Uri Driscoll campaign launch: Watch him channel the spirit of Ross Perot!

Way back in August, Humboldt was blessed with the news that our upcoming 3rd District County Supervisor race gained a real dark-horse candidate in the form of good ol’ Uri Driscoll.

Let it be known here and now that THC loves us a good underdog story. After all, half of us have Cinderella tramp stamps tattooed on us (THC’s other half kept fainting from the pain mid-tattoo.) Point is, we almost always root for the underdogs.

Unfortunately, we just can’t get behind Uri Driscoll. It’s not because we have anything against horses or sand dunes – it’s just that, politically speaking, Mr. Driscoll is a dud. None of this is necessarily to say that Driscoll has bad ideas or is a kook or anything like that – although, if you are interested in such things, you can check out the comments on this LoCO post about his campaign announcement – but to point out that Uri has no frickin’ chance of winning the upcoming election. Nada-zip-zilch.

And while normally that’s just fine, in this particular race it creates a huge problem: Uri’s candidacy will take away votes from the esteemable and freaking awesome Mark Wheetley, thereby increasing the chances of an evil-empire style take over by the rotten Harbor Commissioner Mike Wilson. Do you really want a guy like Mike (pictured below), taking over a eat on our County’s Board of Supes?

emperor palpatine

This is definitely a picture of Mike Wilson and not the main bad guy from Star Trek…or whatever.

So, please, go ahead and join Uri at his campaign kick-off/pine planting party on Saturday (thanks, Chiv!). We’re pretty sure that there is a “can’t see the political forest for the coastal pine trees” joke in there somewhere, but we’re too lazy to dig it up. THC sincerely hopes that you get a real kick out of watching Uri’s excellent Ross Perot impression in all it’s glory. It’s actually quite good:

See? You'd never know which is which if we didn't tell you that is Driscoll on the left and Perot on the right

See? You’d never know which is which if we didn’t tell you that is Driscoll on the left and Perot on the right

But, while you’re there, be sure to tell Uri this – if he really is interested in serving the greater good of Humboldt County, he needs to drop out of the race pronto. It’s going to take a considerable push from right-minded people here in Humboldt to avert the disaster that would be Mike Wilson for Supervisor – and the best thing that Uri can do for himself, and for all of us, is to head for the bench and root for Wheetley.

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68 Responses to Uri Driscoll campaign launch: Watch him channel the spirit of Ross Perot!

  1. URI says:

    Where the hell did you come up with Ross Perot? The guy was a billionaire from Texas. I am a working guy from Humboldt County. Lets get something clear here. I have nothing against Mark Wheetley. He is a friend of mine who has brought his great kids to our house to ride horses and will again I hope. There is plenty of room in this race for both of us. He brings his strengths and I bring mine. The community decides who represents the district not an anonymous blogger. I committed to this months ago and see no reason to “go to the bench”.
    I appreciate what THC does for the most part. But trying to tell a candidate to step aside?
    I think a more fitting comparison would be to a young Jimmy Smith. While he has set the bar pretty high as far as supervisors go, that is the bar I am aiming for. He too was told to step out of the race many times after he had his hat in the ring. He was a fisherman who tied up his boat to serve this county and did an incredible job. Telling me to sit on the bench is flat out fricking ridiculous.


    • Anonymous says:

      Jimmy Smith is a nice guy but among the worst Supervisors in my lifetime. Made it through his entire career without taking a meaningful stand on anything. If Jimmy is your role model for anything other than a friendly guy to have a beer with than I’d sooner vote for a jellyfish.

      Liked by 1 person

    • MOLA42 says:

      Do you mind Mr. Driscoll if I ask you a question?

      Do you plan on going off like this when someone fails to support you while sitting of the Board of Supervisors?

      Rolling with the punches is part of the game. If you can’t take the word of a naysayer without going ballistic then I would have severe doubts you would do a very good job in the Supervisor’s role. Not everyone who will stroll into your County Courthouse office will love you, after all.

      I think you failed the test THC set up for you.


      • I have to disagree with you here M42.

        Politically only, no love lost here for Uri , but reading the comment it seems tone perfect? Ballistic? Where exactly?

        What do you find wrong about it?

        I say kudos to Uri for a) participating and b) pushing back against THCs nihilism on government and those that wish to be a part of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MOLA42 says:

        Liberal Man on Bike:

        I guess my “head voice” read it differently than your “head voice.” I thought he got more than a bit testy.

        Mr. Driscoll’s style is confrontational anyway… fight before dialogue. It’s one of the reasons he seems to spin his wheels so much on his personal crusades… Rather than find common ground and work with people he goes at everyone and everything like a bull in a china shop.

        His protesting little kids at a beach clean-up comes to mind.

        Fear not, Jon. I am not defending THC… In this case they mirror the Tuluwat Examiner too closely by letting name calling substitute for discourse. It’s why I miss the Humboldt Herald and Heraldo as much as I do.


  2. Esther says:

    Please remind me why Mike Wilson is an asshat? I do need enlightening on this one, thanks!


    • Anonymous Too says:

      Mike Wilson is far worse than an asshat, whatever that is. He is an arrogant, self absorbed, pompous, assHOLE. I’ve personally worked with Mike quit the job I was on rather than face dealing with that jerk for another day. Anyone who votes for him will regret their vote once they actually see his true colors.


      • MOLA42 says:

        Anonymous Too:

        Mr. Wilson has been publicly flying his true colors on the Harbor Commission for quite some time now. Admittedly, he did not win reelection by much… but he did win.

        As for whether Mr. Wilson is an “assHOLE”; perhaps he is. Obviously you think he is. But believe it or not… being lovable is not necessarily a qualification for a County Supervisor’s job (otherwise my dog would be a shoe-in for the position).

        I personally don’t care if I would want to drink a beer (but if its Downtown Brown it would help) or hang-out with a candidate… I care if the candidate can do the job he or she is applying for. I know I stand in the minority on this point here in THC-Land; but I think Mr. Wilson has demonstrated by his time on the Harbor Commission that he can do the job.


      • Les says:

        Sorry, I hate quitters more than assholes


  3. Here we go. It’s personality politics again from the right. Notice, not a single morsel of policy here, Just personality. And THC, you wonder why we get the leaders we do.

    Mike Wilson was one of the few who stood up for logic and the long term during the few critical GPU meetings I went to. Wheetly endorsed Mike Wilson and somehow his name came up when my Supervisor changed her vote in private after voting under the pressure of public scrutiny on one of the guiding principles ( #4 I think). Wheetly is the best developers can do in HSU’s District.

    THC, your fears are misplaced. Remember there is a primary and the only way Uri hurts is if Wilson can’t muster 50%. If Wilson himself has any serious support, which he should as a former HCDCC endorsed Arcata Councilman, this race will end up on Novembers’s ballot.

    You are welcome.

    I notice also the the absence of concern about not having candidates in the two other races. Why, when you are so mad about the truth of our sloppy leadership are you not typing ferociously that Fennell and Bohn do not have opposition.

    There is a reason, do you know what it is? Can you tell your readers?


  4. …Wheetly endorsed Mike NEWMAN..

    …If WHEETLY himself has…



  5. URI says:

    I find it rather incredible that because I push back when THC suggests I should step out of a race without any real reason you think that is going ballistic. Isn’t democracy about having choices in filling decision makers positions?
    I wish you were paying more attention regarding what we were protesting on the South Spit. It was in no way anything about kids cleaning up the beach. It was about using kids to remove vegetation that has helped maintain stability and provide protections in an area that has been identified as the most vulnerable area on either the north or south spit to sea level rise. If the kids could be brought out to the beaches more often we would all be better off for it. Herding them like cattle to dig out a beneficial plant is flat out ludicrous. The fact that a non profit was using that child labor for profit is just (fill in the blank) .
    Liberal Jon, I still don’t get what you disagree with me on. The last time we talked in person about preserving ag land we were in pretty much agreement I thought. If it is because I supported a friend of mine Karen Brooks when she ran as the only other candidate in a supervisor race just say so. But If you are saying we need more choices in the Rex and Estelle races but we should not have had one running against Mark Lovelace you should probably explain.
    Mr Anonymous,
    So you think Jimmy was the worst supervisor. Wow! Maybe you can let us know (Anonymously of course) who you think is the best and why. Just so we can get a bead on what you expect out of a supervisor. Maybe you’re just a complainer.


