Letters for June 3, 2004

Last request
The city of Chico has lost a great leader and caring person in the passing of Coleen Jarvis.

The remaining City Council members must now choose someone to replace her until the November general elections. Before she died Coleen asked that her husband, Michael Stauffer, be appointed as her replacement. I think that request needs to be honored. Those who voted for Coleen should continue to be represented by someone whose views on community issues accord with Coleen’s. Michael is qualified for this position, and is as knowledgeable of the procedures and issues as Coleen was.

A recent newspaper article described how Coleen’s colleagues on the City Council considered her a friend and felt admiration for the hard work and devotion she has shown throughout her tenure on the council. This was a sentiment expressed not only by those council members who favored Coleen’s views, but by conservatives, Herbert, Wahl and Bertagna, who didn’t always agree with her position on issues. In light of these circumstances, I urge all six of the surviving council members to grant Coleen’s last request by appointing Michael Stauffer until the November election.

Karen Laslo

Sloan song
On Friday, May 28, my family attended the graduation ceremony at Marsh Junior High school; my daughter was one of the graduating eighth grade students there. It was a beautiful morning for the event and though there was the hint of storm on the horizon, the weather held for the entire ceremony. The commencement went off without a hitch and was filled with speeches by Marsh students and alumni that were as well written and eloquent as any I’ve heard at, literally any high school graduation, not to mention many college ceremonies that I’ve attended.

There was also considerable time spent at the mike by Principal Jeff Sloan and though, during my daughter’s time at Marsh, I never got to know Mr. Sloan on a personal basis, I was grateful that he was at the helm during those years. He exhibited the qualities that he encouraged our kids to strive for—excellence, courage and tolerance. I couldn’t help but like him; I am sad and disappointed at the outcome of the recent events involving Mr. Sloan.

It has been said that “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If that is true, then an injustice has been committed here. The fruits of Jeff Sloan’s labors at Marsh are measured and reflected in the kids fortunate enough to have him as their principal. Together, they set the bar high and reached it. It will be interesting to see if that level will be able to be maintained at Marsh. It will also be interesting to listen to the superintendent explain why, if it is not.

Aaron Pico

Selective coverage
The concerns of hundreds of citizens regarding our Chico Unified School District administration have mostly been over-looked by the press, hence the general public, apparently due to the emotional messengers.

Many of us became involved only when we feared the superintendent might just rob our community of a very effective principal. Attorneys Paul and Susan Minasian even donated their services to the cause. So, let the facts speak for our superintendent’s leadership: CUSD administration leaked confidential personnel matters to the media first. Paul Minasian was compelled to respond to reporters’ plans to “go with just the district’s side of the story” to defend Jeff Sloan’s character.

The superintendent filed in Superior Court this April to pay $5,331.77 to vandals who damaged Marsh in 2000. Why?

CUSD trustees have collectively received thousands of emails/calls, yet a few “threatening” ones are continually cited to discredit the “Sloan Camp.” We denounce such actions, even refraining ourselves from publishing Brown’s accusations and his clearly documented “manipulation” tactics.

Two hundred-plus attended the May 11 rally. Five speakers gave presentations other than Trustee Scott Huber. Four addressed reconciliation, parent involvement and positive change, not sour grapes.

Administrators and teachers have expressed fear of reprisal, surveillance of e-mails and phones (to me, that’s “chills"). The superintendent is quoted as saying, “It’s not over…” He has even specified names.

Many thousands of dollars in time and money have been wasted with the superintendent’s management. It doesn’t have to be this way. Chicoans must get the truth and then take corrective action.

Dale Penne

Legless in America
I read many articles and editorials about that infamous American run Iraqi prison including your “The Shame of Torture” editorial [May 20]. I find the faux outrage from the politicians and media amusing.

Surely the politicians and media must be aware of what is going on in American jails and prisons. If you’d bother reading any of a number of reports from organizations like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International you’d know that what is happening in the American run Iraqi prisons is no different than what happens every day in jails and prisons here. By American standards the Iraqis are being treated quite fairly.

How can anyone be surprised by what’s going in Iraq or the U.S. when there are people in our government who are no better than Hitler and there are many more in our government who go along with them? Ask yourself why these atrocities continue to happen right here in America every day. Could it be that the people who run this country are immoral to the core? When it comes to lecturing other countries on human rights, America doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Ken DeMorrow
Received via e-mail

Safety and freedom
I am trying to get the message out about the importance of voting, especially this 2004 poll. We have the chance to make the votes count and protect our freedoms and security by re-electing President George W. Bush. He has shown himself to be a firm leader who is not afraid to chase terrorist across the seas and hunt them on their soil so the Americans can be safe. He is one of the finest men I’ve had the pleasure to watch in my 34 years of being. We need strong leadership and a no-nonsense approach to terrorist attitude. I believe if we don’t do our best to make sure Mr. Bush stays in office our safety and freedom will be gone within a year.

John Wilder
Red Bluff

Holy roller
It’s a good thing Jesus has risen from the grave, because this “Christian” behavior of the Bush administration would have him rolling over in it!

Henry Abrahamer