Monday, December 14, 2015

NCRA meeting December 2015.

At the December 9th meeting of the North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) at Novato, Marin county resident Jerry Peters was elected as Chair for 2016. Sonoma County representative Alan Hemphill was selected vice chair of the 9 person board. The positions are pretty traditionally rotated by counties. Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell served as chair for 2015.

Former North Coast Congressman Doug Bosco spoke for NCRA operator North Western Pacific Co. (NWPco) and updated the NWPco status with the Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART). It seems they are getting along better and not at odds. SMART recently tested the tracks for their trains at 80 miles an hour during a “Positive Train Control” program, which helps transit and freight coordinate to keep each other’s operations safe. SMART has agreed to put in some rail spurs as has DUTRA at $600,000 a switchback to help move freight cargo along the rail. NWPco garnered a new customer to haul 200 carloads a year of wheat grain out of Alberta. Bosco predicted NWPco approaching 1,000 carloads by next year. Hopes were for continued railroad freight expansion to Cloverdale in the near future. He estimated the cost at 6 million dollars and identified Mendocino Forest Products as a benefited customer. Mr. Bosco suggested maybe another future partnership between the NCRA and NWPco for another Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Harbor District in Shelter Cove today.

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Board of Commissioners will be meeting with the residents of Shelter Cove to see if they would like the district to take a more active role at the Cove. Meeting is tonight, Dec. 11th at 5pm. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LP Pulp Mill 1974. What was.

Old you tube video from 1974 showing pulp making processes. I recognize Mary Pawlyk, Tom Fenwick, Ron Ross, Norm Miller and Jack Hamilton. Any old pulp mill workers recognize any others?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Republican debate. Marco Rubio the best Republican choice?

The latest Republican  debate was kind of an eye opener. Bush, no chance. Donald, complete joke. Cruz, marginal. Carson, overwhelmed. I always like to monitor these forums to see who will be the biggest threat to a Democratic candidate. Marco Rubio seems to be the one big threat to the Democratic party. Whether the nomination for Dem is Hillary or Bernie, don't discount the Marco as a worthy opponent. Just fair warning.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Love us or Hate us, this Commission has done alot! Congrats to Dale and Higgins.

Love us or hate us, we get sh** done! I would like to address some misinformation and provide updates on what has been done the last four years.

From an economic development and job creation perspective the district has been on a path of growth. This commission continues to be successful in working with our elected representatives at the state and congressional levels to lobby the Army Corps of Engineers for the continued dredging of Humboldt Bay even through lean ship traffic years. Working with local exporters there has been an increase in ship tonnage volume by over 100,000 tons this last year and we anticipate double that next year.

In order to have local control over the process of regularly dredging our docks, the commission purchased a dredge. The last time that Woodley Island and Eureka Marina were dredged by an outside company, it cost 3.2 million dollars. The cost savings by doing it locally will save both Eureka and Harbor District millions.
This commission acquired the former Evergreen Pulp Mill with its many assets our community was at risk of losing, including a commercial dock, needed warehousing, ocean outfall and other infrastructure that would have cost tens of millions to replace.  The district immediately went to work cleaning up the site that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, was an “immediate danger” to the health of the bay. The Harbor District successfully worked with the EPA who paid for most of the work to safely remove nearly 3 million gallons of caustic chemicals which were repurposed by a pulp mill in Washington. In addition, we continue with our oyster pre-permitting project that has interest from 11 new oyster companies which will bring more jobs to Humboldt.

This commission has done much to help local fishermen. We created a new gear storage area at Redwood Dock Terminal 1 that cleared space on Woodley Island and reduced the price to store fishing gear. We recently opened offloading at Woodley Island for the convenience of our local commercial fishermen. Increasing maintenance workers has allowed for repair and upgrades to bathroom facilities. We are in the final stages of permitting a Fish Market at Woodley Island to accommodate small scale purchasing and sales of fresh fish right off the docks. Recently the District enacted a “Right to Fish” ordinance, the first of its kind in California that protects and elevates commercial fishing activities above all others.

We not only expanded our Fields Landing boat repair facility, we added electronic gates so fishermen have 24 hour access. The recent structure and environmental upgrades, including the repair of the onsite water treatment facility, attracted a steel boat fabricator that allows repairs to stay local. Fishermen are now allowed to stay on their boats while they are in the process of being repaired. We have also stocked the facility with repair items such as paint and scrappers.

The Harbor Commission continues to support the fish cleaning station at Shelter Cove and has made many environmental improvements in the last few years, including repairing the breakwater structure protecting the harbor.

