Tuesday, March 31, 2009

César Chávez day.

Today is César Estrada Chávez birthday (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was a Mexican American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Workers. Did much for organized labor.

I was on a organizing drive in 2004 in Corona, California and had a chance to coordinate a group of volunteers from the Dolores Huerta Foundation. One of those volunteers was Camelia Chávez, César's niece. She was outgoing and just a great personality. She was the Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation at the time. She was certainly a special person. (Oh yes, and a beautiful woman)

I can't even imagine what her uncle was like in person. I am sure he was dynamic.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Take 10 inches off the top." Locks of Love time.

Time to cut off the mop. It was getting unruly and a hassle. Locks of Love need the hair that 10 inches or longer, but they will a accept shorter to put up for sale. It takes me about a year and a half to get to 10 inches. It is something simple that I can do to help cancer patients. Too many of my friends have been dieing of Cancer as of late. I sure hope this trend is over.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pondering Linda's Willit's death.

I am still shocked of Linda's sudden passing. One thing that I sure hope wasn't part of the equation was this; did Linda hold off on seeing a Doctor because of her lack of insurance? I can't help but wonder how many workers from the pulp mill are avoiding seeking medical treatment for this reason. I just seen Linda just a few weeks ago, so this is just shocking for us who worked with her.

I talked to two neighbors yesterday who have no insurance. One was a guy in his early 20's, he is applying for Medi Cal and worked full time for a few years at a place that had no medical benefits and he needs knee surgery. The other was a lady in her 60's whose husband passed a few years ago. She has no insurance and is trying to get Medi Care.

We need Single Payer Health or Universal Health Coverage!

Friday, March 27, 2009

PT Cruiser madness. "You have to do what to change a headlight?"

PT Cruiser madness. "You have to what to change a headlight?"
Robin's PT Cruiser and I are not getting along too well. When we left on vacation, the water pump froze up and broke the timing belt. We had to leave the car at Thurston Chevrolet in Ukiah for 11 days while they ordered parts. It was over $1,200 because they had to almost take the engine out and we had to rent a car to finish our trip to Arizona for nearly $600. (I wonder how much a new engine would have been?) Big financial ouch. So I was hoping to not have any maintenance issues for awhile. Then I find out that the one of the headlights was out. No biggie, Robin left me the car to fix, and I am pretty good at taking care of small issues like changing batteries, hoses, lights, fuses, tires and such. So I went to Kragen and bought a light and opened the hood in the parking lot and could not figure how to replace the light. I asked the Kragen guy if he was familiar with how to change a light and he told me you had to go in under the wheel wall. I read the car manual and it didn't say how to change the bulb so I went online and this is how to change a headlight on a PT:

Step 1 Park the PT Cruiser on a flat, level, paved or concrete surface.

Step 2 Open the hood to the PT Cruiser. If anything, it will allow daylight into the engine compartment and allow you to see a little better.

Step 3 Break the lug nuts loose on the front tire of the same side as the burned-out headlight. Don't loosen them too much, and don't remove them. You can try to replace the headlight without removing the tire by turning it all the way inside, but you're most likely going to find that you'll need a little more arm room to remove the door panel in the wheel well.

Step 4 Lift the Cruiser with the floor jack and place a jack stand under the rocker panel.

Step 5 Remove the lug nuts and wheel.

Step 6 Pry the tabs of the door panel in the front of the wheel well (directly behind the headlights), using a flat-head screwdriver. The panel tabs are hard rubber/plastic and more inclined to break during colder weather. The warmer it is, the more tenacious you can be about prying them out. Pry the outside one out first and work the screwdriver around the circumference of the panel to the inside tab.

Step 7 Reach inside to remove the headlight. This is a good opportunity to get up and physically look at the headlights in the front of the Cruiser. The high beams are on the inside sockets; the low beams are on the outside sockets. Make sure when reaching in from behind that you're grabbing the right bulb for replacement. Turn the headlight 1/4 turn counter-clockwise and extract it from the headlight assembly. Even with the wheel removed for the Cruiser, you're going to have limited hand room through the door panel to the headlight. If you have large hands and arms, consider recruiting someone to help.

Step 8 Unclip the headlight from the wire harness and discard it.

Step 9 Insert the new headlight into the wire harness until the lock clips into place. Don't touch the glass light bulb of the new headlight. Only handle it from the plastic plug part.

