Letters for March 25, 2010

Readers weigh in on shelter

Re “A history of neglect” (Cover story, by Tom Gascoyne, March 18):

Thank you, Tom Gascoyne, for writing this article and hopefully educating our community on what is happening to our homeless animals. As a volunteer, I have been on a long, frustrating journey, but things are looking up. Christine Fixico is actually listening to the volunteers and staff, plus, by cleaning cat cages herself, understands the problems we have and is correcting them.

The shelter is looking better, people have better attitudes, and there is a feeling that we are closer to our dream of a new shelter, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, or at least the animals getting better accommodations and care. Sorry, I guess if any of you think I am bitching, I will just go clean cat cages like I have done day after day for a very long time.

Judy Alberico

I am a volunteer at the Butte Humane Society. As I see it, the board and staff are good people trying to do a good service with little support from the community. The shelter is a mess and just about impossible to improve anymore in its current location and facility (not that anyone is not trying).

This is to the city of Chico’s shame. We are a progressive, caring community and yet this shelter is so neglected? People come from both inside and outside of the state to adopt our wonderful animals at the BHS. They come to Chico, spend their money and spend some time in our city, and this is the best we can offer? A rundown place for them to visit and adopt from?

Please, Chico, show some community pride, and let’s get on with updating our animal shelter!

Sheryl Mattera

In considering funding that benefits cats, there is more that the city needs to take into account. Bidwell Park’s burgeoning feral- and abandoned-cat population is poised to grow exponentially with the advent of the spring breeding season. This bloom of cats will coincide with the hatch of baby quail, towhees, wrens, sparrows and other ground-nesting birds that reside in Bidwell Park, as well as those migratory birds that nest in the park. The result will be carnage.

Finding a solution for housing cats, by funding a BHS move to a larger facility and by funding a new sanctuary for Chico Cat Coalition’s unadoptable cats, as well as requiring that all cats in Bidwell Park be trapped and removed per city code, will provide a two-for-one: saving cats and saving birds. A group of citizens representing bird interests, Bidwell Park and feral and abandoned cats is meeting this week to research grants that might contribute to the solution, a funding stream that hopefully the city is also examining.

Scott Huber
Forest Ranch

Though it’s necessary to be an animal lover when working and volunteering at the animal shelter, you don’t have to love animals to appreciate the services BHS provides. The rare combination of being an open-admissions shelter as well as low-kill (euthanizing only sick/injured/behaviorally unadoptable animals) should bring pride to this community. Our shelter doesn’t turn away any animals from within Chico regardless of condition, and adoptable animals are cared for indefinitely until the right home is found. Far too few communities can say that about their local shelter.

Chico must realize that the future of this low-kill policy is in danger if a newer, larger shelter does not become a reality within the next few years. The community’s pet overpopulation and the shelter’s overcrowding are already significantly above what’s normal and will grow as Chico grows.

BHS has worked hard to provide the best care possible given the current means, but this struggling nonprofit cannot do it alone. If every person in the Chico Urban Area (the shelter’s service area) donated an average of $40 toward a new shelter, we would have a $4.3 million state-of-the-art sustainable facility including a desperately needed low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Let’s go, Chico. The time is now!

Heather Schoeppach

What’s so bad about it?

Re “Convention” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, March 18):

I do not understand why in Chico the people write about the bad capitalism if California is the most prosperous state of the continent.

Jesus Diaz
Mexico City

Changing the City Charter

Re “Improving the City Council” (Editorial, March 4):

The CN&R has lately editorialized about changing our form of city government (requiring a change in the City Charter), and I don’t doubt that it will continue along this line as others get behind one or more changes.

One change discussed in the CN&R includes having an elected major rather than one appointed by the council, which is now the method of selecting the mayor. The second discussion concerned electing council members by districts.

It will be interesting to see if there is any discussion of changes in the City Charter during the campaign for three open council seats in November. I disagree with both changes discussed in the CN&R, but I do think the registered voters may wish to establish term limits for council members.

If these changes become of interest to Chico voters, I know that there will be a great deal of discussing pro and con on any change in the City Charter.

Fred Davis

Editor’s note: Mr. Davis was Chico city manager from 1959-1992.

Phone book perceptions

Re “Phone book banishment” (Uncommon Sense, March 4):

Being in the phone book industry, I think it is important to clear up some misconceptions put forth by this article: that trees are harvested, paper wasted, oil burned, and landfill taken up by phone books.

The fact is that no trees are cut down specifically to make paper for phone books. Most publishers use at least 40 percent recycled materials for their directories, and books are 100 percent recyclable. Most publishers no longer use oil-based inks, either; soy-based alternatives are the standard.

As far as filling up landfills, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that Yellow Pages directories represent 0.3 percent of the municipal solid-waste stream. I would have thought a reputable paper such as the CN&R (also a paper product, mind you) would do a better job of fact-checking its “paper-based cousin” before putting out an article slandering phone books.

Oh, by the way, newspapers (again, according to the EPA) take up 4.3 percent of the solid-waste stream—1,300 percent more than phone books! For more information visit www.ypassociation.org.

Rick Rummelhart

The Butte County Yellow Pages is the phone book to keep. It’s locally produced, complete, and doesn’t over-produce. I recommend keeping this one and recycling the rest.

Casey Aplanalp

Who is this Dr. Amen?

I sent three e-mails and made several calls to KIXE-TV regarding Dr. Daniel G. Amen’s fundraising efforts for them. I Googled his name and found the second reference listed to be “scam” and the fourth “criticism” and the sixth “quack.”

It didn’t take long to realize Dr. Amen’s business isn’t raising funds for public television but rather selling dangerous and costly ($3,250) brain scans.

KIXE is running Dr. Amen’s “Magnificent Mind at Any Age” three times in March. I hope I save some readers some time and money.

Ernest Aldrich