Home > Lawsuits > Billboard blight fight

Billboard blight fight

Humboldt Baykeeper posted (current!) photos of the ugly and illegal billboards along the 101 corridor between Eureka and Arcata, which are now the subject of a lawsuit by the North Coast Rail Authority.

Quoth Baykeeper:

The public is not receiving funds for the billboards and the billboards are obstructing the viewshed of Humboldt Bay’s wildlife and rich ecosystem.  The removal of the eight billboards with expired leases will enhance the beauty of Humboldt County and the 101 corridor along Humboldt Bay.  Furthermore, the eight billboards with expired leases are within the rail right-of-away and are an impediment to trail development around Humboldt Bay. You can get involved by writing to:

CBS Outdoor Inc. Real Estate Manager Ralph Iannuzzi at 1695 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley CA 94710

If you’re a Facebooker, check out the new page Visualize Humboldt Bay: End Billboard Blight.

  1. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    November 11, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Qhoth = Quote (?)

    Anyhow, when the signs ARE TO BE REMOVED, will a post be left for the Red Tail Hawks? Just wonderin since the signs offer the pleasant perching point for such birds of prey when hunting fo the kill. Nice close range opportunities for a closer view too.

    Also, do explain how the signs are an impediment for trail enthusiasts when no such theory yet exists, or does it now?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  2. Walt
    November 11, 2010 at 6:19 am

    I counted 19 between Arcata and Eureka(southbound). Who’s being “paid” for the rest? Caltrans?

  3. Ma Kettle
    November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Tear the crap down. It’s DISGUSTING!

  4. Bolithio
    November 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Im sure we cant quantify this, but I bet 75% or more people who use the corridor regularly wont even notice if they are removed. Same is true if they stay. Who is like: “Oh look, Harley Davidson! I think Ill go and get a Harley! Thanks Billboard!”

  5. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Bring the billboards down.

    Do you remember the sculptures we had in a small area of the Bay? They were beautiful. Bring back the wonderful, natural stick and wood sculptures to the marshlands instead. They were stunning, creative, low key, fit into the blending landscape of the marshes without intrusion, and representative of our local Humboldt artists and flavor.

    Fish and Game (?) said they had to go bye-bye, but those giant billboards instead proliferated in their wake without restraint. This makes no sense.

    I’d love to see them return, even surreptitiously. And seeing the billboards go bye-bye! Do you remember ‘Rocking Guitar Man’ by local artist Jack Sewell? It rocked, as did all the others. They said, ‘Welcome to Humboldt’ in a nice and discreet way.

  6. longwind
    November 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hear hear! The art on the Berkeley mudflats too was the best thing that ever happened to commuting down I-80, and like here that driftwood art was declared to be pollution and removed. It’s a cryin’ shame.

    They wouldn’t even block the billboards!

  7. High Finance
    November 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I know that when I am driving into a new town, I do pay attention to the billboards advertising motels or restaurants or tourist attractions.

  8. Angel
    November 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Maybe a night-time visit to the sites with a chainsaw is in order.

  9. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

    8:38 yes, I remember the driftwood art. It was fun. There was an “airplane” stuck nosedown in the mud just where it would have taken off from Murray Field, stick figures, and other fun creations.

  10. skippy
    November 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

    And like Anonymous said at 8:38, bring back the driftwood sculptures. They were great, I remember.

    Let them re-appear again. Showing up mysteriously on a proverbial Humboldt dark and stormy night, drifting eerily out of wet morning mist like curious flotsam and jetsom of an ebb tide, a Nessie of creation and imagination slithering from the stinky wet bay muck onto your lap, jolting you and your cup of Joe during your mundane morning commute.

  11. November 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

    There was an “airplane” stuck nosedown in the mud just where it would have taken off

    I’d heard it was the folks at Murray Field that didn’t like that “plane” there. They complained and all of the sculptures ended up having to be taken down.

  12. November 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Love that Nanny State!

  13. smaller is better
    November 11, 2010 at 10:12 am

    The ‘Airplane Gone Awry’ was a classic.

  14. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I think I remember that too, Fred. Maybe the other ones suffered because of that. Well, wouldn’t it be fun if some new ones appeared (not the airplane one!) and they were natural materials, not damaging to the bay. I think our community would embrace it.

