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Coastal Voices: Trash stored in residential areas a threat to neighbors

About two years ago, I wrote a column about litter and discards in our open lands and forests. I would now like to write about the serious environmental hazards associated with careless storage in residential neighborhoods.

You may be aware that some of your neighbors may have serious safety and environmental hazards right in their own backyards. Supervisor Roger Gitlin sponsors a litter cleanup program, “Take A Bite Out Of Blight.” My wife and I have volunteered on several occasions with other good citizens to clean up abandoned homeless camps, vacant lots, and residential homes. I would say the word “disgusting” does not begin to describe the discarded material and litter we have collected.

My earlier column spoke of discarded furniture, trash, oils, used diapers, copper wire, appliances, and bottles of stored urine (for meth recycling) in our open lands. Our forests, treasured wildlife, water supplies, recreational users, and visitors are in peril with these environmental and safety threats. As with the gentleman who wrote recently in another Coastal Voices about the Pacific Shores mess, I wrote letters of concern to federal, state, and local officials, and received scant response.

Letters to the Editor, April 19, 2016

McClure gives effort, not grand-stand tactics

During her lifetime of service to this community as a teacher, a union leader and now as a county supervisor, Martha McClure has shown herself to be a person who listens to both sides and works hard to find the best solutions for all of us.

Working on behalf of homeless veterans, Martha recently solved a long-standing problem that prevented our vets from using housing vouchers in our county. Thanks to Martha, these folks no longer have to move out of the county to get housing assistance. This is not something that was solved by slogans or grand-stand tactics but by her efforts and extensive experience in building partnerships with others.

Coastal Voices: Gitlin takes out the trash, leads fight for Last Chance

We’d like to thank Del Norte County District 1 Supervisor Roger Gitlin for his immediate response to our request that the trash on U.S. 101 North be removed ASAP.

 Last summer, we had watched litter accumulate through the entire tourist season. Both sides of the freeway and the median were just covered. It seriously looked like a third world country. Right in the middle of it was an ‘Adopt a Highway’ sign that read “Highway maintained by Redwood National Park employees.”

I called RNP several times but to no avail. Then, I called Roger Gitlin as I had seen him and a group of volunteers picking up litter in the area from the breakwall and B Street pier to the harbor beaches. I also saw the trashed area from the Washington St. off ramp to the Wal Mart parking lot flushed out and cleaned up.

Letters to the Editor, April 16, 2016

Innocent until proven guilty ignored by paper

Have you ever been unjustly accused or been the victim of slanderous gossip? Many of us have. On the other hand, many of us have also passed along damaging gossip, not realizing the possibility that we don’t have all the facts.

It was horrifying to read the vicious accusations against a man I have known and respected for years. Primo Bonilla is innocent until proven guilty.

The Triplicate must not know that because many of the accusations were presented as fact; the word alleged was used once.

Letters to the Editor, April 14, 2016

Broken system needs new blood in candidate Berkowitz

I believe that, on the national level, the political system is broken. Not the Constitution, or the republic, but the influence of career politicians and crony-capitalism. Over regulation has fostered stagnation and brought the country to a stand still, but that’s on the national level. There is still hope on the local level.

I reside in Roger Gitlin’s district of Del Norte but am being outspoken about my support of Bob Berkowitz for 5th district currently presided over by David Finigan.

Letters to the Editor, April 12, 2016

Supervisor candidate Gitlin shares my vision for Del Norte

I’m casting my vote to re-elect Roger Gitlin to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

When Becky and I met Roger four years ago, he was knocking on my front door seeking offi ce; he shared his vision. He believed then as he does now the county have overlooked and ignored problems that appear to be worsening.

Letters to the Editor, April 9, 2016

Why put the sewer plant in an otherwise beautiful area?

Del Norte County has a few great things going for it. Its beaches, the harbor, the lighthouse, the redwoods and the Smith River.

Before the city decided to rebuild the sewer plant (for the 30-plus million that it cost) there was talk about it being built behind Safeway. I personally thought it was a great idea. Out of sight (and smell) out of mind. Well, after walking to the light house yesterday, I think I was right.

One of our most beautiful spots is around the jetty, B Street pier and lighthouse. It looks like a bomb went off down there. You can’t even access the B Street pier.

Coastal Voices: Tolowa Dunes a blind spot for cops, politicians

Yes, Tolowa Dunes State Park is being trashed south of the parking lots (Triplicate, April 2) and this has been going on for a long, long time.

A besieged neighborhood, parking lot break-ins, poaching, extreme environmental damage and volleys of gunfire and constant ATV marauding are the norm, and these major problems have historically been ignored by “don’t care” law enforcement agencies and politicians.

I’m an amatuer naturalist, one of a loose group of people who hike the area, and I began keeping a daily log of dunes damage on Jan. 7, motivated by the poaching of a buck whose backstraps alone were taken. I also wrote a letter to Supervisor Martha McClure in which I outlined some of the problems and requested help.

Letters to the Editor, April 5, 2016

Berkowitz right man to battle DNDCC powers

The dogs of war have seemingly been released by Del Norte’s Democrat Central Committee as the lead hound senses blood and excitedly bays to the pack to pick up the trail of the designated quarry, an interloper in the pack’s long held territory.

By what quirk of audacity does the interloper think he can be seated on the Board of Supervisors when that seat belongs to the incumbent in perpetuity, Strom Finigan? Perhaps Bob Berkowitz’ sense of timing is correct; right candidate at the right time. There does seem to be a grassroots groundswell demanding change in their government. No longer content with laissez faire government many Republicans and even some Democrats are abandoning their foundering parties. Whether that same mindset is reflected locally remains to be seen.

While the accusation of a “disregard for fair (campaign) practices” on the part of Berkowitz has been raised by ex-DNDCC Chair Kevin Hendrick, it has the appearance of a straw dog to this reader.

Runaround from Caltrans continues at "Town Hall"

Caltrans promised us a town hall meeting on Last Chance Grade. What we got was the bureaucratic version of circling the wagons.

Instead of an exchange between some of the more than 100 concerned citizens who showed up and Caltrans Project Manager Sebastian Cohen, we got a scripted puff piece presentation and more empty promises. Oh yes, and should you have any questions when we’re done promising the impossible and whining about the gas tax, go see one of our many experts at the back of the room who have no answers and no power to do anything.

We haven’t been put on hold to linger until we hang up in frustration. We’re being transferred from one department to another until we wind up where we started and still have no resolution.

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