Home > Uncategorized > Circular logic from Caltrans

Circular logic from Caltrans

Circular logicWhen trying to explain its reluctance to do an Environmental Impact Report for widening Highway 101 through Richardson Grove, CalTrans made itself dizzy going ’round and ’round:

The reason we’re not doing an EIR is because we haven’t identified any significant impact from the proposed project.

Translation: The reason we’re not doing an EIR is because we don’t want to know any significant impact from the proposed project.
____________________
Quote source: The Independent, January 8, 2008

  1. January 9, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I wonder if that is the entire quote (I hope not). I will look for it, since I see no link for it.

  2. January 9, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Regrettably, The Independent is not online.

  3. January 9, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Here’s a good quote from todays NCRA meeting:

    NCRA Director Robert Simonson: “Same arguments against railroad 10 years ago, should put them in writing, so we don’t have to listen to them.”

  4. January 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    You’ve seen one argument against the railroad, you’ve seen them all.

  5. Anonymous
    January 9, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    The NCRA board’s pleas to keep the public comments short so they could go back home were really quite offensive. The board members represent regions and hold meetings in various regions so that they can hear from the locals. I applaud the speakers who pointed out the inappropriateness of such a suggestion, especially after those in attendance listened patiently to the board’s (not always relevant) comments. Contrary to some people’s opinions, who think they know so much about everyone else’s lives, many of us DO work and take time OFF to go to these hearings. Against our better judgment perhaps…

  6. Anonymous
    January 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Wasn’t it John Woolley who made the suggestion?

  7. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 9, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Was he was suggesting his process, not the “Public Process”?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  8. January 10, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Uh huh.

  9. January 10, 2008 at 12:10 am

    There were several rude Directors.

  10. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Let’s not let Richardson Grove get lost in the verbiage.

    If we allow Richardson Grove to be “widened” I would not be surprised for future generations to view it as proof of the foolishness of their ancestors.

    Of course, I have not seen the plans. Has anybody seen the plans? Perhaps the widening will be done so tastefully that no one will object.

  11. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 7:05 am

    How does one widen a highway with no environmental impacts, anyway?

  12. neomoderate
    January 10, 2008 at 7:29 am

    How much are they widening it? I was under the impression that it’s less widening and more of a relatively minor “realignment” of the curves so trucks can get through. Ya’ll are making it sound like they are putting I-5 in there.

    I’ve pulled trailers through there, and a couple of the pinch points can get truly scetchy if there is a truck coming the other way. I’d hate to be the driver of a semi meeting another through one of those pinches.

  13. January 10, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Sorry the Indie’s not online. I think that’s something we’re working on. So, for those of you who are interested, below are the most important parts of this week’s article.

    BTW, the plans for Section 1 and Section 3 ARE available for download (see address at bottom), but they’re big downloads; hope you don’t have a 28k landline, like I do out here in the boonies!

    -Cristina

    *****

    …As outlined during an open house held on Sept. 27, attended by about three dozen Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino residents, major realignment would be performed on one section of the road, on the east side of the highway north of mile post 1.35. What is essentially a lane-width’s worth of road would be added to a 100- to 150-foot section of 101, and the center line would be realigned accordingly; in five other locations in Section 1 of the mile-long project site, the road would be slightly realigned in order to enable trucks to safely round the curves. Section 2 would involve repaving (or “asphalt rehabilitation”) only, and Section 3 would include some minor realignment.

    “It’s misnomered as a ‘widening’ project,” Senior Environmental Planner Deborah Harmon told The Independent in September. “We’re actually realigning the areas just before you get to the trees, and basically lining the trucks up in the such a way that they can get through safely.” Those would be industry-standard-sized trucks, as defined by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) – but, while Caltrans maintains that “communities with routes unable to provide STAA access are at an economic disadvantage,” the NEC argues that the agency has not provided documentation proving that allegation, and should do so as part of a complete Environmental Impact Report.

    …[On] January 4, Caltrans Public-Information Officer Julie East said, “The reason we’re not doing an EIR is because we haven’t identified any significant impact from the proposed project. It’s actually a fairly minimal project, and we’ve completed all environmental studies under CEQA and NEPA,” East continued, adding that Caltrans is “the lead agency” on the project, and that its decision not to invest in a full EIR “is not determined by public opinion.”

    …Negative impact might also be seen in the grove’s sensitive environment, the NEC argues: “Dr. Steve Sillett, a noted redwood expert and professor at Humboldt State University, states, ‘I’m very interested in why tall trees die back along roadways… In some groves, waterlogging from impeded drainage seems to have killed the tops. In others, water stress from road-induced desiccation may be the culprit.” Since Caltrans’ planning documents state in part, “Some drainage systems will need to be extended and inlets modified,” the NEC further argues: “Caltrans must consider using the EIR/EIS process to conduct just a study of the impacts of road construction on redwood trees, a study Caltrans should have commissioned many years ago.”

