By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – December 21, 2021
Most people who live in Del Norte County could care less that our
erstwhile assemblyman, Jim Wood, graced the County’s Board of
Supervisors with a visit. The ostensible reason for his visit was to
wax elegant about all the things he wasn’t accomplishing for the
County. His range of topics where literally nothing he has done has
moved the needle consisted of Last Chance Grade (groan), broadband, more
firefighters, recycling, and last but not least healthcare. It is not
as if we haven’t heard Wood’s song and dance routine before, it is just
all his talk has produced a big fat zero for the County.
The biggest issue for the County has been and will be for some time to
come, getting some kind of movement on re routing Last Chance Grade.
With large scale environmental forces arrayed against any reasonable
route around the crumbling cliff face, the tunnel has emerged as the go
to solution. The problem will only be convincing the State to cough up
over a billion dollars to fix something Sacramento barely acknowledges
even exists. Then if the money becomes available, the next hurdle will
be facing inevitable lawsuits from environmental groups that would die
if a single redwood tree or even some scraggly bushes were harmed.
Moving on, Assemblyman Wood spend a good deal of time talking about mid
mile broadband, which is a fancy way of saying fiber optic cables are
cost effective for companies to lay near population centers, but not so
in the hinterlands. His main talking point was to say the State was
intending to step up with eighteen mid mile projects, none of which will
be happening to close Del Norte County’s mid mile. How precious. In
the course of his presentation Assemblyman Wood lauded Governor Hair
Gel’s shoulder to the wheel approach at getting the mid mile completed
and the last mile into people’s homes. Hooray! In times of rapid
inflation where groceries and gasoline dominate so many people’s lives,
high speed internet is probably not high on most citizen’s priority
list. But hey, he’s a politician and maybe not a particularly smart one
He then proceeded to drag out his score card of bills and talk about
recycling as if it continued to do anything but make waste disposal far
more expensive here in this County. We would definitely be better
served if recycling programs were done away with entirely. Maybe even
the CRV program as well. Folks could use a break from paying for forced
recycling programs. Perhaps he can suggest to the State that recycling
programs should be funded entirely by those that wish to recycle, and
not the entire population of the County. Novel idea…. and, we
wouldn’t have to have a redemption center or worry about it’s lack of
viability. Do away with recycling which doesn’t cover its costs. Ooops,
that means all recycling.
He rounded out his chat of hot air talking about fire prevention.
Complaining that fire prevention crews get hauled away every year to
fight fires. Apparently Wood doesn’t understand that decades of
environmental interference with any effort to maintain California’s
forests have contributed to the regular forest and brush land fires that
rage each summer. It will take a serious concerted effort on
California’s part, maybe stepping on a lot of environmentalist toes in
the process, to set the State on a path of properly maintained forests
and grasslands. Nothing he is talking about will change the current
path of yearly wild fires in California.
A brief dip into healthcare and affordability are Assemblyman Wood’s
final utterances. As if he is going to make a difference. Clearly the
man hasn’t a clue, of course neither do our local representatives.
Smoke and Mirrors….