Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I will have you impeached Mr. Lovelace! No Offense." Qoute by Louie DeMartin. Jill Duffy, "I am tired of these games!" Nomination for CCC 2010.

Quite the verbiage flying around this morning at the Humboldt County Courthouse Board of Supervisors chamber. It seemed innocent enough on the agenda, "Consider Nominations for the California Coastal Commission North Coast Regional Representative." Only one person had turned in some sort of paperwork to be considered (Mark Lovelace) and there seemed to be a disconnect in distributing information to the correct public entities that was sent from the outgoing Governors office to the County Board of Supervisor clerk. Distribution to solicit other candidates seemed to be missing.

When outgoing 4th District County Supervisor Bonnie Neely made a motion to nominate Lovelace, (Jimmie Smith seconded) outgoing 5th District Supervisor Jill Duffy showed displeasure with the process and said she was tired of the "GAMES" that were being played with the nomination process. She asked Neely to amend here motion to allow other prospective candidates to come forward. Jill also chided Chair Clif Clendenan for not forwarding this information to the two newly elected Supervisors. Neely initially stood pat on her motion and waited for public comment. That is when it became apparent that the public felt the process was being railroaded and undermined by politics. Not one person from the public came forward to speak in favor of Lovelace's nomination. All spoke about the lack of due process in choosing and asked for reconsideration. A reaccuring theme was Lovelace's ties to Humboldt Baykeepers. Mr. Louie DeMartin publically viscerated Mr. Lovelace with a public tirade on how he is the problem with the lack of growth in the county and said it will be a personal crusade of his to get him out of office.

Eureka Mayor and 4th District Supervisor elect Virginia Bass came forward to the podium to express her desire to be considered for the position. Seems to make sense, as she would replace the person she will be replacing in office.

Bonnie Neely relented to Jill's request to nominate Lovelace but to consider others in a future meeting. The motion passed unaimously.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey day, Turkey's!

Perry Price used to yell at his ball players in all the sports he coached, yelling "Turkey's!" Here is one for you all, "Turkey's!"Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ranked voting rank?

SF Gate:

A political candidate who forms coalitions, touts other candidates vying for the same office and brags about being somebody's third choice?

Yes, it could happen - and it's an increasingly likely campaign strategy under the Bay Area's relatively new and somewhat perplexing system of ranked-choice voting, supporters and opponents agree.

The mayor's races in Oakland and San Leandro and two supervisors' races in San Francisco all saw the candidate with the most first-choice votes ultimately lose - demonstrating the traditional campaign style doesn't always work anymore.

"The old style was it's you against me, mano a mano," said Steven Hill, the architect of the local ranked-choice voting system.

"You can now try to build coalitions around these ranked ballots by finding common ground with other opponents."

Under ranked-choice voting - started in San Francisco in 2004 and used in Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro for the first time this year - voters pick their first, second and third choices.

If nobody wins more than half the vote, last-place candidates are eliminated and their second and third place votes are redistributed until someone wins a majority.

Former state Sen. Don Perata beat Oakland City Councilwoman Jean Quan in first-choice votes for Oakland's mayoral race 35 to 24 percent, but wound up losing by a two-point margin when second- and third-place votes were counted.

In San Leandro, Mayor Tony Santos won the most first-place votes in his bid for re-election, but lost his seat to challenger Stephen Cassidy.

San Francisco's case

Similar scenarios played out in the race for two seats on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Janet Reilly won the first place count in District Two, but new ranked-choice voting tallies released by the Department of Elections on Monday showed Mark Farrell winning the seat.

In District 10, an eye-popping 21 candidates ran for the seat, with Lynette Sweet getting the most first-place votes. However, Malia Cohen, initially far behind, won the seat because she was the second or third choice of voters for many of her fellow candidates.

Hill said these kinds of partnerships between candidates, as well as promoting a fellow candidate or political group's second or third pick, will all become more common.

David Latterman, a political consultant who opposes ranked-choice voting, agreed but said that doesn't mean elections will be all sunshine and rainbows. He said Perata lost in Oakland largely on the "Anybody but Don" mantra of Quan and fellow candidate Rebecca Kaplan.

"They bludgeoned Perata. It was a friend-of-my-enemy thing," Latterman said. "I think you're going to see more second-tier candidates try to team up."

