I read this mornings news with great anticipation. The rumor mill at Evergreen Pulp has been at full operation concerning the purchase of Weyerhaeuser's Pulp mill in Cosmopolis Washington. Times-Standard Online - Evergreen weighs Washington mill purchase I became interested in this story about a year ago checking out the mill on line The Daily World. I was saddened to hear that a company that was making a profit was deciding to close an operation because it did not fit in their "core" business plan. Same thing Louisiana Pacific did to our pulp mill in the 90's. Since they were making a profit the employees wanted to put together an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) buyout. The company said the plant was not up for sale. The closing of this facility would be devastating for the Aberdeen Washington area. (It rains around 80 inches a year there if you are looking to relocate.) Local community leaders contacted the Governor and other politicos to help them do something to save the mill. The Daily World As far as Lee & Mann purchasing the plant, it seems unlikely but not out of the question. It is a small capacity mill that has to be converted to make the same product that we produce. I am not sure their production could be raised to a level to warrant the investment. They may decide to hit a different niche market and expand on their investments here in the United States. They were able to buy our mill for a relatively small price of 5 million, so they might be able to get another bargain. But only if Weyerhaeuser decides to sell. They have taken alot of negative publicity up that Washington way about their decision so you never know what may happen.
I used to do a newsletter for softball back in the 90's and it used to cause an uproar for my radical opinions. I t was sent to people all over Northern California. I became busy with union organizing and had to discontinue the project. My old computer upstairs had this last newsletter I did back in 2003. I am sure I will get some comments. Who knows, maybe I will start one again. Maybe a recap of the year 2006! Inside In this Newsletter 1. Best 10 of 2003 2. Fast Pitch re-visited 3. Re-rating the players 4. Tourney re-caps & Opinion Rating teams for Summer 2003 Here is my list of the top 10 teams from Humboldt County as of July 1st and why:
1. Tastebuds-Why: Only lost three games last two years in tournaments. Why not: Long ball will kill them on a short porch. They prefer the short game and are the best at it. Very good defensively. Is this really the Sun Valley Team in disguise? 2. James Hill Trucking-Why: Always causing havoc in tournaments. Why not: Who are they week to week? 3. Wise Flooring-Why: Seem the best in Eureka. Why not: Play a tournament or two. Get dirty! 4. Ray Wolfe Construction-Why: Game for every tournament. Any time/Any where. Bring it. Why not: They will even admit they are inconsistent. Ended up 7th in tough Red Bluff Invitational. 5. Babes Pizza- Why: I don’t care if the whole team is over 50! Great collection of solid players. Why not: Have lost a step maybe. Maybe not? 6. Pacific Towing-Why: Solid Defensively. Will keep all scores low. Why not: Need to score more runs and get some breaks. 7. Brew Crew-Why: Experienced and solid ex Stingers. Why not: Have these players lost the edge? Once were the best. 8. Young Guns/Matsen Insuranace-Why: Crazy young fearless players. Why not: Need to do small things to win. They are close to the top. 9. Pukes-Why: Been here a while. Why not: Have they lost interest? 10. Porter Street BBQ- Why: Beat all the best so far in wood bat! Why not: Still early in the season. Best Fast Pitch Teams and Pitchers. Recently there was a Fast Pitch Softball Tournament hosted by Sargent and Sons. They won the Tournament and left behind many memories of the history of the game past and future. Here are some of the clips through my eyes of the best teams and pichers through the ages: 1960s: Louisiana Pacific-Merle Annis 1970s: Rockin’ R-Bob Cinkle 1980s: Rockin’ R-Willie Brunton 1990s: Cutten Reality/Belchers-Brunton/Rick Borges 1995 on: Sargent and Sons-Billy Osbourne/Bobby Annis/Josh Sargent If you can think of any teams and pitchers from the past deserving, give a call.
