Letters for May 15, 2003

Correction: One of our editorials last week, “Memory Loss,” incorrectly identified a developers’ group as the Business Industry Alliance. The correct name is Building Industry Association. Our embarrassed apologies.

No teachers’ cut
Recent calls for teachers and others in education to take a pay cut to solve the current problem with funding K-14 education aren’t realistic. Superintendent Scott Brown stated that Chico Unified School District salaries are in line with similar districts. Board President Rick Anderson said that this is a problem that needs to be shared. I agree.

As a teacher and Chico Unified Teachers Association president, I am willing to pay my fair share to help alleviate this problem. I will gladly pay a local parcel tax, used by many districts around the nation, or higher state taxes. I will pay in any manner that spreads the cost to all stakeholders. Asking only educators to take a pay cut, however, is like placing a special tax on educators alone. That is unfair.

District figures show it would require approximately a 5 percent cut to solve the current problem. Would we be asked to give another 3 percent next year and 4 percent the next?

Teachers in the CUSD have already lowered their medical coverage to save money, and many teachers spend hundreds to thousands of dollars of their own money in their classrooms. Also, cuts affect retirements.

None of this would be fair.

Educators did not cause the state’s budget problem. Education is a public entity, and the problem belongs to the entire public. Every parent who wants an educated child, every business that wants qualified employees, and every citizen who believes that public education is the backbone of our democracy needs to help; don’t put the onus on educators.

George Young
CUTA president

No crime, no time
I would prefer that our government not spend money enforcing laws relating to adult actions that have no complaining victims. This is a waste of money.

The police lose respect as they become enforcers of differing codes of morality and government’s opinion of what is good for you. Can you imagine the millions of dollars that could be saved? How many so-called crimes can you think of which have no complaining victims?

Norm Dillinger

Buzz kill
I found much of the information presented in the article on West Nile virus ["Beware of the buzz,” cover story, May 8] to be of interest. However, I think it is important to point out a major error in the reporting. Credited to me was a quotation about the impact on birds, mammals, fish and other insects from pesticides used to control mosquitoes. It is important to note that the information I actually provided Chris Baldwin was about the impacts of West Nile virus on wildlife. At no time did we talk about pesticide impacts.

In addition to the fact I was not the source of the information, the information Mr. Baldwin presents is not accurate. The most commonly used insecticides for mosquito control have modes of action that do not affect birds, mammals and fish. As an example, BTI is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria and, although effective on mosquitoes, the insecticide affects a very few species of insects. As for the information about Dr. Pimentel’s work, I am not familiar with all of his research, but I do know much of his research was looking at the impacts of chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates, two classes of insecticides that have largely been banned and that are no longer used to any extent in the control of mosquitoes.

If Mr. Baldwin had asked, I would told him that, given the selectivity of the latest generation of insecticides, the impacts of the pesticides on birds, mammals, fish and other insects are minimal and greatly outweighed by the value gained by protecting wildlife, birds and humans from West Nile virus.

A. Charles Crabb, Dean
College of Agriculture

CSU, ChicoThe News & Review regrets misattributing the quotation to Dr. Crabb. It should have been attributed to an email missive from Chico State University’s Dr. Roger Lederer.—ed.

Respect the flag
I am very disappointed in the actions of those who disrespect our flag by wrapping it around a hammer to bash certain members of our community in the name of our troops serving in Iraq. These attacks on our community leaders have nothing to do with patriotism and flags and everything to do with posturing and politics. Coming from those who made political hay in the past by crying about civility in local politics, such invectives are indicative of the putrid stench of hate mongering and hypocrisy that sadly pervade these times.

The sight of the flags up along the streets of this my hometown is most beautiful and moving, and I take no issue with the concept of putting up the flags to honor our troops except for one thing. This whole Iraq conquest was based on nothing more than pretext, half-truths and whole lies. To honor those things does not show the respect due those who have sacrificed so much.

Here’s my favorite line in the Pledge of Allegiance: “…and to the Republic, for which it stands…” The flags will be up in all their glory by Memorial Day for the enjoyment and respect of our whole community.

Dan Carter

Green faces reality
Liz Merry’s roast of Rex Stromness [Letters, April 24] revealed how much work there is to be done. I am a Green and I also have a Green vision for this country and the world. Everything I do is imbued with Green politics.

Having said that, I also know children are being blown to bits and lie in Iraqi hospitals screaming for relief that will never come until they die horrible deaths.

Our president, George W. Bush, put those beautiful children there. His decisions have murdered thousands of innocent human beings in only two years, and, Liz Merry, I can’t wait six more years. I and thousands of other Greens around the country have had enough. Bush has crossed over the line, and we’re going to stop this man with the only power we have, our vote, and vote Democrat 2004.

Imagine a child, both arms blown off, belly charred, lying in your arms, Liz, and pleading with you to stop his pain. Speak to this child, Liz. Tell him your Green vision of the world and how it’s the Democrats’ fault and because of them we have to endure six more years of Bush. Tell this ruined child all of that cerebral mind drivel we Greens and Democrats like to spew at each other.

As this child lies dying in your arms, you have to ask, Liz: How can we save him? How is sacrificing him and many thousands more for the luxury of voting for a Green vision any different than George W. Bush sacrificing them for his vision of the world?

Merge progressive forces and stop Bush.

John-Michael Sun