Regarding your cover story (February), "Children of divorce: Who speaks for them?":
I have been an attorney since 1972, practicing in Humboldt County since 1974. During that time I have handled a substantial number of cases which involved custody and visitation of minor children.
It has been my observation that since the establishment of the Guardian Ad Litem's office in Humboldt County the number of cases involving those issues being resolved short of trial has increased dramatically. Since judicial resources are scarce, resolution of cases is a necessity.
More importantly, from the standpoint of the children involved, I think that more times than not parents who have agreed to custody and visitation are more likely to cooperate with each other in raising their child or children, and not to subtly or otherwise undermine the role of the other parent.
Since I am an advocate I have not always agreed with the resolution achieved between the parties with the assistance of the Guardian Ad Litem nor with the Guardian Ad Litem's recommendations to the court in cases in which no resolution was achieved. I believe that their office is neutral; that is, I do not believe they favor one party or the other nor one gender or the other and that their concern is always first and foremost the welfare of the child or children. If they make errors of judgment, and I am sure they do occasionally, it is because they have too many cases to handle and not enough staff to do so, and not because of any preconceived bias.
Their office serves a valuable function which benefits everyone -- judges, lawyers, parents, and, most importantly, children.
John C. Davis, Eureka
"Children of divorce" makes a great starting place for an investigation into why we even have children in our community who are exposed to situations " ...where sexual abuse, drug abuse or mental illness are alleged."
And why is it being dealt with in family court proceedings instead of sooner? And why is the service provided by the Center for Child Advocacy not getting enough resources to provide the necessary help to these children and their families?
Several years ago, after providing foster care, I started asking these questions and others. My conclusion is the general public does not know or understand the horror that is visited upon our children....
Tom Rector, Eureka
The article, "A matter of attitude" by Ron Ross (January), certainly expressed my feelings completely. I was so impressed that I will make copies to share with family, friends and neighbors.
I might add that I do feel that doomsayers seem to have a tendency to thrive on the skepticism that they arouse in others. Misery loves company!
Thank goodness many of us prefer, "Let a smile be our umbrella!"
Claudia Oliver, Eureka
Regarding Dr. Jay Davis' article, "Marijuana sanity" (December 1996):
It was refreshing to see opinions of sanity being expressed publicly at last. The hysteria of the Drug War needs to abate and normal perspective restored. It's been the biggest social disaster since Prohibition. The long, honorable history of the cannabis plant as a useful plant needs to be known.
C. Ellis, Garberville
After reading "Man's best friend?" by George Ringwald (February), I thought your readers would like to know about my friend and his dog.
Brian is a 37-year-old Eureka homeowner who is paralyzed from the waist down and blind. His only companion, Reddog (a.k.a. Lucky), is a mangy old, deaf, blind, castrated, worn-toothed, three-legged golden retriever suffering from inoperative bone cancer who wouldn't bite anything that wasn't served in a fast-food wrapper or pizza box. He is well known and liked in the neighborhood and kids often visit bearing gifts.
The U.S. Postal Service refuses to deliver mail to the address, citing Reddog as uncontrollable and vicious (?) and is demanding a certificate of death be presented before resuming delivery.
Perhaps the letter carrier has mistaken Red for one of the many dogs roaming the streets or resents the volume of mail she has to carry. This interruption causes great hardship for Brian who is forced to retrieve his mail from a post office box.
Moreover, his property is fully enclosed by a 6-foot redwood fence with the mailbox mounted on the outside of it. The carrier continues to walk past the house each business day!
Mark Stewart, McKinleyville