Letters to the Editor April 25, 2018: The good, the bad and the wtfugly unfolding right before your eyes

What have you told the grandkids?

What are a few plaques, statues, a fountain, that represent the history of Arcata?

They apparently mean nothing! Years ago my great-grandparents Andersons and Partons settled here with other pioneers to create a town. The Andersons gave Van Matre 75 percent of the land for Humboldt State College to be built on, it was known as the Harpst Anderson Addition. The Anderson House sits proudly with its pioneer plaque on the HSU Campus House 73.

Thomas Parton helped start the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department.

Other members of the family the Downings, Bucks, Kellens, Larsens, Jacksons, Johnsons, Davi, Hills, Howers, Fosbury, established business in Arcata and Eureka.

Some of them had ranches in Alliance, Blue Lake and the Arcata Bottom.

My Great-Great-Uncle James Baird Hill had the Creamer Number 1 of the United Creameries Company. They worked in the mines, they were whalers, they worked for the railroad and at the barrel factory. They helped the community and their neighbors. My grandparents Fred and Alberta Parton’s first home that Harry and Fred Parton built by college, they were kicked out and then the college rented out their home,then HSU burned it down to expand the HSU campus; that is what they did back then.

In 2002 I asked [former Arcata Parks Superintendent] Dan Diemer what happened to the large bronze plaque that was at the entrance to the ball field in Arcata, it has the names of the 100 pioneers who built it for the community.

He did not know nor did his wife Karen, but they told me the city had paid $5 million dollars trying to get rid of the water, on the baseball field. If they had asked around or known from history my grandparents Fred and Alberta Parton had told me, it was built on a marsh. Arcata has put more money into it about $8 million to assure no more water was found on the ball field and it is fixed and so was Arcata’s budget.

Elmer Vinum was the Parks and Recreation Supervisor in the ’60s and ’70s. He was also the only fix-it man for the City of Arcata. A volunteer firefighter, he maintained the Plaza mowing the grass and doing the landscaping. He did what ever was needed for the town and his neighbors. The Plaza had a plague dedicating the Plaza to him.

The day he died the city jackhammered his plaque out of the concrete on the Arcata Plaza.

Vinum Park sits on my grandparent Parton’s and Vinumn ‘s property on F Street, the city has not torn that down yet.

The City of Arcata has big decisions to make, more important matters need to be addressed,opioid abuse, homelessness,jobs, the VFW has great needs, the roads. Why continue to argue about a statue and a drinking fountain ?

Spend your money wisely,it does not grow on trees and it is harder to get.

History shows the pioneers were attacked by the Indians, the Indian’s land was invaded. The Indians drove the settlers out of Bald Hills and Orick The pioneers drove the Indians out of Humboldt by attacking them at their water’s edge fishing grounds.

This is America. Let’s all accept each other as equals coming from other places and those who were here first also. But no group should have more rights that any other.

Americans, who will judge that ? History does.

Thane Parton
Las Vegas

Doom with a view

We go to a hospital to get aid and support with a medical condition and a healthful, clean environment, staff who are helpful and supportive and food that is healthful are, it would seem to me, to be the bottom line of what one should expect from a hospital. St. Joseph Hospital is far from that bottom line.

My story: Operating room: anesthesiologist jabs a needle at my back over and over again, unable to insert it while I lie in fear. A man comes along, takes needle from her and sticks it in. Later I wake unable to move a muscle or speak for 2 ½ terrifying hours. I get moved to my room and told I’m lucky to get a window room. I wake next morn and look out my window at a dull beige wall. Lucky me.

Anesthesiologist comes to see me and I tell her about my 2 ½ hours and she looks bored and says that the bed they had put me in was terrible. I tell her no bed caused what happened to me and she says, “Oh” and turns and walks out.

A man comes in who says he is the Chief of Surgical Services, Dr. Parks, and sits down to talk with me. I tell him he needs to let a muralist loose on the bland wall and put planters on the top of the wall with plants growing down the wall because color and visual stimuli are important to a recovering person. On his way out he stops and gives me his card which I foolishly thought meant he wished to speak more.

I am given opioids although I have tried to explain that I don’t do well on them. One doesn’t work so a new one is tried and then another. I feel sicker and sicker and can’t eat. Two days later I wake up and vomit and vomit although I’ve barely eaten. I say no more opioids. The vomit splattered top blankets get replaced but the ones under me are still there when I check out after five days. My bed never got changed. Nothing in my room got cleaned.

I ask repeatedly if someone can help me sponge bathe and brush my teeth but no one comes. Volunteers bring a thin, hot washcloth every day and that’s all I have to wash my face and hands.

