Letters for May 19, 2016

Superdelegate speaks

Re “Political super powers” (Cover story, by Ken Smith, May 12):

Well-written piece about delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Secretary Hillary Clinton, so far, has received over 3 million more votes than Bernie Sanders. Thus, she has 250 more grassroots delegates than Sanders.

The superdelegates (DNC congressional members and governors) overwhelmingly support Clinton. In 2008, then-Sen. Clinton had more popular votes than Sen. Obama, but Obama had won more delegates. Obama got the nomination with superdelegates putting him over the top. No complaints from anyone. Sanders did not vote for Obama at that convention.

What has bothered DNC members was Sanders stating that Clinton has more delegates than he but “many are from the deep South” (i.e., African-Americans), while praising his delegates (all white) from Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, etc. The Democratic nominee for president has not won the white vote since 1964 (LBJ) and African-Americans give the Democrats about a 90 percent vote.

I believe Sanders will campaign hard for the ticket all over the country, including for U.S. Senate candidates. Trump’s positions, straight from the 1950s, will get him some new white male voters with a 10th-grade education, but for every one of those, there will be three new Latino voters for Clinton.

Bob Mulholland


Frack talk

Re “Local action, global movement” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, May 12):

Josh Fox and Tim DeChristopher had a simple message for Chicoans: The solution to climate change starts in our backyards. During the screening of Fox’s new movie (How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change), news was coming in from all over the world from coordinated actions (the campaign was called Break Free) shutting down coal plants and stopping oil tanker trains.

We have a very important collective action to take here in Butte County to protect our water, to protect our health and to take a stand for the climate: We need to vote yes on Measure E to ban fracking. It’s a simple act with incredibly important repercussions both locally for our own health and well-being and nationally for the movement against fracking. Please, vote yes on Measure E!

Jake Davis, Frack-Free Butte County


Reporter Howard Hardee tells us why voting yes on Measure E to ban fracking is important in the global fight against fracking, but completely drops the local context.

Fracking is an assault on Butte County’s extremely precious groundwater, on which we rely for our drinking water and to irrigate our crops. Numerous scientific studies, including those out of Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, are finally catching up with fracking, demonstrating again and again that the practice is harmful to our water and for our health.

We are already in the midst of the worst drought in more than a millennium, which is straining our local agricultural economy. Let’s protect the water we have left from serious chemical contamination. Learn more at frackfreebutte county.org/learn-more—and vote yes on Measure E!

Claire Hutkins Seda, Chico 350


With all the negative letters published about Measure E, I must tell you of my experience with fracked gas wells.

Just Google my old farm and rice field along County Road 62 and WW in Glenn County. Tap on the images at the bottom of the page. You will see gas wells all along Road WW. They are within a few hundred feet of potable water wells—wells bordering beautiful green rice fields. There’s 1) no contamination of waterfowl that regularly use the area as a flyway, and 2) no adverse health issues from humans consuming their well water.

Since Butte County has proven to have no geological formation for gas to be explored, and since the few exploratory wells are dry and abandoned, this is much ado about nothing.

I would prefer that the antifracking crowd spend their energy stopping the transportation of the Bakken crude oil currently being transported by rail through the Feather River Canyon. If you want to see contamination, picture a derailment of oil into Lake Oroville.

Vote no on Measure E—don’t reward the Chicken Littles of our county.

Loretta Torres


Referendum not moot

Re “Two views on fracking” (Letters, by Colleen Cecil, May 5):

A recent letter to the editor said that Butte County doesn’t have shale, so there wouldn’t be any fracking here anyway, hence the Measure E moratorium is moot. However, if you Google “active gas wells Butte,” you will see quite a few between Chico and Yuba City. Plus, fracking is happening on sand foundation in Glenn County.

Better safe than sorry. Note: To say no to fracking, you actually need to vote yes on E. Protect our aquifers.

Lauren Ayers


‘Hell of a story’

Re “‘The big question’” (Letters, by John Matlin, May 12):

Are there homeless drug addicts from healthy, stable homes with no diagnosable mental or physical disabilities and a minimal genetic predisposition to addiction? Very few. The vast majority of people on the streets experience some combination of PTSD—often from extreme childhood trauma—mental illness, physical disability and, if they are hard-core addicts, a strong genetic predisposition to addiction.

Considering the Third World level of social services available to street people in Butte County, it is indeed remarkable that letter writer John Matlin is in recovery. But, it is also highly probable that he represents the end of the bell curve with the least number of obstacles to recovery. (That is, if Matlin experienced extreme childhood trauma, has a brain injury, experiences depression and/or delusions along with having a genetic predisposition to substance dependency and then “cleaned up” his life—with the resources available in this area—that’s one hell of a story.)

As they deny the very nature of mental and physical disability, too many people persist in believing that homeless people must make sweeping behavioral changes on the basis of “will” alone. This is a convenient belief, as it exonerates society and justifies our medieval approach to poverty on the streets.

Patrick Newman


Organizing for Palestine

Democracy in action. That’s what May 10 demonstrated for seven people from the Chico Palestine Action Group and nearly 70 others, many from Jewish Voice for Peace, who came to Sacramento to meet with Assembly members.

Our purpose was to shed light on Assembly Bill 2844 and why it must be stopped. AB 2844 is a bill authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica). It would penalize businesses that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is modeled after the 1948 boycott to abolish apartheid in South Africa and is a nonviolent movement advocating for cultural and economic withdrawal from Israel until it recognizes Palestinian human rights.

Inherent in this bill is a plan to create and monitor a McCarthy-style blacklist of businesses supporting BDS. The Attorney General’s Office calculates that this would require a staff of six people and would cost about $1.2 million per year. The wider concern is that boycott is constitutionally protected speech.

Although we were mainly able to meet with staff, it is our hope that their attention and mostly positive responses will parlay into a no vote by “the boss.” Contact Assemblyman James Gallagher to support the BDS movement (916-318-2003).

Jane Casa


Editor’s note: For more on this subject, see Guest comment, page 4.

Nonpartisan info here

The Paradise Citizens’ Alliance (PCA), a nonpartisan community organization that doesn’t endorse candidates for public office, has launched its “Election 2016 Speak Up for Paradise & Vote!” campaign.

The PCA’s sole purpose with this campaign is to provide more information to the voters about local candidates’ positions on the issues and to encourage greater voter turnout during this important election year. Currently, voters can go to our website, paradiseca.org, and view our recent taped interviews of the candidates for 5th District supervisor.

The group will be following up in October for the Nov. 8 general election with taped interviews of candidates for Paradise Town Council, PUSD School Board, PID, PRPD and 5th District supervisor if there is a run-off. The PCA doesn’t share its interview questions with candidates in advance and generally asks the candidates for a particular local public office the same questions.

Most importantly, we urge Paradise voters to get informed on the issues and vote!

Chuck Rough, PCA chair