Home > Uncategorized > Top Twelve Reasons to Love Humboldt County

Top Twelve Reasons to Love Humboldt County

Times-Standard reporter John Driscoll said in his column today that “people who live here often find themselves getting dull to their surroundings.” While Humboldt County’s various political factions wrestle with the future of our fair corner of the Emerald Triangle it’s important to acknowledge cherished local attributes.

  • Open Space – When the hustle of Humboldt city life overwhelms, you’re never far away from ample elbow room. A cornucopia of beaches, dunes, forests, mountains and rivers offer expansive views that will recharge your sanity as you deal with the fast paced demands of modern life.
  • Distinct Towns – A fringe benefit of Humboldt’s open space are the distinct towns and communities that populate the region. Feast your peepers on forested mountains as you travel from the progressive bastion of Arcata to the conservative reaches of Fortuna.
  • Isolation – Humboldt County contains one of the most seismically active areas in the United States. Combined with natural rugged terrain Humboldt lacks flat-land promotion of nature-crushing sprawl, much to the chagrin of those who seek to transform Humboldt County into Anytown, USA.
  • Salmon – The tail-slapping upstream journey of these amazing creatures have been chronicled in delightful books by Humboldt County authors. These endangered fish hatch in Humboldt waterways before journeying to the ocean only to struggle upstream for a return to their place of birth. Their epic journey nourishes people and ecosystem that have relied on the salmon’s successful return since the beginning of time.
  • Redwoods – John Driscoll’s column mysteriously omitted the crown jewel of Humboldt County – the giant redwoods. Perhaps it’s a testament to the numbness this region’s population feels to the irreplaceable trees that have been largely destroyed on the alter of Wall Street’s greed.
  • Humboldt Bay – There’s a strange misconception that California truncates in San Francisco, yet a few hundred miles to the North lies “California’s second largest natural bay.”
  • Water – Humboldt County is rich in water, just ask the whack-ass corporations who occasionally seek to hook it to a tug boat and drag it down to San Diego.
  • Media War – Humboldt gained fame in recent years for it’s rich and feisty media environment. Eureka’s two dailies compete for the news, or — on bizarre occasions — invent it. Whatever hot button issue dominates the moment there’s sure to be a spin, headline or accompanying photo to get yer blood boiling.
  • Humboldt blogosphere – If the papers don’t feed your need for local news and analysis Humboldt’s blogging community fills the gaps. While blogs continue to proliferate all over the world, the Humboldt blog scene may be unique for the sheer number that focus on our isolated paradise.
  • Local Foods – If you’ve forgone the opportunity to experience Humboldt County goat cheese you’re missing out. Get with the program and eat some chevre. And have some local wine while you’re at it.
  • Slow Population Growth – Unstable hillsides and frequent Earthquakes thwart anti-environment developers from converting this coastal paradise into cookie-cutter Sacramento. But we stay vigilant because the bastards itch to destroy local character in the name of Home Depot.
  • Art – The plethora of natural beauty makes artists go ga-ga over landscapes that beckon to be painted.

Got some favorite things about Humboldt County that weren’t mentioned here? Leave them in the comments.

  1. Jyrkfayce
    July 16, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Fast paced demands of modern life?? Distinct towns?? Isolation?? Salmon?? The bay?? Media war?? Blogosphere??
    What the hell are you babbling?? Are you on drugs??

    There is no fast-paced modern life here. Spend a few years in an actual big city and then you’ll see how slow-motion Eureka really is. All these towns are pretty much the same. Ferndale is the only one that has a unique flavor. We aren’t isolated from anything. Have you seen the sheer volume of RVs, semi trucks, etc., that clog our roads every year? The salmon are dying! Another fish kill is predicted for the next run. The bay is polluted and people still chug down dioxin-tainted oysters and hagfish by the tons! The nice views of the bay are completely ruined by the ugly mills and the whole damn thing is ringed with development– farms and private property. A little tiny part at the south end is set aside for wildlife yet whever the geese come, the hunters come and fill the morning air with shotgun blasts, while the ranchers at the north end fill the air with terrified geese from their bottle rockets and firecrackers and gunshots. The so-called “media war” was invented by Arkley to make it sound like his worthless shopper was actually competing with the other papers. The local blog scene is full of losers, liars and brainless jerkoffs, just like the rest of the blogosphere.
    And the redwoods? There’s less than 10% of the old-growth forests left in the entire country. All the rest is what we’ve created (not made by nature) to try and undo the insane amounts of clearcutting that were done. These forests are fake little imitations of what used to be here. Islands of life shoehorned in amid a sea of destruction.

