Letters for October 14, 2010

Update on Titan sites

Re “50 years of waging peace” (Cover story, by Tom Gascoyne, Oct. 7):

When I was working and living in Yuba City, my next-door neighbor and the neighbor across the street both worked on missile sites, at Chico and the one near Lincoln for Martin Marietta. They would leave early, drive to Beale AFB and be taken by helicopter to the sites.

The wife of the neighbor across was Vince Lombardi’s sister, a very nice woman. The Lincoln site was bought by Lloyd Bridges and Paul Newman to grow hydroponic vegetables. The site in the Sutter Buttes was, at one time, suggested as a place to dump the area’s garbage into, but that was voted down. I don’t know what finally happened to it.

Bob Ramsdell
Albany, Ore.

Sexist and racist?

Re “Genuine string band” (Music, by Jaime O’Neill, Sept. 30):

I know it probably wasn’t intended as such, but “She could have been a slave girl, dancing on a Sunday afternoon in the antebellum South” comes across as both racist and sexist.

Also, the assumption that the Carolina Chocolate Drops are resurrecting a slave past is somewhat erroneous. The band represents a tradition of old-time string-band music from the Piedmont region that was maintained by African-Americans for generations after emancipation. In fact, the band learned some of its repertoire from fiddler Joe Thompson, who won a National Heritage Award in 2007.

Hope Munro Smith
Assistant professor
Department of Music, CSU Chico

Dems’ misdirected mailer

I received a mailer from the California Democratic Party informing me that Meg Whitman opposes a path to citizenship for Latinos and wants the children of undocumented immigrants locked out of California’s public universities.

I find it interesting that this mailer is printed in both English and Spanish, obviously assuming by my name that I am Latino. I find it even more interesting that the subject matter is undocumented immigrants. I guess the target of the mailer is the undocumented Latino community, who, by the way, don’t vote (or do they?).

If the Democratic Party would simply target the American voting public, it could avoid the embarrassment of sending a mailer to the Irish/Swedish spouse of a Portuguese man (not a Latino) who just happens to be a Republican.

During this election season, we, the people, are strongly voicing our desire for a return to the rule of law in this country. Undocumented workers are here illegally. The operative word here is “illegal.” Illegal, against the law, a crime. Get it?

Martha Ramos

Secretive Wally Herger

Re “Why is Herger ducking debates?” (Guest comment, by Pete Stiglich, Sept. 9):

I deplore the refusal by Rep. Wally Herger to debate his opponent in a public forum, but I am not surprised. After all, what do we really know about this secretive personality?

He is never seen in public, preferring to hunker down behind steel gates; since there are no ribbon-cuttings for local capital projects, he feels no pressure to emerge. Some might suggest that dark forces have planted him here as a “sleeper,” a sort of Manchurian Candidate for office. One of his few public statements reflected an appreciation of terrorism. There may be a socialist agenda involving our precious rice industry.

He claims to be a Christian, but many of our Evangelical brethren regard his religion as little more than a cult! Was he even born in this country? I have never seen a birth certificate. And just what is his middle name, or does he even have one? Without full disclosure, one must assume that it is foreign in nature.

An unconfirmed recent report has him joining a wagon train dedicated to “throwing the rascals out.” This is reassuring. After such long tenure in Washington, with his wealth of experience, Mr. Herger certainly must know how to fire himself.

Michael Mulcahy

School board vote

I may be or may have been your child’s teacher. Today was an “emotional high”: Every class was magical. It doesn’t happen every day, but today, every student was “on,” intellectually participating, asking questions, and writing essays in the library.

We vote for leaders, our school board. They work for our community. They can choose to accept and interpret data from the district office only, as they have done; or they can also choose to meet one or two at a time with informed Chico Unified Teachers Association members to discuss and consider the same data (not violating the Brown Act). Only one or perhaps two of our elected leaders who have responded to my e-mails have chosen to do so.

Why have elected leaders at all if they do not choose to lead, to have an open dialogue with all parties? Our board can lead us out of a catastrophe. Please ask them to do so. Will a strike be this board’s legacy?

I will be voting for Andrea Thompson and Eileen Robinson for school board because of their commitment to build a working relationship with the district, the teachers, and the board.

