Monday, July 31, 2006

An Idea To Curtail Abandonded Vehicles

No information here on how much this is costing Mendocino County. I wonder if this is cost effective? The county is sponsoring a free turn- in for old cars in hopes of cutting down on the number of those cars that are eventually abandonded.

I can't help but wonder how many of those that are the type to abandon their cars would take advantage of this? They'd still have to pay for towing, or whatever other way they'd use to get their non- running car to the wrecking yard.

Seems to me it's an idea worth looking in to. The devils in the details, though. The big question being how much it would cost the county as opposed to how many cars get turned in that might otherwise end up alongside a roadway somewhere.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Schools, Bureaucracy and Kid's Jobs

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Weintraub, documents his efforts to get his son a work permit through the bureaucracy of his son's school district. Anyone have similar experiences around here?

I've heard vague references to kids needing some kind of permission from their school to get a job. I could see it if the employment took place during normal school hours, but during the summer? Do they require that up here?

Newsweek Did Global Cooling

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, references a 1975 article in Newsweek magazine on global cooling. I wish he'd included a link to the article, assuming the article is available online.

Eureka Mayor's Race Heats Up?

Meant to mention this yesterday: Wonder what's behind Eureka City Council Gal, Virginia Bass- Jackson, throwing herself into the race for Mayor of Eureka? Does she have a beef with Peter Levallee, or does it have something to do with either of the other two candidates in the race?

The Eureka Reporter doesn't say. No statements at all from Virginia B-S. In fact, most of the article talks about local pest, ok....gadfly, Jerry Droz.

Interesting chatter from Jerry: " “because this town is not being run right, if it’s being run at all, by anyone.”. And then: "The people should have more of a say-so in the city, in how it’s being run, ... It’s not me running the city, it’s the people of Eureka running the city.”. Hmmmm?

He also thinks City Councilcritters don't get paid enough.

This guy's only lived in Eureka four years. Shouldn't someone live here a little longer than four years before trying to take over the town?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Garberville Sanitary District

I found a couple things of interest in the latest issue of the Redwood Times:

First; this report on a meeting of the Garberville Sanitary District makes it sound like they actually have business to take care of. I was under the impression such meetings would be rather dull.

Second; Looks like Southern Humboldt isn't immune from problems with transients, trash dumping and land use issues, just like the rest of the county.

The New Red Menace

Those damned commies just won't stop, will they. Today's Los Angeles Daily News reports on a new and growing red menace.

Recent Heat Wave= Global Warming?

Today's Sacramento Bee has one of the more common sense stories on global warming in regards to the recent heat wave that I've read of late.

If asked to log in, as usual, use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot as password.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thompson's Wilderness Bill Changes

I've made my sentiments known on a couple of the other local blogs that I'm not in favor of anymore wilderness bills, unless there's some compelling need for one. I feel that just means fewer places for people to live, work and play in. So, unlike my friends on the Left, I was opposed to Congressman Mike Thompson's bill that would add wilderness designation to hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California.

That said, it looks like some changes for the good have been made to Thompson's bill. One, would allow the 27 smelt fishing permits issued for commercial surf fishing to be continued indefinitely.

You might remember that, since Redood National Park was created, increasing restrictions on land uses have been applied to areas within RNP. One was limiting commercial beach fishing access to those that currently held permits. Once the permit holder died, or gave up his permit, the permit would no longer be issued thus phasing off beach fishing through attrition.

Looks like now they're going to let permit holders sell their permits or pass them on to someone else. It's a small improvement, but a welcome one.

Looks like the Blue Ribbon Coalition managed to get some forest roads kept open for use, as well. Whether anyone can do anything but drive down the roads in those areas is what I'd like to know.

So, something's been saved in this bill, but not all that much.

I often wonder why there's such a push for more wilderness areas? With the increasing restrictions being constantly made to state, national and even local parks, they'll all be de facto wilderness areas anyway, given a few more years. Hopefully, that won't happen in my lifetime.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Prop 89 On Local Radio Tonight

This just in from the Redwood Peace and Justice Center:

Looks like the subject of Thursday Night Talk on KHSU tonight will be Prop 89, The Clean Money and Fair Elections Act which we'll be voting on this November.

In keeping with tradition, TNT has a proponent of the proposition, Kathryn Donahue of the California Nurses Association, as their guest. Their e-mail notice also gives quick positive spin on Prop 89, as is usually the case. What surprised me was the following explanation provided for Prop 89:

Donahue says that the Clean Money and Fair Elections legislation is a first step toward successfully passing any legislation that would provide universal, single payer health coverage for Californians.

“Proposition 89 is a first step in taking back our democracy from the global corporate empire-building that has been quietly occurring, without the general populous noticing. We believe this proposition will help awaken a sleeping voting population.”

Hey, I know there's an agenda behind Prop 89, just as there was with local Measure T; It's a power play by the Left to gain more control of the electoral process. That said, I didn't expect Universal Health Coverage to be thrown in to the mix, at least not this early in the game. But, to paraphrase what they say: "This is just the beginning...".

This upcoming election will be a scary one, indeed.

Kuhnel Formally Announces

This just in (earlier this morning, of course) from the folks at Local Solutions:

Eureka Planning Commissioner, Ron Kuhnel, will formally announce his candidacy for 3rd Ward, Eureka City Council. The event should start, about the time I post this, at Eureka City Hall.

Certainly it's no surprise he's running, as that's been in the news for some time now. No surprise, either, that Local Solutions has sent out an announcement of his press conference. I think we've known all along he was going to be one of Local Solution's candidates in this election.

What surprises me is that Kuhnel is the only one, at least at this point in the game, that is openly tied to Local Solutions and the Anti- Arkley and Anti- Marina Center effort. I would of thought there'd be a few more obivious ones showing up by now.

Can't help but wonder if some candidates might make it a stealth issue and run on something else, their real reason for running being to shut down any competition for local businesses.

It will be interesting to see if Local Solutions backs any of the other contenders for the Eureka City Council race.

Blogspot Spazzout

This is a test. I haven't been able to get to any Blogspot blogs until a few minutes ago. Been trying for at least a couple hours. Now I've gotten to a few, but the last posts are from yesterday so I guess everyone else is having problems with blogspot like I am.

Eric mentioned having similar problems yesterday. Maybe this is an extension of same problem?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tish Makes It

Looks like Tish Wilburn's nomination signatures were all accepted by the Eureka City Clerk's office. The Eureka Reporter mentions she's registered to vote as a Libertarian, then mentions one of Tish's campaign issues as, "She’d like to see a more active council... one that takes a strong role in enforcing the city’s existing ordinances and policies. ".

Hmmm...doesn't sound like something a Libertarian would run on.

The E/R also tells us that local pest, Jerry Droz, failed to get his nominating signatures to get on the ballot in the Eureka Mayor's race, but he still has time to make up the difference.

He could probably get the extra signatures fairly easily simply by hanging out in front of one of the local supermarkets. He just needs to be sure and pick one where people aren't likely to recognize him.

The Times- Standard reports a new face in the race for Arcata City Council. Nick Page, manager of the Humboldt Circus is making his first run for a seat. A somewhat offbeat campaign issue that he has, seems to me:

" ”It seems that new music venues don't get much support... Entertainment based business in general need more support. I think the city should do more to encourage those sorts of businesses.”

