Update on Jefferson School

Attached is an artist rendering of the Jefferson School park.

Humboldt Herald readers:

Thank you all, for your generous pledges, offers and ideas regarding the Jefferson Project.  I want to assure you that we will only call for monetary pledges in the case that we become competitive bidders.  Your support and commitment to this community project is heartfelt. As of right now we have $121,293 pledged toward the purchase price of the school and park. We have also received offers of Raffle items, baked goods, fundraiser organization, to organize a rummage sale, to perform for a benefit concert, to produce and organize a benefit concert, to paint a commissioned piece for donation.  This is just since the Eureka City Council’s decision [to pull out of escrow] last Tuesday.  People have reached out with offers to post requests to giant list serves, to help us with promotion and mostly with the warmest of support and compassion.  What an incredible community to live in.

If in fact it is true that there are no other offers, we will continue to reach out to the community to try to secure the purchase price of the property.  We are presently arranging a meeting of stakeholders and potential partners and will be keeping you informed as this effort develops. If there is any chance in the world to breath life into this, we will make a valiant attempt to do so.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Thank you again.

Heidi Benoznelli

[To pledge, email lets.buy.jefferson@gmail.com.]

  1. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 8, 2011 at 7:39 am

    The Clown Council went out of its way to issue an insult to the people of Eureka. It did NOT look at the project as a finacial undertaking, only a political one. The SHN report was fine as far as it went but it reviewed only HALF of the options, carefully omitting the most viable ones. Can’t blame SHN. They just did what they were told and paid for.

    There is an effort to find alternate funding including pledges of various kinds. If the Schools will give it time and support, it is likely other sources can be found. It all takes time. The public was blindsided by the Clown’s reversal so we’re starting from way back.

    Don’t stop offering support and don’t give up hope. It’s our choice: let Eureka continue to crumble into the dust or take charge and revitalize our community. It’s obvious where the Clown Council stands. If we waited for them from the start, we’d still be living in mud huts because actually building something is “too expensive”. Remember this next election. It’s time to move forward again.

  2. Owltotem
    February 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

    These civic minded folks are great, I can not wait to attend the next WCIA meeting, can you guys please find a way to notify all of us. I was talking to one of the pro-tem officers. And he said they are also working on a really unique project to support local business mid week, a city wide clean up effort (wait to hear more about that, it is easy, volunteer heavy and will make a huge difference) and another high profile volunteer heavy, gardening project. I was so inspired by our 5 minute conversation I want more, I want to help. I also got a quicky debriefer on the state of affairs with Jefferson, it sounds like they have a great idea, but all of you who understand the interworkings of our local powerstructure know, good luck. In a city not cuffed by the old boys it’d have a chance, here, they stand to face more roadblocks. You know why? “They’re uppity”, that is unacceptable, Owl wants out of the nest, I ready to start pecking! Let’s get behind the WCIA and help change the future of Eureka.

  3. Anonymous
    February 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

    woops wrong post

  4. Anonymous
    February 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

    $121,293. Only $2,878,707 left to go.

  5. Mitch
    February 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I believe an Anonymous, on another post, asked what I meant by my comment that some were taunting the group.

    8:55 is my answer. Not only is it the voice of a bully, it is the voice of a liar, since the “to go” amount is off by about 400%.

    It remains hard for me to understand how someone could taunt a community group for raising funds to step up where the city stepped away. I’m thankful for that.

  6. skippy
    February 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Thank you, WCIA and Heidi. First time I’ve seen the artist rendering and in agreement with Owltotem’s words of helping and volunteering. Please keep us posted.

  7. Eric Kirk
    February 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

    That could have really been a boon to a blighted neighborhood.

  8. Anonymous
    February 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Mitch you still aren’t thinking. This group can’t just raise $600,000 and then let the property sit empty for years and years. They have to raise enough money for the purchase and the reconstruction. They have to raise enough money to take proper care of the building repairs and maintenance while waiting for reconstruction to begin. The $600,000 is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Your nastiness aside, the $3 million dollar figure is correct and your “400% off” comment is short sighted and wrong.

