Letters for July 5, 2012

A writer who also saves lives

Re “The doctor and his book” (Cover story, by Robert Speer, June 28):

I agree with Dr. Lobosky concerning how our medical system has failed when it comes to the money involved. But I would also like to use this space to say that he is an excellent doctor and saved my daughter’s life after an auto accident. I would not have a daughter age 45 if it wasn’t for him, Dr. Burke and Dr. Uteg.

All three of those doctors would be quite surprised to see her now after 23 years. Her name was Mrs. Colbert at the time, and she was expected to be a vegetable—far from it. The accident was June 21, 1989. Thank you so much, Dr. Lobosky and Dr. Burke.

Jackie Dunn

It’s boys who need help

Re “For the girls” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, June 28):

I wish Cindy Wolff’s energies about gender discrimination had been directed toward the real inequity in education: Boys are the ones being discriminated against.

The last time I looked at the stats, women comprised 91 percent of grade-school teachers in the USA and 75 percent of teachers K-12, in violation of Title IX. Boys get 70 percent of the D’s and F’s and constitute 80 percent of all high-school dropouts.

Women get more BAs, MAs and PhDs than men and comprise 60 percent of all college students nationwide. Chico State has a Women’s Center but no Men’s Center, has tons of courses on women’s studies but no courses on men’s studies, and the CSUC teacher-education program is almost entirely female.

I’ve taught every grade from grad school through grade school, and the prejudice against males in education is pandemic.

Mike Peters

CUSD’s dishonesty on Title IX

Re “For the girls” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, June 28):

I was thrilled to see the Office of Civil Rights spank Chico Unified School District regarding female school sports. For those who played sports in the district, everyone knew the truth—the difference in facilities offered, practice times, and opportunities. What was most disturbing was the absolute denials by the school district, as usual, at the same time they knew the truth.

I expected more from a school district whose board is composed of parents who know better. When they want our youth to grow up to have integrity and honor, they need to realize that they can’t model the exact opposite and not expect us to notice.

If an independent panel could so clearly see the deficiencies and inequities, then I am sure the CUSD management did as well but chose to say otherwise. It is the dishonesty that is as disturbing as the inequity.

Cindi Copper
Oahu, Hawaii

Co-op’s caring response

Re “Natty dread” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 21):

This is a complex social problem that calls for an intelligent and cooperative approach. There is no “one way out” of a culture that suffers from stealing and violence.

As a proud Chico Natural Foods member-owner for most of the last 19 years, I commend [Liza] Tedesco, [Janae] Lloyd and all co-op staff for their serious and caring response to these challenges.

It’s inspiring that while facing these issues head-on—far from its former Natty persona—the co-op remains one of Butte County’s most economically vibrant businesses. We all play a role in creating a society that cares for its people. To bring about the world we want, we must all hold ourselves accountable for embodying the basic human values of honesty, respect and care for our fellow human beings.

Jessica Rios
BOD member, Chico Natural Foods


What’s she hiding?

Our city administration and mayor are taking advantage of the citizens of Chico. According to our finance director, [Jennifer Hennessy], Chico went from break-even being the worst-case scenario as of Feb. 21 to $900,000 over budget only 29 days later, at the March 20 council meeting. This led to the closure of Fire Station 5 and a huge cut to our police.

Due to public pressure, the finance director magically found the money to reopen Station 5 a month earlier than planned. Where did that money come from if we were $900,000 short only 60 days earlier?

According to our City Charter, Article IX, Section 908, “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.”

By following the charter, we the people of Chico would know exactly where we stand financially every month with no surprises. However, our finance director is not following the law. This is unacceptable.

Is our finance director trying to hide something from us? Or is she merely incapable of providing the monthly statements that she is required to do? Either way, the citizens of Chico lose. We need to demand that our City Charter be followed to the letter so that we have transparency and can make sure that our public employees, who make very comfortable salaries and benefits, are being good stewards of our tax dollars.

Toby Schindelbeck

Editor’s note: The author is a candidate for Chico City Council.

Look for heat and pain

Re “Feeding on fear” (Healthlines, by Meredith J. Graham, June 21):

I’m a three-year survivor of necrotizing fasciitis. I agree it’s not something I would want to live in fear of on a daily basis, but I can promise you that if you survive this attempt on your life, you will never forget it. Nor will any of your friends and family that listened to you scream as they changed out the bandages and sponges. It’s a horrible thing and I’m quite lucky that I made it out alive.

My advice follows much of what your county doc said: Keep your wounds clean and wash your hands often. If an area under a wound starts to get hot to the touch and painful, get to the ER before it’s too late. Even if your skin doesn’t look bad, if there’s heat and pain down deep, go get help.

Most folks who get NF gave it to themselves or had it passed on by a health-care worker. Most folks who die of NF were those that waited too late to get help.

Scott Fitzpatrick
College Station, Texas

Ending the stigma

I appreciated the CalFresh insert in last week’s paper. Besides being accepted where good food is sold, probably the next best thing about the program is the debit card you are given. The stigma of standing in line with “stamps” (and condescending stares) is removed. We all need a helping hand at times.

Jo Chavez

Let’s have some fracking transparency

Re “Fracking around” (Greenways, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 21):

I wish to thank reporter LaPado on her extensive article on fracking. I am not an expert, only an informed and concerned citizen trying to educate others about fracking.

We must expose the secrecy that the fracking industry is operating under. Our health, our safety, our clean water, our clean air and our property rights are being compromised by this industry’s secrecy and obstruction of fracking transparency bills like AB 591.

Dave Garcia

If Bush can do it…

George W. Bush invoked executive privilege six times, to: 1) block Congress from documents regarding Boston mob informants and Clinton fundraising tactics; 2) conceal who was at Cheney’s 2001 energy-policy meetings (Schwarzenegger, but no environmentalists); 3) block Harriet Miers’ subpoena to Karl “Bush’s Brain” Rove regarding federal-prosecutor firings; 4) conceal from Congress Cheney’s FBI interview about Valerie Plame’s outing; 5) block subpoenas of EPA documents about California’s reducing greenhouse gases and overriding scientific recommendations on ozone standards; and 6) hinder the investigation of harsh interrogation tactics.

Neither Rove nor Darrell Issa ever complained then, but they’re both complaining now. Typical Republican hypocrisy.

J. Andrew Smith
Bloomfield, N.J.

Why celebrate genocide?

Occupy Chico appreciates the work of the Celebration of People Committee but requests community support for the following: According to historical accounts genocide was committed by miners, military, pioneers and hunters throughout the pioneer period. Local tribes were systematically chased off their lands, marched to missions and reservations, enslaved and brutally massacred.

In 1851, the California state government paid $1 million for scalping missions. More than 4,000 Native American children were sold—prices ranged from $60 for a boy to $200 for a girl.

Perhaps because acknowledgment, apology and reconciliation have never been on the agenda of the pioneer descendants, the issue remains alive and hurtful. Therefore, the General Assembly of Occupy Chico, in solidarity with the indigenous people of this Northern Sacramento Valley who have survived despite the loss of ancestors, cultures, languages, lands, religions and lifestyles, want to ask that the Celebration of People Committee change the name of the spring Chico parade from “Pioneer Day Parade” and from this point forward adopt a name that represents all the people, as one act acknowledging a brutal past and moving toward a harmonious and thoughtful community event.

Chris Nelson