Letters for March 29, 2012

Protect the children

Re “Fighting for their families” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Graham, March 22):

It’s sad the Perry family of Chico would be denied visits, when none of them have been charged with any crime. How did the court let this infant so young be removed when there was no proof that abuse or neglect happened?

There are many persons in this community who’ve worked with and known this family for more than 25 years. I don’t know why Children’s Services Division failed to do the concurrent planning with Far Northern Regional Center. The baby and mother were both entitled to this under the Frank Lanterman Act, which regional center staff should be aware of.

Anita Allbee

Child Protective Services, CPS, is not constitutional. Somebody please explain how it is and how it came to be. The Sixth Amendment simply guarantees the right to “a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”

In this CPS system, there is no jury, no public trial, not even an arrest in most cases, yet children can be removed from their homes and parents. These boneheads with social degrees have more power than the judge.

Roy A. Miller

The same counties, like Butte, that are cutting school, fire, police and social programs can afford the money to hire “child confiscators,” high-handed bureaucrats who suck down state money for their salaries and specialize in terrorizing parents, who are often doing the best they can given the miserable living index in right-wing poverty areas like Butte County.

Simply amazing that there is always money when the state and county “tin gods” want there to be money. But little or no money can be located to help people get child care, find better jobs, mediate personal relationships—but plenty of money to terrorize parents. Gotta love the hypocrisy of these “right to work” counties. Save the fetus but ruin the already-born child.

John Lorenz

I am not surprised by this report; however, I am appalled. This seems to be more about power and control than protecting the children. Many of these children will be irreparably damaged by what the state has done, supposedly on their behalf.

Child abuse does happen, so the state needs to make sure the cases that keep slipping through the cracks are investigated and quit wasting their time trying to exert their power and control. Parents, stand up for your right to protect your children.

Edward Lujan

Nature center in good shape

Re “Woman at work” (Healthlines feature, by Christine G.K. LaPado, March 15) and “One day at a time” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Sept. 15, 2011):

Christine LaPado has twice written misleading articles about the [Chico Creek] Nature Center’s recent past.

LaPado states or was improperly informed that nature center membership is down. In fact, center membership tripled during the recent capital campaign to construct the new interpretive center. We established a broader base of community support than at any other time in the center’s history. I think it’s important to acknowledge that.

People should also know that our request for a city loan deferral was to settle unforeseen construction debt. We did that and balanced the budget. The resource development plan I presented to the board and City Council called for an aggressive fundraising calendar to maintain a balanced budget and meet the city’s repayment schedule. When I left, the plan was ahead of its revenue schedule and we were on track to begin city payments this July.

Last year the board and staff produced the largest-ever one-day fundraiser and a record $12,000 Annie B’s fund drive. The nature center has reached new heights with its new facility and expanded programs. It has been a quantum leap in the face of formidable challenges. Painstaking work by city and nature center staff has laid the groundwork for a better future. The center should now be able to pursue operational funding with the same vigor that gave Bidwell Park its new interpretive center.

I wish continued success to the center’s board and director as they build on a stabilized foundation and expanded donor base.

Tom Haithcock

Editor’s note: Mr. Haithcock resigned as executive director of the Chico Creek Nature Center in 2011, after eight years in the position. For the record, the statement he mentions about reduced membership appeared in Christine LaPado’s March 15, 2012, Greenways story about the nature center and came from and was attributed to Courtney Farrell, Haithcock’s successor as executive director.

Also, Christine LaPado’s Sept. 15, 2011, Newslines story about his resignation reported exactly what Mr. Haithcock states in his letter: that the center sought a loan deferral from the city because of unforeseen costs of constructing the new interpretive center, and that the center’s “aggressive fundraising” generated sufficient funds to finance the building, with the help of the city’s loan.

That said, we applaud Mr. Haithcock for his invaluable work, capped by construction of the interpretive center, and share his optimism about the center’s future.

A pandemic of plastic

Re “Plastic bags: two views” (Letters, March 22):

More than 200 cities in the United States have banned plastic bags, including San Francisco, Seattle and parts of Los Angeles. The Chico City Council is right to seek a ban. Several countries worldwide have banned thin plastic bags also: Italy, China, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh and more.

Ireland charges 22 cents at the checkout counter for plastic bags, thereby cutting plastic-bag use by 90 percent. Belgium, Germany, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands have recently followed Ireland’s lead.

Less than 1 percent of the 100 billion plastic bags that get passed out each year actually get recycled (source: Christian Science Monitor). Plastic bags use about 80 million barrels of oil here in the U.S. every year. Plastic bags don’t break down for a thousand years; they kill millions of fish and birds yearly; and they’re cancer causing and endocrine disrupting in the environment. This is not news to most of the world.

Ed Schilling

She’s a treasure!

Re “A ‘world-class aggregation’ ” (Guest comment, by Richard Hirshen, March 15):

I would like to echo the sentiments of Richard Hirshen. Terry Givens has been a tireless worker in providing the Chico area with healthful alternatives regarding our food choices and supply.

I was so fortunate to meet Terry in a graphic-arts class at Butte College several years ago. Before the class was half over I realized how amazing she was. Her sense of humor, artistic talent, breadth of knowledge and sound opinions on life in general quickly convinced me that I had met a very special person.

The term “citizen treasure” is often overused. In this case, however, Terry meets all the required criteria and more. Great job, Terry!

Gary McHargue

Safe surrenders

During the Thanksgiving holiday, friends and I spent several days trying to rescue a small, frightened Chihuahua that had been dumped near Scotty’s on River Road. During this time, I was inspired to find a small army of others attempting the same outcome. With the grace of God, and a little Thanksgiving turkey, this was accomplished. “Lucky” is now in a loving home and blossoming.

Currently, a county resident must drive to Oroville to surrender pets, as Chico’s animal shelter serves only city residents. This leaves a big hole in the county served by a mostly unresponsive Butte County Animal Control. Judging from my experience on River Road, there are enough responsible pet lovers to form a “No Questions Asked” rescue organization, where these animals can be safely surrendered.

To my friends on River Road: God bless you and stay vigilant.

Doris N. Wallace