    It is not taunting to try and make people think of the damage they might be doing.

  9. Mitch
    February 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

    My understanding is that the group needed the city to kick in $600,000, and had pretty advanced plans in place for the remaining required funding.

    Unless the city’s withdrawal has knocked down the group’s plans, all the group needs to do is raise $600,000.

    Please, Anonymous, explain what noble work you are doing. What damage might be done by putting a school and park into the center of the west side, without using city funds? Besides to your pocketbook? What are you trying to save the group from? Why do you care so much that they might succeed?

  10. February 8, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hi-fi why the name change? Seriously it doesn’t fool anyone

  11. Plain Jane
    February 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

    11:31 is sweet worrying about the Jefferson neighborhood making an expensive mistake. HA! Did he ever explain the motive for his obsession since it isn’t his neighborhood or tax money involved? Beware of Anonymi bearing unsolicited advice. It is probably motivated by pure self interest.

  12. Mitch
    February 8, 2011 at 11:51 am


    The name change is probably due to Suddenlink’s privacy meltdown. HiFi’s email address was exposed, so now he’s just Anonymous, with no email provided.

  13. February 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    No, HiFi switched to “anonymous” and a variety of other names before the Suddenlink SNAFU. Therefore, HiFi’s email address was not exposed.

    But it’s true, few are fooled by the switch.

  14. Anonymous
    February 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Can’t remember the last bake sale held by the Eureka Chamber of Commerce.

  15. Anonymous
    February 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    If that is true then HiFi must know a hell of a lot more than you guys.

  16. February 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Talking about yourself in the third person does not a fan club make.

  17. Goldie
    February 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Goldie thinks that’s funny.

  18. Owltotem
    February 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Hi-Fi = School Administrator = Anonymous = nasty short sighted profiteer with blinders on who is either the unseen developer himself or speaking in support of him. Why else wouldn’t he want to see these folks try to succeed.

    We know you, we know your writing, and Hi-FI we also know you have no clone(s).

    He changed his moniker to anonymous to make it appear there are many of him he found himself the lone defender of his position so many times he needed to create the illusion that there are many of him. He has even said, “there are many of us”, who says that, a schizophrenic? or a liar. You are cute Hi Fi but not creative.

  19. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Oh HiFi, I’ve missed you so (BIG HUG). We could always count on you for our dose of nasty and negative. Whatever you said, we knew the opposite was true. It’s good to know our “Moral Compass” is still here, albeit under an assumed name.

  20. Owltotem
    February 8, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Only Skips can pull off 3rd person Fi.

    You are so cute. I was waiting for you to try and Haiku, it must hurt to lack imagination so Hi-Fi. I sincerely apologize for the last post, maybe you are not “intentionally” a liar. Maybe you just do not have the capacity for an open mind, maybe you were born that way, maybe it is not your fault. Poor Hi Fi. We love you, you don’t have to hide, it is OK to be different.

  21. February 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Heraldo! New design after 4 years. Whoah!

  22. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 8:52 am

    If Hi-Fi is really the only conservative posting here then this blog is truely irrelevant.

  23. February 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    You sure go to great lengths to spend time on this irrelevant blog.

  24. Plain Jane
    February 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Is HiFi again speaking of himself in the third person? The participation of conservatives has nothing to do with relevancy, however, no one who has read this blog would ever believe that HiFi is the only conservative who posts here. He is, so far as is known, the only one who switched from using a single recognizable pseudonym to multiple pseudonyms and anonymous to create the illusion that there are more who share his views. That is hilarious.

  25. skippy
    February 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I like HiFi. He brings a relevant, informed, and contrary component to the discussion table. There’s more than two sides to every coin; there’s mulitple sides. Not to be trite, but Will Rogers once remarked, “a remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.” Of course, Mr. Rogers used his own name.