Best Slow Pitch Players so far for 2003:
Catchers: 1. Jeremy Rasmussen- Good all around player. No nonsense. And good pitcher 2. Ryan Wolfe- Can anyone outhit him at this position? Not many. Pitchers: 1. Hank Cain-Best placement and definitely the best scout. He is watching you! Bat is way hot. 2. Marti Conti-Upsets hitters and umps! Good singles hitter. Has won more than his share of games. 3. Mickey Ayala-Just keeps getting better no matter the age. Still best glove up the middle. 4. Dave Damme-Power and plain seriousness. 5. Jacob Kadle-Moving up fast on the list! 1st Base 1. Jeff Frizell-Power and singles. Who knows what he will do. Don’t push and he will dominate the game. Once hit 5 hrs in one game. 2. Scott Cambell-Great Defensively and power. 3. Pat Moore-Defense and hitting, look out! 2nd Base 1. Mike Cyphers-Bat and glove working overtime this year. (Broken hand may end his run for 2003.) 2. Robbie Lawler-Solid, consistent defensive player. 3. Scott Rocha-Quickest glove around. 4. Scott St. John-Not flashy, just gets the job done. 3rd Base 1. Rex Green- Power and clutch plays. Would some one tell him his glove is on the wrong hand? 2. John McGinnis-Quick Glove and bat. Switch hitter with great power. 3. Andrew Lang-Long Ball and defense. SS 1. Tommy Lawler-Power, Speed, Defense and consistency. This is the best around. 2. Neal Barsanti-Same stuff, more power can play anywhere well. 3. Matt Jones-In two more years he is the best hands down in every catagory. Good fast pitch future. 4. Kirby Reninger-Those who know him will agree. Many say he is the best period. 5. Matt Socha-Best at any position he has played on any of my teams. Outfield 1. Eric Eichen-Scary. Good arm, glove, bat and head. 2. Jason Makie-Glove, arm, calm and maybe quickest bat around. 3. Sam Keyjar-Up and coming. Needs one position to call home. I know that there are a number of players I am overlooking. Players like Todd Gonsalves, Stacey Lyons, Ramy Dickinson, Scott Eskra, Ben Matthias, Glen Hamanaka, Dwyane Johnston, Greg Alora etc. and so on. I will add and subtract as the season goes on. Some early Tournament results for our locals: Eureka Preseason: Champs: Matsen Reality/Young Guns 2nd: Eagles Weaverville Memorial: Champs: Tastebuds 2nd: JHT 4th: tie Ray Wolfe Construction Mike Powers Invitational: Champs: JHT 2nd: Tastebuds 3rd: Pac Towing 4th: Brew Crew 2nd Division Champs: Ray Wolfe Construction 2nd: Homeplate 3rd: Matsen Reality/Young Guns
Arcata Garbage knocked Eureka Glass (The clear choice) out of the Arcata Metal Bat championships by the above score. They hit at least 6 home runs to our none. They were using a Miken Maniac and we had a Miken Freak plus. We asked about using a MikenUltra 2 and were told no. They had the better bat. They won. That is how it is in Arcata Metal Bat. It is a bat war. We put up 11 runs and were not in the running. I hope the Mad River Softball Board looks into this problem next year. Why is there only 5 metal bat teams and 27 wood bat? This is why.
Saw Manny and Mark Marquez at Angelo's Pizza today. Mark works in Orthopedic Equipment in the Fortuna area, Manny is in the Hot Tub and Pool business back east. Manny was visiting family for awhile. He says the harsh winters are getting to him. Both brothers played softball with me on the Everett's Bombers back in the 80's and early 90's. Mark was a very tough out in the 2 hole and had many great years as did Manny. We won many championships together. I have known both for many years as they both grew up in Samoa. It was nice to see them. Good guys.
Robin and I took her gray Pomeranian "Smokey" for a walk at The Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary. Pretty fancy name for a wastewater treatment plant. We take quite a few easy walking trips there pretty much year around. It is a great look at the bay and the surrounding areas. It is interesting to check out all the birds. Lots of berries are looking like they are about to get ripe. It is just a pleasant way to spend some quiet time. Even if we do run across many young people smoking hooch (bet you haven't heard that in awhile) and drinking. We have never run across any rowdies. Everyone seems to enjoy the Marsh's solitude. If you have never checked it out, it is one of Humboldt's best kept secrets.
