Letters for May 3, 2018

Very annoying, CN&R

Re “Partisanship and nepotism” (Editorial, April 26):

It sure gets annoying reading week after week your incessant attacks on our local mayor, with this past week being a screed about his (and other council members’) hesitations toward installing public restrooms around the city.

While this issue is debated, perhaps the CN&R could, for once, put its money where its mouth is, and open your offices to the homeless for relief. Located downtown in the direct stream of the “unfortunate,” your office restrooms would be a convenient and welcome opportunity for the homeless to wander in and to take care of business. Of course, you liberal elitists will never allow such a thing; far be it from you to mix with the downtrodden in your own self-made white ivory tower.

Mike Birch


More on restrooms

Re “Council discussion needed” (Letters, April 26):

Good to see letters of support for 24-hour public restrooms. Nevertheless, in the bigger picture, the city of Chico is now implementing a “consolidation” plan with the intent of excluding the homeless from public spaces. Hence, no need for restrooms, as Mayor Sean Morgan has clearly stated.

Consolidation, in a high-density facility, is to be accomplished through coercion: we make food and other necessities available in only one location—the proposed intake facility adjacent to the Silver Dollar Speedway. Ending downtown food distribution, especially at the Jesus Center on Park Avenue, is an integral part of this plan.

Also, with our ongoing “quality-of-life crime” prosecutions and the proposed community-homeless court, the homeless can be legally shunted into a human warehouse. (All with no real chance of producing the 3,000 affordable housing units now needed in Butte County.)

To make any kind of shelter an honorable alternative to life on the streets, participation must be 100 percent voluntary. This means that basic necessities must remain available, citywide. The downtown soup kitchen is pivotal. Also, the entire apparatus of quality-of-life crime enforcement must be eliminated.

A more open discussion of human rights violations is desperately needed in our city.

Patrick Newman



I was one of the friendly people handing out fliers by the post offices on a recent Tuesday, Tax Day 2018. Most people took the flier to read how their tax dollars are distributed for the management of our nation. Most know that a large chunk of their earnings goes to military expenditures. But the point of giving the information is to help people be aware that the federal budget is dedicated to military support.

No other country in the world spends nearly as much on military enhancement: 47 percent [of discretionary spending] is disproportionate and inappropriate for the well-being of the people and structures of this country. Militarism has full-blown primacy in our culture and society.

Solutions to conflict in any country are viewed as military necessities; military threats and one-upmanship are common; military recruiters are normal in our high schools; any soldier is automatically a “hero”; expositions of military technology, weaponry and strategic prowess abound throughout the country; California alone has 30 military bases; U.S. military bases in other countries number 800 (there are no foreign military bases here); and on and on.

Do Americans really want to be defined as militaristic? I don’t.

Cathy Webster


Some witch hunt

Just heard from the fake news I was watching that a list of four dozen questions for Igor, oops, I mean President Trump, was just released. The source was “someone outside of Trump’s legal team.” Well, the former head of Trump’s team focusing on “this whole Russia thing” was John Dowd. While still Trump’s attorney back in early March of this year, Dowd apparently was negotiating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team about a potential face-to-face between Mueller and Trump, and Dowd was provided with a list of questions Mueller wanted to ask. Meanwhile, Dowd had been advising Igor, I mean Trump, not to meet with the special counsel. On March 22, Dowd quit as counsel to Trump.

Mueller was born into a well-off family and went to private schools and then to university. The war in Vietnam was going on and, instead of using his family’s influence to avoid service with “bone spurs,” he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. He received a Bronze Star for bravery and then went to law school. A life-long Republican, he has devoted his entire adult life to public service. Witch hunt, indeed.

Looks like stormy days ahead for Trump.

Ed Pitman


Support for tiny houses

In recognition that homelessness and the preservation of our creeks, waterways and parks are tied together, and in an effort to help preserve the natural habitat of all of these aforementioned, the Yahi Group, the local chapter of the Sierra Club, is donating $500 toward the establishment of Simplicity Village.

Simplicity Village is planned to be a community of tiny houses for the homeless. This housing will be transitional, as it will feature a communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. But this housing will give the homeless an address; a place where they can acquire social services and vocational help toward obtaining employment.

When employment is obtained, they can transition out to permanent housing and other people will be able to move into Simplicity Village and go through the same process. Marysville, Portland, Medford and Eugene are all successful examples of providing this type of program.

Our club would like to encourage others (organizations or individuals) to donate to the building of Simplicity Village. Donations can be made to Chico Housing Action Team.

Laurel Heath


‘Personal political gain’

County Assessor Diane Brown has displayed a lack of ethics by using the office she holds for personal political gain. Ms. Brown used her office and its resources as her campaign center for re-election. She used Butte County employees and county phones for political gain.

Ms. Brown, a seasoned campaigner, should have known better. Indeed, she did. The county and state both provided advisories to her office, but they were evidently ignored.

Friends, if our public servants are so detached from ethical awareness that they enmesh public employees in a campaign for political benefit, then we have a problem.

Fortunately, we have a solution. His name is Randall Stone. Mr. Stone possesses the knowledge and experience to run this office efficiently and in a way that benefits our county. Mr. Stone is also aboveboard in all of his dealings. As a Chico City Council member in his second term, his honesty and forthright nature are well-known.

I support Randall Stone for Butte County assessor. I ask everyone who seeks better government to do the same.

Dennis Duncan


Friend to LGBTQ folks

To my gay friends and allies: Gavin Newsom is not the only gubernatorial candidate who is a strong, fierce friend of the LGBTQ community. Check out Delaine Eastin for governor.

The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, as well as iconic gay rights activist and former SF Supervisor Harry Britt, author of the domestic partner legislation, endorse Delaine.

Delaine has always been a fierce defender of LGBTQ rights. As California’s only female state superintendent of public instruction, she formed the Department of Education’s first LGBTQ Task Force. They developed a curriculum to provide guidance and education to teachers for these important and often ignored students.

Delaine always worked hard to end bullying for all students. Also, she was a deciding vote on the board of regents when Gov. Pete Wilson tried to keep the UC system from extending spousal benefits to same-sex partners. And, she was the first state superintendent to march in a Gay Pride parade.

Before casting your vote June 5, take a look at Delaine’s website and her record. See for yourself the progressive issues she will stand up for if elected California’s next (and first woman) governor. Let’s do this!

Robin Keehn


Thanks from Forest Ranch

On April 28, over 100 residents in Forest Ranch participated in a drill to practice evacuating our community in case of emergency. We gathered at the Forest Ranch Charter School to rehearse our disaster preparedness.

Agency support included: Butte County Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff’s STAR Volunteers, Cal Fire, Butte County Public Works and Forest Ranch Volunteer Fire Department 24. The Forest Ranch Fire Safe Council (FRFSC) took the lead; Butte County Fire Safe Council and the Sacramento River Watershed Program supported program planning, coordination and logistics. The North Valley Animal Disaster Group taught all how to prepare pets and livestock for emergencies.

The Chico State Geography Department produced evacuation maps. FRFSC volunteers gave time for three months inviting community participation and helped the day of the event. Businesses that donated emergency supply items included, from Chico: Gates Resale, Mountain Sports, Northern Star Mills and Safeway on Mangrove Avenue; and from Forest Ranch, the American Veterans’ Store and The Forest Ranch Post and the Community Association. RPM Rake donated the door prize—one of their amazing pine needle rakes, which makes clearing property so much easier. All deserve limitless thanks for making this event a success!

Marlene Fune

Forest Ranch