Saturday, November 28, 2020

Isaiah Thomas best player under 5'10" in NBA history? Here is my top (or lowest) 5!

5. Wat Misaka: Maybe the greatest overall athlete on this list. Even in the Japanese Hall of Fame for bowling. 

4. Mugsy Bogues: averaged a double double with over a 10 point average and 10 assists one year.  And he was the shortest player in NBA history at 5’3”.

3. Spud Webb: Won NBA slam dunk contest at 5'6"!

2. Calvin Murphy: actually played defense too, besides being the Houston Rockets 2nd all-time scorer. Most of the 13 years he played there was no 3 pt shots! There could be a good argument for him as #1. 

1. Isaiah Thomas: averages 28.9 points one season and was just a great player for the Kings and Celtics. At 5’9” he plays with a heart of a 6’5”player. Too bad for the hip injury or he would still be one of the top players.  My personal favorite. 

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Boy Scout Scout Troop 95 raises the flag in honor of Veterans Day.

I had the honor to be invited and be present this morning for the raising of the flag at the Maritime Museum by Boy Scout Troop 95. I actually was a Boy Scout in the late 60's and Early 70's of Troop 79 in Myrtletown. Remember your Veteran's this Wednesday November 11th. And a thank you to my father Major James Marks and my brothers James, Roy and Micheal for serving our country. And thank you Don Hofacker for the invite!  

Friday, October 09, 2020

Humboldt County loses 229 million dollars in currency through illegal cannabis extraction.

So I read today that the Campaign Against Marijuana planting (CAMP) has eradicated 1.1 Million plants in California. But what does that mean to the economy? That is 4 Billion dollars of currency not in play. And that doesn't even account for the tons of processed weed that was taken during the raids. (And not accounting for asset forfeiture which might double that number!) And half of these totals are from Public lands. In Humboldt County alone the loss to the economy is 229 million! That is cars not purchased, restaurants not used, equipment not bought etc. It does bounce through our economy. And what about the water consumed? Those plants just in Humboldt that were eradicated used 62 million gallons of water. That is 11,018 truck loads. I am not making a social statement here, just pointing out the effects of CAMP. And I can tell you comfortably that I am under estimating the financial effects!    

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Here is the candidate Ballot placement for November local elections. First one named has about a 5% head start!

Who are these candidates? If you are not clear, the first one listed is favorite or has 5% head start from being listed first. That is the way many studies show. But for our local elections? We shall see. Here is how the candidates will be listed this November: 

For the 2nd Supervisor district

😯 Bushnell

😯 Fennell

For the 2nd Ward Candidates in Eureka

😯 Shirley

😯 Moulton

😯 Jager-Wentworth

😯 Jackson

For the 4th Ward Candidates in Eureka

😯 Bauer

😯 Tuttle

😯 Owen

😯 Morgan

😯 Welsh

Arcata City Council

😯 Atkin-Salazar

😯 Zapata

😯 Goldstein

😯 Peterson-Jones

😯 Pitino

😯 Schaefer

😯 Matthews

😯 Yeo

😯 White

😯 Winkler

Monday, September 07, 2020

"United we Bargain. Divided we beg!" Labor Day without BBQ is bummer.


Blast from the past. No Labor Day picnic this year at Sequoia park. Usually there are hundreds in attendance and lots of food donations for the community. No chance for local labor candidates to stump either.  Another Covid bummer. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Hey Juan Barnstormers! The strongest foundation in Slow Pitch Softball in Humboldt County History! Greatest of all time?


This pic is from 2004 if I am not mistaken. This team has been playing together in one form or another since the 70's! Nowadays they have many sons of the players who have continued the legacy. I have been playing against these guys forever! There is no other team in the county that can claim they have won tournaments in 5 different decades! that's right! 70's, 80's, 90's 00's, 10's. And get this, they were considered one of the favorites to win Blue Lake spring league this year 2020! (It took a pandemic to stop them.) This team is and had been made up of doctors, lawyers, biologists, farmers, teachers and actors. And there is no other team that I have seen that had each opponent's attention every game! "We are playing the Barnstormers today, we have to be on our game! Oh man, they are already here taking batting practice!"  

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Has COVID interrupted Freedom Of Speech?

