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It is an opinion piece.  I’ve only skimmed it, and don’t have any comments just yet.

The discussion is scheduled for Monday.

I may have some comments later, after I’ve had the opportunity to read it carefully.  But I wanted to post the link since the crucial discussion is only days away.

Addendum:  I did read it and posted some comments within the thread.

Very good Ryan Burns article, and, yes, I’m quoted extensively in it.

Hank Sims has moved on to worthier pastures, and many of us are missing the Town Dandy.  His replacement, Tom Abate is off to a rough start.  I have only a general idea about what has happened, but fortunately Seven-O-Heaven clears things up for us.

So I picked up a hard copy of the NCJ, and I’m still not quite sure what the direction is.  I skipped over the cover story (by Mr. Abate himself) because I really could care less whether casinos can generate younger gamblers by offering programs which allow you to throw your money away over laptops.  But to be honest, I’ve skipped over cover stories before.  Someone today suggested to me that the article is pandering to a significant advertiser, but as I haven’t read the article I won’t go that route of cynicism.

But I did find an interesting Abate piece about his almost-coverage of the Tea Party event with the eccentric Sheriff-guy from Arizona, and yeah I think his short interview with a Miranda resident (who is interested in the Tea Party but was also too cheap to shell out ten bucks to attend the event) was probably more interesting than any recital of a the predictable speech within.  He’s a good writer with some wit, and he’s more than willing to piss some of the natives off which I have to respect even if it was over the top on the radio.  The following clip has already earned him some indignation in the attached comments.

He smiled, for instance, when I complained about these home-schooling, leftie moms I know who not only drink raw milk but refuse to vaccinate their kids because they believe the discredited link between shots and autism — putting them a six shooter and a seatbelt away from Sheriff Mack so far as I’m concerned.

However, what I’m hearing about the transition is that it is designed to avoid controversy which might affect the bottom line, meaning that it’s okay to piss off some hippie women in the hills and the lunatic fringe on the right, but will local elected officials, Rob Arkley, Green Diamond, and marijuana growers breath easier with the change?  Time will tell.

If it’s true, it is a huge loss.  I hope another local paper is smart enough to take him and his brilliant column on.

Nothing on the NCJ blog.

Are they going mainstream in rough times?  I guess they don’t want to feel relegated to the coffee house art and politics crowds, but that is where the local cultural vitality lives.  Truly, the Town Dandy is a unique and brilliant column – I always turned there first, even before the letters to editor.  This is very depressing.

The headline made me nervous, but as long as I’ve got the Town Dandy to look forward to every week, I’ll be happy.

I’ve been pretty busy of late and sometimes I’m out of the loop.  While grabbing a bagel this morning I just noticed last week’s Journal cover.  I have great respect for the team over there, but the cover is over the top.  Seriously, I don’t think it should be out in the stands for the kids to see.  Forget the kids, I didn’t want to see it.

Call me a prude if you like, but there is healthy fetish and there is serious need for mental health treatment.  The twain aren’t meeting here.

I’m not even going to link to it.  You can find your own way there if you want to see it.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

They were celebrating their 20th anniversary as well as their move to Old Town, Eureka.  I think Bob Doran was behind the camera.

I saw the Flatmo Dragon outside the Lost Coast Brewery last night.  Had the party just moved over there since Saturday?

The topic of the second installment of Cristina’s article is the Richardson Grove issue, but really it’s about much more.  It’s about the dynamics of local politics and it captures a great deal of what I’ve tried to say in a number of posts here and lays it out comprehensively and succinctly.  Yes, there are editorial elements in it and in that sense it’s “biased.”  Get over it.  She raises questions about our politics which apply to the Reggae War, the General Plan Update, and the Second District Supervisor election.  Liberals fighting liberals.  “Left wing tea parties.”

We live in a community rich in activism.  It’s a good thing.  People are willing to “speak truth to power.”  Some of them are willing to do much more than speak and make great sacrifices and physical risks in civil disobedience.  There is a great deal of passion.  We’re ready to take on the powers that be; to defy all that is wrong with the system “out there.”

If only we can learn to listen.

Karl Marx criticized philosophers for merely trying to interpret the world and failing to try to change it.  I’m thinking that many of us need to focus on learning more about the world.  We might become better at changing it.

But a hero needs a villain.  Odds and powers all against him.  A right and a wrong.  A hero knows both.  It’s all about the cause which sustains the hero.

Look at the comments attached to the article.  Sun Valley poisons workers.  Lost Coast brews bad beer.  Bauss sounds kind of like Bass.  Hank Sims is a plagiarist.  Trustafarians.  EPIC fail.  But no response to the central questions Cristina raises.

The cause is just.  Collateral damage is justified.  Nuance be damned.

Sometimes it’s really embarrassing.

Thank you Cristina.

Also check out Hank’s sideline editorial.

An article long overdue which explores some of the misunderstandings of the project and the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the argument.  The whole thing is worth a read, but this portion stick out to me.

In response to a question about corporate stores that are already here, EPIC’s reply was, “Your mention of existing big-box stores with their own fleets of trucks establishes that the STAA designation is not necessary.” But not necessary for whom? If the big boxes don’t need STAA access to be here, how can providing that access be the cause of their coming here? The argument seems to be circular and self-defeating. It is, of course, “necessary” for Caltrans to be in compliance with federal law — a fact that was curiously ignored at the Feb. 24 forum.

In next week’s installment of the story, Cristina explores some of the claims about business needs regarding the project, and I hope she has helped to clear up conflicting claims about whom would benefit the most – big boxes or small business.

At the end of this first installment Cristina mentions that EPIC intends to file suit on the inadequacies of the DEIR, and it does seem like there are plenty of omissions to justify criticism.  But if compliance with federal law is the issue, wouldn’t such a lawsuit simply being forestalling the inevitable?  By focusing on the DEIR rather than any explicit violations of law in the project itself, they are leaving out a key defendant in the federal government, and fundamentally whether the STAA-accommodation requirements violate federal environmental regulations.  If not, then it seems like this project is inevitable in some form.

On another point, the article confirms my take on the development issue.  While I remain agnostic on many of the issues, the whole “maintain the bottleneck to prevent development” approach is misguided.  Development is controlled by smart growth policies.  If we don’t want a big box in Eureka, or Fortuna, we push for ordinances which restrict that development, and we oppose variances such as those being sought for the Marina Center.  To the controlled growth issue, this one seems like a distraction.

The comments attached to the article raise some good points and some lame ones, but it’s the kind of discussion we need.  Like I said in a previous post, I wish someone would organize a panel debate in lieu of the one-sided pep rallies all sides organize to pump up their own positions and do little to address the nuances and factual disputes.  It should be easy to confirm whether Randy Gans is telling the truth about lobbying, since everything should be public record.  Or whether the Crescent City Home Depot takes in STAA deliveries from the north.  And I would like to see some detailed botanical analysis as to the potential danger to the roadside old growth due to the compromising of the root structures with an air spade, hot asphalt, etc.  It seems that all sides are charged up with big opinions while lacking crucial information.

And thank you again Cristina and NCJ!

Quite the column by Hank this week, with a telling anecdote combined with bad news for positive economic conversion locally.

I don’t think even national recovery is going to save Humboldt County from becoming a retirement community.  Certainly not without some broader local vision that extends beyond cheap retail and marijuana dispensaries.


July 2020