    … [EPIC Executive Director Scott] Greacen conceded that, given the existing infrastructure in the grove, project impact on spotted owls and marbled murrelets are “likely to be pretty low considering the impact that’s already there… The biggest immediate issue is protection of the ancient trees, and we’ve gotten mixed messages about what a ‘big tree’ is.” According to Harmon, most of the trees cut would be tanoaks, maples, bay laurels, and underbrush; Greacen, meanwhile, agreed with King’s assertion that changes to the road bed might impact the redwoods’ shallow root system.

    …For their part, Caltrans representatives contend that Richardson Grove presents the last hurdle in having a north-south route through the North Coast (projects are already under way in the other two “trouble spots,” Confusion Hill and Big Lagoon) – and that, in presenting a “minimum-impact” plan, the agency is doing precisely what the public directed it to do.

    …A draft environmental document is expected in early spring. The total project cost is estimated at $3 million; if approved, it will be completed over a two-month period in fall 2008. For more information, including preliminary drawings, go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/richardson_grove/.

  14. lodgepole
    January 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I’ve seen multiple wrecks in the same spot there. It seems to me something should be done.

  15. January 10, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for posting that, Cristina.

    It’d be great to see The Independent online.

  16. January 10, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I’m going to post this here and anyplace that I find a discussion about the road through Richardson’s Grove.

    The most environmentally sound method to get a safe road through the Grove, or anywhere else on the stretch of road, is to take out a few trees.

    I’m sorry, but I live here and have had friends die, and friends children die in that grove, and the Fire Departments have had to respond to many brutal deaths. Please set your love of Redwoods aside for the sake of humanity. Please ask what ever you want in the way of mitigation, but the road is unsafe, no matter how many rules you come up with for vehicles to drive through there. Maybe if I described some of the accidents to you, you would understand, but I’m not, so please take my word for it.

    The road is unsafe at any speed. No matter how carefully YOU drive, once a truck runs over you, it’s a moot point.

  17. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Stoplight. Simple. Slows things down, yes, but safe all the way.

  18. January 10, 2008 at 11:24 am

    What do you want a stop light every hundred feet? Is it comfy there in your world?

  19. Eureka Observer
    January 10, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Ernie pontificated: I’m sorry, but I live here and have had friends die, and friends children die in that grove, and the Fire Departments have had to respond to many brutal deaths.”

    Hmm….sounds pretty dramatic. I guess it is time to check the actual facts and see how many fatal accidents have happened at Richardson Grove. I don’t remember any. Can you cite some specific incidents? I know you asked us to “take your word for it”, but facts are more credible.

  20. January 10, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    You are too naive for me to talk to. This is not a joke, if everyone is as ill informed as you I think that I know what the problem is. Get a clue. And, please do that research that you talk about. And please stop trying to ridicule and insult me. I have a valid point of view, and it is dramatic.

    Where did you say your off the wall opinion came from?

    Pontificated my ass! What I say is easily varifiable, when you get through I would gladly accept your oppology.

  21. January 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    check the actual facts and see how many fatal accidents have happened at Richardson Grove

    Please tell those of us less informed, how many number of fatalities are acceptable.

    -boy

  22. January 10, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    OK, let’s not forget that this story is not about whether the highway at Richardson Grove should be re-aligned. This story is about Heraldo questioning Caltrans’ decision not to do an EIR. It’s a very good question. The answer that the people for Caltrans give is not cool with everybody.

    -boy

  23. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Ernie, your attitude is pretty shitty. I actually agree with you, but the way you present yourself is beyond infantile. Grow up.

  24. mresquan
    January 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Ernie,I honestly don’t think what they’re proposing will help much with what you’re getting at.I’d argue that it’s more freak incidents(deer crossing,etc.) that cause those horrible accidents,and I don’t think that the widening at that point will help that problem all that much.

  25. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Having spoken to people from Cal-trans about this project, just in conversation and some time before it became an issue, I was under the impression it was not something that would involve any major tree removal or widening of the road. The subject came up in a conversation where there was no need to defend the project, just explain. Realignment does explain it more accurately.

  26. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I think Ernie is doing a pretty good job of representing his point of view.

    I don’t like the idea of taking out trees there. The CalTrans explanation of the “re-alignment” sounds good, but I’m having a little trouble visualizing it.

    At the same time, back to Ernie’s concerns about deaths in the Grove, let me tell you about something I saw at Richardson Grove about 35 years ago. I have no trouble visualizing it at all.

    It was a Volkswagen sedan (bug/beetle). The back half was intact, but the front half had been completely flattened on one of the big Redwood trees near the right side of the road. It looked as if someone had cut the beetle in two pieces, thrown the front half away, and pushed the back half against the tree.

    The accident had happened and the people taken away before I drove past the scene. Still, I had no doubt that whoever was in the front seat of that car was killed on impact.

    This is a serious issue with life and death implications.

