Letters to the Editor May 29, 2012

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers May 28, 2012 02:13 pm

McClure knows how system works and how to use it

For Del Norte County to survive and prosper, we need Martha McClure on the Board of Supervisors.

She realizes that we have to work with the state and feds who dominate our county. Making believe they will go away or change their spots isn’t real and won’t work.

Martha cares about Del Norte County and has shown how much she cares by her activities and actions as a citizen and supervisor. She is noted for doing her homework. Her approach to problems that confront her or the county is that she will study and thoroughly understand everything about it, then formulate a reasonable plan to attack the problem. No arbitrary, impractical or vacuous plan from Martha.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that having a voice on one of the most influential committees in the state, the Coastal Commission, is a huge plus for Del Norte.

Being a county supervisor is not an easy job and I believe it is important that we have someone who understands, cares about and is willing to continue working for the future of Del Norte like Martha McClure.

Rick Bennett



Various thoughts on election and garbage collection rates

If political ads are any indicator of a candidate’s state of confidence I’d say Martha McClure’s not sure. Swamping the opponent’s   efforts with final-chapter, self-aggrandizing propaganda seems to be the tactic. Her burst  of last-minute ads and the stepped-up tempo of letters by her supporters exhibit either a knockoff cinching of campaign strategy or the final squeeze of the toothpaste tube.

Contrast that with Leslie McNamer’s lackluster, near apathetic campaign as compared with  her energetic and enthusiastic challenger, Roger Gitlin, and you can see a wobble of the spinning top. I have read  a number of letters to the editor and while I see what  may not be  an actual  groundswell of support for Roger Gitlin, there certainly  appears  to  be a sudden burst of enthusiasm for his neighborhood visits with what well could be his future constituency.

The folks are pleasantly surprised and enthused by a candidate for office that comes to their door  and  solicits their opinion  on life in Del Norte County. They are not used to anything approaching that by the incumbent who apparently feels that chair on the Board is hers permanently and she need make little or no effort to retain it.

And now we have a raise in garbage rates as gas flirts with $5 per gallon and a loaf of bread strains one’s budget. Do our board members dig their heels in or do they cave? Three incumbent board members are running for re-election for county supervisor and they blithely vote to accept the proposed rate increase knowing their loyal supporters will stand by them regardless. All but one member voted to raise our rates and that was the lone voice in the wilderness of Del Norte County, Donna Westfall. We’ll see where the chips fall on this one.

A  casual perusal of letters to the editor  regarding the campaign for county supervisor reflects a deep disdain by critics of the challengers  based on their relatively recent relocation to Del Norte County, an in-crowd/out-crowd mentality. “Newcomers need not apply” is what it says to me.

The stated rationale is based on the concept that only an antique fixture could possibly light the way to a better tomorrow. These denizens of deep thinking find no room for fresh ideas or a broader view of a larger picture — they are committed to their myopic fumbling of their personal Rubik’s Cubes.

Dale L Bohling

Crescent City


None address importance of public transit for seniors

I listened to the candidates and not one mentioned the quality of life through transportation in our town. Thank God for Dial-A-Ride.

Seniors do vote. Let’s work together and make our town the best!

Elisabeth Burrows

Crescent City


McClure is the candidate who will promote growth

This letter is a response to Mary Wilson’s May 19 letter, “Let’s chose those who will promote our growth.” Wilson speaks of her parents’ unsuccessful battle to develop 10 acres due to the Coastal Commission and “McClure and her leftist-environmentalist buddies.”

As long as we are writing letters in support of our parents, I’d like to take this moment to stand up and speak out for one of my parents, my mom, Martha McClure.

My mom has helped numerous people jump through the sometimes-arduous hoops of the Coastal Commission. For example the Hampton Inn (Oceanfront Lodge) development, where the owner came to my mom and said how do I get this project done? That project was developed responsibly and without question or delay from the Coastal Commission.

If Mary Wilson’s parents, the Browns, would like to set up a meeting to receive this same powerful yet swift guidance through the California Coastal Act from my mom I’m sure she would be more than willing to do so. Actually, I think you already have her phone number (which she advertises publicly).

This level of helpfulness is open to anyone of any race, color, creed, political party, etc., and having that help accessible to the people of Del Norte County is imperative to our success. Having a local Coastal Commission member that residents of Del Norte County can access is the key to projects like business developments, the airport expansion, and fixing the harbor.

