Letters for May 26, 2005

Oil dependence
The editorial “Asleep at the wheel,” May 12, states “…the two great energy-related issues of our time, dependence on foreign oil and global warming.” Perhaps this is a misprint. The word “foreign” should have been deleted. Dependence on a diminishing finite resource as a primary energy source is the issue. This dependence also plays a large part in creating the other great issue you mention (global warming).

Lee Edwards

Will to survive
What bravery “Jenna” showed, not only in defending herself and trying to protect her son, but in helping to send that maniac to prison, where perhaps he will receive some of his own “treatment” ["Survival Story, CN&R cover, May 12] When I finished reading the story, I walked into the bathroom of my mobile home and looked at the window, wondering how on earth she had made it through her own window.

Who knows what you or I would do in a similar situation, but thank goodness she has survived, and perhaps in time, with help of her church, family and friends, she will heal. The story brought back memories of the movie Psycho. It also makes you want to take a gun to the shower with you!

Pat Mullanix

Generous days
Well, another semester is over at Chico State University, and I hope the students have happy summer vacations. I’m looking for a secretary but all the English majors are busy with finals. Perhaps Sacramento and Washington will fund student loans and financial support for college people next year instead of spending it all on the war and the military.

Scholarships are another excellent way of helping college men. I’ve written 21 books but nothing about all those Sacramento lawmakers and their budget for 2006. Maybe they will be generous with the state universities this year. The generous days are just beginning in the capital.

David Lorenz
Received via e-mail

Simian confusion
While it’s not on the same scale as the recent Newsweek scandal that caused an uproar, rioting, and deaths in the Middle East, it is important to note that the News & Review chose to print a cartoon by P. S. Mueller on page 45 of its May 19 issue that depicted a monkey nailed to a cross. The monkey rambles “I need to learn to use tools…” It’s a dual visual commentary on Christian beliefs (the Crucifixion of Christ) and Darwinism (monkeys learning to use tools).

Publishing this sort of imagery is similar to the insult of Muslims by the Newsweek story about “flushing the Koran.” In Newsweek’s case, it was blind faith in an unnamed source that fed them a lie. In CN&R’s it was a conscious choice by the editor.

I’m very disappointed that the News & Review would publish such imagery in the face of recent events. You advocate by editorial the honoring of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a memorial, as do I, but you publish something in the same issue that offends Christianity. It’s disingenuous.

Dr. King was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and had his ideals rooted in Christianity; with a voice for change following lessons of Gandhi. I’m fairly certain he would find the cartoon reprehensible, perhaps even racist, given cross burnings that occurred in the South.

Anthony Watts

Park respect
I’m a student at Chico High School. My concern is with the atmosphere around Bidwell Park. Bidwell Park is not only a park, it is a treasure that we have to take care of. My family and I want to help Bidwell Park.

Every time I walk through the park, I see trash all over. Often, people throw trash right in front of me. It hurts me deeply to see people throwing trash.

There are solutions to this problem. The city of Chico should put more trash cans in the park. If more trash cans were installed in the park, it would be easier to put people’s trash where it belongs. The trash cans can even be painted so they can blend in with the natural surroundings of the park.

One last but important thing that can be done is to teach all of the children in Chico to respect Bidwell Park. If the children are taught to respect the park, they will not litter. We need to protect Bidwell Park if we want to keep it for another 100 years. The park is truly a treasure for the people of Chico.

Jessica Romero

Support ho’s
It seems hard to believe that at a time when Republicans talk the talk about support for our troops, they vote as a bloc to pull the rug out from underneath them. After a short debate the war supplemental bill was passed by both sides. The bill gives our troops over $80 billion more on top of the billions already spent to pay for the war.

When the bill to add less than $2 billion in health care for our troops came on the floor, the Democrats voted yes to help the troops, while all the Republicans jumped into lockstep and voted no to additional health care. With this vote Republicans made it clear, it is money for the corporate war industry and cuts to health care for our solders.

It doesn’t take much to put a “Support the Troops” magnet next to the “W” sticker on a car. It takes a true stand-up person to let the corporate Republicans know that respecting our fighting men and women with health care is part of the price of war. Forget the car flag and the troops stickers. Spend 37 cents and write any Republican senators and let them know, we the people support the troops, and funding health care for our protectors of freedom is the right thing to do.

Charles Finlay

Bumper crop
While driving my VW down the highway today (going over the speed limit), I was passed by what typically passes me on the freeway, a huge SUV. This one was an Escalade. Driven by a woman who looked to be a graduate of the Tami Faye Bakker Makeup School, it had a typical bumper sticker or two. First was “Support Our Troops,” which is like putting a peace sign on a tank! A more appropriate sticker for Escalades, Navigators and Excursions would read: “Dead soldiers for Oil. A necessary trade for my prestigious gas hog.”

Under that was the Bush sticker and another proclaiming some kind of morality or values.

I think most of us realize that there are dozens of countries that are much more in need of American “aid” than Iraq. They are missing one thing: oil. Some folks just don’t get it, and some don’t care.

Cliff Johnsen

Resolution referendum
On Tuesday, May 17, the City Council passed a resolution extending meter fees from 6-10 p.m. M-F and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday in order to fund a five-level, 700-space parking structure that studies conducted by the city have shown downtown Chico does not need. As a result of this ill-conceived resolution, the Saturday Farmers’ Market, considered by many to be one of the crown jewels of Chico, would take place in the shadow of a monolithic structure, a very symbolic statement as to what the council most reveres.

I urge all of you who care about the future of the Saturday Farmers’ Market and our beautiful downtown to participate in the petition drive to stop the extension of the meter fees into the evening and Saturday. A successful referendum will, in effect, stop the funding of a structure that would forever alter the character and charm of downtown Chico.

If you are a registered voter residing within the city limits of Chico, please sign and circulate petitions. If you do not live in Chico, volunteer to help with this important and far-reaching effort.

Debra Abbott
Friends of the Farmers’ Market

Market value
Please join me and other friends of our Farmers’ Market in so valuing its unique contribution to life in Chico that you will resist every attempt to replace its lively presence and gift to Chico with a dead structure used to park empty automobiles.

The Chico Farmers’ Market as it now exists on the parcel between Second and Third and Wall and Flume is central to the Chico experience, I believe. To displace it would be a terrible mistake. The market realizes in stalls, umbrellas, musicians, crafts people, parents, children, young adults, out-of-town visitors, puppies and kittens to adopt, and even rain in winter and summer heat the very richness of our community here in the North Valley and the interconnectedness of nature and industry, of soil and soul. I enjoy the easy commerce with growers, buyers, small entrepreneurs of tamales, handicrafts, candies, breads, soaps and jewelry.

And I do not believe that that parcel is the only possible location in which to serve the city’s parking needs.

I understand from what I read that some advocates of more parking structures claim that the lot the market is now on is the only place available. Surely not. Just imagine that a large commercial structure already stood on the block in question. And imagine that downtown business interests still sought more parking, as surely they would. Would they just give up? I don’t think so. They’d look around and find another site. Well, I suggest that we declare the present Farmers’ Market as Chico’s treasure and send the developers off to find another spot. Be creative.

David S. Wilson