Update, Jan. 14: The federal goverment will pay just over $1 million a year, to start, to lease its new space at the Airport Business Park, according to the U.S. General Services Administration. The 20-year lease starts at $46.73 per rentable square foot, a rate that will increase over time along with the Consumer Price Index.
And full occupancy, the feds say, will be "approximately" 29 people.
Original Post: A new federal building planned in McKinleyville will roughly double the office space in the sparsely occupied Airport Business Park.
"It will create an awful lot of activity out here," said Steve Moser, whose Moser Properties owns the business park. "It's one of these anchor tenants that everybody looks for."
The 53-acre business park is still mostly unoccupied, he said, with just nine to 10 acres developed, including the plot of land that's been sold to a corporation which will lease it to feds.
The federal building is likely to house fewer than 75 employees. Its specifications call for 75 to 100 parking spaces, Moser said, but beyond that don't indicate many people will work there when it opens in 2014.
It will house a federal magistrate, bankruptcy court and probation offices, along with offices of the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal and possibly other federal operations.
Most of those are now scattered around different sites in Eureka, where at least there's somewhere to go for lunch. Moser said the business park would like to have a restaurant, but doesn't yet.
So far it's got a hotel (the Holiday Inn Express), and offices occupied by accountants, attorneys, a psychologist, a real estate lender and a computer expert. About a sixth of the existing office space is vacant, he said, and all of it, added together, is roughly equal to the size of that new federal building, planned at 23,000 square feet.
UPDATE: National Public Radio, too? Yup. Click [audio-1] here to listen.
Humboldt State University's recent invitation/call out of late night host Jimmy Kimmel has been picked up by the Associated Press -- the media equivalent of "shit just got real."
We blogged on Monday about the letter sent out by HSU President Rollin Richmond and Associated Student President Ellyn Hender☼. But who the hell are we? The AP's decision to legitimize this beef means the story now potentially appears before eyeballs surfing ... oh, we'll just list a few of the sites 'cuz it's fun and Thursdays are slow at the NCJ:
Kansas City Star (!!!)
The Journal adorably reached out to Mr. Kimmel for comment via the un-welcoming main ABC network website contact page. But really, y'all probably will have about as much luck as we will. So! If you'd like to help encourage Mr. Kimmel to make the trek north, click HERE, fill out the form "select a show or category," (geez) and optimistically click SEND. Even if he doesn't respond, at this point we can safely assume he's heard us.
Storyteller Dan O'Gara died Monday at the age of 76 at UC San Francisco Hospital surrounded by his family. O'Gara was flown to the hospital following a massive stroke that came on unexpectedly while he was cutting wood near his home in Trinidad.
In recent years O'Gara was best known as founder of the North Coast Storytellers and for starting the annual Storytelling Festival by the Sea. Born in Los Angeles, he spent much of his life as a teacher, working alongside his wife Penne teaching in Columbia and Indonesia before settling in Trinidad and teaching at Worthington and Grant schools in Eureka.
After retiring in 1995, he split his time between passions, working with the local, state and national park system as an interpreter, stewarding a 48-acre stand of redwoods and fir along Luffenholtz Creek in Trinidad, and spinning tales, many of them gathering in his world travels. He was in the midst of helping plan the next Storytelling Festival by the Sea when he died.
He is survived by his wife Penne, their three children and eight grandchildren. The family will gather with friends for a celebration of his life at Trinidad Town Hall on July 2, Dan's birthday.
From HumBrews' Facebook page:
Well played, Rollin.
"Besides, we figure you owe us. Humboldt State provided you just over 3 minutes of pretty good material, which must be worth quite a bit for a nationally televised program (though we are surprised you were unable to stretch the bit to 4 minutes 20 seconds)."
(Note: Rollin Richmond has a sense of humor. That might be the real story here.)
Anywho, read the whole letter here -- tuition-paying students will note that the university sent the celebrity a nice, new hat along with the letter.
Your move, Kimmel.
... and in case you missed it, here's the video that started it all...
UPDATE: We have been alerted to the fact that the AS President styles her last name "Hender☼" (see the signature on the letter) as opposed to "Henderson" which appeared in an early version on this blog. Since we finally found out how to make our keyboard do that, we made the change. The Journal regrets the error.
(Update after the break.)
On Jan. 1, the California Department of Fish & Game made the switch to its new name: California Department of Fish & Wildlife. New year, new name -- and new game, perhaps?
Actually, that old monicker was already a relic, according to our new congressperson, Jared Huffman, in a Los Angeles Times story on the name change. Huffman wrote the new law for the name change. As he puts it, according to the story:
"Even states like Texas and Montana, where hunting and fishing are sacred, they evolved to 'fish and wildlife' long ago."
Says the LAT about it:
Huffman sees it as part of ongoing legislative efforts turn the department into a stronger, more independent, science-based agency that focuses on managing entire ecosystems, not just individual species. The vision is a professional agency that has more secure funding and is better insulated from political pressures.
Dan Bacher, meanwhile, a watchdog with San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, wonders if the agency will live up to its name. Says he:
In spite of this admirable mission, the Department has collaborated with the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Water Resources and other state and federal agencies in promoting policies over the past several decades that have resulted in the collapse of Sacramento River chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species.
