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Lost Coast Outpost – Hank talks to EPIC’s Gary Graham Hughes about his visit with the Fortuna Chamber folk.

I have some thoughts, but no time to post them right now.  I believe the event was significant in that it revealed some complexities of local politics, but I have a little bit of a different take on it.

-For Immediate Release-

Supervisors Make Substantial Changes to GPU Guiding Principles

Despite Pleas for Robust Public Review Process

June 3, 2013

Eureka, CA – On Monday, June 3, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors did an about face on the Guiding Principles of the County’s General Plan Update.  Despite requests from many speakers, including Hezekiah Allen of the Mattole Restoration Council and local resident Lisa Zystro, for more time to review a new set of principles that were released just three days before the hearing, the Board voted 4-1 to substantially alter the original Guiding Principles. The original principles were developed with significant public input over several years and unanimously approved by both the Board of Supervisors in 2004 and then by the Planning Commission, with a few minor changes, in 2012.

Supervisor Fennell, after emphasizing the importance of public participation, decided against giving another two weeks for the public to review and comment on the major changes to the Guiding Principles. Supervisor Bohn made a claim that he felt the new Principles, which were developed behind closed doors, were representative of the community as a whole despite significant concerns brought up by many members of the public in attendance. Supervisors Bass and Sundberg were quick to support the new language leaving Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace to be the lone dissenting voice.

In response to the outcome of Monday’s hearing, NorthcoastEnvironmentalCenter director Dan Ehresman stated, “The Board’s decision to approve a brand new set of Guiding Principles absent even a week for public review greatly undermines the very idea of robust public participation that this Board supposedly supports.”

Speaking specifically about the newly adopted principles Ehresman continued, “What concerns me most is not necessarily what these new principles say, it is what they leave out.  Specifically, the Board decided to take out all reference to protecting forests and farmland from further subdivision – which was an underlying concept that has community support.  Moreover, the Board voted to remove a key principle that spoke to the importance of including actionable plans for funding critical infrastructure needs.  Given vastly outdated water and sewer lines and a $200 million backlog in costs needed to repair failing roads, one would hope that our government representatives might want to take this issue at least a little seriously.”

The new version also eliminates support of the County’s economic development strategy and prioritizes landowners’ rights over the rights of those who do not own property and over environmental protections in general.

Ehresman concluded, “Overall, we fear that the Board’s decision marks a very clear turning point away from a meaningful public process that seeks to balance the interests of our broad community in favor of one that serves the self-interest of some developers, Realtors, and large property owners.

About the Northcoast Environmental Center

The mission of the Northcoast Environmental Center is to promote understanding of the relations between people and the biosphere and to conserve, protect, and celebrate terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems of northern California and southern Oregon.

For more information, please contact:

Dan Ehresman

Northcoast Environmental Center

PO Box 4259

Arcata, CA95518


Addendum:  Ryan Burns’s coverage.

I’m inserting portions of an email I received from Andy Couturier.

I spoke with Atsuko Watanabe, from Chapter 3 of my book (A Different Kind of Luxury).  She recommended two groups, both of which, she says, would be helped *tremendously* by a donation of $1000.

After getting two suggestions from Atsuko, I spoke later with my old colleague and friend Koichi Honda, who speaks excellent English and uses email.  His email is: .  I have copied him in this email.  His phone number is: 011-81-88-665-0758 Be sure to check the time difference before calling. I usually call between 4 PM and 11 PM California time.  He’s the best person to be in contact with.  Do cc me in communications, but I may not be replying.

Here are two groups.  One is a national group which, among other things, provides crucial factual information about nuclear power.  Honda-san says “we check with them every day to see what’s happening.”

The second group is a local Shikoku group (the island I lived on for 4 years, and where five people I profiled live.  Please see the map in the book.).  They are fighting to close down the nuclear reactor in Matsuyama city, and their leader is Ms. Kyoko Ono.  They will be protesting at a shareholders meeting in May, and they need money to fund their campaign and get the word out.  They are definitely “scrappy” as you asked for.  So here’s the information.

The first group:

Based in Tokyo, we are the Citizen`s Nuclear Information Center (CNIC). With a network of scientists, activists, and common citizens, we work to create a nuclear free world.

