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MY WORD! Citizens duped by Headwaters Fund

richardson_grove_qrSo you thought “My Word” editorials in the Times-Standard were submitted by regular Joes with a regular opinions?

Ha!  Joke’s on you!

A recent Quarterly Report to the Headwaters Grant Fund reveals money was approved to pay for assistance in “submission of approximately six ‘My Word’ editorials in support of the Richardson Grove Project.”

Coincidentally (or not) The T-S archives show in fact six “My Words” supporting the widening through the ancient redwood grove.  Submissions came from:

  1. J Warren Hockaday
  2. Ray Flynn
  3. Mark Loughmiller
  4. Kitt Mann
  5. Charles Fiedler
  6. Bryan Plumley

Unfortunately, the T-S fails to differentiate between paid-for editorials (with tax-payer funds, mind you) and the usual kind.

Most likely, the T-S didn’t know certain submissions had financial backing.

The 6 “My Word” pieces are considered “grant activities undertaken and accomplished to date” according to the February 12th report.

  1. average Eurekan
    April 1, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Good to know those tax funds of ours are well spent!

  2. average Eurekan
    April 1, 2009 at 2:23 am

    BTW, what constitutes “assistance”? Like, backrubs while the shmo is writing the damn piece, coming from a gorgeous massage therapist?

    Just wondering H., what was the line item total for those six?

  3. 06em
    April 1, 2009 at 5:57 am

    I’m sure it was just the petty cash needed to buy six postage stamps. None of these gentlemen (if they are the approximately six letter writers) would have any other motive besides love of the county.

  4. Walt
    April 1, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I see they underwrite bloggers, too, Rose.

    Uh, what day is it?

  5. Anon
    April 1, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Those guys need all the help they can get

  6. humboldturtle
    April 1, 2009 at 7:38 am

    April Fools!

  7. Ed
    April 1, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Harumph. Surely you don’t expect men of this caliber to opine free of charge.

  8. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Who provided the assistance?

  9. Not A Native
    April 1, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I’d call this a “scoop” for H. Hank Simms will undoubtedly pick up on it in the Dandy, hopefully detailing the financials.

    Concerns have been raised before about both transparency and judgement of Headwaters fund management. I think there was a recent Journal cover story about it. It seems to me that the fund does best when it augments projects that have gone through a public process, like the recent Eureka ice plant. Projects they initiate through their internal process seem much more scattered and dubious.

    I really don’t know how I feel about the headwater fund decision to fund these efforts, but a recipient of a grant should acknowledge it if their project is presented to the public. Thats the general standard for scientists and authors. I’d think the Headwaters Fund should require that of their grantees as a means to publicize and advertise the ways they are implementing their mandate so the public has the information to offer feedback. Secrecy in spending Headwaters funds will only lead to loss of public trust in the administrators and subsequent scandals.

  10. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 8:28 am

    If this is true, the grant fund administrator should be fired and prosecuted, along with those who accepted money to write these opinion pieces. Taxpayer funds should not be used to alter taxpayer opinion.

    Wasn’t that a scandal when it happened at the federal level?

  11. April 1, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Just wondering H., what was the line item total for those six?

    The Quarterly Report isn’t that detailed. It simply states as quoted above.

  12. mresquan
    April 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Hmmm,perhaps some of the funds went to “My Words” which praised Sec.National’s development of the balloon tract as well.

  13. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 8:50 am

    A central question is, what was the nature of the assistance? Was there a ghost writer? I seem to recall a certain newspaper editor reporting a letter writer who was later investigated by Trinidad PD. It’s totally bogus that submitting fake letters gets you investigated, but as long as there’s a witch hunt, Hank should put a magnifying lens to the noses of these businessmen and count their warts.

  14. April 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

    You sure come up with interesting stuff about this community we live in Heraldo.
    I’m in awe of whatever sources you employ.

    However, don’t assume the editorial staff knew they were being used by these six “My Word” pieces.

    More than likely, after they checked to see if the writer was real, they ran each piece unaware of a conspiracy.
    The fact that there were six pieces – and that’s what the grant paid for – indicates a conspiracy on behalf of those involved in the Headwaters Grant Fund.

    Still…you have opened a Pandora’s Box that we must now all deal with; how does the T-S censor it’s “My Word” guest submissions if they don’t say anything libelous?

    Are they supposed to launch an investigation into every “My Word” submission? That could be costly enough to force the newspaper to just drop that open invitation offered to the public as not being cost-effective.

    What’s the answer? Hmmmmm….

  15. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Does the report say who paid for the assistance? What grant was it?

  16. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Heraldo,

    Please confirm one way or the other whether this is an April Fool’s joke. If this is no joke, you’ve now discredited (at least) six formerly respectable citizens and, I hope, sent some of them to jail.

  17. April 1, 2009 at 9:01 am

    This is not a joke. The image above was taken from the Quarterly Report.

  18. Appalled
    April 1, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I keep hoping this is an April Fool joke, but if not there is something very very wrong with Headwaters Funds being used to subsidize letters by the Caltrans District 1 Director (Fielder) and the husband of the project manager of the EIR (Plumley). You can expect the others to weigh in on this issue but there is something unethical about two high level Caltrans employees being involved in this matter. This doesn’t give you much faith the EIR process will be done with any integrity.

  19. April 1, 2009 at 9:04 am

    You sure come up with interesting stuff about this community we live in Heraldo.
    I’m in awe of whatever sources you employ.

    Thanks, Dave. I keep an open invitation for juicy news to be sent to humboldtherald [at] gmail [dot] com.

  20. Caught in the Act
    April 1, 2009 at 9:06 am

    This is beyond juicy…this is the proverbial “smoking gun”.

  21. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 9:11 am

    dave,

    For starters, the T-S can have My Word contributors sign a document stating whether they were paid to write the piece, and whether they have ever received funds from any organization or business discussed in their piece. If the answer is, “yes” to any such question, they can feel free to publish the piece if they feel it merits publication, but they should certainly include a disclaimer at the end.

    They don’t have to police their columns, but they do have a responsibility to notify their readership of potential conflict of interest.

    More to the point though, THE PUBLIC should condemn and discredit those who have, without bothering to mention it, accepted money from the Headwaters Fund to write opinion pieces. And the DA should immediately launch an investigation into the Headwater Fund’s management. This is 100% pure unadulterated Humboldt bullshit.

  22. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Has the Fund paid for any other work related to the the Richardson Grove Project? Do we have to wait until the next quarterly report?

  23. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:14 am

    stating whether they were paid to write the piece, and whether they have ever received funds from any organization or business discussed in their piece.

    Or whether someone helped them write the piece.

  24. The Devil is in the Details
    April 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for posting the links to the original My Word pieces. In particular Fielder’s was interesting, and while mostly pointing out what he purports to facts, it strays way over into pimping for the project. Also, with the obvious typographical error in it you have to assume Charlie wrote it himself or failed to read what the ghost writer submitted under his name.

  25. April 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

    To be clear, the report doesn’t say if the writers were paid directly. It just says “grant activities…Assisted in the submission of approximately six ‘My Word’ editorials in support of the Richardson Grove Project, written by business owners affected by the restrictions.”