    • Anonymous says:

      Uri, You will probably be surprised to know that of the current crowd I think Lovelace and Bohn are the best. While at different ends of the spectrum they are the only ones who will tell your what they stand for and then actually vote consistently with that ideology. Sundberg and particularly Bass both have a horrible case of Jimmy syndrome. Their fingers are always in the wind ready to cater to whoever yells the loudest. I’d far rather have an official that I disagree with but is honest with their opinions. At least they stand for something and you know who you are voting for. Sundberg ran on a pro job/business platform and got all his support and funding from the business community then he appoints Jen Kalt, raises taxes, and votes for every new regulation that staff cooks up. Bass had the same base and now kisses every enviro ass she can. Uri, if you want to be an effective leader try being honest, sticking to your principals, and be ready to make tough decisions regardless of the consequences. In other words be everything Jimmy Smith was not.


    • MOLA42 says:

      Mr. Driscoll:

      I’m quite aware of how you go about trying to get others to work with you:

      You don’t.

      And you are evidently quite blind to that side of yourself.

      As for the use of the word “ballistic” on my part: Admittedly, a tad subjective. But when faced with a self-admitted basement blogger(s) suggestion to withdraw from the race, you chose not to laugh it off but to “get all serious and stuff.”

      I’m sorry Mr. Driscoll, I just don’t think you have the temperament to represent a diverse group of people such as are found in your district. It’s not meant as a personal condemnation… God knows I also do not have the temperament for it either.


      • URI says:

        Help me out here. On one hand people complain that public officials have no conviction on the other I am to confrontational when I stand by my convictions.
        For sure not many people have the fortitude to even run for office and I think it is fair to say it is largely because of all the negativity flying around. If there is some legitimate issues a candidate needs to address in a campaign then by all means lets bring them up. But the vague assertions made anonymously don’t really mean anything.
        I don’t expect to get all the votes and certainly not many from those looking for milk toast.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MOLA42 says:

        Mr. Driscoll:

        Fair enough. There is a difference between being a firm, passionate advocate for solutions we can all live with and being a “My way or the highway” sort of person.

        The first type can get things done by making people with conflicting views to recognize their common interests and work together. The other gets nothing done other than set up arbitrary sides… “Us vs. Them,” if you will.

        Guess which one is you?

        Again, I don’t think you are a bad person. And, again, I can hardly condemn a person for having a fault I happen to share.

        Anyway, I’m not saying you should get out of the race. That’s up to you. THC expressed it’s opinion (which I do not share), but in the great cosmic scheme of things what does that matter? We’re just voices on a blog.

        What counts is who fills in the box next to your name on their ballot come election day. Good luck with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Uri, our differences are many. We did agree that day, and we agreed on this…We need to protect farmer’s ability to farm (not Brenner’s variety btw).

    Karen Brooks, if elected would have made the vote 5-0 instead of 4-1 to change the Guiding Principles of the GPU in a way that would reduce what had been moderate protections for natural resources.

    But I agree with both you and MOLA here, and I think your disagreement loses the forest for the trees.

    Here is the story. THC goes on ad infinitum about the problems with government, specifically the County Government. Back to the 16th of last month only…Dec 16, 18, 21, 25 (image only) and 30 were complaints about the county government, its leaders, or how it is run. And this seems to me to be representative if we would go back to the beginnin. The truth that should one mad according to this blog seems to be A#1 the ineptitude of our government leaders and their apperatchects and A#2 unions, Patrick Cleary, True North, etc.

    Given all that anger, what is it they choose to focus on when given the opportunity by our Constitution to do something about it? A: Complain that there are 3 candidates in the 3rd District when their will not be a competitive race in the the 1st and 2nd.

    Does anyone else get this?

    The truth is, THC is happy with the status quo and the status quo is this. Inept government allowing maximum influence by the private sector – ie those with money – ie those that have so much power over THC’s life that they do not even feel comfortable using their Constitutional right to free speech.

    2016 will be interesting Uri, THC and MOLA. I wish you luck and all the best Uri. I’m endorsing Mike Wilson but I do appreciate and respect your right and ability to run a good race. Maybe there is a chance that you could allow Commissioner Wilson to gain 50% in the primary by taking away some of Councilmember Wilson’s votes? I don’t see it though. I think this whole thread is based on bad information. I don’t think that THC took into account that unlike Eureka City elections County elections do have a primary in June that allows us to focus the race to 2 in November if necessary.


    • URI says:

      I asked what differences we had and would still like you to be more specific when you get the chance.
      This is one of the problems as I see it. Bitch bitch bitch about the status quo then you go ahead and endorse the status quo candidate. Doesn’t make sense.
      Why keep on with the same old 4 -1 votes? Is that really the best way to represent a district? That is what we will get with Wilson. There doesn’t seem much to debate there.
      Why not instead have a representative that isn’t there to just agree with the rest of the board but brings respect, fortitude, and fresh ideas.
      Check my website John and get back to me about what we disagree on. BTW I have been working on some of the approaches toward homelessness that I think would be worthy of support and get that on the site soon.
      Come on out to my kick off event tomorrow if you get the chance. It should be a nice day


  7. Just Watchin says:

    Mike Wilson endorsed by a local blog nut. Might as well go ahead and swear him in !


  8. Mike Wilson (imho) is our best chance at maintaining one voice of reason against the other status quo property rights advocates 4, just as Mark Lovelace is.

    “Why keep on with the same old 4 -1 votes?” …and… “Why not instead have a representative that isn’t there to just agree with the rest of the board “

    These two statements are contradictory. Mark is fighting against a current county system that is run by and for property owners. Estelle Fennell, for one, even used to head up a property rights lobbyist group.

    I don’t think you would be the voice of change that is needed. Here is your comment from the 5/22/14 election when Supervisor Bass had strong opposition from Chris Kerrigan who would have added to Mark’s voice of reason on the Board…

    “I have been very disappointed in Mr. Kerrigan’s campaign even though I am a Virginia Bass supporter. While everyone wants jobs, Mr. Kerrigan has yet to explain how he can advocate for jobs while being so opposed to development. Developers, like ranchers and timber men and even sometimes fishermen have gotten pigeonholed by some of his most ardent supporters as “evil” for turning resources into homes and jobs for families. The better ones even help enhance wildlife and recreation areas as well. These people pay taxes that eventually turn into grant funds for various pet projects.”

    Mark and District 3 is currently on the right path – at least on how County Government should be run to begin to address the problems facing us. The other four are not. In my opinion.

    We were on the right path with a set of guiding principles and a belief that our County Government and its planning staff could work to protect natural resources for the long term.

    We should have learned by humanity’s long history that simply incentivizing and encouraging the private sector to do so is not going to be enough.

    BTW I’ve been waiting 1.5 years to ask this question. Can you please provide reference to one ardent Kerrigan supporter who used the word “evil”? Kerrigan and the left is not anti-development. We should be and are pro-smart development.

    Uri, I’m sorry you chose this time to focus on our differences. This would have been a great time to argue for democracy. We are in agreement on the subject of this post. It is ridiculous to focus on you as Ross Perot while ignoring the fact that there are not even candidates for the other two Districts. All this why, to steal a phrase, bitch, bitch, bitchin’ about county government.

    It doesn’t make any sense unless we understand that people can get elected and keep that $80K a year job if they support the status quo of lowering regulations, enforcement, etc. at the very time we need to be finally getting serious about what TYPE of development we need to have.

    The day of the suburb and exurb is over, we need our government leaders pull us out of this development morass b/c property owners, developers and contractors are under no obligation to change their gravy train which depends on building on the cheapest land to develop, which is not necessarily the land the community as a whole likes or needs us to develop.


