Letters for November 14, 2013

Two views on the cover

Re “Lassen Solitaire” (Cover feature, by Allan Stellar, Nov. 7):

The tribute to Ed Abbey was wonderful, and Allan’s account of his permit application and the subsequent shutdown clearing the way was hilarious and nicely Abbey-esque, and the general thrust of the essay was spot-on.

Bill Porter
San Marcos

You should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting an inconsiderate nut job be worthy of praise for breaking the law by entering our (my) national park when it was clearly signed as “closed.” I hope there is a way for you to also share in a fine. You set a fine example of irresponsibility and disdain for our good folks. Did you mention how waste was or was not removed? A new low for journalism.

Terry Ashe

Editor’s note: The author, Allan Stellar, assures the CN&R that he hiked out of Lassen Volcanic National Park with everything he brought with him.

Guards are overkill

Re “Looking for answers on armed guards” (Guest comment, by Molly Amick, Nov. 7):

Thank you for publishing the splendid op-ed piece, which points out the real breakdown in civility in our community.

What place is there in Chico for armed guards in downtown? How difficult is it to separate the hungry and homeless from the few thugs that hide among them? And why don’t the police act to deal with illegal behavior by enforcing the ordinances already in place to solve shopkeepers’ problems?

As Ms. Amick so elegantly asks, “Since when does the privilege of renting downtown business space extend to the right to hire armed private guards?”

I and many fellow citizens would like to know the names of those shop owners who’ve chosen to buy “guardians” for our streets. That way we can at least choose not to buy from them. It is clear to me that more than one downtown business owner is appalled by these “guardians.” I’d like to spend my dollars with those who do not choose force.

Gerda Seaman

Where was the discussion?

Re “Class action” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, Nov. 7):

The Chico Unified School District is moving all the sixth-graders out of elementary schools and forgot to discuss this with the public?

When you have board members without children in the schools, things like this happen too often. I don’t know how long before new board members are added, but the current ones should leave early to allow people who have a better perspective to make decisions .

Jerry Olson

Who’s the real problem?

Re “Clear the sidewalks” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, Nov. 7):

Let’s try a thought experiment. OK, all the business owners and their employees in Chico vanish—what happens? I’m headed over to Raley’s to scrounge some food before anarchy sets in, and within a week or two, Chico would depopulate.

OK, and what if the homeless people vanished, what would happen? Umm, not much.

So when a portion of the homeless population harasses businesses that are providing the goods and services we need, is the problem the businesspeople not respecting these homeless enough or this portion of the homeless not respecting the businesspeople enough?

I heard a stream of people telling the City Council they thought the businesspeople should give the homeless more respect, but I don’t think they are grounded in what makes a society function.

Michael Jones

Obamacare is flawed

Re “Let the ACA do its job” (Editorial, Nov. 7):

Obamacare is already wreaking havoc on our economy.

Months ago, Chico Area Recreation and Park District cut all part-time workers to 27 hours or less to avoid paying Obamacare. The reduction in hours not only resulted in hardships for employees, but also in more than 500 children being cut from programs this past summer. CARD is currently considering permanent closure of Humboldt Skate Park because it doesn’t have adequate staff to maintain the facility.

California Vocations of Paradise, “supporting adults with developmental disabilities,” found it would cost them $250,000 to provide ACA-acceptable insurance for its staff. Could this be the reason the Chico Work Training Center recently laid off a number of employees, including the 20-year employee who formerly organized the WTC’s fundraiser dinner?

Government agencies are not immune to Obamacare. The city of Chico is still laying folks off, right at Christmas. How many downtown businesses will go under, lay off, not hire, as a result? For years, our local economy bloated itself on those inflated salaries downtown—now Obamacare is letting the air out of that balloon!

Admit it—it’s not just the website.

Juanita Sumner

Letting the Unaffordable Abuse Act “do its job” will break the back of tens of millions of middle-class Americans, which is its real purpose. It’s the standard Marxist formula—beat down the bourgeois-class enemy, the middle class. This law hasn’t squat to do with health or insurance. It’s only about stealing from working people and controlling the most personal details of their lives—and destroying the middle class.

