Friday, October 13, 2006

Imagine: They are really cleaning up the balloon Track/Tract!

Seen it with my own eyes today. Justin Zabel had the Mercer Fraser crew starting the clean up process with a large group of local teenagers doing the tedious garbage pick-up today on the balloon track. Wow, do they have a huge task ahead of them. I have always said that action speak louder than words, and so any physical move forward is great as far as I am concerned. I think it is time for Citizens for Real Economic Growth (CREG) to really start serious dialogue with Security National. I hope Bill Pierson's financial contributions to some of the left slate candidates doesn't interfere with their judgment of open discussion. It will be seen soon enough. Whatever your feelings, it is good to see clean-up a reality.


Anonymous said...

And of course that gratuitous clean-up has nothing to do with the election.

Anonymous said...

How does this tie in to the election?

Anonymous said...

What a great concept--a private citizen and/or a local corporation paying for brownfield cleanup and not Uncle Sugar and your and my tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. And to think they are doing what UP should have done years ago.

CREG forum tonight was great. Standing room only crowd with a great mix of folks. Good speakers.

Waterfront development will never be the same no matter what you think about Arkley's Balloon Track.

Anonymous said...

10:53pm Any highlights from the CREG forum? Any new ideas or concepts? Are there developers out there willing to give up 10 acres for wetlands? Any other developer willing to have open public forums? Any other developers who can afford to clean up to letter of the law? Who is going to finace an aqua park or culinary school? Just what were the possibilities?

Anonymous said...

You are a naive to think there won't be devlopers standing in line to take what Arkely will leave behind.

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't be cleaning it up at all if it wasn't for CREG and community pressure. It's good that something is happening now, but that doesn't mean that the end result will be good. We have to keep the pressure on.

Fred Mangels said...

"They wouldn't be cleaning it up at all if it wasn't for CREG and community pressure.".

Nonsense. You have to get rid of all the trash if you want to build something there.

Anonymous said...

Yes 3:59 AM, please keep the pressure up to help getting this project completed.

And get some sleep dude.

Anonymous said...

maybe stay off the meth dude !

Anonymous said...

3:59 Its too bad you haven't been speaking to the city council, sitting in committee meetings and talking to water quality on the phone for about 8 years! Then maybe you'd know that any pressure in your mind is just a gas pain.

Anonymous said...

As to your comment about CREG talking to SN Richard-get real!

Who needs CREG talking to Security National when actions speak louder than words! The cleanup is happening. YES! Soil sampling and other tests will determine whether the cleanup meets the strict environmental standards of the State of California. SN gets the permits and whoosh-Marina Center! Right ON!

Anonymous said...

Uh, except that the property is zoned "P" Public and the city controls the zoning, hence the land use, hence the level of cleanup that will be required. Vote Peter LaVallee, Larry Glass, Ron Kuhnel and Nan Abrams. Bonnie Neely, too - the good government slate.

Anonymous said...

The Full-of-Shit-Don't-Have-Time-To-Study-the-Issues-Slate!
I wish I'd known in advance to have scratch paper available-to keep a tally of how many times Nan would say, "haven't had time to study that issue". Nan/DeerInTheHeadlights Abrams isn't going anywhere but down.

Actaully Peter knows better and has become 'hypnotized' by Local Solutions for lack of a better term.

Ron Kuhnel stands out in this crowd-may vote for him.

Anonymous said...

2:22 addendum- Vote No on Neely.

Anonymous said...

And 1:48 the 'City' can't afford to turn down sales tax-after the cleanup and even after the election it won't matter who wins. Any council is going to have to sort through the facts and make the best decision.

If you think your Local Solutions groupies are going to do anything different-guess again.

With phone service and email as excellent as we have, they can't do anything else. Local Solutions guys/gals aren't the only lobbyists in Humboldt County.

You guys think Gallegos has nasty phone calls-sheesh that's probably made up anyway...but wait until someone like Larry or Nan wins by accident. They would get eaten alive.

samoasoftball said...

