Letters for March 7, 2002

Stop the slaughter
I agree with Suzanne Gibbs: Hunting should be banned from the [Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve] refuge [“Question of balance,” CN&R, Jan. 17]. The definition of refuge is shelter or protection from danger. To allow hunting would only diminish the refuge to nothing more than a shooting gallery.

These so-called sport hunters, who consider slaughtering animals recreation, need psychotherapy to help get a grip on their homicidal tendencies. If these individuals refuse to get professional help, then let them join the army and fight the terrorists. One thing all the school massacres had in common was that, before the murderers killed their classmates and teachers, they practice killing animals first. Killing animals is not a healthy sign. Wouldn’t it make more sense to care for the animals and be caretakers of the refuge?

Joel Felice

The care providers
I feel the need to share with you and your readers a recent experience I had at Enloe Medical Center. Enloe has been dragged through the gutter of public opinion over the past couple of years. My experience was a life lesson on separating two different worlds at Enloe. There is the administration, and there are the workers, the actual caregivers.

I recently had to have surgery, and because of my insurance I had to have it at Enloe. I was frightened a bit, concerned for my safety in the wake of discord between the administration and nurses.

Enloe’s reputation for competence and care comes from those who have chosen to live their philosophies of caring and giving to others. My surgical experience just reinforced that reality. The nurse’s assistants, LVNs and RNs at Enloe are kind and competent. Nurses are taught to be patient advocates. Truth is, it just comes naturally to caregivers.

But I had a true advocate, a guardian angel, one of Enloe’s RNs by the name of Jim Steele. From start to finish, he saw me through the ordeal. Anesthesiologist Dr. Dwayne Meneffee put me right at ease. I am grateful for the humor and TLC of nurses Kathy Armstead and Amy Wood, who made me feel relaxed and protected.

To all those warm and caring faces, and especially nurse Jim Steele, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me first-hand what it means to be a patient advocate.

Nip Boyes

History repeats
Many read the article “Death of a Hospital” [CN&R, Feb. 14] with interest. Remember a small hospital called Chico Community that was founded by physicians (many years ago) who felt Enloe management left a lot to be desired in the area of health care? Community existed for many years in “friendly competition” with Enloe. A similar scenario preceded the demise of that facility.

The decision to close Community was also “made much earlier.” Management and directors of services “made career changes.” Precipitous “short notice” of impending closure was given to community and employees. A “town meeting” was held ("because it was the right thing to do") at short notice to advise employees in an effort to avoid “loss of worker morale and workers quitting.”

The questions voiced by the residents and employees of Glenn Medical Center were identical to those voiced by the employees of Chico Community Hospital. Enloe has a monopoly on the health care provided in Butte County and surrounding rural areas. The management of Enloe is not willing to negotiate with employees, communities and/or individual physicians regarding their policies and protocols. Health care in this area is restricted to a privileged few who make a lot of money and have little interest in the actual level of care provided to the patients in this area.

Joy Beeson

Appreciation of reality
In his letter to the editor [“Pity the rich,” Feb. 14], Jay Canzoneri shows his ignorance. When he states, “What makes this country tick—the freedoms and opportunities available equally to everyone to make themselves the best they can be,” he is denying reality.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that we Americans enjoy freedoms others can only dream of. And I know that hardship can be overcome to achieve greatness. But to say that we are all born with equal opportunities is ridiculous.

In my own life, for example, I have worked hard, but I cannot deny that I have had many advantages along the way. My father had a good income, and my mother was able to stay at home and take care of me. The Bay Area neighborhood where I grew up has some of the best schools in the country.

When the time came, my parents had no problem supporting me through my college years. And when I was 25 I inherited a small sum of money that enabled me to put a down payment on a house.

We must remember our own history when faced with the less fortunate in our society. We all should have compassion for the poor and disadvantaged. And the more fortunate among us should pay more in taxes!

I suggest that if Jay really wants a country where “opportunities [are] available equally to everyone,” he must support more social programs and a 100 percent inheritance tax to pay for them. After all, this would really even the playing field.

John D. Geiger

Pet cleansing
The pet overpopulation crisis in this country forces us to kill one kitten, puppy, cat or dog approximately every six and one-half seconds. You know the facts: Not enough homes for the ones already here. You know the solution: Spay or neuter your pets.

Did you know many local veterinarians are participating in a pet altering program for low-income owners (PALS)? Proof of low-income status is required, and up to six cats and/or dogs per household can be spayed or neutered. Co-pay cost for this important surgery is $10 per dog and $5 per cat.

The feral-cat altering program (FCAP) is also still available. This program will spay/neuter these cats at no charge. A rabies shot is included. The feral cat must be taken to the participating vets in a trap (available for rent) and after the surgery be returned to its natural environment.

Kittens adopted last summer are just around the corner of “kitten season.” Don’t put it off. Please spay/neuter now. Call your veterinarian today for more information on these programs or call 1-888-PETS911.

Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are the problem.

Sue Evans

Responsible consumption
America’s energy use is an integral part of our national security. As a country we use a quarter of the world’s oil, but we possess only 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Yet, while we rely heavily on other countries for our oil needs, we are wasteful with our oil consumption. The American fleet of cars and light trucks goes no farther on a gallon of gas today than it did in 1980!

We can do better. The technology exists to make cars much more fuel-efficient.

We need our senators to support legislation sponsored by Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Hollings (D-SC) that will make cars go farther on a gallon of gas. By raising the average fuel economy of American cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2013, we can decrease our dependence on oil, protect our precious public lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and save American families millions of dollars at the gas pump.

The Senate must take a stand on this issue, for the good of the economy and the country.

Jessica Rios