Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Yurok Perspective

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Thomas Dunklin, a local fisheries geo-videologist, recently completed a documentary film, commissioned by the Yurok Tribe, about the Klamath River Restoration Agreement. It includes interviews with Yurok Tribal Chairwoman Maria Tripp, tribal member Troy Fletcher, who has been active in the settlement talks, and senior fisheries biologist for the tribe Mike Belchik.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.481187&w=425&h=350&fv=] from www.jumpcut.com posted with vodpod

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Save the other Grizzly

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Worried about that huge padlock that may be clamped onto the entrance to Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park once -- if -- the guvnr shuts 'er down, along with 47 other beloved state parks across California? That's his idea, as part of a budget nip that critics say will save little but wound many.

Well, then, hie thee to the California State Parks Foundation's new "Save Our State Parks" (SOS) campaign website. There, you can read up on the budget cut plan and all the parks it could impact, and take action. There's also a section where you can wax poetic and nostalgic, or outraged and forceful, about your own particular favorite state park which, quite likely, is on the shut-down list.

Of course, if the campaign fails, there's always the other, less agreeable option for getting past locked gates (it's the first item). Not that we're recommending it.

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Monday, February 25, 2008


Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 7:23 PM

By now, we're all thoroughly bored with the cute story about the neighborly squabble in Sunnyvale over some redwood trees on one side of the property line that swallowed whole some solar panels on the other side of the property line. Or shaded them out or whatever.

Most of the press chuckled a bit while goshdarning about what a real shame of a dilemma it was. I mean, they both were just trying to live right, right?

But over that other border, in Nevada, the story of two green beings getting redfaced over such silly things as solar panels and carbon-absorbing trees produced nothing more than the usual smug, superior, delighted chuckle from that state's biggest newspaper's editorial staff, whose editorial today starts off with "It could only happen in California." It then makes fun of an earnest couple that drives a Prius, and so on, but then loses its sense of humor for a moment over a clean energy advocate who says maybe California's solar shade law needs to be tweaked so it's more fair for everyone:

"In another place and time, Ms. Del Chiaro might have said, 'To make sure everyone's property rights are fully protected,' admonishes the editorial. But then it regains its chuckle for the reprise: "But this, of course, is California."

Har har. Right. They don't gotta worry about that solar panel stuff, and trees and stuff, and conserving things and being fair and stuff, over there in Nevada where the lake's running dry.

There, just had to shovel that shit back over the fence.

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Thompson Blasts Maxxam

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 5:40 PM

... relatively speaking.

Of all the position statements filed by politicos in the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and now Rep. Mike Thompson -- Thompson's, submitted on Friday, comes closest to actually taking a position on the case.

As with all political communications, you have to read between the lines. Thompson lists five principles he believes should guide the reorganization of the bankrupt company. The first three are boilerplate. Like those who came before him, Thompson believes that any new Pacific Lumber Co. should keep the mill open, maintain the company's forests as working timberland and abide by the terms imposed on the company as part of the 1999 federal/state buyout of the Headwaters Forest.

But in the last two points to Corpus Christi Federal Bankruptcy Judge Richard S. Schmidt, Thompson goes far beyond what his predecessors had to say:

4) Ensure that the timberlands and mill are owned and operated by an entity(ies) with a proven track record utilizing sustainable management of California's redwood forests and with full knowledge and experience in the operation of a mill;

5) Limit or restrict the reliance on the expenditure of additional public funds for any plan that is finally adopted.

On the surface, this is milquetoast. But Point No. 4, with its implied emphasis on the word "sustainable," is an obvious dig at Maxxam and probably a tilt toward a rival Pacific Lumber Co. aspirant, the Mendocino Redwood Company. But it's Point No. 5 where Thompson seals the deal. Fact is, Maxxam's principal reorganization plan is the only one on the table that would require a vast infusion of public funds. (Maxxam's "alternative" plan -- its real plan -- wouldn't, though Hurwitz would likely try to hold the "Ancient Forests" hostage until such time as the government coughed up some serious scooty.)

So take #4 and #5 together, and you get a subtle but pronounced tilt away from Maxxam -- something no other politician has done as obviously. Why doesn't Thompson just out and say it, then, you wonder? Well, as the great Norman Wilson noted in a similar context, "You don’t dance on Clay Davis’ grave until you know the motherfucker is dead."

Download the Thompson letter (.pdf).

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Friday, February 22, 2008

You Saw It Here First

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 11:31 PM


... unless you've already seen it somewhere else. This is the Internet's next big thing, mark my words. Just in time, too -- LOLcats are so mid-to-late-2007.

Visit Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle now. And then prepare for the next six months of everyone talking about Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle and its exponentially booming number of knockoffs. Expect think pieces in Newsweek on the "... is your new bicycle" phenomenon.

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'Til Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM


The Board cannot state more ardently the importance of Redwood Memorial Hospital and keeping the hospital operating.

They're throwing around a lot of money over there at the County of Humboldt. Perhaps they should think about hiring an editor. They do come cheap.

