Letters to the Editor, April 3, 2019

Myrna meets her family

This has been a long journey home. I’ve been on a lot of life’s journey’s far and near. The memories of four boys always with me, wondering where they were and if alive.

On a whim, I asked a friend to play detective and search for them again. With the kindness and compassion of others, my journey home to them has come to its 61 years end, an amazing story of four boys lost to me many years ago.

I have found about all of them. To my loss, two of them have passed. My brother Guy lives in McKinleyville, Jody in Yountville, Calif., and an extra gift of a step brother who lives in San Jose. 

It’s going to be a long walk back through all our lives and history. We’ve all had our own journeys and 67 years of life’s stories. 

Stewart and Stanley are gone, so there are three of us now and one step brother, and if God and life see fit, I’ll make it back home to see them before it’s too late.

I’ve had angels watching over me all my life, not just from above, but here on Earth also.

Today I received another gift in the form of a young lady. She is the daughter of Stanley, who passed. Somehow she heard I was looking for the boys and called Kevin at the paper. 

Like the rest of this journey, there has been excitement, grief, joy, tears and laughter, but bottom line, I found my family after 67 years.

Siblings separated by Arcata tragedy reunited after 67 years

I’ve traveled this amazing world and met a lot of interesting people along the way, but now I have family and roots and know I belong somewhere. 

I’ve not met anyone in person yet; we just talk on the phone. Someday I’ll get home and put my feet on the ground where it all started. I’ll place flowers on their graves and say goodbye. I never got to do that, and this will be the closing for them.

I will get to see Guy, Jody and step brother before I leave this world, as I know God didn’t get me this far for me to not. Just have to work on when and where.

Today a young girl called Kevin and said she was my niece. First thing I wanted to know was, “What is that? I’ve never had one.” 

She says she’ll write, and has pictures to send. It will be interesting to see if any of us look alike, and she can tell me about her dad, my brother. 

Well, that’s the update for now. 

See you guys someday,
Myrna Renner Montgomery
Grand Junction, Colo.

Undermining planning

Planning Director Ford was brought documents two years ago indicating that Friends of the Dunes (FOD) had violated their permit obligations. Violations included a lack of a qualified restoration manager who had retired three years ago, lack of required review and lack of a Restoration Plan update nine years ago. He agreed. None of those requirements have yet to be met.

Additionally, Local Coastal Plan policy states invasive plant removal projects are to last for up to 10 years and require a review as noted. This project started in 2007. So yes, for several reasons the permit FOD has used is dead. What this essentially means is work has been done without accountability or review for nine years. Yet work continues.

Remember, this is not about whether targeted vegetation should be dug out of the dunes or not. It is about how would we know if this is a valid project or not without qualified and transparent oversight. The simple answer is we don’t.

Importantly, Mr. Ford recently indicated significant damage to the dunes, wetlands and potentially critical infrastructure were caused by the same methods  FOD was using but somehow ignored the connection. 

Ironically these same adverse impacts are applauded in FOD’s own literature. The last time Mr. Ford visited the FOD site was two years ago. With all this said it remains unclear how he reached conclusions that everything is hunky dory.

Recently FOD has hired yet another Executive Director Mike Cipra, who to his credit reached out to me recently to hear my concerns. It is unfortunate that the tack he chose was not appropriate. He seemed intent to blame neighbors and community members for the myriad of troubles FOD is facing. 

Hopefully, Mr. Cipra will soon begin to understand that the difficulty FOD has in recruiting and maintaining board members and staff is a direct reflection of their relationship with the neighbors and community. His success is dependent on whether he develops a less accusatory and more inclusive approach.

It also doesn’t help their cause to coerce young children to tear out dune plants. Several young people including former California Conservation Corp members have let me know it is something they detest doing.

Friends of the Dunes and those few people still intent on digging up dune plants are not the only members of the community that hold these dunes dear. There is a value in maintaining the existing habitat. There is a real danger of accelerated negative impacts to the community of Manila by altering it. 

Trying to somehow justify multiple adverse impacts under a violated and outdated permit simply undermines the true purpose of effective planning and permit process.

Uri Driscoll

What is time?

“What is time?” A modest university coed enquired and Jacob Needleman, the distinguished philosopher, did not have an answer. Think about it; take some t-i-m-e... What-the-heck is “Time”? 

With apologies to Needleman and the reader, allow me suggest that Time is: 

1. A serious imposition when, in March, clocks are advanced. 

2. What happens when you’re not asleep. 

3. Scarce when you’re having fun but redundant when you’re bored.

4. The brief recess between endless General Elections. 

A day is a life-time for a damsel fly. A year is a micro-nano-second in cosmic time. 

You probably heard this one a long time ago, when you were under blankets, ignoring time. “Early to bed, Early to rise, Makes a man, Healthy, wealthy and wise.” 

A second stanza is less familiar: “Late to bed, Late to rise, Looks like crap, Gathers flies.” 

John Wiebe


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