Letters for July 25, 2013

Greenline under attack

Re “Neighborhood feud” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, July 18):

The more significant story here is the push to weaken the agricultural Greenline in Butte County (see “The Greenline at 30,” Cover feature, July 19, 2012). This issue is much bigger than Creekhaven “Vineyard” Estates or any neighborhood feud.

What’s really going on in this case is a sneak attack on the Greenline by Supervisor Larry Wahl via Tim Snellings and staff at the Butte County Department of Development Services, who have now proposed changes to the county code that would create huge loopholes allowing for commercial development in areas zoned for agriculture.

Maureen Kirk is right: Tim Snellings and the staff of the Department of Development Services are “kind of doing this backwards.” Snellings has given Creekhaven the green light from the beginning, despite his responsibility to enforce existing ordinances and despite the unified objections by the Kennedy/Muir neighbors.

Tim Snellings and Larry Wahl are both ideologues pushing an extreme political agenda. Snellings told us “government should get out of the way of business.” That’s sure funny to hear coming from a county staff member who works for the government—perhaps we should just eliminate Snelling’s job to save us all some money? Let’s replace Wahl, too.

Curtis Peldo

I want to thank Mr. Gascoyne for his article. While the facts he presents are generally correct in sequence, there is much more to what the county planners are doing.

I urge all who read this story to attend the July 25 Board of Supervisors meeting and get the whole picture. Land use is a very important and complex issue, and the county’s decisions have real and lasting impacts on the day-to-day lives of county residents. Those of us who have chosen to live in an ag zone are aware of the dust and machinery noise associated with ag business. We accept these things as a price for the peace and quiet that it brings to the area.

The boisterous celebrations that are a natural part of weddings on 20 out of 52 Saturday evenings a year is not a reasonable use in an ag zone. Did the property owners and county really think that no one would object?

Jonathan Day

It seems to me that an event center with these kinds of impacts should be required to undergo some type of environmental review. My property is next door to the facility and, after finding out that the property owners planted highly toxic oleanders, I proposed replacing them at my expense with something that would not be dangerous to my livestock. The neighbors refused my offer. It was like kicking a beehive. After that, everything went down hill.

I believe my sheep and horses are at risk. Because my property is only five acres, I don’t have the luxury of moving my animals to a safer location. In addition, the sound and the added traffic are unbearable. It is ruining the whole Kennedy/Muir way of life. This event center dilutes the Greenline and opens up the area to anything a developer wants to do.

John Gager

VA ineptitude no surprise

Re “Dead ends” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, July 18):

The plight of Army vet Joe Grossman getting the runaround from the VA is typical. I’m a Vietnam veteran and it took me 25 years to get a rating for my war injury—and then the VA refused to pay me my 25 years back pay.

The VA is a huge, inert monolithic institution whose main job is sustaining its own cumbersome bureaucracy. Its modus operandi is to stall veterans until the veterans either die off or give up: the VA has a “culture of denial” that’s so ingrained that they even deny having a culture of denial. They’re playing veterans for suckers.

Mike Peters

Sack the bag-ban

Re “Laws and jobs” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, July 18):

There is another dimension to discrimination against disabled persons: actions by governments which create difficulties and hazards for disabled persons, such as bans on disposable plastic grocery bags.

Paper bags are difficult to impossible for people in wheelchairs or using a walker to handle. Reusable bags may carry foodborne diseases such as salmonella or E. coli, especially dangerous to people with compromised immune systems—another legally recognized disability. Admissions to hospital emergency rooms for foodborne diseases increased fivefold in San Francisco after that city adopted its ordinance banning plastic bags.

Disabled persons are more likely to have lower incomes than the rest of the population, and are further harmed by the increased cost of alternatives to disposable bags.

City Council members who vote for these bans (or other such arbitrary and needless regulations harming disabled people) should be fully personally financially liable for injury to—and should personally reimburse any added costs incurred by—disabled people resulting from their acts. No sovereign immunity, no corporate veil!

Chad Wozniak

Market isn’t in jeopardy

Re “Preserve the farmers’ market” (Guest comment, by Karl Ory, July 11):

Karl Ory is spreading inflammatory misinformation to make it sound like the city is going to abolish the farmers’ market. What a sham. If that were true, I’d join the bandwagon as I enjoy the farmers’ market and find it a great way to start a Saturday. From my understanding, what they are looking at is moving it to the Municipal Center parking lot.

After looking at both places, I think it’s a terrific idea. Just what is your problem with moving there? Why do you have to spread lies and misinformation like this? What are you afraid of? Perhaps I don’t understand your concerns, and I’m willing to listen.

What really irks me is that you make it sound as if the city of Chico and the City Council would do away with it, and that’s just hogwash. So, stop sending out misinformation just to get your way!

