Letters for March 23, 2006

Supporting the National Guard
As Californians prepare their 2005 income-tax filings, I hope they will consider donating to the California Military Family Relief Fund.

Donations to this tax-deductible fund can be made on Line 63 of state income-tax forms. The money will provide emergency grants to National Guard families in California who are in dire financial straits while a loved one is on active duty.

Since 9/11, more than 12,000 California National Guard men and women have been called up. When Guard members leave their regular jobs for military duty, many take significant pay cuts. Some families have lost as much as 70 percent of their household incomes. Savings accounts are drained, monthly mortgages go unpaid and car payments are missed—all because a loved one is in harm’s way in service to our country.

We can help those families by writing in a donation on Line 63 of the state tax form. The state is donating the administrative costs for the program. One-hundred percent of the taxpayer donations will go to families in need.

Stephen Green Press Secretary for Lt. Governor Cruz M. Bustamante

The personal is political
Re “John Cares” (CN&R Letters, March 9)

Jon Luvas’ remarks, although boorish, did not warrant his dismissal; and the City Council acted wisely in that regard. More troubling, however, is the issue inadvertently raised in Tanah Luvas’ apologia in your March 9 edition. She states that “He (Jon) was questioning the medical model which tries to save every patient at all cost, when so many others who need medical care can’t get it.”

Ignoring the non-sequitur, the issue of medical triage for the elderly encompasses a profound set of moral, ethical and legal questions; deriving the answers to those questions is not a task usually assigned to a city planner. As a private citizen, Luvas is entitled to his personal views. As a public official he may not, through his offices, impose his personal view on others.

I heard a prominent medical ethicist make a remark similar to this: “It is true that for most of us, the majority of our medical expenses will be incurred in the last few months of our lives, and allocation of scarce medical resources under such circumstances may be a disservice to others more in need. Now, if you will just tell me when those last few months are going to be …”

Warren C. Anderson

First, harm none
I want my government to have no laws or policies that harm in any way or imprison anyone who has not been proven to have harmed someone other than themselves in the past.

This means no pre-emptive war, no jailing of drug users and “suspected terrorists,” and no torture of anyone.

Were I Iranian, I would want nuclear weapons to defend myself from a very possible invasion by the United States. We can “live in fear” or “live in love.” I choose love.

Norm Dillinger

Just say no
This week marks the advent of Spring, bringing sunshine, flowers and the Great American Meatout! Yes, the Great American Meatout. Fashioned after the Great American Smokeout, Meatout is a fantastic excuse to “kick the meat habit” and begin Spring with a fresh, compassionate start.

Indeed, Meatout provides all of us an opportunity to examine the impacts of our diet on the health and well-being of our families, our planet and the billions of animals that needlessly suffer in factory farms and slaughterhouses. I’m celebrating by distributing free vegetarian starter kits, and I want readers to know they can request a kit (with delicious recipes and advice) by visiting www.meatout.org or calling 800-MEATOUT.

Thanks and Happy Spring!

Clayton Scott

The stages of Enloe’s development
(Editor’s note: See CN&R’s continuing coverage of Enloe’s proposed expansion at www.newsreview.com.)

Think back on all the changes that have occurred in Chico from 1986 to 2006. Is there a single instance that you can think of in which a developer (of any kind) should have enjoyed 20 years of unfettered freedom to do as he or she pleased, with just an annual review and some input by the Architectural Review Board?

Development agreements are not the tool to use. I asked [city-planning director] Kim Seidler to provide for me data on development agreements (DAs) over the past 10 years, and the only DAs that the city has actually executed (that he could find) from the last decade are those for Andrew Meghdadi in connection with the tree removals at his subdivision property in southeast Chico (a punitive DA), and the Housing Authority of the County of Butte (HACB), for development of the site at 1200 Park Avenue for affordable senior housing. There was also a proposed, but unexecuted, DA for Enloe at the Bruce Road site going back to about 1990.

The “architects” of this process (assuming the principles were [former City Manager] Tom Lando and [former Enloe Health System CEO] Philip Wolf) are gone from office. None of the city-council members will be in office in 10 years, and yet they may enter into an agreement that will far outlast their obligations as elected officials.

If the project must go ahead, insist that the project go forward in stages with conditional-use permits, with each stage of development receiving the needed analysis and permits.

Barbara Reed, Dairy Advisor
Glenn County Cooperative Extension


Bashing Bush’s war
Well there he goes again; President Bush is on another PR rampage, claiming how important it is to “stay the course” because the war is being won! And, we certainly don’t have to worry about civil war! This while the two main factions who have lived side by side for a very long time are packing up and moving away from each other in droves. Now I wonder why that is? Maybe because there is a civil war starting and, unlike our president, they can’t just pretend it away; they are too busy saving their butts.

Diane Lander

Bashing Bush again
I am saddened by “President” Bush’s stance (and recent report) supporting pre-emptive war. Imagine being attacked by a foreign nation. Remember Pearl Harbor? That’s what we are doing to other countries. This is how enemies and terrorists are created. These are our tax dollars at work: supporting murder and stealing other nations’ resources. Let’s get rid of “President” Bush.

C.C. Melton

Bashing Bush one last time
President Bush launched a new public-relations effort on Iraq to counter his record-low poll numbers. As part of the PR campaign, he is once again asserting his doctrine of “pre-emptive war.”

With the president on the road for a PR blitz during the three-year anniversary of the war, we must remind the country that the Bush pre-emption doctrine has been a disaster in Iraq—making America and the world less safe. Is the president foolish enough to hit Iran with a pre-emptive strike? We should all have trouble sleeping at night.

Elen Castleberry