Tuesday, March 8th: “No Road Widening Through Richardson Grove” activists sang to the Board of Supervisors at the weekly meeting this morning.
See BELOW the letter given to the Board of Supervisors for the record from Richardson Grove Action Now.
Six people who are opposed to the plan to widen the road through Richardson Grove State Park were arrested for expressing their dissent to the abhorrent decision the Supervisors made when they gave a green light to the plan, seemingly without hearing or caring about the opinion of the people whom they claim to represent.
This proposed project would have far reaching and devastating effects socially, ecologically, economically, and spiritually. We currently have the potential to build our own economy and wealth as working class people. This project would only leverage more control and wealth for the “owner” class by making it easier and more lucrative for “big box” stores to invade our communities, thereby leaching much-needed local dollars from the North Coast. We know that the Highway 101 expansion is supported by U.S. military and so-called defense agencies who wish to have greater access to and control of the people and natural resources of this region. Respecting the old growth forest in a protected park trumps any value that could come from widening the road. Just as all life has the inherent right to survive with a healthy level of autonomy, we also demand our right to survive and determine for ourselves, rather than be forced to accept, what passes through our lives or covers the landscape of our home.
Richardson Grove Action Now is committed to stopping the Federally funded CalTrans highway expansion through Richardson Grove. “We know that this plan will ruin our local economy, will bring increased militarization, will interfere with a state park, will irreparably damage the root systems of ancient trees, and will change forever our way of life” says Richardson Grove activists.
The letter below was handed out to the Board of Supervisors and other meeting attendees this morning.
Room 111 of the County Courthouse
825 5th Street
Eureka , CA 95501
To Humboldt County Board of Supervisors,
Jimmy Smith, Clif Clendenen, Mark Lovelace, Virginia Bass, Ryan Sundberg
This morning several people representing opposition to Caltrans’ 10+million dollar plan to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park demonstrated during your morning meeting. You have failed in your ability to work for the people due to your allegiance to special interests. You have refused to protect our communities now and for future generations. Many of your constituents have requested, formally and repeatedly, that you hold a public forum to discuss this issue- the road widening project and its myriad consequences; we have asked that you put this significant item on the agenda;we have asked for your assistance, and you have blatantly and openly disrespected and ignored us. You should not be permitted to continue “business as usual” when your business is short-sighted, corrupt, and detrimental to our lives.
The Board of Supervisors is an elected position. Your failures and refusals to adequately represent and defend your constituents and your failure and refusal to fight for a significant State Park in Humboldt County have been obvious through your rubber-stamping of this and other contentious CalTrans projects, through your ignoring of the will and well-being of your constituents, through your prioritization of transnational interests over local economy, through your approval- without our consent- of a plan that will endanger our safety on the road, through your complicity with unlawful plans to damage a State Park for purported economic benefit, through your brazen disregard for the sanctity of Richardson Grove to the First Nations people in this region and your perpetuation of the genocide that began several generations ago. We have a voice, and we demand that you listen, lest you will continue to find it more and more difficult to conduct what you call “business” and what we call CRIME.
You have misappropriated thousands of dollars from the Headwater's Fund to promote CalTrans' proposed highway expansion through Richardson Grove. In addition to paying for television, radio, and print media to promote the CalTrans project, you used over $10,000 from the Headwaters Fund to: pay six public figures to submit “My Word” letters to the Eureka Times-Standard; to pay for editing those letters; to provide instructions and propaganda for businesses on how to publicly promote the CalTrans project; and to fund many county staff hours for project lobbying. Then, $25,000 more in county public funds were pilfered by Kirk Girard, director of Humboldt County Community Development, to promote the highway expansion through Richardson Grove. This is not only an outrage, it is a special interests racket.
These are glaring violations of the public trust and gross acts of collusion with special economic interests, at the behest of the future and well-being of our region. You have not only failed to oppose the project, you have failed to seek legal recourse against CalTrans for interfering with the State Park and failed to investigate the adverse and long-term affects of the project. In reality, you have actively and unethically propagandized this CalTrans project (and others) and, to our detriment, done everything to advance an imperialist agenda.
Richardson Grove Action Now
Afternoon Public Comments to Humboldt Board of Supes, Tuesday March 8, 2011: