Arkley, Glass autograph baseballs to raise money for Eureka Reporter

Citing declining circulation and ad figures, billionaire and Eureka Reporter owner Robin Arkley II and Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass held a joint press conference Friday to outline an aggressive new revenue partnership to turn the tide on what they called “those smug bastards” at the Times-Standard.

The plan involves auctioning authentic Major League baseballs that have been signed by both Arkley and Glass, Arkley’s longtime friend and business associate, with the bulk of the proceeds going to pay down accumulated debt at the troubled newspaper.

“Larry and I market-tested this last year and found that these balls will retail in the $400 range,” Arkley said. “At that rate, we’d have to sell only about 5,000 balls a year to break even.”

Glass said he fully supports the venture and is pleased that the partners’ promotional event at Avalon in September raised awareness of the new product line.

“Oh he pushed me, he pushed me,” Glass laughed. “It was too easy. We’re on the front page of both newspapers like what, 20 times? And next thing you know, everyone in town is talking about our balls.”

Arkley said the cash infusion would finance significant internal improvements at the Reporter to make the struggling newspaper-like publication more closely resemble an actual newspaper.

Specific proposals include redesigning the paper’s recent web redesign so that it sucks less, and bumping up e-Paper subscriptions into the triple digits.

“If this works the way we think it will,” Arkley said, “pretty soon we’ll have as many readers as the Humboldt Mirror.”

Glass, widely known for his activist and charity work, said he was donating his time to help his friend. But Arkley plans to buy Glass a 2008 black Cadillac Escalade, “so he can chase his own paranoid ass around the courthouse,” Arkley said.

Sale of the men’s balls is expected to begin in March.

Related post: Avalon restaurant adds instant replay to menu

Kirk Girard attains enlightenment

Maybe this is one of those things like string theory or Wonkavision that makes a shit-ton more sense when you’re drinking. But we’re between cocktail hours at the Humboldt Mirror–and frankly, we’re confused.

Our favorite Community Development Disservices director, Kirk Girard, provided a positively zen explanation Tuesday of that whole TPZ planning commission report dust-up in which his staff failed to include the back half of a law that clearly allows residential building on land zoned for timber production while citing the front half of the same law which restricts such building.

Boring stuff? You bet. But sometimes the devil really is in the details.

The Board of Supes has made no secret of its desire to further restrict TPZ building in its now eight years overdue General Plan Update, which will undoubtedly appear one day when we least expect it—like the Messiah, perhaps, or genital herpes.

But local TPZ owners were quick to note that the tighter restrictions did not yet exist, and they could build on their property if they damn well please.

Not so, said Girard, and pulled out his half-law to prove it. That he was caught only added to the general uproar, a distinctly non-nirvanic melee that saw hundreds of TPZ owners disrupting meetings and marching down Fifth Street carrying signs.

So at the board meeting Tuesday, Girard went ahead and cleared the whole thing up in a speech that gave the Four Noble Truths a definite run for their money.

Girard said:

  1. Planning commission reports have historically been too legalistic for the general public.
  2. Citing only half of a law reduces the legalism–by around 50 percent, we’re guessing–even when the part you omit is contrary to the part you include.
  3. Planning commissioners didn’t need the other half. They needed only the first half which was counter to what they thought they knew but didn’t.
  4. The first half was contradicted by the second half they actually did know and, therefore, didn’t need.

And that was that. So Grasshopper! We love it. We see without seeing. We get and not-get. And in the stillness of the mind-self, we can actually hear the sound of one hand clapping.

But faintly,

What the hell—it’s 4:20 somewhere

A bill co-authored by Eureka Assemblywoman Patty Berg would prohibit California employers from firing medical marijuana cardholders for smoking pot away from work, even if they test positive for the drug at work.

The bill would mark the first expansion of Proposition 215, also called the Compassionate Use Act, which legalized the production, distribution and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

According to a press release issued Monday by co-author Assemblyman Mark Leno, the bill “is merely an affirmation of the intent of the voters and the legislature that medical marijuana patients need not be unemployed to benefit from their medicine, although obviously most of them are unemployed, unless you consider dealing spliffs to other ambitionless losers ‘employment,’ and even I know that’s a stretch.”

Berg said she is considering adding a rider to the bill called the Compassionate Munchies Addendum, which would increase the dollar-amount of food stamps distributed to 215 cardholders.

In other Assembly news, Berg is working on a rewrite of her failed Compassion and Choices bill, which would make it legal to assist in the deaths of terminally ill friends and family members.

The proposed legislation is itself a rewrite of Berg’s failed Compassionate Choice bill, which was mercy-killed in committee in 2007.

It was first rolled out in 2005 as the Expedited Inheritance Act, but the name failed to resonate with lawmakers.

