Saturday, January 31, 2009

CR Baseball. 2009 version. And a 70's version.

The College of the Redwoods Baseball team is off and playing already. Today they played Mendocino at CR and the weather was great! It looks like the team will be really competitive this year. At least hitting wise. Todd Zeigler seemed to have the boys playing hard. He was pretty patient considering some of the calls that went against CR. (I thought the home team was supposed to get the calls?)

Above is outfielder Kelly Miller in an at bat that produced a Double. He also walked, singled, stole a base and scored twice while I was there. Spenser Duggan and Tommy Wood looked good with the bats, as did Justin Yslias. Oh yeah, Dylan Freierabrand had a couple of good hits also.

A good crowd enjoyed a great game that CR tied in the bottom of the 8th at 8-8. Ryan Stearns came on in the top of the 9th and got 2 outs and hit a batter. He induced a ground ball that an error was made on, and Mendo scored 3 unearned runs and CR lost. Ryan throws hard and kind of reminds me of Cody Flynn from a few years earlier, but he needs some movement. He would be better off throwing hard sliders, to set up hitters. Lefty Matt Burwell pitched well in relief the first game, and Zach O'Hanen threw fair in the second game.

This team will only go as far as Kirk Thurston can carry them. Kirk (At left) hit the ball on the nose each at bat, and may have a monster year. I hope he gets some looks from some scouts. I realize he is 24 years old, but he has talent to excel.

Just for kicks, the starting lineup for the CR team that I was on that tied for the GVC Championship in the 70's: Keith Ambrosini CF, Rob Wilkinson SS, David Stone 3B, Mark Suchanek C, Ron Spini LF, Tim Earhart 1st, Dave Reynolds 2nd, Troy Freeman RF. Mike Robinson played RF also. Our starting pitchers were Stacey Morgan, Jerry Johnson, Steve Ross and Byron Busick. Mike Spini and I were in the bullpen. This was a great group of guys and a solid baseball team with 4 players going on to play professionally. Morgan made it to the show for a cup of coffee. 6 played for the Crabs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Evergreen fines.

New major fine levied against Evergreen Pulp. I touched on this in a earlier thread.

Where was this agency when Evergreen was running? From 2005 to 2007 they did nothing to collect fines for non compliance? And now that there is a potential buyer they come forward and puff up their chest. Hit em while their down. This sure does nothing to help create hope and jobs.

Unemployment rises in Every State in the US!

Unemployment rose in every state in Dec. 2008. When is the last time that has happened? 4.7 Million out of work. And the number is rising. Most in recorded history number wise. (Not percentage though, kind of hard to top 1933's 25.2%. I am sure we will top 15% unemployment rate in Humboldt County soon. We need jobs. But I am sure you already know that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

One slightly used Senior Softball player. Rest of the wish list.

This picture is from last August 2nd at the first Scotia Tournament in years. My team placed second and had a great time. The teams were young out there! Right now I am still on the injured reserve list. Dr. Lyell has not cut me open yet to repair the torn cartilage in my wrist. He let me know that I am looking at a 3 month recovery time after the surgery. I certainly don't want to miss out on league!

It has been a really frustrating injury as I can not swing a bat or golf club. And yet I have all this time off. I have been going to the gym and doing what weights I can without turning my wrist. I have been trying to play Basketball, but not having the wrist to push off with leaves me with just a left handed game. Not pretty.

Here are some of the players who will be on my Senior League Team this year. Last years returnees: Dudley Walters, Steve Ritter, Dave Damme, Pat Moore, Tony Hernandez, Bill Landowski, Walt Vance, Chris Beechel, Mike Newman and John Parker. (JP was on the DL last year.) I am hoping to add the following: Chuck Kirsher, Carlos Avelar (Both played year before), Ronnie Webb, Jamie Robertson, Ron denHeyer, Ed Fregoso and John Egerer. That is a pretty good lineup of players.

But first up in April is the Blue Lake Wood Bat League, where I will hopefully play for Tomaso's again. Then For Tomaso's in in the Arcata League and R-Co in the Eureka Metal Bat League. My SAC team will do tournaments, in the valley, metal bat and fast pitch.

In the near future, I will be trying to organize a hard ball league and will have a calling out for adult players in the next month or so.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best songs of 2008. My version of course.

My son Jordan was up last weekend and we discussed the best songs of 2008. Music sure has changed over the last 50 years I tell ya.

