Thursday, May 31, 2007

Can you afford that house you own? Affordable housing in Humboldt County. (Shhh! Nobody wants to talk about this.)

If you own a median sized house in Humboldt County with 3 bedrooms and two baths, your house is worth $330,000. If you you were to buy that house today, you would probably need at least $5,000 in the bank to help with costs and a household income of $80,000. Your monthly payments would be right at $2,000. Or 60% of your income! General information available through Humboldt Association of Realtors

Now we have heard many people talk about affordable housing and the need in Humboldt County. Here is a simple definition as set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Affordable Housing - CPD - HUD The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

OK then. Assuming the median household income in Humboldt County is just under $40,000 a year, that leaves that person with just under $1,000 a month after taxes to qualify for a HUD defined type house. So these affordable houses should be going for around $165,000.

Sure hope they build many of these. It would seem to reason that people would be lined up for miles in Humboldt County for this deal. The going rate for a 3 bedroom rental is currently $1040 per month in Humboldt County!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy Sheehan calls it quits!

Top News - Anti-War Mom Gives Up on Peace Movement - AOL News Sad news of despair and hopelessness. Saying that America is more concerned with American Idol than the illegal occupation in Iraq has more Truth than most want to admit.

The reality of the war has hit my neighborhood again lately. Derek Weatherbee, one of the kids I coached Basketball with my oldest son has been called back to Iraq for the third time. I have worked with Derek's father Ed for nearly thirty years and Derek's uncle Doug is one of my best friends. It just wrong for us to be there. And more people now than ever would agree. But we are still there, and the outcry grows dimmer. And each party is practicing politics as usual. Sad but true.

Monday, May 28, 2007

To pee or not to pee. Evergreen's peeing eye in the sky.

We have had a problem at Evergreen with truck drivers relieving themselves in the control rooms where they dump their trucks. This has been ongoing for years, but has escalated. And lately one of them did their number on the hand controls. That was too much, so Evergreen put out a warning notice to perpetrators, warning of a camera focused on the control room. So what has happened since? Somebody is now peeing all over the B & B toilets and toilet paper! What kind of sicko thinks this is cool? I am starting to think I need a new job. Anyone out there need a unskilled laborer out there?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Weaverville Memorial Weekend Softball!

Years back I was contacted by the Weaverville/Douglas City parks and Recreation department to ask me if I was interested in directing a few of the annual men’s softball tournaments that attract out of town teams to Weaverville. The Chamber of Commerce wanted attendance for their Memorial Weekend Gem show and funds raised for their 4th of July Fireworks. Robin and I have organized over 100 such tournaments over the years, and I had already participated in both tournaments as a competitor, so I said we would do so.

Years later we are still there! We just got home from another tournament and everything went pretty smooth. Well, considering I worked graveyard Friday night, and drove over early Saturday and ran the tournament. Late Saturday night I went to the Round Table Pizza place and seen at least 30 people from our tournament there! If Robin and I are the benchmark on revenue per person in our tournaments, I figure each participant represents $100 per weekend for Trinity County. So we at least bring in $70,000 conservatively into the county each year. I am sure this is grossly underestimated.

One thing I do not like. Motels in Weaverville jack up their prices for these weekends and ask for people to reserve minimum night stays. Robin and I paid $128 for a one bed room at the Victorian. Lots of sold out signs. That we helped create! Ironic.

My team did not have a good weekend. Lots of injuries and such. I noticed an uncomfortable pattern for myself personally. Teams were moving their outfielders in shallow on me to try to stop my singles hits. This has just happened lately to me, and I realize I am 30 years older than most playing, but this was a reality check for me. I burned the outfielders in a few of the games for extra base hits, but my ego has been bruised. Mortality sucks.

Here is my press release to the TS and ER. Let’s see who prints it.

Ray Wolfe Construction Dominates Tournament

Ray Wolfe Construction from Arcata soundly defeated the Tastebuds from Mckinleyville 26-5 to capture the Samoa Athletic Club’s Weaverville Memorial Weekend Invitation men’s softball tournament. David Ferris and Jacob Kadle went 4 for 4 performances to lead the way in the championship game. Wolfe went undefeated in five games to garner first place. Unagi from Mt. Shasta finished third place and Mt. Thunder from Fall River fourth.

