Monday, April 30, 2012

Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee not much different than SF!


 San Francisco Dems argue just like the our local HCDCC. Maybe more nasty. Here is a pretty good analogy by the SF writer:

Let me take a second on this “moderate” tag. Moderates in San Francisco are people who are liberal on social issues – like, frankly, 80 or 90 percent of the city – but conservative on economic issues. Conservative is the right word here: The moderates don’t typically support higher taxes on the rich and big business, don’t support development controls, are weak on tenant issues, don’t think that housing should be a right of all people and pretty much buy into what in the Clinton era we called neo-liberalism.

The progressives (who have economic policies more like the Democratic Party of FDR and Lyndon Johnson) and the moderates (who have economic policies more like the Democratic Party of Walter Shorenstein, Dianne Feinstein and Bill Clinton) have been fighting for decades over the future of a city where there aren’t a whole lot of Republicans.

But the Womens Democratic slate gets nasty.

Just refreshing to hear that we have alot in common with our neighbors to the south.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

1st District Forum hosted by Humboldt Association of Realtors! Annette DeModena, Cheryl Seidner and Rex Bohn in showdown! Here comes that train!


The Humboldt Association of Realtors hosted a forum 4/25/12 at the Runeberg Hall in Eureka. I will try to dissect as much information as I can.  I had over 4 pages of notes, and I am sure you don’t want the long version. So here is a synapse.
Opening Statements:
Annette: Teacher, Grand Jury member and involved in Positive Research for Preparation of Information.
Cheryl:  Did you know that the Eel River used to be called the Weott? Her ancestors lived on the banks and also on Indian Island. Nobody in this race can claim longer linage. Champions’ local road improvement, health care, need of jobs and housing for all. “We need people talking to people as a collaborative effort!”
Rex: Said we need to create private sector jobs and be business friendly. “I like to get things done!” “This is the most beautiful place in the world!”
What is your position on the Forster Gil/Ridgewood project?
Rex: Is not happy that Cal Trans and the City of Eureka were left out of the loop. He does not feel the slopes in the area will be able to handle development.  Doesn’t like that the developers are not local.
Cheryl: New housing wouldn’t be bad, but the infrastructure needs to be dealt with. The traffic issues mitigated. Would like things to go back to the drawing board as far as water and sewage issues.
Annette: Lead agency was not addressed for project. “Lots need to be done. The streets proposed need to be widened.”
Should the General Plan Update protect right to live on TPZ land?
Cheryl: Protect landowners. Need to work together, private or not. “The County needs to work with the landowners!”
Annette: “Protect their rights to live on the lands.”
Rex: Protect property rights.  Respect the lands handed down to family members (Heritage) but respect the environment also.
Should County support Richardson Grove Project?
Annette: “Get it done as soon as possible!”
Rex: “Get it done tomorrow!”  “Needed for niche manufacturing and safer passage!”
Cheryl: “This is in litigation and out of our hands. Need to focus on local made products. This affects all of us!”
What are your feelings about the shady parcels from the planning department?
Rex: “This is a problem created in the 1970’s.” “Land owners need this to be fixed and fast tracked to allow property to be developed. That will create jobs!”
Cheryl: “You got me.” “My property was one of those shaded.” She felt this problem was handed down for generations, but the planning department was helpful. She thanked Jimmy Smith for help on this issue also.
Annette: Said that the planning commission was taking care of mitigation.
What are you feelings on the proposed Railroad going east?
Cheryl: Need a county feasibility study. Needs to be looked at vigorously.
Annette: “I am part of Prosperity 2012 and we are proposing a rail study.” She pointed out that many jobs would be created and the benefits for the harbor would be great.
Rex: “Tehema has approved feasibility. So has Trinity. Why is Humboldt the holdup?” “Having a viable deep water port could create 500 jobs.” Felt we needed to look at study because rail is environmentally friendly and takes truck off the road.
Are you a Private Property Advocate?
Annette: “Yes, I am an Advocate.” But she wanted to make sure land use decisions fit codes. Mentioned not liking the Tip Top club.
Rex: “Yes. Property rights are an intangible asset. “
Cheryl: “We own our property and should be good stewards.” “Meth labs in housing is not responsible ownership.” She would like to help people through the process and work together as a community.
How do we create affordable housing?
Rex: “Create jobs and housing will become affordable!”
Cheryl: “Every Neighborhood needs everybody!”  “Need to take of all and live together. That is a community!”
Annette: “It takes a village.” Feels that a community is responsible to do something.
What are you feelings of the restructuring of the Community Development and planning department?
Cheryl: “Sometimes offices get too big. I don’t know what happened. If that is what has been done let’s see how it works.”
Annette: “The Department grew too big.” “It is healthy.”
Rex: “It is a big ship and the Captain leading it is responsible.” “The planning staff need to know who they work for, us!” “The Department is not business friendly and plays with inventory numbers to the point that grants are misapplied for.” “The efficiency of this department has been grand jury discussion.”
How do feel about Rural lifestyle allowing Homesteading?
Annette: “It is a choice. Your right to do that. Go for it!”
Rex: “It means having a septic system instead of a sewer system.” “It is alright if you live within your means, just remember, the 1st Responder is you!”
Cheryl: I grew up in a rural community with well and septic service.” ”We’ve bee doing this for years. We are a hardy people.”
What is your opinion on the General Plan Update?
Rex: “What’s it been? Twelve years?” “Plan is unsustainable and unaffordable” “It strips away personal property rights.” “I have been to around 40 public meetings and this as a political football.” “May have to start over to anything done in Humboldt County.” Rex mentioned other counties only taking a little over 2 years to update their plans.
Cheryl: “In my opinion, it is going too slow.” “The process is huge and difficult. People were not being listened to. ““Need to vote this one in and start a new one”
Annette: “The County General Plan needs to be updated every 20 years and we are getting close to that many years.” “The process is too slow.” She feels the need to readdress the Citizen Advisory Committee, and land use issues. 
Contrast these roles, private sector vs. public in community planning decisions.
Cheryl: “Private is very important and Government needs to cooperate.” “Makes me crazy. “ “Need to get to the meat of things!”
Annette: “Currently this is being done top down with not much public input.” “There is power in the people.”
Rex: “For the people, by the people.” “Private sector pays the bills!” “You need the private sector to attract businesses.” “ Need to get things done, no cum bay a or touchy feely stuff.” “We meeting stuff to death!” “So no just having a meeting so we can say we had a meeting.”
What is the first thing you would have the new planning director address?
Annette: “How do we serve the people efficiently for all?” “Have them be part of the solution and not the problem.” She would like to help support change.
Rex: “Improve customer service.” “Run the department like a private enterprise.” When Bob cannot obtain a permit, Bob cannot work, so no jobs!” “If staff needs checks and balances, staff is limited by their Supervisors.” “Need to copy other places for customer service.”
Cheryl: “People First!” “Talk to the Director and go through right channels.”
Closing Statement:
Rex: He feels he has the Qualities to get things done. An emphasis on Public Safety, Roads, Parks and less on grants.  “I will work like there is no tomorrow!”
Cheryl: Not a stranger to hard work.  Wants to help people who can’t help themselves. “People First!” Has raised money for the community and promises that “The doors will always be open!”
Annette: Spent 24 years here in education. Been active in the community. “I do care. I can’t serve people if I don’t know who they are.”  People approached her to run for this seat.

