Letters to the Editor from April 27

April 27, 2007 12:00 am

Yurok should build diverse portfolio to ensure prosperity

I was glad to see the Triplicate address the Yurok settlement ("," April 25. For far too long, the tribe has languished in abject poverty. This settlement was hard and long fought. This opportunity will not come again.

I disagree with the Triplicate's position that slot machines are an important consideration, however. There is no population base in Klamath to support a casino. There are two casinos in Crescent City and Smith River where the bulk of our population resides.

Klamath gets some summer traffic, but it seems the windfall should be invested in a diverse portfolio. At simple interest of 4 percent to 5 percent, the original $66 million dollars in 1988 has grown to a staggering $90 million in a short 19 years. In those same years, real estate values in Del Norte County have quadrupled or better. In the next 10-20 years it will do the same as the baby boom generation heads to the coast for retirement.

There is very little privately held land here compared to what is owned by state and federal forests and parks.Considering the local tribes once owned all of it, I would suggest that the time is ripe to buy it back and wait for the next windfall.

In this diverse portfolio, you would hope to find a good portion invested in low-risk mutual funds which have paid at least 10 percent 12 percent over the last 15 years. These returns are light years ahead of any gained by being held by the government for the past 19 years. If the original lump sum is never spent, it will provide for the people for the foreseeable future. I sincerely hope the tribe sees that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure that future and that of their grandchildren.

Infrastructure and housing are equally important but should be acquired as investment monies are garnered from this nest egg. I remember when the Hoopa chose to take the settlement, and people I knew at the time were driving new cars and buying huge stereos to put in those cars. On an individual basis, it wasn't much money that was divided up among the tribe. But it wass their decision to go that route, and now the Yurok's patience is about to pay off in spades – if only the Hoopa would do the neighborly thing and bow out graciously.

Mark Lee

Crescent City

Homeless shouldn't be allowed to sleep in fairground barns

Lately, there have been a lot of problems down at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds horse barns. Horses have been turned loose, lit on fire, beaten, poisoned and locks from the stalls have been cut and scattered all over the place. The most disturbing of all have been the visits from unwanted transients.

Of late, these atrocities have been occurring more frequently.

I'm not saying that the transients are to blame for all of this other trouble, but they are causing a problem of their own. Some transients come to the fairgrounds at night and actually sleep with the horses. This is a problem, because horse owners do not want to see somebody passed out in their horses' stall in the morning when they feed. Also, the horses could cause harm to the person, the surroundings, itself and other horses. What would you do if somebody decided to come into your room to bunk for the night, and you had absolutely no way of getting them out?

It is no longer safe to be at the fairgrounds or even outside the cinemas alone because of all the homeless who could just "pop out."

Something should be done, like a fundraiser to remove all transients in the area down to Arcata or Eureka where there are facilities for them. Really, the homeless should move to a bigger city, where there are more job opportunities and health services availiable to them.

I am fully aware that the homeless dilemma is a big issue at the moment. I'm hoping that the problem can be solved quickly before anymore horses or people get sick from the homeless stabling and bathing in the stalls.

Jess Brown

Crescent City