Monday, February 27, 2006

No Pic Today

At least until I can figure out what server I can stick it on so my ugly mug will just have to remain a memory. Kinda weird that freeservers tells me I can't link to my picture on their server.

Not in the mood for politics today. Heading down to the Bay Area within the hour for more very unpleasant business. Should be back tomorrow afternoon. I may or may not post before then because I'm actually taking my old E- Machines computer down with me just to see how well it works in another town using dial up.

Don't know if it's worth the hassle. The tower and keyboard fits behind the seat of my truck quite well but the monitor is too big, at least with two people in the cab, so I had to put it in a semi- waterproof plastic container, wrap it with a garbage bag and tie it down it the bed of my truck. Don't know if it will survive the journey with all the rain, but what the heck. If it gets water in it I'll have an excuse to get rid of that old style fifteen inch monitor. That thing drives me nuts. Once you've used a flat screen, there's no going back

Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's Not My Fault

Or so says Eureka Police Officer, Mike Quigley, in his commentary in today's Eureka Reporter. He points the finger at the social service organizations, government run or private, saying those services act as a magnet for all the riff- raff in Eureka's Old Town. He might well be right but he's still oversimplyfing it. Hey, all that riff- raff has to hang out somewhere and, as far as I'm concerned, better down in OId Town than up here on E Street where I live.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Board of Supervisor Endorsements

I just noticed Bonnie Neely added a list of people endorsing her to her campaign page. No real surprises, yet, except perhaps Roger Rodoni. That's not totally unexpected, though. It's not unusual for people who already work together to give a courtesy endorsement and it might be somewhat awkward to endorse your workmate's opponent and still have a smooth working relationship if your workmate won.

It does seem like a left of center crowd of endorsers overall, as I expected, although I'll admit to not recognizing some of the names and am surprised not to see some others on the list. The page is relatively new so more names will likely show up.

I noticed some names on Neely's list duplicated, Rodoni and Wooley being listed as both individual supervisors and also alongside their wive's names. An unintentional oversight, I'm sure

Nancy Flemming also has a list of endorsements on her campaign page now. No surprises there, at least from the names I recognize. As has been brought up by myself and others here, looks like this race is pretty much lining up as a contest between the pro- business and pro- government project crowd with developers Kurt Kramer and the Arkleys some of the big names on Flemming's list.

What about Jill Geist? Is she going to bother with a campaign page? So far we've heard one Pat Higgins intends to run against her. I've also just heard of the possibility of someone else entering that race but I'm not even sure who this mystery third person might be. Just something a little bird told me. Stay tuned.

Windpower For Humboldt

I was taken aback by the photo accompanying this article in the Eureka Reporter about the proposals to expand the power plant out in Fairhaven with wind turbines. I do look across the bay on occasion and never noticed wind turbines out there. Then, after reading more closely I noticed they said it was a photo illustration so I guess they must have added the windmills to the photo to show what the're plan would look like, if realized.

That's a neat idea. I'm all for it. I wonder if any of the local enviros will oppose the project as those windmills have a reputation for killing any birds that fly into them?

While they're at it out there, maybe someone will take down that ugly shell of the old mill right across the bay from the Del Norte Street Pier? What an eyesore that is.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Reasons For A National I.D. Card

Actually, I found this guy's reasons for supporting a national I.D. card more like reasons to oppose one, although I don't have time right now to take issue with each of his points. He seems to be a genuine authoritarian, at least from what I can see from that op- ed.

He represents some outfit I'd never heard of before called the New America Foundation. With a name like that the first impression I got was they might be some offshoot of the Project for a New American Century, the folks who managed to finally get in a position to direct U.S foreign policy.

There doesn't seem to be any connection, though, from what I can see. Don't recognize any of the names or faces and nothing I've read on their site seems to echo the New American Century folk's stuff. But, I didn't spend much time searching.

The one other op- ed I checked on their site was one I actually linked to here a little while ago about California voters increasingly opting for the independent label. I didn't catch a connection the the New America Foundation when I read that op- ed.

I'm thinking this might just be another supposed reform group along the lines of Ross Perot's Reform Party, with no base in principle. I'll need to keep an eye out for more of their stuff since, if the argument for the National I.D. is any example of what's to come, these folks might turn out to be pretty scary.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Capitalists Exploiting The Poor...

yet again, or so we'll be hearing from some quarters soon. I wouldn't mind buying one of these machines if the price can be brought down as is planned.

Initiative #1203?

I've read that we may be facing something like 70 ballot initiatives in this year's elections, assuming they all qualify for the ballot. This one, reference number 1203, is beyond me. Can someone tell me why we need an initiative that establishes "the creation of a free Internet listing service providing the public with nonconfidential information on real estate for rent or for sale"? Seems to me we already have plenty of such listing services. What's wrong with and some of the others? Someone must have way too much time on their hands.


Another one of my pet peeves: Graffiti. Good to see an effort being made to clean it up. I just wish they could catch the jerks that paint the stuff in the first place and make them clean it up.

