Letters for January 8, 2009

Relating to ‘dirty little secret’
Re: “Walmart guilt (or, my dirty little secret)” (Guest Comment, by Emily Brannen, CN&R, Dec. 31):

That’s a good editorial. Nice humor! Fact is, I’m in worse trouble than Ms. Brannen since I shop at Wally World once a month (at times more often), Even purchase my prescription meds there.

If Dante were alive, he’d surely assign me to the ninth ring of hell. Worst of all, I’ll never pass for politically correct again!

Bob O’Clock

I have to take my hat off to Emily Brannen for her guest commentary on Walmart. It was the first time I have read anything on the subject that was clever, funny and honest. Like most issues in our country, Wally World produces a plethora of didactic diatribes, but Ms. Brannen’s story rises above the fray to put a human face on the conflict many find themselves in.

It is refreshing to read someone who can hold both sides of an issue in her mind without feeling the need to become completely polarized to one stand or another. It would be nice if we could all adopt this tactic when it comes to politics, same-sex marriage and disc golf. It would be nice, but I am not holding my breath.

C. Kasey Kitterman

Message leads us ‘back to hope’
Re: “Drawing the line in the dissent debate” (Guest Comment, by Amro Jayousi, CN&R, Dec. 24):

I have been following the writings of Amro Jayousi and what has been written about him. Over the last dozen years, the grotesque anti-Semitic rhetoric, writings and cartoons in Arab-country newspapers shock even the most wizened of us in the Jewish community. However, reading Mr. Jayousi’s guest commentary helps to lead us back to hope.

His remarks capture a sentiment for those of us who consider ourselves part of the progressive Jewish community. We yearn for a peaceful and stable Israel and Palestine. No matter how painful, admitting the suffocating oppressive role the Israeli government plays today, everyday, in Israel, must be acknowledged.

Just as every Muslim is not a terrorist, every Jew is not an oppressor.

George Gold

Huffman responds to WRC response
Re: “Clearing up the water issue” (Letters, by Paul Gosselin, CN&R, Dec. 24):

The director of Water and Resource Conservation should not misrepresent what I wrote if he wants to stick to the facts. In my letter to the editor [”Better solution to water problems,” Dec. 18], I made no mention of a new pipeline to Southern California.

The fact is that the Tuscan Aquifer Study is a research investment for the purpose of using more of the groundwater. The stated purpose for the study fails to describe the additional plans for the groundwater.

The fact is that there is a nebulous plan to build pipelines or canals from Lake Oroville to Chico and to Paradise and Magalia as part of a coordinated use of all water, surface and ground within Butte County. Butte County must use or lose its annual entitlement of 27,500 acre-feet of Lake Oroville water (known as the County’s Table A), when it is available.

The plan includes some alternatives on how to use the Table A allocation. Del Oro requested 486 acre-feet of Lake Oroville water for Magalia, and may request much more. Paradise Irrigation District requested 15,000 acre-feet. Pipelines and pumping stations will be required.

California Water Service Co. of Chico requested 25,000 acre-feet. For that plan, a new canal and/or pipeline from Thermalito Afterbay or Forebay, a pumping plant, and storage and/or new treatment facilities are required.

Butte County water users deserve to have a more detailed concept in place of the state’s plans—and the county’s—as we further monitor the Tuscan Aquifer.

Robin Huffman

Cat friends in need
You may have seen them wandering through parks or languishing behind restaurants. At first, these cats look domesticated, but they are really wild animals. The growing feral-cat population is a nationwide problem and is a local concern for the Chico community.

Since 1998, the Chico Cat Coalition has been working on improving the feral-cat situation in lower Bidwell Park. They have trapped and removed cats, found homes or foster homes for them, and the cats that are unsuitable for adoption are living out their lives in the comfort of a fully enclosed barn.

Although the Chico Cat Coalition has been successful in taking care of the feral-cat problem, they will be losing their lease on the barn where they provide shelter and food for these cats in March, and the program will most likely discontinue due to too few volunteers.

New solutions to keep the feral-cat population under control are necessary. Park commissioners need to realize that the TNR method (trap/neuter/release) is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral-cat colonies with the least possible costs to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves.

Spaying and neutering the feral cats would stabilize the population at controllable levels and eliminate annoying behaviors associated with mating; it is humane to the animals and would foster compassion in the Chico community.

Jenna Anderson

Concrete argument
Much has been inked and with very good reason about the climate change resulting from all kinds of pollution. Here is another, unfortunately ignored, aspect of this pollution, especially in view of the clamor to build infrastructure requiring massive amounts of concrete.

The essential ingredient of concrete is cement. Cement is particularly suited in view of the lime (contributing calcium ions) as one of its compositions, to bind to surfaces and withstand strains and stresses. (One can loosely compare this to our own bones, resulting from the binding power endowed by the calcium ions in the three-dimensional molecular architecture.)

Lime is obtained from the decomposition of the mineral limestone. This decomposition also gives off, in massive amounts, the greenhouse gas so far talked about in relation to the combustion of foreign fossil fuel. The continued use of cement, in massive amounts, is a recurring emission of greenhouse gas added to that already emitted by fossil-fuel use.

Draw your own conclusions.

Brahama D. Sharma

Substantive rant
By questioning personal beliefs, one is not promoting censorship or the infringement on anyone’s freedom to speak or write what they choose. [However,] a sea of noble and worthwhile endeavors goes unnoticed and unheralded because of our preoccupation with the mundane and/or frivolous.

We, the public, reward the questionable merits of celebrity and inane, sometimes obnoxious TV shows, movies, etc,. that cater to the puerile and banal aspects of the human psyche. This while ignoring or denigrating by neglect the efforts of those who truly make substantial contributions to our lives and society as a whole: teachers, intelligent writers, charitable volunteers, honest politicians, scientists, dedicated researchers and numerous groups and people who work quietly and diligently behind the scenes.

They do not labor for fame and fortune but for the greater good of helping humanity achieve a more humane and beneficial state of being.

Alas, therein lies the tragedy of our times: a myopic, self-indulgent preoccupation with our appetites …

Larry Phipps

Looking back in anger
Besides “the worst president ever,” it can reasonably be said of Bush that his administration was “fascism by other means": lies and deceptions and the dictated interpretation of those lies as simple and basic patriotic truths, enforced at gunpoint by national and international policies.

At least 100,000 Middle Eastern children, women and men are dead, and more than 4,000 more Americans are dead—as totalitarian-dead as those dead from 9/11.

Heil Der Bush! Happy New Year!

Earl K. Underwood

Joe B. explains it all
During the presidential campaign, the word “socialist” was bandied about and used as a disparaging term, which also posed an insult to our partners, friends and NATO allies in the EU—all of whom have a socialist component to their political systems, which include the presence and participation of various Socialist parties that are often elected to be in charge of the government.

Democratic Socialism is part of a capitalist system and never leads to communism, despite constant assurances to the contrary. Unfortunately, Bolsheviks and Communists have hijacked the term in an effort to make their oppressive system more palatable around the globe, hence the confusion for most Americans.

It seems we are developing a case of civility deficit. Nothing in the world is sacred anymore, but subject to be besmirched, if it suits our particular goal and interests—yet woe unto those who have the audacity to be critical of us, our conduct or system.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff