Letters for September 18, 2003

Correction: In last week’s Back beat story, “Sounds Swedish,” the name of Holger Honda’s 7-year-old stepdaughter was misspelled. Her name is Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili. The News & Review regrets the error.

Soldier’s burden
Mr. Marteen, I read your letter with great interest [”Garth’s misunderstanding,” Sept. 4]. The letter showed your lack of knowledge of the life of a soldier in today’s world. The fighting in Iraq is no different than any other war. What these people have gone through changes their minds forever. What they see and have to do is horrible. They will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. If you do not have the experience that these young men and women have, how could you understand them and call them mindless machines? We have seen many examples of heroism and compassion for the other side’s soldiers on and off the battlefield. This in my mind does not define a mindless machine.

I and many others have experienced what these soldiers are going through now. I hope that when they come home they will find countrymen and women there to support them, help them confront what they went through and be there when they wake up screaming during the night remembering what they did. His letters were not about our government policies, but what he is experiencing in war and another country. You have the right to think what you like and to say it out loud, and I know the many men and women who are now serving their country would agree. But when we have men and women in harm’s way, we should watch how we say things so they will know their countrymen are behind them no matter what their politics are about.

Scott Will

Krispy Korruption
In my work as a building contractor for the last third of a century, I have been more than intimately acquainted with the great American donut. It is, therefore, with a growing sense of unease that I observe the Krispy Kreme madness that seems to be sweeping our area, even before the abominable chain has opened its first outlet.

I have consulted with other parties, comparing my thoughts with those of several friends in law enforcement whose experience and judgment I respect, and we have reached the same conclusion: Krispy Kreme sucks. This is perhaps not a purely scientific term, but it’s one that accurately describes the situation as we perceive it.

For one thing, we have been unable to find a plain cake donut (the ultimate dunking machine) on the premises. Oh yes, in compensation every KK donut is exactly the same size and tastes exactly the same, no matter the variety. And yes, every one is over-sugared. Well, if that’s the break-time experience you crave, then Krispy Kreme is your piece of cake, so to speak.

Please, Chicoans and Chiclets, stop the madness now! Demand your just desserts! For a really good (and, need I add, a really American) donut, go to your friendly neighborhood local and try the real thing. For those with a sense of adventure, climb the hill and visit the Dolly-O in Paradise. It will be worth the effort.

Michael Mulcahy

Long way, baby
Aren’t women the smarter sex? Guess I was wrong. Lung cancer in women is the only cancer demon that is increasing, guaranteeing females a surefire ticket to chemo-hell.

Here’s a message for all you mysterious, seductive, sexy women: For a look you can’t get at the cosmetic counter, go to the cigarette store and choose from over 50 brands to make a statement about the kind of smoker you are. When you light up, you can fill those insecure, empty moments.

Smoking sacrifices your skin, its color and resilience. It’s a proven way to add age to your looks and prune up those lips and eyes.

The bargain you make with nicotine is one so difficult to break that it will haunt you the rest of your life. I know. I’m a recovered smoker too, just one puff away from a new round of active addiction.

Even though I saw Wynona do it, smoking doesn’t make you sexy, it makes you stinky. Smoking doesn’t give you time to reflect; it fills a gap when you don’t know what else to do.

You can take a step away from being an unnecessary statistic today. There are people who will help you stop, and all you have to do is ask. Women don’t need lung cancer—we’ve got more important things to do.

J. Bowman

10 things worse than skinny-dipping
So, some people are concerned about a couple of skinny-dippers at One-Mile. Who would have imagined that a wonderful swimming hole in the middle of a beautiful park, in the middle of a college town, might have a few midnight skinny-dippers? I love Chico, but we are going to hell in a handbag!

Top 10 things (in Chico) worse than skinny-dipping:

10) Those damn two-stroke motorized scooters that make so much noise.

9) Business owners who follow you around the store as you shop. Chill out!

8) Too much fun being had by college students.

7) Leaf blowers. The town’s dusty enough already!

6) People standing, chatting in doorways. Why do they do that?

5) Too many garbage trucks.

4) Those low-cut jeans. Don’t blame me if I stare. Yowza!

3) Potholes, potholes, potholes!

2) Busiest street in town closed down every Thursday night to sell vegetables.

And the No. 1 thing worse than skinny dipping:

One-Mile neighbors with binoculars!

John Geiger

Thrown a curve
An open letter to Mike Crump, director of public works for Butte County:

Recently a westbound car on the Skyway missed the S-curve near Lookout Point and crashed into the median. Although it was a serious accident, the brush in the median slowed the car and brought it to a stop just feet before it entered the opposing traffic, which would have caused a head-on collision

Amazingly, your crews removed all the brush that averted the catastrophe just a few days after the accident. With the amount of traffic on the Skyway and the design of that curve, it is not a matter of if but when an almost identical accident will happen again. However, this time, since your crews have removed the brush, the car will careen across the median and slam head on into some innocent motorist at highway speeds.

This may or may not be grounds for a lawsuit against the county, but how will you sleep at night knowing you crew’s actions were responsible for the slaughter of innocent people?

My teenagers and I drive that road daily, and now we are playing Russian roulette every time we drive eastbound. The only solution at this point is to install a guard rail in the median, at taxpayers’ expense, of course.

What were you thinking?

Bill Riley