Letters to the Editor, November 27, 2019

G Street on the Plaza, stricken with invisible fire damage. KLH. | Union

Thanks to all for patience during this trying time

The members of the Slack Family LLC wish to express their sincere gratitude to the many Humboldt County fire departments, and especially the Arcata Fire District, who responded to the fire in our Plaza building on Oct. 27. 

Their hard work and diligence not only saved our building, but prevented the fire from spreading to other Plaza properties and insured that no one was injured.

In addition, we wish to thank the two citizens who first noticed the smoke coming from the building, called 911 and knocked on the fire department’s door to alert them.

We appreciate the patience with which the business owners are dealing with this tremendous interruption. We are working through the required channels to get the necessary work done so that they may return to normal as soon as possible. 

Lisa Slack

Don’t take it out on PG&E’s frontline workers

The recent power outages by PG&E have caused the line workers to be subjected to angry threats and actions from customers while inspecting lines and restoring power.

The ongoing power line problems and fires are the result of mismanagement at the corporate level, but the workers are paying the price in the field.

How soon we forget, when winter storms hit our area, who leaves their families to go out and be subjected to rain, snow and high winds, and risk their lives s we can watch our favorite TV program? It’s the same workers now being subjected to customer anger.

PG&E workers are putting in long hours to inspect the power lines and restore service. Please show them some respect. Instead of anger, say thanks!

Scott Baker

Climate change requires a relationship reset

It’s natural to see climate catastrophe as an environmental problem: CO2, wind and rain, melting glaciers...

The environmental knowledge which drives your solution has at its roots the wisdom acquired over ten thousand years or more. Traditional Ecological Knowledge, TEK for short, values sharing life with all creatures and plants – their well-being tied-up with ours – the environmentalism of Rachel Carlson.

Some cling to technical solutions concocted by the very same forces that produced the problems they seek to address: runaway industrial growth, pollution, over-consumption, the Internet’s electrical imperative.

Reducing greenhouse gases is not a technical problem. Solutions by machines, engineering, chemistry and the like just make it easier to over-consume and demand more. They don’t reach the root of the imbalance driving climate catastrophe.

Manufacturing electricity for a brief 30 years at great cost (in dollars and fossil fuels), as Terra-Gen proposes, is a technical solution, sure to have unforeseen consequences, and “significant and unavoidable impacts.”

Our indigenous community speaks out against this. Wiyot are most affected, and other tribes stand solidly with them – people who successfully lived off-grid since time immemorial.

Western Industrial culture has a deadly speed addiction. We want things now - blinding us to wisdom and help from those not addicted. 

The climate crisis is an opportunity to reset our relationship with each other and the Earth – requiring a leap into an uncertain future with a faith in values more fundamental than the laws of gravity we manipulated to create it.

Michael Evenson

Toward hunger and homelessness awareness

It is proclaimed in Humboldt County by the Board of Supervisors that National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week was recognized from Nov. 16 to 24. The purpose is to promote education, action, and awareness about hunger and homelessness. The annual event is held each year prior to Thanksgiving when most people take the time to consider what they are thankful for and donate some of their time, attention, and resources to others. 

The fact is that no one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plate or a roof over their head. But the reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems that affect far too many people. People from all walks of life, including families with children, employed and unemployed workers, elderly residents, veterans, disabled individuals, youth and individuals are impacted by hunger and homelessness.

The nation, California, and Humboldt County are currently facing one of the most severe affordable housing crises in history. Not surprisingly, those living in poverty are the most significantly affected. By the 1980s, the supply of low cost housing had shrunk significantly. Since then, rents have continued to rise and lower income people in particular have experienced slow or stagnant wage growth. Many Americans are living on the edge, forced to choose between basic necessities like purchasing food, paying rent, or going to the doctor. While homelessness creates barriers to accessing essential services such as affordable housing, healthcare, childcare and education, the cost of these necessities often contribute to food insecurity and people experiencing homelessness on any given night.

As the gap between increasing costs and stagnant incomes widens, the end result is that more people become homeless. More than 49 million Americans are at risk of suffering from hunger. Hunger is a daily experience for many people in Humboldt County with more than 40 percent of low-income adults experiencing food insecurity, over 17 percent of seniors, and 28 percent of children living in poverty which more than doubles to 57 percent if the household is led by a single mother. Food for People provides food for more than 12,000 households each month. 1,704 homeless individuals have been counted by the county though this number is considered low because the Point-in-Time Count excludes people in motels, jail, couch surfers, and those they simply cannot find. Almost 1,500 students in the public schools have identified as homeless during the school year. 19.1 percent of HSU students and 11 percent of College of the Redwoods students have reported being homeless during the school year.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week calls attention to the plight of homelessness and hunger. We believe that safe, decent and affordable housing is a human right. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors declared a Shelter Crisis in February 2017 and created the Housing Trust Fund and Homelessness Solutions Committee. However, little has been done to solve the problem of homelessness in Humboldt County. 

