Thank you, Judy Hodgson, for once again telling it like it is ("Straw-vote Gang of Four," Oct. 24). I have researched the campaign finances that put the Gang of Four in office and what you say about who/what put them in office is spot on. This is becoming a terrifying scenario for the future of Humboldt County. The damage that this gang is doing is enormous. I am proud of the fact that it was I who originally dubbed them the Gang of Four because they are a gang of bullies who are riding roughshod over the will and wish of the people. It is critically important that Sundberg and Bass are replaced. I will work hard for anyone with integrity who runs.
The Sept. 23 meeting had well over 30 people speak. The overwhelming majority appealed for a reversion to the original guiding principles or at least principles of that ilk. The board seemed to listen and put together a new set of principles that were more in line with what most people wanted. Many people were relieved and felt that the issue was settled. What happened next is what is most disturbing. The Gang of Four rewrote the principles again and everything was back to where they wanted things to be: a drunkard's dream for developers.
What that told me is that Fennell and company are not to be trusted. They played us and then they stabbed us in the back. They never intended that the rewrite they did on the 23rd would stay. And that's what we have running our county. I would hope that the citizens of SoHum who put Fennell in office will now start a recall before she does more damage.
Sylvia De Rooy, Eureka
Thank you for your recent publisher's note on the current disheartening General Plan Update process.
I like to analogize land use politics locally to finances and Wall Street nationally. In both cases, money has an incredible ability to bend language, media, politics and ultimately law to its advantage. I think this process locally has been one of:
A) Confounding language. Delaying the process until a favorable BOS is in power. For example, the public participation work group that has been extremely influential in the process might be more accurately named "private participation work group."
B) Confounding politics. Why is it important to collectively describe the four as a "gang"? Because money has intentionally used the party system to confuse voters. They are not all Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. Supervisor Bass is a centrist (conservative on land use) who had only become a Democrat shortly before her election. Supervisor Fennell, as a legitimate liberal on many issues (including notably GMOs), ran to the right of her centrist opponent on land use. Both candidates' "D" helped win their election in this decidedly Democratic county.
C) Ultimately confounding government. This is the right's (and money's) ultimate goal: disempower government, which is exactly what the current GPU process has been all about. We are turning our "planning" department into a "service" department. And it should be argued vociferously that we are doing this at exactly the wrong time.
We need to get to work on the next election now including finding good and willing candidates to step up and run against incumbents Supervisors Bass and Sundberg. There will be tens if not hundreds of volunteers for support and thousands of voters who will vote for you. I believe organized and determined people power can trump money power.
Jon Yalcinkaya, Eureka
"We don't want to discourage," she said. Because discouraging isn't working. Here's the context for Supervisor Virginia Bass' oft-quoted assertion. To catch a corporate wrongdoer? Pile on the red tape, bring the lawsuits, send the EPA.
To catch a private-land permit-flouter? Well, what works? Penalties are nearly impossible to enforce. Discouraging isn't working. What policy can Humboldt put forth so our precious resources and precious ecosystems can thrive and thrive more? Sound bites won't do it, NCJ.
Bass participates in a community residents' group in Eureka. Sundberg organized the town hall meetings in McKinleyville. They are active, roll-up-your-sleeves, involved members of county government and their communities. They are getting public input constantly and listening, in the GPU as well.
So, yes, put on your 1980 boots, walk up to that podium and use some big, mean Maoist insults. Or open your eyes, start asking issue questions and let's learn about 2013. I try to take my own advice and really educate myself on the document and the realities. Community plans are on the GPU table and could benefit tremendously from a conscientious approach. Reading the actual regulations with the big kids, not the chewed-over guiding principles, but the real document. Put on those 1980 boots and... Stop yourself! What does it mean now in Humboldt to be pro-tree? Pro-community? Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, get off your high horse, check your attitude, and help.
Virginia Damron, Eureka