Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 

Lunch with Brian Morrissey and Randy Gans

Mr. Morrissey invited me to lunch to discuss the Balloon Track proposal. We met today. He and Mr. Gans made some compelling points, which I'm digesting and plan to research. I'll post a little more about it later, but I just wanted to point out that while I may not agree with everything they stand for, I am convinced of their sincerity in their belief that their development plan is good for Humboldt County. The two are my age and possess an enthusiasm well beyond the money they stand to make.

I am also convinced that Cherie Arkley's early statement to the effect that there was no big box in the proposal was based on an honest misunderstanding and made while the proposal was still evolving. Mr. Morrissey is absolutely convinced that the Home Depot portion of the deal is essential to the financing of the whole project. He argues also that it may come down to a choice of Home Depot in Eureka or Lowes in Fortuna, and that if Home Depot comes first it could deter Lowes altogether, unless Lowes buys out Pierson's. He is also convinced that Pierson's will survive with niche marketing and customer loyalty.

Somebody posted here earlier that Home Depot wages average $12.50 per hour and that the company provides significant benefits. Mr. Morrissey and Mr. Gans repeated that point today. As I said earlier both here and on Heraldo's blog I do have to factor that in to my own views, my blue side weighing a bit heavier than my green side.

I also learned that Eureka's 1999 vote was WalMart's first loss in such a fight, and they were in shock. Apparently the industry refers to it as the "WalMart Waterloo." Morrissey and Gans are very conscious of the skepticism of Eureka voters with regard to their proposal, but are confident that they can sell it - even to bleeding hearts like me who are skeptical of corporate intentions as a matter of habit.

We started to get into the environmental questions towards the end of our meeting, but my head was already moving towards my afternoon depositions and I haven't followed the Baykeeper's lawsuit closely enough to discuss the issues intelligently. I'm going to have to get caught up.

Obviously I have to read up on the whole thing. I have to read Hank's NCJ article that's still sitting by my bed weeks later. I have to read the Baykeepers complaint. I have to go back and read some of the TS and ER articles on the subject. I haven't really involved myself in the discussion because I don't live in Eureka, but it's certainly an issue of importance to the whole county and I guess it's time I made a serious effort to learn about it.

In any case, whatever conclusions I ultimately draw, I do believe that the issue is not well served by demonizing, sloganeering, and strawman promotion. There was much more to the conversation, and I'll write more about it later. Mr. Morrissey also wanted to emphasize that he will talk to anybody about the proposal, with Mr. Gans adding "we're an open book." Take them up on it. There's nothing to be lost in dialogue.

Comments:
Uhuh.
 
Okay. Not sure what that means, but I'll take your word for it.
 
What gets me riled when talking with them is that they are so sold on Home Depot and nothing else.It just seems strange that they'll both talk to you at length(to their credit here) about most issues involving the proposal,but when it comes to this one store,they cannot budge or discuss other anchor options then Home Depot.Rob Arkley's bank account is itself an anchor.A new brewery for Lost Coast,a new place for the Discovery Museum,a restaurant or two,a bar/nightclub,and a little acreage for smart-light industry,that provides for a good anchor,plus the area preserved for wetland restoration,which would provide for some tranquility, is all that's needed to bring revenue into the city and back into the coffers of Security National.Reserve it for locally owned businesses.No Home Depot,so unnecessary,so bad for other local businesses,and the added traffic on Broadway would be nuts.Just too bad they won't budge on Home Depot.
 
I did forget that Brian once told me that I was going to have to leave a Marina Center proposal meeting at the Wharfiger building because I questioned the ethics of Security National.I've pretty much forgiven him for that,and whenever I see him(which is rare nowadays it seems)we have good conversation,despite our differences of opinions,which we have a lot of.
 
Oh no, this will feed Eric's already too large ego.
 
Well, apparently they need a big ticket income in order to make the whole thing work. They said they'd considered other options, but could only make the numbers work with a big box, and they chose Home Depot because of what they offer to their workers - because it would benefit the local economy and because they learned the lesson from WalMart Waterloo in selling it to the people of Eureka.

Now, I don't know that I'm convinced it's the only way, but I'm convinced that Mr. Morrissey is convinced that it's the only way, and he's willing to explain in detail to anybody willing to listen. What intrigues me also is the argument about Lowes in Fortuna - which they should be making more public. Maybe they could bait Lowes into donating to the Local Solutions candidates. That would be interesting.
 
