Glenn Franco Simmons1 
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Re: “State, Fair Association, County in Standoff Over Sunshine Laws

I cannot believe this issue remains unresolved, that stonewalling has intensified and that the fair board, made up of a lot of people I know, is so recalcitrant. Unbelievable. Afraid of a weekly newspaper and editor/publisher Caroline Titus doing what all reporters would do: asking appropriate questions, going after stories where there are legitimate stories to be written, writing editorials about the board's recalcitrance, etc. The board has historically operated this way; in addition to having very thin skins. Shameful. Shameful.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons1 on 07/22/2019 at 10:03 PM

Re: “'Hook, Line and Turbine'

Jay P: Do they remove the concrete pads? I read an article that said the turbines will be removed but the reinforced concrete pads will remain. That is not acceptable. Furthermore, how do you suppose the huge road through the Jordan Creek watershed is removed or remedied? And what about all the environmental damage for the 30-year lifespan of the project and road?

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons1 on 07/05/2019 at 1:53 PM

Re: “'Hook, Line and Turbine'

Mr. King is spot-on: According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Bear River and Monument ridges are "inappropriate for wind development" due to large populations of rare and protected species that would be destroyed, including murrelets, bats and raptors, as well as the "loss and possibly extirpation of a disjunct population of horned larks."

I've been up there many times bird-watching and have seen owls at dusk swooping down to catch their prey. They may also hunt after it gets dark, but I didn't have equipment to allow me to see that, if it occurred.

I read where a company spokesperson said the grasslands up there are not pristine. Perhaps not all the grasslands, but the majority are in decent shape or could be. The area is rare along the North Coast, with the Bald Hills being the closest comparison. Wind turbines are not desirable in this area. They are definitely not worth a huge road through Jordan Creek, as Mr. King noted, because the area is just beginning to recover from Maxxam's liquidation of forests for profit.

The experience with PALCO and Maxxam chastened me; no longer do I believe in the promises of an extraction company. Judge Terra-Gen by the company it keeps. As Mr. King noted, "Stantec, the corporation that conducted Terra-Gen's wildlife surveys, tells us that the windmills will kill 10.43 to 20.86 marbled murrelets over the project's estimated 30-year lifespan. (Santec, a Canadian firm, specializes in oil and gas development, coal mining, fracking, shale and tar sands mining, thousand-mile oil pipelines and transmission lines.) However, by raising the model's turbine-collision input by just 1 percent the murrelet mortality rate doubles."

This should have caused pause for any Humboldt County officials and/or agencies supporting this flawed project, as pointed out by Mr. King: Terra-Gen has accelerated the Humboldt County project to take advantage of tax breaks that expire in 2020. Less well known is that Terra-Gen is desperate for cash. In February, the S&P Global Ratings service downgraded Terra-Gen's rating from B to B-minus, indicating "weak cash flow and debt paydown. ... The negative outlook reflects our expectations that Terra-Gen's cash flow generation profile could worsen further. ... The company may have difficulty refinancing in 2021."

Humboldt County has already suffered enough from companies desperate for cash: from the pulp mills and their demise to PALCO/Maxxam, and more.

Humboldt County agencies and officials who support this project can be faulted for more stupid planning as opposed to smart planning. For example, do these officials and/or agencies realize the gigantic reinforced concrete pads will remain after the project's useful life? If anything is going to make the grasslands on Bear River Ridge any less pristine, or mar the recovering forest on Monument, it's definitely multiple reinforced concrete pads. Plus, who is to say that the Bridgeville substation won't upgraded and more turbines allowed? Such expansion would only increase the number of birds killed. They shouldn't even be comfortable with one marbled murrelet being sacrificed, let alone more than a potential 20 and that's if you believe what has been reported. I remember a lot of promises from PALCO and Maxxam that turned out to be junk.

As a person who has installed solar panels where I live, I can tell you that, after they are paid off, we'll be earning money (based on our energy consumption) after our investment. With our panels only being six weeks old, we've already sold power to Nevada Energy, thereby defraying our investment cost. Our house runs fully on solar during the day, even with washing and drying.