    You simply have no clue what’s really happening around here, do you?
    Just admit it or say nothing at all.

  2. July 16, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Perhaps you are willing to sacrifice what’s left to a big box nightmare. Many are not.

    Fish kills and clear-cuts do not a paradise make. That’s why you fight the bastards.

  3. Anonymous
    July 16, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    We bastards are not so easy to fight.

    Most of us post our best work anonymously.

    Ha Ha!

  4. Mark Lovelace
    July 16, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    The deliberateness of life here. Whether one was born here, came here for HSU, or merely stumbled upon Humboldt on their way elsewhere, no one stays here just by chance. People stay here because they want to stay here. It is not easy, the weather sucks, and you probably won’t get rich here. If those three things are high priorities for you, then keep moving. Redding, Santa Rosa, and the Bay Area are not too far. On the other hand, if you value open space, natural beauty and a sense of community, then this may be the place for you.

    That deliberateness extends to the pace of life here. We don’t let the future just happen to us; we talk about it, we plan, we argue, we make sure that it is the future we want, and not just the same ubiquitous future that has befallen the rest of California. We don’t ‘settle’ in Humboldt County; we strive. We know we can do better, and we keep working for that better future.

    Some people are trying to sell us a future that we don’t need, and that we don’t want. To do that, they try to convince us that life here sucks, that we are desperate, and that we should be thankful for anyone who wants to spend a dime while stealing a dollar. They tell us our economy sucks, our industries are dead, our housing is unaffordable and our children are moving away. These people want us to feel bad about who we are, because only then can they bend us to their will. Contentment is the enemy of consumerism, and so they must convince us that we lead empty lives. The only thing that can save us is the thing we don’t have, and guess what? That just happens to be the thing they are selling!

    But our lives are not empty, and we are not desperate. We are not desperate for houses. We are not desperate for jobs. We are not desperate for growth. We are not desperate for a container port, the railroad, LNG, the waterbag, Home Depot, a new airport or affordable homes for the wealthy. These are simply not the things we came here for.

    If there is one thing that we are desperate for, it is to hold onto those things that make Humboldt County special and unique, those things that drew us here in the first place, those things that keep us here, and that are fast disappearing elsewhere in California. Those things are priceless and cannot be bought and sold, yet they can still be taken from us. If we don’t make some deliberate choices, then we will one day find that Humboldt County is no longer the place we came here for, and the place we stayed here for.

  5. July 16, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    Well said, Mark. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Anonymous
    July 16, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    I want to respond now to just one tiny little part of the jeremiad by “Jyrkfayce.”

    Evidence shows the Eureka Reporter is not a “shopper.” What evidence? Look at the newspaper and its advertising inserts. Even the Sunday edition is as slim as my wallet.

    By the way, Jyrkfayce, thanks so much for giving me an opportunity to use the word “jeremiad.”

  7. Anonymous
    July 16, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Mark, good reply.
    Heraldo, great topic.
    Tomorrow, when I will have shaken the sleep from my eyes, I plan to return and give a serious reply from the heart.
    Good night.

  8. Larry Evans
    July 17, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Nice posts Heraldo and Mark. While Jyrkfayce is right about the downsides, the “glass-half-empty” outlook on life is pretty soul suppressing and hard to muster the gumption to get off ones hind-quarters and make the fight Heraldo reminds us is necessary to defend what is worth defending. I came here to work salmon restoration in the early ’80’s and have ended up working the political side of things for the same reasons. It ain’t pretty but you do what it takes.

    Another thing we have here is the capacity to feed our own population. That is a measure of self-sufficiency many counties cannot claim. That is also a major reason to defend our forests and ag lands from the kind of shortsighted development that is paving over farms and natural places all over the nation and the world. A time will come when the piper will demand payment for that kind of greedy thoughlessness. I’m not interested in owing that debt to true realities or, more importantly, in dumping that toll on my kid to pay.


  9. July 17, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Driscoll’s point is well-taken. It is good to get away from Humboldt County and return to see it with fresh-eyes. It is a beautiful place despite its struggles.

