Letters for June 27, 2019

‘Disservice to Chico’

Re “Crime down, chief says” (Newslines, by Andre Byik, June 20):

By doing away with the “owner occupancy” requirement to build second dwelling units, the City Council has handed over Chico to land grabbers. Not only is the city greatly reducing developer fees in hopes of stimulating accessory dwelling units (ADUs), it also is eliminating requirements for infrastructure improvements, like sidewalks and gutters, drainage and off-street parking.

If you live next to a rental, that absentee landlord can build another one right on the spot, at a greatly reduced cost. It’s called “infill,” and the owner of a home is no longer required to live there when an ADU is added. Owner occupancy lends assurance that grievances are dealt with without hassle to the neighbors.

This gives carte blanche to profit-driven development, potentially turning our old, beautiful neighborhoods into a replica of what we see north and south of the Chico State campus. I believe it is a real disservice to Chico in the long run, and to homeowners who have lived in this community for decades.

This vote to eliminate the owner occupancy requirement would have been expected from a conservative-leaning, developer-friendly City Council. I don’t believe this town seated a liberal council so they could sell us out to the dogs.

Pam Stoesser


Roundabout outrage

Re “Potholes and peens” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, June 20):

You call the project at the roundabout “awesome.” I strongly disagree. [The city spent] $380,000 for a brick monstrosity that blocks the view across the roundabout! Something small would have been fine.

In your editorial, you mention a small town that fixed 40 holes for $5,000. That’s $125 a hole. And $380,000 divided by 125 = 3,040! I don’t know what it costs in Chico to fill a pothole, but that’s a lot of potholes! And how many people showed up for the dedication? Held at 10 a.m. on a weekday. Sorry, like most people, I’m at work! This city sure knows how to waste our money.

William Strom


Of Jesus and POTUS

Re “Of Trump and Jesus” (Letters, by Paul Di Grande, June 20):

I agree with Paul Di Grande, “Actions speak louder than words” and “I do cringe at times.”

Ask the “Central Park Five” or people in Charlottesville, Va., if the president has helped African-Americans.

Ask the farmers who have soybeans going bad in storage because of tariffs if he’s helped them.

Ask our volunteer military members who don’t know if the next tweet will put us into a war with Iran, whose military is 10 times bigger than Iraq had, better equipped, and battle hardened in Syria thanks to our regime change mentality in the region.

Ask one of several children who have died, or the thousands of children in for-profit concentration camps at the southern border, if he’s helped Mexican-Americans. They don’t even have water to bathe in, let alone some kind of compassionate care and decent food. Children taking care of children because they are separated from their families, paid for by us. This is a national disgrace, recognized by the United Nations, made worse because we don’t care.

Please, Mr. Di Grande, don’t mention Jesus and this “Wise Guy wannabe” president in the same breath. I cringe.

Rich Meyers


Thanks, from CHAT

Re “The village needs the town” (Editorial, June 20):

Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) is very appreciative of the outpouring of community support for our tiny house village project here in Chico. The response to our “gofundme” campaign for Simplicity Village has been so enthusiastic that we have decided to increase our goal to $150,000!

This increased level of funding will allow CHAT not only to cover more of the infrastructure costs, but also to purchase a much-needed multipurpose building for vocational training, classes and other group activities for our 55-and-older residents.

Thank you so much for your continued support and for sharing the word about our wonderful tiny-house project. Simplicity Village will give older people who have lost their housing a place to be safe, a place to contribute, and a place to belong. You can donate at gofundme.com, if you search for “CHAT Simplicity Village.” Please share about this with others who might be interested as well.

Leslie Johnson


A model citizen

I attended the June 20 swearing in of 600 people in Sacramento to become U.S. citizens. They were from 64 countries. One of them was a longtime friend, Sergio Garcia of Chico.

Sergio was born in Mexico and his family moved to Durham, where his father was a farmworker, then they moved back to Mexico for several years, then back to Durham.

Sergio got through high school, college, law school and passed the bar on his first attempt (Republican Gov. Pete Wilson failed his first two bar exams). Sergio was undocumented, so he could not practice law. The Democrats in the Legislature passed a bill to allow him to practice, Gov. Jerry Brown signed it, and the State Supreme Court ruled 7-0 in Sergio’s favor.

After Sergio was sworn in, [television stations] interviewed him outside as hundreds of new citizens and families walked by. They asked why Sergio had all the TV reporters surrounding him. Some asked a Univision reporter, “Who did you interview—is he a soccer player?”

Sergio is an inspiration to many immigrant communities. His success is America’s success and a great Chico story.

Bob Mulholland


Cat lovers, keep looking

I recently was reunited with my cat after he disappeared during the Camp Fire. I had given up hope, but for some strange, inexplicable reason decided to check the website for lost animals in Paradise just one more time: campfirepetrescue.org. I sent them his photos, and they had him. He was trapped on May 12 and in good health, therefore ready to be adopted.

These people are simply extraordinary, wonderful volunteers—special thanks to Jennifer, Erika, Nisa and Angela. It’s not too late to contact them if you are still looking for your pet. But don’t put it off, because they’ll be moving out soon. Sad to think another summer is coming and we can surely expect more fires.

Susan Grant


Editor’s note: Pick up next week’s issue of the CN&R for more on this subject.

Two of a kind

North Korea’s vice premier was executed for dozing off during a meeting by leader Kim Jong Un. During a recent interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was booted out of the room by Trump for coughing while Trump was talking.

Trump and Kim Jong Un have striking similarities. Both obviously are overweight, they both have weird hair-dos, both are power-hungry to the extreme, both show tendencies of uncontrolled outbursts of anger and frustration, both are self-centered egomaniacs, and so much more. Perhaps this is why they write “love letters” to one another?

May the good Lord help us all.

Ray Estes


Support the Ridge

Have you or your friends been asked, “Been up to Paradise since the fire?” What’s your response? I confess I have, until recently, responded with, “Gee, it’s just too tragic, I can’t bring myself to drive around up there,” or “I can imagine and that’s enough.”

Not until I went up for Veterans Day—to help to plant the flags—did I understand, just a little, what residents must deal with every day when they go to work or the market or the doctors. Familiar landmarks—gone! Trailer dwellers, dry camping on their burnt-out lots! The drive will jar you—it will make you want to cry, but it will remind you of the ongoing struggle Paradise residents have every day and will continue to have going forward.

If you are short-tempered from the crazy traffic, the ongoing stories of struggles to rebuild Paradise, I say: Shame on you, if you don’t take a drive up to Paradise once a week or once a month! Make sure you stop in any stores that are opening. Give them your business. Pay it forward.

As Paradise businesses are coming back, you can Google: Paradise opening list of business open for business.

Loretta Ann Torres



Last week’s story on the drinking water contamination on the Ridge did not include the names of all the universities that collaborated with Purdue and Manhattan College to prepare proper testing guidelines for the region. Also involved: Virginia Tech, the University of Iowa and the University of Rhode Island. That info has been added online. —ed.