Steve Chittock

Guantanamo inmates could be moved to Del Norte County

Our county fathers and mothers regularly lament the lack of economic development and wonder how we can put Del Norte County "on the map" in order to promote economic activity. Unfortunately, most politicians don't have a clue how economic development really works. Klamath, where I live, is an example. County and tribal officials say they want economic development for Klamath. But they fail to do the No. 1 thing that would enhance economic development here: work with Verizon and secure grants to extend high speed internet to the area. Because of quality of life factors and nearness of two airports, Klamath could attract "foot loose" businesses. These are businesses that can locate anywhere so long as an airport is within an hour drive and modern communications infrastructure is in place.

In fairness, there is very little elected officials and government bureaucrats can do to promote economic development. It is entrepreneurs, not politicians or bureaucrats, who transform economic opportunities into economic development. But here is an idea for what these folks could actually do to help.

President Obama wants to close Guantanamo but he needs a place in the US willing to house "enemy combatants" and other folks detained there. Del Norte County has a maximum security prison. Some of those inmates could be moved elsewhere in order to make room for the folks currently in Guantanamo. The feds would pay handsomely, which would help reduce California's deficit. There would be lots of short term economic benefit too as lawyers, media folks and feds fly in, stay to work, sleep and eat in our towns and then fly back out.

But the greatest economic benefit would come from the millions of Americans who would learn about our county and its many natural amenities as a result of the media coverage. Some of these millions would visit; some might move their businesses or retire here.

So how about it county fathers and mothers? Let's step up and help our country solve a public relations nightmare while simultaneously helping reduce the state deficit and effectively promoting local economic development. What do you say?

Felice Pace


To those who criticize public assistance, stuff happens

Hey now, let's not stereotype. A couple of recent letters to the editor have implied that people who receive public assistance are scum. Before I had to get on assistance my husband and I owned a $5,000-a-month business, I worked for the Medford School District and I also managed the company.

I am sorry to inform you, stuff happens. My husband had a major heart attack and I had a premature baby. By the time my maternity leave ended, summer started and I was out of work. We lost the business because my husband had to take time off and we lost our customers. We have three kids and they come first. We had to do something. We get $900 a month and $600 of that goes to rent. I don't receive HUD. The rest goes to bills and hygiene (yes, we do keep up on our bills).

Everything we have is used. I also work part time, I don't just sit on my tush and collect checks every month. In fact, I have worked since I was 14. We rolled up our sleeves and we worked jobs the Bush-worshippers wouldn't touch. I have cleaned toilets, washed dishes and changed adult Depends. My husband has done a lot of the same. I worked as a bus driver for the county buses, that is how I met my husband. He hauled around the people mentioned in the letters just the same as I did.

We are not the deadbeat druggie people you are putting us in the same class with. We receive food stamps but I don't waste it on candy and soda, I buy food that I cook every single night and we eat as a family. We don't go to fast food just because I am too strung out to cook. I have never even tried pot. We are Christian people and attend church every Sunday unless we are ill, always have.

Maybe drug-testing people and kicking the ones off that don't pass will help. I will roll up my sleeves every day if I have to. Oh, wait, I do roll up my sleeves. I work. We are working on getting off the system. Do you honestly, after reading my letter, think we want to be on welfare? Let's also throw some deadbeat dads in jail and make them pay and there wouldn't be a need for welfare for some mothers.

Sarah Dumas


Our Daily Bread can be a well-planted tree of life

I was sitting in my office contemplating all of the people that came through the door of Our Daily Bread Ministries today, needing help in various areas (food, gas, clothing, counseling, housing) and was overwhelmed. As I think about the last 3 years and see how much more Daily Bread is needed now more than ever, not just for the homeless and low income, but by the 'average Joe', I see how we need the citizens of Crescent City to step up and do whatever they can for their neighbors who are in such critical need. I just can't tell you in real words what it feels like to encounter such abundant need every day, and the increase in the last year would astound you.

As you know, we at Our Daily Bread have demonstrated many times the true love and compassion that we have for all people, regardless of the things that they have done, addictions they are battling, or whatever their issues. We consciously make an effort to love without judgment. To meet the needs and to love as Jesus loves takes support, and that is where you, yes you, come in.

Many of you know that we had a mortgage fundraising banquet dinner May 9 at the fairgrounds. The idea was to have another tangible way to show the love of God in buying the building that we operate in as the next step towards becoming a yearly emergency shelter. Certainly the love of God would be shown in no one else in Del Norte County having to die from exposure because there is no refuge. I think we are all somewhat responsible to make that provision.

Our banquet was certainly an enjoyable night to remember for all, and I believe it opened all who attended eyes to what Our Daily Bread Ministries is all about. One of the highlights of the evening was the video testimonies, which will be available for viewing on our Web site very soon. May 9 marked the day that caring individuals came together to make a difference. We raised $10,000 toward our goal of $125,000 needed to purchase the building. Since the banquet the needs have been steadily increasing, and we are still in need of the community to get behind the idea of fighting homelessness in Del Norte County and helping us to help those less fortunate. We want Our Daily Bread Ministries to be a well-planted tree of life and hope, but we need some roots.

Mike Justice

Our Daily Bread Ministries

Crescent City

Sincere gratitude to Sutter Coast Hospital

I am compelled to issue my sincere gratitude to the entire staff on the medical unit at Sutter Coast Hospital and also the ER staff.

My elderly mother spent six days in Room 117. I myself, a retired nurse, am usually more critical than the average lay person! And I applaud, without reservation, everyone involved in her care.

I observed, throughout all those days, the wonderful professionalism, compassion and service each employee extended to my parent. You guys rock and are shining stars in my book!

I also wish to commend Crystal Nielsen from social services for her support.

Thank you, thank you.

Donna Lanz

Crescent City