Thursday, January 31, 2008

Del Norte beats Arcata on the Basketball court and in stands.

Del Norte scored the winning basket with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to lift the Warriors to a hard fought 35-33 victory on the Tiger court. The Arcata 6th man brigade booed the visitors when they took the court and booed the Warrior cheerleaders when they did flips at timeouts. But the Del Norte fans had the last dig at the end of the game, chanting "Just Like Football!" after the big shot gave them the lead. Ouch! It was just a great Basketball game in a loud rowdy gym. The Niclai tournament this year might be one of the most competitive ever!

Top 5 Rock Bands of all time!

Recently I posted about songs I do not like. Here are the rock groups I feel are the best:

5. Tie-Beach Boys, Metalicca, Rolling Stones and CCR. Could not cut one of these.

4. Pink Floyd. Dark side of the moon was genius.

3. Led Zepplin. Timeless.

2. Queen. I miss Freddie and his swagger.

1. Beatles. None anywhere close to changing the world of music like the Fab 4.

My list is not far off of this Top 100 Bands of All Time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards out, Obama in.

I was at work today (16 hour shift mind you) and workers were asking me about Edwards dropping out, and who I was supporting. I thought they were messing with me.

(I listen to Mike and Mike on ESPN in the morning, and they did not say anything. They were focused on the Giants chances with the Patriots. Betting tip: Put $250 on the Giants to beat the 10 point spread. Send me $25 of your winnings for my next hot tip. Final score 33-27 Pats.)

I called Robin from work and she said it was true. Damn. Wow. So I told people I was supporting Obama. I just have problem with Hillary being on WalMart's board and supporting the funding of an illegal occupation of Iraq.

I hope unions will rally behind Obama in the near future.

Update: The Democratic Debate on CNN was good but didn't really change my mind.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yuck, I dislike these songs!

Maybe it is the rain or just that winter thing, but here is more songs that really grate on me. I know some of you might like these songs, but I can do without:

#5 "Hotel California"-Eagles: Please, do not play this tune in front of me. I won't be held responsible for my actions.

#4 "Your kiss is on my list"-Hall and Oates: C'mon, they are on your "list" too.

#3 "My Sharona"-The Knack: Robin and I had neighbors on Quaker St. when we were newlyweds that played this song to death.

#2 "More than a feeling"- Boston: Has to be the most overplayed song in the history of music. I used to love Boston. Can't stand them now.

#1 "The Joker"- Steve Miller Band: Had a bad dentist experience while this song played. Maybe a psychological thing.

Oh, don't even get me started on my worst Country list. I will save that for another day.

Myrtletown girl Sandra Burns, RIP.

Sandra Burns was one of those girls ahead of her time in Myrtletown. She was a good athlete in a time girls did not have as many chances to shine in sports. She joined us boys for pick up games of ball and more than held her own. She and her sister Shirley were into horses and fun. I did not realize she was even ill. Bummer. Again, life is too short.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A war Bush would win.

If president Bush were running for his position this year, he would be a lock. Last nights NBC debate showed what a mess these candidates are.

Insane McCain? Ha! He is just scary.

Wafflin' Mitt? This guy needs to be selling cars somewhere. Maybe Salt Lake City?

Confused Giuliani? He looked like a whipped puppy. Lost his flair.

Broken Huckabee? A Baptist preacher asking for money? Say it ain't so! He was broke from the start! He just realizing it now?

Ron Paul Revolution? The other candidates must hate this guy for continually making the others look bad. It is almost comical. He is the Republicans best candidate, and they don't know what to do about it.

Good news for the Democratic candidates.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Local Union Workers!

Northcoast Children's Service workers OK union! Oh how I love it when workers win the right to collectively bargain! United we Bargain, Divided we Beg! Congratulations to the 250 new members of the California Federation of Teacher's!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Paper vs. Plastic.

I realize that I am a prejudice participant in this topic, as I work in the Pulp and Paper industry, but come on. Here are facts that I will leave the experts to fight:


Time for materials to break down in a landfill:

Plastic bags 1,000 years

Aluminum cans 80-100 years

Tin cans 50-100 years

Plastic-coated milk cartons 5 years

Orange peels 6 months

Paper 2-5 months

I worked as a Union Organizer and tried to organize a Plastic Bag plant called Roplast Industries Inc. in Oroville, Ca. They were paying people who had worked there for years under $10 an hour. Just no respect for the workers. When I did research, I was shocked to see how a corporation can twist facts into their favor. They were of the opinion that they were the environmentally “safe” process and product. Boggles my mind to how that can be true. roplast.PlasticVsPaper.