  26. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Matching Funds Anyone? Yes, during the report to the Board of Supervisors earlier last month(?), Pat Cleary said that ALL Headwaters Funds funded projects to date had “matching funds”. Now, the problem with this is that prior to the report to the board in the month of January (and reported in a quickly yanked T-S article), the Headwaters Fund monies were used for the “bailout” project for the benefit of the City of Eureka (a H.F. created property owner and landlord) AND Pacific Choice Seafood (a H.F. created tenant and govt. money pulpit) WITHOUT Matching Funds. The project, which again did not have matching funds, was something that was “forgotten”(stike that word) “intentionally” not reported in the “board report”. Now, as I see it, the new project does not have the capabilities that Eureka Ice and Cold Storage once offered PRIOR to the shut-down for environmental concerns and structure dilapidation. Too bad the “infilling rhetoric” could not have realized that E.I.C.S. would have been a less costly project to fund with H.F. monies; and, an emergency crisis too boot, which would have been a perfect “infilling” project and community example!

    When will people understand that the Headwaters Funds are being gifted out by board members who are “selected/appointed” by “higher-up” official’s in the form of political kick-backs. Surely, nothing good will happen with taxpayers’ monies – just look at what congress has done. In fact, with ALL that H.F. money going out over the years, has there even been ONE financial report that has shown , AFTER EXPENDIATURES, whether or not that H.F. funding created private sector profits,; or, increased jobs that would not have been created by a private sector interest if it were not for that private sector interest being rail-roaded by public officials for the benefit of using H.F. monies to choreograph a result of accomplishment for politician’s and their annointed/appointed one’s to substantiate through manipulation that their H.F. deeds were working? AIG again anyone?

    Money put into the authoritative hands of people who did not earn that money is futile and suicidal. Kinda like a non-business person trying to tell a business person what is right and wrong for the financial arm of a business.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  27. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Well, Heraldo, I’d be curious what “assistance” other than money to the writer or ghost-writer could have been required to gain the submission of editorials. Did someone make a long-distance call of encouragement? Send flowers?

  28. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 9:24 am

    And by the way, Heraldo, THANK YOU! Imagine what might happen if our official, genuine, still-associated-with–paper-thing actually decided to investigate things. With rare but honorable exceptions, they’re too happy to sit on their fat asses and listen to the corrupt bastards at every level of government and business feed them bon-bons.

  29. Nobody But Me
    April 1, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Can you tell I’m worked up? Let me try again:

    And by the way, Heraldo, THANK YOU! Imagine what might happen if our official, genuine, still-associated-with–paper-thing “journalists” actually decided to investigate things. With rare but honorable exceptions, they’re too happy to sit on their fat asses and listen to the corrupt bastards at every level of government and business feed them bon-bons.

    Now for my meds.

  30. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:27 am

    How much taxpayer money was spent? How much is being spent now? Are there ongoing activities?

  31. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Hold the phone everyone. Stop and think a minute. Maybe one or two out-of-work loggers will be employed for a few days to cut down those trees bordering the roadway. See? Headwaters Funds are being properly used to put people back to work.

  32. Ann Johnson-Stromberg
    April 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Heraldo I wish you would check your sources before printing blatant lies.

    Before I begin, I would like David Spreen and Ken Miller who submitted this information to you because they are are against the Richardson Grove project, to understand that I am a former journalist and business professional in this community who has never violated any form of journalistic integrity on behalf of this or any other project I have worked on.

    I have worked in a professional public relations capacity on behalf of Humboldt County to help local businesses get their views out in the public. I have written a variety of pieces including an EIR synopsis for the county and the businesses, I have interviewed and written a story that is posted on the Prosperity website about the effects Richardson Grove has had on local businesses, I have edited My Word stories for AP STYLE and length, and I have coordinated interviews for radio and press journalists.

    I have also walked the length of Richardson Grove and taken pictures for publicity purposes, compiled background information on the businesses for reporters, I have spent numerous hours researching the project among other things as part of this project.
    But never have I written someone’s article for them.

    Also for the record, Kitt Mann, J Hockaday, Charles Felder, Ray Flynn and Bryan Plumbly have never had one IOTA of help from me. None of those individuals contacted me before submitting their stories to the newspaper. Mark Loughmiller, who has worked tirelessly to support the businesses interests of his nonprofit recycling organization in Arcata, had my help shaving a few hundred words off his column. But again, I never wrote it.

    Yesterday it was posted on here the concern over anonymous bloggers who have NO responsibility when they post inaccurate things on the web. This is a perfect case in point.

    I hope the blogging community takes a step back and considers the innocent people and causes that are marred in malevolent postings like this. I live and work in this community and am utterly proud of the work I do. This is a smear campaign attempting to thwart a construction project because the anti-Richardson Grove camp has nothing else to go on.

  33. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Did someone make a long-distance call of encouragement? Send flowers?

    Aren’t you high and mighty this morning? Did you ever stop to think that these poor businessmen might not be technologically savvy? Someone has to visit the TS website or use a telephonic device to obtain the newspaper’s e-mail or physical mailing address. Ass-istance!

  34. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Wow, now that we know how the money was used, can we please launch a letter writing campaign to oust the people who thought PR was a good way to spend taxpayer money?

  35. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Ann,

    Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Now slither back to your professional PR hole.

  36. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Is the official story that these six businessmen all happened to come forward unrequested and seek help with editing their opinion articles for AP style?

    Yep, sure, I believe it. Hey, Kool Aid! OH YEAH!

  37. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:40 am

    check your sources before printing blatant lies.

    Please quote Heraldo’s blatant lies so we know what’s untrue.

  38. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

    None of those individuals contacted me before submitting their stories to the newspaper

    WAIT! If those six businessmen weren’t assisted with taxpayer money, I want our money back! What exactly did you do for us taxpayers if “submission of approximately six ‘My Word’ editorials” resulted in… how many? None printed? Please correct me on my numbers.

  39. neomoderate
    April 1, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Wow, I’m impressed anon. Faultless logic, impressive grasp of the facts. You make your cause proud. Ann has it together and is as ethical a human being as your ever going to find. Trouble is, she does her best to let the facts speak for themselves. Why don’t you try proving her wrong? As I see it, your post looks like one from a person who is beaten, can’t refute the argument based on facts, so they resort to name calling. C’mon, we’ll give you another chance. Fact-based, please!

  40. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Interesting how people come out to defend merrit after not communicating their initial, publicly funded actions. Usually, this is a sign of culpability to persuade readers that what is written due to financial “shock and awe” is completely inaccurate – kinda like the conflict of interests exhibited in paragraph #2 and paragraph #3 @ 9:31am by AJ-S. De-writing by shaving a few hundred words off of a written piece is, in a sense, re-writing because you simply can’t take limking words out without not putting linking words back in to fill the voids created by deleting words that tie an article, write-up or piece together.