Humboldt Bay Symposium 2012!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) Hall of Shame!
Just pondering the HCDCC non endorsement of Estelle Fennell last week. 4 years ago Estelle was endorsed and given the HCDCC blessing. What has she done the last 4 years to offend local Democrats? Nothing. Last month the HCDCC gave Mark Lovelace a well-deserved unanimous endorsement. Cheryl Seidner was not present and was given an endorsement without so much as one question asked to her directly. Then she was a no show for the next meeting.  The HCDCC gave her their blessing without even knowing her platform! (Cheryl should have been given this endorsement on the fact that she is the only Democrat in the 1st District willing to run.) I just think it was bad practice to judge Estelle so harshly based on the messed up General Plan and her involvement with HumCPR.
Past Democrats who have been denied the HCDCC endorsement :
1.       Jill Duffy: Won 5th District Supervisor seat.

2.       Virginia Bass: Won 4th District Supervisor seat.

3.       Richard Marks for 4th District Supervisor: Sitting Harbor Commissioner.

4.       Estelle Fennell for 2nd District Supervisor: TBD

5.       Pat Higgins for 5th District Supervisor: Sitting Harbor Commissioner.

6.       Worth Dikeman, Paul Hagen, Kathleen Bryson and Allison Jackson for District Attorney: Really started the bad precedent of endorsing one Democrat over another.

