I wanted so much for the Golden State Warriors to be in the running for AI (Allen Iverson). He has the hugest heart for someone his size. The Nuggets just may have stolen this years NBA championship.
Barry Zito is a Giant! This made me very happy indeed. Too bad for the A’s fans.
The Niner’s were actually playing for something the week before the new year. That was enough for me. Frank Gore is going to be something to watch the next few years.
My softball team played without me last week in Redding and made it to the championship game. Shows you my worth. Hopefully we will play again in the next few weeks.
I am now eligible for the Senior’s softball League and Tournaments. Now I am the Young Buck. I will let my wife in on this now…. Uh, my wife said it is ridiculous that I would be considered a Senior. Of course, she is a senior too. Let me quote John Daly: “We love each other more than we hate each other at the moment…”
I have been asked to join a local bowling team. I am not sure I can drink enough beer to qualify. Maybe as a sub?
I brought my Golf Clubs in for the winter. Hopefully they dry out before the next scramble.
Bruce Norton has been using me at Cal Courts playing Basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a self confession that I hope to stop in the next few weeks. He made 11 straight shots over me at one point recently. But he has been doing it to younger others also. The kicker? Bruce is 65 years young. His son David was a star on last years Eureka High’s basketball team. Bruce refs many games locally also.
I have been training for the Senior Games since I am now eligible. I am hoping to compete this summer in track and field and weight-lifting. I hope to be able to bench press over 300lbs at a weight of 200lbs by June. I was able to bench over 300 a few years back, but only a month ago got serious again. I can rep 250lb and top out around 270lb right now. Any hints to get over the top? Any potential lifting partners?
We have been without power fora few days. So I am on dial up. Phone service has been a problem too. Our house dipped nearly in the 40's. Brrrr. Hopefully all are safe and staying warm. My sons made it safely from here back to Sac-Town. If we don't get power in the next few days let me say Happy New Year!
I have been working the 7am to 7pm shift for the last few days and will be at Evergreen this Christmas for a 12 hour shift. When I got home my oldest son Jacob was here from Sacramento. I had a message from my youngest son Jordan to call him about a "funny" noise his car was making. I bought him a 2006 Dodge Neon with all the bells and whistles last year so he would have dependable transportation while he goes to school in Sac-Town. Sure enough, a few months later he was ran into on an overpass and the car was totaled. I had traded in my Corvette as part of the down on the car, and needless to say, it was a wash. I looked at buying another new car, but just could not justify it financially. So I paid cash for a used Ford Escort much to Jordan's chagrin. It had been a good car until this. He is driving it home tomorrow from Sacramento so I can check it out. Problem is, I am working until 7pm. I may have to trade him cars (Robin's PT Cruiser) until I figure out what the "funny" noise is. But at least both boys will be home on X-Mas day! They will all be at the In-Laws for dinner while I help make the Pulp. But we will get together later. So it will all be good!
Sometimes you might be in quandary on who to see during the holidays. Sometimes it may just come down to the Buddy with the best beer.
This here is a primer by Samoasoftball to determine who is the top beer worthy buddy to visit. I will use a countdown for a visual.
You open up your buddies Fridge and there is:
10. No Beer and only half empty bottle of wine- This is a message from his wife or girlfriend that you are not welcome. Show her up by going to the local store and buy a 24 pack and pass out on their couch. That will teach her to mess with your buddy.
9. Any beer with the name “Ice” behind it-This is beer for people looking for trouble. You may have a few with your buddy, and then he is looking to pick a fight. And “YOU” may be the only one around handy with a likewise buzz. Since you are probably in the garage with him, yell inside the trailer for his girlfriend, to come get him under control. (You didn’t think this type guy gets married do ya?)
8. Olympia- This buddy obviously wants to drink alone. If he offers you one, turn it down and tell him you need to find your wife to go shopping.
7. Hamm’s- Sky Blue water less the taste. This buddy is in need of a loan, if he is working at all! Drink what you will, but you will have to listen to his sob story.
6. Keystone-Yes, you will have to endure the “it takes like Coors” BS. His wife will only let him spend so much a week on beer. Only drink one. This guy needs it more than you.
5. Natural Light-Drink to your hearts content. I am not sure if there is any alcohol in this stuff or not.
4. Pabst-This stuff got a blue ribbon? When, the 1800’s? You remember the Lay’s commercial, “Bet you can’t have just one?” This one works just the opposite, I bet you don’t want to drink more than one.
3. Budweiser-The King of beers. For the football fan, upper-middle class, boring married buddy that hides his beer in the back of the Fridge. Heck, you had to push two casserole dishes aside just to find the stuff! Just visit long enough to finish off his six-pack. (His wife won’t let him buy more, and she is trying to eye you out the door the whole time your there. Does she really need to go to bed by 11pm? Come on, the newscast is just starting.)
2. Coors Light-The Nectar of Humboldt County. Stock car drivers, bowlers, softball players, hockey fans and mostly the working middle class go for this choice. And in the counties case, the most popular empty beer can to throw out the window of a car. You notice that most of these people keep their fridges well stocked? Call a designated driver and bar-hop BC’s and Myrtlewood Lounge. They are jumping on a Wednesday aren’t they?
And the #1. Foo-Foo Beers-Corona/Lost Coast/Sierra Nevada/Heiniken/Mad River Brewery- The Motherlode of Buddies. This Buddy is to be your friend for life! Make sure you tread lightly and don’t cause waves with his women. And this one usually is going through a few of them! This is the buddy your wife says to stay away from, but you never do.
I know my buddies who are recognizing who I am writing about are probably putting me on their do not invite list. This may not be a good idea.
Now seriously, if you drink during the holidays, please do so in moderation. Keep everyone safe for the New Year. And have a Very Merry Christmas!
Sometimes you just want to sit down at a place and have a nice juicy Hamburger. No, not the fast food types, but a serious burger. Kinda hard to really mess up a burger I figure. Just make sure there is plenty of Mayo and catsup handy. Here are the best stops in Eureka according to Samoasoftball:
1. Stanton’s-If you get one with everything, this is a good spot. Chili burger is Robin’s favorite.
2. Mike’s Hamburger-The local neo-con hangout. Don’t go here with any Democratic paraphernalia on. Try the chili burger with the garlic fries. Stay away from their bulletin board if you don’t want to lose your appetite. Unless you are a Republican, then go ahead.
3. Lost Coast Brewery-Maybe after a pitcher of IPA anything would taste good, but they serve a great burger with their seasoned fries. Consistent.
4. Fresh Freeze-Old fashion burgers with great shakes! Be ready to wait awhile though.
5. Coney Island-Another good old fashion burger place, just a notch under Fresh Freeze.
6. Waterfront Café-Good atmosphere. Clean up scale yuppie burger with fries.
7. Bev’s Cafe-Better bring a huge appetite. Just don’t check out the kitchen or you may walk out.
8. Adel’s-Consistent burgers on the boring side.
9. The Marina-Stanton’s without the same flavor for some reason.
10. Denny’s-Lot’s of choice’s, but it is a Denny’s.
Honorable mentioned but not on my fill-em up list: Go Fish, The Bistro (C’mon break out some fries!), Applebee’s (Better give me another one of them tall beers to wash this dry puppy down), Sizzler and Marie Callander’s. What is the best in your town?
Here is an article by Thom Hartman of interest: Sentient Times Oct/Nov 06 Mr. Hartman observes that our Democratic structure was based on the Iroquois Confederacy of 5 Native American tribes that helped build our Constitution. It is ironic that the Native American Supreme court that had final say was made up entirely of women. Of course, they had been practicing Democracy for thousands of years. Basically Mr. Hartman outlines how the middle class came about and the dangers of having a society of Rich vs. Poor. I can see a dangerous correlation with what is happening nation wide. We are starting to see a great chasm of people who have to those that have not. The middle class seems to be shrinking and we need not look any further than the percentage of people who can afford to buy homes to those who can not locally. Humboldt Association of Realtors Search properties And the trend becomes disturbing nation wide. USATODAY.com - Fewer families can afford a home And we are seeing an escalation of people in need. Think Progress » Working Americans ‘Still Can’t Afford To Eat’ and Some Americans Lack Food, but USDA Won't Call Them Hungry - washingtonpost.com What are the answers? We need to get back to focusing on raising wages by organizing or at least coalition building against corporate greed. We need to cultivate and grow the middle class and get back to our democratic roots laid down by our Native American forefathers.
My wife Robin is the queen of notes. Most of them are just reminders of household activities needing addressed and some just general life observations. Now that the boys are at school in Sacramento, they are generally addressed to me. Here is one worth sharing:
“Life wasn’t meant to be a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather a race to the finish line, used up, totally fulfilled, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!”
