Letters to the Editor, April 7, 2021

Love Over Hate

On Sunday, March 21, Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders (HAPI) in Solidarity hosted a vigil, “Love Over Hate,” to honor and remember the victims of the tragic Atlanta shootings. 

This peaceful, thoughtful, and loving walking vigil was held on the grounds of the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (HUUF) in Bayside. 

We want to acknowledge several organizations and 30-plus volunteers who helped to make this vigil possible: HUUF Board and volunteers who co-hosted the event; Sun Valley Floral who donated beautiful flowers; Cooperation Humboldt who brought many volunteers to support and help; and Gary Ronne and Humboldt Taiko for the beautiful rhythmic Taiko drumming. 

Special thanks to Pat Girczyc for coordinating the many volunteers.

In a letter written to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta organization (AAJC-Atlanta), we enclosed a cashier’s check (cash donations) and personal checks totaling $2,765.93. 

These generous donations were collected at the vigil for the families of the victims, to be distributed to them by AAJC-Atlanta. We are very appreciative of our community for their support, compassion and generosity. 

We are grateful for the many hours our volunteers gave to the vigil and to the hundreds of community members who braved that cold windy afternoon to express grief and caring.

HAPI has posted a video filmed by a member of our group, Chisato Hughes: youtu.be/XaNIDRXpf7s.

Words cannot express enough the gratitude of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities here to have so many in our community stand up to hate and mourn for the victims.

In solidarity and compassion,

(HAPI founding mothers and sisters)
Alex Ozaki-McNeill, Arcata
Amy Uyeki, Arcata
Chisato Hughes, McKinleyville
Marylyn Paik-Nicely, McKinleyville
Patty Saito Hecht, Arcata
Terry Uyeki, McKinleyville
Vicki Ozaki, McKinleyville

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Everything’s upside down

A community leader was recently stabbed in front of his own business. I call my friend Jeff a leader, not because his is a successful businessman – although he is, but because he is all about bettering our community, through volunteerism, support, involvement, and love of family and friends. How is it that this happened? But, more importantly, there seems to be little outrage outside of his close circle. The police officer on scene actually scolded him for approaching the “bums” that were vandalizing his building, aka throwing trash at the structure while nonchalantly enjoying a convenient corner; all of this during business hours! While waiting for the ambulance and holding his protruding guts, the police officer also lectured him about not having the front door to his business locked at all times. Hmmm am I the only one that thinks things are really upside down? We the tax paying, working class, follow the rules types are having to lock ourselves in buildings to protect ourselves from those that break the law, vandalize our properties, don’t contribute and apparently stab people with knives when they are asked to behave. Apparently, this guy is a two-time stabbing offender. When are our representatives going to start showing at least some empathy towards us? I’ve witnessed this slippery slope of community activism geared exclusively toward those who abuse the liberties of law-abiding people. The civil liberties of the less fortunate is noble, but the disconnect is that it has facilitated a culture of filth, private as well as public property damage, unsanitary conditions, and now more frequently personal injury. All of this happening, while we are told because we choose to work hard and take care of our families and communities that we are “privileged” (a trigger word, I know) and could not possibly relate to the very people that we now find ourselves retreating from – locking our doors, not walking on our trails, avoiding public parks etc... Is this really proactive compassion, allowing a take over of our beloved public spaces while allowing drug use and squalor? I’m 72 years old and have lived in Humboldt County, almost my entire life. I have witnessed the decay of our beautiful county. I know the problem of vagrancy, drug addiction, and homelessness is complicated, but I don’t think the answer is forgetting about those who do keep the economic and community engine running. Let’s see some justice for those of us who don’t have the time to protest our feelings of abandonment because we get up and go to work every morning. 

Tina Christensen
Fortuna

No card, no access

If we are to get ahead of this pandemic we need folks to get vaccinated. Restaurants, bars, music festivals etc should open up for the summer. 

Your attendance should depend on the vax card that are given to all when they receive the injections. No card, no going to those venues. 

Those that choose to not be vaccinated will forfeit the right to attend these events but still have the right to believe their 5G cell phone causes COVID if they wish. Musicians should be held to the same standard. No worries if they refuse. You will still have the right to sit home and play the chord changes to “Smoke On the Water” endlessly, if desired. 

Regards
John Dillon
Eureka

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