Letters for July 26, 2012

Dolan’s controversial legacy

Re “The Greenline at 30” (Special issue, July 19):

Jane Dolan is rightly celebrated for her vision in creating the Greenline. Unfortunately, she has also created an irrational fear that even considering the legitimate concerns of those who farm within the urban area in southwest Chico is a threat to the Greenline concept itself. This is patent nonsense, if not political suicide.

In the long run, the Greenline is far better served by a regular and genuine review process. The current line, as it was drawn 30 years ago, may be sacrosanct to some, but adjusting boundaries over time will actually insure that the Greenline remains relevant in accomplishing its original purpose as our population and city continue to grow.

Chico’s infrastructure needs have changed a lot in 30 years. Farming within urban densities has also changed a lot during that same time. Responding thoughtfully to changing realities will address the future far more effectively than dogmatic (and even fearful) allegiance to the past.

Finally, let’s not forget that Chico, like many California towns, was intentionally established on prime agricultural land. This accounts for the wide variety of tall trees that are so much a part of Chico’s charm. Those who would use the Greenline to force all new development onto the lava cap might consider balancing their agenda with John Bidwell’s original vision. Most of us can agree that he had a pretty good one.

Joe Hogan

[Jane Dolan] never gives up, never gives a thought to being wrong, and is only too happy to decide how other people’s property can be used or not used. A true socialist whose policies have helped to keep housing out of reach for so many by limiting how much of other people’s land can be used for housing.

She, of course, has her house and could care less if others do or not.

So sad, and so very typical of the type of smug politicos who we have allowed to rule and ruin even the most basic aspects of our lives. Hopefully people will learn not to accept or support such callous disregard of basic property rights some day.

She, like her cohorts, will never accept the real cost in human terms her collectivist idealogy has wrought. She is still wrongly convinced that this is her so-called legacy, when it is actually the opposite. Time will find that she was totally wrong and irresponsible to the poor uneducated masses who supported her.

Stephen Finley

I’m just the messenger

Re “Damage control,” subhead “Harsh words” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, July 19):

I believe your conclusion regarding my letter to the editor is way off the mark.

Harsh criticism of the budget? Or of the person who wrote it? That is quite a reach. There is absolutely nothing personal about my letter. It was quite clearly about the budget and council priorities.

I think that this is more of a situation where the truth hurts. It burns. It has me very concerned. I would describe my letter as being a brief, concise and absolutely objective and factual presentation of the situation in 127 words. The news is not good, but don’t shoot the messenger.

Very few people watch Chico City Council meetings. The public reach of that singular forum only reaches a tiny sliver of Chico citizens.

Not only do I maintain my right to free speech as a council member, but I have an absolute obligation to the public to alert them to serious issues affecting the city. Particularly when the press utterly fails to inform the public about the very details of the city budget that my letter covered. If anything, I worry that I have not been outspoken enough on a variety of issues facing this great city.

Mark Sorensen

Blame the progressives

Re “The real cause” (Letters, by Quentin Colgan, July 12):

The costs surrounding the special election held regarding Measure A have been distorted. Yes, it did cost $150,000, but why? That’s the elephant in the room.

The progressives on the City Council chose the method by which the election would be held. Per the City Charter (which is the city’s constitution), Section 501 clearly states, “The City Council may determine that any Special Election shall be held by mailed ballot,” etc. That would have cut the cost by half, at least.

But the council chose the most expensive means possible, voting at the precinct. They were afraid that just telling the students they were being disenfranchised, which was an obvious lie, would not be sufficient to defeat it.

As to “it’s all the Tea Party’s fault": I was the only signature to the measure. I felt no need to consult the Tea Party before I took that action, but did enlist the help of many concerned citizens to gather the more than 8,000 signatures required to put it on the ballot.

Toby Schindelbeck has called upon our finance director to adhere to Section 908 of the City Charter, which states “[the] Finance Director shall submit to the Council through the City Manager monthly statements of receipts, disbursements and balances in such form as to show the exact financial condition of the City.” It does not state when you may want to or if you have time to; it says “shall.”