Neely Site Up

Supervisor Bonnie Neely has her campaign site up, although it's still under construction. No list of endorsements yet. There is, however, the predictable endorsements of her on the home page by Congressman Mike Thompson and State Assemblybabe, Patty Berg. No surprise there.

My question is, will she dare compile a list of endorsements which will most certainly consist of, if not the hard Left, then at least the left leaning folks in the county? Or, will she avoid the endorsements unless she can come up with a that looks fairly balanced? Hard to say but I suspect the contest between Neely and Flemming will probably be pretty much Left vs. Right. We shall see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Jager Runs Again

Frank Jager decides to run yet again for County Coroner. How can anyone not like Frank? This will be one where I'll vote for him even though he'll likely run unopposed. Goooo Frank!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Speaking of Libertarians...

Lawrence Samuels, the Northern Vice- Chair of the Libertarian Party of California, had a piece published up on Anti- today.

Some disclosure here about libertarians and war: While most libs oppose the invasion of Iraq, we do have our fair share of War Party members. In fact, our current State Chair and some of his followers are pretty well within the War Party camp. Best I can tell they're a minority, though.

Charles Douglas: Autopilot?

Charles doesn't think so. I guess the Times- Standard followed up on my post about the factionalism within the local Greens. Hard to make heads or tails about what's going on after reading the story, though. Not their fault as it looks like the Greens aren't too sure what's going on within their party, either.

So now we've had a rift within the Republicans, although that seems to have been settled. The Greens seem to be in a bit of turmoil right now. When will the Democrats have at it? Makes me kind of glad the Libertarians don't have an active organization up here or we might have ended up with our dirty underwear splattered all over the news. Then again, it's been said that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all. I wonder if that's true?

Pat Wiggins

I guess it is news that Pat Wiggins will be running for Wes Chesbro's seat in the state senate, but is it newsworthy that Chesbro, Berg and Thompson have all endorsed her candidacy? Seems to me that would be a given so not worth mentioning but I guess you have to have something to fill in the story with.

I wonder what happened to Verne Skjonsby? He's supposed to be the Libertarian Party candidate in that race. I e- mailed him some time ago offering some help in getting signatures to get on the ballot but got no reply. Just as well, I suppose, as gathering signatures can be a hassle. Maybe he's just going to go ahead and pay the filing fees? We shall see.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Libertarians In Congress?

Michael Evenson seems to think so. Actually, having read his opinion piece in the Eureka Reporter (not available online yet) today, I can understand why he says that. He defines libertarian as someone who believes the Constitution and Bill of Rights should be taken seriously.

I can go along with that, but to attribute the name to someone just because he might have a libertarian view on one or two issues kinda rubs me the wrong way. It is nice to see the L word used more often as a positive attribute, though.

Mr. Evenson had a similar commentary in yesterday's Eureka Reporter, as well. Once again he describes some congressmen as libertarians because they were concerned with some actions against gun owners and dealers by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbaco and Firearms. Ok. I'll go along with that as well.

BTW; Is it just me or is there something a little odd about those two commentaries? It seems, when I'm reading them, like there's something missing. It's like stepping into the middle of an ongoing conversation. I think it's because there's no introductory paragraph or prelude to set up what he's writing about.

Speaking of libertarians in congress, there is undoubtably one libertarian member in congress right now: Congressman Ron Paul, Republican from Texas. He was the Libertarian Party's Presidential Candidate in 1988(?). Often the only No vote in Congress, he's referred to as Doctor No by some of his colleagues.

If anyone wonders what a libertarian would do if he actually managed to get elected to congress, you could get a pretty good idea just by following what Ron Paul does. That's not to say that all libertarians are in lock step agreement on all issues, but Dr. Paul pretty much has libertarianism down pat.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Your Papers Please

Dan Weintraub takes a look at the Real I.D. Act, passed by congress a year ago, and what we might well end up having to deal with.

Gridlock in government is a good thing, for the most part.- Fred Mangels

More On "Independents"

Yet another news item, this one from the L.A. Times, on the dramatic increase in "independent" voters. Maybe that's why Charles Douglas went Decline To State; It's trendy?

The authors seem to suggest that, assuming the trend toward non- affilitation with the two major parties continues, that things will start happening for the good in California as partisan gridlock is brought to an end. I've said before that I consider gridlock in government a good thing, for the most part. The less that gets done in Sacramento the better off most of us will be.

But looking at the criteria they ascribe to the new independent voters, much of the common beliefs seem to mirror the state population as a whole. Surprisingly, the Bay Area and Los Angeles are areas where these so called independents have large numbers.

Election results are pretty much decided by those two areas already, and past elections have generally run the state further into the ground as the same people (or at least people along the same philosophical lines) are elected again and again. Just because people consider themselves independent doesn't mean their political philosophy is going to change.

