Letters for January 4, 2018
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Re “Life in Fantasyland” (Guest comment, by Dean Carrier, Dec. 28):
Again, whiny liberals can’t seem to stop complaining about miniscule issues that seem to be insignificant to most but the end of the world for them. President Trump has given tax relief to millions of Americans, and all I hear from the left is something about churches and political affiliation?
People in this country are tired of putting America second and the world first. We finally get a president who makes pro-American policy and liberals have a meltdown because it benefits our own country? Give us some real pro-American policy, Democrats, or just keep shoving your tax-and-spend garbage you have for years. Your anti-business, anti-prosperity policies are old and tired. Give us a break, liberals, you’ve had plenty of chances.
Since the apotheosis of a cartoonish clown from reality television to the highest office of our government, some of the collateral damage has included a frontal assault on scientific reality.
As Dean Carrier so elegantly pointed out in last week’s guest commentary, misconceptions of reality are becoming acceptable substitutes for evidence-based scientific inquiry. Scientifically illiterate and innumerate people are contradicting well-documented scientific evidence and getting away with it!
Into what kind of nightmarish world have we descended? Last Friday in Xian, China, where I have family, the particulate level for air pollution topped out somewhere around 500 on a scale where 150 is considered unhealthy for all people and 300 is considered hazardous. Burning coal does matter, and despite what politicians may say about the hoax of human-caused climate change, mere words do not alter scientific reality.
Re “Yes, every vote counts” (Editorial, Dec. 21):
Yes to this editorial! The good work of community organizations makes a big difference in our lives. But, our elected officials make decisions and set parameters. The 2018 elections can change the course of discourse and action taken by our government.
To these important races, I’d add governor of California. We’re said to be the sixth largest economy in the world. Whom we elect as our next governor is huge. Do we want a “go-along” or a “stand-up” leader? Do we want a governor who takes money from special interests, beholden to them for their next campaign?
Gubernatorial candidate Delaine Eastin, the only woman state superintendent of public instruction, says, “Budgets are a statement of values.” California’s built more prisons than colleges. We haven’t had a water plan for 50 years. Affordable housing, college tuition, infrastructure, the list of things “California can do better” goes on.
People say Delaine can’t win. Well she, and many woman, have heard that all their lives. Delaine has run in 14 elections and never lost. She’s in this race against the “big” boys and their money to win! Delaine is speaking at the Paradise library on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
Trial by press release
Re “Tried as an adult” (Downstroke, Dec. 21):
District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s press release proved Juan Ortega Morales is guilty beyond any doubt for the gruesome murder of Howard Brimm. When the defense attorney asks a prospective juror in Butte County if Mr. Morales starts off with a presumption of innocence, your readers cannot truly answer yes.
About that village
Re “Tiny houses, big potential” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, Dec. 14):
Readers should be aware that the Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) and its tiny house housing effort are powered by regular citizens, all of them volunteering skills, time and virtually total energies to being there for their neighbors, their fellow humans (and their family pets).
These are people who have jobs, are retired, are disabled, are recovering themselves, are students. These are folks who have done the legwork, the research, the outreach. These folks, time and again for years, have petitioned the city and county representatives and agencies to help provide a reasonable, economically efficient and compassionate local solution to the “problem of the homeless.”
Yet the City Council puzzles and delays over what to do. What to do is to provide property for establishing a tiny house village locally convenient; to provide expertise for the bureaucratic necessities, to engage the police in the compassionate work ethic. Isn’t the purpose and mission of government to manage the common good of all its residents within its sphere of influence? If the city can give the Jesus Center property to expand, why not CHAT?
“Simplicity Village (SV)—won’t that just attract more homeless people to Chico?”
No, because: 1) CHAT’s years of local experience, the application, the interviews and background check process will be so revealing that it will allow CHAT to effectively select locals. CHAT’s goal is to create a process to house local citizens who are willing to commit to a program that moves them toward independence and self-sufficiency, and to reduce the number of homeless people downtown and in our parks; 2) SV will fill up quickly because we’re receiving urgent applications for housing continuously. There won’t be time for some homeless person in Sacramento to hear about SV and get here and go through the application and interview process before SV is full; 3) A homeless person can move into Marysville’s 14Forward village for no charge. Hope Village in Medford, Ore., charges $60 per month. SV is going to charge $165 per month in rent. If you’re a transient homeless person looking for a deal, SV will be the least attractive; and 4) SV will not serve transient homeless. No unauthorized visitors allowed. SV is designed as a private community. Therefore, SV will not be a magnet for homeless people passing through, looking for shelter.
Editor’s note: The author is a board member of CHAT and one of the primary advocates of Simplicity Village.
Help the animals
In February 2013 the city of Chico Animal Shelter stopped taking healthy stray/feral cats as many were being euthanized as “unadoptable.” This saved the lives of many cats by facilitating the formation of Neighborhood Cat Advocates (NCA), a trap-neuter-return group to address Chico’s stray feral cat population. Since NCA’s inception in January 2013, the group has altered over 7,000 cats as well as rehomed thousands of socialized cats/kittens, greatly reducing Chico’s stray population.
Companion Animal Welfare Alliance (CAWA) was also formed at this time to provide vouchers to alter owned cats and dogs for low-income and homeless pet owners, and to provide medical care to pets in need. In 2017 alone, NCA/CAWA has altered 330 owned dogs, 642 owned cats and 1,107 unowned cats and rehomed 400 cats/kittens.
