Recent Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Folly, fallacy & freedom

As a longtime loyal Eye enthusiast, and a Hoover follower, your merciless attack (So-Called Thoughts column, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, page 5.) cut me to the core. I guess anybody in the media business (including amateur opinion authors) must be willing to take the heat. I do feel a need to defend my honor with a response.

I do not consider myself a “chest- thumping” right-wing extremist gun zealot as you alluded. I don’t watch FOX News. I am not a Ted Nugent follower, I would not know him if he passed me on the street.

I don’t hunt and I value the lives of all creatures big and small. I have understanding and compassion for the parents and families of the victims of violence (in all its forms).

The media has been unclear on information, regarding the circumstances of these crimes. I admit I do not know how to convey facts in a sensitive manner. I will leave that up to you and other professionals.

I retrieved my statistics directly from a Google search of FBI and Justice Department websites, government institutions I feel I can trust.

I personally agree 100-round magazines are not essential, but where do we draw the line? 20, 10, 7, 5, 3, none? I do not advocate for the possession of rocket launchers and hand grenades as you were so quick to point out. I am merely reacting to an emotional attempt to the confiscation of private property, as proposed by members of my Democratic Party.

My sport of choice happens to be target shooting. The AR-15 is the most popular sporting rifle in America. Fully automatic military rifles are already heavily regulated since 1934. These are NOT military-grade automatic weapons as used by our armed forces, but fire one round with one pull of the trigger, same as any other semi auto rifle developed after the 1900s.

I use an AR-15 in sanctioned rifle competition. I passed a background check, I registered it, (after new laws were enacted.) and now the State of California has pending legislation, which if passed, will result in its confiscation. There is also pending legislation adding .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles to the existing California Assault Rifle Ban.

It disappoints me to think that our state and federal governments do not trust me and other law abiding gun owners with semi-automatic rifles, but it is OK for the LAPD or any other active or honorably retired police officers to have them in their personal private collection. Many law enforcement members question this divisive tactic and it should raise questions for you as well.

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a homicide committed by an NRA member or a competition shooter. The proposed gun legislation will do absolutely nothing to prevent the misuse of the tools we use in our sport.

Please understand if you want to save lives, proper training and education is a more useful answer.

It is no coincidence; most of the killers in these mass murders have been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs at some critical developmental stage in their life. Many have been addicted to violent video games, portraying humans being shot with automatic weapons (Not your average Road Runner cartoon).

Many video games and movies do not portray such disregard for human life. Perhaps we, as a society, need to consider implementing a different rating system.

I realize we have a First Amendment which protects that media (and yours), but you cannot discount the increase in violence in our society, and the lack of compassion for human life with the correlation to this form of violent media.

Society protects the privacy of mental patients, so many do not appear on prohibited gun ownership lists or show up on Federal Background checks. Felons who try to purchase guns through dealers may be caught but are rarely punished.

“Criminal ignore the laws” as I stated in my opinion piece, was not an argument for having no laws. It was intended to convey the position that we need more efficient enforcement of the laws we already have! (Perhaps if we had a zero tolerance for crosswalk violations we would see a remarkable decrease in pedestrian fatalities.)

There is a lot that can be done to prevent homicides by firearms including rifles, but banning them will only create a larger class of criminals and an even larger black market, draining valuable resources of law enforcement.

I support background checks, but not registration. History has proven that registration ultimately leads to confiscation. England and Australia had strict gun control, which eventually led to confiscation. They are now experiencing an increase in violent crime. Switzerland and Israel have very low violent crime rates.

Could it be a result that the entire population is part of the National Defense Force (similar to our Second Amendment)?

I have not seen any reference to the expansion of secured storage of firearms. California law already requires firearms to be secured by trigger lock, cable lock or gun safe.

This could have been the deterrent to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Why is this not part of the national discussion?

Banning non-military semi-automatic rifles make about as much sense as banning Chevrolet Corvettes that are used in drunk driving fatalities. (I won’t quote any more government statistics for fear of inciting disingenuous imaginative admonishment.)

I have the utmost respect for your opinions Kevin, but in this sensitive discussion, I will agree to disagree with you. I also promise never to resort to vacuous vacuum cleaner jokes casting diaphanous, demeaning, desultory and disgusting dispersions on your honorable ancestry!

