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Letters to the Editor May 17, 2014

Doehle is honest and fair in her decisions 

It is so important to vote in the upcoming election. It is important to know the candidates and their qualifications. Many of these offices are non-partisan, and gender should not be an issue. We should vote for the candidate who will do the best job for that office. 

I would like to recommend Chris Doehle for Superior Court judge. I have had the opportunity to see Chris Doehle in her role as judge. She is honest and fair in her decisions. Isn’t that what we want in a judge?

I have had the opportunity to have known her in her law practice. I found her to be intelligent, organized, thoughtful and hard-working. These are the qualities I want to see in a judge. I would like to see Judge Chris Doehle continue her role as Superior Court judge. She is doing an outstanding job. 

Esther Cupp, Crescent City

 

Drossel has experience, stability factors for DA

I am looking for a DA who can provide stability to that office. It has been a nightmare for too long. When Drossel was DA, he did get the job done with no drama and did a great job taking tough cases to court and winning. He is not a politician and that is good. He doesn’t need to make promises as his lengthy record of success speaks for itself. 

Who else can say they have been a police officer and a career prosecutor? No one in this county. 

I am choosing Bob’s  leadership, experience and known credibility.

Phyllis Heggen, Smith River

Could new state afford California’s agencies?

As I have been reading all of the articles about becoming part of the state of Jefferson I have to wonder how in the world would this new state be able to afford to take over all of Cal Fire’s camps and regional offices, Caltrans to keep our roads up, CHP and Pelican Bay State Prison? 

To think that the state of California would ever just hand over any of this without years of litigation would be a pipe dream. 

Del Norte County is a small county, and most of its top paid employees work for the state of California, so it is not just the social programs that the state of California supports that should be on everyone’s mind but all of the state employees that highly contribute to this county’s coffers. 

Now we have a state hopeful that says that he will represent us if we go forward with a new state? How? Will he give up the part of his constituents that are still in California because I cannot see how it would be legal for him to represent people in two states.

Brenda Johnston, Crescent City 

 

Assembly candidate for rural priorities

I am a candidate for the California Assembly in the North Coast (Second) District. I’ve lived in the North Coast district for almost 40 years. My wife and I built our home in western Sonoma County. Our children grew up here, and they attended local public schools. I’ve worked here as a teacher and a carpenter. 

I worked at Burbank Housing, a successful nonprofit affordable housing company in Sonoma County, for 28 years, and I was the executive director from 1998 to 2012. Burbank has developed over 3,500 homes and apartments, and we were successful at bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars that were turned into jobs, housing and economic development. 

This work was all about creating opportunities, and we need wider opportunities, particularly for our young people. In addition to housing and homeownership, opportunities depend on good jobs, effective education and on quality public services and infrastructure, including good roads. Our public education system needs additional resources, and we must prioritize a return to affordable higher educational opportunities. 

All of these goals depend on a vital and growing economy and on business success. I will work to reduce regulatory burdens and to support the viability of timber, fisheries, agriculture and ranching.

Many people on the North Coast share a sense of being ignored or even harassed by state government. A legislator must be focused on representing the interests of the people of the district and the priorities of local governments. Rural interests are easily ignored in this urban state. Urban-based interest groups are too often empowered to direct policy decisions that have greatest impact in rural areas. 

I understand the critical importance of the services provided by our local governments, and the difficulties they face from unfunded mandates, excessive regulation and limited revenue authority. The North Coast district includes five counties, 16 incorporated cities and dozens of separate unincorporated communities. Providing representation for all of these is a challenge. I take this responsibility seriously, and I look forward to representing you in Sacramento. 

John Lowry, Candidate for Assembly 2nd District, Graton

Chris Doehle most qualified for judge

Superior Court Judge Chris Doehle has been doing an exemplary job in this position for a year and a half.  

She was chosen as the best candidate through a rigorous process that required intensive investigation of her qualifications and character.  CCPOA, Elk Valley Rancheria, Smith River Rancheria and the Yurok Tribal Council have endorsed her, and I personally know her to be smart, compassionate, impartial and extremely thoughtful when making decisions. Her demeanor is calm and professional, which are important traits when in command of a courtroom. 

Chris is the most qualified person for Superior Court judge, and I urge you to support her. Judge Doehle is the right candidate for the right reasons.

Susan McCoy, Crescent City

Jefferson flier has misleading points

The “State of Jefferson: Land of Opportunity” flier mailed to its residents is misleading:

1. The flier shows a map of 17 counties, implying those would comprise the new state. Only four of those counties have committed to the state, and two others are having elections. The potential state will not include Humboldt County, yet they have it on the map. Will voters think that another 12 counties have committed to the new state when they have not?

2. The flier says “we are paying for out-of-control [state] spending.” The fact is we don’t pay since Del Norte County receives more ($34 million) from state funding than it contributes ($17 million) from local taxes.

