Letters for June 25, 2009

Just give Maloney the job already!

Re: “Changing of the guardian” (Newslines, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, June 18):

[Interim Police Chief Mike] Maloney would be a fine choice and a great fit for the community.

Of course, you can’t count on city government to be efficient and actually save time and money by just hiring him to the position and leaving it at that. No, they must, almost as if it’s a mandate from God or something, waste taxpayers’ money by going through the bureaucratic motions of “searching” for a new chief. How utterly ridiculous.

Well, what can one do but hold one’s nose to fend off the stench of bureaucratic inefficiency yet again?

Perry D. Fox

It really does take a village …

Re: “Circle of care for little boy lost” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, June 18):

As the mother of a 10-year-old son with autism, I want to commend the people who helped the little boy in Taco Bell. My older son was in the restaurant at the time and recognized that the boy had autism; it’s good to hear that the boy was all right.

This little boy was clearly terrified in response to what was happening—unfamiliar faces, new surroundings, scary sounds, weird smells. It could have been so much worse.

It’s also good to know that the Chico Police Department is trained in how to deal with an autistic person who is in the midst of panic and fear. The bear hug is a comforting and useful method of calming a person with autism. And people who don’t have autism, for that matter.

One of my greatest fears is that my son, the escape artist, manages to get out of the house without our knowledge. I’m positive that I’m overprotective of him and just a little bit hysterical over the thought of him wandering the streets alone. My heart goes out to the boy’s parents. I can’t imagine—and don’t want to—what they must have been feeling.

Regardless of all our safety measures, our son has snuck out a couple of times before, but thankfully never left the front porch and it was only seconds before we realized he was outside. Should he ever get farther than that, I hope that kind and understanding people would protect him.

Wendy Bocast

As good as a hole in the head

Re: “Supercenter: good news, good sense” (Guest Comment, by Bob Linscheid, CN&R, June 11):

So, an expanded Walmart supercenter in Chico is going to create more jobs and sales-tax revenue for our city—really?! And Chico needs to compete with Anderson and Yuba City for visitors because we don’t have enough to offer visitors as an alternative to corporate retail—really?! It’s OK if the growth of an international corporate behemoth displaces a number of our high-quality, California-based grocery stores chains—really?! It’s better for the environment to expand a building than to fill some of the existing vacant commercial real estate—really?!

Here is a likely scenario if the project is approved:

Walmart will hire engineers, architects, contractors and skilled professionals, electricians, plumbers and carpenters from outside of the area. The job will go to the lowest bidder, who will most likely come from out of state. The workers will mostly commute home on the weekends and spend their paychecks in their hometown.

Walmart will offer many new minimum-wage positions, but the management slots will probably be filled by promoting young, tech-savvy employees from less desirable areas with underperforming supercenters like Antioch or Vallejo. It will operate on a whole new platform, and it’s too expensive to retrain existing managers.

A number of mid-sized grocery stores will be threatened, including WinCo, FoodMaxx, Raley’s and Safeway. They may respond with layoffs. Costco also will feel the pinch.

Chico needs a Walmart supercenter like we need a hole in the head—really!

Maria Venturino

Truly terrorism

Re: “Pro-life assassination” (Editorial, CN&R, June 4):

I am outraged, saddened and disillusioned over the egregious act of ideological terrorism in the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas doctor who performed third-trimester abortions.

More than one-third of American women will have had an abortion before they are 45 years old, including myself. Some of these women were facing tragic circumstances few can imagine. As a registered nurse for 35 years, 27 of those years spent running a program for adolescents who chose to become parents, I have a deep reverence for the dignity and integrity of individuals making difficult choices in hostile circumstances.

Thirty years ago as a nurse in a family clinic, I spent many agonizing hours working with a mother and her 11-year-old daughter who had been raped by her father (not the only time I encountered this occurrence). After months of denial and trying to protect her family, this young girl tested positive for pregnancy at 24 weeks. She and her mother chose a late-term abortion, and her father went to prison.

To imagine that someone else is more qualified to make these difficult decisions than the people directly involved is sanctimonious hubris and exploitive of a family’s wisdom about the course they need to take. To deny women and families choice is cruelty and even more repugnant when it is motivated by self-serving political aspirations.

To tolerate this terrorism in our land of the “free and democratic” is at best hypocritical and, as we’ve just seen, ultimately lethal.

Leslie Mahon-Russo

Harris responds

Re: “Chico artist clears his name” (Downstroke, CN&R, June 4):

District Attorney Mike Ramsey continues his exiguous character assassinations against me. Superior Court Judge Clare Keithley dismissed Mr. Ramsey’s case against me. I was ready to put this to sleep, but he continues in public to say, “Mr. Harris was lucky.” He has also said that the case had “merit” and “the reason why the witnesses didn’t show up was that they were never mailed the subpoenas.”

Well, that shows the incompetence of the DA’s office. I, for one, don’t believe one word of it. How could three so-called witnesses not be mailed a subpoena? He also failed to say that Mr. Bass had written a letter to his office and said that he did not want to pursue this case.

Although legally I cannot sue the Chico Police Department or Butte County, my lawyer said I could send out a political statement to Mr. Ramsey and his fiefdom. Mr. Ramsey appears to have a large ego, and like all people with this problem, sooner or later he will falter. He also sends a message out to professional African Americans, worldwide, that Butte County is not a safe place for them.

Jerry Harris

‘He will be missed’

On June 30, Pastor David Moss will retire from Trinity United Methodist Church having made a profound impact upon our community for the last six years—tirelessly serving his own congregation, working on ecumenical projects, and lending his support for local, national, and international peace and social-justice causes.

A Methodist pastor for 42 years, David also spent six years working with the Sacramento Loaves and Fishes program, a program he intends to rejoin during his retirement. He also intends to continue work with the Christian Peacemakers.

David is a remarkable human being—compassionate, open-minded, kind and courageous. He “walks his talk,” helping to make the world a better place. He bravely demonstrates his commitment to spiritual, moral and ethical principles—going against the status quo (often resulting in serious consequences for himself and family).

His activism is borne of his love of humanity; his methods, always nonviolent, especially with those who oppose him.

In the 1960s, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and opposed the Vietnam War, and later opposed the Iraq War (costing him his position). In Chico, he has worked to end the current U.S. wars, supported cease-fires in Lebanon and Gaza, opposed torture of detainees, and advocated humane immigration policies. At TUMC, he has championed GLBT rights and has sponsored events bringing Christians, Jews and Muslims together in peaceful dialogue.

In short, David follows in the footsteps of Jesus, MLK and Gandhi, and has been an inspiration in our community. He will be missed.

Robert Bowman

Editor’s note: Pastor Moss delivers his final sermon Sunday (June 28). Check http://chicotrinity.org or call 343-1497 for details.

Don’t tread on me

“All great movements start as a cause, evolve into a business, and end up a racket.”—Eric Hoffer [American philosopher]

Might I suggest the following examples: war on poverty, war on drugs, global warming and tree ordinances?

What is it about private property that the Chico Planning Commission does not understand?

Cynthia Van Auken

Imitation; so flattering

Despite the fact that our recklessness has caused a global financial meltdown, it is so gratifying to witness the degree to which our system is still admired by others. The sincerest form of flattery is that even an unfriendly nation, like Iran, is making giant strides in an effort to replicate the turmoil that surrounded our elections in 2000.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff