Housing marks wrong issue

I was disturbed to see The Daily Triplicate listed affordable housing as one of our counties biggest problems andquot;10 Issues to Address in 2007,andquot; Dec. 30). I would agree that lack of a consistent housing development plan is a problem in our county, but I don't want government to get involved in the housing market more than it already is. Let the market set its own price.

Del Norte County is a wonderful area, but we have imported problems from metro areas, and we have courted the poor and indigent.I see almost endless potential in this county, but I also see blight, houses that should be condemned, and I'm seeing an increase in vagrants walking the streets. This area will never be a manufacturing center and fishing is following the path of logging. What we have is vast natural beauty.We should be a recreation, tourism and retirement area to a much larger extent than we are today. We will not be successful in developing our economy if we fill the area with the indigent.We will not attract tourism if areas look like the Third World.We will not attract retirees if the custom home they want to buy is next to a dilapidated trailer with eight rusted out cars in the front.We need better zoning.We need more vigorous code enforcement with a larger staff.We need to make this area appealing to visitors.We need to make the area more investor friendly.

We need to make our infrastructure and our housing become the equals to our natural setting. We do not need more affordable housing.Low income housing is almost never a good thing for a community over the long term.We need to clean up this place, have more pride in our county, and we need to convince those who do not share our respect for this area to find a different place to live.

Government positions pay very poorly. Community services are inferior. Physicians and their families don't want to live here. These thing will not change without a more affluent tax base, the kind that does not want to live in or around low income housing. The county needs to decide where its future lies.

Brent DeNatly

Crescent City

Volunteers helped save birds

A heartfelt thanks goes to the many people who responded to our calls for assistance last Sunday. Flight Feathers Wild Bird Rescue received a citizen report of andquot;two oiled birdsandquot; at the harbor. When I responded, I found that it was closer to thirty birds that appeared to be affected. They were covered with a fishy-smelling slurry that affected their eyes and destroyed the integrity of their feathers. Birds that entered the water either drowned or began to suffer from hypothermia as soon as they managed to haul out.

Several people at the harbor began to search and report the location of contaminated birds. With the help of a friend, I was able to capture and transport seven gulls, although one died during the trip back. Then we began to make phone calls. Aunt Julie's Dog Grooming offered a staging area for the birds, if needed, and some friends of mine began to assemble boxes there.Friends of mine and agroup of Northcoast Marine Mammal Center volunteers met me at the harbor.

Lanni Hall, center director, alerted the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, Fish andamp; Game and the Coast Guard, while we began to capture birds. The Coast Guard searched the harbor for a slick, and spotted birds from the water that could then be rescued. We were able to taketwenty-four birds to the mammal center, where they could be warmed and rehydrated. Officers from Fandamp;G and the Coast Guard began checking in as we worked with the birds. Their investigation pinpointed a probable source, but there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges againstthe party involved. Some of the center's volunteers had been at the center since early morning, but they stayed until evening to make sure all the birds were stable for the night. One stayed even later to do a last late night feed for the fur seals.

All the birds suffered from hypothermia, lost waterproofing and inflamed eyes. But when two Oiled Wildlife Care Network staff arrived the following morning, all the gulls were alive and stable enough to transport to a washing station down south. Friends and center volunteers joined together to assess, hydrate and box up 30 birds for transport by mid-afternoon. Had we not responded, all of the birds would probably have died at the harbor during the night. Instead, as far as we know, only two birds died during the incident. The rest will probably be returned to our area soon.

Pat Grady

Flight Feathers Wild Bird Rescue

Crescent City