Letters for March 29, 2001

Bush’s America
Our new president is doing exactly what Democrats said he would do: Mr. Bush is proceeding apace with his rape of the American poor.

Under the Bush tax plan, a family of four with an income of $20,000 would get a net tax break of $168 per year (40 percent of American couples earn $24,000 per year, or less). A family of four with an income of $1 million would get a tax break equal to three times the total yearly income of the family trying to survive on $20,000.

Mr. Bush has decided to throw out 10 years of research on repetitive-stress injuries. Cowboys don’t abide words like “ergonomics.” If people destroy the joints in their hands processing chickens, this is simply a result of their decision to accept menial labor. Besides, if a couple works real hard at processing chickens, they can make $20,000 a year and get a $168 tax break.

With new bankruptcy legislation, Mr. Bush will make sure that vulnerable bankers are not victimized by an undisciplined underclass. Banks (and all other corporations) will have the same access to bankruptcy protection. The chicken processor, crippled though she may eventually be, will lose most of hers.

In George Bush’s America, we don’t need to be compassionate, as long as we say we are.

Patrick Newman

Plight of the normal person
I have lived in this area for 21-plus years. I raised two great kids now in college, one at Chico State and the other at Humboldt State University. I’ve never been political, but lately I cannot believe what is going on in my community. The fighting over the Otterson extension, Chico State rec center, the freeway expansion, the new high school and meadowfoam/ fairy shrimp: Everyone must be idiots! Have we lost our priorities?

Manuel Esteban and other government employees have no idea what the normal people have to deal with. Esteban says, “The students don’t have the last word.” Well, who pays the bills, your salary, Mr. Esteban?

I hope Chico residents aren’t so narrow-minded they can’t figure out the Otterson mess. The Midway is the main road to Durham. County supervisors, are you aware of the big picture? I patronize Wilbur’s Feed on Meyers, off South Park Avenue. Has anyone been down there to look at the creek? Not too accessible, except to bums; it’s full of junk, hobos. How sad. There is no access for the normal public.

Improving the Otterson extension will make this area available to the people who pay the bills. But [property owner] Doug Guillon should make concessions and pay his part, since he will benefit. Apparently nobody wants to locate at the airport (companies are leaving). Why not develop what is in place?

G. Stenlund

Park the park signs
Take a trip to Upper Park. There you are greeted by a plethora of signs telling you not to do this and not to do that. If you look really close, you might find one or two small signs telling you something useful, like where the trail starts. Who knows what you can do? I wondered if I could ride my bike on the Upper Park road when it was closed to cars, and the park director had to consult the Municipal Code to find out (the answer is no, you can’t).

Do we really need big signs telling us that littering is a no-no? How about phasing out most of the “don’t do this …” signs and limiting signage to useful information, like what trail or parking area you are at? The park commission should exercise its oversight function and tell the Parks Departments bureaucrats to clean up their mess.

Michael Jones

Editor’s note: According to parks Director Dennis Beardsley, all roads and trials in Upper Park, with the exception of the Yahi Trail next to the creek, are open to bikes unless posted closed due to wet conditions.

Pie-in-the-Sky Park
This so called ''Coalition for Parks and Jobs'’ should change its name in the interest of settling the lawsuits that were filed about the Measure A ballot arguments.

Just exactly how would a $3 million bridge and a half-mile of road going through Comanche Creek greenway transform itself into a “park"? There is no money allocated in Measure A for typical park improvements such as trail establishment and maintenance, benches or anything else. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go to a “park” with damage due to construction, no benches and truck traffic whizzing by at close proximity.

How is a third entrance into a business park going to suddenly attract new businesses to Chico? Would a bridge have saved Fleetwood from going under? I challenge the “Coalition for Parks and Jobs” to point to one piece of evidence that new jobs would be created by Measure A. Otherwise, it is just “pie-in-the-sky” rhetoric—just like the name!

Luisa Garza

Check out Library Week
April 1-7 is National Library Week, and if it’s been a while since you’ve been there, you’d probably be pleasantly surprised at how libraries have embraced the latest technological advances while maintaining the traditional programs and services that have made them one of America’s most cherished institutions.

More than 200 years after Benjamin Franklin introduced the first lending library, Americans are still flooding into libraries seeking the knowledge to make their dreams come true.

Today’s libraries are not the quiet places you remember—they are dynamic and energetic places where the whole community comes together. Libraries provide children with their first exposure to books; teach parents how to safely navigate the Internet with their children; provide small-business owners with information on how to turn a profit; help doctors research the latest medical findings; and provide students young and old with the skills they need to find, use and evaluate information.

If you haven’t been lately, come see what’s new at your library.

Library Media Teachers
Chico Unified School District

What’s the holdup?
In 1998, the citizens of Chico Unified School District voted to give Chico a new high school. At the time, everyone was assured that we could occupy that new high school by 2003. It is of great concern to the Chico Unified Teachers Association that not one wheelbarrow load of dirt has been moved at any prospective high school site.

Several questions need to be answered by the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees. Why was the site finally decided upon by the district not even on the list of options when the bond election occurred? Why is this board still pursuing a piece of property that obviously has many environmental constraints and could be tied up in red tape for years to come? Why has the district allowed the fate of the new high school (and our students) to be tied to a residential development of questionable merit when its sole concern should be an appropriate site for the school?

Walk onto any Chico high school campus and you will see the need. It is time to stop playing politics with the students of Chico. Taxpayers in this community agreed more than two years ago to build a new high school to meet the needs of our children. There are other sites currently available. CUSD Superintendent Scott Brown and the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees must choose one and be ready to work together with the community to get a high school built before inflation leaves Chico with half of a high school, or none at all.

Dan Sours
President, Chico Unified Teachers Association