Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Reason to raise sewer rates doesn't add up

I can't believe that our local officials are looking at raising our sewer rates again ("City eyes sewer rate hike," March 20). The water rates were just raised and our household of three is paying between $85 and $90 per month to receive these services.

The reasoning of just keeping up with inflation is just not sitting well with me. They are telling us that we are not experiencing the cost of increases in everything we purchase. We, too, are trying to keep up with inflation, however, we do not have the ability to demand an increase in our social security, our retirement funds or even our wages.

Look at Del Norte County's unemployment rate! It is up to 11.5 percent. How are these people suppose to deal with the increase? The cost of living is going up for all of us. Everything goes up and up except our monthly income.

There has to be other means of paying for the cost of goods needed to run the plant.

Brigitte Bowdish,Crescent City

Can't we do more for disabled in emergency?

Your tsunami drill coverage was excellent ("'Big One' Rehearsal," March 27), but something Emergency Services Director Cindy Henderson was quoted as saying gave me pause. Did she actually tell a disabled man, who needs a wheelchair to get around, that if he couldn't talk his neighbors into helping him evacuate when a big tsunami hits, his only other option would be to stay put and die?

What if his neighbors are too busy trying to save themselves and their families and don't have time to push his wheelchair up the hill?

Our county Emergency Services Office has done a great job of recruiting and training hundreds of volunteers to help in an emergency. Couldn't some of them form a team that would take on the responsibility of identifying and aiding the disabled people and frail elderly who live in the evacuation zone?

This is a small and caring town. There can't be so many disabled and elderly in the evacuation zone that we as a community can't do something more for them than tell them, "sorry, you're on your own."

Evelyn Cook,Crescent City

Congrats to all who put on anniversary event

My wife and I attended last the March 22 tsunami anniversary event in Crescent City.

I want to congratulate all the participating volunteers and agencies that made this a memorable and outstanding experience for us.

This is worthy of an annual event, not just every 50 years!

Jake Smith,Smith River

Gitlin's arguments at meeting questionable

In response to the March 18 article "Brown Act spat at waste meeting," I was one of the attendees and public speakers at this meeting, if you could call it one. I call into question the legitimacy of the chair's argument that the publishing of the draft R3 Consulting Group report was in violation of the Brown Act and needed prior approval of the chairman andhellip; or the Authority. It's hard to tell which was which or which came first, kind of like the chicken and the egg.

Obviously Chairman Roger Gitlin was unfamiliar of the act itself since it clearly states that "agendas of public meetings and any other writings andhellip; are disclosable public records under the California Public Records Act andhellip; and shall be made available upon request without delay." For him to publicly chastise and embarrass Acting Director Tedd Ward was without cause and is deserving of a public apology.

To make matters worse, Chairman Gitlin pulled the agenda item on the draft R3 report, claiming that it was not only incomplete but a preliminary of a preliminary draft of a draft without following the proper motion and voting procedure of the Authority.

However, despite his contention that the draft report would be "acknowledged and received without discussion," he went on and recognized public and board members' comments on the matter. What followed, to put it plainly, was a scrambled mess.

When challenged by the public, myself included, on two subsequent items related to the draft report, the Authority (finally) voted to table the items until a more complete draft or the final report was available. Everyone seemed to have their chickens and eggs all in a row then.

What is questionable now and in my opinion a true example of a violation of the Brown Act, is the report that the video of the March 19 meeting was pulled from the Authority's archives. I checked; it isn't there. Why? By whose "authority"?

Norma I. Williams,Crescent City

Mann case a reminder to not drink and drive

Regarding coverage of the Coulter Mann case, it seems to me that we are missing an opportunity to inform your readers about impairment resulting from drinking beer, particularly regarding high alcohol content micro brews.

Alcoholic beer isn't a mild, safe, harmless beverage for guzzling up at parties. In Del Norte County, most transportation home from social events requires driving a car.

Americans make the best cars on the planet; every country in the world copies them. But, there is not car made that can be safely driven by a driver impaired by imbibing alcoholic beverages of any kind. Driving (especially at night) requires a high level of alertness and quick reaction time. Even an impaired driver who has not yet advanced to the observably drunk stage-slurred speech, stumbling, etc., does not have that stage of quick reaction alertness.

Research done by AAA found that a person's ability to do two things at once, such as braking and steering, is substantially impaired at .02 blood alcohol level. That's about half a glass of "regular" 3 percent alcohol content beer for most people. Micro brews such as the ones imbibed by Mr. Mann before the tragic accident often contain up to three times the alcohol content as regular brews. That's pretty risky if the beer drinker is going to drive a one- to two-ton vehicle on a possibly icy road home.

A word to the wise.

Jane Christmas,Gasquet