While I agree with much of William Hart's letter concerning student housing in Arcata (Mailbox, Dec. 15), I have to take issue with one sentence.
The positives of living in this particular college town are infinitely more than "the four of five coffee shops we have and the five or six bars." (And I'm not sure the bar scene is all that much of a positive for us long-time residents.)
I would list the positives as a well-educated populace with strong community involvement, perhaps the best rural arts scene in the country and forward-thinking alumni who stay here out of their love for this watershed.
Those alumni have given us the Northcoast Environmental Center, The Ink People, The Morris Graves Museum, Wings Inflatable, Los Bagels, Wildwood Music, Almquist Lumber, Dick Taylor Chocolate, The Arcata Playhouse, Yakima, Humboldt Baykeeper, Liscom Hill Pottery, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, The Garden Gate, The Minor Theater, Hot Knots, KHSU, Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, much of what is now the Arcata Community Forest, Jacoby Storehouse and everything inside it, The Foodworks, Holly Yashi, Arcata Farmers' Market, Arcata Arts Institute, Mad River Brewing Company, Northtown Books, The Art Center, North Coast Co-op and many etceteras.
Yes, the rent situation in small towns without a college is much different — but so is life in small towns without a college.
Alan Sanborn, Arcata