Letters for October 18, 2012

Principle or party?

For months, I’ve struggled to decide how I will vote in the 1st Congressional District election. As a longtime conservative and registered Republican, it should have been an easy decision. The idea of even considering a Democrat was a chilling, even frightening, thought.

In the end, though, it boiled down to a vote for either principle or party.

With less than a month to go before Election Day, I’ve come to a decision. It was not easy. But, I’m proud to say, principle wins—as it should each and every time.

As John Quincy Adams so aptly put it long ago, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

According to American Heritage, principle is defined as “a rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principle.”

And, my friends, there’s the rub when it comes to Doug LaMalfa. Frankly, at least in my opinion, he’s racked up an unacceptable litany of what I’ll simply describe as “misbehaviors.”

Sure, Democratic candidate Jim Reed is far from perfect. But, I know him to be an honest and principled man. And that alone makes him deserving of my support.

For me, principle always trumps party.

Dare I ask: What’s most important to you, principle or party?

Pete Stiglich

Walker weighs in

When I decided not to run for re-election to the City Council, I was hopeful that a newcomer would emerge who had the characteristics I believe are most important to being a good council member. Those qualities include a history of public service, a sense of public fiscal responsibility, and the ability to make decisions by considering all of the available data, not depending solely on political ideology.

Fortunately, two candidates have emerged who have served the community well and want to continue their public service on the City Council.

Tami Ritter has served as executive director of the Torres Community Shelter and other agencies. She has managed multimillion-dollar budgets and understands that the city of Chico is a full-service city with complex issues.

Randall Stone works as a financial planner and a developer of affordable housing and is involved in the local Special Olympics organization.

Both candidates have been paying close attention to the issues important to our city. Both are ready, willing and able to step up to the responsibilities to serve the citizens of Chico. Tami Ritter and Randall Stone have my full support.

Jim Walker

Schiffman backs Kelley

There are a number of good folks running for election and re-election to the Chico City Council. Among them is my favorite candidate, Dave Kelley. I met Dave when we served together on the Chico Planning Commission, and I was immediately impressed by his intelligence, his good humor, and the way he listened and responded courteously to applicants.

I also appreciated Dave’s preparedness and careful review of projects as well as his concern that new development follow closely the Chico general plan and be consistent with the city’s environmental goals.

His ideas for building up Chico’s economic capacity include supporting a vital and attractive downtown, growing local tourism, and promoting Chico as a regional medical hub, all of which make good sense to me.

Dave has now served three years as chairman of the Chico Planning Commission and has carried out that role with utmost fairness, thoughtfulness and responsibility. He will bring those needed characteristics to his service on the City Council, and both the council and the city will profit from his efforts.

Irv Schiffman

Supporters like Schwab

I’ve worked with Ann Schwab on numerous Bidwell Park volunteer projects. In addition to her commitment to community service, she is also connected to Chico as a local business owner and Chico State employee. Ann brings a positive energy to the City Council, and her voting record shows that she’s focused on the long-term health of Chico.

Susan Mason

Mayor Ann Schwab is a rare talent in local politics, and I urge support for her re-election. She has been impressive in her management of divergent views at council meetings and helpful in providing strong and reasoned arguments in support of the local environment.

As our city grows, so does the need to protect its most popular natural resource, Bidwell Park. I appreciate Ann’s role in helping the park’s natural systems thrive for all those who come to enjoy its beauty and recreational opportunities. Many public figures speak and write in defense of the park’s importance to our community; Ann is one of the few who defend the park on public-policy matters and regularly volunteer for projects benefiting it. If Bidwell Park is of prime importance to you, then Ann’s your gal.

City Council candidates concerned for Chico’s natural environment are being grossly outspent by those sympathetic to the Tea Party’s agenda. On Nov. 6 vote for Ann Schwab and other candidates working for Chico’s quality of life and environmental health.

Tom Haithcock

Views from Palestine

Keeping Hope Alive—Life and Culture in Occupied Palestine, a series of presentations highlighting the rich Palestinian culture, challenges of life under Israeli occupation and the historic background, has been at Chico State since Oct. 8. The centerpiece is the internationally renowned exhibit A Child’s View from Gaza, drawings by children from the Gaza Strip made in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, three weeks of bombardment by the Israeli military in December and January, 2008-09.

A Child’s View is on display at the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, Meriam Library 172, and in display cases at Ayres Hall on the Chico State campus.

