Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hail The Marina Center Project.

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!

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey the other Richard, Home Depot, Home Depot, Home Depot---if that is what is going in that area---then that is what will be there, plain and simple. Now a soft ball field is nice and dandy but they are like golf courses taking up all the land and no use for the land later. Come on--it's just a bounch of men still trying to be boys getting there macho beings out in thy dirt and green grass of their past. Time to move on in life with the body and mind that we still have and make future decisions like Men!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could put some light industry and open spaces there, after it gets cleaned up. Remember that Richard? Was it all just a show or did you mean it?

Brian Morrissey said...

So... is this an endorsement?

Anonymous said...

Depends. What are you running for?

samoasoftball said...

1:23pm Yes, I still want light industry. And yes, I still do not want a Home Depot. But I am not going to picket the place either. I will respect the current owners process. I do know that union labor is currently working at the balloon track and are hired by Arkley. How am I going to knock that. Brian, if that HD was signatory or at least offered a neutrality agreement for union representation, I would be all over the project.

Eric V. Kirk said...

Home Depot is union? Tell me more.

Eric V. Kirk said...

Oh, for the construction! Well, if that's the case I have to say that's one more good argument. Even bay area jobs are starting to go non-union or "two gater" these days.

I'd like to hear more about this.

Anonymous said...

You do realize, don't you, that once it's been rezoned and paved over it will never be cleaned up beyond that level?

The shortage of vision in this Arkley project, like a few others, is especially sad when you consider that he could do anything. He isn't expecting to make money on this anymore than they have on the Co-op. But he'll get to take a bite out of Pierson.

While realizing that so many people need employment here and prospects have not been promising, this isn't going to be beneficial to the county long term. I know that any privately funded proposal sounds good, but selling off your assets to the first bidder is short-sighted and more costly in the long run. What's wrong with getting some of our tax dollars coming into the county? Easier to match private funds and do something great with community buy in. Instead of what we have now, a community divided.

This project will be great for Arkley and some of the locals, but not for the majority, especially in the long run. Even though some don't yet realize it.

Anonymous said...

748 said
"This project will be great for Arkley and some of the locals, but not for the majority, especially in the long run. Even though some don't yet realize it."

Good thing we have elitist know it alls like you to show us rubes the error of our ways...Doh...I just KNEW we shouldve put an aquarium there. Admit it 748, it the name Arkley wasnt attached to it, you would be all for this project, and you probably are already, just dont want to admit it...revitalized wetlands, mixed use with housing, and yes a big box that sits FARTHER BACK FROM THE BAY THAN COSTCO...hope you dont have to shop at Costco 748, thatd be a tad hypocritical dont you think??? Oh thats right, the dreaded A team isnt involved so its ok...

Anonymous said...

"Selling your assets to the first bidder"....748, it wasnt their assets to sell, this was a privately owned piece of land, the new owners are going to clean up to the full requirements of the law. Its not as if anyone has been banging down walls to try and purchase this blighted haven for crime...

Anonymous said...

7:48pm
"This project will be great for Arkley and some of the locals, but not for the majority, especially in the long run. Even though some don't yet realize it."

You say nothing you can back. It may be the greatest thing for the majority that we have seen yet! Neither one of us can prove our claim until it happens.

Anonymous said...

Elitist because I may see something that you don't?

I've never championed the aquarium idea, nor would I have supported Costco going in where it is. I do, however, think that we can aim for a higher-use project with more benefit to the community than intra-county tax sales transfers. Or do you really think people will drive down from Crescent City and up from Mendocino County?

You don't have to be "elitist" to see the potential, but you do have to be able to see what's beyond your nose.

Anonymous said...

Greatest thing you have seen for the majority yet?

Perhaps, which isn't saying much.

Allowing the Master Planning process to be completed, as they did in Truckee, would have shown whether there were better options. It also would have allowed the community to come together.

The developers care more about their personal agendas than whether it's ultimately good for the county. Remember, we're just "the crappy people who live here" according to Arkley (T-S 10/30/06)

Eric V. Kirk said...

You do realize, don't you, that once it's been rezoned and paved over it will never be cleaned up beyond that level?

And specifically, what are the consequences of that in this case?

Anonymous said...

