No regrets for celebrating death of a man who rightly deserved it
I have gone to bed the past few nights and awakened each morning with the same thought - why was I celebrating the killing of another human being?
With no reservation or hesitation, I will continue to do so today and the remainder of my life.
I recall over nine a half years ago the footage of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania - all exploding and choking in gasps or dust, blood and screaming steel. And the call that came, saying my cousin had died, blown to pieces at the Pentagon. Then the news that 64 people from the county of my birth had also been murdered that day.
And I remember that week, saying on national radio that those people, Osama Bin Laden and his ilk, would never defeat us. Up until last night, Bin Laden's continued existence in some way defied that belief.
Until this last week - when America's best of the best went into
hostile territory and delivered on a promise and vow upheld by two
presidents, two parties and one nation that somehow, someday, justice
would be done.
Given the penchant we have for resorting to athletic metaphors, you
could go to Bobby Fischer in Reykjavik, or Lake Placid in 1980, or Babe
Ruth's called shot in the '32 World Series ... or McArthur returning to
the Philippines, Patton entering Berlin, judgment at Nuremberg and
Hiroshima and every other place this country has stood and delivered.
From the men and women in our armed forces to the firefighters in New
York City and the Pat Tillmans and Bruno de Solennis who saw their duty
and gave the ultimate sacrifice in honoring that commitment, Sunday was
their day as much as anyone's.
I hear talk that Bin Laden wasn't a key player anymore, that Ayman al
Zawahiri is still out there and as Kipling wizened in
"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," "Baby cobras were hatching down by the river" - as
well as Yemen and the Saudi Peninsula. All irrelevant, because today one
thing above all stands out for me - the man who killed my cousin and
3,500 other innocent Americans is dead because my country never forgot,
never waivered and delivered on its promise to exact justice and I have
never been prouder to be an American.
Editor's note: Jon Alexander is district attorney of Del Norte County.
Inappropriate of school authority to urge partisanship in students
I didn't like the May3 Coastal Voices piece ("If we treat our kids
like crops, then we'll pay for schools") by School Board member Don
McArthur. Following is my response:
Politicizing children, Donald McArthur. Would you expect a teacher to
be disciplined for trying to persuade students to join a particular
You evidently urged students to try to persuade "a few Republicans
that kids and schools are worth it." It is not appropriate for a person
in position of school authority to urge adolescents to take a partisan
City irresponsible in handling of sewage plant issues like sludge
With some amusement I read the May 4 article about the city mulling
over what to do with the "waste" sludge from our contentious $40
million-plus sewer plant that keeps on costing more every month, it
Now the question is what to do with the sludge left over from the
digestion process at the plant? I am particularly amused that even our
esteemed mayor, and he, an architect no less, sitting on the City
Council; merely noted the physical qualities of our fine sludge; and had
not much else constructive to say about it.
Why not use it, I ask? Many municipalities actually sell the stuff
for its obvious best use, as fertilizer. Some is used in bagged mixed
fertilizer for home usage - much more is hauled or pumped to farmland to
be incorporated for its typically fine soil building and plant feeding
And, too, why are we simply burning off perfectly usable methane from
our sewage plant? The Chinese use theirs to cook with; we might heat a
few public buildings or the pool with ours. As for the issue of fluoride
in our water, it is out of our hands permanently now. Law(s) on the
books state that once a municipality has begun fluoridation of its
potable water, it cannot ever rescind its introduction, not even by vote
(which was illegal).
As for the City Council having purview over the sewage plant; that
shouldn't be either. There should be an entirely separate district, none
of its members sitting on any city boards or the council.
We live in an odd, rather backwards-thinking community. Arcata did a
fine job for its citizenry, about 15,000 at last count, with its clever
ponding of secondary treated effluent; the City of Santee, Calif., does
the same. Both are models for recreation and wise use of resources at
Have we lands for water impoundments of a marsh sort? I recall one
angry citizen who suggested we follow Arcata's example. Nope. Had to
have a biomembrane plant, its only use thus far to flood the sands of
our beachfront city park.
But, now, who pays for every need of that white elephant, time and
time again? As a non-city person unable to even vote for our City
Council members, I'd surely invite them to all find other jobs. Perhaps
the sewage plant?
Hilary John Herman
Congress ignores plight of those with cancer - please help them
In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would
cut funding to cancer research by 5.2 percent of its $268 billion
budget. Sadly, many Americans who have been touched by this vile disease
are unaware of this devastating loss.
Well-known cancer survivors, such as Tour de France winner Lance
Armstrong, are taking the fight to Congress, urging them to reconsider.
In a press conference in Washington, Mr. Armstrong summed up the
importance of this research quite concisely with "600,000 deaths a year
... that's 1,500 American lives a day."
With so many lives at stake, the American public should be aware of
this drastic cut. But you don't have to be an internationally known
athlete to combat this cut. There are organizations such as the American
Cancer Society that work hard to pass bills on the state and federal
levels that increase the taxes on items such as cigarettes in order to
contribute funding to cancer research and awareness.
As citizens of the United States, we have all been witness to the
horrors of cancer. It is in our town, it is in our cities, it is in our
media and it is in our homes. It is important for American citizens to
know what is in store for their friends and family who have been touched
by cancer, and as a graduate of Del Norte High School, I want to share
this news with the citizens of my hometown who have aided in the fight
against cancer for many years with the Relay for Life every July.
Ours is a community that cares deeply for its friends and family, and
my article will show them what is happening with the war against cancer
that they all take such an important role in. Having lost my
grandfather to lung cancer, it is my wish to raise cancer awareness in
Special thank you to lady who returned purse found outside
A special thank you to the sweet lady who returned my purse to
Grocery Outlet on Tuesday, May 3, after finding it outside in a grocery
You cannot believe my joy upon reclaiming it. Thank you so much. God