Letters for March 11, 2004

The whole truth
Regarding “The smell of politics” [Editorial, March 4], you guys are making cheap, childish potshots at the “conservatives” and leaving the “liberals” to do whatever they want. What I saw [at the Chico City Council meeting] March 2 was, in Alan Gair’s word, a “butchered” tree ordinance being passed by four politicians who will drape themselves in that same gutless wonder during their next re-election campaigns. Meanwhile, you accuse Larry Wahl and Steve Bertagna of campaigning. Be fair.

My son made a cartoon depicting the City Council as a bunch of squabbling brats, because that is what he sees at those meetings. What we saw that night was worse than anything in my kid’s crude cartoon, and it was all seven of them.

When the “liberals” were asked why they were meeting burn dump owners in private, they started freaking out. They even turned on each other, with Dan Nguyen-Tan wanting everyone to know, “It wasn’t me.” Scott Gruendl went into a ridiculous speech, wanting Bertagna’s “paranoia” mentioned in the minutes of the meeting. Then Coleen Jarvis threw a childish fit, telling everybody that her activities were none of our business.

If you want to be respected as a news source, tell the whole story.

Juanita Sumner

The bright side
The worst thing about losing is disappointing those who supported and voted for you. All is not lost, for I shall continue to be a voice for the 5th District and an advocate for Butte County. My quest to preserve our quality of life, bring tourism and small-business conferences, build a convention center and secure financial independence for Butte County will be never ending.

To all who had the courage to stand up and support me, your votes tell me we have made a start in the right direction. We have only just begun. For all who shared this new vision for Butte County, I salute and thank you.

Charlotte Ann Hilgeman
Stirling City

Car nation
Deva Daniel [“The importance of being car-less,” Guest comment, Jan.22], a single mother of two, described her success in operating car-less in Chico. She does so mainly because cars pollute and cause wars for oil, a non-renewable resource, plus she thinks the city made a mistake to approve a costly, ugly, new parking structure that promotes car use. “Any way you look at it, driving cars (in their current form) is bad for everyone,” she concluded. On Feb. 18 she followed with a letter urging us to bike to work or school.

Well, Deva, I think you are both right and wrong—right because today 85 percent of all auto trips are five miles or less. In 1990, it was 90 percent. The increase came from commuters buying affordable housing far from big-city jobs. For all your reasons, including health, the under-five-milers would do better to walk or bike, but the idea won’t gain traction.

Where you’re wrong, and where the rubber meets the road, is that today one job out of every five directly or indirectly depends upon motor vehicles. Imagine the catastrophic economic ripple effect if even 25 percent of us gave up all unnecessary car trips! Remember our new governor’s first official act? He repealed the high car tax that was hurting vehicle sales. He then told the public, “Now go buy cars!”

The governor could have added, “And drive them like there’s no tomorrow,” which, any way you look at it, is where cars are taking us.

Richard Ek

Tree market
While it is true that a tree ordinance can be either just or unjust, levying fees rather than addressing compensation for lost property rights is a travesty.

When we try to replace custom with legality, instead of lamenting the necessity for theft, we should remind ourselves that free enterprise (the free market) is the economic root of all our other liberties. It is a system composed of only two opposing forces: other’s self interest and your right to sell your labor or property as you so choose.

Norman Elarth

Filling the void
On behalf of the Board of Directors for the Chico Community Shelter Partnership (CCSP), I would like to thank Cindy Triffo and the students affiliated with the Rotary Interact group at Chico High School for hosting the annual Empty Bowls dinner. For the third year in a row, this wonderful event helped to raise funds to support the evening meal program at the Torres Community Shelter.

In an effort to increase our community’s awareness about hunger, guests selected a beautiful handcrafted bowl, designed by students from across the Chico High campus, as a keepsake from the evening. Local eateries donated delicious homemade soup, and bakeries contributed fresh baked breads and a selection of wonderful desserts. With ceramics teacher Kathy Schulz and the kiln at Chico High working overtime, we were blessed to find several local artists who willingly opened their studios to fire the abundance of bowls.

At CCSP we pride ourselves on being a grass-roots organization that draws support from many different parts of the community. The young people who participated in the Empty Bowls dinner impressed us with their genuine desire to join our network and give back to the community in a positive way. It was so heartwarming to see the talents each student contributed to make the evening a success.

So, once again, a big thanks to the Chico High School Rotary Interact students. We’ll look forward to finding more ways to involve these wonderful young people in the work we do on behalf of the homeless and hungry in our community.

Mary Flynn
CCSP Board Chairwoman

Up to the task
It has been an honor to serve the people of the 4th District on the Board of Supervisors, and I am honored hat they have given me their vote of confidence for another term. I am sincerely grateful, and I’ve never felt more privileged than I do today.

The issues that I am most passionate about are those that affect us most, and they haven’t changed since we began this journey together nearly a decade ago. Protecting our water, fighting to improve our agricultural economy, creating jobs and making government more accountable while increasing our vital public safety resources and holding the line on taxes will continue to be the bread-and-butter issues on which I will focus.

I will continue to lead the effort to bring private business principles to government, making it more efficient by rooting out waste and reforming the parts that just don’t work for real people.

On behalf of my family and so many dedicated volunteers who shared our hopeful message door-to-door with the people of our community, I thank you for this opportunity to serve.

Together, I am confident we can build an even brighter future for all our citizens.

Curt Josiassen