Home > Economy, Eureka > LA TIMES: Eureka’s future could hinge on dormant pulp mill

LA TIMES: Eureka’s future could hinge on dormant pulp mill

The LA Times gives its take on Eureka’s economy.  In a nutshell, it’s doom and gloomy.

  1. Dirt Style
    September 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Excellent! Keep those bling bling wannabe-cowboy city slickers and seatbelt-law soccer moms away!

  2. Anonymous
    September 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Wow, so gasoline is not trucked in currently? Before Costco’s station opened, the often heard excuse for lower prices in Fortuna was that trucks stopped there and every station north was somehow a greater expense, another day’s travel. It didn’t make sense then, and now I wonder if any gas was being trucked in to begin with.

  3. Anonymous
    September 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    “The only thing that sets Eureka apart from Bakersfield or Grass Valley is this port, and without the mill, this port has a good chance of going insolvent,” said Sid Berg

    It’s attitudes and lack of vision like Sid’s that has brought the HBHRCD to this point.

  4. Mr. Nice
    September 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Excellent! Keep those bling bling wannabe-cowboy city slickers and seatbelt-law soccer moms away!

    “I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I’m the anti-bling.” *kayne shrug*

  5. Mr. Nice
    September 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    For serious tho, this report is kinna right. Folks who are all paranoid that cutting some holes in some hand-holding tree roots on 101 is gonna urbanize Humboldt should be cheering for the collapse of processed forest product exports. Once the port is fucked its gone make Humboldt the spot that nobody in their right mind wants to open up a new business at. Shit that is already here is gonna lock down any kinna talent that might come out of this 95% buster workforce. Good thing they kept that nursing program since we all know exactly what all those old white people need when they retire up here.

    It’s all good tho we’ll just make more biodiesel or some kinna other shit.

  6. Mr. Nice
    September 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    And I mean buster as in the derogatory Chicano term for dumbass unskilled laborers, not the even worse buster.

  7. armchair watcher
    September 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Sorry to have to tell everyone this, but this town will always be a wasteland as long as we import low-life homeless and welfare trash to our city. What is wrong with Grass Valley? It is a successful town and not overrun by parasitical social workers mongering their goods.

  8. longwind
    September 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I like Bob Simpson. I hope he succeeds. But even the commenters on this article understand what’s up here better than Bob does when he puts his red dress on for pork products:

    “Humboldt County’s economy will be dependent upon the marijuana industry for its economic recovery,” he said. “I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of the state or federal government.”

    Fine Bob, but what about *our* best interest? That’s obvious, we build on our strengths. Why do we have lower unemployment and home foreclosure rates than state averages, for the first time in decades?

    Two clues: it ain’t timber, and it ain’t fishing. Hmm, what else is there? If only, as Mark Lovelace observed, our politicos could say the word ‘marijuana’ out loud. Then we’d have some economic development to talk about!

  9. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    September 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Mr. Nice,

    gotta mostly agree with you. As far as labor – isn’t it ironic that when labor is used as a tool, it seems the laborers in the minds of the worried politicians IS corporate conglomerate labor that feeds the appetite of the pyramid schemers and gross profiteers off graftings! Never really is about the self-employed, or entrepenuers, or small business employees – nope unionized and segregated labor is the mindset of woried politicians when responding to the citizens complaints on where are the jobs.

    The last thing pyramid schemers want is a limited workforce due to there existing MORE self-employed, entrepenuers and small business employees. Schemers feed off of dumb minionized vasils who are 1) too stupid to not know their own worth or 2) too self-consumed in debt to be able to say take this job and shove, no work here no more.!

    JL

  10. humboldturtle
    September 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Put in redundant broadband and the place will boom.

    You have The Turtle Guarantee.

  11. Goldie
    September 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Without timber, he said, the hardscrabble area won’t have much to sustain its economy. As fishing and logging have disappeared in the northern part of the state, many locals have taken advantage of the cool climate to venture into a more profitable business: cannabis.

  12. Not A Native
    September 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    The article appears to have some BS. Thats not surprising when Simpson is talking. Earlier, Simpson said the mill will need to obtain pulp feedstock from Oregon, because local power plants use most of the local chips. But its more dramatic to now link any potential bright Eureka future to the mill.

