Letters for September 20, 2007

Junk-mail foe’s ‘kindred soul’
Re: “Getting jack in the box” (GreenWays, by Sena Christian, CN&R, Sept. 13):

Glad to know there’s a kindred soul [Matt Conens] who abhors unsolicited mail as I do. Ditto to unsolicited phone calls.

I consider unsolicited mail an invasion of my privacy. My reaction to it is the same as if it were a Nigerian scam letter. I feel I must take action to stop it. I would never purchase from these unsolicited sales advertisements. Why do they persist? The post office encourages junk mail for one thing: It’s money to them, and that’s the only green they care about. I hope more recipients reject it.

Kathy Ramirez

Kudos from the class of ‘71
Re: “Speeding toward the summit” (Cover story, by Sean Murphy, CN&R, Sept. 13):

The recent story about the CSU Chico cross-country teams was great. They have a super coach and program. The athletes do well in distance running and have a high graduation rate. They need your support in spirit and by donations. Good luck to the men’s and women’s Wildcat teams.

Bob Darling
San Francisco

Rodeo title a bunch of bull?
Re: “Bull riding takes on a pink hue” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, CN&R, Sept. 13):

It should be brought to the public’s attention that David Halimi’s self-proclaimed “National Bullriding Championship Finals” are nothing more than a local event with the words “National” and “Championship” tacked on for marketing purposes.

The real National Finals are held in Las Vegas each December and feature the top contestants in the world whose top point standings were earned during the regular schedule throughout the country. It is sanctioned by both the Pro Rodeo Association and the National Pro Rodeo Bullriders Association, and neither of them sanction Mr. Halimi’s event.

The purse in Las Vegas is 10 times more than that of Mr. Halimi’s and is sponsored by national advertisers who pay out more than $50,000 or more to be associated with the real finals. The event draws four days of sold-out audiences in Las Vegas each year.

I would hope Mr. Halimi will clarify this in his future advertising, as there is nothing national about Diamond W or his self-proclaimed “national” championships. They are nothing more than local, right, Mr. Halimi?

Rick Clements

Commend, don’t condemn
Re: “In education equation, X = IQ” (Guest Comment, by Roland Lamarine, CN&R, Sept. 6):

Gosh, judging by the swift and negative reaction of some of your readers [Letters, Sept. 13], you’d have thought that Roland Lamarine had told the kids that there is no Santa Claus!

Rather than being condemned, Dr. Lamarine should be commended for giving fresh and vigorous voice to an old and uncomfortable truth. The fact is that, like all other human attributes, cognitive capability varies within populations in a rather predictable pattern. Any serious efforts to meet the educational needs of our children, and of our society in general, must recognize and address this certainty.

Unfortunately, we live in an era when fashionable and trendy ideologies, drenched in political correctness, have routinely trumped sound educational and behavioral science. If we wish to make substantial progress in solving some of the vexing educational and social problems that confront us, we must begin with an unflinching examination of the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that process might be.

Carl R. Ochsner

Hunk of Burning love
Re: “How green was my Burning Man?” (Cover story, by D. Brian Burghart, CN&R, Sept. 6):

Amidst the complaints of Burning Man’s carbon footprint and the lack of classes on solar energy and permaculture, I’d like to remind everyone that, as D. Brian Burghart stated, the theme exists as a launching point for the art.

Burning Man is not, has never been, and hopefully never will be an “environmental festival.” Last year’s them was “The Future,” but I don’t recall complaints that there was a lack of flying cars and classes on how to build teleportation machines.

The theme changes each year, but the basis of the festival does not. The real theme is a party in the desert with a focus on art and fire (not necessarily in that order) with a healthy dose of sex and drugs thrown in.

Jethro Smith

Thank you for your recognition of the “greenness” of Homouroboros. You did, however, erroneously attribute its activation to the human-powered generators. The bicycle-generators only supplied the power; the heartbeat and life was animated by the drumbeat.

We must all work together to see progress. It is a piece about knowledge and learning. It always “worked” when you did.

Peter Hudson
San Francisco

Green endorsement
Re: “Take the challenge” (UnCommon Sense, CN&R, Sept. 6):

Thanks for sharing the story about Amelia Gulling’s efforts to raise consciousness about ways to integrate sustainability practices into one’s day-to-day existence. I feel fortunate to be on her [Going Green Challenges] list and encourage others to sign up by sending her an e-mail (agulling@mail.csuchico.edu).

