Letters to the Editor October 17, 2018: Vote this way – no, that way!

McKinley belongs here

While we are shocked and saddened by the climate of hate both in our nation and in our community, we do not believe moving the statue of McKinley from the Plaza is the right decision.

While we completely support the removal of Confederate statues across the country that were placed in communities as a combative reaction to the civil rights movement by white supremacist, that is not the case with the McKinley statue on the Plaza.

President William McKinley was a civil war hero, and abolitionist, but did support the imperialism that was common for the time. He was also known as the first modern President who shook the hand of every visitor, something we could all benefit from practicing today.

The statue was created by an Armenian-American sculptor, Haig Patigian, who created the commissioned piece of art to memorialize President McKinley’s assassination.

Removing the McKinley statue will not eliminate racism in Arcata. But the discussion has led to a valuable conversation about American history, historic presentation and modern beliefs.

This isn’t the first time we have had this discussion, but each time the conversation has occurred, Arcatans have chosen to leave McKinley and honor historic preservation and one of our few pieces of public art in downtown.

 Keeping this statue will encourage continued discussion about the past as we work together to create a better future.

 We agree with Tom Damman of Arcata when he says “I will not vote to remove the statue of a hero who fought to end slavery.”

 Please vote Yes on Measure M.

Alex Stillman
Connie Stewart

McKinley’s terrible record

The American Presidency Project contains an immense amount of information about U.S. presidents, including McKinley. I found it incredibly instructive that in my review of his proclamations, executive orders and of his messages to both congress and the senate, there were numerous examples of his concern for and advocacy of specific protections against the lynching of “foreigners.” He repeatedly advocated for laws and financial compensation for those groups affected. I could find no similar concern on behalf of Black citizens. Nor was there, discoverable to me, appreciable statements about voting rights for this group. This is probably why he was so severely criticized by Black civil rights advocates of his time. As for Indigenous Peoples, McKinley made several proclamations (numbers 421, 436, 445, 456, 460, 461) that involved treaty violations and seizures of vast tracts of land across the U.S. from various Tribes, including the Coleville Tribe in Washington State. This would be in addition to the Curtis Act of 1898, a law he signed into action which resulted in 90 million acres of land and dissolution of tribal courts for five Tribes. In one executive order, McKinley established the Hualapai Indian School Reserve in Arizona. These schools were notorious for their role in the cultural and physical destruction of Indigenous Peoples, something he brought to Indigenous and Native communities around the world. I cannot see how “civil war service” is more important than this information. Measure M proponents have some explaining to do.

Joel Morrison

Settlers and servitude

Stories handed down in my family from our indentured servant ancestor, who arrived late 1700s in the northeast, bias me to consider indenture of Indians as slavery. A partial picture of who acquired Indian indentured servants in the Union (Arcata) Township emerges from reading (1) 1860 Federal Census for Arcata Township, (2) Heizer, R. F. and A. J. Almquist. The Other Californians: Prejudice and Discrimination under Spain, Mexico, and the United States to 1920. University of California Press, 1971, and (3) Van Kirk, S. Reflections of Arcata’s History: Eighty Years of Architecture. January, 1979.

Phillips House, now a museum, 71 East Seventh St., was built mid-1850s for William E. Phillips (Van Kirk, 1979). The 1860 census lists Wm. E. Phillips, 33-year-old blacksmith born in Mass. and his 22-year-old wife born in Ill. living in a household with their 3- and 5-year-old sons born in California and a 6-year-old Indian boy, Davey. Heizer and Almquist document Wm. E. Phillips indentured an Indian, Dave, M, 6 years, to the age of 25, in January, 1861, and in February, 1861, Wm. E. Phillips indentured two more Indians, 16-year-old Dick and his wife, Kitty, 25.