I'd say the rise of independents will lead to little, if any, change in government. If it has any effect at all it would likely be negative, assuming partisan gridlock ends, as the authors suggest.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Charles Douglas Moment

Speaking of Charles Douglas, whatever became of him, other than re- registering as Decline To State? I hadn't been to his Humboldt Sentinel newpaper web site in some time so I figured that might shed some light on what he's been up to.

Judging from this piece, that covers a few issues, looks like he certainly has some differences with the Greens, the Cobb faction being one of them. Then, along the same lines, he roasts and toasts some local politicians in this piece. Not pulling many punches there, is he?

He really hammers on some of those folks. Makes me look tame by comparison. Then again, I always try to stay on people's good side. Well... with most people anyway.

Green Factionalism Heats Up?

I can't help but wonder if this story about the Arcata Greens retracting the resolution (or whatever it was called) against that corporate contribution initiative is indicative of a factional battle within their group heating up. Or, maybe this is more of what's been going on all along and it's just now coming out in the open?

I get the impression the Greg Allen/ Charles Douglas faction is the middle- of- the- road, closer to the mainstream of society bunch and the others, the Meserve/ Cobb faction, is clearly the hard Left faction of the group. How far apart those factions are, I don't know.

I would think it's a safe bet that the Meserve/ Cobb faction has the big lead in numbers within the local Greens, but you never know; The Eureka Greens were leaning against supporting that initiative as well. How many people show up to the Eureka Greens meetings?

More Finance Problems For CA

Looks like not only are government employee pensions a big problem, but medical benefits for retiring state employees appear to be a looming crisis as well. This Sacramento Bee story tells how medical costs for retiring state employess will go from the current 1 billion dollars a year to 5 billion in the not- too- distant future. Thank you, Governator, for agreeing to fund something like 5000 additional government employees, under current budget proposals, to add to the mess.

The Stephen Lewis Blog

As Rose pointed out in her comment back on my post on local gadfly and self- described communitarian, Stephen Lewis, Stephen Lewis has started his own blog. We'll have to add that one to my local blog list when I get a chance. Plenty of room there as some will soon be removed for lack of activity.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Damned Kids!

I don't usually have a problems with teenagers hanging around and raising a ruckus, at least not around my house. Some folks do though, and from the British Isles comes a possible solution. This is SO COOL. Would love to try one out, assuming they're for real and this isn't some hoax.

Breathalyzer Blog

Interesting piece on how breathalyzers, those things you blow into to see if you're legally drunk, work and some unintended(?) consequences of their use. Wonder how often this happens? This sort of stuff was never mentioned when I when through the breathalyzer training at Redwoods Police Academy.

SN Wins Numbers Game

Well...not exactly, but it looks like they got a larger turnout for their presentation on the Marina Center that took place last night. Around 400 surveys were turned in at Security National's presentation as opposed to the around 125 people that were reported to have shown up at the Democracy Unlimited event. Of course, not all that showed up were in support. No way to tell how many pro and con unless we had access to that survey they took.
Looks like the anti- Marina Center folks are out the gate and running. They've put up an online petition for their cause that has two(!!!) signatures in support already. Look out, Security National! These guys are playing hardball and their opposition may be overwhelming if they keep this kind of momentum up.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chesbro's Abandoned Auto Bill

Here's one bill by State Senator, Wes Chesbro, I have a difficult time arguing with: His bill would allow counties to raise local vehicle fees by one dollar to help pay for abandoned vehicle abatement programs. It's left up to the individual counties to decide whether to raise the fee but I think we all know how our board of supervisors would vote. Don't we?

The one problem I have with this idea is that our supervisors would likely raise the fee whether it was needed or not. And who's to say if they might siphon off the money raised for more nefarious purposes?

But abandoned vehicles are one of my pet peeves. I'd really like to see something done to make the last owner of an abandoned vehicle be held more responsible rather than taking a dollar from everyone. What the heck do you do, though?

You sell a car to someone and go fill out the Certificate of Non- Responsibility (CNR), or whatever that thing's called, at the DMV. What if the guy you sold it to never registers it in his name? Then the car gets found abandoned years later and they end up coming after you and you thought you got rid of the car. It happens. I know someone it happened to.

Or, along the same line: What if someone wanted to dump a car, and goes to the DMV and fills out a CNR falsely saying he sold the car to someone and then dumps the car? How could you prove he never sold the car and just dumped it. No easy answer to solving the problem from that angle.

Libertarian though I may be, I can't help but wonder if it might help to nip the problem in the bud by getting rid of the cars before they're abandoned? You know how the cycle starts, you see it all around town:

Someone has a car that might or might not have a problem. For whatever reason it ends up sitting out on the street or in some part of their yard or driveway. It ends up sitting there for weeks, months, then years. Eventually it becomes junk, but the owner never feels like dealing with the hassle of taking the car to the auto wreckers. Eventually, the car ends up abandoned somewhere, perhaps in the same location it was left in and the owners have long since moved.

I was wondering (hold your sounds of astonishment) if they ought to come up with some ordinance on how long a car could be stored somewhere without being moved, although I'm sure they probably already have something along that line in effect now?

