Letters for October 22, 2015
Hail to the queen
Re “Best of Chico 2015” (Cover story, by CN&R staff and contributors, Oct. 15):
I would like to nominate Melanie King as Best Prom Queen!
Editor’s note: Ms. King was a cover model for the Best of Chico issue (see image above).
Remembering Mr. Preusser
Re “Goodbye, Charlie” (Newslines, by Mandy Feder, Oct. 15):
Charlie Preusser was a kind and decent man who never shied away from voicing his opinion. The first time I ever heard the term “neo abolitionist” was from the mouth of Charlie Preusser. He was a tireless advocate for Chico State students as well as anyone under the oppression of civil and human rights violations. He’ll be dearly missed and fondly remembered!
The Chico community lost an Orland boy, who became a Chico institution. As Bill Sheridan stated, Charlie Preusser he was the best friend of youth. Preusser came to Chico State and never left. Many a student at Charlie’s Tau Gamma Theta fraternity had a mentor in Charlie, to help them move forward in life.
One correction to the CN&R story: It was stated he was the student body president from 1970-71, but actually it was 1971-72, as I still remember taking the gavel from Charlie when I became student body president.
Editor’s note: A call to the Associated Students Government Affairs Office confirmed this. The story has been corrected online.
About Bill Such
Re “Such is gone” (Downstroke, Oct. 15):
I read with deep sorrow and a bit of outrage your news item about Bill Such and his dismissal as director of the Jesus Center. I am a little ashamed to admit that Bill Such had to teach me the value of feeding hungry people—I stood firmly on the belief that we had to change the structures that create abject poverty.
While I could work in education and for long-term change, they were hungry. Most people who were hungry were there through no fault of their own; war, broken families, splintered souls, drugs, alcohol, bad breaks all in a row—truly, hungry people need compassion and care and food.
Bill, working with people from all over the community, supported and developed ideas to break the cycle where it could be broken. The flower cart, the garden, the writing groups, the résumé workshops, the place to get mail, the phone calls, the clothes, the sit down and visits.
Bill is a man of extraordinary integrity, of profound empathy, with an uncommon willingness to engage in conversation, ideas, plans, solutions. Chico was lucky to have his voice for as long as we did, and I hope his reason and compassion can continue to illuminate the serious issues we face in our community.
‘Stop the proliferation’
Re “Guns don’t kill people …” (Letters, by Nathan Esplanade, Oct. 15):
Nathan Esplanade wrote that the public outcry for tighter gun control laws that “always follows highly publicized but rare shootings is superstitious.” He doesn’t like gun control laws and believes they’re ineffective. He adds that guns don’t kill people, people do.
Sadly, Esplanade may be right that efforts to stop firearms from being sold to dangerous people and mental cases won’t prevent many shootings. There are already so many guns in our society that effective gun possession controls may be unreliable. Still, it makes no sense to simply resign ourselves to the fact that some 36 innocent people are killed by guns daily. If we simply accept such madness, shouldn’t we stop trying to prevent terrorist attacks, which kill far fewer Americans?
Finally, if “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” then atomic bombs don’t kill people, either. Actually, weapons enable killing, and the absence of firearm weapons will abate much killing. We need to stop the proliferation of guns in our society and reduce their number, the same approach we take to nuclear weapons.
Speaking of guns
Gun control advocates believe guns are a serious problem and that background checks and waiting periods to purchase guns are accordingly justified. After all, Americans today own 357 million guns—more than one per person—and in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11,208 Americans were killed with guns.
This may seem like a lot, but in the same year, over 100 times that number (1.2 million) died from drinking, smoking or overeating. This includes 796,000 from heart disease, 156,000 from lung cancer, 76,000 from diabetes, and 29,000 from drinking, including 18,000 alcoholic liver disease.
Instead of wasting resources on gun control, government should instead focus its efforts on stopping the sale and use of alcohol and drugs—a frequent cause of gun violence.
A good place to start would be to assign a free, government-provided career counselor to every American. These counselors would ensure everyone had continual access to a satisfying, well-paying job. Such would enable citizens to avoid the financial desperation that often drives people to start abusing alcohol and selling drugs—behaviors that could make them even more desperate and eventually culminate in their shooting someone.
‘Apples and oranges’
Re “Cheapskate Walmart” (Letters, by Bob Mulholland, Oct. 15):
Mr. Mulholland needs to take a course in basic accounting and how not to mix apples and oranges. First, total revenues are not profits, so his $473 billion tells us very little about what the local Walmart extracted from the local community. The company gave $13,000 to local charities; what did they give nationally/internationally?
I doubt there are “many” locals who donate $13,000 per year to local charities, and if they do, most of them probably extracted considerable wealth from the local economy, or at least from someone. Perhaps Mr. Mulholland is one of them? This is not a defense of Walmart, but rather showing a rather glaring example of using irrelevant facts to support an agenda/ideology.
Let’s talk about death
Re “Virginia and Brittany” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Oct. 8):
By referencing your loving relationship with your grandmother, courageous activist Brittany Maynard, and Gov. Brown’s recent signing of the End of Life Option Act, your voice and story have been added to the national dialogue we are having on death, breaking the taboo of having open conversations about death’s place in the circle of life.
The elephant in the room has been invited in with compassion, caring gestures and loving hearts. Our culture is evolving and reclaiming the sacredness, richness and depth of connection possible with embracing death. Voices heard: singers offering song to the dying (thresholdchoir.org), green burial options (greenburialcouncil.org), group conversations (deathcafe.com), an edgy and humorous educational site (theorderofthegooddeath.com), and support and education available to families desiring a home funeral (homefuneralalliance.org).
Locally, we have the Alliance for Support and Education in Dying and Death, with monthly meetings. The alliance is offering an interactive workshop, Befriending Death, exploring death and remembrance in creative ways on Nov. 1, 1-6 p.m., at the Chico Women’s Club. Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, Oct. 28. Join in on the conversation! Email email@example.com or contact Rebecca Senoglu 588-6175.
Protect the buffer
I can not believe that the Butte County Department of Development Services has the audacity to come up with a zoning proposal to reduce the Butte County agricultural buffer to less that 300 feet. This is not just along the Greenline, but throughout the county where ag meets residential.
The proposed ordinance allows developers to be able to ask for a reductions in the ag setback to as little as 25 feet. The long-standing 300-foot ag buffer is there to protect the public’s health and well-being. This proposed ordinance even prohibits homeowners from ever being able to sue for damages if they are ever harmed, which is almost impossible to prove.
Where are the county Public Health Department’s heads that are paid to protect and serve the health and well-being of the citizens of Butte County? They must speak out to protect the people of Butte County for generations to come. This proposed ordinance goes before the county Planning Commission at 9 a.m., Oct. 22. This proposed ordinance is a violation of the public trust doctrine and must be stopped.
In last week’s Best of Chico issue, the winners of Best Place to Buy Art were accidentally left out. Chico Paper Co. took first place, Art Etc. placed second and 1078 Gallery took third. We apologize for the omission, which has been corrected online. —ed.