Home > Balloon Track, environment, Humboldt Baykeeper, Lawsuits, Rob Arkley, Security National Servicing Corp. > Baykeeper announces Balloon Track settlement [Press Release]

Baykeeper announces Balloon Track settlement [Press Release]

Humboldt Baykeeper and CUE VI Agree to Next Steps for Balloon Track Cleanup

CUE VI to Perform “Hot Spot” Removal Actions, Further
Characterization and Cleanup in Settlement of Federal Lawsuit

EUREKA, CA After nearly 5 years of litigation, CUE VI and Union Pacific Railroad have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Humboldt Baykeeper over contamination on Eureka’s Balloon Track property. The case was before the United States District Court, Northern District of California, in San Francisco.

The suit, filed in 2006 by Humboldt Baykeeper and the Ecological Rights Foundation against Union Pacific Railroad, asserted that significant contamination from toxics that remain on the property from historical operations continues to negatively impact surface water and the environment. At the center of the case were contaminated storm water discharges resulting from soil contamination on the Balloon Track and its proximity to Clark Slough and Humboldt Bay.

Humboldt Baykeeper and its technical experts were granted access to the site by the Court, despite repeated efforts by defendants to block entry. Baykeeper conducted three site visits, using nearly a dozen technical experts from across the U.S to document the environmental condition of the site. Baykeeper’s experts conducted wetlands and biological assessments, sampled soil and water, and analyzed the human health and ecological impacts of the contaminants found on the site. Soil sampling conducted by Humboldt Baykeeper during the course of the litigation revealed “Hot Spots” on the property with significant levels of contaminants such as dioxins, metals, and arsenic. Fish tissue sampling in Clark Slough found dioxin in an amount four times higher than the “Do Not Consume” level set by U.S. EPA.

Under the settlement, CUE VI is required to remove contaminated sediment at numerous “Hot Spot” locations on the site to prevent further discharges of pollutants to Clark Slough and the Bay. The Hot Spots include polluted drainage ditches and stockpiles of contaminated soil and debris. In addition, the settlement includes participation by Humboldt Baykeeper’s technical experts in the development of work plans required for further site characterization and cleanup.

Humboldt Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols said, “This settlement is another positive step towards addressing the sources of contamination around Humboldt Bay. The work required under this agreement will protect the ecology, the wetlands, Clark Slough, the Bay, and the wildlife that use those areas, not to mention those in the community who use and enjoy these resources.”

“We look forward to ensuring the work that is done to characterize, and clean up, this site is thorough and complete”, he continued.

The suit was brought under the Federal Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which were established by Congress to address polluted discharges into waters of the United States and to address hazardous waste issues and prevent sites from creating an ongoing threat to public health and the environment.


  1. Not an Expert
    September 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    This is really good news!! A real cleanup. Finally. Way to go Baykeeper!

  2. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Congratulations to Baykeeper and YAY for Humboldt County!

  3. September 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Yippee! The good guys win one!

  4. Decline to State
    September 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

    We all win! Hooray! Well done Baykeeper…and grudgingly to Arkley and his minions as well for finally relenting and doing the right thing.

  5. anon
    September 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    The timing, just before elections, is impeccable. RA no doubt assuming his candidates will bask in his temporary magnanimity.

  6. September 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Pete will be on KHUM’s Coastal Currents today at noon to take a victory lap.

    If he tries to take a victory lap, I vow to paint him into a verbal corner until he finally snaps.

  7. September 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Also, he may try to take a victory lap.

  8. 69er
    September 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Can we move on now? Time to concentrate on cleaning out the thieves and idiots in DC.

  9. Ed
    September 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Nothing like a good clean sediment settlement.

  10. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Timing is interesting. Settlement was reached over a week ago. Yet SN did not let the CCC last week due to pending lawsuits.

  11. Voter
    September 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I don’t expect Arkley et al. to start respecting the Coastal Commission anytime soon–after all, they are “just” a state agency with final say in the entire Coastal Zone! Enacted by the voters in the 1970s!

    In contrast is Dan Johnson, who accompanied the commissioners on a tour of Samoa in preparation for the hearing on his Samoa town proposal. He even answered questions!

  12. September 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    The timing, just before elections, is impeccable.

    The timing had to do with trial, not the election. SN knew which way the wind was blowing and didn’t want a judgment against them.

  13. tenth street dreamer
    September 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

    This has been what the issues were all along and Baykeepers finally got SN to cry uncle. I am sure you all remember the shoving match between Arkley and Glass years ago now. That was an attempt to get Glass to back down on his insistence on a true cleanup. That is all Glass has ever wanted, before construction takes place on the Balloon Tract. That is why there was a unanimous vote on council last night on the copper cleanup plan. SN knew what they had to do to move the process forward and finally did it. All this bickering on the issue over the years and division in the community could have been avoided if Arkley would have done the right thing in the beginning. At least it will now move forward and we will all be the better for it.