A diluted message

David Lee, a political science lecturer at San Francisco State University, said candidates will try to become the second or third choice of so many challengers, their platform may become diluted.

He gave the example of the San Francisco mayor's race in November, 2011 - the first time ranked-choice voting will be used in a competitive mayors' race in the city.

A straight, white, moderate candidate could try to woo Chinese voters by becoming state Sen. Leland Yee's second choice, woo gay voters by becoming Supervisor Bevan Dufty's second choice, and woo lefties by becoming the second or third choice of a number of progressives expected to enter the race.

"How do you appeal to all those voters in order to earn their second or third choices?" Lee asked. "Who are you at the end of the day?"

Mayor Gavin Newsom said ranked-choice voting "could dramatically change the face of the mayor's race."

And he said that's not necessarily a good thing because voters - including himself - remain confused by the system. He said that as a District Eight voter, he voted for the same candidate for supervisor three times. "Then they said you can't do that," he said of a poll worker.

Corey Cook, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said this election season's outcomes will shape ranked-choice voting in the future - perhaps by angering enough people so they try to dismantle it.

"We don't know yet whether it will change the strategy for campaigns or whether this is ultimately going to be the unwinding of the movement," he said. "Both outcomes are possible."

Heather Knight at hknight@sfchronicle.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

RIP Mark Weatherbee

Weatherbee born October 30, 1955. Mark passed away unexpectedly due to natural causes in His Favorite Place on earth, Ruth Lake, Ca. Mark graduated From Arcata High School in 1974.

He worked at Louisiana Pacific, and later Mickeys Quality Cars, as automobiles were a great hobbie of his. Although he feared the water, Mark loved fishing, Boating and jet Skiing at Ruth Lake and also loved to hunt and anything else outdoors. He enjoyed staying busy and loved watching movies on his big screen tv. Mark found great joy and fulfillment in teaching his grandkids how to work on cars, hunt, fish, shoot guns and how to drive. Mark was a caring father and grandfather and was always there for them no matter what.

Mark was the kind of man who would and did give u his last 5 dollars and the shirt off of his back and enjoyed seeing others do their best. Mark was a grumpy and stubborn, yet hardworking and compassionate, fun person... This summer was spent with his kids, grandkids and all the other kids who call him Gramps in Ruth Lake and Redding Ca doing what he loved the most... Mark is survived by his mother Dolores Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca. His three daughters, Tiffany Weatherbee, of Redding, Ca. Nicole Weatherbee, Stewart of Redding, Ca., Sarah McCartney of Redding, Ca, his 7 Grandkids, Tyler, Brittany, Mikhayla, Devin, Ariana, Khayden, Tonie. His three brothers Eddie Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca, Bobby Weatherbee of Blue Lake, Ca., Doug Weatherbee of Eureka, Ca. His Sister Peggy Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca Nieces and Nephews Alyssa, Cody, Derek, Amber, Hayli, Sarah, Hannah and Very Dear Friends. Bill Nichols, Rick VanTassel, Tim Monson, Tom Monson, Gary Miller, Mark will be missed by everyone who knew him...

A celebration of life will be held on November 21, 2010 at The Moose Lodge 4328 Campton rd. Eureka, Ca. Starting at noon. For any other information please call Tiffany Weatherbee at 530-524-3450 Please sign the guest book at www.Times-Standard.com, click obits.

Mark was the kind of guy who would tell it like it is, whether you wanted to know or not. He didn't hold back punches. He loved his family. He lived life on his terms, not on the expectations of others. Way to young to go.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HSU Doubleheader.

HSU was a sports Meca yesterday and Robin and I went to watch Lyndon Rowells and the HSU football Seniors in their season finale. And Lyndon did not disappoint. He broke school records in yards in a season and Touchdowns in a game. And he probably only really played a little over 2 quarters! And gained over 200 yeard in the game.

Then we went to watch the men's basketball team play Bethany University. We had the best tickets I have ever purchased for a HSU game. 1st row right behind the scorers table! Got em for $10 a pop at a political auction. New coach Steve Kinder played his whole bench while Bethany only played a 7 player rotation. One of those was a Freshman player who went to High School at Impact Basketball Academy named Brett Hoisington. Robin and I were talking to each other about this when Bethany brought him in early in the 1st half. And this young kid put up 24 points and played sound fundamental ball. Anyways, HSU has a player named Brandon Sperling that may be their best player, but Kinder has all sorts of options in a deep lineup. Finding the right combination may be his uphill battle. But I think they will be a better than average team. I predict about a 18-10 record and then big things next year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Post election musings. By Marks!

