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Letters to the Editor from April 5

Replace lighthouse trees

with cypresses; add concerts

Regarding the cypress trees at the lighthouse, I can't even imagine how different it would look without the trees ("Our View: Long live lighthouse's cypresses," March 23). I got a bit of a look when I was looking at the lighthouse from afar. I put my thumb in the way of the trees, and, wow, did it look different. I agree that the trees shouldn't be cut down until they die or become dangerous, and when they have to be cut down that they should be replaced with the same species.

I also want to thank the Triplicate and all the other businesses that made the concert by the fountain possible ("Our View: Concert shows residents want vibrant plaza," March 27). I enjoyed it alot. It was difficult, though, to hear the musicians when they were speaking because I was sitting far back. The music I could hear very well, though. It would be so very nice if we could have future concerts. It would be nice to hear some folk, bluegrass, Christian, classical, oldies and barbershop quartet. I enjoy a variety of musical styles, and it would be fun to hear them outdoors. I have attended the music in Brookings at their outdoor area, and that was fun.

MaryLou Pettaway

Crescent City

Junk science used to argue hollow sentiment in letter

Teri Brunner's letter in response to "Children Are a Good Thing" strongly opposes a woman's right to have an abortion. The letter ("Children are a good thing, so let's teach people to value life," March 30) cites a study that attempts to link rates of child abuse and abortion. This study is just plain junk science. The "scientists" behind the study all belong to an anti-abortion organization that manufactures propaganda faster than a slaughterhouse turns out Spam. Google these folks, and you'll see. They've spent their careers trying (unsuccessfully) to link abortion with drug abuse, alcoholism, cancer and sterility. None of their studies is considered credible by any expert.

Judge their logic for yourselves. Just because child abuse rates and abortion rates increased between 1976 and 1987 doesn't mean one caused the other. Presidents Carter and Regan were running the country during this period. Perhaps they caused the increase. Or maybe it was the popularity of the Rolling Stones. This "false cause" fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc) is one I teach my students to avoid. Using bad science hurts your argument in the end, no matter which side you're on.

Another thing that hurts credibility is plagiarism. A quick web search shows that a large section of Brunner's letter was cut and pasted, without quotation marks, from the anti-abortion Website "InOurMidst.com." Our values ought to be as authentic and personal as our words, don't you think?

As for my values, like most Americans, I think that abortion is an unhappy alterative, but one that needs to remain legal. Intelligent people know children are a blessing when they are wanted. Children are much more likely to be loved and cared for when their parents plan them. In the dark ages before Roe v. Wade, anti-choice advocates restricted access to both abortion and birth control. The same self-destructive behaviors Brunner tries to link with abortion now – drug abuse, alcoholism, violence – could all be attributed, back then, not to women who'd had abortions but to mothers who'd had more children than they could care for.

I have a great deal of respect for people who, in opposition to abortion, adopt and foster unwanted children. That speaks louder than the hollow sentiment "children are a good thing" and the idea that other people should be compelled to give birth to them.

Ruth Rhodes

Crescent City

Neighbors working together can keep drug dealers away

About three years ago we moved into Crescent City. We ended up in a neighborhood that could best be described as a throwback in time. Within the first few hours and days of moving into our house, individual neighbors started showing up at our doorstep to welcome us to the neighborhood. They even brought along cookies and gift baskets. It's turned out to be the type of place where neighbors say "Hi" to one another, respect and care for each other and even watch out for each other.

About nine months ago, into this remarkable neighborhood came something not so good: the insidious reality of the illegal drug culture. Our new neighbors were of a different sort, quiet and secretive, hidden day and night behind closed doors and curtains. Within a few weeks after their arrival others began to come to their door. Some days it was just a few, other days many; wanderers searching for the forbidden. Rarely did they stay long, just a short in-and-out, and they were gone. They came day and night, by foot, by bicycle and skateboard, sometimes in a BMW or a Mercedes. Mothers arrived with children in tow; sometimes kids who couldn't be 15 showed up by themselves.

Our neighborhood was changing. The wanderers would trespass through yards to avoid being seen. They would drive over lawns and race their cars down the quiet streets. The whole tone of here changed.

So where do you go? Of course, to the police department. Our interaction with the Crescent City Police Department during the last number of months has left us with two distinct impressions.

First, our small department of officers and staff is significantly challenged by the immensity of the task in front of them. There are many houses in our community that call out to the wanderers who seek out illicit drugs. This department does not have resources it needs to quickly and effectively address the issue.

The second and more heartening realization is the department is full of committed, dedicated professionals who will find a way, despite the workload, to help, particularly when the community can help them. Police work is not just the job of police, it is the job of the community. The police need our eyes and ears; they can't do it alone.

With the dedicated work of the police and a neighborhood, the house that called to the wanderers is now dark and empty. There is a palpable peace again in our little part of the world. One frustration is knowing that the wanderers who came here are still out there in our city, looking for another dark door to enter. In our case, it was the commitment of a neighborhood working in concert with the police that made the difference. Our compliments and thanks to the Crescent City Police Department and a fine neighborhood; you know who you are.

Rick Nolan and Sylvia Bos

Crescent City

 

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