Manafort to earn Yanukovych a charge of treason by the Ukranain government, and then worked as Bernie’s chief campaign strategist in 2016, it’s a recipe for another disaster next year.
If the DNC has not brains enough to politely tell Bernie to run as an independent in 2020, the party deserves another four years of the Comrade Trump chaos that we all currently endure. Sir Walter Scott’s “tangled web” tells it all.
Rudy Giuliani complains that the media either do not understand or feign not understanding his “spins,” which he claims he can assert with impunity, given his masterful command of Trumperian facts. Huh? Is he serious?
At a time like none other, a time when we need to know truth—not spins on truth—Giuliani is chastising media outlets and their audiences for not appreciating his flagrant intent to hoodwink the public? Is he oblivious to the ridicule visited upon Kellyanne Conway, the Trump associate who attempted to justify as “alternative fact” her grossly exaggerating the size of one of Trump’s audiences?
I suppose we should not be surprised. If Trump can no less abashedly castigate Michael Cohen for having “ratted” him out, then it is only to be expected that he would welcome counsel from someone promoting spin as an acceptable substitute for honesty.
I thought I was clever when I thought of the reference to Humpty Dumpty in relation to Trump’s wall. I was not. Online I saw T-shirts and other paraphernalia with Trump’s picture in the depiction of Humpty Dumpty.
I looked further into the origins of the rhyme and found a more historic Humpty. Evidently, a cannon was called a Humpty Dumpty in the 1600s. This particular cannon had been mounted onto a castle wall and the gunner, one-eyed Jack Thompson, had managed to successfully attack the enemy many times. While that enemy could not challenge the cannon directly, they did manage to attack the wall, so both the wall and the cannon finally fell. Then, you know the outcome, “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall….”
Is it possible that the Democrats, plus others opposed to the wall, can weaken Mr. Trump’s adamant stand? This would allow more reasonable approaches to immigration. It also would allow Congress to return to regular business rather than spending an inordinate amount of time on Mr. Trump’s insistence on an unneeded wall.
Our opinions must be heard by Rep. LaMalfa and his men/women.
Another Trump enabler
Let them eat cake is pretty much what Trump cabinet member Wilbur Ross said to government employees and all working Americans who are struggling to feed their families. “I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said Thursday when asked on CNBC about workers getting food from places like shelters. “Because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed.”
This one rhymes with an “S”
Look it up.