Unfortunately, the demand for our services has outstripped funding and we had to suspend efforts in October. I am writing this appeal to pet lovers to support NCA/CAWA to continue our mission by volunteering/donating at PawPrints Thrift Boutique.
The groups are 100 percent volunteer-run and all donations go for care of animals—victims of human irresponsibility. Spaying and neutering is the most humane choice to reduce unwanted pet populations. Please make a donation. Kitten season is just around the corner.
More about pets
The city of Chico is currently considering privatizing animal shelter services. The last time shelter services were privatized, Butte Humane Society provided animal services to the city for 25 years.
In 2011, BHS’s 25th year of providing these services to the city, BHS euthanized 18 percent of dogs that came in to its shelter, and 48 percent of cats: 1,740 animals in all. By contrast, in 2016, the Chico Animal Shelter (the city-run shelter) euthanized 7 percent of dogs that came in to the shelter, and 21 percent of cats: 190 animals total. Please, City Council, do the right thing for the animals of Chico and keep the animal shelter running as it is now.
The people of Butte County are incredible. We are thankful for much; the many of Chico State supporting our VITA services to bring needed tax return funds to many; the agriculture community that supports our North State Food Bank to ease food insecurity; the home improvement community that supports our Energy & Environmental Services to make homes safer and more efficient; the growing number of partners, businesses and individuals who support our Esplanade House program to reduce family homelessness. Through these efforts we help people and change lives.
But even with all that we do working with so many other great organizations, the fact is: more is needed. The poverty rate in our communities is too high. There isn’t enough safe and affordable housing or shelter. Too many of our elderly, children and families are hungry. Strategies for improvement are never easy. But working together has always produced the best results.
From all of the volunteers, children, families, board and staff of Community Action Agency, thank you for 50 years of support and results. We look forward to doing more with you in 2018. To learn more go to www.buttecaa.com or visit us on Facebook.
Editor’s note: The author is CEO of the Community Action Agency of Butte County.
Cause for concern
Mainstream media like NPR have reported on climate engineering as a “last ditch” way to lower CO2 in the atmosphere before the methane clathrates in polar regions melt and push Earth’s temperature so high that probably only single-celled organisms could survive.
Big Oil is willing to bet on a type of climate engineering called Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI), which would spray aluminum nanoparticles high above, even though it doesn’t reduce atmospheric CO2, only temporarily slows rising temperatures, and might cause droughts or floods for 2 billion people, which wrecks food production. Then there is the toxicity of the falling particles to all life forms.
But SAI seems on track to happen because it would allow Big Oil to continue using its $80 trillion of infrastructure and assets—even though that overshoots international limits on emissions. Another SAI booster is the Pentagon, which has long wanted to militarize the climate. No one seems concerned that SAI violates UN treaties and would encourage postponing real solutions for the CO2 problem. Blithely ignoring all these problems, David Keith of Harvard and his team will soon begin to test SAI in Arizona.
Let POTUS play
National security is assured by directing the president to the golf course every moment possible.
Kenneth B. Keith
Last week’s Greenways story (see “Enduring legacy,” by Evan Tuchinsky) incorrectly stated that Jane Dolan was elected to an all-male Butte County Board of Supervisors back in 1978. In fact, the panel already had a woman supervisor and another woman was elected at the same time as Dolan, making the board female majority for the first time. The mistake has been fixed online. —ed.
Regarding dam relicensing
Grant Davis, director of California’s Department of Water Resources, recently requested from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a new license to operate the Oroville Dam complex. Mr. Davis asserted “the relicensing of the hydroelectric facility is separate from … dam safety regulations …” That is the problem: DWR needs to recognize that safety regulations are critical to each and every aspect of operations of the Oroville Dam complex.
Perhaps stupidly, I actually believe that DWR could operate the Oroville Dam complex in a manner that is responsible to a) the California state water contractors (DWR’s primary shareholders), b) DWR’s hydroelectric customers, and c) the Oroville community’s safety and prosperity (economic, recreational and ecological).
The Oroville Dam complex was sold by DWR to the local community roughly 50 years ago with promises of recreational opportunities and economic and ecological viability and efficient/safe operation that have proven to be false, false, false.
If DWR (through Mr. Davis) could commit to FERC and the local community that DWR actually will fulfill some of those 50-year-old promises, it might not face objection. Right now, DWR does not deserve to have its license to operate the Oroville Dam complex renewed. It has failed on all levels.
Re “For students, by students” (Newsline, by Howard Hardee, Dec. 14):
The former student, Anthony Burgess, “commuted to school from his house on Pomona Avenue on a bicycle, crossing the tracks on Fifth Street ….”
I’ll bet he avoided West Fifth Street between Pomona and Miller and Nord avenues. I live on West Fifth, just west of Maple, between Pomona and Miller and Nord, within the incorporated city limits. Here we have nonstop speeding traffic (including scores of trucks avoiding part of Highway 32), almost no street lights, no bike lane nor room for one, and dangerously piecemeal and missing sidewalks.
While I’m not a student, I am surrounded by student rentals with students and a few elderly such as I, who must navigate this dangerous thoroughfare. I have complained to the city regarding the speeding to no avail. Too bad Chico State so strictly limits the boundaries of its study to only the touristy area of the city. Too bad the city ignores complaints regarding safety.