Letters for May 4, 2006

Natural blunder?
Re: “Siting the cell tower” (Editorial, CN&R, April 27): This guy is kidding about cell towers in our parks, right? But we must be patient. He just needs a little more time here to absorb what Chico is about … right?

If there is anything about this community that defines its spirit and the values of its citizens, it’s our parks. The inclination of Chicoans to protect them is powerful. Of all possible places to clutter with giant erector sets, Chico’s parks are the most inappropriate.

But we must be kind … to these precious sanctuaries and to (we hope) evolving editors.

Ira Heinrich

Editor’s note: The editorial referred to a proposal that would place cellular transmitters on the tops of existing ball field light standards. We do not advocate the construction of new, conspicuous towers in pristine park areas.

Stirring tribute
For those who were lucky enough to know Richard Cooper, Sunday’s wake at Duffy’s will never be forgotten, just like the man.

There was just the right amount of poetry, songs, stories and tears. I will always remember Richard as a talented writer, wonderful singer, rowdy drinker and kind soul.

I knew Richard for 35 years. It is hard to believe that I won’t ever see him sitting in Duffy’s again. From all who gathered on Sunday, it is painfully obvious that his passing has left a hole in our community.

Rest in Peace, Richard. You were greatly loved, as you will be greatly missed.

Kathy Foster

‘Free’ is expensive
The other day I happened upon a bumper sticker proclaiming that “Freedom is not free,” a statement I wholeheartedly agree with. That led me to ponder what else is not likely to be free.

The “free market” came to mind. The assumption is that the term “free” in this context implies total absence of any interference and allowing it to function in a natural, unimpeded way.

Suffice it to say, I am a rank amateur regarding financial and economic issues, so it surprised me, upon cursory inspection, to have discovered a couple of manipulative practices that all of us are aware of but unlikely to have identified as such.

1. Tax cuts and rebates. The premise is that good fiscal policy provides for a “pay as you go” plan. Obviously, we have seriously departed from that notion, resulting in a tremendous artificial stimulus, which eventually will have to be covered by our offspring (and theirs). It is the equivalent of maxing out our credit cards … providing the good life … only to be inherited by the survivors as a liability.

2. The emergence of “funny money” not created by labor and production, but through home loans, second mortgages, refinancing—again a process of selling off our future and that of our children for temporary gain.

Obviously, these are limited stop-gaps and essentially finite. Enter the “invisible hand” of the free market, the puppeteers of the Federal Reserve with their bag of interest rate tricks. But such manipulation can only be sustained for so long. Eventually, the American citizens/consumers are forced to carry the brunt, which leads me to question: Are we really as free as we are being led to believe?

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

Two birds with one stone
Advice to Baghdad Bush: Shift troops, equipment, and budget from our ill-fated invasion of Iraq to defense of our own country against the ongoing invasion by a million more illegal immigrants each year.

Bill McCord

Saluting the National Anthem
I was appalled while watching the news that there’s a group of people living in our country (foreigners) who want our National Anthem’s lyrics changed.

I cannot accept that the reasoning is due to a language barrier. It comes from the ignorance of not knowing the origins of how, when and why these words were written.

Having lived and worked in a multi-international area for many years, I have justified reasons to express the following thoughts. The U.S.A. has been known and considered to be a “melting pot” welcoming many people from all over the world. Seeing people adapt and intermingle with others socially and in business is excellent. Hearing people express how happy they are to be here is so good.

Whenever I hear foreign-born new residents complain or whine, I cannot resist making what I feel is a fair and honest response: “We allow you to come in, and if you are unhappy we allow you to leave.”

Our “Star Spangled Banner” is a representation of who and what we are—no need to change a word.

Cheriè L. Appel

School privacy
I am writing to voice my concern about military recruiting in our public schools. While I support the troops and the rights of a volunteer military, I do not support institutionalizing involuntary recruitment practices.

The No Child Left Behind legislation automatically gives the military the right to take any student’s private information without any form of parental permission or notification. This snooping into students’ private school information needs to stop! There is an opt-out provision in the legislation, but rarely are students or parents informed of it.

I encourage students and parents all over our state to send a letter to their school’s administrators asking them to keep their information private. A sample form can be found at www.militaryfreezone.org/opt_out.

Joseph Patrick Fleharty
Red Bluff

Thanks, all
The Hooker Oak Alliance PAC wishes to thank our contributors for stepping up and making it possible for their voices to be heard. There are over 6,000 businesses in Chico that feed our families, support our nonprofit causes, and strengthen the economic and social fabric of our community. You are vital to Chico, and it is important that your views be fairly represented in the political landscape that shapes its future.

The Alliance will support issues that strengthen our community’s economic base and preserve the character and quality of life. We will support candidates who understand the importance of moving Chico forward sensibly, and who are capable of representing the public interest powerfully and cost effectively.

Throwing a Frisbee, playing catch with your kids, or taking the dog for a walk should have less to do with political feuding and more to do with improving and maintaining our park system. Chico’s legacy should be one bursting with life and offering amenities and opportunity for people of all ages. A good job, the chance to own a home and raise a family in this town should be attainable to those willing and able to work for it.

We don’t move powerfully into the future when the political discourse is dominated by those most vocal instead of those most sensible. We feel it’s time for the average, hard-working Chicoan to be involved in community decisions. If you think it’s time to get back to business, join the Hooker Oak Alliance (www.hookeroakalliance.com).

Dr. Ken Lange, HOA spokesperson