Letters for July 11, 2019
Turn to the sun
Re “Calling for permanent wildfire-protection solutions” (Guest com-ment, by Robert Woods, June 27):
Here’s a suggestion for preventing wildfires and protecting more people from power outages—help more people make and store solar energy on their property.
First, there is less burden on the grid, so they don’t have to maintain power lines as much in wildfire-risk areas. Second, people can keep their power on during an outage. Third, people also reduce their electricity bills. Finally, we increase everyone’s personal freedom and self-reliance (while also being part of the solution).
You’d think the government and utilities would be tripping over themselves to make it as easy as possible for more people to install solar. But the opposite it true. The utilities do everything possible to attack solar with red tape and fees. The government just looks the other way. While also talking about spending billions more in public dollars fighting wildfires.
How about while they’re talking about spending all this money, they also make a “Solar Bill of Rights” to stop the utility attacks on solar?
Wake up, save Earth
How did we get so numb? The United Nations announced that we expect over a million species to go extinct in the near future. A million! What will be left? Cockroaches and pigeons? (Are pigeons even birds?) Humans? Why does this kind of thing barely make the news? Then it becomes old news. Like a blip on the old TV screen?
Wake up! This is like they are about to drop atom bombs on us. Will our most basic needs even be met? Food, shelter, clothing. What crops will still be able to grow? Which livestock? We cannot ignore this if we love our children. America is an optimistic, can-do country. This approaching train wreck of climate destruction can still, barley, be stopped. If we really want it.
Join the Citizens’ Climate Lobby or Chico 350 or the Sunrise Movement. Speak up. If enough of us care, and say so, even Rep. Doug LaMalfa will understand that protecting our kids is part of the job description. Help stop climate denial and step forward to make a difference.
‘Check your letters’
Re “Disappointed by favoritism” (Letters, by Lucy Cooke, July 4):
I have no idea who Ms. Cooke is, but after reading her nonsensical letter I have to respond.
Veterans do not send themselves to war. Veterans do not decide the next country to invade. The United States government and past presidents have unilaterally deployed troops overseas. I, as a veteran, am deeply offended by your perception that myself and fellow veterans are to blame for all the world’s ills, and that citizens of this country “are pandering to veterans.”
Your bizarre comments bring back painful memories of how the country treated returning Vietnam veterans. You spit in the face of people suffering from the scars of war daily, but you also wipe your feet on graves of the men and women who weren’t able to return home. You need to have someone check your letters before sending them out to the public. You should be embarrassed and ashamed.
Speaking as a retired military veteran of over 20 years, I was very disappointed in this writer’s letter. The writer implies that veterans like me chose to go to Iraq or other far-off lands, as if it’s our decision.
As the saying goes, “War is young men dying and old men talking.” Young men, like myself, deployed to war zones spend time away from family. In my case, that’s missing seven of my son’s 12 birthdays—not by choice, but because I was ordered to. I was ordered to based on the decisions of elected officials. We deploy to support the interests of this nation because we understand duty, honor and commitment.
I get her point, and I can tell you most veterans are extremely embarrassed about some of the privileges we get. However, before you accuse me and thousands of others of “wrecking countries [and] killing hundreds of thousands,” please take a good class on American government so you can understand how things work.
Tea, taxes, thanklessness
Re “Rethink your votes” (Letters, by Loretta Ann Torres, July 4):
Ms. Torres has another complaint—this time tax rates. Torres thinks the tax on gas is high. Well, taxes are used to pay for services rendered. In her letter, she wants to go back to 1776 and the tax on Americans for tea and other services.
Well, we need to go back to 1754-1763, during the French and Indian War, which the Brits financed. Otherwise, we would be speaking French. So the colonies were slowly trying to reimburse the Brits for their aid in the war. The British imposed taxes to be repaid. Simple, right? So, Americans did not or could not pay the bill. A group of thankless Americans pulled the Boston Tea Party we all learned about in grade school.
So, please, Ms. Torres, next time provide all the needed information before clicking “send.”
