Shadowy litigious group nabs first Douchebaggy Award of 2011

Scott Greacen: Douche

In a stunning tribute to irony, the Environmental Protection Information Center Executive Director Scott Greacen is crying foul over closed-door negotiations being held by lawmakers in Sacramento that are aimed at boosting the state’s sluggish economy and lowering skyrocketing unemployment rates.

The T-S reported that a Republican senator and his four colleagues are asking for a revamping of the California Environmental Quality Act in exchange for supporting Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to put a five-year income tax, sales tax and vehicle licensing extensions before voters in a special election.

The goal of the CEQA revamp would be to ease the abuse of California’s environmental regulations by special interest groups by limiting challenges to environmental impact reports, requiring citizens filing litigation against projects to make a $50,000 deposit — or 1 percent of the project’s cost, whichever is smaller — to the court before filing legal action and make telecommunications companies exempt from many environmental reviews. The proposal would also greatly broaden the types of projects exempted from the environmental review process.

The implications are apocalyptic for the group that seemingly exists solely to sue the hell out damn near anything that moves to achieve its goals.

”My first impression is that this is a really, really radical proposal that would gut CEQA and take away local communities’ ability to be involved in important planning decisions,” Greacen said. “The substance of this is just sweeping.”

Because protecting the right to sue with reckless abandon is monumentally more important than making serious reforms to fix our disastrous economy and nearly $27 billion budget deficit.

And for that Mr. Greacen, you’ve earned the Douchebaggy Award. Congratulations friend!

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!!

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.

Marina Center cleanup moves forward on 3-2 vote

It could happen.

What? It could happen.

The cleanup is now set to begin, after more than 200 people packed Eureka city hall Tuesday night to urge the council’s approval of the Marina Center Environmental Impact Report.

Public comments weighed overwhelmingly in support of the site cleanup and subsequent development. Some talked about the jobs the project would produce and the much-needed boost to the local economy. Others complained about environmentalists who “think their job is done when they’ve complained loudly enough and filed enough lawsuits.”

One commenter said, “We have an opportunity to take an eyesore and an embarrassment and turn it into something we can be proud of.”

Another asked, “We have a toxic wasteland in our city. Why wouldn’t we want to clean that up?”

And our fave: ‘Nobody cared how dirty the property was until someone offered to clean it up.”

Dozens of residents expressed their support for the project before Ralph Faust used his three minutes to threaten to sue to stop it. A woman representing EPIC and the NEC said those organizations would also sue. Not to be left out, CREGster Larry Evans threatened to sue as well.

That’s what the enviros brought to the discussion–unless you count the genius Arcata resident who said he had to attend a public meeting for a class at HSU and took the opportunity to sagely instruct attendees that they shouldn’t settle for anything but the best on the Balloon Tract. He didn’t present any thoughts as to what the best might be or who might pay for it. Maybe he’ll get to that next semester.

There were numerous demands for Larry Glass to recuse himself from any action related to the development because of his longstanding personal animosity toward the Arkley family. That didn’t happen, of course, but he and co-obstructionist Linda Atkins got all kinds of defensive about how they love jobs and love the city and didn’t stall anything right before they voted to, you know, stall.

The council’s vote means the EIR will be brought back Oct 27 with a staff recommendation to approve it. The Coastal Development Permit is scheduled to be approved November 3rd.

But keep in mind this isn’t the end. It’s advantage Eureka, but the progs knew all along they would lose here. They’ll make their stand at the Coastal Commission and in the courts.

The end will come when a polluted property is cleaned, hundreds of jobs are created, sales tax revenues rise, 11 acres of wetlands are added–and affordable building supplies are for sale in the city.

Battle of the left-wing douchebags?

Alert Mirror readers report that two of Humboldt County’s biggest gasbags recently took a break from their assault on common sense to go a few rounds with each other.

Scott Greacen, skeevy executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center, and Richard Salzman, gadfly and unrepentant forger, reportedly set the fur a-flying at a recent meeting.

So exciting!! Our preferences tend toward a little hot girl-on-girl action, but hey. This here bitch-fight may be the next best thing.

Remember, friends! No pulling hair!!

This unretouched photo shows Salzman, left, and Grecean getting amongst it.

This unretouched photo shows Salzman, left, and Grecean getting amongst it.

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