Letters for March 16, 2017
Support this bill
Re “Squeezed out” (Cover story, by Howard Hardee, March 9):
Thank you for a fine article on the current state of housing in our region. It’s a difficult subject to tackle, and Howard Hardee did an excellent job looking at it from all angles.
Without affordable housing developments such as North Point Apartments (managed by CHIP and built/owned by the Community Action Agency of Butte County), more at-risk households would be on the streets looking for shelter. In an era of diminishing federal resources, it’s time for state government to step up to the plate.
State Sen. Toni Atkins has a bill that will create a statewide housing trust fund, using county recordation fees, not state general funds. Senate Bill 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, is supported by many groups, including the California Realtors. It will create additional affordable units in the least-affordable state in the country. For a region that does not have local voter-approved housing bonds, it is even more critical that our local voters encourage state legislators to support SB 2 this spring.
Market forces alone can’t tackle this problem, and I urge the residents of the Sacramento Valley to support efforts to improve housing conditions. It’s good for the community and good for the economy.
Editor’s note: The author is president and CEO of CHIP—the Community Housing Improvement Program.
‘Bridge too far’
Re “Power from within” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, March 9):
In Gloria Steinem’s sermon to the choir, we hear the claim that men seek to dominate women by eliminating reproductive freedom. This is one of many nonsense positions that support Steinem’s faux-radical, gender-toxic worldview.
The ideological divide on reproductive freedom is not along gender lines. For 30 years, on average, 50 percent of American women have opposed abortion—along with 50 percent of men. They oppose the right to abortion for the same reason they believe in the Genesis creation story: they are faith-based thinkers. Within their faith, a human embryo is a human being and abortion is murder.
Men who are not aligned with this faith-based view are no more interested in eliminating reproductive freedom than are women. On the contrary, it is often the case that men desire the termination of a pregnancy, but have no power to do so. In this respect, women have the privilege of greater choice—as long is it not removed by their faith-based sisters.
All that aside, were Steinem to really challenge—rather than shamelessly flatter—her mostly affluent female audience, she would have confronted the ecocidal evils in gender-equal American consumerism and the social evils in mostly gender-equal, rich-on-poor class warfare. Alas, a bridge too far.
Question and answer
Re “Why the resentment?” (Letters, by Brad Pankratz, March 9):
In response to Brad Pankratz, who is baffled by why we’re suspicious of Trump’s nationalism that supposedly puts U.S. interests first, let’s say we go along with America first.
Is the administration’s stated goal to deconstruct all our federal government departments helpful? What about the administration’s refusal to criticize Putin? Trump himself insisted on removing passages from the Republican platform that Russians didn’t like, creating the impression that he’s putting some kind of deal with Putin over U.S. interests.
Isolationism hurts our country in an era when democracy is under assault from Putin and other forces. Foreign aid helps ensure global peace and security and prevents terrorism, as well as helps famine victims, etc. It’s the obligation of the wealthy to help the poor, as all religions teach. These programs consume only about 1 percent of the national budget.
The Muslim ban discourages highly educated tech workers, reduces tourism and violates the Constitution. That hurts job access here. Rounding up Mexican workers who are crucial for farm work and other labor others won’t do is harmful to farmers. Name one action that Trump’s supposed America-first policy has achieved, in contrast to the great harm done to U.S. leadership of Western democracy.
America’s plutocracy now resembles a relief pitcher taking the hill late in the 10th inning. Our resurgent club had already mounted a successful comeback until he selfishly blew the lead, ruined the team and nearly butchered the entire franchise again. Not yet spring training and forecasts call for another long, grueling season.
Kenneth B. Keith
Chico’s former park and natural resources manager, Dan Efseaff, had a genuine desire to steward the city’s environs. He had the impossible job of managing the city’s parks, open spaces, street trees and the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission with a budget and staffing levels at less than half their minimal historic levels.
City parks and street trees show the shameful results. May his replacement be hired soon [and may that person have the] people skills, natural resource background and budgetary support from the City Council to succeed in preserving Chico’s environmental legacy, especially Bidwell Park.
Here’s an idea
Citizens’ Climate Lobby has a new idea for solving climate change: a Fossil Fuel Fee and Dividend program. It would level the playing field for renewables while reducing demand for fossil fuels.
It’s easy to collect a carbon fee at the coal mine or at the well head because we know how much carbon is in a ton or a barrel or a therm.
Every adult gets the same share of those fees; children (up to two per household) get half a share. Economists estimate that by the 10th year each household would get a monthly dividend of $288. By the 20th year, that reaches nearly $400. The less carbon a household uses, the more they keep from their dividend.
Note: Taxes bring in revenue, but fees simply recover the cost of providing a public service, such as lowering CO2 back to 350 ppm.
A fee and dividend program would not grow the government, but it would improve the Sierra snowpack for irrigation, increase salmon in our rivers, and keep San Franciscans’ feet dry so they won’t move to Chico.
Find out more on Thursday, March 23, at the Chico Guild Hall (formerly the Grange), free, 7-9 p.m.
Beware the scams
America is being attacked from all sides by international scams. I have been targeted personally and indirectly in these ploys.
The first scam was a trick to get me to send cash in exchange for a bogus check deposited to my account. Refusal to divulge the eight-digit claim number for money to be sent by a MoneyGram saved me more than a thousand dollars.
On two occasions, friends I worked with 20 years ago were nearly [duped by scammers] using my name in reference. Both were saved from this ploy by contacting me. No, it was more sophisticated than bailing me out of jail in some foreign country. Fortunately, they contacted me in the nick of time.
Then, I got an urgent call that my checking account was endangered as someone was trying to invade it, and to contact a number to protect it. Guess who was trying to gain access? Another scammer. I already heard the story about the fox guarding the hen house, and I resent both the analogy and the attempt to deceive.
To me, this constitutes a much more serious homeland security problem than immigration. Why are our leaders not focused on correcting this threat? Make America safe again. Stop these terrorists.