    • URI says:

      What makes you think Mike is the guy. Isn’t he supporting putting a restaurant on what is a wildlife area on Woodley island? Environmentalist? I can’t even get him to sit down with us to talk about all the environmental problems with the eradication programs that the NGO he is president of promotes. Keeping one’s head in the sand is not leadership.
      You should start digging a little deeper John.
      Just because I recognize that developers are one of the economic factors in the county is not saying that I think that they should be building where it makes no sense. And again Ag lands in my humble opinion need to be off limits. It is just to hard to replace.
      BTW $80 K is not really that much when you consider the responsibility. There are a lot of other county salaries that are a lot more than that.
      But you are right comparing me to Ross Perot is just wrong. He has more hair than me.


      • Your have a very unique take on who is and isn’t an environmentalist Uri.

        I wish you all the luck. It seems you are at least targeting mainly Mike Wilson instead of Wheetley and I’m sure THC and his readers appreciate that.

        Happy New Year Uri. I wish you and yours all the best for 2016 and beyond.


      • Margo Gross (Naomi) says:

        Hi Uri–I’ve been reading this and trying to decide who to vote for. I definitely agree we need to protect ag land. The way the world is going we will need as much food independence as possible. Can’t do much farming under a cement slab. silvertree


  9. sandserat says:

    Unique take on environmentalism? That’s Wilson.

    Unless you LMoB consider drying-out coastal-wetlands, destroying fore dunes, reversing the natural movement of our coastal forests and depleting our Base Flood Elevations ALL while annihilating
    wildlife as some form of enviro-benevolence, it’s the only way your premise comes close to reality.

    Manila isn’t that far away from any of you, get off of your speculative asses take a walk down the Main-Trail from the Montessori School and look for yourselves. The south side of the Main-Trail
    was more verdant than the north side when these phony projects were begun, now it is an eroding soon to be desert. Google Earth will show you the same.


  10. THC, you win again! Darn you!

    This is exactly why Uri is a fringe candidate.

    Geographically (and less devisively) Uri is a fringe candidate b/c his signature issue, resisting the removal of non-native species, is an issue with day-to-day relevance to the beach-combers of Humboldt.

    However, he is also taking on and trying to redefine “environmentalism” to suit his own purposes. This is why he can align with Karen Brooks, Virginia Bass and real estate agents b/c in the end, they too see themselves as environmentalists and stewards of the land.

    Why Wilson has an edge in District 3 is because he understands environmentalism for what it is. Environmentalism isn’t conservation of what is and it doesn’t take into account the needs of humankind. Those two can and must be included when making policy decisions, but environmentalism is best defined in legal terms as “ecosystem values”. (Google it).

    So sanderset you are either lying (by omission) to yourself (which I doubt) or to your readers when you omit the critical two words “European Beachgrass” from your tale of environmental catastrophe.

    From wiki:

    A. arenaria is also recognised as one of the most problematic noxious weeds of coastal California. This sand-adapted grass was introduced to the beaches of western North America during the mid-19th century to provide stabilization to shifting sand dunes. It grew readily and it can now be found from California to British Columbia. The grass is invasive in the local ecosystems, forming dense monotypic stands that crowd out native vegetation, reduce species diversity of native arthropods, and cover vital open stretches of sand used for nesting by the threatened western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus).[2] The plant’s spread has changed the topography of some California beach ecosystems, especially in sand dunes. The presence of this grass was a major cause of the destruction of native dune habitat in Oregon and Washington during the 20th century.[3]

    Several methods have been employed in attempts to eradicate the grass in California, including manual pulling, burning, mechanical removal followed by salt water irrigation, and glyphosate application.[3] Studies to find the best methods are ongoing.

    The key word being MONOTYPIC. Is that what you want? What steps should we as humans do to resist this invasive grass? Any? What about where the original amazing ecosystem still exists?

    I did watch as the California Conservation Corps removed these plants along with other native plants (what is the nitrogen fixer’s name?) from the McKinleyville area at the mouth of the Mad when I lived there. It was a beautiful site to see the results of their amazing work.

    I’m glad and proud to live in a State that has a concept of what was and what could be. Uri doesn’t get this, I don’t know why. My bet is that Mike Wilson does. (Mark Wheetley probably does, but he seems to want to go along to get along (and then get elected)).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sandserat says:

    Was asking you to come look at the results, too onerous for you?
    Is it Lazy Guy on Bicycle? Get off your ass and come see what it is that you discern to be environmentalism. When these “projects” were introduced to Manila, our community was told that there would be No erosion, NO loss of wetland, NO adverse impact on wildlife, NO loss of Base Flood Elevation- ALL God Damned lies. ALL violations of Federal, State and Local rules and regulations and it doesn’t even register to you.
    Review the Permits, then get back to us and
    tell us all why these projects are even considered environmental.
    Until then keep in mine that the Manila Dunes were acquired by the State and FedEPA
    as Wetland/Wildlife set-asides. We work under a Negative Declaration to an EIR.
    Do you want to pick-up the tab when the bill for a now necessary Environmental Impact Report comes due?
    Shame on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just don’t know where to start. An EIR for returning dunes to their natural state?

    I am very sorry, sincerely, if your community is losing a habit that seemed to be more permanent during this El Niño weather. But this goes to the essence of planning where to build.

    Maybe building homes on the peninsula is not a great idea right now, nor was it in the past.

    I did walk through the dunes just last week and was thankful to find a route home through the temporary ponds that were created. But no, My lazy ass did not make it to the trail upon your command today. Is it true that the dunes north of the trail were “verdant” with European Beachgrass and south, the weed was removed? Those dunes are not naturally verdant with that weed. Naturally, these dunes often are not verdant and sometimes they as nature and even forest return over decades. This dynamic is a natural wonder and is one you are of course familiar with given your proximity to the Mallel Dunes.

    I do appreciate how the shame is on me for the expense of what should be a joke of an EIR. Will you be hiring Bill Bertain as your lawyer?

    Is the question for the Environmental Impact Report read something like this… What is the impact of removing an invasive non-native species that will necessarily change an endangered and precious habitat that was planted by pioneers 150 years ago specifically to “stabilize shifting sand dunes”?

    Nature isn’t always kind, especially when we try to control her. Who knows, maybe those shifting dunes will be a blessing to all of us when the next tsunami inevitably hits.

    Invasive species aside, am I to take it you will be voting for Uri this June, or do you agree with THC that he should drop out so Wilson does not have a greater chance of winning the election outright this June?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you that totally fucking stupid? Are you suggesting that we should allow and entire ecosystem and community to be destroyed just because, without any scientific study at all, some idiots arbitrarily decided that we should remove some plants, native or not, that are holding the whole thing together? I don’t particularly care who you want to support for Supervisor, that kind of mind dead mentality is simply stupid. No wonder so many people seem to think you’re and idiot. It’s because you are!


      • sandserat says:

        !. Amophylla (Euro Beach Grass) will produce a Fore Dune.
        2. A Fore Dune will produce a Deflation-Plane.
        3. A Deflation-Plane will produce wetlands.
        4. Wetlands will create Wildlife Habitat.
        This satisfies the Migratory Bird Treaty while simultaneously increasing Wildlife Habitat,
        terrestrializing to the west and providing stability.

        This is the highest use of these lands. If you want to destroy
        our Wetlands, at the minimum know what it is that you are doing,
        what we will lose in order to create a desert that for some unknown reason
        satisfies you.