Thank God for Ray Hamill and his reporting Humboldt Sports. I do subscribe to the Time Standard and it amazes me that they are choosing to not update the Legion baseball action. The Eagles are having an wonderful season with lots of intrigue and personalities. And I am just talking about the parents! This is a special group that has been penalized by a virus they can't control. But why the limited press exposure from the TS? Who is making that decision? Just sad. But thank Ray for at least giving us normalcy in our life. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Humboldt COVID numbers don't look so good anymore. Should we put step on brake or gas pedal?

As of 6/26/20 Cases by Contact        74 or 57.36%
By Travel                                            27 or 20.93%
Community                                        23 or 17.83%
Under Investigation                             5 or 3.88%
Total Tested                                         10,526
Total Tested Positive                           1.23%

Humboldt's Past Guidelines by the Center of Disease Control to move to new phases was 1 positive case per day for every 10,000 people. 

So that target for Humboldt would be 13.6 cases for a two week period.

Humboldt has had 23 cases the last 14 days. That means we should not be phasing in new activities but either slowing down or stopping the phase in process. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

When is Collateral Damage too high of price for greed? Vegas is showing us.

So a few months ago Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman wanted to open Vegas up as a "test" ground for COVID 19. She got her wish as Vegas opened their casinos on May 29th and have been doing robust business. But at what cost? Las Vegas area had the largest spike 6/16/20 in cases at 379 and have decided to slow back their phase in plans. Did not take a genius to see this coming, but Vegas seems ready to sacrifice their workers for the sake of money. But when is the collateral damage not worth it? It is a pity we will find out. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Level of COVID participant risk. 10 be the riskiest. Some of my comments.

1. Bars: The most risk. I am in total agreement. I was at local with only a few masks even though the place was mostly full. No social distancing at all. And after a few drinks the distancing becomes extinct. Bars should have been the last opened.

2. Buffets, Sports Stadiums, gyms and churches. I wish there were buffets! None in sight. I guess I can understand the Sports Stadiums and gyms, but churches? Let them worship safely and in order.

3. Pools and Basketball? Why are pools not considered a 1? Is it snotty kids or what? Just perception? Basketball should be a risk level 10. I mean, for those who play defense!

4. Casinos, Restaurants, Playgrounds, Hair Salons, Pontoon Boats and Movie Theaters? What made anyone think to put Pontoon Boats on the list! I would see that as low risk. Movie Theaters? Am i sharing my popcorn with strangers? That could be lowered level also. Playgrounds? Snotty kids risk the day! Restaurants such as Applebee's? Need to be listed as high risk just like bar. Casinos should be ranked with the risky. I don't believe in their sanitation mist as a guard to people touching and wiping the screens with their lucky touch and feels on a machine. Oh cmon! You seen em do it!

5. Dinner Party, BBQ, Airplanes, Malls, Beaches and Bowling. I can agree with this middle type listing. Except Airplanes. Closed quarters and too many confirmed cases from airplane travel. They should not be open now and should be opened dead last!

6. Dentist, busy downtown, offices, Doctors, Outside eating. Reasonable type risk. I can agree.

7. Grocery shopping ,Golf, Camping, Hotels, Library/museums. Golf should be totally low risk. I mean just about a zero! Why has this been so regulated. Just stupid! Grocery shopping needs defined. Winco shopping? That would be a 9! And at the CO-OP people like to touch the stuff! Give them at least a 7! Safeway and Costco deserve a 2 risk. If you are talking Humboldt Library, they should be rated at least 8. It looks basically like a homeless/drug shelter!

8. Walk or Bike ride, getting gas. This is about as low risk as can be found. Put it down as way low risk.

9. Takeout and tennis. I sure hope that getting takeout is low! I have been doing it enough! Tennis? You are basically sharing the same ball so anything your partner may have, by the time you are done with set you will have too! Unless you wear gloves the whole time! Should be rated at least a 6!

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Mad River Softball Association potential start up COVID rules.

Steps needed for Mad River Softball Season to start. 

1. Still waiting for Humboldt County to rule on whether to phase in athletic gatherings of over 100.
2. MRSA board would then have to meet and create start up plan.
3. MRSA then needs to finish Umpire Association negotiations for umpires safety and pay requests.
4. MRSA needs to find new facility insurance for Arcata Complex.
5. The League may have to turn in COVID health plan to get permission to resume.
6. The MRSA need to hire a Field Supervisor to apply new rules and regulations.

