Sunday, June 04, 2017

Rest in peace Dietrich Streoh. You were a busy man!

Fellow Director of the North Coast Rail Authority Dietrich "Diet" Stroeh passed away. He was also the President of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board. He was a leader in many other civic positions.

He was a huge in politics and commerce in Marin County.

Diet was one of those guys who you just wanted to be around. Funny, smart and charismatic. He will be really missed.

"Diet" inspired a book concerning his actions during drought times in Marin County and how he helped solve complex political issues "The man who made it rain."



Monday, May 22, 2017

Democrats Divided. "Demexiting" continues.

This Chronicle article says it all and it is not good for the Democratic Party. I attended this years California Convention as a delegate for the HCDCC and what I witnessed does not bode well for the party. The old line Democrats seemed stunned that their ways and thoughts have been challenged by the "Berniecrats" or new free thinking young Democrats. Until this "chasm" is addressed, Democrats will further be marginalized even though a record number delegates were at this years Democratic Convention in Sacramento. The split is real and hard feeling are not going away soon.

Outgoing Chair John Burton was as classless as ever with his f-bombs and flipping the finger to everybody that wouldn't agree with his way. His leadership was a joke in a time of Democratic peril. That old guard needs to let go. But it won't happen anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mad River Softball meeting tonight at Arcata Community Center 6pm.

Mad River Softball Association will have a general managers meeting this Wednesday May 17th at 6pm at the Arcata Community Center. Please be there or send a team representative. Some topics:
 
Summer League will start June 19th. Sponsorship is $440 and $50 per player up to 12 players or total cost is $1,040 for 12 person team. Each player over 12th is $25 extra. (Same price as last year.)
 
Fees will be due by June 14th. No exceptions. No money chasing this year!
 
Women's Division? Have had inquires about women's league. Maybe a CO-ED division?
 

Friday night league? This night is mostly open. Maybe CO-ED division on Fridays?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Softball King at 60!

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m am the Softball King. The best softballer you will ever witness.

Just ask the opposing teams in the 3 leagues I’m in this summer. I flat out rake. You could populate a small country with all the pitchers I've taken to shallow right. No wonder they walk me so many times in a season. Gotta be intimidation.

I just spent lots of time hitting batting practice. Blooper drives, blooper flies, opposite field bloopers. I can do it all. Some kids at the skateboard park at Coopers had to stop and were staring and pointing at me in awe. I can’t blame them. They’ve probably never seen a 60 year man wearing Oakley Blades and batting gloves who can hit rake bloopers like me. Especially not with shorts this tight.

This season, I am in it for revenge. We fell in the B League Championship Game in Arcata to Sushi Spot. The taste still lingers.  I’ve gotta get my hands on that 3-foot plastic trophy and tee shirt. It’s all I think about. Rumor has it the league winners get 2 free pitchers at the Jambalaya after the season. No way we lose with the trophy, shirts and 78 ounces of Bud on the line.

I just bought all new equipment for this season and you should see the extra long stripped baggy baseball pants I got. Super tight. I picked up a new set of wristbands, a tube of eye black and a pair of 3-inch mud cleats, you know, just in case I need to break up a double play. I also got my hands on one of those $25 Louisville bats for a little extra power. It may cost me a part of my retirement pension, but screw it, when I start cranking 100-foot pop ups it will be worth it. I am the John Wooden of the woodbat hitters! My dribbler to third is something to witness! 

This year I’m focused. In my mind I have visualized what needs to get done. My initials might as well be M-V-P. That stands for Most Valuable Player for all you non-softball players. The League starts tomorrow.

Why do I take softball so seriously? You kidding me? You’re just jealous! See you at the ball park!

King Richard

President Mad River Softball Association

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills, “(Eureka) more violent than New Orleans!”

When the top police officer for your counties largest municipality (About 27,017 down from 28,600 in 1990!) makes an opening statement during a “Community Leadership” panel at Cannifest, “Eureka is more violent than New Orleans!” It tends to get your attention quick. When he says, “Santa Rosa had 5 homicides compared to our 22.”  You are forced to listen. And you just become downright concerned when he points out that 125 weapons were confiscated last year.  When he states that the Cannabis community should get more involved with solving the crime issues by standing firm and united and points out they need to say “enough is enough” in a singular voice against the criminal elements, maybe, just maybe it is time for the cannabis community to listen to his message of hope.