So what good have we done in the Afghanistan “War” with the Taliban? Well, since the U.S. have become intimately involved in the “rebuilding” of the infrastructure for the Afghan people, we have somehow helped drugs to flourish. The Bush administrations invasion in 2001 has done nothing but cause an escalation of activity. 5 years ago heroin “poppy” farm lands used 7,600 hectares of Afghan land. Today cultivation has risen to 165,000 hectares or 408,000 acres to you people from Ferndale. And get this, Afghan supplies 92% of all the heroin in the world! Just another reason to end our invasion of other countries. War. What is it good for? That’s right, absolutely nuttin! Drug war, Taliban, poppies are all in full flower / Opium, thugs bloom under U.S. policies in Afghanistan war
For a short period of time after the big divorce, my mother decided she needed to get out of Eureka. So she moved the 5 of us children (my mother and father had 10 kids between them) to Petaluma in the early 60’s. (We moved 10 times by the time I was 12.) My mother had no real marketable skills, as she was a housewife. She ended up a clerk at Western Auto in downtown Petaluma. The winter of 64’ was slim finances for our family. We lived in front of a chicken farm in a 2 bedroom house. I had an Army cot in the dining room. (I was youngest in the pecking order. My mom slept on the couch. When X-mas rolled around there were really no big expectations. But my mom came through with a stocking of candy and oranges and gifts to boot. She gave me a miniature steam engine. For the life of me, I had no idea what the purpose of the machine was, and I could never get it to work. Everyone received some sort of eclectic gift that my mother had bought out of the stores clearance bin. I am sure it was one of the hardest X-mas she had to endure. God, I loved that woman. She ended up moving us back to Eureka and was able to land a union clerk’s job at Baza’r and ultimately buy a house at 2491 Russ St on the corner of Harrison in Eureka. Her union status changed our life immensely, but to this day, out of all the other gifts I received through the years, I remember that gift most of all.
Robin had yesterday off so we had a chance to go to Babetta’s for their buffet after we had worked out at Cal Courts. Good stuff I tell you. We made plans to help gift wrap presents for the children of the Peninsula at 4pm at the Samoa Peninsula Fire District in Fairhaven. There must have been over 20 volunteers to wrap! Good community showing.
I had wanted to finish by at least 6pm so I could watch the 49ers against the Sea-Chickens (Hawks). When I got home and turned on the TV it was no where to be found! I looked in the paper and the game was on NFL Network! Argh! But it was alright, I had plan B. Always need a back-up. The Warriors came on 7:30 against Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets. But the stinking Shark’s were on instead! So I ended up listening to both broadcasts through the internet. The good news? They both won! So the night was not a total loss.
My wife had a rough summer as far as her health. She had two surgeries but is now healthy once more. Since her deductible was used up, it was suggested that she have a colonoscopy. So yesterday morning I took her to General Hospital and Dr. Loncar performed the procedure. It took around 1/2 hour and Robin was in recovery for around an hour. They gave Robin enough medication that she does not remember any of it. Robin was given a clean bill of health and we left the Hospital around an hour after the procedure. She had no pain, but was pretty loopy the rest of the day. We came home and watched a couple of movies, Nacho Libre (funny, corny I'll give it a 2 out of 4) and the De Vinci Code (which I will give a 3 out of 4.) Robin had a friend who had the procedure done and she wanted the doctor to verify in writing for her husband that her head was not stuck up her ass as her husband was claiming. If you are 50, you should consider having this done, as colon cancer is one of the slower moving cancers. This is something that should be available to all people regardless of the finances. We need universal health care for all.
On my way to play basketball tonight at the Adorni, I noticed the Coast Guard Helicopter cruising the Samoa Shoreline. I hope they were not searching for a brave soul who decided to take a chance out there to crab. Thank God for our local Coast Guard. They have saved many people out there risking their lives to save others. They could have stopped by the Adorni and tried to help my team tonight. We were spanked all over the court and suffered a season ending loss. Oh well, there is always the open league.
Hey, you can helpful learn stuff from these blogs! I was at work this Sunday to work a 16 hour shift from 7am to 11pm and we had water all over the Chip Handling area at Evergreen Pulp, because of the heavy rains. During the storm a Western Grebe must have gotten disoriented and made a home out of one small pool that had formed from a clogged drain. The problem was that the pool was actually part of the road normally, and trucks were having to dodge the bird or run it over. I went out and used a long pipe pole to unclog the drain and that upset the bird. It was obviously distressed. I tried to nudge the bird with the pole to get it to take off and vacate the pool, but it was not going to budge. The water eventually drained from the ditch, but the bird was not going to leave on it’s own. Then I remembered reading a post on House of Sand and Fog. House of Sand and Fog: another injured bird Jennifer Savage had rescued a bird and mentioned the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. HWCC: Humboldt Wildlife Care Center (HWCC). I called their Hotline 822-8839. I was surprised to have a person call me back within the hour on a Sunday, and two young ladies came out and retrieved the bird. One of the rescuers explained how the Grebe may have been put in situation where it was in water that was to shallow to take off. A Grebe has trouble with takeoff on land I was informed. So I am sure that the Grebe would like to say “thanks” to Jennifer and the HWCC.
I heard from a volunteer Fireman that said the fire in Old Town was hard to fight because of the hidden “hot spots” in the walls. Ashes were blowing all the way to the bay. The person said they saved as much property as they could under the extreme conditions. Kudos to the efficiency and preparation of the Eureka Fire Department. By the way, Eureka Fire Chief Eric Smith is an old time softball player.
Wow. I guess we all kind of figured the standoff at Super 8 was going to end up like this. If I was just a tourist for the last few days here in Eureka, I would not put this at the top of my list for destination next year. Not great PR the last couple of days.
I am sure you have heard the rethoric at your workplace, "Safety First!" But where does safety really rank in your workplace? Over production? No. Over profits? No. Safety is only a concern when someone is injured at work, and then it is your employers job to line up the facts to "blame" the employee for their own work "action". I hate our loose safety program at Evergreen Pulp. We are supposed to attend some kind of safety meetings which are not regularly scheduled for shift workers or we are supposed to participate in "Computer Based Training (CBT)." Physical meetings have not been an option lately, so you have to do the dreaded CBT's. I told my wife Robin to not expect me home for awhile after day shift, because I was going to try to do my last of the year catch up on the CBT's. So the other day I worked 12 hours and at 7pm went over to the safety work station and tried to log on. Mind you I get paid around $40 an hour to do this and still hate the process. I tried to log on but did not have the proper password. It was not posted anywhere in the room and is usually some easy thought up subject matter about safety. I gave up after awhile and went into our Shift Supervisors office and told him my problem. He told me what he thought the passwords were, and they did not work. He then lead me into a room by the shift supervisors office that had a computer to do the tests. I went through the prompts and was lead through the exercise to the first test. I will let you now, I hate tests in any form even though I tend to do well. I was already for the stress, and then boom! The computer failed and froze up at the beginning of the test! Here I was on the second computer doing tests I did not want to take and then this. I went and clocked out and went home. I found out the next day they have been having problems with our Evergreen Intranet and they were working on the safety program. So I guess I will try to catch up later. I still hate this program!
I mentioned earlier in my blog that my dad James Edward Marks was a major in the army. Served in World War II and was at Pearl Harbor during the big one. My mom said he had a quick move up in the ranks that day because of the atrocity. I have a picture on my wall here at home with him and his troop standing in front of the Scofield Barracks before they were blown up. I heard his war stories and was in fact an Army brat. My dad made a decision when he was in his 40's to become a lawyer. He only had an eighth grade education at the time, so he had an uphill battle. But he prevailed and passed the bar while serving in Korea. Once he was discharged he moved the Marks family to Eureka to start practicing law. My dad was the commanding officer of local lawyer Jim McKittrick and followed him up this way. My dad also knew attorney James Scott in Eureka. His loves were bowling and pool. After a divorce from my mom, my dad started law offices in San Jose. He passed away 25 years ago on his way to fight for one of his brothers defiance to pay federal taxes. My dad told me to become a preacher, because "that's where the money is." Didn't take that advise, but he was fine with me just being a blue collar worker.
When I was an organizer for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) I met the local President of Fox River paper in Ripon, John Goeringer. He was full of life and was a leader. I had some good times with John. He was witty and very smart. He was voted Trustee from California for the AWPPW in his early 30's. He had lots of energy to be successful. I was called by my Organizing partner and buddy from Washington, David Herrera, who informed me that John had passed away in an industrial accident. Modbee.com The Modesto Bee John had left Fox River and was working for the county of San Joaquin. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
I am the trough feeding king. Haven’t seen a buffet I didn’t like. My motto is “I don’t care if it tastes good, as long as there is lot’s of it!” Other words, quantity over quality. So to lighten the mood from my last post, here are my top 10 load em up hot spots with comments:
1. Hometown Buffet-Lots of variety. Consistent. I like their meatloaf and Salisbury patties. Just comfort type food.
2. Angelo’s Buffet-I love the pizza and hot wings. They are a bit inconsistent on filling the troughs though.
3. Jalisco’s Buffet-The wings are great and the enchilada’s wonderful. And you can put whatever suits your Mexican taste.
4. Blue Lake Casino-Prime Rib night is the best, but I also am fond of Friday fish night.
5. Babetta’s-If you did not know they had a buffet, you have got to at least try it once. Great macaroni and salad stuff. Don’t show up on Monday though, they are closed.
6. Bev’s Café-Order their Chicken Fried Steak and eggs and have the one pancake instead of the toast. And then try to eat it all. For under $9. For the mega hungry.
