Letters to the Editor, May 10, 2017

Rent control a bad deal

And so it begins. Wednesday, May 3, the Arcata City Council introduced Ordinance 1487 – a Rent Control Ordinance for Mobilehome Parks. (Sorry, Paul Pitino, a rose by any other name…)

This is the culmination of two years’ worth of discussion on trying to control the base rents being charged in mobilehome parks within the city limits of Arcata.

It has been a calculated attack on the property rights of the mobilehome park owners. While trying to protect low-income seniors and families with children, the City Council has lost its way.

This way was being rammed through by a small minority of Lazy J Ranch  residents urged on by Paul Pitino.

One of the more interesting items to come out of Wednesday’s meeting is that Paul Pitino has a son who lives in one of the homes, in one of the parks that will affected by this ordinance.  This is very enlightening.

Whenever I run across things that make little sense the cynic in me wants to know “qui bono” or who profits. For the past two years Paul has gone to dozens of meetings and given many talks and speeches about rent control in mobilehome parks, and yet he has never mentioned his son and the conflict that this represents. Now for the fun part! Paul got to determine if he has a conflict of interest. WHAT?

He did this research and determined because his son is not a minor child living with him, Paul does not have a conflict of interest. REALLY?

Many of the people in the Arcata City government and especially on the City Council simply do not understand the optics of what they do and say. OF COURSE he should recuse himself!

He should have never started promoting anything that will have any kind of benefit to anyone in his family.

Not only should he recuse himself from this ordinance he should probably resign from the City Council or be thrown out. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard, “Well Paul Pitino, the mayor, is for this…”

As for the ordinance, it is a mess. It contains a number of items that were part of a 5 year lease proposal that the residents of the Lazy J Ranch rejected. It contains a proposal on vacancy control that will reduce the rents paid by new, incoming residents to 10 percent less than is being paid by five-year residents of the park. But best of all, it contains a Rent Control Administrative fee that will be passed through to all the residents. Yes, folks, we get an ordinance we don’t want and we have to pay for the privilege.

After discussions with some of my neighbors two things are clear:

We want to vote on this ordinance. Put it on the ballot in 2018 as a ballot measure. It is probably going to take at least that long to work the kinks out of the proposal.

We are not going to pay.

Thank you for listening.

Jan Phelps
Resident of the Lazy J Ranch in Arcata

Measure Z for Boys and Girls

A huge thank you to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors from the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods!

Our Club Kids are so numerous at our Clubhouse location that the place is literally bulging at the rafters! With 85 kids per day and counting, the Clubhouse provides a safe, fun place for the kids to develop health and life skills, good character, citizenship and academic success through professionally led programs.

With the emphasis on safe! Many of our members at the Club House are in transitional living situations including homeless, living in motels, couch surfing and in the foster care system.

Seventy-five percent are in single parent households and ninety-five percent qualify for free/reduced lunch. For some, the only really safe places are school and the Club. Thank you Supervisors Bohn, Wilson, Fennell, Bass and Sundberg for enabling us to expand the number of kids we serve with the support of Measure Z funding!

Rod Strom, Chair
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Club Kids, Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods

A generous donation in  McK

The McKinleyville Lions Club and the Winter Express committee would like to thank the McKinleyville Area Fund for its very generous donation to the 2017 Winter Express Program.

This program would not be possible without the support of community and organization donations. Winter Express is a program created to allow local children, kindergarten through third grade, the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa and choose four presents for their loved ones.

We are anticipating the participation of approximately 720 students from six local elementary schools during the 2017 Winter Express event. With the support of the community, we are able to make Winter Express an excursion that the children will cherish for many years to come.

Please visit our website, e-clubhouse.org/sites/mckinleyville to view photos of the event. For more information, please call the McKinleyville Lions Club at (707) 839-3768.

Ann Pinske, secretary
McKinleyville Lions Club

Make the LJ worth looking at

Re Jennifer Savage’s eloquent letter last week (“Alarming LJ Editorial”), I’d like to say, huzzah!

That paper, The Lumberjack, once a fine example of student journalism, has, under Marcy Burstiner’s (complete lack of) direction, turned into such an embarrassment both in content and layout that I literally avert my eyes from it as I go into work in Jacoby’s Storehouse every day.

I vehemently second Jennifer’s opinion, that it’s “flat out terrible”, and that trite, ungrammatical pieces about marijuana are unworthy of the paper they are printed on.

For an example of a well-composed, quality student newspaper, check out the Arcata High School Pepperbox.

I entreat whoever is in charge of Marcy Burstiner to ask her firmly to actually teach those kids something about white space, spelling, grammar and reporting – in short, everything that makes a newspaper not cringingly awful.

Jada Brotman



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