This commission has provided opportunities for Recreation by creating affordable kayak storage units, and finalizing the permitting process of the water trails project. We accepted the maintenance and operation responsibility of the Samoa Trail Project. We continue to support the Sea Scouts and built a new clubhouse for them in Samoa, and support Boy Scout endeavors on Woodley Island Marina.

On the Conservation side, this commission continues the removal of invasive Spartina vegetation to help our marshes to be more productive. We continue water quality monitoring around the Humboldt Bay as well as Shelter Cove. We did a carrying capacity study for potential local oyster expansion. We have held Eel Grass mitigation workshops as well as dredge sediment reuse meetings. We have also managed a sea level rise study and were successful in managing an Aquaponics demonstration project on the Samoa Peninsula that grew fish and lettuce and is now part of a partnership with HSU fisheries. The District is also working with HSU on several renewable energy projects.

The District has never been more transparent and accessible. In fact we are one of the only local special districts that posts our meeting minutes online and records and posts our meetings on public access TV. Our staff is prompt and courteous with all requests for public documents.

Finally, the hiring of current Executive Director Jack Crider was a much needed addition to move the District on the right path – keeping services and adding others while at the same time controlling spending. It is hard to imagine how many complex projects we work on with a budget of just 2 million dollars a year and a staff of 14.

I am proud of the vision and accomplishments of my hardworking fellow commissioners and our dedicated staff and I look forward to continuing the momentum, moving Humboldt Bay ahead both economically and environmentally. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pulp Mill employees welcome to tour tomorrow 10/13/15 at 10am.

Some former employees of the Pulp Mill are going to come out tomorrow and see the status of the clean up and what it going on for the future. So if you are in interested in the tour, meet out at the old security gate at 10am.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Tomales Bay Oyster Co has too many customers! Humboldt could use this!

The Tomales Bay Oyster co is being asked by Marin County to scale back it's operation. They might have to turn away 500 people per day! Humboldt Bay Harbor CEO Jack Crider did a report a few months ago about the concept of a Humboldt Oyster Restaurant and we have drafts of what it would look like. I say lets move this project forward on Woodley Island!

Friday, September 25, 2015

CMANC Committee to lobby for 7.8 million for Dredging Humboldt Harbor. Over twice our current allocation.

I attended a recent California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference  (CMANC) meeting in Layfayette. This was my first meeting since being elected to the Board of Directors. What does CMANC do or what is it?
“CMANC is a consortium of California harbors, ports and marine interest groups. The mission of CMANC is to optimize California maritime benefits by providing advocacy for the maintenance and improvement of California harbors, ports and navigation projects. CMANC works with the California legislature and congressional delegation to make sure that California maritime interests are supported by the federal and state government to the greatest extent possible.”
It was nice to hear other ports issues and how they came up with solutions. CMANC is helping lobby for Humboldt Bay harbor dredge budget to be raised from 3.1 million to CMANC’s recommendation of 7.8 million.  Dredging spoils were discussed in the morning and challenges for beneficial reuse projects. Duck’s Unlimited representative Steven Carroll spoke to the need of mud in the bay area in a place called Cullinan. The issue is off loading the mud to the area. Consultant Ellen Johnck outlined a potential South Bay Salt Pont restoration project at Eden Landing, near the Port of Redwood City. Dr. Michael MacWilliams explained how the tide marshes will not be able to keep pace with sea level rise. Dredge spoils are targeted to use 40% in reuse purposes in the San Francisco bay. The problem? There are no off loaders available for reuse. No contractors are willing to take a 10 million dollar risk investment so this is a real problem for the future.
In the afternoon Joe Calara of the United States Army Core of Engineers (USACE) explained that 40% of all imports comes through California Ports and International trade represents 40% of the state’s economy.  Dredging represents 400 billion in US commerce.  US Marine transportation represents 2 Trillion dollars in commerce and employs 13 million people! $953 Billion Dollars in Freight flows in Northern California.
Alameda County Transportation Commission Executive Director pointed out 33% of all jobs in Alameda is goods movement related. His organizations budget is $320 million dollars. Oakland is the 5th largest Port in the US.  
Newport Harbor boss Chris Miller spoke to their harbor’s eel Grass issues. Their goal was to develop a more effective useful maintenance dredge permit approach; Independent on ecosystem based approach for eel grass management. They are going to use Regional General Permits that are developed to avoid unnecessary regulatory control over activities that do not justify individual control or which are adequate. So for the 11 to 15 ft that are being proposed as individual dredge projects combined stay at 16.8 acres, they will only have to mitigate or replant .84 acres. And each parcel owner can use their own plans for replanting the eel grass.
Port of Oakland Principle Assistant to the Executive Director Jean Baker gave a summary of opportunities and challenges of their port and how they are handling bigger ships that need longer berths, deeper channels and higher cranes. Even though updates on under carriages for trucks and better road ability, there is still congestion with ships backing up because of a shortage of labor. The port and their contractor PMA agreed with the hiring of 150 more longshoremen and the ability to have the “gangs” at full working capacity.  (There are currently 423 “casuals.” That will help the turn time for terminal operators.  The Port Efficiency Task Force is also looking into open on Saturdays. (Currently the port only operates Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm.) The Howard property next to Jack London square is being considered for a new sports arena. The transportation of coal through Oakland is looming in the future even though the coal industry is stagnant currently.
The Short Sea Shipping project or the Maritime Highway 5 project was less than a success with only 40 containers actually moved and the project being subsidized by Stockton. There was also the issue of strange floating vegetation that was several feet deep and causing problems in the waterways. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trinidad unsafe? Mugging today would say "YES".

