Letters for June 23, 2011

Lingering in the Lounge

Re “Throwing in the towel” ( Newslines, by Stacey Kennelly, June 16):

I have on several occasions been transported from the sidewalk in front of the Towne Lounge to the drunk tank in Oroville. Once, however, it was to Enloe Hospital that the paramedics delivered my unconscious body.

Early in the morning of Aug. 9, 2004, I was doing what I had done for thousands of early mornings, sipping Jack Daniel’s and water, no ice. A couple of friends dropped by, and they each bought me a drink. Then “Twelve-pack” showed up, and he bought me one. The bargirl gave me one on the house, and I think I bought myself one or two. I do not remember leaving. I woke up in the emergency room with a forehead smashed by the curb at 327 Main St. Enloe kept me there for six days.

I have not been in the Scrounge Lounge since then.

The memories will always be fresh in my mind, and heart. In many respects, it was the closest thing to a sanctuary in my battered, bipolar days. I wrote some of my best poems and columns therein, met some of the finest women. I wish I had the courage to go back there, just once more, and sip away a few hours reveling in reminiscence, thanking in my soul all those who enhanced my hours there.

Stephen Tea Davis

Bad birdbaths

Re “A view of life thriving” ( Letters, by Virginia Thew, June 2):

Yes! Birdbaths are a wonderful way to befriend wildlife. But beware! Most birdbaths are not bird-friendly.

A gritty and gradually sloping surface is necessary for birds’ safe entry. Steep and slippery baths are problematic, especially for smaller birds.

Dead bees in the bath: Simple thirst has become a slippery slope. At a properly textured bath, one can observe a bee, after drinking, carefully turn and fly away.

Yvette Robida

Real news about radio

Re “Oroville community-radio station preps for full power” ( Newslines, by Stacey Kennelly, June 9):

I was glad to read the informative article about Oroville’s low-power radio station KRBS transitioning to a full-power radio station. This seems like a big deal, and the mainstream media did not make mention of it at all. Thank you to the CN&R for being interested in “The Little Radio Station That Could.”

Community radio is a voice for the people by the people.

Thanks again for printing real news.

Kathy Brazil

Let us help stop gangs

Re “Cops crack down on gangs” ( Downstroke, June 16):

Thank you so much, Chico Police Department, for your recent efforts in fighting gang activity here. I recently moved back to Chico after being gone for 16 years, and I was saddened to see the social decay in those years, as evidenced by homicides, prolific graffiti (tagging) and physical attacks of college students and others.

I hope the Police Department will ask for help from the community when necessary. There might be times when local volunteers in groups might monitor areas of high problems, hold “cleanup days” in which we pick up trash and cover over gang graffiti. Our town is small enough that we feel a personal fondness for protecting it and each other.

Brian Kraemer

Getting our facts straight

Re “Doc-in-the-box” ( Healthlines, by Joshua Emerson Smith, June 16):

It’s wonderful that the CN&R ran a story on the Mobile Dental Clinic (MDC). It is indeed a huge success, and it provides a much needed service to our county’s youngest children.

There are two corrections I would like to make to what was reported.

First, the article states that the MDC was funded with grant money from First 5 California. In fact, the MDC was purchased with funding from the First 5 Butte County, First 5 Tehama County and First 5 Glenn County commissions. First 5 county commissions are empowered with local decision making and local control of funding.

All three commissions identified children’s oral health as a priority in their respective counties, and all three commissions invested in the MDC to ensure an increase in access to dental-treatment services for young children and pregnant women. First 5 California, a state agency, did not invest any funds in the MDC.

Second, the article misstates that “a 2009 study done by First 5 Butte County officials found that 44 percent of Butte County children younger than 6 had never visited a dentist.” In fact, a parent phone survey funded by First 5 Butte County in 2007 showed that 44 percent of respondents reported that their children under the age of 6 had never visited a dentist.

Again, we greatly appreciate the article, its stress on the importance of children’s oral health, and the spotlight on the wonderful work being done by the MDC team.

Jill Blake
Director, First 5 Butte County
Children and Families Commission

Good news for a change

Re “The law of Pachamama” ( The Greenhouse, by Christine G.K. LaPado, June 16):

The article about Bolivia’s reverence for Mother Earth brought tears to my eyes. There are good things happening on this planet!

The article about Cocina Cortes was also very positive and upbeat. What a wonderful change of pace from the usual negative news stories.

Thank you, Christine, for these great articles.

Debra Abbott

A day on the links

Links for Literacy Golf Tournament Fundraiser held on our behalf last Saturday, June 18. The incredible participation and generosity of everyone involved made for an amazing day in the sun, raising $5,400 for new children’s books!

Giving children a reason to walk through our library doors is hugely important in our time of economic uncertainty, and new books are the key to making that happen. In addition to achieving our goal for the kids, everyone seemed to have a genuinely great time together doing something sporty and fun for Father’s Day weekend. We all have treasured memories of riding in the carts, trying to get a good golf swing, and enjoying the natural beauty of a day on the ridge.

Once again, thank you from each and every one of us here at the Butte County Library. The partnership we share with the CN&R is greatly valued and appreciated. We would love to do this again next year, as a wonderful time was had by all for this meaningful and important cause.

Kimberlee Wheeler
Community Outreach &

Collections DevelopmentButte County Library

Balancing the budget

Re “Don’t close Bidwell Mansion” ( Editorial, June 16):

California has not had a balanced budget for the last decade. I do not remember a single CN&R editorial during that time demanding a balanced budget or even just pointing out that California’s finances were not sustainable.

