Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone has safe and happy new year for 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A call for help. Pulp Mill workers granddaughter has cancer.

Retired pulp mill worker Carlo Giovannetti's granddaughter, Courtney Williams, has lymphoma and is having trouble finding a match for a bone marrow transplant. The test for a potential match can be done by simple swab of the mouth. This can be done at the Northern California Community Blood Bank at 2524 Harrison Ave. in Eureka. If you have time, please stop by and help.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Virginia Bass running for 4th District Supervisor!

For Immediate Press Release:

Please join Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass for a press conference.

Virginia will be announcing her candidacy for Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor on the County Courthouse steps (5th and I Streets) this Thursday, December 17th at 12:00 noon.

Virginia was twice elected to Eureka City Council before she was elected as Eureka Mayor.

Her father OH Bass previously served as Humboldt County 4th District County Supervisor and Virginia would like to continue her family's legacy as a public servant to our community.

Virginia previously managed her family's business, OH's Townhouse, and has participated in many local charitable fundraising events such as the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" and is the past President of the Henderson Center Kiwanis Club.

For further information, please call Virginia Bass at 707-499-5000 or email at

OK. Jeff Leonard and Virginia are pretty much official. What about Bonnie or Kaitlin? This is going to be huge race.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Water District gives Pulp Mill 10 year water contract.

The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District voted unanimously to accept a 10 year contact for Freshwater Tissue to purchase water beginning July 2010. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Marks sworn in to Harbor Commission. TS says buckle up!

Marks sworn in to Harbor Commission
John Driscoll/The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/05/2009 01:15:15 AM PST

About two dozen people were on hand Friday to watch Richard Marks be sworn in as the newest commissioner for the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.

District Executive Officer Dave Hull read Marks the oath, then handed him a set of keys to district facilities.

”This is the key to the castle,” Hull joked.

Hull added that he was pleased to see people turn out for the swearing in.

Marks, a former Samoa pulp mill worker and board member for the Samoa Peninsula Fire District, thanked those who helped him in his run for the Division 4 seat. He is taking over for Commissioner Dennis Hunter, who has stepped down after 20 years.

There are significant challenges ahead for the harbor district. Significant cuts had to be made this year to prevent a major reduction in reserves, and the board continues to struggle over how to approach port development.

Marks said that he would like to keep options open on port development.

In the near term, he said, he'll just need to get up to speed.

”I just really need to settle in and see where I fit,” Marks said.

Welcome, Richard Marks; now buckle up
The Times-Standard
Posted: 12/06/2009 01:30:15 AM PST

We gladly welcome the newest member of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Distrct -- Richard Marks -- to his seat on the dais. During the election, we endorsed Marks because we believe he had the best set of skills among the various candidates to help the district do what needs to be done over the next term.

And make no mistake -- there is a lot to do.

But he joins a governmental body that has been much conflicted in recent years, as various camps seek to seize the initiative and push the harbor in the direction they believe best serves the needs of Humboldt County's residents.

Which is why what Marks brings to the table is vital for the future health of the district. He represents membership in both sides of the debate -- a longtime Democrat with progressive credentials, Marks has also long served as an advocate of the working class, and knows that jobs and employment are absolutely imperative for any future that includes big plans for Humboldt Bay.

So we hope that Marks can and will put his skills to use as a broker of compromise and consensus.

And we implore his fellow board members, whatever their affiliation, to set aside their agendas and understand that with the board split as it currently is, accomplishing anything will take a willingness to work together for the good of all.

No one side is going to get everything they want, nor win all the political battles. So the key to avoiding a rancorous next two years is a willingness on the part of these elected officials to recognize that everyone on the district board was elected by the people to get things done. Board members have differing priorities just as the electorate has different interests, so respect that and be inclusive.
Otherwise, we're going to be in for a long ride to nowhere -- and our future is way too important to let that happen.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Frank "Jigs" Provence Jr. RIP.

You know how some people are bigger than life? I can't even begin to explain the man fully. He was a leader without trying. He was respected and was able to smile during the most pressured time at the pulp mill. And he knew his craft. 88 years old.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Marks sworn in Friday the 4th at 12:30pm.

I will be sworn in as 4th Division Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District Board Member on Friday December 4th at Woodley Island Marina at 12:30pm. I have family coming up from Sacramento to witness. Any of you that would like to come are welcome. (The Picture is of Central Labor Council President Jimmy Smith presenting a $500 check/endorsement for my candidacy for office Labor Day weekend.) Great crowd!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

LA Times story on Pulp Mill. (Condensed) Thanks Greg!

What was once the bustling Evergreen Pulp mill is today a forlorn factory of smokestacks and tan buildings clustered quietly beside the still, gray waters of the Arcata harbor near Eureka, Calif.

Entrepreneur Bob Simpson bought the closed facility in February with the hopes of reopening it as an environmentally friendly toilet paper plant. He planned to spend $400 million rehabbing the factory and rehiring 215 workers who lost their jobs when the old pulp mill shut down in October 2008.

The project stalled after Simpson failed to make his way through the red tape required to access federal stimulus money, billions of which was aimed at promoting energy efficiency and clean technology. Simpson said the government missed out on an opportunity to create so-called green jobs in an economically devastated area of California.

"Our president . . . stated we need to stimulate our economy with green jobs," he said. "Well, here we are, we're ready to go."

In Arcata, half the workers at the Evergreen Pulp Mill have yet to find work since the plant's Chinese owners closed the facility. Simpson bought it in February with the idea of turning it into the first chlorine-free, dioxin-free toilet paper mill in North America.

He says it was the kind of shovel-ready project the government said it was seeking. He had a business plan and support and was ready to begin, as soon as he found a $400-million loan.

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) wrote a letter to the Energy Department on behalf of the company, Freshwater Tissue Co. Civic and environmental leaders, including Gregg Gold, the chairman of the North Group of the Sierra Club's Redwood Chapter, and Art Harwood, the executive director of the Redwood Forest Foundation, stumped for the project as well.

But Simpson failed to submit the nonrefundable $50,000 fee required to apply for a stimulus loan. He said it was because he couldn't get anyone at the Energy Department to clarify whether his project would qualify since it didn't fit neatly into established categories such as wind power or solar energy.

Some of Evergreen's former workers, such as Homer Purcell, are now leaving California to find jobs. Purcell, 58, his wife and his 40-year-old son all lost their jobs when the mill went under.

Purcell found a job as a boiler operator in Reno and now commutes back and forth as he tries to sell his house in Eureka. His new job pays less than half the $100,000 he made as a supervisor at the mill.

"I would have thought the process would have left us something for renewable resources," he said about the stimulus bill.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A story of Natural Lite. Happy Turkeyday!

I usually have some "Natty" lite in the fridge. The commercials have been constant lately about this almost "Near Beer" with sports. They glamorize "Natterday" (Saturday) with all the fun types. I had run out of the stuff this weekend and was going to the store and asked Robin if we needed anything. She didn't mention beer. Later that Sunday I was stalking the fridge for cold beverages. No beer! Robin looks at me innocently and says, "Must be Noneday!" Luckily she has over 30 years seniority or I would have to replace her.

Have a great Turkeyday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Patty Berg running for California Insurance Commissioner.

Patty was on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle today about her running against Michela Alioto-Pier.

Patty will have a tough time surviving the June 8th Primary election. Fellow Democrats running for the position are: Dave Jones, 50th District Assemblyman Hector De La Torre and San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier as her opponents.

Dave Jones is a 2 term Assemblyman from the 9th District. (Sacramento area.) This dude raised nearly a million for his last campaign. Wow. Back in the mid 90's the litmus to run for an assembly seat was $100,000.

De La Torre seems to be the front runner and is from a highly populated Los Angeles area and has raised hundreds of thousands in his past elections.

Michela's campaign is being managed by Ace Smith, a powerful political consultant that ran Hillary Clinton's California campaign for President.

It will be interesting to see who will be running Berg's campaign and how she will fair against these candidates from huge metropolitan areas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best Salad Bars in Eureka Redux. Back to my Blog roots!

