Home > Uncategorized > Richardson Grove comments due

Richardson Grove comments due

richardson_grove_posterThe cut-off for comments on the Richardson Grove widening straightening big truck-friendly project is March 12.  The deadline was extended after CalTrans failed to submit the draft Environmental Impact Report to the State Clearinghouse.

A group opposing the project has a new website: saverichardsongrove.org.  The image at right comes from their site.  Dissenting radio ads have been running on KHUM and other local stations over the last week or so.

Rail Road supporters mentioned the project at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting during the big pitch for port/rail development to overcome Humboldt County’s “geographic challenges.”

Some consider Humboldt’s isolation an asset.

Our transportation infrastructure is crucial to our economic health, said Timber Heritage member Pete Oringer.  Two large trucks were cited for going through the grove over the weekend, he said.

Alan Olmstead suggested alternatives to the Richardson Grove project in Thursday’s Times-Standard.

Instead of permanently ruining the ambiance of one of our ancient assets, how about simply putting in a traffic light? Maybe with a keypad code so just those trucks that need to could activate it and not have to worry about oncoming traffic for some defined period? Seems like a low-tech solution that wouldn’t need to disrupt anything and save millions of dollars at the same time.

Send your comments to:

Kim Floyd (Project Manager)
P.O. Box 3700
Eureka 95502
707-441-5739
Kim_Floyd@dot.ca.gov

  1. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    The businesses that stand to profit from the road widening are local innovators, the type of businesses we supposedly want to prosper here.

  2. March 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Instead of permanently ruining the ambiance of one of our ancient assets, how about simply putting in a traffic light?

    Sounds good to me, but why stop there? Why not put traffic lights on all the 101 intersections between Eureka and Arcata? That’ll slow everyone down to 50 mph and save the “ambiance” too.

  3. Humboldter
    March 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    So here is a copy of my post I put on the Times-Standard forum in response to Mr Olmstead’s letter. I thought the same info would be valuable here:

    “Just wanted to thank you for offering a reasonable question and a well-thought out opinion devoid of overly emotional arguments that derail compromise. If you had been able to attain a copy of the DEIR, you would see that Caltrans has clearly addressed all of the questions regarding a light therein. I am forgetting the particulars, but as I recall the DEIR stated that the area where the bottleneck is located (which makes it impossible for two of these STAA trucks to pass each other and stay within their own lanes) come around blind corners. Surely you could see the extreme danger in that, but also Caltrans explored the idea of having a clearing where people could safely wait through a light and the conclusion I recall was that there is no area in that vicinity that is large enough to do that AND if they were to do that the environmental impact and cost would FAR exceed the current project slated. The other concern is that backed up traffic idling would create far more emissions in the canopies of the old growth than a vehicle passing through, further endangering the sensitive species inhabiting them. Think about it. If you have a 10 minute light on both sides that is a minimum of a 20 minutes stop – which basically ensures that there is ALWAYS backed up traffic in the grove. Not to mention the immediate area businesses that would be impacted by not having ease of traffic flow in and out of their establishments … this would be a permanent impact on their businesses rather than just a temporary one through the Caltrans construction period.
    Anyway, for those interested, please get yourself a copy of the DEIR and read that section on the light for yourselves. This is just my recollection. “

  4. neomoderate
    March 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    That’s alarmist, even by EPIC’s standards. We on the left criticize the right for stretching, or outright ignoring the truth, then we come up with crap like that ad and (so I’ve heard) the radio ads.

    I’m ashamed. Informed folks are supposed to be more rational than that. I gues the politics of fear work on both sides of the aisle.

  5. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I could not have said it better myself, Neo :-)

  6. Derchoadus
    March 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I agree ^^^^^^

  7. Kym
    March 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Joe, you made me burst out laughing!

  8. March 10, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Fix Buckhorn Summit on the 299, and make big trucks go that way.

  9. Chris
    March 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    After closely reading the DEIR, the NEC’s website (saverichardsongrove.org) is pretty disingenuine.

    But hey, fear mongering works well for NEC given that most people just don’t have the time to really educate themselves on issues, particularily reading a DEIR.

    NEC…”Your tax-deductible donation will help us reach out to more people with this message. Please contribute whatever you can afford today.”

    Well go on bloggers, get out your check book, the NEC has decided what is best for us in Richardson Grove.

  10. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Great idea Tom, lets send all the big trucks hundreds of extra miles in a different direction to get to the same place. Better yet, lets spend $100,000,000 plus dollars for a bypass on Buckhorn to do it. I can’t even calculate the environmental cost of your plan, there aren’t enough zeros. The Richardson Grove plan may or may not be good but thinking before speaking is generally a good idea.

  11. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Tom,fixing the Buckhorn problem is a good idea. Hope we get to it right after we fix the problem at Richardson grove.

