Letters for March 31, 2005

Lost highway
It’s true when Kim Seidler, Chico’s planning director, says that the collector road that will cover Humboldt Road “avoids the wagon ruts” ["End of the trail?” Backbeat, March 24]. What he really avoids is recognizing that Humboldt Road is part of the surroundings for historic resources—the wagon ruts and the rock wall. CEQA guidelines advise against “demolishing, destroying, relocating, or altering the historic resource or its surroundings.”

The surroundings would have a 30-foot-wide paved road, an 8-foot-wide meandering bike path and at least six 16-foot-wide side roads crossing those surroundings and punching through the rock wall to the south. Now put thousands and thousands of vehicles on those roads night and day (and one or two bikes). With that ugly picture in your head, ask yourself if that isn’t altering the surroundings and whether the significance of the wagon ruts and the rock wall would be impaired or not.

Planning has always designated Humboldt Road as a collector road and, by God, a collector road it shall be.

Fran Farley

Gotta serve somebody
By the time this letter is printed, the reckless Republican Party may have already passed Bush’s horrendous budget. In a process that typically takes months of debate the radical Republicans are pulling another fast one on America. The irresponsible Republican budget gives monster tax breaks to the rich, slashes education and health care for middle-class folks and the poor, and sends the debt burden for future generations into the stratosphere.

Our “steadfast” smirking leader and the rest of the extremist radicals in the Republican Party want you to ignore the fact that the deficit will explode to $400 billion when the money requested for the Iraq war is figured in.

At this point I’d take the old fiscally conservative, isolationist Republican Party back in half a heartbeat. Seems to me that’s the way our own Wally Herger used to define himself. Now Lockstep Wally is dancing all over Social Security’s third rail like the marionette he is. Maybe someone should remind Mr. Herger that his job is to serve his constituents, not just the extreme right wing of his party.

Unfortunately, our simple Mr. Herger appears as spineless as he is out of touch.

Dan Carter

Weird environs
Carbon dioxide levels are increasing. Glaciers are melting. Ice caps are threatened. Coastal cities face inundation. And the Butte Environmental Council leader is trying block Butte College’s efforts to convert to non-carbon-based solar power? What will they do next? “Preserve” the burn dump so that needed housing will sprawl over to Orland instead? Will that reduce automobile carbon dioxide emissions? Don’t think so.

What is this, think about global catastrophe and work locally to cause it? Let me think like a member of the team. … I’ve got an idea: Let’s prohibit mountain bike and disk golf use of Bidwell Ranch, Bidwell Park and the Ecological Reserve. That’ll force people to burn lots of fossil fuels to seek other, more distant sites. With this idea I can be a true Chico environmentalist, oxymoron that it is.

We need some real environmental leadership to rescue us from this kind of thinking.

Michael Jones

Sad and bummed
Regarding the recent decision by senior Enloe Medical Center management to disregard the National Labor Relations Board judges’ decision, I can only say I am saddened. I am not at all surprised, but it bums me out nonetheless. Although the fact that even more patient and employee benefit money will be spent on lawyers in a fruitless war is annoying, that really isn’t the worst for me. The worst of it for me is the fact that the highest echelon of our awesome organization is populated by people without scruples.

Our administration had no problem with the Business Office Unit Election that came down to an exact tie. They immediately dropped all their charges and called it a victory. We won the election in our Service Unit conclusively, yet they continue to fight it. These are the people we should all be looking up to as leaders and emulators of our core values. Is this acting with integrity? Is this showing respect? Is this being responsive? Is this valuing relationships? Is this acting with fairness and consistency? Sadly, the answer to all of these questions is no.

Carrie Summers
Central Service
Enloe Medical Center

Sexual garbage
I am writing from the perspective of an author and editor of hundreds of reports from the environmental department of an engineering firm and as a daughter of a Pulitzer Prize nominee. I say this in all humility because I am not an exclusive authority of the English literary language. I am good at what I do, though.

Please allow me to expand. You, Mr. Gascoyne, are OK, but your ego gets in the way of your words. Jaime [O’Neill] is a very good writer, he has a great deal of potential, but dear Robert [Speer] has got a long way to go—his sentences do not flow at all, plus he is so disjunctive in his subject matter that it is very difficult to continue reading his important article.

So that is it with your guys’ writing. My most important reason to write is the archaicness of your publication. You all think that you are up-to-date and a so-called reactionary publication. Do you realize how the same you sound from decade to decade. Tom Gascoyne’s articles are really non-effective (sorry, Tom); the paper has the same sexual and suggestive garbage every week. Rarely is there an article that one wants to read.

Well, I raised my kids in this town, and it was exceptional—now it is meth and cops and old-attitude City Council. I wouldn’t raise my kids here now.

C. S. Campana
No return address

Change in China
Many people have commented on the recent trend toward democracy in the Middle East and have also noticed the continuation of peaceful transitions of power in Eastern Europe. It seems that most of the media and many experts are missing the full scope of the story. Undercurrents of change are also stirring in China. Recently, a Chinese-language newspaper published an editorial called “The nine commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party.”

The editorial comments on the nature and origin of the CCP, its tyranny, how the CCP persecutes Falun Gong and destroys traditional Chinese culture and religions and its responsibility for numerous genocides. This document has spread like wildfire all over China and the Chinese-speaking world. Proving that the pen is mightier than the dragon, over 300,000 people have resigned from the CCP in just a few months. Desperate reactions can already be seen from China’s leadership.

This history-changing document and the phenomena it is causing can easily be found online in many languages, yet few people in the West seem to have grasped that the worldwide momentum of change has moved into China.

Michael Courter