Time to get back to what this blog does best. Analysing places to eat. I know I am probably not the best on the all subjects green to eat, but there are usually things that go with each salad bar to make them palatable. Here is my top ten list for Eureka Salad Bars:

10. KFC Broadway- Not a real good set up and their dressing just yucky.

9. Oriental Buffett- Uh, just who even touches the salad with all the other stuff they have. But it is available.

8. Marie Calender's- Not too bad, just seems that something is not there. Or maybe I just have too much soup!

7. Co-Op- I would give this one a much higher rating if it weren't for the grazers who pick and eat out of the trough! Have some class! (Says the guy who eats anything.)

6. Big Louie's- Price is right and everything is always clean. Harold and his crew do good stuff for the community and I have had many a pizza from here. If it is Saturday, you will most likely see Robin, Ron, Laureen and I watching some sporting event and keeping up with life events.

5. Hometown Buffet- The salad bar is just there to put a base for the main grubfest. I take my sister Mary there once a week, so many have witnessed me there. I am a huge fan. Been to many all over the west coast while traveling. Pretty consistent.

4. Angelo's Pizza- Everyone goes to Angelo's for pizza with pzazz, but they do have an intense salad bar with many goodies. And good people making the place go.

3. Sea Grill- I love their presentation and their choices. Some may think of them as expensive foo-foo, but have the salad and fish and chips and you will be pleasantly surprised at the reasonable price.

2. Babetta's- Great consolidated choices. But can you put anything green on your plate with that awesome macaroni and cheese they have there! And Bab's and Sabrina are great host's! If you have not had their lunch, take a loved one and enjoy!

1. Sizzler- Always clean and consistent and chicken wings are a good addition. Karen's crew is always positive and down home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans day. Go hug a vet!

Or at least keep them in mind. I have a picture on my wall of my father standing with this platoon in front of the Schofield Barracks just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor while he was stationed there. James Edward Marks became a major in the army and also served in Korea. So I was an Army brat. My three older brothers served in Korea and Vietnam. (My brother Roy recently died from war related issues.) I did not enlist and went to college after high school. The Vietnam war left me with a bad impression from what I witnessed from Roy. I was never questioned about this by any of my family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanks to all!

I would like to thank everyone in the 4th Division that participated in this election. It is a right that should not be taken for granted. Thank you, Dennis Hunter, for 20 years of service as the 4th Division Commissioner.

I especially want to thank Matt Owen, my relentless campaign manager, and all of the walkers and phone bankers for this election; Virginia Bass, Frank Jager, Chris Holmquist, Charlene Cutler-Ploss, Richard Mostranski, Elizabeth Farnsworth, Mary Marks, Mike Newman, Sal Tabarez, Ron denHeyer, Perry Price, Julie Timmons, Susan Brinton, Marianne Hassler, Bob Borck and Hollie Klingel.

I would also like to thank the following organizations that endorsed the Marks for Harbor Commissioner 2009 campaign; the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, Humboldt County Central Labor Council, Humboldt and Del Norte Building Trades, Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Local 49, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 751, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 551, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees 1684, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290, Operating Engineers Local 3 and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union local 14.

And foremost I would like to thank my ever patient wife, Robin, for putting up with me.

To my constituents in the 4th Division, I have honorable intentions and will serve you to the best of my abilities.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sign, sign everywhere a sign!

I took down most of my "Marks For Harbor Commissioner" signs yesterday but inevitable I am sure there are ones I missed. People either took them from the Labor Temple, Democratic Headquarters or wherever we were handing them out, so I don't know where they might be. Please send me a note if you see one out there, or better yet, take it out and give me a Ring to come pick up. (I had hundreds out there, so this is a chore.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Please remember to vote today!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Financial Political Reality. Marks campaign busted.

I was approached by one of my friends today about my campaign. I told him we were broke. He took out his wallet and handed me $200. I told him I would have to report the donation and he snapped the money from my hand. I took a $1 bill out of my wallet and said if he gave me $99 I would not have to report it. He gave gladly. Man, I have done this way too much in this race. I realize this is a small community and there may be repercussions for political allegiances, but this becoming weird.

I am reaching out to the community for money to help cover my debt. Please contribute anything you can to "Marks for Harbor Commissioner" and send to PO Box 184 Samoa, California 95564.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Times Standard endorses Marks!

In the 4th Division, there are three candidates vying for the seat, and again, all would make fine commissioners.

But this is an important seat. In the recent past, the seat was filled by longtime Commissioner Dennis Hunter, who at times proved to be the swing vote. More often than not, he sided with the more conservative element of the commission, but was known to be an independent thinker not completely averse to breaking rank.

That need for a strong and independent swing voter continues. If Wilson retains his seat, which we believe is likely, which of the three candidates for 4th Division commissioner would best serve as an independent decision-maker?

While John Ash can bring a great perspective and background as an architect to board, and Susan Penn should be commended for her dedication as a regular attendee at harbor district meetings, the editorial board feels Marks is the most well-rounded candidate for the position.

Marks is a life-long Democrat, and has serious progressive credentials. He believes strongly in the conservation and recreation roles the district holds. Yet his No. 1 priority, appropriately, is jobs. He's spent a career working with his hands and heart, trying to make a good living while at the same time endeavoring to improve the working conditions of his fellow employees.

Marks, we believe, has elements of both political camps in his blood. And on a commission that is deeply divided, we believe he'd function well as an arbiter of compromise. He's done it before, in countless labor negotiations between management and workers, and we think that experience will come in handy without costing either side their primary goals.

Therefore, we're happy to endorse Richard Marks for 4th Division harbor commissioner.

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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marks for Commish meet and greet.

The Richard Marks for Harbor Commissioner 2009 campaign is hosting a candidate "Meet and Greet" tomorrow at the Labor Temple (840 E Street in Eureka)at 5:30pm. There will be snack type foods and beverages. Stop by and say hi!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Joe McDonald finishes 2nd at Redwood Acres!

The best of the late model stock car drivers converged at "Fall Spectacular" race at Redwood Acres Saturday night to battle in an epic 100 lap race. Big crowd. And what a race it turned out to be! Locals Jimmy Walker, Jerry Peterson and Joe McDonald Jr. had their hands full against a large out of town field. Noel McCormack of Lakeport shared some paint with Joe McDonald Jr. and both were nearly fender to fender for over 90 laps! I video taped a little bit of the action so you can hear and feel the atmosphere. Lenz ended up winning the hard fought contest with local driver Joe McDonald Jr. in second. Joe had "Marks for Harbor Commissioner" painted on his hood and raced a fantastic try. I just wish Rollin Trehearne was there to call the race play by play. I have been fan at the Acres since the 60's.

(Just for the NASCAR fans: I root for the #29 car.)

Richard and Robin ride the Speeder!

Robin and I finally made some time to ride the Speeder. Well worth the $4 a piece fare! We have both hiked and biked beside the rail line since the early 80's and it was good to get this new perspective. The crew was very informative and you could see the excitement in the riders. I was surprised on how many people were taking pictures and the positive automobile response for the Speeder going down Highway 255.

The Timber Heritage Association has dedicated thousands of hours of volunteer work to make this project and other preservation projects related to rail history prevalent.

This project is also an affirmation of the relevancy of an excursion train to Scotia.

The Round House is one of only 2 left in the US! It holds great historical value.

I bet many of you remember climbing on ol' #15 when it was at Seqouia park!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Humboldt County Democrats of the Year 2009.

Dr. Ann Lindsay and Dr. Alan Glaseroff were the honored Humboldt Democrats of the Year. Two very highly respected members of the community. They received many proclamations from all legislative branches and it was a moving sight.

This years "DOTY" was well attended and ran smoothly. I just can't say enough good things about this event this year. The HCDCC Ways and Means Chair Charlene Cutler-Ploss and other committee event organizers deserve much Kudos for once again putting on this quality get together.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Take what you will from this allegory.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Softball being played in Arcata!

We started up the fall wood bat softball league in Arcata this week. I proposed this league and was given the OK by the Mad River Softball Association Board of Directors and there has already been some great games! Games are played Mondays through Thursdays from 6:20pm to 8:40pm. Come on out if you are bored and check out!

