Letters for March 30, 2017

Museum drama

Re “The making of Monca” (Cover story, by Robert Speer, March 23):

I looked forward to Mr. Speer’s article, because the creation of this vibrant nonprofit is a positive and exciting story of community collaboration and support. However, by focusing predominately on “the rift” with Reed Applegate (something all too common in the world of philanthropy and museums), readers did not get the bigger picture of dedicated teamwork that over 150 individuals have contributed to make possible another North State treasure.

Those of us who have worked with Reed regarding his wonderful donation are truly sad he chooses to not be a part of what could be such a celebratory time for him. While he was notably first, there have been many other generous financial and art donors in addition to Reed Applegate. For the most part, the days are done when one individual imprints an institution with his or her sole vision. I believe the Monca board of directors made solid decisions for the museum’s inaugural year of exhibitions.

Recently, Pat Macias and I took the Monca bus to Kirkwood Elementary in Corning. A classroom of third-graders clapped, hooted and cheered when told the museum is opening this spring. That is the real Monca story!

Trudy Duisenberg


Word is out that Monca and its founding donor, Reed Applegate, have had a falling out. What a tragedy for our community if this cannot be resolved. The community needs to realize there is a lot at stake here.

Reed has been assembling a collection of Northern California art for decades, with the goal of sharing this as a gift to our community. It was his idea to create [a museum]. Somehow, others have taken the reins of this organization and left him in their dust. How short-sighted to walk away from this unique opportunity to hold and display a collection of a caliber that would otherwise be impossible to assemble.

I have been in nonprofit management for many years and understand the delicate balance between donors’ wishes and maintaining the goals of the organization. However, if ever there was a time for flexibility, it is now!

Lee Laney


‘A wake-up call’

Re “Looking for answers” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, March 23):

On March 17, David Phillips called 911 for medical support for his son Desmond, who struggled with mental illness and PTSD from being beaten by Sacramento police. Desmond was shot [numerous times] by Chico police and died. Behavioral Health was never dispatched and no one at the scene had training in mental health care.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey stated at the NAACP meeting that the investigation was not done, yet he repeatedly described the involved officers’ testimony as “facts” and was dismissive of David’s telling of what he experienced and saw that night.

Desmond’s death is a tragedy that should be a wake-up call that our police officers need better training and that our area needs more and better mental health resources. I stand with the Phillips family in calling for an independent investigation.

This is just one of many incidents where black people in Chico have experienced discrimination and violence from police. #BlackLivesMatter and I hope to see more white community members showing up to stand in solidarity with the Phillips family in seeking #JusticeForDesmond. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Butte County has a new member orientation April 5, 6 p.m., at Chico Peace and Justice Center.

Rain Scher


‘Typical leftist idea’

Re “Chico’s latest tragedy” (Editorial, March 23):

Shedding tears over a young black man shot by police who was supposedly mentally ill. First of all, let’s put your editor, a strong female she may be, in with a raging mental person with a knife. See, I have worked 20 years in mental health at both locked-down places and halfway homes and dealt with suicides and totally insane people.

The truth is, a mentally ill person—especially a male—can kill you just as fast as, if not faster than, one who is not. It is a typical leftist idea that you can talk to and reason with people who are not all there, or that a police officer should put his or her life more on the line because this person might be mental.

Sometimes you do not have the time to do a safe takedown or use another option. Each case is different. Nice of your editor to think mentally raging people need more compassion than just a mad person on drugs, for instance, or a mad person with a gun. Way too much fiber for her.

Allan Clark


Help local vets

Twenty-two veterans commit suicide in this country every day. Our government promises to take care of those who have served it, and unfortunately we are currently falling short of that duty.

The number of veterans who suffer from PTSD, depression and other mental illness is staggering, and the lack of assistance provided leaves some homeless and hungry. At a time with a changing government and political unrest, Vectors House offers sanctuary to those who have served regardless of age, color, creed or military branch. A truly uplifting place, Vectors House embodies its credo, “A hand up, not a hand out,” by reinvesting time and excess donations back into the community.

Presently, the Vectors House is in need of a new roof and has partnered with Chico State nursing students in an effort to raise the funds. Please visit us at the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market on Saturday, April 1, to buy a raffle ticket and show your support.

Susan Reed


Kowtowing LaMalfa

DEMOCRACY. D-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y. Government by the people; especially rule of the majority (Webster). For those who missed this in third grade, let’s look at something more complicated: United States government. Our government is controlled by its Constitution, which sets forth the relative political power of the people. In simple terms, it is a democracy and the majority rules.

Now let’s go to our esteemed rice baron Congressman, Doug LaMalfa. I just received an email from him lamenting his not being allowed to vote in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act and blaming President Obama’s past veto for its failure to come to a vote.

While only 17 percent of Americans support its repeal and in no Congressional district in the entire country does a majority support it, Doug, who obviously supports only what his oligarch constituents want, cites several “examples” of the failures of ACA. It seems strange that with such a large majority supporting ACA, he has no letters from any of them.

Obviously, he will continue to kowtow to the Trump administration and—kneeling, head bowed to his political forces in Washington—agree with any of their requests, even if a majority of his constituents say “no!”

