Thursday, April 24, 2014

Private Money for East-West Rail Study?

This week's North Coast Journal looks at efforts of a group to come up with $300,000 of private money for yet another study on the feasibility of an east- west rail line. I'm not sure what they expect to find after a previous study costing something like $20,000 concluded the idea wasn't workable.

I've wrote here before I don't think the idea will work for at least a couple reasons: 

I don't think Humboldt Bay is big enough to handle the kind of shipping needed to make rail worthwhile. The only usable area is between the channel, then north to the Samoa Bridge. Of that area, most seems to be very shallow. Take a look at it during low tide. 

Not enough room for the kind of large ship traffic needed. I could be wrong on that, and actually hope I am.

Second, this is California, the State of No. There would likely be so many environmental groups suing to stop the project it would never get off the ground.

But, more power to them. I appreciate their efforts to bring additional commerce to the area.


At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They want to bring cheap, communist goods into our country and you APPRECIATE their efforts? No wonder our country can't build anything. Its not environmentalists that stop production. The problem is the so called "job creators" who only want to create communist jobs in china due to the cheap labor.

Sad times in the USA. My grandparents fought 3 wars to slow down the spread of communism and now in 2014 people like you are cheerleaders for China.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep, the plan is to import, as well as export goods to the rest of the world. But thanks for a sample of the "State of No".

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There needs to be an area for mooring. Sometimes everything doesn't always go as planned. The bottom line is our bay is not the right shape.

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandparents fought wars to slow down communism. You cheerlead for the communist Chinese to being their junk here. The only "state of no" here is your blind following and cowering to powerful china that leaves us with "no" production here in the good USofA. We contained communism for a reason.

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the 1970's Humboldt Bay ranked 5th in the state. There is enough room for ships. The dock at Fairhaven is self scouring and one of the deepest spots in the bay. The comments about the bay not being big enough are bogus. Do your homework.
Incoming and outgoing cargo is about marketing the port. One dock can generate a minimum of $10 million per year.
When the marijuana "industry" goes up in flames, what, pray tell, will replace the $$?

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

You cheerlead for the communist Chinese to being their junk here.

They're not bringing their junk here. Americans are ordering, and they're providing their "junk". Funny how you're criticizing communists for selling things.

The dock at Fairhaven is self scouring and one of the deepest spots in the bay. The comments about the bay not being big enough are bogus.

Maybe so, but there's not that much room in the bay, and how many ships can the Fairhaven dock accommodate at a given time?

I've seen pictures from back in the day with all kinds of ships in the bay, but those were smaller, shallower draft ships.

Years ago when I was in the National Guard we went aboard a navy boat (LST?) that docked in the bay for a few days. Those aren't that big of a ship. We were privileged to visit the bridge. The guy that steered the boat in was on the bridge at the time. He was telling us how "tight" the bay seemed to him. Kept him on his toes, as he told it.

We can handle larger ships, evident by the cruise ships that occasionally dock here. But how many of them could the bay accommodate safely at a given time?

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

Working as a casual for the longshoremen's union, I worked every dock in the bay in the 1980's. Ships docked in the South Bay at Fields Landing, at Fairhaven and two spots at the old LP site near the Samoa Bridge. There is also a dock at 14th Street on the Eureka side. So that would be 5 ships. The cruise ships have docked on the Eureka side at B Street, the Schneider dock and near the old Coast Guard spot on the inner channel.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The California Coastal Commission would never let it fly. Just look at CCC's history in regards to permitting Caltrans projects located within the coastal zone.

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Julie Timmons said...

"Criticizing Communists for selling things". You got it right, Fred. Personally I think East-West will never pencil out. Now, if we wanted to spend the money to restore the North-South line we would gain both freight service and a huge tourist attraction. Be more worthwhile. Actually I believe the study show N-S as costing LESS than E-W . Not starting from scratch.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Here's historical reality, folks, and you can bet the bank on it's catching up to us here despite the chorus of anti-economic development for Humboldt County unless its pot or yuppie class needs business related. Ports are developed for shipping because they exist as centers for all surrounding economic activity that requires a central shipping facility. Humboldt Bay will inevitably be developed as it sits in a strategic area of prime timber production that will always be here, even when overcutting has us in a lull period now. Other businesses need shipping facilities.

