Letters to the Editor, August 26, 2020

Just say no to the fantasy factories 

I am responding to two letters in the Aug. 19 edition of the Mad River Union.

The first is “Needless harassment” by Trish “The Dish” Riel. At one level, I understand her frustration with getting a traffic citation from an APD officer for a seemingly innocuous offense rather than simply a warning.

Years ago, my wife was driving me to the VA hospital (Ft. Miley) in San Francisco for my appointment concerning my congestive heart failure. I was seriously ill and bloated and my current labeled prescription was in my pocket along with my appt. letter from Cardiology. 

We were accustomed to Humboldt’s mostly four-lane 101 speed limit of 65 mph. When 101 went to two lanes, we missed the 55 mph change and sailed past a parked CHP cruiser at 65 mph, who gave us a snarky, nasty look. I told Sue that maybe we should pull over. There was NO LIGHT BAR, NO SIREN. Stupid me.

The CHP officer appeared to be maybe 18, going on 15. Looked like a Boy Scout. We politely and courteously explained our mission and apologized. He was unfazed, never asked for proof, never wavered in his grim countenance. We got the ticket anyway.

But guess what? We were guilty. That really hurts. Sure, that particular officer was a jerk, but we were guilty.

And so, my fellow American, Ms. Riel, you were guilty. You admit to being guilty, but insist that you are one of the “law-abiding citizens” which you clearly were not. I don’t know if the APD officer was unfair or officious, but you admit to your guilt. Welcome to the Club of Imperfect People.

Take Chief Ahearn’s advice and plead your case to a judge. Take my advice and lose the “Holier than Thou,” better-than-everybody attitude.

Concerning “Just say no to arsenic” by Bruce LeBel, we have another example of someone claiming to be rational with an “objective assessment” while being neither rational or objective.

His letter pretty much fits the template as described in the American Dental Association’s monograph on fluoridation (over 100 pages) available online. Pages 76-80 are key to the fluoridation debate with topic 49, p. 77 most important. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Fact Sheet on Fluoridation Products (2013): The three additives approved for fluoridation “do not add measurable Amounts of arsenic, lead, or other heavy metals or radionuclides to drinking water.”

LeBel’s disclaimer that his bogus, “chicken little” warnings have nothing to do with the fluoridation debate fits the ADA template and is obviously refuted by his own words.

It’s a back-door, false-flag strategy to ban fluoridation, a victory of superstition over science. A product of the liberal Fantasy Factory like Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who didn’t want to ban guns, only bullets!?! Or the recent attempt in Arcata to force gun owners to lock their guns up 24 hours a day. Wow.

The anti-fluoridation movement is a sub-unit of the anti-vax and no-mask delusions so prevalent these days.

The conservative Fantasy Factory has given us the Modern Republican Party and the curse of Donald John Trump which now threatens the Great American Experiment. 

A pox on all their houses. Better get vaccinated!

Timothy Crlenjak

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Fund the Post Office

The Postal Service in this country actually predates the formation of the United States. The original colonies had postal service that was expensive and spotty, but it served to keep all the citizenry in-touch and informed. 

The service traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. Section 8 of the US Constitution lays out the duties and responsibilities of the congress, specifically 8.7 that states “The Congress shall have the power to … establish post offices and post roads.” 

So, it would seem that the congress should have some say in the way in which the post office is funded. The Post Office Department was created in 1792 with the passage of the Postal Service Act. It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872 and here is where the trouble starts.

By being a cabinet-level department, it became a department of the Executive Branch and therefore can be used as a political pawn to make trouble for the Congress and the American People. 

Most of the changes to the service have been made possible by, you guessed it, The Republican Party. The Postal Reorganization Act, signed by Richard Nixon, ended a contentious postal strike, gave workers some protections but also made some restrictive conditions that adversely effected the profitability of the service (I am not sure what, but it has to do with funding pensions – saved for another rant). 

Since the early 1980s, many direct tax subsidies to the USPS (with the exception of subsidies for costs associated with disabled and overseas voters) have been reduced or eliminated. 

Thank you Ronnie Reagan, whose reason for living was to cut the budget of non-essentials so he could give his big money backers the tax break they so richly deserve. Does this sound familiar?

The current Republican administration has worked, since January 2017, to “defund” the Post Office. The reason is that it wants the USPS to make a profit, in other words, they don’t like the business model. 

I am here to remind you, and the Republican administration, that the Postal Service is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. 

The Post Office has exclusive access to letter boxes marked “U.S. Mail” and personal letterboxes in the United States. It does have to compete against private package delivery services but raising the package rates will not get the Postal Service on a safe financial footing.

Have you noticed how spotty the mail has been lately? Are you looking for letters or statements that require attention? I have a statement, in my hand, that was mailed from Phoenix, Ariz. on July 23 and delivered to my mail box on Aug. 8. It contained a statement that was due to be paid on Aug. 1.

I do not blame the Post Office or the Letter Carrier, but I do blame the new Postmaster General.

