Letters for September 5, 2002

Price of poor planning
Steve Thompson, Rick Keene’s campaign manager, defends Keene’s developer-based agenda, saying that we need “affordable” homes for young families [“Polluting liberals,” Letters, Aug. 8].

The developments in question have not offered any solutions to Thompson’s “crisis.” Sterling apartments were not intended for young families. And how many such families can afford the houses in [the soon-to-be-built] Brentwood [subdivision], which will be priced at more than $250,000?

There was a chance to make Brentwood a better development, to improve the surrounding roads and ease the onslaught of new traffic in the area. The builders opted for the lowest-possible standards, and Rick Keene and his developer-friendly majority let them slide by with it. What will be the result of that poor judgment in another 10, 15 or 20 years? Where’s the new high school, and who is going to put up the $6 million Jim Mann wants for the site? Will the Nord Avenue corridor be the westward boundary of the “student ghetto” in 10 years?

Thompson asserts that his employer, Rick Keene, engages in '"thoughtful planning.” No. What Keene currently engages himself in is getting elected to the state Assembly. Our quality of life is not his priority, and never was.

Juanita Sumner

It takes a pillage
“Viking” is a crude caricature of the Scandinavian people as ruthless, pillaging tribes [“Crosstown Rivalry,” cover story, Aug. 22]. Scandinavians have been leaders in United Nations peacekeeping and have some of the most humane social democracies. My grandfather was full-blooded Scandinavian, and I might just plunder your offices and steal your women if you don’t say you are sorry.

Michael Jones

Distant admirer
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey is my new hero. It takes a special nerve to oppose the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and I would like to see more of it.

I was thrilled to read Laura Smith’s account of Ramsey’s actions [“Up in Smoke,” Newslines, Aug. 29]. If more politicians showed such true grit, the medical marijuana ban would fall apart in an instant. Instead, we must force our federal government to change, from the outside, with disgruntled punts by the judicial and executive branches.

If there is a single witty person yet opposed to medical marijuana, I urge them to reconsider. We are merely asking that marijuana be placed in the same category as cocaine, so that cancer patients can use it to cope with chemotherapy. Despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary, the Bush administration still wages war on such patients.

Danny Terwey

We will survive
John Omaha takes Robert Speer to task for having opinions based upon unexamined and probably false assumptions [“2027, A dissenting view,” Guest comment, Aug. 29]. John then proceeds to predict our fate about 2027 based upon equally false assumptions.

I believe it is well to remember that scientists in the 1940s were predicting that we would deplete our oil and food supplies in a few years. It was predicted in the 1970s that the earth would freeze. Late-night talk show hosts interview so-called experts who are all excited because the North Pole has moved a bit, the earth’s geomagnetic field changes, the solar flux is varying, we are being bombarded by heavy proton streams caused by coronal ejections, etc.

While the foregoing is all true it is nothing new, there is no evidence or agreement among scientists that any of mankind’s activities have any influence over such events. The earth has undergone heating and cooling cycles for centuries—long before the invention of the internal-combustion engine.

I am not too happy being called a bacterium, John, but promise not to let it keep me from driving my SUV to my favorite fishing spots in the mountains and enjoying life while you and the scientists worry about the exact date that we are all doomed to die.

Maurice Picard

The truth, by George
In 1945 the U.S. government embraced Nazi spymaster Reinhard Gehlen and a spy apparatus that reached into the entire Soviet bloc. To increase their power and authority, Gehlen and his Nazis fed the U.S. a distorted picture of the Soviets. The facts of this alliance are available to all who seek them out.

Is the Bush administration distorting the picture of Saddam? Are we Americans really so witless that we have forgotten that not long ago Saddam was our valued partner against Iran? Anyone remember Iran-Contra? Anyone wonder why Bush No. 2 has sealed off the presidential records beginning with the Reagan years? Does the control of history sound Orwellian? What might we learn about Iran-Contra and the workings of ex-CIA chief Bush No. 1?

Why should anyone believe Bush & Co about Saddam? The military-industrial complex might prevail in Iraq, but we Americans would certainly lose what little remains of our democracy.

John O’Brien

Wally’s world
I assumed my representatives would want to know how I felt about attacking Iraq. My senators’ staff listened and thanked me for calling. Not so Rep. Wally Herger’s (R-Marysville) office.

Saul Granfill answered, and I said we should not attack Iraq. It would be illegal, cost many American lives, and kill thousands of innocent civilians. The office help proceeded to argue with me and belittle my opinions. I did not expect this and now question whether my message will be passed on in a fair way.

Granfill tried to convince me that a majority of Americans support attacking Iraq. When I told him polls show a majority don’t support attacking if it results in American casualties, he dismissed this as untrue.

He suggested I am “opposed to any war.”

I am not opposed to legal wars for just causes.

“This war is authorized by the U.N.”



Would he be willing to have a U.N. vote now?

Evasive subject shift that this attack will “prevent nuclear attacks on New York, Washington, Philadelphia.”

No one else in the world supports this attack.

“England does.”

Tony Blair maybe, but not the people, not France, not Germany.

(Why is this man arguing with me?)

I called with my opinion. I can just hear how it gets passed on:

Not, “One of your constituents called expressing grave concern, asking you to use your influence to move us from the brink of war and world isolation.”

But, “Another fringe peace nut called and I really told him.”

I’m afraid Mr. Herger is just as isolated from the American people as Mr. Bush is.

Monte Clifford

Help the Senator
I see that the Senator Theatre is in dire need of funds again. I have often thought how much fun it would be to have a paint-a-thon where we could get sponsors and pay for the privilege of painting part of the cool old building. I would love to be able to point to the building when showing folks around town and say that I’d had a hand in the painting—even if I couldn’t put my initials on it. I was jealous of that youth group that got to go all around downstairs and clean and find old stuff.

Well, maybe I’m the only wacko who would pay to do that, and maybe there are insurance hazards or union issues or something, but maybe we’d be surprised. And surely it’s a building worth investing in. In any case, good luck to DNA and all you energetic folks behind it.

Pamela Beeman