Home > Uncategorized > Hurwitz returned to Maxxam board

Hurwitz returned to Maxxam board

The mastermind and chief benefactor of Pacific Lumber’s demise was re-elected to the Maxxam board of directors, according to the Houston Buisness Journal.

But while Maxxam “reported a net loss of $46.4 million,” Hurwitz took home $1.8 million for 2007 — the year PALCO filed for bankruptcy — up from the $1.1 million the year before.

Good ol’ bankruptcy for profit. Unfortunately it didn’t work out so well for Humboldt County.

But Hurwitz had local supporters, and maybe the crook will toast their efforts upon his rechristening.

Likewise, we, too, should remember those hacks who sold out their community to enrich an outsider corporate raider.

John Campbell
Roger Rodoni
Tom Herman
Frank Bacik
Mel Berti
Jeff Barrett
Mary Bullwinkle
Erin Dunn

  1. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Yet again Heraldo demonstrates how devoid he is of any sense of decency or morality. Roger hasn’t even been in the ground for a month and he’s already getting dismissed as a corrupt hack just because his economic development priorities are different from the corrupt Democrat Central Committee cabal of big government losers. No doubt Paul Pitino would get the same treatment if he dropped dead tomorrow, even though he’s Green, since he is like Roger just another “outsider” to be dehumanized and demonized by the Democrat control freaks who are running this county into the ground.

  2. Andrew Bird
    June 3, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Why do you include Mary Bullwinkle in this rascally group?

  3. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 10:30 am

    She had the audacity to represent the views of her employer as a paid spokeswoman.

  4. anon
    June 3, 2008 at 10:40 am

    it was erin dunn and tell you actually say who is paying you for your biased unfactual news stay behind the curtain little man

  5. June 3, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Bullwinkle defended Maxxam at every despicable turn. She learned the hard way that such dishonest loyalty wouldn’t be returned when they fired her.

    Roger hasn’t even been in the ground for a month

    Oh, oops. I forgot we have to talk about the temperature of Roger’s corpse every time we mention his name.

  6. Steve Lewis
    June 3, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Heraldo, “every dispicable turn”. That really sounds just like Ken Miller talking. And if it is, then we have a real live ghoul running “Heraldo”.

    And Heraldo forgot to mention how Ken Miller exploited Humboldt County, just like Hurwitz did, and Darryl Cherney, each getting their reward for screwing Humboldt citizens.

  7. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 10:52 am

    each getting their reward for screwing Humboldt citizens.

    Why can’t you enjoy sex, Steve? Why always with the rape imagery?

  8. Anon 10:25
    June 3, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I despise Maxxam and its board too, Heraldo, but the difference is that I don’t see that fight as justification for dehumanizing my local political opponents.

  9. June 3, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Some local politicians greased the wheels for Maxxam. Humboldt County would do well to remember that.

  10. Ed
    June 3, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Wow, Steve just admitted Hurwitz exploited Humco. Someone tell Rose.

  11. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I am so sickened by all of this “anti” crap Heraldo – you sound like a morally bankrupt broken record.

  12. June 3, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Why would anyone be anti-Hurwitz? After all he’s done for John Campbell…

  13. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 11:46 am

    And what’s Ken Miller gonna do with his ill-gotten $1.8 mil this year? I sure hope he spends it on corrupt political parties!

  14. Nobody But Me
    June 3, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for acknowledging that Rodoni was a hack.

    The praise for this crook who sold out his community had been getting a bit nauseating.

  15. Eurekev
    June 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    How dare you criticize a local politician who has been deceased for a month but is still running for office. That’s unamerican.

  16. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Mary was a professional journalist when she worked at the radio station in Eureka. She was fair and impartial in her reporting. To me, that meant working stiffs got a fair deal from her. But after she went to work for Maxam, she was no longer doing the same job. Her good reputation followed her to Pacific Lumber, and unfortunately, it died there. But let’s be fair. It is not an easy thing to make a living around here and keep your conscience clean. She probably did the best she could.

  17. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Roger Rodoni has passed all the necessary steps toward canonization. Anyone found mucking up his journey toward sainthood will be rewarded with an eternity in a lake of fire. Referring to Him as if he were a mere mortal will get you to the same place of eternal torment. Watch your step, Heraldo. signed, A Friend.

  18. Not A Native
    June 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    H., Your point is well taken, history that’s forgotten will repeat.

    I think you should add the names of all the Pacific Lumber Directors and the President/CEO who accepted Maxaam’s buyout offer. They’re the real crooks because they profited greatly and got away cleanly. My understanding is that some them are the Murphy family, now improperly accorded exhalted status among the rank and file.