Then again, seems to me I've heard that complaint before in Arcata. I guess that just shows how culturally retarded I am. I've never paid attention to any of the entertainment news around here and I'd never even heard of the Humboldt Circus before. Or maybe I had, but just thought someone was referring to the Arcata City Council?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

North Coast Travelogue: 7/23- 7/24

I had to go to the Bay Area again this last weekend, actually Sunday thru Monday. I was worried about the soaring temperatures. Not so much about how uncomfortable it might be- as well as any accompanying power outages- but whether my truck would weather (no pun intended) the heat.

I've had a constant paranoia about vehicles overheating as it seems that most of the cars I've had in my life have overheated on me at least once. Or maybe I just remember it that way? Regardless, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean something bad won't happen.

My truck handled the heat like a champ. On the way back, we didn't use the air conditioner at all, getting along just fine with the floor and panel vents open. What I don't get is why, if the vents are letting outside air in, the air is much cooler than the outside air? I didn't think it was going through the air conditioner.

When I got home, I took the time to read the owners manual and it said that the vents did, indeed, only take in outside air. That's odd. Then why was the air so cool? Seems to me taking 106 degree air and running through an even hotter engine and then venting it into the cab would give you very hot air. Hmmm???

Anyone have any idea?

Stayed at the Day's Inn in Novato Sunday night, for the second time. Since meals at anything but fast food restaraunts are expensive, by our standards, we wanted to cut costs. We decided to try what we discussed last time: Cooking our own meals in our room's microwave oven.

Connie brought along some inexpensive microwaveable meals she bought at Grocery Outlet in Eureka- total cost was less than $4.00 for all three boxes. She kept them in one of those bags that can keep things cold for a while. They made it, although I think they might not have been totally frozen by the time we got to the motel.

We'd also brought some paper plates and a couple forks and knives. We had a nice eggplant parmesan and vegetables for less than four dollars in Novato. Not bad. I like eating out but this was ok. Beggars can't be choosy.

I keep hearing about web sites that can give you good deals on lodging. I've yet to find one. All the ones I've tried just give me the same price we've already been paying.

The Day's Inn had a link on their web site to this Trip Rewards site. I thought there was some reference to getting a free night after so many stays. I can't find it now and the Trip Rewards site doesn't mention it anywhere.

The lady at Day's Inn recognized it and wrote down my number. I forgot to ask her how many nights I needed for a free stay. I think it was something like eight nights. I'll have to ask her next time.

You have to wonder about sites like Trip Rewards that are so vague in the details. Is this some scam?

Speaking of the weather, I was surprised to see the Weather Channel on basic cable in Novato doesn't have local weather segments like we do up here. I wanted to check to see what the temperatures in the area were when we got there. No luck

The laptop came in handy for that. I just went online and checked That's the Weather Channel web site. They have a My Cities thing were you type in the zip code of the cities you want to track and they keep them there for you to check whenever you want to know.

Worked pretty good except, when I checked it on my desktop this morning, My Cities didn't have Ukiah, Novato and San Francisco on it. Maybe it's one of those cookie things and didn't recongnize this computer? But, it took me to the Eureka stats so it must have known it's me.

Oh, it was like really hot down there and the room was really hot. I turned the air conditioner on as soon as I got in the room but the room never seemed to really cool down. It felt like slightly cool air was coming out of the conditioner but it never really cooled the room.

We tried everything, adjusted all the settings, used exhaust and no exhaust. Nothing seemed to help. As night fell it was cooler outside than inside.

We'd noticed last time the air conditioners there didn't have a lot of ooomph, compared to other places. We figured maybe it was just a lame air conditioner.

Before we left the next morning I turned the air conditioner off and I found the problem: I turned the round knob one click to the left and the air conditioner turned off. I should have had to turn it all the way to the left. I guess at some point, when Connie was playing with it, she must have turned the heater on instead of air conditioning. We had the thing set to as cool as it could get but that doesn't do any good if you have it set on Heater. That corner of the room was dark and the marked side of the adjustment knob was too hard to see so we didn't notice we had it set wrong.

No wonder it never got any cooler in there. Oh well. Maybe next time?

American Cancer Society

Some might think I'd be a big supporter of the American Cancer Society (ACS), having to deal with the wife's cancer pretty much continually over the last three years. Well, I'm not. In fact, my opinion is generally negative of the ACS.

Sure, they do some good. They were helpful to us when Connie was first diagnosed with non- hodgkins lymphoma, providing informational material to let us better understand what we were up against.

As the writer says in this commentary, they do provide some assistance in paying for mileage should cancer patients need to travel for treatment, but that's just a drop in the bucket- something like five cents a mile. So, I figured we should get around fifteen dollars back for every time we have to head to UCSF Medical Center. It costs over ninety dollars, just for gas alone every time we go down there.

No, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I appreciate all the help we can get. But most are under the impression there's all kinds of support for cancer victims from ACS.

I think most ACS supporters would be disappointed if they knew how little the Cancer Society does. It's a shame. I know a number of people that put their heart and souls into that annual Walk For Life. But I don't fault them or the ACS for it. It may sound like I do, but I don't.

So why do I have a beef with the American Cancer Society? They support tax increases.

In the Times- Standard commentary I linked to above, they proudly announce their support for Prop 86, The Tobacco Tax Initiative, yet another tax to be added to tobacco products. They list all the things this money will supposedly be used for, never mentioning the fact that most of the money from the last tobacco tax increase they backed (Prop 10 some years ago) hasn't been spent on what it was supposed to be spent on.

They've changed their approach this time, coming out publicly in support of the tax, as opposed to supporting it from the shadows. Back during Prop 10, seems to me they didn't officially endorse Prop 10, although I think we all knew they supported it.

I remember they had a large homemade Yes On 10 sign out in front of the ACS office in Henderson Center, Eureka. It wasn't in their display window, though. It was on a car in front of their office. Probably one belonging to an employee or volunteer.

I don't know what made them change their policy. I suspect a change in leadership. Either that, or they figured out there's little to lose by beating up on the little guy. The fact is, they've always supported taxes that affect what is generally one of the less well off segments of society: Smokers.

That's one thing I'm unforgiving on: Taxing people- the ones who can least afford it- under the guise of doing what's best for them.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More Cal Guard Bennies?

I've mentioned before here that I served fifteen years with the National Guard up here- Six years with A Company, 579th Engineers and nine years with the local Military Police Detachment (unit designation changed too many times to mention here).

I enjoyed my time in the Guard and feel safe in saying that those that knew me would tell you I was pretty gung- ho, at least for the first fourteen years or so.

Nonetheless, they're talking now (username humboldt, password blogspot)of giving California Guard members yet more "incentives" to join and serve in the National Guard. I'm not so sure I go along with that.

I think guardsmen get pretty good benefits as it is. Sure, not the same as full time military, but they always have the option of going full time. Heck, now they might well end up on full time duty whether they want to, or not. Once they're federalized, as they were for say, the Los Angeles Riots (as I was) they accrue full time benefits.

I'm not sure we need to go overboard and make Cal Guard members yet another entitlent class. I'll have to admit, though, I did suggest, in my earlier days in the Guard, that maybe they come up with some kind of health insurance program that members could opt in to. I don't have much of a problem with things like that as long as taxpayers aren't subsidizing all of it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stewart on Term Limits and Gerrymandering

San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Jill Stewart, takes a hard look at the deal being made between the Governator and the state legislature that trades compromise on term limits with some supposed reform to the way voting districts are drawn.

