Thursday, June 22, 2006


Thursday notes 6/22/06

Richard Marks makes some closing thoughts (update: and whinings - per the discussion in the comments section - everybody happy now?) on the election and renews some legitimate grievances with Local Solutions. I hope LS will hold some serious internal discussions about this before the next election.

Meanwhile, it appears that Marks will be moderating a debate between Bonnie Neely and Nancy Fleming on June 29 at the Samoa Cookhouse at noon. Those attending are asked to pay for a meal. I'd like to attend, so here's my plug for the Cookhouse to serve its top rate split pea soup!

Update: As noted in the comments section by Richard Marks himself, the debate is apparently off. And it appears that Bonnie Neely is the stick-in-the-mud. Personally, I hope she proves Marks wrong and takes him up on the offer. It'd make a great format for debate, with guaranteed substance.


While I'm certain that I share more political views with Jonathon Speaker than ER editorialist Glen Simmons, I have to disagree with the former's letter. I think cynical columns make infinitely better reads than "positive" missives. My opinion anyway. I can read Hallmark cards for the latter.


Is this the letter that started the hoopla? Good going Mr. Harvey. The local blogosphere is in your debt.


See, now this is exactly what I'm talking about in my paper wars post below regarding the TS. Do we really need a front page advertisement for the Redwood Acres Fair? Is news that slow today? Page 3 maybe, but not the cover page.

On the other hand, the potential loss of local government to negotiate cable easements is a serious story - completely absent from the pages of ER at least online. The bill discussed in the article would allow telephone companies to circumvent local authorities entirely. It's a non-local story with local implications.

See? The TS can distinguish itself, when it puts its collective mind to it.


The Humboldt Advocate reports that the Grand Jury isn't just picking on Gallegos. It slams the Building Temple this time. And while it didn't address the inadequacy of sheriff services in Southern Humboldt, it did note that the Garberville substation is messy. The GJ also seems to agree with Gallegos about the inadequacy of mental health treatment for jail inmates.


Two more members of the California Republican Congressional contingent are accused of mild corruption. It's not clear if these deals were illegal or technical breaches of any code of ethics, and I'm reminded of the admonition of Plunkett of Tamany Hall about the differences between "dishonest graft" and "honest graft,:"

"Dishonest graft is stealin'. Honest graft is seein' your chances and takin em."

The State of Kentucky is now banning certain liberal blogs from all state-owned computers. At least one of those blogs is hitting back.


Ghana just ended the US World Cup dreams this time around.


An entertaining blog I just found - Blue Girl in a Red State. Yeah, a blog is established every second or something like that, but some of them stand out.

Why aren't Richard Mark's comments construed as "whining" as you label Steven Lewis's comments?
Good point. I will make a distinction here though - the controversy with local solutions is ongoing and not yet resolved.

However, point is taken. I will make amend accordingly.
FYI: Bonnie has said she has scheduling problem and will not make the debate. She did not seemed to excited about participating in the future. Oh well, I thought I would be able to host a lively forum.
Richard (Wahhh!) Marks
Well, that's about as weeniesque as you can get.

Anybody remember Quisp and Quaker? Well, Quaker got voted out of existence, so when they introduced Quangaroo, Quangaroo had a race with Quisp and Quaker officiated.

Most likely, everyone is either too old or too young to remember that, or they didn't have a television babysit them the way I had.

But somehow, this potential debate scenario dredged up those memories.

But it's not to be. I'm bummed.

Maybe if some of Bonnie's supporters encouraged her a little bit?
She was discouraged by guess who?
I have no idea. I have to admit that I'm just starting to catch up on some of the names in local politics. Are you going to say Richard Salzman? He appears to be the bogeyman of choice at this point.

If anybody has cause to refuse, it would be Nancy Fleming given that she would be the lone conservative among two "liberals."
Nancy said she would be there. Bonnie felt I was asking for something of the norm. And I was, for a reason. I felt there were some questions that needed to be asked in a public forum with press and public there. I had many people asking about it and the press was more than willing to be there. I thought maybe both sides were interested in an endorsement and this would be a good way of finding out who more closely fit my ideals.
Richard Marks
I prefer to think of myself as a blue collar working class Democrat. Who pays way to much in taxes!
And I eat red meat.

So do most of the hippies down here south actually - which amazed me when I first moved here because in Santa Cruz almost nobody ate it - or at least they didn't admit it.

I think some of the back-to-the-land folk around here moved out into the woods before certain items of behavior came into vogue.

On the other hand, our local Murphies reports that its number one pizza order is vegetarian, so who knows?

I have to say that Marks confused me right off the bat when he pushed that middle class rhetoric
at the start of his campaign.

That said, he did put forth some stuff with some backbone to it over the course of the campaign,
on living wages, light manufacturing etc. That did make me rate him a little higher as a candidate.

