Editor's Notes: Good deeds shine amid Connecticut tragedy
There is no end to pain and suffering, locally, nationally, worldwide. You can't make it stop happening.
The local newspaper has to report the bad choices people make that hurt other people. No one likes it, including the reporters and editors. Nationally, a horrific tragedy unfolds, this time in Connecticut. It has to be reported. We can't let these things become so commonplace that we let them go unnoticed, unreported.
But thank goodness for the stories of charity and good deeds. No matter how big or little, it's heartening to see some good being done: like Marysville siblings Carolyn Cozine and James Cameron lugging bags of toys into the California Highway Patrol station for the CHiPs for Kids program, as reported Friday by Griffin Rogers. It's just one of many programs organized here to do some good in the world.
We need all we can get.
Thumbs Up: To Master Sgt. Pedro Villa, Air Force reservist, who was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries he suffered from a mortar attack in May in Afghanistan; and to all the people who organized recognition for his service. Villa does his reserve duty at Beale Air Force Base. We especially liked a Villa quote used in the Friday story by Appeal-Democrat reporter Ben van der Meer: "It (the medal) isn't for me. It's representative of all the military."
Thumbs Up: To the family, friends and community members who take part in an annual remembrance ceremony and Mass for Chairo Garibay Ferreyra.
The 20-year-old was last seen alive seven years ago. Reporter Nancy Pasternack wrote about this year's service and noted all the things that have happened to the people who knew her — the sorts of things that move lives along: work, marriage, kids. Still, they take time to remember this friend who left for church on Dec. 11, 2005, and never arrived there; her body was found a month later; her killer has not been found.
It's sad that they don't get to still have Chairo; but it's good that they have each other and get together to remember.
Thumbs Down: Like the story by Rob Parsons said, stealing a baby Jesus from a Nativity scene in Live Oak might not be the "crime of the century," but it isn't necessarily a petty nuisance, either. The theft represents either a dismally dull sense for what is culturally significant in the community, or it was meant to taunt the community. Our guess is that it's not a toleration issue, but an intelligence or maturity issue.
The baby has been replaced. Christmas will go on.
Lastly: We've had a couple of calls from folks who saw mention of a first-time homebuyer assistance program and needed the number to call. Evidently, hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money is available locally to help qualified buyers get into their own homes, but almost no one is applying.
Qualifying isn't a cakewalk — applicants can't have owned a home within the last three years; have to earn at least $47,500 (for a family of four) per year; must have enough cash on hand for at least a 3 percent down payment; and have to qualify for a standard 30-year mortgage.
But there must be some families out there that qualify, and so far, over a couple years, only one grant has been awarded. The number to call is 749-5460.
Steve Miller is the editor of the Appeal-Democrat.