Letters for July 20, 2017

Progress and malignancy

Re “Cowards” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty) and “New center breeds hope” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, July 13):

Progress is the root of the word progressive. I consider myself to be a progressive. It is a noun that surely must daily test Sean Morgan’s sphincter. Progress and Morgan are both featured in the most recent edition of the CN&R.

In the 37 years that I have lived in Chico, Morgan may well be the most malignant personality in Chico’s political history. Morgan needs to be turned out of office in 2020, no matter how much money must be spent by my fellow progressives.

Back to progress. I believe that this community is seriously moving forward in assisting those with housing and personal challenges with the goal of allowing the less-advantaged of us achieve mainstream living. This is counter to the approach by the aforementioned mayor (and vice mayor) that the homeless should just “go away.”

The greater Chico area needs one more accomplishment before it can start to take bows. We need a nonprofit alcohol detox facility, easily available in the heart of Chico. It must not be evangelical-based. Alcoholism is an inheritable disease. For most, it is fatal. It is also treatable, especially when done with compassion. I am a progressive and that’s my stand.

Ron Angle


Shameful acquiescence

Re “New center breeds hope” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, July 13):

“A lot of homeless people have warrants because they didn’t go to court for whatever reason,” said attorney Ron Reed. True, but without laws criminalizing sleeping, leaving carts/bags unattended, etc., there would be no warrants. (Also, our city is locking restrooms 10 hours each day, while arrests are made for urination and defecation.)

So, where are Reed and his partner, Michael Madieros, on the subject of criminalization? Madieros is a strong supporter of criminalization. And, when I took Madieros to task, in the pages of this paper, Reed called my objections “cow flop” and offered what appeared as a mealy-mouthed endorsement of criminalization—complete with references to God Almighty (see “Our community cares,” Letters, March 17, 2016).

Those pushing the medieval notion that criminalization is useful in assisting people with brain injuries (40 percent of men on the streets), the mentally ill, addicts, people with PTSD, the financially broken, etc., cannot be credible advocates. To suggests they are is like saying arsonists make credible firefighters.

Reed aside, where is the legal community? I recall no lawyer, other than Jennifer Haffner, as having the courage to confront the city on the dehumanizing and unconstitutional Offenses Against Public Property ordinance. This acquiescence should be cause for shame in every law office.

Patrick Newman


Damn liars

Re “Eye on 45” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, July 13):

How many of Trump’s staff members need to be caught lying before people realize that he is corrupt, dishonest, a traitor and a threat to our Constitution and democracy? So far Trump, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner have been caught lying, some multiple times.

Flynn and Manafort have resigned and Kushner probably will soon follow. My question to Americans, but especially to Republican senators and congressional members, is this: How far will you go to protect a fellow Republican? Will you ignore lying, collusion with Russia, conspiracy and treason just because he is from your party? Try to imagine what Fox News would be saying if half of these charges were leveled against Clinton (or any other Democrat).

Charles Staser


The underlying problem

Re “Two views on commentary” (Letters, by Carl R. Ochsner, July 13):

My friend, Carl Ochsner, raises some important questions about the management of immigration into the U.S.

In many ways, immigration is only a symptom of a more pressing underlying problem. Let me avoid Carl’s challenging questions by raising the discussion an order of magnitude. In 1978, when I first met one of my early mentors in public health, Dr. George Cernada, he introduced himself as a “fertility management specialist.” At that time, I did not fully appreciate the far-reaching significance of his work.

Today, it is clear that unrestricted human population growth underlies many impending global catastrophes. We are in the midst of a mass extinction (the Anthropocene extinction) attributable to human activities. Unless we address the underlying causes, almost all related to population density, the future bodes ill for our ecosystem. In a world of limited resources, ultimately only decreased demand, vis-a-vis lower population levels, can result in a better life for all of this planet’s inhabitants.

Roland Lamarine


See for yourself

Re “Letters feedback” (Letters, by Bob Evans, July 13):

Use your search engine: Look for “Trump lauds his poorly educated supporters after Nevada win.” Don’t take my word for it. Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania with a combined 46 Electoral College votes tipped the scales in Trump’s favor.

