Letters to the Editor, Oct. 28, 2020

Mount Shasta Herald
Fingers type on a laptop keyboard.

It’s part of the pie

I support the “vote no on Measure L” because the City of Mt. Shasta has done a great job of establishing policy for the cannabis industry in the city. The have been supported by court rulings and recognized by state authorities for their even and appropriate establishment of regulations of the industry.

As Siskiyou County prides itself on its agricultural industry, a well regulated cannabis industry is a part of that pie. The industry provides the city with income through taxes and good jobs, which this community needs. A legal cannabis industry also reduces the value of illegal grows, particularly on public lands.

- Herbert Allan McLane, Mount Shasta

Chicken Littles

I have a question for all of you hypocritical alcoholics in Mount Shasta. Fair is fair, so when do the buffer zones go up around all businesses that sell alcohol? That means that children wouldn’t be allowed into Ray’s or Rite Aid or any other establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. 

I don’t know why you people are so paranoid about marijuana, but alcohol is OK. Remember, Chicken Littles, the sky isn’t falling.

- Orlando La Rosa, Castella

Not realizing what you had until you’re gone

Having been a public servant for over 40 years, I had no idea of the impact made by Siskiyou Community Resource Center, until I began assisting the working poor and homeless.  It wasn’t until I relocated to another state, that I realized how significant the resource centers in Scott Valley, Yreka, Montague, Weed, Mt. Shasta and Dunsmuir really are.  

As a recently established resident in a new state, I attempted to help a newlywed couple secure government assistance and housing via a donated vacation trailer. My instinct was to contact the local resource center to identify available assets. I soon realized that what I was accustomed to in Siskiyou County did not exist with county I was in.   It took the coordinated assistance from a local church, business proprietor and RV park owner to formulate a working solution.  

In contrast, my experience with the employees and volunteers at the Siskiyou Community Resource Centers was a one-stop-shopping in most cases.  The SCRC has a dozen or so members that are trained in the protocol utilized by the Siskiyou Multidisciplinary Team for the homeless and therefor they are usually the first to make contact with those in need, while aligning the essential resources.  The personal expertise and compassion gained from everyday contacts at the centers is the perfect platform from which to establish a trusting relationship and initiate a plan towards a healthier lifestyle.  

I look forward to sharing my experiences gained at the SCRC with my newly established associates.  This includes SCRC’s motto: “Healthy families make a health community”.

- Ed Pecis, Colorado

Flag football 

I want to express my delight at what Jon Cox, Siskiyous Flag Football board president, and all of the parents, coaches, and players, who are participating in flag football in Siskiyou County are doing. Every afternoon when I leave College of the Siskiyous I see the enthusiasm of the players and coaches on display.  It is great to see so many people participating in youth sports.  

Flag football is the fastest growing youth sport in the country for good reason.  It is great exercise, and it is very safe.  I love to see girls participating with the boys.  Why not?  

Great job Jon and all involved.

- Phil Maas, Weed

Empire for empire’s sake?

Climate change, the COVID-19 virus, and corporate corruption are real issues threatening our planet, our lives, and our constitutional republic. While citizens are given a back seat to addressing these issues, corporate platforms continue to profit from a nation weaken from ecological and sociological pathogens. Divided and fearful, the body’s immune system, along with the integrity of the democratic process, is seriously compromised.

Unfortunately, our survival has been shadowed by climate change deniers and the impulsive triggers of colonial attitudes. The paradigm, “empire for empire’s sake,” continues to destroy the natural environment as well as the policies holding them in place. Imperialistic attitudes, threatens the very fabric of our union. The toxic wound from the past continues to fester when universal rights for all citizens are denied.

This election, however, we can correct our dysfunctional tripartite government. For too long, we’ve allowed economic pirates to control our vital resources. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty are the visible consequences. Providentially, the COVID-19 virus exposes the systemic racism, sexism and classism still festering in our society.

Regrettably, corporate media, handmaidens to privileged masters, have only polarized any equitable solutions.

Fortunately, this election gives us the opportunity to catch our collected breath and with courage reclaim our power. We begin by atoning for subdividing citizens into fictional hierarchy of races. The guilt and shame for living off the fruits of another’s labor have only weakened our constitutional resolve. We are strong when the strength in our diverse unity is honored.

Now is the time to be united in purpose by actively respecting the unalienable rights of all citizens. Now is the time to educate ourselves on climate change and be responsible for reducing viral contamination. Our noble cause, to be “a more perfect union,” is a vote for America’s great awakening.

- Gloria Cooper, Mount Shasta

Where have all the signs gone? 

