Letters for September 15, 2005

Correction: The Sept. 1 backbeat, “Blowing it bigtime,” suggested that jazz great Dizzy Gillespie is still alive. In truth, Gillespie’s not just dizzy, he’s also dead. The story should have said that Greg “Gizzy” Gisbert will be touring with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band.

Washed away
The response to Hurricane Katrina is nothing less than a national disgrace. It is essential that an independent commission investigate the failures at all levels of government so that we will be better prepared to manage future crises, including a possible terrorist attack.

It is self-evident that such an investigation must be independent of the politicians of both parties and that it have its own investigators, budget and subpoena authority. Only then can we be sure that the truth will be discovered, thus allowing us to learn from our mistakes.

Michael H. Goloff, M.D.

Tell me why
The government’s response to the Katrina disaster was completely inadequate and incompetent. Tragically it appears that many needlessly died or will die as a result. Our government’s response is a national disgrace!

Why wasn’t there an immediate, around-the-clock evacuation of those desperate people by helicopters and amphibious vehicles? Why were these people stuck for days with little or no water, food or medical attention in the Superdome and other locations including those trapped in their homes? Why were the elderly, sick and helpless abandoned to die? Why did the government let the city descend into lawlessness and mayhem and become a literal hell on Earth? Just what have the trillions of dollars spent on “homeland security” and “national defense” bought us?

If our government can’t deal with the aftermath of a hurricane in an American city with a population of 485,000 what makes it think it can rule Iraq, a country of more than 24 million people that’s half way around the world? And why are our National Guard and reservists half-a-world away when they are desperately needed at home (as are the hundreds of billions of dollars being squandered in Iraq)?

Our government officials are criminally negligent and every one of them from Bush on down should be held accountable. And seeing the press conferences and photo ops of these “public servants” where they show more concern about covering their butts and salvaging their public images than in doing their jobs is just disgusting.

Ken Demorro

Double standard
I enjoyed your cover story “Two Worlds” of Arab Muslims living in Chico [Sept. 1].

I would have appreciated it if the reporter had challenged them on their vague assertions that America may have had the World Trade Center destroyed to drum up support for attacking Iraq (do they remember Afghanistan?) That type of conspiracy theory to shield Arabs from guilt doesn’t deserve a forum.

I would have been even more interested if your reporter had asked them if they appreciated the irony that they could sit in Chico and not have any problems with harassment when Christians and other faiths and cultures cannot do the same in the “enlightened” Muslim Arabic countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

Pillars of morality.

Brian Clark

Watts he thinking?
Must he stoop so low? A letter was recently circulated at Bidwell Perk Coffee shop by CUSD Trustee Anthony Watts. Copies of the letter were allegedly left in the council chambers by some unknown person prior to the previous night’s school board meeting. This letter was an unsigned, untrue, vile and shameless personal attack on a CUSD employee. In the hope of taking this slanderous letter out of circulation, at least at the coffee shop, I asked Watts if I could have the letter. His ownership became immediately apparent. A dark cloud passed over the self-imagined continent of Anthony Watts as he bellowed: “You can’t have it because I said so.”

The letter was a desperate personal attack on the energetic, entrepreneurial former principal of Marsh Junior High who raised unimaginable amounts of money for education and who was wrongfully maligned by the district as explained by the recent Grand Jury Report. Apparently the district leadership is looking so bad over this incident that Anthony Watts feels the need to personally slander a man who is currently teaching fourth grade and wants his privacy. Watts may not have authored the letter, but he passed it around in public. In legalese this is republication, or libel.

This kind of behavior by a trustee is pathetic. Anthony Watts should resign, be reprimanded, recalled, sued or all of the above. Or maybe he should go back to school.

Marshall Thompson

Camp mistake
I would like to thank the CN&R for the article about Camp Casey Chico [“Chico’s Camp Casey, cover story, Sept. 8]. Your even- handed approach to a very controversial subject is appreciated.

As the speaker whose words were used in your article, I have to apologize for being misquoted. I asked that my name not be used, because what I had to say was as a veteran, and that I spoke for a lot of veterans, not all. I would never assume the right to speak for all Vets.

I hope that that one misquote didn’t offend any of my brothers or detract from the content of what I had to say.

Keep up the good work, and please keep reminding us that there are serious questions that need answers.

Chico Vet

Foolish noise
Enough time has passed to be sure that if Scott Brown, the school board or even the News & Review wanted to apologize for being completely wrong about Jeff Sloan, they would have.

Those of us tortured by the ugly three-ring circus can take some solace in the resounding lack of remorse exhibited by Brown supporters/Sloan detractors. After making so much foolish noise they sure are quiet now. In light of the Grand Jury Report they look ridiculous, if not complicit to a terrible character assignation. No wonder they’re trying to distance themselves from this utter disaster.

If honest mistakes were made so be it, but let’s please get this important issue right. The big education game is on, and our perennial All-Star QB has been put in charge of the water bottles. It’s time to return Mr. Sloan to his naturally gifted position, running a school.

Or better yet the school district.

Fred Heath