County Supervisor Bass’ thoughts for the Eureka-Arcata Airport are just plane crazy

"Man, I sure am glad Chief Mills found us a new place to camp." "Wait, where's Bob?"

“Man, I sure am glad Chief Mills found us a new place to camp.”
“Wait, where’s Bob?”

You may have read about the recent Grand Jury report on the state of the Arcata-Eureka Airport – soon to be known as the California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport.

(Interestingly, the acronym CRCHCA is also a short hand name for a rare, flesh-eating disease caused by smoking the mutated pygmy marijuana plants common to certain Brazilian rainforests – smoke Humboldt grown if you’re gonna smoke, kids! Tell your parents Uncle THC said so.)

Anyhow, since I’ve made it a life goal to skip out on jury duty for, like, forever – Civil Service? Ha! If our elected officials don’t feel obligated to serve the citizenry, then why the hell should I? – I will try to remedy that now. Readers of the Consequential are hereby treated to my one-dude version of a Grand Jury indictment.

So, let’s skip the arguments and get straight to the mud-slingin’. Supervisor Virginia Bass, THC finds you guilty on all counts of incompetence, idiocy, and indecent exposure of the Humboldt Public to your tax-heavy suggestions.

The airport has been mismanaged. Service sucks. Hobos get caught in the engines of planes in Humboldt like geese get stuck in Canada. Yadda yadda yadda.

All this is no surprise (except to the pilots who have to call in transient-induced maydays). Of course, it’s not surprising that Ms. Bass thinks that the answer to our airports problems is *gasp* more taxes!

In this NCJ article (I’m sorry in advance for sending you to them), Virginia proudly announces a plan to give control of the Aviation Division, which runs the airport, to another special district like the Harbor division (because the harbor division has done wonders in their own areas of expertise…oh, wait). And then – get this – she suggests that we “could fund airline subsidies and airport operations through voter-approved property assessments, for example — putting the brunt of public flying costs onto those more likely to utilize the service.”

On one hand, that means raising taxes for everyday people, people who generally don’t use the airport service anyway. When was the last time you flew out of the ACV? Yeah, I can’t remember either.

On the other hand, that means charging the people who actually DO use the – and are the only ones who keep it running as a semi-viable service in the first place  – even higher rates for the privilege of almost single-handedly keeping afloat an enterprise that Bass says is integral to future of Humboldt’s successful economy.

Bass couldn’t even get that last part right. The airport is NOT crucial for our economy’s growth. On top of that, she is so damn wrong in thinking that she can use the pockets of taxpayers as a piggy bank to fix the problems that our government created through a lack of foresight. Us poor peons at the bottom of the tax pile can’t afford more tax hikes, and charging the people who actually can afford to fly out of ACV is a sure way to further discourage the businesses that rely on travel in our county to find other options.

Congratulations, Virginia – even if you are guilty, you still actually might be the smartest elected official we’ve got.

Excuse me, I’ve got to catch the Greyhound to SFO now.


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9 Responses to County Supervisor Bass’ thoughts for the Eureka-Arcata Airport are just plane crazy

  1. Mitch says:

    The airport is not, in my opinion, crucial to the Humboldt County economy. By nature, Humboldt County is rural and remote. The businesses that will settle here will not settle here due to the cleverly-located fogbound commercial airport. Most likely, they will settle here because they are founded by HSU grads, and they will leave when they grow large enough that shipping expenses begin to weigh them down. If not founded by an HSU grad, a business will locate here precisely because it wants to GET AWAY from things like airports.

    For tourists coming to see the redwoods, they will be perfectly happy to drive north from SFO or SMF and add the Avenue of the Giants to their route.

    I suppose the airport might attract more pot tourists, if and when rich people decide they simply MUST try Humboldt pot in Humboldt. That does not an economy make.

    Use the airport money to provide subsidized express bus service to Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County Airporter, or use it to provide direct “motor coach” runs to SFO or SMF. That would benefit the large majority of Humboldt’s citizens, most of whom would very rarely fly United to anywhere.


    • WE GOT A WINNER! Congratulations Mitch for winning the first of the THCLive commentor awards! Thank goodness that someone actually gets that business’s won’t flock to Humboldt because we have great air service, because we don’t, and we never will, no matter how much Supervisor Bass raises our taxes. Our airport and it’s fog suck and tax’s won’t change that. Business will be here because they start here or because they WANT to be here. Why they might want to be here is up for debate. Could be because of our great work force. Well maybe not, hobo’s and pot growers don’t really work that hard. Could be because of our climate? Not likely. Maybe they’ll relocate here cuz we spent ourselves into oblivion building five million miles of bike trails? As much as we love trails we don’t think that
      it’ll do it either. Ah, maybe we are going to be inundated with business’s coming to Humboldt because of all the incentives we give them just like New York, Texas, San Francisco, Ohio, Reno, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Marin, Alameda, North Carolina, and every other state and community in the entire fucking country provides to lure jobs their way? Probably not since Humboldt County does absolutely NOTHING to encourage business growth. No tax incentives, no permitting assistance, no workforce subsidies, no NOTHING. Of course our Supidvisors have a secret plan that does not require us to do what every single other community in the civilized world does to encourage jobs. Our representatives secret plan is to increase regulation, increase taxes, increase bureaucracy, and have a total dumb shit in charge of economic development. Why else would there be a General Plan meeting every two weeks to scheme up new and creative ways to limit development in a place that is losing population and hemorrhaging jobs and have an agenda item twice a year to discuss economic development? Anybody out there wanna guess how that plan is working out?

      Anyway we digress. Mitch, for your insightful comment you have won the first THCLive shopping extravaganza! Don’t get too worked up it’s probably only a coupon for GMO filled coffee at a corporate store on Fifth Street, but maybe not. Send us your mailing address, which we’ll keep secret and we’ll send you a a pass to some delectable delight. Thank you from all of us at THCLive!


