Letters for October 13, 2011
Memories of Jonesville
Re “Saving the Jonesville Hotel” (Cover feature, by Robert Speer, Oct. 6):
Thank you for reporting on the work being done to the Jonesville Inn! My grandparents, George and Helen Roseman, owned a cabin along the creek across the street from the inn for decades. I have cherished memories of visits to our family cabin and all the wonderful summer days we spent together.
Every evening after dinner we would walk down to the meadow next to the inn and sit on the large rocks to watch the deer. Days were filled with hiking, fishing, visiting on the deck and napping in a hammock under the trees. It is truly a special place to me and my family. It’s nice to know there are many other folks who love it as much as I do!
Project ‘degrading’ Chico
Re “What happened to the creek?” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Oct. 6): How did this horrible project ever get approved for our beautiful city of Chico? Where were our local leaders, and what were they thinking? What is city government/Caltrans doing now to oversee this project? What penalties will be exacted on the contractor and those who did not follow the emergency procedures required to address this terrible spill? Why should project work even begin if the company is unprepared for emergencies? Why is the newspaper coverage and follow-up on this situation so limited?
I, for one, would like to know all of the answers, and I’m sure many other Chico residents would as well. Bidwell Park is a treasure to be protected, and that includes the water and wildlife.
This freeway expansion project is degrading the quality of life in Chico. First Caltrans ignores the alternatives that would have prevented the expansion of the noisy road footprint. Then they hire out-of-county contractors to do the work and install industrial fencing that obstructs paved bike routes used by hundreds of pedal commuters.
One night the massive valley oaks, streamside alder and white-bark sycamores crash to the ground and are cut to pieces. With the trees out of their path, the out-of-town contractors violate federal and state laws by putting their heavy equipment in the creek and deposit toxic hydraulic oil into the water, closing the swimming pool during the last days of warm weather.
The toxic hydraulic-oil sheen is visible along hundreds of yards of creek, but the Caltrans spokesperson gets away with downplaying the incident, saying “a small amount of fluid” had spilled onto the creek’s bank and into the creek.
Viking was supposedly following stringent Caltrans procedures when the accident occurred. These “stringent Caltrans procedures” are an insult to our park and our community. The whole project is insulting. Once the three-year construction phase is finished, how long will the desired benefits hold out? The theory of induced demand that is demonstrated daily on L.A. County freeways is that newly constructed traffic lanes will be filled by new traffic in a couple of years.
Re “Ridge supervisor mum on 2012 election, despite challengers” (Newslines, by Evan Tuchinsky, Oct. 6):
I enjoyed reading who’ll be running for the Butte County District 5 supervisor seat. However, as one of the candidates, I would like to provide clarification to your readers. I am currently a California licensed fiduciary and not employed as a paralegal. A fiduciary takes care of a person’s affairs and/or estate. I did work for an estate planning attorney a few years ago, which led to my current profession.
Mr. Tuchinsky stated “[my] frustrations with open government transcend Butte County.” Since January 2011, I have attended all but two Board of Supervisors meetings. From that experience, I believe the “openness” and transparency of our county government is a minor issue compared to other county issues I provided to your writer.
My lawsuit against Butte County wasn’t discussed in depth during the interview. I believe more than “he lost” is warranted. I sought answers to particular legal questions regarding procedures the Assessment Appeals Board didn’t follow. Although I did lose regarding procedural issues, what wasn’t discussed is that I reduced three property assessments by almost 20 percent.
Last, as treasurer and director of the Paradise Pines Property Owners Association, my duties are very similar to those of a county supervisor—such as governing the organization, determining staff compensation, creating policies and objectives, and ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources. I do not “track land-use issues” as a primary responsibility to the membership.
The naked city revisited
Re “The naked city, my ass” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Oct. 6):
I strongly support gay civil rights, including the right to get married. Moreover, I’ve never understood how my heterosexual marriage could possibly be impacted by homosexual marriages. That said, I agree entirely with what’s written here.