I am still organizing the Basketball League in Arcata. Should start in early October. Give a call if you are interested.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sign etiquette 101. When do you start with the yard signs?

I have been pushed by people on my campaign to put out signs now! I realize that one of my opponents for the 4th Division Harbor District has been putting out signs in their neighborhood, but it is too early by proper protocol.

I have told supporters that the proper timing etiquette is 5 weeks from the election. My target date is coming soon. I have had the signs for a few weeks. If you have a place available in the Eureka/Myrtletown/Samoa/Fairhaven area, please call me at 445-3432.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sign Placements and Phonebanking welcomed!

I was able to garner some sign placements through my Facebook page, so I thought I would try shamelessly using my Samoasoftball blog for the same purpose. If you have a highly visible spot in Eureka or Myrtletown, just call me at 445-3432 and leave a message if I am not there.

We have been phonebanking, and while I realize it is not everyones cup of tea, if you would like to get involved in a campaign here is your chance. e-mail me at We had a good showing last night, but I can't expect that kind of turnout every night. People get burned out if called upon too often.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get off my F****** Porch now!

I sure hope Susan or John don't end up knocking on this angry dudes door in Eureka. I was banging on doors yesterday and this guy just yelled obscenities and was just not friendly. I wonder what causes such anger in some people. 95% of the people who answer their doors are polite, but those 5% can really make you question humanity.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grand Puba Boy's take Tomaso's Beer League Championship award! Literally!

The Grand Puba Boy's softball team were the only undefeated team going into the Championship game of the Tomaso's sponsored Wood Bat Beer League Championships in Willow Creek this weekend. Blue Planet Pet shop were the challenging team in the Championship game with a 4-1 record. The score was tied 1-1 in the 5th inning when a torrential downpour sent everyone scrambling to their rigs to get out of town. And one quick player for the Puba's team took the trophy and ran! So, by imminent domain, the Puba's hold onto the coveted trophy. (Last years champs have to hand make, art wise, their predecessor trophy. The Hey Juan Barnstormers were last years champs and had the trophy on display.) I get a feeling the Puba team will not give it up quietly. Tomaso's and the Green Sox ended up tied for 3rd with the Barnstormers and Breakers tied for 5th in the 10 team tournament.

The Samoa Athletic Club organized this event for Tomaso's and the theme was "Don't drink and drive!" Most of the players stayed at Camp Kimtu or close by. Tomaso's supplied water and salsa on ice in each dugout and Bien Padre donated chips. There were hundreds of people at the park over the weekend. 98% of the 120 participants had a great time. I would say that was pretty good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

HCDCC endorses Marks.

The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee voted to endorse me for my bid for Harbor Commissioner for the 4th Division. Mike Wilson was endorsed by the committee for his re-election bid for the 3rd Division. All Candidates were present at the meeting and spoke and answered questions. The meeting had an overflow crowd.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Day Picnic draws huge crowd! CLC endorses Marks.

Jimmy Smith announced the endorsement at the Central Labor Council sponsored Labor Day Picnic. There was a great crowd out there at Sequoia Park.

I walked the streets today and ran across some material for one of my opponents. Looks like they have some high dollars to run a campaign. Should be interesting. I know quite a few working class people in the area.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Art's Alive busy! Pulp Mill rumbles? MRSA winds down.

Last night at Art's Alive was crazy with people. I hand billed my literature for Harbor Commissioner and was able to get sign placements and support from the hundreds I encountered. Lot's of people from out of town wandering also. Probably from the Blues by the Bay.

I heard some rumors about the Pulp Mill starting in the near future. I went out to the office and rung the bell at the desk, but no one came down, so I have nothing but rumor to report.

Mad River softball is winding down their playoffs. Pretty smooth season with some great competitive ball. Fall softball starts in a few weeks! Oh, and Basketball in October.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Marine Protected Areas coming soon to the North Coast?

I happen chanced on a Humboldt Fisherman’s Marketing Association meeting to hear their views on the “Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).” Fishermen at the meeting were handing out shirts that said “Much Less Public Access” with a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a fisherman upside down on the back. The Act will create Marine Protected Areas (MPA) on coastal areas that will be designated after “scientific” studies “to increase the coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state's marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage.”

In a nutshell, MPA’s will be created in places that could curtail fishing or kelp harvesting in certain coastline areas. The big contention by the locals is the lack of true scientific data to determine where this might happen. Fishermen are being solicited to “cut their own noses off in spite of their faces” by helping in the process of designated potential places they will not be able to fish. One commercial fisherman said he had provided fishing data to be added to a database and when he checked it out later, they had no history of fish being caught in the area he had been working for 20 years! Local fishermen are also worried they will be out lobbied by Southern California populace interests in trying to protect their own fish baskets. Fishermen could take a 20% hit according to "Ecotrust" an organization collecting data.

One hope for the local Fishermen would be if the Initiative staff would push forward a “single plan” or a “unified” directive with all stakeholders involved, Fishermen, Environmentalists, Department of Fish and Games, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Fisheries, Native Americans and all other related interests.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

IRV's Big and Tall now open! Two pulp mill workers now in business.

Mike Irving and his son Shawn have gone into business for themselves at the Bayshore Mall. Their store specializes in Big and Tall clothing. I worked with Mike for years in the Machine Room at the pulp mill. Mike was a good conscientious worker. Shawn was a Digester Operator at the mill and was also Treasurer when I was President of local 49. I very much appreciated his efforts for the union. I wish both of them all the very best in their venture.

Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's official. Wiggins will not seek re-election. Elephant in room can be addressed.

Obviously something is wrong with Patricia. She has been fortunate to surround herself with great staff that have been trying to fend off problematic situations. I hope for the best for Patricia's health and well being. The stress of her position could not be helping the matter at all.

But the big question is........who will be taking her place? I would think that Patty Berg would be the likely front runner. Or her friend Bonnie Neely? This really opens the door to some madness for the 2nd District Senate race in 2010. Any predictions?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Richard Marks for Harbor Commissioner 2009 FPPC# 1320484

I finally recieved my Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC) number yesterday. I had to file a "Statement of Organization Recipient Committee" form 410, if my committee expects to raise over $1,000 during the calander year. The FPPC# is the key to start raising funds for a person running for office. Most organizations need to justify or have proof of a candidates viability and campaign structure before they can cut a check for their organization to a candidate.

Just part of the nuts and bolts of a campaign I thought I would share. Oh yeah, there are lots of rules and regulations that are to be read and forms to fill. Not the fun part of a campaign.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Vick remorse for his actions or remorse he got caught?

I watched Michael Vick on 60 minutes last night and I can't help but think he would still be doing his dog fighting if he had not been caught. I don't think he knew the ramifications of his actions would be as severe as they were. I just am not buying into his rehabilitation. He admitted his handlers had prepared him for the interview. This was a publicity stunt that I just had a hard time believing. Anybody else feel that way?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

John Ash saves Samoasoftball a bundle! Humboldt Dems holding out endorsements.

Today was the last day to file for candidacy in the 4th District Harbor race. John Ash paid for a candidates statement so that cuts my statement fee in half! Saves me $500. I am sure this is drop in the bucket for John, but substantial for me.

We had a lively Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee meeting tonight. We voted in 5 new associate members! When the subject of endorsement came up, HBHR&CD 5th District commissioner Patrick Higgins asked for an endorsement for 3rd District commissioner Mike Wilson. And the debate began on whether to endorse one Democrat over another in a spirited but respectful manner. The committee wants to hear both candidates in September, and will make a decision whether to endorse. So we shall see.

Talk about crappy timing to ask for an endorsement on my part. There was a first and second on the floor to endorse me, but after the hot debate concerning the 3rd district race, Shane Brinton motioned to table the subject in September on behalf of Mike Winkler. (Must have been my rooting for the Steelhead over the Crab's last weekend.) So I will have to wait until Septembers meeting also. (This really is the fair thing to do on behalf of Susan Penn, a fellow Democrat running for the position.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marks endorsed by Humboldt County Building Trades!