Anyways, I have been known to tell people at checkout lines to ask for the paper. We do not have a plastic plant here. (thank God)

Please ask for the renewable biodegradable product in the form of the paper bag. Maybe use it as mulch in your garden, burn it for fuel or recycle it at your favorite grocery store.

$340 electrical bill! Ouch!

For what ever freak reason, we have had many weeks of South winds, which leaves our wood stove inoperable. We just received our electrical bill for mid December to mid January. Over $340! Last year for the same period it was $188, which we thought was too high then. Ouch! Has your bill jumped this high this year?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Easy Voter Guide and other political stuff.

Libertarian's the elite? Have you all checked out the Political Parties in the Easy Voter Guide? Fred must have wrote the description for the Libertarian Party: "The Libertarian Party is your BEST choice for reasonable government. If you're socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, you're a Libertarian!" Kinda grandiose, dontcha think?

The Democratic debates Election Center 2008 - are now just getting nasty and bitter. Hillary and Barack should take the high road. John Edwards was the forgotten candidate in this debate. He needs to do something radical to separate himself as the "working class" candidate before it is too late. And it might be too late as we speak!

Voting Confusion? I don't know if it was by design, but the The American Independent Party - The Fastest Growing Political Party In California has voters confused. People think they are registering Independent and this is listed as a choice. Seems innocuous enough. I was at the HCDCC headquarters when a couple wanted to register, and the woman said she was registered as a an Independent. Sure enough, she was told she was in fact an American Independent, a party started by George Wallace! She laughed and changed her affiliation of course. I just wonder how many others have been duped to register with a white supremacy party?

More Registered Democrats on your way! Bob Service, Robin and I were registering voters at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 'King is needed now more than ever'. It was great time and we registered new Democratic voters! It was the last day that the HCDCC could register voters for this election. Many other HCDCC volunteers were registering voters all over the Eureka/Arcata area yesterday. I don't know what the final count was, but I will guess we will see 100 new Democrats just from yesterday.

Local Republicans Throw up the white flag? I don't know the last time I have heard of the Republicans doing a registration drive. Have they given up locally?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

HCDCC Naysayers! Here is your chance to help!

We HCDCC members will be registering voters who want to register or Non Party Independents and others who want to re-register so they can vote for their Democratic choice this election. This Martin Luther King day will be pretty much your last opportunity to do so for this election.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Connie Emery. Life is too short.

Connie Emery passed away unexpectedly in her sleep at her house in Manila. We were just at a X-mas dinner with her and husband Max Emery a few weeks ago. Max and I played Basketball together and we work together at Evergreen Pulp presently. Man, funerals like this are so hard when someone so loved and positive passes away suddenly. People are shocked and stunned. Max and I were at work recently and he told me of a funny story about Connie. You could feel his love and affection for his wife as he told it. And now this. You just never know when your number will come up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Economic Chasm between us and our next President.

I always hope to support the president candidate I can most identify with. When I compare how these people live I realize a Reality Check. When we talk about ol' Abe Lincoln reading by candle in a log cabin, wow, times have changed. We have become an elitist country for sure. Or should I say at least our leaders.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Clinton Fiasco! Don't blame the HCDCC!

The good news. I got to watch Bill's speech front row. Got to shake his hand. I told him we need the economy to be where it was when he was in office. He actually came back to talk to me. He is charismatic for sure.

The Clinton campaign wanted the HCDCC to help set this event up. We phonebanked and held media events to bring people out. We set up the venue under their directions. We manned the doors and did crowd control.


The Franceschi Hall should have been used as it can hold a few thousand people. Redwood Acres Fairgrounds Map (The secret Service said they could not secure that hall. BS. They are right next to each other almost.) The front gate should have been the only way in. Go through the toll gate, get a ticket with a number. VIP and Media taken care of ahead of time!

I dropped my sister and friend Elizabeth around 3pm and were supposedly around number 200. I had other friends near them. Looked like they were going to get in. I went to a union meeting and came back around 4:30pm and there were thousands out there. When they cut off the line, my sister and Elizabeth said there were still hundreds in front of them from people taking cuts in line. Just not right.

I witnessed some political nepotism from the Clinton Campaign. The HCDCC people did not get to make decisions on who got in. I was a volunteer and helped set up the hall and was almost not able to get in myself! (We set up 400 chairs. There were at least 600 in the building. It was way over capacity.)

