I did a double-take on last week's 4-2 Planning Commission vote to eliminate trail-supporting language from the GPU (See "Blog Jammin'," page 10). Really? Eliminate the potential for millions of dollars in grant funds employing contractors and material-supplying vendors? Eliminate the potential for trailside businesses of all stripes to grow? (Does anyone think the Shamus T Bones eatery would be doing as well without the Hikshari' Trail?) Eliminate one more reason for out-of-area visitors to even consider staying the night, or another night, at local hotels, motels, B&B's? (Ever notice the always broken down fence at Vista Point in McKinleyville? It's mostly out-of-towners accessing the Hammond Trail.)
Other than helping locals stay healthier, happier and alive (making for more productive workers, among other things), trail opportunities are sticky honey to visitors and grant dollars helping feed the local economy.
Chris Turner, Bayside
After years of public hearings, public input, and valid if slow process, you are substantially changing the outcome of the General Plan Update without taking into consideration the needs and desires of the majority, the greatest public good, the rights and needs of future generations to inherit a sustaining ecosystem, or the due process such decisions deserve.
Even the much touted stakeholders' group, arguably insufficiently representative of all interests, is now being dissed; apparently they were too willing to find common ground for the care of our common ground.
As we bow down to the money and "ME" driven mantra of "property rights," we forget the actual rights of the "property" itself. Yeah I know, it has none. We are making that abundantly clear in this whole process. Only individual humans and corporations have rights, right? Does the land itself have a right to remain relatively intact, functioning for the support of fish, fishers, trees, bears, bugs, bats, waterways and watersheds?
The natural environment birthed and nurtured we humans; we in response have raped and pillaged it. How smart is continued fouling of our own nest? Do future generations have any right at all to inherit a functioning ecosystem?
With climate disruption already well begun, further droughts, water shortages, and more intractable wildfires our likely future, does it make sense to weaken land protection standards and allow increased human infrastructure and habitat encroachments in our wildlands? Should we not be being more protective rather than less? Have the previous standards been adequate in better climatic times let alone in the predicted future more drought stressed times? Do we want fish and fisheries in our future, and year round springs, and resilient habitats?
Allowing personal property rights, a wholly (or unholy?) human construct, to overwhelm our environment's ability to provide for us, is shortsighted, stupid, and I would argue, ultimately immoral.
Claire Perricelli, Eureka
Civic-minded citizens have until March 7 to file for the 4th and 5th district supervisor seats with two months to appeal to the majority of voters that always abstain, discouraged by systemic corruption that allows private industries to fund and win every supervisor and Eureka city election with just two exceptions: Mark Lovelace and Linda Atkins.
Property developers, speculators, financiers, brokers, attorneys, realtors and rental industries throughout the U.S. are emboldened by the unaccountable windfall from two bailed-out housing bubbles within one generation. They've redoubled their efforts to successfully control every elected and appointed office to begin the third housing bubble by minimizing and eliminating regulations, incentives and goals that, if followed, would improve the quality of our communities with better access to affordable housing downtown, open spaces, walkable streets, trails and resource lands that attract capital investment, but conflict with the unbridled greed of the development industry.
Supervisors Bass, Bohn, Sundberg and Fennell won campaigns by hammering their opponents for "taking too long on the General Plan." Once in office, however, they stacked the Planning Commission with their contributors from the development community including Bass appointee Kevin McKenny, owner of Eureka's most notorious blight next to the historic Eureka Inn. With little public notice, this kangaroo commission is meeting twice weekly, possibly until December, at an estimated cost of $100,000, to rewrite GP language that took years of public testimony to reach a consensus. The supervisors also rewrote and weakened our county's Guiding Principles which needed to be strengthened to avoid the next housing bubble.
Supervisor Bass announced her campaign Feb. 7 standing under a temporary structure that violated the ordinance supervisor Bass recently passed: (HCC 262.5-3 c/j). Hopefully, local media will soon share public outrage over the cavalier disregard for public involvement, process and law that always accompanies political corruption.
George Clark, Eureka