Letters for October 2, 2008

Simply the best …
Re: “Readers’ picks” (Best of Chico, CN&R, Sept. 25):

We were flabbergasted (and thrilled) to see our band Hot Flash! was voted third place in the “Best Musical Act” category! While we are relatively new on the Chico music scene, we are so excited to be recognized and want to thank the CN&R readers for voting for us. We are having a blast playing music and we hope to see you at our next gig!

Holly Taylor

Editor’s note: That would be 1 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 5) at Johnny Appleseed Days in Paradise.

… and maybe not
Re: “Editors’ picks” (Best of Chico, CN&R, Sept. 25):

I was taken aback by your proclaiming the Student Services Center [at Chico State] the “best new building.” The architecture is uninspired, boring, non-inventive, institutional and banal. Basically, it’s just a bunch of rectangles with some top-heavy ornament stuck on. It’s quite alienating, ugly and sterile.

Universities should have inventive, creative, inspiring architecture to uplift students. Unfortunately, the Student Services Center looks like just another office building. This brings up a very interesting observation: Except for Kendall Hall and Laxson Auditorium, all the buildings on campus are harsh, very hostile and depressing. This is contrary to the intellectual spirit. Healthy environments breed healthy minds.

Michael M. Peters

Editor’s note: While we did note its “curb appeal” (i.e. front-face contrast to its Second Street neighbors), the bulk of our praise for the facility related to functionality and eco-friendliness.

Granted, [state Sen.] Sam Aanestad is “gentlemanly and pragmatic.” Your comment [in calling him “best conservative politician"] that “he’s especially good at health care” could have continued with “strictly for the benefit of the health-insurance industry.”

SB 840 passed the state legislature [but Aanestad voted no on it]. The bill keeps all health-care delivery in private hands, would cover all California and, according to analysis by the highly acclaimed Lewin Group, would save billions of dollars. If Dr. Aanestad really believed in health care for all he would support SB 840, which sits on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk.

Carol Eberling

Park paragliders crashing into laws
Re: “Prominent park friend off-course” (Letters, by Jon Stallman and Rob Glatthaar, CN&R, Sept. 25):

Mr. Stallman and Mr. Glatthaar recently criticized analysis of paragliding in Upper Park, stating they weren’t aware of problems—well-documented—with the sport elsewhere. It is understandable that advocates rarely admit that their pet projects have impacts.

Mr. Stallman didn’t seem aware that hang-gliding is prohibited in Bidwell Park [under Municipal Code 12R.04.250] as he flew about. Nor did he seem aware that the city was updating the Bidwell Park Master Management Plan and associated EIR because the California Department of Fish and Game informed the city that piecemeal analysis of projects is against the law. Also, he might not know that state and federal law require analysis for any project that could potentially have impacts on special-status species and/or the public environment.

As for Mr. Glatthaar, I wonder how involved he was in the park plan update. Did he attend meetings or submit comments regarding his concerns about “real impacts”? Or did he sit idly on the sidelines and then afterward unfairly criticize others for their civic involvement and expression of real concerns?

Friends of Bidwell Park believe all park users should follow state and federal laws and comply with all city codes and policies. They are not simply out for self-interests, as proven by thousands of volunteer work hours.

John Dittes
Los Molinos

Assumption gumption
Re: “Voice of experience” (Letters, by Robert Grignon, CN&R, Sept 25):

I’m sure Robert Grignon has heard what they say about people who “assume.” I was not tired, angry, or uncooperative. There were no “other factors” involved [in the pullover by Chico Police].

I’ve been driving 32 years, and in that time I have had two tickets. I have no reason to be combative with the police. Apparently Mr. Grignon did when he was pulled over, an unfortunate reaction on his part.

When a person goes through training to become a police officer, it doesn’t magically erase any baggage he or she might have. Nor does it stop him/her from having a bad day. Officers are human, like it or not, and subject to human failings.

My experience, unlike Mr. Grignon’s, was nightmarish because I knew I hadn’t done anything to incite the officer. He was out of control, and completely irrational. Had I not cooperated fully, there’s no telling what he would have done.

Carol Kelly-Echols

Meth map on right path
Re: “County ‘roadmap’ to curb meth abuse” (Newslines, by Ginger McGuire, CN&R, Sept. 18):

As a recovering methamphetamine addict, I was heartened to read this article. In contrast to most approaches, Butte County has embarked on an enlightened plan that promises to succeed in conquering this very cunning and devastating disability.

While enforcement has its place to identify and “wake up” those caught in the grips of addiction, it in many cases may exacerbate the problem with unintended consequences. Addicts become more publicly and permanently labeled (read: stereotyped) as drug abusers, and often their loss of hope and underlying mental and environmental challenges are downplayed.

In my case, untreated depression led to my drug addiction as I searched for an immediate resolution to my grief and loss. Suddenly I had an apparent cure for my lethargy and excuse for the rapid deterioration of a normal lifestyle. Surrounded by newfound “friends” (read: addicts), my condition worsened as I was faced with theft, betrayal and frustration.