  2. BlueSkies67 says:

    You make it sound like we might as well just scrap the whole airport, people who actually want to fly out be damned. I regularly fly out of the Arcata airport – without it, my business would be screwed. You make a huge generalization in saying that the airport isn’t necessary for anyone, and that it won’t help our economy grow. Maybe it won’t benefit every blue collar industry that you seem to cherish above all else, but in terms of higher paying jobs for people from out of the area with college degrees, the airport is essentially the only link we have to quickly get to places around the state and the nation. Everyone says the airport does poorly and all that, but I’ve been flying out of Arcata regularly for 5+ years and it’s really not that different from any other small market airport I’ve been in. It’s actually pretty rare that I get significantly delayed, and I definitely have had more go wrong for my travel plans when things get messed up at bigger terminals. I think anyone who travels on a very rare basis might think Arcata is the worst airport ever, but believe me, it is not.
    I’m not saying that the airport is going to save or break the Humboldt economy – most of your writing makes it seem like you don’t think there’s any hope, and you’re wrong – but not having adequate air service of any kind would just be another nail in the coffin. We may not have a huge demand for it now, but 10 or 20 years down the road we will be a at a severe disadvantage if we don’t at least set the framework for an active air terminal.


    • Blue Sky, Thanks tons for your insightful comment. We didn’t mean to suggest that our airport and air traffic isn’t valuable, it unquestionably is. What we were trying to convey is that no one is moving here because it’s easy to get to. Its tough to get here and always will be. Businesses will stay or relocate here because it’s a great place to live AND because our government provides incentives that are at least as good as what they can get elsewhere other communities. It would also help if we didn’t scare them away with more and more regulation. Unfortunately our elected numskulls don’t get even this simple fact and pile on more bureaucracy every two weeks and provide no incentives whatsoever. We at THCLive love our airport, we just wish we could get a job that would allow us to be able to afford a ticket to fly! I’m no economist but I’m pretty sure that piling on more taxes won’t make Humboldt more attractive to new business. Maybe our overpaid government workers could kick down a little of our taxes to bail out the airport? Just sayin…


    • Cousin Eddie says:

      BULLSHIT! I’ve flown in and out of here a bunch. 50/50 odds you are on time to your destination. If you get where you are going on time, you will probably be delayed on the way back – or renting a fucking car in Redding. Of course we should have an airport, but ACV is not the only way to get around “quickly”. Medford is about 3 hours 15 minutes away and if you are headed North, farther South than SFO, or East, Your layover at that clusterfuck SFO will eat up any time you saved not driving to Medford. And that goes for you smarty-pants with college degrees too, not just us proletarians.


      • BlueSkies67 says:

        You have clearly had a very different experience than I have. I’m not saying that the service out of Arcata is perfect. But I do think the service is at least comparable to other small market airports. And I was not trying to degrade anyone when I said that about college degrees, sorry. I just think that we really need to attract people with higher education if we want things to move in the right direction. It seems like even the people who get degrees at HSU, like me, tend to either leave the area as soon as they finish school or otherwise end up growing pot or working jobs that they didn’t even need to go to school for in the first place. You really busted out the big guns with “proletarians” lol.


  3. Cousin Eddie says:

    No Shit Blue Skies? That’s because there’s no jobs here and nobody’s trying. Remember the crap the brewery went through? Two years to find a place, hassled from the city, harassed by the mafia, I mean, plumbers union. Cheese factory – asshole neighbors shot building a dairy IN FUCKING AG LAND down, so now they truck the milk from McKinleyville – how’s the carbon footprint on that vs. having it on site, dumbasses? I got one for the neighbors: if you don’t want to smell shit, don’t live next to a cow pasture – oh i forgot, it’s ‘open space’.

    Yes, you have to be stupid, high, or a masochist to want to start something here. Once the neighbors are done screwing you, a multitude of agencies are in line; followed by a half dozen non-profits, because you might use a fucking chemical, you know. Which is taboo. Unless your growing weed in the hills, sucking up the water, poisoning all the wildlife, and generally fouling up the place. Then it’s ok. Won’t see too many NEC’s, Waterkeepers, singletons, ELFS, & whatevers going after those guys. Because, weed. Amiright?


    • Mac Towner says:

      You guys both have good points. Yes, we do need more white collar jobs though I’m not so sure that an HSU degree should represent the pinnacle of higher education by anyone’s definition. Our community has such strong ties to HSU that we have become jaded in our perspective of it when really HSU is pretty much the bottom of the barrel for four year institutions. It’s certainly a huge asset to the entire county and there is much to be proud of but lets not delude ourselves either. Nonetheless the point is well taken that we need skilled jobs but can we agree that we should be doing everything we can to encourage ANY jobs? Historically even mill jobs paid a living wage and positively contributed to our economy. Workers could raise their families and send them to college and they could return as lawyers, doctors, accountants or whatever or our kids could find a blue collar job if that was a better fit. In the end we need both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. As I see it, the real problem is that we aren’t creating ANY jobs. Lets go for anything we can get now and fight out the details later. I’ve been a union guy for most of my career and I recall looking down on non-union shops in the past; Now I realize how stupid that was and wish for any kind of business and the jobs they bring. We need to find a way to motivate our elected officials to create incentives to bring every single job that we can get to Humboldt. They also need to stop catering to every NIMBY group that wants to put a stop to any opportunity we get. Nobody’s going to come here if they see the gauntlet of naysayers they have to run before they can open a business in a place without reasonable air service, a highway you can’t drive trucks on, rampant crime and homelessness, and crazy regulations designed to prevent anything from being built except a yurt made exclusively of organic hemp.


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