Ex President Clinton said when he came on stage that there were more people outside waiting than in the building, and that he experienced the same thing at Napa, and bragged about 8,000 people being at Davis and having to turn away 3,500 people.

To Bill. That is not good! That is disorganization! You left thousands of people pissed not to hear your message! And it was a good message! Is the Clinton campaign just that inept? They were told by our people that they were going to have a full house, and more. Too bad this happened.

In closing this rant. I sat with Shane Brinton. He had made a list of questions because the media said there would be a question and answer session. Mr. Clinton said on stage there would be a question and answer session. You guessed it, no question answer session. Poor Shane holding his questions ready to engage some dialogue. Don't say you are going to do something if you are not. This is politics, we get that enough already.

It could have been a great event. I am sorry, but my vote still is going to John Edwards.

I had lunch today with George W. Bush's cousin!

Ironic that on a day I hope to see former president Bill Clinton, I went to lunch with our current presidents cousin. This person has followed my blog and posted before. Any guesses who? Here is a hint. The person now lives in Humboldt County. More hints to follow.

UPDATE: I saw a old school mate today. Found out he is a distant cousin of John Edwards! What a crazy day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Clinton mania at HCDCC!

I was at the HCDCC headquarters a little while ago to get my assignment for the Clinton bonanza. The phone was ringing off the hook. Looks like the venue will be at Redwood Acres between 4-5pm if the Secret Service gives it their blessing. If not, then maybe the Wharfinger Building. Chair Milt Boyd was buried in media that people had never heard of. Lots of excitement and phone calls going out to get a good crowd. The Clinton people want at least 400. I expect over 1,000. Not every day an ex-president comes to Humboldt County.

Update: The Redwood Acres venue will only hold around 400, so you better get there early. Word going around is that 3,500 were turned away at Davis.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Humboldt County Power Couples?

I have had people tell me that Robin and I are a Humboldt County power couple. I laugh and tell them we are house renters from Samoa. We both believe in volunteering for the community and raised our kids to do the same. Robin and I are on the HCDCC , the board for Humboldt Domestic Violence Services, I am on the board of Directors for the Samoa Peninsula Fire District, Robin is on the board for the NHUHSD Northern Humboldt and I am the President of AWPPW local 49. You would think that is crazy busy, but when we both ran the Peninsula sports programs and the Adult Fall Ball Basketball league, SAC Adult Softball Tournaments and raised kids for over 20 years, this is down time.

This area seems to have lots of people multi tasking, and many couples that are like minded that are high profile politically. Here are some of the people I see as high profile/Like minded, "power couples."

1. Robin and Cheri Arkley- Most well known Republican couple that has donated untold millions to many Humboldt projects.

2. Dave Meserve and Betsy Roberts- Anti war advocates who have been involved heavily in local politics for many years.

3. Dave Cobb and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap- Progressive Green Party members. Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County Great community organizers. More power than the most want to admit.

4. David and Penny Elsebusch- This couple will fight to the finish either parties cause they feel is right. They are not blinded by party lines and will both speak their minds. May not agree with them all the time, but love their tenacity.

5. Sef and Liz Murguia- Sef is chair of Humboldt County Community Development Services Liz is Congressman Mike Thompson's Rep. Mike Thompson :: Contact Us.

6. Harvey Harper and Dr. Davies- Conservatives extreme.

7. Bonnie Neely and Terry Farmer- Would have been #1 a few years ago. Where's Terry?

8. Greg and Carol Ann Conners- Tag team moderate liberals.

9. Pam and Bob Service- Passionate democrats.

10. Shane Brinton and Monica- Monica will probably take issue with me. They are a young couple that influence many. Shane as a political activist and Monica as a high profile radio personality. Where they meet politically will be defined in the future.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two acts of random kindness under my nose. I failed humankind today.

I had one of those days where I was behind from the start. I had to do some union business in the morning, then I had planned some grocery shopping then Basketball at Cal-Courts, taking my sister Mary to lunch and doctor in Arcata, meeting of HCDCC members for registration drive and then taking Mary grocery shopping and watching the Republicans debate on Fox.

