Letters to the Editor, February 27, 2019

Well, that didn’t happen

Mayor Watson and Members of the City Council,

 I understand that you will be considering the removal of the McKinley statue at this evening’s City Council meeting. 

As I recall, the proponents of removal offered to pay for the cost of removal as part of their arguments in support. 

I strongly suggest that you establish a fund for the removal. When the proponents of removal have raised the $30,000 ($15,000 spent so far and an estimated $15,000 needed to remove) that the actual removal begin. Thank you for your consideration of this issue.

Dan Hauser

Do the right thing now

I support the Green New Deal because it is the only legislation ever proposed in our country that has the power and scope to address the climate emergency. The latest UN report on climate says that we have 12 years to totally and radically transform our economy if we are to sustain human civilization as we know it. Personally, I am frightened by the upsurge of extreme weather events, especially the devastating wildfires in our region and state. National polls show that the vast majority of Americans, regardless of political party, support the Green New Deal. It will help save the climate, decrease pollution, and create millions of well-paying jobs in the process. We owe it to our children and their children to do the right thing now rather than allowing our planet to slide into climate catastrophe.

Scott Feldman

The trees are crying

I am a Botany major at Humboldt State University and I think the trees are crying. They are crying because children are screaming. Bird, bug, beast, and human are frightened. Mother, father. Elders, my peers, children. 

We are the ground of a mulched sadness. We are the seeds deep and splitting. We are “the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it,”* We are numbered, marked; with the sign of 12. Twelve years. And we are singing; lighting ebullience at every loss, sowing miracles with every tear. We are the the flower-children, the zoo-esapees, the clear-eyed and sharp-tongued messengers of an incomprehensible, eternal, unstoppable vision.

I am writing in support of this vision. I am writing in support of the Green New Deal, and to urge Dianne Feinstein to endorse it, swiftly. This deal will create millions of green jobs and address the reality of climate change with attainable solutions. When the Sunrise movement dawned on the nation; occupying Nancy Pelosi’s office and demanding climate justice; my heart softened. Present and future slowed in acknowledgement of each other and a new, fragile light. 

And for the earth, for life, the sunrise never ends; on December 10 hundreds of youth will coalsesce in D.C. and S.F. calling for a Green New Deal to be a top priority in the 2020 Presidential elections.

To learn more please visit sunrisemovement.org.

Lilyanne Price

Why I love teaching

My favorite activity as a young child was to play "school" with my siblings and friends. I always wanted to be the teacher, so the others soon tired of being students on Saturday! I learned early on, if I wanted willing “students,” then learning had to be fun.

Teaching isn’t something I do, it is an activity I facilitate. I am a part of a process that takes a solid foundation of respect for each member of the team, whether it is one-on-one with a student, coworker, or family member or if it is a whole group or a whole system. Building relationships are the critical factor in a happy and successful learning environment such as the classroom, the home, or at work. 

Learning happens when the brain is engaged in the process and the body is safe and comfortable. Providing a classroom and a school environment that understands many students and the adults connected to them are living with trauma requires a strong sense of trust and safety to focus on daily tasks and goals. 

As a home visitor, it was necessary to help a family feel at ease immediately, and to build trust that I would not judge circumstances but only seek to provide resources to create change. This ability has served me well throughout my career as an educator and as an advocate. 

I am in my third year as a teacher, and I have been blessed with kindergarten and first-grade students who endured the difficulties of helping me learn classroom management and to implement curriculum in a way that met the needs of all my students. Differentiating the curriculum was the biggest challenge I faced, with a range of learners including gifted students and students with severe learning challenges. 

However, the joy of watching a student construct and teach his or her own lesson to the class or making eye contact and receiving a smile from a child who is in a regular classroom for the first time, becomes its own greatest reward this teacher can earn. 

The home and school connection is another form of building a support system that grows communities and prepares students for the challenges they will face in the future. Welcoming families into the classroom and creating ways of connecting through technology are bridges to the future because when families care about education, students are more successful and will have greater educational outcomes than those whose families who are fearful or dismissive of the education process. 

Providing members of the community opportunities to interact with the school and classrooms creates bridges for developing strong communities that students will choose to remain in or return to as adults. On-site social services and health resources are other components of support for families struggling with health care, housing, transportation, or food issues are also important factors for educational success. 

Knowing that my voice matters, that my passionate belief in helping people learn to learn, to set goals, and to be accountable, gives me a great sense of gratification and well-being which then ripples out to the lives I touch. 

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice is powerful.”  – Malala Yousafzai

Maria Shearer-Hill, M.A. Ed/AET

A crowd of one

As far as I know, only one McKinley statue is exiting the Plaza. 

“Exeunt” is always plural, meaning two or more exit. Oh dear. Top of page one.

Ed Munn

Note: While we’ve prepared several lame defenses for the misuse of that term, we’re going with this one: For a majority of Arcata voters, one was a crowd when it came to the McKinley statue. 

There, fixed it! – Ed.



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