Sun. May 19th, 2024

By 5th District Supervisor, Bob Berkowitz – June 15, 2017

Bob Berkowitz

You can’t imagine my shock when I looked at the front page of today’s paper to see a quote from me that said, “Supervisor Bob Berkowitz said the Hemmingsen and Howard do not have the experience or the necessary contacts to spur any legislation on priority issues.”

Not only was the quote not taken out of context, it was never said at all, not at this board meeting, not at any venue, not at any other meeting, not  even at any private conversations.  In fact, I have never have even had an interview with reporter Reed.  All of the quotes he has ever received from me have been through public board of supervisor meetings or from the recordings of those meeting.

What was actually said at the June 13th Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) meeting was accurately reported on page two. “Berkowitz commended the group on all it accomplished in D.C. saying, ‘You lose weight on that kind of schedule’.”
The Triplicate’s attempt to manufacture controversy where none exists, just to sell newspapers, is despicable.
My remarks at the last BOS meeting can be located on the recording at one hour and 37 minutes into the meeting.
In remarks to Gregg Burns, our lobbyist who had just given a summary of what board members Howard and Hemmingsen along with Mayor Inscore had accomplished while in Washington D.C.  “First of all I want to commend you on everything that you’ve accomplished the way supervisor Howard and Hemmingsen worked.  That was one heck of a schedule you had for them.  My God you could really lose weight on that kind of a schedule.”  (Supervisor Howard then remarked) “We had 22,000 steps on his meter.”  Berkowitz continued with asking a question about sending a letter to Washington D.C. concerning Last Chance Grade.
So what we have here are made up quotes from me in the Triplicate on page one where the paper makes makes a statement that I said “Hemmingsen and Howard do not have the experience or the necessary contacts to spur any legislation on priority issues.” Then on page two it accurately quotes me as saying, “First of all I want to commend you on everything you’ve accomplished.”
If there ever was an instance of an out of control newspaper whose only goal is to foster controversy where none exists, this is it.  Triplicate Editor Fornoff probably thought he could get away with this type of phony reporting because he has no oversight due to the retirement of the publisher.  It just shows the he must be several nuts short of a full pouch.
  1. Yes it is unfortunate that Robin Fornoff has taken issue with a number of community members to the point that the newspaper has lost it’s character of getting different points of view out to the public. To make matters worse they cut corners by reviewing the BOS meetings online and transcripting it instead of asking pointed questions.

    Personally, I thought the whole intention of the supervisors and the city mayor to go to Washington DC was primarily on the Last Chance Grade. What I heard at the meeting was the mention of Last Chance Grade but absolutely no report on who they spoke to what was said, what legislation needs to be introduced or who the co-sponsors of that legislation to be introduced were. When you go to Washington DC without anything on the Agenda, then it doesn’t get talked about does it…It is like going to a board meeting. you have public comment for 3 minutes to talk about anything under the sun. But, if it’s not on the agenda, it goes in one ear and out the other…

    It appears people here are ok with that. I am not…it was a dog and pony show with Greg Burns who placed the last smoke up the ass as ice cream that validated nothing got accomplished in Washington except for rubbing their noses with senator Ted Cruz…Yet our Triplicate Newspaper is all right with that too….everyone is easily pleased and happy that unnecessary taxpayer money was spent visiting Huffman, (who lives in California) and legislative assistants of Diane Feinstein (all just hours away from Crescent City) to discuss in a 45 minute period Last chance Grade AND essential air service AND rural schools AND FOREST MANAGEMENT. What the hell is this…maybe a 10 minute discussion on each one? Or were they all mentioned in one sentence while having lunch? Who Knows? I don’t know, the public doesn’t know..and the Triplicate, the one device to make them accountable, didn’t ask the question.

    The Triplicate has work to do, and obviously contributes to the problems that exist in this county which is why nothing ever gets done.

  2. The Triplicate is clearly biased and that bias bleeds in to all aspects of the paper. At the last judicial election, the Trip arbitrarily refused letters to the editor that were either in favor of McElfresh or against Doehle. My letter was one of these, disregarded for no reason whatsoever except, yes, bias. Since then the Trip requires me to first prove my opinion with a level of proof that is not required by other folks submitting their opinions. Bob’s example of the Trip’s biased reporting is just one more of numerous examples.

    1. Wes, thank you for all you do for our community.

      I agree that the Trip has problems with accurate reporting.

      All I can advise everyone is on a nice, rainy day like this, watch segments or entire BOS meetings on You Tube. Type in Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, and the meeting’s and dates of the meetings are posted.

      Get the facts, decide for yourselves. Enough said.