Sid Berg



Down with DST

Over a century ago, a little girl wrote her favorite newspaper asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The famous “Yes, Virginia…” letter has become part of American folk wisdom.

It is in that spirit that I write to the Eye today, hoping to discover the reason for our annual Spring exercise in masochism. I refer, of course, to the arbitrary, aggravating, asinine, one-hour augmentation of our alarm clocks that produces Daylight Savings Time.

Most of us happily ignore the first day of DST. After all, it’s Sunday morning, and we can cling to our regular sleep cycle. But the following day is Monday—already the evilest day of the week—and we find ourselves ripped from that last hour of dreamy sleep by a tampered-with clock.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

Who doesn’t feel tired and hung-over that first Monday morning? Who isn’t cranky, tired, and miserable? It feels downright unhealthy. And it is!  A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that there is a significant increase in heart attack rates for the three days following the time change.  And another study showed an increase in suicide rates. (Convinced yet?)

Apparently the movement to DST began during WWI, when Germany invoked it as a way to save on fuel costs. Never missing a chance to copy a stupid idea, the Allied countries followed suit.

But if DST is such a good idea, why not keep it year round?  Why keep going back and forth between two sets of time?

I don’t know who makes the decision to continue our annual Spring torture, but if Arcata can declare itself a “nuke-free zone” how about making it a “change-free zone”?

That probably won’t happen, so if we continue this foolish habit, here’s a suggestion to make it a bit less noxious. If we must set our clocks ahead, let’s do it Friday night. Then, Saturday and Sunday mornings we could get up half an hour earlier. Monday we could bite the bullet and give up that last half hour. This could make the transition a bit easier.

Or, we could take a hint from the Russians. Apparently they think that Daylight Savings Time is a terrific idea, and in 2011, they instituted it year round.  Which is probably just as well. You don’t want a country brimming with nuclear weapons led by some grumpy, sleep-deprived dictator.

Jay Davis



Give bunnies a break

Every year, scores of bunnies are bought and sold as Easter commodities. Sadly, a great many of these bunnies will be abandoned within the first year of their life. Almost all of those will die from exposure to elements or predators within a few days.

While bunnies are cute, they are complex beings. They can live eight to 10 years, as long as some dogs or cats, and they are at least as much work to maintain. Bunnies are communal animals, meaning they require a tremendous amount of daily personal interaction for healthy development. Unlike cats and dogs, a bunny requires specialized veterinary care which can cost double that of conventional pet treatment.

Pet bunnies need to be spayed or neutered! Without this operation, upon maturing, most will become territorial and confrontational; biting, spraying urine, and humping.

Bunny litters can have upwards of a dozen kits that will need to be nursed for eight full weeks, and dual pregnancies are not uncommon.

If that sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is! House rabbit people have a saying “Dogs have owners, cats have staff, bunnies have slaves.” Those who spend time getting to know their bunnies wouldn’t have it any other way. Anyone looking for a disposable, temporary, easy or cheap pet should look elsewhere, try the chocolate aisle!

Still want to bring home a bunny? Those looking to adopt a Forever House Bunny are encouraged to contact their local or county animal shelter or Coexist Animals at There readers can find recommended reading, care tips and of course, cute pics.

For Easter gifts consider perks from Coexist’s IndieGoGo campaign. Contributors can get coloring book pages, Sponsor-a-Bunny cards, or schedule a Bunny Party.

Kate Herr

Purveyor, Coexist Animals



Remodeling health care

Anyone interested in understanding WHY health care costs are exorbitant and will, sooner rather than later, bankrupt this country should read the detailed, accurate article by Steven Brill in the March 4 issue of Time magazine.

If your nearest library does not have a subscription, a copy of the article will be on reserve in your branch in a few days.

Some of us are fortunate in being well insured, either as retirees or still working, and if covered by Medicare, seldom worry about health care bills—even when we don’t understand all the paperwork that follows a doctor visit or procedure of some sort.

Others are overwhelmed when they get huge bills for medical needs. Soon, millions who were previously uncovered/uninsured will enter this system. The way these bills will be paid needs to be reexamined.

Readers will learn about the “chargemaster,” a list in every hospital that identifies the price for every product and service they provide. It has no relationship to what it costs, nor to what is charged by other hospitals.

