Letters for March 15, 2012

Bring home the bag

“Bagging restrictions” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, March 8): The city of Chico continues to lose business and jobs, and the Chico City Council seems to continue to look for ways to make it more difficult to do business in Chico.

Mayor Ann Schwab thinks businesses choose to come to Chico because of its quality of life. ChicoBag owner Andy Keller spoke in support of a city plastic-bag ban. It would have been a perfect opportunity for the mayor to ask Mr. Keller to bring those manufacturing jobs from China, where ChicoBags are made, back to Chico. This would help offset any jobs that may be lost from a plastic-bag ban.

Having been to China, I’d pick the quality of life in Chico any day.

Michael Reilley

Limbaugh takes some licks

Re “Rush Limbaugh, lord of louts” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, March 8): A great take-down of Rush! There is just one inaccuracy, and it shows how effective Rush has been in deceiving and misleading people about what Ms. Fluke was asking for.

Ms. Fluke was not asking for financial assistance from the government in purchasing health insurance or birth control. Rather, she was asking the federal government not to allow large church-owned organizations (like Catholic schools and hospitals) to forbid insurers from offering contraceptive coverage to students and employees.

The students at Georgetown University purchase their own insurance through the school with their own money, but the school restricts their rights to have access to appropriate health coverage by forbidding contraceptive coverage—even when necessary for treating medical conditions apart from contraception.

Tamar Bloomfield
Ithaca, N.Y.

I have been an admiring reader of Jaime O’Neill for years. He always provides interesting insight, and his work is always thoughtful, well-written and entertaining.

His recent Guest Comment regarding the Ÿber-buffoon Limbaugh is definitely in that category. In expressing sentiments shared by many of us, this comment features a refreshing directness, a candor often stifled in the hope of not offending anyone. From my perspective, the truly offensive can just go ahead and be offended.

Thank you, Jaime.

O. J. McMillan

Mr. O’Neill: I thought I would let you know, I feel your “hate.” It’s OK, really; we dittoheads have grown accustomed to hate from you and those like you.

Bill Smith

Out-pricing the community

The past 12 years my daughters and I have volunteered, along with many other National Charity League moms and daughters, at the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament held every March at Chico State. It has been an incredible experience to participate in this event where the athletes embody the true spirit of sports through good sportsmanship and pure love of the game.

Chico State’s decision to severely increase fees for use of facilities built and funded with taxpayer monies, local donations and community efforts is doing great damage to our town-gown relationships. Few local groups are able to afford to use the facilities at the new increased rates.

In my “day job” on the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees, I observed as Chico State pushed Chico High football out of the university stadium by increasing fees beyond the district’s ability to pay.

The passion and dedication of Chicoans to support local community groups and nonprofit organizations will flourish undeterred by the actions of Chico State, although well-loved events, such as the annual Ability First! camp, may be moved out of town to other, more community-spirited colleges. It is unfortunate to think of Chico State facilities sitting empty and unused because the university out-priced its own local community.

Jann Reed

Editor’s note: The author has served on the Chico school board since 2005. On March 28, she states, she will formally announce that she does not intend to seek re-election this year.

Muddying the issue

Re “A cubana on freedom and equality” (Guest comment, by Ana Varona, March 1) and “Exiles’ ‘domestic terrorism’ “ (Letters, by Kathy Lowen, March 8): I have been following the Cuba story and the response by Ana Varona (full disclosure, she is a friend of mine) and the letter by Kathy Lowen in the latest issue.

I think you missed an opportunity to do the job of an editor when you allowed Ms. Lowen’s letter to be printed. It dealt neither with the original story, nor with Ms. Varona’s response to it. Instead it brought up a perhaps related subject, in essence saying “there are bad people everywhere.” Printing letters that are only tangentially related to the topic does not further the discussion; rather, it muddies the issue.

David Lewis

Serving up sustainable sushi

Re “Knowledge is power” (Greenways, by Meredith J. Graham, March 8): I read your article on sustainable sushi. It is a nice coincidence that Aonami’s first printing of its fictitious business statement appeared in the same issue as your article. Aonami is the name of my restaurant, soon to open in Chico. It will be Chico’s first and only completely sustainable sushi bar.

I’m no expert when it comes to the topic of sustainable sushi, but I have been studying the contents of those websites for more than a year now. It is my hope that articles like yours and restaurants like mine will make a difference in the consumption of under-populated fish and/or unsustainably farmed seafood.

