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Coastal Voices: Ignoring race won't solve real equality issues

I’ve been giving some thought to Evelyn Cook’s opinion piece “We Are All Just Shades of Brown” that appeared in last Saturday’s Triplicate.

She expressed annoyance with having to check a box on government forms for her race — which is white — and argued “the little boxes divide us by race and keep reminding us of our differences” and are used by the “same racist system . . . to decide who gets a larger or smaller share of tax-dollar benefits, special privileges, and protections.”
 Well, I don’t think any of us recently checked a race box and suddenly experienced the discomfort of remembering what race we were. “Oh my Gosh — I forgot I was white. And look here — female. Curse you, Uncle Sam for bringing it to mind.” 
But criticism of Ms. Cook’s analogy aside, I do understand that lots of white folks, especially in rural places where there are fewer minorities to speak about their experience, tend to have the same world view that Ms. Cook expressed: white people are the victims of racism, especially promulgated by government rules and regulations. We need to stop paying attention to race; it leads to more racism. 
Admittedly, the worldview Ms. Cook expressed is progress compared to the kind of racist ideals that suggested black and brown people were lesser human beings, shouldn’t have the right to bear arms, shouldn’t have fishing rights, shouldn’t be able to attend white (read: well-funded) schools, and shouldn’t ride in the front of the bus. 
But suggesting the election of President Obama proves that we’re all equal now ignores the very real racism that still exists in our country — and our community for that matter. This racism is deeply connected to economic class as well, and hides behind and inside many of our institutions and policies. It is revealed in outcomes.

Our View: Council insists on secrecy in hiring

There are lots of reasons public officials would rather function in secret, most of them not good.

Crescent City’s method of secretly selecting an interim city manager raises all kinds of red flags.

When last the public was unable to join them behind closed doors, the City Council through its various spokespeople said they were looking at nine candidates. When the Triplicate asked for resumes of those candidates, City Council turned to its lawyers, who invoked an obscure portion of the California Public Records Act in denying the request.

The portion of the law being cited protects certain personal information on job applications from being disclosed. Not unreasonable.

Letter to the Editor, Jan. 16, 2016

Community is losing an excellent urologist, Dr. Davis

When I learned that Dr. Mark Davis was closing his urological practice, I felt a deep sadness on many levels.

First, Dr. Davis is an eminently qualified and capable specialist. When my husband, Keith, was diagnosed with bladder cancer, he became a patient of Dr. Davis; and when Keith finally succumbed to the cancer, there was none to be found in his bladder. Thanks to the treatments Dr. Davis provided, the quality and length of my husband’s life were extended.

Secondly, Dr. Davis is a valued member of our community. Twenty-two years ago, he and his wife (and nurse), Karen, came here to make their home. They bought real properties, built a house and a professional building, raised three children, created jobs, and paid their taxes.

Another View: We are all just shades of brown

One of my pet peeves has to do with those little boxes on government forms that require applicants to check off their race. I know that I’m supposed to check “white” or “Caucasian” but I refuse.

I don’t consider myself white because I’m not an albino. And none of my ancestors hailed from the Caucasus region, so in reality I’m no more a Caucasian than I am an Eskimo.

As far as skin color goes, my part-Italian ancestry gives it a hue that’s closer to caffè latte than it is to cream. It doesn’t take long in the sun to turn brown. Since I don’t feel honest checking a box for white or Caucasian, I usually leave it blank.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 14, 2016

The ‘stink’ you smell isn’t coming from HCD

In regard to your recent editorial about the Del Norte Healthcare District: 

You have a lot of gall to come into our community and attack an elected body who is doing everything they can to make sure we have quality, affordable health care.

Coastal Voices: DN Health Care District wants to hear from you

As a senior physician in Del Norte County, three term chief of staff of Sutter Coast Hospital and incoming chair of the Del Norte Healthcare District, I review the history of local health care and seek your input.

After inviting Sutter Health to this community in 1985, the Del Norte Healthcare District enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Sutter for many years. That all changed in 2010 when in violation of California law, Sutter Health began implementing patient care policies at Sutter Coast Hospital without any input from hospital physicians. I removed those illegal policies from Sutter Coast, which was later cited for its misconduct by the Joint Commission, the certifying body for hospitals nationwide. Sutter Coast CEO Mitch Hanna has the report.

In 2011, the Sutter Coast board voted in secret, over my objection and the deliberate exclusion of this community, to transfer hospital ownership from Del Norte County to a multi-hospital corporation in San Francisco.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 12, 2016

No discussion of STAA trucks, Last Chance

The meeting on the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan was jam-packed with folks from Crescent City, Hiouchi, and Gasquet, among other places, to the surprise of Project Manager Jeff Schwein. A large percentage — two-thirds to three-fourths by show of hands — were there with concerns about Caltrans’ project to alter Highways 199 and 197 to allow the longer STAA trucks.

This fact was enlightening for Jeff, but Tamera Leighton, representing the Transportation Commission, already knew I’m sure, by some familiar faces and petitions that were being given out.

Another View: A religion of peace? Read the Koran

If Islam is truly a religion of peace, as at least two U.S. presidents, numerous pundits and even the Pope would have us believe, why do so many Muslims in so many nations spend so much time, effort and money slaughtering noncombatants? 

Why did Muslims slay 2,977 innocents on Sept. 11, 2001? Why have Muslims committed 42 acts of terror on American soil since that tragic day, killing 89 people and injuring 334?

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 9, 2015

Solid Waste facts ignored on front page of Triplicate

I’m writing in order to correct misrepresentations in your recent front page article of the Triplicate, with regard to the Grand Jury report about the Solid Waste Authority. Are you kidding me? I can see why no one wanted their name showing as the author of this distasteful, distorted and unethical article.  

Pages of History: Barnacle Bill guards our harbor

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, January 1948:

There’s a whale of the humpback variety, here in the harbor, that’s adopted these waters hereabouts as his home. He has the whole ocean to swim in and although we humans know nothing about the housing shortage in the Pacific Ocean, and certainly hope there isn’t any, this marine mammal only travels back and forth a good 1,000 feet, surfacing and in the best of spirits.

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