    On behalf of a government agency after the fact – that about says it – damage control for media, the annointed Headwaters Fund Board members and the adjoined public officials that placed them in charge of public monies. Financial transparency by the Headwaters Fund Board and the media publications helping out could have avoided this latest “well look what we have here going on with public tax dollars” discovery. Just like that blog about anonymous bloggers who have NO RESPONSIBILITY, what about NO RESPONSIBILITY BY Public Official’s and their media outlets? So, which public officials did not KNOW that this “My Word” issue WAS NOT funded by the Headwaters Fund monies? Blame only those who were directly involved in knowing and not those who may be imputated just because they are a “public official” or “public employee”. Not everyone is bad; but, not everyone is good either.

    For the record, I am for an appropriate widening of Richardson Grove. Then, we shall not need to widen R.G. again; at least for another 100 years, if ever.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  41. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

    “WAS OR WAS NOT”, sorry.

    Back to work I go!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  42. mresquan
    April 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

    “Yesterday it was posted on here the concern over anonymous bloggers who have NO responsibility when they post inaccurate things on the web. This is a perfect case in point.”

    Ann,are you implying that the quarterly report is a lie?Just curious.If so,you are better off taking your gripe to the headwaters board.Your diatribe above leads to the conclusion that you do indeed have a bias on the project.If you do personally,that’s fine,but I hope that you are not using your medium to push that.

  43. Mr. Nice
    April 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I always thought those My Word columns were eerily similar to the columns about those scam space heaters and breaking news in the prescription drug world.

  44. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

    neomoderate,

    When someone goes astroturfing and talks about their impeccable credentials, and how DARE we be upset that taxpayer money is used to influence taxpayer opinion in favor of business interests…

    When someone doesn’t even notice the irony that it’s HEADWATERS funds that are being used to argue in favor of the destruction of redwoods…

    When someone admits that they have been silently helping our ESTEEMED writers to conform to AP style and length, but that HOW DARE WE say someone’s been paid to write opinion pieces…

    Dear, dear, neomoderate… my previous response is FAR more appropriate than one that responds with reason.

    To wit: FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON, ANN. LIKEWISE, NEOMODERATE. YOU ARE CORRUPT AS THE DAY IS LONG, REGARDLESS OF YOUR MODEST WILLINGNESS TO VOUCH FOR YOURSELF.

  45. Ann Johnson-Stromberg
    April 1, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Mresquan, I am not implying that the report is a lie. I am saying that the interpretation of that report is patently untrue.

    In public relations, it is a success to have articles come out in the media that support your cause. That doesn’t mean I wrote them. I talk to the business community about the project, I routinely ask people for their support and tell them if they want their views represented then they have to speak up for themselves. I ha

    And since I am no longer a local journalist I can take any public relations job I choose, and I personally choose to work for projects I personally support and believe in. If I were a reporter, I wouldn’t take jobs like this. So you see, there is absolutely no conflict of interest.

  46. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Ann, you should be talking to a lawyer or a priest, not a blog. You’re credibility is now less than zero, and your words are smelly clutter.

  47. Ann Johnson-Stromberg
    April 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Sorry for the typo, I started to say that I have asked many people to participate in the public process. This is no different than asking someone to sign a petition, asking someone to register to vote, organizing informational announcements so people know when to attend a public meeting etc.

  48. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

    And Ann, you were NEVER a local journalist. You wrote for a paper. That doesn’t mean you were a journalist, it means you played one on TV.

  49. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:45 am

    The alarming thing to me is that people actually read the Times Standard. WTF?

  50. humboldturtle
    April 1, 2009 at 10:53 am

    (sigh)…like I said, April fools…

  51. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I fail to see what all the hoopla is about. The fund is there to expand economic opportunities to HumCo. Richardson grove realignment is to do that.

    And I am also not getting why getting paid to write anything (including opinion) is so onerous. Don’t the reporters get paid?

    Finally, Hearldo and folks, your misplaced attack here sort of looks like you can’t defeat the message, so you are attacking the messenger.

    Oh, but I am just an outsider reading your blog post and the responses from what looks to be folks that have lost a lot of critical thinking and rational thought.

    Guess I am different. If I disagree with the message, I do just that…disagree…not hate and attempt to destroy.

  52. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Haven’t local politicians, including the District Attorney written My Word opinion pieces? They are also getting paid to write the piece, by the government, unless they are doing so from home on their own time, which is doubtful.

    Same goes for those who work for EPIC or the Baykeepers (organizations I have donated to and support- much to the chagrin of my neocon coworkers) – Greg King or others have written opinion pieces, they are referenced as being representative of the organizations they belong to, and part of their activities include the promotion of their organizations’ philosphies through written opinion pieces. If they are paid as employees or directors of those organizations, then they are doing the same thing being decried here.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It happens all of the time. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with using Headwaters funds to promote economic development, as that’s the whole purpose of the fund; 10:33 does not seem to grasp this.

    One question I would like answered, Ann, is where are the “blatant lies” that Heraldo printed? I didn’ see any untruths in the post about the Headwaters fund being used to assist the letter writers. I just don’t believe there is any thing wrong, unethical or illegal in doing so.

  53. Scott
    April 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Has anyone asked any one of the six letter writers for their input? Or maybe Patrick Cleary? I’ve got calls in to two of them, so we’ll see what they have to say.

  54. Dave Spreen
    April 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    To Ann Johnson-Stromberg:

    Since you are a former journalist, I am disappointed you did not contact me first before claiming I submitted this information to Heraldo. While I do not know Heraldo, I have been vocal in my concerns about Caltrans’ HWY 101 widening project through Richardson Grove. My focus has been the economic analysis in the DEIR, which was largely based on the Gallo Report. That report relied on an online survey conducted by the HCEDD, which was financed by a portion of a 2003 Headwaters Fund grant whose overall objective is “improving highway access to Humboldt County”. After examining the DEIR, I related my findings in a letter to the editor and in more detail to Caltrans, which you will find at http://www.SaveRichardsonGrove.com. Dismiss me if you will, but please don’t ignore the letters from State Parks and Rec, the National Resources Defense Council, and others.

    To find out more about the related Headwaters Fund grant, I made an appointment to take a look at the public file. I would suggest you do the same and see what you think. Funds are also being spent on lobbying. Others have also raised concerns about the separation, or lack thereof, between the Headwaters Fund and the County. In fact, today’s Eureka Reporter editorial is titled “Hands Off the Headwaters Fund”. When both sides of the political spectrum are raising questions, it should be a red flag for all of us.

  55. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Anonymous 10:54,

    When the District Attorney (curious example) writes an opinion piece, he is identified as the District Attorney and people understand how he is paid. When someone from EPIC, or someone from Baykeepers writes a piece as part of their work, they should be (and, I assume are) identified as such. People will then understand where they are coming from.

    When Ann Johnson-Stromberg writes (oh, excuse me, edits for AP style and clarity), her name does not appear on the piece. Her payment from the Headwaters Fund does not appear on the piece. The implication is that six citizens have stood up on their own and expressed their interests.

    The process by which a PR firm hides behind citizens is called astroturfing. Astroturfing is not illegal, it is merely corrupt. On the other hand, getting paid with taxpayer money to astroturf is either illegal or arguably illegal.

    Under Bush, articles were churned out by various corrupt national columnists to praise Bush administration programs. Turns out they were getting paid. Same thing.

