Letters for September 7, 2006

Try for bigger flights, too
Re: “All systems go” (Downstroke, CN&R, Aug. 31):

The news of direct flights to L.A. or northbound needs the rejoinder of first fixing the flights to San Francisco in regard to the times of the day, frequency and the type of aircraft used.

Chico Municipal Airport has all the needed length of the runway to allow mid-sized jets to take off and land. Some of the Sacramento-to-San Francisco flights, with a shorter distance to fly, use the mid-sized jets. The delays due to ground conditions in San Francisco need attention in that outbound flights from Chico get the low priority; if mid-sized jets were to be used, carrying more passengers, the priority may be a bit different.

Brahama D. Sharma

By any other name …
Re: “Rename the plaza” (Editorial, CN&R, Aug. 24):

Why not have a contest to see if local residents would like to donate their ideas for a new name for the plaza?

My ideas are to name the park after the guy who cut down all the trees … or perhaps after the City Council. Just think of all the possibilities.

Monty Hoffner

Make your own kind of music
Re: “Why I’m not taking up the guitar” (Backbeat, by Jaime O’Neill, CN&R, Aug. 31:

If we all compared ourselves to Pat Metheny or Béla Fleck, nobody would ever take up the guitar. If you are inclined to learn how to play the guitar, then please do! There are plenty of wonderful players who can squeeze a whole lot of emotion out of three chords and a scale. Don’t be discouraged by the one in 10 million virtuosos like Metheny. Just have fun with it.

Bob Howard

Arrest as a compassionate act
Re: “Moving out the disadvantaged” (Guest Comment, by Richard Ek, CN&R, Aug. 31):

I would like to add my comments to those of Bill Such and Richard Ek regarding the dilemma of how best to deal with those who are living in the streets and sleeping in our parks and other public spaces.

While we may no longer have the option of classifying homelessness as a crime, we can certainly ask our police and sheriff’s deputies to enforce existing laws and to follow up on outstanding warrants. Ironically, we are probably acting in a wise and compassionate manner when we do so.

More often than not, homelessness is related to substance addictions and/or psychiatric disabilities. The temporary incarceration that results from arrests on warrants usually means a chance to get cleaned up, detoxify somewhat, have regular meals, adequate sleep and perhaps have a brief chance to review one’s circumstances. It can mean a fresh opportunity to take a clear look at past life decisions and to examine healthier and more productive options for the future. These kinds of routine arrests may be one of the few tools our community has to attempt to retrieve the lost souls.

As a society, we too often shield our indecisiveness and indifference behind a misdirected commitment to civil liberties and “personal choices.” A truly compassionate and civilized community does not allow its citizens to self-destruct; but rather, takes vigorous action to intervene wherever and whenever possible.

Carl Ochsner

A truly solemn oath
Re: “Active Marine speaks up” (Letters, by Cpl. James M. Hair, CN&R, Aug. 31):

On reading the letter from Cpl. Hair, I was reminded that I, too, took an oath to defend the constitution against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It was 1952 and I had just joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school.

I wasn’t really sure what an “enemy domestic” was until George W. Bush took office. If our Constitution has an enemy of any kind, he is surely the leader of the pack.

It is truly depressing to spend one’s “golden years” with the knowledge that one is powerless to fulfill a solemn oath taken in time of war.

Franz Cilensek

Response to a response
Re: “No happy dance here” (Letters, by R.C. Osmond, CN&R, Aug. 24:

After reading this letter, I looked at our American flag. The red stripes remind me that “freedom isn’t free” and was purchased with and maintained by blood. I am reminded of our forefathers and veterans that stayed on course when things looked bleak and hopeless. I think of the recent sacrifices of countless others who loved our country and its citizens that they voluntarily placed themselves in harm’s way. I also am grateful and challenged by the personal sacrifices of U.S. Marine Jason Hair of Paradise who, with his family’s blessings, re-enlisted not too long ago because he and his family believe in the cause of freedom.

Thank God, yellow is not a color in the flag of the United States of America!

Frank Candlish

Rome reincarnated
It is amusing to hear your average American snivel about the price of gas while defending their “right” to drive some three-ton behemoth three blocks to the convenience store for a quart of milk. Ditto for such repulsive and wasteful entertainment as NASCAR and similar auto and motorcycle races, destruction derbies, tractor pulls, boat and plane races, etc.

This Colosseum consciousness results in 5 percent of the Earth’s population consuming 40 percent of the world’s goods and services, and creating a like percentage of the waste, garbage and poison. America is the new Rome—hail Caesar!

Lonny Martin
Forest Ranch

Critical care choice
I am an orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Chico from June 1966 to June 2000. Although I left Chico a year ago, I have great respect and affection for the town, its people and its institutions.

I think Enloe Hospital is one of the greatest assets in Chico. When I was in Chico in early August, I became alarmed about the conflict between the medical staff and the administration. A number of staff doctors, including some of the anesthesiologists, may be in competition with our hospital if they own an interest to any of two private surgery centers in Chico. At times these centers provide service to patients who cannot afford to pay but may refer the non-paying or inadequately paying patients to Enloe.

I consider this to be a most unfortunate situation in that it takes income from the hospital, while it saddles the hospital with extra expenses. Inasmuch as such doctors exercise a distinct and definite conflict of interest when they direct their patients to their own for-profit facility, I recommend that they reveal this information to their patients at the time of scheduling. Also, I recommend that the citizens of this area who support a high-quality hospital request and insist that patients have their care at Enloe Hospital or at Enloe’s Bruce Road Outpatient Facility.

A hospital is a terrible thing to trash.

David W. Oberlin, MD
Del Mar

Re: “Candidates disagree on big issues” (Newslines, CN&R, Aug. 31): City Councilman Dan Herbert has pledged to honor the Greenline, not consider adjusting it for growth.

Re: “A bridge too high” (Newslines, CN&R, Aug. 24): Search & Rescue divers from the Butte County Sheriff’s Department can go as deep as 130 feet on regular air but, under their safety policy, do not go deeper than 80 feet for a “recovery” dive, as opposed to a “rescue” dive. Capt. Mike Larish also said that Search & Rescue “has not nor ever would recommend a specific firm” for a recovery dive.