This time: In Your Eyes

Early “Happy New Year” and belated “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hannukah” and first utterance of “Heri za Kwanzaa”! This is the week I step aside and devote this column to readers’ words. Here are some highlights from the past 52 weeks worth of letters:

• Good for you for pointing out about those liberals filling the commission spots with no minorities. Even the CN&R, in its Who to Watch in 2007, featured an Italian American, Tom DiGiovanni, and a Scottish American, Paul McIntosh.—Al Crocker, Jan. 11

• The closure of Chico’s long-term restaurant The Redwood Forest is much more than a sad ending…. Wake up, Chico—the heart of your town is being sold to the highest bidder!—Vicki Kunst, March 8

• When letting bygones be bygones is the easy thing to do, and indifference the order of the day, people of conscience and good will must take responsibility for changing things.—Donald Heinz, on the Chico Unified School District’s Brown-Sloan scandal, March 15

• “Chico has long been known as a minimum-wage town.” Is that the standard you’re looking at for City Hall?—Bob Klang, responding to Richard Ek’s budget story, April 5

• If winning at all costs in their minds somehow justifies the personal insults and caustic criticism that have become their coaching “style” … why don’t they try it on the loan officer at the bank the next time they are in need of additional funds, or their dentist just before a root canal?—Dr. Doug Benson, on Chico State women’s basketball, April 12

• Yeah, 9/11 was a “conspiracy.” … Bush is an evil genius. Right. And the black helicopters are coming. And Elvis parties with space aliens in Area 51.—Kevin Quinn, following a story on Chico’s 9/11 Truth group, May 10

• I feel that there are few places most people really have to drive to, at least here in Chico. And we hardy souls who do choose to brave the sun and heat would rather not have to breathe your exhaust fumes.—Ben Elwell, May 31

• When you raise children in air conditioning, they think they can’t survive without it. Let them get used to Northern California summers now, before they have to foot the bill for their own air conditioning.—Juanita Sumner, on cutting schools’ energy costs, Sept. 6

• We’re doing a great job of keeping the tubers from floating down the river. Too bad we can’t keep the under-30 crowd from murdering and shooting each other on the streets of Chico every few days.—Victor Cantu, Sept. 6

• [W]hich option would be the most genuinely sustainable use of this land: to mine gravel for 30 years or to farm it for the next thousand years or more?—Ron Jones, on the M&T Ranch, Nov. 1

• Planetree sounds like progress toward patient safety and fair treatment for staff. But does the ’Tree realize what it’s getting into?—Peter Calo, on Enloe Hospital’s new consultant, Nov. 15

And finally, a December passage by Rex Stromness, which I saved to run here:

• What, I ask, will the importance of the economy, Iran’s nebulous nuclear threat, immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc., be, compared to a planet that is dying? … “The Arctic is screaming.” Will we have the sense as the dominant species on the Earth to listen?