Letters for May 27, 2010

He’s no champ

Re “The first couple of TV news” (Cover story, by Robert Speer, May 20):

I enjoyed the article on Kelli Saam and Jerry Olenyn. However, I have a bone to pick with you journalists.

You show a pic and mention that Jerry Olenyn had a pic taken and covered a fight that involved Mike Tyson. Why is it that when you news people mention Tyson, you simply refer to him as “Mike Tyson,” or “former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson,” or something in a similar vein, but never by his status or moniker as “convicted rapist Mike Tyson” or “convicted sex offender Mike Tyson”?

If Joe Citizen was convicted for the same crime as Mike Tyson, and he made news (good or bad), you would refer to him as “convicted rapist Joe Citizen,” or “convicted sex offender Joe Citizen.” He would have to be introduced to readers with that shame-based tag line.

It seems that there is a disparity here between the type of “labels” our society (and journalists) puts on certain individuals based on their celebrity status or VIP station in life. Look also at actor Rob Lowe, convicted 22 years ago for statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl he videotaped. He received a few hours of community service and his acting career was not hurt by it, and he is always referred to as “Emmy Award-winning actor Rob Lowe,” never as a rapist, sex offender or child molester.

Rocco Sockeminal

It’s about the law

Re “Nativism run amok” (Editorial, May 20):

Trying to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books is not “bashing” immigrants. It is law enforcement.

The two largest expenses for the state of California are education and health services. They also are the two most affected by illegal immigration. If California sent all illegal immigrants back to their home countries, we could save 30 percent to 50 percent of their cost. If we sent back all prisoners who are illegal immigrants, we could cut our prison costs by almost 50 percent!

Enforcing the law is not racist, is not cruel and is the only thing that will save the state of California. Viva Arizona!

Mike Nun

Editor’s note: For the record, 11 percent of the inmates in state prisons, or 19,000 of 170,000 people, are illegal immigrants, according to the state Department of Finance. Also, of Medi-Cal’s total budget of $40 billion, $1.3 billion, or 3 percent, went to illegal immigrants, according to the Department of Health Care Services.

What do Greeks want?

Re “Campus paper under fire” (Newslines, by Dustin Hyman, May 20):

When I first joined The Orion as a news reporter in the spring of 2009, the Greeks were my beat. But after a particular story ran (www.theorion.com/2.695/frat-sweetheart-no-slouch-1.3815) they were furious at the quotes in the article. They didn’t dispute that they were correct—they just didn’t like them.

I was later informed that I could no longer attend Greek council meetings. I attempted to initiate a sitdown with the council presidents and my managing editor, but the Greeks refused, stating in an e-mail, among other things, that “Positive articles about our Greek Community countered by negative articles in the same issue” were a problem as well as “Quotes that do not accurately represent our Greek Community.”

Considering that the editorial board endorsed two of the four Greeks mentioned in the article plus one sorority sister for A.S. offices, I wonder what exactly is required for the Greeks to like The Orion.

Don Bunce

Cast in a bad light

Re “Down the drain” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, May 13):

As a CUSD custodian, I would like to respond to the article about the dumping of toxic cleaning chemicals down city storm drains by school-district custodians. I am a member of the district’s team cleaning crew, and I and my fellow team members feel that the reporting in this article unfairly casts a negative light on all of us.

The anonymous source quoted in the article, Mr. “Jameson,” states that as recently as April 2010 he observed a custodian dumping the chemical Devastator down a city storm drain. Mr. Jameson goes on to state that he has witnessed the illegal dumping of this toxin on numerous occasions on a regular basis during his 10-year tenure as a custodian. (Which raises the question: Why didn’t Mr. Jameson report this the first time he saw it happen?)

This product is used only to strip floor wax and is not used on a regular basis by the team cleaning crews, which are the nighttime crews. Our crews cover multiple sites each night, and our duties consist of the daily general cleaning and maintenance of these sites.

There is also a roving crew that performs duties such as cleaning carpets and stripping and waxing hallways and multipurpose rooms. They are the only custodians who have access to Devastator during the school year. If this product was used in April, it was not by my team or any other team cleaning crew member that I spoke with.

Our job is to care for our school sites, and that includes identifying hazardous materials and disposing of them correctly. We are concerned about the safety of the teachers and students at our schools. To suggest that we would engage in unsafe or hazardous activities without proof is unfair and irresponsible reporting.

My fellow team cleaning custodians and I feel that we were thrown under the (school) bus by not having an opportunity to comment on this accusation in the original article.

Joseph L. Johnston

A slogan that fits?

Re “Long-shot candidates” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, May 6):

In your column about the League of Women Voters-sponsored debate between county supervisor candidates, you went to great lengths to point out Jane Dolan’s length of service (32 years) and her presumed sincere concern for her constituents. You also went to great lengths about Jane’s and Maureen Kirk’s working on “streamlining [the county’s] regulatory processes” and including “an ambitious economic-development element in the new general plan” (italics mine).

