What part of “no way” don’t you understand?
On Tuesday, April 17th, the Eureka City Council will consider whether to press forward with its ill-conceived and patently-illegal longtime plan to extend Waterfront Drive straight through the biologically-fragile wetlands of the Eureka (“PALCO”) Marsh, from Del Norte Street to Hilfiker Drive on Eureka’s south end.
Shortly after announcing the project in 2001, the City received a rash of letters from the California Coastal Commission, the State Coastal Conservancy, and a coalition of virtually every local environmental organization in Humboldt County, telling them “no way, no how, never.” While traffic congestion has in recent decades been an issue on 101 through Eureka, the City faces a very big problem with the plan. It would fill and plow a road through some of the most environmentally-sensitive habitat area (ESHA) in the City, a use strictly forbidden in California state law for new roads or roadway extensions.
One of the letters to the City was penned by the late, great Peter Douglas, longtime Executive Director of the CCC and a principle author of the Coastal Act itself. His letter is unambiguous:
“I . . . reiterate[e], as clearly and directly as possible, that we see no way this project can be recommended for approval by the Commission because it is clearly inconsistent with applicable, enforceable policies of the California Coastal Act. . . . we respectfully urge the City not to expend any additional public resources in pursuit of it.”
(Full text of Douglas’s letter and an even more scathing one from Redwood Region Audubon Society, calling out the City for the project’s “misfeasance and cronyism,” is available at the end of the City’s staff report on next week’s agenda item here.)
Given the substantial and powerful opposition, any other project this illegal and ill-conceived would have been killed by any right-thinking public agency long ago. However, we’re talking about the City of Eureka here, and most pointedly, the group of four council members known about town as “the Brady Bunch.”
The extension of Waterfront Drive through the Eureka Marsh has been identified in the Marina Center EIR as a critical traffic mitigation and alternative back-door access route for Rob Arkley’s proposed Big Box Mall. Without the illegal Waterfront Drive extension through this prime bird and waterfowl habitat, plans for the Marina Center are in BIG trouble. Accordingly, expect these council members to defy logic and sensible stewardship of City resources, and press on with their tilting at windmills, despite the clear warning in the staff report that continuation of plans for this quixotic road will cost much more than the $153,000 that the City has already allocated for the project. Most Eurekans would ask: how many fire or police officers would that be?
Please show up for the 6 pm meeting Tuesday, April 17th in council chambers to vent your displeasure and urge the City to do the right thing and kill this vampire. Just remember that the biggest unseen presence in the room will be Rob Arkley, defiantly whispering into the listening ears of the Brady Bunch, “who’s your Daddy?”
During the 2010 elections, former local journalist John Osborn released his “eyebrow-raising group of lockstep donors to conservative candidates.”
Comparing that list with recent campaign disclosures reported by the Times-Standard we find that two on Osborn’s list are already shoveling donations at Rex Bohn’s supervisor campaign: Kramer Investment Group and Eureka CPA John Fullerton, president of the Eureka City School Board.
Other Bohn heads include Supervisor Virginia Bass, Fortuna resident David Morris, AR Lumber in Arcata, Mercer-Fraser Co., Benbow Inn Agland Engineering Inc., Feierabend Trucking, Hansen Trucking, Mendes Mini Storage, Toste Dairy, Pacific Builders, Gerald Becker Insurance Agency, Quality Body Works, Leonardo Logging, Becker Dairy, Pacific Partners Real Estate, Scotia Company LLC, Bode Cellars, Spa at Personal Choice, Humboldt Redwood, CC Market, Bar W. Ranch, Frog Alley, Cloney’s Pharmacy, Jitter Bean Coffee, Hoby’s Market, Doris and Daughter Inc. and Fortuna Motors.
The North Coast Journal rolled out its annual Best of Humboldt issue today. Pick up a copy to see the winners, near-winners and losers. (Digital copies hit the internetz sometime tonight or tomorrow).
Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith won the “Best Elected Official” category, with Congressman Mike Thompson and Supervisor Mark Lovelace coming in a close second and third.
But the big revelation is that ousted City Councilman Larry Glass made the list — and he “managed to earn more votes that the city’s three new councilmembers combined,” sayeth the Journal.
Glass got 2% of the vote, (as did Supervisor Virginia Bass). Eureka City Council members Mike Newman and Marian Brady each nabbed .03%.
