Letters for May 2, 2002

Save the elms
The Downtown City Plaza elms are being removed based on an inadequate and incomplete appraisal done 10 years ago. This appraisal found all the elms structurally unsound and recommended their immediate removal. It gave the suggested order of removal according to their estimate of structural soundness. No mention was made of where the trees were unsound or the degree of soundness of particular limbs or trunks. The angle of the limb and trunk to perpendicular should also be important and taken into consideration.

I recommend that all elms scheduled to be removed be given a thorough resistograph test on all limbs or trunks that are guessed to be unsound. I then suggest that unsound limbs be removed rather than whole trees.

Norm Dillinger

Education is key
Everyone knows that you don’t get something for nothing. That is why it makes sense that all welfare recipients in California must perform at least 32 hours per week of work to receive benefits. However, if they go directly into the workforce without an education, they are likely to end up with a meager-paying job and no room for professional growth. I call this subsidized employment, because taxpayers are still paying for rent, medical expenses, food and child care.

The best way to become self-sufficient is to get an education. Studies show that after two years of vocational training recipients double their average wages. Education improves social indicators in the community across the board from crime and violence to health and emotional well-being. Most important, it teaches children the value of education and self-sufficiency.

Our local congressional representative, Wally Herger, R Marysville, is leading the charge at the national level to restrict access to education. One provision in his bill would limit training to three months every two years. Butte College plays a crucial role in helping welfare recipients get on their feet. This would disqualify many of its programs. Please contact Herger and let him know that education and self-sufficiency are a better long-term strategy for our country than forcing people into low-wage, dead-end jobs.

Michael Courter

Election breakdown
The Associated Students at CSU, Chico no longer represents the students. When the A.S. conducts an election to select new representative leaders and excludes those it disagrees with, while following orders from President Manuel Esteban and his underlings, it loses all credibility with me.

This is clearly the case regarding Bob Ray and his attempt to be elected executive vice-president. Esteban issued an executive order that is flawed if its intent was to limit ability to hold office to those who had some knowledge of the campus and were in good academic standing. The A.S. Board of Directors followed his order and included it in their bylaws.

Bob Ray graduated with a bachelor’s degree in December. Prior to his graduation he completed graduate courses that were pre-approved to apply to his master’s degree. He has been awarded a graduate fellowship. A paper he wrote has been selected for publication by the university. He is a member of Chico State’s award winning Model United Nations team. Yet somehow he is determined to be unqualified to hold an elective office in the A.S. by the president of the university and the A.S. Board of Directors.

Bob ran anyway. He conducted a write-in campaign in which he may have received more votes than the declared winner, who had the luxury of being the only name on the ballot. I say appears because the A.S. and the president of the university refuse to release his vote totals.

Are we in the United States of America at an institution of higher learning or in Generalissimo Franco’s Spain?

Charles Preusser
Former A.S. President

Peace and anger
I am very disappointed that the News & Review did not cover the anti-war protest in San Francisco Saturday, April 20. Close to 100 Chicoans caravanned to San Francisco to join more than 25,000 people in Dolores Park for a rally before marching through the streets of San Francisco, effectively shutting down parts of the city. It was the most powerful event I have ever been a part of. Yet not one word mentioned in the paper.

Actually, that’s not true. There was a mention of the event in the table of contents that directs the reader to page 10. But, once on that page, nothing!

The protest was to call attention to the oppressive occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli military, which is supplied primarily by the United States. It called on our leaders to stop bombing innocent people in Afghanistan and to revise a foreign policy that cripples Third World nations. We need to focus on the real axis of evil: war, racism and poverty.

In a time when we cannot depend on mainstream media to report the truth because their voice is controlled by the corporate conglomerates that really control this country, we must organize and educate each other. That is what Peace Works is all about, and I thought that the CN&R was too. How wrong I was. It seems you are more concerned about your image with local conservatives than reporting about what is really going on in our world.

To those of you out there who actually care and want to know what is really going on, I suggest checking out chico-peace.org for a list of reliable, alternative news sources. Get educated, get involved. You can make a difference.

Devin O’Keane
Chico Peace Works

Editor’s note: Last week’s Contents page did indeed list a story that never ran. We were waiting for a Newslines story on the San Francisco event from a freelancer. Instead we got a personal essay that was much too long and of an inappropriate style for the Newslines section. And it came in too late to make room for it anywhere else in the paper. Meanwhile, we forgot to remove the reference to it on our Contents page. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this gaffe may have caused.

Fair success
On behalf of the Butte College Foundation, I’d like to thank the many volunteers, performers, guilds, vendors and, most important, the attendees of the first Butte College Renaissance Faire. The weekend was filled with living history and non-stop entertainment, including a performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. We also presented live jousting by the Knights of Avalon, who gathered from all over North America to entertain our faire patrons.

The two-day Renaissance Faire was created as an educational fundraising event to assist Butte College Foundation’s scholarship and faculty grant programs. More than 3,500 people attended the Renaissance Faire, and we expect to present the event again next year.

We’d also like to thank our sponsors: the Butte College Associated Students, Chico Enterprise-Record, Chico News & Review, Paradise Post, Fox 30 Television, Regent Broadcasting and Sierra Nevada Brewery. We could not have offered this fun and educational family event without the wonderful support of these organizations.

The faire would not have been possible without the coordinator of the Butte College Renaissance Faire, Stephanie Aylworth, of Aylworth Historic Productions. Stephanie worked tirelessly to attract and organize the outstanding guilds and entertainment for the event.

Please join us in October for another educational and entertaining fundraiser, the Third Annual Butte College Civil War Days.

Patrick Blythe
Executive Director
Butte College Foundation