Fort Bragg Advocate-News

Letters to the editor

- —Lydia Bernard, Fort Bragg —Mark Besser —Philip Zwerling, Fort Bragg

Regarding Mary Rose Kaczorowsk­i’s recent letter about streets with no trees, a well-researched article, beginning with mention of five streets in Fort Bragg named for specific trees; followed by a startling revelation that the trees on those streets no longer stand; the streets are treeless.

We read about the State of California Endangered Species Act, California Rare Plant Rank 1B, and California Department of Fish and Game Code, pointing to required analysis and guidelines of plants threatened or endangered in California. The Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa ) is within that category as critically Imperiled, at very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity.

The Monterey Cypress trees standing tall on Cypress

I was fortunate in returning to Fort Bragg for a visit in early December, Volume 1, issue 1 of “The Little Stinker” was given to me and read with interest; the story of the mill site plans in particular.

All, however, was not well in regard to Ft. Bragg officials, Mayor, and others. Monday, Dec. 6 my host and I set off to interview various citizens’ views of the purchase of the mill site by Mendocino Railway aka The Skunk Train.

All held various opinions, yet all related that

Ft. Bragg had avoided, neglected, or ignored efforts to purchase the property for 20 years. Yet those leaders have expressed only anger and bitterness at Skunk Train for allegedly stealing the property. Lawsuits are pending,

In June 2020, the Fort Bragg City Council initiated an Ad Hoc Commission to look into changing the city’s name in the light of renewed anti-racism activism across the country in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. The Council charged the citizen’s commission “to determine the best model for creating a Citizens Commission that would not only provide a recommenda­tion on the best path forward for the name change matter but also address the deeper systemic issue of racism.”

It appears the Commission, which has been meeting privately, will present its report to the City Council at their meeting scheduled for January 24, at 6 p.m.

Those of us who have been publicly working for

Street certainly are endangered and being considered for removal. City officials ought to join this community and make it the business to hear our voices in an open (safe) forum. It is essential to protect the precious Cypress trees from removal. Period!

The pandemic took us away for a while, but we are awakened and tuned in. Neighbors on Cypress Street, the people of Fort Bragg, must have a voice in decisions that affect our environmen­t. To spread the word that we are watching and are speaking up for the majestic Monterey Cypress trees that grace our sky in a canopy of trees. The Cypress trees should NOT be removed. They were planted in the 1930s, are healthy, and have a long life left to live. cease & desist, and obstacles put forth in legal terms, etc, etc.

Such reminds one of the spoiled children that did not get their way and now cries most loudly. An adult reaction should be one of co-operation to work together for the benefit of the greater community. This, in spite of the fact city officials, did not win — so to speak.

The Skunk Train Complex is set to become the area’s largest economic driver since the mill closed in

2002! Fort Bragg will greatly benefit from this developmen­t; jobs, tourism, and commerce bringing added revenue to the city, residents, and businesses.

Ft. Bragg officials need to get on board the Skunk, such would be a most progressiv­e response. a name change that would no longer honor the Confederat­e General and slaver, Braxton Bragg, and remove the title Fort, with its references to the historical genocide of local indigenous people, hope the Commission’s report and the City Council’s actions will move the city away from these symbols of racism.

The Commission may have many good ideas which we look forward to implementi­ng. However, it may be too much to expect for them to suggest the name change we have been working towards. I urge people to attend the January 24 City Council meeting via Zoom. For more informatio­n, visit www.changeourn­amefortbra­

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