7. China Buffet-Lot’s of filling stuff here. Need bigger plates so I don’t have to keep going back.
8. Big Louie’s-If you are just a straight up pizza freak, here is your place. Less than $5 to boot.
9. Stanton’s-Big Boss. Just the right size for the big breakfast freak not wanting to over do it.
10. Sizzler-Maybe the best salad bar for when you want to load em up but feel guilty about the calories.
Let me go on record as being opposed to the current situation in Iraq. But I am in support of our troops who are serving for their country. Please check out this article in Newsweek for some pretty scary information. How Al-Sadr May Control U.S. Fate in Iraq Because of poorly thought out processes, we are playing referee in a civil war we should not be involved in. Relying on information from National outcasts, we have been put in a very difficult position by our current administration. As a country we supported a minority Sunni leadership in the form of dictator Saddam Hussein, and now are paying the huge consequences. We now are seeing divides we can not mediate and should count our losses and come home.
Am I being ruthless and uncaring? No. I am being a realist in seeing that we can not heal wounds that go back centuries and have nothing to do with our occupation. The Shiites have held a populace majority for some time but have been politically and financially oppressed by their fellow countrymen. It comes down once again to fanatical religiosity. The Sunnis are fundamental Islamist and the Shiites believe that a 12th prophet is due to emerge soon to help their “jihad.”
The new leader of this cause is a scary personality we have helped form. Moqtada al-Sadr is an adolescent Shiite leader in his twenties who was once obsessed with video games. Moqtada's father, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, had been a leading ayatollah, a rival to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and other top clerics. But gunmen—assumed to be working for Saddam—murdered the elder Sadr along with two of his sons in 1999. Moqtada was 25 at the time. And now he has been a scourge to our army.
Our current administration needs to cooperate with the process of withdrawal. We need to focus on why our intelligence information was wrong and rectify it for the future.
We are not going to win no matter who we leave in power.
Finally we can say that the general election of 2006 are over. Congratulations to all the victors. GEMS ELECTION RESULTS Moderate Republican BONNIE NEELY barely survived her re-election bid over moderate Republican NANCY FLEMMING. Have the Democrats lost their clout locally? In Arcata it does not look like it. Two moderate Dems won with ALEX STILLMAN, MARK WHEETLEY winning and fellow Democrat MICHAEL WINKLER a close third. In Eureka, moderate Republican VIRGINIA BASS won the mayors race over progressive Democrat incumbent PETER LA VALLEE in a close race. Conservative Republican MIKE JONES won by around 300 votes over progressive liberal Democrat NAN ABRAMS. Moderate Democrat JEFF LEONARD squeaked by progressive Democrat RON KUHNEL. Progressive environmentalism Democrat LARRY GLASS beat out moderate Democrat MARY BETH WOLFORD and Libertarian TISH WILBURNE. No real pattern here to measure the Democrat influence. One local race total shocked me though. ARNOLD beat PHIL ANGELIDES 48% to 41%. Here in Humboldt County? How did this happen? Who was the progressive candidate in that race? I have already ranted about ARNOLD'S anti worker tactics and policies. I just did not think Humboldt County would fall in line with the rest of the state. Maybe we are leaning more to the conservative or right now and that is what is causing the close races?
Just got back from a hard funeral service. Red Sky played basketball for me at Peninsula Union. His name served him well. He was a Warrior in Blood and Spirit. He was a member of the Yurok tribe. I went to school with his father Frank, who is a member of the Operating Engineers local 3. His mother Sherry played softball with my wife. Red Sky was a friend of my son Jacob. I also coached his brother and sister, Delmar and Stormy. Redsky was a delight to coach and gave the game everything he had. Short in stature, he made up with a big heart. Now the sadder part. Even though he had a personality that was witty and strong, he fell victim of drugs. His death was from an overdose while "puffin" an aerosol can. This just should not happen. It is so sad that drug addiction can take the lives of ones so young. I hope there comes a day when technology finds some kind of cure to help addicts overcome their affliction. Until then, pray for your children and their friends. It's the least we can do.
Today is the other Richard's Birthday. Richard was the volunteer co-chair of the Marks for Supervisor committee. And he is a trusted friend. After the primary elections, I was removed from the 4th District Supervisors race and Richard chaired the Nancy Flemming campaign. He took a candidate that had 30% of the vote in the primary and improved the count by 20%. Local polls had Nancy way behind at the start and she may have pulled off a stunning upset of a 20 year incumbent. I will give much of that credit to Richard's work ethic. You will not find many with his bull dog tactics of getting things done. And he is an optimist who is always looking for the good in almost every situation. And if you live in Eureka or Myrtletown, you undoubtedly have seen him knocking on doors or putting up signs. After 2 campaigns he probably needs a break. Good job Richard. Take a break. You deserve it.
Cal Trans is finally taking down those Earthquake Gates on the Samoa Bridge. Now if we have a major Earthquake, us sand dwellers have an alternate route to have a quick getaway. I did not feel it was a good idea to install these gates in the first place. Now it is a mute issue since the retrofit project is complete.
Provisional voters are generally people who show up to a polling place to vote and are not on the precinct rolls but want to vote anyways. Today I heard of a person showing up at one of the precincts wanting to vote. He had a Texas license but insisted on his right to vote. And he should if he is a registered voter who can show proof of his voting status. Then it is up to the elections office to determine if they are actually eligible to vote. I wonder what % of these people will actually be involved in the final vote count locally. They can and may affect the outcome. Check out this link for more clarified description and qualifications of a provisional voter. http://ss.ca.gov/elections/hava/compliance_manual/chpt8_provisional_voting_and_free_access_final.doc
Recently my number came up once more to serve jury duty. I am more than willing to participate in my obligation but have yet to ever make it past the jury box. And I have had many chances. I was disturbed by one of the questions that came up on the questionnaire though. I was asked to state whether I was being paid by my employer to serve jury duty. Why does that need to be put on the questionnaire? Is it part of the qualification for prospective juror's? Everyone in Humboldt County should be available to serve without predudice of their economic position. Employers are held to a standard well defined by Federal Government if their employees decide to serve the Armed Services, shouldn't they be held to those same standards for their workers/employees if they are called for jury duty? I observed many prospective jurorers being released for hardships by their employers that were really arbitrary. There needs to be a consistent guideline. What do you all think?
We had 24 family members show up at my sister Michelle's house with no squabbles! Maybe a new record for the Marks family argument wise. My how the little ones just grow in leaps and bounds. Hope all went as well for everyone out there!
Man! I keep reading and hearing about Democrats for Neely! This committee was set up by local Democrats to undermine another Democrat. It was not set up to take out Republican Nancy Flemming, it was created to make sure the Marks for Supervisor Committee failed. It was also an answer for my having been endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America. It worked and I was eliminated.
Why this Democrats for Neely subject still comes up is driving me nuts! Patrick Riggs had the audacity to challenge Mr. Greene to write a complaint to the State Democratic Central Committee over Mike Thompson chairing this committee. And I see that co-chair Greg Conner’s brought up this committee again on another blog like it was something to be proud of. Wow.
But here is something that the local progressive leaders did not count on. Their candidate was flawed. Bonnie Neely was not the poster child of liberalism. A great number of people did take into account her failed policies and were skeptic of her political alliances. And she had to resort to dirty political commercials at the end of her campaign to avoid a possible loss. (This may turn around as the absentee ballots are still not accounted for.)
If the HCDCC and Progressive leaders were so frightened that Nancy Flemming was going to win, why didn’t they help me defeat her in the primary? Maybe it was a miscalculation or just another case of county backdoor politics.
So where am I going with this? I guess I will have to rejoin the HCDCC and see what happens in the future or push-start the local Progressive Democrats of America chapter into active participation locally.
Oh goody! Things are so great in Humboldt County! Just look at this story and everything looks great and positive. Times-Standard Online - Humboldt's unemployment could be at an all-time low But go and talk to someone living this great Humboldt economy and you will see another picture. I have talked to many 30 and under type workforce laborers who try to make ends meet here. Not a pretty story. Just a few hours ago I talked to a worker in the roofing business who worked up to $8 an hour after 3 months! How can you live on that! You would be better off on welfare! And the story plays itself over and over again in Arcata. With no competition of wages, employers are taking advantage of our college/mobile young workforce and driving down wages! Here are some sobering statistics for young people entering the workplace. In the beginning of 2000 you could buy a house in Humboldt County for $93,500. Your household income would have to be $25,000 to qualify to pay $615 a month to actualize the American dream and buy a home. 60% of our workforce families could do this. As of Jan. 2006, the average house price was $308,000. Your household family income has to be $75,000 to afford the $1,864 a month payment. And now only 12% of the family workforce can afford to buy a home. And if you are single in Humboldt County and especially a woman? Forget about it! It will not happen! Less than 1%. Reality check! And people are happy to pay $1,000 plus rent! Wow, what has happened! Will the young workers of Humboldt County step up in protest? We may need a Humboldt County Living Wage ordinance! But we will debate: What is a living wage! Why should it be based on two wages? Is it discriminatory? Information Source-Humboldt Association of Realtors Search properties
Softball is like a ever evolving soap opera with twists and turns you never expect. On Saturday we were up against 22 top notch teams in our division. The weather was warm and sunny! We played a Round Robin portion to find placement in a single elimination bracket. We had a first round bye because of our placing 6th out of the 22. We were then upset 19-18 in the bottom of the 7th and eliminated at around 8pm Saturday. I had a chance to see many buddies I may not see until next spring so it was a great time. People were from all over the west coast. We then played a new tournament starting a 8am Sunday morning against 16 teams. We were beat up a bit and lost to team "Battitude" who have the expensive uniforms and big time players. But we managed to win our next 4 games and needed only one victory more for a trip to the championship. But we were brought down to earth hard by team WSC out of Santa Rosa and ended up tied for 3rd. Oh well. There's always next tournament!
