Letters to the editor published May 31, 2014

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers June 02, 2014 04:28 pm

The elusive state of Jefferson

There is a book written by Peter Lauffer, a professor at the University of Oregon, that is a comprehensive history of the state of Jefferson starting in the late 1800s in the rural counties of Southern Oregon and Northern California.

This movement reignited just before Pearl Harbor and actually was to the point of pushing Judge John Childs of Del Norte County as its governor. Pearl Harbor occurred and the effort disappeared in the fight to save our country in a world war.

 

This book really grabbed my attention, and it struck me that it was the very reason that I ran for the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors in 1999. Rural resource counties in this state and in other states don’t really have any power over their destinies with big cities and big government controlling their lives. This movement has surfaced again with Mark Baird of Siskiyou County and Terry Reposa of Shasta County heading up the effort, and Aaron Funk of Klamath and a great group of supporters working hard in the effort locally. I joined the effort this year and am on the steering committee.

Measure A is on the ballot in next week’s election, and it basically asks for a yes vote to show Del Norte County’s support to go forward in the long process of finding out clear answers about breaking off from California and forming a new state with counties and its people having much more say in their destinies. There are currently about 20 counties going through the process. If through the process it is determined that this state is truly viable budget-wise and organizational-wise, it would then form a commission to explore all facets of forming a new government. After that process, the state Legislature would tackle this issue and make a decision. It would then go to U.S. Congress for a vote.

Is it possible? You betcha it is. It will take a lot of common sense and a real vision. Are we up to the challenge? You betcha. We have to get past certain political ideologies that have deterred this community for years from reaching new levels of economic wellbeing. We have had to fight against preservationist groups in this community and in this state to move forward.

Please try to be informed with these issues as they are important in our lives and our destinies. 

Chuck Blackburn,

Big Flat

Measure A cure for McClure’s tactics

The Board of Supervisors has asked us, as voters in Del Norte County, to give them our opinions about Measure A. The Supervisors made their individual positions clear before they placed Measure A on Tuesday’s ballot, and should now be waiting for the electorate’s response. 

Instead, Supervisor McClure, as she often does, has overstepped her authority by working furiously to shape the very opinion she is supposed to await. Since Measure A was placed in front of the public, McClure has been busy telling us what we should be telling her. Instead of waiting for the results of the vote as a legislator ready to represent her constituents, she has been lobbying them to tell her what she wants to hear. McClure spent more time than the other four supervisors combined in the Board’s “fact finding” meeting, reading reasons to vote against Measure A instead of allowing others to use that time to offer helpful information. McClure placed her name at the top of the official ballot argument against Measure A, again pushing her personal agenda instead of listening to the voice of the folks. In another self-serving act, McClure donated $300 to the “Keep It California” anti-Measure A committee, and McClure later appeared before the Crescent City Council meeting, unsuccessfully lobbying it to pass a resolution opposing Measure A. 

When a public official elected to represent the people spends time, effort and treasure to arm-twist that very public into agreement, government of, by and for the people has stumbled. It is this heavy-handed mentality that Measure A is designed to 
address. 

A close look at the declared opponents of Measure A brings into focus an extremely partisan group of Big Government types with close ties to Sacramento. Members of this Big Brother cartel seek to deny the opportunity to explore ways by which we can regain representation in government. What is it they so greatly fear? Is it that we will learn too much? 

Patrick Broadwell, 

Crescent City 

Wilson has edge on qualifications

I did my homework and went to the forums and talked to those in law enforcement and within county government, both currently and in the past to get some answers about who to support for sheriff. 

First, there is experience to consider. Wilson, Maready and Lee each have over 30 years in law enforcement, giving them the edge by far over Apperson, who has less than 20. 

Only Wilson and Maready have ever run a sheriff’s office with multi-million dollar budgets and 64 persons, but in talking to those who worked with both sheriffs, Sheriff Wilson has done a better job with budgeting, and there have been far fewer turnovers in personnel since he took office. 

I have listened at the forums, and it is clear that only Sheriff Wilson has an understanding and full knowledge of the issues currently affecting the Sheriff’s Office: impacts of state prisoner realignment, which released thousands of state inmates out of prisons and placed them under county control, and full knowledge of the budgets and what is happening in Sacramento that is going to impact those budgets. 

The other candidates were only making a lot of broad statements with no substance or were just plain lost. 

On education, the edge goes to both Wilson and Maready, who have all of the State Peace Officer Standards and Training education that goes with the job of an executive officer, but they both have bachelor’s degrees. Apperson could not apply for the Chief of Police job because he did not have a bachelor’s degree. 

