Our View: About to sail & dragging anchor for Jan. 27

January 26, 2007 11:00 pm

About to sail: Kudos to Rural Human Services for landing a nearly $400,000 state grant to train nurses. With the national nursing shortage crisis, we need to take it upon ourselves as a community to recruit people into this profession and to keep them here working at our hospital, prison, doctors' offices and in local government health services. The grant will help pay for training and development programs that will bring more than 60 nurses, nurses' aides and other medical staff to Del Norte County.

Dragging anchor: Fear of the homeless has caused efforts to help our neighbors to go underground. Indeed, though four fast-food restaurants volunteered this week to host the feeding of our community's homeless, three don't want their identities revealed as they worry they'll be pressured to stop by those who misunderstand and inappropriately hold contempt for the homeless. Rather than turn our backs on the homeless suffering from addictions and mental illnesses, we ought to embrace acts of generosity and find ways to help them overcome these problems.

About to sail: Congratulations to Klamath River College of the Redwoods for reaching a milestone this week: Little more than a year after opening, the school began offering college courses, via distance learning, to its high school students. The effort is certain to spark interest in higher education among the school's students. That's particularly important as many of the students are members of the Yurok tribe, who unfortunately suffer a high dropout rate and for those who do graduate a low rate of college attendance. The future prosperity of the tribe – indeed, for all members of the next generation – rests in going on to post-secondary studies, whether it be a university or technical school.

Dragging anchor: You may recall a couple of weeks ago a photo we ran of local dive teams searching Smith River for Chester Bolen. In the background was a small boat of two fishermen, who ironically were not wearing life preservers. The need for boaters and fishermen to wear life perservers ought to be further driven home by the death earlier this week of a Crescent City man while kayaking in southern Oregon. It's easy to say that if a man doesn't care about his personal safety, it's his business. But unfortunately a man who dies because he didn't don a life preserver takes public safety officers away from dealing with other community problems and leaves behind grieving loved ones and friends. Come on, boaters and anglers – be safe and wear a life preserver.