Letters for March 3, 2011
Marijuana: two views
Re “Cultivation controversy” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, Feb. 24):
Judging from some of the statements made at the Feb. 22 county Board of Supervisors meeting by those supporting the use of pot, their main purpose was to intimidate the supervisors into giving in to their demands. I hope it does not turn out that way.
Simply put, pot is not a medicine. It does not “cure” anything. Calling it “medical marijuana” is a blatant fraud. And if anyone wonders why it is not sold in drug stores, the reason is that the federal Food and Drug Administration does not recognize nor has it approved pot as a medicine.
The proposed fees and regulations being submitted by the Butte County government are a total breach of our rights that we have fought so hard for. As a Vietnam veteran, I am astounded at the gall of the county government trying to receive income from the sick and poorest group of people in the county, who are already trying to deal with lack of work, decreased benefits, sky-high health-care costs, just to name a few.
I am calling on all Butte County residents to come together and help your fellow man and woman to fight this action. We are a free-to-speak public and should not be treated like cattle only to produce income for our leaders.
If the budget situation in Butte County is so dire, then some should take a pay cut if they are so concerned.
Separate for some
Re “Stakeholders discuss Inspire’s move to Chapman Elementary” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Feb. 24):
The article contained the following statement: “The total cost of the Inspire relocation—including future building on the Chapman site—is estimated to total $7,455,500.” As I understand it, a major argument for Inspire charter was that, due to budget cuts, the district couldn’t afford to offer arts and culture curricula to all students at Chico High School. Obviously, when it comes to the political decision to set up a separate school for some of the district’s students, there are funds.
The anti-union, anti-public-education political Right is hysterical with glee. But, as the Wisconsin protests and others around the country show, we pro-union and pro-public-education folks will counter-attack the class-warfare initiated by the political Right. We do so on behalf of all workers and all kids.
The value of trees
Re “Bits and Pieces” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Feb. 24):
I’m sad about the beautiful sycamore tree that was removed to make way for the roundabout downtown. But I’m sadder still about the 20 healthy trees that were removed on East Fifth Avenue to make room for sidewalks.
I realize sidewalks are needed on that stretch of road, but it appeared that with a little better planning there could have been room for both. In fact, a lot of the trees that were cut down were on parts of the street that already had sidewalks. One black oak was saved, thanks to people who spoke up to protect it, but the rest are gone forever.
When summer comes those beautiful shade trees are going to be sorely missed.
Certainly Brahama D. Sharma applauds Mark Herrera for his passion to protest the cutting down of the sycamore tree. However, one questions his wisdom to get arrested in the process. A commissioner should have been able to make the entire city of Chico aware of the impending tragic act.
This is an act of disastrous policy-making by the City Council. To cut down a tree is tantamount to a felony. This sycamore tree took decades to mature and helped in keeping Chico residents healthy.
It is time the City Council got the advice, not just comments from the public, of scientific scholars prior to acting on matters involving science, even remotely.
Brahama D. Sharma
Son of a union man
Re “Power play in Wisconsin” (Editorial, Feb. 24):
Yes, there is a power play going on in Wisconsin. Most unions have been wiped out in this country. I hope this battle is won and moves across America. California is next. Is America facing a Cairo moment? Workers are tired of the 10 percent that is ruling this country.
My father was a union man back in Pittsburgh, Pa., where I was born. When he came home with that 50-pound bag of potatoes, we knew that his union was on strike. We survived, and he got a better paycheck.
Illegals on welfare? A myth
Re “Panel refutes misconceptions about immigration” (Newslines, by Stacey Kennelly, Feb. 17):
Thank you for Stacey Kennelly’s coverage of the well-attended Immigration Myths and Misconceptions panel at Chico State on Feb. 15. This is an important public conversation that our community needs to have.
However, I need to correct one statement that Ms. Kennelly made about my work here at Legal Services of Northern California. I have indeed spent “decades” helping low-income people acquire the financial and social services they need, but those services have not been extended to illegal immigrants. Legal Services of Northern California is prohibited by federal funding rules from serving undocumented people.
The point of my talk was to dispel the myth that illegal immigrants come to this country and quickly get into the welfare system; as I pointed out in my presentation, they are not (with very rare exceptions) eligible for public benefits—not even for legal services to the poor.
Laurel Blankinship Yorks
The irony of it all
Recently, Lars Larson—the rabidly anti-government, anti-spending, anti-environment, nationally syndicated KPAY talk radio host—broadcast his show from the Hotel Diamond. Yes, this is the very same Hotel Diamond so very recently restored with the help of $2 million in redevelopment funds from the city of Chico! I wonder if Mr. Larson’s host, the ultra-conservative Mr. Cook, mentioned that all in attendance were enjoying the largess of our little socialist republic.
All the while, Jerry Brown—who, not more than a few months ago, was demonized by conservatives as an out-of-control spending addict—is heroically trying to fix the state budget. Brown is attempting this repair, in part, by temporarily eliminating the kind of pork-barrel spending that helped gild the lily at the Hotel Diamond. For his efforts, he is being skewered by both liberal spenders and conservative developers—strange bedfellows indeed.
Why radio is dying
Few would debate that radio is a dying medium. Few people bother to search the FM dial anymore. And why would we? We live in a digital age of “on-demand” that allows us to listen to whatever we want, whenever we want.
For several years, Chico’s radio band has been a wasteland of disposable garbage. With the exception of KZFR, most FM stations play the same top-40 songs on some form of shuffle with little or no risks taken. Or they play the same old Zeppelin and Skynyrd songs on repeat, hoping that those born in the 1960s will never tire of them. “Freebird,” anyone? I didn’t think so.
A few years ago, Deer Creek Broadcasting (DCB) took a chance and put ESPN Radio on the FM dial. From that date, my FM band rarely moved from the 101.7 frequency during my daily chores and commutes. ESPN became a refuge from the awful pop bands of today, the worn-out rock of yesterday, and the bleak public-radio outlook of tomorrow.
On Thursday, DCB removed ESPN from that frequency to replace it with … wait for it … another terrible contemporary radio station. The first song I heard was Britney Spears. I changed the station immediately, thinking there was something wrong with my radio. It landed on a different Britney Spears song on another station! I switched my radio off.
In this single idiotic move, DCB basically removed me and many others from the FM dial completely. They have sent us back to our iPods and away from their advertising revenue. No wonder radio is dying.