Letters for June 20, 2019

Reject the recall

Should recall elections become the new norm?

A small group of extremists has undertaken a vacuous recall effort against Mayor Randall Stone and Councilman Karl Ory. Just don’t sign the thing.

The complaints of the recall group are vapid and dangerous. They fail entirely to think of the consequences of their actions. If it’s a recall for every transient disagreement we have in Chico, what happens when the other side does the same?

Should the recall gain traction, it would be in my best interest, as a supporter of all but two of the council members, to start a recall of Councilman Sean Morgan and Councilwoman Kasey Reynolds. If the only way to win in Chico becomes to engage in a death spiral of constant recalls, so be it. Neither has done anything corrupt. I just disagree with them. But if this is the new normal, regular elections won’t matter.

This community doesn’t want that. I don’t want that. The best thing for Chico would be for the group to just back down from its simpleminded effort, rather than engage in the politics of division.

But I don’t expect them to consider the long-term approach, nor what’s best for Chico. They haven’t yet.

Matthew Sutter


Commissioner’s comeback

Re “Insurance fallout” (Newslines, by Andre Byik, June 13):

As a member of the governor’s Strike Force, [Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara] is exploring ways to reduce wildfire risk for those in rural counties such as Butte. Everything is on the table to keep insurance affordable and available, including new rules for hardening properties against wildfires, addressing underinsurance, and re-evaluating the coverage limit of $500,000, which has not kept up with inflation and rising costs.

Last week, Commissioner Lara testified in support of recommendations to the Legislature, including creating a statewide standard for a hardened home and requiring insurers to write policies for homeowners who meet that standard. Home hardening benefits consumers, insurers, and the state by reducing anticipated future losses.

With local governments making decisions about development in environmentally sensitive areas, the state must engage with those like Butte County who want to be proactive in managing the risks of catastrophic events.

Michael Soller


Editor’s note: The author is deputy insurance commissioner for communications and press relations, writing here on behalf of the Department of Insurance.

Letter misses the mark

Re “It’s the pensions” (Letters, by Juanita Sumner, June 6):

I feel compelled again to ask that letters to the editor not be allowed to stand unchallenged when they contain clearly false information. From Juanita Sumner’s letter June 6: “Chico has not grown by 20 percent” and “traffic impacts … following the fire were temporary.” Apparently extensive corroborating input from numerous state (California Department of Finance), county and city sources proves otherwise.

“Housing prices … are now back to 2017 levels,” Sumner says. Zillow shows that the median Chico home cost $304,000 in May 2017, but $368,000 in May 2019. The author goes on to give numbers regarding city employee costs. I do not know if they are accurate or not, but what is the reader expected to believe when random numbers and statements abound? In our current national environment of everyday lies and fiction presented as fact, it would be helpful to at least have a reliable and credible local source of discussion. Thank you.

Michael Hornick


Why housing first?

Housing homeless first only gives shelter to the addicted and mentally ill, with no hope of ever getting to the root cause. How heartless are we who want to approach our growing homeless numbers in a different way? If you address someone’s basic reason for becoming homeless (mental illness, addiction, job training) by offering two choices: let us help you or leave our city. That idea has been called radical and inhumane by several letter writers in this paper.

One writer mixed the current Chico Council recall groups of Karl Ory and Randall Stone together as one uncaring radical group. No. The two groups are unrelated. Solutions to address the homeless have had little effect in California so far.

How successful have L.A., Seattle, Portland and San Francisco been in getting true help for the mentally ill and addicted? Compassion by government, without follow through, just equals political policies that encourage dependency.

How about more examples of small community efforts that have really succeeded? Let’s hear more of those. Let’s not begin by name-calling possible solutions as radical and inhumane. This will just keep good people from sharing more and better ideas that just may work.

Loretta Ann Torres


Of Trump and Jesus

I’m a white guy who never understood this “white power” B.S. If someone could ever talk to these idiots, you could remind them that no matter what skill/aptitude they have, you could find a woman/man of any ethnic background/religion that could do it better. And I mean hundreds of them, although I don’t think common sense is one of their strengths.

Regarding the president, actions speak louder than words. He says some wild stuff, but he has helped African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and women far more than Obama/Bush/Clinton. He’s also helped students get jobs at a better pace than past presidents.

Have you forgotten Obama’s two books and his 20 years of association with The Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Did you ever read some of his sermons—anti-American, anti-white and anti-Semitic, for sure. And Obama listened to over 1,000 weekly sermons, when you and I would have walked out after two weeks.

I do cringe at times when Trump says some things. But even Jesus said, “If you do not believe in me, believe in the work I do.” I’m hoping America keeps improving.

Paul Di Grande


See this film

Over 20 years ago, a growing group of young people dedicated themselves to the survival of a particular stand of old-growth forest in southern Oregon called Warner Creek.

The documentary Pickaxe, with much original footage, reveals their passion and dedication as they are handcuffed and dragged away to jail. Through nearly a year of sacrifice, dozens of men and women built a resistance so radical that it spread throughout the Pacific Northwest and prevented the logging of many square miles of trees.

I was closer to this effort than I realized when I decided to see the film at the Pageant on [a recent] night. The Eugene area was my home for the 1970s, but I wound up in Hawaii for the late ’90s, when all this went down.

Kudos to the people at the Pageant Theatre for bringing this reminder to Chico. Not enough people were there to see it. Maybe this will help.

Benjamin Hills


Smoke-free parks, please

Abigail Torres, Victor Leyva and I are dedicated members of the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth coalition at Hamilton High School. As SWAT youth coalition members, we have had the opportunity to pass on our knowledge about the negative effects of tobacco to younger students and strive for a tobacco-free community.

We feel smoke-free parks are a necessity for all communities to protect children, pets and the environment. I have younger siblings, nieces and nephews that often play at our local Hamilton City parks. I would like to be able to take them there without having to worry about them picking up, playing with or consuming cigarette butts or any other tobacco waste.

Hamilton City parks currently are not smoke-free, which allows smokers to smoke freely there and tobacco litter to be scattered throughout. This creates an unsafe environment for everyone who resides in Hamilton City and spends time at the parks. We hope that all the work we have contributed toward SWAT can help lead to smoke-free parks in Hamilton City and for our community to become a healthier place to live and play.

Jessica Hamm



Last week’s Greenways (see “Panels be gone,” by Evan Tuchinsky), included the wrong first name of Joanne Brasch of California Product Stewardship Council.

Additionally, in Downstroke, Board of Supervisors candidate Sue Hilderbrand was misidentified as a Chico State professor. She is a lecturer at the university.

We apologize for the errors, which have been corrected online. —ed.