Business / Economy

Friday, October 18, 2019

Moonstone Grill Changes Hands

Posted By on Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 4:33 PM

The iconic beachside restaurant Moonstone Grill, formerly owned by the same group that operates Plaza Grill and the Basement (formerly Abruzzi), is now a part of another cluster of establishments owned by the Tanski family, along with Gabriel's Italian Restaurant and the Wine Cellar.

According to Likhi Tanski, general manager at Gabriel's, “It’s kind of been in the works for a few months but the actual deal got done a couple of weeks ago.” The sale, in escrow now, was “set up through a mutual friend," he says, adding that it was mainly handled by his brother Ariel Tanski, who will take over as owner and chef. 
Window-side dining at Moonstone Grill. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Window-side dining at Moonstone Grill.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Large Power Outage in SoHum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 10:44 AM

UPDATE:

Power was restored around 10:50 a.m.

PREVIOUS:

A widespread outage in Southern Humboldt has left 4,200 PG&E customers without power and forced Southern Humboldt Unified School District to shutter its campuses for the day, with power expected to be out until this afternoon.

Power went out last night at 11:09 p.m. to almost all of the Southern Humboldt region. While PG&E had planned maintenance in the area today, a company spokesperson says the outage is unrelated — noting it is also not a part of any of the company's planned Public Safety Power Shutoffs — and the company has helicopters, which took off as soon as the fog lifted this morning, out checking lines from Bridgeville to Garberville.
SCREENSHOT OF PG&E'S OUTAGE MAP
  • Screenshot of PG&E's outage map
“Multiple personnel are in the area working on the issue,” the spokesperson said, adding that the outage appears to stem from a pocket of outages in the Leggett area.

According to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services, “The Humboldt Alert test scheduled for 10:17 this morning has been canceled due to the unscheduled power outage in southern Humboldt. Drills and notification tests are always subject to cancellation if the message or activity may be confusing during a real event.”

PG&E representative Deanna Contreras sent the following press release:


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Yurok Tribe to Buy Mad River Brewing

Posted By on Wed, Oct 16, 2019 at 12:23 PM

Hold onto your Steelhead. The Yurok Agricultural Corporation, which is owned by the Yurok Tribe, announced today it’s in the process of purchasing the 30-year-old Mad River Brewing and its taproom and restaurant. This will make the Yurok Tribe one of the few tribes in the U.S. to own and/or operate a brewing company, along with the Quapaw Tribe in Oklahoma, the Stillaguamish Tribe in Washington and the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians in San Diego. The sale of the shareholder-owned company is expected to take some 60 to 90 days to complete.
Mad River Brewing's restaurant and taproom in Blue Lake. - FILE
  • File
  • Mad River Brewing's restaurant and taproom in Blue Lake.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Eureka, County Seek Info on Impacts of Shutdown While Newsom Wants PG&E to Pay

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 10:47 AM

Eureka and the county of Humboldt want to hear from you about last week's power shutdown. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Eureka and the county of Humboldt want to hear from you about last week's power shutdown.
The city of Eureka and the county of Humboldt are asking residents to help officials assess the economic damages and impacts to families as a result of PG&E’s Oct. 9 shutdown of the power grid.

The blackout was what is known as a “public safety power shutoff,” a mechanism enacted by PG&E when certain weather outlooks arise — in last week’s case dry conditions and strong winds — that substantially increase the risk of a devastating wildfire.

According to a release from Eureka, the city is seeking the information via email reports because it is “pursuing a State Emergency Declaration that may in turn offer assistance to those businesses that incurred a loss.”

“Even if Eureka is not successful in securing the Emergency Declaration, we would like to know what this loss of power cost each of our businesses,” the city’s release states.

The county’s survey, which is available online (click here), is more extensive and looks to measure not just economic losses, but also how residents found out about the shutdown and how prepared they were, as well as how they were able to receive information during the outage.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent a letter to PG&E urging the company to pay $100 per residential customer and $250 per small business “as some compensation for their hardships,” according to a release from his office.

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” Newsom says in the release. “PG&E’s mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable. We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes — prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.”

