Letters for March 24, 2011

Transexuality: two views

Re “Transcending gender” (Cover story, by Stacey Kennelly, March 17):

Thank you for the very well-written and -researched article. However, “born in the wrong body” will never be a cliché for those of us who walk in a false body suit every day.

Gender identity is a complex issue in the study of human personality, yet it still receives scant attention in most textbooks. The options for self-identity are as varied as the colors in the LGBT rainbow. For those, like myself, who choose to not opt for medical sexual reassignment procedures associated with becoming a transsexual, it can be a very lonely and often dark world. Quite simply, our souls and our minds do not represent the physicality with which we were born.

For the young, like the subject of the article, there are now more options and a growing number of support groups. For older folks, children of the 1950s and '60s, there were few options but to wonder what might have been. I am nearing age 70, closeted, and did not truly understand my gender issues until I was 55 and considering suicide.

In addition to the local support group at Stonewall Alliance, there is also an excellent regional support group in Sacramento that offers complete anonymity. The Sutter Gender Identity Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month at Sutter General Hospital, 2nd Floor Conference Room C, 2801 L Street, Sacramento. It includes a wide spectrum of the Sacramento Valley transgender and transsexual community and their families and friends.

Name withheld

I am appalled by this article and do agree that she does in fact have gender-identity disorder. I really pray she gets the help she needs and deserves!

And CN&R—is this really front-page material? This is placed all over Chico where children are present, and I don’t think it’s appropriate!

Christy Madeson

An election ploy

Re “Anti-democracy in action” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, March 17):

While I personally feel that Chico politics is in the toilet and has been for many decades now, the middle class always having been ignored, I must remind Robert Speer that it was Jane Dolan and Dave Guzzetti who first moved the election date from June to November, all to benefit and make sure they had the student vote to keep students electing both of them over and over.

It worked for Jane for 32 years. Students, including me when I was 20, could always be counted on to hate the corporations and the big bad Republicans. That is, until they got their first job and watched their paychecks dissipate from excessive taxes, leaving them to go “Huh? Where’d all my money go?”

Rick Clements

Editor’s note: Voting for Butte County supervisor, the position Jane Dolan held, is done in June, unless a runoff is needed—which in her case never happened.

Alternatives to nukes

Re “Hard lesson from Japan” (Editorial, March 17):

As a resident of Butte County, I am proud to devote my life to helping others less fortunate with the education I have received living in my beloved California and encourage others to do likewise.

I am currently in the Philippines working under a grant from the Department of Science and Technology to develop a solar desalination system, as many of the thousands of islands here have no supply of drinkable water.

We are building a solar dish system that can be used for energy production, home heating, water purifying and utility-scale energy production at a fraction of the cost of technology currently available.

If anyone has the capacity to assist in this matter, feel free to contact me.

Tom Tirey
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Is Café Culture to blame?

Re “Running on empty” (Newslines, by Stacey Kennelly, March 17):

It would be great if [Café Culture owners Praveen Ram and Greg Fletcher] could make the place more appealing by remodeling. The remodel should represent the diversity of their vision. The space right now is dark and eclectic but not inviting. The way the seating is arranged is even a little haphazard.

Since they offer food and specialty coffee drinks, etc., why not make it a grand café experience, a must-see, must-experience place with a huge window view. That is the original meaning of a café experience (to look out on the community), so have wonderful plants and beauty to look at. Hide the parking lot but show the sky coming through.

I do see their vision as important and wonderful for our community.

Teresa Renfro

Well, if you own a business, you are responsible for anything that goes on there day or night. You have to take responsibility. How do we know that the same things won’t happen again the next time there is a shortfall with funds?

I think it is a shame that they made some bad decisions, but your past defines your future. Maybe you should find a location where the impact is less.

Steve Peterson

If enough people pledge their support, this innovative center can stay open. To become a member of Café Culture Community Center and receive a discount on all food, merchandise, classes and events, plus free member parties, pledge your support by e-mailing <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,99,104,105,99,111,99,97,102,101,99,117,108,116,117,114,101,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,34,62,99,104,105,99,111,99,97,102,101,99,117,108,116,117,114,101,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) }</script>.

I personally appreciate Greg and Praveen helping me provide free energy balancings there every Friday.

Gayle Kimball

Perhaps Sgt. Merrifield “can’t say” what the circumstances of the four (in two years) police incidents outside Café Culture were, but the owners can definitively link all of them to the now-discontinued after-hours parties.

For the Police Department to be indifferent (“really not our concern”) to when and why crimes in the streets happen is disturbing, and it is obviously unfair to discriminate against the owners’ efforts to build and stabilize their unique business because the “Fifth Street Corridor” is a problem area, problems obviously created not by Café Culture selling beer and wine as part of its food service, but by other businesses and by private citizens.

The causes and circumstances of criminal behavior are obviously the “concern” of law enforcement. Yet Café Culture is singled out as presenting a problem that justifies treating that business differently than the city treats others.

Greg and Praveen have elected to forgo needed revenue by voluntarily discontinuing the private parties, but the city chooses to ignore their proactive efforts to address rowdy behavior in the streets and unfairly blames them in advance for imagined future problems.

Dan Casamajor

CUSD’s lack of honesty

Re “Grant Blue Oak a charter” (Editorial, March 17):

Thank you for recommending approval of Blue Oak’s charter petition. The school is very impressive, and suddenly to debate test scores seems so inconsistent with how Chico Unified has treated its own schools. It is no secret that Chico Unified has several schools that the state designated as failing, so instead of improving the schools systemically, all they did was change boundaries or programs to affect the outcome of the tests. It was a devious way to manipulate scores.

I am also troubled with CUSD suddenly claiming that it would like to negotiate in public in order to bring more transparency to its governance. They conveniently pick and choose when to use it to their advantage at the same time they have a reputation for backroom politics, hidden agendas and questionable actions.

We recently read that an independent agency gave CUSD an “F” for its public-records practices. Before the school district asks for transparency from the teachers’ union, I would suggest that it first show it is truly capable of consistently doing business differently than it has for so long. I find it difficult to believe CUSD when its track record for dishonesty is so well known.

Terry Smith


Last week’s 15 Minutes (“Spreading the love,” March 17) incorrectly identifed the pronunciation of Sipho. It is see-poe. We apologize for the error.