Letters for September 2, 2010

What’s the big deal?

Re “Bats, Bugs and Noises in the Night” (Cover story, by Allan Stellar, Aug. 26):

Let’s see if I’ve got this right. A guy takes a walk in the woods with a bottle of rum and a couple of his buddies, and that earns him the right to pontificate to those who read about his excursion on how to live right—“become a creature again and not just a nurse, office nerd, or cog.” Kinda condescending to his fellow two-legged creatures, I’d say.

What is it about Chico bikers and/or hikers that invariably produces such smug self-righteousness? You took a fuckin’ walk, man. That doesn’t make you Gandhi, or John Muir.

Jaime O’Neill

Make cannabis available

Re “The dark side of pot” (Letters, by Connie Neal, Aug. 19):

The writer makes a good point about the relative ease of getting a medical-cannabis “license to smoke.” These recommendation mills give the movement a bad name. They are making outrageous profits while law enforcement puts the hammer down on dispensaries that are bending over backward to follow existing laws and guidelines.

Her declaration that cannabis is addictive is just not true. Also, association is not causation. Could it be that these “addicts” she mentions were already prone or pre-disposed to this destructive behavior? Could they be taking other drugs?

Cannabis is a widely recognized source of relief for a wide assortment of physical ailments. It should be made available for qualified patients. Period. And remember, every time someone makes the safer choice and spends a dollar on some bud, that’s one less dollar they will be spending on synthetic narcotics and alcohol.

I can live with that.

Robert Galia

Christine’s GreenHouse fans

I would like to comment on what a breath of fresh air and inspiration Christine LaPado’s GreenHouse column is.

I appreciate the appropriation of space to solutions to the difficult times we are finding outselves in. Personal solutions. Action-oriented things that we can do right now to become more self-sufficient and enrich our lives, like have some chickens or growing a garden. Featuring local people committed to inspiring undertakings in the sustainability realm is a brilliant angle.

Christine’s column stands out like a ray of sun in a dark forest.

Deborah Penner, D.C.

I want to go on record as saying that the GreenHouse column is one of the first sections I read in the CN&R.

I have learned so much from this column about the abundance of good people growing good food and just in general living a life that is as healthy as possible. I am grateful for getting the information about all the locals who, like me, are attempting to make Chico and surrounding areas a more healthy and prosperous place to live.

R. M. Parker

Stop blaming, start talking

Re “Gun lobbyist preaches to Tea Party Choir” (Newslines, by Tom Gascoyne, Aug. 12):

Saying that liberals don’t have real jobs, that they change the subject when asked a question, that they’re duplicitous, cheat and invent lies about environmental degradation to rally special interests makes me believe [speaker Sam Paredes] has the Bush administration, Faux News and organized religion confused with liberals.

Did I catch your attention?

We are all Americans. We all have liberal and conservative views about certain topics. We all hold beliefs that are not necessarily true or provable. There’s no one to take America back from unless it’s from ourselves.

We as a people must communicate among ourselves to stop the lies that liberals or conservatives are to blame for all of our woes. We must work together and demand the government do the same. We all must become informed on both sides of an issue and make rational decisions that will have a positive effect on ourselves, our environment and the future of the world.

We are the caretakers of the Earth, and we are not doing a very good job. Open your heart and mind and start talking and stop hating. It’s time to make changes that benefit the world.

Nelson Corwin

Security or empty promises?

Re “Social Security at 75” (Editorial, Aug. 19):

I turned 66 last month and just deposited my first Social Security check. While I am in no danger, I wish that I could share your enthusiasm about the long-term viability of this program. Even though I view SSI as a government-run Ponzi scheme, I could see some of the benefit that was intended 75 years ago. The insidious danger for SSI and its deeply entrenched entitlements causing great economic harm lie not so much in the program, but in what we allowed our politicians to do with the surplus funds over the ensuing years.

Within the next few years the amount of money collected from employees, employers and the self-employed will not be enough to pay for all the benefits that will be paid. But, you say, there is all this “money” in the SSI trust fund. Sorry, folks, there’s just a bunch of IOUs (Treasury notes) made out to SSI.

So don’t be too hasty to say that the program will not bankrupt us. The unfunded liabilities (meaning there is not any real money to back them) of SSI, Medicare, government pensions and other things will most likely take us a long way down that very scary road.

Tim Edwards

Kids aren’t always rational

Re “Chance” (From the Edge, by Anthony Peyton Porter, Aug. 26):

Thank you for reminding us about young people’s irrational thought processes! I hope Gregory Wright’s tragedy will help our prosecutors reduce their irrationality.

