June’s Letters To The Editor – June 27, 2012
I would like to apologize to everyone for Saturday’s poor weather. Last week was warm enough that my wife and I finally took the down comforter off our bed; we had forgotten that this always causes the weather to take a turn for the worse. Sorry about that.
Cheese factory impacts
There are two major concerns, many of us living near the Cypress Grove Goat Cheese Factory have, in regards to the proposed tripling in size of the processing facilities. One is the concreting of more than .5 acres of self watering, fertile Arcata bottoms soil. The other is the tanker and tractor/trailer truck traffic increase that will be needed to supply the much larger factory.
If I were to deliberately try to choose an really unsafe entrance for large trucks, I couldn’t choose a “better” place than the existing entrance.
As the trucks come off of Alliance Road, drive up 17th St., turn and drive along Q Street, there are few safety issues. But, when the trucks get into the last 100 yards before the entrance gate, safety becomes a major issue.
The first problem for the tanker trucks are the three feeder roads (Zehndner, Blakslee, Iverson) connecting from the west. These are main Arcata access arteries for the west bordering community. People walk, bike, and drive onto Q Street from these roads. In addition, there are two schools located west of Q Street. The children use these roads, then Q Street, to walk and bike to and from school.
As if these feeder roads weren’t enough of a problem, Q Street begins a tight “S” curve at this point. Add the dip down into Janes Creek channel, traffic in both directions on Q Street, plus the fact that this road was designed for suburban traffic, and you have a situation the can only be described as dangerous.
How dangerous? I personally know of an instance where a teacher and her six preschoolers were walking back from a field trip on the Q Street west sidewalk. A Cypress Grove Tanker Truck, coming from behind, slowed to turn into the factory entrance. Before making a left turn, the driver swung to the right in order to get in a better position for the turn. His right tire hit the curb near the children, then went up on the sidewalk! Six children were staring at a moving tire the same size as they were, their teacher was yelling as loud as she could, as the oblivious driver, intent on getting his massive truck into the entrance gate, drove back off the sidewalk and made his left turn.
Q Street is a small street, the entrance is at 90 degrees to that street, and the trucks are big. It isn’t a safe situation.
Given this obvious unsafe entrance, why haven’t the people at Emmi Corporation included a different truck entrance in their original proposal? Have they even explored their property for a safer entrance site? I have heard of a possible entrance off of M Street, through the Danco property. Have the Emmi representatives sat down with the people at Danco to work out an easement agreement? From what I have heard in the Planning Commission meetings, this hasn’t happened.
I get the feeling that we, whom live in the surrounding community, are only important to the people at Emmi Corporation when we “get in the way.” I hope I am wrong.
Save the neighborhoods
The Arcata City Council on March 2 voted to place on the Consent Agenda for the March 16 meeting an ordinance amending the Municipal Code regarding land use.
Three members (Brinton, Ornelas and Stillman) supported and two (Winkler and Wheetley) opposed it. Unless it is withdrawn in advance of the vote, this major alteration of a neighborhood and disregard of the General Plan land use code will occur. One hopes that if it is withdrawn, others will join those from the immediate vicinity who spoke almost unanimously in opposition.
For almost 40 years I lived just seven blocks from 1340 A Street and witnessed the decline of the Arcata Church of the Nazarene. HSU, i.e., the State of California, literally surrounded me so I moved closer to central Arcata; both residences have plenty of traffic and on street parking day and night. However, when I viewed the council meeting via television on March 2, I was surprised at the absence of any mention of parking issues for the eight businesses and who-knows-how-many residents’ cars that can be expected on the street.
I feel almost guilty that I did not attend any of the public meetings on this project, commonly called Campbell Creek Technology Center (CCTC) on Oct. 12, 26, Dec. 14, Jan. 5, 19 and March 2. However,as I get older I increasingly avoid driving at night, particularly when it is dark and rainy.
However, I did go to the library and review documents, after talking to Community Development staffmember Joe Mateer.
He identified parties who either spoke or wrote in behalf of the project, none of whom, to my knowledge, live in the contiguous blocks. Again I was surprised as an official from HSU and a friend and former neighbor of mine had worked diligently to bring about changes in the site of the current Behavioral and Social Sciences Building and yet wrote approvingly of this project.
Reviewing minutes of past council meetings there are many different views expressed by council, City staff and public citizens as to sidewalks, retaining/modifying the Mansard roof, bedrooms, etc. Years ago we heard the cry “Save the Neighborhoods” and “Stop at Four”; that was before the freeway was constructed and bisected Arcata.
It is true: we learned to live in a divided Arcata and regardless of the outcome on CCTC, we will survive. Like the freeway, some will benefit and others will not. I think it deserves more thought as to the best use of this particular part of Arcata. Attend, phone or e-mail Mayor Michael Winkler (email@example.com) and let the council know how you feel.
Sara M. Turner
Excellence, or not
I have nothing but sincere praise for a thoughtful, insightful, “spot-on” analysis of Karen Brook’s candidacy for Third District Supervisor.
I agree with you about her “interest in and energy for her community,” and – ever since her first run for office – I have been asking myself, “Will the REAL Karen Brooks please stand up?”
