Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ogden Does IRV

Speaking of statewide Libertarian Party candidates, after doing the post on the gubernatorial race, I decided to take another look at the LP's statewide candidates and see if any of their web sites has been improved upon (or even had started on one).

I stopped by Dale Ogden, our Insurance Commissioner candidate's web site, and noticed he had a neat little automated Instant Runoff Voting program set up there. You can vote in all the statewide races and it looks like it might even have congressional district votes that can be done as well. I didn't have time to hang around and play with it.

Check it out. Here's the link to the IRV page. If the IRV link doesn't work- the urls look identical- just go to his main page and scroll down. You'll find the IRV link a little ways down in the middle of the page.

Arkley's Fined by FPPC

Looks like Rob and Cherie Arkley are being fined for some reporting errors with regards to some political contributions they made. One of those contributions being $12,000 given to the Friends of Paul Gallegos a couple years ago.

Probably one more reason they're likely sorry to have contributed to Paul Gallegos. If only Measure T would have been in force back then, this might not have happened!

Gubernatorial Poll

Here's the latest poll numbers in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Quite honestly, I would have expected it to be a little closer between the Governator and Angelides by now. I suppose things might well change in the next five weeks, especially when the Undecideds decide.

I'd actually like to see Angelides stomped decisively. I don't think that will happen, though, if for no other reason than I'm used to being disappointed and figure this time around it will be no different.

Who will I be voting for? As I believe I've said before here, if it would have ended up being a race between Westly and Schwarzenegger, I could have felt comfortable voting for Art Olivier, the Libertarian Party candidate- Westly and the Governator seeming to be two fairly reasonable people, no really bad results if either would have won.

But that was not to happen. Now we have, in my opinion, a horrific candidate in Angelides, vs. a pretty much left leaning middle of the roader in Schwarzenegger. As Schwarzenegger moves further to the Left, it moves me more toward taking the third party route with Olivier, but I can't see Schwarzenegger morphing into such a lefty that there'd be no real difference between him and Angelides . One of those cases where I'll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of the LP's gubernatorial candidate, Art Olivier, he just got a decent write up from the Orange County Register's, Steve Greenhut:

Libertarians choose an adult

From Steven Greenhut:

The California Libertarian Party has done itself proud by nominating former Bellflower Mayor Art Olivier as its sacrificial lamb in the governor's race. Olivier, who attended an Editorial Board with the Register yesterday, shows a new seriousness by the party. We know he has no chance of winning, and probably has no chance of even getting 10 percent of the vote.

But it is significant that the party has selected someone who is intelligent, serious, professional and
actually has somewhat of a successful political background. Mayor of Bellflower ain't the biggest deal, but he has more political experience than our current governor had before winning office. I'm pleased by his position on immigration, although here is one position that divides even libertarians.

Olivier is well positioned to receive protest votes from Republicans who are disgusted by their governor's leftward tilt. Unfortunately, the Libertarians don't have much of a budget to get out the message.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pot Possession Fines Increasing?

Just in from the Marijuana Policy Project: S.B. 797 will be heading to the state assembly within the next couple days. S.B. 797 will downgrade simple possession of no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana to an infraction, as opposed to a misdemeanor as it currently is. This would seem to be a good thing.

The downside is they're going to increase the fine for the second offense to $250 from the current $100. It's unclear whether the fine will change for the first offense. This also means, since it will be an infraction, defendants are no longer entitled to a jury trial.

They can't just drop it, can they? Rather than just dropping the offense to an infraction, they have to raise the fines, as well. The MPP release says prosecutors support the bill because it makes it easier to convict and raises the fine. That's a fine kettle of fish to have to live with.

Around 25 years ago a friend, now retired from the Casa Grande, AZ Police Department, told me, "The only reason drugs aren't legal is because they haven't found a way to tax them yet.".

Looks like they're working on it now.

Operation Yellow Elephant?

I guess that letter Rob Ash wrote to the Eureka Reporter ended up all over the world. A guy from Austria, joins the fray by sending his own letter in to the Reporter. I couldn't really tell at first if he was serious or doing a spoof.

So, I do a quick web search on Operation Yellow Elephant, listed in the writer's signature, and the first thing I find is this blog. The blog deals with, among other things, the issue of those not willing to serve, advocating war.

As best I can tell by a short visit, Operation Yellow Elephant is a satirical blog posing as republican- conservative. Anybody have a different take on that blog?

If you check out the comments there, you'll see that apparently Rob Ash (robash141- who I believe has posted comments here), himself, made some comments. You'll also see that many of the comments are just as nasty as some we get here.

Wireless In Humboldt

For those that don't frequent Robert Morse's Tech Talk blog, today's post gives us a heads up on efforts to install wireless networks around the county.

As an aside, I think wireless can be a nice thing to have available. I use it all the time when out of town. I think I'd prefer hardwired broadband in my own home, though.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Personal Attacks or Debating Issues?

I guess I wasn't too surprised to see a couple letters in the Eureka Reporter criticizing the guest commentary Rob Ash made a few days ago. He was critical of Anthony Mantova, a die- hard War Party member who has written a couple commentaries in favor of war against the muslim world.

I pretty much agreed with Ash: Mantova often advocates attacking other countries while he won't directly participate himself, other than being the cheerleader.

Both Andy Stunich and out- of- towner, Patrick Bell, wrote letters criticizing Ash's commentary as being personal attacks and as avoiding the real issues. Good point.

I guess I hadn't noticed it because I agreed with Ash. I get a bit tired of people telling other people to do things that won't apply to themselves and I still think Ash's point is somewhat valid. He just focused on it too much.

Nonetheless, as I've said a few words addressing name calling and personal attacks here, it's good that the point was made that we should deal with the issues at hand.

But, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Stunich and Bell might resort to the same sort of personal attacks if it was a different issue being discussed. We've seen on this very blog that personal attacks come from all sides of the political spectrum. Let's try and avoid doing that here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stealing Domains

Now here's something of interest, especially since there was some apparent skullduggery going on with some local political web sites as noted on Eric's blog (

Looks like the proponents of that gas tax initiative did some monkeywrenching to the No On Prop 87
folk's domain names, using domains they bought to redirect viewers to the Yes on 87 site.

I've seen a little of this through the years. It's not uncommon, either, for speculators to buy up domain names of possible campaign sites, in advance, and then sell them to campaigns for a high price.

I heard something- might have been a rumor- that someone bought every possible domain name they thought possible for the Bob Dole campaign for president. When the Dole campaign found the domain they wanted was already taken, they paid thousands to the guy that got there ahead of them.

Maybe I should try that some time. I could use the money.

Slow News Day

I can't find much in the news to comment on today, especially since I couldn't get to the site yet. Looks like yesterday was a slow news day, but maybe it's just me.

