Letters for May 5, 2011

More bike paths, please

Re “South by southeast” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, April 28):

Thanks for bringing us all up to date on this wonderful addition to our beloved Chico. I pass the construction every week, but was unaware of its magnitude and where the money came from to build the bike path.

It may not be heavily used at present, but Chico will continue to grow in the coming years. Each year will make the path more difficult to create and build. Such foresight makes the town very special and unique. Herb Caen would be proud!

Ralph Higbee

Recently they extended the Paradise bike path a little past Neal Road, following the old train route. When will they extend it all the way to Chico? In an age of $4-going-on-$6-a-gallon gas, Ridge residents commuting to Chico need more options. Where’s the recovery money for this?

Ed Schilling

Show me the money

Re “Locals lament feds’ hold on poker sites” (Newslines, by Vic Cantu, April 28):

I live in Chico and have been a full-time online professional poker player for the past four years. Just to clarify, the act of playing real-money poker games online is not illegal.

The UIGEA act of 2006 lumped poker into the umbrella of online gambling, but it also did not penalize the players, instead pursuing the money flow in and out of sites.

I pay taxes on my winnings, the past two years exceeding $10,000 each time, and I am ashamed of my government for disallowing my means of income while people are still allowed to pick Lotto numbers and gamble at odds of winning that exceed hitting a royal flush.

Of all days they chose to crack down unconstitutionally, they did so on the day we all were scrambling to get our checks to the government for our “illegal” activities. Most people, including myself, have money frozen in these sites that we already paid taxes on as earned income.

Anthony Hunter

A monument to Ishi?

Re “Ishi in the roundabout” (Cover story sidebar, by Christine G.K. LaPado, April 21):

If one searches “Ishi” on the Internet or in the local library, Chico isn’t mentioned, but Oroville is. Yes, he may have walked through Chico in his travels at some point. But building a monument for him in Chico seems absurd to me. Chico may as well build a monument to the homeless that plague the town.

Jack Brewer

As a young boy growing up in L.A., my father introduced me to the story of Ishi. A Chico native himself, he took pride in Chico’s rich history and culture. He went as far as to plan a road trip with me to the areas in which Ishi and his tribe resided. It gave me a true sense of wonderment and sense of what it might have been like back in those days, and also opened my eyes to the plight of Ishi’s tribe and Native Americans abroad.

I feel that this monument is long overdue and so appropriate in reminding us of our local history and lessons of tolerance we still need to learn to this day.

Bob O’Neill

Any new depiction of Ishi not referencing him as a gregarious person of activity may be considered a caricature. He was a patriot, craftsman, sportsman, recording artist, savvy social diplomat, spiritually reliant pragmatist, indigenous refugee, an expert in sustainability and a cultural worldview on staff at UC Berkeley, and the Yahi head-of-state.

A monolithic work to recall him is worthwhile for the community, contributing artists, and his cultural cousins, while more ambitious ideas may have relevance. Dual views showing him with his final family members and his Bay Area companions would be more costly, yet dynamic.

Additionally, any artist or public art group must consider the placement of the gaze of an Ishi sculpture. Would it face Grizzly Bear’s Hiding Place, Lassen Peak, or merely be positioned best for tourist photos?

James Warren-Coldiron

Wild horses are invasive

Re “What will be the fate of the wild mustang?” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, April 21):

Let me tell you my observations from hiking hundreds of miles over the area that the BLM Litchfield facility covers. The wild horses, which are an invasive species, are destroying the desert environment there. The manure they deposit in great tonnage does not break down for decades because of the dry climate and lack of insects. I have seen mile after mile that looks more like a barnyard than a wild desert area.

At the springs and water seeps that are so vital to life in the desert, they will roll and pack down the ground till the water can’t rise to the surface, effectively dooming any creatures that inhabit the area. The mule deer, antelope, mountain goats and all the other creatures that are natives of this high desert eat the same forage as the horses, and the more horses, the less the natives have to keep their population numbers healthy.

My solution is to adopt out what the market will bear and sell off the rest to be processed into pet food. Yes, I know a lot of you will scream bloody murder, but we can’t let this invasive species destroy the desert. Letting 40,000 feral horses loose on the desert, as Helen Madeleine suggests, is totally irresponsible; it’s like letting 2,000 feral cats loose in Bidwell Park. You know no good is going to come of it.

Bill Harp

Bagging a ‘weenie wagger’

Re “Caught with his pants down” (Downstroke, April 21):

Perhaps it’s just me, but I find it humorously ironic that you happened to report the arrest of a local weenie wagger (Petru Radu) in your Downstroke section. If you only knew.

For the record, my partner, Officer Cesar Sandoval, and I worked this case from beginning to end. Radu was residing directly across from a local elementary school in west Chico. He was in what we refer to as a target-rich environment wherein he could further his prurient desires.

Cesar and I take great pleasure in knowing we have taken a sexual heathen off of the streets of Chico.

Terry A. Moore

Is Wally ducking flak?

With all the attention nationally on the [Rep. Paul] Ryan Republican budget bill and its potential destruction of Medicare and Medicaid by converting the former to a voucher system and the latter to block grants, I called Rep. Wally Herger to find out the date of his usual town hall meeting.

Guess what? He decided not to have one at all—anywhere in the 2nd District. I guess he knows that the love from his perennial supporters in the district might not be as fawning as usual.

At Rep. Ryan’s town halls, his constituents gave him hell. Herger voted for Ryan’s budget, including to cut veterans’ benefits. He voted to pay for everything on the backs of seniors and the middle class but use the cuts to reduce the top income and corporate tax brackets from 35 percent to 25 percent. The CBO, a nonpartisan arbiter of government fiscal issues, has stated that Ryan’s bill would actually increase the deficit rather than reduce it.