But his disgust was evident when talking about sneaking BHO labs around Eureka and the bad cannabis players. And where is the deterrence leverage when someone has been busted twice for over ¼ pound of Heroin with weapons in a year? Mr. Mills feels part of the solution lies at the feet of the cannabis industry that is compliant and pays taxes. How long does the cannabis community wait until it engages? Maybe the time is now.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Humboldt County Democrats support McGuire Senate Bill 149.

Resolution in Support of Senate Bill 149 the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act.”

Whereas, a presidential candidate’s income tax returns provide voters with essential information regarding the candidate’s potential conflicts of interest, business dealings, financial status, and charitable donations;
And whereas, President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns departed from decades of established political tradition, denying voters the opportunity to fully evaluate his fitness for the office of President of the United States;
 
And whereas, transparency should be the optimal goal in evaluating all candidates for the highest office in the United States;


Therefore, be it resolved that the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee supports Senate Bill 149, the “Presidential, Transparency and Accountability Act.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Housing Shortage in Eureka! No jobs for you!

Randy Weaver, a North Coast Labor Market Consultant, did a Humboldt Housing Affordability presentation to the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC) this week and some of the quick observations were pretty interesting. There has been very little growth in Eureka over the last umpteenth years.
The median price for a home in Eureka is $250,000. $317,000 in McKinleyville and ….$459,000 in Redway!
Rental Vacancy rates in Eureka are at 3.4%. Fortuna has 9% available.  
Renters represent 61% of Eureka Housing.
64% of all houses in Eureka were built before 1959! 32% of them were built before 1939!
Only 2% of the houses were built between 2000-2009. From 2010 to present there has been less than 1%.
Only 23% of residents can afford to buy a house. In 2007 it was only 11%!
When businesses are looking to relocate the most important criteria for such moves are:
1.      Low Crime Rate: Not good that Eureka has a crime index rate of 1. Only 1% of all cities are as unsafe as Eureka.
2.     Healthcare Facilities: Cost of Living index rate for healthcare is 119 compared to 100 for the US. Not good.
3.      Education: Only 82% residents of graduated High School. Average student test scores are 24% less than national average. Student to teacher ratio in Eureka is 19:1 compared to 16:1 for the nation.
Just about every living index is greatly higher than the national average. And we have one of the highest Homeless per capita rate in the nation also. These are what businesses take into account when they decide to grow into a community.

What is the solution? Just the messenger here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Why does Homeless have to be Synonymous with Garbage?

Invariable if you see "House Poor" encampments in Humboldt County such as the one above just north of the slough bridge, there is lots of garbage. I don't plan on being homeless in the near future, but if this ever happened to me I would at least keep things in order. It makes you wonder how these people would live if they were re-housed. Would they then just keep the same habits and blight neighborhoods? I just don't have the answer.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Best Eureka Burger Redux. Mike's slips into first!

In my past posts on best burgers in Eureka, Mike's had always come close but never garnering the #1 burger position. I have been craving their burgers for months now and set them on the pedestal.

5. Surfside Burger Shack (Eureka)- I do think they need to put up a corn fed beef option. Just buy those pre-made up from Costco or something. 

4. AA Bar and Grill-Has the best consistent Burger you will find with old time bar type atmosphere.

3. Cafe Nooner- Great service and great burgers. Buns are a little chewy sometimes.
 
2. 6th and E CafeWhere else is there a line of people waiting to be seated for burgers at lunch? Go have a burger on Tuesday half price day!  

1. Mike's (Eureka)-Don't talk politics in here and you will do well. Great greasy garlic fries. They made # 1! 

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Rail Authority dealing with homeless in Ukiah.

The North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) met yesterday and found out the flood water receded enough for freight service to ramp up. It was reported that a huge homeless problem is rearing its ugly head in Ukiah on the properties surrounding the old train depot. Seems to be the case all up and down the rail corridor. Hope to hear some solutions soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Spring Softball! Oh happy days!

