You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

Laytonville to Redcrest is out. Latest estimate for restoration is 11 to 1 tomorrow.

My 2-year-old wanted to watch the Wiggles last night. We tried to explain that there was no electricity and that’s why the lights were out. Her response was to grab a flashlight, turn it on and say “flashlight work!”

Good point really.

We don’t have a generator. Redway was buzzing with them last night, all through the night. Annoying. I would support an ordinance that required that they be encased in some kind of sound barrier.

I may not post again until tomorrow night.

Update: Unbeknownst to me as I was typing the post from the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka (we’re waiting on a jury in a fairly large case) the power in Redway had been on for about 20 minutes. As I was driving home this evening the power remained out from Weott to Phillipsville. The lights were on at the Hooker Creek Road exit.

The dreariness of Sohum life of late as reflected in events, illness, and the weather; it’s no surprise to me that even the kids are feeling it. Take the following testimonial from my son today, who has been out of his classroom for two weeks due to sickness and the school winter break. The blues hit him at lunch time. When I picked him up, he shared the story:

“At lunch we always bus our dishes and then we’re excused to play. I finished and bussed, but nobody excused me. Then (one of the teachers) asked me if I finished and I said yes. I guess he sort of excused me. It was weird.”


The Reggae wars continued on a very lively episode of Politically Correct Week in Review on KMUD tonight. Paul Encimer is distributing a petition for the Planning Commission, I assume to be delivered at Thursday’s meeting. I didn’t quite catch what was on the petition.

The Nohum folk at the meeting aren’t going to know what hit them. I suspect that both sides are going to attempt some parliamentary maneuvers, which I’ll discuss as we get closer to the meeting.

Meanwhile, on Bob’s blog, Andy Barnett attempts to introduce some dark humor to the craziness. Makes me even more sorry that I almost caused an accident with him a few weeks ago.


Meanwhile, it may not be as sexy as the Reggae conflict, but 46 nations got together in Oslo to push for a ban on cluster bombs. The three major powers, Russia, China, and the United States blew the conference off. Japan, Poland, and Romania attended but refused to sign. Surprisingly, countries which had opposed such a treaty were turned around, including Canada, Germany, and Britain.

Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles which scatter them over vast areas, with some failing to explode immediately. The unexploded bomblets can then lie dormant for years after conflicts end until they are disturbed, often by children attracted by their small size and bright colors.

We are also on record opposing the ban of landmines, also rich in “collateral damage.” Our excuse is the defense of South Korea against the North. In this case, the US isn’t really arguing the point. Instead we’re just complaining about the forum itself.


Earlier on this blog somebody opined that there may be more of a story to the recent Hurwitz visit, and some posters have implied that there was a visit with the Rob Arkley. Perhaps fanning those flames of speculation it turns out that Nancy Fleming, the runner-up in the 4th District Supervisor race supported by Arkley, is the new Rio Dell City Manager.

So where is the Scotia annexation proposal at these days anyway?


Two global warming op-eds in recent Eureka Reporter editions. This one says that the earth is cooling – when you compare the climate to that of 75 million years ago. The writers suggests you look it all up on the Internet.

A second piece says that the measurements around the globe over the past 100 years indicate neither cooling nor warming. Then something about 2 party systems not being in the Constitution nor democracy. And Communists control capital in Communist countries.

I’m convinced.


Do you know what a Soroptimist is? Someone who’s in physical pain, but with a positive outlook on life.

Yeah, I’ll keep my dayjob.


You know Nancy Pelosi is making a difference when…. well, read it for yourself.


With Al Gore getting all the Academy Awards attention for the documentaries, another film is slipping under the radar. I haven’t seen it yet, but another nomination is reviewed here. It essentially explains why Mr. Smith can’t get to Washington in today’s lobbyist-dominated political climate. The film, Can Mr. Smith Get To Washington Anymore?, has its own website here.


A former Mother Jones editor finds religion and tells the Chronicle about it. It’s not clear from the article whether her wife shares her new faith.

