Letters to the Editor – May 19, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The noisy backstory

Regarding the Police Log in the May 5, 2010 Eye

The “man on Courtyard Circle fed up with loud motorcycles” did not appreciate three men with guns arriving at his door to further disturb him and his neighbors after we all had been forced to endure the noise attack of the largest pack of motorcyclists this half-century old individual has ever heard.

The CHP dispatcher initially gave the “man on Courtyard Circle fed up with loud motorcycles” the wrong after-hours non-emergency number to call. Subsequent calls to the dispatcher were in an effort to clarify the CHP dispatcher error.

Days later, following up on this incident to find the glitch in the system that resulted in a law-abiding citizen’s harassment by the very people he appealed to for help; he got a record of the evening’s dialings. According to official documents from the phone company, he placed less than half the “dozen calls” to the emergency CHP operator reported in the Eye’s police log.

Apparently left out of the police report was the dozen or so unanswered calls he did however make to the erroneous number given to him by the CHP dispatcher and several other law enforcement agencies that did not answer at this “after business hours” time of day in an attempt to resolve the issue in a manner advised by the 911 operator.

Subsequent contact with Matt Larson of CHP resulted in Officer Larson offering to let Arcata Police know there had been a mistake on the part of CHP. He also said CHP would reconsider their noise pollution protocol and generally tweak their 911 operations. I commend Officer Larson for his amiable attitude and ability to take responsibility for the error.

Noise pollution is indeed a serious issue. It fosters neighborhood animosity, detracts from property value (and therefore, the tax revenue base), inhibits children’s ability to learn and worse, harms physical health.

For future reference, the correct after-hours non-emergency number for highway patrol according to Officer Larson is (707) 268-2000. Feel free to contact them at this number for non-emergency activities relevant to the California Highway Patrol without fear of repercussion.

The “man on Courtyard Circle fed up with loud motorcycles”

John Emig


Clouds over Balabanis

Each time I climb the hill at Humboldt State and approach the Balabanis quad (outside of the Van Duzer theatre) from a class in Harry Griffith Hall, the Natural Resources Building, or other buildings in that vicinity, I am constantly met with the smell, taste and irritation of second-hand smoke which has been proven time and time again to be a serious health hazard. Where does this smoke come from, you may ask? It comes from the designated smoking area situated directly on the quad. As I have seasonal allergies, this smoke makes them even worse especially since the smoking area is situated in such an unavoidable place.

On that note, I find it sad that I have to make an effort to avoid the Balabanis quad since it is such a beautiful area where you can enjoy much of the atmosphere our university has to offer. Furthermore, the Van Duzer theatre is a major venue for entertainment in Humboldt county where elementary school children come to see shows and plays on field trips, I feel this quad in particular is very representative of our school and as a student, I do not want my university represented by the pungent smell of cigarette smoke. Such an idea is especially important, considering that many of these children will one day choose a college and it would be tragic if their memory of Humboldt State Univeristy was tarnished by the smell of second-hand smoke and the health hazard that would put forth to them.

Lastly, I know that there are many other smoking areas on campus that fill the need of those who have a smoking habit; therefore, the abolishment of the smoking area on the Balabanis quad would not be a great loss to smoking students as there are other smoking areas in relatively close proximity to it. I am currently making efforts to make this happen. I encourage students to let their voice be heard on this issue and email me at jblaine271@gmail.com with their comments and/or questions on the issue.

Joseph Blaine

Student, Humboldt State University, Arcata

Mysteries of the fields

Why is it that the softball fields at the Community Center are not ready for our youth to play ball? Parents were told the league would begin in March and now it is nearly May. The lawns in front of HealthSPORT are well maintained by the City. Why not the fields? Where are our priorities? McKinleyville and Eureka girls are playing softball. Why aren’t our girls?

Ron Perry


Whitman all the way

Over the course of the past several weeks, Californians have been inundated with television and radio advertisements, political mailings and other miscellaneous campaign collateral. This only means one thing – campaign season is in full force.

It’s also at this time when many of the so-called experts weigh in and make their case for a candidate. As past Humboldt County Republican Party Chairs and local Republican leaders, we believe there is only one choice on June 8 to lead our golden state – Meg Whitman.

Our history in the Republican Party runs deep. In 1954 Robert Barnum served as the Vice President of the California Young Republicans and worked with many future Republican leaders, including a rising star in then State Assemblyman Caspar “Cap” Weinberger. In later years, Cap Weinberger served as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Defense.

A decade later, during Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial tenure, Joe Russ, IV (1966-1968) and Jerry Scott (1968-1971) served as Humboldt County Republican Chairpersons. They were proud county leaders who supported their Governor and his vision for California’s future. Through the years many of us have worked with great California governors and are confident Meg Whitman will carry on their successful tradition while making the tough changes California desperately needs.

More important than our political affiliations, we are first and foremost small business owners, community leaders, parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

Meg Whitman understands that for our economy to recover we must foster growth among California’s small businesses and stop the state’s extravagant spending. She is the only candidate with real-world experience creating jobs. As CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008, Meg helped the company grow from a small start-up with 30 employees to a nearly $8 billion enterprise with 15,000 employees.

Meg Whitman is also the only fiscal conservative in the gubernatorial race. She will enact targeted tax cuts to spark immediate job growth, and streamline and reform regulations that are driving employers out of our state. One regulation that would be particularly devastating to our businesses, AB 32, will be suspended by Meg until its economic effects are fully known.

Tax cuts, however, are not enough. We must also reduce the profligate spending driving California to the brink of insolvency. As governor, Meg will institute a spending cap to enforce fiscal discipline, trim the size of the state workforce and implement necessary pension and welfare reforms.

Finally, Meg will focus on fixing our broken school system to make certain California maintains its educated workforce. As governor, she will direct more money to the classroom, reward outstanding teachers and grade our schools A-F so parents know if their education dollars are well spent.

Californians currently sit at a fork in the road. We can either continue with the failed status quo that got us into this mess, or we can elect a governor who will return California to its once and future glory. Meg Whitman is the first candidate we’ve seen in a long time who can bring real reform to Sacramento and inspire faith in our state’s governance.

We will be voting for Meg Whitman June 8 and encourage you to do the same.


Past Humboldt County Republican Party Chairs and Republican leaders:

Robert Barnum, Joe Russ IV, Jeremiah Scott, Anna Sparks, JoAnn Stanhope, Eileen Amos, Steve Dixon, John Fullerton, Dale Brown, Joy Finley, Mike Harvey, George Benzel

Native Plant thanks

Over 800 community members attended the 28^th annual Spring Wildflower Show this May. We would like to thank Friends of the Dunes, the Northwest School of Botanical Studies, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Six Rivers National Forest, Redwood National and State Parks, North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association, Humboldt Weed Management Area, Caltrans, Green Diamond Resource Company, Americorp, the Manila Community Services District, Teenship, Wildberries, Arcata Co-op, Rays, Los Bagels, and Native Plant Society members for their help. We are lucky to live in a community that supports wild California plants.


Carol Ralph, president, North Coast chapter

California Native Plant Society