  27. paving
    January 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Redwood trees don’t move over.

    I recall some accidents occuring in the area by the Gas station at Richardson Grove, that could easily be improved by separating the two directions in that area and clearly marking off-road with roadway. There is tons of space.

    It would also be best if the turnouts were marked clearly in advance and/or reduced. Not to mention Singin’ Trees.

  28. paving
    January 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    The area north of Legget by confusion hill, not the part being replaced right now, is very dangerous. Used to be an open rec spot right there but it’s just a parking lot/public space now. Right when you come out of trees into water. Have been several fatal wrecks there in the past 10 years.

  29. Rose
    January 10, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I agree with you, Ernie.

  30. January 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks Rose. I have cooled off a little bit. I actually thought about telling a few stories about the accidents in grove, but I admit that I am much too close to some of the tragedies.

    It occurred to me that maybe some folks really don’t know the history of that place. What happened to the day’s when news reporters would actually investigate stuff like this. I think that it would be interesting to know about how many people have died, how violently most of them died. How many accidents that have happened where someone was lucky enough to walk away, how many hit and runs, and such.

    Also, how expensive and futile that it is to put a road anywhere else, And how that it won’t happen because of all the bickering. The people that okay road work get paid the same whether they fight to get a road through Richardson’ Grove, or just give the money to San Francisco or L.A.

    I think that if people knew the facts about Richardson’s Grove they would be just a little bit more understanding of my position.

  31. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I think this is a valid project. I can’t count the number of times I have driven (slowly) around a curve in that area and nearly been hit head on by a truck that cannot maneuver the turn and stay in its own lane. It is a problem that will not go away unless something is done to engineer the curves in a manner more friendly to large trucks, unless, that is, trucking to Northern Humboldt is eliminated.

  32. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    What part of the 101 has not seen a deadly accident? Seriously.

  33. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    True, but some areas are worse than others and this is one of the worst.

  34. Rose
    January 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Do you know how many trees blew down a few years ago in a big windstorm? The world survived. This “Sacred Cow” mentality is really insane. The “leaning tree” and now this, contrasted with the “enviro” assertion that they support logging/TPZ, and Greg King’s statement that he owns TPZ land and intends to harvest… is this just obstructionism for obstructionism’s sake>

    The tree is in the middle of the road and it will get worse as it gets bigger. It has to go. It’s the only sensible thing.

  35. paving
    January 10, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I think the question of why the road is being expanded is important and why the EIR is being avoided is also important. EIR’s are the law and are necessary because of the track record of involved parties before they were instituted.

    Who exactly is clamoring for larger trucks on 101? Car dealers? Home Depot?

  36. Rose
    January 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Drivers? Families who want everyone to come home alive?

  37. Rose
    January 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Not just about “larger trucks, “paving.”

  38. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I remember a time when I was driving south and turned through one of the many blind, tight turns and holy …., another vehicle in my lane driving carelessly, but not speeding. When I hit the breaks, on a dark and mossy road section with branches lying in all directions in relationship to the rotation of my front tires, I felt a hydroplane effect momentarily. Yes, I cleaned my drawers.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  39. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Before Costco got the go-ahead to build in Eureka, many people opposed it. But after it opened for business, many of those same people were right there, buying goods at Costco.

    Why mention that here? Because business isn’t the enemy some people pretend it is.

  40. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Not to mention, our favorite local stores had already been put out of business by Bayshore Mall.

  41. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Back to Ernie. What he said up-string is important. The real locals in this issue are being blown off by the larger perspectives of commerce and conservation. Should it be that way? Where’s Roger Rodoni on this issue?

  42. January 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I respect Ernie’s opinion, because he is a volunteer fireman and has helped in the efforts to clean-up these accidents.

    Bypass, anyone?

  43. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    By favorite local stores, I guess you mean Daly’s and Bistrins, and other long-time home-town retail businesses that went out of business when Kmart and the Bayshore Mall started doing business here.

    Do you remember the limited selections at those stores? The high prices? The lack of competition?

    The store clerks were often quite nice, but regular working people around here were forced by sheer economics to make annual shopping journeys to Santa Rosa or Oregon, where affordable clothing, etc. could be found.

    Those stores talked about loving competition, but proved they were incapable of handling the real thing.

  44. Eureka Observer
    January 10, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I apologize Ernie. But only for a choice of words. I should have not used the term pontificate.

    Actually I support a careful road realignment there. And I don’t think I am naive. Naive is when you lobby for a course of action based on anecdote and don’t cite facts back it up. I only asked for these, and instead you suggest it for me to look them up even though it was you that suggested a history of carnage at that location.

  45. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Well, Observer, that’s what I gave you. My personal observation of the effect of impact of a Volkswagen sedan on the trunk of a Redwood tree at Richardson Grove. Or are only observations of fact by Ernie acceptable?

  46. January 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    humboldtturtle wrote: “Not to mention, our favorite local stores had already been put out of business by Bayshore Mall.”.