David Ferres went 12 for 16 hitting and was named the Most Valuable Player. Jacob Kadle finished 11-19 and was chosen Most Valuable Pitcher. Other all tournaments picks were, Matt Socha and Jared Harpe from Wolfe, Eric Eichin, Justin Moore and Matt Dusel of the Tastebuds, Chris Hanson, Ryan Jackson and Brian Johnson from Unagi, Joe DiSalvo and Russ Jones of Mt. Thunder.

Todd Canfield of Weaverville hit 6 out of 10 pitches over the fence to win a hotly contested Home Run derby.

The Samoa Athletic Club will be hosting the 4th of July Weaverville Invitational June 30th and July 1st at Lowden Park. For more information contact Richard Marks at (707) 445-3432 or check out online at

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top 5 panhandling places in Eureka.

I was panhandled today in an unusual spot today. In front of Subway by Sizzler. The kid looked to be in his early 20's. Seems like it is becoming more aggressive lately locally. Seems to me the top five spots for Eureka are:

1. The old Gas and Go, now the Patriot station on 4th and 255. Any hour of the day.
2. Courthouse Market. Kind of Ironic that it is across the street from the courthouse.
3. Little Red Lion Bar. Mostly for smokes around here. No. I don't smoke or hang out at the bar.
4. Between Longs and Safeway on Harris. Usually with a dog.
5. Bayshore Mall. At least they are not as aggressive here.

And yes, I do often give to these people. It just is sad to me what happens to someone to stoop that low. And in Eureka I have seen the same people for years.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Young Ferndale native, Dylan Feierabend fights cancer!

Brad Botkin wrote an excellent human interest story in the TS today. Times-Standard Online - Teen cancer survivor comes back swinging If you have a minute, read the story. It is really touching. I think Brad is one of the best local writers I have seen in quite a while.

I wish the TS would get their act together about more local events such as stock car racing, adult sports, Little League, Babe Ruth, golf, track and local events coming up. I am sorry, but the Eureka Reporter kicks their collective ass in this department. I sent both papers, and many other Northern California papers information about future adult sports in Northern California and the TS seems to not respond. Why? Got me. So let me thank the ER for their commitment to local events. I tip my hat.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Now wait a minute! Humboldt County Mental health crying foul?

Didn't I just hear from a certain County Supervisor that the Governors budget bodes well for the county? Times-Standard Online - Governor's budget bodes well for county What is this gibberish that The Eureka Reporter - Article is spouting about a 3 Million dollar shortage for mental health? Isn't Phillip Crandall in touch with all of the BOS? Maybe he needs to call the senior BOS member and say this budget is not so good for the county. This is a sticky situation. No Teflon intended.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Senior Softball starts May 30th! Memorial Open at Weaverville next weekend!

My senior softball team, the mighty Roadkill Warriors start their season on Wed May 30th at Newburg Park in Fortuna. Look out! It should be fun. We have lots of players that have not played in years. Should be entertaining. I hope we have no injuries. Don't care whether we win or lose.

The Memorial Tournament at Weaverville I am hosting has potentially 12 teams. I just need all teams to commit in the next few days. I would like to finalize everything before Wednesday.

The SAC open basketball team is one win from the championship game in Eureka. Pretty good for a team carrying some old dudes like me and 67 year old Bruce Norton. Dave Norton and Ben Horton have just played out of their minds for us to be where we are. And both have been really unselfish and let everyone get plenty of touches. This has been a really fun year regardless how we finish.

Hey! A couple of my past basketball players made the front page in the TS.
Times-Standard Online - Peninsula School students, HSU crew unearth marine mammals
Levi and Garrett are going to be 8th grade players this next year. They have both played for me for a few years, and I hope they are ready this next year. Good kids. Good story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bonnie Neely Lauds Arnolds budget.

