Measure Z Citizens' Advisory Committee Finalizes RecommendationsThe Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Measure Z expenditures this week finalized its recommendations for projects to be funded in Fiscal Year 2017-18. In total, the committee recommended 12 projects to be funded, in addition to projects that require on-going funding. The final recommendations will be included in the county’s proposed budget, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on June 6.
The committee is recommending $4.47 million in expenditures, including $1.2 million to the Humboldt County Fire Chief’s Association for equipment; $1.18 million to the Department of Public Works for roads resurfacing; and $438,292 to the Sheriff’s Office for staff and patrol vehicles, among others.
While revenue from tax is estimated at $11.4 million, there is an ongoing cost of $6.63 million due to projects that were funded in the past, like hiring Sheriff Deputies, Deputy District Attorneys and Probation Officers. In addition, roughly $336,000 in one-time funding was rolled over to FY 17-18, adding to the available funding.
In total, agencies submitted 45 applications requesting more than $11.3 million in funding. The committee held five meetings in which it solicited proposals, took public input and evaluated proposals that sought a share of these funds.
The committee sorted these applications in to three categories: “must have,” “need to have,” and “nice to have.” The committee further developed two lists for projects to be funded. The primary list below includes projects the committee recommends be funded first, and is comprised of “must have” projects. The secondary list includes projects that should be considered during the mid-year budget review. If applicants cannot or do not expend their funds during FY 2017-18, the committee is recommending that projects on the secondary list be considered.
PROPOSED HOSPITAL PARCEL TAX INCREASE-MEASURE W-INFORMATION FOR VOTERS
This time it is to be increased to $170 per parcel for 45 years, the total would be 73 million dollars. This would be to pay back a 40 million dollar loan including the interest. We have been told that by 2030 we will have to do an earthquake retrofit that cannot be done at the existing facility so therefore we need to build a new one for 73 million dollars.
First you should have some background information that will help you make this decision. Seismic preparedness levels are listed as 1 through 5. By 2013 hospitals were to be at a minimum of level 2. By 2030 the minimum level is 3. Several years ago, SHCHD performed a retrofit on the existing facility and increased the level from 1 to 2. They would like you to think that this is required by the state or you will have to close your healthcare facility. This is not true. The following is a partial list of hospitals that have not increased their level from 1 to 2, they are still open and serving their communities. They receive payments from MediCal, Medicare and all the other companies that reimburse for healthcare.
Highland Hospital – Oakland
Enloe Medical Center – Chico
Colusa Medical Center – Colusa
Delano Regional Center – Delano
Coast Plaza Hospital – Norwalk
College Medical Center – Long Beach
Community Hospital – Long Beach
Glendale Adventist Medical Center – Glendale
Kaiser Foundation Hospital – Panorama City
Kindred Hospital – Baldwin Park
Kindred Hospital – Gardena
Harbor UCLA Medical Center – Torrance
LA Community Hospital – Bellflower
LA Metro Med Center – LA
Promise Hospital – East LA
Ronald Regan Medical Center – LA
Shriners Hospital for Children – LA
Marin General Hospital – Greenbrae
This partial list of hospitals is from the Office of Statewide Health Planning And Development. This includes small and large facilities. Again, these hospitals have not gone from a 1 to 2 in their seismic upgrades. They certainly will not go to 3. The list of hospitals that have gone to 2 and will not go a 3 will be longer than the previous list.
Spreading rumor and fear in order to gain public approval of this megaproject is in very poor taste. The following has been said: If we don’t build a new hospital, your property values will go down, people will move out of the area, you will die before you can be transported to Fortuna or Willits, businesses in town will suffer, it will damage our schools. None of this is true. The state has no intention of closing any hospital. The existing facility can be used for the next 50 years. We do not need to change the physical facility. People say that the quality of the available services are substandard and that what is offered does not meet their needs. Building a 40 million dollar hospital building will not bring a superior medical staff to Southern Humboldt.
There are other issues. SHCHD claims to need the current parcel tax amount to stay open. A $170/parcel tax is a $45 increase from the current $125/parcel tax. This would provide an additional $430,000 per year in income. The payment per year on a USDA loan of 40 million dollars for 40 years at 3.4% interest is $1.82 million. Seems we are short about $1.37 million per year. Coupled with the fact that the proposed hospital is only a building, not furnished or equipped, the district will have to ask for an additional $300/parcel after construction begins. Frank R Howard Hospital in Willits is a new and equipped 25 bed facility and the cost was $64 million, why is the SHCHD proposal, which is less than half the size, cost so much? In addition, SHCHD says it has 5000 patient visits per year; if the parcel tax increases to $1.63 million per year it means each patient visit will cost the taxpayers $326.
Where do we go from here? I suggest we vote no on Measure W. And then find and elect people who want to improve healthcare first and build the monument second.
Stop Raids Against Homeless
Oakland - A lawsuit filed December 13, 2016 by civil rights groups charges the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) with violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps. On multiple occasions, Caltrans has failed to give proper notice before raiding encampments—refusing plaintiffs an opportunity to move their belongings before destroying them in trash compactors.
In Southern Humboldt and through out Humboldt county, Caltrans practices the same 'clean-up' procedures, disposing of personal property without warning.
We have 2 plaintiffs from southern Humboldt that have experienced losing everything they own on 3 different occasions. They too will be listed in the lawsuit against Caltrans.
