Letters for May 20, 2010

Other Southside views

Re “On the ground in Southside” (Cover story, by Christine G.K. LaPado, May 13):

This story is very informative and exact. I have lived for eight years in Southside, on B Street. I have had no problems personally; there are a few bad apples who come here and cause trouble, but they don’t live anywhere near here.

The only thing in my first five years here was that it took someone getting beaten, shot, or a car wreck to get an officer to come to Southside. Since the new sheriff has taken the reins, I see an officer almost daily driving by; they smile and wave, if you wave to them. They have a personal pride with the people of the area.

This area needs funding for improvement of road services and streets. There was a time when I had a mud puddle three times the size of the one in the article in front of my house. I filled in the hole myself, after numerous contacts with county officials, who told me, “If it seems to be a problem when it rains, fill it yourself. We just don’t care about Southside, because we have to spend the funds where the visitors go.”

Annexing [to the city of Oroville] would help only if the funds were used here. If those in positions of authority were made to come live for a week they would see what is real and what is poppycock.

As stated to me by my grandmother, who traveled by wagon across America, “Have pride and be proud of who you are, and those around you, because those up on the hill [politicians/elected officials] don’t care about us, just the money. He who has what he does took it from those who had it, and will keep them suppressed from getting the ability to get it back.” Nuff said!

Darryl Evans

Your article was very interesting, but the reporter missed a wonderful six-block area smack dab in the middle of Southside—from Fallbrook to Burlingon-Elgin Street and Ft. Wayne and pockets of Greenville. The Father’s House Church has done so much in 12 years of being down there at ground zero. Come by 2661 Elgin St. on Friday afternoons between 1 and 3, and you will see people from South Oroville lining up for food baskets. Two weeks ago they gave out 117 baskets!

Through the church and a general contractor they renovated or built somewhere around 35-50 homes. On Elgin and Ft. Wayne it is a working neighborhood and very safe!

I have been an eyewitness, and the difference in the community is fantastic! The Father’s House has staff from around the world that live down on Elgin Street, giving their lives away for just the sake of feeling good about their lives.

I think you should check out this part of south Oroville as well, maybe take a tour!

Mary Fisher

Whose problem is it?

Re “Down the drain” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, May 13):

“‘Every single custodian in the district has been trained in storm-water issues,’ she said.” Really, Mary [Leary]? I have been there 15 years and have never been trained in storm-water issues!

“‘I can’t follow each and every one of them each and every day,’ she said. ‘So, if they’re doing it, I have an employee problem.’” Another classic move: Shift the blame!

Name withheld

What is that old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”?

Chico’s school board has supported its leadership through contentious issues too many times. It is only a guess, but this may push them over the edge. Now you’re into criminal and malicious actions that endanger the beautiful community of Chico, everyone’s health, and our attitudes about people who are supposed to uphold the law instead of break it.

If this has been going on for many years, as the custodian stated, then it’s beyond an accidental missing of a training, as the supervisor tried to say. “I can’t follow them each and every day, and if they’re doing it, I have an employee problem.” No, ma’am, you have a leadership problem, and I find your excuses to be wholly inappropriate.

TJ Potter

Who does Logue work for?

Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue, who never met a corporate interest that he didn’t like, outdid even himself with his May 6 Guest Comment, “Crippling California’s Economy.”

Logue’s drive to gut the bipartisan Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32, is his latest effort to please his corporate sponsors. And it is poorly timed. His commentary ran just as we realized the magnitude of the offshore-drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

If ever there was a time to invest in alternative energy, it is now. But if Logue gets his way and AB 32 is repealed, it will kill investment in California’s growing green-energy and green-tech economy.

As reported in this paper, Logue’s effort is being bankrolled by Texas-based oil refiners Tesoro and Valero. Chico’s local daily, which endorsed Logue in November 2008, chose not to cover the story.

If Logue were truly interested in California’s economic recovery, he would support efforts to tax out-of-state oil companies that operate here, as even Sarah Palin did in Alaska. Among other things, this would allow better funding for the CSU, where Logue chose the “public option” and took his undergraduate degree.

The citizens of this district pay Mr. Logue’s salary to represent our interests, not those of out-of-state oil companies who happen to be among California’s worst polluters. Over the past 18 months, Mr. Logue has behaved more like a corporate lobbyist than our state representative. Will the Democrats run a viable candidate in the upcoming election and give Mr. Logue a run for his money?