So, if a car has been sitting in the front yard of a house for six months, the tires have gone flat and it's obviously not going to be moved, the owner of the car (or the property) has to take it to the junkyard or the city or county will take care of it and charge the owner for it. That still leaves the problem of establishing the true owner of the car, though, which I guess is why we have this mess to begin with.

I hesitate to propose ideas like that since they'll likely only result in more bureaucratic hassle for all of us and we don't want anymore hassles with government, do we? Nonetheless, I wonder if we're doing all we can do with the problem now or if there's something more that needs to be done? Any ideas out there?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Arkleys Leaving?

I guess not, but I wouldn't blame them if they did. It apparently piqued the interest of Local Solutions as they sent a copy of the news article that sparked the rumor over their e-mail list.

The news article refers to Rob Arkley giving a speech at some college in Louisiana about the economic opportunities available in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The hidden message being that making money in rebuilding after a hurricane is a bad thing. This from same folks that insist any work being done in rebuilding be carried out by union labor which raises the costs of rebuilding considerably. Hmm???

As an aside; I had the pleasure of traveling to and from the Bay Area Sunday and Monday with a fairly well known local attorney who's known the Arkleys for some time and, in fact, hired Rob Arkley long ago before Arkley's rise to fame and fortune. He told me the story of how Arkley made it to the big time. Quite inspiring.

As I told Bill after hearing the story, it seems like there's two types of people in this world: Those who rely on others to increase their standard of living by asking for a job or a raise in pay and those entrepreneurs with vision, tenacity, determination and the guts to make themselves financially independent- the kind of people that make things happen. I certainly don't fall in the latter category.

Stephen Lewis

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I can't believe this Stephen Lewis guy is registered to vote as a Democrat. Then again, is he? I've just assumed he is because he goes to Democratic Central Committee meetings.

Gallegos Site

Paul Gallegos has his campaign web site up. No list of endorsements, unless I missed it.

Wonder if or when Worth Dikeman will put a campaign site up?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stirring The Pot

Some fiery commentary in response to David Cobb's My Word column has been made, now that his piece is up on the TS Blog. Looks like one of our very own Anons took my advice and posted his feelings. Good commentary, Anon!

Balloon Tract Sides Make Their Case

"This is not a forum to debate...".

So says Democracy Unlimited's, David Cobb, in regards to the community forum being held tonight at Eureka's Wharfinger Building. I appreciate his candor. This is just one of those "informational" meetings, as some like to call them, that likely involves preaching to the choir. They're honest enough to admit this is pretty much an organizing meeting for those against the Arkley plan with a few speakers thrown in to convince the few that show up that might still be on the fence.

Not to be outdone, the Security National folks will be having their own meeting along the same lines on Thursday. They'll be aswering questions and presenting their case for the Marina Center. I suspect there will be a lot more fence sitters showing up for this one, at least as a percentage of those attending. I suspect the anti- Arkley folks will be more likely to attend the Democracy Unlimited meeting in the first place with the fence sitters more likely to attend the Security National presentation. I wonder which one gets the largest turnout?

Which group makes the best case would be a much more difficult to judge objectively. One thing seems clear to me, though: The Marina Center proponents have a plan and it's paid for with private money. Those opposing seem to be just opposing, for the most part, because a big box store is involved and, secondly, because they prefer some sort of government project on the Balloon Tract over a private one.

I'm pretty much in the Marina Center camp but, like I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with a good old empty lot.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

No Blogging Monday

This is my last post for a day, or two. I have to go down to the Bay Area today to take care of some very unpleasant business. Hopefully I'll be back on Monday night. Our niece and her boyfriend will be house sitting for us and tending to our kittens. I suppose I could have her do some guest blogging for me but she's Green Party and I don't want to taint the high reputation of this blog with something from her. You never know what she might come up with.

Cobb's My Word

David Cobb had his argument against private development of the Balloon Tract in the Times- Standard today. The Times- Standard noted Cobb's column would be added to their blog so people could comment on it. Nice idea to get traffic to their blog but it doesn't look like too many people are taking advantage of it as comments there have been sparse.

Funny thing is, I don't see his My Word piece on the blog, yet.

No Third Parties?

One of the frustrating things about being a third party guy is reading election coverage. Most papers seem to center on just the Republican and Democrat candidates and ignore everyone else, at least most of the time. The Times- Standard did that today with their story on candidates in the upcoming primary election. No mention of any third party challenges in the State Assembly and State Senate races.

I can understand it, to some extent, especially since they're dealing with a primary election and that can be quite confusing even to me. There can be so many candidates and parties to keep track of it could be a real can of worms to try to put together for a story.

We'll see how they do post- primary election. I know last time around the Times- Standard made no mention of the LP Candidate for 1st Assembly District, Ken Anton, until much later in the campaign season. It was downright irritating reading the story of Berg vs. Brown(?) with no mention of the other candidate in the race, even after the primary. But, once Ken did get some mention, it was a good write up, if memory serves me correct.

