Letters for May 5, 2016
Local music weigh-in
Re “A Chico mix” (Cover story, April 28):
To Jason Cassidy and his contributors to the cover story: Yes! You pretty much nailed it—the soundtrack to my 33-year love affair with Chico. I know, you can’t include them all, but some of my faves that were missed: “Anyplace Under the Sun” by John LaPado, “Deep Waters” by Stevie Cook (his album is a white soul masterpiece), “Downtown” by the Knight Nights (they didn’t make a record, so you had to have “been there”), anything by 8th Avenue String Band (made four great records from ’81 to ’91), the Ralph Shine Blues Band, Electric Circus …
Thank you, CN&R, and all others (like KZFR and local tapers/videographers such as Bill DeBlonk and Dale Price) who espouse the beautiful spirit of this artistic village of ours.
I am pleased to see Moriss Taylor on the list, because it is deserved. But it is disappointing that Electric Circus, one of Chico’s best and most popular bands for many years, did not get a mention.
I was very surprised and disappointed to not see Mystic Roots’ song “Smoke Out” on your list of our city’s great songs. Epic failure!
Love, not tough love
Re “Calm down, bleeding hearts” (Letters, by Michael Bagwell and John Matlin, April 28):
Letter writers Michael Bagwell and John Matlin are both “tough love” advocates: Eliminate support for people on the streets and they’ll find alternatives.
I’m not sure what sort of social work Bagwell did—in his “20 years”—but is he aware of studies indicating that 50 percent of homeless men have brain injuries? That’s one group, among many, that won’t be helped by greater material deprivation and intolerance. (Though they may die of exposure, if we follow Bagwell’s advice.)
Matlin says there is no “singular solution” to the homeless problem. But, as a recovering addict—who got a “nudge from a judge”—he is very confident that making life harder for people is the way to help them. Did Matlin notice, in his time on the streets, that not everyone was exactly like him? That 95 percent of people are in a very different set of circumstances—with very different reasons for being homeless? It seems Matlin found the proverbial hammer and all the world is a nail.
Anyone interested in developing strategies for ending “us versus them” street culture, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Esplanade
Curious about how The Esplanade has evolved over time? Then check out Chico Digital Collections (archives.csuchico.edu/cdm), a publicly available service provided by Meriam Library. The collection holds photographs, maps, university archives and more.
The Esplanade is a unique situation where a one-size-fits-all response is not appropriate. I keep trying to imagine how the side streets would interact with the roundabouts and can imagine only chaos. Roundabouts, although great for motorized vehicles, can be dangerous for pedestrians. Add the side streets to the equation and again: chaos.
As to the two-way bike path on the railroad right-of-way: What happens at the intersections? What about the ends, where riders need to transition back to using both sides of the street? In my bike commute, I always found the side streets to be a wonderful ride, except for having to stop at every intersection (could we add signage to allow cyclists to simply yield?), as long as I avoided the hours when the high school was starting or getting out. The real scary part of the ride was north of Lindo Channel.
Why not try some simple fixes first like adding flashing imbedded roadway lights at the high school crossing—active only when a pedestrian wants to cross? Los Molinos installed them and they seem to work fine. These “improvements” need a lot more discussion and brainstorming. Let’s not rush into this and regret it.
Editor’s note: For more on this issue, see page 8.
Advocating for access
The disability community is left behind too often, whether in employment, housing or other opportunities. Eliminating physical, emotional and societal barriers will help increase opportunities for people with disabilities to more fully participate in the community.
We’re fortunate to live during a time when technology helps eliminate some of those barriers so that people with disabilities can be independent. Technology like crosswalks using sound, phones that translate spoken words into text and apps that translate sign language into speech have helped make the world more accessible and inclusive. But these aren’t yet available everywhere. That’s why we support a bill introduced in Sacramento, Assembly Bill 2395. It will encourage more investment in Internet-based networks that will enable more widespread access to modern communication technologies.
For the disability community, services like audible caller ID and teletype services for people who are visually impaired or deaf would become widely available. We also need more high speed networks to enable more advanced tools as they become available. Please let your state representative know you support AB 2395. Let’s all work toward a future where technology helps people with disabilities better communicate and live independently.
executive director, Disability Action Center Chico
Three views on fracking
On June 7, 2016, the registered voters of Butte County will get a chance to vote to ban fracking. Politicians at the state and national levels have been bought off by the oil and gas companies. If enough counties or areas ban fracking, we can eventually get a ban throughout the country. The corporations know this, and this is why they have sent their lawyers to influence local meetings and politicians.
We need to keep oil and gas in the ground for national security. If there were a war with parts of the world that supply us with oil and gas and we have used up all of our supplies, we won’t have any fuel to power our war engine.
Keeping oil and gas in the ground will help us move toward decreasing the rate of climate change. We need to be moving toward solar and wind energy. Every house needs solar panels and let’s get more of those beautiful, slow-moving wind-power generators built.