So far I have been endorsed by the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers local 49 and the Humboldt County Building Trades. Many thanks to both.

Here is the photo sent in by the campaign. The Times Standard used a photo they had on file from years back when I had long hair before I cropped it for "Locks for Love". I realize it is hard to get any decent picture of this face. I am not a model. I am what I am.

The TS also edited the press release and took literary liberty to add my past historical history of running for 4th District Supervisor against Bonnie Neely. No mention of myself garnering nearly 90% of the vote when I ran for the 4th District Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee seat.

Love me or hate me, I will continue to serve my community in what ever capacity our electoral decides I am deserving.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

It's official. Marks for Harbor Commissioner.

Here is my Press release unedited:

Retired Pulp Mill worker Richard Marks has announced his candidacy for 4th District Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Commissioner. “First of all, I would like to thank Dennis Hunter for his 20 years of service with the district and wish him continued success on his many community volunteer efforts,” Marks stated.

Richard and his wife Robin are lifelong residents of Northern California and lived, worked, and raised two sons within eye sight of the Humboldt Bay.

“I’m running for Commissioner to bring proactive, forward-thinking leadership to the district. We can create and retain good jobs that pay decent wages by supporting our aquaculture and fishing industries, encouraging light industrial growth, and investing in the infrastructure needed to support short sea shipping. We can increase recreational opportunities and transportation options around our bay by creating bicycle and pedestrian trails to connect our communities, while protecting the publicly owned railroad right-of-way for future possibilities. Finally, we can spearhead environmental restoration projects to preserve the fragile ecosystem that supports so many of our waterfront-dependent businesses and activities.”

Mr. Marks is the past President of Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers local 49 and former union organizer. He has also organized youth and adult sports in many north coast municipalities and is currently holding two elected positions; Director on the Samoa Peninsula Fire District and Member of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee Executive Board. Richard is also currently on the Board of Directors for Humboldt Domestic Violence Services, as well as the President of Mad River Softball Association.

Feel free to e-mail Richard at

Let the insanity start.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

UBC to the Pulp Mill's rescue?

The United Brotherhood of Carpenter's has taken on a new project; lobbying for investors for Freshwater Tissue. The UBC has been in contact with perspective investor's and will be a liaison in a potential meeting with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Simpson. The process is being fast tracked by the UBC and has full support of the California Carpenter's. Local 751 Field Representative Marianne Hassler has been doing her best in gathering all the right people together. This all came about after AWPPW President John Rhodes and VP Greg Pallesen meet with UBC representatives and asked for help. So there is still hope out there.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bombers beat Murphy's for Wildwood title.

The Bombers of Fortuna beat Murphy's from Arcata at Scotia to win the Wildwood Days Tournament. 12 Pack of Fortuna ended up 3rd and SOP of Eureka 4th. Murphy's lost their first game in a Tournament for the second straight week and still was there in the Championship for the second straight weekend. Don't know the last time that a team has pulled that off.

The weather was great and Scotia is a great place to play. The money raised went to the Rio Dell Fire Department. SOP players did a great job in hosting the event had the infield in great shape for the last games of the tournament and stayed right on schedule. 11 teams on on field made it a busy weekend.

This was the first men's open metal bat tournament in Humboldt County since last years Scotia Tournament! MRSA is hosting a USSSA "E" Qualifier metal bat tournament August 15th and 16th in Arcata.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wildwood Days Softball Invitational this weekend.

Sam Jaskar, Jason Mullaney and Toye Johnson are hosting the Wildwood Days Softball Invitational in Scotia. 11 teams will be battling starting Friday and ending Sunday evening. SAC plays at 11:30pm Saturday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

No Pulp Mill worker meeting with Bob Simpson.

Looks like the presentation by Bob Simpson of Freshwater Tissue's business plan is on hold. Instead, AWPPW President John Rhodes and VP Greg Pallesen will speak to the membership tomorrow at 4pm at the union hall. Next on the agenda is a vote on whether to sell the union hall.

You can check out the Pulp Mill's business plan at

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Murphy's beat SAC to win HDVS "Heart of the Redwoods" Invitational.

Murphy's beat Samoa Athletic Club 7-4 in the championship game of the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services "Heart of the Redwoods" softball invitational Saturday. Murphy's played 7 games and had to beat SAC twice to win the 1st place trophy and Championship Tee-Shirts. After the dust had settled, Cross Up of Eureka took third and Big Pete's Dirtbags of Arcata finished 4th. Every team in the tournament had at least a win and every team lost 2, so this was a very tight tournament.

There were good crowds all day and good ball. The umps took the brunt of some yelling and cursing, but all in good fun. We were able to raise some money for Humboldt Domestic Violence Services and play some ball in sunny Arcata!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Softball in Arcata this weekend! HSU Athletic pass auction!

I am hosting a benefit softball tournament for the Humboldt Domestic Violence Services at the Arcata Sports Complex. The tournament will run all day Saturday.

I tried to hold it in Eureka but didn't get the response I needed to make it work out money wise. And the City of Eureka is keeping the $100 deposit even though nobody will be using the field. Go see how many hoops you have to jump through to use the fields for a tournament in Eureka. Not fun.

HSU Family Athletic Pass! I am auctioning off a family pass for the 2009-10 season. This pass admits 2 adults and 3 children under 18 to HSU home contests! (This does exclude men's basketball and men's and women's basketball doubleheaders, but includes football, softball and women's basketball single games.) Good family fun! Money raised benefits Humboldt Domestic Violence Services. E-mail me with a bid!

Oh, the picture is me throwing for the Eels hardball club against the HSU Club team at Arcata Ball Park.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Roy's service.

It was a good service. Many shared their thoughts on Roy's service in Nam and how that war is still taking lives years later. Roy was only 60 but had many war related illnesses as many of his army buddies also have suffered.
My Brother Mike and Sister Michelle gave tribute to Roy that was heart driven. Michelle spoke about a time that she had a new dress and Roy bought her a new pair of shoes to match when she was young. Roy would do stuff like that, but you couldn't thank him or you would get the "it was nothing" routine.

To his friends he was benevolent and caring. Here are some of my favorite pics.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Roy Edward Marks Memorial Monday.

Roy's Memorial service will be Monday, July 20th, at 2pm at Pierce Mortuary on the corner of 7th and Hst. There will be a color guard to honor his military service.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Damn! My brother Roy Dies!

My brother Roy Edwards Marks passed away today at 60 years of age. My sister called me to let me know his roommate had called and said the police were at Roy’s house. I went over and Officer William Dennison was guarding the area. Bill was my next door neighbor a few years ago and told me I shouldn't see my brother in this state. Roy had went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and died on the toilet and fell forward onto the floor. Roy had been doing Kidney Dialysis for awhile and had grown tired of the procedures and refused treatment in sound mind last week. The doctor said he would make it between 48 and 72 hours. Roy made it until today. (Roy was poisoned by Agent Orange in Viet Nam and on Army disability.)

Deputy Coroner Charles Van Buskirk was awesome and way beyond the call in dealing with a horrible uncomfortable situation.

My sister Mary was way agitated on Monday about Roy’s condition and told me she had more than normal concern. Roy had in the past been refusing treatment and so I didn’t see this as any more than past calls for need. (Cry wolf?) So I am suffering from much guilt. (Just being honest here.)

So let me tell you a little bit about my Sergeant brother “Big” who was short on stature and huge in heart. To say Roy was an anomaly does not do him justice.

Roy received his Holy Communion on May 5th of 1957 and was an Alter Boy at the Chapel of our Lady at the Presidio of San Francisco. (We were raised Catholic.)

Roy was in the Army and a 1st Air Calvary Division soldier. Roy survived 3 terms of service in Nam and received a Bronze Medal, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal for 25 missions over hostile territory. He was a war hero.

Education and employment wise Roy had graduated Eureka High, CR and attended HSU. He was a Bank Executive for Crocker Bank in Eureka, Concord and also Arcata, where he approved many business loans for many Arcata merchants. He also worked for Power Systems Engineering in Houston Texas.

