Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Major Marks was part of the Humboldt Solution!

My dad decided to relocate us to Humboldt County after his retirement from the service. There is a story behind this that is really crazy and I am going to fill you all in with bits and pieces. Unless my family throws a fit.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What happened to Bus Shelter?

I noticed that the shelter for the bus stop at 4th and Q St. is gone. (Across the street from Big Louie's pizza) Was it ran into by a car? Or just removed for another reason?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Hoopa Valley hands Sundberg Supervisor seat.

Take away the votes from the Hoopa valley precincts, Pat Cleary wins the 5th District Supervisor seat by nearly 200 votes! Ryan went from 351 primary election votes in the Valley to 798 in the General! So the Native American vote came up big for a fellow Native American. Next 4 years should be interesting in the 5th.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Richard and Robin do "Date Night." Where is the best Prime Rib? My top picks.

I asked Robin yesterday if our relationship was in need of a "Date Night" we have heard and witnessed couples doing. She said sure, so I said I wasn't sure yet who I was going to take out on my date. She had a good laugh. We went to Bear River for their Prime Rib night. $15.95! My top Prime Rib picks:

5. Sizzler. The salad bar is good at least.

4. Blue Lake Casino. What is with this change they have going. I don't like it!

3. Adels. Always consistent at least.

2. Bear River Casino. Lots of fixings, but the smoke in the Casino can gag you.

1. Sea Grill. I know their specialty is fish, but right now they are the tops in Humboldt County that I have tried.

Anyone knows of better places out there in the County? We could use another good steak house with Prime Rib at the top of the menu!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I will have you impeached Mr. Lovelace! No Offense." Qoute by Louie DeMartin. Jill Duffy, "I am tired of these games!" Nomination for CCC 2010.

Quite the verbiage flying around this morning at the Humboldt County Courthouse Board of Supervisors chamber. It seemed innocent enough on the agenda, "Consider Nominations for the California Coastal Commission North Coast Regional Representative." Only one person had turned in some sort of paperwork to be considered (Mark Lovelace) and there seemed to be a disconnect in distributing information to the correct public entities that was sent from the outgoing Governors office to the County Board of Supervisor clerk. Distribution to solicit other candidates seemed to be missing.

When outgoing 4th District County Supervisor Bonnie Neely made a motion to nominate Lovelace, (Jimmie Smith seconded) outgoing 5th District Supervisor Jill Duffy showed displeasure with the process and said she was tired of the "GAMES" that were being played with the nomination process. She asked Neely to amend here motion to allow other prospective candidates to come forward. Jill also chided Chair Clif Clendenan for not forwarding this information to the two newly elected Supervisors. Neely initially stood pat on her motion and waited for public comment. That is when it became apparent that the public felt the process was being railroaded and undermined by politics. Not one person from the public came forward to speak in favor of Lovelace's nomination. All spoke about the lack of due process in choosing and asked for reconsideration. A reaccuring theme was Lovelace's ties to Humboldt Baykeepers. Mr. Louie DeMartin publically viscerated Mr. Lovelace with a public tirade on how he is the problem with the lack of growth in the county and said it will be a personal crusade of his to get him out of office.

Eureka Mayor and 4th District Supervisor elect Virginia Bass came forward to the podium to express her desire to be considered for the position. Seems to make sense, as she would replace the person she will be replacing in office.

Bonnie Neely relented to Jill's request to nominate Lovelace but to consider others in a future meeting. The motion passed unaimously.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey day, Turkey's!

Perry Price used to yell at his ball players in all the sports he coached, yelling "Turkey's!" Here is one for you all, "Turkey's!"Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ranked voting rank?

SF Gate:

A political candidate who forms coalitions, touts other candidates vying for the same office and brags about being somebody's third choice?

Yes, it could happen - and it's an increasingly likely campaign strategy under the Bay Area's relatively new and somewhat perplexing system of ranked-choice voting, supporters and opponents agree.

The mayor's races in Oakland and San Leandro and two supervisors' races in San Francisco all saw the candidate with the most first-choice votes ultimately lose - demonstrating the traditional campaign style doesn't always work anymore.

"The old style was it's you against me, mano a mano," said Steven Hill, the architect of the local ranked-choice voting system.

"You can now try to build coalitions around these ranked ballots by finding common ground with other opponents."

Under ranked-choice voting - started in San Francisco in 2004 and used in Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro for the first time this year - voters pick their first, second and third choices.

If nobody wins more than half the vote, last-place candidates are eliminated and their second and third place votes are redistributed until someone wins a majority.

Former state Sen. Don Perata beat Oakland City Councilwoman Jean Quan in first-choice votes for Oakland's mayoral race 35 to 24 percent, but wound up losing by a two-point margin when second- and third-place votes were counted.

In San Leandro, Mayor Tony Santos won the most first-place votes in his bid for re-election, but lost his seat to challenger Stephen Cassidy.

San Francisco's case

Similar scenarios played out in the race for two seats on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Janet Reilly won the first place count in District Two, but new ranked-choice voting tallies released by the Department of Elections on Monday showed Mark Farrell winning the seat.

In District 10, an eye-popping 21 candidates ran for the seat, with Lynette Sweet getting the most first-place votes. However, Malia Cohen, initially far behind, won the seat because she was the second or third choice of voters for many of her fellow candidates.

Hill said these kinds of partnerships between candidates, as well as promoting a fellow candidate or political group's second or third pick, will all become more common.

David Latterman, a political consultant who opposes ranked-choice voting, agreed but said that doesn't mean elections will be all sunshine and rainbows. He said Perata lost in Oakland largely on the "Anybody but Don" mantra of Quan and fellow candidate Rebecca Kaplan.

"They bludgeoned Perata. It was a friend-of-my-enemy thing," Latterman said. "I think you're going to see more second-tier candidates try to team up."

A diluted message

David Lee, a political science lecturer at San Francisco State University, said candidates will try to become the second or third choice of so many challengers, their platform may become diluted.

He gave the example of the San Francisco mayor's race in November, 2011 - the first time ranked-choice voting will be used in a competitive mayors' race in the city.

A straight, white, moderate candidate could try to woo Chinese voters by becoming state Sen. Leland Yee's second choice, woo gay voters by becoming Supervisor Bevan Dufty's second choice, and woo lefties by becoming the second or third choice of a number of progressives expected to enter the race.

"How do you appeal to all those voters in order to earn their second or third choices?" Lee asked. "Who are you at the end of the day?"

Mayor Gavin Newsom said ranked-choice voting "could dramatically change the face of the mayor's race."

And he said that's not necessarily a good thing because voters - including himself - remain confused by the system. He said that as a District Eight voter, he voted for the same candidate for supervisor three times. "Then they said you can't do that," he said of a poll worker.

Corey Cook, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said this election season's outcomes will shape ranked-choice voting in the future - perhaps by angering enough people so they try to dismantle it.

"We don't know yet whether it will change the strategy for campaigns or whether this is ultimately going to be the unwinding of the movement," he said. "Both outcomes are possible."

Heather Knight at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

RIP Mark Weatherbee

Weatherbee born October 30, 1955. Mark passed away unexpectedly due to natural causes in His Favorite Place on earth, Ruth Lake, Ca. Mark graduated From Arcata High School in 1974.

He worked at Louisiana Pacific, and later Mickeys Quality Cars, as automobiles were a great hobbie of his. Although he feared the water, Mark loved fishing, Boating and jet Skiing at Ruth Lake and also loved to hunt and anything else outdoors. He enjoyed staying busy and loved watching movies on his big screen tv. Mark found great joy and fulfillment in teaching his grandkids how to work on cars, hunt, fish, shoot guns and how to drive. Mark was a caring father and grandfather and was always there for them no matter what.

Mark was the kind of man who would and did give u his last 5 dollars and the shirt off of his back and enjoyed seeing others do their best. Mark was a grumpy and stubborn, yet hardworking and compassionate, fun person... This summer was spent with his kids, grandkids and all the other kids who call him Gramps in Ruth Lake and Redding Ca doing what he loved the most... Mark is survived by his mother Dolores Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca. His three daughters, Tiffany Weatherbee, of Redding, Ca. Nicole Weatherbee, Stewart of Redding, Ca., Sarah McCartney of Redding, Ca, his 7 Grandkids, Tyler, Brittany, Mikhayla, Devin, Ariana, Khayden, Tonie. His three brothers Eddie Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca, Bobby Weatherbee of Blue Lake, Ca., Doug Weatherbee of Eureka, Ca. His Sister Peggy Weatherbee of Samoa, Ca Nieces and Nephews Alyssa, Cody, Derek, Amber, Hayli, Sarah, Hannah and Very Dear Friends. Bill Nichols, Rick VanTassel, Tim Monson, Tom Monson, Gary Miller, Mark will be missed by everyone who knew him...

A celebration of life will be held on November 21, 2010 at The Moose Lodge 4328 Campton rd. Eureka, Ca. Starting at noon. For any other information please call Tiffany Weatherbee at 530-524-3450 Please sign the guest book at, click obits.

Mark was the kind of guy who would tell it like it is, whether you wanted to know or not. He didn't hold back punches. He loved his family. He lived life on his terms, not on the expectations of others. Way to young to go.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HSU Doubleheader.