Big softball tourney this weekend. Big League Dreams in Redding. Big League Dreams - Sport Parks The park has been open since summer of 2004. Redding sure did this right. May be the nicest fields in the USA. I played in the first organized tournament with my Samoa Athletic buddies and we came away with a second place. A thru Z sports is hosting the USSSA sanctioned Tournament. Home Page There will be 53 teams! Were talking nearly 600 players! It was sold out. Most of these teams come from all over the west coast and spend big dollars in Redding. If you include family members and friends, there will be over 1,000 people needing lodging and food. The tournament will most likely bring nearly $250,000 to the Redding economy just for the weekend. I have played in 15 Tournaments over there and have been fortunate to have finished in the top 4 10 times. My teams have an overall record there of 52-25 with 4 1sts and played in 7 championship games. Pretty soon I won't be limited to just the open tourneys as I will be eligible for seniors in January!
I had to work graveyard shift last night 7pm to 7am. It started raining hard around 9pm and I had an equipment failure in the screen room that Evergreen Pulp pays me to operate. I went out and discovered that one of the drains was plugged up and the screen room was flooded. I opened the drain with a rake after wading through a lot of water. I then traced down the piece of equipment that failed. It looked operable. It is a conveyor that tranfers material to a chip hogging system. Along side the conveyor is a safety pull cord and safety box unit that was just replaced. I tripped the safety cord and reset it again to see if that was the issue. It would not start. The Shift Electrician came over and checked the circuit breakers and said it should run, and he manually jumped it and it in fact ran. He told me to reset the conveyor at the safety cord box again, and just as I was approaching the conveyor, it lit up in sparks and must have shorted out! I would have been holding onto a live electrical unit of 440 volts in inches of water if I had been there a moment sooner! God must have not called my number up yet. The Electricians were able to jumper out and bypass the safety box so we could run for the night. We were within a few minutes of having to shut down production, which is quite costly at Evergreen. So there you go. Life in the trenches mill worker wise can be scary. The job is not all glamour after all!
Well the results aren't technically final. But I am right though. A Republican will win the 4th District Supervisor. Whether it is Republican Bonnie Neely or Nancy Flemming is the question. And Larry Glass and Mary Beth Wolford are both registered Democrats in the First Ward, as are Jeff Leonard and Ron Kuhnel in the Third Ward. I heard this morning that almost 4 thousand absentee and provisional ballot's need to be counted still for the greater Eureka area. That is a ridiculous amount. An official result will most likely be challenged I will guess, if the separation is close, so we may not have results for quite some time.
I was hired in 1973 by Bazar and worked there until they closed in 1978. They were located south of highway 101 across from the current Target in Eureka. Bazar at one time was an up and coming chain. The local store had an automotive, linen, clothing, shoe, sporting goods, sundries, hardware, appliance, donut, pharmacy, restaurant, jewelry and a big grocery store. Their jingle was, "You don't need Aladdin's Lamp to make your dollars buy more, just do all your shopping at Bazar!" You could buy anything you could think of in one place! It was a close knit group of retail workers. It was a union shop represented by the Retail Clerks. It was the busiest store in town at the time, all the way until its closing. The rest of the chain just wasn't doing as well. The workers hoped that Fred Meyer's would come and have us be their first California store, but alas, that didn't happen. I really enjoyed working at Bazar and still see people who used to work there. All big boxes aren't bad. I wish that they were all union though.
Mr. Mayo wrote an guest opinion to the ER that was kind to this writer. The Eureka Reporter - Article I have taken enough pot-shots for expressing my Democratic right to run for public office from my own Democratic party, so it was good to hear someone at least acknowledge I have done some good for the working class. Thanks Dennis. I did not realize that Past Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb had taken issue with me. I must have missed that article by Mr. Cobb. Oh my, how many have I upset along the way recently. Really, I do not have too many enemies in my circle of acquaintances. Most have just come from this last run at County Supervisor. I ran for this position eight years ago with pretty much the same results and there was no backlash. I just kept doing what I was doing as member of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee. Times have changed and so has the local political climate. It has become a nasty ordeal. Too bad.
The Manila Market is now boarded up and closed for business. That means that for the first time in probably over a century, there is no market here on the peninsula. When Robin and I moved out here over 25 years ago, there were three markets two gas stations, two bars and probably less people than are out there now. (Around 2,000) So what gives? The Samoa Store was still viable and making money to the end of their lease. Bob's Manila Market was frequented by most in the early 90's. Manila Market had the most reliable clientele I think. But now we have nothing. Seems to me that this might be a good opportunity for someone.
It seems to me that these latest election results seem to show a weakness in the Eureka Democrats ability to promote their candidates. Or maybe their agenda is not in tune with the desires of the working class Democratic voters. The registered Democrats out number the Republicans in Eureka heavily. Why did Republicans Nancy Flemming, Mike Jones and Virginia Bass do so well? I think voters in Eureka are drifting to the middle or moderate territory. The message of the Eureka Democrats seem to be listing toward the middle and causing a power shift that may affect the direction of Eureka for the next few years. Whatcha all think?
I guess the Green Party absentee voters were apathetic about this last election in Humboldt County. Only 48.3% of the those ballots issued were returned. The Republicans led the way with returns at 72.2% while the Democrats were close behind at 68.9%. My wife and I vote absentee. We lost our polling station out on the Peninsula in 1995 when Humboldt County Elections Official Lindsey McWilliams made the decision that the Samoa/Finntown/Fairhaven communities did not have enough registered voters (We were under 250) to warrant a polling station.
I think my sources for the Eureka Council races were as close as you can get. I said Larry Glass would win by 4% and he won by 5%. I went on record that Mike Jones would win by 8% and won by 5%. I was off saying Ron Kuhnel would win by 2%. Jeff Leonard actually won by 1%. So I was within 3% on each of the races. Who else came that close? Nobody. My predictions for Arcata were driven by HSU polling and I had no real concrete pollsters doing that race. Alex Stillman and Dave Meserve were my picks and hopes. Mark Wheetley beat Dave by 5%. Hey, what can I say, I am more in tune with Eureka politics. And now we sit and what to see who Virginia Bass (My pick for Mayor obviously) will try to appoint to the Eureka City Council from the 2nd Ward. I would assume that person would have to be as moderate as they come to have a split Council accept any of Virginia's nominees. The fun is not over, it is just beginning!
No matter who you feel is the best candidate, be sure to express your right to vote. Remember your soldiers overseas risking their lives for our rights of Freedom. Remember all who practice and advocate free speech as our right of Freedom. What ever your belief, please vote. And then celebrate! Winners and losers! See you soon! Richard Marks, candidate for 1st District Assembly Seat 2008.
Just two days to go and I have heard enough scuttlebutt to give my two cents on the Humboldt major metropolis area council elections:
Alex Stillmann dominates with 35% of the vote. Am I the only one who remembers how radically Liberal she seemed in the 70’s? Thirty years later? Now, she is a middle of the road Democrat endorsed by the old guard. She gets the good old days vote.
Dave Meserve with 23% barely ekes by Mark Wheetley and Michael Winkler. Dave has not shied away from being High Profile on his personal beliefs on the war and this current administration. He is a brave leader. He helped my leading workers in the 90’s to better wages and working conditions not with words, but by action. I hope I am right.
Mike Jones is going to win by around 8%. Nan had a great crew out there for her cause. I am a personal friend of Mike, but I do sympathize with Nan’s cause for welfare to work people in the district. She is a 30 year union employee and I think she should have made this more public.
Larry Glass is going to sneak by Mary Beth by 4%. Larry has too many of us that have done business and have had positive experiences with him. I have seen signs and support from Republicans that know Larry! He is one of Eureka’s personalities that we all know. It was just a matter of time that he ran for public office. Yes, Larry is opinionated. But he likes dialogue from all sides. It is not a testimony against Mary Beth; it is just local history of Larry Glass.
Ron Kuhnel is going to pull a huge upset by 2%. Jeff Leonard was going to win this going away early in this campaign. OK. Ron is very smart. But he way personable also. And every person he talks to is walking testimony of his agenda. I really like Jeff and what he has done on the council, but he is running against a really good opponent.
And these are just projections from what I have heard. From Both sides of the political spectrum. Gripe after the election.