I like her style. While I'm probably more ambivalent on term limits than she is, she seems to share my cynical view on some issues.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another Scoop?

Well, maybe not, but it looks like Eureka Mayor, Pete Levallee, won't be running unopposed. Problem is, I can't remember the guy's name.

So, I'm flying the skies over Aces High late yesterday afternoon, turning and burning. There's a knock on the door. The guy at the door says he needs signatures as he's filing papers to run for Mayor of Eureka. Turns out he lives two houses behind me, on the corner of F and Trinity Streets.

We get to talking. Once again, the Marina Center/ Balloon Tract issue isn't on the candidate's radar screen, Tish Wilburn being the other one with such sentiments. He says he wants to do something about all the drug problems in Eureka, meth being the big one.

He mentioned that we had at least a "few crack houses in the neighborhood", his house having been one before he moved in three years ago (and it might well have been). He mentions someone said we had one next door to our house, that being the one just to our north.

I had to tell him I didn't know anything about the house next door being a druggie house. The girl that lives there is a cutie pie and nice enough, although her "husband" seems to be either in jail or prison as of late. The cops have been there a few times since she moved in but I'll have to say the few people she's had come visit her look quite the straight folk, most of them anyways.

He then tells me the guy that used to live behind me (between his house and mine) caught that girl in his back yard a few times and she was some "tweaker", or some such. I had to mention that the girl hadn't lived there but a few months and the guy behind me moved long before she moved in so I didn't see how that could be true.

Well, maybe the former neighbor behind me was referring to the bunch that lived there before her? I doubt it. Not that they were all that straight and narrow, but I never saw any evidence of the place being a crack house. The people that lived there before that bunch were there for a long time and were pretty straight neighbors from everything I'd seen.

He seemed somewhat confused at that but, in keeping some rapport up, I mentioned the house a couple houses south, across the street, that had a reputation as a druggie house, as well as the activity that one would associate with such.

Anyway, he wanted to do something about getting rid of all the "tweakers and homeless types...". Funny how I hear that on the same day from two different candidates. One thing I never had the presence of mind to ask him was, How do you plan on dealing with this problem?

I found it somewhat troublesome that he was relying pretty much on innuendo in the case of my current next door neighbor. Who are we going to go after next?

Those types of people have to live somewhere, although I think we both agreed that it might be better to have them in one part of town than encroaching more and more on the parts of town that aren't so bad... at least not yet.

But that's just kind of the way things go in any town: As sections of town get older, more and more of the good folks leave and the riff- raff move in. I appreciate his and other's concerns about it, but what can you do. Besides, how do I know when the powers that be might start considering me riff- raff. Or maybe they already do?

Anyway, just a quick glance at his petitions showed he was well on his way to getting the signatures he needed. How well he'll do in the end is hard to say. We don't know who else might end up in the race for Mayor.

But he seemed like a single issue guy. He pretty much gave me a blank stare when I asked him about the Balloon Tract controversy. If that ends up being the big issue come November, as most think it will, he'll be left out in the cold.

Then again, that's two for two of the Eureka City candidates we've seen so far that have little, if any, opinion on the Balloon Tract controversy. Wouldn't it be weird if the anti- crime and drug candidates end up taking the election in November?

Times- Standard Scoops Eureka Reporter

See what happens if you miss even one day of Fred's Humboldt Blog? The Times- Standard followed up on yesterday's scoop on Tish Wilburn running for city council and got a story.

The Eureka Reporter must have had other things to do. They missed the Wilburn scoop so were stuck with writing a story on Mary Beth Wolford filing her papers at the City Clerk's office. Note that last sentence in the E/R story: "No opponent for Wolford’s ward has yet come forward publicly.".

You snooze, you lose.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What A Scoop!

Wow! You heard it first here, folks. I just found out who one of the candidates for Eureka City Council is going to be: Local gadfly and city hall groupie, Patricia "Tish" Wilburn, has taken out papers for the 1st Ward, currently held by Mary Beth Wolford. This will be her second attempt at the seat. A few years ago she got 22% in a three way race.

In her case this doesn't raise the Marina Center controversy as an issue. She says she's not all that concerned about that, one way or the other. She says she wants to deal with crime in the city.

Guess who was in the car with Tish. Nope, not Chris Kerrigan. It was Sue Brandenburg, the gal who took over the lawsuit against the Eureka Redevelopment Agency when the Humboldt Taxpayer's League gave up on it. Sue says she's not Tish's campaign manager, but it sure makes you wonder.

The big question is, will any one else throw their hat in the ring for the 1st Ward?

Eureka Greens Posting Minutes

I just noticed the Eureka Greens finally started posting the minutes of their meetings on their blog. Interesting to see what goes on there. I was surprised to see Charles Douglas, David Cobb and Kaitlin S-P all at the meeting. I wouldn't have expected to find those three in the same room.

Chastising Thieves

Every now and then you see someone write a letter to the editor along the lines of this one. They got ripped off and they want to let the thief know how they feel about it. I don't have a problem with people venting about something but do you really think the kind of people that rip you off are the type that read newspapers?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dam Busting

I've never understood the reasoning behind all the proposals to take down dams. They've been talking for years, if not decades, about taking down the Hetchy Ketchy Dam (username humboldtlib, password blogspot) over by Yosemite. They want to restore the Hetchy Ketchy Valley back to the Yosemite- like park it once was.

Hey, lakes are nice, too, and we do need the water.

I can see the concern of the dams on the Klamath, as they supposedly interfere with salmon migration. I was always under the impression that fish ladders were an integral part of dams, at least on rivers where migratory fish were a concern. I guess not, as I've read that PacifiCorp is balking at having to pay the costs of building ladders.

Still, we need the water. The fish ladders should be the option, whoever ends up paying for it. Besides, if the dams store water, they could release water during years of drought to keep the river high for the salmon. If the dams weren't there we wouldn't have that option.

This state needs all the water it can get. Desalination is an expensive option. Dams, and their associated lakes, have multiple uses. I don't see why we should be tearing them down. We should probably be building more of them.

Global Cooling

I've mentioned here before that years ago all the talk was about global cooling, rather than global warming. Global warming alarmists don't seem to recall that, even those as old or older than I am.

Thanks to James, over at the Right On! blog, for digging up this old article in Time magazine dated June of '74 that gave us warning of what we thought we might be facing back then.

James makes a good point: If you replace the words cooling with warming, it's pretty much the same thing we're being told today, at least in some circles.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Race Begins

It will be interesting to see who ends up filing papers for the Eureka City Council positions, the filing period having begun Monday. Most of interest to me is whether we'll see a clear left vs. right split.

With Planning Commission dude, Ron Kuhnel, having announced his intention to go up against Jeff Leonard, will the other candidates be Kerriganites as well? I suspect so, and think the central issue will be the Balloon Tract/ Marina Center controversy.

Also of interest in elections news, and something I'm personally glad to hear, two proposed local initiatives failed to gather enough signatures in time to get on the ballot for the November election:

The Preserve Our Waterfront group failed to get their signatures for the intitiative requiring voter approval of any zoning changes to the Balloon Tract, and the one to establish a civilian police review committee didn't make it either.

While I'm somewhat indifferent to both of the initiatives in question, I feel it's fair to say both were somewhat left wing oriented initiatives. I figured we were going to be inundated with attacks from the Left, the Left smelling at least a little blood after their Gallegos and Measure T victories. I figured they'd keep the momentum going.

