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Letters to the Editor from March 10

Rally behind district teachers so they can get living wage

It seems our priorities are questionable ("Teachers deserve share," March 6). We bemoan the sad plight of our library at every turn. There appears to be agreement that a library is of the utmost importance to this community, however, we fail to support the ballot initiative to fund it.

Now our teachers are asking our support in their struggle for a fair and decent wage. School administrators seem to feel that most other fiscal issues are more pressing. Teaching is perhaps the most important and most under appreciated job in this country.

No one goes into this career field with the idea of becoming wealthy. To respond to the calling of preparing children for their future (and ours) is an awesome responsibility.

Consideration of their request appears to be ranked alongside all the other mundane fiscal issues that consistently arise in a town of this size.

Local residents need to support our teachers in their quest for a living wage, otherwise who will be able to read about the results in the future?

Perhaps elimination of some of the paid bureaucratic positions in our community would provide the necessary funding, and I doubt if anyone would notice the loss.

Jesse Borrego

Crescent City

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Help address needs of elderly with more state case workers

As a senior representing Humboldt and Del Norte counties, I would like to bring to your attention a couple of important items.

First, the depleting situation of elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect: The abuses range from financial to physical and the neglect can be all the time to occasional. The results of these situations are often disgraceful and sometimes fatal. Many senior are victims of dementia, debilitating health and language barriers. The stories of abuse are sometimes horrible and always discouraging.

The question is asked, "Isn't the county or state or the Feds doing anything about this?" The answer is "yes" and "no" and "not much." The county is involved in the form of the Adult Protective Service. The state supplies the funding and the basic law. You can imagine how sufficient that has been. It was insufficient to start with (1998) and it has decreased ever since. The Feds ignore the problem. The county does its best with only one authorized case worker and with an increase of 30 percent of reported abuses since 1999.

As the number of seniors is about to increase dramatically with the "Baby Boomers," we must address this problem. Our state representative, Patty Berg, is holding hearings this week. Please make your concerns known.

Secondly, be aware that the Area 1 Agency on Aging is holding a public forum at 1:30 p.m Monday at the Crescent Fire Protection District, 255 Washington Blvd. to hear input from the community on the needs of older citizens in our area.

Rick Bennett

Crescent City

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