    The obvious lesson is: Local power mongers are just as pernicious as absentee ones, don’t equate local with benevolence. In fact local ones are often worse because they grab for total control over the people they see everyday.

  19. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    history that’s forgotten will repeat.

    Or history that is remembered will be used as a blueprint.

  20. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Sainthood- what an F’ing joke

  21. J.P.
    June 3, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Toward the end I actually found myself feeling kind of sorry for Mary Bullwinkle…it was obvious that she was mouthing words that she didn’t believe in, and I was kind of embarassed for her. Maybe someday we’ll get the Scott McClellan-style memoir from her. But I doubt it, as I understand they paid her off quite handsomely in order to keep her quiet when she left Palco.

    Hurwitz is, was, and probably will continue to be, a social parasite. There’s just no other way to put it – he adds nothing and leeches away a great deal. The secret to his success is that while doing that he also deflects blame (to environmentalists and the government) and rewards a relatively small groups with fat paychecks, while impoverishing the community as a whole. Even the once well-paid workers got played in the end, after Hurwitz no longer needed them. Only the top dogs like Campbell and Manne and the other executive-level lackeys made out well in the end.

    I have mixed feelings about Roger Rodoni, who had many redeeming qualities along with his significant shortcomings. To say that he was “just a hack” seems to me to be an inaccurate overall portrayl. He was a good-old-boy, with all the baggage that entailed, and he did side with Maxxam against the interests of many of his own constituents, and he did get a sweetheart deal on his palco-owned ranch. But I tend to think that he acted more out of his own convictions rather than in a quid-pro-quo corrupt kind of way. And he was very consistent (if not terribly effective) in his advocacy for legalizing our number-one cash crop, and protecting the rights of 215 patients.

    Like most people, Roger was a mixed bag. “Saint Roger” he was not, but “Roger-the-Hack” is equally inaccurate.

    At any rate, it’s pretty amazing to see Hurwitz get paid $1.8 million for losing more than $40 million! And we wonder why our economy is going down the toilet?

    Heck, my small business actually turned a small profit last year – maybe Maxxam should hire me for $2.5 million – think of the money I could save them by just breaking even!


  22. Steve Lewis
    June 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    “Some local politicians greased the wheels for Maxxam. Humboldt County would do well to remember that.”

    What I and others concerned with environmental protection of Humboldt watersheds will remember is how Ken Miller along with Mark Lovelace and former Humboldt Watershed Council founder Bob Martel along with EPIC and Earth First! all worked together to divert available environmental protection information and energy in Humboldt County away from the main source of environmental destruction –homestead access road sedimentation and homestead overconsumption of dry season water which has harmed countless numbers of indigenous species seeking water that has been diverted to homesteaders’ pot gardens.

    There’s not been any more vicious environmental phonies than Ken Miller’s group who never have learned real environmental protection because Ken’s not an environmentalist, never was, but an anti-corporate political activist who uses environmental issues to attack his prey–Maxxam and the corporate target du jour.

  23. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    How ironic that Rodoni’s pot guidelines were the ones implemented.

  24. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Yes, and that Johanna likes tpz development.

  25. Jane Doe
    June 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Steve is claiming too many people in the hills (homestead roads and water useage) is to blame for the worst of the environmental destruction (as opposed to over harvesting) but he supports HumCPR.

  26. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Steve, do you have a problem with homesteaders who don’t grow pot?

  27. Fellow Human Being
    June 3, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Steve, you might have a lot more success in gathering support for your concerns about homestead-access-road sedimentation and dry-season water usage if you weren’t presenting it as if we had to choose between putting resources into protecting timberlands from overlogging or, on the other hand addressing your concerns about homesteader impacts.

    Organizing community support and raising funds from the community are not really zero-sum games where there is only a given amount of citizen donations for all environmental campaigns and giving to one takes away from all others. That’s just not how it works. Most of the potentially “available” moneys are being used for other amenities and even luxuries, and can be freed up to support your campaign if you are able to inspire people, rather than divide people and blame certain individuals for the fact that your concerns are not being addressed to your liking.

    I share your concerns about the impacts of what we might call “rural sprawl” and I’d add the issue of diesel-dope grows spilling fuel on the soil and into our precious creeks, which I believe you are concerned about as well. I think you might be surprised how many folks out in SoHum really do agree with you on all three of these concerns (siltation from roads, dry-season water use, and diesel spills). I’d say it is the great majority, in fact, once you remove the personality issues from the equation. You should take heart from that.