I suggest everyone with a computer take a look at Bing's, not Google's, terrain map of Humboldt Bay which clearly shows the existing channels and shallow bay and marshes. What folks here must remember is that 90% of all the vegetation in Humboldt Bay is foreign invasive species. 90%. This figure can be applied to the existing sediment filling Humboldt Bay that has been coming into the Bay since logging began 150 years ago. We need to dredge excess mud and silt out of Humboldt Bay and and create a working port in the process. Removal of Bay excess mud and silt in the Bay will have a hydraulic effect on river and creeks flowing into Humboldt Bay and act to get excess stream mud and silt flowing out as there will be room again in Humboldt Bay for that sediment to flow to. Yes, purpetual dredging is the fate of almost all ports but that's the price of human activity. We can create a port ecology system where multiple species thrive and fishing comes back into the Bay itself. Planning and managing for another foreign invasive species, oysters, a Bay business benefiting a relative handful of people and requiring much acreage is not the way to go nor is preservation of existing evasive species and mud flats created by logging. We are the dominant species here and must take responsibility for human/Nature interaction and that doesn't mean protecting an ecology system that isn't at all "natural" to begin with.

Come back in 100 years and you will find a thriving Humboldt Bay Port. With railway services in and out, that too an inevitable development of social expansion of human beings.

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Criticism of communist China isn't based on them "selling things". The dislike is due to poor working conditions, low wages, low environmental standards, low tarriff rates, ect. Americans shouldn't be trading with such people, but that's probably just how I was raised. I was raised to value hard work and to pay a man a decent wage for his hard work.
The only people who get ragged on for "selling things" are drug dealers, prostitutes and porn makers.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

This figure can be applied to the existing sediment filling Humboldt Bay that has been coming into the Bay since logging began 150 years ago.

Something many might not know about the bay. I didn't know this until a few years ago:

The area between Wabash to Pine Hill where Broadway runs now with the bluffs on the east side, that wasn't always level ground. The higher ground used to slope down to the bay.

Back years ago- I forget how long ago- the powers that be decided to level the whole area to make it easier for people to travel from Eureka to Bucksport, and points south. So they excavated the slope areas giving us the level ground we have today and those cliff like bluffs.

Where did they dump all that dirt that they excavated? Into the bay, or so I'm told.

Seems hard for me to believe they'd do something like that, even back then. I heard this from the owner of the property along that bluff. He was told that by some engineers that did a geologic evaluation before he bought the property.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

The dislike is due to poor working conditions, low wages, low environmental standards, low tarriff rates, ect.

And you think you'd be improving their conditions by not buying their products?

On a related note, I was surprised to hear on National Public Radio yesterday afternoon, that they actually have a minimum wage in China. It's determined by regional government, or some such.

I wrote here years ago about being surprised to find out, despite being a communist country, China doesn't have any national health care. Any government health care if I remember correctly. The article I was referring to pointed out many Chinese just let nature take its course since paying for medical care would cost their family too much.

Don't know if that still holds true today.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

What crap about Chinese. As if Chinese didn't work hard. I do my social change and economic development plans around a central economic paradigm: creating sustainable eco-communities lowers the human environmental footprint of resource gobbling activity. China tried creating self-sufficient communities for decades by using political slavery and it didn't work because no nation can economically develop now without interaction with other nations' economies and they are mostly capitalist ones. Capitalism can fund social change much faster than socialism in a corporate capitalist global economy and that's what Chinese Communists found out and are dealing with--on their terms.

I want China to succeed as it is filled with poor people still. As the Japan and Europe model shows when nations achieve economic equalibrium and relative comfort, populations go down and that's a big reason why we want to help China succeed. India too. As long as these countries remain poor they will not be able to afford environmental protection efforts.

My whole economic plan is to get us self-sufficient too as community self-sufficiency conversion is the ONLY WAY to compete with Asians. There's just too many of them and they are Workers! The Chinese save their money and they work hard. We don't have a chance in heck of out-competing them. Community self-sufficiency must replace the corporate capitalist economy otherwise its China and India who will rule the world in the decades ahead.

I'm working now on our plan to have Chinese fund American eco-community self-sufficiency systems as part of our Heartlands Lifeline Inter-Tribal Lottery system that's based on disaster relief humanitarian aid as our lottery's Good Cause. And a Good Cause it is. You'll be hearing more about our Project soon as we have Oglala Lakota, Table Bluff Wiyot, Bear River, Seminole Tribe interested in our Project with Oglala moving ahead, Bear River still wishy-washy with the old Bowman ghost haunting their tribal council decisions.


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