With the two initiatives failing, I have to wonder if maybe the left doesn't have the momentum I thought they had, or maybe they're just taking a break? There's still some time for them to get enough signatures for a special election. Only time will tell if they have the energy to keep their ball rolling.

Eureka: The T.V. Show

Watched the first hour of the premiere last night. I'm not impressed. Might actually be fun to watch, if it was filmed here.

The wife watched the whole two hours. She seems to like it. I guess there's no accounting for one's tastes.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Fish Place

I'm trying to figure out just exactly where this new Go Fish! place is. I know generally where it's is, but I can count on my hand how many times in a year I go to Old Town in Eureka so I'm not familiar enough with the waterfront to know exactly where everything is.

Interesting that the proposed development of the Balloon Tract was what motivated him to come out of retirement and open a restaurant there.

Seems to me, despite Eureka's reputation, we really don't have all that many seafood places here, at least not anymore. I remember we used to have Fog's Fish and Chips, Seafood Grotto and a few others, even the old "big box" fish place, Skippers. Most of those seem to have gone by the wayside.

Skipper's, believe it or not, was my favorite, if only because I like All You Can Eat fish and chips deals. Theirs wasn't that good, though, if only because they were brilliantly slow in refilling your plate so you'd get the sense of being full quicker. I really wasn't all that fond of their fish, just the all you can eat thing.

Best fast food fish and chips place I'd ever been to in my life was a place called Big Ben's Fish and Chips in Tustin, CA. That was back in the late '60s. I used to ditch school and head down there with a friend. They had big chunks of some kind of deep fried fish and big fried potatoes and an All You Can Eat deal around lunchtime.

That place had the looks of some english pub, complete with a dartboard. Used to stuff our faces there. That's where I learned the delights of malt vinegar. It went great with the fish.

I don't believe I've ever been to a place like that since. Anyone know of a good fish and chips place in Humboldt with an All You Can Eat deal? I don't know that I've ever seen anyplace like that here, save Skippers, and Skippers didn't even come close to Big Ben's. Maybe Go Fish! will? I'll be sure and stop by there and find out.

Then again, after thinking about it, as I've gotten older, I can't eat near as much as I used to. Seems to me last time I paid for some All You Can Eat deal, it would have been cheaper to just buy a regular meal, for the amount of food I ate.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cost of Small Logging Operations

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat takes a look at how the cost of timber harvest plans makes it difficult for some property owners to avoid the siren song of development. They use a Humboldt County couple as an example.

Industrial Hemp Back On The Table

For once I'll agree with George Skelton: This bill to legalize the growing of hemp in California is one of the more fun things to see going on in the state legislature.

What he doesn't mention is a similar bill was introduced some years ago by our very own Assemblybabe, Virginia Strom- Martin. That bill failed to make it through the Assembly Agriculture Committee, which was dominated by Democrats as it is now.

It seems highly unlikely this will pass muster in the upcoming committee hearings if the Democrats dumped it last time, especially since there's only two Republicans in favor of it, one of them being State Senator and 2006 Lt. Governor candidate, Tom McClintock (GO McClintock!).

Amazing how that reefer madness mentality stays with us after all these years.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A New Face In Politics

Funny, this is the first I noticed it, but it looks like the Republicans found a new candidate to run against Congressman Mike Thompson. I guess I just wasn't paying close enough attention and, when I saw the old Republican paper candidate, Lawrence Weisner's name, I just assumed he was once again running against Thompson.

I guess not. Weisner's running for State Senate this time and John W. Jones, a retired cop, has thrown his hat in the ring for the first district contest. Not much seems to be known about this fellow and I can't help but wonder if he's just going through the motions?

The Times- Standard article mentions Jones as having a campaign web site, but a Yahoo search turned up nothing, at least in the first few pages of results I went through. His League of Women Voters' Smartvoter page only has his name and e-mail address. Doesn't look good so far.

So, we'll see what this guy has to say, assuming he shows up for any candidate forums. I don't believe Weisner, Jones' predecessor, ever did any candidate forums, at least in Humboldt, but I could be mistaken.

Since there's no libertarian candidate in the 1st district race this time around, I might just pay a little closer attention to this race than I normally would. The last couple times I wasn't going to vote for Weisner, him being War Party, but didn't see any compelling reason to vote for Thompson. I suppose if I thought Weisner actually had a chance to win, I might well have broke with tradition and voted for Thompson.

Not sure how it will go this time. I think Mr. Jones has a tough battle ahead of him, with the odds already stacked against him. I'll have to keep an eye on this and see if Jones is worth wasting my vote on or whether I should bother voting in that race at all.
Update: Mike Harvey just pointed me in the direction of Jones' campaign site.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I haven't seen this ad yet. I'm curious who the "donor" is. My first guess would be Bill Pearson, but maybe it's someone from outside the area? Anyone want to take a guess as to who's bankrolling this?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Libs vs. Dems and Reps

The local Democratic County Central Committee throws itself into the Marina Center fray. No surprise there that they'd demand a total clean up of the Balloon Tract.

The Republican County Central Committee throws itself into the water fluoridation issue, opposing Arcata's Measure W, which would end fluoridation of Arcata's drinking water.

Boy, sometimes it seems us libertarians can't agree with anyone. :-)

Cost Of Government Day

I missed it. I guess Wednedsday, June 12, was Cost Of Government Day, according to the Americans for Tax Reform. That's the day the average person stops working to pay taxes and starts paying himself. It comes one day later this year than last year.

ATR put together a cute little slide show for Cost of Government Day here(.pdf file).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Governor Signs Prop 36 Change

Tossing the excuse he used a while back to veto the gay marriage bill aside, the Governor just signed a bill that makes changes to Prop 36, passed by the voters a couple years ago. He vetoed the gay marriage bill saying it was contrary to the will of the voters- them having passed Prop 22 which pretty much prohibited gay marriages.

Prop 36 was the initiative that required treatment for drug offenders rather incarceration. Now, if the offender doesn't attend his treatment sessions, he can be sentenced to confinement. Though this might surprise some of you, I don't blame the Governor for signing the bill. What's the point in having a law with no way to enforce it?

As I've recently said, I don't see any reason to put a person in jail simply for using drugs, so the treatment issue wouldn't exist for those types of people in the first place if I had my way. If the offense involves both drugs and offenses against some other person, then certainly treatment might be an appropriate "penalty" for consideration.

Still, I've always wondered just how effective forced treatment is?

The Balloon Tract Preserve

I think this is kind of a neat idea. I wonder what kind of argument the Anti- Arkley crowd will come up with to oppose it?

Too bad Security National couldn't start there and work their way south to the Palco marsh.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More On Ethanol

As I mentioned here not long ago, I've never been much of a fan of ethanol. In this Tech Central Station article, the author reminds us not only how ethanol was nearly taken out of the picture years ago because it's such a heavy polluter, but also of the dirty politics that made ethanol the player in the fuel industry it is today.

Convention Centers

We've heard a number of people express the desire for a convention center up here, some suggesting that would be a good use of the Balloon Tract. Convention centers, at least from everything I've heard, usually end up being a drain on the economy as this Los Angeles Times commentary explains.

