Letters for September 22, 2016
Two on the cover
Re “Charting a course” (Cover story, by Meredith J. Cooper, Sept. 15):
Supposedly, Whisper Ridge will flourish with a flood of tourist dollars. This is as flimflam of an idea as was ever cooked up, to appeal to real estate agents, construction firms, fast-food outlets, gas stations and a few rich golfers.
I live just down the road from this proposed nightmare. Not one word in this story was about what plans there are regarding the need of improvements and cost of high-traffic infrastructure with this kind of growth in population.
Whisper Ridge Golf Resort will be using the same source of water (South Feather Water & Power) that I depend upon. What happens when drought strikes? Since this resort is closer to the source of water, what will residents do when a golf course is sucking it all up to irrigate its turf?
It should be legally stated and agreed upon that this golf course will not receive any irrigation water from SFWP during water shortages. Looking at the rendering of the vision for Lake Wyandotte is also pure madness of excess by investors who have more money than they know what to do with. It reminds me of all those dead orchards planted way up on the dry hills along Interstate 5, south of Tracy.
Remember and take pleasure in the unspoiled places.
A world-class golf resort? First of all, there are no breathtaking views of Lake Oroville; it’s been an eyesore from day one. Riding around in little carts or walking around in polyester pants on a manicured lawn that is an over-user of water is not experiencing “nature,” and what about all the fertilizers to keep the “nature” green in a hot, dry summer?
Nobody knows who the investors are. How many times have “investors” talked about building a world-class resort or some other project and split after they made some bucks? They leave and write off the expense, and the locals are stuck with a money-losing project. Just look at Lake Oroville: What a winning “project” that is.
Who really gives a rip about a 49ers Museum-esque complex? And the win-win for the kids all throughout Northern California? Teaching them about modern man and “his” environment.
If this project moves forward, a few people will make a lot of money and a number of people will make decent money (bulldozer operators, road pavers, etc.). But after the dust settles and all the wildlife is displaced, only a fraction of low-paying service “jobs” will be left.
This is another overblown proposal filled with human ego.
Bikes getting pillaged
Please get onto the Chico Stolen Bike Facebook page. We are tracking brazen thefts every day and getting groups together to recover our own bikes. Chico citizens are being victimized every single night. Thieves are now breaking into locked garages and stealing bikes. Seriously, this is nightly.
What has the Chico Police Department done, new and novel, and not just complain that they don’t have resources, not just telling us to close our blinds? (See a recent press release about the guy who had to catch a burglar himself.) We need patrols in the hotspots: VIP patrols, explorer patrols, something outside the damn box. Perhaps the crime prevention officer can take a few shifts and so can any officers on some collateral duties or details.
We want to know what they are doing because most of us have never seen a patrol car in our area and we are just being pillaged. Someone will get hurt. We have started contacting national media and coordinating efforts to contact congressmen and anyone else we can think of.
Chico’s literary legacy
Re “First impressions” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Sept. 15):
“For the combination of both these blessings in the one simple process … Oliver bowed low by the direction of the beadle, and was then hurried away to a large ward where, on a rough, hard bed, he sobbed himself to sleep. … What a noble illustration of the tender laws of England! They let the paupers go to sleep!” —Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Surely, our local authorities charged with removing “transients” from our midst might aspire to at least as much empathy as that displayed by the tender laws of Dickensian England.
Three intersecting sufferings plague the world, all rooted in greed and consumerism: the suffering of the poor, the suffering of exploited animals and the suffering of ecosystems—the latter portending environmental collapse. Radical change could make a difference, but if lifestyle is any indicator, neither Trump nor Clinton can deliver.
Trump and Clinton epitomize greed and consumerism: palatial homes, private planes, elaborate parties, endless recreational travel, mind-boggling extravagance for their offspring, etc. (With her $3 million wedding, Chelsea Clinton is as indulged as any Trumpling.) Saint Matthew said it all: “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
And supporters? Are middle-class Clintonians much different from Trumpsters? Yes, the Clintonistas ride their comfort bikes to the farmers’ market, on three Saturdays in spring. But they don’t much care about the poorest people (criminalizing homelessness is A-OK), animals (i.e, the suffering inflicted by hedonistic food choices) or the environment (if it means any real sacrifice—like emptying the bucket list of travel destinations.) “Hey, I’m no racist, like the evil Donald, so hands off my consumption zone!”
After resenting Nader for throwing the election of 2000, I find myself on Planet Ralph: Tweedledum, Tweedledee. Donllary Clintrump 2016.