  14. anonymous#1
    September 22, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Arkley and the railroad lawyers knew that they held a losing hand, like all good businessmen, they made a deal that is probably a lot better than they would have got if it had gone to trial. Now the place will be properly cleaned up and the citizens around Humboldt Bay will have cleaner water in the bay and a precedent for developing and cleaning up property around the bay will have been set. It is to bad that this cleanup wasn’t done years ago when SN procured the property or even before. Instead the cleanup was held hostage to a small-minded but influential and wealthy citizen for political purposes. The result (maybe intended) was a divided community that resulted from the lies, obstructionism, and innuendo on the part of SN. To bad, it could have been an opportunity for collaboration in making the environment cleaner for people of all political stripes, and unified the community for the higher purpose of cleaning up past mistakes around our Bay.

  15. Voter
    September 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

    It’s too bad the City of Eureka doesn’t have a vision for pursuing cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites within city limits. Maybe now they will figure out that they’d have a lot more public support, and less resistance, if they do things the voters want done, rather than what one billionaire wants done. How Arkley came to have such a hold on Tyson, Bass, and Leonard is beyond me. Throw the bums out!

  16. September 22, 2010 at 11:23 am

    No to mention Jager, who should apologize for calling critics “extortionists.” Peace maker my ass.

  17. Voter
    September 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Jager is a real piece of work. He is another one of the local yokels who think that fighting state law is the way to get things done. From Prop. 215 to Housing element law to pollution laws, he seems to think that locals should be able to make their own rules regardless of state law. Good luck with that Frank, it’s really done us a lot of good so far.

  18. High Finance
    September 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

    First of all you are accepting Paykeeper’s word for it that it is a total victory for Paykeeper. Most settlements are a compromise of some sort.

    But no matter. I have been saying all along the left’s opposition to the Marina Center project really had nothing to do with “cleanup” of the site. The opposition had everything to do with unreasonable anti RA hatred and general opposition to any development.

    So now you have the chance to prove us wrong & come out in support of the MC project.

  19. Enough Nonsense
    September 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Thank you Pete Nichols!
    Thank you Baykeeper!
    Next on the agenda:call in a Hazmat team to remove Robin Arkley from the planet.

  20. Reality Check
    September 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Why would anyone in their right mind support retail development in a city where we have vacant retail space a plenty. Even Virginia has stated that retail is not what should be on the balloon track property-shall I repost her interview in the Journal from 2000, High Finance? Well, I will. Lies won’t win this debate!

    Virginia Bass 2000 interview

    Virginia Bass on the Balloon Track, Home Depot & Light Industrial
    From an interview in the North Coast Journal, Oct 2, 2000:
    “So as far as it being a big box issue … my basic thought is that I don’t mind Home Depot. I shop at Home Depot when I go out of town. I don’t think it belongs on the balloon tract. I’d like to see it cleaned up put into 2/3 industrial park, 1/3 park. I don’t mind some park down there that makes it a nice comfortable place for people who work there. But I don’t think it’s a place for a big store.
    The decision was right not to put Walmart there. When it comes to the Arkleys offer regarding the balloon tract, it’s a wonderful offer, my questions are probably the same as many other people. Off hand, the clean-up, I would hope … There is an estimate for the cleanup, I don’t know how accurate that is. I’ve never dealt with clean-up. I would just be concerned that it could grow bigger knowing that the Costco was quite pricey. But that one had an estimate and I could deal with that. The cost of the park, I never saw anything outlining where the money would come from to build the park. I would assume it would come from the city, but I don’t know how much that would be. Then there’s maintenance of the park that I was concerned about because, can we maintain what we have already? And I also heard… there was also new information that I heard that could have played a part. I recently talked to somebody who said that it didn’t have to be a park along that grand scale, that the Arkley would have been happy with something much smaller. … I never heard that before.
    If additional information comes in that’s difference, I can understand changing my thought. As far as industrial goes, my thought is that that would be the perfect place to put it. I’m not talking smokestack industrial. I don’t think anybody is.“
    “I believe in a balanced approach to growth and development. I guess my thoughts are that retail and service dollars don’t provide the kind of income to drive the area. Granted people from out of Eureka … would come in here and spend their money some here. But generally when you’re dealing with the retail and service business, most people live in the same town where they work and make minimum wages (up) to $8 an hour. It’s not a real high-paying segment.”
    -Virginia Bass

  21. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    MY GOD HIFI! You have got to be one of the most delusional nut jobs in Humboldt County. You are either incapable of comprehending the press release or suffer so horribly from cognitive dissonance that it’s impossible for you to adjust your beliefs when new information is presented. Either way, you perfectly demonstrate how ridiculous your oft stated belief that “rich” people are smarter and better suited to lead than working class people really is.

