Reflections from the Redwood Record of June 25, 1981

Support for undergrounding Garberville's utility lines, given by public officials and private citizens at a meeting the previous week, would help clench the trenching of some of downtown's ubiquitous wires, a county spokesperson said.

Though the streets would not be dug up nor the poles and their lines felled for another two years, the signals were go for the over $400,000 project that had been discussed for nearly a decade.

The discourse was brought to a point of resolution that spring when the county undergrounding subcommittee of the county board of supervisors, the group that oversaw such projects, told Garberville proponents to let the county know by June whether or not the town's businesses, utilities and citizenry backed the proposal.

The Southern Humboldt town enjoyed top priority with the county for undergrounding, but was warned it would likely drop in standing if it did not pursue undergrounding that year.

The Garberville-Redway Chamber of Commerce had been acting as mediator during the previous two years between the county and the utilities and businesses of Garberville, which would finance the project. PG&E, Continental Telephone and the local cable TV franchise would pick up the tab for the main trenching, with local business owners paying for the hookup charges from the street to their buildings. The smallest utility company and some of the business owners at first balked at the expected costs, but mediation and the delay of actual work for almost two years apparently offered enough fiscal breathing room and resolved most of the differences.

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Leaving behind a school board career that touched parts of five decades, Gerry Stewart announced his decision to not re-seek a post on the Southern Humboldt board of education.

The Fort Seward man was elected to the school board in 1947, at the same time the school district was unified. He had accumulated more than 33 uninterrupted years with the education board and had seen duty in at least a small portion of five decades.

In a letter read to the board by superintendent of schools Roger Adams the previous week, Stewart stated he would not be a candidate for re-election in November. Along with two other trustees, Stewart would end a four-year term at that time.

Also on the original five-member school board of 1947 was Mal Coombs, who had died the previous week.

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A missive came from the federal government to county officials that would cause the county to relax the tight grip it had kept on permits for residents who wished to park their trailers in the flood plains of Southern Humboldt.

A top planning official said the feds had informed the county they did not plan to pursue enforcement of federal flood act regulations on trailers or motorhomes parked in the flood zone of Myers Flat. The planning official said the memo stated it would be up to the county to determine what would be allowed in the flood zones.

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Two long-time veterans of the Garberville rodeo took one last turn down Garberville's main street in the rodeo parade that year. Clarence French of Garberville and his favorite mare, Trample, finished their 24th year together in as many rodeo parades. Raised by French from a colt, Trample was 28 years old and shared with French the honor as grand marshall in the 1981 rodeo parade.

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