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.

Dare to dream, Eureka!!

We're fucked.

Brace yourselves, Eurekans, because word from the prog pond is that a certain former city councilman is planning to do us the great favor of running for mayor of our fair city.

Yippee kai yay and shit, yes?

Because when we look at the challenges facing Eureka, the first thought that springs to mind is, you know, what we need is the manager of a marijuana dispensary in Arcata to get in here and really turn things around for us.

Just what the pot doctor ordered!!

Uh, yeah. That pot doctor.

And all this time we thought giving us Paul Gallegos and his infamous fraud case was the stupidest thing Ken Miller would ever do.

By the way–that lawsuit. Remember it? The one that was repeatedly laughed out of court because it was all rhetoric and no substance?

Those are roughly the same terms we would use to describe Chris Kerrigan.

1986: Kind of a crap year

Bon Bon Jovi: Living on a prayer.

The space shuttle Discovery blew up. Chernobyl melted down. Halley’s Comet was a major bust, and the Bears beat the living crap out of our Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Closer to home, something called MAXXAM purchased the Pacific Lumber Company, and Bonnie Neely was elected Fourth District Supervisor.

Now PALCO is gone, of course, as is the Soviet Union. The shuttle program isn’t far behind. Somehow the poor Bears ended up with that jackass Cutler, and then there’s the Patriots of which WE SHALL NOT SPEAK.

Which brings us to the Bon Bon.

In the 23 years that she’s been feeding at the electorate’s trough, she has valiantly campaigned against lousy jobs and low wages and given us instead no jobs and no wages.

She helped defeat one Big Box on the Balloon Track, in order to preserve the waterfront for light industrial and harbor-based business. In its place she has given us no industry and no business.

She fought a partial cleanup of the property, and in 23 years there has been no cleanup of any property.

In 1999, she thanked the voters of Eureka for saying no to Walmart because “they had a vision for a better project.” In the 10 years since, she has supported no vision for any project.

She called the previous proposal for the Balloon Track “the laziest, most uncreative use for the coast” she’d ever seen, but has since provided nothing in the way of viable alternatives.

In fact, Neely’s defining quality through these many years has been her startling proficiency at making sure things don’t get done.

But hasn’t she heard?

Just saying no is so 1980s.

City councilman takes on Town Dandy

Hanky Spanky

Hanky Spanky

Hank Sims, one of the north coast’s premier wordsmiths, got his ass verbally handed to him Thursday by Eureka City Councilman Jeff Leonard, a man not universally known for his powers of expression.

Better still, the little Jeffster needed fewer than 200 words to dismantle Hank’s long-winded lamentation about how “it’s something close to insane” to think a majority of city councilmembers might share informed views of the Marina Center’s Environmental Impact Report within a couple of weeks, instead of dragging this shindig out until, say, Jesus comes back.

Hank went so far as to warn the city that it “may live to regret” not allowing a month or more to study all of the “pages and pages of detailed legal and scientific analysis” prepared by all of those numerous agencies.

Why the melodramatic flourishes? Because, Hank argued, the development project is almost certain to end up in court, and the city better be sure enough of its position to justify shelling out major coin to defend it.

The threat of litigation aside–the Town Dandy urbanely observed that the council’s “great haste in this matter has an odd smell.”

Oh snap, right? Hank straight pwned those smelly Marina Center yes-men, didn’t he??

You decide.

Jeff replied:

Hank – Here are a few clarifications regarding the process to help address your concerns:

The Draft EIR was published November 2008. 179 written comments were received, including comments from 17 different agencies. 850 pages of total comments.

The comment period closed January, 2009. The City and the consultants paid to develop the EIR have been weighing the objections and responding to the comments for the past 10 months.

The Final EIR includes a 22 page Errata section. This section reviews all of the changes made to the Draft EIR as a result of the comments received.

Any lawsuits filed over the EIR or the project will be the responsibility of project applicant – not the City of Eureka. Standard practice for California cities in today’s litigious society is to require legal indemnification at the start of the project.

Our next meeting on October 20th will kickoff public comment on the Final EIR. There is no action item on the Agenda.

Hope that info helps provide some extra clarity – see you on the 20th!

Photo swiped from here.

City to hire reading tutors for Glass and Atkins

It's pronounced just like it's spelled.

Luckily, it's pronounced just like it's spelled.

Two Eureka city councilmembers spoke movingly Tuesday night about their lifelong struggles with literacy, prompting an emotional council to quickly approve hiring tutors to teach them reading, phonics and other basic life skills.

“Admitting you’re stupid is the first step to getting help,” Mayor Virginia Bass said, blinking back tears as she hugged Councilwoman Linda Atkins in what the mayor later described as a “totally hetero way.”

The literacy issue came up as the council received the Marina Center Environmental Impact Report, prompting both Larry Glass and Atkins to immediately admit they would not be able to read it within any normal period of time.

“Of course we can both piece letters together to form words,” Atkins explained later. “We’re what’s called functionally illiterate, which means we can read and write, but our skills are inadequate to meet the demands of our everyday lives.”