    Nice post. Nice comments, too, Larry and Mark.

  10. Hank Sims
    July 17, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Tribes. We’ve got the two largest Native American tribes in California, plus the Karuk and all the Wiyot rancherias. They just make the culture so much more interesting.

    The overabundance of bright, visionary people — scientists, businessfolk, artists. Dell’Arte. The Schatz Lab. Carlson Wireless. Stream Guys. Synapsis. Steve Hackett. Around half the HSU faculty, in fact.

    The strange, homespun multiplicity of everything. Newspapers are only one example. Our new reporter was just wondering why there are three different phone books. We’ve got five public radio stations in the county, six if you include the Blue Ox.

    Mom & Pop growers, a mainstay of the economy.

    The rebel spirit.

    Let’s not be mindless boosters, though, Heraldo. You should do the Top 12 Reasons to Hate Humboldt County. (Or maybe the Top 12 Reasons Humboldt County Bores Us, or Saddens Us, or Drives Us Insane). If you need suggestions, I’d be happy to help. No problem there.

  11. July 17, 2007 at 8:12 am

    You should do the Top 12 Reasons to Hate Humboldt County.

    Some would argue that I do that most days. There’s plenty of fodder for a crazy-making list.

    Good to see you got an avatar, Hank. WordPress is taking over the Humboldt Blogosphere.

  12. July 17, 2007 at 8:27 am

    One of my favorite things is the people – like some of those above – who love and are passionate about Humboldt, and who are doing actual work to make and keep it livable and lovable.

    This is a great post, H.

  13. July 17, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Great posts Heraldo and Mark.

    I’m one of the people that took a huge pay cut to move here 7 years ago. I couldn’t be happier. Less is more. I grew up in Santa Barbara, now it’s a suburb of LA. They turned a quaint Spanish downtown into a giant mall. A shack that was once a chicken coop is now a $700,000 studio. And don’t get me started on the people who live there now. The very definition of Yuppie.

    Every time I head up Hwy 36 to Bridgeville, I am in disbelief that I live here.

  14. Hank Sims
    July 17, 2007 at 8:51 am

    d3rch said:

    Less is more.


  15. Hank Sims
    July 17, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Try again…


  16. derchoadus
    July 17, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Except for the Westy…hehe

  17. July 17, 2007 at 9:07 am

    To expand upon Derchoadus’ comment, I’m from the border area between San Diego and Tijuana. I’ve long thought that we will soon have a megalopolis from Santa Barbara to Ensenada which will extend far inland.

    While the shopping opportunities may be more promising down there, I’ll take Humboldt County over the insipid, endlessness of the southland any day.

  18. Friend
    July 17, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Wow! This is the best thread with the best comments I have read on any blog in a really long time! Real comments from real people — not a bunch of anon troll obscenities! Mark nailed it. Thank you.

  19. Andrew Bird
    July 17, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Four years ago I moved here from the Gold Country, the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Stockton, to get away from the congestion caused by being so close to the Bay Area and Sacramento. I wanted to move somewhere where it was too far to commute to one of those areas to work.

    I have been cycling more recently, mostly in the morning, and I feel like I have rediscovered the native grandeur that drew me here. Regarding John’s comments about becoming dull to the surroundings, I think that is what happens when you never get out of your car. And I think that happens to a lot of people who live here.

    I do miss the beauty and experience of high Alpine surroundings. I have lived most of my life in our around the Sierra Nevada or in Western Montana. What I like about the Trinity Alps is that they are not as crowded as the Sierra. Nevada. But the experience is not quite the same as being surrounded by 10,000-foot-plus peaks.

    I have a good friend, a Realtor, who moved here from Orange County and who loves it here, would never consider going back. I recently met a young couple, also in the real estate field, who moved here a year ago from San Diego. They are expecting their first child in about two months. They plan to put down roots here.

    I also like being around the tribes, as Hank mentioned. I missed that after moving back to California from Montana.

    BTW…is Humboldt Bay larger than San Diego Bay?

  20. a non mouse
    July 17, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Women with dirt under their fingernails. Alt: women with boots, and knows how to use ’em.

    Hanging ten off the leading edge of the continent.


    Multi-faceted, engaged, collective sufficiency. Nay, surfeit!

    Being wedged between the wildest patch of the West Coast and the great Pacific.