Their website in English is:
People outside Japan should send an international postal money order made out to Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. Please specify the purpose of the money order as ‘Donation’. Alternatively, you can ask us to send you details regarding bank transfers.
Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
3F Kotobuki Bldg., 1-58-15 Higashi-nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164 Japan
Tel: 81-3-5330-9520; Fax: 81-3-5330-9530

The second group:

Nuclear Power “Sayonara” Shikoku Network.  This group is fighting to close down the nuclear power station in Shikoku.  Please contact Mr. Honda about them and their work.  He’s an active local member.  The webpage I found for them, only in Japanese, is here:

I would imagine they don’t have the resources or the time to translate their website into English.  Also, I think using an international postal money order is the way to donate to them.

Lastly, Oizumi (Chapter 1) has faxed me a list of nuclear power companies/ plant administrators, and he asks us (fervently) that we CALL them up and say, in Englsih: “Shut down the nuclear power plants.”  I think this could actually be effective, for us to call from the US.  I will get you that list when I receive it (it was faxed to my friend Matt).  For more information on Oizumi and his activities, please look at my recent blog posts at Cynthia has gotten together to buy him geiger counters.

My other friend, Kai Sawyer, may be able to help out with groups doing anti nuclear work.  I’ve also cc’d him.  He’s bilingual, and has just fled from Tokyo.  He’s a young permaculture / engaged Buddhism activist, and a fantastic person.  His excellent blog is here, with info about the post-tsunami and earthquake and nuclear situation:

Before I got off the phone, Honda san said to me “We Japanese are very strong, and helping each other we can overcome this.”


This video is making the rounds on the Internet.  I don’t know anything about Bob Naman, but he knows more about the subject than I do, and so far I haven’t found any rebuttal online.  Nor do I know anything about Project Gulf Impact.  If anybody has any information, please post it.

A little more on his testing (with a TV 5 video).  It exploded.  I’m pretty sure that water shouldn’t explode.

Obama made no mention of the word “climate” in his SOTU speech (though he did say “green” twice).  Meanwhile this January is setting some records in the Arctic.  I haven’t read the Daily Kos post, but there are lots of graphs and pretty colors to hammer a point or two, so I figured I’d send you over there and you can come back here and explain it.  I’m tired and I’m going to bed.  Hopefully I don’t wake up with beachfront property.

It’s a national event to oppose offshore oil drilling.  There’s a map of all the planned events through the link, but Heraldo has already looked up three events in Humboldt County, including one near Garberville (to protest drilling in the river I guess).

  1. Westhaven at Moonstone Beach.
  2. Arcata at Mad River County Park.
  3. Garberville at Southern Humboldt Community Park-Tooby Memorial Park.

They want you to show up at 11:00 to be ready to hold hands at noon.

Please post reports. I’ll be out of town.

Here’s a clip from a February event in Florida, before the gusher.

No date mentioned in the TS article.  The water flow is an issue.  Younger forests and changing weather patterns are an issue.  The writer, perhaps wisely, avoided too much discussion of residential and underground commercial draws from the river, probably because that might be interpreted as  blaming people who don’t want to be blamed.  So I hope when the meeting time and place are announced, all of the stakeholders will show up and be ready to listen as well as talk.

Already the comments thread attached to the article is heating up.

The image comes from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.



SAN FRANCISCO ?  A coalition of  local citizens and conservation organizations filed suit today in San Francisco Superior Court to protect the ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park in Northern California. The lawsuit challenges Caltrans’ approval of a controversial highway widening and realignment project. According to the lawsuit, Caltrans violated the California Environmental Quality Act in approving the project, which poses unacceptable risks to Richardson Grove State Park, its ancient redwoods, endangered species, and the rural region behind the fabled ?redwood curtain.?  The project involves cutting down numerous trees and threatens the survival of almost one hundred more.

“Caltrans has not shown that this project will not harm our priceless park. We cannot risk damaging the old growth redwoods which Richardson Grove State Park was created to protect, said Kerul Dyer, Richardson Grove campaign coordinator for the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC).

“The project is dangerous to the grove and isn’t necessary to address any known safety issue.”

