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Letters to the Editor July 20, 2011

Word of advice for the strikers

at Pelican Bay State Prison

Regarding the Pelican Bay State Prison hunger strike, if the prisoners don’t like the accommodations, don’t come back.

 Richard Cola

Smith River

Letters to the Editor July 16, 2011

Should our tax dollars be used to support criminals?

Regarding the hunger strike at Pelican Bay State Prison, inmates want to live free and easy with the best of everything. Then stick you with the bill. What have convicted felons done to demand more from taxpayers?

Wait-staff, baristas, employees, and other workers that do a great job may deserve more pay or a generous tip, but gang members, rapists, child molesters, murderers, robbers, drug dealers, pimps? Why should these criminals expect more than the basics?

Inmates are guaranteed three meals a day with veggie, kosher, halal, gluten-free, and low sodium options; medical, dental, vision, and mental health care are free; housing that is warm in winter and cool all summer. Clothing, shoes, toiletries, stamped envelopes and paper to write on, library books, electricity and cable for their TVs along with many other “rights and privileges” all paid for by you, the taxpayer.

Letters to the Editor July 14, 2011

Criminals claiming victimhood is narcissism at its finest

It always strikes me as odd when people who have behaved poorly enough to subject themselves to prosecution find that they are the victims. Victims of discrimination, victims of segregation, victims of isolation. This is narcissism at its finest. It’s all about them. About their rights, their comforts, their time.

To them I say, “it’s prison, get over it.” They want justice but not at their expense. What’s that saying, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

The real victims are not in prison, getting three “hots” and a cot. They are either dead or forever wounded by these individuals. They are the fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children and grandchildren that are left with the scars and broken pieces of life to sort through. They have suffered greatly from the actions of these inmates, some of whom inflicted pain on their own families.

I know I sound rigid and cold but it’s the reality that we must face. I know I do. Each day I face the man in the mirror. Yes, I’ve been there, done that. I used to a California inmate. But I chose to make choices and never return. “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Time. Spend it carefully. Invest it wisely. Live it truthfully.

Jay Mellberg

Nashville, Tenn.

Letters to the Editor July 13, 2011

SHU not solitary confinement; it’s for gang members, jerks

I just read the July 7 letter (“Prison officials made misleading claims about inmate conditions”). I can’t believe how there are people out there that think what they think.

I worked for 16 years inside Pelican Bay. The (SHU) Security Housing unit, is not solitary confinement! You have to be a validated gang member or work real hard at being a jerk to be placed in there. These inmates can and do have cellmates. Obviously some need to be alone because they would kill anyone or anything that was put in with them.

Some actually want to be single-celled! I heard inmates say that a stint in the SHU is like a vacation from the yard, where you have to look behind your back constantly! Their cells are right next to each other so they can and do talk and pass stuff to each other all day, and all night.

Letters to the Editor July 12, 2011

No empathy for inmates, my sympathies with our troops

I guess no one is looking at this hunger strike at Pelican Bay State Prison for what it really is. Control.

These men put themselves in the position they are in, and excuse me, but they get better treatment than some of them truly deserve. I personally am upset that some people think the Security Housing Unit is inhumane. These men have done truly horrible things to other people, and will continue to do so given the opportunity, and are in secure housing for just that reason.

I look at our young military men who are overseas fighting for the freedoms of people they will never know, and yet do so on a daily basis without complaint. They don't get three hot meals a day. They don’t get on-demand medical care. They don’t have a safe and comfortable place to sleep every night, and they sure don't get cable TV, so how can caging inmates for the good of all of those around him be inhumane, when our soldiers fight and die or get disabled in body and mind without so much as a whimper?

These young men leave behind family and friends for months at a time. Some come back safe and sound, but many do not. I don’t have empathy for these men in the prison. My feelings are for the soldiers who deserve it.

 Judy Peterson

 Crescent City

Letters to the Editor July 09, 2011

Wing Wah, Seaside Espresso vandals: What’s wrong with us?

What is happening in our little community? One nasty break-in and one attempted break-in over the Fourth of July weekend.

Windows were broken at Seaside Espresso, but they could not get in and the business sustained only broken windows.