For example, Atkins said, their jobs as councilmembers require them to read documents and reports–“because how can we disagree with them if we don’t know what they say?” But fortunately, she added, she and Glass have both sharpened their verbal skills somewhat by sending a non-stop stream of talking points to the Humboldt Herald.

Glass thought he might be able to muddle through some of the report in two weeks, although he said he would need more time to “digest” its contents. Atkins asked for four weeks to read the document, and said even that wouldn’t be enough.

“It’s so brave of them to speak publicly about their disability,” Bass said. “Sadly, dumb is incurable, but with professional help maybe they can take the edge off a bit.”

When Glass was asked if he thought there was even a remote chance reading the EIR would change his mind about the Marina Center project, he looked around for black Escalades, then laughed nervously and scratched his balls.

“Like fuck,” he said, lowering his voice. “We’re gonna vote no on this and every fucking other thing associated with all this Marina Center shit, but we wanna do so in such a prolonged and dramatic way that Bill Pierson will feel like he got his money’s worth from us.”

Bass tried to hug Glass too, but he thought she was pushing him and called the police.

Tired of the county getting all the good scandals, city of Eureka decides to create a crapstorm all its own

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the guy behind the wheel of the cement truck is probably Larry Glass.

He’s the unstoppable force behind Eureka Municipal Code sections 150.030.001 – 150.030.083—also known as the Rental Housing Program, which seeks to fund rental inspection and enforcement activities by imposing rules and fees on all rental property owners in the city.

Boring? Not a bit! In fact, it’s the best kind of political theater: Rich, fat slumlords pitted against vulnerable (but wholesome!) poor people, who with the city’s wise and beneficent assistance resolve their differences and live happily ever after in upgraded housing stock and quiet, tree-lined communities, possibly with Jesus.

But first things first! Let’s get on down to City Hall and register our rentals!! It’s like sex offender registry, only serious. Really! Have you ever known a child molester out of compliance to be charged up to $1,000 a day? Neither have we, but that’s what grandma would be looking at if she failed to register the other half of her duplex within 30 days.

So now it’s inspection time!! Yay! The ordinance gives the city the authority to enter any rental unit in response to any complaint, real or fabricated, by any person, connected to the property or otherwise, including staff, total strangers, and your ex-wife’s half-brother in Fortuna.

If you’re not home when the inspector arrives? No worries! They can get a warrant and break down your door.

Should any problems be found inside inspectors can order repairs to be completed within as little as 48 hours, and can then re-inspect afterward (“can” being literal here, as the city explicitly gives itself the right, after breaking into your house, to not follow up on their repair orders. They’re busy people, you know).

In some cases you may be able to get an extension on the repairs, if staff feel like granting one. But in other cases you cannot, regardless of the availability of funds, qualified repair people, or materials in stock at Pierson’s.

Failure to comply with the inspector’s schedule will subject you to fines of up to $1,000 per day per repair. And if you don’t pay all those fines, fees and penalties within 60 days, the city will put a lien against your property, even though obviously it’s a piece of shit and who would want to live there, or you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place.

Well fuck-howdy, have we left anything out?

Oh—just this little gem under section 150.030.024 Right of Entry: “Whenever it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of or perform any duty imposed by this chapter or other applicable law, or whenever the City has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any residential rental property any violation of the provisions of this sub-chapter or other applicable building, zoning, housing, fire, nuisance, health, safety or related laws or regulations, the City is hereby authorized to send an inspector to enter the premises at any reasonable time and to inspect it and perform any duty imposed upon the City or authorized representative by this chapter or other applicable law.”

Translation, please? Remember how it was determined code enforcement officers didn’t actually have legal justification to take armed, pot-spotting Sheriff’s deputies with them on building inspections? Well, friends, that paragraph right there is exactly the authority they lacked.

We hope the Eureka City Council will see this compendium of rights violations for what it is. Good intentions are laudable, but they’re no excuse for policy as bad as this.

St. Joe’s time capsule contains incorrect billing statements from the 1950s

A time capsule inadvertently unearthed Wednesday at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka contained some of the earliest known examples of the institution’s now routine pattern of overbilling for medical services.

St. Joe CEO Joe Mark confirmed Thursday that inside the small steel box, found by construction crews, were invoices showing disputed and excessive charges, along with clear evidence of misapplied payments dating back to the mid-20th Century.

Finding the artifacts, Mark said, was a “stroke of luck” that left several construction company employees temporarily paralyzed on their left side.

By Friday morning, the workers had been treated, released, billed six times for the same procedure and turned over to a collection agency.

Dead guy’s health only slightly worse than when he was alive

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office is looking for additional clues to assist in the identification of human remains found Sunday in a creek bed off of Myrtle Avenue in Eureka.

“The deceased appears to be an adult male with an old leg fracture, a three-inch-by-four-inch healed bone flap consistent with recent brain surgery, half of a jaw, and only one tooth,” said Deputy Coroner Charles Van Buskirk.

“In most places, that’d probably be enough for a positive ID,” he said, “but in Eureka that description fits half the population.”

