Steve Chittock

No one receives better health care than inmates

Inmates who use the medical facilities provided in prisons have nothing to complain about.

I am an RN with 11 years' experience working behind prison bars in three states. I do not want to be a prisoner, but I know of no one with a better medical insurance policy than those wearing prison jump suits.

It's free, unlimited and without denials from selective surgeries, organ transplants, vision and dental. Is your policy that good? How many prisoners have never had a job that required paying taxes into the system that is now providing them with the best health care in the world? I have truly met many in prisonandensp;who committedandensp;their crime just for the great medical benefits provided at no cost to any but the honest taxpayer.

I offer a suggestion to this problem; criminals who sneak over or under the fence should be not incarcerated but returned to their native countries ASAP.andensp;The cost of arresting, transporting and administrating is deducted from the welfare we give to other countries just to be our friend. By taking these vast sums from the pockets of foreign government officials we may find help securing our borders from the influx of those who wish to do us harm.

Bill Cook

Crescent City

City Council's raise ought to be donated to homeless

I think we, the citizens, should give the City Council a big round of applause for giving themselves a 40 percent raise in light of the economic conditions we are experiencing in today's world.

Let's hear it for our City Council, Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!

I once heard a phraseandensp;thatandensp;went "whenandensp;the goingandensp;gets tough, the tough get going." Well, in Crescent City, when the going gets tough, the City Council gives themselves a raise.

Letsandensp;give the City Council a chance to save face, shall we? What I propose is that the 40 percent raise go to a worthwhile cause such as helping the homeless. In near freezing temperatures, the homelessandensp;had a tough time of it until Our Daily Bread Ministries stepped in to open up a place for them at the fairgrounds. Since the fairgrounds is no longer available for use by the homeless, perhaps the 40 percent could go to Daily Bread to help feed them and provide blankets, gloves,andensp;etc. to these needy people.

All in favor of this idea, say "aye." Then let's flood the editor withandensp;your lettersandensp;supporting this idea.andensp;This way, we can tell if the good citizens of Crescent City feel that the City Council deserved this raise or if the money should go to helping the homeless.

Which do you think isandensp;the more deserving of the two?

Michael Melovich

Crescent City

No restroom at B Street Pier leads to indecent exposure

Why wasn't our town told about a tsunami alert Jan. 28? A harbor employee told me they were alerted Wednesday, Jan. 28, but not the general public. Why? I could be wrong, yet I saw nothing in our local paper about it.

Also, why, after four months, hasn't our city installed a restroom at the B Street Pier? With crab season, lots of folks came out and sadly, I saw grown men urinating openly in daylight in front of children that were not theirs. The pier parking lot reeks of urine. Let's fix it and make it better. We can do it.

Randy Shull

Crescent City

Editor's note: A harbor official said Wednesday she was unaware of any recent tsunami alerts.

Fund cut for First 5 would be felt exponentially elsewhere

For 18 years I have been working in law enforcement, first as a city police officer and now as a probation officer. I write to encourage you to protect the valuable Proposition 10 funds that were approved by voters in 1998.

These funds are critical in meeting local needs of children up to age 5, especially for poor, rural counties like Del Norte.

I also serve as a First 5 commissioner for our county and speak from experience when I say that any reduction in funding for First 5 will be exponentially felt in other areas. First 5 has been a vital preventative component in our community.

Programs provided by First 5 help children develop pro-social skills necessary to grow with confidence. They give children security, encourage expression, and facilitate integration at a time when they are unencumbered by the pressures of economic class or social issues, which as the children grow, can become points of deep frustration and anger.

These constructive qualities ensure that, as children grow, they will be more resilient if and when significant change occurs. So many children are exposed to forms of harm at such an early age that is is imperative we do what we can to provide a stable foundation. First 5 funds support that foundation.

It is when these early experiences and stable base are lacking that children run the risk of getting into trouble, and thereby find themselves in the state's juvenile corrections system. First 5 is preventative, and taking funds from the preventative business of stepping into these kids lives' after it's too late to affect substantial change.

It is our choice as a society; do we want to dedicate ourselves to reactive action after these children grow and internalize the anti-social, dissociative attributers which lead to frustration and crime? Or do we want to cultivate and educate our youngest at a time when they are most likely to absorb the positive influences around them? It seems obvious to me that the fewer children we see enter the corrections system the better.

During a time of budget cuts, we need to fight to protect First 5 funding for our smallest counties. Please support a reasonable baseline funding for small counties and a time limit on the redirecting of First 5 funds to the state's general fund. Keeping First 5 alive in our rural counties will truly make a difference in the lives of young children and their families.

Tom Crowell

Assistant chief probation officer Del Norte County