Here is potential new rules. Failure to follow Mad River Softball Association new COVID guidelines could result in forfeiture of the league.

Fees will be slightly higher due to additional staff necessary for sanitation and sanitary supplies.
We hope everyone understands and complies with the guidelines and adjustments we have to make during these unprecedented times.

Adult Softball League Modifications – COVID-19 Mad River Softball Association recognizes that public health and safety is a top priority, and the Adult Softball League can be offered in a manner that adheres to health guidelines through the following procedures and precautions:

Gameplay Modifications:
· A “pass-by” line will be placed behind home plate. Runner will be safe by just passing the line before the ball arrives. This will eliminate contact at home plate.
·All bases will have force out situations. No tagging of runners. If player runs past the bag or slides beyond bag, the runner is out.
· The umpire will be positioned at least six feet from both the batter and catcher, and viceversa.
· Players will not line up to shake hands or make physical contact with the opposing team after games conclude. Captains will not shake hands during pre-game plate conferences.

Equipment Use and Sanitation Procedures:

· Face Masks must be worn by players from parking lot back to parking lot.
· Captains and players should bring their own sanitizing equipment to use throughout the game.
· Game balls will be sanitized before each game by site supervisors.
· Wooden softball bats will be sanitized before each game.
· Players need to use their own equipment such as bats, gloves and batting gloves. No Sharing.
· Bats will be tracked by site Field Supervisor in order to identify which teams/players used the bat on a particular day of competition.
· Scoreboard remote controls will be sanitized before and after use by the site Field supervisor.
· Umpires will be provided with sanitary wipes/disinfectant to wipe down equipment as necessary during games.

Field/Complex Modifications

· Team and spectator areas will be marked with tape to designate six-foot physical distances. If players are unable to maintain distancing in the team area, they are asked to stand along the outside side-fence perimeter.
· Game start times may be staggered to prevent large groups at the same time.
· Teams leaving dugouts after game must take all debris with them out of the park.
· Players must be spaced out 6 feet apart in dugout and must spread outside if need be.
· Teams/Players should stay in their vehicles until the previous groups exit the fields to avoid large groups.
· Players will enter the complex via the main concourse and exit between fields North and South.
· Teams will enter the field through the gate adjacent to team areas and will exit the field upon completion of the game via the outfield gates. Gates will be zip-tied open in order to eliminate “touch points”.
 · Teams will be assigned a staging area adjacent to the field but away from team areas for warm-up purposes. Teams may not enter team areas until the site supervisor completes sanitization.
· The playground is closed and will be cordoned off. Players are asked to not bring children or family to the facility; only spectator’s essential for transportation of players should attend.
· B & B Restrooms will be sanitized regularly by staff during play.
· Lines marked at six-foot intervals will be placed outside of bathrooms and at concession stand waiting areas.
· Signage will be posted in high traffic areas (dugouts, restrooms) regarding COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing reminders, and health information.
· No team coolers or cold packs. Only personal size coolers or water bottles.
· Site supervisors will enforce social distancing guidelines and sanitize team areas after each game.
· All staff, players, umpires and spectators are encouraged to continue social distancing on and off the field during an event.


· Mad River Softball Association and Arcata Parks and Recreation reserves the right to modify any rules, regulations, or schedules during the season to act in the best interest of health and safety to players and staff.
 · Understand that participating in a group activity may lead to a higher risk of infection during this pandemic. Participants agree to play at their own risk and follow guidelines set forth by the Oregon Health Department.
· Habitually non-compliant teams and individuals are subject to sanctions outlined in the Adult Softball Rules and Procedures document, including suspension and expulsion from the facility.
·No posting of standings and rules at Ball Park.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Phyllis Rex Samoa Townhomes opening in August on Samoa Beach! Affordable rent! Houses for sale soon!

Looks like the new development on the Samoa Peninsula is coming to fruition. Danco will start renting in August and should be full by December 2020. Besides the 70 apartments there will be 10 other residential type with a community center. For the town itself, Danco has completed 7.8 million dollars in studies and now there is a Community Service District in place. The sale of the old  properties may start as early as September. In phase 1 Danco will be setting up the infrastructure such as water, sewer and electrical underground to 65 homes on Vance avenue and then all the way down Sunset. The plan is to fix each of the older homes so they meet Federal Housing Authority regulations and become eligible for FHA loans. This phase will take 6 to 8 months. Beginning now through the end of the 1st phase, no housing on those two thoroughfares for Vance and Sunset  will  be rentals.

