Saturday, October 31, 2009

Door knocking on Halloween. Wet and wild!

It was a wet one out there today in Eureka. Chris and I knocked on a ton of doors. We did all or part of 11 streets. The reception we had was really positive for the campaign. The bummer part was that I was going to knock on one door and this scantily dressed young lady came out dressed in white and high heels (an angel I was guessing), and my 24 year volunteer was across the street at a vacant house! He was not happy when I reported the sighting.

It was a great day to knock because many people were home. When it got around 4pm people were right by their doors to answer the call of the trick or treaters. I was offered candy! I went to one door and the guy came out and said, "You called me the other day, the first time I had a politician call me, and now you are at my door and I just received your mailer. Yes, I am voting for you!" (Overkill maybe?)

I seen many little goblins and adults dressed up and ready for the night. Robin and I are staying home and giving out candy. We are not going to make any parties tonight so far.

72 foot Female Blue Whale killed neared Ft. Bragg.

I am surprised there has been so little press on this subject.

NOAA Contract Boat Kills Blue Whale Off Fort Bragg
Fishermen, Enviros Call for Independent Investigation

By Dan Bacher

Environmentalists and fishermen on California’s North Coast are calling for an independent investigation into the killing of an endangered blue whale off Fort Bragg by a mapping survey boat contracted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The 72-foot female blue whale, a new mother, perished on Monday, October 19, after being hit by the 78-foot Pacific Star, under contract to NOAA to update maps of the ocean floor

Multibeam echo sounders (MBES), like other sonar systems, transmit sound energy and analyze the return signal (echo) that has bounced off the seafloor or other objects, according to NOAA's Office of Coast Survey. Multibeam sonars emit sound waves from directly beneath a ship's hull to produce fan-shaped coverage of the seafloor.

The National Geographic and other media outlets gushed that the Fort Bragg blue whale’s death provided a unique opportunity for scientists to study a whale.

The irony of a boat collecting data to protect marine life hitting a huge whale is something of an anomaly you would think. Nope. NOAA boats have hit 3 whales in the last 6 months! One off Massachusetts and another in Southern California. They should take one more person with them to look out for whales while they are searching for other fish!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Susan Penn taken by the Police!

To Ferndale. After her car over heated on the way to KHUM for a talk on Cliff Berkowitz show, Happy Trails. Susan had put water in her car and didn't put the cap back on her reservoir and so she made it as far ad College of the Redwoods. A police officer pulled over where Susan was stranded and gave her a lift to Ferndale just in time to make the program. (The officer lives in Ferndale.)

After the show, I gave Susan a ride to John's wrecking yard and the wife of former pulp mill worker Glen Bernald was able to find a cap to replace the lost one on Susan's 81' Mercedes in the yard. So I took her back to her car and she was back on the road.

Oh, and about the "Happy Trail" show. I thought Cliff was trying to turn the show into "Grumpy Rails."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jim Bush passes. Long time Pulp Mill worker.

Jim Bush passed away today around 2:30pm. I worked with Jim in the Bleach plant in the early 80's. I was a 4th Assistant (Lab Tester) and he was the Digester Operator. Nice guy. He then became management and was the Shift Supervisor on my crew. I have good memories and he will be missed by all. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Freshwater Tissue. RIP.

When the rally for the pulp mill was canceled, I was holding out hope that it found funding. Instead, this is the end of the line. Sad day for good paying jobs.

October 20, 2009

Green Manufacturing Mill Unable to Obtain Federal Stimulus Funds, Closes Permanently

Freshwater Tissue would have created nearly 3,000 green jobs for economically devastated Northern California

Humboldt County, CA- Freshwater Tissue, California’s last pulp mill and the only chlorine-free/dioxin-free mill in the United States plans to permanently close. The current owners of the Samoa, CA pulp mill were unable to obtain federal stimulus funds to convert the Samoa mill into an integrated tissue plant. The plant would have served as an exemplary model of responsible and environmentally sound American manufacturing.