My wife and I went with friends to Arts Alive this Nov. 4th in old town. We saw tons of people. Robin and I continued our search for an art piece for our home that we feels personifies the North Coast. We agreed on three pieces at the 1st St Gallery just off the Gazebo. Two of them were NFS (Not For Sale) and the other was $5,000. Since we are middle class working Democrats, we will have to wait for the prints! My wife saw a piece at Flemmings Gallery for $650, but I was just not in agreement. I am more into bright colors with sharp contrasts (Jeff Jordan, Machado, Flatmo) and my wife is into more toned down acrylics. Our Quest continues. We saw Virginia Bass and Jeff Leonard on the Gazebo and of course Bonnie Neely. Bonnie was working a constant crowd around her even after 9pm. I did not see Nancy Flemming, but I am sure she was around. No Mike Jones anywhere? Jerry Droz? Tish Wilburne? Mary Beth Wolford? I said hi to Larry Glass who was sitting with Ron Kuhnel. Ron offered me food! Nan Abrams and Peter LaVallee were near by. One thing I noticed in common about all candidates? They all looked relieved that it was almost done. My hat is off to all for their time, effort and commitment to make our County a better place to live through public service! It is a thankless job and I hope that all candidates intentions are honorable! It was good evening. The weather was great!
I had to work down in the Bakersfield Area doing Union Organizing for a few years. There were times that I became homesick for Humboldt County. I know it sounds kind of corny, but it helped me to go to the local Vons (Southern California's version of Safeway. Keep it union.) and see the Lost Coast Brewery products with Duane Flatmo's highly recognizable artwork. Brought me closer to good thoughts of hot wings and India Pale Ale on a rowdy Friday night at the Lost Coast restaurant. Duane Flatmo Sculpture Gallery Robin and I talked with Duane at Lost Coast recently about a possible purchase in the near future for our house. Just a side note; Eureka Mayor candidate Jerry Droz was arriving while Robin and I were leaving Lost Coast. He came over and said hello and made comment about my involvement with Virginia's campaign. But he was cordial.
There was discussion today about rails and trails at the Citizens Port Development meeting today. I heard skepticism of the concept, but it is being done elsewhere. printer version : rails and trails : rails with trails Seems kind of crazy to me to put citizens in high risk peril situations with trains, but I am open to the idea if safety issues can be addressed. I think local trail advocates would just like the removal of the rail ties all together, as most people in the county have given up hope of future rail service. But if Proposition 1B is passed as is likely, there would be a chance to lobby for some of the windfall. Local rail advocate Moss Bittner says the time is now to contact all transportation related government entities and express the desire for monies to be earmarked for future Northern California rail development. So what are you waiting for? Get on the phone and call Spencer Clifton of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCOAG). That's a good start.
Recently I ran for Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor and knocked on a few thousand doors in the greater Eureka Area. The subject of the Balloon Track or Marina Center came up often. Even during my committee meetings we had my supporters chanting way to often, "I want a Home Depot." I personally felt it was a poor use of land near the bay. I was not passionate in my feelings, but the Home Depot element had me even signing a "Save the Waterfront" petition. To make a long story short, my message did not resonate in the 4th District. I told people it needed to be cleaned up and developed. After hearing many people, I will say these numbers are around where I thought they would be. The Eureka Reporter - Home I was also not surprised to see the old town merchants overwhelmingly supporting the project. This is better than what we have. Everyone who imagines the possibilities of pie in the sky Culinary Institute, Aquarium, Parks or such do not come up with creative private funding for any of their dreams and so we are now beholden to the Marina Center Project. Like it or not, Arkley owns the land. The project has been changed numerous times after public input. I want to see something built and so I will no longer oppose this project publicly. The up side is that hundreds of union jobs and apprentice training will be available for Humboldt County workers. Build on, and I will make that decision whether to shop Home Depot or not. Maybe it will go belly up from nobody showing up spending their money and then we can lobby for a waterfront softball field where the HD parking lot would be!
Bonnie Neely and Nancy Flemming will be spending well over $250,000 (that’s right, a quarter of a million dollars) in their battle for the Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor seat. A similar battle is going on with our neighbors to the east in Anderson. Shasta County is having a highly contentious 5 district Supervisor race. Les Baugh and Norma Comnick have raised only $90,000 between them! The Redding Rancheria donated $3,000 to each candidate keeping an even playing field. Still that leaves the Shasta candidates only $160,000 behind the Humboldt County contestants.
Kind of weird that our county that has 50,000 less people than Shasta with an average of $4,000 less a year per median income than Shasta, would need to spend this kind of money on the Supervisor position. Oh, just for the record, 10% more Shasta residents own their own homes than Humboldt. What is happening to Humboldt County? Or what is wrong? Is it Bonnie's fault? Will Nancy be able to solve our county woes? Guess we will find out soon enough. Just a side note: The Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee gives out $5,000 a pop for their chosen candidates. They really love their Republicans over there in Shasta.
But go figure this! Six candidates have raised $273,147 in the race for the three Redding City Council seats. They are way ahead of the Eureka challengers of three council seats. They will only be spending around $100,000. And over 25% of all monies donated in the City Council races are from Bill Pierson and Petrolia resident Ester Saunoras to the liberal candidates. And we were all led to believe that the right wing contributors would “buy” their candidates way to victory. The scale kind of tipped in the other direction.
This election is going to be crazy to the end I tell you!
Be careful driving over 299 between here and Redding. Byron Boyd Trucking has lost 5 trucks this last year due to accidents. One of them they had a truck turn a corner to fast and flipped the truck and trailer on top of a passenger truck going to the other direction. The little truck stood no chance. Speaking of bad traffic situation, they need to have a CHP park on the corner of 3rd and R street in Eureka and stop all the people who illegally and unsafely pass people approaching the Samoa Bridge. I am sure there are other areas that need attention in Humboldt County, but these are my areas of concern right now.
What is with some workers? I work at Evergreen Pulp which was before Samoa Cellulose, before that Stockton Pacific, before that Louisiana Pacific, and originally Georgia Pacific Pulp. I am working 24 hours overtime this week because of the lack of qualified replacements. And I am seeing all sorts of call ins the last few weeks. I last called in for an illness in 1990. Yes. 16 years ago! I just don't understand the call in concept. I would rather be sick at work and get paid! Oh, don't start on the , well you will make everyone else sick, I see these sick people showing up to work here all the time! If I feel miserable, what better place to show it! Joking aside. Evergreen is in need of workers who will be committed to our mill. The starting pay is just at about $17 an hour and goes up quickly from there. We are a union plant of 150 hourly workers who want to expand in the near future. 443-7511 for more information.
If you are at all interested in Humboldt County politics and especially Eureka for this election, Hank Sims really lets it all hang out in this weeks North Coast Journal. North Coast Journal October 19, 2006 : ON THE COVER : Will vote for...? (The Journal has not updated on line yet for some reason, but hopefully soon will.) I thought I was going to miss the Town Dandy, but what he did was even better. Kind of like the Town Dandy on steriods! Grab a copy and check it out. Lots of Nuts and Bolts type local political stuff.
I will make this short. The Eureka Reporter - Home Christopher Burgess was a 16 year old boy the system let slip through the cracks. He should have had a chance to enjoy adulthood. I am sure there is more to be heard. The facts are not in. He was just a child. Damn life can be too short. Why is this type stuff happening here? Wasn't that long when the Coopers Gulch incident developed. I do not know the answers, but we need dialogue to find reasoning.
The tragedy at Orick beach just ate me up most of the day. The picture of the mother of the 4 year old being consoled was just heartbreaking. You just never know what to expect of the ocean beaches from Moonstone north to Crescent City. My brother Mike had to save me from a sneaker wave at Trinidad when I was around 7. I was down for the count and he grabbed me just in time. He was maybe 12 at the time. We both could have been casualties. My sons and I spent countless hours on the Samoa Beach either playing in the surf, skim boarding or messing around on our Yamaha's on the shoreline, but the surf seems less radical from the North spit to Clam beach. Wish I could just take that moment in time away from both families in this event. It was just supposed to be a happy camping trip.
What a beautiful weekend! And I had to work for 7am to 7pm both days. Shift workers at Evergreen pulp work 4 day/night rotations of 12 hour shifts and then 4 days off. Not too bad except for when you have to work weekends and miss the activities.
“Big Mo” Mo Charlo is not on the Golden State Warriors roster anymore. Is he playing in the NBA developmental league?
Fortuna softball put on Prohibition? No beer? http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_4532913 Can you play softball with no beer? All joking aside, I have noticed a rise in violent confrontations in adult sports the last few years. I respect umpires Alan Mendes and Janet Harwood’s observations.
Brian Morrisey used Tract in describing the balloon…..well tract in the TS! Or track? Is it “track or tracts of my tears?”
Nancy Flemming was out on the Samoa Peninsula knocking on doors in my neighborhood. Missed me I was at work. She made a good impression on people in town I heard at work.
Gavin Newsom says he is ‘absolutely not convinced’ that he will seek another term for San Francisco Mayor. Huh?
