Wednesday, February 28, 2007

 

Power out

Laytonville to Redcrest is out. Latest estimate for restoration is 11 to 1 tomorrow.

My 2-year-old wanted to watch the Wiggles last night. We tried to explain that there was no electricity and that's why the lights were out. Her response was to grab a flashlight, turn it on and say "flashlight work!"

Good point really.

We don't have a generator. Redway was buzzing with them last night, all through the night. Annoying. I would support an ordinance that required that they be encased in some kind of sound barrier.

I may not post again until tomorrow night.

Update: Unbeknownst to me as I was typing the post from the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka (we're waiting on a jury in a fairly large case) the power in Redway had been on for about 20 minutes. As I was driving home this evening the power remained out from Weott to Phillipsville. The lights were on at the Hooker Creek Road exit.

Monday, February 26, 2007

 

Moody Monday Montage


The dreariness of Sohum life of late as reflected in events, illness, and the weather; it's no surprise to me that even the kids are feeling it. Take the following testimonial from my son today, who has been out of his classroom for two weeks due to sickness and the school winter break. The blues hit him at lunch time. When I picked him up, he shared the story:
"At lunch we always bus our dishes and then we're excused to play. I finished and bussed, but nobody excused me. Then (one of the teachers) asked me if I finished and I said yes. I guess he sort of excused me. It was weird."
....

The Reggae wars continued on a very lively episode of Politically Correct Week in Review on KMUD tonight. Paul Encimer is distributing a petition for the Planning Commission, I assume to be delivered at Thursday's meeting. I didn't quite catch what was on the petition.

The Nohum folk at the meeting aren't going to know what hit them. I suspect that both sides are going to attempt some parliamentary maneuvers, which I'll discuss as we get closer to the meeting.

Meanwhile, on Bob's blog, Andy Barnett attempts to introduce some dark humor to the craziness. Makes me even more sorry that I almost caused an accident with him a few weeks ago.

....

Meanwhile, it may not be as sexy as the Reggae conflict, but 46 nations got together in Oslo to push for a ban on cluster bombs. The three major powers, Russia, China, and the United States blew the conference off. Japan, Poland, and Romania attended but refused to sign. Surprisingly, countries which had opposed such a treaty were turned around, including Canada, Germany, and Britain.
Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles which scatter them over vast areas, with some failing to explode immediately. The unexploded bomblets can then lie dormant for years after conflicts end until they are disturbed, often by children attracted by their small size and bright colors.
We are also on record opposing the ban of landmines, also rich in "collateral damage." Our excuse is the defense of South Korea against the North. In this case, the US isn't really arguing the point. Instead we're just complaining about the forum itself.

....

Earlier on this blog somebody opined that there may be more of a story to the recent Hurwitz visit, and some posters have implied that there was a visit with the Rob Arkley. Perhaps fanning those flames of speculation it turns out that Nancy Fleming, the runner-up in the 4th District Supervisor race supported by Arkley, is the new Rio Dell City Manager.

So where is the Scotia annexation proposal at these days anyway?

....

Two global warming op-eds in recent Eureka Reporter editions. This one says that the earth is cooling - when you compare the climate to that of 75 million years ago. The writers suggests you look it all up on the Internet.

A second piece says that the measurements around the globe over the past 100 years indicate neither cooling nor warming. Then something about 2 party systems not being in the Constitution nor democracy. And Communists control capital in Communist countries.

I'm convinced.

....

Do you know what a Soroptimist is? Someone who's in physical pain, but with a positive outlook on life.

Yeah, I'll keep my dayjob.

....

You know Nancy Pelosi is making a difference when.... well, read it for yourself.

....

With Al Gore getting all the Academy Awards attention for the documentaries, another film is slipping under the radar. I haven't seen it yet, but another nomination is reviewed here. It essentially explains why Mr. Smith can't get to Washington in today's lobbyist-dominated political climate. The film, Can Mr. Smith Get To Washington Anymore?, has its own website here.

....

A former Mother Jones editor finds religion and tells the Chronicle about it. It's not clear from the article whether her wife shares her new faith.

Meanwhile, another woman's conduit to the world from God is being plugged up by San Mateo authorities.

The man says, "Get out of here
I'll tear you limb from limb"
I said, "You know they refused Jesus, too"
He said, "You're not Him
Get out of here before I break your bones
I ain't your pop"
I decided to have him arrested
And I went looking for a cop


-Dylan

....