And I do agree that the opposition would be significantly blunted if Home Depot could be taken out of the package. If I understood the conversation correctly, I think Cherie Arkley was hoping to keep it out of the package, and made the "no big box" comment with that hope in mind, precisely because it would make it a much harder sell.
 
Oh no, this will feed Eric's already too large ego.

Actually, my ego was inflated more significantly a few minutes ago when I completed the intermediate Minesweep in 56 seconds.

Okay, I'm up too late again. goodnight.
 
Where DO you find the time and energy to do all this stuff?? A lawyer, a dad, a husband, a political activist, perhaps the most active blogger in Humboldt County, if you count both posts and commenting, an avid movie watcher, comic book reader and now this, computer games. Talk about multitasking. Do you have two or three computers on at the same time?
 
Mr Esquan – I have no memory of asking anyone to leave a Marina Center meeting, but I certainly may have - I am sorry for that. If it was the first meeting, I was particularly stressed – not knowing what to expect and, frankly, I was not as prepared as I normally am. So, please accept my sincere apologizes and I hope we can work towards building some consensus (even if we do have differences of opinions on some issues).

I would be happy to discuss any aspect of our business, but perhaps not at a Marina Center meeting. If you’d like to talk - give me a call 476-2713.
 
If Fortuna lets a Lowe's first it's over!

A Home Depot is nice, but a Lowe's is great!
 
Where DO you find the time and energy to do all this stuff?? A lawyer, a dad, a husband, a political activist, perhaps the most active blogger in Humboldt County, if you count both posts and commenting, an avid movie watcher, comic book reader and now this, computer games. Talk about multitasking. Do you have two or three computers on at the same time?

Well, before I started blogging I used to write - mostly for myself. It relaxes me to write freely, particularly after having to write boring legal stuff all day long.

But to be honest, I tend to spend way too much time doing this. I'll be cutting back this fall due to trial schedules. I tell myself that I'll only be on for an hour and all of the sudden I look at the clock and it's been over two hours. Maybe I'm going to have to set a timer.

Mostly I blog and surf at night after the kids are asleep, and I've been going to bed too late. This has been fun and addicting, but eventually it'll take a toll.
 
It is addicting. When I first started up I thought I'd post every two or three days. I almost immediately went to at least once a day.

Sometimes I'll want to just spend no more than half an hour on it but end up spending up to two hours.

Still, it's fun, especially for someone with NO life.
 
Not only is a Lowes planned for Fortuna, but also a Walmart. If proof is needed, just look at the sizes of the two proposed anchor stores. Each in excess of 100,000 square feet. There are less than half a dozen companies in the US that need that much room. So, where is all the screaming and yelling? Oh, I guess the Arkley involvement in Eureka is why they are all riled up, not the project itself.
 
Eric V. Kirk said...
Well, apparently they need a big ticket income in order to make the whole thing work.

- Yes I understand that it is very hard to make a profit on developing prime waterfront property on California's coast. Pretty much, a big box retail complex is the best use we as a community can come up with. Hey, it's not like it is the last 30 acres of Waterfront Eureka has to develop. The great thing about land is that they are always making more of it (I think Mark Twain said that?).
 
"Maybe they could bait Lowes into donating to the Local Solutions candidates. That would be interesting" .... NoCanDo, Measure T and all, Unless it doesnt apply to anti arkley measures...
 
Mr. Morrissey is absolutely convinced that the Home Depot portion of the deal is essential to the financing of the whole project.

He may be convinced, but this makes absolutely no sense. We are supposed to believe that Arkley and Security National can't afford to do the Marina Center without a big box?

Better to scrap the whole plan than to build it on a pile of BS.
 
A Big Box is especially important if you limit your development possibilities by leaving TOXICS in the ground. The Balloon Tract is in a tsunami/liquefaction zone (USGC Report to US Senate). The parcel is full of all kinds of toxic pollution from it's years as a railroad yard. And SN/Arkley wants to pave it over because they are limited by the level of pollution present. Sheesh.
 
He may be convinced, but this makes absolutely no sense. We are supposed to believe that Arkley and Security National can't afford to do the Marina Center without a big box?

Then call him and have him go through the numbers with you. He's posted his telephone number.
 
Oops. Sorry Heraldo. I didn't notice it was you. E-mail him.
 
where was lunch ?
 
Sometimes I'll want to just spend no more than half an hour on it but end up spending up to two hours.
Still, it's fun, especially for someone with NO life.

# posted by Fred

Gee, I'm sorry Fred. I didn't know. Hope you get one soon.
 