  12. Anonymous
    March 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    It’s insulting to imply not widening the road is saving local businesses. The opposite is true. Small, successful innovating businesses need the widening.

    If that website is made by the NEC, I’m really saddened. Reading EcoNews lately I’ve gotten the impression the org has lost its foundation in science and is now just an extreme activist group. Too bad.

  13. March 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    9:19pm, supplies will be re routed in the trucking business, once they know they have a valid way into Humboldt Co., they will utilize it. I thought I remember a story about Gov. Arnold visiting Humboldt and then going on a helicopter ride over Buckhorn Summit and saying that it should be fixed so that large trucks could get through it in a safer manor. Let the rest of the world remember their entry to Humboldt through the windy road.

  14. March 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    on hwy 101 that is…

  15. March 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Would it be cheaper to build a truck bypass around Richardson Grove? The Governor might want to know. And then again, he might not really care all that much any more.

  16. neomoderate
    March 11, 2009 at 6:51 am

    It would be cheaper to reroute the current road through the Grove. The impacts to the Grove are miniscule, especially compared with what would happen to Buckhorn. That place will get hosed to make it STAA legal.

    The grove would be curvier (slightly, anyway) than it is now. Not to mention sending trucks on 140 miles of mountainous, twisty two-lane road with almost zero safe passing oportunities, versus the option of coming up 101.

    Did you really think about your comment? I honestly thought it was a joke…

  17. March 11, 2009 at 9:42 am

    FYI to Tom, a bypass around Richardson Grove was already considered, about a decade ago. If I recall correctly, the cost estimated THEN was around $600 million.

  18. Grover
    March 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Actually, Chris (8:35) it is Arkley and his followers (I guess that would include you) who are deciding what is best for the grove – and for all local business. Have you not heard his relentless cheer leading for the widening project on the local dittohead radio station?

    Interesting, the comments on this blog do not show much knowledge about the project or the arguments against it.

    Neomoderate at 3:49: then we come up with crap like that ad and (so I’ve heard) the radio ads.

    Who is “we”? And if you have not heard the ads, how can you form an intelligent opinion about them? Or about the project, which I am sure you know little about?

    Anonynmous 10:39: “the org has lost its foundation in science”

    If you like science based decisions, why do you support this project? Show me the scientific data relating to the impact of cutting the roots of old growth trees?

    Humboldter 2:44: “Think about it. If you have a 10 minute light on both sides that is a minimum of a 20 minutes stop”

    20 minutes to drive 3 miles at 25 mph? Do the math! The problem is only when two big trucks try to pass each other. The big trucks that drive through there can pass other vehicles safely – they are doing it now. Only one truck would have to wait outside the grove, if another truck was in the grove. The wait would be about 7-8 minutes.

    Anonymous 1:31 “The businesses that stand to profit from the road widening are local innovators”

    False – Innovators do not need big box trucks. They need high speed internet connections and a well educated work force. Arkely and company want people to THINK Humboldt needs this project.

  19. Grover
    March 11, 2009 at 9:51 am

    That should be Arkely and company want people to BELIEVE Humboldt needs this project. A little critical thinking would lead to a different conclusion.

  20. Anonymous
    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Hello Grover,

    Why is it that you accuse us supporters of the widening project to not showing much knowledge about the project, yet your only argument presented is that arkley is a proponent of the project.

  21. Mr. Nice
    March 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

    The government should just donate all these millions of dollars to local businesses if this project is supposed to help businesses.

    Spending taxpayer money on infrastructure is a thinly veiled plot perpetuated by special interest groups. People are fooled into thinking that these infrastructure improvements are going to help the locals because the special interest groups frame these improvements as being the only path to progress. How is it progress when corporations are begging the government for millions of dollars?

    These millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements should be spent fixing our own wheel and suspension-ruining potholes, eroding coastal roads, blood-soaked on-ramps and tunnel-vision corridors. This infrastructure project won’t help us a bit if we are still replacing wheels just to slide into the ocean in Trinidad or crash into a Mack truck while trying to merge onto the highway.

    If these corporations want this road so much, why don’t they pony up the cash for it?

  22. Chris
    March 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Grover…I was unaware of Arkley’s support of the widening project, and don’t really give a dam what he or his followers think. IMO, they are just as bad as the NEC…they spout BS to support their way of thinking.

    I am for making my own decisions based upon the facts and putting the emotions aside. The last place I look for info is from the far left or right.

    Sure, there may be some minor impacts to the grove, but certainly not to the extent that NEC purports. Conversely, the same could probably be said with regards to Arkley’s claim.

  23. oldphart
    March 11, 2009 at 11:06 am

    In today’s Times-Standard in the letter section, one letter supports the widening project, the next letter complains about the cost of goods in Humboldt County. Could there be a connection? Should we broaden our horizons? How many more puns can you endure?