About the only thing that did grab my attention was word from Austin Cassidy's Third Party Watch blog that Steve Kubby, the Libertarian Party of California's gubernatorial candidate back in 1998 has thrown his hat in the ring for the LP 2008 Presidential nomination.

Oh boy, here we go again.

I didn't have much of a problem with Kubby at the time, but enough is enough. He's gotten himself into more than enough trouble, some of it due to his own big mouth, imo. Time for him to move on and find something else to do besides being a fringe candidate.

Problem is, I don't know that he ever did much other than deal with pot issues and run some online skiing magazine. What else is he going to do?

It's probably too early to be saying who will win the LP nomination in 2008, but I don't see any other possible presidential candidates from any of the other sides of the aisle I'd consider voting for at this point. If Kubby does end up winning the LP nomination (and I don't think he will), he might end up the only choice.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Campaign Signs Up

I see a few campaign signs popping up around town. Some of them, of course, never came down after the primary- The Neely vs. Flemming race still undecided.

The only signs I've noticed, so far, are Neely, Flemming, Jeff Leonard and, oh, a couple for Mary Beth- Wolford. I can't believe those will be the only ones putting out signs. I remember back during the primary we discussed the issue of when signs should go up- not too early, not too late- but don't remember if a consensus was ever reached.

I figure a month and a half before the election is soon enough. Even a month is fine. The day after the election, the signs come down. Sometimes, as I did last time around, I take them down as soon as the polls close on election day.

I was asked by someone a few days ago if they could put a sign in my yard. I figured it was too early, although it's probably within the month and a half election window. I think I'll go ahead and put some signs up around September 1.

Wouldn't it be interesting if few other signs ended up being put up and the candidates and issues with the least signs won?

215 Coming To Eureka?

Uh oh. I guess it was bound to happen. Someone would eventually want to open a medical marijuana clinic in Eureka. I guess it's not that big a deal since Eureka already has enough druggies to go around. I don't know that this will make things any worse, or will it?

Seems to me something like that would fit in better in Arcata, but doesn't Arcata already have some 215 type clinic?

Whatever. If it does end up in Eureka, lets hope it ends up somewhere in the west side of town, since that's where most of the low lifes already hang out.

It may surprise some that Mr. Libertarian here would be concerned about 215 clinics. Hey, I'm easy going and don't care if people smoke pot whether or not they're 215 "patients". It just seems that just about every town I've heard of that's allowed 215 clinics to operate, including San Francisco, ends up having problems with them.

And I can't help but wonder if such a clinic would attract even more riff- raff to Eureka than we already have?

Asset Forfeiture Hits Close To Home

Interesting goings on in Mendocino County regarding some asset forfeiture shenanigans. Shenanigans, at least according to the two guys suing libertarian and Mendocino County District Attorney, Norm Vroman, for misuse of asset forfeiture funds.

According to them, Vroman has, "
misspent asset forfeiture funds on items including machine guns, silencers, a car and on Vroman's campaign for re-election.".

Hmm... what's all that about? Vroman says this is just an effort to screw up his re- election campaign. Could well be. We've seen the kind of vitriol people hold for candidates other than their own right here on this blog. I'm sure it's no different in Mendocino County.

I hope the Ukiah Daily Journal covers more of this story cause I'm dying of curiousity.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Record Freshman Class At HSU

Looks like Humboldt State University is kicking off with a bang this semester with record numbers of freshman attending. I suppose we should give all the credit to whoever did that redesign of the entrance to the campus.

But, looks like the number of continuing students is still down. I can't help but wonder if they ended up going to some other school or finally realized it made more sense just to get a job somewhere?

Who Is Behind Prop 87?

This article (username humboldtlib, password blogspot) in today's Sacramento Bee takes a look at the forces behind Prop 87, the upcoming ballot initiative that places an extraction tax on oil drilled in California. Those revenues would supposedly be used in alternative energy research.

Not surprisingly, at least some of the people behind the intitiative seem to be investor class folks who would directly profit from Prop 87. Even the guy who came up with the idea has earned over a hundred grand so far, being the Executive Director of the campaign.

This doesn't look all that much different from that stem cell research intitiative that passed last time around where the people that bankrolled it are the ones that profit most from it.

They claim this initiative prohibits oil companies from passing the tax on to consumers. I have a hard time swallowing that one. It will end up being passed on one way or another.

Interesting note in the summary at the bottom of the story: The list of opponents includes some named oil companies and "
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other oil companies". I wonder if that's supposed to be a slam on the HJTA or just a poor sentence structure?

I, of course, will be voting NO on Prop 87.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ballot Statement Costs

When you get your Official Voter's Guide for the upcoming election, you may wonder why some candidates have no more than a few words in their ballot statements and some have none at all. This article in the Capitol Weekly News explains why.

I was surprised to learn this was one of the consequences of Prop. 34, a campaign finance reform initiative passed back in 2000. For the life of me I can't recall what Prop. 34 was about, but apparently part of it was that candidates that agree to some spending limits get to have a statement in the Official Voter Guide, at a cost. Those who don't agree to the spending limits, don't.

Seems a bit nutty to me but, whatever. I guess that's one of the reasons I'm, at best, skeptical of these so- called campaign finance reform laws. Of course, I'm not alone in that. The San Diego Union- Tribune ran an editorial today against Prop. 89, the up- coming clean money in politics initiative that will be on the ballot in November.

I'll be voting NO on Prop. 89, but I was voting NO on it even before I read the U-T editorial.


Looks like that My Word column in the Times- Standard yesterday about soboriety check points wasn't written by Jim Garvey. It was written by John Birch Society member, Gene Owens, as the Times- Standard explains.

I thought so. I'll admit to not being too familiar with Jim Garvey and whatever issues he writes about (wasn't he a member of that California Seniors Legislature, or whatever it's called?). I am a bit familiar with Gene Owens' writings and, when reading that My Word column yesterday, thought it was probably written Owens until I got to the end and saw it attributed to Garvey.


Local Solutions came out with their endorsements for the Eureka City Council races. As Times- Standard reporter, Kimberly Wear, notes, no surprises there. I was expecting to see endorsements in some of the other races. Anyone know if they'll pipe in on some of the other races around the county like Arcata and Rio Dell city councils?

Speaking of endorsements, I thought it was a smart move by the Governator to refuse to seek an endorsement from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The question now is what Phil Angelides will do. The Sacramento Bee takes a look at the situation. Any guesses as to which path Angelides will take?

I think the smart thing for him to do is not to ask for the endorsement. They'll probably give it to him whether he asks for it or not.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Police State?

Anon 6:32, in the comments of my Drug Money? post asks, "Police State We're Living In" ? Fred ! How can you say that ? Can you qualify that? As I responded to him, I'm sure most of us would have a different definition of what a police state consists of.

Certainly efforts to take away American's civil rights have been going on since this country was founded and, for my fellow Bush Haters, this didn't all start with him. All, or parts, of the PATRIOT Act have been proposed by people from both sides of the aisle for quite some time.