  13. For those who want the short version – please read only the sentence in bold.

    Without any scientific study at all: Google ammophila arenaia, study

    Idiots: From Google: “a stupid person.” The people you are speaking of are actually the exact opposite. The idiots are the ones who, base on the merit in the classroom, followed their interest, passions and, yes, some minimal intellect that would allow one to conduct and write about their interests in an objective fashion.

    arbitrary see “without any scientific study” above.

    holding the whole thing together (from wiki again:) “This sand-adapted grass was introduced to the beaches of western North America during the mid-19th century to provide stabilization to shifting sand dunes. It grew readily and it can now be found from California to British Columbia. The grass is invasive in the local ecosystems, forming dense monotypic stands that crowd out native vegetation, reduce species diversity of native arthropods, and cover vital open stretches of sand used for nesting by the threatened western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus).[2]

    Here is what you are missing. There are difficult political/policy decisions to be made. In a previous comment in this thread, you have made it clear you value “honest opinions” highly. “I’d far rather have an official that I disagree with but is honest with their opinions” What if those honest opinions are based on half truths? You were the first in this thread to acknowledge that this discussion might be about a non-native plant, but even then you could not admit we are talking about a non-native species. (“should remove some plants, native or not.”) Was this due to not knowing the subject matter or to attempting to couch the rhetoric?

    Let’s look at where we came from. Uri used the words “beneficial”. Herding them like cattle to dig out a beneficial plant is flat out ludicrous.. Then he used the word “eradication” to describe it’s removal: “I can’t even get him to sit down with us to talk about all the environmental problems with the eradication programs that the NGO he is president of promotes.” Then sandersat uses the argument of wildlife and you use the argument of ecosystem to defend maintaining an artificial landscape which benefits us – humans. We don’t know how many of us benefit and we don’t know for how long, but that non-native plant does stabilize dunes.

    Let’s be very clear. Making these environmentally-centric arguments about a non-native plant while not even acknowledging this basic fact is Orwellian.

    I am not making the argument of where we should be “eradicating” this “beneficial” plant. That is the political/policy decision I don’t know enough about and I would like our leaders to be able to make the best decisions taking everything into consideration – not just what we want to be true. to reiterate: “Environmentalism isn’t conservation of what is and it doesn’t take into account the needs of humankind. Those two can and must be included when making policy decisions, but environmentalism is best defined in legal terms as “ecosystem values”. .

    In sum anon, honesty is critical, on this we at least agree in principle. I might go one step further though and say that honest opinions must be based on honest and as comprehensive information that our leaders can muster. If we are going to call those that work in our ivory towers “idiots”, well then we may continue the type of local politics that currently rule our uniquely beautiful and uniquely evolved county by a 4-1 margin.


    But again, back on to the topic of this thread. I don’t find it surprising that after all the complaining that THC does,(the truth making her mad, etc). Her first choice is to call out Uri for being the third candidate in the one race that will have 3 candidates while the 2 others are already arguably too late to support ANY competition. I think despite what we have learned about the fringe-ness of Uri’s candidacy, the real story in this thread is that THC is happy, solely, to be the complainer (about-government-and-it’s-leaders) in chief.

    And that in and of itself is a goal b/c it diminishes the public’s opinion of the one institution whose mandate is to protect their own interests. Not only that, but it naturally diminishes the talent, expertise (and anon, I’d argue honesty) of our leaders. Thus giving THC and the right something to complain about and continuing the downward cycle of our leaders and governing institutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Randy says:

      Wow, that was actually well stated… surprised to agree with you given the oh-so-annoying longgggg winded response


      • sandserat says:

        Pitiful, he didn’t address the loss of an aquatic-system and truth be
        known he doesn’t even know where the delineated wetlands are,
        yet he talks of ‘restoration’ as if he was aware of considerations.
        Welcome to Humboldt County.


  14. “Wetlands in the coastal dune system are transitory features that come and go as dunes form, move, evolve and eventually stabilize. In some areas sand movement out of an area may create a wetland or enlarge an existing wetland. In other areas, sand moving out of the foredune by a blowout may encroach on or cover an existing wetland. Non-native species, especially beachgrass, have significantly altered both dune and wetland processes. When European beachgrass encroaches around dune wetlands, these features become unnaturally static. When restoration is carried out, new tongues of sand are able to move into the deflation plain, causing localized wetland loss. These losses are offset by the formation of new wetlands or the expansion of established wetlands in areas where European beachgrass is removed.”

    The above is from the first hit if you Google “wetlands european beachgrass”. It’s a quote from “Dune Restoration FAQ” taken from a Mad River Union piece.

    Remember that none of this information would have been possible without knowing the subject that Candidate Driscoll or sandserat or anon was talking about better than he expected the reader to. That is what makes this whole crusade of Uri’s Orwellian. There are good and legitimate reasons to have a non-native species stabilize dunes that protect our way of life, but they are not environmental reasons.

    In fact in order to make their arguments Uri and others like Dennis Mayo would have to contradict all but a cherry-picked precious few environmental groups, state organizations and scientific research. And the mind-numbing thing is the results of the beachgrass removal have been spectacular (take a guided tour through the Ma-le’l Dunes) and only enhance natural (read – dynamic) wetlands.

    Please view the changes documented in this * report from 2004 and 2005 to 2014.

    Sandserat. What I image is you might be someone who lives in Manilla and is doing everything they can, consciously and not, to protect their home. If that is the case, as a homeowner in the Tsunami zone, I am sincerely deeply sympathetic and again, am not here arguing (at this point) which stands of Ammophila should be removed.

    What I am here to argue that “environmentalism” incorporates more than simply one’s physical surroundings. Environmentalism must necessarily separate civilization’s needs from the equation. It’s a revolution of perception that John Muir and arguably Teddy Roosevelt understood a century ago, but has only hit mainstream humanity’s consciousness over recent decades. I’d argue that it is as difficult a leap to make as it was for people to understand Copernicus’ insight that we were not the center of the universe.

    So yes, having said all that, I do think Uri and his like-minded friends have a very, VERY unique take on environmentalism that best described in Jack Durham’s MRU piece as “small but vocal group”.

    And THC understands this is a small group, which is why they in their own inimitable way they were asking him to quietly bow out so “the freakin’ awesome” Mark Wheetley has a better chance of beating “rotten” Mike Wilson.



    • sandserat says:

      What a dimwit!
      We have lost the function of a Primary Dune NOT due
      to “natural forces” but due to anthropomorphic misbehavior and fraud.
      Manila took monies to build WALKOVERS through our delineated
      wetlands BUT they were never built. Where did that money go Smarty Pants?

      A stipulation of acquisition was the Federal delineation of wetlands with
      spectacular 250′ buffers- immediately violated by festivals and so called Friends that illegally removed vegetation within buffers and wetlands.
      There is a disaster brewing in Manila and the losses are due to fraud and
      ignorance. LMoB doesn’t even know the questions, nothing more than a tooly tool.


  15. Cousin, I didn’t say that. That’s the point. I explicitly said, twice, I don’t know what the answer is when the question would be home v plant.

    I am trying to have words like enviro keep their actual meanings. Conversations are easier when words don’t change their meanings.

    I don’t have a quarrel with sand in the end. She is talking about specifics I’m not privy to. I wish her luck, sincerely.

    We just need to know what it is we are speaking about and despite the best efforts of Uri and his anon supporters, the issue is that the no good NGO and the rotten and bossy Mike Wilson understand that at some point, in some areas, we as a society should protect what was. You know, eco system values. You know, environmentalism.

    I’ll say it again, Uri has a very unique take on environmentalism. One as unique as the places and species his policies would help decimate.

    Here, again, the before and after of what can happen when we work together to achieve enviro goals. Uri understands that people like the results. That’s why he and his supporters cannot say invasive and sometimes even lie that European Beachgrass will help sustain native populations.



    • sandserat says:

      “We’re sorry, but the page you are looking for cannot be found”
      Was there something to learn at this page?

      LMoB why be such a simpleton? There is a reason you were asked to come to Manila and observe the results of 600 thousand dollars directed through legislation for WETLANDS and
      WILDLIFE HABITAT. It was to make clear to you that the removal of vegetation was adversely impacting wetland function and wildlife, exactly what the Permits said would NOT be done and
      in direct opposition to purpose and intention.

      I recommend that you give this a listen, then tell us all why Pickart’s projects are even
      mentioned next to the word ‘science.’
      If you come to Manila, I’ll personally give you a tour of the horrifically backward results
      of “invasive biology” bull crap.


      • “Invasion Biology stands or falls on the concept of native”
        “No biologist can identify what species is native to an area without prior knowledge”

        There is no doubt in our case that European Beachgrass is non-native is there?

