Letters to the Editor, March 10, 2021

Annexation without representation

I have lived at 1983 Foster Avenue in Arcata since 1990, a property under the jurisdiction of the County of Humboldt.

 I was informed by a neighbor on January 30, 2021, that my home and property and three neighboring parcels were annexed by LAFCo from the county to the City of Arcata’s jurisdiction. 

 Prior to January 30, I had not seen or heard any such information about an annexation of my property, and up to that point, had never had anyone other than my parents make a legal decision in my behalf without my explicit permission, nor had anyone else had control over my property.

 Apparently, my parcel was evaluated and then annexed without my knowledge since I have never had notice of such action, and never provided permission with a signature or verbal assent. 

 It seems to me that the LAFCo decision is questionable, inappropriate, or possibly illegal. How can LAFCo allow someone unknown to me to make an important decision such as transferring my property from one jurisdiction to another without my permission? 

If my property is no longer governed by the county rules and regulations, and they are now in the hands of the City of Arcata, I have to know: What more do you plan to do with my property without my permission? Must I relinquish ownership of this parcel? Where do I find out about my rights? Do I have any left?

Finally, since the annexation has occurred without my permission, I would appreciate knowing who else has the authority to place my property into a legally binding agreement without my knowledge? And where was this permission for my property recorded in an official and binding manner that excludes me from the control of what has been, up to now, mine.

 Carol McFarland

Reverse the annexation

I am one of three landowners of the four parcels that LAFCo annexed to the City of Arcata  during its January meeting. I am referring to the four parcels that are located South of Foster Avenue, between Q Street and Janes Road. The parcel that I now own has been in the Carlson-Nielsen family for over 100 years and has always been under the County of Humboldt’s jurisdiction, and never within the city limits of Arcata, and I would very much like to keep it that way.

I am copying below a paragraph from an email received yesterday from City of Arcata Community Development Director David Loya to LAFCo EO Colette Metz, explaining Arcata’s position on this issue.

From Mr. Loya to Ms. Metz:

“The City’s position remains that the additional parcels should not be annexed. There are several underlying reasons for this position. Ultimately, the strongest reason is that the Council explicitly considered expanding our annexation footprint based on early input from LAFCo and County Staff. The Council rejected the expanded boundary in its adoption of the two parcel annexation approval it made in April of 2020.”

I am appealing to you to reconsider your vote to annex these parcels.

My strongest objection to the annexation is very simple – none of us landowners received advance notification of the January 20 meeting. If we had received notice, we would have appeared on that ZOOM meeting to object strongly. Instead, I learned of the LAFCo action 10 days later from my next door neighbor.

I have also been apprised of two long- time LAFCo commissioners stating that in their experience, LAFCo has NEVER ANNEXED a property when the owners did not want to be annexed. I am in that position now: I DO NOT WANT TO BE ANNEXED TO THE CITY OF ARCATA, and all the owners of the adjacent parcels feel the same.

Don Nielsen

Secret annexation, silent City Council

Two weeks ago I wrote to say our family farm was one of three families being annexed into the city without consultation, notification or our approval. 

The Creek Side Homes annexation jumped from 21.6 acres to 76.7 acres, all privately owned farmland, in secret.

It would help if the City Council objected to annexation without their knowledge. The letters I have received from councilmembers say that our annexation was not a secret... they just were not told. Lots of reassurance that things would be fine. 

I have heard no outrage from them about their power being usurped by pro-development bureaucrats in the city employ or pro-development PlanWest acting as freelance county staff. 

Neither the former Arcata mayor or the current mayor knew they were circulating an EIR to annex us... yet we should relax.

Last night I participated in a “Visioning” meeting for Arcata. Community Development Director Loya, who initiated our secret annexation, explained to us about how community participation was the base of the pyramid with the plan at the peak. His words seemed empty given that he hid our annexation from the council and the landowners and elected officials for eight months.

One participant called for halting development until issues like “road annexation” were addressed. Because of our recent experience I heard it as “rogue annexation.”

The first and only notice we received did not list our properties and provided an illegible map in black and white. The new notice has the same illegible map in color, yet the notification language does not list the annexed parcels – not by street address or APN. 

This is illegal – a legal notice of annexation must list what parcels – and yet it’s also repeated. 

This does not comply with legal notification rules and we object once again and ask for accurate notification to be sent.

I heard citizens at the Visioning caring about supply chains, sustainability and waste, yet our Tule Fog Farm is threatened with development, and we’re the ones taking Tofu Shop, Los Bagels and Pie Store pre consumer waste food for our pigs. So who is listening to the farmers? Who is even asking them? Nobody at the city, it would seem.

Please speak up.
Karen Davidson
Arcata Bottom

Antifa anointments

 I would like to apologize for consternation caused by having a different opinion than the defender of Antifa/Proud Boys riots in Portland. 

I shall maintain my policy of not calling out anyone by name in print. Perhaps the letter writer is right in that they are the last word in all things Portland due to their residence there. 