Sheriff Wilson is also the only sheriff that has worked out agreements with the local tribes. He is endorsed by all Northern California and Southern Oregon sheriffs, which means good working relationships and resources for us in Del Norte County. I know I have seen Curry County and Brookings PD cars in our county supporting our deputies, so something is working right. He is also the Sheriff that joined Del Norte to the California, Southern Oregon Search and Rescue Task Force in 2006, which has helped and aided so many already in our area. 

Performance is key and each man has a good reputation, but only one has proven he can do the job as sheriff and has reduced crime while maintaining a strong fiscal operation, and that is why I am voting for Sheriff Wilson, because he is trusted and proven. 

Sherril Bush, 

Crescent City

Ulterior motives behind Jefferson

Please vote no on Measure A. 

The state of Jefferson was readopted by the Tea Party for its own political agenda. The Tea Party concept came out in the 1980s when tobacco and other industries, opposing regulation, worked through Citizens for a Sound Economy (now Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks), founded by billionaire David Koch. His father co-founded the John Birch society. In 2002, they started the U.S. Tea Party project. It wasn’t until 2009 that it grew, with organized protests against taxes and health care. It reached its zenith in proudly shutting down the federal government. (info from BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — can be found at http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/20/tobacco
control-2012-050815.full
 ). 

If Measure A passes we will be taxed to pay for the research that demonstrates that strip mining, selling off our water, lumbering state park lands, replacing schools with online education, denying water for salmon, eliminating social services (charity and welfare handled by local private and religious organizations), creating jails like those run by sheriff Joe Arpaio and reinvigorating climate change denial will provide or save the $76 million-plus now coming from California. 

Then they will write a state constitution, all our laws, political and judicial hierarchy descriptions, create corporate tax incentives and provide us with the candidates to vote for. This will be a corporate dream come true: no taxes, no regulations and no union wages or benefits. 

It will also be many years for this new money to come. For two years the Tea Party pushed the wasted expenditure of $30,000 of our money to a corporation in order to “privatize” (corporatize!) the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority. 

As for California bankruptcy, we and most of the world are still in the economic depression that corporate banksters created. I lost my job because of a lack of financial regulations. Many large corporations and the 1 Percent already avoid taxation through offshore banking and affiliates. Government, with all its faults, is the only thing that stands between us and corporate greed. California is the leader in consumer protection. 

I do have acquaintances within the Tea Party. I’m hopeful that they have good intentions and are separating themselves from its party lines, using its elaborate stage to benefit us all. 

Dale Condon, 

Crescent City

Bob Drossel best choice for DA

I have lived in Del Norte County for 17 years. My wife and I love it here. Like most people, we want a safe place to live. 

I have been involved in law enforcement for most of my adult life. I have been a police officer, DA investigator, deputy DA, assistent DA and district attorney. 

I want to restore the trust in the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office. My management style is to train and supervise a professional staff that aggressively and timely prosecutes offenders. It is our responsibility to ensure victims receive justice. 

I ran a DA branch office in El Dorado County for eight years and was DA of Del Norte County for four years. 

A successful DA shows up to work daily, is available to speak to DA staff, law enforcement agencies and the public. I use a team approach and lead by example to instill honesty, integrity and credibility in every member of the DA staff. 

I have successfully prosecuted many jury trials, including murders, narcotic offenses, rapes, robberies, burglaries, domestic violence, elder and child abuse. 

As you can see, I can hit the ground running. I need no training to learn how to supervise DA staff, prosecute offenders, or manage the DA budget and pursue grants. 

Please go with experience by voting Bob Drossel for DA.

Bob Drossel,

Candidate for district attorney

Measure A foes are fear-mongering

Again, the opponents of Measure A attempt to drag us into the mind-numbing confusion of fear. 

In Kyle Stevens’s letter (“How would new state be paid for?” May 29), he joins other Measure A naysayers in their lockstep march to crush this effort to regain representation for our county in state government. By scaring us, these partisans hope to keep us from moving forward to study the possibilities of a new state. 

Stevens repeatedly warns that the Measure A argument “is all about the money.” Wrong! It is all about an opportunity. When he and his fear-peddling friends blame a lack of “money” for “no boats in the harbor … no jobs … homeless sleeping in every available lot,” they fail to recognize that it is a lack of opportunity that condemns a people to less than their potential. 

Money flows to opportunity. Money is a fruit of opportunity. Measure A is the only means by which we can determine if a new state is the solution to our lack of representation. No amount of hand-wringing or yelling “fire” is going to answer the important questions. 

As today’s Associated Press article on the front page of the New York Daily News explains: “Because the exact makeup of the proposed state of Jefferson is still unknown, it is hard to assess the potential economic impact. The state Department of Finance does not have a county-by-county comparison of what each contributes in state revenue versus what it receives. … The current county secession efforts are merely advisory, encouraging local officials to further study the idea.” 