Read the Eureka release below:
The City of Eureka is asking all businesses to provide the City with a report regarding estimated losses related to PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shut-off. Eureka is pursuing a State Emergency Declaration that may in turn offer assistance to those businesses that incurred a loss. Even if Eureka is not successful in securing the Emergency Declaration, we would like to know what this loss of power cost each of our businesses.

Please e-mail an estimate of the losses your business sustained due to the power outage. Include the name of your business, address and amount of financial loss of either product or revenue due to the outage. This information will be used to establish an overall loss sustained by businesses and government during the Public Safety Power Shut-off.

Information can be emailed to:
Swan Asbury, Economic Development
sasbury@ci.eureka.ca.gov

Facebook post from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services:
Humboldt County is powered up and back in business! Please keep an eye out for a survey that will be posted on the county website and linked here. We would like to hear from the community about how the power outage affected your family and/or business, and how we can improve preparedness and communication efforts.
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Friday, October 11, 2019

UPDATE: Humboldt County is Fully Re-Powered

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 11:49 AM

FOURTH UPDATE:
The power may be back on but the outage took its toll on perishable food in refrigerators across the region. The county Department of Health and Human Services wants CalFresh recipients to know they can apply to have those losses replaced by phoning the call center at (877) 410-8809 or going into the office at 929 Koster St. in Eureka to start the process. The deadline is Oct. 21.
calfresh.jpg
THIRD UPDATE:
Pacific Gas and Electric restored power to the eastern stretches of Humboldt County yesterday afternoon, with Willow Creek, Hoopa and Orleans all seeing the return of electric service by 4 p.m.

According to Deputy County Administrative Officer Sean Quincey, it now appears power has been restored to the entirety of the county.

SECOND UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says PG&E has notified local officials that repairs on the two major transmission lines that power Humboldt have been completed and “they are currently working to re-energize all Humboldt County customers as quickly as possible today.”

UPDATE:
For those looking for PG&E’s community resource center at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds this morning, you might need a little help finding it, as it’s tucked in the back with nary a sign to help guide the way.

The center, which opened at 8 a.m., a handful of hours after power was restored to the vast majority of the county, consists of a trailer and a tent tucked on the eastern edge of the property, between the BMX track and the raceway (see the area circled in red on the map below). As of about 9:30 a.m., the only folks there were a few PG&E employees and a pair of private security guards milling about the center, which is offering water and electronic device charging to anyone who needs it.
GOOGLE MAPS SCREENSHOT
  • Google Maps screenshot
Meanwhile, power remained out in the eastern stretches of the county as of earlier this morning (PG&E’s outage maps currently appear to be on the fritz, so updates are hard to find). Officials with the county and PG&E have been so far unable to provide any timetable for restoration to the areas along state routes 299 and 96, including Willow Creek and Hoopa.

A look at PG&E's very empty community resource center Thursday morning. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • A look at PG&E's very empty community resource center Thursday morning.

The Humboldt County Office of Education recently sent out a revised lists of schools that are open today, which can be found here.

College of the Redwoods will be back on a normal schedule tomorrow at all sites but the downtown Eureka location, Community and Workforce Education, is open, according to a release.

Power has also been restored to Humboldt State University, but the campus will remain closed today but open back up Friday.  The Health Center Rec Center, Nelson Hall East are now back open for students and a free dinner will also be offered for students, faculty and staff at the J from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

PREVIOUSLY:
Most of Humboldt County is waking up with the lights on.

After just about 24 hours without power, lights flickered on in Eureka at about 12:30 a.m., followed by McKinleyville around 3:30 a.m. As of 6:40 a.m., power had been restored to the vast majority of the county, with the exception of the inland stretch on State Route 299 from the county line through Willow Creek and up State Route 96 through Hoopa and Orleans. (Iłwai kiliwh market is open as is the Hoopa Mini Mart and Service Station, for those needing gas and supplies out there.) Oh, and there’s one customer near Fortuna who, for some unclear reason, PG&E’s map still lists as having a safety related outlet.
A screenshot at 6:40 a.m. of PG&E's outage map in Humboldt County. - SCREENSHOT/PG&E
  • Screenshot/PG&E
  • A screenshot at 6:40 a.m. of PG&E's outage map in Humboldt County.
PG&E shut down power to hundreds of thousands of customers spread through 34 California counties, including an estimated 60,000 in Humboldt County, beginning early Tuesday morning in an effort to prevent wildfires amid windy, dry weather conditions. The company had indicated Monday that Humboldt County would not be included in the blackout, only to reverse course later in the day, leaving county residents little time to prepare.

