Letters for October 19, 2017
Congrats, cab company
I wanted to take a minute to congratulate everyone at Star Taxi on their Best of Chico win. Though they’ve only been in business for a few months, the crew at Star have already raised funds and awareness for disaster victims, added a low-emissions vehicle, and made a fantastic effort to provide transportation to the entire Chico community with special attention paid to its underserved members. Keep up the good work!
Editor’s note: The author is a former co-owner of the now-defunct Liberty Cab.
Lose the diplomacy
Re “On board” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Oct. 12):
Instead of implying we are talking about the homeless, by describing a location as “halfway between the Jesus Center and City Plaza,” Robert Speer should be more forthright. Also, the quote from “diplomatic” CARD Manager Ann Willmann (“folks who don’t use the facility as intended”) refers to the homeless. In this case, to the brain-injured and otherwise afflicted who nap on the obscure postage stamp of land by the skate park on Humboldt.
The message in Speer’s skater-booster article is clear: By expanding the skate park, we can exclude the indigent from one more scrap of public space—and ain’t that grand? When will Mayor Sean Morgan be writing for the CN&R?
Other news: Jesus Center Director Laura Cootsona is driving forward with plans to close the Park Avenue facility, where many poor people eat, bathe and acquire clean clothing. Former Director Bill Such was fired two years ago—essentially for being too kind—and Cootsona was hired to push services out of the downtown.
Cootsona is a well-connected DCBA board member. She has retained Robert Marbut, a controversial homeless “consultant.” Cootsona’s proposed “navigation center”—near the fairgrounds—is a Marbut-style compound. These are prison-like facilities, featuring half-baked behavior-modification programs, which lead to permanent housing for virtually no one.
Re “More spent, less in return” (Guest comment, by Roger Beadle, Sept. 28):
Roger Beadle heralds low costs and efficiency of Hong Kong’s health care. Omitted is that Hong Kong is smaller in area than Phoenix, Ariz., and, via Wikipedia, is a capitalist economy with low taxation.
Beadle states it’s “a myth … our taxes are too high.” Without crediting Money magazine (Ian Salisbury, July 19, 2017), he apparently lifts two sentences verbatim from Salisbury’s article. To wit: “With a tax burden of 25 percent—a measurement that includes income, property and various other taxes—the U.S. is near the very bottom, well below the overall average of 34 percent. It ranks below all other measured countries except Korea, Chile and Mexico.”
Omitted is that Salisbury also writes, “… the U.S. does indeed have one of the highest nominal [corporate] maximum rates in the world, at 35 percent. [This tax rate] … could indeed be a problem for the economy, since it encourages U.S. corporations to shift their operations overseas to keep tax bills low.”
Google “Obama, Charlie Gibson, capital gains.” Witness in 1.3 minutes how envy, class-warfare demagoguery and spin take precedence over more money collected through lower taxation.
FYI: According to our Board of Equalization, we Californians should surpass the 34 percent average overall world tax rate next year.
We hear ad nauseam of the rights of gun owners, but what of the rights of Stacee Etcheber, the former Chicoan murdered during the recent Las Vegas shooting?
She had an adoring, responsible husband. She and he have now been ruthlessly deprived of the right to enjoy their marriage. And what of the rights of her two children, Alivia (12) and Vinnie (10)? They are now bereft of the love, guidance and support of their mother. Neither they nor family and close friends will share the joys of dozens of future holidays and special occasions with Stacee in their midst.
In fact, each year, as Oct. 1 approaches, they will relive a truly unspeakable real-life horror. Now magnify their pain by that inflicted on families and friends of scores of others killed and hundreds of others wounded. All this carnage was inflicted by just one man firing just one of his easily jury-rigged assault rifles.
I have no quarrel with people having and using firearms as originally intended by the Second Amendment. But surely it was not written to allow possession of semiautomatic weapons easily converted into machine guns.
Looking for cooperation
Re “Inhumane threat to health, safety” (Editorial, Sept. 21):
Regarding your editorial, I appreciate your sentiments. However, we are forgetting the bigger picture. A person who is homeless would be not homeless if they had a home, with a flush toilet.
As you know, there is a group whose goal is to eliminate homelessness in 10 years; that goal is now a few years away. The city of Chico has been approached by various groups looking for appropriate city-owned property to be used for just such housing—to no avail.
In the last few years, I have observed many more people who are homeless. Have you? We have been told that of all CSUC students, 10 percent are basically homeless.
With all the agencies and organizations throughout the county, and theoretically state funding for low-income housing, I pray that homelessness numbers will reverse soon. All we need is cooperation from the cities and county. Thank you.
The racists among us
The other day I went to the gym, just as I do every day, and while pedaling away on a bicycle, I start to notice that there’s a conversation going on behind me with “Well, the Jews control all the money and the media.”
I get off my bike and explain to the two participants that this Jew is not interested in hearing their racist bullshit and they should take their conversation elsewhere. Both of them start yelling at me, quoting some right-wing rag that explains it all, and besides, one of them says, “My girlfriend is a Jew.”
Over the years when this sort of racist talk is followed by this bizarre juxtaposition, how does one reconcile such troubling pronouncements? I always wonder about the girlfriend and what sort of Jew would be with a partner like this?
I found the owner of the gym, and he immediately went over to talk to these fellows and explained to them that he won’t tolerate this type of hate speech. So the Paradise right-wing raises its ugly head yet again, but kudos to the gym owner for setting clear ground rules.
Many are hopeful Bernie Sanders is granted another opportunity to govern our wayward nation, but the despicable manner in which countless Americans have been denied a nurturing and decent upbringing makes it possible for the next president to be Harvey Weinstein.
Kenneth B. Keith
In 2018, Habitat for Humanity of Butte County will be celebrating its 25th year of operating in our community. We are planning a year-long celebration with Habitat homeowners, volunteers and donors who have helped make our community stronger.
We are interested in hearing from people who have served on the Habitat board of directors or a committee over these years, so we can include everyone in the celebration. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when and how you were involved with Habitat.
Here is to 25 more years of building strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable housing!
Editor’s note: The author is executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Butte County.