Medicare can negotiate the charge to pay only the approximate cost of care; insurance companies do as well, with variable results. Who gets billed the full price? Not the poorest, Medicaid/Medical pays their bill. It will be your grandchild, your relatives, your neighbors.

Others who contribute to high prices are drug companies, equipment manufacturers, doctors, service providers. High salaries to administrators are part of this bleak picture. Both political parties are responsible for this situation and must join in remodeling our health care payment system.

Change will be a difficult task. We can try to understand our own bills, write or call elected officials to inform them of our opinions and borrow more money to stay afloat.

Sara M. Turner



Mixer of all mixers

First, a shout out to the Arcata Chamber of Commerce for pulling together a rousing annual dinner. The Arcata business community is unlike any other that I’ve seen, diverse, strong and friendly, and that event and  its guests typified the vibrancy of this community.

Rollin Richmond’s keynote speech, with its history of HSU and its part in Arcata’s development, was fascinating in both its detail and its overarching view of how this particular “ town and gown” scenario has evolved and how HSU continues to strengthen its community bonds.

However, I must admit, my favorite moment of the evening, bar none, was hearing that the Arcata Eye had won the Small Business of the Year award. It was marvelous to see the Eye’s heart and soul, Kevin Hoover, get a standing ovation as he walked to the stage to accept the award. What Kevin, Lauraine, Helen and the volunteer crew do for this town on a weekly basis is amazing. Perhaps this shows that the Arcata folks do get what an important place our community newspaper plays in enriching our everyday lives and will continue to participate in ways that keep that Arcata Eye tradition going strong.

Again, thanks to the Arcata Chamber of Commerce, that was the biggest mixer of all mixers and you all did a great job.


Robin Hashem

Sunny Brae


Violence vigilance

It has been inspirational to watch 1 billion people rising against violence against women and girls. Special kudos to the middle school students who came out to dance in the Arcata Plaza on behalf of safety and justice for survivors everywhere.

The day is over – now what can we do as individuals and as a community to stop abuse, assault and violence?

We can remember those who are not noticed, ignored, and who are too often invisible.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and during this month we can notice that young people in dating relationships are not taken as seriously as adults. There are not as many legal protections for those who are not married..

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has just passed the United States Senate by an overwhelming margin. However, it still faces obstacles in the House of Representatives.

Despite the fact that 17 Republicans have just asked House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to ratify VAWA as passed by the Senate, Republican leaders have said they have not yet decided what to do about the bill.

Last year, the bill ran into opposition from Republicans in the House who objected to the provisions expanding and solidifying protection for immigrants, native peoples in Indian country, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) survivors.

We can notice immigrant people, and those who are undocumented, who are understandably reluctant to seek legal protection because of their status in the United States.

Women crossing the border illegally are subject to rape by their “coyotes,” and border patrol officials, according to confirmed reports and court cases, and they’re also at risk of sexual assault in immigration detention facilities.

VAWA would also increase the number of temporary visas given to undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse.

Violence against women has reached epidemic proportions in Indian country. Native American women are among the most vulnerable groups, with 46 percent subject to rape, physical violence, or stalking by a domestic partner at some point in their lives (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

American Indian women are more than twice as likely to be raped as white women (oftentimes by non-Indian men) and many are left in limbo between tribal authorities who are powerless to act against non-tribal aggressors and local officials who are unable to exert control on tribal lands.

The new Senate bill recognizes tribal authority to prosecute non-American Indians who abuse their partners.

Because their relationships are not seen as legitimate, LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people are underserved by our shelters and our crisis centers, and by the civil and criminal legal systems.

The new VAWA includes earmarked funding for community organizations that serve LGBT victims, a prohibition against LGBT discrimination by law enforcement and domestic-violence shelters, and an explicit allowance for states to use federal money to help LGBT victims.

Our own Congressman Jared Huffman (to his credit) is one of the cosponsors of VAWA in the house. You can call Representatives Cantor ((202) 225-2815) and Boehner (202-225-6205) and urge them to pass the version of VAWA passed by the Senate.

What else can you do?  You can make a cash donation to one of our local anti-violence organizations. Or you can make a donation of material goods.You can get involved as a volunteer, board member or committee member or sponsor a fundraiser for Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (444-9255), North Coast Rape Crisis Team, (443-2737) or WISH in southern Humboldt. (923-4100).

