Letters for November 30, 2006

‘Sara’ story still reverberating
Re: “The third sex” (Cover story, by Mandy Feder, CN&R, Nov. 16):

Your piece about a Middle Eastern Muslim student trying to find a place in a world that looks down upon transsexuals and other people questioning their sex is one of the first I’ve seen in our local papers.

It is a moving story and I was thankful to read the front-page feature in the CN&R. I hope you will do more stories like this to open people’s eyes about these people in our community and teach tolerance and understanding.

Emerald Behrens

I wish Sara could get some hugs from all of us here in Chico who are understanding.

Fred Wright

I read with interest Ms. Feder’s story. It was a good opportunity to see life (sometimes very difficult) through the eyes of someone else. We never know what burdens others are bearing. That is why it is important to always be compassionate in our dealings with other people.

But I was very surprised to see in the very same story that Sara and Ms. Feder refer to name-calling from people in “Mormon-dominated Utah.” I would like to point out that there are a lot of non-Mormons living in Utah, and I am curious if Sara bothered to ask the religion of the people she said treated her so poorly.

I lived in Utah for a short time and found most people to be friendly, compassionate, and tolerant of others. Their belief is that all people are the children of Heavenly Father and therefore should be treated as brothers and sisters. It is a shame that in an article purporting to promote tolerance, the subject and author fall so short themselves.

Ann Marie Robinson

Overly concerned about spraying?
Re: “Pesticides get the caution flag” (Newslines, by Leslie Williams, CN&R, Nov. 22):

I don’t know Jim Brobeck either personally or by reputation, so I have no idea what his training or experience may be in pest management, but by his comments in last week’s News & Review, my guess is none.

Mr. Brobeck makes the statement “Americans are so blasé to the soup of chemicals—pesticides, herbicides, insecticides …” Pesticides by definition are a broad classification that include herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, bactericides, rodenticides and others. One who is unaware of this basic tenet really has little to offer in an enlightened discussion about pest-management materials.

When used properly, materials developed for modern pest management do much to lessen human suffering, worldwide. Mr. Brobeck’s anti-chemical diatribe amounts to nothing but scientifically unsubstantiated sensationalism. Using phrases such as “we are surrounded by a chemical brew” describing the use of pest-management materials is ludicrous. There are no legitimate scientific studies to support such an idea.

It seems that Mr. Brobeck has adopted the zero-risk environmental policy. Unfortunately, we do not live in a zero-risk society, and the benefits of properly applied pest-management strategies and materials far outweigh the risks.

Tom Dowd

‘I was wrong’
Re: “Plaza view: ‘I hate it’ “ (Letters, by Tom Steele, CN&R, July 27):

I do not enjoy humble pie but certainly know my duty to eat it when I must. I wrote a rather ill-tempered letter to the editor a while back bemoaning the prospect of a Chico City Plaza so horrifically misguided that I, along with all true Chico lovers, would suffer a severe aesthetic trauma and some form of permanent community heartbreak. Oops.

My conversion happened one morning as my eyes were filled with the sunlight reflected off the copper of the helmet-like cover of the main stage. I had the spontaneous impression that this strange light emanated from a living structure as if from an ancient temple. The grass installation seemed to erase all of the concrete harshness. Suddenly the plaza was nothing like the one that I had feared was coming.

Now that the Chico City Plaza is open I find it funky, sensual, engaging, fun, and bona fide Chico weird—in the good way. Well done. I was wrong. I am sorry. I got scared. I panicked.

Tom Steele

Thanksgiving is the time of year when families get together and give thanks for good food, good company and good thoughts. There are, however, some people who have no home, family, any sense of good will and no warm meal to be thankful for. The Salvation Army provides a meal for a great many of this population, but what about those who have no way to get to where the meal is being served?

There was a lot of news coverage about the Salvation Army, but when the church family of the Gates of Deliverance Worship Center asked for coverage of their efforts to serve a few of the homeless at the Regal Inn at 2324 Esplanade, we were thwarted. If a few people can give up a day with their family to embrace those who have none, isn’t that newsworthy? Is it necessary to have a household name like the Salvation Army?

Gates of Deliverance Worship Center holds a Friends and Family Day the first Sunday of every month, so this isn’t a once-a-year endeavor. We have a computer lab to assist those who need a technical and educational resource. We are trying to help the community and those in it who have no other place to go.

Marletta A. Logan-Curry

Uncommon wealth
The combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans equals $1.25 trillion, which is the equivalent of 57 million households, roughly half the U.S. population. All that, while 47 million of our fellow citizens have to make do without health coverage and 37 million are living below the poverty line. Wal-Mart heirs have amassed a combined $82.5 billion, while the children of many of their workers have been dependent upon health care for the needy, paid for by us.

The issue goes far beyond the old cliché of the rich getting richer, but rather of the filthy rich getting even filthy richer and thus more powerful, to the detriment of the working masses, who are proportionately getting poorer.

A step in the right direction would be to increase the capital gains tax in an effort to lower the tax of those who labor, work and produce.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff

There, but not theirs
Re: “Fallen giants” (Editorial, CN&R, Nov. 22):

I noticed in your editorial that the collection of images and other materials belonging to John Nopel had been given to CSU Chico’s Meriam Library. This statement is not true at this point. We had been assisting Mr. Nopel and his family to order and more accurately identify some of his collection, but we surely are not, at this point, recipients of such a fine gift.

We are also assisting the family in making archival-quality negatives and scans of some of the images. Such a gift would enrich our holdings enormously, but the information in your editorial is just not so.

William A. Jones
Special Collections, Meriam Library, Chico

Editor’s note: While Meriam Library’s Web site displays some of Mr. Nopel’s photographs, the original images have just been on loan to Special Collections. CN&R regrets the error, which has been corrected online.

Re: “Spicing things up” (Chow, by L.R. Rose, CN&R, Nov. 22): The phone number for Guzzetti’s Catering & Indian Food was incorrect. The restaurant number is 896-1647; for catering, call (510) 415-3165. This has been corrected online.