Letters to the editor: June 3, 2021

Focus on people

Re: Editorial, “Admit failure and refocus on homelessness,” April 7, 2021.

Chico’s homeless issue has been the focal point in our community recently due to the City Council’s poor follow through with creating stable housing for our residents. With Chico being known as a college town, it’s no surprise that part of this population also includes young adults.

The CN&R editorial shared that there have been multiple proposals regarding designating land for camp-friendly sites, creating tiny homes or even using an old hotel to house the homeless, yet no concrete progress has been made. I agree with the editorial that this is the time for accountability. This topic isn’t new, and it’s time the City Council move forward with the promises made to bettering the living conditions of those struggling who have inevitably resorted to the streets of Chico as their only option.

Not having stable housing is overwhelmingly stressful, which can lead to catalyzing and furthering substance use among folk who are homeless. Research done by the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse supports that the damage done from trauma and fear of living on the streets is what drives youths to develop addictive patterns to cope with their situation. Anyone experiencing homelessness has a higher risk of suffering from poor mental health, which also can be linked to increased substance use.

Samantha Rodriguez

Leave the board be

Today, it takes wisdom and the relentless pursuit of truth to discover what is really going on behind the heated rhetoric and emotion. A case in point is the current effort to recall four Chico Unified School District board members.

COVID-19 caused severe disruption to all our lives. It created a worldwide emergency. The public health system was faced with great unknowns.

To cope, public servants were called upon to make tough decisions. Their decisions had to be made on the best scientific information about the virus that was available. Lives were at stake. Emotion could not trump reason.

But a group of agitated parents came together for that very purpose. They wanted their children back in school, despite the unknowns and the risks to the community at large, in defiance of federal, state and local public health mandates.

The school board is sworn to uphold laws. It is supposed to be non-partisan. It is responsible to the entire Chico community, not only one vocal subgroup. Board member Matt Tennis is regularly being outvoted 4-1. The solution? Get rid of the four board members who disagree with him.

Please see through this thinly veiled grab for power. Retain our experienced and dedicated school board.

Elizabeth Griffin

Editor’s note: The author served on the CUSD board from 2008-2020.

Bravo, inspiration!

Regarding Inspire School of Arts and Sciences’ 7th annual video showcase, May 21, 2021:
Of course, the creativity and performances were very different from last year; last year was very different. A series of splendid soliloquies proved the value of aloneness and introspection. The wisdom and awareness shown in the creative expression of these pieces was phenomenal. To see young people who benefited from the strangeness and isolation of the pandemic was wonderful. Bravo teachers and students! Inspiring indeed!

Adrienne Hall

Bring back art town

Re: “The opening curtain,” Scene, April 7, 2021 (the first installment in the CN&R Bring Back the Arts series).

I visited Chico in the early ’80s and was so impressed with its art scene and the town’s atmosphere (it was Pioneer Week, LOL) that I did what I was typically inclined to do in such circumstances: without a second thought, I went home, packed my bags, then moved to Chico and assimilated into its culture. As an artist throughout all these years, I was always happy and excited when it would grow and improve and disappointed when (in my opinion) it would wane. So I’m delighted and excited to be reading about bringing back the arts.

Victor Youngblood

Not not sarcastic

I note that of California’s 53 U.S. Representatives, my favorite, Doug LaMalfa, and my second favorite, Tom McClintock, were the only California representatives to vote against the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Apparently, even Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy couldn’t stomach not voting for it.

Good to see Butte County can pride itself in that Congressman LaMalfa, and Congressman McClintock from the neighboring district, have supported their like-minded colleagues Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Jim Jordan and Louie Gohmert, all great political thinkers of the 18th century.

Dean Carrier

Scenic drive no more

Vallombrosa Avenue was designated as a “scenic drive” in the general plan. Staff have made it a major highway in Chico. This roadway is unsafe for pedestrians, children, young families, senior citizens, bicyclists, walkers, school children going to the park on a day trip, wildlife and the environment.

There has not been a speed study for 10 years. The speed limit of 35 mph is too fast for roadway conditions. It has been my experience that people drive 10 to 15 mph, or more, over the speed limit. This is based on my 25 years with the California Highway Patrol. I was a certified speed expert in three superior courts, including Butte County.

There are no crosswalks, limit lines or lane lines; not enough stop signs or deer crossing signs; and all the advisory signs are right on the park entrances. The roadway paint is worn out and faded and cannot be seen. You have 35 mph advisory signs in curves, which is crazy.

The speed limit should be set at 25 mph. There should be crosswalks at all park entrances for citizens with more stop signs, so we can have a safe scenic and residential neighborhood. The city of Chico has opened the door for criminal and civil negligence and liability.

I do not want a fatal accident that involves a child or an adult because of the unsafe roadway conditions.

Tom Nickell

Editor’s note: The author is a former vice mayor of Chico.

Ban the bee killers

The bees are dying, and we need to save them. There are 1,600 bee species in California, and 1 in 4 are imperiled. This is important because bees are major pollinators of foods we rely on. However, pesticides that harm bees, like neonics, are in everyday gardening products. Amazon.com is a major carrier of products with these harmful chemicals. Thankfully, we can petition Amazon to stop selling these items.

This is a corporate solution that would take care of the problem at the source. We need support from readers of this paper like you to combat the pesticides killing the bees. Let’s call on Amazon to stop selling neonics and save the bees!

Emily McCabe


In “The one that got away” (Downstroke, May 6, 2021)—a news brief on “Old Brownie,” the large fish from the old Barth’s Sporting Goods store that’s now on display at the Chico History Museum—both the material of the sign and the nature of its disappearance were incorrect. Old Brownie is made of metal and it came down in 1986 when the building was sold. The errors have been corrected in the online version.

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