In spite of the Samoa mill’s status as the only chlorine-free/dioxin-free pulp mill in the United States, the mill has struggled since the mid 1990’s to compete with foreign competition. When the new owners acquired the Samoa mill in February of 2009, their vision was to make the mill competitive by manufacturing consumer-ready, eco-friendly, chlorine-free toilet tissue. The vision included consuming by-products of the Redwood forest, such as tanoak trees, which are a valueless, disease-stricken hardwood tree species that at present is an extreme fire hazard to the Redwood region. The company’s vision had broad support from environmental advocacy groups, educators, foresters, community leaders and labor unions. Unfortunately, the banking industry collapsed, and both federal and state lawmakers, including Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), were unable to help fund a shovel ready, job creating, and renewable stimulus project. As a result, 425 direct and 2,500 indirect green jobs have been lost permanently for California’s North Coast region.

Rick Hind, Legislative Director of Greenpeace said of the closure, “It’s outrageous that the federal government, which just offered $55 million for experimental ‘clean coal’ technologies, could not find a penny for a proven chlorine-free pulp mill and the green jobs it would support.”

Labor union leaders have also expressed their profound disappointment. Greg Pallesen, Vice President of The Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers remarked that, “The closure of the Samoa, California mill is a prime example of failed U.S. financial and trade policies, which continue to be the main cause of massive job losses in the U.S. At the same time as the “green” Samoa manufacturing site is closed forever, large polluting mills in China and elsewhere are being brought online in order to supply U.S. consumers. The end result destroys working families here at home while increasing pollution worldwide. Shame on our politicians who do nothing but talk about “green” job creation. This facility is closed forever, and the families and communities in Northern California will suffer for years to come.”

Gregg Gold, Sierra Chapter President, spoke on behalf of the North Group and Redwood chapters representing over 10,000 members. “Of local importance is the fact that the Samoa mill would have provided a viable market for Tanoak trees, which the timber industry treats as an undesirable weed. At present, Tanoak trees are eradicated by spraying them with chemicals to halt their growth or kill them. This process tends to make Tanoak quite flammable, which endangers the entire forest including the Redwoods where Tanoak is most prevalent. In sum, we believe Mr. Simpson’s vision had the potential to transform an entire industry, and are sorry to see his vision disappear.”

“I left Samoa in 1996 after eliminating the use of chlorine at the pulp mill,” said Bob Simpson, President of Freshwater Tissue Company. “I returned to Samoa in 2009 with a vision of converting the Nation’s only chlorine-free pulp mill into an integrated tissue mill, and providing sustainable jobs for a green economy. In a normal economic climate, such a plant would have easily found funding by green tech investors. The current financial crisis made this nearly impossible so we turned to President Obama’s green stimulus plan for support. We had hoped that our Federal and State lawmakers would help us obtain Federal stimulus funding which was designed precisely for green manufacturing projects that are sustainable and create living-wage American jobs. I am extremely disappointed and saddened by the lack of support we received from our Congressional representatives. Humboldt County needed these jobs and America needed this green technology.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wes Chesbro inspects Humboldt Domestic Violence Service Safe House.

Wes came by the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) office this afternoon to check out the safe house that replaced the one that burned down a few years ago. He assured HDVS staff he is doing all he can to make possible that Schwarzenegger signs a bill to partly restore funding for Domestic Violence Services all over the state. It is great to have a positive advocate for the victims of domestic violence. Wes has been to all the other 1st District counties to see other programs and will be on the forefront for this cause. I think everyone is on the same page when it comes to this subject. And across all political parties. This subject transcends partisan politics. Most families have experienced domestic violence. Most don't like to talk about it though.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Delores Weatherbee turns 80!

My buddy Doug's mom celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow. There is a gathering of family and friends at the Samoa Women's Club Saturday the 17th of October at 2pm. If you happen to be in the area stop by and say hi! Delores has been a resident of Samoa for nearly all her life. She has witnessed many changes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If you see this sign blowing in the wind. Sorry!

Last nights winds may have caused havoc on some of my signs. And, of course, my opponents. Hopefully this won't cause too much of an inconvenience to all. If one of my signs has disappeared in your yard, please e-mail me and I will do what I can.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HCDCC vs. SFDCC. Willie Brown and Arnold at Demo event!

