What would Kaitlin do?

Yeah. We added Sheen. Sorry Charlie, but you won't be recognized for your greatness until long after your death.

Kevin Hoover’s Arcata Eye usually boasts an eclectic array of letters to the editor, and the current issue is no exception. The collection starts off with letters from someone who doesn’t like full page ads, someone else who doesn’t like capitalism, several someones who will lose their will to live if an elderberry tree is pruned, and some deeply felt but poorly executed rant from Jeffrey Schwartz, whose burgeoning career seems to allow a suspiciously huge amount of time for letter-writing.

But our favorites were toward the end, including this inspirational missive from Maureen Kane.

May I ask you who your heroes are?

My heroes tend to be those persons who have been willing to speak truth to the ruling elite.Many of whom have been imprisoned and/or assassinated for doing so.

Such as: Socrates, Jesus, Shakespeare, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, etc….

Do you think any of us would be here now- or even want to be-without the intelligently courageous souls who have persisted in speaking out in promoting truth and justice for all?!?

Two of these souls are living right here within our community. They are Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap and David Cobb, co-creators of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.

Socrates, Jesus, Mahatma, and Kaitlin. Don’t look now, but we have goosebumps!! Readers who enjoy the taste of their own vomit can find the rest of the missive at the Arcata Eye.

Another letter, titled “Humboldt Baybasher,” is included here in its entirety.

So I was walking home today from Farmers’ Market and as I walked past the Arcata Community Center I saw a frightful thing! Beer cans, plastic cups, root beer cans (really), cigarette butts as far as the eye could see and all other sorts of revelry-induced garbage ALL OVER THE GROUND. In the bushes, in the street, on the sidewalk… everywhere.

I stopped to consider what might have caused such a mess so close to a public playground and the Community Center of all places and then I remembered: The Baykeeper’s Earth Day Bash was last night!

According to their mission statement, “Humboldt Baykeeper was launched in October, 2004 to safeguard our coastal resources for the health, enjoyment and economic strength of the Humboldt Bay community through education, scientific research and enforcement of laws to fight pollution.”

“Be a part of what they say is their ‘first Earth Day Bash,’ and watch Bernhard and his band do wrong right for the right reasons on Earth Day 2011.”

My neighborhood feels pretty polluted right now, and the gutters at the Community Center drain right in to the bay/creek, correct? I’m really jazzed that the Baykeeper charged people between $25 and $40 to come out and (literally) trash the areas surrounding the Community Center.

*sigh*

Beth Mason
Arcata

No doubt Kaitlin and David took a few minutes away from creating the philosophical underpinnings of western civilization to clean that shit up. That’s the stuff heroes are made of.

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.

Pete Nichol$: The quicker cash picker-upper

Now even more cash-absorbent

Soaks up legal fees twice as fast!

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.

Gans throws down on Nichols in today’s Times-Standard

Humboldt Baykeeper should come clean about the Marina Center

by 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.

Four years already?? And us without a cake.

Is the Faustian reference a Freudian slip? Regardless, get your prog on and spend an evening with Pete Nichols and his two great loves: asking for money and talking about himself. The cost is only $45 and your last shred of self-respect. Enjoy!!

asf [poi

This may be indicative of a lack of the larger imagination, but we have a hard time with "party of the year" and Ralph Faust in the same thought. Is it just us?

Pete Nichols fights cleanup of contaminated site

Environmental cleanup: We can do it; she can help.

Environmental cleanup: We can do it; she can help.

Sometimes we wonder just how far over the falls Pete Nichols needs to go before the far left decides to cut him loose.

Even they must have limits, right?

Maybe not.

Here again we find Nichols and his Humboldt Paykeeper organization arguing against the repair of environmental damage–in this case, the removal of contaminated soil from the site of the proposed Marina Center project in Eureka.

This is the same guy who, as president of the Northcoast Environmental Center, withdrew from an agreement to remove dams on the Klamath River, because the proposed settlement explicitly barred the parties from suing each other.

Amusingly, and without even a hint of irony, this decision didn’t stop Nichols et al from throwing an “Un-dam the Klamath” fundraiser the following week.

Lesson learned: There’s only one body of water Nichols gives a shit about, and that’s his revenue stream.

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