    Remember a few years back where they said port survival absolutely depended on the railroad? Well that pony died, now here’s new one. As for the gas barges and threat of no dredging, the Army Corps pays for deepwater dredging and that isn’t going to stop. Fishing supports Woodley Island channel. And somehow Costco trucks in its gas now, but sells it for less than Rex Bohn’s former employer who gets it off the barge.

    Most importantly nothing was mentioned in the article about the short sea shipping project. Totally overlooked. That project is completely supported locally because it’s “right sized” for the needs here and being well planned, not crammed.

    Hey, the mill has been closed for two years and this place is less of a shithole than when Harpham was EPD chief. House sales are stable, attendance at local music events is achieving records, contributions to political campaigns are at all time highs, the co-op is profitable, etc, etc. Even for the homeless they can get free showers and laundry now. According to the HSU economic index, both retail sales and employment is up from last year.

    Yep, its no boom time, lots of folks are stressed and anxious. But count your blessings, we don’t have no air fouling stinkin’ mill right in town.

  13. Anonymoua
    September 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Put in redundant broadband? Are you crazy? Redundant broadband won’t make the economy bloom! You have to fund STUDIES. Study after study, consultant after consultant… that’s the way to milk the system.

    Some agency should get a grant to fund a study to determine how worthwhile it would be to seek further grants to fund further studies. It doesn’t really matter what they study, because they’ll never actually do anything. But study, study, study! That’s the way to keep the incompetent employed!

  14. Funnygirl
    September 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    How about a grant to see if exporting marijuana via the port or . . . wait the railroad would make economic sense. Oops, did I just drop that joint . . its down here somewhere.

  15. cheesedick
    September 8, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    9:10, you just described the go nowhere mentality that stymies this entire area.

  16. Mr. Nice
    September 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Export headband and import broadband.

  17. tinkerbell
    September 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Long ago someone said that if we didn’t have to deal with the crud from the pulp mill we would have prosperity here. Now that the air has been clean for one and a half years Eureka has been full of tourists for the first time since I moved her a decade ago.

    We have many more assets in Humboldt but lets hope we have gotten smart enough to not deplete any other natural ones like we did the salmon and redwoods. Resource extraction requires treading gently and restocking nature’s stores to keep them available for future generations to enjoy and pass on to their future generations.

    Ever notice how successful small businesses are in Humboldt?

  18. Bolithio
    September 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

    ever notice how many people grow weed?

    You think the bead store in Garberville would survive in Brookings?

  19. Gump
    September 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Probably not. That’s because there is already a bead store in Brookings.

  20. Bolithio
    September 9, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Really??!!! lol

  21. Anonymous
    September 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

    News flash. Weed is being grown in almost every rural county in the USA.

  22. longwind
    September 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Bad news flash: pot’s the economic foundation of the county.

    Using HSU’s Schatz Lab statistics on Humboldt’s per capita energy use, which started climbing in the mid-1990s while the rest of the state held steady, we can see pretty accurately how much grid electricity goes to indoor pot scenes. With that number we can calculate how much pot, and how much money, all that electricity becomes. It’s $300 million a year, and that’s just indoor, just on-grid. Off-grid indoor’s at least as large, and outdoor’s larger than both.

    By comparison, timber’s 300 related jobs have a payroll of about $45 million a year. I realize denial’s our favorite river (poor Eel), and it seems each and every one of us would rather die than agree to change anything–so let’s not.

    Let’s just preserve our economic base with our eyes open. What if acting sensibly became habit-forming? What if even our leaders did it?

  23. The Monitor
    September 9, 2010 at 10:26 am

    The tourist industry in Humboldt county is also about $300mil a year. That is both indoor and outdoor activity. That is also a big chunk of outside money coming our way every year. Very few arrests, if any are made in this industry. There might be a DUI or two after drinking too much of our great local brews.

  24. Anonymous
    September 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

    It’s not just in Humboldt County that marijuana is big business. All across our nation, marijuana growing thrives where once factories made products that were shipped around the world. Now we produce marijuana and sell it to each other. In economic terms it’s sorta like contemplating each other’s navels. A long downward spiral into oblivion.

  25. longwind
    September 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

    “A long downward spiral into oblivion” describes the fate of our extractive economy until now. We’ve never ‘made’ many products here, we’ve mostly strip-mined them. That’s why they ran out.

    Agriculture is not navel-gazing. It makes products that are shipped around the world, and keep coming back! Okay, I admit it, I’m suggesting we might try thinking something new, with a future as well as a past.

