Letters for September 20, 2012

Farmers and farm workers

Re “Treat farm workers right” (Editorial, Sept. 13):

It’s disheartening to read about local Assemblyman Dan Logue and his fellow Republicans voting no on AB 2676, the Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act, requiring that shade and water be provided for farm workers laboring in the fields of California’s agribusinesses.

Logue’s “no” vote reminds me of a time 37 years ago when farm workers protested el cortito, the short-handled hoe. It’s hard to imagine now, but back then farm workers were made to use a 12-to-18-inch short-handled hoe to weed rows of sugar beets and lettuce. The work was grueling: 10 to 12 hours a day of unrelieved labor with backs bent punishingly toward the ground.

Despite protests from the farm workers, growers claimed that California’s agribusiness production would decline and food prices would rise if the short-handled hoe was banned. This is the same callous rationale Logue and his fellow Republicans are using today to justify depriving essential water and shade to present-day farm workers.

I’m thankful that the more compassionate Democrats in our State Legislature carried the “yes” vote and that the bill will be signed into effect by Gov. Brown.

Karen Laslo

Being a farmer in Butte County for the last 23 years, I’m insulted by the editorial. As a grower and processor of produce, our company has made every effort to make sure our employees have been treated with respect and given the necessities to work in a structured working environment.

As a farmer and immigrant myself, not only do I feel this is a bad representation of farmers as a whole, but leaves the wrong impression on people who have little knowledge about the treatment of immigrant farm workers.

Terautau Ratana

Schwab is a good pilot

To continue to weather California’s ongoing economic and political storm, Chico needs good pilots who know where they are from so that the city does not merely survive but, when the storm clears, remains on course to the Chico we hope for.

In her long service as a City Council member, with two terms as mayor, Ann Schwab, in good times and difficult times, has always been committed to sustaining Chico as a livable, friendly, diverse community in a treasured natural setting. This vision of Chico has guided her in deciding what must be kept in these difficult times and what must be provided for in the future.

Mayor Schwab is just the kind of pilot we need. Support Ann Schwab for City Council.

Kirk Monfort

Stop the budget sequester

The issue of the federal budget sequester has me worried, so I went looking for information. I found a thorough report at www.tinyurl.com/9bonfkv that includes real numbers when it comes to budget cuts for the military and non-military.

If you have never written to your congressional representatives, please let this be the one time you take action. We need a tidal wave of public outcry to convince our representatives to stop the looming budget sequester and replace it with intelligent cuts and revenue.

We have tried for more than 10 years to balance the budget the old-fashioned way—cut taxes and cut regulation—and where did it get us? In the worst fiscal crisis my generation has ever seen. I am ashamed that my country engaged in two wars on credit and that some would rather give the well-off another tax cut and let Social Security and Medicare slowly die.

Americans are a strong people and we can do better.

Debra-Lou Hoffmann
Forest Ranch

House’s unfinished business

Republicans announced Friday that after next week the House will stand in recess until Nov. 13. Apparently campaigning takes priority over addressing the following bills that will help the American people:

Violence Against Women Act re-authorization. Though a bipartisan Senate majority passed the bill in April, the Republican House leadership refused to allow a vote on the bill.

The American Jobs Act. Republicans have been blocking President Obama’s jobs legislation for more than a year. This legislation calls for immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers, and aid to state and local governments to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public-safety officials.

Tax cuts for working families. The Senate passed a bill extending tax cuts for the first $250,000 in annual income. The Republican House leadership has refused to consider the bill.

Veterans Job Corps Act. The Senate is currently considering bipartisan legislation to help America’s veterans find jobs. The Air Force Times reports that the Republican House has “shown no interest” in the legislation to support those who served the country.

Farm Bill. Despite strong support for a five-year farm bill from even conservative groups like the Farm Bureau Association, the House leaderrship has not scheduled a vote on the bill. The current bill expires Sept. 30.

Other ignored issues are drought assistance, postal-service reform, addressing the estate tax, cybersecurity legislation, fixes for Medicare reimbursement rates, the alternative minimum tax and all 12 of the FY 2013 appropriations bills.

Roger S. Beadle

Calling all Zappatistas

Re “Joe’s Garage band” (Arts & Culture feature, by Alan Sheckter, Sept. 13):

Kudos to Alan Sheckter for a great article about Ike Willis and Frank Zappa. The story was chock full of interesting information about Willis, Zappa, and Dave Breed’s band, For the Love of Frank.

Please keep employing Alan; he’s a very much needed addition to your publication. And please thank him for the wonderful article!

Joseph Morreale

Creating more terrorists

I consider unmanned drone bombings much worse than President Bush’s torture policy.

It is illegal and immoral and actually creates many more terrorists than it kills.

The bombings take place in many countries in the Middle East, many of which we are not at war with. People in these countries must live in constant fear or terror as they see the drones flying around. Are they the next target?

Bombing being an act of war, we have become the terrorists creating more terrorists. Not in my name!

Norm Dillinger

LeapingStone says thanks

We at LeapingStone want to express our gratitude to Soroptimist International Chico for their generous $500 donation during the Annie B’s Fund Drive. All of their support will go directly toward our second project in Togo, West Africa.

SI Chico understands the needs of women and children all over the globe. This donation will go toward building not only a much-needed school, but also a sense of pride, a place to meet, a sense of belonging, and ultimately a better life for these children.

We salute and thank SI Chico. Thank you from LeapingStone and from the children of Tsati, Togo.

Natalie Huberman
President, LeapingStone


Early music accolades

“Early Music Wows Audience!” That could easily be the title of a review for last Sunday’s performance, by the Albany Consort, of 16th-century music at the Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall. Maestro Jonathan Salzedo used his droll wit to introduce the music, which included Purcell, Scarlatti, Corelli, Vivaldi, Rameau and Bach. The harpsichord was keyed for the era, and the audience was charmed by a viola da gamba, recorder, and the sounds of the fortepiano.

Particular standouts were violinist Clio Tilton and Ondine Young on viola. Ondine’s attentive phrasing and Clio’s kinetic performance were enchanting and highly persuasive. “A Taste of Elegance” lived up to its name.

William Miller