3. The flier lists California bankruptcy under what its author(s) call “future Triplicate headlines.” On March 25, I wrote a letter to the editor in response to a letter by a Jefferson financial spokesperson where I stated that California is in the black with budget surpluses rather than facing bankruptcy. 

In the “Pros and Cons of Measure A” article in the Triplicate (May 10), Aaron Funk, county coordinator for the Del Norte Jefferson State Declaration Committee says, “No answers are available until the potential state of Jefferson is created and recognized.” That’s too late to get answers for voters to make an informed decision. He implied that without knowing the number of counties, they can’t guess the finances. 

Well we know that the numbers in Del Norte County would be deficient. Our county and the other counties considering a new state are among the poorest. They have small populations with hardly any significant businesses. Without a business base, any taxing burden would fall on the residents. We cannot afford any higher taxes.

We need to know if there is enough of an existing tax base to support a state. We do not want the burden of operating a new state to fall on the backs of its residents. California has enough of a business tax base to be the 10th largest economy in the world. That tax base is what supports the residential homes. 

Can you buy a car or a house without disclosing financial information to determine whether you can afford the car or house? Then why should we vote to create a new state when we do not know whether we can afford it or if it would be financially solvent?

Eli Naffah, Crescent City

Why would anyone remove flowers?

On March 1 of this year I planted roses for my son-in-law who was killed in an automobile accident on March 1, 2012. I planted three roses for the three lives that were lost at mile post 18, Highway 101 South. Since balloons deflate and plastic flowers always get taken away I thought living flowers would be a better way to remember loved ones lost as tragically. 

So imagine my shock and utter dismay when one month after I did this I stopped to see their progress and someone had decided to pull the roses out of the ground and leave trash lying around the site. The roses were well off the road and would not have hurt anything. 

I don’t understand why anyone would feel that they could, should or would be justified in doing this. I looked around for a month trying to find climbing roses so the lives lost at this location would be remembered. 

To who ever did this unspeakable act, shame on you. I can only believe that you never lost someone you loved and wanted to pay love and respect to. Someday you will feel the shock and dismay that my family and I suffered when we went back to see our memorial to our loved one ripped out of the ground. 

Come on, people, have we really turned into such a cold, cruel world that we have to hurt people we don’t even know? You know who you are, and I feel sorry for you. Someday you will have to suffer this same shock and dismay because of your inconsiderate actions. 

Etta Norris, Crescent City

Kashkari won’t fight for gun rights

The other day I received a piece of mail from the California Republican party with its voting recommendations for next month’s primary. It wants me to vote for Neel Kashkari as the party’s nominee to run against Jerry Brown in November. 

Well sorry, state RINOS (Republicans In Name Only), there is no way that I could ever vote for Kashkari. He’s just another Silicon Valley social liberal obsessed only with reducing his tax burden. 

Other than concern over their own financial well-being, California Republican RINOS are indistinguishable from the Democratic far left on critical social issues. Kashkari is nothing more than Meg Whitman in a man’s suit with a shaved head. 

He is anti-Second Amendment. No matter what he says about being a supporter of gun rights, he’s lying! Last month, Neel Kashkari told an audience of conservative college students, in Sacramento, that he supports gun rights. But, the Feb. 20 issue of the Sacramento Bee quotes him as also saying the following to that audience in response to a question concerning his stand on the Second Amendment: “If you’re a single issue voter, and you just want someone to give you a full capacity assault rifle magazine, God bless you, you can go vote for somebody else. … I’m not your guy.” 

In next month’s primary, I’ll be voting for Tim Donnelly to be the Republican nominee for next November’s general election. If Donnelly wins the primary, I will vote for him in November. 

But, if Kashkari wins the primary, I’ll feel compelled to do the unthinkable and vote for Jerry Brown. At least Brown has been somewhat “reasonable” on the issue of gun owners’ rights. He has vetoed most of the “really bad” anti-gun bills that the Legislature has sent to him. 

Despite what he may say about supporting the constitutional rights of California’s gun owners during this current campaign season, if Kashkari becomes our governor, there will be a run on every kind of gun and, of course, ammo when he starts signing anti-gun bill after anti-gun bill. He’ll be claiming that they are “reasonable” laws that won’t unduly “inconvenience” law-abiding gun owners. He has already stated that he has not found California’s current byzantine firearms laws to be “inconvenient.” Anybody try to buy a gun lately? 

Wally Peets, Crescent City

 

Some candidates fake commitment

Well, it’s election time again, and you know what that means — the carpetbaggers are coming out of the woodwork and joining our clubs, organizations and charities. 

I have been a member of our community for 30 years now, and in that time I have become very active in a number of community programs and organizations. It always seems that during election season we see new bodies showing up to organizations such as Rotary and events such as the community Thanksgiving dinner.

These individuals usually join several months before the election cycle, but — mark my words — as soon as the election is over so is their community involvement. 