HSU was a sports Meca yesterday and Robin and I went to watch Lyndon Rowells and the HSU football Seniors in their season finale. And Lyndon did not disappoint. He broke school records in yards in a season and Touchdowns in a game. And he probably only really played a little over 2 quarters! And gained over 200 yeard in the game.

Then we went to watch the men's basketball team play Bethany University. We had the best tickets I have ever purchased for a HSU game. 1st row right behind the scorers table! Got em for $10 a pop at a political auction. New coach Steve Kinder played his whole bench while Bethany only played a 7 player rotation. One of those was a Freshman player who went to High School at Impact Basketball Academy named Brett Hoisington. Robin and I were talking to each other about this when Bethany brought him in early in the 1st half. And this young kid put up 24 points and played sound fundamental ball. Anyways, HSU has a player named Brandon Sperling that may be their best player, but Kinder has all sorts of options in a deep lineup. Finding the right combination may be his uphill battle. But I think they will be a better than average team. I predict about a 18-10 record and then big things next year.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sheri Woo in on Water Board!

Sheri Woo was appointed to out going Tera Pruscha's 2nd Division Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board seat this morning. Ben Sheppard was the other nominee. Barbara Hecathorn was the only dissenting vote. The 2nd Division district is McKinleyville and Westhaven area.

I went to the meeting to see how the process of appointment would work out and was shocked to see a compromise. Originally the board had been split over each candidate. When the vote was called to question by Aldron Laird, Bruce Rupp said he would like to comment. He outlined how the board had been working together for the good of the community. He pointed out President Kaitlin Sopoci Belknap's actions on the board as one of compromise, when he had first judged her to be a Green Party "bomb throwing" environmentalist. Bruce explained that while he agreed with Ben's basic Capitalistic business entrepreneurship and risk taking model, he would make a decision based on the good of the water district as a whole. He apologized to Ben but voted in favor of Woo. Barbara spoke on her favor of Ben. It was pointed out that Ben had publicly ran for this position so he had a track record of wanting the position.

Ben was very gracious with the decision and complimented the board for their work together. He did point out that the process was not a pleasant experience but he respected their decision.

My opinion: This is a very strong board with very diverse opinions but seem to be good at problem solving and working through their political differences. Good for them.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top Ten Political signs 2010!

1. Dave Meserve-All over Arcata you can see these individually painted signs. By far the best signs in Humboldt County.

2. Marian Brady-You might not like the Brady Bunch theme, but you have to admit that those round signs are flashy and well done. Stands to reason. Marian is a graphic arts designer.

3. Alex Stillman-Kind of quirky but it works. The old style theme, or whatever it is, just is kinda mellow.

4. Mike Newman-These signs stick out like a sore thumb! You can't miss them and the little man in the middle is different.

5. Allison Jackson-Very artsy. Nice contrast. Serves Jackson well.

6. Paul Gallegos-Repeat signs that have worked in past. I guess they are thinking, "If it ain't broke, don't mess with it."

7. Xandra Manns-Home made, grass roots, serves Green Party candidate well.

8. Larry Glass-Shouts out like a conservative, but this candidate is way left.

9. Frank Jager-Recycling signs Ala Gallegos, and these colors really force you to look.

10. Ryan Sundberg-I like them and hate them. I don't know why. They are different.

Just missed the list: Bonnie Neely signs. Soft color, and when you can just put your first name on a sign, you have big time name recognition.

Where is Bass on my list you might ask? I wanted the hook in the water but was out numbered, so we went with the red white and blue thing. They are nice, but where's the Hooked on Bass theme?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pulp Mill Lumberjack story

Low Tide For Samoa Pulp Mill

By Scottie Lee Meyers

The tide in Humboldt Bay ebbs and flows. Last Monday, when the tide went out, the Samoa pulp mill was open for business. By the time the tide returned, the pulp mill closed for good.

More than 200 of the highest paying jobs in the county are permanently gone. News of the closure heightened concerns over the economic stability of the port and the surrounding community.

The pulp mill began operations in 1964. Since then, six different groups have owned the mill – an indication of how difficult it is to conduct a profitable pulp mill enterprise here on the North Coast.

In a pulp mill, workers manicure wood chips – a waste product of the timber industry – through a long process into pulp, which has the consistency of hot oatmeal. Workers spread the pulp onto 100-foot screens, which then travels on a conveyor belt where it is vacuumed, pressed, chemically treated, and dried into paper. Then they collect the paper into 550-pound, ready-to-ship bales.
Evergreen Pulp Inc., a subsidiary of a Chinese paper manufacturing firm, closed the mill in October 2008, but workers and community members clung to the hope that it would reopen. The mill has been out of commission since. The announcement last Tuesday that the pulp mill will close permanently meant workers let go of all hope, forever.

It was during Evergreen's ownership that some community members began to loathe the pulp mill. Evergreen Pulp racked up over 200 violations. Carol Binder spearheaded the "People Against the Samoa Pulp Mill" blog, a coalition of residents from West Eureka.

Richard Marks, the 4th District Harbor Commissioner, worked at the pulp mill since 1980. Marks understands Binder's point of view. As an employee, Evergreen's environmental stewardship disappointed him. "Our community was basically environmentally raped by Evergreen pulp."

On his blog, Marks says, "In January of 2009, Evergreen owed $463,000 in fines for non-compliance of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels for 2005 to 2007. [In] 2008, Evergreen went over permitted limits 252 times."

Problems with environmental stewardship go back before Evergreen. During previous owner Stockton Pacific's ownership, agents raided the mill because of BOD violations. The Water Board filed a suit for $700,000.
When the pulp mill was in operation, the plume from the stack invariably blew to western Eureka. Back in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s when sulfur dioxide was prevalent in the plume, the whole area smelled of rotten eggs.

After four years of ownership, Evergreen shut down the plant and "skipped" town, says Marks. A legal battle still looms between the workers and Evergreen. Marks says that Evergreen violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and left hundreds of thousands of dollars in employee medical bills unpaid.

Freshwater Tissue Co. bought the mill for $2.8 million in February 2009 with plans to reopen the mill and rehire the previous workforce – mainly those affiliated with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) union. Union workers had newfound hope that they would return to work, and 80 percent of them committed to returning.

Freshwater's president, Bob Simpson, initially sought $400 million to convert the pulp mill into an eco-friendly tissue plant.

With no offers, Simpson scaled down the business plan. Freshwater's revised plan was to make eco-friendly pulp and sought $30 million in financing. Freshwater got a 10-year contract for all its production. Still, no one was willing to loan the funds.

"I am disappointed in our failure to restart the pulp mill," says Simpson in a press release. "We exhausted all possible means of funding the project. Unfortunately, [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] regulations made it impossible for banks to finance startup projects like ours."

Economic uncertainty surrounds the Humboldt Bay area now that the pulp mill is closed.

David Hull, chief executive officer of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, looks at the harbor as the economic engine to the area. "The pulp mill closing was a big hit for the whole region," says Hull.
Hull estimates the pulp mill brought 24 ships – 700-feet long and 40,000 to 50,000 tons in weight – every year into the bay. Humboldt Bay Harbor collects between $12,000 and $17,000 per pulp mill ship.

Other entities not affiliated with Humboldt Bay Harbor make money on ships too. Tug operators receive money to pilot ships into the bay and to the dock. Longshoremen receive money to tie the ships to the docks and to load and unload cargo. Dock owners receive money to let the ships anchor.

"It could be between $50,000 and $60,000 per ship to the local economy," says Hull. "It really is significant money."

With that much money to gain in ship traffic, the Humboldt Bay Harbor -- a governmental entity --worked with pulp mill owner Bob Simpson and lobbyists in Washington D.C. to revitalize the dormant mill.

The Samoa pulp mill contributed 15 percent of the district's water revenue. Steve Fleisher, former CEO of the mill under Stockon Pacific Enterprises, says, "When they closed and stopped buying water, their portion of the bill basically had to be picked up by the remaining customers. The customers are the cities and services districts who ultimately pass on the costs to their customers. So, our water bills have all gone up."

John Palmquist, district business manager for the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, says with the pulp mill now shut down, our water rights are in jeopardy in California's use-it-or-lose-it water policy

Humboldt County Economic Development Coordinator Jaqueline Debets says the economic mentality of Humboldt Bay needs to shift. "It's not so much a port. It's a bay, and it's transitioning because we're changing how we import and export."

Debets feels the lack of transportation arteries in the Humboldt region makes Humboldt Bay unappealing for ships to import. "Once you do get to the land, you're still not close to the market."
Debets predicts Humboldt Bay will do more aquaculture – the farming of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Kurt Hippen was one of 200 employees laid off when Evergreen Pulp shut down two years ago. Hippen put in almost 30 years at the mill, mostly as a carpenter. Now, he has no health insurance. Hippen drove to a health fair last weekend where he could get his blood tested for free.

Hippen enrolled in several classes since being laid off in an effort to gain new job skills and find employment. He is in a water operations course at College of the Redwoods with 20 of his former pulp mill coworkers. Many more wait in line to take the course. Humboldt County's Health and Human Services Employment Training Division offers the classes free to former pulp mill workers.
Since the mill shut down, Hippen became certified as an energy auditor. He also earned solar power, historical building restoration, and electrical wiring credentials. Still, Hippen ca not find permanent employment. "It angered me," says Hippen after receiving an email from the vice president of his union telling him the pulp mill is permanently shut down. "What angers me the most is the fact that 215 people aren't going to have good jobs."

