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Letters to the Editor June 6, 2013

Privatizing authority is of questionable legality

At the joint supervisors/City Council meeting on May 21, county Supervisor Roger Gitlin stated publicly that he had received a confidential memo from legal counsel regarding the possible legal implications of privatizing the Solid Waste Authority due to a Costa Mesa case.

As a layperson, the case seems quite simple. The Costa Mesa City Council attempted to privatize many services to allegedly save money. The employees’ union filed a lawsuit stating that according to California Government Code, a city is prohibited from privatizing city services that are not considered special such as legal, financial or engineering services.

The court ruled in favor of the employees’ union. It reached the California Supreme Court in November and the decision is now case law. This means that it serves as legal precedent (binding or persuasive) for any future cases in which a California general city attempts to privatize non-specialized city services.

The cost to Costa Mesa was great. The City Council spent $700,00 in legal fees and was forced to withdraw all pink slips. The court prohibited the layoffs from going forward until the case was resolved. Unfortunately, a maintenance worker, Huy Pham ended his life by jumping off the City Hall building after receiving his layoff notice.

When the majority of Del Norte citizens are expressing satisfaction and support for the services provided by the Solid Waste Authority, when the Triplicate has provided the figures showing that we pay less per unit weight than Curry County and when employees have desperately expressed the stress they and their families are experiencing with this unending game over their livelihood, why are supervisors Gitlin and Michael Sullivan spending time looking into privatization when the entire legality of doing so is highly questionable?


Letters to the Editor June 4, 2013

Scandals show Obama is incompetent or dishonest

 It must be clear by now, even to low-information voters, that the three Obama scandals have created a dilemma for anyone paying attention.

Namely, that since the president claims no knowledge of any of these events, it’s clear that he’s either:  A) incredibly incompetent, or B) a liar.

Carter Swart, Crescent City

I and 12 others are too brilliant to believe claims  

Get a load of these right-wing nuts who are always criticizing our beloved president.

They make insane claims about Obama invading foreign countries without congressional approval and they say the IRS is going around harassing the Tea Party movement.

Isn’t that just crazy?

Right-wing nuts say that the Obama Justice Department has been spying on the phone records of the Associated Press.


Letters to the Editor June 1, 2013

McClure watching out to keep area beautiful

In his letter May 28 letter, “Gitlin says McClure is blocking vet monument,” Leroy Bieber says he believes Supervisor Martha McClure places the importance of birds over humans. Nobody can help what Mr. Bieber believes, but the issue appears to be that of bird sanctuary versus annoying light.

But speaking of people, there are motels facing the proposed memorial site. Having a bright light outside their window all night isn’t exactly a pleasant thing to offer visitors. Thank goodness we have people like Martha McClure looking out for the natural beauty and diversity that make this area the unique jewel it is!

Diane Blackberry, Crescent City

Coast Guard needs to explain refusal to help

My wife and I listened intently to the cryptic messages of the Search and Rescue Team on our scanner Saturday evening, May 25, as an injured woman was removed from the rocks where she had fallen (Nickel Creek area) to a higher refuge by a fireman seeking to keep her from a surging tide.

The woman who had fallen from a 20-foot embankment suffered multiple injuries including fractures and a concussion.

The SAR team was on location of rescue within 15 minutes of notification while SAR Coordinator McNamara had dispatch contact the Coast Guard air station in Arcata requesting an airlift. The initial reaction from the Coast Guard was to decline. Only after Team Coordinator McNamara placed a phone call to a higher authority was a helicopter dispatched.

A later attempt to cover the refusal was made by a  Coast Guard spokesman stating that the call had been considered advisory.


Letters to the Editor May 23, 2013

Old-growth trees won't be cut down

Regarding your May 16 story, “Suit filed over 199/197 plan,” about the lawsuit filed by environmental groups over Caltrans’ widening and straightening project for routes 199 and 197, some clarification is needed.

To quote your story, “Although no old-growth redwoods would be cut down, like in the controversial Richardson Grove project ...”

That seems to suggest that old-growth redwoods will be cut down in the Richardson Grove realignment. This is simply not true.

No trees over 2 feet in diameter will be removed in the project. The large diameter trees that most of us know as old-growth will remain.

Fred Mangels, Eureka

Editor’s note: A correction to that effect appears elsewhere in this edition.

Hospital officials should face public

Been thinking, could it be time for another town hall meeting at the Crescent Elk Auditorium with local doctors, the Sutter Coast Hospital interim CEO and the board chairman?

Last year we had a town hall and the hospital CEO and board chairman attended, handed out talking points in favor of “regionalization” and answered questions. The meeting was too short and sadly, the only time any representatives from SCH attended any event to discuss/explain the decision to regionalize to our community.


Letters to the Editor May 30, 2013

Is Waste Authority time-wasting a witch hunt?

Would a bottle of hydrogen peroxide help our elected officers at the county and city clean out the ear wax in their ears? 

At the joint meeting of the city and county (“More talk, no action on waste,” May 23) the majority of the community spoke to keep the Solid Waste Authority. To the current members of the Solid Waste Authority Board, I hope that you hear what the people said at that meeting. 

Are there problems in the way the transfer station is run? No. Are there problems with how Recology picks up our garbage? The answer is no. I would hope that people who went to the meeting would come to Solid Waste Task Force meetings as it starts to work on its “five-year plan” that has to go to the state. Public input would help the members of the task force design that plan. 

I would also hope that if there are problems with the bottom line at the authority that members would focus on that problem and stop playing the soccer game that they have played for so long. If there are problems with the bottom line, how much money we are spending to run the operation of the transfer station?

Why have they wasted so much time and haven’t solved the problem with the books of the authority? 