I finished my union business and went to the grocery store around an hour late. When I went to the checkout, a couple of ladies a few people ahead of me were trying to budget their purchase while the clerk checked them out. They said to stop their bill at $75. The clerk stopped the purchase at $75 with lots of merchandise still on the table. I thought a few spots behind them, "I can always pick the wrong line every time!" When the clerk said their purchase was $75 and went to collect, the ladies pooled their money, but only had $55. They were looking at each other embarrassed and did not know what to do. I was thinking, "Yep. I could only pick this line." They guy in front of me asked the clerk how much they were short. He told him $20. The guy in front of me said, "I will cover the rest, Merry X-Mas." The two ladies were shocked and thanked him. One hugged him gratefully. The Clerk shook his hand and told him it was great thing he had done. The guy who gave the $20 said that he was told not long ago he had 6 months to live because he had cancer. He was now cancer free and was passing it on. I was behind this celebration feeling so small for my petty "in a hurry," state.

I missed B-Ball and picked up my sister for her Doctors appointment. She needed to grocery shop afterwards and I took her to Winco, which is her store of choice because she is on a fixed income. Her friend (and mine) Elizabeth came along. I was waiting for my sis up front and I did not even notice a man with a walker and trying to manage a cart fumble by, until Elizabeth walked over and helped the man to his car in the parking lot. Ordinarily I would have been that person, but for what ever reason I was in a pity me party of one today. So if I cut you off driving, or I was not attentive to you hello or if I was just in anyway a jerk today. I apologize. And let me salute the great, awesome compassionate people of Humboldt County. This area is one of a kind. I failed today to be the one to pass it on.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

NCRA meeting today.

I went to the NCRA meeting today and came away with concern. The divide between the Rails and Trails is going to only become bigger. I was on hand to hear some testimony by the usual suspects, Paul Lorenzen, Ken Skaggs, Daniel Pierce, Sid Berg, Pete Orlinger, John Webb, Mike Buettner, Marc Matteoli, Kaye Strickland, Marcus Brown, Dan Hauser, Bill Burton. Mark Lovelace and John Murray were after I had to leave.

Spencer Clifton gave a half assed, way to long presentation of trails and rails that only showed the many problems, no solutions, involved. Humboldt County Association of Governments

NCRA director Allan Hemphill North Coast Railroad Authority - NCRA and Mike Buettner seemed to have a dysfunctional dialogue concerning the right away in Eureka. Mike wanted to know the NCRA's long term or even short term plans for the rail in the Eureka old town development areas. Allan kept referring to the Eel River canyon issues, and Mike kept trying to bring up the rail issues in the Eureka development area.

The NCRA and the Humboldt Bay Recreation & Conservation District seem to have some secret or private agenda or non public agenda that most of us seem to be not privy to. Just what is in the future plans? And why can't us just plain folks know about it?

Recycle Ripoff! I did not know this!

Today I did some clean up at a non-profit organization and made a dump run after. I went to the dump at Eureka behind Harbor Lanes after 4:30pm. I had a copy machine to dispose of, so I went to the recycle area designated for that waste first. I unloaded the copy machine myself and wheeled it up to the scale. I was asked whether it was household equipment or business. I said it was a non profit business equipment for disposal. I was then told it was 10 cents a pound for household and 28 cents a pound for business. I let them know it was a non profit again, and the girl said she would call to see if that would change the price. Arcata and Eureka Community Recycling Centers She let me know that it would be 28 cents after the call. The copy machine weighed 210 pounds! She asked for $58 and I only had around $40 cash. I pulled out my debit card and she said they only accept cash or a check. I said it was a check cashing card, and she said they do not have that capability. I asked her to see again by phone if I could get the 10 cent rate as I had enough money for that. She called her boss, who she told me I could call and complain also, but no dice, I would have to re-load this 210 pound now messed up copy machine and take away since I did not have the $58 dollars cash.

What a bunch of bureaucratic bull! So now that it is a piece of machinery stuck at my house, could I ethically claim it as household waste? Because now that is what it is currently. I try not to be cynical over stuff like this, but yee!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Illegal Immigrants are humans too! A true story from my eyes.

Sometimes it just irks me when people de-humanize people who are doing the best for their families. The main focus is 95% toward Mexicans. Just because some people have been here for a few generations, and some from families illegally imported from Europe and Asia I might add, feel pompous and self righteous.

By tightening our border with Mexico we only penalize who? The ones who will do what ever it takes to come across. Instead of paying human smugglers (Coyote) $1,500 for crossing, the price is raising to around $3,500. And yes, the Coyote will get you in. But then they are on their own after that. The next person they have to deal with is the work Coyote, who will take a split of the illegal workers wages to allow them the privilege to work in the fields and live in sub par shelters for rent, as is the case in the valley.

