Reflections

From the Life & Times of Nov. 12, 2002

Garberville Fire Protection District would be responding to fires in a brand new 2002 Pierce Contender Pumper engine service.

The new fire truck had a price tag of $140,000 and the Garberville Fire Protection District bought it just like an average citizen would buy a car - with a down payment on an installment plan, the fire chief said. The GFPD was a tax-supported agency and received property tax revenues of about $40,000 a year, which was the entire operating budget for the local department, the chief said. "This represents many years of saving," he added.

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Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District incumbents staved off two challengers in the November election. Corinne Stromstad, David Kirby and James Lamport handily won reelection to their seats. David Fidjeland, former owner of Southern Humboldt Area Rescue and W.H. (Scotty) McClure had challenged the incumbents, but lost.

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The Southern Humboldt Unified School District board of trustees had hoped the district would be able to continue to maintain small class sizes and offer quality education programs in the face of declining state revenues on the passage of Measure A. The measure would have placed a $75 per year tax on qualified real estate parcels in the district. Though the measure received 56.01 percent of the vote, the measure failed because it needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

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With some reservations, the Humboldt County board of supervisors voted unanimously to apply for a $60,000 grant that would enable the community development staff to further explore the suitability of a site near Hydesville as the location of an off-highway vehicle park.

The site was the Pacific Lumber Company’s Yeager logging operations area on Fisher Road and was one of the four finalist locations on a list of 50 potential OHV park sites included in a countywide motocross siting study.

The board’s reluctance stemmed from fears, after listening to comments from some of the three dozen residents of the area and motorcycle riders attending the hearing, that the study might turn up insurmountable problems that would scuttle the site as a motocross track.

Kirk Girard, the county’s director of community services, assured the board that additional grant funds could be sought from the state department of parks and recreation off-road vehicle fund to analyze one of the other sites.

Opponents to locating a track at the Yeager location cited noise and traffic problems and potential effects on the water supply.

Bikers and their supporters contended the noise would not be very bad and hoped something would be worked out since the county had been without a motocross facility since one in Phillipsville had been closed more than two years previously.

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The U.S. Bureau of Land Management had a scoping session in Garberville to receive public input about how to update the original plan for the King Range National Conservation Area.

The plan for the area had been first issued in 1974. Since that time the population of the region had grown, its economic base had changed and emerging technology had vastly changed the recreational use of the area. Bob Wick, plan coordinator from the Arcata field office of the BLM said that in 1974 Shelter Cove had only about 30 homes and the use of the Lost Coast Trail totaled fewer than 1,000 visitors a year.

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