Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marks selected Chair of Harbor. Mother Nature funding $50,000 to remove me from office. Dredge Spoils to Beach?

Tonight's Humboldt Bay Harbor meeting was packed once again. New 3rd Division Commissioner Stephen Kullman was sworn into office. I was elected by my co-commissioners to be Chair for the 3rd time with Larry Doss serving as Vice Chair. Earlier in the meeting a member of the public pledged $50,000 of "mother natures" money into a campaign fund to take me out of office. Our big ticket item for the night was a discussion on Dredge Sediment disposal plan and the Beach Disposal option. The discussion was lively, with the majority wanting dredging no matter what it takes. And many fishermen and boat owners were in favor of using the Beach Surf Zone Disposal option. Dave Schneider, who was a consultant (And Dock Owner) on the present and past disposal projects gave history back to the 70's and gave strong arguments for using the beach. It seems that there was some agreement in the past to never use the beach option again. Commissioner Kullman wanted to see if the cost difference was manageable to use the Pulp Mill outfall line as compromise. The subject was just a discussion and staff was given direction to work with the agencies first to get some common ground or sand if you will.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

NWPco under water! NCRA financially floating along.

North Western Pacific Co (NWPco) is currently having flooding issues at Shellville and other areas on the Southern Portion of the North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) rail tracks. NWPco is the freight carrier for the NCRA and service these customers (click on link) in Marin and Sonoma counties. There has been quite of few financial moves by the NCRA staff and board, that will have the NCRA running comfortably in the black for the foreseeable future. So some bad news, and yet some good news for rail service. Next expansion project to Cloverdale.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Ted Sillanpaa gone at 60. Sometimes Droll, always entertaining.

Witty, Sarcastic, Shrewd and in his own way, Brilliant. I met Ted at Eureka High when he was editor of the Eureka High School Redwood Bark paper. I was a junior writer and I thought the guy was arrogant. I noticed girls in class were gaga over him and he seemed aloof to their calls for attention. To really put a great impression on me, he assigned me to do a Eureka High golf story with Mr. Darling and I knew nothing about hitting a ball with sticks into holes. He was dating Amy Waldsmith at the time, so I did give him kudos for that. Truth be known, I was kind of jealous of Ted. He seemed so confident and focused.

Little did I know until letter in life that he suffered his demons like the rest of us. He was actually shy and not at all overconfident. Some of his writing for the Time Standard seemed to take "Scorch and Burn" attitude on some local issues. He was not afraid to share his feeling and points of view. I got to hear from plenty from the public locally and it seemed that Ted was persecuted for his coaching techniques in youth baseball, football and basketball as well as for his writing. I had to hear people talk about his favoritism with his sons Trent and Tyren, when in reality they were very talented and approachable young men. My son Jacob played basketball for Ted and I witnessed no favoritism and he was beyond fair.

I played Recreation ball with Ted and he was always very retrospective of the players playing and good at taking in the moment. I am sure he thought I took things way to serious.

Anyways, this is a poignant time to reflect a good man who loved his family, was a great coach, fantastic writer and master observer of people. He loved his children and was so proud of Trent, Tyren, Kyndall and Kellen with all his heart.

May Ted now Rest in Peace, but not be forgotten.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Broadband Fiber Optic Cable coming to Marine Terminal II.

Lots of rumors flying about Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District's agreement with Inyo Networks to bring broadband cable over 299 and out the outfall pipe at the old pulp mill site. Lost Coast Outpost did a couple of stories and then people started chiming in with poor information. No, this is not the project that came across RREDC a few years ago with the project using highway 36. This will not limit rural communities along 299 but will include Weaverville, Willow Creek, Hoopa and other small communities north of 299/101. There will be the opportunity for Humboldt businesses and the public to actualize better internet service. This is a good thing not bad.

Friday, January 06, 2017

What happened to Eureka Recreational Softball?

I have had a few arguments with Eureka City staff in the past about the drop off of Adult Recreational Softball in Eureka. This last year there were 17 Men's Adult Softball Teams and 0 Women's teams. In 1981 there were 55 men's teams and  and 37 Women's teams. There was also an active men's fast pitch league with about 10 team. That means there was over 100 adult teams playing softball in 1981!

What happened? In 1981 there were 39 teams playing in Arcata, and we had around 50 this last year, 2016. So the interest still is there. There has been huge league expansions over the years in Crescent City, Medford, Redding, Fortuna and Ukiah. Why such a drop off in Eureka?

Number one reason is the field conditions. If you ever had the chance to check out the Eureka Fields and compare them to the Arcata fields, you know what I am talking about. In 1981 Eureka used 7 fields for league. Highland, Carson Park (Two fields), Cooper Gulch (Two Fields), Kennedy and Hartman fields.

What I am surprised about is the lack of outcry from Eureka businesses. When you have the well over 1,000 people playing ball you fill the pizza parlors, brewery's and bars. Tom's Sourdough, Angelo's, Shakey's....all would be crazy full. 

I personally would like to see Eureka advertise, solicit and expand recreation adult sports. If not, it is Eureka's loss. 

(Below is standing for men's league in 1981.) 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Don't be mad, get active! Vote for delegates going to Dem Convention.

If you are a registered Democrat and have some time available from 10am to 12:30pm this Saturday, please come to the Labor Temple on E st. and vote for one of those Progressive Democrats in the link above.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mike Wilson's last day as Harbor Commission.

Let me say that I have been so fortunate to have been associated with someone who worked so hard in his 10 years as the 3rd Division Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner. Mike challenged me to think topics out at higher levels than just probing an issue face value. Mike led the Harbor District during some really stressful changeover of staff and was instrumental on keeping the Harbor District "afloat" (No pun intended) by his leadership.

I consider Mike the king of "policy wonks" and have admired his wanting technical details of a project before pushing forward. Mike was peerless as a negotiator to help the Harbor District garner funds for the future King Salmon dredging project and keeping the Commissioners informed of the process. Mike served consecutive terms as President of the Commission and was on the lead of bringing the EPA on to help clean-up the old Pulp Mill.

I can't say enough good things about Mike. Although his taste in foods might not align with mine. But he has opened my mind to strange cuisines and had me taste foods I normally wouldn't try. And he is great to have a beer with and shoot the crap bout all things life.

Godspeed Mike as Supervisor of the 3rd District of Humboldt County. They are lucky to have you.