Letters for November 7, 2013

The word on weird

Re “Tedra Thomsen” (Cover feature, by Tom Gascoyne, Oct. 31):

So, the liberal (progressive) Chico News & Review thinks that having a transgendered person in their community is “weird”? How homophobic is that? Liberals (progressives) need to decide whether transgendered people are a normal complement to our society or weird.

We libertarians have no problems with the transgendered. Weird? I don’t think so. A free, individual life choice? Yes. Liberal and progressive newspapers and blogs are obsessed with gender and sexual-preference issues.

Denny Royston

Editor’s note: For the record, the CN&R thinks Tedra is awesome. We were happy she shared her story with us, giving the public the opportunity to get beyond the perception by some in the community that she is weird in a way that isn’t good.

Re (Arts DEVO, by Jason Cassidy, Oct. 31):

Many thanks to Arts Editor Jason Cassidy for listing me among Chico’s weirdos, a mantle I wear with great joy. Like one of the bumper stickers on my canoe states, “Normals are boring.” And isn’t it wonderful that “weird” is the one exception to I before E except after C?

Speaking of weird, reviewing a freakin’ french fry? But, ah, they are good! It’s good to get paid to review, having written over 400 reviews for Library Journal and being named fiction reviewer of the year. I actually made more money from two reviews [in the CN&R] than I have made in royalties in the last year for my 2006 book, Where the Wild Books Are. If you want to be rich and famous, publish a scholarly work. I made 2 cents an hour off it!

Jim Dwyer

Students should be notified

Re “A graphic display” (Newslines, by Kaeln Bowater-Skelly, Oct. 31):

As one of the students who were unwillingly subjected to this scare-tactic garbage, I was highly offended. The students who chose to stage a counter-protest behaved in a most professional manner. They didn’t try to force an idea down a person’s throat, they simply held up signs that said “pro choice.”

The Project Truth people were very forceful in the way they presented their message. They weren’t on campus to debate their point. They were there to ramrod it down the throat of every woman who walked by—to treat us all like we believed abortion was our primary birth-control method and that we should be horrified and ashamed for not agreeing with them.

No one I have ever met thinks that abortion is a viable birth-control method; no one would willingly subject themselves to that kind of physical and emotional pain repeatedly. As a student, I wish that the college—if it is going to continue to allow these kinds of demonstrations on campus—would notify students of the details before they happen and that these demonstrators would be placed in an area that doesn’t see the foot traffic of so many small children.

Samantha Roper

Rent-a-cops unwanted

Re “Private security” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Oct. 31):

This coalition of this R-Town group is starting to feel like bullies on the playground who have their own hired Gestapo to help patrol “their” town “their” way. What about my town, the town of love and tolerance, allowing people to live their lives the way they see fit?

Part of my town, my Chico, is the homeless population downtown. I would rather come across any one of the homeless citizens downtown at night than an armed guard, or a gang member. (Yeah, they are here, too. Who is policing that?)

This is getting ridiculous. Let’s get back to feeding and humanizing our citizens who are not living in structures.

Tracey Stogsdill

After last week’s article about District Attorney Mike Ramsey and friends coaching the Paradise Tea Party rednecks about how to shoot first and ask questions later, I was so relieved to find that the downtown Chico business owners feel it necessary to have armed security walking around downtown.

After all, every interaction is surely improved with the addition of a gun. I’ll sure feel safer with cop wannabes like George Zimmerman walking around with loaded weapons. Of course, I’m an old white guy. Don’t know if I’d want to be a young black man or a homeless person in downtown Chico or Paradise.

Rich Meyers

Well done, Randall Stone

Re “Convicts to clean park” (Downstroke, Oct. 31):

The city of Chico has had to make many budget cuts recently. Because of that, it’s been a struggle to our keep Caper Acres open in Bidwell Park. Thanks to Randall Stone for his great idea to have convicts in the Alternative Custody Supervision program give their time to keep Caper Acres clean and open.

Bidwell Park has been the heart of Chico for many years. Parents love taking their children there to play and run off all their bottled-up energy inside Caper Acres. It’s sad to see such a beautiful thing get taken away from our community. Using the convicts is a great way to continue to save money and keep the park open. This program can also teach some convicts to be productive, and giving them responsibilities can never hurt. Thanks for moving forward on this to keep our children and the community happy.