    You have got to be kidding. What businesses were put out of business by the Bayshore Mall?

  47. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Bi-pass talk occured early on in the issue and I believe an idea involved crossing over the river and back?

    If Cal-Trans crossed the river and back, would they get an Environmental Report advantage because the water is lethally infectuous and murky by the end of summer? Would it help minimize the environmental impacts created by construction because the river flows usually tend to be so dirty during that part of the year?

    Remember the flood of ’64. That water level got high. It probably would have made for an expensive column/footing design to counter flood forces…. way too expensive or not possible, engineering wise.

    After consideration, I would have to construe that Cal-Trans officials probably looked at the pro’s and con’s and felt that their current direction is the correct direction until proven otherwise.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  48. Eureka Observer
    January 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    I have seen a couple accidents like this (cars torn in half) on 101 but they were on the four lane portion. One incident, 35 years ago does not make a case for that section being more accident prone than any other stretch of highway. Having said that, I too get white knuckled driving through there, but all I suggested was hard accident data would make that case better than anecdotal data.

  49. Rose
    January 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Didn’t Daly’s have 3 stores? Bistrin’s had 17? I forget. but at one point they were expanding into other markets… We lost our JCPenney even though they moved to the Mall, Sears left the Old Mall, two men’s clothing stores went down, but Evie’s and Bistrin’s were gone long before the Mall if I remember right, as was The Three Of Us, Fine Lines – and that’s where most all of the competition was, clothing, what else is at the Mall? Kokopilau moved to the Mall, then moved back into Old Town.

    Things change, businesses come and go for all sorts of reasons.

    Improving the road is not going to make the sky fall down.

  50. January 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Eureka Observer. I may have come across as looking for sympathy, that is far from the case. Being a volunteer fireman is one of the more rewarding things that a person can do. Sometimes we save a life and sometimes we save property, and when we don’t it is not our fault, and we are respected beyond what we deserve.

    My suggestion that someone else look it up is valid. I’m not at liberty to talk about the personal things that I’ve seen. Firefighters are held to the same rules of confidentiality, as medical providers, as any other medical person. Even if I offer someone a band-aide. To be fair, I’ve had very little to do with the accidents in the grove. But, I know things from other firefighters that I don’t feel that I can share.

    Any evidence that I give you would still be anecdotal. My point was that there are trusted professional reporters out there that know how to find the records of facts. I’m not sure that they would describe the particular gruesome deaths that happen in the Grove. But, at least you could have a “body count” as you will.

    If the accident rate is not any higher there than anywhere else, why won’t they let the trucks drive through there? I believe that it is unreasonably dangerous.

    My final point that I hope for you to at least think about is the enormously expensive alternatives. Any bypass would remove thousands of trees. The slopes on either side are highly unstable. I’m more environmentally sensitive than you think. But, the most environmentally sound alterative is to do and E.I.R., take out a few trees and do what ever is considered prudent and necessary to offset and mitigate that loss.

    Please weigh what I say…. Take out some trees, it’s the most prudent thing to do, and it will save lives. Yes, I know that is not what was proposed.

  51. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Fred, you are talking to a turtle. Remember Lee’s Jeweler’s? Hollander’s? Three of Us? Maurice’s Shoes? Trimble’s? The Bootery? Art Johnson’s? 88% of Eureka’s voters wanted Bayshore Mall, and they killed their own downtown. Now it’s *Arkleyville*!

  52. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Several of the businesses (Walsh’s, Lincoln’s and others) were over 100 years old.

  53. humboldturtle
    January 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry for the change of topic. My fault. So, the big reason we are having this talk is because the state won’t fund the long-standing Richardson Grove bypass project? It’s about money then.

  54. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    5:54 I have to comment on what you said. Local stores cannot compete with chains by price. If they pay $20 for a shirt the chains only pay $15 and get free shipping, and then can charge the consumer less. How would you feel if you had a store and were watching your competition sell the shirt for less than you had to pay for it? The local stores have to find their way to compete by being unique in some way, something that is not easy when you are competing with the internet and big companies with professional marketing staffs.

  55. January 10, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    If the accident rate is not any higher there than anywhere else, why won’t they let the trucks drive through there?

    My understanding is that the trucks do drive through there. From Humboldt/Del Norte California Cattleman’s Association:

    “While we respect those [safety] concerns we hope they come to realize that the road is actually wide enough to allow trucks with 48-foot trailers that have a kingpin to rear axle setting of 43 feet to pass safely through Richardson Grove, allowing Humboldt County producers to ship their product to market in a safe and timely manner,” said Association president Jorie Brundy.

  56. Anony.Miss
    January 10, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I have driven through there at least 6 times a year for the past 30 years and I kind of look forward to it. Is it really that dangerous if you are driving slowly and carefully?