Eric, we have a priceless opportunity to clean this parcel beyond the minimum required for their big box/mixed-use proposal. Once it's capped, my understanding is that it's highly unlikely we'd ever see more actual "clean-up".

That prevents anyfuture higher-use developments. Looking at the lifelines of paved over malls around the country, even just here in this state, how long do they last? Do they stand for generations, like our historic homes and office buildings? Or do they deteriorate into blights within decades?

This Marina Center plan is proposed to be built ON ONE OF THE LAST UNDEVELOPED PARCELS ON THE CALIFORNIA COAST. This is the best they could come up with? I thought Rob was proud of hiring the best and hte brightest. Guess that's a misconception.

Anonymous said...

If Arkley was so certain that the original plan was the very best Eureka could do/deserved, why has the plan changed so many times?

And why is the hated big-box the only element he won't consider changing???

Anonymous said...

7:40 Have you bee ASLEEP? Hello!!

The 'original plan' was a concept-offered to the public for their input and ideas of what THEY would like to see at Marina Center.

The 'concept' had an anchor much like Sears was at the original Mall and that was a fight back in the day.

The PUBLIC actually hasn't come up with a better anchor idea-(if you look at volumn of complainers and take into account where they live as well). Citizens of Eureka have been asked over and over in a variety of ways, what they think of not only Marina Center but Home Depot too-its a good healthy majority that really really are looking forward to having more choices.

Anonymous said...

Actually the public has not be asked in an un-biased forum what we think.

Propaganda mass mailings sent by Brian Morrissey do not tell us much about what the public thinks, especially when the reply cards are all barcoded so they can track who is replying to them and do who knows what with any responses they don't like. Brian Morressey telling us there is consensus is totally suspect. He is paid to do that.

Polling done by the Humboldt Business Council, CREG, or Arkley do not tell us ANYTHING.

We need the City Council to actually serve the people who elected them and we need THEM to come up with a process to determine what people want.

Oh and we need our elected officials to acknowledge it when they receive gifts from the developer. How do you feel about your candidate now Richard? Can you honestly tell us that if this story had come out about Bonnie or Nancy that you would have sat idly by, twindling your thumbs and claiming that it is no big deal? Of course not, so don't be a hypocrite now.

Anonymous said...

9:22 Are you one of the desperate about to be losers in this election? It would be good to take your acid reducers and heart medication so you don't hurt yourself having a tizzy.

The public process for over 30 years was to sit idly and wait for something to happen on that Waterfront property we so quaintly argue--should it be caled Balloon Track or Balloon Tract-as if we own it...

Oh yeah, there were a bunch of studies that were paid for with tax payer money, put on shelves to be forgotten and get dusty.

The Arkleys offered to buy the property and give it to the city-where were you then? Where was the public process you speak so highly of?

You call sending out concept drawings and asking for input-propaganda??

Where are the torches, the tar and feathers for Brian if there is outrage over their efforts? No, not everyone sees things through your lense.

The "A" team seems to be quite hardy and ready for expansion-it just may be there is something at Marina Center you would like (and there is a lot to like).

Anonymous said...

You're making my point. Where have our elected "leaders" been?? Big, fat, no where.

They have put us at the mercy of any developer who comes along. Now we're all supposed to be greatful that something is happening? No thanks. I don't like grovelling, it gets my knees dirty.

Greg said...

We are all waiting for the next step in the review process. The city's scoping session received a lot of input. For example, see page 5 at http://nthmp-history.pmel.noaa.gov/senatec.pdf.

So far, we have seen over-the-top PR, but what about facts? Whatever happens to the BT, let's hope it is reality based. That means risk management. Have you forgotten the photos of the tsunami damage in the Indian Ocean, or the liquifaction damage from the SF quake? The coast of Eureka is at high risk for BOTH situations.

Anonymous said...

The fact that prior councils sat around doing nothing, while Flemming was mayor!, doesn't speak to what was finally started.

The Master Planning process had been begun and this council, after Arkley called 4 council members on top of Union Pacific contacting all of them, killed it. Leonard made the motion and all but Kerrigan voted to end the PLANNING PROCESS. Despite enormous public comment against it.

Look to Truckee to see a community that had a developer who pledge to build whatever the community wanted. Since 2004, when our council killed our planning process, they've begun thier Planning Process and moved ahead with a united community. They will break ground long before we do. With mixed public and private funds it cost their community about $50k.

