Letters for January 7, 2010

What about us?

Re ‘Bulbing’ rattles quiet neighborhood” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, Dec. 24):

As a property owner on East First Avenue, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in daily traffic over the 10 years that I’ve owned my property. During much of the day, cars are backed up and stopped in front of my property, emitting noxious exhaust fumes. Often it is almost impossible to back out of the driveway into the street due to the number and speed of oncoming cars.

In the article, city Traffic Engineer Brian Mickelson is quoted as saying there are “some 14,000 cars traveling daily” on East First Avenue. Ms. Riddell counted “25 buses” going down her street during a selected one-day time period, and Ms. Pardini was quoted as comparing the buses to “having a garbage truck drive up and down the street every half-hour, six days a week.”

The decision-makers in Chico city government should have provided for increased traffic flow to and through this core area when they approved the Enloe expansion a few years ago. It would also have been smart to consider the CSU expansion mandates when making decisions about increased traffic. Today, it is their responsibility to provide solutions that address the needs of all constituents, not just the select few.

There is no valid reason why we, the property owners and residents of East First Avenue, should be the only citizens to endure the negative results of the traffic increases. We are entitled to the same benefits of health, safety and quiet enjoyment of our homes as the East Sacramento or any other “Avenue” residents.

Sue Corey

Health-insurance ‘corruption’

Re “Living with the possible” (Editorial, Dec. 31):

“Extend health-insurance coverage to 31 million Americans.” You mean, force 31 million Americans to pay for insurance that may or may not cover their needs, or pay fines.

“Make the largest single expansion of Medicaid since its inception.” But what will it do to the Medicare index, which guarantees that the uninsured patient is offered the same pricing as the insurance companies?

“Make it illegal for insurance companies to drop or deny coverage because you are sick.” But they can still make you wait for service while somebody with a better insurance package goes ahead of you. And what if you don’t have the money for the co-payments? You will wait.

Insurance will still be graded, those who pay more will get better service—if you don’t believe me, start reading policies. They’re not leveling the playing field, giving everybody the same coverage—they’re requiring everybody to buy whatever crappy policy they can afford, and some will be waaaaay better than others.

“Lower premiums for families by an estimated 8.4 percent.” I never found this in any bill, but so what? 8.4 percent? The lowest premiums I’ve seen are more than $250 per month, and they come with $5,000 deductibles and co-payments. 8.4 percent amounts to about $20 a month. BFD!

Politics aren’t pretty? Dear little Virginia: This isn’t “politics,” it’s corruption, malfeasance and embezzlement.

Juanita Sumner

Kudos to Anthony

Re “Self-medication” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, Dec. 24):

Thank you, Anthony, for consolidating some good thoughts on this difficult and controversial topic. You know how to get to the point and express your point. You also appear to be more interested in principles than you are concerned with popularity! You said a lot with very few words. In the future I will give your column the attention it deserves.

Jim Adams

‘A God-given right’

Re “Family ties in jeopardy” (Newslines, by Christine LaPado, Dec. 24):

Question: Who protects the child from a failed system? This family was bullied by everyone involved in the removal of their child. They have been deprived of a God-given right to raise their baby!

Edward Lujan

The real Sherlock Holmes

Re “Odd, fabulous couple” (Reel world, by Meredith J. Cooper, Dec. 31):

Generally a good review of Sherlock Holmes, for a nonaddict. But it might be pointed out, and not just to your reviewer, that Holmes was indeed a man of action, at least when he was not in one of his boredom-induced and drug-enhanced stupors. He was a first-class boxer and a crack shot. He might very well have participated in bouts like that depicted in the film. (I can’t recall and don’t have time to search the canon at the moment.)

I was pleased to see that [Director Guy] Ritchie has Holmes carry a riding crop into battle, as that was his preferred weapon in most of the stories; he was expert in its use, as depicted in the film.

Richard Parker

Marijuana isn’t medicine

Re “The politics of pot” (Feature story, by Robert Speer, Dec. 3):

The medical-marijuana law was a terribly tragic mistake that will be deeply regretted, primarily because marijuana is addictive and will lead to the use of harder and more deadly drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

For more than a decade, users of marijuana have been chipping away at our social structure to convince people that there is nothing wrong with smoking pot. Their aim, of course, is total legalization with no restrictions.

They were very shrewd in referring to it as “medical marijuana.” They really pulled a fast one on the public. Unfortunately, the media foolishly followed suit, making the term more or less official.

Actually, there is no such thing as “medical marijuana.” There are no benefits from its use, other than getting stoned to the point of not feeling anything. To justify its use, they claimed myriad ailments—glaucoma, migraines, depression, anxiety, nausea, back pain, you name it—that can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Joe Canzoneri

Fiddling while Earth burns

Re ‘Fumin’ over fraud’ (EarthWatch, Dec. 24, about local Assemblyman Jim Nielsen’s charge that state efforts to tighten diesel emissions are based on a fraudulent report):

Hien Tran, the writer of the report, messed up! California Air Resources Board chief Mary Nichols messed up even more by not disclosing Tran’s fraud. They both managed to give the climate-change deniers another excuse to keep deceiving themselves and to continue denying climate change. And of course the deniers have jumped at the opportunity to make political hay.

The problem is that, despite Tran’s fraud, the science of the report is sound. Even cardiologist Dr. John Telles, one of the conservatives on the CARB who called for Nichols’ head to roll, does not dispute the science of the report.

So, my dear climate-change-denying friends, keep fiddling while the planet burns.

Chip Ashley
Tollhouse, Calif.

You’re alive, aren’t you?

Re “‘Rough-airporting’ ” (From this Corner, by Robert Speer, Dec. 31):

Robert Speer complains bitterly about the security measures instituted after the Detroit bombing attempt, even comparing his lot to that of a character in No Exit. In the most important respect, Mr. Speer, you are not like a character in No Exit—you are still alive. The aviation security was a necessary, therefore reasonable effort to preserve that status quo, so quitch yer bitchin.

Robert Laughlin