Letters for July 7, 2016
Beware the big-box
Re “Walmart opposition brews” (Newsline, by Meredith J. Cooper, June 30):
Kudos to CN&R for helping start a public discussion on the proposed Walmart expansion. Proponents for the Walmart expansion say it will bring jobs and new tax revenue. Studies have shown that for every two jobs Walmart creates, three jobs are lost.
As pointed out in the CN&R article, the draft EIR for this project states that the closure of FoodMaxx is not considered a significant impact. Really? Tell that to the 80-plus employees who will lose their jobs. And there is strong speculation a second grocery store would also close.
Stores near a new Walmart are at increased risk of going out of business. After a single Walmart opened in Chicago in September 2006, 82 of the 306 small businesses in the surrounding neighborhood had gone out of business by March 2008.
Also, there will not be an increase in tax revenue. The major portion of the expansion is grocery, and food is not taxed. The other retail sales increase is simply a shift from an existing business to Walmart’s coffers. Walmart’s ruling family, the Waltons, have a combined wealth of $144 billion, more than 42 percent of American families combined. How much more do they need?
Roger S. Beadle
Re “Superdelegate on Sanders” (Letters, by Bob Mulholland, June 30):
It’s shocking to me that Bob Mulholland would accuse the Sanders campaign of using the ethnic makeup of this area as a criteria for coming here to speak. Sanders traveled up and down California during the primary campaign. He drew huge crowds everywhere he went—all over this state and our nation—of people from all walks of life.
The very idea of ethnically profiling a community to decide to speak there or not would be the antithesis of what his movement is about. The Sanders campaign is about economic, social, political and environmental justice and moving beyond the business-as-usual model that has crippled both major political parties in our country.
Sanders came and spoke in Chico because we are the educational, political, economic, population and cultural focal point of the North State region in between Sacramento and Redding. It’s good campaign strategy to speak in communities such as ours, as Bob Dole, Ron Paul and others have recognized over the years.
Finally, there are people who live here who have worked long and hard on the campaign and have a strong relationship with Sanders and his campaign staff, which also factored into the decision to come here. For Mulholland to suggest otherwise is shameful.
A successful event
I am the Chico Running Club board member who spearheaded the campaign to save the July 4 celebration at One-Mile Recreation Area. Considering that just over three weeks ago the announcement was out that the traditional celebration was canceled, I believe the 1,500 people, including the hundreds of kids, who attended our event had a wonderful day.
I want to thank Sheriff Kory Honea and his fabulous pancake breakfast crew, the Chico Community Band, Developmental Disabilities Sports Fund (next year’s host), Chico Noon Exchange Club, Recology and other Chico Running Club board members for working with me on this project, and my wife and fellow board member, Krista Stone, for working with me these last few weeks (and decades).
It is now time to look at our options for next year. I propose that all organizations, including the absent city of Chico, that are interested in making sure the Fourth of July celebration continues in 2017 and for decades to come contact me at Randall@RandallStone.net so we can have a public meeting to determine private fundraising, more public activities like sack races, pie-eating contests and other family fun events.
The War on Drugs did not begin with the Nixon administration, but it certainly accelerated with the passing of the Controlled Substances Act (1970). Subsequently, the Reagan and Bush administrations injected the war with steroids (Chasing the Scream, 2016; The New Jim Crow, 2010).
Nixon professed the war was necessary because drugs threatened society, were highly addictive and devastating to health. He made no distinction between heroin, which is indeed highly addictive and deleterious, and marijuana, which is not. In truth, Nixon’s reasons were spiteful. Blacks and hippies were Nixon’s bêtes noires. He was furious that they demonstrated against the Vietnam War and agitated for civil rights. Nixon’s actual intent is evidenced by this quote from his domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, in 1994: “By getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin … we could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night…. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” (Harpers, July 1, 2016.)
In November, Californians will have an opportunity to negate Nixon’s malfeasance and the Reagan and Bush administrations’ mean-spirited, profligate anti-drug campaigns. Vote “yes” on the marijuana referendum!
Re “E pluribus unum” (Editor’s pick, June 30):
I was startled, to say the least, to see Carole Wells at her patriotic best on page 23 of the CN&R. For anyone unfamiliar with the name, she is an actress who appeared in the TV version of National Velvet from 1960-62, made a few appearances in other TV shows and a Barbra Streisand movie, married a rich man and supposedly lived happily ever after.
The last I heard, she and Joey Scott were the sole surviving members of the show. Do we have any fans out there who still remember Lori Martin? National Velvet (the TV series) has never been released on DVD, and I’ve often thought that grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) born to baby boomers would love it. As it stands now, we must be content with old photos of Carole Wells in her younger days.