Letters for October 16, 2014

Bagging the banners

Re “All or nothing” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Oct. 9):

Thank you for the piece on the City Council’s patriotic antimilitarization decision not to approve the Chico jingoists’ outrageous banner proposal. On display at the council meeting was an important distinction between patriots on the City Council (who thought for themselves about what is in their country’s [city’s] interest) and jingoists (my country right or wrong, America love it or leave it posturing) who always insist we park our brains when it comes to war and its “heroes” and do what they want. For too long jingoists have been successful at taking the meaning of jingoism and convincing us it is the very definition of patriotism. Hopefully, there is a patriotic, antimilitarization trend here. Jingoists have bullied us patriots for too long.

Beau Grosscup

What about the book?

Re “Goin’ nowhere” (Reel world, by Juan-Carlos Selznick):

The review of Gone Girl in the Oct. 9 issue of CN&R would indicate that Mr. Juan-Carlos Selznick had obviously not read Gillian Flynn’s novel, although reading an adapted book is not a prerequisite for a film review, as the film should be able to stand on its own merits. My opinion is that the reviewer’s opinion, in this case as in other reviews, is an example of a contrarian position (i.e., if the majority of major film critics have positive reviews, Mr. Selznick will take the opposite position). His mostly negative review of Gone Girl is typical. The premise of the film is the brilliant “Cool Girls” rant by Amy as she is leaving town done as a voiceover narrative by Rosamund Pike. Every review I have read of both the book and the film has emphasized this passage as critical to understanding Amy’s bizarre behavior. Mr. Selznick fails to even mention it. Go read the book, Mr. Selznick.

John W. Cecil

What about the misandrists?

Re “It’s time we discuss domestic violence” (Guest comment, by Anastacia Snyder, Oct. 9):

Re: Boilerplate Special on domestic violence. Actually, accidental falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries to women in the home. The feminist movement has printed a lot of false statistics that have poisoned the data pool, and the fossilized feminists at our universities perpetuate these myths. And there’s a lot of misandrists (women who hate men) that suppress needed information, so this makes it difficult for everybody to assess this very serious matter properly. I do know that all five cases of domestic violence in my neighborhood over the years that I have been made aware of were women assaulting men. These women stabbed and slashed their boyfriends. Welcome to Chico, guys.

Mike Peters

Enough of this nonsense

Re “Schools need protection” (Letters, by Dave Donnan, Oct. 9):

Dave Donnan has been busy this week. Got a letter into the Chico E-R baselessly attacking Scott Gruendl for being the cause of all Chico’s money problems. He’s also upset because “liberals” have cut spending for police so everybody’s gonna die. Now in the CN&R he’s freaking out about lack of safety in the schools. He knows there’s money to pay for all these things, but somehow he doesn’t mention in either letter where it would come from.

I’m sure any effort to get control of automatic weapons isn’t on his list. I doubt he thinks his teacher daughter should take a cut in pay for it (and neither do I). I also suspect he’d object to raising even a mill of tax to do anything. I guess it’ll just have to be magic money. Which brings me to his campaign slogan (yes, he’s running for a CARD board position): “More fun; Better parks.” Haven’t we had enough of this tea party nonsense yet?

John Wilkinson

On the council candidates

For Chico City Council, Forough Molina understands that salaries and benefits are the driver toward fiscal solvency. She is a personal freedoms advocate recognizing the importance of public safety. Lupe Arim-Law has the business background, helped bring major manufacturer FAFCO to Chico, and will continue to increase the 1,800 jobs we’ve generated over the past 21 months. Mayor Scott Gruendl has taken extraordinary bipartisan efforts to reform our financial condition and I applaud him for reversing our course.

For effective management, vote Gruendl, Arim-Law and Molina for City Council.

Randall Stone

Editor’s note: Mr. Stone is a member of the Chico City Council.

I am really dis-Gruendl’d. I feel betrayed by the Chico City Council’s miserable fiscal performance over the past decade.

They sidestepped every tough spending decision and threw the city into a financial hole that our kids will pay for, for years to come. The Butte County Grand Jury left no doubt that our elected officials failed miserably by dodging the financial issues we elected them to oversee.

Staff knew that pushing difficult budget decisions on the council in public was a big “no-no.” Telling them what they wanted to hear was the road to smooth staff-council relations. It became a chronic sickness of the relationship until near bankruptcy forced the identification of scapegoats, contrived expressions of horror, and a flourish of corrective actions.