Back in my Socialist Workers Party days (also known as my junior year in high school) I met this older African American man who was briefly famous for being quoted in the national media during the early 70s as saying "No Vietnamese ever called me nigger." Well, Kenneth Eng isn't Vietnamese, but a recent column of his entitled "Why I hate Blacks" published in a prominent newspaper in San Francisco might undermine the whole theme. Can you feel the love?

Anybody seen Crash? I had some problems with the movie, but I'll watch anything with Jennifer Esposito, who is easily the sexiest woman in Hollywood.

....

I could use a cruise about now. Can't swing it at the moment, but I can live it vicariously through our own Ed Denson. He's cruising Mexico and blogging about it.

....

Photo source.

 

More sad news

Sohum lost a very colorful human being this morning. Chris Mayner was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. He had been having some serious health problems. Apparently he passed away in his sleep.

He's survived by his life partner Patrick.

I didn't know Chris well, but he was a client of mine. I had worked with him several times at KMUD. I really enjoyed his music selections. He was a lovable character from my experience.

I'm borrowing the photo from KMUD's website. Chris is on the left, Daveau (also deceased) on the right.

 

Will Al Gore jump in?

Apparently, he made a bit of a stir at the Academy Awards last night.

From the Nation:
Gore's main appearance of the night came when the former vice president joined actor Leonardo DiCaprio for one of those deliberately hokey Oscar night versions of a public service announcement.

Ostensibly, they were at the podium to tell the viewing audience that, in DiCaprio's words, "this show has officially gone green."

"Which means," Gore chimed in, "that environmentally intelligent practices have been integrated fully into every aspect of the planning and production of these academy awards. And you know what? It is not as hard as you might think. We have a long way to go, but all of us can do something in our own lives to make a difference."

After steering the curious to www.oscar.com for environmental tips from the Academy and the National Resources Defense Council, DiCaprio got down to the meat of the moment, declaring, "Now, although our time is almost up, I want to say I'm very proud to be standing next to such an inspirational leader in the fight against global warming. You are a true champion for the cause, Mr. Gore."

"Now," DiCaprio continued, "are you sure, are you positive that all this hard work hasn't inspired you to make any other kind of major, major announcement to the world here tonight?"

Smiling like the Cheshire Cat that he can be for at least a few more months, Gore said, "Well, I do appreciate that, Leo. And I'm kind of surprised at the feelings welling up here actually. You've been very convincing. Even though I honestly had not planned on doing this, I guess with a billion people watching, it's as good as time as any. So, my fellow Americans, I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now to formally announce my intention…"

The music that stirs up when a stunt-double-thanking winner goes on just a little too long roared up, silencing Gore, who exited the stage to laughter and more, much more, applause.

Hmmmmm.


 

Karamazov Brothers at the Arkley Center

A nice show yesterday afternoon. They're getting older, and emphasizing theater over acrobatics. It was a lot of fun.

The occasional political humor drew a mixed response - awkward silence with scattered applause. There was a joke about Iraq that I didn't quite pick up due to the little two-year-old distraction sitting next to me, which drew the aforementioned response and an "oh nice!" from a woman across the aisle, and a responsive "oh, stupid!" from a cranky woman right behind me. Such is cultural life in the "purple state" of Humboldt.

The whole family went with friends. Even my two-year-old watched part of it. She was engaged for a good 45 minutes before losing attention, which is longer than I'd expected. I wasn't certain bringing her was even appropriate, but tickets were gifts from friends who wanted to treat the whole family so we made the effort. So I left early with her, while my son enjoyed the rest of the performance with Mom.

As I said before, the Arkley Center is beautiful and the acoustics are fine. My one complaint about the balcony seats is that they're too close together. When my two-year-old can reach from her seat and kick the seat in front of her disturbing everyone in the row, you know they're tight. I felt scrunched, and I'm not tall.

Looked like a good turnout, and I heard a lot of kids in the audience having a great time.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

 

Closing off the border to the south

No, not ours. Theirs.

Posting this subject by request. Yes, I do take requests. Somebody sent me a link to this SF Chronicle article. It's a bit tougher getting into Canada now.

I used to live in Everson, Washington, just outside of Bellingham. I lived about seven miles from Abbotsford, a town about the size of Bellingham just across the border. As I was about 12 miles outside Bellingham, and 7 miles from the border at Sumas, I used to cross the border to do some of my shopping. There was a butcher I really liked, a couple of great bookstores, and thanks to the Sikh population there a great Indian restaraunt.

Well, now I'd have to take my passport along with each trip. Not only that, but my past arrests for civil disobedience might actually prevent my crossing. The article contains accounts of people being denied access for possession medical marijuana cards, as well as past DUI convictions, fraternity pranks, and ancient misdemeanor convictions.