7.       Mari Wilson: won County Assessor seat.

8.       Mary Beth Wolford: Former Eureka City Councilperson.

9.       Jeff Leonard: 2 term Eureka City Councilperson.

10.   Marian Brady: Won Eureka City Council race.

11.   Mark Wheetley: Won Arcata City Council race.

12.   Roy Curless: Won Harbor District race. (Note: Kind of funny really. Roy was the Chair of the HCDCC in the 60’s!)

13.   Dan Hauser: 14 year Assemblyman for the 1st District! Lifelong Liberal!

14.   Charles Ollivier: Lost Harbor District race.

15.   Dan Collen: Sitting Northern Humboldt Union High School District Trusteee.

16.   Mike Pigg: Sitting Northern Humboldt Union High School District Trusteee.
The above Democrats have over 400 years’ combined experience as Democrats! Not good enough for this HCDCC!
Now here is the list of Democrats found worthy of being endorsed by the HCDCC and lost!
1.      Bonnie Neely: Only a Democrat for a short time, but embraced as champion for the progressives. A Republican for many years. The only race she ever lost was as a Democrat.

2.      Patrick Cleary:  First foray into politics. Was a great candidate and came up just short.

3.      Estelle Fennell: She had the problem of people on the HCDCC running her opponents campaign!

4.      Pat Higgins: Did not give Pat the resources to unseat Jill Geist.

5.      Peter LeValley: Lost mayor race twice. Neither time was he given the resources to run viable campaigns. True progressive. Made bad alliances.

6.      Nan Abrams: Where was the help from the HCDCC?

7.      Ron Kuhnel: Ran for Eureka City Council 2 times. Great Candidate who lacked resources from HCDCC. Knee injury may have cost him this last race. (Limited his walking which he was doing really well.)

8.      Charlene Cutler-Ploss: Lost to Jeff Leonard for Eureka City Council.

9.      Larry Glass: He was a huge front runner that lost to new comer. Terrible campaign.

10.  George Clark: Bonnie Neely was campaign chair.

11.  Jon Brooks: Another time and place, he might have been Assessor.  
Please, no haters. Just observations from the political peanut gallery! I find it kind of funny that my readership triples everytime the subject is the HCDCC. People are curious how this organization works. You have to agree there is some heavy disconnects. Really it is about partisan politics splitting hairs. All of the above have the same basic core social values held by all Democrats. Just saying.      

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Big League Dreams in Humboldt County?


New ball fields in Eureka? In the early stages, but BLD's is putting together a proposal for Eureka. The BLD in Redding has 5 all weather artificial turfed baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, roller hockey, beach volleyball, basketball, batting cages, walking trail, playground, arcade, bar and grill and so much more. Shasta county has around 177,000 population and Humboldt 135,000 so maybe a BLD lite will do. So all you ball players from ages 5 to 100 get ready to lobby hard if we get a chance!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee hates HumCPR. Rejects Estelle Fennell endorsement. Patrick Higgins barely makes associate. Change happening soon.

The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) is at it again. They decided to not endorse the only Democrat running in the 2nd District Supervisor race. Why? Because of her involvement with Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights (HumCPR). Seems that members of the HCDCC are afraid of uncontrolled growth in Rural property. Did anyone point specifically what they were in disagreement with her? Of course not. That would be relevant. What percentage of the people in Humboldt County care about the General plan or even know there is one? There are over 600 pages of documents to the Humboldt County General plan and I would guess very few in the room have actually read and understand the document. Estelle is a sitting HCDCC member and will be serving another term. That should make things awkward. Sitting 5th District Harbor Commissioner Patrick Higgins barely was elected as an associate. That is whole story in itself.

The HCDCC E-Board is unraveling. Chair Milt Boyd announced his stepping down in June. Vice Chair Chris Beresford also announced her resignation. I haven't always agreed with either of them but respect them none the less. They are good people and will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Working Class Marks for 4th District Demo Central Committee! Bogus Demo Bashing by Anti-Inclusion HCDCC members!

Sometimes politics just suck. The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) is supposed to promote democrats that want to run for public office and nurture their campaigns. I joined this committee in the 90’s and worked at just that, helping Democrats.  Phone banking, precinct captain, registration drives, tabled fairs, fund raising and all things Democrat. I went to work for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers for a 5 year term to organize workers and help them actualize a living wage and was highly successful at that. I came back to Humboldt and ran for county Supervisor and could not get the “new” HCDCC endorsement. The new members did not endorse the only Democrat in the race but individually 17 out of the 23 HCDCC endorsed a Republican and created a Political Action Committee named Democrats for Neely that was chaired by local Democratic “Carl Rove” type Greg Conners. I cried foul and was called a whiner.  I was challenged to join the committee and change them from the inside. So I did join and was the top vote getter in subsequent election cycles. I resigned under ugly circumstances after a mob gathering organized by Larry Glass complained about my involvement in helping lifelong Democrat Marian Brady unseat Larry for Eureka City Council. I was actually bullied to resign. I recently decided that was not the way I wanted to go out, so I am expressing my Democratic right to run for a seat on the Central Committee.