I heard third hand about an assault and robbery in Trinidad today at one of the beaches. This lady had been going to the same spot for years and there were hikers and other beach enthusiasts around. She was knocked down from behind and held with a knife as the assailant took her handbag. The assailant demanded her to take her to her car and she totally refused. The person then just walked away. The victim called the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and was told that wasn't their jurisdiction and to call a county park ranger. They did and were told by the ranger they had had multiple robbery complaints lately and said people should not walk alone. I hadn't heard of any problems recently. What is going on!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

North Coast Rail Authority update 9/9/15

At yesterday’s North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) meeting the Directors had an update on Rail with Trail projects in both Eureka and Arcata. We actually granted the License permit for the City of Eureka so looks like we have progress in moving forward.  Arcata’s request for license will be forthcoming in January it looks like. Any progress is good progress. 

Local builder Kelly Martin came forward with a pre-proposal to renovate the old NCRA office at the Balloon Tract and lease it out. Right now it is just blight that has been ransacked inside by vagrants and has been a home to feral cats.

We had a discussion about a rail spur at the old Palco Fortuna property. Seems there might be a manufacturing outfit that wants to do business there and they just want to make sure the NCRA does not own interest on the property. (We don’t) 

Director Paul Kelley from Sonoma County shared a newsletter called the Western Railroader from 1956. Some highlights: Passenger rail service between San Rafael and Eureka resumed after 4 month interruption by winter floods slides and washouts.  Daily overnight passenger service between Eureka and San Rafael was replaced by triweekly daytime service. Rates from San Francisco to Stockton were raised from $1.62 to $2.12.  

Saturday, September 05, 2015

CR football. Same results. Where are the locals?

There are more players from Las Vegas on the CR football team than there are from Humboldt County! Why? Got me. I watched their games this Saturday and was shocked to see no fans in the stands. Why? They have been condemned! So they put some stands up near the west side end zone. I walked up and down the track following play close behind the CR bench. At the beginning of the game it seemed CR was totally unorganized, but they seemed to find a stride and even some momentum and led 28-14 going into the 4th. Then they fumbled at around the 14 minute mark and the wheels just fell off. I left with about 3 minutes to go and Monterey was winning 42-28. This team needs to find hero's soon or this season will be a long one.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Trails with Rails on the way in Humboldt!

The North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) property committee that I am part of moved to recommend adoption of licensing agreements to the City of Arcata and the City of Eureka for their trails projects! This is really happening! An update in the form of a presentation by the City of Arcata will be on the agenda for May 9th at the BOS chambers at 10:30am!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rex Bohn: "It's easy to throw stones, but not easy getting stoned!"

Actual quote by Humboldt 1st District Supervisor referring to California Cannabis Voice Humboldt's (CCVH) effort in creating county land use ordinance to allow Cannabis cultivation. CCVH was present at the Board of Supervisors (BOS) chambers to announce the closing of the 45 comment period they had gone through collecting input. CCVH is now targeting Sept 15th for completion of a "8th Draft" to bring before the BOS.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun(d)raiser Doubleheader! HDVS and Mad River Girls Fastpitch! This Saturday 8/22!

Nearly 100 adults will be playing softball this Saturday at the Arcata Sports Complex for the chance of wearing one of these Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) Championship shirts. The tournament is a fundraiser benefit for HDVS and the snack bar will help Mad River Girls Fastpitch. So if you are not playing, come on out and root for your favorite team and have a hot dog or cheeseburger to help out your community!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Train mystery at Balloon Tract! NCRA welcomes Willits City Councilperson Holly Madrigal.

