Environmental group sues private business; Humboldt County Planning and Building to blame?

An article posted on Humboldt Baykeeper’s website describes their threatened lawsuit against the owner’s of ACE Hardware in McKinleyville, as a result of the property owners doing some work that impacted a “protected wetland”.

Baykeeper’s article touts how awesome they are for championing the fight against such wanton destruction perpetrated by a business owner. Yawn. Meanwhile, back in green rush land, where is Baykeeper?

Of course, the unfortunate and inadvertent violation only happened after ACE Hardware’s owners were given the green light by County Planning and Building Staff, who kind of have the job of ensuring that these things don’t happen in the first place – both for the benefit of the environment and the private sector.

Maybe staff was just too darn over-worked to catch it? Of course, we joke about staff’s workload. At that time, it could only be chalked up to incompetence.

Of course, when it comes to that big environmental boogie man (cannabis!), Bay Keeper is relatively mum. Just like the rest of ’em!

Baykeeper at least has a webpage devoted to “Marijuana Impacts and Regulation,” but it sure must be getting lonely – it hasn’t been touched since January! Meanwhile, it’s been very important for big, bad ACE Hardware to get a rap on the knuckles via legal threats. We especially liked the part of Baykeeper’s article that complained about ACE cleaning up the site without a permit, and without the oversight of agency biologists (whoever the frick that is!).

Baykeeper probably just wanted ACE to wait to clean up until they got whatever “oversight” Jen Kalt was talking about so that they could continue trying to find some possible grounds for actually filing a lawsuit, rather than only threatening one with the hope of filling Jen Kalt’s pockets. And they could have kept harassing the hardware boogieman for another couple of years, not to mention all the pats on the back they could give themselves. (THC thinks that as long the clean up was accomplished, Baykeeper should be happy. Clearly, protecting wetlands is not the only thing on their agenda.)

THC must point out, once again, that although Baykeeper does call out County Building department for screwing up and not applying due process to the project – which “should have triggered an environmental review,” – please note that it is a respected and long-standing business that is taking the fall for both County staff’s alleged ineptitude and the “righteousness” of our area’s “benevolent” environmental groups.

Anyhow, way to go, Baykeeper. Now how about you stop attacking legitimate business – don’t you have bigger fish to fry? Oh we forgot – free passes to industries that support you, and for issues that you’ve got a soft spot for.

By soft spot, we mean, where the f*** was Baykeeper when people were pissing and shitting and dumping trash in the bay? Looking over their buddy Jen Savage’s shoulder while she wrote Op-Ed’s about it? As Jen Savage herself puts it, the environmental degradation of our bay made her feel sad, and despite an alarming environmental hazard, she opted to keep on walking. Jen Kalt, and Baykeeper, apparently followed suit.

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37 Responses to Environmental group sues private business; Humboldt County Planning and Building to blame?

  1. Johnny Sixpack says:

    Are they owned by the same people as Shafers? If so, fuck em, hope Baykeepers takes em over the coals

    Like

  2. eswong999 says:

    This seems like one of those environmental mitigation situations. ie. fill here restore over there

    Like

  3. John Chiv says:

    Another 👍regarding Baykeeper. Whether any violation actually occurred remains to be seen.

    Like

    • Ed says:

      John, are you now using the men’s bathroom at the courthouse? While I’m trying my best to accept the latest liberal minority group that seems hell bent on attacking my fellow religious conservatives, I still can’t fathom someone like you sharing the same bathroom as my grandson.

      Like

      • WhoAreThesePeople? says:

        Don’t worry; I doubt he uses your church bathroom.

        If your religion requires you to hate, you need a new religion.

        Jesus was a poor, longhaired hippie who hung out with people he disagreed with, and He loved God with all His heart, mind, body, and soul- and loved his neighbor as Himself. If these concepts are so foreign to you, how can you claim to be His follower? Hypocrite!

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      • John Chiv says:

        Ed, this post is not about bathrooms and I could care less about what you think.

        You do not represent Christ or conservatives.

        Ed, if you are a follower of Christ, you would be doing more to ensure that this local economy still had jobs when your grandson grows up. Selectively following the teachings of Christ by Pharisees like you has done so much harm to Christianity.

        Weak men need to distort religion to make their women submissive and look down on others. Your plumbing at birth does not make you a man, your actions do.

        Besides hate, what do you contribute to the prosperity of this community and well being of your own family.

