Recent Letters To The Editor – December 5, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Letts’ facts are fiction

I wish to correct several statements made by Sharon Letts in her opinion piece titled “Cannabis Subsidizes Humboldt County“ published in the Eye on Nov. 21.

First, Sharon was never the “lead feature writer” at the Times-Standard. I know this because that was me. She was hired as the second staff writer in a department of three, including our section editor. By the time she came on board, I had been in the department for four years and was both the lead writer and functioned as the editor when our supervisor was out of the office.

Perhaps she thinks she was the “lead“ because at the time, she wrote more bylined stories than I did, but that fact alone doesn’t make her the lead. She simply was assigned to write more stories, whereas I was working on other assigned duties (including frequently editing her work).

Moreover, in a department of two writers and one editor, it seems obvious that the writer who functions as acting editor when the editor is gone would be more accurately described as the “lead.“ Sharon herself ought to remember taking direction from me when our editor was gone, so how would that fact indicate that she was the lead of the two of us? (Oh, wait – hasn’t scientific research proved that pot has a negative impact on short-term memory? Perhaps her less-than-two years at the T-S are mostly just a blur.)

Second, her claim that at $12.50 an hour she was “still the envy of those working for less much longer“ is ludicrous. Most of the staff writers who had been there longer made at least the same if not more than her, especially those who had been there “much” longer.

Finally, as noted by Ryan Burns in his online comment on the piece, Sharon incorrectly states the median income in Humboldt County, jumbles a number of other demographics, and equates “median” with “average” – all of which is information that is readily available online.

This calls into question her research methods and makes suspect any “fact” she states, including the statement that cannabis cured her cancer.

She was never actually diagnosed with lobular carcinoma, according to her own essays posted at Toke of the Town. In fact, she even admits, “We don’t know if cannabis made a difference with the disappearance of the mass, we can only guess for lack of real research. But what else could have caused the mass to disappear?”

Indeed, what else? What other ingredients were in the pot smoothie she ingested every day? She stopped taking her menopause hormones; could that have helped the mass disappear? She seems to think they caused it, so wouldn’t it make sense that stopping them may have helped reverse it?

As Ryan also noted, it is indeed “irresponsible to make the extraordinary claim that cannabis cures cancer without providing extraordinary evidence. If people believe this claim, their lives may depend on its truth or falsity.”

I could spend another hour taking apart more of her supposed facts, but frankly, it’s not worth any more of my time.

Jen Morey



Best Thanksgiving ever

With gratitude to the entire community, the Thanksgiving Meal at the Veteran’s Hall in Arcata was a hugely successful day. We received enough donations to pay for the hall this year and for a few years to come. We are most grateful that we also received the stuffing needed to make sure all who came had a complete meal with all the fixings.

The heartfelt giving of businesses, the community, many churches in the area, along with the Arcata Gospel Choir made the day special to those who came to be served and the many volunteers who came to prepare the donated food, wash dishes, set up the dining hall, serve meals and clean up.

The best words of the day came from a gentleman who volunteered long hours that day. When he had to leave, he said to me, “this was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.” That says it all.

Alicia Abell

Chair of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner


Humboldt Live 2013

The Humboldt Live junior high school leadership and career classes and the Arcata High School Career & College Center, are coordinating career exploration opportunities for middle and high school students in Arcata, Bayside, and Fortuna.

Activities include a Job Shadow Program, tours of local businesses, career and leadership speakers, on-line resources and training, and a “Letters to Our Youth” project, where adults can share insight, life skills, and ideas with young people by writing an open letter to students.

These programs are all designed to give students a real world learning experience by connecting students with adult workers. Our goal is to help students understand how their education today is important for their future employment and life success.

Our 2013 programs will involve students from Arcata and Six River High Schools, and Fortuna, Jacoby Creek, Pacific Union and Sunny Brae Middle Schools.

For these programs to be successful, we need business, education, trade, and public sector employers who are interested and willing to mentor and work with students.

There are many ways that you can get involved as a volunteer mentor, including:

• Hosting one to three Arcata or Six Rivers High School seniors at a three-hour Job Shadow on Wednesday morning March 6, 2013, 9 a.m. to noon.