I believe that nudity in areas where most people wear clothes is a sign of disrespect. Those going nude do not care about the feelings of those who are dressed conventionally. And it doesn’t matter whether the nudies are gay or straight. But perhaps gays—feeling abused or disliked—are more inclined than straights to assault their clothed neighbors.
I recall that in the years right before AIDS, several prominent gay writers wrote essays claiming that heterosexuals were inferior to gays, especially in terms of sexual prowess. These writers argued that gays had more endurance and took more pleasure from sex than heterosexuals.
I was annoyed by this kind of bragging and putting down. I thought: “This is doing nothing to advance the rights of gays, nor is it leading to a stronger community of all people.” Possibly, public nudity is being used for the same aggressive purposes, to give gay nudists a sense of superiority—a false sense, I would say.
This is another example where people take an idea to such an extreme that the offense has little to do with the original issue—in this case nudity.
There is no other plant or animal on the face of this planet that requires their own species to hide their bodies under threat of fine, imprisonment or death. Only human beings do this. We know that many tribal peoples around the world have been comfortable without hiding their bodies.
In a 2009 California poll, 79 percent agreed that people should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing on a beach or other location that is designated for that purpose; 70 percent agreed that the government should set aside clothing-optional areas for those who enjoy nude recreation, such as nude sunbathing or swimming; 68 percent said people have the right to be nude in their homes or on their property even if they may occasionally be visible to others; 60 percent said they are not offended by the nonsexual nudity of others; and 40 percent said they had been skinny dipping or nude sunbathing with others.
Brian Anthony Kraemer
Trigger and Maid Marian
Re “Lost in transition” (Cover feature, by Tom Gascoyne, Sept. 29):
Being a properly civic-minded citizen, after reading this article I set about thinking of ways to improve the park, and voila! Trigger (Roy Rogers’ horse) had his first movie appearance right here in Chico. The movie was Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Trigger (at that time named “Golden Cloud”) was Maid Marian’s horse. Roy Rogers bought him shortly thereafter and renamed him.
A bronze statue of Trigger with Olivia de Havilland sitting atop him would certainly make a superb artistic addition to the park and would draw tourists from all over the world.
Schools’ ‘abuse of authority’
I do not appreciate allowing the pyramid/free-child-labor magazine scheme to come to our schools. This corporation cannot by law pay young children by the hour to work for them, so they use our schools to get free child labor with the promise of some of their profit going to the school.
A child told me that if he were to do things for this corporation’s representative to expand his advertisements, that child would get candy and other prizes.
I find this an unethical use of our public school system. Our principals and teachers have been granted an authority over our children, and using them to sell products is an abuse of that authority. Why not just email the parents asking them to donate money?
R. Sterling Ogden
Subjects of shame
Re “Diversity or jobs—or both” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Sept. 22):
When Stephanie Taber demands, “The council should be focused on jobs,” once again the dogma of the Tea Party cult is repeated. Are these people allowed an original thought?
Here’s an idea, not original, totally retro: Take the $26 million allocated for the Highway 99 freeway expansion and put all of Chico’s unemployed to work with shovels and wheelbarrows.
Alas, this will not fly with Republicans because it won’t make any of them rich, their holy grail. Confucius said, “If a state is governed by the principles of reason, poverty and misery are subjects of shame; if a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches and honors are the subjects of shame.”
Feds’ massive bailouts
The GAO (Government Accounting Office) audited the Federal Reserve recently, and official results will be published Oct. 18.
What we do know from Senator Bernie Sanders’ website is that the first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the United States provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses following the last financial crisis.
They are bailing out the financial institutions that continue their outlandish bonuses. The Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations, from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report.
To learn more, including possible conflict-of-interest concerns with the inside information the Fed has, go to: http://sanders.senate.gov/ and click on “The Fed.”
Last week, in a list of the top 10 local doctors who received money from pharmaceutical companies according to ProPublica, we gave the wrong figure for Dr. Joel I. Barthelow. We stated he received $11,001, when in fact he received an amount somewhere between $1,001 and $10,000 in the last six months of 2010. Our apologies for the error.—ed.