Courteous, Concerned Community Dialogue Furthers Happy Camp Progress

by Judy Bushy

In my column in the “Pioneer Press”  last week, I said that the present Happy Camp Health Services Board, considering comments from the majority of voting members, chose not to give the building to another organization and that  “The Karuk Tribe has already put a new building for these services on their property between Second Avenue and the Highway.”

I was mistaken that the new modular was for the doctor’s offices and services that are presently in the Happy Camp Health Services Building. The modular moved unto the property will house program staff moved from the building next to the Administration Building; information technology and self-governance. The building next to the Administration Building was originally designed for a Medical and Dental Clinic and that is the area being remodeled, at considerable cost, for the medical services. The former Council Chambers will be the medical reception, medical records and nurses station. That wing is being remodeled for examination rooms. 

That is why the Karuk Tribe of California notified the Happy Camp Health Services that they were NOT interested in buying or leasing the Happy Camp Health Services building and said they planned to be moved out by end of September.To hold a NEW board of VOLUNTEERS responsible for past years isn’t really fair since they coveyed their desire to listen and learn what needed to be improved.

Even though I usually ask readers to respond and share with me, I don’t get large volumes of mail in response! Last week was an exception; I received quite a few calls about the column.  A caller might have given me information on corrections,. since she said I was ignorant, and was writing illegal slander, but never gave me a speck of information on what might need correcting. I did ask, but the phone slammed down! I’m still of the same mind, that Happy Camp needs mental health and similar services which are not adequately available, and that a community group, everyone working together, like the Happy Camp Health Services has always been, could help in this regard. I’m a good listener, but after calling names, no one gave me any specifics. We just don’t need more vacant unused buildings sitting around for years when there are nearly a dozen organizations that need places to meet. We can help each other when we can work together more effectively. I’m happy to listen to anyone’s views, but a few pertinent facts might be more effective than bluster and name calling.. I listened quietly to the name calling but got hung up on when I asked for help in understanding their point of view.  


The speaker who rudely accused John Godwin of the Happy Camp Health Services of rudeness when he is the quietest, kindest and a hard working volunteer who called the meeting to hear all views, made me wince. That is why Leon Hillman’s comments to friends and neighbors that whatever the disagreement, we will go on being friends and neighbors was so moving. Sharing viewpoints helps us all learn, when it is done in that frame of reference.

We respect the fact that Tribal members families and also many other members of the community and their families were also active in building the clinic building. The land, milled lumber, and many hours of labor were donated by the mill and citizens of the community. Wasn’t it a wonderful accomplishment they achieved together! It reminds me of the Memorial Log Building which was built with community working together, to provide education for our children, also, (although that was before my time!)

 We need more mental health services in Happy Camp and lease of the building to an organization working with Behavioral Health, is one way that it could be provided. Also, I see some value in some organization that could be the whole community working together, not exclusively for any particular group to the exclusion of others. Amazing things can be accomplished when we work together!

Give me a call, I’ll be happy to hear your views. If I’m busy at the moment, I’ll be happy to call you back. Also appreciate your telling me of any news and announcements that you have to share. That is why living along the wild beautiful Klamath River in the midst of the green forest, with blue skies above is so wonderful. We have great neighbors, mostly courteous and concerned about the community.

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