Letters for March 1, 2012

A ‘walk down memory lane’

Re “The artist as business leader” (Cover feature, by Pam Figge, Feb. 23): Back in the late ‘70s, I had the honor of getting to know most of the owners of the downtown businesses your article featured. I was their CN&R ad rep at the time, so I got to see first-hand their decisions about business and got to share in their growth.

For most the CN&R was their only form of advertising. They weren’t quite ready for TV, and in Woof & Poof’s case local advertising wasn’t their goal. They were selling, as you said, in major markets and had distribution that wasn’t anywhere near Chico.

I was so sad to hear of Jacki’s illness and the passing of such a beautiful soul. The last time I saw her was when she came into the KZFR studio to join me for a segment on downtown and the food items in Made in Chico. We talked a lot about her beginnings and the other hip and cool businesses downtown and their “people"—Z&V, Mountain Sports, Sundance Records (which is not there anymore, but was a big part of the downtown growth). I’m happy that am in touch with many of these folks and always enjoy seeing them on the streets of downtown.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Rosemary Febbo

Thanks Pam Figge and N&R for your very lovely tribute to Jacki Headley. This was written with love and admiration for a special woman who made a big difference. She was also our personal friend and a fellow student at Chico State many years ago.

Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

Nitsa Schiffman

The Heartland effect

Re “Leaked documents hit home” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Feb. 23): Anthony [Watts]'s objections to the exposure of private emails from Heartland Institute is particularly odd when his blog spent years publishing excerpts from the so-called “Climategate” emails hacked from an East Anglia University computer server.

Which is it, Anthony? Are stolen emails private, privileged information or something to celebrate? Now Anthony Watts has been caught taking payments from oil-company-funded conservative think tanks.

I hereby nominate Anthony Watts for a special Best of Chico category: Chico’s Best Liar.

John Poteet

Your article says the Heartland Institute’s “efforts include the denial of man-made climate change.”

The Heartland Institute has never made any such effort in the four years I’ve been following their work since 2008.

Your editorial insertion of the word “denial” is irresponsible journalism. Being “skeptical” is not denying anything.

Ted Wagner
Goodyear, Ariz.

In your article on the Glieck-Heartland affair, you regrettably focus on a minor sideshow to the real scandal, which is the mounting evidence that the anthropogenic global-warming theory is founded entirely on falsified data and corrupt models.

On Feb. 12, CBS’s 60 Minutes ran the story of the medical fraud at Duke University, in which false data was used to support claims of a breakthrough cancer treatment. The data was falsified there in exactly the same way it has been falsified to support the AGW theory—by cherry-picking, discarding, “adjusting” contradictory data, even reversing the signs of temperature data values so they support rather than deny their conclusions.

The original, honest data indicates that average global temperatures have cooled by about 0.3 degree Celsius since 1998. The so-called “hockey stick” model of recent rapid warming is a total fraud and is already the subject of investigations regarding lies told on applications for government research grants. The fraud the AGW scaremongers are committing could cause trillions to be spent on measures that will have zero effect on climate, while enriching profiteers playing on people’s fears.

Simple observation and even simpler arithmetic proves that human activity is an infinitesimal factor in CO2 activity, and CO2 is an infinitesimal factor in climate change. Can scientists buy into poppycock? Yes, if ideology overrules the scientific method.

Chad Wozniak

A bad intersection

Re “Fed (and pumped) up” (Newslines, by Vic Cantu, Feb. 16): I have read the media coverage of the changes to Forest Avenue near Highway 32. As a longtime Chico resident who lives in this part of town, I feel compelled to comment on this issue.

I was skeptical when I saw CVS being built. I thought a bad intersection would get worse, but my wife and I have been pleasantly surprised. The intersection has been better! We are patrons of 7-Eleven and Great Harvest and still get burritos at the restaurant between these two businesses.

Before the change, we often drove down to the light at Humboldt and made a left turn to enter near Great Harvest because a left turn was so difficult on the 7-Eleven end. I am sorry to hear about the loss of income reported by some of the businesses. I wonder if some of the losses are due to customers making purchases at the new CVS.

Eric James

I was wondering if Mr. Schindelbeck realized that there was a lot of construction going on at the corner of Highway 32 and Forest Avenue. This might account for some of the people not being able to come to his establishment.