    Ann, I freely admit I think you have as much “integrity” as those columnists and Bush administration officials. Maybe more.

  56. Mel-z
    April 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Ann @ 10:40 — so you have asked “many people to participate in the public process” — but were they all offered $$$ as well?

  57. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Why is the DA’s opinion piece a “curious example”? It was the first one that came to mind. And I voted for him two out of three times.

    This is what I am responding to:

    “Unfortunately, the T-S fails to differentiate between paid-for editorials (with tax-payer funds, mind you) and the usual kind.”

    I am simply saying that it happens all of the time, not just here.

    You really need to take a deep breath my friend and spare Ann the vitriol, especially when it’s not warranted.

  58. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Anonymous 11:27,

    I’m not your friend. And it’s a free country… I can decide for myself when vitriol is warranted.

    Between Humboldt Creamery corruption, the Obama/Geithner maybe-if-we-just-make-it-complicated-nobody-will-understand bank giveaway, and now our latest little local “happens all the time” taxpayer-paid astroturfing, my modest opinion is that it’s vitriol time.

  59. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Whatever. Your opinion is wrong my friend.

  60. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Well, thank goodness you’ve cleared that up. Thanks, 11:49.

  61. LoletaHermit
    April 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    People still read the Times-Standard? All the local reporting comes from the blogs anyway.

  62. Bob
    April 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Scott wonders, “Has anyone asked any one of the six letter writers for their input?”

    I bounced the post over to Bryan and J. Warren. I had their email addresses handy — and the notion that either of them is involved in some Headwaters related conspiracy involving their opinion pieces seemed kind of ludicrous. I’m assuming humboldturtle is correct, that this whole thread is a joke — but on who? And to what end?

    J Warren called me – he’s wondering when he’s going to get his check. Bryan said the same thing in an e-mail that I’ll paste here.

    Bryan writes,

    Interesting, should I call to see where my check is? :)

    I don’t know what the criteria is for the “My Word” columns, though I have always assumed they represented more authoritative points of view than the other letters. I am not sure what Heraldo’s point is. From a journalistic standpoint I am more concerned that what gets printed accurately represents the spectrum of views on a given topic and I think the TS does a good job there.

    I wrote mine on my own accord (in a fury) after reading Ken Millers incredibly misleading piece. It was not submitted as a “My Word” but I was honored that they chose to showcase my work in this way.

    Charlie Fielder is the Director of Caltrans District 1 so I doubt anyone put a gun to his head. J writes “My Word’s” pretty regularly and is a visible leader in the business community. I don’t know the rest. I do know that the Humboldt County Economic Development Department is very supportive of the project for its obvious and well documented economic benefits and has played an active role in making sure that the public has accurate information.

    This is completely in line with the Headwaters Fund Mission as I understand it. The suggestion that anyone was paid to write a piece seems ridiculous to me though I am sure the Department was active in encouraging submissions and in providing accurate information to the writers.

    I find it ironic that an anonymous blogger is throwing stones at a reputable journalistic organization for disclosure. I guess when the facts aren’t on your side you have no choice but to attack the messenger.

    Sincerely, Bryan

  63. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    “I find it ironic that an anonymous blogger is throwing stones at a reputable journalistic organization for disclosure. I guess when the facts aren’t on your side you have no choice but to attack the messenger.”

    There must surely be a word for a two sentence paragraph that demonstrates its own truth.

  64. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Is _anyone_ alleging that the county’s report is wrong, as reported by Heraldo? So far from this thread is merely seems the My Word submissions that were ‘assisted’ merely failed to get published.

  65. Voter
    April 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Ann,
    did you ever interview anyone from the environmental community about the potential impacts of the Richardson Grove proposal? Just wondering, because usually PR includes doing the homework to see what arguments you need to counterspin.

  66. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    oh, Heraldo left out one My Word that this grant helped with:

    According to Ann Johnson-Stromberg,
    “Mark Loughmiller, who has worked tirelessly to support the businesses interests of his nonprofit recycling organization in Arcata, had my help shaving a few hundred words off his column. But again, I never wrote it.”

    P.S. Ann, Charlie’s last name is spelled FIELDER.

  67. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Man, name calling, vitriol, punches traded back and forth, hot opinions, accusations, jeez when does the hair pulling start?? I better get some more popcorn!!!

  68. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    If the report is wrong, you might want to ask Jacqueline Debets why she submitted a false grant report. I’m really curious as to how much the grant was for. It does say that Ann Johnson-Stromberg (former T-S reporter) was subcontracted to do Media Relations, Writing, etc.

    I’m sure that many My Words are submitted and never printed, so one thing Ann might have helped with was getting them printed, timeliness of when they ran, etc.

    I strongly doubt the T-S had any idea that this was a concerted effort by the County paid for with Headwaters Fund money, but now that someone has done an investigation, I sure hope the reporters will try to ferret out some more info on this. It’s one thing for a non-profit to organize a letter-writing campaign, but why Headwaters Fund money should be used to sway public opinion is beyond me. That’s just wrong.

  69. Not A Native
    April 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Well, now we know, the money went to Ann Johnson, but we don’t kow how much or how it happened. Junkyard dog Hank Simms will find out, for sure.

    My guesses:

    Did she propose this as an unsolicited proposal?(not likely)

    Was it solicited by the HF administrators on their own initiative?(even less likely)

    Did she ply her trade by ‘networking’ with someone in the “business community” who liked the idea but wanted someone else to pay for it? Did that person approach the Headwaters Fund to do a PR campaign in support the Richardson Grove project, and then Ann just happened to be the “exact right person for the job”?(bingo)

  70. The Devil is in the Details
    April 1, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I will bet NAN is very close with those guesses. What a hoot….the guilty parties are busy circling the wagons.

  71. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Considering the project leader for the Richardson Grove EIR is his wife, Plumley would have looked a lot better had he not flown into the “rage” he talks about, and kept his mouth shut. It is now his wife’s credibility and objectivity that is tarnished.

  72. Ozzy
    April 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Hey H, Did the Quarterly Report detail how much “grant” money was allocated toward these My Word pieces?

  73. April 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Would you people give it a rest? Must you turn every innuendo into a food fight?

    Neither Hockaday, Plumley nor any of the My Word authors took Headwaters funds for writing opinion pieces. Even the most rabid conspiracy nut knows that.

    Ann Johnson-Stromberg is a hard working professional writer, former local journalist, decent person and someone who is not afraid to sign her name to these blog comments. Her reward for that is to take cheap shots from cowards who hide behind anonymity.

    If you have proof of any of the slime you’ve been smearing, put it up or shut up.

  74. humboldturtle
    April 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Slime. Vitriol. Ah, spring!

  75. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Look into Arcata’s Mainstream Media Project if you want some slimy usage of grant money.
    Propaganda gone wild!

  76. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    If you have proof of any of the slime you’ve been smearing, put it up or shut up.

    A county report is a county report. No April’s Fools joke. Heraldo’s insinuations seem to be wrong about specific people, but the root issue remains. If the Times-Standard doesn’t cover the issue tomorrow and tell us what’s what, why is it even serving our community?