Jimmy Lee

Gas shouldn’t be cheap

Lots of folks seem quick to blame the president for the price of gas. They clamor for cheaper fuel. The same folks blame the president for delaying U.S. oil production (ignoring the “drill, baby, drill” mantra). They want cheap gas, and they want it now, and to hell with the environment.

The facts: The United States has 4? percent of the world’s population, but we account for 20 percent of the world’s daily oil consumption. We are energy hogs. Even our own oil refineries are exporting gasoline and diesel at higher volumes than ever before because they can sell those products around the globe for more money than they can get in the U.S. These same oil companies are still receiving mammoth subsidies from the U.S. government, while enjoying record profits.

Cheap gas stifles innovation. When gas is cheap automakers have no incentive to build more efficient products. Just look at all the SUV’s and trucks U.S. automakers turned out just a few years ago. When energy is cheap, exploration into alternative energy sources dries up, because nothing happens in this country unless there is a profit to be made.

We need to think long term for a change; we just might need those U.S. oil reserves if we ever got into a real worldwide conflict and the Arab nations turn off the tap. Oil is running out; now is the time to find alternatives, not after the lights go out. I think the president is on the right track.

Gary Janosz


In the Editor’s Pick in the March 1 Arts & Culture listings, we incorrectly listed Jarrod Cordle as a cast member in Chico Cabaret’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The actor was actually David Deuel. Also, the reason we gave for the Cabaret’s eminent closing, increasing rents, no longer is the main reason for the theater’s leaving the Almond Orchard space, according to co-owner Phil Ruttenburg.

Second, the subhead of the online version of our March 8 Downstroke item, “Special Olympics snafu, part 2,” incorrectly stated that the volleyball tournament that displaced the Special Olympics event at Chico State was not held. It was held, but it took place just on Saturday, March 3, and not also on Sunday, the day on which both it and the Special Olympics event had inadvertently been scheduled.

Finally, we got the name wrong of the man who represented Physicians for a National Health Program in our March 8 Newslines report, “Is ‘Medicare for all’ the solution?” He’s Bill Skeen.

Our apologies for the errors. —ed.

Where’s the doc?

My wife has been in a couple of skilled-nursing facilities. The care given by the nurses, therapists and staff has been excellent. What concerns me is the lack of physician care. Assigned doctors only have to make monthly visits, but can be paid by Medicare for two. How can they give anything but cursory care with such minimal visit time?

Recently, my wife caught a cold from her roommate at a nursing facility, and I in turn caught it from her. At my request, the head nurse called the out-of-town physician to order an antibiotic. The doctor prescribed the pills over the phone without seeing my wife. When I went to Immediate Care, the doctor told me I had a viral infection and antibiotics would do no good, as they are for bacterial infections. Luckily, we all survived.

Since our family physician was no longer the physician on call; my wife was dependent on the “absentee” physician. This placed undo responsibility on the head nurse and fellow assistants to diagnose as well as prescribe.

Medicare requirements, administrative staffs and the medical profession all share the responsibility. Please, have the assigned doctor tell me more than that I’ve just died. Where are the ethics?

Dick Cory

Tour de Ed gives thanks

On behalf of the board of directors of the Chico Cyclists Care Fund, our event volunteers, and members of the community who participated on March 4, we would like to thank all of the generous businesses and individual contributions to the sixth annual Tour de Ed.

This year well over 250 riders participated. Combined with our past efforts, we now have more than $20,000 available to provide financial assistance to local bicyclists who sustain injuries while cycling.

We especially want to thank and support the following businesses toward this years’ event: Pullin’s Cyclery, North Rim Adventure Sports, Nantucket, The Printed Image, Red Tavern, Great Harvest, Chico Sports LTD, Star Community Credit Union, Butte Natural Distributing, Naked Lounge Coffee House, Mt Shasta Water, Discounts Disposables, A to J Rentals, city of Chico and the Volunteer Police VIPS for their safe escort.

The Chico Cyclists Care Fund and the Tour de Ed were inspired by Ed McLaughlin’s catastrophic accident almost six years ago. His experience demonstrated the need for financial assistance to help with medical and associated expenses to our fellow community members who are injured while cycling. The expense of medical care can be a huge financial burden that we all are acutely aware of.

Again, thank you to all who contributed to this effort.

Sandy Fisher

More on Rush

I love you, Jaime O’Neill. I could not love you more. I will name my next three kids after you and maybe even consider changing the names of the ones I already have. You are awesome. And I love you. Did I mention I love you? Well done.

Jodi Rives