Letters for May 21, 2015

Hospital safer than home

Re “Delivery dilemma” (Cover story, by Evan Tuchinsky, May 14):

Most moms want to be as careful as they can with their newborn baby. This is normal, and it is natural. It is also true that women have been delivering babies at home since time began, and most of them survive. But not all.

Sure, you can have your baby at home with a midwife who delivers a handful of babies a year. With a midwife who will get just as tired as you do while labor drags on for hours. Or you can have your baby in a hospital that delivers a handful of babies every day. With a full team of professionals with experience and training to help you through this memorable time.

If something detrimental were to happen during the delivery process, there is absolutely no such thing as a “smooth transition” from a home birth to the hospital. To believe that would require believing that an unexpected catastrophe can be termed “smooth.” It isn’t. There are very logical reasons why the hospital has a large team of trained and experienced professionals to help you. There are a number of things that can go sideways during childbirth, and very logical reasons to maximize your baby’s chances.

Barry Johnson

Rest in peace

Monday, May 25, is a federal holiday. Let’s reflect on the purpose of the day—to remember those Americans who lost their lives while in our military.

I was in Luxembourg recently and visited the American military cemetery with 5,076 graves from World War II (Battle of the Bulge, etc.). The U.S. has 24 cemeteries outside of the U.S. and they are beautifully maintained.

At the Luxembourg cemetery there are men from my dad’s unit, over 200 Californians and 227 from the 101st Airborne (my unit in Vietnam), but the graves that touched me the most were of 22 sets of brothers, buried side by side. As I stood between the graves of two brothers, I could only imagine the pain of the families (especially mothers) when they got those knocks on the door, some just a few weeks apart.

The crosses and stars of David are the same size, officers and enlisted men are intermixed and Gen. Patton is buried there overlooking his men (and one woman).

In Luxembourg and in the other 23 sites, Americans and foreigners will place a flag at each gravesite. Rest in peace!

Bob Mulholland

It’s about the grads

Having attended countless CUSD graduations over the years and listening to endless speeches, I have a small but important request. Please remember that the ceremony is for the graduates. It may be tradition to place school board members and district office personnel on the stage, but they are complete strangers to the students and are the worst speakers of the night.

Please don’t give them a microphone or have them hand out diplomas anymore. Allow the graduates to have their teachers have that role. Use some common sense from now on!

Lindy Mason

Back to the bros

Re “The bros among us” (Cover story, by Howard Hardee, May 7):

The article was definitely an interesting perspective on how members of the community view fraternity men. Whoever’s decision it was to keep Waldear’s fraternity name undisclosed was ethically correct and I appreciate that. I believe it was he himself who asked to not have the name stated, but I appreciate CN&R for respecting that. The generalization of an organization cannot correctly describe every member.

I enjoy that the article describes how “bros” tend to treat women disrespectfully. Although I do not think it will change their actions, it is good to bring attention and awareness toward an issue. Females often do not want to attend specific fraternity parties due to how they will be addressed and treated. Or, ignored if they are not up to the standards of the men in attendance.

Overall, I do not think Greek life is the reasoning behind the “bro” attitude. We live in a society that objectifies women and puts men at a higher place of power, allowing for entitlement issues and lack of respect.

Julie Cogert

Bros continued …

Re “About those bros” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, May 14):

In his letter, Patrick Newman suggests a dominant value system validates bro “gangsta asshole” behavior. A value system that has allowed “bros” to feel entitled and behave badly when they’re not getting what they think they deserve. One that says it’s OK to view most women as “hoes” and treat them accordingly. Some see this value system as not just a product of a culture of consumer capitalism, but of a religiously influenced, patriarchal society that tells these “bros” that men are the superior sex and superior to all other species, and has for centuries fostered this type of entitled, “gangsta asshole” behavior.

Many also were raised in environments where they were never taught to value anything, including time spent with their grandparents. Everything was handed to them with no real instilled sense of value or work ethic involved. Their role models are often arrogant, beefed-up athletes, uber-violent Call of Duty caricatures and other obnoxious bros. This value system continues to validate this superiority complex and the revering of “manliness,” while devaluing feminine qualities and the environment, and has created an atmosphere that makes verbal/sexual assaults on “girls,” who apparently can’t walk around safely without carrying pepper spray, just another part of the college/life experience.

Sherri Quammen

Many thanks

Library fact of the week: Volunteers—our library wouldn’t work without them. (They work 15,000 hours per year.) Chico library staff are wonderful, but they can’t get it all done by themselves. Over 1,000 volunteers from the community provide invaluable services.

Things they do: Shelve books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs; prepare for story time; repair and clean books; tutor; offer help with digital devices and homework; sort and price used books for sales.

Library patrons sent a variety of “atta boys” to our volunteers: Dear volunteers, we really appreciate you! Thank you for making the library so awesome! Thank you for your help!! Thank you for making the library a great place. Thank you for volunteering. We <3 U! Thank you for helping me find things. Good job! You guys rock! Thank you for repairing the books that are loved to pieces! You are the best, more than you can imagine. The Chico Friends of the Library highlight an interesting library fact each week on a poster at the Chico Branch Library, on Facebook (Chico Friends of the Butte County Library) or Twitter @cfobcl.

Ann Elliott
Chico Friends of the Library

Why all the planting?

We just traveled from Chico to San Luis Obispo, mostly on 101. We found the drive very beautiful, a garden of agricultural delights. The farming is obviously state-of-the-art and the workers in the thousands, totally focused. The one disconcerting observation was that there was no sign of anyone holding back on new planting. The opposite was the case—thousands of acres being started in grapes and nuts. Stakes as far as the eye could see with tiny trees strapped to them.

My wife and I are doing all kinds of things to use less water and use it twice—wash the dishes by hand, pour the water from the wash tub into the garden, don’t flush pee, don’t wash cars, you all know the routine. OK, so here’s the question: Why are nonessential food types (i.e., grapes and nuts) still being planted? Please, is there a farmer out there who can explain this to us? What are we missing in this big picture? Thank you for your attention.

John and Elizabeth Lavezzi