So was this prompted by 911 or threats from so many liberals to move up there after Kerry's defeat in 2004?

If you want to know if you are admissible into Canada visit this site.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

 

PALCO Bankruptcy Forum

From Mark Lovelace


Free Public Workshop Offered:

Bankruptcy 101:
Understanding the Palco Chapter 11 Case

Friday, March 2nd, 6pm to 8pm
Fortuna River Lodge



A coalition of environmental, labor, and forestry organizations are presenting a free public workshop to help the community understand the Pacific Lumber Company’s bankruptcy. The workshop will be held at the Fortuna River Lodge on Friday evening, March 2nd, from 6 to 8 pm. The event is being sponsored by the Humboldt Watershed Council, the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, and other partners.

The purpose of this workshop is to help the public understand what Chapter 11 is, how the reorganization process works, the specifics of the Palco case, and some of the possible outcomes. The event will feature a presentation by Peter Clapp, an attorney with many years’ experience in corporate bankruptcy law. Mr. Clapp will explain the details of the process, what’s at stake, who the parties are, and some of the significant issues which have emerged so far.

This educational workshop is designed to be useful to anyone with either a financial stake or an interest in the Palco bankruptcy, including workers, retirees, contractors, and community members. The presentation will be followed by a facilitated question-and-answer session to allow attendees to further explore the Chapter 11 process and specific relevant issues.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Lovelace, President
Humboldt Watershed Council
(707) 822-1166
sheds@humboldt1.com

 

Executive summary of planning commission report re ROR 2006 and 2007

Thanx to Cristina Bauss for sending the report to me. I had to do some formatting to post it here. It also contains many typos, some of which I've corrected and some of which I can't make sense. I'm also bolding the portions which seem to be of the most significance. Basically, the two main points are that the staff recommend that the proposal to increase attendance limits be rejected, and actually that the limitations be lowered. Secondly, the staff is basically backing Tom Dimmick's legal position with regard to the ownership of the permit. So notwithstanding the disparaging comments posted here, Mary Anderson got it right.


The applicant submitted an annual report for the 2006 Reggae on the River music festival as required by conditions of approval for their is proposing to modify the Conditional Use Permit for the annual Reggae on the River music festival (the annual report and conditions of approval are attached). The approved conditional use permit allows the event to be held over the first weekend of August, from Friday through the year 2015to Sunday in 2006 and 2007 at on the 120 acre property known as Dimmick Ranch the and French's Camp site (APN 33-271-05). Attendance is limited to 8,500 ticket-holders, and approximately 2,000 staff, volunteers, performers, guests, etc. for a total of 10,500 persons. The proposed modification will move the main concert event to the adjacent property to the south, a 120 acre property known as Dimmick Ranch (a portion of the former site east of the river will still be used for camping). The applicants are also requesting ticket sales be allowed to increase to 12,000, and w. With the commensurate increase in staff and volunteers, the total number of persons allowed at the event is will increase to 14,400 persons. The modification will also allow campers to arrive at the site a day earlier (Thursday), although the hours of performance will remain the same. They are also requesting the timeframe for the use permit be extended from 2007 to 2015.


The annual report discusses that many of the issues confronted by the event organizers and staff stem from the difficulty of moving the location of the main event from the French's Camp site, where the event has been held for the past 22 years, to its new site at Dimmick Ranch. The report acknowledges ways the mitigation measures that have worked before did not work as successfully as they have in the past. The report describes concerns with dust, road compaction, hours of music, realignment of the river bars due to high water during the winter and spring, counterfeiting of parking passes, technical issues with the ticket scanning equipment, and a small fire caused by a bird flying into an electrical transformer. The report identifies the proposed refinements to mitigation measures necessary to reduce the impacts of the project to less than significant levels.

The annual report also contains an assessment of attendance levels and traffic monitoring report. The assessment describes the attendance within approved levels at all times except on Saturday, when attendance reached an estimated 15,888 persons, which is 1,488 persons more than allowed by the CUP. Staff has asked for an amended Attendance Report that describes the qualifications of the author and methodology used to derive the attendance figures.

The traffic report documents successful handling of traffic entering and exiting the project site such that minimal safety hazards were observed. Some patrons exited their cars while in the queue resulting in a safety hazard, and gaps between cars parked in the queue enabled cars to enter and exit from the through traffic lane, which also caused concerns for both the CHP and CalTrans. The report documents mitigation measures necessary to implement in future years to reduce the potential safety risks observed.

