Letters to the editor June 16, 2010
Public libraries are at the heart of any community’s identity and culture. They serve as indicators of a community’s health as well as its hope for the future.
In Dunsmuir, our public library has long been at the center of community life. Every echelon of Dunsmuir utilizes our beloved library; young and old, rich and poor alike meet to discover a world of literature, surf the internet, or perform research.
Given the current global economic environment, all levels of government are experiencing financial difficulties. The city of Dunsmuir is indeed fortunate to have a proposed 2010-2011 balanced budget, but this is an unusual circumstance today.
California has its budgetary problems, as does the County of Siskiyou. However, we have trouble understanding the rationale the county has used to mitigate its budget deficit by reallocating library funds to just four branch locations.
The county library reduction plan calls for leaving four branch locations in operation while closing the rest; Dunsmuir’s library is on the closure list.
It occurs to us that a better plan to consider would include the reduction of hours of operation for all branch libraries instead of closing any library. The county stresses we are a partnership, and we are all “in this together.”
With our approach, the county library system would remain intact in anticipation of an economic recovery. Our notion of shared suffering is certainly preferable to the county plan which will produce winners and losers.
Once a branch library is closed and the books and equipment are removed, little chance exists for its reopening given the higher costs involved in purchasing everything new.
We the people of Dunsmuir cherish our library, and we are unwilling to become a community without our heart – our library.
We believe creative solutions must be found to resolve this issue for the future of Dunsmuir.
Peter Arth, mayor; Jim Lindley, city manager, Dunsmuir
Ban pit bulls
A week or two ago I read a letter from a Dunsmuir resident who said she was afraid to walk her dog in Dunsmuir because there were so many dangerous pit bulls wandering around. She said she had to travel to Mount Shasta to walk her dog.
Well, that certainly must have changed today (June 8). My friend was walking her little dog in downtown Mount Shasta, on a leash, when he was attacked by a pit bull in the middle of the street, across from the Stage Door.
My friend had decided to cross the street when she saw the man sitting at an outside table cover the dog’s eyes and grip its collar.
The pit bull worked its way loose and jumped my friend’s dog, who is now spending the night at the Mt. Shasta Animal Hospital for observation. He may loose a leg, he may not make it at all. We won’t know for a couple of days.
I don’t know the fate of the pit bull, but I believe it should be put down. What if that had been a child walking with my friend instead of her dog? Why are these dogs allowed on city streets?
I support a statewide – no, nationwide – ban on breeding any more pit bulls. I’m sure under the right conditions the Staffordshire breed is a great dog, but the dogs that ordinary people are buying are like ticking time bombs.
If you feel you need to have one anyway, please keep it away from Mount Shasta!
Cynthia Henderson, Mount Shasta
So it goes, the obsolete engine of our modern civilization. Fossil fuel, with its high price, greed driven exploration for the windfall profits for a few who have been damming up innovation and alternative energy has fueled this ill fated, poorly orchestrated drilling and repair endeavor.
Meanwhile our earth, yes folks, she is not an object but the living benefactor of all life our life, is bleeding out and being tended to with half hearted triage, where any specialists who could possibly cap it with finesse and a large body of willing helpers are kept out.
Within our own waters no one can give a genuine assessment of the progress and relying on the padded equivocations of the BP crew, is far from comforting.
Yes, perhaps a side lesson here is to view our environment differently not as an object we can just take what we want from, but a living entity we can injure and in doing so kill a lot of fellow life forms that get no benefit from our oil but suffer the consequences of losing their lives from our capriciousness.
We are a diverse and interconnected ecosystem. We must protect our globe as carefully as we care for our bodies as if we don’t we all die.
It is hard in this situation to know what to do, knowing the damage is far worse than being reported, and that perhaps if we all focus of unearthing a rock inside the well that will be pushed into the well pipe from the inside and plug it. Just a thought. Our most important sustainer of life needs us to plug this leak.
