Letters for November 17, 2016

Let scrap yard stay

Re “The next chapter” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Nov. 10):

Speaking as an environmentalist, I feel that a conveniently located scrap metal recycling yard is a very valuable asset to ours and any community as it saves a lot of energy. Imagine if we didn’t have Chico Scrap Metal on 20th Street that at least 1,000 old used water heaters, refrigerators, ovens, stoves and so on would have to individually be transported all the way to Durham. What a waste to our environment as well as of so many people’s valuable time driving so far.

Let’s insist that Chico Scrap Metal’s owners make the outside of the business look more attractive and that they must test for additional contamination every few years. But let’s not force them to move from their location, as they truly are an asset to our wonderful community.

Vic Makau


Too much name-calling

Re “How did we get here?” (Editorials, Nov. 10):

The editorial that said President-elect Donald Trump is a racist and sociopath was unwarranted and unilluminating. The First Amendment guarantees the right to make such statements, but does not guarantee their accuracy. Calling someone a racist, in the absence of compelling evidence, demonizes him or her and makes mutual understanding difficult if not impossible. Calling someone a sociopath is a slur masked as a clinical diagnosis by someone not a psychologist. It is also insulting to the millions who voted for that person.

The editor’s disappointment is understandable, but does not help us to analyze how we got here. The editorial was written under a tight deadline, but sometimes it is better not to say what is on the top of our emotional minds.

There is a Quaker observation that advises the importance of following the Light that we have. It also advises that it is equally important to make sure our Light is not Darkness. Some have suggested, with T-shirts, that the slogan should revised to “Make America Kinder Again.” It is also true that the other slogan might be “Kinder Together.” Both are possibilities, especially if we restrain from the temptation to label each other unkindly.

Douglas Ferguson


Editorials and letters to the editor spewing such hatred as “emboldened by a dark side of America” and “choosing between a racist, sociopathic Republican” are the reasons President-elect Donald Trump is packing his bags for the White House.

So much for the progressives claiming moral and intellectual superiority. Rural newspapers didn’t do their job? Give us a break. “Hillary Clinton was the only one qualified for the job” and labeling a wide swath of America as “basket of deplorables” are the real reasons that Trump soundly trounced “the most qualified candidate in the modern era.”

Constantly and consistently labeling the opposition as undereducated and uninformed was ultimately insulting as they tried to force a failed and deeply flawed candidate down the throats of the American public. Guess what? They spit it back on you, and you only have yourself to blame. It’s ironic since they are now running the streets in protest, which, in my opinion, vindicates a Trump victory.

In the end, the DNC and the liberals own this failure. The conservatives did their part in putting up a flawed but nonparty candidate that America was asking for.

James R. Jenkins


Electoral College must go

Re “‘Make every vote count’” (Letters, by Don McCollough, Nov. 10):

This past election has shown us that many were disillusioned over the choices for president and didn’t vote or compromised their consciences. Reports say this past election was at 51 percent voting with 124 million voters out of 241 million of voting age—a reduction from 131.3 million that voted during President Obama’s election in 2008.

There are efforts to open up our democracy by increasing voter turnout and inclusion; rank choice voting and proportional representation are important goals to strengthen the voting process. In rank choice voting, you would vote your first, second, third, etc., choices—reflecting your true choices. When used as instant runoff voting, rank choice voting reflects the support of the majority of the voters. Sen. Bernie Sanders supports legislation to introduce instant runoff voting in order to give third parties a fair shot at competing in our elections.

Proportional representation tries to resolve the unfairness of plurality/majoritarian systems, where the largest parties receive “winner take all” status and smaller or third parties are disadvantaged and have difficulty winning any representation at all.

The Electoral College vs. the Popular Vote—popular will and overturning Citizens United are just two other reforms needing our attention for a healthy democracy.

Diane Suzuki


Trump is right about one thing: The system is rigged. In fact, it’s rigged in his favor. For the second time in 16 years, the Electoral College has “trumped” the popular vote. Al Gore won by 540,000 votes in 2000, as did Hillary Clinton by more than 200,000 votes in 2016.

