Monday, June 29, 2009

Which two local public officials hold two elected positions?

Can someone hold two public offices simultaneously? Yes. I will give this hint. One of them plays alot of softball.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HDVS fundraiser. Wrist Update. Retirement crap. Stock Car stuff.

The Humboldt Domestic Violence Services is hosting the "Rising II: Keep the Phoenix Soaring" fund raiser today starting at 6pm and running until 10pm at the Eureka Veterans hall. There will be great music, food, beer, wine and silent auction. The cost is $50 per couple and is for a great cause. Hope to see you there!

I recently went to Redding for my post-op check up and removal of the cast I have been trying to itch through. I have 4 holes on the top of my wrist that the doctor went in to repair cartilage I had torn. There was kind of a flap torn that wouldn't allow me to turn my wrist normally. Dr. Ferraro of Shasta Orthopedic drilled or shaved the cartilage down so I would have chance for normal movement. When they took the cast off, I thought I would be able to use it now. I was wrong. It hurts bad right now. But it is supposed to get better with rehab. I went to the EDD and talked with their disability counselor and he said I have to wait until I my injury recovery is "Permanent and Stationary" before I can look into programs for re-training. Hmmmm. Guess I won't be in the workforce soon. I was told I may have to consider an administrative position. Dr Lyell from Arcata said the same. No more heavy equipment operator. Back to union organizing?

I sent away my personal information to take an early retirement from the pulp mill. (I was in my 30th year at the mill.) Sounds like Milliman is not processing our claims because of inaction on Evergreen Pulp's part. This is sure getting old. Those funds have been in the account and has been solvent for decades. If the feds take over the account maybe we can have resolution. Sad it has come to this.

Robin and I were at the Stock Car races last night. It was fair night, so we had to pay $10 a piece at the door and another $5 to get into the races. Used to buy fair admission and get into the races as part of that. Regular races cost $10 at the door and last time Robin and I went they were over by 8:45pm! Less than 2 hours of entertainment for us.

Paul Peoples and Dave Henderson did some great racing in Thunder Roadster class. They had to maneuver through traffic all race and Paul ended up winning a close race. In the Sportsmen class, Joe McDonald did his best job of racing ever and out dueled Jimmy Walker in a wreck filled race. It was a fun night of racing with over 70 cars participating.

Just curious. Why does the Times Standard do huge current stories on the non local Crabs and ignore the Stock Car races? I can guarantee that the races out draw the Crabs, and the drivers at the Acres are mostly local. A few thousand at the races to maybe 700 at a Crabs game. And while I am on this rant, why not replace the Crabs with the Steelhead baseball team? They are the truly local representative players and would pull the same crowds against the inferior competition the Crabs pick to play anyways. My thoughts of course.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Softball update.

Upcoming Tournaments

July 3rd, 4th and 5th at Weaverville. So far Ray Wolfe Construction, JHT, R-co, Murphy’s, Blue Planet Pets, Team Ukiah and The Kingsmen from Redding are signed up. 3games for sure, camping at the park, rodeo and fair. If you are interested contact Richard Marks 445-3432.

July 11th and 12th at Arcata. Women’s Invitational. Contact Jan Henry at HSU Recreation.

July 11th at Mckinleyville wood bat. Coed Single Elimination. $125. Contact 839-9003.

July 11th and 12th at Ukiah men’s metal bat. 4 games at least. $300. ASA rules. Contact Jake at 463-6714. Deadline is July 2nd.

July 11th and 12th at Crescent City. Men’s Slow pitch Open Division Entry Fee: $ 250.00 First Place: $700.00 + T- Shirts* 2nd- 3rd Place: Prizes *Payouts based on teams entered, subject to change*Deadline: June 29th, 2009 Contact Genevieve M. (707) 482– 1350 No alcohol or tobacco allowed

July 18th and 19th at Weaverville. Mountain Bash. Jesse Poras at 530-227-0541.

July 25th and 26th at Eureka. HDVS Invitational. 3 Games for sure. $250. Men’s wood bat, Women’s metal bat and Co-ed tournaments. Contact Richard Marks at 445-3432.

August 1st and 2nd at Scotia. Wildwood Days Invitational. Contact Sam Jaskar at 845-3064.

August 15th and 16th at Mckinleyville. “Beat the heat!” Metal bat. $225. Contact 839-9003.

August 22nd and 23rd at Arcata. Northern California “E” metal bat championships.

August 29th and 30th at Arcata. USSSA California Wood Bat State Championships.

September 12th and 13th at Willow Creek. Tomaso’s hosts the Beer League Championships. $250. First come first serve. Contact Richard Marks at 445-3432.

