#minorsextrafficking | Letters to the Editor, April 21, 2021

Defining Arcata

Sun Valley is hopeful that we will all be grateful for their plan to reduce the size of their grow. What they don’t understand is that we LIVE HERE, right next door to this very large planned grow.

 I see a different future for Arcata. I see expansion of neighborhoods with planned CSAs to support the increase in population. I could see growing hops which would not require exorbitant energy use and the industrial building as a space for brewing craft beer. Perhaps the Film Commission could use it for a set building. 

Our town used to be known for HSU, its liberal politics, and for its art scene. To be known for allowing one of the biggest grows in the state just outside the city limit does not promote the kind of image Arcata needs to grow both professionally and sensibly. 

There’s no turning back once this starts in the Bottom. Are we poised to have a deluge of cannabis and a food shortage? Humboldt County needs to learn from the mistakes made in Santa Barbara and Denver and plan their future carefully and in a healthier way.

There’s a concept called Design with Nature in which one doesn’t try to force something into an unnatural setting but rather one seeks the appropriate setting for one’s venture. 

To that idea, Mr. DeVries owns property inland near Willow Creek and south near Oxnard. Both of those climates are more conducive to growing cannabis. He has other options. We don’t. 

Joan Edwards

Out the Sophie killers

What type of world are we living in? 

Sophie, a much-loved family pound dog was running around, checking out her future home, when some moron shot and killed her for no apparent reason. Does any of this make sense?

It seems they are trying to hide an illegal activity and are paranoid about new neighbors. 

The names of the couple responsible for Sophie’s death should be publicized, so the surrounding community knows what type of people they are dealing with.

This is another reason for extensive background checks, so morons like this cannot obtain a gun. 

Who or what will they shoot next?

Scott R. Baker

 Our lives and COVID

In March 2020, the world temporarily closed. COVID-19 reshaped lives. The pandemic is not our only problem now. 

We heard the doom-and-gloom stories of coronavirus for months. Massive job loss, civil unrest, and whether kids should attend school in person are constantly discussed.

Many people feel a mixture of tiredness, disgust, rage, anxiety, grief, depression and are overwhelmed with the chaos. Californians are physically worn out and emotionally drained. 

This ongoing stress is crisis fatigue. It can take a toll on the body and mind.

Crisis fatigue is not a formal medical diagnosis, but it can lead to physical and mental health problems. Here are a few ways to manage it: 

• Avoid negative coping skills

Overdrinking, drug use, and overspending money are a few. Negative consequences can come, like driving drunk.

My gait, hearing and speech are damaged because a drunken driver hit me in 1992.

• Make a daily routine

This is an essential cure because it is done continuously. It is something you have control over. 

• Limit the news

Stay informed, but do not be glued to the media. Too much can increase your crisis fatigue. Wind down and disconnect from the news sometimes.

Believe in your own resilience. This helps you survive the long road ahead.

Lori Martin

A rooftop is a terrible thing to waste

As we celebrate the 26-acre Blue Lake 4 megawatt solar array on farmland called “agrovoltaics” (Union, April 8), we should not be blinded to better, more modern opportunities, like networked Widespread Distributed Solar (WDS).

WDS produces electricity from solar panels installed on the built environment where impacts have already occurred, close to where the electricity will be used: public and private roofs, parking lots and other already developed or “improved” spaces, including brownfields and abandoned mill sites.

Panels networked into solar and community nano- and micro-grids charge batteries and electric vehicles (EVs), heat and illuminate buildings, and sell electricity to PG&E, all the while retaining resilience during natural disasters.

Many of us would share in networked energy wealth, add equity to our buildings, and increase our access to reliable electricity during grid disruptions. Reliability and resilience of the main grid is also enhanced.

Electric vehicles or “EVs” are critical to combating climate change (70 percent of local emissions are attributable to transportation), and Widespread Distributed Solar makes EVs economically and technically irresistible. Charging vehicles on-site from owner-produced electricity can pay for the EV and even the panels in a few years.

EVs are better in every way than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles: no pollution, no petroleum, quiet, long-lived, low maintenance. EVs are mobile batteries that can supply buildings and critical facilities with emergency electricity.

Opponents of the Blue Lake agrovoltaics contend that agrovoltaic’s limited sheep grazing and “pollinator garden” are “window dressing” to ostensibly satisfy the Humboldt County General Plan requirement that conversion of AE land, with prime soils that are critical to the sustainability of the County, should only occur if there are no feasible alternatives and there is overriding public interest.

Residents note that there are over 1,500 acres of brownfields, and 1,170 acres of industrial former mill sites that could potentially produce 148 MW of power; and thousands of roofs in the built environment that are far more suited to solar energy production with minimal impacts.

The EPA has invested 11.4 million dollars to revitalize brownfields in Humboldt County and the EPA has a program called RE-Powering Americas Land initiative to install solar on these brownfields.

Why approve and promote divisive projects like the Blue Lake agrovoltaics when WDS can meet our energy, climate, and economic goals and needs? WDS benefits everyone with minimal adverse impacts, bringing our communities together over energy goals, rather than dividing us: “If California does not modernize its grid and power delivery infrastructure via sustainable premium power provided by microgrids, the state will be thwarted in its efforts to meet not only its economic and public safety needs, but these aggressive carbon reduction and renewable energy goals.” (Microgrids-5-8-19.pdf)

Our municipal and county representatives to Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) have an unparalleled opportunity to create a legacy of prosperity and resilience with WDS; and they could start tomorrow, because the technological and economic assistance is immediately available.

