Home > City of Eureka, elections, Ron Kuhnel > Kuhnel to greet voters at Arts Alive

Kuhnel to greet voters at Arts Alive

With election season back in gear — as seen by several recent kick-off speeches — the candidates will likely be out in force at Arts Alive in Eureka Saturday night.

Eureka City Council candidate Ron Kuhnel posted comments on the Herald recently about his dedication to public service, and invited voters to come talk with him during Old Town’s monthly event.  Excerpt below.

I will… continue to do my level best to work to make this a community we can all be proud of. On Wednesday I kicked off my campaign, On Thursday I participated in a Transportation Safety Committee meeting. On Thursday afternoon I worked on the Keep Eureka Beautiful Street Tree Planting Program, and later that day participated in a Planning Session for the Eureka Heritage Society Annual Home tour on October 3rd (mark your calendar – it will be great). Saturday I worked at Washington School on the Safe Routes to School “Step in to Safety” event.

I know some people have made fun of this degree of civic involvement on my part, but I feel I should be judged as much on what I do, as on what I say. A key part of my campaign platform is I am a man of action, not just words. I hope people take the time and trouble to listen to what I hope to accomplish, and then believe I have what it takes to actually deliver on the promises. For some of what I hope to accomplish watch the video on this blog entry.

I could not cover everything in that talk. But I will be at Arts Alive in front of the Gazebo on Saturday, September 4th, rain or shine. Stop by, and I will be happy to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.

[Image source.]

  1. Decline to State
    September 4, 2010 at 7:28 am

    “I know some people have made fun of this degree of civic involvement on my part…”

    Why would that be?

  2. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 7:48 am

    If you really want to see some of Ron’s good works,
    drive by the Whimsey Garden. So far the weeds are
    flourishing and water is being saved because most
    of the trees have been chopped down.

  3. anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Oh yippee skippee! Ron will answer questions. I bet any question you ask him will receive the same answer: “I am God”!

  4. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Why is it ok for a Planning Commissioner to have a wrecked boat yard in the center of town?

  5. Josh
    September 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

    As long as people (see above) want to criticize Ron or other candidates, why don’t they be specific? These vague references are worse than useless to anyone who is willing to listen to other points of view about these candidates for office.

    What and where is Whimsey Garden? Who is responsible for maintaining it? Does Ron have any personal responsibility for maintaining that garden? Is he the only person in Eureka responsible for its current condition? If he is the only person who has taken responsibility, why hasn’t anybody else stepped forward to help him with this work?

    Why does the person who thinks Ron is arrogant think so? His reference to God seems to be a personal grudge thing. Why not explain what lies at the root of that personal grudge? Then readers of the Herald could judge for themselves whether Ron thinks of himself as God, or whether instead the writer has some psychological issues that ought to be addressed.

    Does Ron own a wrecked boat yard? What exactly is a wrecked boat yard? Where exactly is it? What does it matter whether the owner is a Planning Commissioner?

    Vagueness can be evidence of lazy thinking. It is unhelpful. So try to be more specific.

    And of course, always be truthful!

  6. Sylvia Scott
    September 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

    The Whimsey garden is an on going teaching facility with CR. It helps people to learn about restoring Victorian homes. The garden is also for teaching. Many Master Gardeners have put their time into the garden to include myself. The trees that were cut down were done so because they were either diseased or to old too produce fruit. Ron purchased this house & lot so that the community could restore it & learn.

    When the house & garden are totally restored, it will be open to the public for tours and a look back at Victorian times. This is a wonderful gift to our city. Thank you Mr. Kuhnel

    7:48 what have you done for your city????????

  7. Andrew Bird
    September 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Ron has more energy than most men half his age. He is into everything. I know few people who are more involved in their community. He has some solid ideas for reforming city government. And if we elect Ron to City Council and Peter LaVallee to serve as Mayor, Larry and Linda will have the allies they need to clean up the imbroglio that is City Hall, as recently reported in the Times-Standard.

  8. Well Said~!
    September 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    thanks for weighing in AB

  9. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I have 2 boats in my back yard and they are both well used as often as possible. I certainly hope they don’t reflect on my moral character.

    I believe that adding Ron to the council will allow a level of courageous action to deal with and correct Eureka’s problems the like of which we’ve never seen before. Enough with the ‘bench warmers’ and status seekers. It’s time for a council that wants to work and get the job done. Elect Ron!

  10. William Hearst
    September 4, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Ron? I never see the guy on the streets of Eureka.Get the job done? He’s afraid to roam his own part of the neighborhood.This is the guy that wanted to cut dI’mown all the Eucalyptus trees along the 101 corridor.Larry? He’s always sparing change at Ron’s house!The guy is already running the show.I’m sure there’s better candidates to choose from.

