Letters for October 3, 2019

Outlaw the opposition

Re “Moving forward” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Sept. 26):

Rob Berry, who opposes programs like Simplicity Village—that provide shelter and services for homeless people that get them off the streets, such as what has been successfully done in Marysville among other places—may plan to sue in court.

Building and opening these facilities really should be a federal policy, and it should be illegal for anyone to appeal or take any actions to block or delay this from being done.

In regards to Anna Meehan singing her own rendition of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” to support Simplicity Village—which people in the gallery joined in on—unfortunately, people like Berry and his cohorts at Chico First (or whatever it’s called) lack any love in their hearts. That people die on the streets doesn’t matter to them, and this is putting it mildly.

Walter Ballin


Tenants take the reins

The city of Chico has been discussing the housing crisis, yet they have largely failed to include tenants as stakeholders. Politicians, financiers and those salivating at potential profits insist the only solution is for-profit market-rate development, doubling down on the failed market solutions that created this mess. We demand that governments put people before profit—because it is the only way to build sustainable, affordable and secure long-term housing.

The only way to address our housing catastrophe is a bold program of housing democracy where tenants have agency as stakeholders and shape policy. We need creative solutions that remove housing stock from the speculative market, integrate affordability and carbon neutrality, and are the foundation of strong communities. Renters need robust protections that give them the security they need in their daily lives rather than leaving them prey to greedy landlords.

Join the Chico DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), Tenants Together and others as we advance this vision and build the political power necessary to achieve it. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2-4 p.m., at the Dorothy F. Johnson Center, 775 E. 16th St. Free food and child care!

Steven Breedlove


Two on the editorial

Re “Planet, national security at risk” (Editorial, Sept. 26):

Do you think it’s an overstatement to say a few reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post are saving our republic? No wonder Trump spends so much energy attacking “fake news.”

Thank you, reporters—including the CN&R—and the few courageous whistleblowers inside the administration. The question is not whether impeachment is politically advantageous for Democrats but rather whether there are consequences for treasonous acts, lies, extortion, breaking the law and defending dictators rather than allies.

Gayle Kimball


Years ago, in conversation with a young woman, I mentioned my obsession with the notion that until we forgo high-greenhouse-gas-emitting luxuries, like burgers and plane fights, I’ll doubt our eco-sincerity. The young woman replied that my generation (old) might be willing to give up flights, but that hers (millennials) want to travel—their contribution would be to eschew plastic water bottles. (BTW, one round-trip flight from California to Europe is the GHG equivalent of using 25,000 water bottles.)

Our latest environmental medicine is to listen to the young, to Greta: “You adults need to try harder!” If our “trying harder” means consumption is pared down by 80 percent—i.e., to what’s necessary to bring the average U.S. consumer inside sustainable limits—are youngsters ready to make this sacrifice; to embrace dislocation on the scale felt during natural disasters or economic collapse? So far, I don’t hear them saying so.

A couple of small, concrete suggestions for America’s high school students: Begin by striking for 100 percent plant-based cafeterias and the elimination of extramural sports and all other unnecessary fossil fuel- and electricity-gulping school activities. Shift recreational emphasis to small-scale food production. If these steps sound nutty, you have much in common with the “adults.”

Patrick Newman


Not an acronym

Re “A call to Republicans: Support LGBT rights” (Guest comment, by Mark Segal, Sept. 26):

I am more than a letter and I am not that acronym that the press continually uses.

Why does guest columnist Mark Segal refer to gay people as LGBT? He was clearly writing about gay marriage, so why include transgender people in the story? He used the phrases LGBT rights, LGBT people and LGBT youth. Are there really bisexual kids running around?

Transgender rights are different. Unlike gays and lesbians, transgender people who cannot so easily “pass” don’t get equal treatment in job hunting.

There is no LGBT rights movement and there are no LGBT people. Someone can’t be all those things? So, why do we always get grouped together as an LGBT community? We do not all hang out together.

Sure, there are places like Stonewall Alliance Center that is a resource center for the sexual and gender minorities, but I never hear that acronym used there.

LGBT seems to be an acronym used by people who are not gay, lesbian or transgender. Of course they do, especially when the media continues to use that inaccurate description. Some transgender people may also be gay or lesbian, but calling me an LGBT person is offensive and unnecessary.

Tedra Thomsen


LaMalfa in hiding

Why is Doug LaMalfa afraid to debate, to hold town halls, to look his constituents in the face and speak the truth? Why does he continue to vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which will deprive millions of health care?

LaMalfa has voted over 94 percent of the time in support of Donald Trump’s policies, such as killing children’s lunch programs and dismantling the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps lift people out of poverty, and helps feed tens of thousands of military families.

LaMalfa seems unconcerned about the effects of dirty air and dirty water on people’s lives. He repeatedly supports Trump’s rollback of regulations that protect the environment but don’t produce the jobs they tout; it only increases fossil fuel corporations’ profits. Trump’s EPA stands for Every Pollution Allowed and LaMalfa wholeheartedly agrees as he burns his chemically infested rice fields.

LaMalfa is a coward: no town halls, only ribbon-cutting ceremonies; hiding in safe districts for debates; and his staff rarely answers phone. Maybe LaMalfa should adopt the Four Seasons’ 1964 pop single “Silence Is Golden” as his campaign slogan; it will serve him well, but not his constituents.

Roger S. Beadle


Wrong power couple

I was delighted to see the photographs of Ivanka and Jared surrounded by the children of Angola. Their work in aiding the people and children affected by disastrous land mines is truly commendable, and should answer their critics who … What’s that? I’m being told that I’m getting Ivanka and Jared mixed up with Megan and Harry. Apologies! Never mind!

Lynn Elliott