The history of the Samoa Pulp Mill is a microcosm of the decline of California's manufacturing industry. Gino DiCaro, spokesman for California Manufacturers and Technology Association, says that in the past decade, California lost 34 percent of its state industrial base. Businesses move offshore where wage rates, energy costs, taxes, and governmental regulations are more suitable for profit. "California is a very costly place to do business," says DiCaro.

The pulp mill starts to look like an old Chevy that's seen better days. Simpson wishes to recoup his investment by selling parts from the plant. Freshwater has an offer for its power and recovery boiler. Hippen expects Freshwater to sell the turbine, pumps, and tools. Freshwater's plans for the 156-acre site are unknown.

Marks reminisces about the way things used to be in Samoa. His adult sons moved to Sacramento and San Francisco for work. "I wish there was something here for them."

Sunday, October 03, 2010

What the freak was that! (A Fisher actually)

Robin and I were driving down Lord Ellis the other day and I had to slow down to avoid running over a strange animal. This animal was nearly 6' long from tail to snout and nearly took a whole lane and looked like either a mink or a ferret. We both discussed what this could be and neither had seen this animal in the wild. I brought this up to a person well versed in animals in the North Coast wild and he congratulated me on witnessing a "Fisher". A very rare sighting he said in Humboldt County. It seems just a few years back that I had seen very few possum and now they are all over the place. Any others out there seen these "Fishers?"

D Day for Bay area teams!

The Niners have to win today to avoid an 0-4 start. Not good. Coach Mike Singletary is having a melt down of extreme sorts, and none of the offensive coordinators seem to know how to get the ball to Vernon Davis! The defense has been on the field too much. Sigh. Another long winter.

The Giants have picked a bad time to lose games. If they do not win today against the Padres, they face either having to play San Diego at Petco, or go to Atlanta to play the Braves. Let us hope it doesn't come to that!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freshwater done.


September 28, 2010 - Samoa Pulp Mill Permanently Closed

Samoa, Ca - Freshwater Tissue Company announced the permanent closure of the
Samoa pulp mill. Evergreen Pulp, the prior owners of the pulp mill, closed
the mill in October of 2008 after a global collapse of the banking industry
left Evergreen insolvent.

Freshwater Tissue purchased the Samoa mill assets in February of 2009 with a
vision of converting the pulp mill to an integrated pulp and tissue plant
that would convert forest residuals into consumer-ready, eco-friendly toilet
paper. The projected cost of the plant conversion was $400 million. The
owners anticipated borrowing the funds from the Department of Energy.
Unfortunately, DOE loans were only available to green energy projects, such
as wind energy, solar energy, and the production of electric cars.

After failing to fund the integrated tissue mill project, Freshwater scaled
down its business plan and reduced its capital requirement to $30 million.
The company's new plan was to produce eco-friendly pulp, and it secured a
10-year sales contract for 100% of its production. Freshwater obtained all
necessary regulatory permits to re-open the mill, it received unprecedented
environmental and labor support, and it had bi-partisan government support.
When the company received notice from the U.S.D.A. that it qualified for a
$25 million loan guarantee Freshwater believed a loan was certain, but it
soon discovered banks would not loan against a government backed guarantee.

In a statement issued by Robert M. Simpson, Freshwater's President, Simpson
said "I am disappointed in our failure to re-start the pulp mill. We
exhausted all possible means of funding the project with the intention of
re-hiring union workers. Unfortunately, FDIC regulations made it impossible
for banks to finance startup projects like ours."

Freshwater reported that it has received an offer for its power and recovery
boiler. When asked about the offer Simpson said "we have two groups
interested in acquiring the boiler but we are not in contract and we don't
have any expectation as to when a sale will be completed." Simpson didn't
offer any details of Freshwater's future plans for the 156 acre industrial

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lumberjack requests Pulp Mill information.

Scottie Lee Meyers from The Lumberjack (the Humboldt State University student newspaper) is looking to do a story on the Pulp mill, past and present.

He can be reached at this email address or called by cell phone: (262) 385-7518 if you would like to add your 2 cents.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy 32nd Anniversary Robin!

The Marks endurance race continues. We used to joke to our friends that the only thing that was keeping us together was our kids, because we wanted to avoid a nasty court battle on who would have had to take them! But both are out on their own for quite a few years now, so I guess that was not the case. She puts up with me and I her. I will be at the softball fields most the evening and I am sure she will join me. What a date!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

SOP and Breakers win Tomaso's Invitational!

The former "Beer League" Championships, (which has been ongoing since 1973?) was replaced by the "Tomaso's Willow Creek Invitational." This was due to liability issues. 10 teams and over 100 participants and many hundreds of fans watched some great ball this weekend. In the "A" Division, Son of Pitches (SOP) were able to run the table and went undefeated and beat Puba's 1 for the Championship. In the "B" Division, Blondies Beakers beat Puba's 2 for the Championship. SOP won the overall Championship by beating the Breakers. All Tournament players for the "A" Division were, Doug Small and Kirk Gray Powers from Tomaso's, Wayne Wilson and Charles Barblutten from Central Station, Cam Reed and Jared Harpe from Puba's 1, Mike Menacho, Toye Johnson and Byron Gardner from SOP. Jason Mullaney was the Most Valuble Player of the "A" Division.

In the "B" Division, The Blondies Breakers defeated Puba's 2 (My Team) for the "B' Championship. Brian McNeil was the Most Valuable Player and David Thompson All Tournament from the Breakers, Marti Conti and Al Schmidt were the picks for Puba's 2. Gnash Day from the Dirt Bags made all tournament as did Rick Harding from Good Woods. Gene Joyce and Richard Wanu from the Pigs also made All Tournament. Mark Dube and Bob Davis were chosen from the Fat Bastards.

This Tournament would not happen if not for Tom Pagano, owner of Tomaso's Specialty Foods & Distributing at 201 Taylor Way Blue Lake, CA 95525. 668-1868. Tom supplied the insurance, umped many games, put out water, chips and salsa for all teams and served as good host for this tournament. For the love of the game. I look forward to next year.

Next year will be bigger and better. Tomaso's will be hosting this tournament at the same time next year and also a 10 team Blue Lake Mad River Invitational. BBQ and Bands and other Rowdiness. Stayed tuned.

(The Graphics design for this tournament was done by Jim Romick.)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

LA Times does Pulp Mill. Port closing?

The timber industry has suffered a long decline in Eureka, an isolated community about five hours north of San Francisco.

Now, a group of entrepreneurs wants to restore a wood pulp mill there to its former glory. The hitch is they need someone to lend them $20 million.

If they can't get financing to reopen the facility, which closed two years ago, they say, the local port will fail, hurting surrounding lumber operations and the last remnants of a resource economy in this community of 25,000 people.
"The only thing that sets Eureka apart from Bakersfield or Grass Valley is this port, and without the mill, this port has a good chance of going insolvent," said Sid Berg, president of the Humboldt and Del Norte Co. Building and Construction Trades Council, which supports the reopening.

In its heyday, the Louisiana-Pacific pulp mill, which converts scraps from timber operations into material for paper, generated so much pulp that two cargo ships pulled into the Eureka port each month. Those ships and two others serving another pulp mill in the region would transport the material to paper factories in Asia. Three additional barges brought in gasoline for the region's filling stations.
Since the closure in 2008, a total of only three ships have entered the port. The harbor commission has been dipping into its financial reserves to keep the port running in the hope that the mill would reopen. If it doesn't, the port won't generate enough traffic to justify the expense of dredging the harbor or keeping bar pilots on staff to guide ships into the harbor, said David Hull, chief executive of the Humboldt Bay Harbor District.

If the port closes, gasoline would have to be trucked into the area over winding roads from San Francisco. That would put more trucks on the roads and raise transportation costs for the fuel, Hull said. The cost of Eureka's water could also go up, because the pulp mill was contributing 15% of the district's water revenue.
In addition, other lumber mills that traditionally sold their waste to the pulp mill — popularly known as the Samoa mill because of its proximity to the small town of that name — will have to burn it or truck it to Oregon to sell to other pulp mills.

Because of the increased expense, Schmidbauer Lumber Co. is making about half of what it did when the Samoa mill was still open, said general manager Richard Graham.
But opponents say it's time to let go of manufacturing and stop pouring money into the towering smokestacks that have chugged since the 1960s. They say the Samoa mill's backers are having difficulty raising capital because the deal simply doesn't make business sense.

Bob Simpson bought the mill for $2.8 million in February 2009. Its former owners had abandoned it abruptly the year before, leaving behind millions of dollars in debts amid a deteriorating pulp market.

Simpson initially sought $400 million in financing to convert the property into a mill that would make eco-friendly toilet tissue. When that effort failed he lowered his sights to $20 million to restart the plant as a traditional pulp mill. Requests for loans, government grants and federal stimulus money so far have gone nowhere.
He's now considering selling off the factory in pieces to recoup his investment. A Canadian company has offered to buy the mill's boiler, and Simpson has to give them an answer by Wednesday.

Without timber, he said, the hardscrabble area won't have much to sustain its economy. As fishing and logging have disappeared in the northern part of the state, many locals have taken advantage of the cool climate to venture into a more profitable business: cannabis.

"Humboldt County's economy will be dependent upon the marijuana industry for its economic recovery," he said. "I don't believe that would be in the best interest of the state or federal government."

Opponents say the mill polluted the environment and that the region would be better off focusing on tourism.

"It's time to let go of it," said Carol Binder, a West Eureka resident who can see the smokestacks of the mill from her home and runs a blog, People Against the Samoa Pulp Mill.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CO-ED softball starts in Arcata this Friday!

There will be CO-ED softball played in Arcata starting tomorrow at 6:20pm at the Arcata Sports Complex. If you are interested in playing, there is a lack of women participants. Call Kel Karges at 496-9695 or Richard Marks at 445-3432. I sent this information out multiple times to the Times Standard and they have not printed. So far we have 10 tentative teams.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

United States uses 26% of all world oil! Canada our largest supplier!

“Consider that the United States, with four percent of the world’s population, consumes a disproportionate slice of the world’s oil-production pie chart. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that we import almost 10 million barrels of crude oil per day of the 74 million the world produces (up from 21 million in 1960). We use 10 million barrels of our own oil, making our consumption roughly 26 percent of all crude oil pumped out of the earth.”

“We buy about half of our 10 million imported barrels from four countries. They are: Canada (1.86 million barrels), Mexico (1.17), Saudi Arabia (1.08), and Venezuela (1.07). The rest comes from eleven other countries.”

“It is apparent, then, that we buy 3.32 million barrels of crude each day from countries that either want to repossess California, have a habit of funding Middle Eastern terrorist groups, or are led by an egomaniac who hates everything about the U.S. except Sean Penn. We could lose Canada if a bad call by a U.S. referee should cost one of its hockey teams the Stanley Cup.”

William Jeanes AOL Auto Editor at Large

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 10 Word's Phrases that need to be retired today!

10. "So…"(starting a sentence with)

9. "Get over it."

8. "Irregardless"

7. "Know what I’m Saying?" (Or See)

6. "Ya think?" (Or ya know?)

5. "I’m just saying"

4. "It is what it is"

3. "With that being said..."

2. "24/7"

1. "Been there done that!"

Which words or phrases get on your nerves?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Broadway Taco Bell a front?

What the heck is with this place! Robin and I were driving by the Broadway Taco Bell past 11pm and there was a line around the restaurant! And every time we go by the place, regardless of what time of the day, there seems to be an average of 7 cars in the drive through line. I have been all over the west coast and have never have seen a Taco Bell as busy. Just what sets this store above all the others in the chain? There not serving crack in those tacos are they? (Joking! Thanks to Chris Rock)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Fire in the stove in August? Global warming my ass part II.

Our house has been freezing these past months. I have had to crank up the woodstove too many times. I was curious on what is going on, so I went on Accuweather and listen to this; the average High Tempature in Janurary of 2010 was 58 degrees. The total average for the month Janurary was 52. In July of 2010? Average high of 60 and total average of 55! Only a 2 and 3 degree difference! Samoa is suffering from global cooling! Refute my facts!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Public Toilet Etiquette

Why is it that 90% of all public restrooms are such a disaster? Is it just a very small percentage that seem to have to defile a public toilet, or is this a majority thing? I have had to clean up my share of bathrooms running athletic events and I can assure you that this not just a male thing. If anything, it seems that women are even worse. I just don't get it. I really don't think people treat their own bathrooms like this, or do they?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pulp Mill garners water permit.

The State Water Board unanimously voted to approve the NPDES permit to allow Freshwater Pulp to start the mill. This was the last large regulatory hurdle for the Pulp Mill to surpass. Congratulations to Bob Simpson and may many workers soon start back to work!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Good Bye old green machine. Ya done good.

Robin and I purchased the 98' Mercury Tracer in 1999. It had low miles and I needed something dependable to drive while I was organizing for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. Robin was surprised I picked out a "green" car, as I had heard they were unlucky. (Used to not see green stock cars. Urban myth?) Anyways, the car piled on over 200,000 miles between me, kids and friends (borrowing). It had been in a few fender benders along the way, and was totaled twice! (Always people hitting it, never it hitting them.) The last one left it pretty much not worth fixing so I decided to donate it to Car4Causes. They made it easy. They said they would pick it up, but I told them I could drive it to wherever they needed. They seemed surprised and they told me John's Used Cars and junkyard was their point, so I drove it over there and they seemed surprised I was donating a drivable vehicle. Anyways, I have donated cars to either St Vincent DePaul or friends in need, and this was the quickest and easiest I have experienced.

So, Robin and I are down to 5 cars, Robin's 2002 PT Cruiser, a 97' Ford Escort, two 85' Ford Ranger's and my 95' BMW 325i. (Yes, they all run.) I have been trying to talk Robin into buying a new car, but she likes her PT. We are pretty easy on cars and they last for us pretty good. But I would like to have something newer. They can only last so long.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Gang rape at Arcata Sports Complex. 50 feet away from softball play.

And none of us heard a thing. Our Uniontown used tire softball team had just finished a 12-8 win against Big Pete's pizza team and we were all in the parking lot while the field rep shut off the lights. Out of the dark came a young lady who asked one of our umps for a cell phone so she could call her dad and tell him she was raped! The ump and the field rep went running to the woods to see if anyone was around will the police were called. One of the lady players in the league who is a trained nurse tended to the upset young lady until the Arcata officers showed up within minutes. (I was over with the Betz Bombers team talking softball past and was wondering about what all the commotion was across the parking lot.) Then the Ambulance and Arcata Fire Department showed. Two of our umps and field rep found a guy spun out with a pair of women's panties next to him in the wooded area behind the fields and held him up until officers took over. The young lady said 3 men were involved. I was able to turn the field lights on so the ambulance could make it's way to the guy. He became belligerent and put up a fight. At the same time the young lady, who was waiting in the back of the police car started to try to kick out the windows, so I went and found the officer of that car who was helping with the spun dude. While they were trying to calm the guy in the ambulance he started spitting on the EMT and pissing all over. He started yelling, "Don't you know who my father is? He is going to kill you!" Then he started chanting loudly, "Beelzebub, Beelzebub, Beelzebub, Beelzebub!"

This whole thing was like in slow motion and surreal. What is going on in our world, when this kind of evil is so close to real life? Just a bunch of softballers having fun and playing ball after work within feet of druggies doing what they do, making life hell on others. When I left (just about a half hour ago) they were still looking for the other two suspects and officers were abundant. Thank God for the quick response of the Arcata police and the Arcata Fire Department.

The Mad River Softball Association Field Representative and Umpires deserve an award for their role in this craziness.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Excursion Train blast from past.

Here is an old video of the Peninsula Union School District from 1988 on the train. Many of those kids on the train played Basketball for the mighty Yellowjacket teams that I coached. It was fun seeing them as kids again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy fathers day to all. My oldest son Jacob called and wants to go to a Niner’s game with me this fall. (This is hard for him as he is a die hard Raider fan.) He is an auto body repair man in El Dorado Hills just east of Sacramento. My younger son called from San Francisco. He has just moved to the Castro district and is working for Ken Cole clothing. He is hoping to climb the corporate ladder in fashion design. It is so good to hear when they are doing well and are healthy.

The picture is my father, Army Major James Marks. He was at Pearl Harbor during the attack and served in Korea. (My older brothers James, Roy and Michael all served in either Korea or Viet Nam) Once my dad passed the bar and became an attorney, he followed his Army buddy James McKittrick to Eureka and went into law practice with Al Paso and Jim. But, alas, my mother and father divorced when I was 6 years old. My dad and I were never close and he passed away in 1981 when Robin was pregnant with my oldest son Jacob. He was a great story teller and I wish we had more contact. He affectionately called me “Tooter,” which to this day is my family name, and was once the only name I was known by.

So, as a family, we went from good living on the Presidio in San Francisco to Healdsburg then Eureka and ended up in Petaluma, where we lived with my mother Mabel and 5of her children and whatever stray’s my family seemed to find in a two bedroom house in the front of a chicken farm. I went to work on a local rabbit farm at the age of 7 and was paid in vegetables! (When our family gets together we discuss how I never had a baby sitter from 7 years old on. My mom worked afternoon and nights for Western Auto. We were broke, broke.) We moved back to Cutten in the mid 60’s and my mom was able to get a union retail clerks job at Disco and then Bazar. Our living conditions changed dramatically and we ended up in Myrtletown. (And I dropped the “Tooter” name from the school rolls, but some from Cutten still didn’t get this memo)

I had the greatest childhood experience of growing up and going through Lafayette, Zane, St. Bernard’s and Eureka High and College of the Redwoods. I was so fortunate to have the Biasca family take me in and take me to their cabin in Willow Creek and teach me to fish for trout. Lee Biasca helped formed my basic working class Democratic values with his observations in the 60’s as did Paul Maisenbach, who helped me learn how to catch a baseball and welcomed me in his household. (The neighborhood used to go to Paul’s fast pitch Louisiana Pacific games, if they won he would buy us root beer floats at A &W, if they lost….we got nothing. And he stood by that!) Our next door neighbor Mark Stark was a staunch Republican who laid the foundation of my love for the 49ers and took his son Matt and I out Salmon fishing in the ocean. Fergy (Clyde) Ferguson let us immature teenagers work on his #21 stock car, and no matter the results, he always praised us. (But he won a lot!) My local Boy Scout troop also was such a blessing, Art Pope, Paul Green, Mr. Kyle and Mr. Allen were so patient and helpful. Some of the greatest memories of my life! I was raised by a village and can never express enough my gratitude.

