Friday, February 22, 2008

'Til Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM


The Board cannot state more ardently the importance of Redwood Memorial Hospital and keeping the hospital operating.

They're throwing around a lot of money over there at the County of Humboldt. Perhaps they should think about hiring an editor. They do come cheap.

The sentence above was taken from a draft letter from the Board of Supervisors to the Sisters of Orange, the religious order that owns and operates Eureka's St. Joseph Hospital and Fortuna's Redwood Memorial Hospital. It's no secret that the Sisters have been looking at cost-saving measures in Humboldt County, nor that the management team has been especially looking toward cutbacks at Redwood Memorial. The Board, naturally, is concerned.

But -- leaving aside the clumsy syntax for a moment -- is "ardently" really the word we want here? How about "strongly," "urgently," "forcefully"? Any of them would be free from innuendo that might upset the Sisters.

You're welcome.

We've got three main items on the agenda this Tuesday -- the midyear budget update, the draft of a "welcome letter" to be sent to future building applicants and the big Danco/Lane Devries Samoa Project.

The budget? Though the talk in Sacramento is very dark these days, CAO Loretta Nickolaus is here to tell us that things are going smoothly in Humboldt County for now. The General Fund is "performing substantially as budgeted." That's the intro to a 29-page staff report available on the web site ... but available only in the county's idiotic TIF format, which must be downloaded page by page and viewed as images. Go for it.

The proposed "welcome letter" from the Planning Division appears to be an attempt to dissipate some of the intense hatred that many builders, developers and others have for county planning staff. The idea is that upon submission of a project proposal, they will be handed a letter -- here in draft form -- that will outline the applicant's rights and the planning department's responsibilities in a humble, self-debasing tone of voice. It puts us in the mind of some sort of feudal Japanese ritual:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide permitting and development services to you. We will honor this privilege through hard work and the delivery of professional and helpful service to you, our customer.

If you are at any time dissatisfied with the service we provide you, the person responsible for your dissatisfaction will be taken out back and beheaded.

The Samoa development is scheduled for the afternoon (1:30 p.m.). It's an overwhelmingly huge and ambitious plan, eight years in the making, to rebuild the defunct company town as a modern, probably kind of yuppified community. The Board of Supes will comment upon and possibly approve the final environmental impact report for the project.

Want to know more? Just head on over to the county's website and download the 269 individual TIF files that comprise the county's staff report on the matter, fire up Photoshop and get to clicking. You're a better citizen than I.

Board of Supes: Tuesday, 9 a.m., at the County Courthouse (825 Fifth St., Eureka). Remember: Samoa Project in the afternoon, at 1:30 p.m.

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Hank Sims

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