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives and the members of our Coalition urge the Board of Supervisors to adopt recommendations of the Grand Jury to adopt a comprehensive approach to homelessness that includes both long and short term solutions and encourage all people in the community to work together to provide more meaningful solutions for these people.

Winchell Dillenbeck, AHHA boardmember

Everyone was in the loop

According to the November 20, 2019 bombshell public congressional testimony of Trump’s high dollar donor Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.” 

No kidding! Could the Trump crime family possibly be any more transparently guilty than they already are? Not possible.

Or, as CBS News’ Weijia Jiang reported, “The question is: Is there a bus big enough to run over all of the people who are going down today?”

Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and Rudy Giuliani all have Ambassador Sondland’s televised tire marks on their backsides. Sometimes the truth hurts, and Trump’s laughable lies simply will not work.

President Trumptanic has wrecked the American ship of state on his impeachment iceberg. Benedict Donald’s failed fascist regime is rapidly sinking into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and Trump’s panicked partisan Republican passengers are running at full speed for the remaining political lifeboats. 

So much crime, so little time! Traitor Trump is going down, and the big blue electoral tidal wave on the way in 2020 will send innumerable corrupt conservative politicians into forced retirement where they belong.

Right-wing Republican congressmen like Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan can incoherently yell and scream all they want about nonsense like nude Trump photos and crazy conspiracy theories they picked up straight from the Kremlin, no one cares. 

At this point, Republicans have no credibility, and they have no one to blame but themselves for their deplorable duplicity. Impeach Trump. Remove Trump. And lock him up!

Jake Pickering

Trades Academy – investing in our future

The Rotary Club of Mad River and the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) would like to thank those who attended and contributed to Mad River Rotary’s Nov. 2 fundraiser benefiting the Trades Academy. 

HCOE started the Trades Academy in response to local employers who shared that one of their biggest issues is finding skilled trades people given the previous generation reaching retirement age. 

With generous support from the Workforce Investment Board and Humboldt Area Foundation, HCOE initiated a pilot program in 2018-19. 

The Trades Academy is delivering Career Technical Education (CTE) to schools that do not have shops on campus by providing instruction and projects in an innovative Mobile Training Lab. 

HCOE also engaged the business and construction trades’ community. 

To date, more than 60 “Industry Partners” have participated in the students’ education, providing classrooms, real-world projects and mentoring. 

With these Industry Partners, the Trades Academy is supporting all local high school CTE courses by providing advanced instruction.

HCOE is working towards putting the Trades Academy on a path to long-term sustainability, but in the interim, community support is needed. 

The Rotary Club of Mad River stepped up to the challenge. 

On Nov. 2:

• 70 businesses and Rotarians donated items to the live and silent auctions.

• 24 businesses, unions and Rotarians sponsored a Table.

• Eight businesses joined as Silver Hammer Sponsors ($2,000): Danco Builders, Hooven & Co., JLF Construction, GRS/Linda Sundberg Insurance, McCullough Construction, Miller Farms, O&M Industries, and Roto Rooter/Mad River Plumbing.

• One business – Green Diamond Resource Co. – Sponsored at the Platinum Hammer level ($5,000).

• Over 300 people attended. They had a great time, and opened their hearts and wallets.

• Rex Bohn was auctioneer extraordinaire, as he is almost every weekend somewhere in Humboldt County.

• Mad River Rotary is still tallying the numbers. But thanks to community support, the Club will be awarding somewhere between two and three times the amount we have granted in the past.

 More important than the numbers above, hundreds of Humboldt County high school students will benefit from hands-on trades education. In the 2018 pilot year, the Trades Academy provided 1,200 student contacts.

 Given community support and the outcomes of Mad River Rotary’s fundraiser, even more student contacts will happen this year. 

Mad River Rotary and HCOE offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for investing in our youth and their future. 

Carol Rische, Mad River Rotary president
​​​​Chris Hartley ​​,​Humboldt County superintendent of schools
Jack Sheppard, Trades Academy liaison



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