        God loves all. God created all.

        I think your fear comes because you realize the days of your version of Christianity are over, and God’s true word and love will prevail.

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      • haha says:

        John and Ed are a couple of hypocritically judgemental morons. They’re like cheech and chong except not funny, intelligent or mexican.

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      • Ed says:

        Deuteronomy 23:1

        No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

        Like

  4. Tall Trees says:

    The whole Ace building is a damn hazard for traffic. They one one small driveway for all cars to enter and leave from right onto Central Ave. I’ve seen 3 — yes 3 — collisions on Central as cars try to get in and out using the center turning lane. It’s a mess; the county never should have approved it like that.

    Like

    • Cousin Eddie says:

      hahaha , in most other places, people can navigate 2 cars passing eachother in 10 foot lanes. not humboldt.

      Like

    • some irritated person says:

      It’s not a hazard unless you’re driving blind. It’s one of the widest streets in the county not on a highway and you think it’s a hazard? The entrance is far larger than say, the Safeway in Eureka, with wide side parking, and a 100 foot wide street with no blocking of sight lines. If you can’t navigate that please turn in your driver’s license and start walking. Central is a long thoroughfare so you’ll need to be more specific in your claims of a whole 3 collisions. How many hits are in Eureka during any given week on just 4th and 5th streets? 5? 10? Go fight that traffic battle where there actually is one. Also, the company is not related to Shafers or any other Ace. In fact people that have been let go from the Mack store seem to reappear at Shafers, so judge for yourself of the quality of employees.

      This project is nothing more than an internet smear campaign by Ms. Kalt, the director. She has a personal beef with the Ace owners as two other projects, the new Eureka Natural Foods (aka the old Mck ACE) and CVS had similar issues yet they said nothing. At all. Nor to any of the dozen other “garden” supply stores that only sell 3 or 4 things that also may have construction. Or a number of other projects around the county. They made it personal and want you to join their side.

      The photo Baykeeper used isn’t even factual. It was taken after days of heavy rain. It isn’t a wetlands but they’re sure trying to make it one. Hell a couple of plants they found are also found on the lawn of Mack High, yet the school gets to use plant killers on it. Why no wetland designation there? In my opinion, they are no better than a certain ADA attorney in Eureka. They cherry pick their battles and wave a flag of victory because they feel like it.

      The project was approved of and REQUIRED by the county to fix anticipated run off issues with a paved parking lot, which takes up a fraction of an existing horse pasture that is also situated between housing developments. It never was a wetlands. It was historically a forest that was cleared for grazing animals. If you want to see it for yourself, then just go to the back lot behind the rental equipment. It’s a low spot about 50 feet wide next to a decrepit barn. Yet somehow Bayshitter seems to think it’s a wetlands. It is not. This is just a personal fight that is going to put dozens of people out of work. Jobs that pay more than minimum wage, with benefits, and in a pleasant environment. I know people that have worked there. Why only now when a project is 90% complete do they decide to pitch a bitch? Because they feel like it. And they’re getting paid for it.

      Don’t fall for the hype. Baykeeper just wants you to think the Ace and it’s owners are the bastions of environmental evil so they look good on paper, on the internet, and give the impression that they’re “fighting the good battle”. It’s horseshit. There is no merit to this. But if you support them, then you are also going to be using your tax dollars to pay for several dozen employees unemployment. I hope you’re happy with that choice.

      Leave the ACE alone. The are not the enemy here. They are just trying to run a hardware store that sells things to you and I, not one specific type of customer like the others that Baykeeper conveniently ignores.

      Like

      • Connie and Mike deo says:

        You ignorant —– excuse me irritated —-. We have lived next door where the new ace hardwear is now at for over 30 years. And there has always been a pound out in the field behind our house. It’s not there anymore and neither are the ducks, frogs, birds, that we use to see. Does that sound like a wet land to you? Where does all the water go it runs right down on our property and floods it. When a wet land is purposely removed by law it has to be moved to another location as far as we know this didn’t happen. You can’t just do what you want while destroying your neighbors land. Everyone else has to follow the rules so do they.

        Liked by 1 person

      • another irritated person says:

        You’re ——– retarded. Lets see the photos of these duckies and birdies if you lived there for so long. That shit hole of a property was a fucking FOREST before it was cleared for HORSES. Nobody can sell there as already said above. The only “pond” that was there was when it rained. That’s it.

