Council should look at its pay, instead of water rate
Interesting Coastal Voices piece on Oct. 5 by Ron Gastineau, “Let’s get real: Water system is in jeopardy,” regarding a water rates increase.
Mr. Gastineau, if you and members of the City Council are so worried about a lack of money for your purposes, how come the City Council gave itself a pay increase?
Gracie Cooper, Crescent City
Editor’s note: City Council members’ last raise came in January 2009, when it increased from $434.15 per month to $610.92.
Lack of leadership is the reason for water rate hike
I read in the paper about how the city is whining about how much they need the money and need to raise the water rates. This is a familiar refrain.
Remember when they needed to improve the sewer? They had to do it because our sewer was so old and in disrepair that we were getting fined. So they built a new sewer treatment plant instead of improving the old one. They said we needed to pay more on our rates and we do, but now I’m being told that they need even more money for the sewer on top of more for the water.
Newspaper's priorities are astoundingly off-base
Again I’m astounded by the lack of good taste this newspaper has when reporting what’s newsworthy, regarding the Oct. 8 front page.
First of all you’ve given top billing to some inmate who no doubt in my opinion deserves to be where he belongs (“The media and the SHU”).
Second, you’ve got three photographs, two of which depict an inmate in a well-deserved custodial type environment.
And thirdly, you’ve given a CR professor a small portion of the front page, which appears to be a horrific attack by a shark, second billing to some felon who in my opinion deserves to be where he is despite his obvious “please feel sorry for me” look for the Triplicate’s camera.
Thanks, Triplicate, for putting an inmate on the priority pedestal first, instead of a obvious law-abiding citizen whose tax dollars feed, cloth and house this (for the lack of a better word) person in our state penitentiary system.
Frank Villarreal, Cape Coral, Fla.
Reporting on sex charges insensitive to the children
The Triplicate printed an article Oct. 10, “CC man faces sex crimes charges,” divulging details of the charges placed against a local man for child abuse.
City must cut spending before seeking rate hike
I have to respond to the Sept. 28 Triplicate editorial, “Protest aside, what about our water?” How arrogant to try and make this protest about people not wanting to improve their water system.
When I read that people might be willing to pay more if blah, blah, blah, it made me mad. This is not about willingness, it’s about ability. What part of “can’t afford it” do you not get?
These people you think have no willingness already can’t make it month to month. It’s nice for you that these rate increases are not a concern, but in the area your paper serves, you are in the minority.
The Triplicate itself is an example of making the necessary changes to survive in this depressed economy. It made its paper smaller. It decreased publication from five days to three days. It cut back on its expenses. If it hadn’t, perhaps it would have had to close its doors.
Our city continues on its same path no matter the circumstances, like it’s 1993. It continues to raise salaries and pay the city attorney an annual increase. It’s paying its interim finance director $7,322 a month, plus a housing allowance of up to $2,000 per month. Champagne tastes and beer budget.
Scare tactics on water rate hike don’t add up
I have read with interest the recent and near back-to-back Coastal Voices contributions of two of the Crescent City Council members touting the Council’s decision to raise water rates.
Councilman Holley’s spiel primarily focuses on the “greying” of the system, which was constructed in the 1950s. The system includes a tank/tower at Wonder Stump Road, which is in need of “beefing up” to withstand earthquakes. I suppose it is possible by computer search to tally the number of quakes it has withstood to date. I would guess they are not a few.
One wonders why it suddenly is found to be in need of retrofitting. Of course everyone knows the Big One is overdue and retrofitting is not a bad idea in and of itself, but the timing is questionable. Why now, with the American economy in shambles, does Crescent City suddenly feel the urge to raise rates so we can beef up a water tower?
Of course, there is the city water fund that is perennially losing money in the hundreds of thousands annually. According to Interim Director of Finance Susan Mayer, the fund experienced an operating deficit last year of $334,000 and during the previous three years it has been losing between $300,000 and $500,000 annually.
Of course the reason expressed for the deficit is that the city has been dipping into its reserves to pay its bills. The only statement on the website’s report in the matter of the deficit is that rates have not been increased.
Del Norte is better off without Alexander as DA
This unsolicited letter is in response to Veronica Candelaria’s Oct. 8 letter, “The D.A.’s Office is failing while Alexander is absent.”
I have personal experience with the likes of former district attorneys Bill Cornell, Mike Riese and Bob Drossel.
I’ve also spent more than three years litigating criminal conduct opposite Katie Micks as the acting D.A. This, during the haze of Riese’s last three years of his second term, or in the current absence of Alexander. All I can say after living through Cornell and Riese is, thank God we now have someone who understands there are 52 (at most) felony trial days in a year, and about 400 felony cases (down from Alexander’s irrational 1,000 per year). There are 2,200 or more misdemeanor cases put in the system each year, with 24 trial days.
Ms. Micks processes the cases along as well as can be expected, especially since the state will not create another judgeship in this town, despite meeting the state’s own criteria for such an appointment.
Alexander is the type of person to set another up and have them besmirched for his own career benefit. I know — I am his victim.
