North Coast Journal WeeklyIn the News

February 21, 2002

Daly escrow to close -- or not

Pool to open in May

Jacks move to No. 5

Forest Plan advisers sought

Milk labeled hormone-free

Union, environmentalists link

Election in Trinidad April 9

Low-cost spay, neuter

Daly escrow to close --not

A spokesperson for Humboldt State University said earlier this week that HSU expects escrow to close March 1 on the sale of the Daly building complex in Eureka to developer Dan Ollivier.

"As far as I know, escrow is proceeding," said Elizabeth Hans McCrone.

Ollivier could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but some city officials expressed doubt the sale will proceed without resolution as to the fate of the historical State Theater, one of three buildings in the Daly complex.

Members of the Eureka Redevelopment Board expressed frustration at HSU officials, who were not present at the board's Feb. 13 meeting.

The Daly Building complex at 5th and G streets was purchased by the university in 1998 with a $700,000 interest-free loan from city redevelopment funds. HSU's plan was to transform the State Theater into a performing arts center. The project was cancelled by HSU in 2000 due to lack of funds.

Redevelopment board chairman Glenn Goldan said the university, not the city, bears responsibility for the fate of the buildings.

Developer Dan Ollivier offered HSU $550,000 for the entire property -- minus the old Daly parking lot across F Street which had been sold to the city. He told the Journal in January he was interested in renovating only the newest of the three buildings and wants the city to demolish the oldest building for additional parking. The fate of the historic State Theater remains unclear. Ollivier has said from the beginning of negotiations that renovating the theater is not part of his plan.

The board is recommending that the City Council put pressure on university officials to help find a solution to saving the historic structure. The council may take up the issue March 5, four days after the escrow deadline.

Pool to open in May

Fresh from extensive repair and renovation, the Eureka High School pool will reopen in May.

The pool was shut in 1996 because of a leak that released about 8,000 gallons of water before it was found. Reopening the pool turned out to be a more involved process than just fixing the leak. Multiple regulations that had been enacted since the pool's construction had to be addressed. Foremost among the improvements was providing accessibility for handicapped individuals, required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The renovation was made possible by contributions from Robin and Cherie Arkley, who have also helped fund improvements at the Sequoia Park Zoo and the city's new boardwalk.

Jacks move to No. 5

The Humboldt State University men's basketball team climbed up another notch in the national rankings this week, making it No. 5 in their division.

The team is having a record-breaking year, with a talented young squad serving up an unprecedented 22-1 record.

The Jacks' last home game is this week, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m in HSU's East Gym against Central Washington. The games have been selling out, so show up early. The HSU women's team plays at 6 p.m.

Forest Plan advisers sought

Concerned about the way Six Rivers National Forest is being run? Here's your chance. A group that advises federal lands managers is looking for new members.

The California Coast Provincial Advisory Committee advises federal agencies responsible for implementing the Northwest Forest Plan for this area. Two members are needed -- one to represent environmental interests and one at-large member.

The Northwest Forest Plan, set up by executive order in 1994, sets policy on all federal land within the range of the spotted owl. The plan has slowed the flow of logs from national forests to sawmills, but it doesn't just deal directly with timber harvests. Roads, vegetation management and recreation are also affected by the plan.

According to Phebe Brown, spokesperson for the Forest Service, "The plan deals with all facets of land management on federal land in the owl's range."

One example is a recent recommendation to federal land managers that the Eel River be given priority for restoration funds. The recommendation, made because the river is seen as being sorely distressed, doesn't carry the force of law -- but it does carry a lot of weight, Brown added.

Milk labeled hormone-free

In response to consumer concerns, Humboldt Creamery announced it will start labeling its milk "hormone free."

The change may reassure dairy drinkers, but it will only affect what's on the outside of the carton, not what's on the inside. Humboldt Creamery already tries to make sure its milk is not produced using recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.

A fail-safe guarantee is impossible, as milk produced using the hormone is chemically indistinguishable from milk from a cow that isn't using steroids. The creamery relies on assurances from dairymen who say they do not use the substance to boost milk output.

Union, environmentalists link

Labor and environmental groups haven't always seen eye to eye, but when the two started looking for common interests in Humboldt County, they found an opportunity for cooperation -- using union construction expertise to restore watersheds.

"We want to make sure there are trained people doing that kind of work," said Jim Smith, president of the Humboldt-Del Norte Central Labor Council and the American Federation of Federal State and Municipal Employees Local No. 57.

The first step will be to locate a site for a demonstration project and to seek government funding, Smith said.

It's the first step for the North Coast Initiative, an effort to combine the interests of labor and the environmental movement. The steering committee's roster reads like an all-star team of Humboldt County activists: Smith shares the lead with Freeman House, author and salmon restoration pioneer. Backing the duo up are leaders of most major union locals and several environmental groups.

While the group may eventually involve itself in activities like political advocacy, right now the focus is on restoration work, Smith said. The unions could help the restoration community by providing skilled workers, and restoration groups could help workers by providing jobs. In the long run, the goal is to build a cadre of skilled watershed restoration professionals who could be on call for projects.

"It has been the experience of everyone involved that the best way to create community is to do the physical work together," House said.

Election in Trinidad April 9

In a city with only 311 residents, it can be hard to find enough candidates to fill the City Council's table. But for the first time since 1996, Trinidad has found more than enough, forcing an election.

Pat Morales, James R. Webb, Greg McCormick and George Bowman applied to fill the three slots left vacant by incumbents who decided not to run. Those incumbents are Trey Huff, Brent Twoomey and Maria Bartlett.

In recent years vacancies on the council have been filled by appointment.

Low-cost spay, neuter

The Sequoia Humane Society is offering a low-cost spay or neuter program during February. The fee for the operation is $10 for cats and $20 for dogs.

Coupons may be obtained at a participating pet shop or from for an appointment with a participating veterinarian. Call 442-1782 for information.




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