Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Different viewpoints: Logging at Pierce's Chinese Cemetery

Dear Editor,

I am disheartened with the recent slew of letters and posts that are derogatory to our lovely, logging community. Pierce has a proud history that should be proclaimed to the outside world, but we are wasting our energies on negativity and counterproductive activities, which places us all in a poor light. The gist is that those ‘evil conspirators’ down at City Hall have one again enacted an ‘injustice’ on the poor, unsuspecting citizens of our town. And unfortunately, according to tradition, the next council meeting is going to be filled with angry, noose-carrying citizens demanding justice. So this letter is a plea to the good citizens of Pierce…for those who have ears to hear, let us dispense with the media hype, and establish some facts:

1.  Those officials you elected obviously care a great deal about our town, as they are the ‘suckers’ that volunteered to do the ‘dirty work’ no one else wanted to do,

2.  They are required to make unpopular decisions sometimes,

3.  It is your right and responsibility to be informed of what your elected officials are doing and there is no excuse not to be,

4.  The discussion on the cemetery logging began two years ago,

5.  The reason was good stewardship, not financial gain or a “better view,”

6.  This cemetery has been logged before, as are most cemeteries with trees,

7.  The deed is done, and no amount of media play will ever cause them to reappear,

8.  Trees are not an endangered species – they re-grow,

9.  Constructive participation is encouraged (every meeting should be a full house!),
10. Finally…we live in America! i.e. if you really want to show you care about this town, throw your hat in the ring for this November’s election. I’m sure the current officials would gladly hand over the bull’s eye on their back.

  So, the truth is, either you want be involved, or you simply want to “stir the pot,” to quote my mom. She also said, “be a part of the solution, or sit down and shut up.” Wise woman.

  Now, if this situation truly motivates our citizens to take an active role in the beautification and protection of our historic resources, then the tiny handful of citizens involved in writing the grants, raising the funds, and physically performing the labor will be ecstatic to add another laborer to the team.

  Oh, and, every time you turn on the faucet, take out the trash or flush the toilet and expect a positive outcome…try to remember those “bumbling idiots” down there must be doing something right. Maybe if you let then know you appreciate their sacrifices every once in awhile, it would help to soften the blow next time you lambaste them for their “stupid decisions” or supposed “lack of concern.” Mom always said, “you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

  So people, let’s put down the pitchforks, work together; be proactive and open up some constructive dialogue. I, for one, think Pierce is worth the little extra effort.

Carmen Syed


Dear Editor,

Sunday morning I spent over three hours at the Old Chinese Cemetery in Pierce. The destruction and desecration of this cemetery and historical site is appalling.

I was with Gene Eastman and Kathy Dill. As of this Sunday Mr. Eastman has detected over 120 graves. As time allows he will be able to locate all of them. Most of the males had been removed and returned to their homeland. Most sites seem to be females, infants and adults, with the exception of five adult males all side by side. Maybe these were the five Chinese men that were hung outside of Pierce! The beautiful old red firs have been taken. Some over 110 years old. The only reason anyone can come with for these trees to be removed was for the almighty dollar.

The damage has been done and there is no-way to put it back. Any monies the City of Pierce gains from this disaster should all be put back in the cemetery in form of signs and grave markers, etc. Not one cent should be used for any other purpose except that.

Shame on any and all of you that Okayed this to be done, we can only blame the council and mayor. The Mayor stated that they had researched the history of the site for two years. DIDN'T DO A VERY GOOD

Since Kathy and I had done a lot of research our-selves, we seemed to have acquired a lot more info than they did. As soon as we heard about the possibility of logging last year we went to libraries, museums, talked with people, and researched books. Kathy spent hours on-line with Ken Reid from Boise and numerous phone calls.

Things calmed down last fall because promises of not touching anything until Ken Reid could come and check out the site for possible historic value. That sure didn't hold up. It was like it was almost a rush to get this timber before Mr. Reid could make a trip here.

And to the person who pulled up some of the markers that were placed last Sunday, what's your point? If anyone can help us find names and records we would appreciate it.

Friends of the Chinese Cemetery
Sharon Martin

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