Speak up and take action; we will be paying of this for a long time with the long term consequences created for other life forms and our planet.
Brian Wallenstein, Mount Shasta
Citizens of Dunsmuir are pulling together to make a change in their city government.
We have recall papers for Peter Arth and Mario Rubino circulating through the community and a Recall and Voter Registration Booth at Thriftway Foods Wednesday through Saturday, June 16-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Or call 235-2518 or 925-0905 and we’ll bring petitions to you.
Many are working together for the common goal of making Dunsmuir a better place to live, work and own a business.
We demand a new city council. We’re tired of letting our city continue to do business as they always have.
All levels of government throughout the US are making drastic cuts in spending, except the city of Dunsmuir. We’re spending $150,000 more a year for administration.
The city council is in the middle of a spending spree – $130,000 for a new snowplow/dump truck; no effort to freeze employee increases in both salaries or benefits; passing onerous increases in sewer/water rates to fund a five million dollar, 40 year loan, which will cost over 11 million to pay back – the list goes on.
The rate increases are far above what’s necessary for maintenance of our sewer and water systems. Excess monies taken from the citizens of Dunsmuir will go to pay for the bloated city government that we have.
The city council is making decisions that will adversely affect our community for years to come. We became complacent with our city government and fell asleep while they were making these decisions.
We must stand up for what’s right and let the city know what we want. We believe the citizens of Dunsmuir need to wake up and take back what’s ours.
We ask the great people of Dunsmuir to join us in the recall effort, which will give citizens of Dunsmuir a chance to elect an all new council in November!
Nick Mitchell, Dunsmuir
Keep library open
On behalf of the Friends of the Library, I would like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth during Railroad Days on Saturday to generously donate money and sign pledges to help save our library. Many people asked what else they could do to help.
What is most important is to contact the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors before they vote on library closures on June 22.
Please go to www.co.siskiyou.ca.us and click the link to the board of supervisors. Then write, phone, or most importantly, e-mail the five supervisors.
We must convince them that we want our library to remain open.
Lee Chan, Dunsmuir
Tough times we’re facing. Businesses closing, federal and state funding shrinking if not outright disappearing, budget crisis after budget crisis, winter in June – we all know the picture. Tough times force us to ask tough questions.
Particularly, what is essential to our well-being?
In the short run, closing the libraries seems like a good way to make ends meet. But in the long run? Even in the short run?
Libraries feed our hearts, our souls, our minds. They are our link to the past, or promise to the future. They are the bridge connecting us with every civilization that holds freedom and individuality dear.
We in Siskiyou County are a generous people. The newspaper provides weekly evidence of neighbor helping neighbor.
Right now our libraries need our help – let us be there for them as they have always been for us. If the libraries are essential to your life, take action!
Brian McDermott, County Administrator, 842-8005; Colleen Setzer, Clerk to the Board, 842-8084; District 1, Jim Cook, 459-0459; District 2, Ed Valenzuela, 926-1733; District 3, Michael Kobseff, 918-9128; District 4, Grace Bennett, 842-4037; District 5, Marcia Armstrong, 468-2824.
I do not envy our county leaders, as they must make hard decisions to solve our economic crisis. I know they will do their best, just as we, the people, will do our best to persuade them that keeping libraries open is part of the solution.
Yes, these are tough times. Yet even during our Great Depression, our forefathers and mothers fought to keep the libraries open. Hopefully, we will do the same.
Eve Thompson, Mount Shasta
Your Siskiyou County budget shortfall is not only here. Corvallis, Benton County, Ore. has parallel difficulties in a city of 53,000 with a state university.
Its guiding decision was to cut from service budgets the same amount of money. No service – not police, not fire, not library, not parks – was treated as “more important” or “not that important.” Equity prevailed.
There was no mention of closing any one service. All are equally cut back moneywise. What type of elimination was agreed to by director and staff of whatever public entity.
Siskiyou County Supervisors need to consider similar problem solving.
Marilyn Dilles, Dunsmuir