Hide your lands,

As many of you may have already guessed, the upcoming electoral races for the Humboldt Harbor Commission has The Consequential absolutely licking its chops. With such a crowded ballot, we just cannot wait for the mud-slinging to begin.

Not to be left out, THC will be sure to expose some of the Harbor District’s inner rumblings of nefarious corruption and severe conflicts of interest.

But before we dive into some of our reports on individuals in the race – some of whom currently sit on the Harbor Commission – we think it’s important to point out that the Harbor District is, indeed, in need of an infusion of new blood. And, believe it or not, we think there’s actually some really good candidates out there.

Let’s take a trip way back to the end of July, in which there was some discussion on THC’s pages about public entities buying up land in direct competition with private interests. In a nutshell, we think that’s a bunch of B.S. So did many of our readers (including that gosh darn commenting genius Ken D, who took home the Top Comment award for July.)

Well, the Harbor District is one of the first offenders in this category, if you ask us. For example, take a look at the agenda from the Planning Commission’s latest meeting in August.  The first item up for discussion that day was “A General Plan Conformance Review and Coastal Development Permit for the acquisition of a parcel by the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.” Okay, but what does that mean? It means that the Harbor District wants to buy more of the pulp mill,  and the dock associated with it.

Seeing as how that’s some prime industrial land, and the Harbor has potential to be a major saving grace for our County’s economy if utilized correctly, we’d say that’s a pretty big no-no for the Harbor District. Considering, you know, there has been little significant improvement in the Harbor for quite some time, the Commission needs to pull their heads out and allow for some meaningful commercial development or interests to occur in the area.

But it gets worse, kids. Know why? Per the agenda, “A land acquisition by a public agency may be exempt from the Subdivision Map Act Parcel Map requirement per Government Code Section 66428.”

That means the Harbor Commission wanted to buy this parcel while circumventing the normal procedures that private interests would have to go through. Unfortunately, the recording of the meeting has yet to be posted online, so we can’t yet provide you with a link to see members of the Harbor District bitching and moaning because the Planning Commission (in a rare stroke of common sense for a bunch of rich assholes and industrial shills) will require them to perform a California Environmental Quality report prior to granting them a permit.

Want to know what really sucks about that? Again, from the agenda, “The Harbor District is the lead agency under CEQA and has filed a Notice of Exemption.” Meaning that the Harbor District would be the agency that not only created a CEQA report, but also the one that determined its validity. And instead of just going through the motions, they filed to make themselves exempt from doing any of it. Hot damn, if that isn’t some blatant, stinking bullshit!

So now, the question is: do we really want people (a.k.a. the currently sitting Harbor Commission) that have already demonstrated a penchant for not only competing directly with private business interests, but also for giving a nice, big “F*** You!” to the environmental requirements of development, making the decisions that will impact one of Humboldt’s most treasured resources? From an environmental and economic point of view, the Harbor is indispensable.

Let’s hope that the upcoming elections will serve to put people in place who have respect for the Harbor and the needs of our County, rather than furthering their own business interests. (We’re looking at you, Greg Dale.)

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14 Responses to Hide your lands,

  1. Pbl says:

    Your name change from the tuluwat doesn’t fool anyone

    Like

  2. MOLA42 says:

    Golly, the Invisible Hand of the Free Market, right here on our own bay…

    I think you overlooked something concerning government competing against the free market. The competition.

    What was that particular pulp mill doing before the Harbor Commission “stole” the property from the good hardworking private entrepreneurs? Nothing… except getting ready to poison the bay and it’s surrounds with toxic chemicals the last hardworking entrepreneur left behind for others to clean up.

    Now the property has a chance to be an asset instead of an ecological disaster waiting to happen… thanks to the Harbor Commission.

    Bad Government! Bad! BAD! (Whack on nose with folded newspaper.)

    You refer to “Prime Industrial Land” being wrongly appropriated. The bay is crowded with prime industrial land. But no one is doing anything with it… including the property in question.

    Sorry… I don’t see the problem with the Harbor Commission kick starting progress. And by the way… if the Invisible Hand of the Free Market wants to get involved… we have another abandoned pulp mill for it to play with.

    As for the environmental studies the law requires… there you are probably correct… they should be done and evaluated by someone else.

    Frankly, I’m not so thrilled with the set of candidates running this time around. Too many East/West Railroad fantasists are trying to get in. And their slogans claim they will get the bay back to work… So far the only entity trying to get the bay back to work is the Harbor Commission. So what do they (the railroad fantasists) plan to do differently?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sammy says:

      Yo, MOLA42, I thought trains got cars and trucks off the road and are more eco groovy than sliced brad or spilt milk or …you get the idea. What is the problem with it – or do you want to come out from under your rock to admit to not liking people or jobs that pay over 2 cents. If you don’t like people; well, not to be too mean, there’s always Siberia.

      Like

      • Sammy says:

        B_R_E_A_D (sigh)

        Like

      • MOLA42 says:

        Sammy:

        I like some people.

        The East/West railroad makes NO ECONOMIC SENSE. In other words, it can never Never NEVER pay for itself.

        How many times does that have to be repeated? This railroad gets built and two-cents will be the worth of the entire region.

        Frankly, I don’t even need to talk about the ecology issues involved here. If the project makes no economic sense, we have no business building it.

        YO?

        Like

    • milldoin says:

      Well Mola, it seems to me that there is already a train coming across from the valley. This train takes the form of long haul trucks. Lots and lots of them cross the mountains everyday, and many, many more are predicted to join them when Cal Trans finishes the up grade to 299 in two years. Be careful saying never, never because it seems that the truck train is paying for it self just fine as we speak.

      Like

      • MOLA42 says:

        milldoin:

        And who is paying for the “truck train?”