        So, trying sincerely to understand why you hold Mr. Theodoropoulos, a seed salesman, in higher regard as a scientist than, say, scientists, is it this?

        “A whole new science could develop from integration biology that could replace invasion biology as a way to understand those connections from unrelated species. Who knows maybe in the process we would better understand ourselves?” (this is from a tree crop salesman who was one of the 16 commenters at this video’s sources)

        What we are missing in this analysis is the “ecology” root of Andrea Pickart’s title of “Ecologist” at the USFWS.

        I’m glad, in retrospect, I mentioned Copernicus previously. I do believe understanding ecology is akin to understanding that the sun is not rotating around the earth. It goes against a great deal of real world evidence to come to the correct conclusion, or, as THC might call it, “THE TRUTH”.

        So yes, I would love to take you up on your offer not this but next weekend or another times that are convenient to you.


        And to the reader that does not want to delve into the weeds in this discussion, here is a simple way to analyze the two alternatives sandserat gives us as options of “science” (quotes yours sandserat).

        a) David T. above who only takes 10 min and 23 sec to reach Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies
        b) Andreas Prickart (one example of her work) http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region_8/NWRS/Zone_1/Humboldt_Bay_Complex/Humbolt_Bay/Sections/Documents/FinalJCUmechanicalcontrolexp2013report.pdf

        Again, Uri has a unique take on environmentalism. It is apparently buttressed by David Theodoropous’ take on “invasion biology” and feeds on people’s willfully ignorant take on “science” by good people like sandserat.

        I’m sorry for the cruel phrase s, but yours is an example of willful ignorance. Science isn’t interested in what we wish to be true, it is, in part, what we observe and test to be true.

        I believe we do want to protect at least remnants of our natural history that came before us. It has value in and of itself (ecosystem values), but it also adds value to our lives(ecosystem services) and I believe it is our responsibility as stewards to maintain what we can of the beautiful and unique creations.

        Once lost, they never return, ever. We get one shot at protecting what was for future generations. World wide we are losing that battle, but that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying.


        For those interested… A review (in a peer-reviewed “science” journal) of David’s book, Google “Annals of Botany Theodoropoulos”.

        It is a polemic presumably aimed at the practitioners of what the author holds is a pseudoscience, and perhaps also at policy‐makers.

        Yup, and Uri would love to be be one of those policy-makers. If not, he has a long and frustrating record of using fringe unformation like this to satisfy his own interests.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Just Watchin says:

    The longer this pissing match goes on, the more likely Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, or George Bush is going to get blamed…..


  17. sandserat says:

    LMoB, put it this way;
    For over one hundred years European Beach Grass has NATURALIZED
    in Manila. When Pickart came to Manila to tell us we had weeds, we did
    not know. Our dunes were stable and our wetlands and wildlife were thriving. Pickart said that if we would allow vegetation removal they would NOT cause erosion,
    they would
    work in a checkerboard fashion and re-plant immediately and they would have NO adverse impacts on geology, wetlands or wildlife.

    Pickart LIED.

    Now our wetlands are drained and facing salt-water intrusion, thousands of dead trees,
    a reversal of natural progression of Pinus Contorta Contorta and wildlife shattered.

    Why are you defending this complete buffoonery when you are lacking the simple understanding of what these projects were to accomplish and more importantly what they were NOT to do?
    If you hired someone to weed your lawn and got home to find your soils displaced and your trees dead, would you not say something? Try not to be myopic, what you are seeing is a grotesque
    portrayal of greed and destruction, illegal and immoral to boot.

    To add insult to injury, these creeps have been granted “Resilience Grants” of half a million dollars. The very folks who destroyed our resilience have been rewarded with more money
    to do more destruction of what would create a resilient coastline.
    Beyond sad.


  18. Cousin Eddie says:

    OK LMOB, who decides when push the ‘freeze’ button on the remote and say, “everything stays the same from here on out, and this is the way it should be”?

    I remember a while ago spotted owls only lived in old growth redwoods, so they closed off most of the public forests to logging. desipite that fact, they’re probably going extinct because the barred owl moved in. last i heard they were shooting the barred owls because they’re not native.

    i guess the point is, people interfere with nature all the time for all kinds of reasons, and just because the friends of the dunes (Orwellian?) have a nice name, it doesn’t mean they are right. if they took a grant and pulled some grass to preserve a wetland or whatever, and that wetland is now gone, sounds like a failure, even if it’s your friends and they had the best intenetions.


  19. URI says:

    When exactly does something become “native”? As Climates change are not things that were native in one area not able to exist where they once did? New species move in such as the barred owl and actually sometimes mate with their spotted cousin. I think that is called evolution.
    One of my points is that there is no way to remove all the beach grass. So why don’t we look at what good it does such as building extensive coastal wetlands (Pickart). The naturalized grass also grows dunes where there was only wave slope before. That is easy to see in many areas. I would be happy to take a short walk to show you.
    Wetlands are far more diverse than “dune mat” or moving sand sheets. I don’t think there is an argument there. They provide critical habitat for migrating birds, rodents and many other mammals.
    Secondly the money being spent is absolutely ridiculous.
    So if you are accusing me of wanting to evaluate these very poorly monitored projects on the merits of the permits they were conducted under and the impacts to the environment and our limited budgets then I am guilty as charged. Transparency, integrity, accountability. Let’s not pretend that environmental policies can be excused from upholding those values.


  20. “When Pickart came to Manila to tell us we had weeds, we did not know. Our dunes were stable and our wetlands and wildlife were thriving.”

    EXACTLY. Thank you.

    Uri would allow you to keep your head in the sand. “Willful ignorance”.

    If we are talking about sand, which cannot have developed a soil profile (an inch of topsoil takes 500 years to develop naturally as one example) I don’t think “erosion” Is the proper term. That is part of the dynamic af the beach ecosystem and part of the miracle of the continually changing ecosystem of Ma-le’l Dunes.

    It sounds like Pickart is lying to you, but only because you are both using different words to describe different things.

    Uri is a leader who would not only enable willful ignorance, he wishes to teach it to get elected. There is a word for that. Out of kindness for someone I like, and who is engaging in this very conversation, I won’t use it. (It rhymes with lemalogue.)

    More later.


  21. Just Watchin says:

    Someone teaching willful ignorance to get elected? Yep, there is a word for that…..a democrat !


  22. sandserat says:

    LMoB, you are becoming an ass hole.

    “It sounds like Pickart is lying to you, but only because you are both using different words to describe different things.”

    Have you read the Permits? Are you familiar with Federal and State regulations?

    Was Pickart using words that the County misunderstood? NO.
    She straight-up LIED. One more time LMoB, if you hired someone to pull weeds-
    came home and found your trees dead, wildlife gone, wetlands dried and your soils disrupted, would you be OK with that? If so, good for you you you are an idiot and certifiable boot licker.

    The willful ignorance is in your lap,
    The monies used were HCF (Habitat Conservation Fund).
    What category? W (WETLANDS ENHANCEMENT).
    Why? Because there is no habitat that is more complex, redundant or stable.

    What we are seeing is FRAUD. And you LMoB know just enough to
    be a cheerleader lacking any critical analysis while overloaded with rah rahs.
    Grow-up, you want to kill trees, destabilize soil, drain wetlands, destroy wildlife?
    Stay home, mind your own business OR actually delve into the issue and add
    something that isn’t warped and misleading.


  23. She straight-up LIED. One more time LMoB, if you hired someone to pull weeds-
    came home and found your trees dead, wildlife gone, wetlands dried and your soils disrupted, would you be OK with that?

    Yes, I would. If the weeds were invasive and in and of themselves changed the nature of the landscape. You frickin’ bet I would. Could we hire the CCC to come pull my dandelions?

    Next Saturday still on?

