Oprah Winfrey decided that 24 years was enough and announced last week that she’s ending her popular talk show.
Meanwhile, another 24-year incumbent may have to be shoved out the door kicking and screaming by an electorate that has already put up with way more than enough of her shit.
Word around town is that the Bon Bon has few illusions about her chances in next year’s election and is trying desperately to line up an exit strategy.
Will there be peace with honor? Will she land one of the meaningless political appointments at the state she’s currently groveling for? Or will she find, as so many before her have, that friends and allies are two very different things?
One way or the other, we think it’s time to say goodbye.
Frankly, we’re perplexed.
First this, from a recent Times-Standard article:
Shortly after being term-limited out of the Assembly, [Patty] Berg announced she was pondering a run to be the state’s insurance commissioner, the elected official who oversees the California Department of Insurance, the state’s largest consumer protection agency. Monday, she also said she will not pursue that post, and has decided to throw her support behind Dave Jones.
But not so quick, Davey Jones! Because today finds the non-candidate’s none-too-flattering mugshot on the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle, no less, alongside a photo of Michela Alioto-Pier, the San Francisco Supervisor who is “running for insurance commissioner against former Assemblywoman Patty Berg of Humboldt County.”
Is this shoddy reporting, or just another example of a local pol who doesn’t know when to quit?
We’re leaning toward the latter. By June of this year, the Patty Berg for Insurance Commissioner 2010 committee had raised $102,630–nowhere near enough to mount a statewide campaign, but enough to suggest she might be dumb enough to try.
Besides, if she’s not running, what’d she do with all that dough?
ElectionTrack reports that despite the aggressive fundraising, as of June Berg had on hand a paltry $3,449.
That is the question.LAME UPDATE: Richard Marks has more over at Samoa Softball.
A Marina Center story in Saturday’s Times-Standard elicited this response regarding another local item on the California Coastal Commission’s December agenda. The agenda itself is here and the staff report on the item in question is here. Enjoy!
Notwithstanding the controversy regarding the Balloon Track, you may not be aware of a more egregious abuse of power by the Coastal Commission. If you look at the Commission’s Dec. 10 agenda you will note that there is also an appeal filed on the Eureka City Council’s action to approve a coastal development permit for Robert Colburn to construct an industrial warehouse on Washington Street. The site is industrial and has been for decades; it has an existing warehouse and the property owner just wants to build another warehouse behind the existing one of about the same size (congrats to the property owner if he can afford to grow his business in these hard economic times). The City’s approval of the coastal development permit was appealed by two Coastal Commissioners. There were no appeals filed by local persons or groups (no, not even Baykeeper, EPIC or NEC), there was no controversy and no press.
Why would the Coastal Commission take issue with the City Council’s approval of the coastal development permit? Because the property is adjacent to the Clark Slough and the warehouse would not be 100 feet away from the slough. ONE HUNDRED FEET! Give me a break! Just exactly where is the industrial growth supposed to happen if it cannot be on existing industrial property in the industrial area of the city?
And, do you want to know the kicker? I can’t even explain it properly, but I’ll try… Because Phase 1 of Marina Center will improve the aquatic habitat of the slough, it must be protected from encroachment by this industrial development… but, hey, isn’t that the SAME Phase 1 project that the Coastal Commission appealed to itself because (among other things) it didn’t do enough to protect the wetlands??? The Colburn project had a biological analysis done by local qualified professionals that included conditions for protection of the Clark Slough and improvements to the existing surface drainage on the industrial property. But that wasn’t good enough. Colburn can’t build a warehouse because it is too close to the Clark Slough which will be improved by Phase 1 of Marina Center but Phase 1 isn’t good enough which means Clark Slough may never be improved which means that the basis for the appeal of the warehouse is bogus!
Filed under: Humboldt County | Tagged: Balloon Track, California Coastal Commission, city of Eureka, Clark Slough, EPIC, Humboldt Paykeeper, Marina Center, Northcoast Environmental Center, Robert Colburn | 20 Comments »
Within 24 hours of the filing of the last of three appeals challenging the city of Eureka’s approval of the Balloon Track interim cleanup plan, the California Coastal Commission published a surprisingly thorough 82-page legal and environmental analysis of the plan, along with the expected recommendation that the appeals be heard.
You don’t think maybe the commission got some kind of head start on that, do you?
Even if one appellant was the commission’s lawyer for 20 years.
Or if the commission’s chair previously gave the appellant a job.