Step 10 Insert the new headlight into the headlight assembly and twist it 1/4 turn to the right until it locks into place. Test the headlight by turning the ignition key to the accessory position and turning on the headlights. Turn the key back to the "Off" position when you're done.

Step 11 Reinstall the door panel. It's going to be as much of a pain to reinsert as it was coming off.

Step 12 Replace the wheel and lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts snugly and then lower the Cruiser to the ground. Re-torque the lug nuts in an alternate fashion, using the adjustable torque wrench and a 19mm socket.

Pretty crazy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Click and send your gripes to your leaders.

I made some more calls today to see if I could get more definitive answers regarding the status of our Insurance fiasco. I called the California Department of Insurance and talked with a guy named Perry who let me know that since our company was "self insured" his department did not have jurisdiction over our issue. I asked whose jurisdiction or something to that affect and the conversation went down hill from there. Why do these people working for public agencies have a huge chip on their shoulders? He did give me the The U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-275-7922. From there you can go through prompts and talk to........nobody. You will have to leave a message due to their "high volume" of calls. I left my message with a Danya and have not been called back. I called the number again and asked if I could talk to a real person and please don't put me on hold ........while she disconnected me. I called the San Francisco office which again led me through prompts that directed you to a voice mail box to ask a question. Get this......the voice mail box was full! So I could not leave a message. A wasted day of futility.

Last night I was on hold for the entire Mike Thompson phone town hall meeting to address the pulp mill insurance issue, but they never called my name! What another waste.

So it has been suggested by some workers and their families to e-mail their political leaders. To some this is an intimidating process, so I will try to make this easy. Just Click on the links (on their names) I am posting and it will lead you to those listed:

Bonnie Neely: She is county Supervisor for the 4th District, which is where the Pulp Mill is. Just click on the link to send her an e-mail.

Wes Chesbro: Our newly elected 1st District Assembly person.

Patricia Wiggins: Is our 2 Senate District Representative.

Rep. Mike Thompson: Our Congressman from the Congressional 1st District.

Just drop a line and say how things are affecting you. We could all do a "form" letter, but I think individual stories hit home harder.

I would also like to ask/plead that all other Humboldt County residents to use this forum to let our leaders know we need to protect workers rights, even if we are not currently working.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pulp Mill information "Queen" Linda Willits unexpectedly passes. This has been just a terrible week!

Linda Willits passed away yesterday. This is just shocking news. I don't have details yet. Linda was the best information source you could have had at the pulp mill. She bid on the Janitor's job years ago and she loved her job that allowed her access to all the different departments around the mill. She was a flower child off the 60's and had been to many concerts of every major band you could think of. She loved animals of all shapes and sizes and doted on horses. She had the same turtle since she was a child that was many decades old. I just saw her a few weeks ago and talked with her at length. I am so saddened once again. Disturbing. She leaves her husband Wes, whom she loved greatly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evergreen Pulp workers screwed again. Forcing worker bankruptcy? What a fiasco.

I have heard from workers who are now being contacted personally for their medical bills. We had a binding agreement with Evergreen Pulp for health coverage through November 2008 with Jeff Pauli's Western Self Insurance Services (WSIS). In October we were offered the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) which we could individually purchase to cover ourselves and our families. Well that Cobra "Act" does not apply to workers whose company disbands it's health program, which Evergreen did.

The AWPPW local 49 put a lien on Evergreen assests for numerous violations and held the potential sale to a new owner, Freshwater Pulp in limbo. Our standing committee met with Freshwater Representative Bob Simpson and ex-CEO David Tsang of Evergreen to come to a resolution so the sale could go through escrow. An agreement was made for wages and medical debts to be covered. Only problem is, no one handed over a check. It seems that it was contingent over the mill starting up and generating money, which may never happen.

Bottom line. The $300,000 of medical debt has risen to over $400,000 with no end in sight because of processing delays by medical billers. People are being charged for bills that happened nearly a year ago! They should have been processed and paid off long before Evergreen closed.

This issue is putting some workers in a very precarious financial position. Some may have to file bankruptcy or file for some sort of hardship because they are out of work. This issue just seems to be getting worse and worse.

