Letters for July 16, 2009

Enloe’s (usual) good care

Re: “What is her life worth?” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, July 9):

To be sure, Francine was and still is a remarkable person who gave much back to her community all through her life personally and through her children because of her example of caring and “giving” to others.

It is sad that whoever is responsible for the error did so. I can only wonder if it is because the nursing staff (everywhere) is trying to accommodate more patients than they are physically able to. In order to afford to be in business they have put a tremendous workload on the backs of all nursing staff. The battle to improve the patient-to-nurse ratio is still a major issue and is something that most of the medical world acknowledges.

My wife and I have had a number of visits to Enloe and were surprised at the level of care that they provided in a cheerful way.

Even so, the increased level of care for Francine is costly for the family, and they are legally entitled to a fair settlement. Age doesn’t mean anything in the value of a person’s worth.

Francine is blessed by just being alive and still with her family. God, richly bless her and her family as they work through this ordeal, and may they remain strong and enduring through their journey.

Stephen Pasillas

Kudos to Enloe Medical Center! In mid-May my husband suffered a mild heart attack and was rushed to Enloe, where he was attended to in the emergency room. He was then admitted to the hospital, and after an angiogram showing need for open-heart surgery, he was put into cardiac care.

Everyone from the nurses to the cardiac physicians and surgeon and accessory help assured that he was given the best care possible. He made an amazing, quick recovery. We feel this is because of the great teamwork at Enloe, which made him feel confident about his situation.

He then spent five days at the Enloe Rehabilitation Center, where this exceptional care was continued and we learned how to care for his recovery at home.

We are so glad that we live in Chico, where there is a major hospital that is so vital to the community. Thank you, Enloe, and all of your staff.

Zora and Howard Sanborn

CN&R’s ‘wrong message’

Re: “The Wrong Message” (cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, July 2):

Yes! Let’s tear it all down and make it shiny new. Let’s root out the last stubborn local yokel that is ruining this American Dream for the rest of us. How dare they not join the herd, strive for the committee-approved color palette and stucco over that grim reminder of things Old Chico.

I reject your script for a brave new world because there is nothing brave about it. Why don’t you cowardly automatons put down your “How to Make it Big in Franchises” books, forget your “Make Big Money in Multi-Level Marketing,” turn off your Tony Robbins tapes and quit running around trying to out-piss your neighbor?

Will you really sleep better at night knowing that there’s a Dutch Bros. drive-thru on the corner of First and Main? When they tear down Chico Nut and build the Sandy Gulch Retirement Village, is that going to deliver us to Eden? (Don’t worry, I can see you nodding yes.)

The CN&R really went and knocked on Joann Husa’s door and had the gall to ask her when she planned to “beautify her lot”? Good work, Fraulein Cooper!

These misguided attacks are an appalling abuse of the journalistic power you obviously don’t take seriously. How dare you parade these property owners about like johns caught soliciting prostitutes. Is this responsible news reportage? No, it’s just more evidence that the CN&R has become yet another bitch of the Chico Chamber of Commerce.

Josh Mills

Re: “Not much development” (cover story sidebar, by Meredith J. Cooper, July 2):

You didn’t really mean to label Chico Nut Co. an eyesore, did you? Just because the city, or even the property owner, may be contemplating some land-use change sometime in the future shouldn’t put this property on your alleged problem list.

I ride by this company nearly every day. I see a viable business, taking our agricultural commodities and marketing them throughout the nation and the world. I see a company that prides itself on being a good neighbor and is well-maintained. If there is dirt, a dent or graffiti, it is taken care of in what seems like 20 minutes.

This company, like its predecesor Continental Nut Co., is a valuable business in our community. It gives us city folks a visible reminder that agriculture is important to our economy and way of life. Just because it’s been there a long time doesn’t mean it has to move.

Jane Dolan

Editor’s note: Jane Dolan has represented District 2 on the Butte County Board of Supervisors for 30 years.

More on BEC, Vlamis

The relationship between Barbara and the BEC board of directors needed—and in my opinion still needs—the services of a mediator respected by both sides.

The long history of problems at BEC has for some time called for changes in policy, organizational structure, staffing, governance, or some combination of these. The people who have been involved with BEC are pillars of the community, none of whom can be dismissed lightly.

This situation will not benefit from simplistic accounts, much less displays of emotion or divisiveness. The sooner positive and inclusive steps can be taken to begin healing, the better it will be for the parties directly involved, for the community, and for the environment.

Greg Tropea

In 1986 I was hired to be a department head at the Chico State Library. Much of my time went into administration, supervision and, frankly, a whole lot of busy work. In 1991 I managed to help reorganize that department out of existence. Some people took this wrong, viewing it as a “demotion.” Ha! Free of the busy work I had time for more direct technical and public services work. I was able to teach a lot more library-instruction classes, which was very important because in the Internet age there is actually more demand for research instruction, not less. My work life, attitude and productivity improved dramatically. I published my first book, Earth Works, in 1996 and my second book, Where the Wild Books Are, will be published this year. None of this would have happened if I had remained a department head. None.

