We heart prog logic

EPIC’s Scott Greacen loves salmon soooo much, he opposes removing dams on the Klamath to save them.

Brilliant!!

Reminds us of all the “environmentalists” who care soooo much about the bay and its surrounding wetlands that they spent years working to prevent cleanup of the Balloon Track.

Let’s see now. How did that turn out for them?

Oh that’s right.

Maybe Snarky Marky Lovelace, who is doing everything he can behind the scenes to scotch the Klamath agreements, should take note.

Removing the dams will take a monumental effort.

Removing dishonest, deceitful hypocrites from office turns out to be quite a bit easier.

Just FYI on that.

Were Larry Glass heading toward his own political Alamo, would anyone explain to him what that meant?

Re-elect Larry Glass, because entrusting our future to a semi-literate bumpkin has worked out brilliantly so far.

As support for Eureka Ward 1 challenger Marian Brady continues to grow, some are wondering whether the political aspirations of the great Larry Glass may have hit the skids.

How could that be? It seems like only yesterday he was voted the county’s most popular public official. Although by stupid people. Who never met him.

But after his rental ordinance debacle, his breathless support for massive rate hikes, his hopelessly convoluted position on the Balloon Track cleanup, his public–and private–displays of immaturity and his general boorishness, Brady might just teach Glass a lesson he sorely needs.

While it’s far too early for a eulogy, just the thought of a Glassless city council has us waxing nostalgic for 2006 when the CREG spokesman was gearing up for his first run for office.

That’s when he said fun stuff like this: “We think there’s a better way to provide good jobs without handing over control of our future to wealthy elitists.”

Four years later, he still hasn’t figured out what it is.

And this: “It’s time for our City Council to follow the leadership of Peter LaVallee and demand that cleanup” of the Balloon Track.

Four years later, he’s still doing everything he can to stop it.

But our absolute favorite is this: If the Marina Center were built with a Best Buy, Glass said, “I’d be like Davy Crockett at the Alamo.”

Four years later, we wonder if anyone’s told him how that whole Alamo situation ended.

Oh well. Maybe next month he’ll find out.

Baykeeper acts quickly to remove potentially contaminated piles of cash from Balloon Track

Evidently Paykeeper’s definition of “cleaning up” has more to do with money than dioxin, given that Sneaky Pete Nichols is now singing the praises of the same cleanup plan he sued CUE VI to stop.

“We think the plan they put forward is a plan that has been shown to work in the past.” Nichols now tells the Times-Standard.

Probably much the same way Pete’s habit of suing every deep pocket he can find has worked for him.

Our hero.

Campaign ad outtakes we were never meant to see

 

"The developer MUST clean this site u--Shit! Stop the cameras already. Pete, be a love and tighten those chains a bit, will you? I think I saw him try to reach for his SIRAP!"

Judge deflates Baykeeper Balloon Track lawsuit

If this lawsuit fails, I can always resort to selling t-shirts and giving boat tours around the bay!

With nary a peep from any of the normally vocal environmental groups since his ruling last week, U.S. District Court Judge Jeff White dismissed the Humboldt Baykeeper’s major claim in its lawsuit against Eureka’s Balloon Track owners.

Baykeeper and its parent organization, the equally litigiously crazed Ecological Rights Foundation, filed the suit in 2006 claiming, among other things, that past and present owners of the property failed to secure the required discharge permits and allowed toxic stormwater to run into nearby Humboldt Bay.

Their lawyers have spent untold thousands of dollars (millions?) trying to sway the court into buying into a stinking pile of unconstitutional feces that the Balloon Track’s owner should be fined $32,500 per day for more than 3,000 separate Clean Water Act violations going back to early 2001.

That’s roughly $97 million, or just enough for any owner to abandon any thoughts of development on the property, right? That’s surely what wetlands advocate and California Coastal Commission buddy Bill Pierson was counting on anyway.

