Monday, July 28, 2014

Panhandled in Sizzler! Seriously?

Robin and I were having lunch at the Sizzler in Eureka on Sunday when a guy came through the door on 5th st. and walked up to our table and asked for change. I looked at him and said, "You are seriously panhandling us while we are eating?" One of the workers came over and said he does this quite often, but usually outside. There are places providing food for the needy in Eureka. I was a chronic enabler and soft touch for years but it is out of control. What is the solution? Other communities give out citations to the people giving money. Is that the solution? Got me, but it is getting much worse in Eureka. Not better.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ship Tour goes Awry. Damn July winds!

Had a chance to check out the new Green Diamond Chip Export facility. I worked there a little bit when it was owned by Louisiana Pacific and had in fact successfully union organized the plant back in 1999. Looks pretty much the same but very newly retrofitted and clean. Seen people I know from the past. Kinda a melancholy nostalgic memories of working with wood chips. I am conflicted with sending raw materials abroad, especially when the byproduct will probably be pulp products. But we send out logs by the hundreds and it is creating commerce for the Harbor District and jobs in the County in the immediate.

I was invited to take a tour as Harbor Commissioner of the Crimson Polaris which was built in 2008 and she is a beautiful ship. I had to hold my hard hat on while walking up the gangway because of the winds that were blowing pretty good. When we gathered in one of the conference rooms the Captain stepped in and was very serious. "I need a pilot and a tug." The gauges in the room showed that there was 25 Knots (KTS) of North Western wind on the ship, or nearly 30 MPH. The Captain was not able to use winches to move the ship into proper placement to convey ships to the holds. Humboldt Bay Harbor Pilot Tim Petrusha just so happened to be with us and all of the sudden was on the job. Leroy Zerlang was also on the ship and was called on to run a tug boat immediately. We were able to check out the bridge before we needed to depart for the change in operations.

So the story? It takes many people to successfully load one of these ships and lots of teamwork. And it sure was good to see people working on the bay once more. I hope for many ships to come to our Port in the future. I will continue my tour sometime in the future.     

Upcoming Softball Tournaments!


Willow Creek Tournament here we come! Here are some of the summer softball tournaments in the near future:

August 1st, 2nd & 3rd-“Wildwood Days”: Scotia. 3 Game Guaranteed. $250 Composite Bat. Contact Sam at 707-845-3064 or Toye 707-599-5928 for more information.
August 23th & 24th-Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) 3rd annual “Heart of the Redwoods Invitational”: Arcata. 4 Game Guaranteed. $225. USSSA Metal Bat or Wood Bat Division. Richard Marks at 445-3432.
Sept 6th  &7th-“Tomaso’s Wood Bat Invitational”: Willow Creek. $250. Wood Bat. 3 game Guaranteed. Contact Richard Marks at 707-445-3432. Can only handle 10 teams. Full each year. First 10 to pay up front. Tomaso's product abounds! Chips and salsa and ball! 7.     Brewzers
Sept 13th  &14th-“SAC Wood Bat Invitational”: Willow Creek. $250. Wood Bat. Contact Richard Marks at 707-445-3432. Can only handle 10 teams. Overloads from Tomaso’s Tournaments. (You can play both if you want.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mad River Softball Association Standings.

Mad River Softball Association Standings 7/10/14
MRSA "Composite Bat" Division
 
Wins
Loses
1. SOP's
4
0
2. Brant Electric
3
0
3. Bear River
3
1
4. Snow Leopards
3
2
5. Samoa Athletic Club
1
3
6. O & M Industries
1
4
7. Marks Consulting
0
5
MRSA "A" Wood Bat Division
Wins
Loses
1. Hey Juan’s Barnstormers
4
0
2. Schwaap
4
1
3. Ball Bangers
2
1
4. Ironside
3
2
5. Snow Leopards
3
2
6. Arcata Used Tires/Murphy’s
2
2
7. Arcata Garbage
1
4
8. E & O/Hum Depot Wood Bang
1
4
9. Sidelines
1
5
MRSA "B" Wood Bat Division
 
Wins
Loses
1. Sushi Spot
3
0
2. Blue Lake Good Woods
3
1
3. Pigs
2
1
4. Home Run Batting Cages
2
1
5. Tomaso's
2
2
6. Blondie’s Breakers
1
2
7. Glassblowers
1
2
8. Dirt bags
0
5
MRSA "C" Wood Bat Division
 
Wins
Loses
1. Big Pete's
2
0
2. BCM Drywall Fat Bastards
3
1
3. AMPT
3
1
4. Renegades
2
2
5. Warlock Nuits
2
2
6. Betz Bombers
2
2
7. LPB
1
2
8. Blue Lake Casino
0
5
MRSA "D" Wood Bat Division
 
Wins
Loses
1. McKinleyville Barbershop
5
0
2. Kokatat
2
1
3. Everett's
2
2
4. NHS Blazers
1
1
5. Tomo's Sake Bombers
1
1
6. Mad River Hosp. Crash Karts
1
3
7. Points West Surveying
0
4

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) update! Meeting for 7/9/14 in Ukiah.