So if you are wondering what the completed old house renovations will look like, Danco is fixing the two houses on the corners of Vance and Rideout. The yellow 2 story is where long time Samoa resident and Danco worker Phyllis Rex lived. (Picture below) She was known in the neighborhood as the unofficial Mayor of Samoa. For years she also did daycare and served on the Peninsula Union School Board. In her honor, the new housing will be called the "Phyllis Rex Samoa Townhomes."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

And now Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Siskiyou get an Extreme Drought to deal with?

What it means to us in Northern California:

Livestock need expensive supplemental feed, cattle and horses are sold; producers find it difficult to maintain organic meat requirements

Fruit trees bud early; producers begin irrigating in the winter

Federal water is not adequate to meet irrigation contracts; extracting supplemental groundwater is expensive

Dairy operations close

Marijuana growers illegally tap water out of rivers

Fire season lasts year-round; fires occur in typically wet parts of state; burn bans are implemented

Ski and rafting business is low, mountain communities suffer

Orchard removal and well drilling company business increase; panning for gold increases

Low river levels impede fish migration and cause lower survival rates

Wildlife encroach on developed areas; little native food and water is available for bears, which hibernate less

Water sanitation is a concern, reservoir levels drop significantly, surface water nearly dry, flows are very low; water theft occurs

Wells and aquifer levels decrease; homeowners drill new wells

Water conservation rebate programs increase; water use restrictions are implemented; water transfers increase

Water is inadequate for agriculture, wildlife, and urban needs; reservoirs are extremely low; hydropower is restricted

Buckle up. Tough times ahead folks.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

SMART to take over Freight Service in Marin and Sonoma. The Great Redwood Trail inches forward.

Chronology of NCRA & SMART
     In 1989, the California Legislature enacted legislation creating the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) to ensure the continuation of freight rail service on the former Northwestern Pacific Railroad line from the national interchange south of Napa to the Port of Humboldt Bay.
     In 1992, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) authorized the NCRA to utilize $6.1 million in Proposition 116 Bond funds to purchase the northern end of the rail line from Willits to Samoa and branch lines in Carlotta, and Areata to Blue Lake.
     In 1996, the CTC authorized NCRA and SMART'S predecessor, The Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA), to utilize $42 mil. in state and federal funds to acquire the rail line south of Willits in 3 segments:
1.   The Willits segment from Willits to Healdsburg was acquired by NCRA;
2.   The Healdsburg segment from Healdsburg to Novato/Hwy 37 was acquired by NWPRA (SMART);
3.   The Lombard segment from Novato/Hwy 37 to the national rail interchange south of Napa was acquired by NWPRA (SMART).
          NCRA became the fee owner of the Willits segment and granted NWPRA (SMART) an exclusive passenger rail easement to operate commuter trains from Healdsburg to Willits. Conversely, NWPRA (SMART) became the fee owner of the Healdsburg and Lombard segments and granted NCRA an exclusive freight rail casement to operate freight trains from Healdsburg to Novato/Hwy 37 and east to the national rail interchange Lombard/Napa Junction.
          In 1998, following devastating floods, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued Emergency Order 21 which shut down the entire railroad from Humboldt County to the Napa Junction until the line could be repaired to meet FRA safety standards.
          In 2002, the California legislature enacted AB 2224 (Nation) which, among other things, created the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) to replace the NWPRA and set the ground rules for SMART and NCRA in terms of the shared use of a single track in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
          In 2006, the NCRA selected the NWP Co. to be its freight operator for the Russian River Division from Napa Junction to Willits.
          In 2008, SMART'S measure Q, imposing a 1/4 % cent sales tax in Sonoma and Marin Counties for SMART commuter service from San Rafael to Cloverdale was adopted.
          2006-201 1, NCRA used $60 mil. in state and federal capital grants, and a federal RRIF loan to repair the track way, bridges and crossing signals from the national railroad interchange (Napa Junction) to Novato/Hwy 37, and north to Windsor. The FRA inspected this 62-mile section of track and subsequently lifted Emergency Order 21, thereby authorizing 25-40 mph freight rail service on this section of track.
          In 2011, the NWP Co. began operating freight service under its 2006 contact with NCRA to run freight trains on the Russian River Division from Napa Junction to Willits. NWP Co. has continued its freight operations between Napa Junction and Windsor, under a 2011 Operating and Coordination Agreement Amended in Dec. 2017) between SMART and NCRA. In the meantime, SMART upgrades to the shared track were completed in 2017 to accommodate 79 mph commuter trains, and SMART revenue service from San Rafael to Airport Blvd. in Sonoma County began in August 2017.
Senator McGuire’s SB 1029
             In 2018, the California legislature enacted SB 1029 (McGuire) which requires the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the State Resources Agency to conduct an assessment to determine the most appropriate way to dissolve the NCRA and to dispense with its assets and liabilities. The bill requires  these state cabinet level agencies to complete their findings and report back to the legislature no later than July 1, 2020.The NCRA is required to cooperate with the assessment and to provide access to all NCRA records requested by the state agencies conducting the assessment. SB 1029 (McGuire) also includes Section 17 which reads:

