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Coastal Voices: A dream worth fighting for

Ever since my Mom bundled me up and took me to see Martin Luther King on a cold February night in Madison, N.J., back in 1964, he’s been a personal hero and, if I had to say, the greatest American of the second half of the 20th century. I had wanted to write something about him for the day we celebrate his life, but realized it couldn’t be printed in my hometown paper until the day after. Which got me to thinking, like so many other times, when it’s late at night and all you can hear is the seals barking and the channel marker clanging out its way home, when the moon’s a sliver and the breeze comes off the ocean, and the pages turn, then fly back and the ghosts return …

 


Coastal Voices: Government grants return tax dollars to community

In Mr. Gitlin’s recent lecture to the public in the Coastal Voices dated Jan. 6 (“The Triplicate: What are my expectations of it?”), he refers to grants as “institutional charity.” 

In previous writings, Mr. Gitlin has also stated, “it is all too common that we are hassled by the intrusion of over-government ... waste and the heavy hand of government are omnipresent,” (“Coastal Voices: Over-government everywhere,” April 2011). 

So I am assuming that “institutional charity” refers to government as the institution and grants as waste. Let us think about this.


Coastal Voices: Law enforcement risk lives to earn our trust

Karen Beaver recently wrote a Coastal Voices piece titled “Police must be held to higher standard” (Jan. 6). I agree. I’m sure that every officer in this town would agree too. I can report that they regularly meet and often exceed those expectations. We just never hear about it.  

It is very easy to stir public opinion with anecdotal evidence. Ms. Beaver mentions incidents from Los Angeles, Texas and Michigan. The simple fact is that anyone with access to the internet can cherry-pick incidents to advance their cause. There is, of course, more to each of these stories. 


Coastal Voices: Gitlin’s critique lacks real basis

I would like to congratulate County Supervisor Roger Gitlin on adding media critic to his well-padded resume, but with all due respect I must differ with him on a number of points in his Jan. 6 Coastal Voices lecture (“The Triplicate: What are my expectations of it?”). 

Here are the highlights: 

I, and everyone I asked in an admittedly small survey, thought the Triplicate printed letters in a timely manner and was overly generous in providing unedited space to letters which were not well-constructed either grammatically, intellectually, or both. 


Coastal Voices: Japanese boat’s long journey a symbol of hope

Editor’s note: This column was originally published by the California State Association of Counties on Jan. 8 and appeared at www.publicceo.com.

Almost two years ago I wrote in this blog about a small boat that had washed ashore in Del Norte County. There is nothing unusual about that up here on the North Coast, but there was something special about this small boat called a “panga.” Here’s what I wrote about it back in April of 2013:


Coastal Voices: Encourage young people to express opinions

Well, I have to admit it. I never knew how wrong I could be. The conversation began with her, my college sophomore granddaughter, talking about the problems in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City; then she made the statement that all police officers are corrupt, they all abuse their power and the “police force must answer for their transgressions.” And later, “White supremacists have infiltrated our police force.” Not sure I heard her correctly, I asked, “What about local Crescent City police officers? Are they corrupt?” She responded that they are unwittingly corrupt because of the power establishment that hired them that is also corrupt.


Coastal Voices: We all need a balanced perspective

First may I say I appreciate the changes I see coming about in all different areas of the Triplicate, since the change-over of editor, etc. I am not a subscriber, as having lived elsewhere in prior years I have read more “balanced” papers. Many times I may have been heard to say, or heard said, “Why waste my money? There’s not much of interest in this paper.” 


Coastal Voices: The Triplicate: What are my expectations of it?

I could write this Coastal Voices Op/Ed and simply wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. That would certainly be safe and benign. However, the subject of my opinion contribution is none other than the messenger herself, the Triplicate. 

Over the last several months my focus of criticism is the thrice-weekly published Triplicate of which I hold the opinion is not representing the community well and systemic changes need be implemented so all of us feel invested and have a voice in the community. 

 


Coastal Voices: Police must be held to a higher standard

We hear about police who abuse their power most often, simply because we can’t pat everyone on the back for doing what they’re being paid to do. With classism and corruption, along with the militarization of officers, comes victims that are all races and genders, and we need to realize that this is a problem that affects everyone. The police force, along with many prosecutors and judges, need to be scrutinized. Protesters across the country and around the world are speaking out against the abuse.

Black civilians need a spotlight, because they are being targeted far more frequently and violently than the rest of us. This is not pointing at individual officers, except perhaps those we have conclusive evidence against that have not been punished. I also understand police apprehend truly dangerous criminals. There is a decided difference, however, in how they handle white and black suspects, whether they prove to be innocent or not. And this is not just a police vs. criminal scenario, since black off-duty cops often get physically harassed and brutalized by white officers. 


Coastal Voices: A group dynamics lens for community building with social capital

Community leadership seldom has one leader and effective leadership is critical to how a shared goal is implemented, for solving problems, and completing projects. 

As a social entrepreneur, community building facilitator, and through pure personal interest and obsession, I am curious about processes that impact human behavior, impact models, and pathways for change within community social movements. Through attending the Ford Family Foundation’s Leadership Institute, I learned an array of strategies, styles, and models for community leadership. In addition to understanding my personal approach, I particularly appreciate lessons about group dynamics. I’m reminded of how critical relationships are to effective change and sustainable systems. 


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