        Like

      • Please see our response to Connie and Mike. It applies to all. Cheers!

        Like

      • Lets try to avoid the over the top potty mouth. We’re fine with a bit of off color but you’re not helping to make your point.

        Like

      • sandserat says:

        No fan of Baykeeper here but, displaced wetlands, even if seasonal or ephemeral are required to be
        mitigated times three.

        Like

  5. sandserat says:

    The irony runs thick with Baykeeper.
    When Pete was Manager of Baykeeper, our dune coastline was being stripped of vegetation,
    resulting in massive loss of coastal wetlands. While this is going-on Pete left for Iraq under the guise of wetland aid, while the wetlands in his own backyard were being drained, Savage and Kalt the same, didn’t notice the loss of a fore dune and simply to thick to understand what that means to our wildlife habitat.
    Some day an intrepid reporter or blogger will make known the federal wetland delineations
    done in 1989, if wetland damage is of interest, our spits are world-class horrific, wasting, eroding
    and drained. NO reports, our coastal behavior is that of cowardice and exploit for dollars.

    Like

  6. Henchman Of Justice says:

    LMOB says:
    June 3, 2016 at 6:04 AM
    I’m going to try Cousin Eddie’s much simpler, much kinder (and probably more effective) approach.

    I’m interested in THC’s take on the article below and if he thinks this may be affecting the Planning Department’s workload.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Allure-of-legal-weed-is-fueling-land-rush-in-7948587.php?t=73eabecb09

    Like
    Reply
    Henchman Of Justice says:
    June 3, 2016 at 3:59 PM
    Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper just outed Humboldt County Planning Department for not following the rules they are supposed to and allowed McKinleyville Ace to fill in wetlands illegally.

    So, the county set up for a fall the landowner because Humboldt Baykeeper won’t sue its progressive and liberal buddies in gubbamint.

    Landowners don’t deserve this harassment when it should be projected onto county government who complain about being over worked.

    Humboldt Baykeeper may not be as bad as attorney Jason Singleton at avoiding going after gubbamint violators, but sheesh, even new permit processes get bungled when the landowner does what he is told he can do……..

    Another example of Titlow Hill planning department negligence or flat out fraud.

    Like
    Reply
    Leave a Reply

    Like

  7. bill g says:

    it is pretty weird the baykeepers didn’t say anything about devil’s playground but are having a shit fit over a low spot in a farm field. acres of needles, garbage, crap, piss, all flowing straight to the bay, but instead they’re out busting farmer john for a problem in an area smaller than my side yard . hahahaha follow the money.

    Like

    • Shak says:

      It does seem strange, but it’s actually typical. Years ago, when Sheriff Downey tried to involve the EPA in some Cartel grows, the EPA refused & confessed they only go after businesses.

      Like

  8. LMOB says:

    Don’t fall for the hype. Baykeeper just wants you to think the Ace and it’s owners are the bastions of environmental evil so they look good on paper, on the internet, and give the impression that they’re “fighting the good battle”. – some irritated person

    The irony runs thick with Baykeeper. -sandersat

    it is pretty weird the baykeepers didn’t say anything about devil’s playground but are having a shit fit over a low spot in a farm field. – bill g

    Let me explain at least bill g’s point. I can’t explain sandersat’s or some irritated person’s b/c I think to explain away their concerns one would only need to find out more about their interests. I know an inkling of sandersat’s interests from meeting with Uri Driscol that was a result of a record-setting THC conversation.

    As always, this is about vested interests about maximizing value of property. So yes, follow the money.

    Regarding why a liberal environmentalist will not pursue or support the eviction of the homeless. No it’s not about hypocrisy or about lookin’ good on paper. There are, however priorities. Those who lived at the Devil’s Playground were desperate refugees from our society and economy. That is something most liberals (if not most people) understand has to be fixed first before we have the ability to consider long-term environmental effects. Effects, btw that could have been fixed in the long term. Devil’s Playground’s environmental concerns were temporary. If you don’t believe me, take a look at some of the old photos of our bay during the logging era.

    But as always Baykeeper specifically and environmentalists generally make a wonderful scapegoat for everything from bringing in Weed Inc to destroying jobs.

    Yes, there are state laws that are there to protect concerns like wetlands. Yes these laws drive developers, real-estate agents and contractors nuts because that land seems like it should be available for other uses. Yes, these laws and definitions (ie wetlands are always in flux and many well placed government officials will be able to reduce the state’s ability to protect wetlands is what is sold as a means of incentivizing business.