• Hosting one to three Jacoby Creek School 7th grade students at a shorter Job Shadow on Monday afternoon April 22, 2013, 12:45 to 2:30 p.m.

• Hosting a 40-minute Fortuna, Jacoby Creek, or Sunny Brae Middle School class tour to share career ideas and information about how and why your business is successful.

• Serving as a guest on a leadership or career exploration panel.

• Writing your own “Letter to our Youth,” sharing your insights and life lessons with students.

As a volunteer, we will provide you with comprehensive guidelines and information to ensure that you are prepared to work with students.

If you are interested in helping students, or if you would like more information, please contact coordinator Jim Ritter at 839-5114, or by e-mail at

Your involvement in these programs will help students to set goals and to be hopeful about their future opportunities.

Participating will be fun and rewarding for you too. Thank you for your consideration and support.


Jim Ritter

Humboldt Live and Arcata High School School & College Center


Douglsa needs assistance

Good Day,

My name is Douglsa knowing that your paper is one of the most widely read newspaper in the neighborhood, I will like to know if I can post a Personal assistant ad in your newspaper which I will like to be in print and online.

I will looking forward to hearing from you soon.

douglsa kelvin

The Internet


A some one, a mature some one

Hello My Dear,

my name is Linda in search of some one who will help me, but a mature some one with nice vision of what the world is all about my dear after reading your profile today i took interest in you, so please i will like you to contact me with my private email address at for easy communication and to know each other well.

I will be waiting to hear from you to enable me tell you more about me.

I wish you nice day.


The Internet

Worst. Supes. Ever.

We have a big problem. Our problem is the Board of Supervisors. This past week, in spite of tons of well-documented information having been presented to them as to why the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) should not be given a two-year extension, the Supes voted to support the extension.

The KBRA failed to get Congressional approval so the money interests came up with a last minute fix: amend the KBRA to give it two more years to get approval. This is NEVER going to happen, nor should it. It’s all about big money interests and politics, not about the Klamath River or salmon.

I watched our Supervisors listen to a staged presentation on the KBRA that was 30 minutes of dishonest, slanted information. None of them commented or blinked. By this time they should have known enough about the KBRA to know they were being fed slop but I doubt most of them do know much about it.

What they do know is that Thompson, Chesbro, et al are backing it so if they have further ambitions (and I’m sure most do) they’ll back it too. That’s what it’s all about: ambition and politics.

Lovelace in particular has handed out a ton of convincingly stated hogwash. Remember that when he runs for Assembly. Sundberg is like a sheep going to slaughter and taking his people with him.

Between the GPU, KBRA and the in-home workers’ pay and more we may have the worst Supervisors in recent history.

Sylvia De Rooy


Wow, a competent ISP

Once upon a time in Humboldt County, when you called a business establishment, the phone was answered by a real person. Imagine that! That person, who was called a “receptionist” — [ree-SEP-shun-ist] — would begin like this: “Good morning, ABC company, how can I help you?” You would then state the purpose of your call, and she (receptionists were typically well-spoken women) would connect you to the individual most likely to help. I know this all sounds strange to anybody under 30, but it’s true.

Years ago, when the Internet was new, I joined AOL. The service was terrible. Every time there was a problem (which was weekly) I would spend what seemed like hours pressing button after button, listening to bad music, and never getting to speak to anybody who could really help. When I called to tell them I wanted out, they apologized profusely and offered me two months free. I declined, and opted instead to find a local ISP. I settled on Humboldt Internet, a small company in Northtown Arcata. They were polite, competent, and—importantly—they were local.

I stayed with them until they were bought out by Sonic, a larger ISP out of Santa Rosa. Wanting to stay local, I was going to change providers, but somehow didn’t get around to it before I developed a problem. I called Sonic and was, frankly, astounded. Within 15 seconds I was speaking to a human being. Moreover, he promptly diagnosed the problem and fixed it. In the past few years, I’ve added WiFi, replaced a computer, and had a few Internet problems. Every time I’ve found the same amazing service: a real person person within seconds, and friendly, expert service. And if the problem was complicated, they were always patient. What put everything into perspective was my recent encounter with the giant corporation that provides my local phone service.

