Letters for October 3, 2002

Join us
I believe Ms. Phyllis Bond’s letter [“Abuse of power,” Sept. 19] is the second where Measure G proponents have complained about County Auditor Dave Houser signing both the independent analysis of the impacts of Measure G and the Argument Against Measure G. Evidently, those who support taking $2.5 million from Butte County every year cannot appreciate the fact that the auditor can perform his professional responsibilities without compromising his personal position on issues important to the taxpayers of Butte County.

Measure G is bad for Butte County. Measure G will lead to losses in law enforcement, fire protection and other public services. Measure G is not a grassroots campaign; proponents paid $20,500 to professional signature collectors to qualify it for the ballot. Dave Houser recognized that in signing the Argument Against Measure G, but that did not detract him from his professional obligation of providing an impartial analysis of the impacts Measure G will have on Butte County finances. Apparently the special-interest groups who proposed Measure G find that difficult to understand.

Join Dave Houser, County Clerk Candace Grubbs, County Assessor Ken Reimers, Sheriff Scott Mackenzie, Sheriff-elect Perry Reniff, District Attorney Mike Ramsey, Butte County firefighters, the Butte County Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Butte County Deputy District Attorneys Association, the Chico Chamber of Commerce, the Republican Central Committee and all five members of the Butte County Board of Supervisors, as well as many others, in opposing Measure G.

Michael P Candela
President, Butte County
Deputy District Attorneys Association

Viral soup
The mosquito-borne West Nile virus has made its first appearance in California, in West Los Angeles on Sept. 7. This is months ahead of experts’ timelines of anticipated arrival. Given that it may only be a short matter of time before it reaches Butte County, and while we may not realize it, we may have a ticking time bomb right in our back yard.

Teichert Pond is an artificially created swamp that occurred when gravel was mined during Highway 99 construction. A spring was opened during digging, and the gravel pit filled with water. Now we have a swamp, previously privately owned, now owned by the city. It’s a mosquito heaven. Being close to the freeway, there’s a good chance for a mosquito “hitchhiker” to find its way there.

New-home construction is going up all around it, and while mosquitoes have been a nuisance, now they may very well be a deadly threat. Has the city considered its public-safety position on these ponds? It seems to be a huge potential for mosquito-vectored virus transmission. And come springtime, our hallowed “vernal pools” all over Butte County may become similar viral vector reservoirs.

I urge the city to quickly consider options for mosquito abatement and cleanup of the Teichert Pond. Being artificially created by road construction, it’s not a protected environment. I believe immediate action is warranted to ensure public safety.

Anthony Watts

The good landlords
Your “Best reason not to call your landlord” comments, instead of recognizing good landlords, attempts to vilify most landlords in Chico [“Best of Chico, Editors’ Picks,” Sept. 19].

Most landlords in Chico take good care of their apartments and their residents. Most landlords in Chico take repair calls seriously and promptly repair items covered by California’s extensive habitability laws. Most landlords in Chico would not engage in activities you theoretically describe in your fictional statement about the “troublemakers in 4-C.”

Factual inaccuracies in your article include the assertion that [Chico State University] enrollment is up. In fact, enrollment is down by 500 FTE ("full-time equivalency"), or 600-700 persons. You also state that developers are not building units. In fact, many new units have been built in the past couple of years, and hundreds will be built shortly by several developers (not Sterling).

I suggest you take a more proactive and responsible approach by: properly fact-checking information before publishing it; suggesting that victims of negligent landlords contact CLIC for information on protecting their rights; suggesting that victims of negligent landlords contact the North Valley Property Owners Association, which represents landlords owning 14,000 units in Chico; suggesting that renters move to another apartment if unhappy with the landlord or rent. There are plenty of choices and many vacant units in Chico now.

William Sheridan

Is that a gun?
Sport hunting is a form of masturbation. Before you get upset, allow me to explain. What is masturbation? Masturbation is a substitute for the real thing. Sport hunting is a substitute for war. Hunters dress as if going into battle, but instead of fighting an enemy they kill defenseless animals. The only thing a hunter needs to fear is getting shot by a drunk hunter. It just wouldn’t be proper to allow hunters to masturbate in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve.

Joel Felice

Best community event … and the winner is … Saturday Farmers’ Market! The people have spoken. Perhaps now the Chico City Council will give the Saturday Farmers’ Market some respect.

The market is feeling growing pains and recently requested that the city allow it to close one block of Wall Street and one block of Third Street. The city refused, stating that it would hurt the businesses located on these streets. Well, on Third Street there are no businesses. On Wall Street you’ve got three: The Brick Works, Christian Michael’s and The Garden Walk Mall. The first two are not even open during the market and the mall would only benefit from the market. On the other hand, the city bends over backwards for the downtown Thursday Night Market, closing Broadway, one of the major streets through town.

Whatever personal vendetta our city leaders have against the Saturday Farmers’ Market should be overlooked for the good of our town.

John Geiger

Green dream
This is a chance for all of you former idealistic Democrats—now in public employment—who’ve found that you can no longer in all good conscience vote for Gray Davis to purge yourselves of all your past political shame and vote your heart of hearts for a change. With a real chance of winning!

The old argument of the “spoiler” doesn’t apply here, as both Demos and Repubs are now corporate, so there is no “lesser of two evils.” Also, the clichéd job security argument is wearing transparently thin. Not only won’t you lose your job, but you might find that your job function will actually be re-wired to produce tangible positive good on a daily basis and you can live in your Utopian dream.

In this November’s election, the Green Party’s Peter Camejo for governor could well get the vote from the general mass of people who are fed up with the polluting, tax-exempted, bailed-out corporate rule because finally they’ve found a candidate who isn’t bought and sold by big biz. Also, all the citizens’ special-interest groups whose issues haven’t been addressed by either party for years are strongly behind Camejo. And Hispanics may in fact vote in block for their man, so it might all ready be a done deal.

But just in case, what might be needed is for some of you former freethinking ideologues who are now so entrenched in the bureaucracies to vote your heart of hearts for a breath of fresh air change, and then perhaps it could be a landslide. Victory! And just think a side benefit will be that you can once again look in the mirror and see someone who has the ethics and values of a freethinking citizen who truly believes in a hopeful future!

David Sherrod