"The sum of $4 mil. is hereby appropriated to the State Transportation Agency from the Public Transportation Account for rail improvements on the corridor owned by SMART and NCRA. These moneys shall be allocated to SMART for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from NWP Co. to ensure efficient provision of goods movement requirements in the corridor in the context of growing passenger service. Following a signed baseline agreement between the State Transportation Agency and SMART that articulates deliverables, the anticipated expenditure schedule, and reporting requirements, the Secretary of Transportation may transfer these monies to SMART pursuant to the provisions of the baseline agreement. These monies shall not be transferred to SMART for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from NWP Co. unless the terms and conditions of the baseline agreement have been approved by both the Secretary of Transportation and the Director of Finance. If these moneys are not transferred to SMART within two-years of the chaptering of this act, these moneys shall be returned to the Public Transportation Account."

SMART Board Implementation of Section 17 of SB 1029
• On May 20, 2020, the SMART Board of Directors took action to implement Section 1 7 of SB 1029 (McGuire) by adopting the following staff recommendations:
1.   Approve the concept of SMART becoming a Common Carrier and Freight service provider (directly or through a contract) with the understanding of all of its privileges, opportunities and obligations from Sonoma-Mendocino County line south and east to Napa River.
2.   Accept the additional right-of-way from Downtown Healdsburg to Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (20.8 miles).
3.   Authorize the General Manager to execute the "Asset Transfer Agreement" between SMART and NWP Co. in substantially the form attached hereto as (Attachment 2).
4.   Authorize the General Manager to execute the Baseline Agreement between State of California and SMART in substantially the form attached hereto as (Attachment 3).
5.   Direct the Chair of the Board and General Manager to work with Senator McGuire, other State Legislators, Governor, and his/her administration to secure the funding needed for the ongoing maintenance and capital project of the freight area.
6.   Authorize General Manager to file required documents with the Surface Transportation Board authorizing SMART to acquire railroad right-of-way and transferring common freight carrier rail operations authority to SMART for all freight services south of Mile Post 89.
7.   Authorize General Manager to issue a Request for Proposal to seek a freight consultant who would perform Economic Feasibility Study of the entire SMAR 1 owned area and analysis for the options to provide freight services in the future.
8.   Authorize General Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with NWP Co. to provide interim service to the existing freight customers until the Board has made a permanent decision.
9.   Request the Chair of the Board to assign a number of Board members and the General Manager to meet with officials from County of Sonoma, Town of Sonoma, First Responders and the affected Community regarding the future of the existing practice of storage of Liquidated Petroleum Gasoline (LPG) and report back to the Board in a future public meeting.
Several of the actions authorized by SMART'S Board on May 20, 2020 will require cooperation by NCRA to be completed. Initially, staff recommends the Board support the proposed SMART/NWP Co. transaction, contemplated by S.B. 1029, by taking all steps necessary at this time to allow completion of that transaction by confirming its approval thereof in the manner required by the 2006 contract with NWP Co. Additional steps by NCRA will likely be needed to assist SMART in fulfilling the above-described goals, particularly in light of the information and recommendations expected to be communicated by the State of California upon the completion of its analysis of NCRA's present and future, currently under way. Accordingly, staff further recommends the Board direct staff to undertake discussion and negotiation with SMART regarding additional actions in furtherance of the goal of SMART becoming the Common Carrier and Freight service provider from Sonoma-Mendocino County line south and east to Napa River.
At this time, staff recommends that the board take the following actions:
1) Authorize the Executive Director, on behalf of the Board of Directors, to grant permission to NWP Co., pursuant to Section Vll(B) of the 2006 Lease, to make such applications to the STB regarding modification or termination of service as necessary or prudent to complete the transfer of rights from NWP Co. to SMART with respect to all operations and rights south of Mile Post 89

