Glenn Thomas Franco 
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Re: “In the Wind

Sylvia De Rooy is spot-on. The last article on the proposed wind turbines should not have been published. It just isn't Journal-quality.

As I stated in my comment on the story, why not send a photographer up there to take photos from Monument Gate south? You don't have to trespass.

Why not send a photographer up to Bear River Ridge to take photos of the grasslands? The propaganda in the story The Journal wrote about the grasslands not being pristine is hogwash. Maybe they aren't seemingly "pristine" from the road and where there is evidence of human civilization, but if a rancher allows you a walk, take it and tell me those grasslands are not pristine. Take a drive down into Bear River (it's one-way unless you have permission to drive through to Mattole).

Instead, what does The Journal give us? A propaganda photo from the project applicant that is not verified by any third-party source as being realistic. Who says that is what the turbines will look like? They may very well look like that, but why is The Journal printing it without any objective third-party architectural or other related firm taking a look at it and analyzing whether the scale is realistic and honest? By not taking those steps and publishing that photo, The Journal is just perpetuating the self-serving information from a party that has a huge stake in this project. Not kosher.

Furthermore, when is it OK to allow the taking of marbled murrelets? I'm a veteran of the timber wars, having argued mostly in editorials and columns on behalf of not shutting down all logging. Now that is has mostly been shut down, and the fact that environmentalists were correct about marbled murrelets and spotted owls, I cannot believe the Humboldt community will just idly sit by and accept the taking of even one marbled murrelet, considering what has been sacrificed to help bring their numbers back.

The Journal needs to up its game on this issue. While other coverage is good, on this issue it's a fail so far.

Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 06/15/2019 at 8:36 AM

Re: “The Cost of Wind

What would it take for The Journal to send a photographer up to Monument Gate, shoot some shots south of it along the ridge? You don't have to trespass. You can also shoot down into the valley to show how close they are together.

Same thing for Bear River but you could actually pay a photographer's gas mileage to drive the mostly gravel-dirt road between Rio Dell and Ferndale (on the Bear River Road part) and take photos of the prairie. It is unparalleled beauty that has not been harmed by ranchers. That is just a libel against ranchers. In fact, there is a grass-fed livestock ranch up there. Check it out. Check out the quality of the grasslands and tell me it isn't pristine.

The forests are another story. Too much over-logging in most places, but that doesn't justify a project that also has its huge carbon footprint.

And who will remove the reinforced (hopefully) cement pads these gigantic wind turbines will be placed on? When will that be done? When the project shuts down? Or never? To justify such environmental pollution while saying ranching has made the grasslands of Bear River less pristine is just hogwash. Furthermore, without an elk herd for decades, those very same cattle helped keep the prairie in a more-pristine state. (If you don't believe the value of cattle and range, check out what environmentalists are doing in South Africa and other southern African nations where desertification is posing a threat.) Bad ranching is harmful just like bad logging just like bad wind projects.

That doesn't justify the taking of marbled murrelets justified by a former EPIC employee.

The Journal needs to do a much better job than this story, which should have not have been published without being sent back and further research and writing required. It's one that doesn't make the cut. I'm surprised The Journal published it.

Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 06/15/2019 at 8:25 AM

Re: “Wagging the Dog

The City Council would do well to follow Mr. Greenson's well-reasoned advice. The coverage and this opinion in The Journal prove, once again, that The Journal is the only countywide publication that does a decent job covering such important issues.

Humboldt Made's board, by the same token, should ask its director why she didn't personally oversee the bid's submission. Whenever I submitted bids for Eel River Disposal, I did it myself. And a manager should never blame staff. The buck stops with the manager.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 06/14/2019 at 8:00 PM

Re: “'A Comedy of Errors'

What surprises me is that I haven't seen any Humboldt Made board members interviewed; or, perhaps I missed it. The board provides oversight for HM. I would be curious to know if the board has taken a position and/or action on staff's performance for this RFP, and whether it can or will make any decisions public that have arisen from this RFP.

Furthermore, you have one of the most-successful businesspersons ever in Humboldt County on HM's board: Mr. Don Banducci. Although I don't know him personally, I always admired how he and a partner saw a need, saw a company that could fulfill that need, bought it and made it scale to heights probably not imagined by its creators. He knows marketing, he is familiar with business practices, etc. Why not at least interview him? A basic question: do you and the board remain satisfied with HM's leadership? It's an obvious question. Not asked; or, again, perhaps I missed it.