    A very high proportion of people trying to do better.

    Which boat today?

  21. July 17, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    It is an awesome place to live. And with each drive in the hills, there is always something new to discover!

  22. Anonymous
    July 17, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Most of the commenters weren’t around when Humboldt was a really nice place.

  23. Hardley Ableson
    July 17, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    “… when Humboldt was a really nice place.”

    Are you talkin’ pre-Columbian?

  24. Anonymous
    July 17, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    “… when Humboldt was a really nice place.”

    The Fall of 1968, when my darling long-haired sweetheart wore her miniskirt and black knee-high boots and made me feel what no young man has felt before or since – until she threw me over for my college roommate at good old Humboldt State College. Ah, the good old days!

  25. a non mouse
    July 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I’d imagine 5:04 was thinking pretty specifically about Humboldt before 1968, before all those crazy “hippy” people with their crazy ideas and dumb hair came up here and acted different everywhere. Dirty fucking hippies, they ruined everything…

    Of course, what they’re probably feeling is that it was all so much nicer before they had to grow up. I know the places where I grew up were a hell of a lot nicer then. Except for the lynchings, of course.

    So let me add another: curmudgeonly redneck local holdouts. Stickers, as Stegner put it. From such as Kristabel and ecovox, a culture could ferment. (Or you could just throw some hi-proof in if you don’t feel like waiting.)

    and how is the best weed in N. America not among the top dozen? I mean, just asking…

  26. hcn
    July 17, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t recall the “dirty hippies” until about 1970.

    12 things I hate about Humboldt County:

    marijuana growers
    the hordes of homeless people
    businesses that thrive from the drug industry
    the free meal place in old town
    sleazy politicians
    most of Arcata
    gaming casinos
    most everyone that moved here in the past 20 years
    that OH’s burger walk up is gone
    2nd generation marijuana growers

    (I’m sure I’ve pissed off the majority of bloggers but I think you get my drift)

  27. Ekovox
    July 17, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    “curmudgeonly redneck local holdouts. Stickers, as Stegner put it. From such as Kristabel and ecovox, a culture could ferment.”

    A dying breed we may be, but I wouldn’t count on you to lend a hand to repair my car if I were stranded on the side of the road in the pouring rain.

    You will need the local redneck population to operate the Caterpiller, John Deere and Kubota heavy machinery when the ASJE projects really start being implemented.

    You will need a local redneck population to foster teams for Little League to be the renewable resource for crowds at the Humboldt Crabs games.

    You will need a local redneck population to pave your streets and replace your town’s water lines and fight the fire that is consuming your neighbor’s house as it is being used for marijuana cultivation.

    And you will need us curmudgeonly redneck local holdouts to find someone to feel superior to.

    After all, if ya’ll looked the same, spoke the same language, and thought the same thoughts…what kind of place would that be to live in? Where’s the diversity in that?

    We’re part of the local color, baby…get used to it!

    And you’re all invited to Wildwood Days in Rio Dell, August 3rd -6th.

  28. Anonymous
    July 17, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    We weren’t dirty hippies. We were long-haired college students who took showers every morning, shampooed our hair and rinsed appropriately, attended classes, did our homework, worked at our part-time jobs, and some of us actually tried to convince other people that the War in Viet Nam was a terrible mistake. For that, some people called us dirty hippies. But we didn’t let that discourage us. And in time, we helped the War in Viet Nam move into history and helped encourage other people to judge others not on the length of their hair, but on the content of their character.

  29. Andrew Bird
    July 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    hcn….that’s a pretty comprehensive list. Why are you still here? How can you “hate” a facility the feeds the poor? You’d rather they steal for food?

  30. Larry Evans
    July 17, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    I know some 2nd generation kids of the “hippies” who called themselves “hipnecks”. And by the way, I’ll gladly stop to give you a lift in the rain when your ride breaks down, but if it was built after 1980, I’m afraid the computer Dynamometer to diagnose which chip is on the fritz doesn’t fit in the bed of my truck like my tool box does.

