Archive | July, 2020

Q & A for your district rep: What is CTO?

31 Jul

Thanks Jim, for sending me that piece from Cal Matters about the “pension spiking” case that went before the California Supreme Court.

I had heard something about the Alameda County Sheriff’s Association trying to overturn the 2013 Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), especially the sections forbidding spiking.

Here’s an example of pension spiking –

The highest paid employee in Chico is the fire captain who sits on his (excuse me, I blame the COVID) BIG FAT ASS 24-7 over at the airport fire station, waiting for a plane to crash. That’s all he’s trained for, he does nothing but gets more than twice the salary he agreed to in his contract. That’s him at the top of the chart. Here’s the details –

This person agreed to a salary of about $99,000/year, so how does he end up with “total wages” of $224,880/year? He spikes his salary with overtime, that’s how. Why wouldn’t the city just hire another man? Because Staff, led by Snake Charmer Mark Orme, has convinced our idiots on council that it’s cheaper to pay one guy more than his salary in overtime than hire another equally qualified person at the same salary.

In the old days, this man’s pension would have been based on his “total wages,” including overtime. That was banned by PEPRA.  Do you realize how that pissed off “public safety workers” all over the state? So they immediately lawyered-up and started to pick away at PEPRA.  Until now, courts have upheld the “California Rule” – “Any retirement benefits promised to a worker at the outset of a job can only be reduced if they are replaced with something of equal value.”   See, it’s all based on “collective bargaining,” another set of bullshit rules that say elected officials can’t bargain with employees, that they have to allow an “arbitrator” to make the deal, and then we all just have to go along with it. We don’t get to show face at the table, we don’t get to raise our fists – we’re just supposed to open our checkbooks and pay. 

Guess who our “arbitrator” is? Yeah, the forever arbitrary Snake Charmer in Chief, Chico Shitty manager Mark Orme. 

This ruling is an important,  “But the Supreme Court stopped short of out-and-out nixing the California Rule. “

“In the 90-page opinion written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the court found that “closing loopholes and preventing abuse of the pension system” was consistent with state law that otherwise makes it exceedingly difficult to renege on promised pension benefits for future work. “

So that means keep up the fight. Look at the other details in that page from

Regular Pay       $98,795      SALARY
Overtime Pay    $103,972     OVERTIME
Lump-Sum Pay     $3,581      The dollar amount paid to the employee for one-time cash-outs (including, but not limited to, paid excess vacation and sick leave, and legal settlements)

Other Pay            $18,532      The dollar amount paid to the employee for any other pay not reported as regular pay, overtime pay, or lump-sum pay (such as car allowances, meeting stipends, incentive pay, bonus pay, etc.).

Defined Benefit Plan Contribution       $25,182    PENSION

Health/Dental/Vision Contribution      $12,447    HEALTH BENEFITS

While the court has banned and upheld that ban on including overtime in pension benefits, the California Rule still allows for “Lump sum pay” and “other pay” to be added to pension benefits. Here’s a recent post I wrote about that.

I hope more people read that July 10 post.  I know this is a complicated subject, but I’m a housewife who was trained as an elementary school teacher, and I GET IT. I’ve been called every synonym for “stupid” in the dictionary, but I GET IT.  

Chico City Council just signed another year of cop and fire contracts without even discussing the pension deficit. I’d bet my last $5 most of council didn’t even read the contracts. 

Want to find out? Ask your district representative or candidate, “What is CTO?” Let me know what you get. 

UPDATE: I’m so glad I asked – my district rep, Kasey Reynolds, gave me a good conversation. I’m critical, and sometimes I realize, kind of a bitch. But Reynolds always responds, and she’ll admit when she’s not aware of various details. 

The worst response you can get from your district rep or candidate is NONE. Don’t let them get away with that – be polite, be firm, and if you don’t get a response, email them again. 


