JOBS SCORNED AS INFERIOR
Don Banducci of Yakima Inc. is quoted as saying, "instead of $5- to $8-an-hour jobs, they'll be $30,000-, $40,000-, $50,00-a-year jobs." (cover story, January).
Banducci's sense of community reflects an indifference toward jobs that are often scorned as inferior, which, nevertheless, are fundamental and necessary in every community. The presumption that these jobs are expendable has infected our culture with the seed of its own demise. If your caretakers, assemblers and maintainers are not highly regarded, the quality of our work, workplaces, community and nation will continue to disintegrate.
I sent for a Yakima catalog to see what I've been missing. They have become glossy and non-recyclable; the future be damned.
George Clark, Eureka
Editor's note: In fact the Yakima catalog is printed on recycled paper that costs more than regular paper. And it is still recyclable.
PR FROM THE OVERCLASS
Three observations on your Yakima interview:
1. Is "creating wealth" supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing? If it's a good thing, then it can't be like "amassing wealth," which is what rapacious robber barons and corporate raiders do. Somehow it doesn't sound like "creating jobs" or "sharing the wealth."
It sounds more like PR from the overclass.
2. If a small manufacturing company in a rural area can only expand by moving to a large city because of freight costs, isn't it in the state and federal interest to find ways to allow the company to remain rural and still compete?
3. In many ways, Yakima is an amazing success story, and a credit to all involved in making it such a success. We should all do so well. But a small town business story that ends, "and they straddled the border and lived happily ever after" is not the kind of story you want to read to your kids.
Art Burton, Westhaven
SPEAKING OF CORRECTIONS.....
Speaking of corrections (Publisher's column, February)......The Northcoast Homepage Contest is not being sponsored by the Humboldt County Office of Education. The major contributing partners are Northcoast Internet and the Blackberry Bramble Network, an all-volunteer organization that is working to network schools by computer and promote technology education.
Our home page (http://www.northcoast.com/~bbn/welcome.html) is a compilation of models and student-produced Humboldt history that we have been compiling over the last couple of years.
We have been moving quickly on this project in order to connect with History Day, and I'm afraid that Larry (Goldberg, Northcoast Internet) was anticipating HCOE coming on board as a partner. With the time crunch, not this time. We have in the past, and certainly will again, be a partner with him on projects.
A big thanks to Northcoast Internet for the resources it has devoted to this effort.
Joyce Farruggia, Blackberry Bramble Network email: email@example.com
SMOKESCREEN FOR CUTS
With all due respect to Ron Ross (February, Fiscal Fitness), I have to question some of his basic assumptions and contradictory economic musings.
If we don't really know what impact the federal deficit has on the economy, it should not come as a surprise that it was used as a political smokescreen to hide 7 billion tax dollars sent to the Pentagon it said it did not need, millions in subsidies for corporate research and development and just plain shoring up big businesses that would fail if there were such a thing as a "free market." This does not include vast sums paid agribusiness to not grow crops and pork barrel projects that benefit a few.
The impact of the federal deficit, which most citizens and economists are really clueless about, is a convenient tool or threat to offset drastic cuts to aid to women and children, the primary recipients of government assistance in an economy with downspiraling wages and fewer opportunities for regular working families. One out of four children are or will be in poverty soon in the richest country in the world.
Ross says that "not knowing what something costs in no way means it is free." He's right. Stripped or weakened environmental and worker safety laws will cost lives, not create good jobs. The same is true for cutting primary health care, legal aid, education and every area of government support through our taxes that directly helps people who are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Eventually, very wealthy people will be affected, too, as there will not be enough available guard dogs or prisons to protect their holdings from the remaining 95 percent of us.
Randy Crutcher, Trinidad
My concerns for a safe Humboldt County increase as we see irresponsible leadership from our district supervisors, frenzied expansionism of land developers and mismanagement of land rights from the county planning department.
County departments show little or no concern for safe and proper land management for septic and waste disposal, preservation of law and order through more police protection and the peace of mind knowing that fire department capabilities will not be limited. Traffic has increased, yet precautions for safety have been ignored.
Our recent rains have increased reflection of headlights, and center divider lines on now-frequently traveled roads such as School Road can barely be distinguished. These problems are real.
Rural areas will suffer most by this rampant population growth. Police and fire department capabilities are very limited when outlying communities such as Trinidad, Westhaven and Fieldbrook are concerned.
The continued rate of overdevelopment in the 5th District is rapidly changing this once-beautiful area into a "time bomb" for restricted safety precautions, limited resources with which to prevent them and a rise in crime that will jeopardize the welfare of young and old alike.
If in fact there is a major disaster such as flooding, earthquakes or fires, we will truly feel the impact of irresponsible leadership.
Joseph Cusimano Jr., Trinidad
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