Update: You might well ask what this name change will cost us. AB 2402, the bill establishing the new name, says:
"No existing supplies, forms, insignias, signs, logos, uniforms, or emblems shall be destroyed or changed as a result of changing the name of the Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and those materials shall continue to be used until exhausted or unserviceable."
Even so, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee analysis, the department will have to update its websites, email system and other technology systems to reflect the change, an endeavor that could cost up to $300,000.
The name change is the least of the bill's fiscal impacts. It includes other provisions that could cost upwards of $400,000 more a year, possibly more, including: creating an independent science panel, adjusting licensing fees, developing a strategic plan, creating an environmental crimes task force and increasing disability payments to game wardens (now called wildlife officers). In addition, the bill authorizes a loan repayment of $10 million from the general fund to the Renewable Energy Resources Development Fee Trust Fund.
It doesn't happen often -- maybe every few years -- but when the spit at Stone Lagoon is breached the site is spectacular: ocean rushing in, McDonald Creek-fed lagoon waters flowing out, white riffles fluttering in the mouth temporarily opened to facilitate the exchange. Perhaps, if the timing is right, some lagoon-trapped creatures venture oceanforth and creek-seekers venture in.
Sometime around the last king tide, it seems, in December, waves began lapping over the narrower part of the spit that closes the lagoon in most years. After much nibbling and sand collapse, a water path opened. The photo above was taken last Sunday as the tide was running out.
At the much bigger Big Lagoon, to the south, breaching is more frequent say state parks folks and others, including Marna Powell of Kayak Zak's.
That all said, Stone Lagoon has now breached two years in a row, which is unusual. Last year, Christmas-time king tides whittled away a cut also.
The stewards of Arcata's now-defunct redevelopment agency were scolded by a former member Thursday morning, as two contractors worried aloud about when or whether they'll get paid.
The fretting came as the panel debated what to do about roughly $2 million that the state says was improperly spent and now needs to be returned.
The group -- Arcata's Successor Agency Oversight Board -- was getting its first earful of public comments after the scope of the problem became widely known.
Right before Gov. Brown disbanded all of the state's redevelopment agencies, Arcata spent $1.85 million on the Sandpiper Park mobile home project and another $200,000 to help finance Danco's Plaza Point senior housing project. The state claims it was too late to spend that money because redevelopment was on the way out.
The successor agency should have known better, said Arcata architect Kash Boodjeh.
Boodjeh, who resigned from the oversight board after serving briefly, has criticized it for turning a blind eye to impending money problems. Why did the agency hold such brief, unproductive meetings, sometimes of 20 minutes or less, he asked agency members Thursday. "Why didn't you have much to talk about?" he asked pointedly, when so many issues were in play.
In time, the successor agency ought to get about $1 million from mobile home sales, according to Maurice Priest, president of the Sacramento-based nonprofit Resident Owned Parks Inc., which developed Sandpiper Park.
The developer has already sold one mobile home at $59,000 and four more are close to escrow, Priest told successor agency members. The remaining units only lack steps and a bit of paint and they'll be ready to sell. The trouble is, he said, the project is at a standstill since he has not yet paid his local contractors doing the work.
One of those contractors, Greg Pierson of the Pierson Co. construction company, apologized but said he has filed a mechanic's lien against the project to reclaim what he is owed. "I hate to have to do that," he said, "but I had no choice. We're caught in the middle."
The other contractor, Randy Sundberg of GR Sundberg Inc., asked the panel plaintively, "What can you do to help so I can pay my bills?" He said he's still owed $203,218, some of which was promised to vendors and a subcontractor.
Thursday's session wasn't a decision-making meeting, and the five successor agency members who attended seemed almost baffled by what steps to take next.
They face three basic options, according to David Loya, Arcata's deputy community development director: Find the money somewhere (exactly where was unclear, the general fund and "schools" were suggested); go to court and seek an injunction; or "look for a magic solution falling from the sky."
The oversight board will hold another session on its alternatives on Jan. 11.
Listen to the interview here (skip to 13:40 for the section referenced above.)
The following is an incomplete list of things that were in abundance on the Arcata Plaza five minutes after midnight on New Year's Eve (when the above picture was taken):
Quiet ('cept for the generators running the aforementioned lighting.)
What was missing from previous years?: People.
Just two years ago, New Year's Eve 2010/11 brought jubilant shoulder to shoulder crowds -- as well as significant vandalism and destruction -- to the Arcata Plaza. As midnight approached, bar row revelers spilled out onto the street and made their way towards the center square for the obligatory countdown, McKinley climbing and general rowdiness.
This year, not so much. In a repeat performance of NYE 2011/12 and this year's Halloween, the Arcata Police Department, with the assistance of other area law enforcement agencies, provided a heavy uniformed swarm and again barred citizens from McKinley's inner sanctum. Steel barricades, towering flood lights and the return of the "Critical Incident Response" mobile command unit -- parked on a the cordoned off block of Eighth Street in front of Bank of America -- all signaled that chaos was not to be attempted. The few that did venture out into the chilly evening remained mostly confined to the bar row sidewalk. All in all, compared to years past, 'twas dead.
As was the case in the other most recent holiday crack downs, the increase in officers had the City's desired effect: The Plaza stayed intact. McKinley's face remained unhumped. Happy New Year, y'all.
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Another protector lost. Rest easy brother.