Or the appellant’s daughter is a commission staffer.
Or another appellant employs the first appellant.
Or two other appellants are current commissioners.
Or the commission’s executive director is a personal friend of the man whose business would be most affected by the Marina Center development.
No, those factors just make their achievement that much more impressive: It’s amazing they get anything done with that massive circle jerk they’ve got going.
Filed under: Humboldt County | Tagged: Bill Pierson, California Coastal Commission, EPIC, Humboldt Paykeeper, James Baskin, Marina Center, Mark Stone, Northcoast Environmental Center, Pete Nichols, Peter Douglas, Ralph Faust, Randy Gans, Rob Arkley, Ross Mirkarimi | 52 Comments »
And he reportedly did so, unlike in this photo, with a completely straight face.
Not that any of this is funny in the usual sense of the word. None of those pull-my-finger or naughty limerick jokes for him, the old coot.
No, with this appeal Faust definitely employs the stodgier ironic form–on multiple levels and to breathtaking effect.
We begin with the obvious: Faust, who works as an environmental attorney, is asking the Coastal Commission to prevent the cleanup of a contaminated former railyard from which toxins flow persistently into Humboldt Bay.
Then there’s the Coastal Commission itself, which was Faust’s employer for more than 20 years. He rose to the rank of chief counsel before a brief but memorably disreputable stint as Humboldt’s interim county counsel.
Handing him that gig on a golden platter was none other than Bonnie Neely, who now chairs the same organization to which Faust is appealing.
Which brings us to Faust’s self-righteous statements to his fellow planning commissioners just one week ago about recusing himself from discussion of three Arkley projects. Faust insisted he had always treated Arkley right but was selflessly stepping back from the projects to save the county time and money.
What a guy! Six days later he appealed the Eureka City Council’s approval of the interim cleanup which, if successful, would grind Arkley’s Marina Center development to a halt.
Have we left anything out?
Maybe just this: Faust, the man who purports to save Eurekans from the horrors of a nontoxic waterfront, carpetbagged his angry inch up here from San Francisco fewer than three years ago. He does not live–and in fact he has never lived–in or even near the city of Eureka.
Awesome!!Meaningless Update 1: Today’s Times-Standard contains a longer list of appellants in a story we would link to if we could find it online. Meaningless Update 2: Bastards finally put the story up online this afternoon. Read your merry ass off here.
Filed under: Humboldt County | Tagged: "angry inch" is generous, Bonnie Neely, California Coastal Commission, effing idiot, Eureka City Council, fuck all y'all, Humboldt County Planning Commission, Northcoast Environmental Center, pull my finger anyway, Ralph Faust | 52 Comments »
DynamoHum, a Mirror regular and occasional Graphics Department volunteer, sent us an e-mail this morning boasting of a recent accomplishment.
Did he win the lottery? Save the whales? Ink a book deal?
It came in under the headline “Finally banned from Heraldo.”
I guess I wanted it….but it finally happened. “Hot Larry” did it. I feel so dirty.
Well, friend, you and your extremely rudimentary graphic design skills are always welcome here.
Eight paragraphs into the Times-Standard’s most recent front-page tome about the lawsuit filed against the City of Eureka and its manager, David Tyson, appears at long last an actual fact of the case:
Two council members, one current and one former board member, told the Times-Standard on Tuesday that they did meet with [plaintiff Tawnie] Hansen in the summer of 2008.
Inquiring minds are inexplicably then subjected to a 10-paragraph detour through unsubstantiated allegations before the reporter finally states what most of us had by then figured out on our own:
Reached Tuesday, former Eureka City Councilman Chris Kerrigan said he and sitting Councilman Larry Glass met with Hansen at some point in or around the summer of 2008, while Kerrigan was still in office.
Not only does Kerrigan not remember when the conversation took place, the article goes on to state that he also can’t recall what he did with information he was legally mandated to report.
One doesn’t know, and the other isn’t saying: Glass at least has enough sense to keep his mouth shut.
So does this mean Tyson is innocent of the allegations? Obviously not. No one other than he and Hansen know for sure. And if he is guilty, swift and appropriate consequences should follow.
But what we do now know is that the only people thus far vouching for the accuser are two political archenemies of the accused.
Not that politics could possibly be involved in any of this….
Ahh, the beauty of a warm fall rain. There’s nothing quite like it to send all those toxic soil contaminants flowing straight into the bay. It’s like one of those nature films they used to show in grade school, only way stupider.