  77. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    You know, Chris, I’m getting sick of your BS about how bold you are to give your names. You own everything, you have the good old boy network on your side, and no gazillionaire is going to do anything they can to ruin you. You and your pals are not very brave to go around giving out your names. And me and mine are not so stupid as to give ours.

    Heraldo, thank you for providing a place for the truth.

  78. weary voyeur
    April 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I prefer the slime of good honest banana slug sex to what people exude around power and money.

  79. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Not that much truth, though. Please.

  80. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    To “H” – ask your “source” for the quarterly report that is not online and post that one. Your source must have it, but I can’t believe that the Headwaters Fund can get out a quarterly report unless it is for one of the quarters after June 30, 2008 as I believe they are on a fiscal year. So what quarter was this reported?

    I think this was an April Fools joke just to rile up a lot of people – which it did.

  81. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    No joke.

  82. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Spreen,you are as phony as your radical views. That’s OK in my book as I believe in freedom. It’s sad,though,that you lie so often you have no idea what is true. Don’t worry, bruddur, just burn a nuddur fattie!

  83. No Fool
    April 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Anonymous 4:46, thank-you for spelling it out. Obviously, many anonymous posters know what they are talking about. I am an intelligent person, who has the score card on the named bloggers. I read the anonymous postings and use what I already know to evaluate what they say. I look for links to what I know to be true, and for the logic in arguments.

    I do not think Heraldo said anyone was paid for writing My Words. The point is, Headwater funds were used for a public relations campaign. This was not announced, so the joke was on the public. The politicians and citizens were meant to think these letters were independently submitted but they were part of a publicly funded campaign to influence public servants. The fact that two letters came from CalTrans employees/spouses of employees is notable.

  84. Osprey
    April 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Light the torches! Grab yer pitchforks! Let’s run these losers around the town square! hey, I know….let’s blame it on Salzman!

    What will Rob do now? Keep loving the Richardson Grove Project?–or–keep hating the Headwaters fund?

    May be a new tool for the ‘ol boy to run his ads on AM radio.

  85. April 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    So what quarter was this reported?

    As noted at the end of the post, the report was dated February 12. The stamp on the report pictured above reads February 27, 2009.

  86. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Let’s see here,

    Headwaters Fund Monies (grants?) + outsourced service / labor (earned income, loan w/ or w/o interest or donation?) = Internal Revenue Service paperwork?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  87. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    No Fool says “The fact that two letters came from CalTrans employees/spouses of employees is notable.”

    This is an understatement. You would expect Caltrans to at least keep up the facade of objectivity on the Richardson Grove EIR, but they failed very badly here. If they rule the EIR is just fine, which based on this behavior you would think would happen, these notable acts as No Fool called them, will get top billing during the lawsuit that follows. What were these idiots thinking?

  88. funnygirl
    April 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The mis-use ofthe Headwaters Fund refered to in the times standard had to do with Community Development Dept, not Richardson’s Grove or all the other complete bullshit that comes up.

  89. funnygirl
    April 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Writing an opinion piece for the local paper is a first amendment right that all of us have. Bitchin’ and moanin’ is apparently the job on this blog. Grow up.

  90. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Hmm,

    Headwaters Fund Monies (grants?) + outsourced service / labor (earned income, loan w/ or w/o interest or donation?) = Internal Revenue Service paperwork?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  91. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Heraldo,

    Is Internal Revenue Service a “spot checked” and “filtered” combination of words? I am wondering why my latest posting(s) are not being uploaded? Or, is this a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System (EBS)?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  92. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 1, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Well, the last two posted at the same time that the 2nd comment was submitted. Interesting Schultzee.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  93. Carol
    April 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Heraldo, please remove 9:38’s comment.

  94. Voter
    April 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    funnygirl,

    The quarterly report cited on this post is signed by the Community Development Dept. director, fyi. The report was written by Jacqueline Debits, who works for the county’s Prosperity Network:

    THE MISSION OF PROSPERITY: Grow, diversify and strengthen our economy while preserving and enhancing our quality of life.

    So the Headwaters Fund is part of the County govt; so is the Prosperity Network. The County gave another branch of the county money to convince the public that a state-funded project that will impact publicly owned ancient redwoods is a good thing…Sounds pretty incestuous!!

    Headwaters Fund board meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of each month. All meetings will be 12:30-3:00PM at 520 E St., Eureka unless otherwise noted.

  95. Anonymous
    April 1, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Heraldo, please remove Carol’s 9:16 comment.

  96. Anon
    April 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Does anyone care that:
    Richardson Grove is the first memorial grove established in honor of Colonel Raynal C. Bolling, commemorating the first American Army officer of high rank to fall in World War I, a lawyer and father of four who laid the foundation for the U. S. Military Aviation Service.

  97. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 12:12 am

    I don’t personally care, no.

  98. M
    April 2, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Is the HW fund nothing more than Kirk Girard’s SLUSH FUND??

  99. Someone who knows
    April 2, 2009 at 7:48 am

    The truth is that Headwaters money was used to pay a small sum to a person (presumably Ann) to conduct a seminar for supporters of the project on how to write and submit My Word pieces to the Times-Standard.

    Perhaps this wasn’t the most equitable use of Headwaters money. But the amount is was so small, it’s probably not worth getting upset about.

    Those involved should make sure in the future they don’t use this type of public money to lobby for an issue or project that has divided the community. For instance, some of the people who took part in this would probably be appalled if Headwaters money were used to lobby in favor of building the Marina Center.

    It seems odd to me that any of these people would need to attend a seminar on how to write My Word pieces. The Times-Standard doesn’t have particularly high standards for the writing of op-ed pieces and anybody in business should be able to sit down and write one on their own.

  100. April 2, 2009 at 8:06 am

    heraldo,

    you need to get off the us v. them kick, its not helping the community, and your slander is gonna catch up to you. Heads up.

  101. anonymoose
    April 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Isn’t the Headwaters Fund administration a quasi-governmental entity subject to the Public Records Act? If so, all this speculation could be cleared up by a records request to them asking for all documents about this item. Then nobody has to have hurtful lies spread about them — or, if the theories are true, scummy business is brought to light and maybe some reform happens.

  102. bull moose
    April 2, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Copernicus, you wouldn’t know what slander was if it slapped you in the face.

  103. Red
    April 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Concerning Mr. Gallegos and his “My Word” pieces, (4-1 @ 10:54, 11:08, and 11:27), was it not established that he did not, for the most part, actually write those submissions? I presume that’s why 11:08 thought that example was curious.

  104. No Fool
    April 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Anonymous, 8:15am – no need to do it again. The research you suggest has been done, the documentation is there. Headwater funds were used to sponsor a workshop to help business owners write My Word editorials meant to sway public opinion and get politicians to believe the whole business community supports widening the road through Richardson Grove.

  105. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Someone who knows,

    “But the amount is was so small, it’s probably not worth getting upset about.”

    I don’t like it when the citizens’ government, which is supposedly the citizens’ servant, invests the citizens’ money in an attempt to convince us all that we really believe what the bureaucrats want us to believe. I prefer when the citizens tell the bureaucrats what to do, not the other way around.