The Humboldt County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council has multiple opportunities for citizen participation; you can learn more by calling me at 601-5042.

Don’t end your activism after one day – take action now.

Susan McGee


Susan McGee is the Coordinator of the Humboldt County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and is on the faculty at Humboldt State University in the Department of Critical Race Gender and Sexuality Studies.


Church ≠ State

The Social Action Committee of The Humboldt Unitarian Fellowship strongly supports the separation of church and state as articulated in the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California.

We feel that the founding fathers were firm in their belief that government should operate without the influence or participation of the church.  Many of them represented people who had come to the colonies to escape religious persecution in their home countries.

Therefore, we support Carole Beaton in her suit opposing sectarian religious invocations before the meetings of the Eureka City Council and the official sponsorship by the mayor of Eureka of a Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

We also support Beaton’s suggestion of an alternative opening of council meetings such as a moment of silence.

Our own practice is to open meetings with the ringing of a small bell and the lighting of a chalice which ushers in a moment of silence when those who want to pray can pray, those who want to gaze at surrounding beauty can do so, and those who want to think can think.

The purpose is to create a mindful, serene, peaceful atmosphere from which meaningful activity can proceed. A similar practice which does not impinge on the beliefs or non-beliefs of anyone might serve the purpose of the council as it begins its work each week.

We advocate for an alternative to prayer at City Council meetings and for private sponsorship free of governmental attachment of an annual prayer breakfast if someone or some organization feels the need for it. This is the model used in Washington where a private Christian organization sponsors a National Prayer Breakfast and invites the President to speak.

Yours Truly,

Brad A. Meiners, Cochair

Social Action Committee

Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship



Certifying clearcuts?

Finally, a longstanding question has been answered: Does certification from the Forest Stewardship Council really mean anything? Now that said certification has been awarded to Green Diamond, the General Sherman of the forest products industry, the answer is a resounding No. It’s like giving the Humanitarian of the Year Award to Vlad the Impaler. Sure, he may have donated to local schools, but the carnage is undeniable.

Green Diamond practices some of the worst forestry on the planet. It’s almost quaint that the company may “protect” 1,200 acres (15 percent of the forest) along Humboldt Bay’s best remaining coho salmon stream (Ryan Creek), as well as a sneeze-and-you’ll-miss-it set-aside by the trail to Strawberry Rock, but why not retain whole, intact forests in these places? And what about the rest of the 490,000 acres (25 percent of the entire redwood biome) owned by the company in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties?

Vast swaths of clear-cuts, cloned trees, herbicides, extinction of biodiversity and endangered species such as spotted owls and, yes, Coho salmon: this is the real Green Diamond, a company that is indeed certifiable, but only in the realm of crazy.

Green Diamond: The final solution to our redwood problem.

Greg King


Thanks, Arcata

Thank you Arcata for caring about school children and their education.  Last November you overwhelmingly passed Arcata School District’s revenue Measures. No community has ever passed both a bond measure and parcel measure on the same ballot.

Because you cared, our schools will be able to add teaching and classroom aid staff to ensure that our class sizes stay small and get smaller. The District will now bring back at full strength our music, art and dance programs. We’ll be able to upgrade our classrooms to accommodate 21st Century technology, including the completion of our Sunny Brae Middle School science and library complex.

Arcata’s kids will get a well-rounded deeply dedicated education often seen in the last decade only in private schools.

We are even starting a fully accredited top-notch pre-school program next Fall Semester on the Arcata Elementary School campus that will provide your children a seamless integration into our kindergarten classes.

This time of year parents are looking for schools for their kindergarteners. Come check us out. Our schools have always been the premier schools in Humboldt County. Thanks to Arcata voters we expect to excel even further with smaller classrooms, more aids and lots of music and art.

A well-run and well-funded public school is one that provides an equal opportunity to every child regardless of economic, social or cultural background. A community that supports the enrichment of their public schools is a good community.

You can reach Arcata Elementary School at (707) 822-4858, and Sunny Brae Middle School at (707) 822-5988.

I can’t thank you enough Arcata. Feel proud.

