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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the editor May 24, 2014

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Letters to the editor May 24, 2014

Apperson is dedicated to making county safer

Being a police officer means that when everyone is running away or are scared to take action law enforcement goes in, protects, helps and saves. Officers have high rates of divorce and health issues, and many don’t survive more than four years after retirement if they are fortunate enough to make it that long. They sacrifice so much including, but not limited to, precious time with family and friends, which leaves almost no personal time. 

On top of all of that the negativity they have to withstand on an almost daily basis is just cruel. Some people hate these men and women simply because of their chosen profession and what it stands for.  

I’ve been very disheartened with the viciousness this current election has drummed up. Not wanting to vote for a particular candidate or disagreeing with what local law enforcement is doing does not justify vituperative attacks. We live in and all have family here. A little diplomacy would go a long way. 

So why would anyone want this job? It’s simple, passion. Passion for a better and safer community. 

Erik is exemplary of that passion. He has run the Explorer program for over 10 years and even created a local leadership academy as an answer to not being able to afford to send our local Explorer post to the national conference. He has taught an introduction to criminal justice class at DNHS, he has coached soccer — all while being an amazing husband and father to four children. 

Erik is now a local sheriff candidate. He is choosing to run for this office as a means of following his passion for this community. Erik has had, and continues to have, plenty of opportunities, jobs and perks far exceeding any this area could provide offered to him except one, and that would be the satisfaction of making our community, his hometown, the welcoming safe place it once was.

So I challenge you to be considerate of the men and women that work to help protect you on a daily basis. Thank them for their service as they are often fighting a war that most have the privilege of knowing nothing about.  If you have a problem, speak to them or their supervisor. Respect that, despite the multitude of reasons to not work in law enforcement, everyday these men and women rise to the challenge. 

Kyoko Apperson, Crescent City

Doehle has proven she can do the job well

Friends considering how to cast their vote for judge have frequently asked for my candid opinion. I have no hesitation in recommending Judge Chris Doehle. 

I’ve had the unique perspective of having all the candidates appear before me over the years. I knew them all as fellow attorneys before I became a judge 14 years ago. I like them all personally and respect them professionally. 

But in my mind the choice is clear. As an attorney Chris was always professional and always prepared. She was appointed by the governor only after a thorough and competitive merit evaluation conducted by the nonpartisan state judicial nomination commission. The commission interviewed the applicants, examined their legal writing skills, and considered evaluations by judges, other attorneys and community members. When Judge Doehle was appointed, I expected good things from her, and she has exceeded my expectations. 

She has been a tireless judicial officer who is always prepared. She brings more than two decades of family, juvenile and civil law experience with her to the bench. Before she became judge she spent months brushing up on criminal law and has now deftly presided over hundreds of criminal cases in our court’s high-volume department. She has undergone weeks of judicial training. She has proven she can do the job and do it well. 

Del Norte County is fortunate to have a judge as intelligent, dedicated and competent as Chris Doehle. She has earned my vote to be elected to a full term June 3.

William H. Follett, Crescent City

Judges back Doehle for good reasons

Election day is rapidly approaching. Now is the time to consider the consequences of choice when we go to the polls to vote for judicial office. 

One of the consequences that bears serious thought is judicial recusal. When a candidate claims to have handled thousands of hearings over a career, that presents a huge concern over who will actually be presiding in the courtroom. Recently our community had a very polarizing and heartbreaking consequence when a visiting judge was assigned to a high-profile case. 

Currently, we have a judge, Chris Doehle, who has been endorsed by an impressive list of experienced judges. There is a reason they endorse her — her proven ability doing the job. The Triplicate front page article, May 17, clearly quotes Judge Doehle demonstrating fairness and being tough on crime (“Oregon man gets 2 years on burglary conviction”). Clearly we all benefit from a judge committed to integrity and dedicated to justice. Chris Doehle is the best person for this important job.

Lyn Greene, Crescent City

 

Bankruptcy can be avoided in new state

Since 2008 the following cities in California have made general-purpose local government bankruptcy filings: City of San Bernardino, Town of Mammoth Lakes, City of Stockton and City of Vallejo. These cities account for approximately 635,000 residents or about 1.7 percent of California’s population. 

Neither the state of California nor the U.S. federal government has provided any type of financial bailout to these cities. 

The City of Vallejo, after having many years to re-organize its financial situation since 2008, has several fire stations that are closed and an insufficient number of police officers to protect the community. 

The problem of bankruptcy is not over in California since Compton, Fresno and Oakland could also go bankrupt in the near future. These cities have a total population of slightly over 1 million residents or nearly 2.6 percent of California’s population. 

It is not anticipated that the state of California or the federal government will provide any type of financial bailout to these cities. The combined number of residents that have been subjected to bankruptcy and those that have a very good likelihood of joining them is around 1,641,000 individuals or about 4.3 percent of California’s population. In the list of cities that have been identified above they ranked 5th, 8th, 13th 17th and 49th by population in California. 

