Wise man

The following words should be etched on a public monument dedicated to the beauty of simple human reasoning: “It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners.” The words were uttered by San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer. Not surprisingly, they have triggered a flurry of responses from thick-browed Cro-Magnons like Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale. In a press release this week, LaMalfa called the judge’s ruling “an insult to millions of voters across this state who affirmed their support for the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. He is just another liberal San Francisco judge telling the people their votes don’t count.” I guess that makes LaMalfa just another conservative Butte County rice-seed telling certain people that their relationships don’t count. Talk about your insults.

Kramer wrote that the state’s definition of marriage can’t justify the denial of equal protection for gay people. “The state’s protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional.” That’s what happens when you amend into the state constitution a moral debate. LaMalfa writes that he “and just about every Californian” thought the issue had been settled four years ago with the passage of Proposition 22, which says the state constitution recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman. Apparently LaMalfa counts only himself and the 4.6 million people who voted for Prop. 22 as “just about every Californian.” What about the other 29 million people living in California in 2000 when the proposition passed? They don’t count? In fact, I think it’s more accurate to say just about every Californian—21 of every 25 people of voting age—didn’t vote for Prop. 22.

Though it didn’t get the same widespread attention as Dan Rather’s recent departure as longtime anchorman for the CBS Evening News, we’ve had our own changing of the news anchor here in Chico. Last Friday marked Maureen Naylor’s last day on the job for the NVN, KHSL and KNVN local news-show combo. She was good, too good to stay in a small market like Chico for long. Fresno snapped her up, leaving the rest of us mediocre news folks behind. We wish her well and hope the same unfortunate fate that befell the last Chico TV personality to venture forth—weathercaster Rob Blair, who went to heartless Las Vegas—doesn’t strike Naylor. We don’t think it will.

While we are on the subject of local news, we’re not sure the new NCN Wake Up! team of Eric Laughlin and Louisa Hodge has that same Naylor-Blair, Tracy-Hepburn, Rogers-Astaire, Anthony-Cleopatra, Taylor-Burton, Yogi-Boo-boo kind of chemistry. Maybe it’ll come together, but to move things along Laughlin might want to mix in a cup of coffee before he goes on the air.

The 92-year-old Flume Street Building, which housed the original Enloe Hospital on, well, Flume Street, is slated for demolition if no one raises a protest by April 1. Earlier this month new owner Pat Orr posted a notice of demolition in front of the building, which was seriously damaged by a fire on July 5, 2003. Former owner Roy Ellis, who purchased the building in 1970, was going to tear it down after the fire, but an inspection suggested the old construction still had enough integrity to warrant a remodel. A year later master renovator Wayne Cook purchased the building from Ellis with plans to tear off the façade, restore it to its original design and build a couple of condos. Cook apparently changed his mind and sold the building to Orr in February. The new owner could not be reached by press time.