Letters for January 8, 2004

Hummer crunch
I really would like Eric Amster’s e-mail address, please. In your Dec. 31 issue Amster makes the statement that “if your neighbor is driving a Hummer … your child is more likely to get asthma” [”A Hummer doesn’t help,” Guest comment].

Anybody that could number-crunch his way though the mountain of data required to come to that conclusion should be able to give me a leg up on the next Lotto drawing.

Now, next to Amster’s column is a good example of proper number-crunching. The editorial on mad cow disease properly points out the real risk of exposure and compares it to more real risks associated with consumption of red meat under actual conditions.

Personally, we ate a lot of pork and chicken this summer while the low-carb wave was on and are now enjoying the low prices of high-quality beef.

Rodney Jenkins

Animal farm
I support the views of Tim Edwards in your Dec. 18 issue [“An annex wish,” Letters], wherein he encourages the city and county to get on with sorting out our ridiculous patchwork quilt of city and county areas.

It is a little known but amusing fact that the rules about how many and which animals you can have on your property are more lenient in the city than in the county. Could anything be more counterintuitive or indeed silly? That is unless you think that annexation bought on any terms is the objective.

A year or so ago the county ruled that my new neighbor could not “grandfather in” the stabling of horses on her rented property, as there had been no horses there for over 10 years. My neighbor’s landlord then agreed to annexation, and wonder of wonders the city allowed the horses (and almost any other species of animal, it seems) to remain.

This in spite of the depressing effect on the values of my and my neighbors’ properties, bought when there were no horses there.

Not everyone likes horses’ noses over their fences within five feet of their back door, even if they like them at a reasonable distance.

It seems that the city rules become more and more flexible as annexation becomes more difficult. Make way for the llamas, goats, sheep and cows.

Nor of course is there any actual limit on the number of howling dogs you may have baying at the fire trucks from your property, and if there were, there is no actual will to enforce those regulations.

Alan G. Gair

Pot scare
The writer says that “Cannabis has medical value. As more Americans become aware of this fact, our laws will inevitably change to reflect scientific reality” [“Federal bong hit,” Letters, Dec. 31].

But he does not touch on the subject of lobbying, or he would sound less optimistic.

Americans also need to be aware that marijuana, which offers unique benefits in many medical conditions, can be grown anywhere by anyone at little cost, and is non-patentable, scares the living daylights out of Big Pharma.

If it is true that the pharmaceutical industry constantly gives millions to political parties, I expect that the law will remain as it is for a long, long time.

Giovanni Borla
Milano, Italy

What would JFK do?
A quick visit to pollingreport.com shows the latest encouraging news. Bush is up strong over Howard Dean (the angry guy from Vermont). Twenty percent of Democrats would vote for Bush as well, showing that there are still some moderate Democrats who are reasonable and care about the security of our country.

I would encourage these Democrats to be more vocal. The crazy left-wingers who make up a small portion of the party have taken control of the soap box, and it’s time for the more sensible members of the party to stand up for what’s right. Don’t let people with an irrational hatred of capitalism and national defense steal the party of John F. Kennedy away from you.

American politics was meant to be open to all kinds of debate and ideas, but some ideas are bad ones. The far-left extremists in this country have no solutions for national or international problems. They cling to old beliefs that brought so much suffering in the last century. Let’s all work to bring our political discourse back on the Right track.

Dane Langston

No account
I have known since 1991 that when a person, usually alone, is conserved in the Butte County Court, with the judge’s help, that the conservators, lawyers, real-estate agents, investment brokers, investigators, etc., will, with their huge fees, rapidly deplete the conservatee‘s account.

It is not always the Public Guardian! There are also private “professional” conservators who, with the judge’s help, will empty the conservatee‘s account. And, as with one Butte County conservatee whose money disappeared in two years, her “professional” conservator stated, “She will probably not live long enough to need her money.” She was left with enough money to keep her for one year. She lived for four more years, and the taxpayers had to pay for three years of care. A court investigator assured me that all of her money was “safe” in a frozen account. Then why did Medi-Cal pay for three years of her care? And where did her money go?

Waunetta Larson

Must be the colors
Recently, I looked at your magazine, and I loved the way your magazine is designed.

I was able to “check out” your magazine online, and I love the nice colors your magazine uses, such as Chico News & Review with a black background.

It really looks like an entertainment magazine. (I am unsure if it is—I live in New York City and have never read your magazine.)

The look of you magazine is really stylish. I guess it is your use of colors.

Anthony John Trimboli
Howard Beach, N.Y.

Crazy cows
With most of the world gone mad, why shouldn’t cows?

Stephen T. Davis