Chris Persson

For four years Andrea Lerner Thompson has been a voice for wisdom and sanity on a school board that has too often failed its oversight responsibilities. She has shown the greatest respect for teachers, parents, and the community. She has given consistently wise counsel, but time and again the majority of the board reached decisions she could not agree with.

Andrea is willing to continue to share her love of public education with us. We need to thank her and to vote for her to have another four years as a Chico Unified School District trustee. Our children deserve her.

Nora Todenhagen

Flynn has fans

Mary Flynn, a current councilwoman running for re-election, exemplifies Chico’s need for quality leadership and direction. She cares about Chico, its beauty, gifts and citizens, and strives to maintain our quality of life. Mary supports two of Chico’s jewels: the downtown area and Bidwell Park. And she is aware of the need for economic development in Chico, and seeks to encourage the growth in a healthy manner in synch with Chico’s nature. Because I love living in Chico, Mary will be getting my vote for Chico City Council.

Valerie Caruso

Wow! A politician who gets back to you personally.

When I e-mailed Mary Flynn requesting information about her position on issues before the Chico City Council, she answered me with an offer to meet for coffee to discuss my concerns as well as her history and efforts. As a newcomer to Chico, I was deeply impressed not only by her responsiveness to my inquiry, but also by her genuine interest in hearing my hopes for the future of my new community.

I was further impressed that, in this time of limited resources, financial and natural, Mary is committed to a balanced approach to growth. She has a history of struggling to juggle the need for economic development with critical issues of sustainability. She is also a consensus builder, another impressive attribute critical at this time of such misunderstanding and acrimony in our society.

Patty Weber

Inspire needs a good home, too

My daughter is a freshman at the new Inspire School of Arts & Science, a high school that fits her educational quest for dancing and music.

Presently Inspire is housed in a series of portable modular buildings (aka “relocatables”) on the west end of the Chico High School campus, while they seek a permanent location for a new facility.

Last week Inspire parents learned that the school board redirected staff from moving forward with a new “brick-and-mortar” facility to prepare a feasibility study for using “relocatable” buildings at the Chapman Elementary School site.

As a practicing local public-school architect, I detest the use of “relocatable” buildings for educational purposes because it sends a negative message of impermanence to our children.

I know that Pleasant Valley and Chico High are vying for new “brick-and-mortar” structures, so why is dependent Inspire the outcast?

I urge the school board candidates to voice their support for Inspire to have appropriate permanent facilities that match their actual educational program requirements.

Dave Kelley

Keep the council progressive

With teapublicans on the march, I urge Chico citizens to be alert this election season. Our present City Council has done well in keeping city policies solid and progressive. Scott Gruendl and Mary Flynn deserve reelection, and Mark Herrera would make a fine addition.

Andrea Lerner Thompson and Kathy Kaiser have excelled on the CUSD board, and Eileen Robinson would help support public schools.

People of California are beginning to realize the emptiness of right-wing promises for our state. We need to stay the course out of present difficulties and on Nov. 2 vote for candidates and propositions that support public education, fair taxation, and our vital environment. If we do, we’ll be voting for ourselves.

Robert Woods

It’s all Obama’s fault

I was brought up to take responsibility for my actions/choices, and the fallout from them. It is quite apparent the current leaders in Washington, D.C., were not raised with these same foundational principles.

We have had the Democrats in control of Congress since 2006, meaning, they were in control of the purse strings and voted for the “mess” they now are claiming to have inherited from the Bush administration.

Each and every policy that has spiraled us further into this economic red-ink abyss has been perpetrated on the American people by the Obama administration. Yet, they continue to point the finger everywhere but themselves. It is their legislation and policies that have failed to bring us back into the black.

Obama and his minions need to come clean and accept responsibility for their own mess.

Victoria Coots

‘Brown-nose Bill O’?

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, the antithesis of politeness and considered by many to be the crème de la crème among the Fox mudslingers, recently encouraged chalkboard addict Glenn Beck to carry on with his “Down with Obama” agenda, as the so-called Factor was always looking out for the weeping alarmist’s back.

In the event O’Reilly’s self-glorifying assurance was ever called for, it should prove to be an easy task, seeing that he tends to keep his nose in close proximity to Beck’s fanny.

Rodina Turner
Los Molinos