Letters, Feb. 8
To all Spanish-speakers who wondered (as did I) about the spelling of the “Almeda” fire, Kira Lesley, archivist of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, kindly came to the rescue. It seems that there was an early townsperson here whose name was Abel Helman, and he had a daughter named “Almeda.” As to the derivation of her name, that’s a mystery, although I would wager it was a misspelling of the Spanish word for a tree-lined street, “Alameda.”
I am weary of media calling Trump supporters “Trumpists” and their movement “Trumpism.” Most people referred to as Trumpists actually call themselves Republicans. Shouldn’t these Republicans be called “Trumplicans,” leaving Republicans to continue as a party with a conservative platform and the Trumplicans as a personality cult?
Better than the old ‘normal’
We failed to heed warnings of a possible pandemic from the World Health Organization. We mismanaged our response to the tune of millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. When offered salvation by rapidly developed vaccines, a significant percentage of us refused to be vaccinated. Assuming as a society we survive this pandemic without totally collapsing, we should not return to the old normal. COVID-19 has shown a merciless light on our society. Our pre-pandemic society was racist, our medical care flawed and uneven, our education system offered unequal opportunities, our service workers were enslaved by low wages, our politicians were caught up in self-centered campaigns instead of working for the common good, our institutions were under attack by hate groups spurred on by leaders spewing misinformation and enmity, and our government was restrained by a bloated military budget.
Why would anyone want to go back to the old normal? Can’t we do better? The world is watching. Let’s acknowledge the flaws in our country and work at the local and national level to forge a new normal.