The meeting started out with a presentation by North Western Pacific Corporation (NWPco) president John Williams celebrating 3 years of successful freight service. Above is the cake and cupcakes.  They survived a Federal Railroad Administration sanction emergency order and have been cleared to do business and are currently making a profit!  Good for them and the economy of Sonoma and Marin counties! (As a side note, NWPco counsel Doug Bosco was on hand to celebrate.  I ran against the former Congressman for the California 1st District Assembly seat vacated by Dan Hauser in 1995. We both came up short to Virginia Strom- Martin. Doug and I got to catch up a little, but I think we need to meet again at a good Marin County Buffet.) There is still some bad blood between NWPco and Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART). Hope it does not end in litigation.
The first official order of business was discussion of possible action for Windsor to Healdsburg Repairs. NWPco President John Williams stated his goal to get rail service to either Cloverdale, Geyserville or at least to Healdsburg. He proposed his company renovating the rail line 5.3 miles to Healdsburg for 1.25 million. He wanted to start the project in September to keep his workforce busy during some slack freight time. Work was targeted for completion in 6 months to a year. The subject was referred to the Operator ad hoc committee for clear scope of work and finances. Clearly the NWPco was confident that we would find funds to repay, but the Board of Directors was not so much. I asked Mr. Williams how long it would take to repair lines to Cloverdale under optimum conditions and he said to complete that 15 mile stretch would take about 2 years.
The next item was about amending an agreement we had with NWPco over clean-up of our Ukiah properties. At first the clean-up was supposed to take no more than $250,000. Then that threshold was raised to $450,000. Now we were presented with a $571,170 bill! I had asked Mr. Williams publicly what was the actual threshold he would dole out on our behalf to clean this property. He said, “Whatever it takes!” So he has fronted close to $600,000. The theme is pretty consistent. NWPco and the  NCRA financial survival is hooked at the hip.
Up next on the docket was discussion and possible action regarding lease of Willits Cell Tower to Parallel Infrastructure. The Board pretty much agreed that the compensation was inadequate and was sent back to committee to reevaluate.  
And the final conduct of business was the Possible Action of a request for a Quitclaim of Right, title and interest to Charlotte Roush at 1141 Spear Avenue in Arcata. Here is the quick version. Lady wants easements rights to her property that were once a rail spur.  The rail has been long ago abandoned and no physical evidence that it existed.  In 1997 another person filed for the same and it was granted. We did the same with the request to pay for administration of the process. We had paper work on this land back to 1878 when Jasper Janes had a claim and had to pay $50 in “Gold coins in hand!”  For his rights to the property.
Cameron Renner finished the meeting by asking for some sort of variance for his petroleum trucks to not have to do a complete stop on unused railroad tracks. It was refereed to staff for more investigation.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A new organizing project!

Press release from California Cannabis Voice Humboldt:

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH) announced the immediate hiring of political consultant and community organizer, Richard Marks, as it becomes clear state Senate Bill 1262 will not protect the rural cannabis community. CCVH is a newly formed political action committee dedicated to the preservation of the cannabis cultivation community and patient access to medical cannabis statewide.

Marks’ job is to organize legitimate cannabis growers in Humboldt County into a powerful unified voice and create sustainable and fair cultivation regulations. Marks understands the current positive financial impact of the industry on the County and the potential devastating effects bad regulations will mean to the future.

“We will give the growers comfort through a public process to arrive at sensible regulatory reform embracing environmental sustainability and providing relief from indiscriminate enforcement actions.” Marks said. “I’m excited for the prospect of legitimizing growers in Humboldt County.”

Marks is a lifetime organizer. He currently serves as the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services treasurer, the Mad River Softball Association president, and the North Coast Rail Authority director. He is president of the Humboldt Bay Recreation and Conservation District Board of Commissioners and the former director of the Samoa Peninsula Fire District. He spent 28 years as a heavy equipment operator for a local pulp mill where he was president of the Local 49 union representing workers, and he was a successful union organizer for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers.

As a political consultant, Marks successfully consulted the successful campaigns of four district supervisors, including most recently Virginia Bass’s campaign for 4th District Supervisor. Marks also consulted several local city council and school board candidates.

Marks is a lifelong resident of the North Coast, has been married for over 35 years to his wife Robin, and has two adult sons.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Time for Humboldt County MJ business to "Grow Up." And Organize!

The time is right for the Marijuana growers in Humboldt County to "Grow Up" and come forward and legitimize. If my sources are correct there might be up to 4 Billion dollars a year of commerce produced by the "Emerald Triangle," that being Humboldt County. Branding? Happened organically through the years. What the county needs is the Tax generation that could produce up to 100 million dollars a year! We need to be on the forefront of creating a county ordinance that will give responsible growers the safety of "outing" themselves to allow the taxation and environmental compliance needed to have public by in.

Right now Humboldt County Marijuana laws are governed by "Hysteria" and not "Reality." There needs to be consistent rules that are not based on criminal or punitive behavior. There need to be a shift in judgement. Instead of looking at Marijuana farmers as comparable to Goat Farmers and placing them in the position as the "Goat" instead of the "Farmers" the MJ farmer has been demonized and ostracized as the lower tier participant in the economic scale.

The present process that allows the Humboldt Sheriffs Department to "take" money and land in the name of "noncompliance" without giving people the chance or opportunity for compliance is an unequal process that is not unlike Prohibition.

To have growers in a "volunteer compliance" status regulated by the Humboldt County Sheriffs and Humboldt County Supervisors has the potential to help off set many fiscal issues for the county. That alone should be motivation.

Here is a conundrum: If all of the Napa County Supervisors were asked if the NAPA valley wine were the best in their area, do you think they would all agree? Of course.

If all of the Humboldt County Supervisors were asked which marijuana was the best in the open market, what would they say?  Humboldt Grass hopefully! The stigma needs to go away!

More information coming soon!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Home Run series at Arcata!

Yes. I, the Softball King, will be entering so you might want to think twice about challenging my awesomeness. Seriously though, this should be fun and bring people out. I know it will be competitive.