The fact that you published “Brooks makes her case” and “Wayward Winkler” immediately adjacent to you letter is further evidence of the journalistic excellence of the Arcata Eye.
Duncan B. MacLaren
Thanks, but since the paper began it has praised and criticized for all the wrong reasons. Publishing diverse opinion submissions is a baseline responsibility. We will accept credit, though, for tracking down the writers of letters that come in unsigned and with no phone numbers to verify their identity, and then correcting the weird spelling and punctuation for publication. These included a couple of letters from Brooks supporters. – Ed.
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Humboldt County Courthouse
825 Fifth Street, Room 111
Eureka, CA 95501
Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Bay Chapter 56, has voted unanimously to urge the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to rescind its March 27, 2012, Emergency Ordinance.
The Ordinance was meant to pacify feelings of some vocal citizens, but stifles the First Amendment rights of all citizens. The Ordinance is unnecessary because solutions already exist. These solutions include existing laws and cooperation.
A few of the listed complaints that could be easily solved are the presence of human waste, the trampled lawn and aggressive language.
Laws are already in place that could be used to cover this situation of human waste. A creative solution would be to furnish the appropriate facilities. Numerous offers have been made to pay for one, but have been ignored.
Camping degraded the lawn area until it was unfit for standing, or camp living. A permanent campsite for houseless and itinerant folks is within the resources of Humboldt County.
Intrusive behaviors were also mentioned. A judge did speak to such a situation by banning the major culprit from the courthouse area.
None of the acts listed above were so urgent that the normal period designated by law for discussion could not have been followed. Further, the Ordinance is punitive to those who have legally, peacefully, and historically used the courthouse environment as a place to assemble for a variety of activities. Veterans For Peace and Women In Black have held vigils on the courthouse lawn each weekend for nearly 10 years, but are now blocked by this ordinance from their free expression on the courthouse grounds.
The fence, which was meant to preserve the turf, placed the lawn off limits for standing as well as signage; the curfew, that was meant to discourage camping, now prohibits candlelight vigils on the steps and plaza area; and the invisible fence around the plaza and steps, meant to discourage unacceptable behavior, now prohibits free standing signs and tables, even in times when the courthouse is not open for business.
Veterans For Peace and other groups value the right to express our First Amendment rights. We see this expressed in speech, letters, signs, marches, and vigils, day or night. Supervisors gave an excuse that “unimpeded courthouse access” should take priority over “free speech,” but excluding demonstrations after 9:30 p.m. only prevents free speech, as the courthouse is not used for anything else during those hours.
Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Bay Chapter 56, must challenge the necessity and constitutional validity of the Ordinance. It is better to solve problems by means of diplomatic agreement within an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. Otherwise, we descend into chaos and repression.
Representing Veterans For Peace
Dear Board Members of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors,
The Social Action Committee and the Minister of the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship have been discussing our Board of Supervisors recent “urgent” measure to limit movement and speech by county residents in front of our Court House.
We wish to go on record as not supportive of the Board’s recent actions in this matter. We place high value on freedom of speech and the right of all citizens to voice their views openly and publicly. We further find no justification for considering the Board’s action as being urgent in any sense of the term.
Rather we fear that the action may have been used by the Board only to sidestep normal protections and procedures afforded the citizens in such matters.
This letter represents the opinion of the Social Action Committee and the Minister.
Yours very truly,
Ursula Osborne, committee chair
Dennis Reynolds, minister
Susan Adams thanks
As Susan Adams’ Humboldt County field organizer, I want to first congratulate Jared Huffman who will be our Congressman in January, and I would like to thank all of the Adams’ supporters for their votes.
I would like to give a special thank you to the amazing volunteers who walked precincts, made phone calls, collected signatures and worked Arts Alive and Farmers’ Markets; to the hosts of the many house parties where Susan was able to meet so many influential member of our community; and to everyone who donated to her campaign.
It was an honor to be associated with such wonderful people on this campaign, and I hope I’ll have the pleasure of working with all of you in the future.
Richard W. Salzman
Our Cata End-Never
Well, our Endeavor is shut down;
We did our best –
Now’s the test.
To all the aysayers:
You blame this time-of-year travelers on us at the Food Bank
After all, we give food and such, but (and this is the big butt)
We are not here, Arcata Endeavor
And its relative
North Coast Resource Center
is shut down for now.
So? So, now ArcataCalifornia
Look around. See?
See any homeless? Or transients?
How about hippie-dippy travelin’ fooles?
Told you. It was never the
Arcata Food Endeavor’s fault…
P.S. I betcha panhandlin’ just went up a bunch… This ain’t no Fun Bunch, folks.
Frustrated, not bitter
The June 6 edition of the Arcata Eye inaccurately reflects what I said.
I think Kevin Hoover confused my grief for bitterness. I expressed some longing that the City would have been more supportive of the organization’s efforts over the past five years, but my concern was more about the future of services in Arcata. We can’t change the past. In the conversation I chronicled a few of the more difficult circumstances the organization has worked through. I’m concerned that some of the services of the NCRC won’t be duplicated. The opinion piece on page 6 in the same issue reflects this.