    Monitor, your tourist industry stat includes the 2.5 multiplier used to make local industries look larger. My stat is the raw turnover from one defined way of producing about a quarter of our countywide pot harvest. Multiply it by four. Then multiply it again by 2.5 if you like.

    Pot and tourism are not in the same league. Salmon isn’t, timber isn’t, homeless-farming isn’t (though social services are good for more than $200 million a year). That’s why I keep harping on this. If we don’t get clear fast, our unemployment and foreclosure figures will grow to statewide averages, and we won’t feel any better about ourselves.

  26. September 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

    No one has been covering what is happening with Freshwater Tissue/Pulp Co. They admitted at the meeting of the North Coast Water Board that they needed a delay in their permit of 90 days because they didn’t have the investors. They also said that they could not meet the standards of the Clean Water Act. They were given a permit that allows them to pollute until 2014 along with a Cease and Desist Order that has 23 deadlines. If they miss any of the deadlines, they could lose their permit. The League of Eurekans Against Pollution has filed an appeal to their water permit with the State of California. Those of us who live in West Eureka and other locations near the mill are opposed to it starting again. We experienced the pulp mill pollution first hand. We are enjoying the fresh air. There are stars and moons and blue sky. Who knew?
    We have a website westeureka.weebly.com.

  27. September 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Interesting update! Freshwater Tissue has 5 letters of support by Thompson and other dignitaries written to the Export Import Bank in Washington D.C. for a loan. These letters were dated at the end of August. However, the Export Import Bank has no application from Freshwater and furthermore has never heard of Freshwater Tissue Co. In addition, the Export Import Bank does not grant such loans in the U.S.?????????????????????????????

  28. Sid Berg
    September 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    The real point of this article is that without this mill, the Harbor District has little chance of funding the improvements in and around the bay that would enhance the lives of everybody here. Everything from toilet paper in the public bathrooms to trash collection, conservation studies, pollution remediation, boat ramp improvements, water trails, area lighting and improved public access require funding, and with the current lack of a tax base, that funding seems remote. Perhaps more importantly, the mill provided an industrial use of our municipal water that helped subsidize ratepayers in our community. With little prospect of a substitute industrial use, it is going to be a huge burden on senior, low income and even middle income families to pay the projected huge water rate increases over the next few years. Worse yet, we may lose our water rights to Central and Southern California. Lots of work building pipelines but that does not help this community in the long run.
    For the first time in history, we had a local owner of this mill, committed to THIS community, to rebuild this business as the MOST ENVIORMENTALY FRIENDLY pulp mill in the world, pay good wages and benefits, have an open door policy to environmental activists, and the good citizens of WEST EUREKA have committed to seal its coffin.
    This area cannot sustain itself on tourism alone, and will soon become a place where only elitists can afford to live. We had support from local government, all the way to Washington DC. After spending billions of dollars in bailouts to banks and foreign countries, we cannot loan enough money to restart a company that will pay back huge dividends to our local community?
    (The US govt. just funded a research venture with China for a total of $125 million to look into producing electric cars.)

    Reflect on these thoughts, someday in a private moment! (Hopefully, you can afford the water and the only toilet paper left, (from China) produced in polluting factories with slave labor.)

  29. Mike Buettner
    September 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    The sky is falling.

  30. Not A Native
    September 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Sid, I disagree with much of what you wrote. Your facts are incorrect and your conclusions are unsupported.

    First, the Harbor’s future isn’t solely dependent on one pulp mill any more than it was on the railroad. There is years of environmental restoration work to be done on the bay. The public, State and Federal, supports and want it. That work will happen over time, its not a “quick jolt”, but its continuous and ongoing. Second, short sea shipping is a promising venture, fishing will continue as will gas barges.

    By contrast, the pulp business is inherently risky. The mill’s financial history is proof of that. The pulp industry by its nature is boom and bust, <a href="http://paperrap.com/papernews/article.asp?ArticleSource=390"US paper recycling is up and use is down. Booms and bust harm the social organization of local community. and in practice any pulp produced in Samoa will be sold to the Asian market that even Lee&Man couldn’t predict well.

    The effect of the Samoa plant closing on water rate is minimal. Only 25% of the recent proposed rate increase was attributed to the pulp plant. And thats a one time permanent hit, because the deal the water district cut for Simpson doesn’t have a subsidy for other water users.

