Letters for October 6, 2011

I propose the idea of a bike path from the Chico State campus/Bidwell Mansion area going under The Esplanade through Lost Park, under the Camellia Way bridge, connecting to the recently finished Annie’s Glen bike path. This would essentially connect these areas with a seamless pedestrian- and bike-friendly path. Through this upgrade we would be not only cleaning up this area, but also making it safer and more accessible to the everyday public.

Brant Schuler

Thanks for all you and your staff do to make Chico a lovely place to live. Keep planting seeds, and some may grow.

Sandee Renault

Where’s the funding?

Re “A ‘paradigm shift’ in public safety” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Sept. 29):

I am very proud of how Butte County has stepped to the plate to implement AB 109. Many counties have groused about it and are simply wanting to continue the current practices of locking them up and throwing away the key (see Kern, for instance).

The current system, defended time and again by Assemblyman [Jim] Nielsen, has failed us miserably, and it is time we rejected the notion that you can simply warehouse people who commit crimes and expect them to come out as reformed citizens.

That stated, counties must have the assurances a constitutional guarantee of funding for these programs will give so they can plan and execute. That is what we must turn our attention to today—obtaining the constitutional protections.

Paul McIntosh
Executive Director
California State Association of Counties

Editor’s note: Mr. McIntosh is a former Butte County chief administrative officer.

‘Ann Schwab’s hoop’

Re “Madness and mystery” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Sept. 29):

[In his column,] Bob Speer says it’s a city’s job to “foster the conditions that attract businesses to town.”

I’ve never seen Speer at the monthly Economic Development Committee meetings. We actually had an economic-development director, Martha Wescoat-Andes. The only job Martha brought to town in two years was her own, at more than $130,000 a year plus benefits. When she left, the city dropped her position, leaving Mary Flynn chair of the committee.

At the last meeting I attended, a consultant hired by the city tried to tell Flynn and City Manager Dave Burkland that Chico is not attracting big employers because our airport service is inconsistent. Employers can’t even get here. But all Burkland had to say was, “There’s no demand to increase service.”

Before he left town, former Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Goodwin told the Finance Committee that employers are turned off by our over-priced housing. They couldn’t pay the kind of wages to support the $450,000 “starter homes” the City Council was permitting all over town.

I’ve read the Diversity Action Plan several times through, and I attended the discussions. It is cross-referenced with the [Climate] Action Plan, which I’ve also read. Both of these are job killers, requiring all kinds of onerous actions on the part of employers. As if, in this market, employers are going to jump through Ann Schwab’s hoop on their way to Texas to employ people.

Juanita Sumner

Leave the fish alone

Re “Where have all the salmon gone?” (Guest comment, by Allen Harthorn, Sept. 15):

Mr. Harthorn noted that the results of the most recent snorkel survey of the Butte Creek spring-run chinook salmon are dire, showing a return of only 2,000 fish. Mr. Harthorn also refers to a recent study that concluded that global warming alone will likely eradicate spring-run chinook salmon from Butte Creek by 2099.

Despite the low number of spring-run chinook salmon on Butte Creek and their anticipated extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has applied to the National Marine Fisheries Service for a permit to introduce an experimental population of spring-run chinook salmon into the San Joaquin River. If approved, the National Marine Fisheries Service will collect an estimated 300-2,700 eggs or juveniles each year from Northern California stocks of spring-run chinook salmon, including 100-900 eggs or juveniles from Butte Creek.

The marine service predicts that if air temperatures increase by 5 degrees Celsius by 2100, virtually no suitable spring-run chinook salmon habitat will exist in the San Joaquin River basin. Taking endangered fish and eggs from Butte Creek’s dwindling population and introducing them to poor conditions in the San Joaquin River for experimental purposes is nonsensical. Both services should abandon their attempted experiment, and instead focus their efforts on preserving the spring-run chinook salmon populations in Butte Creek and other Northern California streams.

Re-establishing spring-run chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River is a laudable goal, but it should not be pursued at the expense of the existing populations.

Katie J. Shea
O’Laughlin & Paris LLP

Attorneys for the San JoaquinTributary AssociationChico

Editor’s note: The San Joaquin Tributary Association is composed of the Modesto, Turlock, Merced, South San Joaquin and Oakdale irrigation districts.

Rumble in the ’hood

Re “Neighbors weigh in” (Letters, by John Lucas and Lyn Ellis, Sept. 29):

I am so happy that this time Mr. Lucas has put his name to something. What he failed to say is that I have complained about his parties and the people that he drags off the streets after they have panhandled money all day.

His talk about my loud music is nothing more than the pink elephants he dances with in his living room. There has never been a complaint from my neighbors on the floor that I live on about me or my music.

As far as the other writer’s assertion that they can’t visit their “friends” on the second floor, it is an absolute fantasy. There are a few white people who consider me an “uppity black man.” I am proud to say that I have contributed to my society, as opposed to these poor rock-throwers who live off of society and have done nothing with their lives. I am not afraid to say it: “Poor white trash.”

Jerry Harris
Chico/San Francisco

We want justice!

I am a close family friend to the family of the victim Richard Massey Jr. I feel that the Chico Police Department is not doing their job and finding justice in this matter. I feel that they are biased for the fact that he is part of the Ramirez family. They never found out what happened in little Grover’s murder, and to this day it still has never been solved.

Where is the justice? This is a minor who has been hurt by an adult and is fighting for his life at Enloe Medical Center. What really happened that night? My family and I stand behind the Ramirez family, and we demand justice in this case.

Nicole Gray


Our Sept. 22 Newslines story, “History in jeopardy,” about the threat that Bidwell Mansion may be shut down, contained some errors of historical fact. Although John Bidwell did blaze the California Trail, his group did not cross the Sierra Nevada in wagons, but rather on foot. Also, he was a major during the Spanish-American war, not a general. And, while he took part in the Bear Flag Revolt, he did not participate in crafting its flag. Our apologies for the errors, which have been corrected online.—ed.

Solyndra is a symbol—of rotten politics

Re “Solyndra as symbol” (Editorial, Sept. 22):

Critics of the Obama administration, aka individuals with brains, are not necessarily discrediting clean energy. Even those big banks that progressives love to hate are merrily investing in clean energy: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo have all invested in clean energy.

Wells Fargo, since 2006, has invested about $2.2 billion in renewable-energy projects, including funding for 35 wind projects and more than 220 solar projects in 26 states. In the Solyndra case, Congress is examining why the loan guarantees were approved despite the Bush administration’s refusal to support the same action in January 2009.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also exploring whether the administration violated the law by restructuring Solyndra’s loan last February to favor private investors over taxpayers in case the company were to default.

The fact that many of Solyndra’s biggest investors are also some of Obama’s biggest campaign contributors should, at minimum, make the editorial staff at the CN&R perform a bit more due diligence before writing an opinion piece that may come back to bite them in the proverbial. One can only imagine how the CN&R might opine if a classic case of crony capitalism resulted in half-billion dollar loss to the people and it occurred in a Republican administration.

And, to top it off, the executives of that company had the unmitigated gall to “take the Fifth.” Did you read/listen to far-left Rep. Waxman tell his tale of speaking with the principals of Solyndra about a month before they BK’d? Quick paraphrase—they told Waxman everything is going great!

I would suggest Solyndra is a symbol, a symbol of the same type of rotten politics you would decry if it was done by those “you can find on Fox News.”

Dave Gray
Formerly of Paradise and Chico

Laguna Hills