Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Latt on the Marina Center

I see Neal Latt has yet another My Word commentary in the Times- Standard today. More talk about the Marina Center and the Balloon Tract, him being opposed to the Marina Center.

Seems to me everything that could have been said on this issue, by either side, has been said. I guess he just wanted to try to get in the last word.

Enough said. Time for action, of one kind or another, rather than this endless back and forth.

83 Comments:

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May 16th CREG will host a public panel regarding the toxicity of the Eureka Balloon Track(t). Nancy Flemming, campaigning for Union Pacific to get out of their responsibilities, has failed to mention at least one important study that post-dates the "history" she proclaims when campaigning against Supervisor Bonnie Neely. The last word, my eye.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will the Balloon Tract get cleaned without development on it? Who and how ill the force UP to clean up the BT?

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The property owner is responsible for cleanup. That means UP. In a minority of cases, toxic cleanup is mitigated through development agreements. UP is trying that route with the developer "winning" a discounted value from what the property would be worth "cleaned up". Interesting that the developer's project manager used to work for Union Pacific. This seems unique because we are so isolated, but this kind of stuff is tried all over. Problem is, any difference between the levels of cleanup provided if UP is required to clean it up versus the level of cleanup the developer can get away with is undefined and potentially deadly to Humboldt Bay in the future. Too bad the city council isn't looking into these questions, but it's good that a citizens coalition like CREG is standing up instead.

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Fred said...

11:31 writes: "potentially deadly to Humboldt Bay in the future".

Maybe I'm misreading what you're trying to say but I think "deadly" is a bit over the top.

The Balloon Tract has been seeping pollutants into the bay for decades. The only time I've heard any warnings about eating anything caught in the bay is that dioxin thing with the oysters.

Seems to me the leaching can't be all that serious a threat to people and I would think it would gradually disappear over time. Sure, maybe decades more, but it can't last forever.

Capping the tract, as is the proposed solution right now, would likely slow down any leaching, if not almost stopping it. Since there doesn't seem to be any major threat from the tract right now, I don't see a problem with capping it.

It would be nice to see it cleaned up entirely but I think that may be not cost effective, to anyone, and quite honestly, I think all this talk of the clean up requirement is just some folks trying to throw out one more reason not to have private development on the Balloon Tract.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear 11:31 - CREG my eye. The property owner has already cleaned it up as was required by the authorities. The developer will now have to do it - but if no development, then no more clean up. I am with Fred here as he seems to have hit the nail on the head.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does conflation mean?

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Capping the tract, as is the proposed solution right now, would likely slow down any leaching, if not almost stopping it. Since there doesn't seem to be any major threat from the tract right now, I don't see a problem with capping it."

And how do you know this to be true?

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that capping it will not allow for any park or open space or any residential. Cleaning would. UP has done so elsewhere including Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and at similar sites in many other states. If pushed they respond. In all cases (and I have talked with city staff in 5 such communities) UP worked with the developer to clean up the site to allow mixed use... and a choice. Something we do not have.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

"capping it will not allow for any park or open space or any residential"

Why is that? Capping is perfectly acceptable in many residential and open space uses. For example, the Sac yard site has the “lump” – a green space and is a capped solution.

Capping is not the problem.

“UP worked with the developer to clean up the site to allow mixed use”

…ah… The Marina Center is a mixed used project.

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

Isn't that why they have planned a portion to clean and another to cap? That seems to make sense to me

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see some proposals for the Balloon Tract that assume a full clean-up, assuming U.P. is forced to do so. I'm sure we could gererate some really great projects that take advantage of a site that isn't covered in a concrete cap.

Mr. Morrissey,
Would your company propose something different if you were able to purchase the property after a full cleanup?

Your response is appreciated-

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

Thanks for the response Mr. Morrissey.

Since HELP keeps stating there isn't enough affordable housing why isn't SN proposing a larger housing element for the Balloon Track? If capping isn't planned for the full site why is green space so limited in your plans?

 
At 6:08 PM, Blogger Fred said...

2:55 writes: "And how do you know this to be true?".

It just makes sense to me.

Fred

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

me, too, Fred.
this is all a bunch of crap from a bunch of people who need to get a life, or a job. they have too much time on thier hands.
what a collosal waste of time

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How typical, 10:02. If someone is questioning the Arkley's BT project, they MUST be good for nothing hippies who don't have a job.

Get a life? Reminds me of when PALCO prez Robert Manne said people who are harmed by logging "lead empty lives."

 
At 7:18 AM, Blogger Bill G said...

"The company will not sell the Balloon Track if it is intended for residential or public use; it will only sell the Balloon Track for commercial and office development due to liability concerns."
www.marinacenter.org
I don't think that site is appropriate at all for high density residential. Detractors always have the option to purchase it and develop it themselves.

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I can't imagine why anyone would want to live down there in the first place. But, each to their own.

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Dear 4:47

You asked ... "Would your company propose something different if you were able to purchase the property after a full cleanup?"

Maybe, this is a bit like asking "would you date a different woman if you weren't married?" If I answer yes - my wife will be mad, but if I answer no then I look closed minded.

The housing element is an excellent urban housing component that frankly would not work without the retail, office, restaurant, atmosphere the rest of the Marina Center brings.

Green space limited? It is larger than two football fields plus has a hike, bike, and walking path throughout the project. We are planning to completely re-work the Clark slough into a thing of beauty and environmental significance – not a trash filled cesspool.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Oh... we have a new website.

http://www.marinacenter.org/

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe, this is a bit like asking "would you date a different woman if you weren't married?" If I answer yes - my wife will be mad, but if I answer no then I look closed minded."

Well, for arguements sake, lets say your single- What would be different about the proposal? You would now have many more options, which could be great. what would you change?

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is "say your single" different from "if you weren't married"

 
At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a day in the not too distant future when living down there will be desireable. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to look along the coast and see where people like to live. Just because you lived here all your life doesn't mean it is not attractive to others. The waterfront will one day be prime residential.

As for the housing in the Marina Center plan, is any of that housing on the Balloon track itself?

And remmeber that we are hearing the "UP won't sell if for housing" from the former project manager for UP now an employee of SN. UP has allowed housing on other simillar properties once the community asked for it.

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

Is anyone going to propose some different ideas here? Maybe they can generate some ideas that Security National could adopt, or atleast take into consideration... I believe the general public would feel much better about this process if they were given some other rational ideas to look at-

Security National could benefit from some new ideas, unless they see their plans as set in stone.

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.saveeurekawaterfront.org

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Fred said...

11:11 writes: "Is anyone going to propose some different ideas here? ".

It seems to me there are two generally accepted ideas here:

Some sort of government project, like a convention center, seafood culinary institute or a public park. That seems to be the preference of the anti- Marina Center folks.

The other idea is some sort of private development, the Marina Center being the most doable one that I've heard of to date.

The thing about the Marina Center is that it's not just going to be a Home Depot. There'll be any number of other businesses there, in addition to residential. What businesses end up being there probably depends on what businesses end up interested in being there.

It seems to me, from what I've seen, while the Marina Center sounds like just "one idea", it will actually be any number of ideas put together in one place after it's completed.

I believe Security National has said they're open to other suggestions as to what should be included in Marina Center, as well.

If you have a suggestion of your own to make, why not show up at Security National's presentation tonight. The Times- Standard says they're having yet another presentation on the project at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka tonight from 6pm to 9pm.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build the Marina Center - make this like fisherman's wharf a place to take your family, instead of having to drive thru the area with your doors closed.

Why make it "housing" so only a few very wealthy can enjoy it.

I say stores, restaurants, a place to walk, shop and eat.

I visited the www.saveeurekawaterfront.org - no thanks I will keep my distance from CREG.

Actually - I am getting tired of people spinning the "save" this "save" that rhetoric. To them "save" means keeping people away or from doing things.

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:42 is no doubt Mrs. A-

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Could be. Anyone who's anybody in Humboldt vistits Fred's Humboldt Blog. :-)

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

"Why make it "housing" so only a few very wealthy can enjoy it."

Who's saying the housing has to be upscale? There could be any variety of options there- Think about it.

"make this like fisherman's wharf"

How is the Marina Center plan anything like a Fisherman's Wharf? It's a glorified strip mall. If you add up the Home Depot, the Home Depot Garder Center, and all the Parking and receiving areas for the store, the entire Home Depot componet probably comes closer to 60% of the entire development. How does that connect to this idea of a Fisherman's Wharf?

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

The public needs low-income "affordable" housing to "keep our kids from having to leave Humboldt", according to HELP. So let's do affordable housing on the Balloon Track. Make the railroad clean it up, keep it zoned Public and turn it over to the Housing Authority to build. HELP wins!!

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...


Anonymous said...

http://www.saveeurekawaterfront.org ...



..by building the Marina Center.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

How will you make affordable housing with an $8 million environmental cleanup?

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The railroad grossed over $13,000,000,000.000 that's BILLION - just last year. If I have this right, they only need to spend one 17/100th of one year's income to clean up the Eureka parcel. Even if my numbers are off a little, let's get real.