Monday, May 11, 2020

When will Adult Softballers take the field? Seniors?

Softball Guys:

Here is what is happening with a little luck and hope around us in the softball world in Northern California:

Fortuna: Starting middle of July if allowed.

Eureka: No adult softball league in 2020. Canceled season!

Blue Lake: Canceled until further notice. 

McKinleyville: Mid August start for CO-ED if allowed. 

Arcata: Closed until further notice. League is doubtful. 

Samoa: Field is unplayable until Pine Tree rounds and wood removed. The Samoa Fire Department will be removing the wood for Samoa residents in phases. I will be doing some of the hauling to needy residents. The field will need lots of elbow grease but will be in the best shape ever thanks to Tom Marking! League in July I feel in the earliest.

Crescent City: They plan on playing league in early July if restrictions lifted.

Medford: US Cellular will be opened when the appropriate phase lifting their ban. Oregon Governor Kate Brown says at least until September! 

Now including Senior reality check: 

It looks like our senior softball league is going to be phased in at the 4th stage. We are just entering the 2nd phase and there are many bumps and bruises along that way. 

Phase 3 will allow church and other social distancing events that are not athletic. I will predict that this phase will start in about a month from now. Note that many of these phases have medical monitoring associated that will affect the timelines.

Phase 4 is basically back to real life and the allowed competitive athletics portion. This will probably not happen until the fall I am afraid.  

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Updated Humboldt COVID Chart Simplified.

Here is the updated chart for Humboldt COVID cases and here are some facts:

1. By Month there was: 1 recorded case in February, 20 in March, 33 in April, 3 in May.

2. Out of the 57 total 54 have recovered, 3 are active and 5 had to hospitalized.

3. There have been 3,043 Humboldt Residents tested. 2.24% of the Population. Public health has tested 1,190 and other lab tests accounted for 1,053.

4. Out of the 3,043 tested, a total of 1.87% were positive. They were traced to 20 by Travel, 24 contacted by people with virus, 11 Community contact and 2 under Investigation.

Let us hope we keep the numbers minimal through these phased return process.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

COVID causes Arcata to cut back $300,000 on one Construction project. How many jobs can the economy lose?

I work for the Construction Industry Force Account Council (CIFAC). (CIFAC) is a non-profit coalition of concerned construction industry associations, contractors and labor unions that works to ensure State and local governments’ compliance with the Public Contract Code (PCC). As a Regional Compliance Manager I make sure that State and local governments comply with the PCC to promote job opportunities, fair bidding and transparency.

The City of Arcata had a grind out and paving bid that was to be awarded to a contractor for $348,186 but the actual low bid was $609,000. Arcata decided to rebid the job with a new scope of work to match their budget. The city had lost revenue from gas tax shortfalls. Arcata staff asked me this, “Is CIFAC coming across this very much in other city and counties where COVID related revenue reductions are affecting construction jobs and bidding process?” I contacted my fellow Regional Compliance managers around the state and they said they were experiencing the same. I am now tracking the loses. 

Here is a comment from a Southern California Compliance Manager, "Some of the effects of COVID-19 will be silent, meaning that some agencies will just be postponing putting out projects for bidding right now. The downward loss of City revenue from local taxes and gas tax for transportation projects, will be effected, however, there is still some funding earmarked to be spent, that will happen for the balance on the 2020 year, some tied to grants, matching funds, federal funding, SB-1, etc., those projects will be completed, but going forward, agencies will be revising their budgets for the 2021 year, so I don’t believe that we will see the real effects of the COVID-19 until 2021!" That is a scary forecast!