  22. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    HF – That is like saying my dislike of spinach means I don’t like to eat food.

  23. lurch
    September 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Most settlements are a compromise of some sort.

    Nearly all Clean Water Act suits settle long before trial. That this one went up to the brink was due, I’d bet, as much to the intensity of Arkley’s desire to beat up on his critics as to the strength of his legal position. I really doubt he would have agreed to settle if he was really confident he was going to win outright.

    Like Hurwitz’ settlement trial of the fraud claims against Maxxam (which happened during the trial IIRC), I think given the timing and results it’s more than reasonable for Baykeeper to take this one as a big win.

    Onward to full cleanup! No Mall-Wart!

  24. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Yes, it is now not a clean up issue, but a planning one. Big Box retail in that location is bad for Eureka’s eceonmy and jobs. Time for a new plan! NO on N.

  25. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I mean ‘economy’.

  26. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Since you ignored this question on a different thread, HiFi, I’ll post here so you can respond, or not if you can’t.

    So HiFi, A reasonable person might think with people having more money to spend (higher wages) and all that cheap big box competition in which to spend it that Redding’s coffers would be overflowing from all that sales tax. Why does Redding not have a balanced budget like we are being promised if we follow their lead and welcome Home Depot and any other big box that people have a “right” to shop in?

  27. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    so the permit you were all against yesterday is now a good thing?

  28. The Monitor
    September 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    It is clear now that Arkley’s divide and conquer approach is not going to work. His tactics have divided a community that could ill afford it, he is poorer for it, and still has to do the cleanup the right way or face the legal ramifications. He has a very odd way of dealing with issues that he has little chance of winning. HiFi doesn’t get it either and he too will have a “rich” life style, but devoid of many friends and a quality of life that has nothing to do with money. What a waste of great potential.

  29. Not A Native
    September 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Yesterday’s permit will certainly be modified to take into account the new cleanup process. The newly identified toxic soils will have to be removed/remediated before establishing a detention pond for copper contaminates so the pond won’t leach toxic pollutants into the bay.

  30. Living In Eureka
    September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Well it is about time the good-ol’-boys stopped with the pissing contest. They actually put on their big boy pants. There is hope that tomorrow they will learn to play nice with others – well,… maybe not – but we can hope!

  31. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    The settlement deals with the cleanup in a very positive way. Now, remember there is another lawsuit regarding the adequacy of the Marina Center EIR. It has some BIG holes in it. There is also Arkley’s suit challenging the Coastal Commission. This has been tried many times before and the CCC usually wins.
    If RA is totally determined to ram one kind of big box or another down our throats, I suspect he’ll meet enough resistance that he won’t live long enough to see it built, even if he lives to be a very old man. Aren’t there better ways to spend your life? If he shocked us all and tried real compromise and consensus, he’d have an economically viable project that made most people happy within a remakably short time. So far it’s been the old “My way is the Only Way” approach. Tune in next week for “As the Center Turns”, brought to you by BIG MONEY and the league of Happy Minimum Wage Workers.

  32. Not an Expert
    September 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm
  33. Enough Nonsense
    September 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Plain Jane wrote:
    “MY GOD HIFI! You have got to be one of the most delusional nut jobs in Humboldt County.”

    That pretty well sums up that section of the debate.
    Thanks for plain speak, jane.

  34. September 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    If you missed Coastal Currents on KHUM, in which Mike Dronkers talked to Pete Nichols for about 20 minutes about the settlement, it will be uploaded shortly.

    Pete said the settlement includes $1.8 Million that defendants (Security National, Union Pacific, et al) must pay for attorneys fees for 8 attorneys and 12 experts that worked on the case for 4+ years.

  35. Not A Native
    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    It’ll be interesting to learn if the agreed cleanup will result in the property being safe for all uses, including residential and playgrounds.

  36. High Finance
    September 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Plain Jane, excuse me for working for a living & not hanging around here in breathless anticipation of your posts.

    Now that I have a couple of moments, I just have to ask. Are you really as stupid as you sound? Do you always misstate what your opponents say? Can you point to anything I posted that said a big box would balance Eureka’s budget?

    You have your amen chorus here of people even less educated in business or finance than you are. The fact that they say “you go girl” impresses nobody but you & your followers.

    You might try reading my posts slower & then responding with honest questions or comments.

    Having a Home Depot or even a Wall Mart inside Eureka city limits will not by itself balance our budget but it would help our sales tax revenue. Another thing is certain, if those big boxes went somewhere else in the county Eureka’s sales tax revenue would be hurt big time.

    How can you fail to understand that? Do you even live in Eureka?

