Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dirty, Trashy Arcata

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Arcata Compost Revolution's sweet ride, preparing for a pick up. - SUBMITTED
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  • Arcata Compost Revolution's sweet ride, preparing for a pick up.

This past week saw two major milestones for Arcata consumers. First, as of midnight on Friday, the independent Arcata Garbage Company officially passed into the hands of Recology Humboldt, which provides trash services for several other Humboldt cities. The parent company, Recology, has become a West Coast behemoth, with resource recovery companies in California, Oregon and Washington.

But Humboldt Recology Manager Linda Wise says virtually nothing will change for Arcata residents.

"People should be seeing the same service, same employees," says Wise, adding that Recology is an employee-owned company, and all Arcata Garbage employees will stay on. "Eventually, we’ll get a new website, logos on trucks and buildings. There will be no changes in any costs."

The change came about as longtime owner of Arcata Garbage Co., Rick Fusi, decided to retire. Fusi was interviewed for a 2012 Journal story about Humboldt's surprisingly dramatic recycling scene. That story can be found here.

But as trash goes corporate, there's a new indie business dealing in dirt. The newly-minted Arcata Compost Revolution, begun by avid Zero-Waster and Humboldt State University student Alec Howard, launched this week with three restaurant clients. The small business is community scale and uses an electric bike and cart to collect food scraps and compost, which it is pedaling  to local farms.

"We have plans to get more businesses on board this month," says Howard, who is moonlighting between classes and a job with the city of Arcata. Ultimately he hopes to employ students. "In 2017, we’re planning to expand to residential compost as well. A lot of people try to manage compost piles and don’t do that effectively. Some people run into the common issues associated with having compost piles; they have rats, don’t have the right materials, or amount of materials. Or they simply don’t have the time."

Howard argues that large-scale compost collection, which is offered in many major cities, can be problematic because of the carbon footprint of vehicles used to haul the material. In a recent analysis of Humboldt County's waste stream, Cascadia Consulting found that food waste is the heaviest material leaving Arcata. A pedal-powered, hyper-local compost service that caters to local farms could disrupt that trend. Recently, Howard and his business partner, Milly Correa, hauled old Halloween pumpkins to a local farm and fed them to the pigs.

"They were very happy," says Correa.

Piggies at Tule Fog Farm chowing down on Jack O'Lanterns. - FACEBOOK
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  • Piggies at Tule Fog Farm chowing down on Jack O'Lanterns.

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Huffman Introduces 'One President at a Time Act'

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 8:25 AM

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With a little over one month left until President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman has introduced the “One President at a Time Act.”

The legislation would amend the 1799 Logan Act, a federal statute that prohibits private citizens from engaging in foreign relations, to “ensure that U.S. foreign policy is conducted only by the sitting president," according to a release from Huffman’s office.

In a statement, Huffman said it is “dangerous and harms America’s standing in the world” if president-elects insert themselves into policy before taking office, noting presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all “steered clear of commenting on foreign policy decisions” during the transition period.

While Huffman doesn't mention Trump by name in his release, the Republican businessman has caused a stir on several international fronts in recent weeks, including his call to Taiwan's president and responses to China's criticisms of the chat via Twitter.

Read the full release from Congressman Jared Huffman's office below:

Washington, D.C.- New legislation introduced by Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) in the last hours of the 114th Congress would amend the Logan Act to ensure that U.S. foreign policy is conducted only by the sitting President, enshrining into law the longstanding policy that only one President serves at a time. The “One President at a Time Act” would require that in the period between a Presidential election and the President-elect’s inauguration into office, the President-elect cannot conduct foreign policy matters without the authorization of the United States government.
“Foreign policy does not exist in a vacuum,” said Rep. Huffman. “Not only is it an unacceptable intrusion for a President-elect to start engaging in foreign policy matters before they are in office – let alone before they are fully briefed on complex and fragile geopolitical situations — it is dangerous and harms America’s standing in the world. That’s why I am introducing the ‘One President at a Time Act’ to clarify what most of us already believe: that only the President, not the President-elect who is fresh off the campaign trail and not yet in office, has the authority to make critical foreign policy decisions that impact America’s safety, economy, and global standing.”
The “One President at a Time Act” amends the Logan Act, which bars private citizens from engaging in foreign policy, to clarify that its authority extends to Presidents-elect during their transition period.
In 2008, President-elect Barack Obama notably steered clear of commenting on foreign policy decisions during the period between his election and inauguration, as did his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush who each recognized during the transition period that there is only one U.S. President serving at a time.

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