Mau Mau the Flakcatchers (with my apologies to Tom Wolfe)

28 Jul

I’ll never forget this movie I saw when I was in college – “King of Hearts”, with Alan Bates and Genevieve Bujold. It is set in France during WWII – a British soldier is sent ahead to a French town to disarm a bomb left behind by the retreating Germans.  

What he doesn’t know, is that the residents have run away, leaving the local insane asylum open, and the mental patients have assumed charge of the town.  He explains to them that he is looking for a bomb, but they don’t seem to care, arranging a fabulous ceremony to make him their king.  He’s so polite he goes along with it. Eventually, the Germans return and attack his regiment, destroying the town in the process.  The soldier ends up returning to the asylum with his new friends. 

Ah, wishful thinking, wouldn’t we all just like to throw up our hands and let “somebody else deal with it…” 

Well, it looks like we have done just that – our town has turned into an insane asylum, and the inmates are running it. 


Thanks again Pypr! Cause this picture just says it ALLLLLLL!

I have to say, I’ve fallen into the madness myself – I called out the city manager the other day, and we had a little row that reminded me of closing time at a dive bar. I complained to him about the closed meetings for non-essential items, and he came out swingin’!

I’ve been trying to be patient, because I know the clerk’s office has been working really hard to make the closed meetings transparent, but when I heard the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, and then the Airport Commission, were having closed meetings that would not be available on Engaged!, I’m sorry,  I lost it. After going back and forth with the clerk for about a week, I had to thank her, and then I let Orme have it.

Thankyou for all your time dealing with this Debbie, 

but I’m going to keep squealing like a pig until they open the meetings again. I’m sorry to have to include you in the emails, but you’re the clerk of the board and I want it on the record.

I found the parks video, but how is anybody else supposed to find it? Does everybody have to email the clerk? I know Mr. Orme assumes “nobody reads it anyway” because that’s what he told a friend of mine when he inquired about public information not being posted on the website. I saw the email he got from Orme. I beg to differ, Mr. Orme, I receive requests for this type of information at my blog regularly, from people who have trouble navigating the website, and don’t know who else to contact. The website needs to be consistent, including the reports for various meetings. 


But as for meetings, there’s nothing like human participation, technology can’t accomplish that. Council and other boards keep scheduling meetings for less than essential subjects,  things that should be fully discussed in front of the public, like giving the park up to the bums, closing public roads, or putting city money up to guarantee a commercial airline. 


The closed meetings have to stop. 


Juanita Sumner

The clerk responded with her usual promise to keep trying to make it better, but Orme’s response was weird:

Ms. Sumner,

I am so sorry that you have been misled with regard to my opinions and desires.  All I’ve done – for years – has been reasonable, kind, forthcoming and responsive to you.  Yet you continue to falsely accuse me of things that are beyond my imagination, in addition to manipulate, stretch and weave untruths concerning my intentions and beliefs.  Let me be clear:

  1. I know people use/read the website – otherwise I would not have authorized its renewal to enable more capabilities for the public use.  As with all things “new”, it will take time to get it to a level of satisfaction for the users, as each department hears from the public on where things need to be more effectively designed.
  2. Feel free to share “the email [your friend] got from Mr. Orme”.  I would be happy to give you an accurate context to the response, as it looks like you have misread my intentions, albeit I have no idea what e-mail you’re referring to.
  3. I believe that meetings should have “human participation” as it is the best means of deliberating over items of public import.  No ifs, ands or buts.
  4. As for your opinions on what is important (essential) and what is not, that’s for the policy makers to determine what is a priority to bring forward and what is not.   Obviously, staff will bring forward items that are ready for consideration and also bring forward they are directed to by the City Council (it does not matter the political bent of the Council, as they were duly elected by the public).   Additionally, staff will not underhandly move items forward for their own manipulative reasons, but we are obligated to bring forward items that the Council desires to prioritize.  If staff brings something forward that Council disagrees with, the Council can simply decide not to hear those items.

I hope this brings clarity for your benefit. 



I’m no shrink, but I think this is “passive/aggressive”.