I think we are at the point where both sides of the Marina Center issue need to find a middle of the road. The Arkley's do own the property and are now responsible for the clean-up. I have always made the comment that I am not "passionate" for either sides platform. I was and have been disappointed in the Home Depot element, but I do want to see development. All this visioning and we are back to where Maggie Herbelin was a few years back: Culinary Center and Aquatic Park. No financing possibilities. I see that this election is becoming a focal point on this one issue: Left slate finacially supported by Bill Pierson to thwart development short term, or right slate supported by Arkley. (Although the Arkley money is not as prelevant publically) So here you go, if you want the Marina Center to move forward and are voting black or white considering this sole subject, vote for Nancy Flemming, Virginia Bass, Jeff Leonard, Mike Jones and Mary Beth Wolford. If you sympathize with Citizens for Real Economic Growth (CREG) and would like more public process and input and hold up or even stop the Marina Center project, vote for Bonnie Neely, Peter LaVallee, Ron Kuhnel, Nan Abrams and Larry Glass. This election could very well steer the direction Humboldt County for the future.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:59 said...

They wouldn't be cleaning it up at all if it wasn't for CREG and community pressure.


Whew! that really is funny. Do you actually think CREG has had any impact on the Arkley project?? Leonard at least got his bus or trolly or whatever it was he wanted.

Anonymous said...

Richard I know you are trying to sound fair and balanced and all...but.

There is as you already know a public process in place. The hearings will be thrown by the State of California not the City of Eureka-not until this comes up for a zoning change and yes there is more public input.

It isn't the city council that decides to have a public process its the law.

Whatever people are selected in November they still have to weigh the facts. A big fact is lack of city revenue.

Eureka can't fill 8 open slots in the police dept without $$. The fire sept is running around with two guys per truck, NOT SAFE.

Any council members-don't matter who will have to look people in the eye and make good decisions for the city of Eureka. Might not sit well with people who live in Trinidad and Arcata but they don't get a say after the election and they only barely get to now.

Plug your ears if you don't like the arguments on your blog or anywhere else. It isn't going to get nicer before Nov 7th.

Like the blog though-keep it up.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if Fortuna gets a Home Depot before we do-you don't notice anybody from Fortuna complaining about Home Depot at Marina Center-maybe they know something.

Anonymous said...

The Full-of-Shit-Don't-Have-Time-To-Study-the-Issues-Slate! That being the Council incumbents?

They never bothered to study the balloon track issue:

Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)

January 4, 2004

Section: Local News

City receives Headwaters Funds for Balloon Track

Meghan Vogel The Times-Standard
EUREKA -- Plans for the long-abandoned Balloon Track are moving slowly but surely forward. In December, the city was awarded $45,000 in Headwaters Funds to develop a master plan for the blighted piece of land, which is home to an old railyard, and adjacent to Waterfront Drive. The funds will be used to hire a consultant, or consultants, to help develop the master plan with input from the community, said Eureka City Manager David Tyson.

"Our goal through the efforts of the consultant is to have the community involved in rezoning the property," Tyson said.

Although the approximately 50-acre land parcel is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad Co., which has not used the property in decades, the city has the final say on its zoning. The land is currently zoned as public, which Tyson said leads to a narrowed use of the site. Only public services can currently be located there, such as a railroad, city hall or a jail.

Tyson said the city will be discussing other zoning options for the Balloon Track, such as service commercial, industrial, light manufacturing, parks and recreation, or perhaps a combination of all these.

"We hope to focus public discussion and come up with a plan," he said.

Other options for the land include the possibility of housing and connecting transportation corridors.

Union Pacific will be an important player in the discussion about what to do with the Balloon Track, Tyson said. Currently, Eureka has no plans to purchase the land from the railroad company.

"The city doesn't have the financial wherewithal to buy it, but it does control the zoning card on the property," Tyson said.

After the process of a hiring a consultant is finalized, the public meetings will begin the first part of July. The city will match the balance of the consultant's fee.

The master plan will also incorporate the need for cleanup of the area, and address what has already been done as far as decontamination of the site. The city has been working on cleaning up the area since 2001.

"We're very excited to move forward and get community input," Tyson said.

Wal-Mart had proposed building a store at the site, but withdrew its plans after voters did not approve an initiative in 1999 to change the zoning of the land to commercial.