This dispels the myth that only small communities like Del Norte County are highly sensitive to limited financial resources. 

The potential population for the State of Jefferson is in the range of 1.2 million to as many as 1.4 million. No counties or cities have filed for bankruptcy that would be in the potential state of Jefferson. 

Joseph A. Lavender, 

Crescent City

Measure A is an expensive lost cause

The movement to create a new state is a political impossibility. It would require a majority vote by both Houses of the U.S. Congress, which will never happen. It is not in the best interest of the other 50 states to create a 51st. 

First of all, creating a new state would deplete the power of all the other individual states. In the Senate, for example, each state would have 2 representatives out of 102, instead of 2 out of 100. 

The same math applies to federal funding: more mouths to feed (51 states instead of 50) means fewer dollars for every state. The new state would also have one of the smallest populations, which means that compared to most states, its citizenry would be over-represented. There is no chance that the majority of states would allow such a state to be created. 

Look at what it would cost the taxpayers. A representative chosen from Del Norte to go through the process of forming the state would cost money. Tens of thousands of dollars. 

Think of how complicated it would be to analyze the financials. It cost the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority some $30,000 to hire a consultant to justify its small existence. Think in comparison of the cost of all those political experts and economists who would be needed to see if a whole new state is viable.

Moving forward with the process of creating a new state would have a huge cost, with no chance of success. Voting no on Measure A will prevent this waste of time and money.

Jon Parmentier, Crescent City

 

Beware of fliers that make fraudulent claims

Allow me to address Wally Peets’ letter published May 17 (“Kashkari won’t fight for gun rights”). I am so glad he took the time to bring a terribly misleading political notice to everyone’s attention. Kudos to him. 

I personally spoke with Mr. Peets to explain that the “back room” flier he read was in fact not an endorsement by the California Republican Party (CRP) or the Del Norte County Republican Party. Actually the CRP has encouraged each county Republican party to issue its own set of endorsements. In the case of Del Norte County, we endorsed Tim Donnelly for governor, not Kashkari, as Mr. Peets mistakenly reported. 

Mr. Peets (who has given me his permission to set the record straight on his behalf), told me he was horrified that he bought into the false advertising of the “California Voter Guide,” which is not an official political party organization registered in this state — or anywhere else, for that matter. He went on the say he felt victimized by the fraudulent assertions printed in that brochure. 

Mr. Peets is not the only person to bring phony political information to my attention. Amid the frenzy of an election season when bearers of both good and bad intentions try to grab votes, fraud can be rampant at times. It is more important than ever for all registered voters in this area to carefully inspect everything that arrives in the mail. Look for the small print and focus on who is paying for the advertisement. Edgar Allen Poe demonstrated his great feel for human nature when he stated, “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” 

Karen Sanders, 

Chair, Del Norte County Republican Party 

Vote Doehle to avoid glut of visiting judges

I am writing to endorse Judge Chris Doehle in her election run for Del Norte Superior Court judge. 

To me it seems she is the obvious choice for the position, as she was thoroughly background-checked and vetted by the state when an appointment was needed for the judge seat she now holds, and she was found to be the best person for the job even over others currently seeking the position.

She is an intelligent, thoughtful, even-tempered person, as well as an exemplary and contributing citizen of our community, and a family woman and mother of two accomplished sons.

Judge Doehle is the one candidate that has judge experience, having served as our Superior Court judge since December 2012, and she is the one endorsed by other past and current judges, which speaks volumes about her abilities and qualifications. She also has 21 years of previous experience as an attorney.

There are other candidates wanting this judge seat that if elected would have numerous “conflicts of interest” due to previous trial work with various local people in the courts. This would cause us to have to call in non-local “visiting” judges at great expense and involve inevitable scheduling delays that would greatly bog down our court system. Let’s avoid all that mess by keeping Judge Doehle on the bench.

We will all be doing the very best for our county and community if we cast our votes on June 3 to keep Judge Chris Doehle as our Superior Court judge.

Lori Standring, Crescent City

Wilson best choice in our under-funded times

This is an important time for the local voters as we vote to select our leaders and more importantly choose people who will do the best job for our community without the mindless travesty of major political parties deciding for whom we must vote. 

It is surprising there are multiple contenders running against the incumbent sheriff, particularly in light of the 2013 Grand Jury report where the sheriff and his staff are commended for what they do with limited funding. 

The current sheriff is being blamed for lack of service and slow response time to outlying areas, retiring outdated equipment, fewer reports being taken and no follow-up, all complaints that have been leveled at previous sheriffs for more than 25 years. 

The former sheriff, Jim Maready, is leading charge, yet he should know from his previous service that these problems plagued his previous administrations and were never satisfactorily resolved. 

Campaign promises aside, it is more valuable for us to look at what has been accomplished by the current sheriff than listen to campaign promises. The sheriff has worked to reduce the crime rate for the whole community by targeting repeat offenders with specialized units. Less crime happening, fewer reports to file, leaving deputies more time to patrol. 

