Letters for September 23, 2010

Don’t charge for chickens

Re “What the cluck?!?” (Editorial, Sept. 16):

I would like to offer my opinion on the matter of the enormous fee to keep chickens in the city of Chico. I fully agree with Burt Levy’s request that the City Council suspend the fee associated with keeping backyard hens until the item can be put on the council agenda and the council has gone through the necessary steps to make fresh, local eggs more accessible to our citizens.

The council may also want to consider a moratorium on code enforcement for the time being; this should not be an issue that our much-needed tax dollars are spent on.

Jessica Allen

It’s the parents’ fault

Re “Get rid of those morons!” (Letters, by Stephen Muser, Sept. 9):

Instead of blaming CSUC and Paul Zingg for not correcting the students’ misbehavior, look at the society that has raised them. Parents no longer teach respect or consequences to their children for fear of political incorrectness.

When I was growing up, my grandfather gave me a couple of good spankings when I acted out. He didn’t fear CPS calling at the door because a neighbor heard me howl. I was taught to respect my elders and myself, to question authority, to have good manners, to take care of what I had, and that I was not entitled to anything. I learned self-constraint and the need to work for what I wanted and needed.

Children, in general, are not taught these things. They seem to have no self-restraint and believe they can have anything they want, whenever they want.

Assault and battery, inciting a riot and other significant behavior fall on the people committing the offence and morally on the shoulders of those who came before them. The consequences you speak of come back to roost with the parents and the society that have raised them.

Gene Dunning
Forest Ranch

Grow a heart, CUSD

Re “More complaints out of Chico High” (Newslines, by Stacey Kennelly, Sept. 9):

It is with great disappointment that I read about the ongoing pattern of employee mistreatment in Chico Unified. We have witnessed families torn apart because of unwarranted and vicious attacks, wonderful schools ripped to the core because of a former superintendent’s sick vendettas, and now another apparent retaliatory action against an excellent teacher.

Some districts like Chico Unified forget that they are in the ultimate people business, and when they instead run their district like some archaic military regime they have no understanding of the long-term effects it has on the community and the schools themselves. Somewhere along the line, common sense took a back seat to vindictiveness.

Mrs. Stephens took a leave and was furthering her education on her own dime. Her temporary replacement cost less, and therefore the school district had no purpose to cancel her leave other than what was transparent—wielding the heavy hand, just as [former Superintendent] Scott Brown did a few short years ago. How did that work out?

I sincerely hope that the school district starts to grow a heart, repair broken ones, and exhibit the same supervisorial qualities that it wants to produce in its graduates. What they have shown the community for several years is shamefully short of acceptable.

Kerry Krimer

Clean-up at last

Re “Students scour the river” (EarthWatch, Sept. 16):

This is so great that the college students finally realize the damage that they’ve been doing. Thank you to the student doing the volunteer work. It means a lot to this community.

Greg Loe

More on diversity story

Re “My year of (not) earning tenure” (Cover story, by Deanna Alexich, Sept. 9):

We should honor and encourage teachers like Deanna Alexich who have the courage and wisdom to teach students to be open-minded and understanding of each other and to prepare them for a diverse world.

Deanna was not teaching sex; she was teaching tolerance and respect. LGBTQ students live in fear of harassment and violence. They have the right to feel safe, and schools are required by California law to ensure their safety. Sadly, that is not the case at many schools.

Many LGBTQ youth choose to conceal their sexual orientation. They endure the anxiety of not being accepted for who they are and live in fear of being outed and attacked. GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) give LGBTQ and straight youth a safe, friendly place to meet and share thoughts, break down barriers of misunderstanding, and help kids find common ground.

Sue Bordelon
Paradise Center for Tolerance and Nonviolence

Ms. Alexich was my AP English teacher at Colusa High School in 2004. I think her efforts to provide a safe haven for gay students are admirable. If she can make a handful of kids’ teenage years a little less painful, then God bless her.

