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In case anybody was concerned that Humboldt County might lose its reputation.
1000 out of 7500 homes?! Seriously?!
That explains the housing crisis. Zoning anyone?
My son participated in the Jacoby Creek School sponsored “Fun and Glory Chess Tournament” in Arcata today. It was a Swiss format tournament in which each round pairings are determined by equivalent wins/losses, and four different age divisions play in one competition. My 6 year old son only won two of his five games. I didn’t understand the scoring system, so both my son and I were shocked at the end when he was announced as the Division 4 (second grade and under) champion. Apparently there were others in his age group who won 2 games as well, but his opposition was the toughest among them. So he’s basking in the glory of a trophy for his first ever tournament.
Thanks to Brad Morin and Jacoby Creek for putting on a fun event at the Arcata Community Center. He holds a youth chess club every Wednesday afternoon at the same location. I’m not sure of the time. When I get home I’ll post more information.
Meanwhile, my kid is floating in the glory. He won’t stop talking about it. Now he wants a chess clock. I have an old wooden analog (where the minute hand drops the flag) one somewhere at home, but I guess those aren’t regulation anymore.
Photo comes from the Easton Area High School site.
The back of my head anyway. My son’s in full view however. We were at the chess event in Arcata. A friend saw us on the 6:00 news.
We may also be in tomorrow’s Times Standard.
It’s the first time I’ve been in the Arcata Community Center. Nice facility, although my son thought the bathroom was “scary” because everything was invisible light automated.
Thanks to Jacoby Creek School and the Arcata Chess Club, especially Brad (didn’t catch his last name) who engaged a daunting task of trying to create a chess teaching plan with multi-skill level kids. It was a little chaotic at first, but once the grown-up volunteers and parents understood the program everyone bore down and I think most of the kids got a lot out of it.
In contrast to my childhood, I’d estimate that a fourth of the participants were girls. The ratio would have been higher if I hadn’t brought four boys.
Some of the younger kids opted out of the blitz tournament afterwards (speed chess can be a little too much pressure on them). Fortunately there was a great playground outside and… snow!
The drive home was a bit of a challenge, though gorgeous while we had daylight. I had four kids in the car who weren’t nervous about the conditions as I, and I had to quiet them down a few times. By the time we reached Scotia the road was covered with snow. By Redcrest it was all rain. Kind of an odd little pocket of weather today, because it wasn’t snowing in Eureka when we left.
At about the Miranda exit the kids started playing a game where they all stared at each other in silence, the loser being the first to make a noise. I kicked myself for not suggesting that game back in Eureka.
We got home to a warm house safely. My wife, who is on a remodeling tear, had torn away some of the gaudy wood wall paneling to reveal a pea soup colored wall paper with flowers and a kind of Currier and Ives version of abstract art in pattern. She actually likes it. For me it lacks context. Maybe if we buy an old plastic bread box and a Formica table with tin strip trim.
Update: Yep. That was my head. And my kid.
Addendum: We are also in this morning’s Times Standard.
There won’t be any security cameras on the Plaza — at least not ones operated by the city. The Arcata City Council adopted a new policy Wednesday regulating the installation of surveillance cameras in public spaces and keeping them off the plaza.
”I think it was one step forward,” said Mayor Mark Wheetley, adding that workplace and public safety will be addressed in the new policy, which will allow for the installation of cameras around City Hall.
The council was split on the decision, with Vice Mayor Alex Stillman recusing herself, but came to a compromise. Police Chief Randy Mendosa presented a proposal that allowed cameras in public areas, but council members Harmony Groves and Paul Pitino asked to have the parks and open spaces, such as the plaza, taken out of the policy.
So let’s see if this triggers a crime wave on the green.
For Immediate Release
ACLU Expresses Dismay At Arcata Spy Cam Plan
At the regular monthly meeting of the Redwood Chapter, ACLU Board of Directors today, local civil rights leaders condemned the 3-2 vote last night by the Arcata City Council to move forward with plans concocted by Arcata Police chief Randy Mendosa to install a high-tech surveillance camera system on the Arcata Plaza.
The Council unanimously defeated this same plan back in 2001 after a massive public outcry over the civil liberties implications of spying on local residents as they work, shop, protest and play in their town square, said Redwood ACLU chair Christina Allbright. Their flip-flop in favor of an intrusive and ineffective spy camera system will not go unnoticed in our community.
After several public comments against the plan by ACLU spokespersons and local residents, including former councilmember Dave Meserve, the City Council did agree to bring back to a future meeting a policy under development by city manager Michael Hackett. Thankfully there are members of the City Council such as Paul Pitino and Harmony Groves who see the danger to civil liberties inherent to this proposal. We thank them for their strong stand against a repeat of this foolish idea.
The Council also repeatedly referred to a 28-page page report prepared this summer by the ACLU of Northern California which provided detailed research on how public surveillance camera systems have proven ineffective and prone to corrupt uses such as racial profiling.
“Government-run video surveillance can radically alter the relationship between law enforcement and the public. By itself, pervasive video surveillance threatens privacy rights. But even more disturbing, the threat multiplies when government combines cameras with emerging technologies”, stated the report. “Surveillance cameras will not improve public safety, and limited funds can be better spent on programs that are both proven effective and less invasive, such as improved lighting, foot patrols, and real community policing.”