The Coastal Commission is going to exist whether McClure is a supervisor or not. The regulations will continue to exist, the hoops to jump through will continue to exist, and it will continue to be a problem. With the help of my mom, however, responsible development will have an avenue to seek success. McClure is the candidate who will promote growth in Del Norte County.

Matt Maltbie

Crescent City


We need stability, experience rather than vague promises

It is, indeed, wonderful to live in a democracy. I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world as it is today. My family and I have lived here since 1970 and this is home.

A huge part of the stability that we enjoy there, with all of our community’s problems, is due to the good governance we receive from our elected officials and we have, at this time, an excellent Board of Supervisors. They offer us their best judgment based on hard work, knowledge of our whole community, their contacts on a state and regional level and their diversity.

Being involved in government on any level right now is as tough as it has ever been in decades. There exists a huge amount of drama on all these levels which only serves to distract us from the serious responsibility of voting. But politics is exciting and though I do like change, we need stability and experience right now.

While California continues to be in serious trouble our country is still the biggest dog in the world and we are a part of that and what we do here is important. We are a great deal more than a nice place to visit and see big trees.

Martha McClure has done a fine job of understanding that, of promoting us, of supporting us and listening to us, all of us. Whether you agree with everything she does or not, she has earned well-deserved respect and that still matters, now more than ever.

This election is not about native Del Norte residents versus newcomers, but it is about the future, about completing goals already set, about continuing the work of promoting and developing this community and about effectively dealing with the financial crisis in our state.

Right now we don’t need vague promises, we need hope and experience, the maturity and the courage to follow values she believes in that have served us well. Our leaders should reflect the best of what we are and can be. For me and a great many others here in Del Norte County, that is Martha.

Mike Muldoon

Crescent City


Living outside county affords fresh perspective

When do you become a local?

Bill Gray and Roger Gitlin have been active in community events and in community service. They both serve the local people. Roger works with local juvenile programs and Bill works with locals representing their legal needs.

I don’t understand what it takes to be local. They pay property taxes locally, they support local merchants and they both get involved in local causes.

Martha McClure, you and I both moved away from Del Norte County and moved back. When did we become local again? My experiences away gave me a better perspective on what’s really going on outside Del Norte County and how it is affecting us locally.

Two years ago, Bill Gray wanted to help Del Norte County by bringing something else here during the Fourth of July. Bill and Kathie Gray, Clyde Carpenter, Alfred Larson and I with numerous local volunteers put on a car show with many other events of public interest to let the people of Del Norte County and visitors for the Fourth have something else to enjoy!

Around 1,800 people went through the gates to see the attractions and Bill’s point; more can be done to bring people to Del Norte County.

Bill put his efforts where his mouth was and proved a point. He lived here, paid taxes here and supported his local community; but because he didn’t vote here yet, he’s not local?

Our “local” problems are not all coming from within; our biggest problems come from the state and federal governments. Having a perspective from outside our locality is a good thing.

The Coastal Commission started with grand ideas, but look at it locally now. Our functional airport is on hold until we mitigate wetlands 4:1 with the Coastal Commission. As you know, we don’t have land left to mitigate with. But does the bulk of California and the Coastal Commission care?

To close, McClure should have apologized for walking out of a board meeting because she was going to get mad at a constituent. If the fire is too hot, get out of the kitchen!

Andy Larson

Crescent City


‘Tea Party Trio’ out to remake DN doesn’t know what’s up

I attended the Triplicate’s supervisor candidates forum and read their ads. What is obvious is that the four challengers don’t know what is going on with Del Norte and its county government.

We have a Tea Party Trio out to remake our county.

Mr. Gray is seemingly obsessed with unseating Ms. McClure. He thinks she has a conflict of interest for serving on the Coastal Commission, when being a supervisor is a legal requirement. He and his fellow Tea Partiers rant against the Coastal Commission and its “unelected bureaucrats.” These bureaucrats are fulfilling the mandate of we Californians who established the commission to protect our coastal areas, so the Tea Partiers really don’t like we the people. If the Tea Party had its way, instead of signs directing us to coastal access, the signs would say “private property, no trespassing.”

Mr. Gray and Mr. Gitlin propose tax breaks for some new businesses here. On the national level we’ve had tax break after tax break for years — but where are the jobs? China? If you give tax breaks to some then you are discriminating against those who don’t get the breaks. Those businesses that get the breaks have an unfair advantage over other businesses.

