Letters to the Editor – May 13, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Act to abate fees

I am writing to protest the rate increases as proposed in the recent notice.

Home owners and renters alike should make sure to send a letter or show up in person at the public hearing at the Arcata City Hall on Wednesday, June 2 at 6 p.m. if they want to protest the proposed rate changes in sewer, water and solid waste/recycling collection services. E-MAILS DO NOT COUNT! The informative notice I received stated “If there is a majority protest filed from affected properties, the proposed rate changes will not be imposed.” It would be good to know the total number affected. Tenants should anticipate increased rents in the future as fees increase annually. Presumably, increased fees are not a law, per se, but an option the City can enact (unless a majority protests).

I do have a suggestion that would make it more palatable for households like my own who consume less than the minimum calculated use for much of the year. It would help if my water use could be annualized, as does PG&E. Then, the eight months I use considerably less than average could even out the summer months when I use considerably more in my garden. Even with some discount, my bill escalates appreciably.

Could this be done? When recently paying my bill at the City Hall I was told that new software would be implemented by the coming fall and it might be feasible.

Sincerely yours,

Sara M. Turner


A day for pride

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On behalf of the Humboldt Pride Governing Board and Planning Committee, I’d like to answer and respond to the concerns some of you have expressed about the planned dates for this year’s Pride event. As some of you already know, Humboldt Pride’s 2010 Festival will span the weekend of September 10-12 with the traditional parade scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 11.

A few local residents have reacted to this news, so in the hope of promoting mutual understanding and diversity of ideas, we wanted to address these concerns. First and foremost, we want every Humboldt County resident to understand that their gay, lesbian and transgender neighbors are Americans and patriots. Growing up gay instills one with a unique appreciation of the rights and freedoms that all Americans have a shared responsibility to protect and uphold. Gay Americans know all too well the debt we owe to these freedoms, and to the brave individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice to make these freedoms possible.

This means we share the deepest possible respect for September 11, certainly the darkest and arguably the single most important date in modern American history. We have chosen this date in part so that we can come together as a community to honor those who lost their lives that terrible morning while the world watched and wept. We wept no less that day. We lost no less that day—Mark Bingham was a proud, gay American and is remembered as one of the heroes of Flight 93. And countless other gay Americans lost their lives, their partners, their parents, children, and friends. We wish no more than the opportunity to collectively heal, and for this reason, appropriate memorial events will play a central role in this year’s Pride celebration.

Certainly, more mundane practical considerations also contributed to our decision. An early September weekend was a given, for optimal weather conditions and in accommodation of the college students that comprise such a large percentage of our local gay community. A Saturday parade offers greater access to public transit and doesn’t interfere with church on Sunday, a concern voiced by the many spiritual members of our community.

Pride is a celebration of our freedoms today, and of those who came before us to break that ground. Please, get involved. Demonstrate your own pride and patriotism to the community and the nation. Contact Humboldt Pride at info@humboldtpride.org to see how you can help.


Fairbee Max, Humboldt Pride, Inc.

2010 Festival Coordinator


The DA that refreshes

I’d like to thank District Attorney Paul Gallegos for pursuing the illegal activities of the Big Oil & Tire Company and working to protect our community’s drinking water resources.

Big Oil is a petroleum company that operates and maintains dozens of underground storage tanks between McKinleyville and Fortuna. Leaks from these fuel tanks have the potential to contaminate groundwater and to pollute our priceless aquatic habitats, including Humboldt Bay. Mr. Gallegos’s enforcement action took Big Oil to task for failing to properly operate and maintain its tanks. The result is a settlement requiring the company to perform secondary containment testing, repair failing systems, and take various other measures to ensure that petroleum leaks do not occur.

The settlement also commanded a hefty fine, $1.1 million, with offsets allowed for increased tank safety improvements. Mr. Gallegos deserves praise for taking this proactive and preventive approach to protecting our water resources.

Gallegos’s enforcement action should assure that Big Oil’s tanks will not contaminate our water resources, while also deterring others from skirting environmental and public health laws. We who believe in responsible stewardship of the environment find it refreshing to see our District Attorney committed to those goals.

Pete Nichols


It’s Avis, not Davis

Thank you kindly for including the attached photo in your paper showing the recent Green Wheels Govie award recipient (me).

It is mildly objectionable that someone provided you with someone else’s name (I would never presume you got it wrong).

My measly 15 seconds of fame and “presto,” I’m reduced to another person. Such is life.

Just to be sure, I checked my birth certificate and, sure enough, neither of my parents had the last name Davis.

At least someone had the grace to reduce my first name to Steve instead of tagging me with the other moniker Steven.

I assume this was done on account of limited space in the paper or perhaps because my last name was now too long to support a full first name as well.

Regardless, thank you for taking note that some guy with a beard did something that caught the attention of Green Wheels. It is an honor to be the Govie Award recipient this year, regardless of what you, or anyone else for that matter, chooses to call me.

Stephen Avis, AICP

Associate Planner

City of Fortuna

Note: Sorry, Stephen – see page 2 for the do-over.

To clarify, we didn’t “choose” to call you by the wrong name (Davis). It was the name supplied by the photographer, and you can easily understand how someone would mis-hear “Avis” as the more common “Davis” in the noise of the Veterans’ Hall that night.

When the photo came in Sunday morning, we called Green Wheels for more details on what their “Govie” award is and why it was given to this year’s recipient.

That call was not returned, so we went with the minimal information we had on page 14 of last week’s edition. Then, on Wednesday, the day the paper comes out, we received the same picture we had already published with detail on the award and the recipient.

Just for added irony, the e-mail message was labeled “a timely post-event press release,” which it wasn’t, unless perhaps one is on “Arcata time” – something printing presses do not observe. – Ed.

JCS LIVE thanks

The Jacoby Creek School JCS LIVE class would like to thank the following businesses, professionals and public safety agencies for hosting students during your recent Job Shadow.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station McKinleyville, teacher Randi Helflman, DANCO Builders, Warden Jackie Krug–California Department of Fish and Game, teacher Catherine Girard, ecologist John Bair, Eureka Co-op, Eureka Books, Hank’s Coffeehouse and Cafe, Harla Santos and Commissioner Michael Eannarino–Humboldt County Superior Court.

The Job Shadow offers students a hands on, real life work experience with a professional.

JCS LIVE includes seventh grade students who study leadership, career exploration and complete service projects that benefit our community. For more information about JCS LIVE, or to consider hosting a student in a future Job Shadow, please contact Jacoby Creek School at (707) 822-4896.


Jim Ritter, JCS LIVE