Chuck Kirscher will once again host the highly contested Wood Bat Championship on September 9th & 10th at Willow Creek. Chuck is actually over his limit on teams, so you might want to talk around to play with somebody. There will probably be 10 teams and well over 100 participants and hundreds stopping by to watch. I may be holding a Tomaso's Invitational Wood Bat Tournament the next weekend at Hartman and Kennedy in Eureka the 16th and 17th of September, so stay tuned.
I had to miss a softball playoff game in Arcata last night because I had to go to a traffic violator class to keep a point off my driving record and keep my good driver standing on my insurance. I got my ticket trying to hurry from a softball tournament in Red Bluff to a game I had in Blue Lake. I was ticketed abut 10 miles east of Weaverville for 65 in a 55. 5 people out of the 13 in class received their tickets near Weaverville! The instructor said each class he does has an average of around 3 from that area. The last ticket I received was while I was working for the union. I was on my way to Heyburn Idaho to organize a Boise Cascade plant there. I was in my Mustang going a safe speed, I thought, in the middle of the desert near Elko Nevada on Highway 80. I forgot what I was wrote up for, but I think I was doing well over 80 in a 70 MPH zone. But in the Mustang you couldn't hardly tell. I sold that good stead and now drive a Mercury Tracer. Less prone to go that fast.
I play Basketball each Tuesday and Thursday at noon that I can at Cal Courts in Eureka. We play full court 4-4. Loser has to wait out and rotate in. Lively ball some times. I have been playing pretty regular since I was in my 30's. It is pretty diverse group. We have some 50ish people such as Phil Wright, Doug Rasines, Brian Barcot and Ed Fregoso. Pastor Steve Berti leads the way for 40ish types. Brandon Murphy is probably one of the better players in his 30s. Then there are a bunch of 20 year olds and younger running amuck. Joey Scarpillino, Dave Norton, Brian Ayala, Jeff Dees, DJ Beckstead, Danny Corwin, Ken Tinkham, Ben and Elijah Horton just to mention some. But a few years ago a retired Lawyer and Nuclear consultant decided to move back to Humboldt County after being gone nearly 40 years. 65 year old 6'3" Bruce Norton. I was introduced to this man the hard way. I am usually the oldest player so naturally our team had me cover Bruce. Myself at the time was probably 5'11" 250lbs (220lbs now) so I figured I would just run right by him and push him around the court. Boy was I wrong! Bruce used me badly and has terrorized me ever since. But it is not just me. I have seen him humble players in their twenties by just court smarts. And the man can shoot from anywhere! So if you just so happen to be at Cal Courts at noon and this guy asks you to play, look out! His youngest son David will be playing a CR this year after a stellar stint for Eureka High.
No real surprise here. Bonnie Neely seems to be the more left leaning liberal candidate but I do not think that Nancy is die hard conservative. But they are both Republicans and Bonnie even went as far as to write a guest opinion in the TS complimenting Arnold on his environmental achievements. I have seen on other blogs that people are critical of Nancy because they feel the endorsement leans her to the far right. I do not think it hurts her that much. I do think that the Marina Center project will weigh in heavily in this race. Yes, I know that this is more of a Eureka City Council land issue, but voters do not always line up the dots. Here is how it breaks down, Nancy is for the development of the Balloon Tract (Track, whatever) through Security National private funds, and Bonnie is for the property to be cleaned up by Union Pacific and have the City Council deal with the issue publicly to decide which is the best land use. To voters it will be black and white, for Home Depot and fast growth or against Home Depot and wait and see what the options are. I do find it interesting that Nancy has been painted by the left as an Arkley candidate when there appears to be no financial tie with campaign disclosures in. Yes there are lots of prominent Republicans who donated but no big SN people. Hmmmm. I had a chance to meet Robin (Rob) Arkley while I was at work for Evergreen and discuss some of SN's projects. Unfortunately we wavered to a discussion of Measure T and I got an earful. I did score a sandwich from Scotty's Porter Street BBQ though, so it was not a total loss. I can tell you that Rob is passionate for the Marina project and other ideas he has for this community. He did not like some of my comments but we did leave each other on respectable terms. No surprise, left leaning liberal union organizing Democrat talking to a Billionaire right wing conservative corporate Republican. No, I have not been invited for lunch again. Rob does have long time ties to the community that are not all negative. He went to school with my wife and many of my Arcata buddies. He sat in front of local sports coach/Murphy's general manager Carlos Avelar and I have not heard anything bad about his adolescence, and this is a small community. Anyways, it should be an interesting race in the 4th District!