I needed a paper copy of my phone bill, so I called the 800 number the company provides. As usual, I could not speak to a human. Instead I was offered the typical menu of choices, none of which was pertinent. When I tried to get around these by shouting “representative!” into the phone, I was ignored.

Finally, literally, 15 minutes later, I had a person on the line. I loudly vented my frustration, and he was ever so sympathetic. He assured me that, yes, he would pass on my comments to those in charge. And, yes, he said soothingly, for $5, he’d have a copy of my bill sent to me.

Then, as I was ready to hang up, he cooed, “Do you have Internet service?”

“Indeed I do,” I replied.

“Do you realize that we can offer you a better price than you’re now paying?”

I rolled my eyes, imagining what it would be like to have a frustrating Internet malfunction, and then have to face the additional grief of dealing with these guys.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I replied.

Yes, I could have gotten cheaper service than I do from Sonic, but Sonic is SO worth the extra cost that I want to spread the word. If you can afford their service, get it. You won’t be sorry. And… you can even call then with a phone that has no push buttons.

Jay Davis


Friends of Families thanks

On Oct. 29,  Shamus T-Bones hosted Barbeque and Bids, a fundraiser to benefit the families of Jessie Hunt, Terri Vroman-Little and Suzie Seemann, our three friends,  who were struck by a hit-and-run driver on Sept. 27.  Jessie and Terri continue to heal, while Suzie’s family continues to seek strength.

Many thanks to Shamus T-Bones and their incredible staff for providing the perfect venue, fabulous food and beverages.  Thank you, Ramone’s Bakery, for the delicious desserts; Scrapper’s Edge for donating the tickets at a moment’s notice; and the Jogg’N Shoppe for ticket sales and a place for the running community to gather and share their sense of loss.

A tremendous “thank you” to all the volunteers who helped organize and work this special event; your time and energy is so appreciated.

Big thanks to all the businesses and individuals who donated live and silent auction items.  Thanks to our expert auctioneer who knows how to empty wallets with a sense of humor.

To our vigilant local media, thank you for getting the word out.

To those who attended, bid on items and shared an evening of community spirit and healing, we’re so grateful.

Each and every one of you, who contributed to this incredibly successful event, should be very proud of our generous, caring community. We wish these families continued healing and happiness.

From Friends of the Families, our sincere thanks.

Karen Brooks


Sunday Bus thanks

Thanks for the Sunday Bus.

A dream/wish has been fulfilled. Thanks to the Humboldt County Association of Governments HCAOG for recognizing the need for Sunday Bus Service.  Thanks to the Humboldt Transit Authority HTA for implementing the service.

Thanks to all the member cities and the county for their part in all of the above. Special thanks to the directors and staff of HTA and HCAOG for going the extra mile in making this happen.


Paul Pitino


Ugly and oversigned

For years now Arcata has devolved into a less and less attractive City with little or no character, charm or enchantment. At one time I coined the phrase, “A Green City in a Forest of Signs.”

I know of no other City with more unnecessary signs, no doubt incurred at great expense, found block after block, designating bike lanes, no left turn, road ends and other inane garble of the obvious. These alone have diminished the former quaintness of this City and have turned it into just another visual metropolitan eyesore.

Now, we have to enjoy small garbage dumps that have sprouted up as the result of those who feel they can simply drop the crap off at the nearest corner. I am sure these folks consider themselves enlightened, enivrionmentally friendly, consciously green people. Yet, in reality they are slobs with no civic pride, and this City Council seems to do nothing about the mess, letting this City turn into a pigsty.

Then, when someone feels they have the right to deface City roads with yellow paint, declaring “Slow Down,” this City simply does a horrible patch job, attempting to cover the smear with a thin layer of blacktop.  Now yellow and black streaks run the course of L.K. Wood and the mark on the yellow mark on the road returns.

Not long for Arcata.  Good luck wallowing in your mess.

John M. Vrieze


Surprising and attractive

Dear City Council,

I noticed that the Nazarene Church is painting their building on 13th Street and the transformation is quite surprising and attractive.

Thank you for having the foresight to protect this Noteworthy building and preserve its place in Arcata’s architectural and social history. It’s a most unique and outstanding example of the Mansard Style and we’re fortunate enough to have it in our town.


Kathleen Stanton