Letters for May 10, 2001

Choice company
Laura Smith called a panel discussing differences in gender identity and sexual orientation a “low point” of the CSU Women’s Conference ["All the womyn?” April 26]. She said we were “complaining” and not “average.” Throughout history folks like Elizabeth Cady-Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, the heretics of the Spanish Inquisition, Rita Mae Brown—and dare I refer to Jesus—have initially been dismissed as a few “complaining” individuals representing small groups at the periphery of accepted societal, governmental, religious norms.

These outspoken risk-takers demanded to be heard and recognized as viable members of the larger community. They also had the audacity to insist that their differences be respected and valued. Am I comparing myself to these great people whose efforts changed our state, nation and world for the better? Of course not. My point is that for Smith to dismiss the personal experiences, world views and beliefs of people she sees as not representing her definition of the “average” woman appears to me to be following in the steps of others who have stood in the way of building a world in which all have an equal opportunity to achieve good health, good education and quality of life free from persecution.

CJ Trebra

Measure A makes sense
I have been studying the proposed Otterson Drive extension. In my judgment there should be little or no opposition to this project. On both the north and south sides of the proposed extension are nothing but industrial or commercial buildings. It certainly will ease a growing traffic problem and will forever preserve the greenway now used only by a few homeless types as a place to sleep, throw away their trash, as well as using the property as a toilet.

Let’s get on with the extension and make this property usable by all!

Mack W. Hill

Been there, done that
Hey, hey, DNA. First, congrats on your success at the Senator Theater. Having spent hundreds of volunteer hours doing the same thing at the State Theater in Red Bluff, we have a simpatico understanding of what you’ve gone through to pull it all off. No small feat. Second, thanks for the Nowhere X Nowhere tix—we had such a good time Saturday night we can’t remember enough to recall.

Thirdlike, we’re very interested in and looking forward to “Gravy Brain” ["The Good Ill Store,” Genetic Strands, April 26]. But what do you mean by “It’s about time someone exploited Chico’s rich arsenal of characters in a comedic vein"?

Maybe it’s nothing to brag about, but it’s all we’ve got—exploiting “Chico’s rich arsenal of characters” is something we’ve been doing since before you escaped Jersey. We may not have our own TV show, but (as you rightly pointed out about Blamer’s Twilight Zone) just because “you missed it” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

We can understand being ignored by most of the world, but being overlooked by someone who started his Chico career doing comedy with us hurts our feelings. And makes us have to write a new bit. …

Hope this doesn?t screw up our chances of getting a gig at The Senator.

Aaron Standish & Liz Merry

No neigh sayer
Many thanks for the fine tribute to our great veterinarian, Dr. Jim Edwards ["Holding his horses,” Ag & natural resources, April 26]. All area horsepersons will agree that Dr. Edwards is a consummate professional who is current with all the latest aspects of equine veterinary medicine. His capacity for sharing the joys and softening the sorrows that accompany the animal endeavor, combined with his unique sense of humor, have given us all a very special man.

Jim Panek

Leave the pot doc alone
I have one comment: Leave Dr. Banister alone so he can continue to help people ["Dr. Feelgood,” April 26]. My son was diagnosed Dec. 10, 1999, with bone cancer. As soon as chemotherapy started, within eight days my son Joe lost about 40 pounds. We knew his diagnosis was terminal; he could not eat, the smell of food made him vomit.

When I could no longer stand by and be a “law-abiding” citizen, I went a few doors down to where I had smelled marijuana in the past on the way to the parking lot to get my car and explained to the young men inside what I needed. They were wary of me at first, until everyone knew about Joe’s cancer (he was only 16 years old).

As soon as he smoked some pot he was able to eat a big plate of chicken and mashed potatoes! Doesn’t sound like much to a lot of you out there, but my heart was thumping in my chest. He did not vomit four to 15 times a day anymore. Although I was “paranoid” a passing cop would smell it walking by, I had to do the best I could for my son.

Sadly, he died in my arms at home on Feb. 11, 2001, four days shy of his 18th birthday. Have any of you who want to “stamp out pot” held your child as he or she died? It is total agony. Still is. Marijuana helped him have an appetite, made him relax. He had a tumor wrapping around his spine among others spread throughout his body. Pot helped to ease his pain. My own pain is never forgetting watching my baby die.

Robin Stackhouse

Little stereotypes
There are two types of people: those who do not pigeonhole other people in little stereotypical niches and, well, Tom Gascoyne. The disclaimer about “grossly simplistic stereotypes” ["Symbols,” Inside view, May 3] aside, this categorizing of people in Chico just exacerbates an already polarized situation in our community.

Here’s a category for you: good journalists. Good journalists avoid cliché. Give Chicoans a little credit for individualism. Some of us drive SUVs but prefer a Guinness at Duffy’s. And now we can shop at S&S and enjoy a juicy steak sandwich at the same time!

Scratch the surface of anybody in this town, and you’ll find a little streak of unpredictability that defies classification. This is just another of the many qualities that make Chico great (and always interesting).

Scott Huber

Punish the revelers
Many meetings have been held over the years by the powers that be regarding the out-of-control drunkenness and inevitable uncivilized conduct associated with it during St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. The disruption, injuries and the inability of police to maintain crowd control deprives others from enjoying the festivities. It must not be tolerated—ever!

No doubt more meetings and discourse in search of solutions will occur, and the band plays on to the lyrics of “What to do?” Surely it should be realized and accepted by now that these people have no intention of heeding the pleas for tranquility during these celebrations. Of all the suggestions to prevent the violence and trashing of town, none have alluded to punishment.

For those infractions where people are booked and released, here’s a suggestion: House them in one of the empty stores in town for “x” number of days. Furnish them with a cot and provide nothing more than food and shelter. Send them into the streets to pick up trash. When through, have them clean restrooms in parks, and finally have them paint over graffiti. On second offense, double the number of days.

Joe Canzoneri