Unfortunately Wing Wah was not so fortunate. Burglars broke into Wing Wah and held the owner at knifepoint. Because there was little cash available, they proceeded to wreck the restaurant. The thugs got little from the restaurant but they caused much damage requiring the restaurant to close until they could clean everything and put things back.

This will cost not only the owners but all the employees. I don’t know what drives people to be so mean and angry.

Cathy Despres

Crescent City

Letters to the Editor July 08, 2011

True progressives want every person to think, be the same

I have to say Allen Johnson was in rare form when he tried to take on the Tea Party in his June 25 letter “Tea Party’s funders want return to 19th Century exploitation.”

While I am sure that the local Tea Party can handle Mr Johnson’s diatribe with ease, it might be more constructive to examine the progressive politics he seems to be so infatuated with. While it is simplistic to think that the progressive movement can be described in a letter to the editor, it is clear from Mr Johnson’s letter as he so casually trots out a few of the many recent progressive causes that he has no idea what the goal is for that movement as a whole.

The progressive movement in this country has long pandered to a wide variety of causes that do not necessarily find themselves in the same ideological camp. Hence, if ideology doesn’t drive the progressive bus, it has to be something else.

Progressives have been collecting groups since the early 20th Century and have constantly kept them isolated from each other. Through these diverse groups they have been able acquire the political power to dictate behavior, thought and activity within the general population without the various groups becoming aware that they are but a means to an end.

True progressives do not care about working conditions for union employees, improving the environment, universal health care, minority rights, or any of a dozen other concerns. They would like for every person in the general population to be the same, think the same, and behave the same way. So much easier to control.

Throughout history the fact that each human is different has long been the fatal flaw in any attempt at a succeassful progressive movement. I suppose that Mr Johnson might take solace by googling George Soros, Moveon.org, or reading on-line the Huffington Post. Many people find the ideas expressed in those places quite frightening as well.

Samuel Strait

Crescent City

Letters to the Editor July 07, 2011

Some people’s sympathy for inmate rights is pretty pathetic

I sit here in the morning with my coffee and read these articles about the prisoners at the “Bay” and their hunger strike, etc. Hello, this is our world today!

There was a convicted murderer named Gary Gilmore  (executed in Utah, 1977) who said, “I’m guilty carry out my execution sentence.” Well they did about one year later. But the funny part was, well maybe not so funny, that he got two stays of execution against his wishes from the actions of the ACLU.

Hmmmm, what’s wrong with this picture? That’s the world we live in!

Don’t call our enemies out for who or what they are, we may make them mad at us. Don’t treat convicted felons like convicts, they have rights. Give them the best the state has to offer and suck it up Mr. Taxpayer.

We can have inmates who have committed the most heinous crimes but don’t serve them a meal thats to their dislike or heaven forbid don’t disrespect them!

What we need here is a new SHU (Security Housing Unit) built in these people’s backyards who whine and cry for these convicted felons. Or how about a room addition? That way they can live up front and personal with these people and we can close all the prisons and save the taxpayers some money.

Pretty pathetic when you really think about how far we’ve come, huh?

Gary Pelster

Crescent City

Letter to the Editor July 06, 2011

Inhumane isolation in SHU vital reason for inmates’ hunger strike

It seems that all your readers believe that this hunger strike at Pelican Ban State Prison is for food rations! It is not only that, but inhumane, indefinite confinement in the Secure Housing Unit.

Some have been in there for 30 years with no contact with family members who are too sick or old to travel up here.

This isolation is against the United Nations and our Constitution.

The food is just one of the protests that are on the table.

So please print this as they, the readers, are being misled by those that feel it is okay to throw away the key and let them live in total isolation!

Josie Ruiz

Crescent City


Letters to the Editor July 05, 2011

Good time for all that made it to the Crescent Harbor Gallery

I went to the Crescent Harbor Gallery for the Friday night Art Walk.

They had a delightful slide show of someone’s vacation to Four Corners. It was well put together and presented professionally. They also had Tim Blueflint playing the Indian flutes he had made. He is a local boy who came home.

The paintings and pictures were nice, and I found one for my son. All in all it was a really good time for all that made it to the gallery.

Thank you for the great entertainment.

Ellen Dalbec

Crescent City

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