    The water rights issue is a red herring because the pulp plant operation does nothing to secure water rights for fish and other future beneficial uses.

    As to environmental cleanliness, the mill has never met water discharge requirements and it will continue that way for the forseeable future. A convenient untruth was sold to the water board in anticipation that two years is enough time for a political end-run to waive the water standards. The air emissions were often noxious, unmonitored, and foisted off on the public as “the smell of money”, while turning West Eureka and Humboldt Hill into sacrifice zones. If the mill goes into operation, the air board again won’t have the political clout and will to rigorously enforce air quality standards.

    Finally, the real question is the soundness of any financial investment in the mill. Again, Simpson has put none of his money into the mill. He’s a salesman with stars in his eyes pushing snake oil. His partners got the mill for less than $500,000 and a $2M note, believing the snake oil that they could get $20M for it. They know nothing at all about the pulp business. The mill is a high risk, low return investment at best. Thats the conclusion of every qualified person who’s analysed the markets and evaluated the mill’s potential. But honestly Sid, if the mill has so much financial potential why didn’t you and the 200 local organized mill workers offer to purchase or finance it?

  31. Bob Simpson
    September 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Not a Native? Our business plan has never assumed buying pulp chips from Oregon. We are committed to tanoak and regional chip supply. In February of 2009,in the middle of winter with no tanoak in sight, we would have had to buy pulp chips outside our region. In the spring of 2009 we knew we could run the pulp mill by consuming tanoak.

    Carol Binder, you are a pathetic pathological liar. Anyone who doubts our work with EXIM Bank should call Gray Sasser, who is VP at EXIM and he will tell you all about our work and he will tell you of additional support received from Senator(s)Boxer and Feinstein. Rarely do I get really pissed off. But Carol’s lies can light me up like a roman candle.

  32. Anonymous
    September 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    NAN is a pretty negative poster. I would not give his comments one bit of credit. As far as Carol B is concerned, I would only say that the residents of this area are tired of the smell and the health risks, so if you go back in business, please ensure we have neither of those. Aside from that (and I am serious about those things), go for it!

  33. Sid Berg
    September 9, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Dear not a native,
    I have lived, worked and played here for most of my life. The Harbor’s future may not be solely dependent on the mill, but I cannot think of any other shovel ready project that can pump money into this area in such a short time factor. I support short sea shipping, but it is looking at least $50 million dollars in capital, along with years of EIR, CEQA permitting, etc. Fishing is great, but it will not support maintenance dredging. With the direction this country is headed, I cannot see the kind of funding we need for restoration available unless we make it ourselves.
    The fact is I would much rather see pulp manufactured locally and shipped to Asia, than raw logs, as is happening now. If this industry can be saved, in a few years we could be investing in a dioxin free tissue plant, producing our own paper for our domestic market, which I believe is a good thing. I am as skeptical as you on water issues. On one hand, we are conserving water by going to low flow toilets, and reclaiming grey water, but the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District claims if we don’t use our quota, we WILL lose it. I am totally in favor of water for fisheries and other beneficial use, but like it or not, this mill IS part of the equation, and I did not make it up. As to the environmental issues, I can’t agree more on past operations. I have never worked for the mills directly, but I served an apprenticeship working for contractors performing mill maintenance and upgrades for both mills and worked many a shutdown as an industrial pipefitter on the peninsula. What some of the large companies did was outrageous and they deserved to be shut down. This owner is different and is committed to this community and the environment.
    If after they should start and go back to past practice i will march shoulder to shoulder with you and the rest of the community to put them into compliance or out of business. Do you think they will care for our environment in China, or Vietnam? I think not.
    And the investment?
    As you have probably heard, most all of the private pension funds in this country are underfunded do to the losses in the stock market. If I held the purse strings to that investment, I would be willing to take that risk, for My community. If it failed, I would have to fall on a sword for making a bad decision.
    Most large money managers are not willing to invest in anything right now. It is incomprehensible to witness total giveaways by our federal government to third world countries to rebuild their infrastructure, factories, and promote research in carbon storage, when we can not save one small local business that could have made a real difference in a small community in America.

  34. September 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    An E mail received September 9, 2010 from Wayne Gardella of the Export Import Bank said, “I found the letters on their website that were sent to EXIM Bank asking us to support an application. EXIM Bank does not have a domestic lending program that would fit their request even if there was an application.” Wayne Gardella is the Vice President of the Small Business Group at EXIM Bank. If there is an application, it is still a secret from him.