Then, we have asset forfeiture laws. Laws that are generally civil actions (correct me if I'm wrong here) brought against those who have supposedly committed crimes. I have no problem with those criminals who profit greatly from illegal acts having their ill- gotten gains taken from them, but it should be done only on conviction and only when the criminal responsible has his or her assets seized, not someone else not involved.

That isn't the way it always happens, though. Asset forfeiture proceedings can be taken against people who knew nothing of the crime and only had property involved, like the guy in Oakland who was using a relative's car while soliciting a prostitute. The relative's car was seized.

I've had this verified by law enforcement people. If you own a house somewhere, rent it out and the tenants grow pot and get caught, your house can be seized and sold, although you had no idea what was going on.

Past Eureka Police Chief, Arnie Millsap, was quoted some years ago, in regards to forfeiture of people not involved in crimes, "We don't do that up here". I'd say that in itself is an admission that this is done. I'm glad they don't do it up here, if he's telling the truth.

The fact that many departments do it and it gets made easier by an occasional court ruling, while not an indication to most of a Police State, is certainly indicative to me of law enforcement getting out of hand and having more control of people- innocent people- than they should have.

Soboriety Check Points

It's been touched on by at least one other blogger: The soboriety check points that are all in vogue with the police and the nanny staters nowadays.

I've been offended by stops without probable cause for decades. Some of you older folks might remember back in the '70s they did something similar to soboriety checkpoints for vehicle safety. I forget what they called them.

The CHP would put up a checkpoint somewhere, unannounced. All the ones I'd gone through were placed so there was no way to avoid them. Last one that caught me was in the northbound (or is that west bound?) lane of Myrtle Avenue in Eureka, right after you came up around the hill off Old Arcata Road.

Once you came around the corner there was no way to avoid it. They motion you over and put your car through a safety inspection, giving you a fix- it- ticket for any violations found. Really humiliating to me, at the time. I think it still would be. It would really piss me off. I'm just driving along minding my own business and get pulled over for not doing anything and have to go through a big hassle.

As an aside, back in '84, while in the College of the Redwoods Police Academy, the late Sgt. (later to be Captain) Baarts, of the local Highway Patrol office taught the Traffic class that was part of the Admin of Justice curicullim.

As part of that class we did this thing where you play a officer being interviewed for the job of traffic supervisor of a local police department. One of the questions I was asked was if I supported any kind of roadside safety checks, the kind I've been referring to. They'd stopped doing them a few years earlier, the reason which escapes me now.

Anyway, I said something along the lines of, "No, I won't support stopping people on the road without probable cause. I don't think that's right. We're not a police state.". He seemed surprised by the answer. I got the impression he disagreed.

He went on to say that he thought we got a good deal with those checkpoints as some states require you to pay for a mechanical inspection before you can get your car registered so this saved people money. Regardless of that, he said my answer of requiring probable cause was a good one. I felt good about it.

So, they got rid of those safety checks, then eventually talked someone into these soboriety check points. I'm not sure just how far I think the police should be allowed to go but, seems to me, we've already started down the slippery slope with these soboriety check points.

First it was just for drunk drivers. Now, not only is anyone who's been drinking stopped, they check drivers licenses and pop people for various violations like not wearing a seatbelt. I can't help wonder if they're also running computer checks as I keep reading in the paper about people getting arrested on warrants at soboriety checkpoints.

What will they be checking us for next at these checkpoints? At this point, since the courts seem to think there's nothing wrong with what's going on, I'm sure they can be persuaded to allow even more search and seizure to be done at these stops.

Today's Times- Standard has a My Word column by Rio Dell resident and local gadfly, Jim Garvey, who also seems to believe soboriety checkpoints are unconstitutional. His column is a bit convoluted and hard to follow, at least for me. Nice to see I'm not alone, though.

Asset Forfeiture and Soboriety Checkpoints are just two issue in regards to the Police State. Surveillance and the PATRIOT Act are others where, although we may not be there yet for many people's description of the Police State, it should be close enough to give one pause.

Let's never mind efforts by some states and localities to disarm the citizenry and only allow the police, criminals and military to own guns (although I'll admit that issue hasn't been as hard pressed in recent years, at least on the national level).

I'm sure some of our commentors on this blog from both the Left and Right will be able to come up with other example of, if we're not a Police State now, we're at least heading towards being one. So let's hear from the Left and Right. If there's one thing the Bush Administration can take credit for, it's bringing together elements of both the Left and Right in defending our freedoms.

S.F. Chronicle Defending Smokers?

I was surprised to see the San Francisco Chronicle publish an editorial in defense, well...kind of in defense, of smokers. Actually, I guess it's not so much a defense of smokers but a criticism of increasing legislative attacks, by all levels of government, on smokers.

I wonder if this is any indication of the position they'll take on Prop 86, the upcoming ballot initiative to add $2.69 to every pack of cigarettes sold in the state?

Industrial Hemp Headed To Governator

It looks like a bill to legalize the growing of Industrial Hemp in California is finally headed to the Governor's desk. I get the feeling, after reading the Ukiah Daily Journal's story on this, the Governor might actually sign it. Let's hope so.

I mentioned some time ago that a similar bill a few years ago, sponsored by our very own State Assemblybabe, Virginia Strom- Martin, didn't even make it through the Democrat controlled State Assembly's Agriculture Committee. I wonder what made this one different?

I wanted to mention this a few days ago, when the Times- Standard covered it but, for whatever reason, the T- S didn't link to the story on their web site. They covered some of the back and forth in the legislature on the issue, including some comments by State Senator Tom McClintock (GO McCLINTOCK!), who carried the bill through the senate.

Today's Times- Standard has a local gal who sells hemp clothing's thoughts on Industrial Hemp. You can read her thoughts here.

Anyway, let's hope the Governor signs the bill. It's not going to end the hemp wars in and of itself, but it's a step in the right direction.

My gut feeling is the Governor will sign it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eureka Makes Case For Utility Tax

As expected, the Eureka City Council and its subordinate agencies are raising the hue and cry over the potential consequences of the city's Utility Tax not being extended this November.

I suppose it makes sense to make contingency plans for such a thing happening. I can't help wonder just how bad off the city would be if the voters don't approve the extension of the tax. The county didn't collapse after that last sales tax increase proposal, Measure L, was shot down and we heard pretty much the same arguments.

I'll have to admit to a knee jerk reaction in the negative when I see the old stand- by politicians and special interests use when they want something: Say it's either for the children or it will hurt the children. Still, I'll have to admit to being somewhat surprised to see this quote from Eureka's Assistant Operations Mangager:

But what made Assistant City Manager-Operations Mike Knight most “uncomfortable,” he noted, were the eliminations within the recreation division, especially as the programs that would be hardest hit are those for children and teens.