    The folks who grew up here are much the same as those I grew up with in San Pedro (the LA harbor) in the sixties & seventies. Fishing families, longshoremen, ship yard workers, mechanics (like my dad) and lots of other folks who knew how to do things with their hands; who grew a garden and produced substantial portions of their own food (along with some dynamite homemade dago red [their name for it- not mine]); and who coached the kids in the sports leagues. I stayed here because the community was like the one I grew up in. That place changed while this place retained some of the character of that time. I think a lot of the differences we all recognize are actually rooted in changing times, as well as the uniqueness of this place. You just can’t stuff 6 & a 1/2 billion two-leggeds onto a pretty little green water planet like this one and expect things to remain decent.

    All that said, a big thumbs up to Ekovox on the need to keep all the higly skilled woods workers going on ASJE work while we wait out the looming timber gap. I look forward to seeing lots of my neighbors at work as we reinvest in our natural capital through watershed restoration. A great equipment operator is a great operator no matter where they came from and we need plenty of great operators. We can’t afford to lose those basic woods skills.

    And to add to the list of great things that make HumCo and NW Cali the best:
    Blue Ox and the Hollenbecks;
    the most diverse temperate coniferous forests in the world;
    amazing rivers;
    steep slopes;
    amazing fish (coho, chinook, steelies, strugeon, and so on and
    so on);
    amazing, resilient, innovative, creative, smart, tough people
    (whether they were born here or were just smart enough to
    come and stay);
    duct tape and baling wire and people who know the amazing
    things that can be done with these wonders;
    lots of opionated folks who go down to city hall or the
    supervisors chambers or wherever the action is and put in
    their two cents worth which is what I think this nation was
    founded on (doom on the apathetic);
    more fine micro brews than any other county five times our
    population size deserves (IPA all the way);
    towns you can get around in without driving;
    wild places for kids to be (savage little wild) human beings in!

    keep it like it was!

  31. Ekovox
    July 17, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I’ll tell you what…We need to stop calling you “Dirty Hippies” and you need to stop calling us “Backward Rednecks” and let’s find the common good that will help us all implement or survive the changes of the future.

    My twelve reasons to love Humboldt County:

    1. College of the Redwoods and HSU.
    Without these two schools, a great many of you wouldn’t be within 250 miles of here. Not just for higher education purposes, but for the introduction of alternate lifestyles and the arts.

    2. The diversity of people. Er, diversity of white people.
    We have a ways to go to see a diversity of many races.
    But, what we do have, chalk up to reason #1.

    3. The great natural landscape. It’s what brought my family here in 1881. And the resources the land gave and gives to us to eek out a living. Whether it’s through the study of the environs, inviting tourists to view it with us or to supply us with goods to build houses and planter boxes and decking.

    4. The community. Go to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life on Friday evening at CR and then attend the Arcata Farmers Market followed by a trip to the Fortuna Rodeo. Wait a couple of weeks and attend Reggae Rising and the Stock Car Races on the same day. You’ll understand what I mean.

    5. The spirit of the new era entrepreneurs, i.e. Lost Coast Brewery, Wing Inflatables, The solar refrigerator people and so on. They have the heart and soul of the Gyppo loggers. And, that’s a compliment.

    6. The great amount of newspapers and periodicals in this county. Pick them all up and read them, folks. From Greenfuse to Senior News, Ferndale Enterprise to McKinleyville Press. The two dailies don’t cover every nook and cranny of our society and should be expected to.

    7. The ocean. The weather sucks. Yeah, so blame it on Neptune. You wanted to live in the redwoods, well, here you go.
    You could be living in Oroville.

    8. The history. New era folks are currently creating a Humboldt history of their own. With it will come good and bad elements. Just as in the past. Time will be the judge. I urge you to look at Merle Shuster’s aerial photograph’s of Eureka and the vicinity between 1948 through 1960. Go online to the Humboldt State University Library Special Collections. It is quite an eye opener to see what changes have really been made.

    9. Arctic Circle on 5th Street, Eureka. The only one in California. A great place to get a close up view of tweekers as you dip into AC’s special fry sauce and take a sip of your Lime Rickey.

    10. Garberville and Fortuna. So close, yet so far away. You gotta love ’em both. The 2nd district. THAT’s Humboldt County.

    11. TBA

    12. Our isolation from the rest of the world. It’s why you came here. It’s why I stay here.

  32. a non mouse
    July 17, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    great list, ekovox.