President Obama’s shameless mendacity—repeatedly (at least 30 times)—making promises he knew three years ago wouldn’t be kept, and then lying to cover those lies, should also give pause regarding his climate-change agenda. That agenda is just as mendacious as his claims of “substandard” health insurance.

This consummate liar and his agenda must be stopped and he must be removed from office before he does any more damage. Repeal the UAA [Unaffordable Abuse Act] and shut down the asinine EPA before it inflicts any more injury on low-income people.

Chad Wozniak

Congress’ cruel inaction

It is essential that the Congress pass emergency legislation to aid our enormous number of hungry individuals and families who depend on food stamps, government commodities, school lunches and congregate feeding programs.

Of all the cuts enacted and taking effect, the cuts to food programs are the most senseless and cruel. This is not a matter for debate or discussion by either party—it is a dire need that must be addressed immediately for the good of several million undernourished and, frankly, starving citizens.

Of greatest concern is the reduction in food stamps just as we begin to enter the holiday giving season. Have we become so cruel and uncaring that we exceed even the actions of Scrooge as we torture these folks for an economy that is definitely not their fault?

Michael Evans

One step away …

Re “The homeless are people” (Letters, by Jim Secola, Oct. 31):

I was born and raised in Chico. In the past six years, I have lost two good jobs—one of 20 years and the other four years. Neither loss was my decision.

I had to move from my beloved Chico (which I dearly miss) in order to survive. During this time, my only sister was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. My point being that we don’t always have control over our life’s path. If I didn’t have a wonderful family support system and the best friends someone could imagine, I could be living under a bridge.

We are sometimes one step away from being homeless!

I think Jim hit the nail on the head—the homeless are people, too. We don’t know their stories. Maybe some wish not to know. But everyone has one.

Instead of sweeping the issue under the rug as if it doesn’t exist, why not see if some of these people need a hand-up, instead of a handout? Most of us just need a little help—that’s all. This loyal CN&R reader feels empathy for the homeless, because I know how close I came to being homeless.

M. Kathy Grider

Keeping up the fight

Re “Give up the scam” (Letters, by Karen Duncanwood and Julie Williams, Oct. 31):

The rambling letters from these two uninformed residents support and encourage my efforts to keep fighting for our constitutional rights. It is regrettable that someday, somehow, my recent case will benefit both of you in spite of your views.

I feel sorry for both of you and others who lack the understanding and knowledge to support all constitutional rights. The Constitution, both state and federal, is the blueprint of our liberties.

There is an old saying that goes, “Ignorance is bliss.” Both of you must be extremely happy.

Don Bird
Rancho Tehama

Stop being judgmental

With all the talk recently about panhandling in Chico, I think people should be less selfish when trying to do good. I’ve heard many people say how they don’t give money to panhandlers because they will just use the money for booze and drugs, but they would give them other things like food or soda.

You should not judge what the money you give them is going toward. If they want to use the money for alcohol or drugs, so be it. They are going to use that money to make themselves happier. You have given them a little piece of happiness. Whether they use that money to do something that also makes you happy is up to them. Whether they buy food, a book, marijuana, coffee or beer with that money does not affect you. Don’t be selfish. If you’re going to give, do so with an open mind.

Jonah Nilsson

Fire hazard in town

With the multitude of fires throughout California, and several other states, there are preventative needs and measures that need to be considered and done. Sooner than later.

Has anyone driven or walked past the corner of Nord and West Eighth avenues and seen the large expanse of dry-as-straw grass? It looks as if the mere dropping of a lit cigarette or matches could cause the probability of a fire.

Perhaps the city would consider taking into consideration clearing this area. It is best to do something to prevent the possibility of a tragedy. Whatever the expense is to do this is certainly cheaper than the costs after any type of tragedy.

Cherie Appel

Cease the blowing!

For weeks now, someone in south Chico (I’m guessing Park Avenue somewhere) has been blowing leaves at 5 o’clock in the morning. After several calls to the cops to confirm there is a noise ordinance in Chico, the blowing continues.

Today is Veterans Day, and sure enough, at 5 a.m., someone is blowing leaves. I’m going to find out what landscape company is doing this, find the owner, where he/she lives—and guess what I’ll be doing at 5 o’clock some morning with my blower? And does anyone know how many decibels a back-up beeper makes? Funny how much they sound like an alarm clock. I’m not laughing.

William A. Strom