Stevens explains that “I won’t tear down my home without knowing exactly how much money it will take to rebuild it.” No one is talking about tearing down anything. Our Measure A “home” will remain exactly where and as it is. The only difference will be that our family living in our home will make the decisions about how we live, rather than the family living down the street. Measure A puts us at the table with the other northern counties in order to gather financial numbers together, analyze them with CPA-like scrutiny and make an informed determination as to the course to follow. A “yes” vote keeps us in the game; a “no” vote folds our hand before we even glance at our cards. 

Please vote “YES” on Measure A for a choice. (FYI,  the AP story can be found at: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/voters-california-contem
plate-forming-new-state.

Douglas King, 

Klamath

Sheriff should not act as a politician 

I don’t want a politician, I want a sheriff. I don’t want a liberal or conservative sheriff. I want a sheriff that will do his job and follow the laws as they are written without regard to his personal political beliefs. 

Dean Wilson has said that he will not enforce laws that in his opinion violate the constitutional right to bear arms. While I feel that there may be room for some interpretation in some laws, Dean Wilson does not have the right to use his personal political viewpoints to determine how to enforce any law. 

My issue is not with the Second Amendment or those who are pro or con gun control — I don’t want a liberal sheriff going too far the other way either. My problem is with using personal political views to interpret how to enforce laws. Politics should be kept out of the Sheriff’s Office completely. 

If Dean Wilson wants to change the laws to suit his views, he should be running for a political position, not sheriff. 

Jim Maready looks like the best candidate to me. I don’t want a politician, I want a sheriff. 

Jenny Mills, 

Crescent City

Only Wilson can do what is needed

I am Steve Morris, and I have recently retired from the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office, where I have been a deputy to four sheriffs. 

I encourage you to re-elect Dean Wilson for sheriff because after taking the promises out of the campaign rhetoric you have real leadership and progress in these financially disturbing years our county is currently suffering.

I could spend several paragraphs contrasting the abilities of the candidates because I have worked with all of them at some point in my career, and I personally know their strengths and their weaknesses. I know Sheriff Wilson is the right candidate because of his professionalism and pride in this county. 

Wilson has made important connections with other Northern California sheriffs, and he is supported by the State Sheriffs’ Association. That is so important because he is not alone when he takes our issues to Sacramento. He understands current law enforcement trends and he will not waste money and time on fluffy promises that give the appearance of being proactive. 

Sheriff Wilson values the dedicated personnel that work in the office and on the streets. He has kept the Sheriff’s Office operating in the face of fiscal crises, and he has not laid off one badge during several years of extreme cutbacks. This is a huge asset where there aren’t enough investigators to accomplish a mission. 

Wilson is open to ideas and works to accomplish the mission of law enforcement and public protection in our county. Wilson is known as a sheriff who removes the hurdles instead of placing them in the path of success. 

Yes, he does care about Constitutional issues, and since he took an oath to uphold our Constitution he has and will continue to take the oath very seriously, and rightly he should if he is going to be our sheriff.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that your primary objective is to drain the swamp when you are up to your waist in alligators. Wilson is working hard on many fronts to accomplish this task during some of the roughest and leanest years in law enforcement history, and our county needs him right now to finish the job. Though it is not an easy job, it is one that I am confident only one candidate for sheriff can accomplish, and that would be the man that is in the water and working for us right now. 

Steve Morris,

Crescent City

Why I’m running for supervisor

I am running for the District 3 supervisor position because I feel that the citizens of my district and Del Norte deserve a choice for this important position.

The Board of Supervisors is a unique body. It allows direct access by the citizens to directly challenge and question their leadership. I am amazed at the process each time I have gone to a meeting.

I have been asked several times why I would make a good supervisor.

My reply: I believe in my community, my county and state; I believe that the citizens deserve a choice for such an important position of representation. I have donated many hours and other resources to this community. 

I am a veteran who has served active duty in the National Guard.

I am a member of the Smith River Neighborhood Watch, Heritage Association and Smith River Days committee. 

I worked to challenge C&K Markets to find a solution to the closing of our community market. 

I will continue to pursue a market in the Smith River area that will be in tune with the community. 

I feel that District 3 is the engine that drives the county. Agriculture, tourism and gaming all provide jobs, taxes and exposure for the whole county. I will support the expansion of sustainable food production. 

I will encourage the Board to get involved in the backing of a butchering facility so that locally grown products can be processed and consumed here as well as produce products for export. Grants should be investigated for this project to fund construction. 

Sheriff staffing is a concern in all communities district-wide. I will attempt to steer surplus funds to beef up services for the outlying areas. 

Crime, abandoned buildings, blight and poor roads all drag the district down and affect property values. 