The upcoming “Microgrid 21” conference is a recruiting ground for talent & government-industry connections promoting WDS-a recipe for implementing WDS, including financing economics. (microgridknowledge.com/microgrid-2021-agenda)

Municipalities in the U.S., many with similar solar profiles as ours (ilsr.org), are implementing WDS (28 percent of microgrids in U.S. are in New York and Pennsylvania). The Solar Energy Technologies Office of the Department of Energy (SETO) is a deep resource for information, help and funding.

WDS fits seamlessly into Redwood Coast Energy Authority’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, microgrid projects, and EV and heat-pump rebates that are all components of WDS, but they are poor passive stepchildren to RCEA’s centralized electricity projects.

WDS is a contemporary and democratic electrical supply system that spreads wealth, pays for itself, reduces fire risks, incentivizes EVs, enhances secure resilience, creates the most local jobs, adds equity, preserves vulnerable wild habitat, agriculture, and forests, and transitions to EVs.

To those who say “we need it all,” WDS must be part of the “all,” a priority program like offshore wind. RCEA should hire someone who can attract private industry and government grants to create a rural WDS model.

Introducing a 30 percent microgrid tax credit bill in Congress recently, Rep. Panetta explained: “Expanding and deploying microgrids can harness clean energy sources, keep our homes and critical infrastructure connected when the larger grid fails, and lead to reliable and consistent electricity for our homes and safety for our communities.”

Now’s the time to invite industry to compete to implement “A solar panel on every roof, an EV in every garage, a microgrid in every Humboldt community.”

Ken Miller

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out

Many GOP in Congress object to President Biden’s infrastructure plan because it defines infrastructure more broadly than just roads, bridges, and other traditional items. His plan also includes things which can help improve America in other ways such as through broadband outreach, assistance for social services, and support for the electric car industry.

Rather than fighting with the GOP over what can be considered infrastructure, there is a simple solution. Just drop the emphasis on infrastructure and define the bill in terms of improving our quality of life.

Get Trumpian. Call it the “Upgrading America” or “Bringing America into the Next Century” Bill. Such a title should ring true to Republicans.

With this change in emphasis, congressional GOP couldn’t just summarily reject important items that are not traditionally considered infrastructure. It would actually require a genuine argument to exclude them.

Of course, the GOP would counter-argue about the bill’s cost. However, unlike former President Trump’s tax bill where corporate tax cut trickle down failed to do much to boost the economy, this bill does so directly through the support of projects and industries which themselves will generate tax-paying jobs.

Let’s hope something does get passed. America needs it now.

Sherman Schapiro

Freedoms & foolishness

As Rep. Jim Jordan said to Dr. Fauci… “when will we get our freedoms back?” referring to mask mandates. 

As Jordan might imply, the Uighurs and Hong Kong protesters have their freedoms, as do the protesters being shot in Myanmar. 

The women in Afghanistan will have their freedoms under the Taliban, perhaps excepting the genital mutilation to keep those pesky women in line. 

Wearing a mask is way worse a violation of our freedoms than those minor issues of those other folks. 

Those Republicans that agree with Rep. Jordan are tough as nails, but sensitive and very delicate about the overwhelmingly intrusive mask mandates. 

Let’s not contribute to their hurting feelings by insisting on a mask mandate.

John Dillon

Gaetz is guilty

Matt Gaetz, the reactionary Republican Representative from the western portion of Florida’s panhandle region is the subject of an ongoing federal criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department on a bipartisan basis (under both the Biden Administration and Gaetz’s conservative cult leader Donald Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr’s troubled tenure) for sex trafficking charges involving a minor child, according to the New York Times’ bombshell report of March 30, 2021. nytimes.com/2021/03/30/us/politics/matt-gaetz-sex-trafficking-investigation.html?smid=em-share

As reported in the Dec. 29, 2017 edition of Orlando Weekly, “…On Dec. 19, Gaetz cast the lone ‘no’ vote on a widely bipartisan human trafficking bill that passed unanimously through the U.S. Senate in September before sailing through the House by a count of 418 to 1. The legislation – the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act – is an attempt to give the federal government more resources to combat the sex trade in the U.S…”


Now why do you think the alleged statutory rapist Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the ONLY member of the U.S. Congress to vote AGAINST holding human traffickers accountable for their criminal sexual exploitation of women and children? You know why! Because Rapepublican Matt Gaetz is without a doubt guilty of the exact same criminal behavior. Lock Gaetz up! 

Maybe Matt Gaetz and his demented mentor Donald Trump can share a bunk bed and jail cell together in federal prison sometime soon? 

As the defeated and disgraced former puppet president of Putin used to say, “We’ll see what happens.”

Jacob Pickering

The call is coming from inside the house

Dear Q People,

Turns out that the Pedophile Cabal you are so afraid of exists only in Trump’s inner circle.

This is not surprising since its leader is The Predator In Chief. Just a thought.

Jan Phelps

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