    I don’t know anything about Redding’s finances & couldn’t care less. I fail to understand the moronic logic that would even bring up that ridiculous comparison.

  37. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Plain Jane is waaaayyyy too nice. HiFi has his head up his ass again. I’m beginning to think it may be a full time condition with no hope of recovery. Too bad, I guess.

  38. High Finance
    September 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    (sigh) 2.56pm, nice thoughtful response. Try reading my post & then respond with something intelligent to say. Otherwise you are nothing more than a useless troll.

  39. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Predatory retail chains want it all, and generations of complacent* city leaders keep on’ giving it to ’em. It’s up to the state to save us from the kind of leadership which lets the tourist dollars go to Fortuna and keeps betting on the dying retail sector.

    Next: Traffic. That’s a US Highway with state jurisdiction. You need a permit from Caltrans to even hang a bannner across the street.


    com·pla·cent [ kəm pláyss’nt ]



    1. satisfied: self-satisfied and unaware of possible dangers

    2. eager to please:

  40. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    btw, what’s the spin from the developer this time?

  41. September 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Heraldo, how do you say CUE VI? Is it cue v i ? Or cue v one or cue 6?

  42. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Kway-vee. It’s francaise, n’est pas?

  43. September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm


  44. September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Most people pronounce it “Q 6.”

  45. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    or is it a soft c? Sway-vee. Oui.

    C’est la vie, Sway-vee.

  46. September 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Kway-vee. OK. Is there an english word for it?

  47. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Arnold calls it Koov-Eye. Does this help any?

  48. September 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Q 6 sounds english enough.

  49. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Arkley’s Folly?

  50. September 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Humboldturtle, you’re funny.

  51. humboldturtle
    September 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I wish we could call it History.

  52. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    That is what the Marina Center proponents promise, HiFi, Chris Crawford specifically in his press release printed in the NCJ.

    “No need for future tax increases –
    · Creates $2 Million in NEW tax revenues”


    You have made the same claims yourself and now are denying them. Apparently your belief in your business acumen is just as delusional as everything else you spew.

  53. High Finance
    September 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I have not made such claims myself Jane, prove it or shut up.

    Obviously Crawford is exaggerating.

  54. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I’m not going to waste my time searching threads for your similar claims. You’ve been making them for months now and everyone has seen them. Exaggerations such as this are called “lies” by honest people.

  55. Goldie
    September 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    This is one of my favorite parts : In addition, the settlement includes participation by Humboldt Baykeeper’s technical experts in the development of work plans required for further site characterization and cleanup.

  56. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Rob must be chewing his napkin over that part!

    HiFi, you’re smart enough to know that people who earn minimum wage or close usually depend on social services from the government (Fed, State, County, or city) to survive. Food stamps, section 8 housing, etc. Why would you want to encourage huge retail operations that would put many more people into that category? The experience of many, if not most, cities that have embraced the big box model is that it costs them dearly, in social services and in public services like police, streets, fire, and the like. (see Stacey Mitchell’s Big Box Swindle, available at most bookstores). The evidence is overwhelming that the Marina Center would cost the city FAR MORE than it put in.
    If Rob was really interested in the best interests of his community (no evidence yet) then he would consider an expanded light industrial area, a small business incubator, a food works (16 apps in line for Arcata’s. Must be some demand), maybe a convention center, all money makers for him and huge gainers for the city. You won’t see it because he apparently doesn’t really give a damn about Eureka except as a cash cow. Even his philanthropy (always well advertised) is carefully scripted to enhance his image. Compromise? Reason ? Social value? Apparently not in this life!

  57. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    HiFi—Even useless trolls know when another useless troll has his head up his ass. Your post is less than useless, but predictable. Why is it that you think you are so smart, but in reality, you do nothing to add light to most issues, and in reality, subtract from useful discourse.

  58. osprey
    September 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    so, remind me…..why are people voting for Measure N?

  59. Over yet?
    September 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Since “all we wanted was a complete cleanup” appears to be met, let hear it for the Marina Center. Come on now, don’t be shy now proggies.

  60. Plain Jane
    September 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Why would ANYONE think a complete clean up was the only issue “proggies” have with the Marina Center? How many threads discussing the impact of big boxes on existing businesses and infrastructure have there been? Just how dumb are the Arkleymart cheerleaders?

  61. Ed
    September 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Don’t get me started.

  62. September 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Finally, some good news! Thank goodness.

  63. Goldie
    September 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    The agreement is signed. This is a forward movement. But the owner of the land is really after the increase in value that will come from the change of zoning. He might play victim thinking it will increase the likelihood of sympathy votes on Measure N.
    Stand by for whinny slimy attacks on the CCC . Oh, the injustice!