    In the end, this is largely about increasing land values and the revenue the land will bring to the land owners. This current BOS and PC share these values by 4-5 on the Board and about 6-7 on the Commission. Sometimes, with that kind of advocacy, they ultimately will run afoul of very basic environmental regulations. We should expect this to happen as the county loses it’s mandate to “protect” natural resources.

    This isn’t about jobs, this isn’t about taxpayers paying for unemployment, this isn’t about photos which are not factual. What this is about is trying to streamline planning, permitting and construction to reduce fees and costs as much as possible. That’s it. That saved money isn’t going to go into higher wages, it’s just going to help the owners have a little more left over. They already feel put out as providing this resource that they can lease to a company that will provide sub-standard living wages.

    Job creators saying that we environmentalists are calling them evil. Anyone please reference where you are being called “evil”. You are not evil, you are doing your job leveraging your influence and power to support your interests. That’s not evil, that’s politics, and you are good at it and have a great deal more money backing your interests than any organization might whose mandate is to protect (dare I say it?) ecosystem values.

    Like

  9. Horse's right of way. says:

    Somebody should be on Ryan Sundbergs ass about it. Under his supervision, McKinleyville has become the dumping groung of cookie cutter, big box development. There are now three franchise pharmacies within less than a mile of eachother, two of which are big box and, is no secret, double as hard liquor stores. The light pollution alone is criminal, yet Sundberg shows nothing but gratitude for increasing everybodys cost of living with higher property and service taxes and fees. McKinleyville is going to be a ghetto like much of the east bay area has become after introducing such infrastructure in fewer than twenty years. Its bad for the people and even worse for the environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cousin Eddie says:

      Hey now, CVS is nice! the people are nice, easy drive through, good hours. What does sunberg have to do with it though?

      Like

    • joe momma says:

      Cookie cutter development? You mean the single CVS store? The rest of the construction is all local companies. The nerve of them!!! How do you get a ghetto feeling from that? It was all horse pastures and businesses before that, and even before 101 went around it. Mck is no Bay Area and never will be so take off your tinfoil had and stop smashing the panic button already. But as was said above by a poster, there was no wetlands to illegally fill in because there wasn’t one in the first place. Ever.

      Like

      • Horse's right of way. says:

        How long have you lived in McKinleyville? Do you get out much? Sundberg himself has complained that Mck has absorbed 75% of the county’s new development and its very obvious. Traffic, garbage, especially roadside dumping on the outskirts of town, and petty crime has increased dramatically. Unfortunately Sundberg has fallen silent since. If you don’t see the cookie cutter developments or recognize the redundancy, and general bad fortune for the future, of multiple big boxes appearing on what could be a unique community, then I really don’t know how to address the question. Also, people are “nice” all over, that’s a moot point.

        Liked by 1 person

      • joe momma says:

        I’m in Mck everyday and live nearby. I guess you could call it rampant development if you’re comparing it to say, Orick. I really don’t care what Sundberg does. I’m not that huge of a fan so I don’t pay attention. You’re the ones that keep voting for him, so obviously more people approve of his doings than’ don’t. Don’t like it? then get people to vote the other way next time. Petty crime has increased because Eureka got tired of other people’s shit. You should do the same; run them out of town.

        Like

      • Horse's right of way. says:

        You don’t live here and you don’t care, ’nuff said.

        Like

  10. Horse's right of way. says:

    The area Ace now permanently occupies was a wetland. Look at all the neighboring land, dipshits. Maybe commenters could be honest enough to state how long they’ve lived here, if at all?

    Like

    • joe momma says:

      No it was not. You’re being disingenuous and resorting to name calling as if you’re some authority on the matter. It’s been a horse pasture for decades and plowed under numerous times. Did you see the mule that lives on it? He’s been there so long nobody knows who actually owns him anymore. There’s no creek or pond that’s ever sat there. Go look at it yourself and take some photos. Go look at historical photos of it and land use maps. It’s a field full of horseshit and that’s all it’s ever been. People are so desperately trying to make some damp patch the size of my living room into a wetlands for god knows what reason. Yet they ignore all the other construction. Stop picking easy fights with local businesses for no reason other than to start problems. That makes them cowards. Go after the walmarts and the subdivision developers if they’re so inclined. Unless they’re afraid of having their asses handed to them in court, of course. And how long have I lived in the area? 40+ years. And relatives much longer than that. You?