The corner was a bottleneck. I believe that the barrier there is going to make for smoother traffic and fewer accidents. If he feels the need for changes in the parking-lot entrance, he should contact the owners of the parking lot.

It doesn’t sound like Mr. Schindelbeck would make a very good member of the Chico City Council, since he did receive a map and notice from the city about the changes and found it confusing. I do not think that he would be able to help the City Council deliberate about different things that might be in fine print or maybe other “confusing” things.

Glen Pollock

Shame on Chico State

Re “Special Olympics event canceled” (Newslines, by Vic Cantu, Feb. 23): My brother deserves to play in this basketball tournament—more than the college girls’ volleyball team deserves to play their one out of many games they have throughout the year. Disgusting is not a strong enough word.

Chico State should be ashamed of their actions and need to make right of this insulting decision. I would pay out of pocket the $3,000 Chico State has all of a sudden demanded so that my brother can play in this tournament he’s waited for all year. These athletes deserve more than this. Chico State, you should be embarrassed.

Sarah Cardoni

BEC shout-out

Re “BEC re-blossoms” (GreenWays, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Feb. 23): Thank you for the wonderful article on the hiring of a new executive director at the Butte Environmental Council. Unfortunately, someone could come away from the article with the misunderstanding that the co-directors were the cause of BEC’s troubles. Neither Nikki Schaishunt nor Robin Huffman contributed to BEC’s financial woes. They both worked hard to get BEC out of debt. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them both for their valued service to our organization.

Mark Stemen
Chair, Board of Directors,Butte Environmental Council

A Hmong thank-you

Re “Who are the Hmong?” (Cover story sidebar, by John Boyle, Feb. 16): Gran Torino was well done, and thank you for giving such opportunity for the Hmong people. Mr. Clint Eastwood is a great actor and director!

Mr. Boyle’s article about our Hmong people was well written. I am sure he knows our Hmong people better than we thought he would. Nobody knows the truth about our Hmong history, but one day we will. Thank you for writing such a touching article!

Gymbay Moua
Saint Paul, Minn.

When money equals speech

On Feb. 14, the Internal Affairs Committee of the Chico City Council addressed a request by Jon Luvaas that the council adopt a resolution opposing the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Conference Room 1 was filled with citizens who had come to support Mr. Luvaas.

Citizens United defines corporations as enjoying the same constitutional rights as living persons, including the right to anonymously contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns. And the donating of money is defined as “free speech.” This decision allows corporations to disburse sums of money far beyond the capacities of most individuals—and corporations do not often spend money without hope of return.

When a voter’s choices are limited to candidates whose campaigns are financed by corporations, the democratic ideal of “one man, one vote” is compromised. All branches of the government are ultimately affected, and the wisdom of the Constitution’s “check and balances” is nullified. Certain traditions of democracy begin to disappear—like equity of participation and representation, transparency and accountability.

Several citizens spoke before the committee. Most reflected a central theme—that the citizenry of Chico, and of America, is becoming more alert and more than a little indignant. That we are getting smarter and less willing to submit with docility. And that the politicians and the bureaucrats, from grassroots levels to Washington, D.C., would be well advised to become responsive to this.

Chuck Greenwood

Private vs. public education

Why is eliminating public funding for education such a priority for the religious right and specifically candidate Rick Santorum? Is public education the issue or is it public funding? I believe it is both.

Public education generally works to teach general truths, prepare people for work, establish continuity, and promote a common history and belief that reinforces national interests. Private educational institutions, such as religious schools, are not required to provide any of these functions. That is not to say that they do not, but there is no requirement.

Additionally, they teach that their religion comes first over all else. Their preference is a theocratic rather than a democratic nation.

Public funding disallows the teaching of any specific religion. It is this way because our Constitution requires that no one can have any religion forced upon them. It also protects you in your pursuit of your religion. Without public funding and therefore no public education, religious schools are more than willing to “fill the gap” and force their religious beliefs on everyone. The new common history would be Christian religion.

I much prefer the right to worship or not worship in any form I please. I can’t imagine requiring everyone to adhere to religious doctrine or fail. I thought we left the Dark Ages centuries ago.

Anthony Matulich