Letters for May 29, 2008

Jacobson does have backing
Re: “Showdown and showtime” (In My Eyes, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, May 22):

In your column, you indicated that John Jacobson, candidate for Congress, was without backing. I would like to set the record straight. John has the backing of many groups, including the California Teachers Association. He received one of the highest ratings ever given by CTA because of his clear spoken positions on education funding and his unrelenting support of teachers.

During the past month John has stood with teachers against the draconian state budget cuts that continue to threaten all the schools in our state, particularly Chico Unified. He has spoken at our rallies, met with CTA leaders and worked with our rank-and-file teachers to educate parents and community members. He has shown how willing he is to take action for local constituents and speak the plain truth.

As you also said, “he has presence"—we need a leader like John with intelligence, integrity and inspiration. Teachers encourage the public to vote for John Jacobson in the June 3 primary.

Tamara Yates
California Teachers Association

Editor’s note: “That backing” referred to local progressive politicos; I apologize for any imprecision in parallelism.

Too much Yamaguchi
In the 5th District Butte County supervisor race, Ridge residents have a clear choice. They can vote for Kim Yamaguchi, an old-school, good-old-boy developer toady with a failed redistricting scheme and a recall attempt on his résumé; or they can take Butte County and the Ridge to a better future by electing one of Paradise’s brightest leaders, Robin Huffman.

Paradise and the Ridge are in dire need of an emergency escape route, and Robin will work toward that goal unhindered by real estate and developer special interests.

It’s time to loosen the good-old-boy grip on Paradise, the Ridge and Butte County. Vote for Robin Huffman for 5th District supervisor.

Dan Carter

He created the Internet, too!
Mr. Yamaguchi is once again playing the Superman card, taking credit for everything good that has happened in the 5th District.

Let’s remind the public he took office in January 2001. The Skyway Feasibility Study was published in July 1996 after being studied by a panel of 18 for 1 1/2 years. I was the only woman on that panel. I believe Mr. Yamaguchi [in talking about escape routes] is referring to the engineering study by Quincy Engineering, which was a step in the feasibility study.

March 21 at the League of Women Voters and Paradise Post forum at Paradise Town Council chambers, Mr. Yamaguchi again claimed that, through his efforts, he secured $13 million for the Forest Highway 171 project.

On Aug. 5, 1998, this project was submitted for [federal] funds and was hand-carried to Washington by [then-]Supervisor of the 5th District Fred Davis. The first meeting with members of the federal government was held at BCAG on May 16, 2000, and a second meeting on Sept. 7, 2000, resulting in a commitment of $5 million for the project.

On March 22, 2004, we held a party on the Upper Ridge asking for Rep. Wally Herger’s help; following that, $7.5 million was committed. That is a total of $12.5 million.

Geri Benedict

Editor’s note: Since this is our last issue before the election, we gave Supervisor Yamaguchi a chance to respond here. By phone from County Center, he said he referred to a feasibility study conducted once 171 got chosen as the escape route, which happened after he was elected. The Federal Highways Administration delivered the $5 million during his first term, he said, and the $13 million figure includes $1 million in matching funds from BCAG.

Grumbles is grrreat
Dwight “D.H.” Grumbles is my clear choice to represent the 5th District on the Board of Supervisors. I believe he has the character, temperament, intelligence and experience to make him an outstanding supervisor. Not a polished political performer, D.H. speaks from the heart when he expresses concern for all the residents of the 5th District.

He has earned my vote in this election, and I hope he will earn yours as well.

Priscilla L. Hanford

The underlying lesson
Re: “In the mountains of Mexico” (Newslines, by Laura Hauser, CN&R, May 22):

Laura Hauser states that the [Chico State nursing] students who went to Mexico, to help indigenous villagers, were “amazed at how close families were” and the students seemed to have been surprised that the Mixtecs are “very content with their lifestyle.”

It is interesting that these young women, having had the benefit of perhaps 16 years of “liberal education,” would expect to observe a correlation between reductions in consumption and either a loss of family cohesion, or discontent. (Do they offer anthropology or sociology classes at Chico State?)

Families in these villages are “close” precisely because they must work within the constraints of contextual scarcity and in intimate contact with the natural world. A million years of human evolution are on their side. We, with our affluence-driven autonomy and alienation, are living mostly at odds with our inherent need to cooperate and share—this being an age-old source of happiness and contentment.

Our narcissism, which is fed by our affluence, has made us both miserable—relative to many in less affluent societies—and blind to our own emotionally painful condition.

Patrick Newman

‘Job-protection racket’
Re: “Proxy fight … and right” (Letters, by Beau Grosscup and Brahama D. Sharma, CN&R, May 22):

Let me clarify education so everybody knows what’s going on. I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten to graduate school, and here’s the 4-1-1:

Education is a just a job-protection racket. Professors will lie and cheat. Academic backstabbing, cabals and nepotism are everywhere. Professors will line up their ducks in a row: “You protect my job and I’ll protect your job.”