I'd almost expect it, but still a bit surprised. Shameless. Always have to bring the kids into it, don't we?

Greenhut on Prop 90

I've been reading some of the arguments against Prop 90 that have been floating around lately. Prop 90 is the upcoming ballot initiative that will supposedly reform eminent domain practices in California. Proponents say it will help ensure that governments don't seize land from a private entity only to give it to another private entity.

I'll be voting YES on Prop 90, as will the Orange County Register's Steve Greenhut. Greehut makes his case for a YES vote on Prop 90 in this hard hitting commentary.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Candidate Residency Requirements

I guess The Works owner and Eureka City Council candidate, Larry Glass, isn't the only one being scrutinized for dodging candidate residency requirements.

This guy, from Mendocino County, is running for Ukiah City Council. He lived outside the city limits and simply moved into his business, inside the city limits, to meet the residency requirements.

I wonder if Larry Glass might of saved himself a hassle and done the same thing here? Of course, he might well of just rented a room somewhere in Eureka to register to vote. I don't know what he did. Might have been just as easy to rent the room.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Laws and More Laws

Interesting tidbit from Mary Lou Seymour's Liberty Action Of The Week newsletter: Over in Jolly Ol' England, Tony Blair's government has passed 3000 new criminal laws in the nine years he's been at the helm. That's about one law for every day he's been in power.

Mind you, that's just criminal laws, I don't believe that counts increased surveillance and privacy intrusion type laws. I knew the British were authoritarians at heart, so I guess that's no surprise.

Then again, are they that much worse than us Americans? I don't have the numbers as far as new laws passed on the federal level. I don't know if they'd equal Blair's record, or not. I'll go out on a limb and say maybe not.

But I did find some numbers for California:

According to San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Jill Stewart, California has passed some 47,000 laws over the last ten years. If I'm doing the math right, that's 4,700 new laws per year. That beats Tony Blair's record.

Of course, she's referring to all laws, not just criminal laws. Still, I'll give the Governator credit, just as Stewart does. Shwarzenegger gave us a new record low last year by vetoing 311 proposed laws. Let's hope he keeps it up and gives us a new record low this year.

Wings Air

I never knew my heart throb, Ilana Mercer, owns (or is part owner) of a private airline. I'd never heard of Wings Air before, either. Private (charter) airlines are nothing new, but it looks like these folks are making charter flights affordable to the less affluent types.

Small planes, with no TSA hassles, for the average folk. Looks like a limited range of destinations but, while the few destinations they have listed are in the southeast, they also say Choose your own destination. Might they consider Mckinleyville Airport?

Maybe Leonidas should check in with these folks next time he heads west? They seem to be centered in Atlanta. Don't know if they'll let him take his pistol onboard but there's no harm in asking.

It would be fun to have them open a branch of Wings Air up here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Voting: Absentee or Walk In?

We got a couple absentee ballot applications in the mail a week or so ago. Since we got them, I assume everyone else did? I'm trying to decide whether I want to send them in and give us permanent absentee voting status.

I used to be one of those that, while not thinking it was my duty to vote, thought it important. For some reason or other I also felt the honorable thing to do was to go down to my precinct and vote in person. Once I even chastised a fairly well known Southern CA LPer when he mentioned that he nearly always voted absentee.

But times change, and so do people. Now, I don't vote in races I don't see a compelling reason to vote in- the Thompson vs. Weisner race of the last few election cycles being one of them (unless an LPer is running). City council races are often left alone unless there's a compelling issue involved, as well. I actually feel good with myself for not voting in races there's no real reason to vote in.

But I do vote and am thinking of doing the absentee thing. I can only think of a couple downsides: I might get impatient and fill out my ballot early and then change my mind on some issue or candidate after I've voted. That's happened before, but that was with walk- in voting (As I mentioned some time ago, you can vote weeks early by going down to the Elections Division in Eureka. They have voting booths there.).

There's also security to consider, and I'm not one of those vote fraud conspiratorialists. First, you have to wonder if the ballot would get where it's supposed to go in the first place, postal service being what it is. Sencond, what if someone saw my ballot waiting in the mail and snagged my ballot and trashed it? I know, yet another conspiracy. Hey, just cause you're paranoid...

Then again, I could always fill out my ballot casually at home and deliver to Elections Division or my precinct by the deadline. That would probably be the way to go.

I'm not sure, but I have to make up my mind by September 8. That's the deadline for the November election. I'll probably go ahead and file as an absentee voter. Does anyone have any other compelling reasons for voting either absentee or walk- in?

Drug Money?

I heard somewhere a while back that some amazing percentage- I forget just what the percentage was- of currency in this country tests positive for cocaine. I can't help but think that's just another urban legend, but this Sacramento Bee story on some confiscated drug money got me to thinking about that again. Use humboldtlib for username and blogspot for password, if asked to log in.

Apparently yet another guy gets arrested and has a large amount of cash seized, simply because a drug dog detected the scent of drugs on both his money and the ice chest the money was in. One federal judge ruled that just because the money and ice chest had drug odors wasn't enough to link the money to drug activity. The eighth circuit court overuled his ruling with one judge dissenting.

I'll be the first to admit, from the newspaper account, the guy's story sounds a bit tough to swallow and you can't help believe he might well have been in the drug business. I can't imagine someone carrying around that much money to go buy something. If he was in a "legitimate business", I would almost think he'd have to have some kind of credit card, or at least some bank that took care of purchases like he was supposedly making.

That said, this confiscating money from people just because they can't come up with a normal explanation of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I remember watching one of those COPS type shows. I believe it was Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.

A black guy gets pulled over for some traffic violation in, I believe, Arizona. The cop talks him into letting him search the vehicle. The cop finds some ten thousand or so dollars in the glove box. The cop tells they guy they're taking the money as it is presumed to be drug money.

I forget the guy's excuse for having the money. I don't believe he said much. He just looked like there was nothing he could do and like he was getting shaken down. I believe they let him go but took the money. What happened after that, I don't know.

I don't like that. I don't think any of us should be comfortable with it. There should be a little more involved in taking someone's money than a cop just saying it was probably used in the drug business.

But this is one of those increasing signs of the police state we're living in and it's likely to get worse before it gets any better. Assuming it gets better at all.

State Budget Surpluses

Something must be wrong with this Washington Post article. Unless I'm reading it wrong, they're saying that all but five states are reporting budget surpluses, those five states being Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

What about California? Don't we need some billions of dollars to catch up the money we're spending in our latest budget?

I suspect this is more of the same creative accounting we see, not only in government, but some private businesses. That and perhaps a wide ranging description of what words such as surplus and deficit mean.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Judi Sets Us Straight

Eureka Reporter Publisher, Judi Pollace, sets us straight this morning on some supposed innaccuracies in that Rumble In The Redwoods piece in the San Francisco Chronicle. Seems to me she kind of left us hanging, though.