Roy raced motorcycles at Redwood Acres and was a back yard mechanic. He rebuilt cars and had custom made Harley's since the 70's.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents, Major James Marks, mother Mabel Marks and brother James. He is survived by his son Jamie, brothers Michael and Richard, sisters Juanita, Kathleen, Mary and Michelle.

I love you Roy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bud Light Tourney in Ukiah. Wrist update.

I took team Samoa Athletic Club to Ukiah this weekend to play in the Bud Light Softball Invitational in Ukiah. This is a well organized event with 18 very competitive softball teams. I have never played at the parks there and was pleasantly surprised. 3 fields with nearly 300ft dimensions with a BBQ snack bar and cold Budweiser on tap. The stands are close to the action and there is lots of shade. Seen many players I recognized from other tournaments, so it was fun to socialize and pass out information about upcoming tournaments in Humboldt County. Lot's of people at the park. This is a tournament I will definitely make room on the calender for next year.

Ukiah has 9 wood bat teams in their league. I saw one dude use a wood bat and hit the ball around 290ft! And I heard he had hit 4 Home Runs in league. I hope he makes the USSSA State Championships next month in Arcata.

I had my cast removed two weeks ago at my surgeons office and asked when I could start attempting to swing a bat. I was told by my fellow baller that I could try at any time but I would make my wrist "angry." I couldn't hurt it but it would hurt me. Man, was he right. I went to the physical therapist on Friday and he absolutely tortured my wrist! It just doesn't have much range of motion yet. 11 or more of these appointment's to go. Ouch!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Nancy Flemming out as Rio Dell City Manager!

Rio Dell Police Chief Graham Hill has taken over the duties of the City Manager as of today. Much as I know right now.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mob Crowd gathers in Samoa! Swat and police gather to quell crowd. Where is the news?

Robin and I came home Sunday night and seen the fence by our house was knocked down. We were wondering what had happened. My next door neighbor reported that a Samoa resident had been on some "binge" and jumped in his van and proceeded to ram his van into other vehicles and property all over Samoa. Residents in Samoa followed his path of destruction and the van as he plowed into houses, cars, fences and finally a fire hydrant. The water from the hydrant literally washed the foundation from one house and left others damaged. The mob followed him to his house that he shared with 3 other males and called for his head out of the house or they were coming in to take him. The other 3 brought him out and SWAT and the Sheriffs department took him away. He was an undocumented resident and his case is pending. This has brought forth the subject of multiple Latino residents packing many people into homes in Samoa. Many may be workers at Sun Valley Farms.

Weaverville 4th of July Tournament results. And Trinity County observations.

Weaverville: Most Valuable Player Mike Taylor went 4-5 with a Home Run to lead the Kingsmen of Redding to a 21-8 victory over Team SOP from Eureka in the Championship game of the 4th of July Weaverville Invitational hosted by the Samoa Athletic Club. Sam Jaskar and Toye Johnson both had 3 hits for Team SOP. Team SOP beat Ray Wolfe Construction 12-7 in the semi final game.

Ray Wolfe Construction from Arcata finished 3rd followed by 4th place James Hill Trucking from Eureka.

Steve McLain of the Kingsmen was named the Most Valuable Pitcher. All Tournament selections from the Kingmen were Matt Whitehouse and Russ Jones. Jaskar and Johnson were all tournament selections from Team SOP. Ray Wolfe Construction was represented by Mike Dobrec and Jacob Kadle. Joel McCoy of James Hill Trucking rounded out the all tournament picks.

Team Son's Of Pitches and Humboldt's Finest played Friday night in front of a few thousand fans at Lowden Field. The Lions Club did really well at the beer booth. The weather was way hot! 104 on Saturday and that took a toll on me. Robin and I always wait for the players to get hotels before we do so they have a place to stay. We have even resorted to staying in the scorers booth while hosting this event. We ended up getting one of the last rooms at the Weaverille Victorian Inn. They charged us over $160 a night! And we heard the Trinity Motel charged up to $160 also! Talk about price gouging! This community would lose untold thousands if we did not host this event, and I am re-considering doing this next year. After all expenses, we may come out to the negative this year.

I have tried to get Weavervile residents to run their own event and had little response. I paid one umpire nearly $400 to umpire this tournament, so he made more than I for organizing it. Not right.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

No cap on Marina Center. Dirt to be removed.

The other day I was listening to KIN's Talk Shop with Rob Arkley being interviewed by Brian Papstein and the subject of the Marina Center came up. Rob said that the contaminated soil would be removed from the site instead of being "capped." The eradication of the soil will provide 50 union jobs as soon as August and will mitigate some of the issues of the project. I am surprised there has not been any big story on this locally.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Which two local public officials hold two elected positions?

Can someone hold two public offices simultaneously? Yes. I will give this hint. One of them plays alot of softball.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HDVS fundraiser. Wrist Update. Retirement crap. Stock Car stuff.

The Humboldt Domestic Violence Services is hosting the "Rising II: Keep the Phoenix Soaring" fund raiser today starting at 6pm and running until 10pm at the Eureka Veterans hall. There will be great music, food, beer, wine and silent auction. The cost is $50 per couple and is for a great cause. Hope to see you there!

I recently went to Redding for my post-op check up and removal of the cast I have been trying to itch through. I have 4 holes on the top of my wrist that the doctor went in to repair cartilage I had torn. There was kind of a flap torn that wouldn't allow me to turn my wrist normally. Dr. Ferraro of Shasta Orthopedic drilled or shaved the cartilage down so I would have chance for normal movement. When they took the cast off, I thought I would be able to use it now. I was wrong. It hurts bad right now. But it is supposed to get better with rehab. I went to the EDD and talked with their disability counselor and he said I have to wait until I my injury recovery is "Permanent and Stationary" before I can look into programs for re-training. Hmmmm. Guess I won't be in the workforce soon. I was told I may have to consider an administrative position. Dr Lyell from Arcata said the same. No more heavy equipment operator. Back to union organizing?

I sent away my personal information to take an early retirement from the pulp mill. (I was in my 30th year at the mill.) Sounds like Milliman is not processing our claims because of inaction on Evergreen Pulp's part. This is sure getting old. Those funds have been in the account and has been solvent for decades. If the feds take over the account maybe we can have resolution. Sad it has come to this.

Robin and I were at the Stock Car races last night. It was fair night, so we had to pay $10 a piece at the door and another $5 to get into the races. Used to buy fair admission and get into the races as part of that. Regular races cost $10 at the door and last time Robin and I went they were over by 8:45pm! Less than 2 hours of entertainment for us.

Paul Peoples and Dave Henderson did some great racing in Thunder Roadster class. They had to maneuver through traffic all race and Paul ended up winning a close race. In the Sportsmen class, Joe McDonald did his best job of racing ever and out dueled Jimmy Walker in a wreck filled race. It was a fun night of racing with over 70 cars participating.

Just curious. Why does the Times Standard do huge current stories on the non local Crabs and ignore the Stock Car races? I can guarantee that the races out draw the Crabs, and the drivers at the Acres are mostly local. A few thousand at the races to maybe 700 at a Crabs game. And while I am on this rant, why not replace the Crabs with the Steelhead baseball team? They are the truly local representative players and would pull the same crowds against the inferior competition the Crabs pick to play anyways. My thoughts of course.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Softball update.

Upcoming Tournaments

July 3rd, 4th and 5th at Weaverville. So far Ray Wolfe Construction, JHT, R-co, Murphy’s, Blue Planet Pets, Team Ukiah and The Kingsmen from Redding are signed up. 3games for sure, camping at the park, rodeo and fair. If you are interested contact Richard Marks 445-3432.

July 11th and 12th at Arcata. Women’s Invitational. Contact Jan Henry at HSU Recreation.

July 11th at Mckinleyville wood bat. Coed Single Elimination. $125. Contact 839-9003.

July 11th and 12th at Ukiah men’s metal bat. 4 games at least. $300. ASA rules. Contact Jake at 463-6714. Deadline is July 2nd.