Professors are pretentious, ill-mannered twits. They used to teach that the earth was flat, that the sun orbited around the earth, and that the Globe Theatre had eight sides (it has 24—they’ve uncovered the foundation).

Education law is a fascist hierarchy where the administration comes first, then the faculty, then the students last. When I was at Berkeley in the 1960s, we’d go on strike, all 30,000 students, and shut the university down. Students nowadays lack gumption to try to change the system. The way to get a graduate degree is to be a toady and a bootlicker.

Professors hate intellectual rebels. We have to change our entire educational system—it was borne of the Dark Ages and is still a hierarchy of voodoo priests in their dark robes. Education can best be described as enforced ignorance. Enlightenment can be better found at the bottom of a beer bottle.

Michael M. Peters

How ’bout ‘damn lies'?
Re: “His last word: lies” (Letters, by Chad Wozniak, CN&R, May 22):

To call negotiation “appeasement” is a lie.

To say that talking to your enemies will embolden them because 70 years ago Chamberlain appeased Hitler is a lie.

To spread half-truths is to repeat whole lies.

I imagine Herr Goebbels would be quite proud of the propaganda on right-wing hate radio. Just look at the number of people who believe it.

Quentin Colgan

Backstory of Israel
Re: “Mention of milestone” (Letters, by Carol Peet, CN&R, May 15):

Contrary to popular opinion, Israel’s creation wasn’t an afterthought to WWII. Rather, it seems WWI and WWII were started to create conditions for a new so-called democratic nation in the Middle East.

Thousands of years ago, Jews were expelled from Palestine. The Torah claims God gave them that land but a sacrifice of 6 million Jews must occur before they may return to Palestine. Zionism is a movement established to create a Jewish state in Palestine.

In the 1890s, oil was discovered in the Middle East.

In 1897, [Theodore] Herzl, founder of Zionism, stated, “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews become worse; this will assist in realization of our plans.”

In 1917, the Balfour Declaration [given to Lord Rothschild] established support for a Jewish state in Israel.

In 1919, former New York Governor Martin Glynn wrote in the American Hebrew, “From across the sea, six million Jewish men and women call to us for help, and 800,000 little children are crying for bread.”

In February 1943, Readers Digest claimed that 4.5 million Jews had been killed and another 1.5 million were sure to die before the war’s end.

WWII ended, and again 6 million Jewish deaths were reported. (Population figures from world almanacs before and after WWII, and frequent reductions in the past 50 years, prove this number is incorrect.) With the Balfour Declaration, we see the world’s richest family desired ingress to the Middle East 30 years prior to WWII.

You can’t verify God, but these facts are verifiable.

Name withheld

GRUB rubbed wrong way
Re: “Perfect example of futile cycling” (Letters, by John Yaya, CN&R, May 15):

It is sad to see the negative and mistaken opinions of Mr. Yaya. If he wants to join GRUB, he is more than welcome—we are indeed a community organization.

He states that the proceeds from our sales go into our pockets; in fact, as yet nobody associated with GRUB has received a penny from the sales of our vegetables. We do hope to be able to pay wages in the future, as do many nonprofits.

We spend long hours in the field ensuring that our vegetables and herbs are excellent. If Mr. Yaya had ever seen one of our boxes go out on a Sunday afternoon, he would surely agree that they are not overpriced; in fact, we are probably underselling our produce.

Though the collection of compost from downtown restaurants may never be profitable in a purely economic sense, he appears to completely miss the point to this endeavor. Diverting several hundred pounds of green waste from the landfill each week is distinctly profitable from an environmental perspective.

We are growing community with our work; our days spent in the field generate very real conversations and lasting friendships. To derogate our efforts shows a misunderstanding of our intentions.

Bring about the change that is needed. We are.

Lee Callender

Water, water … where?
Why is the state DWR [Department of Water Resources] making so many bad decisions about water management lately? It seems that they want to ruin Lake Almanor and its surrounding communities with some cockeyed idea about “thermal curtains” that would destroy the cool temperature of that lake.

And here locally, they’ve been letting out snowmelt-runoff water at a tremendous rate from Lake Oroville even though they are declaring our region to be in “drought.” Local rain and snow could do a lot to mitigate the drought if they’d stop creating one and leave the lakes alone. Lake Oroville hasn’t been this drained out in over 10 years.

Whoever is responsible for damaging our recreation and fishing and hydroelectric generation and many peoples’ livelihoods needs to have their seemingly absolute power to do this squelched.

John Lorenz

We’re game for this!
Fantasy challenge: Everyone is invited to design a use for the empty lot on the corner of 1st and Main streets. This lot has become the missing tooth in Chico’s beautiful smile. Let’s imagine what could be, and possibly stimulate a great project.

Send your ideas in 25 words or less to the News & Review by July 1. The CN&R will publish as many as possible and let readers decide the winners.

John Lavezzi

Editor’s note: E-mail the ideas to <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script> with “1st and Main” in the subject line. Great idea, Mr. Lavezzi!