No one on the council or otherwise can remember when that may have happened last. If it was being done as the charter states, it would have been recognized that the city was facing a financial Armageddon and steps could have been taken much earlier in the fiscal year to avoid the closing of Fire Station 5.

Stephanie L. Taber

Lock up the thieves

Re “The scam of all scams” (Editorial, July 12):

Libor price fixing, predatory lending that led to the huge burst bubble of home values across the country, and the gambling addiction of the banking industry all seem like they are happening in another world.

The greedy bankers who have made millions off these scams haven’t been touched by any government agency and continue to gamble with our money. So far all we have are settlements where the banks refuse to admit any wrongdoing and the stockholders get stuck paying fines that amount to pennies on the dollar of gains fraudulently acquired by CEOs and traders.

Instead of the billions of dollars we hear about and cannot relate to, let’s make this personal! After working locally for 30 years, we had a small home, a modest pension, and a small investment to supplement our Social Security. Because of the greed, fraud and lack of integrity rampant in the banking industry, we lost 30 percent to 40 percent of our investment value and about $40,000 to $60,000 in home equity.

How about clawing back some of these traders’ and CEOs’ ill-gotten gains? How about a little prison time? The government was able to jail Martha Stewart for insider trading that netted her $40,000, yet cannot make a case when these crooks steal $100,000 from me? How much have they taken from you?

Rich Meyers

Don’t charge the chief

Re “Wintu chief fined, faces jail time” (Downstroke, July 12):

I am not a lawyer, mind you, but I do not understand why the chief has been arrested or is being fined, etc. Nothing about this makes any sense. It is my hope and prayer that Chief Caleen Sisk is freed and that all charges are dropped!

Scot Albert

When the seas rise…

Most climate models predict the oceans will rise at the most 20 inches in the next 40 to 80 years. But ice sheets and glaciers are melting faster then predicted by these same models. Surface lakes that now regularly form on these structures drain to where the ice meets bedrock, essentially lubricating them and accelerating their movement into the ocean.

In the worst-case scenario predicted by at least one model, a feedback loop will exponentially increase melting, and in a few short years large ice sheets like the one on Greenland will slide off into the ocean, raising sea levels up to 20 feet!

How many nuclear-power plants would then be flooded and go into meltdown? Of course, with the ensuing release of massive amounts of radiation, higher forms of life on Earth would go extinct, including us.

But don’t worry: After the half-life of these isotopes passes in a few short millennia, evolution will start again.

R. Sterling Ogden

Eat vegan for good health

Researchers estimate that more than 8 million American women suffer from painful, antibiotic-resistant bladder infections—and chicken may be to blame. According to a joint ABC News and Food and Environment Reporting Network investigation, supermarket chicken is often contaminated with the same kind of E. coli bacteria that causes urinary-tract infections.

E. coli bacteria flourish on filthy, overcrowded factory farms. Conditions in animal factories are so deplorable that farmers must feed animals antibiotics in order to keep them alive long enough to send them to slaughter. Some of the antibiotics are also used to treat people, but when people get sick, the antibiotics they’re prescribed don’t always work because they’ve built up a tolerance to them by eating meat, milk or eggs from animals that were fed the same drugs.

People who eat animal-based foods are also more likely to suffer from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Researchers have even found that people who frequently eat grilled skinless chicken have a 52 percent higher chance of developing bladder cancer than people who don’t.

If you want to reduce your chances for serious health problems, try eating vegan meals. See www.PETA.org for more information and free vegan recipes.

Heather Moore
PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

A place to call home

Re “What’s worse, noise or poop?” (Letters, by V. Richard Troia, July 19):

I agree with Mr. Troia—there needs to be a special area where the homeless can set up their tents (tent city), and it needs to include bathrooms, or at least porta-potties.

Shannon Rooney