Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reason Looks At 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beware The Map!

I wonder if anybody in Humboldt bought advertising on this map that some in Del Norte County did?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hockaday On The Realignment

This issue has probably already been beaten to death on Heraldette and Eric's blogs, never mind the Times- Standard Topix forums. Still, I thought J. Warren Hockaday's piece in today's Times- Standard on the Richardson Grove/ Highway 101 realignment was worth both a mention and a read. What more needs to be said?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

There's Nothing To Do Here

It seems no matter where I lived as a kid, all the kids would be saying that: There's nothing to do around here. I don't know if that has anything to do with this latest committee being formed in Arcata but I've heard similar sentiments by young folk in Eureka.

Reading the Times- Standard story on it, I'm still not sure what exactly they think they'll accomplish, although if they're expecting more kids to find things to do in their free time, they might be disappointed. I agree with one of the comments left on the T-S Topix comments:

Earth to Arcata, if the kids aren't involved in one of your programs already, they probably won't start.
I'll have to say, though, I don't know that I felt all that bored when I was a kid. Seems to me there was nearly always something to do. Of course, I was a self- described nature boy back then, and enjoyed going to the beach, or exploring the hills around Irvine. I'd go out roaming around and practice shooting my slingshot or bow and arrow. I even did some bird watching back then, believe it or not.

To be sure, you couldn't do that all the time so I found other things to do. There'd always be word out about someone who had a decent supply of pot. We could always go out and try to find that guy or gal and hit them up for a joint. If that didn't pan out and we happened to have enough money, we could go hang out at the shopping center nearby and see if we could get someone to buy beer for us.

Plenty of stuff to do in Irvine and usually plenty of time to do it but I kept hearing many of my friends and acquaintances bemoaning the fact there wasn't anything to do.

Eventually, some of the movers and shakers in Irvine started believing what the kids were saying. They felt because there was nothing for kids to do that we had no alternative but to turn to drugs and alcohol. So, they made things happen.

They started a Teen Center. It had a bunch of games to play like ping- pong and such and a lot of kids showed up to use the facility. I wondered even back then if that was money well spent, though. We couldn't smoke pot or drink beer there, so what was the point? You had to do your smoking and drinking before you went to the teen center. What's with that?

Still, I think some of the guys enjoyed getting stoned and going there to play ping- pong, or whatever other games were available. I appreciate the efforts of the folks who got the center up and running but, as for me, I'd rather have smoked pot or drank beer at home or out in the hills, which is what we ended up usually doing.

I can't help but wonder if this supposed plan to network all the teen activities in Arcata will be a similar wasted but well intended effort, but, I suppose it's Arcata's effort to waste.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CO2: The "Pollutant"

Fun read on Carbon Dioxide from Jude Wanniski. It includes,

"... I wondered if there were one mile of greenhouse gas, how much of that would be the result of all of man’s doing. I found that out of 5,280 feet, mankind contributes five-eighths of an inch...".

Quotable quote:

The future will show all this anxiety about global warming and climate change to be the biggest case of mass hysteria in the history of mankind.- Fred Mangels

Buy your own CO2 generator here.

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Another MacTown Kid Hurt In Mendo

Wasn't some other Mckinleyville teenager hurt or killed in some traffic accident in Mendocino County not long ago? Maybe it was Sonoma County?

Anyway, I appreciate these gal's intentions, but seems like pretty poor judgment risking one's life to try and save a hurt cat in the middle of the road in the rain at night. Hey, I'm a cat lover myself, but most cats run over by cars end up being put to sleep even if getting run over doesn't kill them. Bad move.

Still, one of my pet peeves is people that don't even slow down when they see a dog or cat on the street. That said, better judgment should certainly have been used in this case.

Speaking of cats, When we stayed in Willits a couple weeks ago, we were watching the Animal Planet channel. They had a show on about Savannah cats. Awesome cats, if you've never seen them. They're a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat.

I'd never heard of them before, but I think I've seen one here locally. I won't say exactly where, except that it was in Myrtletown and I just saw it twice briefly hanging around my truck. Such cats aren't the kind most would just let run wild so I figured it must have gotten away from its owner the two times I saw it.

At least it sure looked like a Savannah.

There's a bunch of other exotic cats available that are crosses of different animals. Check out this page for links to a bunch of sites with neat pictures of them. Don't get too carried away, though. These cats are pricey, with some going for over $20,000.

Mendocino County Closes For A Day

The Ukiah Daily Journal reports the county be giving all non- essential employees a mandatory unpaid day off on January 2. Looks like they're in the hole like nearly every one else and have to deal with an over $800,000 budget deficit.

Sounds like a good idea to me, although I suppose it would suck to be one of the workers deemed non- essential. How would that make you feel?

It will be interesting to see how this works.
Maybe we should try that in Humboldt. I suspect most of us wouldn't even notice the difference.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thunder and Lightning

This is fun sitting here with the thunder and lightning flashing outside. At first I thought the thunder was someone starting his car. I kind of hope it keeps going, even though it is a little bit scary.