She does indeed correct the information about when the Reporter was actually started, but, after that, I find the info lacking:

She says reporter Mike Morrow's salary is not $35,000. Well, if it's important enough to bring it up, how much does he actually get?

She says there wasn't a physical altercation between Reporter and Times- Standard's people at the scene of a fatal accident. Then what exactly did happen? Some sort of altercation, or nothing at all?

I can understand picking away at a journalist's work. I'm doing it right now. But I thought the Rumble In The Redwoods piece was a pretty good read.

Where's All The Mosquitos?

Looks like California has had its first West Nile Virus related death of the year yesterday. Some elderly lady in Butte County caught the bug. Luckily, it seems the virus isn't as prevalent this year as it was last year.

What I'd like to know is where's all the mosquitos in Humboldt this year? Last year they were all over the place. I know. I work outside. So far this year, I could probably count on one hand the number of mosquitos I've encountered around here.

What's with that? I figured with all the rain we had we'd end up with a bumper crop of mosquitos, but they're nowhere to be found. No, I'm not complaining. I just wonder where they all are.

Oh. If login is required for the SacBee, as always: username humboldtlib, password blogspot.

Republican Women Endorse Flemming

I'd almost say "no surprise there", except here we are again with two candidates of the same party running against each other and the Republican Women putting their bylaws on hold and endorsing Nancy Flemming in the Board of Supes race. Gee, when did we last see a similar situation? Why...the Gallegos vs. Dikeman affair.

So, is this tit for tat, or what? The Democrats backed Dikeman because Gallegos was clearly much more to the left than Dikeman was and Gallegos was also seen as anti- business. So, since Bonnie Neely is clearly far to the left of Flemming, I guess it would make sense to back Flemming.

I wonder about a couple things: Will Neely make a big issue out of this like Dikeman did? I doubt it.

I also wonder why Neely's stayed a registered Republican after all these years?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Everybody's Word

Looks like everybody got to have their say in today's Times- Standard and Eureka Reporter opinion pages.

Howard Rein squares off against David Cobb on the issue of the Eureka Utility Tax extension. I think Howard did a good job of countering City Manager, David Tyson's pro- Measure U column of a few days ago.

Naturally, David Cobb supports the extension of the tax. I have to wonder if Kaitlin S-P and him even pay the utility tax on their phone and PG& E bills. I would think they wouldn't make that much money living on donations and likely got on the low income plan with those utilities which would exempt them from paying the tax.

Disclosure: I'm on the low income plan with those utilities, myself, but I'm not advocating others pay the tax.

Of course, as one would expect, he ends up turning his argument into a diatribe against the wealthy. Truth be told, the wealthy, according to David Cobb, is probably anyone in an income tax bracket above his.

Our very own Shane Brinton goes off about U.S. support of Israel, a subject that bores me to death. But, I realize there are many others interested in the issue as at least three other local blogs have commented on the issue recently. One thing I'll give Shane credit for is he at least criticizes both Democrats and Republicans, rather than taking a partisan angle to it as others often do.

Jerry Partain mixes a tour of Humboldt Bay with a trip down memory lane, reminding us of what used to be, compared to what we have now. My favorite line from his column:

One thought came to mind as we landed at the foot of F Street. The Eureka Redevelopment Agency (ERA) is particularly good at maintaining open space on the Waterfront. You have to give them credit for that. After leaving the boat, someone commented on the new construction east of the boardwalk. I reminded them they are looking at the twice-built development of Pierson and DeBini, and only because it is not a ERA project.

Well done, Jerry!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Trolley For Old Town, Eureka?

Eureka must not be too bad off financially if they're seriously talking about bringing a trolley to the Old Town area. Anything like that would have to be subsidized, as city council candidate, Larry Glass, alludes to. The fact that he's even proposing such a thing should give someone pause in considering voting for him.

I don't see the point in a trolley, subsidized or not. Everything in Old Town is within walking distance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

North Coast Travelogue, 8/20- 8/21

Made another one of those long trips to UCSF on Sunday. A pleasant surprise down at Confusion Hill: The road beneath the slide area is freshly paved- makes for a surprisingly smooth ride. A few other freshly paved areas between there and Laytonville, as well. Kinda nice.

The breakfast room at the Day's Inn in Novato definitely needs some work. I mentioned last time it didn't seem to be too well maintained, although it was adequate. This time the hard boiled eggs weren't fully cooked. I just had four extra pieces of toast instead.

I also kind of wondered when their maintenance man came in to the breakfast room and started fiddling around restocking something around the coffee machines. Does this guy restock all the food items? Does he wash his hands? Maybe I'm just being paranoid but over the years I've gotten pretty concerned with hygiene, especially since I'm with someone who is very immune deficient.

We've had rooms right next to each other every time we've stayed there. First time it was room 219, then 215 and Sunday night was 217. Perfect placement as it makes it easy to peek out the door and see if any deer or wild turkey are out and about.

This time we got in the room and immediately noticed there wasn't a refrigerator or microwave. Not good, as we'd brought frozen microwave meals for dinner and had other things we needed to keep cool. Not to worry. I called the office and within a couple minutes a guy was there with a hand truck delivering our microwave and fridge.

Whatever happened to plain old iced tea?

I've found iced tea is a necessity for summer travel in the hotter areas. Not only is it a refreshing drink, the caffeine it provides gives me a mental boost and I find it easier to avoid highway hypnosis, as they call it. Can't do without it anymore.

I don't normally drink the stuff regularly, at least not anymore, but a month or so ago we were down at UCSF and I had a sudden yankering to drink something besides water and thought of iced tea. We went down to the food court and none of the places had anything but those berry flavored teas. Talk about yuppies!

I didn't want any of that yuppie stuff. I wanted just regular, unsweetened, caffeinated iced tea. None to be found. Luckily, as we were leaving, we stopped by the Subway Sandwich place on the floor beneath the food court and were surprised to find they had good ol' Lipton Unsweetened Iced Tea.

So, after that we stopped at the Subway in Cloverdale assuming they'd have the same iced tea. Nope, just the yuppie berry flavored stuff.

So, what is it about me that, when I like something, it seems to go out of fashion with everyone else? You used to be able to get regular iced tea just about anywhere, years ago. Not anymore.

Whatever. It's actually not a problem now as we just make our own before we leave, minus the ice, and stop at various places along the way to refill our cups with ice. Some places charge more than others for a cup full of ice. One place charged the full cost of a drink just for a cup and ice. A couple places charge fifty cents per cup and some twenty five cents.

Best deal I found was the Shell station on the east side of 101 on the south end of Willits. I went in there Monday just to refill the small deteriorating cup I'd gotten at Subway in Frisco. They had nice solid plastic cups there and I decided to go ahead and pay for one. The lady only charged me twenty five cents for both the cup and ice.