Lee and Man/Evergreen/Worthy Pick seems to have been able to do poor business practices on American soil with impunity. Even counsel for the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District said it was futile for the district to go after monies owed. (I had publicly requested the board to consider legal action.) Shouldn't some arm on the legislative side do some action so Chinese investors can't just come onto American soil and extract our natural resources? (Water, wood chips and pulp fiber) And then leave a loyal workforce in total disarray? This is criminal I tell you!

Mad River Softball President Steve Kosak is gone too.

Steve was listed as one the Best Softball Home Run Hitters in my blog awhile back. For years he served as the President of Mad River Softball Association and also was the area director for the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). Steve was very vocal on his views of how softball should be played and how leagues should be run. He did alot of work and was instrumental in making things click. He umpired, made schedules, ran snack bars, hired staff and did all the little things that nobody notice. It will be real weird being at the park and not seeing Steve there. He worked for Pierson Construction for years.

Retired Pulp Mill worker Jerry Ward dies.Crabs and Chicks baseball alum.

I had the pleasure of working with Jerry in the Machine Room at the Pulp Mill in the early 80's. Great guy. He played ball into his 60's and maybe 70's. 81 years of age. Arcata grad. Student Body president in 1944. Member of the Moose lodge. No services.
Obituaries -Jerry Ward.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pulp Mill Millwright Ralph Lightner Sr. Passes on. No way to replace this one.

He left us on March 19, 2009. There will be a service at the Wharfinger building on March 29, 2009 from 2-4 PM. Ralph was the shift millwright on my crew for years. Whenever I had a mechanical breakdown, Ralph was there to save the day. No job big or small seemed to faze him and the pulp mill was saved many hours of production through his knowledge of repairing antiquated equipment. Nobody at the mill ever had a bad thing to say about Ralph. He had been ill with pancreatic cancer. He attended his last union meeting about a month ago to say hello/goodbye to his co-workers. You just cannot replace a man of this caliber.
Obituaries -Ralph Lightner

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum in action.

I had a chance to get some good pictures of San Francisco Giant ace Tim Lincecum at Hohokam Park against the Cubs. It was a record crowd at Mesa and 90 degrees. The Giants were losing this game by 2 going into the 9th but pulled it out. Tim got hit pretty hard, but still managed 6 K's in less than 4 innings pitched. I told Robin we would have an easy time getting tickets this year because of the low attendance records this year at Spring Training. I was wrong. Packed houses at Diablo Stadium in
Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix Muni and Hohokam. But we were able to buy tickets at reasonable prices and have a good time in the areas we visited. Our final bill for this vacation will be near $4,000 and we were budgeted for around $2,500 total. Could have went to Europe, Bahamas or Hawaii! I don't know where we will end up next year, but I am leaning on flying!

RIP. Wow. Bad week.

Carrie Lynn McCracken: I can only describe Carrie as tolerant. We played on the same playgrounds as children. Went through our adolescent years side by side, and graduated together. And yes, we swam in the Braud's pool together. She always said what she thought and was up front with her feelings. I have nothing but warm thoughts of her. I wish that I had seen her lately. She was always kind. Way too young.

Kim Alan Stevens: Played ball with Kim. Seems like yesterday that Everett Scripter, Loren Price and Kim were hanging out and playing ball. (All lefties) Keith Bullock was really close to this trio. I am just so saddened and didn't know what happened. Kim was always straight with me and said how he felt.

Danny Hernandez: I played softball with Danny a few years ago. I am friends of his brother Tony. I am shocked to see someone my age just go away. I haven't had a chance to talk to Tony yet.

What a rotten week for death. Actually, this has been a bad year for Obits.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vacation cut short. Have to go pick up PT Cruiser. AIG leaders can bite me!

Unfortunately, I paid for our motel ahead of time on Travelocity through Sat. We had to check out today, and boy was it a hassle to do without penalties. I still don't know what the final cost is, as the Ramada Limited staff refused to give me a final bill printout because I was paid in full on their ledgers and they told me to call Travelosity, which I had for the last few days for too much time.

Robin and I drove 650 miles in fast traffic and bumper to bumper. Long day, but we are now in Santa Nella. We went to Pea Soup Andersen's. All right. Not as good as the Cookhouse.

I do not care which way Obama or Geithner paint it, they knew of the bonus payouts weeks ago to AIG executives. If Obama wants to lead, he needs to be full disclosure accountable. But he has not been in office 2 months yet and GW had 96 months to get us to this point, so I will try to be patient.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Giants beat Cubs at Hohokam Park in Mesa.