In 2000, Rob and Cherie Arkley, who was then a city councilwoman, offered to donate $2 million to the city for the purchase of 30 acres of the property to be used as a light-industrial and recreational park. They withdrew their offer after conflicts with the Eureka City Council stalled action.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you are forgetting that Union Pacific would not have sold the Balloon Track to SN or any other developer for publicly zoned use. There was a deed restriction I believe-ask Brian Morrissey about it.

Then it isn't just a cleanup-it is ongoing monitoring and UP would have been on the hook forever. It could have stayed vacant another 30 years, or 300 years. Vacant isn't vacant however-it is our community solution to homelessness.

Whatever the State of California deems necessary for the cleanup and abatement of this property will have to be accepted by you,1:25 AM, because there is a precedent of over 100 properties around Humboldt Bay that have utilized engineered capping. It won't matter how long this process is drawn out or how many times Baykeeper arranges a lawsuit-remember-legal precedent!

Why would you set a higher standard of cleanup for the Balloon Track than any other property? You will waste a lot of your time and effort on this but in the end you won't win based on a prejudice.

It would have been so much easier if you had spent the time gathering signatures for a ballot initiative.

Anonymous said...

Well said, 11:28

Anonymous said...

"Why would you set a higher standard of cleanup for the Balloon Track than any other property?"

The times they are a changin'.

samoasoftball said...

For better or for worse? I loved the 60's. I lived it man....

Anonymous said...

Actually Richard, that last statement says a lot. About a lot of people living in Humboldt. Including Rob Arkley. Personally, I rather enjoyed the Carter era myself. And the Redwood National Park expansion with the giant carved peanut that made the rounds from the Straight Arrow Coalition. Remember that.

samoasoftball said...

6:50pm-That was in the 70's. My father in law lost his job and was "trained" to be a truck mechanic. That there were less trucks and other manufacturing job loses did not seem to be well thought out by the job counselors and so there was confusion, anger, alcohol and violence problems out of the mix. My wife and her family participated in the big park expansion protest march in Eureka back then.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. The Redwood Park expansion with it's plans to turn Orick into a tourism mecca. "Get ready", they said. "The tourists will be streaming into this area and you will have to build hotels and restaurants to accomodate them." Of course the only new building in Orick is the new park headquarters in the downtown area.

My cousins all worked at the Simpson mill down on the Arcata Bottoms where Sun Valley now resides. One was "retrained" in real estate...the other as a teacher. Of course, neither of them actually did much with their allotment rather than waste four years at college. They never did follow their new career paths. And yes, alcohol played a big part of that. It's hard to change blue collar into white collar overnight when blue collar has been in your bloodstream for generations.

Anonymous said...

"... the city was awarded $45,000 in Headwaters Funds to develop a master plan..."

Only problem is that you're forgetting the other $55,000 from a redevelopment grant the City of Eureka was going to pony up for the study.

That's $100,000 of taxpayer funds.

For a study on someone's (Union Pacific) private land. Union Pacific could have said, "no thank you -- get the hell off my private property" and there would have been nothing the City of Eureka could have done.

Kind of like the recent $600,000 of taxpayer waste by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for redevelopment.

$100,000 for a study and not one dollar for clean up of the property.

We all have to live in the realities today, not "imagine the possibilities" of yesterday.

Anonymous said...

One of these days-I imagine the Balloon Track, cleaned up and as beautiful as all the other Arkley/Kramer projects around town. I imagine myself loading up my car with stuff from Home Depot and stoppiing at other places at Marina Center-maybe a little bite to eat.

I imagine people going back to what they did before mostly adn getting used to the idea and maybe sneeking peeks as they drive by until something catches their eye and they just have to go in themselves and check it out.

I imagine ten years from then, someone else wanting to come into town and everyone says-remember all the hoopdedoo about Marina Center and we're all still here? It was nothing but a blip except that first month or two when everyone went down there to see the whole thing and enjoy the party atmosphere.

Imagine it...

Anonymous said...

That is pretty much the way it goes for any company trying to locate here. If it isn't City Hall with the endless lists of requirements, fees, blah blah blah, its everybody up in arms that we're all going in the toilet if we let the new business in.

Fortuna had a problem with belly dancers didnt they? Or was it a palm reader? No problem with Bog Boxes Fortuna wants them all.

Anonymous said...

1:25 AM Thanks for your post, you are obviously very committed to your views.

