Letters for September 20, 2018

Commentary comeback

Re “Drop-kicking the hornets’ nest” (Guest comment, by Patrick Newman, Sept. 13):

In Patrick Newman’s little world, women who don’t agree with his viewpoints are just “feminist ideologues” spouting off “feminist dogma.” Their disgust for him has nothing to do with Newman publicly stating that he felt Brock Turner serving six months (actually 90 days) in county jail “along with registering as a sex offender for life” was sufficient punishment for raping and sexually battering an unconscious, 22-year-old woman.

This woman was found half naked behind a dumpster with her breast and vagina exposed and her elbows and knees bloodied with Turner on top of her. Turner even had the audacity to say “she enjoyed it” and still has not apologized or admitted guilt. Instead of holding him accountable, Turner’s family hired a lawyer and tried to discredit the victim.

I wonder if Mr. Newman read the victim’s letter to Turner? If he had read it or if he could possibly know what 1 in every 4 women in the U.S. experiences being raped in their lifetimes, he might better understand what it would feel like. Until then, perhaps Mr. Newman should just keep his sexist, defamatory comments, oblivious ignorance and extreme lack of empathy to himself.

Sherri Quammen


Focus on front lines

Re “For the kids” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Sept. 13):

When I interviewed Meagan Meloy with the Butte County Office of Education in December 2014, there were approximately 900 students experiencing homelessness during the course of the school year. The count is now nearly 1,400.

Last week, I interviewed Carol Zanon with the Greater Oroville Homeless Coalition, as she unsuccessfully fought back tears describing how many people the coalition turns away due to lack of funds. I also spoke with Tara Sullivan-Hames and her team with Butte County 211, the low-cost/no-cost help line for Butte County. Their message was clear—calls to the center by residents facing utility shut-offs, evictions and the gamut of desperate homeless diversion needs are the No. 1 category by volume.

The conservative tone at Monday’s Chico City Council candidates forum was littered with the excuse of not having enough money for social programs, all while Mayor Sean Morgan was front and center in the audience as the poster child of recklessness for his oft-stated refusal to support declaring a shelter crisis that would bring desperately needed state funds to Chico.

It’s high time to tune out Morgan by tuning into the people on the front lines.

Bill Mash


Let’s be civil

Re “Kicked out” Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Sept. 13):

I watched the City Council meeting and was aghast, embarrassed, disappointed and angry at the responses the audience said and did toward the City Council members, themselves and the chief of police.

The mayor did what he felt needed to be done to get the audience under control. In my not so humble opinion, the people were wrong in their manner of trying to get their points across—whatever it was they were trying to convey.

Yes, we are tired of people sleeping on the sidewalks and in doorways, and bathroom usage in inappropriate places. However, the ones that do not want to be homeless—where are they to go? There lies the problem. If I ever won the million-dollar Publishers Clearing House, most of that money would go to building homes, bathrooms, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money. I agree something needs to be done.

There is an answer somewhere, but until then, people should leave the nonsense outside the council doors. It doesn’t help anyone or anything to cause more problems.

Sharon Chambers


Yikes! What are we teaching our children about rules? School children are taught to raise their hands before being called upon. Everyone has a chance to be respectfully heard. Now, it seems as adults those rules are being ignored.

At the Sept. 4 Chico City Council meeting there were jeers and clapping (not allowed) during public comment. Council rules are there to make sure all voices (both pro and con) aren’t intimidated. Some of those attending came with the intent of breaking these rules, even chanting a prearranged slogan. The mayor was forced to clear the room of the public.

I’ve attended most City Council meetings. It irritates me that so many citizens leave the chambers after their interest has been discussed and voted on, without witnessing council members’ thoughts and behaviors. Rules are there for a reason, just as in the classroom. Government works best if cooler heads and all ideas are aired.

Peaceful protests, within rules, are fine. What’s not fine are mob-mentality protests that do nothing to inform or persuade.

Vote for Kasey Reynolds, Matt Gallaway and Andrew Coolidge this November. They’ll follow the rules!

Loretta Ann Torres


Changed his mind

Re “On congressional voting” (Letters, by Chris Durniak, Sept. 13):

My neighbor Sven returned some of my wife’s cats today and taught me a lesson on the democratic process.

It seems voting really does matter. Also that voting for Democrats these days is the right thing to do. A simple majority in the Senate and House of Representatives is all that’s required to fill committee seats and the chairs of committees. That’s why things have been so nutty lately. Republicans literally are in charge of what gets heard and what gets done. The Supreme Court picks, too! Dang!

Sven, with his cool accent, also laid on me some way-out numbers. Trump won the last election by 78,000 votes in three states. This with our electoral system. The Green candidate got 132,000 in those same three. And 103 million people didn’t bother to vote.

Then he said 2000 was decided in Florida by 537 votes. Bush won. Ralph Nader got 97,000 in Florida. Man, things seem to have declined after the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections. I’m glad to have Sven as my neighbor. It’s great to learn things. I wish he would keep the cats though. We have too many.

I’m voting for Audrey Denney! I hope folks realize how important voting is.

Chris Durniak


Spend wisely, Oroville

Re “Oroville declares shelter crisis” (Downstroke, Sept. 6):

At the Oroville City Council meeting on Sept. 4, hints of a new city executive position (homeless czar) were bantered around. The council voted to declare Oroville a shelter-crisis city in order to qualify for one-time state money.

