Letters for June 16, 2011

Out of the shadow

Re “In the valley of the shadow” (Cover story, by Alec Binyon, June 9):

What a beautiful story! I have had moments where the scriptures have taken on a sort of living relevance to the moment and, as in your story, the 23rd Psalm was one of those passages. It is amazing how peaceful you can find yourself in the midst of helplessness, perhaps even more so when there’s nothing else to do but trust.

I am curious if you have any idea why you were susceptible to this particular bacterium, when it appears that no one else around you, including the nurses, doctors, your wife and your father, was in danger of contracting the same.

Brian Kraemer

Alec Binyon responds: There are many causes of pneumonia, and it’s often a mystery why one person becomes ill and others don’t.

Gosh, the Jesus preaching ruined an otherwise intriguing article. Jesus was murdered for being defiant, yet you profess how your defiance was wrong because some cool things happened to you around the same time you started becoming a believer.

In your trials of faith, you lost faith in yourself and handed it over to a God who would see you suffer gravely à la Job. If a fellow commoner used those same tactics on you, you’d hate him. Mindless!

George Burrell

God bless you! You have a beautiful family. I’m so glad you have quit smoking. God loves you and wants you to be good to your body.

Sylvia Figueroa

Rooting for ChicoBag

Re “ChicoBag vs. Big Plastics” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, June 9):

I’ve used the ChicoBag ever since its colorful selection appeared at the check-out stand at S&S Produce and have gifted it to friends and family in the United States and abroad. I’ve seen it “show up” in surprising places. I hope [CEO] Andy [Keller] wins his case against the evil plastic empire.

Meanwhile, if you read the small print on the bag’s label, it’s manufactured in China! That irony has not gone unnoticed.

Jude Cassel Williams

Stop the spending!

Re “Budget press is on” (Editorial, June 9):

California needs to realize that we can no longer afford to have legislators who insist on spending money when we do not have it to spend. We need to go back to the way of thinking that our grandfathers lived by: If you cannot afford it, you cannot buy it. If you really need it, save your money and buy it.

It baffles my mind to think that the people we elect to represent us can so blatantly ignore the public’s cry to stop the spending.

Wayne Hisey

Measure A after the fact

I’ll wager that most people who voted in Tuesday’s city election hadn’t a clue that Measure A was part of a concerted national effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive organization of Republican legislators, to curtail student votes.

ALEC is pushing state legislatures to adopt its Voter ID Act to ban university students from using their college-issued IDs as proof of residency for voting purposes. Seven states have already adopted the Voter ID Act and 18, yes 18, other states are considering doing the same. (See hightowerlowdown.org.)

The intent of these efforts is the same as the intent of Measure A, which Chico voters saw through immediately.

Republicans are fearful that students will vote disproportionately left in the 2012 presidential election. Beware. They will not cave easily. These folks will be back with other furtive plans to accomplish their goals.

Beverly N. Chinas

When I was offered the petition that became Measure A, I was told that it was designed to increase voter turnout. That sounded good to me and I signed it. Later I figured out that it was designed to decrease voter turnout.

My partner was more informed, and when the petition was offered to her she refused to sign it. The signature gatherer then said, “What, you don’t want locals to vote?” She responded that students are locals while living here. The gatherer responded, “Well, I guess you just want transients to control your elections.”

I think this kind of behavior turns off voters, but maybe that was the point of his discourse.

R. Sterling Ogden

I voted today. This had to be the stupidest election I’ve ever participated in. We are being dragged to the polls for this? That’s all? Nothing else? Maybe a statewide measure on something important? How does something so minuscule cause the whole election apparatus to be trotted out?

I sincerely hope this measure fails partly because I don’t want city elections to be moved to June, but also to send a message to people who want to manipulate the system that the game is not worth the trouble.

Barbara Segal

An imperfection it is

Re “Tunnel vision” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, June 9):

Your assessment of the blank space on the wall through the Annie’s Glen tunnel is spot on. After the plaque is installed, the artwork will be complete and it will contain an imperfection. Although I’m not sure if it should be considered a “minor imperfection.”

Floyd Stearns

Proper pot terminology

Re “A flawed pot ordinance” (Editorial, June 9):

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You actually referred to a “marijuana garden” and called it by its proper name rather than calling it a “grow.” I don’t know how calling gardens “grows” started, but I wish news agencies would stop it!

We don’t call vegetable gardens “vegetable grows.” It’s just grammatically wrong! Grow is a verb, not a noun. It is irritating to hear it so commonly used. I don’t think our local TV news has used any other word but “grow” since it first heard the term, probably from some mental midget of a C.A.M.P. cop who couldn’t come up with the term “garden.”

If the plot in question is too large to be considered a garden, then the term would be “farm,” still not a “grow.” Again, thank you. Please make it an editorial standard to never use the term “grow” when describing a garden in your fine publication, except in the case of a direct quote. After all, you can’t control what terms are used by dumb people.

Toni Carrell

Another letter for Wally

I see you are participating in the opening of a new veterans’ center in an attempt to show your support for veterans. I would also hope that you will not participate in the effort to reduce veterans’ health funding for the men and women who have fought and have lived through that experience through Option 35.

When I signed up to fight for our country (something you have never done), I was assured by the U.S. government that my medical bills were paid for life. After the Bush administration (with help from you) decided to renege on that promise by charging copays for service, I was outraged. If you had served in the Armed Forces and defended your country, how would you feel?

Now I have learned that the House intends to remove 1.3 million vets from eligibility. I am again outraged.

What or who authorizes you to arbitrarily act against our soldiers? This is unfair and underhanded. After we have served, your party is willing to renege in your promises to us.

You have an opportunity to show your real respect for the veterans of America by standing up for the promises made to them in supporting their health benefits. No amount of photo ops at groundbreakings or VA facility openings can earn you more credibility than actually supporting our veterans.

Please do not allow the effort to curtail veterans’ benefits to succeed. Stand up and represent your constituents!

Marne Bass

Hats off to art boxes

Thank you to the Chico News & Review for supporting local artists by sponsoring the CN&R newsstand art project. Working with the CN&R staff on this project was professional and easy. We definitely saw more traffic to our website after our art box was featured in the May 26 issue. We look forward each week to discovering who will be the next featured artist in the CN&R.

Seeing the CN&R art boxes around town always makes us smile. Supporting local artists is important, and we were honored to be able to participate in this local artistic endeavor.

Jim & Laura-Lyn Burch
Butte Valley