    I hope HiFi returns. Under his own pseudononymously branded moniker.

  26. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    No pseudonym can mask adherents to the failed free-market/deregulation ideology, they are condemned to petty provocations.

    Provocation, lies and hypocrisy are the currency of this broadly discredited ideology of “blind-faith, trickle-down, economics”. From Main Street to Wall Street, these radical-contortionists are painfully forced to excuse the public wealth subsidizing well-connected private, for-profit, businesses, (and their clubs!), while denouncing unspecified “damage” caused by fundamental neighborhood facilities like the Jefferson project. A tale as old and tired as the defenders of royalty.

    In lieu of truth, harm from provocation will suffice.

  27. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 10, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Keep those pledges coming in. Yes, the WCIA needs approximately $600,000 to buy the site. It has over $120,000 to date. That is at least good leverage.
    To explain, the rehab will be financed separately and be paid for from rental income over time. It works! Any landlord knows that. The problem is that adding the $600,000 to the debt load pushed rents up too high in order to be affordable for the tenants. The $600,000 is the issue. Even as we speak, funding is being sought from a variety of sources. Hopefully there will be enough local sources to spread the load and get the building purchased. Every pledge helps.
    Believe in your community and believe in its people. Make it happen!

  28. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. The $600,000 is just the tip of the iceberg.

  29. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Anonymous, you’re the tip of the iceberg; mostly under water!!!
    You wouldn’t know a dedicated community group if it bit you on the ass. If the WCIA can find the $600,000, it’s no skin off your nose whatsoever, any more than I give a fig if you want to buy a house. So take your nasty and go home!

  30. Anonymous
    February 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    GFY. It is “skin off my nose” as it hurts all of us if this group buys the property and we lose the wonderful opportunity of C/R or a developer that can do something useful with the property. But if the “dedicated community group” buys it, it will sit empty for a decade and become decrepit and dangerous.

    Or maybe you have extensive experience developing property and obtaining funding that you have kept secret from us?

  31. Mitch
    February 11, 2011 at 9:37 am


    Ah, I’m intrigued. At least your position now becomes understandable; you feel that CR or a developer should buy the property so that it will not “become decrepit and dangerous.”

    CR’s trustees have made it clear that they are not interested in the property.

    That leaves “or a developer”. There are lots of vacant sites in Eureka today, so it’s not clear what the urgency is for a developer to buy this particular site and put up additional housing. Every time I go past The Downtowner motel, I just shake my head.

    As for the community group, it seeks to restore a school and playground into the center of the west side community. If you feel they are doomed to failure and you have convincing justifications, your position makes sense. But what are the convincing justifications?

    Why do you feel they are doomed to failure? Do you disbelieve the experts they’ve hired? Are you convinced that no school could be convinced to occupy the property? Do you mistrust the group’s leadership? Do you think city officials might fight them tooth-and-nail until they die?

    It would be helpful to those on both sides of the issue if you could just bluntly lay out your reasons.

  32. CRandJefferson
    February 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    The following link describes CR President Marsee and his listing as a finalist for a community college president job in Stockton. This makes it extremely unlikely that CR will purchase Jefferson. The proposed purchase was being railroaded by President Marsee, and with him gone, or soon to be gone, so is this initiative. Somebody better tell Newman and Brady.

  33. Owltotem
    February 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    San Joaquin can have him!

  34. Owltotem
    February 14, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I hear drums in the Jungle

  35. Owltotem
    February 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    The Westside Community Improvement Association presented the Eureka City School Board with an Exclusive Right to Negotiate for the Purchase of Jefferson School tonight according to an email I received. Good luck guys.