Quick Northcoast softball notes:

Blue Lake wood bat league is finishing up this Sunday all day. The Championship game will be at 4pm. 8 teams were in the league.

Mckinleyville is hosting a Sunday afternoon co-ed league starting August 2nd. League cost is $200 and runs through September. Call 839-9003.

Arcata has 33 wood bat teams and play Monday thru Thursday each week.

Eureka has 27 men’s metal bat and 10 women’s teams. They also have 27 co-ed teams and 4 Senior League teams for a total of 68 teams.

Fortuna has 14 men’s teams and 8 women’s.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's day to all!

Being a father can be a hard thing. Compare it to having your heart out of your body walking around without any of your control. You do your best to lay the foundation, and then fret when one of the children make choices you do not agree with. Both of my son's, Jacob the oldest and Jordan the youngest, live in the Sacramento area. Jacob does auto body and upholstery work, and Jordan is in retail. I think about them daily and hope for the best. As do all you other fathers I am sure.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

California jobless rate highest since 1941!

11.5% unemployment rate. It was 68 years ago that work in the state was this bad. And it is going to get worse before it gets better. And this does not take into account workers who have had hours and wages cut back. Wish I had a quick fix answer. Any good ideas out there for the future?

Friday, June 19, 2009

David Fisher passes.

David Ray Fisher went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, June 13th, 2009, at about 10:50 p.m. at his home in Montague. David was just shy of his 54th birthday, and had been battling brain cancer for eight months after successfully overcoming prostate cancer.

After his service in the U.S. Army, Dave worked as a logger, welder, and millwright, before finally working for himself in the construction trades.

He will forever be missed by his wife, Deborah, of 35 years, his children; Dave and Kelly, Allen, Adam, Beth and Matt, Daniel, and Zachary. He was also the proud grandpa of six; Matt, Emma, Hailey, Adam, Hunter, and Hannah, all of whom will deeply miss their Grandpa. Dave is survived by numerous brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and innumerable friends who were always treated and thought of as family.

He was an avid outdoorsman and family man. He loved to hunt and fish, and the time spent with family and friends doing both. Dave made friends and shared the Word and love of God with everyone he met, and left a memorable impression on all.

His memorial service will be held at the Grenada Berean Church, 512 6th St., Grenada Ca., on Saturday, June 27th, at Noon. All who knew him are invited to attend. Girdner Funeral Chapel is assisting the family.

David's wife Debbie played softball with Robin for my wife's LP Treetopper team. David was always at the games with their adopted and foster children. Debbie was not supposed to be able to have kids, then surprise! They had two of their own. Dave and Debbie always kept a positive attitude throughout David's life, and I have nothing but positive memories of David and their kids. He was way to young to go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take it easy on my blog please.

I had surgery yesterday on my wrist, so I will not be on line much. It went well. Please keep the comments civil.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Former Evergreen Pulp Mill Workers! Alert! Please Attend Next Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Meeting!

This is a call out to all former Evergreen Pulp workers. Please show up to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chambers on Tuesday June 16th at 9:15am to hear testimony of co-workers who have been wronged on health care issues! This is your chance to take public action in the form of numbers! But do remember, you will have to go through a scan and search to get into the Board Chambers.

Thanks to 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely for making this an agenda item and to 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace for making this public.

John and Joy Mathson along with Gail and Jim Mellow bought the COBRA coverage and were defrauded. And many more past Evergreen workers have had medical costs burden them.

Time to get active!

Perry Price in bad softball accident. I hate when this happens.

Perry Price and I have been playing softball together forever. He really pushes me to do my best when we play in tournaments and league and I appreciate his companionship, even if we are yelling at each other. We are both intense, but at different levels. Perry is around 70 years old, but young at heart. He filled in playing for us this weekend and got on base pretty well and we won a tournament Saturday against much younger players. (He was the oldest in the tournament by at least 15 years.) I asked him to fill in on Sunday in the Blue Lake League if we were short players. Sure enough, we had only 9 players. In the second game, Perry was coaching at 1st base (Loudly) and the shortstop threw a ball to 1st wildly and squarely hit Perry in his bad knee and knocked him to the ground. It was a bad scene. I mean, this ball was thrown hard! Perry, got up and went back to his catcher position for the next inning because he is one of the toughest guys I know. When he was to come to bat his knee had swollen, of course. We took him out of the game. I felt bad. Perry had just showed up in case someone did not make it, and I had a few guys not call me and tell me they would not be there. Perry is at home and resting with a cane. He has a big party coming up and hopes to be able to dance. (A Perry specialty.)

