LETTERS - DECEMBER 1995
My wife and I are new in the area, having moved here from Kalispell, Mont., last summer. ...
We have always wondered about the Carson Mansion and its mysterious Ingomar addition as we have passed through Eureka while traveling and vacationing over the years. We were very interested to read two articles in your November issue -- "Shoot Out at the Ingomar" and "Carson Mansion, the inside story" both by Wally Graves. These were excellent articles and very illuminating to two newcomers to the area. The Ingomar group and the mansion are both quite the anachronisms!
In our former home, Kalispell, there is a house, the Conrad Mansion, which is comparable to the Carson Mansion in both history and the definitive character of its architecture. It was restored to some degree by the descendants of the Conrad family and donated to the city. The city finished restoration and it is open in the summer for tours and during the holiday season for art and craft fairs.
It seems that the Carson Mansion is not open at all to the public. Ingomar (members), in their collective fiscal wisdom, apparently have not seen fit to let the mansion become a tourist attraction and asset to a foundering city....
Joyce and Harry Johnson
I was perplexed after reading the twin articles on the Carson Mansion and Ingomar Club in November's North Coast Journal. A line of journalistic meanness seemed to have been crossed: "scarcely a mansion," "grandiose bad taste," "when white male Christians call the shots."
I then used highlight markers (red for ridicule and green for praise) to analyze. Sadly, the deeply reddened pages probably tells as much about the bent of the North Coast Journal as it does about the dress codes of the Ingomar Club.
Of the positive statements, the most telling were: "a rare survivor of America's gilded age" and "the circulation of the club's business and its warm kitchens suggest the pleasant aroma of a truly lived-in house."
I have an appreciation for museums in preserved historic buildings. But I love old courthouses that are seats of government, old churches that exude religion and elegant mansions that are exclusive. By maintaining their functions, all are living cultural treasures.
The "Comings, goings" (news brief) in the Journal's November edition is misleading and should be corrected as follows:
1. Paragraph 3 of the article states that "When the MCSD Board voted to lift a building moratorium, building permits were gobbled up." In fact, MCSD has issued a total of nine sewer permits following adoption of the ordinance on Oct. 12. Of those nine sewer permits released, seven had been on the waiting list for several months. MCSD has processed a total of two new sewer applications from Oct. 13 through Nov. 1. Historically, MCSD has issued an average of 171 sewer permits per year. MCSD cannot issue building permits.
2. Paragraph 4 of the article states that "MCSD officials counter that the weather allowed for the change at this time." In fact, the MCSD Board unanimously voted to lift the moratorium because we have substantially completed the upgrade project at the wastewater treatment facility. The Regional Water Quality Control Board reviewed the proposed action and did not object to elimination of the sewer permit moratorium.
President of the board
McKinleyville Community Services District
Unfortunately M. Duane's cartoon (Oct. 1995) depicting a day in the life of America's icon -- rugged, individualist cowboy -- is based on error and misconception. While it is a cute enough piece, with droll humor and clever graphics, it reality is way off base.
Although cattle do roam at will on some public lands leased for that purpose, they do not roam for free. Ranchers pay monthly fees based on the quality of the range and the number of animals grazed. Much of the land is remote and marginal, requiring many acres to support a single cow and calf.
Grazing permits are often passed generation to generation, and most ranchers proudly consider themselves stewards of this public land. It is in their long-term best interest to manage the resource wisely.
And although many wealthy ranchers do lease public grazing lands across the West, most outfits are run by small-time, hand-to-mouth operators who would be driven from their livelihoods, lifestyles and homes by sharp increases in grazing fees.
Furthermore, there are no government meat subsidies, and since most ranchers are not also farmers, they receive no farm subsidies. In fact, with today's depressed cattle prices, ranchers are getting barely enough at auction for their calves to hang on for another year.
Although most cowboy "icons" are far too proud and independent-minded to want handouts from the government, probably they'd be delighted if Mom bought them a new horse.
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