Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trucks & Trains & Ships & Planes!

The Eureka Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a forum “Trucks & Trains & Ships & Planes, Moving People and Products in and out of Humboldt County.” Redwood Region Economic Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Foster facilitated a panel of consisting of Brad Mettam from CalTrans District 1, Captain Tim Petrucha of the Humboldt Bay Harbor District, Greg Pratt from Humboldt Transit Authority, Estelle Fennell representing the North Coast Rail Authority, Emily Jacobs from the Air division of Humboldt County Public Works, Tom Mattson from the Road division of the Humboldt County Public Works and Brian Gerving from the City of Eureka Public Works.

Tim Petrucha pointed out some disadvantages Humboldt Bay has, starting with the bays isolation and lack of infrastructure. Tug ships tend to support Harbors that are hubs of shipping. The yearly shoaling of jetty causes dredging issues which makes it cheaper to do business in Coos Bay Oregon. Tim explained how solving some of our Coastal Dependent Industrial Zoning issues will help create opportunities for the bay. Tim also informed everyone that Humboldt gets more than its fair share to dredge the main channels and the purchase of a dredge will help relieve the $600,000 just to mobilize a dredge to the bay and acknowledged the Harbor’s Transportation plan for the Peninsula to help with future transportation infrastructure needs. Lastly, Tim spoke about the Sediment disposal plan and the 4 Cruise ships arriving in the next two years.

Greg Pratt from Humboldt Transit Authority identified providing ridership for 1.3 million miles and 850,000 rides a year using 43 buses. Has a lack of funding and hard time finding qualified drivers and mechanics. Approving a Redwood Transit System route study might help consolidate and improve ridership. Making it easy to track rides using smartphones will help ridership in the future also.

Tom Mattson called transportation a “5 Trillion Dollar problem.” Used analogy of trying to repair secondary roads such as Bell Springs when Humboldt is cut off from the rest of the state and how it is nearly impossible to avoid the red tape to fix. “Partnerships with other counties important.” “Really need to focus on lobbying at state level.”

Brian Gerving has 114 miles in Eureka to deal with and a need for about 3million dollars and shortfall of about 2.4million.

Brad Mattam explained condition that Cal Tran District 1 deals with and how lack of population works against us. Brad used example of Industry Standard Trucks not being able to through Richardson Grove costing $900 more per truck. Felt Humboldt needs to tell their story better how this economically affects the North Coast.

Estelle Fennell spoke to the Geological concerns and the 500 million dollars needed for capital repairs in the Eel River Canyons. Estelle would like to see a tourist train  track with trails in Humboldt. Estelle thought this would be a good mix with the potential cruise ships on the horizon. She also pointed out that there were ongoing meetings with Senator Mike McGuire to find solutions to the funding issues for the North Coast Rail Authority.


Emily Jacobs identified five Airports in Humboldt County. She talked about the retirement problem airlines were having with pilots. Pilots are no longer considered “glamorous.”  Air Service has a lack of Air Service Partnerships and really need Revenue Guarantee. Emily floated the idea to use the industrial sites at the various air ports around the county for rental spaces. Emily also explained how hundreds of potential Humboldt flyers a day drive to other airports to fly to other destinations, usually for price breaks. She explained that there are local resources available for Humboldt flyers to save money and to just contact her for those programs. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

I voted Yes! On Measure Z for Peninsula Community Service District Formation.

Some changes down the road for the town of Samoa and the entire Peninsula South of the Bridge.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

What does shelving of SB 562 do for the average Joe? (Richard in the this case.)

Shelving AB 562 does what for the average Joe? The average Richard here.

I have type 2 diabetes. I was first diagnosed when I was 26. Went on diet and tried to maintain for years and was fortunate to slide through a few decades with fairly decent health. Since I hit my fifties it has been a different story. I have been taking Metformin (Glucophage) for years and still was regularly running a blood sugar of 300. That will make you miserable. I swore I would never use a needle to inject myself and tried hard to diet and lose weight to avoid. I few years ago I threw in the towel and started using insulin, but still have to take 2,000 mg a day of Metformin. 

