Letters for October 17, 2013

Check it out, hikers

Re “Best of Chico, Editors’ picks” (Cover feature, Oct. 10):

We were happy to see the Best Day Hike outside Bidwell Park in the Best of Chico edition. But you linked to www.LocalHikes.com, an outside for-profit website!

We are Chico Hiking Association, founded right here in Chico, and entirely nonprofit. Most important, we have much better maps of the Dome Trail free for downloading at www.chicohiking.org.

Michael Jones

Props to kitty helpers

Re “Cat-trap fever” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Oct. 10):

Thank you for your informative and empathetic article on the Neighborhood Cat Advocates. They were very helpful to us and our little feral kitty.

We are in the process of socializing him, but were unable to catch him long enough to get him neutered. This is so important in light of Chico’s overpopulation of kitties. The NCA knew the humane things to do to accomplish this, and its volunteers are genuinely caring. We will be contributing to the NCA cause, and I encourage other Chicoans to do the same. They are in great need of funds.

Thank you again, Neighborhood Cat Advocates!

Shellye Hassell

School work is scripted

Re “Oligarchy? No, thanks” (Letters, by Bob Woods, Oct. 10):

Mr. Woods knows as well as I that every minute of the school year is scripted by the educrats in Sacramento. Social engineering is rampant throughout our public school systems. Teachers are automatons enslaved to the will of the state—they are told what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it.

Students rebel at all this inculcation—by middle school, half of all American students hate school. The educational concept of “in loco parentis” determines that schools indoctrinate students with “moral imperatives” (whatever the pop culture says those currently are).

And there has been no “goal” of education for all children since our country’s inception—George Washington never went to school a day in his life, and compulsory education was not mandated for all the states until 1918.

Mike Peters

Blame the public sector

Re “Looking for buy-in” (Cover feature, by Daniel Weintraub, Oct. 3):

Obamacare is not the solution to rising medical costs. My family will be expected to pay the premiums and then spend another $12,700 on services before we receive any benefits. We are no longer allowed to pay the rate the insurance companies pay for services—20 percent. Instead we’ll pay 40 percent of service charges mandated by hospital administrators.

Medical costs have grown out of control because of the health-care packages given our public employees, packages that pay for anything they want at any charge the doctor comes up with, payment guaranteed by the taxpayers. They run up the cost of health care for everybody else. They’re the freeloaders—we pay more than 30 percent of their premiums, while they pay 9 percent to nothing. Next time you encounter an overcrowded emergency room or can’t get in to see your doctor, ask yourself how many public employees got in ahead of you.

In Chico, the pensions alone cost us more than $10 million a year, and then we pay their health benefits. We also give them workman’s comp and social security.

If we could throw off these ridiculous benefits and pensions, we could afford Single Payer for every citizen in the state.

Juanita Sumner

Response to rebuttal

Re “Rebuttal from the trio” (Letters, by Mary Fitch, Oct. 10):

I generally don’t like tit-for-tat letters, but feel clarification is needed.

I didn’t “sling mud,” just facts regarding [Mary Fitch, Quené Hansen and Alicia Meyer’s] pay/benefit package and the fact that they also enjoyed tuition reimbursement in addition to working flex time. I did not imply that they were the only employees that enjoyed these benefits but rather included it as additional information should the general public be unaware this was yet another taxpayer-paid benefit.

Nothing is “fed” to me by public officials. The information I have I obtain by purchase of the proposed fiscal budget, copies of Personnel Allocation Worksheets and the individual department detail that makes up the budget. In addition, I read and print reports for both the City Council and Finance Committee meetings and have done so for the last five or six years in addition to actually attending the meetings. Time-consuming and expensive—but both worth it to have the facts.

As to revealing the entire history to our new city manager, that seems akin to telling the farmer the pigs have all been let out of the pen long after they are gone.

Stephanie L. Taber

Downtown is a mess

Other than going to work, I avoid downtown. I very rarely take my children down there, not because of the language, smell, vomit or need to literally step over people sleeping in front of businesses, but because it is not safe and our city doesn’t currently prioritize safety for citizens.