To imply that fewer reports and longer response times is a failure on the part of the Sheriff’s Office is unfair. It ignores modernized patrol technology and equipment, new vehicles with modern cameras and communication systems, plus GPS locators and computers in each vehicle to further reduce actionable crime. Textbased tip lines and Facebook are just a few new tools that allow for the Sheriff’s Office to make the entire community part of a much larger community watch system. 

The sheriff of a rural county cannot remain tied to his desk. Alliances with other sheriffs are important resources, both to receive advanced training and to provide clout to pry additional funding from state and federal governments to replace funding and increase the ability of the sheriff to retain and provide for his staff. 

It seems, at least to me, that in the difficult and under-funded days ahead, Dean Wilson is the best person for the Sheriff’s Office and has clearly demonstrated a passion for making public safety and law enforcement his top priority. Re-elect Dean Wilson as our sheriff. 

Samuel Strait, Crescent City

Keep injustices in mind when making choices

It’s voting time again in Del Norte County. Before you vote, do your homework. I have, and I don’t like what I’ve seen. 

What about the head of probation who embezzled money from the probation office? He got a slap on the hands, paid back the money, and it never appeared on his record, so he is free to do it again. Not fair!

What about the vice principal who drove drunk and ran into an innocent man and killed him. A supposed role model to our school-age children. Not much happened to him. Not fair!

This is just a few of many cases. 

There is no fairness in Del Norte County’s justice system, so before you vote for judge, DA or sheriff, do your homework. Don’t just vote for them because they smiled or said “hi” to you. We need fair justice in Del Norte County. Go sit in on court procedures, talk to inmates or ex-inmates of the jail. See how they are being treated, talk to people who have gone to court. See how their cases have been handled. I have, and I for one am not impressed. 

Know who you are voting for and why. Get educated so we can have fair justice in Del Norte County.

Shirley Williamson, Smith River

Veterans health care problem in our area

President Obama said in his address on CNN today in part that “veterans have to let us know when there is a problem.” 

I am an Army ground combat veteran of Vietnam (volunteered at 17 years old) with Army National Guard and active-duty Navy deployments that include the Iranian hostage crisis, Gulf of Sidra, Grenada, Los Angeles riots and the Northridge earthquake. I am retired with pay and earned credit for over 40 years active and inactive service. 

I thank you for this privilege; if my country recalled me today, I would proudly report and serve again … perhaps a little heavier and slower. 

While I was eligible for Veterans Affairs services, I always had insurance (Department of Defense Command Investigator) and believed I should use that and leave the VA for my brothers. However, I learned from my brothers in arms that they felt the VA slogan was “Delay and Deny; until the Veterans go away or die.” The 1992 film “Article 99” was not just Hollywood fiction; there was some reality incorporated into the screenplay. 

My reason for writing is my current circumstance. When I lived in Georgia, my military retirement provided TriCare. With Fort Stewart and congressmen Barrows (D) and Kingston (R) fiercely supporting veterans of all conflicts, for me health care was never an issue. Not so now. In January, I moved to Crescent City and attempted to find a local doctor. I discovered their information on the United Health Care’s site was incorrect, out of date and doctors listed as accepting patients were not accepting patients. When I called United Health Care, I learned to my dismay that by moving from the Savannah area to Northern California I was losing my TRICARE Prime (which I pay extra for) and was now in TRICARE Standard, struggling to find a doctor to provide even preventive care. 

This is not a VA problem; but it is a retired veteran issue I believe affects many.

Donald A. Cannon-Cutts, Crescent City

 

Rate hikes make people scared to flush the toilet

Congratulations, City Council. You passed the sewer rate hike May 19 and also water rate hike some time ago. How wonderful, and congratulations.

So now, many, many people can’t buy groceries and are scared to flush the toilet. Of course, they can haunt the Food Bank and go in the backyard. 

City Council, any more rate hikes on your agenda?

Gracie Cooper, Crescent City

Keep troops out of Ukraine and leave UN

I read that the United Nations could deploy American troops to the Ukraine. I could only pray that Obama does not allow that to happen, but we know he will just to oppose Putin at the cost of American lives. 

Why not let other countries of the almighty UN send their troops for a change and let the U.S. take care of our war-torn  troops recovering from their service to other countries? 

As I said before, Obama — stay out of the Ukraine and get out of the UN and get the UN out of the U.S.

Fred Cox, Crescent City

‘Friends’ blocking progress is costly

In reference to Don Gillespie’s recent writing concerning improving Highway 199 (“Is bringing bigger trucks on highway worth risk?” May 22),  Don and his “friends” continually try to block any progress in this county regardless of the cost in dollars and lives. 

If he and his friends had been here years ago I am sure that they would have tried to block the building of Highway 199. If they had been at Plymouth Rock they would have told the pilgrims to go back home because they would have to cut down trees to build homes. 

Get out of the way, Don.

Glenn Felix, Crescent City
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