Letters to the Editor July 18, 2009

By The Daily Triplicate readers July 18, 2009 09:38 am

Wind power is hopefully not hot air in Crescent City


 As Crescent City considers rules for wind power apparatuses, or any other new law, it is important for the officials to remember the fundamentals. An acquaintance from the shelf, H. D. Thoreau, says it well, “That government is best which governs least.” The North Coast has a great wind resource available. In order to maximize development or even an opportunity to develop new technology and jobs in wind technology, our elected officials, if they feel it is absolutely necessary to develop rules, should select the bare minimum while making allowances for individual experimentation.

When we, a free people, are allowed to experiment, prototype, and explore, the best and most rapid technological improvements are made. If the city, county, or state develops very restrictive requirements, it will work to undermine not only the new “green economy” that is being aggressively promoted, but also traditional economic values. If innovation is what is being sought, then the best thing for any regulators to do is stay out of the way.

One of the worst things that can happen is to have rules that destroy even the opportunity for an individual to create something good in our community.

The draft language for the new rules, which were made available by wonderful city staff, is full of unnecessary regulations and restrictions. As written they could potentially force someone with a miniature Dutch windmill displayed in their yard that turns a wheel, nice yard art, to get a permit for wind power generation; this of course is an extreme case and is intended only as an example of the law of unintended consequences. In general normal people do not consider windmills as ugly and invasive. Conversely, much of the draft language is directed to avoid these two ideas. Real ugliness and invasiveness comes from further restrictions on individual freedom, liberty, and property rights.

As the wind blows it is hoped that the council will reject the hot air of extremists so that the best in our society can spin freely above the rooftops and rhetoric.

 Joe Nathan Albertson

Crescent City


Congress should consider some  exceptions for tax increases


I understand and appreciate those in the House and Senate resisting any increase in taxes. However, please consider examples of possible exceptions:

1. The vast majority of Americans are disgusted and shocked by the ludicrous, obscene salaries and bonuses enjoyed by a few top executives, and yet the solution is so simple — re-instate the progressive income tax with a 90 percent bracket for all income over a certain level, perhaps over 100 times minimum wage. If it is not profitable to ask and receive hundreds of millions of dollars, these people would find some other was to line their pockets. Who knows, perhaps they could work on making their company’s stock increase in value or pay themselves and their stockholders higher dividends. 

2. Budgeting five percent of one’s gross income for health care has long been recommended. Of course this no longer works for any other than high income people. I have a fair income and am lucky to have Medicare. My deductions for Medicare plus my supplement fall just under that 5 percent.

For many on limited incomes, however, the cost far exceeds 5 percent and for the majority of working age families the percentage is much higher. Most of them don’t understand this as their employers pay the premiums with tax free dollars. Employer provided health insurance should be discontinued, which would get the attention of wage earners.

The surcharge tax proposed in the House Health Bill would lower the cost of coverage for families of four making less than $250,000 and is limited to five percent for the very top incomes. Certainly those without dependents and those with huge incomes would be paying more than might be required through private companies, but aren’t we all required to pay taxes for programs we don’t use and in many cases don’t approve? Of course until health reform also attacks the other two legs of the problem — prescription and hospital costs — the problem will not be solved. 

3. The general consensus is stock market speculators are probably the only ones to profit from the erratic swings in the market. Solution: tie taxes due on transactions to the length of time the stock has been held; say, from a very high 75 percent on stock held less than 3 months to zero percent for stock held 10 years or more. Some feel speculators are necessary, but I have not heard a logical explanation of how or why. 

Lois Munson

Crescent City


Supervisors pleased to announce prescription discount card


The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and the National Association of Counties (NACo) are pleased to announce the Del Norte County Prescription Discount Card. The discount card program is administered by CVS Caremark and is available to all Del Norte County residents.

In June, Del Norte County became one of thousands of counties across the nation participating in a program to help residents with prescription drug coverage. The program is designed to help individuals and families save money on prescription medicine not covered by insurance. Recently, at the Del Norte County Community Health Fair, over 250 of these free cards were given to county residents.

Del Norte County is proud to be one of the counties nationwide participating in this program sponsored by NACo. Hundreds of counties across the nation are participating in the program and the free prescription discount cards offer an average savings of 22 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.

 Every cardholder has the opportunity to use the card, including people with insurance coverage that might exclude certain drugs. The program is extremely beneficial for people who are underinsured or uninsured.

Using the card is easy. All Del Norte County pharmacies participate in the program. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restriction or limits on frequency of use. Cardholders and their family members may use the card at any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance.

Best of all, there is no cost to county taxpayers for NACo and Del Norte County to make these money saving cards available to our residents.

Free cards are available at the following locations:

Health and Human Services, Rural Human Services, Del Norte Senior Center, District Attorney/Victim Witness, Sutter Coast Hospital, Wellness Center, HICAP, Child Support Services, Harrington House, Family Resource Center, School District Office, Community Assistance Network, WIC.

County residents can call toll free at 1-877-321-2652 or visit www.caremark,com/naco for assistance with the program.

David Finigan

County Supervisor District 5

NACo Member/Representative