    I realize that it may seem contradictory and perhaps from your point of view hypocritical for homesteaders to have these concerns when their very presence on the land has created at least the first two issues (access roads and water usage), but hey, we’re human beings, and the last time I heard of a perfect one being born was about 2,000 years ago.


    Those homesteaders aren’t going to be leaving the hills any time soon (although the spiraling gas prices may drive some away and prevent much further growth in the near future), so the question is how can these issues be addressed in a cooperative, preferably voluntary, and overall sensible fashion. Such as storing more water in the winter, improving culverts and gravel road grading, (good models are being provided by the Mattole Restoration Council on both those items) and providing information and resources for safe fuel storage (and, yes, enforcement with stiffer penalties when the relatively small number of really bad players continue to be sloppy with their diesel fuel). This would be at least a good start, and there is a lot to do on all three points.

    Anyway, Steve, I take the time to make these points because you are obviously a passionate, articulate, and tenacious individual. And I respect the fact that you use your real name and occassionally even admit error and set facts straight, such as with the case of the false rumor about Clif Clendenen paying subminimum wages to undocumented immigrants. That’s more intellectual integrity than I see from a lot of the commentators on these blogs, and that’s why I feel like it’s worth my time to take half an hour to write this comment!

    Some of the things I’ve seen you write on other issues make me cringe, and some make me angry, but I won’t go into that here. But I wanted to let you know that many people in rural Humboldt DO agree that there are very real environmental impacts to our growing rural population, and especially the larger, sloppier pot grows. But if the approach you take is simply to blame other environmentalists and organizations and homesteaders in general for not addressing these issues, and implying that they are somehow responsible for these problems by diverting resources that would have otherwise gone to address your issues, you’re really not going to attract a lot of support, because this just doesn’t ring true for most of us.

    Why not put your effort into making common cause with the majority of environmentally-conscious Humboldt residents, both rural homesteaders and everyone else, and simply ignore the “leaders” and groups you have found to be unresponsive in the past?

    And I’m going to be frank here, at the risk of you tuning me out altogether, but you ought to look to your own personality imperfections (and, yes, we all have them) and realize that your approach, with sometimes unjustifiably harsh personal attacks on the motives of those who you don’t see eye-to-eye with, may be one of the barriers that holds you back from realizing your goals in this area. Yes, others attack your motives unjustifiably also, but lowering your own standards to theirs is never the right answer, tempting though those “zingers” often are. I offer the same advice to the Ken Millers and Mark Lovelaces of the world (and I even try to follow that advice myself, at least most of the time!)

    There’s always some baggage from the past, and its fine to acknowledge that, but today is also a new day and both you and your perceived opponents are capable of moving past bitterness if you and they are both able to muster the humility to try to engage constructively with one another in order to try to meet those goals that you hold in common.

    I do mean this advice sincerely, and it is offered in the spirit of reaching out beyond my own “comfort zone” to have a meaningful dialogue with someone who I have often disagreed with on other issues in the past. I hope you are able to accept this advice and constructive (from my point of view, anyway) criticism in the same spirit. I do think you have more to offer than just as a gadfly, so I hope to see you continue to develop as a potential organizer on these issus you feel so strongly about.

    A Fellow Human Being.

    P.S. And I do realize the asymmetry in this exchange in that I choose not to use my full name on these forums, for reasons that I am also not willing to go into here. Unfair, I know. But I hope you are able to look past that bit of unfairness to really consider what I have written here, even if you ultimately decide that my advice is not helpful, or my analysis is wrong. Perhaps we’ll meet in person sometime in relation to these issues. Either way, good luck to you, and thanks for taking the time to at least read this lengthy comment. Peace, fellow human being.

  28. tad
    June 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Peace be with you Steve

    Have you ever seen the devastated slopes on PL’s land. Every old growth gone, steep slopes sliding into the water sheds and silting up the estuaries, creating new ravines and and bald faces, spraying herbicide mixed in DIESEL fuel, and cutting poorly designed and maintained roads all over the place.

    As far as someone (which by your description and judging the times that few is really a lot of people) “divert[ing] available environmental protection information and energy in Humboldt County away from the main source of environmental destruction, I don’t think it was malicious.

    Everyone dreams of own a homestead in Humboldt. The problem is nobody wants to turn Hum into some ubber-rich playground. These people bring their problems and worst their solutions with them when they move to the hills. You’ll like these people, because they are ultraconsertive, but they might draw bored of you someday.

    Most poor people who move to the woods do so in an Thoreauian type of attitude. It is perferable in my point of view to fill the hills of Humboldt with people who idolize John Muir then a few ranchettes with people who commute to SF and idolize Chuck Hurwitz.

    love eternal

  29. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Mary was a professional journalist when she worked at the radio station in Eureka.

