Letters to the Editor April 4, 2018

Melt-morph McK into MLK

My lady-friend and I were talking the other night while watching MLK: Fury & Fire.

A singular idea came to mind that I’m positive was not alone in other’s thoughts.

P. McKinley was at least a racist in deed, among other tragic exploits.

With our own town, small numbers of unfortunates perpetrate racism and ignore the “high crimes” of such.

I propose that McKinley’s statue be melted down and recast into a good and right statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King and placed in McKinley’s stead.

Right History; Fitting Justice!

Thank you!
Michael Robert Langdon
Homeless in Arcata

Football at H.S.U.

The Mad River Union recently printed a piece expressing concern by former coach Smith at the timing and drawn out nature of the decision to keep H.S.U. football program by University President Lisa Rossbacher. The stress of the decision making process and the timing of the decision into the first part of the recruiting process were well described. However the criticism of the President was excessive.

Let me begin by congratulating Coach Rob Smith for an outstanding H.S.U. football program and for the on the field excitement of last season. I wish Coach Smith success wherever he goes.

Football at Humboldt State University has major challenges. These start off with the related problems of a limited size university, being siting in a low population area, and having difficult transportation problems in and out of the county. Small colleges the size of Humboldt are dropping football programs across the country, as the costs of a first class football program have grown and generally require a higher student base than Humboldt has.

The donor base has changed and has down sized over the years. Ideally, one wants a strong local business donor base to draw from. The original funding base was the numerous lumber mills and owners. These have been reduced by consolidation and the declining economic activity of the timber industry. The development of local shopping malls has attracted many national chains which contribute less to local sport causes. This will challenge existing fund raising programs to compensate.

The Student Body has changed from more males than females to females now constituting 57 percent of the students. National statistics show that more males than females follow football. The National Football league has found women bring in sponsors and literally view the future of the game to depend on more female support. The NFL program includes female coaches and referees which are aggressively promoted. Far too often negative comments continue to come from Football Team supporters and staff critical of Title Nine women’s participation for taking away money from Football. H.S.U. women programs are necessary to match the funds for Football under Title 9. Title 9 refers to the Education Amendments Act of 1972 which prohibits any discrimination and requires the number of female sport activities to be equal to those of men.

The University is under great financial stress and has dropped the nursing program. Currently, the University is implementing 9 million dollars’ worth of cuts. Under these circumstances it is nothing short of a miracle the Football program and deficits have been supported by the administration.

There are some significant changes the Football program needs to make.

Recommendation One: All financial and program support must be clear and transparent. There have been numerous blowups exposing the hidden subsidies since the seventies that have served to institutionalized suspicion and opposition within the faculty and study body to the Football program. Given the cuts the University is making If there is another discovery of hidden subsidies your program is in danger of being eliminated.

Recommendation Two: Increase Student Support. Some years ago there was a student vote to increase student fees for the Football program. It was defeated overwhelmingly. The then President overrode the student vote and allocated millions of the fees to the Football program. Instead of treating this as a wake up call to the Football program to do whatever it takes to increase student support for the Football program the new funding was taken for granted. The program will not survive without more student support. The students are the major financial supporter of Football through student registration fees. They have the highest student fees in the State University system because of this support. Make the students feel the love. Offer some of those box seats to student leaders. The President needs to hold another student vote no later than three to five years to determine whether the students support their student fees be used to support football.

Recommendation Three: Embrace women under Title 9. The bigger the women athletics’ program gets the larger the Football program can grow.

Recommendation Four: Provide Employment Opportunities for Women: 57 percent of the student body is too large to ignore. Follow the lead of the NFL and provide employment and other participatory opportunities to qualified women.

Recommendation Five: Ongoing community support to close yearly deficits. The Football program did a great job this year of raising the money to close the deficit and needs to keep up the good work every year.

Recommendation Six: Establish a permanent Endowment Program. The goal would be to within twenty five years have the income cover the costs of the program. It is critical to the long term future.

Recommendation Seven: Treat the chief decision maker with respect. I have never met the new President but this is common sense. This is especially true since she decided to continue the program and went far out on a limb to save the Football program at the expense of other programs.

The misfortune of the timing of the decision just requires everyone pick themselves up off the floor and get to work.

John Corbett

Peace on Earth Brothers & Sisters

Maureen here to give voice to the truths I have uncovered at the core of my Being. They are words I said at the March 21 Arcata City Council meeting during the more than three hours of public comment on the removal of the McKinley statue.

We were only allowed two minutes and were cut off if we went over. I couldn’t speak fast enough to express my final thoughts.

“Good evening everyone. I am sorry that my back is to most of the people I am addressing.

Peace. Peace on Earth Brothers and Sisters! Is there anyone in this room (or reading these words ) who does not want Peace on Our Mother Earth?!? If the answer to that question is “No!” we are all in agreement on an elusive, yet life or death matter.

Perhaps we can also agree to investigate why we don’t have it?

If we were having that investigation right now – and it was my turn to speak – I would, and do, thank First Nation Peoples for never forgetting the truth of human existence. I come from a long line of forgetters. But because you didn’t forget – I am remembering.

I am remembering that I am a Spiritual Being having a human experience. A traumatizing human experience.

I have remembered that the deepest truth is the fundamental truth of Unity. It is all alive; all connected; all intelligent; all relatives. I am remembering Divine Oneness.

If we are to have Peace on Earth, we must openly and publicly acknowledge all wrong doing. Only then can we forgive and be forgiven. Only then can we heal from the centuries of shame, grief, and trauma we have all been dragging along with us in our confusion.

Atrocities occurred on our Town Square. Behaviour so obscene, perverted and horrific that I can hardly bear the knowing of it. I have come to understand that without the knowledge of Divine Oneness – people can behave as if they do not have hearts and souls to tend to. I ask for forgiveness on behalf of those who are unable to ask it for themselves.

For the rest of us, I ask that we continue remembering our deep longings for the Peace we can have – if only we are willing to openly and publicly investigate, understand, and remove the artificial barriers we have built against it.

I wish us well.

Maureen Kane

Madrone puts the public first

One of the strengths of a democracy is that it provides for the periodic turnover of people in positions of authority. Unlike a king or a dictator an elected leader does not stay in office indefinitely. That limits the influence of special interests, acting behind the scenes. Because the official has to appeal to the voters periodically, he or she is well advised to keep the interests of the public first and foremost in their decision-making.

The county’s Fifth District Supervisor, Ryan Sundberg, has been in office for two terms, and during that time some troubling issues have emerged in the Fifth District. Three of them involve the Mercer-Fraser company, with whom Mr. Sundberg seems to have developed a close relationship.

Mercer-Fraser requested a zoning change of a parcel of land on the floodplain of the Mad River from General Agricultural to Heavy Industrial next to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s intake wells. This could endanger the public water supply, and the public is expressing its revulsion to this plan.

Mercer-Fraser also wants to build a hash lab near a school in Willow Creek. And Mercer-Fraser’s Trinidad quarry has been causing distress to nearby residents, and is allegedly contaminating the Trinidad watershed.

Clearly, it is time to clean house, and vote in a new Supervisor who will place the interests of the public above those of any one private company. Steve Madrone is running for the Fifth District seat. Steve, who spearheaded the development of the Hammond Trail, will work hard to keep our drinking water clean, our children safe, and our residential neighborhoods peaceful. Vote for Steve Madrone on June 5.

Elaine Weinreb



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