“Caltrans wants to cut through and pave over the life-giving roots of ancient redwoods in one of California?s most-loved state parks, yet expects us to believe there won’t be any damage,” said Peter Galvin, conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity.  “Caltrans? failure to follow the law puts these old-growth trees and the endangered species dependent on them at unacceptable risk.”

The Environmental Impact Report prepared by Caltrans failed to acknowledge the full extent of the project’s impacts, as required by state law, including the effects of cutting through and paving over the widespread but shallow network of roots holding Richardson Grove together, the consequences of stockpiling lead-contaminated soil in an area draining to the wild and scenic South Fork Eel River, and the far-reaching impacts of opening the road to larger trucks.  Caltrans also failed to adopt legally required measures to lessen these impacts and failed to consider less damaging alternatives.

Joining EPIC and the Center for Biological Diversity as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Trisha Lotus, Jeffery Hedin, Bruce Edwards, Loreen Eliason, and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics.   Trisha Lotus is the great granddaughter of Henry Devoy, who in 1922 transferred to California the initial redwood forest which became Richardson Grove State Park.  Jeffrey Hedin is a disabled Vietnam War Veteran, an elected commissioner with the Piercy Fire Protection District, and a volunteer responder to emergencies in Mendocino and Humboldt counties.  Bruce Edwards is licensed contractor who frequently travels the highway through Richardson Grove in both directions on a daily basis for his work.  Loreen Eliason is a Humboldt County native and the proprietor of Riverwood Inn.  Built in 1937 and located at the beginning of the Avenue of the Giants, the Riverwood Inn is the last original “roadhouse” on Highway 101 in Humboldt County.

The lawsuit was prepared and filed with the pro bono assistance of Philip Gregory, former Congressman Pete McCloskey and Stuart Gross, attorneys from the renowned litigation firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy.  The firm’s high-caliber lawyering and dedication to socially just causes have won it statewide and national recognition.  Sharon Duggan, an expert on environmental law with an emphasis on forestry regulation joined with Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy in the preparation of the lawsuit.

According to former Congressman McCloskey, “This case is about Caltrans ignoring the science, the historic and economic value Richardson Grove, and the will of Californians.  All of these factors weigh heavily in favor of protecting these ancient and iconic redwoods from a project that Caltrans admits will have no impact on safety.  These patriotic individuals and organizations have stood up against Caltrans and in favor of common sense.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is honored to represent them in this fight.”

Contact:          Kerul Dyer
Environmental Protection Information Center
(707) 834-3358

Peter Galvin
Center for Biological Diversity
(707) 986-2600

Patricia Clary
Californians for Alternatives to Toxics,
707-445-5100 ext. 205

Stuart Gross
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy
(650) 697-6000

From the Hagen campaign:

District Attorney candidate Paul Hagen has been endorsed by the Sierra Club.

“Mr. Hagen had much success during his eight years as the circuit environmental prosecutor for Humboldt, Del Norte, and Lake Counties. His work has shown that environmental issues are important to him. Paul has the best environmental record of the candidates” said the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded in 1892 by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir.  The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the country.

“Earning the endorsement of the Sierra Club is a great honor,” said Hagen.  “Protecting public health and safety through the enforcement of our environmental laws is a very important job of the District Attorney’s office, and I’m very grateful for this recognition by the Sierra Club.”

Hagen served as a prosecutor for more than eleven years in four North Coast District Attorney offices and has successfully prosecuted a wide variety of criminal and civil cases.  Press releases and other information about some of these cases are posted on the Hagen campaign website,

From the Times Standard:

Humboldt County District Attorney candidate Paul Hagen will hold a meet and greet event in Shelter Cove from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The event, hosted by the Shelter Cove Pioneers, is open to the public and will be held in Abalone Hall at the Shelter Cove Community Clubhouse, 1555 Upper Pacific Road. Potluck dishes are encouraged, and people from all over the county are invited to attend.

For more information, visit or call 832-8056.

Addendum: Also, Hagen’s Third Annual Environmental Law Conference takes place next Thursday on April 30 in Eureka. The topic this year:  Water Sustains Life-We Have Met the North Coast’s Future, and It Is Now.  More information through the link.


July 2020