Letters for May 26, 2011

Creating second chances

Re “No second chances” (Cover story, by Christine G.K. LaPado, May 19):

“No Second Chances” was excellent. People often bemoan the very high rates of recidivism among former prisoners but do not recognize that if they are barred from obtaining regular jobs, meeting obstacles at every turn, many of them will inevitably return to a life of crime out of desperation. What else can they do?

Instead of shunning them, we should make every effort to help reincorporate people who have served their time back into the working world, so they can be productive and self-supporting members of society. Besides the simple fairness of it, this also would save us taxpayers a tremendous amount of money.

We cannot afford to continue imprisoning more of our people than practically any other country in the world.

Leslie Johnson

I am a lawyer at Keshishian Law, in Glendale, and some of our cases that we handle are specific to expunging criminal records for 18- to 25-year-olds looking for work. After our clients contact us via our contact form, we advise these young adults to explain themselves to potential employers as we process the proper forms to expunge their records. Our site is www.cleanyourcriminalrecord.com.

Arno Keshishian

A budgetary diversion

Re “Myths about public pensions” (Guest comment, by Jim Gregg, May 12):

Jim Gregg is absolutely correct. Anyone can verify his facts. It’s perfectly clear to me that our politicians want to believe the myths to divert our attention from the real budget problems. The bottom line is that the state spends more than it takes in. To the State Legislature: FOCUS!

Donald Curtis
Old Station

Gruendl’s a poor loser

Scott Gruendl says [in Letters, May 19] the Measure A petition was signed by “a mere 1,000 [voters] above the minimum needed.”

Gruendl was elected by less than 400 votes over Bob Evans, in a town of 43,000 voters.

Is he saying those “mere” thousand people are not worthy of being heard, but his 397 are worthy of being heard?

And while Gruendl complains about the $151,000 needed to pay for an election, he votes to “forgive” the [Chico Creek] Nature Center a $185,000 loan. CCNC Board Member at Large Dave Guzzetti is also a prominent opponent of Measure A.

Gruendl bitterly insists, “Only a few people are promoting and bankrolling Measure A….” He has no respect for the legal majority.

Gruendl tried to downplay Evan’s 10,320 votes, attempting to overturn the will of the voters by filling Larry Wahl’s seat with a handpicked appointee; now he says Measure A is a power grab?

Tsk, tsk, poor loser.

Juanita Sumner

For the record, Councilman Gruendl, like the six other members of the City Council, voted to defer repayment of the Chico Creek Nature Center’s loan, not forgive it.—ed.

More on Measure A

The single largest contributor to the Yes on Measure A campaign states he wants council members to be “business-minded and have some real economic sense.” I fail to see how it is that more business-minded candidates will run for office in June than if they stood for election in November.

The Butte County registrar of voters estimates moving council elections from November to June would cost taxpayers an additional $73,000. If Measure A proponents support sound economic sense, then elections should remain in November, thereby saving $73,000 every two years.

In a democracy everyone eligible to vote should be encouraged to participate in elections. June is a time of vacations, when many eligible voters may be out of town and unavailable to vote.

Measure A is fiscally irresponsible, and may exclude an important segment of our community. Vote No on Measure A.

Keep city elections in November.

Heather Schlaff

Supporters of Measure A suggest that moving our local council election from November to June will focus more attention on local issues. It sounds good until you dig deeper and learn that nothing could be further from the truth. With three times the number of people voting in November than in June, fall races are designed to focus on local offices.

Supporters of Measure A know the real reason behind this initiative is to influence who sits on the Chico City Council. In fact, Stephanie Taber, the self-appointed spokesperson, stated in a public forum hosted by the League of Women Voters that we need to pass Measure A and move the council election to June to elect more fiscal conservatives to the Chico City Council.

I’m distrustful of people who aren’t willing to be transparent about their motives. And, as it turns out, I need to trust my instincts on Measure A. I don’t know about you, but I want local elections to reflect the views of our entire community and not a minority of people who believe their values are superior to their fellow citizens’ values.

