Letters for March 30, 2006

Expounding on the expansion
See “Enloe expansion a go,” by Tom Gascoyne (CNR Newslines, March 23):

The Enloe expansion is the topic du jour. The Enloe administration spent untold thousands of dollars on public relations ads trying to promote the “good neighbor” facade. In reality, the administration succeeded in covering up the pending destruction of a valuable piece of Chico’s heritage, specifically the surrounding neighborhood which has stood for decades.

Instead of destroying this Chico treasure, Enloe should move to the south Chico area off the Skyway. While this move would initially cost more financially than expanding at the present location, it would preserve this Chico treasure, increase services to the surrounding areas and allow for proper future growth.

Relocation would allow for significantly increased access for emergency vehicles fighting growing traffic congestion on The Esplanade; easy access to Highway 99, a major traffic artery; decreased noise due to air ambulance usage, and there is helipad service at the Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Station, which is located very near to this site.

Expansion will increase noise and traffic congestion, property values will decrease, crime rates will increase and “ghetto” style housing will grow around the expansion. For proof, we only need to look to the UC Davis and UCLA Medical Centers and their surrounding areas.

While Chico does not have the population levels the Sacramento or Los Angeles regions do, we can look to similar sized cities and see the problems that grew out of similar expansion. Chico citizens must now come together with a referendum petition or sue with an EIR challenge to stop the expansion.

Matthew C. Bently

Re “Twenty local songs that belong on your hard drive” by Mark Lore and Jason Cassidy (CNR Backbeat, March 23):

Mark and Jason: loved your “backbeat.” Very nice. Helpful, short, absorbable, specific. Thanks. (Jason’s description of Jason Willmon composing mid-vacuuming was perfect, sad and perfect.)

Thomasin Saxe

About reverse mortgages
Here’s what lenders are not telling you.

It costs you $350 up front just to do the paperwork. Kiss that good-bye. There is a “stack” of forms you must sign just to see if you qualify. Then there will be a number of assessors and termite inspectors to determine if your house meets the minimum requirements. If your house is in need of repairs, the costs of these will be deducted from your loan. (The cost of repairs these days is astronomical, and they must be performed by a licensed contractor.)

Keep in mind, it is a loan, not free money. Someone is going to have to replay this loan with interest someday after you’re dead. Guess who that will be? Right—your children.

If you wish to leave something for your children, consider the burden this will be for them. They might have to sell your house and repay this loan with interest, and if the real estate market goes down and the price of your house does not cover the loan, the bank will take your house.

So, the gist of this is: You may get the money and have a great ol’ time, but your kids will have to pick up the tab.

The “me generation” knows no shame and keeps coming up with more and more ways to self-indulge and pass the cost on to someone else. In this case, it will be your surviving family members.

Larry Phipps

Tag, you’re it
More than a month ago someone decided to “tag” the telephone pole in front of our house.

It instantly ghettofied our neighborhood. I called the graffiti line at the Chico Police Department and left a message. I was contacted and told that it was going to be photographed and removed.

Every time I looked at the tagger’s mark, I felt bad and embarrassed about the neighborhood.

It took over a month, but today [March 20] the graffiti task force came by and erased the tagger’s mark and instantly renewed the look of my neighborhood. THANK YOU!!

As a community, isn’t there some way we can support the Chico Police Department and help expedite the removal process, while giving these “creative” taggers a place to leave there mark that doesn’t affect regular folk?

Isn’t it time that we think outside of the box? Not about the money it will cost but about the overall impact on the community. Chico is known for being progressive; let’s show them how progressive we can be.

A Swan

A healthy health care system?
Many Californians cannot afford adequate health insurance. This number is as high as 7 million, according to some estimates. Some have argued in favor of a “single-payer” health care plan, which would provide better health care for everyone at a lower price.

Just such a plan is state senator Sheila Kuehl’s SB 840, the California Health Insurance Reliability Act. This bill would provide full health care to all Californians, including emergency care, dental, mental health, and drug addiction rehabilitation.

Opponents to single-payer health care plans complain that they don’t want to be forced to pay for other people’s sicknesses. But if you’re paying for an insurance program, you’re already doing exactly that! Americans on average pay twice as much for insurance as our industrialized neighbors, yet we have the worst health care of any industrialized nation (according to the World Health Organization).

These high costs go to pay off the insurance companies’ bureaucracies: huge salaries for executives, stockholder dividends, etc. While this cost inflation may be acceptable for corporations who produce shoes or cell phones, this is disastrous for a company whose customers may need their service to simply stay alive.

Why not trade our old health care system for a new one that costs us less and provides us with better care? SB 840 could save us up to $14 billion a year. Sign the petition at www.healthcareforall.org.

Brent Bartlett

Watching and voting
When I was a child, my mom would look me directly in the eyes and say, “If you tell me the truth now, you won’t be spanked.” Well as a child, it took a few red bottoms and many tears to learn that the truth always comes out, and mom meant what she said!

I agree with Senator Russ Feingold. It time for Congress to hold President Bush accountable for his lies to the American public. Let’s not confuse the issues here, either. This is not an attack on the presidency, or political posturing, or being soft on terrorists. A censure of the president lets him and his administration know they can’t break the law and then talk circles around it.

I am pleased to see bipartisan action from Congress on issues like the security of our ports and the safety of our troops in Iraq. It’s time we let the president and our politicians know we’re watching and voting.

I wish my mom had grasped the censure concept.

Kurt Larsen

Watching and waiting for Congress to react
Sen. Russ Feingold’s attempt to censure George W. Bush is a slap on the hand of the worst person to ever sit in the White House. The Senate’s failure to back Feingold’s request is to be expected. This Congress has been the prime backer of everything Bush has done. Our Congress is filled with cowards and cannot be relied on to even say “bad dog” to this lame-duck.

Being spied on by the Secret Police is not what offends me. Our nation is bankrupt, living on borrowed money and time. Bush has created more enemies and destroyed more friendships than any enemy we have ever faced. The Congress must approve, or they would say so. They won’t even do that.

James Ausmus