This was my last weekend to play ball before my surgery. I had a good Saturday hitting in the tournament, and had 5 straight hits Sunday. Guys on my team were loudly telling me not to get my wrist fixed! But this thing really hurts and I want to be able to throw and hit right, and start lifting weights again. Oh yes, I want to be able to work again! (Heavy Equipment and such.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

This is the second softball tournament I am hosting this year. The first wood bat. I will hold at least 3 more this year, I hope. This should be a fun one. If you are not doing anything tomorrow come out and see the action. From 9am to maybe past 9pm! The Home Run contest will be at 1:40pm on the North Field. (Cory Frizell might be the favorite.) This is the time for teams and umpires to work out the kinks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Freshwater Pulp to become "Freshwater Tissue."

Here is the Schematic overview for the planned tissue plant. I had heard a rumor that the Flakt Driers were sold and had heard others say the mill would start making pulp as early as October, so I decided to go to the mill and see if I could get an answer from Bob Simpson. He was in his office and updated on these topics. No, the mill will not be operational for awhile. They are still trying to garner financing. The Federal Loan Guarantee process is taking too long, so Freshwater Tissue is exploring a "Green" Initial Public Offering (IPO). This is when a company sells common stock or shares to the public for the first time. They are going to try to market their company as an environmentally conscience product, using environmentally monitored processes, that will make toilet tissue free of all dioxins by using the Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) pulping process. They plan on only using wood chips that have been timber harvested responsibly and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The entire front line of the Machine Room is for sale, as is the equipment in the Chips Dump. The Chip Silos will be renovated to have better chip blending capabilities. If they have to build a secondary treatment plant, it will be totally enclosed, as opposed to open aired treatment.

Bob said any former pulp mill employee that wants to tour the mill are welcomed to come by and set that up. (He was concerned about workers coming in without permission. This has happened recently.)

Just double click on the above image to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senior SAC in first place! Blue Lake SAC somewhere in the middle.

First I will cover Blue Lake Samoa Athletic Club Team. We went 3-1 over the weekend. We were pretty much forced to play a Saturday make-up game, even though I said we had people working. Sure enough, we had only 9 players and lost. The second game we had ten and won. We are 7-3 so far and 2 games behind the Barnstormers. (2 of our loses with 9 players) Eric Eichin was 4-7 with a HR and 3 Doubles and Greg Alora was hot with the bat too.

On this last weekend date I am usually playing in the Summer Slam in Red Bluff that has all the best teams on the west coast converging for a great event. I missed it for the first time in years. Arcata team Ray Wolfe Construction fell just one game short of the finals! Good job Wolfe!

Tonight was the league debut of Samoa Athletic Club's senior league club. We beat the Mossbacks 25-12. They have beat up on the senior teams I have played for the last few years. I played sparingly last year. Steve Ritter is coaching this year and picked up some players I have been playing with and against for years! John Egerer is catching (I have been playing off and on with John for over 30 years!) Dudley Walters and Bill Landowski are sharing the pitchers mound, Chris Beechel is at 2nd and short, John Parker is at SS and Stu Rosenberg at 3B. Steve Ritter is at 2nd and 1st. Carlos Avelar plays all over. In the outfield is Pat Moore, Samoasoftball, Tony Hernandez and newcomer Mel. Ed Fregoso, Dave Damme, Mike Finley and David Stone are hopefuls in the near future. Infielders Rosenberg, Parker and Beechel were great tonight.

This was my last senior game until my surgery next Tuesday. Bummer. I will be coaching with the cast at third next week!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bonnie has her coming out party at Democrat June Jamboree.

Bonnie was pretty much the unofficial guest of honor at the Democrat "June Jamboree" at the Wharfinger Building. Kind of awkward for me, as I told Bonnie I was running against her during Mike Thompson's event about a month ago. I have had a few people ask me to consider not running for Supervisor and maybe run for Eureka City Council or Harbor Commissioner. I have been the only Democrat to run against Bonnie in the past, but now there would be 4 Demo's in the race! Crazy.

As with everything else in my world, I must compare this to the real life drama of softball. You know that guy you play against that you just can't stand? He can hit homers and play short like no ones business and you would just love to beat them? And all of the sudden he contacts your team and now you have to play with them? It takes awhile to adjust, but they end up making your team stronger. So, I guess I am on a "wait and see" stage.

I like Bonnie, but I have been vocal about the Supervisor seat not being a "career" job. Maybe I am wrong. She has done things that I disagree with, but she has also done much that I agree with.