  15. Big Al
    November 11, 2010 at 10:40 am

    the Airplane by Duane Flatmo was the beginning of the end of the sculptures. the pilots at Murray field didn’t like it and cut it down.
    I was part of the crew that went out to put it back up. the sculptures only lasted a short while longer after that. HSU’s Cluster collage was responsible for the Dragon or Sea Monster piece, they would go out annually to maintain it, it actually would move forward a little bit with each update. If you want to just go out and build one yourself, maybe we can bring them back.

  16. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Billboards are sort of like political yard signs, accept the billboards are even more of an eyesore. Now I know where HiFi gets his info while out of town. Enlightening.

  17. Un-Named
    November 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

    haha, 10:42…he probably likes getting junkmail at home too. JL, I’m surprised by your response, although it would be very cool to accomodate birds of prey. Viva driftwood sculpture!

  18. Big Al
    November 11, 2010 at 10:50 am

    college, sorry I have a cold and am a bit slow right now…

  19. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    They put up photos? OMG! Now that is getting tough.

    I remember the trash in the Berkeley Mudflats. Please don’t replace billboards with crap stuck in the mud. Just get rid of the billboards. Isn’t the bay beautiful enough on its own.

    BTW Caltrans is on Baykeepers side on this one.

  20. Bolithio
    November 11, 2010 at 11:38 am

    If the lease is expired cant the landowners just go a remove the billboards? Why sue?

  21. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Billboard Removal = Yes!
    Raptor Perches = Yes!
    Sculpture Revival = Yes!
    Lots of great visions! Nice work all!

  22. Oldphart
    November 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    The billboards were chainsawed down in the 1970’s. Must have been a crew cuz they got most of them. If you look, a few of them now have metal posts, not wood.
    Jim Larson from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service went
    out and cut down the sculptures in the late 1980’s. then the jackass moved to Alaska. I asked him why and he stated that it was on Fish & Wildlife land and not natural. What an ass.

  23. Big Al
    November 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    kind people, please don’t consider a vigilante action and cut the signs down in the night unless you really know what you are doing.
    I can only imagine they are extremely heavy and if one fell on you it might be lethal.

  24. Big Al Has a Point II
    November 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    kind people, please do consider a vigilante action and place driftwood sculptures on the flats in the night if you know what you’re doing. Safety first.

    I can only imagine they are of natural materials, good for perching raptors, dissipating and rotting away naturally.

  25. November 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    the billboards are obstructing the viewshed

    Won’t someone think about our poor tourism-shed? What about our advertising-shed?

  26. anon
    November 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    now chris, you wouldn’t want to impact anyone’s property rights would you? the billboards are illegal and NCRA wants them gone.

  27. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I would say that there are many business that do well because this is a beautiful place and will only do better as we become more so.

    I’m sure Chris’ neighbors will be happy improve their ‘advertising shed’ when he adopts the soon to be homeless signs.

  28. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    “If the lease is expired cant the landowners just go a remove the billboards? Why sue?”

    CBS Outdoor is saying NCRA will need to reimburse them $40,000 for the ‘value’ of the structures.

  29. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Were the aculptures made of old railroad ties? Wouldn’t they leach preservatives into our mudflats (er…wetlands)?

  30. Big Al
    November 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    “Were the aculptures made of old railroad ties?”

    no, they were drift wood. the railroad was still running back then

  31. anon
    November 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Its all about courts and government with you people. Why not call the advertizers on the signs. On demand, or more trouble then they are worth, the signs go away.

  32. jo jo
    November 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    The wood sculptures brought more amusement than those signs did.

  33. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    With GPS smartphones and Google I think the poor tourists will manage. Vermont banned signs Statewide and they seem to be getting along just fine.

  34. Matt
    November 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    “If the lease is expired cant the landowners just go a remove the billboards? Why sue?”

    “CBS Outdoor is saying NCRA will need to reimburse them $40,000 for the ‘value’ of the structures.”

    That’s what I was wondering – why doesn’t the NCRA just remove them? They could alert CBS that if they’re not gone in a week, they will take them down themselves. If CBS says they have so much value, then the NCRA should put them on a truck and have them unloaded in the CBS parking lot at their office, wherever it is.

  35. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Do they burn?

  36. Angel
    November 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

    In some places offending billboards are splattered with paint (or blood!) or are otherwise defaced. I’d love to take a paintbrush to that Himalayan Rug Trader billboard.

