Letters for June 11, 2009

TANC project doesn’t pencil out

Re: “High-wire act” (cover story, by Robert Speer, CN&R, June 4):

The question should not be whether to implement [TANC] route 1, 2, or 3, but whether any new line should be implemented at all—and the answer is no! As a former resident of eastern Shasta County, I can assure you that all the viable energy resources of that area have been tapped, and that the existing transmission system is adequate to handle them.

The only “other” potential new sources of energy in the area would be wood-burning power plants (very polluting), and wind farms in the Warner Mountains of eastern Modoc County. However, there are many more, and better, wind sites in Southern California, which are closer to the users and located in much more moderate weather.

Why, then, this talk of these unneeded new high-voltage lines through Northern California? The reason is simple: The money is there for the taking, so TANC is going to take it, and spend it—whether they need it or not.

Let’s find some real need to fill, not just expand another bureaucracy.

Gene Lucas

We are being lied to. If you do the math, the solar array to produce this power would cover about 25,000 acres. This is a lot of land that would be impacted.

Ah, but it gets worse! The power lines would cover 22,000 acres to 73,000 acres, depending on whether they take (steal) a 300- or a 1,000-foot easement. They will probably take the larger one.

Starting to see how ridiculous this is?

This power will service 1.5 million homes. Some very simple math shows that if each of these houses had an array on it, the array would only have to be about 726 square feet. Most houses could easily accommodate this.

It only takes about 1,500 square feet of solar per average house to supply 100 percent of its annual power. So, with this array per house, it can produce about half of the power used, way above the 20 percent required by 2010.

Additionally, you could give each of these houses $1,000 instead of paying for the power line. The ultimate cost of the line will probably be much higher.

Finally, these installations can be done much quicker. TANC will not even finish the line (under best-case scenarios) until 2012, probably more like 2015.

If we want to do the best thing for the environment and the economy, we would put all this power generation where the power is used. TANC must think we are quite stupid. I resent that.

Russ Lester

State taking from those in need

Re: “We didn’t ask for this” (Editorial, CN&R, June 4):

Thank you very much for your editorial [on the special election]. I wholeheartedly agree. But you left out another vital loss.

As of July 1, In-Home Supportive Services, a state program through the county with matching federal funds, will lose almost all of its funding. IHSS provides low-cost workers who help the disabled maintain independence and stay in their homes, rather than going into more expensive nursing or boarding homes.

According to SEIU [the union for IHSS workers], 231,000 disabled people needing home care will lose services entirely, only 36,000 will continue to receive full services, 156,000 will have their service hours cut from an average of 108 per month to 25 per month, and 200,000 to 250,000 jobs will be cut statewide.

The workers will be filing for state unemployment; how does that help the state budget? But, worse still, is that hundreds of thousands of disabled people in California will be left abandoned in their homes, without the ability to get to doctor appointments, pick up prescriptions and groceries, or receive help with everyday hygiene and cleaning chores.

More people know, and are angry, about state parks being shut down than the abandonment of the elderly and disabled. Why are the very people who are already suffering being asked to give up what little they have?

Gov. Schwarzenegger has had the gall to direct our state legislators to “do the courageous thing” and make these cuts. If he were courageous, he wouldn’t be picking on people who can’t fight back.

Pamela Check

Editor’s note: For more on the budget crisis, please see this news story.

Aww, poor jaywalker!

Re: “One unhappy visitor” (Letters, CN&R, June 4):

I had to read Eddie Wyant’s letter twice to make sure I understood its message. My eyes hadn’t deceived me. With a high level of moral indignation, Mr. Wyant complained that he’d been stopped and ticketed for … breaking the law!

Describing himself as “logical,” Mr. Wyant looked both ways and then crossed Broadway on a red light. Two Chico Police officers, showing unbridled gall, pinched him with a $156 ticket.

I only wonder why the police don’t do this more often. Our cash-strapped city could easily balance its budget by penalizing people who treat traffic lights, stop signs and one-way signs as optional advice. Spend just a little time along The Esplanade; you’ll quickly see many cyclists riding the wrong way down one-way streets. There’s no shortage of pedestrians routinely ignoring downtown signals.

I’ve lost count of how many people—cyclists and pedestrians—I’ve nearly bowled because of their unwillingness to obey traffic laws. In my experience, these citizens apparently assume motorists will automatically stop for them, regardless of who has the right of way. When a cyclist runs a red light or stop sign and cuts me off, I’ll usually honk my horn; the response is invariably an extended middle finger.

Did the police have “better things to do” that fateful graduation weekend? Possibly. But at what point should we, as a society, decide the act is severe enough to warrant police action?

Edward Booth

I want to apologize for the Chico Police Department. They did not get the memo that stated, “On graduation weekend, all citizens of Seattle are exempt from the law.” We won’t let it happen again.

Michael Parks

What’s next?!?

Re: “Heavy-handed tactics” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, CN&R, June 4):

The recent crackdown on screen printers is almost unbelievable. If this law was intended to prevent sweatshops, the wording should be a lot more specific. Watch out, all you tie-dyers and batik artists—they’re coming for you next.

The law also includes “accessories,” so do jewelers and milliners need this license? What about bag-makers like Overland? Shoe-repair dudes like Preston?

The strong-arm tactics are obviously to scare people into not questioning this ridiculous license. Good for everyone for standing up together against the Garment License Nazis!

Liz Merry

Response to report

Re: “E-waste exports” (EarthWatch, CN&R, June 4):

What is “e-waste”? BAN would have you believe it is nothing more than one large general category of toxic waste. This is ludicrous, a lie and a complete insult to intelligent readers. E-waste has many categories from Grade A, $100,000 medical equipment that is desperately needed all around the world to 1-month-old “off lease” laptops that still hold values of up to $3,000.

Yes, there is a small quantity of “e-waste” that does have to be processed. Actually the process is quite simple. Very little is dangerous and holds a threat unless mishandled in the extremely small percentage of dumpsites others would have you believe exist in huge numbers.

The truth is there are just as many violators right here in our back yard. At least I am donating to charity; why is that bad? Nothing has been found in violation, and all items are now being used to feed people, provide jobs in this bad economy and hardware where hardware is needed.

Don’t believe the propaganda that creates hate and fear. Do your own research as an intelligent American.

Jeffrey L. Nixon
Tulsa, Okla.

Editor’s note: Mr. Nixon owns EarthEcycle, subject of the critical report from Basel Action Network.

‘No friends of mine’

Re: “Friends or frenemies?” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, May 28):

I was very impressed with Evan Tuchinsky’s recent column. I have lived in Chico since I was 3—or more than 40 years. Most of that time, I lived across the street from Bidwell Park. I would consider myself a friend of Bidwell Park, but I am not a member of the “Friends” because they do not reflect my views.

I have been a downtown merchant for more than 20 years. There was a group called “Friends of Downtown Chico,” and trust me, they’re no friends of mine. I could start a group called “Friends of the Animal Shelter” and advocate the release of all dogs to run free.

Just because a group calls themselves “Friends” doesn’t mean they won’t turn out to be “Frenemies.”

Val Montague


Re: “Building a new home” (Fifteen Minutes, by Serena Cervantes, CN&R, June 4): The acreage of Catalyst’s property was misstated. The new residential facility will be built on 1.4 acres, as the online version now reflects.