Meanwhile, another woman’s conduit to the world from God is being plugged up by San Mateo authorities.

The man says, “Get out of here
I’ll tear you limb from limb”
I said, “You know they refused Jesus, too”
He said, “You’re not Him
Get out of here before I break your bones
I ain’t your pop”
I decided to have him arrested
And I went looking for a cop



Back in my Socialist Workers Party days (also known as my junior year in high school) I met this older African American man who was briefly famous for being quoted in the national media during the early 70s as saying “No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.” Well, Kenneth Eng isn’t Vietnamese, but a recent column of his entitled “Why I hate Blacks” published in a prominent newspaper in San Francisco might undermine the whole theme. Can you feel the love?

Anybody seen Crash? I had some problems with the movie, but I’ll watch anything with Jennifer Esposito, who is easily the sexiest woman in Hollywood.


I could use a cruise about now. Can’t swing it at the moment, but I can live it vicariously through our own Ed Denson. He’s cruising Mexico and blogging about it.


Photo source.

Sohum lost a very colorful human being this morning. Chris Mayner was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. He had been having some serious health problems. Apparently he passed away in his sleep.

He’s survived by his life partner Patrick.

I didn’t know Chris well, but he was a client of mine. I had worked with him several times at KMUD. I really enjoyed his music selections. He was a lovable character from my experience.

I’m borrowing the photo from KMUD’s website. Chris is on the left, Daveau (also deceased) on the right.

Apparently, he made a bit of a stir at the Academy Awards last night.

From the Nation:

Gore’s main appearance of the night came when the former vice president joined actor Leonardo DiCaprio for one of those deliberately hokey Oscar night versions of a public service announcement.

Ostensibly, they were at the podium to tell the viewing audience that, in DiCaprio’s words, “this show has officially gone green.”

“Which means,” Gore chimed in, “that environmentally intelligent practices have been integrated fully into every aspect of the planning and production of these academy awards. And you know what? It is not as hard as you might think. We have a long way to go, but all of us can do something in our own lives to make a difference.”

After steering the curious to for environmental tips from the Academy and the National Resources Defense Council, DiCaprio got down to the meat of the moment, declaring, “Now, although our time is almost up, I want to say I’m very proud to be standing next to such an inspirational leader in the fight against global warming. You are a true champion for the cause, Mr. Gore.”

“Now,” DiCaprio continued, “are you sure, are you positive that all this hard work hasn’t inspired you to make any other kind of major, major announcement to the world here tonight?”

Smiling like the Cheshire Cat that he can be for at least a few more months, Gore said, “Well, I do appreciate that, Leo. And I’m kind of surprised at the feelings welling up here actually. You’ve been very convincing. Even though I honestly had not planned on doing this, I guess with a billion people watching, it’s as good as time as any. So, my fellow Americans, I’m going to take this opportunity right here and now to formally announce my intention…”

The music that stirs up when a stunt-double-thanking winner goes on just a little too long roared up, silencing Gore, who exited the stage to laughter and more, much more, applause.


A nice show yesterday afternoon. They’re getting older, and emphasizing theater over acrobatics. It was a lot of fun.

The occasional political humor drew a mixed response – awkward silence with scattered applause. There was a joke about Iraq that I didn’t quite pick up due to the little two-year-old distraction sitting next to me, which drew the aforementioned response and an “oh nice!” from a woman across the aisle, and a responsive “oh, stupid!” from a cranky woman right behind me. Such is cultural life in the “purple state” of Humboldt.

The whole family went with friends. Even my two-year-old watched part of it. She was engaged for a good 45 minutes before losing attention, which is longer than I’d expected. I wasn’t certain bringing her was even appropriate, but tickets were gifts from friends who wanted to treat the whole family so we made the effort. So I left early with her, while my son enjoyed the rest of the performance with Mom.

