Letters for March 9, 2006

A message to CN&R readers
With this issue, the CN&R begins a transition to a new era. Tom Gascoyne, who has served as editor of the paper since January 1999, resigned from his post last week. Tom has a long history with the CN&R and, over the years, has served the paper well. He will be missed. But time has come for a change — for Tom personally and for the paper itself as it faces the future.

As of this week, we begin a search for a new editor for the CN&R. As part of this process, we’ll be looking hard at who we are and what we’ve accomplished in the past. Our goal throughout this transition will be to examine our role as an alternative newspaper in Chico and explore better ways to accomplish our mission—to publish great newspapers and help make our community a better place to live.

We know this process will be positive for the paper and for CN&R employees in the long term. And we believe the results of our efforts will be reflected in the newspaper itself. We’ll keep you posted. And thanks for reading.

Lee Craft
Tina Flynn
Jeff vonKaenel
Deborah Redmond

CN&R lights my fire
I just wanted to let you know how much I love Chico News & Review. I never miss an issue. It’s free and it’s great for starting fires in my wood stove. There’s nothing easier to inflame than a myopic leftist.

Trey Wilson

Everybody’s business
Steve Gonsalves’ statement in the daily paper that “the City Council has no business inserting itself in a labor dispute involving a private employer and their employees” chastises Mayor Scott Gruendl for getting involved in current labor negotiations with Enloe Hospital.

We find this a disingenuous argument for someone as intelligent and publicly minded as Gonsalves. To place the only hospital in town in the same category as a restaurant or supermarket is ludicrous and suggests we have a choice as to emergency care. We do not: Enloe is the only hospital in town.

Our father is in his 21st day in Enloe’s intensive care unit. The care in ICU is the most amazing and professional we’ve seen, for which we are extremely thankful, especially since we cannot “shop around.”

Furthermore, our hearts would break if these outstanding professionals reached the point where they felt forced to strike. The commitment our family witnessed among the nurses and staff went beyond that of someone just doing their job for a paycheck. We can’t believe striking is something they would choose to do–unless forced as a last option.

Enloe is everyone’s concern. We believe that all seven councilors should involve themselves with issues that are of such grave importance to Chico’s families.

Thank you Mayor Gruendl! And to our other councilors we ask: Please get involved. We will all pass through Enloe at some point in our lives and it’s best to know you tried to help–not that you remained neutral and cursed those that didn’t.

Todd Hall and Molly Stokes

Jon cares
I was at the meeting when my husband Jon Luvaas made his Chico Planning Commission comment that was so misunderstood. It was easy to see why people thought he was saying older people shouldn’t ride the emergency helicopter. His timing, wording and choice of example were very unfortunate.

When yesterday I heard an older man ask him why he would say such a thing, I felt sad and helpless realizing that older people might believe he doesn’t care about their needs and rights to medical care, when the opposite is true. He was questioning the wisdom of the medical model which tries to save every patient at all cost, when so many others who need medical care can’t get it.

I also feel really saddened that Jon is experiencing so much misunderstanding when I have seen him, for 23 years, pour his heart and soul into preserving Chico’s land by carefully planned growth. There are few people as dedicated.

The deepest sadness I feel is that this event seems to widen the division between us in our community at a time in our world when, more than anything, we need to be learning how to listen to each other and work together, across our differences, to find ways that address the needs of all concerned.

I’m grateful for Chico that our City Council agreed to keep Jon, and am relieved to have the opportunity for expressing my truth here.

Tanha Luvaas

Department of Peace
“Be the peace that you seek in the world.”

This is a noble goal which many individuals courageously seek to demonstrate.

Isn’t it time for the United States of America—as a nation—to declare likewise its unwavering intention to promote peace, at home and abroad—and to act on it—by establishing a Department of Peace at the cabinet level?

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Wally Herger, R–Chico, have already shown interest in the bills now pending in Congress (S.B. 1756, H.R. 3760).

They need to hear from you.

Please go to ThePeaceAlliance.org and inform yourself about this auspicious, intelligent and beautiful campaign.

Your children’s grandchildren will be utterly grateful for your interest, curiosity, open-mindedness, initiative, resolve and action.

The Department of Peace would have as its mission the marshalling of up-to-date knowledge, wisdom, practices and techniques to achieve not only peace among nations, but also domestic peace: the ongoing identification and support of programs that already work to reduce crime, heal communities, and increase social harmony; the conception of new approaches as needs arise; and much more.

