Letters for July 7, 2011

Simplify the tax code

Re “The best Brown could do” (Editorial, June 30):

In regard to Gov. Brown’s failure to get a temporary state sales tax extended, conservatives are really reaching if they think a minimal tax savings will fuel this economy back on track. Whether we like them or not, taxes are a necessity to society. Taxes pay for so many services that we as citizens rely upon.

Rather than cut those services, perhaps we need to overhaul our tax system so everyone pays a fair share. The tax laws are so voluminous that no one person could actually read them all. Tax laws could be reduced to one single page: a flat tax. The flat tax could be set at, say, 7 percent of income and everyone, and I mean everyone, pays that 7 percent. No more corporate loopholes, no advantages for having children, no breaks—just 7 percent across the board.

The reason that a flat tax does not get the serious attention that it deserves is because of politicians who rely on being able to cut deals with business and lobbyists, who in turn contribute to their reelection campaign purse. And the endless cycle continues …

W. Jeff Straub

‘Clear thinking’ on a big issue

Re “Who owns the Internet?” (Cover feature, by Carly Carioli, June 23):

Kudos to Mr. Carioli for this insightful story! It was a rare treat to read unsentimental, clear thinking about the big picture.

First, the average person could begin to make sense of what the Internet and surrounding issues such as net neutrality are about. Then, the story continued in a readable way to highlight the systems, infrastructures, and stakeholders in this high-stakes “game.” And beyond, to include the probable consequences of the big decisions to be made, according to multiple knowledgeable sources.

The inclusion of where to go for more information was also appreciated. Keep this caliber of writing on issues that affect all of us coming!

Lee Karlovic

Tainting the pool?

Re “A year after the raids, charges are filed” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, June 30):

In the story, Special Assistant District Attorney Helen Harberts makes several misleading and fallacious statements that could possibly poison a potential jury pool and deny the defendants due process. DA Mike Ramsey’s office has been all too willing to try this case in the court of public opinion first, in its attempt to justify its wasteful actions.

The DA’s Office admits that officers manipulated a “valid” patient recommendation for cannabis in an effort to gain unlawful access to the dispensing collectives they were targeting. This effort to entrap is nothing more than a witch hunt orchestrated by law enforcement officials who do not believe in medical cannabis and will go to any length to eradicate it.

Do our law-enforcement agencies really have the time and resources to put forth such bold efforts to defraud the community? With the large methamphetamine problem in the county, how many real crimes went unanswered while highly paid officers conducted these frivolous and manipulative investigations?

Butte County deserves to have public officials who uphold the will of the people and use their resources investigating and prosecuting the real issues the county faces.

Mickey Martin

Schools not up to snuff

When my company was searching for new areas to expand, I suggested my former college town as a wonderful place for our expanding business. Our company values its employees to the extent of asking us for suggestions and allowing a committee to visit communities and rate each based on a combination of business and personal priorities.

Schools, parks, housing and enrichment were all of critical importance to families. Housing prices were a plus. Bidwell Park added points. Schools, unfortunately, did not compare favorably to other communities. We all understand that California education is at the bottom of the scale, but some districts are better than others, and Chico’s comparative school scores based on similar socio-economics were virtually all very, very low.

I urge the school district to settle its perceived strife in order to change directions and improve both its image and performance. Nothing on our priority list was as important as schools, and I am sure that is the same for every potential corporate investor in a community.

Our employees did love Sierra Nevada, hiking in Upper Park and the downtown area. You have much to be proud of, but please don’t neglect the importance of public schools for new families. Charters are increasing enrollment for a reason, and although they are also public, right now they cannot house the population in most communities.

Marci Looper
Los Angeles

Two views of Parkview

Re “Reverse makeover” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 23):

As a child I went to Parkview Elementary School. That was 30 years ago, and nothing changed at that school until the parking and bus dropoffs were added some years ago, other than that it still looked shabby with a beautiful backdrop of Bidwell Park.

Super Luper Kids has always put the children first even above and beyond the state requirements, which are far higher than those of the school districts. Children will be cared for, proper ratios, and with the children in mind, not some liberal who has nothing better to do than complain.

It’s a shame—Chico has not changed. I am glad I no longer remain in the stagnant, backwards town I use to call home. Kudos and props to all the kids who will get awesome care at Parkview!

Jeff Vandermate
Rancho Cucamonga

I am a parent of a Parkview student, and I was also upset when I read this article. I have also heard horrible things about Super Luper as well with them losing their license and so on. I took the survey that was mentioned in the article and it did not say anything about Super Luper coming in or what would happen to the garden. I thought it would be a state- or federal-funded preschool like Head Start that anyone would be able to attend.

The school district was very sneaky about this. When they sent the surveys out they did not mention anything about Super Luper, and I am sure they already had Super Luper in mind. Plus what they did to Karen [Altier] is awful: They did not even have the respect to tell her even though they knew about Super Luper coming in.

Karen has gotten my child to try vegetables that she would not even try for me. It was so fun for the children to go out there and pick vegetables and try them.

I cannot believe the school district did this and did not even have the respect to inform the parents and let them know what kind of preschool was coming in or even get their opinions.

Heather Lopez

Chico’s fun field trips

From music to theater, Chico Performances’ 20 new and amazing Field Trips are now available for teachers to purchase for the 2011-12 school year. It is our intention to bring the best in live performances to students of the North Valley.

Last year, more than 21,000 students attended the 22 Field Trips. These Field Trips not only provide the local youth with rich culture and education, but also inspire kids to rekindle a love for the arts.

This year’s Field Trip selections range from the contorting acrobats of Pilobolus to entertaining classics like Annie Jr. Other Field Trips choices include the renowned Peking Acrobats and Luma Theater’s “Black Light Extravaganza.”

In order for all teachers to have equal access to the Field Trips, orders will be chosen at random the last week of July. All orders must be mailed in or brought to the University Box Office by July 23 to be included in the lottery. Walk-ups and phone calls will not be accepted during this time, but will be accepted after Aug. 1.

Field Trips are 50 minutes long and cost $4 per seat ($6 for Peking Acrobats).

Complete Field Trip descriptions, times and downloadable order forms are available at ChicoPerformances.com.

Please, help us encourage the teachers, school volunteers, and parents of the North Valley to become involved with the 2011-12 Chico Performances Field Trips.

Daran Goodsell
Chico Performances
Chico State University