Maybe they have other reasons to play their soccer game. Is there a witch hunt, as some claim?

Richard Miles, Crescent City

What's Gitlin's motive in blocking airport?

I am struggling to understand why county Supervisor Roger Gitlin has stated that he will oppose the proposed set-aside of some Pacific Shores lots to enable the congressionally mandated airport expansion project to go forward.


Letters to the Editor May 28, 2013

Gitlin says McClure is blocking vet monument

After reading the May 18 Coastal Voices opinion article by county Supervisor Roger Gitlin, “Supreme Court must rein in Coastal Commission,” I am reminded of my personal loss. This weekend is Memorial Day and I hark back to the day my parents shared the terrible World War II telegram that my older brother was missing in action (and later pronounced dead).

My other older brother was also killed in action. I was 11 years old. I am sure you can all relate to human loss and the devastation it leaves.

Today, according to Gitlin, the California Coastal Commission and county Supervisor Martha McClure, who serves as a commissioner, can throw a monkey wrench into the process which would approve the permit to allow the construction of Point of Honor at the S curve because of “the effects of on-site illumination and how lighting would affect our local bird life.”

Allow me to say, I am not a veteran because I am the sole surviving son of my family. I was exempted from the draft. I am not a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but my heart is with it in its struggle to have the permit granted.

It saddens me to believe that Supervisor/Commissioner McClure places the importance of birds over humans. It makes me wonder why it has taken so long to expand our airport and how much we have to give up to bring our community into modern times. Could Martha McClure be the reason we have not expanded our airport and we do not have a Point of Honor Memorial erected?

Leroy Bieber, Crescent City


Letters to the Editor May 25, 2013

Resounding opposition to highway improvements

Recent articles concerning the Caltrans 199/197 road project could have some people believing that only environmental groups are opposed to the introduction of the huge STAA trucks on our Wild and Scenic route.

However, a review of the draft EIR and final EIR shows a resounding opposition to the project. (See Caltrans website www.dot.ca.gov/dist/1/d1proj
ects/1
.) In the final EIR, Caltrans states it received 398 public comments. I could only find three letters or comments that were in favor of the project published in Volume 3 of the final EIR.

Also published in Volume 3 of the final EIR, is a report by Smith Engineering and Management (starting on page 4-2-16, volume 3 of the final EIR) which explains in detail the dangers STAA trucks would pose.

Do the research on this project and if you feel it’s unwise to proceed, contact your local supervisor, the local transportation board, and the Governor’s Office urging them to withdraw support for this project.

Donald Bruce, Gasquet 


Letters to the Editor May 21, 2013

Why spend more on question that's answered?

There is movement afoot to dissolve the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority despite public sentiment in favor of the agency and despite county officials being unable to find any substantial way to improve the agency after two years of searching.

The authority is a local public entity created to monitor the local landfill (now closed, and for good reason) and to handle the county’s trash flow. It is highly efficient, keeping much of our garbage from ever reaching a landfill in the first place.

Run by living-wage employees under public scrutiny at no cost to the taxpayer, the authority contributes to the economic development of the county, contracting with multiple local businesses.

Personally, I am grateful for their good work. The endless waste of our consumer society is a serious environmental problem, affecting water quality and hence, public health. The best way to manage public health is through public oversight and the authority does that well.

Business owners producing large volumes of rubbish feel burdened by fees. But frankly, so does everyone else. That’s the point! People should have to pay to pollute and, despite the formality that it’s legal, dumping in a landfill is still pollution.

Commercial pickup rates proportionate to volume will create the incentive to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Consequently, businesses that provide their services with minimal waste will be rewarded. Who wouldn’t want that?


Letters to the Editor May 18, 2013

Dissolving Waste Authority expensive 

Something stinks in our county and it’s not coming from garbage. The push to dissolve and privatize the public agency that manages our trash by some supervisors makes no sense and is a really bad and ultimately expensive idea.

Our nearest neighbor, Curry County, privatized all of its solid waste handling, which has resulted in a steady increase in fees to their customers. This has been consistent with other communities in the nation that have done the same.

Is it any wonder that Curry residents travel to Del Norte’s transfer station to dump their trash? It’s certainly not to benefit from California’s high gas prices! 

What’s really behind this obsession to get rid of the Solid Waste Management Authority? After a one-year study by a public committee and then another year with 10 city and county officials forming a new board revisiting the issue, the authority received a satisfactory if not exemplary report card for its services … and no recommendation for dissolution or privatization.


Letters to the Editor May 16, 2013

Boston bombing shows need for tighter border

The Brothers Tsarnaev have just delivered a pressure cooked meal of steel to the streets of Boston America as groggy citizens  try to blink away incredulity from awe-struck eyes.

Images of corpses and shredded flesh  imbed on the national psyche as medical teams cart the human carnage away  to be swathed in yards of comfort cotton. The rigors of  sweating  flesh pounding miles of pavement ended with the  flash of  searing heat, and the marathon would never be the same.

Nor would America. Nor should America. It is so past time to review our immigration policy. What does it benefit America to keep up the literal river of humanity pouring into our increasingly impoverished nation? And what are our political leaders thinking by allowing immigrants of nations that continue to pronounce America as their mortal enemy?

Chechnya is a known cauldron of terrorist activism  directed more toward Russia than the U.S., but Islam is the driver  and the West  is radical Islam’s mortal enemy.

Let us not forget that 16 Chechan terrorists were apprehended after crossing our red carpet southern border in 2008 and they weren’t heading here for a picnic.

The immediate question is how many other terrorists have crossed that notoriously porous  border?

Not only are terrorists crossing into the U.S., but terrorist organizations have reportedly collaborated and colluded with the Mexican butchers whose penchant for violent terror makes them akin to the terrorists themselves.


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