Passive-aggressive communicators will often use sarcasm as a way of masking their real feelings and opinions while also being inadvertently negative. They will give people the silent treatment and try to make people feel guilty to get what they want, says author and communication skills coach Barbara Small. Passive-aggressive communication also relies upon the subtle use of facial expressions and body language like pouting or smiling when in fact they are angry inside. They will try to appear pleasant and positive, but will simultaneously give off negative cues like ignoring you and trying to play the victim.

Saying you’re sorry when you’re not is “sarcasm”.  The crack “Feel free” is also sarcasm. He also tells me he’s been responsive to my questions – no, I’ve been including him in emails to the clerk but he has not responded until I mention the email a friend shared with me. Then he denies that he said it. And yes, he always tries to appear “pleasant and positive” but still makes some pretty ugly accusations toward me  – “ Yet you continue to falsely accuse me of things that are beyond my imagination, in addition to manipulate, stretch and weave untruths concerning my intentions and beliefs.”


I recognize this kind of behavior because I get it a lot . People get annoyed when you keep asking them for something they don’t want to give you. Orme has taken “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” and I want it back.  He’s the one who continues to “recommend” closed meetings and draconian restrictions on personal behavior. So he’s the one I’m addressing my grievances to. 

The article tries to explain why this person would act this way:

The reasons behind why someone communicates in a passive-aggressive way has to do with the feelings they are experiencing about themselves and an inability to express this openly and honestly. If a person is experiencing some sort of internal conflict, for example if they feel inferior to a work colleague, jealous of a friend or helpless in a given situation, they act in a passive-aggressive manner as a means of dealing with the emotion. It offers them deniability so that they don’t have to take responsibility for how they are feeling and instead they can displace the negativity onto someone else, says Green Psychology. This inability to communicate in a direct and assertive manner is a learnt behavior, says Serenity Online Therapy, and might stem from an upbringing in a dysfunctional family whereby healthy and open communication was not encouraged or exemplified.

I’m sure Orme is under a tremendous amount of self-driven pressure. He came to Chico in 2013 as the Great White Hope, and promised to turn around our near bankrupt town. But he’s done nothing but drive it deeper into trouble, and he knows it. Yes, he’s heard criticism – not just from me. I told him I’d heard from “a man from Paradise” – it was not just “a man”, it’s everybody I meet from Paradise who finds out I live in Chico. I was astounded they even know who our city manager is – how many people can name their own city manager, much less the CM in a neighboring town?  Orme knows he’s on Shit Lists for miles around Chico, and that can make a man pretty paranoid. 

So, how did I deal with this? I didn’t shrink down, I got right back to him, nice and direct. I’m not going to walk away from a conversation just because somebody calls me a liar- that’s the oldest trick in the book. 

I think you are letting your imagination run a little wild Mr. Orme. I’m not manipulating, stretching or weaving anything.  I’m asking questions, and I’m telling you what I think, and that is well within my rights. And when I share this type of conversation on my blog, I include the emails in their entirety so everybody can see what exactly you are saying. 
I told you what another person shared with me after he had emailed you for information. I get a lot of complaints from people who have tried to contact city staffers or council /board members but get insufficient or no response. They also complain about the new website, the closed meetings, and one fellow from Paradise went on at length about your comments describing the Camp Fire refugees as a burden on the city. I just got a comment today suggesting you should get fired. I don’t make this stuff up. 
But no, I won’t share the email in question,  because it’s not mine. I would not repeat it to anyone but you and the clerk. The man asked you about documents that had not been posted on the website and you told him not only were you not legally required to give him the information but that most people never read the documents anyway. I can’t quote you verbatim but I saw the email. You were not “kind”. 
The policy makers? You’re the policy maker Mr. Orme. You were given emergency powers by the mayor. Furthermore, every agenda item comes with “Staff recommendation” – you set policy Mr. Orme, everybody knows that. 
Another “special” meeting tomorrow [7/28], with 24 hours notice?  This should be a town hall event, like those that have been held publicly, in person, in Paradise, for example. 
I guess we also disagree on the definition of “kind”.  While businesses go under all over town, with people waiting for their unemployment to run out, streets unmaintained, park a mess, Mr. Dowell just made a $9 million+ payment toward the UAL. That is a fact. You threaten to eliminate more positions if we don’t pass a tax, while hiring two completely new positions (PIO and Homeless coordinator). 
What’s a person supposed to “weave” from the vast expanse between your words and your actions? 
Juanita Sumner
Please write to and tell him to open the meetings. Mayor Ann Schwab handed this guy the power to run our town, so he’s the Flak-catcher in Chief.  If he can’t stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.