Stand up for our children and challenge bullying
I am writing as an outraged parent of three elementary school-aged children. The bullying, and vicious attacks on our students is still up and rising, despite what our area schools tell us, and I have seen people on various bullying sites talking about how their children are being bullied or have been beat up before, during, or after school.
All I can say to those parents is shame on you. Most of you have not gone past the police, or the principals of these area schools, to protect your own children. If the principals won’t help, go to the superintendent, and if he won’t help go to the state.
We have to start standing up for our children. Too many children are going into depression about their situations at school, that leads to, in their minds, no other alternative but to commit suicide, or develop some sort of other coping mechanism.
Pulling them out of school should not be the answer. Everyone deserves the “school experience” that we had growing up. Friends, dances and just general hanging out with your friends on the playground. It is a surreal experience that no one should miss.
We as parents are obligated to protect our children from the cold, and sometimes lonely, confines of bullying at our schools. For if we do not stand up for our children, who will?
Shawna Fairgood, Crescent City
Numerous benefits of term limits for rancheria
Smith River Rancheria members have made tremendous progress to amend the tribe’s constitution to include Tribal Council term limits!
The For Your Knowledge (FYK) Committee has collected over 208 voter signatures on the initiative! We could not have accomplished this feat without the support of our tribal membership and we thank each and every one of you who felt so inclined to sign.
Once the voter signatures have been verified by the Election Board, the Tribal Council must call a special election on the initiative within 90 days. We are proud of our tribal voters that have continued their support for us to exercise our tribal sovereign rights.
We are on the verge of making effective and positive changes within our tribal governmental structure. Term limits are a good thing. Term limits will give all tribal members that aspire to become Tribal Council members an opportunity to participate in tribal leadership by providing fresh ideas as well as offering training to next generations to effectively operate fiscally sound governmental programs and projects to further our culture, language and heritage.
There is a presumption that when council members know there is a six-year time frame to hold office they will work more efficiently and be more responsive to the needs of the general membership.
It is a known fact that effective leadership can be overwhelming. But there will be seasoned leadership available to pass on the baton since the seven-member council rotates out in staggered terms of office.
Fire fee protesters now have a voice
I have a few questions concerning the fire fee/tax.
Did you, the readers, pay your fee under protest? I hope you were able to get a petition for redetermination, filled it out and mailed it to be received within the time frame we were allowed by the state.
When I got this notice to pay this fee last year — which caught me off guard — I called the State Board of Equalization. They were prepared for calls about this fee, as I was told to call Cal Fire and they gave me their phone number. I was also told that they just mail these notices and have no authority to make any judgments on my complaints and that I must file a complaint in the order of the petition for redetermination to Cal Fire.
I phoned Cal Fire and was told the same thing. So I paid my fee/tax and put “paid under protest” on it, filled out the petition and mailed it. I only had five days to get it to Cal Fire and I acted very fast. It made it in the time frame and was not late.
Sometime later, I received a reply from Cal Fire. It was of no surprise to me that my petition and letter were denied. Cal Fire told me they had no authority in making decisions, they were just the agency that receives the money. Were you told the same as me?
I then mailed copies of all of this to all of our senators, our representatives, AARP and the Howard Jarvis Tax Payers Association (HJTA). I received a form-letter type of response from them, stating that the senators and representatives handle the federal issues for the state and this was a state issue. AARP was similar, only they are working on Medicare issues only and Social Security.
Water is not the only rate or tax hike hitting us soon
I have to agree with the Sept. 26 Coastal Voices piece by Katherine Kelly, “Poor residents can’t pay more for water,” about the many low-income people in our community.
What wasn’t mentioned is the garbage rate hike, along with some sewer rate increases coming in the future, and a higher property tax for homeowners. Plus winter is coming and heating bills are going to go up.
People are being slammed from every angle. Separately, they don’t sound so bad, but adding them together spells disaster for so many people.
Even people who don’t live in poverty are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. With all that’s being thrown at them, they could be part of that low-income group.
Is this what our city wants? To make us all poor?
Marsinah Murakami, Crescent City
New bicycle law could tie up traffic for miles
The Associated Press article, “Cyclists will get a 3-foot buffer under new law,” Sept. 28, has a statement that is not included in the lengthy description I got when researching the law on Google.
The article says regarding the proposal, “It states that if drivers cannot leave 3 feet of space, they must slow down and pass only when it would not endanger the cyclist’s safety.”
Right to bear arms older than recorded history
Just a note to add to Gerry Dooley’s amusement (“Second Amendment doesn’t fit our times,” Sept. 21). The right of people to defend themselves was not invented by the writers of our Constitution.
It is a basic natural human right (some would say God-given) that has existed from before the advent of recorded history.
Tyrants, of course, do not respect that right because they know a defenseless population is easy to control. (Remember how Hitler managed to kill 6 million people?)
Gerry says he is amused at the efforts of us “right-wingers” to preserve that right. I am confused by the “left-wingers’” efforts to destroy it.
Refusing the right of honest citizens to have guns will not prevent gun violence. In fact, an armed citizenry can often prevent violence. The bad guys are going to have and use guns no matter how many laws are passed. Making us honest law-abiding citizens defenseless will not prevent that.
Clif Shepard, Crescent City