Steve Lewis

It’s more than needles

Re “On Pins and Needles” (15 Minutes, by Hillary Feeney, May 13):

Wow. Now my work has been reduced to the materials I use!

While I do believe acupuncture should be affordable, and have demonstrated this with my life and work, I would never base this on the assumption that “needles cost pennies.” This remark, which I can only hope was carelessly tossed off, does nothing to honor (or even consider) the years of education and experience most acupuncturists have. That is what my patients are paying for.

Please tell me it was a typo.

I invite Ms. Faucher and Ms. Peters-Lazaro to ship their needles to their patients, and their patients in return could perhaps send them pennies. Why bother with the rest?

Jennie E. Hammett
Licensed Acupuncturist


Legal pot = more safety

Re “Fear into law” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, May 13):

Mr. Porter’s column touched some issues, but not public safety—the primary mission of law enforcement. There is no doubt in my mind that when my California colleagues stop chasing the green plant, public safety will improve. From my perspective as a retired police detective, road patrol will arrest more DUI and reckless drivers, and detectives will arrest more pedophiles and rapists.

Cannabis is a drug and no play toy. My college roommate flunked out because of it and went to Vietnam. However, during my 18 years of police service I did not go to one call generated by its use. Legalizing and regulating marijuana is a no-brainer.

Howard Wooldridge
Citizens Opposing Prohibition
Washington, D.C.

Ramsey vs. Daniel

District Attorney Mike Ramsey must be re-elected. Mike has prosecuted, fined and jailed many waterway polluters over the years, and now he is being attacked by those polluters he prosecuted.

Take for example the scrap-metals recycler that ground up televisions, radios, electronics, computers and CRTs and then dumped this highly toxic stew on the ground. He did this directly next to and upstream from the Feather River. I saw the photos that the DA used to get a guilty prosecution.

When this toxic soup enters our waterways, and a salmon senses this toxic stew, even in parts per billion, it will never return to that river again.

If you know anyone who supports salmon and all other waterway habitat you need to contact them and make sure that they know how important this election is. If Mike loses, so do fishermen and the environment.

John Scott

Ignore the letters you read about Lance Daniel that attack him. They tend to be the opinion of Mike Ramsey supporters (people employed in his office) who are fearing for their jobs. And they should have fear.

Lance Daniel is an intelligent and experienced change from what Butte County is used to. His business knowledge, extensive courtroom experience (more than 12,000 cases), and the dedication to improve the department mean Lance is the one person who can do the job.

Mike Ramsey has failed us for long enough. We need a district attorney who will fight for victims. We need one who will focus on improving conviction rates. We need a district attorney who will focus on working with businesses, not against them. Vote with your brain; vote for Lance Daniel.

Sheila Scott

Let’s make the comparison easy. Mike Ramsey: someone who does not do his job well and is feared by everyone. Lance Daniel: experienced attorney who is moving from Sacramento just to run for office to help Butte County.

Let’s see—ineffective, overpaid bureaucrat, or man willing to move his life to give back to the people and take a pay cut. Easy choice—I am voting for Lance Daniel. Go ahead and vote for Ramsey if you are one of those people who prefer Goliath over David.

Dawn Brewton

Keene is, well, keen

Republicans in Northern California have an important choice to make in their vote for State Senate. While there are two very good candidates in this race, I am casting my vote for Rick Keene.

Rick has always been a staunch conservative and trusted friend of taxpayers, earning my vote as a small-business owner.

He is a leader who places his family and faith first in his life, before politics, earning my vote as a wife and mother.

Rick’s work in the Legislature, securing funding to fight West Nile virus, earned the support of many farmers and my support as an agricultural bookkeeper.

His experience in local government, leading the way while helping other conservatives get elected to local office, earn him my support as a city council member.

Rick Keene is a leader with vision, who knows where our party should go next and how to win in future elections, earning the support of many young-Republican organizations.

He has been endorsed by conservative leaders we can trust. Leaders like Tom McClintock, Sam Aanestad and Dan Logue, who is probably the strongest advocate we have for bringing jobs back to California. Stand with me and our party’s leaders and cast your vote for Rick Keene for State Senate.