    Sorry to’ve greened yr handle there previous. I meant the stuff about you stickers as highest praise, hope it didn’t come off as librul-elitist snootifying. I would’ve written your list of why we need people who do real things for you but you did it better. It isn’t just that we need competent rednecks, though — it’s that Humboldt’s blessed with an especially interesting bunch, who collectively ought to be celebrated as One of the Best Things About Humboldt, for all of the reasons you’ve listed and then some. (This is not something I would say about ‘the locals’ in all of the places I have lived.)

    I hope, and trust, that your ‘breed’ – spirit, more like – will never die out here, ’cause this place will reshape the people who come here. I hope all of our children are here long enough to forget which set of forbears got here slightly sooner.

    And all a y’all – the Dirty F Hippie thing is, like, a joke.

    See, back in DC where all the bad stuff comes from, Democrats and media insiders have this mortal fear of the anti-war protestors, the lefty bloggers etc — agitators, crazies, y’know, citizens. Us. And this whole reaction is shorthanded as their fear of the d.f.h. And here we actually have some, so I thought I’d be clever. Nevermind!

  33. July 18, 2007 at 12:03 am

    “curmudgeonly redneck local holdout.”

    You bring a little tear to my eye, a non mouse. I don’t think I’ve ever been called something so nice in my entire life. And I’m in such good company. Sniff.

  34. Anonymous
    July 18, 2007 at 12:20 am

    Ekovox Says:

    July 17th, 2007 at 10:45 pm
    I’ll tell you what…We need to stop calling you “Dirty Hippies” and you need to stop calling us “Backward Rednecks” and let’s find the common good that will help us all implement or survive the changes of the future.

    I, whose girlfriend was so hot in 1968, want to point out that I never called anybody a redneck. Well, not online, anyway. And not recently. (And even then, I was only referring to an uncle of mine.)

    Referring to people in one-word descriptions is an exercise in oversimplification. I’m too old for that now. I’ve been on too many different sides of too many different issues not to recognise the tentative nature of our hold on objectivity.

    You sound like an interesting human being. I accept your invitation to act civilly in pursuit of worthwhile common interests.

  35. Ekovox
    July 18, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Sorry a non-mous,
    I didn’t recognize the humor. Blinded by my on self-worth.
    But, after re-reading it….I GOT IT! Good one!
    Whew, I feel better now.

  36. July 18, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    This was a great thread, everyone. Thanks.

  37. July 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Hey Mr. bow-tie, we’re not through here yet!

    “The weather sucks.”

    Perhaps because Ekovox grew up here he doesn’t appreciate this perfect, mild, moist (on the coast, anyway) climate we have. It’s 115 degrees everywhere else in the continental US right now. We start sweating uncomfortably if the temperature rises into the 70s.

  38. July 18, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    You can have it cool and foggy as you like on the coast, but if you’re dying for sun you don’t have to travel far. We have the same luxury in the winter. You don’t have to deal with snow unless you want to.

  39. Lindsey
    July 18, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I love the grey-hairs in the ferndale bar that completely understand the economic as well as ecological sense in sustainable logging. he frowns when i ask him about that giant fucking house on port kenyon road. he clenches his teeth and tells me its some asshole that works for microsoft.

    then there’s the overwieght drunk dude thats my (young) age at centerville beach who thinks that he is going to be trucking big trees (toads that is) forever. he says that hed be making a lot more money if it wernt for all the environmentalist regulations over a damn frog or somethin. i hate that this is an example of my humboldt county-grown generation that is all too common.

    gotta love 5 dollar breakfast at papa joe’s.

  40. July 19, 2007 at 7:16 am

    Haven’t been to Papa Joes, since it was named The Greeks. Often there would be dice rolling for coffee or breakfast and some ladies playing cards and visitng.

    As much as I like the new Nilsen’s store in Ferndale, I miss the old downtown store with the rolling old wooden floors, the nooks and crannies of the back part of the store, and the seperate drive through an alley to pick up straw for the garden.

  41. Anonymous
    July 19, 2007 at 11:08 am

    You miss Nilsen’s, Carol, and so do I.

    I most definitely miss those wooden floors, where my ancestors once trod as they bought tools and hardware, and a hundred other useful things.

    Do you remember the Waddington General Store at the corner of Waddington Road and Grizzly Bluff Road? It had old wooden floors, too. It was situated about a mile from where my Mom grew up. My Mom no doubt bought candy there when she was a little girl. I was still in my teens when it closed for the last time. There’s a building now near where the store once stood, but the old store was part of the Eel River community, a piece of Humboldt County history that I cherish and will never forget.

