More In Your Eyes

Chico may get stereotyped as a monochrome community, but you don’t have to look or listen too hard to find specks of diversity. And beyond the superficial distinctions are differences in perspective. Nowhere are those more evident in the CN&R than the Letters section. Here are more highlights from ’07:


• When the Japanese and Chinese foreclose on our loans, the Democrats may regret the war’s length and expense. Well, the Republicans will have to find a way to pay for the war until it ends.—David Lorenz, Jan. 11

• House Minority Leader John Boehner recently commented on the subject of stem cell research, stating: “The sanctity of life is the issue. Taxpayer funds should not be used to destroy human life, plain and simple.” I assume, then, that he will be immediately recanting his support of the Iraq war?—Adam L. Brinkow, Jan. 18

• There is some good news about abortion: The birth rate for Caucasians is not enough to sustain the Caucasian race, so these white, bourgeois, middle-class feminists will breed themselves out of existence in another generation or so. —Michael M. Peters, Jan. 25

• Perhaps the energy corporations and military corporations that have benefited from Congressman Herger’s votes over the years will divert some of their profits to the people of CA-2 to offset the cost of increased energy as a way of rewarding us for the votes of the man we sent to Washington to represent us.—John Omaha, Jan. 25

• When I received the offer to move to Florida, I thought this would be a good time in my life to start a new adventure. Now that I’m here, I find myself searching for enchiladas as good as Casa Ramos’, a burger that compares to Nobby’s, a slice of pizza half as good as Gashouse’s, or a shoe sale like GiGi’s!—Melissa Cabral, former KHSL/KNVN news anchor, Jan. 25

• Are we to believe that New Urbanism is the answer to suburban sprawl? Or do you think that New Urbanism will in reality only increase the density of the sprawl?—Lytle Williams, Feb. 8

• I agree with your forecast regarding an Edwards-Obama ticket! This voter longs for an electable ticket with candidates who are intelligent, humane and flexible—willing to grapple with complexities and ambiguities as they lead our country.—Silona Reyman, Feb. 8

• [I]s it so far-fetched that G. W. Bush, a born-again Christian, would condone killing thousands of his own people? After all, he does carry the title of “the killingest governor of Texas”—Dorothy Biby, finding a parallel between a 9/11 Truth tenet and the death penalty, Feb. 15

Early spring

• Thank you for your informative and aptly titled article [“Abuse of authority’] that shed new light on what was arguably Chico Unified’s ugliest chapter: the tenure of megalomaniac [Superintendent] Scott Brown and the ousting of one of the district’s most capable administrators…. As for what can now be done … a public flogging [of Brown] would be nice, but probably not as remedial as the district pursuing every legal option to hold him accountable for his actions.—Tom Mount, March 15

• Richard Ek’s in-depth exposure of Chico city employee salaries and benefits ranks among the top public-service, investigative reports within the past 20 years by any of the local papers. His former students at the university would be proud of him…. Our university and community are fortunate to have Dr. Richard Ek still in the hunt for a good story to bang out on his Royal typewriter.—Professor emeritus John Sutthoff, April 12

• While I must agree that we Chico police officers are well-paid in comparison with some members of this community, I would encourage your publication to focus on raising the level of our community workforce’s compensation to a standard that is comparable with the rest of this state rather than blaming the police officers and city staff for the potholes in our streets.—Police Capt. John Rucker, April 5

• The Chico News & Review has been criticized by some for printing the names of the war’s dead…. Right now, we need to bring this illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq to a quick close and bring our military back to American soil where they belong. Then we wouldn’t need to publish page after page of the names of our brave soldiers.—Donald L. Ward, April 12

• [“The dead”] was a thinly veiled “stop the war” piece, and while I agree with your stance, you should not use America’s dead to make your case. Do me a favor: Next time you decide to write a “memorial,” consult with a veteran.—Nathan Methvin-Terry, April 12

Late spring

• [H]ere’s my proposal for those of you supporting draconian gun restrictions and/or confiscation: Drop the “reasonable, sensible gun laws” rhetoric…. Simply advocate for the repeal of the Second Amendment itself. If you want to create open, honest and sustained debate on this issue, that’s the best means to do it.—H.C. Jamieson, May 3

• If you really want to save lives, we should be banning swimming pools and vehicles. America is free because of the gun, and it is the only way to keep it that way.—Donovan Gilbert, May 3

• Anyone truly concerned about the victims of drugs will work to end an immoral drug crusade that murders more than 30,000 people every year and spawns a multitude of criminal activities.—Redford Givens, May 3

• I don’t see how rational people can openly trust this government, Democratic or Republican, so I would greatly like to see an open and public trial of the evidence in the case of 9/11.—David Hill, May 10

• Speaking of conspiracy theories, for all of you who don’t believe in them, where do you stand on the “war on terror”? Somebody has convinced you to spend billions of your tax dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives on the theory there is an invisible, global conspiracy out to get you. —Beau Grosscup, May 17