Tuesday evening and throughout Wednesday, gas stations saw lines spill from their lots and stretch in to the streets, sometimes for blocks, as stores saw runs on bottled water, food and ice. The blackout prompted business closures throughout the county, and most county schools will be shuttered today, with all closures announced yesterday afternoon remaining in effect.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Humboldt County officials indicated the county was faring well thus far but urged safety, preparedness and caution, warning the blackout could stretch into or even through the weekend. But good news came late Wednesday, when PG&E indicated weather conditions had improved and it would begin the process of inspecting lines and working to “re-energize” Humboldt County. About the same time, State Sen. Mike McGuire tweeted that power restoration would be starting that night.

Then in a wave, lights started flickering on, making Humboldt County, the first county in the state to lose power, the first to get it back in a blackout that PG&E cautions may be the new normal with a changing climate increasing wildfire risks.
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Friday, September 27, 2019

Benbow Inn Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Blames U.S. Bank

Posted By on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 10:12 AM

The Benbow Inn's owners have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. - FILE
  • File
  • The Benbow Inn's owners have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Benbow Historic Inn filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday after going into debt to bring the Humboldt County landmark up to meet federal Americans with Disability Act standards, according to John Porter, managing partner for Benbow Valley Investments.

“We just filed for reorganization,” he said, characterizing the situation as a large national financial institution bullying a local business. “It is kind of the beginning of the end of fighting with US Bank – with them acting in an uncooperative and unethical way… The only mechanism we have to keep them from beating us up is the Chapter 11 laws. ... There’s going to be a fight involved but we feel we’re going to come out on top.”

He explained, “We are going to federal court and we think we have a pretty good chance… We don’t feel happy we are in this position but we feel the outcome is going to be positive for us and for our employees. … This filing will stop the process of the them setting up a receiver to run the property.”

In 2016, Benbow Valley Investments began the $8.5 million renovation that not only upgraded the Inn with an elevator to meet ADA requirements but added new kitchens, new restrooms and 10 new rooms for guests — all but one of them decorated in honor of each of the nine original Benbow brothers and sisters.

However, according to Porter, the construction loan, which began with a local branch of the US Bank, was moved to a succession of different bank employees located all over the country. “Every time they moved it around, we had to get [the new loan officer] to understand what we were doing,” Porter said.

Porter insisted, “We made every payment on time – never missed a payment,” but US Bank didn’t want to roll over the construction loan to a longer term business loan. They stopped accepting payments from Porter in February, after the construction loan time ran out, he said. However, Porter insisted he has continued to set aside the money owed every month in an account and is prepared to pay it.

Normally, he said, a business would “get a construction loan [and] part of the loan is an agreement they will convert this to a term loan under certain conditions.”

This loan would normally be a 25 to 30 year loan and Porter thought that he would get such a loan from US Bank for the Benbow Inn.

“Now most banks would work with you,” Porter said. But he didn’t feel that US Bank was being flexible in setting the terms.

“We started to look at other banks,” he told us.

“They [US Bank] did everything they could possibly do to prevent us from getting another loan,” he said. “Then US Bank files a notice of default.”

This, he said made it difficult to get other banks to provide favorable terms that made financial sense to the inn's owners.

According to Porter, “US Bank then filed a notice of sale that is set for Oct. 10…Our way of stopping this is reorganization."

“I think they thought they could bully me,” Porter said. “I’ve just never been treated like this. … They are a big bank. They don’t care about us. They don’t care about the community. They don’t have any emotional attachment to this property.”

Porter said he's looking for a seven-year loan, which would allow them to refinance.

“We fixed the inn so that people are now going to be able to enjoy it for 100 years," he said. "We did the right thing… We’re not failing… We have money in the bank. We’ve been setting that money aside for the payments… We only have one secured creditor–U.S. Bank… The courts are going to look at this historic property that is an economic driver and aren’t going to ignore that.