As an aside, I'll give the Times- Standard kudos for being the one paper I could link to today since it had all the news updated on their web page early on. The Eureka Reporter was kind of weird as it looks like their news is fresh but the Opinion page doesn't seem to have been updated. Santa Rosa Press- Democrat still has Saturdays news and opinion up as well, unless they've updated since I visited last.
BTW; Don't forget to vote in the latest Times- Standard opinion poll when you go to the link to the article above. Poll should be on the right. It asks whether you support that proposed initiative that would ban political contributions to local campaigns from corporations from outside the county. Local Solutions sent notice to their people about the poll so I tell everyone else here.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bob Barr Vs. The Conservatives

I wonder if C- Span covered this debate that took place at the Conservative Political Action Conference? If so, I would have liked to have watched it. Bob Barr, the former Congressman from Georgia, took the heat from fellow conservatives for questioning the Patriot Act. It's disappointing that Barr didn't have a little more sympathy from the audience, especially since many of them likely support the PATRIOT Act more out of partisan loyalty rather than having anything to do with principle. If a Democrat was in the White House, I can't help but wonder if half of those convservatives would be standing at Barr's side questioning PATRIOT.

"When you give government the power to give you everything you want, you also give it the power to take it all away."- Barry Goldwater

State of the Blogs

Some blog trivia, that some may find of interest, in this State of the Blog report.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I've been following developments at Samoa with interest ever since they began talking of selling the town. I thought back then how fun it would be to buy Samoa and turn it into a Libertopia- a totally libertarian community with the smallest local government possible. Hey, if I had the money and bought the place it would be mine to do with as I please. It would be interesting to see what would come of such an effort. I'm sure it would come with its own share of headaches and disappointments.

That said, Hank Sims' story on the New, New Samoa got me to thinking about it again. I've been wondering if it's such a good idea to put a lot of money into developing that town, or anything else on the peninsula for that matter? A good sized tsunami would tear that place apart, I would think. If you lived out there I wonder if you'd have enough time to get out of there if we had a big shake. Call me paranoid but just cause I'm paranoid doesn't mean there isn't a potential disaster lurking in the future for Samoa.

Of course, that begs the question of why anyone would want to invest time and money developing anywhere near the bay? If paranoids like me had their way, would anything ever get accomplished around here?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

No More E Waste

For those of you that missed it, today's the day. After today a state law takes effect that bans the direct dumping of many kinds of e- waste into landfills. So, no more dumping those AA batteries directly into the trash can.

It doesn't really bother me much, if at all. I suppose we should be trying to keep toxic metals from leaching into the environment. I just wonder how big a threat that really is with e- waste. Might this be another case of environmentalist hype as we see with global warming and other supposed crises? I don't know, but I've always hated to see so many things thrown away when they might have material recovered from them. As long as it doesn't cost too much.

Consider This, Nancy!

Fourth District Supervisorial Candidate, Nancy Flemming, proposes FREE county wide broadband. Whatever. She should at least consider what this fellow has to say about municipalities trying to get involved in the broadband business. Actually, it's kind of hard for me to tell if she means the county should be the one owning the broadband business, as the City of San Francisco wants to do, or what. But just in case.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Brits Loosen Drinking Rules

From the land of the eternal police state, Jolly Old England, comes this surprising news on the relaxation of at least one law: Pubs aren't required to close at certain times anymore. Everyone seems to be surprised that the level of violence associated with drinking has gone down, not up.

Tract Controversy

Interesting seeing an e-mail from Local Solutions this morning saying that two thirds of the people that spoke before the Eureka City Council last night were opposed the the rezoning of the Balloon Tract. The Times- Standard says it was evenly split between pro and con. Wonder who's right?

In a sense I figure it doesn't really matter since Local Solutions was calling far and wide for people to show up in opposition. I wasn't aware of any such move by the other side so the pros had a pretty good turnout, regardless of what the score was, for not having an official call to action.

Yet Another Newspaper Blog

Everybody just has to get into this, don't they? I just noticed the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat started a blog page for some of its editorial staff. Didn't see anything real interesting in any of their blogs, at least so far.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tooth Decay; Part 3

More proof emerges that anybody who's anybody visits this blog every day with both the Eureka Reporter and Times- Standard following up on my post yesterday regarding children's dental health. Looks like Humboldt has some of the worst problems in the state in this regard.

No mention of water flouridation in either of the stories. I wonder if we'll be seeing some letters to the editor in defense of flouridation, since flouridation wasn't mentioned in either story?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Speaking Of Teeth:

A commentary here about California dentists taking care of their own without regard to some people's dental health. I've always thought it odd that so many dentists support municipal water flouridation since it would seem that, if effective, flouridation would cost them potential patients. This further muddies the waters as they seem to be securing their monopoly.

