This Wednesday is the Excellent Mexican dinner of enchiladas, beans, rice and salad for only $10 across from the Bigfoot Corner. You an dine in the “open air at the Klamath Siskiyou Art Center’s lawn venue while enjoying the music performed by the River Bar Community Band. We’ve been eagerly looking forward to this for a month and can’t wait for a lovely evening with out Klamath Neighbors.
Last Wednesday was the Town Hall on Drug, Crime and mental health problems in Happy Camp. Sheriff Lopey highlighted a previous meeting with the Karuk Tribal, law enforcement, justice and social services personnel. The view that use and problems with illicit drugs are increasing and need to be dealt with. the Drug task force SUMIT is working on this issue, but Sheriff and Karuk resources are limited and the lack of jobs and economic prosperity hinders progress. Youthful offenders are most vulnerable and prone to anti-social behavior that needs prevention and treatment. Neighborhood Watch and DARE are active but need assistance. Schedules of law coverage, community citizen, governmental and private collaboration is needed because drugs and alcohol are causing crime and mental health challenges in the community.
Besides our many distinguished visitors from our of town to share with us, Sheriff Lopey asked Alan Dyar to speak! Alan mentioned that he first came her as Superintendent and Principal of Happy Camp Elementary School in 1991 until he retired in 2002. Then they needed a principal in the high school in 2007 and he answered the call, until her retired in 2011. October 2014 the new principal resigned and he came back to Happy Camp High School for a couple more weeks to June 2015. At this time he has a right hand man in the form of Carol Dyar, his wife of 45 years who has been the school secretary since Ruth Bain retired.
He strode to the front of the room and asked the gathered crowd, “Don’t forget the good kids!” Ninety percent of the kids are the good kids, some are fantastic They study and play hard and are going the right direction and we need to work with the students and their families.
Thank God for the Tribe who helps the children here get an education and go on to college and make something of themselves. But that means we have a Brain Drain, and we’re so glad when some of those students go away and get their education and then come back like a couple here tonight! Part of the problem is the billion dollar industry out there all around us that we can’t use because of red tape, but we won’t talk of that tonight.
“In the years I’ve been here in Happy Camp we have gone from 188 students in the high school down to about fifty! It is a problem, without jobs and without there being something to come back to the community! Bill Estep and some others in the room are trying to help with solutions in the Coordinating Committee but it is frustrating. Ray Haupt our new supervisor is working to that end.
“We have 45 fantastic kids and only a few 5 or 6 who have problems. We work closely with the probation department, Tianna and the other young lady as well as Sgt Callahan and Deputy Garrison at the High School. Arden and John have told you about the Athlete Committed and Committed Chapter at our high school.
“I’ve been in education continuously since 1970. Seeing all you here tonight, this is the beginning of it, We can make a dent. If we Impact ONE kid, it will all be worth it. We had one youngster self reporting her infraction of the Committed contract, and because she came forward, three others self reported. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. but we don’t have time for a few. Biggest thing is how people work, , really care. Look at family structure, and positive male role models helps those who dont’ know how to work.
“We as a community have to do something!Don’t forget the good kids and we need to work with others and their families. It’s time for us to do something. Families go through the school program and some are involved in activities that alter the genetic make up of humans. That’s where they need to see what they are screwing up, Being a geneticist, raising racing pigeons, we know that if we screw up there, we’re heading down the wrong trail.
“We need a male mentor ship base. I can be the students worst enemy if needed to make a correction one day, but the next day they can come in and talk about whatever their concerns are with me in my office. We can talk about their goals and plans and how they can do better
Bill Estes from the audience asked if Mr. Dyar thought we could do without economic changes.
Happy Camp needs improved economic structure, It’s sad when the most profitable job (an old logger) can have is growing dope. We have got to have an economic base. Always something to stop mining, thinning forest, but the challenge is to start something and turn it around from that.
He was also asked about music and said the Happy Camp Elementary school has a full set of band musical instruments but the first thing to be cut from the budget always seems to be the music and that type of thing.
Alicia Derry told about the things that the Happy Camp Family Resource Center, one of ten in out county, does. They have Behavioral Health, Veterans programs, family law facilitator, emergency food bank, help people fill out food stamp and medicaid applications. They’ve worked with committed Chapters, and even have a community garden. When asked if they still teach parenting classes, she said that they have to have 10 parents or guardians sign up for a class to fun it. But they are getting psychiatry help and using Tele-health for that type of education.
Another presenter from the Karuk Tribe mentioned that the tribe has put on dances for the students and is a good resource for the youth of our community. We all want to see the community get healthy, not like it is now. and they also pay insurance for open gym so the students can play basketball or volleyball some evenings. She said Karuk are part of the community and always want to be! (editor note: From my point of view they are an intregal part of the the foundation of the community, the one’s who were here before most of us and often show tremendous generosity)
One of the visions is putting it all together. She was asked about curriculum about the culture and said that K-3 is nearing completion, as Educational Director, Crissa Bussard, has mentioned also.
It was a very well attended meeting and brought hope that this builds more collaborative efforts by all of our Klamath Neighbors. Hope to share more results from this meeting in the coming column.