Angela Thompson

Try coffee instead

Re “Tea(d) off and talking about it” (Cover story, by Tom Gascoyne, April 29):

Three items about the Tea Party article and the movement:

1.) America has traditionally had a strong interest in protecting property rights; I’m sure the Tea Party activists would support that … so just whose property were the civilly disobedient original Boston Tea Party demonstrators tossing into the harbor? Not theirs, obviously.

2.) Did anyone edit the sign in the photo that, as I recall, said “Obama Stay Out of Isreal”? And in retaliation someone will undoubtedly blame their “casual” spelling on a much-maligned public school teacher, right?

3.) So the President wasn’t (technically) born in the United States, huh? Need I mention George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and William Henry Harrison? There were a few pretty good chief executives in that list, and none (technically) were born in the U.S.A.—as it didn’t exist until after their birthdates!

Beyond these apparent inconsistencies—perhaps hypocrisies—one wonders if the Tea Partiers should go back to good ol’ American coffee.

Wick Humble

Don’t cut care

It is a fact that sick people who access health-care services at the Emergency Room consume far more resources than people with routine access to medical services.

I am a homeowner and Medicare user. I know that [Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s] proposed [state budget] cuts, if enacted, will clog the ERs of all hospitals. I won’t be able to get the medical care for which I have paid and continue to pay.

These proposed cuts would end up costing me far more than the cost of maintaining current levels pf services. We should fund Medi-Cal and Healthy Families at the current level for sound economic reasons. This year, we must raise revenues to fund the programs that save the state money and save lives.

Call Assemblyman Dan Logue at 916-319-2003 (or fax 916-319-2103). Tell him to support these economically sound investments in California’s future.

Don’t mourn, organize!

Forest Harlan

Growing too fast

Re “Confusing the issues” (Letters, by Ed Schilling, May 6):

Ed Schilling apparently disagrees with my environmental perspective. I suggest he read Davis Brower or Gaylord Nelson or other environmentalists concerned with overpopulation. The U.S. Census Bureau projects a U.S. population of 440,000,000 by 2050.

Where will this human tsunami, equivalent to 35 new cities of 1,000,000 people, come from? Schilling writes we shouldn’t blame illegals for overpopulation. I’m stating facts, not “blaming.” The U.S. population would have stabilized around 250,000,000 without immigration; 86 percent of population growth during the year 2050 will result from effects of post-1992 immigration. The U.S. already is the world’s third-most-overpopulated nation. Must we attempt to overtake India and China?

Why stop with 13,000,000 illegals? Half of rural China would happily immigrate. Eastern Europeans and South Americans. Africans. Poor and uneducated Indonesians. Could 3,000,000,000 people squeeze into Schilling’s ecotopia? Because we wouldn’t want to “be immoral and misdirected.”

Our country can do little about the world’s overpopulation; that’s the function (or not) of their governments and citizens. Further overpopulating the U.S. harms our environment without improving anyone else’s.

What’s immoral is leaving a more overpopulated U.S. for our descendants. Two hundred thousand people emigrate from the U.S. every year; 200,000 should legally immigrate.

No nation has been as receptive to immigrants as the U.S. But we cannot maintain this insane growth. Population must stabilize. Past amnesties have resulted in increased illegal immigration. Environmentalists not concerned with overpopulation are missing the obvious. There is no sustainability without zero population growth.

Joe Abbott

Election ugliness

Incredibly, the “goober”natorial dog-and-pony show is under way again, fraught with the same mud slinging, name calling, empty promises and puffed-up rhetoric as practiced four years ago, when I vowed my vote to be reserved only for candidates with a more realistic agenda, such as improving our weather and revoking the law of gravity.

On second thought, until campaigns are changing for the better, this motto should be universally applicable to all elections, whether local, state or federal.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

What about the Arctic?

I have been watching with horror as one of the worst oil spills in American history continues unabated, and millions of gallons of crude oil now threaten our nation’s vital Gulf Coast ecosystem. This latest national environmental crisis reaffirms the oil industry’s history of consistently underestimating the risks of drilling.

In light of the crisis, President Obama recently called for a timeout on new offshore drilling, but didn’t specifically include the Arctic Ocean. Despite the fact that there is no way to clean up a major oil spill amid the Arctic’s broken sea-ice conditions, exploratory drilling is slated to begin in the Arctic Ocean in less than 60 days.