But, I want to point out my mother Mabel, my sisters Kathy, Michelle and Mary, and my brothers Jimmy, Roy and Michael helped form my core values and living platform. And it is diverse.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Justin Kuster graduates from AHS.

Robin's great nephew Justin graduated from Arcata High School yesterday. Robin gave a speech accepting the class of 2010 on behalf of the Northern Union High School District that was really cool with Justin in garb. Below is Robin, Justin and Robin's niece April.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Son's of Pitches (SOP) win "Scatman" Memorial in Weaverville.

SOP beat The Diggin's from Weaverville 12-10 to win the First Annual "Scatman" Memorial Tournament. Long time Weaverville softball player Mike Scatina passed away this winter from cancer and the players from Trinity County decided to do this tournament in his memory.
Madden Paint from Redding tied for 3rd with the Young Guns from Weaverville. Samoa Athletics tied for 5th with the Booze Hounds of Trinity. We scored over 50 runs in 3 games and could not crack the top four! The money raised from this tournament is to help the Weaverville softball league with repair costs so they can run their league. In the bottom picture, players from the Diggin's gather at 3rd base to pay homage to the "Scatman" before their game with bitter rivals "Young Guns" of Weaverville. It was an entertaining weekend to say the least.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Humboldt County Democrats host Chicken by the Sea!

And yes, we all got along fine. I know there is a perception out there that we are all split up and fractured, but all members were active and helpful for this event. Special Thanks to our Chair Milt Boyd and Chicken by the Sea co Chair Pam Cahill for a fantastic event. Hundreds of people from all parties came out and enjoyed the day. Fourth District Supervisorial candidates Virginia Bass and Bonnie Neely were both in attendance as were all DA candidates. 5th District Supervisor Democratic candidates Patrick Cleary and Patrick Higgins gave speeches. Virginia served food side by side Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass and Councilwoman Linda Atkin prepared food as she has done in the past for the Committee. Roger Smith led the BBQ Grill with his wife Patricia with Mike Finley and I helping get in the way. Charlene Cutler Ploss, Pam Service, Robin Marks, Isabella Phipps, James Topping, Julie Timmons, Andy Bird, Matt Owens, Brendan Wagner and many others I am sure I am overlooking. "It takes a village" to do this type of event and it did. HCDCC Treasurer Phillis Seawright was ill and could not attend but took care of the "behind the scenes" financial and organizational issues that have to be dealt with. Get well soon Phillis and great job by all!

Monday, May 17, 2010

McKinleyville Little League fund raiser.

Friends, Neighbors, & Baseball Fans of Mckinleyville:
We would like to invite you all to our First Ever Baseball Fun Night: To Benefit our baseball and softball program: Raising money for batting cages at the park is one of our main targets this season.

Dinner& Auction on Tuesday June 1 at Cher Heights Casino in Trinidad:
Must be 21 or older:

Tickets are $25 ea/ BBQ Pork Ribs & Chicken
Silent / live / Dutch Auctions
Bids start at 6 pm with dinner at 7 pm.

Please help us out and come have dinner and a fun time with you friends, neighbors, family and many other baseball fans in our area. We invite former families of our program and other programs in our community of friends. Mr. Rex Bohn is hopefully going to be our MC for the night and he always makes these events a fun night for all attending!
Tickets can be bought from any player/family, board member and I always have some with me as well.
Please consider this invitation and join me and others making this a huge success!

Thanks in advance,
I hope to hear and see lots of you,

Carlos Avelar

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Perch'n on the Peninsula! Results.

There were a total of 37 tournament participants of which only 9 returned by the deadline with fish, we had several more participants return without catching fish, approximately half of the participants did not return at all.

Two winners were awarded two $90 cash prizes to the two tournament winners.
-John Nicolini from Pacifica won the biggest fish category with a redtail surfperch measuring 15.2 inches.
-James Logan (13) of Orick won the largest limit of 3 category with a combined length of 41.9 Inches, James also caught the second largest fish.

Largest Fish INCHES
Placing name Fish 1 (in)
1 John Nicolini 15.2
2 James Logan 14.5
3 Conner & Logan Petiusita 14.2
4 Steve Harris 13.2
5 Marvin L Jones 13.0
6 Tracy McCormack 12.8
7 Gary Day 12.8
8 Marvin Jones Jr. 12.7
9 Tony Kurz 12.1

Largest Limit of 3 INCHES
Placing name Combined Length (in)
1 James Logan 41.9
2 Conner & Logan Petiusita 41.7
3 Marvin L Jones 38.5
4 Tracy McCormack 38.0
5 Marvin Jones Jr. 38.0
6 Steve Harris 36.5
7 Tony Kurz 35.7
8 Gary Day 34.6
9 John Nicolini 15.2

Thank You to all the Samoa Peninsula Fire District Volunteers who helped make the perch'n fundraiser a success!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Democrat warrior Clyde Edward Albert Jr. RIP

Clyde Edward Albert Jr., 62, died early Sunday morning at home. Ed dedicated his life to service, both to country and community, and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Ed was born in Butler, PA in 1947, and lived there until joining the Air Force at age 17. He served three tours of duty in Vietnam, where he met his wife Ann, and learned to program computers. Later, Ed was stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and then, upon returning to the States, worked as an Air Force recruiter in the Humboldt area.

He retired from the Air Force with the rank of Sergeant Major after 20 years of service. While in the Air Force, Ed completed his B.S. degree from the University of Maryland in Computer Sciences. After military retirement, he utilized the skills he learned in school and in the military to obtain employment as a computer programmer for the counties of Lake and Humboldt, and later Humboldt State University. Ed was an active member of Council 57 ASFCME.

Ed was also an active member in the Veteran's Foreign War Post Local 1872. When he retired from the state university system in 2007, Ed pursued his long-time interests in genealogy, photography, bird watching, and geo-caching. He also continued to be of service as a member of the county Grand Jury, and helped North Coast Stand Down support local veterans. Ed is survived by Ann, his wife of 40 years, his son Robert, daughter Joyce, sister Kay Neely and brother Doug. There will be a viewing at Pierce Mortuary on Thursday, May 5th from 3 to 7 PM. The funeral service is 11 AM, Friday, May 6th in the Veteran's section of Ocean View cemetery. Care is under the direction of Pierce Mortuary, 707 H Street, Eureka, California. Please sign the online guestbook at Click on obits.

"Ed" helped may democratic candidates win local elections. Way too young.

Monday, May 03, 2010

$500 reward for arrest and conviction of Virginia sign thiefs! Sign wars get ugly.

NOT COOL! I know that all political campaigns have the sign attrition thing happen. Fingers get pointed and accusations fly. But we just so happened to have a person with a camera witness a sign removal and took a picture of the perpetrators. This person was threatened by these two crass offenders who were pretty ballsy to do in broad daylight. And this is after other eye witnesses seen others. One was an elderly lady that called the Bass campaign after she said someone in a black Honda pulled over, a young lady jumped out, opened her gate and took a sign and jumped in the car and drove off before the elderly lady could get the license plate number! I was texted this picture with a shopping Kart on K ST someone was collecting our signs with. Again, in daylight! And we are estimating nearly 100 signs gone! We still have many hundred out there, but that isn't the point.

Has someone put a bounty out there on the Bass signs? And if they did, how can they sleep at night? So please, if you know these people above, please call the Eureka Police at 441-4060 with information. Upon the arrest and conviction of those guilty, the Bass campaign will reward the informant $500. Maybe this will be a deterrent for future sign shenanigans.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Michael G. Laurendeau playing on that diamond in the sky.

Mike was one of those people that was so smooth and gifted on the ball field. He could run , hit and throw with the best. And he was really a good guy. He played on my softball team just a few years ago, so this is really hard to see his passing. Way too young.

Michael passed away Saturday April 24 suddenly with a heart attack at the age of 49 years. He was born in Eureka on February 25, 1961, the second son of George and Jessie Laurendeau. He attended elementary schools in Cutten and graduated from Eureka High School in 1978. He attended College of the Redwoods for two years. Michael participated in Baseball, Football, Wrestling and Basketball starting at 8 years of age, but his favorite was Baseball where he had a real talent. During his years he was involved in several serious accidents but survived. He also spent some years where drugs took him down the wrong path but was working hard to change his lifestyle as he had a cardiac disability and a desire to change.

Mike is survived by his daughter Michelle Barnes (Miles) of Ashland, parents George and Jessie, brother Daniel (Reeda), niece Shayla and Kelsy Portland, Oregon, sister Louise Pratt (Elton) and nephew Roger Jr. and niece Paige Matthews of Lauton, Oklahoma, cousin Sharon Thompson and Karen Steinblock, Jeff Klopp, Uncle Frank Klopp and Aunt Mimi Henkes, Mary Wright, alex McMillan, Denise Theodore, and best friend Sharon Delong. Mike was preceded in death by his big brother William (Bill), Aunt Joann Klopp, and Uncle Guy and Eina Laurendeau.

There will be no formal service, but a memorial will be held on Saturday, May 1 at 2520 Hubbard Lane 2:00-5:00 pm at the Community Center (The Meadows). Please come with a few stories of the good life as he called it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Democratic Moderates vs Progressives. Central Committee wars to the south.

