Letters for March 13, 2003

Putting out the dog?
Please help us save Crazy Dog. For the past three years, my wife and I have owned and operated Crazy Dog, the hot dog stand at First and Ivy streets. We operate on city property with a sidewalk vending permit from the city. Recently, Chico State University has requested that the city abandon the section of sidewalk at First and Ivy, in order that they may “control the vendors.” This is a blatant attempt to put Crazy Dog out of business.

The university and the Associated Students have never spoken to us directly, but the A.S. has made statements in the past that lead us to believe they want us gone. Competition and the free market are American institutions and serve to drive down prices. This is good for the average student. We only hope to continue to support our family by serving good food at low prices to hungry Chico State students, faculty and guests.

Please help us save Crazy Dog. Come by and sign the petition to show your support.

John Geiger
Chico State alumnus and Crazy Dog Owner

Young and restless
After watching the TV news coverage and reading the CN&R’s story about the ALF’s misguided attempt to stop people from eating meat by planting “incendiary devices” at the McDonald’s [“Don’t have a cow, man,” Newslines, March 6], I realized that everyone had missed the big story behind the story. My headline would have read, “John Young First to Arrive at Work?!” Who’da thunk?

Happy spring.

Liz Merry

Relief effort
Thanks for the “Iraq War for Dummies” [CN&R, Feb. 27] cover story. It was timely, very well written, balanced and accurate. It also provided welcome relief from the misleading pro-war coverage found on television and the mainstream press.

Chuck Lundgren

50-year fever
I found the “Iraq War for Dummies” article most enlightening about most aspects of the coming war. However, one of your conclusions requires correction. You state:

“A unilateral attack would be, of course, unprecedented. America as a rule does not wage war against countries that are not waging war against it.”

This is not true. In fact, it seems war fever breaks out in this nation about every 50 years, with one exception. And every time it causes the United States to launch a major military effort against some nation that is simply minding its own business in a way America doesn’t like.

Two warships and 40 Marines were a major military effort for the infant United States in 1798. The enemy was minding its own business in a way that we then, and most nations today, would call blackmail. But in 1798, all other civilized nations paid up to the city-state of Tripoli and accepted it as a cost of doing business. Only America got on its high horse, crying “Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute!” and much to everybody else’s surprise conquered the shores of Tripoli.

In 1848, a small private invading army crossed into Mexico, aiming to capture the Texas plains for the Southern cotton and cattle empires. When the force was crushed by a Mexican army simply defending its land, Americans cried “Remember the Alamo!” and flooded into Mexico. When the war ended, the Mexican government had signed away a third of its land—literally staring down the gun barrels of American troops.

In 1898, “Remember the Alamo!” became “Remember the Maine!” A catastrophic accident in Manila Bay was played up by American newspapers into an act of war that simply never happened. That war gave America the remnants of the Spanish empire in the Pacific.

In 1948, there was no war fever—and no wonder. America was recovering from an exhausting, devastating war and in fear of one even more catastrophic. It took an unprovoked invasion of an American ally to force us into war again, and then only with United Nations backing—a precedent for today’s diplomatic struggle over Iraq.

So, in 2003, it’s no surprise that war fever has struck again. The only surprise is that no one has condensed our anger into a slogan like “Remember the Towers!”

Silas Warner

Public elections
Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont have new “open election” rules that allow public financing for people running for state offices. People running also get access to our public airwaves and debates. They qualify by getting a certain number of $5 contributors. More can be learned at www.publiccampaign.org.

By passing a proposition California should adopt these new rules. Results will be third parties with meaning, more people running and more people voting. Hopefully this will lead to reform at the federal level, so that people have a real choice for president and your vote will actually count.

Norm Dillinger

Fresh credit
Thank you for the kind words in Carey Wilson’s review [“Rattling the Riff rafters,” Reviews, March 2], but a correction has to be made. I was quoted as saying “Matt Loomis is God” while onstage. While I do agree with this statement, being that Brand Nubian taught me that all righteous folk are god, it was not said by me. It was said by the one and only Thug E. Fresh. No harm done in that you’re not the first to confuse us. I feel that credit is due to Thuggy. Thank you!

Aye Jay
Becky Sagers

Harebrained herring
General Bidwell would be turning in his grave if he read the brutal suggestion by Michael Jones that we should protect only native oaks and sycamores. John Bidwell planted an arboretum of hundreds of beautiful trees and spread a wide variety out around the city.

We have wonderful trees in Chico’s tree canopy. As you drive around, just look at the wonderful flowering magnolia, almond, dogwood and, of course, the crape myrtle. And don’t forget the majestic conifers, evergreens and ginkgo.

I am not a tree expert, but it is obvious that protecting just two species is too limiting. Do we ignore all evergreens, which brighten our Chico winters?

Let the TreeAction Ordinance, which is being agreed to by the city staff, and experts do a professional job. Don’t let us rush off with every harebrained red herring that crosses our path.

Tanya Henrich

Dovetail dissed?
I was dismayed that the CN&R did not include the Dovetail Gallery in its review of new and interesting businesses.

The Dovetail Gallery represents 40 of Chico’s finest artists. The clear and cultural vision of Bill and Linda McCoy has created a beautiful gallery. It is a brave endeavor born from a valuable, keen aesthetic and is unique in Chico.

The Dovetail Gallery has the kind of sophistication and quality that you would find in major metropolitan galleries. (Actually, after touring nearly a dozen avant-garde galleries three weeks ago in San Francisco, I’d honestly say the Dovetail easily excels beyond what I saw.)

We are truly fortunate to have a gallery of this caliber here in Chico. I believe it will someday have a very formidable reputation on the West Coast, to the great benefit of Chico.

T. Mead Mullen

Editor’s note: We assume the writer is referring to our annual entrepreneurs issue, which ran on Feb. 20. The criterion for the businesses examined this year was that they be ones that started small and over the years grew into larger, thriving businesses. While we appreciate Dovetail Design, it does not fit that profile.