Don Walker

Stop speculating

Re “A life remembered” (Editorial, July 18):

So you’re saying there is something wrong with George Zimmerman wanting to be a cop and putting his life on the line for your family? Or trying to keep these homes free of crime, so your kids could sleep secure?

Zimmerman gave up his own time to help protect and serve, a notion lost on you. All you’re doing is speculating—and badly, at that. You’re trying the case as you wished it was, not as the real evidence shows. You are what’s wrong with the country. I suggest you get more fiber.

Allan Clark

Your editorial used so many assumptions, opinions, clichés, etc., to justify your condemnation of George Zimmerman.

Given your print sensationalism, you probably are now able to insist that I, too, should be investigated by the Department of Justice for possible “civil-rights violations.”

Had you ever considered that you were not a witness and neither was anyone else? Or considered that in our present legal system he was found not guilty? Or do I expect to read a future editorial lambasting and denigrating the individual jurors for making a decision, but not the one you wanted?

Finally, your statement that Mr. Zimmerman “is free to live his life” is in error. He may be totally free to live his life, but I am sure it will be a haunted one, by his own feelings and those in society who will never let him forget.

Viva the 24/7 news cycle. If not for it, perhaps this situation would be discussed factually.

Don Curtis

Hypocritical much?

Re “Drop in the bucket” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, July 11):

I find it ironic when people in the Chico area talk about doing as much as possible to help the needy in our community, whether it be the homeless transients downtown or people who just cannot afford to buy their own groceries. But as soon as it comes to helping our fellow Californians to the south with water—arguably the most important resource on Earth—those same people who preach sharing and equality instantly turn into selfish human beings.

“They can’t take our water.” It’s funny how the mentality of “we’re all in this together” changes as soon as someone wants to take something away. You can’t tell people to share and care unless you do it yourself—that’s called hypocrisy.

Kevin O’Leary

Not a racist swampland

Re “Injustice served” (Letters, by Jerry Harris, July 18):

Thank goodness Jerry Harris came along to help broaden my “realm of perspective.” His insight is fascinating, especially when I factor in his short five years of residence here.

If black people don’t go out at night, how do you see this pervasive racism?

Some of the neighborhoods I lived in before I moved up here 15 years ago from Long Beach only had a couple of white guys living there. There, I lived mostly among Latinos and African-Americans. Let’s just say I wasn’t picked first for softball. Does that make it a “swampland of racism”?

Tom Garron

Life without Rob

Re “Room with a view” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, July 3):

Let me get this right. KHSL/KNVN fires Rob Blair, the best weather guy on Action News, but retains the insufferable “bit guy,” Kort Klopping, who has said “bit” (“little bit,” “just a bit,” “a bit later”) 18 times in one segment and four times in one sentence? That’s just when I’ve bothered to count.

He’s also said “bit” three times before he got up from the anchor desk to begin his report. When he’s not “bitting” his entire segment, he’s “right-nowing” it. Four “right nows” in two sentences. I’ve often thought he needs electrodes applied to his most sensitive body parts and a friend—or better yet, supervisor—to shock him for every “bit” and “right now.”

Wallace Keith
Plumas County

Consider universal care

On July 30, the Medicare program will mark its 48th birthday.

Medicare is the national single-payer health insurance plan that covers the elderly and disabled. It was enacted to ensure financial stability as people aged.

Today, Medicare guarantees health care to more than 50 million Americans. A study from the journal Health Affairs found that those enrolled in Medicare had fewer problems obtaining affordable medical care and higher satisfaction scores than those in private plans. They were also less likely to file bankruptcy due to medical expenses.

Overall, Medicare patients report greater satisfaction and security than those enrolled in private plans. A universal Medicare-for-all plan could guarantee these benefits to everyone. Learn more at www.pnhp.org.

Aldebra Schroll

Liberals do the bashing

Re “Injustice served” (Letters, by Phil Elkins and Jerry Harris, July 18):

Reading some of your letters concerning the Martin/Zimmerman trial, one has to wonder where these writers got their education. One shouts that Chico is a swampland of racism, yet the liberals have run this town for more than 20 years, so how can that be?

But now, the new fashionable thing to encourage more liberalism is to bash our jury system with a 200-year history.

Liberal media published the bomber’s picture on the front page of Rolling Stone. Poor misguided man, his troubled youth made him do it. Smile, dude! Juries kill Russian bombers, too!

Al Sharpton, famous for calling everything that’s white a racist, is inciting people to march, riot, smash businesses, beat people. Cure this social injustice so good old Al can keep the money train for his trash-mouth machine that comes in from all the dumb suckers who believe his garbage.

Frankly, all I’ve ever heard from liberals campaigning for local office is that they want to “keep our beautiful, charming, wonderfully lovely little town” just the way it is. Did our community’s educated evolution fail over the last 45 years? It’s all Bush’s fault!

Rick Clements