2017 Spring League: The Mad River Softball Association is hosting an adult wood bat Sunday softball league starting April 23rd, at the Arcata Community Sports Complex. Teams play double headers on Sundays April 30th at Pacific Union, May 7th at Pacific Union, either Saturday May 13th or May 14 (Mothers Day) at Arcata Sports Complex, May 21st at Arcata Sports Complex and Championships on June 4th at Arcata Sports Complex. 10 game league season and double elimination playoff so 12 games guaranteed. Games start at Sports Complex start at either 12:30pm, 1:35pm, 2:40pm or 3:45pm. Games at Pacific Union will be either 10am, 11:05am, 12:10pm, 1:15pm, 2:20pm 3:25pm, 4:30pm or 5:35pm.  Price per team is $595. Free agent players without teams will be placed on teams at $50 per player. Players must be at least 16 years or older. League will only be able to accommodate 8 teams. For more information contact (707) 445-3432 or email Samoafog@aol.com.
 
Summer League will start June 12th. Sponsorship is $440 and $50 per player up to 12 players or total cost is $1,040 for 12 person team. Each player over 12th is $25 extra.
  

Blue Lake also has a Sunday league starting in April. For more information on their program call 707-668-5655 If you are interested in putting a team in Blue Lake and Arcata, I can schedule so there are no conflicts. 
 
Warm Up Softball Tournament Memorial  Weekend May 27th & 28th. Guaranteed 4 games $199. Either Wood Bat or Metal Bat determined on interest. 1st place Shirts 2nd place Trophy.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Samoa Community Service District chugging along.

A proposed Community Service District is moving along out on the Peninsula. It has been a long drawn out process but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now there are about 517 residents south of the Samoa bridge. When total build out is complete there will be about 1,221 with many new housing affordable. I am excited to see positive change in the horizon.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2017 California Maritime Leadership Symposium

I went to the California Maritime Leadership symposium.  17th year they have met.   The California Maritime Leadership Symposium is a conference focused on all modes of California’s maritime transportation system – ports, vessels, highway and rail – and the intricacies, challenges and realities of maintaining and growing a viable, healthy and dynamic maritime economy in the 21st century. Here were some observations:

Plans
a.      Sustainable Action Plan
b.      Sustainable Freight Plan.
c.       Freight Mobility Plan
d.      Plan of Reduction of carbon footprint
e.      Plan for Creation Green Gates vs Dirty truck fee plan
f.        Plan of reduction of Carbon Footprint
Facts
a.    Walmart is focused on science based goals and have doubled their efficiency in recent years.  “Faster, Reliable and safe.” “Volume hides sins.”
b.   "0” emissions  is goal for most.
c.    By 2030 Los Angeles wants 100 “0” emission vehicles.
d.    Oakland is open until 3 in morning and exports represent 53% of business and 47% import.
e.     Need to use Foreign Trade Zones  and build in USA.
f.      Redwood City getting ferries.
g.     Port of Hueneme imports  80 million bananas.
h.     China not using clean energy still relying on Coal.
Bottlenecks
a.     Trucks moving without loads.
b.     Xmas trees being delivered in July
c.      Volume hide
d.     SO Cal Ports need more open hours.
e.      Pile ups at gates
f.       Short Sea Shipping failed in test run in Stockton
g.      Dirty Trucks waiting outside ports to haul
h.      Technology there. No Money. Cost Prohibitive.
i.       No consistent universal electrical plug ins
j.       Distribution centers don’t always agree with Truck hours

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marks selected Chair of Harbor. Mother Nature funding $50,000 to remove me from office. Dredge Spoils to Beach?

Tonight's Humboldt Bay Harbor meeting was packed once again. New 3rd Division Commissioner Stephen Kullman was sworn into office. I was elected by my co-commissioners to be Chair for the 3rd time with Larry Doss serving as Vice Chair. Earlier in the meeting a member of the public pledged $50,000 of "mother natures" money into a campaign fund to take me out of office. Our big ticket item for the night was a discussion on Dredge Sediment disposal plan and the Beach Disposal option. The discussion was lively, with the majority wanting dredging no matter what it takes. And many fishermen and boat owners were in favor of using the Beach Surf Zone Disposal option. Dave Schneider, who was a consultant (And Dock Owner) on the present and past disposal projects gave history back to the 70's and gave strong arguments for using the beach. It seems that there was some agreement in the past to never use the beach option again. Commissioner Kullman wanted to see if the cost difference was manageable to use the Pulp Mill outfall line as compromise. The subject was just a discussion and staff was given direction to work with the agencies first to get some common ground or sand if you will.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

NWPco under water! NCRA financially floating along.