Gruendl’s early claim that he was vindicated by the grand jury report was a misleading ploy. When finally forced into a public vote on the report, he “saw the light” and admitted his part in the council’s failure. Too little, too late.

If no blameworthy council member is voted out of office, accountability for elected officials has no meaning to Chico voters.

Tony St. Amant

Chico barely missed bankruptcy that will take years to recover due to incompetent leadership of current and past council members: Scott Gruendl, Mary Flynn/Goloff, Ann Schwab, Andy Holcombe, Jim Walker and Tom Nickell, and including past senior city staff who were supposed to lead.

I believe Gruendl is truly sorry about what happened and really wants to be re-elected to help solve Chico’s major financial problem that he helped create/ignore. Does Chico really need a council member who supposedly had no idea how bad things were? Really, Mayor Gruendl? I think a smart and professional council member would have had a financial clue much sooner due to years on the Finance Committee, multiple fellow council members voicing their financial concerns for a long time (Larry Wahl, Mark Sorensen, Bob Evans) not to mention a lot of concerned citizens.

Hopefully the small majority of people who take time to vote will vote for Sorensen, Andrew Coolidge and Reanette Fillmer, who actually know how to read financial reports and know when to call BS when they are incomplete or, in Chico’s case, nonexistent for many years.

John Salyer

The point is …

Re “Start looking within” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Oct. 9):

Patrick Newman misses the point, though understandably so. For over 5,000 years we have been conditioned by this current paradigm, so how can he see it? Men are victims of it as well, this well-orchestrated, long-term plan that has slowly devalued the life-giving and -nurturing attributes of women and Mother Nature. Over the millennia, men of war have systematically and violently replaced our once egalitarian existence with the aggressive, greed-driven, might-makes-right mentality that prevails today.

We are all victims of this conditioning. We have been conditioned to believe that the murderous blood baths, human sacrifices, total subjugation and devaluation of women and other manmade atrocities in the Bible were righteously carried out by men acting through “the will of god,” that this Earth is man’s to do with as he wishes because our true kingdom is somewhere in “heaven.” It’s this mentality that has put us in the dire situation we are in today, not overly consumeristic women. It’s about valuing life, not the power to threaten or take it, showing compassion, not ridiculing or dismissing it and honoring our true creator, Mother Earth. Our future literally depends on changing his story.

Sherri Quammen

Dem votes not enough

The 1st Congressional District candidates forum in Redding, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, was well-attended and useful in getting to know Democratic challenger Heidi Hall and Republican incumbent Doug LaMalfa.

No question, at least from my perspective, Hall came away as the strongest candidate in the room—knowledgeable, quick on her feet, eloquent, passionate and aggressive when appropriate. Great attributes.

LaMalfa, on the other hand, her polar opposite—lethargic, scarce on details, and seemingly overly confident he’s a shoo-in for another two-year term in Congress. And, LaMalfa has good reason to feel his re-election’s in the bag. The Secretary of State reports, as of Sept. 5, 2014, 382,494 folks are registered to vote in Congressional District 1. Of that, 41.14 percent are registered as Republicans and 29.56 percent Democrat.

Best hope for Hall is to try and peel off some disgruntled moderate conservatives and independents. It’s a long shot, but relying solely on the Democratic vote simply won’t get her there. Unfortunately, she appears to offer little to moderate Republicans looking for an alternative to what the Republican establishment’s offering.

Dare I say, Heidi wins the battle, but loses the war. Too bad.

Pete Stiglich

‘No real answers’

Recently I attended candidates forums in Chico and Paradise. In both of these forums, there were media questions and public questions. Candidates were asked direct questions like, “What would you do about xyz?” Of the many questions, 99 percent of their answers were, “Needs more study.” And, 99 percent of the time, the answer was mixed with, “We need more police.” That’s the answer to all of our problems? OK, wait, there was one actual answer for some purported problem: “We need more street lighting.” What sort of future will our politicians serve up to us, with no real answers to, well, anything?

George Gold

All about weed

Re “Down on Measure B” (Letters, by Jeanne Cecchi and Nancy Roybal, Oct. 9):

In response to your last two letters from Measure B opponents, these women own wineries. How did they clear land for the grapes? Do they not water them? Do they not know that fermenting fruit is a putrid smell or the fact grapes are the most pesticide-intensive crop in California? More importantly, most of the arrests in Butte County are alcohol-related (see www.ci.chico.ca.us/police/documents/WeeklyArrests.pdf). Yet you choose to perpetuate this by being involved in this industry.