Do your part for the sake of the planet and vote yes on measure E on June 7.
Fracking is dangerous to the quality of our water and air. A major concern about fracking involves what is done with the wastewater it produces.
Fracking combines up to 8 million gallons of water with up to 40,000 gallons of toxic chemicals in order to break up bedrock in the search for gas and oil. After fracking, this hazardous mix is disposed into injection wells or in open-air ponds. Besides threatening the health of our water, methane, the major part of natural gas, can and is escaping into the air. (See Bill McKibben’s new article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry.”). Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, meaning that transporting the wastewater from the drilling site further spreads contaminating pollutants.
World leaders recently signed the Paris climate accord. For our planet’s sustainability and our children’s future, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Voting yes on Measure E to ban fracking in Butte County unites us with movements all over the world to do just that.
The anti-fracking advocates are using your emotions to get you to vote their way. They want you to believe that our groundwater in Butte County is in jeopardy of contamination and that to save it you must ban fracking in Butte County. The majority of Butte County does not even have the correct geology to fracture. If this was an ideal location for gas extraction, wouldn’t big oil be lining up to collect?
So why the need for a fracking ban in Butte County? There isn’t a need. It’s so the anti-fracking promoters can add Butte County to their list of California communities that are opposed to fracking. They want to use you to make their list longer, so they can go to other counties and tell them that Butte County banned fracking so they should, too. My concern: If we ban fracking in Butte County because it makes us feel good, what are we going to ban next? Eating because it makes us fat? Drinking water because we’re in a drought? Vote no on Measure E and tell them you don’t like being used and you don’t want to be added to their list.
With local and national elections on the horizon, here is some pablum for painful digestion. An ideal vice presidential mate for Donald Trump might be Dennis Hastert, former Republican from Illinois and 51st speaker of the House of Representatives. Donny and Denny would indeed make a delightful couple to engineer the “orange” political train through the twisted right-turn rails even down to the Chico City Council.
It has been monsters like the disgraced former speaker who, because of their crimes, have allowed the Trumpsters to seize such unexpected momentum. In the words of Nietzsche, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.”
Hopefully it is not already too late.
Kenneth B. Keith
I just read that our representative in Congress, Doug LaMalfa (who likes to tell us “he’s one of us”), decided not to participate in the League of Women Voters candidate forum on May 3. I voted for Mr. LaMalfa, but I won’t again. It doesn’t make any difference to me whether he is afraid of putting his record on the line in the debate or whether he feels arrogantly unbeatable and doesn’t have to participate to win. Either reason stinks. Whatever “us” he’s one of doesn’t include me. The “us” I’m part of expects a lot more character and a lot more courage from our elected representatives.
Tony St. Amant
An open letter to my kids: A headline in the Washington Post: “It’s official: Millennials have surpassed baby boomers to become America’s largest living generation.” OK, we’ve passed the baton to your generation (millennials are all of voting age). It is your Earth. We are expecting great things.
We invented Internet, Windows and Apple. We precipitously reduced the numbers of people living in absolute poverty, set up the culture that will result in negative world population growth in your lifetimes (especially by higher education for women), spread democracy far wider than ever before, and brought the death rate due to war and violence to the lowest levels in human history. Not bad. There’s just that little problem with global warming. Our bad; boomer culpa.
Pony protector’s thanks
The Mustang Project would like to thank everyone who made our Help a Horse Day event possible! Thanks to North Valley Animal Disaster Group for participating. A special thanks to Wilbur’s Feed and Seed, Northern Star Mills, T. Tea Bar & Fusion Cafe, Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy, La Comida, Carrie Pavis & Family and Raley’s for their donations of items for our event.
An extra special thanks to Chico Equestrian Association for their support, and everyone from the community who came to celebrate with us! The Mustang Project is a nonprofit organization created so that youth and horses can benefit from one another. We currently provide refuge for 50 horses saved from slaughter, including horses removed from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.
Recently, during the Wildflower ride, I was in a bad accident on my way out of Paradise at the corner of Pentz Road and Country Club Drive. I would like to thank the other riders who stopped to help me. I would also like to apologize to the other rider I collided with; I have no recollection of the accident due to my concussion.
All I know of the incident comes from what my wife and co-rider picked up from those around. I especially want to thank the rider who cradled my head until the paramedics took over. I also want to thank Ken, who helped my wife by storing our bikes and bringing her down to Enloe Medical Center, where I was taken. I also want to thank the fire crew, paramedics and all of the doctors and staff at Enloe, especially the emergency room doctor who stapled my head back together, as well as the nurses, doctor and other staff that tended to me during my stay for two days.
I’m doing OK convalescing at home, hoping to get back on my bike soon. And finally I want to thank my sister, Sydne Mura, who housed and fed us the four days we were in beautiful Chico. My wife and I are hoping to come back next year to ride, and finally finish the Wildflower 65.