In the last few weeks, both Garberville and Redway area businesses and residences have been hit with various forms of vandalism. Fences in Redway have been torn down and the Mendes Cloud 9 sign was stolen after residing in front of their house for the past 55 years.
In Garberville windows have been broken at businesses, trash is being scattered in the Garberville post office and around local businesses, and the metal horse sculpture was knocked down in front of Getti-Up. I walked into the post office a couple of weeks ago first thing in the morning and there was garbage all over the floor and the stench was overwhelming. My heart went out to the person who had to clean it up.
I know some people think it’s charming when you try to walk down the sidewalk and have to make your way through groups of people and their dogs.
Those of us who have legal addresses are fined and threatened by Humboldt County Animal Control if we don’t send in our money to license our dogs. How many of these dogs on the street have their rabies, distemper and parvovirus shots? The local veterinarian’s office warns people with puppies that distemper and parvovirus are rampant on the streets and advises you not to put your puppies down on the ground until they have been fully immunized.
I realize some people are less fortunate than others and have no home. Many choose the nomadic lifestyle. That is your choice, but you do not have the right to destroy other people’s property or trash our communities.
Then there are those who are incapable of taking care of themselves due to medical or mental illness issues. To those unfortunate souls I only hope that some day there are available avenues of compassion and care for you. Unfortunately, there are no such facilities here in Southern Humboldt and with even less available funds it doesn’t appear it will be getting any better soon.
We as residents need to quit turning our heads when we see something happening to our towns and our homes and call 9-1-1. Our local law enforcement agencies are stretched to the maximum and may not be close enough to respond immediately. But if you call 9-1-1 the incident will be recorded and go on record. Do not confront these individuals yourself. Let law enforcement do what they are trained to do. Then when it comes budget time Sheriff Downey can show our supervisors how much help we need down here.
If you see someone dumping or leaving trash on the river bar don’t just ignore it. Everyone has cell phones these days - use them and take pictures of the offenders and take down license numbers and report them. There is a littering law, but if law enforcement doesn’t know who they are looking for they can’t do anything about it. Start being proactive in your community and put these people on notice that we will not tolerate them trashing our towns.
We have become very complacent and depend on others to solve our problems. Those “others” are stretched to their breaking point, and it’s time we took back our communities and let these people know that what they are doing is totally unacceptable.
It’s kind of like saying if you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain about our government. It’s the same thing here. If you don’t call and report something when you see it happening, you become part of the problem and even possibly responsible for the ultimate outcome.