As I said before, the Arkley Center is beautiful and the acoustics are fine. My one complaint about the balcony seats is that they’re too close together. When my two-year-old can reach from her seat and kick the seat in front of her disturbing everyone in the row, you know they’re tight. I felt scrunched, and I’m not tall.

Looked like a good turnout, and I heard a lot of kids in the audience having a great time.

No, not ours. Theirs.

Posting this subject by request. Yes, I do take requests. Somebody sent me a link to this SF Chronicle article. It’s a bit tougher getting into Canada now.

I used to live in Everson, Washington, just outside of Bellingham. I lived about seven miles from Abbotsford, a town about the size of Bellingham just across the border. As I was about 12 miles outside Bellingham, and 7 miles from the border at Sumas, I used to cross the border to do some of my shopping. There was a butcher I really liked, a couple of great bookstores, and thanks to the Sikh population there a great Indian restaraunt.

Well, now I’d have to take my passport along with each trip. Not only that, but my past arrests for civil disobedience might actually prevent my crossing. The article contains accounts of people being denied access for possession medical marijuana cards, as well as past DUI convictions, fraternity pranks, and ancient misdemeanor convictions.

So was this prompted by 911 or threats from so many liberals to move up there after Kerry’s defeat in 2004?

If you want to know if you are admissible into Canada visit this site.

From Mark Lovelace

Free Public Workshop Offered:

Bankruptcy 101:
Understanding the Palco Chapter 11 Case

Friday, March 2nd, 6pm to 8pm
Fortuna River Lodge

A coalition of environmental, labor, and forestry organizations are presenting a free public workshop to help the community understand the Pacific Lumber Company’s bankruptcy. The workshop will be held at the Fortuna River Lodge on Friday evening, March 2nd, from 6 to 8 pm. The event is being sponsored by the Humboldt Watershed Council, the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, and other partners.

The purpose of this workshop is to help the public understand what Chapter 11 is, how the reorganization process works, the specifics of the Palco case, and some of the possible outcomes. The event will feature a presentation by Peter Clapp, an attorney with many years’ experience in corporate bankruptcy law. Mr. Clapp will explain the details of the process, what’s at stake, who the parties are, and some of the significant issues which have emerged so far.

This educational workshop is designed to be useful to anyone with either a financial stake or an interest in the Palco bankruptcy, including workers, retirees, contractors, and community members. The presentation will be followed by a facilitated question-and-answer session to allow attendees to further explore the Chapter 11 process and specific relevant issues.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Lovelace, President
Humboldt Watershed Council
(707) 822-1166

Thanx to Cristina Bauss for sending the report to me. I had to do some formatting to post it here. It also contains many typos, some of which I’ve corrected and some of which I can’t make sense. I’m also bolding the portions which seem to be of the most significance. Basically, the two main points are that the staff recommend that the proposal to increase attendance limits be rejected, and actually that the limitations be lowered. Secondly, the staff is basically backing Tom Dimmick’s legal position with regard to the ownership of the permit. So notwithstanding the disparaging comments posted here, Mary Anderson got it right.

The applicant submitted an annual report for the 2006 Reggae on the River music festival as required by conditions of approval for their is proposing to modify the Conditional Use Permit for the annual Reggae on the River music festival (the annual report and conditions of approval are attached). The approved conditional use permit allows the event to be held over the first weekend of August, from Friday through the year 2015to Sunday in 2006 and 2007 at on the 120 acre property known as Dimmick Ranch the and French’s Camp site (APN 33-271-05). Attendance is limited to 8,500 ticket-holders, and approximately 2,000 staff, volunteers, performers, guests, etc. for a total of 10,500 persons. The proposed modification will move the main concert event to the adjacent property to the south, a 120 acre property known as Dimmick Ranch (a portion of the former site east of the river will still be used for camping). The applicants are also requesting ticket sales be allowed to increase to 12,000, and w. With the commensurate increase in staff and volunteers, the total number of persons allowed at the event is will increase to 14,400 persons. The modification will also allow campers to arrive at the site a day earlier (Thursday), although the hours of performance will remain the same. They are also requesting the timeframe for the use permit be extended from 2007 to 2015.

