Letters for May 29, 2014
Lobbying for candidates
Judges usually obtain office by being appointed by the governor. Once appointed, they must run for re-election every six years. Most voters lack any personal experience with the judicial candidates and simply vote for the incumbent on the assumption that they must be OK. I urge you to not make this assumption in the upcoming election.
I have worked as an attorney and public defender in Butte County for over 24 years. I am very familiar with both candidates seeking to be elected to serve as judge. The incumbent, Sandra McLean, was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. For two years she was the judge in the court I serve as a public defender. I have appeared before her on hundreds of cases. To her credit, she is bright, hardworking and well-intentioned. However, she lacks the temperament a judge should have.
Eric Ortner has the temperament and discernment a judge needs. Ortner is universally respected by those in Butte County’s legal system. McLean is not. My endorsement of Eric Ortner is based on years of experience with both candidates. Don’t blindly vote for the incumbent just because she is the incumbent.
I have known Judge Sandra McLean for the past eight and a half years. I have seen how organized and prepared she is for all of the cases she handles. She is fair, honest, intelligent and just. She is respectful to all in her court. She takes matters very seriously for all involved. She has true dedication and respect for her position. Butte County couldn’t ask for a better Superior Court judge.
Andrew Merkel is running for the Board of Supervisors. He blames his opponent solely for his difficulties in growing and profiting in the illegal trade [of marijuana-growing]. Merkel thinks marijuana growers are helping the economics of the county. How does for-profit pot help the economy? Do they pay taxes on the illegal sales? The money from for-profit pot is received for future favors.
The citizens of Butte County complained and a pot ordinance was voted on by the board. The potheads and dopers (cannabis criminals) only wanted more pot in our county. The ordinance has a provision for medical-hardship cases to grow more than allowed by the ordinance. This ordinance irked the for-profit growers.
The only agenda item Merkel would bring to the board is marijuana. He has no compassion for anyone other than those who follow his advocacy for marijuana.
I seem like a one-issue candidate because I am running against a one-issue opponent in a primarily one-issue race. The issues I champion are: Legalize medical pot and tax it, protect the Greenline, and stop fracking.
Sometimes people endorse me because my opponent is intolerable: Larry Wahl dropped the ball; he tried to pass economy-crashing ordinances. Wahl loves alcohol; he has a DUI and has no moral standing judging people who use marijuana as medicine. Wahl made the call; calling in federal agents to shut down our dispensaries, costing us millions in tax revenues, jobs and forcing 20,000 patients to grow their own.
I sincerely apologize that I am not a better candidate. However, I am fighting for you and your rights. Even if I never show up to vote, I would do a better job than Wahl because he threatens the livelihoods of thousands of our people. We are all in the same boat, and while I might not be perfect, I will stop gnawing holes in the bottom! Vote jobs, not snobs on June 3.
Andrew A. Merkel
Two years ago Bob Evans exposed for all of us the massive debt that the city of Chico had accumulated and was hiding. Then, I called him a “truth-teller.” He did the right thing to reveal the fiscal mess and mismanagement of the city’s finances. Very unfortunately for all of us, his revelations proved completely true.
Bob’s honesty and problem-solving skills are traits we need for elected officials. Bob supports job creation, protecting personal rights, improving public safety and protecting our water. Join me please in supporting Bob Evans for Butte County Supervisor.
Bob Evans is running for Butte County Supervisor. If you haven’t encountered Bob, you should know he served this nation in the Air Force as a flyer and senior logician, which prepared him for a successful second career running one of Butte County’s largest employer-companies. He served the city of Chico on the City Council, and in numerous volunteer positions. He has my vote because I trust the man, his intentions, and his judgment. I trust Bob Evans.
The good ol’ boys and girls on the Tehama County Board of Supervisors (Steve Chamblin, Burt Bundy, Bob Williams, Dennis Garton, and Sandy Bruce) have always been stupid and backward in this redneck, Podunk backwater of the Central Valley, but have finally figured out that they can actually circumvent and pervert state law regarding medical marijuana to turn it against those it was intended to help.
In their hysterical, egomaniacal, immoral ignorance and arrogance, they are now empowered to deny their constituents’ medical needs with near impunity, and are gleefully exercising their newfound means of repression and discrimination. After already unethically prohibiting medical-marijuana dispensaries in Tehama County several years ago, in August of 2013 they unanimously rammed through a draconian new county ordinance perversely designed in a desperate attempt to abate and hopefully completely eradicate growing physician-prescribed pot by zoning it out of existence with ridiculous restrictions.
