Arcata, we can do better.
Arcata, we deserve better.
The long-awaited joint study session with the Arcata City Council and the Planning Commission took place on Tuesday, August 23rd.
In the words of Stephanie McGeary writing in The Lost Coast Outpost, “Big Gateway Study Session Produces Few Tangible Results” — link here.
In the words of other involved persons: “I was appalled.” “It was a waste of time.” “I almost walked out.” “I left early.” “I half-joked to my friend: Do you have a tranquilizer I could take?”
What made it so unpleasant? Well, to quote Richard Fariña (read and hear his song here):
I was standing on the sidewalk, had a noise in my head
There were loudspeakers babbling, but nothing was said
There were lots and lots of words. The meeting lasted 3-1/2 hours. But what was said of value, and what was determined? Not much.
For anyone who thought there might be direction or decisions, there was instead disappointment.
To be fair: There were good things said, and valid points made. Almost every speaker said something of substance, once in a while, at some point. But by and large it was painful to listen to. Planning Commissioners Scott Davies and Dan Tangney and Planning Commission Chair Julie Vaissade-Elcock stand out in their attempts to summarize the proceedings in a way that encouraged forward motion.
Unlike most meeting held in the Council Chambers, there was no video recording of the meeting. The audio portion of what is posted on Arcata’s YouTube channel is unfortunately full of drop-outs, faded voices, and missing words. Most of it is there. Particularly the sound from the public speakers is muted on the City’s recording — no direct microphones were used and the public speakers’ podium is farther away from the central table.
Through the generosity of Eric Black (see his excellent 4-minute starter video on the Gateway plan, from January 2022, here) I’ve included here two alternate sound tracks.
As it is now, the Audio player #2 has the best audio for when the members of the public speak.
I’ll summarize some of the good points in another article. I don’t want the good points to be lost among the dribble. For now, I wanted to get this article posted now so the audio can be heard.
I do have a transcription of the entire 3-1/2 hours, but it would require much editing to get it so that I can publish it. I may just take excerpts from the transcript, to be posted into another Article.
Instructions: Start the YouTube player first. If you get to a point where the sound is not good, pause it, and note the time when that’s shown. If you are on a cell phone to read the time on the video you may need to expand the YouTube player (press the square box at the lower right corner) and then watch that way, and make note of the time before closing the screen and going to the audio player.
Then, on the audio player, use the slider to get to that point and press Play.
Another method if you’re not a cell phone: Have both players running, and alternate between them. Start the YouTube video first, and then after about 35 or 40 seconds, start the audio player. At that point you can mute the audio player or mute the YouTube player, depending on which of them has the better sound quality. Leave both of them running on “play” and they will stay more or less in sync.
In general the sound on the YouTube player will seem better — most of the time. But when you get to an area where the sound cuts in and out, try switching to the audio players. The sound from the public speakers is muted on the City’s recording — no direct microphones were used and the public speakers’ podium is farther away from the central table.
Audio player #1
Audio player #2