  57. anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I was under the impression that the Caltrans work at Richardson Grove had to do with not allowing oversize cattle trucks through there because they would not be able to negotiate the tight turns, and had nothing to do with fatalities there. Having gone through there often myself, and towing a fifth wheel at times, I saw no problem as long as the speed limit was observed, and of course staying in your own lane.

  58. January 10, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Heroldo, I think that it’s only cattle trucks that are allowed to travel through there full length. Other trucks are held to length restrictions. My main concern is not the length of the trucks, but the wicked path the road takes, and a truck of any length can be destructive.

    A milkman, driving a bob tailed milk truck in the 1950’s, ran over and killed a photographer with a camera and a tripod set up in the middle of the road, because he couldn’t see him around the trees, and couldn‘t stop in time. The road is now more narrow than it was then.

    It’s getting more and more obvious to me that you need a reporter that you guys would trust to look up some facts for you.

  59. January 10, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Anony-miss, some of the cars that have been run over have been at a full dead stop (Pardon the pun) when they got run over.

    I really feel this is another one of those things that ignorance is going to win.

  60. Anonymous
    January 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    I need to know the name of that milkman.

  61. January 10, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    humboldtturtle wrote, “88% of Eureka’s voters wanted Bayshore Mall, and they killed their own downtown. Now it’s *Arkleyville*!”.

    Eureka downtown, especially Old Town, was dying long before Bayshore Mall came to being. You can’t blame Bayshore Mall for that.

    As an aside, the shoe stores you mention: Shoe stores have gone by the wayside. They’re a victim of time.

    Businesses come and go. They always have, no matter how long they’ve been around. Why Larry Glass’ The Works is still around is beyond me. Hmmm… shouldn’t the Bayshore Mall have shut him down, too?

    Now, if you wanted my take on why downtown and Old Town went down the tubes…I’d say they were just another casualty of Marina Center. It may not be here yet, but just the thought of it is often all it takes.

  62. January 10, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Tom Newland, my uncle. The man didn’t die right away he died later of massive infections. Now you owe me, what are you going to do with that information. or were you just trying to prove that I’m a fraud?

    I could site many more examples, but that would affect more people than just myself, and you just proved to me why I shouldn’t go there. Please quit playing games with me. Another thing that you should know, I have a very low opinion of anyone that challenges me with the name “Anonymous”. It smacks of cowardice. But someone, maybe you, said that was childish.

    Is there anyone out there that can look this stuff up? I can see that some people really don’t believe me, or that Richardson’s Grove is a hazard.

  63. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 10, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Anonymous = by or from a person whose name is not known or given…….is anonymous. Anonymous, posing as a different anonymous, but still acting anonymously, is anonymous. If a response to anonymous can not be immediate chronologically, then anonymous is still anonymous…..and the great thing, the anonymous who understands which anonymous feedback is meant for that particular anonymous, will stay anonymous, act anonymous, deceive as anonymous, and is forever known as anonymous……so, what was your mute point……anonymous.

    Do we need to define Harassment?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  64. January 10, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Thank’s Hench… I think.

  65. Anonymous
    January 11, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Ernie, Jeffrey, I think you two are too defensive. I haven’t attacked either of you. In fact, I said something nice about Ernie a few posts back. Lighten, up, gentlemen, not everybody who posts anonymously is an enemy.

    I asked for the name of the milkman because one of my own uncles was a milkman during the 1950s and could have been the driver. You, Ernie, did me a favor by relieving my mind of the worry that my uncle might have had such a serious trauma in his early working career. (Yes, he was the kind of guy who would have shielded the kids from learning about a terrible event like that.)

    That said, our uncles might have known each other and worked together. My uncle worked for the Challenge Dairy. I’m not going to mention his name, because I don’t know if his widow and children would appreciate that.

    But as I say, I asked the question in good faith, you answered it, and you can relax now because you know I was not trying to harm or harass you.

    By the way, all my life on the North Coast, I have heard stories about drivers who suddenly came upon clueless tourists who were on the Redwood Highway taking pictures of the trees, only to strike them because there was no way to avoid hitting them. Your uncle’s story is the closest thing I have heard or read to confirm that anything like that had happened.

    I’m sorry the accident happened, of course, and sorry for the anguish your uncle must have felt, even though the collision was not his fault.

  66. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 11, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Hello Anonymous.

    I thought I’d check in before the z’s.

    Not defensive, just informing of the viewpoint by those who use their real names to identify their comments. I do not give much credence to comments with no real name. Alias’ are just that, alias’.

    When people with real names are not afraid to attach their reputation to their comments, then they are not afraid to take the criticism. This, I believe, shows character and good will to participate in something where all the cards are set on the table where everyone can see. This is openness. This is understanding. This is adult like communication…..Back door, closed session style conversations leads to somewhere, but very slowly. Implying not that you have not communicated in any fashion, can you understand that their are many anonymous’s whose comments are less than adult like?

    I made no mention of you attacking me so, hopefully you will sleep well tonight. It was good to communicate.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  67. January 11, 2008 at 7:02 am

    My mistake, I’m sorry.