The Flemming Page

Former Eureka Mayor, Nancy Flemming, has her campaign web page for fourth district supervisor up and running. One thing seems clear, at least from the list of endorsements she's gathered already: Looks like, despite Flemming and Neely both being Republicans, this will be a race centered on redevelopment policy and likely defined as Right vs. Left.

Flemming has Kurt Kramer, Rob Arkley and Chris Crawford among her endorsements. I suspect Neely will get the endorsements of the Kerrigan/ Levalee crowd. I'd almost be willing to bet money the progressive PAC, Local Solutions, will step into the fray on Neely's side, as well, if only because it looks like the developers are backing Flemming. This could get ugly.

Of course, there's also the obligatory freebie Flemming throws out: the offer of possibly free wireless internet around the county. Whatever. I guess most candidates have to throw some carrot out.

It will be interesting to see how the issues develop. This might end up being one of those races I don't vote in, but probably not. I won't commit myself to anything at this point in the game.

Now, I wonder if Bonnie Neely is going to put up a campaign web page?

And if you haven't already done so, head over to the Buhne Tribune and vote on which of the two candidates, Flemming or Neely, needs the makeover.

Got Flouride?

Interesting article on what I'm sure will soon be called a crisis in dental health for kids here. Interesting that there's no mention of flouride in the story, unless I missed it. I was under the impression that flouride is added to most municipal water supplies nowadays. If so, flouride must not be the panacea for kids dental health that health officials claim. Maybe my impression is wrong? Either that or dental carries are more a result of children's diet and eating habits than from what has or hasn't been added to their water?

We're Purple

California isn't a blue state, at least not according to Dan Walters in this commentary. He goes on to talk about the voter registration demographics around California: Democrats losing but still in the lead, Republicans hanging in there and "Independents" coming out the winners, at least as far as voter registration increases go.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bipartisan Effort To Curb Kelo Abuse

One thing that usually makes my hair stand on end is hearing of politicians "working together in a bipartisan manner..." on some issue. You can be pretty sure you'll be getting a double whammy when they get through with whatever they're working on when you hear that. In this case, it seems like a good thing:

Looks like the Democrats have officially jumped into the Eminent Domain abuse fray that came to a head when the Supreme Court ruled for the City of New London in the infamous Kelo Decision. Indeed, folks from all sides of the aisle were outraged that local governments were given the green light to seize land from a private person only to turn it over to another private person for their own private gain.

In California the Republicans took the lead on the issue with State Senator Tom McClintock introducing legislation curbing the abuse shortly after the Kelo Decision was made. According to the Sacramento Bee's Dan Weintraub, the Democrats have decided to help. This is a good thing.

The only unfortunate thing about this issue is there's at least four different ballot initiatives geared toward curbing eminent domain abuse getting ready for circulation so they can be placed on the ballot later this year. It's going to be a real headache to make heads or tails out of which one to support. All the confusion might end up with the good one(s) losing. And that's just four intitiatives out of something like 70 initiatives I understand might end up on the ballot altogether this year. What a pain.

Humboldt Business Council Site Up and Running

I'd mentioned before that the fledgling group, Humboldt Business Council, had a web site up but it hadn't been updated in some time. I finally gave up checking on it. Chris Crawford just informed me that they finally have their site up and running. If you want to see where they stand on some of the issues, click here.

I have to wonder if HBC will end up being a counter force to the progressive PAC, Local Solutions in some way, shape or form? No mention of candidates or candidate endorsements on their web site, yet, but that doesn't mean it won't evolve into something that deals with them in the long run.

The City Barber

I was starting to wonder if the new Times- Standard blog was going to end up being one of those dead ones that everyone forgets about as no one had posted anything new there for a few days. Chris Crawford came to the rescue with a piece yesterday about a barber shop in town I was unaware of.

Except for the fact it's in Old Town, the City Barbershop seems like a pretty fun place. The owner mixes technology with an attempt at reviving the old style barber shops of yesteryear. He put up this web site that tells all about what he does and even has it set up so you can make appointments online. Pretty cool. I could even see when an old customer of mine was getting his next haircut.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Government Pizza Ad

Cute commercial here on ordering a pizza in the age of Homeland Security. Broadband recommended.

Corruption at the O.K. Corral

Some things never change. Looks like the town of Tombstone, Arizona, stomping grounds of the the Earps and Clantons, is still engaged in factional squabbles. This news item details charges of misconduct in the Town Marshall's Office. The comments at the bottom of the story, from both factions, make me wonder if Tombstone should join up with Fortuna in one of those sister city programs.

Government Vs. Private Business

I finally got to see someone come flat out and say that the best thing we could do for the local economy is to expand Humboldt State University. Pat Cleary seems to think that's the way to go in this discussion that ended up being the cover story for this week's North Coast Journal. At least that's the way I read it. I'll have to admit the discussion was a bit too convoluted for me to follow closely.

That's ok, Pat. Others around the country feel the same way. Here on the North Coast you hear it a lot from those on the Left who feel that any new development should be some government project as opposed to a privately funded and owned one. Witness the controversy over the future of the Balloon Tract.