California lost 11,600 construction jobs to COVID in March of 2020. This bounces through the each communities economy and has caused much financial damage. How much? That is all for the future to decide. 

Sunday, May 03, 2020

No Buffets? Now that is the last straw! Or piece of pizza if you will. Best past Eureka buffets.

No Buffets! You have got to be kidding me! What am I supposed to look forward to in the future. No softball. No hoops. No gathering of buddies and now this? I hate you COVID-19! Here are my favorite past Eureka buffets. It was good knowing ya!

1. Hometown Buffet-Oh I knew ye well. Stack that meatloaf on the potatoes and fish! Go back just one more time! 

2. Jalisco's-If you never had a chance to go there, you were missing the best quantity of Mexican food around! 

3. Kings Table-My son Jordan would grab his favorite Jello food group color only, but it didn't matter! Cheap grub and lots of it!

4. Angelo's Pizza-Say it aint so Angelo's! Just one more wing before I go hit up the cinnamon rolls!

5. Yin Cheng-Long gone but not forgotten.

6. Round Table-Even if I have to endure the heartburn afterward. It was worth it! 

7. Red Lion Sundays-I think it was the only time that anyone went to their restaurant. 

8. Sizzler-May not have been that great, but lots of it!

9. Kentucky Fried Chicken-You mean I could have the Crispy and the original? And any amounts of gravy and biscuits? Bring it back! Bring it Back!

10. Sweetriver Saloon-This was high living for us Marks family. No jello here Jordan! Go for the solid food! Pile it on Jake! You mean they will make my omelet to order? Whoa. Heaven on earth! 

Which on was your favorite? 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Please don't lay COVID fear mongering on me! Here is a visual fact! Good job Humboldt!

1. Humboldt had its first case of Corona virus reported on February 20th.

2. There were no new reported cases until March 20th. Almost a month!

3. On March 25th we started baring the brunt of the travelers who came home to Humboldt with the disease. Who is to blame for letting people fly into Humboldt? They had the right to come home.

4. On April 2nd we reach a peak of 9 cases in one day. All traced to traveling in groups as best as we can figure.

5. On April 6th we have 5 cases, then the trend roles down hill.

6. From April 7th to April 24th we have only 4 new reported cases. 53 cases in total confirmed 9 community transmitted. Only 3 have not recovered. The rest were travelers and other.

7. Humboldt has "Flatten the curve" pretty well. Check out the graph. 

We have been inundated with information and modeling that predicts death and destruction. I am not sure that is healthy in the long run. Instead of Humboldt getting, "Hey good job you all!" we hear nothing but the doom and gloom. 

So I am hear to tell you, "Good Job Humboldt!" May we all get back to some sort of normal soon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

COVID 19 reading if you don't have list already.

These are the last 7 books i have read recently.  Right now I am reading a philosophy type novel Tom Robbin's Skinny legs and all. I am also indulging on Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen about World War I era in England.

Just finished Blood Drenched Beard by Dan Galera. One of those books that you have to reflect on. Great Story telling. Love but no love, redemption where there is none, courage to the point of dumb. Lost found but not appreciated. A bunch of philosophical tie ins. Worth the trudging. But I will give it 4/5.

John Steinbeck- Grapes of Wrath. Still waiting for a hero long after I read. Just sad hard times. Grateful to not have been on this trip. This was a very hard read. A classic that I will give 3.5/5.

John Jakes-American Dreams. Love, hate, hope and passion both good and bad. I just love everything Jakes. Now this is an easy read. A romp actually. I give it 4.5/5.

Kim Edwards-The Lake of Dreams. And it just might put you to sleep too. Just a messed up young lady you just can’t feel sorry for and thin story-line. I give this read a 2/5.

Michael Chabon-The Final Solution. I loved Kavalier and Clay. This was a good quick read with lots of turns but at the end no real surprises. I will give it a 3/5.

Jack Finney -From Time to Time. I thought I would love this book. I barely tolerated. Just could not be convinced of the premise. So it had a hard time keeping me interested. Way too much historical detail to say the least. I will say it is worth maybe 2/5.

Elmore Leonard-Out of Sight. Caught my attention, hoped for the best all of the way through but knowing how it would end. I did enjoy, but not outstanding. I give it 3/5.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Greatest Humboldt D1 Softball Player ever. Hailey Dolcini. Baseball? Rick Lundblade.

