Letters for July 3, 2003

Empty Hulk
For a film “reviewer” to say a film is great is one thing; to say that a film “transforms the medium” is to say another. It was based on this that we went to see the incredibly disappointing run-of-the-mill, U.S.-military-out-to-kill-at-all-cost, Hollywood blockbuster Incredible Hulk [“Changing green,” Reel world, June 19]. About 20 minutes into the film we were wondering: 1) Did the reviewer make it into the correct theater, or 2) was he on some mind-altering medication? The film is so typical of most digitally affected, industry-driven offerings.

Without even addressing the lack of any story development (read: total bore), the film is highly offensive. This is the story of the U.S. military out to get the enemy (Hulk) and in the process destroys pristine desert, old-growth forests and ocean life without a blink. We’ve seen too many of these “destroy the enemy at all costs” films from Hollywood, and especially during events of the day where innocent people are subjected to total warfare because of a political agenda, another contribution to this genre is unnecessary.

People of Chico: Save your money. News & Review: Give your reviewer a copy of King Kong to see what transforming the medium of film while telling a story of what the human drama is all about.

Steve Klein

Crap in, crap out
While I am sympathetic with confused consumers caught in the HDTV evolution, it is hard to get too worked up over someone who spent $3,000 for HDTV and finds the result disappointing [“High-definition wasteland,” cover story, June 19]. People have a right to spend their money as they like, but some of us feel that plunking out three grand for a TV is like spending three grand for a gold-plated, high-tech toilet. Crap comes out of one and goes into another, but otherwise they are pretty much the same.

Why not save the big bucks for something a little more meaningful?

Gordon Wolfe

Don’t bury your TV
I was somewhat startled by your cover of the June 19 issue. It depicted a number of television sets tossed randomly onto what appeared to be a pile at the local landfill. As I surmised from the article, your attempt was to dramatize the potential problem with the impending FCC-mandated switch to digital transmission. While I applaud your effort to bring clarity to this complicated situation, I must take issue with the manner in which you depicted the disposal of the older analog sets.

Cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which include televisions, computer monitors and the like, are considered universal hazardous waste due to the three to six pounds of lead contained in each tube. The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) issued an order in March 2001 banning CRTs from landfills. These CRTs now must be handled like any other household hazardous waste such as insecticides, paints, solvents, etc.

As opposed to burying, these CRTs are now sent to a domestic e-waste processing facility. The lead in these sets is now recovered and recycled as are the other components in the sets. Butte County does not send any of these e-waste components overseas.

Locally, there are a number of options for proper disposal for CRTs and other e-waste. The Butte Regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility, located at 1011 Marauder St. at the Chico airport, will take these items at no charge to county residents. Norcal Waste Services of Butte County will take these items for the residents of Oroville. Ord Ranch Transfer Station will do the same for the residents of Gridley. Computers for Classrooms will take monitors 17 inches and larger with digital controls. The Butte County Public Works Department holds mobile hazardous-waste events in other areas of the county throughout the year. Soon the Neal Road Landfill will have an e-waste recovery facility on site. Please call ahead to verify days and hours of operation.

The diversion of electronic waste away from traditional disposal methods is another opportunity to extend the life of the landfills throughout the state. Let’s all help to keep Butte County clean and safe.

Steve Rodowick
Butte County Recycling Coordinator

Shooting the messenger
Hopefully, citizens of our community will read between the lines of recent Chico Enterprise-Record editorials and realize that Anthony Watts’ call to “kill all the environmentalists” is as meaningful as E-R Editor David Little’s stating that Josephine Guardino “…and other obstructionists have tried everything to keep people out” in reference to the proposed Upper Bidwell Park Disk Golf Course.

Newspapers and media talking heads benefit from distilling complicated issues into digestible bytes that result in people taking sides. It’s easy, sells papers, advances personal views and strengthens political alliances and agendas.

It’s frustrating that the many people simply requesting a master management plan for Upper Park and that the city comply with existing environmental law and its own planning codes are labeled anti-access zealots and allied with the recent activities of eco-terrorists. How beneficial it can be to make it sound so simple; how sad it is to see the results of such simple-mindedness here in Chico and beyond.

Those in the media will better serve the community, and their own credibility, by researching the facts and trying harder to represent balanced truth.

By the way, I wonder whether, in the not-so-distant future, when Central Valley air and light pollution obscure his telescope’s night view and his house sits on a toxic groundwater plume, Anthony will look at the world around him and think differently of fellow citizens who had simply tried to make a difference.

Josephine Guardino

Mass deception
America is attacked in a pre-emptive strike by a coalition of countries bent on regime change. They overwhelm the National Guard and rapidly consolidate the Eastern states. The enemy moves west, crossing the Mississippi with six massive armies on all the major highways. We must use our weapons of mass destruction, both nuclear and nerve gasses, or we will be crushed under the boot of foreign domination!

We use our weapons, of course, and drive back the malefactors, just as Saddam would have done if he had any WMDs that worked. When your most mortal enemy comes armed to your door to kill you and take everything you have, you don’t run to the back yard and bury your best weapons so you can meet him bare-handed.

George Bush duped the American people, Congress and the press like a bunch of hicks who just rode into town on a turnip truck.

Richard Shutt Jr.