The city continues to flount it’s promise not to hold non-essential meetings

26 Jul

Here’s a letter I just sent to the Enterprise Record.

When Chico City Council decided to close meetings because of Gavin Newsom’s shut down, they promised they would only hold meetings for  “essential issues.” They instituted an online program called Engaged! and promised citizens would be able to participate despite social distancing mandates. While I have no idea how much they spent on Engaged!, I know it’s cost a lot of staff time trying to get it to work properly.

Since then council has held “special” meetings almost weekly, discussing less than essential subjects. The Finance Committee, the Police Advisory Board, the Bidwell Parks and Playground Commission and now, the Airport Commission, are all holding closed meetings, discussing non-essential subjects without the public in attendance.

Now staff tells me they are not able to put the BPPC or the Airport Commission meetings on Engaged!  They will be relayed on Comcast Channel 11. I believe this is a violation of the Brown Act. Not everyone is privvy to cable tv at $40/month (including the franchise fee paid to the city).

Council has proposed an “open” meeting for August, but has not divulged details as to how they will honor Newsom’s social distancing mandates. Since city chambers is not big enough, despite a recent $390,000 remodel, council has discussed shelling out more money for another venue.

Why not just stop having non-essential meetings? The only essential subject we have to consider right now is how to get our town up and running again before the city is bankrupt.

Juanita Sumner

Ann Schwab has got to go

26 Jul

Who is ready to pay me to move to Ann Schwab’s district? 

CUSD School Board race 2020 – who will run, and what’s their position on the district’s new decision to keep schools partially closed?

23 Jul

In this upcoming election I’d like to get the voters to pay more attention to the school board race. This race is so under-voted in most elections, the two members up in this election, Elizabeth Griffin and Linda Hovey,  were both appointed due to lack of challengers. Neither of them has announced publicly that they will run for re-election. 

There is one challenger, a well-connected Sacramento politico turned rice farmer, Matt Tennis. Tennis, a Chico native who attended local schools,  is also a member of the Butte County Water Board, and has advocated the Paradise/Chico water transfer. That’s about all I got from a preliminary web search. 

According to his website and Faceblob pages, Tennis is running for school board with a campaign to re-open Chico schools. He is pushing for the district to apply for a waiver of the governor’s closure.

From the state website:

Governor Gavin Newsom Lays Out Pandemic Plan for Learning and Safe Schools  

“There is a single exception. Local health officers may grant a waiver to allow elementary schools to reopen in-person instruction if the waiver is requested by the district superintendent, in consultation with labor, parents and community-based organizations. When considering a waiver request, the local health officer must consider local data and consult with the California Department of Public Health.

The Department also issued updated guidance for when schools must physically close and revert to distance learning because of COVID-19 infections. Following a confirmed case of a student who was at school during his or her infectious period, other exposed students and staff should be quarantined for 14 days. The school should revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases or 5 percent of students and staff test positive within a 14-day period. The district should revert to distance learning when 25 percent or more of its schools have been physically closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days. Closure decisions should be made in consultation with local health officers. After 14 days, school districts may return to in-person instruction with the approval of the local public health officer.”

The board voted July 15 to re-open according to the Governor’s rules – groups split between morning and afternoon, and on a rotating schedule – Monday, Wednesday, Friday one week and Tuesday, Thursday the next. Face shields will be required and temperatures will be taken.