It’s too bad some people think the only way to further their cause is to sabotage their opposition. I’ve seen noticeable numbers of “Yes on Measure L” signs vanishing over the past weeks and have heard several reports of people’s yard signs suddenly going missing. After carefully reading through Measure L, I don’t see what’s so threatening about it. It’s seems like a fair compromise between the city who wishes to open the doors even further to the cannabis industry and the residents who don’t want to see more of this controversial, high potency THC industry in our small town. 

Measure L keeps all 20 existing licenses intact, ensuring those jobs and the city’s industry tax revenues, but puts and end to adding more licenses to what is already the highest number of industrial cannabis licenses per capita in the state. The city retains control of issuing a new license if a business is sold. The measure protects sensitive use buffer zones from the potential of being reduced in the future. Measure L also puts the democratic process in action by giving people the power to decide on any proposed changes to the local cannabis regulations. 

We have a strong, family friendly, outdoor recreation and spiritual tourism industry and I personally would not want to see that diminish if more of the cannabis industry were allowed to operate here. Twenty licenses are more than plenty for Mount Shasta and that’s why I’m voting yes on Measure L.

- Touson Saryon, Mount Shasta

Prop. 15 supports schools

Opponents of Proposition 15 have a tough job. They have to convince Californians to vote against a measure that requires the state’s largest corporations to start paying their fair share in property taxes, a measure that will raise between $8 to $11.5 billion a year for public schools and local governments. A measure that makes no change to existing property tax protections for homeowners, small businesses, farmers and ranchers.

Passage of Proposition 15 will raise a much-needed $5 million per year right here in Siskiyou County for our public schools and local governments.

Out of desperation, Proposition 15 opponents are making statements like this: “Supporters of Prop. 15 admit they’ll go after Prop. 13 protections for homes next--meaning skyrocketing taxes for all homeowners!”

Nonsense. No one in his right mind thinks property tax protections for homeowners can or should be removed. That idea is DOA, no matter what your political party.

Proposition 15 opponents apparently believe this state’s voters are gullible and stupid. We’re going to prove them wrong on November 3, to the benefit of our public schools and local governments.

Tim Holt, Dunsmuir

Support your paper

Dear Mount Shasta Herald Team, 

Thanks to each of you for the hard work that results in the Mt. Shasta Herald arriving in our P.O. box each Wednesday like clockwork.  I want you to know that I no longer take you for granted!   

The motivation for this letter of appreciation was inspired by a 95-page book I just read: “Ghosting the News,” by Margaret Sullivan.  The author is known as “perhaps the smartest and most thoughtful person writing about American media today.”  

The purpose of her book is to make a factual case that democracy suffers when local news dies and she starts the story by reminding us that from 2004 to 2015, 1,800 print newspaper outlets closed in the U.S. She includes the following findings from a major PEN America study issued in 2019: “With the loss of local news, citizens are less likely to vote, less politically informed, and less likely to run for office. Democracy, in other words, loses its foundation.” 

The more I read, the more I realized that I instinctively believe I will learn the details of a fire, a candidate’s background or the latest summary of a Supervisors meeting every Wednesday. For the 22 years we’ve lived here – that’s how it’s been. To learn that the Herald, like other local papers face an uncertain future felt jarring.   

So, what can I do? Make sure that I subscribe to the Herald and ask our friends to do the same.  And I hope you, the reader of this letter, will too. I also recommend reading Margaret Sullivan’s book, especially the case-by-case stories of newspapers that failed and should not have! In summary, I believe that the least we can do is be part of maintaining a vital piece of democracy in our community by supporting our very own local newspaper. 

- Michael M. Wirth, Mount Shasta

LaMalfa and Trump

LaMalfa and the Republican party have put cronyism and personal  greed above the interests of average Americans.

They have squandered our national reputation and decades of deeds of good well earned on the battlefields and decades of American generosity and leadership that has benefitted the world and our own security. Of course, their list of misdeeds is abhorrent  and long, to say the least. With LaMalfa’s and Republicans’ unwavering support, Trump and the Republicans have sold Americans “down the river.”

LaMalfa and the Republicans say nothing of Trump’s misdeeds and propensity for authoritarian rule. As cowards, in their presumed self-interest, they lick Trump’s boots. Case-in point, COVID-19: more than 225,000 Americans have died since late February 2020. In these 234 days 961 Americans on average died each day. That astounding number – to provide you with another way to evaluate this tragedy – the terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 took 3,000 lives. Through Trump’s and Republican leadership we are seeing the equivalent of a 9/11 every three days. Why are LaMalfa and the Republican party so quiet, so compliant? Who are the “terrorists?”

And why did the Republican leadership turn my father’s party into a party of traitors and cowards?

