Letters for October 27, 2005

Jaded opportunist
With all due respect to a fine paper I read regularly, what the hell was the point of Mark Lore’s absurd, disrespectful and mean-spirited attack on hard-working locals Red With Envy [Scene, “The Envy of everyone” Oct. 20]? While I normally enjoy any effort to make local artists laugh at themselves, Mr. Lore’s story on RWE’s bass player woes seemed bitter and unprofessional

When this band (or any other) is on top of the world, CN&R is more than eager to borrow from their success with cover stories and multi-page spreads. Now that these strong contributors to the local music scene are down a man and fighting to get back on track, CN&R sponsors this cheap-shot. What’s worse, once these guys do recover their position, we can all count on this paper jumping back on the bandwagon. If Lore’s intent was to be funny or light-hearted, I’m too dense to pick it up. Instead, I read the tale of a jaded, opportunistic journalist delighting in the chance to mock and belittle a band’s sincere efforts and ambitions.

I’ve read RWE s audition guidelines and find nothing crazy about them. If nothing else, they protect would-be members from disappointment and current members from wasting their time with clowns like Mark Lore. You weren’t worth 22 minutes of auditioning, nor was your story worth the time I spent reading it (twice.)

Bob Zammit

Sensational PR
I read the recent article regarding the lady who is no longer receiving water from Mt. Shasta Water with great interest [Newsline, “No water for you,” Oct. 20]. It seems to me that both parties were well within their rights to take the actions they did.

Ms. Oshima is certainly entitled to her free-speech rights, and flying those flags is consistent with those rights. Ms. Oshima had to realize that such a bold political statement would generate a reaction. I am a little surprised that she seemed upset about the response from her supplier.

Mt. Shasta Water Company is also completely free to decide who it wants to do business with. The decision supports its driver who has strong feelings about this matter for obvious reasons. It is refreshing to see that a company would support its driver to the extent that Mt. Shasta Water did.

In the end, though, I am sure Ms. Oshima will obtain her water from other suppliers, and her business will continue with little or any interruption of her business. I respect her for having the courage to take the stand that she did, even though I am in substantial disagreement with her.

Thanks to the CN&R’s sensational coverage, Mt. Shasta Water will undoubtedly reap the benefits of its action by picking up new business because the message is very mainstream in our community. I am glad that both parties involved have the absolute right to do what they did. This illustrates why we Americans are so lucky.

William Sheridan

Free to choose
I support Wendy Oshima in her right to fly the flags of Cuba, Palestine and pre-occupation Iraq to show support for the people who live in those countries.

If Mt. Shasta Water Company truly does not want to do business with those people who do not support our troops or our government, then I suggest it actually poll its customers as to their political views. If the nightly news is any indication, Shasta would find many of its customers not in support of our government and its policy in Iraq. Of course, Shasta is in business to make a profit, so I don’t really expect it to go to the trouble to find out what its customers political beliefs are. Or maybe Shasta would just like people to keep their political beliefs to themselves.

I support Shasta’s decision to not sell water to whoever they please for whatever reason they choose. As for me, I have chosen to never do business with Shasta again. I have also chosen to send copies of the CN&R article about Shasta/Wendy Oshima to all of my friends and have encouraged them to make copies and let all of their friends know about Shasta’s fascist policies.

Burke Lee
Received via email

Water war
Your story about Wendy Oshima and Mt. Shasta Springs Water Company drips with irony: The company wants to penalize Wendy for exercising the very freedom it claims our troops are fighting for in Iraq. (Anyone who still believes our troops are fighting for our freedom in Iraq must be drinking from the cup of government propaganda.) After reading your story I felt like I was drowning in the hypocrisy of this water company. We all have a thirst for truth and freedom that this company’s beliefs and water cannot quench.

In any event the geniuses at Mt. Shasta Springs may want to re-evaluate their new marketing strategy. Considering the popularity of this war, if the company insists on selling its products only to war supporters its business will evaporate like water in the Iraqi desert. Consumers will leave Mt. Shasta Springs Water Company as high and dry as it left Wendy Oshima.

Reggie Perrin

What then?
Wendy Oshima’s dispute with Mt. Shasta Spring Water raises an interesting issue for me. Oshima comes across as a sympathetic character, wrongfully denied service by a local business on the basis of her leftwing political views on Iraq and her disrespectful display of an American flag. Disregarding the issue of whether or not a private individual or business has the right to do/not do business with whomever it pleases, I have a few questions.

Suppose, rather than being a left-leaning daughter of an American World War II internment camp survivor, the homeowner in question had been a white male prominently displaying a Confederate flag in front of his house. And suppose the bottled-water delivery person was a black man (or woman) whose father had been beaten by Bull Conner’s deputies during Martin Luther King’s march on Birmingham in the 1960s? What then would the reaction be toward his and his company’s refusal, on matters of principle, to do business with the homeowner?

I think we all know the answer. The deliveryman and the company would be praised for their courage and integrity. They would be praised for “taking a stand,” with the homeowner condemned as an ignorant, redneck racist. There would be no discussion of violating anyone’s civil rights.

Harley C. Jamieson

Doggone parking
I’m so pissed at the city of Chico. I used to pay $2 a day to park one block from work. Now it’s $4! They are forcing me to walk three blocks and pay nothing! Granted, I feel better after the walk and it gives me a little time to unwind after work. And I will save $800 in meter fees this year…Huh? Maybe I’m not so pissed after all.

John Geiger
Crazy Dog
First and Ivy