Thanks to Pete Nichols and his money-maker, the Humboldt Paykeeper organization, this is a condition that may persist for years while Nichols and his raft of lawyers fight to extract their usual fee from those who would bring good jobs and affordable products to our hard-hit corner of the economy.
If only Pete were as concerned with soaking up dioxin as he is with soaking up cash.
Humboldt Baykeeper should come clean about the Marina Centerby Randy Gans
For many years, Humboldt Baykeeper has been saying that the Balloon Track should be cleaned up. But now that the cleanup is about to happen, Baykeeper is demanding that the Balloon Track should not be cleaned up until more unspecified work is done at some unspecified time in the future. Why has Baykeeper suddenly changed its tune?
Last week in this column, Baykeeper wrote that it wanted to “clear the air” about its opposition to the cleanup. We think that’s a step in the right direction, but Baykeeper has not gone far enough.
Baykeeper may have given the impression that it opposes the cleanup because of the goodness of its heart, but Internal Revenue Service records show that some unidentified people have paid Humboldt Baykeeper nearly $2 million over the past few years, and that Baykeeper has paid lawyers and experts hundreds of thousands of dollars. This big money did not come from member dues, which in 2008 were only $16,000 — not enough to pay even the salary of Pete Nichols.
Humboldt Baykeeper and its parent organization, known as Ecological Rights Foundation, should come clean. The public is entitled to know who is paying for Baykeeper’s fight, and whether those people just happen to be wealthy businesses who don’t want any competition from the Marina Center.
Baykeeper argues that “Security National is attempting to slip through a sham cleanup.” But when Baykeeper is pressed about what is wrong with the cleanup, the group has only vague responses.
The main objection, according to Baykeeper, is that the property has not been “fully characterized.” But the proposed cleanup is an interim cleanup, which is a cleanup done before all relevant data has been collected and before decisions have been made on final cleanup plans. Interim cleanups are performed when there is an obvious issue that can be resolved without waiting until the end of a long process. Here, dioxin has been found in ditch sediments. CUE VI will have those ditch sediments excavated, removed from the property, and properly disposed of. How can anyone object to that?
Someone may wonder how CUE VI knows when to stop digging. In this kind of excavation, the contractor starts by digging out a reasonable amount. In this case, the initial excavation areas were identified in the consultant’s proposal to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and were approved.
When the initial excavation is complete, the consultant takes samples from the excavated area, has those analyzed by a laboratory, and submits the results to the Regional Board for discussion on whether more dirt should be excavated. The excavation is complete only when the confirmation samples are satisfactory to the Regional Board.
Baykeeper sometimes takes credit for the cleanup of the Simpson Mill site at the foot of Del Norte Street. That site was used for penta treatment, and penta contains dioxin. The levels of dioxin at that site were many, many thousands of times higher than those at the Balloon Track, which was never used for penta treatment.
Baykeeper likes to talk about how many samples were taken at the Simpson site. But it does not talk about the levels of dioxin at the two sites. At the Balloon Track, CUE VI will be excavating soils with relatively low levels of dioxin. At the Simpson site, soils containing higher levels of dioxins will be capped and left in place with Baykeeper’s blessing.
In the end, what counts is the quality of the cleanup. The cleanup of the Balloon Track goes beyond what is required by regulatory agencies and what has been accomplished at other sites.
If the cleanup plan is so bad, why hasn’t Baykeeper brought in one of its experts to explain what is wrong with it? Baykeeper has hired many experts for the Balloon Track litigation. Not one of these experts has appeared before the City Council, and not one of these experts submitted any report about the cleanup to the Regional Board. This lack of technical expertise may explain why Baykeeper’s arguments are so vague.
Baykeeper had an opportunity to convince the Regional Board that the cleanup was inadequate, but the only technical objections Baykeeper made to the proposed cleanup were in a letter from Baykeeper’s lawyer.
Not surprisingly, the Regional Board was not persuaded by any of Baykeeper’s objections. In mid-October, the Regional Board concluded that the cleanup should be implemented as proposed.
Humboldt Baykeeper should therefore come clean about what is really going on. Like anyone else, it is entitled to have its opinion about whether the Marina Center is good for the community. But if it is opposing cleanup because opponents of the Marina Center will do anything to delay that project, and if Baykeeper is receiving large amounts of money from project opponents, Baykeeper should not be hiding that information. The public has a right to know.Randy Gans, a vice president of Security National Properties, makes money way faster than Pete Nichols can extort it.