It is not the current crop of Republicans who are to blame for Bidwell Mansion’s closing, but the fault of your editorial board and every other editorial board in the state that did not demand a balanced budget every year.

Doug Burton

Editor’s reponse: The state budget is required by law to be balanced. The CN&R has consistently argued for the recent budgets to be balanced by a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. Such a balanced approach could help keep Bidwell Mansion open, but it needs two Republican votes in each house to pass, and so far Republicans have refused even to allow citizens to vote on the extensions.

Mr. Velo gives thanks

After sustaining a spinal-cord injury in a bicycle accident three years ago, my life changed from one that was relatively machine free and small carbon footprint to total machine dependence and a Bigfoot print in energy consumption, new solar panels notwithstanding.

My bed is a machine. Another machine lifts me into my electric wheelchair to get me into my petrol-powered van. The process reverses in the evening. Not to forget the battery-powered pump placed under my belly skin to pump anti-spasm medication directly into my spinal cord.

Tammy Winslett and the crew at NorCal Mobility have kept the lift and the van going, with a nod to Claude at Whelchel Construction. Mark D’ewart at Enloe Home Medical Equipment probably wishes he’d seen less of my chair. Mobility and access have always been major issues for the mobility impaired. These fine folks get my thanks for the former.

Thanks for advances in the latter are more difficult to assign locally, possibly due to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Rocky Burks’ name comes to mind, as does Holly Vinson’s. I’m sure there are others. The activists and advocates who worked for passage of the ADA had a much rougher go of it than bicycle activists. Most people rode or ride a bicycle at some point; one in seven has a disability.

Last one goes to Kirby White and the team at rightofwaymaintenance@ci.Chico.ca.us for their quick responses to requests for road and sidewalk repairs. They’ll be glad when I learn to levitate.

Ed McLaughlin

Better places for your money

I’m a 55-month survivor of stage 4 cancer. I received what amounted to a death sentence in November 2006. This past weekend I went to play tennis (yes, I’m in remission and trying to get my health back!) at Pleasant Valley High School and was surprised to find the parking lot completely packed with cars, live music near the track and hundreds of people all working hard at the Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

First, I want to thank all of the volunteers and participants for showing up and giving so much of their time and for their donations and contributions to fighting this dreadful and often fatal disease. I know their very generous and loving hearts are in the right place, but if I had followed the traditional treatment prescribed by the 12 oncologists I’ve consulted with and backed by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, odds are I would be dead today.

The Smartmoney.com survey of nonprofits lists the American Cancer Society as 93 out of the top 100 nonprofits in terms of actual dollars that go to helping people versus dollars that go to overhead. ACS spends the majority of its money on executive salaries and benefits, and what little money does go to funding research benefits the big pharmaceutical companies, whose profits are almost three times what a normal large corporation garners.

The American Cancer Society CEO earns more than a million dollars a year in salary and benefits.

Unfortunately, by supporting ACS all of these hard-working volunteers help the drug companies and the National Cancer Institute and the FDA keep safe, nontoxic protocols that really do cure cancer out of the hands of those of us who rely on them for our very lives.

People want to help, and God bless them for their generosity, but there are many better ways to support cancer patients. Many of us need help with grocery shopping, transportation and food preparation, for instance. There are people in our own neighborhoods who are suffering and alone. Consider donating right here in Butte County, rather than sending your money to pay corporate honchos in Atlanta.

It’s time to stop the U.S. government and the so-called “nonprofits” that support drug-company greed instead of saving lives. My life, maybe your life or the lives of your loved ones depend on it.

Dan Jondron

Tea Party’s poor priorities

Michele Bachman, darling of the Tea Party, stated on TV that the American Revolution started in Vermont and the Founding Fathers were against slavery. She must have been sleeping during her high-school American-history class.

The Tea Party is against big government, but the party says little about the evils of big corporations. Ever since the Reagan years, the real income of the middle class has decreased while that of the fat-cat leaders of the corporations has skyrocketed.

I was under the impression that in a capitalist society rewards were based on how much an individual or group contributed to society. It is ironic that the financial sector has reaped the greater benefits with its excessive profits and huge bonuses, yet the major banks and other financial institutions with their greed almost pushed the economy over the cliff before the Obama administration’s stimulus action.

The Tea Party and its Republican colleagues rail against high taxes and the dangerous deficit. However, their major voice, Fox News, practically glosses over the tremendous cost of the Iraq War.

If the Tea Party wanst to make a truly valuable contribution to our country, it should go after the fat-cat lobbyists who really run things behind the scenes. I am positive that, if the lobbyists were prevented from pressuring the Congress with undue influence, General Electric and the oil companies would be paying their fair share of taxes.

Charles Bispala

Money and horseflesh

Approximately 2 million wild horses roamed the United States 100 years ago; today there are about 37,000. The Bureau of Land Management oversees 640 million acres of public land. The horses live on 4 percent of this land.

Ranchers raise their cattle and sheep on the land where the horses live, then complain the horses are a nuisance. Helicopters are used to chase down and round up the horses. It’s all about money. It’s not enough to slaughter the cattle and sheep; they have to kill the horses, too.

Every year approximately 100,000 domestic and wild horses are jam-packed into trailers and transported to Mexico and Canada, where they are brutally slaughtered. There have been reports that some horses were still alive while being dismembered. Due to the harsh treatment, some horses don’t survive the trip. It’s all about money.

Joel Felice


In our June 9 Healthlines feature story, “Breaking down barriers,” we inadvertently misidentified Women’s Health Specialists, the Chico family-planning and wellness clinic, as Women’s Resource Specialists. The error has been corrected online.—ed.