The annual report discusses that many of the issues confronted by the event organizers and staff stem from the difficulty of moving the location of the main event from the French’s Camp site, where the event has been held for the past 22 years, to its new site at Dimmick Ranch. The report acknowledges ways the mitigation measures that have worked before did not work as successfully as they have in the past. The report describes concerns with dust, road compaction, hours of music, realignment of the river bars due to high water during the winter and spring, counterfeiting of parking passes, technical issues with the ticket scanning equipment, and a small fire caused by a bird flying into an electrical transformer. The report identifies the proposed refinements to mitigation measures necessary to reduce the impacts of the project to less than significant levels.

The annual report also contains an assessment of attendance levels and traffic monitoring report. The assessment describes the attendance within approved levels at all times except on Saturday, when attendance reached an estimated 15,888 persons, which is 1,488 persons more than allowed by the CUP. Staff has asked for an amended Attendance Report that describes the qualifications of the author and methodology used to derive the attendance figures.

The traffic report documents successful handling of traffic entering and exiting the project site such that minimal safety hazards were observed. Some patrons exited their cars while in the queue resulting in a safety hazard, and gaps between cars parked in the queue enabled cars to enter and exit from the through traffic lane, which also caused concerns for both the CHP and CalTrans. The report documents mitigation measures necessary to implement in future years to reduce the potential safety risks observed.

Overall the 2006 event appears to have been successful. Based on the report findings, on-site inspection and monitoring provisions and comments from involved reviewing agencies, the Department believes that the applicant has submitted evidence in support of maintaining the existing mitigation measures and operational restrictions with some adjustments as described in the annual report and in the staff report. This notwithstanding, deficiencies noted in the agency comments, in particular, failure to satisfy all Division of Environmental Health (DEH) permit requirements, must be corrected prior to initiation of the 2007 event. Further, staff is recommending that the “Consolidated Event Operations Plan” as described in the DEH memorandum dated November 29, 2006 be made part of the DEH clearance review step as described in Condition A.3 of the Conditions of Approval (COA).

Given that the independent third-party attendance report shows that the concert limit “cap” was exceeded during the 2006 event (Saturday August 5th) by almost 1,500 persons, staff has concerns over permitting the increase in attendance levels of 2,500 additional persons as requested. If current measures cannot maintain the attendance levels, staff believes that the appropriate response would be to back off of the 2006 limits to reduce the overall attendance by this “overage” (i.e., reduce “cap” by 1,488 persons), or have the applicant provide to the Commission’s satisfaction new measures capable of ensuring that concert attendance “caps” will be adhered to. The applicant proposes to conduct the event in accordance with the previously approved Operational, Mitigation and Monitoring Program established for the 1998 – 2004 performances, modified as needed to respond to the new site conditions and evolving agency requirements. The proposal includes off-site parking on four sites within 2 miles of the event site. The on-site medivac helicopter site is being moved off-site to a State Highway Right of Way along Highway 101 just south of the Humboldt County line, a location considered more protective of public safety.

Moving most of the event to the new site causes new impacts on the environment, which are described in the Supplemental EIR for the project. For example, the main entrance to the event to the south 1/2 mile so the traffic flow along Highway 101 and into the site is being reconfigured. A summary of the potential new impacts of the project is provided beginning on page 3 of the Supplemental EIR.

Written correspondence received on the project is attached. There have been several community meetings on the event in the Cooks Valley and Piercy areas. While several persons expressed concerns, the applicant has been working with them to try to resolve their concerns.

Based on the successful aspects ful past history of the 2006 event, on-site inspection and monitoring provisions, a review of Planning Division reference sources, and comments from all involved referral agencies, the Department believes that the applicant has submitted evidence in support of maintaining the existing mitigation measures and operational restrictions with some adjustments as described in the annual report and in the staff report.