When Bonnie went negative during the primaries, I really was worried about what her campaign would come up with for the November general election. I told Virginia and her husband Matt that they needed to hire professional consultant from Sacramento to bring this election home. "We don't want a professional, we want you!" Cute. But I was a nervous campaign chair for the whole summer. Luckily I had a candidate that would willingly walk the district over and over. Grass roots, locally driven making relationships door to door. And there was no way I could do this without Matt's help. And this was while he was working 60 hours plus a week. Hardest worker I know.

The local Democrats could have done a better job in helping their endorsed candidates. The Mailer they did for Kuhnel, Glass and LaValle were the worse by far and had absolutely the worst timing. Right smack dab in between absentee voters and poll voters. They didn't ask for my advice though. They asked me to leave the room during an executive meeting so they could discuss. The $10,000 dollars they sent to the Neely and Cleary ($5,000 each) campaigns was something they should do early in the campaigns, not later. Bonnie may have spent $300,000 this election. Whatever the total finally is, it will establish a record for the ages for Humboldt County politics. And most of it was in very large doses NOT from the 4th District.

I was asked to resign my position on the HCDCC. ("Bullied" actually if you want the truth, during a "Mob" scene at the October general Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee meeting.) If this is the "tolerant" "inclusive" party, I would have to say they need a little work. Larry Glass, Linda Adkins, Ron Kuhnel, Andrew Bird, Peter LaValle, Bob and Pam Service and others asked for my head on a platter for endorsing a "Declined to State" candidate and two moderate Democrats in Eureka. (Mike Newman, Marian Brady and Virginia Bass) Funny that they did not bring me to task when I endorsed and sent money to Green Party candidates in the past. (I do feel bad for Milt Boyd and others on the committee that will have to do my job. I did a lot of grunt work, set up and clean up of events, Recording Secretary, tabling of fairs/registering Democrats, troubleshooting Headquarters Computer and equipment, and other stuff people take for granted.

Past HCDCC chair Patrick Riggs said it best, "It all really comes down to that dirty piece of property by the Bay." It sure did. Loud and clear.

If the Provisional voters turn out to be the key for Gallegos to return to office, then a tip of the hat to Richard Salzman for being the top "on the ground level" campaigner in Humboldt County. And it may have been the North Country Fair that turned the tide. I witnessed him registering and re-registering many young HSU types and having them volunteer for Paul.

Since when are local businesses determined to be "evil developers?" These people who supply jobs and taxes that make our local economy go? Just who are they?

To close, endorsements do not win or lose elections. Or Bonnie would have won in a landslide. Wille Brown said it best, "Have a simple winning message and repeat it over and over." "Time for a Change. Get Hooked on Bass." "It is time to clean up the Marina Center. Join the Brady Bunch." "We need jobs. I am a NEW Man for the job." Laugh, cry or get angry. But don't shoot me, I am just the messenger.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sheri Woo in on Water Board!

Sheri Woo was appointed to out going Tera Pruscha's 2nd Division Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board seat this morning. Ben Sheppard was the other nominee. Barbara Hecathorn was the only dissenting vote. The 2nd Division district is McKinleyville and Westhaven area.

I went to the meeting to see how the process of appointment would work out and was shocked to see a compromise. Originally the board had been split over each candidate. When the vote was called to question by Aldron Laird, Bruce Rupp said he would like to comment. He outlined how the board had been working together for the good of the community. He pointed out President Kaitlin Sopoci Belknap's actions on the board as one of compromise, when he had first judged her to be a Green Party "bomb throwing" environmentalist. Bruce explained that while he agreed with Ben's basic Capitalistic business entrepreneurship and risk taking model, he would make a decision based on the good of the water district as a whole. He apologized to Ben but voted in favor of Woo. Barbara spoke on her favor of Ben. It was pointed out that Ben had publicly ran for this position so he had a track record of wanting the position.

Ben was very gracious with the decision and complimented the board for their work together. He did point out that the process was not a pleasant experience but he respected their decision.

My opinion: This is a very strong board with very diverse opinions but seem to be good at problem solving and working through their political differences. Good for them.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010