Letters for March 12, 2009

Oral histories valuable all around

Re: “Generation to generation” (Cover story, CN&R, March 5):

When I first heard of this [Chico State Journalism Department] project last year, I was ecstatic! Each generation has something wonderful and exciting to share, and those who are willing to share and listen will benefit tremendously in many ways.

It is my great honor to have known, shared and listened to my great-grandparents, grandparents, great-aunts, and several distant greats. I am fascinated when I sit with a neighbor who is nearing 80 and listen about his life during those years that still exist, if only in memories.

The most wonderful of all was learning more about my own parents (now in their 70s). I have spent the last four or five years working with my father on our family tree so that I may be able to pass on the history and great knowledge that was gained by our ancestors to my daughters and, in time, my grandchildren.

On the other hand, I love to listen and talk to my girls (19, 16, 15) and share their day-to-day experiences and impressions about growing up in today’s world. I hope they listen, respect and learn from their interactions with their amazing grandparents and, in time, from me.

I think this is a very underused resource and hope that more people will be encouraged to interact with other generations in a more positive way.

Laura Skinner

Nightlife critique praised, panned

Re: “Bar/club scene in Chico severely lags” (Guest Comment, by Bobby Marchado, CN&R, March 5):

Dead on with this issue. I have watched the good ones go bad and bad ones go worse. For that reason, I had not been out this semester until last Saturday.

Normal [Street] Bar tenders were polite and actually asked how our night was. Along with the repaint and [how] the smell is gone, they have made an effort.

Michael Snow

Mr. Marchado accuses many bars and clubs of being dated and rude, even insinuating that a frisk before entering a bar is possibly illegal. He continues on to accuse the hip-hop crowd specifically as being the reason for the searches. I’d like to retort.

Going to the bars is something that is done out of choice. In Chico, especially, there is no imperative to go to a bar to socialize, with parties from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. A bar has a special privilege that should always come with the serving of an intoxicant, and that’s being able to limit who you allow entrance.

If this frisk bothers you, you have the choice to go find a house party instead—no harm, no foul.

The idea that only a person who is interested in hip-hop would possibly cause any problems at a bar is not only ridiculous, it’s insulting.

Hip-hop is a rich and diverse culture. I would ask anyone who feels a stigma toward hip-hop or any other counterculture—including the rave crowd, who would love to hear more electronica—to reserve judgment until they look at all facets of the lifestyle/culture.

There are many conscious and poignant emcees and followers who don’t condone the use of violence, who respect women and, most of all, who are very good people. Please, use caution when condemning a group; not everyone is as bad as corporate news makes them out to be.

Damon Lotti

This is a pretty harsh outlook on the nightlife in Chico. Not saying that there aren’t problems, but there are a lot of places that do try hard to make locals and non-locals alike happy.

Chico is a very lucky community to have the entertainment that we do have and the multiculturally diverse population that makes up Chico. I can tell you from experience that trying to make all these people happy is impossible, but we do still try.

I am a manager and bartender from The Graduate; I also help book the shows. Although we are new at this, I can honestly tell you that this is not an easy job to do. The reason I am writing this is to let people know that if they want to listen to good music, it is out there.

Next time you’re in the mood, you should come down to the Grad and give us a shot. Finally, after 20 years, music is back! We have a huge venue; great food and drink specials; a qualified, friendly staff; and 50 beers on tap.

The hard part about doing live shows is you need people to show up. Without the support of our community, it is impossible to have live music. We are trying to support local musicians and would love to have people come in and talk to us about playing here.

With that said, don’t give up, Chico—get out there and support local music.

Jake Lapp

First things first, I don’t know why a graphic artist is doing an article about music in a bar/club scene.

Second, I don’t know what DJs Mr. Marchado is talking about but, if you are going to generalize everyone, have the balls to call out specific people.

Last but not least, I don’t know who Mr. Marchado thinks he is putting an article out like this about businesses that have supported not only the Chico community but the CN&R. To the CN&R staff, you might want to think about who you let open their mouth.

See you on the dance floor!

