Letters to the Editor Oct. 11, 2017

Kudos to Arcata City Council

I wish to recognize and thank Arcata City Council members for voting unanimously to authorize Mayor Ornelas to send a letter of support in concept for SB 562, The Healthy California Act, to the bill’s authors, senators Lara and Atkins (Sept. 20  City Council meeting).

Arcata joins other California cities (Arvin, Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, West Hollywood – see healthycaliforniaact.org/supporters).

These cities, along with Marin, Santa Clara counties and Humboldt Democratic Central Committee, recognize the advantages of a universal single payer healthcare system as proposed in SB 562: 1) quality healthcare for all California residents; 2) expanded healthcare coverage, for example, dental, vision, hearing aids, mental health, nursing home and adult day healthcare; 3) cost savings.

With The Healthy California Act, SB 562, in operation, Arcata City Council members would not have had to create a 4.9 million dollar trust fund to cover healthcare for retired city employees not covered by Medicare.

The retired employees would receive expanded health coverage without premiums, copays and deductibles, and the city would save millions as well as staff time.

Single payer cost control mechanisms include: 1) reduced healthcare taxes – premiums, copays, deductibles are taxes paid by individuals and employers to unnecessary private, for-profit health insurance corporations; without the profit motive, taxes required for publicly controlled single payer healthcare are lower; 2) negotiation leverage (entire California population) for pricing healthcare procedures, drugs, and medical devices.

Thank you Arcata!

Diane Ryerson
Arcata

Where are chronic complainers now?

In light of the reported 26 percent increase in crime throughout Eureka, I find it rather curious that there appears to be little or no finger pointing at the current District Attorney by the chronic complainers among, the reich wing reactionaries.

During the the previous District Attorney’s time in office, citizens among the free-floating hysterics shepherded by correctional and peace officers as well as Eureka’s own dyspeptic mini-Trump, looked to attach every ill under the sun including inclement weather and their own issues with gout and fallen arches on Mr. Gallegos.

Got hypocrisy?

David Isley
North Bend, Wash.

Concerns about Sinclair

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League has long worked for the citizen’s right to know and for broad citizen participation in government. Thoughtful, unbiased news coverage

from our local television stations is essential to this goal, especially about local public affairs.

The local League of Women Voters of Humboldt County (LWVHC) is concerned that a media conglomerate, known for its right-wing partisanship, has recently purchased four of our local television stations.

We would like some guarantees from this new owner, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, that it will continue to allow local stations to cover news in an unbiased fashion and give time to matters of local concern.

The League is also concerned that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently relaxed regulations that were supposed to keep news outlets diverse and competitive, and as a result, large

corporations can gain near-monopolies on news coverage in an area.

Our local congressional representative, Jared Huffman, has introduced a bill to Congress, called the Local and Independent Television Protection

Act (HR 3478) that would require the FCC to revise its regulations to their previous state, which prevented any one owner from gaining monopolistic control over local news media. The League supports this effort. Americans deserve a meaningful choice in their local news.

Elaine Weinreb, Access Humboldt Liaison for the LWVHC
Rollin C. Richmond, President of the LWVHC

Rent control, part deux

For the past two years the Arcata City Council has been working to formulate a rent control ordinance in this city that applies only to mobile home parks. It has been a long and sometimes controversial process and now it appears it will start again.

In the Spring of 2017 we were told we would get to see the Final Draft of Ordinance 1487, soon.

Soon turned into months and statements that the council had hired outside counsel, Will Constantine, to review the draft and make recommendations.

At the Sept. 26 City Council meeting we listened to an oral update from the Community Development Department on the progress of the ordinance.

Apparently the city had to “restart” the ordinance and work on a new and improved draft. As someone who has opposed this ordinance from the beginning I was pleasantly surprised at this turn of events.

This pleasant feeling did not last very long. After two people spoke during the public comment period, the councilmembers began to discuss the ordinance. For the most part it was a rehash of what has been said in the past. Just as I was about to get up and leave, Michael Winkler made an astounding announcement.

As the only councilmember to have long been in opposition to this ordinance we have counted on him to vote NO and to protect the 90 percent of homeowners who do not want this. However, Michael thinks that to make this ordinance workable a provision must be added that would put a cap on the amount of money any resident could get for their home when they sell. He suggested $50,000. I was not sure I heard him, so I stepped to the lectern and asked him to repeat what he had said. He did so. Then chaos erupted. All the Councilmembers were talking at once saying, “Oh no, we won’t do that.”

Two things bother me about this. One, this was talked about in public, by city councilmembers at a City Council meeting. And two, once you put this out, you cannot take it back.

There are many newish homes in these parks worth over $100,000. As older homes are replaced the new ones start at $65,000 so on the surface this notion is ridiculous. However, I have spoken to a couple of people who know housing and specifically “low income housing” who state that the only way to preserve low income housing is to try and cap the costs, especially the cost of the homes.

In the past when I asked why only the mobile home parks, I was told it was just the beginning. Once they get the ordinance in place they plan on adding other rental units in the city.

Please contact the City Council and tell them you do not want this ordinance. Apparently only a concerted outpouring from the community can stop this.

As someone famous once said, they have come for me... you will be next

Jan Phelps
Arcata







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