  3. Supervisor Berkowitz, thank you being gracious as usual. I do not doubt for a single minute that you accomplished great things as a school board member. Thank you for that. I appreciate your optimism about the Board getting it together soon. Let me clarify that I do not rely solely on the Triplicate for my news. I think it leaves much to be desired, but it is our only lifeline to the scant local news it provides.
    I of course follow and appreciate the great job that Donna is doing with the Times. I also have attended Board meetings and believe it or not, I watch every Board meeting on You Tube. I also talk with a lot of people and I am not alone. I have no idea what is going on behind closed doors-maybe if there was more screaming and yelling going on, it might help. I do know that what I am seeing in the public domain is not good.
    Let me give you yet another example of what I am talking about; Supervisor Gitlin brought up last Tuesday that another code enforcement officer should be considered. Critical to cleaning our county up. There was not a smidgeon of discussion on that topic.
    I believe rather than debating Last Chance Grade over and over (I am not downgrading the importance, but what can be done is being done), debating about whether or not to send a letter on a State law, Sanctuary State, that we have no control over, you and your colleagues should be talking about just what Supervisor Gitlin brought up.
    Unfortunately, you did not weigh in on the city/county committee. Supervisor Gitlin is correct that technically, Lori resides in the county, she also has a business in the city. Can we all agree that she lives the closest to Supervisor Gitlin in the city area? Sorry, I’m going with those two Supervisors, and I know they can work together for the common good.
    So, we are seven months into the year. We have two seats up for election less than a year and a half from now. You get two new folks in there, there will be a learning curve, and yes, still more will not get done. What do you think is a reasonable time to begin cleaning up our town? Better get to it soon, we’ll have even more people moving out of California…..
    You can do it, Bob!

  4. For the record, WTF…Lori Cowan is NOT a City resident. I attempted to educate Chris Howard that Lori was NOT a resident within Crescent City limits but Chris would not accept that fact. It would seem the statement, “Don’t confuse me with facts” is true

    Also, the statement….” Desperately needs an adult in the room.. ” is accurate to a tee..the Board on a 4-1 vote broke the County piggy bank for $2.8 million to build a new Terminal for two Pen Air Essential Air flights per day. Now, under a Trump Administration, EAS is not in the new budget.

    1. Maybe the Board Chair was confusing being in the Crescent City “urban area” with the Crescent City “city limits”. She is about five blocks north of the city’s boundary.

  5. Thank you WTF for commenting on this post. In the 12 years I was on the school board we were able to accomplish what many people said was impossible. We built a new school in Gasquet. We built the new Resource Center on Harding. We put a new floor in the high school gym, something that had not been done in 40 years. We resurfaced the high school track and modernized most of the local schools.

    Yes our school board worked together as a team to accomplish a lot. I am hoping that our board of supervisors will come together and accomplish many great things in the next four years. In the main, our board gets along and probably has a 90% record of 5 to 0 votes on most items.

    Unfortunately, the Triplicate only reports on those items where there is a split vote, so what you read all the time in the paper seems to be bickering. I can assure you that what you see as bickering is honest discussion of different points of view. In my view, this is healthy. Only when different points of view are aired will we come to the best solution to any problem.

    So don’t get discouraged. And for goodness sake please don’t take what you read in the Triplicate as gospel. As I pointed out in the above article, they get it wrong a lot of the time, only rarely are they called on it.

  6. Supervisor Berkowitz, there were comments made at earlier meetings relative to inexperienced Supervisors traveling to D.C. Whether or not they came from you, “the proof is in the pudding” ,so to speak. What I did hear at Tuesday’s meeting was your statement that, “Supervisor Cowan is overworked on committees, and has agreed to step aside, and allow Supervisor Gitlin to represent the county on the city/county committee.” The resulting vote did not support your statement.
    So, does all this crap matter? Absolutely not. But what it highlights is just how dysfunctional this current Board is. All I see is bickering, bickering, bickering, “attending meetings” and nothing gets done. Or am I wrong, Bob?
    Yes, Supervisor Gitlin should have been on the city/county committee, along with Supervisor Cowan. They live in the city. Who can argue against that logic? Supervisor Gitlin, like it or not, was re-elected by his constituents. He attends meetings, participates, and votes. To blacklist him just because he speaks his mind, and deny him representation on committees deserves some type of punitive action.
    There was great optimism when voters placed new representatives on the Board. We were hopeful that serious issues such as crime, homeless, blight, attracting and protecting businesses would be addressed. Instead, we hear our Chairman talking about how we need to make sure we keep the government trough coming. What about the vast potential this County has to attract more tourists spending money here and luring more retirees up here? Wouldn’t that help with our medical issues as well?
    We desperately need a grownup in the room here. Bob, I think you are that person. You can work behind the scenes, meet individually with the other Supervisors, and find some common ground, for cripes sake. You have been a dedicated public servant, you have the experience.
    Don’t you want to leave some type of legacy behind?

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