Moderate Democrats in San Francisco often complain that far-left politicians don't represent their values. Middle-class families are frustrated that their concerns - like safe streets - are undermined by ideologues with wild claims of a "police state." Developers are exasperated when their projects are subjected to endless delays, even when the property has been a vacant eyesore for years.

Would you like to see things change?

Then I've got some bad news for you.

You're going to have to get involved - or at least start paying attention.

The next two months will see a battle for the political soul of the city. It will pit the progressives against the moderates in a face-off that will have huge implications in the November elections and, perhaps, the election of the next mayor. The key is control of an obscure but incredibly influential organization called the Democratic County Central Committee.

Rather than complaining about the direction of the city, middle-of-the-road Democrats have to get active. They have to vote in the June DCCC election and they have to do their homework on the candidates to learn if they represent moderate values.

"If you want to see change in the city, change to the culture of the Board of Supervisors, and bring some common sense and reason back to the city, it starts with the DCCC," said David Latterman, a local pollster.

If you are not sure what the DCCC is, you are not alone.

"If you stopped people on the street and asked them what the DCCC was, most of them wouldn't know what you were talking about," Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier said.

San Francisco political insiders know. The DCCC endorsement doesn't necessarily mean a win in every election - it just seems to work out that way. In 2008, the DCCC went 6-for-6 in supervisor races (the seventh, Ross Mirkarimi, used to belong to the Green Party and was not eligible for a Democratic endorsement) and 3-for-4 in the school board elections.

That's no surprise. San Francisco is a liberal Democrat town. When the official voice of the local Democratic committee sends out recommendations in mailers - and it has a nearly unlimited budget to do so - voters listen.

"But when Mrs. Jones receives her Democratic voter guide in the mail," said Scott Wiener, former chairman of the DCCC and candidate for supervisor in District Eight, "she's thinking of the party of Barack Obama, not the party of Aaron Peskin and (Supervisor) Chris Daly."

There's the rub. In 2008, Peskin and Daly unapologetically staged a takeover of the DCCC. They ran a slate of well-known names, including Eric Mar, David Campos and David Chiu, all of whom won seats as supervisors later that year. When they won seats on the DCCC, Wiener was voted out as chairman and replaced by Peskin, the former president of the Board of Supervisors.

Now, there's nothing illegal or evil about that. In fact, a few years ago people complained about then-Mayor Willie Brown controlling the DCCC. Peskin and Daly promised to dismantle the Willie Brown machine.

They did. Then they created their own.

"Aaron Peskin is building a political machine that would make Willie Brown blush," Wiener said.

Campos scoffs at that idea.

"We don't sit around trying to figure out what we, as a machine, should do," he said. "I talk to everybody."

Maybe so, but with the DCCC's unmistakable power, a progressive voting majority will guarantee endorsements of far-left candidates in the November elections for supervisor. And remember, if Gavin Newsom leaves office as mayor, the supervisors will elect his successor. The stakes are huge.

The election for the DCCC is in June. You should be sure to vote. And you should make sure you know who you are voting for.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Green Sturgeon in Humboldt Bay! None local?

I went to the Humboldt Bay Symposium today and was blown away by a presentation by Bill Pinnix of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Green Sturgeon monitoring in Humboldt Bay. I have fished about all sides of this bay and sloughs and have never caught or witnessed a sturgeon being caught in the bay. I have seen many from the Trinity river though. Apparently Humboldt Bay has thousands of readings of these fish that are tagged between April and October in the far North Bay near Arcata. Kayakers have witnessed them at certain tides and were asking if they were legal to catch. It sounded like fishing laws for Sturgeon are vague. These fish as adults are generally 6-7ft and over 100lbs. They live around 70 years and are very prehistoric looking.

Now get this. These fish that are monitored are from the Sacramento River, San Pablo Delta, Rouge River and other rivers north. And while we have sturgeon in the Klamath and Trinity rivers in abundance, they avoid feeding in Humboldt Bay and seem to go everywhere north! There has been no recorded readings of Klamath or Trinity Sturgeon in Humboldt Bay!

Damn those fish! Make them go local!

Friday, April 16, 2010

RIP Haley. Way, way, way, too young. Condolences to my nephew Steve.

I never had the chance to meet by grand niece Haley. I had heard about her and Robin and I have always meant to go to New Mexico to visit my nephew Steve, who owns the La Provence French Restaurant and Scalo's Italian Restaurant in Albuquerque, but time and life always seemed to get in the way. My sister Juanita has always been on me to get down their way and now I feel so bad. I wish I had words and a great speech for this tragedy. Please send contributions to Youth Matters, c/o Scalo, 3500 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Haley was involved in many youth projects.

Haley Paternoster, 16, passed away in Albuquerque, N.M. on April 9, 2010. She captured her daddy's heart the moment she was born December 25, 1993, forming a unique bond no earthly thing could break. She is remembered for her beautiful eyes, brilliant smile, sense of humor and courage in the face of adversity. She was adored as "Sissy" by her young brothers, Jackson and Jameson, and had a tight grip on the heart of "Big Poppa," her Grandpa Pat. She was a sophomore at Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, where her teachers valued her academic dedication and creativity, and was preparing to enroll in Central New Mexico Community College for dual credit. Haley was bright, artistic and technologically gifted, a teen who loved music and fashion and was considering becoming a nurse. She was compassionate beyond words and, with her father Steve, co-founded Youth Matters in Albuquerque to provide funds and services for children involved in the children's court system. Through their work, the nonprofit provides clothing and basic necessities benefiting children in three programs: SNAP, for children involved in domestic violence; Children's Drug Court; and the Program for the Empowerment of Girls. Haley was predeceased by "Papa" Jack Fertig. She is survived by her parents, Steve and Jane Paternoster and Charla D. Davis; brothers Rodorick Rubio and Jackson and Jameson Paternoster, and grandmother Waddie Fertig, all of Albuquerque. Haley also is survived by her El Paso grandparents Nita Johnson and George Johnson and James R. and Margie Paternoster; her Aunt Laurie Paternoster and Uncles Michael Churchman and James R. Paternoster, Jr. She also leaves behind her loving cousins Megan and Justin Churchman of El Paso, and Madison McCarty of Washington. Memorial services will be April 17, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at Rio Rancho Presbyterian Church in Rio Rancho, NM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Youth Matters, c/o Scalo, 3500 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at Haley's care has been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services 2400 Southern Blvd SE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 (505) 891-9192

Perch'n on the Peninsula!

Samoa Peninsula Fire District
Announces the 1st Annual
Perch’n on the Peninsula
Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Pasta Feed Fundraiser!

SPFD is in need of a new AED (automated external defibrillator) and Digital Projector for firefighter training

Entry Fee: $25.00 per person.

All Tournament Participants must Register and Agree to the Waiver of Liability Terms prior to going fishing!

When: May 8th 2010, Fishing begins at 5:36 am, Check-in (Noon-2pm) deadline is 2pm, Pasta Feed Begins at Noon and Fundraiser Raffle begins at 3:30pm.
Where: Peninsula Elementary School, 909 Vance Ave. Samoa, CA. (Directly across the street from the Samoa Cookhouse)

Tournament Entry Registration: Will be available from 5:30 am to 10 am at the Peninsula Elementary School on Tournament Day. Doughnuts, and Tee Shirts will be for sale with free Coffee. You can also pre-register at Mad River Outfitters, Redwood Marine or at Englund Marine. For more information Contact;
Ben Smith at: 707-601-0375 (, or
Charlie Holthaus at: 707-499-7088 (
Tournament Registration Includes: One (1) Entry into Door Prize Raffle (Limited to Tournament Participants Only, door prize tickets will be supplied upon check-in), Admission to Spaghetti Feed and Fundraiser ($5.00 value) and 5 Complementary raffle tickets ($5.00 value).

Tournament Prizes:-10% of entry proceeds awarded for largest overall fish (Up to $625.00*).
-10% of entry proceeds awarded for largest combined limit of three (3) fish (Up to $625.00*).
The more participant’s the higher the payout (*Based on 250 Participants)!
Tournament Judging: Fish will be judged by Total Length.


Admission Fee: $5.00 Per Person (Free for Children Under 6 and Tournament Participants).
Pasta Feed and Raffle Ticket Sales: Noon to 3:30 pm
Raffle Drawings*, Door Prize* and Tournament Prize Awards*: Begins at 3:30pm
-$1.00/ticket raffle will include all items donated by local sponsoring businesses *
-$5.00/ticket 50/50 raffle will consist of a single cash prize worth 50% of 50/50 raffle ticket sales.*


Tournament Rules:

1. All California Department of Fish and Game Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations shall be adhered to. As per DFG regulation, the minimum size for Redtail surfperch is 10.5 inches, any sub-legal fish will not be accepted. All adult anglers over the age of 16 must possess and present a current California Sport Fishing License at the registration table.
2. You must fish on the day of the tournament, any fish caught before the day of the tournament will not be accepted. You must return and check in at the registration table between Noon and 2pm with your catch. Late arrivals will not be accepted.
3. Only Surfperch in the family Embiotocidae are eligible, any other fish species will not be accepted. Any frozen, freezer burned, undersized or manipulated fish will not be accepted. All fish will be measured by tournament staff and no squeezing, bending, tweaking or manipulations of any sort will be allowed (please take good care of your fish, any bent, twisted and/or rigor-mortised fish will be measured as-is and not straightened out). All measurements by tournament staff are final and no re-measurements will be allowed. If there is a tie for largest fish, those anglers’ second largest fish will be judged for the tie breaker, if the tie cannot be broken the prize money will be split evenly between all tied anglers.
4. You may fish anywhere you want within ocean waters (Humboldt Bay is considered ocean waters, river mouths and estuaries are not considered ocean waters), as per DFG regulation.
5. Samoa Peninsula Fire District volunteers and Board members are NOT eligible to participate in the Tournament.
6. All Participants shall read and agree to the Waiver of Liability Terms prior to participating in the Tournament. All Participants shall supply their Name, Phone Number, Signature and Date on the Tournament Entry Form at the time of Registration as acceptance of the Waiver of Liability Terms. Minors (under 18 years old) shall have a responsible parent or guardian sign on their behalf. Tournament Entries are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee endorses candidates April 14th, 2010.

