Letters for June 3, 2010

False terminology

Re “The politics of poison” (Editorial, May 27):

You’re right! These ads are toxic and they make me sick! I particularly hate the false term the right-to-lifers constantly use: “partial-birth abortion.” Medically speaking, there is no such thing. It is a made-up term meant to produce horrific mental images. What they are actually referring to is a late-term abortion.

Late-term abortions are almost exclusively performed when the life of the mother is endangered or when the fetus is not viable and would probably not survive birth. When these babies do survive birth, they suffer terribly and then they die slow, agonizing deaths.

Let me state again, these are not “convenience” abortions, nor are they the sort of abortion performed because of birth-control failure. They are very, very rare. Anyone who would deny such a medical procedure is a very cruel person, indeed.

Toni Carrell

Where’s the story?

Re “Hooker Oak parents speak up” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, May 27):

What a non-story. How many schools did you contact to find out the following: 1) how many teachers were being moved out of their schools because of declining enrollment? 2) How many teachers were having to change grade levels because of declining enrollment? 3) How many teachers were completely laid off because of declining enrollment? 4) How many teachers are currently still employed, but have no idea what their assignment will be next year? At least this “Queen” knows where and what she will be teaching.

B. Duarte

Logue’s strong challenger

Re “Who does Logue work for?” (Letters, by Steve Lewis, May 20):

Mr. Lewis does a good job of exposing who Dan Logue really works for: corporate America. I am writing, however, to answer his question, “Will the Democrats run a viable candidate in the upcoming election?”

That candidate would be three-term Marysville Councilwoman Christina Billeci. Billeci’s work for 31 years in the Public Guardian’s Office in Yuba County and almost 10 years as a Marysville City Council member has earned her a broad spectrum of support. She has been endorsed by people and organizations from all political parties, including organized labor, business and professional groups and her fellow public servants in Yuba and Nevada counties.

Christina Billeci should get your vote for California State Assembly District 3 in the June 8 primary election.

Paul Ellcessor

Update on Greg Wright

Re “Gregory Wright” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, May 27):

DA Mike Ramsey is on record as saying, “He [Gregory Wright] will get the help that he needs in prison.” The facts are contrary; Greg hasn’t even been able to get a GED class, though he tried. The nature of his long 22-year sentence has severely limited his access to services.

Services are being cut to the citizenry, but the cuts in prison are extreme with no change in sight. Greg is getting some education from the neo-Nazi world. Last week he had to make a tough decision. He chose a life in PC (administrative segregation) rather than harm another inmate.

We will begin again to get him some help after the election on June 8. All our efforts to date have been frustrated. On his website our DA boasts about protecting local youth, but was not Gregory himself one of our youth?

Jim Adams

Polluted China, not Chico

Re “Big oil and clean energy” (Guest Comment, by Andy Keller, May 27):

How disingenuous to claim to believe in a clean-energy future and energy efficiency by pimping a product “Built with love in China,” per the label. China is one of the most blatant polluters in the world. I suppose that Chico Bags help to soothe the liberal angst by keeping the pollution and jobs in China rather than Chico.

Michael Cafferata

Lining up for Ramsey

I was an investigator in the Butte County District Attorney’s Office from 2001 until I was retired in 2007. Having worked for Mr. Ramsey for over six years, most of that time assigned to the Child Abuse Unit, I have personal knowledge of his professionalism and integrity.

Mike Ramsey was instrumental in creating Butte County’s Child Abuse Response Team and the Drug Endangered Children Program. These efforts have become model programs, adopted by other agencies across the state and country.

Unlike his challengers, Mike Ramsey has invested and dedicated his entire life to the citizens of Butte County. He was born and raised here. He has always been active in his community.

Mike Ramsey did not relocate his residence to Butte County six months ago for the sole purpose of running for district attorney. His personal expenses and campaign costs have not been financed by people who are seeking revenge for being prosecuted for polluting our environment. Mike Ramsey has no need to distort prosecution facts and figures to get elected. Mike Ramsey is not adverse to meeting his challengers head-on in a public forum.

Mike Ramsey is the only candidate who truly cares about the citizens of our county, especially our children. I am proud to give him my vote and endorsement, and I hope you will do the same.

Richard Barton

As the medical examiner of Butte County these past 10 years, I have worked with Mike Ramsey and most of the deputy DAs.

Where other district attorneys might have walked away from prosecuting a case, Mike Ramsey chose to retry the perpetrator of a 25-year-old rape-strangulation homicide thrown back to Butte County by an appellate court with the instructions to either let the perpetrator out of prison or retry the case within 90 days. Despite witnesses who were long dead and other evidentiary problems, Ramsey chose to prosecute this most difficult case himself. Ultimately Ramsey won a conviction, sending the murderer right back to prison.

In my 33 years as a forensic pathologist, I have not known any other district attorney who would have chosen to mount a second trial after 25 years with only a limited chance of success. Ramsey’s positive leadership and the respect that he enjoys among his deputy district attorneys, his investigators, and his entire staff is palpable.

On June 8 I will vote to re-elect Mike Ramsey as our district attorney. I sleep well at night knowing that Mike Ramsey makes Butte County safe.