  11. Gump
    September 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I’d cut down the eucalyptus also. It”s just an ugly hedge that does not need to be there. What is so attractive about a row of trees that aren’t supposed to be there?

  12. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    William Hearst, what have you done for your community?

  13. Neal Latt
    September 4, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Ron is one of the most involved, thoughtful persons in the Eureka community.

    If he is elected to the Eureka City Council, our community will undoubtedly be the better for it.

    I wholeheartedly endorse Ron Kuhnel for City Council and urge voters in the Great City of Eureka to vote for him!

    This November, make a difference!

  14. Carol Conners
    September 4, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    L I K E

    September 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Being more specific?


  16. High Finance
    September 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    What is this story about him being on the planning commission & then violating some zoning laws? A lot of people have heard about it but nobody seems to have any details.

  17. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Why don’t you ask him about that Hi Finance?

  18. Josh
    September 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    High Finance says:
    September 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm
    What is this story about him being on the planning commission & then violating some zoning laws? A lot of people have heard about it but nobody seems to have any details.

    Isn’t this just a technique for spreading rumors, while pretending you are just (innocently) asking for information?

  19. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Josh it isn’t a rumor its well documented in the North Coast Journal. The boats stacked up in the back lot at Ron’s house look trashy, they should be in storage or repair ‘someplace else’.

    Thank you to Neal Latt for pointing out the addition of Peter and Ron to Linda and Larry would make a perfect storm! No better reason to vote for Zandra!

  20. Anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    To give anyone the idea of what is going on with the
    Whimsy Garden go to Times Standard Tuesday 9-5-06,
    it does give a good view of this property. From the
    beginning it was one of those “deals” that the public
    should have questioned. Tyson had no business being
    a go between the Ink people and a private party. The
    private party being the next door neighbor that was
    afraid this land was going to be developed into a
    apartment house complex. Ron Kuhnel stepped up to
    the plate when the other party could not make the
    payments. Rumor has it that the money was part of
    a trust fund. To say over the 4 year period he
    has owned it. that somehow it has improved is the
    usual Kuhnel smoke screen. The headlines on 9-5-06
    “It’s “Whimsy” again”.

    To say master gardeners have somehow restored this
    garden has to come from a wanna be. As to the trees
    being diseased is a very debateable subject. I believe and need to check that Pierson’s expert
    gardeners were able to save the other trees. The trees that were axed could have been saved.

  21. anonymous
    September 4, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    This last comment comes from way, way out in left field. This property is one of the most historically significant in Eureka. It can be traced to the original founding family of Eureka, the James T. Ryan family. To have torn it down for an apartment building would have been a tragic mistake. When you throw away your history you have lost the path to the future. This is a joint project between the Ink People and College of the Redwoods restoration building program run by professor Bill Hole. He is well known across the country for teaching the latest in historic restoration techniques. Ron is the president of an all volunteer board that took over from the original Whimsy Garden people. It is now known as The Historic Ryan House and Garden project. Stop by when class is in session and see for yourself what is taking place.
    Two of the oldest planted trees in Eureka are on the property, Monterey Cypress. This block, the 1000 block of F St. has some of the oldest homes in Eureka, dating from 1875 to 1906. This part of F St was originally surveyed by James Ryan, using the ships compass off the vessel that he arrived onin 1850. The steam engine off the ship produced the power to run the first saw mill on the bay. The Annie B. Ryan house is the only remaining structure tieing us to the beginnings of Eureka. That is worth saving and thanks to Ron and Bill and thousands of hours of volunteer effort it will be.

  22. Sylvia Scott
    September 5, 2010 at 8:48 am

    11:07 – I’m going to try to respond to some of your statements to which I have knowledge of. I have to start by stating, that considering the problems this city faces, your concerns are as important as a pimple on fat man’s ass! This is the reason the rest of the “public” is not concerned about this situation – they have lives! Maybe you should look into getting a hobby!

    The trees were examined by & recommendations were given by, a horticultural expert with HSU. I think this trumps a “Pierson’s expert”. These trees were both diseased & nonproductive. Perhaps you are upset that you were not personally consulted before this action was taken. That is because you are not part of this project. Hence, you are just another arm chair bitcher!

    I assure you, I am a not a “wanna be”. I completed my studies to become a Master Gardener through the University Of California in 2007.

    I did not state that the gardens were restored, nor did I infer that they were. In fact, no one on this blog did. I will repeat, this is an ongoing teaching facility. Obviously the conditions of this garden bother you. Get off your ass & donate your own time to the garden. It will be more productive than just bitching.

    Mr. Kuhnel is also a Master Gardener. Every year Master Gardeners donate 100s of hours to this community. This is but one of the contributions Mr. Kuhnel has made to our city.

    Being the City Manager, Mr. Tyson had every right to help with the purchase of this property. Again, this is a teaching facility that benefits our city.