I plan to visit the communities monthly to report and receive feedback and comments from all citizens. You, the individual citizens that I will be serving, will not be forgotten or ignored. 

I thank all of you and hope that I will get your support on June 3. Please remember to write in my full name, John Roberts, for your District 3 supervisor. 

John Roberts,

Candidate for District 3 county supervisor

Only Henion is free of politics

Of all the positions in the upcoming election, the role of judge should be free of politics. The courtroom is no place for political influence. I believe all of the candidates are dedicated and hardworking, yet only one of the candidates remains free of any endorsements — most importantly, political party endorsements. That candidate is Dohn Henion. 

In addition, as reported in the May 27 Del Norte Triplicate, the vast majority of Dohn Henion’s campaign is self-financed. Conversely, the money for the majority of the other two candidates’ election bids was from campaign contributions. Dohn Henion’s candidacy is based on facts, not friendships. His service as judge would be the same — factual, sound, and impartial. 

Juan Santillan, 

Crescent City

Jefferson would isolate Del Norte

There is yet another reason to believe Measure A is a misguided referendum.  

Have you noticed that all the other candidate and “wish list” counties considering the idea of Jefferson State are inland, and that the only physical access to those counties is via roundabout state highways that go into Oregon or Humboldt County? 

If the primary argument for Jefferson state is about better representation, how would our interests be represented when we are physically isolated from the rest of the state and have an entirely different set of resources?  

From ocean to redwood parks to climate to agriculture, farming, and forest resources, Del Norte is nothing like the other counties. I see how Shasta, Modoc, Trinity and other inland counties could benefit from exploitation of Del Norte resources,  but where is the benefit and better representation we would receive? 

Let’s kick this bad apple over the hill for good; vote no on Measure A.

Craig S. Strong,

Crescent City

Thanks to all who have helped Trigg

With Election Day less than one week away, I would like to thank the countless individuals who have supported my husband in this race. Our family has been blessed by so many people, and we are better from the entire experience, regardless of the outcome.

Elections can get nasty and bring out the worst in people. I choose to focus on what I’ve observed — that they can also bring out the best. I want to offer sincere thanks to all those who have come to stand behind the man that I am so proud to call my husband. They have given their time and financial resources to support him because they believe in his message. They see in him what I see — a man of integrity and a strong moral compass who is a devoted and loyal husband and father. They see his skill on regular display in the courtroom as he has managed the busiest criminal caseload in the county and has impressed even the opposing counsel. 

Thank you to everyone who has hosted or participated in campaign events, to those who have driven around the county to post his signs, as well as those who have his signs in their yards or places of business, to those who have written words of support and encouragement on Facebook or letters to the editor in the Triplicate, to those who have provided meals for our family when our daughter was born in March, to those who have helped with our children during this extremely busy time and to everyone who has spread Dale’s message of making Del Norte County a safer place to live and raise our families. Sincere and heartfelt appreciation goes out to each and every one of you.

Joanna Trigg,

Crescent City

Keeping it California has not worked

Regarding the opposition to Measure A, “Keeping it California” has not worked for Del Norte for a long time and is not even working for California! 

The naysayers say we need to stay lashed to the gravy train of California, but folks, the “gravy” is leaving the “train!” California businesses are leaving in droves to states more friendly to something called “the profit motive,” which Sacramento liberals seem to hate. California has over 500 anti-business regulatory agencies. Building a business or porch on your own home triggers a cadre of enviro-bureaucrats with their lists of regulations for that weed or frog. The same politicians who claim to love jobs treat our business owners like pariahs.

In its heyday, California was “the place ya oughta be.” So much opportunity. Big companies with even bigger dreams were moving here, like Intel, Apple and Hewlett-Packard. “Now,” as one writer recently put it, “the Golden State’s fastest-growing entity is government, and its biggest product is red tape.”

Del Norte also was once a prosperous resource-based economy with real jobs via timber, mining, and fishing, but the same big-enviros, big-regulation troopers who are urging you to vote no are the same agents of stagnation who decimated this county’s jobs in the first place. They are saying we need Sacramento’s cash. The real question is, “Why are we a welfare town instead of a resource town?”

This county is so rich in industrious people and natural resources. With these people and these resources, there’s no reason why this town needs to be on permanent welfare. A yes vote on Measure A is a vote for our own autonomy in creating a new and vibrant “Golden State” instead of a “Beholden State.”

Did you vote for these high taxes, regulations and the highest energy prices in the country? Did you vote for the K-12 transgender bathroom bill? By voting yes on Measure A, you are siding with the liberty- and commonsense-loving counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Glenn and Yuba, who want a free and prosperous future for their citizens and a real voice in creating possibilities undreamed of by the advocates of the status quo.

Clark Wade,

Crescent City