As for the RFP, I wrote about RFPs many times during my media career in Humboldt, and I even submitted a lot of them, when I worked for Eel River Disposal. I can assure that if City Garbage (the name of our main competitor at the time) would have submitted a late RFP as alleged in this article, we would have sued with force and fury and we would have won. The waiver right, according to my layman's understanding, does not apply to an RFP that was not complete, submitted incorrectly, etc. I know my friends at City Garbage would have sued us silly had I done the same thing. I would have expected it. On this RFP issue, I disagree with "MRDDUCCI" above. I'm very familiar with local governments, RFPs, proper process, fairness, etc. The city would have spent more on a court case than the contract was worth, and I believe it would have lost, but I'm not a lawyer.

Thad did a good job; I wouldn't expect less of him. That said, who would want to work with Humboldt Made or the city of Eureka at this point? Just Google or follow the articles and comments on Lost Coast and they are enough to make a very bad impression on anyone not familiar with and living outside Humboldt County. The harm caused by this controversy, further covered by The Journal as it should be, will be difficult to overcome for the current leadership of Humboldt Made; however, it's not insurmountable. I hope city staff can learn from it, too.

However, no amount of marketing can undo the innuendo, "conspiracy" theories and jealousy (as alleged by "MRDDCUCI" above), allegations of malfeasance, diatribes, backbiting and gossip that are presented for the world to see and cringe at on Lost Coast Outpost. It smears all of Humboldt with a stench that the owner the Outpost should really consider. Just because it gets clicks doesn't mean it's worth it. That's on top of generally low-quality and incomplete reporting often plagued by many other negative variables.

Having lived out of Humboldt for 10 years in Silicon Valley, I believe the Vistors' Bureau did a great job with marketing the county, especially on TV. I don't watch much TV, but I saw its ads on many sports games that I do watch a lot of. They were professional and creative. They made me proud to have grown up and spent the majority of my career in Humboldt. In fact, they were the best-ever commercials from the Visitors' Bureau. Eureka got its money's worth in those ads because Eureka has the most hotel rooms in the county and that is where a lot of people would stay, spend money on gas, eat out, etc. That some folks in Humboldt would like to see a different approach is fine. That doesn't make the bureau bad.

In comments, I've seen someone say the bureau promised an app. Apps are far overrated. What would be better is continuing to improve its fine website, which is far ahead of what it used to be. People, at least on Droid-based systems, can save a home page to their phone's home screen. I do that for all the publications I subscribe to, rather than getting all their apps. I do this not because I don't have a lot of memory; I have a lot (RAM, internal and external). It's because I don't want all the negatives that apps bring to bear on RAM, updating, permissions, etc. An excellent, top-notch professional app could cost in the five figures if not the six figures, or you could go cheap and have issues. That is, unless you have in-house talent to build an app.

Humboldt is such a small community; it's a shame there is so much acrimony. At a time when it's the only county in the state to suffer suffer a decline in sales tax revenue, it seems now would be when the community should be coming together.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 06/07/2019 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Squireses File for Bankruptcy as Auction Looms

Too bad Rob Arkley Jr. cannot take over these properties and raze them or rehab them like he has done to others. He took eyesores for years and made them works of art. These eyesores will probably be burned by an arsonist, thereby making Eureka continue to appear more like a have-and-have-not Third World city with its hordes of homeless, drug-abusing and mentally ill persons who need our help but our society is incapable of providing it to the degree necessary.

Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 02/23/2019 at 6:02 PM

Re: “Officials Brace for Sea Level Rise

Lisa's work is top-notch. She does her research. As the science and facts are further explored, it may be more of an increase than Lisa notes at this time, but that's the stat we have have to work with right now.

Those afraid of a drop in property values should realize that it's no secret that climate change is warming water, and that the Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than previously thought, as well as the Arctic ice sheet.

To think a county report would lower land values is mind-boggling, given the scientific information (peer-reviewed) on the Web.

Even the Department of Defense has a climate-change mitigation effort on paper. You can download the PDF. I believe its major East Coast base is potentially under severe threat to rising sea levels. Check out the PDF before the current administration wipes it from the Web:

From the PDF: "DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S. interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time."

Next time a climate-change denier confronts you with silly facts and figures, just cite the DOD report. That should sober up even the most inebriated climate-change denier.

Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 01/22/2019 at 7:29 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Eureka Mulls Changing Course on Tourism Spending; Visitors Bureau Warns of Dire Consequences

Richard is an excellent writer and a very, very nice man. He and Tony did wonderful things at the bureau. The fabulous commercials they run about The Redwood Empire in targeted TV ads are so unique that they are unforgettable. RIP Tony. Keep up the great work, Richard.

Posted by Glenn Thomas Franco on 01/22/2019 at 6:58 PM

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