Letters to the Editor, August 28, 2019

Dog poop: why we fight 

Just one gram of dog waste can contain as many as 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which can seep into groundwater and spread salmonella and giardia.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella can be spread by contact with infected dog waste. 

When dog poop is left to decay, after a long time (it can take over one year for dog waste to decompose) the poop may no longer be visible, but the eggs from these parasites can linger for years in the soil contaminating water sources.

On our daily dog walks, I’m finding poop bags left on our pristine beaches and trails. Now the poop will never degrade, and the plastic will outlive our grandchildren. 

Please remind your dog owning friends that leaving plastic on the trails makes things worse. Either leave poop for others to clean up, or remove and dispose of all plastic from trails.

Erin Rowe

Bayside plans are fine by most

Thank you for Steve Robles’ report on the August 15 presentation and discussion of improvements along Old Arcata Road in Bayside. The two opening sentences, however, call for rebuttal.  

I didn’t gain from the meeting at Bayside Community Hall that there was unanimous support for improvements. (One or two present seemed to prefer no changes.) And it was certainly not true that “few agree what that improvement should look like.”

True, there was a vocal minority (four or five people, perhaps) with loud and strident complaints that “the city doesn’t listen to us,” “nobody wants a roundabout,” “we don’t need sidewalks,” and other claims that City of Arcata is heedlessly forcing ill-conceived plans upon Bayside. 

Nonetheless, the majority gathered there appreciated the thoughtful and responsive presentation. Staff has committed serious time, resources, and heart to developing the best for our community. 

Some of us had attended previous meetings and saw that city staff had heard suggestions and adjusted the plan before bringing this updated draft for our review. Most of us were satisfied with the progress being made toward finalizing projects to enhance safety and walkability. Most of us found city staff eager and open to hearing and noting our suggestions. 

Most of us favor a roundabout at the intersection of Jacoby Creek Road and Old Arcata Road as the safest and most efficient way to slow traffic at that critical junction. And most of us look forward to tweaking the draft into the optimal plan. 

Chip Sharpe

Nordic Aquascam

After observing the operations of Nordic Aquafarms here in Belfast, Maine, the content of Rocky Drill’s July 14 letter to the editor comes as no surprise. 

Ever since Nordic went public with its Belfast plans a year and a half ago, the company has been changing its tune. 

First Nordic said its Belfast project wouldn’t pollute – at all – and now the company admits its Belfast project would spew 7.7 million gallons of effluent discharge and 1,600 pounds of nitrogen per day into the already environmentally challenged Belfast Bay. 

At first Nordic said its effluent discharge pipe would extended 1.5 miles out to sea. Then it was a mile. And now it’s one kilometer (.62 miles). 

But these figures have never been accurate because they reflect the length of the entire pipe, which would be .3 miles on land. And Nordic’s website still cites the one-mile figure fully one year after the company shortened it to one kilometer.

Nordic has misled Belfast in other ways. In a public information meeting last year, Nordic CEO Erik Heim said farm salmon is the most efficient way to produce protein. 

This is simply false. It is much more efficient to grow soy and eat it than it is to grow soy, feed it to farm salmon and then eat the salmon. 

Nordic even misled the Maine legislature. After saying repeatedly that fish can escape from land-based fish farms, Nordic told the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation that fish couldn’t escape from a land-based fish farm. In fact, there have already been cases in which thousands of fish have made such escapes. 

This is important because farm fish can carry diseases to which wild fish are not accustomed and have no defense, because farm fish can breed with wild fish and produce offspring incapable of handling open-water challenges, and because farm fish can compete with wild fish for spawning grounds and can destroy the eggs of wild fish.

And the list goes on. Rocky Drill is right: Nordic’s plans in California have been a scam from the beginning, just as they have been in Maine, and the only sensible thing to do is to reject Nordic’s projects in both places.

Lawrence Reichard
Belfast, Maine

Santa Trump – overrated

At the beginning of August, President Trump announced he would place a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of imported Chinese goods starting September 1. This would hurt Americans because of the resulting increased retail prices on many consumer goods including laptops and cell phones. 

Within three weeks, advisers and retailers convinced the president that such a move would dampen holiday shopping; and I would add, appear somewhat Grinch-like. Trump actually listened and announced he would delay imposing the tariff until December 15.