The final day of the exhibit—and the final presentation—is Thursday, Oct. 18: a lovely closure to Keeping Hope Alive titled Continuing the Hope, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at CCLC, with literary readings—excerpts from My Name Is Rachel Corrie, from the diary of Rachel Corrie, and I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity, by Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish.

Delicious Palestinian light cuisine will be offered, closing with readings of Palestinian poetry demonstrating the diversity, humor and humanity of the Palestinian people. Admission is free.

I’m puzzled why the CN&R did not cover Keeping Hope Alive previously. Disturbingly, it echoes how Palestinian issues are treated by the U.S. government and mainstream media—silence. Americans need to know these stories, especially since our government provides $3 billion-plus annually to Israel, much of which contributes to the brutal occupation and siege of Palestinian lands and people.

Please come tonight. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to learn about this resilient, gentle people.

Emily Alma
Coordinator, Keeping Hope Alive


Goloff backs Ritter

Tami Ritter’s commitment to Chico and her history as a community leader clearly set her apart as the most promising person in this year’s City Council election.

I support Tami because I know she has the integrity to serve the whole community with an open mind and I fully trust her ability to study all sides of the issues before making any decision.

Tami is intelligent and thoughtful and has a proven track record in our community as a problem solver and consensus builder. She has been a committed member of the Chico community for many years, sharing her professional skills as an administrator with many of our community’s exemplary programs, including Catalyst, the Torres Community Shelter and Habitat for Humanity.

Tami is genuine and places great value on the interests of the Chico community – where it is today, and where it is headed in the future.

Regardless of your political persuasion, if you believe that integrity, careful analysis and problem- solving abilities are important attributes for a City Council member, then please join me in voting for Tami Ritter on Nov. 6.

Mary Goloff

Beware of progressives

Re “Police questioning” (Newslines, by Vic Cantu, Oct. 11):

The Tea Party had the Chico City Council candidates forum with 100 percent attendance of the candidates.

It was not too surprising to learn that Randall Stone, Ann Schwab and Tami Ritter were proud to have signed the SEIU pledge that basically put the unions and government employees’ interests first over those of the population of Chico. This support brings them a lot of out-of-town money from other unions.

Kimberly Rudisill stated she was in support of the pledge but was moving at the time and did not have time to sign it, then waffled somewhat on whether she would have signed it or not, then expressed her support of unions, noting her work to stop the non-union Walmart expansion.

The fact that Chico’s crime rate has soared, along with the fact Chico has become a homeless magnet, was discussed. The above-named progressive candidates indicated that more money and specialized programs were needed above and beyond what we have already spent despite the budget crises. We need a stronger magnet?

My feeling from these subjects and others brought up during the forum is that, if any of the above progressive candidates are elected, the city of Chico will go deeper in debt and bankruptcy. Their offerings of supporting business with no record of doing such will not help the local economy.

B.K. Brooks

McGuire backs Purvis

Public education is faced with many challenges. It is a critical to have people in leadership roles who are knowledgeable and experienced. Robert (Bob) Purvis will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the challenges of our local school districts and the Butte County Office of Education.

Bob has served as a teacher, school principal, district superintendent and as a member of the Butte County Board of Education since 1996. During his tenure in public education he has provided leadership to address the challenges of educators, parents and students. As a member of the county Board of Education he has been instrumental in supporting job training programs, charter schools, programs for students with special needs and projects to support state-of-the-art technology in Butte County schools.

During my tenure as Butte County superintendent of schools, Bob was always supportive of new ideas, programs and services designed to enhance the educational opportunities for the students in Butte County.

Vote for Bob Purvis for Butte County Board of Education.

Jerry McGuire

Evans a ‘truth teller’

I urge Chico residents to consider carefully and vote for Bob Evans. He is a truth teller. For some reason Chico is spending beyond its means, most of our reserves are depleted, unfunded pension liabilities are staggering, and we owe $9.3 million back to our Private Development Fund.

Would you run your household finances this way? Would you teach your children this kind of irresponsible spending?

Bob Evans is one of the few who will tell you these truths, and he has the courage and sensibility to take actions to correct these dire fiscal matters. Bob has integrity, he is honest, he is easy to work with but tough about sticking to what matters most and setting things right.

Please vote for Bob Evans for Chico City Council in November.

Laurie Moore

Morgan is the man

Sean Morgan is my adviser and professor and has helped shape my college experience. His classes have given me more knowledge and understanding of complex concepts than I would have ever imagined gaining from a semester-long course. His attention to students and great insight help students attain knowledge for life after college and how to obtain jobs in the “real world.”