A couple times when the lightning flashed, it reminded me of transformers blowing up and I had to wonder what I was going to do with myself should the power go out. I suppose I could always go back to bed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

After Today...

...the days start getting longer. Too bad it takes so long to notice it. Still, I look forward to Monday.

The Crescent City Jetty

The Daily Triplicate takes a look at the mindset of at least one person who can't stay off the Crescent City jetty- that jetty being the scene of a fatal accident just days ago. Interesting, in that the gal supposedly worked in professional water rescue for most of her life. I guess there's no accounting for what goes on in some people's heads.

So now the powers- that- be are again looking at ways to keep people off the jetty during rough seas. Some are talking about a fence. Some are talking about citing people for trespassing. I've never been to the Crescent City jetty but, from the looks of the story's accompanying photo, they could probably do both.

Their jetty seems a little more defensible than ours. Seems to me you could erect fence posts around the entrance to the jetty and put a chain link fence up just when the sea is rough, leaving it down when the waters are calm. Might be expensive and too much hassle, though.

The idea of issuing tickets to people who choose to venture out there during rough weather is certainly worth considering. Libertarianism be damned. I say go ahead and do it, the problem being how far will the authorities go with this and who decides when the water is too rough?

But I'd think that a fence and warnings posted would be enough, with citations and fines for those that feel it's ok to climb over the fence and ignore the warnings.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Willits Rail Line Gone?

Hank Sims' Town Dandy column in this week's North Coast Journal confirms what I thought I noticed when we were leaving Willits on Tuesday: The section of rail line that crossed Highway 101 just north of Willits has been paved over.

Wow. I guess someone down there isn't holding their breath for the rail line to start up again. I could see paving over the rail lines up here. After all, re- establishing rail service to Humboldt is a bit more far- fetched than to Mendocino County, at least as far north as to Willits.

I'd be curious to know just who it was that decided it was extreme wishful thinking to leave that section of rail uncovered?

Measure J: Another Wasted Effort

Looks like Eureka will be fighting to defend Measure J- that local anti- recruiting initiative that was recently passed. Fortunately, the city attorney has been told she'll be given no additional resources with which to defend it. That's a good thing.

The whole thing seems silly to me as Measure J was basically fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place.

As I said before, as un- libertarian as it might seem, I wish the Feds would have handled it differently. Instead of taking Arcata and Eureka to court, couldn't they have withheld federal funding that the cities receive for various things, education being one?

I would of really gotten a kick out of it if the Feds would of done something like that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mario Does The Jambalaya

You'll all want to mark your calendars. Mario Matteoli will be in town soon and will perform at the Jambalaya in Arcata Monday night. You know he's gone big time when the Times- Standard uses him as the cover story of their Northern Lights magazine.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Being Home In The Cold

It sure is nice being home when it's cold like this. I can actually enjoy looking out the back door and seeing the frost all over everything, rather than being kind of scared as I was yesterday morning knowing I'd have to be driving through it.

I think I actually feel warmer when it's this cold, too. I'd like to think that's because the cold air freezes most of the moisture in the air (which then becomes frost?) so it's less humid and you don't feel as damp. But, looking at just a few minutes ago showed the temperature at 24 degrees with 100% humidity. What's with that?
Getting back to yesterday, the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports today will be another day of black ice. They also mention a few of yesterday's accidents. Interesting there's mention of an overturned tractor- trailer rig near Bell Springs Road yesterday morning, but no mention of the apparent collision we almost became a part of. I wonder if the tractor- trailer overturned as a result of trying to avoid running into the wreck that we almost ran in to?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

North Coast Travelogue Dec 14-16

Went to UCSF again on Sunday. I've posted my rather long winded travelogue here so as to not waste space on this blog. About the only part of it that might interest some of you is I almost became a part of one of these accidents. The one by Bell Springs Road, although that's in Mendocino County, not near Garberville as the news story says.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prop 8 the other way around?

Don't have time to figure out just how to tie this in with same- sex marriage, but it looks like Nevada might have a fight on its hands on the opposite side of the altar.

The Los Angeles Times tells us an atheist was denied a license to officiate at weddings because he isn't affiliated with a religious group. Hmmm...???

I'll say this much; People shouldn't have to go to a church to have their relationship recognized by the state.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Evergreen Pulp vs. the Air Resources Board

As some of you might know by now, the State Air Resources Board (ARB) seems to have decided to go full speed ahead with the implementation of AB 32. Several columnists (my December 7 post) have commented on this already. Basically, it puts the future of nearly all California businesses in the hands of the ARB, or so some are saying.

The ARB's first target is companies and drivers that use the older diesel trucks. I can't help but wonder who's next in the line of attack?

Over at Richard Marks' blog, one commenter suggested that, with Evergreen Pulp's sale price going lower and lower, the mill might become affordable enough for that new owner to turn a profit. I had to reply that we don't know whether Evergreen Pulp's recent upgrades will be good enough for the Air Resources Board.

