Letters for May 27, 2004

Too soon
I cannot believe we have lost, yet again, another community leader whose heart and soul made our life in Chico a better place for everyone. Like Kevin Campbell, Bob Bellin, Hank Marsh and Jerry Kenkel, Coleen Jarvis was an exceptional human being whose life was cut short in its prime. We all had such hope for her battle; certainly someone with so much spirit, personal courage and determination could beat the odds! She fought for everything she ever believed in; surely this illness would not take her from us?

But it did. And though many of us were sobered by the opportunity to say our goodbyes, we are still in shock that she is actually gone. It is so unfair, so unjust—like so many of the things Coleen spent her life trying to change.

I met Coleen long ago when Rape Crisis Intervention was her passion and our children were little, when single motherhood was a challenge that forged friendships like ours, and we never dreamed that something like cancer would touch our lives.

I will miss her drive, integrity, wit and generosity of spirit that made her who she was, and what she was able to leave behind: a community with a conscience for the less fortunate. May her spirit live on in Chico with love.

Lynne Bussey

PBID supporter
Over the last few weeks, I have read a number of letters and articles regarding the move to create a Property and Business Improvement District [PBID] in downtown Chico. After all of the information provided to the media and property owners by the DCBA, I have been amazed at how little has been understood.

The main issue that I would like to address is the misconception that the PBID will duplicate the efforts of the DCBA. In a recent letter, my property owner, Betty Jane Roth, did not realize that the DCBA would not exist with the PBID. When the PBID is created, the DCBA will be set aside for the period of time that the PBID exists. All functions of the DCBA are provided by the PBID, thus eliminating the need for the DCBA.

All the PBID is trying to do is unify downtown Chico as a better place to be, whether for shopping, working or just visiting. A safe, inviting downtown is good for everyone. No, we will not solve all of downtown’s problems with the PBID, but with it, we can provide many of the services needed but currently not provided. As a downtown merchant, I am willing to pay the price for more services. Our efforts to make this happen are not just self-serving; we all benefit from a vibrant downtown Chico with its unique businesses, CSU, Chico and the many downtown events throughout the year. The PBID is the right step at the right time.

John Alden
North Rim Adventure Sports

See what happens
Our country needs to recognize that we are in fact at war and act accordingly. For instance, the holy city and shrines that the radical 30-year-old cleric is commanding his militia from should not be off limits. We should overtly let all of the Muslims in the country know that we intend to use a tactical nuke to destroy the entire city if he is not surrendered to us along with his cohorts within one week. If the place were sacred, the ball would be in the holy leader’s court to salvage and protect it by placing its importance over some overzealous 30-year-old killer’s wishes. If he isn’t handed over, we should level it, as the people there had chosen. It is that simple.

The Berg butchers could be rooted out the very same way. Threaten what is important to those people and let them choose their destiny as well. Any city breeding violence with Americans should be given the same choice—stop the violence against us before it starts or face nuclear annihilation immediately.

This is war and we should treat it like it. The alternative is another Vietnam.

Garry Cooper

Orwellian George
George “Doublespeak” Bush on May 8 said, “In a free society there will be transparency in the process. In societies run by tyrants, you never see the truth.” Is this guy the king of irony or what?

We’ve got the Cheney Energy Task Force kept secret from us for years; blockage of the 9-11 Commission’s access to presidential documents; covering up the true cost of the Medicare drug plan, with possible criminal threats involved; blocking access to photos of fallen soldiers’ coffins and to data on the suicide rate of our soldiers; indefinitely detained Americans whose access to the law is blocked; Iraqi prisoner abuse, which Paul Bremer says he knew about since January, photographed and released by the press, not the Pentagon; behind-closed-doors no-bid contracts with corrupt crony corporation Halliburton; withholding of 28 pages of the joint injury report implicating Bush’s Saudi buddies in 9-11; not releasing data on Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, being flown out of the country after 9-11, while ordinary Americans were grounded. And we still don’t have full disclosure of Bush’s draft-dodging drinking days.

The list goes on and on. The one thing that’s transparent is that honesty, integrity and responsibility are lacking in the Bush White House. Billions of dollars, thousands of Iraqi lives and hundreds of American lives gone as a result of this hubris. “In societies run by tyrants…” How appropriate coming from the chicken hawk who calls himself the war president.

Eric Hitchcock

Principled leadership
Yet again, our country, powerful militarily and privileged in economic resources, is like a ship in a great storm whose captain and crew have lost the moral compass. The daily news outlets, from the newspaper to radio, Internet and television, spew torrential evidence of multisided violence, barbarism and lawlessness, whose shock effect engulfs our society and societies around the world, offering the spectacle of a “great democracy” entangled in warfare and human rights abuses at great expense of blood and treasury as means to settle personal scores and international disputes.

It is the moral and democratic duty of American citizens to question the quality of leadership offered by the president of the United States and his appointees and assess the conduct of domestic and foreign affairs on the basis of deeds, consequences and outcomes. Condoning lawlessness and disregard of principle by leaders with private agendas results in a process of ethical enfeeblement and public dis-education of the governed. The result will be the triumph of a few rogues and the disempowerment of the citizenry. It is time for all of us to recommit to civil and rational discourse, to take back the democratic process, to abide by the law and to be peacemakers.

Eugenio Fongia