    H is confused about the role of a PR flack. It was her job to represent her client’s views. There is no latitude for expressing her own opinion anymore than you’d expect a defense attorney to stand before a judge and shout, “He’s guilty, your honor!”

  30. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    The problem is nobody wants to turn Hum into some ubber-rich playground.

    Tad and I agree! We need an uber-rich playground! It’s the only way we’re going to score a 50 foot water slide.

  31. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Tad, Thoreau was ungodly rich when he went into the woods. Poor people don’t live in the woods as some lofty philosophical pursuit. They do it today in order to cut the cost of living and it results in widespread environmental degradation.

  32. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Have to agree that Ken Miller is not an enviromentalist. He has TPZ property with cheap tax but does not want to build on it or log it. Then what is he doing with all those acres?? He supports Loveless so where is his loyalty on the BOS. Miller already has Geist’s ear and now he may have two BOS. Does this bode well? Probably not.

    I keep hearing about Roger’s sweet deal from Palco on his ranch land. I don’t think anyone lived there as there was no electricity and no water. Plus Roger had to maintain everything – fences for his cattle, etc. The Fair Political Practices Committee found no wrong in this but there are still complaints about it.

    If Bullwinkle was a “fair newsreporter” but now gets called as being another hack for Palco. What do you think you will get with Estelle – another “fair newsreporter” but announced pot raids on the radio and got into the entire Mattole battle and took sides. What do you think you will get if she is a Supervisor? Fair or not? Seems to me to be the same thing as Bullwinkle here except for the Mattole issue. I’m not absolutely sure that we have anyone running for Supervisor that should be elected. It seems we are going to get the same as we had or maybe worse. Loveless has a plan for Economic Development in the County that even the Economic Development Department and the entire BOS has not been able to solve but this seems to be the “second coming” with his ideas that will solve everyone’s job and what they earn in Humboldt County. Maybe he will solve the homeless problem in a week too. Just can’t wait to see him slapped into reality by the Bon Bon! He may get the same death stare that Jimmy gets when Bon Bon thinks he may vote against her wishes. This may be better than a soap to sit and watch. Comedy it won’t be as this is serious business here and I don’t think we are going to fare well this time around.

  33. Steve
    June 3, 2008 at 4:30 pm
  34. Steve
  35. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Old news.

  36. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    tad thinks everybody wants a homestead in the hills of humboldt county. I used to dream that dream, until I realized the hills here are alive with the sound of crackpots. The crackpot neighbors, to be specific. Crackpot pot-growing neighbors. I decided to stay in town.

  37. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    That, and homeless people devastating the countryside.

  38. Hillwilliam
    June 3, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Roads in the hills are the problem? Damn right. And 30, 40 years later, people are still removing the abandoned logging roads, a few at a time as they can afford to do so. Hundreds of miles of them. No one else has given a damn about them, just landowners and the non-profits that they formed to raise the money to get the work done.

    Those hills Steven accuses the homesteaders of ruining were butchered by logging and lacerated with miles and miles of brutal, poorly cut logging roads, the creeks were impacted by log crossings set into the channels and then left in place when the trucks drove out, the streambanks flayed by yarding huge logs right up the creek. When the timber was gone and the creeks ruined, then, only then, were the last few dollars chewed off the corpse of the now ‘worthless’ land by subdividing it.

    The homesteaders didn’t just descend like locusts and devour virgin land. Hurwitz and Maxxam did. So who has caused greater damage?

    Walk through some of the old homesteads. ‘Homesteaders’ and subsequent home-owners have done more to improve the roads they use, remove many more miles of the old logging roads, restore the watersheds and streambeds, regrow the timber, reduce fuel loads and other stewardship projects than Hurwitz ever will for the bleeding, poisoned clearcuts Maxxam has left behind. Homesteaders inherited the worst of the ecological damage, they didn’t cause it.

    That said, I agree, water diversion is a genuine problem, but not an insurmountable one. The solution is winter catch and storage. People are catching on to storage, more and more big tanks going up as folks can afford them–and no, not everyone grows pot and can immediately shell out $15-20K for a 50K gallon tank, which the county will then tax as an improvement, while it harasses folks for not having a flush toilet and a full septic system the way ‘normal’ people do instead of recognizing that composting and greywater recycling are the environmentally responsible thing to do.

  39. Anonymous
    June 3, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Bullwinkle was not the only PR flack willing to lie with a straight face. Don’t forget Andrea Arnot, who married into the local Arnot family and was willing to go on the record telling us how wonderfully lucky we were to have people like Hurwitz, Campbell, and the current CEO George I-want-to-be-like-my-hero-GWBush running PL for us country bumpkins.

