Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ida Honorof. A belated thanks from this Pulp Mill worker.

This will be kind of a weird post. A pulp mill worker praising Ida. I feel guilty writing this too late. Times-Standard Online - Consumer activist Ida Honorof dies

I have talked to many workers at Evergreen Pulp in the past about this subject. Radical environmentalists vs. Radical Corporations. We need both to survive.

Ida Honorof was a one woman environmentalist wrecking crew in the 80's locally. She had moved up here to Humboldt County to be close to family and was concerned about the two Pulp Mill's emissions on the city of Eureka. Mind you she was in her 70's and one person. She started an activist process that literally cost Louisiana Pacific and Simpson Corporations millions of dollars to address the issue of Dioxin in the pulp processes. LP rallied us workers to show up at packed meetings, that Ida had forced at the Eureka Municipal Auditorium, to protest her actions. My wife and I attended fully in LP's corner for fear of our jobs to support the companies action. Ida changed all that. She calmly explained and outlined the dangers to the community that the pulp mills were causing, but also gave action plans and solutions. (At least that is a short synapses)

Simpson could see the writing on the wall and in 1992 closed their Fairhaven plant instead of adhering to the chemical processing changes that came from Ida's lobbying. LP took a chance at becoming a innovator in the pulp market and invested untold millions to become the first Chlorine Free (Dioxin Free) Pulp Mill in North America. They eventually sold the plant to Samoa Pacific who went bankrupt and Stockton Pacific (same board of directors) who sold the company bankrupt to Chinese outfit Lee and Mann.

I will tell you that Ida effectively changed my view from Bulldog for the company to Watchdog for the environment. And Ida in essence saved our jobs at the pulp mill! If we had continued making pulp with chlorine processes we would have shut down years ago! So here I publicly thank Ida for my job. It was a lesson I shared many time while I was a union organizer. Do not be paranoid of environmental activism, it may be for your own good!

Lord knows the same case can be made in light of the Palco fiasco!

I am thankful that Evergreen seems to be responsible in the area of environmental compliance through media information I receive. Times-Standard Online - Mill pollution pact reached: Evergreen settles with environmental groups The Eureka Reporter - Article

Damn! Ida, I wished I had told you earlier how you changed my perception of Company vs Environment. May You Rest in Peace. You were a hero.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suddenly have a new respect for you Richard.

Heraldo said...

Great post, Richard.

But I respectfully disagree that we need "radical corporations" to survive.

Carson Park Ranger said...

Thanks Richard. This was an informative tribute.

Carol said...

Nice post, Richard! I knew Ida through her daughter and grandson. She was a fighter and not afraid to speak her mind. Thank you for your nice tribute!

Hayduke said...

Well done Richard. It takes courage of your own to write this. A great tribute.

Greg said...

Nice piece on Ida. I only knew her form our days on Tuesday Night Talk at KHSU. She was a pistol.

samoasoftball said...

Hayduke and others: If I only had half the courage and conviction of Ida I would be a better person. My resume is small compared to Ida.

Humboldt resident said...

"So here I publicly thank Ida for my job. It was a lesson I shared many time while I was a union organizer. Do not be paranoid of environmental activism, it may be for your own good!
"Lord knows the same case can be made in light of the Palco fiasco!"


Right on Richard!