Not so fast said White, who ruled the laws don’t actually allow fines for discharge violations when there isn’t any discharge. Seems simple enough to us, but what the fuck do we know? Baykeeper and the other environmental elite know what’s best for us all. The court was more likely to believe there were less than 60 days during that nearly decade period when significant Northcoast storms delivered enough water to flush any potential toxins into the bay. White ordered the parties back to mediation.

With September nearly here and what may well be another record wet year, how much longer will Baykeeper pursue its seemingly ironic plan to block the only real cleanup of the property that has been sitting idle for decades?

New name–same great smell

The Bonnie Neely Memorial Toxic Waste Dump and Homeless Poopatorium

In honor of all the hard work our Fourth District Supervisor has put into blocking the environmental cleanup of the Balloon Track and preventing its subsequent use for jobs and industry, the contaminated 40-acre site has been renamed The Bonnie Neely Memorial Toxic Waste Dump and Homeless Poopatorium.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday, Neely fake-cried and talked about the six terms she spent sitting impassively in her office while the site leeched dioxin into the bay.

“What sets me apart from my opponent is vision,” she said. “I have a vision for Humboldt County, and part of that is to make sure we preserve the former Balloon Track as the stinking, festering pimple on the ass of Eureka it has been throughout my two and a half decades on the board.”

Neely added that she’s been too busy playing political games and worrying about her own financial future to pay much attention to the problems and concerns of working people. But if she’s re-elected, she said, she’ll make sure she gives employment and other economic issues better lip service, as she has in the run-up to this election.

[Click to enlarge the photo. Or not.]

Neely finally infiltrates T-S staff

Out of touch with voters. Out of touch with fashion.

Bonnie Neely, the Fourth District Supervisor and California Coastal Commission chair, writing “for the Times-Standard” reminded voters today that during her quarter century in office she’s done virtually nothing as the representative of the relevant jurisdiction with respect to the Balloon Track property, it’s cleanup and any hopes of generating jobs through its conversion to something…job related.

If the braintrust at the T-S is going to simply hand over the keys to the Bonnie in the middle of an election, it’s probably all cool for her to spout whatever crazy shit she wants to say. I mean, they are the only daily newspaper in the area and must know what they are doing. Right?

“Other than making an unsuccessful offer of $50,000 in Headwaters funding to the City of Eureka for development of a master plan for the property, which would have included a cleanup plan, I have never had any formal decision making role with respect to the Balloon Track.”

Exactly. Never tried to do anything.

Interestingly, the same “toxic chemicals in wetlands, which bleed into storm water runoff” hasn’t changed much since she took office. Since the Bonnie wasn’t exactly forthcoming with all of her activities, we’ll recap what she’s done with regard to the Balloon Track property…

1986: Nothing.

1987: Nothing

1988: Nothing

1989: Nothing

1990: Nothing

1991: Voted to approve putting the county jail on the Balloon Track property

1992: Nothing

1993: Nothing

1994: Nothing

1995: Nothing

1996: Nothing

1997: Nothing

1998: Nothing

1999: Helped rally to prevent Walmart from rezoning the Balloon Track property for a superstore

2000: Nothing

2001: Nothing

2002: Nothing

2003: Nothing

2004: Nothing

2005: Nothing

2006: Raked in $14,000+ from Bill Pierson (his business and or wife), although we’re certain it had nothing to do with his efforts to prevent any Home Depot from being built on the Balloon Track and competing with Pierson’s Building Supply

2007: Nothing

2008: Nothing

2009: Nothing

2010: Raked in $10,000 from Bill Pierson, who is seen frequently dining with the California Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas.

Balloon Track: The Prequel

Folsom Prison Blues by the Bay, anyone?A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

One District Four supervisorial candidate, who shall remain nameless, voted to build a jail on what she now insists is the crown fucking jewel of Humboldt County real estate.

Say what?? A jail on the beautiful Balloon Track?