Overall the 2006 event appears to have been successful. Based on the report findings, on-site inspection and monitoring provisions and comments from involved reviewing agencies, the Department believes that the applicant has submitted evidence in support of maintaining the existing mitigation measures and operational restrictions with some adjustments as described in the annual report and in the staff report. This notwithstanding, deficiencies noted in the agency comments, in particular, failure to satisfy all Division of Environmental Health (DEH) permit requirements, must be corrected prior to initiation of the 2007 event. Further, staff is recommending that the "Consolidated Event Operations Plan" as described in the DEH memorandum dated November 29, 2006 be made part of the DEH clearance review step as described in Condition A.3 of the Conditions of Approval (COA).

Given that the independent third-party attendance report shows that the concert limit "cap" was exceeded during the 2006 event (Saturday August 5th) by almost 1,500 persons, staff has concerns over permitting the increase in attendance levels of 2,500 additional persons as requested. If current measures cannot maintain the attendance levels, staff believes that the appropriate response would be to back off of the 2006 limits to reduce the overall attendance by this "overage" (i.e., reduce "cap" by 1,488 persons), or have the applicant provide to the Commission's satisfaction new measures capable of ensuring that concert attendance "caps" will be adhered to. The applicant proposes to conduct the event in accordance with the previously approved Operational, Mitigation and Monitoring Program established for the 1998 - 2004 performances, modified as needed to respond to the new site conditions and evolving agency requirements. The proposal includes off-site parking on four sites within 2 miles of the event site. The on-site medivac helicopter site is being moved off-site to a State Highway Right of Way along Highway 101 just south of the Humboldt County line, a location considered more protective of public safety.

Moving most of the event to the new site causes new impacts on the environment, which are described in the Supplemental EIR for the project. For example, the main entrance to the event to the south 1/2 mile so the traffic flow along Highway 101 and into the site is being reconfigured. A summary of the potential new impacts of the project is provided beginning on page 3 of the Supplemental EIR.

Written correspondence received on the project is attached. There have been several community meetings on the event in the Cooks Valley and Piercy areas. While several persons expressed concerns, the applicant has been working with them to try to resolve their concerns.

Based on the successful aspects ful past history of the 2006 event, on-site inspection and monitoring provisions, a review of Planning Division reference sources, and comments from all involved referral agencies, the Department believes that the applicant has submitted evidence in support of maintaining the existing mitigation measures and operational restrictions with some adjustments as described in the annual report and in the staff report.

There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to warrant granting an increase in attendance levels of 2,500 persons as requested. The audit of attendance levels at the 2006 event shows they exceeded the approved amount by nearly 1,500 persons. The audit does not contain any information about the qualifications of the author, it is unclear what the name of that person is, and there is no description of the methodology used to derive the figures. Accordingly, staff, absent a showing of an attendance control mechanism, is recommending ticket sales be reduced by 1,488 tickets making all of the required findings for that total attendance (tickets and event staff/volunteers) for the 2007 event be reduced to not more than 12,912 persons to align the use with the permit.

Finally, one issue related to the public hearing item that has received significant press coverage in the local newspapers is whether the property owners (Tom Dimmick and the Arthur Trust) have all the rights and responsibilities of the project, or whether those extend to the applicant for the Conditional Use Permit, the Mateel Community Center. It is staff's understanding that the Use Permit is issued to the property owner runs with the land. There may be contractual agreements between the owner and applicant linked to the Use Permit, but these are not considered by the Use Permit approving the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report and the Conditional Use Permit application.

The first step in the public hearing process will be to take public comment on the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) and identify those areas where changes or additions are needed to complete the document. It is recommended the February 2, 2006 hearing be allocated for this purpose. The draft Final Environmental Impact Report would then be circulated for review and discussion at the continued public hearing on February 16, 2006, and the final product would be presented for review and approval at the public hearing on March 2, 2006.


ALTERNATIVES:

The Planning Commission could elect not to approve the project, or to approve the Delayed Implementation Alternative as described in the Supplemental EIR. The decision to deny the application should be made if your Commission is unable to make one or more of the required findings to set attendance levels at any amount from a low of 8,500 ticket sales plus 2,000 personnel to a high of 14,500 ticket sales plus 2.400 personnel. Approval of the Delayed Implementation Alternative should occur if the Commission finds it necessary to further reduce the environmental impacts of the project from the levels of impacts associated with the proposed project. Without the benefit of future testimony that may be presented at the public hearings, Planning Division staff is confident that the required findings can be made assumes that under the same operational procedures as last year, 1,488 persons over the permitted levels will again occur, so we recommend reducing allowed ticket sales by 1,488 persons.. Consequently, With no evidence to suggest a better approach, planning staff does not recommend consideration of these other alternatives at this time. The Commission may also make changes to the proposed mitigation measures.


