File photo: Andrew Goff.

Now, we’re aware that at least a few people aren’t in favor of the big rebranding of 20/30 Park that the Eureka City Council is looking to finalize at its Tuesday night meeting. They carry some sort of torch for that civic club of yore which built the current park – an association of young men in their 20s and 30s that apparently made a point of doing good deeds around town, way back when. And that’s fine. History is important.

But just on a practical level: Was there ever a park in more dire need of a reputational refresh? In case you weren’t aware, 20/30’s image is not good. There was a time, not long ago, when its name conjured every manner of shady behavior. Things seem to have quieted down a bit lately but the stigma remains, and it probably doesn’t help that since the 20/30 Club ceased to exist many, many decades ago, the park’s name just strikes the casual onlooker as some sort of … blank. Two numbers. It sounds, more than anything, like a police code.

Which is a shame, because not only is the park located on the city’s heavily populated and less well-to-do West Side, where there are lots of kids who could do with a boost in neighborhood pride, but the park itself has some cool features that are about to get a lot cooler. The city has obtained big grant funds to renovate the place, which will include all-new playground equipment, extra amenities (Roller hockey! Futsal!) and an upgrade for the park’s neat old baseball field.

City government thought that maybe this would be a good time to redo the name of the park, too, and after a few rounds of polling the citizenry they decided that the public liked the idea. Working with the Wiyot Tribe, the city came up with a shortlist of Soulatluk names that might serve, and after more polling and a pass through the planning commission they settled on “Da’ Yas,” in honor of the cypress trees that populate the park. “Da’ Yas” means “where the cypresses are.”

And so the council is expected to formalize Da’ Yas Park to much fanfare and no doubt some disgruntlement Tuesday night, in what will be the evening’s showcase item. Read the staff report here. Also on the agenda, earlier in the evening and on the consent calendar, is a resolution that’ll permit the city to buy all the new playground equipment from a single vendor, to the tune of about $600,000. That equipment will contain some specialty gear, including the big swan egret that’ll be the playground’s showpiece. The staff report for that is here, and a bid from a Santa Rosa company called Ross Recreation Equipment can be found here. [CORRECTION: Yes egret, not swan. Thanks to the commenter below.]

Above: New park design. Below: The big egret. 


What else is on the agenda, you ask? The council will look to finally finalize that sewer lateral ordinance that Izzy wrote about a few weeks ago. They’ll talk about updating some local building codes to comport with new state law. (Staff report here.) They’ll think about refinancing some old wastewater bonds, which should amount to a million dollars in savings according to the staff report, which can be found here.

Since it’s on the consent calendar, the council will likely approve the purchase of eight new “fully outfitted” Chevy Tahoes to serve as police vehicles, at a cost of $550,000. According to the staff report – find it here! — the purchase will be part of a new “Assigned Vehicle Program” developed by the Eureka Police Department, in which cop cars will be assigned to some specific officers, rather than placed in a car pool which all the police draw from willy-nilly. The cops would also take their car home on the days in which it’s assigned to them. Here, let that staff report explain it:

The purpose of the AVP is to improve department efficiency in response to critical incidents, accountability, and vehicle longevity at the Police Department. Officers have expressed interest in an AVP for some time now as a way in which to improve overall morale in the department. This program will also create more accountability for vehicle use and care among department members. Furthermore, by implementing the AVP, vehicles will not be driven as often and the longevity of the City’s fleet will improve.

The AVP will involve a patrol vehicle assigned to a pair of patrol officers working opposing weekday and weekend shift assignments. This program will allow officers from each team, based on a lottery, to be assigned a specific patrol vehicle for the duration of the calendar year. Additional vehicles would be maintained as pool cars, to be utilized by officers working overtime, or if their assigned vehicle is unavailable or in need of maintenance.

Information gathered from other agencies by the Police Department indicates that assigned vehicle programs elsewhere have resulted in higher morale, better cared for vehicles, and better presence in the community, with assigned vehicles visible when travelling to and from work or parked at officers’ residences.


Separated at birth? Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman beams at Kamisu mayor Susumu Ishida, himself beaming at Eureka, at the 2019 dedication of Kamisu Park. File photo: Andrew Goff.

Apart from those things, the council is going to hear a whole bunch of reports and updates and special presentations about various stuff cooking in the community.

The California Fishermen’s Marketing Association will be on hand to talk about what they’re up to, and — presumably — to outline some of the fisherfolks’ concerns about offshore wind energy.

The Eureka Youth Council — a cool, kinda shadow City Council populated by teenagers — will show and give a presentation, and hopefully they will tell the actual council about everything they’re doing wrong.

Mayor Susan Seaman will have a couple of updates from the Humboldt Count Library and the Kamisu Sister City Project. And, to cap off the evening, City Manager Miles Slattery will give the council an update on the city-run Little Saplings preschool program.

Get hype! The Eureka City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, at Eureka City Hall, there at the corner of Fifth and K streets. The full agenda, including instructions on how to Zoom in to the meeting remotely, can be found at this link.