PERIOD ENDING 31-Dec-05 31-Dec-04 31-Dec-03
Total Revenue 13,578,000 12,215,000 11,551,000
Cost of Revenue 10,062,000 9,321,000 8,351,000

Gross Profit 3,516,000 2,894,000 3,200,000

Operating Expenses
Research Development - - -
Selling General and Administrative 546,000 488,000 -
Non Recurring - - -
Others 1,175,000 1,111,000 1,067,000

Total Operating Expenses - - -


Operating Income or Loss 1,795,000 1,295,000 2,133,000

Income from Continuing Operations
Total Other Income/Expenses Net 145,000 88,000 78,000
Earnings Before Interest And Taxes 1,940,000 1,383,000 2,211,000
Interest Expense 504,000 527,000 574,000
Income Before Tax 1,436,000 856,000 1,637,000
Income Tax Expense 410,000 252,000 581,000
Minority Interest - - -

Net Income From Continuing Ops 1,026,000 604,000 1,056,000

Non-recurring Events
Discontinued Operations - - 255,000
Extraordinary Items - - -
Effect Of Accounting Changes - - 274,000
Other Items - - -


Net Income 1,026,000 604,000 1,585,000
Preferred Stock And Other Adjustments - - -

Net Income Applicable To Common Shares $1,026,000 $604,000 $1,585,000

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - those numbers are in THOUSANDS.

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The railroad does not have to clean the site. They are a FOR PROFIT company. We might think that cleaning the site to some better standard is a neato idea - but you can't force them and they don't want to do it - so the balloon tract has deteriorating for decades.

Now is the time - I'd rather have 40 affordable homes that wait around for CREG to do something...

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Yes, I can read a financial statement. They could spend that $8 million, or they could sell the property with certain provisions and spend nothing. Seems like they make alot of money, maybe you should buy the stock?

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 11:47 - you are so off the mark its funny. 11:42 is not Ms. A its me and I with 2:01 on this. You guys just want to stop everything - and you mask it poorly. I like the idea of developing the area to be useful to people who want to walk, shop and eat. That doesn't make me Arkley - it makes me an average reasonable person who wants to see more than just an empty lot where druggies hang out. Nice try at being closeminded.

Try buying the property yourself if you want to control what is placed there.

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll have to walk, shop and eat in a huge Home Depot parking lot while dodging all the traffic.

Have fun!

 
At 2:48 PM, Blogger Fred said...

12:38 wrote, "keep it zoned Public and turn it over to the Housing Authority to build.".

Oh, that's just what we need: More Housing Authority apartments.

NOT!

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Will someone please define "affordable home"? Does it mean for sale at below the cost of construction and land? Who is insane enough to offer something for sale for such terms? Answer: Politicians/bureaucrats who have stolen the cash from taxpayers. Check out the success rate of other such "projects". The poor and oppressed of this world are persons in their own right. They are not here for the better-off among us to use as vehicles for our own spiritual improvement through the extortion of resources and labor belonging third parties.

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

I think "affordable home" is a bit subjective, but generally defined as a home the median household could qualify to purchase. The "affordability index" for Humboldt is around 12%. It takes into account the median home price, the median household income, the interest rate, property taxes, and insurance required by a 'household' to qualify for financing a home (based on 30% of the household income going to housing costs).

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all that money? yeah. that's why we have so many railroads left, that's why we have the balloon track, they just make so much money they - well, whooops, looks like they couldn't stay around.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build the Marina Center

Thank god someone is trying to do something positive as oppose to just letting the area lay fallow and used by druggies.

And no low income housing there it is all wrong.

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But isn't Arkley the main man behind HELP? It would seem like affordable housing is what he wants. OHhhh...somewhere else, so all the new customers for Marina Center will have a place to live! Ohhhhh..he is soooo clever!

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it is - and frankly I appreciate it.

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone attend the Marina Center event last night? I also here there is a phone poll on the MArina Center and Arkley... is that CREG spending big bucks on another push poll?

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dear 11:47 - you are so off the mark its funny. 11:42 is not Ms. A its me and I with 2:01 on this..."Nice try at being closeminded."

Ok Mrs. A.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still laughing.

hee, hee, hee, - you are so closeminded.

hee, hee hee

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

"Perhaps the small turnout at Security National’s Wednesday open house was due to the possibility that some residents have already decided how they feel about Security National’s proposed Marina Center on the “Balloon Track.”

So who says the Eureka Reporter isn't biased...

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hee, hee, hee.

 
At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were 90 to 100 people at the Marina Center meeting. I am not sure how small is small.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than CREG had at their last forum.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Having attended both, I'd say the numbers were about equal.

But... we had better cookies.

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

You could afford them.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Lighten' up! Must all things devolve into partisan bickering?