Robin and I had to buy a Budweiser tent tickets to get into the game today. The game was sold out! I think it was a record crowd of over 13,000. Tim Lincecum was rocked early but still managed 5 K's in 3 and 2/3rd innings. Ryan Dempster pitched good for the Cubs. We met some good people there, so it was fun.

We went to the Mesa Museum before the game. It was very interesting. Lots of Mormon family leader stuff and Spring Training information. Went to Lonestar for dinner. I had the all you can eat ribs. Figured I would make them pay for that. They were chewy and tough. One rack was enough. They were lucky.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A's stomp on Diamondbacks 11-3. Went to Scottsdale Mall.

A's clicking pretty good. Hitting, pitching and fielding well. 5 bats were broke with splinters heading toward fielders! 83 Degrees. The crowd was more into the game than the other two venues. St. Patrick's day brought out some funny hats, green beer, green popcorn and other stuff to name a few. Nice seats in the shade for us this time. (I kinda got burnt yesterday.) Some guy was sitting a few seats down from us was signing autographs and having his picture taken. I didn't recognize him, but he must ave played in the 70's. Looked in his 60's.

Robin and I went to the Scottsdale Mall. Way high end. I saw a guy I recognized and talked a little. Robin was surprised, but not too much, as I saw a person I knew last year in Scottsdale. This guy I met at the bar locally. He was from Wisconsin and was here to get out of the cold and watch his team, the Brewers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Angels top Giants 8-5. Scottsdale is nice to hang out.

The Giants bullpen blew this one. The Angels looked just the opposite as they did yesterday. They played good ball. We had good seats, except we had some dude right behind us that talked way too much and was on his cell phone loudly.

We parked in the public parking right next to the park for free and walked old town Scottsdale. We went down McDowell right though to I-17 and avoided the I-10 traffic. We hit up the Fatburger on the way back to the hotel. I had their King burger fully loaded (Largest) and onion rings. Still was hungry. May have to go to the bar and snack later.

The Ramada Limited here in Glendale is pretty nice considering the price. ($73 a night in Phoenix is a steal.) The Internet service is sporadic on the side of the building we are in. But it has a full blown Breakfast buffet. Got to weigh the good with the bad.

Robin only whined about my driving once today. I can live with that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tempe Diablo Stadium was hot! A's beat Angel's. Ticket by Camera Kosher?

Nomar Garciaparra was 2 for 3 and the A's pitching looked solid at the game we saw today. If you have never been to Diablo Stadium, be prepared for little shade. It was a hot one. I tried to "drive by feel" to Scottsdale afterward. Uh, we took the long way, but we made it. Tomorrow we will either go to Phoenix Muni to see the A's or Scottsdale if Lincecum pitches for the Giants.

We cruised from Blythe into Phoenix pretty non eventful. When we were near Tempe, I noticed they had a camera speed monitoring warning. Sure enough, some dude passed us going way to fast and a camera flashed as he went by. Should that be legal?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vacation Day 2. Staying the night in Blythe.

Robin and I planned to stay the night in Palm Springs area but it was way windy! We had made good time, so we decided to stay in Blythe and catch a game tomorrow. Made good time due to traffic travelling crazy fast. On Interstate 10 I was passed many times while going over 80! I checked down at my speedometer while just keeping up with the flow. I was going nearly 100! I slowed down and set the cruise for a little over 80, which was still over 10 miles an hour over the limit. The Galant got nearly 30 miles per gallon and had great top end. Flew over the grape vine.

Blythe grows lettuce and only gets 3 inches of rain a year! May have to check out the employment opportunity. (Kind of grubby esthetically though.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

First day of Spring Training vacation a freaking disaster!

Robin and I were headed for Spring Training in Arizona. We have went the last few years and had a good time watching mainly the Giants and A's. We made it just north of Laytonville when Robin's PT Cruiser just up and quit. We were in an area that only had one bar for our cell phone, but luckily I was able to contact AAA and we had our car towed to Ukiah, the only place where we could find a quality service place and car rental. We were under the gun to make it before the car dealership was closing it's service department at 5:30pm Friday. I called the Enterprise car rental place attached to the dealership and they were out of cars! When we arrived there, the estimate for repair was $1,400 and they do not work weekends! They wouldn't have it fixed into the middle of next week! I waited in line at Enterprise hopeing someone would show up with a turn in. Somebody brought back a 12 seat van and it was over $100 a day, but Robin and I were planning to be in Sacramento so I was considering. Thank goodness someone came in with a mid size car at the last minute so we are on our way. This vacation now has a $2,000 price tag just for unexpected car follies. We were bound and determined not to let our financial shortfall affect our vacation, but we have taken many hits these last few months. The sad thing is, we are doing better than most, so I should not bitch. I will try to help carry our economy on. Driving a Mitsubishi Galant. Ironic, huh?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NCRA bullied by staff. And paranoia abounds.