I left a downtown business a couple of weeks ago and walked past two guys sitting near a dumpster shooting up—needles in their arms—in broad daylight downtown in a visible, public place. It’s too much, folks.

I am all for supporting those who want support, but in my opinion, we have become a city that enables this type of behavior. I’m a big believer in the idea that if you’re not contributing, you’re taking away from. While I know we have a lot of givers, the takers are having a bigger impact and are draining our resources and killing our downtown. Our sense of community is fading away.

Our city leadership is compromising our safety and the safety of the first responders who protect us. I cannot see my children living in this community if this is the direction we’re headed.

Jodi Drysdale

Ponder this

Since July 1, I have been collecting articles about the homeless situation in Chico from the Chico Enterprise-Record and the Chico News & Review. These have been preserved in a scrapbook. This very unscientific survey has yielded 69 articles from the E-R newspapers and four from the CN&R.

In my judgment, of the 69 appearing in the E-R, 44 (63.8 percent) were considered negative toward the homeless. Twenty-five (36.2 percent) were positive. Three were neutral, so not included in the calculations. The CN&R’s four articles are considered positive toward the homeless.

What do these calculations reflect? Possibly, the results indicate the opinion of the majority of the community at large. Or, is it merely the position assumed by the two newspapers? Then, where does the City Council fit into this picture?

I leave it up to you to ponder the results.

Dick Cory

Editor’s note: The City Council will be discussing downtown issues, including the local homeless and transient population, during a special study session on Oct. 22. (See Second & Flume, page 5.)

Two-market solution?

Some downtown businesses don’t want the Saturday farmers’ market where it is now located because market parking competes with downtown customer parking and products on Saturday. Some downtown businesses want the market moved to Sunday because it competes with Saturday business downtown. Other downtown businesses believe the market draws customers to their businesses on Saturday. Some shoppers want to keep the Saturday market where it’s at because that’s what they like and are used to. Isn’t that basically the controversy?

Seems like a situation where not everyone can be accommodated. Or can they? Why not have a Sunday market in the City Hall lot while maintaining the Saturday market where it’s presently located? That would permit market vendors another day to sell local products, give shoppers an option when to shop, pacify some downtown businesses because it potentially frees up some parking and competition on Saturday.

It may turn out that future day or location changes aren’t as big a deal as we worry they are. If a Sunday market at a new location works out, it might transition the current market away from its present time and location in a less jarring way.

M. Ashlock

Programs have problems

Chico Unified School District needs help with defining discrimination. Our children are treated differently in their after-school programs. CARD-participant children whose parents pay for after-school programs are allowed to leave whenever is convenient for parents. But grant-program participants—those whose parents don’t pay—have to stay ’til 5:30 or 6 p.m., or be enrolled in a parallel program to not be penalized for early dismissal.

I always believed discrimination to mean treating people differently based on race, money, sex or other reasons. So I conclude that CUSD is a discriminatory policyholder when it comes to after-school-program children.

Richard Hooste

Reforming taxation

The FairTax is a plan whose time has come. It would replace the income tax and abolish the IRS shortly after being adopted. It’s a national sales tax and would be collected by the states at the cash register when you check out. No more federal withholdings from your paycheck! No more FICA. No more hidden taxes. No more record keeping and no more reporting to the government. Prices of goods at the store will remain about the same even though those shelf prices include the tax! Best of all, everyone will pay the tax and everyone is treated exactly the same.

The FairTax is nonpartisan. It’s not a Democrat or Republican idea; it’s strictly an American idea consistent with our founding fathers’ ideas on taxation. Google FairTax to learn more.

Most important, contact your representative and senators. Tell them to get the FairTax legislation out of the House Ways and Means committee and onto the floor of the House for consideration by the full Congress and the American people. If your representatives don’t support the FairTax, well, the 2014 primaries are only months away.

Glen E. Terrell
Arlington, Texas