The only good news about Gregory is his relocation to the Mule Creek facility in Ione. Now he is closer to his family, who have been so burdened.

By the way, I thought a guy like you would at least get a .38 caliber!

Jim Adams

Keep vote in November

Re “This year’s wedge issue” (From This Corner, by Robert Speer, Aug. 26):

While I appreciate and encourage ideas that support changes that affect our Chico community, I disapprove of the effort to change the [City Council] voting month from November to June.

In these difficult economic times, now is not the time to ask the taxpayers to hand over more of their hard-earned money (if they are lucky to even have a job) in order to facilitate an unnecessary change that serves to exclude the student vote and assumes that Chicoans aren’t able to focus on local and national issues at the same time! Seriously?

We would better serve our community by focusing on getting people to the polls in the first place. It’s time they were assured that they have a voice, a choice and that they matter—and that doesn’t cost a thing!

Traci D. Williams

No way to heal

Re “Healing the wounds” (Guest comment, by Curtis Peldo, Aug. 19):

Mr. Peldo blithely ignores the fact that the dreaded administration, from the chancellor through the presidents and including all managers and support staff, also were furloughed and received a 10 percent reduction in salary. Note I include support staff. The CFA does not appear to recognize their existence. To do so would negate his claim of a 1 percent reduction in administration.

It has always been sad to watch a community that supposedly promotes collegiality turn on itself when times are bad. I do not work at CSU, Chico, but I would bet that, if Mr. Peldo spent some time observing the various short-staffed offices at the university, he would find many hard-working people, including administrators, striving to provide the best service they can to the students and faculty, often voluntarily working overtime with no compensation.

Yes, we all cherish our institutions and should strive to heal the wounds by focusing efforts on appealing to the Legislature and the voters of this state, not by undermining the hard work of others.

Fred Kelley

Not all students drink

Re “School’s is in session” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, Aug. 26):

Yes, I know this type of activity takes place. However, the story creates an image that this is all we students do! False idea!

When are you going to present the other side of the picture? There is a great number of us who don’t want to touch and don’t need alcohol. We are the biblical side of this story. Either you’re not looking at or are avoiding Asian Christian Followship, Crusade for Christ, etc.

The problem here is that many of the media aren’t believers, although I’d challenge you to cover the full story.

Kenneth Van Der Slyus

Beholden to nobody

Re “Candidates take their positions” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Aug. 26):

Kudos for the professional job of reporting on the candidates’ forum sponsored by Chico Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 20. You have a right to label the candidates as you did, but once again Brahama D. Sharma as a candidate for the office of the Chico City Council emphasizes, under the laws, the seeking of this office requires one to be devoid of any and all political and economic ideology.

Keeping within this framework, Brahama D. Sharma is not a “wild card”; rather, he is the best candidate to serve the city of Chico unhampered by fixed beholden loyalties that are sure to interfere in deliberation of issues that impact the city.

Brahama D. Sharma

Support this act

While running for office, President Obama promised that, if elected, he would get us off OPEC oil within 10 years.

Two years are gone and we still don’t have a plan. In fact, there is some evidence that we’re going in the wrong direction. In July 2010, we imported 388 million barrels of oil. That’s the single largest import month since President Obama was inaugurated.

The Natural Gas Act will create jobs, clean up the environment and improve our national security by providing tax incentives to organizations that operate fleets of vehicles that are fueled with imported oil to be replaced with vehicles that run on domestic natural gas.

Election Day will soon be here. Those who are running for office—be it open seats, incumbents or challengers—need to take a look at this legislation and make promising to reduce our need for OPEC oil a central part of their campaigns.

Robert McSpadden

Good solar, bad buses

It’s great that sustainability is “at the heart” of everything Butte College does, but I’ve got to wonder why $17 million is being spent on solar panels when, over the past few semesters, its bus system has gotten progressively worse.

Last semester the buses were so crowded that Ed Begley Jr. might have decided to drive himself to campus. This semester the buses have cut back the amount of stops they make and spaced the departure times so that students have to wait around an hour and a half after their last class in order to get home.

Why build a school miles from the surrounding cities and degrade the bus system? If it means that they can sleep in an extra hour or get home two hours earlier, students are bound to drive themselves to school. It’s as if Butte College is saying that they don’t mind the carbon footprint, as long as it’s not on their head.

Erin Paddock