Measure A is a calculated power grab by people choosing to masquerade as ambassadors for a healthy, engaged community. I believe people in Chico are too smart to fall for this charade. If you want to prevent our local elections from being hijacked and manipulated, please join me in voting No on Measure A.

Mary Flynn

Evidence that irony is dead among the ultra-right: a small, hyper-partisan group wants to move municipal elections to June so they are not “overwhelmed by the multi-million dollar hyper-partisan state and national campaigns” in November. What is really going on here, of course, is that they think right-wingers have a better chance of being elected the fewer people who vote.

To pursue this perceived advantage, they are willing to abandon their supposedly sacred principal of saving taxpayer money—moving these elections to June would cost Chico at least $73,000 [more] per election, according to the non-partisan county election clerk. That extra money would come out of the same fund that pays for police and firefighters.

The elections were moved to November by an 80 percent vote in 1984 in order to save tax dollars and increase voter participation. Chico got it right then—don’t change it now.

O. J. McMillan

Mean to cats

After all the time and energy that the Chico Cat Coalition has spent removing and caring for abandoned cats in Bidwell Park, the area is again becoming over-populated with these poor creatures—especially on the south side of One Mile.

When people drop their cats off, whether in Bidwell Park or some other open area, they subject them to a life they are not equipped for. Most domestic cats have lost their instinctive hunting skills and can no longer find food. Those who do survive must endure dog attacks, injuries and disease, hunger, and the cold and rain.

For example, last spring I came across a mother and her kitten that had been abandoned by the creek across from Marsh Junior High School. When I returned the next day, I found the kitten dead on the path—apparently it had been hit by a bicycle after the mother had left in search of food.

If you make the important decision to have a pet, then you have the responsibility to protect its welfare, which includes finding it a good home or taking it to the nearest animal shelter if you must give it up. Abandoning a cat is a heartless and selfish act.

Margaret Nordeen

Where are the leaders?

Now that bin Laden is dead, can we please bring our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq? We have done nothing to lessen our appetite for Mideast oil in spite of our nation’s huge reserves of natural gas.

Our nation’s leaders are anything but. Their main concern is remaining in power, not solving this nation’s problems. Ron Paul is one leader who tells the truth and could begin to rein in the special interests who have circumvented our political process. I don’t believe our nation has the ability to vote in someone with integrity.

Wayne Rice

Questions for Rep. Herger

I have a question for Congressman Herger: Why does he think that wealthy people are more deserving of medical care then everyone else?

If his party’s voucher system gets put into law, providers will be free to raise prices on health care, and government will be free to cut spending on vouchers, making medical care a luxury of the rich. Is that fair?

Do you think that the investment banker is more deserving of a cardiac-bypass surgery then the person who cared for elderly patients all of their life? Is the person who makes huge profits on oil more deserving of care then the person who picks strawberries? Do you care that an elderly couple who saved all of their lives to own a small retirement home in Paradise now has to sell it because one of them had a heart attack?

Please tell Congressman Herger Medicare is for us, all of us, to have some security when we retire that illness will not rob us of our remaining years. So hands off!

Dayle Deer

Bonds across the sea

The Chico Japan Friendship Club would like thank you very much for your generous contributions to our fundraising effort to assist Japan to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. The radiation threats of the nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture added a dire dimension and unprecedented challenge to the Japanese people and to the rest of world. All of us are affected one way or another by what has transpired in Japan since March 11, 2011.

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise $20,817.41 that was donated to the Northeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross will forward the funds to the Japan Red Cross for distribution to the affected areas of northeastern Japan. Please find a list of local businesses whose support was crucial to our fundraising efforts on our website.

Above all, you have contributed to the bonds between Chico and Japan to keep alive the good of humankind. We plan to continue activities related to the friendship between Chico and Japan. Please watch for our autumn lecture series, Japanese Chat, and more at www.chicojapan.org.

Again, thank you so much for the kindness expressed toward Japan.

The Chico Japan Friendship Club