    This is criminal. Full-stop.

    I would be angry if the amount involved was one dollar.

  106. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I wonder how the “everybody does it” folks would feel if they discovered that money from a government fund had been used to pay for a seminar for union activists to help them write “their own” My Word pieces urging employees to join unions?

    Why is it different when money from a government fund is used to pay for a seminar for business activists to help them write “their own” My Word pieces urging that we trade our quality of life for easier big-honking-truck access?

    What’s good for some businesses isn’t necessarily what’s good for the people of Humboldt County. The government should be working for the people of Humboldt County, not “some businesses.”

  107. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 9:59 am

    The Headwaters Fund does give money to another entity that happens to be in the same building they are in that puts on “Business Leader” luncheons where a speaker or speakers appear to help the business community. I think they just got over $70,000 from Headwaters but it might not all go toward the luncheons.

    This is the kind of stuff the Headwaters Fund Board is doing with the money.

  108. neomoderate
    April 2, 2009 at 10:13 am

    It’s all a conspiracy. They’re out to get you, man! Grab your crop and run!

    Wasn’t the headwaters fund created to help local businesses, in exchange for the job losses associated with the headwaters area going out of production? I think that’s what it was for, anyhow…

    If this is true, then training business owners to advocate for their interests is right in line with the intention of the fund.

  109. Not A Native
    April 2, 2009 at 10:17 am

    This is one of the best threads I’ve seen. Posters have mostly stayed on topic and brought in other issues that are both background and context.

    Hopefully the Headwaters Fund administration will take notice and amend their policies. And maybe more public and media attention will be directed their way.

    Without constant input from the public, the natural tendency of officials is to equate monied interests with public interests. Whether the Grove project should go through as proposed is a public choice. It shouldn’t be a “done deal” regardless of how certain its planners are that it is appropriate.

    BTW, anon 4:46 and No Fool really nailed the basis of the secondary issue, anonymity and credibility of bloggers and posters.

    anon 4:46’s straighforward style is the best written and most compelling reason I’ve read to preserve blog anonymity.

  110. April 2, 2009 at 10:48 am

    A type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) or written statement about a person that harms the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media — for example, over the radio or on TV — it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience.

  111. Just looking
    April 2, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Kay Backer (HELP’s spokesperson) and other paid lobbyist have long been submitting MY WORDs and the TS prints those knowing full well that they were written and submitted by a paid PR person, so that part is nothing new.
    But, it would have been nice if the public knew the HW fund was paying for the PR coach, rather then having to learn about it here.

    Also, no one had to pay those writers extra, as their current income is already tied to this development either directly or in-directly.

    If mad dog Sims is going to expose who’s paying for what, how about looking into who pays for Sunshine for Humboldt’s ads on Richardson Grove and on County Planning.

    Why have we not heard more about the plan B approach, that still lets the standard size truck in, with out the widening?

  112. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

    It’s worth noting that J. Warren Hockaday does not need to get paid from the HW fund, as he is already paid by the taxpayers of Eureka when the city gives the Chamber of Commerce an amount equal to his annual salary, every year.

  113. No Fool
    April 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Just Looking at 10:53 said:

    “If mad dog Sims is going to expose who’s paying for what, how about looking into who pays for Sunshine for Humboldt’s ads on Richardson Grove and on County Planning.”

    That would be fair and balanced, but I don’t expect to see it happen. I expect the usual snide, sarcastic brushoff from Sims , not an objective accounting. The tone of the NCJ has changed since he took over editorship – changed for the worse.

    The Dittohead radio station has been plastered with Sunshine’s ads. Who is paying for these? Is the station giving the air time for free?

  114. Auntie Arkley
    April 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    If true, it is typical right-wing trickery, typical right-wing bullshit. They can only use fear and lies to argue their points because they really have no substance. If these assholes want to live in a big, bustling town, then they should all move to Santa Rosa (or L.A. for that matter) and leave Humboldt County the way it is. IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE HUMBOLDT, THEN YOU OBVIOUSLY DON’T LOVE IT, SO LEAVE. We like it the way it is (actually, the way it was 30 years ago).

  115. Just looking
    April 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    It’s true that the NCJ has become little more the North Coast “Inquirer” since Sims became editor. A far cry from the standards set by Keith Easthouse years ago.

    The Journal did report on who Humboldt Sunshine was (Rob Arkley) in 2007, but these current radios ads (I’m told they transpose the name), apparently claim to be from a citizens group and if this is a group of one funder, you would think he would have at least made mention of it, when he was having his little hissy fit about the ads opposing the development.

    More then one thing can be true at the same time, such as the fact that Hank can be useful, makes him no less pathetic in his style or, his utter lack of journalist integrity.

  116. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    The thing people don’t get about development is that a place does not become like Santa Rosa from one huge project. It happens a little bit at a time. Widen the road here, build a few more subdivisions there and slowly over the years you end up with one more undesirable part of California.
    Damn shame really.
    Bottle necks like Richardson Grove our one of the few safety walls we have and we will blindly allow that to be lost for the prospect of slightly higher profits for a few key business.
    btw, isn’t fixing the Buckhorn Pass going to solve this problem anyway by allowing standard size truck on 299?

  117. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    How ironic for NAN to continue his double speak, saying what a great, on-topic thread this is, yet referencing an attack on Chris Crawford as an example of why this is such a great thread. I know Chris Crawford, and he certainly doesn’t, in the words of 446, “own everything”.

    In NAN’s eyes, these personal anon attacks are an example of the goodness of anonymity, so in that spirit NAN, fu*k you and the horse you rode in on.

  118. April 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    GEEEEZUS – Ken Miller gets all pissy and look what happens – attacks on Hank, attack on Ann…. unbelievable.

  119. Mr. Nice
    April 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    A type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) or written statement about a person that harms the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media — for example, over the radio or on TV — it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience.

    I assume that you found this incorrect definition in the misinformational world of blind google-copy-paste. I have yet to find a winning Nigerian lottery ticket with this method.

    Defamation on the radio or TV is slander.

    Read the definition for yourself in the
    California Civil Code section 44-46.

  120. Eric Kirk
    April 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Mresquan, I am not implying that the report is a lie. I am saying that the interpretation of that report is patently untrue.

    In public relations, it is a success to have articles come out in the media that support your cause. That doesn’t mean I wrote them. I talk to the business community about the project, I routinely ask people for their support and tell them if they want their views represented then they have to speak up for themselves. I ha

    And since I am no longer a local journalist I can take any public relations job I choose, and I personally choose to work for projects I personally support and believe in. If I were a reporter, I wouldn’t take jobs like this. So you see, there is absolutely no conflict of interest.

    In other words, the money was spent on the solicitation efforts, and not to pay the individual writers, which makes sense to me. This is quite the thread!

    This is not to imply any wrongdoing, but I do think the philosophical question of whether funds intended to benefit the community as a whole should be used to advocate a partisan position on a topic of controversy, even if the topic is a project to be funded from the money in question. It can be argued that the community should be left on its own to decide through the proper processes to decide the issue on its own, and the money reserved to implement the project once so approved. I’m saying this as someone who supports the project.