Thomas K. Resk, MD

District Attorney Mike Ramsey is an expert prosecutor who has tried cases from minor misdemeanors to major felonies such as rape, robbery, child molestation, kidnapping and countless homicides. There are few criminal attorneys in the North State with the experience of this prosecutor.

As an elected official, he sets his own hours, and it is very common to see him at the office from early morning until late at night and most weekends toiling for the people he serves, the victims and the victims’ survivors. Mike Ramsey is a staunch victim’s-rights advocate who practices what he preaches, always meeting with victims at any time to assure them that justice will be done.

The Butte County District Attorney’s Office is like any other business, and it must be managed by an experienced professional leader. That is why I am voting for Mike Ramsey on Election Day.

Perry L. Reniff
Sheriff-Coroner, ret’d.


Supporting Jane Dolan

Butte County’s supervisors have always said “we must protect agriculture,” but there was always this reason or that to change the zoning allowing for another housing development. That is, until Jane Dolan became supervisor. Jane somehow got a Greenline established and somehow caused a complete paradigm shift toward saving agricultural land, not just talking about it.

We have a beautiful transit system in Butte County initiated by Jane, and we don’t have housing developments across the foothill watersheds or a coal-processing plant on Highway 99E near the turn-off to Oroville because of Jane. It’s almost uncanny how she helps some pretty diehard ideologues to become wiser about what’s good for them in the long run as well as for the rest of us.

I’m voting again for Jane Dolan June 8 with pride and gratitude.

Linda Furr

The Esplanade League endorses Jane Dolan (District 2) and Maureen Kirk (District 3) for county supervisor. They have worked hard to preserve our quality of life, support local businesses and smart economic development, and to protect our natural resources of air and water. At this time of general-plan revision, we trust the experience of Jane and Maureen to represent us.

Paul Friedlander
Steering Committee representative

Esplanade LeagueChico

Prop. 14’s ‘rigged elections’

Anyone concerned with the future of democracy in California should vote No on Proposition 14.

Proposition 14 will effectively excuse third-party and independent candidates from the general-election ballot. It will reduce the ability of political parties to promote diverse political programs and will stifle real political debate. It will make candidates increasingly dependent on financial support from special interests and will increase the power of corporate lobbyists.

Proposition 14’s sponsors say we should support it because it will result in the election of more “moderate” candidates. Fine! If you want more “moderate” candidates, then vote for them. What Proposition 14 will really do is rig our electoral system to ensure the election of more candidates supportive of its sponsors’ pro-corporate agenda.

If I were to suggest rigging our electoral system to ensure the election of more libertarians, or socialists, or whatever, people would rightly reject my proposal in a heartbeat. Proposition 14 deserves the same response.

Tom Reed

PG&E’s ‘lies’ on Prop. 16

“The Taxpayers’ Right to Vote.” That’s the meaningless and deceptive slogan in the ads for Proposition 16 on the June 8 ballot.

The Sacramento Bee gives a simple summation of public vs. private power in comparing the Sacramento Municipal Utility District with PG&E.

Average residential bill: SMUD $89, PG&E $120.

Average number of interruptions: SMUD 1.08, PG&E 1.27.

Average duration of interruptions (in minutes): SMUD 129, PG&E 263.

Percentage sales from renewable energy: SMUD 22, PG&E 14.

Don’t be fooled by Proposition 16, funded by PG&E to block municipalities from obtaining public power. Their lies are apparent. Vote No on Proposition 16.

Robert Woods

Where is the outrage?

On Jan. 29, 1969, I was an impressionable 13-year-old when an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara soiled hundreds of miles of sensitive coastline, caused hemorrhaging in the lungs of dolphins and killed an estimated 3,686 seabirds. Outraged Californians burned their gas credit cards, boycotted stations and gathered 100,000 signatures to ban offshore drilling. The following year the first Earth Day was celebrated as a response to the incident. The volume of oil spilled in that tragic event totaled an estimated 200,000 gallons.

The oil spill now washing ashore on the delicate bayous, marshes and breeding beaches of the Gulf Coast has been flowing mostly unchecked at a volume of 200,000 gallons per day! The slick is so massive, the blowout so deep and the devastation so widespread that there seems to be a feeling of powerlessness to make a difference, which can easily lead to the numbness of apathy.

We need to get mad as hell! Boycott BP. Stage a demonstration. Ride a bike. Write to your congressman, senator and president and tell them to stop offshore drilling. Join Audubon or other organizations involved in the cleanup. Develop a plan to purchase a hybrid or high-mileage vehicle. Make your next home purchase nearer to work, shopping and schools.

We may not be personally able to do anything to assuage the flow of oil from BP’s hole, but we are not powerless. This is the perfect time to change the mind-set of the masses on the subject of offshore drilling.

Scott Huber
Forest Ranch


Due to an editing change, letter-writer Rick Clements (“Two views of Dolan,” Letters, May 27) was identified as a “local music promoter”; more accurately, he was an executive producer in five Western states responsible for putting on live shows featuring many prominent music groups.—ed.