Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eureka Reporter Commentaries

Thought I'd comment on a few letters that appeared in the Eureka Reporter recently:

The first, by retired Eureka Police Officer, Jon Lawrence, gives a pretty level headed look at the Balloon Tract situation. It actually was published on Saturday but I thought it well written and a good read.

This one, written by one, David Goggins, is really beyond me. It seems to be some generic evil conspiracy rant, but I'm not sure exactly what he's trying to say, except maybe that our voting systems are rigged in order to carry out the wishes of some shadowy group carrying out their secret plans. Not very well done if someone has to work at understanding what you're trying to say.

Last, but not least, is Richard Twiddy's observations on Home Depot, albeit one in Louisiana. His point, I believe, being that Home Depot isn't such a bad outfit. One thing not generally known about the aftermath of the Katrina is that Wal Mart had trucks staged and ready to deliver relief supplies, as well, but they were turned away along with a lot of other private organizations by the FEMA folks.

This Twiddy fellow seems to be a rising name in local activism. I'm wondering if he's the same "Dick" Twiddy that used to work for PG&E at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant when I was there? He looks like the one I knew, except for the long hair. If that isn't him, he must be related.

I saw him at the last Humboldt Taxpayer's League meeting I went to. The one where a special meeting was called to try and get the League's Board of Directors to rescind the lawsuit against the Eureka Redevelopment Agency. Twiddy was one of the two or three hands that went up in support of the lawsuit.

I don't recall seeing his name until fairly recently. After I saw him at the Taxpayer's meeting, he got a seat on the League's Board of Directors and then I started seeing a letter or two to the local papers he'd sent in. I imagine we'll be hearing even more from him as time goes on.

67 Comments:

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toxic waste like that on the Balloon Track is the legal responsibility of the owner (Union Pacific) unless the responsibility is transferred to a new owner under a contract of sale. The motive behind a transfer of pollution liability is obvious. Less obvious to some is that the purchaser of such a property may get a much better deal on the purchase of this property because of toxic pollution. No doubt that has happened with the Balloon Track. No developer should be held to a lesser cleanup standard than a prior owner. Pollution is pollution. Thank God the EPA and the Coastal Commission are in on this. The political rubes running Eureka aren't able to do it straight.

 
At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rube = an awkward, unsophisticated person from a rural area; rustic

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand the continued statement that the Home Depot Anchor is only 20 percent of the project... We've all driven by these stores before and have seen the size of the parking lots. Probably 1-1.5 times the footprint of the store!

A more accurate number would be 45% of the proposed development. At the least.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Seems to me, any good sized store should have a large parking lot.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, but it's ignorant to exclude the parking lot from the total percentage that they continually state in print. If they wanted to overstate the size of the project, they would have done so.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I suppose. But maybe the 25% figure includes the parking lot? Then again, I don't recall seeing a parking lot in those drawings they've been showing, but I haven't paid all that much attention to them, either.

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad we have to have this discussion here when it should be taking place at city hall.

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If somehow they could financially justify replacing the Home Depot with a Convention Center, then hire an architect who doesn't specialize in strip malls to design a master plan that actually takes advantage of the sites relationship to the harbor and downtown!

I personally think the best use would be something that tied together with either HSU or CR... Cleaning up the site could allow for such a project.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

CR and HSU are overextended as is. HSU doesn't have the money to fully staff the janitors, and CR has other issues, more pressing then this, like a full rebuild of half the campus, and to keep the state from taking over.

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they play their cards right, they could get funding from somewhere as a research institute...

HSU brings in more money to Humboldt than anything excluding the drug industry

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Nope. Sorry 1:44: We don't need another government project here. We need some private enterprise.

Hey, even those that believe government is the cure of all ills that befall us, should realize that it's private enterprise that pays for government.

Someone needs to pay for all this stuff. If we make government the biggest growth industry, in this state, we are in deep kimchi.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Bill G said...

Thank you Fred! How is it that people forget, in order to give, the government must first take away?

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the use, United Pacific needs to clean up it's property before it tries to sneak out of it's pollution liability through any development deal.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fortuna is talking about having 4 big box stores on that Palco property. How many big boxes do we need? Maybe we should have a county-wide referendum on big box.

