Steve Chittock

Planning commissioners should hang heads in shame

Friday's article concerning the permit denial for Our Daily Bread Ministries' shelter is a glorious example of a conflict in our society; private property, laws and doing good.

On display is a private organization that with a private piece of property and altruistic intentions, feeding and housing homeless, which must ask our government's permission to do good. The Planning Commission's response simply says you can only do so much good on your property, and putting a roof over someone's head during winter is too much.

Results are what should be aimed for in society, regardless of intention. It is grotesque to think that selected officials use laws to prevent people from doing things which actually achieve positive results right now; saving people from freezing to death. Have we decided to outlaw use of private property even to do immediate good, and placed a higher value on building codes, fire codes, and the elimination of possible dangers above the immediate danger of cold temperatures faced by fellow humans?

Inhumane is the word that comes to mind when we look at the results of disallowing good deeds. There was a time when we could invite people to sleep in our barns or tool sheds just to get them out of the cold; that time is gone.

Laws have now hamstrung people to the point that having property has little advantage. Zoning laws comprise one of the most invasive species of rules to the private determination of land use. Originally sold to the populace as a way of ensuring smoky industries were not built next to residential areas, they are now used to prohibit people from making their neighbors uncomfortable in any sense. It is unfortunate that comfort is held in higher value than caring for others.

The situation which has been created can only be changed by convincing our fellow citizen and community leaders that use of private property, especially for charitable causes, cannot be limited.

A group of people doing good without government funds is exactly what American philanthropy is all about; it is the most efficacious way of getting the best results at the lowest cost. Government, local, state and federal, must get out of the way of private property owners. The planning commissioners should hang their heads in shame and hope the supervisors will right their injustice.

Joe Nathan Albertson

Crescent City

Elderly constantly drawn into abuse, neglect, fraud, theft

This country has steadily been on an upward spiral that is quickly becoming a disease out of control.

No, I am not referring to H1N1. I'm speaking of elder abuse.

The elderly are constantly and consistently drawn into predicaments where they are taken advantage of, abused, neglected and in most cases, robbed of all their finances.

The elderly who need help, due to no other recourse, have basically no alternative except to accept the assistance they need.

For those who are totally homebound, it's even more drastic. They have to trust whoever is providing their care, some of which includes medical care, bill paying, grocery shopping and banking.

Most of these cases bring about the criminal element that's forever present. The disabled and elderly are drained of their bank accounts. Food is bought, but the health care providers either pocket some cash or buy food for their own consumption. Their homes are also searched for valuables that they can take. There's also medications. They take pills and cash if possible.

Then there's telemarketers who, once they know this person is elderly, keep calling for orders.

There's also those representatives who work on commission or are paid by the company. Especially annually when it's time to decide whether or not to change or stay with a current medical plan, their only concern is making money for themselves and charging the highest prices for medical care and medications.

The providers need to monitor and ensure all of this doesn't happen and the elderly need help to be made aware.

Jill Bausch

Crescent City

Walking on jetty is part of Crescent City experience

I was going to write a letter regarding the jetty and the people who would like to make it a crime to walk out on it. Now I don't need to because Mike Cuthbertson pretty much covered what I was going to say ("Jetty access: Why should we suffer for stupidity of a few?" Nov. 19).

Walking on the jetty on a nice day or fishing and relaxing on the jetty during the summer are things I did a lot when I was a kid. Heck, it's one of the few things that are part of the Crescent City experience.

The fishing pier at the foot of B Street is nice, but it's not unique. Don't let a few judgmentally challenged people ruin it for so many others. It would make just as much sense to close Endert's Beach so no one is tempted to try to scale the cliffs. Or to close the Smith River and make it a crime to swim or fish so no one ends up needing to be rescued.

If you feel the need to save people's lives, you could join the Red Cross or volunteer to be a school crossing guard.

Oops, looks like I wrote a letter about the jetty anyhow.

Mike McGilvary

Crescent City

'Happy Holidays' strikes discordant tone in my heart

Bah humbug to you, Mr. Cupp, for your Dec. 8 letter ("Tired old claim America founded on Christian principles is wrong").

"Happy Holidays," especially when deliberately said, strikes a discordant note in my heart. There is something missing. Like a bare wall where a crucifix once hung or a town square where a creche once stood.

May the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future come to haunt your and all of our souls.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Cupp.

Richard McKinnon

Crescent City

Coordinated efforts would help hungry, homeless better

After reading Pastor Steve Perez's letter, "Strategic giving to community agencies is best way to help," I would like to ask him a few questions. The largest problem we have in this area is lack of housing. Yes, putting roofs over people's heads. But I see very few members of the cloth asking this question. Why?

Pastor Steve, why do we need two food banks? My question for years has been why CAN and Rural Human Services can't come together and run a single food bank, making the best use of their limited resources. My city again is giving its CBG funds to CAN Food Bank for another year of operation monies. Maybe Doug will use some of this money to finish the greenhouse in Peterson Park. Food could be grown year-round in the hot house to aid the food bank.

I deeply believe people should help themselves first before asking for handouts. Maybe you should ask the people at Our Daily Bread why they are not using our community gardens to grow food for their kitchen. Maybe it's time for all the churches during this season of giving to ask their members to dig deep into their pockets and raise the funds to build a shelter for the homeless somewhere in Del Norte County. Will we let another person freeze to death behind Safeway's before we do something?

We need to stop having the old belief of NIMBY and do something.

Richard Miles

Crescent City

No overwhelming support for Obama reform among doctors

This letter is in response to the opinion piece in the Oct. 1 Triplicate ("Doctors on health care reform"). The writer of the article is a physician who is the president of the Humboldt/Del Norte County Medical Society who "signed on" to the Obama health plan, implying that she spoke for the group as its president. However, there are 312 members in that Medical Society.

Similarly, in a recent TV news presentation, there was a group of physicians dressed in white coats, supposedly representing the AMA at the White House. They were in support of Obama's health plan, implying that U.S. physicians supported the health plan. But only 17-20 percent of the doctors in America belong to the AMA.

I applied to medical school in 1952 and was accepted at the College of Medicine in Syracuse, N.Y., and graduated in 1957. In 1952, there were 8-10 applicants for each position available in the freshman class, a quote from my medical school alumni journal Autumn 2009 issue. In 2007-08, there were 42,315 applicants for 17,759 spots at U.S. medical schools. That is a ratio of 2.3 applicants for each spot. Obviously, the number of applicants has decreased significantly.

Thus, there is not overwhelming popular support for the Obama health plan among U.S. physicians, and the practice of medicine has become less attractive to current college students. It takes a long time from high school graduation to opening your practice. It could be three to four years of pre-med, four years of medical school, and three to five years of post-graduate training in a residency.

Over the last 10 to 20 years, there has been more government intrusion into the practice of medicine.

Bob Sankus, MD

Crescent City