Dean Carrier


Keep resisting

April Fools’ Day has long been thought of as a day to play practical jokes on folks. In the 16th century, however, April fools were the resisters—the peasants who resisted the decree of the king and church that they should celebrate New Year’s, according to the “reformed” calendar, in the dead of winter on Jan. 1.

For centuries, the new year had been celebrated with the coming of new life in the spring, from the spring solstice to April 1. Those who resisted and continued to celebrate in the spring were called April fools and played jokes on.

This springtime, let us celebrate life by being resisters of “King” Trump’s proclamations, but let us do so without name-calling or making fun of whose who disagree with us. Let us be bighearted, lighthearted April fools. Happy New Year!

Renee Renaud


Trump talk

I’m tired of negative letters and articles from national news about the first 100 days of our president. Think back to the first 100 days of Obama: He went on an “apology tour” around the world. He criticized our country and its policies; even apologizing for our history of slavery. He did not once, during the 100 days, take public interest in efforts to design important laws effecting all Americans. Obama was “missing in action.”

Contrast those 100 days with Trump’s. He’s been “hands on” for legislators. He’s not satisfied with saying (as Obama did) “I have a pen and a phone.” He’s signed several important laws; mostly trying to undo the damage of his predecessor. When Trump says he will do X, Y or Z, he makes efforts to bring that about. When Obama said, “I am focused on jobs, jobs, jobs,” he did nothing.

Obama was very good at articulating the problems of our country; but did nothing to solve those problems. Now, we’ve someone in office who is doing something besides giving lip service.

As a former Democrat, then Ben Carson supporter, I’ve had my doubts. Now: I have hope that America will be great again!

Loretta Ann Torres


I see the obstructionist Democratic machine doing everything to stand in the way of a president that the American people elected. A majority of Americans wanted borders, jobs, tax reform and American exceptionalism brought back to the country.

Democrats will stand in the way of progress to a fault, and Americans are watching their cry baby behavior with the proverbial microscope. California is a liberal myopia that is a perfect model for failure. We have open borders, high taxes, no jobs and crumbling infrastructure, plus overbearing state regulations. Americans are tired of this kind of disregard for their personal welfare, by elitist liberals who have no plans to make tough decisions. Shame on you, Democrats, you will reap what you sow.

Brad Pankratz


It was a disheartening sight. In the wake of the defeat of his highly touted health care reform bill, President Trump, appearing before camera while slumped at his desk, projected the image of a petulant child pouting after having been beaten at sandbox. Someone (or someones) had to carry the burden of blame, and the president quickly found his targets, polishing his pre-adolescent reasoning, “spinning” blame on others. The wheel of fortune landed first on the Democrats and then conservatives and moderates in his own party.

Will the wheel stop at him? I, for one, expect more from the man elected president and leader of the free world. So far, the dignity of the office is not being well-served. The 36 percent approval rating of the president’s performance speaks volumes to that effect.

James W. McManus


Democracy in jeopardy

I think that it is vital for American journalists to cover more of what is happening in Russia regarding silencing of journalists, the Russian mafia, and that government’s complicity in the above. For many people in this country at this time, the idea of our own politicians’ involvement in hacking by Russia elicits an almost “so what?” response.

The more we learn about what is really being done by the Russian government and Putin, the more critical our decision-making process can be regarding hacking, interfering with our elections and Russia’s threat to our democracy.

Marcia Moore


Positive thinking

We should all think positive!

Think what a glorious day it will be for democracy, and humanity, when the White House is finally surrounded by National Guard troops with guns and tanks and artillery, as Donald Trump is frog-marched in manacles, on national TV, and whisked away to a federal prison to await execution for treason. This will be a spectacle that makes Nixon’s little bye-bye pale by comparison.

Michael Bagwell


Massacre in Mosul

Last count revealed as many as 300 babies, mommies and daddies were cowardly killed in Mosul by American-bred monsters and then subsequently blamed for merely being there. No excuse or justification is possible for perpetrating such unspeakable horror on civilians. Time magazine is correct this week: The truth is dead. Except the painful truth that we are rapidly devolving into quite the global disgrace. This criminal mass murder is shameful far beyond normal, sane comprehension and serves as an ominous precursor to further dark clouds condensing on the trembling international horizon.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

High school antics

Just sent out a Tweet (@Chico_Bob): “Secret Service announce-caught another guy jumping W. House fence last night. Identified as Devin Nunes claiming he was a friend of Trump’s.”

On Monday, Nunes said to Wolf Blitzer (CNN): “If I really wanted to, I could have snuck onto the grounds late at night, and probably no one would have seen me.” Is this a congressman? He talks like a high school boy bragging to his friends about sneaking into a baseball game.

Bob Mulholland


Leash your dogs

When you go to Lower Bidwell Park with your dog, please people use some common sense. Your dog has to be on a leash from 8:30 a.m. until late at night. You can take your dog to Upper Park to let your dog run free. I have seen people with the dog leash in their hands while their dog is running loose. You know what? That looks stupid. Chico has a leash law. If you let your dog run free in the park and your dog knocks someone down and that person or child gets hurt, you can be liable.

Alex Buchmiller