So obviously, turmoil ensued. Right? There were uprisings and whatnot, yes? Pickets, protests, little progs with their little arms linked in solidarity–because, hey!!  We’re talking about our precious coastal resources, our scarce habitats, our endangered sawgrass and all that nasty, yucky dioxin.

Curiously, the final EIR for the project mentions none of these things. In fact, the executive summary states that “there are no significant impacts to biotic resources associated with development of the proposed project…” (Source documents are of crap quality. Clicking to enlarge helps somewhat.)

And yet the unnamed candidate in question–the one we are still declining to identify–not only signed off on the project, she provided a second to the motion.

A number of questions spring to mind, but let’s just start with the obvious: If the Balloon Track was shitty enough for criminals, why is it now too good for people who need jobs?

(Thanks to the friend who dropped these docs off at our plush offices. Next time, though, think strippers instead. Hugs!!)

Four days is too long to wait for us to cut and paste an effing My Word

But what the hell, you know? It was a Super Bowl weekend–one of the few times each year we’re allowed to drank early, often and with impunity. So get over it. Oh and while you’re at it, enjoy this My Word from the Saturday Times-Standard.

20 years is too long to wait for action on Balloon Track

My name is Gary Bird. I am a citizen and taxpayer of Humboldt County. I grew up in Eureka; water-skiing, crabbing and fishing on Humboldt Bay. If you frequent the bay, you’ve probably seen me walking my white and brown dog or fishing in my Boston whaler. I continue to enjoy Humboldt Bay, however I am extremely frustrated by the fact that for the last 20 years the Balloon Track has remained contaminated. The question that troubles me is why has it taken so long to make any progress cleaning up this site?

I’ve talked to Peter Nichols (Baykeeper), Bonnie Neely (4th district county supervisor), Randy Gans (CUE VI), Sidnie Olson (Eureka city planner), Carolyn Woodhouse (Regional Water Control Board), and other interested parties. I met with and reviewed financial statements regarding the Baykeeper, and other involved environmental groups. I’ve also reviewed reports from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and local politicians campaign contributions. Despite my efforts the issue of why it has taken so long to clean the Balloon Track remained unanswered. So, I decided to do my own investigating, using a method that seems, at times, forgotten. I used common sense.

I walked the Balloon Track to see what I could see. Not knowing the scientific names, I will describe my observations as lots of mud puddles, a drainage ditch to the bay and lots of overgrown brush. Added to this is garbage, junk railroad cars, and a few bums. The one important thing I could not see, but I’m sure is there, is contaminants. That is the one issue all parties agree on.

Returning home, I made some phone calls and determined that the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the environmental investigation and clean up at the Balloon Track, or any similar contaminated area, is the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. These folks, revealed that they have been involved in investigation and overseeing clean-up plans at the Balloon Track since 1988 (that’s right 1988). They described themselves as the experts in environment cleanup, stating “That’s what we do up and down the state.” They describe the current cleanup plan as satisfactory and appropriate.

So there we have it! The Balloon Track is contaminated but cleanable.

But wait! The environmental folks don’t like the plan for clean-up. So, I read their appeal in the Coastal Commission office. Man did that make it sound complicated. They took issue with the clean-up report and basically requested that the clean-up plan return to square one. But what could be their motive? That’s where the financial report (Prop. 65) comes in. Wow! Do they make a good living. More confusion.

Interestingly, staff from the California Regional Water Quality Board commented that the Baykeeper suggested cleanup alternatives (refer to Coastal Commission appeal) is an option but in their opinion it is a complete “overkill.”

Next stop 4th District County Supervisor Bonnie Neely’s Office, at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2009. After careful consideration, I decided to use my common sense approach again (Since Neely and I are Eureka High School classmates, I was sure we could have a meaningful conversation). That thought ended when Supervisor Neely met me with her attorney in tow. The three of us adjourned to a conference room where I was basically schooled by a savvy politician and her attorney.