It is hard to believe there are people (or perhaps just a single person) out there who really believe either one of those fools is the “Best Elected Official” in Humboldt County. There’s a mighty big rock somewhere in Eureka, and the space beneath it appears to be occupied.
In the “Best Blog” category, the Humboldt Herald came in at #2 (quit yer snickering), second only to Hank Sims’ new gig, the Lost Coast Outpost. The Journal said it was a “bittersweet honor to bestow.” This time last year, Sims was the captain of the SS NCJ.
“Despite Rob Arkley’s claims to the contrary, Hank is a journalist,” writes the Journal’s Andrew Goff.
You asked for it, and KSLG DJ John Matthews was kind enough to forward the link to his interview with Larry Glass in front of the Eureka Co-Op Friday at the Warm & Fuzzy Coat drive.
Listen to Larry dish about the election, Rob Arkley and the future of his store The Works in Old Town Eureka.
New City Council members in the City of Eureka were sworn into office Tuesday night.
The first order of business for the new council appears to be an attack on the purchase of Jefferson School, which was unanimously agreed upon by the last Council. Councilwoman Linda Atkins, the only hold-over from the last council, signaled opposition to a change of direction.
“If this is the way it’s going to work, you will hear me objecting,” she said. Atkins said she didn’t understand the delay of the purchase. “I could buy four houses in the time this has been in escrow.”
Supporters of the purchase would be wise to prepare for the December 21st meeting where the issue will be brought up for action by the new council which is clearly opposed to the project.
UPDATE: The move to keep Dave Tyson as city manager despite his resignation and the city’s hiring of a firm to find a replacement is also underway. Former Mayor Virginia Bass spoke during public comment to support retention of the city manager. Tyson is at the center of a major lawsuit settlement by the city after he failed to uncover and stop an internal campaign of harassment between employees in the Eureka Police Department.
[Featured comment from an Officer at EPD]
I for one am thankful for Larry Glass. At a recent Eureka Police Officer’s Association meeting, both Brady and Newman showed remarkable ignorance of the POP [Problem Oriented Policing] team. Newman even called it the “Policing oriented Police” team. [Ron] Kuhnel and Glass knew the cities problems and the police departments function in helping address them. The EPOA endorsed both Glass and Kuhnel for the Eureka city council.
Both [Mike] Newman and [Marian] Brady stated that they would cut public safety the MOST if there is a deficit (and there probably will be). Both also flat out said that if it was a choice between cutting $200,000 from the Zoo, or laying off police officers, they would lay off officers (which was surprisingly honest since one of the lowest seniority officers who would face the cut was in the room and was pointed out as possibly being fired!).
EPD is a new department since the arrival of councilman Glass and Chief Neilsen. I guarantee that if Glass is voted out, the PD will return to the “Golden Years” of the recent past.
BTW – Lance Madsen showed up at the meeting because he wanted to “show his support” for Newman and Brady. Both Newman and Brady stated they would defer to Madsen for advice on how to make cuts at the PD. Madsen stated Chief Neilsen’s “political activities” needed to be addressed. He also stated he would ask Dave Tyson to stay on as City Manager. I wonder what would happen to the PD if Madsen, [Frank] Jager, Brady, and Newman were on the council. Just food for thought.
From – A progressive EPD Officer who doesn’t want the city to slide back to “the good old days” that are so often talked about by minority “old school” at EPD.
If you missed the opening speeches of Marian Brady and Mike Newman at their recent campaign events, here they are from the Humboldt Sentinel. It’s long and barely edited and you may want to fast-forward through inaudible mumblings.
Eureka mayor Virgina Bass introduces both candidates, each of whom worked on her campaign for Humboldt County Supervisor.
Bass calls Brady “the clear choice in November.” Brady tells the crowd she wouldn’t be running without getting her political start working on Virginia’s on-going campaign for supervisor.
Brady doesn’t mention her opponent, Councilman Larry Glass, but makes odd references to street sweeping to “clean up the broken glass in our streets.”
Brady continues to give Balloon Track owner Rob Arkley a pass on stonewalling the California Coastal Commission and instead blames lawsuits for delaying a clean-up of blighted property. Perhaps she’ll get to defend this false statement during the debates.
When it comes to Newman, Bass said he “doesn’t get amped-up” about issues and that he makes the right decision for all, not just for a few. How’s that for an endorsement of the nanny state?
Finally, if the campaigns were missing that wacky element after losing the volunteer who stalked and threatened an opposing candidate, it looks like they’ve found a replacement.