Letters for June 2, 2011
More on Measure A
Re “What’s at stake with Measure A?” (Cover story, by Tom Gascoyne, May 26):
I’m new to Chico and have been trying to figure out what Measure A is all about; this article helped a lot.
One relevant but absent piece of information is the percentage of CSU students who register to vote in Butte County. Unless many of them are voting, they can’t skew election outcomes.
Local Tea Party activist Stephanie Taber has been refreshingly forthcoming and, dare I say, candidly honest about the motivation behind her Measure A campaign. I would suggest that she stands well within a grand political tradition—that of gerrymandering, where “safe” political districts can take on the shape of, say, Pakistan.
If her Measure A efforts come up short, American history can suggest some other possible methods to ensure that populations vote in a correct manner. The poll tax, although very popular during the 19th century and first half of the 20th, is not really a viable option, since it would violate the Republican Party’s “no taxation” mantra. And while inconsistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, as a practical matter voters might mishear it as the “Pa Tax,” risking confusion with other no-taxation efforts.
May I suggest, as the strict constitutionalist we all wish to be, looking backward to the Golden Age of the 18th century for guidance: a student vote should count for only two-thirds of that of a white male property owner.
Of course, then Ms. Taber herself would not be allowed to vote. But she probably would retain her job.
A view of life thriving
Re “Hedgerow habitat” (Greenways feature, by Jennifer Jewell, May 26):
This is so inspirational! Thank you to the landowners willing to look beyond their own immediate bottom line to the future and to respect the marvelous native species we have in such bounty.
Everyone can improve their land for wildlife, even something as small as adding a birdbath. Just remember to keep it clean and away from prowling cats. You can even certify your yard as habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. It’s very rewarding to see life thriving outside your window.
No safety net for farmers
Re “Hook, line and sinker” (Newslines, by Alastair Bland, May 26):
Salmon fishermen have suffered in recent years because of decisions made by federal agencies to either halt the fishing season or reduce the allowable take. Farmers have also suffered from federal decisions as water deliveries have been reduced.
While the current salmon season has been warmly greeted by some fishermen, others have questioned the validity of the numbers and wondered aloud if maybe opening the season this year might be a mistake. The lawsuit follows this line of thought, asking for a one-year hiatus to prove the stability of the salmon population.
It’s no wonder that the water districts are sensitive to the potential of losing their water. In 2008, when losses to salmon fishermen and the economic ripple effect to relating businesses totaled $104 million, the federal government shelled out $174 million in direct payments to fishermen, according to a CBS News report. Did farmers who lost water receive payments like this? No.
California Farm Water Coalition
Reactions to medi-pot law
Re “County approves [medical-cannabis ordinance] as is after hours-long meeting” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, May 26):
People who smoke marijuana or are growing it are bothering their neighbors. The smell comes over the fence and smells terrible. Can’t have a window open, and even if it’s closed the smell gets into my house through cracks and lingers for hours, until I put the whole house fan on to blow it out.
People renting grew it last year and it stunk worst than a skunk. They had a whole back yard full of it. Police came too late, they cut it, sold it and moved out.
I feel this is not fair and inconsiderate. Are they going to make rules where these people can smoke it? It is never mentioned on the news about this; wish it could be. Why is this not important?
This is really going to affect me and my family. I help grow for three people with such debilitating illnesses it’s heartbreaking. I grew the minimum the state allows, six apiece, and now because I am under 20 acres I will no longer be able to grow the full amount I have the right to. Someone please help change this.
Gary T Sanderson
Calling all pot growers (whether you are a career or sidelines grower)! Let’s see a show of hands! How many of y’all voted for Prop. 215? OK, good, everybody raised their hands. Now, how many of y’all voted for Prop. 19? What? Only myself and a few others have their hands in the air. How’s about that!
Some say money is the root of all evil; I say hypocrisy is the root of all insanity! For those who have eyes to see, it is evident that growing marijuana has always been about the money, not the medicine. Thank you, Board of Supervisors, for passing the marijuana ordinance.
Regardless of where you stand on the medical-cannabis issue, you should be appalled by this ordinance. This is government intrusion of the worst kind—them telling you what you can and cannot grow on your own property!
In this case we are being told that we cannot grow any cannabis unless we have a half-acre or more. Most appalling is the fact that anyone can make an anonymous complaint and simply say your garden smells and you will be compelled to destroy your medicine. Outrageous … and with no due process.
Cannabis is a valuable therapeutic tool that should be made available to those in need. Under Prop. 215 and SB 420, it is legal to grow under state law, period. If the county supervisors insist on meddling with this constitutional right, then they need to re-write this ordinance. This one will not work, will be largely ignored, and will lead to more problems and more suffering than it could have ever hoped to alleviate.
Editor’s note: For more on this topic, see Anthony Peyton Porter’s column, “From the Edge”.
Re “The choice we made” (Guest comment, by Robyn North, May 26):
I think it is great that these parents changed their point of view about gay people. But there is another side to this story.
The mother says she was fearful of what her daughter might suffer at the hands of hateful people. She meant people like her, right? She had been hateful all these years and never cared about other parents’ children. So I don’t see these parents as great people who changed their opinion for the greater good. I see them as selfish parents who only changed for their own good.
Granted that they became supporters of gay people and gay people like me will benefit from it, but they didn’t do it for gay people or their daughter; they did it for themselves. And they may change back at any time, as long it suits their self-interest.
A door to open
Violence in Pakistan is frequently in the news: “It is estimated as many as 2,283 people have been killed by U.S. military drones in Pakistan since 2004” (www.channel4.com/news/pakistan-drone-strikes-legal-says-us).
To have positive U.S. influence in that area, Chicoans started a literacy class for young people in Peshawar who have no access to schools. Be part of a cookbook with 10-minute prep time for healthy recipes to raise money for Open Doors Literacy Project. Look at photos of our school with no administrative costs, just salary for teacher Hassan (age 19, helps with his university tuition), workbooks, and transportation costs (http://opendoorsliteracyproject.weebly.com).
When the Republicans get through trying to destroy Medicare and Medicaid and privatizing Social Security, they will begin their quest to rewrite our Constitution. The Preamble will be their first change, and it will be something very similar to the following.
“We the Politicians, Bankers and Oil Executives of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union among us, remove Justice for those of us who do not follow the laws, insure Domestic Tranquility of all unions, provide for the common Defense of other nations for any false reason, remove the needed Welfare of the lower and middle class, and secure the blessings of Debt to all but the very rich, do ordain and establish this Constitution for those of us who will use it and abuse it forever.”