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Fred,Kerrigan asked Brian Morrisey about the parking situation and was told "I don't know"in regards to the size of the parking lot.Actually during the whole questionnaire, Morrisey didn't seem to know a whole lot.Chris then said that it was hard to believe that they haven't looked into that,and that them using only 25% seemed like a miscalculation.Morrisey said that he didn't have any figures with him, but would get back to him when he did.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Captain Future said...

So Eureka should welcome a Home Depot that experience elsewhere strongly suggests will put local hardware stores like Pierson's out of business, because they donated to Katrina relief, and Wal-Mart was ready to?

Think about what Piersons does for Eureka and HC in general. And who owns, runs and works in our local hardware and lumber stores.

I don't know about Home Depot, but it's an on-record fact that Wal-Mart employees donated more than the company and a higher percentage than the billionaire owners. And the Red Cross had trucks etc. ready and FEMA wouldn't let them in. This does not make them lovely companies.

Where Wal-Mart went in the 90s, the poverty rate increased.

As for government vs. corporations, I remind everyone that the source of their money is the same: YOU. They both employ people, pay people and charge people for goods and services. You have some power over government by voting, and some power over corporations by buying choices and government regulation. Businesses use their profits to enrich themselves, expand their power, and extend their power into the political realm by buying into government. The biggest offenders may be media corporations, but Wal-Mart is right up there.

 
At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Pogo said...

"Where Wal-Mart went in the 90s, the poverty rate increased. "

Cant beat that logic: "night follows day therefore day causes night". Makes sense to all idiots.

Let's see if we have this straight: Capt Future does not wish the people of HC to have the opportunity to chose between Home Depot and Pierson. This would be evil competition and Capt . Future has designated Pierson as the "approved" building supply vendor. This is exactly how business was conducted in the Third Reich.

Heil Capt. Future!!

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Bill said,"So Eureka should welcome a Home Depot that experience elsewhere strongly suggests will put local hardware stores like Pierson's out of business"

Oh come on, now, Bill; We've had, and have, big boxes here. Some come and stay. Some leave.

We've been through this before here. Pay n Pak would be what many would consider a big box store. It closed down. Piersons survived and is with us to this day.

We all remember how the Old Town merchants were telling us they'd be out of business if the proposed Bayshore Mall came to pass. The Bayshore Mall has a number of national chains in it.

Sure, Old Town was lost a lot of businesses but I believe they were in the process of deteriorating even before the Bayshore Mall came around.

I'm hearing now that Old Town is becoming populated again, despite the Bayshore Mall. Of course, that's usually pointed out by redevelopment proponents.

I just can't recall any deleterious effects to local businesses as a result of so- called big boxes moving here.

Heck, we've still got umpteen coffee houses around here despite not just one, but two, Starbucks moving in.

I just don't see big boxes as that big of a problem. I suspect the reason so many are fearful of big boxes is that most are those Evil Corporations. Whatever.

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierson's does do a heck of a lot for the local community in terms of their sponsership of local events and such... they've been a real community asset over the years.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, Fred. Old Town did die when the Mall opened. It took 15 years for it to get where it is today!

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a fact that many businesses will be crushed by big box retail. Many will survive though. Its up to them to create a new business model that allows for their survival.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep they promote gas sales by making locals drive to Redding for building supplies. Maybe they're in cahoots with Renner?

 
At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you say that it needs to be developed by "private enterprise" Would you say the only possibility is then a big box type store that can afford the development process? If everyone is crying about these type of businesses, then lets hear some alternatives!

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

It all boils down to this.
Kerrigan is supported by Piersons, Piersons has a mass share in the building market in the area AND massive amounts of money in the bank. Piersons doesn't want Home Depot, Kerrigan doesn't want the home depot. If we would replace "Piersons" with "Wal-Mart" in the above, you hippies would be pissing all over yourself to out Kerrigan, mouthpiece of said company, no war for oil, not my president.

The Fact Is This: Kerrigan is a mouthpiece for Piersons.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger Fred said...

9:04 said: "Pierson's does do a heck of a lot for the local community".

Yep. I like Piersons. Don't go there often, though. I tend to do hardware stuff at Shafer's Ace, up the street from my house.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to K-Mart, Costco and some of the other big chain stores up here.

9:21 said: "Would you say the only possibility is then a big box type store that can afford the development process?".

