Letters to the Editor: Nov. 25, 2020

Mount Shasta Herald
Letter to the editor

Small kindnesses

I write to thank the local businesses and facilities who are keeping us safe by requiring masks and physical distancing. I include only those I've had first-hand experience with. Undoubtedly there are others who deserve equal recognition:

Mount Shasta: Berryvale Grocery; Mountain Valleys Health Center; Seven Suns Coffee & Cafe; Directions; Beth's Place. Dunsmuir: Dollar General; Dunsmuir Super Market (Thriftway); La Perla; The Haven Cafe; Wonderland Music; Dunsmuir Health Care Clinic. McCloud: Harvest Restaurant; Meat Market Grill; McCloud Health Care Clinic. Yreka: Fairchild Medical Center. Castella: Ammirati's Market and the Castella Post Office. Thank you all!

Special thanks to those serving in the military who routinely miss important life events as well as holidays. Let us honor their example as we give up our own holiday gatherings this year.

I close with this beautiful poem: 

Small Kindnesses

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk

down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs

to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”

when someone sneezes, a leftover

from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons

from your grocery bag, someone else will help you

pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,

and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile

at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress

to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,

and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.

We have so little of each other, now. So far

from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.

What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these

fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,

have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

– by Danusha Laméris

– Paula Amen-Judah Schmitt, Castella

Duck duck goose

This is the time of year when you walk outside and you look up because you hear something off into the distance, it’s a honking sound but you’re deep in the canyon at dawn looking up at the sky and you can’t quite make it out. 

Yea, you can see it now, it’s a flock of geese with an arrow pointing South and you think to yourself, “last chance to get out of here sucker, pee brains - hardly.” There’s a leader of the geese, I wonder if they have an election? Makes you wonder if there’s geese corruption involved? I always ponder the thoughts of geese tagging their political rivals campaign signs at low flying elevations. Do geese look different to each other because I don’t know how the voters would know whose who? Do geese fly upside down over their constituents, I’m guessing they wouldn’t want to soil the home team. Now do different geese in different states have electoral colleges, Must be out on some golf course. Does the head Gaucho Goose give a State of the Union Address, I’m pretty sure that would be out on the West Wing. When they finally arrive in Mexico, does anyone speak Spanish in the flock? Who’s the leader in Mexico, I wonder if they hold elections again for the flight back, I mean who died and left you king! If I was a goose, I think I would try for endorsements and wear someone’s logo for the journey, it might pay eventually and they could fly the friendly skies in 1st class. I wonder to a flock of geese if that would be considered cheating?


– Jack Trout, Mount Shasta

We’ll fix you a plate

This next week, some of us will celebrate our nation’s discovery and founding with a meal shared. Some of us will travel to be with friends and family for this celebration. But its not just to celebrate America. We also reconnect with loved ones.Take time for ourselves. Laugh and love on one of the few days that do matter to Americans.

 Of late, some folks have taken to berating America and what it stands for. Not just here, but around the globe. Still, there are those who would risk life and limb to get to, America, Facing any threat any danger to become American. These folks too, have something special to celebrate and remember.

 Is that to be taken away because some few, think differently? The minority of the cancel culture, wants Americans to be some kind of robot. To do as told and not question the authority they bestow upon themselves.

 Some 400 years ago. A few brave souls ventured to a new land. After learning some hard lessons, and wanting to thank those who helped and them. These Pilgrims thought to form a new nation with a government built FOR the people. Not the subjects of some tyrannical entity bent on running every aspect of their lives. A nation born of inspiration, freedom,  capitalism, and law. 

 In other words, free to live your lives as you see fit. To create your own lot in life. Now we have one of those who would be our “ruler.” as governor of the state. Denying us our celebrations.

 So I say this. We will have family and friends coming for our celebration.  Strangers are just as welcome. And if you come in the line of duty. We will fix you too a plate at the table. 

Rejoice in America. For some wish to take that away.