I know this is a non-partisan race, but I still feel people more often than not look to a person's party affiliation.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Scoop! Virginia Bass a Democrat? She is semi-official running for 4th District Supervisor.

Virginia Bass is organizing an exploratory committee to consider a campaign for Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor. The Time Standard should have a story tommorrow. And get this, rumor has it she changed political parties months ago and is registered as Democrat! Now did Bonnie change parties in response to Virginia? That makes things really convoluted. Four Democrats running against each other? Bonnie Neely, Virginia Bass, Jeff Leonard and Richard Marks? Maybe Nancy Flemming will change her mind now. Any Greens out there? I know which one of the candidates needs a job about now. (I will give you a hint, he lives in Samoa.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A call for help for Evergreen workers. Petition.

Wes Chesbro
State Assembly
710 E Street, Suite 150
Eureka, CA 95501

Dear Assemblyman Chesbro:

If you will give us a moment of your time, we would like to inform you of our circumstances. We were employees of Evergreen Pulp, Inc. The company closed down and laid us off in the middle of October, 2008. Evergreen employed over 200 workers. Just imagine the stress, depression, and anxiety we are experiencing as a result of losing our life-long careers, loss of income, and loss of health insurance. Many of us either have no health insurance, or we are paying huge premiums with high deductibles. Factor into this the loss of our social network. We are suffering from the absence of the daily camaraderie of our family-like community of fellow workers.

All of this is devastating enough, but when you compound it by chronic health issues and the betrayal of a company in which we had faith and trust, it makes this blow so much harder to withstand. We believe Evergreen Pulp engaged in illegal business practices that violated our employees’ rights. Firstly, we were laid off without the notification requirements of the Federal and California WARN Act. Secondly, the company violated the Federal ERISA laws pertaining to pensions and COBRA coverage. Thirdly, the company willfully misled us into believing we had medical insurance when in fact they did not pay our medical bills for the months of October, November, and December. Some of our people have unpaid medical bills going back further than those months. The total of unpaid medical bills is over $400,000. We don’t know where to turn for help or if there is any justice for us.

Now, take into account the obstacles we face as unemployed, displaced workers in this time of economic down turn. We feel ill equipped to cope. We don’t know where to begin to regain some control over our reeling lives. We feel helpless and overwhelmed.

Also we want to inform you that our county is in desperate need of jobs. We are displaced workers in a county where jobs have been dwindling for years. This is the county where our children go to schools and where we have families and homes. Where is there to go from here?

We would appreciate any help or advice you can offer us. Our signatures and phone numbers are provided on a separate sheet.


AWPPW, Local 49
Contact Person: Tom Reilly, Union President, home phone (707) 443-9267

If you are a past worker or a concerned local citizen, please sign a petition or call Wes Chesbro's office at 445-7014 and say you agree.

Joy Mathson put this letter together. Her husband John has cancer and has been going through chemo for awhile and has medical bills over $60,000 that his family thought was covered through our labor agreement. I have worked with John for over 25 years. Others from the mill have medical debts in question also. I am so upset this has happened to our membership. We need Single Payer Health coverage.

Or at least employers who are responsible.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Lee & Man/Evergreen Pulp leaders finally leave town. Bob Simpson of Freshwater Pulp to give presentation at Union Hall this Wednesday?

Past Evergreen CEO David Tsang and bean counter Sam Wong have moved out of their home in Eureka. I guess they are done with whatever business they were closing at the Pulp Mill. Too bad this whole thing ended so negatively when it started out so positive. David seemed like a straight up person and ended up a huge disappointment. He was very poor at communication and his managerial pratices were helter skelter. And he did a terrible job at closing the pulp mill in orderly fashion.

And Lee and Man? They have taken no responsibility of their cut and run tactics on US soil. Chinese companies should be bonded or at least follow US labor laws as other domestic companies have to. When they closed the pulp mill their stock was selling on the Hong Kong market at $1.57 a share. It is now selling for $9.16! And yet they will not cover past wages and medical costs that have burdened past workers at the pulp mill. They should not be able to sell paper products in the US until they make us whole!

According to AWPPW Vice President Greg Pallesen, in the last 6 years 300 pulp and paper manufacturers have closed in the US. And in the last 6 years 300 pulp and paper manufacturers have opened in China! With little environmental concerns. Think locally (close US mills) Act globally (open toxic pulp mills overseas).

Freshwater Pulp President Bob Simpson has offered to give his companies presentation to the union at local 49 headquarters in Manila. Don't know if he is doing it this week or later, but if you are not doing anything, show up Wednesday for this months first meeting.