Foothill properties are in a totally different aquifer than the valley, where wells are drying. The true culprits are the farmers. Our wells had no adverse effects from the people who bought land in my neighborhood, paid county fees and built homes for their families. This raised my property value and made me more secure. You won’t find any group more diligent than your local pot growers. I don’t mind that the pot growers added $500 million to our local economy rather than seeing it go to Mexico. I’m sure the local business owners didn’t mind either. So, Measure A people, if you are going to spew lies, don’t be hypocritical. It ruins your credibility.

Larry Cooper

About weed

I agree that Measure A is good and Measure B is bad. Honestly, everyone I know would be fine if the pot grows were kept in check, neighborhoods restored to peace and the criminal trafficking ceased. No one that I know cares if you party responsibly, or use it medically—we just don’t want Butte County to become Weed Central. Please learn more by visiting wwww.protectbuttecounty.com, the official campaign site for yes on A, no on B; www.bcfact.org is a grassroots organization called Families Against Cannabis Trafficking; and www.bsane.org is Butte Safe Access Not Excess, which chronicles a lot of the impacts of the local for-profit pot industry. We are about moderation and sanity, not prohibition. Please give it some thought and vote for a sane future.

Chris Sommers

Support for Garamendi

In this drought-plagued election year, the voters of Colusa and Glenn counties are fortunate to have John Garamendi as their United States congressman. No one in Washington knows more about California’s complex water issues than Garamendi, and none is better prepared to defend the vital interests of Northern California.

As a member of the state Assembly and state Senate, Garamendi spent 16 years representing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and helped lead the victorious referendum campaign that blocked the infamous peripheral canal in 1982. Now, as a member of Congress, Garamendi is leading the fight against Southern California’s latest attempt to grab North State water from the Delta: the so-called “twin tunnels” project.

A committed environmentalist who authored successful legislation to protect Lake Tahoe and save Mono Lake, Garamendi is also a lifelong cattle rancher who knows how to balance environmental safeguards with the legitimate needs of California agriculture. Garamendi’s judicious and common-sense approach is demonstrated clearly by his current support of both Prop. 1 and the Sites Reservoir proposal.

During his 40-year career in public service, John Garamendi has compiled a distinguished record of leadership and accomplishment. He deserves re-election to Congress on Nov. 4.

Michael Magliari

No way, San Jose

No municipal policies have more impact on quality of life than those governing residential and commercial development. Failures in urban planning are pretty much permanent—as in, cast in concrete.

Up to now, Chico has followed a compromise path of moderate growth—with a general plan allowing for 18,000 new residential units over 20 years. (That’s 40,000 additional residents.)

Current Vice Mayor Mark Sorensen has made it clear that he does not support the general plan, claiming it over-controls growth. He voted against approval when the issue came before the Chico City Council in 2011. Sorensen also supports breaking the Greenline and allowing Chico to sprawl, San Jose-style—inviting traffic congestion, poor air quality and loss of agricultural and wild land.

Conservatives claim that jobs must be created, but wealthy developers and landlords make the real money from residential sprawl. This provides them the financial freedom to relocate to places like Marin County—as Chico becomes unlivable for the rest of us. The Sorensen “vision” is shared by candidates Reanette Fillmer and Andrew Coolidge.

If you want to keep Chico green and livable, please vote for candidates that support the general plan and the Greenline: Forough Molina and Lupe Arim-Law.

Patrick Newman

A shaky proposition

Mother Earth (aka Terra Firma) says that fracking is cracking her up.

Stephen T. Davis

Former candidate shifts support

As a candidate for county assessor I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from the process. Now I know that a campaign is more than “vote gathering.” It is a test of perseverance, organizational skill, public relations and utilization of resources. A campaign is precisely the type of multitasking that is required at the top level of any organization and the voters must watch for these abilities. From my experience in mid-level county management I know that the top position requires experience and ability in three different areas: technical ability, personnel management and leadership.

Bill Connelly has proven to me that he has great leadership and management skills by calling together his large loyal network of friends and associates that believe in his ability. His campaign has been very dynamic and team-oriented.

Diane Brown was given my support after the primary out of respect for our relationship as former co-workers, and her technical knowledge of the Assessor’s Office but she has not demonstrated the required management skills in her campaign. She has not built the grassroots support network she needs and her statements of qualifications include several serious exaggerations. She is not a leader or a team manager.

Connelly is committed to a goal similar to mine, to improve the office, and he has the appropriate leadership experience and potential to use it to make it happen. For these reasons, I have chosen to shift my support to Bill Connelly.

Al Petersen