The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) will be holding their endorsement general committee meeting tomorrow Wednesday April 14th, at the Humboldt Area Foundation at 6:30pm on Indianola Blvd. The meeting is open to the public and might be spirited. I requested the executive board to not endorse any candidates due to the many Democrats running against each other. My motion was voted down, so now we are going into a very ugly scenario. Why should Democrats vote for one over another in a Primary election? I say let them battle it out in those elections that aren't winner take all.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bass signs up!

This weekend the Bass campaign went ahead and put up some signs. Hundreds actually. There were many volunteers in this process. Thanks you all! Now, back to the door knocking.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Potential Freshwater Tissue employees please respond!

The Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) local 49 had a lively well attended general meeting tonight and we need some help. If you worked at Evergreen Pulp and have the desire to work for Freshwater Tissue in the near future, please e-mail me with your current address and phone number. I would suggest that to former salary workers also.

Local 49 Standing Committee Representatives have talked to Freshwater CEO Bob Simpson and have had positive response. Bob is hoping for the return of 65% of the past labor force, and would like for us to identify them before/during continued negotiations. The hopes is to have a labor agreement by June 9th! If Freshwater Pulp is able to garner a permit from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting on June 10th at Santa Rosa, Freshwater wants to start bringing back workers on June 11th.

This is fast and furious and just good news for many Vendors, Longshoreman, Truck Drivers, Sawmills, Harbor District, Dock Workers, Local Labor Tradesmen and the many unemployed Humboldt County residents who can be a part of an environmentally friendly project on a huge "Green" stage.

Good luck to Bob Simpson and Freshwater Tissue!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Robin on the ballot last for Humboldt County Democratic Central Commitee! How do they decide that anyways?

The way make the decision on what ballot designation, or where you are placed order wise on a ballot is called a "Random Alphabet Drawing." The Secretary of State does a drawing of the alphabet from 1. to 26. This year was 1. Y, 2. B, 3. N, 4. F, 5. T, 6. S, 7. W, 8. L, 9. P, 10. Z, 11. V, 12. X, 13. Q, 14. A, 15. I 16 O, 17. J, 18. R, 19. G, 20. D, 21. C, 22. U, 23. M, 24. K, 25. H, 26. E.

So in the county elections that are just by districts, the ballot orders are:

5th District Supervisor:

1. Ryan Sundberg
2. Jeff Lytle
3. Pat Cleary
4. Pat Higgins

4th District Supervisor:

1. Virginia Bass
2. Bonnie Neely
3. Jeff Leonard

4th District Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee:
(Voting for 4 out of the 5)
1. Bob Service
2. Pam Service
3. Charlene Cutler-Ploss
4. Richard Marks
5. Robin Marks

When you have 2 running with the last same name, the first name in the criteria.

In the County wide races, they do by supervisor districts and the order changes for each district.

Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The rain is here, must be baseball season!

It has been cold and rainy lately, so it must be baseball season. This is one time of the year that really gets under my skin in Humboldt County, the rotten spring weather. It also leaves our baseball and softball teams at a disadvantage as far getting on the fields to practice and play games. We need either all weather ball fields (think artificial turf)or a indoor facility (think roof over Eureka Babe Ruth or roof over any little league field in Humboldt). Anybody else out there feel this would be a good project for our community?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ernie Ghesetti having fun in sun in Deer Valley. Economy hitting Phoenix? Spring Training update and Eating on the road!

Robin and I ordered tickets ahead of time for the first time we have went to Spring Training in Phoenix. Robin had reserved a room for us at the Ramada Plaza at the price of $63 a night, but when we checked in, they had no record of our reservation and we could not find the confirmation number. It was late Sunday and we just wanted to get checked in. After a frantic search we found the number and it was verified by their people. Why our names did not show up as reserved was disturbing, but we got in. The motel cost us $118 a night last year, and it has went down hill fast. Used to have full breakfast, now in Continental. The bar is closed and the pool is not heated. The motel was nearly empty. The good side was that Robin and I had the pool area to ourselves!

Our first day, we saw the A's at the Mariners facility in Peoria. Nice park and the A's played well and won. Ichiro for the Mariners looked good. A crowd of around 7,000 left many holes in the crowd. The second day we were at Camelback Ranch and Robin was proud of her ticket score. Unfortunately, her husband asked for directions to the seat and misunderstood the host explanation. We ended up in the middle of the scouts seating and we were the only ones without a score sheet, radar stuff and notes. We were in the middle of the scouting section behind home plate! It was neat hearing their banter with one another, but after looking into what section we were supposed to be in, we were actually only 4 rows from the front, so we moved. Matt Cain was phenomenal and the Giants did not give up an earned run and Pablo Sandavol and Bengie Molina had 2 doubles each. There were only about 4,000 so we were witnessing a huge drop in attendance from the last year we were here and sat in record crowds. We watched the Red and Giants at Goodyear Wednesday and there was barely 4,000 people at this brand new facility. The Reds beat the Giants late, but not until Jonathan Sanchez went nearly 7 innings.

Today, Thursday, Robin and I walked for hours and many miles through the Phoenix Zoo. Around 80 degrees and many families and school tours. The Phoenix Zoo is privately owned non-profit that charges $16 per person and they have many huge corporate sponsors. They have a walk through monkey house (Think bird aviary) that you are actually encountering monkeys that have actually stolen cell phones from people. We were in the middle of the monkeys having a scuffle and it was crazy with monkeys flying around us! We later that night went to the A's against Giants at Scottsdale. This time it was packed house! Great crowd, and who did I run into? Deer Valley winter resident Ernie Ghesetti and retired Pulp Mill employee. He said this winter has been cold there compared to years past. (He is still golfing away in the Sonora Valley.)

Places ate at on the road and ratings out of 5:

1. Bob's Big Boy at Cabazon- 3.5 Had a great burger and onion rings. Salad was just blah.

2. Del Taco at Indian Wells- 2.5 But there was plenty of it!

3. Popeye's in Blythe- 1.5 Robin will not let me go here again. She had Cole slaw that was warm. I had popcorn shrimp.

4. Mimi's Cafe in Phoenix- 2.5 What is with the spice type muffins for breakfast? Just all right. Barely.

5. Lone Star in Glendale- 3.0 I love some of the meat BBQ stuff, but the salad was brutal and the bread loaf sucked.

6. IHOP in Peoria- 4.0 They have a smothered potatoes breakfast menu that is not to be noted by my doctor. Very eatable.

7. Stacker's near the Metro Center- 4.5 Local bar that is across the street from hotel. Everything is good. As near a 5 as a place can get.

8. Sweet Tomato- 4.0 Very good salad, soup and dessert bar. All fresh. And a Dryers Dark Chocolate yogurt bar?

Reality sinks in tomorrow. We head back over the desert valley toward home. Hopefully we are home by Sunday night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tennis BNP Paribas Open Championships. Ljubicic wins Men's Title, Jankovic Women's. Richard Marks tale of tennis woe.

Robin and I went to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden today to watch the Open Championships. There is two weeks of competition, with amateurs also going at it from all over the US playing doubles. We took in some great amateur matches that were quite spirited. 22 Courts and thousands of fans. We were able to watch Andy Roddick warm up before the match. It made me say to Robin, "What a narcissistic sport this is!" It is all about the person as an individual in the singles realm. I have always been pretty good at tennis without really working on it. I don't know why.

When I was at Eureka High I had a teacher in Civics that always wore a tennis tie clip and I gave him a hard time about it. Somehow a challenge ensued and he invited the student body to witness. The match was to be at the Eureka Indoor/Outdoor tennis club. Which he owned. I was a cocky 17 year old that thought I would just over power him and was confident I would give him all he could handle. I was soooooo wrong. Ellis Williamson just destroyed me to the point of embarrassment and I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the year. (Ellis at the time was one of the top ranked 50 year old players in the world. My bad!)

The Women's Championship pitted 19 year old Caroline Wozniacki against Jelena Jankovic. Jelena was dominate for this match and was very gracious in victory and Caroline has now moved to 2nd in the world even though she lost. Fun to watch.

We were hoping that Andy Roddick could outplay Ivan Ljubicic to give a US player a victory, but Ivan won hearts with his hard play (And 20 aces) it was a great match to watch. There is not a bad seat at Indian Wells, and what a great organized event!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cabazon Outlet adventures. How many are just ripped off?