As suggested by the writer, residents of other cities and states have no right to an opinion about the Portland mayhem, and none reading this have a right to an opinion about the D.C. Capitol riots since we don’t live there. 

Good to know that some Portlanders are in a position to say who appropriated the Antifa banner, and that was not the same as “identifying” with the cause. Antifa really do have arbiters of membership. Saying they were Antifa does not make them Antifa unless deemed so by exalted folks like the letter writer. I sincerely apologize for any butthurt effectuated by a contrary opinion to the writer.

John Dillon

Pressure-treated lumber disposal issues

As of January 1, 2021, the state of California has listed “Pressure-Treated Lumber” as toxic waste. 

Our company has been doing business with Humboldt County residents for 18 years as Cottage Construction Company, and personally I have been in the residential construction industry since 1985. 

Pressure-treated material has been used by our company to build decks, fences, trellises, retaining walls, and other assorted landscaping features. 

I just received a letter from Humboldt Recycling noticing they would no longer be handling pressure treated material. 

Also included with their notice HWMA would no longer be handling commercially produced pressure treated material either. 

HWMA will allow residential customers to drop off up to 125 pounds of pressure treated product. How often, I do not know. 

I am happy our state believes this is a problem in need of a solution. Some of the obnoxious and dangerous chemicals and elements in pressure treated lumber are and have been copper naphthenate, arsenic, chromium, pentachlorophenol and other such nasties. A short search of residual decay of arsenic in soil sets the time frame at 9,000 years. 

However, good as this law may be, there is a conundrum concerning commercial removal of pressure treated material. If you are in the market for replacing your current deck and need demolition of an existing structure the nearest Class 1 Landfill site is Kettleman Hills, Calif., 483 miles south of Bayside, where we do business. 

There must be a balance concerning compliance and the measures required to economically meet the requirements of state and federal guidelines. With disregard to either, in the wake, we only have chaos.

 John Wrigley
Cottage Construction Company

Decorporatize health care

BIG NEWS. There is a new Single-Payer, Improved Medicare for All bill before the California legislature. 

AB 1400 is the best yet with access to care for every medical need including: hearing, vision, dental and long-term care, even alternative treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic. 

It is guaranteed for life regardless of age, employment status, income, race, immigration or marital status, sexual orientation or pre-existing conditions — with free choice of doctor, hospital or clinic.

 Sounds like a lot? Wondering how to pay for it? We ALREADY are paying for some 70 percent of what is needed in existing tax subsidies for current programs like Medicare, Medicaid/MediCal, the VA, Childrens’ health, etc. 

This bill means insurance premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket fees and co-pays, doctor and hospital bills will be GONE. For-profit health insurance companies that answer only to Wall Street and do everything they can to pay as LITTLE as possible for health care: GONE. 

Let’s stop wasting our money on corporate profit and overhead now costing $.30 on the dollar. That money would go to actual health care and SAVE (not cost) the State of California billions of $. 

Call our District #2 Assemblyman, Jim Wood. Encourage him to back this urgently needed bill – going in the next 2 weeks FIRST to the health committee he chairs and over which he wields great influence: (707) 445-7014. 

Let’s remember the words of Senator Everett Dirksen: “When I feel the heat, I see the light.” Let’s heat up Jim Wood!

 Patty Harvey
Willow Creek

International Women’s Day

Since March, 1909, International Women’s Day (IWD) has been a time of acknowledging, celebrating and honoring the work and contributions of women and girls to humanity. 

But since this past year we have been in the time of COVID, we take this moment to honor the care and giving not only of so many women, but of men, children of all ages, elders, friends and family who have supported both life and passing.

Parents, healthcare workers, grocery clerks, farmers, educators, librarians, bus drivers, computer scientists, medical researchers, counselors, government employees, so many of you, have put forth phenomenal effort daily.

Students of all ages have kept going, completing assignments, attending zoom sessions, taking tests, watching video lectures even when they felt alone and disconnected from their normal life.

Through all these efforts we are able to see the joy and sparkle of a smile that often light in another’s eyes, above a mask.

And so we invite you to join us in recognizing March 8, 2021, as INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, and encourage all community members to join with all women in saying “thank you,” and in working together to create a safer, more inclusive and caring world.

Carilyn Goldammer for Humboldt WILPF – Humboldt Branch, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Lock up the cop killer

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Charles Flynn needs to be arrested immediately for facilitating the right-wing domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Flynn is an accessory to the murder of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.

 Charles Flynn is the younger brother of convicted felon Michael Flynn, who was National Security Adviser for Vladimir Putin’s puppet Donald Trump.

 Three hours and 19 minutes went by before traitor Trump’s intransigent Pentagon (publicly shamed by the television news networks during disapproving live coverage) was finally forced to send National Guard troops in response to pro-Trump terrorists.

 Cop-killing conservatives like Charles Flynn belong in prison, not in uniform! Flynn should already be incarcerated awaiting trial on charges of sedition and facilitating the capital murder of a police officer at the U.S. Capitol. 

 There will be no presidential pardon this time for this fascist Flynn brother. Lock Flynn up!

Jake Pickering


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