I'll have to make that a regular stop. It actually already has been. I often buy gas there when heading north, but this last time I noticed that station on the south end of town- I forget the name- had gas for ten or twelve cents a gallon cheaper. I decided to give that place a try and assumed they had beverage machines that provided ice like most every other gas station.

Wrong. Not only did the gas pump not accept my debit card, they only sold bagged ice. Nice people and all but I'd rather just make one stop next time I go through there. I'll just pay the extra ten cents a gallon and buy at Shell. It's still cheaper than Humboldt gas.

Oh, finally stopped by that Real Goods place in Hopland, if only because we'd heard about their "Weird Bathrooms" and we both needed to make a pit stop. Nice place and luckily it wasn't anywhere near as hot as the last time we stopped in Hopland.

Kinda makes for a long bathroom break, though, cause you have to drive a two or three hundred feet to park and then walk up the pathway to the bathrooms. Also relatively pricey, assuming you go along with their request for the dollar donation per person visiting. I didn't see anybody enforcing the request. We were going to throw in two dollars but the wife bought something in their store so we figured that would suffice.

As far as the bathrooms, I don't know that I'd call them "weird". They're clean and all but I suppose the only thing weird about them is they're supposedly made completely out of recycled materials. I believe there was a sign saying the toilet stalls were made out of recycled prescription bottles. I'd call that neat, but not weird.

Animal Cruelty

Yet another apparent case of animal cruelty in the news. Stuff like this really makes my blood boil.

That said, I always wonder about felony charges being sought in such cases. Hey, I'd like to slap the daylights out of people who are cruel to animals as many of you would, but do we have space in jail for people who mistreat animals?

It feels good to see felony charges being brought against some jerk, or jerks, but would that jail space be better used for some burglar or rapist? Maybe jail is the proper punishment? I don't know what the proper punishment should be. I guess I should just shut up and let the system do its thing.

In the meantime, if you haven't already been there, head on over to, check the site out, forward the link around and make a donation to them if you can afford it.

I believe there's also some fliers on that site you can print out and anonymously deliver to people who keep their dogs chained up. If you're one of those people that keeps your dog chained up or locked in a small enclosure all the time, UNCHAIN YOUR DOG!

Indians Not Happy, But Why?

The Karuks up on the Klamath aren't happy with the investigation into the burning down of their sacred dance house last month. Didn't I read somewhere that this isn't the first time the dance house was burned down, or am I mixing that up with some other incident?

Nonetheless, they're not happy and they want action. State Assemblybabe Patty Berg comes to the rescue, asking the FBI to enter the case. Now why would she go to all that trouble over a simple arson?

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, offers a clue in this commentary on, not only the growing power of the indian tribes because of their casinos, but the fact that tribes are beginning to enjoy the best of both worlds, something ordinary governments don't: The ability to act as both a government and a business.

As we've already seen, I don't think any of my friends from the Left will be complaining about tribal political donations.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Another Proposed School Road Closure

Looks like yet another school is proposing closing a road that runs through it- this time a private school.

St. Bernards Catholic School, in Eureka, wants to close C street between Dollison and Henderson durning school hours as students need to cross the street regularly there.

Eureka High School started a similar thing with J Street some years ago. When the elementary school across from Eureka High became part of the high school campus, students had to cross J street all the time, thus the road closure. Anyone know of any other schools that have road closures while school is in session?

I guess I don't have that much of a problem with it, especially since those roads can get congested while school is in session, anyway. The main problem I have with this is it's just one more thing kids aren't learning in school nowadays: To look both ways before crossing the street.

Then again, aren't kids suppose to learn that at home, or is this one more parental duty that the schools took over and screwed up?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Eureka Utility Tax Battle Warms Up

The Humboldt Taxpayer's League came out in opposition to the extension of Eureka's Utility Tax last week. As an aside, I was under the impression they were also going to be taking positions on the statewide ballot intitiatives as well. I guess not.

I was, of course, glad to see them come out in opposition and thought League member, Leo Sears, did a good job on his My Word column in the Times- Standard a couple days after the League announced their decision.

Not to be outdone, Eureka City Manager, David Tyson put his two cents worth in on the issue in a My Word column in this morning's paper.

David claims it would be illegal for the Eureka Redevelopment Agency to use redevelopment money for recurring expenses like public safety. I guess that's why it's ok to use it for private security patrols in Old Town; Those patrols are "temporary".

One thing seems clear: The Eureka Redevelopment Agency isn't about to pay back any of the six million dollars it took from the city's general fund no matter what ends up happening with the Utility Tax.

Newspaper Ads

I hardly notice them. Looks like some newspapers are changing the way they display ads, as the Sacramento Bee explains. Apparently, to boost revenues, some papers are putting ads on section fronts and the like, rather than further back in the section.

I guess I could understand readers' annoyance at such practices. Fact is, I'm surprised so many businesses buy newspaper ads. I hardly ever even notice them. A while back I actually took the time to look at all the rest of the stuff cluttering up the pages of our local papers and realized how many ads are there.

I assume most people are like me and pay scant attention to them. Does anyone else actually pay attention to those ads? The only ones I pay any attention to are some of the inserts. Other than that, it would seem to me the other ads in the papers would be a waste of money.

Let's hope people keep buying the ads, though. The papers need to make money somehow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bridgeville Soon To Be La Pailleville?

I guess one of those unknown financial prodigies bought the town of Bridgeville. Dan La Paille is only 25 years old yet he paid over a million for the town of Bridgeville and plans to spend millions more fixing the place up. Wow!

Wonder what his politics are? He says he's planning on relocating to Bridgeville at least half the time. Will he become a player in local politics? If so, on what side? Only time will tell.

Local Solutions Endorsements Coming Soon

Looks like Local Solutions is going to start their endorsement process for candidates county wide soon. I don't know enough about most of the candidates outside of Eureka to even attempt a guess at the other races, but I think their endorsements for the Eureka City Council and Mayor races will be no surprise.

What I'm curious about is Arcata. I can't imagine them not endorsing David Meserve, but what about some of the other candidates. There's two open seats on the Arcata City Council. Anyone want to hazard a guess?

Droz Disrupts LeValee

Pete LeVallee did his campaign kick off even yesterday and, wouldn't you know it, Mayoral Candidate Jerry Droz showed up and disrupted the event. That sort of behaviour rubs me the wrong way but I can't help but wonder how many votes he might actually end up getting using a stunt like that? After all, this is Eureka.

If you haven't seen a photo of Jerry Droz yet, the Eureka Reporter ran a picture of him being talked to by a couple of Eureka cops.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's With The Comments?

I see it happening on some of the other blogs, but am I the only one that doesn't see a count on the number of comments on a particular post? Starting yesterday(?), I noticed that even though people are commenting, the comments stat section at the bottom of each post shows zero comments.

