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Protect our Water



"There may be no bigger issue brought to the Planning Commission this year that deals with public health and welfare."

That quote is from Humboldt Bay Water District General Manager John Friedenbach. He's referring to the rezoning of Mad and Trinity river-adjacent properties owned by Mercer Fraser, the local company that wants to open hash labs on these sites. The problem is that these properties are upstream from where most of us get our drinking water.

Mercer Fraser is best known for its support of the development industry. The four Humboldt County supervisors who appointed the planning commissioners who signed off on this, and who themselves voted to approve this absurdly reckless plan, are funded by developers in general. And, each of these supervisors — Ryan Sundberg, Virginia Bass, Estelle Fennel and Rex Bohn — have taken multiple donations (and/or in-kind donations) from developers and others who are likely to profit from these projects.

Apparently, the safety of the drinking water of tens of thousands of their constituents is of less value to these supes than the thousands of dollars that industry will donate to fill their campaign coffers.

The local daily newspaper did a good job addressing concerns about the safety of our drinking water in their editorial a week ago Sunday. What we need now is for some real investigative reporting that follows the money (and/or "in kind" donations) responsible for this outrage. 

Elections are coming. How important is the safety of your drinking water?

Richard Salzman, Arcata

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