To this day I am thankful that the city council renewed the lease in 2010 and removed the meal-time restriction that was part of the settlement agreement which allowed the NCRC to stay in the service center in 2009.
I want to be clear that the City did not force us out. It was agreed that the NCRC would vacate the building at the end of May since the board was unable to resurrect the organization due to circumstances beyond its control. City staff, especially Randy Mendosa, Dan Diemer and Doby Class, have made the last few weeks a lot easier with their willingness to work with us during a very difficult time.
Their you go agin
I want to thankyou for printing my letters to the editer. I am definately happy thet you fix my wierd speling to. I appreciate you’re paper alot.
A troublesome tax
The Arcata City Council seems determined to put on the November ballot a tax increase for electricity users who consume 600percent over the baseline, the baseline being 60 percent of the average household use. Is this wise? Councilmembers should “first, do no harm.”
Most citizens believe philosophically in conservation of energy — gas or electricity — and we try to keep our bills as low as possible. If we have anything growing indoors, be it orchids or marijuana, our consumption increases. If we have old appliances or a furnace blower in operation, that runs up our bill as well.
Rates are set state-wide by the CA Public Utilities Commission and implemented by PG&E locally. Special programs to help low income people pay utility bills are available upon application. CARE is one and quite a few of those eligi
ble consume substantially higher amounts of electricity than does the average homeowner. In order to penalize those who are growing marijuana, the proposed tax will capture income for the City of Arcata, which badly needs it. Other high users, not on CARE, will also be penalized.
It is not that simple. Being successful at the ballot box and devising the method of identifying the suspicious users will cost an estimated $800,000. Just how much will be gained is unknown.
Marijuana growers may move to Blue Lake or Pacific Manor or McKinleyville, out of Arcata City Limits. Since there will be exceptions for “medical equipment users” might not those with a 215 Prescription claim the right to grow their own medicine? If denied, might not a few good lawyers gather a class action suit to challenge the City?
Now is the time to ask Attorney Nancy Diamond her opinion as to the wisdom of this legislation.
Sand Sculpture thanks
Friends of the Dunes would like to thank all the wonderful sponsors, sculptors, volunteers and community members who helped make the 17th annual Sand Sculpture Festival at the Manila Dunes Recreation area a huge success.
Proceeds from the event help support Friends of the Dunes’ Bay to Dunes school education program, ensuring that students from all over the county have the opportunity to learn about and explore bay and dune environments.
The event would not be possible without the generous support of our many business sponsors including; Wildberries Marketplace, Northcoast Horticulture Supply, Bear River Casino, KHUM, KSLUG KXGO and the Point, the Arcata Eye, News Channel 3, Japhy’s Soup and Noodles, Pacific Watershed Associates, Jason Stuan DDS, Pierson Building Center, Kokatat, Lindquist Landscapes, Umpqua Bank, Hunter, Hunter, & Hunt, Danco Builders, The Journal, Northcoast Environmental Center, Points West Surveying Co., Central Office, LACO, Coast Central Credit Union, Humboldt Surfrider, Provolt Design and Humboldt Bay Bird Observatory.
We would also like to thank the California Conservation Corps for assisting with parking, Boys and Girls Club for handling food, and the Manila Community Services District.
Pictures of all the sculptures can be viewed at friendsofthedunes.org.
Carol Vander Meer, executive director
Friends of the Dunes
Breast Health thanks
The Humboldt Community Breast Health Project thanks our community for supporting its Annual Vacation Raffle. The raffle drawing was June 2 at the Vance Café. Over 130 volunteers and 25 businesses sold raffle tickets and promoted the raffle. Thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets. The vacation destination winners are: Frank Canning of Redway, Shirlee Degnan of Trinidad, Diana Sauers of Fortuna and Sue Ellis of Alaska.
The community support ensures that HCBHP continues to provide services free of charge to individuals facing breast or gynecologic cancer. This is our largest fundraiser of the year. With your help we met of our goal. 100 percentof the money raised stays in Humboldt County.
Thank you to our generous sponsors for your underwriting support and destination donors for donating their vacation get-aways.
Rose Gale-Zoellick, executive director
Bike Roadeo thanks
On May 10, 2012, the California Highway Patrol hosted a Bike Roadeo for the local home school community at Redwood Acres Fairground in Eureka.
It was a huge success with over 80 children served with bicycle safety inspections, helmet inspections, a bike obstacle course, free lunch, fire truck tours, and car seat inspections.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success!
Thank you to Cindy Bedingfield and Karen Camilli at Redwood Acres Fairground, Captain Jim Anderson, Captain Brett Banducci and crew of the Humboldt No. 1 Fire District, Maria Bauman and Sandy Walsh at Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Will Spurling and Henderson Center Bicycles, Melissa Fiedler at the City Of Arcata, Officer Paul Dahlen and Officer Chase Adams at the CHP Arcata office, Cash & Carry, Murphy’s Market, Pacific Outfitters, Sport & Cycle, and our numerous individuals who volunteered your time for our young people.
Officer Matt Harvey
Public Information Officer
Accident Investigation/School Bus
California Highway Patrol