Trump won Wisconsin by 22,748 popular votes, Michigan by 10,704 and Pennsylvania by 44,292. The Johnson, Stein and “others” amounted to 189,330 in Wisconsin, 275,880 in Michigan and 269,534 in Pennsylvania. Like I said in my letter on July 6, a handful of Rust Belt voters tipped the electoral total for a Trump victory. Had Clinton won these states, her total would have been 278—eight more than needed to be president.

Evidence for Russian meddling pours in by the minute, as the 39-year-old “kid”—aka Donald Trump Jr.—lawyers up to stay out of the “lock her up” hotel.

Trump-supporting letter critiques need to use my entire sentences when quoting my letters, rather than half truths they learned at Trump University.

Much like the disaster of 2000, vote totals in 2016 boiled down to the disgruntled few who chose to stay at home on Nov. 8, or, in other words, give us (and the world) the Trump embarrassment.

Ray Estes


‘Sleight of tongue’

Regarding Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s request for a delay in the licensing of the Oroville Dam, he states, “[I]t is my duty to ensure the safety of the citizens of my district.” Believable? Not really, when you consider he enthusiastically voted for the House version of Trumpcare, which projects that 101,807 people in his district will lose their health coverage.

LaMalfa has a history of showing disregard for his constituents. He’s voted to cut food stamps, enrich his family’s coffers through government subsidies for agriculture, allow coal companies to dump waste in streams and rivers, end a requirement that oil companies report payments to foreign governments, overturn online privacy rules for consumers, etc.

In short, LaMalfa totally supports the Republican anti-regulatory, anti-taxpayer, anti-health, anti-environment machine that must be continually fed on behalf of corporations whose end goal is maximizing profits—not the welfare of the American people.

So when he grandstands in front of cameras, expressing his concern for the welfare of the constituents of his district, LaMalfa is nothing more than a carnival barker with a “sleight of tongue.” For many people struggling to make ends meet, raise a family and pursue the American dream, he is “not one of us.”

Roger S. Beadle


Regarding street life

I consoled a young woman last week who was a friend of Audra Houston, the victim in the July 12 Safari Inn homicide.

According to her, Audra was homeless at the time of her murder. The violence against people without homes is a largely ignored community tragedy. Rape, assault and violent theft are all part of the daily struggle to survive and stay safe on the streets. The next time you’re driven to fear by the TV news, think about how frightening it would be without the safety and comfort of your home. Think about living on the streets and being harassed by the police and victimized all too often.

Bill Mash


Editor’s note: Read more on this subject in Newslines, page 10.

Buoy the buffer

The 300-foot agricultural buffer was established by the chemical manufactures at the minimum “safe” distance residential housing should be away from day-to-day farming operations.

A new subdivision is proposed at 1232 Stanley Ave. in Chico that would require that the 300-foot buffer be reduced to 25 feet and prohibit any legal action if your children accidentally get poisoned. The Butte County Planning Department turned this project down. The developer has appealed the ruling and it is now going before the Butte County Board of Supervisors next Tuesday, July 25, for approval.

The Oroville Dam situation is a result of people putting profits before the safety and health of the people of Butte County. Reducing the ag buffer amounts to the same thing; putting profits before people.

Call your supervisors and demand that they keep the 300-foot buffer in Butte County, and please attend the supervisors meeting on July 25.

John Scott


‘Imbalanced education’

It is clear that the American education system has many flaws. Many programs don’t receive funding as they should, arts programs suffering the worst. This inconsistency creates an imbalanced education system, with specific programs being funded more than they should as well as other programs receiving treatment that is quite the opposite.

Studies show that, when students experience the arts from a young age, they develop excellent testing strategies and express a more positive outlook in regards to many aspects of life. Art also can even out the socioeconomic classes, as students who have access to such tend to strive for a higher education. Athletics are also important, as they provide methods for athletes to perform in front of their peers’ families through going to the Friday night games. However, the physical education program within school could exercise the same benefits upon students, and would, if funded properly.

It is astonishing to witness programs that clearly are beneficial to a student’s future simply be cast to the side in favor of more physical education programs. Schools should turn their focus to the programs that provide both better testing results as well as an environment that promotes positivity through creativity.

Iris Kern