Letters for July 1, 2010

Thermalito’s potential

Re “‘Thermaghetto’ or ‘Thermagardens?’” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. Lapado, June 24):

What great potential lies in Thermalito. Ms. Parker has caught the vision, and I hope she finds a lot of support for her efforts. All of the residents deserve a clean community. It is not fair to property owners to have their properties devalued by garbage and unkempt properties.

It entails a political battle, however, to get the county to muscle those property owners who do not clean up their properties or keep them fire safe. Good luck, Ms. Parker.

Peter Maki
Houston, Texas

She likes the story

Re “Race against time” (Cover story, by Melissa Daugherty, June 24):

This is one of my all-time favorite stories in the CN&R. Beautifully written with excellent background. Very informative on a very special Butte County facility. Thank you!

Barbara Boyle

Tyson’s mom checks in

Re “Field of dreams” (Greenways feature, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 24):

Tyson [Heusser] is my eldest son. He is one of the most energetic people you will ever meet. When he makes up his mind to do something, you can expect great things.

He did mention he had a dream to ride saddle bronc. What he failed to tell you is that in 1999 he had a motorcycle accident. He broke his back and severed 75 percent of his spine. I got a call that night telling me my son would never walk again.

Tyson has the strongest will I have ever seen. He was determined he would walk again, and to the great disbelief of the medical team, he did walk again—and rode saddle broncs. You would never know what that kid has been through.

Proud of you, Tyson. Keep following your dreams

Michelle Auman
Preston, Idaho

More on ‘Growing up black’

Re “Growing up black in Chico” (Cover story, by Anecia Johnson Smith, June 17):

Thank you so much for that story. Other than the brutality that occurred against the A.S. president, I was totally unaware that things like this happened in Chico.

I don’t know why it would shock me so much, though. Upon reflection, I realize that many people are not tolerant. It really upsets me that people think that things have changed in this country because we have a black president, but this is naïveté.

The other day, I was walking in my own home town, Walnut Creek, and heard a group of white teens throwing the “N word” at a young male of about their own age. I was completely shocked by this, too.

It’s time to wake up to the fact that racism is still running rampant in our nation—that it’s not just a “deviant” thing or a symptom of being of a lower class. Wealthy people, educated people, highly cultured people, people in power, people in the Bay Area, people in Chico, all sorts of people are racist.

We need stories like Anecia’s to come forward. These stories are sad and deeply disturbing, but left unheard we’ll never know that there is work that must still be done to bring Dr. King’s dream to life.

Ronda Levine
Walnut Creek

To Anecia Johnson Smith: I played as a youth in the old Chapman School, now named after your mom, after it had been turned into a recreation center. Local Chapmantown kids loved that school. Shortly thereafter, I entered Chico High School. My fellow classmates of about 350 white kids also had two black students, one Jewish student, and one gay student. All of those kids were great. We all very much liked each other.

I soon left for military duty, but I carried with me all my life a great admiration for blacks, gays and folks of other religions. I was away from Chico for nearly 50 years. But last summer I returned to this wonderful town, mainly because of the warmth of its people.

I hope that I get to meet you somewhere along my path through the coming years. You seem like a charming, courageous, and wise lady. Thank you for your story.

Tony Edler

Sticking it to PG&E

Re “Can’t buy my love” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, June 24):

Thank you for the wonderful editorial comment regarding PG&E. I don’t think anyone could make it more succinct than that. I hope the California Public Utilities Commission remembers similar comments the next time PG&E hits us up for a rate increase.

Roger Klaves

Missing Jerry and Kelli

Re “Shocking news” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, June 17):

My husband and I were stunned to learn of the firing of Jerry [Olenyn] and Kelli [Saam]. What a poor management decision! They were everything a station could want: professional, attractive and very personable. For them, this seemed to be not just a town to work in, but a place to call home for their family. A very great loss. I urge unhappy viewers to contact the station’s management.

Debra Clanton

We cannot believe that Jerry and Kelli are gone. They were the best thing to happen to the local stations. They are really the most professional reporters on KHSL and KNVR and added so much fun and interest to the news. They are worth twice whatever they were paid.

What a bunch of jerks to fire them, but then I guess everything is about money, not quality. I hope Jerry and Kelli get a job at Channel 7 in Redding and KHSL and KNVN lose all of their news listeners. They are truly missed.

Warren and Chetina Austin

Intrusive census

Re “Not in my back yard” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, June 17):

Mr. and Mrs. Birk should not have to explain. So much for living in a free country. Now $8-an-hour census workers are the law.

The economy is in the toilet and we have to answer questions that the government says are to help us, but with programs remaining unfunded now, I just see it as more help to the government to find new ways to not help us survive these economic times. Programs that hurt the poorest are cut first.

So, no, Mr. and Mrs. Birk do not deserve to have their privacy invaded nor to be forced to answer any questions about their private lives that they do not choose to.

Sharon Clark

More Ponderosa Way info

Re “Outdoorsman laments state of mountain road” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, June 17):

Old Ponderosa Way traverses portions of several private roads now known as Bean Creek Road, Big Ridge Road, Eckard’s Land, Encina Grande Road, Island Bar Hill Road, Lake Haven Way, Ponderosa Way and Rockerfeller Road and some portions of county-maintained (public) Rockerfeller Road.

Lake Oroville consumed a section of Ponderosa Way when it was constructed in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the location of this road is unclear in several locations, as shown on the official county map of 1942. More particularly, where the location of the road between Highway 32 and Oroville-Quincy Highway is undefined. Ironically the road in Magalia currently known as Ponderosa Way does not show on this map.

Louis Johnson

Two-wheel safety tips

I bicycle a lot of miles around Chico, and I encounter a distressing number of my fellow cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road or against traffic on one-way streets.

I strongly suspect that the majority of them aren’t doing it because they love breaking the law, but have somehow become convinced they are safer facing traffic.

The law clearly requires that you ride with traffic. That alone ought to settle it. If that’s not enough, here’s a little more: Overtaking accidents, in which a cyclist is struck from behind, are relatively uncommon. Most car vs. bicycle collisions occur at intersections, and wrong-way cycling is a major cause.

In the unlikely event you are struck from behind by a car, the impact is the difference of your speeds—say, 30 minus 15 equals 15. If you strike a car head on, the impact is the sum of your speeds—30 plus 15 equals 45. Not good.

I tend to get particularly annoyed at wrong-way cyclists because they annoy motorists, increasing the risk that some other cyclist will suffer from a motorist’s road rage. And they occupy the same, often narrow, band of safe roadway that I am trying to occupy legally. So wise, up, ride legally and ride with traffic. And teach your children to do the same.

David Welch