Letters to the Editor Part 3

1. 'Prime source' of information

Dear Editor,

I will miss the Humboldt Beacon. I started my subscription a year before I moved here many years ago because it was a prime source of local community information. It has continued to provide me and others with vital information that helps keep us connected to what is going on in the Eel River Valley. Franklin Stover has done an amazing job of keeping the paper relevant and informative. I am sad to see it go.

Donald Fregeau, Jr.


2. 'Just one more victim of our economic times'

Dear Editor,

I remember back some 40 years ago, the Humboldt Beacon, which was then owned and edited by Dwight O'Dell, was a Fortuna institution. O'Dell was a well respected newspaperman and he was very much involved in the daily life of Fortuna. I did not always agree with his opinion but respected his position because he always made very solid arguments. He pursued many different avenues as an advocate for Fortuna, from being President of the Highway 36 committee, which is still in existence today, to lobbying many politicians for one cause or another to benefit Fortuna.

Now with one final edition, I am honored that I can include some thoughts regarding the Humboldt Beacon which for me and many people like me, looked forward to reading about what was happening in our city. As everything eventually changes, we have lost many businesses which had been here for many years.

The demise of the Humboldt Beacon is just one more victim of our economic times, but for most of us who have known of the history of our newspaper it is a sad day indeed. I am also saddened for the loss of Franklin Stover who has been a good newspaper editor.

Mike Losey

Fortuna City Councilmember

3. Have subscribed since 1964

Dear Editor,

I was horrified to read the news that the Humboldt Beacon is ending. We have lived in Fortuna since 1964 and have always subscribed to the Beacon. It has been our source of community information. We see local advertising, learn about local events, and read obituaries that are not always in the Times-Standard.

From time to time you have had columns on folks just in the Eel River Valley. We get the news of what is happening in our local congregations and schools. It has been part of our lives for so long, I just can't believe that it is costing the owners that much to publish our weekly paper. It is too bad that decisions are made on economic terms only and not on service or need.

I volunteered to write up Fortuna City Council news when I could, just because I knew that Franklin Stover was stretched to the limit with a small budget and a huge job. I believe that we cannot be good citizens if we are not informed of what is happening in our community. I appreciate having the Times-Standard for county wide news, but it does not have the local flavor of our Beacon. We have lost a real hometown tradition and I think it is a tragedy. 110 years of publishing history is quite remarkable. I am so sorry it is ending.

Sylvia Jutila


4. Thanks for the 'wonderful support'

Dear Editor,

Just to let you know that I am extremely sorry about the loss of the Beacon and all you have done to help get the news out to this community. I have been a subscriber of this paper since moving here in 1957 and I will miss it. Thank you for the wonderful support.

Carol Kinser


5. Thanks to Beacon writers

It is with regret that we say goodbye to the Humboldt Beacon, a valuable resource to all of us here in the Eel River Valley. I would personally like to thank Franklin, Heather and Mary for the excellent job they have done for the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department. They have always been there to assist us with news stories and announcements, many times at last moments' notice, with reporting that has always proven to be accurate and informative.

I'm really not sure how we will stay in touch with our local community in the future. However, I am sure that it will be much more of a challenge; not only for us but also for the many other service organizations in the Valley that the Beacon has taken such good care of. Like most things in life, you really don't realize what an impact someone or something has on you until you no longer have it available to you. I'm sure the loss of the Humboldt Beacon will be hard on the entire Eel River Valley community.

Lon Winburn

Fire Chief

Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department

6. Feeling 'bummed'

Dear Editor,

I am so bummed to hear the Beacon is going out of business, what a sad state of affairs! I grew up with the Beacon and have enjoyed reading it over the years. The local coverage of all the little towns like Scotia and Rio Dell is not found much in our other newspaper the Times-Standard. Your coverage of local schools and music in our community has been incredible, being a local musician and educator I have really appreciated that.

It is so sad that we keep losing these local businesses. I know that a lot of people who grew up in the Eel River Valley and now live elsewhere have enjoyed reading the Beacon to keep in touch with what is going on in our area.

Thank-you for all your hard work trying to keep it going. I for one do not like change when it is not for the better, so this is another example of one of those changes.