Findley Lindsey was original owner of Lindsey House, c. 1851, 55 Seventh Street. (Van Kirk, 1979). This house, according to Van Kirk, “was occupied by family members – son William and his wife Sarah Harvey, and daughter Sarah Jane Preston (Bates) and her son Charles – until 1932.” Sarah Jane’s husband, John C. Preston, indentured Indians John, M, 25 and his (wife) Jane, 20, in January 1861 (Heizer and Almquist). The 1860 census lists the household of John C. Preston, 33-year-old farmer born in Ohio and Sarah Preston, 17-year-old born in Indiana. Lynette Mullen’s transcription of Inquisition into Lucy Romero’s Murder, 1862, (Edited Transcript of Microfilmed Records, Humboldt County Courthouse) documents names of inquisition jurors and sworn depositions of residents regarding the murder of Lucy, a Wiyot woman who survived the February 26, 1860 Indian Island massacre and was living with her three children near John C. Preston’s house on his claimed land when she was murdered January 12, 1862. Among the 10 all male jurors were three who concurrently owned indentured Indians. A. Jacoby, one-time owner of Jacoby Storehouse on the Plaza, is listed in both Heizer and Almquist and the 1860 census as owner of a female Indian named Mary, who according to a footnote (Heizer and Almquist) was “taken from father at Big Bar in May 1854 and bound under law of 1850”; she was indentured January, 1861, bound for 9 years until age 21. Henry Stern is listed (1860 census) as 27-year-old head of household merchant born in Baden with 9-year-old female Indian, Paulena, in the household. John C. Bull, part owner of the Bull/Hunt-Taylor Building on the plaza’s east side (Van Kirk, 1979), indentured Charley, 21-year-old Indian, in February 1861 (Heizer and Almquist). Among people giving deposition were John C. Preston, Sarah Jane Preston, Findley Lindsey and his son, William R. Lindsey. The inquisition resulted in no murderer being identified.

The Nixon House, corner of J and 10th streets with the big black walnut tree, was built in 1858 for James A. Kleiser , sold to J. A. B. Faulkner in 1859, who lost it due to delinquent taxes to A. Jacoby and James Michael in 1860 (Van Kirk, 1979). A. Jacoby, one-time owner of Jacoby’s Storehouse on the Plaza, is listed in both Heizer and Almquist and the 1860 census as owner of an Indian, Mary, indentured January, 1861, bound for nine years until age 21 (Heizer and Almquist). William Nixon bought the house in 1861. He was the son of Sarah Nixon, head of household in 1860 census, who owned Charley, 12 year old Indian. In February 1861, Wm. Nixon indentured two Indians, 19-year-old Tom, and his 16-year-old wife Mary (Heizer and Almquist). The Nixon family and heirs owned the house until 1971 (Van Kirk, 1979) when Dan and Donna Hauser purchased it. Dan Hauser, signer of Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure M, wants to keep the statue in the Plaza against the wishes of the Wiyot Tribe who submitted a letter to Arcata City Council requesting removal of the statue that is associated with painful memories passed down orally from ancestors. I will honor Wiyot people and vote No on M.

Diane Ryerson

Hardworking, responsive Brett

I am writing to encourage you to vote for Brett Watson. I have known Brett for two years ( I have only lived in the area for three). I know he is extremely hardworking and is very involved in our community.

What I really admire about Brett is he is very responsive to any questions I have. He listens carefully and tries to understand all sides of an issue.

Brett will help to diversify our local economy and work for more living wage jobs. He wants to expand safe and affordable housing for Arcata, create a dog park, and enhance the safety and beauty of Valley West and the Plaza. Also, he would work to make Arcata a zero waste city, as well as increase our disaster preparedness.

I hope you will join me in voting for Brett Watson for Arcata City Council.

Mary Lou Lowry

Sofia, thoughtful and fair

I’m proud to support Sofia Pereira for a second term on the Arcata City Council. Sofia has proven to be a thoughtful and fair representative since she was first elected in 2014. She does her homework, works to find common ground, and doesn’t hesitate to tackle the challenging issues facing Arcata.

Sofia has worked to make the Plaza more family friendly, expand the city trail system, and support housing for seniors, working people, families and students in Arcata.

The city of Arcata is fortunate to have her leadership on the Arcata City Council. On Nov. 6, vote Sofia Pereira for Arcata City Council!

Annalise von Borstel

Yes on K for health, security

Fear can be paralyzing. Imagine being afraid to report a witnessed crime, take your seriously ill child to emergency care, drive to the local market or even to report to work. Unfortunately, that is the condition of too many of our fellow citizens.

The sanctuary city Measure K on our upcoming ballot, is purported by critics as fostering lawlessness and providing a free get out of jail opportunity for potential immigrant criminals.

The flip side is allowing all citizens, without fear of reprisal and/or deportation, to fully participate in assuring cooperation with law enforcement, access to community resources, including health facilities for their themselves and their children and the ability to engage openly with their neighbors.

Measure K allows all of our citizens to participate fully in maintaining the health and security of our community. Please vote YES on Measure K.