North Western Pacific Co (NWPco) is currently having flooding issues at Shellville and other areas on the Southern Portion of the North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) rail tracks. NWPco is the freight carrier for the NCRA and service these customers (click on link) in Marin and Sonoma counties. There has been quite of few financial moves by the NCRA staff and board, that will have the NCRA running comfortably in the black for the foreseeable future. So some bad news, and yet some good news for rail service. Next expansion project to Cloverdale.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Ted Sillanpaa gone at 60. Sometimes Droll, always entertaining.

Witty, Sarcastic, Shrewd and in his own way, Brilliant. I met Ted at Eureka High when he was editor of the Eureka High School Redwood Bark paper. I was a junior writer and I thought the guy was arrogant. I noticed girls in class were gaga over him and he seemed aloof to their calls for attention. To really put a great impression on me, he assigned me to do a Eureka High golf story with Mr. Darling and I knew nothing about hitting a ball with sticks into holes. He was dating Amy Waldsmith at the time, so I did give him kudos for that. Truth be known, I was kind of jealous of Ted. He seemed so confident and focused.

Little did I know until letter in life that he suffered his demons like the rest of us. He was actually shy and not at all overconfident. Some of his writing for the Time Standard seemed to take "Scorch and Burn" attitude on some local issues. He was not afraid to share his feeling and points of view. I got to hear from plenty from the public locally and it seemed that Ted was persecuted for his coaching techniques in youth baseball, football and basketball as well as for his writing. I had to hear people talk about his favoritism with his sons Trent and Tyren, when in reality they were very talented and approachable young men. My son Jacob played basketball for Ted and I witnessed no favoritism and he was beyond fair.

I played Recreation ball with Ted and he was always very retrospective of the players playing and good at taking in the moment. I am sure he thought I took things way to serious.

Anyways, this is a poignant time to reflect a good man who loved his family, was a great coach, fantastic writer and master observer of people. He loved his children and was so proud of Trent, Tyren, Kyndall and Kellen with all his heart.

May Ted now Rest in Peace, but not be forgotten.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Broadband Fiber Optic Cable coming to Marine Terminal II.

Lots of rumors flying about Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District's agreement with Inyo Networks to bring broadband cable over 299 and out the outfall pipe at the old pulp mill site. Lost Coast Outpost did a couple of stories and then people started chiming in with poor information. No, this is not the project that came across RREDC a few years ago with the project using highway 36. This will not limit rural communities along 299 but will include Weaverville, Willow Creek, Hoopa and other small communities north of 299/101. There will be the opportunity for Humboldt businesses and the public to actualize better internet service. This is a good thing not bad.

Friday, January 06, 2017

What happened to Eureka Recreational Softball?

I have had a few arguments with Eureka City staff in the past about the drop off of Adult Recreational Softball in Eureka. This last year there were 17 Men's Adult Softball Teams and 0 Women's teams. In 1981 there were 55 men's teams and  and 37 Women's teams. There was also an active men's fast pitch league with about 10 team. That means there was over 100 adult teams playing softball in 1981!

What happened? In 1981 there were 39 teams playing in Arcata, and we had around 50 this last year, 2016. So the interest still is there. There has been huge league expansions over the years in Crescent City, Medford, Redding, Fortuna and Ukiah. Why such a drop off in Eureka?

Number one reason is the field conditions. If you ever had the chance to check out the Eureka Fields and compare them to the Arcata fields, you know what I am talking about. In 1981 Eureka used 7 fields for league. Highland, Carson Park (Two fields), Cooper Gulch (Two Fields), Kennedy and Hartman fields.

What I am surprised about is the lack of outcry from Eureka businesses. When you have the well over 1,000 people playing ball you fill the pizza parlors, brewery's and bars. Tom's Sourdough, Angelo's, Shakey's....all would be crazy full. 

I personally would like to see Eureka advertise, solicit and expand recreation adult sports. If not, it is Eureka's loss. 

(Below is standing for men's league in 1981.) 


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Don't be mad, get active! Vote for delegates going to Dem Convention.

If you are a registered Democrat and have some time available from 10am to 12:30pm this Saturday, please come to the Labor Temple on E st. and vote for one of those Progressive Democrats in the link above.