        Individual shippers are… they found it made more economic sense than to pay the expenses (the higher freight charges) for a train network prone to sliding out on a constant basis. That’s why we don’t have North/South train service anymore.

        Economics… not tree hugger’s or hippie-commie-provocateurs closed the North/South rail road to begin with. Until an economic case can be made for an East/West line (equally prone to a geography that hates trains… as well as a staggering up-front cost), it then still remains a fantasy.

        A potentially expensive fantasy since the shippers will not take on the huge financial liability… but we will.

        Like

    • milldoin says:

      Well Mola, since you obviously get upset speaking of rail, (which you brought up in the first place) that leaves trucking. Trucking is highly subsidized, The roads are completely paid for by tax dollars, including keeping them open through areas that don’t like roads.
      I’m sure the people from Weaverville, Big Bar, Burnt Ranch, Willow Creek, and people along 255 in Arcata, are going to be very pleased that Wilson and his gang of commissioners are for the massive increase in the use of trucks on 299. By the way, it is estimated that ten trucks, over the span of one year would cause 1 million dollars of road damage.

      Like

      • MOLA42 says:

        milldoin:

        Was I upset? I think you might be projecting your own emotions.

        I have no problem with railroads. Where they work they do a wonderful job of transporting goods cheaply and with a minimum of environmental impact.

        They don’t work here. Sorry.

        Spending $300k to produce an additional new study won’t change the realities on the ground. Spending a billion dollars-plus to build the East/West rail line won’t make it magically work.

        As for roads… I think if you shut down 299 to trucking tomorrow the communities you mention would not be very pleased about it. A good part of their economies is based on those trucks whizzing back and fourth on that highway.

        I should like to see a viable alternative to roads and trucking. All I have ever said was that railroads have not been shown to be that alternative.

        Yes, I did mention railroads first. That was an observation of the fact that the majority of challenging candidates for the Harbor Commission (the subject of this article you might remember) were for spending money on more expensive and elaborate studies in hopes of getting a different answer than the first $30k study by the Harbor Commission gave them.

        I think the Harbor District has better things to spend our money on. Like getting the harbor working again. Which the Harbor Commission appears to be doing.

        And there, I think, we have gone full circle.

        Like

  3. milldoin says:

    Greg Dale is basically a paid lobbyist for Coast Seafoods. His job on the board is to protect Coast Seafood’s interests, mainly their valuable tideland leases. The jobs he so called created come no where near paying as well as the family supporting, living wage jobs he has been trying to block from coming to the harbor. As for oyster beds bringing large sums of capital to the County, one of the poorest Counties in California makes more from bees than Humboldt gets from Oysters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gail O. says:

    When the Harbor District acquired the pulp mill, part of the deal was that they give up any interest they have in other property owned by the seller. You might ask, what interest would that be? I don’t think they knew either, but they did not bother to find out, they just signed, giving up the public trust rights for commerce, navigation and fisheries which it is their duty to protect and manage. When the State Lands Commission found out about it, they began the process of undoing that deed. The lands they now want to buy (for an undisclosed price) include a good part of the public trust rights which they previously gave away. Is this how they are undoing their former stupid mistake? Buying back that which they previously gave away?

    Very soon the Harbor District will have a much needed babysitter. Due to the above misconduct, new legislation is about ready for the Governor’s signature which will require the Harbor District to give the State Lands commission 90 days notice before they acquire or dispose of any land, giving them all details of the transaction, and the reasons for the transaction. Are they trying to get this latest acquisition completed before the babysitting begins? The new legislation also clears up other details that they seem to be unaware of, like the fact that every dollar they bring in is a public trust asset, restricted to their mission.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MOLA42 says:

      Gail O.:

      Sounds like an amateur mistake on the part of the Commission. A mistake that their $100k+ a year chief of staff (Whatever his title is supposed to be) should have advised them on and did not.

      I share in the THC’s disdain for high priced government management types who rake in the money and contribute little in return besides a penchant for empire building.

      You know much more than I about this Gail, so I shall defer to you. I have no idea who the “good” players and the “bad” players on the Commission are. Obviously there are problems. The lack of something as basic as minutes for their meetings being not only unavailable, but also non-existent is a good example. The Commission is at fault for allowing their staff to get so out of hand.

      I just noted what the challengers for the posts on the Commission are saying and that I’m not impressed as to the possibility of improvement.

      Perhaps a State “Babysitter” is a part of the answer. I just think it would be a bad thing for local representatives needing this kind of hand holding from above. It’s bad for local democracy.

      Like

      • So Hum Gal says:

        MOLA, I couldn’t agree with you more as far as the crop of candidates goes. Seems like just more of the same. The one exception is Hezekiah Allen, him I actually know and know his routine well. The guy is the worst of the worst. He talks a good line but when it comes down to it all he’s interested in is listening to himself talk and chasing skirts. He’s never had a real job other than growing cannabis. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but seriously, it doesn’t prepare you to be a Harbor Commissioner. He ran for Assembly for a few months and then supposedly had a mental breakdown when he actually had to do some work and hid in Hawaii for the rest of the campaign leaving all his friends high and dry. Check his voter registration too. He’s re-registered every few months depending on where it might be expedient politically. Oh yeah, his current “job” is to be the mouthpiece for the pot growers association. Just what we need running the bay……

        I don’t really know the others but anybody but Allen, he’s a total loser.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marc Delany says:

    Would be great if people understood law…
    The staff are not,
    but elected officials are
    responsible for all CEQA violations, personally…. Seems staff has never mentioned this to any elected officials… all proceed as if it is all OPM (other people’s money), based on staff recomendations… The elect
    ed officials, should it go to court, are personally responsible.

    Liked by 2 people

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