Letters for September 11, 2014
Blame the media
Re: “Don’t abandon downtown” (Editorial, Sept. 4):
A big part of the perception problem must be laid at the feet of local media, who are increasingly relying upon sensationalist reporting to attract eyeballs for advertisers.
Especially egregious in this practice is Action News Now, which has cynically featured social scareware to serve its own self-serving agenda. Late last fall they featured a story about a routine shoplifting incident with the headline “The Demise of Downtown?” The gist of it was that it is unsafe to shop in downtown Chico. Six weeks before Christmas. That isn’t just sleazy “journalism,” it’s irresponsible. Downtown Chico is the crown jewel of the tri-county area. Its proximity to the university means that it will always reflect the exuberance of the youth culture, keeping it vital and dynamic.
If the rest of Chico wants to preserve a thriving commercial district, however, they’re going to have to come represent. Don’t permit the alarmist broadcast media to frighten you away from our beautiful, historic downtown. These merchants and entrepreneurs are your neighbors, and every dollar spent downtown stays in the local economy. Be part of the solution. If you let a few transient outliers keep you from patronizing the 450 businesses in the city center, you’re part of the problem.
Disturbing welcome back
Re “Murder on Main Street” (Newslines, by Ken Smith, Sept. 4):
I am outraged that entering students at Chico State were welcomed with a dead body on their front doorstep and bums lying about on downtown sidewalks. This should not be the vision that greets them to Chico. Chico State University is the city’s second largest employer, contributing millions of dollars to the local economy, and the city and university need to deal with this situation immediately.
‘Join our efforts’
Re “Fracking still up in the air” (Downstroke, Aug. 28):
Let me recap what you might have heard: Dozens of people spent hundreds of hours collecting thousands of signatures to put a fracking ban on the November ballot. Oil/gas attorneys challenged the petition based on things like the boldness of font. We won in court thanks to the tenacity of Frack-Free Butte County volunteers, but then the Butte Republican party found a 30-day study in the election code—and the supervisors agreed there were questions so the study was ordered and the citizen initiative for the November ballot was pushed to 2016. The results of the “study” were flimsy and not much use to anyone.
The news now is that the supervisors’ own fracking ban will be ready for public viewing on Oct. 1 and will be reviewed at the county Planning Commission on Oct. 23. All fracking ban supporters will want to consider the county ban and give full support if it meets the purpose of an effective ban. We need unified pressure on the Board of Supervisors for a ban. Join our efforts at Frack-Free Butte County online and on Facebook.
About that billboard
Re “Grossly unfair images” (Letters, by Julie Danan, Aug. 28):
I intended my billboard to have impact. I am horrified that my taxes pay for weapons Israel uses to wreak carnage on Palestinians in Gaza. Pain caused by the billboard to the rabbi’s community is probably less than the pain of those who love the thousands of dead and maimed in Gaza.
If Israel had not killed with such vengeance so many children, I would not have done the billboard. If community relations are harmed by this, they must be rather shallow.
Palestinians have justified anger that is reflected in the barrage of rockets into Israel. Those rockets could be targeted at the military. Trouble is, the rockets are too primitive to target anything. Israel is definitely Goliath. Palestinians don’t have much other than their lives with which to resist Israel’s brutal occupation. When Palestinians held an Israeli soldier hostage, for a time they had some leverage. The Palestinians did capture and shoot three Israeli teens. In retaliation, Israelis captured, tortured and burned alive a Palestinian teen.
Early Zionist groups routinely used terrorism to gain the state of Israel.
Fair resolution or violence forever?
Not fans of the banners
Re “Military banners issue booted” (Downstroke, Aug. 21):
Instead of helping veterans, the banner proposal probably will result in encouraging more impressionable young people to join the military. And if they do, if an 18-year-old Chicoan joins the Army and goes to the Middle East and makes it back, research shows that they are more likely to be more homeless, more unemployed and more suicidal than their friends who did not go. How sad.
Why be a party to encouraging more young Chicoans to go that route? Let’s just say no to the banners. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to get to know some of Chico’s [by some estimates 80] homeless veterans and provide them with some shelter before winter? The tiny home village that CHAT is working on would be a more meaningful and durable response to the situation of many veterans and other homeless members of our community.
Military banners? Ha! I thought they were referring to the American flags now hanging all over town. I cringe whenever I see them, reminded of the WWII movies where Nazi flags hang from every perch. Historically, freedom is inversely proportionate to patriotic reminders. Want to snuff out freedom? Pass a bill and call it the Patriot Act. Gen. Eisenhower, when exiting the presidency, warned of the military-industrial complex. The American flag is a military banner. The U.S. now has military bases in 130 other countries and counting, all smugly flying stars and stripes on foreign soil. Soon school children will have to “pledge allegiance to the flag …” Oh, wait, they already do that.
Editor’s note: For more on this topic, see Newslines, page 11.
We need Medi-Cal providers
Re “The primary care quandary” (Healthlines, by Howard Hardee, Aug. 14):
My impression is that Chico Immediate Care provides valuable services and I can appreciate the owner’s business acumen for securing, via the CN&R, such an extensive ad for his new business venture. Mostly I am disappointed. By far the major impact of a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians is felt by those with some form of Medicaid. How does the opening of another clinic that refuses to take Medi-Cal constitute a service to our community?
A little comparison
Does everybody know that Chico City Manager Mark Orme makes $207,500 a year while Gov. Jerry Brown makes $173,987? Or here’s another. Chico Fire Capt. Dave Main makes $199,938 (excluding benefits) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel makes $199,700? We are supporting the election of Mark Sorensen (R), Scott Gruendl (D) and Reanette Fillmer (R) as the candidates most likely to do something about [city employee compensation]. But we all need to keep the pressure on them. The other candidates have refused to make a commitment, or support the current pay scales, or are proposing a sales tax increase to overpay even more.
Thirteen years later …
There’s an old cop saying “never believe in coincidence.” Had 9/11’s myriad coincidences been investigated, millions would be alive today. Only after being sued by 9/11 victims’ families did our government perform a total whitewash review of select 9/11 information 20 months later.
Was it coincidence when Donald Rumsfeld announced on 9/10 that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Pentagon, but was never mentioned again after 9/11? Coincidence that the investigation into the missing trillions was destroyed when the Pentagon was supposedly hit by a Boeing 757? Or that its duplicate files moved into WTC 7 also were destroyed, along with Enron’s, when WTC 7 was demolished in 6.6 seconds in the same day?
April Gallop, a Pentagon employee, claims a huge explosion destroyed a nearby wing, not a Boeing 757. When the FBI told Gallop what to say before any investigation, she sued Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
With thousands of video cameras and confiscated video, why haven’t we seen a plane hit the Pentagon? Why withhold evidence? When Gallop goes to trial, she could subpoena that evidence, but 10 years later it’s dismissed as frivolous by Judge John Mercer Walker Jr., George H.W. Bush’s first cousin.