First off, the North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) welcomed new Director Holly Madrigal. She is a long time Willits City Councilperson and lifetime resident of  the Willits area. She actually received mail from the Skunk train as a child living between Willits and Fort Bragg!

Now for the train mystery. Seems that the environmental issue with one of the locomotives leaking diesel is way more strange than originally thought! First of all, the NCRA has written records of the removal of all fluids from the locomotives years ago. And the new "leak" is actually new red diesel! That means someone actually put new fuel in the tanks and popped the tank to cause the spill! That is not cool and now slows the project for removal from Eureka's old town.

Former Congressman Doug Bosco gave a report for North Western Pacific, the company running freight in the southern area of the rail. Doug wanted the NCRA to know that the relationship with Sonoma Marin Train or SMART if you will is improving. Doug also said that the freight service is "doing well" and expanding. The spur extension to Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma will allow an increase of 50% in service capacity. An additional spur to Sonoma's Mountain Village was another positive project eyed for soon. Watch the attached clip for Doug's entire report.

(Above is a picture of rails with trails, just to give perspective.)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tax for what? You have got to be kidding me!

Wow. Out of nowhere I received this tax bill from Humboldt County for "Possessory Interest." Mad River Softball Association is being taxed for renting the softball fields from the City of Arcata on a arbitrary scale of the value of the fields to the tune of $32,645! No one was able to explain how they came up with that number or why we have never been billed in the past!

I am going to fill out paperwork to the Board of Equalization asking for a exemption for a non profit. In the mean time I was told to pay the bill until the process moves forward. WITH WHAT? The league is already on a shoestring budget. My whine for the day tastes bitter.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fresh Tuna on Maria Isabel! Woodley Island welcome!

There is fresh Tuna on the docks of Woodley Island Marina. The Maria Isabel is offering to fillet for $.35 a pound of whatever Tuna you choose to buy. (Tuna price per pound various. Probably around $3 a pound or less.) They will even seal it and walk it to your car!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) fundraiser and request!

I am hosting a softball tournament to benefit HDVS. I am also asking for help for new people on the HDVS Board. We need more volunteers! Meetings are once a month on the last Wednesdays of the month. Hence, there is a meeting tomorrow at 5:30pm. Call me at 445-3432 if you want to know location.

Monday, July 20, 2015

B & B's to be removed. Sad.

With the recent notice given to illegal campers at the Devil's Playground, I predicted people would vandalize the B & B toilets the Harbor District provided. Unfortunately I was correct. I wish I wasn't this time. Where else could they show their protest? Sad for all.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Samoa face lift on the way! Sandwellers rejoice!

The town of Samoa master plan has has a few new quirks added to the project since the original idea in 2002 when two local families of Dan Johnson and Lane Devries purchased the town. One of the new items that was kind of a surprise is the selling off of the parcels not expected to be in the mix. "Everything will be parceled, and everything will be sold." So The Cookhouse, Samoa Gym and the Samoa Block may have separate investors.

The Town might end up part of a Community Service District annexing with Fairhaven and Finn Town through the Samoa Peninsula Fire District. That has been a hot button topic on the Peninsula since I was a Director on the board a few years back. If there is much opposition to the formation of the CSD, the town will form a Homeowners Association.

Robin and I have lived in Samoa for 35 years. Watched much happen in the town and anxiously awaiting positive movement to this process. It is beautiful out here. I can walk out my front door and see the ocean and the bay! Where else can you get that?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Harbor Commissioners try to help Devil's Playground "Poo Lagoon!"

My fellow Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioners unanimously endorsed the portable B & B  toilets behind the Bayshore Mall to help stall the human waste at the Devil’s Playground “Poo Lagoon!” We had requested our Executive Director Jack Crider to work with the city of Eureka for appropriate cites and this only took a few days. The concern for the Harbor escalated when Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills identified how much waste was being produced per day near the bay there. Estimates of 50 gallons of urine and 400 pounds of waste feces per day which equals a Biohazard truck load a month essentially being dumped in the bay! I called Andy about our project and he endorsed the concept and hoped there would not be vandalism. If that happens, then we will have to pull the toilets. But for now there will be two.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lady-Fame. A fishing tragedy or triumph in Humboldt Bay.