“We’ll get through this and move on," Porter continued. "We’re not going anywhere and we’re not selling.”

Efforts to reach US Bank for comment before posting were unsuccessful.

A press release from the Benbow Inn is copied below:

Benbow Historic Inn Files for Reorganization

Benbow, CA (September 27, 2019) - Benbow Valley Investments, dba Benbow Historic Inn, owner of the premier historical hotel in Humboldt County since 1994, announced today that it has initiated proceedings for reorganization under Chapter 11 protection to preserve value and continue to serve its loyal guests with the best accommodations and cuisine in Southern Humboldt County.
In 2016 the Benbow Historic Inn commenced an inspiring update of the hotel, in part to meet the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to improve its capacity to serve the needs of its guests and develop group business. The construction project included a major expansion of the hotel, adding a new east wing that had been envisioned by the Benbow Family when the hotel opened in 1926.
“We knew we needed to make the Inn ADA-compliant and the best way to accomplish this was to install a 5-stop elevator”, said John Porter, the Managing Partner of Benbow Valley Investments.
The expansion plans not only included the spacious elevator but also a ground-level check-in/out lobby, two new meeting rooms, four public ADA restrooms, three ADA guest rooms, seven new guest rooms on the fourth floor, two new state of the art kitchens, a new cocktail lounge, and new state-of-the-art heating and air condition systems.
Despite its faithful and timely performance during the course of construction, Benbow Valley Investments was informed that the bank which financed the construction would not fund a permanent loan, and in February of this year it began foreclosure proceedings. The time it is taking to find a permanent replacement lender, has led the Inn to filing for reorganization protection. The filing will ensure the continued operations of the Inn, preserve the jobs of our dedicated employees and protect the value of the Inn for all stakeholders. “We will continue to operate the Inn as normal, as we have in the past and emerge from the reorganization process that will treat all creditors, fair and equitable under the law”, Porter said.
“This is not an issue where the Inn is failing. Occupancy and room revenue at the Inn have been on budget and our plan to build group business is working,” continued Porter. “We plan on coming out with a resolution that will work for us financially and continue to provide an exceptional, world class travel experience for our guests.”
Benbow Historic Inn was opened in 1926 by the nine brothers and sisters of the Benbow Family, each of whom had their own exceptional skill set. Benbow Valley Investments is the fifth owner including the Benbow Family.


Editor's note: This story was first published at www.kymkemp.com and is reposted here with permission.
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Friday, September 13, 2019

KEKA Pulls Out of Truckers Parade, Asks Others to Step Up

Posted By on Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 1:09 PM

KEKA has announced the radio station will no longer present the annual Truckers Christmas Parade and is encouraging another business or community organization to take up the mantle.

A release states that issues, including rising costs, declining participation and increased liability, led to the “difficult decision.”
A flatbed went full Rudolph during a past parade. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • A flatbed went full Rudolph during a past parade.
“While our family has put on the parade for decades, it’s become apparent that the additional challenges which have had to be met in the past few years have made this event too overwhelming for us to continue putting on,” KEKA owner Brian Papstein says in the release, which also gives a nod of appreciation to Dale Bridge, who has coordinated the parade for decades.

Read the KEKA release below:


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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Best Of Buyer Beware

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 1:04 PM

It has come to our attention that someone is making the rounds, calling winners of our Best of Humboldt contest and trying to sell them pricey plaques celebrating the victory. We want you all to know that someone is not us.

We’ve received a handful of phone calls from folks reporting that they’ve received congratulatory calls that quickly devolve into a sales pitch, urging them to commemorate the victory with a plaque ($170 for a small, $230 for a large). We have no idea whether the telemarketers make good on the promised plaques or this is some kind of phishing scam. Either way, we’d urge caution to anyone considering giving a credit card number over the phone. And again, that friendly/demanding voice over the phone is not ours.
SONNY WONG
  • Sonny Wong
Other papers have reported similar doings with similar contests. Buyer beware.
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Monday, August 19, 2019

'The Bay is Back in Business' After Dredging

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 1:38 PM

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Conservation and Recreation District announced today that shipping restrictions have been lifted after roughly 1.1 million cubic yards of sediment were removed from the Humboldt Bay entrance channel.

