Letters to the Editor, February 3, 2021

A vaxtastic experience

On Saturday, Jan. 23, I was able to participate in a Coronavirus vaccination program that took place at the Pacific Union Elementary School in Arcata. This was the first program I had heard of for older folks like me – I am 78 years old. 

The program was sponsored by Mad River Community Hospital but held at the school nearby.

I arrived at about 8:45 a.m. and there was a fairly sizable line (I didn’t realize there were that many old geezers in the area). The very orderly line did move rather quickly and I was inside the gymnasium in about half an hour getting my first of two injections. I received an appointment for the second shot which will be administered in a couple weeks. 

I must say everything went very smoothly and the school campus seemed like an excellent location for the program to be held. All the Mad River personnel involved were very friendly, knowledgeable and professional. 

I was very thankful for being able to participate in this program and feel it is important for all who are eligible to participate as well. The more people who get vaccinated the better and the sooner we can be looking in the rear view mirror at this serious health problem.

Call Mad River Hospital for details.

Stan Binnie

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That’s how you do it right

I had a pleasant, rewarding experience this past Saturday, January 23, 2021. I assisted my wife with taking her parents to receive their first round shot of the Coronavirus vaccine in the gym at Pacific Union School in Arcata. 

Mad River Community Hospital hosted this event as well as others previously. The hospital has administered this first round of vaccines to their staff and to emergency responders from throughout the Humboldt County area. In fact, I saw first responders from Rio Dell, Ferndale, and other locations in Humboldt County receive a vaccine on Saturday. 

However, this day was for the 75-year-old folks and older. I understand around 500 individuals received a vaccine on this day! What a sight to see these elders in a zig-zag line, maintaining social distance and wearing masks, from the gym in the back of Pacific Union School, through hallways, sidewalks, and parking lots to the front of the school. 

These same people who had parents survive the flu pandemic of 1918 and have lived through many other struggles in their own lifetimes. Interacting with old friends or even strangers while waiting in line created a sense of normalcy that many had not experienced in close to a year. 

Although there appeared to be some apprehensions, the twinkle in their eyes expressed smiling faces behind their masks and that was the norm. There was an energy that spoke to “doing what is necessary in order for our lives to move forward in a safe and productive way.” 

As each person provided their paperwork and identification, they were greeted by staff in a kind, supportive and professional way. Caring for the patient was just as important as administering the vaccine. Once documentation was taken care of, individuals were moved to a table where a nurse was ready to administer the shot. 

These nurses were great as they greeted all warmly and my in-laws stated they “didn’t feel a thing.” After each injection, patients moved to the bleachers to sit to ensure that they did not have any adverse reaction while staff monitored them. 

Each recipient continued to have that twinkle in their eyes and they had a look as if a burden had been lifted from their shoulders. A first step in moving their lives closer to what they were like prior to this pandemic; a chance to spend quality time with family, friends, and resume activities they enjoy in their lives. 

Even though there will be a “new normal,” being able to resume activities that approximate normal is a blessing that is becoming closer to a reality due to the efforts of Mad River Community Hospital. 

I wish to extend a big thank you to Mad River Community Hospital CEO Doug Shaw for being proactive and providing staff for this cause and to Executive Team Members David Neal, Pamela Floyd, Fred Vitello and all of their staff for providing this opportunity. 

A thank you goes to The Humboldt County Health Department for assisting with the clinic needs and I also want to thank Superintendent Rene McBride and Pacific Union School for use of their gymnasium. 

Keep up the good work! Positive times are on the way due to all of your efforts!

David Lonn

Pride and prejudice

Dear McKinleyville Community

I have always been proud of both graduating from and serving as Principal at McKinleyville High School. My experience has been overwhelmingly positive in both roles. 

This fall I was honored and entrusted to listen to the stories and experiences of current and former BIPOC students as well their families during their time at McKinleyville High School. Their sharing has both saddened and had a profound impact on me as both a member of our community as well as in my role as principal, for it is clear, from these listening sessions, that our school has not always provided a safe, nurturing and empowering environment for our BIPOC students, and this must change. 

Our school mission states, “McKinleyville High School fosters an inclusive community where all individuals can excel both personally and academically by empowering learners with meaningful skills in a safe and supportive environment.” We have not upheld this promise for all of our students. While we cannot change the past, we are dedicated to creating a school that honors and supports all our students from this day forward. We acknowledge harm in the hopes it will help our community heal.

We understand that racism and its impact on our systems and institutions is not an issue specific to MHS, but we recognize our role in it and our responsibility to make change. In order to do this, we are working on staff training, curriculum and the development of policies and procedures in partnership with our BIPOC community to meet the mission of our school for the success of all of our students. 

All of us want a school where our students have agency, feel connected and honored for who they are, and have all the opportunities and support to prepare them for all that comes after. McKinleyville High was that school for me, and I want to make sure it is that school for everyone. I look forward to making that happen.

If you have any questions about this work or would like to be involved, please feel free to contact me at (707) 839-6405 or at [email protected].

Nic Collart, principal
McKinleyville High School

The GOP has learned nothing

Once again it appears that Republicans are willing to “shoot themselves in the foot” as they slink away from their duty to impeach Donald Trump. 

They are unwilling to do their constitutional duties. But this is not big news, the Republican Party in its current form only supports the Constitution when it is convenient for them.

Keep in mind, this was no ordinary crime, Trump didn’t lie about sex in the Oval Office, he didn’t pay thugs to get information on his opponent and lie about it. 

No, what this man is being charged with is “incitement of insurrection.” Support of an attempt to overthrow the United States Government! 

There can be no more heinous crime committed by a Commander-In-Chief. The very nature of it is treasonous.

Why are we not surprised then by the Republicans’ lack of foresight, their pandering in fear? 

Wasn’t it only two years ago their sycophantic support of his criminal behavior lost them the House, two months ago lost them the Presidency, two weeks ago lost them the Senate? Isn’t there any lesson to be learned?

Yet they still hide in corners, afraid to do their duty. 

While privately many will admit that the seditious crimes committed by Donald Trump are worthy of impeachment, in public they cower, pathetically terrified of his followers, afraid of their own shadows. 

Their one concern is power. Power for power’s sake. There is no love of country, only of power.

So, go for it you “lovers of freedom.” You will pay, for when you support Trump there is always a bill due at the end of the day.  By your cowardice acts, you will further divide the Republican Party.  By not banishing him into the Hall of Shame, you will tear yourselves apart by the next election.

The end result will be the battle between the Constitutional Republicans and the Trump Republicans and we have already seen how that will play out… there will be blood.

Rick Levin
Blue Lake


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