I recommend everyone vote for Morgan for City Council because of his attention to detail and love for Chico.

Alison Brown

Schwab is sustainable

A community leader is an individual with the courage to confront issues of importance to their constituents, share their perspective, and do so with sensitivity and openness to diverse viewpoints. Ann Schwab exemplifies such a leader. As mayor of Chico, she has provided a calm voice on issues surrounding the quality of life for which our city is known.

Along with her service on the City Council, Ann has tirelessly assumed the challenge of chairperson for Chico’s Sustainability Task Force, a diverse group of citizens representing the business community, a cross-section of community organizations, education professionals and city staff engaged in difficult discussions about crafting the best possible path to the future for Chico. Ann has managed to bring these diverse perspectives together and initiate a conversation, kept us at the table searching for consensus while examining the issues from several angles to create recommendations for the community.

Public-minded citizens like Ann Schwab are a rarity, and we are quite fortunate to have her represent us. I urge you to give her the opportunity to continue to work for the betterment of the city of Chico by re-electing Ann Schwab to the Chico City Council.

James Pushnik

Coolidge is qualified

Andrew Coolidge is the best-qualified candidate for Chico City Council. He is the producer of the Fall Home and Garden Show and also the sponsorship coordinator for the Silver Dollar Fair. Not only does this mean he works with hundreds of businesses each year, it means he is in touch with the pulse of the business community.

Unfortunately, many of our council members do not take the time to visit and listen to the thousands of businesses we have here in Chico. Andrew knows what business owners need to bring more jobs to town and how to help them prosper.

We need a local city councilman who is not controlled by special interests. We need a leader who understands what our community really needs. Andrew Coolidge has my support.

Stephen J. Kenny

Don’t put up a wall

I wish I lived in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, where neighbors learn to give and take and to respect one another and property.

Like others who chose the Bidwell Park neighborhood, my family moved to the area for the park’s amenities and for the tranquil ambience that nature provides. The traditional-style homes located in the park’s surroundings reflect the heritage left by contemporaries of the Bidwells, the Comptons and 1920s, ’30s and ’40s families. Viewing open, green spaces is an intricate component of that heritage.

If a proposed 5.5-foot wall/fence (requiring special permit) passes second round Planning Commission scrutiny, the neighborhood residents fear both our landscape and our viewsheds will be permanently and negatively impacted. While new building in an area frequently upgrades that area, we residents strongly believe this wall/fence will create a precedent for the transition to a neighborhood of “private compounds” more typical of Southern California. That would be a breach of code to our neighborhood’s park-like mandate.

Fellow Chicoans, let’s not lose another landmark neighborhood. Please give a (timely—meeting is Oct. 18) supportive note, email, or phone message to the Chico Planning Commission, 411 Main St., 2nd Floor (530) 879-6800, P.O. Box3420, Chico, CA 95927.

Jill Resk

Can CUSD be trusted?

I’m having difficulty with Measure E, the CUSD bond measure, because of the difficulty in knowing that our schools are dilapidated, but even CUSD teachers say the money would be given to people who mismanaged the last bond.

School districts are big business, and too often are managed by people who have no background or experience in finance, personnel or the complexities of large companies.

Can you imagine Apple hiring an assembly line worker to be CEO? Large districts like CUSD require experienced superintendents who have run smaller districts first. Otherwise, the results are too predictable.

There are few sins in school districts worse than losing the public’s confidence, but admitting that you have is one of them. We can’t just flush more money down the drain until we know it’s in good hands first.

Lee Mason

I just read that a former School Board member doesn’t trust our school district and has criticized the bond measure asking the public for more money. We were promised a new high school if we passed the last bond. Not only didn’t it happen, the school district basically used the money for other purposes. That’s the definition of embezzlement.

If I borrow money for a house, the bank won’t allow me to use the money to go to Hawaii regardless of whether I can show them how much I like surfing.

You cannot burn the public by lying to them and not expect distrust the next time you come back asking for more. It’s unethical to send flyers to every home on our dollar and again misrepresent the issue. That’s what got them in trouble last time.

Vote NO on Measure E. It’s insulting for them to think we have forgotten.

Onia Villanueva

Which party aids seniors?

The polls show many more seniors now vote Republican. Seems they have forgotten which party made their comfortable retirement possible.

A short reminder: Social Security (Democrats/FDR) 1935. GI Bill of Rights (FDR) 1944 and later (Truman). Medicare, Medicaid (Democrats/LBJ) 1965.

