Letters for May 2, 2019
Re “Chico’s man-made, post-Camp Fire disaster” (Guest comment, by Clancy Callahan, April 25):
You can’t slight anyone for needing a home and moving into a less-than-desirable rental. But to pay an average of $935 a month for eight years? That says more about the renter than the rental.
She blames the 60-day notice to vacate, due to the sale of the rental, on “rapacious greed.” What if it was ordinary greed? Or need? Or one of the “D’s”—divorce, death, disease or drugs? FYI, rapacious landlords can sell the rental, enter escrow, and give just 30 days’ notice.
If good luck is being prepared when opportunity knocks, perhaps bad luck is being unprepared when misfortunes arise. They do arise. Expecting the nanny state to protect you from every misfortune is sacrificing freedom for security. She doesn’t just want cheese with her whine, she wants force-fed government cheese.
People make decisions based on incentives. Require a 120-day notice with payment to the renter to relocate and I’ll guarantee two things. Owners will raise rents to cover the expenses or sell. You’ll have fewer rentals with higher rents.
I’d have given her moving expenses, because I think it’s the right thing to do. Make it mandatory and all tenants will realize the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Editor’s note: In the state of California, landlords are required by law to give 60 days’ notice to tenants who’ve lived in a rental for at least a year.
Where’s the will?
Re “Chico State wary of shelter,” Downstroke, April 18:
Homelessness is a symptom of many health conditions that require a health approach versus a criminal one. Concurrent and accessible services are necessary, and yet each proposed location is met with resistance. Fear from victimization and stereotypes understandably motivates their actions, but the crimes of few do not justify the overgeneralization of the entire homeless population and denial of services.
There is a direct health connection between the complications of mental illness (depression, drug abuse, anxiety, social disorders, etc.), socioeconomic status (money, employment and shelter), the struggles and barriers (transportation, belongings, pets, history and ability) and their ability to regain healthy living.
Missing in our community is the willingness to support low-barrier shelters that can help heal. Needle-exchange programs are a health resource that is there to reduce the transmission of disease, like hepatitis and HIV, and keep areas safe. Helping them helps everyone.
The insecure demeanor that epitomizes Donald J. Trump’s anxiety-driven presidency simply can’t be ignored, or worse yet, condoned. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking any good will come from this chaotic circus masquerading as a functioning government; the very foundation of the principles of America is being undermined, discounted or marginalized.
Leadership with clarity of purpose defines effective governing. A Trump quote conveys the opposite: “The biggest problem with Mueller … he didn’t mention Strzok and McCabe and Comey and the lies and the leaks and overthrow and the whole thing with the Hillary Clinton got a win 100 million to one, two lovers, two sick lovers, especially the one. I mean, these were like children.” Mental impairment laid bare.
We don’t have the luxury of complacency. Choosing to support a corrupt and damaged individual who cares not for you, or your country’s welfare—well, that’s your burden, not mine.
Will enough people who care about the well-being of future generations reject a president whose policies are wreaking havoc on the environment, denounce tax policies that favor the haves over the have-nots, and condemn divisive rhetoric and thoughtless behavior that divides a country in need of healing? Our choice.
Roger S. Beadle
PG&E’s outrageous plan
Very recently, PG&E announced plans to shut down the power to 5 million people in Northern California for up to five days as a way to prevent fires. This is something that is utterly outrageous that will also cause severe harm to many people! This will also be very costly to businesses and devastating to our economy.
It is the PG&E CEOs, through neglect at best, who caused the Camp Fire. It is certainly not the fault of the employees who worked so hard to fix lines and restore power.
PG&E’s job is to provide power to the people in a safe manner. It must not be the company’s job to shut people’s power down. PG&E needs to install better insulation devices, like ones that don’t break and cause fires. Better yet, PG&E must be taken over by the state. Nothing makes the case for expropriation better than PG&E’s outrageous announcement. California’s governors have been much too favorable to PG&E by appointing CPUC commissioners who are too friendly to the utility. This has to change now!
Students slam smoking
Alondra Pompa, Jack Lazzaretto and myself are members of the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth coalition at Orland High School. Our coalition focuses on highlighting the injustice tobacco causes in our community and worldwide. We have learned how to bring awareness and shed light on the negative impacts of tobacco within our community.
As veteran members of SWAT, we are proud to be a part of the advocacy work we do that helps make the city of Orland a better place. We are making changes in our community by advocating against tobacco, and educating younger students and community members about the destruction tobacco causes. Our time in SWAT has been rewarding and it has helped us in developing and refining important skills, such as leadership, public speaking and advocacy.
The people of the city of Orland do not deserve to be continuously exposed to tobacco products and tobacco product advertisement at all the local retail stores. The city of Orland could be a much healthier place if tobacco product advertising and tobacco product usage were reduced to a minimum. We hope the work we do and have done in SWAT can help the people of Orland live healthier and happier lives.
The Marsh Junior High KLEAN team is working on raising awareness about the dangers of nicotine and enforcing laws about smoking in parks. Our KLEAN team recently participated in cigarette litter cleanups in Bidwell and 20th Street parks. What we found was horrible. We collected 680 butts in three days. We found them in parking lots, near picnic tables and even by the playgrounds where children play every day. Our entire team was disappointed.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths—480,000 people die from nicotine use every year, and 41,000 of those deaths are from second-hand smoke.
Tobacco laws have often been ignored. This is very concerning due to the fact that we are finding so many cigarette butts at the parks. We would like to see a change in these numbers. Putting up more “no smoking” signs in the park would be useful. We already found one sign in Bidwell Park, and it was not very visible. Another suggestion is to have more park security to help enforce the law. There could also be clear consequences or a fine for people who get caught smoking in the parks. KLEAN team wants to help protect people and animals from these dangers.
No more double-parking
In the past week or so, I’ve been shocked by inconsiderate, unsafe and illegal “parking”—actually, simply stopping in the traffic lane—in front of Aca Taco on Broadway. (This is one of my favorite restaurants downtown, by the way.)
Cars have double-parked in the left lane while the driver waited inside Aca Taco for a to-go order. I have witnessed at least one near-miss due to this behavior. I didn’t understand this until I visited Aca Taco for lunch recently. Apparently, Aca Taco is supporting some food pick-up and delivery apps, according to the signs inside.
Now, there’s nothing I can do to punish the Silicon Valley companies that are dangerously disrupting traffic here in Chico, and I doubt I can convince users to not order food from Aca Taco via [delivery apps], so my only recourse is to boycott Aca Taco until they quit encouraging this grossly inappropriate behavior.
So, I’ve had my last Aca Taco burrito for now, but I’ll be back when the “pick up here” [drivers] are gone and this absurd behavior stops.
I hope we do not throw out the baby with the bath water. Chico has a homeless population. Experts say that housing is the first step to figuring out the cause of a person’s choice for being outside. We have an opportunity to provide housing in a low-barrier shelter for 100-plus people in the area where many homeless currently congregate—downtown.
Even though the Chico State president is fearful of housing this population close to campus, they are already in the vicinity of her campus. It seems so much more generous to invite them inside where they are out of the elements, and away from harm, than to suggest they are better off anywhere except near her campus.
Give the agencies and organizations that work with the homeless an opportunity to figure out with city staff how to make this work. If the City Council got ahead of itself in planning to vote on the topic before everyone weighed in, back up and try again.
Let’s show compassion for the most vulnerable members of our community and thank Graham Hutton for offering his building as a first step in figuring out a better outcome than people living outdoors.