During the winter, “significant sediment deposits” accumulated near buoy No. 9, which caused “extremely dangerous shoaling conditions" and the closure of Humboldt Bay to commercial shipping, according to the district.

The North Jetty. - USCG
  • USCG
  • The North Jetty.
With breaking waves inside the bay in an area dubbed “Rock and Roll Alley” by local fishermen due to the often rough conditions, boats became susceptible to tipping over and an emergency was declared on the local and state level.

Harbor district Executive Director Larry Oetker says it’s very fortunate that no one was injured.

“We owe the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Congressman Jared Huffman and Leroy Zerlang a debt of gratitude for all the extra effort they put into removing the hazardous conditions,” he says in the release. “The bay is back in business.”

Read the harbor district release below:


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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Coastal Commission: If Trinidad Rancheria Can Find Water, it Can Build its Hotel

Posted By on Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 8:29 AM

The California Coastal Commission went against the recommendation of its staff Thursday and gave the Trinidad Rancheria the go-ahead — or a “conditional concurrence” — to build a five-story hotel on its property off Scenic Drive south of the city.

This means that the Coastal Commission, which is tasked by law with protecting the California coastline, will not stand in the way of the Bureau of Indian Affairs granting the Rancheria a lease and a loan guarantee so that the project can start. The “conditional” part of the concurrence means the commission is giving the Rancheria six months to come up with a reliable water source — either through an agreement with the city of Trinidad or by proving its newly drilled well has the capability to provide the 14,000 gallons of of potable water per day that the hotel will require without draining neighboring wells. According to Trinidad Rancheria CEO Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, the well can produce 8,040 gallons per day.

An artistic rendering created by the Trinidad Rancheria of what its proposed Scenic Drive hotel project would look like from Trinidad Bay. - TRINIDAD RANCHERIA
  • Trinidad Rancheria
  • An artistic rendering created by the Trinidad Rancheria of what its proposed Scenic Drive hotel project would look like from Trinidad Bay.
The decision came at the very end of an eight-hour meeting, much of which was devoted to the problems of other communities along California’s long coastline. By the time the hotel project was heard, the audience, which earlier in the day had overflowed the Wharfinger building’s main hall, had largely thinned out. Nonetheless, enough members of the public stayed to fill an hour with comments praising or criticizing the project.

The commission had also previously received about 190 public weighing in an all sides of the hotel.

This is the third time the hotel proposal has appeared before the commission. The previous two times, the commission objected to the proposal, effectively blocking it. Like all federally recognized tribes, the Trinidad Rancheria has the legal status of a sovereign nation, meaning it is not subject to state or local authority, which includes the California Coastal Commission. However, it is subject to the authority of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). In order to approve a project, the BIA has to affirm that the project will not conflict with any state laws, hence the need for the Coastal Commission’s “concurrence.”

An artistic rendering of the proposed hotel project at Cher-Ae Heights Casino off Scenic Drive south of Trinidad. - SUBMITTED
  • SUBMITTED
  • An artistic rendering of the proposed hotel project at Cher-Ae Heights Casino off Scenic Drive south of Trinidad.
The issue that has drawn the most public attention has been the hotel’s size and corporate appearance. Many residents — and some who live outside the area but vacation here — feel the hotel would clash with the serene forested look of the Trinidad Bay coastline.

The issue of most concern to the commission, however, was not the building’s appearance but the lack of a confirmed water source for the project.

The Rancheria hopes to be able to hook up to the city of Trinidad’s municipal water system but the city is unsure of its ability to meet the future needs of its own residents. It has commissioned a series of studies that will not be completed until December and the city has said it will not make any commitments to other entities before that time.

The amount of water reportedly needed by the hotel seems to be a moving target, decreasing each time it comes before a public body. The draft Environmental Assessment for the hotel stated that 18,860 gallons per day would be required. This later went down to 14,184 gallons per day. On July 26, a letter from the Rancheria said that a more accurate figure would be 9,000 gallons per day, although this low figure only reflected 60 percent occupancy, obviously a less-than-desirable outcome for the hotel’s backers.

