Letters for October 20, 2005

Brothers and sisters of Chico: Your Martin Luther King Jr. picnic celebration on Oct. 2 was a great success; more than 1,300 people came through our food line.

Thanks to all of the individuals and businesses that donated money and food to make this celebration a huge success. The event far exceeded our expectations. Thanks goes out to all of the young people who volunteered with the help of Jami Byers and others and helped set up tables, display the food and assist in serving food from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Folks, it was a beautiful thing to see these young people serving their community. Thank you also to all of Chico Community Coalition which helped in so many different ways. I would like to express my gratitude to Drew Byers who stuck with me all night and helped me barbeque your brisket and carve them just right. I can’t fail to mention those people who spent hours helping us prepare the coleslaw, bake beans and hot links.

Thanks to Dru Carol, Linda Furr, Carol Eberling, Jami Byers, Ted Schwarts, the chair- person of the celebration committee Cathy Webster and so many others. Thanks to Babba Ross Walcott and his helpers for the fabulous display of vegetarian dishes. Last but not least thanks to all of the awesome performers who participated and kept us spellbound from noon to 5:30. The children had a ball on the stage for about 45 minutes until closing. Next year, folks?

Love to all.

Joe Person Sr.
Chico Community Coalition

How urbane
I’m writing in response to Tracy McDonald’s rant about New Urban Builders.

I find it amazing that an intelligent person, such as a business professor at Chico State, would buy into a neighborhood built by a company named “New Urban Builders” without doing her homework. If one were to search Google.com for information on the new urbanist movement, they’d quickly find www.newurbanism.org, which states: “NEW URBANISM promotes the creation and restoration of diverse, walkable, compact, vibrant, mixed-use communities composed of the same components as conventional development, but assembled in a more integrated fashion, in the form of complete communities.”

If Ms. McDonald would have learned more about new urbanism, she would have known that New Urban Builders, as plainly as their name states, intends to build mixed-use, higher-density, compact, traditional neighborhoods—very much unlike the unsustainable cookie-cutter homes in north Chico that seem to have sprawled out in every direction. I think Chico needs to follow the lead of New Urban Builders and encourage higher-density urban infill projects like Doe Mill, versus the sprawl-mart way of life that Butte County has become accustomed to. Maybe it would save a few trees and green-space in the process.

Cynthia Marsh

Honor the soldiers
Our laws, which reflect the moral consensus of our society, recognize killing as justified if in self-defense.

During World War II my brother was a crew member in a B-29 on bombing missions over Japan. He died when a Japanese kamikaze pilot rammed his plane into my brother’s B-29 in mid-air. I respect and honor both my brother and the Japanese pilot who killed him. Each gave their lives in the belief that they were defending their country. There is no question in my mind that our troops in Iraq deserve our respect, honor, and support; including the best medical care as long as needed in military and veterans facilities. They are risking their lives, and many dying, in the belief they are defending us.

Bush made the call that invasion of Iraq was necessary in self defense, although there were no Iraqi among the hijackers on 9/11, no ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Ladin, and no weapons of mass destruction. Congress shares the moral responsibility, having delegated to him their exclusive authority to declare war. Those U.S. citizens who elected President Bush and Congress and ratified their decisions by re-electing them share in the moral responsibility. Least responsible are the troops who have no choice but to carry out orders.

So point not the finger of blame at our troops.

Bill McCord
World War II vet

Easy for us
So Jeff Sloan should just “swallow his ego and go elsewhere,” as you suggest in your Oct. 13 editorial [“Move on, Marsh”]. Easy for you to say about a man who has spent much of his life here, reared his kids here, has many friends and deep roots here—you know, lives here.

And what about his wife, who’s a respected teacher and integral part of the GATE program at Marigold Elementary School? Should she just pack up and go too? Tell that to the many parents and students who love and appreciate her.

How easy it is to be flippant when it’s not your life that’s under consideration.

Robert Speer

Jeff supporter
I am going to question your use of the word “reluctantly” (when describing your trip to the ink locker re: the re-emergence of the Jeff Sloan matter) when you suggest that the noble thing for him to do would be to leave town.

I have no real connection to Jeff; my youngest daughter was in her last year at Bidwell the first year he was in town. If I didn’t know anything more about him than what you state in your editorial; that he did an excellent job as an educator and administrator and was (according to the Grand Jury) wrongly accused, I would wonder why you are so snidely critical of him.

You say that CUSD leaders were “asleep” while he did it “his way.” If the leaders had been awake, what would they have seen and stopped that wasn’t right out in the open all along? Should Jeff have done it their way and not build an excellent school from scratch; not gotten students, faculty, staff and parents excited and involved?

I have disagreed with your editorial positions many times, but you have taken your spiteful illogic to a new zenith on this one. Suggesting that he leave town is so stupid that it makes me wonder what is at the bottom of your real beef about him.

Tim Edwards

Puzzling redundancy
Truly, I appreciate the Enterprise-Record’s decision to include a Sudoku puzzle in each day’s paper. I’m one of the many millions of Sudoku addicts in North America, and I find myself filling out the little squares while at the breakfast table, sitting on the can, between swigs at the local tavern, and while dropping off to sleep, the puzzle at my bedside table, where it will beckon back to me in the morn.

But their efforts are redundant. My critical thinking skills are challenged enough reading the daily article penned by Roger Aylworth, as I attempt to triangulate his conflicts of interest, work through his logical inconsistencies, cipher out his grammatical cats cradle, and otherwise figure out what the hell he is trying to communicate.

I mean, thanks and all to the E-R, but no additional mental calculus is needed.

Tim Bousquet
received via e-mail