Letters for September 19, 2002

Tree battle begins
The ink wasn’t even dry when the Tree Action people followed the will of the Chico City Council to present a proposed tree ordinance to city representatives. At the Internal Affairs Committee meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10, the proposed ordinance was shared with everyone. This is a non-partisan, citizen-driven action to recognize the value of trees and what they provide to this entire area—and to offer proposed guidelines to protect this heritage to benefit everyone and keep Chico beautiful. (The proposed ordinance can be viewed at www.treeaction.org).

Yet John Gillander waved the still damp document in the air and claimed it was going to be a problem—before anyone had even seen it, including him!

Those of us who track local politics know simply that Gillander speaks for the special interests (the term lackey comes to mind)—the David Reade/Jim Mann crowd. It’s pretty despicable to dismiss a nonpartisan citizen action without even having the courtesy to look at the document. As I said, the ink wasn’t even dry, but Gillander and his ilk have made their intentions clear.

Tanya Henrich

Pot endorsement
The Green/Pot/Christian Alliance for Medical Marijuana is endorsing V.D. (Virgil) Hales for Paradise Town Council. Mr. Hales has earned our endorsement though his work registering voters and demonstrating IRV (instant runoff voting), as proven by the copies, which are kept in our archives.

If the voters want to hear more about the mathematical solution to the perpetual gerrymandering caused by redistricting, then please help us get this friendly, dependable and good-thinking person elected. His support for IRV and proportional representation as laid out in the U.S. Constitution is paramount to people with high democratic principles.

Jimmy Ogle
GPCAMM, volunteer vote counter


Emotional forecast
I love my native country of America and, for the most part, I love the diverse, colorful humanity that populates it. What is very obvious to me is that we, as a society, have a disease. We’re way out of balance because our economy depends on us to consume, consume, consume. We—our nation and the world—are suffering from all this over-consumption; no wonder there are high rates of disease in the bodies, minds, families and relationships of the people.

It is hard to let go of old ways, but if we continue to be out of sync with our own hearts/desires we will be deeply unsatisfied. What the world needs now is an awakening of many, many individuals to the essentials of life worth living. You get to choose! You get the freedom and the power and the glory! Who knows what will blossom in the effects of the world around us, in us and as us; I am betting on a favorable outcome of a rich, diverse, abundant world worth living in.

Dawn Shahar

The English version
Why aren’t we getting the “other side” of Bush and the war he wants? This morning I read three stories from the United Kingdom. Neil Mackay, in the Glasgow Sunday Herald, reported on a “secret blueprint for U.S. global domination” which “reveals that … Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001.”

Dan Plesch, in The Guardian, writes that Bush’s “concern over Iraq” ¦is a pretext for a global strategy of pre-emptive attack. … Precedents with Iraq … can be used against other states that stand out against U.S. global control.” The ultimate goal is regime change in China.

Lastly, Andrew Gumbel, London Independent, writes “Cashing in: Fortunes of war await Bush’s circle after attacks on Iraq.” We learn that “the last time the United States went to war against Iraq, Dick Cheney [through Halliburton] did very nicely from it.” And there are many other pigs awaiting the trough.

The fact that roughly half of U.S. citizens support Bush against Saddam means, indeed, that you can fool some of the people some of the time. Our media keep the public blind to the opportunistic games of Bush & Co., games that may mean the sacrifice of our soldiers, our national security and the last remnants of our democracy.

Tiananmen Square, coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

John O’Brien

Abuse of power
I appreciate the article that Laura Smith wrote about the impropriety of county employees using their titles to take a position on political campaigns [“It’s not FAIR, groups says of auditor,” Newslines, Aug. 29]. However, there are several factual errors we would like to clear up.

County bureaucrats would like you to believe that if Measure G passed the county would lose control of the tobacco settlement funds, when in fact 100 percent of the money stays in Butte County and is to be spent by the Board of Supervisors. They are just directed to spend it responsibly, the way it was intended, on health care, tobacco prevention and public safety.

Another thing is that there is only one initiative on the ballot dealing with tobacco settlement funds, and that is Measure G. Hinting at a competing initiative is just another sad attempt by county bureaucrats to confuse voters so they can continue to spend the taxpayers’ money in any wild manner they see fit, other than the way it was intended.

Since the publication of Ms. Smith’s article, we have found out in conversations with the state Attorney General’s Office that a county employee cannot take a position on a ballot initiative using county time to work on a political campaign. County Auditor/Controller David Houser implied that the county has taken a position on Measure G and that it is OK for its employees to fight Measure G on taxpayer time by using his business title in the signature of the opposing ballot argument. This is clearly an abuse of power, and those who allow county employees to engage in politics on the taxpayer’s dime should know better.

Phyllis Bond
Community Services Director
American Cancer Society


Data on a plate
Regarding Von Grafen’s letter, “Show me the data” [Sept. 12]:

That is certainly the right attitude. Those who consider themselves citizens, and not merely consumers, must do their own research and take some responsibility for their conclusions. I’d like to share some sources.

First, see Colin J. Campbell and Jean H. Laherrere, The End of Cheap Oil. These men have each spent over 40 years as oil geologists. They suggest that estimates of oil reserves are inflated for political and economic reasons. Gee, that’d be a first, huh?

They further suggest that a critical error in published estimates of time frames assumes demand to remain constant, when it has been rising at more than 2 percent per year. They say that it is reasonable to expect global oil production to begin to decrease by around 2010. Even if estimates of global reserves are doubled, they say, decline in production is put off only until 2020.

Concerning water: See “Report Card on U.S. Water Supply,” San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 23, 1999. “Industrial solvents and related chemicals are present in the groundwater used to provide drinking water for 35 million to 50 million Americans, according to the U.S. Geological Survey…” Also see “Show Me the Water, State Tells Developers of Residential Projects,” San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 3, 2001: “Starting next year, California’s rapid growth will for the first time be tied to the availability of the state’s most precious resource—water.”

There are many other such articles pointing out the decreasing availability of fresh water.

These are not “emotional” arguments. Pretending that we live in the best of all possible worlds is ridiculous, irresponsible and unbecoming of a citizen of the United States.

Nelson Kaiser