As an Army veteran who served honorably, I find this appalling. Veterans gave their lives so you could vote. I voted twice—in 2000 and 2016—for nothing, because my candidate “won” the popular vote but “lost” to the archaic, bogus force of the Electoral College. I will protest by never voting again. Why bother? It’s a joke!

Mikel Schoelen


I believe that it’s time to abolish the Electoral College so that every voter’s voice is heard. Trump’s win denotes the decline of common decency and proves that promoting fear is a very divisive tool.

Patricia Feldhaus


I agree. That way the people would elect the president and every vote really would count. Republicans in California and Democrats in Idaho could actually make a difference to the outcomes of elections. Results would not be known for days or even weeks after polls closed, instead of at 4 in the afternoon on the West Coast. This would motivate a greater percentage of voters to vote and motivate those who rarely or never vote to do so.

Adam Clegg


Don McCollough wants to do away with the Electoral College. I am in agreement with him on that issue, but he is mistaken about the year 2000 presidential vote in Florida. Al Gore did win that vote, but only because the mailed-in votes of service persons had not yet been counted. Gore went to court on that issue but the court ruled against him. After all the mailed-in votes had been counted, Gore lost his bid for the Oval Office. Gore’s main issue has been air pollution, but he creates much of that flying around in his private jet aircraft complaining about air pollution and global warming.

Maurice Picard


Life with Trump

What do we do now? For starters, get off that damn computer and all other social media devices. Learn to think for yourself. Go next door and say hello to your neighbor. Do something to improve your local world. Volunteer, donate and advocate. Stop supporting incumbent politicians. It was a career politician that got us where we are today.

Here is a novel idea. Relocate to a red state. Imagine the reaction if 100,000 registered liberal/progressive voters from California moved to Iowa or Ohio. What if 250,000 migrated from Washington, Oregon and California?

Most important of all, we must work to eliminate the career politician whose only objective is re-election. Hang them naked by the heels upside-down and you can’t tell a Democrat from a Republican. Ask Bernie Sanders. And the reality star guy argued for that and he won the vote of half of America.

There is only one way to accomplish that: term limits across the board. Never again vote for a candidate who does not promise to support term limits. America does need real change and the elimination of the career politician is a start.

And never, ever again vote for anyone named Bush or Clinton.

Ronald Angle


Let Trump galvanize us to progressive action. Wear a safety pin to show support for unsafe groups. Volunteer and donate to progressive groups. Stay informed as with Elizabeth Warren’s newsletter. Sign the petition to end the Electoral College. Help organize a march on Jan. 21 to support the national march, using the Facebook page Norcal Progressives to make comments. On Jan. 21, a demonstration with a million women and feminists at the nation’s capital will formally protest sexism.

Gayle Kimball


Congratulations, America! There’s great anticipation from the discontented folks awaiting change that’ll never materialize. There will be no jobs, health care, wall, deportation, peace or greatness.

After all these decades, someone has actually outperformed Jim and Tammy Faye Baker as well as Jim Jones. This mighty nation will unite only when the minority of the popular voters accept they have been foolishly duped and demand answers. In this era where the national rhetoric is bold self-expression, I remain steadfast in the right to declare that—come what may—the dangerous new sheriff in town might possibly be no better for planet Earth than the tiniest morsel of infected rat filth. Please don’t blame our public school system for this one.

Kenneth B. Keith

Los Molinos

Sorry, lefties

Re “A divided nation” (Guest comment, by Ron Angle, Nov. 10):

One has to feel sorry for all your leftist junkies. Mr. Angle, for example, apparently hated the 1950s? But I loved them. I worked in San Bernardino at a factory. We had black, Latino and Asian workers, and we never heard the words racism or illegal or gay.

We worked, we went home and enjoyed life as best we could. I worked the fields for years after that up until the ’60s and again never heard the term illegals. Sure, we knew the Mexicans were migrant workers or on a work program, but no one cared. The invention of welfare was America’s downfall. But I suggest too many of your staff members think all America was racist or combative, and that’s not true. We did not think about being white or being better. I think most of these people had sad, troubled lives wherever they lived and they still pack the heat. It is sad that the other party won, yet the left wants it to become what got voted out.