If you lived in Humboldt County in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the book Lady-Fame is a must. Many familiar scenarios come forward and history repeats itself to many of us native Humboldt County residents. Times that were way more simple, but complex as far as the maturation process. Hard to explain, but when you read and touch the characters of this book, it is impossible not to reach back into your own memories and stories of the streets of Eureka. And actually there are multiple storylines that seemed to be shortened that were relevant and building that were cut too short by the time the end of the book comes and actually attacks you and begs for more.  Fiction or non? Doesn’t matter.
THIS BOOK IS NOT A ROMP! Pace yourself. There are many intricate situations that deal with multi personalities and scenarios that actually need to be envisioned at your own personal level.  There is a sophisticated level that makes this book a higher level read. (Think Carl Hiaasen reaching for Tom Wolfe or Wally Lamb level complication.)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

From BAZAR to CR Baseball to the Major Leagues. What Happened?

I have always worked. When I was 7 years old we lived in Petaluma due to an untimely divorce of my parents. We were broker than broke. I ended up working at a rabbit farm for produce. When we moved back to Cutten, Linda Rodriguez and I would pick any types of berries or cherries and plums and go door to door and sell. At about 12 and living in Myrtletown I sold either the Times or Standard on the streets of Eureka in between fishing off of Lazio's for Perch and Jack Smelt to sell. Then I had a paper route before going to work at Duck's market at 15. At 16 I worked my first union job at Bazar. I loved my job and would have probably retired from there but they closed in 1978. So I went to work at Transamerica. A job I really did not enjoy. So I went back to school at College of the Redwoods to play baseball.

Again, I have always worked which left me little opportunity for High School scholastic athletics. I played Babe Ruth and JV Baseball at St. Bernard's but didn't have the time for sports my Junior and Senior years at Eureka High. Luckily I was able to play Joe DiMaggio League which allowed players done with Babe Ruth to play until 18 years old. I was a pretty good pitcher who absolutely loved to throw.

So I survived the cuts and was honored to be part of the 1979 College of the Redwoods baseball team. Co/champions of the Golden Valley Conference. I must have led the conference in chasing down foul balls. It was all right for me. I just wanted to be part of the team. And we had a good one.

Above that I remember: Front row from left to right, Can't Remember (CR), Tim Earhart, David Stone, Fred Gomes, Mark Suchanek, The Softball King, Steve Ross. Second row, #25 CR, Kieth Ambrosini, Troy Freeman, Mike Robinson, CR, John Wilkinson, Dave Reynolds, Coach Tom Giacomini. 3rd Row, Manager Jorgenson, Byron Busik, Jerry Johnson, Stacey Morgan, Mike Spini, CR, CR. CR.

I had a GPA of 3.71 for 17 units on the team and was on the Dean's list. That summer of 79' I started working in the mills on the Samoa Peninsula. Never to be heard from again..............

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Slumoa low life strike again! Freaking sandweller thieves!

My #75 rental garage in Samoa violated.
Ripped the lock off very vunerable door.

Some slimeball stole tubs of various tools, circular saw. Left Virginia Bass and Richard Marks campaign signs. Also have had many months of recycles "reused" without our approval. They come through our gate and help themselves. So how many of these little events not worth reporting are happening in Humboldt County?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day 2015. Thanks Mike and Dad!

My brother Mike and Major James Marks. At my wedding in 1978. Not too many pictures of my dad with any of us five Marks' family members through my mom. My dad served in World War II and in Korea. My brothers James and Roy served in Korea also. Roy and my brother Mike were poisoned by Agent Orange in Vietnam in the early 70's.

My family has a rich history of war participation. All the way back to the Revolutionary War and beyond.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Harbor Fork Lift swiped! $1,000 reward for it's return! Damn thieves!

Whoever is the culprit knew alot about this subject. They had to break through 3 locks leading into the Redwood Dock Warehouse below the Cookhouse. They were cognisant of the camera positions and went through the back Warehouse gate. Most likely they used a truck and trailer. Help us find and receive a thousand buck! What is becoming of this county!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

North Coast Rail Authority meeting 5/13/15. Billboards and Locomotives to be removed.

The North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) voted unanimously to send Cal Trans and Outfront media respectfully requesting the removal of 5 billboards between Arcata and Eureka. A letter was sent off in 2010 by the NCRA but pretty much ignored and Cal Trans requested the revisit. There were no people at the meeting supporting the signs.

Dane Grytness from Security National updated the status on the Locomotive removal on the balloon tract and offered to fix and renovate the abandoned rail office. All 10 items on their property will be refurbished elsewhere or scraped. Lots of positive things to fix the blight problem will be addressed within the next few months!