Actually, I suppose that might be true, since it's so hard to get businesses started in California nowadays. Someone told me it took two years for that Coffee place, (was it Jitter Bean Coffee that used to be in the Longs Drugs parking lot?)to open up. They've moved since then. And that was just a small shack on skids.

I remind you, though, that I've said a number of times I don't see anything wrong with an empty lot.

In a sense this might make things easier for some businesses, since Security National is developing the property and dealing with all the hassles. Security National goes through all the hoops and the other businesses just get to move in.

I'm open to anything there, even an empty lot. I just don't want it to turn into another government project, which seems to be the only alternative opponents of the Marina, whatever it's called, have come up with.

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(refer to anon 9:04am)
PALCO does a heck of a lot for the local community in terms of their sponsorship(spelled correctly) of local events and such (including the sign at the Arcata ball field)... they've been a real community asset over the years.

 
At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon-r-mous is that drunk asshole down at Myrtletown Lounge every friday night singing "Redneck Girls" at the top of his lungs

I hope you choke to death on PBR

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Fred said...

9:05 said,"Old Town did die when the Mall opened. It took 15 years for it to get where it is today!"

Seems to me it was dying before the Bayshore Mall came to be, if memory serves me well. The Bayshore Mall just gave some people that didn't want to be stuck having to do business in Old Town somewhere else to go.

Old Town has always been the local skid row. That's the way it is in a lot of places (and likely always will be).

Now that they're doing redevelopment and trying to clean up Old Town, we're starting to hear the same old complaints about all the bums and such, that have been there for time immemorial.

To me, that's pretty much akin to moving in next to the airport and complaining about the noise.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

You do know Fred, that the term "Skid Row" was made in Old Town Eureka? Because of the old skid roads that they used to have by the docks.

So yeah, Old Town Eureka, was the first Skid Row.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

3 Starbucks. One on Myrtle & West (Burre Center), one on 5th Street across from Security National, and the one inside of Target.

 
At 3:22 PM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

There was another proposal put forth for the Balloon Track... a seafood culinary institue. Those folks had the money and the they would do the best clean-up possible. They backed down once Arkely got the deal in the works with Union Pacific. Too bad. If they had built that and put the Hampton in next to it perhaps more people would be happy. Then the parcel next to the Wharfinger could be a park which would be better use for that land.

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Morrissey here...

mresquan said... alot about a conversation I had with Chris. Don't remember him there..

The facts..

The project is about 550k SF (we increased the office and residential parts)

Home Depot is about 114k SF.

Simple math says its about 21% of the project.

Another analysis shows ...

The whole construction is will cost about $80 million.

The HD will cost less than $10 million.

That makes it about 12% or 13% of the project.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

more from Brian..,

But Kerrigan was asking how much land area was associated with the HD.

A calculated political move that tries to change opinion in the public debate.

The HD has 450 +/- parking stalls. We have 300+ stalls in a three deck parking structure. For the same cost we could move the structured parking over to the HD side and reduce the area by more than half.

Why didn't we? Its bad land use and bad design. It makes politics the motivator not good planning.

 
At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the rant guys...

-Brian

PS I should really get an identity (no jokes please)

 
At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No rant.

But as for the identity... how about:

BigBigBoxGuy

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian: Rob pays you how much a year to politic for his Waterfront project on Fred's Blog? Is Fred getting a kickback? Please send HD to Fortuna. Build an Aquatic Theme Park or something more constructive. No HD in Eureka.

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Sorry.. picked the unoriginal BPMorrissey (BrianMorrissey and BMorrissey were not available)

"Rob pays you how much a year to politic for his Waterfront project on Fred's Blog?"

Why? If I said "nothing, I do it for the pure love of mixed-use, urban infill, brownfield development" would you like Marina Center more? Would you like me more?

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

Why is it the duty of the fascist jerk offs of the county to determine who goes into business here? If the businesses can't make it they lose. Or is it that the need to face competition may break some vested rice bowls?

 
At 8:01 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Brian, I was refering to the Feb7th City Council meeting.Chris asked you a few questions about the size and scope of the building and parking lot.Your information given was vague.Thanks for the info provided here though.

 
At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't they tried aquatic theme parks in Crescent City? Are you nuts?

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger Fred said...

5:37 wrote:"Is Fred getting a kickback?"

I guess I must be. Anyone who doesn't have a rabid hatred of big boxes is some corporate shill getting a payoff.