Poll numbers from the SF Chronicle’s Matier & Ross: Arnold up on Angelides by 15%! Ouch. John Garamendi by 5% over Tom McClintock for Lt. Governor. Jerry Brown in landslide over Chuck Poochigam fo Attorney General. Close race between Cruz Bustamante and Steve Polzner for Insurance Commissioner. Debra Bowen is 2% ahead of Bruce McPherson for Secretary of state. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/22/BAGMTLTPDE1.DTL
I was at work today at the Evergreen Pulp Chip dump. A Virginia Bass sticker was on one of the windows (No, I did not put it there, but there are quite a few chip trucks in the area with them on.) and a truck driver from Eureka said he had already voted absentee. This is just your average joesixpack type who drives truck and is a stock car driver. (If you think you can narrow him down, think again, there are many truck drivers who drive stock cars believe it or not.) He voted for Jerry Droz for mayor. He also voted for Nancy Flemming for Supervisor and explained how she listened to truck drivers concerns about driving in Eureka while she was mayor. He could not remember who he voted for in the city council race. I brought up all the name options and he just could not remember. I decided not to even get into the other election items. There you go folks, the average joe voter. Go figure.
I definitely feel that Virginia Bass was the best on this forum. She seemed well prepared and looked right into the camera while delivering her message. I found some of Peter comments entertaining. He was asked on what he had done to bring in jobs that pay a living wage. He pointed out big box Target! What was he thinking? He also talked about proposed jobs. When talk came up about a police review board Peter said that after the Cheri Moore incident that people were "gun shy" about the subject. Couldn't he find better words to describe this? Droz has this great idea of planting redwood tress down the Broadway, but anyone who has had a redwood tree on their property knows that would be a toughy. All in all it was a good watch.
I do not like what the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) has morphed into. And I am a lifelong participating Humboldt County Democrat!
My mother was a single parent union member and die hard Democrat. I lived in a neighborhood (Myrtle town) that had many working class union Democrats. My male role models were Democrats. In 1975 I registered as a Democrat while a member of the Retail Clerks union. I have been an active community volunteer on the Samoa Peninsula since my wife and I moved out here in 1980 either as a youth or adult sports organizer director. I am currently on the Samoa Peninsula Fire District Board and also on the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services Board of directors.
My wife Robin, (Also a lifelong Humboldt Democrat with parents the same. Dad and Granddad union members.) decided to run for the Peninsula Union School District Board in 1987 and won by a landslide using a door to door campaign. She was then elected President of the board for 5 of her 7 years on the board. She is currently the Business Agent for the district. My wife and I have always participated in the process of elections through voting and have supported Democrats in local politics.
In 1995 I came home from swing shift 3pm to 11pm and watched the news that showed the candidates for the Democratic party running for the 1st District Assembly seat. They were meeting at the “Chicken by the Sea.” I heard rhetoric that had nothing to do with working type democrats like myself. I told my wife I was going to run against these four Democratic “outsiders” and stump real working class issues. I spent a few thousand dollars of my own, but was able to address real issues of the working class. Alas, I lost, but I garnered almost 10% of the vote and maybe have cost past Congressman Doug Bosco a chance for the position. It was an overall positive experience. One of the women running in the 1st District race was Karen Scott. She convinced me to join the local Democratic Central Committee and help from the inside. I took her advise and joined the HCDCC.
I was in fact a member of the HCDCC from 1995 to 2000. The first campaign I helped was as part of Virginia Strom Martin’s successful election committee against Margie Handley in 1996. (Margie had beat Bonnie Neely in a landslide for the Republican representative in the 1995 primary.) I was selected as a delegate appointee by Virginia representing the HCDCC 4th District. I later helped in elections as precinct captain, walker and monitor. I phone-banked for Democrats. I collected signatures to put Mike Thompson on the ballot for Congress. I spent time chairing for the HCDCC at the North Country Fair in Arcata and the Humboldt County fair in Ferndale. My wife and I started renting out the Samoa Women’s Club out of our own pocket for the HCDCC Chicken by the Sea. We not only did set up and clean up, we ran the bar. It was my own personal BBQ that was used by Tom Osuna to cook the chicken!
In 1998 I was asked by members of the HCDCC to run for the 4th District Supervisor seat held by Bonnie Neely. Our philosophy then was to run any and all candidates from the Democratic party willing to go out there and try. I was unanimously endorsed and had many members of the HCDCC help me and serve on my committee. We came up a few hundred votes short but forced Bonnie and Eureka City Councilman Lance Madsen to campaign hard. She outspent us by a huge amount.
I stepped down from the HCDCC when I started working as a union organizer for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW). I served a 5 year term and last organized on payroll in July of 2004. In 2003 I led the largest successful Industrial union drive in the nation at Dart Container in Corona, California. That victory brought in over 600 people for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC). I had many other successes on smaller levels in Utah, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Northern California. Too many years on the road left me home sick, so I came back home to Samoa.
I picked up the paperwork early in the year of 2006 to run against 2 Republicans running for 4th District Humboldt County Supervisor. I left messages with both the Chair of the HCDCC Patrick Riggs and Democracy Unlimited representative Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap letting them know my intent. I heard from neither for weeks. I went to the HCDCC headquarters on a whim before I was to finalize my paper work and formally announce my campaign. Patrick Riggs, Larry Evans, Richard Salzman, David Cobb, Larry Glass and all the other suspects showed up for a Save the Waterfront meeting and just assumed I was there for that. When they finally figured out who I was, I was escorted out of the meeting room by Patrick. I explained to him why I was running and he seemed all right with my intent. He said I could come to the next HCDCC and speak. So I showed up and spoke at the next meeting. Mr. Riggs had told people this was first he had heard of me? Why did he keep my intent to himself? Was it because he and others on Local Solutions had already pledged their support to Bonnie Neely, a Republican? I did not recieve their nomination.
Then the rumors started to fly throughout the HCDCC. Richard Marks is being recruited by Robin Arkley to split up the vote to help Nancy Flemming. Richard Marks filed his paperwork way late. A vote for Richard Marks is a vote for Nancy Flemming. And these rumors were coming from my fellow democrats and not the “evil” Republicans? And then the kicker came, Democrats for Neely? Is that telling people she is a better Democrat than me? This was not an affront to Nancy Flemming the Republican.
And now the HCDCC is endorsing Democrats over another. Not once but 3 times as of late. So yes, there you have it. I do not like what the HCDCC has become. I still am registered as a Democrat. Sometimes I wonder why. Ideology wise I seem to be aligned with most Democrats. They do not respect their own, so they have lost my respect.
My wife Robin and I went to the Eureka City Council meeting tonight to hear some of the CREG testimony. I had to work Friday night so I missed their open house at the Warfinger. I was just a little disappointed as we did not hear any great overviews of the meeting. "There was a great 20 minute introduction of options and like it was positive and like showed options and like stuff like that ......." I was hoping for something with more substance. Oh well. I did get a chance to hear Daniel Pierce address the Council about the possibility of steroid abuse by the Eureka City police force. (Steroids or Donuts? You be the judge.) He was booed before his three minute allotment was over and I feel Peter LaVallee should have admonished the crowd and allowed Daniel to finish. Mr. Pierce did make an interesting point about the officers in the Cheri Moore debacle. Did the police force workers who were put on administrative leave have to be drug tested. If an industrial worker is in an accident or a motorist for instance has a catastrophic accident, they are bound by law to a mandatory drug test. Is law enforcement held to the same testing standard. I really do not know. Maybe they are. Made us ponder the accusation.
Why is it such a surprise to many on the blogs of Bonnie Neely's involvement with Richard Salzman? I have seen people almost threaten slander considering this subject. Let me put the controversy to rest right here. Richard Salzman is helping Bonnie's campaign and has been helping since early in the primary. It has in no way been a secret. I have witnessed his assistance myself. Call over at Nancy Flemmings office and they will tell you the same. Why would Bonnie even think about using Salzman? Why not? Richard helped Jill Geist win the 5th District seat. He helped Chris Kerrigan retain his City Council position. Not only did he thwart the re-call Paul attempt, he helped Paul get re-elected. And yes, he helped Bonnie Neely win the primary election. See a trend? Yes, they all have on thing in common. Victory in the polls. The average voter does not have a clue who Richard Salzman is. Only those in the serious political cicle even know of his involvement. Richard is a good political strategist and knows what needs to be done to win a campaign. And let's face it, most politicians desire to win at any cost! I do not begrudge nor do wonder why Bonnie has not distanced her from Salzman. Not too many really care. Or do they? Call Bonnie up and see. Might be interesting.
I was on the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) golf tournament committee recently and promised to put a team in the competition. Just a few logistics problems. I was working from 7pm to 7am Friday night the 13th and had to help set up the tournament at 7:30am Saturday morning. I had my outdated equipment ready and hit just a few balls before joining up with my team for the 8:30am shotgun start. I was absolutely brutal. My team of Dave Damme, Steve and Trevor Scott were well entertained of my ineptness. We found out it was a straight scramble with no handicaps figured, so my team was at a huge disadvantage dragging me around the course. When we returned to clubhouse after 1:30pm, the leaderboard had us tied for 2nd at 10 under par! We had no bogeys. It was fun and raised money for a good cause. I think it was the first time I hiked 18 holes in over 5 years. I will have to do it again some time in the future. This time of the year I will stick to basketball until the sun starts showing up again. Oh yes, I had to be at work at 7pm that night the 14th for a 12 hour shift. It was not a pretty sight. But I would do it again!
