Letters for March 15, 2001

Esteban the overseer

In the aftermath of the Wildcat Activity Center referendum vote, a few comments on the Chico State University administration are in order. Despite President Manuel Esteban’s griping about “outside interests” influencing the vote, the simple fact is that the sheer cost and enormity of the proposal are what doomed it. The students have spoken, and quite clearly: We want a rec center, but not one that costs this much.

I don’t fault Associated Student President Jeff Iverson and Vice-President Steve Cox for promoting the project—after all, they were just making good on their campaign promises—but Esteban’s behavior both before and after the vote has been inexcusable. His condescending attitude toward students and his callous disregard for the community of Chico have stripped him of respectability.

Simply, he stood to gain a $65 million addition to his campus that he would not have to lift a finger nor part with a single dime to build, and his boosterism was neither wanted nor appropriate. His demeanor throughout has been more fitting of an overseer of a colony and not that of a president of a public university. At the least, he owes students and community members an apology. Better still, he should resign.

John Haren
CSU student

Troubled weatherman
The recent news item regarding the Highway 149 expansion costing an extra $10 million saddens me.

This recent outrage helped me recall an acquaintance telling me in 1995 that meadowfoam was actually a commercially grown crop in Oregon. I was skeptical; how could a “threatened species” be a commercial crop? This prompted research. I didn’t have to look far.

I typed www.meadowfoam.com into my Web browser, thinking I’d get some enviro-wacko Web site protesting its demise. No, I got a Web site from a company in Oregon that commercially grows meadowfoam!

There I learned that another environmentalist outcry (whale hunting) sparked the commercial development of meadowfoam, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding $700,000 for research on it. Apparently, USDA doesn’t think it’s “threatened.”

The Butte Environmental Council and others affect everybody’s livelihood with this boondoggle. We can’t build a high school, a new church, and now the highway. Who knows in the future? Meadowfoam is a just a tool wielded by environmental zealots for their agenda. Since meadowfoam seems to be popping up near new projects, you wonder if it’s being selectively replanted to sidetrack all development.

They say that the Butte County meadowfoam is genetically different, therefore requiring protection. I don’t buy it. Oregon State University has a cultivation program for all strains of the plant. It could be grown in Butte County commercially.

For homeowners finding meadowfoam, the defense of last resort from the enviro-police is probably Roundup.

This letter represents my own opinion and no other’s.

Anthony Watts

Woman on top
What’s wrong with the men of Butte College? I’m especially disgusted with the men in the administration complex. When are they going to realize that we live in the 21st century? I refer to the insensitivity displayed on the lobby wall of the administration building.

Why do these macho men allow the current college president’s picture to hang below all those old, has-been, former college presidents? Is it because the current college president is a woman? Dr. Sandra Acebo’s picture should be alone on top. She earned the position. Give to her the respect she deserves.

At Butte College sexism is still alive. Act like men and demand that our beloved president be placed in the position her high office deserves. Some might think it is trivial, but I believe there is a lot of symbolism involved.

Kenneth A. Davis

Tower to the people
Re “End of story,” by Tom Gascoyne (Newslines, Mar. 1):

The reason Tower Books is closing is because the Tower managers closed it—probably to expand the more lucrative CD/recording business next door. Also, through my experience the people who frequent Barnes & Noble wouldn’t be caught dead in Tower, an icon of the youthful college trade.

Which brings up: Tower Books is in direct competition with the Associated Students-owned campus bookstore that now has a mini market inside and has moved from its less-accessible downstairs location to a prime location in the center of campus.

The old “Starbucks/Blockbuster/ Barnes & Noble are evil-doing corporations putting the cool places to rest” line is getting old. Please stick to the facts, and the CN&R staff might obtain something they lost years ago when George Thurlow, editor, left: respect.

Guy B. Morey

Drink smartly for luck of the Irish
St. Patrick’s Day provides everyone with an opportunity to celebrate the rich Irish heritage. As many of us here in Chico toast St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, Stash Distributing would like to take a moment to salute the millions who make designated drivers a part of their party plans.

According to a recent survey by the Data Development Corporation, 92 percent of the public endorses the designated-driver concept as a good or excellent way to curb drunk driving. In fact, more than 112 million American adults have been a designated driver or have been driven home by one.

Those are phenomenal numbers. And through efforts like these, we have made great strides in addressing the issue of drunk driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of drunk-driving deaths has declined 41 percent since 1982—the lowest level since government began tracking them.

But that does not mean we should rest on our laurels. There is still more work to be done to bring drunk-driving numbers down even further. To this end, Stash Distributing, a local Anheuser-Busch distributor, works year-round with bar and restaurant owners, community groups, law enforcement officials and many other community leaders to promote responsible drinking and designated drivers. We’re winning the fight against drunk driving. So let’s remember to look out for one another and designate a driver before we begin celebrating the wearing of the green.

Steve Mosher
General Sales Manager
Stash Distributing

Remembering Ide
Recently, my family and I went on a wonderful tour of the Bidwell Mansion. It was a real treat to experience the history of old California in the days of the Gold Rush. The tour guide was a great historian of the mansion and all the facts that were a part of this beautiful home.

I did ask a question about an early settler who at one time was proclaimed president of California. I was unable to recall his name, and the tour guide was also unable to help me remember this person. Well, I went to work on the computer and found that William B. Ide was that person in question. William B. Ide has a monument at Red Bluff.

Martin Hess
via e-mail