Letters for May 29, 2003

Correction: In the May 12 cover story, “Arrested development,” the doctor on duty at Enloe Medical Center’s emergency room on Dec. 8, 2001, should have been identified as Dr. Elisa Brown, not Dr. Diane Gill. The News & Review regrets the error and any inconvenience it may have caused.

When a tree falls
I’m very sorry that a man got hurt when a tree fell in the plaza, but the fact of the matter is, trees fall sometimes, and the injury wasn’t serious. If the City Council can conclusively prove that they don’t know which tree will fall next (and it seems to me that they have already proven that), then they need not fear lawsuits. The planned solution to cut down every tree in city plaza over a 20-year period has already failed to protect public safety.

I really need to point out here that the idea of cutting down every tree because one might fall is, for lack of a better term, moronic. A recent article in the Enterprise-Record points out that our city tree consultant lacks an essential high-tech tool to detect root rot. Please, somebody, buy the city a shovel. When was the last time you saw a large tree fall because the trunk snapped in half?

Paul Hood
Received via e-mail

Presidential disaster
No doubt about it, Manuel Esteban is a friendly fellow and mended the broken ties left by former [Chico State University] President Robin Wilson. That said, perhaps you’d like to think about the rapid growth in administrators during his tenure—most recently, in this time of budget cuts and thus cancellation of classes taught by “temporary” faculty, his addition of a fourth vice president, with salary, office and staff, at about $500,000.

This new V.P. is apparently for fund raising. Perhaps you could spell out what Esteban’s duties were, how much his entertainment allowance was, and why he needs more fund-raisers. There are a few faculty, [Dave] Waddell and [Jim] Postma are mentioned, that wish to lionize Esteban, but the bulk of the faculty have no idea why he is paid as much as he is nor can they tell you what he does. Did he oppose CMS or just roll over for Chancellor [Charles] Reed? Esteban sure has a nice office with updated carpet and furniture every couple of years, but what has he done for the instruction effort?

Given more TV classes and “higher-density” classes (the provost’s words), I would argue that Esteban has been a disaster for Chico State.

Al Culver

Voting advice
John-Michael Sun’s response to my letter was, well, a real tear-jerker to say the least [“Green faces reality,” May 15]. Voting for Ralph Nader does not make me an Iraqi child murderer. Do you think I don’t mourn the loss of life in Iraq? Not just the thousands from “Gulf War Reloaded.” I’m talking about the (at least) 1 million people who have died in Iraq over the last 12 years as a result of non-stop bombing and economic sanctions. Eight of those years were presided over by Bill Clinton, a well-known Democrat. How would you like your war served today, sir? Overt or covert?

I want to see Bush defeated in 2004 as much as any sane person. But, here in California, the Democratic candidate will almost certainly win. It’s all about the Electoral College. It is not a “luxury” to vote for the candidate of your choice. It is a right and an obligation. However, if you live in one of the swing states where every vote will count (if they count every vote), voting for the lesser of the two evils can make a difference. Hey, if it’s close here I’ll vote Democrat. I’ll even vote Demo if it’s a Mosley-Braun/Sharpton ticket. As if.

Here’s a suggestion. Wait till late in the day. If the Democrat isn’t way ahead in California, vote for the plastic-haired white guy du jour. If he’s got a lock, vote for a third-party candidate and make a statement.

Liz Merry

At the animal faire
It happened in spite of the threat of “weather.” Butte Environmental Council’s 24th Annual Endangered Species Faire was a great success. The rain came down all Friday night and Saturday morning. The rain stopped by 8 a.m., and we actually had several periods of warm sunshine during the day. By 4:30 p.m., the rain had returned, but we had a dry day to enjoy the fair.

Thanks to all the approximately 3,000 attendees who took a chance and visited 32 activities and displays put together by local schools, government agencies, nonprofit groups, and vendors. They also enjoyed entertainment by local bands, storytellers, magicians, and live animals.

All this was possible due to the generous contributions from Sierra Nevada Brewery, Modesto’s Friend of the Valley, So optimists International of Bidwell Rancho, Friends to Restore Earth’s Environment, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Cherokee Preservation Society. Also, the steadfast support of many local businesses is greatly appreciated. We couldn’t have done this fair 24 times without the support of the whole community. Thank you.

Tom Okerlund
Fair Coordinator

Save the baby
I am personally glad that our society believes that children deserve to be raised in safe and stable families and protects them if they are not [“Arrested development,” May 15]. Facts: In the U.S. each day an average of three children die as a result of child maltreatment. Thousands more are abused or neglected in some form in the United States on a daily basis.

We as a nation came to understand the need to protect children from abuse and neglect from those who should care the most, the parents. Unfortunately, some parents and caregivers were abused as children and have not learned skills to parent without resorting to physical violence to solve the stresses of parenting.

Shaken-baby syndrome is seldom an accident. The injuries are almost always caused by non-accidental trauma, in other words, child abuse. An angry parent or caregiver may shake a baby to punish or quiet him or her. Many times they do not intend to harm the baby.

I believe I would speak for all citizens in saying that we would love to live in a world where Child Protective Services weren’t needed, but for now children need to be protected, and abuse should always be reported and investigated. Please visit the following Web site for information about what you can do to prevent abuse, www.preventchildabuse.org.

Margie Ruegger
Program Coordinator
Butte County Child Abuse Prevention Council