Dana Christen

Scotia Elementary

music teacher

7. Paper loss is sign of the times

Dear Editor,

It will be a sad day for the Eel River Valley when the Humboldt Beacon stops publishing. Weekly newspapers used to be the primary news source for many small communities. They served a great purpose: presenting readers the truly local news and events of the week.

The Humboldt Beacon did this for more than a century and will be greatly missed. Sadly, it is a sign of the times over the U.S. because of the fierce competition from the wide array of competing media sources, including internet-based ones.

Before coming to College of the Redwoods to serve as the college's public relations and marketing director, I worked as a reporter for the Humboldt Beacon for a year. I covered local sports as well as writing news and feature stories.

Since coming to CR, I've appreciated The Beacon publishing so many of the college's press releases, photos and feature stories. Thank you Franklin Stover and previous editors for considering CR news valuable to the community.

I admired former Humboldt Beacon Publisher Patrick O'Dell's dedication to keeping the newspaper that his father had owned alive and thriving for many years. I thank him for giving me a position as a reporter at his family's newspaper. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Paul DeMark

College of the Redwoods


8. Arcata Eye publisher comments

Dear Editor,

It's extremely regrettable that Fortuna will no longer have an independent news-gathering agency. I enjoyed my year working at the Beacon following the demise of the Arcata Union.

Social media and blogs aren't going to fill the gap. In the long run, the community will be the worse for it. It will be less self-aware. Its political, business and community leaders will now make decisions largely unchecked by the fourth estate.

My suggestion is that the community do some scoping, identify the writers and editors willing to restore a community newspaper to the area, then make firm commitments for advertising support to make the business sustainable. If it doesn't do this, the time will come when it will wish it had.

Kevin Hoover

editor and publisher

The Arcata Eye

9. 'Local folks' wrote the articles

Dear Editor,

I heard about the closure of the Humboldt Beacon. I appreciate our past communication and enjoyed the journalism the newspaper brought to me. The Humboldt Beacon has represented the personality, values and culture of our local residents for over 100 years. Yes, the articles in each issue of the newspaper kept people aware of local current events. However, it was the local folks who wrote the articles that offered a unique view into the soul of the north coast community. History will note that it truly is a sad day for Humboldt County.

Mike Ringle


10. 'The paper will be missed'

Dear Editor,

The Fortuna Union High School District would like to thank all of the Humboldt Beacon staff for their support of Eel River Valley news, events, and accomplishments. The paper will be greatly missed.

For the last two years the Fortuna Union High School District has been communicating with the community through a monthly article. The opportunity to run a regular article has been an asset to keeping the community informed about academic, extracurricular, athletic, and financial issues. The district will miss the opportunity to have a regular community voice. Many thanks to Franklin Stover for his commitment to publishing our monthly article.

Having only one Eureka-based newspaper to cover all the news and events in Humboldt County is a tall order. For the Times Standard to cover the Eel River Valley news with the same depth is unlikely. There are too many small communities in the greater county area for the Times Standard to cover. Again, the district wants to thank the Humboldt Beacon staff for its hard work and support.

Glen Senestraro


Fortuna Union High School

11. Subscribers since '64

Dear Editor,

I, too, am sad about the Beacon's demise. We have been subscribers (I believe) since we moved here in 1964. Having a truly local paper is quite important. This is what happens when someone sells out to a huge company.

I've enjoyed your writings and was pleased when you attended and reported on the Fortuna Union High School District Board meetings. You always made a fair assessment of the matters discussed.

Kenneth Steele


12. Grandfather worked at the Beacon

Dear Editor,

It is so sad that there will no longer be a Beacon. My grandfather, Chester C. Craddock, was a newspaper man most of his working life and retired from the Beacon in the early sixties. He continued to write articles and contribute to the Beacon in various ways long after his retirement.

I myself worked for the Beacon in the sixties after high school would let out. Also other relatives worked there at different times. I have two sons. One has left the area and could care less about Fortuna or the Beacon but the other son is a real home grown boy that would pick up a copy of the Beacon almost weekly. This is just another example of losing our heritage. Thank you for all that you have done during your tenure. I wish you the best.

Mark Reid

Community Relations Director

Sequoia Springs Senior Living