Letters for November 25, 2010

‘What can I do?’

Re “Child-care funds in limbo” (Newslines, by Andrea LaVoy Wagner, Nov. 11):

So many of us are in the same boat, grateful to have a job and not be on cash aid, yet we don’t make enough to pay for daycare. But without daycare we can’t work.

I was fortunate enough to have a job, but after rent and bills and groceries and gas I have almost nothing left. I was fortunate to have been on Stage 3, and I always feared the time would come that it would end, yet I hoped for it to be far enough in he future that my 6- and 8-year-olds would be at least two years older, at least 10 and 8, and my 14-year-old would then be 16 and driving, and that would take care of my daycare issues. But it did not happen that way. I am like many others—stuck.

What can I do? What should I do? There is no family to help me. What did they suggest for people in my situation? I hope that they are listening to us.

Erica Rodriguez

Medi-pot a ‘valuable service’

Re “No action taken on medi-pot ordinance” (Newslines, by Melissa Daugherty, Nov. 18):

I’ve just gotten back from another frustrating Chico City Council meeting concerning the proposed cannabis ordinance, and I just wanna scream. Deeply rooted fear, prejudice and misinformation once again are preventing intelligent legislation.

What’s most frustrating for me, as a dispensary operator who has, just like the other dispensary owners in this town, always bent over backward to comply with state attorney general guidelines, is law enforcement’s stubborn fixation on their claim that we are nothing more than drug dealers.

I would like to remind them that we did once have laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, but of course they were repealed and the possession and consumption of that medicinal liquid was allowed. Why does this situation with regard to medicinal cannabis have to be any different? As a qualified patient I am allowed to grow it, to harvest and process it, to transport it and possess it, and of course I can ingest it.

As a dispensary operator it is my job, my duty, to provide a clean and safe pharmaceutical-grade product to those patients who cannot grow. How in the world are we supposed to do that if we cannot employ standard business practices?

I would like, in the interests of education, to invite anyone who sincerely seeks enlightenment on this subject to visit our establishment. I am confident you will then understand what a valuable service we provide to this community.

Robert Galia

Sugar isn’t always bad

Re “Reinventing the school lunch” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Nov. 18):

As a mother of three boys and a registered dietitian, I agree that school is an excellent place for nutrition education to take place. I think the menu plans shared here are fabulous and do a great job of exposing children to wholesome food.

I do believe, however, that this can be done without giving in to an “all-or-nothing” approach. For instance, the statement made that “chocolate milk, highly processed foods, and any products containing high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated fats” should be removed from district lunch menus will not automatically define a healthy, balanced diet.

While many children may need to reduce their sugar intake, there is no reason to abandon a nutritious beverage such as flavored milk. While it does contain more sugar than white milk, it still provides important minerals, vitamins and protein for children who are growing and have high calorie needs.

Also, as a consultant to the food industry, including the corn refiners, and as a nutrition expert, I disagree with simply recommending the elimination of all foods with high-fructose corn syrup in them. This blanket approach is misguided and will instead eliminate many affordable, healthy options for no valid reason.

Rather than singling out HFCS, the key message should be: All sugars should be viewed equally in the diet and should be consumed in moderate amounts.

Rosanne Rust
Meadville, PA

Rationalizing racism

Re “Racism isn’t the norm” (Letters, by Wayne Rice, Nov. 18):

I beg to differ with your letter writer. I can be killed in Chico. This was made plain to me when I was physically attacked the other day.

The writer says that the problem is with blacks who don’t have mothers and fathers. That is why they are committing so much crime. Give me a break. Your writer thinks that white people don’t commit crime. Statistics prove him wrong. Sexual, mass murder, child molestation, and even here in Chico, white men lead by 97 percent on the sexual-offender list.

He also says that the Tea Party is not racist; well, he is not black, and there are quite a few white Americans who believe that they are. He thinks that just because President Obama was elected that somehow we are no longer racists. The KKK might not wear their traditional garb anymore, but they have adopted different strategies.

Personally I have given up on Chico. I feel that the police don’t protect black people, and that “white is right.” I will leave this little town next year. The experience was very noteworthy.

Jerry Harris
San Francisco

It’s comforting to hear Mr. Rice’s opinion that there is little racism in Chico and what’s there is normal. It is nice to know that he feels it’s OK that black people can live in our lily-white town, as long as they don’t participate in any “black crime” (what the hell is that?).

After all, “black crime,” “crack whores on welfare” and fatherless black families (largely because of the racist legal system) are all just natural conditions of the black experience in America, according to Mr. Rice, so the status quo is not racist at all.

I’m sure Mr. Harris sleeps better at night knowing he “probably” won’t be killed by a racist; look how long it’s been since an old-fashioned lynching. Wow, we even elected a person of color to the presidency! “Some of my best friends are black.”

Methinks today’s descendants of the John Birch Society doth protest too much about their alleged lack of racism. Sadly, those idiot teenagers who spewed their hate-filled epithets are not all that unusual in bucolic Chico. It is an attitude that obviously comes from a home environment where people who are “different” are ridiculed. These are the teens that grow up to learn to rationalize their racism like Mr. Rice does: “I’m not really racist, those ‘other people’ just need to be more like me.”

Rich Meyers

Talking through the music

Last night I went with some friends to hear Jessica Fichot at Café Coda. Loved the music, great show. Café Coda is a nice space for music, has a pleasant staff, and offers some remarkably good food and drink for reasonable prices. All good so far.

However, some of our fellow audience members seemed to have a different idea of how to enjoy a performance and talked nonstop throughout. What’s more, they seemed quite perplexed and amazed when numerous people made “shushing” noises at them.

If you are reading this, and were at that show, you know who you are. Do you believe that talking through a live-music performance is normal and acceptable? Do you think that wanting to hear the music one has paid to see is odd?

Or is spoiling other people’s pleasure actually part of your enjoyment? I’m not just being rhetorical here—I’d like to know. I hope some of you will respond.

David Welch

Arts Commission’s role

The arena of public art will always carry the weight of social image, religious or ideological. Funds provided by the public add a layer of responsibility to include a process and selection that serves the mass perspective. This particular arena does not necessarily represent all art expression, but it does allow for inspiration within the communities to embrace creativity as a social need in its cultivation of an established civilization.

In this regard, it is imperative to have an impartial representation of the community and art professionals that can contribute guidance and selection in the most diplomatic and democratic way. Thus the inception of an Arts Commission.

Our community has participated in the process of public art through this advising board, and though it is impossible to satisfy every individual’s concept of art, the public has felt the accessibility of a democratic process. It is paramount that public funds be dispensed through the process that has been incorporated and deemed required procedure for these expenditures.

If we, the people, do not have a voice and transparency in our own town, then we have little effect anywhere else.

Christine Muratore