Humboldt Redwood is starting negotiations with the NCRA to remove or cover up rail on their sawmill property to make safer working conditions. They have offered to relieve some of our debt to them and promise to help with the reconstruction if rail returns in the future.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Top 5 Best Restaurant Burger in Humboldt County re-visited....again

Seems like I have to update this almost yearly.

5. Mike's drive-up: Old and familiar. You know what you will get…..with chili of course.  Real Malts.

4. Adel's: Don’t think I have ever been disappointed. Either San Francisco burger on Sourdough, or burger with an egg.

3. Cafe Nooner: Even though fancy almost to the point of fo-fo, really nice.  

2. Arcata Pizza: Out and out Burger might be best secret in county.

1. AA Bar and Grill: Has the best consistent Burger you will find with old time bar type atmosphere.

Yes, I know about Tony's, No Brand Burger Stand, Surfside, Pantry, Kristina's and even the Marina. One man's view.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Just Jewelry sale going on now! At Eureka Womens Club until 5pm! 5/2/15

Humboldt Domestic Violence Services has a Jewelry sale going on today at the Eureka Women's Club until 5pm! Come get early X-Mas presents for loved ones! Special thanks to CCVH Women's Alliance for their hands on help for the event!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Whale Entanglements up. But why?

Yesterday I attended the monthly Humboldt Fisherman's Marketing Association (HFMA) board meeting that had a few items that concerned the  Humboldt Bay Harbor. The discussion was lively and very interesting. There were 30 whale entanglement episodes off west coast waters in 2014 and so far in 2015 there has been 20. There has been around 200 since 2000. The upswing in entanglements is quite the quandary since there is less crab pots on a whole in the years since 2000.

What was really fascinating to me was the amount of encounters that the local fishermen have with these animals. They talked about whales using the lines to try to shake barnacles off their bodies and one fisherman talked of having pots destroyed by whales using them also to try to shake the barnacles. The fishermen also observed that the whales are not doing their regular migration patterns but are hanging around areas prolonged. There has also been a anomaly of "strange animals" in the water where they are not normally. Such as the big squid run close to Humboldt this last year.

HFMA is going to create a working group to study this issue more closely.

Other items discussed at the meeting was new zoning descriptions for the Woodley Island Marina and the new Fish Market that will be going in business soon. There was also the subject of gear storage possibilities at Berth 1 and possible future oyster themed restaurant. An RV park or Motel on the Marina was also briefly discussed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TS fires "Get Fuzzy" for unicorn cartoon? Come on!

Yes, I will admit that I read the daily funnies. Pearls before Swine is my favorite but I also love "Get Fuzzy." Why did the TS change to "Phoebe and Her Unicorn?" Is this another move out of Chico?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Everyone loves a Parade! This Sunday in Myrtletown will be a first!

Humboldt Greenweek celebration this Sunday! Lots of green subjects and music to boot! At Redwood Acres!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

CCVH Women's Alliance has meetings!

Believe it or not, women in Cannabis are not always treated as equals. This women's alliance was formed for women to gather and address their issues on small farm concerns and Cannabis related topics in general. Women should be treated as equals in all respects!

Please share with other women in Humboldt County that might be interested.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

CCVH: Love us or hate us we get stuff done!

While still moving forward on a sensible Cannabis Land use ordinance for Humboldt County, the CCVH crew has been busy raising funds for possible signature collection if we use the Initiative process of moving forward. But how can you marginalize an organization that is on the front page of the Mad River Union concerning possible Cannabis industrial park in Arcata, and at the same time on the front page of  the Time Standard and feature story on KIEM Channel 3 reporting that two members of the California Tax Board, Fiona Ma and George Runner and their staff were escorted by CCVH to Cannabis farms with the  Drug Policy Alliance (Who are creating the statewide ballot Initiative for the state in 2016) and participated in groundbreaking dialogue about how to create revenue from Cannabis.

Things are happening so quickly and the non-profit CCVH board has worked so hard to get us where we, as representatives of the Small Cannabis Farmers, are being listened to by the major policy creators. I have taken some criticism in my role as Executive Director of this organization, but I am so proud of the accomplishments so far and people can not ignore the fact of many farmers are already getting permits that will help the environment. And who can argue that?  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Calling all volunteers! Need a good cause?

Humboldt Domestic Violence Services (HDVS) is looking for new board members. I am sure everyone has either family or friend experience in Domestic Violence. I would like to request your help in this important organization. Call 444-9255 and ask for Brenda Bishop and request an application to the board. We sure could use the help!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What's in a Nickname? Do you have any?

