Letters for June 16, 2016

Enough already

As a mother of a gay man, I am devastated about the pain families are going through. How many of you can relate to that? When does this hate stop? Not only for gays, but also for all groups targeted by hate—whether Mexican, Muslim, LGBTQ or who-ever the group of the moment is. Back in the day, it was Irish, Italians, Jews, blacks—whoever was not the majority.

When do we say enough to guns meant to kill as many people as possible? Because of gun laws, or a lack thereof, America makes it easy for ISIS sympathizers to carry out sick attacks on innocent people. So many Americans have lost loved ones through gun violence. Think Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, the list goes on.

Why don’t we rise up and say enough? Why is the NRA so powerful that assault weapons are legal? How many deer can we kill at one time? How many people? I am angry because people I love are targeted by people who hate. How many have to die? When is it enough?

Mary Brentwood


Budget for the trees

What’s it going to be? City of stumps or a robust urban forest? Do you know what Chico would be like with 20 percent fewer trees? Redding or Lodi. It’s not a pretty thought.

We haven’t planted as many trees as we cut down in at least six years. Our urban forest is at an age where many trees have reached the end of their lifespan. To catch up, we need to plant 1,000 trees a year for the next four years, and we are not even coming close.

After years of cutting down many more trees than we have planted and years of minimal pruning, our urban forest needs maintenance.

For the first year in many years the city’s income has increased, but the city manager is not recommending any additional funds for trees. Putting money into the reserves is a higher priority. June 21 is the budget decision day.

We’re asking for support for the Chico Tree Advocates’ proposal that is now before the City Council to increase funding to pay for a tree crew. Our proposal is about a half of 1 percent of the proposed budget. This is an issue that strikes to the very character of our community and that of Chico’s livability!

Charles Withuhn


About Israel

Re “Free speech and teeth-gritting” (Guest comment, by Michael Mulcahy, June 9):

I enjoyed Mr. Mulcahy’s comments on the Middle East. He said, “Israel is an island of sanity, a liberal Western democracy surrounded by tribalism and terror.” He went on to mention the many tribes/states in the region causing terror. He forgot to mention the tribe of Israel, which is as capable of terror as its fellow tribes. Just ask the Palestinians.

And as far as the “fruits of Israeli technology,” they were all funded by the U.S. taxpayers. Terror comes in many forms, ask the survivors of the USS Liberty. While flying the American flag, they were continually attacked by the Israelis on June 8, 1967. Thirty-four sailors died. I respect Israel and the Jewish people and wish them, and all other Middle Eastern tribes, peace, love and freedom of speech.

Howard Myrick


Bereft over Bernie

Re “Mourning time” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, June 9):

As was previously pointed out in the CN&R, the superdelegates of the Democratic Party hold the power, not the voters. It’s not just the young mourning Bernie Sanders’ loss; as senior citizens, we joined his rally and, along with our grandchildren who are old enough to vote, are mourning along with you.

Valerie Flynn


Regarding HRC

If Democrats want a unified party behind Hillary Clinton, she, with her famous determination, and the party will have to look hard into the policies Clinton’s carried out as a Democratic secretary of state and what she’s rolled along with as long as she’s been in politics.

The “democratic wing” of the Democratic Party doesn’t honor endless war, regime change and assassination as legitimate foreign policy. It honors the diplomacy of international law, i.e., the United Nations and Geneva Accords.

Historically, most Democrats want cooperation among nations, not willful alliances to intimidate or punish countries that don’t bow to our “exceptionalism.” And, at home, Democrats have never liked huge campaign donations from few people inevitably coloring electoral dynamics.

If Democrats want a unified party behind their presidential candidate, they had better use some of her “Hillary grit” to ponder the values they’ve adopted in recent decades.

Linda Furr


I have many women heroes—those with great accomplishments in medicine, science, literature, union organizing and let’s not forget womanhood. I respect women, especially the one I have been with for the last 57 years.

Lately, there has been much talk about breaking the glass ceiling in politics. In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. Women have come a long way and deserve a candidate of high standards, honor, integrity, good judgment and honesty. Imagine such a woman president—one all Americans could be proud of.

Such is not the case with Hillary Clinton—a corrupt, dark angel of deception, who has been bought off by Wall Street and foreign governments and simply doesn’t know how to tell the truth.

Women, don’t let Clinton cheat you of this moment; you deserve much better, and time is on your side. It has taken 96 years of suffrage. Your first woman president must be one who makes you proud, one who brings peace to our nation, one who brings you respect, one who goes down in history as the greatest president ever. It may be a long time before you get another “first chance.” Be wise and beware of intentional blindness.

Augie Velasquez


One on Trump

Regulatory reviews, security filings and court documents reveal Donald Trump’s repeated failures with financial ventures, and how they began long before Atlantic City was in financial turmoil. Today, the bankrupted Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel in Jersey sits rotting in the salty morning breeze. The trashy tycoon has remarked that what mattered about his time in Atlantic City was that he “made a lot of money.” Not even Nixon was this repugnant of a subhuman.

According to The New York Times, Trump constructed his casino empire by borrowing at high interest rates while promising regulators just the opposite. This proved to be an impossible business model. The guy never attracted enough gamblers to reimburse his extreme debts. Yet, he can convince enough spineless creatures to march in step like battle ants while threatening our country and the entire known world!

The horror of Orlando will be politicized and exploited for some time to come. Is there a possibility this massacre was not inspired from those living in a distant land? Maybe it was just one of hundreds of millions of home-brewed American citizens suffering from hatred, prejudice and other mental illnesses, similar to the ruthless capitalist bully who might soon run America.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

An important story

Dusti Byers is 20 years old has been sentenced to a 23-year term for killing her father and sister (the same bullet passed through her father’s head and struck her sister). Owing to her horrific life experiences, intentionality and mental state, Tim Crews, editor of Sacramento Valley Mirror, questions whether justice has been served in meting out so harsh a sentence.

Crews is an old-fashioned, dogged investigative journalist (see “Oversight,” Second & Flume, May 7, 2015). Thus far, he has written in several weekly columns a comprehensive analysis of this case. Among his findings: Dusti Byers was sexually abused since age 12 (her “services” exchanged for drugs); repeated pleas to child protective services, all resulting in one-time visits with no subsequent investigation; mental illness (she previously ran naked through Paradise while being “chased by demons”); extensive self-cutting; constant badgering by her father and sister; attempted suicide; police interrogation while still under the influence of anesthesia.

This story is unfolding in Glenn County but should be of interest to Butte County as well. Our local papers should cover it, as it is not often that we are able to witness contemporaneously, in vitro, persistent, conscientious investigative journalism.

William Todd-Mancillas