The North Coast Railroad Authority had a meeting today at the Humboldt County BOS chambers. Staff of this board is supposed to make provide information, counsel and suggestions to help a public agency/board make decisions. With this bunch, it was more the staff making decisions and steering the board to comply! No kidding. I witnessed this today and commented on it publicly. They spent around 2 stinking hours to pass a motion to agree to public hearing dates for the Russian River Division Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). It was clear that staff wanted to only hold One meeting, even though Director Tom MacDonald from Marin County said he understood from their last meeting that there would be 3 public meetings. Staff (That means CEO Mitch Stogner) said they decided one was sufficient, and that in fact, they were not bound by law to even have one. Written comments were enough. Director MacDonald of was not comfortable with this and wanted public input at this meeting which staff and Chairman Allen Hemphill were very leery of even allowing.

Public comments were pretty tame (well accept for my bantering staff for bullying the board. I reminded the board they could have as many meetings and modify meeting times as they see fit, and direct staff to do that. That is the correct order for business.) There seems to be this underlining "boogey man" war between trails advocates and rail people. They are always addressing each other without identifying the players. Getting old really.

Director Paul Kelley of Sonoma County was the creator of the original motion and was very patient in having his motion twisted and spun. Director David Colfax of Mendocino County clearly was frustrated as he felt the one meeting process was sufficient, but he would go the extra meetings for transparency issues. He said this EIR was very simple as compared to his counties General Plan EIR's and felt there was a waste of time in these meetings. (Who voted this guy in? Let's do everything back doors and just trust me. Yee, scary.) Director Bernard (Bernie) Meyers of Marin County was also for additional meetings.

Director Clif Clendenen of Humboldt lobbied for additional meetings. Director Charles Ollivier of Humboldt was silent over the subject. Both voted with the motion to have 2 meetings as an alternative. (Good for them) Whew. Two hours wasted on just a meeting time and date. No wonder the rail is slow in rolling.

But the good news is that that first 62 miles are a go. The next 142 is going to be doable this next year.

From Willits to Samoa in the next 5? I am pro rail and trail, so I hope these groups work together and are transparent with each other. We all need to work together and not war against each other. We need a healthy rail system in the long run. If we have port development. If we have product. If we have the need. You get my drift.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Willie Brown Institute comes up with great economic stimulus idea to create 6 million jobs now! I agree!

Schwab to Obama Add 6 million jobs!

Investment genius Charles Schwab offered up his own idea for a "stimulus package" at a Willie Brown Institute forum at the Westfield Centre the other night.

Someone asked him what advice he would give to President Obama.

He talked a little bit about the big picture of the economy, and then he said, "I'm going to give Mayor Brown an idea, and I hope he will convey it to Mr. Obama.

"There are 6 million businesses in this country. If you really want to be effective in the stimulus package, why not simply make it a goal to provide every one of those businesses the ability to hire one more employee?

"That would mean 6 million people with jobs, instantly.

"It won't cure the recession, but it would be a start."

Mr. President, if you're listening, there it is. And I agree with Willie here!

"Bunky" Cloninger RIP. Another Pulp Mill worker passes on.

Obituaries. Bunky and his wife Stella lived just a few doors down from us here in Samoa. Bunky was quite a character at the Pulp Mill, manning the tool crib forever. Bunky played fast pitch softball until he neared 50. Robin took over as Secretary at Peninsula Union School District when Stella retired. Unfortunately, Stella died shortly after retirement, leaving Bunky a widow to early. He was 84 years old.

Monday, March 09, 2009

US taxpayers subsidizing pro basketball?