  64. The Monitor
    September 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Overyet, maybe you haven’t read the SN EIR so you can be excused for your cheer leading. There are many issues that will be debated before the shovels come out. One of the biggest is the traffic study. Very little was addressed on that subject. As we all know, Broadway has been getting more congested over the years and at times seems like any bay area major street. An additional 400 cars per hour has not been adequately addressed. If the Cutten development of 1500 houses happens, we will see major traffic changes on Eureka streets. One will affect the other, as feeder streets will take much of the additional load. This is just one of the issues to develop solutions to. Let us just be glad that a clean up is now in process and enjoy the moment.

  65. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    That change in zoning will decrease the value of the surrounding lands as it will certainly be incompatible and make the surrounding businesses less viable.

  66. Mitch
    September 22, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Congratulations, Baykeeper(s), and thank you!

    Even HiFi’s grandkids will be grateful that today’s developers have to do proper waste cleanups.

  67. Bolithio
    September 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Just how dumb are the Arkleymart cheerleaders?

    Cant speak for all of them, but Im real smart. Seriously, I may be a genius.

  68. Anon
    September 22, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Here’s a question for HiFi and liked minded souls: why in gods name would you want more sales tax for Eureka? So Dave Tyson could mismanage that too? Not to mention the studies that show that big box stores cost local governments more than they contribute in sales tax. The city spends more on police protection, more in social services for the poor bastards who work for minimum wage, more on sewer and water, etc. than is brought in. Seems like a lose-lose for Eureka. Only one who wins is the landowner.

  69. Reinventing The Wheel
    September 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    In addition to numerous books and documentaries on the economic effects big boxes have on rural communities, Eureka paid about $30,000 (?) for the study by Bay Area Economics that stated Eureka was saturated in low-wage retail in 1999.

    Cheerleaders for another big box try and sound knowledgeable on economic-grounds, but NEVER cite any economic data, sources, credible statistics…nada.

    Just the usual ideological free-market drivel…

    Oh, until a big box or a “Ridgewood Village” is proposed in their neighborhood…in that case, they demand to know the public subsidies big subdivisions, like big boxes, actually require.

    The Irony of it…

  70. Reality Check
    September 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I believe that we all need to focus on the enormous loss of a battle that RA, Security National has such submitted to. Lies don’t work. Keep trying, but you are facing a losing battle!

  71. Reality Check
    September 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I can’t wait to hear the spin tactic by Randy Gans that I am sure will be put out tomorrow morning. Let me see-this is what they have been hoping for-the California Coastal Commission is still at fault-Eureka deserves a retail space on their coastline, RA is saving our economy, Bonnie Neely is still the devil. Just wait. Tomorrow will bring tainted news from the conservative right that makes no sense!

  72. Anonymous
    September 22, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    RA will be bitter and will take it out on others – always his MO…the blame game. Too bad for those who are associated with him these days.

  73. Neal Latt
    September 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    It was said upthread: “Instead, the cleanup was held hostage to a small-minded but influential and wealthy citizen for political purposes.”

    Please don’t forget the small army of minions, hired hands, elected officials and assorted journalists (add now to that list Hank Sims of the North Coast Journal) that denigrated, ridiculed and insulted all of those who rightly insisted over the course of years that the cleanup as proposed (and approved by the Water Quality Board) was patently inadequate.

    Just like the one for the Simpson Plywood mill, where, may I remind you all, dioxin levels remained at 50,000 times the allowable level AFTER the Water Quality Board cleanup plan was implemented and everyone but Humboldt Baykeeper walked away from it.

    Hank, what now do you have to say about the WQB cleanup plan that you bludgeoned your critics with less than a week ago in your column as entirely legal and sufficient? Are we still “ideologues”?


  74. High Finance
    September 23, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Mouse, most minimum wage earners are people in starter jobs (such as teenagers & young 20’s) or are in jobs that are for people with almost no job skills. Minimum wage jobs train people in job skills & in the work ethic.

    Don’t you agree that a minimum wage job is better than no job at all?

    The unspoken secret is that almost all the Arcata incubator jobs are also paying people minimum wage or less.

  75. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

    HF – please reference your “facts”.

  76. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

    baykeepers spent over 1.8 million on the suit. how much could they have bought the property for?

  77. The Monitor
    September 23, 2010 at 8:53 am

    HF is just making this stuff up as he goes along. I’ll bet he has never gone to the Arcata incubator and talked with anyone. Am I right HF?

  78. The Monitor
    September 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

    That is telling it like it is Neal. If any of them had gone to the public meeting on this and listened and had a brain, they would have concluded that Baykeeper had it right. Watch dogs serve a great purpose in holding agencies, Magazine commentators, and the uninformed public to the fire. Opinions and lazy thinking are just that.

  79. Carol
    September 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I think some people need to get out of Eureka and Humboldt County every now and then to get to perspective and to get out of the bubble.