    With all of the concerns that this city faces, it is a shame to waste so much time on such trivial issues. I hope you find something just a little more important than mud slinging to occupy you time with.

  23. September 5, 2010 at 9:16 am

    “Ron? I never see the guy on the streets of Eureka.”

    Someone should tell Mr. Hearst that we’re talking about Eureka, California.

  24. Plain Jane
    September 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Well said, Sylvia Scott, and thank you, Ron and all the others who donate their valuable skills to our community.

  25. High Finance
    September 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Does that mean you are also thanking Frank Jaeger, Plain Jane?

  26. Plain Jane
    September 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Absolutely, HiFi, and even Rob Arkley; although they lose points for self-serving, ulterior motives and deceitful tactics.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:56 am

    ulcer ulterior or alternate alterior?


    September 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Sylvia Scott,

    Kudos on personal transparency!
    Society needs more humans like YOU!
    Without straight forward communication,
    The world would be more blue
    Then black from the attacks
    from the faceless and nameless hacks
    whose alterior motive is to just play games
    while not getting all that they politically defame
    that relishes the moment for the namecallers
    to curse others a new game.


  29. mresquan
    September 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Joel wrote,”Someone should tell Mr. Hearst that we’re talking about Eureka, California.”

    Actually,this comes from Ron’s Kuhnel for city council facebook page.

    Campaign Kick-off Celebration
    Wednesday at 5:00pm
    Zanone House , Eureka, South Africa

  30. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

    As I understand it, Ron has a dock on Indian Island to access a small piece of property there. It was there long before he acquired the property. He wanted to repair it but was informed he would need a new tideland permit to do so. After much investigation, it was determined that he did not. The repairs appear to be complete although you have to look hard to see any difference.
    So no foul, no error, only another minor misunderstanding that some would blow into a ‘big deal’. These same folks would require me to get a logging permit to mow my lawn and then complain about government interference in their lives. Gee it would be fun if they’d use the brain they were given at birth. Right, HiFi?

  31. Ron
    September 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Weird isn’t it. Facebook decided to add South Africa. And you can’t edit these things. All you can do is delete it and start over.

    I will fix it. Thanks for the heads up.

  32. Ron
    September 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Ah … it is fixed. It is now in Eureka, CALIFORNIA. I hope no one purchased plane tickets to South Africa.

  33. anonymous
    September 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Eureka has not had a progressive council in the last twenty years and look where that got us. I would like to see what a progressive, not a rubber stamp council, can do. With a little luck they could work us out of this mess. But remember that it took some time to get us into this mess and it will take time to get out.

  34. Dont be fooled again
    September 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Mr. Kuhnel clearly violated the Eureka Building Code when he attempted to “remodel” a building on his property on Indian Island a few years back. If he didn’t know better, he is not qualified to be on the planning commission or the city counsel and if he did know better, he is simply dishonest.

  35. Can't forget
    September 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Ron seems like a nice enough person, but I can’t get his vote on the cell towers on Dean St.and Harris St. out of my mind. He voted to let them be built over the objections of the nearby residents and then lectured us on how important it was to have lots of cell towers.

  36. Can't forget
    September 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Ron seems like a nice enough person, but I can’t get his vote on the cell towers on Dean St.and Harris St. out of my mind.

  37. Anon
    September 5, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Don’t be fooled again at 5:59 p.m. is correct about the violation of the Eureka Building Code. I believe he had to either tear down what he did in order to correct the situation or try to get a permit. I don’t remember what happened but it certainly was a stink in the newspaper about this. I believe at the time he said he didn’t know that he would need a permit to rebuild a structure there.

    I think he needs to explain the Indian Island situation since a Planning Commissioner should have known what should be done in that situation.

  38. anonymous
    September 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Anon. if you don’t remember, stay out of it. Do the research.

  39. Anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Well, Sylvia your a vulgar sort. During the purchase
    of the Whimsey Garden the Redevelopment Agency of the
    City of Eureka did not publish notice of a public hearing with the intent to sell or transfer the property to a non-profit group. (Ref. codes 33431
    & 33433) To further complicate the transaction the
    historic house located on the property is protected in
    the grant deed, but there is no covenant in the grant
    deed for a garden, which should have been executed under code 33336 “Safeguard that redevelopment be
    pursuant to plan; controls and covenants as to land
    sold or leased for private use.” The City of Eureka’s
    resolution 2003-18 uses ordinance no. 224 as its
    authority to purchase the property and in part reads:
    “Whereas, the development Whimsy Garden could benefit
    the community by providing cultural activities, be an
    inducement to new business and industry, attract new
    families to locate in the neighborhood, and beautify the city as a whole”. Now if a unforeseen hardship
    occurs and this proerty is foreclosed upon through
    default of non-payment a sale will occur and outside
    of the historic house this large L shaped property
    could be developed into a large apartment complex.

