Letters for September 27, 2007

Ulterior motive in new dorm plan?
Re: “Dormitory debate” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Sept. 20):

Like the media, neighbors of CSUC were surprised to learn of a towering new dormitory being planned for Legion Avenue, and of its final approval, quietly buried in the back of last week’s agenda of the Board of Trustees. Perhaps your attention was focused instead upon the extravagant salary increases—or, like our own, turned toward the destruction of the beautiful sports field adjacent to Bidwell Mansion or with resolving on-going campus-generated noise issues—and we didn’t see what was coming toward us in the opposite direction.

Having polished our collective glasses, it’s plain to recognize that the project is a horrible idea for a host of reasons including density, traffic, parking, congestion, sound, vibration, environmental, and aesthetic—and that it also defies many policies carefully outlined in the university’s own constitution for campus growth: its Master Plan.

Beyond this, we can’t help sensing a more calculated plan in store for the community.

In recent meetings with neighbors, President Zingg and VP [of Business and Finance Dennis] Graham have expressed a keen interest in acquiring Chico High School. It may be that they are simply testing public favor of the concept, but with a new dorm planned just seven feet from city property, mere yards from CHS, and considering their current lease of CHS property to resolve university parking problems, their intentions may be evident. Where else to fulfill their mandate to grow 1.5 percent annually?

Do the math, visualize the effects, and join CANA in opposition of this careless project!

Bob and Christina Aranguren

‘At least Zingg followed through …’
Oh poor, poor Jann Reed. She doesn’t want our new housing structure built at Chico State because she lives in the neighborhood. She bought a house across the street from the university and now she complains? She complains that there should have been more input from the community—this from the same person who is a school board member but rarely solicits input from the community?

I have a suggestion: Maybe Mrs. Reed could sell her home and move next to the fairgrounds and ask that they stop racing on the weekends because it’s noisy.

We’re a university, and we have needed this new facility for a long time. It’s progress, and it’s good for the community. If we listened to Mrs. Reed, we would have the same result as the new high school.

Talk is cheap. At least Zingg followed through with his building promise.

Tony Rodriguez

Park vote logged; once is enough
Re: “Ceres neighbors want their park” (Newslines, by Tang Lor, CN&R, Sept. 20):

No, we don’t want the park. We voted on it.

Note to Joan Spencer [of Friends of the Ceres-Highland Neighborhood Park]: I agree, let’s look at the present. Last time I checked, this is the USA, not Mexico. If people want to take an active part in voting, learn to read and write the language.

Face it, the park was voted down—let it rest.

Frank Pingiczer

Succinct praise
Re: “Rail days” (Cover story, by Vince Abbate, CN&R, Sept. 20):

I liked reading this story a lot!

Eric Matlock
Editor’s note: Thanks!

Lengthy swipe
Re: “Women get short-changed” (Campus, by Hannah Seligman, CN&R, Sept. 20):

Your article is misleading. Men and women earn about the same up until around age 33; single men earn less than single women on a yearly basis; men do 98 percent of the heavy construction in this country; what men do earn they spend on their families.

Women have the luxury of dropping out of the work force, men do not. Women receive the benefit of men’s work—back in 1966, women controlled 65 percent of the wealth in this nation. Men are worked to death; women get the life insurance.

Equal pay for equal work? Sure, a woman will get $10,000 an hour as a fashion model. I figure the equal amount of work for a male would be changing the spark plugs on a car. The next time I change plugs, I want $10,000.

A bunch of misconstrued data and feminist jingoism is meaningless. I was only paid $25 a week to put my life on the line during the Vietnam War. Women are spoiled rotten in this country. Is that all women care about, money?

Michael M. Peters

Rodgers’ fan mail
Re: “Ready, willing … and waiting” (Cover story, by Charles Robinson, CN&R, Sept. 13):

I would like [Green Bay Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers to know that when his time here comes, and it will come, he already has a great fan base that has watched him and appreciated him and his patience. He is learning from the best, and we know he will serve us well when that time comes.

Kay San Miguel
Greenleaf, Wis.

Double standard of care
In California, there is special awareness of environmental issues—there is much to protect—and taking great measures to do so assures all of us of a healthier place to live. The health of the environment needs and deserves protection.

Just as important as assuring environmental health is assurance of health for the people who live in it.

Would we make the environment buy health insurance and then put it through a series of claims adjusters who are intent on depriving it of the very care it needs, often spending more on the paperwork to deny coverage than on the very actions that would provide that care? Why do we do to people what we would never consider doing to the environment?

Legislation that provides health care for all citizens, Senate Bill 840 (the Kuehl plan), has been written and passed but vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Does it seem to you that our government is willing to protect the environment yet consider people disposable? If so, consider the information provided by OneCareNow.org.

Neither people nor the environment is disposable.

Susan Nathan

Spraying really bites
The Butte County Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control District has been spraying our town for several months with one of the so-called “safe” or “natural” pyrethrum pesticides to kill the mosquito that causes West Nile virus, releasing a fog that hangs in the air at least long enough for a mosquito to fly through it or for a person or pet to walk through it.

New Yorkers exposed to the pesticide reported symptoms typical of pyrethrum inhalation, including asthmatic breathing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, headache, nausea, poor coordination, tremors, convulsions, facial flushing and swelling, skin burning and itching, with the most severe poisonings reported in infants. Pyrethrums disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the effects of the hormone estrogen, causing breast cancer in women and lowered sperm counts in men.

Pyrethrum alone isn’t fatal to mosquitoes until piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is added to increase its potency. PBO inhibits liver enzymes, endangering babies or anyone with a compromised liver condition.

Despite all this, Jim Camy, manager of the Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control District, recently declared pyrethrum and PBO “a very, very safe product.” I question the long-term effects of repeatedly spraying the whole town and whether the threat of West Nile is so severe and our fear of it so high that we must inadvertently poison ourselves with such a “very, very safe product.”

Karen Laslo
Editor’s note: For more about this issue, please see the Newslines story.

‘Out of touch'? Hardly!
Steve O’Bryan [in explaining his resignation from the Planning Commission] laments that he’s out of touch.

Steve represents the best of Chico—average people who are down to earth and friendly, put their children before monetary and material pursuits, are concerned about educational inclusivity (even in the face of the “sell your soul” No Child Left Behind’s test-score-driven agenda), and who are generally willing to make the sacrifices that are needed to maintain the higher quality of life that consistently leaves those who visit our city in awe.

Where Steve differs from the average Chicoan is the amount of time and years of service he and his family have put into our beautiful city. His phenomenal personal sacrifice for his community has astounded me for years.

Dare I imagine what our city would be if even half our community were as “out of touch” as Steve is.

Sean Molina

Hmmm …
When more than 12 million people from other countries break into your country illegally, it’s not immigration, it’s an invasion of trespassers. When two illegal immigrants have a child, you get an illegal immigrant, not a U.S citizen. If we could clear up this one inequitable practice, then there would be one less reason for people to burden our country. Then families could stay together when being deported to their home country.

Jerry Olio
Editor’s note: The letter above didn’t fit in the Sept. 20 print edition but ran online and drew the following reply:

It needs to be noted that immigrants are “breaking in” to our country with the (tacit?) encouragement of those who exploit them and stand to profit from their work—an undisputable case of elite and corporate double-talk and double standards.

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff