This week's cover story on HumCPR ("HumCPR Rising," March 28) I was extraordinarily well written -- especially given the limited access provided by one of the principal subjects of the story. I was impressed by the way his caution of the interview was presented without belittlement. I stayed up late just to read through the story.
I served with Lee Ulansey on the Eureka Planning Commission until my term expired last December. I have to say that he was my favorite fellow commissioner. He and I have divergent views on many issues, but I find Lee to be articulate, thoughtful and, at least on the surface, willing to hear differing points of view from me without a fight. We occasionally altered the other's position on matters. I found my discussions with Lee to be very engaging and thought provoking. It will be very interesting to see how he performs at the county level.
On a separate note, I have detected a real sea-change in both the nature of stories being covered and the quality of the writing that appears in the Journal. I wish to commend you for objective reporting and a decrease in sensationalism and foul language for its own sake. (Contrast this with Barry Evan's current column, which relies on the F word to provide an actual quote representing a smart retort.)
I appreciate the work you are doing.
Stephen Avis, Eureka
Kudos to the Journal and to Ryan Burns for the most comprehensive analysis of current Humboldt County politics.
Terence Marlow, Trinidad
As Ryan Burns pointed out in his interesting article, the concept of property rights involves quite complicated issues. Yet many people who style themselves as property rights champions seem to think it's pretty cut and dried. Depending on their own political orientation, anyone who disagrees with them is either a socialist or a fascist.
On the other hand there really is a school of thought among environmentalists that advocates city life for the vast majority of humans and restriction of population in rural areas. I recognize their excellent reasons for this kind of thinking, but I have many reservations and objections. I can see how rural residents may see certain government policies -- the Williamson Act and TPZ zone regulations -- as a slippery slope.
This is a fascinating, crucial debate to be having right now. I'd like to ask participants to conduct it fairly. Be honest and aboveboard about your motivations and investments. Respect those on the other side. Articulate your reasons for what you believe.
Humboldt County's newest supervisor has already fallen short of my hopeful expectations. When Anne Lindsay addressed the transportation planning part of the General Plan update with a health impact assessment-- linking increased vehicle use to lack of exercise -- Estelle Fennell declared herself to be "insulted." She added that she wanted to see far less of this insulting-ness in "everything that we do in this county."
Instead of simply stating her reasons for disagreement, she seemed to suggest that certain kinds of information should never even be aired in her presence. This is not the rigorous, open-minded discussion we need.
I guess it's instinctive to fly to the fortress walls when our individual interests seem threatened, but we're all in trouble if we can't expand our outlook to include the health of environment.
Martha Walden, Westhaven