Finally, the Assembly passed at Berg’s request a joint resolution to honor a Santa Rosa woman for her work rescuing baby deer. Marjorie Davis was given the Extraordinary Compassion Award, an accolade presented each year to the district resident who most thoroughly subverts the principles of natural selection.

Someone’s got some ‘splaining to do…

An interesting letter delivered to the Humboldt Mirror mailbox over the weekend states that the residence of a certain Community Development Disservices Director may violate the codes and ordinances he is charged with enforcing.

The story goes that the unidentified appointee lives on a seven-acre parcel with an 800-foot driveway—and no secondary access road.

A subdivision that far removed from a public road typically requires both primary and secondary access routes, or a single access wide enough for large vehicles to pass each other in case of emergency.

Does the CDS director have either?

We’re just asking.

But our correspondent suggests he does not.

“He uses the same scenario as a method to deny others homes under his watch,” our source said. “He has his but no one else can have any?”

Hmmm. Good question.

Ralph Nader: Are we sure he’s not from here?

Who doesn’t love a “progressive”?

As expected, Ralph Nader, the former consumer safety advocate and one-time political spoiler, announced on Meet the Press this morning that he will mount a fifth failed campaign for president.

Nader is still despised by many mainstream democrats for siphoning off 2.7 percent of the Democratic vote in the 2000 election—just enough to put the genius that is George W at the dialing end of the red phone in time for the most significant international crisis since World War II.

In 2004, Nader ran again, receiving only 0.3 percent of the vote. He has been a candidate in every presidential election since 1992.

We at the Humboldt Mirror welcome lively political discourse, but where we disagree with the so-called Progressive agenda is the point at which its adherents substitute moral absolutism in place of rational policy.

We see it locally all the time.

Consumption is bad, development is wrong, Rob Arkley is evil, cutting trees to build houses is murder and running a profitable business is exploitation of the working classes.

At the same time, the Progs defend and support our illegal drug-based economy, and elevate the lawless and lazy to the status of folk hero.

The only time they rally to defend small business and labor—two buzzers Nader likes to push—is when a larger business wants to move into the neighborhood, or the laborers work for a company owned by someone they dislike.

And when all else fails, they sue somebody, anybody, to enforce their moral views. Nader got his start in the lawsuit business, and homegrown Progressives haven’t fallen far from the tree.

Local enviros were recently forced to choose between approving a deal that would remove dams on the Klamath River to allow the run of endangered salmon or preserving their right to sue everyone involved.

Which did they choose? The lawsuits, of course

The good news is that Nader doesn’t stand a chance. The bad news is that common sense on the national level is making little inroad here.


UPDATE: Check out this hysterically funny video “message from anonymous” to Ralph Nader. Thank you Tara for the link.

Proposed ordinance would require Kirk Girard to just shut the fuck up

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposed ordinance that would require Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard to abstain from using any form of verbal communication.

According to the text of the proposed ordinance, Girard would be prohibited from “the expression of any thought, idea or opinion about anything, in any medium, to anyone, at any time, ever again.”

A staff report submitted as part of the review process stated the move would cost little to implement and would likely save the county millions on failed projects and unnecessary litigation.

The report credits Girard with “masterminding the county’s redevelopment boondoggle, conspiring with county counsel to mislead supervisors and residents during the TPZ fiasco, leading the charge on the ultra high-density Forster-Gill development in Cutten, botching Williamson Act enforcement, politicizing the building permit process and whispering an uninterrupted stream of sweet but ultimately empty assurances into (Fourth District) Supervisor (Bonnie) Neely’s ear.”

As required by law, staff included an alternative to the proposed ordinance, which was to do nothing and allow Girard to “continue spouting mad shit.”

In other board business, the supervisors will also consider the creation of a sixth district in the county, which would consist of the tens of thousands of residents living outside Neely’s district who would like an opportunity to vote against her.

The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka.

Just think how pissed off you’ll be when that’s your money she’s wasting

In another sign that Hillary Clinton is perhaps not the best candidate to serve as leader of the free world, recent campaign finance reports made public Wednesday show that she blew millions of dollars of campaign contributions on party platters, luxury hotels and a revolving door of overpriced consultants.

The New York Times reported Friday that the reports appear “even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings.”

More than $100,000 was spent on party platters leading up to the Iowa caucuses, with another $25,000 going toward rooms at the deluxe Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

Her communications director was paid $267,000 in January alone, with results that were somewhat less than spectacular.

A South Carolina firm received $800,000 to “turn out the black vote” in that state’s race.

Remember the South Carolina primary? The black vote turned out alright, voting by a wide margin for Obama.

Other expenses incurred in January include $11,000 for pizza and $1,200 for Dunkin’ Donuts runs—and that was just for Bill.

Under “incidental expenses,” the New York senator listed $40,000 for unflattering pantsuits, $600 for Kleenex, and $17,000 for hookers and blow.

Okay, okay. We made that last part up.