I am a Lifelong Liberal Working Class Democrat.  I am antiwar, pro-gay, pro-choice, pro worker and have proven that on many marches and rallies.
Now my Complaint. Three of the people that are running for the 4th District HCDCC seats are passing out literature that claims they are the only Democrats with “Democratic Values” and claim that their party is in danger of being taken over by “Pseudo-Democrats” that support “Privileged over People” and endorse and work for “Republican-Like candidates.”
Aren’t the Democrats supposed to be all about inclusion? And before you point out the stick in the other 5 candidates’ eyes, shouldn’t you pull the stake out of your own?  I really hope these 3 unnamed candidates lose.  

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Burger too big for Samoasoftball?

Stopped in Willits for lunch on the way back from Sactown the other day and ordered the big Redwood Burger on the menu. The waitress looked at me and said it was really big. I was really hungry and went ahead and ordered it. Ridiculously huge. It looked like one of those challenge to eat sized burger. If you are really hungry and are in the area, go for it!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Congressional candidate Jared Huffman a no show again for Humboldt County debate! Sound bites from the Humboldt Senior Resource forum.


Humboldt Senior Resource Center was the latest stop for what Susan Adams refers to the “dirty dozen” candidates running for the 2nd District Congressional seat.  But alas, Jared Huffman was once again a no show for a debate held in Humboldt. Guess the Heir Apparent really doesn’t like it here in Humboldt. And that is the kind of representation you will get if you vote for him. He might not be too popular in Sonoma County either with Native Americans and Union workers because of his opposition to the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria casino project in Rohnert Park. To be fair, Brooke Clark was also not able to attend.
But 10 of the other candidates who did show up to this forum moderated by the League of Women Voters were vocal and opinionated. Here are some short observations.
Andy Caffery:  “I would rather have the Government between me and Heath care provider than multinational Corporations between me and my Heath Care provider!” Wants a New Green America and climate change to be addressed. Not into reforming Healthcare, but rather shifting to a new paradigm of being part of a community of wellness. Need clean food. Pointed out that as of now over ½ of America lives lower middle class and below.
Susan Adams: “Send a nurse to the White House to heal!” She says she is battle tested with experience money can’t buy. Need a wage ordinance for In Home Health Services. Has vast knowledge of all health care issues. Would like to see us “Get out of Cars” and has been on forefront of ways to do that with environmental reforms.
Tiffany Renee: “I will work hard for you!” Would like us to stop funding military and start funding programs for health reform. Member of the Sonoma County Transit “Go Green” committee. Universal health coverage.  Advocate for “Age in Place.” Like to see seniors retrained and brought back into work environment.
Stacey Lawson: “I want to rebuild the Middle Class.” Need to go green as far as transportation. Congress is presently giving no solutions. Used to be able to build relationships at the Capitol with handshakes. Now no trust.  Need to enable seniors to go back to work.
Norman Solomon: Need to have “Faith in Democracy.” He feels public transportation is not working and federal government should not be “Let off the hook.” Has been a proponent for single payer health care for decades. Wants to create a “New Real Healthy Society.”  Supports “Green New Deal.”
Dan Roberts: “No Bail Outs!” He goes to DC 5 times a year and understands the processes. Says he is a moderate on social issues.  Need community based solutions.
Larry Fritzlan: “I will piss people off back there!” (Washington)  “Democracy Rocks!” He says Washington is a mess and he will fix things by taking money out of politics. Both parties to blame.
William Courtney:  “We need term limits and fresh faces.” We need new ways to do business. Supports clean energy act. Magnetic and electric transportation in need.  Need to address the 3 million seniors living in poverty. Supports marijuana use for Alzheimer patients. Also supports the use of organics for healing people.
Mike Halliwell: “We are the first generation that will leave the environment worse that when we entered.” Need to live and work longer. Can’t keep kicking the can down the road as far as federal programs. Need local control when it comes to transportation.
John DeWallen: “We need to take care of each other.” Need to stop military spending and Tax Corporations. Need military peace conversion. He harvests wild sea weed. 
(I think Andy Caffery kicked buttocks at this forum. )