Letters to the Editor, May 13, 2020

 Disresepectful virtue signaling

I was very hurt by Kevin Hoover’s Photoshopped depiction of the demonstrators at the courthouse, displayed on May 7.

I found out about it cuz it was featured on the Nextdoor site, with disparaging comments to follow, as well as unkind comments to one of the protesters that was there.

Why is the Mad River Union allowing one of its own to put down his fellow citizens? This has made your journal out to be biased and willing to be disrespectful to people whose opinions you obviously disagree  with, and you take advantage of your public forum to “virtue signal” and enforce what you consider to be “correct.”

I was considering subscribing to your journal, but now I will definitely not.

Jean Damon

Don’t elevate racism by overreaction

I was distressed to read that there have been recent incidents of racial hatred (OpinioNews, April 29) in the Arcata-McKinleyville area, such that 18 community leaders felt compelled to co-sign a major editorial piece. 

I lived and worked in the Arcata area during the decade of the ’90s, after having lived in Southern California for a lengthy period of time, and my impression of the Humboldt Bay region was that I had never been anywhere so open to, welcoming of, and tolerant of diversity along every possible dimension. Of course, things may have changed since, but my regular reading of the Mad River Union plus frequent visits tell me they have not.

It’s important to keep things in perspective and in proportion. There are always going to be a few half-wits and determined troublemakers, and we cannot allow these fools to control the agenda. As basketball sage Charles Barkley has mentioned, idiots come in all colors. 

The fact that a white racist shouts out an inflammatory remark, or scribbles something obscene and hurtful on an underpass wall, does not mean that all Humboldt County citizens with pale complexions need to be sent to sensitivity training. It would be just as silly to require all African Americans in the Miami area to be held to account because a couple of black thugs carjacked a European tourist.

I also want to remind everyone that teenage boys of all races and ethnicities, many without a racist bone in their bodies, often write, say, and do absolutely atrocious things simply because they know that such acts will rile up the grownups. 

When we pay undue attention and over-react to such occurrences, we simply encourage more of this type of malicious mischief.

Carl Ochsner

Know Your Humboldt Wildlife Neighbors

Thanks much for the wildlife segment on the last page of the latest Union. Our area has a rich depth of wildlife resource that remain mostly unseen, 

We at “Know Your Humboldt Wildlife Neighbors” appreciate efforts like those of Michael McDowall, and Arcata Environmental Services sharing a non-intrusive window into this mysterious world. As cities and urban life become even more unlivable, We can expect pressures to build to develop and expand accommodations in rural / less populated areas like the wildlands We are blessed to have around us, and it is vital to preserve and protect the wildlife residents and visitors who have survived and thrived there for generations.

P.S. That said, KYHWN would like to encourage, support, purpose a regular (monthly?) feature/segment in Your publication aimed at wildlife education. Our network has collected a considerable depth of Trail camera video/stills in an effort to document normally unseen local wildlife in a non intrusive manner for the expressed purpose of wildlife education/preservation, and wold appreciate seeing it given a wider circulation. 

Our network is currently working toward a format whereby this info can be available to local schools as well. We are confident that many local wildlife biologists would be willing contributors as well. KYHWN would be happy to compile and provide a list of other possible wildlife contributors as well, if that would be helpful.

P.S.S. KYHWN/Know Your Humboldt Wildlife Neighbors, is a network of local trail camera outposts that collect and share video and photo documentation thru non-intrusive technology. 

Our Citizen Science goal is to extend understanding and demystify some of the misinformation that many current attitudes about wildlife are based on. Our quest is to build respect, appreciation, and protection for the natural world and it’s wildlife residents and visitors. 

PLEASE... let us know if we could assist however in such a project. Thanks, ~ron

Ron Dean

Day of the Teacher

On Wednesday, May 13, the California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA), will join Californians statewide in celebrating the Day of the Teacher. We honor our fellow educators who have given so much during these extraordinary times. Teachers have been forced to reinvent every aspect of their classroom under very stressful circumstances. Each has risen to the challenge with skill, determination and an incredible amount of love and support for their students. We thank them for their hard work and send our heart-felt hope that students and their dedicated teachers will be reunited in classrooms soon. We also thank the parents who are teaching at home through this COVID-19 crisis although it has been stressful for you, too. So remember to thank a teacher who made a difference in your life.

Donna Clark, president, CalRTA North Coast Division 27

Thanks, McK Area Fund

I want to take this opportunity to send a huge Thank You to the McKinleyville Area Fund. 

For the past 11 years they have supported the activities program at Adult Day Health Care of Mad River with grant funds. Those monies have been used to enhance our outdoor garden area with annual flowers and vegetable starts for our small plot which is usually managed by our participants. With the shelter in place guidelines currently in place we had to suspend our in-center services in March and adapt to a “Center Without Walls” format that includes weekly telephone check-ins with our participants.

With the assistance of this recent grant we have also been able to increase our ability to send out activity packets customized for our participants and their individual needs. In these extraordinary times, all of our local businesses have been affected in significant ways. As a small non-profit organization serving seniors, adults with chronic disabilities and some of the most vulnerable members of our community, the challenges for Adult Day Health Care of Mad River have sometimes been great. 

For this reason I want to recognize how much the support of the McKinleyville Area Fund means to us. Thank you again to John Kulstad and the rest of the MAF Board of Directors.

April Joyce R.N., administrator, ADHC of Mad River

Trump pics need a warning label

President Trump likes group pictures with no masks in sight. He himself has professed he chooses not to wear a mask, and in fact never does as far as I know. But before you think these images portray what should be normal behavior for you and me, think again. You are seeing a fiction.

As reported by the website The Hill early in April, “Any person ’in close proximity’ to President Trump or Vice President Pence will be tested for the novel coronavirus.” In addition, the president and VP are checked for COVID-19 on a regular basis themselves.

The president knows that if he and the others are seen not wearing masks, the public will, at least subconsciously, think things are getting better, and as a result, should start to resume more normal behaviors. This is something he has previously encouraged through Tweets to protestors in several states saying they should demand liberation.

Because we can’t take the precautions Trump does, the CDC should require a warning to accompany all such group images just as the FDA does on cigarette packages. “WARNING: Gathering in unmasked groups may be hazardous to your health!”

Sherman Schapiro

Toilet paper and guns

I know an old timer who lives along the coast, among the redwoods, near Trinidad. He sometimes swims out too far and talks too much. Consider that he has lived and worked in Asia, Arabia and Africa as well as California, since 1930. As a youngster he witnessed bubonic plague and cholera epidemics first-hand. 

Given the present context of COVID-19, it appears that he understands the rationale for masks and social distancing, but I’m blown away when he sneezes! It’s not clear which political camp he represents; he’s not much of a radical in any event, and has not been arrested recently. 

His Internet communications are usually clear enough, however, recently he began tweeting and braying like he had flipped over backward in his recliner. and hit his head. 

Wait – there is a another possibility. My aging friend has recently become extremely vitriolic in view of the gibberish which emanates from the Blight House. The following outburst from him may be serious advice or blatant sarcasm. You be the judge. 

“Buy guns, Buy guns! Buy toilet paper and guns! Fill you house with toilet paper and guns. And – yes, you can bet, this pandemic thing is a blasted hoax, get rid of those masks! All you really need beside toilet paper and guns is Lysol injections and a little Clorox on your corn flakes. 

You never know what could happen; some nature-lovin Democrat could sneak on you up from behind, grab your gun and scare the spit out of you. So – be prepared. Buy toilet paper and guns! Make America great again!”

John Clement





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