Letters for June 17, 2004

Tribute to Coleen
We want Chico to know how much we miss Coleen Jarvis in her capacity as coordinator of Chico’s Homeless Task Force. Coleen took the lead in making sure groups and agencies seeking to assist the homeless got the expertise and political attention they needed to help our programs work together. Moreover, Chico has been commended by various California and national organizations for its attention to the needs of the homeless.

While we know how much more needs to be done, especially in this time of budgetary shortfalls, we also know that we will continue to have our monthly meetings and exchange the information that is so vital to helping Chico’s homeless. We miss Coleen’s charming and effective leadership, and we will always remember her.

Sincerely, Tami Ritter,
Chico Community Shelter Partnership;

Rick Reynolds,
Butte County Department of Behavioral Health;

Mark Bledsoe,
Butte County Department of Behavioral Health (HERE);

Dale Downey,
Independent living Services of Northern California;

Ted H. Sandberg,
Chico Area Interfaith Council;

Kathy Gould,
Catholic Ladies Relief Society;

Nicole Bateman Caminar,
Evanne O’Donnell,
Legal Services of Northern California;

Melissa Brault,
Butte County Office of Education, School Ties Program;

Thomas Tenorio,
Community Action Agency of Butte Co., Inc.;

Grace M. Marvin,
Chico Peace and Justice Center

Burning Woods
As I work in my back yard in Chico and see the marvelous four-engine air tankers overhead, I wonder if I’m seeing them for the last time, before the fire season is even upon us.

The decision to cancel the contracts for this first line of fire defense shows how little the Bush administration cares for our environment or even the lives of those who live in the mountain and foothill communities.

I spent 11 seasons living and working near the Chester Airport and seeing first-hand what these large airplanes can mean to the people whose responsibility it is to get the forest fires out as quickly as possible. The air tankers, carrying from 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of fire retardant, are by far the most effective fire-fighting components. Their loss is only the first of this fire season’s tragedies.

Robert Woods

Right-wing bias
In this age of doublespeak, our senses are bombarded incessantly by right-wing talking heads who whine that they are victims of liberals in the media. This myth has been debunked by multiple sources. Yet the FCC, dominated by the nepotism of Colin Powell’s son and the right-wing tilt of the meta-static Clear Channel, has distorted truth, integrity and rationality for years. Now National Public Radio has sold out to this zeitgeist by enabling partisans Tucker Carlson and Paul Gigot to have their own shows on NPR. This is going too far.

While NPR shows like Talk of the Nation represent a neutral, non-biased approach to looking into issues important to our country, having these apologists for the Bush administration take more airwaves away from thinking people is an insult. I urge all who, like me, have listened to and supported public radio in the past and present to contact NPR and voice your opposition. They deserve neither our money nor our ears if they pursue this action, and they need to know this.

Eric M. Hitchcock

Ronnie’s ray-gun
Regarding your “Not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade of sorrow” editorial ["Remembering Reagan,” June 10]: It is easy to find fault with all our presidents. None were perfect, not Lincoln, not Roosevelt, not Kennedy. We raise them up because they dealt with difficult times with courage and style.

I am especially grateful to President Reagan, who expedited the dismantling of the Soviet missile threat. That rain cloud had dogged me and my generation for most of our young lives. As kids we practiced hiding under our desks from atomic bombs. When we were teenagers the Cuban missile crisis was a hair-raising experience that left us with mushroom cloud nightmares.

It is understandable that younger people would not fully appreciate the significance of the atomic bomb on our sense of well being. So you go ahead and rain on our parade; we’ll be grateful for the drops. They’ll be sweet and the flowers will grow because, thanks to our 40th president, they won’t be radioactive.

John Lavezzi

Amused and irritated
Funny thing, the golf carts at Marsh Junior High are not big enough for Jeff Sloan to drive wealthy families around on the school tour. They only sit two.

I ran into Oleta Bryson, the Bidwell English teacher who shared the story of the top basketball player from Bidwell who was recruited over to Marsh by Jeff Sloan. Another funny thing—she couldn’t remember the student’s name. And you know, so what if Sloan recruits. Ultimately the decision about where a child attends school is based on two factors: the student’s parent and the District Office, which approves Form 10s.

If one were to visit Marsh Junior High School and look at the plans that are mounted on the wall in the large conference room, one would see that a theater is part of the original unfinished plan. Also, remember when CARD was going to develop an Aquatic Center on Humboldt Road? This is where the idea of a large swimming pool comes from.

I’m amused by the idea that Debbie Nuzzo says that Jeff Sloan tears down all the other schools in order to make Marsh look good. Seems that the rotten-egg-tossing is coming from another direction.

Since when are hearsay and gossip news? I find it irritating that this is the kind of reporting this newspaper is doing by printing comments such as the ones found in your last article. They have nothing to do with the issue.

I’ve never heard Jeff Sloan say, “I don’t ask permission, just seek forgiveness,” but I have heard him say on many occasions, “Be nice to kids.” That’s a philosophy that I don’t mind sharing.

Becki Gilbert
Counseling Secretary/ Attendance Clerk Marsh Junior High School