Nothing of substance was discussed. However, I do recall Supervisor Neely suggesting that she was satisfied with the Balloon Track process and progress and that any and all future development around the bay could expect the same sort of care and concern by her office. Ouch! Departing the meeting I wished Supervisor Neely a speedy retirement (perhaps we could go fishing together someday?).

So what did I learn? Well, to begin with after more than 20 years the Balloon Track continues to be contaminated. Despite having a plan to clean-up the tract, approved by city and state officials, the project has once again been delayed by bureaucratic review. This time by the California Coastal Commission, one wonders what will be next?

Regarding the environmental groups who oppose the cleanup efforts, the one clear motive that stands out is the issue of money, as reflected in the Proposition 65 settlement summary. If nothing else the reader should review the Prop. 65 settlement summary. That public information might provide an understanding of some of the environmental groups motivation.

Bonnie Neely’s refusal to provide leadership in this matter is most disappointing. Her attitude toward development on the bay ought to scare the hell out of all taxpayers. It would appear that her large campaign contributors have a major influence on her decisions regarding the bay. Ms. Neely’s role as chairperson on the California Coastal Commission and as Humboldt County’s 4th District supervisor seems to be a serious conflict of interest.

Please citizens GET INVOLVED. Investigate, ask questions, and hold your political leaders responsible. Elect leaders who are not beholding to special interests but rather are looking out for the vitality and well-being of our community. Learn more about the Coastal Commission, its seemingly limitless powers, and the environmental groups who use red herring tactics when their true motives appear to be financial. Go walk the Balloon Track and see what all of the hullabaloo is about.

We taxpayers deserve land and a bay that is not contaminated, and 20 years is too long to wait for action.

Gary E. Bird, a retired Humboldt County probation officer, resides in Myrtletown.

Meanwhile, back at the North Coast Journal…

Informed readers are pointing out some logic gaps in Hanky-Panky Sims’ latest prog reach-around. His basic premise: A few senselessly oppositional folk on the left may have fought to block any development project Rob Arkley put forward, but this whole Marina Center shitstorm is still Arkley’s fault because he didn’t consult with them first.

Brilliant!! Because that would have changed everything!

The Town Dandy did get one thing right, though. If the Coastal Commission does block cleanup of the site, the Balloon Track could, as Hank stated, “sit there as is for another 100 years, leaching its ugly self into the Bay, and the Coastal Commission would never say boo.”

That in a nutshell is what an environmentalist victory would look like here.

So yay!! Nobody wins.

George Clark: Still kind of a dumbfuck

In yesterday’s Times-Standard, failed city council candidate George Clark articulates some of the genius that sent his campaign straight down the ol’ crapper last fall.

A few highlights:

If 75 percent of residents cannot afford home ownership, give them no jobs. That will help.

If the Balloon Track is “essential for growth that actually begins contributing to the local economy,” let it lay vacant and polluted for several decades while you all sit around listening to yourselves talk. Also very helpful.

If “rural cities are limiting infrastructure costs and improving tax bases by expanding the compact lifestyles of their Old Towns to meet the explosion of single households, an aging population, and skyrocketing poverty and foreclosure rates”–well, that’s a nice use of buzz words, friend, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. At all. Really.

And finally, if you run for office and rack up only a couple hundred votes despite the desperate attempts of your handlers and the wads of cash Bill Pierson throws at you, have someone write a thousand words of laughably stupid shit to run in a newspaper under your name.

We keep coming back to one central issue: Lot of people can and do run around talking about their hopes and dreams for the city of Eureka. But all these years later, George, Bonnie, Larry, Pete, Bill, Ken and all their friends whose lives and livelihoods revolve around obstructing productive use of that land have done not one thing to clean it up, have articulated not one plausible plan for the site, and have raised not one dollar to put their plans into action.

All their money, time and attention has gone into making sure no one else does either.