Fluoride Vs. Pyrethrin

Those of you that have been reading the Sacramento Bee lately know there's been an ongoing controversy over spraying areas around Sacramento for control of mosquitos in hopes of reducing the incidence of West Nile Virus.

The first two letters to the editor of The SacBee today argue two different sides of the issue. This is one of those where I find my feelings conflicted. One one hand I oppose the fluoridation of drinking water since I see it as forced medication, or treatment. On the other hand I don't have a problem with judicious use of aerial spraying to control mosquitos.

Here's a SacBee article that describes the pesticides being used and some comments from various sources on the problems involved. I don't find the arguments against pyrethrin or PBO all that compelling although they do raise valid concerns. I don't find arguments for or against flouride all that compelling, either, yet I oppose water flouridation and don't seem to have much problem with spraying pyrethrins.

What's the difference, from a libertarian standpoint, between fluoridating water and aerial spraying of insecticides? I'm not sure but I think there is one.

Jury Recommends Death For Ford

Today's Times- Standard covered the Wayne Adam Ford trial being held in San Bernadino, but they didn't link to the story on their web site. Here's an older link to the story for those that don't remember Ford.

Wayne Ford, many of you will remember, was the Arcata based truck driver who admitted to killing a bunch of women. He turned himself in to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office a few years ago. Now the jury has recommended the death penalty and I believe it's up to the judge to follow through with their recommendation. Call me a softy, I think he should get life imprisonment.

Sure, I'll be the first to admit I'm pretty much opposed to the death penalty. I won't argue the reasons for my opposition here. I just think that, in a case like Ford's, where he turned himself in (police had no idea he was the killer), that should be taken into consideration. He could of just kept on killing and perhaps never been caught. He might have actually saved someone else by turning himself in.

I don't know how far I'd go with that line of reasoning. I know I felt kinda the same way about Polly Klaas's killer, Richard Davis. He confessed to killing the girl during an interview. Of course, he was already under arrest as a suspect in the murder, but he confessed.

Should Richard Allen Davis have gotten life for fessing up to what he did? I don't know. Maybe not, but I still wouldn't be found out in front of San Quentin protesting his execution. Regardless of my general opposition to the death penalty, I'm not that die- hard an opponent to protest the Davis execution and I won't lose any sleep over it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Local Solutions Candidates Line Up

I suppose it's too early to officially call them Local Solutions' Candidates, but with Larry Glass and Nancy Abrams entering the Eureka City Council race, now we're seeing the Left vs. Right, Protectionist vs Non- Protectionist split I was expecting. I thought it would show itself earlier on, though.

What I'll be looking for is whether Glass and Abrams will do much fundraising and, if they do, how much ends up coming from outside Eureka and even outside the county.

Another question: Will either of them have any limits on contributions or expenditures?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Times- Standard Dumps Paid Archives?

I'm not sure, but it looks like they might have. I just did a search for a news item there and got returns from older than two weeks. I haven't found any that were from other than 2006, so far, but that's still better than the links going dead after two weeks.

Here's a link to a John Driscoll commentary dated 1/23/06. Let's see if it works.

Yep. It does.

I'm An Anarchist?

Yep. Yet another political quiz. This one is titled What Political Party Do You Put Your Beliefs In? Kind of misnamed because they only have three political parties listed, then they include Fascism and Anarchism as other political "parties".

So, I took it and I scored closest to Anarchism then, in descending order, scored as Green, Socialist and Fascism. Those last three are a bit of a surprise. Wonder which questions threw me in with those groups? Take the test yourself and see how you score.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thieves In The Recycling Business

Check this out(Use username humboldtlib and password blogspot, if asked for a log in). Because of higher prices for aluminum and copper, thieves are getting pretty aggressive in stealing things made out of that stuff.

It's probably Paul Gallegos' fault.

Eureka Utility Tax Fight Continues

Anybody know who this Dan Barrett guy is? The Eureka Reporter ran the second of their point/ counterpoint series on the continuance of Eureka's Utility Tax today. I can't help but think Mr. Barrett, favoring the continuance of the tax, must be a fairly passionate left- winger if he takes the time to write an argument for the tax.

Howard Rein once again takes the NO side on the issue, him being a good choice as he's been involved with the issue for some time.

I don't remember if it's been brought up in either of the last two back and forths over this that Eureka's Finance Committee, or whatever it's called, has proposed extending the utility tax to cover even more utilities. I'll have to check and see if that's part of this extension that will be on the ballot, or a different issue altogether.

Regardless, I'm opposed to both the extension itself and applying it to other utilities.
As an aside, if you haven't done so yet, take a look at your phone bill sometime and check all the taxes and fees added to your phone bill. Local utility taxes are just one of them. Some of the fees are set fees, not percentages of your bill.

Some years ago I had some long distance plan other than Pacbell's. I forget the name of the outfit. The only reason I signed up for it was an LPer down south got a percentage from my charges since she got me to sign up for the plan. She, in turn, donated those earnings to the Libertarian Party of California.

I got to looking at the bill once and realized that, even with only about fifty cents (or less) of long distance charges in a given month, my bill would be two to two and half bucks, the extra couple bucks being all the taxes and fees levied on the account. Most were just set fees. I figured why have an extra account with the extra taxes and fees so I closed that account and went back to Pacbell or SBC, whichever it was back when that happened.

If you have one of those separate long distance accounts, check it out. You may want to do the same.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Local Political Update

Just spoke with Richard Mostranski. He's the guy that was the other side of Richard Marks' campaign team- the one that ended up backing Nancy Flemming, as opposed to Shane Brinton, who supports Neely. They're running around the neighborhood doing the GOTV thing.

Cool guy. Enjoyed talking with him. Nancy wasn't with him. She was supposedy somewhere far behind. We'll see if she shows up at my house.

Public Opinon and Democracy

Since we've been hearing so much about democracy here lately, I thought I'd post some quotes on public opinion and democracy. Most of the ones I have below came from Robe's Quote Page. I got the idea of using that topic for a post when I noticed he'd added a Polls and Public Opinion section to his page. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

"Fifty one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic". - Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for lunch".- Unknown

"All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established." (Aristotle)

"One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny." (Bertrand Russell)

"The tyranny of the multitude is a multiplied tyranny." (Edmund Burke)

"It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny." (James Fenimore Cooper)

"When the people have no tyrant, their own public opinion becomes one." (Lord Lytton)

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage." (Alexander Tyler)

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." (Albert Einstein)

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except perhaps for all the others..."- Winston Churchill

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Indian Squabbles

Speaking of indian tribes and their casinos, interesting item in today's Sacramento Bee on how some tribes are booting members for various reasons and some of those past members aren't happy about it. One sentence caught my eye:

"Also, fewer members mean larger shares of casino profits for those who remain."

Can't help but wonder how much indian casinos have increased animosity amongst tribe members since the casinos started up?