Seen it with my own eyes today. Justin Zabel had the Mercer Fraser crew starting the clean up process with a large group of local teenagers doing the tedious garbage pick-up today on the balloon track. Wow, do they have a huge task ahead of them. I have always said that action speak louder than words, and so any physical move forward is great as far as I am concerned. I think it is time for Citizens for Real Economic Growth (CREG) to really start serious dialogue with Security National. I hope Bill Pierson's financial contributions to some of the left slate candidates doesn't interfere with their judgment of open discussion. It will be seen soon enough. Whatever your feelings, it is good to see clean-up a reality.
The Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Humboldt Association of Realtors and the Humboldt Business Exchange held a candidate forum for the 1st Ward candidates for City Council and for Eureka Mayor. I will rate and comment on the 1st Ward candidates but I will not rate the Mayor race as I serve on Virginia’s campaign committee and so it would not be fair. I will make some observations though. Start the arguments!
1st Ward Candidate’s ratings:
1. Larry Glass: He seemed loose and personable and cheerful when in an open audience. He answered the limited time residence question well and pointed out the need to focus on public safety. He felt a lot of local issues flowed through safety. He has been studying the budget and wants to cut waste, but not for the sake of safety. He said he wants the public to be part of the process on the balloon track and if the public wants a mall or a polo field, he will go with the public majority. He has not felt city government has been readable at times, and promises “transparent” processing. He would like to once again address the parking problems of old town. Is for small business incubator plans to give direction to those businesses. Wants to promote tourism and would like the removal of Dams to help fishing on the North Coast. Unabashed tree hugger. His words. Democrat.
2. Mary Beth Wolford: looked great on the KEET debate, and not so good in the open forum. She made a comment on the majority of the police and fire department calls going for the balloon track and had Larry shaking his head no, and Peter LaVallee later saying there were very few calls out there. She also made the comment about parking not being a problem in old town. And she lives down there? She did not really touch on real issues at all. She likes the energy of our people and wants a healthy community. Liked the Meth film on KEET. That was about all as a message. She was not prepared for this venue. Democrat.
3. Tish Wilburne: Less government is the message from Tish. “Government has failed.” She does not like handouts given to people and says people should get off their butts and go get jobs. She would like to see old cars racing in the Redwoods to bring in people. She is soliciting yacht builders currently. Felt Humboldt County attracts some of its problems through government handouts. Libertarian.
Observations of Mayor Candidates:
Jerry Droz: Says the crime rate of Eureka is double the national average and brought graphs to illustrate. Felt people lived in fear and confusion in Eureka. Feels public process was important on all issues. Jerry said we needed to capitalize on a Redwood tree theme by planting them along Broadway and to have Redwood theme area with a huge stump. (Good days of the old Stump house remembered by us old timers here. Jerry is new to the area.) He said he will take no bribes and it isn’t who has the most or biggest signs.
Peter LaVallee: Felt that he had been a good leader and facilitated a huge public process forum of 1,100 at the municipal auditorium about the LGN plans successfully. Talked about how the rail was important, but was not going to happen in the next four years. Felt the homeless problem was “multi –faceted” but did not elaborate. He thinks we need to repair infrastructure to create jobs. He commented we do not have a competitive or prepared local work force. Peter then made a comment that 1 out of 4 high school students in the area graduate with a degree. And claimed he was given this information from city schools. 25%? C’mon, that is not even close. I think the figure is under 10% so one of us is way off. So, we should just give up and go on the government dole? What is he saying or trying to say? He made a claim about making the deciding vote to not give LGN exclusive rights and was corrected by Virginia and Mary Beth that he did not understand the motion he voted on. Peter also made claim on helping the Steamfitters garner prevailing wage on a public works job. No, by law they are assured prevailing wage. Peter did not serve as their agent to secure that. Sid Berg of the Steamfitters would have to do that. You can not take credit for union workers getting what is do them by law! Virginia challenged him to state what he has done the last for years, and he came up with no answers.
Virginia Bass: “We need a can do attitude and local businesses need to grow! We need to remove barriers.” Virginia said she would never take sides to an issue until she had all facts. She pointed out that 91% of the residents in Eureka can not afford to buy a home and would like to reverse that trend. She also would like to see code enforcement and more police available to hire. Virginia is concerned about the local political division and says we need unity to reach our potential. She also spoke of her long ties to the community.
There were plenty of others who saw this forum. Comment away. Please identify who you are if you do comment.
Peter LaVallee is once again in the spot light in the The Eureka Reporter - Home. Are they paranoid about fair unbiased reporting? Everyone says the Reporter in Arkley's vehicle. Bonnie Neely and Peter were on the cover just a few days ago? And what about this front page fluff piece by the Bully Pulpiteer James Faulk Times-Standard Online - 'The girls' add joy to Neely's busy day. Then a later story in the health section covering Peter's health issues? What gives. The Time Standard is showing biased for the left slate that is for sure. But it seems the Reporter is going overboard to placate the left as far as I see it. Aren't both papers supposed to give fair and balanced reporting?
Two undefeated teams duked it out in football in Pop Warner double "A" at a packed Cutten field. The two teams fought hard and were tied at half time at 0-0. Alex Puzz had thrown a ball in the end zone that came up just short for the McKinleyville Panthers right before the break. The Panthers were smaller and used a passing attack, which is unusual at that age. Alex was running for his life most of the time trying to avoid the bigger and faster Eureka players. The Eureka Foresters were using good old power running. The Foresters coach Jr Bean's son went down with a neck injury due to a face mask in the second half that caused an intermission to take precaution and ambulance him away to the hospital. The teams ended regulation at 6-6 tie and so here came overtime! The Forester's had the ball first form the 10? and they scored on 4th down. The Panther's had a chance to tie and drove the ball to the 1 foot line on the forth down. They ran for it and came just short for the potential tie! What a game. Late in the game the Forester's fans were yelling "Offense" while the Panther cheerleaders (Must have been 20 of em) yelled back "Defense" it was great local sportsmanship. Kudos for Rex Bohn and his crew for letting the kids of Humboldt County use this facility for football! There were hundreds out there enjoying the best of Humboldt County weather. And what would be a better venue for our youth? And parents and relatives.
The politicians had a great row at the Gazebo tonight! Bonnie Neely was next to Ron Kuhnel who was next to Jeff Leonard who was next to Virginia Bass who was hoofing it into the crowd. Nancy Flemming was stationed in her headquarters with a great spread of food and drink. Mike Jones was mingling with his wonderful wife Susie. No Peter. No Nan. What gives? Paul and Joan Gallegos were the first ones Robin and I ran into. They were childless and I hope they had a good night on the town. He was worried on how I felt post election wise on my campaign. Paul has always done that to me. Never said any thing about his personal concerns. He really wanted to talk about my place in life. I know he pisses so many people in Humboldt County off in so many levels. I have had nothing but positve experiences with Paul and Joan. OK Rose, have a field day with how much he is using me. But why is he nice to me? What has he to gain or me? Nothing!
Let me rank how my wife Robin and I thought the Eureka City Council Debate went on Wednesday. We argued and jabbed but here is how we felt:
1. Mary Beth Wolford- She was the most professional and well spoken candidate. Why was she the only candidate that brought up the pre-approved floor plans for development. This is a big issue to people who want Eureka and affordable housing to be streamlined. Oh yes, she is a life long Democrat.
2. Tie Ron Kuhnel and Jeff Leonard- They both showed they new city processes well. Ron is well spoken but where exactly did he stand on some issues such as the Marina Center? Never really answered, but I will say he is smart! Jeff explained and has been involved in the city processes that give him an advantage to most people. Too bad two fellow Democrats are battling for the same seat. Does Ron feel Jeff is doing a bad job?
4. Mike Jones-He was almost moderate. He sounded like me growing up in Eureka. Paper route, fishing the bay, growing up Eureka.......wait Mike swiped my campaign stump! Wait , no, he swiped my childhood! Republican
5. Larry Glass- He is for change. Yes he made that point. For what though. He wants government to be transparent. What does that really mean? He needs to qualify that statement and say what he has a gripe about. And yes, he needs to smile and seem approachable. (My wife made this comment.) Democrat
6. Tish Wilburne- She brought up real true thoughts and candid rancor. "If you don't like the laws, change them! Don't blame your City Council!" She needed to lighten up and be more of herself. I love Tish and her honesty. Libertarian
7. Nan Abrams- Seemed nervous, which is to be expected. But she also seemed unprepared. I saw her at the Port Development forum and expected more. She needed to be more versed on some of the subjects and needed to take an angry edge off. She is a long time union member and a Humboldt County worker in the trenches with the welfare to work program. Democrat
Statically the incumbent always has the advantage in an election. It is the job of the challenger to prove one of two things.
1. The Incumbent is incompetent and needs to be replaced.
2. That the challenger has new innovative ideas for change.
We do not feel that any of the challengers convinced us to support them in their efforts to replace the incumbents. We own property in Eureka and feel our opinion is valued. Eureka is the County seat and the economic center of Humboldt County and what takes place in Eureka affects all Humboldt County citizens.