I had a Doctor appointment at Potowat Village recently and my numbers still were not good, but better. I gave my doctor a notice from my provider that would not cover my insulin brand, "Lantus" anymore. My doctor was adamant that I needed to stay on this brand, as it was a long acting insulin and preached to me the need to stay the course. I went to the Pharmacy at Potowat to fulfill my new prescription and told them my doctor explicitly wanted me to stay on Lantus. They said that would be no problem but the cost was $800 a month! I am on a fixed income and that was way out of my budget. After consoling my doctor and the pharmacy I was put on Levemir which is a generic insulin that is not as effective as Lantus. So I was forced to make a decision concerning my health because of a Pharmaceutical companies greed to make money on the sick! 

I am tired of narrative that would be impossible to fund single payer health coverage. 40 civilized countries have some sort of single payer. We need to move forward on legislation such as SB 562 instead of shelving something that over 70% of the voters want in California. Just my take. And I am sure I am not the only one in this boat. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Watered Down Perspective. Humboldt has too much water!

Humboldt County has an anomaly when it comes to water. We have way more than enough for our community. Just how much excess water? Enough to supply 3 times as much as California’s 40,000,000 residents can drink! The average person needs to drink about ½ a gallon a day and Humboldt has 21.9 Billion gallons of undefined use of excess water available. And here is the kicker no one wants to talk about; if Humboldt does not find an earmarked use for these excess waters by 2029 we will lose our rights to the water. “Use it or lose it” rules will come into affect sooner than we realize! Our biggest obstacle is transportation. We cannot ship, truck or fly out water cost effectively. Water based companies such as Hershey, Campbell’s and others have shown little interest and the Humboldt Municipal Water District has had more workshops than you can shake a squirt gun at. So what is the solution? I have suggested that excess water be used for the cannabis farms that don’t have adequate water supplies in Southern Humboldt.  Having Mad River water augmenting natural water supplies I see as a win. Since you are not supposed to cultivate without adequate water supply makes this a mute point. But you know that people are growing and having water delivered every day up in the hills. Why not solve a few problems at once? How about an amnesty program that allows people to purchase Mad River water without having the obstacles of identifying uses. I just think it is time to revisit this subject before a tunnel is built to the Sacramento River to send our water to farms in the South that were also planted where they did not have adequate waters to grow. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rail service not coming to Humboldt anytime soon.

The Times Standard did a story on the futility of the North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA). Things to take from this story: NCRA has not been receiving payment by the Operator (North Western Pacific Co.) to haul Freight in Marin and Sonoma County. Operator has no desire to continue rail service north of Healdsburg. The North Coast Rail Authority has Operating Revenue of $500,000 and Expenses of $700,000 per year for a Operating deficit of $200,000. There is no identified or earmarked  state funding for the NCRA. Any opportunity for an excursion train from Samoa to Scotia has no chance until about 2025-30. But the piece of trail from Arcata to Bracut will be fine addition this next year but no plans for the construction continuation to Eureka until 2021. I have continually said in public I want to see a trail around the bay before I die. Don't know if I will make it that long.  

Saturday, September 02, 2017

EHS grads Madsen and Hanson starting Linemen for Division 1 football schools!

And both were All Academic for their conferences also! I cannot remember the last time we had 2 players playing lineman on Division 1 schools at the same time.

Jake Hanson is starting at center at 6'5" and 302 for the Oregon Ducks and has helped the Ducks have a great running attack in the Pac 12. He garnered All Conference honorable mention last year.
Nathan Madsen has started at Nose Tackle for a few years at for the Fresno State Bulldogs. I was talking to his father James not too long back and he and his wife Terra are going to travel to watch Nate play against #1 Alabama next week and then follow up with a trip to # 8 Washington. What player in Humboldt County history has had a chance to play back to back top 10 teams in two weeks? I would say none ever.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Why are Dems so paranoid of Progressives?

This cartoon pretty much says it all. The Dems are becoming conservative curmudgeons and Republicans are just lost and sitting there waiting to be taken over. Click on the cartoon for bigger version.