Letters for September 12, 2002

Some success
I was extremely disappointed in your article titled “Hot shots” [Aug. 22] regarding the success stories of the future “American leaders.” As a part of the Chico State student body, I feel your vision of success is misleading. Success is not only measured by the “green yardstick” called money. Success is not merely represented by your looks, the thickness of your wallet or your ability to climb the career ladder.

I admire the “Greek” sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, yet true generosity shows when we altruistically give to those out of our group. There are many people out there who could not care less about amassing a large sum of money or holding a prestigious job, yet they are successful under a non-capitalistic mentality. As Peter Singer would say, many choose to be “losers” and take the “perspective of the universe.”

We try to lead an ethical life, which intends to make a real difference in the life of human and non-human animals, by achieving higher levels of humanity. Some might say I am biased, that I secretly envy their “unstoppable success.” Not quite so. I feel sad for them. I live across the street from a fraternity house. Two days ago, an enormous Dumpster arrived at the house. The fraternity members pulled their furniture—more than 15 items including couches and mattresses in good condition—to the front lawn and methodically broke it before throwing it away.

A short call to the Goodwill or Salvation Army could have saved us form being in the presence of such a decadent demonstration of selfishness. However, they were probably too busy planning the next 10 years of their lives, trying to figure out how to be truly “successful.”

Susanna Bexall

Enloe expansion
Residents of the Chico Vecino neighborhood are looking forward to the meeting scheduled by Enloe Health System at which the corporate executives will present their expansion plans. (It’s on Tuesday, Sept 17, at 7 p.m. in the Enloe Conference Center, Fifth Avenue and the Esplanade.)

This proposed expansion has the potential to severely degrade the quality of life in our neighborhood if not properly mitigated. Increased traffic, noise and pollution generated during construction and continued by ongoing operations must be limited in order to preserve the livability of Chico Vecino.

I’d like to offer some suggestions that Enloe might incorporate into the plan and present to its neighbors:

1. Relocate the Flightcare Helicopter to Chico Municipal Airport (maybe Paradise Airport to avoid the winter fog). Limit rooftop flight operations to true “golden hour” emergencies.

2. Provide acoustic retrofits to homes in the neighborhood. For the purposes of this writing I’ll delineate the “neighborhood” as those homes between Mangrove and Warner, First Avenue and Tenth Avenue.

3. Provide $10,000 worth of free medical care per household per year, indexed to an appropriate medical cost/price index.

4. Enloe should fund traffic calming projects throughout Vecino.

5. No free parking.

6. No net loss of housing units.

These six points should be a start. I’m sure my neighbors will have other concerns. Knowing that Enloe Health System wishes to be a good neighbor, I’m sure we can all agree on a mutually satisfying plan.

Ed McLaughlin

Remembering CHS
I read your story on Chico High School [“Centennial highs,” Sept. 5]. I would like to tell you about my CHS memories. I graduated in 1933.

When they tore down the old high school, I wrote a poem that the Enterprise-Record published in the paper. It was called “Hail and Farewell.”

Mildred Craddock Mathazzi

Bleak future
Your Streetalk recently asked if the United States should invade Iraq [Aug.29]. I normally enjoy reading the responses to the weekly questions, as they can run the gamut from quirky to insightful. However, that week I was disturbed to read the answer from student Britta Goldman.

Her lack of concern for the events that will affect her life is astounding. Please tell me she is in the minority of students passing through our halls. If Ms. Goldman’s insights are typical of our student population, I fear we will become a nation of apathetic, Kelly Ripa’s-book-of-the-month-reading, non-voting automatons.

On the other hand, as my mother-in-law says, “The world needs ditch-diggers, too.” I wonder how Ms. Goldman might look with a shovel and pick in her hands?

Kathleen Lewis

Critical times
My initial reaction upon hearing the news of the first 9-11 attack was disbelief, which was followed by a persistent sadness that is still with me today.

As our parents felt on Dec. 7, 1941, my belief is that the attacks of a year ago brought an end to an era of innocence for our generation and those to follow.

Terrorism was always somebody else’s problem, not America’s. Finally, it has come home, in a way that is still beyond comprehension. Nearly 3,000 souls died that day last September because others do not like our system of government or the religion our forefathers brought to American four centuries ago.

We are now at war. It is not a war about land or resources. It is a war about hate and power and control. In some ways, it is The Crusades all over again.

I am not too concerned about what goes on in day-to-day Afghanistan. It is what is happening right here on our home front that has me scared. Just as the 50s had McCarthyism, blacklists and air raid drills, we now have terrorist alerts and secret courts and John Ashcroft. “The Reds are coming” has been replaced by “The Arabs are coming.”

As a democracy, we face a very delicate balancing task in the years to come. Civil liberty challenged by civil defense; The Bill of Rights versus the safety of a nation—which is not an unfamiliar debate.

It is my generation that is making these decisions that could affect our children and grandchildren. Let us be careful how we proceed.

Rod Angle

Show me the data
Somebody better ramp up the proofreading of your Guest comments, guys. John Omaha’s piece [“2027, a dissenting view,” Aug. 29] is so filled with the “unexamined givens” he accuses Robert Speer of, it’s laughable.

Mr. Omaha, show me the data that support your spurious statement, “Oil … will be depleted in 25 years.” Where is the proof? Further, how can you assert, “Water … will not be available in 25 years as it has been,” followed by the even more absurd, “Global warming is changing the patterns of precipitation in California"? These are folk tales; myths, not facts.

I realize there are flocks of emotion-driven people who sure as heck would like to blame humanity for our unpredictable weather and the destruction of the planet, but there is no scientific agreement about our fuel reserves, just as there is no scientific agreement that we are experiencing global warming. There is, however, a growing body of experts who believe we are on the verge of another ice age; that’s a little different than a warming planet, eh, John? And I love your statement, “Scientists recently calculated that sustaining our present population would require 1.2 Earths.” Oh year, which scientists?

Though appealing emotionally, your arguments fall flat when examined. I didn’t write the article, John, but if pressed I surely would have thought enough to include some factual evidence, especially when you so pointedly attack Robert Speer for his unsupported “givens.”

Nice try, Mr. Omaha, but the sky isn’t falling. Do your homework.

Von Grafen