If you have lost private property due to Caltrans actions-
please contact the law offices of:
WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR LLP
KEITH L. SLENKOVICH
950 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, Ca. 94304
Telephone: 1 (650) 858-6110
Fax: 1 (650) 858-6100
The details of the suit....
The case for protecting the vulnerable among us.
By Dave Meserve
Sanctuary city ordinances will be considered soon by the Arcata (April 5 agenda) and Eureka city councils and efforts are also under way to make Humboldt County a sanctuary county. With the current executive orders limiting immigration and targeting undocumented immigrants with deportation, it is important that we take action to protect those among us who are being threatened.
Although the concepts of "sanctuary" and "sanctuary city" go back more than 1,000 years, the term was first commonly used in the United States during the 1980s when people were fleeing U.S. sponsored, right wing death squads in Central America. Initially, churches stepped forward as "sanctuaries." Then, cities followed, using the same term and offering refuge from immediate deportation to those who had fled war zones and persecution.
Today the term is used to designate policies that limit cooperation between local authorities and federal immigration enforcement agencies.
Sanctuary city ordinances generally include the following regulations:
City resources will not be used to enforce federal immigration law;
City agencies will not share information with federal immigration authorities, nor will federal detainer requests be honored, except with a judicial warrant, or in the case of individuals convicted of serious felony crimes;
City agencies will not provide federal immigration authorities with access to individuals in their custody for questioning solely for immigration enforcement purposes;
City employees will not be deputized by federal immigration authorities;
City resources will not be used to create a federal registry based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, religion, ethnicity or national origin;
City agencies will not collect immigration-related information and will ensure nondiscriminatory access to benefits and services;
City agencies will protect the due process rights of persons as to whom federal immigration enforcement requests have been made, including providing those persons with appropriate notice;
City agencies will collect and report data to the public regarding detainer and notification requests from federal immigration authorities, in order to monitor their compliance with applicable laws.
From a law enforcement perspective, being a sanctuary city means that scarce local dollars will not be used to enforce federal immigration laws or to deport community members who may not have all their paperwork in order. If they really must, let the feds do that on their own!
If people are arrested for committing a crime, prosecute them for that crime. There is no need to involve federal authorities.
If people want to sign their kids up for local recreation programs, or for any form of assistance, assure them that the information they provide will only be used for local purposes related to that program.
If an immigrant witnesses a crime or is a victim of one, assure them they can safely give their personal information, without fear of it being passed on to federal authorities.
If there is a local drug raid, don't invite ICE to accompany local law enforcement.
Some who believe that undocumented immigrants should be immediately deported portray them as more likely to commit crimes. In fact, official statistics consistently show that crime rates are lower for immigrants than for native-born American citizens, and high rates of immigration are associated with lowered rates of both violent and property crime.
Opponents of sanctuary cities often say that undocumented immigrants deserve deportation because they have violated federal law, and they question why immigrants don't pursue a legal path to citizenship. Whether an immigrant is undocumented because of crossing the border illegally or overstaying a visa, or being brought here as a child, the path to citizenship is long and difficult and often results in deportation. For job-based immigration, the applicant must have special skills and the employer must file a petition. Unless the immigrant is married to or the next-of-kin of an American citizen, the process of obtaining citizenship involves quotas, long waits (often decades) and uncertain outcomes.
The current administration has threatened to withdraw funding from sanctuary cities but, even if such action is attempted, it is unlikely to survive legal challenges. San Francisco and the states of New York and California are already preparing to fight any federal defunding effort in court and have strong arguments, based on the freedom granted to cities and states under the Tenth Amendment. There are currently more than 200 cities in the U.S. with sanctuary city policies, and many more have joined the effort in the past few months, or are considering doing so.
Locally, we could choose to enact "safe and inclusive" policies and not say "sanctuary city." However, in the current political climate, we should embrace the term and proudly stand up for basic human rights in solidarity with like-minded communities across the nation.
Except for Native Americans, all of us descend from immigrants. Latin American immigrants today suffer the same discrimination that many European immigrants endured in the past. And Muslims today often encounter the same blind hatred that was formerly leveled at Jews and Catholics. Let us keep that bigotry in the past and move on, together, to an inclusive society. Think about the Statue of Liberty. Think about your own heritage. Realize that, as Americans, it is our diversity and our inclusiveness that make us great.
Undocumented immigrants pose no threat to our safety or well-being. Many came here as children. Now, they have their own children, born as American citizens, but the parents may still not have legal status. They are hard working members of our community and the parents of our kids' classmates. Do we really want to deport them and separate them from their children? Instead, we should offer safety and security within our community and a clear path to citizenship.
Arcata and Eureka police protocols already limit sharing of immigration data with federal authorities, but sanctuary city status would send a clear message of safety to immigrant residents and would also make a strong public statement affirming our dedication to human rights in these troubled times. Humboldt County does not have similar protocols and, in fact, under its policy allows deputies to send information to ICE whenever someone is booked into the county jail, no matter how minor the offense.
Senate Bill 504 is also making its way through the California Legislature. It would effectively make California a "sanctuary state." This is an important and positive effort that will hopefully be successful, but it is still important for cities and counties to take independent action to protect the human rights of local immigrants. In these times, we must all stand strong for justice in any way we can.
Please support proposed ordinances that free our cities and county from expending local resources to enforce federal immigration law. Let your council members know that you support becoming a sanctuary city, and let your supervisors know you would like Humboldt to become a sanctuary county.
Dave Meserve is a former Arcata City Council member. If you would like more information or to help with his sanctuary efforts, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.