(The water-related material sent to the Coastal Commission can be found online here; scroll to Item 12b and click on Appendix C).

At the Aug. 8 hearing, the project was first reviewed in depth by the commission staff; then project proponents and opponents each got to have their say; and last, the long-suffering members of the public each got their two or three minutes to speak. Amy Deutschke, the BIA official in charge of the project, started the debate by insisting that the only things being considered were a loan guarantee and a lease — the actual building was immaterial. The Coastal Commission disagreed with her.

Trinidad Rancheria Chair Garth Sundberg then said that the Rancheria had listened to everybody’s concerns about the view and tried to address them.

“We love the view from here,” he said. “We need economic development on the Rancheria. … It will create jobs, benefit the health and welfare of our members ... I want you to know that although we want the permits, we are going to go forward anyway.”

Hostler-Carmesin then gave the 100-year-old history of the Trinidad Rancheria, described a 10-year planning process for the tribe’s commercial development and emphasized the many contributions the Rancheria had made to the greater community. She then announced that the Rancheria had successfully drilled for water on its own land, and estimated that “our pumping capacity is at 8,640 and it is indicating that we have an adequate supply of water for peak usage.”

Then, Trinidad resident Richard Johnson spoke representing Humboldt Alliance for Responsible Planning (HARP), a grassroots group opposed to the project.

“We may have differences of opinion but we are all in this together and we all share the same limited resources,” he said, adding that while his group supports the Rancheria’s efforts to improve its economic status, approval of the project as it was presented would violate federal and state laws.

There was not yet enough evidence, he said, to determine whether or not the Rancheria’s new well could provide enough water to serve the hotel on a long-term sustainable basis.

“We all live in the Luffenholtz watershed and we have a finite amount of water,” Johnson continued. “Development of any well, whether on the Rancheria property or in other areas of our watershed, could affect other nearby wells by increased water withdrawal. It’s important to recognize that there is development planned for the future based on the Rancheria’s comprehensive community-based plan … Likely, the water requirements for the Rancheria will increase due to that development.”

For the next hour, members of the public spoke, some stalwartly defending the Rancheria’s right as a sovereign nation to do whatever it pleased with its land and others criticizing the project’s design and the perceived inadequacy of information about water.

Eventually, public comment closed, and the members of the commission got down to the gritty task of coming to some sort of conclusion.

The commission was clearly conflicted, with some members resonating more to the theme of past racial injustices inflicted upon Native Americans and others more concerned with the apparent inconsistencies with the Coastal Act pointed out by the commission’s staff. Motions were made, amended and withdrawn. Some commissioners worried that if a decision was made in favor of the Rancheria that it would set a precedent allowing other projects of questionable legality to be approved.

The question of what will happen if the city does not provide water and the well water is not potable, or reliable — or for that matter, how the hotel will make up the difference between the estimated water from the well and its projected needs — was an item of strong concern to most commission members.

During one emotional exchange with the commission, Hostler-Carmensin insisted vehemently that enough water would somehow be found, that the tribe intended to move ahead and added that the tribe had already sunk more than $5 million into the project.

“Passion does not equal water,” Commission Chair Dayna Bochco retorted. “What happens if you build the hotel and there is no water?”

Hostler-Carmesin said in that case, the hotel would be unable to open. That final decision, she said, would be up to the Trinidad Rancheria Tribal Council.

Speaking to her fellow commissioners, Bochco described the visuals of the project as “disappointing” and said that she understood why the community was not happy.

Nonetheless, the commission eventually voted 6 to 3 to grant a conditional concurrence to the BIA. The passed motion specifies that “prior to commencement of construction,” the BIA shall provide commission staff that either the city of Trinidad has agreed to provide water to the project or that the Rancheria has found an alternative source and conducted an analysis on its effects on coastal resources pursuant to the California Coastal Act.

Newly seated Commissioner Mike Wilson, Humboldt’s Third District County Supervisor, voted with the majority to approve the conditional concurrence.

Editor's note: This story has been updated from a previous version to correct an editing error regarding the commission's discussion of the project's visual impacts, and to correct the spelling of Jacque Hoster-Carmesin's name. The Journal regrets the errors.
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