Letters to the Editor, January 6, 2020

Mask up, it’s easy

I think we must have a good bus system for a rural area, a most valiant one in fact, that keeps running even though we have few riders. I ventured to ride Arcata transit a couple of weeks ago because I want to support our continuing to have a bus system even though I have both a car and a bicycle. Unfortunately, there was a rider who did not cover his nose with his mask. I walked the three miles home.

Now it happens that my car needs a transmission and affording that, and investing in this old car is not worth it, according to my mechanic. I could actually get along OK without a car, but I clean house for an elder and can’t risk exposing to COVID. And for that matter, at 71, I am an elder myself.

Walking home from our local grocery I passed two maskless folks and one was complaining about being expected to follow rules. 

Come on, folks. I wear a mask when I walk or bike somewhere. Ridiculous, I hear the anti-maskers saying. 


Rump and Giulinai both got cured of the plague. So hey, it’s just a little flu? 335,000 people dead. Right. Everybody and his hound dog has $1,000,000 to spend in four days for the “cure.”

Your mask protects me. My mask protects you. Sore ears? Fix the straps so they go behind your head instead. Difficulty breating? A lighter mask allows adequate breathing and limits the spread of the virus-carrying moisture that comes out of all of us. Think Rumop is some kind of demi-god? What I think of that can’t be printed.

Naomi Silvertree

The Arcata House difference


In 2020 we reinvented ourselves three full times and made dozens of adjustments to our service offerings and processes. We have been able to stay safe while providing the best (albeit limited) service we could. And with all of that we have been committed to continuous improvement.

We have served more people than ever before. Just look at these numbers!

In 2020 Arcata House Partnership (AHP) provided

• $318,842 in rental support

• 48,806 meals/snacks

• 14,678 shelter bed nights

• 23,420 hours of case management

• 3,083 referrals to partner agencies

As if that wasn’t good enough... we have been fortunate to retain staff who are committed to our mission and we have attracted equally amazing people to join our team.

We have been leaders in service to people who are homeless or hungry. We managed a pilot program for the tent lots with great success (and a lot of stress), we are managing Project Roomkey (one of three in the county) with great success, we are preparing to open the trailers that the governor sent, we were awarded a Project Homekey program for long-term housing, we changed how we provide support to people on the street so we can provide for basic needs, and we have increased the number of housing vouchers we have available to offer. 

Our donors came through in record numbers and for that I thank you for believing in us and in the work we do for the community. We have welcomed new partners who are equally committed to being of service to our neediest citizens.

As we close 2020 I’d like to share how I will remember this year. Here is who we at AHP are:




I am ending the year feeling grateful that we could offer the amount of service that we did. I am grateful to be working on a team of professionals who believe that we do make a difference. That there are many things that still need to be done but we did what we could. And above all, I am full of joy that we have impacted so many people’s lives in such a positive way. We could not have done this without you, our staff and partners who always walk side-by-side with me as we make a difference.

Thank you,
Darlene A. Spoor, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Arcata House Partnership

The lame in lame duck

A Lame Duck is “In the literal sense, the term refers to a duck which is unable to keep up with its flock, making it a target for predators” or “one that is weak or that falls behind in ability or achievement.”

The transition time in any administration is know as the “lame duck session.” In the United States it is typically the time when a president and Congress clear up left over business, try to push legislation, or worse, unfulfilled campaign promises. Presidents often give out pardons and issue executive orders that will simply be undone after January 20. It is generally considered a time of “orderly transition” of power. We in the United States have always been proud of the ability of our elected officials to pull this off.

And now we come to Trump. He has actively encouraged departments in the government from cooperating with the incoming administration. Some how he thinks that these delaying tactics will change the outcome of the election, make him president again and make all his wishes come true. Hate to tell you Donald, it won’t.

I have never been convinced that this pantomime has been anything more than a ploy to raise money on his way out the door. He does have that pesky $423 million balloon payment due in January. Anyone that indebted needs a way to walk away with some cash. Please remember that the way the Supreme Court gutted the election finance reforms allowing candidates to KEEP all the money left over in their PACS. The candidate can spend this money any way he or she wants, there are no longer any limits.

But then we come to the latest boondoggle. Really, what was the point? We all know that anyone who has been harmed by Trump voted against him. And now he perpetrates the greatest harm to the greatest number of people. For what reason? He was going to send the Omnibus Bill and COVID-19 Relief Bill with changes. Does anyone believe he read the bill? It is over 5,100 pages long. He does not read and has the attention span of a gerbil, so whose idea was this move?

The evil in this move is even beyond Mitch McConnell, at least I hope so, or the people of Kentucky are truly horrible or truly stupid to let this man represent them in Congress and to the rest of the world. So, there must be another actor at work. We have had Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, John Mitchell, Robert Schultz and even Robert McNamara but these players were out in the open. In Trump’s administration he has had bad actors behind the scene, so who is left. I think it is important to find this person and cripple them, maybe not literally, but in a way so that we never have to be subject to such horrors again.

Trump finally signed the bill, on the eve of votes in the House of Representative to override his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. Now comes word that one of the Republican crooks running for Senate in Georgia urged the president to sign the bill. Does anyone really believe that? How much money did Trump raise in the week he delayed the signing? Is he going to donate that money to the starving and dying? One of the talking heads this morning compared Trump to Marie Antionette. I think that is a disservice done to the Queen of France who is famous for saying “let them eat cake.”

Another comparison this week is Trump to King Lear. That is a horrible thing to say about the work of one of the most important writers in the English language. It is almost over. Remember, “’tis a tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Thank you for listening,
Jan Phelps

The show must go on

The show must go on! And we would like to thank the members of Dell’Arte and KEET-T.V. for what has become a holiday tradition in our family. 

Watching the premier of Hansel and Gretel, it reminded us of the wonderment we are so fortunate and blessed to have in Humboldt County. Dustin Curry as “The Witch” was extraordinary and reminiscent of two of my favorite comedic actors, John Belushi and Jack Black. 

The sets were witty, including the modernized inside and out of the witch’s abode and locally made bread was noted as the source of crumbs scattered in the forest. The rocking musical number was well done, too!

In these trying times, let us be aware of those who bring sunshine into our lives and offer our support. I am thankful to live in a place where the arts are greatly celebrated. I appreciate Dell’Arte for making our holidays brighter!

Mairead Dodd


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