    But, I’m always leery of “Anonymous”. One never knows which anon that they are talking to, and virtually all low blows and vicious attacks come from anons. I’m a little flinchy.

  68. January 11, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    The Bayshore Mall killed downtown Fortuna, as well. We lost both Bistrins and Daly’s and eventually Redwood Bootery. Also lost were Ben Franklin’s and Beno’s.

  69. Larry Evans
    January 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Question: if the road is widened and/or simply realigned, won’t there likely be an increase in average speed through there and if so will there be any net gain in safety? I offer no answer– this is a straight up question (as opposed to the passive-aggressive rhetorical question mode often used to make a point by some folks).

    I believe there are many many viable questions that should be answered and that an EIR is the likeliest instrument for those questions and answers. Asking the questions is not opposition per se. And, suggesting that there is no need to analyze the impacts of a project because no analysis has been done is definitely circular logic. (Love the graphic!)

  70. Anonymous
    January 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Just a reminder. The great cathedrals of Europe, built in the Middle Ages, were built by workers who put tremendous dedication and skill into their work. They did not sign their names. They were anonymous. They meant to glorify God, not themselves.

  71. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 12, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Another reminder about Druidic turned Christianic Societal history…

    What happened in those days if you DID NOT GLORIFY GOD?…I can’t help but think of the personal executions for such rhetoric exclaiming personal individualities and accomplishments when all of them were already “ENSLAVED AND WORKING TOGETHER AND COULD COMMUNICATE TOGETHER OUT IN THE OPEN”, therefore, they already knew who was attached to what. Nice try. ……Socialism, Communism, Terrorism, Druidism…I am confused, which one is accurate? PLEASE DO NOT SPEAK FOR GOD, THE ALMIGHTY. HE WILL SPEAK WHEN HE IS READY, FOR GOD IS NOT A BLASPHEMIST, RIGHT?

    P.S.. since Democracy was relatively an unknown future idea back then and most people were enslaved, I do not believe there was an evolutionized debate between popularity and name sign-offs. Simply put, PEOPLE WERE NOT FREE TO REMARK, CHOOSE, HAVE OPINIONS, ETC…..not a world for today’s girls and boys, no?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  72. Anonymous
    January 12, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Jeffrey, you are one touchy dude.

  73. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 12, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    No, just no spinning history, please.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  74. January 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Jeffry, will you just quit it. You’re making people have to think.

    My question would be; if “anonymous” did all that work to glorify God, wasn’t it with the hopes that God would allow them into heaven for all their good work? So isn’t that the ultimate selfishness? If anonymous did something that he knew that there was no reward for, but did it for some other good cause at the cost of himself, then I would believe that he was truly a “Selfless Person”.

    It’s hard for me to find virtue in an Anonymous statement that attacks people. Generic statements of fact are fine, but to say something that causes someone else harm from behind a wall of anonymity, just isn’t fair, and I see it happen more often than not.

    Go ahead and be anonymous but show some responsibility, or at least use a pen name so a person will know which anon that a person is conversing with. It’s to easy to get upset with the wrong anon, when most of them are darn fine people!

  75. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I endorse thnking. does anyone have any thoughts on the safety related question I posed above? It seems logical that widening & straightening might lead to increased speeds. If so, is safety enhanced or not?

    By the way– how will widening and straightening curtail the nonsensical habit of some visitors to stop in the middle of the road for photo opportunities. I call this the “Disneyland Syndrome” and I first saw it repeatedly occurring when I worked in Yosemite National Park in the last half of the eighties. It is an unfortunate occurance that can have tragic consequences.

  76. Rose
    January 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Wider roads are safer, Larry. Anyone who has driven on those roads over the years knows how much better they are now. Driving to Sacramento is a pleasure now, and used to be the opposite. There are only a couple of bad stretches left. They need to be fixed. It will save lives. And the world will not come to an end.

  77. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Comments on cathedral builders from a former professional dry-stone mason (no mortar).

    The various fraternal organizatons of Masons originated during the time of cathedral building in medieval Europe. Due to the fact that one of the ways that rich and powerful fuedal lords competed for status among themselves was on the basis of who sponsored and built the greatest cathedrals, the masons who designed and implemented the projects gained a certain status themselves. This was because they held the knowledge of how these grand and technically challenging buildings were constructed. They were in fact combination architects/engineers/craftsmen and building contractors. Consequently they were in demand and therefore many of them became known for their flamboyant dress and personal grooming habits including the wearing of their hair long. They also formed societies along the lines of trade guilds in order to parlay their sought after skills and knowledge into greater economic & political power.

    I know that many people attribute conspiratorial/societally manipulative power to the modern offshoots of these original masons, but I have no opinion about this one way or the other and I don’t much care.

    I learned this stuff from one of my first foreman who taught me the trade and who also had been a history professor.