Times-Standard Online - Governor's budget bodes well for county So what about California senior citizens. So what about student tuition. Let's cut mass transit and buy another SUV to further the fuel problems. Cuts in Social services? So what. They can take care of themselves! Record home foreclosures? Sweet! More opportunity for the Conservative Right Wing investors/entrepreneurs.

I see the local elections is over and Bonnie feels comfortable leaning to her right once more. Bitter? No, I seen it coming long ago. Bonnie is a neo-con. Supports Arnold and Bush. Period. Just ask her.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Humboldt State Women's coach Jodie Gleason! Opps! I am sorry!

How Embarrassing! I am such a Dork! Apology to Jodie Gleason.

I went to scout the Eureka Men’s Open Basketball League Championship Tournament tonight. My Samoa Athletic Team was given the #1 seed out of 11 teams in the Tournament. We are scheduled to play the winners of Briton Mortgage and the 76’ers. I watched each of the teams and saw Larry Debeni on the bench of the 76ers so I went over to talk to him. Larry has played for me off and on for over 15 years. Fred Griffith was also on the 76ers team. He cut me from the Zane 9th Grade Team in 1971? Wow, can I hold a grudge or what?

I seen a person I thought was Kathy from Arcata in the stands and walked up next to her and asked her about the players on the floor. She pointed out the elder players such as Fred Griffith and Steve Kinder (HSU men's assist coach) and her husband Skip Gleason (CR men's coach) on the floor. It took me a while, but I noticed I had mistaken this person for someone else. Of course Jodie had no idea who I was and probably thought I was some weird recreation basketball Dork. I should have recognized her and Skip and I don’t know what to say. Jodie was a trooper and very approachable. Sorry I may have confused her.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It is cold here! Eureka vs Nome.

Here is a worthless little information tidbit that shouldn't shock everyone. The highest recorded May 31st Temperature for Eureka is 77 degrees. Monthly Weather Forecast for Eureka, CA (95501) - For Nome Alaska the record is 78. Huh? Well let's move up to June 7th. The highest recorded Temp in Eureka was 81. For Nome 83. What? Maybe we should move our baseball season to Alaska? I always said we play ball in the worst of weather and it must be as cold as Alaska. But nearly compared to the North Pole? Anyone who watches baseball in the Spring in this area must be a hardy bunch!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Overtime Hound at it again! Plus, Russ Mengel retires.

OK you overworked masses, please compare. I am about to go to work and will be there for 30 hours out of 38. 42 hours out of 62 at work. That's right. A full weeks worth of work with less than 24 hours off. 90 hours total for the week. Better than not having a job at all though. Rumors are flying around the hourly ranks that overtime is going to be cut back. Yeah. We will wait and see.

If there is anyone out there wanting to hire a dependable heavy equipment operator/organizer who is also familiar with manufacturing corporate teaming processes, I am available for $85,000 per year. Just putting that out there. Never know.

My boss, Russ Mengel (Huge Giant and Niner fan) is retiring this week. Russ has been a long time youth sports volunteer and has worked on the peninsula off and on for around 30 years. Russ (Eureka High class of 1970) and his wife Donna are moving to southern Idaho to be closer to family members. Yes, they are Mormons.

Idaho seems to be developing into Utah north. I worked on a organizing campaign there a few years back and could not see myself living there. One thing I thought was strange in Idaho though, I have never seen so many trampolines in peoples front yards! Some Mormon elder must be a distributor.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BOS approves nearly 1/2 million to eliminate jobs?

The Humboldt Waste Management Authority is granted $448,000 from the Headwaters Fund to help pay for the closure of the Cummings Road Landfill.

The loan will become the final piece of a funding puzzle to help the Humboldt Waste Management Authority deal with a clean-up and abatement order from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Times-Standard Online - Bluffs homeowners get cold shoulder

Tell me how this is creating long term jobs to replace jobs lost by timber worker layoffs. What kind of "Business Plan" did they show the BOS.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Workers rights violated in Bay Area.

