Letters for November 21, 2002

Not in our town
I’m tired of being the target of the tobacco industry. They are in the places I go to shop, the movies I watch and even the bars, where it is illegal to smoke.

They sponsor bar nights at the local places I like to go, and they give out free samples to vulnerable young adults under the influence of alcohol in order to hook them into their deadly product. Marlboro and Camel are hosting events at local clubs and handing out coupons, freebies and tobacco samples. If smoking is illegal in bars, why are they still allowed to advertise there?

We all know smoking is addictive and causes diseases, even for the occasional smoker. The tobacco industry needs to stop targeting young adults to replace the 3,000 smokers who die each day from a smoking-related disease. Targeting non-tobacco users or those trying to kick the habit when their judgment is possibly impaired is wrong. Other concerned citizens can and should voice their concerns to local bar owners to let them know that these tobacco-sponsored nights are not wanted.

Erin Blockie

Open letter to the DA
As a parent (of a 15-year-old Pleasant Valley High School sophomore), a teacher and a coach of a 16- and 17-year-old girls’ soccer team, I was sickened by your callousness and tasteless comments regarding the multiple assaults on a 16-year-old girl in our community. Your response should have served all young women in your district and helped them to believe that the law would help them to be safe. Instead it supported the “good ol’ boys” belief that young men have no control over their raging hormones and “who could blame them.”

Your statement that the young girl was “not without fault” equally disturbed me. Regardless of what this young girl did, or her state of intoxication, she did not ask to be assaulted repeatedly while several people watched. This is clearly statutory rape and must be prosecuted as such. I am appalled that you might imagine that this young intoxicated victim in any way gave consent. You are an attorney! Please reread the law regarding statutory rape.

Also, I am deeply saddened to envision a room full of young people watching this horrendous act happening and doing nothing. Many questions flood through my mind as I picture this scene. Where were this young woman’s friends? Why didn’t someone have the guts to stand up and say, “Stop"? Where were the adults who needed to be supervising these young people? Of the 120 estimated young people at this party, how many of their parents knew where they were? Why didn’t the neighbors notice? Where were the heroes on this night? This young woman certainly needed some heroes in her life on Oct. 5.

I hope to God that you set the record straight and prosecute these young men to the full extent of the law. This was not a simple mistake. These young men made a choice to assault a 16-year-old girl. They must be held accountable.

This incident should serve as an outright plea to parents. In order for this to stop, we as parents must speak openly to our children about these types of acts and expected conduct. We need to know where our children are and what adults will be with them. We need to empower our children to be the ones who will stand up and say “Stop!” We need more heroes.

We need to know that our elected officials and district attorneys protect our children. Please do the right thing.

Tracy M. Claflin

Roots of insanity
In reference to the unmanned CIA drone that blew up a car with suspected terrorists:

Is this the kind of world we now live in? Where a direct act of aggression is put on the front page of newspapers and hailed as a success? What right did the CIA, using my tax money, have to kill six people? Where was the proof that they were guilty? All accounts say that they were suspects. And these acts were sanctioned by our president!

We wonder why snipers shoot innocent people. We are dumbfounded when children kill each other in our schools. We actually kill people to get them to stop killing people. It is insanity to use the energy that created a problem to seek to solve a problem. It is insanity to repeat the behaviors you want to stop in order to stop them. It is insanity to model behaviors all over our society that we say we do not want our offspring to copy. And the highest insanity is pretending that none of this is happening, then wondering why our children are acting insane.

Frank Brockerman

Wackos unite!
Well, those “wackos’ were at it again the other night. They braved the cold night air and came to a meeting to voice their concerns about the Humboldt Road Burn Dump (HRBD). What is the matter with these people? Don’t they trust the “experts” who tell them facts and statistics as to how the dump site can be cleaned up without lead-laden dust blowing around the community? Actually, some of the “wackos” at the meeting don’t even live in the area of the dump. These must be the most “wacko” of all—they are not personally affected by what happens with the dump. They were just there because, basically, they wish for a cleaner world, a place less polluted and safer for future generations. What is the matter with these people, anyway?

As I sat in the HRBD meeting, I was reminded of the “wacko” residents around Lake Davis who were promised that dumping murderous chemicals in their lake would cause no harm and cure a problem. I guess we all know how that turned out!

Some of the people at the HRBD meeting belong to the Butte Environmental Council (BEC). But many of you at this particular meeting are not members. As a board member of BEC, I urge you to consider joining BEC, which has staff and members that have been tracking the developments of the burn dump for many years. We “wackos” need to stick together. Call me and I’ll mail you an application.

Tanya Henrich

Better than ‘best of’
On behalf of KZFR Community Radio 90.1 FM, I would like to express grateful appreciation to our listeners who helped make our fall 2002 pledge drive the best in the 12-year history of the station.

Although we were not voted the “Best of Chico” by CN&R readers this year, the loyalty and sponsorship of our listeners is indicated by the success of current and past pledge drives. If rich program diversity and alternative news and information are what listeners want, then KZFR is No. 1. This richness and diversity stem from the fact that more than 85 percent of our programming is locally produced by your friends and neighbors.

Because the programming at KZFR is locally produced, we are also able to respond to the needs of our communities. Given the current political and social climate, the KZFR Program Council made a decision to provide alternative news and information programming not available anywhere else in our listening area. We are proud to devote this small percentage of our daily programming to nationally syndicated alternative news for listeners.

Please visit our website at www.kzfr.org for email contact information for members of the Board of Directors and Program Council. Our listener comment line is 895-0775. We welcome your feedback.

Again, thanks for all of your support, and keep listening!

Laura Lukes
Secretary, Board of Directors