Letters to the Editor, June 27, 2018

Bring back Katie

For those KHSU members who have withdrawn their financial support due to the “Katie debacle” please send an email to David Reed stating that you are ending your membership and why you are doing so – [email protected].  Both actions should have more of an impact that either one alone and perhaps together we can bring Katie back to our air waves.

Rita Carole

Opposing The Village

Dear Arcata City Manager, Mayor and Councilmembers:

I do not live next to the proposed Village project site – I live on Hadley across from Baywood Golf Course — yet, I still oppose the project.

Initially, I became involved with this issue because I felt bad for the homeowners that would have to live next to this development.  It bothered me that everyday people, who have worked a lifetime to afford their homes, would wake up one day with 3- and 4-story structures looming over their backyards and have to live with all the associated problems of such a massive development and influx of students in their neighborhood (i.e., noise and light pollution, traffic and parking problems, loud parties, lack of privacy, crime, trash).  I’m not against student housing or HSU students (I graduated from HSU in ’06). I’m against this project. Greenway Partners’ alternative design is much more palatable and compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and environment of Arcata.

City officials should be very concerned about the lack of honesty and openness regarding HSU officials’ dealings with AMCAL. In reading all 369 pages of emails from ARCH’s Public Records Request, I counted at least seven meetings that were held or being planned between HSU and AMCAL from April 12, 2016 to Feb. 22, 2018 — all the while denying to the public that HSU had anything to do with this project.

The emails between HSU and AMCAL reveal a cozy relationship. And the topics discussed were extensive, including: master leases, affiliation agreements, bond financing, avoiding prevailing wages and property taxes, occupancy restrictions and the potential to reconfigure or double the occupancy of 220 single rooms and some of the studios.

Another thing I find disturbing and upsetting is that Mr. Wruck (of HSU) felt the need to email President Rossbacher and five other HSU officials, informing them that: “This weekend volunteers were canvassing the neighborhoods surround [sic] the Craftsman Mall urging attendance at the Arcata City Planning Commission meeting on 11/28. Attached is the handout they were distributing.  While the text is confusing on some points, it does not explicitly label this as an HSU project and we do not see a reason to respond or ask for corrections.  We will continue to monitor the social media channels.”

Why were HSU officials watching the legal actions of private citizens, and why are the monitoring the social media channels? It’s as if HSU is threatened by ACRH and the organization’s efforts. This Orwellian and completey inappropriate behavior by HSU should be carefully considered by Arcata city officials. City officials should also be concerned about the proposed affiliation agreement between HSU and AMCAL.

HSU has greatly undermined the public’s trust and, therefore, the City and its citizens have the right to know exactly what sort of agreement is being crafted, what the terms are, and how the agreement could impact the neighborhood and community.    

If HSU ends up purchasing The Village from AMCAL, the University would not be subject to taxes, even though it would heavily rely on the City’s infrastructure and services. And HSU could double the occupancy of the rooms without any controls by City officials since HSU is not subject to the regulatory authority of the City of Arcata.

The bottom line is that HSU officials have not honest and forthcoming about their involvement with AMCAL on this project. And the University, for some reason, is refusing to release important public records to ACRH. What do HSU officials have to hide that they are behaving in such underhanded, secretive ways?

I understand that Arcata needs student housing, but I do not think that these projects should be done in a way that harms long-term residents and their quality of life. I think we can have high-quality projects that benefit the students and the community.

Please do not vote on The Village project until you have carefully reviewed the FINAL agreement between HSU and AMCAL, until HSU has released all of the REDACTED pages they are currently withholding from ACRH, and until the public has had a chance to review and comment on this vital information.

Kimberly Tays
Arcata resident and ACRH member

Send them packing

Just so I’m clear on this:

• The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is using our county tax dollars to fund the Humboldt County Fish and Game Commission, whose members the supervisors appoint.

This commission has used our limited tax dollars to propose the BOS send a letter to the California State Legislature (Union: “Supervisors stay out of trophy hunt restrictions.”) because these local commissioners are opposed to any restrictions on trophy hunting in Africa. And people here still wonder why our county roads are not getting paved?

It is time to disband this nearly 50-year-old relic of a commission and send these commissioners packing!

Richard Salzman


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