If the oil industry can’t even stop a spill in the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by all of its infrastructure and technology, how will they ever stop one at the top of the world?

Jerry Peavy

Time to pitch in

A lot of people are concerned about our country, which is good. Protesting is also good. Everyone has an opinion, whether they voice it or not. The issue really is about what can be done to make things better.

In my opinion, it’s about realizing that we actually do have the power to change things. How? By working with and getting to know our neighbors and helping each other. Reaching out to our communities by volunteering our time and resources. We’re all here to learn and grow as human beings. We do that by opening our hearts and minds to each other.

Let’s start by working in our families, neighborhoods and local communities by listening to each other, by sharing in positive ways, by volunteering in our local communities, churches, etc. There are a lot of people hurting right now. Let’s pitch in and help the organizations that are helping them, like the Salvation Army. If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

Ronald Marrone

Non-smoker’s plea

As a fan of being outdoors during Chico’s spectacular weather, I wanted to pass on a plea to local restaurants that have outdoor dining areas: please think about making them nonsmoking.

I know there are about two dozen restaurants in Chico and Oroville that have already put this into practice and to those businesses I say thank you. I hope other restaurants follow your lead because, in my opinion, it is a smart business practice to create a nice atmosphere in which everyone can enjoy a meal as opposed to asking to be reseated as far away from a lit cigarette as possible.

I’m also a university student studying health and I think quite a few people would be surprised to learn that secondhand smoke triggers asthma attacks, migraines and allergic reactions. And no one wants that with their meal.

Nicole Ernest

Sounds like fun

I’d like to broadcast a message to the community through this forum: Donations of musical instruments are needed!

This year’s CSU Summer Arts program will be conducting a workshop titled, “Building Reactive Sculpture: Sound & Movement, Spaces & Objects.” The workshop will offer students the opportunity to work with world-class artists Trimpin and Mark Allen in experiments with making kinetic and aural sculptures that are activated through mechanical and electronic means. (See www.csusummerarts.org for more information; registration is open!)

We will be building sculptures by hacking into musical instruments and electronic toys. We need donations of musical instruments. They do not have to be in working order. We’ll take anything in any condition, horns, guitars, drums, pianos (!), See ‘n’ Say, toy instruments, etc. If anyone in the community has something to donate, we will reciprocate by sending photos of the finished works. Please contact me at ssimons@csuchico.edu.

Sheri Simons
“Building Reactive Sculpture”Chico

Getting Inspired

We at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences would like to express our deep appreciation to the Chico News & Review. The CN&R donated all of the funds generated at the recent Cammies Kick-Off event to Inspire, the new Chico Unified School District charter high school, opening in August.

Special thanks to event coordinator Jason Cassidy for his thoughtful consideration in including the band Spectrum on the bill. Spectrum is a 10-piece group featuring Inspire staff, local music professionals, and several student musicians. We had a ball playing for you that night! More than $1,000 was raised and donated to the Inspire music program.

Kim Gimbal

Life in Fundraise World

I’m tired of living in Fundraise World. I’m tired of kids’ athletic programs being entirely dependent on relentless fundraising. I’m tired of essential social services relying solely on nonprofits and the hard work of a few committed people.

While I’m at it, I’m tired of hearing people complain about how local government is ineffective, after it’s been slashed to the bone. I’m tired of those who claim the public sector is overpaid but rail against any curbs to private-sector greed. I want local government that’s manned and funded sufficiently to perform essential services effectively. I want school districts that can support athletic programs without off-loading the cost burden to booster groups.

If all that means raising taxes, so be it, because in Fundraise World the people who care about their community pay a disproportionately high share of “fundraise tax” while others just complain. I’m grateful to those who do the volunteer work and shell out the donations, but the heavy lifting in society should not be left to individual good will.

Alicia Springer


Leslie Moore, the subject of our “15 Minutes” interview in the May 6 issue (“Speaking out,” by Nick Dobis), says it contains some inaccuracies. Most important, she states, her husband did not “regularly” abuse her, as reported, but rather “very infrequently.” Nor did the police tell her to “deal with it”; that’s what they told her husband, a Chico police officer. The real issue, Moore insists, is not the abuse, but rather the fact that the authorities went out of their way to protect her ex-husband. We regret the errors.—ed.