Former Fortunan Huskie pitcher Hailey Dolcini recently pitched Nationally #25 ranked Fresno past #3 Texas. Hailey leds the Bulldogs with a 10-1 record this year. No other Humboldt County native has put up anywhere close to these types of numbers in Division 1 softball. She is currently 42-17 for her career with around a 2.00 era. 

But who is the best male Division 1 player all time out of Humboldt. Again, not close. Rick Lundblade played for Stanford from 1982 to 1985 and was MVP of the league in 85' when he hit 25 home runs and had 92 RBI's topping Barry Bonds that year. He is listed as one of Stanfords all time starting lineup and is in the Hall of Fame. Overall Rick hit 42 home runs in college and was drafted by Philadelphia and made it to Triple AAA. Rick is currently an attorney in southern Oregon. 

So there you have it. Hailey the best women's college softball player ever from Humboldt, Rick the greatest college baseball player.  

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Excursion Train or Bust? "You Eder Fer it or Agin it! It is not that easy.

My wife Robin and I attended the latest Humboldt Harbor Working Group and the Timber Heritage Association (THA) special luncheon presentation concerning an excursion train around the bay. The meeting was led by Randy Gustafson (of Stone Consulting) who recently completed Bay Rail "Feasibility Study Update and Assessment Report." I heard the report was paid for by the Humboldt Lodging AssociationThis report was to address program and funding opportunities to enhance rail use on Humboldt Bay. Topics were to include speeder rides and rallies, pedal-powered rail cycles, and excursion trains. About 70 or so people were present, as well as the Executive Director and three Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioners. All seemed excited to hear this subject matter.

Mr. Gustafson outlined the physical attributes of the existing line and complimented the Timber Heritage Association (THA) for perseverance of the assets around the bay. THA President Pete Johnston and his 400 volunteers have logged over 10,000 volunteer hours and are passionate for Timber History and especially the historical train element. The THA has been on the forefront of creating a “Rail with Trail” program in Humboldt that has been successful. Gustafson was clear to explain that our local track around the bay would only qualify for Federal Rail Administration (FRA) Class 1 transportation  which would restrict travel speeds to 10-15 MPH taking into consideration of our gauge of ties and condition of the rail line. Gustafson was good at showing other excursion train models and how they have used other abandoned rail lines that have rail with trail and no fences barricading each other. He also pointed out that there was a 20% boost in tourism when you add the element of Train with Boat like the Madaket

So everyone seems to like the excursion train concept and very little opposing voices seemed to be involved.

What is holding up this type of project?

Mr. Gustafson was just at this meeting to point out the viability. He did not address some of the blockades. Here are a few:

Legislation. Senate Bill 1029 (McGuire)-This bill creating the “Great Redwood Trail” requires the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) to undertake an assessment of the North Coast Rail Authority assets and liabilities and to submit a plan to the state legislature to dissolve the (NCRA).

Funding Source- There will be no funding or grants available until the process above is complete. Period.

New Trail Agency- There will be a creation of a successor trail agency with a mandate to facilitate the creation of interconnected, multi-use recreational trails along the NCRA right of way in Humboldt County. During workshops and Rail Authority meetings there has never been a topic brought forward on any agenda concerning an excursion train.

Proposal would be unprecedented- Even if a nonprofit business would like to obtain a lease or license for an excursion train use along the NCRA Corridor, on a railroad track way transitioning to state ownership the jurisdiction over an “active” rail line is in the legal hands of the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

Decisions have to wait for use of track- So basically discussion on the use of this right of way around the bay has been ongoing between the CalSTA-SB 1029 Project Manager, California Transportation Commission (CTC), Senator McGuire staff and NCRA legal counsel and all agree that until the successor agency is named, no new plains for rail use will be fruitful.

Nuts and Bolts- Mr. Gustafson was showing in his presentation how to build up levee damaged rail around the bay by using Riprap as an easy fix. He admits that process would have to be approved by the California Coastal Commission. Could be years for that process. 

If anyone is going to lead this idea of an excursion train, first do a reality check. I talked to my fellow Harbor Commissioner Larry Doss and he wants to co-organize a workshop and invite as many participating agencies in the process to see if an excursion train is even viable. I agreed.

Stay tuned or comment.