You Republicans in the 2nd District should have figured out by now that Herger doesn’t represent anyone in this district except those of you with incomes over $250,000. For you, keep him in Washington. For the rest of us, it’s time for almost anyone else.

John Cecil

Real reason for not running

Although the betting on the royal wedding was interesting, an opportunity should be coming up in this country to bet on, if Vegas is on its toes: What will be Donald Trump’s No. 1 excuse for not running for president?

Surely the real reason, which neither [Mississippi] Gov. Haley Barbour nor Trump will admit to, will not be on the list. Neither wants to be defeated, especially defeated badly, by a black man.

Neither of these men should ever be considered as a presidential candidate under any condition!

Bud Twilling

Bamboo bikes—cheap

Re “Making biking even greener” (Uncommon Sense, April 28):

Perhaps you could also point your readers to more affordable alternatives to the bamboo bike. Ours are priced at $800. Check us out at www.BambooBikeMaker.com to see a bit of our story.

Phil Webb
Greenville, S.C.

Measure A ‘un-American’

I hope that you will join me on June 7 in voting No on Measure A. Not only is changing a local election to a time of low voter turnout undemocratic, it’s also un-American.

Karen Zinniel’s 2009 findings in the Concerned Citizens of Chico survey of residents’ opinions indicated clearly, “Most were worried that it would cost more to move it.”

Measure A is unfair, and costs money.

At the April 19 council meeting regarding council vacancies, Stephanie Taber, a proponent of Measure A, belabored the point that special elections cost “a ton of money.” That’s exactly what changing the date would do—cost money. Why is it OK in this case but not the other?

It is also worth noting that both the News & Review and the Enterprise-Record endorsed the original measure moving the election from April to November in 1984 (to save money). If this was such a pressing issue, why did it take almost 30 years to do something about it?

The system is not broken, nor does it need fixing.

I truly enjoyed the opportunity to run [for City Council] this past November. Not once did it cross my mind to change the date simply because I lost; it only inspired me to try harder next time. And that is what the constituency behind this measure ought to do—try harder, not inconvenience voters.

Mark Herrera

Just the facts

These are the facts and they are undisputed:

Fact: Measure A has cost the city of Chico’s general fund (that mostly goes to police and fire) $151,000 this year alone.

Fact: Measure A, for every election, will cost the city of Chico’s general fund $130,000 if passed.

Fact: A large number of the letters supporting Measure A have come from Nord residents.

Fact: Larry Wahl was elected to the county Supervisor District 2 seat, ousting the co-creator and chief proponent of the Greenline.

Fact: Wahl’s appointee to the Planning Commission is Nord resident Mary Kennedy, principal spokesperson in support of Measure A.

Fact: Measure A’s campaign manager and ballot author is Stephanie Taber, Wahl’s executive assistant. Taber managed Bob Kromer’s failed council election in 2010.

Fact: Kromer owns 12.69 acres of developable land on Bell Road on the way to Nord.

Fact: Measure A was funded with $31,500 from developer Tom Dauterman, who also heavily contributed to Kromer’s council campaign.

Fact: More than two-thirds of the letters in support of Measure A have come from residents who are not eligible to vote in the Chico council elections because they do not reside within the Chico city limits (including Mary Kennedy, Eric and Betty Schumacher, and Rick Clements).

These are the facts and they are undisputed. Vote NO on Measure A.

Randall Stone

Many hands, many birdhouses

Congratulations to the Chico High senior class of 2011. The fantastic creations you built have contributed half of the budget toward your Safe and Sober Grad Night. We could not have accomplished the Chico High birdhouse build and auction without the extraordinary support and hard work of the following:

Tim O’Connell & the Rescue 42 crew; Chico Noon Rotary; Jack Sterling and Madison Bear Garden; Odyssey Team Inc.; Adam Boles, auctioneer; PBM Supply; Pat Conroy; Westgate Hardwoods; Moss Lumber; Payless Building Supply; BCM Construction; Samantha Hall; Moore Fencing; Recology; Joni Ginno; Sherwin-Williams; Collier Hardware; Tile City; Daltile; Bestway Paints; Hughes Hardwoods; Graphic Fox; A & J Party Center; Johnson Roofing; Colusa Laundry & Linen Supply; Johnny-on-the-Spot; George’s Roofing; Lambert’s Masonry Supply; Harbor Freight Tools; Costco Wholesale; Gifted Garden; Chico High ASB; Patty Paolone; Kurt Hull & Hull’s Nor Cal Window & Door; Home Depot; Lowe’s; Meridian Kennels; Morish Landscaping; Tebo & Shea Accountants.

And last but not least, all the hardworking dads who took time off from their “real” jobs to help over 200 enthusiastic teenagers! Our apologies to anyone we may have missed. Thanks to all of you for making this a great community to live in.

Teresa Detweiler and Beth Brooks

What’s Ishi’s Chico connection?

Re “Ishi in the roundabout” (Cover story sidebar, by Christine G.K. LaPado, April 21):

I think the money being used for a piece of art in Chico could be spent in a lot better place than a roundabout. As for Ishi’’s association with Chico? Ishi used much of the land between Los Molinos and Oroville. I could name and show places well north of Chico where Ishi describes in detail he and his family staying there before their deaths.

The little town of Vina is most famous for its vineyards and a few key people in history, but years ago they used to hold Vina Ishi Days.

Ishi is a very important piece of local history. I would argue strongly that he is far from the most famous, though. Leland Stanford? John Bidwell? Anne Bidwell? In my opinion these people have a lot more to do with the area than MLK by a long shot, yet we change Whitman to MLK Parkway?

While I am all for the arts and showcasing Chico for the great place it is, I ask that we be true to what Chico was built on.

Johnathan D Aulabaugh