Letters for June 8, 2006

RDA article A-OK
Re: “Slow down, RDA group tells city,” (Newslines, CN&R, June 1):

Thank you for printing the article by Richard Ek concerning the Chico RDA. Although there were a couple of errors (the planned expenditure for the “new” police station is $27.5 million, not $17.5 million), the article was very informative.

The city citizens have a great need for educational information about the RDA and what RDAs do to create enormous debt for the citizens without any input or permission from the voting public.

It would be a bonus if a writer were to print a series of articles about the RDA and what they have done, both good and bad.

Vernon Byrd

Support downtown
Yes, it’s true, we’ve all been impacted by the lengthy construction project in our downtown plaza. I can appreciate the trials of Lyon Books, but let us not overlook all of the other merchants who have also been affected. I think it important to recognize that all of downtown relies on our strong support. Let’s all spend our dollars with those small, local businesses that serve us so well.

Kristie Laird

Right to party
I had just planted a rose bush to celebrate the opening of Lindsay Lohan’s new movie Just My Luck, and we brought out our electric guitars to have a rock concert in her honor when we were shut down by the Fire Department driving up in a big red fire truck.

The city of Chico has passed laws against partying? Isn’t that unconstitutional? I think we need a court case to try this issue. Granted, there have been a few bad incidents, but as Otter said in Animal House, “What a shame that a few bad apples have to spoil a good time for everyone by breaking the rules.”

Chico used to be a party town. Now it has become dull, dreary, bourgeois and hopelessly middle class, filled with boutiques and art cliques. The university lacks intellectual courage, instead becoming just another bastion of radical feminism. No wonder guys aren’t going to college anymore (just 44 percent of college students are male, down from 58 percent in 1970).

I think it’s time we men reviewed Animal House and got back on track. The scholastic life has become meaningless, mundane and useless. It’s time for men to take back our schools and our universities. Toga, toga, toga!

Michael M. Peters

Tricky Maliki
A couple days ago, the democratically elected prime minister of Iraq, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, denounced our American military. He said that they conduct “violence against Iraqi citizens” and that they do this as “a daily phenomenon.” This coward, this so-called Iraqi leader al-Maliki, says troops in the America-led coalition “do not respect the Iraqi people” and that our military “crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion.”

Nobody who is with America would make such a statement. Only an anti-American would. Doesn’t this clown remember our president’s multiple declarations, “Either you are with us, or you are with the enemy"?

Who in the world does al-Maliki think he is? Our leader, President Bush, most certainly means what he says. Hence, the democratically elected Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki is clearly not “with us.” Therefore, he is against us. Even Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who has signed military and economic agreements with the terrorist-harboring Iran (i.e., Axis of Evil), has publicly denounced us. By logical extension, they are our enemy! We must stand up to these freedom-haters! We must force regime change upon them and their country! We must … uh, hmm, wait a minute, didn’t we just do that regime-change thing in Iraq? Gosh, this Middle East stuff is a little complex. We must …uh …

Hey! Let’s ban gay marriage! That’ll rev up our Republican base, right? That will solve, uh, yeah, solve the terrorist, uh … oh golly gee … ugh.

Eric M. Hitchcock

Cactus harvest
Why have different zonings? I thought the idea was to accommodate different lifestyles, not to destroy neighborhoods and their way of life.

Take Cactus Avenue for example. Our street has been zoned SR-1 (one-acre minimum) for many years. This meant rural living: horses, pigs, sheep, burning, a quiet, safe street, star gazing, privacy, space, coyotes, pheasants, hawks, etc. Then a couple of neighbors sold their properties. For the first time, developers bought them to merchandize the land, not settle in as house owners and neighbors. They then pushed for R-1 zoning (up to seven units per acre). They succeeded, though residents along the street voted three times to stay rural. We believed what the city told us, that whoever had the majority of votes would be upheld.

We believed the General Plan’s promises to make gradual zoning changes to match the neighborhood while preserving the area’s character. Now, Cactus has high-density zoning, just the opposite of our lifestyle developed over all these years. It almost feels like a type of eminent domain. The city gets to “sardinize” our environs and demolish our way of life. Why not rezone all housing areas, regardless of home value, to R-1? Everyone can then be squeezed as population growth rapidly chokes Chico.

We’ll know Cactus has lost its rustic ways when we wave at the passersby and they don’t wave back.

Jerry Olio

Horse sense
I marvel at the duplicity of the American people who lavish huge financial and emotional capital on injured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, while subsidizing the abuse and slaughter of billions of horses, cows, pigs, and other sentient animals for their dinner table. Although we don’t eat horses, we slaughtered 88,000 last year for export to countries that do.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503 and S. 1915) would permanently ban U.S. transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption. Similar congressional efforts have been thwarted by the USDA earlier this year.

It makes no ethical sense to cherish our horses, dogs, and cats while paying for the abuse and slaughter of billions of similar animals that are not part of our family. With the great abundance of soy-based meat alternatives in every supermarket, it makes no practical sense either.

Clayton Scott