This is a non-partisan campaign that represents the deepest wishes of everyone—for peace.

War is easy to start, but hard to finish. Peace is hard to start, but easy to finish.

Please go to ThePeaceAlliance.org, become informed, and be part of this historical process, which is a positive force in the world today.

Tom Blodget

Failing Jesus
The piece by Tom Gascoyne, “God Bless America” [Cover story, Feb. 9] failed in two respects. First, it failed to contribute to our community and to make it a better place to be. The bitter and defensive posture of the article celebrates a prejudice against Biblical Christianity based upon generations of similar reporting and embraced by politically correct religionists. This style of editorial opinionizing heartens the troops (those who already think as we do) but does nothing to illuminate it. What a shame.

Second, and just as important (for the two are more intricately intertwined than we realize), the subject article effectively avoided witnesses for the defense, of which there are many thousands in our community. The beauty, compassion, power and love of Christ has been experienced and expressed through followers of Christ for centuries. I have no intention of defending those who have failed to express Christ while calling themselves Christians, but neither will I allow the failures of the few to dim the wonderful light of Christ known by millions.

Ed Pincusoff

Not my dollars
I have been commuting to Oroville from Chico for over 20 years. I have wondered for about 15 of them why “they,” whoever they would be, didn’t install traffic lights on the two end intersections of Highway 149.

I must also say that as the years have gone on, I have admired and appreciated the wonderful little wetland, beaver and bird sanctuary that has established itself next to the highway. I would have liked to see safety measures and traffic lights put into this stretch of road making use in the overall design of the beautiful little typically California parkland that has grown there.

Caltrans and Butte County Association of Governments, who are responsible for this project (they are the “they"), should link up with California Travel and Tourism. They would be reminded that what makes California so attractive to people is the unique and varied wildlife and geography that we are blessed with, not the ever spreading cancer of strip malls and sprawling development.

The money that is being spent on this unnecessary expansion is such a waste of taxpayers’ money. It seems to be just another misuse of our money by greedy developers pushing their own agenda.

I personally do not want my money used this way.

Kathleen Faith

Cowboy up
An open letter to KCHO, Chico Programming Director Joe Oleksiewicz.

Joe Oleksiewicz, this morning’s early-bird listeners to KCHO, Chico’s Public Radio station, were treated to an astonishingly inane and offensive interview conducted by you with a reported Western film expert, called upon to offer his views on Oscar-nominated Brokeback Mountain.

First, your guest suggested, the film has none of the genre features of the Western. Even the most distracted listener was left to wonder, then, what was the point of interviewing this particular authority in the first place?

Incredibly, next we learned that your critic had not even seen the movie. A conversation with a film reviewer who hadn’t seen the film? Are you kidding? Again, why interview him?

Finally, the purpose became obvious with your puerile query, didn’t he ever wonder what the Lone Ranger and Tonto—wink, wink, nudge, nudge—were up to, bedded down under the stars? Your goal, apparently, was to provide your interviewee a platform for spouting homophobia.

Provoked by you, he sermonized on the decline of morals in the U.S., explaining that he refused to see Brokeback Mountain in order to protest Hollywood’s left-wing agenda to spread homosexuality.

Your guest is, of course, entitled to voice his beliefs, no matter how odious. But as program director of member-supported KCHO, you owe the community thoughtful, intelligent programming, not ridiculous questions and homophobic ranting in the sheep’s clothing of a serious interview.

This morning, you’ve lost at least two of KCHO’s most loyal members.

R. Mark Hall

Spark ‘n’ memories
I first heard Spark ‘n’ Cinder in 1978 as a new arrival from the Bay Area via the East Coast. It was at the First Speech Area at Chico State. They were playing their allowed hour at a rally for Jane Dolan’s first successful run for county supervisor.

My first impression was that these guys were good! That opinion hasn’t changed to this day. I even got them to play at my wedding almost 14 years later. There was Jane Dolan and her husband-to-be Bob Mulholland passing out fliers for her upcoming dance, probably at the Chapman Center, featuring, who else: Spark ‘n’ Cinder.

They supported Jane Dolan and many so other politicians and political causes for all the 10 years I lived in the area. I’m sure they still do the same.

So if you live in Chico and enjoy the beauty of the area, you can thank Spark ‘n’ Cinder and other progressive bands that got started in the 1970s supporting candidates and causes that make Chico the great place it is to this day.

Phil Borge