Friday night lights out

Come to think of it, darkness does have its advantages.

Anyone who thinks there’s a snowy plover’s chance in hell that the California Coastal Commission will support the cleanup of the Balloon Track property and ultimately allow a 313,500 square foot mixed-use development across the street from Humboldt Bay–we do love an optimist. Really. Dream big.

But before you go out and start spending all that money you would save on competitively priced building supplies, consider the recent Coastal Commission decision involving Malibu High School, which didn’t ask to build or sell anything and wanted only to continue using six temporary lights so the kids could play football at night.

School officials stipulated that they would use only lights equipped with visors that direct the light downward and minimize impact on the surrounding area. Additionally, they would use the lights no more than 16 nights a year–up to eight practices and eight games during the course of the football season.

The staff report supported the request, noting that the football field was more than 2,000 feet from the nearest coastal resource. There was no environmentally sensitive habitat area, or ESHA, in or around the impact area, and the impact itself was deemed “less than significant.”  The magnitude of the light did not exceed the effect of deep twilight past 150 feet from the football field and would produce no light effect off campus.

Staff considered the possibility that birds, none of which are endangered, might sometimes roost in a small stand of eucalyptus and black walnut trees to the east of the campus. However, they concluded, the light from the football field didn’t reach the trees.

Staff, including at least one scientist with a Ph.D., also investigated whether the lights might possibly confuse migrating birds, but determined that the elevation of the school and the height of the light effect was far below the altitude generally occupied by migratory birds.

In another section of the report, staff found the temporary lights compatible with the the scenic resources of the surrounding area, which included already a number of lights, including security lights, parking lot lights and numerous additional fixtures.

In sum, staff found no impact on ESHA or any bird or animal species, no impact on the “scenic resources,” as they’re called, and no inconsistency of use or appearance with the surrounding area.

One last hitch was the city’s Local Coastal Plan, or LCP, which included language preventing use of lights for private sports facilities, such as all those tennis courts rich folk in Malibu like to put in their backyards. But counsel confirmed that this clause did not apply to the public sporting facilities of schools.

What’s not to love, yes?

It was hard to tell, really, but that didn’t seem to stop the enviros from not loving it.

“Of all the irritating, outrageous and unacceptable project proposals that end up before you,” a Sierra Club rep began, “this one should really make you angry.”

And so it went. Speaker after speaker told the commission how the continued use of six lights 16 nights a year that experts said didn’t effect anything would, in fact, hasten the end of the world. The ocean would die. The polar bears would drown. Future generations would hear about California’s beautiful coast only in stories they would not dare to believe.

It the end, Honorable Chair Bonnie Neely asked whether it was even necessary to take a roll call vote.

It wasn’t. All ten commissioners, her honor included, voted no.

Note: If you have some free time and wish to spend it immersed in stupidity, watch the discussion for yourself here. Scroll down to item 12a and click on the film reel next to the permit number. The footage starts with the staff report.

Prog groups claim ‘irreparable harm’ if Balloon Track cleanup goes forward

From left, Peter, Ralph and Larry. Jennifer, far right, is bitching the boys some vittles.

The Times-Standard reports today that papers filed in court seeking to force the city of Eureka to withdraw its Environmental Impact Report allege “irreparable harm” will come to residents, fish and wildlife if the Marina Center property is cleaned up.

The petition was filed by the Northcoast Environmental Center, Humboldt Paykeeper, the Environmental Protection Information Center and the Ecological Rights Foundation, collectively known as the Four Jackasses of the Environmental Apocalypse.

The hyperbolic filing didn’t mention what villainy might befall the world were the NEC to clean up  its own contaminated property. Fortunately for all of us, we’re in no danger of finding out any time soon.

Photo straight janked from here.

Wait. Who’s on first?

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!

It’s brilliance!!

Where would Jesus shop?

Happy Jesus Home Depot

"A Home Depot in Eureka? Now that's worth coming back for."

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