Letters for January 5, 2006

For the money
Good story on the InEnTec invasion of Red Bluff in your Dec. 15 issue [“Keep it clean”]. I lived in Red Bluff for 50 years, since 1955. My dad worked for the city for a while as Parks and Recreation Director.

What’s happening right now is easy to explain: Red Bluff and Tehama County desperately need money; it’s all about generating enough revenue to put into their salaries and benefits packages.

With the rapid over-development of Red Bluff in the last few years, corruption and back-room deals have been widespread. There’s a bar on Main Street in Red Bluff in which a lot of “deals” go down. I won’t mention the bar but we all know which one it is. In 50 years I have never seen the city of Red Bluff and Tehama County so corrupt. All they want is money.

The community, being rural ranchland, has always had difficulty attracting business and has had to settle for dubious business moving in.

The answer to the mess is simple: The county should pass an ordinance prohibiting any polluting industry from moving in. These industries always say they won’t pollute or that their levels of pollution are negligible. Then just the opposite happens.

If InEnTec moves in, the community will just become another scientific experiment gone awry. The measly 15 jobs InEnTec brings aren’t worth the enormous risk.

Michael M. Peters
Red Bluff

Fire chief
I am appalled at both the blatant racism and bigotry shown by Orland Chief of Police Robert Pasero and the light-hearted manner in which the News & Review dismissed his behavior [“Orland chief shares holiday poem,” Newslines, Dec. 22]. The article appeared to say it is OK to swap jokes dehumanizing African Americans and homosexuals as long as it stayed within the department. The article further appeared to approve of his appalling behavior since he attends church. Chief Pasero’s behavior offends every member of decent society.

Every citizen, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or sexual orientation must know they can trust in their police department; however this behavior is the foundation of racism. Regardless of how “innocent” Chief Pasero may have felt the joke was, it is actions of racism like this that continue to foster racial strife and divides our society. The citizens of Orland must demand his immediate resignation and the Orland City Council must immediately fire him and issue an apology stating the city does not support this type of behavior or acts of racism and bigotry.

Eric Anderson

Kill death penalty
The execution of Stanley Tookie Williams was a shameful act of revenge in spite of the rehabilitation of this individual within the prison system. His accumulation of good works that earned him the nomination of the Nobel Peace Prize did not spare his life in a state that is amongst 38 states in America that continues to have death penalty statutes on its books.

A 1995 Hart Research Poll of police chiefs in the United States found that the majority of the chiefs don’t believe that the death penalty is an effective law enforcement tool.

I read with trepidation about how Police Chief Pasero of Orland participated in passing on a mean-spirited parody of the execution of Stanley Williams. Not only African Americans in Orland might feel unprotected by their police chief but those in the GLBTQ community might as well after reading the un-Christmas like poem.

The chief’s responsibility is to oversee the appropriate conduct of his staff and officers. Encouraging insensitive, hateful behavior to lower ranking officers is an inappropriate use of direction to be given by the top official of the police department.

I join in the call for a moratorium on executions in California because there is risk of executing innocent people, there is discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or economic status, and unfair death sentences are caused by inadequate representation by defense counsel and/or improper conduct by prosecution.

Diane Suzuki
Coordinator of Beyond Violence Alliance

Wrong direction
Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, again has failed to use any forward thinking in his proposed bill to prevent aid to ex-felons. Current research by the California Department of Justice and scholars such as Dr. Joan R. Petersilia at UC Irvine (an expert in the field of parole) show it is increasingly difficult for ex-felons to successfully rehabilitate and reintegrate into society after a conviction. This is due to a lack of employment opportunities, education, vocation and the social stigma placed upon them. By preventing aid to this select segment of our society (which is increasing), LaMalfa will increase the crime rate and increase the rate of recidivism. Look to the recent local news regarding the Safeway, which was robbed three times, or the woman who was kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from her ATM. The rate of violent crime is increasing in our society; preventing individuals from obtaining the basic necessities of life will only increase the number of individuals forced to turn to crime to survive. Mr. La Malfa needs to propose programs which rehabilitate and reintegrate instead of advancing the continuum of punishment.

Matthew C. Bently

Thank-you wrap
On behalf of everyone here at ARC I want to thank all the kind and generous people who gave of their time during the busy holiday season to lend a hand (and tie a bow) at our annual gift wrap booth this year. We would never have been able to do it without all the wonderful hard working volunteers!

For over 30 years, ARC’s Annual Holiday Gift Wrapping Booth has been a holiday tradition and major fundraising event for our Family Support Programs.

Since 1953, the ARC of Butte County has been devoted to the establishment of community-based services for local people with developmental disabilities and their families in Butte, Glen & Tehama Counties.

The generosity of this community has made our continued success possible.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Leah T. McKean
Resource Developer

Set us free
The CN&R’s assertion that using part of Bidwell Ranch for parks is a red herring is balderdash [Year in review, Dec. 29]. There is an error in logic to (correctly) report on the historically unprecedented obesity epidemic, but then criticize disc golf, hiking trails, oppose adding Bidwell Ranch to Bidwell Park, and oppose developing part of Bidwell Ranch to provide funding for neighborhood parks. What exactly does the CN&R propose as an alternative? That we all patronize indoor fitness centers? Some of us would like a little more freedom to roam and explore than that.

Michael Jones

Reforming state government: some disassembly required.

Stephen T. Davis