How I wish I had had a conversation with Barbara Vlamis about this. “Barbara, you are as superb an environmental advocate as I have ever met. You have an opportunity to play to your strengths and not have to waste time on administrative BS. This is not a demotion, but a great opportunity. BEC gives you a platform, support, and greater credibility. The ideal outcome would be for you to return to BEC in the advocacy position. Give the polluters and water thieves hell, girl. We love you. Please come back home to BEC.” And to the board: express your appreciation and hire her back.

Jim Dwyer

California’s ‘cruel cuts’

Re: “California meltdown” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, July 2 and July 9):

I was appalled and heart-broken when I heard about the governor’s latest proposed budget.

There will be teacher layoffs and larger class sizes if schools lose billions of dollars. Talented students may be unable to attend college if the Cal Grant program is axed. About 70,000 abused and neglected children will suffer if $200 million is cut from foster-care programs.

Lawmakers must do everything possible to minimize the severity of these cruel cuts. Simply saying “no” to new taxes isn’t a budget solution; it’s a cop-out.

The budget must look at the services we all need and how to pay for them. Californians need a balanced budget solution that includes new revenue.

M.A. Mitchell

Think again about cuts

Re: “The tooth of the matter” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, July 2):

I have to say that I agree with the points made in this article, and the fact that California has been behind in providing any kind of decent care for people who, although they cannot afford health insurance, still contribute to the community they live in as a whole.

I am one of these people. I am currently receiving SSI, due to a combination of disabilities that keep me from working in a “regular” paying job. This doesn’t mean I don’t work.

I want to say to those people who think these cuts will actually cause the debt to be reduced that they should think again!

Sharlene Redman

Whose child is it, anyway?

Re: “Where is my baby?” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 25):

I went to school with Dorothy and have known her since I was in the sixth grade. Yes, she may be challenged, but with the help and support of her family, she could provide the love and care needed to raise her child.

It is not right the way CPS stormed in and took Dorothy’s child. Her baby was taken away for failure to thrive, but the way I see it, it is not true. Her child dropped a lot of weight while in the hospital, and for the brief 10 days her baby was home, Dorothy was able to not only maintain her baby’s weight but increase the weight.

The problem, if any, is not from the care Dorothy provided. Her family had even looked for professional help at the local hospital, where I work, and they turned her away, claiming there was no problem. Distraught, they sought the help they needed at UC Davis Medical Center, but the baby was ripped away from them before the appointment.

I was in and out of CPS all my life and I was sent back to my drug-addicted parents too many times to count to fend for myself, and I would have traded my horribly neglecting parents for Dorothy and her angels in a heartbeat.

The courts will come to their senses and give Dorothy her child back so she can do what she should be doing right now: creating a loving bond that will last a lifetime. I am praying for you, Dorothy.

Dustin Dodge

It makes me very proud to know that in America, where injustices are plenty, there are still people who are willing to fight for the less fortunate—whether it be bringing this story to light, as the young woman helping this family has done, or be it the community outrage upon learning of such discrimination.

I am thankful that those who care and understand outnumber those who are willing to accept a broken system. Butte County CPS cannot continue to operate as it has if we, as a community, stand up for those in need.

This country is built upon people who speak their mind in order to make life better for all. It is those who accept injustices and make excuses who hinder our progress!

Edward Lujan

Too big for this nest

The revised environmental-impact report (REIR) on the south Chico Walmart is very clever. It describes the project in excruciating, mind-numbing detail but avoids the important impacts on our Chico community by defining them as not environmental.

When grocery stores, clothing shops, gas stations, fast-food restaurants, etc., close down because of the concentration of multiple retail functions in one 123,000-square-foot giant Walmart, believe me, it’s an impact!

When their marketing strategy, taking advantage of the current recession, hits us, it will be too late to say, “Why did we let them dominate our pleasant little city?”

In England, they have a warning, “Don’t let a cuckoo into your nest.” The clever cuckoo lays one camouflaged egg among the eggs in a smaller bird’s nest. The chick that hatches is larger and stronger and pushes the other chicks out of the nest to die. The small mother bird then stupidly spends all her life and strength feeding and caring for this monster chick.

Walmart’s like that—a fearsome, brutal and soulless competitor. It will pack our meetings with nonrepresentative, well-paid staff, and once they persuade Chico to expand the store, it’s all over! It becomes a one-stop-shopping destination, denying other retailers the chance to offer you their often-better merchandise.

Walmart has won in Red Bluff and Paradise; don’t let them become “the cuckoo in Chico’s nest.” Remind the Planning Commission that food does not have a sales tax, and tell the City Council “no thanks.” A larger Walmart does not benefit us.

Alan Gair

Editor’s note: For more on this issue, see Newslines.