- Bruce Montgomery, Weed

A clear choice

Of all the ways the Trump administration and his Republican enablers have committed crimes against the American people, the admission today that they do not intend to try to control this pandemic is, in itself, simply staggering! There is no greater failure to the American public than to stand back and watch a quarter of a million people die as necessary collateral damage to preserve the power of a political party. Then they claim themselves helpless to do anything to stop the spread. The pandemic has made the President look bad in numbers, so the strategy has been to ignore it. 

COVID has free range on all of us without an organized national response. Republicans have ridden the power train with Trump in charge. All who dared not oppose him are complicit in his historic misuse of the Office of President of the United States. Senate Republicans have assisted in weakening our government checks and balances to hand power over to an autocratic, sociopathic liar out for personal gain. 

Vote Democrat to remove unconscionable servants to power and save the integrity of our American Democracy.

- Gail Domanski, Mount Shasta

The Bible

The Bible has many solid promises. A great hope is the promise from Second Chronicles 7:14, that emphatically states, “If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”

We, in this United States of America, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, find our great country in tumultuous times, with unity splintering.

The Bible says that the only way we can be united is through Christ. The only way we can be saved is through Jesus (John 14:6).

If Jesus can save a wretch like me, God can also use an ass to speak his Truth (Numbers 22:28 of the Bible).

We, and this world, have reached the point where Jesus is about to come back, as prophesied. Biblical prophesies have been fulfilled to absolute, mathematical precision, Bible scholars have proven.

Without Jesus’ saving grace, we will be judged and go to hell for eternity.  This is the truth, not because I say so, but because it is promised in the Bible (Luke 12:5).

To be saved we simply, humbly, and sincerely need to pray this:

Lord Jesus,

I believe that You died on the cross for my sins, rose again from the dead and ascended into Heaven to make a place for me for eternity. I confess I am a sinner and I ask that You forgive me and from this day forward, I give You control of my life. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Lord, make me the person that You designed me to be.   In Jesus name, Amen.

In love, I pray God’s mighty blessings on you, the U.S.A, and the world!  

- Dale Nova, Mount Shasta

Vote for sanity 

Donald Trump didn’t “listen” to California when he authorized money to be released to Siskiyou County fire victims. He made our representatives grovel and kiss his rear-end for money that California, like any other state in the Union, has a right to for help with disasters. California pays the highest federal income tax in the Union so that money that Trump released was ours to begin with. Trump doesn’t care about “lil old Siskiyou County” – he is a narcissist who requires total subservience. I don’t envy Ray Haupt having to walk that tightrope. In any event, thanks for going to bat for us, Ray.

Vote for sanity. Vote blue.

- Madeleine and Jim Ayres, Etna


Vote? Why bother?

The chances of my vote making a difference are worse than my odds of winning at Paintball. Or was that Powerball? Well, you get the idea. 

Sure, wars have been fought for almost three hundred years so I would have the right to vote, but that’s old news, old history. 

And yeah, I’ve heard all about voter apathy ... but the 2016 presidential voter turnout was almost 60% of the population, and that’s more than half. 

So what’s the point of me making the effort to vote?

I don’t have a black or blue pen and pencil doesn’t count, so even if I wanted to make the effort, I’d have to go buy something.

Plus I’d have to read and follow instructions, and that’s just too much like being back in school. Boring.

So, again, why should I bother to vote?

Really, why bother? 

Though I guess my stupid nephew has a point. He says he’s voting because he’ll feel better about himself if he does something to determine who the next president is.

And he does have a point, I guess. Plus he did give me his favorite black ink pen.

So who knows, maybe I will vote. I guess my vote could matter. 

- Eve Thompson, Mount Shasta

Getting smarter

There is no longer any controversy (nor was there every any) over human-caused greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change. The rush is on to transition away from fossil fuels these days and the payoffs are huge on many levels – from personal health to the planetary healing of our biosphere.

Until recently, our nation has been led astray on the issue of global warming by politicians and the wealthy oil industry barons who employ them. Behind the political deception was an underlying ignorance and denial of climate science. Capitalist greed also played a major part, and the fossil fuel industry gave us PR lies and deceitful advertising, foiling many people in our country for years while urgent change has been desperately needed all along.

Now we are dealing with catastrophic weather patterns in the state of California (and elsewhere) that are giving us a serious taste of the “existential threat” that climate scientists have been warning about for so long.

I have been following the climate science for over 30 years and you may have seen some of my letters to the editor about this very issue.

We will rebuild after the fires, and hopefully we are getting smarter about energy issues these days.

- Randolph Bofinger, Mount Shasta