The NLRA: National Labor Relations Act protects the illegal workers right to organize without "fear of reprisal." I was trying to organize Manufacturing workers in Moreno Vally a few years ago at a plant for Thor Industries. I had been holding meetings and started the process of collecting Authorization cards for an NLRB :: National Labor Relations Board union representation election. The plant had around 500 workers. After the company caught wind of the union drive, they asked the workers to bring in their Permanent Resident (Green Card) on a designated Monday. Needless to say, my organizing drive died off, and many workers lost their job. It was all right though, all I needed was a group of workers to stand up and file charges of an Unfair Labor Practice with the NLRB. I could not get even one person to stand up, and Thor thwarted the union drive.

If we could come up with sensible legislation that would charge potential workers from Mexico around a $2,000 for a worker permit to legally work for 6 month segments. we could generate huge revenues and help take the money out of the lawless Coyotes.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Mexican truck drivers allowed access to US Highways?

Looks like that is the case. Program Allows Mexican Trucks in U.S. This is a part of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — that labor should have fought harder to stop. There is a safety and labor concern that should far out weigh the US consumer savings. Why the Bush administration is trying to push this is hard to imagine with both Congress and Senate voting to block this program.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The "T" is the place ya otta be. Finntown that be.

Some people newly to the area might not be familiar with the "T" out on the Samoa Peninsula. It has been a favorite quick access place to the Samoa beach for decades. The past few years it has been pretty dilapidated. This last year it has been repaved and makes for a great easy way to walk to the ocean within yards of parking your car. It is also just a good place to park and check out the waves and surfers.

Just head south off of Highway 255 at the end of the bridge, and go past the pulp mill about 1/4 of a mile and turn right on Bay Street. (Left at Bay Street will take you to Finntown where boat repair was big years ago.)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Truck drivers are freaking out!

Over the weather predictions for the night. I have to direct truck traffic at the mill tonight and have drivers arriving from Ukiah, Brookings, Anderson, Yreka and Weaverville. Talk is centered around road conditions and the forecast for snow tonight. I have heard that the wind is creating havoc with some of the drivers having trouble keeping in their lane when they are heading east unloaded. The trailers start to almost act like a kite and start blowing all over. So be careful out there, or just avoid driving over the mountains tonight if you can. Lots of debris has been reported on 299 also. Stay safe.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fearless Hawkeye state caucus predictions!

Hear goes:


1. Mitt Romney-Going negative with big money will push him over the top. Don't like it, but it works.

2. Mike Huckabee-Outspent 40-1. Good showing could help later.

3. John McCain-Anywhere near 15% in a state he did not campaign will be a victory.

4. Rudy Giuliani-Heading south fast.


1. Barack Obama-I see some strange things building for tonight. Biden and Richardson supporters may be helping push over the top.

2. Hillary Clinton- Hard to match. Bill didn't win this state either.

3. John Edwards- I hope I am wrong and he pulls the upset. If he can sneak by it will be huge for momentum.

But what do I know? Just a hunch after reading, watching and listening.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Railroad revisted. Short story.

Believe it or not, the railroad was actually functioning less than 10 years ago. I have a few friends that worked for the North Coast Railroad Authority. One of my buddies was the last engineer who took product in the form of 16 cars southbound on February 11th 1998 and was stranded at Island Mountain. (Just a few miles East of Garberville) He was told to abandon the cargo and head back to Alderpoint for pickup. Then the Federal Railroad Administration red tagged the North end of the line because of shoddy bookkeeping and reporting on the repair work by short line operator Railways Inc. According to my sources, it was not the yearly slide and riverbed issues that shut the line, they had to deal with that every year and 1998 was not that drastic of a change from other years. It was the shortfall of funds Railways Inc. had for repairs. At the time, now bankrupted Railways Inc was led by Director John Darling. In 1997 the rail was able to survive on a shoe string budget of 1 million dollars for repairs and upkeep. Railroad workers in 1998 worked for over a month with just the hope of a future paycheck. Over 8 million dollars was earmarked for the rail by FEMA but were not dispersed because of the book keeping issues. Darling passed blame on NCRA for their weak bookkeeping. (Darling was taken to court by railroad workers for past due wages a few years later.)

Anyways, too bad this was not all settled a long time ago. The further the years move along, the more doubtful it becomes for rail service to come back.