There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to warrant granting an increase in attendance levels of 2,500 persons as requested. The audit of attendance levels at the 2006 event shows they exceeded the approved amount by nearly 1,500 persons. The audit does not contain any information about the qualifications of the author, it is unclear what the name of that person is, and there is no description of the methodology used to derive the figures. Accordingly, staff, absent a showing of an attendance control mechanism, is recommending ticket sales be reduced by 1,488 tickets making all of the required findings for that total attendance (tickets and event staff/volunteers) for the 2007 event be reduced to not more than 12,912 persons to align the use with the permit.

Finally, one issue related to the public hearing item that has received significant press coverage in the local newspapers is whether the property owners (Tom Dimmick and the Arthur Trust) have all the rights and responsibilities of the project, or whether those extend to the applicant for the Conditional Use Permit, the Mateel Community Center. It is staff’s understanding that the Use Permit is issued to the property owner runs with the land. There may be contractual agreements between the owner and applicant linked to the Use Permit, but these are not considered by the Use Permit approving the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report and the Conditional Use Permit application.

The first step in the public hearing process will be to take public comment on the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) and identify those areas where changes or additions are needed to complete the document. It is recommended the February 2, 2006 hearing be allocated for this purpose. The draft Final Environmental Impact Report would then be circulated for review and discussion at the continued public hearing on February 16, 2006, and the final product would be presented for review and approval at the public hearing on March 2, 2006.


The Planning Commission could elect not to approve the project, or to approve the Delayed Implementation Alternative as described in the Supplemental EIR. The decision to deny the application should be made if your Commission is unable to make one or more of the required findings to set attendance levels at any amount from a low of 8,500 ticket sales plus 2,000 personnel to a high of 14,500 ticket sales plus 2.400 personnel. Approval of the Delayed Implementation Alternative should occur if the Commission finds it necessary to further reduce the environmental impacts of the project from the levels of impacts associated with the proposed project. Without the benefit of future testimony that may be presented at the public hearings, Planning Division staff is confident that the required findings can be made assumes that under the same operational procedures as last year, 1,488 persons over the permitted levels will again occur, so we recommend reducing allowed ticket sales by 1,488 persons.. Consequently, With no evidence to suggest a better approach, planning staff does not recommend consideration of these other alternatives at this time. The Commission may also make changes to the proposed mitigation measures.

There is more to the report, but I haven’t had the chance to look at it closely. It’s not readable in its current format. I may post more later.

Addendum: Bob Doran has a great update/summary in this week’s North Coast Journal for you ROR v. PP junkies.

Really, it would be fine with me. From the Times-Standard:

A project long in the works to create a four-lane highway bypass around Willits may get locked out in the cold if the California Transportation Commission bows to heavy political pressure brought from the state’s most traffic-impacted areas.

The Willits Bypass on U.S. Highway 101 is one of only nine rural area projects that were recommended for approval in the first round of funding from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account, which is a pot of money derived from the recently voter-approved Proposition 1B. And it is the only local project on the statewide list put forward by staff of the commission.

But that hasn’t stopped the project from being targeted by urban areas, who think that money should go to ease congestion on their clogged highways.

I’ve been caught in that Highway 20 logjam on occasion, and it sucks. I even posted about it last summer. But I’m not so sure it’s an appropriate use of funds to save tourists 15 minutes of time driving through. I’m with the city slickers. They have congestion problems that are much more serious. I-80 in the East Bay. The transition from Richmond/San Rafael Bridge to 101. The 101 madness in the South Bay.

On top of it, bypasses can economically gut small towns like Willits, although Cloverdale seems to have rebounded from its initial havoc.

On the flip side, if less money was made available to urban areas for highway revision, maybe they would opt for more public transportation projects.

Combo of three factors: blogging, big community issue, and very small community – what should be a five minute trip to the supermarket turns into a 45 minute series of discussions.

There really is a dark mood permeating Sohum right now. It’s touching everybody.

There is no dark side of the Moon really… matter of fact it’s all dark

– Gerry Driscoll, as recorded by Pink Floyd


February 2007