Ukiah Pols Hoping For Bed Tax Increase

I don't think I'll ever understand the thinking of people who propose some kinds of taxes. Case in point, Ukiah.

Not satisfied with the current 8% Transient Occupancy Tax visitors pay for lodging in Ukiah, powers that be are proposing the tax be raised to 10%. The increased revenue will supposedly be used "in a way that benefits Ukiah's tourism industry and upkeep...".

One innkeeper has it almost right. She says, "Ukiah isn't yet a destination. Until they make it a destination, I don't think they should keep raising taxes.".

So, wait until people start coming and then try to suck them dry, huh? Seems to me, if you want to make your town a tourist destination, one thing you could do is keep it affordable.

But, no, some people are so fixated on tax revenue all they can think of is how to raise taxes, giving little thought at all to whether people might choose to go somewhere else that's less expensive to stay at.

I enjoy staying in Ukiah, despite the fact I only stay there when I have to. If they raise their bed tax, I will start looking elsewhere for lodging.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Neely, Casinos and Measure T

Much the broohah over at Cap'n Buhne's place over the Blue Lake Casino donating the big bucks to the Bonnie Neely campaign. As expected, one side is accusing the other of violating Measure T, which bans non- local corporations from contributing to local campaigns.

I expected as much, suggesting earlier on that one reason Measure T should be opposed is to avoid all the finger pointing that would surely result. This might just be the beginning of such ARE TOO. AM NOT! back and forths over Measure T.

So which side is right? Is Blue Lake Casino a non- local corporation? Hard to say. I suspect they are but their organization is probably so convoluted it would be a tough one to figure out.

I do feel safe in saying this much: If the situation was reversed and the Casino donated the money to the Flemming campaign, there's no doubt in my mind the Neely folks would be crying foul, and they'd be much more likely to initiate legal action because of it.

Indian tribes and their casinos are another subject in and of itself. With the legalization of indian gaming, indian tribes have become one of the heavy hitters in California politics, right along with the government employee unions and trial lawyers. Like those other groups, it seems the tribes tend to generally be up to no good, either.

About the only way to nullify the power the tribes have is to legalize gambling for everyone else. But, that's not gonna happen with the power the indians have to maintain their monopoly.

Big Bucks Election This November

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, sheds some light on just how much the upcoming election could end up costing us in today's commentary. One paragraph tells it all:

If all of the tax and bond measures were to be approved -- which is doubtful, recent polls indicate -- California voters would be endorsing about $75 billion in new spending over the next decade, plus another $20 billion in sales taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel that would be permanently shifted from the state's general fund into transportation.

He breaks it down even further later in the commentary. As usual, if asked for a login, use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for the password.

No Picture?

Am I the only one that finds this a bit odd?

Both the Times- Standard and Eureka Reporter gave a warning to business owners, with a picture, about Tara Lee Seagall. She's been going around Eureka writing counterfeit checks. The very next day she's recognized at a business, because of the published photograph of her, and she's been arrested.

I have to wonder why both the Eureka Reporter and the Times- Standard have a short story today about a burglary suspect being sought. Surveillance photos of him breaking into a house in Eureka (just a few blocks from my house) were taken. Both papers give a description of the suspect but don't show the surveillance photos. What gives?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another Scoop

This just in from a source in the know that shall remain unnamed: Eureka Mayoral candidate Virginia Bass- Jackson is running under the name Virginia Bass this time around. Something about her having gotten married recently?

My source suggests the campaign slogan, Vote for Bass, not an ass! Hey, my source said it, not me. My question is, which of the other three candidates is she referring to?

Farmer's Markets

These Farmer's Markets that start up in the summertime seem like fun, but they still drive me nuts, at least the one in Henderson Center, Eureka. I forget all about the fact it's Thursday until I go to do something in Henderson Center and the parking places are all filled up.

I'll admit to not having much experience with the Farmer's Markets, only having walked through the Henderson Center one once a few years ago. It is kinda fun seeing what's for sale, but the prices seemed a bit high for my pocketbook.

I also wonder why some of the vendors bother with it? You see farmers from up in Willow Creek and Hoopa selling their warm weather crops. How can they break even with taking a whole day to drive down here and back? I would think it would be tough enough to sell enough produce to pay just for the gas they use.

How do these guys make any money?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Left and Right Finally Agree?

Well, for the most part they do, at least on one issue. The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, takes a look at some of the upcoming ballot initiatives, including one that seems to have fairly strong Left and Right Wing support: Prop 90, the eminent domain reform initiative.

Little House Libertarians

One of my favorite T.V. shows is Little House On The Prairie. Produced by Michael Landon, the show was based on the Little House series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The Ingalls- Wilder and Little House bunch certainly had a connection with libertarianism, although the word libertarian probably didn't even exist back then.

In fact, the first Libertarian Party presidential candidate I was ever aware of was Roger MacBride. He ended up being involved in a squabble over the original Little House manuscripts, claiming some relation to Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Wilder's daughter.

Rose Wilder Lane was certainly the libertarian at heart, as this short account of some of her activities illustrates.

As an aside, I never knew Roger MacBride co- produced Little House On The Prairie until I read that Wikipedia article on him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jeff Leonard's Opposition Solidifying?

No word that I've yet heard that Tish Wilburn is dropping out of the race against Mary Beth- Wolford, as was alluded to in the comments earlier, but maybe this is where that rumor came from?

Looks like Randall Herzon is bailing from the race for the Third Ward seat leaving Local Solutions candidate Ron Kuhnel in a two way race with Jeff Leonard. You can't help but think the powers that be on the Left had a talk with Randall.

I expected more Left vs. Right activity in the Eureka Council races by now. I forget which paper wrote that the big race in Humboldt this time around will be the Eureka City Council and Mayor races because of the Balloon Tract issue. From what I've read, the only people that think that are everyone but the candidates themselves, with the exception of Ron Kuhnel and maybe Jeff Leonard.

New Restaurant, Same Old Place

I've often wondered why no restaurants ever seem to last long at this place in Henderson Center, Eureka. I forget the number of the place, but it's right next to the Vellutini Baking Company on the corner of F and Henderson Streets.

Before the Oaxaca Grill opened here, it used to be Roman's Mexican and American Food. Before that, I believe it was the Bay City Grill, which won some award for best something or other. Bay City Grill seemed to always have a good crowd, at least whenever I was around to notice. I forget what was there before Bay City Grill.

So why the revolving door at this particular location? I know the Roman's, who owned Roman's. I'll have to ask them next time I see them why they bailed.

Humboldt Dogs Wiki

For you dog lovers out there, you'll want to visit the Humboldt Dogs Wiki. A place to find local info on places to take your dog, and just about everything else dog, in Humboldt. Be sure and add your own info and comments. I did a little editing to the listing for Happy Dog Kennels.

Found out about this in today's Times- Standard Tech Beat column.