Letters for September 23, 2004

Flag business
I read with interest your editorial concerning the Chico Flag Committee’s request to fly the flags in September in a patriotic commemoration [”A flag for all,” Aug. 19]. As an Eagle Boy Scout and bugler who played at hundreds of flag ceremonies during my childhood, I have always been worried that flying the flags 24 hours a day in all kinds of weather violates the United States Flag Rules. It turns out both are allowed if it is a special “patriotic event,” the flags are all-weather nylon and are “properly illuminated” at night.

Ed Regan of the Flag Committee assured me the flags given to the city for hanging are all-weather. As I survey the placement of the flags by the city, it appears most if not all are on light poles, so flag rules appear to be followed here too. However, as I drive around town, I notice that many businesses that fly flags at night do not place them where there is any lighting. Nor do they appear to be all-weather nylon flags. Thus they are in violation of flag etiquette.

I trust members of the Flag Committee, who obviously know flag etiquette, will begin to monitor the flying of flags by private citizens and businesses if they are up after dark and in bad weather. I am sure that every citizen of Chico, and in particular members of the Flag Committee, doesn’t want to desecrate the very symbol being used to commemorate 9/11 and the “war against terrorism” in Iraq.

By the way, how is that war going?

Beau Grosscup

Censor sensor
After reading your most recent edition on the “10 big stories the national news media mostly ignored” and each week reading your articles, I think that it’s time that somebody finally says what a lot of us think.

While coming from a proud background of ancestors who bravely and unselfishly fought in conflicts such as World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Korea, and being an Air Force veteran myself of Operation Desert Storm, I find it appalling how your “newspaper” (and I use that term very loosely) is blatantly discriminatory, biased and prejudiced, to say the least. If you don’t support the current governmental infrastructure, you get your views heard and printed. Being truly educated is listening and respecting opposing views, not quieting those same voices.

Do yourself and your staff a favor. take a trip to Arlington National Cemetery and let them plead to be half the people that these brave men and women were that afforded them the freedom to print such hypocrisy. You may just then begin to see what makes this country so great.

John W. Neal

Put it to a vote
Thanks for the informative Sept, 9 issue about Bidwell Ranch [CN&R cover story, “Back at the Ranch”]. However, your sidebar about a “Best-Laid Plan?” is a misnomer. Bob Best is one member of CORE, a nonpartisan group that’s attempting to inform the public about current and future use of these 700 acres. Bob Best represents the entire CORE membership in seeking to raise public awareness of possible benefits to the city of Chico—especially the park system.

All of us CORE members want the decision to be made at the ballot box. We are urging a moratorium on a final decision until a proper ballot proposal is put before the voting public. The so-called “Best-Laid Plan” may be replaced by a “Better Plan.” Good! Let the people decide.

Hank Peterson

Brown beef
In your story “Citizen has beef with CUSD dinners” [Newslines, Sept. 9] it is alluded that all Chico Unified School District trustees currently serving attended these dinners dating back to November 2000. That is not correct, as three new trustees were recently elected. Since being elected in November 2003, I’ve attended only one, at the 2002 California School Boards Association conference in San Francisco. Since then I have not attended anywhere CUSD travel expenses were used.

However, I echo Trustee Rick Anderson’s comments in that article. Knowing that I serve on a team of integrity, and knowing that more than one member besides me would raise concerns publicly if Brown Act violations were occurring, I do not believe that there is any issue of improper meetings or discussions occurring. I certainly have never been a witness to any.

Anthony Watts
CUSD Trustee

Save the ranch
I read with dismay your Sept. 9 cover story, “Back at the Ranch,” about the (once again!) plight of Bidwell Ranch. I was a resident of Chico in the early and mid-'80s as a student at Chico State and continue to go back and visit as often as I can, having both family and friends residing there.

I now find out after reading this article (from half-way around the world, where I’m a teacher at an international school), that the Bidwell Ranch property is still up for grabs! I thought it had been saved! I thought the Chico community had the vision to do what was right back in the ‘80s! I thought it was a closed case! I thought Chico was the place that actually had their act together and did what every other “valley town” has not done, and that’s to sell out their future and their children’s future to a bunch of developers that have their own best interest in mind (padding their pockets) rather than the best interest of the city of Chico and the future generations that call Chico (and will call Chico) their home!

To the citizens of Chico: You’d better save the treasure you have while you can or you’ll end up just being another valley town on the way north or south.

Many of us after all these years still feel like we’ve come home when we come to Chico. Bidwell Ranch is worth more to you in its natural state than any developer’s money. Some things just can’t be bought!

Chris Kemper
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Stop the chase
Regarding your story, “Police pursuit precedes fatal accident” [Newslines, Sept. 2], I need to clarify some information. On Jan. 22, 2002, Kristie (not Kristi as written in the story) was a passenger in our minivan as we drove to her high school basketball game.

When Sierra Pettit, mother of innocent pursuit victim Crystal Pettit, called me, she reminded me that we had served on the same university committee about 20 months ago. The article implies that our relationship is more than that. I am so thankful Crystal will recover from her injuries. Sierra mentioned that she and Crystal had prayed for my family, and I shared with Sierra that I did the same for Crystal.

So, the California Highway Patrol, per the Chico Police Department’s request, is investigating this recent chase. Chico Police Chief Bruce Hagerty told us a Chico sergeant—not involved in the pursuit—reviewed the 2002 chase and determined it was “valid and controlled.” Imagine my Kristie’s death was the result of something “valid and controlled.”

The CHP is the most pro-chase law enforcement agency in the state. I don’t anticipate the CHP investigation will be any different from the Chico sergeant’s review.

Kristie’s Bill is still being carried by Senator Sam Aanestad.

Candy Priano