Fear the Beard(s)

The outcomes of several races are still up in the air, but there are a few we know for sure and a couple others we’re reasonably sure of. We were totally planning to wait until the final results were announced, but we’re impulsive and undisciplined, so behold the first Beards of Victory.

Hugs, winner-friends!!

Ravishing, no?

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.

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.

In a word: Douchepickle

That is a word, isn’t it?

No matter!  Here’s another classic from our good friend the six-term pachyderm courtesy of www.twitter.com/BonBonForever:

Now the Marina Center’s gonna be on the Nov. ballot? Resorting to democracy was kind of a bitch move.

Oh well. She’s been in office for 24 effing years. You can’t expect her to care about representative government.

Quote of the day

Quoth Bonnie Neely in today’s Times-Standard:

“The Pacific Legal Foundation is a Sacramento special interest group funded by big oil and tobacco companies, and I don’t think anybody in Humboldt County trusts them to clean up a toxic site.”

Uh, yeah.

And Bonnie Neely is a washed-up Eureka politician funded by gambling and development interests, and after 24 years of her doing fuck nothing, we don’t think anybody in Humboldt County trusts her to clean up this toxic site.

Or to do anything else productive, for that matter.

Dumb-ass.

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.

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.

Still no conflict?

He may be dishonest, but he sure is ugly.

So if it’s not a conflict if Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass has a years-long personal vendetta against a developer whose project he’s reviewing,

and not a conflict if Larry founded and fronted a group that exists solely to oppose the project,

and not a conflict if Larry distributed T-shirts and bumper stickers ridiculing the developer and his family,

and not a conflict if Larry personally funded a campaign aimed at undermining support for the development,

and not a conflict if Larry tried (and failed) to pursue criminal charges against the developer,

and not a conflict if Larry’s city council campaign was funded by the man who stands to lose the most if the development is approved,

then probably it’s also not a conflict if Larry serves as a director of an organization that is engaged in litigation against the city he represents, even if that litigation is aimed at reversing a decision of the city council on which Larry sits.

Sounds kind of slutty to us, but it must be legit.

After all, everyone knows how ethical politicians are.

California Native Plant Society
Jen Kalt (Secretary) jkalt@asis.com

Redwood Region Audubon Society
C.J. Ralph theralphs@humboldt1.com

Sierra Club North Group, Redwood Chapter
Felice Pace unofelice@gmail.com

Humboldt Baykeeper
Pete Nichols (President) pete@humboldtbaykeeper.org

Friends of Del Norte
Eileen Cooper upsprout@yahoo.com

Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Larry Glass lglass@foggy.net

Environmental Protection Information Center
Scott Greacen scott@wildcalifornia.org

At-Large:
Jim Clark (Vice President) dancebirds@sbcglobal.net
Martin Swett (Treasurer) mswett@pacific.net
Bob Morris (Trinity County Representive) bob.morris@wildblu.net

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.

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.

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.

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