    Uri and Cuz, later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandserat says:

      The My Lai approach eh? Lt. Calley I presume.
      “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

      Luckily this isn’t Viet Nam, it’s California, post 1972 (Coastal Act).
      Study-up a bit, there is a Migratory Bird Treaty that is satisfied with
      Coastal Act Wetlands and that is our aim, Federal, State and County.
      You want to change that? Please do it legally, honestly and with transparency,
      otherwise you’ve no business intruding into such a complex system,
      taking stable and destabilizing lets everyone know that you are very new to coastal science, also that you support projects that misrepresent their goals.

      Familiarize yourself with the Coastal Act, then get back to us,
      your willful ignorance astounds me. The coastline is not your toy
      to create the landscape that you believe should exist, the coastline is protected
      for the life forms that EXIST not the lifeforms that you’ve decided to replace them with.

      By the way LMoB, I would never advance tree-killing around your neighborhood,
      why are you advancing the tree-kill concept around my neighborhood?
      When may we expect repairs?


  24. Just Watchin says:

    “LMoB…you are becoming an asshole”. Must be new to the Humboldt blog world. Yalcinkaya was an asshole long before this thread.


  25. Forthwrite1 says:

    LMoB has all the platitudes of Mike Wilson and Friends of the Dollar (dunes). The extensive “restoration” at Manila is nothing short of development that negatively impacts its environment. It doesn’t matter if its a Hilton Hotel on the beach or “feel-good” volunteers destabilizing the dunes the end result is the same. And LMoB wants to represent the best interests of Eureka? Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Just Watchin says:

    According to last night’s arrest records, it looks like the “esteemable and freaking awesome Mark Wheetley” has a small problem……


      • Esther, I love you. Sincerely. Uri will not win. I’ve tried to outline one of the reasons I’m privy to in this thread. Even THC realizes this which is why they were pushing Uri out.

        If he does win I will buy you airfare for a holiday in any of your choice of the places to enjoy and celebrate his victory the region and, if you care to, visit Ammophila arenaria in it’s own habitat.

        “Ammophila arenaria is Europe and South Africa native plant. It occurs in Australia, Canada, Chile, Falkland Island (Malvinas) (sub-Antarctic), New Zealand, South Africa and United States (USA)[10]” (wiki)

        Also, to say “awesome” to anyone’s even self-inflicted pain… well, that isn’t very awesome.


  27. Here is the truth, and it may make Sandserat and Uri mad.

    The truth is HSU anchors Humboldt’s 3rd. That all but guarantees that knowledge, information, reason will be critical to electing any official from that district – from Dog Catcher to President.

    What this entire thread devolved to sandserat’s and Uri’s particular complaint about lying Pickart removing beneficial verdant plants and destroying wetlands. To add insult to injury this is done at bank-breaking government expense and/or using child labor.

    The fact that sandserat, you began to use the term I introduced – “willful ignorance” – says everything.

    You will find a winning argument, turn it around and use it to gain leverage in your political/policy agenda. It’s what we do in Humboldt whether we are speaking about Democratic principles (care to find a Republican outside of the Sheriff’s office running for office?), the environment and environmental regulations (reference this thread), or, in this thread, the term “willful ignorance”.

    I can be confident in this one thread b/c it is specifically about HSU’s 3rd District. County-wide I’d be losing this argument b/c of the 4-1 majority against information, effective government (including regulation and progressive taxes that will pay the bills), and I’d argue reason.

    That’s the truth, and it will probably make a whole lot of THC readers upset, so upset, they will do everything they can to deny it is true. In fact they will work to vote for Democrats with Republican values and environmentalists who won’t understand what “native” means in order to try to make reality fit their views.

    It is the same reason Oklahoma votes for a climate change denying Senator Jim Inhofe. It’s not that they really care that much about what some egg-heads in ivory towers and the UN say or do about climate change. Just don’t f*ck with the price of oil dammit. It’s how we make our bosses makes our millions and how they pay me just enough to be able to afford rent and food. (just not health insurance).

    The truth is out there and it lies in the definitions of “erosion”, “wetlands”, “invasive”, “non-native”, and endangered. If Environmental Impact Reports are going to be used against removal of non-natives to expand the successes of returning the glory of areas like the Mal-le’l Dunes, well then we know that Uri-type commissioners have placed themselves or have been placed in our state institutions like they have in our current county planning commission.


    “OK LMOB, who decides when push the ‘freeze’ button on the remote and say, “everything stays the same from here on out, and this is the way it should be”?”

    We do. We elect officials who will nominate Commissioners who will both work to hire staff to make the decisions for us. We are their bosses. I’m working for us to hire government workers who have power and can make decisions they, as professionals, have been educated to make.

    The alternative is to let the private sector make planning decisions for our future. That is what the Chamber of Commerce promotes continuing. If it doesn’t make a buck today, is it a good decision?

    Who’s looking out for our future? Who is looking out for species and ecosystems that our current lifestyles might exterminate? Is it really Uri Driscoll? He thinks it is.


    Uri and Sandserat, I’d love to take you up on your offers. I’m available next weekend. I’ll check back here for a time and place.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. sandserat says:

    Lazy mind on bike, do you believe there were NO parameters to Pickart’s Manila works?

    If there were, what were the parameters?
    Are you aware of what a Coastal Development Permit is?
    What Permit was used to destroy the Fore Dune in the Rudd Property?
    What Permit was used to strip Paleo-Dunes (the Bowl)?
    What Permit was used to drain wetlands in the Deflation Plane?

    Do you know what a Negative Declaration to an Environmental Impact Report is?

    As long as you ignore context you do no one any favors. Grow-up, we have enough
    shallow thinking and seriously our Natural Resources cannot sustain more. I remain
    impressed at your lack of embarrassment and your through misunderstanding
    of what a Wetland Restoration means, what the goals are and why Wetlands are the Habitat of choice. Humboldt County used to be cool, now we have jerks full of pretense, rallying
    for erosion and wildlife loss.


  29. Sandserat, let’s look these up together for myself and the reader…

    Negative Declaration: A Negative Declaration or a Mitigated Negative Declaration should be prepared for a project when there is no substantial evidence that the project or any of its aspects could result in significant adverse impacts.

    Yes, removing the verdant beneficial plant will have significant adverse impacts in the short term as it is doing the job settlers initially meant it to. It changed the landscape from a naturally changing one to one that is relatively stable given the proximity to an ocean.

    OK, now a broader question…Would returning those dunes back to their natural state of change a significant adverse impact? To whom? To local landowners? Who else? How about land owners in Eureka who would like to begin using Humboldt as a destination resort? Importantly, how about the the Coast Commission?

    Here is their mission statement from their pamphlet “When do you need a Coastal Development Permit?”

    The California Coastal Commission works in partnership with local governments to protect shoreline public access and recreation, terrestrial and marine habitats, views of the coast and scenic coastal areas, agricultural lands, and more, by regulating proposed development along the coast and in nearby areas.
    Through its forty-plus year history of ensuring that development proposals are consistent with the Coastal Act, the Commission’s actions have resulted in more than 2,000 easements for public access statewide and resulted in tens of thousands of acres statewide of created or restored sensitive habitats and agricultural lands, viewsheds and sensitive habitats placed into permanent legal protection.

    So when you say “restore” as in restore a wetland, it sounds like the Coastal Commission should be on board with you against the lying Andrea Pickart. When we remove the beneficial plant that protects verdant landscapes to include foredunes and wetlands, isn’t this the very mission of the California Coastal Commission? Lazy, almost assholish, dimwitted smartypants indeed! Let’s look further…

    Here is one of the bullet points on when one needs a Coastal Commission Permit “• Clearing of vegetation in, or that provides, sensitive habitat.

    Yup, you are right. The removing the beneficial plant which creates a verdant landscape and protects local EXIST-ing populations of native plants by stabilizing foredunes requires a permit.


    Wait a minute….OR… We can acknowledge that 150 years ago settlers came and planted the invasive non-native “European Beachgrass” specifically to stabilize the fore dunes creating wonderfully protective but artificially stable wetlands. The problem is, if you acknowledge this, the entire argument above gets turned on it’s head.