I was sent a link of a soon to be released movie. Boy if they only seen the real softball goings on. Man I love the game and everyone on the teams I participate with. I will be doing marathon playing this next month: Playoffs in three leagues- Wood Bat in Willow Creek, Smoke Tournament in Reno, Wood Bat in Eureka and Off the Wall in Redding. Over 40 in Redding if they can get it together instead of Eureka Wood Bat. Oh yeah, my arthritis of the ankles is going away again so look out! I am burning the base paths. I plan on being the fastest 50 year old softball player around! http://www.beerleaguethemovie.com/index2.htm
The good news was that I had 8 games scheduled this week to play. The bad news was that the three teams I play for were a combined 1-7. And three of those were one run loses. What an ego buster! And I will admit I sucked this week. I had chances to help all three league teams and I was not even average. Sorry guys! My head and body were just not there. So far this year I have been on three tournament Champions and the overall record for my teams is at 38-24. I am hoping for three more trophys and at least a 50 win season. This senior league thing is catching up to me!
Ever since I posted concerning Robin's complications after Gall Bladder surgery, I have heard all sorts of horror stories about the surgery and complications afterward. Even Robin's nurse at St Joe had her Gall Bladder removed and now is going to see a specialist down in the bay area for problems she is having. Robin says if she had known then what she knows now, she would have waited for another Gall Bladder attack. Anyone out there have problems like this? She is at home and has to stay on a no/fat diet for a few weeks. Gonna be tough. I am kind of a high fat type eater. Not a Buffet made big enough for me. I don't care how it tastes, just as long as there is lots of it! The best buffet I think I have ever been to was Rodizio's Brazilian Buffet in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Eureka Reporter did a piece on the Avelar family softball team. The Eureka Reporter He has been playing softball longer than me! Carlos has been a great community volunteer coach for many years. He coached my oldest son in soccer and I have witnessed the hard work and dedication he has to his cause. There have been literally thousands of Humboldt County residents that had their early life lessons taught by Carlos. I hope the ER does more stories like this. I have always hated playing against Carlos in softball. He seems to always be able to get on batting from either side switch hitting. I am hoping he joins my Senior League team next year!
I got off work at 7am and played three softball games at Coopers Gulch. I went back to work the 7pm to 7am shift that night and was way tired. At 12:30am my wife called me at work and said she was really hurting again. I had to leave work and take her to ST Joe's emergency. They ran all kinds of tests and found out her pancreas was messed up. So she had surgery Sunday night to open a valve that goes to bile duct. Apparently a stone from her Gall Bladder that was removed last week became lodged in the pancreas. Bad scene. She is now resting at St Joe's for awhile. Man, I hope this does it. Been a hard month or so for my better half. I heard today that Murphy's Market of Arcata beat the Blue's Brother's of Eureka for the Championship of the woodbat tourney at Cooper's Gulch. Murphy's beat the Coast guard and the Blues Brothers beat Tomaso's 2-1 to reach the Championship.