  42. tim h
    July 20, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Mark L, that is a very thoughtful post. I can agree with you all the way to the end of paragraph 2. You didn’t have to get divisive, though.

    Those of us that disagree with you are not trying to sell you anything. We also enjoy Humboldt County and you should be aware that you are not speaking for everybody, there is no consensus on “quality of life”. It is different for each person. To some it may be good schools, affordable housing, decent paying jobs, and access to quality medical care. To others, it may be public parks, open spaces, and fine dining. It is very subjective.

    It diminishes your credibility when you make comments like the one above. Just because we have a different vision for our county does not mean we are trying to “steal”, we are not trying to make people “feel bad” about themselves, or trying to convince people they lead “empty lives”.

    Although you may be ‘content’ and not desperate for housing, a job, an education, you must realize that some people here are not content, they are desperate. It is harsh you do not recognize that some people struggle to put food on the table and keep the lights on.

    Your remark, “These are simply not the things we came here for,” is interesting. I wonder, has it occurred to you and all the people who came here for one reason or another that you are actually part of the problem, not the solution? I am not talking about your politics, merely the fact that you came here from somewhere else, settled down, and are now trying to lock the door behind you.

    One thing about Humboldt, we are passionate about our causes up here, aren’t we?

  43. July 20, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    has it occurred to you and all the people who came here for one reason or another that you are actually part of the problem, not the solution?

    If only you could have locked the doors on Humboldt County years ago.

    you came here from somewhere else, settled down, and are now trying to lock the door behind you.

    Humboldt County is going to grow, population wise, so it’s important to plan now for how Humboldt will accommodate. Building more roads to support sprawl would be unwise given the inability to maintain the roads we already have.

    Spreading development into the hillsides won’t bring housing prices down or cure desperation.

    Those of us that disagree with you are not trying to sell you anything.

    Yes, some of them are.

  44. tim h
    July 21, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Hmmm….we are in agreement Humboldt will grow, we need to plan for the growth.

    Nice distractions, but you are still missing the point – Mark L does not speak for everybody. People who disagree with you (or Mark L) are not necessarily the devil and their positions are valid – and widely held. I know that hurts, but it’s the truth.

  45. July 21, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Speaking of distractions, no one brought up the devil but you. A lot of people agree with Mark (see above) but you twist his comments by saying he thinks he “speak[s] for everybody.” You seem to think you speak for everyone who disagrees with him.

    You’ll notice Mark says people “argue” about the future of Humboldt County. And isn’t that a great thing? People care to plan rather than let the future happen to them.

  46. Mark Lovelace
    July 22, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Tim. Thanks for your response.

    I agree that the term “quality of life” can be subjective. Defining “quality of life” was precisely the reason that the County conducted its extensive “Critical Choices” survey of over 700 Humboldt County residents in 2001. According to that survey, 86% of Humboldt County residents agree that ” the surrounding natural environment is extremely important to the quality of life in Humboldt County,” and 58% agree that ”much more effort should be put into conserving the natural environment.”

    The Humboldt County farm Bureau did its own survey of both ag land owners and the general public n 2000. According to that study, 83% agree that “Stronger zoning should be used to prevent the conversion of Ag lands to non-Ag uses,” and 70% agree that ”urban Growth Boundaries should be developed around residential centers.” Clearly, there is a great deal of agreement on the prominence of open space and the natural environment in protecting our quality of life.

    You assert that some people view ‘quality of life’ as “good schools, affordable housing, decent paying jobs, and access to quality medical care,” while others may view it as “public parks, open spaces, and fine dining.” I wonder why you see those things as being at odds with each other. I cannot imagine that the 86% of county residents who value open space and resource lands do not also value schools, jobs, housing and medical care. That statement also ignores all those jobs that depend upon open space, such as farming, ranching, dairy, timber, fisheries management, specialty foods, tourism and recreation, and the manufacture, sale and distribution of all of those products that are derived from those resources. Aren’t those “good paying jobs”?

    You assert that I am being divisive, when you are the one who has laid out opposing ‘sides,’ as stated above. I wonder which “side” you assume I am on? Do you real believe the false mantra of “jobs vs the environment?” Must we choose just one? Can you not conceive of a future that supports both?