  37. jo jo
    November 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    As Herlado’s article says:

    “You can get involved by writing to:

    CBS Outdoor Inc. Real Estate Manager Ralph Iannuzzi at 1695 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley CA 94710”

    A few of the signs are advertising: Tibetan and Himilayan Rugs; Harley-Davidson; Shell Gas and Car Wash at 4th & V St.; and iving Styles, to name a few.

    Go Humboldt Baykeeper and North Coast Rail Authority. Expired leases, uncashed checks for leases, a blight, and extortionist attempts by CBS (‘pay us $40,000 for our materials’) is uncalled for. Take the signs out. We don’t want them or your ‘in your face, take it or leave it’ business.

  38. Matt
    November 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    “I’d love to take a paintbrush to that Himalayan Rug Trader billboard.”

    Why?

  39. Anonymous
    November 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Chris Crawford mentioned some of the businesses needing those signs. Maybe they should weigh in here. Oops. They are working, not blogging their day away.

  40. Chaz
    November 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

    For the record, it was Ron Klein, local panoramic artist and sculptor who built the Airplane in the grasslands off Murray Field. He has photos of it. Ron has left the area. The year was 1978.

  41. Big Al
    November 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I think Ron’s airplane was the “Spirit of Eureka”
    Flatmo’s was the “augered in” swept wing, built some years later

  42. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Do you people realize that all the billboards in question here are sold by a 100% local company to 100% local companies. Yes they are CBS boards, but a large portion of rents from these boards stay local, and the local businesses depend on them. Some one mentioned 80% of people don’t even notice them, well when the local owner of the himalayan rug board donates free space to the fire art center for there pottery sale their profits increase 300%.
    Just some food for thought for all the anti business haters

  43. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 9:01 am

    The same space “donated” to the Marion Brady campaign and HumCPR? Is that even a legal place to put a sign?

  44. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

    No one said anything about the business on the billboards. Since you brought it up, what local business makes its money selling advertising space on structures that are trespassing on public property? Breaking the law for the sake of business is ok for some but not for others?

  45. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Guilty until proven innocent huh? Just because someone reports these boards are illegal it must be true then….

  46. tra
    November 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Anon 9:11,

    To be fair, the owners of the businesses advertising on those signs may be unaware of the dispute over the legality of the signs. I’m not sure how much this story has really made it’s way out the the public, beyond those who read the blogs.

  47. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Support local businesses. Speaking from experience, it is a tough gig!

  48. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    So true. It’s very very difficult to be in business in California with all of the regulation, ADA, workers compensation, EDD and what have you, not to speak of the virulent anti business rhetoric usually spouted by people that have no idea what they’re talking about. The anti-corporate blather coming from people that think MAXXAM and Enron are the same thing as local stalwarts like Mercer Fraser and O&M Industries. We should be grateful for local businesses that provide jobs and pay taxes regardless of their organization as Corporations, Partnerships, LLC’s or Husband and Wife entities. Period. Support your local business!! Please.

  49. Jesse
    November 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    “sold by a 100% local company … a large portion of rents from these boards stay local”

    So a “large portion” is the same thing as 100% ???

    “The anti-corporate blather coming from people that think MAXXAM and Enron are the same thing as local stalwarts like Mercer Fraser and O&M Industries.”

    Are you talking about people who are concerned about the accountability of companies who impart a large impact on our shared natural resources be they local, multinational, sustainable, or exploitive. In other words watching out for “rational bad behavior.”

    The real problem is the people who defended MAXXAM’s actions while Hurwitz precoded to bend us all over.

  50. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Do you folks realize that one of the people working on removing the signs from the boundaries of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge was Richard Guadagno, who was on United Flight 93? Do you remember United Flight 93?

    “And then there are the billboards on a sliver of refuge land between Highway 101 and the bay just north of Eureka.

    “He wanted those billboards gone,” LaPenta said. Just months before his death Guadagno wrote billboard giant Viacom and gave the company a deadline of 60 days to remove the illegal signs, an order the company continues to resist.”

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/090502/cover0905-guadagno.html

    http://www.fws.gov/humboldtbay/scholarship.html

  51. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Did any one ever say a large portion equals a 100%? no I just said that all eight signs in question here are sold by a completly local company to local businesses. And this local company depends on these signs for income just as the local advertiser depend in then to bring In business.

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