Letters to the Editor: Dysfunction bedevils our streets and dooms our dialogue

Arcata’s a hot mess

We are visiting Arcata overnight as we tour areas of California. The Hampton Inn suggested we have dinner in the Plaza area.

We were shocked to experience the amount of people drinking alcohol, smoking weed in their vans, begging for money, and just loitering. We did not remain in the area.

The area surrounding the Hampton Inn is not much different. What is going on? Do you or the town council find this situation acceptable? Do you and the local businesses think that this could be good for the city?

My wife and I consider ourselves liberals – but your city is a hot mess.

Bob Franklin
Fairfax, Va.

Reason at a higher level

Divide and conquer is the rule of the day. McKinley should go, no he should stay. Trump is a moron, no he is making America great again. Republicans distrust Democrats, Democrats vilify Republicans. African-Americans are wary of white people and vice versa.

There is no true discourse if the topic is: immigration, climate change, cannabis, the death penalty, gays, Native Americans, Asians, Africans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, etc. And what is with the Clintons being responsible for all that weird stuff? Can we please just let others have their beliefs and let it go?

What we think of as our own values – those beliefs we hold dear as we know that they are the truth – are not the only or necessarily the best values in existence. There are many ways of being in this world and to dismiss differing ones from our own is to lose a part of our common humanity.

Everything has value, everyone has value. Treasure them, honor them and you may discover that what you may possess just another opinion. There are other people who don’t agree with you. Get over it.

St. Thomas Aquinas gave some advice that went something like this: If you don’t agree with someone and would like them to hear your viewpoint, then walk over to where they are, take them by the hand and lead them back to where you started from. In other words, have a conversation with them. This works a lot better than yelling, pointing fingers, blaming others and disrupting meetings. That doesn’t convince anyone to come over to your side.

You are not morally superior to everyone else. You are not the smartest person in the room. You just have another viewpoint. Which could be a good one, but not the right one for everyone else.

Folks, let us just take a breath and respect those different opinions, beliefs, judgments, attitudes or whatever you need to call it. We are all in the same boat. It would be nice if we could row together and make some kind of progress toward a goal worthy our efforts.

Will Rogers said a few truths: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” plus “We are all ignorant, just in different subjects.” I do not need to have the last word on this subject, but then who does?

John Frederick

Arcata Main Street thanks

Arcata Main Street thanks all those who came our Halloween Trick or Treat in Downtown Arcata on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. The Plaza and the surrounding areas were filled with Trick or Treaters and their parents all in costumes from 4-6 pm.  The Downtown merchants passed out lots of candy and other goodies. The Marching Lumberjacks started the event off at 4 p.m., leading a group to the Plaza.  Radio station KRFH, 105.1, from HSU played music on the Plaza.  The Giant Puppets from Arcata Playhouse and Ross, the Bubble Ambassador, entertained the crowd. The HSU Women’s Softball Team helped us with traffic control. Eva Brena and her hip-hop students wowed everyone with their Thriller routine.

North Bay Rotaract held their Second Annual Harvest Festival not only with games on the Plaza, but Tractor Rides around the Plaza.  The tractor, donated by Pape Machinery, was driven by Arcata City Councilman Brett Watson. Dustin Littlefield of Arcata Sunrise Rotary donated the trailer. We also want to thank the Arcata Volunteer Police Patrol, the Arcata Fire Department, and the Arcata Police Department for all their help and participation.

Again, thank you again to everyone involved.

Victoria Joyce, president
Arcata Main Street


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