Okay, maybe Tom Brady didn’t quite deliver the goods in THE RIVALRY OF THE DECADE or THE GAME OF THE CENTURY or whatever that shit was supposed to be. But we’re not quite ready to throw in the towel on our favorite pro quarterback just yet. He still has those three rings and the world record for the greatest number of supermodels impregnated at one time. Go for that on fourth-and-two, friends.
Oh, and Graphics Department? Sober the hell up. We’re still waiting for that graphic.
Law Firm Joins ‘League of NO’
Attorneys Move to Defend Right to Litigate on the Klamath
Portland, OR – Today law partners Ian Security, Hiam Power, and Les Waters spoke out against stability and security in the Klamath Basin alleging that it would undermine the basin’s litigation based economy. Their comments were made in Portland while enjoying sips of shade grown, GMO-free, organic, fair trade, latte’ sweetened with pure brown cane suger -soy, no milk.
“We join with our clients in opposition to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement which will end litigation as we know it in the Klamath Basin and force lawyers, political extremists of all stripes, and land developers out of work,” stated lawyer Ian Security.
The Firm’s comments come as local KBRA opponents host a meeting to vociferously agree with one another and lay waste to their own self interests today in Klamath Falls.
“This deal would be the end of the Klamath as we know it,” said local elected Doug Missedit, a client of the Firm. “We have a God given American right to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same fear and anxiety as their parents as they struggle to make a living on the family farm! My base expects me to put an end to all attempts at compromise and problem solving and I aim to deliver.”
The Law Firm believes that the KBRA puts an unfair risk on the livelihoods of lawyers, political ideologues and land developers while favoring elite family farmers, ranchers, Tribal and commercial fishermen, and related small businesses. “It is simply un-American to favor local farmers and fishermen over lawyers from Portland and San Francisco. The next thing you know they’ll be having a salmon and potato festival in the middle of Klamath Falls and down river kids will be dancing with up river kids!”
The Firm plans to re-double donations to Oregon Mild, the Resource Conservancy and other groups sharing their commitment to status quo.
Security, Power, and Waters
Attorneys at Law
Portland • San Francisco • New York • London • Tokyo
About our firm: For the past 20 years, Ian Security, Hiam Power, and Les Waters have been working with clients to reduce certainty and enhance economic risk in the Klamath Basin. Working with diverse interests such as out of touch environmental groups, ranchers turned developers, and ideologically driven politicians, our firm has maintained status quo despite the efforts of family farmers and other locals to solve the problems that drive our businesses.
Testimonials from Satisfied Clients
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Security, Power and Waters. I mean, unless people are kept in a constant state of fear and anxiety how could an ideologically driven political extremist like me ever get elected?”
Local elected official
“Unless problems remain unresolved, you can’t expect radical environmental groups to scare people into writing checks to our organizations. Without the talented partners at Security, Power, and Waters we could never have maintained status quo so long!”
“When farming has a future, land developers don’t. Thankfully, Power, Security, and Waters are here to help me turn risky family farm businesses into ranchettes for the wealthy!”
Farmer turned developer
As an agreement that would remove four dams on the Klamath River inches closer, a bunch of folks with “Undam the Klamath” stickers on the bumpers of their Subarus and light trucks are scrambling to make sense of their own talking points.
They want the dams removed now, so they’re going to oppose agreements to remove them in the future.
They want fish populations restored now, so they’re going to oppose agreements to restore them in the future.
They want water flows restored now, so they’re going to oppose agreements to restore them in the future.
Currently we’re being asked to wait 11 years to put the North Coast’s most important watershed back together as part of a delicate and complex series of agreements. But as one longtime river advocate said in today’s Times-Standard, “The dams will stay in place for another 50 years if this all falls apart.”
Maybe falling apart is exactly what some progs are aiming for.
You may recall that when Paykeeper and the Northcoast Environmental Center were forced to choose between dam removal and suing someone, both immediately decided they could live with the dams.
Yurok tribe policy analyst Troy Fletcher points out that Klamath issues can’t be resolved in a courtroom, but when you keep your nonprofit and your lifestyle afloat through legal extortion, it doesn’t actually matter if the issues are resolved.
Filed under: Humboldt County | Tagged: Humboldt Baykeeper, Jill Duffy, Northcoast Environmental Center, Pete Nichols, Troy Fletcher, Undam the Klamath, Where's Greg King when we need him? | 21 Comments »