To make matters worse, they keep changing the ordinance and adding even harsher “urgency” measures and fees, so that it is extremely difficult for medical-marijuana patients to stay up-to-date about the regulations and plan their grows and lives effectively.
Responsible, intelligent, informed citizens are mobilizing to vote the bums out of office on June 3.
Please support the members of the Butte County Board of Supervisors who have the intelligence and courage to vote for a fracking ban. The fracking process destroys the groundwater wherever it is done, destroying lives and property values. Bill Connelly and Maureen Kirk have the courage to oppose fracking.
What type of tax assessor will Al Petersen make if he lacks the courage to oppose fracking and does not understand that fracking will destroy the Butte County property tax base? Bob Evans will vote for fracking just like Larry Wahl did.
Future generations need public servants who are smart enough and have the courage to protect their future, and not have their moral compass set on the dollar sign.
Fracking is not about jobs and the economy; if it were, why would the greedy energy companies be pushing to change the law to allow them to sell our surplus energy overseas to the highest bidder, allowing Big Oil to keep all their energy profits offshore and again stick it to the American taxpayers?
This is a moral issue and I hope you will vote only for candidates who oppose fracking. Vote for Bill Connelly and Maureen Kirk, because they are on the moral side of history.
Editor’s note: The county assessor will not vote on fracking.
Response to endorsements
Re “Primary picks” (Editorial, May 22):
I am surprised that the editorial board of the Chico News & Review was unable to discern that the Butte County Assessor’s Office is in dire need of rehabilitation. Your endorsement reflects an acceptance of the status quo, and that’s just not good enough for me or our county.
I work for the Butte County Assessor’s Office and have great interest in the upcoming election. The new assessor will impact this office greatly. Many experienced employees are nearing retirement, and a considerable number of employees are still learning their job. It is crucial that the new assessor provide leadership, experience and a plan to navigate this challenge.
While I appreciate the time spent with candidates in your recent endorsements, I am disappointed with your conclusion. Assessor Fred Holland chose to endorse Diane Brown, but many of my co-workers and I endorse Al Petersen as our candidate for assessor. Al Petersen is the only candidate who planned to run for this office before Fred Holland decided to retire. Every other candidate declared as a reaction to this news.
Not only is Al Petersen the only candidate with a plan, he is also the only candidate with leadership experience in managing and supervising office staff. Voters should choose their candidate as if they are “hiring” the best person for this job. Al Petersen has the experience and integrity to lead this office. The citizens of Butte County deserve a hardworking and effective assessor, and Al Petersen deserves your vote June 3.
Note from a volunteer
Re “Let the endorsements begin” (Letters, by John Scott, May 22):
I would like to point out that counties have used volunteers in support to the voting effort for as long as I can remember, and I’m 62. One of my first recollections of voting was seeing private residences used as polling places. The collection and tabulating of votes cannot be timely accomplished without volunteer help.
I have volunteered as a polling officer in two counties over the years and excuse me if I take your opinion as a slap in my face and to the face of every election volunteer. No individual can volunteer to assist in an election until he or she has received the required training session/s. At the conclusion of your training, you are sworn in as an election official. You cannot work an election until then.
I have an idea for you, Mr. Scott: Why don’t you volunteer for the upcoming election and see for yourself what exactly is the process before speaking in such broad strokes. Our freedoms cannot exist without our participation.
He’s tired of it
Re “Note to the progressives” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, May 22):
Let’s examine the overall progressive (socialism) liberal movement’s accomplishments: Factually, what America has gone through with its first-ever progressive liberal president, President O’Liar, is scandal after scandal, lie after bigger lies, concoctions of the most creative spin talking points and packaged for political correctness by his White House staffers who were ordered to support the most lawless slow-walked investigations into damages and deaths his re-election caused to American citizens—investigations he designed to not be completed until after he leaves office.
Every scandal of harm progressives have caused to all Americans, whether politically, environmentally, or involving National Security and/or foreign policy, O’Liar has used “plausible deniability” to excuse his gross ignorance of leadership.