    Rather than personally attacking, the thread might have been more useful in debating that point. I can think of some good points on each side.

    This may be a good time to review Sydney Hook’s 10 rules of Democratic Discourse. I think they apply.

  121. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    good god, HW funds used to inform people about the RG re-alignment.

    Well here you go from the Humboldt County web site for the grant applications for HW funds:

    “The primary funding focus of the Grant Fund is supporting projects consistent with the County’s
    economic development strategy, Prosperity! and benefiting base industries in Humboldt County. Base industries are industries that bring dollars into Humboldt County through sales to customers outside of the County. Development of industry clusters, groups of businesses and other organizations related by industry and activity, is key to the Prosperity! strategy.
    The Fund encourages projects identified in industry cluster workplans or developed cooperatively within or between industry clusters. Implementation projects are also encouraged. The Headwaters Fund Board recently completed a strategic planning process that identified the following priorities(within the Prosperity framework) for project funding:

    · Quality workforce – projects which focus on improving the quality and reliability of our
    local workforce
    · Transportation – projects that reduce or remove barriers to cost-effective goods movement
    · Business climate – projects that support or reduce barriers to business growth and
    development
    · Community infrastructure – projects that ensure or improve infrastructure for economic
    development, particularly those that leverage significant outside funding

    The Fund will also respond favorably to proposals that respond to the opportunities identified in the
    Targets of Opportunities study completed for the North Coast. Targets of Opportunity identified
    for the North Coast include:
    · Diversified Health Care
    · Building and Systems Construction and
    Maintenance
    · Specialty Agriculture, Food, and Beverages
    · Investment Support Services
    · Management and Innovation Services
    · Niche Manufacturing

    To be perfectly frank with all of you, I just can’t see why David Spreen and Ken Miller’s chains are so rattled. Oh, yeah I forgot, they aren’t getting their way.

  122. McKinleyvillan
    April 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Rose, note that no one attacked Ann until she went ballistic on the blog! I guess she thought her remarks would help her case somehow. Actually, she may have written the first personal attack on this thread. In fact, Ann accuses of “printing blatant lies” which turned out not to be lies. In fact, Heraldo never even mentioned Ann, though the quarterly grant report does. Ann may be a wee bit overly defensive in fact! I’m sure she’s a nice person though.

  123. anonymous says
    April 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    so now kmud (so called) news is including in their “news” stories an anonymous blog site as a legitimate news source? Christ is that place going down hill down there.

  124. No Fool
    April 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Eric Kirk @ 3:48 said:

    “This is not to imply any wrongdoing, but I do think the philosophical question of whether funds intended to benefit the community as a whole should be used to advocate a partisan position on a topic of controversy, even if the topic is a project to be funded from the money in question.”

    Eric, are you saying the CalTrans project in will be funded by Headwaters money?

  125. No Fool
    April 2, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Anon, 6:22 says:

    “so now kmud (so called) news is including in their “news” stories an anonymous blog site as a legitimate news source?”

    Sort of like the recent CPR “News”letter?
    Or like the biased/dubious sources the “legitimate news” relies upon?

    Legitimacy is founded in truth, and truth is not necessarily found in the “legitimate” sources.

  126. Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I heard the piece on KMUD and didn’t hear it as “including” the HH “as a legitimate news source,” but rather, a place for people to voice their opinions on this particular issue. Seemed appropriate to me.

  127. longwind
    April 2, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    KMUD let me know to read this, so I don’t judge them harshly. It seems a lot of people have forgotten that journalism is the world’s second-oldest profession. It’s cool to get paid for it, but of course it’s, you know, less dignified.

    I think Ken summed up the reasonable complaint, that taxpayer money shouldn’t be spent telling us taxpayers what to think. But it is, all the time, that’s one more reason we’re so rightly suspicious of government. The Headwaters board could use a more focused mission, maybe–they could lobby for legalization! And run enough ads in the Journal to pay for some journalism!

    I give Ann credit too for outing herself and defending her work.

  128. Eric Kirk
    April 2, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Eric, are you saying the CalTrans project in will be funded by Headwaters money?

    I have no idea. I’m not quite sure how Headwaters money found its way into the issue. Probably we need more background.

  129. Mamu
    April 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    here’s some background: the grant was for the National Highway Access Project for the period 2004-2009. Presumably they’ve been lobbying for the Buckhorn Summit, 101 Corridor, Alton interchange and Big Lagoon projects, and probably also the pipedream port and railroad. ANYTHING to benefit “business.” Haven’t we learned anything from putting profit ahead of everything else on god’s green earth?

  130. Mamu
    April 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    P.S. didn’t the Headwaters Fund mission at the very least require that they don’t lobby to damage ancient redwood trees? Someone should have thought of adding that little stipulation!

  131. No Fool
    April 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Eric, I asked because you said …”even if the topic is a project to be funded from the money in question.”

    If you don’t know, why imply or say Headwaters will fund the project? This confuses the issue.

    Mamu gives some background – Headwaters money paid for lobbying for those highway projects, and for other things, including coaching and editing My Word editorials.

  132. Anonymous
    April 3, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Kudos going big time to Patrick Cleary for finally letting his smiley-face mask come off so we can see the ruthless bankster underneath. His leadership of the Headwaters Board has truly ripped off the facade of public service from that scam machine.

    Of course it wasn’t all Cleary’s fault, since power corrupts and all for most people. As if the Board of Supes should be able to pawn off their responsibility to expend county funds in the first place!

    At least KHSU will dump his butt now, and maybe hire someone capable of establishing it as a really independent station capable of covering local news and showing those commercialized fakers at KHUM how a real community station (thinking KMUD in SoHum) is supposed to work.

  133. neomoderate
    April 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Do ya’ll really think, if Richardsons grove does happen, it’s going to open some sort of floodgate of trucks and strip malls? Really? The gate to our “Redwood Curtain”, which I love and support, is 150 miles of windy, isolated road. It’s geographical – it ain’t Richardsons Grove. Removing the only blockage to STAA trucks (when you drive south, do you notice the trucks are noticably larger? Didn’t think so. They are mostly STAA, y’know…) may help local businesses be more profitable, and concievably could help give some motivation for them to stay in the area versus moving someplace closer to civilization to reduce costs. It’s not going to cause some sort of business boom. We don’t have the demand.

  134. Mamu
    April 3, 2009 at 9:54 am

    The trucks aren’t noticeably larger because STAA trucks are only 3 feet longer than the ones currently driven through Humboldt. But my expectation is that if STAA trucks can go through, they will, which will increase truck traffic quite a bit. That’s why CalTrans has upgraded so many sections of 101–that’s why the Big Lagoon stretch was re-made to STAA standards. So what I expect is that there’s gonna be a whole lot more truck traffic in Eureka, which is gonna make a lot more locals drive through Cutten to avoid South Broadway. It’s gonna make Eureka a traffic hellhole. These trucks aren’t just gonna come to SUn Valley and Humboldt Creamery and turn around to go south–they are gonna come through here when there’s snow on Highway 5, and they are gonna go through to points north as well.

