Letters for September 6, 2001

Why we stay
A response to your Aug. 9 story about the Cherokee mine states, “The essence of why we left Butte County” is “the anti-business sentiment that pervades communities [there]” [“Why we left,” Letters, Aug. 23]. This writer should not confuse lifestyle choices with anti-business sentiment. Cherokee residents, including many who are pro-business, are following the dictum: “Do what you want on your own land.” They are enjoying a serene lifestyle provided by a long-established rural community.

The proposed location of this industrial mining project, to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is much too close to many homes, making it incompatible with Cherokee’s residential setting. The mine would prevent local residents from “doing what they want on their own land,” which is living in tranquility.

The mining that began in Cherokee 150 years ago died out more than a century ago and is properly interred in documents and artifacts in the local museum. Cherokee is now known for its historic tourist attractions and the nearby Table Mountain wildflowers. (Please see Sunset magazine’s article on Cherokee in the September 2001 issue.)

Some leave Butte County in search of jobs. Others move to Butte County to escape urban settings, where most jobs exist. This “Land of Natural Wealth and Beauty” attract tourists and others. This is the motto on our county’s letterhead. It is appropriate.

Lee Edwards

Mine destruction
It’s obvious that Brad Sheldon [“Why we left,” Letters, Aug. 23] has never seen the Cherokee mine site. He doesn’t understand that during the last 100 years nature has valiantly created a very delicate ecosystem, restoring the huge hydraulic mine from the 1800s to a beautiful canyon graced with stands of ponderosa pines and a variety of other trees, plants, birds and animals. To disrupt this land by logging and defoliating would cause massive erosion, releasing large quantities of sediment laced with mercury (and possible other toxins) from former gold mining. This environmental disaster would affect not only Cherokee residents but all downstream homes, farmlands and nearby Spring Valley School.

Butte County doesn’t need another Superfund site.

Mr. Sheldon’s assertion that this mining company could and would mitigate its proposed devastation of the land, flora and fauna better than the reforestation created by Mother Nature over the last 114 years is naïve and arrogant.

Butte County should not “permit” this disaster.

Carole Hamilton

Poor timing
Your interesting article [“Who owns Southeast Chico?” Everybody’s business, Aug. 23] was incorrect in the timing of the facility master plan for Enloe Hospital. When I retired on Nov. 30, 1995, Enloe’s facility master plan was to replace and build Enloe Hospital on the East 20th Street and Bruce Road property. The reason Enloe purchased the property was because our feasibility studies showed that location was more accessible, obviously more spacious for continued long-range phased expansion, not disruptive to neighbors, and considerably less costly to build.

I’ve not seen the rationale for the current plans to enlarge and replace Enloe Hospital at Fifth Avenue and the Esplanade. I did not participate in the facility master plan changes that have occurred after my retirement.

James P. Sweeney
Enloe CEO, retired

Editor’s response: As reported in the article, government entities assumed—based on development agreements with the city and other communication—that until three or four years ago Enloe Health System still planned to build a new hospital on its South Chico property. But, in our interview, Enloe representatives made a point of saying the hospital’s board decided as early as 1990 not to build there.

Virtue aplenty
Virtues have never been my strong points. Oh, I think I have them, but probably not to the degree that I could set an example or anything. Now, with conservation being a new virtue as proclaimed by the government, I feel that I can step forward and be someone people talk about to their children and perhaps be the subject of a sermon or two.

Of course, for this kind of attention, I’ll really need to polish up on my conservation. I think I’ll start by turning off the lights at night when I’m in bed and turning off the TV before I go to sleep. From now on, I’ll be drinking margaritas at room temperature and wearing fewer clothes. Then I’ll have less laundry. Hell, I may even wear the same socks two days in a row, so that people can experience my virtuousness through all their senses.

My car is going to be involved in this campaign, too. From now on, I am conserving the energy my turn signals wastefully consume. I’ll use reflective tape on my arms for those retro turn signals at night, but I’m concerned about the sun—isn’t there some reason we’re supposed to stay out of it? Something to do with ozone layers? I think for the health of my left arm, people can just guess my turns during the day—they’ve got at least a 50-50 chance, and driving will be more exciting. Oh, and virtuous as well.

J. Bowman

Family matters
This is a giant thank you to our huge extended Chico family, the musicians, silent-auction donors and participants, Butte County Fire Station 21, and the Senator Theater crew. The outpouring of your love, healing energy, music and generosity made the Legends of Chico Benefit Concert a howling success!

Thus far, donations to the Adrian Baxmeyer Medical Relief Fund have totaled over $8,000 and are still being received! Log on to www.chico.com/legendsofchico for an expanding list of donors. The power, love, and soul of this community are forces to be reckoned with!

The Baxmeyer Family,
Tina Meyer and Anne Fields


Gore = Bush
This is in response to the letter sent in by Robert Woods, [“Anti-Dem conspiracy,” Letters, Aug. 23].

The Democrats continue to blame the nation’s troubles on the Green Party for their involvement in working toward a more democratic, non-corporate-elite-ruled government. Somewhere along the line the Green Party figured that to continue to choose the “lesser of two evils,” election after election, would still leave us with something evil.

The truth is that Mr. Gore had the same corporate campaign contributors as George W., which, at least in my narrow understanding of the “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” philosophy, would make him as sold out to corporate interests as is oilman Bush. If we had a truly democratic system, and a half a million votes actually counted for something, Mr. Gore would now be the one in the Oval Office making the shady deals.

It’s clearly the time for us to take back our governments on the local, state and federal levels. Our “elected” representatives have proven to us time and time again that they are invested in serving the needs of big money and not the needs of the people. Corporations have one goal in mind, to increase profits at any expense. You can guarantee that the expense will be more than we, our children and this planet can afford.

If you want to continue to compromise our future, Mr. Woods, make your choice, but please, stop blaming the Green Party for trying to put an end to the corrupt plutocratic duopoly that we’ve suffered under for too long.

Sherri Quammen