The problem, to me at least, is that Ms. Alexich isn’t satisfied with simply promoting tolerance. She takes it a step further, and seems to want us all to hold hands and sing songs and dance and play, and that’s just not realistic. It’s one thing to tell someone they have to accept something. It’s another to tell them they have to like it.

That said, the cretin parent confronting her in her own classroom is a sad, scared little man. And stupid. Every time one of these fat, sweaty Christian mongoloids goes on one of their hateful gay rants, they cause more and more conservatives to jump ship. It’s a relentlessly loud minority spoiling the party for everyone else.

Tim Myers

Would it be small-minded if parents objected to a teacher displaying the movie poster for People vs. Larry Flint? Milk was known to have been involved with underage teenage boys, yet the parent who objected to Milk’s canonization as a gay/liberal idol was subjected to having the police called on him.

The author seems to be blind to her own tendentiousness, and feels other parents objecting to the propagation of homosexuality among their children are deserving of having the police called on them too. The irony is that these same liberals not so long ago faced police clubs and fire hoses for expressing their views, but now call the thought police on those who disagree with them.

Charles Dada
Red Bluff

Hey, Mike, it’s legal

Re “The cannabis conundrum” (Cover story, by Melissa Daugherty and Meredith J. Cooper, Sept. 2):

Contrary to what the Butte County Sheriff’s Office would have us believe, people were growing and selling illegal marijuana decades prior to Proposition 215. Before we had any idea that marijuana had any medicinal uses people were making money unlawfully on pot.

Using and growing cannabis is legal under certain circumstances, whether DA Mike Ramsey and his buddies like it or not. The fact that criminals break the law is no reason to destroy the lives of honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizens like Rick Tognoli.

Karen Kinney

Paving the way

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to approve the 2030 General Plan this Wednesday (Sept. 29). Among other things, it removes from protection thousands of acres of critical winter habitat for the Tehama deer herd, based on a study with questionable assumptions. It also proposes to zone land in Butte Creek Canyon as AG-20, which residents and many landowners want designated at a higher acreage.

Both actions would simplify the development of these lands.

In 2005, the Butte County grand jury released a report based on 600 man-hours of investigation that stated that a three-member majority of the board “engaged in an aggressive clandestine plan to undermine the ability of county government to regulate development.” Approval processes were driven by “situational decisions.”

Kim Yamaguchi was part of the “triumvirate of chutzpah” named by the grand jury.

I believe that the possibility of “situational decisions” was revisited when Yamaguchi, in a recent videotaped board meeting, leaned back in his chair and made a statement to the effect that there are many ways that variances to zoning designations can be found to apply to parcels.

The smaller the parcel size, the less protected land is, the easier it is to grant variances. It remains to be seen if other supervisors will follow Mr. Yamaguchi on his historical “clandestine” path down the rabbit hole of developer favoritism at the expense of wise land use.

Rick Switzer
Butte Creek Canyon

Reality takes hold

This time three years ago unfortunate Gregory saw his last day as a free man. He was a lovelorn teenager at Las Plumas High School. He had a bad day and made it worse, much worse. Our communications are becoming fewer and farther apart. I suspect the inevitable is taking its toll. The reality of a 22-year sentence and diminishing hope leads him to adapt and survive. I have heard it is easier if a prisoner just forgets that he had another life.

Greg is presently at Mule Creek about 130 miles from Oroville. He was previously at Soledad. We hope he will fare better at MCSP.

The DA who orchestrated this severity has been re-elected; the prosecutor has been awarded a judgeship. It is business as usual for his appointed defender and the appointed presiding judge. There is no apparent remorse on the part of any of these participants. In fact he DA used it as an example of how he is protecting our school children.

I saw this as a black mark for Butte County and that has not changed with the passing of time. We, his advocates, are trying to mount one last legal maneuver but the challenges are formidable. If you would care to write: Gregory Wright G-09105, MCSP A1 202, P.O. Box 409020, Ione, CA 95640

Jim Adams

How’s this non-partisan?

The race to fill the seats for Chico City Council is nonpartisan (definition: based on, influenced by, affiliated with, or supporting the interests or policies of no single political party). I had the opportunity to be outside the Republican Party headquarters last week, where I saw lawn and window posters adorning the landscape supporting three of the current City Council candidates, with at least one candidate present, waving his election sign to the passing citizens.

As the media were leaving their coverage of the headquarters’ opening, one reporters was asked what she thought about the presence of the posters. Her response: “I was wondering about that.” I am wondering why the three candidates and the Republican Party would take actions that question their credibility and emphasize their poor judgment at a time when the people of Chico need to be represented by strong, effective leaders, not egos.

If you aren’t planning on following the rules prior to office, how can we trust you while in office. I need to be able to trust you, and so do the citizens of Chico.

Traci D. Williams

Bummed by the bus

I made the commitment to ride the Butte College bus this semester. I was looking forward to letting someone else do the driving, as well as doing something to help reduce emissions.

Arriving on campus the first day confirmed my commitment—the campus was awash in cars. Returning home after class, satisfied, I wondered why more people didn’t take advantage of this service.

The next day, after class, my driver took a different route, which made me think I’d boarded the wrong bus. I double-checked my bus schedule, inquired, and was told that we’d get to my stop shortly.

On the third morning the Butte College bus arrived, drove to the onramp of the freeway, then abruptly turned back where we came from, to pick up riders on North Cedar Street. This made us all late for class.

At the end of the day, while waiting for my bus, one of the drivers asked me where I was going. I told him, and he said that there weren’t any other buses coming so I’d better board another. If he hadn’t asked, I would’ve been stranded at the main campus, waiting for my scheduled bus to arrive.

Auto emissions are a huge threat to our health. As a “leader in sustainability,” Butte College could make a substantial impact on the problem by actively promoting a reliable transit system. Instead, they seem to equate sustainability with cost cutting—which, for many, meant cutting class time.

Butte College, get serious about alternative transportation and fund a dependable bus system that gets me to class on time, and gets me home.

Terri Stemen

Herger says ‘no’—again

Last month, Wally Herger cast his predictable “no” vote on HR 1586, the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.

This bill saves and creates 319,000 jobs, including 161,000 teaching jobs. The bill gives $10 billion to school districts to retain or rehire teachers, counselors, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and others. The bill also closes loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas.

The Chico Unified School District will receive about $1.4 million from this bill, funds greatly needed to help with CUSD’s critical budget problems.

Herger opposes HR 1586 because the national Republican leadership told him to oppose it. Herger doesn’t care much at all about his own local constituents. He gladly gives billions in subsidies to oil and pharmaceutical companies, but helping his own local schools? Forget about it.

Herger fails to realize, or care at all, that the educational system for our children is the most powerful tool we have to keep America competitive in the world economy.

Wally Herger embodies everything that is wrong with our political system. He cares little about the needs and concerns of the citizens who live within his own district, and only truly represents the interests of those lobbyists and corporate special interests who bribe him with political contributions.

Ron Sherman

The City Council and the Planning Commission will be discussing Open Space and the Environment, as part of the Draft General Plan Review, Sept 28th.

Most of us in Chico are unaware of what our Current General Plan has to say about one thing or the other. Fewer of us know what City Staff has laid out for the Chico City Council to adopt in the ‘Draft’ 2030 General Plan.

Like a lot of CN&R readers, I love the natural environment. As it happens, the current 1994 General Plan contains a land use overlay called the RCA, or ‘Resource Conservation Area’, and according to the policy, “Resource Conservation Areas contain the most sensitive and valuable habitat that requires protection and would be conserved in perpetuity.” The policy is further defined,”RCA’s provide opportunities for various non-development oriented uses. They may be used for limited passive recreation, educational purposes, and as sites for scientific study, or as locations for off-site mitigation banking…”

Now that’s the kind of policy I want my civic leaders and civil servants to embrace, but as fate would have it, Staff has drafted the proposed 2030 General Plan without the RCA, and without anything remotely similar. It’s just plain gone.

I guess my question is, “ By ‘would be conserved in perpetuity.’, did the 1994 General Plan mean, “until paper pushers at City Hall decide otherwise” ?

Randy Abbott