The Post Office delivers election information and ballots. It also delivers our ballots back to the Elections Office. This is the perfect opportunity to disenfranchise any part of the country not favorable to the reelection of the psycho in the White House. The Postal Service is supposed to keep the citizenry in-touch and informed. 

I would say, write you congressman, but with our luck the letter won’t be delivered until after the election. 

Contact your congressional leaders anyway you can and encourage them to fund the Post Office. The next election may very well depend on it.

 Thank you for listening,

Jan Phelps

Postal alternatives

It’s obvious that Donald Trump is desperate in his bid for re-election. Since he cannot run on his record, he is now trying to steal it by restricting mail-in voting.

He recently appointed a postmaster general. He has implemented new procedures in the Postal Service which has created delays in the mail, which will cause mail-in votes to be delivered late so as not to be counted.

If the citizens of America wish to rescue our democratic form of government, a method to assure that mail-in votes are delivered on time needs to be created.

One way to assist the Postal Service in collecting mail-in collecting mail-in votes is to appeal to the likes of Federal Express, UPS and any other vetted delivery companies.

If these companies believe that our democracies are being threatened, they should do their part to see it survives. 

Scott R. Baker

Happiness redefined

Let’s cut right to the chase folks: When Barack Obama was elected President of these United States, I said it was the “happiest day of my life.” 

Well, when Trump leaves the White House and gets carted off to jail, that will be the new “happiest day of my life!” 

Robert Berg

Well done, HCSO

I would like to commend the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for the way they handled the recent shooting standoff on Thiel Avenue in McKinleyville. 

My husband called me from our church on Hiller saying he couldn’t get to our home on Columbus because law enforcement had blocked everything off, so I got on my phone right away in order to follow the events as they transpired. 

The fact that negotiators were immediately called, along with the SWAT team, even though repeated shots were being fired, is a testament to what de-escalation tactics that include crisis negotiation and mental health teams can do to prevent unnecessary fatalities. 

In this case, the shooter was taken into custody peacefully in spite of his continuing to fire from his residence for the duration of the incident, according to the HCSO press release. The entire time I was waiting to see if and when my husband would make it home, I wondered, “If the shooter had been Black, would the outcome have been any different?” 

In far too many engagements with law enforcement around this country, people of color would have been immediately fired upon if this type of shooting incident had taken place in their neighborhood. 

I only hope the Sheriff’s Office handles future shooting situations as peacefully, regardless of the color of the perpetrator, for the safety of us all.

Reverend Deborah Hubbard

Masks, pants advised

 I saw a video on the TV news about a Sturgis rally participant approaching a Bison calf and being attacked by an adult Bison. 

She lost her pants in the encounter, but hopefully will recover. 

Almost all the Sturgis riders are eschewing masks, so if you’re a local with that same sentiment you’re in excellent company. 

Just please don’t lose your pants, that’s a sight only your Mom could love. 

John Dillon

Support the Walk Out of Darkness

Suicide prevention starts with everyday heroes like us.

That’s why I am joining the community of more than a quarter of a million people walking in hundreds of cities across the country to fight suicide in an Out of the Darkness Walk.

My personal fundraising goal is $500. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause. 

Twenty-two veterans take their lives each day, and I walk to draw attention to this dire situation.

Your tax-deductible contribution will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the leader in the fight against suicide. AFSP funds research, offers educational programs, advocates for public policy and provides support to those affected by suicide. 

Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation click the link at the bottom of this email and then click the “Donate” button on my fundraising page. From there, you can donate using a credit card, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal, ACH, or even Venmo!

If you would rather donate by check please make the check payable to AFSP and write my name on the memo line, then mail it with an offline donation form to AFSP, 199 Water Street, 11th FL, NY, NY 10038.

Thank you for considering this request for your support. If you have any questions about the Out of the Darkness Community Walks or AFSP do not hesitate to contact me or visit outofthedarkness.org.

Alison Robbins
2020-2021 Treasurer & Parliamentarian, Arcata Unit 274
2020-2021 President, District 1
American Legion Auxiliary Department of California 

Support your local shoe store

Hello. This is a big thanks to Mike Williams, owner of Jogg’n Shoppe in Arcata – for my new shoes, his dedication to our community’s young people and youth sports.

If you need new shoes, then please consider Mike, a longtime business owner. If you ask him, he will even share with you some interesting history about our shared area (with a smile)!

Chad Sefcik

Note: the following letter-poem was first published in the Nov. 30, 1995 edition of the Arcata Union, which was its final edition, on the occasion of the author’s father’s passing. –Ed.

The Union

A weekly. some news already
old when the presses stop
when the stack arrives outside
the liquor store
in wired bunches.

When it gets to me
through the mail
it is anthropology
a cultural artifact,
and I examine it with
the camel’s hair brushes
of my blackening fingertips,
my microscopic memory
on full power.

I am a scholar, a historian
creating life histories
out of Letters to the Editor
and Trinidad Tidings.

Those people live for me
though they be dead to all my race.

Someday I will read my father’s name
in the obituaries.

Then I will truly know
that I have taken up the study
of another place.

Ellen Givens
Walla Walla, Wash.



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