Celebration of Juneteenth

Dear Editor,

In September of 1862 President Abraham Lincoln announced that he would order the emancipation of all slaves within the states that seceded from the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863. However due to the times, this was not immediately known throughout our Union. One June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger with the Texas Buffalo Soldiers ordered the release of the final 250,000 African Americans held in bondage as slaves. This is celebrated in the Black community as Juneteenth or Black Independence Day.
I became aware of this celebration recently when I was invited to the Juneteenth celebration in San Diego by the son of the original event organizer. This event was established by Sidney Cooper 50 years ago and is currently organized by the Cooper Family Foundation. Cooper started the event simply by handing out free BBQ from his store front on Imperial Avenue; it has since grown into a large event that closes down a few blocks. (For more information see www.cfjuneteenth.com)
I was a bit disappointed to learn that an event celebrating such an important event in our country’s history goes unnoticed. This event celebrates the first time that the powers of the Constitution were distributed amongst all of us; I am proud that I was able to attend this celebration. Happy Juneteenth everyone!

Galen Hammerle

Negative news

Dear Editor,

You hit us really hard this week with all the negative news on the front page. Always like Rusty’s articles and the article by Melissa Diaz Hernandez on homelessness.

 EW Evans, Ph.D.

How can council be unaware of back room accounting?

Dear Editor,

How is it possible that two council members and current Mayor Linda Krupa and former Mayor Bonnie Wright, who are elected to represent the people of this community, could possibly be unaware of the back room accounting practices reported in The Valley Chronicle?
Why was chief of police David M. Brown given control of 70 percent of the Measure U funds? Are we experiencing corruption in City Hall or are we experiencing incompetence? It is time! It is past time, that the people of this community begin to see some resignations. Also, the “Malibu” districting plan for voting districts needs to be repealed.
I am not from Malibu.


Jim Welker,
from the delightful city of Hemet

Are nice guys tough enough to win?

Dear Editor,

Hemet’s City Manager, Alex Meyerhoff, is a nice guy.  He is also Hemet’s 9th or 10th city manager in the last 10 or 12 years. Hemet’s City Council goes through city managers like Donald Trump goes through appointees – in and out in less time than it takes to reveal the amount of taxpayer dollars paid out on settled lawsuits.
I recently had occasion to interview the owner of Norton’s Nutrition Store at the corner of Yale Street and Florida Avenue on the east side of town.  The owner, Chris Shrimpton, says one of the reasons he is closing down is because of hassles by the Hemet Code Enforcement folks.
When this came to Meyerhoff’s attention, he made a personal visit to the owner and spent more than an hour with Mr. Shrimpton discussing his problems.  He didn’t convince him to not close, because that was already a decided matter, but how many city managers do any of us recall taking time out of their busy day to go out and talk with a dissatisfied business owner unless that owner happens to be a franchisee of a major corporation?
This newspaper strongly supports Mr. Meyerhoff because he is a model of transparency in his work.
Hopefully the City Council will not flush him down the drain like they have done to so many previous city managers in the recent past. I welcome comment. Just sayin’.

Rusty Strait,
Senior Reporter of The Valley Chronicle Newspaper

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