July 11th and 12th at Crescent City. Men’s Slow pitch Open Division Entry Fee: $ 250.00 First Place: $700.00 + T- Shirts* 2nd- 3rd Place: Prizes *Payouts based on teams entered, subject to change*Deadline: June 29th, 2009 Contact Genevieve M. (707) 482– 1350 No alcohol or tobacco allowed

July 18th and 19th at Weaverville. Mountain Bash. Jesse Poras at 530-227-0541.

July 25th and 26th at Eureka. HDVS Invitational. 3 Games for sure. $250. Men’s wood bat, Women’s metal bat and Co-ed tournaments. Contact Richard Marks at 445-3432.

August 1st and 2nd at Scotia. Wildwood Days Invitational. Contact Sam Jaskar at 845-3064.

August 15th and 16th at Mckinleyville. “Beat the heat!” Metal bat. $225. Contact 839-9003.

August 22nd and 23rd at Arcata. Northern California “E” metal bat championships.

August 29th and 30th at Arcata. USSSA California Wood Bat State Championships.

September 12th and 13th at Willow Creek. Tomaso’s hosts the Beer League Championships. $250. First come first serve. Contact Richard Marks at 445-3432.

Quick Northcoast softball notes:

Blue Lake wood bat league is finishing up this Sunday all day. The Championship game will be at 4pm. 8 teams were in the league.

Mckinleyville is hosting a Sunday afternoon co-ed league starting August 2nd. League cost is $200 and runs through September. Call 839-9003.

Arcata has 33 wood bat teams and play Monday thru Thursday each week.

Eureka has 27 men’s metal bat and 10 women’s teams. They also have 27 co-ed teams and 4 Senior League teams for a total of 68 teams.

Fortuna has 14 men’s teams and 8 women’s.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's day to all!

Being a father can be a hard thing. Compare it to having your heart out of your body walking around without any of your control. You do your best to lay the foundation, and then fret when one of the children make choices you do not agree with. Both of my son's, Jacob the oldest and Jordan the youngest, live in the Sacramento area. Jacob does auto body and upholstery work, and Jordan is in retail. I think about them daily and hope for the best. As do all you other fathers I am sure.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

California jobless rate highest since 1941!

11.5% unemployment rate. It was 68 years ago that work in the state was this bad. And it is going to get worse before it gets better. And this does not take into account workers who have had hours and wages cut back. Wish I had a quick fix answer. Any good ideas out there for the future?

Friday, June 19, 2009

David Fisher passes.

David Ray Fisher went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, June 13th, 2009, at about 10:50 p.m. at his home in Montague. David was just shy of his 54th birthday, and had been battling brain cancer for eight months after successfully overcoming prostate cancer.

After his service in the U.S. Army, Dave worked as a logger, welder, and millwright, before finally working for himself in the construction trades.

He will forever be missed by his wife, Deborah, of 35 years, his children; Dave and Kelly, Allen, Adam, Beth and Matt, Daniel, and Zachary. He was also the proud grandpa of six; Matt, Emma, Hailey, Adam, Hunter, and Hannah, all of whom will deeply miss their Grandpa. Dave is survived by numerous brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and innumerable friends who were always treated and thought of as family.

He was an avid outdoorsman and family man. He loved to hunt and fish, and the time spent with family and friends doing both. Dave made friends and shared the Word and love of God with everyone he met, and left a memorable impression on all.

His memorial service will be held at the Grenada Berean Church, 512 6th St., Grenada Ca., on Saturday, June 27th, at Noon. All who knew him are invited to attend. Girdner Funeral Chapel is assisting the family.

David's wife Debbie played softball with Robin for my wife's LP Treetopper team. David was always at the games with their adopted and foster children. Debbie was not supposed to be able to have kids, then surprise! They had two of their own. Dave and Debbie always kept a positive attitude throughout David's life, and I have nothing but positive memories of David and their kids. He was way to young to go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take it easy on my blog please.

I had surgery yesterday on my wrist, so I will not be on line much. It went well. Please keep the comments civil.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Former Evergreen Pulp Mill Workers! Alert! Please Attend Next Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Meeting!

This is a call out to all former Evergreen Pulp workers. Please show up to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chambers on Tuesday June 16th at 9:15am to hear testimony of co-workers who have been wronged on health care issues! This is your chance to take public action in the form of numbers! But do remember, you will have to go through a scan and search to get into the Board Chambers.

Thanks to 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely for making this an agenda item and to 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace for making this public.

John and Joy Mathson along with Gail and Jim Mellow bought the COBRA coverage and were defrauded. And many more past Evergreen workers have had medical costs burden them.

Time to get active!

Perry Price in bad softball accident. I hate when this happens.

Perry Price and I have been playing softball together forever. He really pushes me to do my best when we play in tournaments and league and I appreciate his companionship, even if we are yelling at each other. We are both intense, but at different levels. Perry is around 70 years old, but young at heart. He filled in playing for us this weekend and got on base pretty well and we won a tournament Saturday against much younger players. (He was the oldest in the tournament by at least 15 years.) I asked him to fill in on Sunday in the Blue Lake League if we were short players. Sure enough, we had only 9 players. In the second game, Perry was coaching at 1st base (Loudly) and the shortstop threw a ball to 1st wildly and squarely hit Perry in his bad knee and knocked him to the ground. It was a bad scene. I mean, this ball was thrown hard! Perry, got up and went back to his catcher position for the next inning because he is one of the toughest guys I know. When he was to come to bat his knee had swollen, of course. We took him out of the game. I felt bad. Perry had just showed up in case someone did not make it, and I had a few guys not call me and tell me they would not be there. Perry is at home and resting with a cane. He has a big party coming up and hopes to be able to dance. (A Perry specialty.)

This was my last weekend to play ball before my surgery. I had a good Saturday hitting in the tournament, and had 5 straight hits Sunday. Guys on my team were loudly telling me not to get my wrist fixed! But this thing really hurts and I want to be able to throw and hit right, and start lifting weights again. Oh yes, I want to be able to work again! (Heavy Equipment and such.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

This is the second softball tournament I am hosting this year. The first wood bat. I will hold at least 3 more this year, I hope. This should be a fun one. If you are not doing anything tomorrow come out and see the action. From 9am to maybe past 9pm! The Home Run contest will be at 1:40pm on the North Field. (Cory Frizell might be the favorite.) This is the time for teams and umpires to work out the kinks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Freshwater Pulp to become "Freshwater Tissue."

Here is the Schematic overview for the planned tissue plant. I had heard a rumor that the Flakt Driers were sold and had heard others say the mill would start making pulp as early as October, so I decided to go to the mill and see if I could get an answer from Bob Simpson. He was in his office and updated on these topics. No, the mill will not be operational for awhile. They are still trying to garner financing. The Federal Loan Guarantee process is taking too long, so Freshwater Tissue is exploring a "Green" Initial Public Offering (IPO). This is when a company sells common stock or shares to the public for the first time. They are going to try to market their company as an environmentally conscience product, using environmentally monitored processes, that will make toilet tissue free of all dioxins by using the Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) pulping process. They plan on only using wood chips that have been timber harvested responsibly and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The entire front line of the Machine Room is for sale, as is the equipment in the Chips Dump. The Chip Silos will be renovated to have better chip blending capabilities. If they have to build a secondary treatment plant, it will be totally enclosed, as opposed to open aired treatment.

Bob said any former pulp mill employee that wants to tour the mill are welcomed to come by and set that up. (He was concerned about workers coming in without permission. This has happened recently.)

Just double click on the above image to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Senior SAC in first place! Blue Lake SAC somewhere in the middle.

First I will cover Blue Lake Samoa Athletic Club Team. We went 3-1 over the weekend. We were pretty much forced to play a Saturday make-up game, even though I said we had people working. Sure enough, we had only 9 players and lost. The second game we had ten and won. We are 7-3 so far and 2 games behind the Barnstormers. (2 of our loses with 9 players) Eric Eichin was 4-7 with a HR and 3 Doubles and Greg Alora was hot with the bat too.

