Thanks for the excellent article (“Growing Pain”, Oct. 1, 2009). The City of Arcata needs to authorize the annexation. I used to live in the Westwood Garden Apartments, which adjoins the proposed Creek Side development site. I can’t tell you how many nights we had to call the police because the transients who “live” in that field were screaming or playing “music” or lighting off fireworks.
Danco is offering to clean up this space in a responsible manner. Only in Arcata’s unique version of NIMBYism would they prefer a blighted, ugly field full of transients, concrete slabs and broken bottles over a development which includes low-income housing, creek and trail restoration and a built-in CSA.
Lack of jobs and affordable housing are the reasons that we had to leave our beloved Arcata last year. I doubt we’ll be back until this “community” can figure out how to provide for all of its members, not just those who already have theirs.
Bodie Pfost, Shafter, Calif.
The Creek Side Homes Saga — what a train wreck! The 17-acre field in question hosts trash, broken glass, transients, occasional gunfire, discarded grow chemicals, fuzzy police jurisdiction and overgrown brush that provides lively entertainment every year as a giant fire hazard to the residents of Westwood.
I love Arcata, but Arcatans like “One Resident” are deluding themselves if they think that a Danco housing development will mean the end of their way of life. Their way of life has already come and gone. The only “proud old houses” I’m familiar with are only in the price range of those who don’t survive solely on legal income — leaving run-down apartments and grow house rentals for the rest of us. As for traffic, have you lived near or walked down Sunset, Alliance, Foster, Janes, etc. in the last several years? The traffic is already there but the property taxes and stable middle-class citizenry that support schools, law enforcement, fire services, etc., are not.
As for providing homes for “everybody else’s new people” — why is that a surprise? The lack of affordable housing has priced all of the “old” people out of the market — we can’t make enough honest money in Arcata to be able to stay. I may not have moved away to a hub of organically-grown, locally-made cultural enlightenment, but at least here my family can afford to live in a real home instead of a run-down apartment, buy groceries without relying on WIC or food stamps, and do it all on one legal income.
Briony Pfost, Shafter, Calif.
*Sweet Spot: Team Pfost wins a joint Bon Boniere sundae to share on their next trip home. *