Mary Flynn
Chico City Council

Floored by dorm
Chico State’s goal of housing all freshman students in on-campus housing is a great idea for the university. What an excellent way to build a sense of community.

Unfortunately, the statement by President Zingg in your Aug. 23 edition that the addition of a 228-person dorm on Legion Avenue will not impact the adjacent neighborhood is simply not true. Adding 228 residents to one single block in the urban core of Chico will certainly have an impact. Just think of the potential for noise!

These students/residents may bring a vehicle from home with a guaranteed parking space on campus. This could certainly impact traffic and increase pollution. Not so good for the “sustainability” campus.

The current design for the building does not reflect the architecture of the adjacent residential neighborhood with houses dating back to the early 20th century. The dorm will impact the charm of the historic neighborhood.

The design also does not follow the university’s stated intention to keep the façade of buildings on the perimeter of campus to a one-story height. The new dorm is a five-story building set back a mere 7 feet from the sidewalk. No other building on Legion Avenue is set that close to the sidewalk.

The university could have worked with the people most affected by this increase in residents, noise, pollution and traffic to design a building that the entire community could look at with pride. Instead, once again, the administration shows its arrogance by not even acknowledging our community’s presence in their documentation.

Jann Reed

Editor’s note: For more on this matter, please see Newslines. Meanwhile, President Zingg also submitted a letter for publication.

As many readers know, Chico State’s Student Services Center on Second Street is progressing quickly, and the CSU Trustees are poised this week to give the go-ahead for another exciting addition to campus: our first new student housing structure in 25 years.

This residence hall and dining facility will house 220 students in the location where the old rec center currently sits next to Whitney Hall. Demolition should begin in one to two months, and construction will follow after the first of the year.

I know that the student housing construction will bring noise and inconvenience to our campus and neighbors. I want to state as strongly as I can, however, that our buildings have been designed, planned and phased with an unwavering focus on how they will impact the campus and community. We know very well how close the campus is to homes and businesses; it is a great part of our charm, and it is also an ongoing imperative for us to be good neighbors.

The state has mandated that CSU campuses must grow, but recognizing that a larger enrollment must fit our community, we negotiated with the CSU system in 2004 to keep our growth at about 1.5 percent per year, rather than the 2.5 percent at other CSUs. As long as I am president of Chico State, it will always be our priority that whenever we add students and the buildings to support their success and our mission, we will do so in a way that also benefits Chico and the region.

Paul Zingg
Chico State

I have phoned Congressman Herger’s office urging him to vote yes on HR 2105, the Employment Non Discrimination Act. I will be keeping track of his vote. It has been abysmal on gay rights. (He says people should just be nice. They weren’t nice to Matthew Shepard!)

The United States was founded upon the principle of equal opportunity for all. In 31 states, it’s legal to fire otherwise-qualified employees because they are gay. In 39 states, the same is true based on gender identity.

ENDA is not about special treatment. It simply gives gay and transgender workers the same rights and protections as their colleagues. It comes down to ensuring that employees are judged for their performance, not for who they are.

ENDA is not a burden for employers. It does not excuse poor job performance, or expect employers to hire or retain gay employees who are not otherwise qualified.

This legislation has been endorsed by 237 members of Congress, more than 1,300 faith leaders and more than 290 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations. As of March 2007, nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies included sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. Ninety percent of Americans—cutting across race, religion and ideology—believe that gays and lesbians should have equal employment opportunities.

It’s time the government caught up.

Linda Mendoza

Editor’s note: In a letter to Dr. Mendoza expressing “several concerns about this proposed legislation,” Congressman Herger wrote, “I believe that the elimination of discriminatory viewpoints cannot be achieved by legislation, but rather by living as examples of tolerance and goodwill.”

Hmmm …
When more than 12 million people from other countries break into your country illegally, it’s not immigration, it’s an invasion of trespassers. When two illegal immigrants have a child, you get an illegal immigrant, not a U.S citizen. If we could clear up this one inequitable practice, then there would be one less reason for people to burden our country. Then families could stay together when being deported to their home country.

Jerry Olio