  80. The Monitor
    September 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I think this also puts the North Coast Water Quality Board’s decision making into question. Why would they have allowed a critically flawed SN clean up plan to move forward. Are they that inexperienced? This deserves an answer. If they are not up to the job, they need new staffing with qualified people.

  81. Bolithio
    September 23, 2010 at 9:44 am

    We certainly shouldn’t question the team of experts. With all this lime in the light it would be impossible if any of this was blown out of proportion.

  82. September 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

    How quickly we forget the Regional Water Board’s shameful handling of Maxxam’s logging plans that degraded local creeks and rivers that were already choked from too much logging.

  83. High Finance
    September 23, 2010 at 10:49 am

    No Monitor, you are wrong. I know a couple of the folks who were at the Arcata Incubator quite well.

  84. The Monitor
    September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Are you also saying the an incubator is not a good idea, and not a step to better paying jobs?

  85. Plain Jane
    September 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I’m sure HiFi has lots of friends who work minimum wage jobs.

  86. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

    HF– puuhhhlleeezz, pull your head out!

  87. Neal Latt
    September 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Yes, now it’s time for all the folks who defended the Regional Water Quality Board as capable, impartial, independent and free from developer influence – to come forward and acknowledge the obvious:

    In two words: They Ain’t.

    Hank: “Buck up, Frownsypants!”

  88. High Finance
    September 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I worked minimum wage jobs in my youth Plain Jane, as I was learning the workaday world. My kids did the same.

    If anybody has any facts about the wages paid & the owner’s earnings of the Arcata Incubator businesses then present those facts.

    But try & think for a change people. The reason the companies move to the incubator are because the rents are cheap & they can’t afford anything else. The word “incubator” should give you a freaking clue. It is to help companies start up, expand & then move out. While there might be some limited success stories, the big majority of the companies fail.

    The Arcata Incubator has been around for years. Its success is greatly exaggerated. Proof is in the fact that Arcata is not teeming with dozens & dozens of new businesses & high flying entrepeneurs. Arcata’s unemployment problem is no better than anywhere else.

  89. Plain Jane
    September 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    McWage jobs are fine for kids whose parents are still supporting them; however, adults who have to support themselves need living wage jobs that don’t require taxpayers to subsidize the profits of their employers. Maybe if the employers who pay less than the cost of slave labor got billed for the subsidies they’d pay better.

  90. Bolithio
    September 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    How quickly we forget the Regional Water Board’s shameful handling of Maxxam’s logging plans that degraded local creeks and rivers that were already choked from too much logging.

    False. Utter bullshit actually.

  91. Ed
    September 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I remember when the regional bd. actually listened to it’s staff and threatened to shut down all PL logging in Freshwater. Upon realizing they had the power to do that, CDF imposed a 2 year moratorium on new plans in that watershed. Then the governor promptly bowed to maxxam’s takings lawsuit threats and replaced the board and executive officer with industry friendly members. That was the last time the board listened to their staff about PL logging. The company went bankrupt 7 or 8 years later.

  92. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    A friend of mine has an incubator job and is pays around $5 less/hr than her job at Humboldt Creamery did.

  93. Anonymous
    September 23, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Good for SN, RA and Baykeeper, et al. They seem to have arrived at a compromise?

    Am not sure what to really make of all this. I don’t believe RA would settle unless convinced it’s economically and/or politically his only option.

    September 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

    AN as expected decision. On to the next grafter of taxpayers………..

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  95. anon
    September 24, 2010 at 11:59 am

    baykeeper a sell out

  96. wurking stiff
    September 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    Go away for a little vacation and everything goes topsy turvy!

    For once the good guys score a decisive victory…

    I mean really– Baykeeper royally kicked SN’s royalist asses!


  97. For Your Info, from the 9/28 Seattle PI online newspaper
    September 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Target Corp. recently announced it will open a small store in downtown Seattle, part of a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all plan to open 10 small stores in urban areas during the next few years.
    But what about Walmart?

    That retailer has quietly admitted to a small-store plan of its own recently, though Seattle hasn’t been mentioned as a possible location. Retail analysis say Walmart is likely to debut the scaled-down stores in the urban Midwest.

    Small stores aren’t a new concept for the Arkansas-based retail chain; Walmart has had Neighborhood Market grocery stores for several years. But now, the company plans to test small stores similar to ones it operates in Latin America, according to Supermarket News.

    The company’s Latin-American stores range from small grocery outlets to larger mixed-retail spaces.

    Specific plans for Walmart’s small-store plan in the U.S. will be unveiled at an analysts meeting in October. But some are already speculating the company could open as many as 400 small stores every year for the next 10 years.

    Analysts seem to agree that this is a good time for Walmart to follow in Target’s footsteps, largely because the cost of urban commercial real estate is lower than usual right now.