Now let’s be serious. Why would Trump only delay the tariff until December 15 when so many Americans put off their holiday shopping until the last minute?

I think the answer is clear. Trump loves to be seen as a hero of the people, the best ever. So as the December deadline approached, he would merely announce another delay, now until after the holidays.

Instant hero! Both retailers and consumers are happy.

I know this seems cynical, but we have a president who wants to make everything about himself, so he would just be able to declare it was his own benevolence that saved the holidays; call him “Santa Trump.”

Not really.

Sherman Schapiro
Blue Lake

A&M trail news

Thank you for your participation in the Arcata Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Project. A Draft Project Report and maps of alternative trail alignments have been released and are available for public review on the project website, cityofarcata.org/831/Annie-Mary-Trail-Connectivity-Project or at the following locations: hard copy full report and appendices available at the City of Arcata Recreation Office (736 F St.) and hard copy report available at the Arcata Library (500 Seventh St.) and the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center (569 South G St.).

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Arcata City Council will discuss the draft project report for the Arcata Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Project and consider potential alignments for the Annie & Mary Trail for non-motorized travel through north Arcata to the Mad River. The

City Council meeting will start at 6 p.m., but the Annie & Mary Trail agenda item may be a bit later. Community members are welcome to attend to hear about the project and the community input received so far, provide comment, and learn about next steps.

The current phase of the project for public outreach and planning is funded by a Caltrans Sustainable Communities grant. Ideas generated during public outreach opportunities throughout 2019 have been utilized to develop and refine alternative alignments for the trail.

The Annie and Mary Trail Project will eventually create a new trail that will connect Sunset Avenue/Larson Park to Valley West, the Aldergrove Industrial Park, and the Mad River at the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s Park 1. The project is also intended to improve the Sunset Avenue and Giuntoli Lane overpasses, create connections to the trail from neighborhoods, and improve access to parks and businesses.

For more information regarding this project, visit the project website at cityofarcata.org/831/Annie-Mary-Trail-Connectivity-Project or call (707) 825-2128.

Best, Project Team for the Arcata Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Project

Emily Sink-horn
Director, Natural Resources Services Division, Redwood Community Action Agency, 904 G St., Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 269-2061

Letter of the Week: No dips for tips

August 15, 2019
Dear Mr. Mandel and Mr. Lizandro,

I am writing to thank you for your generous offer of the three boxes of Cannadips you made at our Aug. 13, 2019 Planning Commission meeting. It was very thoughtful of you to offer the gratuity after the commission’s approval of your project. Unfortunately, I must decline the gift. I have enclosed the three boxes with this letter.

Plese understand, the Commission and staff must maintain an objective and independent position in the decisionmaking process. Projects must be evaluated on their merits. And the commission’s judgments must be based entirely on the record of the matter at hand. The public’s trust in staff and the commission if wholly dependent on this independence and objectivity.

While your gift may or may not have had any bearing on the Commission’s decision, accepting the offer could create the appearance that it did. Even the mere appearance that the commission could be swayed by an applican’t’s willingness to provide a token of thanks will erode the public’s trust. 

I understand gifts are common in business transactions. We gratefully accept your appreciation and gratitude. But we respectfully return the gift.

Sincerely, David Loya
Director, Community Development, Arcata

Join the McK Lions Club

All of us have a stake in making sure our McKinleyville children experience success in school. My daughter had a good experience but had long since gone on to a successful career. I wondered how I could contribute now to the success of current students.

 Two years ago I found a simple yet effective way to contribute — I joined with the McKinleyville Lions Club and conducted vision screening in our area schools.

 Promoting vision health is the primary mission of the Lions Club — and healthy vision is just basic to students’ success. The vision screening the Lions conduct can detect both normal, healthy vision and also detect vision problems that alert parents to seek appropriate care. The Lions can help advise parents with resources on how to follow up with any needed care.

The McKinleyville Lions will be conducting vision screening in our schools beginning September. 10th at Dow’s Prairie School. Dates for our other schools will be scheduled shortly throughout the early fall.

Wouldn’t you like to ensure our McKinleyville students can SEE their way to success? Learning the screening process is simple and your reward is seeing the smiles of students who see that you care.

Give it a try this fall for a few daytime hours – feel free to contact me for more information. [email protected], (707) 839-9629, Facebook: McKinleyville Lions Club.

Pat Thomas
Secretary, McKinleyville Lions Club


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