  24. Humboldter
    March 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

    So let’s get the non sequiturs out of the way shall we? I understand that Rob Arkley is a proponent for the project, but he was not the catalyst or the financial backer of the campaign to help the Caltrans project go through. With the exception of the handful of businesses in Southern Humboldt that would be impacted by construction/traffic interferences during the implementation phase, most businesses in the community that ship anything out or in would benefit. Particularly those who ship refridgerated products would stand to gain a lot in terms of cost effectivness when it comes to the expense and time loss for the hassle in shipping and cross docking products.

    Well most of the locally based small food manufacturers have already been all over the news talking about how this affects them. Lots of other businesses have stepped forward as well. Since this project potentially affects so many businesses and their ability to function locally it impacts jobs, and thus the overall health of the local economy. Why wouldn’t Rob Arkley support this project? It’s a no brainer. He may have some ulterior financial motive because one of his businesses would pay cheaper trucking costs – but so would everyone else.

    Whatever your feelings toward the Arkleys and their infamous local history, I would hope that a reasonable person would step back and say, “Well the Arkleys also support local arts, does that mean the arts are evil?”

    Come on folks, Arkley is probably running some radio commercials because he is frustrated that this project hasn’t happened yet. It doesn’t mean it is a valid argument against allowing STAA trucking access into and out of Humboldt County.

  25. Grover
    March 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I found some interesting information on the saverichardsongrove.org website.

    For instance, most shipments reach the allowable weight capacity before the large truck is filled. This would be especially true for heavy products, like refrigerators. If the large truck is partly empty, couldn’t a smaller truck carry the same products? Smaller, lighter trucks use less fuel and cause less wear on our highways and surface streets.

    Has this weight/size issue been considered?

    There has been no valid analysis of the impact to local business. Proponents conducted an online survey that was not statistically valid. A very small percentage of Humboldt businesses responded. Nor is it certain that the Chico report used by CalTrans to justify the project is statistically valid and unbiased.

    Just claiming that the survey and the Chico report are meaningful does not make it so. If these are the only measures of potential economic impacts, they should be submitted to more scrutiny and to peer review. This has not happened…yet.

    There has been no analysis of whether STAA trucks would lower costs of goods in Humboldt County. This assumption has simply been stated, and accepted as the truth. Those of you who like rational decision making should be asking for valid, unbiased evaluations of these assumptions.

    Humboldter- who was “the financial backer of the campaign to help the Caltrans project go through”?

  26. Anonymous
    March 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Read the DEIR, Grover. All of your red herrings, i mean concerns have been addressed.

  27. Anonymous
    March 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    most businesses in the community that ship anything out or in would benefit. Particularly those who ship refridgerated products

    Oh, but who drinks milk these days anyway? Or goat cheese. Or looks at pretty flowers? Nah, we don’t need a modern roadway.

  28. 421
    March 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    For instance, most shipments reach the allowable weight capacity before the large truck is filled. This would be especially true for heavy products, like refrigerators. If the large truck is partly empty, couldn’t a smaller truck carry the same products? Smaller, lighter trucks use less fuel and cause less wear on our highways and surface streets.

    please back this up with some data. A refrigerator is not heavy cargo. I doubt you could get up to 80,000 gross with a load of fridges. about the different truck sizes, it is usually the same style tractor-truck that is just hauling a longer trailer. same engine + more cargo = cheaper.

  29. capdiamont
    March 11, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    railroad is one word, not two.

  30. March 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    ZOMG! Glass houses, Cap!

  31. Ghost of Mabel
    March 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Excuse me, pardon me, but…..
    The slow- moving vehicle triangle sign displayed
    at the beginning of this article is upside down.
    Trust me on this one.
    Then again this whole deal is kinda upside down…..

  32. capdiamont
    March 12, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Do you have an original thought Hank? “Rail Road” was typed, so not only was two words done, but the second was capitalized. Why?

    Lets consider, though rumors say he works, or did work at the Times-Standard as an journalist. Why then should one of the profession be considered the same as a blogger? or are you saying we can faithfully replace journalists with bloggers, since they are the same, by your remark?

  33. March 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

    So let’s get this straight…

    Supporters of the allignment cannot slow down or get their lead foot off the gas peal of their SUV. Having lowered speed limit signs for trucks only is less feasable than a destructive multimillion dollar project using Headwaters Funding?

    Judy Bari would be spinning in her grave.

    How can any of you, well…how can any of you with a brain AND a conscience justify the usage of Headwaters money to damage Ancient Trees? This only adds fuel to our fire.

    Imagine the lawsuits that will come from this project. Imagine the response from forest advocates if this project gets the green light. We have already seen the skeletons from Humboldt Creamery’s closet. Imagine the skeletons in the current Headwaters Fund Board.

