Letters to the Editor, October 9, 2019

What do you love about Glendale and Blue Lake?

If you live (or work) in Glendale or its neighboring locales, such as Blue Lake, Fieldbrook, Liscom Hill, Korbel, or Hatchery Road, you are invited to give input to help develop our Community Plan.

The County Board of Supervisors has given Glendale and Blue Lake the opportunity to create a Community Plan, and they will provide planning staff for support. A survey has been created by and for residents and businesses of the area; its purpose is to create a “community wish list” for county planning staff.

As a community, this is our chance to show the planning department that Glendale is more than blighted mill sites and that Blue Lake and Glendale are connected communities. County staff needs to know more about Glendale and what our hopes and expectations are regarding future development.

If you live or work in the Glendale/Blue Lake community area, please take the survey, and tell us what you love about Glendale and Blue Lake and what your hopes are for the area and its future development. Your input will be anonymous.

To take the survey, go online to: surveymonkey.com/r/yourfuture. We prefer your input online, however, for folks who do not use computers, paper copies are available at Blue Lake City Hall, Clerk’s Office.  

Please return completed paper surveys to Blue Lake City Hall utility bill drop, by Sunday, Oct. 20. If you have questions about the survey or the community planning process, please email us at [email protected] or call (707) 496-2285.

 The survey results will be given to county planning staff, whose report of the upcoming Community Planning Process will be considered by the Planning Commission, and then by the Board of Supervisors. Their decisions will guide future land use for our communities.

 Please check the Facebook page “Glendale Is Beautiful” (facebook.com/glendaleisbeautiful), a non-partisan public community page, for survey results as well as dates and locations of important County meetings regarding Glendale rezoning and community planning.

 Thank you for helping guide the future of Glendale!

Claire McAdams, Linda Miller, Barbara Russell, Jim Rydelius, Cindy Trobitz-Thomas, and Joseph Wilhelm


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Arcata's feeble homeless response

Arcata City government hasn’t moved off the mark to ensure that this winter there will be any open, substantial, true, basic shelter or camp or parking area for our ever-growing homeless populations. 

I talked to Karen Diemer, our city manager, on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Through her, I received the same old poor answer I always have: an outside agency or agencies and churches will once again be enlisted provide the most minimum of shelter services. I understand from other sources this will be the same as in past years. Only bad (dangerous) weather shelter will be provided on nights by those who other than the homeless, decide.

In past years, this shelter opportunity happens only in the evening through “Ug!” the Arcata House Partnership in their “Annex” location. If the past is an indication, it will remain a lottery to get in. Once you are fortunate (or unfortunate) to either to even be able to get in, you are provided with a meal, then hustled off to variable churches having to leave a lot of personal property behind at the Annex. Once arriving at the location, you  are often found segregated away from your mate and asked to be quiet and go to sleep.

As I have personally experienced it, if you need to go to the bathroom or step outside for a smoke, you must be escorted out and return the same way. Usually, very early in the morning you are moved back to the Annex, given a breakfast and then shown the door, regardless of the bad or cold day, weather. I remember not seeing any women with children or man, woman and children. Later when I had to return to the “jungle,” I asked others about this. What I was told proved to be true. Few mothers with their children even try to go to the shelter nights at the “Annex.” Most (virtually all) I have talked to say they fear separation from their kids, along with being asked questions of a personal nature and are very afraid of Child Protective Services being contacted.

Under the guise of “helping” by such organizations get funding and “kudos” without any “city” oversight or grievement procedure or investigation to abuses. This is an Arcata city government cop-out.

Since the Ninth Federal Circuit of Appeals decision against Boise, Idaho, allowing for “cruel and unusual punishment” toward the homeless, nothing has changed locally (cities and county). Same old same old.

Of course, we now hear that Boise is appealing that (common sense) decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our neighbor (?) north, Crescent City, is joining in with Boise. Other selfish municipalities will too, I am sure. liberal-progressive city government is unprepared(ing) and seems happy to sit on their happy butts an come up with unequitable excuses, maybe it will join in on the suit to try to overturn a  very human lower court decision of reasonable understanding, that homeless people do (daily) suffer great “cruel and unusual punishment” by the town where they reside.

After learning of her appointment (to find out and inform and present to him for needs of the homeless here) by Gov. Newsom, I have repeatedly reached out to talk with Sofia Pereira, but to no avail. It seems a bit strange as I have personally communicated in both writing letters and with phone calls to our good governor’s office, yet I am unable to speak with her (Sofia)?

The homeless (men, women, children and elders) are here and they are going to stay here and their population will grow. It must be obvious to all that any kind of low-cost and very-low cost housing is way off in the future, years. Even if they started planning and building for this yesterday, it would still stand as only a dream most will not, here now I realize. So in the real meantime, local government oversighted, homeless sheltering must be established in all needed modes, hard shelter (buildings), sanitary camping and parking areas. If all out in our city are satisfied with the “status quote” of overused city sidewalks, business and private doorways left trashed because there are few if any public toilets. They left trash because there are no public receptacles, human and pet body wastes, the overtaxed public hospitals, our mental hospital that stabilize some homeless with need then discharge them out with no place to go but back to the “jungle” and etc. etc.

Then I am probably “barking up the wrong tree” as nothing meaningful has properly happened to end the homeless ongoing, inhumane suffering in our city. 

One last thing. A reliable and trusted source has informed me that there were at least 18 deaths due to exposure locally. And one “exposer death” happened right behind our Police Department’s building last winter.

Really! Who really gives a damn, anyways?

Michael Langdon
P.H.R.A. and activist


Note: the following message appeared as a Facebook advertisement. We thought residents who live in the Arcata Fire Protection District’s service area and don’t frequent Facebook might also want to know that a new funding measure is being considered, and offer their comments. – Ed.  

A Message from Chief Justin McDonald

Dear Neighbor,

It has never been more important to keep our community safe and secure from urban and wildland fires, medical emergencies, earthquakes, and other potential disasters by maintaining adequate and responsive levels of trained personnel and equipment. 

That’s why your Arcata Fire Protection District wants to engage you directly on these important issues and participate in critical decisions moving forward. 

A recent independent survey reported that 83 percent of the residence of the District are satisfied or very satisfied with the way they are receiving fire protection and emergency medical services.

Those residence identified the following as their top priorities: 

• Maintaining and expanding upon available local emergency medical services

• At a minimum maintaining current full-time firefighter positions

• Repairing and replacing aging firefighting equipment

• Continuing to support the District’s professional staff by engaging its force of well trained and prepared volunteer firefighters

It is our sincere objective to support those priorities as your safety is and will always be our focus. 

Frankly, given the economic realities of the situation, the District is struggling to meet the demands placed on it. 

As we all witnessed in California last October diligence and preparation are necessary to meet the ever-increasing potential for man-made and natural events to strain and conceivably overwhelm our ability to respond. 

Therefore, we must look at many options to meeting these challenges.

As we continue to plan out mutual future, we need to hear from you. 

Join the conversation by letting us know what YOUR priorities are by completing the Community Feedback Survey today. 

Please follow the link to the to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding the funding measure.

If you would like more information regarding the proposed funding measure or you would like the District to provide a presentation to a group regarding the State of the District and the proposed funding measure, please fill out the online form on the District’s website link below.

Survey: surveymonkey.com/r/65Q5Y89.

District Website: arcatafire.org/fundingfaqs

Thank you,

Fire Chief Justin McDonald





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