If you have any comments let me add that we have been open and "transparent." Please post with your real name. Or you are a weiner. My wife did not say that. Samoasoftball did!
And he wanted to let me know that all of his signs were made union by Withan and Dickie out of Portland. Some signs were inadvertently left without the union "bug" but they rectified the problem. I have had a casual relationship with Larry as a long time costumer (I am the consummate Humboldt County consumer) as well as my wife and children. Had great music advice and many pleasant experiences with "The Works." We talked about how hard it is to run a "grass roots" campaign and work full time. It is a great commitment and takes it's toll, that is for sure. Speaking though of signs, I have noticed a great amount of vandalism this race on signs. Way more than the primary. What gives?
But not successfully. After taking a 6-0 lead in the 2nd inning, the Murphy boys only mustered 2 hits the next 5 innings and lost 12-6 to some team from the valley. Oh well. We got shirts and stuff for runnerups. We beat a team from Salem, Oregon 7-4 to reach the championship game. We were 5-0 going into the last game and had out scored our opponents around 60-12 along the way. Jackson Kirscher and Chris Pence were phenomenal up the middle. Matt Socha pitched great and we committed very few errors as a team. We have one of the most level headed calm teams around. A great group of guys. It really is a compliment for us just to be able to compete with these teams that play every weekend down south. We only get a few shots a year at these people. We may play in the WSA world series tournament in a few weeks. Wish us luck!
I was at Cal Courts Tuesday for noon time basketball. I have been playing with the same basic core of players there for years. We usually just talk about life issues and I was surprised the topic strayed to Paul Gallegos and the story in the Eureka Reporter. The Eureka Reporter - Article Man there were some hot people over this one. I later went to work and people at my workplace were up in arms there also. I haven't seen that much emotion out of people about a local political issue for some time. After the Times Standard was scooped once again, they answered with this article: Times-Standard Online - DA's office: State OK'd handling of plea deal I see on my fellow blogs that the issue has been heated. Eric Kirk came out looking pretty stable as he asked for patience to see the story further carry out. But here is my take looking from the outside, what is in it for the tribe to give Paul $10,000? Is it for his good works or what? I want to know the underlining motivation for Leonard Bowman to push for the endorsement. It sure does not look good from my vantage which I admit is limited. Steve Lewis says that Bowman did not have the majority tribal agreement for a campaign contribution. Is this really the case? Was everything done in order? It has been a crazy last few months after this heated election. Will things ever settle down for Paul? I guess we will have to wait and see. If there was a recall election tomorrow, it would be very interesting to say the least.
A thru Z sports Home Page is hosting the Wall Ball Invitational this weekend at Big League Dreams in Redding! Big League Dreams - Sport Parks It is like a great big softball junkies party. I will see friends from all over the valley and we will swap the latest softball war stories while trying to create more. The mighty Murphy's/Humboldt's Finest team won this tournament last year and we hope to successfully defend our crown.
I recently attended an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Industrial Workers of the World One Big Union! meeting at the Labor Temple in Eureka. One of the focus of the meeting was to start organizing drives here locally. There are a few targets that should become public in the near future. One thing that I saw while leaving was a few signs up on the front lawn of the Temple that were made non union! I will not name them, but one is in the window of the Carpenters (UBC) local 751. This should not happen at the Labor Temple. If the Central Labor Council or any individual union local that uses the Temple endorses a political candidate, make sure those candidates use union labor for their signs, or keep them off the property! Just my take.
Bonnie Neely, the champion of affordable housing through the creation of a Redevelopment agency in Humboldt County, votes no on continuing the process. What gives. The same person that has been pro-Redevelopment, who has been answering questions and lobbying for almost a year, is now saying it is a bad process. Yes, this is the process she has been over-seeing as chair. Yes, the one she has been lobbying on as the save all for the counties woes. If she had seen enough flaws in the process, why didn't she stop it months ago! She could have saved Humboldt County $500,000! Enough to pay all the County Supervisor's wages for over a year! Instead of standing up in the Supervisor's chambers and saying, "Redevelopment is for the good for the people of Humboldt county, and I am disappointed that the process has been stopped!" She took the easy way out and voted with the majority because of the public pressure and the fear of backlash at the polls. Sad that you can't stand up for you personal beliefs just to get re-elected. Oh, and for the record, I publicly chastised the process in the same chamber for it's inconsistencies 6 months ago! It should been stopped long ago. Thank you Roger Rodoni for saving us future tax dollars by ending this boondoggle. (You may have been able to do this earlier if the "horse you knew" didn't buck you off.)
Robin Carroll and I were married at the Church of Christ on I st on Sept. 16th 1978. Robin's Grandfather Eddie Carroll and father Bill were layman preachers for the Church. Robin Grew up in this church. Our reception was at the Olive Branch. The years roll by. We went to the North Country Fair in the early afternoon. The crowd was awesome! Thousands of people. We did some door knocking in the afternoon for Virginia Bass for Mayor and the response and weather was great. (Peter LaVallee seems to have upset a lot of people from what we are hearing at the doors. And I have hit a few hundred. One was a small business owner that was burned by Peter. Way to help small business Mr. Mayor!) We spent the evening with friends watching the USC-Nebraska game. Too bad I have to work tomorrow. The weather was too good!
Eureka City Council Candidates face off at Samoa Cookhouse
The Citizens for Port Development hosted a forum for the Eureka City Council candidates at the Cookhouse in Samoa on Wednesday the 13th. Third Ward incumbent Jeff Leonard was the first to give an opening statement, and feels Humboldt Bay is a big resource that needs to be taken advantage of. He pointed out the abundance of jobs in 1983 and would like to see the area grow with new development. Next up was First Ward candidate Tish Wilburne. In her opening statements she said she was there to say what is on her mind and to speak the truth, “There is NO port and rail development. It is not happening in my lifetime!” Citizens for Port Development members peppered her with questions on how she could qualify those statements, and moderator Kay Strickland had to step in and bring the meeting back to order. Nancy Abrams, candidate for the Fifth Ward seat introduced herself as “Nan.” She has lived in Eureka for 15 years after living in Fresno. She is a Social Welfare Counselor who helps people in Eureka through the Welfare to Work program process. She feels the success on her job depends on local business growth. She is a self admitted environmentalist who is running because she feels there is a “better way to do business.” Third Ward challenger Ron Kuhnel agreed with Leonard that the bay was a big resource. Concerning development, Kuhnel felt that there was a need to balance economic and environmental impact. As far as new business he felt the need to “learn, analyze, sympathize then act.”” If there are no jobs, there is no community.” First Ward candidate Larry Glass has been a local business owner for 35 years. He considers himself an environmentalist and long time advocate for rail perseverance. He actually jumped the rails to Santa Rosa in the 1970’s and described the beauty of the landscape. He feels the need of “fair and open transparent local government,” with no “deals in the backroom.”
Answering the first question as to how the candidates felt the community could grow business wise, Glass wanted no hidden projects that were being processed “out of view” and said the “community should set the standards.” Leonard pointed out that there were limited customers and transportation problems. “We need to find partnerships and use available loans.” Leonard then pointed out that, “Just because you use the public process, doesn’t guarantee you will get your way.” Ms. Abrams felt a local problem was a bad workforce that was limited and had social issues. She felt that may have contributed to Trader Joe’s not locating in Humboldt County. Ms. Wilburne stepped away from the front speaker area and sat with the audience instead of fielding questions on this issue.
The Marina Project was a question that brought up emotions from all the candidates and audience. Kuhnel said it is a work in progress. “There is a long way go. There has been no public process and it needs to be a collaborated effort to work.” Abrams said felt the traffic issues were important. “Broadway can not handle 4,000 additional vehicles a day.” She also felt the local public needed “to own in spirit” the process. Wilburne returned to the speaking area to express her wishlist of a polo field, dog park and model boat area. Leonard said he could not say yes or no to the project, but will follow the process to the end. “People are using the area illegally and we (the public) are paying for services we are not getting a return on. I want to see it usable.” Glass felt the public has been shut out of the process and used the opportunity to announce that the Citizens for Real Economic Growth (CREG) would be holding an informational public meeting concerning the Balloon Tract alternatives October 13 at the Warfinger building at the Eureka Marina. “If the Arkley project is what the public decides is best, I am fine with that. It is all about public input” Glass said.
From the audience, Security National (SN) representative Brian Morrissey said that traffic concerns would be mitigated and then challenged Glass to disclose finances from CREG polling expenditures. Glass said the money came from his own pocket. Glass asked Morrissey about other developers who had interest in the project area and was told no other developers had or have any interest in the Balloon Track. Another SN representative Randy Gans identified himself as a 32 year resident that wanted to know why the other 137 undeveloped available acres in the city of Eureka are not an issue. Glass answered that the other land was not prime area such as the Balloon Track.
Current Eureka City Council members Mike Jones of the Fifth Ward and Mary Beth Wolford from the First Ward were not present for the forum.
Citizens for Port Development Chair Kay Strickland ended the meeting with this statement, “Never give up on the railroad. Stay with the process.”