It's unbelievable that Aaron Newman is still on the Harbor Commission after his blatant and repeated violations of state law and public trust, especially since the violations were related to the very resource he was elected to protect ("Politics, Hunting — Both Sports," Nov. 27). The 1970 legislative act that created this Harbor District was, in part, "... to develop and protect the county's natural resources." The HBHRCD website says Mr. Newman is also vice chair of the California Salmon Council and a California advisor to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Can you say, "wolf guarding the henhouse?!"
It's not like he innocently violated the law once. Instead, as pointed out in Thadeus Greenson's article ("Fit to Serve," Nov. 6), court records show that he not only lied about the number of abalone he harvested, he then repeatedly filed affidavits (11 times!), over the course of nine years, claiming to have lost abalone permits so he could re-apply for them. How many illegal abalone did you ultimately bag, Mr. Newman? Then, he did the same thing with a deer tag after he'd already bagged a deer! Whaaat?!!
Also, the fact that at least three of his fellow commissioners continue to support him in his position, effectively condoning these violations, is outrageous! What does a guy have to do to get thrown out of office around here?! These weren't allegations, these were blatant violations of the law! He may have "a wealth of knowledge and experience," may be "polite, respectful and does his homework," as commissioners Marks and Wilson claim, but the fact is, he's a frickin' poacher!
Maybe Humboldt County residents should be questioning whether any one of the four of these commissioners are "fit to serve." At least update the HBHRCD website to indicate that Mr. Newman not only enjoys: "fishing, hunting, hiking, and diving," he apparently also enjoys poaching!
Jeff Bue, Eureka
Aaron Newman is unfit to serve on the Harbor Commission. His repeated violations of fishing and hunting regulations demonstrate his attitude toward rule of law. Yet he sits on a commission tasked with protecting our beautiful bay for the benefit of all, which requires rules and regulations.
If Aaron Newman thinks these laws don't apply to him then what does that say about his culture, his friends and associates? Certainly he doesn't live in a vacuum. This reeks of Humboldt's good old boy network.
I am shocked and dismayed that the other harbor commissioners are willing to ignore Newman's behavior which sets such a bad example for the rest of us. What would happen to me if I got caught fishing without a license? Or poaching abalone?
Gee, I wish I was Aaron Newman, I could get away with just about anything ... except being re-elected.
Anna Hamilton, Eureka