Letters for November 8, 2001

Keep it public
Suzanne Gibbs was at the Chico Park Commission meeting on Oct. 29. There she was the sole person arguing against opening the gate at One-Mile earlier. She said that she, as a long-term neighbor of One-Mile, enjoyed the early morning peace and tranquility of a walk in the park. And that people throwing Frisbees or parking might detract from that enjoyment.

Suzanne Gibbs is the self-proclaimed watershed coordinator for the Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance. She has told me that the alliance has a policy of supporting removal of the Sycamore Pool and restoring the natural flow of the creek.

Suzanne is also a part-time employee of the CSUC Research Foundation, which manages the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve just upstream from Upper Bidwell Park. In her capacities with the university and with the watershed alliance, Suzanne has vigorously promoted closing the preserve to any public access other than guided tours.

Bidwell Park is a public asset. Sycamore Pool was built by the city with public dollars. The preserve was purchased in majority with Prop. 12 park bonds and other government monies. Suzanne is remarkably consistent in her efforts to privatize our public lands.

Michael Jones

Tell me why
I recently received two mailings from Enloe Medical Center. One appealed for funds to replace the helicopter so tragically lost. The other was a beautifully produced brochure outlining the hospital’s plans for major construction over the next 20 years. There was no explicit request for money in that one, but the ambitious building plans outlined will not be possible without the help of the community.

As an Enloe nurse, I have very mixed feelings. The helicopter saves lives, and we do need another. We also badly need newer and larger facilities in many areas. We need the community’s support to achieve both of these, and I hope many of you will be able to help.

But as you consider your donation, ask the administration how much it has spent and is still spending in its ongoing war against its own nurses. Ask how much it spent on its anti-union campaign last year. (I estimate a minimum of $2 million.) Ask why the administration appears willing to put the hospital through the expense of a strike rather than agree to the kind of basic contract language that a hundred other unionized hospitals in California have agreed to. Ask why it has practically ceased efforts to recruit new nurses who will be part of the Chico community and is instead using traveling temps, most of whose salaries go out of town, lost to the local economy.

Enloe provides vital services to the whole community. It needs the support of the whole community. It also needs to stop wasting scarce resources on a fight it doesn’t need and can’t win.

David Welch, R.N.

Beyond profit
The Chico City Council is preparing to take a second look at the general plan at its Nov. 27 meeting. Developers have loudly and clearly expressed their wish to build up vast tracts of land restricted only by whether they can make a profit. They argue that Chico lacks affordable housing but then choose to build extravagant homes on large lots that do not meet the needs of the majority of Chico residents.

It is essential that the City Council hear from those whose concerns about growth in Chico go beyond the profits that can be generated. The council needs to hear from those who believe that we can learn from, rather than repeat, the mistakes made by Fresno and Sacramento and so many other sprawling valley cities. They need to hear from those who object to huge city subsidies for developers and to ever-increasing traffic with no real planning. They need to hear from those who support the protection of open space, views, watersheds and oak woodland. They need to hear from those who understand and can speak to the need for truly affordable housing.

If you care about how Chico grows, please plan on attending the upcoming council meetings or write or phone your City Council members. Your voice can be heard.

Hilary Locke
Received via e-mail

An open letter
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Wally Herger:

As the authors of the Herger Feinstein Quincy Library Group Bill, you are aware of the need to monitor the efficacy of the treatments to promote fire resilience in the national forests as well as evaluate the effects on the environment created by carrying out the project.

In accordance with the QLG project and the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment (Chapter 2-14), an administrative study is being funded under the combined auspices of the United States Forest Service (FS) and the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW). The financial support for this long-term study is uncertain and inadequate. While the PSW has committed long-term funding, the FS budget protocol is year-to-year.

Defense of our natural treasures (resources) is crucial in realizing the responsibilities of the American culture. Without a commitment to funding research activities, we will be unable to meet this duty. Increased funding for monitoring and research is necessary if we are to preserve the legacy of healthy forests and the corresponding clean water and air that will result.

Increased funding of Forest Service botanists and wildlife biologists is needed to preserve our forests. Invasive noxious plants are invading our wild lands, causing a permanent degradation of natural resources. Displacement of forest wildlife will cause irreversible damage to forest health.

Jim Brobeck
Lassen Forest Preservation Group

War brings peace
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just forget Sept. 11th, give the terrorists a hug and a flower basket and go about our merry way? Many in the peace movement seem to think so!

How fortunate we are that more than 80 percent of Americans support our president, George W. Bush, in defending this nation from terror.

Karen Laslo [“No more war,” Letters, Oct 4] shames even her own movement by calling Sept. 11 a tragedy when it was so much more. It was a hate crime against America, it was a massacre, and it was nothing less than pure evil. It was an abomination before the God of Christians and Muslims alike. If we do anything less than bring all of the perpetrators to supreme justice, we are not worthy of being called Americans.

Finally, Laslo claims that war has never brought peace. World War II seems to dispute that enough, but I would dare say that no period of peace has ever spared us from war either. So long as evil exists, men with courage will be needed to fight. Only through strength do we have a chance at peace.

Steve Thompson