Chuck Kirsher is hosting a wood bat tournament at Coopers gulch this weekend August 12th and 13th. It is probably the first independent tournament at Coopers Gulch in at least 10 years. The City of Eureka insurance is way expensive. I have had this war with the city for years to make the process easier and or cheaper. I only directed one last year and it cost me around $600 just for the insurance! It normally costs me a little over $100 if I hold one in Weaverville. I have had the City of Fortuna foot the bill to bring some ball that way. Eureka is a different story. But I digress, let's have some fun this weekend!
My wife Robin has been ill for a few months. She had all kinds of tests to narrow down her problems. She was admitted at 6:30am to prep with a operation scheduled for 8am. Her surgery ended up being at noon! Somebody hit a power pole in Arcata so the hospital had to do a systems check on their backup power system. She is resting as I type at Mad River Hospital. She wanted to go there over St. Joe because of the nurses labor situation. Last week we were in UC Davis medical center over 6 hours waiting for a doctor. Robin's last surgery in Redding was scheduled for 10am and happened at around 6pm. Is this just a normal happening? Drives me nuts sitting around a hospital. We did have a discussion about uncomfortable subjects such as organ donations, cremation, rights to die......all the stuff you never think you will never have to ever talk about. I will donate my organs (anyone I haven't polluted too bad) and be cremated and have my ashes spread on the softball field. But which one? Coopers? Hartman? Arcata Sports complex? Samoa? Stay tuned.....
Was at Arts Alive in Eureka Saturday night and ran across Bob and Holly McCrea! Bob was titled Humboldt Counties top athlete by the TImes Standard back in the late 70's or maybe early 80's. He played football, basketball and baseball at Arcata High. At 6'4" 275lbs he was freakishly coordinated and just a great guy. We played softball together after he finished a stellar tour at HSU as TE and Line. He was one of the only players in softball that would draw walks with the bases loaded! He and his wife recently moved to Sparks from Weed. He is a manager with UPS there. His son Brock is attending HSU. Softball this weekend in Willow Creek. Wood Bat. Call Chuck at 822-1968 if you want to play or have a team. He has room for more teams. I will be putting together players for an over 40 tourney in Redding in Sept. Give me an e-mail if you are interested. I may host a wood bat tourney next month. Keep in touch.
I still have people coming up to me and asking how the debate went with Bonnie and Nancy. I have to explain that Bonnie did not want to participate. What I find strange is most of my conservative aquaintances thought it was great idea and really looked forward to the event. Some of my close liberal friends thought it was a brilliant idea. I only know a few people who told me it was bad idea. One was Mr. Salzman and the other was Bonnie. None of the anti debate people have ever identified themselves on the blogs. The pro debate people have identified themselves.
I feel I have have vested interest in who will be Supervisor for the 4th District. I put time, effort, money and sweat into my campaign. Call me selfish, whinney, arrogant and whatever other nasty things spew out, but I would still like to see the debate.
I recently was a witness to local gadfly James Faulk in a softball game. He was playing catcher and a 6'4" player came plowing into home plate. James held the ball as the guy ran into him and just literally stopped on the spot! Umpire Dave Rhodes called the runner out, and he was down for the count. So maybe that Bully Pulpit holds more credence than we realize! James is the BIG TRAIN! And we don't have many of those in this area. More on that later.
You have got be kidding! We were not on a even playing field! Why would the Blue Lake Rancheria give Bonnie this kind of money? They did not even interview me, a Native American (Sioux Tribe, children and wife registered Cherokee and yes we use the local Indian clinic) to see my vision for Humboldt County. And our family has plenty of local Native American relatives to be disturbed over this amount of money being wasted on what? What has Bonnie done to deserve that kind of money? If the local Native Americans want to be politically active, they need to form a Native Political Action Committee (PAC) so they do things in order! Where is the Measure T people on this issue? This is not a good situation.
I have a few softball people who check my blog but do not respond. Hey, you can do this without me knowing who it is! I know I will upset some with my comments or observations but here is some of my picks for the best SS by age: 60+ Art Jones 50+ Mike Yancheff 40+Mark Bateson 30+ Chris Pence 20+ Tommy Lawler 10+ Cameron Reed. So let the arguing begin!