Still, I define middle class in Humboldt County as someone with a fairly stable income, a few grand tucked away that grows a bit each month, fairly happy, healthy and secure...

Then there is the property class but I am not the politician here,
Marks is though...

That is why he is giving me a headache as this constant indicators are popping up (too me)
that he is without a doubt going
to endorse Fleming.

Thank God I sometimes am wrong.

Marks should endorse the voters of the 4th district, and let them decide.

Because if he does support Fleming,
I for one will say, "doesn't suprise me".

Who knows, I may even end up supporting "Bonnie".

Say I am wrong Marks.
This comment doesn't have anything to do about the Sup race...Those of you mewing about it can skip on down to what, I'm sure, will be another comment in a long line of comments commenting on someone elses comment on a race months from now......

What was my point..Oh yes:

Erik, since you put up a link to a blog that you find entertaining, I wanted to point you to a blog I find interesting...and no..I'm not a blogspammer..hehe

musings of a dumbass
sorry I ment Eric...all those K's in yer last name I guess.
anon 12:17 - you and me both. I would hope that Marks would either not endorse, or grudgingly endorse Neely, hard feelings aside.

I don't know if your definition applies to the middle class anymore, or perhaps the middle class is shrinking. 40 years ago, a fry cook could afford to buy a home. Not so much anymore.

I probably don't agree with all of Marks' platform, but he came across as to the "left" of the other two, even considering Bonnie's born-again liberalism. I might be able to support Nancy Fleming, if her opponent was Bob Dornan (then again, I miss his empty hall CSPAN rants).

derchoadus - Thanx for the link. I'll check it out later (and also try to figure out how to post a link in a comment post).

And don't worry about the spelling. It was originally supposed to be "ck" but the doctor who delivered me mispelled it on my birth certificate and it stuck. That's what Kaiser Permanente does to you.
You are wrong. There I said it. I was in the race originally because I wanted neither Bonnie nor Nancy.

Your definition of middle class? Give me a monetary amount please. If you are in the 4th District the median (average) priced house is now around $380,000 to qualify to buy that house you must have a median income (Household not individual) of $87,000. The median household income in the 4th District is well under $40,000. See an affordable house issue here?

I own a home and have a bankroll but I have 2 kids in higher education that I have financial responsibility to in Sacramento. I would have to be considered upper middle class I guess, but still working class.

Politician? If I am, I sure am rotten at it! Third place in a three way race ain't all that great.

I wanted to have the two candidates debate in a forum I would host so I could have more questions answered on who more closely follows my ideals. Looks like it may not happen. So don't look for an endorsement soon.

Just a reminder, I am a Democrat and they are both Republicans. That leaves little in common overall.
"And while it didn't address the inadequacy of sheriff services in Southern Humboldt, it did note that the Garberville substation is messy."

You would think with this area being short handed by 4 deputies plus a shelter cove deputy, that undersheriff Downey would bust his ass to get more guys down here. Another deputy from this area just moved to another state for another law enforcement job.

If you know Downey, maybe you should get people from the area to speak to him and try to put pressure on him to fill in the voids so people can stop complaining about how poor and slow the law enforcement response is. Or maybe ask him for those transporter tubes from Star Trek. God knows a call in Whitethorn or some other outlying area should be answered in less than 5 minutes.
Anon - Redway is not Whitethorn. There's no excuse if the substation is adequately staffed. And it's a pattern. When they don't respond, my office gets called - over and over again. Either it's inadequately staffed, or the responses are inadequately handled.

It wasn't always like this.
Richard - I'm glad anonymous is wrong. Keep pushing for the debate. I'll push for it.
Thanks, I will keep pushing for for a debate also. My heart and prayers to everyone in Southern Humboldt on this yet another tragic wreck.
Richard Marks
Redway is not Whitethorn. There's no excuse if the substation is adequately staffed. And it's a pattern. When they don't respond, my office gets called - over and over again. Either it's inadequately staffed, or the responses are inadequately handled.

It wasn't always like this.

I am well aware of that. The sub station is down to 4 deputies and 1 sargeant. They are down 5 deputies. Someone needs to complain to the sheriff and undersheriff about it. The guys get overworked and are tired. They need more people so calls do get answered in a more timely manner.

People have complained that when they call 911, from an outlying area, and it takes longer than a few minutes, that response time is too slow.

4 guys to work 7 days a week? Sorry, response time are much slower than usual and will stay that way until the higher ups get off their asses and assign people to the area instead of ignoring this area, like usual.
Okay, I guess I'd misunderstood your point. Sorry.
Yo Richard,

Your points about home affordability better suggest the point I was trying to make, the middle class practically no longer exist in Humboldt County, thus your middle class rhetoric fell on a lot of deaf ears.