– Mark Goodman, Grenada

Ensure museum’s future 

After 40 years of ideas, change and challenges, our museum has flourished. Our founders had a vision. From the start they showed imagination and grit.

Those characteristics continue in our volunteers.

Each new opening, new exhibit and staff change has created challenges that were soundly met.

The challenge in 2020 is different than any of us have ever experienced.

At the end of March, every business like ours was closed due to COVID-19.

Our museum store, new displays and new exhibit, “Water: Shasta's Liquid Gold” are still not available to the public.

Despite this challenge, we continue to work behind the scenes to bring you the best, most current version of our community museum. We continue to share the stories of our area through social media and emails.  To receive them, contact the museum by email at:  museum@mtshastamuseum.com.  Or find these stories on our Facebook page “Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum.”

Together, we can meet this new challenge!  Please help ensure our museum's future. Donate on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1. www.northstategives.org

– Executive Director Jean Nels, Store Manager Linda Siegel, Docent Volunteer Wanda Welbourn

Help us help others

Saint Vincent dePaul Society from Holy Family Catholic Church in Weed assists everyone in need whether Catholic or not and we have had numerous requests for assistance. 

We often have requests for high priced assistance like rent, deposits, utilities, emergency shelter and such. Our funding is provided by generous parishioners who donate in months that have a fifth Sunday. 

This is the sixth “5th Sunday” we have missed due to the coronavirus and our operating funds are depleted. If you have the means, please donate whatever you can to St. Vincent dePaul Society,  P.O. Box 493, Weed, CA. 96094. 

Bless you and stay safe.  

– Brendan Butler, Past president, SVdP Society, Weed Conference

Support WATER

This year North State Giving Tuesday will be on Dec. 1. In this time of climate change, wildfires, economic recession and pandemic there are so many people and communities in need of our help and assistance. Many of the nonprofits in this year’s North State Giving Tuesday are on the front lines of these efforts. Please give to as many and as much as you can to the organizations you feel represent your values.

Because our work is ultimately focused on correcting the rift between humanity and nature that has led to the many disasters society currently faces, please consider including We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER) in your Giving Tuesday donations.

We are working on many environmental issues in our area:

• Groundwater and air quality monitoring around the Crystal Geyser plant;

• Mounting a legal challenge to the flawed Crystal Geyser EIR (now headed to state appellate court); 

• Advocating for the undergrounding of the new power lines along Old Stage Rd. to reduce fire dangers;

• Fundraising for a water refill station in Parker plaza to reduce single use plastic bottle use;

• Approaching local merchants with a program to reduce plastic usage;

• Working with other groups and individuals in Weed and McCloud on corporate water grabs in their communities;

• Participating in the environmental reviews and providing comments on several misguided projects and timber harvests;

• Working to oppose the Shasta Dam raise project which will submerge much of the ancestral land of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.

More information can be found at www.cawater.net

As an all-volunteer organization, support from the community is necessary to advocate for these issues and keep the larger Mt. Shasta area safe from projects that may do harm to people and the environment we all rely on. 

Thank you for your consideration in donating to WATER, www.northstategives.org/cawater

– Bruce Hillman, WATER Treasurer, Mount Shasta

Farmers Market says thanks 

Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market is a labor of love for many, and that love paid big dividends during a 2020 market season that was like no other.

A mountain-size thank you to all who played a role in a successful season. MSFM is proud that we were able to distribute more fresh fruits and vegetables to CalFresh shoppers than ever before through the Market Match program.

We thank and commend our vendors, customers and volunteers for your great patience and respect for the market’s COVID-19 protocols. An average of more than 500 customers shopped each Monday afternoon of the season with no known coronavirus transmissions.  

Thanks to Judith Gabriel for coordinating a dedicated group of Market volunteers, whose assistance was essential.

Thanks to Bill Ramshaw and ACE Hardware, and thanks to Crystal Keepers for allowing MSFM to use their facilities for the vendor restroom and wastewater disposal.