I’m not sure if this is what Tennis wanted, or what the waiver would mean,  but I believe the board’s decision is a disaster for working parents. I’m just glad I don’t have school age kids anymore. I’ve never liked the idea of public school as free babysitting, but the fact is, working parents depend on having a safe place for their kids to learn. Our economy depends on it. What are parents supposed to do with their kids the other 2 – 3 days a week? Are they supposed to leave their jobs (including those who work 50 or more miles out of town) to pick their kid up at lunch time, and then what? 

As the child of working parents, I know this isn’t going to work. The state’s economy is going to tank if they don’t fully open the schools. Not to mention, the kids will get behind. And we can’t afford to get any further behind in education in this state. According to US News, California public schools have an overall ranking of 37 out of 50 states, with a 40 in “quality” and a 38 in “safety”.

Remember what strikes did to baseball and hockey? 

I don’t know how either Hovey or Griffin voted on this issue – one board member voted No, reasons unknown. 

I’d like to hear from some of you working parents what you think of this decision. 

UPDATE: The governor has put Butte County on the Shit List, so the district may have to go back to online learning in the fall. 


Mel Granskog: Prop 15 funds will go to the General Fund, “we will have no say in how it will be dispersed”

22 Jul

I’ve been busy lately, it’s hard to keep an eye on everything. I’ve been reading up on various state propositions,  but I haven’t had time to talk about them. I’d like to thank Mel Granskog for doing his homework and writing a great letter to the editor. I think the most damning point he makes is that the money will go into the General Fund, “we will have no say in how it will be dispersed.” 


Prop 15, The Schools and Communities First Initiative, is being sold as a way to help local education.  This is a constitutional amendment to eliminate Prop. 13 that was passed in 1978.  Prop. 13 limited property tax to 1% of the purchase price, with provisions to increase each year by 2% or the inflation rate, which ever is less.

Initially the change would only impact certain categories of commercial property, so the homeowner may vote for it thinking it will not cost him any money.  If this passes, it will soon apply it to all property.  We need also to be aware that any increase in cost for a commercial operator will be reflected in higher costs for goods and services.  Most businesses have a very thin profit margin, making the product or service cheaper or lowering wages are not good options for staying in business.  Our legislators are trying to convince us that a tax increase on commercial property will not affect you.  What about rent increases?  We already have a shortage of affordable housing; will increasing the landlord’s property tax bill also increase the rent for the tenant?

I encourage you to read the proposition. You will find that most of the increased revenue will go into the general fund.  The remaining will be split between local governments and schools.  Once the general fund gets revenue, we will have no say in how it will be dispersed.

Our state government has adequate revenue; they just need to do a better job of controlling costs.

— Mel Granskog, Chico

They won’t be accountable if you don’t hold them accountable

21 Jul

I spent most of yesterday on the horn with the city clerk – I got the notice for last night’s Parks and Playground Commission meeting last week, and it said the meeting would only be available on cable Channel 11, with an email address for public participation. When I asked City Clerk Debbie Presson about that, I could tell she was troubled. I know the Brown Act means a lot to Presson. I believe that she agreed with me that it was a Brown Act violation not to have the meeting available for everybody to watch and participate on Chico Engaged. 

My family can’t afford cable, and I don’t think we’re the only ones. We’re glad to be able to afford a meager phone/internet package. Besides, why should I have to have cable when the city has just spent a crap-ton of money updating the technology (as well as the furniture, wall paneling and carpet) in the city chamber, and who knows how much hooking up to  “Chico Engaged!”? That system has it’s flaws, but it’s better than Comcast Channel 11. 

So, I have to hand it to Debbie Presson – she worked her ass off all day yesterday setting up Chico Engaged for that BPPC meeting. I don’t know if that’s even her job, but she wasn’t about to let anything resembling a Brown Act violation go by on her watch. 

