Letters to the Editor from April 6

April 05, 2007 11:00 pm

Let's compromise on expanded prison for Del Norte County

This is a public apology letter to Thomas A. Barnes. In my March 1 letter ("Bigger prison wouldn't truly help Del Norte's economy"), I falsely accused him of doing the burning that took place behind Breakwater Street. He was very gracious in how he pointed out that I had the wrong person. My apologies to him.

While he is for the building of a bigger prison, I am not. In Okinawa they have a saying, "Nothing good comes from the north." By that they mean cold winds and above all else the Japanese. Here we should have a saying that, "Nothing good comes from the south." By that I mean more population, prisons and mandates from Sacramento.

A bigger prison would just bring more population, need for more schools, taxes, crime and everything else that the genteel and ecological retirees came here to get away from. Not all population growth is of the same quality. I would rather see more retirees here than more prison workers.

But since I know that the prison is here to stay, I have a compromise that he might agree to. Let the community make our prison a geriatric prison. The advantages are many: a less violent mentality, both inside and outside the prison, since the family members that come here to be close to the inmates will be older and fewer, and the prison guards and their families would probably be older and more stable, too.

But best of all, the doctors that the prison would need would be those that fit the needs of a retirement community. As more retirees move into this area, more geriatric doctors, including cardiologists, will make this a more desirable area for other retirees to move to. These doctors also would help fill the current general doctor shortage here. Does anybody out there also think a geriatric prison would be a good idea?

Again, let me apologize to Thomas A. Barnes. But, maybe our letters can help get this community moving in a good direction.

Ronald Thompson

Crescent City