What has taken so long? It’s been 32 years of anti-business, anti-building and anti-jobs regulations. Jane just voted against a county resolution asking the state of California to defer implementing AB 32 until unemployment statewide is less than 5.5 percent for several consecutive quarters. Jane’s election slogan should read “No Jobs Jane.”

Betty Schumacher

Ramsey truly cares

I was an investigator in the Butte County District Attorney’s Office from 2001 until I retired in 2007. Having worked for Mr. Ramsey for more than six years, most of that time assigned to the Child Abuse Unit, I have personal knowledge of his professionalism and his integrity.

Mike Ramsey was instrumental in creating Butte County’s Child Abuse Response Team and the Drug Endangered Children Program. Designed to meet our population’s needs, these efforts have become model programs, adopted by other agencies across the state and country.

Unlike his challengers, Mike Ramsey has invested and dedicated his entire life to the citizens of Butte County. He was born and raised here. He has always been active in his community.

Mike Ramsey did not relocate his residence to Butte County six months ago for the sole purpose of running for district attorney. His personal expenses and campaign costs have not been financed by people who are seeking revenge for being prosecuted for polluting our environment. Mike Ramsey has no need to distort prosecution facts and figures to get elected. Mike Ramsey is not averse to meeting his challengers head-on in a public forum.

Mike Ramsey is the only candidate who truly cares about the citizens of our county, especially our children. I am proud to give him my vote and endorsement, and I hope you will do the same.

Richard Barton

A good warm stretch

Re “More than a good stretch” (Cover story, by Neal Wiegman, May 6) and “Yoga teacher feels cheated” (Letters, by Paul Hurschmann, May 13):

I want to compliment Neal on a great article portraying yoga in Chico. I would also like to thank Paul Hurschmann for enlightening CN&R readers on the difference between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga.

However, I take issue with the implication that Hot Yoga is a disservice to the readers. There are many benefits of In Motion’s yoga program, including a sanitary hardwood floor (versus a carpet collecting bacteria and mold at 105 degrees).

In Motion’s studio does provide mirrors, a stretching wall, many yoga styles and levels, etc. And since the room gets to only 90 degrees, we’ve never had an issue with injuries due to a slippery floor. Our members would also agree that having over 30 yoga classes per week in Chico’s most beautiful studio (designed by local artisans) is a far cry from being cheated or short changed.

It’s unfortunate that Neal was unable to interview Paul and feature more studios, but he did cover a wide spectrum and, most prominently, yoga businesses that have been in Chico for more than 10 years.

Chris Conway
In Motion Fitness


Two views of Dolan

I would like to offer some truth about Jane Dolan based on my experience as a local music producer (the Beach Boys, The Moody Blues, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chicago, Gloria Esteban, Hank Williams Jr., Ray Charles, Kenny Loggins, Nirvana, Toby Keith, Joan Jett, Fleetwood Mac and many more) for more than 22 years.

First, she is personally responsible for the loss of two major amphitheaters. She and her husband, Bob Muholland, led a campaign to get rid of the music in Chico. Why? Because I attempted, along with the Beach Boys, to build an amphitheater out on Pentz Road on land that was owned by a man who dared to run against her in a previous election. How immature is that?

We built the amphitheater instead on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. She then did her best to destroy that one. She went so far as to have a former Butte County supervisor placed on the fair board who immediately attacked and prevented any more shows.

Jane Dolan cares only about Jane Dolan. She and her husband pull in more than $250,000 a year from you and me, the taxpayers. They are power hungry. Please vote for Larry Wahl. Stop the abuse of power Jane stands for.

Rick Clements

I operate an apartment business in Jane Dolan’s District 2, and have relied on her advice for about 20 years now, first on the Nitrate Action Committee, and later when I have had questions or issues with Butte County.

Jane is a hard-working public servant who knows her job and does it extremely well. She has a passion for Butte County, for those in her district, for the environment, and for our agricultural industry. Her unwavering support for neighborhoods in District 2 is impressive.

When the city of Chico failed to protect the needs and interests of people and businesses near Oak Way several years ago, Jane stepped in to quash the awful Sterling Apartments development that would have exacerbated traffic issues on Nord Avenue. When the Chapman neighborhood needed help from law enforcement to curb crime a few years ago, Jane stepped in to bring neighborhood policing there to help.

Finally, Jane has been a pragmatist in guiding this county through the last 20 years of financial turbulence. It is no surprise that the district attorney investigators, deputy district attorneys, deputy sheriffs, county firefighters, 10 Chico mayors, the Farm Bureau, and countless citizens and business leaders support Jane.

We know that electing Jane Dolan is the best way to assure that Butte County stays safe and sound and remains a great place to live, become educated, and raise a family. I urge my neighbors and residents in District 2 to get out and vote for Jane on June 8.

William Sheridan