Letters for November 2, 2017
On the cover story
Re “Departing” (The Death Issue, by CN&R staff, Oct. 26):
Some of them were angry
At the way the earth was abused
By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
And they struggled to protect her from them
Only to be confused
By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
Let the music keep our spirits high
Let the buildings keep our children dry
Let creation reveal its secrets, by and by, by and by
When the light that is lost within us reaches the sky
—Jackson Brown, “Before the Deluge”
Kenneth B. Keith
‘Dignity and kindness’
Re “Comfort at the end” (15 Minutes, by Vic Cantu, Oct. 26):
It was nice to see Keira Troxell featured in this week’s CN&R. Almost a year ago, Keira provided end-of-life care to our beloved Weimaraner, Ted. Keira guided us to follow Ted to his favorite spot in our home and provided the medication that brought his pain to an end. It was a beautiful gift to be able to send Ted off in our own home.
Chico is fortunate to have such a caring and thoughtful veterinarian providing these services to our four-legged friends. May we all embark on our final journey with the type of comfort, dignity and kindness Keira provides.
Mele and Alec Benz
About the federal budget
Re “Don’t expect real courage” (Editorial, Oct. 26):
The acceptance of the concept that “all politicians are crooked” is an allowance for them to be so. We have devolved to a population of self-subordinating fools whose voice has been diminished to begging our paid representatives to do just that—represent us—and unless we demand justice and true representation, those profiteering from our compliance will continue to dismantle and dismiss our rights while absconding with our tax dollars for their own self-serving interests.
A volunteer speaks
Re “Gone dark” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Oct. 26):
As a former volunteer at the now-closed Chico Museum, I need to react to the article “Gone dark.”
On my last day, when I was informed of the closing, I was told “that it may reopen in a few months and we will call you.”
My inquiring mind wanted to know if and when this may happen. I telephoned the Chico Chamber of Commerce to ask and they did not know that it was closed. They told me: “It’s open on Tuesday and Thursday.” I told them: “No, it is closed. If you call their main number, a recording states that the museum is temporarily closed for October and November. For more information—www.chicomuseum.org.
Why is it that no one seems to know that it is “temporarily closed” or when it will reopen?
Re “Rest in peace, Lew Gardner” (Arts DEVO, by Jason Cassidy, Oct. 26):
Thank you, Jason, for that lively, lovely tribute to my father, Lew Gardner. As he often said, “I am the luckiest person I know,” and moving to Chico was huge luck. He found meaningful work here, which was, he also repeatedly said, paramount to happiness (OK that, and The New Yorker, and Duke Ellington, and E.E. Cummings, and Mozart, and the Giants and …).
Besides set-building, of which he was very, very proud (especially working with Dave Beasley in the Chico State scene shop), I want to add one more thing to Art DEVO’s sweet goodbye: his work in the schools. Countless times while out and about in Chico, he was approached by kids and young adults shyly wanting to share a memory of his time in their classroom—whether at Shasta, Hooker Oak or Parkview elementary.
He was memorable, and on that note, a celebration of his passion for life will be held on Feb. 18, 2-5 p.m., at the CARD center. Expect great music, poetry and stories. At 1:30 p.m., we will meet at Children’s Playground for a crazy-hat bike ride to the CARD Center. And, please, continue to add to the Lew Gardner Memorial page on Facebook.
Buoying the black market
Re “Grow home” and “Where’s the evidence?” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee and Meredith J. Cooper, respectively, Oct. 19):
I am a real estate attorney who has practiced for five years in Butte County and seven years in Mendocino County. I don’t use marijuana or represent growers, but I’ve represented neighbors subjected to the ecological devastation, crime and traffic from large illegal grows.
The Chico Police Department recently told the City Council, with no evidence, that outdoor grows increase crime. But there’s another side: If legal grows and dispensaries are banned, illegal grows and sales will proliferate. Prohibition just encourages large illegal grows.
Marijuana prohibition has not worked and will not work. Marijuana is here to stay, whether or not grows and dispensaries are banned. Reasonable regulation will reduce the harm from large illegal grows and sales while providing much-needed revenue. Sensible codes and regulations should be enacted to allow limited legal marijuana grows and dispensaries. Then tax it to the maximum extent possible. Any extra law enforcement expense will be more than offset by the increased tax income. Other Northern California counties increased their revenue as a result; why shouldn’t we do the same? We shouldn’t let political ideology or personal abhorrence get in the way of making a buck—I mean, receiving much-needed tax revenue!
A majority of the voters in this county voted to have cannabis regulated and taxed. Butte County supervisors and Chico City Council members have done the opposite. They instead voted to support the illicit marijuana trade.
Since the elected officials who voted against the will of the people and for the will of rich illicit marijuana growers, these public servants should be sued for their violation of the public trust, removed from office and be made to repay all the lost fees and tax revenue their decision (blatantly based on bias against cannabis users) has caused the residents of Butte County and Chico. They should also be made to repair any ecological damage caused by the people these “conservative” officials truly represent: the purveyors of black market marijuana.
