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.

24 Responses

  1. Well said, Randy. For a group of people who insist they’re passionately interested in an informed public process, the Paykeeper people certainly don’t want the public to know much about them and their sources of funding.

  2. Come out, come out, whereever you are Bill Pierson.

  3. Nice job Randy!

  4. Heh. Funny. I just posted this too. Well written – and very interesting.

    $16,000 in member donations sure doesn’t pay for the fancy boat (Boston Whaler), the nice Old Town storefront office, the line of T-shirts, the nice signage, and all the concerts and fundraisers, much less Sneaky-Pete’s salary, at least one attorney on staff, the scientific tests, and all that.

    While legitimate business people in Old Town struggle to afford the rent, these bloodsucking incestuous activist groups rake in the big bucks.

    It’s time the public DID know… and this is the tip of the iceberg.

  5. Yeah, evil Nichols person, you had better tell us who is sending you great gobs of cash, because Lord knows that sort of thing NEVER happens with businessmen like Arkley who are always up front, fastidiously honest and embarrassingly open about their dealings.

    I mean, do you think Arkley continues to spout that nonsense about how sub-prime mortgage lenders were FORCED, forced I tell you, to lend money to brown people who would then ruin the economy because it’s fun?

    And now the saintly Arkley, flanked by power forward Gans, swishy -sweet Basil the point guard and a bench full of white boys with undies so fucking tight they make Scrooge appear profligate, readies for tip-off , you had better pray to your Holy Chuck Taylors we never find out what evil intent lies behind your nefarious derring-dos.

    P.S. Umm … gotta say this, but that li’l shortie who hangs out in the hallway with ya on council nights is HAWT!

  6. Skipt: Sorry, but your blog is down the hall on the left. Please spout your stupid shit there. Thanks. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  7. Nothing about the Tyson lawsuit Mr. Mirror?

  8. That’s the way. Try to make Arkley the issue rather than deal with the Baykeeper cover-up.
    Who do you think is putting up the money on the Baykeeper’s Marina Center litigation? Come on, just guess.

  9. The Tyson suit is just Salzmann playing his nasty game. Remember: The ends justify the means to him. People like Tyson are just collateral damage on the way to Salzmann’s ends. He is a psycho who uses innocents like Glass and Atkins, too.

  10. The funny part is this dip shit is not a brother, brown or black, but some white ass punk want a be who wears a baseball sideways, goes to CR, works part time at Micky D’s, lives with mommy, and tells everyone he is a grower/gangster. Brothers catch his ass it will get kicked.

  11. to bad pete is such a puss,it would be great to see a thunder dome smack down with these two, well it would be good to see the 2 seconds it would last ROTFLMAO

  12. We’re still trying to find something funny about it. Nothing yet….

  13. Yeah, listen to HumRed, a brother’s brother, he’s such a brother that he can tell you what an anonymous commenter looks like and he can do it with his eyes closed!

    HumRed runs over here after getting his ass spanked on every other local blog to inform you all that he is a brother’s brother who knows what a fellow brother’s font really looks like. In fact, if you wait five minutes, HumRed will break out into a Kappa step dance and then show you wannabes just what it was like marching with Grambling State band during the annual rivalry game with Southern.

    Bless you my brother from another mother, bless you for protecting these poor, simple country white folk from the evil intertoobz!

  14. Cant find something funny? Are you reading the same suit as the rest of us? It f’ing fantastic!

    Best thing to hit the local blogsphere since the shove

  15. I think Gans was frothing at the mouth while writing this one. He absolutely hates Nichols.

    Fuck em’

  16. What would that prove?

  17. yeah, his wife seems pretty tough.

  18. I do not understand why, when the so called “environmentalists” are confronted about some of their nefarious and greedy practices, they point the finger at the other guy.
    I notice no one is saying it’s untrue, just that “Arkley is worse”.

  19. Yikes bugs

    I take some time to go out and save the world (succeeded, as evidenced by the fact that it is, after all, still here) and you let this shit happen?

    So let me see if I get this. There is a plan on the table to accomplish exactly what the naturenazi’s have demanded….a full ass clean up by God, for Pete’s sake! (or by Pete for God’s sake….I get confused) And they come out to oppose it on behalf of the Boneheads For Dioxin (BFD.) It’s pretty clear for Pete’s sake that they like the dioxin right, smack dab, where it is. Hell’s Bells bugs…if there wasn’t any dioxin, there wouldn’t be much to talk about, would there? All right alright dammit!….I’ll go get it. Plant a freaking palm tree and end this horseshit once and for all.

    Not even the naykeeper can sue a dog. heh.

    But I will have to watch out for the Friends of the Bonnie Dunes. They don’t play nicely I’m told.

    But, that my dear bugs is a subject for another day.

    with sincere heterolove,


  20. skiptomylou, u don’t make any sense = u’d fit in well at paykeepers

  21. Yer catching on 9:42

  22. LOL, dog. and, 9:42, skip is probably blogging from Paykeeper’s office.

  23. Short fatty Jennifer Kalt is “hot”? Smoke some more rope dude – either that or put on glasses. All she needs is a broom…

  24. Isn’t Humboldt Baykeepers a 501(c)(3) that has to reveal the sources of its income to keep its non-profit status?

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