  35. Not A Native
    September 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Well Sid, I think you’re in dream land. Having been here most of your life may have contributed to a myopic view centered on this area. You seem to be able to envision only what has happened before. Anything else seems impossible and unobtainable to you.

    You can’t see investment in bay restoration but many others can and doing it because its improves the country’s infrastructure. Its happening now at a rate that is steadily and slowly increasing. But its not one HUGE project that happens right away. That seems to be the only thing that attracts you. Going for the “big win” is a sucker’s play, but it sure sells lottery tickets. Thats the appeal the mill has for some that Simpson is trying to exploit.

    The total short sea shipping total investment occurs at a number of harbors. All that’s required to start here to is a crane(on a dock) that costs less than $1M. Right now four small cranes are rusting unused on the new fisherman’s dock that together probably cost as much. And yes it will take time to get the many pieces together but lasting things usually take time. But if you want it bad, you get it bad.

    You should make yourself aware of the basics of the pulp market. US pulp consumption is declining and Asian consumption is increasing. Pulp from a future Samoa plant operation will be sold into Asia, thats just a fact. If you think otherwise, only imagination and pride is behind it.

    I don’t want to have to march to keep the air and water here clean. We alrady have regulations that are sufficient. We just need compliance. But the mill’s operation isn’t going to be compliant, by its own plan. After it starts operation, it will be too late to stop it. Just like in the past when it was allowed to continually operate in violation of pollution regulations.

    Gee, maybe theres a reason you’re not an investment manager. Your writing that money managers aren’t willing to invest in anything is just poppycock. Have you heard about the new Tesla car plant starting up in Fremont? Or the Power-One wind energy plant opening in Phoenix next month? No Sid, investments ARE being made right now, but the Samoa mill is just too big a risk for any sane capitalist to take. But if you have so much confidence in it, I hope you get all your friends together to “save it” and give your money to Simpson. Somehow, I don’t believe you’ll put your money where your posting here is.

  36. Sid Berg
    September 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks West Eureka,
    Shows us how screwed up this country really is. The Sr. VP of Congressional Affairs could have saved everyone a lot of time if they told me the same thing. Seems the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing and Vice versa!
    Would love to speak with you in person sometime to find some common ground.
    Ron Kuhnel knows how to get in touch with me.

  37. Mr. Nice
    September 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Eureka’s still got that dookie smell. Prolly just ghost mill smell. Can’t fire it up again cause then it’ll smell even more like Eureka.

  38. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    September 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Mr. Nice,

    funny headband comment!

    JL

  39. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    September 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Sid Berg,

    many politicans are just deflecting and twisting stories to cover their abuses, that’s all. It is so common today, that neighbors, family members, friends, loved one’s etc…, will pulll the same choreographings, schemes and sope opera sabatoges to turn the victim into an abuser in the eyes of those without integrity themself. Darn, I just explained the mindset of lawyers and corporate trained employees, minions and stool pigeons too. No wonder there are postal goings – the abused are played on their emotions by malicious story-tellers attempting to falsely promote misinformation inaccurately.

    JL

  40. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    September 9, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Anybody know when the Pulp Mill gets it’s financing in order and opens up for business?

    JL

  41. Mike Buettner
    September 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Mr. Nice – Living on a bay with an active ecosystem and tides produces an odor that can be either reviled or appreciated.

  42. Mike Buettner
    September 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    The old an tired argument that the channel won’t be dredged if there aren’t significant numbers ocean going vessels making Humboldt Bay a port of call is just that… old and tired. There is NO substantiation for that statement.

  43. terminal momentum
    September 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

    this mastodon is extinct, not to be revived.

    this is not my value judgement, just a forecast.

    actual reality is that converging instabilities of an industrial system based on exploitation of our livingplanet are coming to a head.

    this pipe dream is not worth the energy to oppose b/c it will never obtain finance and there will be no market anyway as: a- world monetary supplies must contract to account for the inflation of supply based on speculative & imaginary value; b- the collapse of over complex (inherently unstable) social systems is imminent; c- the recently passed peak of oil production which has supplied the actual physical energy that fueled our insane growth.

    good luck folks–nature bats last and she is a real slugger!