I'm not saying some sort of convention center wouldn't be nice to have up here. But, if convention centers don't pay off for bigger cities, I can't see how one would work up here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

North Coast Travelogue: 6/9 to 6/10

Once again had to head to the Bay Area. This time we actually had a morning appointment. That meant leaving early in the morning on Monday, as we'd been doing before, probably wouldn't work.

What we used to do was leave about 5amish, drive like the dickens to get there for the first appointment (which was about the same as the one we had yesterday) but we'd have to wait a few hours for the second appointment and, by the time we left, we'd just be too beat to drive all the way back to Eureka. So, as I've mentioned here before, we'd go as far as Ukiah, rent a room at the Discovery Inn, and make the rest of the drive the next day. I hate that, although I like the Discovery Inn and Ukiah.

So, I figured we could leave sometime in the late morning or early afternoon and take a more leisurely drive, still getting there in daylight. But where to stay?

I'd noticed the Day's Inn in Novato long ago, since it stood out pretty much by itself on the west side of the freeway on the south side of town. It still has a big banner on it proclaiming Internet Hotspot, or some such.

I thought that looked like a choice spot to stay as it had easy access to the freeway and was within an hour of University of California at San Francisco. I figured I could handle an hours drive in the morning and then a five and a half hour drive later, assuming we got out of UCSF sometime around noon.

Other than that I was sure there were lots of places but they wouldn't be as easy to get to. If we stayed back in Ukiah, I thought the three hour drive to Frisco would poop me out and it might be too much to try and drive all the way back to Eureka the same day.

Checking out the Days Inn online, I only found a couple reviews (I can't find them as I began to write this) and they weren't all that reassuring but nothing that dissuaded me from trying the place at least once. Days Inn it was for Sunday night. I called and made a reservation. The online form didn't seem to work.

So, we left Eureka around 11am Sunday, much nicer than racing to get out by 5am as we usually do. Seemed to get hotter and hotter as we drove south. We'd usually kept fairly comfortable just opening the floor and panel vents to cool us. This time it got a bit warm, even with that, so Connie turned on the air conditioner. That helped a lot. First time I'd ever used it in my truck.

We got to the Days Inn around four o'clockish. We took the first Novato exit, turned right and, just off the freeway was the turn to Days Inn. You had to drive about what seemed like a mile or so to get to the Inn. I'd never noticed it being that far, just from casually looking at it.

Another surprise was how hot Novato was. I thought of Novato as being a more coastal area with more of the coastal temperatures, despite having driven through it umpteen times. It was hot there.

I found the Days Inn to be a pleasant surprise. Despite being right near the freeway, I didn't really notice the freeway noise in the office or our room. The room was nowhere near as large as the ones you get at the Discovery Inn, but they had pretty much everything you'd expect, including the largest refrigerator I'd seen in a motel room and a safe in the closet for your valuables.

Not bad, thought I. The wife agreed but she pointed out some maintenance items that weren't kept up, mainly painting and such. I noticed some trash around the parking lot and grounds, cigarette butts and the like, but I got the impression we might have gotten there between cleanups. If they never cleaned it up there would have been far more trash.

I'm not sure where the nearest stores and restaurants were, as you were far enough out you couldn't see any businesses. I actually found that a plus, but I could see how some might find that a minus for a motel. Didn't really matter, unless you had your mind set on some sort of food, as the Garden Court Restaurant was part of the hotel.

Garden Court is open from 5pm(?) until (?) and served chinese cuisine. I didn't like being stuck with chinese but, for then and there, it was good enough for me. Nice food, problem was it put us back into the $25 for two meals deal. We try to hit the fast food places where we can usually get by for less than $10.

I guess the Garden Court is named so because it also has table just outside that sit next to the garden which is near the pool. A pleasant place to hang out, I would think, but it was too hot for my tastes at the time.

So, back in the room we kick back. The air conditioner didn't seem to have the ooomf of ones like at the Discovery Inn, but they got the room cool enough. As an aside, all the lower rooms seemed to have sliding glass doors facing the pool, which I thought was nice touch.

So, I figured I'd try going online on this Internet Hotspot. Boom! Connected almost with the blink of an eye. I find that warning on the connection software that I was on an unsecured network troublesome, but it's not the first time I've seen it. Worked out pretty good except for the power/ laptop location thing. The plug next to the table was one of those old fashion ones with nowhere for the ground plug to fit so I couldn't use it. I ended up plugging in behind the refrigerator but then the cord went across the path to the sliding glass door resulting in me getting tangled in it as I went in and out the door.

To the west of the Inn is mostly just rolling hills although you can see parts of, what I found out later, is the Birkenstock complex. I went out to take a look earlier on and there were three deer hanging out a few feet from our room. Later on I went out and noticed a number of deer on the hillside over by Birkenstock: Five buck and five does, just from a quick count. It made for a fun side event trying to find all the deer. Luckily I keep my mini- binoculars in the truck which I brought out for the occasion.

The next morning I was up at five, as usual. We'd decided to try and leave by eight which would give us an hour and a half to make the 24 mile trip to the Golden Gate Bridge. Might not take that long but you had to take traffic problems into consideration.

We decided we'd try out the Inn's Breakfast Room, having been impressed earlier on with the one Discovery Inn in Ukiah offers. The Inn's room was ok, kinda on par with the Discovery's, and the Inn had a TV available, too. The only downside was they didn't appear to staff their room and at least one coffee air pot of was empty, leaving one guest fuming. No orange juice, either. But most other stuff was there and when the fuming guest finally went to the desk for help, a staff member came in and started refilling things and some orange juice seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Not exactly a good first impression for the Breakfast Room, but maybe I caught them on a bad day, or between shifts. I did notice the gal who checked us in the day before coming in then so they might have been in shift change turmoil. Nonetheless, all I wanted was a couple hard boiled eggs and toast, so I was all set.

We made it to the Bridge in probably less than forty five minutes, despite the desk gal saying it was forty five minutes without the traffic.

We got done at UCSF and were out of there at noon, racing north. I felt ok, despite not sleeping all that well the night before. I figured I shouldn't have too much a problem making the whole drive to Eureka.

We seemed to make pretty good time with a few minor slow downs. I noticed one thing near Santa Rosa that was akin to what Eric Kirk described on his blog happening in Willits:

When traffic merges into fewer lanes, there's always some people that try to stay in the disappearing lane until the last moment so they can basically cut in line in front of others since most people try to merge ealier on, assuming they know of the merge. Just like some do in Willits, I noticed some around Santa Rosa use the car pool lane to race as far forward as they can and then get in at the front of the line.

Traffic slowed just before the freeway construction area as everyone started merging into the two available lanes. It seemed most merged a few miles back and traffic was probably down to 45mph, or less. That gives the assholes of the state the opportunity to use the fairly empty car pool lane to race alongside the slow lanes and get way up to the front where someone eventually allows them to slip in ahead of everyone else.

I'm with Eric: Don't let them in. I guess that's easier said than done. These guys and gals make a difficult situation worse by making the merge even more congested and deserve public shame. That said, I'll have to admit to not remembering just what lanes will be the existing lanes after the merge so a person can make an honest mistake, as I've done before and will likely do again.

So, after about Windsor it's generally pretty clear sailing. Of course, you always have the speed freaks who seem to get right on your ass no matter how fast you're driving. I actually think that's some psyche thing with them. Maybe it's some weird aggression complex? When they see a car in front of them, they feel they must be going too slow so they try to pass them? I don't know. It just seems kind of sicko to me.

