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Recent Comments

Re: “Federal Jury Hits County with $2.5 Million Wrongful Death Verdict

We are all "Humboldt County". This tragic event reflects on all of us.

What are the resource shortfalls and the pressures on law enforcement staff that led to the failure to follow established procedures? It would seem simple and straightforward to summon the on-duty nurse to assess in the pre-booking stage of custody a young man with mental illness, with a drug problem and with symptoms of the meth that was in his system. How can we as the citizens of Humboldt County "rise to the occasion" and, together with our civic leaders, learn from this terrible object lesson? We certainly don't want to be paying more judgments like this!

I for one favor more taxes to pay for our mutual responsibilities. Our local mental health resources are in a shambles, exemplified by the need to subcontract with a private agency for the key psychiatrist position. I am in favor of supporting with resources not just the civil rights that we're obligated to protect but the social services such as mental health, drug treatment, supportive housing and pro-active health treatment for chronic emergency room patients that in the end save money through reduced costs in other areas.

And then, how do we assure that tax dollars and related resources, e.g. County land, buildings and staff dedicated to providing services, are actually engendering the results that are their goals and objectives? e.g. Do we simply need to invest more in Sempervirens, or does Sempervirens need major changes? Where are the audits, the feedback, the positive and negative lessons learned with changes in policy and procedure resulting? And where are the audits that would reveal the failure to comply with policy and procedure, where follow-on action and further staff training could have prevented the death of Daren Borges?

As this case painfully illustrates, (with homage to "Pogo"), "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Let's step up and provide greater support for our local mental health, supportive housing, drug treatment agencies and organizations. And yes, let's provide additional focused resources for the Sheriffs and local law enforcement as all of these agencies and organizations provide critical services to our neighbors (and sometimes visitors) in moments when they are least able to care for themselves. These are investments worth making as everyone benefits - if the programs are also audited to assure that stated outcomes are achieved.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LBL on 08/29/2017 at 5:46 PM

Re: “Throw Like the Irish

I just read with dismay the Journal’s promotion of the concept of heaving heavy steel balls onto our local roads (“Throw Like the Irish”, Rees Hughes, May 14). How about if we promote hitting the roads with sledgehammers? Great fun! And it doesn’t cost anything to do it, right? Not.

In my work I travel a lot around the state and the country, with a lot of driving, so I have a pretty broad experience of road conditions. Humboldt County has among the worst road conditions anywhere, IMHO. Even in Arcata, I know I’m home when I get to the stunningly crappy conditions on Beverly Drive.

How does the Journal prioritize the common good and collective costs vs. promoting individuals doing whatever (intentionally or unintentionally) destructive activity they may dream up and mask behind some positive value such as outdoor recreation?

I received an email from a colleague recently with this footer that seems a worthwhile reminder: “Thought of the day: Knowledge is being aware of what you can do. Wisdom is knowing when not to do it.”

Bruce LeBel, Arcata

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by LBL on 05/16/2015 at 9:17 AM

Re: “Wing and a Prayer

High praise to the Sky West team at ACV, supporting our local air travelers despite substantial adversity.

County Supervisors, City Councils, HSU executives and local business leaders should each imagine the impacts on our local economy if there is no airline connection from Humboldt County to a major hub. The likelihood of a major economic contraction following loss of air service is so significant that I encourage all stakeholders to multiply their various forms of meaningful support for our airport(s), for our current carrier, and for the effort to bring in a second carrier to connect to a different major hub.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by LBL on 03/30/2015 at 11:55 AM

Re: “Liquor Run

A significant question that has been completely ignored by all journalists and media in Humboldt County is: What were County Supervisor Rex Bohn's role and responsibilities for management, handling, storage, safety and disposition of the pulping liquors when he was the Evergreen Pulp operations executive? It appears to a lay person with patchy information that Supervisor Bohn may have been the last individual with actual responsibility for these hazardous materials where ultimately the business interests turned their back to the risks and walked away, leaving a looming disaster on the shore of our beautiful bay and harbor. There is a stunning irony that this situation was such a high risk that even when the federal government was "shut down" the EPA went into emergency response mode and spent millions of dollars and took immediate steps to contain the risk, and - here's the real irony - that the apparent perpetrators of this risk may be the same folks who are advocates of cutting government spending wherever possible. Would local "small government" advocates such as Supervisor Bohn suggest that it was wrong of the EPA to step in, or for them to have the resources to step in, and take emergency measures to reduce the risk of these liquors spilling into the bay, say when there happens to be a magnitude 6.8 earthquake? (Talk about "dodging a bullet"!...) So I ask: What were Supervisor Bohn's responsibilities for these pulping liquors when he was the operations executive with the last business that actually ran the pulp mill?

21 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by LBL on 03/27/2014 at 7:11 AM

Re: “Update: Arkley Draws Big Crowd to Talk about Homelessness

A legal campground, legal RV parking / car camping, and ultra-low-cost shelter including social services - possibly limited to those who can show they are "locals, from Humboldt County" - would reduce the numbers of persons unsheltered and provide engagement. World Shelters remains prepared to participate in such an initiative.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LBL on 09/19/2013 at 8:20 AM

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