If you see candidates with service pins or if they claim to be a member of some organization, ask them how long they have been a member and what the membership means to them. In most cases, you’ll find that they’ve been a member (or active with the group) for less than a year. They will have no real answer as to what membership is all about. 

When you see these new faces in your organization or club and they are running for office, please don’t vote for them. It is an injustice to the organization you believe in. 

Many of you know that I was not a Jon Alexander supporter, but I must give credit where credit is due. Jon came to our community and worked hard to be an active member of our community before, during and after his election and remains active to this day, and I salute him for that. 

Two individuals that I respect for their long-term commitment to our community are Darren McElfresh, candidate for Superior Court judge, and Bob Drossel, candidate for district attorney. Both have a long and active history in our community and aren’t just rolling into town with a bottle of snake oil to sell us unknowing locals.

Please join me in voting for Darren McElfresh for Superior Court judge and Bob Drossel for district attorney. Both are good people that have and will care for our community.

Ron Sandler, Fort Dick

Doehle doesn’t get criminal justice

I was initially very pleased with Chris Doehle. She is a woman and a Democrat, two traits I share. I was hoping for a balance of justice and wisdom so that repeat offenders who have repeatedly gamed the system would be punished and those reasonably accountable but made some bad choices would be sanctioned and judicially guided through an appropriate period of supervision and program.

I have been severely disappointed, which is why I urge voters of Del Norte County to elect Darren McElfresh for Superior Court judge. He has had many years in the criminal justice system, both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, and has exactly the experience we need to reject the outrageous plea agreements that our community has suffered in the past year. He will stop the revolving door for repeat felons that get their charges reduced because the lawyers don’t want the work of going to trial.

Chris Doehle is a very nice lady and did a great job as a family court mediator, but criminal court is about justice, not finding middle ground, and she has absolutely not demonstrated that basic, essential understanding. We need to get our criminal justice system functioning again, and to do that we need a judge that knows what she’s doing. This is why both the Crescent City Police Officers Association and Del Norte County Sheriff’s Employees Association have endorsed Darren McElfresh. These are the men and women that are on the front lines, working to keep our community safe, only to see the same people, again and again, being let off the hook due to a lack of expertise in criminal law. 

Please vote for Darren McElfresh for Superior Court judge.

Linda Sanford, (Ret) acting chief probation officer, Smith River

Don’t believe Jefferson critics

I spent my career as a guard in the California prison system, many years right here at Pelican Bay. 

Like you, I worked hard at a dangerous job and earned my wages, securing my family’s future. And, like you, I don’t want to lose any of my benefits.

That being said, I am deeply concerned that the state of California is charging towards bankruptcy. California owes nearly $1.2 trillion including unfunded liabilities. Myself, my wife, each of our children and each of our grandchildren owe $32,162 of that debt. And instead of paying down that debt, California is adding to it, contrary to what the governor would have us believe. This can’t go on forever before the state of California collapses, along with our retirement security. 

Don’t believe the false warnings from Measure A opponents. They claim that the prison will close down. Nothing is further from the truth. According to the Legislative Analyst’s report, all of California’s assets within Jefferson borders would become Jefferson’s property, including the prisons. The prison will continue to be one of Del Norte County’s most important assets. With just three percent of felonies being committed in Jefferson, we would have 97 percent of our cells available to rent to California at premium, profitable rates. We could reject California’s Level Four prisoners. We could reinstate the PIA program, manufacturing shoes, processing biomass and other meaningful programs. Why would the people of Jefferson want to close down the prison?

Naysayers would have us believe that “we will lose our CalPERS benefits.” As you know, these benefits follow you anywhere you go — to Montana, France and Jefferson and would continue to under JeffPERS.

Opponents of Measure A claim that “your wages will fall in Jefferson.” Contract law mandates that contracts in effect in California will continue unchanged in Jefferson. In fact, one of the principles of a state of Jefferson is putting more cash in everyone’s pockets by eliminating hundreds of California agencies and eliminating multi-billion dollar fiascos like the bullet train and water tunnels under the Delta. 

Don’t be fooled. A yes vote on Measure A doesn’t create the state of Jefferson or pull us out of California. What it does do is reserve us an important place at the table along with 19 other northern counties to regain our political state representation through a number of remedies including the possibility of Jefferson state.

Chuck Tweed, Crescent City

Wiens’ writings will be missed

Richard Wiens’ column “Appreciating Del Norte, a matter of perspective” (April 17) described the area very well.  

My small vacation rental on Pebble Beach Drive has drawn many visitors from across the U.S., most of whom come to see the redwoods and secondly the ocean. His suggested hikes are a continual help for my guests.

Even though I do not live in Del Norte County, as he says, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I have come to appreciate the varied beauty and not take it for granted.  I will miss his editorials and recommendations for exploring and enjoying many areas close to our town.

Elisabeth Hawthorne, Healdsburg

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