• I guess if “it’s a safe assumption that all [unarmed] citizens entering the campus would be at a great disadvantage should they be confronted by an armed killer,” one can extrapolate that all countries should have nuclear weapons for the same reason. Just to feel safe.—Ted Spencer, responding to a letter by Jack Lee following the Virginia Tech massacre, May 17

Early summer

• Isn’t it remarkable that when one sensational story ends, a new one miraculously appears to keep us spellbound? For instance, Anna Nicole Smith has departed, and Paris Hilton dutifully availed herself as a viable substitute. What would we do if we had to face reality?—Joe Bahlke, May 24

• Why is the governor selling insurance instead of representing the interests of the people of California?—Norma Wilcox R.N., June 21

• I understand why the need to appeal to younger community members makes trading cards seem like a good idea, but I don’t understand why the police would distribute a photo of a police officer wearing a shirt advertising beer. I’m actually not sure which is more inappropriate: that the picture is handed out to children or that it is handed out to adults both over and under 21 years old at a DUI checkpoint …—Anna Smith, July 5

• [B]ecause someone has to stand up to small-minded drivel, I must object to Anthony Porter’s July 19 column, which was not From The Edge, but Over The Edge. The time has long past when the disabled who live and work among us can be referred to as “tardos” and “cripples” in a misguided attempt to make up for the writer’s lack of creativity or to stir controversy or sales.—Stephan R. Wattenberg, July 26

• I suppose that now, in order to be fair, we can expect all sorts of colorful and earthy terms to appear in your publication, including words once commonly used by ignorant white folks to refer to those of Mr. Porter’s ancestry.—Carl Ochsner, July 26

• Is “small-minded drivel” better that “tardos” and “cripples”? … Taking offense is a choice for all of us, from “nappy-headed hos” at Rutgers to Messrs. Wattenberg and Ochsner. If they don’t like the terms I use, I respectfully suggest they choose to use different ones.—Anthony Peyton Porter’s response, July 26

Late summer into autumn

• History teaches that military success in vanquishing [dictatorships in] foreign territories has never left a lasting peace, unless the people of that land have themselves gotten rid of the tyrants. So it will be in Iraq.—Brahama D. Sharma, Aug. 30

• A woman showing her cleavage may affect your teaching skills, but it should not affect her grade. I hope you are only speaking for yourself and not the many open-minded teachers whom I have had the pleasure to be instructed by.—Holly Swan, on an advice essay by retired instructor Jaime O’Neill, Aug. 30

• Like the Roman Empire in decline, we citizens have allowed ourselves to be sedated with gladiatorial contests, celebrity circuses and extreme unbridled sports. We have become overweight by gorging ourselves on distracting entertainment—instead of working and fighting for truth and social justice.—John Chendo, Sept. 6

• In California, there is special awareness of environmental issues…. Why do we do to people what we would never consider doing to the environment?—Susan Nathan, on health-care inequities, Sept. 27

• Animal-rights activists such as myself have to answer one question over and over again: “Why are you wasting your time helping animals when there are humans that need our help?!” My response to this would be a quote from Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA: “Because compassion isn’t some measly pot from which you can only take one spoonful.”—Sarah Downs, Oct. 18

• Criminals know which laws are, and are not, being enforced. The very least city officials should do is investigate and publish all laws that the Chico Police Department is not currently enforcing, so that the public may know in what ways they are not being protected.—Ann Ashley, Nov. 1

Late autumn into winter

• Why do you think the Kyoto signatories are even more out of compliance than the U.S. is? It’s all about their inability to keep pace with us. Sorry, but I don’t feel guilty about the material success of the most free, most energetic and most humane society ever to emerge on this planet. If you hate yourself for being American, you can always go whine about it in such wonderfully libertarian venues as Iran or Cuba.—Chad Wozniak, Nov. 15

• I may not agree with the way President Bush has conducted the war, but I do know we have the enemy busy in Afghanistan and Iraq, not New York or Los Angeles…. We did not start this war, and not one of us—Democrat or Republican, left or right—wants war. We should all want victory, whatever the cost. The price of surrender would be much greater.—Gary Lapple, Nov. 22

• More police and other practical matters, like fewer potholes in the roads, mean more to me than sculpted hands at City Hall and a park overhaul.—John Lorenz, Nov. 29

• As a United States combat veteran, I am offended beyond belief. This stinking ordinance spits on the grave of every soldier buried at Arlington [National Cemetery].— Michael M. Peters, on the “disorderly events ordinance,” Dec. 6

• The countries that provide this [universal] health care are not socialist states. They simply assume a responsibility to heal and care for their sick. Let’s do the same.—Gerda Seaman, Dec. 6

Ending with a Dec. 20 letter about Chico Unified School District’s new use for Measure A bonds, but applicable so many other places:

• It doesn’t matter if the “baby needs new shoes.” It’s not their money.—Reb Wilson