    The Coastal Commission is mandated to protect the coast (for it’s own sake, not for our sake) from artificial development. In our particular and unique case, this “development” was only possible with the use of a non-native plant that also happens to be invasive. The fact that it is non-native and INVASIVE is crucial. Invasive means it is so well adapted to the climate in this area that it will out-perform and ultimately replace native plants and ultimately many of the animals that depend on our native species. That’s why it’s critical that Uri places his head in the sand on the question “what is native?”.

    European Beachgrass is beneficial to us, landowners in Manilla, farrier activists etc., but despite what Uri will tell you, it is not beneficial to the natural ecosystem that existed before we arrived. This ecosystem is critical to our endangered snowy plover for one.

    Again, I’m not arguing for this or that specific removal of beachgrass b/c as you rightfully point out, I don’t know the specifics. What I am arguing against is the misuse of terms and ideas to attempt to gain leverage and to make policy (and legal) decisions based on or intentionally skewed information.

    Forthwrite1 said this…

    “The extensive “restoration” at Manila is nothing short of development that negatively impacts its environment. It doesn’t matter if its a Hilton Hotel on the beach or “feel-good” volunteers destabilizing the dunes the end result is the same.

    We have proven this is false. If you care to look at the real results and not just Trump-ish over-the-top rhetoric, please take a look at the restoration projects after a decade of removing the otherwise dominating plant, google “Ma-le’l Dunes Restoration Summary and Photo Documentation”. This has photos of what the restoration looks like. The only beings that would confuse this as a Hilton would be the native population of flora and fauna we as a society have chosen to attempt to restore when possible.


    • sandserat says:

      Sheesh LMoB, for thirty years you’ve allowed projects on our
      coastline that have zero oversight, no bids, no request for proposals
      and to top it off you offer another Pickart site to gauge the success,

      “Yes, removing the verdant beneficial plant will have significant adverse impacts in the short term as it is doing the job settlers initially meant it to”

      Did you read the Permits?
      What you see is not science, science is predictable, either the results were unforeseen
      OR Pickart and Friends lied when filing their Permits.
      Well, which is it?
      With regards to wetlands, the Coastal Commission’s primary role is the regulation of coastal development affecting wetlands in California’s coastal zone.
      Find the delineations and you’ll see they’ve destroyed habitat and stability ALL under
      a Neg Dec. ALL illegal as sin. ALL detrimental to our future. ALL needing repair
      due to newly begun “wasting processes.”

      You are defending dishonesty while you dress it up as science, why?


      • Could you please link to the permits in question? I’m trying my best to jump through all the hoops to discuss this issue on your terms. I do this b/c we are discussing this under the frame of “environmentalism”, “restoration”, “wetlands”, “native-v-naturalized”, etc. all subjects I have a fair amount of knowledge and a great deal of passion.

        Do we agree then that the results of restoration projects that had the verdant plant dominating the landscape in 2005 have improved? Are those results skewed or somehow in question or can we accept that report as a decent representation of what is?

        We need to have a common vocabulary and common understanding of what is and what could be to have a discussion.

        Do we agree, at the very least, that in the photos, the development of removing the beneficial plant is not equivalent to building a Hilton? We have to start somewhere.

        I understand that to you “Pickart” has her own site and her OWN PROJECTS. But another way of describing her is Andreas Pickart, Ecologist of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

        Her “site” isn’t her’s it’s ours. Her project isn’t her’s its ours. I know you don’t like that but it is what is. What we are doing is trying to figure out if we want to continue restoring sites to native populations or if we want to begin to question terms like “native” which would allow us to be free of spending increasingly limited government funds and prevent do-gooders from inappropriately using their children from protecting us from this beneficial plant.

        Andreas is the one the Federal Government has hired to do the job of protecting local endangered wildlife and the ecosystems that support them. They notably did not hire you nor I. We are not professionals on the subject of ecosystems, she is.

        Is it possible that cutting down one of your neighborhood trees is beneficial for the local native ecosystem in the long term? Is it at least possible, or is the truth that that person “Pickart” is lying to us using her own site and her own projects for some nefarious at worst and misguided at best so-called environmental reason of unknown actual goals?

        We both agree “willful ignorance” is not something with which is appropriate to make policy or legal decisions. I’m willing to continue this conversation as long as you are b/c I am confident that at the end of this winding path, knowledge is on the side of the Friends of the Dollar, that #2 asshole and FOD President Mike Wilson, and the worst of all, the liar “Pickart”.

        Let me know how to get to those permits.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. URI says:

    This thread started by a suggestion that I “go to the bench and root for Mark Wheetly”. Something that makes no sense when an election is meant to be a way to bring a variety of perspectives to the discussion of our community vision. I find it unfortunate that more people don’t step up and share theirs.
    Clearly there needs to be more open discussion about coastal management practices and it is problematic for Mr Wilson that he continues to refuse to help facilitate that as president of Fiends of the Dunes.
    We could also have a very interesting discussion on climate change and “native” plants. As climates change so do the plants in specific regions. There are conservationists actually assisting the migration of plants from southern regions to northern because of the belief that they will no longer be able to survive down south in the near future. Being a purist regarding “native ” plants makes no sense economically, practically, or environmentally.
    Things have changed here since the start of the eradication projects on the coast. We need stability and wetlands that the beachgrass supports are vital in providing coastal protections. And they are protected by federal law. So we are expecting responsible land mangers to acknowledge that there are significant and un-permitted/unintentional consequences to these projects.
    The reason to be planting trees as we did last week is to aid the forest succession and stability to coastal dunes. The trees eventually shade out the beachgrass without the problems of destabilization.


  31. Uri, why exactly should Commissioner Wilson join a conversation where minds have already been made up and they’ve already nominated him #2 A**hole of 2015 for all of the ____ he has been up to.

    It’s interesting to me that most of your supporters (ie, taking Wheetley out of the equation for a minute to imagine a hypotheical race between yourself and Wilson) would deny either climate change itself or human’s contribution to it.

    You understand this as brother to one of Democratic Congressman Huffman’s staff members. Climate denialists are the norm in the Republican Party. We know that even with Republicans either absent from or unable to win either statewide or countywide offices that in a general election many climate denialists will be voting for either yourself or the #2 asshole Mike Wilson.

    How many of your voters in such an election would deny climate change itself. Wouldn’t the reality of climate change and what we as a people can do to mitigate it be a more constructive and interesting conversation to have with those that already have a hard time figuring out the value of vegetation which has evolved in our location but is unable to compete with a beneficial and green plant will ultimately supersede our local vegetation.

    Uri, could you please comment on this study *, which did take public time and money to complete. Are the results something we should be working for? If so, where exactly?

    * please google “Ma-le’l Dunes Restoration Summary and Photo Documentation”

    “The trees eventually shade out the beachgrass without the problems of destabilization.” Could you please direct me to the study demonstrating this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • URI says:

      You can get started by googleing Manila Long Term Management and Monitoring Plan. And if you go to the Manila CSD site you can find the permits and monitoring/lack of monitoring for that area. I believe the Plan is there also.
      If you read the Plan you will notice that it says they will not restore back dune areas because of the risk of destabilization. Yet after 2000 the district and FOD brought school children and others to dig out grasses in the back dunes. FOD also received $17.83 per hour as matching funds for each of those kids. There was no permit issued to do that and it would have been against the Plan anyway. A neighbors law suit fortunately stopped that.
      A lot of native pine trees were killed as a result of that unpermitted grass digging.

      Pines are benefited by the grass which is easy to see when you take a walk and notice where the grass is dug out, few pines or native coyote brush exist. Where the grass remains, including on the foredune, pines are succeeding. Also you will notice that where even a few pines that are of any size live there is no grass under them and essentially no grass in a forest.
      I hope we can agree that a forest is more complex and stable than blowing sand and a few low growing plants.


  32. I did try that google and it did not come up. I don’t mean to be dense, but I will need help understanding the hoops that have to be jumped through to obtain permitting to restore natural beach habitat through a state agency whose mission it is to protect our Coast’s natural heritage.

    A little more direct links with the legalize in layman’s terms if that isn’t asking too much. The payoff? I’ll work with you with some misconceptions about evolution.