  44. Bob Simpson
    September 10, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Carol,

    Your ignorance continues to amaze me. Gray Sasser is the Senior Vice-President of Congressional Affairs for EXIM in Washington D.C. EXIM’s Chairman selected Gray to work with Freshwater. EXIM’s Charter grants EXIM the same rights as any other bank. With one exception…they cannot take deposits. EXIM typically loans against inventory and foreign receivables. Our request was unique and I am certainly not going to explain our request to you and the rest of the Blinder Group.

    I suggest you focus on the appeal you filed against our permit and leave the finances for those of us who understand it.

  45. tenth street dreamer
    September 10, 2010 at 9:40 am

    The LA Times story reported that pot brings in $300 mil into local economy. Tourism brings in $300 mil in as well and is about the cleanest nontoxic money any county could make. Concentrate on that and much more will come our way. The story also said that there are only 10% of the redwoods remaining. Actually there is 10% of the old growth remaining and the greater part of it is in our National and State Parks. If I am correct only Green Diamond has a saw big enough to turn old growth trees into lumber. When was the last time you saw a one log load on a log truck? We have a 9.5% unemployment rate right now, below the national and state average. We are doing OK, everything considered.

  46. longwind
    September 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Tenth Street, the LA Times is quoting unverified, made-up numbers, like so many of us do. Meaningful calculations are above. Even Virginia Bass put the value of Humboldt pot at a billion dollars or so in her KHUM interview (and I bet Bonnie would put it higher).

    It’s 4 percent of old growth redwoods that are still standing, mostly in parks. Green Diamond hardly has any left. You’re right that all our old-growth mills have gone the way of our old growth. That’s why we need renewable industries. What’s wrong with encouraging our renewable economic base?

    Nothing against tourist development, but it won’t do what it’s never done before despite our best efforts. Now pot tourism, I think there’s a future there . . .

  47. Anonymous
    September 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Sure, invite more deadbeats into our area. Just what we need. Additional bums looking for free food and free reefer. That’ll build our tourist economy!

  48. the reasonable anonymous
    September 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Well, the news today doesn’t look real good as far as the possibility of the pulp mill reopening:

    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_16040284

  49. Not A Native
    September 27, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Where’s my drama fix?

    Its about time again for another Simpson-o-gram where in the guise of ‘transparency’ he ominously threatens he’s going to take his ball and go home(sniff sniff) unless people around here start showing him some real respect and the appreciation he deserves(by giving him lots of free money and rights to pollute).

  50. Peekin Ease
    September 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Is Bob Simpson done with his fantasy yet? I think the mill workers see the big picture now, finally, and they are not in it. So sad.

  51. Not A Native
    September 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    OK, my timing was near perfect, Simpson just announced he won’t be pursuing making pulp at the site. Apparently Nolan pulled the plug. This time Simpson blamed the FDIC. Darn those pesky regulators for wanting to protect the banking public from having their money evaporate into the hands of con men.

    We’ll see happens at the site. In the short term, Simpson has been “shopping around” several ideas of how the building could be used. I’m all for good ideas and there’s every reason to think that site could be productively used in ways that will benefit the area. Especially in conjunction with Samoa being redeveloped. But the best ideas will come out if Simpson isn’t involved.

  52. Anonymous
    September 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Give the guy some credit. He tried as hard as anyone could or would, certainly more than you.

  53. Not A Native
    September 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Oh BS anon. Simpson’s “trying” was like a mouse crawling up an elephant’s leg looking for love. Simpson wasn’t trying to solve the problem, Simpson WAS the problem.

    His grandiose schemes and flaky financial plan looked crazy to anyone with money to invest. In the investment world $20M isn’t that difficult to raise if there’s reasonable risk/return possibility. But Simpson wanted to get all the return and give all the risk to someone else. Thats a nonstarter, especially in a recession. A smarter and more realistic person could have done better, but it would have been a greatly scaled back plan and wouldn’t confer the glory Simpson believes is his due.

  54. Anonymous
    September 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Was it ever a real possibility? Sounds like it was “pie in the sky” from the beginning. Too bad some honest people were adversely effected by this less than well thought out plan.

  55. Anonymous
    September 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    If 19 passes tourism to Humboldt will boom. Where there were once produce stands in Pepperwood and Willow Creek will be weed-tasting rooms, farm tours and marijuana harvest festivals. How can we get the ugly abandoned mills cleaned up so we can enjoy our new friends as they leave their money in Humboldtia, Home of the Herb.

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