Letters for November 28, 2002

My daughter was assaulted at the Durham High School homecoming football game on Oct. 25, 2002. Four boys were involved in the assault. One tackled her to the ground; another one is currently being prosecuted for sexual battery. Out of the four boys, only one is being held accountable. Some family members of the boys are blaming my daughter. Others in the community are making profane gestures when we drive in our car, from the school bus.

My daughter will be fine. She is tolerating the vicious rumors, the slander and the innuendos, in spite of the fact that she was one young girl assaulted by four boys. She is learning who her friends are and is painfully aware that she can no longer trust so many people she once called her friends.

I am worried about other young girls and boys in our community. I am worried that the message the girls are hearing is that they will be blamed if they are sexually attacked. I am worried that young boys are learning that if they find a girl attractive it is OK to assault her and then blame her. I am worried that our community that once seemed so safe isn’t. I am worried that the school appears to be doing nothing to protect her from being harassed and re-victimized. I am worried that we will not be the only family to endure this, that others may be harmed and blamed.

My daughter will be fine. She and we are now wiser and will be safer in the future. Those who are blaming her are not accepting the fact that we have people in our community who have no regard for others’ feelings or well-being and may be the next victims. I would not wish what we have endured and continue to endure on any other family.

Our prayers are with the family and young girl from Pleasant Valley High School. We hope she will be a survivor like our daughter, and we wish her well.

Audrey Bultema

Use a card, go to jail
In her Nov. 7 piece [“Card-carrying controversy,” Everybody’s business], Devanie Angel neglected to mention the most despicable use of supermarket “club cards": to send shoppers to prison.

Chico Safeway clerks use club cards to first identify, and then implicate to the police, customers whom the clerks suspect may be purchasing products for use in nefarious pursuits: to wit, reporting that a shopper has purchased “too much” lye. The police employ these clerk club-card “tips” to establish probable cause for search warrants permitting the ravishing of households to determine whether any of the inhabitants therein might be concocting or ingesting forbidden medicines.

“Since we’re neighbors, let’s be friends,” indeed.

Kevin Jeys

Animals are people too
Over-hunting and destruction of habitats are the main reasons for the extinction of animals. Notorious sport hunter and author Ernest Hemingway took great pleasure in hunting the magnificent animals of Africa; these are the same animals on the verge of extinction today.

Every year thousands of animals are hunted for sport, and few people seem to care. But when the Washington, D.C., snipers decided to hunt people, everybody got upset. Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned here!

The animals in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve don’t deserve to be used for target practice.

Joel Felice

High-priced spread
Before the impending war with Iraq has even begun, the Bush administration has won. It has completely manipulated the media into focusing its attention almost solely on the latest developments concerning Iraq, disregarding a host of equally or more important issues.

Last week Al Gore, the man who won the most popular votes in the last election, made two speeches denouncing Bush’s policies regarding Iraq as well as asking why, before the upcoming elections, it was OK to bomb Iraq but not talk about the economy and other relevant issues. Where was the media’s coverage?

Bill Clinton, a man who knows a bit about foreign policy, gave a speech questioning Bush’s policies, making the point that if indeed Iraq did possess weapons of mass destruction, it had no incentive to use them unless attacked. This was relegated to the back pages and quickly forgotten.

The American people are being led into a potentially horrific war by the use of a high-priced publicity campaign, with the complicity of the mainstream media. We the people should be demanding more-objective coverage of all sides of the Iraq situation as well as more focus on the “other” issues before us.

Rex Stromness

Profitable partying
Years ago Chico used to profit from the party-school listing in Playboy magazine that has been going on since the ‘70s.

Only until the Pioneer Days events were shut down by a tight-minded self-serving college administration in 1987 did the violence and wanton destruction begin wholesale.

If your small town is to suffer civic abuse at any level, why not accrue a profit and fleece the suckers attracted by the international publicity and put on events at the fairgrounds and campus stadium and have private security handle the crowds instead of relying on taxpayer-financed police?

Guy Morey
formerly of Chico

Cheesy situation
Worrying about something this small (unless it happens to be part of your body) does seem to be a bit ludicrous. However, a four-by-four piece of fat-free lasagna can be an important item if you’re bent on losing weight and eating tasty food.

Up until a few months ago, it was possible to buy packages of grated fat-free mozzarella and fat-free ricotta at the Safeways in town, where I used to shop. You have to wonder how cheese can become non grata and not even be parmesan. So I did some marketing research. I asked the Safeway people what happened, and they said, “Yes, we used to have it and now we don’t.” Has someone spent too much time in the freezer section?

Then I got irritated. I shopped Raley’s and Albertson’s and there it was, fat-free and accessible to fat people. I reported back to the Safeway people, telling them that it was still available in other stores, so why not theirs? Same chilly answer.

So I called the Kraft toll-free hotline, which I found on a package of cheese from Raley’s. Their computer records revealed that my closest source for fat-free mozzarella were the ones mentioned above—not Safeway. I was assured that the product was still being manufactured, and all I had to do was to go to the right store.

This is the season for conspiracy theories, and I’m baking up one of my own. Now, why would Safeway suddenly turn against fat-free cheese, especially the ingredients for my family’s favorite dinner? I think I smell a rat. A fat one.

J. Bowman