Pierson bestie to step down from Coastal Commission

Peter Douglas, the polarizing executive director of the California Coastal Commission and frequent Bill Pierson lunch date, announced he will retire at the end of November.

Read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.

It's our party and we'll cry if we want to.

The Biggest Loser

Bill the Chump

Even though it’s still a sore subject over at the Big Hammer headquarters, it’s worth mentioning again which local millionaire shelled out the dough in November’s election.

The November election showed that big donations don’t always guarantee a win in Eureka. Bill and Elizabeth Pierson filed a major donor expenditure statement, indicating they donated $44,000 to five candidates in 2010. Three of those were to Eureka candidates — Larry Glass, Ron Kuhnel and LaVallee — all of whom were not elected.

We’d put Pierson’s numbers easily over $100,000 if you start adding up the cash going back to the 2006 supervisorial and Eureka City Council races too.

There is one bright spot for Bill, though. Former Eureka Mayor Peter LaVallee announced recently that he’d returned a $1,000 contribution to Pierson–chump change for the hardware baron but a nice enough gesture from LaVallee, who at least went down with some dignity.

Afterhours video surfaces from Elections Office security cam

 

The official and final vote tally is supposed to be released today, according to the top Elections Office honcho Carolyn Crnich.

Kuhnel goes on the Pierson payroll

 

Hey. No one ever said maintaining a monopoly would be cheap.

After weeks of declining to state publicly his opposition to the Marina Center, Third Ward city council candidate Ron Kuhnel made his stance refreshingly clear when he accepted a $2,000 campaign contribution from the man who stands to gain the most from the project’s continued obstruction.

Bill “the Big Hammer” Pierson previously ponied up two large for First Ward incumbent Larry Glass who, when he’s not lying about his support for the project, studies some of the finer points of American history and tells everyone how he’s chased around town by rich people in Cadillacs, or some such shit. Who knows. Fucker’s nuttier than squirrel crap.

Regardless, so much for the ol’ $500 contribution cap, yes? Apparently the only contributions these two are interested in limiting are their opponents’.

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?

Democracy cockblocked?

After months of telling us a Marina Center ballot measure would be meaningless, local progs have shifted course and decided instead that Measure N is so important they must sue to prevent voters from considering it.

Their logic?

What else?

That the electorate is too stupid to understand what the measure is all about. Quoth Humboldt Paykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols:
The voters should know the ramifications of their decisions at the ballot box.

Right. Because we wouldn’t know, for example, that when we vote in favor of something it means that we’re in favor of it. So major news flash there. Elsewhere in the poorly written announcement of the lawsuit Nichols contends:

The public cannot really know what they [sic] are voting about.

Good point. Super good, actually. Because voting to change the zoning of the Balloon Track could mean–wow. Who knows? That we want to change the zoning of the Balloon Track? Or maybe it means we want to change the zoning of the Balloon Track. Hard to know. It’s all so confusing.

Fellow elitist Scott Greacen, EPIC’s executive director, also “wants to make sure Eureka voters understand” the perils of representative democracy. Sometimes, Greacen notes, people “hijack” the “mechanisms of our democracy to serve a single narrow set of financial and political interests.”

Get. The. Fuck. Out. Really?

Case in point, we assume, would be hardware monopolist Bill Pierson’s funding of every anti-Marina Center candidate to stand for office in the past several election cycles.

Or–oh. Was he talking about something else?

Who knows. Frankly, we’re way too dumb to sort it all out.

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.

Neely groundswell continues

The Bon Bon: Supported by lots of people she doesn't represent.

Fourth District harpy Bonnie Neely’s latest round of campaign filings contains a few interesting items.

Her FPPC form 460s show that recent contributors include:

  • two Coastal Commissioners
  • Pierson Building Supply (shocker!!)
  • Blue Lake Rancheria (another $10 grand from those Fourth District folk)
  • her estranged husband Terry Farmer
  • her brother-in-law Neal Sanders

Add that to the pot of cash she got from the So Cal developer with matters pending before the California Coastal Commission she chairs, and what emerges is the distinct crest of one big effing wave of popularity.

It’s a shame she doesn’t surf.

By one calculation, of the $22,634 Neely raised in this reporting period, a whopping 4 percent came from people living in her district.

Just try feeling that love!

(Oh and by the way, she spent $4,000 of that money on the same Sacramento consultancy firm Patrick Cleary is using to sell us something we wouldn’t otherwise buy, and another $6,000 on that push poll we mentioned earlier. She may be unpopular, but she sure is distasteful!!)

When life hands you lemons….

As District Four Supervisor Bonnie Neely parlays her position as chair of the California Coastal Commission into some tidy stacks of campaign cash, her campaign finance filings indicate the true depth of her popular support. Call us cynical, but this looks like something less than an outpouring of grassroots enthusiasm.

Not exactly a groundswell of popular support, is it?

Can we get some fries with that shake?

Even in this economy, Sneaky Pete and the Bon Bon have been fortunate enough to find supplemental employment that makes full use of their skill-sets.

Substantial B.S.

Let's be BFFs!

So, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that all of the power drunk California Coastal commissioners agreed during their meeting today that there were “substantial issues” raised in the EPIC, Paykeeper, NEC and Ralph Faust appeal of the phase one of the Marina Center project’s local coastal plan amendment approved recently by the city of Eureka.

Executive Director Peter Douglas’ long winded explanation of the California Coastal Commission’s procedures that have routinely denied the public to weigh in on such appeals “for decades” took longer than the actual discussion by the commissioners.

By discussion, we mean the three commissioners who disclosed their ex parte communications prior to today’s meeting with environmental groups that were in favor of the appeals.

So the matter will be brought back before the Coastal Commission at an as yet undetermined date for a hearing where the public may weigh in.

Perhaps we missed it, but there was no mention by Douglas of his ongoing lunch dates with the local businessman who stands to lose the most when the Marina Center project moves forward.

Maybe that issue will be raised by someone at the next meeting.

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.

Who says government isn’t efficient?

Peter Douglas, Bill Pierson and the now-infamous nooner. Smile, friends!!

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.

Weird, huh?

You don’t think maybe the commission got some kind of head start on that, do you?

Hmm?

Couldn’t be.

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.

Pierson hearts Ash. A lot.

Harbor District candidate John Ash’s campaign finance filings are late again, but when they finally do appear, it’s unlikely his moderate and conservative supporters are going to be thrilled about that $3,000 contribution from Bill Pierson.

It might not be the largest amount ever raised by a candidate for one of the unpaid commission seats, but we’d be fascinated to learn if there’s ever been a single contribution larger than this.

And Big Bill doesn’t have a history of tossing money around blindly. He tends to get repaid.

So what will Ash do for him?

We’re surprised it’s not flying at half staff

Oh, and the check is in the mail.

The check's in the mail. Wait--that's right. You already got the check.

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