The sentence above was taken from a draft letter from the Board of Supervisors to the Sisters of Orange, the religious order that owns and operates Eureka's St. Joseph Hospital and Fortuna's Redwood Memorial Hospital. It's no secret that the Sisters have been looking at cost-saving measures in Humboldt County, nor that the management team has been especially looking toward cutbacks at Redwood Memorial. The Board, naturally, is concerned.

But -- leaving aside the clumsy syntax for a moment -- is "ardently" really the word we want here? How about "strongly," "urgently," "forcefully"? Any of them would be free from innuendo that might upset the Sisters.

You're welcome.

We've got three main items on the agenda this Tuesday -- the midyear budget update, the draft of a "welcome letter" to be sent to future building applicants and the big Danco/Lane Devries Samoa Project.

The budget? Though the talk in Sacramento is very dark these days, CAO Loretta Nickolaus is here to tell us that things are going smoothly in Humboldt County for now. The General Fund is "performing substantially as budgeted." That's the intro to a 29-page staff report available on the web site ... but available only in the county's idiotic TIF format, which must be downloaded page by page and viewed as images. Go for it.

The proposed "welcome letter" from the Planning Division appears to be an attempt to dissipate some of the intense hatred that many builders, developers and others have for county planning staff. The idea is that upon submission of a project proposal, they will be handed a letter -- here in draft form -- that will outline the applicant's rights and the planning department's responsibilities in a humble, self-debasing tone of voice. It puts us in the mind of some sort of feudal Japanese ritual:

Thank you for the opportunity to provide permitting and development services to you. We will honor this privilege through hard work and the delivery of professional and helpful service to you, our customer.

If you are at any time dissatisfied with the service we provide you, the person responsible for your dissatisfaction will be taken out back and beheaded.

The Samoa development is scheduled for the afternoon (1:30 p.m.). It's an overwhelmingly huge and ambitious plan, eight years in the making, to rebuild the defunct company town as a modern, probably kind of yuppified community. The Board of Supes will comment upon and possibly approve the final environmental impact report for the project.

Want to know more? Just head on over to the county's website and download the 269 individual TIF files that comprise the county's staff report on the matter, fire up Photoshop and get to clicking. You're a better citizen than I.

Board of Supes: Tuesday, 9 a.m., at the County Courthouse (825 Fifth St., Eureka). Remember: Samoa Project in the afternoon, at 1:30 p.m.

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Blog on Blog Ruling

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 7:13 PM


Shasta County Superior Court Commissioner Gary Gibson has rejected a request from a reporter at the Record Searchlight in Redding seeking a restraining order against a former friend turned blogging nemesis.

Beth Doolittle-Norby's blog, "No Phat Pink Chicks," pokes fun at journalist Christy Lochrie's reporting, looks and personality, according to an AP report , which is why Lochrie wanted it to be taken down.

The court commissioner said that Doolittle-Norby's blog was written at roughly a sixth-grade level but was legal nevertheless.

He told Lochrie, "I think we can't avoid that there's a big, fat First Amendment staring you in the face," he told her.

Nonetheless, Doolittle-Norby has taken her blog underground. When you try to visit www.nophatpinkchicks.blogspot.com , you get this message: nophatpinkchicks.jpg

Lochrie's blog is still up and running but she must have been distracted by the trial: Her last blog entry was January, 25.

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Poetry without Borders

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Activist poet David Smith-Ferri will read from his book, Battlefield without Borders, at Northtown Books in Arcata, Saturday, March 9, at 7 pm.

Smith-Ferri first visited Iraq in 1999 as part of an eight-member fact-finding delegation. According to his website, he wrote two thirds of the poems while in Iraq after encounters with Iraqi people. Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Iraqi-American Direct
Aid Initiative

Check out this October 26, 2007 program from Democracy Now which features Smith-Ferri (about 47 minutes in).

There also happens to be an interview with John Ross in the same program, whose story, Murder in Oaxaca, about the death of independent video-journalist Brad Will, the Journal featured last August. You'll find that interview about 35 minutes into the program.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Other Hillary

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Where there's a Will, there's a way. Just ask 27-year-old Fortuna native Hillary Will, the fastest female in the history of NHRA drag racing. Will, in her nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower dragster, will compete this weekend, Feb. 22-24, at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series at Firebird Int'l Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz. If she doesn't do well, it'll be a real drag.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

That’ll speech ’em.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Seems the stuffy old TriMet folks -- you know (or perhaps you don’t), the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon -- have refused to let the Karuk Tribe run a decidedly anti-Klamath-dams ad on their public buses. So today the Karuk, ACLU and Friends of the River turned around and slapped TriMet with a free speech lawsuit.

TriMet’s Advertising Standards Committee (indeed, everyone should have one of those) said the Karuk’s message -- above -- was not an ad but, rather, some sort of pesky political blather about some pesky public issue that they didn’t want intruding upon the pleasant apolitical thoughts of their ridership. Or something like that.

See press release (.doc)

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