Letters for May 26, 2016
‘Message of triumph’
Re “History of violence” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, May 19):
I was the fourth speaker on a panel of five voices for housing at a regional conference of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment in Sacramento last week. The third speaker’s calm and brave message of triumph over homelessness and domestic violence transformed my opening words into validating that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women. I shared situations such as a woman visiting Butte County on a duck hunt who escaped brutal beatings at the hands of her boyfriend by going homeless.
The last speaker was a woman who was dressed for success while wearing the nervousness that comes with public speaking. Her story about domestic violence was so caustic that I winced seeing the mutual pain on the face of another speaker. I glanced at the 75 silent and similarly sobered individuals in attendance.
She finished her story to applause and the panel moderator noted how deftly she had overcome her nervousness and fear while sharing but a glimpse of the ghastly experiences that had shaped her as a volunteer and advocate for those in similar situations, women such as Angelica Weems—women braving brutally oppressive situations and seeking the safety, respect and dignity we all crave and deserve.
Not so super
Re “Superdelegate speaks” (Letters, by Bob Mulholland, May 19):
Bob Mulholland has always been a respected member of our community, but now he stands with all that progressives deplore. By pledging his superdelegate vote to Hillary Clinton, he has pledged to stand against the Earth, against an inclusive economy, against inclusive education, against peace and against the will of the majority of voters in Chico and California.
Mulholland and Jane Dolan are sitting pretty and must fear giving that up, but many are being betrayed by politics as usual. Will Mulholland support the majority of voters and remain our ally or will he become Bob Mulholland, enemy of the people?
R. Sterling Ogden
Bob Mulholland’s letter suggesting that Bernie Sanders supporters are primarily white males needs to be addressed.
Mulholland chose to ignore Sanders’ wins in Hawaii and Colorado, which have large ethnically diverse populations. He decided not to mention that Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in support by younger women of all races. Mulholland did not mention that Sanders demonstrated for civil rights from 1962 on, while Rodham cum Clinton worked for anti-civil-rights candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Candidates should be chosen by delegates earned through the popular vote, not by superdelegates who have influence beyond the voting public. Superdelegates are like modern-day Tammany Hall bosses, making deals behind closed doors. This superdelegate system should be eliminated along with Citizens United, returning us to a more democratic process.
Voting for POTUS
Re “Endorsements” (Editorial, May 19):
As a progressive, I was quite disturbed by the innuendo and thinly veiled finger-pointing in your recent editorial. Of course your publication has every right to offer a slate of candidates for the coming election. However, your rationale for endorsing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton—rather than based on policy differences—seems to arise from the same rumor mills accessed by the current Republican frontrunner.
To be specific, you state: “We don’t trust Hillary Clinton. She’s tied to Wall Street. She came late to the party on supporting LGBT rights. Even President Obama has regrets over what happened in Libya during Secretary Clinton’s tenure.” The first three statements—sophomoric at best—resemble the efforts of students who avoid actual research and substitute opinion for fact; thankfully, they are usually not in a position to influence the body politic. The latter statement with its horrifying connotations echoes the unsubstantiated, unethical muck Mr. Trump gathers from a variety of electronic pigsties and throws at any opposition he faces. Can we please just stick to the issues?
Voting for Hillary Clinton is a vote for rule by the military industrial complex and Wall Street.
The U.S. has spent trillions on wars and foreign “interventions” in pursuit of geopolitical goals in the Middle East, supported by Clinton, not supported by Bernie Sanders. The result of those trillions spent is hundreds of thousands dead, unimaginable pain and suffering, great destruction and environmental degradation, and refugees on a scale not seen since World War II. The result is also much more hate and instability. With Clinton’s enthusiastic support, the U.S. spent trillions to make the U.S. and the world less safe.
The Democratic establishment has hugely favored Clinton, while establishment media ignored or snarkily dismissed Sanders.
A hunk of moldy cheese could have gotten the votes Clinton has gotten, because it was predetermined that she was to be the Democratic nominee, and the establishment has been bulldozing her path to the coronation.
The strength of Sanders’ judgment, integrity and vision make him the most viable candidate to run against Donald Trump. I will support Sanders through the convention, and I want his delegates to fight hard against the Clinton machine. The movement will continue.
Re “Restrooms, recycling and more” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, May 19):
It is easy to understand why the conservative-led City Council voted to ignore the Chapman/Mulberry Neighborhood Plan in favor of Chico Scrap Metal (CSM). After all, Chapmantown has an elementary school that is 70 percent minority, is home to minorities and low-income workers, and they can’t vote in city elections.
This reprehensible action was led by Councilman Andrew Coolidge, whose first council action was to present a motion to agendize discussion that would allow 11 years of noncompliance by CSM to be shelved and permit them to remain at their present location. Because of his financial ties to the owners of CSM through consulting fees and campaign contributions, Coolidge’s motives should have been questioned, and, at the very least, once the motion moved forward, he should have demonstrated ethical behavior and recused himself from any discussion or action that involved CSM.