On this last weekend date I am usually playing in the Summer Slam in Red Bluff that has all the best teams on the west coast converging for a great event. I missed it for the first time in years. Arcata team Ray Wolfe Construction fell just one game short of the finals! Good job Wolfe!

Tonight was the league debut of Samoa Athletic Club's senior league club. We beat the Mossbacks 25-12. They have beat up on the senior teams I have played for the last few years. I played sparingly last year. Steve Ritter is coaching this year and picked up some players I have been playing with and against for years! John Egerer is catching (I have been playing off and on with John for over 30 years!) Dudley Walters and Bill Landowski are sharing the pitchers mound, Chris Beechel is at 2nd and short, John Parker is at SS and Stu Rosenberg at 3B. Steve Ritter is at 2nd and 1st. Carlos Avelar plays all over. In the outfield is Pat Moore, Samoasoftball, Tony Hernandez and newcomer Mel. Ed Fregoso, Dave Damme, Mike Finley and David Stone are hopefuls in the near future. Infielders Rosenberg, Parker and Beechel were great tonight.

This was my last senior game until my surgery next Tuesday. Bummer. I will be coaching with the cast at third next week!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bonnie has her coming out party at Democrat June Jamboree.

Bonnie was pretty much the unofficial guest of honor at the Democrat "June Jamboree" at the Wharfinger Building. Kind of awkward for me, as I told Bonnie I was running against her during Mike Thompson's event about a month ago. I have had a few people ask me to consider not running for Supervisor and maybe run for Eureka City Council or Harbor Commissioner. I have been the only Democrat to run against Bonnie in the past, but now there would be 4 Demo's in the race! Crazy.

As with everything else in my world, I must compare this to the real life drama of softball. You know that guy you play against that you just can't stand? He can hit homers and play short like no ones business and you would just love to beat them? And all of the sudden he contacts your team and now you have to play with them? It takes awhile to adjust, but they end up making your team stronger. So, I guess I am on a "wait and see" stage.

I like Bonnie, but I have been vocal about the Supervisor seat not being a "career" job. Maybe I am wrong. She has done things that I disagree with, but she has also done much that I agree with.

I know this is a non-partisan race, but I still feel people more often than not look to a person's party affiliation.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Scoop! Virginia Bass a Democrat? She is semi-official running for 4th District Supervisor.

Virginia Bass is organizing an exploratory committee to consider a campaign for Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor. The Time Standard should have a story tommorrow. And get this, rumor has it she changed political parties months ago and is registered as Democrat! Now did Bonnie change parties in response to Virginia? That makes things really convoluted. Four Democrats running against each other? Bonnie Neely, Virginia Bass, Jeff Leonard and Richard Marks? Maybe Nancy Flemming will change her mind now. Any Greens out there? I know which one of the candidates needs a job about now. (I will give you a hint, he lives in Samoa.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A call for help for Evergreen workers. Petition.

Wes Chesbro
State Assembly
710 E Street, Suite 150
Eureka, CA 95501

Dear Assemblyman Chesbro:

If you will give us a moment of your time, we would like to inform you of our circumstances. We were employees of Evergreen Pulp, Inc. The company closed down and laid us off in the middle of October, 2008. Evergreen employed over 200 workers. Just imagine the stress, depression, and anxiety we are experiencing as a result of losing our life-long careers, loss of income, and loss of health insurance. Many of us either have no health insurance, or we are paying huge premiums with high deductibles. Factor into this the loss of our social network. We are suffering from the absence of the daily camaraderie of our family-like community of fellow workers.

All of this is devastating enough, but when you compound it by chronic health issues and the betrayal of a company in which we had faith and trust, it makes this blow so much harder to withstand. We believe Evergreen Pulp engaged in illegal business practices that violated our employees’ rights. Firstly, we were laid off without the notification requirements of the Federal and California WARN Act. Secondly, the company violated the Federal ERISA laws pertaining to pensions and COBRA coverage. Thirdly, the company willfully misled us into believing we had medical insurance when in fact they did not pay our medical bills for the months of October, November, and December. Some of our people have unpaid medical bills going back further than those months. The total of unpaid medical bills is over $400,000. We don’t know where to turn for help or if there is any justice for us.

Now, take into account the obstacles we face as unemployed, displaced workers in this time of economic down turn. We feel ill equipped to cope. We don’t know where to begin to regain some control over our reeling lives. We feel helpless and overwhelmed.

Also we want to inform you that our county is in desperate need of jobs. We are displaced workers in a county where jobs have been dwindling for years. This is the county where our children go to schools and where we have families and homes. Where is there to go from here?

We would appreciate any help or advice you can offer us. Our signatures and phone numbers are provided on a separate sheet.


AWPPW, Local 49
Contact Person: Tom Reilly, Union President, home phone (707) 443-9267

If you are a past worker or a concerned local citizen, please sign a petition or call Wes Chesbro's office at 445-7014 and say you agree.

Joy Mathson put this letter together. Her husband John has cancer and has been going through chemo for awhile and has medical bills over $60,000 that his family thought was covered through our labor agreement. I have worked with John for over 25 years. Others from the mill have medical debts in question also. I am so upset this has happened to our membership. We need Single Payer Health coverage.

Or at least employers who are responsible.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Lee & Man/Evergreen Pulp leaders finally leave town. Bob Simpson of Freshwater Pulp to give presentation at Union Hall this Wednesday?

Past Evergreen CEO David Tsang and bean counter Sam Wong have moved out of their home in Eureka. I guess they are done with whatever business they were closing at the Pulp Mill. Too bad this whole thing ended so negatively when it started out so positive. David seemed like a straight up person and ended up a huge disappointment. He was very poor at communication and his managerial pratices were helter skelter. And he did a terrible job at closing the pulp mill in orderly fashion.

And Lee and Man? They have taken no responsibility of their cut and run tactics on US soil. Chinese companies should be bonded or at least follow US labor laws as other domestic companies have to. When they closed the pulp mill their stock was selling on the Hong Kong market at $1.57 a share. It is now selling for $9.16! And yet they will not cover past wages and medical costs that have burdened past workers at the pulp mill. They should not be able to sell paper products in the US until they make us whole!

According to AWPPW Vice President Greg Pallesen, in the last 6 years 300 pulp and paper manufacturers have closed in the US. And in the last 6 years 300 pulp and paper manufacturers have opened in China! With little environmental concerns. Think locally (close US mills) Act globally (open toxic pulp mills overseas).

Freshwater Pulp President Bob Simpson has offered to give his companies presentation to the union at local 49 headquarters in Manila. Don't know if he is doing it this week or later, but if you are not doing anything, show up Wednesday for this months first meeting.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Barnstormer's exude good sportsmanship while beating SAC 3-1. Blue Lake wood bat action.

We only had 9 players to start our game against the Hey Juan Barnstormers and we played a hard fought contest. The Barnstormers were 4-0 going into the game and in 1st place. We finally had some re-enforcements late in the game and put them in the order to try to mount a comeback. We had the tieing run come up to bat and the Barnstormer coach Paul Bressoud called timeout while one of our new players came up to bat. He pointed out we were batting out of order and wanted our right player up. He was right, in the confusion of putting the new players in the line-up one of our guys was out of order. He could have waited until after he batted and it would have been an out and we would have lost right there! As it turned out, we were not successful in the comeback due to great fielding by the Barnstormer's. We lost 3-1. That was good sportsmanship on their part but Pat Higgins gets the best of me for the second straight game! Grrrr. We did salvage the second game of the doubleheader. They had the lead, then we had the lead, then they had the lead, and then we finally pulled it off. Whew! The weather was great!

Sideline notes: Perry Price helped us and was the oldest player out there at......70ish. The Barnstormers have at least 5 players over 50 and some great young additions. They do not make many mistakes! Sam Jaskar made some totally sick plays at short for SAC the second straight time. Best in the league. Kris Avelar was within a few inches of on 8 for 8 weekend. Cory Frizell can hit as hard in wood bat as he can in metal bat. Toye Johnson also. If I am not mistaken, the Brewzers are 5-1, Barnstormers 5-1 and SAC 4-2. Any other records out there?