A lot of people have done quite well on the receiving end of government largesse and, yes, some communities thrive on it. Witness the howls of protest whenever there's a threat of military base closures in California. The Education- Industrial Complex isn't any different than the Military- Industrial Complex.

Naturally I'm not too keen on the suggestion that government should be Humboldt's biggest growth industry. But some feel that more money going towards government actually increases wealth and economic opportunity in the private sector. Bill Kowinski alludes to that in his North Coast Place blog. I'm sure to some extent that is true. That can only go so far, though. Eventually someone in the private sector has to be around to pay for all the so- called infrastructure and you can't just keep beating on the private sector and hope it will just bounce back each time, especially as it gets smaller and smaller.

That entrepreneurship increases with increased government involvement and funding is a tough one for me to swallow. The graph Bill suggests showing level of government support vs. entrepreneurship would be interesting but it might not show the whole picture. What would be missing is government taxation and regulation that has greatly increased over those same years and makes it more and more difficult or even worthwhile for businesses to even get started.

I'd suggest the lower levels of entrepreneurship nowadays has more to do with, one: dependence on government- more and more people take it for granted that government should be the one providing jobs or finding them one; and two: it's become much more difficult to start and run a business now than it did twenty or thirty years ago. Heck, why bother going through all the hurdles of trying to start a business when you could get an easier and much more lucrative job working at HSU or Caltrans? That would be crazy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Links Section

You'll notice I stumbled through creating a new links section for local blogs. Kinda scary doing that as I'm not too hip to html, which you need to mess with to change the template. I made it without screwing the template up. I'm so proud of myself.

I've always said I wanted to have a special section for local blogs, so now I have one and have a few of the other local blogs, in no particular order. I was going to have them in alphabetical order so there'd be no hint of favoritism, but after I realized I had Buhne Tribune before Bob's Humblog, and it should have been the other way around, I gave that idea up.

There were a few other blogs I was going to add but they hadn't been updated recently and I only wanted to list blogs that are used fairly regularly. A couple I have listed are borderline, but we'll leave them there for now. Snolly has suggested she'll be taking her toys and going home so if she decides to give it up, hers might be the first to go.

Keep on blogging, all, and maybe you too will have the honor of being listed on my page.

Balloon Tract Poll

Humguide's latest opinion poll asks whether you'd like to see a Home Depot built on the Balloon Tract. A little simplistic way to ask that, imo, since the Home Depot and Best Buy are supposed to be a relatively small part of the proposed development.

You'll need to register and/ or login to participate. Poll is on the right as you scroll down.


Here's a guy who doesn't get along with his neighbors, or maybe they don't get along with him? Maybe it's a little of both? The guy says he counted 960 barks in six minutes from the umpteen dogs in his neighborhood. I like dogs, but can sympathize. Problem is, he's saying he counted 166 barks in a minute. I don't know that it's physically possible to do that.

Neighbors can be good or bad. I wonder how well the neighbors of this guy get along with each other? If they all get along, maybe the problem lies with him. Hard to say as everyone would see the issue from a different perspective. Looks like he's leaving now so hopefully the other neighbors can live in peace now, assuming he was the problem.

I haven't had too many neighbor problems in the over thirty years I've lived up here. I think that's mostly cause we've mostly left each other alone. Of course, no way of knowing if the neighbors I thought were friendly enough actually thought I was a jerk and just never said anything.

Oh, I guess there was that one family back in the late '80s that cleared a lot, built a prefab house and moved in behind us when we lived out in Cutten. No bad words exchanged but, the looks from them were bad enough. I got the feeling they didn't like us "invading their space", or whatever, despite the fact that we were there first and it was their choice to buy the lot and cram themselves in next to us.

Other than that, it wasn't until I moved to my current home that there ended up being anything close to what I would call problems with neighbors and it took a long time for that to develop. When we first moved in everyone on all sides of us seemed friendly enough, although I'll admit to not being outgoing enough to know all of their names.

Our inlaws live across the street which has its good and bad points. Other than that everyone seemed amiable enough. With time, things changed:

The old lesbian couple that lived across the street next to the inlaws moved out. Actually, one died so the other one sold the house and moved. Now it's some kind of group home and they've really fixed the place up over the years. There were some problems with the rough crowd they took in at first but they seemed to have changed their clientele so it's pretty quiet there now, except for the vehicle traffic. The staff over there seem to completely ignore everyone else in the neighborhood.

A little ways up the street, some years ago, a house across the street changed hands and some real riff- raff moved in. Didn't notice much at first, but as more people moved in to the relatively small place, it got pretty noticeable with some of the younger crowd being quite a nuisance for a while at night. Looked like drugs were moving out of the place not long ago but that seems to have quited down as of late. Just glad I live here instead of next door to them. Never heard of peep out of that place from whoever lived there before.

