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The Real Blackout 

Editor:

I am dismayed at the sophism in your publisher's latest missive concerning the rails/trails issue ("News Blackout," Aug. 16). She presents a false dichotomy. The real "blackout" is her failure to acknowledge the arguments of her opponents. She would lead readers to believe that those who wish to preserve the Arcata-Eureka prism as a railroad are, ipso facto, opposed to the creation of a trail.

Ms. Hodgson is an intelligent woman who has heard the repeated statements by the Timber Heritage Association (THA) to the effect that THA believes the prism can best be maintained as a rails and trails corridor.

I have been to several of the meetings mentioned and I have not a heard a single speaker, from any community group, advocate that no trail should be built and only the rail line should be preserved.

Ms. Hodgson blithely asserts that no "viable" plan has been presented for the re-establishment of rail use in the corridor. THA speakers have frequently presented their vision that the tracks should be used to support a jobs- and revenue-producing tourist train. There is no reason why a trail could not exist alongside the rail line.

I challenge Ms. Hodgson to present a reasoned and informative argument as to why this is not possible. Yes, it would cost money. This is one of the concerns that the NCRA committee will be addressing. Is there funding to rebuild the prism as a rails and trails corridor? Why not find the answer?

Nowhere in her column does she attempt to explain why THA's position of "rail and trails" should, or should not, be considered. She ignores THA's position. That, dear reader, is the real "news blackout."

John Webb, Trinidad

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