Most people I know have some sort of nickname that people bestow on them and some are funny. I have had a few placed on me over the years. Here are some and there history.

"Tooter": My oldest sister Kathy was said to be the first to start using this name on me. Don't know why. But it stuck to me to the point that all of my family and all who knew me (even teachers!) used this name exclusively. Most my immediate family still use this to this day! When we moved to Myrtletown when I was 11 years of age and I went to Lafayette school I purposely told everyone my name was "Richard". No more "Tooter the Turtle has lost his girdle!"

"Pooh Bear": Rick Mitchell was to blame for this. I was then 12. Some bastardisation of his walking around saying "I don't Care Bear!" and stolen by the Sugar Pops Bear. Still have some old timers from Myrtletown call me this. Makes me smile to this day.

"Dick": My co-worker Cap from Duck's market started calling me this for a few years. Luckily it did not catch on.

"Awesome": Brenda Hogan my co-worker at Louisiana Pacific came up with this. I think it was because I used the phrase alot in the early 80's. It held for a nearly a decade.

"Skid or Skidney": My workout partner and co-conspirator Ron Conley branded me with this. Married to "Stretch" of course. Came up with some great quotes for my 1998 Supervisor campaign; "You always get, what you always got, when you keep voting for the same old lot!"

Miscellaneous: "Mad Bomber" for basketball. "1978 Home Run Champ!" (It never happened but younger players in tournaments joke about this for the last 15 years at least.) And many derogatory names I won't mention.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Epic Hoopa Meeting on Cannabis March 10th!

There is an open public meeting on “Cannabis Agricultural Planning” being held at the Hoopa Community Center on March 10th at 6pm. It will have a Pot Luck for everyone in the valley.  Some of the topics will cover California’s 215 laws, Humboldt County current cannabis regulations and proposed new permit ordinance, National trends, Best practices and how to address environmental concerns and potentially establishing a Cannabis Collective.
But the hot button topic should be the Repeal of Title 34 Campaign.  
In 1999 the Hoopa tribe created an ordinance called Title 34 which banned; “The open and notorious cultivation of marijuana within the exterior boundaries of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation under the guise of permissive use in light of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 is unacceptable and endangers the general welfare, health, and safety of residents of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.”
With the Department of Justice decision to allow tribes to farm Cannabis with the blessing of the Feds, this is a great time for the Hoopa Community to take advantage of situation where cannabis is legitimized and the positive medical affects can be actualized.
 It should be a very interesting meeting nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Press biased against Cannabis? Apologies to Will Houston.

Very interesting on what the Times Standard, North Coast Journal, The Lost Coast Outpost and local television stations deem worthy of covering. (Not blaming the Mad River Union yet. I don't get that paper until next Wednesday.) Yesterday the California Cannabis Voice Humboldt team showed up in force and packed the afternoon session of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors while presenting a power point presentation concerning the need to regulate cannabis.

Why very little press? Got me. The TS did a short clip on the morning session headlined "Groundwater, Cannabis" The written story had no reference of Cannabis in the article! Read for yourself.  Our item has been on the agenda for an ample time. I spoke too soon! Will Houston of the Times Standard did a great story today!

When is the last time that chambers have been over-filled for an afternoon session? I can safely say, without the subject being a popular person retiring from the county, not very often.

Our presentation was a reality based synapse of the positive potential of having a written ordinance that protects small farms in Humboldt County and creates revenue for the General Fund shortfalls. . The presentation also outlines our concerns of trespass grows, water diversions and pesticides.

Seriously, if this were another meth, weapon, cash bust that included cannabis, all the media players would be there. Just kind of surprised that a agenda item of interest that generated a packed Board of Supervisors chambers would be ignored.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Humboldt County Cannabis topic at BOS meeting tomorrow 2/24/15 1:30pm!

The California Cannabis Voice Humboldt (CCVH) will be presenting a power point discussion at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chambers tomorrow 2/24/15 at 1:30pm. Let your voice be heard!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) update. Billboards & Locomotives down, Trail, Parks and THA up.

