Mark Lovelace: Goat-hater or chicken-shit?

What's Mark Lovelace's position on local business growth? Cowering, it appears.

For those who don’t mind to an occasional dose of common sense, Arcata Eye Editor Kevin Hoover’s recent goat farm requiem deserves a read.

One of the more interesting questions it raises pertains to the role Mark Lovelace played–or didn’t play–in the whole Cypress Grove debacle. What is clear is that the District 3 Supervisor brought nothing to the episode that resembled leadership.

As Hoover puts it,

Supervisor Mark Lovelace visited the Gilardoni property and was researching goat waste issues. Yet, for weeks, little was done to allay the concerned neighbors’ worst fears, real or imagined, of their lives and property being ruined. It seems they were on their own, with the loudest, least reasonable voices holding sway.

Even the county process through which the project might have been approved or denied remained murky and in dispute. Why was this fundamental question so shrouded in mystery? A county supervisor interested in open government could and should have made some calls and cleared that basic issue up for his fearful constituents right away.

If we could turn back time, one has to believe that our elected representatives would play a more constructive role in shepherding a possible $3 million agriculture project through an orderly process.

But maybe not. They haven’t done any salvage work for us in the month since the project’s withdrawal.

Neither our mayor or supervisor has asked [Cypress Grove Chevre] to reconsider the cancelation. Basically they’ve offered perfunctory words of support (“hopeful,” “sincere wishes”) and offered to take the company’s phone calls. Impressive.

Impressive indeed.

Read the whole editorial here.

The Times-Standard gets one right

Lonely goatherds have feelings too, you know.

In case you missed it, the Times-Standard had a good editorial last week about some Arcatans who got ornerier than drunk dingoes when a local business proposed using agricultural land for its designated purpose.

Apparently people in Arcata care only about jobs at recycling centers that are subsidized with public funds. Actual businesses that raise tax revenues rather than spend them can pretty much eat shit.

Read on.

Calling all YIMBYs

Recently, two of Humboldt County’s most beloved homegrown companies–Lost Coast Brewery and Cypress Grove–made moves to expand.

Each has met resistance from its potential neighbors. In the case of Cypress Grove, it’s already dropped plans to build a new dairy just outside Arcata’s city limits.

The cheesemaker, now owned by Swiss cooperative Emmi, had been negotiating the purchase of a 23-acre parcel of land near 17th and Q Streets in the Arcata Bottom where it was going to build a barn that would house as many as 1,400 dairy goats. Neighbors called foul, citing concerns over noise and odors.

The fact is, the Cypress Grove project was exactly what that land was set aside for–agricultural use. The folks whose homes overlook the property knew that when they moved in.

Admittedly, the Lost Coast Brewery is a slightly different situation. It will require a zoning change for limited industrial use at the vacant property near Ocean View Cemetery.

Still, we’re left scratching our heads. If we as a community can’t support the expansion of our own local businesses–what can we support? Here we have two local success stories with niche products trying to create more jobs, but apparently, even that’s not good enough.

Humboldt County has lost a lot of jobs over the years. The state is on the brink of financial disaster. Times are tough.

We at the Times-Standard believe both of these projects have local backing, but no one has really come out to say it.

So, we’re putting out a call to all of you Yes In My Backyard folks out there. Let your voices be known.

We could use a few YIMBYs right now.