  135. oldphart
    April 3, 2009 at 10:08 am

    The Headwaters money was initiated by Bill Bertain and was intended to improve the port and rail. That may piss some of you off, but Virginia Strom-Martin tried to get it passed that way, but the county wanted more freedom regarding ways to spend the money.

  136. neomoderate
    April 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Mamu, so all these extra trucks that will be going up the highway, where will they be going? You don’t go through Humboldt on the way to anywhere else – if a truck is driving up here, they are doing it because they have business here. There is a finite amount of business up here, so we need a finite amount of goods, hence the truck traffic shouldn’t change much, if at all. It may even go down, because each truck can haul slightly more volume.

    Truck drivers don’t take scenic tours, which would be the only other source of increased traffic. It costs them far too much money. They take the fastest and simplest route between two points, and we aren’t on that fastest/simplest route. To anywhere.

    I sure as heck don’t want more trucks on 299…which may or may not happen if it’s the only STAA route. It’s ludicrous to think that’s a safer/better way for trucks to get here.

  137. Anonymous
    April 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    was intended to improve the port and rail.

    Actually, the initial idea presented in media reports was for the money to help displaced timber workers with continuing education to move them into non-timber industries. That idea quickly died after the initial PR blitz and didn’t make it into any official documents.

    Gotta love PR, huh?

  138. 421
    April 3, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    good points neo. truck traffic should decrease.

  139. No Fool
    April 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Neomoderate asked:

    “so all these extra trucks that will be going up the highway, where will they be going?”

    They will be going to points north of Eureka. Crescent City and into Oregon. That is why the road at Big Lagoon was just widened – to allow the anticipated through traffic.

    When it is snowing on Hwy 5, truckers will use Hwy 101 rather than risk delays because of snow. This will greatly increase the traffic going through the county, and downtown Eureka.

  140. Anonymous
    April 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    “When it is snowing on Hwy 5 truckers will use Hwy 101…”

    Riiiiggghhhhhhttttt. Now I have heard it all.

    Man, oh man you are grasping at some pretty elusive straws now. 101 will never, repeat never become an intersate thourghfare like 5 is; even snowing, no trucker is going to risk getting bottlenecked on a two lane highway 101.

    Sheesh, come up with some better ones than that fool.

  141. Anonymous
    April 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Oops, sorry – not trying to call you a fool – i meant to respond No Fool – your user name – at the tail end of of my post at 541.

  142. 421
    April 4, 2009 at 7:26 am

    so no fool, how is this cargo from south currently getting into crescent city and oregon? they are driving up i-5 to grants pass, then heading back down 199? 101 is already much shorter than that to crescent city and brookings. your assertion does not make sense. those trucks are already on the road, there will just be less trips since each will be hauling more.

  143. No Fool
    April 4, 2009 at 8:59 am

    421 claims that:

    “those trucks are already on the road, there will just be less trips since each will be hauling more.”

    Wrong. Most loads reach the weight limit before the space in the trailer is filled. So there will not be fewer trucks, since they will not be able to carry more than the trucks going through now carry. As for the projected number of STAA trucks traveling through Humboldt, it seems rather obvious. The whole rational for widening the road is to eliminate the bottleneck and allow all STAA trucks (not just the cattle trucks that currently have the exemption).

  144. No Fool
    April 4, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Anonymous at 5:52, If you don’t think truckers will change their route to avoid snow delays, you know nothing about trucking.

  145. Ed
    April 4, 2009 at 9:30 am

    It’s true, caltrans already limits trucking by weight and present trucks are more than adequate for their legal capacity. The bulb farm is one of the few examples where larger trailers benefits someone, but they could still use the bigger trailers and shorter tractors to legally use the Richardson grove rte. Why should we pay to benefit a company that uses poisons and has a history of employing illegals?

  146. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 10:14 am

    The reason PR flacks and journalists try to cast the county-funded PR thing as no big deal is the same reason beltway journalists cast Colbert’s roast of the White House Press Corps as not funny. It cuts too close to the bone.

    Journalists heavily rely on the public relations industry, even in Humboldt County. Eliminate press releases and you’d see newspapers cut in half in the very next issue. So to get all high and mighty about the county assisting with opinion articles, well, it would be hypocritical because they accept PR assistance in so many other ways.

  147. Jared R.
    April 4, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Anyone else up for civil disobedience on site if they insist on this boondoggle in Richardson Grove State (the People’s) Park? –Jared Rossman

  148. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

    No fool, if you know anything about Highway 101, you know that truckers will avoid that route, which is two lane through parts of mendo and humboldt counties, and has a far greater likelihood of CLOSING DOWN COMPLETELY due to weather conditions and slides, and has several times in the past few years.

    Find another straw to grasp at – and no, the illegal alien/sun valley farm isn’t that great a straw at which to grasp.

  149. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Sure Jared, go for it. In the end, you’ll just end up costing the taxpayers a few million dollars, just as in the silly tree sits in Berkley, which cost over a million dollars.

  150. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

    And, yes, I say go for it in all seriousness, as you will provide some needed wages for law enforcement officers who will be paid overtime to arrest you, and to tree sit extractors who could also use some gainful employment.

  151. Ed
    April 4, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Since when is denying shady business practices welfare and a desire for fiscal responsibility an example of straw grasping?

  152. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 11:06 am

    It’s a straw when you tie the road realignment to “shady business practices”.

    This realignment also benefits my family as we travel back and forth to the Bay Area, which is often, particularly in the summer. Hopefully we won’t have to witness the types of gruesome accidents that we have been on the scene for in the past two years.

  153. 421
    April 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Most loads reach the weight limit before the space in the trailer is filled

    aside from liquids and gravel, which cargo is reaching capacity before the trucks are filled? does a lumber truck? i don’t think you know what you are talking about. it is not just gross weight, but also weight per axle and distance between axles. also, i haven’t heard of any trucks diverting from i 5 through humboldt to save time. they keep i-5 plowed generally. you never explained how the cargo is currently getting to where it’s going. i wonder why?

  154. Anonymous
    April 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Yo Jared, As I recall the biggest tree they were cutting was a Madrone that was somewhere around 20 inches. I say if you want to climb and build your platform in a 20 incher go for it! Just don’t put in a medi-cal claim and have the public pay for your hospital bill after you smack into the pavement. Have fun.

  155. August 12, 2009 at 2:38 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!

  156. January 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    From the Center for Biological Diversity’s weekly newsletter “Endangered Earth”

    5,100 of the Center for Biological Diversity’s supporters love the redwoods so much they deluged the California Department of Transportation with emails complaining of the agency’s plan to slice a road through the gorgeous Richardson Grove in the state’s remove North Coast.

    Rather than responding to the public’s concern, the Department of Transportation called the State Police Cyber Crime Division to report that they were under attack by hostile forces. Apparently interacting with the public was “diverting” the agency from its real job — chopping down forests and paving the wilderness. A crime if there ever was one.

    A police investigation determined that the agency was suffering from an acute case of citizen involvement, to which there is no cure.

    Learn more about Richardson Grove.
    Then tell CalTrans today that the public wants its redwoods standing, not paved.

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