That's what our part of the Master Planning Process cost would have been. For that cost, which was said to be too high, we could be united and moving forward instead of in this condition with the community being torn apart again like it was during the Wal-Mart fight.

samoasoftball said...

I have never been big and passionate about this subject. Mostly this was and will be a Eureka City Council issue. It was not really one of my stumping items. I was more economic resource concerned, and the affects of shipping out our raw resources without actualizing finished products. I was worried about how we could grow an economy without providing new jobs in the manufacturing /technology sector. Service based jobs I feel are about tapped out unless we find other venues of employment.

I digress. I guess I am willing to take advantage of picking the low hanging fruit (The union jobs provided immediately with the Marina Center project) than banking on highly speculative random ideas that seem to always lead back to the original first ideas. I want to see progress and am now actually witnessing that. It has now become a private land owner issue and all I stated is a that I would no longer publicly hinder their process. The public had a chance a few years ago. Where were they then?

And if this is just an Anti Arkley commentary, then let's call it what it is.

mresquan said...

Richard, the current council squashed the public process a few years ago. And the council before that squashed the proposal that the public was okay with. Try not to buy everything the pro-marina center folks are trying to manipulate. The public has been interested and have desired a say in what goes on there for years.

Anonymous said...

Richard, I've seen that most discussions about previous city councils leave out the fact that they studied accepting the Arkley's gift of the Balloon Track-it was not feasible for the city of Eureka to go on the title which would then put them in the responsible for cleanup category.

It was a liability issue they could not undertake-saddeling the citizens of Eureka with a multimillion dollar cleanup and the possibilities for litigation were endless.

A private developer coming in with their own money and the ability to tackle that cleanup and take responsibility for any future discovery of futher toxic condition is a godsend.

Eric V. Kirk said...

Eric, we have a priceless opportunity to clean this parcel beyond the minimum required for their big box/mixed-use proposal. Once it's capped, my understanding is that it's highly unlikely we'd ever see more actual "clean-up".

That prevents anyfuture higher-use developments. Looking at the lifelines of paved over malls around the country, even just here in this state, how long do they last? Do they stand for generations, like our historic homes and office buildings? Or do they deteriorate into blights within decades?


Mark L. made this point today. Although, laws could change. But you can't assume that.

Still, I want to hear more about the leeching dangers.

Eric V. Kirk said...

9:22 Are you one of the desperate about to be losers in this election? It would be good to take your acid reducers and heart medication so you don't hurt yourself having a tizzy.

Actually, I heard today that internal polling has Glass and Kuhnel ahead, with Abrams and La Vallee in question. But the accuracy of local polls is always in question.

Anonymous said...

10:47 Greg if you are gonna haul out the tsunami theory of why not to clean up and develop BT-HAHAHAHAHA!

Your problems are going to be much greater than toxins that might have got swept under the cap! What an idiot. Who is going to freakin' care about what is/was on the ground when their house that used to be near Marina Center is in Hoopa? F%$#@!

samoasoftball said...

I remember when Cottage Garden Nursery was in Myrtletown. Enough pesticides and toxins under those grounds than most anywhere around Humboldt County. Nearly 25 years later there are homes built all over right on top. I wonder if all these people are suffering from all sorts of health problems, and if they are , why don't we hear about them? If we top all the heavy metal toxins with concrete, what will the leeching possibilty be? What will be the agent that causes these metals to make there way to the bay? The same if we just leave as is and just let it sit there undeveloped. Greg did make a point earlier of the earthquake liquidating of land concern, but we have that problem regardless unless we take the soil down that far and replace it. That would not be financially feasible I am sure. I wish I had the solutions for a quick cheap clean-up fix. Hearing of Dioxens in and around Humboldt Bay leaves me concerned like most others here.

samoasoftball said...

Eric: Heard any scoop on poll numbers for Neely-Flemming?

Anonymous said...

No , but the best thing that could happen is to NOT have "NEEDLE NEELY" win . She's been a failure for 20 years and thanks to , Jerry Droz for exposing where these elected officials work ( RCAA ) it's obvious we need a regime change .

Eric V. Kirk said...

Nothing.

Polling in Arcata has Stillman ahead with a three way tie for second.