Two views on JC move
For those of us who spend many hours at the Jesus Center—either working or using the services—we will tell you that the layout of the current building is more than cumbersome. It actually impacts the ability to provide services effectively.
I am currently part of the planning team for the Jesus Center’s relocation, but most people know me from street outreach with CCAT, Safe Space or the JC resource center. The rumors that this new campus will be like a prison or that this vision came from Robert Marbut are not true. For the “navigation center,” imagine a program similar to Safe Space but open 24 hours a day year-round and with expanded services.
Throughout this concept stage, we have used phrases like “life-giving,” “come as you are” and “place to be.” I have engaged three of my homeless friends in this process, and going forward, involving people experiencing homelessness is a priority.
I encourage all to ask questions about this relocation before deciding what the intent is. These rumors are reaching those who live on our streets and depend on these services to survive. It is cruel to mislead them and cause them additional stress and fear.
The potential Jesus Center move troubles Patrick Newman, who worries the facility plans the same kind of jail-like institution out at the fairgrounds that its highly paid consultant is infamous for designing. Robert Marbut recommends authoritarian dominance to punish subjects into compliance. Marbut utterly dismisses the enlightened and cost-effective innovation known as “housing first,” which nearly the entire service provider community espouses.
Housing first has reduced harm for people experiencing homelessness and their broader communities alike by prioritizing housing and self-determination above traditionally imposed obstacles like sobriety and income.
The rectitude of any potential JC move depends on the extent to which its customers are included in decision processes, otherwise fundraising requirements often insist such organizations be far more responsive to the needs of their donor community than to those of their guests.
Beautiful, welcome rain is forecast soon, but it demeans our humanity that so many of our neighbors will sleep in the rain. The right thing to do is to make some form of shelter available to everyone with insufficient access to anything better than clandestine camping or urban squatting. How many people must die living on our winter streets before we respond like compassionate human beings?
The charade being played out at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would be amusing if it was a television show, but it isn’t.
It is thoughtless rhetoric coming out of the White House that is disturbing at best, dangerous at worst. Unfortunately, it appears that many Americans get their daily briefing of world events via 140 characters, so they are missing out on fact-based news.
While flirting with war and carrying on a base-fueled feud with black football players, the ungrateful leader of the free world is trying to destabilize a multicountry agreement with Iran, dismantle a three-nation agreement with Mexico and Canada, while issuing grandiose tweets that mock a leader of a nation who has threatened nuclear warfare against the United States.
This is not incompetent behavior; this is the conduct of a person suffering from psychosis, and that person is our president—a president who is allowing the dismantling of environmental safeguards, as well as the systematic undoing of existing civil rights laws, consumer protections, women’s rights, and protections for our natural resources, all while condoning bigotry, racism and predatory behavior.
A president who prefers authoritarian leadership because it conforms to his inner rage. A president who is a dictator-wannabe.
Roger S. Beadle
Join the (climate) club
If you saw the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Sequel, you may feel disheartened about what you can possibly do to reduce the growing risks from climate change.
A great option is to join us at the Chico chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Our goal is to build bipartisan political will to put a fee on greenhouse gas emissions and return the proceeds to all Americans. The approach is endorsed by economists, environmentalists and politicians of both parties. We work to encourage community leaders to endorse action on climate and we lobby Congress for a national carbon fee and dividend plan.
Oroville City Council has recently endorsed our plan, as have many local governments throughout the country.
You don’t need a lot of time or any particular skills to participate. We provide useful training and you can be as involved as you want.
We will show A Safe Passage with Bradley Cooper about the lobbying work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby at our next meeting, Nov. 9, at 6:30 at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library.
The path to more war
Recently at the Minot Air Force Base, Vice President Pence actually publicly said this perfect example of double speak: “History attests the surest path to peace is through American strength. There’s no greater element of American strength, there’s no greater force for peace in the world, than the United States’ nuclear arsenal.”
In reality, a concept that seems elusive to this administration, history attests the surest path to more war is through American “strength.” Wars have never ended wars, brutality, genocide, human rights abuses, etc. In reality, there is no greater force for more war than the United States’ nuclear arsenal. Earlier administrations recognized this, and signed at least a limited nuclear test ban treaty in 1963.
It is a cruel illusion that brute force, no matter how sophisticated and rationalized, will accomplish anything other than a satisfaction of revenge on the one hand, and on the other a desire for revenge. A deceptive lull in a conflict completes the illusion.
Meanwhile, profits amass for the weapons industry, nuclear and otherwise. Fed by illusion, to threaten annihilation, let alone to be blinded by the very real threat of self-annihilation by nuclear war, is definitely a fool’s errand.
A story in the CN&R’s Death Issue (see “Death 101,” by Ken Smith, Oct. 29) incorrectly paraphrased hospice nurse Cathy Gallentine regarding the outcomes associated with a dying person’s reduced intake of food. We apologize for the error, which has been corrected online. —ed.