Jeffrey Schwartz, member 

Board of Trustees, Arcata School District 


Super volcanic mirror

The science of super volcanic solar reflective VAPOR mirror in stratosphere to cool earth in todays science…A known science tried + true by nature .ONLY occurs one way…cools earth + blocks solar flare EVERY time..HOW would you tell  someone without using + be sure it would be seen + attract attention,,,where ONLY the visual IS the message?

words?…We have something never b4 done + my early education began @ Greenvale…

SO2 + OH + 3H2O -> H2SO4 (l) + HO2       the Volcanic Mirror  as our science writes it  + as children + OTHERS write it..

It only happens ONE way ,,ash to stratosphere.Stratosphere is only place it will stay up, surround earth + not drop back immediately.. ^ / \  ^

SUPER VOLCANIC MIRROR                       SUPER VOLCANIC MIRROR      originally biggest  Pyramid covered in mirror …so…?

Giza pyramid was originally covered in concave mirrored casestones,,though removed now, her story has made it through even to today  Giza pyramid,,wonder of the world   MIRROR OF HEAVEN   ! We readded reflective mirror stones..If the first  picture is,,,not in theory or guess but physically + to the eye a volcanic mirror as is the second,,,,What is  that message on 3? They thought world would end by solar…they spoke pictograms…+  they were advanced…Done wrong it would freeze earth + create massive snow everywhere…A volcanic winter…I guess if someone implemented it  they would not tell people then say warming fixed itself…cause thats a lot of power

Judith Woolworth Donahue

Crescent City


A name you can trust: Gaddafi

I am Aisha Muammar Gaddafi, daughter of the former Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Please do not disregard this email as a spam message. In our subsequent correspondence, I will provide you with enough details to justify that this is real.

I want to send the sum of 25million dollars for you to manage in a good investment of your choice. For your participation in retrieving and managing the fund, I am willing to give you 25%.If you believe you can handle this, please reply now so I can give you details and explain more about the fund.

Expecting your response.

Thank you

Aisha Gaddafi

The Internet


Sounds legit

I am Mr Chan Yuan,we are looking for a representative in your country to assist us pick up funds from our costumers in your location. If you are interested do get me for futher details.There is no financial obligation on your part. Do also note that your are entitled to 10% of each installmental payment made out to you by our customers.If you think you can handle this position please write back for more information on our enquiry

Mr Chan Yuan

The Internet


A Trojan Horse

I was hoping that Estelle Fennell’s term as Supervisor would begin with moderation and restraint, giving me a break from the painful exposure as her critic. Believe me, I don’t derive any benefit from the stress that comes from criticizing one who has earned so much respect.

But I don’t agree with what she has stood for with HumCPR. I think that organization is a Trojan horse full of developers and large landholders who want to speculate on real estate development. They have fooled a lot of people into thinking that what they mean by “rights” and what the small land owner means are the same. They are not.

The first thing Supervisor Fennell did when she took her seat as Second District Supervisor was to appoint the Coalition for Property Rights treasurer Bob Morris to replace Mel Krebbs on the planning commission.

Lee Ulansey, the founder, director and major funder of HumCPR, and Estelle’s former employer and campaign groomer, sees no conflict between Morris being involved with two lawsuits against the county and his being a county planning commissioner. No conflict of interest? They are suing the county to get what they want and are now buying there way into seats of power by financing candidates.

Scott Graecen, former director of E.P.I.C. ( Environmental Protection and Information Center) and current director of Friends of the EEl River agrees. “It’s hard to say there’s much of a worse choice.” Given the impeccable history of those two organizations efforts to protect our environment I find his opinion a significant milestone from which to begin analyzing Estelle’s performance as supervisor.

It looks as though Estelle plans to create jobs by allowing speculative building projects. We need jobs, but it would be better if we worked on building some sustainable industries first so the people moving into the houses can have jobs.

That depends on approving the General Plan so businesses can know what they are getting into. And the plan as it exists now is full of well thought out standards that protect the wildlands values and keep sprawl from polluting our water and overreaching the capacities of our infrastructure. Also known as the R word, Regulations, which speculators just cannot stand. Thus, Ryan Sundberg and Rex Bohn, and now Estelle’s monkey wrench to stall the G.P., now 14 years behind schedule.

I’m sorry. I can see it coming from a mile away and only time will tell if our community can stand to challenge someone we all love so much. Estelle has never responded to us in any way to explain her rationale for associating with people who clearly have ulterior motives to profit from their action. I wish she would.

Anna Hamilton