  40. Jane Doe
    June 3, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    For Anonymous 4:01, What is it about investing a large amount of money into TPZ land you don’t plan to build on or log but just let the trees grow for future generations that doesn’t sound like an environmentalist to you? He is a one-man Nature Conservancy, using his own money rather than contributions. He should be applauded for his generosity, not criticized.

  41. Steve Lewis
    June 4, 2008 at 4:32 am

    When I obtained 280+ acres from my one and only success as an outlaw marijuana grower, I put the land immediately into a land trust and shared it between us. I don’t hate homesteaders having been one myself but over the years of taking flak for standing up against homesteader eco-damage I admit to that my criticisms of homesteaders has been overboard due to frustration and anger. Fellow human being, I really do appreciate the time and effort you took to reach me. It is refreshing to see and makes me want to help more than before.

    Here’s a real problem that homesteaders should deal with realistically. Very few homesteaders are going to be living in the hills when they reach older age because their bodies won’t take the strain. Add to this the same phenomena that happened in the first homestead cycle which is the first wave moves in, develops homesteads, the second generation is bored to tears with the homestead lifestyle and moves back to town or to the cities to find work. Pot growing has kept only the greedier kids around while the smarter ones go off to college and usually a different lifestyle. In other words, the homestead lifestyle is not sustainable historically. The first wave of failed homesteads were swallowed up in the formation of ranches out of homestead patent parcels. Bob and other developers broke the ranches up and put them back into homesteads.

    The other thing is that I really only know of one homesteader out in all my years of SoHum experience who conscientiously drives slow on the dirt roads, maintains his homestead by himself, has no animals but wild life friends, and repairs past road and logging damage to his land and knows what he’s doing. His lifestyle is so extreme that few individuals could match it and no families could at all without the kids suffering what they would consider severe lifestyle deprivation. He lives the life of a loner and that to me is the only legitimate lifestyle that should be in the rural hills. I just cannot see past the division of watersheds into artificial squares with multiple ownerships which almost always guarantee some asses abusing their land stewardship responsibilities. When I was working with Bob McKee on the Elk Ridge subdivision I tried to get him to make our land trust parcel conform to the natural watershed boundaries, the two ridges and valley in between but Bob was road happy and loved to make new dirt roads as parcel dividers. 1977 was the first time I protested Bob’s road construction but even I didn’t listen to my own homesteader advice and went on trying to do the homestead trip for a few more years until God and circumstances more or less forced me off the hill and I stopped being hypocritical about my homestead philosophy.

    I still want to see the majority of homesteaders leave the hills because I don’t believe the homestead lifestyle is sustainable–it’s one generation’s phase between town living and is it really worth the eco-damage for a relatively few white people to have pretty view homes in the country paid for by illegal pot growing?

    I am a communitarian at heart and never did adjust to the individual homestead lifestyle. I still want to create a cooperative community model that demonstrates a lifestyle that can be universally applied and the homestead one isn’t it.

    Again, Fellow Human Being, thanks for taking the time and effort to communicate with me. If I had gotten such responses before perhaps I wouldn’t have built up such a defensive and negative attitude towards homesteaders who, after all, are many of my friends.

  42. Fellow Human Being
    June 7, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Hello again Stephen,

    I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    I guess I am more optimistic than you are about the potential for some sustainable homesteads and sustainable rural communities. Perhaps I have had more positive interactions and met more homesteaders who are “doing right” by the landscape.

    Certainly there are plenty who are not, you’ll get no argument from me there! But I do feel that if you start with the proposition that no homesteading or rural living is going to be appropriate and sustainable except a few hardy loners, and everyone else ought to move to town, you’re risking alienating the good land stewards that are out there, and driving them into coalition with the more irresponsible landowners who are just looking to get-rich-quick with big diesel dope grows or whatever. I feel that those better stewards could be your best allies in trying to root out the irresponsible ones, but are just going to react defensively if they feel you are out to get all homesteaders / rural residents.

    Anyway, this was a pleasant and informative exchange for me, and you seemed to appreciate it as well. So, I’m glad we engaged in this conversation. I’ll try to remember to look back at this thread in the event that you have something else to add.

    Peace now,

    Fellow Human Being.

  43. Steve Lewis
    June 7, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Peace to you too, FHB

    It is nice to actually nice engage in reasoned discussion on a blog now and then. I miss forums which screen out slandering anons and have more than sound-bite in-your-face verbal exchanges going on as we have in these blogs.

    Steve L.

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