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Boxes are a mixed bag. I like Costco and think Target carries a lot of junk we don't need. As for the Ballon Track, Union Pacific is trying to unload it's pollution liability by tempting us with the wonders of Home Depot. Bonnie Neely is absolutely right - UP needs to clean up it's mess before we plan for development on that toxic waste dump. Of course it is expensive. Of course it will take years. But the alternative is a polluted, earthquake prone, tsunami zoned mess waiting for some good liquifaction to pour it all right into Humboldt Bay. Brian, weren't you an employee of UP before you were hired by the potential developer of this historic wasteland??

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Costco's ok. I could count on one hand how many times I've been in there, though. They supposedly have a real good return policy, unlike another local chain: Staples.

I hate going to Staples but it's the only place to go for some computer stuff rather than having to drive all over town seeing who has what.

Target? Only been there once and have no plans on going back as I didn't see much there of interest to me. They didn't have what I wanted, so I left. Didn't even stay long enough to notice they had a Starbucks there, as Kat has advised. But, each to their own. Some people go to Target, some don't.

Yep, maybe UP should clean up their mess. I kinda think that's water under the bridge, at this point. I don't see a problem with just capping the property, as I suggested long ago on this blog before I found out that was pretty much what was being planned.

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Brian saying that HD is only 114K sq ft, when there is also a garden center of 34k sq ft.? How simply does your math have to be to add those two numbers together?

Brian's own architect at his own Warfinger meeting said 1600 parking spaces. (they have him on tape on the KMUD news spot that's posted on the Save Eureka Waterfront dot something website.)

Here is some more math for you: Home Depot claims 42.5 car trips a day per 1000 sq ft. of retail space. Add that to the today's traffic on Broadway. Oh yea, and if HD is only 21% of the project, I guess you better multiply that number by 4.
Should make for lovely commutes through Eureka.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Ginger said...

Thank you, Fred, for providing this forum for community discussion. I agree with a previous blogger that Union Pacific should fully CLEAN UP the balloon tract prior to selling and developing the property. One can't take short-cuts or bypass the process.
As far as shopping goes, I shop at Costco for many items for my family. I bought 2 lamps at Target, which broke within a month of purchase. For household items, I have found Target more expensive than Kmart. For hardware and lumber I like to shop at Pierson's, Ace Hardware, and Forbusco. For the best wood products, we have found that Valley Lumber has the best selection and quality of wood. I am sure Almquist is the best place for hardwood. I would prefer to spend my hard-earned dollars on quality Made in the USA products, then filling my house with cheap junk.
Chris Kerrigan is hard-working,LISTENS to people, and seems to me to be the most honest city council member right now.
Let's all take a deep breath and work together!

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.saveeurekawaterfront.org/ is the website noted above.

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Fred said...

10:03 wrote: "Should make for lovely commutes through Eureka."

Yep. There will likely be increased congestion as a result of the Marina Center. There was a fear of that happening with Costco, as well. It is more congested at Broadway and Wabash now, but not as bad as opponents of Costco predicted.

While traffic is a valid concern, increased congestion is inevitable. That will be a problem to contend with no matter what ends up in the balloon tract, whether it's Marina Center or some government project.

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A big box type development will create much more traffic than just about anything that isn't retail...

Eureka will soon follow Santa Rosa by being forced to add lanes down its main thoroughfare.

 
At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully so - or maybe it should start looking for a 101 bypass. Would hate for eureka to act like santa rosa did, sticking its head in the sand to ignore progress and reality. Then after the problem is really a mess try and add lanes or bypasses. Better to fix it now and live with reality.

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerrigan is in Salzman's pocket

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

Obviously you don't know Chris.

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger Fred said...

4:09 wrote:"A big box type development will create much more traffic than just about anything that isn't retail...".

Not sure how to read that but, if you fill in that many acres with structures people will use, it will cause more traffic. That's inevitable.

That's going to happen over time, regardless of whether Home Depot is there, or not.

Eureka definitely needs a freeway bypass. That's been talked about for years.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Ginger said...

The bottom line is that Union Pacific needs to clean up its own mess. Is the rumor true that Brian worked for Union Pacific prior to working for Security National? The old adage is so true: Politics makes strange bedfellows...

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Bitxxx said...

