Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2023

Meter woes persist

Re: Cover Story: “What’s up with downtown?” (by Jason Cassidy)

Let me get this straight. I must enter my license plate number and estimated time just to park downtown. Way to data mine your own citizens, Chico!

Bob Andersen

In the July 6-August 2 issue, the cover story quotes Tom Van Overbeek, a prominent member of the Chico Silly Council, as saying that, in regard to the goofy parking situation downtown that, “At this point the city is committed to it and we’re not going back.” Uncle Tom seems to think (if that’s the correct term) that the silly council is the city. No.

Anthony Porter

I have been following the controversy over the parking kiosks and as a downtown business owner for 40 years I think it is clear they are having a significant negative impact. Since they were installed our business has been down every month from 2022. We are dealing with frequent complaints from customers and a few have said they won’t be back. We are on Fourth street between Main and Wall and there is often only a few cars parked on the entire block, whereas before I estimate the occupancy to be generally 40-80 percent. Since it’s unlikely the city will ever bring back the meters, I wonder if there’s a way to make downtown parking free until it fills up enough so the overflow goes to the paid parking lots (like some other cities). I have read a couple letters in support of the kiosks but not from any business owners.

Scott Hodgkinson (Ital Imports)

Know your America

Americans need deep background on how things work. It ain’t what they think. Charles Mackay, in 1841, published Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which describes many instances of whole populations departing reality for some bizarre mirage. In 1951, Eric Hoffer published The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. This should be required reading for all Americans. With that background, you will be ready for volume two of The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens. He was a “muckraker” who proved connections between the money people and pretty much all elected officials in the U.S. This is not mere sophomoric cynicism; corruption is an American tradition going back to our Revolution. Of course, these works are subject to the ancient wisdom: Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see. If we want to keep our country and our nice lives, pay attention or pay the price.

Nelson Kaiser

It’s a sign

Long awaited, the bicycle path from east Eaton Road up Cohasset Road to the Chico airport is a notable improvement, one that will doubtless get better with age as the trees planted along the way mature. And the benches are a thoughtful touch, as are the distance signs in both directions. But all the signs indicating the distances from the airport south to downtown Chico are misspelled. Instead of “Downtown” they all say “Downtownt”. Surely these can be replaced with signs spelled correctly?

Jesse Dizard

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