Letters for May 18, 2006

Evocative piece
Editor’s note: After reading the story online, a childhood friend of Noel Neuburger’s forwarded an e-mail he sent Noel about “After the Deluge” (Cover Story, CN&R, May 11):

Eloquent, mon ami. You blew me away with your words. Reading the names of people we knew, the places we played together, brought me to this one realization: I have been waiting for exactly these words, from someone I know personally, not the Anderson Coopers of the world on CNN.

I was home with my wife, Elena, these past few days, burying my sister’s husband in Lake Lawn Cemetery. I did not want to see the things you saw, though it needed to be seen. I did not want to go back under these terms.

When I read your words “Lurline Street,” I gave way to my emotions. Thank God I have an office door to close. We shared so many memories, listening to the Beatles on your Telefunken, eating red beans and rice in your kitchen, talking to your mom (she was my mom, too) and swimming in your pool. And yes, I remember saying, “I wonder what the poor people are doing,” too. It’s interesting to note, I say this a lot, and until now, I forgot where I heard it first. Thank you for refreshing my memory.

I’m all tears thinking about it now. I really feel like New Orleans is done, the one we knew, anyway.

Thank you for going, for me and others that needed to hear a true New Orleanian’s account of the places and people we knew.

Tracy LeBlanc
Wayne, N.J.

Crust complaint
Re: “Upper and downer” (Chow, CN&R, May 4):

Lenny Hubbard was impressed with the appearance of the new dining area [at the Upper Crust], but he failed to mention that the acoustics are horrible. To carry on a conversation—never mind a meeting—patrons must shout into each other’s faces in order to be understood. This of course adds to the din of the coffee steamer and other people trying to be heard. The overall effect is akin to acoustic torture. The management at Upper Crust should have considered the acoustics before the recent remodeling. Even now, the noise problem could easily be remedied (or at least mitigated) by some minor changes in the furnishings or decorations.

D. Griggs

Defending immigrants
Re: “Two birds with one stone” (Letters, CN&R, May 4):

The immigrants have every right to be here. We all started as immigrants. The immigrants are trying to improve their lives. They take the jobs Americans won’t. Show them some respect.

Amanda Metz

Enduring presence
Obviously, people of all political stripes are poised to witness the eventual withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, whether sooner or later. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite what one would expect, because we will leave a massive “residue” in the form of the largest American embassy in the world, consisting of an area approximately 100 acres in size, with 21 fortress-like buildings and 5,000 employees, which is quite a formidable presence. Moreover, four gigantic military bases—namely Balad, Al-Asad, Tallil and Al-Qayyarah—will also be maintained in perpetuity.

It is amazing to witness over and over again that wherever we enter, whether invited or not, we never seem to be willing to leave. We left our bases in the Philippines upon the request of that sovereign country a number of years ago, but have managed to reinstate ourselves based upon the “war on terror.”

Maybe Webster’s Dictionary should have a special exclusion in the definition of the word “withdrawal,” such as “except practiced in the pursuit of Pax Americana.”

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

Relay for Life
I am a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Chico. Our daughter Sherrill had a brain tumor and lost her battle with cancer. She was a baby and died at 7 months of age. We have two healthy sons, who are in their 20s. This is a perfect time for me to do something in her memory.

I invite the community to the Relay beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at Chico State’s stadium. Come cheer on teams as they take turns walking for 24 hours; 350 cancer survivors and 1,200 team members in 74 teams are expected.

The event means a lot to me, as we are celebrating our survivors and remembering those who lost their lives from cancer. Our fundraising efforts help the patients in our area, with education, and patient support. For more information: 342-4567 extension 3, or www.acsevents.org/relay/ca/chico.

Jan Probst

Thank-you note
There are some truly giving hearts here in Chico, one specifically being Fit One Athletic Club. The club’s owners, Tony and Heather DeLuca, have been great supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County since they started the club. BBBS has significantly benefited from their continued generosity. Fit One took the lead and became the major sponsor of our spring fundraiser, Bowl For Kids’ Sake, then held a fundraising event at their facility for the benefit of BBBS. Fit One also provides ongoing support, which enables us to match mentors with youth in our community.

Thank you to Fit One Athletic Club, for all that you do for the community.

Jennifer Long,
Big Brothers Big Sisters

‘He should go’
Even though Rep. Herger voted for Bush’s Medicare prescription drug plan, Mr. Herger at his town meeting in Red Bluff was abysmally ignorant of the features of the plan. Herger preferred to expand on Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Mr. Herger is completely devoid of independent thought. He should go.

Harold Cone
Los Molinos

Re: “Reniff for sheriff” (Editorial, CN&R, May 11):

We incorrectly stated the year when Perry Reniff was elected Butte County sheriff. He was elected sheriff in 2002. Our apologies for the error. This has been corrected on the Website.