I had two NCRA sub committee meetings this past week and varied topics. Just thought I would update.  
The first item of the week concerning Property Committee business was a licensing agreement with the Loleta Community Chamber to build a Loleta Park Project on NCRA property in the Rail Corridor. The NCRA property committee unanimously agreed to endorse the project to the NCRA board as a whole. Emily Sinkhorn from the Redwood Community Action Agency and Loleta Community Service District Marcus Drumm gave details to the exciting project for Loleta.
The second item was concerning a billboard on NCRA property. The sign itself is owned by Geoff Wills and he respectfully requested reconsideration or at least a “trade” of sign placement somewhere else along the rail corridor, even to maybe another county.  He agreed to remove the sign and 2 others close by at the request of the other signs owners.  
The third item was a licensing agreement with the City of Arcata for the Rails With Trails Project.  Doby Class and Netra Khatri from Arcata Public Works updated the project and the Properties committee unanimously voted to move this licensing agreement forward to the NCRA Directors . This project will start in April! Only a few months away!
On Thursday I chaired the Trial Ad Hoc Committee and two items were before us. The first was a City of Eureka Abatement notice sent to CUE, VI LLC (Security National) to remove all locomotive engines on their property. The City said they would remove and dispose and charge the land owners. Security National representative Dane Grytness was present to explain his research and his willingness to entertain all resolutions to the issue. North Western Pacific Co. (NWPco.)  President John Williams had three different solutions to the issue. 1. Hide them somewhere else. 2. Move them. 3. Put a decorative fence around them. The City of Arcata volunteered to dismantle as scrap. The board will discuss this item at a later date.
The last item was to allow NWPco. to do the inspections for the “Speeder” train excursions. We voted unanimously to endorse this item to the full board.
The next NCRA meeting will be February 11th at 10:30pm in Healdsburg, California.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Ha ha. But, the toilet is there for a reason!

This is kind of a funny take of the B & B the Harbor District has provided for the Samoa Peninsula. It is across the street from one of the trail heads to Samoa Dunes. Yes, people are sleeping overnight and using the dunes for a homeless camp. Yes, they have no where to defecate with dignity. This is just a small gesture of our Conservation side to help the environment around the bay. Again, I wish the City of Eureka would move forward and doing the same for the "Devils Playground" behind the Eureka Mall. Just a small step in helping the homeless/housepoor conundrum.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lets protect the Humboldt brand and small farms. Before we don't have that option.

The Redwood Times did a story on a PowerPoint presentation I did recently for the Garberville Rotary Club. California Cannabis Voice Humboldt is getting close to have an Ordinance that is a completed document. There is a huge need in Humboldt County to eliminate trespass grows, stop water diversions and use Best Management Practices preserving small Cannabis farms.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Have the youth of this county lost the ability to organize?

This last Sunday it was nearly 70 degrees and just beautiful outside. I was going to relax from a busy week but got ansy and hopped in my truck to do something active. I went to the Hammond park with hopes to hook up with some tennis, but there were no people. So I drove to Hartman and Kennedy to maybe hit some softballs, but again, nobody there. I then hoped that by this time guys would be hitting in Samoa so I headed home. Yep, no one to be seen. So I hooped it alone at the Samoa outdoor courts. What happened to the younger generation getting out and doing sport stuff? When I was in my teens, 20's, 30's, 40's or even early 50's people were out and about. The town of Samoa used to be bustling with youthful activity. Now silent. So is Eureka. Sad times.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mad River Watershed worth 1/2 Billion in Cannabis revenue!

Scott Bauer, an environmental scientist with the Department of Fish and Game did a comprehensive study of the effects of Cannabis cultivation on the Mad River watershed and reported results to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. He identified pollutants as petroleum products, fertilizers and pesticides. Fish predominate in the watershed were identified as Coho and Chinook salmon, Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. He used Google maps from 1998 to 2014 to measure changes in the landscape. A majority of the farms were on private property, much on Green Diamond lands.
The study found that there were 14,414 outdoor plants and 42,512 indoor plants in 438 greenhouses totaling 56,926 plants representing about $500,000,000. (Yes; a half of Billion Dollars!) It was estimated that 51,233,250 gallons were used a day for cultivation in 431 sites total. There has been a 170% increase of grows in the Mad River watershed from 2009 to 2014.
There are currently 41 permitted water diversions in the watershed. There has been no comprehensive water quality monitoring due to lack of funds. There was a discussion of “Team” efforts by different affected agencies. Maybe have the Mad River serve as a “Pilot Project” for permitting and monitoring. This is an opportune time to consider regulatory compliance in the form of a Humboldt County Land Use Ordinance to allow a permitting process to do things in order. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Jocelyn, Papa and Grandma's little joy.

My granddaughter Jocelyn turned 2 recently and we spent X-mas with the little bundle of joy. She dragged me around the house and introduced me to her stuffed animal friends and read her books to me. I was surprised that she knew her ABC's and how to count. She identified numbers on a clock and loved to draw. Just made my heart melt. Man I am getting old!