    Target will open its first smaller-format store in Seattle in 2012. That store will be about 90,000 square feet, roughly half the size of a traditional Target retail space.

    Walmart’s small-store format could be smaller still. Real estate experts are guessing the chain’s plan will be to open stores that span about 20,000 square feet.

    Competition between Target and Walmart could be getting more intense soon; Target plans to sell fresh produce at more than half of its stores by the end of next year.

  98. High Finance
    September 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I can hardly wait!

  99. dwayne montane
    September 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Hey HiFi is that because your involved in the project or like cheap Chinese goods? For someone so proud of your high finances, you sure sound like someone with a stake in this low finance store.

  100. High Finance
    September 29, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    What you find so hard to believe Dwayne, is that I still believe this is a free country. That you & I do not have the right to tell our neighbors they are not allowed to shop at a big box.

    I also believe in Eureka first. I would rather have that big box & its sales tax revenue come to Eureka rather than Fortuna or to the county government.

  101. Anonymous
    September 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    No one is telling anyone where to shop. They are telling them what zoning they would like on the waterfront. We all have a say in that.

  102. no on n
    September 29, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Can you or I get our zones changed like this, 6:27? What are the reasons for the current zoning, and do its established prerequisites represent everybody’s best interests? (health, property values, growth considerations, etc.)

  103. tenth street dreamer
    September 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    This project is so far down the road, new EIR’s, clean up, coastal commission, traffic studies, possible lawsuits not yet known about, unknown economic bumps in the road, and a host of other factors. All these issues are yet to be played out in real time. Anyone who tries to crystal ball this one has little to go on to predict the outcome. Hi Fi and/or many others may be dead and gone before any building takes place. I have seen many potential developments in Eureka end up in the dust bin of history. It is fun to follow anyway, and it helps us sharpen our points of view.

  104. Anonymous
    September 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Given the new required cleanup plan which will cost 10x the cash Arkley wants to spend, the project is officially dead

    Measure N will do nothing but help him raise the property value

  105. Frank Drinkard
    September 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Hifi. Yes this is a free country, but that does not mean we can do whatever we want, where ever we want, when ever we want. Even in uber left wing or right wing commens they create rules based on the greter good. If you truly believe that people should be able to build without zoning, then would mind if transitional housing was placed next door to you? Of course not. The tract is zoned for public use and is proposed to be rezoned for development. That alone is enough to draw the attention of the public, never mind the pollution on the site.

    Most Eurekans love the waterfront and care what happens there. I’ve met many “lefties” that are not opposed to rezoning and development, but have concerns about how the development is done. Can you blame them? It would be interesting to see how the alliances would sway if this project was in the Cutten/Ridgewood area.

    We create our zoning rules not only on what most people can agree on, but what is appropriate for the site. A “big box” store that sells mass produced goods from international competitor (China) or undercuts locally made and/or produced jobs is not what many want for our water front. You would not see so much resistance if it was not on the waterfront. Surely a good republican would know that? This is not a left/right issue. I agree with the others that you appear to have something to personally gain from this.

  106. Anonymous
    September 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “Can you or I get our zones changed like this, 6:27?”

    Yup, this is the process.

  107. Tea Party Ted
    September 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    A process bought and paid for by high finance developers.

  108. Anonymous
    September 29, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    I didn’t say it was fair.

  109. Walt
    September 30, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Hi Fi said: “I also believe in Eureka first. I would rather have that big box & its sales tax revenue come to Eureka rather than Fortuna or to the county government.”

    Eureka first! We can trash the other cities later.

  110. OffTheRez
    September 30, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I wonder if the Arkley bunch has really sat down and figured out what they agreed to, in this surrender. My analysis of this deal is that it was a huge win for all of us pushing for “A Real Clean Up not A Cover Up!”
    My next question is; when all the wetlands are restored and the ESHA protected where’s the Big Box and parking lot going to fit?

  111. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Measure N….the Big Hoodwink.
    From the moment Cheri Arkley literally waved her check for $30,000 in front of the city council, the air has been full of lies and misdirections. As P.T. once said, “There’s one born every minute”. Rob is depending on it.

  112. Anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 8:22 am

    We create our zoning rules not only on what most people can agree on, but what is appropriate for the site.

    that is bullshit. the zoning in humboldt county is not what most people agree on, it is what the planners designate.

  113. Anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

    and determine what is appropriate

  114. High Finance
    September 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Frank, it may be zoned Public now, but zoning is not sacrosanct. Moses did not come down the mountain with 11 stone tablets, the 11th declaring this piece of land as Public.

    Zoning can be changed, it is done often. The Marina Center project will bring desperately needed jobs to the area. Some of those jobs will be low wage others will not. But any jobs will be better than no jobs.