Republicans, however, are responsible for Medicare Part D. This legislation was possibly the single largest giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies in history! Part D bans Medicare from ever negotiating lower drug prices for seniors. It also created the infamous “donut hole.”

The Romney/Ryan agenda seeks to privatize Social Security, replace Medicare with a voucher program and makes each state responsible for Medicaid.

Republican seniors complain of the deficit to be left their grandchildren. Do they ever consider the retirement they’re leaving them? The reduction of aforementioned programs and a longer working life. Will they look back at your retirement and thank you for theirs? Better wish ’em luck.

Margaret Barton

Our right to choose

Proposition 37 is a simple food labeling law that will require a label on food and food products containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients sold in California. The Yes on 37 campaign is a grassroots movement initiated by a concerned grandmother in Chico. The campaign has attracted the support of citizens, farmers, and food producers across California who simply want to protect consumers’ right to make informed choices on the food they eat and feed to their children.

Proposition 37 is opposed primarily by big agribusiness, biotech, and even chemical corporations outside of California. One would assume that for an industry committed to producing and marketing GE foods, Proposition 37 would attract their full support because it will require a label to help consumers find their products in the supermarket.

Instead, these corporations are spending multi-millions of dollars on deceptive, fear-based tactics to cloud the facts about Proposition 37. Why should these corporations so staunchly oppose Proposition 37 unless they have something to hide about their product?

GE food production is a relatively new technology. Why should consumers continue to allow the covert use of these ingredients in their food before the long-term effects of GE food consumption on human and environmental health is sufficiently understood?

Proposition 37 does not ban or endorse GE foods; it effectually protects the consumer’s right to make informed choices in the supermarket. Let’s stand together this November and vote Yes on 37 to protect our right to choose and resist corporate deception.

Gerad Dean
Mount Shasta

Rules for bicyclists

Re “Speaking of bikes” (The Greenhouse, by Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, Oct. 4):

Dear Christine, I think you and your newspaper should use your influence to encourage people to ride their bicycles wisely and in a lawful manner. A bicycle is a moving vehicle, and the rider not only has to follow the same rules as all other vehicles, but also should take some precautions (wearing a helmet) because he/she is much more vulnerable.

That means stop at red lights and Stop signs, use lights at night, do not wear headphones while riding and circulate in the same direction as traffic. It is a fact that in more than 80 percent of accidents that occur in Chico involving a bicycle and another vehicle, the bicyclist is at fault.

And by the way, if you would not drive your car with no hands, why do you do it on your bicycle?!

Ana Naveira

Dear Henri Bourride

Re “Size matters” (Chow, by Henri Bourride, Oct. 11):

I am a student at Chico State, and I am from Spain. I have been here for almost four years and read your newspaper every week.

When I feel nostalgic for the food of my country, I get it from Leonardo’s. Their eatery is closed to the walk-in public temporarily, but they can be found at the Saturday Farmers Market selling their tortilla de patata, empanadas, paellas and other good stuff like my mother makes back home.

Any other day of the week I just go to Chico Natural Foods downtown, where their products are also available.

So, Mr. Bourride, next time you are in the mood for some good food from my country, just go see them at the market or call them if you have a special request like fabada or black rice. In any case I also recommend that you read your newspaper: the Chico News and Review; I believe Ms. LaPado-Breglia wrote a review about Leonardo’s a few years ago.

Soledad Pascual

Where’s the respect?

Harvest season means many things in Northern California. You know what I’m talking about, but tell me this: As your in-town liberal neighbor, why in the name of respect do I have to be subject to your cultivation, harvesting and smoking of pot when that smell is so overpowering that I cannot even sit outside on my porch without being overwhelmed by the (to me) sickening sweet odor?

Or not be able to enter a coffee shop or walk in the park without coming into contact with smokers? Cigarettes or pot, smoke is smoke, and I for one don’t want to be around either. What the heck, Chico people? In your pursuit of your own happiness, where is the respect for others?

Jo Chavez


In our Best of Chico cover story last week, the address of Chico Computer Clinic, second-place finisher in the category of Local Computer Store, was incorrect. The shop is located at 1304 Mangrove Ave.

Also, Chico City Council candidate Sean Morgan informs us that he wasn’t the candidate who, during a forum, stated the city could generated money “by charging for tourism, disc golf and visits to Bidwell Park,” as reported in our Oct. 11 Newslines story, “Police questioning.”

The errors have been corrected online.—ed.