Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Be sure to file petition with fire fee payment

Del Norters are once again receiving their annual bill from the state for the Fire Prevention Fee.

As many of you know, the Howard Jarvis group has filed a suit against the state contending that the fee is really an illegal tax imposed without the required voter approval. In that case, the court has recently ruled that, should the fee be found to be invalid, only those who have filed a Petition for Redetermination with the state will be entitled to a refund.

Those desiring to be eligible for the refund should:

andbull; Timely pay your bill! If you don't the state can lien your property and add steep penalties and interest. The lien could result in your property being foreclosed upon.

andbull; Pay your bill through the mail rather than online. This will allow you to write in the note portion of your check: "Paid under protest per Petition for Redetermination." Send the bill in the envelope that came with it. Keep a copy of the bill handy as you will need the information on it to complete your protest.

andbull; Download and complete a Petition for Redetermination using the information on your invoice. You can download the form, complete with the "Reason for Petition" (which outlines the grounds for the suit) online at: Send your completed Petition for Redetermination to the Suisun address set out on the form.

Then you're done until next year when you must follow the same process again. Then as one of the informed ones who protected your rights, just wait for the dust to settle and see if you receive a refund. Good Luck!

Dohn R. Henion,Crescent City

Know background of Pledgeand give youth some credit

Our American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance do not go hand in hand. I do agree with Marianne Shannon ("Youth's ignorance about flag saddening," July 27) that students should be taught what the colors and symbols of the flag represent.

There is fascinating history, terminology, and even math (yes!) behind its development. The flag is also a 1776 original symbol of American patriotism, evident by the states' stars united on the field of blue (canton).

The Pledge of Allegiance is not an original, but its history is fascinating. The pledge was written and published by Francis Bellamy and the Youth's Companion magazine in 1892 as part of a scheme to sell flags to public schools. (The magazine was sponsored by a flag maker.)

Bellamy wanted the word "equality" along with "liberty and justice." (Bellamy was a Baptist minister turned socialist.) But the educators of the time did not see women or minorities as equals. Inclusion would have hurt sales, and was eliminated.

The pledge was actually written, "One nation, indivisible." The phrase, "under God" was not added until the cold war in 1954.

Did you know the pledge was to be recited with the right arm outstretched toward the flag? It was changed to

the hand placed over the heart in 1942 because Hitler also used the former salute.

In 1943, the Supreme Court held that students are not required to recite the pledge. The court has also held that students are not required to stand for the pledge and will be free from ridicule. I see a lot of ridicule of youth.

From my observations, youth today, with the Internet and social media are very active in American issues. They are learning so much more than previous generations, who were limited by encyclopedias, closed and outdated information sources.

Please, let's give our youth credit for growing up in a very different world from the one we did.

Wendy Merritt-Templeton,Crescent City