Letters for November 16, 2006

Home invasion
Re: “Empty oceans?” (Editorial, CN&R, Nov. 9):

Last week’s editorial touches on the problem of a dying and depleted ocean environment. How sad, yet the problems of a growing human population and the very serious impacts that population has on the ecosystem are nothing new.

In the mid-19th century, John Muir noted that his contemporaries for the most part viewed the wilderness of America as an inexhaustible supply of need-fulfilling forest products. Muir fought long and hard to cultivate awareness of the need to set aside some areas of the West’s most dramatic locations. Along the way he inspired some of his generation and subsequent generations to contribute to his very civilized cause, including his good friends the Bidwells, who gave us Bidwell Park for the purpose of “preserving this one place to nature inviolate, through all time.”

It might surprise you to know that much of Bidwell Park’s habitat is stressed. The next generation of Lower Park’s cathedral-like valley oaks and wonderful sycamore trees is quickly being squeezed out by non-native plants such as vinca major, English ivy, catalpa and Chinese pistache.

Like the overfishing of the oceans, if there is no change in human response to these problems, the results are predictable.

I encourage our community’s interested individuals and service organizations to consider an effort geared toward invasive plant removal and habitat restoration in the park—organized at this time by both the city’s volunteer coordinator (896-7831) and the folks at FriendsofBidwellPark.org.

Randy Abbott

‘Idiotic things’
Re: “Next up: Bush?” (Letters, by Victor Corbett, CN&R, Nov. 9):

In response to Victor Corbett’s brief attack on our president, Saddam Hussein murdered many more than 148 Iraqis, in brutal and sickening ways. It has been estimated by various reports that Hussein has murdered over 500,000 of his own people. Most of them were “enemies of the state” who could be killed for simply vocally opposing Hussein’s regime. And not only would the accused be murdered, their spouses, children, and even cousins would be murdered also.

Methods for executing those citizens included hangings, firing squad, decapitation, and a slow-acting poison called thallium. Saddam Hussein also had secret police responsible for “disposing” of these enemies of the state.

Sounds like 1984 to me. What it doesn’t sound like is America. What it doesn’t sound like is George W. Bush or any other president who has taken us to war. Comparing our president to a vicious dictator like Saddam Hussein, whether you think he is an idiot or not, is a completely ignorant way to protest the war.

Yes, Americans have died in the war in Iraq. They died fighting for this country and your freedom of speech to say the idiotic things you say about our president—something that would cost you your life under rule of a dictator like Saddam Hussein.

Danielle Watts

Wal-Mart counterpoints
Re: “Big-boxing” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Nov. 2):

I’m sick of the elitist attitudes that people get (especially around here) whenever someone mentions Wal-Mart. As Kathryn Robinson stated in your article, she hasn’t “stepped foot in a Wal-Mart in six years.” Yeah? Well, good for you.

People like her don’t stop to think about the people like me. We are the ones who can’t afford to shop at S & S, Albertson’s or the expensive specialty stores downtown. If you want to waste your money buying overpriced items at expensive specialty stores, then be my guest, but don’t assume you speak for everyone.

Besides, what is everyone worried about? If the anti-Wal-Mart opinion really is the majority, then downtown should thrive with or without a Supercenter, right? We are a “majority rules” society, so why not let them build the Supercenter and let the public decide where they want to shop?

Aaron Vipperman
ChicoA few decades ago, studies financed by tobacco companies showed that cigarette smoking is not harmful to your health. Recently, studies financed by oil companies showed that global warming is not caused by burning fossil fuels. Now, a study financed by a payment from Wal-Mart shows that Wal-Marts are actually good for communities. Can you see a pattern here?

Ron Sherman

For next election …
Now that the grownups have finally prevailed in the election, I ask they make it a high priority to make our election system one that the people can believe in. This means several things to me:

1. There must be a paper trail for all electronic voting machines. This should not be negotiable.

2. There must be a unified national system of voter registration that ensures that every American who wants to vote can do so. Disenfranchisement is simply not acceptable.

3. We must have public financing of elections. That is the only way that we can remove money from politics.

Let’s use the momentum to make changes that will strengthen our democracy by insuring that every American has the right to vote.

Michael H. Goloff, M.D.

View validated
Chico is not for sale. Now, perhaps the preservation of Chico’s way of life will prevail over the greedy push to “bigger is better” development.

The “No Way San Jose” battle cry still lives. It’s time to put Bidwell Ranch out of reach. Neighborhoods await the promises of the General Plan—to protect them from incompatible infill, to preserve their character and lifestyle.

Congratulations to Mary Flynn, Tom Nickell and Scott Gruendl. Chico is in your hands.

Jerry Olio

Iconic Chico
OK, the election is over, but we still have an opportunity to vote—for the best representation of Chico’s City Plaza. Avenue 9 Gallery solicited images of all descriptions to satisfy the tastes and opinions of all Chicoans who care—and people do seem to, judging by the never-ending stream of comments voiced in print about this beloved iconic park.

Avenue 9’s “Chico Icons 2006” show opens Friday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m. Chico’s citizenry is invited to come in, pick a favorite work of art, and vote. The winner will get a page on our Web site (www.avenue9gallery.com) as well as the honor of being a part of Chico history.

For all of you who felt disenfranchised in terms of decision-making on the plaza, this is your opportunity to participate. Do come, be opinionated and be heard.

Maria Phillips, Dolores Mitchell, Giovanna Jackson
Avenue 9 Gallery, Chico

Quality of care
Please write your congressmen to encourage them to vote against cuts to Medicare reimbursement to physicians. Because the Northern Sacramento Valley has a payer mix of 50 to 65 percent Medicare/Medi-Cal, hospital-based physicians need a reasonable stipend from the hospitals in order to recruit and retain physicians in their departments. Understandably, hospital administrators then want control over physician groups to whom they must pay stipends, and the war is on.

The lack of reasonable reimbursement for taking care of these often sicker, higher-risk patients, coupled with the shortage of anesthesiologists and other physician groups nationwide, is probably the biggest contributor to the instability in our nation’s medical communities. In all my travels since our anesthesia group lost our contract in Chico, I have discovered that my situation is not unique. Similar contract disputes in hundreds of hospitals have resulted in many groups of physicians leaving their hometown communities to which they had been attached and committed.

This is a horrendous trend that is having a very negative impact on the quality of patient care in our country!

Diane Gill, M.D.