Letters for May 9, 2002

Dumping on downtown
Possibly the biggest public works project in the Chico General Plan is the Highway 32 bypass. It includes making Manzanita a four-lane arterial through Bidwell Park. The purpose is to distribute traffic away from Highway 32 in the downtown area and away from the Mangrove Avenue crossing of the park.

The prominent citizens who sat on the General Plan Task Force unanimously supported the plan, and that includes Jeff Carter, Elizabeth Devereaux, Tom DiGiovanni, Richard Elsom, Scott Gruendl, Jon Luvaas, Steve O’Bryan, Richard Redmond, Irv Shiffman, Barbara Vlamis and Mary Waters. [Then-Councilmembers] David Guzzetti and Michael McGinnis subsequently voted for it.

I think these prominent environmentalists were right the first time: East Chico needs to accept our fair share of traffic and not just dump it all on downtown.

Michael Jones

Life is good
I am a recently hired counselor in the Extended Opportunity Programs & Services department [at Butte College]. I marvel at what has been accomplished with very little in the way of buildings and infrastructure housing. Sure, there are old trailers and aged structures galore on Butte College’s campus, but the treasure of this college is its people.

The teachers, counselors, librarians, classified staff, financial aid, disability services, veterans affairs, transfer center, police and fire programs, nursing department, automotive, maintenance staff, even the cafeteria workers all simply amaze me! They are truly the “hearts of gold” that continue to emphasize education, camaraderie and teamwork and to foster a spirit of caring, learning, compassion, nurturing, helping and intelligence.

It absolutely thrills me to be able to say that I am a part of the Butte College workforce that gives 1,000 percent effort in the never-ending struggle to educate the minds and prepare the careers of our students in order to enhance and improve our community.

This a truly a “community” college. In my 20 years of being an educator in Sacramento, Chicago, Reno and now here in Butte County, I have never been prouder to be in education. Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to this fine community in which we all reside. I am absolutely blessed and grateful to be living among you.

Joseph Morreale

Big Brother Ed
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County, our volunteer mentors, and the young people receiving our mentoring services, we wish to thank Ed McLaughlin, general manager of Chico Velo Club, for partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to share proceeds raised from the ChildFlower ride.

Those proceeds will help augment our services to help match the more than 70 kids on our waiting list who need caring, adult mentors in their lives. Congratulations Ed and Chico Velo Club for another successful event!

JoAna Brooks
Executive Director


Blame the immigrant
Meadowfoam, oaks, developers, roundabouts; what do these diverse topics have in common? They are problems arising from new housing for our growing population. Two-thirds of population growth is due to (a) immigration and (b) the higher fertility rate of immigrant women.

Let’s talk about the basics behind worsening traffic congestion and smog, loss of open space and habitat for endangered species, etc. Let’s talk about immigration.

Bill McCord

Go organic
I would like to point out that in your article “Growing Concerns” [CN&R cover story, May 2] you fail to draw a distinction between conventional fertilizer, which may contain toxic residue, and organic fertilizer, which by regulation does not. So if your readers are concerned about the land, water, and quite possibly their own personal health, they can buy and eat organically grown food.

Matthew Martin
Pyramid Organic Farms

Human nature
“When a man or a people is too much oppressed and too miserable, then he revolts and smashes everything."—Jean Mouroux, 1948.

What about this statement is unclear? Liberty is the story of our lives: out of the playpen, yard, block to be free to explore our potential. Our national story is glorified with heroes fighting oppression: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Sixty years are not enough to erase the tormented occupation from the minds of Dutch who were children in 1945. Their occupiers didn’t shoot them in the head when they threw stones or let air out of their tires. They so closely resembled “family” that the occupiers tried to share food when they were hungry.

Now in Palestine we daily watch the result of 35-plus years of brutal occupation. During that time the U.N. has passed numerous resolutions to reestablish 1967 borders and resolutions for peacekeepers. The U.S. until very recently consistently vetoed these resolutions while simultaneously footing the bill for the huge armory that insured total occupation.

A return to 1967 borders, not Camp David-style reservations, can provide security to both populations. At the end of WWII collective guilt demanded a homeland for Jews. Collective guilt for tolerating 35 years of brutalizing Palestinians (Christian and Moslem) while watching as Israel invasively built state of the art “settlements” on Palestinian land should demand a Palestinian homeland, a contiguous property that, like Israel, can be made secure.

If Senators Boxer and Feinstein introduce a resolution labeling Yasser Arafat a “terrorist,” they are showing contempt for the Palestinian people and continuing the cycle of violence.

Carol Eberling

Job creation
Why is the city willing to spend $8 million of borrowed money to (the real cost is higher) to spend seven months pushing huge amounts of [Humboldt Burn Dump] dirt from one place to another, risking the health of its citizens? Just to subsidize a developer?

There are other solutions. Dead Horse Slough needs to be cleaned up, so the contaminated dirt on its banks should be pushed away from the stream and capped in place, along with all the other contamination. The solution is cheaper and safer but doesn’t develop 1,300 homes. Are we experimenting with a cleanup plan that has never been successfully used for more housing?

Who would suffer if the Oak Valley subdivision on the dump were not built? [City Manager Tom] Lando has said that only 10 percent of the city planning department (a.k.a. Community Development) is funded from the General Fund. The rest comes from developer fees. This means that city planning staff has to have a steady source of new development or there are no city planning positions.

The development process indirectly pays many other city employees. Chico needs to grow in order to pay its bureaucracy.

If the Humboldt Road burn dump with 1,300 homes is delayed, development-related revenues to the city will be delayed. It will be years before the approval process for other larger development areas can be completed. In the meantime, what will happen to all those staff positions?

Phil Smith