A Big Box is especially important if you limit your development possibilities by leaving TOXICS in the ground. The Balloon Tract is in a tsunami/liquefaction zone (USGC Report to US Senate). The parcel is full of all kinds of toxic pollution from it's years as a railroad yard. And SN/Arkley wants to pave it over because they are limited by the level of pollution present. Sheesh.

That's the area I really have to read up on.

where was lunch ?

The Sea Grill. I had ahi. Do you want to know what I was wearing?
 
Sometimes I'll want to just spend no more than half an hour on it but end up spending up to two hours.

Well, sometimes I have to call my wife up at the end of the day and tell her that I have to come back to the office to work late after we eat, and she'll ask, "You've been arguing with idiots again, haven't you?"

So before it takes a toll on my health due to lack of sleep, or my marriage, or something else, I'm going to have to slow down on the posting.

And that means not responding to every comment, even when they deserve responses.
 
From the NCJ:

In the case of the Balloon Track, what could have been done differently? Representatives from the Arkley's company, Security National, had said that a commercial center was the only thing that Union Pacific, current owner of the property, would allow to be built there, didn't they? And a commercial center needed a big box store to make the project work financially, didn't it? What else could possibly be done? Boodjeh smiled. "Every constraint on a site is derived from the owner himself," he said, cryptically.
 
Eric,

All those Security National guys should remember it is no fair planting evil images of Home Depots and parking lots in our brains without permission!!!

Might have to whip out the great equalizers.

BoycottMarinaCenter.Org
BoycottMarinaCenter.Com

I am sure Home Depot would love that, starting a "Hands Off Our Redwoods, Home Depot!!!" campaign
2 or 3 years before ground breaks.

Michael
Editor@FairChance.Us
 
Na, don't need to know what you were wearing. I don't really care what you had to eat, unless it was a little crow. And I'm sure you dressed appropriately.
 
Yeah Michael Smith, you'll be a real great organizer of a boycott -- its easy to boycott a Eureka store when you live in Eugene and haven't stepped your cloven hoof in our fair county in many months.
 
"These days, Cherie Arkley says she has no interest in running for office again. She continues to be active in community projects, ranging from College of the Redwood's annual Autumn Wine Fest fund-raiser to North Coast Dance, to which the Arkleys have also given money. She'll also decide what will be done with the Balloon Track, which was a seat of controversy in the late 1990s when Wal-Mart proposed buying the waterfront property. Voters rejected a zoning change that was needed for the store to be built. The property sat vacant and dilapidated until the Arkleys moved to buy it last month.

Cherie Arkley said she hasn't quite figured out what will go on the property now that she and her husband are close to buying it.

"But it's not going to be a big box. Repeat: It's not going to be a big box," she said."
 
...and she'll ask, "You've been arguing with idiots again, haven't you?"

So she knows about the voices in your head. Oh well, you couldn't hide it from her forever.
 
Who said I was an organizer- and who said anything about a Eureka store- a Home Depot doesn't exist in Humboldt County.

FairChance.Us just owns the URL registrations BoycottMarinaCenter.Org and BoycottMarinaCenter.Com, thats all.

Come to think of it, though, people could boycott Home Depot Online and what the hell, stores in major markets to boot- just to spread the word....

Unless of course, people buy the belief Home Depot doesnt want a controlling interest in Humboldt County's redwood trees.

Then I guess it wouldn't work too well.

But there would be a good reason for a Wal-Mart in Fortuna if Home Depot is successful in Eureka.

Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

Because with Home Depot in Eureka you can expect the tax base to shrink in Fortuna...and Arcata for that matter.

Thanks for keeping track of me. Too bad you do not feel comfortable posting under your name.

Michael
Editor@Fairchance
 
Eric: Did you drink their Kool-Aid with luch? Sold out for a fish? Aha you had the Ahi! See if Local Solutions lets you door hang for them.
 
Unless of course, people buy the belief Home Depot doesnt want a controlling interest in Humboldt County's redwood trees.

That would certainly explain the Arkleys' interest in Home Depot. Are they working on a deal with MAXXAM/PL?
 
Now why would you ever believe MAXXAM/PL and Home Depot and Security National and Wal Mart would work together for their own interest over what is best for the local community!!?

All they want is what is best for us, their own interest is secondary. Everyone knows that.
Geez.

And Brian, if you are out there, do you happen to know how many kids under the age of 24 in Humboldt County live in poverty.

How about the poverty rate for single moms?

Is Security National looking out for them?

And if you say they are, how do you explain Security National becoming a multi-billion dollar a year privately held company during the same time poverty has reached a crisis point in Humboldt County?

Brian! Brian!