But now it’s gone from Granicus. Past council meetings are listed – cause you know what, I bitched about that too, so she added it. But no BPPC meeting. But I’m sorry, I’m not going to complain to Presson again – I could tell she was exhausted when she sent the last email yesterday. 

Why do I care about opening the meetings? Why don’t more people care? That agenda was loaded full of what people have been bitching and complaining about for months now – the condition of the parks and waterways due to illegal campers. The city has finally made it a formal policy, but they’ve been allowing it for years now. I still have the email in which Public Works Director Erik Gustafson told me these people have “4th and 14th amendment rights” to their garbage piles. 

Another big issue on the agenda was fire clearance – but just now, at the end of July? You’re not supposed to mow with metal right now, and you’re not supposed to do it after 11am. But they’re just now discussing their plan for fire clearance in Upper Bidwell Park? There are whole groves of standing dead trees along Hwy 32, left from the 2017 “Stoney Fire”.  Illegal campers pop up constantly in the CalTrans easement right next to the burn scar. In fact, less than a week before the Stoney Fire I reported illegal campers, and even sent Park Director Linda Hermann a picture of a burning cigarette left on a post at the entrance to the Peregrine Point disc golf course. 

Now that area is even more vulnerable, they haven’t mowed the chest high weeds, which are yellow and ready to go. One day we found another cigarette, lying on the ground near a trail. I know it had been thrown down still burning, because it had started to burn the pine needles it was laying on. By some miracle it had just gone out. I believe if it had landed in a patch of that grass we’d have had another Stoney Fire. 

Hey, it’s only been a couple of years, to this date, that my husband and I, driving into town along Hwy 32, noticed a city crew getting ready to mow that vacant lot there on Hwy 32 at Bruce. We wondered what they were thinking, 2:00 in the afternoon, late July, humidity in the single digits. Later that day we heard they’d started a fire and city fire engines were called to put it out. That’s a violation of the law. A man in Shasta County went to prison for 4 years after his lawn mower was blamed for the 2006 Bear Fire. A Tehama County man may still be in prison for the fatal fire he started putting his hot lawnmower in his shed.  But the city of Chico does what it wants without any accountability. Know why? Cause you’re not holding them accountable.

So yeah, that was an essential meeting last night, and it should have been open, or at least on Chico Engaged. I’ll say thanks again to clerk Debbie Presson, along with deputy clerk Dani Rogers, for working really hard to cover these capricious meetings. Council has made these decisions to have closed, non-essential meetings. The Park Commissioners made the decision to go ahead with last night’s closed meeting, without appropriate participation from the public. These are the people who need to be held accountable.

I’ve heard chatter about an open council meeting for the first week of August. But of course, with the social distancing, it will be a tough squeeze getting very many people into the chamber. And Governor Train Wreck is threatening to shut us down again. Wake up and push back Folks, or prepare to be boarded. 




Chico city council candidates turning in their paperwork for November 3 election

21 Jul

Summer half over, election deadlines are passing. Potential candidates for various offices are turning in their paperwork. Here’s the link to city election information.

In the city of Chico Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 are up for grabs. There is a map posted at this site but it’s not the greatest. I couldn’t open the link for the “interactive map”, maybe you’ll have better luck. I just happen to know that the line  for my district runs right down my back fence, and then jogs over suddenly to take in a sitting councilor, and then jogs as abruptly back. I also know my district is not up in this election – so, as my uncle used to say, I do not have a dog in this race. 

Not that I don’t care. I don’t believe these districts were necessary – every member of this council will make decisions that affect my life, so I believe in “at large” election. I will certainly keep my eyes and ears open. And my nose, that’s for sure.

I hate the new city website, why they’ve changed things I can only suspect. For one thing, the Public Information Officer who was hired at full salary and benefits has removed stuff that used to be there – like the old campaign reports. She included Karl Ory’s 2017 Intention to Run statement with the current statements – if you look at the page, it looks like Ory is running when he’s made it clear he’s not. 