The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee had a huge showing at the last general meeting with candidates from every party showing up to stump their issues. Moany of the top ranked elected officials were present to witness the HCDCC endorsement process. When it comes to county central committees, I would say our HCDCC is very active when compared to other counties with comparable populations.

But read this excerpt from Willie Brown's experience in emceeing a San Francisco Democratic Central Committee event. Maybe we should invite Willie as a guest for the next Democrat of the Year (DOTY):

By now, I'm sure you've all seen or heard about the cell phone video of our state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano yelling out for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to "kiss my gay ass."

And as usual when something this bad happens, everyone is pointing the finger at me.

Yes, I was the emcee at the Democratic Central Committee event. And yes, I did invite Arnold to say a few words.

But the truth is, the first I knew about Arnold's presence was when committee Chairman Aaron Peskin leaned over and said, "Hey, your buddy is coming in through the door."

"You gotta be kidding me," I said. "What would the governor be doing here?"

Beats me, Peskin said, but you should introduce him.

I did, and with that, Ammiano became the Democrats' version of Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson, leading the chorus of boos before he and his buddies walked out.

To be honest, by that point you couldn't tell who was walking in, who was walking out or much else, because people had been drinking since 5 in the afternoon.

After the dinner I went to the bar and I got a tap on the shoulder.

It was Arnold, insisting that I join him. He was completely unfazed by what had happened. The only reference he made was to ask me jokingly, "Hey, what are you doing with all those crazies?"

"Picking up stuff for my column," I replied.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Community Rally for Freshwater Tissue.


WHO: Environmental groups, union leaders, local elected officials, business leaders, and hundreds of community residents.

WHAT: Rally and Press Conference to Save the Samoa Pulp Mill

WHERE & WHEN: 12:00 p.m. Thursday, October 22 at the Samoa Pulp Mill in Humboldt County, CA

WHY: The Samoa Pulp Mill WILL be forced to shut down if they are not able to secure Federal Stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Lawmakers need to know that saving the Samoa Mill will create 425 new green jobs for residents, and over 2,500 ancillary jobs in the region. The Samoa mill is the ONLY Chlorine-free/Dioxin-free pulp mill in the United States, and shutting it down will export American jobs and American pollution overseas. The operation of this mill provides funds vital to support the community businesses and public infrastructure.

Freshwater Tissue Company acquired the Samoa Pulp Mill in February 2009. Freshwater intends to convert the Samoa Pulp Mill into an integrated tissue mill, producing eco-friendly toilet paper for U.S. regional consumers. It will consume by-products and tan oak logs from the Coastal Redwood Forests whose die-off threatens to spark wildfires throughout the region. Freshwater Tissue embodies a GREEN, REVITALIZED American Economy, and we need your help!

Check out!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

LA Times writer in Humboldt County!

Los Angeles Times writer Alana Semuels will be in Humboldt County tomorrow to do a story about the Timber industry decline. She will be at the Samoa Cookhouse at noon and is hoping to talk to the general membership of the Association of Pulp and Paper Workers local 49 at around 4pm in Manila. Please help get the word out!

Richard Marks

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Marks held at knife point while door knocking! Art's alive crazy busy!

I was knocking on doors in Eureka today and a lady answered the door wielding a huge knife. I looked at her wide eyed and she looked at her hand with the knife and realized she had carried it from the kitchen and it was actually kind of funny. (Got a sign placement out of it.) I probably walked more miles today than I have ever done in a campaign. And I have walked this district more than a few times.

Art's alive looked busier than I have ever seen it. People are probably thinking this will be the last good chance weather wise. I was tabling right next to a dancing troupe raising money for refuges in Darfar. We donated to their cause.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Nixon was right on heath care?

“A sweeping new program,” President Richard M. Nixon called it when he introduced his bold national health plan in 1971. “One that builds on the strengths of the present system, and one that does not destroy these strengths. One based on partnership, not paternalism.”

According to AARP that plan was very similar to the current Obama health plan. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, author of his own national plan, led the critics on Nixon's health plan. This last year he reflected that and thought we should have jumped on that plan years ago. It will interesting to see just what will be the end result.