That commenter rightly mentioned that dealing with globally traded commodities, as Evergreen does, is a tough business. But now, not only does Evergreen have to deal with the pitfalls of international markets, they also might need to deal with the whims of a newly empowered ARB.

With the ARB now given what some say are dictatorial powers, only time will tell if Evergreen Pulp will escape further attention from them. I'm skeptical they'll be let to slide, as you might imagine. I'm one of those that believes in the old adage that, once you give the government a hammer, soon everything ends up looking like a nail.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Most Corrupt States?

I'm not sure what to make of this map from USA today that supposedly shows the level of corruption of the states in this country.

The thing is, they base their claims simply on convictions of "public corruption convictions" per 100,000 residents. There's no way of knowing which states have tougher laws regarding corruption, court procedure that makes it easier to convict, or maybe just some states that are more aggressive in rooting out corruption in government.

As the story below the map suggests, if a state is more aggressive in rooting out corruption than its neighbors, it might well be considered more corrupt on the map because they have a higher conviction rate.

Still, nice to know that none of our states are alone in political corruption, isn't it?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Big Moon Tonight

National Geographic tells us tonight's moon will appear the biggest it has in a while. It doesn't look like most of us in Humboldt will get to see it according to the weather forecast. Then again, you never know.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

KSLG Clothing Drive Friday

For those that didn't read about it in the Times- Standard the other day, KSLG is sponsoring a clothes gathering drive tomorrow. The clothes will be given to Betty Chinn, the local homeless activist, for use in her efforts. The event takes place at the Eureka Co-op from 6am to 6pm.

I'm going to be dropping off at least a few things there, depending on my work situation. I've been told the famous radio disc jockey and blogger, Jennifer "jen- jen" Savage, will be there. She'll be there from 10am to 2pm. I'm hoping to make it by to meet her, if nothing else. It's not often I get to meet famous people in person.

A New Power Plant

They've done the symbolic "ground breaking" for construction of the new PG&E power plant at King Salmon. I can't believe there isn't anybody protesting this thing?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Hysteria Takes Charge In California

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Weintraub, takes a hard look at one result of the global warming hysteria sweeping California and elsewhere: Most everything we do in this state might soon be put under control of the Air Resources Board. As Dan points out, the risks are great, the rewards uncertain.

As always, if asked for a login to the Sacbee web site, you can use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for a password.

Addendum: The San Diego Union- Tribune also takes a look at AB32 and the Air Resources Board.

Addendum: The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, also comments.

Gas Prices: Eureka vs. Crescent City

I thought it a rather interesting perspective, this story in The Daily Triplicate. We always complain about gas prices in Humboldt, as opposed to the rest of the state, forgetting there are places that pay even more than we do.

I hadn't thought much about it but figured Crescent City paid the same, or lower, prices than we do. I guess not. While there's no mention of prices in the story, a quick check of the AAA Gas Price Finder site shows folks in Crescent City do seem to pay more than we do.

The dates of the check are different but on November 29 gas averaged $2.50 a gallon in Crescent City versus $1.96 to $2.16 in Eureka on December 6.

It seemed rather odd reading about competition in Eureka being one reason for our lower gas prices.

It was also interesting to find out the reason the casinos sell such cheap gas is they can import gas from out of state that doesn't meet California's formulation requirements. Maybe Crescent City needs a casino so they can get some competition going?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sonoma Goes After Eucalyptus Trees

Looks like Sonoma County is having some problems with eucalyptus trees that line roads, just like we're having with the trees between Eureka and Arcata. Some homeowners are fighting with the county over whose responsibility it is to cut them down.

I don't feel so paranoid now. I'd remarked elsewhere that it made me nervous driving on the 101 safety corridor when a strong wind was blowing. I worried that a tree, or maybe a branch, might fall down. Apparently, at least one person has been killed by a falling eucalyptus tree in Sonoma County, according to the article.

Goes to show: Just because you're paranoid...

I, for one, don't have any problem with removal of the eucalyptus trees alongside the 101 safety corridor. That Press- Democrat article solidifies my feelings.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Another D****d Humboldt Blog?

This one might be a bit different, though.

The Times- Standard informs us that recently elected Trinidad City Councilguy, Mike Morgan, has started a blog dealing with Trinidad issues and government. He wants to use it to facilitate discussion and transparency in local government.

We'll wish his effort well, but feel he's got a tough row to hoe. Hard to believe the level of discourse there won't deteriorate quickly enough to the level of so many other blogs up here, at least the political ones.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mobbery Unlimited

Looks like Kaitlin Sopoci- Belknap just won't let the Measure T issue drop. Actually, I get the feeling her latest My Word column was more of a fund raising effort for Democracy Unlimited than anything else.

She goes on and on about how the majority's will be followed. I've expressed my displeasure with that notion here before. As the first comment on the Times- Standard forum for her column pointed out, by her way of thinking, Prop 8 was passed by a majority of the voters so it should stand.

To paraphrase James Bovard, "Democracy should amount to more than just two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for lunch".