We had some pretty steady next door neighbors on the north side of our house for quite a while. Nice family oriented couple rented the place. They were friendly enough but didn't mix with us much. I don't have a problem with that as we all need our space. They kept their place up real well, treating it as it was their own. Suddenly, they upped and moved without saying a word. I guess they abandoned the place as it sat vacant for quite some time. Never said a word to us about moving out.

Around that same time the owner of their house died. Family members came up to do all the estate business. I wondered what was going to happen to the house and was rather nervous as to who'd be moving in next. Then my worst nightmare: A Madsen Real Estate For Rent sign shows up in the front yard. Damn! As far as I'm concerned, if there's any one sign of a deteriorating neighborhood, it's when property management agencies start taking over homes.

Eventually a couple younger guys and a girl moved in. They were cordial enough but seemed to not want to have anything to do with us. Actually had a run- in with them not too long ago over their dogs, which I'll have to admit I got a bit carried away with. I apologized to them later. Didn't seem to mend any fences, though, as they still seemed to go out of their way not to have anything to do with us. I wondered if it was just the age gap- younger folk not wanting much to do with old farts like me?

I was concerned how long they'd be living there as it didn't make for a pleasant atmosphere. That and they were the type that left all the Eureka Reporter papers laying where they were thrown on the sidewalk or lawn and didn't seem to do any other upkeep on their place. Not that I'm all that judgemental about that as I'm a bit of a slob myself.

They finally moved a couple weeks ago without saying a word to us. I figured it out when I saw a U- Haul van out front of their house. I'll have to say I was glad to see them go, especially after they'd driven off for that last time abandoning a couple of goldfish in separate 4 inch bowls sitting on the retaining wall along the street. What a bunch of dicks! So they're the big animal lovers are they? Not to worry: the wife quickly phoned a friend who was more than willing to add the fish to her aquarium.

Now we have to wonder who'll move in next? It also begs the question of whether it's better to have neighbors who rent or neighbors who buy? No easy answer to that, I suppose.

I suspect we'll be dealing with Madsen Real Estate tenants for years to come next door. Not something I relish, but you never know who might move in. Before Madsen took over, the tenants were quite nice and lived there for years.

On the other hand, there's the place behind us: Years ago it used to be owned by the Nazarene Church. One couple, the names of whom I can't remember now, were particularly pleasant neighbors, although we didn't speak that often. A couple others cycled through that place and finally some years ago the church sold the house.

Once again I was concerned about who might move in. Turned out some guy, older than me, bought it for his son, or so I was told. They fixed the place up quite a bit, at least the father did, but he lives somewhere else. The son lives there to this day. He won't have anything to do with us. I don't know why.

I've tried being friendly. I suppose it could be the age difference although I'd guess him to be in his late thirties, so it's not that great a difference. Or maybe it's cause the back fence has deteriorated so much it's almost non- existent? He might well think I'm the one blighting the neighborhood. I actually heard him make a comment about me fixing the fence one day under his breath. He didn't know I was listening.

Well, you can fix it as well as I can, dude, so don't point fingers at me.

So what's gonna happen behind us? I suspect that guy will live there until the day I die, unless they decide to sell.

As cold as some of the neighbors over the last few years have treated us, I can't help wonder if I might be like the guy that wrote the letter that got me started with this subject: That guy blames all his neighbors for all the trouble when it might well be that he's the problem. Might I be the neighborhood nuisance at Trinity and E Streets? Nah...not a nice guy like me...right?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Next Prez Runoffs

The Next Prez blog has its presidential straw poll down to a five candidate runoff for each of the five(?) major parties. Go there and cast your vote for who you'd like to see be the candidate for the Rep, Dem, Libertarian, Green, and Costitution Parties. Oddly, Rep. Ron Paul is the current favorite of both the Libertarian and Constitution Parties. I guess that's not too odd as anyone can vote in any of these "primaries". I voted Mary Ruwart for the LP. Ron Paul certainly would be the best choice but, if he did run again, he'd likely lose his seat in congress. We need him there, not on a quixotic quest for the White House.

I only voted in the Libertarian race. Didn't see anyone in the other parties I felt like casting a vote for.

City Council Meeting Speaking Policies

Interesting idea from a letter writer in today's Eureka Reporter: Should residents of a city have precedence over non- residents in addressing their city council? Maybe they should. A timely issue since a couple e-mails went out recently over some left wing e-mail lists I subscribe to. They asked supporters to show up at Eureka City Council meetings dealing with the Balloon Tract and voice their opposition to private development there.

That said, Eureka is the county seat. Does that entitle everyone in the county to have a say in what transpires with the Balloon Tract? I don't know. Perhaps someone from outside the city might submit some unique bit of wisdom on the issue no one thought of before? Unlikely, but the idea of limiting comments to just residents of a given jurisdiction makes some sense. After all, we don't let Fortuna residents vote on Eureka tax issues, do we? Still, the exclusionary nature of this suggestion rubs me the wrong way.

Might many of the people from outside Eureka who end up showing up for these council meetings also support banning campaign contributions from non- local corporations in local elections? Hmmm...