    Kind of off-subject but I didn’t bring up this line of comment so don’t blame me.

  78. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Widening and straightening will, most likely lead to increased speed.

    As far as the safety impacts, pros and cons, one could argue that with less tight turns and variations in the road section (widths, elevation increases and decreases, etc.), a more consistent driving pattern should develop.

    Also, if there were to be more of an area on the sides/edges of the road, we quite possibly might gain in “sight distances” for increased safety benefitting drivers en route and pedestrians along the shoulder of the roadway.

    It too would be good for extra parking for the visitors and tourists to be located far enough from the traveled roadway so that we avoid intermixing “in motion vehicles with people” along the road. This is dangerous and we all should understand this. Losing a loved one does not have to be unnecessary.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  79. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Rose, you make a statement as if it is some sort of truism but offer no evidence to back your claim and you don’t answer my specific question. Are you a traffic engineer? Will widening and straightening raise speeds through these sections and if so, will that increase safety or not.

    I have heard that going faster increases accident rates. I am sure that while this is true at certain speeds I am not aware of what the fine details are. Is this true after a certain threshhold of speed or is it true for every increase of allowed speed. If true, does the rate of accidents increase at an increasing rate? As is the case in most technical questions it is likely not a black and white issue since that is not the nature of physical reality.

    I have been driving the roads up here for a quarter century and I wonder how you define better. Faster (yes they are in some spots), less attention needed by drivers to account for handling through curves? Does a wider thoroughfare increase the skill and attentiveness of drivers? Do more drivers on a stretch of road increase safety? Do improved roads increase usage? Is there evidence to show that accidents, either by rate (accidents/vehicle usage) or in whole, have changed on the widened and straightened sections. I propose no answers, only questions that should be answered by serious analysis.

    These are serious questions requiring serious analysis, not ideology.

  80. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Mr. L,

    The sight lines point is a good one. On the other hand, what level of tree removal will be necessary to accomplish this. Is this level of tree removal what is being proposed? The same question applies to the road side parking you are suggesting. At what point does tree removal negate the draw that brings tourists here in the first place?

    My point is that this proposed project is not as simple as some folks would like to suggest. Does that mean no project should be done? I do not hold that opinion, only that these are among the many questions that should be asked and answered.

  81. January 12, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    One only needs to watch a truck go through the grove to understand the mechanics of the accidents that are caused there. Trucks start to whip and fly out of control by the “S-Turns” that they have to negotiate. A straighter road would speed up traffic AND make it much safer.

    What they are doing is not good enough. Do the E.I.R., take out the trees, straighten the road, then mitigate the lost of the trees to the betterment of the environment.

    Just an opinion…

  82. Rose
    January 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Ideology, Larry? I’m afraid you are the one suffering from that affliction.

  83. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Mr. B,

    I have seen the trucks whipping around in there and you are correct that it is scary and dangerous. I like it when the CHP does enforcement there when I am driving through the area since I feel that my likelihood of getting through safely is increased since drivers are slowed down by the visible presence of law enforcement.

    Question: how is the removal of 200 – 600 year old trees mitigated? I hear that a professor at HSU is proposing some promising methods for accelerating the attainment of some habitat features in younger trees. Is that the nature of what you are suggesting? If this project goes through this might present an opportunity to try some of these methods. Are there other impacts that might be mitigated? How can we integrate any of those practices into the plan.

  84. Larry Evans
    January 12, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Rose, you make a counter-accusation of ideology based opinions but conveniently skip providing any substantive answers to serious questions.

    Smoothly done but transparent and without substance.

    Can you provide any answers to any of the questions I posed? Is there data to back up your contentions?

    Where’s the beef? Aside from on the trucks that is. Yuk Yuk.

  85. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 12, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Hello Larry,

    As far as tree removal negating the draw that brings tourists here in the first place……something tells me a lot of people would be in favor of this thought you bring out about less tourist draw.

    That would impact the forrest less, correct?

    Now, does not the same concept work when the Humoldt County Planning Department mitigates a “PROJECT” by taking some of the land and making sure it is a Buffer Zone, Riparian Zone, Streamside Management Zone, Banking Set-Back Zone, Water Management Area, Wetland Set-Back Area or Zone,etc.

    The idea is that C.E.Q.A. is fully looked at to determine whether or not a “FULL” E.I.R. needs to be undertaken. The idea with C.E.Q.A. is, as well, to walk away with something more than before.

    Therefore, because a “PROJECT” is up for permitting, a C.E.Q.A. process evolves and more environmental restrictions are added to the land. Lest we not forget these “Development Issues”…..it is because of a “DEVELOPMENT PROJECT” that more “ENVIRONMENTAL RESTRICTIONS AND STANDARDS” are put in place. The idea BEHIND LAW IS that…..”If you taketh, you shall giveth something back”. Lest us also not forget that the “REAL” issue on this concept is “How much is respectfully reasonable.”

