Letters for May 16, 2019

One on the cover

Re “Secondary effects” (Cover story, by CN&R staff, May 9).

Had Chico City Manager Mark Orme and Public Works Director [of operations] Erik Gustafson stood up to our “conservative” council, as it failed for over five years to realistically address infrastructure deterioration, that would have shown some real courage. Instead, these two got gold stars from Team Sorensen/Morgan as they quietly presided over government-services-by-fiscal-starvation. Slash, burn, repeat.

Pinning our infrastructure mess on the influx of fire survivors, while fractionally accurate, dodges the fundamental issue: We are living with bankrupt, miserly city policy, crafted in large part by current top management. It’s time to clean house.

And, we need to join the 99 percent of California’s cities with a sales tax—sorry if this causes seizures and heartburn in the ranks of the tax-phobes.

Patrick Newman


To ‘Camp Fire friends’

Re “A survivor’s plea for compassion, patience” (Guest comment, by Jessica Eggleston, May 9):

I read the guest comment and was especially drawn to the comments in paragraph five, where the author says [Camp Fire survivors’] new homes have turned on them and blame them for creating traffic jams and spiked crime rates. And they are told “to get over it and make a plan.”

I, for one, am far from an attitude like this toward Camp fire friends (I don’t like the word “victims”). I know that tons of others are with me, too!

Please try and remain focused on the good, and forget what negative is being said by a small group of individuals who don’t have a clue what you all are going through.

B. T. Chapman


Scoffing at committee

Re “Another long night” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, May 9):

I attended Tuesday’s City Council meeting where a Sustainability Committee was brought forward to study ways to combat “climate change.” You’re being lied to at the local level and the national level of our government about “climate change.”

I think you need to remember what the climate hysterics said in 1976. They told us we would all be dead by the year 2000, if we didn’t stop using fossil fuel. They said we would run out of fossil fuel by 2000. They called it “global warming” in 1976. The hysteria purveyors had to switch to “climate change” because it was easier to tag any change as “climate change.”

You tell me, if the U.S. stopped all use of fossil fuel right now, effectively disabling ourselves, would that keep other nations like China, India and Russia from using oil? The fools who scare our children, spending tax dollars to do it, should stop worrying about straws and plastic bags. Instead begin to realize that without our country’s strength, nuclear war is more likely to engulf our Earth in ways a Sustainability Committee can never fix!

Try listening to talk radio, then research the facts you’re being fed by the alphabet media.

Loretta Ann Torres


Three on PG&E

Re “Twenty-twenty hindsight” (Letters, by Ray Estes, May 9):

Ray Estes strongly implied in his letter that it was my claim that PG&E announced plans to shut off power to “5 million people in Northern California” for up to five days. I surely didn’t make this up, as this was reported on Action News Now. I said that “PG&E needs to install better insulation devices, like ones that don’t break and cause fires.” This is something that the PG&E CEOs should have done a long time ago.

In recent letters, Estes blamed Bernie Sanders for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016, when in fact Sanders endorsed and vigorously campaigned for Clinton in the fall of 2016. Estes slams Sanders, who is the only major candidate who has pledged to stop spending billions of our dollars on endless, useless wars and a bloated military budget, and address serious issues in our country like health care. Like some great Democratic presidents of the past, Sanders will take on the Wall Street bankers and the corporate CEOs while fighting for the people’s interests.

Estes defends those CEOs.

Walter Ballin


We should call for a town hall meeting for the PG&E board to stand in front of the Camp Fire survivors to explain why they are planning to increase their salary, from $271,000 to $400,000.

Bob Mulholland


About the time the editor was writing about her “Maddog” reputation, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a rate increase of $337 million. More rate increases are expected to be approved soon, adding about $23 monthly to PG&E bills.

I wish the editor would use her Maddog reputation to rant on PG&E, whose equipment caused the Camp Fire, and was responsible for 17 of the 21 major fires in 2017.

Californians already pay more for power than people in other Western states. And now they are going to pay for PG&E’s mismanagement, corruption and incompetence and very careless attitude toward safety.

PG&E spends hugely on lobbying and the California Public Utilities Commission was very cozy with the administration of former Gov. Jerry Brown, which allowed very lax oversight over PG&E.

Brown, a crusader for green energy, is responsible for the gigantic carbon footprint of PG&E-created fires. He could redeem himself by spearheading an effort to change the investor-owned utility model of PG&E, whose priority is to shareholders and maximizing profit and not safety.

For a safer sustainable future, creative—even radical—thinking is necessary.

PG&E must be changed, taken over, or broken into more manageable units.

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

Ideas for wildfire wood

While driving by the new mountains of cut timber popping up from the Camp Fire cleanup area, it occurred to my wife and me that the area would benefit from putting it back to use on the Ridge.

Rather than ship it off to a mill, why not set up or use a local mill (not sure if Foothill still has their equipment intact, but they would be my first choice) to crank out framing material that can be stockpiled and sold back to local contractors at a discount? That would save quite a bit in transportation costs, and people struggling to rebuild could certainly use a price break.

John Lawler


Cleanup warning

Be warned if you are having your lot cleaned up. We assumed they would take toxic stuff, like the house and all burned out buildings. They took out our 25-by-35 driveway, our garage floor and house foundation. All needed to rebuild. Now, besides the $20,000 for cleanup, we would have to pay for a new driveway, garage and house foundation. This makes rebuilding up there too costly to do.

Allan Clark


Obstruction in D.C.

I’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in our government since the November election. Wow! And since the redacted version of the Mueller report has been released, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such cowardice and obstruction from the executive office.

Trump—who likes to talk to President Putin (whose president?) and mass murderer Kim in North Korea—is very, very afraid of what the Mueller report shows. Don’t forget more than a dozen other investigations are going on and they’re not going to stop.

Just a few days ago, Trump asserted “executive privilege” to stop any further release of the report. I got my copy online, and you can, too, for about $15 and that pesky tax. Does Trump’s action mean I have to return it?

Ed Pitman


Executive branch, part II

Memo to Mike Pence: When you represent the self-righteous hypocrite and prosperity gospel wing of Christianity, you should be ridiculed and shunned.

Robert Rhody



The Chow feature in the April 25 issue (“Don’t overbake,” by Ken Magri) had a few inaccuracies. The green butter recipe should contain 1,000 milligrams of cannabis. In the brownie recipe, each serving should contain 11.8 milligrams of 100 percent THC. And in the infused oil, there will be 44.18 milligrams of THC per fluid ounce. The errors have been corrected online. —ed.