10. MGMT - Time To Pretend-I think MGMT is just like a bad car wreck, you can't look away.

9. The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go-Simple riffs and fun lyrics.

8. M.I.A. PAPER PLANES -First time I heard this I was hooked.

7. Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction-This is a late 70's type of song for the 2000's.

6. Estelle - American Boy-She sounds very high maintenance.

5. MGMT "Kids" Video-New Hampshire duo has a great album. The heavy organ and synthesizer is just very easy for me to listen to. They kind of remind me of ANGEL ('THE TOWER') back in the 70's.

4. Ben Folds "You Don't Know Me" -Easy to listen to. Applies to most of us.

3. Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun-What a great song for a really depressing movie.

2. Flobots - Handlebars-Rap with horns. Just a fun listen. Movers and shakers with a microphone.

1. MGMT - Electric Feel-Like the weird sounds brought all together.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Where is Coldplay, Rihanna, Radiohead, Weezer, Reconteurs, NIN and Lincoln Park? Hey, it's my list! Who are your favorites for this year?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Evergreen workers! Here is a message for you!

AWPPW Local 49 President Tom Reilly is starting an e-mail tree to get information to the workers via the net. Send him your e-mail address @ (Just double click on his address and it will pop up e-mail automatically.) When he hears any information that he feels needs to be passed on, he will e-mail the membership.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A big NO on Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary!

Let me see. Our newly appointed Treasury Secretary Geithner forgot to pay necessary taxes in 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004. He also illegally claimed deductions he was not eligible for in 2001, 2004 and 2005. And he can be trusted for this job to head up the IRS……how? And I will disagree with above link to a Wall Street Journal article that his actions should not cost him the job. If he was an employee of the IRS instead of the "boss" he would be fired!

I know these appointments are when everyone calls in their favors, but this one smacks of elitist cronyism to the maximum. I hope he is not confirmed. Next!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No more Trout Plants at Freshwater Lagoon!

Even though trout plants have been happening at Freshwater for decades, the practice will be halted due to the need of CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) after the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pacific River Council sued the Department of Fish and Games. Just Ridiculous. This is obscene frivolous lawsuits that affect us innocent bystanders. That is all I have to say about this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK day. Seems hard to believe of the prejudice going on in the 70's!

Check out the SouthEastern Conference web page, and count how many African Americans you see prominently headlined. This wasn't the case as lately as the 70's believe it or not. The first Basketball player in the SEC didn't suit up until 1971! And Alabama's great Crimson Tide did not integrate until the early 70's. We have came a long ways in some areas, but how long will it be until the deep south finally accepts racial equality? May take another few decades.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sports stuff I have been behind on.

Here is the nice green field at the Samoa Peninsula Field. Miller Farms has re-done the outfield grass and it has stayed green this time! Inside Sports players have been using the field for Fustal practice all winter. Hopefully the Senior Softball League will approach Dr. Wolford about using this field again for the over 60 League.

I have had a chance to watch quite a bit of Basketball this year because of my employment status. I can safely make a few observations starting with Seventh grade players. Hands down, the best player is Nate Ambrosini from Fortuna Town School. This group of players has only lost one game the last three years. And that was to Toddy Thomas. And Toddy Thomas has only lost to one team the last three years. You guessed it, Fortuna! Three years from now, watch out High School teams.

Pacific Union has, by far, the best team in the north state in Eighth grade. Parker Farris could be the next Greg Allen locally.

Mckinleyville High seems to have the best Freshman and JV teams. Although I have only caught three Freshmen games. One message I have for Frosh and JV coaches: Play all your bench fellas! I watched one game where a team was down by over 30 points in the 4th quarter and 3 kids had not left the bench! Shame on you! It is for the kids, not your egos!

Arcata High has the best team this year, but the competition is really good. It will definitely be physical. I am making this prediction though; Some lame brain Ref is going to determine the outcome of this years league title. I sure hope I am wrong, but I have seen some really shoddy reffing this year. And yes, I have reffed, so I can be critical.

Here are my top players so far in the HDL:

1. Greg Allen (Eureka High)-Great court vision, good 3-Pt shooter and best inside moves in the league.

2. Tim Couch (Arcata High)-Best all around player. Blocked Shots, Steals, Passing, Rebound, Penetrate, Shoot and most of all, hustle. Best player to go into battle with.

3. Skylar Rice (Fortuna High)-We all know he is going to shoot the ball. Why can't anyone stop him?

4. Andrew Ayres (St. Bernards)-Does the best with what he has. And he led a huge upset of Eureka that seems to have awakened the Loggers.

