Kyle Curtis

A shelter for homeless in Crescent City is necessary

We were discussing in our Sunday School Class the Feb. 21 article, "Plack: Shelter worsened problem." We vigorously oppose Police Chief Plack's argument for clearing out the homeless by raiding them and also rejecting the idea of a homeless shelter as proposed by Our Daily Bread Ministries.

We believe a shelter for the homeless in Crescent City is necessary. Also we support wholeheartedly the efforts of Daily Bread to provide a shelter and for their efforts in feeding the people who come to them.

Chief Plack, did you know that about 70 percent of the people who come to the shelter for food are people who are employed in Crescent City?

These are people who have either lost their jobs or do not make enough money to feed their families. The other 30 percent are the homeless. Do you still want to see the 70 percent not fed and receive some temporary housing? Perhaps you should rethink this matter.

Albert Halls

Crescent City

Red Cross honors volunteers, employees for their support

Across the United States, Americans recognize March as American Red Cross Month. As one of the nation's best-known humanitarian organizations, the Red Cross has been at the forefront of helping Americans prevent, prepare for, and respond to large and small disasters for 127 years. Communities depend on the Red Cross in times of need, and the Red Cross depends on the support of the American people to achieve its mission.

This year the Red Cross is taking time in March to focus on the volunteers and employees who demonstrate such compassion and generosity by supporting the Red Cross in Del Norte County and around the country. As one of the 720 chapters across the country, we rely on these everyday heroes to give their time and talents to help others through CPR, first aid and automated external defibrillator training, or make financial donations.

In the past fiscal year, the Del Norte County Chapter responded to 40 local emergencies, assisted 36 military families, and trained 3,165 people in lifesaving skills. Across this community, the Red Cross is an organization people can rely on for help, comfort, assistance, and compassion. On behalf of the Del Norte County Chapter, I thank all involved for the support that help us continue our service to those in who need us, every day.

Robert Horel

Chapter chairman

Red Cross

Thanks to all who made free pap test campaign successful

We at the Humboldt Community Breast Health Project want to thank those who made the 2009 Open Door Community Health Centers' Free Pap Tests campaign another great success.

Health-care providers at the ODCHC in Humboldt and Del Norte counties generously donated their time to perform the free tests. LabCorp processed over 100 tests free of charge. Additional women who called in were screened for eligibility for state-funding for their annual pap and pelvic exam. Many of these women made appointments to have this critical exam in the coming months.

We wish to acknowledge the administration of ODCHC for recognizing and responding to a community need. They demonstrate a high level of commitment to the health of our communities.

Finally, we thank the many local women who participated for taking an important step for their own health.

Carolyn Ortenburger

Outreach Coordinator,

Humboldt Community Breast Health Project

Police should help homeless, not crack down on them

Community Watchdogs had an amazing meeting recently; the room was packed with people wanting to see a change in the way people are being treated in our community. Attorney Brian Claypool attended and answered questions that people had. We will be starting Watchdog groups up and down the coast.

There was a consensus among all there that our sheriff's officers and city police are going beyond the boundaries of the law and are violating the civil rights of our citizens. People do not like the fact that the law is not the same for all. With the good ol' boy system, some do get away with murder, and some get hog-tied and handcuffed for having a seizure.

Our homeless need help, but the police chief said cops must crack down on them. The Christian belief tells us to sell what we have and give to the poor. If you do not consider yourself a believer, I understand, but if you say you believe what the Bible says then you need to read what our obligation is to the poor. I have read nothing about running them off or treating them like scum. There are things that can be done to help these people; there are solutions.

Other counties in California are doing things positive, why can't we? It will be getting worse if you have not noticed, with the economy there will be more people on the streets. Homelessness is on the rise. In addition, they are not all drug addicts, or bums. People of all classes are losing their jobs or their wages are being cut. Who knows who will be affected next? You never know when it may be you. How can you feel secure with the way the economy is today?

With the way our world is, who knows, Chief, it could happen to you, people do want recalls of our leaders. We need to do what Saakashvili did in the nation of Georgia; he fired thousands of police officers and hired new ones. With so many people out of work it would be easy to find straightforward, compassionate people to fill these positions. Fire them all and get new ones. Morale will rise as it did in Georgia.

Lenda Beck

Crescent City

For the sake of the children, save the music programs

I would like to have the opportunity to respond to the Del Norte County School Board's decision to cut into the music program. It wasn't so very long ago that the school board members that I sat with were faced with that very problem of how to balance a budget with what the state sends us and still save the very thing we are all there for the children, teachers and the programs that educate them.

Let me start out with some important statistics. At-risk children who participated in an arts program that included music showed significant increases in overall self-concept. Second-graders who took piano lessons and played a math computer game performed significantly better on tests of fractions and proportional math than children who took English language instruction on the computer and played with the math software, and better than those who did not participate in either activity.

I will not go on with this but instead give some solutions. Establish a district-wide music coalition. Then determine the FTE value of your music teachers. Create a profile of current enrollments in band, choir and orchestra. Analyze the current status of the music budget (average allocation per student in each category of the budget).

There are so many positive approaches to saving the music, but one thing to remember is this: There is only one rule in this process: There should be no limitations on ideas (ideological, philosophical, staffing, financial, etc.). And then I would add the other rule: Save it for the child's sake.

Tina Vick Stewart

Dennis, Kan.

Funding cuts to education are counterproductive

Recent articles in The Triplicate have highlighted the challenges our local schools are facing with reduced funding. As a former public school teacher, substance abuse counselor and registered nurse, I am concerned about those local choices and for all of our state, as well. Every cut in support staff as well as every additional student placed in an already over-crowded classroom is of consequence to the quality of education received.

Larger class sizes and fewer teachers will make it more difficult for schools to meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements, causing further cuts and potentially even school closures.

California's cuts are a counterproductive response to economic crisis. We cannot sacrifice a generation of students to close a short-term budget gap. Economic recovery requires a well-educated population. These budget cuts are the result of Republican demands, which they are enabled to make by the rule requiring a two-third's vote to pass a budget and generate new revenues. Cuts to schools will continue until we get rid of that rule, which gives conservatives a veto over state policy.

All of us should be able to agree upon quality education as a universal goal. Urging our government representatives to work for the good of our educational system should be a top priority.

Maryjoan Tully

Crescent City