How does this happen and when will it stop? JP Morgan and Bank of America each received around 20 Billion dollars in federal aid and now are set to help bail out the National Basketball Association (NBA) 200 million dollars! How is this creating jobs? There are no new teams adding more players. The average NBA Salary is 2.6 million dollars per year! The NBA Average Ticket Price is $50. Add parking, a beer and hot dog and you evening is at least $125 for two! The NBA created this mess and they want a hand out? Do we really need to subsidize the NBA? Good Grief.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

St. Bernard's win Basketball NCS Div. 6. Stephen Papstein favorite ref punching bag?

It was a packed house that witnessed St. Bernard's bombardment of the Pacific Union College Prep, 84-54. Nick Dalby had nearly 30 points by my count. Andrew Ayres was fantastic, and the Crusaders played great team defense to control PU's 6'8" Tyler Thesman or at least make him a non-factor. He did probably end up with 30 points and 20 rebounds, but many came when it did not matter.

If I was Crusader 6'8" Center Stephen Papstein, I would start really wondering what is going on with all the cheap foul calls. The Junior (Young enough to be a sophomore I have heard) seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and since he is the tallest in the crowd, the whistle follows him. All 5 of his fouls could have been no calls. I have seem him in a few games this year and have witnessed this in those too. (I played with and against Stephen's father Brian who is around 6'11" and the host of KINS 980 shoptalk.)

Congratulations are in order for the Crusader's, but they should also give thanks to the Ferndale Wildcat's who woke them up a few days earlier by nearly knocking them off. The didn't overlook PU, that is for sure. Oh, and for the record, I think Ferndale would have won the NCS if they could have just had that 3.9 seconds back.......

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Harbor and Freshwater Pulp fate's are married. Citizens Port Development Meeting Update.

I went to the CITIZENS FOR PORT/RAIL DEVELOPMENT meeting today at the Samoa Cookhouse. Found out that they are blogging now at the link I provided. Also saw on Cap's blog that the North Coast Rail Authority will start functioning on the southern portion of the rail system by October this year!

Humboldt Bay Recreation & Conservation District CEO David Hull said they are trying to tap into some of the “Stimulus” funds for Port Development, and have a huge advocate in Congressman Mike Thompson. Hull, Port Terminal supporters from RAPIT and union leaders met with Thompson to discuss funding for the Project. Mike’s District runs pretty close to most northern union districts, so leaders there represented about 45,000 workers who are interested in seeing some of the 3 Billion dollars in State Transportation stimulus monies creating jobs in Humboldt County. Thompson is going to help in any way he can.

Now the bad news

Hull said there is a Harbor budget meeting next Thursday that will be critical to the Harbor’s viability. He feels if they district loses any staff such as the bar pilots or others, this would have a huge snowball in shutting down the harbor district. If there is less than a million tons of product being distributed in shipping annually, there is a drop in funding for dredging. Less dredging, less certain ships that need deeper channels. Then fill in is a problem. And so on.

The Pulp Mill is a huge piece of the Harbor’s future. Meetings with Freshwater Pulp representatives revealed that product would not be leaving the local dock until October at the earliest. And this is contingent with Freshwater Pulp coming to an agreement/permit with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board regulatory agency. The rescheduled public hearing to consider termination of the Evergreen Pulp/Freshwater Pulp NPDES permit, barring anything unforeseen, will occur on April 23 in Fortuna.

If either the Harbor District or the Pulp Mill do not continue operations, both will die. They are now pretty much bound together for survival.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

How long can Evergreen Pulp workers hang in there?

The TS story by John Driscoll says the Pulp mill won't start until at least August! This is not good news. I have heard that quite a few workers have already left the area, or have found local work and are not planning on coming back. And that is besides the workers in the re-training programs. Just doing a head count in Maintenance, I see less than 25% returning. I will guess that we will down nearly 40% in Operations. This will be a long, ugly start-up in August.

And I do not know of anytime in my life that all the local sawmills have taken this many lay-offs. This is affecting truck drivers and other vendors locally. We can't afford many more hits in Humboldt County.

Monday, March 02, 2009

More than 31 million Americans on Food Stamps. Over 10% of U.S. Population and more on the way.

That is a record number of Americans using food stamps. When will have bottomed out from the Bush administration? And GW sure shanghaied poor McCain into a no hope election. And Obama is just attacked daily by conservative radio that just sat back and watched George take a 200 Billion Dollar surplus and turn it into this: U.S. National Debt: 53-Yr High.

Now have a good day.