Robin Donald 
Member since Aug 9, 2018


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Re: “Eureka Weighs the Future of its Nonprofit Needle Exchange Program

Not Fake News: Eureka Councilmembers ok Hate News

Thanks for this great article. HACHR is in the paradoxical position of both being recognized as a/the leading force in the Humboldt County (certainly in Eureka and the central coast) harm reduction program and community; and also being condemned by a vocal minority for being the cause of drug litter and the ideological center of enablers who ultimately are to blame for lenient drug laws and liberal judicial enforcement or lack thereof.

The good news is that Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel is quoted in the article as approving the work being done by HACHR:

"My concern isn't the work HACHR does," Bergel said.

In other words, the news about HACHR's internal audit and relevant third-party confirmation is accepted by Councilmember Bergel, and not rejected by her as fake news. Further, Bergel affirms the work HACHR does and the need in Eureka for this program:

"I think HACHR has done much of what they said and I think we definitely need to have a needle exchange in our city,.."

So it appears that Councilmember Bergel would not dismiss HACHR based on a competency, impact and need assessment. That is the good news.

The bad news is that Councilmember Bergel has dismissed HACHR based on Hate News, on the hateful verbiage of a small, vocal, and threatening minority who are the cause and promoters of the divisiveness and the lack of positive relationships happening in our community of which Bergel said elsewhere in the article, That is my concern.

Bergel has merged with the HACHR-Haters so thoroughly that I wonder if she and fellow Councilmember Heidi Messner didn't break a law when they met with HACHR's board of directors as reported in the NCL article:

The council members had requested to attend the boards regular monthly meeting and showed up with a document including two requests.

Bergel and Messner presented the document as if it had been authorized by the City of Eureka, as if they were representing the will and wishes of the City Council. After listing the requirements HACHR would have to comply with, the supposedly-official missive from the City of Eureka ended with intimidating language geared to enforcing compliance rather than promoting democratic and just interaction:

"The City of Eureka is requiring a 90-day probationary period of the following requirements, it read. We are open to dialogue but either way the following will be required."

The most damning criticism of Councilmembers Bergel and Messner comes from Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks where he comments about whether they were acting on behalf of an ultimatum approved by the council when they addressed the HACHR board. Sparks said they were not:

"Really, they just represented themselves as two councilmembers," he said. They weren't speaking for the entire city.

It is always disappointing but comes as no surprise when hate and fear trump compassion and understanding. It is more disappointing when elected officials pander to the haters even when they are personally convinced of the falseness of the charges.

Having Councilmembers Bergel and Messner represent themselves as on Council business when they were acting on the agenda of a small grouping of people who want to get rid of HACHR is like having KKK members join the Police and then racially harass people of color while on duty, or pretending to be on duty.

Posted by Robin Donald on 08/09/2018 at 8:39 AM

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