Letters for October 24, 2002

When Halloween is outlawed …
Look out, Halloween’s coming, and it’s scarier than ever! Many Chicoans are looking forward to dress-up-and-pretend day, but others look upon it with dread. For the first time ever, I’m not sure which camp I’m in.

I’ve been downtown every Halloween for more than 15 years. This year has a new, menacing feel to it! I wouldn’t go if I didn’t have to, but I’ve been working to make Halloween safer for too long to run when it’s at its most dangerous.

For the last couple of years, I’ve witnessed acts of violence and destruction. Last year I was about 20 feet from one of the stabbings downtown. I’ve been dismayed by the growing presence of gangs and assorted jerks and thugs. I’m outraged by the violence and especially the sexual assaults! However, these violent elements have been about 1 percent of the Halloween merrymakers, until now.

Couldn’t 450 police officers get a better handle on the gangs and the violent troublemakers in the “NO ZONE,” if they weren’t so busy keeping Fifth Street open, especially since it’ll be closed to cars anyway?

Wouldn’t our local youth be more inclined to get with the program, if they were being talked with instead of at?

I’m grateful the mayor agreed to pull the plug on most of the out-of-town media campaigns, but tax dollars are still being misspent in counterproductive ways. The local ad campaign is alarmingly inflammatory.

It’s fermenting the rebellious spirit in our local young people and will encourage more troublemakers of all ages to check it out. The model the police are using could result in upward of 1,000 arrests.

If you are young, remember being young, or have raised youngsters, you know the forbidden fruit always tastes the sweetest. What the City Council has decided to do, forbid the young their fun, has been tried by parents since time began, and will probably be even less successful on the mob then with the individual young people. If the celebration is outlawed, won’t only outlaws celebrate?

Richard Elsom

War requirement
Before any U.S. congressperson may cast a vote giving President Bush permission to invade Iraq, each representative should be required to submit, with their vote, a declaration stating that the representative or a member of his or her immediate family has enlisted in the armed forces to fight on the front lines against Iraq. In this way, the wealthy, educated and privileged class, who are responsible for sending the United State into war, will put their lives directly on the line to “defend our country against evil.”

I have a feeling, given such a requirement, this bellowing for war would shrink to a whimper, and our poor and minority young men and women, who make up the majority of the armed forces, would no longer be expected to kill and die to preserve our wealthy citizens’ money interests.

Evanne O’Donnell

Third party now!
We are waging a war that will not be won with bombs or weapons but with sharing of knowledge, wealth and resources in creative ways. Can you imagine the good we could do in the world if we spent the money that we spend on war helping people succeed in other countries?

Corporations are acting without restraint in ways that are detrimental to the general public. Corporations own major-party candidates due to large campaign contributions. I am voting for Green Party candidate Camejo for governor and any other intelligent third-party candidate who shares my vision. A vote for candidates of the two major parties is a wasted vote!

Norm Dillinger

Put people first
The upcoming election is one that should be of pressing interest to Chico voters. The impact of a City Council dominated by developer-supported councilmembers has become very evident, as our town seems every day to look and feel a little more like Orange County, Fresno or Fremont. As traffic snarls and cookie-cutter subdivisions crawl up the foothills, one question keeps coming to mind: “Isn’t there a better way?”

We need city councilmembers who will consider innovative ways to address the problems of sprawl, traffic and lack of affordable housing. Voting for Maureen Kirk, Scott Gruendl and Barbi Boeger will provide us with a City Council that represents not just developers, but the wide spectrum of interests that make up Chico.

Maureen has already proven herself as an even-keeled, thoughtful supporter of parks and wise growth. Scott is intelligent, energetic and has a deep understanding of city planning. Barbi is a straight shooter who thinks independently and is highly motivated to protect Chico’s distinctive character.

Electing Scott, Maureen and Barbie will give Chico a council that puts people ahead of money and power.

Hilary Locke

Poor plan
Health care affects everyone. Rich or poor, young or old, we all need access to quality health care. Every person in this community is dependent upon Enloe to provide the highest quality care available.

Enloe recently unveiled its plan, “Vision 2020.” It is the same plan that was unveiled to Enloe’s doctors a year and a half ago. In essence, it also is the plan promised to Enloe’s medical staff in 1998, when the old Community Hospital was consolidated into the sites Enloe currently uses.

In the nearly four years since, how much progress has been made? Enloe went on diversion in the summer of 2000, meaning people who needed treatment were sent elsewhere. Is this what we want? Now that the staff is pressured to not declare a “diversion,” people are simply made to wait. And wait. And wait. Do we want this?

Your story that envisioned Chico in 25 years [“25 years from now,” Aug. 15] took Enloe’s plan at face value, which is definitely different from the typical skeptical tone you usually have for anything corporate.

Enloe’s plan for 18 years from now is completely and absolutely inadequate. In order to achieve it, numerous public hearings, environmental-impact reports and other protests and delays will have to be overcome.

Enloe already owns 250 acres zoned for a hospital with far better access than the current residential neighborhood. Enloe’s administration dismisses the possibility of building on the acreage because of an exaggerated and non-documented cost. Enloe should begin planning for quality care close to home. Now.

Barry Johnson

Great Scott
I am writing to endorse Scott Huber for Chico Unified School District trustee. I have worked many times in the past with Scott on several community projects. A couple of the more notable ones are, first, as a Bidwell Park Watch volunteer. He, along with several other citizens, spent time in the park answering visitors’ questions and alerting rangers to any problems that might arise.

During my term as president of the board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte County, he was a candidate and eventual winner of Big Citizen for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Event. He raised several thousand dollars for the organization, which benefits the local at-risk youth in the area.

His dedication to those two projects and the many other volunteer programs that he has been a part of prove to me that he is a person who believes in the youth of this community and is willing to do what it takes to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed. He is a leader at work, at play, and in his community involvement. He has exactly what it takes to be a School Board member: dedication, integrity and above all enthusiasm for the youth of this community.

I am proud to be able to endorse Scott Huber for Chico Unified School District trustee.

Bob Donohue