Do you want to be safe? Since the Obama-Hillary era we have had many terrorist attacks in this country alone! More last Saturday! From Fort Hood to Boston, San Bernadino to Orlando! Now New York, New Jersey and a Minnesota mall! Not counting France, Belgium, Germany and England!
In spite of the fact that all of these terrorists attacks have been by radical Islamists (they call themselves a state), Obama has just finished admitting 10,000 Syrian “refugees” into this country, after he declared they would be vetted for two years, he stepped it up to three months! Our government did a great job vetting San Bernardino jihadist Tashfeen Malik! Not looking at her Facebook account!
Hillary wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees by over 550 percent! In an interview on Face the Nation, Clinton said she would like to see even more refugees allowed into this country! From 10,000 to 65,000! The FBI’s James Comey says it’s impossible to completely vet these “refugees.” Common sense and the American people want this to stop! Why are Democrats willing to play roulette with American lives?
The reality of this election is that the new president will be in the position of selecting as many as three new Supreme Court justices. One seat is vacant, but two justices are in their 80s, and one of them is a cancer survivor. Both of the latter are among the liberal voices on the court.
If we think Citizens United is so disastrous for our democracy, think of what could happen if Trump gets to make the appointments. He could be elected and in four years and not survive a reelection, but his choices for the court will be on the bench for life. This means that they could be making the most critical decisions affecting all of our lives for the next 40 years or more.
So swallow hard, hold your nose, or whatever else you may have to do and accept that the reality is that either Clinton or Trump will be elected. One or the other will make the selections for justices we will have to live with for a long time.
For those who want a third-party choice, third parties are started from the bottom (think local) up, not the top down. So start working here and with others doing the same thing in other communities in state and across the country. You have four years to lay a solid foundation.
Election season is well underway, but we’ve heard little so far about problems affecting our country. The paramount issue is certainly the economy. Eight years under Obama have produced a steady rise, which Hillary would continue.
Another vital concern is to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. The tragic Citizens United decision of the conservative court must be reversed to get corporate money out of politics. Only Clinton would name a liberal justice to break the deadlock. In my view, privatization of our public institutions is a real danger. Charter school advocates in Sacramento County spent nearly half a million dollars to get their candidates elected to a school board there.
A Republican Congress gutted the U.S. Postal Service by making it pre-pay pensions for 75 years. Trump brags that he will send waiting veterans to private hospitals. Much is at stake in November. Consider the better world had Gore become president instead of Bush/Cheney. Either Clinton or Trump will be president. Choose carefully.
The voters’ helper
Have you registered to vote? The League of Women Voters of Butte County can help. We offer two opportunities next week:
On Sept. 22, at the Thursday Night Market, 6-9 p.m, look for our booth and stop by to register to vote.
On Sept. 27, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., there’s an open house at the League of Women Voters Office, 635 Flume St., Chico. Come in and register to vote. Feel free to ask about ballot propositions, too.
The LWV encourages informed and active participation in government and we work to increase understanding of public policy issues. The LWV does not support or endorse any political party or candidate.
Please go to www.lwvbuttecounty.org for the dates and times of our 17 candidate forums and our four public ballot proposition “Pro & Con” programs. Our programs are held throughout Butte County. Our five City Council forums, State Assembly District 3, Chico Area Recreation and Park District and United States Representative District 1 forums will be recorded by BCAC TV and made available by a link at our website three days following the program.
Please take this opportunity to register to vote and attend our events. In-depth election information is also available at http://votersedge.org/ca.
Margaret Swick, president, League of Women Voters of Butte County
Editor’s note: For more on the league’s efforts, see page 8.
Re “More wordplay” (Letters, by Patrick Newman, Sept. 15):
I went to elementary school with Buddha … up to fifth grade. Sid (or Bud as his mom called him) and I would cut school at lunch and go home to watch Romper Room. Maybe we were getting a little too old, but our favorite part was the “Magic Mirror” segment—you, too? “Magic mirror, tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?”—and wait to hear your name be called!
I know the show made a big impact on Sid and his teaching career; he would ying (“All life is sorrowful”) and I would yang back (“Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world.”) We did mutually agree that the elimination of reincarnation was a good idea and leaned more toward a be-here-now program.
The sponsors must have sensed this before we did with guest appearances of Bozo the Clown to keep the children from crying if their name was not honorably mentioned or heard the deranged spider monkey to soon put on the endangered species list. Other Sid type visionary guru-ji’s, like Yogi Berra, prophesized, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Quack-a doodle-do!
