We get calls now and then from people who want us to help them and do something about something. Some of the calls are genuine and tug at the heart-strings ... they’re from victims, from the powerless, from people who are in bad situations through no fault of their own.

We consider it a form of compliment to get those calls, and often we take after a story because of someone sharing their difficulties. But there’s sometimes not much we can do ... there has to be some public record, some court proceeding, some official action, or some group of people who will go on the record ... Frequently those calls entail something that doesn’t meet any of those standards, yet there is someone who needs help. 

We can’t act as a personal representative. We’re a newsroom. We just want people to know that. 

And even if we can do a story, it might be like when you call a doctor’s office and the voicemail says, “If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911.”

If you’re being victimized, you need to first call the police; or a case worker; or a probation officer; or child welfare ... or go to a safe house, such as Casa de Esperanza, for help. Or it may be a situation where you need to get an attorney to represent you and help you. That will cost you some money and that’s unfortunate, but in some cases necessary. If you can’t afford an attorney, many do pro bono work or you could try contacting California Rural Legal Assistance (call 530-742-5191 or go online at www.crla.org) and if someone there can’t help you, they might be able to suggest someone who can.

We’re appreciative of people who turn to us; but what we can do depends on a variety of factors and can take time. If there is a serious problem, you need to call someone who can help immediately.

***

Thumbs Down/Up: Our condolences to the family of Tyler Haymore, 29, who died March 27 when the crop duster he was piloting struck a power line and crashed.

Local family and friends suffered quite a loss, but have brought some good out of it – an online crowd sourcing site was being used to raise cash to help some other person realize their dream (as Tyler realized his dream to be a pilot). Their goal was $5,000 and as of Wednesday afternoon they’d raised more than $30,000 and it was still going. That’s wonderful.

*

Thumbs Up: We appreciate how Yuba Sutter Arts and friends are always looking for ways to not only present art and cultural opportunities, but to facilitate participation in the arts.

They recently had another “day-in-the-life-of” opportunity for local photographers, pros and amateurs, to make submissions.

Now they’re on a poetry kick.

As part of National Poetry Month, Yuba Sutter Arts and local poet laureate Jonathan Kinsman are encouraging locals to share their work.

They’re conducting open mic nights: April 19 at Justin’s Kitchen; and April 26 at the Burrows theater (with the theme, “What Makes You ... You”). Some poems may be posted on their website and published in a Family and Friends section of the Appeal. For consideration, poems should be 25 lines or less and should be received by Monday, April 9 – submit them to poetlaureate@yubasutterarts.org. Call or text Kinsman at 751-6509 for more information.

*

Ugh (be warned – the captain, our joke source, was in a bit of a sardonic mood this week):

A couple went on a fishing trip to the upper Northeast. It was the first vacation they’d taken in quite some time. Tragically, as they were out on the water, he fell overboard and was lost.

The next morning, the  wife answered a knock on her hotel room door. It was a couple Coast Guard officers.

“Ma’am,” one of them said. “We have some awful news for you ... but we also have some good news ... as well as some great news.”

The woman asked for the bad news first.

“Sorry to say, ma’am, but we pulled your husband’s body from the sea earlier this morning.”

The widow could not believe there would be good news after that, but asked.

“Well, ma’am, the good news is that there were 12 of the finest looking Maine lobsters you’ve ever seen clinging to him.”

Aghast, she asked what on earth the “great news” could be.

“We’ll be pulling his body up again later this afternoon!”

Recommended for you