Lastly, has The Journal sent a photographer up to Bear River Ridge to photograph the grasslands, or gotten permission to access Monument Ridge to take photos? If not, why not? And why does The Journal keep using a Terra-Gen illustration showing turbines without consulting a third-party expert to determine if such an illustration is an accurate and truthful interpretation of what people might see from Rio Dell? That's just not doing your due diligence, NCJ, and you should know better.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons1 on 07/05/2019 at 1:48 PM

Re: “Ferndale Gothic

Funny how reporting facts is "sensational." The Ferndale sideline ban was a blunder with regard to photographers and media. Caroline is an excellent journalist. With regard to reporting on issues surrounding her husband's contract, if it is a personnel issue, then how can she report on it? Is she supposed to construct a story of "no comment. Our attorneys have told us we have nothing to worry about?" Good luck with that. With what Stu was told regarding his contract being dependent on muzzling his wife (what a concept to be proposed by a female board member!), it sure looks like he was dealt with punitively. As if he were punished for his wife's newspaper over which he has no editorial control. (Hello, employment attorney.) In terms of issues regarding Stu's contract, let me mention a few she has covered: threat by a board member that coverage in The Ferndale Enterprise deemed negative by the fair board about any fair board member would have a deleterious effect on Stu's contract renewal; alleged repeated violations of The Ralph M. Brown Act by the board after being repeatedly advised about potential violations (thus, they are willful violations. Wake up, Paul Gallegos); Stu's offer to the board; the board's first vote (a Brown Act violation, if I recall directly) on Stu's contract renewal; the second vote on Stu's contract necessitated by the board's previous Brown Act violation with regard to Stu's contract; the complete and utter disregard and total lack of preparation and a back-up plan to replace the fair manager after the board appears to have acted upon the threat earlier issued by a board member to Stu; a former mayor who apparently is still peeved at coverage in The Ferndale Enterprise that exposed his irresponsible behavior and possibly putting a child at risk in his truck; and many more. Caroline has won many awards for her reporting. The school district has received a number of substantive complaints regarding the superintendent and the fair board may now be on the Grand Jury's radar. The fair board has, through its shortsighted actions, potentially doomed this fair, thrown out nearly a quarter-century of contacts and goodwill established by Stu Titus and created a whirlwind of horrendously bad publicity that no amount of public relations can overcome for years to come (if the fair still exists). Facts speak for themselves, but let's complain about them anyway while we ignore the real issues: the fair board and its collective lack of professionalism and integrity; and a school superintendent who has not, in my opinion, acted in the best interests of students based upon complaints I've read about (guess where?) in The Enterprise. Sour grapes.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 02/28/2013 at 6:29 AM

Re: “The Grow Tax

Excellent delayed lede, James, and a solid story. Happy to see you back writing. Keep it up and I look forward to more articles from you.

Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 10/05/2012 at 11:51 AM

Re: “Bohn Underscores Faith in Cops, Law

Rex's response is in keeping with Rex, for those who have the pleasure of knowing him. Honesty is one of Rex Bohn's attributes. His response is at I would expect: honest, direct and respectful of the police and the process that will proceed. Rex replaced an honest and hard-working supervisor in Jimmy Smith. It is nice to see Rex continuing a tradition of openness and honesty in a profession that often lacks each.

Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 09/20/2012 at 9:26 PM

Re: “The FUD Factor

For answers to some of the fears you may have stoked by a sensationalist column, you might want to use Google Chrome, which translates Japanese newspapers that do not have English editions into English. Plus, there are several well-regarded Japanese newspapers that do have English editions. In addition to that, there are American newspapers that seem to have facts to dispute the points you made, which were not backed up by facts, but by a business associate whose expertise, or lack thereof, is not noted. That way, you'll know the radioactive hazard, as pointed out by "Doc," is much more serious than an X-ray next to the plant. At the time Prof. Stepp made that statement, it was probably accurate, since I am familiar with his work and admire his professionalism. (I also was a student of his years ago.) Your column muddles at least one old facts with fear. As for getting iodine, that may be prudent in Japan in some areas, but there are other radioactive isotopes that present a far more dangerous hazard than that which one would take iodine for. However, I do not purport to be a nuclear expert. Additionally, for questions about the PG&E plant, I covered that from the time I was at Eureka High School writing for The Redwood Bark. My stories were not well-received by the establishment because they were critical of the power plant's safety record. To help ease fears in Humboldt, the plant is decommissioning. I have done numerous stories on radio in the past on this, especially in the early 2000s, having to do with storage of the radioactive fuel rods. KGO Radio, and I have not seen this confirmed elsewhere, stated that the Japanese company responsible for the plant's operations DID transport, by helicopter, back-up generators, but the generators were not compatible with the plant's electrical system. If that is the case, it boggles the mind, as does such stupidity as putting a plant at ocean level, as at Humboldt Bay and San Onofre. If you want more information about HBPP, here is one source: There also are a number of environmental organizations that have done a great job on advocating for HBNPP decomissioning over the years, particularly The Redwood Alliance, which has a praiseworthy legacy with regard to HBNPP, now HBPP because PG&E has taken out the word "nuclear":

Posted by Glenn Franco Simmons on 03/19/2011 at 9:32 AM

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