In response to the forthcoming Arcata public surveillance policy, the Redwood ACLU plans a series of public forums in Arcata to disseminate the report’s findings, provide an account of the previously defeated spy cam plan in 2001 and promote community input prior to the adoption of the new policy. “A diverse set of Arcata residents from across the political spectrum mobilized to put a stop to this scheme six years ago, and we were successful,” said Redwood ACLU vice chair Greg Allen. “We did it before, and apparently we will have to do it again since some of the councilmembers subsequently elected just didn’t get the message. “
Local ACLU leaders also expressed particular concern with the appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of councilmember Alex Stillman, who owns several properties on the Plaza and who even stated last night that she was considering installing a substantially similar private surveillance system at her own expense and on her own building, that is, unless the City of Arcata spent public tax dollars to do much the same thing. Stillman cast the tie-breaking vote to move in the direction of a policy that would by her own admission materially affect her property and her business affairs, said Allen. The appearance of conflict under the Brown Act and under Arcata’s own Code of Ethics makes it clear she should step aside when this policy comes back for a vote later this year.
The state affiliate of the ACLU has made their report, entitled “Under the Watchful Eye: The Proliferation of Video Surveillance Systems in California,” available for public viewing on their website, www.aclunc.org. For more information about the Redwood Chapter’s forthcoming public forums on local surveillance issues, call Arcata attorney Greg Allen at 825-0826, or call the Redwood ACLU hotline at 215-5385.
CITY HALL–The Committee on Democracy and Corporations (CDC) wants to implement an Arcata-specific version of Measure T, a county-wide version of which passed last June. To this end, the advisory committee is having a public study session with the Arcata City Council on April 17 to discuss why they think this would be a good idea.
The committee plans on presenting models from other communities that they say would strengthen Arcata’s democracy.
Also on the table is a revised Formula Retail Ordinance, which puts restrictions on the type and number of “chain” restaurants that can set up shop in Arcata. The committee plans an educational forum scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 from 7 to 8:30 pm in the Community Center Senior Room.
In response to a request from the City Council, the proposed Formula Retail Ordinance seeks to preserve a healthy and competitive environment for local, independent businesses through limits on new formula retail establishments.
No existing businesses would be closed by the ordinance, but new formula retail businesses would be unable to locate in Arcata until an existing formula retail business closed its doors.
The resulting cap on formula retail would be similar to the existing cap on formula restaurants, a successful effort that has supported local eateries and spurred similar actions in other communities nationwide.
Formed in 2000, the Committee was created as the final step to implementing “Measure F: The Arcata Advisory Initiative on Democracy and Corporations,” a ballot initiative passed by the citizens of Arcata in 1998.
Some topics of local interest for discussion.
First off, it looks like the county just can’t let go of the suit against Bob McKee over Tooby Ranch. Because I have clients involved, I won’t comment. But McKee’s attorneys having recently won a motion to compel the deposition of Second District Supervisor Roger Rodoni, I wonder if they’re looking for an appellate stay to buy time.
The Times-Standard article on the demise of the local fishing industry raises some questions.
Pellegrini, wife of longtime Eureka fisherman Paul Pellegrini, told members of the Humboldt Taxpayers’ League on Wednesday that she expects the fleet to continue to shrink over the next decade with stricter regulations and industry troubles.
So what are the “industry troubles?” Fish depletion and lower prices. She later says, ”the problem is the industry got really good at catching fish.” This is what my relatives who fish out of Crescent City also say. So the problem is basically that the fishing industry is over-regulated and out of control. Can somebody explain that?
Meanwhile, the Teamsters are busy with striking lawyers to the south, and creamery workers to the north. The creamery workers rejected the latest management contract offer. The lawyers are going to mediation.
Southfork High School’s gym improvements drew the attention of the Times Standard.
And in a story for which I’ll have more comment at a later time, the Arcata Marsh is under regulatory attack. Whether it is in fact an environmentally safe means of dealing with waste, and whether it actually harms the Bay, the Water Resources Control Board says that the system violates the law. Looks like another local public entity will be fighting a court battle. Seems to be an epidemic.
Not to take anything from the winners, but nobody should be elected to an office with 23.73 percent of the vote. Ironic that the most progressive jurisdiction in the county lacks even the most basic of Progresssive era civil reforms – the district election – yes, even in a town as small as Arcata.
Maybe also local progressives have gotten a little cocky over the past few years. And complacent. Is anybody talking about it?
Photo is from the Arcata Eye.
I’m hearing lamentations and chatter about the “rightward” move of Arcata with the wins of “conservatives” Mark Wheetley and Alex Stillman, and the defeat of Measure W.
Beginning with Measure W, the fluoridation programs are actually a triumph of post-WWII government initiated social programs – a manifestation of the very essence of liberalism and initially opposed primarily by conspiracy theorists on the right. You arent’ going to overwhelm the argument of 50 years of improved dental health in children with websites and tin foil hat based pseudo-science.
As for Wheetley and Stillman, they may be “conservative” by Arcata standards, but in 9 out of 10 towns across the country they’d be seen as flaming pinkos. They know they have to work with the activist community to make anything work, and I don’t forsee them turning the place into Fortuna.
I like Meserve, and I wish he could have pulled it out, but I’d say the voters of Arcata have made it pretty clear that they want their council to focus on local issues. That’s not a right wing perspective, it’s a practical one.