    New species move in such as the barred owl and actually sometimes mate with their spotted cousin. I think that is called evolution.

    Not quite.

    I did find when googling as requested one of the top links was the MRU’s interview questions to the candidates for the MCSD.

    Here is their answer to the 8th question the MRU asked…8. What is your position on removal of non-native plant species on the Manila Dunes?

    From those elected:

    Janett Bramlett:

    I am not a specialist in this area, but according to scientists who have done extensive work in this field, the practice of removing beach grass to permit native species to repopulate the dunes is a legitimate, beneficial one. Biologists have confirmed this with specific reference to the Manila ecosystem. We have allowed a vocal minority to obscure the fact that our past efforts have been positive, “blown-out dunes” notwithstanding. We must resume restoration work.

    Carol Vander Meer:

    I am a supporter of bringing back native habitat diversity by removing invasive species. Manila needs to update its restoration management plan take into account both ecological and human constraints and identify a qualified restoration/lands manager. I look forward to working with the board and staff to find ways to address this need whether it entails securing funds to hire staff, contracting with an outside entity, or looking into conservation agreements with appropriate partners.

    Carla Leopardo:

    I understand the nervousness of my neighbors who are worried about destabilization of the dunes however the board is tasked with protecting and restoring Manila’s natural resources. I support good stewardship and I believe we are very lucky to have Friends of the Dunes here in our neighborhood. The efforts of any individual or organization must be monitored closely with an eye toward keeping the dunes healthy and accessible

    Bev Prosler came in a distant 4th. Her answer was more akin to the avoidance of very simple ecological principles and, well, words that all of the 3 winners were able to clearly express. Neither you nor sandserat seem able to use these words either. (ie native, invasive, restoration without quotes, etc)

    The District’s mission includes protection of natural resources. The District adopted the Manila Dunes Access Plan as well as a Restoration Management Plan. I believe in diversity and support diversity of native plants in our landscapes. Many issues have arisen since acquisition of our parklands. Presently the Board is waiting for a definitive report from the Dunes Cooperative, a group including MCSD, BLM and Fish & Wildlife, regarding land management for biodiversity of the dunes.

    I walked through the Ma-le’l Dunes yesterday with many in my extended family inspired by this thread (I also visited the MCS trail head sandserat). As if on cue, my sister-in-law saw a bald eagle fly overhead (U!S!A!) as we emerged from the natural yet naturally geologically short-lived forest just west of the imposing first parabolic dune. The transition from forest to dune was glorious, as you I’m sure have experienced countless times (just sans horses).

    I’m not expecting the entire north-south spit to look like the Ma-le’l dunes in 20 years, but I do think your agenda and this dialog intentionally avoids the magnificence of this local natural wonder.

    So when you say this…

    “Pines are benefited by the grass which is easy to see when you take a walk and notice where the grass is dug out, few pines or native coyote brush exist…..I hope we can agree that a forest is more complex and stable than blowing sand and a few low growing plants.”

    I think you are missing the forest for the (pine) trees.


    • sandserat says:

      Simple questions for Carla, Carol and Jan;
      1. Was the Fore Dune in the Rudd Property meant to be destabilized?
      a. If so, what Permit was used?
      b. who is the Responsible Agent? (CEQA)
      c. The Lead Agent? (CEQA)
      d. Was there Public Notice for change in use? (CEQA)
      2. The Bowl (Paleo-dunes, w. of the old school) was illegally stripped of vegetation and is now wasting, no longer functioning as a wetland, now transforming to a desert. Over 100 trees have died in that area alone, due to misguided children doing immense harm to what had been a forest for thousands of years. The Bowl ridges have deflated 6 feet in some areas,
      a. What Permit was used to pull vegetation in an ESHA Enivironmentally Sensitive Habitat Area?(the Bowl)
      b. Who determined that area would be pulled?
      3. The Manila Dunes Project was proposed to Manila as an experiment with parameters being
      that there would be NO unforeseen impacts on flora, fauna or wetland function. The impacts were pointed-out and summarily ignored. Could you tell us what insurance company insures the work that include destabilizing a
      Primary Dune?
      4. The Manila Dunes Project was proposed to Manila as an experiment with parameters being
      that there would be NO unforeseen impacts on flora, fauna or wetland function. The impacts were pointed-out and summarily ignored. Could you tell us what insurance company insures the work that include destabilizing both a fore dune and paleo-dunes?



    • sandserat says:

      The Bald Eagle and other birds of prey are there
      due to wetlands, not sand sheets, you or one of your extended family
      ought to know that. The wetlands in Manila’s deflation-plane are a product
      of the Fore Dune, the Fore Dune is a product of European
      Beach Grass. You are not the one to be speaking of coastal science,
      you simply are not bright enough, sorry.


  33. For the record, I have never, ever seen a bald eagle in my many, many walks around the dunes in places that are not protected like Ma-le’l is. I understand this is still anecdotal and potentially completely coincidental. I also was out when the 5 Apache Helicopters were flying overhead. I also have never, ever seen those while walking on lesser-protected dunes.

    Distinguishing and differentiating anecdotal data from reproducible data is part of what science is about.

    S., I’m still looking for the permits you mentioned when you wrote “Did you read the Permits?” or were you being sarcastic? I’d like a link to them.

    But just above you asked ” If so, what Permit was used?”.

    So is the problem there were no permits? Do you feel that was not right b/c one of the Coast Commission’s clearly stated reasons for a permit is “Clearing of vegetation in, or that provides, sensitive habitat.”?

    What if removing the non-native invasive vegetation helps provide sensitive habitat? Maybe not in the short term as you mention, but in the long run. Maybe not everywhere (ie not in the constantly shifting sand sheets) but in some locations.

    I’d love to understand your perspective in person if you are still interested. If you have time this weekend, let me know. I’ll meet you at the Community Center.

    I think what we need to understand is what Carol Vander Meer alluded to “Manila needs to update its restoration management plan take into account both ecological and human constraints and identify a qualified restoration/lands manager.” This is about land management and we need to be able to figure out how we want to manage this land and for what purposes.

    That is the bottom line isn’t it? How will we manage the wetlands and trees, or shall we allow a non-native invasive grass that we first planted here intentionally 150 years ago manage the landscape for us? It’s definitely the easy answer, you and Uri are right about that.

    Is non-management the right answer though?

    Liked by 1 person

    • URI says:

      All these lands are supposed to be managed in accordance with local plans. The Manila plan is available on the Manila CSD site as are the permits and monitoring reports.
      The Plan says no restoration in back dune areas due to the risk of destabilization. No permits were issued to do major vegetation removal in these back dune areas. Yet MCSD and FOD did just that. Actually FOD is still doing that in areas around the waste water treatment facility. Why would they do that if they already know it causes destabilization? You need to ask them.
      Dan and I asked some volunteers and FOD where were the REQUIRED monitoring reports for work they were doing on the foredune in MDRA. They still have not provided them and fortunately they have stopped. My guess is they never bothered to do them. Why?
      I am for a more transparent and science based approach to managing these lands. Being kept out of Dune Coop meetings, being refused meetings to discuss this, failure to provide information is not being transparent.
      The reason I chose to plant trees at my kick off event is to shed light on a different method of managing that has in my opinion more positive results and less negative ones. So why did new director Van Demeer and John Wooley try to prevent that. You will need to ask them.
      I am up for a walk this weekend


      • I prefer early am’s let me know the time and place if this weekend is good for you. The hectic-ness of the holidays seems to have passed to the calm-ness of another year.

        One favor, I take this tour with the outspoken trail advocate, you accept a gift of Susan Jacoby’s “Age of American Unreason”. Specifically I would like to hear your take on when she writes about the American tradition of a sciency approach to Darwin’s theory of evolution. I won’t have a copy for this weekend, but I’ll get one to you darnit!

        Sandserat, wanna join? Wanna take a separate trip? Time to get off my lazy hind-quarters. Let me know.


  34. URI says:

    Sure give me a call. My # is on my web page.. Uridriscoll.com


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