The silence of our friends

Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

I’m sending this to my Mendocino Coast friends, asking everyone who cares about our well-run little town to speak up.

Les and I have lived here, full and part-time, since 1989. We were dismayed by the attacks, before and during the recent election, on what we have experienced as an efficient, caring city government. More dismayed lately by the attacks on those members of the City Council who voted to approve Hospitality House’s purchase of the Old Coast Hotel.

The Old Coast has sat empty for years. I look forward to seeing it filled with people trying to turn their lives around. If you visit a Hospitality House, you do not see loiterers or trash; they are not allowed. Residents who are caught begging, or using alcohol or drugs, are evicted. Hospitality House is not a flop house; it is a place where people ready to change are helped to do that.

I look forward to seeing the Old Coast used for such a worthy purpose: to help the mentally ill and the homeless.


Listening to the radio, I was disappointed to hear a member of the Fort Bragg City Council quoted (I’m paraphrasing): “If two people will change their votes, a Recall won’t be necessary.”

This is not the way a responsible official reacts in a democratic society. When we lose, we don’t threaten. We work with the majority and make sure the bad predictions don’t happen.

Mayor Dave Turner’s daughter wrote a wonderful letter in support of her dad on her blog. Read it here.


She asks that we come to the reception Monday night, March 9, at 5:30, to celebrate the newly renovated Town Hall. Stay for the City Council meeting. The first 30 minutes are for Comment. Friends shouldn’t stay silent.

I will be there. I hope you will.


11 responses »

  1. Sharon Gilligan

    I saw Dave’s daughter’s letter on Facebook and immediately posted my feelings about recall elections, especially one just three months after an election. I can’t vote in Fort Bragg because we live outside city limits, but I certainly have appreciated many of the votes taken and decisions made under Dave Turner’s leadership. The Old Coast Hotel is an asset that should be used to make our city better. We have plenty of places for tourists to leave bed taxes in our community. We need to help struggling folks get off the streets and back into jobs or treatment services. How could anyone get better living on the streets?

  2. Wonderfully said Norma

  3. Wonderful site and timely notes. I will be there with my Hospitality House Chili. (Also speaking regarding restoring our streams.)

  4. I have been involved with the mental illness, homeless problem for a long time, and I do not think the Coast Hotel is the appropriate treatment center for the mentally ill. It would be a good location for offices and administration, but there is very little accommodation for the needy. I think 4 or 5 rooms with no bathrooms. There are some motels available and some other more suitable locations for the actual housing with parking, which will be a problem on Franklin St. I don;t agree with spending the money so quickly. We will all live with this choice for years. The need for housing for the homeless has been a long time coming, with careful planning we can do this right. Joan Hansen

  5. Thank you Norma for speaking so eloquently about this issue. I’m in total agreement! I especially love this: “This is not the way a responsible official reacts in a democratic society. When we lose, we don’t threaten. We work with the majority and make sure the bad predictions don’t happen.”

  6. Pingback: Mendocino County Today: Thursday, March 5, 2015 (free today) | Anderson Valley Advertiser

  7. Every room has a bathroom. I am the Executive Director of MCHC & I have the facts. Don’t listen to misinformation – PM me with questions on Facebook or email your questions to

    The New Hospitality Center will be a thriving and vibrant community resource, adding life, hope, energy and enterprise to this part of town. As well as care, support and housing, the new center will bring a coffee and juice bar (with vocational training) alive in this closed-up building.

  8. So much fear in our world. Standing up and speaking out for what is right if difficult but oh so important. Vote no for complacency!

  9. Jewels Marcus

    I’m in total support of the Hospitality House moving to the Old Coast Hotel. People may want to deny there are folks who need extra help and want to shuffle them to the outskirts of society; but that is fear and ignorance talking. We can educate and guide so that all people will work, live and help each other instead of being divisive. Marginalizing the folks who need to be included the most is a misguided endeavor..


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