Having been an Oroville business owner for the past 52 years, I believe, during a budget deficit year, that authorizing funding for any nonessentials or any new position should not be considered. The No. 1 rule for private-sector businesses is to never let expenditures exceed revenue. I’ve never been able to understand why government agencies don’t follow that rule.

This fiscal year’s shortfall is estimated to be $274,000. In the private sector a hiring freeze would be in effect. Among other cost-cutting considerations, compensation and/or staff reduction might again have to be implemented.

Oroville has many good-hearted people who want to help the homeless. A volunteer, unpaid “homeless czar” would be welcomed by all. The creation of a new city position during a budget crisis would be a fiscal mistake and would further erode the confidence the people have in our city government. It matters not that the first year’s funding would come from the proceeds of the one-time grant.

Steve Christensen


Speaking of homelessness

On Oct. 2, the Chico City Council will consider declaring a shelter crisis, effectively suspending the ordinance that requires every home to have a kitchen and a bathroom. Suspending the ordinance will allow Simplicity Village to build tiny homes for homeless people to use as they transition to permanent housing. Simplicity Village will have bathroom and kitchen facilities that will service the community of tiny homes. This is a smart and compassionate response to the horrific homelessness problem that our citizens suffer daily.

With winter coming on, it is imperative that the Simplicity Village project get off the ground immediately. I implore the council to declare a shelter crisis and give Simplicity Village a chance.

Gwen Nordgren


About abortion services

Re “Trump’s dangerous gag rule” (Guest comment, by Roger S. Beadle, Aug. 30):

Regardless of claims to the contrary, Planned Parenthood (PP) is an abortion agency that provides additional services.

Let’s consider facts. In their 2013/2014 fiscal year PP performed 327,653 abortions. To put that in perspective, that’s more abortions than every human being residing in Glenn, Tehama and Butte counties combined. Think about that. Imagine wiping out every human being residing from Red Bluff to Gridley, Orland to Berry Creek, including Oroville, Paradise, Chico and every community in-between. And that’s in one year.

On a national scale, there were 3,985,924 births in America in 2014. Thus for every 12 births in America, PP performed an abortion. They’re abortion clinics.

When Hillary Clinton supported PP saying abortions should be “safe, legal and rare,” that evil witch must have meant medium-rare.

One can support a woman’s right to choose. And one can believe there are times when an abortion may be the best medical procedure for the mother. Or one can flat-out support PP and abortions no matter what. Just don’t tell me an agency that performs over a quarter-million abortions a year isn’t an abortion clinic. That dog don’t hunt.

Perhaps the purpose of Planned Parenthood’s attempts to fool America is to allow America to fool itself.

Peter Bridge

Ord Bend

Candidate shout-out

I find the candidacy of Alex Brown for Chico City Council to be a breath of fresh air for my hometown.

Over the past several months, I’ve heard Alex present her candidacy at campaign events and have spoken with her personally. I’ve found her to be bright, personable, compassionate and understanding of the issues we face as a city—and the context of those issues within state and national problems.

As a senior citizen, I appreciate Alex’s youthful energy and ideals. But don’t be fooled by her age. This young woman has a résumé that holds up well to all council candidates. She earned a master’s degree in social work at Chico State and has developed programs to address domestic violence at the university and in the community.

Alex now works as a marketer and business promotion developer for a health care agency. She is also a marketing coordinator and social media consultant for several local businesses. It’s time for a new generation of leadership. I urge everyone to vote for Alex Brown for Chico City Council.

Nancy Park


‘Memories of hate’

I hope it wasn’t just me who was appalled when I watched Donald Trump give himself a pat on the back for a “job well done” regarding his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. To date: 2,945 Puerto Ricans dead, full restoration of electricity taking 11 months, medical facilities still understaffed and lacking essential medical supplies.

Speaking to reporters about the approaching category 4 hurricane Florence, we learned from our president that it could be the biggest hurricane in 25 years, maybe ever, and that it had a lot of water.

Pitifully, Trump has used water as an excuse for his tepid response to devastation experienced by American citizens saying, “It’s so tough, it’s an island, you can’t drive trucks up to it with supplies.” What he doesn’t tell you is that government statistics relating to the effort and that of hurricane Harvey in Texas show the Trump administration exerted a faster and greater response effort in Texas, even though the damage in Puerto Rico exceeded that in Houston.

Why the difference? Donald and his father were sued in federal court for racial discrimination at a Trump housing development in 1973. Seems he can’t let loose those memories of hate.

Roger S. Beadle


Beware, rural residents

To residents of Butte County who enjoy the rural aspect of our community, especially to those residents who actually live in a rural very-low-density residential neighborhood: Please attend the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 9 a.m. in the Butte County Supervisors chambers, 25 County Center Drive, in Oroville.

A developer wants to build clustered housing on Stanley Avenue—essentially row housing. If the commission approves this development, it will set a precedent for future incompatible developments that ruin other rural neighborhoods in our beautiful Butte County.

Please help the Stanley Avenue residents protect their neighborhood and all rural neighborhoods in Butte County by attending the Planning Commission meeting.

Daniel and Heidi Gonzales