Thing is, polling on a local level is notoriously inaccurate. During the Gallegos recall the Gallegos people were depressed about polling data they were getting, and we all know what happened there.

Greg said...

9:13. Patience. Liquifaction and Tsunami risks can be managed. But would you rather have the issues discussed before construction, or after a catastrophic event like a tsunami or an earthquake? You can choose for yourself - but not for the public. It's up to the government to protect the public. Does this help you understand?

Anonymous said...

Richard,

I can understand the appeal of low-hanging fruit. But let’s not forget what happens after that has been picked.

I agree that we need to look at ways to grow our economy by adding value to raw resources. Some manufacturing and technology would be good, too.

The status of the property hasn’t changed, it’s been privately owned for decades. So it isn’t a “private land owner issue”, but it is being spun that way. This is about the fact that this is Public Trust Land. “The public trust doctrine in the United States evolved from English common law after the American Revolution, according to an overview by the California State Lands Commission. Each successive state that entered the union became the trustee of the tidal lands and property under bodies of water like lakes, streams or bays.” T-S 10/30/06.

So this is only about Arkley as much as it is about him trying to deny the citizens their rights.

Leonard was happy to sell our rights at the October 2004 council meeting after being called by Arkley and told that he didn’t want the community’s Master Planning Process to continue. Jones “quickly” seconded the motion and all but Kerrigan voted in favor of ending a process that had been unanimously supported by the council, mayor and community.

We could be moving forward with a community united (look at what Truckee has done in the same time for less money, and with less divisiveness) instead of being torn apart again like we were over Wal-Mart.

Oops, almost forgot – Nancy and the Arkleys were big Wal-Mart backers. Yeah, they’ve done a lot to bring the community together. Are we united in support of a collective their “vision” yet?

Anonymous said...

The words "a collective" were supposed to have lines through them.
The strike-out didn't transfer, I guess.

Anonymous said...

All the discussion about highest and best use for the Balloon Track reminds me of things Larry Henderson used to say--you know what highest and best use was to him in those days?

Well after a thorough cleanup to edible dirt-he wanted a trailer park.

Yep, that would create a lot of jobs!

samoasoftball said...

The public is still a big part of this equation. The zoning issue will be faced in the future. Will we see further mitagating for further improvements? I guess we all will see in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Tsunami risks can be managed?

Are you nuts?

But you can't let fear over something that might happen in the future keep you from doing something or you'll never leave your house.

Tsunami risks can be managed - hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

The public is being allowed to comment through this Permitting process, but we've been shut out of plannning. That's the big theft.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The public is being allowed to comment through this Permitting process, but we've been shut out of plannning. That's the big theft.

7:51 AM


The plans for Marina Center have changed seven times-becasue the developers have taken keen interest in those comment cards coming in. A lot of ideas submitted were discussed and the actual plans went through revisions.

The public isn't being left out unless you choose not to participate.

Anonymous said...

Think of the development process as a kind of journey. The community, it's opinions and even it's laws are the forest which must be traveled through by the developer. Of course, it's a journey for the entire community as well, particularly when a development project is big, because the project will affect others. There will be more wagons on the road through the woods. It may take more time to get by the development location than before. Maybe lots of things will happen. Never mind what. Just remember, the developer gets to decide if we go on a journey, not the public. The developer will avoid getting lost in the woods of the community's government, opinion and laws and we will all live happily, ever after!

samoasoftball said...

6:52- And how does that help my quest for ballfield near the waterfront? Oh, and am I the only one not at that Marina Center festival? Was there Prime Rib? They probably had Lost Coast IPA on tap with a buffet. Man! 2,500 people? And those are all signed supporters? Looks like the CREG people need to regroup.

Anonymous said...

As long as CREG keeps rolling those DUHC creeps like Cobb and Clapsadle on stage they are guaranteed to alienate most normal people.

Anonymous said...

At least Larry Henderson isn't running for office.

Anonymous said...

Richard-If you long for a ballpark near the waterfront-move to San Francisco.

No, that sounds like we don't like you and WE DO! Just take the ferry to the game at PacBell Park. Sit in the bleachers-get it out of your system.

Home Depot is a very SMALL price to pay for getting Marina Center. Lets just keep things in perspective-ok?

Anonymous said...

Softball field on the waterfront sounds very cool, and by cool I mean BRRRR!

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