The lawsuit filed last week against the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, its commissioners and CEO Jack Crider alleging conflict of interest violations ("Conflict of Interest Alleged," Oct. 8) has no merit based on an initial evaluation of the pleading, according to Humboldt Bay Harbor District Counsel Paul Brisso. The lawsuit alleges that the district illegally entered into a transaction with Coast Seafoods, the employer of Commissioner Greg Dale, in which Dale engaged in a conflict of interest.
Brisso publically outlined the defense of Dale at the commission's last meeting Oct. 8. Dale has also sought multiple opinions from other attorneys and all are confident he does not fit any of the criteria of conflict. Not only that, Dale has recused himself on all issues involving Coast Seafoods.
As president of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, it is my personal belief that this lawsuit was filed to smear Dale and the timing of it was designed to disrupt the electoral process. Political grandstanding at its worst.
Richard Marks, Samoa
In South Carolina, people's homes flood to the rooftops, but here in Humboldt County, our Board of Supervisors wants to change zoning laws to allow homes to be built in flood plains, short-term profits for developers being their only concern.
The same financial backers that got that mentality elected are now gunning to take control of our Harbor Commission ("Bay Battle," Oct. 8). Their goal: to bring deep-port shipping to Humboldt Bay and find a way to justify building an eastbound railroad to the Central Valley.
They hope to replace Greg Dale and Pat Higgins, who, as outlined in a recent NCJ article ("Safe Harbor," Oct. 1), have worked to clean up the pulp mill, increased aquaculture and finally have turned the commission's finances around, slowly getting it in the black.
They are attacking Dale of Coast Seafoods for having a bay-dependent job, which they complain is a "conflict of interest." In the past, being a commercial fisherman, or the wife of one, was considered a qualification to serve on the Harbor Commission, but now these financier fatcats are trying to convince voters that working for a fish wholesaler — without which there would be no Humboldt fishing industry — is a reason to oust an incumbent harbor commissioner. It would be laughable if it weren't so depressing.
You see, if, for example we allow for more aquaculture jobs, then there will be a financial argument for keeping our waterways clean. Further, deep-port shipping will essentially shut down much of Humboldt Bay's commercial (and sport) fishing industry, so opponents have good and self-serving reasons to want knowledgeable commissioners like Dale gone and to hoodwink us into buying their absurd and fabricated claims.
Richard W. Salzman, Arcata
I appreciate the informative articles in the North Coast Journal. I had been out of the area for a while and had wondered what was happening to the site of the Samoa Pulp Mill. When I first arrived in Eureka in 1967, the smell of the pulp mill was a daily, not too pleasant fact of life. It was good to read of the efforts of the Harbor District, and the progress being made.
Linda Stansberry's excellent articles on addiction highlighted the scale of the problem in Humboldt County, and the (limited) resources available ("What's Killing Us?," Sept. 10 and "Can Humboldt County Solve Addiction?," Sept. 24). I would also like to point out that numerous people are affected by the addiction of another. These include many children. The effects range from anxiety and depression and difficulty concentrating in school, to financial difficulties, domestic violence, homelessness and poverty.
There is support for those affected by someone else's addiction. Nar. Anon is an anonymous fellowship where experience, strength and hope are shared with others who understand. We meet every Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. at Arcata Methodist Church, 1761 11th St. Room 7.
Gillian Sparrow, Arcata