5. Chris Pender (Mckinleyville)-But he better watch out, I may replace him with Jon Stull.

Moving on up: The Hutt Brothers, Jordan Semple, Hoffman, Levi Jones and Sousa.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Samoa Acquistion Corporation trumps Ace Mills. Water to be left running. Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap new Chair of Water Board!

By unanimous vote, Kailin Sopoci-Belknap was voted in as Chair of the Water Board. She was in "hot water" right away with some difficult issues to face. (New meeting time proposal, Zebra Mussel issue, and of course, the Evergreen Water contract.) After Samoa Acquisition Group leader Bob Simpson got up and spoke about his general plan of finishing the purchasing process by Feb. 6th, the public spoke and the Water Board stood by their guns (Water guns?) and kept their lien in place on Evergreen, but will let the water services continue while Mr. Simpson does his best to close the deal. It sounded like all stake-holders will be in contact in the interim, and a special meeting would be called to order if any emergency contingency plans were brought to light.

Overall it was an upbeat meeting and it was the most hope the workers have witnessed in months.

The board was challenged by Evergreen Employee Brian Conners early on over their non-scheduled meeting that took place the day after the special meeting of Dec. 30th. Past Chair Bruce Rupp took full responsibility for the decision to put a lien on Evergreen on the 31st of Dec. and said he was doing that in "the best interest of the district." District Counsel David Martinek convinced Mr. Rupp that this was legal. It may have been legal, but it was not good public policy in my opinion. The District could have held another special meeting on Jan. 2nd. But since it is not hindering the sale, I guess this was "no harm, no foul." The Water District seems to have a strong board that works better together than most local boards, so I will leave it at that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Humboldt Water Board Meeting Jan 15th.

The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District will have their regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 15th at 9am. The meeting will be held at their 828 Seventh Street, Eureka, California location. Not Eureka City Hall! There is limited seating so come early. The discussion on Evergreen is on the agenda for 10:30am, but you should come and watch their public process in full.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Past AWPPW Local 67 Simpson Pulp worker Clark Hogan passes away.

Clark E. Hogan Jr., 66, Caldwell, Idaho died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, at home. Cremation arrangements are by Flahiff Funeral Chapel. 459-0833. Clark was a softballer and avid hunter. Went way too young.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

More Obstacles for Evergreen. Over a million in water discharge fines.

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board put out a Notice of a Public Hearing to Termination Waste Discharge Requirements. This agency is going to modify the agreement that Evergreen had with the district concerning Evergreen's affluent to the Ocean.

Addendum: Evergreen owes $463,000 in fines for non compliance of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels for 2005 to 2007. This last year of 2008, Evergreen went over permitted limits 252 times. Evergreen Violations The minimum fines levied for each offense is $3,000. So Evergreen is looking at another $756,000 in fines at the least. According to California Regional Water Quality Control Board Water Resource Control Engineer Charles Reed, unless Evergreen or any new prospective buyer submits a report of waste discharge to describe how it intends to operate the Facility and is able to justify through engineering upgrades, substantial improvements, the pulp mill will not receive a new permit.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dead Rabid Fox in the middle of the road. Whose responsible to remove?

Recently a dead fox was in the middle of the roadway here in Samoa on Rideout St. I saw a Humboldt Sheriff's car near the entrance of Samoa and stopped and asked a lady sheriff if she has seen the fox in the road. She said that was not her jurisdiction and that I should call county roads. It was a Sunday so I knew that would be fruitless.

Shouldn't a county sheriff be looking out for the health and well being of the people? I was going to call some animal agencies to see who should be removing the animal and walked out to the spot it was laying and it was gone! Either someone in Samoa took it away or some agency was contacted. Who should take care of dead animal removal? And where does the agency responsible dispose of these type of animals?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Traffic calming for 255?

I see that Cal Trans has put up one of them darn fangled car counters on the bridge between Samoa and Eureka. I have noticed quite an increase of traffic from Arcata through Manila and onto the bridge. Mostly people avoiding using 101 and having to turn on their lights and travel 50 mph. When they do use 255 through Manila are going over 55 in residential area! I hope consideration is made in the future for 50 mph through Manila and on the Samoa Bridge. Maybe that would keep people under 60 mph. We have had community meeting out here in Manila and have expressed our safety concerns in the past. Hope someone is looking into this.