As we get to Willits I'm thinking of Eric's recount of driving through Willits and of him not letting a rude merger into the line. Will I have the guts and presence of mind to do the same?

I get some gas at the Shell station. Probably could have made it on what I had but why drain my tank and have to fill up at Humboldt prices?

It doesn't look too congested at the south end of town. Finally the merge area approaches and traffic backs up, but not too bad. Connie comments, without any prompting from me about the jerks driving by trying to get to the front of the line...I told her I agreed and mentioned not letting any of them in, if they try it with us when we're up front.

We finally get up front, near where the merge is, and there's a logging truck trying to merge. For some reason him trying to get in didn't bother me so I opened a spot for him. Then I notice, in the corner of my eye, a white pick up trying to snuggle up to the logging truck so he can get in too. Nope, says I.

The log truck driver probably couldn't really tell how close he was to my truck so he kept trying to edge forward before fully merging into the lane. On the other hand, I wanted there to be as little room as possible so the white pick up couldn't slip in. It made for some skillful maneuver play. I could see the white pick up trying to move in every time the log truck tried to get some safe distance from me, I'd close up to the log truck and close the gap between the log truck and me. I was probably really pissing the log truck driver off.

Finally the guy directly behind me gave in and let the white pick up in behind me. Probably just as well as I might well have been making a bad situation worse by playing that game. Besides, when I got to thinking about it, maybe that white pick up had just entered 101 after leaving one of the businesses on the east side of the street. I hadn't seen where that pick up actually came from. Hmmm... I'll have to try and pay attention to where these people came from before I start blocking them.

Finally, got out of Willits and headed north, the most frustrating thing for a while being poor radio reception. Weird how I got that one radio station, KWPT(?), The Points, all the way past Laytonville on the way down, but couldn't pick it up until somewhere near the Avenue of the Giants on the way back up.

So I race back, once we get past Richardson Grove, faster than is probably normal driving for me. I've always found Richarson Grove to Eureka, or vice versa, the longest part of the drive, at least perception wise.

We finally get home at a little past 5:30. Funny how I race to get home and when I get here and get out of the truck I have to say to myself: "Now what?"

Gallegos Busted!

Just kidding, but I see in today's Times- Standard that a "Iride Silva- Gallegos, 21, of Arcata, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, possesion of stolen property and forgery.", along with someone else.

Anyone know if she's(?) any relation to our very own Paul Gallegos?

More prisons on the way?

Looks like both the Democrat and Republican gubernatorial candidates are pandering to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Both say they'll keep building more prisons, if elected. This editorial from the Sacramento Bee tells it pretty much as it is, imo (for login, use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot as password).

I don't know what the answer is to the prison overcrowding problem. I suppose there isn't any easy one. One thing we do need to do, though, is separate the wheat from the chaff and take prisoners that are locked up solely for non- violent drug offenses out of prison for starters.

Once we see just how many people we really need to have in prison, then we'll know just how big a problem we have. The Sacramento Bee seems to agree, at least on that.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wireless Networks

I'm posting this using a wireless network at a yet to be disclosed motel. These wireless networks are ok, but if I had my choice I'd rather have a hard line connection, if only because I would think they're more secure.

This place advertises itself as a wireless Hotspot. It has a connection apparently anyone can connect to. I get this warning when I connect to it that my communications may not be secure. I have the Zonelabs firewall and anti- virus on this laptop. Does anyone know if that is adequate protection for using an open connection like this?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Life In Eureka

Two, among many other things, go on in Eureka each day: Traffic accidents and fights. No different than anywhere else, I guess. I tend to miss much of it, except for what I read in the paper.

Yesterday was a bit different. For one thing, I got to witness... well almost witness, a horrible traffic accident. As curious as I was as to what exactly happened, for what seemed like one of the rare times neither of our daily papers featured a Traffic Accident Of The Day story, neither the Eureka Reporter or Times- Standard covered this one.

Sure, I've seen a few fender benders in my time. We have them right here on the corner of Trinity and E Streets on occasion, but they're usually far and few between and seem to come in cycles- one happens and then maybe two more in the same month- or so it seems. This one kinda got to me cause one of the principals appeared badly hurt.

So, I'm coming out of Rite- Aid in Henderson Center and I'm about half way to my truck in the parking lot. Out toward the intersection of Harris and E Street I hear a muffled THUMP. I thought that it sounded like a car hitting something but not car vs. car as there was none of the screeching tires or that sickening crunch of metal.

As I look up I saw what looked like plastic or fiberglass flying over the tops of the other cars in the parking lot. I knew something got hit. When I reached my truck I could see what happened: A car had hit a guy riding one of those moped/ motorscooter things. His scooter was laying next to him just outside the center of the intersection. He was curled up on his side.

I remember looking at all the other people near the intersection about that time and everyone seemed shocked. It was touching to see a number of people, perhaps eight or so run to the aid of the injured man. Not much they could do but provide moral support.

I noticed a car parked just east of him in the left lane of Harris and the windshield was cracked from the impact. He must have flown up and over the car.

Finally, what I assume was the lady driving the car, came back and pulled her car to the side of the road. She seemed unfazed, at least from what I could see. I don't know who was at fault there but, after getting involved in something like that, I think I'd be a bit shook up. She sure seemed to handle it well.

I've seen the victim nearly every day riding his scooter south on E Street. Something went horribly wrong in his life yesterday? I wonder if he made it. I left as the ambulance got there.

Just goes to show how quickly life can change for all of us. While that happens probably every day in Eureka, at least we're lucky to live in a place where people are generally quick to come to your aid.

So I get home and a couple hours later I'm out in my garage. Once again I get to become involved, albeit from afar, in another common activity in Eureka: Domestic disputes.

The neighbors on the other side of the street, a couple houses south of us have been fairly disruptive since they moved in a few years ago. One thing or another over the years, with more than their fair share of arguing and yelling at each other out in front of their house.

Yesterday, it almost went a little further with probably eight to ten of them pushing and shoving at the front porch of the house. Profanities all over the place at each other and all. One kid, who appeared in his early twenties, rips his shirt off and starts motioning for an older guy to bring it on.

I'm almost amused by it, almost hoping it would get really violent so it would get to the point where some of them would end up in jail for a while. No luck.

After about five minutes they seemed to calm down and the younger kid and a friend eventually drove off on their motorcycles.

I'll never understand people like that. These people seem to argue and threaten each other all the time. I'm not sure who lives there and who doesn't cause there's so much in and out there. I would think a normal person wouldn't want to deal with all the hostility, day in and day out and would find somewhere else to live or hang out.

Apparently these aren't normal people, at least by my standards. But, they probably are becoming more the norm for what we'll be dealing with in Eureka as the productive people leave the county, and more and more of the riff- raff move in.

Ambulance Chasers On The Loose

I suppose I knew Eureka attorney, Jason Singleton, wasn't alone in his predatory legal tactics. We discussed here earlier how he'd go around and find businesses in minor non- compliance with the Americans with Disablities Act(?) and sue them, hoping for cash settlements.

The Sacramento Bee reports this morning on a similar tactic used by ambulance chaser types around the state: Suing businesses for not posting signs warning of even minor exposure to various chemicals. Good to see the Attorney General's office is starting to take a closer look at some of these cases.