John Fesler

Stop dune ‘restoration’

According to the permits issued by the County, dune restoration are activities that include removal of targeted plants to be accompanied by monitoring and reporting to the county. When issued, the county expected the applicant to make sure that topography was not altered, there would be no work done in or impacts to wetland areas and there would be a review in 2010.

Planning Director Ford sent Friends of the Dunes (FOD) a letter last week stating that there were unresolved compliance issues with the same permit that the planning department was recommending for approval. The same permit that was to be reviewed eight years ago. No, I am not making this up.

Now the applicant has indicated in their own published literature that some of the goals of “restoration” are to cause alterations in topography and wetland losses by destabilizing sand once held in check by the plants they want to remove.

So yes, the Planning Commission has now unanimously seen through the utter lack of responsibility that FOD has exhibited in carrying out the obligations of their permit.

The commission is asking for a review that should have happened eight years ago. A growing number of us think that while a review would be good it is so long overdue and the violations so egregious that the permit should be revoked, and all work stopped immediately.

Uri Driscoll

Mayo’s the man for the job

I’m writing this letter to the editor to offer my full-throated support for Dennis Mayo’s re-election campaign. In the decade he’s spent serving as a member of the MCSD Board of Directors, Dennis has proved himself an exemplary advocate for his community.

When Dennis reached out to me with concern regarding diversion to the Mad River Watershed from illegal cannabis operations, I was inspired by his concern for the environment and for the wellbeing of the District’s citizens. Dennis is eager to work with people across ideological lines, focusing on important issues and results rather than political squabbles. He is a true son of Humboldt who understands and represents the needs and desires of his fellow community members.

When it comes specifically to cannabis, we all know that local operators are experiencing increasing financial pressure due to licensing fees and the general cost of compliance. We need elected officials who want to collaborate with us to build a sustainable and profitable cannabis industry that can provide solid jobs for Humboldt’s workforce and thrive in the competitive state-wide markets of today and tomorrow. Dennis’s collaborative approach is exactly what we need to navigate these murky but potentially rewarding waters.

For those who have the opportunity to vote for Dennis Mayo this election season, this should be a no-brainer. He’s the man for the job. Sincerely,

Cody Stross
Owner and CEO of Northern Emeralds


Yes on Prop 10

“THE RENT, THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH” is the chant of groups across California. Vote “Yes” on PROP 10, in the Nov. 6 election, to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins loopholes landlords used to raise rents to exorbitant heights. The repeal would give back power to cities to create rent control laws. Many people can’t afford to buy their homes, if rents continue to skyrocket, they won’t be able to rent either. Rent control laws won’t reduce currant rents, but will secure future rent increases to a capped rate. With housing costs completely out of control in California, now is the time to repeal Costa-Hawkins. Vote “Yes” on Prop 10.

Nancy Mohney


TCLT Beach Gala thanks

The response from the business and artist communities, and community at large to the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust’s (TCLT’s) 40th Year Anniversary Beach Gala was overwhelming and generous.

The Gala event, held at Moonstone Beach House on sunny September Sunday was vibrant with music by The Sandfleas, silent auction, raffles, food and drinks, giving attendees much to enjoy. In the process many learned much about what the TCLT stands for: preserving and safely ensuring open access to the majestic coastal landscape surrounding Trinidad.

Proceeds from the event will help fund improvements to Scenic Drive access trails at Houda Point, Luffenholtz and Baker beaches all requiring major infrastructure upgrades for the enjoyment of visitors, families and those who relish our coastal treasures.

The TCLT Board of Trustees humbly thanks contributors and donors that made this event possible and a success including Stephany Joy, RE/MAX Humboldt Realty, Charles Schwab, Patty Stearns, Coldwell Banker Sellers Realty, Kokatat, Forbes & Associates, Redwood Capital Bank, Lost Coast Communications, Inc. and Aztec Grill who joined TCLT’s Business Partners Program through their contribution, artists Matt Beard, Andrew Daniel and Paul Rickart who did live painting for the benefit, Moonstone Crossing Winery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Bergeron Winery, the numerous raffle and silent auction donors, and all the TCLT volunteers and community donors who who helped make the event a success.

Thank you all for your support of the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust. Visit us at trinidadcoastallandtrust.org, Instagram and Facebook.

Ben Morehead, executive director
Trinidad Coastal Land Trust


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