Rose Chason

Affordable for whom?

What’s in a name? It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but perhaps it should be referred to as a suspense novel that none of the legislators bothered to read before voting it into law.

We are one of the millions of American families who had an individual health policy that was affordable for our family until our current administration decided to dictate to insurers what we needed for medical care. Affordable care for whom?

Our monthly premium has doubled thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and who actually knows what else is included in this behemoth act of legislation. I’m sure it will be one surprise after another. Perhaps it should be called “The Affordable Care Act—An American Horror Story.”

Tammy Anselment

Garbage franchises fishy

Brian Nakamura recently discussed his plans for garbage franchise zones in Chico—customers would lose the right to choose their garbage company.

Nakamura first claimed this would protect our streets from too many garbage trucks, and the enhanced fees would help to fix our streets. But the city already gets $200,000 per year from the haulers, used to pay salaries and benefits downtown.

Nakamura told a recent Chico Tea Party gathering that without such an agreement, the haulers would be using old trucks that aren’t legal in the Bay Area. That doesn’t make sense—we have the same air-quality standards as the rest of the state, the same vehicle code.

Nakamura really wants the increased franchise fee—another $1.8 million—to pay down the gargantuan pension liability hanging over the city.

The city’s consultant warns of higher fees for consumers and recommends, “If the potential for lower rates and lower administrative burden are of primary importance to the city, it should maintain and enforce its current regulated open-market permit system.”

The consultant’s analysis lists “city administrative costs” as a “to-be-determined” portion of that $1.8 million. ’Nuff said?

Juanita Sumner

Letter clarification

Re “Brainwash hogwash” (Letters, Oct. 31): To clarify things: I’ve taught every grade there is from preschool through graduate school (there’s not much difference between third-graders and grad students) and have known hundreds of educators.

I also worked for free for my old high school (Red Bluff High) for six years to build them a $3 million performing-arts center; the year the center opened, the high-school dropout rate fell 15 percent. Ultimately, I’d like to see all our school campuses look like Disneyland, not like the current institutional bland architecture they are (but I suppose that’s a wild idea).

And our American school system is based on the Prussian system, which emphasized obedience, submission and indoctrination—it was specifically designed for brainwashing. And folks should study the Frankfurt School to see how Communists have infiltrated our educational system.

Alas, U.S. schools are currently ranked only No. 17 among the top 50 developed nations—Finland is No. 1. Lots of room for improvement.

Mike Peters

A note of thanks

I would like to thank our many friends for their wonderful expressions of love and sympathy regarding our recent loss of Wanda Mathews-Woods.

Wanda was indeed a remarkable person who impacted the lives of a great variety of people. Her associations included her OLLI groups of Writers and Cracker Barrelers, as well as her longtime work in the local political scene.

Wanda wrote about coming to California as a small child with her hard-working family, who toiled in California’s fruit harvest in the Depression years. Wanda’s early marriage to Dale Whitinger produced her three outstanding children; her later marriage to Roy Mathews enabled her to be a world traveler and business executive.

Wanda and I married almost 11 years ago, residing in Chico, where we dabbled in politics, as well as traveling to interesting places around the globe and writing our memoirs.

The Unity Church in Oroville has been our spiritual home throughout our marriage.

Thanks again to our dear friends who have offered condolences. My family and Wanda’s family appreciate your love and support during these trying times.

Robert Woods

‘Use your common sense’

I’m 63. I’m an Independent. I’ve been in Chico for 42 years and contributed a great part of my life to making Chico a valuable and proud asset. Students today, you were not even alive when I protested the Vietnam War walking down Main Street in 1972 after returning from Vietnam. I earned that right. I lost my roommate and 32 other heroes from an NVA attack on our ships while returning to Cu Chi on July 7, 1971.

Students, especially far-left liberal students, you are not smart—yet. Your professors should be training you to use your common sense. An open mind speaks louder than an ignorant mouth. Human beings are among the only species to kill their own kind for no reason. Any devotion to political or religious hate you’re being asked to take sides on is a required one-sided belief that has killed millions of mankind, and for what? Is being dead better than being right?

Obama’s B.S. talking points: hate the Tea Party; only progressive liberals “know what’s best for you”; attack opposing views—smear, lie about your opponent’s personality. The only thing this hate produces is someone’s loss of life. What a victory!

Rick Clements