Thanks to the City of Mt. Shasta Public Works Department for their help with street closures and the City of Mt. Shasta for supporting the Market by granting a Special Event Permit.

Thanks to the Ecology Center in Berkeley and The Community Foundation of the North State for Market Match support.

Thanks to market assistant Sam Shelly for his excellent work setting up and taking down the market each Monday, working the entrance/exits, and ensuring Market protocols were followed. Thanks to Montana Lahey and Colleen Shelly for distributing and recording EBT, Market Match and WIC transactions.

Thanks to some generous “angels” who blessed the Market by contributing funds directly to vendors and volunteers, to a popular children’s voucher program, and a gift certificate program.

Thanks to our volunteer roving musicians.

JEDI, the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market host organization since 2015, looks forward to many pandemic-free future years of being part of an essential service that connects customers directly to farmers.

– Steve Gerace, MSFM market manager

What it means 

The 2016 Trump voters can be forgiven for not paying attention to his lying and racist comments, but not in 2020. These 73,703,919 (47.2%) Trump voters need to ask themselves two questions: Do I believe in truth and am I a racist? 

Since Trump became President, he has made 22,247 false or misleading statements (washingtonpost.com, 10/22/2020). That is an average of 50 lies or false claims/day. Fact: Trump is a pathological liar.

Trump has a long history of racism starting in the 1970s. Trump has repeatedly made racist comments at his rallies and tweets (vox.com, 8/13/2020). He has repeatedly retweeted tweets from white supremacists. Racism is a component of Trump’s character and personality. Fact: Trump is a racist.

Voting for Trump has made you an accomplice to his lies and racism. His lies and racism have become part of you that now defines who and what you are. These voters have said that lying and racism are ok. 

Lying and racism are pure evil that is destroying our democracy and nation. Trump voters just put the burning match to our Constitution. They currently represent 47.2% of our nation. This tells me that we are still the divided nation that President Lincoln presided over.  Our democracy requires a belief in truth and total equality for all our people. It’s obvious to me that Trump and his supporters don’t believe this.

Trump’s goal is to further undermine our democracy. His voter fraud lies have convinced 77% of his supporters that Biden stole the election (Monmouth Univ. 11/18/2020 poll). Trump’s current actions are trying to steal the election. When he fails at this, he will undermine Biden’s presidency for the next four years by sowing more lies, fear and hate so he can regain his presidency in 2024.

– Tom Laurent, Yreka

Let the water flow

I was raised in Siskiyou County and consider it to be my home when I am not in school. At CSU Chico, I am majoring in Plant Biology. I as well as many other locals share concerns about the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC)’s dam removal. 

The project is not limited to dam removal; KRRC will oversee the renewal and revitalization of biodiversity along the Klamath River. The Klamath River is home for a lot of folks, and how it is treated plays a huge role in each of our lives. 

One project concern is landscape damage. Dam removal is an ecological disturbance, however, KRRC is not draining the reservoirs and abandoning the area. KRRC plans to restore as much of the land as the landscape allows. 

Efforts will be invested in bank stabilization. Left untouched, unnatural sediment traversal would discourage animal life from settling. This includes the placement of large wood structures to buffer the shoreline and encourage vegetation growth. Added vegetation rooting and anchoring will stabilize the soils.

 Revegetation is an important aspect of the Klamath River Renewal project. Seeding and vegetative maintenance plays a key role in the life of the river. Each area requires a specific seed and plant mix.

 The restoration contractor, RES, encourages getting out into the landscape. Stepping foot into nature can promote physical health, and it can also create an understanding about the interconnected lifeways between the water, the plants, the animals, and us. Knowledge is key to fostering a symbiosis with the Klamath.

Siskiyou County is a place of natural wonders right outside our doorstep. Though I had concerns about drastic change due to the dam removal, I am glad to hear that KRRC is working diligently to create a stable ecosystem. Let the water flow once more!

– Jasmine Permenter, CSU Chico Undergraduate Majoring in Plant Biology