 

Make that Eureka and Lake Elsinore, Texas. (Why won’t anyone hit this link? It’s totally awesome and not porn. Promise!)

1980s-flashback party culminates in abortion clinic arson

Police have linked a pair of small fires believed to have been intentionally set Sunday at a Eureka abortion clinic to a group of local revelers wistfully celebrating a bygone era.

“It’s all so quaint, so thoroughly 1980s” said Debbe Hartridge, education director for Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, as she surveyed the minor damage caused by the fires.

“They had the bible verses taped to the door and everything. If we find out they wore Members Only jackets and made their getaway in a Pontiac Fiero, I might just go ahead and piss myself laughing,” she said.

Police announced Monday that the suspected culprits likely belong to Yesterday Once More, an underground organization whose weekly parties feature historically accurate reenactments of different decades in American pop culture.

One member of the group, who spoke with the Humboldt Mirror on condition of anonymity, said he was “disappointed” police were calling YOM’s event Sunday a hate crime.

“This has nothing to do with ideology. It’s really about rich period detail,” he said. “For example, we used actual ethylated gasoline siphoned from the tank of a junked Yugo as an accelerant, and shouted ‘Viva Sandinista’ as we lit the match,” he said. “That, and we were totally coked out of our minds and listening to Wham! on cassette.”

Next week, at the group’s1990s party, members plan to smoke in restaurants, and then have random, unprotected sex to commemorate the short-lived but oddly satisfying belief that only homosexuals can get AIDS.

St. Joe’s CEO injures self in Mexico to avoid treatment at St. Joe’s

St. Joseph Hospital Chief Executive Joe Mark confirmed Monday that he decided to fracture his skull in Mexico, instead of Eureka, because of what he called the “superior quality of health care” available in developing countries.

Mark and his wife, Peggy, both suffered moderate injuries Sunday in a zip-line accident in Puerto Vallarta.

Reached Monday afternoon by phone, Mark told the Humboldt Mirror that he was feeling “as well as could be expected,” in light of the fact that his follow-up care would likely take place at the hospital he runs.

“It’s not for nothing that Peg and I travel so much,” he said. “In years past we’ve gone to Egypt to tour the pyramids and get bitten by poisonous snakes, to Kenya for a devastating safari-Jeep rollover, and even to Chechnya for an emergency appendectomy.”

The Marks were expected to return to the U.S. Monday night, after the bulk of their medical treatment had been completed.

Billion-dollar suit settled for two Happy Meals

The two litigants in a historic lawsuit against the Pacific Lumber Company celebrated victory last night at a South Broadway drive-thru window.

Chris Maranto and Richard Wilson, who had sought damages totaling more than $1 billion in the case, settled for two McDonald’s hamburger Happy Meals, one with no mustard and extra pickle, the other with apple slices instead of fries and a super-sized beverage selection.

“They fought us on the pickle chip like there was no tomorrow,” Maranto said. “They were like, ‘What? Extra pickle? You think this is Burger King?’ But Rich and I just hung in there and proved that when a cause is just, you really can have it your way.”

The pair had alleged that the Scotia-based timber company used faulty computer modeling and hardwood inventory data in support of its Sustained Yield Plan submitted as part of the 1999 Headwaters deal.

Maranto said they had hoped to make enough off the case to get two #6 Value Meals instead—“and I think with another couple or three years of litigation we would have been there,” he said. “It was that close.”

Wilson, however, said he had no regrets about the settlement.

“From where I sit,” he said, in the front passenger seat of Maranto’s minivan, “this was a solid win. We made six dollars more than the DA got for his lawsuit, and the agreement allows us to sue some more people later for dessert.”

The suit was filed under state and federal whistle-blower statutes, which would have allowed the men to collect as much as $500 million and a Biggie Fries at Wendy’s.

Avalon restaurant adds instant replay to menu

Succumbing to public pressure, Avalon owner Beverley Wolfe confirmed Friday that she is installing instant replay video equipment at her Third Street restaurant in Eureka.

Wolfe made the announcement following the controversial on-field call by state and local officials that there was insufficient evidence to determine whether billionaire Robin Arkley II pushed Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass during a Coastal Commission reception at Avalon in September.

The ruling, confirmed this week when the California Attorney General’s Office declined to file charges against Arkley, divided the community and sparked renewed demands for the mandatory use of play review at all upscale restaurants.

“The big argument against using IR has always been unnecessary game delay,” Wolfe said. “There’s no getting around the fact that drawn out booth reviews can result in the loss of dining momentum.”

To explain, Wolfe cited what she called the “dramatic tension” that builds between the soup and fish courses.

“Fine dining, like any other potentially violent sporting event, is all about timing,” she said. “But quality restaurants that have gone to IR have learned that use of the system has extended meal times by an average of only 72 seconds, and momentum loss can be minimized by well-timed drink refills.”

Red challenge flags made of Peruvian doeskin will be issued to all patrons upon entry, Wolfe said. She hopes to have the system up and running in time for the Humboldt All Faith Partnership mixer in March.

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