And while a lot of current neighborhood businesses weren’t there in 1983, Chapman Elementary had been there for 30 years. Good luck to those organizing the referendum that will overturn the shameful action just displayed by the four conservative members of the City Council.
Roger S. Beadle
About a bill
Re “Protest of Israel’s occupation under attack” (Guest comment, by Emily Alma, May 19):
Thank you for printing Emily Alma’s Guest comment about the pro-Zionist lobby’s efforts to squelch freedom of speech and penalize those who participate in boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to end the oppression of Palestinians. California’s Assembly Bill 2844 is intended to do exactly that—prohibit the state government from contracting with any business or entity that engages in BDS.
For example, several years ago Carlos Santana refused to perform in Israel after learning about how Israel was oppressing Palestinians. Would that mean that Santana would not be able to perform in California either, because no government agency could provide traffic control for his concerts?
Several years ago, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association—College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) pulled $72 million out of Caterpillar Inc. because the company’s bulldozers (giant weaponized bulldozers) are used to destroy Palestinian homes. It was a Caterpillar bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie, an American student who believed she could save a Palestinian home from destruction by standing in its way. The bulldozer ran her over twice and she died shortly afterward.
So how would AB 2844 affect California teachers invested with TIAA-CREF?
Please tell Assemblyman James Gallagher to oppose AB 2844.
Trees are assets
Every year for the last six years the city of Chico has cut down more trees than it planted. Chico claims public safety is our priority. Cancer claims about 9,000 Americans a week. Since trees protect us from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays, that makes our urban forest a public safety priority.
Trees improve property values. A fellow citizen in front of the City Council, at a recent meeting, said a real estate agent told him the large mature trees in front of his house added $50,000 to the value of his home! Our City Tree Division used to be 11 people. Now there are only three! The city has thousands of empty tree-planting sites.
Chico Tree Advocates currently has a formal proposal in front of the council to hire three new tree crew workers and two part-timers. After many years of minimal pruning and planting, our urban forest needs maintenance. This is an issue that strikes to our very character as a community and to that of Chico’s identity and livability! Call the City Council members and ask them to fund the tree crew and make planting trees of large species a priority.
Measure G is (an expensive) boondoggle. In January, Butte County supervisors moved to add a single sentence to our Right to Farm ordinance, a sentence specifically excluding cannabis farmers from its protections. Here’s the problem: Our Right to Farm ordinance offers protection for agricultural operations only when they comply with “all federal … statutes” So, cannabis farmers were already excluded!
Despite public comments against the redundancy, the board voted to approve. Four weeks later, despite protesting signatures from over 13,000 voters, and in a move that Butte County Clerk/Recorder Candace Grubbs said would cost $30,000 to $40,000, Measure G was placed on the ballot. Director of Development Services Tim Snellings agreed that the existing ordinance excludes marijuana, but added: “We want to be as clear as we can.”
So taxpayers spend tens of thousands of dollars to add one inconsequential sentence—just for clarity. Today, cannabis farmers are excluded from the protections of the Right to Farm ordinance. The day after the election—whether Measure G passes or fails—they still will be excluded. Where is the common sense in this? Is this good government? Does this benefit anyone? Should we meet such fiscal foolishness with anything other than disapproval? We should not. Vote no on Measure G.
It is a sad state of affairs when a few local citizens who should care about future generations in Butte County sell out by repeating corporate-energy lies about fracking. They say it will never happen here because the practice is not done in sandstone (not true) and that there is no gas under Butte County (also not true). There are over 200 old gas wells in Butte County that will be fracked, not if, but when the price of gas goes back up.
History will judge fracking as a crime against humanity because of all the damage it has done by permanently poisoning aquifers across America and around the world.
Protect our water: Support Measure E on the June 7 ballot and encourage your friends to vote yes on Measure E to protect our children, grandchildren and all future Butte County generations.
Big-biz White House
Just supposing the big-business conservatives recapture the White House this time around. A potential start-up company might be a single-item hardware store. Someone could amass a fortune selling just one exclusive commodity. Upon resumption and escalation of the horrific and inexcusable human torture, tens of millions of the mindless Americans can purchase and bring along their own personal water bucket. The product has only one certain guarantee—the cost will again be unimaginably exorbitant.
Kenneth B. Keith
Take a pause
I must say Facebook is an incredible way to stay connected. In the days of my mother, there were letters, and, as we wrote, there was time in the written word to rethink, take pause. The “send” button without extra thought was not easily hit.
I wanted to understand the “F-U NEWMAN!” comment by Stairways Executive Director Michael Madieros on his Facebook page. His call for letters [about Patrick Newman] is why I write in. Many in our community have spectacular intentions. We don’t all have to be under a bridge to feel the empathy and reach out a hand. There are many people who do their part to reduce the pain, and do it differently.
As a mental health advocate and person with deep empathy, I am trying to bridge gaps where I see a lapse. I think it is possible Mr. Madieros hit the send button before the F-U came out in a public forum.
I hope we try and encourage others to ensure the village can continue in a healthy manner, band together, not against one another.