Oh, as always, if asked for a login, use username humboldtlib and password blogspot.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Two New Humboldt Blogs

Two new Humboldt blogs to announce today:

First; Richard "Never Say Die" Marks starts his first blog off with Samoa Softball. He says he'll mostly focus on local softball, but what does he end up doing? His third post ends up dealing with county politics.

Next; the Eureka Standard, written by The Carson Park Ranger, seems to follow in the tradition of this and many of the other local blogs: Commenting, if not running down, local media and personalities. Carson Park Ranger, huh? Wonder if he lives near me. Carson Park's only three blocks from my house.

Anyway, a couple others I know of but won't announce until they get something going. Don't want to clutter up my blog list with a bunch of dead blogs. I'll keep an eye on the two I mentioned and add them to my list when I have a little more time.

Clowns: Love 'Em Or Hate 'Em?

Wight Wing Wadical brought up something on his blog I've wondered about most my life: Clowns. Why do circuses still use clowns?

That wasn't exactly what he was commenting on but it struck a chord with me. I've never liked circus clowns. I've always found them creepy, to say the least. Most people I know don't like clowns either, at least the ones I've had the opportunity to ask about it.

So, my latest poll asks how you feel about clowns. Only problem is, I forgot to include a "Not Sure" or "Indifferent", something I always criticize other polls for doing. Oh well, maybe next time.

Meat Processing At The Marina?

Looks like there's serious talk of a meat processing plant being built in Ukiah. A little more info on it in the Ukiah Daily Journal than was available in today's Times- Standard. Sounds like a good idea, the way they present it.

I wonder if Humboldt could support something like that? We already have at least one meat processing plant, that being Redwood Meats or whatever it's called, out in Myrtletown. Now that's something I wouldn't mind seeing somewhere down on the Balloon Tract, or one of the other vacant lots by the waterfront: INDUSTRY!

How about it Brian [Morrissey]: Think we could set aside some room for a meat processing plant at Marina Center? If not there, maybe somewhere else?

A more important question is whether North Coast Meats, or any other entity, would want to bother trying to start up a plant in Humboldt County?

Stewart Slams The CCCC

Nice hit piece here on the California Citizens Compensation Commission by San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Jill Stewart. The CCCC is the body that keeps giving raises to our state legislators.

Who'd a thunk Stewart herself was a Democrat by the slam she gave some of the Commission members?

I suspect the make up of the CCCC is no different than any of the other dozens of commissions that decide one thing or another at the state level. Those positions usually being some sort of reward for one thing or another.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fluoride vs. Choice

Eric points out on his blog that the latest issue of the Arcata Eye's Issue Scrutinizer deals with fluoridation of public water systems. The issue being on the ballot in Arcata this November.

One thing I find troubling with the proponents arguments for fluoridization is they dismiss personal choice so easily. I'm sure proponents will point out that those who prefer water without fluorine added can always buy bottled water. Seems to me it should be the other way around: Whoever wants water with something extra in it should have to pay for it, just like anything else.

NCJ Does Google Earth

Looks like the North Coast Journal is going to start doing some type of news thing using Google Earth. First I'd ever heard of Google Earth (and I thought I was in the internet loop). It will be interesting to see how this develops.

One question I have is whether or not the software you need to download is spy or adware?

Foreign Pedestrian Problems?

Isn't this the second time in a few months foreign exchange students have been hit by a car? The last time was when two french foreign exchange students were hit by a sheriff's deputy on Harris Street in Eureka. Was this girl french?

If any more foreign students get hit by cars around here I might start thinking this is part of some conspiracy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More Campaign Finance Reform

The Times- Standard gave a short mention this morning to the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, designated Prop 89 on the November ballot.

I haven't really looked too closely at this one yet but I'm sure I'll vote NO on it. I've said before I'm very skeptical of most so- called campaign finance reforms.

Our very own Chris Crawford is quoted saying he doesn't think financing campaigns is a proper function of government. I might agree with him there.

He also thinks government funding of campaigns will encourage more whackos to run for office. I'm not so sure of that as government funding of campaigns will more likely reduce the number of candidates allowed to run for office, as I see it. It would probably take much more effort to jump through the hoops to qualify for government funding than it takes now if you just raise your own money.

Local elections expert, Kaitlin Sopoci- Belknap, thinks publicly funded elections are a "great idea and a great systemic fix for our elections...".

I'll never understand how anyone, much less someone on the far left who thinks government and corporations are so intertwined, could think that putting government in charge of deciding who the candidates are and who gets the funding is going to reform our elections.

Another Baykeeper Lawsuit

Looks like Humboldt Baykeeper is filing another lawsuit, this time in conjunction with Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. They want Simpson Timber to clean up the site of an old mill in Eureka just north of the foot of West Del Norte Street, right next to where I used to fish all the time back in the mid 70s.

I don't know what the truth of the matter is. Baykeeper claims pollution well in excess of EPA limits. I don't believe I've suffered any ill effects from eating all the fish and shark I've caught down there.

I'm wondering what their motivation is? I can't help but think this might be linked to the Marina Center controversy. As myself and others have pointed out here, opponents of Marina Center never brought up the pollution and capping issue with other developments on the waterfront.

Maybe this is their way of making it look as if they are looking at other polluted properties now and they're not insisting on the Balloon Tract clean up solely because of the Marina Center proposal?

Hold on a second, maybe not. Just noticed this section of the article:

Pete Nichols called the numbers “Superfund numbers,” suggesting the site is so heavily contaminated it could qualify for federal cleanup action.

Oh, I think I get. It will bring more federal money to the area. What a unique idea.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tooth Cleaning Prescriptions?

I never realized people needed a "prescription" from a dentist to have a dental hygenist clean their teeth. I guess they do as the Sacramento Bee notes (As usual, if login is required, username is humboldtlib, password is blogspot).

As I believe I covered here before, there's a movement afoot to end the prescription requirement. I agree with the Bee; Shame on the legislators who opposed ridding ourselves of tooth cleaning prescriptions.

I get irked over prescription drugs, as well. If I know what I need, why should I need to get permission from a doctor to buy it? I don't think many people realize how much more prescriptions increase health care costs.

First, to get the prescription, you have to go to a doctor's office. That can cost a considerable amount of money, especially for those not well off financially.

Like my high blood pressure medications: The prescriptions are only good for a year. Being new to the medication, I didn't realize I had to get the prescription renewed so let it lapse and ended up going without medication until I could set up an appointment. So, not only did I go without the medication for a few days, I had to pay for an appointment again, which is $69 for me, even with insurance.

A couple months ago I made a mistake when I faxed in my prescription to Henderson Center Pharmacy. I got the prescription filled ok, but there was a note from the doctor's office attached by the pharmacist to "come in and see me...". Right, like I have $69 to throw around and am just going to go in there on a whim to chat about medications.

Second; Drugs are cheaper as non- prescribed. Anyone remember in the news a while back where they were talking about removing some drugs from prescription to non- prescription status? One of them was Allegra, an allergy medication that works very well for me.

I was considering asking the doc for a prescription for it but, at the cost of $3 per pill, the cost was prohibitive. I read that if it was available without a prescription, it would only cost $1 a pill. Now that's affordable.

But we couldn't go there could we? Someone might misuse it. Prescriptions are still required for Allegra. They certainly know what's best for us.

I can take care of myself. I don't need the nanny staters making me go through hurdles just so they can protect certain interests.