Many like Trump
Re “Stand by your man” (Second & Flume, by Melissa Daugherty, Sept. 8):
Ms. Daugherty’s editorial is further proof of left-wing bias for Hillary Clinton. Hillary is protected by Obama, protected by the media, bolstered by big donors, and yet the race is too close to call. Ms. Daugherty has her opinions; that’s her right. It’s just too bad she spews it in print. Her comments about Donald Trump are the belief of the left, but many Americans do not feel the same.
Many see a courageous man who cares about America, not afraid to tell it like it is, has stood up against the Republican elites and do-nothing politicians from both parties, to bring our country to a position of strength; for example, strengthening our military, which Obama has decimated; securing our borders (which is prudent, not racist); lowering taxes for the middle class and small businesses and corporations to invigorate our economy; and bringing fairness back to foreign trade.
Trump, in my opinion, is certainly not a racist. He wants to vet Muslims and Syrian refugees, not ban them. Look at the trouble Europe has with their “open borders.” Is that truly what we want?
Hillary’s scandals are not made up; they are many, and they have gone on for years.
Re “Drug costs out of control” (Letters, by Roy Bishop, Sept. 8):
Dr. Roy Bishop accurately pointed out that some prescription drug prices have risen beyond “affordable levels.” This points to a larger problem that prices in all parts of the U.S. healthcare system are at unaffordable levels for the majority of individuals and families.
As of 2014, health care costs reach $3 trillion, according to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. All major parts had increased beyond inflation. In just one year. Hospital care, 30 percent of costs, increased 4.1 percent; physician services, 20 percent of costs, increased 4.6 percent; and prescription drugs, 10 percent of costs, increased a whopping 12.2 percent.
How many in Chico have such annual income increases? No part of the system seems responsible for these increases. The American Hospital Association says, not us; the AMA, representing physicians, says, not us; and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association says, not us.
Most important, we, the American public, say it is not us with our obese, sedentary, alcoholic, over-consuming lifestyles. The sad story of the world’s most-expensive-per-capita $3 trillion system is that the U.S. is not even in the top 10 among developed countries in major health indicators, especially life expectancy, infant mortality, and service to individuals with below average incomes.
Conservation opportunities abound
Re “Natural connection” (Newslines, by Douglas Fischer, Sept. 8):
The Northern California Regional Land Trust (The Land Trust) is a local nonprofit working with private landowners to conserve Northern California’s working and wild lands.
Fischer’s review of Hilty (2016) does not touch adequately on our North State communities. Good and meaningful work is happening here, now.
The Land Trust and our partners recognize the tremendous conservation opportunities in front of us. To realize these opportunities, it is critical to understand working and wild lands are often inseparable. From the valley to the pines, the North State is predominantly working lands—farming, ranching and timber—yet, these lands provide essential habitat for migratory birds, botanical resources, fisheries, bear, mountain lion, deer, wintering raptors, etc.
The Land Trust works to ensure landowners have access to technical and financial resources for conserving private lands—this is fundamental to conserving our region’s natural wealth. To do this, we coordinate an astonishing array of state, federal and private resources, because without conserving resources on private lands, much will be lost.
If you’d like to support our work or learn more, please visit us on the Web at www.landconservation.org. Your support will go a loooong way.
John Hunt, executive director, Northern California Regional Land Trust
Why government’s so inefficient
Since I sustained $500,000 in injuries by an intoxicated career felon in 2005, I’ve been forced to expend an ungodly and mostly wasted effort pursuing government assistance. This includes crime victim restitution, food stamps, nuisance relief, driver’s license reinstatement, and court-ordered insurance compensation I never received.
Clearly the system’s designed to be so complicated, confusing, laborious, and ultimately fruitless, people will turn to seeking assistance from private attorneys, private citizens, stealing, selling drugs and sex, living on the street, or killing themselves instead.
Instead of forcing citizens to endure this hell, government should collect applicant information one time, have a computer print it on the required forms, and submit them to all applicable agencies.
That this simple and obvious solution hasn’t been implemented already is no doubt owing to corruption. Government doesn’t want to be efficient because then it would have to pay more benefits. Also, such would force 2/3 of its friends and relatives employed in sweet government jobs to pursue employment in the real world. Then they’d have to endure less pay, less job security, fewer benefits, and later retirements like everyone else.