  36. Plain Jane
    February 17, 2011 at 4:20 am

    If Delta hires Marsee after the write up in the Stockton Record, it will be a huge surprise. He not only currently makes $46,000 more than their previous president (Delta is a much larger school than CR), but after “recognizing” the disconnect between their previous president and the community, essentially admitted he had the same problem here. He also broke the cardinal rule of a job interview, you don’t trash your previous employer. Is he gone from CR even if he doesn’t get the Delta job? I hope so.

  37. Heidi
    February 17, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Plain Jane, where did you get the info?

  38. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Look for CR staff/administrators to be “touring” Jefferson School next Thursday. Apparently there is still interest.
    Heidi – see the NCJ blog for the link to the article about Marsee.

  39. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 6:55 am

    6 minutes into the FEB 14th Monday morning magazine is a RIGHT ON THE MARK interview by Larry Glass

  40. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Solar Photovoltaic Class for Vocational Program at CR canceled this term (and they have a brand new solar lab at the fields landing campus) .

  41. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Anonymous 643 what time

  42. Plain Jane
    February 17, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Heidi, the NCJ Blogthing has an article (CR Prez Disses the Journal in Job Interview) with a link to the Stockton Record and to the article they did which Marsee referred to in his interview – which was reported in the Stockton Record.

    NCJ Blogthing

    Stockton Record article

    Stockton Record link

  43. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

    OwlTotem,: “Anonymous 643 what time”

    1:30 p.m. February 24.

    February 17, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Education and bureaucracy……..everything is more and more like government………gonna get real nasty in the future for everyone because of power and control.


  45. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    It will only be nasty while the citizens take back responsibility for their community, the communities needs and their own well being, its like a subservient woman speaking out against a dominant man, likely to get slapped down a couple of times, then she either assimilates or leaves. I think these folks are leaving. (Maybe they should hire Rory Hansen!!!!! ha ha ha ha , just kidding of course)

  46. skippy
    February 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Owl, thank you! for your post about Larry Glass’ interview on KHUM. It was informative of Larry speaking to the development and history of the Jefferson School project with his insights and institutional knowledge. For others, Owl and Khum’s link to Larry’s interview is here
    and go to: Monday Morning Magazine (8-9) Monday, February 14, 2011 8:00 am on the page to download and listen.

    Two other notes for readers: Larry mentioned a benefit for Westside CIA to be held at Unity Church, Saturday, February 26 from 5:30-8:30pm, 1619 California, Eureka.. I’d like to support these efforts. Good job, WCIA.

    On another note, I saw Larry the other day. He’s been working hard, exhausted from moving his stores– and very tired. Also seemingly beleagured and discouraged. Please, let Larry know you care, cheer him up if you could, stop on by, give him a kind word or call, support him after all he’s done. He needs to get his second wind back– and get passionate again after he rests. I thik he’d benefit from your kind word of support and we need his tireless contributions helping our fair city. Thank you, Larry, for all you’ve done.

    peace… skips

  47. skippy
    February 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    My apologies for posting twice, folks. Just keeping up and reporting the news.

    Today’s Times-Standard link to “Westside Groups Asks ECS for Time to Buy Jefferson School” by steady stalwart reporter Allison White is here for readers, supporters, and pledgers.

    That pledge by yours truly is still good in this regard, of course.

  48. Owltotem
    February 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    We love you Larry, Thank You, I hope you know in your heart how much the citizens of Eureka appreciate your selfless service to the Environment and our Community. Peace Love (and Rock N Roll :) Owl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. High Finance
    February 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    What struck me about Larry Glass’s KMUD interview was the severe uninformed claptrap he spewed about the history of the Jefferson School city purchase.

    After listening to his rant, one no longer has any right to be confused as to why Glass was beaten soundly on election day.

  50. skippy
    February 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Usually Hi-Fi’s observations rely upon a solid factual foundation rather than opinion.

    The French have a saying, “Couper l’herbe sous les pieds, mettre du foin dans les bottes,” meaning, ‘cutting the grass underneath your feet and putting hay in your boots.’ We know this more colloquially as: pulling the rug out from under you and feathering your nest.

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