The Tea Party supposedly advocates returning to “constitutional” government — where in the Constitution is government suppose to subsidize business?

Apparently the Tea Party Trio doesn’t know we are caught in an international recession which led to widespread unemployment. Nor that to succeed, businesses must produce what customers can and will buy.

It’s easy to blame the government for the decline of logging and fishing. The forests are national forests belonging to all the people of the United States and not tree farms to provide jobs for locals. The salmon fishery has been devastated by reckless logging, which destroyed spawning habitat, as well as dams and water diversion to agriculture. Our government served big agriculture.

This year we have a clear choice for our county supervisors — the incumbents who are doing a good job or the four challengers who don’t really know Del Norte.

John Mertes

Crescent City


Story with Romney’s views, Democrats’ reply was biased

Your blatent disregard for unbiased journalism is certainly evidenced by your choice of of the article, “Romney criticizes Obama, teachers’ unions,” on Page A8 May 24.

In reality, it seems that it is your opportunity to bash Mr. Romney by choosing an article that reports what he has presented to the American people and then followed at length by the talking points of the Democratic machine.

I can't wait to see how you tear apart the words of Mr. Obama or his cohorts when you next feature his remarks!

Do you sometimes wonder why your circulation is in decline? This is a small town. Most of us believe in fairness and the American dream.

Lilyan Wood

Crescent City

Editor's note: The published text of the story in question is below.


Romney criticizes Obama, teachers’ unions

Pres. candidate spoke to Latino businessmen


WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney used a Latino business gathering as a forum to assail President Barack Obama’s leadership of the economy and blame teachers unions for problems facing American education.

The Republican presidential candidate is making education the focus of his brief public campaign schedule this week. On Thursday, he will tour a charter school in Philadelphia and lead a discussion on education in the most heavily Democratic part of that swing state.

In Washington on Wednesday, Romney assured Latino businessmen and women that they would never have to “wake up every day, wondering if the president is on your side.”

Obama, he charged, “has decided to attack success,” apparently referring to attack ads by the president’s re-election campaign that targeted Romney’s business record as an executive of Bain Capital, a private investment firm.

“It’s no wonder so many of his own supporters are calling on him to stop this war on job creators,” Romney told a Latino Coalition audience of 250 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Some Obama backers have criticized the ads, most notably Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who called them “nauseating.”

A new national opinion survey, released Wednesday, showed Romney trailing far behind Obama among Latino voters. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll gave Obama a 61 percent to 27 percent lead over Romney among Hispanics.

Romney’s hard-line stance on immigration, which he promoted during the GOP primaries, has complicated his efforts to woo Latino voters. The former governor has acknowledged that his party needs to do more to reach out to Hispanics on that issue.

But he avoided direct mention of immigration in his remarks at the Latino luncheon. Instead, Romney repeated his support for school choice and charter schools, which Obama also supports.

The Republican candidate sharply criticized the Obama administration for its decision to back away from a voucher program that allows thousands of children to attend private schools in Washington, D.C. And he said that, as president, he’d “break the political logjam” that has prevented reform of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind school law; Obama has sought to circumvent the stalemate by granting waivers freeing states from some of the strictest provisions of the law.

Romney promised to “reduce federal micromanagement” of local education while providing parents with easy-to-understand report cards about the quality of their child’s school. He blamed the “outsized influence” of teachers unions in campaigns and elections for frustrating efforts to improve school quality.

“President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses and unwilling to stand up for our kids,” Romney charged, citing hundreds of millions of dollars contributed by teachers unions to Democratic campaigns as the cause.

“We have to stop putting campaign cash ahead of our kids,” he said to applause.

The Obama campaign, in advance of Romney’s remarks, said the GOP challenger’s proposals would undermine education by putting tax cuts for the wealthy ahead of more money for schools. Romney has not proposed any new spending for education, his campaign said.

During Romney’s term as governor of Massachusetts, “class sizes increased and thousands of teachers were laid off, college costs skyrocketed, and graduation rates at community colleges lagged behind the national average,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement. The choice for voters in November, she said, will be between Obama, “who has made critical investments in and reforms to education that have improved schools and made college more affordable, and Mitt Romney, whose Romney Economics would prioritize tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires over investments in our future.”