It wasn’t until I was confronted and provided with treatment and compassionate understanding of my condition that I was able to gain a foothold and bootstrap myself into health. The three intervention levels of the “roadmap” provide a workable prescription to confront the disease of meth addiction. I encourage you to join this cause for the betterment of our world before it is too late.

Richard Mazzucchi
Los Molinos

Ticket talk still continues
Oh, that cute little Ste. Sarah Paris Palin! She couldn’t possible be another imperfect, flawed and corrupt human being like the rest of us, could she? Perhaps it’s in her favor she seems so, doesn’t she?

Earl Underwood

I’m mystified. What could possibly explain the following?

• Polls indicate Americans are sick and tired of the Cheney-Rove influence. Yet they overlook the power those individuals have already wielded in this campaign.

• Americans want less partisanship and divisiveness. Yet they loudly applaud someone making denigrating and demeaning comments.

• Americans want better international relationships. Yet they cheer a shoot-from-the-hip decision-maker and his barracuda running mate. They dismiss the opponent’s diplomacy and warm reception by world leaders.

• Americans want a more united country. Yet they approve harsh and angry pronouncements as a way to fix problems while discounting the value of a peacemaker and compromiser.

• Americans want corruption and cronyism eliminated. Yet they make up excuses for someone who is ignoring bipartisan legal investigations and subpoenas.

• Americans are patriotic. Yet they close their eyes to membership in a secessionist party.

• Americans love the idea of a “woman” candidate. Yet they ignore the fact that she is the antithesis of the women’s lib movement (except for her hard-edged aggressiveness).

• Americans want fewer teenage pregnancies. Yet they approve a role model who sends the message that premarital sex is OK.

• Americans want educational standards to improve. Yet a candidate who was 894th in a class of 899 and a VP who earned only a minor in political science are preferable to someone with a law degree from a top-notch university.

The only possible explanation is that decisions are controlled by emotions (especially deep-seated prejudices and racism), not by brains.

<bpr>Angela Tilaro

Economy talk heats up
We all should know by know that the Federal Reserve Bank is not part of our elected government. It is a consortium of large banks whose chairman, Mr. Bernanke, is appointed by the president.

All the money to bail out our banks and financial institutions (a trillion dollars?) will be borrowed from the Federal Reserve. Interest and principle will we paid for eons to come by taxpayers. Watch inflation soar to unimaginable heights.

Sure, Bernanke and the bankers like this bailout. Let’s stop this madness—bombard our representatives with letters and calls. Just say no.

Hugh Rhode

There is nothing federal about the Federal Reserve Bank. It is privately owned by such super-rich families as the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Rockefellers, and 90 or so others.

Our nation once had its own true federal central bank, prior to 1913, but the Federal Reserve Banking Act was passed by our Congress in a very-late-night session in 1910. We the people have not been in control of our nation’s money since then.

We need to reclaim our economic power as a people and truly federalize the central bank. That was the true intention of our Founding Fathers, who warned about the inherent dangers of a private central banking system.

To learn more about “the Fed,” read this free online book: The Secrets of the Federal Reserve Bank by Eustace Mullins.

Susan Eissinger
via e-mail

I received a letter from a stock company CEO this week. It said to hold on and let the smart guys take care of it. There was no mention about the ill effect the illegal occupation of Iraq has placed upon the national economy. His letter blamed the sub-prime housing loans as the sole creator our financial woes.

We have seen plenty of economic smart stuff right here in California. The bailouts our governor brought forth when he took office were the sort of stop-gap measure our national leaders are favoring right now.

I know I am supposed to believe that these smart guys have my financial prosperity in mind. But when the paychecks are stretched tighter than a rubber-band sandwich, the next bite could be a real snapper.

Danny Wilson

A rave review
What a rousing and spectacular start the 103rd season of the North State Symphony got off to last Sunday!

“Baccanale from Autumn” by Glazunov opened the concert with light, lovely ear candy and showed the fine tuning and crisp entrances and cutoffs that maestro Kyle Pickett has produced. Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 3,” while less energetic than the Glazunov, was immaculately performed and especially beautiful in poco allegretto movement. But the absolute show-stopper—the piece that made me shed tears of joy and appreciation and the audience rise instantly to its feet at the end—was Rachmaninoff’s “Concerto No. 3.”

Everyone knows how impossibly difficult the piano score is to play, but I could hardly tell as Jon Nakamatsu sailed through with the apparent ease of a high-wire artist. Rachmaninoff’s spirit must have reveled.

Certainly, Chico knew it had heard a world-class performance.

Carol Burr

Re: “Readers’ picks” (Best of Chico, CN&R, Sept. 25): In the “Best Local Media Personality” category, the second-place winner’s name was misspelled. The honored KHSL/KNVN anchor is Kelli Saam. Also, the Web address for Coldwell Banker DuFour Realty, first in “Best Real Estate Office,” is www.coldwellbankerchico.com. These typos have been corrected online.

Re: “Readers’ picks” (Best on the Ridge, CN&R, Sept. 25): The bio on community volunteer Alice Smith incorrectly identified her as the first mayor of Paradise. While she is a former mayor, Warren Humbert was the first. We apologize for the mistake, which has been fixed online.