    Happy Halloween! Will it be tricks or treats?

    And by the way, you suck Hank! But at least we can say you don’t “ride the fence”. You just hop over to greener pa$ture$ now and then…

  34. Anonymous
    March 12, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Hello Jeff,

    Wanting a safer road does not make us money grubbing evil-doers.
    Hank doesn’t suck. He apparently sees the same benefits of this project that many of us do.

    Hank also called out the NEC on the ads it was running without board approval. As a donor to environmental causes such as EPIC and NEC, I am appalled. That’s not sucking, that’s doing his job as a journalist. If Palco had pulled this kind of crap (and they did) I would expect Hank to make them accountable as well.

    I actually cannot imagine any lawsuits coming from this, Jeff. It seems that Cal Trans is going through the proper procedures and steps to see that this project is accomplished in the appropriate manner.

    I’m not sure why you think this is a poor use of headwaters funding, as the funding is to spur economic development in HumCo.

    Have a good day Jeff.

  35. March 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    From my article in the Journal in March 2008:

    “…All those concerns were expressed at the Feb. 20 Wharfinger meeting, where there was seemingly a counterpoint to each argument presented. While several people expressed concerns about increased pollution in the grove, others argued that those problems should be alleviated in 2010, when new fuel-emission standards go into effect. “We’re a big company,” said Vince Thomas of the Sun Valley Group, “650 employees, one of the biggest cut-flower companies in the U.S. Our freight costs alone add up to about $2 million a year.” Thomas then explained that a recent study conducted by the company revealed that, if it were to switch to higher fuel-emission trucks only, Sun Valley would not only save a considerable amount of cash – it would reduce its annual pollution by 1.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide.”

    “…According to several people who spoke at the Feb. 20 meeting, the biggest problem associated with restricted access is the cost of offloading – which, according to STAA standards, must be done at Crescent City, Redding, or Leggett. And, with higher fuel-emissions standards right around the corner, business owners and truckers alike argued that come 2010, only the longer (though not heavier), standard-sized trucks will be built, and maintenance for smaller trucks will become prohibitively expensive. That scenario presents yet another paradox: that, with access closed to standard trucks, only the wealthy corporations – in other words, the big-box stores – will actually be able to afford the cost of offloading, and independent businesses will be crippled.”

    This is NOT a cut-and-dry issue, people. And the alarmist language that’s being used by ALL sides is weakening EVERYONE’S arguments. Haven’t we had enough of divisiveness? I understand that there will be disagreements, some passionate, but when environmentalists start saying things like “only a few businesses would profit” and “I’ve never seen Caltrans workers work – all they do is stand on the side of the road with their hands stuffed in their pockets” (that’s the gist of a couple of comments I read on http://www.saverichardsongrove.org), you’re shooting yourselves in the foot.

    For the record, I consider myself an environmentalist. And whatever decision is made in this case, it needs to be made based on science, not on hysteria and an us-versus-them mentality.

  36. March 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Correction: The snide comments I read were on the blog, not the regular site.

  37. March 15, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Well said Christina.

    However, no one has responded to the issue of using the Headwaters Fund to support the project. The state is broke.

    No one has found a way of mitigating the negative impacts towards endangered species in the grove during construction(aside from Cal-Trans, they are installing lids on trashcans:).

    No one, including Cal-Trans, can claim that the project will not destroy the roots of 40 or more Richardson Grove trees.

    Most snide and divisive comments were made by anonymous posters supporting the project.

    Christina, Sun Valley is not a good example of a local sustainable business. Not only do they use herbicides, pesticides, and GMO plants; Sun Valley also exploits undocumented workers. Farmers run cows in the fields surrounding Sun Valley. I wonder if any of the surrounding dairy or beef farms are “certified organic”?

    There are more efficient and less destructive ways of logistically supporting Humboldt County(such as rail) without destroying Ancient Trees and Endangered Habitats. There are also better ways to ensure the safety of motorists and bicyclists(no bike lane in Cal-Trans plans) by simply reducing the speed limit.

    Slow down, enjoy the view, and remember why this is such a sacred place.

  38. Anonymous
    March 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    No, Jeff,

    Many of the snide comments come from you.

  39. March 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Anonymous 10:57:

    If Cal-Trans is jumping through all the right hoops, then why did they extend the public comment period? Or should I say, why did they have to?

    Should Headwaters funding be used to help local businesses?

    Or should it be used to bring in big corporations from outside Humboldt County?

    I am a firm believer in looking at all sides of issues. But I also feel that looking at the bigger picture supersedes our personal microcosms.

  40. March 30, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Was that too “snide”?

  41. August 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Don’t let Cal-Trans rip a hole through the Redwood Curtain! Sign this petition now and help save the Richardson Grove Old Growth Redwoods!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s