I would like to hear what Dave Tyson thinks about Marina Center now?

At the time of the quotes you so carefully cut and pasted for us to read-there were no developers on the horizon. No one with the 2 or 3 Million Dollars or so to purchase the land and clean it up. The City of Eureka was desperate at that time to have some forward movement.

Before Dave Tyson, there was Harvey Rose...he too wanted a miracle.

Anonymous said...

"We're very excited to move forward and get community input," Tyson said.

Anonymous said...

"Our goal through the efforts of the consultant is to have the community involved in rezoning the property," Tyson said.

Anonymous said...

That's what I heard too!

samoasoftball said...

I went to school at Zane and Eureka High with Eureka City Manager Dave Tyson. He is a straight shooter and a good person. I commend the job he is doing and has done. That job is not only thankless, but there is a great big target on your back, blame wise. But I do not know how he feels about the Marina Center project.

samoasoftball said...

Mary: I can't disagree with you on this point. David is a great representative of our class! (Remember they made the girls Basketball and Volleyball team play in that gym we boys only got to see in dancing! And no softball!) Equality and parity are still pertinent for us to reach today.

Anonymous said...

Please. Let's hear the truth.

Anonymous said...

CREG forum a blueprint for successful community development
My Word
Eureka Times Standard
Article Launched:10/18/2006 04:30:25 AM PDT

By Larry Evans

It appears that the Times-Standard editorial staff [”Balloon Tract: Time to work together to get something done,” Oct. 14] formed their opinion on how to proceed with the question of Balloon Tract zoning without bothering to attend CREG's “Imagine the Possibilities” forum on community based planning.

If they had been there, they would understand that the city has no obligation to accept the zoning change being requested by Mr. Arkley's Security National company. They would see that a return to the Master Planning process that the citizens won in the 1999 Measure J fight will lead to a plan that we can all be proud of and that will help our community to move forward to accomplishing the universal goal of bringing this derelict property into productive use.

If the editors had been in the audience of the packed Friday night community meeting, they would have understood that the artificial choice of big-box or blight being dictated to the community is both unacceptable and unwise. They would comprehend the fact that the lengthy process required to start building on the site might be considerably shortened if we were able to avoid the inevitable protracted conflict that is likely if the community is strong-armed into a plan we are told we should like because it is what Mr. Arkley wants. And if they had a sense of history, they would see that the real move backward was the move to regurgitate the big-box mall project rejected by 61 percent of voters in 1999.

But since the editors apparently formed their opinion without the benefit of actually seeing firsthand the important information being brought to the community by CREG, let me share what the experts we were able to provide explained -- that decisions on zoning are reserved for the community through our elected leaders.

They would have learned that it takes the kind of strong, courageous political leadership that Eureka has been lacking for far too long. They would understand that with a full cleanup and a zoning plan generated from the ground up, this highly significant land at the heart of our city would be a prize any developer would jump at -- a 40-acre piece of California waterfront with a bright future.

Finally, if they had visited their dictionary, they might have learned that “envision” is a verb and “vision” is a noun, but that having a vision for a community is the right and responsibility of the whole community, not just an elitist clique of developers.

CREG (Citizens for Real Economic Growth) does not have any specific objection to Mr. Arkley being the developer who will rehabilitate the Balloon Tract. We would even go so far as to say that we are in favor of a local developer such as Mr. Arkley handling this project. What we are opposed to is having any developer trample our rights. Dictating the zoning mix that we must choose without a proper participatory planning process up front does just that.

Insofar as CREG is perceived to be critical of Mr. Arkley, it is because he is the one currently attempting to dictate to us. When it was Wal-Mart dictating to us, we opposed that as well. I guess at least 61 percent of us living in Eureka are kind of ornery that way -- we don't care to be dictated to, no matter who it is or how much money they throw around.

We believe in the principles and values of democracy above the value of undue influence. Some people would call that good old-fashioned Americanism. It is a lesson most of us want our representatives at all levels of government to learn from.

For anyone who wants a free DVD of the “Imagine the Possibilities” forum, we will be posting a request form on the CREG website ( along with other information.

Larry Evans is a spokesman for CREG.

Anonymous said...

I think the David Tyson quotes are commendable. Nothing he should regret as a City Manager. The more the City includes the public the better.