We really need to work on ending all the restrictions on medical and dental care. Unfortunately, the narrow passage through the committee of that dental hygenist bill shows just what a tough row that will be to hoe.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Tech Beat Correction?

I always try to check out the Tech Beat column in the Times- Standard each Tuesday. Today's column was on laser vs. ink- jet printers. I don't know that much about printers, but the following seems like either a mistake, or a miscommunication:

Cost of Media: You can't run an inkjet without the color cartridges.

Hmmm...I do. Of course, I'm still using the old Canon BJC-210 that came with the first computer I bought around ten years ago. Have they changed over the years, or is he saying that most people are going to need to do color work?

The author is correct that the cartidges are quite expensive and, if you use the color cartridges for black and white jobs, they do go quite fast as the printer needs to mix all three colors to make black ink. I found that out early on and might still be using the color cartridges had not one of the sales guys at Staples straightened me out.

It's much less expensive to just by a black ink cartridge. Not only are they much cheaper than color cartridges, they seem to last forever. Then again, I don't use my printer all that much.

He Finally Got It?

Oh, I guess not.

I was surprised to see the subject line in an e-mail I received yesterday, via the Redwood Peace and Justice Center e-mail list, the words Global Cooling. At first I thought the guy who sent it, Arcata's lefty activist Fhyre Phoenix, might have finally realized that there is another line of thought in regards our climate; that being some climatologists think we may be moving towards another ice age (as was the prevailing theory back in the late 60s and early 70s).

Nope. I suppose that was too much to hope for. Instead, he was announcing a series of booklets he's developing for use at various levels of society suggesting ways individuals, communities and government can combat global warming by their own direct actions. He asks for suggestions. Two examples he uses are:

For example, municipalities may pass ordinances to:
· Ban the sale of non-florescent light bulbs.
· Require that all asphalt rooftops be painted white within two years.

Intersting ideas, the second one being a bit amusing, as well. Frightening also, in that people like myself would be required to pay every so many years to repaint their rooftops should his idea catch on in the right circles.

But, if you feel like joining in his project, send your suggestions to him at:

Fhyre Phoenix
P.O. Box 5082
Arcata, Calif. 95518

If nothing else it might be fun seeing just what other kind of "solutions" end up on his list after he's done with it.

The Centrist Party?

The Eureka Reporter informs us today of the formation of yet another political party. This time it's the Centrist Party. While I naturally found this of interest, I have to ask whether this is really all that newsworthy?

Doing a quick check of Ron Gunzburger's, aside from the Republicans and Democrats, there's already at least thirty eight other political parties in existence around the country, and that's not counting a number that exist only in certain states. Almost sounds to me like they're trying to reinvent the wheel.

I don't think this new group will even get as far as the Reform Party did.

A Blog Glossary

I've had Samizdata on my blog list for a few months now. I just noticed they have a blog glossary on their site, which may be of interest to some of you. For instance; Do you know what a blog roach is?

Don't know that I can say we've had too many on this blog.

Monday, July 03, 2006

McClintock on the Budget

Just noticed this speech(?) Tom McClintock gave last week in the State Senate regarding the soon to be passed state budget.

Right Wing Sites Losing To The Left

Looks like some of the Right Wing heavies; Rush, Coulter and O'Reilly, are taking a hit in their web site traffic, according to this news piece. I can't help but wonder if they're just manipulating statics by picking out a short time span that shows a downward trend, but it might well be true.

What I can't understand is why Left Wing sites like are getting more traffic. I can see some people getting bored with Bush apologists saying the same thing over and over again but says the same thing over and over again too. I get a little tired of both of them.

A Fourth of July Tale

I've always been annoyed by blind nationalism, especially as it becomes more pronounced around July 4th. Nonetheless, I found that old The Price They Paid tale that supposedly describes the fate of the signers of the Declaration of Independence quite stirring.

Thanks to Eric, over at Sohum Parlance, for the heads up that The Price They Paid isn't quite the way things happened. Here's Snope's review of the story.

No, No and NO!

That's how some folks in the know think voters might vote on the initiatives on the November ballot, according to the Oakland Tribune. I hope it goes that way for most of them but there are at least a couple that deserve a Yes vote.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Flag Desecration Poll

The latest Times- Standard online poll asks whether you'd support a constitutional amendment to outlaw desecration of the American flag.

Seems there's always a diehard 30%, more or less, that support such ideas. I can't imagine why anyone would. Sure, I understand the emotional aspect some have toward flag desecration, but I don't see any compelling objective argument for a law prohibiting it.

It amazes me that even a small majority can't see the irony in supposedly defending freedom by placing more limits on it.

He Left His Heart...

in San Francisco.

So Jim Steinberg, our Public Defender for quite a few years, is retiring. He's going to move to San Francisco. I'll never understand that.

First; Why someone would live somewhere for 29 years when he's had the means and desire to live somewhere he'd rather be, in this case San Francisco. Second; Sure, I've always said each to their own, but I'll never understand how anybody would want to live in San Francisco.

I've spent a little time down there as of late and I'll admit it's not that bad, but I can't imagine anyone thinking of San Francisco as a place they can't wait to get home to. Too crowded and hard to get around in. But, I'll say it again: Each to their own.

I wouldn't mind moving out of Humboldt County myself, even though I do consider this place home. I wouldn't want to move anywhere in California though. Oh, I guess I like Shasta and Siskiyou counties and wouldn't mind trying those places out, but I'd rather move out of state.

But I don't have the means to and it's highly unlikely I ever will. In the meantime, at least I'm stuck in a place I'm comfortable with and do consider home. Can't complain too much about that.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

November Ballot Initiatives

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Weintraub gives us a preview of the propositions (June 30th post for latecomers here), with their designations, that will be on the ballot this November. There's 13 of them and it looks like I'll be voting NO on all but one or two of them.

Oh, as usual, if login is required to the Bee, username is humboldlib, password is blogspot.

New Humboldt Lefty Site

Just found out about this relatively new web site for the hard Left in Humboldt. Humboldt Revolution seems to have been created by our very own (at least he used to come here) Noel Adamson.

Not sure just what to make of it as it's somewhat confusing with all the text. They do have a forum. Doesn't look like too many people are making use of it though.

Don't Just Stand There...

spend something!

A number of headlines in the papers the last couple days over the state budget being passed on time for a change.

Passing the budget by the deadline is ominous news in itself since the last time the budget passed on time was fiscal year 2000- 2001(?). That's the one where the Governor and legislature went bananas spending all the money from the dot com boom and got us into the budget mess we're in today.

Said the Governator about the budget:

"We put politics aside here and we were driven by one overwhelming desire to what is best for California. Because of that, for the first time in six years, California has a budget in place before the start of a new fiscal year,".

You'd think he'd be smart enough to not emphasize passing the budget on time.

In the 1998-99 budget year, the last Pete Wilson budget, general fund spending in California was $57.8 billion (with general fund revenues at $58.6 billion. Spending rose from $57.8 billion to $78 billion in two budget cycles, (budget years 99-00 and 00-01). If the state had simply grown its government taking into account inflation and population growth during this time, it would have a surplus today. Instead, the state increased spending by $20 billion, and created a deficit in the 01-02 budget year. That year, the state overspent revenues by $11 billion. When Governor Davis borrowed the money to cover that shortfall, he created the debt that still plagues us today. - State Assemblyman Ray Haynes, Jan. 24, 2005