For example, CPT Buhne has reported that we are losing the hair battle. Evidently, I am not hip enough to lead a project in Humboldt County. :-)

 
At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never noticed your hair Brian. Have to take a look.

BTW - I don't get the "partisan bickering" comment. I just meant SN most likely has more cookie dough than CREG.

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger Brian Morrissey said...

Could be that I am sensitive… :-)

But after countless, subtle, not-so-subtle and downright flagrant ad hominem class envy attacks, I am a little jumpy. So often it seems that people try to divert talking about the project into talking about the players.

I cannot believe this community, if it knows the facts of Marina Center, would oppose Marina Center. This is going to be a great thing for Eureka and Humboldt County.

Sorry for the exasperation leaking through

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you know this because....

You just moved here from Nebraska and know what is good for Eureka?

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's because his time as an employee of the railroad that owns the Balloon Track taught him that what his employer - whoever - wants - is best.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

They are taking a junky piece of property and turning it into an attractive place that will provide jobs, sales tax, and property tax. I believe that is his point. It will be a good thing for HumCo.

 
At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how many true "living wage" jobs might this attractive place provide? How much affordable housing will be provided?

 
At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how many true "living wage" jobs might this attractive place provide? How much affordable housing will be provided?

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

How many are there now? (and don't count the brush and empty rail cars as affordable housing).

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But light industrial would provide better jobs than retail. And cleaned up the site could provide a lot of housing. Developers are crying for more space to build.

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you care to live in the past so be it. Remember, just because that property languished while UP owned it doesn't mean it would if it were cleaned up so it became marketable to anyone with an idea and funding. That is more likely today than it was 10 or even 5 years ago. Look at the development on the bay today and tell me you didn't think the same about the Halverson Park parcel (Hostel), the Wharfinger parcel (Hampton), the foot of F and the foot of C.

 
At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the coastal commission stop industrial zoning on the Balloon tract?

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

You forget it's an $8 million cleanup to make it suitable for housing. Light industrial for who? Yakima, or the other 'light industrial' companies beating down our doors to set up operations here? If there were such demand for that, I'm sure Arkley & Co would be responding to the demand and build the who thing that way. The Airport Business Park in McKinleyville is zoned light industrial and we haven't seen any of that go in yet.

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as if union pacific owns this property anyway, its all stolen from the indians.

by the way, wouldnt eminent domain apply especially for a public project?

it should be made a part, its going to go underwater with global warming soon enough.

 
At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

park

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the county or city won't buy it thru an eminent domain proceeding becauwe of the cost of clean up - get real.

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I have seen of planning demands in the past, and community concerns, they usually want it designe to fir into the community, not look like a big box, and have multiple uses. Looks to me like all those things got taken into consideration in the design of Marina Center. But now you want more. Maybe Rob should've designed a big square ugly thing, then when the hue and cry arose, produced this nicer plan. Bowed to the will of the community. A community that wnats more and more and more and is never satisfied, but never comes up with the money themselves, just criticizes anyone else who does.

 
At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never satisfied? Seems the Eco Hostel was supported by nearly everyone. It will provide jobs and support the incubation of future local business and not steal from other established businesses.

How about the Fishermans Work Center at the foot of see or the project at the foot of F or even the HSU boating facility? How much critisizm did you see over these projects.

The Marina Center is over 30 acres of downtown waterfront real estate. The impact of which will be felt by many. Arkley can still invest in the development but first UP needs to clean it up so Arkley won't need to use the demands put on development to do only capping with commercial retail projects.

As for how it looks, you might notice all those beautiful drawings never show the huge Home Depot parking lot or the massive big box itself.

 
At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And are you buying the balloon track to build the ecohostel or are you just writing about it.

oh yeah thats it - another person with "a lot" (not really) to say and no action. How typical.

Quited frankly Costco is on the "Waterfront" also but Neeley and Meserve still go there. Oh yeah - he goes to Target too.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

UP doesn't "need" to do anything, though. They can sit on that site for another 30 yrs.

 
At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the government could declare eminent domain tomorrow and take it too. i wonder why they dont, oh yeah, theyre cowards paid off by arkley.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Get real, they don't have the $$ to do that. They still have to pay FMV. It would probably be appealed to the Supreme Court, 10 more years of vacant land.

 
At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you think developers wouldn't be lined up at UP's door if the site was cleaned up?

UP has done much better in other communities. That's a fact.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Why aren't they lined up now? If UP cleaned it, they would add the $8m to the price tag, so what's the difference?

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually the government could simply declare the fair purchase price to be what up reports on its property taxes. if this isnt fair, then up has been defrauding the irs.

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

I don't know how to respond to that.
Goodbye.

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curses! We're deprived of Tim Hooven's wisdom! How will we survive?

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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