Freshwater Tissue Co: Wipe-out or royal flush?

What are the chances that Humboldt County, a place not previously known for personal hygiene, could become the toilet paper capital of California?

Reading the information provided on the Freshwater Tissue Co. website, it’s hard to say. But FTC President Bob Simpson, whose company purchased the Samoa pulp mill in February, sounds confident.

In a video posted on the website, Simpson boasts that FTC would “produce an essential product that is somewhat recession-proof in that every consumer in America has to buy it.”

While that is a slight overstatement, we find ourselves in a rare moment of agreement not only with Bonnie Neely, who supports the project, but also with the ubiquitous Prog tool Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap. That the latter ostensibly presides over a ratepayer-supported water district and yet in an official letter of support to a US Congressman misspells “ratepayer” pretty much tells you everything you need to know about her.

It remains to be seen whether the support of these two public savants will withstand reality, or if this is just something they’re saying to cling to elected office. Regardless, we’re enthusiastic about the project and hope Simpson is able to raise the necessary capital.

Sure, we’re talking about toilet paper, and there will be jokes. We’ll undoubtedly tell a few of them ourselves. But we wouldn’t mind a bit if bathroom tissue eventually edged out Humboldt County’s other top exports—marijuana and national news stories making fun of Arcata—and replaced some of the thousands of jobs Neely and the Progressives have, through the years, worked so hard to drive away.

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