Letters for May 11, 2006

Bonds’ real value
Re: “Stop hating Barry Bonds” (Cover Story, CN&R, May 4):

Donnell Alexander’s piece was a pleasure. Alexander does a great job of describing the contradictions and complexities of a confused, privileged athlete with no understanding of his place in history or society.

Years ago, when Barry was a Pirate and was only known as “Bobby’s son,” a friend of mine, Bob, was on an airplane from Pittsburgh to San Diego. Barry was seated in front of him. Bob politely and respectfully asked Barry to autograph his ticket for his 6-year-old son. Barry gave him a hateful leer and turned away without saying anything. Bob persisted; again Barry looked him in the eye and said nothing. Bob went on to tell Barry how ashamed he was that his own son holds him such high regard. At that, Barry snatched the airline ticket Bob was holding, autographed it, threw it back at him and still never said a word.

Alexander’s descriptions of Barry’s “demons"—getting out of his father’s shadow, being a black man victimized by racism from his comfy peninsula home, his feelings of being underappreciated for his accomplishments, etc.—were brilliant. Alexander provided insights into the complexities of Barry Bonds, and lays the blame where it belongs, in Barry’s lap. Despite his struggles, Bonds’ refusal to give anything back to his sport and his utter disdain for the media leave fans little more than hearsay to rely on, such as the airplane experience with my friend Bob, which is unfortunate.

Dave Schwartz

Tax dollars wasted
Re: “Police sweep sanctuary” (Newslines, CN&R, May 4):

I’ve attended many community functions these last 10 months at the Serenity Center and Universal Life Church that Rev. Robert Seals oversees. Anyone can tell immediately that this is a peaceful retreat from the bar scene and all functions are family-oriented. There are yoga, dance, and healing classes offered during the day, and many fund-raising activities during the evenings. The people who live there often join in, and the entire community is welcome; after all, it is a community center and church.

I was completely dismayed by the police sweep that occurred [April 27] at the church, and at what cost to the taxpayers of Butte County?

Aside from the horrific way the police and officials conducted themselves with guns drawn and scaring the daylights out of the young women and men who reside at the center, the idea of a sanctuary being invaded like this is frightening.

Would these city servants raid St. John’s or the Neighborhood Church looking for what turned out to be a bogus lead? I think not. And what were these gang members wanted for in the first place? No one has come forth with that information.

I think that an apology indeed in order, and I hope the police see fit to make sure their information is correct next time they have to conduct this type of raid.

Rosemary Febbo

Raising awareness
Re: “Immigration issue hits home” (Newslines, CN&R, May 4):

The members of Zapatista Solidarity of Chico would like to thank the Chico News & Review for their excellent coverage of our May 1 immigration rally and march here in Chico. We specifically would like to extend a special thank you to Leslie Layton, for her exceptional reporting, and photographers Marisol Salgado and Carla Resnick.

One of the goals of Zapatista Solidarity of Chico is to raise awareness of immigration issues that affect our communities. The Chico News & Review contributed greatly in helping us achieve that goal.

We would also like to acknowledge the outpouring of support from our local businesses as well as the support we received from outside the area. We would like to recognize and thank the following for their contributions: Radio station La Gran “X”, Radio Mexico and Mr. Villagrana, El Tamborazo Restaurant, Aca Taco Restaurants, Casa Cortés, Tacos de Acapulco, Casa Lupe Restaurant, Recuerdos y Novedades Restaurant, El Grullo Taquería, El Patron Restaurant, La Familia,Women’s Health Specialists, Green Party of Butte County, Rosedale School teachers, Chico Peace and Justice Center, Sacramento Coalition for Justice for Immigrants, Service Employees International Union, Sacramento Local 1000, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Sacramento Chapter, and of course all the volunteers whose hard work made this event a success.

Rocio Guido-Ferns

Pleasant surprise
Re: “Days of a long time ago” (Culture Vulture, CN&R, April 27):

Hey! Fantastic to read something about the long gone days of the Chico punk scene circa 1980s! I was playing bass for Socially Retarded, one of the faster bands in Chico at the time. CN&R did a review on the show we did with Verbal Abuse (were they from San Francisco or Reno? It’s hard to remember at this point). The gig was at the church on 12th Street, back when a bunch of Chico punks lived there. Those were the days!

I miss Vomit Launch, especially the benefit show where we and a whole bunch of bands (including 28th Day) played in Larry Crane’s back yard over off Walnut to raise money for Larry’s infamous “Chico Hell” ‘zine.

I could go on and on, but I just wanted to say thanks for the column! As I was thumbing through the issue, I got to lamenting about no one at the CN&R really is from Chico and/or doesn’t write about the good ol’ days anymore, and then BAM! There was Culture Vulture’s piece on a time long ago that I’ll never forget, even though I have trouble remembering all that went on between the loud music, the action-packed crowd and the booze!

Thanks again!

Perry Fox

‘A huge thank you’
The committee for the 13th Annual Community Challenge would like to give a huge thank-you to all the individuals, businesses and organizations that participated in this event. The event took place on Sunday, April 23, at the University Stadium, with a record-breaking 46 teams. With your help and support, we raised $15,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley. These proceeds will help us to continue offering low-cost quality after-school programs for the youth in our communities. We would not have been able to do this without all of you.

Denise Crosswhite,
Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley

Litter litany
It has warmed up, and people are using the park and the river, so consequently trash will be thrown around by careless people. Go up by Bear Hole or Beer Can Beach and check out the broken bottles and trash that get strewn about. The tubers often think that Beer Can Beach gets cleaned, but the fact is the cans get cleaned but the garbage is left.

What ever happen to “what you pack in, you pack out"? Take care of our town.

Steve Kasprzyk