Letters for June 10, 2004

Sloan defense
My quote appearing in Dave Waddell’s June 3 cover story on Jeff Sloan’s reassignment [“Who started this fight?”] lacks the explanation it needs to be understandable. It read: “If people want to talk about diversity or discipline, let’s talk about it. But let’s not pretend it’s something else.”

In the context of a larger discussion with Waddell, I argued that issues involving race and ethnic diversity at Marsh Junior High School had little to do with the district’s issuing of a pink slip to Principal Sloan.

The effort to reassign Sloan in a way that could involve demotion came on the heels of allegations related to financial management, and not related to race, diversity, discipline or other matters that have come up since the public learned that slips were issued.

Many of us with children at Marsh were alarmed by the district’s tactics, including the printing of allegations that were in some instances based on erroneous information (and that Brown apparently planned to quietly place in Sloan’s personnel file.)

It’s unfortunate if other important issues—race, diversity, discipline, class—influenced the board’s decision without getting the study and attention they deserve.

For the record, I’m a Marsh parent who sent my Latina daughter to her neighborhood school even though it meant giving up the Spanish we wanted that’s offered at Chico Junior High. Like us, our friends debated which school to go with, considering the availability of Spanish classes, diversity, discipline and academics. Some chose a school outside their neighborhood.

But no one from the district or board, to my knowledge, has asked any of us why we’ve chosen the school we have.

Leslie Layton

Shame on Chico
Your school district may just be the laughing stock of the state right now. How could you allow this superintendent to manipulate so many people and not spend the time to at least verify if what he was telling you was truthful?

Our school district not only approves staff members to take students out to lunch, but they encourage it! Our school consistently raises money so we can treat wonderful parent volunteers to coffee and lunch when they are helping. Teachers may buy items for their classrooms because they don’t have the budget otherwise to do it from the school district. Why else would we do fundraising? These were your egregious items against a staff? Shame on you for allowing a superintendent to brainwash you into thinking that this constituted a problem.

We are also encouraged to take care of our textbooks so that when they become obsolete, we can sell them to used dealers. The money generated goes to each teacher who took care of the books. What better incentive!

If you are going to penalize the best and brightest teachers and principals for making their schools better, I can only imagine the type of work environment they must be in.

Terry Barnes

If you only knew
I just got through reading your story in the paper June 3, “A Biggs Storm,” [Newslines June 3]. I can not believe that anyone who knows this man’s reputation, or intimidating ways, would believe that Mr. Terrell Storm is anything but guilty of the charges brought against him. The story in your paper does not coincide with the excuses given in the Gridley Herald for not wanting to get out of his truck. In the other story he claims he was just too embarrassed to be seen in his boxers. In your story he politely lowers his window and asks if there is anything wrong. Either way, no matter how many titles he may have held, I still do not trust him or believe him. They make racks to carry shotguns in, so yes it would look suspicious if I saw one standing upright by the passenger seat. If an officer of the law asks you to get out of your vehicle you do it!

If people in Chico knew a smidge of the things that have gone on in Biggs, there would be no doubt in their minds that the jury made the correct decision. Please don’t even get me going about sitting on the board of trustees of the Biggs Unified School District. There is nothing like having a person sitting with his hands laced behind his head, feet up and rocked back while you are making public comment at a board meeting. The person kicking back being Mr. Storm.

Maybe this conviction for assault, resisting arrest and vandalism has shaken Mr. Storm’s faith in the law because he has gotten away with it for so long. It is time justice was served.

Helene Bixler
East Biggs

Bad dog
Now that our country is engaged in another highly questionable war, most of the Bush administration and the CN&R seem to be set on ignoring veterans and those who gave it all for the freedoms we have in this country today. It was clear by the Hot Dog issue [Summer Guide, May 27] that little energy or care was spent in respect for the heroes that gave it all for you and me so we may live free in our democracy.

The CN&R must have been aware that Memorial Day was coming as it announced it would be closed for the holiday; probably so the staff can go to the mall and do their holiday shopping, or have a few beers and kick back. As America becomes more the capitalist state and less the once great free democracy, the evidence shows up with all the usual suspects.

The CN&R with ads on every page and Memorial Day sales seems to confirm that capitalism, money and greed are here as part of today’s America. To all of you who are veterans. For all of you who gave it all. For the most courageous who believed in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. For you the brave that endured the hell of war so others would know freedom, liberty, equality, and justus for all: THANK YOU!

Charles Finlay

Final words
I was happy to see so many members of the community turn out May 29 to help celebrate the life of Coleen Jarvis. The speakers were eloquent and able to capture the essence of Coleen. There were a couple of things, however, that weren’t said that I would like to say now. Coleen was not an attractive woman; she was a beautiful woman with a beauty so deep and pure, it left the people around her in awe. Coleen was not just intelligent; she was brilliant. She was able to create positive resolutions to the most hopeless problems. She was articulate. Situations would arise and feeling would run high and Coleen could put into words exactly what you were feeling. Coleen was a phenome, a rare human who made us all feel better about ourselves. She gave of herself continually and unconditionally. Coleen touched so many. Chico was blessed to have her choose to spend her life here. We who knew her were made better people just for knowing her. Happy trails.

Jan Bielfelt