I read with interest an article in the Chronicle about the Woodfin Suites Hotel in Emeryville. Who is served by labor dispute? / Workers fight for economic equity It is a clear case where an employer will hire illegals to do work knowing they have improper documentation, but get the benefit of a worker basically in wage bondage. And if that worker tries to better themselves with union representation, hide behind the law by having the workers present proper documentation for citizenship. Shame on companies and corporations for exploiting workers! I experienced this first hand in an organizational drive in Moreno Valley at an RV manufacturing plant. Thor Industries Inc During a union card authorization drive, Thor coincidentally decided to have a green card check, and the plant of 500 was primarily Latino workers. (As are many manufacturing outfits in SoCal) I could find no one who wanted to step forward so I could file NLRB charges against Thor, so we had to drop the campaign.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Redding gets props from SF Chronicle. Big League Dreams.

I have spouted my admiration of the Softball/Soccer/Roller Hockey/Volleyball/Hardball/Basketball/Convention center named Big League Dreams Big League Dreams - Sport Parks The SF Chronicle does their take, and explains the financial ramifications. San Francisco Chronicle Business Stories The park has become a big time tourist destination and has exceeded financial expectations. Shasta County can use the help, as they have a 8.2 unemployment rate, with mainly service based jobs.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Local Solutions holds get together.

Local Solutions (LS) held an informal dinner/information gathering of community members of diverse political leanings to see where LS needs to focus their energies. I was surprised to see LS invite people who have had issues in the past (Me included. Why would I go to a party that would invite someone like me? Just joking!) with their processing. I was very encouraged to see them searching and analysing their disconnects to tighten up their Political Action Committee. I do see their organization as the most liberal/progressive movement happening locally. They have taken some lumps and criticism, but are reaching out for help in re-defining their objectives. They have had many huge victories in the local political front, and they are hoping to share their expertise in progressive causes. Candidates will have to be evaluated on an individual basis.

The day before, LS met with community members in Southern Humboldt and strategized the future 2nd District Supervisor race. No clear candidates yet.

Campbell? Rodoni (Must go!)? Flemming? Kirk? Huber? Riggs? Harris? Berti? Mrs. Rodoni? I will through out my dark horses. Larry Martin? How about Janet Harwood? I see Ed Barnhart is back. Jason Mullaney from Southfork area? Rob Wilkinson?

Bonnie Neely. The Teflon Queen.

The National Women’s Political Caucus withdrew their support of Bonnie in 1995 after the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported she is against California recognizing gay marriages. She was quoted as against “special legislation” for homosexual relationships.

Bonnie Neely has been in the middle of other controversy in the past, but always seems to find the resiliency to avoid major opposition. Actually I should compare her to Teflon. Lot’s of things thrown at her but nothing seems to stick. Some examples:

She helps wage a war for the Humboldt County Library to be sited behind the Ingomar on prime waterfront property, instead of the practical location at Coopers Gulch. Maybe a less gaudy structure would have left enough funds to keep the place open.

Bonnie pushed for the creation on a redevelopment agency, and did in fact chair the process that ended up wasting nearly 1 million taxpayer dollars due to a very poor planning department.

What happened to this “Red Team” Bonnie was going to establish to assist the permit process on projects that would bring jobs to the county?

And I still am amazed at the lack of public outcry concerning Tammy Falor.

Am I just missing something?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Softball stuff.

Last weekend a group of buddies of mine went to play softball at Big League Dreams in Redding. Hana Borden, Matt Socha, Rodney Dickerson, John McGinnis, Glenn Hamanaka, Dan Nord, Eric Younger, John Wilkinson, Damon Dimmick, Paul Mendes and that Marks guy went 3-2 against some great competition. We hit no HRs! It was HOT! I had been sick during the week and it took alot out of me. I hit a double my first at bat and was wheezing at second base. I was on base 8 out 13 at bats. Only getting 13 at bats in 5 games tells you we did not hit good as a team. But we played good defense and had fun. I am hosting a softball tournament Memorial and 4th of July Tournament in Weaverville. Call me if you want to play.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bush needs to go!

I am not a Bush fan period. Reagan crushed the working class back in the 80's. Just my observation. The Republican party needs a sabbatical. We need working class heroes.