Letters to the Editor December 10, 2008

By The Daily Triplicate readers December 09, 2008 11:00 pm

Nothing we can do about bonds but pay for them

Time to step on some toes! Every time you look at a newspaper or turn on the TV, all you see is how bad the economy is and how many people have lost their homes and jobs! And every time I see this I still can’t believe that the School Board had the audacity to ask us for our hard-earned money at this time in history.


Heck, I can’t believe that we the people voted it in! Actually, I haven’t talked to a person yet that says they did vote for it. If I remember correctly, the day of the election The Triplicate was showing that the vote was looking like it wasn’t going to pass. Then all of a sudden, the next day it miraculously gained about 1,000 votes! Maybe the needed votes were found in the trunk of a car somewhere?


Seems like the same thing happened with the sewer plant that started out with a $1 million, six-month project for a larger pipe for more outflow that suddenly became a $45 million new sewer plant?


And as I sit here looking at this year’s tax bill, I wonder if it happened with the College of the Redwoods bond that we pay for every year. I kind of have an idea these were done deals even before the elections. And God help us if it’s ever found that we the people were swindled out of our money, because to try and get it back would be unpatriotic and bankrupt the swindlers! And we can’t have that!


I had hoped that someone with some political savvy and connections would have questioned the whole thing by now. As a retiree on a fixed income, I just watched a good chunk of the money I live on go out the window. And any bets on if they hire local contractors? Oh, they’ll say they tried, but there will be an excuse why they don’t.


And for the people that say it’s only going to be $55 dollars for every $100,000 in property value, I say wait and watch! And when it goes up, what can we the people do? Absolutely nothing, besides pull out your check book!


                     Mike Cuthbertson
                     Gasquet

People of the city need to take responsibility for its cleanup

This letter is in response to Jim Wisbauer’s criticism of the efforts of Donna Westfall and citizen volunteers who are cleaning up the Rural Human Services parking lot (“There are plenty more places in town that need cleaning up,” Dec. 6). As one of those volunteers, I would like to set the record straight.


First of all, this is a completely citizen-powered effort, spearheaded by newly elected Councilwoman Donna Westfall, who did all the preliminary fact-finding as to where we could get started right away. It seems CalTrans has a bunch of rules we have to abide by if the property in question is along the highway, and other rules govern city property.


Donna mentioned this in her article about her first week as a council member. There are workman’s comp issues, etc., that have to be dealt with that prevent us from just grabbing our tools and tackling any particular job. The RHS parking lot was one we could do immediately. And even though that piece of property is privately owned, RHS is responsible for its maintenance at its own expense.


It’s a simple matter of money and manpower for such projects, neither of which RHS has to spare, but people pitching in sure can make a difference. And this is just one small project, the only one we could get permission to do immediately, and it’s only a start. There are plenty more on the list. In fact, the whole city is on the list. But this takes time and lots of manpower.


It’s not the responsibility of the city government to take on every little task at hand. They simply don’t have the funding to pay people to do these non-priority jobs, not unless you want to pay higher taxes for it. But it is the “city” that is in need, and the “city” should be responsible for taking care of itself. The “city” is comprised of the people who live it in, so it’s up to us all to have pride in our town and do what we are able to show that pride.


It’s always, “They need to do this,” and “They need to fix that.” Well, We are They. Don’t sit there and point out what we are doing wrong, get up and help.


 Katherine Kelly
Crescent City

Improper to use the Bible to justify persecuting others

Dale Bohling’s viewpoint on gay marriage (“Prop. 8 protects marriage as it has been throughout history,” Dec. 2) is truly a refreshing one. It is truly energizing to find, as a former community member and an outsider looking in, that the community I used to call home is still as backwards as ever. Nothing has changed.


I almost didn’t know where to begin, but the gist I got from your letter was that gay men and women shouldn’t be allowed to marry because of deep historic ties between that of a man and a woman, for the benefit of procreation. This might be one of the most absurd sides of this multifaceted argument that I’ve ever heard, and working for a newspaper myself, I’ve heard a lot of them.


American history students are going to read about Prop 8 in their history books and be appalled that people in 2008 voted to keep homosexuals from seeking a solemn vow of love. They’d be appalled, just as I and other classmates were when we learned of the American enslavement of African-Americans, or “Manifest Destiny,” Japanese internment during World War II, or any one of 300 other stories where America worked extra-hard to eradicate the civil rights of any number of groups, then changed later.


Even Christianity was oppressed in its first years. Christians were in the minority in the first century AD, so much so that Emperor Nero had his palace gardens open in that the citizens could witness him torturing and burning Christians by the thousands. Then there were the Crusades, when large groups of Christian soldiers mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent people, then took their land and money only to live side by side with Islamic folk.


Prop 8 provided a choice that, by all accounts, should have been historical. Americans were given the option to persecute, or not persecute, a sizable faction of their fellow Americans. They chose to persecute, just the same way that America in the past had chosen to internally persecute all those other sizable factions that today, live in harmony with us. How disgusting is it that people would use the Bible of all things to justify it? The Bible also says that if the daughter of a priest sleeps around, she should be burned alive (Leviticus 21:9). Should she, really?


Nicholas Kula
Portland

‘Marriage’ can only mean a union of man and woman

I was shocked and saddened to read Nicholas Grube’s article on Proposition 8 donors (“Local money part of $70M spent on Prop. 8,” Nov. 18). Shocked in that the press should violate the privacy of the donors’ identity, and saddened that this form of intimidation should be used. (Careful to whom you donate, since it may become public news!)


Let us look at this controversial proposition from the rational view of semantics (the study of the meaning of words). If I’m telling you about a fruit that is yellow and cylindrical in shape, usually having a non-edible skin, that peels, and a soft white food that is sweet, you know I’m referring to a banana. What if I discover a new fruit that is purple in color, round, that peels, and has a pink edible fruit, and I decide to call it a banana? Might there not be some confusion about which fruit I was indicating?


The word “marriage” has normally referred to a union between one man and one woman. Originally this was necessary to insure the care of the possible issue (child) and his/her legacy.


Now there are proposed same sex marriages; California already has domestic partners. If people don’t like that name, come up with a new name and a ceremony only. Recently in the Netherlands, there was a couple who decided to take another “wife.” What if there are three men and two women, or two women and five men? And lest we forget the Roman senator who married his horse! Does “consenting adults” also refer to a man and his daughters or a woman and her sons? Are all of these to be “marriages”?


Mr. Grube, from the safe security of your desk, you seem to be comfortable to whittle away at democracy. My son recently died for you and our democracy. Please use your words to defend our Constitution and not to intimidate voters and their right to private ballots and political positions. If you value the benefits of the golden eggs, take care of the goose that lays them, and don’t cause her death.


Calie Martin
Crescent City