Letters for June 21, 2001

Green Bush?
Last week George W. Bush went pro-environment. Last week Bush went against the advice of his oil-industry friends.

Republican Bush supported the Clean Air Act by requiring the cleaner-burning ethanol be added to our gasoline. This will help reduce the pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels by our cars.

Our Democratic governor promptly denounced this decision as anti-consumer.

Who would have guessed?

Barry Johnson

Natural selection
Thanks for your coverage of the exciting changes occurring at Chico Natural Foods ["Natural evolution,” Everybody’s business, May 3], and especially for the affectionate description of CNF as “wacky but admirable.”

As we prepare to present the plan to become a full co-op to the membership of CNF, we want to clarify one point about the cost of membership: If co-op status is approved, the membership fee will remain $6 as a one-time fee—which current members will already have paid—but an investment of $10 will be required of each member.

This investment will be refundable at any time, but of course members will be encouraged to keep their money invested in the co-op. As you reported, a $25 investment will be required in the second year and every year following until a $300 cap is reached. Members who invest $100-$300 in the first year will be rewarded with gift certificates.

The benefits that will accrue to the members from co-op status will take a little while—perhaps six months to a year—to come to fruition, but we foresee improvements to the store and prices competitive with the supermarkets as forthcoming.

We invite the community to come down to Chico Natural Foods and talk about their ideas, concerns, and questions to Scott and Cheryl, the co-managers, or to any of the employees. Or leave a message for the Board of Directors, which meets every other Tuesday evening upstairs at CNF. We’re anticipating great things to come for Chico Natural Foods and invite everyone to be a part of them.

Susan Dobra, secretary
CNF Board of Directors

Sheltered thanks
On behalf of the Chico Community Shelter Partnership (CCSP), I’d like to thank the Chico community for its support of our efforts to create a permanent emergency shelter and day use service center.

Three years ago CCSP established a rotating winter shelter program in cooperation with the Interfaith Council. This joint effort has meant that on more than 22,500 occasions people facing a night on the street had a warm, safe place to sleep. The volunteer support and kindness of the people involved in our efforts have meant that people were given food to nourish their bodies and kindness to warm their souls as well as a “home” for the night. We extend our gratitude for the generosity shown by the Chico community in opening its doors and hearts to those in need, and we look forward to our partnership continuing to grow in the years ahead.

Since CCSP was established in 1998, our dream has been to build a permanent facility to provide year-round emergency shelter and supportive services to homeless individuals in the Chico community. We are proud that the people of Chico have supported our efforts and that our dream is close to becoming a reality. With careful planning and lots of good luck, we hope to start the season in our new home on Silver Dollar Way this fall.

As we move closer to this goal, we will look forward to welcoming members of the community to our new home. For more information on CCSP’s efforts or to volunteer your services, please call our office at 891-9048.

Mary Flynn

Go forward on greenway
Both sides in the recent Measure A election had one thing in common, a desire for the designated Comanche Creek greenway to finally become a reality.

The ballot argument in favor of Measure A, signed by Mayor Dan Herbert and City Councilmembers Steve Bertagna, Rick Keene and Larry Wahl, stated, “YES ON A affirms the City Council’s decision to acquire and develop a 10-acre public park and creekside greenway, cleaning up a site degraded by illegal garbage dumping and homeless encampments, while also protecting the creek area from inappropriate development.”

The Coalition for Parks and Jobs echoed this sentiment with colorful brochures showing the proposed park.

The opponents differed only in saying that it should meet the city’s minimum standards of not allowing a road within 100 feet of the top of the creek bank, and the money saved should go toward fixing more urgent road and traffic problems.

I call on Dan Herbert, Steve Bertagna, Rick Keene and Larry Wahl to fulfill their campaign promise and acquire this land. The money is allocated, the consensus is solid, the time is now.

Michael Pike

Yamaguchi garbage
The Yamaguchi plan to deal with Butte County garbage is flawed. As proposed, his exclusive-service-zone contracts with the garbage companies will end the competition that has kept our disposal rates among the lowest in the state and set a baseline for services at less than what we currently have.

By the time unincorporated county residents discover their garbage company has been changed, rates for services increased by the county, or start paying a 5 percent franchise tax to the county to administer the Yamaguchi plan, the county will be locked into 10-year contracts—contracts that don’t include penalties if the garbage companies fail to live up to the minimal standards they set.

Mr. Yamaguchi, how long do you think we will let our garbage pile up while contract disputes are settled? If the county has to cancel one of these contracts, can you get another garbage company under contract and set up in Butte County in time to pick up our garbage the next day, next week, month, six months?

Spare us the $10,000-a-day-fine demagoguery. Nothing in the proposed contracts addresses complying with AB 939: no recycling programs, no recognition of the mandatory recycling fee the supervisors gave the garbage companies for us to pay. The draft contract says that recycling will come later at an additional charge, which if the garbage companies don’t think the rate set by the county is high enough, they can opt out and the county has to find another company to come in to provide that one service only. No green waste program either, but we can have one under the same conditions.

John Gillander

Freedom and greatness
Chico State is one of the best state universities on the West Coast. However, when our university received its last accreditation, WASC reminded us that the academic community “must have total freedom of thought and inquiry and must protect what may be unpopular ideas.”

The dean who oversees the Ecological Preserve should keep WASC in mind, since he has ordered preserve Manager Donald Holtgrieve and preserve founder Suzanne Gibbs not to discuss what they are doing. University management will first need to overcome the urge to suppress dissent before Chico State can become a truly great university.

Michael Jones