FRIDAY, AUGUST 14 Hello. I’m Mayor Susan Seaman. As I’ve shared with you in my previous communications, the City of Eureka is continuing to work tirelessly to support the health and well-being of our citizens, our community, and our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community with a tourism industry, we typically welcome and appreciate all of those visitors who find their way behind the redwood curtain to enjoy our community. This year, despite cutting back on marketing throughout the region, people are flocking to our area to enjoy our beauty, weather and open space. Unfortunately, that appreciation of our natural beauty isn’t always matched with the desire to keep things that way. Unauthorized camping has left beaches, parks, roadsides and more covered with litter. This isn’t a problem exclusively in Humboldt County. People have noticed the trend everywhere from Europe to Hawaii to our National Parks. Not being alone isn’t a consolation when we see what a burden it is on local authorities who have additional work cleaning litter when they are already stretched thin. We are fortunate in Humboldt that we also have active volunteers who care enough about our community that they get out there and help where they can, too. One group who takes this on is the PacOut Green Team – avid outdoors people who pick up trash to keep the areas they want to enjoy –enjoyable. Next Saturday, on August 22, they will be hosting a clean-up in Cooper’s Gulch. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can visit their website at pacoutgreenteam.org/events to learn more. The job is quick and intense and done in about an hour. It’s a small commitment to make a big impact. Thanks to the PacOut Green Team for all of their efforts to keep Humboldt beautiful. For our local business owners, Humboldt County Board of Supervisors recently authorized a $3.289 million relief program for local small businesses that are affected by COVID-19 and have had their reopening plans approved by the county. The County of Humboldt Small Business Restart & Recovery Grant provides direct aid to local for-profit businesses that have suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Grants will range from $500 to $12,500 per business. Details and applications can be found at HumboldtGov.org. Applications are due on Aug. 19 at 8 a.m., and they will be honored on a first come-first served basis. Businesses are strongly encouraged to review the application now and gather all the necessary documentation in order to be ready when the application period begins. I also want to address the recent letter written to the California Department of Public Health’s request for re-authorization for HATCHR, a local Syringe Exchange Program. This is a sensitive topic, and one that generates strong feelings from citizens. The City continues to recognize the value of peer-to-peer SEP programs, however the recommendation was made to request denying reauthorization based on the findings of a police investigation. Ultimately, the decision for reauthorization will be made by the California Department of Health, not by the City. Citizens are also allowed to participate in that process. If you would like to submit your own comments about the reauthorization for the program, you may send them to: SEPinfo@cdph.ca.gov. Finally, I want to acknowledge that August marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment allowing women – or at least some women – to vote. It was only a few years later that the City of Eureka elected their first Woman Mayor – Emily Jones – in 1929. With the election only a few months away, we have recently determined all the candidates for the two open seats on the Eureka City Council for next year. With Four Candidates in Ward 2 and Five in Ward 4, I am impressed with the level of commitment our citizens have to create a better community, particularly in these uncertain times. I would like to extend a genuine thank you each one of you who stepped up. Again, I’m Mayor Susan Seaman, and I appreciate your attention to this message. Be safe, stay healthy, be patient with yourself and kind to your neighbors and family. We’ll talk again soon.