I also see paperwork from incumbents Schwab, Morgan and Stone.  Rich Ober, who has run in past, filed his intention statement in September 2019, before districts were finalized, so he has not listed his district.  Randall Stone filed a year ago, without a district.  None of the forms include the candidates’ street addresses.  Three new candidates have filed, they list “council member, city of Chico” as their street address, as if told to do so. 

I realize, in past, they’ve redacted the addresses of these people for privacy reasons. I didn’t like that then, because there’s a question of residency that should be proven to the people. If they expect us to swallow the districts, then we need to know where these people live. Are they so afraid of their constituents that they want to live in secrecy? That doesn’t sound good.

Kim Tietz put District 5 on her form and Kami Denlay Klingbell (for some reason she’s dropped her married name all the sudden) is running in District 3. I believe Stone is also District 5.  

Well, that’s what I know so far.  Next time let’s talk about the school board. 

Time to recall Newsom – he’s shutting down Water Works Park

16 Jul

This morning as I stumbled out of bed and looked at the sky, I realized – it’s Dog Days. I don’t care what science tells you – Dog Days is when people and dogs GO CRAZY.

Add the COnVID, and you got total insanity. 

I recommend staying home. But don’t listen to me – Water Works Park is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! But you better get your ass over there now, because our Fascist Leader and Nose Picker in Chief Gavin Newsom is ordering the place shut down on August 3.

If you are sick of this kind of “leadership”, sign the Recall Newsom petition. I signed it at a gathering recently, and I’m printing it out for my husband later today. Here’s the link with the instructions and form to print. The deadline is November 17 – don’t wait until the last minute. 

Update: June 28, 2020

Frankly, I’m sorry I haven’t spoken sooner – it’s funny how the little things are what tick a person off. Don’t mess with my Water Works Park Gavin!  

Bare your face – it’s not a political statement, it’s a human statement (but yeah, wash your damned hands and stay the hell out of my body space!)

14 Jul

I know people  can get nasty in a crisis. I have seen the bottom pits of human behavior. But I haven’t seen anything like this COVID panic. Local Faceblob groups naming and promoting boycott of businesses they have determined not to be strict enough about masks? What is this, the McCarthy Era?  

Hey, if you can find a website that promotes boycott of businesses who do require masks, let me know! 

Frankly, I don’t want to poke, but it seems to me that most of the ugly, bullying behavior is coming from the mask wearers. I can’t believe how divisive the media has become.  Here, Chico Enterprise Record columnist Kyra Gottesman goes completely off the  deep end in a rant about an incident for which she has absolutely no proof whatsoever. This was not really worthy of print, it’s like something you should write in your diary and then burn it. 

Exhausted with the nonsense | Off the Record


My grandmother used to say that out of all the things she ever lost, her mind was what she missed the most. For me, it’s my sense of humor that seems to have taken a bunk, gone MIA this week.

I’ve done pretty darn good the past five months maintaining some sense of hilarity about all the nonsense people spew and post on social media regarding all things COVID, most especially the face mask mandate, but this week, this week I’ve had it.

I’m done being nice about it. I’m done patiently explaining why. I’m done joking and jollying people about it. I’m done with listening to all the whining and complaining about it. I am done.

What finally tipped me over the edge was a woman in the grocery store who literally came right up on top of me while I was picking out some potatoes. She came up so close I could feel her over my shoulder and when I turned my head she was, well, in my face with no mask on.

“Excuse me but please social distance. I’m almost done. Also, they have masks at the front of the store. You could get one,” I politely said to her.

Well those were apparently the wrong 23 words to say because the next thing I knew she was spit-spewing screaming at me about “civil liberties” and “not being a Newsom puppet” and, and, and all the other ridiculous rhetoric the “poorly educated” that IQ45 “loves” so much regurgitate.

As I back peddled away and she kept following me other customers started to either stare or scatter. Finally she gave up pursuit and went back to the potato bin. I headed for a different part of the store and circle back later for potatoes.