Allan Clark


No enabling the rigging

Re “Cast a conscience vote for Clinton” (Guest comment, by Alan Gibson, Nov. 3):

I cast a conscience vote for Jill Stein, because I was not going to enable or endorse the rigged Democratic nomination process or Hillary Clinton’s neocon warmongering. The DNC, the establishment (Democratic and other) and its media had predetermined that Clinton was to be the nominee, and greased her path to the expected coronation.

They deserve Trump. The rigging included the DNC/Clinton machine freezing out other possible Democratic candidates; the DNC colluding with/planting pro-Clinton stories with media; a debate schedule favoring Clinton; the media snidely dismissing or ignoring Bernie entirely, even when his rallies were huge, while giving Donald Trump a billion dollars’ worth of free media coverage.

Had the Clinton machine and the rigged Democratic nomination process been enabled, globalism, elitism and wars to prove U.S. exceptionalism would prevail, and rigging the nomination would become the norm.

Bernie Sanders, like Trump, understood the angry mood of the people and spoke to it. Sanders had better policies, experience, vision, integrity and judgment. Had he been nominated, he would have won. But with the Clinton machine out, this is a wonderful opportunity for the real progressives to take their party back!

Lucy Cooke

Butte Valley

Fix the other roads

Re “Leave the road alone” (Letters, by Bob Rice, Nov. 10):

I agree about leaving The Esplanade alone and putting the money somewhere else. Several years ago, the city of Chico had someone come in and pave some roads, but it really wasn’t paving, it was just placing a blacktop surface over the old broken down surface.

As I ride my bike through Chico’s neighborhoods, I have noticed that the top of those streets are now breaking down and making larger holes. If the city ever decides to resurface the streets, it should be done the right way: Take up the old blacktop, fix the surface, and then put down a blacktop surface.

Another area that really needs attention is Bidwell Park. The roadway in the park has really taken a beating over the last few years. I have noticed that the city has sent someone out to mark all the potholes in the park with white paint. This was done about five months ago, and those potholes have not yet been repaired. Since that time, more holes have appeared. The city needs to take some money and repair the park’s roadway with a new surface. Make this a beautiful park again, and make Chico beautiful again.

Ken Anderson


Let’s talk about sexism

Much has been made of Trump’s sexism, and he certainly invites artillery strikes from the moral high ground. But, are there parallels?

If I was one of those weepy moms “explaining” the election to my daughter, here’s what I’d say: “Well, my darling, we fucked up. Remember when Madeleine Albright said there was a ‘special place in hell’ for women who voted for Bernie Sanders? Albright told women to put gender over principle and that’s just plain-old nasty sexism. Remember when Oprah asked Michelle Obama for a message to men? Her answer? ‘Men need to be better!’ Was she talking about her husband? Or, just the average man, who is supposed to feel like shit for being a man? And, remember that pantsuit lady, who craps on Palestinians and the working poor? The one who came off as narrowly concerned with the welfare of women and girls, though many are born into wealth and privilege, like her daughter Chelsea—the $3 million bride. For some reason, that didn’t play well with millions of men and boys—and their mothers and sisters and wives—barely surviving in the most depressed regions of America. My dear, I do hope we are learning something.”

Patrick Newman


Schwab should retire

Re “‘Astonishing’” (Letters, by Lisa Emmerich, Nov. 3):

I’m writing this letter in defense of Reanette Fillmer and Stephanie Taber. Recent letters to the editor lambasted them for making comments about Ann Schwab and her frequent need to recuse herself due to conflicts of interest on items related to downtown or Bidwell Park.

As someone who has attended regular council meetings for the last three years knows, the important issues related to homelessness downtown and in the park need to be addressed by all the council and debated there.

It’s not Ann’s fault she lives close to the park or that she and her husband own a business downtown. That’s not the issue here. The issue is how the council works on these important matters. All the citizens of Chico deserve to have a full council and input from all its members.

This, of course, is Schwab’s choice in the end. But she would serve all of Chico to retire and let others who can be present and vote all the time vote in her chair.

Loretta Ann Torres