    The original debt was $120,600, the note holder and
    beneficiary was the Redwood Economic Development
    Commission. In 2006 Ron Kuhnel is listed as the new
    associations president. The debt was $145,943.78 with the note holder and beneficiary listed as Betty
    L. Kuhnel. Unless things have changed there is still
    no protection for that property. Think of the profit that could be made if this property is sold. What
    is protecting this property? So, if you are all Master Gardeners, pray tell, why isn’t there a garden?

  40. anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Ron’s folly was a building not a dock repair. The building was built in a way you could not see it from the bay. Someone blew the horn and Ron did some fancy back-spin about his not knowing he would need a permit on INDIAN ISLAND FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!

    Don’t know what the repercussions were. Maybe he had to tear down the building so now the “dock” story is being floated to fix the image of a planning commissioner not knowing he had to have a permit to build anything in the City of Eureka.

    Whatever! There is plenty of ammo to sink Ron’s fancy claim of being the “leader” the council needs. It should be an interesting Fall.

  41. High Finance
    September 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    So Ron violated building codes knowingly & then claimed ignorance of the law even though he was on the planning commission?

    Then he spent a $145,000 + of taxpayer dollars to buy the “Whimsy Garden” even though there is no garden there and refuses to sell the property which could net the Redevelopment Agency a $100-200,000 profit? To top it off, his wife is receiving the interest on payments on the note?

    I am not accusing him of corruption. I am accusing him of a serious lack of judgement.

  42. anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Fi hasn’t read the posts and is ignorant of the facts. It is another neighborhood grass roots project.

  43. Anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Fi obviously knows nothing, and is simply parroting the lies that have been posted on this blog.

  44. Anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    The “Whimsy Garden”, now the Ryan Garden, was sold by Caltrans to the INK people. No taxpayer money was spent on this project, and no redevelopment money.

    This was all three years before Ron’s involvement.

  45. Goldie
    September 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Is anyone keeping track of how many times HiFi is misinformed or wrong?

  46. Carol Conners
    September 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t know how many times, but it is getting old.

  47. Anonymous
    September 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Old or not, we’ll have to endure it for another 56 days or so, or I miss my guess.

  48. High Finance
    September 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    So, it was “sold” to the Ink People? For how much anon?

  49. High Finance
    September 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    And before Time to Get Real jumps in with another creepy stalking post, the point of my question is this.

    The Ink People wanted space in the Jefferson School site but what Tyson has said was they wanted it free or next to free, that they couldn’t afford rent.

    So how on earth could they afford to buy a house? This sounds like a sweetheart deal for little to nothing for a small struggling non-profit with connections. This means it cost the taxpayers the profit that should have gone to them.

  50. Anonymous
    September 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    First, you may want to look who signed the check for
    the down payment on the Whimsey Garden. It was not
    the Ink People or the City. It was a private individual. Second, the City paid the closing cost
    and yes that is taxpayer’s money. What you don’t seem
    to get is the misrepresentation the City and the Ink
    People got away with. All this was as I said before,
    a private party that was afraid of development of the
    property. Do I care if there is a Whimsey Garden?
    No. I care that this city and many of its residents
    don’t have enough ethics to follow the law.

  51. So fess up
    September 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Is this innuendo? So who did sign the down payment check? I will bet you anything it was not Ron Kuhnel.

    Your attempts to imply that he was the one who made the original down payment are feeble at best.

  52. Wondering?
    September 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Annonmous 3:41 (who really isn’t announomus to those who know who she is) said “…don’t have enough ethics to follow the law.”

    So please enlighten us — what law was broken?

  53. Plain Jane
    September 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Who could oppose saving such an important historic home? If it’s someone running for city council, we should know.

  54. Anonymous
    September 8, 2010 at 9:14 am

    There is no innunendo that Kuhnel signed the check.
    The laws that were broken were civil laws. If an
    individual buys excess property in the State of California there are a set of rules. The property
    must be offered to non-profits first, if there are
    no takers, it goes to public bid. While it was not
    a secret that the Ink People were fronting for an
    individual, it was a form of collusion. There were
    several people interested in purchasing the property
    and the right for a public bid was denied. The city
    failed to follow civil law and did not publish for
    public hearings. Civil law was broken and correction
    is usually done by a lawsuit. This path was continued
    when it was sold to Kuhnel.

  55. Anonymous
    September 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Ron Kuhnel and Dave Tyson need to respond publicly to clear this mess up please?

  56. Ron Kuhnel
    September 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I will be happy to respond to these scurrilous attacks but not on a blog and not to someone who wishes to remain anonymous. You may contact me directly (my e-mail is ron@kuhnel.com). Or call me at 499-0095.

    You should not necessarily believe politically motivated attacks you see on s blog by anonymous individuals.

    And by the way… I do not own the property.

  57. humboldturtle
    September 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Let us know if anyone calls!

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