Letters to the Editor, March 20, 2019

Safety. Yield. Respect.

Over my many years and thousands of miles as an avid user of the Arcata Community Forest and related Sunny Brae Forest I have on occasion experienced what is known as a “trail conflict.” 

As memory serves, 100 percent of those trail conflicts have been with me as a pedestrian being encountered in an unsafe manner by a mountain bike rider traveling at excessive speed and unable (and unwilling?) to yield, and then in some cases being disrespectful in my attempts at communicating my concerns.

Trail conflicts also arise at times due to owners of off-leash dogs in the Community Forest and elsewhere, which, beyond being disrespectful of the Forest and users, is additionally precluded by Arcata Municipal Code. 

So, here’s my meme for all users of our extraordinarily wonderful Arcata Community Forest: “Safety. Yield. Respect.”

This sounds to me like community values, environmental values and guidelines for users of the Arcata Community Forest that we all can and should live by. My sense is that the more these fundamental precepts of using our Community Forest are adopted by all users of these beautiful trails, the fewer actual trail conflicts may occur. 

Are there any arguments against being kinder to each other? Especially when we encounter each other in a place as wondrous and welcoming as the Arcata Community Forest.

Bruce LeBel

Daylight Saving = losing

Monday morning March 11th. I crawled out of bed resentfully. I’d been cheated of an hour of sleep, and at shortly after six, it was still dark outside. Welcome to Daylight Saving Time.

My dog Murphy opened one eye and looked at me as if I were mad—why was I getting up in the middle of the night?

I consoled myself. In only a few more weeks, we would see the glint of dawn when it was time to start moving. 

By then, my body would have recovered from its perennial agony of “springing forward.” And, anyway, didn’t we all vote to end this maddening shifting of the time? Soon we would have year-round DST.

Omigod! That’s when I realized the full implications of what we’d brought upon ourselves. If this change to DST becomes permanent, we will be getting up in the dark from the end of October to the middle of March. Are we nuts?

Back in the 1970s, at the height of the Arab Oil Embargo, America went on an energy diet. Thermostats were set back from the traditional 72 to a chilly 68. “Compact cars” became best sellers. And small children waiting for school buses in the dark morning hours were being run over and killed.

Yes, it’s a great idea to end the clock-switching madness, but maybe we’re opting for the wrong year-round choice. Daylight Savings Time gives us light evenings and dark mornings, whereas Standard Time will keep the mornings bright and the evenings dark. 

Is it really such a bizarre idea to have the day start with sunlight, and end in darkness? 

Jay Davis

Don’t burn poison oak

I recently learned that it’s illegal to burn poison oak in California. Turns out it mentions it right on the back of the burn permit. Oops, didn’t look.

Urushiol, the oil that irritates the skin and causes those nasty blisters does NOT disappear during the burning process. Instead it vaporizes into tiny droplets and then become air borne all over the neighborhood. Who knew?

So, that rash your kids got after hanging their sheets on the line is not measles, it is poison oak. Oops, sorry. 

The neighbor who has asthma and had to spend five days in intensive care due to poison oak blisters in the throat and lungs. Oops, sorry. OMG, you don’t have good health insurance. Bummer. 

Does homeowner’s liability insurance cover that $23,000 hospital bill? Have to find out.

Don’t burn poison oak or you and your neighbors will pay the consequesces.

Debbi Krukonis

Trump needs a mirror

Donald Trump loves to jump all over others for their actions, but sometimes he needs to look in the mirror. 

For example, candidate Trump condemned President Obama for wasting taxpayers’ money when he went golfing, but as president, Trump himself has golfed even more frequently.

President Trump recently tweeted he’s “not thrilled” with Governor Newsom’s executive order to suspend the death penalty in California. 

He wrote that such a decision overrode the will of the people. 

But now he has vetoed Congressional action which would have blocked his border emergency declaration. 

His action overrides both the will of congress and also the will of the people, over 60 percent of whom in surveys this year opposed Trump using an emergency declaration to obtain funding to pay for the Mexican border wall.

Trump has even jumped into something as trivial as commenting on Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s speaking style. He stated he’s never seen such hand movement and even suggested O’Rourke might be crazy. 

I think that if hand gesturing were a criterion for being crazy, he need only watch one of his own speeches to decide what many already suspect for other reasons, he too could be crazy himself.

Sherman Schapiro
Blue Lake



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