Letters for July 26, 2001

The beat goes on
Regarding the recent Chico City Council meeting on the applications to hear an appeal of the future Esplanade House: I’m most thankful that Councilmembers Coleen Jarvis and Dan Nguyen-Tan had the courage to vote against hearing the appeal. The emotions and some of the views expressed by some members of the audience reminded me they perhaps had forgotten a few things that night: respect, good manners and, I might add, good citizenship. Some members of the audience seemed to forget how people were (and probably still are) discriminated against in this country.

I also noticed those against the project had the ability to see things in the future that may or may not happen. Property values going down in California? Please, spare us your unfounded predictions of doom. If you believe that (and some people believe almost anything they’re told), I heard that PG&E is going to give us our electricity for free. If you want to sell your house, please do so. There’ll be people standing in line to buy it.

Paul McCormick

I protest
Chico City Councilmember Coleen Jarvis’ behavior during the meeting regarding the Esplanade House (EH) was abysmal, reeking of arrogance and hypocrisy. It was Jarvis who insisted the council set rules of civil conduct for public meetings several weeks ago. Jarvis then voted to make personal attacks and ridiculing people rather than addressing ideas unacceptable conduct to be ruled out of order. Leading by example at the Esplanade House hearing, Jarvis ignored the adopted rules of conduct, launched into personal attacks and ridiculed speakers. While engaging in unacceptable conduct herself, Jarvis had the arrogance to complain about how she was being treated when a call to restore order was requested.

Jarvis’s line about people protesting the building of homes of the protestors was classic Chico progressive hypocrisy. The nearby project that received the protest was Eaton Village. Those protests added $10,000 to the base price of the homes. Unlike the one hearing on the EH, the Planning Commission “thoughtfully” considered Eaton Village over 10 months, during six meetings with three public hearings. There was an appeal to the council that was granted and given two hearings. Jarvis voted to uphold the neighbors’ appeal. The neighbors’ chief complaint was that those $118,000 to $149,000 Eaton Village houses were going to drag down the value of their homes.

John Gillander

Editor’s note: At the meeting referenced above, the most aggressive language we heard from Councilmember Jarvis was “John, John, John …” in reference to an earlier statement made by Mr. Gillander. To us, this neither constitutes an attack nor qualifies as ridicule.

Show me the money
Well, it looks like George W. Bush has put his imprint on the U.S. presidency already. We don’t hear much about paying down the national debt or even balancing the budget, so I guess we’ll still be stuck with the outgo of more than $2 billion each year to pay in interest on the debt.

We surely missed a bet when we (sort of) elected George W. We won’t see much happening for the people in the way of health care or environmental safeguards or any way to make welfare reform work when jobs get scarce. But at least he’s beginning to look “presidential,” which should be enough for the media and the rest of the Republicans, and maybe even some of the Greens.

I suppose when I get my highly touted $300 tax rebate, most of it will go to the Texas energy barons, which is about the way Bush and Cheney figured it.

By the way, where is my $300?Robert WoodsForest Ranch

Golf is a walking game
Your guest columnist Mr. Dan Johnson [“PGA can take a walk,” Guest comment, July 5] rightly portrays himself as a counselor for disabled persons. What he omits is his admission that he is not a golfer. Consequently, his comments lack the necessary insight in order to carry any validity.

The PGA Tour has the right, without interference from the Supreme Court of the United States, to set the rules for play in its tournaments. Neither the court nor Mr. Johnson has the right to declare any one of them “nonessential.”

Secondly, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seeks to ensure equal access to tour events—not to create an equal chance of winning. As Justice Scalia rightly points out: “Giving one or another player exemption for a rule that emphasizes his particular weakness is to destroy the game. …” Not being a golfer, Mr. Johnson might have a difficult time understanding this.

Last, whether or not the PGA Tour changes its rules to allow the use of carts is strictly a matter for the PGA to decide. Since when does either the Congress or the Court have the power to say that they must change their rules? Again quoting Justice Scalia in his dissenting argument: “Today’s opinion exercises a benevolent compassion that the law does not place within our power to impose.”

Mr. Johnson is to be commended for joining the rest of us who admire and pray for Casey Martin. He also needs to take a five-mile walk himself on a hot, humid mid-summer afternoon when his very livelihood rests on his ability to perform numerous difficult tasks and where the slightest mistake could cost him at the least hundreds of thousands of dollars and at the worst his career.

Russ Neal

Praise for Jeys
For some time now I have been wondering if Butte County’s most beloved writer had been forever banished from the pages of newsprint.

Then, on June 14, 2001, a cranky, belligerent voice arose from the golden hills of Cherokee and appeared in the Letters to the Editor [“Close Cowtown U”].

I then mused, “Oh yes, he’s still alive and apparently still very crabby.” I can now rest assured that the man of my dreams, Kevin Jeys, still sarcastically reigns supreme.

Let’s put the cynicism back where it belongs, in the Chico News & Review.

Mercury Montego

Buy the Lookout
Recent headlines have been all too familiar: Lookout Point has had its fourth suicide attempt this year. A Paradise patrolman said he didn’t know any way to keep people from driving over the cliff. Here is one possibility: The county government can obtain title to the land by eminent domain.

Public safety would certainly justify such an action. The county would pay the property owner, of course. The assessed value for this parcel, some 29 acres, is about $28,000. That is really a low price, when you consider the value of the lives saved and the costs of the rescue operations. Perhaps the money could come from the sheriff’s fund used to pay for such rescue missions. I’m sure the county can find this relatively small amount; the benefits would far exceed the costs.

The county, as the property owners, would direct the road department to install guardrails and/or place boulders where needed to prevent cars from driving over the cliff. The total cost to the county would be very low. The benefits in public relations alone would be worth every cent.

How many suicides and attempted suicides will it take for the county to act, whether on this or some other possible solution, now that a low-cost alternative has been identified?

Al Braun