    Lastly, you assert that I and everyone who ”came here from somewhere else” are part of the problem. I am not aware of any Humboldt family that did not come here from somewhere else, including your own. I have never suggested that we “lock the door” to people coming here. The question is not about growth vs no growth, it is about how much growth and what kind of growth, and about who should make those critical choices which stand to have such a significant impact on our quality of life.

  47. Tim H
    July 22, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    you’ll notice I agreed with Mark to his 2nd paragraph, which includes arguing about our future. Also, the devil remark was sarcasm. Sorry it didn’t come through. “Momma says Heraldo’s the devil.” – Waterboy.

    Again, a thoughtful post, and again I agree with a bunch. About those surveys though, were they done in a scientific manner that would make them statistically valid, or are they like the other ones done by the county, where they are informal and only taking in the opinions of the biased sample that happened to attend the meetings? You and I both know everybody attending those meetings has an agenda (and I’m not talking about the one posted at the door). HELP also conducted a poll, and it showed jobs and housing were #1 and #2 concerns for Humboldt residents. I believe open space was up there as well but I haven’t looked at it in a while. The questions and responses are posted on the HELP web site.

    Sorry, your post struck me as divisive, maybe I am just sensitive. I don’t believe open space, jobs, etc. have to be mutually exclusive, but when the schools are struggling due to lack of students, the hospitals have problems recruiting doctors (as well as the county), a home-buyer has to come up with $100K to put down on a house, then struggle with $1500/month payments, I believe there are problems with our economy. I took offense to your statements that “they” are trying to convince you of problems that do not exist. I believe there are real problems, and I also believe we have only scratched the surface. We should be able to disagree without getting into motives for our positions.

    The more zoning restrictions placed on land, the higher the land costs. New construction caps the price on existing homes. I know you believe that infill will solve our housing problems, but I do not believe the services districts and cities have much capacity for high density growth. The county is studying this issue right now, which is ass-backwards, since one should know where they have capacity before they go and decide to zone it for a bunch of houses. That project you supported in Cutten is most likely facing this now – are the lines big enough to get water in and sewer out?

    Also, are there any studies that show people living in smart-growth communities actually work there as well? I have always been curious if those people actually walk to work. I have been to Disney’s Celebration, Del Webb’s “Anthem”, and a number of other smart growth communities and it seemed to me most of the mixed uses were retail and food service, which could not command a wage high enough to purchase a home in the community. I believe I read somewhere that most people who live in Celebration work in Orlando, while the people who work in Celebration live in neighboring Kissimmee.

    About “locking the door”, I’m aware we all came here from somewhere else, but I don’t have a problem with new people. There are services we don’t get here that I wish we could. Healthcare is going to be a huge one up here in the next 20 years when the baby boomers start having health problems.

    Here’s some things to thinks about regarding health care:
    My grandfather was in the hospital a few months ago and was in the hallway at Mad River because there wasn’t enough staffing to put him in a room. St. Joseph’s was totally filled up too – not enough nurses there either. A couple of weeks ago my wife was having an ultrasound in Eureka and the tech was from Phoenix, not enough techs either. My wife and I just had a premature son last Sunday – Thursday and Friday the entire neo-natal intensive care unit was full and when it was time to move my boy to an incubator, he waited until they got one from Redwood Memorial. I hope nobody else has a premie soon, because that place is full right now (St. Joes). Don’t get me wrong, he is getting great care, but I overheard a nurse today say, “I hope we don’t get any more newborns, they’ll have to deliver in the hall.” I hope she was exaggerating.

    I could go on about the school enrollments, etc., but I think you get my drift and I have to go check on Jr.
    Take Care

  48. Anonymous
    July 23, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    I just thought of something else I like about Humboldt.
    About 10 to 15 years ago, quite a few Black and Asian people moved here. I like the fact that the people who were already here, white working class people mostly, didn’t have a cow, but instead gave the newcomers a welcome just about the same as they would have given any newcomers to their community. Honest people of many backgrounds seem welcome here. My own neighborhood is “integrated” and nobody thinks about it one way or the other. (Drug dealers and other law-breakers of whatever ethnic background are a different thing altogether.)

  49. Anonymous
    July 28, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Too bad Security National isn’t integrated. Whites only need apply for the Arkleys.

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