Ryan Devereaux

Symptom of big problem

Re: “Rx for change: civility” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, March 5):

I assure you, Evan, complaints coming from those pharmacy lines are cries of panic, despair and anger at the cost impact of medications, particularly on low-income recipients and fixed-income senior citizens!

If you ever need an updated education on the current injustice of our health-care system and immediate need for reform, get in line at the pharmacy. I’ve worked with Hepatitis C patients through the Butte County HCV Task Force, securing cost-effective medication programs through pharmaceutical companies, only to be standing in those lines and told an exorbitant price—$2,500 to $4,000 for just two months of treatment—and sending them back because there was a miscommunication in the program cost for the client.

I’ve learned much in those lines, with my own clients, witnessing the out-of-control costs other people incur. Most of these folks are relatively healthy individuals!

I had another education going to Butte County Social Service with a client to secure food stamps. There were three seniors there, including a couple sitting next to me who expressed their monthly medication costs were so high they could no longer afford food.

Let those complaints turn into advocacy that brings you to your councilperson, your senator, to the Capitol, to rally long and hard for medication cost control in health-care reform.

Linda Walser
Butte County HCV Task Force

Tall tales?

Re: “A hard-knock life” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, March 5):

In reference to the article regarding Tony Nicosia and his autobiography, Dreaming of Wolves, I believe it to be a work of fiction.

I would like to see real proof (form DD 214) that he was ever in the military. He has claimed that he was in the infantry and was the sole survivor of a Viet Cong attack in a rice paddy. (That was published by the CN&R in Streetalk.) Now he talks about his Air Force heroics. Actually, if he ever had rheumatic fever as claimed, he would never have been accepted into the military, much less the Air Force, which had the highest entry standards.

I don’t mind that Tony is creative; I just expect truth in labeling.

Michael Bell

Editor’s note: A member of the Butte County Vietnam Veterans chapter writes that he’s seen the DD 214, and though Mr. Nicosia served honorably, “the record doesn’t support the stories.”

Outside influencers

Re: “Junk mail = cheap mail,” “Look at new source,” “Legalization advocacy” (Letters, CN&R, March 5):

I noticed that last week there were letters in here from Tennessee, Massachusetts, Colorado and Virginia. So I thought that I would just say Hello, folks! from Butte County, in hope of justifying the [e-mail] title of this section: Chico letters.

Gordy Ohlinger
Butte Creek Canyon

Hear, hear!

Re: “Ending reefer madness” (Editorial, CN&R, Feb. 26):

Yes, we should decriminalize pot. Once the revenue stream begins coming in, the government will rejoice and then congratulate themselves and give themselves raises for ever and ever.

Michael M. Peters

Waste of resources

Re: “Butte County challenges tribe in federal court” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Feb. 26):

I think that for Butte County, which is in such dire straights financially, to spend money on court costs to deny the Mechoopda tribe of their heritage, rather than be grateful for the jobs/employment coming into this county, is ludicrous.

Joyce Gonzales

The good apples

Re: “Pledge OK after O.D.” (Downstroke, CN&R, Feb. 26) and “More arrests to come?” (Downstroke, CN&R, Feb. 5):

A series of unfortunate incidents over the past few months have made the community aware of the poor choices of local university students. Too often, the behavior of these people, who represent only a small minority, is attributed to the entire student population in Chico.

I’d like to share a different perspective on our local university students. As the leader of Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), I have the pleasure to work with hundreds and hundreds of university students every semester.

CAVE is a student-run organization, with a staff of 75 people who are committed to driving social change in the community. A core group of student leaders receive a small monthly stipend, but most are working as volunteers. Every semester, the CAVE staff recruits, screens, interviews and trains more than 1,500 students with a desire to provide community service in Chico.

Volunteering in our schools, parks, senior living facilities and local nonprofits, each of these students contributes a minimum of 30 hours each semester, which translates into 45,000 hours of community service each semester.

Impressive? Certainly, but even more so when you keep in mind that most of these people are full-time college students, some with young families, who also hold down part-time jobs to support their living expenses.

The next time you read about an unruly group of students, please remember they are far outnumbered by students who care about giving back to the community they call home.

Mary Flynn