On night three I ring for the nurse at 6 p.m. It’s shift change time so day and night nurse arrive. I say my catheter is leaking. The night nurse runs to the sink, wets a wash cloth and pours a huge amount of soap on it, heads back to me and grabs my glasses and yanks them off and I, in shock, ask what she’s doing. She says, “I’m going to wash your face.” I, in shock, say, “No you’re not” and take my glasses. Wash my face? Was I in Wonderland with Alice? My catheter is removed and a fresh paper throw is put under me.

By day four I finally made my way to the bathroom with a walker and washed myself a little and brushed my teeth.

The food is abominable. It’s factory, mass made, unhealthy and cheap. When I got a sandwich and said I’d asked for whole wheat I was told that’s what I had. All the bread products were doughy, cheap commercial products.

When I checked out I left with a cough that has lasted for weeks. The paper work given me to get items I needed from Broadway Medical was incorrect so I didn’t get what I needed and the store closed for the weekend.

Days after I checked out the nurses demonstrated in front of the hospital saying they were unable to care for their patients. They need aids, they need help. The nurses are run ragged.

I wrote to Dr, Parks about my stay and he did not answer my email. I received a cutesey card from the surgical team with nurse signatures that was obviously meant to make nice to an unhappy customer. After what I went through cutsey doesn’t cut it.

I never want anyone to go through my experience in that hospital. I hope no one ever has to have their back jabbed by an inept doctor. I lost six pounds; it’s taken me weeks to recover. I want to see solid proof of change. I want to see a community demanding change because our lives depend on it.

Sylvia DeRooy
Indianola or Eureka

Stewarding salmonids

On Saturday April 7, Watershed Stewards program members, community volunteers and park staff gathered for a restoration event in celebration of Redwood National Park’s 50th Anniversary!

Volunteers removed eight truckloads of invasive plants from the Elk Meadow Picnic Area, and over 100 native shrubs and trees were planted on site.

Over 70 volunteers were in attendance, in addition to a herd of resident Roosevelt Elk. A huge thank you is extended to the businesses that donated supplies to help make this event possible.

To the Loleta Cheese Factory, Los Bagels, Westside Pizza, the North Coast Co-op, Eureka Natural Foods, the Tofu Shop, the National Park Service, the Redwood Parks Conservancy, Samara Restoration, the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Kellogg Garden Products and Humboldt State University: we acknowledge and appreciate your commitment to making a difference in the local community, and improving habitat for salmonids.

Ashley Woodford, Matthew Morassutti
Watershed Stewards Program members
South Operations Center, Orick

Make change with Madrone

I am writing to encourage your readers to support Steve Madrone in the upcoming election for the Board of Supervisors. The current 4:1 majority on the Board of Supervisors has produced disappointing results, to say the least. It is definitely “Time for a Change.”

Steve will help change and balance those County plans and policies that have resulted in boom/bust business cycles, unemployment and resource depletion. Steve’s background in environmental stewardship (watershed restoration), infrastructure development (Hammond Trail), teaching at HSU (fisheries) and raising a big family has taught him to take the long-view on issues that affect us all and how to facilitate complicated processes that involve many different viewpoints.

I have known Steve and his wife for over 40 years. I have worked with him on numerous projects and have great confidence in his ability to get things done. I’m voting for Steve Madrone; Fifth District, Board of Supervisors, June 5. You should too.

Steve Salzman, P.E.
McKinleyville

It’s the zoning

Mercer Fraser’s permit for a cannabis extraction plant on the Mad River is not dead.  It can come back to life any time the political climate is right and the Board of Supervisors chooses to rezone the land from Agriculture to Industrial.

Despite possible pollution of our drinking water, the updated General Plan’s land use designations allow that kind of project in a place that is expected to flood  once every 100 years. Can we really know this?  We do know that flooding already topped that mark in 1964, and that sea level rise and extreme weather events will continue to worsen, making that mark less and less reliable.

Zoning changes are supposed to plan for the future, not lock in uses of the past.  But this Board of Supervisors, rationalizing that the riverbank next to our municipal water intake has been in non-compliant industrial use for generations already, want to bring it into compliance by changing the zoning.

The next elections could change the 4-1 voting block on this Board of Supervisors responsible for this and other rollbacks of environmental protections in our county General Plan.

Let’s vote to rebalance the Board, and improve our chances for keeping the floodplain in Agricultural zoning and having clean water and healthy watersheds.

Joyce King
McKinleyville

Keep the eucalypti

I just want to give Scott Baker a thank you.  I was not aware that more Eucalyptus trees were targeted for removal and would also be very sorry to see them go. I always felt they added a bit of majesty and serenity to the 101 and was very disappointed when they removed a bunch years ago. If Caltrans already explained their plan and rationale perhaps the editor can re-print it?  Thank you.

Rita Carole
McKinleyville






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