Teams I have played for this season are now 5-4. I will have surgery on June 16th, so I will play as much as I can until then. Toye Johnson did the wrap on my wrist today and I was at least able to swing. Thanks Toye!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Samoa Athletic Club Basketball final.

Our humble little Eureka Basketball League team ended the season with a 12-3 overall record, good enough for 4th place in the City Championship. We did win the second half portion of our league, so we scored another trophy. We had a pretty diverse group this year, 2 players in their 50's, 3 in their 30's and the rest in their 20's. We were led by 6'4" Dave Norton, who will be playing at CR next year. Other players were 6'6" Ron denHeyer, 6'8" Billie Sines, 5'10" Damon Dimmick (Arms of a 7 footer), 6'2" Terry "Mocha" Campbell, 5'10" Wayne Hicks, 6'2" Ben Hicock, 6'1" Max "Skywalker" Schotz, 6'3" Brandon Murphy and on the point, 6'1" Sam Jaskar. It was a fun season. Below is a short clip of the team in action in the Eureka Semi-finals won by Elke's. Elke's lost to Porter Street BBQ in the finals.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woody Murphy: “I am against the Redwood Dock!” Dave Schneider: “Docks are losers!” HBHRCD Economic Development Committee.

I went to the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District (HBHRCD) “Economic Development Committee” meeting tonight to hear the economic vision for the port. Woody Murphy was the only one who would flat come out and say how he felt. He said a publicly funded dock should not compete with a privately owned dock and he said his facility was not overbooked. He went through the history of his dock since 1986 and how they have tried to adapt to economic changes. At one time he was exporting logs until the spotted owl problem, and then in the 90’s he felt it ironic that he was importing logs for sawmills from New Zealand until EPIC shut them down for chemicals that the logs were treated with. He tried to bring in Cruise Ships and found out they do not want to be charged to dock. He even had potato chips go through his dock.

Dave Schneider said he was told over ten years ago to build a dock, “and they will come.“ And he did just that, building a class 1 dock at the old “A” dock in Eureka. He was not publicly harsh on the new dock, but pointed out all the improvements he had made and in the last ten years averaged 3 ships a year. “Docks are losers! They are in use only 5% of the time!” His dock does have the capacity to handle 600 containers.

Randy Gans said the Fairhaven terminal has all kinds of potential and is supportive of the Redwood Dock also. Randy is pro-growth and would like to see industrial growth to supply jobs for the local economy.

Steve Pepper of Humboldt Maritime Logistics gave a presentation on short term shipping using “green highways.” He said unloading can be done locally with a mobile harbor crane and he has a business plan utilizing Longview, Washington, Coos Bay, Oregon, Humboldt Bay, Oakland and Long Beach as ports of destination for products. He has a two year timeline. He is looking for money through the “Marine Highway Program” and public/private partnerships.

HBHRCD Commissioners Patrick Higgins and Mike Wilson co-chaired this process. Patrick was determined to keep the agenda moving, but the place was packed and questions were all over. HBHRCD CEO David Hull and Lacy Wilson tagged team a presentation of “Where they were and where they are going” that was convoluted and non specific. To shorten it up, dredging was done and completed by the year 2000 to stop shipping “Leakage.” (Boats leaving part loaded because of low waters) They did show that there are 235 parcels of land around the bay from the Samoa Bridge to Fields landing that are not developed. That caught my eye. I was also surprised to hear that our port is 2 days closer to Hong Kong than anywhere on the west coast, which is a $200,000 savings in shipping. They outlined many positives and few negatives. Lacy was asked to identify investors he said were inquiring to fund projects and in lands around the bay, but he said he could not. Pete Nichols of Baykeeper’s challenged Wilson’s pulp shipping projections, saying Freshwater Pulp had no intention of shipping pulp products.

This was just a quick glimpse of much discussion. I am sure we will hear more in the future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Humboldt vs. Shasta BOS pay and other apples to oranges.

The average County Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) annual wage in Shasta County is $54,600 per year for representing over 180,000 people, compared to Humboldt County BOS pay of $77,000+ representing 132,000 people.

According to the Humboldt Association of Realtors, the Median Household Income for Humboldt as of March 2009 was $41,328 and the average home is $264,950. Only 23% of residents in Humboldt Qualify to buy a house.

Redding's housing affordability in the first quarter reached its highest level in 10 years, a national index reported this week. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index showed that nearly two-thirds of all homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning Redding's Median Household Income of $55,700. The median sales price in the first quarter (January through March) was $180,000.

Area affordability in Shasta hasn't been so high since the first quarter of 1999, when it hit 67.6 percent and the median sales price was $105,000. The area's median income 10 years ago was $37,500. At the same time in Humboldt median home sales price were at $121,420 and median wages $31,300. The affordability index was 49%.

Affordability in Redding reached its low during the second quarter of 2006, when a mere 11.3 percent of the homes sold were attainable to residents. Back then, the median price was $280,000 and the median income was $49,000. Compare that to Humboldt at a home median price of $312,333 at the same period in 2006, and the median income was $38,222. The affordability index was 12%.

What exactly does Shasta have over us? We do have a port, timber, dairy and fishing? We have agriculture lands and lots of pot growing? Where is the Humboldt County missing link? Why does Shasta seem to support 2 huge Wal-Mart’s, Home Depot and other big box chain stores? And chain restaurants? Red Lobster, Logan’s Roadhouse, In and Out Burger, Cattleman’s, Outback, Dairy Queen and the list goes on.
How come the average household in Shasta makes over $14,000 more than a family in Humboldt? And they don't even have a State University! Why do we have a 1% population growth and Shasta nearly 8%? What are your takes?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Samoasoftball Weaverville Invitational Results. And, why do people do this?

Weaverville: Dan Sutherland hit the lone home run in the Championship game leading Ray Wolfe Construction of Arcata to an 8-3 victory over Unagi from Yreka at the Weaverville Memorial Weekend Invitational hosted by Samoa Athletic Club. R-Co Construction finished in 3rd Place.

Mike Dobrec was named Most Valuable Player and Jacob Kadle Most Valuable Pitcher for Wolfe. All Tournament players were Matt Socha and Jared Harpe from Wolfe, Ryan Jackson, J.J. Cascarina and Justin Gerding of Unagi, Tim Hunt and Toye Johnson from R-Co Construction and George Seele of Samoa Athletic Club. (Just an added note, Dave Rhodes for SAC only made a few outs in the tournament. He was deserving of an selection but SAC only had one pick.)

Todd Canfield of Weaverville won the Home Run Contest for the second straight year, hitting 5 out 10 out of the park.

I had a team from a team from Happy Camp show up to the tournament somehow thinking this was a co-ed tournament. They got back in the cars when they saw the teams and left. They did not let me know they were going home. This has been an annual men's tournament (Although women have participated on the men's teams in the past.) for many years. That left a hole in the bracket and me out $250. If you are going to travel that far you might as well have played. Robin and I have hosted over 100 tournaments through the years and have seen about every scenario played out, and we survived this one too. We have at least 4 more to go this summer.

Other than that, it was a fun event. People yelling for the umpires head on a platter, chest to chest arguments, BBQ galore, close home run contest and stories of escapades at the Diggin's and the New Yorker Saloon.

The July 4th Weaverville Invitational is just around the corner!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Actual factual BOS annual pay.

I have been corrected on the actual pay via e-mail source. Here is the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor pay:

Supervisor Neely = $84,535

Supervisor Duffy = $76,850

Supervisor Smith = $74,611

Supervisor Lovelace = $74,611

Supervisor Clendenen = $74,611

Supervisors Neely and Duffy are receiving the retro pay due to them from the raise of June 2008. The other three did not accept the raise I am assuming.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Humboldt County Supervisors pay revisted.

I have posted in the past that our County Supervisors are the highest paid (nearly $80,000 annually)per population in the state by an average of $30,000. I must qualify that by saying counties over 75,000. (Thanks you know who) But did you know that our Supervisors make more than any STATE LEGISLATORS in 49 states not counting our own? Our State Senate and Assembly members make $116,000 and the next highest is Michigan at under $80,000. Just thought you would like to know.