Just as the consultant who wrote the Harbor District's Revitalization Plan (finished in 2003) was working for Calpine a few months later when they proposed putting the LNG facility on the bay. That Revitalization Plan named LNG as a having high potential for our port.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Ginger said...

Really? Boy, you can learn a lot on Fred's Blog.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Ginger - Let's cut through the rumor...

I worked from 1995 - 2004 at Union Pacific (in the real estate department). There is a certain irony that now I work against UP on this deal. The national real estate "world" is relatively small; I was bound to run into Security National guys before to terribly long.

Any other rumors I can put to bed?

-Brian

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ginger said...

Thank you, Brian, for your honesty.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Ginger said...

Brian, what is the difference between the projected costs of pollution remediation for your project and the projected costs of pollution cleanup if Union Pacific were to be required to clean the property to maximum standards? Thanks!

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

There is no definition of “maximum standards” but assuming that you mean “unrestricted use” – cost is only one small part of the question. Most people want to know “is it safe?”

“unrestricted use” would involve testing the site to identify the any contaminates to a depth of 12’ to 15’. Once identified the removal of that soil would involve thousands of trucks of moving contaminated soil to Red Bluff, Chico or maybe Nevada. When I say “thousands” I mean that literally, something like two years of constant truck traffic.

The removal of that much soil would also endanger cross contamination of the “b –level” - the part of the site that is connected to the bay. So “maximum standards” is more dangerous than leaving it where it is and capping.

Finally there is a certain hypocrisy in those who would “demand” that cleanup. We want to follow the same rules that every other clean up of property in Eureka. We are asking for no special treatment at all – none. Some of those sites that have followed this same protocol – Adorni Center, Fisherman’s Terminal, Costco, Former
Eureka Plywood, PG&E, Panda Café, McRea Nissan, Flying J, UPS, City Schools Corporation, etc.

We intend to do what is right. California is one of the most sophisticated states in the country in regulating environmental matters. Even if we did want to get away with something – we could not.

Do not let those who oppose development of any sort for political gain dictate the cleanup standards – let the seasoned, trained regulatory professionals do it.

-Brian

 
At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do not let those who oppose development of any sort for political gain dictate the cleanup standards – let the seasoned, trained regulatory professionals do it.

-Brian"

Trained like what? Circus animals?

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Regional Water Quality Control Board has jurisdiction over the site and whatever is done must comply with state law. Exactly that, state law, a law passed by the state.

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course while Brian was at UP his projects included the railyard clean-up and development in Sacramento and Salt Lake City .

 
At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian,

Can you explain what you mean by this statement:

"Do not let those who oppose development of any sort for political gain dictate the cleanup standards"

I'm unclear on what you mean by "political gain" - where do you see anyone making any political gains by oppositng your project?

If someone stands to gain politically by opposing your project, wouldn't that indicate that the public does not support it?

Or did you mean something else?

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Fred said...

12:38 wrote:"I'm unclear on what you mean by "political gain" - where do you see anyone making any political gains by oppositng your project?"

Probably because the bottom line about this balloon tract controversy is it's all about going after corporations and the local anti- private business movement .

For the most part, the same people opposing a big box on the balloon tract are the same people pushing Measure T, the local initiative to ban corporate contributions to local campaigns.

I've heard from people, on this blog, opposed to the Marina Center, that have suggested that many of those opposed to the Center wouldn't have an objection if it weren't for a supposed "big box" being included.

It's all part of a power grab by the local Left that's been going on for some time. Current examples of the effort include, but probably aren't limited to: Opposition to private development of the balloon tract. Measure T, and the effort by the Left to re-elect Paul Gallegos.

The Left has the ball and is running with it. We'll be seeing more along this line in the future.

I do predict, though, if Gallegos loses, and Measure T fails, that will put a bit of a damper on the movement, as such defeats can be devastating for morale.

Will both those efforts fail? I won't place a bet on it at this point, but I'm leaning toward no.

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

depends on how many "voters" salzman buses in this time

 
At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gallegos is sure to fail. He is incompetant. But Measure T is looking pretty strong (much to my dismay). There are not very many people on your list of endorsers Fred...

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Check this out for FREE...

This opportunity says:

"Your Ad" Will Be Instantly Displayed on Thousands of Websites and Read By Over 10 Million People Per Week For FREE, and It Only Takes 60 Seconds To Get Started!

To find out more visit: making money on the internet site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and making money on the internet related stuff.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home