Michael
Editor@FairChance.Us
 
Security National is not interested in you Michael Smith. They only want people willing to work for a living.
 
Sold out for a fish?

Hey, if I was going to sell my soul, I'd hold out for at least a movie!
 
Eric,you gotta try the sturgeon next time you're there.It's off the hook,literally.Did you have beer,wine,soda,water,or juice?Or any combination?Hey,also the lunch salad deal,if they still have it, is damn good if you're tight on cash.What did Mr.Gans have?And what did you have Brian?
 
Eric I just caught myself. I was going to say something rude (kind of funny but rude). Oh well I guess I had a weak moment.

Did you at least cover the tip?
 
mresquan - I had iced tea. I'm not sure I should reveal what the others had in the interests of their property, except to pre-empt the inevitable low brow, Mr. Morrissey's choices were healthier than mine.

However, about a year ago my wife and I dropped the kids off at a friend's home in Eureka and had a great dinner there. My wife had something with crab, and I had grilled hallibut. I also ordered a bloody mary while she had an intriguing drink called a cantalope martini. No cantalope in it though.

I've also had the salad deal on occassion, although when I'm in that neighborhood I usually opt for the kung pao chicken lunch special at Liu's with steamed rice instead of the fried. I usually get the egg flower soup with it. Like six bucks. Great deal.
 
Eric,you gotta try the sturgeon next time you're there.It's off the hook,literally.

Mark! That anti-Droz punctuation style again! You're freaking me out!
 
Hank,I can't get rid of it!!It's following me!!HELP!!I'll try hard to stop but I can't promise anything!!Mr.Droz has subliminally taken over my punctuation skills!!
 
Witness, people, the dangerous psychic power of DROZ.
 
I think that there's a little more to Eureka than we know.Isn't it odd how in the same year that our beloved city gets donned with a TV show about psychic powers,Jerry Droz decides to run for mayor,and he casts a spell on my punctuation skills?Watch out,any one of you could be next!!
 
\\\must . . . . . fight/// . . . . . the\\\ . . . ///. . . anti-Droz . . . /// . . . psychopunctuation . . . \\\power. . . .///\\\... will. . ./// . . . \\\not . . . give\\\ . . . ///in . . . must..//.fight..must.oh.no,its.got.me.
 
well.the.Droz.power.is.not.going.to.get.me!! .I'm. ah, , oh.no , it's hap pening , I'm coming apar t , o h , ! , d a m n ! ! ! , , , a , a , a , h , h , h , h , ! , ! , ! , !
 
Get your Mohammed bobble head doll at http://www.dashboardmohammed.com/store.html
and show your support for Islam. Let the bobble head Mohammad guide your way! A great gift for your Muslim friends. See their true "tolerant" nature and manifestation of "Allah's mercy" when your Muslim friends, neighbors, and co-workers are given the gift that keeps on bobbling! Only $22.99.
 
Well look at that, a Muslim-baiter. Such a post probably gets big laughs in Tel Aviv.
 
I doubt it.
 
Heraldo said...
From the NCJ:

In the case of the Balloon Track, what could have been done differently? Representatives from the Arkley's company, Security National, had said that a commercial center was the only thing that Union Pacific, current owner of the property, would allow to be built there, didn't they? And a commercial center needed a big box store to make the project work financially, didn't it? What else could possibly be done? Boodjeh smiled. "Every constraint on a site is derived from the owner himself," he said, cryptically.

10:59 AM


DEED RESTRICTION (on another CAPPED site by the good family Arkley = they know what the can and can not build there)

Owner and Occupant agree not to use the Restricted Areas for any of the following purposes:
(a) A residence,
(toxins are so bad this is then expanded upon) including any mobile home or factory built housing, constructed or installed for use as permanently-occupied residential habitation.
(b) A long-term care hospital for humans.
(c) A day care facility for children or senior citizens.
(d) A public or private school for persons under 21 years of age.

from:
http://envirostordev.ecointeractive.com/regulators/deliverable_documents/4348874747/SMBR_DEED_12240115.pdf

and that place is STILL leaking Pentachlorophenol at 56ppb (in a 2x wet year) to 850ppb's in a normal one.
Last check Jan 2006 =
http://envirostordev.ecointeractive.com/regulators/deliverable_documents/3289518058/2006_cap%20and%20gw%20rmonitoring%20report.pdf

page mentions it - puts a 'nice' spin on it saying its 'down' from last year. (Yup 2x rain deluted it!) ... Page 18-19 has the details - BTW - EPA legal amounts of PCP is 0-1 ppb
 
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