The ponds are fine
Re “Pond problems” (Letters, by Dick Cory, July 4):
Teichert Ponds is not the problem. The mindset of calling vegetation removal for improved “viewscape” and uprooting the already uprooted a win-win is a mindset that has ushered both climate change and homelessness to our doorsteps.
Teichert Ponds is fine as far as I can tell. Perhaps finer than it has ever been. The seasonal rise and fall of water puts those who camp on its shallow edges more in touch with the nature of the Sacramento Valley ecosystem than their educated and housed neighbors. And yes, nature uproots us all.
Managing natural resources is complicated. Wetlands, not uniquely, are complicated, precious and deeply webbed, every square foot an unfathomable mystery. Some folks have made understanding wetlands and stream ecology science a professional lifetime exploration. People like our own Paul Maslin and his students, biologists at the mosquito abatement district, the local Resource Conservation District and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Teichert Ponds is a hazard that must be shrunken? Would it improve carbon sequestration? Reduce human exposure to disease? Benefit the water table? Ease the injuries of homelessness? Or, if there is a perceived problem, are there options to nature’s pasteurization that would address our concerns in a much broader, deeper and holistic way?
Recalls and estimates
Re “Inconvenient truths” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, June 27):
At first glance it seems surprising that local Republicans would try to hold an expensive special election to recall two of our City Council members, Randall Stone and Karl Ory, so close to the end of their four-year terms. However, it makes more sense if we observe that a special election would minimize voter turnout for the recall.
In many states, Republicans have been able to increase their number of elected officials at various levels by brazenly purging legitimate voters, gerrymandering districts, and suppressing turnout by making voting as difficult and inconvenient as possible.
Here in California, those tactics are not available, so about the only other way to successfully reduce voter turnout for a recall is a special election, which would have a very low voter turnout. If this recall was part of a general election, its supporters know that there is absolutely no chance that it would be successful. Please don’t support this dubious tactic by signing their recall petitions.
Chico’s police chief claims the city has grown by “19,000” since the Camp Fire and the editor uses the figure “almost 20,000,” but still no real numbers.
In April, City Manager Mark Orme was using his “10,000-15,000” number, based on nonregistration, couch-living, trailers parked on streets. But to date, there is still no actual count, only “estimates.”
According to a state Department of Finance press release, these numbers are based not on actual population but on new construction. “Changes to the housing stock are used in the preparation of the annual city population estimates. Estimated occupancy of housing units and the number of persons per household further determine population levels. Changes in city housing stock result from new construction, demolitions, housing unit conversions, and annexations.”
Everything’s “estimated.” Then they even “adjust” the numbers “to be consistent with independently produced county estimates.”
I don’t support the recall either, but I’m tired of hearing the city and the media make claims based on fake numbers. Our town is a mess right now because people are not doing their jobs, but expecting to be paid into perpetuity.
Re “Of Jesus and POTUS” (Letters, by Rich Meyers, June 27):
A letter writer recently wrote, very accurately, about the mistakes the United States has made since 1960 regarding Iran. This history lesson failed to include the very real lack of understanding among most of us about the dangers of an atomic nation ruled by leaders who believe in the coming of the 12th Imam.
Iran is like no other country. Its leaders will welcome their country’s complete destruction, if it brings about this caliphate that they so strongly believe in.
Islam, for the most part, is a religion of love for us fellow human beings. But a very radical few want a cataclysmic event to bring the 20th century world to its knees!
Meanwhile, our leaders want to force our president to reveal his tax returns, while oil tankers are on fire in the gulf and our drones are shot down.
If this scares you, it should. Time to pay attention to our president’s decisions. Time to allow him to concentrate on the events that endanger not only us, but also the world.
May God bless America.
Loretta Ann Torres
Advice on poison oak
Re “Season of the rash” (Weekly dose, June 27):
We have found that washing clothes and showering with Fels-Naptha soap as soon as possible will wash the plant’s oil from the skin and greatly lessen the chance of breaking out in a rash. Fels-Naptha is a bar soap that can usually be found in the detergent aisle of most grocery stores.
Awarded by draft-dodger
I see that President Trump recently awarded the medal of honor to the first living Iraq War veteran. I think this would have meant a lot more had it had been awarded by a true hero—like John McCain—rather than a draft-dodger.