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Footnotes aplenty


Just to let readers know, the May 18 cover story, "Who really bombed Judi Bari?" by Alexander Cockburn has been reposted on this website. We had temporarily removed the article from the site after we received a formal "demand for correction" letter from Bari's ex-husband, Michael E. Sweeney, claiming the article contained "false statements." The Journal replied that we stand by the accuracy of the article and our original decision to publish it.

Following up on our June 8 cover story, "Vamos a Cuba," about the southern Humboldt youth baseball team that is travelling to Cuba on a goodwill mission: We learned that the article, by staff writer Bob Doran, prompted about $4,000 in additional donations that will be used toward travel expenses for the team. It was interesting to note that most of the donations came from women.

On June 22 we published "Resurrecting wetlands," a story by staff writer Arno Holschuh about efforts to rebuild and reclaim wetlands. As you may recall, it was a complicated story because there are at least 11 governmental agencies involved in wetlands restoration work on Humboldt Bay at this time as well as a multitude of public and private landowners. "We are sure to leave someone's project out," I recall saying.

Sure enough. No sooner did we go to press than we got a call from the California Waterfowl Association, a private nonprofit. "Great article, but you left us out. Did you know we just applied for $1 million grant to do wetlands restoration work?"

We certainly didn't mean to slight the past and present contributions of that group. We also failed to mention the great work being done here and elsewhere on the West Coast by Ducks Unlimited. We apologize for omissions.

And speaking of errors --just plain egg on the face -- I should retire from attempting to predict the outcome of a court case. Last week I said in this column that I would be very surprised if Judge Quentin Kopp, former state senator who is in town on temporary assignment, grants a temporary restraining order halting logging by Pacific Lumber Co. on land adjacent to the new Headwaters Forest preserve. But on Monday, that's just what he did.

Kopp said there is no evidence the California Department of Forestry or Pacific Lumber considered the potential impact of helicopter noise on visitors hiking into the preserve. (True. The original approved timber harvest plan called for traditional cable and tractor logging, a method considered environmentally inferior to helicopter logging.) And, Kopp said, the 25 pages of documentation PL submitted with its request for "minor" changes to the THP suggested that perhaps the changes weren't minor after all.

Kopp did require that the plaintiffs -- the Environmental Protection Information Center and the Sierra Club -- post a $250,000 bond, considered unusually high, because of the potential financial hardship on PL from the logging delay.

But still, I am more than surprised. The story quickly made national news.

This week we turn our cover story attention to some good work being accomplished by a stewpot of public tax dollars, a nonprofit agency and plenty of volunteers. It's a story about the latest links in the Hammond Trail.


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