Letters for June 22, 2017

About those taxes

Re “Wait for it …” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, June 15):

What I am advocating (after three years of monitoring the city’s budget) is a bond issue dedicated only to fixing the roads. How the taxpayers decide to repay that 10-year bond is up to them.

The problem, for anyone who has paid attention, is the $14 million deficit that haunts the city to this day. Sadly, there are two current City Council members who served at the time of this downhill slide. They didn’t do their due diligence overseeing the budget, so here we are today.

It’s high time this city comes together into the arena of ideas to solve today’s budget problems. Ideas should not be left or right but what is best for the inhabitants of this city.

Has anyone thought about the legal ramifications if, God forbid, a tragic accident happens that can be attributed to the negligence on the part of the city by not maintaining its roads? This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Let’s fix the roads.

Loretta Ann Torres


Getting personal on climate

Re “‘Trumping of our future’” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, June 15):

It is always fun to read Jaime O’Neill spew his specious arguments against the system that has allowed him such a comfortable retirement in such a good country.

He spews about the damage done from withdrawing from the Paris climate accord by his nemesis, Trump, as though the answer to global warming has just been flushed down the toilet, when, in fact, that agreement was nothing but feel-good rhetoric designed to drain the U.S. taxpayers of money to be given to people with little interest in pollution or any other cause.

By all accounts, the Paris Agreement was fully voluntary with zero enforcement and would accomplish nothing.

Regardless, if we intend to affect climate change, it won’t come from some useless political agreement, it will come from personal responsibility in minimizing personal use of fossil fuels.

Garry Cooper


Drink it up

Re “Sour elixir” (Weekly dose, June 15):

Just a note to add to your story, another use for apple cider vinegar: If I have leg cramps, I drink about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with water, and my cramps go away within a few minutes!

Susan Martin


‘Deafening silence’

Why is there so much hate emanating from the left right now? Why is it OK to give a standing ovation at the Central Park Julius Caesar play, where the president is “murdered”? That is not art, and it is indefensible. Why do people stay silent after watching Kathy Griffin’s severed-head video? That is not funny, that is sick and depraved. I know it, and you know it.

It matters how one responds to the murder attempt on a Republican congressman, or on a Democrat congressman. So far, there has been little denouncement from the left of that near massacre. What would they and the mainstream media say if it were Obama?

I think I know the answer to that question, and that answer scares me. The deafening silence and absence of outrage terrifies me. This is not the America I grew up in, nor the America anyone really wants. We must stop this divisiveness, this hate, this madness and bury the hatchet today. I know it, and you know it.

Dave Kelley


Speaking of which …

My thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise, and may he have a quick and complete recovery. Perhaps he now has a “new” prospective on a couple very important issues like gun control and health care?

J. Troy Chambers

Live Oak

Editor’s note: See Editorial, page 4, for more on this.

Props all around

Kudos to Chico’s Slow Theatre and The Bookstore for presenting a reading of the thought-provoking play Building the Wall.

Written by Robert Schenkkan and read by Chico State sociology professor Nandi Crosby and talented actor Greg Ellery, the play is about a dystopian future and has much to say about our 45th president and the violence, racism and brutality that may lie at the heart of our country and culture.

The play portrays what could happen if the U.S. government gets scared after another successful terrorist attack in NYC. The story centers on Jack and Gloria. He’s an ordinary white man who gets caught up and trapped by circumstances both beyond and within his control; how he fails to do the right thing, justifies doing the wrong thing, and becomes the ultimate poster child for coulda, woulda, shoulda. Gloria, an extraordinary black woman and a historian, interviews Jack and tries to get him to reveal how he ended up where he ended up.

The ending is brutal and I expected the outcome, but the genocidal aspects of our history sometimes obsess me. I prefer my sweetheart’s reaction to the play’s end: He was surprised.

Regina Simpson


Two ‘no’ votes on PBID

As a downtown property owner, I would like to urge fellow property owners to vote “no” on the PBID assessment.

It is ambiguous at best as to the management of the funds and how they will be used. I keep my storefront clean, take care of graffiti. I clean the sidewalk and trim the trees.

Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer argued business owners are “dealing with this on a regular basis—people sleeping in doorways and defecating on sidewalks.” Isn’t that a police matter? How about a beat cop on foot from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night? Do we really want armed private security guards patrolling our downtown? Chico PD needs to step up.

Property owners, please vote “no.” This doesn’t make any sense.

Pete Rice


As a property owner in downtown Chico, I voted “no” on the proposed PBID. I encourage all downtown property owners to do the same.

Downtown Chico is not broken. After years of drought with restricted water usage, downtown needs a good, thorough cleaning, but it is thriving. New shops and restaurants are opening. Although the homeless population is a real concern in Chico, it is a social issue facing communities throughout the U.S.

Homelessness will not be solved by a PBID.

It is possible that a public benefit district could be a good idea for enhancing Chico’s vibrant and welcoming downtown, but no one knows what the majority of property owners are thinking. The organizers failed to do their due diligence to understand the interests and concerns of all downtown property owners. Instead, the backers relied on the larger property owners to push this forward, making the current proposal reek of a good-old boy, back-room deal. That is not good for Chico.

Let’s pass on the proposed PBID, seek input from all property owners to identify areas of common concern, and figure out the best approach to address those concerns.

Jann Reed


Appreciating firefighters

Thanks to Chico firefighters, I recently experienced something that left me with an even greater appreciation for our emergency responders, which says a lot. More meaningful was that my two sons, ages 6 and 8, participated in the experience.

The setting was a dark, vacant warehouse stacked with pallets and obstacles simulating an occupied building. We were greeted by Jesse Alexander, CFD division chief, and three very serious firefighters burdened by 75 pounds of protective gear, axes, helmets and oxygen: Capt. Mike Watner, engineer Ed Gonzalez and firefighter Abby Haskell.

The mission: locate a downed firefighter trapped somewhere inside the smoked-filled building and running out of oxygen. Masks simulated limited visibility of a smoke filled environment while a fire alarm added tension to an already intense scene, individuals training to save our lives. The chief barked; the team rushed inside, blindly crawling and clawing through obstacles, tracking the firehose trying to locate the distressed victim while maintaining touch to avoid being separated.

The absence of fire went unnoticeable to two wide-eyed boys. It was real and serious, revealing the exhaustive effort and dedication of our firefighters and those who lead them. Victim saved. Simply appreciating what CFD does isn’t enough.

Bill Brouhard


Song of the times

Watch out now, take care

Beware of greedy leaders.

They will take you where you should not go.

While weeping Atlas Cedars

They just want to grow, grow and grow.

Beware of darkness

—George Harrison

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos