Letters for May 15, 2014

About that column

Re “It’s called editing” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, May 8):

I read with interest Melissa Daugherty’s column regarding ending Anthony Peyton Porter’s From the Edge column. Daugherty sounds righteous, correct, upstanding and all. Yet, something doesn’t sit right. Anthony was a long-term contributor to the CN&R; not just a “freelancer.” He has roots in this paper. His column brought emotional depth, originality, diversity, quality and maturity to the CN&R.

Daugherty might be “right,” but that doesn’t mean she made a good move in discontinuing his column.

Ultimately we all make errors in judgment, say dumb things, and have opinions that are too strong to handle. That really isn’t the point, is it?

I agree with some of Daugherty’s reasoning for firing Porter. Yet, I miss his column. I found his free thinking refreshing; it kept my faith that the CN&R is not run on fear, narrowness, or the boring construct of sameness.

Fortunately, it is not too late. Anthony is still around. And I have a suspicion he has the maturity and open-heartedness to engage in a sincere dialogue about the continuation of his column. This could be a turning point for Daugherty. Owning her strong opinions of correctness, yet valuing relationship over righteousness, she might find the courage to talk with Anthony over tea. Just because relationships matter and this is a small town.

Kristin Oldham

Good for you, Ms. Daugherty. Mr. Porter is a needlessly offensive, hurtful jerk, and has been for some time. I once sent a letter about his lack of professionalism when he wrote of the “tardos” who hung out by the Work Training Center. My letter was butchered by a previous (very temporary) editor.

Apparently my comments about Mr. Porter’s pubescent attempts at being “edgy” cut too close to the bone. Mr. Porter’s response to my (and others’) letter(s) was “different folks get offended by different words” or something to that effect.

Other letter writers say that Mr. Porter makes the occasional good points. I would offer that he also occasionally offers innovative insight. However, he often needlessly hurt individuals and groups (like disabled adults who cannot defend themselves), and dismissed large sectors of society with a word or two. I could not believe he had a regular space in your (otherwise) open, but journalistically professional publication. I’m relieved he’s gone from the CN&R.

Abe Baily

For those needing an explanation in a political sense, letting Anthony Peyton Porter loose was simply a necessary act of Stalinist feminism (which censors information and suppresses dissent). Feminism is cultural Marxism using critical theory. Critical theory says you can get rid of an institution and don’t have to replace it with anything better, nor anything at all. Porter is feeling the iron heel of the boot of Stalinist feminism on his neck—in academic terms he is a victim of critical theory. I wish the CN&R well on its journey to becoming another Good Housekeeping magazine.

Michael Peters

From the ACLU website: Censorship, the suppression of words, images or ideas that are “offensive.” It seems to me like what you did to Anthony Peyton Porter was indeed censorship, albeit with good reason. I’m glad you censored him on both accounts for a variety of reasons.

And if I understand you correctly, the reason you “showed him the door” was because you perceive that by “crying censorship” in his article, which he eventually printed on his blog, he was giving you and the other editors the middle finger. Well, maybe. Even so, that might be interpreted as a chicken-shit move on your part. I mean, his censorship article was his perception, just as his article on Sid Lewis was, and as misogynistic and victim-blaming as I agree it was, it also made some good points.

And, maybe he really was unclear as to why you actually fired him. The reasons you’ve offered here don’t sit well with me. His column was a great addition to the CN&R and I’ll miss it. I wish you would have let him have his rant and then rather than reacting and showing him the door, gone on with business as usual.

Adrienne Parker

It’s about people

Re “Getting to the root of homelessness” (Guest comment, by Dan Everhart, May 8):

The root of homelessness is a person: Blessed human beings in God’s image, who find themselves without safe and stable housing for reasons that are often cloudy to all persons concerned, including the homeless individual themselves.

Many notions gnaw at our ability to provide housing, none larger than the perception of having to get something before giving something. Applying a capitalist paradigm for extreme poverty pushes hopelessness to greater depths and transposes changing the paradigm with perpetual inertia. This also applies to organizations and action teams that have formed to propose and implement solutions. Many of these endeavors find themselves insufficiently prepared, or committed, to empower people experiencing homelessness, while providing a vehicle and mechanism to meaningfully engage them in the process.

Many without roofs have few things they are capable, or more worthy, to provide than ideas and passion draped in blood, sweat and tears, held precious by helping hands and minds.

Bill Mash

Council duo strike back

Re “Enough with the rigidity” (Editorial, May 8):

The CN&R is correct: We are rigidly opposed to any blatant waste of public funds. Council has a written policy against the waste of city resources on matters of duplicative regulation and non-local subjects. The policy has been cast aside for election year pandering.

GMOs: Our beliefs, pro or con, on the subject do not matter. A resolution from the city of Chico will have little or no impact on state and federal lawmakers, and was a pure waste of expensive city staff time.

Plastic-bag ban: More tax dollars and city staff time spent accomplishing nothing, the state will regulate this issue.

Nondiscrimination: Pure duplication of existing law. Any issues in this area would be pursued via state and federal law, not a municipal code.

Fast forward to two years from now: These measures will have wasted thousands, probably tens of thousands of dollars of city resources, they will have accomplished nothing measurable and provided no benefit to the citizens of the city of Chico. The CN&R is merely engaged in diverting attention from the substantive and truly local issues facing our great city.

Mark Sorensen and Sean Morgan

Editor’s note: Mark Sorensen is vice mayor of Chico. Sean Morgan is a member of the City Council.

“We’re tired of the same old rhetoric and would like to see some flexibility on issues that clearly are important to the citizens of Chico.” Your paper of all papers has the audacity to make this baseless request of conservatives. This request that comes from an extreme far-left progressive liberal “It’s our way or the highway” … we know what’s best for you weekly?

Show me one time the liberal council members took up a debate on the $20 million the taxpayers lost from spending faster than Obama has. While O’Liar wasted away and grew our public debt to an all time high of $17 trillion plus, our council passed a bag ban.

Do you know how many times I have heard these slogans: “Greedy developers destroying our beautiful city,” “climate change is destroying the world,” “evil corporations are ruining the human race with their income inequality, the evil bastards!”? I’ll tell you how many times: Year after year after decade and three decades to the present. You want flexibility. Practice what you preach or shut the hell up!

Rick Clements

Cop’s wasting dough

Chico Police Officer Todd Boothe may sue the city of Chico after Boothe verbally abused City Councilman Randall Stone on Facebook. The visuals of a big, white police officer going after our partially Hispanic councilman for representing us are ugly.

I challenge Chico Police Officers’ Association President Peter Durfee to condemn Boothe’s actions. I’m sure that the majority of Chico’s officers are appalled. We need more officers on the streets, not wasting money in legal activity. By the way, we pay council members about $7,260 a year, while Boothe’s wages and benefits in 2012 cost us $147,481.

Michael Jones

Editor’s note: For more on this subject, see “Officer claims damage,” Newslines, page 10.

Note to Nielsen

Re “Neilsen defends fracking” (Downstroke, May 8):

I understand Sen. Jim Nielsen has defended the practice of fracking. I wish he would find out and inform us of the chemicals that are involved in the process. I would like to know if he would drink water from the water tables affected by this flawed process.

Nielsen also pushes for getting government out of our lives. Since when did private agencies test for air and water quality; build infrastructure such as highways and railways; and provide for fire, health and law protection; along with providing equal justice for all?

I wish Mr. Nielsen and others like him would think of others and the future rather than themselves and now.

Richard Shult

Bill ensures access

I am writing in regards to Sen. Ricardo Lara’s Senate Bill 1005, the Health Care for All Act. The current health care law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), expands access to health care coverage to millions of Californians. However, the ACA specifically excludes undocumented immigrants from insurance coverage provided through Medi-Cal and the health care exchange.

Lara (D-Long Beach) has proposed to extend health care coverage to all Californians regardless of immigration status. SB 1005 will authorize enrollment in the Medi-Cal program, or insurance offered through a separate new health benefit exchange, to individuals who would otherwise qualify for enrollment in those programs but are denied based on their immigration status. SB 1005 would ensure that everyone in our communities has access to quality, affordable health care.

Access to preventive care keeps people healthier by providing regular checkups and screenings, and early diagnosis of health problems ensures those problems can be treated before they become overly expensive. By ensuring everyone has access to health care, we can improve the health of our entire community, limit the overcrowding of emergency rooms, and reduce the costs of health care in California.

Elizabeth Barajas

Don’t buy the hype

It has been against the law to export crude oil since the oil embargo of the 1970s. Last month, the Council on Foreign Relations released Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 34—the case for allowing U.S. crude oil exports.

You may have since noticed commentaries in the business sections and opinions pages calling for the export of crude oil even though it will increase domestic gas prices. They tell us it will be good for the economy (read: wealthy people).

Don’t believe the people telling you a ban on fracking will increase gas prices. Prices will go up regardless and our water will be poisoned for profit if we allow it. The only thing that will lower prices at the pump is lowering the demand for oil.

About 2,400 new PG&E customers a month sell energy back to the utility. Join the hundreds of thousands converting to solar, wind and hydrogen (it’s coming now). That will lower demand and oil prices. There are only a few days left, so if you haven’t signed the petition yet, make your move and stop these Earth Mother frackers.

Richard Ogden

Thanks, granny

Re “Grandmother arrested at Beale” (Downstroke, May 1):

I wish to express my deep appreciation to Chico grandmother Cathy Webster and the 23 other people arrested last month at Beale Air Force Base for protesting drone warfare. Included among those arrested were five ministers, including the Rev. Gerald Pedersen, 88, a retired Lutheran pastor from Sacramento who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, plus four other veterans.

American drones have attacked a wedding party, a funeral, women collecting firewood and boys digging for roots. America cannot claim to respect human rights when we bring such horror into people’s lives.

This is the second time Ms. Webster has been arrested protesting human rights abuses. She was arrested in 2006 protesting the School of the Americas, at Fort Benning, Ga., where torture techniques have been taught to South American military leaders.

Again, here’s a salute to Cathy Webster for her dedicated work for peace.

Sharon Fritsch

‘Feeling grateful’

Re “Living the communal dream” (Greenways, by Claire Hutkins Seda, May 8):

“We have to build our tribe.” Grub Cooperative is my home, and my tribe. Now I wonder, what does tribe mean? And what comes up … well, I resonate with Grubbies. I’ve been sucked into the portal of energy and choose to live, sleep and dream here. Why though? My tribe is my soul family; humans with harmonic frequencies! When we get together in right relationship, magic happens, and we pass our dreams into this reality with ease and grace. Feeling grateful for my lovers, sisters and brothers: my tribe! Those at Grub and those on the planet!

Lily Rhoads

Beware of bullying

Today we have started to hear more about bullying and its effects. With the increase of technology, it is no surprise. I am not against technology; in fact, I love it. Yet, we have to realize that we must take more care in safeguarding the amount of social media our kids have access to.

There are many new social-media sites that, in my mind, are developed specifically for bullying. I am referring to Ask.fm, and other sites like it. Perhaps we have started to hear more about bullying as a probable result from such increases in social media. During my school years, many of my classmates had no phones or iPods, but recently I have noticed a majority of students with either an iPod or phone, or both.

Cyberbullying is a major concern within schools. The reality is that technology makes it much easier for students to be bullied without the necessity of personal contact—without anyone knowing who is “asking” a question. I’m not saying to block social-media sites or keep students away from technology. I am saying to be aware of what is happening with your child’s social networking.

Jessica Varela