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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor April 01, 2011

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Letters to the Editor April 01, 2011

Del Norte County shouldn’t pay for services for illegal immigrants

The January 2011 numbers are in from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. Welfare and food stamp allocations for parents who reside in the United States illegally and collect benefits for their native-born children in L.A. County are up $3 million from one year ago.  A staggering total of $53 in welfare benefits ($22 million for CalWORKS plus $31 million for food stamps) are diverted away from deserving citizens to individuals who have entered the USA illegally.

The above figures come from L.A. County Fifth District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

For the 12 months of 2010, over $625 million in welfare and food stamps were issued to the children of illegal aliens; that’s up 10% from 2009.

Approximately one out every four dollars goes to this illegal population. When you add that astounding number to the $550 million for public safety and almost $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegals in Los Angeles County exceeds $1.6 billion! Los Angeles County is one of 58 counties in California  That shocking figure does not include the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in public education.

All of these costs are borne by the state of California which is currently struggling to manage a $26 billion budget deficit for 2011-2012.

Go ahead and attack the messenger if you choose but the figures do not deceive.

A major reason California and many border states are in  massive debt is because of the drain of services designed to address the needs of American citizens not illegal immigrants.

What does this have to do with small rural Del Norte County?  Everything! As the harbor is rebuilt to state-of-the art standards, perhaps as much as $45 million will be allocated and spent to make the necessary repairs. I want to state as clearly and loudly as possible. American citizens only should be offered employment opportunities. The funds spent should go to those in our county period.

If California and the misguided federal government continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the devastating effects of illegal immigration, our state (and country) will collapse.

Roger Gitlin

Crescent City

Soroptimists make donation to library in memory of daughter

I recently attended a meeting of Soroptimist International of Crescent City. At this meeting I was presented with a check for $2,500 to purchase children’s books for the Del Norte County Library.

This was gift especially touching because it was made in memory of my daughter Amy Kaufmann.

The Soroptimists is a wonderful group of caring and considerate ladies who work hard to improve the lives of women and girls in our community, and their gift to the library will do a great deal to support and improve literacy.

The new books will be ordered shortly and should be on the shelves within the next few weeks.

Linda Kaufmann

Crescent City

Isn’t educating youth one of the best ways to use our tax dollars?

In response to the letter “Students reasons to keep their programs don’t add up” by Clif Shepard (March 29), which said, “They (our community’s youth) believe they have a legitimate right to be paid for their interest in getting an education,” I’m not sure what you mean by that, Mr. Shepard.

By “paid” do you mean “given the opportunity” to fully explore their gifts and talents through the kinds of programs that only a deep-pocket funding resource like our taxes can provide? If that is not what you mean I do not understand you at all. Isn’t the education of our children one of the best ways to use our tax dollars?

My experience in the Oregon school system back in the ’50s and ’60s included sports and music that my family, a deeply anti-union, pro-hard work and self-reliance family, could not have given me, nor could I have created it myself. So I am deeply indebted to all those others who also paid their tax dollars so I could have an “extra-curricular” education that I consider to be at least as important to my character and value as a citizen as the “core” subjects (math and science, it would seem) that are currently presented as the only ones necessary for good citizenship.

Your disparaging use of the term “OPM (other people’s money)” is also confusing to me, since almost all of those kids came from tax-paying families, which would make it OM: Our Money.

As to what has happened to self-reliance, individual responsibility, personal initiative and “wanting an education for one’s own betterment,” I would say, based on my own experience with my neighborhood and church summer-camp youth, that these values are alive and well, and the fact that the youth attended and spoke so well at that district meeting suggests powerfully that those values are still strong in our community’s youth.

As to the “socialistic system,” I see no difference between pooling my money for the benefit of myself and my “neighbors” — local, state, and national — through my tax dollars, and the concept of mutuality and communality of a good old fashioned barn-raising, which I’m willing to bet you would agree was a fine and praiseworthy practice.

Michael W. Tompkins

Crescent City

Failure of community to not want best schools possible for its kids

Clif Shepard (“Students’ reasons to keep their programs don’t add up,” March 29) is not the first to suggest in The Triplicate that students don’t deserve the best public schools. The American publicly funded school is a tradition that goes back to the beginning of our republic. Traditionally, great public schools have been a point of pride for communities across the nation. Now, some members of the public are willing to sacrifice that to save some people money on their taxes.

Lori Clay (“Students were standing up for what they need in an education,” March 30) is willing to pay extra for her daughter’s advanced classes and sports teams. But the fact is, we all should be paying for these things. We all depend on the schools for cultural events and sports teams. We all lose when our children are not given a broad education, including sports, art and music, and advanced classes to prepare them for college.

I don’t have children who use the school, but I am part of this community, and it is to my benefit, as a member of the community, to see that all the children are educated. Charter schools and home schooling have their place, but how many parents can afford to stay home to teach their kids? How many have the skills?

Schooltime is a time for students to make lifetime friends. Forty-four years after my graduation from a public high school, I cherish the friends I made in school. It’s something that home-schooling can’t match.

It is a failure of our community to have people in it who don’t feel enough a part of us to want the best schools possible for all of the young people in our area. Locally, we have to deal with the lack of funding coming from the state to our schools. But our first consideration should always be how we can maintain the high standard of public education for which this county can be justly proud.

Barry Wendell

Crescent City

U.S. defense of oppressed in Middle East a righteous cause

I’m a pacifist. I was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. I don’t believe the U.S. government should intervene in the internal affairs of foreign nations. The pretext for invading Iraq was and remains bogus, without justification. Our involvement in Afghanistan is a waste of money and lives.

But President Obama’s commitment of air power in the civil wars of Middle Eastern countries in defense of those sacrificing their lives to overthrow their oppressors, that is a righteous cause for U.S. military intervention.

America’s non-intervention policy during WWII resulted in the slaughter of millions of innocent people. Nazism would have knocked on our doors if we didn’t stand strong militarily, despite the fact our military response was immorally belated.

 I hope our involvement in Libya is not a protracted effort. The federal and state governments are purportedly battling financial meltdown with huge deficits. Spending billions or trillions of U.S. taxpayers dollars in foreign wars adds to the problem of financial disaster.

Al Kay

Crescent City

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