Letters for March 17, 2011

‘A fatal mistake’

Re “How to keep state parks open” (Guest comment, by John Koeberer, March 10):

Anyone who doesn’t yet know that “privatization” is code for stealing the wealth of this nation and destroying everything we as a people and nation have built for the last 50 or 100 years … anyone who can’t see that the agenda of moneygrubbers (personified by the “former chairman of the California Chamber of Commerce”) is radically opposed to government by the people, for the people … anyone who can’t grasp that government is the tool by which we the people control our affairs, and that surrendering that control to private interests, over which we have no control, is a fatal mistake … anyone sunk in such a morass of ignorance and misconception, is simply unfit to be a free citizen of the republic.

Nelson H. Kaiser

Bargaining smarts challenged

Re “Trustees open up at intimate workshop” (Newslines, by Leslie Layton, March 10):

I’m a little confused as to Ms. Kaiser’s statement that the teachers’ union (CUTA) is out of touch with what is happening at the state level and that the school district made concessions only after one-time federal money showed up.

In late July the teachers’ union offered the district a one-time, 4 percent salary concession (through six furlough days) for the 2010-11 school year. CUSD turned us down, saying they needed at least an ongoing 8 percent concession growing to 10 percent for 2011-12. We organized our members and came very close to a strike.

I am still baffled by CUSD’s next move: The school district’s counterproposal was a mere 1.09 percent concession (through two furlough days) for this year, 2010-11, and the same for next year, 2011-12. Naturally, we accepted. Their counterproposal would cost us far less than we were offering.

Again, I am confused on how this chain of events implies that we, CUTA, are out of touch with the current economic conditions. CUSD would be financially far better off had they simply accepted our 4 percent concession.

Kevin Moretti

RDAs’ questionable priorities

Re “Future is blight?” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Feb. 17):

Reading the beginning of the story, I kinda felt sorry for the city of Chico and other local entities throughout California with the loss of possible [redevelopment] funding and resulting loss of jobs and urban blight, but then the final paragraph sums up Gov. Brown’s reasoning: $487 billion in outstanding payback money that the 425 agencies now owe.

I question the determinations by local governments for the priorities of the projects, the funding and paybacks that developers have accrued, and the disbursements of the funding to low-income housing.

Most of all I question why local government has not resolved their urban blight and art programs with some other means than RDA money they cannot possibly repay and will once again fall on taxpayers to repay to the lending institutions. Sounds similar to the housing crisis.

Dave Lohr

An unfriendly officer

An international group of women and men celebrated the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8. A global ceremony held in 129 nations, organized by Women to Women International, utilized meeting on bridges as a symbol of connection (www.womenforwomen.org/bridge), so we met on the Mangrove bridge over the freeway with our signs.

The California Highway Patrol officer who told us in a very rude and abrupt way to get off the bridge needs to learn how to deal politely with peaceful people. He barked at us with his loudspeaker to get off the bridge. He broadcast from his car, without provocation, “I can arrange for you to be arrested if that’s what you want.” At no time did he use polite language like “please” or talk to us face to face.

We would like to raise our concern and suggest that CHP officers need better training about how to interface with the public. It was a wonderful, positive observance, and we are grateful for everyone who responded so joyfully to our Celebration of Women.

Gayle Kimball
Chris Nelson

City has bad tree policy

It is time to rethink the city of Chico’s urban-forestry policy, before we lose our “City of Trees” title and become the “City of Teeny Tiny Little Trees.”

I refer to the city’s relentless effort to replace full-size street trees with small tree species and large ornamental shrubs. I believe the policy now calls for a 20-foot canopy—like they have in most desert towns!

We live in area ideally suited to the growth and vigor of very large trees. Chico soil, water and climatic conditions are, in fact, ideal. We also have many large tree species available—several of which are indigenous—such as the valley oak and California sycamore. We also live in one of the hottest parts of the state, where summer temperatures commonly exceed 100 degrees.

Because they are heavily reliant on heat-absorbing black asphalt, urban landscapes store heat, generating what is known as a “heat island effect.” The more we shelter streets and parking areas from the sun, the less heat they collect, thus lowering temperatures—especially in the evening and at night—when this urban heat sink releases stored heat back into the atmosphere.

The very best way to shelter pavement is to plant trees that develop large, spreading canopies. Yes, they cost more to maintain, but they cut cooling bills drastically within the city, and they help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with energy production. Earlier generations had most of this figured out; why are we going backward?

Patrick Newman

Schaupp has integrity

Re “Bits and pieces” item about Charlie Schaupp and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 24):

I’ve known Mr. Schaupp all of my adult life, ran with him and won election (we were both elected) to the Yolo County Republican Central Committee in 1994. I watched him at all points in his life and can tell you from personal experience, Charlie Schaupp is no traitor.

If I was given any monumental task, I’d pick Schaupp for his daring, his honor, his strength and most of all his intelligence and integrity. His claims against Mr. Nielsen are true and proof positive “it’s who you know” that counts. Charlie was robbed by a carpet-bagger, and in turn the voters of his district were robbed of his service.

The voters of his district have made a grave error in not electing him to any office he will serve. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a more loyal and hard-working, trustworthy individual. It should be the voters asking him to serve instead of him running for office, in my humble opinion.

Don Kearney
State Director,Sportsmen Assisting
the Nation’s Disabled Sportsmen, California Chapter

See Blue Oak for yourself

Before CUSD trustees vote on the new charter for Blue Oak School, I really hope they all make the time to tour the school. Many things so apparent in person cannot adequately be described on paper: the spark in the eyes of a child engaged in a developmentally appropriate lesson; the joy in a teacher’s voice as he or she shares a story from memory; the attention to environment, setting, materials, quality.

Come on a tour and see for yourself!

As a longtime parent of three at Blue Oak School, I’ve been struggling with what I could write that wouldn’t sound like more horn-tooting from a supporter. I could tell you about the life skills my children have gained, the anticipation in their hearts and on their faces as they race into school on Monday mornings, the pride in their beautiful work, the stories of how much they love their school and truly love learning, the community of amazing parents, and on the list goes.

I could tell you that, even as our school awaits its CUSD approval, our tours are packed with interested people. I could tell you that my association with this school’s faculty and families has made me a better parent, a better person. But no, I think I’ll just tell you to take the tour and see for yourself!

Call 879-7483 to reserve your spot.

Caryl Williams Brown