    First the left used the excuse of “clean up” to stop development. That has gone away. Now they use the excuse of “big box” and use the bogeyman of WalMart. That is none of their freakin’ business. Soon they will start using the excuse of “waterfront dependent” or “industrial park” as excuses. The real excuse is they are against any development anywhere.

    The railroad is never coming back. The harbor will never be a bustling harbor again. If anybody tried to make it one, the same lefties will file lawsuits to stop any of that happening again.

    The MC is our last chance to get anything going on this property in our lifetimes. Measure N will prove that you anti-everything people are a minority.

  115. Anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

    High Fi, are you not aware of the research that indicates just as many jobs will be lost as will be created, or do you deny the multiple studies done on this issue?

  116. Anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Traffic, HiFi, TRAFFIC.

  117. Plain Jane
    September 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Actually, 9:28, research shows that for every 1 job that is created by big boxes, 1.4 will be lost. The disingenuous claims by the Arkleymart cheerleaders that only now is the specter of job losses being raised is patently false and HiFi knows it as well as any regular reader on local blogs. They make public promises and break them. They lie outrageously about job creation and increased tax revenues which have been repeatedly refuted with unbiased studies and yet they continue on with their lies. How much more evidence is needed to convict these fraudsters in the court of public opinion?

  118. Harold h. Greene
    September 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

    With Eureka having at least for home repair and supply stores, owned and managed locally, we don’t need a Home Depot.

    Big Box stores have a real market advantage over locally supported stores. Everybody knows that. It also shows a palpable contempt for the local business community to continually push for (manipulation of the local political process, a contempt for the health of the community’s quality of life ) that kind of retail development.

  119. Harold h. Greene
    September 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I mean, “four home repair stores …”

  120. the reasonable anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

    “First the left used the excuse of “clean up” to stop development. That has gone away. Now they use the excuse of “big box” and use the bogeyman of WalMart. That is none of their freakin’ business. Soon they will start using the excuse of “waterfront dependent” or “industrial park” as excuses.”

    “First…Now….Soon…” What a fascinating case-study in creative bullshit.

    All the anti-MC arguments that HiFi mentions have been employed by MC opponents for years, and HiFi knows this. Heck, this very blog has had DOZENS of posts over the past several years about the problems caused by Big Box development, yet HiFi tries to make it sound like this is some new argument cooked up yesterday and that the only issue raised earlier was about clean-up.

  121. Plain Jane
    September 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

    The MC support by the right wing business community of which HiFi claims to be a member is undoubtedly due in large part to Bill Pierson’s donations to Democrats and progressive / environmental causes. He’s a class traitor in the eyes of the good ole boy Ingomar gang.

  122. High Finance
    September 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    First of all, 9.28pm, the MC is a whole lot more than just the Home Depot. Second, The “1.4 to 1” bogus study Plain Jane alleges is bogus. A study like that can be easily manipulated to show whatever the person doing the study wants to show.

    PJ, you once again defy logic. The great majority of Eurekans don’t support the MC because of Bill Pierson’s support of liberal Dem candidates. That support Pierson gives liberal Dems didn’t even start until WalMart & then the MC wanted to come in.

    Use your HEAD girl !

  123. Plain Jane
    September 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    HiFi, you once again display your functional illiteracy. No where did I say anything about the “great majority of Eurekans” or anything about what they support. Bill Pierson has been a supporter of liberal candidates and causes for many many years. When he supported Cherie Arkley’s opponent for mayor Arkley started his vendetta and all you “psycho”phants in the business community piled on.

  124. Plain Jane
    September 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Your claiming the study is bogus is bogus, HiFi, and pardon me for not just taking the word of a proven functional illiterate about anything.

  125. Plain Jane
  126. Plain Jane
    September 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I posted links to studies but due to the links, my comment is awaiting moderation.

  127. Anonymous
    September 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    “When he supported Cherie Arkley’s opponent for mayor, Arkley started his vendetta and all you “psycho”phants in the business community piled on.”

    This is so true. Even more amazing is how this vendetta has engulfed the politics of the entire county.

  128. Pitchfork
    September 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    The vendetta has gone viral in this area it seems that your on one side or the other at this point.

  129. Time to get real
    September 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    It is time for HiFi to go fishing since he is not catching much here. Surface lures don’t catch anything with any depth to it. Shallow is as shallow does. Get some understanding of the issue before trolling. Bass strike surface lures.

  130. High Finance
    September 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    You could be right Mr Real. I have been fishing for a thinking liberal & all I find is knee-jerks spouting slogans and talking points.

    Still, if I left there would be nobody left calling you on your shit. I still hope that sometimes I can spark somebody into thinking outside your small little boxes. Even if you are afraid to say it out loud, it is important to you that you think at least once in awhile.

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