    It is also not uncommon that when the C.E.Q.A. process is consummated, no adverse impacts will be found. It would then come down to the minor give and takes.

    It is worth noting that having been involved in the C.E.Q.A. process versus not having been involved in the C.E.Q.A. process will make a huge difference in understanding the level of scrutiny placed upon this “SPECIAL” process.

    C.E.Q.A. is dubbed as monumental by politicians in this state because the idea was to encourage “environmental harmony” as best as possible and reasonable while understanding that we are a civilization of growth and development. This was a huge step in bringing closer the interests who form oppositions of opinions. I believe C.E.Q.A. to be working.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  86. Hayduke
    January 12, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I have been following this thread with interest.

    I just looked at the project information which is on the Caltrans web site. It clearly says “No old growth trees will be removed”.

    So what then, is all the fuss?

    I suppose someone could argue we don’t want the larger trucks coming up here (this IS the redwood curtain by the way) but it seems kind of silly to argue this on environmental grounds.

    However it seems clear this project is going to happen, and has little or no significant environmental impact on the Richardson Grove area.

    So again, read the project proposal, look at the alignment map, and I think you will conclude, as I did this is a well conceived and well executed project. I don’t think it will have huge impact on safety because we are exchanging the improved alignment for larger trucks. My expectation is the speed limit will not change because of State Park entrance.

  87. "Henchman of Justice"
    January 12, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I am thinking the fuss was about the reasons an E.I.R. is not being done, even though the C.E.Q.A. process can’t identify categorically or administratively any adverse impacts.

    I too believe in going forward with this project. Let us just make sure everyone legally has their say so our tax monies go to good use. Once the C.E.Q.A. process is complete, we need to move forward.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  88. Hayduke
    January 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I would be the first to be critical of Caltrans if they were guilty of playing fast and loose with the EIR process, but historically they do a very good job (as opposed to those at the County Planning Commission on the Samoa project last week).

    The 101 Corridor Project has a long way to go, but so far Caltrans has shown every sign of being quite sensitive to public comment.

    I have only taken a cursory look at this Richardson Grove project but so far Caltrans appears to be following both the spirit and letter of the law. I don;t know if the quote “The reason we’re not doing an EIR is because we haven’t identified any significant impact from the proposed project” was lifted out of context but usually an Environmental Assessment is done first, and this would be a logical statement if the EA showed no significant impact.

  89. January 13, 2008 at 3:08 am

    In response to a query from Ernie (breakfast was great, BTW)…

    I have reported two serious accidents in the Grove this year:

    -On Feb. 3, an 86-year-old Eureka woman (traveling with her 88-year-old husband) sustained major injuries when she ran into a redwood tree. She was not wearing her seat belt, and the airbags did not deploy because the couple had recently been in another collision. Additionally, the vehicle had one inoperable headlight.
    -On Sept. 16, a 21-year-old and a 20-year-old sustained moderate and major injuries, respectively, when they drove a car into a redwood tree. The young men, both SF residents, had stolen the car in SF just a few hours earlier.

    The Piercy VFD responded to 38 car accidents in 2006 and 44 in 2007. According to a fire commissioner with whom I spoke yesterday, they did not respond to any other serious accidents in the Grove, aside from the ones above, in the last two years.

    I have yet to speak with CHP about whether or not they keep statistics by area.

    Full disclosure: my partner drove off the road there a few years ago. Tired, didn’t pay attention for a second or two, and over the edge he went.

  90. January 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Thank’s Cristina, I’ll help you do some digging, the Garberville Fire department may have some info, and also the C.H.P.

    How long ago was the southbound truck crash and burn just byond the bridge, and the produce truck flip over. The fire dept. responded just recently to a crash there.

  91. Anonymous
    January 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    You two in the Peanut Gallery.
    You know who you are.
    God knows who you are.
    God loves the Anonymous ones,
    the Little ones, the Poor ones.
    Do not ally yourselves against
    His Beloved Ones,
    O, Ye of Little Faith.

  92. Anonymous
    January 13, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    You want me to believe a named jackass is better
    than an anonymous gentleman.

  93. Anonymous
    January 14, 2008 at 2:04 am

    A belated comment for Ernie. The craftsmen who worked to build those cathedrals, as I understand it, accepted anonymity with a completely different set of beliefs and values than you apparently believe they had.

    They knew God knew what they were doing. They knew God knew why they were doing it. The idea that they were doing that work as a down payment on a front-row seat in heaven is implausible. These men did not believe they were in any way able to bargain with God. The work was done, unless I have been lied to, in a spirit of love for their Creator.

    It takes a good imagination to try to conceive in our time the great differences in people’s beliefs and values then as compared with how we think now.

    Ernie, thanks for your belated acknowledgement that anonymous posters, like those who chose monikers, can often be decent human beings.

  94. February 17, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Caltrans is holding a public meeting Wednesday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wharfinger Building to provide information on the Richardson Grove Improvement Project.

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