Robin and I are on the way to our yearly Spring training destination of Phoenix and stopped at the Cabazon Outlets near Palm Springs. (First we ate at Bob's Big Boy.) There was a huge crowd there. No sign of a recession at this place. I picked up some softball equipment I can not purchase locally at one of the outlets and waited in a long line for help. The cashier totaled my purchase and said "4 hundred and ..." I said "Whoa, no, no!" She looked at me disgustedly and retotaled slowly the purchases and said $189. I said, "That is a lot better than over $400!" She looked at me puzzled and said, "That is not what I said!" I didn't want to argue, but I then wondered how many people shopping at these outlets are over charged. This outlet is a melting pot of cultures. Many Asians, Latinos, Europeans and of course, Americans from all corners of the US. They actually do announcements in various languages to help direct shoppers.

We are staying in Indian Wells tonight and will drive the desert tomorrow. (I was able to barter a price of $99 at a motel going for $209 a night. Great Suite with kitchenette and Couch. Sweet! It will be harder in Phoenix, but Robin has some ideas. She bought tickets for games.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Softball News. Blue Lake League.

The City of Blue Lake is hosting a Sunday only league starting May 2nd and running into June. They will not play Memorial Weekend. Each Sunday each team will play a doubleheader. League costs are $420 per team. First come first served registration starts on Monday the 24th at 9am at Blue Lake City Hall.

I am hoping that Mad River Softball Association will either host either a Saturday or Sunday League starting April 24. Any potential takers?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Robin Marks vs. Richard Marks.

No, we are not going through a divorce. We are running against/or with each other for one of the four available Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) seats in the 4th Supervisor District. I am currently seated as are Bob and Pam Service and Charlene Cutler-Ploss. Robin has been an Associate Member and my Proxy in the past and really would like to be a voting member and was coaxed by another member (not me) to run. So here we go, 4 people running for 5 positions. One of the Marks couple might not make it. If that happens, I won't mind being an Associate and being Robin's Proxy. There might also be an election in the 3rd District for HCDCC if all the people who pulled out paperwork do run.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Clash of the cultures and races.

I had one of those moments the other day that I just did not know how to resolve and the issue of true real life circumstance came forward. I had taken my sister Mary grocery shopping and was heading to Eureka Natural Foods when my cell phone rang while turning on Central between Safeway and CVS toward Henderson. I pulled over heading north to answer the call. While I was talking to the person calling me, a white small station wagon edged through the stop sign and clipped a black small car turning onto Central with a small child in the back. The white car drove past the car and I thought they would just keep going, but they stopped at the Donut King and the little black car pulled over near the same. While I was on the cell phone, I saw they were arguing with each other. So I ended the call and went across the street to talk to both. The black car that was hit had a young Latino woman who had her daughter in the back seat and had taken the brunt of the damage. Her rear back panel was pushed in and the white car had little damage as she hit the black car with her bumper. When I walked up to the Latino women, she was distraught and asked me, ¿Usted habla español? (Do you speak Spanish?) I told her "Poco" (A little) and she explained in Spanish ¡Daba vuelta a la izquierda en la calle y ella me golpeó mientras que intentaba dar vuelta! (She was hit while trying to turn onto Central.) I explained her argument with the lady in the white station wagon that hit her and the lady told me that the Latino lady had hit her! I told her that there is no way that she could have hit her with her rear quarter panel, but she said I did not know what I saw and challenged how I or my sister could have witnessed this. We explained I was pulled over and sitting there in perfect position to see. She became uncoopertive and standoffish toward us and was yelling at the young Latino whether she wanted to have each insuranse take care of the this. I told the Latino lady, ¡Usted necesita compartir la información con ella!(You need to share information with her!) The Latino lady was in tears over the damage on her vehicle and the other lady had little damage to her vehicle, and she could see this lady was overbearing on what happened, so she got into her car and drove off. And then so did the other person that hit her. What a sad sight. Just a small snapshot of our cultural differences.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What's with the people writing checks?

How many times have you waited in line at a cash register, only to have the person in front of you rip out a check book? Number one. Why are you still using checks? Why not use a debit card or cash so you don't hold up the rest of us? And if you are going to use a check, please fill out the pertinent information while waiting in line with the rest of us! And then don't balance your check book while we are suffering through your ancient time transaction. Thank you. Now have a nice day.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) hosts fundraiser next to Eureka Natural Food! This weekend from 10am to 4pm!

I realize the silence when I write about Humboldt Domestic Violence. It is a uncomfortable subject, yet nearly everyone has some sort of this violence in their family. Anyways, the HDVS is hosting a fund raising event at the old Dollar Tree next to Eureka Natural Food on Broadway. Items that were left behind by the past Dollar Tree owner will go at way low prices. My sister Mary and I stocked the hardware, gardening, BBQ, ceramic, baby, shoe sundries, eye glass, home repair and improvement, automotive, toy, young girl and education department and this is a great chance for you and your family to take advantage and help stop domestic violence. The doors will be open from 10am to 4pm both Saturday Feb. 27th and Sunday Feb. 28th.

There are many holiday theme items that can be had at next to nothing prices. Please come out and help for this worthy cause.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Arcata and McKinleyville win Niclai Tournament.

The Arcata High Boys and the McKinleyville High Girls both won their respective tournament titles for the second straight year. One observation about the Panther girls team win over Eureka High. Senior Sage Romberg is the best girl basketball player I have ever seen in Humboldt County. She has weirdly keen court sense. She sees the the whole court, and is able lead players to open spots. You just can't teach what she does. And you Trina McCartney fans please refer to each players whole game. Sage can pass, rebound, shoot....she has no weakness in her game. And the other Panthers? They will win it again next year. Their bench just played solid. Lots of upside for the next few years.

On to the boys game. Ferndale was playing in their first Niclai final and seemed to have the jitters playing before a huge crowd against a huge team. They only scored 2 points in the 1st quarter. But they came back from an over 20 point deficit to challenge Arcata in the 4th quarter. Tiger player Jordan Semple is my choice for MVP this year. He makes all of his teammates better. If some D1 school passes up on this 6'6" "2" guard, shame on them. But if he does play JC ball, please let it be CR and maybe a reunion with Tim Couch and Ryan Dehart and then move on to HSU. (This is the selfish fan in me.)

The Niclai Invitational. Dick, you would be proud of the event. Great competition, great crowds and good times. See ya next year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Home Run basher George McGraw passes.

George V McGraw "Uncle" George was born March 27th 1952 in Lemon Grove, San Diego and died suddenly at his home with his wife by his side February 7th 2010. Uncle is survived by his wife Monica and his two best friends and co-conspirators Martha and Margaret. Uncle was everything to George & Francine, Matthew and Lauren. Not a Christmas passed without his stocking hand outs and absurd gift giving. George had three families, the Barattis, Sears and the Babe's softball team, or as I called it, the cult. George moved to Humboldt County from San Diego in 1973 to work with the Humboldt State Baseball program. George started working at Sears where he met many customers and co-workers. So many have called to express their sadness at his passing. George touched so many lives in such a positive way. In 1982 George married Monica Baratti in their backyward. They were married July 16th 1983 because that was the only weekend that didn't have a softball tournament. They were married by the Haps Dogs manager, Lou. George's other family was his softball team's New York life, Loleta meat market, Mad Max, Hapsdogs and "Babes". George was so happy playing ball especially those tournaments in Chico and Redding. George leaves behind a broken hearted wife and a large extended family; Martha & Dave, Margaret & Bill, George, Franny, Matt, Lauren, John & Bonnie, Erin, Caroline, Stephanie, Hillary, Joe, Johnny, Father in law John Baratti and last but not least his best friend of 40 years Dave Frazer whom he considered his brother. In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to your local Little League Team.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sundberg official in 5th. 4 running for Humboldt County Assessor's seat? More Humboldt County political bits.

Robin and I went to Ryan Sundberg's kick off at Mckinleyville's Azalea Hall on Saturday. When I heard he was holding this event at this time and venue I was curious on what turnout he would get. He had it family themed with bounce rooms, face painting and animal balloons for the kids and basic hot dog BBQ feed. It was brilliant. A few hundred people showed and many kids who had a blast. Ryan has two formidable opponents in Radio businessman Pat Cleary and 5th District Harbor Commissioner Pat Higgins.

I also went to Mike Downey's event at the Warfinger on Friday night. It was a good crowd and had many politico's from the area. Outgoing Sheriff Gary Philp is emphatically endorsing Mike. Many law enforcement officials were there supporting Mike also. District Attorney hopeful Paul Hagen was there and has support of many "progressives" in the 3rd District. That has to be an eye opener to Paul Gallego's campaign. A lefty-lefty split could open the way for Kathleen Bryson and maybe Allison Jackson?

Ok. Help me with this one. 4 people are running for Humboldt County Assessor. I don't ever recall this office being hotly contested. Has current Assessor Linda Hill been doing that bad of job? Here is a basic outline of the job description of assessor: "Appraises all unsecured property annually; appraises secured property at time of transfer, plus all new construction; prepares tax roll and delivers it to the County Auditor yearly; keeps records of taxable property." Why is there a crowded field? Will Assistant Assessor Mari Wilson be able to solve the issues in the department, or is she considered part of the problem? And what is the perceived problems? It all just leaves me wondering. Others who will most likely be in the race are Mari, Johanna Rodoni, (Johanna was at Mike Downey and Ryan Sundberg events and talking to many people.) John Brook and Keith Nord. Anyone else?