Yes, six years of O’Liar’s progressive “We know what’s best for you” policies have caused Americans to endure the highest real unemployment rate of 25 percent, black unemployment since 2008 rose to 16 percent, Hispanics to 22 percent and college grads at 28 percent. Since his election, the highest growth rate of poverty since the Great Depression.
Why not consider that normal people are tired of the Democratic progressive lying, bribing, false wars on women, gays and stray dogs liberal bullshit!
‘Cry me a river’
Re “Quality teaching, quality learning” (Guest comment, by Joe Asnault, May 22):
While I appreciate the defense of the value of teachers, it is transparent that Mr. Asnault was trying to claim that unless he’s paid more, teachers aren’t valued. Give me a break. This age-old argument never ends. Maybe we should break the cycle and try things differently. There are great retail products out there, but if they don’t sell, the price goes down. If demand increases, prices go up.
Some communities have incredible schools, waiting lists, and results are obvious. Conversely, look at Chico Unified. It has a terrible reputation despite having good teachers like Mr. Asnault. Efforts should be made to find out why. Teachers repeatedly claim it’s the poor management at the top.
Based on Asnault’s logic, if the bad administration were paid more, would there be better results? Even restaurants with great waitresses close if management isn’t strong. The food doesn’t get better by paying the cook more. Fix it, improve, demand changes, and only then ask for a raise.
We have been in a terrible recession. Teachers have incredible health plans, retirement, vacations, that few have. I am at work by 6 a.m. and get home late at night.
Cry me a river, Mr. Asnault.
Think of future generations
Re “Note to Nielsen” (Letters, by Richard Shult, May 15):
In support of Richard Shult’s comments to Sen. Jim Neilsen regarding the senator’s defense of fracking, I am reminded of the venerable wisdom of the Nation of the Iroquois. The Great Law of the Iroquois directs any leaders who are responsible for making decisions to think seven generations ahead and decide whether the decisions that are made today would benefit their children seven generations into the future.
About the animals
Re “Kirshner Foundation investigated” (Downstroke, May 22):
I visited the Barry R. Kirshner Foundation when they were in Durhum. I saw lots of love and giving and effort, and it worked. Shortly after they moved out and into the Butte College area I visited again. I was distressed by the conditions and the heat. I hoped it would get better. I think their hearts are in the right place. I think they have stepped up to a more professional level, and need even higher standards with the extra work that will involve. If they can’t get that extra help, they should hand it over to someone who can meet the higher standards for the animals’ sake.
Re “On that column’s demise” (Letters, by Dave Weiner, May 22):
Dave Weiner argues, as Ms. Daugherty does, that her decision not to print the columns Mr. Porter submitted constitute editing, and not censorship. I would agree with that, but what I have a problem with is not Ms. Daugherty’s editorial decisions, or even her decision to end publication of Mr. Porter column in the CN&R. My problem is that she used her weekly space, Second & Flume, to continuing the argument, and to chastising another publication which chose to allow Mr. Porter to voice his opinion of the issue.
When Ms. Daugherty made the decision to part ways with Mr. Porter, that should have been the end of it as far as the CN&R is concerned. Getting involved in this sort of back-and-forth reflects poorly on the publication, and suggests that Ms. Daugherty is more concerned that her decision is seen as the right one rather than leading her newspaper into the future. Also: Bad tactics, as it keeps us discussing it here, focusing attention on a columnist who no longer appears in CN&R’s pages.
I always looked for Anthony Peyton Porter’s column. He was authentic, real. We love him, package deal, with all his opinions, quirks, and deep loss. We didn’t have to agree with him; he didn’t expect it. Authentic is an extremely rare commodity in these days of political correctness. We tend to forget what we truly feel and believe in our drive to avoid criticism and fit in. I miss his column and would wish for a cooling off period and the return of his column. He is community. He is family. Bring him back.
Questions before hiring
Crime may be up. Crime may go down. We may need more police officers. Before acting on this issue, however, other questions to answer include: What is a typical police officer per-capita ratio of other towns like Chico? Does a higher ratio necessarily result in safer streets? What is the proportion of the budget that police require in other towns like Chico? The answer to that question may include the information that we need to reduce the amount we pay our police even more than the tiny bit they have agreed to so far.
I was a licensed contractor in Chico. I continuously operated a business that won national awards, with many employees for 40 years in Chico. In 2008, I survived a 50 percent pay cut. Most people can live comfortably in Chico on about $35,000 a year.