In other words you excluded alot of people in the beginning of your campaign.

The property class, now that sounds to me where you are at,
which has it own set of rewards and problems. A few of which you hit the nail on the head.

Again, too your credit, your campaign developed in a positive way.

So, I stick to my informal definition of the middle class in Humboldt County, but I do extend it to say in no uncertain terms, THEY do not own a house damnit.

Before you blast me you should probably talk to Robin, she may agree with me. Even if she did not agree with me, I would be more interested in what she had to say than you, even though I like hearing what you have to say about it as well, so there!

Now as far as the endorsement goes,
let the voters decide. That is not to say I am against you participating in a debate, but damnit your biased, and if I have to have a biased moderator so you can feel better about yourself, then let it be Robin.

Everything does not have to be about you.
I'm assuming that Robin is his wife?
11:04-I am in agreement with most that you have said. Humboldt county is becoming a majority rental class. I guess I should of pushed "Working class just trying to survive in Humboldt County" platform, which is what I was doing at the doors of people in the 4th District.

Ow, you made me feel so narcissistic. I thought it was appropriate to ask to mediate the debate since I had a vested interest. I did work as hard as a person could while working way too many hours at Evergreen. (You try to work from 7pm to 7am and door knock during the day and deal with everyday campaign stuff. Not for the weak of heart. I put my money where mouth was!)

Although I admit my wife Robin would be a more intelligent host.

Richard Marks
Yo Richard,

I was hard on you know but I will always say you did good, worked those doors and grew as the campaign went along.

Yes, Robin does rule, just as my partner does, how easy we forget.
Richard - I am a dem and used to be proud of it until this election. I will never vote for Neeley again as she will say and do anything for a vote instead of what is right. She will not tackle affordable housing, but for only lip service and she has done more harm agains working class people by restricting business and store where they can buy affordable goods.
Anon 1:15 - So you're saying you would oppose any Democrat who voted against giving WalMart a waterfront variance? You're asking a politician to basically ignore the strong majority of votes, and it'd probably be an even larger margin now.
ah... perhaps you meant affordable junk.

Doing something for the working class should mean helping define what that is. What is a "living wage"? What is the average working class family size? What is the bread winner's education and/or skill level? What type of job would the average person be willing to take?

Get all that info straight and then start working to find a way to bring suitable jobs to the county. Everyone seems to want the silver bullet to fix these woes. But we need to accept we are not alone in this crisis. Industry (especially manufacturing) is on the decline everywhere in the U.S. Rather than waiting for those jobs to magically appear here we need to be proactive in finding ways to bring them here.

LNG wasn't going to do it and neither will the railroad or container shipping to the port. Those are all pipe dreams that might only happen with massive amounts of public and privite dollars. Plus in reality they will employee only a handful of people who will for the most part need to be skilled.

Marina Center won't do it as the majority of jobs it will provide won't meet the needs of the working class.

Sure there are short term employement gains during construction for the above. But that doesn't solve our long term problem.
A little more on the whole railroad thing.

When will the local advocates of the railroad (incuding Wooley and LaValee admit there is zero chance of passenger service? They keep tossing that into the mix to get support but it is dead from the get go.

Look at the facts. The one sure thing they might have is gravel from Island Mountain. Those trains will populate the single track to a point where any other trains will find it tough to compete. Then there is the SMART light rail project in Sanoma and Marin that will run on the same tracks.

Now add in the fact this is and will be the end of the line. Does anyone really think there will be the passenger service demand between here and Willits or Santa Rosa to warrant the service? Just how many daily riders will there be? Oh, and passenger trains need to travel outside of a 2 hour window of any freight train.

Wooley and LaValle need to be called on this one.
And why exactly do we roll out the carpet for "big ticket" employers when small business accounts for over seventy percent of the state's employment?

Moreover, I wouldn't know personally but I've read that WalMart's best deals are with about 5% of their products - those being their signature products accounting for the majority of their sales. For the remainder of their products, you would do very well to compare prices.

In any case, it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of affordability to allow WalMart to put the smaller higher-paying businesses out of commission to ensure that nobody can afford to shop anywhere else.
Not only do we roll out the red carpet for them but we give them opportunities that small businesses will never get. We make the little guy jump through hoops while Security National has a direct line to the City Council.

Same was true for Calpine. Private meetings with both elected officials and staff complete with non-disclosures. The contractor who penned the Harbor District's Revitalization Plan that conveniently included LNG went to work for Calpine a month after the Plan was released.
If you really wan't to see local government at its absolute worst go to a Harbor District meeting.
Sorry for the rant...

But can someone tell me why a big box like Target (or WalMart) deserves a tax moratorium while a small business in Old Town does not?
You asking me?
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