Letters for October 20, 2011

Grow up, America

Re “The naked city, my ass” (Guest comment, by Jaime O’Neill, Oct. 6):

Jaimie O’Neill feels that it is important to point out how upset we should be about butt-naked men in San Francisco, where he lived “two decades ago.” Really? His sad assumption is that all of the people that he saw were gay. However, many heterosexuals are using the lack of nudity laws in S. F. to go “au naturel.”

Besides, I have been more often offended by the lack of “decorum” at our local Walmart (see www.peopleofwalmart.com), and that is not in Sin City.

More seriously, I must point out that it would be a fair comparison if we saw the following article in a Saudi Arabian newspaper: “Women seen in public, driving their own car and not wearing a burka.” Using O’Neill’s own words, “Call me insufferably intolerant, call me old-fashioned, but in this particular dust-up I’m siding with the people who have the right not to view” … your female body without the burka driving a car.

See how this plays out? If societies are going to evolve and allow for true human freedom, we have to allow for some bumps on the road. Without them, we are just as repressive as any dictatorship. You know, the US of A really does need to grow up.

Robert Zadra


Courses of action

Re “Turning anger into action” (Editorial, Oct. 6):

One thing the average person can do to stop the abject greed the banks have been pursuing is to stop using them.

A person can pull all of their money out of their bank and put it into a credit union. Credit unions are nonprofits that exist for their customers and the communities where they do business.

Interest rates on savings are about the same as banks, deposits are insured by the federal government, and it is usually easier to get a loan there than from a bank; especially if you are a depositor or have been doing business with them over time. A federal credit union has almost as many services as a bank and they are usually cheaper.

I switched my money back in 1997 and have never regretted it.

Robert C. Jordan

Student-loan debt now exceeds total credit-card debt in America to the tune of $946 billion, with no signs of it slowing down. Burying entire generations of Americans under so much student debt comes with a great cost: Because of these debts, millions of Americans are putting off starting businesses, getting married, having children and buying homes.

Because of all of this, the so-called “American Dream” has never been more threatened than it is today. The American taxpayers bailed out the financial industry when their house of cards inevitably came tumbling down; it’s now well past time that they do right by the American people who’ve done nothing wrong, but feel punished every day.

Ta’Shanne Horn

Occupy Chico: another view

Re “Occupy Chico: Group fragmented but dedicated” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Graham, Oct. 13):

While this article is accurate on points, its overall tone misrepresents what is happening at Occupy Chico.

This group was formed in support of and solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement while retaining local independence. Occupy Chico is in the process of developing local goals and statements together, rather than parroting the Wall Street group on all points. To do that respectfully takes time. Occupy Wall Street’s goals, actions and processes are available with a simple Google search.

As occurs at many City Council meetings, we had one person who shouted over other speakers rather than abide by the process. Also we had somebody arrive and demand immediate resolution to items newly developed or not on the agenda. This is normal parliamentary process redefined as confusion by the press.

A visit to Occupy Chico on any afternoon will demonstrate that the general public passing by is not confused but rather supportive and enthused. Come see for yourself.

John Poteet

Safety vs. sobriety

Re “Skyway House: Treatment center proposal creates scuffle” (Newslines, by Christine G.K. LaPado, Oct. 13):

[Skyway House Executive Director] Jennifer Carvalho is delusional. Quiet and serene setting for the residents? Have you ever been on The Esplanade? It’s one of the busiest and noisiest streets in Chico.

Your article doesn’t mention that when they build their “dorm” there will be no restrooms inside; those will be located in the former Montessori building.

What do people do who are in rehab? They smoke, and that smoke will drift right into residential houses, no matter if you build a 20-foot wall.

Carvalho also has no understanding of the fact that the Chico Police Department is understaffed. That is the jurisdiction calls of service will go to. Not Paradise PD, not Oroville PD, which are the only two agencies that support this facility, as was reported in the Chico E-R a few weeks ago.

What about the restraining orders that some of these women will have against former partners/abusers? How is one staff member going to deal with 25 women and visitors?

I am not against drug/alcohol rehab/treatment. But why put it across from a liquor store? Why put it next to Shasta Elementary, Peterson Park (where my children frequent) and the soon-to-be Amber Grove Place (Alzheimer’s facility)? There are hundreds of vacant buildings in Chico. Why in our subdivision?

Because you don’t care about the safety and value of our homes?

Sue Webb

I am one north Chico resident who does not fear the creation of an alcohol and drug treatment facility in my end of town. In fact, I welcome the new Skyway House facility as an important ally in our emerging collaborative effort to counter an ever-growing community problem.

Anyone who thinks that our parks, playgrounds and neighborhoods (all of them!) are not already regularly visited by persons with severe drug and alcohol issues is either hopelessly naïve or else has not been paying attention. If we are willing to tolerate addicts who are actively using in all parts of our community, why then can we not accept a well-organized venue for the use of those who have now chosen to work on being clean and sober?

Real progress on reducing the number of lives negatively affected and prematurely ended by drugs and alcohol will involve a number of different strategies all focused on the same outcomes. These measures should include education, restriction of access, legal incentives to seek rehabilitation, swift and sure punishment for illegal purveyors of dangerous substances, and more effective modes of treatment that are based on solid evidence rather than myths and pop psychology.

The Skyway House program has shown itself to be of great value in this regard, and should be supported as a key component of our efforts to combat the cancerous encroachment of chemical dependency in our region.

Carl Ochsner

She loves it

Re “TV you crave: Chico State alum Troy Johnson gets his own Food Network show” (Chow, by Sean Murphy, Oct. 13):

Love love love the show [Crave]! Troy is so awesome! My stomach always ends up hurting from laughing so hard after watching that show.

Jessica Jones
Los Angeles


In last week’s Best of Chico Readers Picks, we listed two incorrect addresses. Jennifer Sanchez, who tied for third place for Best General Practitioner, is at 1560 Humboldt Road, Ste. 2, 893-0105. Also we listed the Oroville location of Tong Fong Low, winner of Best Asian Cuisine. In Chico it is at 2072 E. 20th St., Ste. 100, 898-1388.—ed.


Last week we offered a correction of the figure given, in a “Top 10” list of local medical professionals who received income from pharmaceutical companies, for the amount of money Dr. Joel I. Barthelow received in the second half of 2010. Our correction gave the figure as somewhere between $1,001 and $10,000, as reported by the investigative website ProPublica. We have since learned the actual figure and can report that Dr. Barthelow should not have been on the Top 10 list.—ed.

Police profiteering?

Re “A letter to the president” (From This Corner, by Jeff vonKaenel, Oct. 13):

Law enforcement has a massive lobby and currently receives massive federal funding to eradicate marijuana due to older policies that are still in place. Getting the go-ahead to raid legal dispensaries and gardens lets them add thousands to their annual budgets, and if property and cash are seized the agency doing the raid gets to keep it for their department.

I would dare to say that the recent turn of events would be a way for Obama to gain support from this über-strong law-enforcement lobby. Is there a correlation between this law enforcement profiteering and the raiding of legal, safe cannabis operations? It seems so to me.

Rigzin Vassallo