      Like

      • Horse's right of way. says:

        The area had to be filled because it was a swamp during the wet season, neighboring properties have been for sale for an eternity because they become a swamp during the wet season, open parcels to the immediate southwest are still forested swamps most of a non drought year. Yes, please do look up the history of the land, most of McKinleyville was a watered shelf, and has some of the best soil for agriculture naturally possible as a result. Talk to some real farmers. It’s a damn shame to see big boxes, as you agree, like cvs pharmacy and rite aid pharmacy immediatelt across the street from it, and all the new multistoried subdivisions built over the last ten years, and all the newly clearcut forest on Murray Rd. slated for even more development. Traffic, garbage and crime are way up, as are our property taxes, service fees etc. McKinleyville could be an agricultural goldmine for the county but Humboldt County’s supervisors are selling us out to developers.

        In the very least of it all, if a business is going to alter the land on which it lies, they need to do so properly. Ace is a national franchise and has plenty of money, hence all the work already completed. The old saying “it’s easier to beg forgiveness than be granted permission” is too often a scapegoat of developers and it should not be treated lightly when the environment is negatively impacted, permanently. I shop at that Ace regularly and will continue to, however the health of my own backyard is priceless.

        Like

  11. Cousin Eddie says:

    what’s the beef with having two pharmacies? choices are nice. also, about the wetland, please, what’s so special about that spot. doesn’t go anywhere and there’s a barn in the middle of it? no disrespect intended, i just dont get why all the hubbub over that spot and total silence over where there really was bad shit going into the bay. they hauled tons of garbage out of there, but for some reason you guys are more worried about the. its kind of wacky

    Like

  12. ectoendomezo says:

    Hup! First let me say thanks for the (thus far seemingly) ‘free’ comments. I’m amazed it even stil exists at all. So this issue with the new environmental gestapo and their extortion and coercion tactic is one that I’m compelled to discuss; I AM an environmentalist. I actually am. But this new staggering hypocrisy and extortion for profit tactic with every aspect of the (sorry caps necessary here) INDIVIDUAL land owners or SMALL business owners is out of control. The privatization (not even remotely ‘legalization’) of marijuana has allowed for the creation of straight-up ‘Constitution free zones’ on all private property. And yet Fraking..or for example cal-trans total destruction of a wetlands in willits IN the most severe drought in state history..or the ‘Gap Family’ and their total destruction of thousands of acres of Oak tree’s left standing dead and poisoned with an irrefutable carcinogen..Or? Or? Or? ALL seemingly ‘okeedokey’ for the various bureaucracies and the bureaucratic ‘class’ in general. The new paradigm is plainly ‘individuals cannot fight back as effectively as corporate ‘citizens’ so go after them at the first available opportunity.’ Its a nightmare. The bureaucratic class (replacing the middle class) is totally out of control and their hypocrisy is staggering, rabid, unequivocal and terrifying to behold. Lastly..for what it is worth..this has finally compelled me to simply ‘opt-out’ of ‘civic virtue’. I no longer ‘help’ in any way whatsoever. No donations. No stepping up. Nothing! To the extent that I will not ‘help’ a county worker trapped in a burning vehicle. Their savage greed and sneering arrogance are too classically tyrannical to compel any ‘sympathy’ from me, in literally ‘any’ instance’.

    Like

  13. No double standards says:

    A legitimate business isn’t legitimate if they’re not following due process and blatantly breaking the law while they’re at it, and that’s especially important regarding permanent changes to the environment. The “cleanup” to which his editorial refers involved chemical drainage directly into a year round creek flowing through residential neighborhoods and a school. The Ace hardware in question is a multimillion dollar business and a cornerstone of the community. Clearly, if this direct violation of environmental law were attributed to a single individual’s marijuana cultivation, the author of this editorial would praise full prosecution. This particular large business could have exemplified legitimacy, but they broke the law and should not be allowed to be an exception to the very rules the author of this editorial supports.

    Like

    • TommyGunn says:

      Ladies and gents put your hands together, it’s Jen Kalt herself! Thanks for stopping by

      Like

    • sandserat says:

      Seems you have double-standards for coastal wetlands, The Rudd Property in Manila is now less three ponds and acres of Coastal Act marshes ALL federally delineated.
      Why remain silent about this tragic loss especially in a period of Relative Sea-Level rise?

      Like

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