With so many bars closed or operating with limited capacity I’m thinking there are probably quite a few unemployed bouncers out there who are quite adept at 86’ing the crazies. Imma thinkin’ grocery stores and other retail facilities should hire these guys.

Hire bouncers to eject people from grocery stores?  If the above is true, she instigated this incident. Instead of getting her goods and getting out of the way, she  tried to get in a fight with a total stranger. Maybe she should have been ejected. Is this where social intercourse is going in the Golden State?

I agree with her on social distancing and hand washing, which, as far as I’m concerned, should always be in  vogue. But the mask argument is weak and inconsistent. The most common statistic out there on a cloth masks is that a person is 4% less likely to inhale the virus if they wear a cloth mask as opposed to wearing no face protection at all.

I just don’t get people balking at this. I’ve asked folks … Do you wear a seatbelt in your vehicle? Do you rant at businesses that post signs reading: “No shirt. No shoes. No service?” Do you wear goggles, hard hats and protective gear when working in certain places (think construction sites) or handling dangerous equipment (think chainsaws and chippers)? Do you take off your shoes, your belt and remove everything from your pockets and allow a full body X-ray and, from time to time, a pat down by TSA before getting on plane? Do you stay seated, wearing a seatbelt with your seat and tray locked in the upright positions when the airplane captain (actually the little tiny symbol lights above the seats) tells you to? Do you wear a helmet when you ride a bike or motorcycle? Do you think it’s perfectly OK to drink and drive?If you answered yes to the first six questions and no to the last, if you are compliant or at least non-combative about these things because you believe these rules, laws or mandates are not infringements on you personal liberties but are put in place for public safety and health then please explain to me how wearing a piece of cloth over you nose and mouth is an abridgement of your rights.

These comparisons just don’t compare. Shoes and shirt in a restaurant is on par with hand washing. I would go so far as to ask some women to wear more adequate seat protection.  Car, motorcycle and airplane crashes kill millions a year, every year. The COVID doesn’t even come close. There no solid facts that a mask protects me anymore from COVID than standing 6 feet away from strangers. 

Yes, it most certainly is an abridgement of my rights to force another ridiculous “necessity” on me that has no proven benefit. I’m not forbidding you to wear a mask, so back the hell off. Literally, please. This woman has a very weird need to control the behavior of others, and that’s fascism. 

And here’s where she just casts herself into a tirade of hatefulness, hook, line and sinker. 

You can’t. Not logically. Not with facts. And, if you try to, I cannot listen to you anymore.  (Read that again, she’s saying she can’t listen to facts…) 

First of all, you self-centered privileged American  (she hates Americans? ) ; you don’t wear the mask just to protect yourself. You wear it to protect others if you are smart enough to understand that you could be asymptomatic and still be a COVID-19 carrier able to give it to someone else who could get very sick or even die. (all based on “could”, like most of the mask argument, this is just plain bullying…)

There is a lot that we do not know about this virus but, there is also a lot we do know about how viruses spread and how to mitigate that spread and those things are: wearing a mask, social distancing and washing our hands.  (Here she admits she doesn’t know much, but still insists masks are a given)

I wear a mask when I go out not for myself but for others, for you, even for the crazy potato-screaming woman. I wear a mask because I want to be part of the solution and not add to the problem. I wear a mask not because I am government controlled but because I am a responsible member of this society who actually cares about people other than myself. I wear a mask because it is, simply, the right thing to do.

She makes herself pretty clear here, that she’s ready to segregate the community between the “decent human beings” and the “morons”. 

Wearing a mask makes you a considerate, decent human being. Not wearing a mask makes you, well, a moron. End of conversation.

So this passes for “journalism” – how sad.  To think this young woman would believe she could change anybody’s mind with these insults and condemnations, poor little thing. I hope she gets her mind back, as well as her sense of humor. 

As for me,  I will continue to go out bare-faced so I can show my smile, with clean hands and from 6+ feet away. I see others doing same. It’s not a political statement, it’s a human statement.