There is more to the report, but I haven't had the chance to look at it closely. It's not readable in its current format. I may post more later.

Addendum: Bob Doran has a great update/summary in this week's North Coast Journal for you ROR v. PP junkies.

 

Urban priorities freezing out Willits bypass funds?

Really, it would be fine with me. From the Times-Standard:
A project long in the works to create a four-lane highway bypass around Willits may get locked out in the cold if the California Transportation Commission bows to heavy political pressure brought from the state's most traffic-impacted areas.

The Willits Bypass on U.S. Highway 101 is one of only nine rural area projects that were recommended for approval in the first round of funding from the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account, which is a pot of money derived from the recently voter-approved Proposition 1B. And it is the only local project on the statewide list put forward by staff of the commission.

But that hasn't stopped the project from being targeted by urban areas, who think that money should go to ease congestion on their clogged highways.

I've been caught in that Highway 20 logjam on occasion, and it sucks. I even posted about it last summer. But I'm not so sure it's an appropriate use of funds to save tourists 15 minutes of time driving through. I'm with the city slickers. They have congestion problems that are much more serious. I-80 in the East Bay. The transition from Richmond/San Rafael Bridge to 101. The 101 madness in the South Bay.

On top of it, bypasses can economically gut small towns like Willits, although Cloverdale seems to have rebounded from its initial havoc.

On the flip side, if less money was made available to urban areas for highway revision, maybe they would opt for more public transportation projects.

Friday, February 23, 2007

 

Another blogging side effect

Combo of three factors: blogging, big community issue, and very small community - what should be a five minute trip to the supermarket turns into a 45 minute series of discussions.

There really is a dark mood permeating Sohum right now. It's touching everybody.


"There is no dark side of the Moon really... matter of fact it's all dark"

- Gerry Driscoll, as recorded by Pink Floyd

 

10 best paranoid conspiracy movies

Lite Friday topic - to lighten things up around here.

Dramas, not documentaries. I'll do up some summaries later tonight maybe. Any other favorities?

1. Three Days of the Condor
2. The Conversation
3. All the President's Men
4. The Manchurean Candidate (original)
5. Missing
6. Chinatown
7. Seven Days in May
8. JFK (bad history, great film)
9. Solyent Green
10. Marathon Man


Previous lists:

Top 10 westerns

Top 10 science fiction

 

Hospital parcel tax issue makes the Eureka Reporter

The article mentions that Redwood Memorial Hospital ER is also in trouble, meaning that if we lose the ER we have to travel all the way to Eureka.
At stake is the future of the only emergency room services between Willits and Fortuna — maybe. If what Bowen called “the scuttlebutt” is true, Redwood Memorial Hospital’s emergency room may close as part of a consolidation of services. St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka would become the closest ER.

“We get critical access reimbursement rates from the state because they realize how far it is for people in Shelter Cove to get to an ER,” Bowen said. “It’s essential to get to our hospital. If all of a sudden the ER goes from being one hour away to (an hour and 45 minutes), you lose that critical golden hour when you can save someone’s life with cardiac and stroke treatments.”

The Garberville hospital’s chief administrator, Deborah Scaife, said her emergency room eats up about a quarter of the hospital’s $5 million budget.

She said another 10 to 15 percent is consumed by the acute care facility, which must be maintained to receive ambulances as an emergency room.
My plan is to have Darryl Cherney on my radio show in April to discuss the tax. If there is somebody who opposes the tax who would like to be on the show please contact me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

 

Rob Arkley - champion of the poor

Heraldo's posted all about it.

As has Buhne.

I haven't caught up. Too much going on.

 

Global warming and urban planning - or lack thereof

I don't have time to write up my thoughts, but this San Francisco Bay Guardian article talks about the complete lack of planning around rising waters.
As temperatures rise, snow packs vanish, and sea levels surge, San Francisco is waking up to its own inconvenient truth: surrounded on three sides by water, paved with concrete throughout, and erecting condo towers faster than you can say "bamboo," the city by the bay is particularly vulnerable to climate change.

With a recent California Climate Change Center report predicting sea levels will rise between four inches and three feet by 2100, San Francisco can expect increased flooding and damage to vital infrastructure and the destruction of fragile ecosystems and low-lying neighborhoods.

The evidence of impending doom is already there.

Addressing a climate change summit last month, Tom Franza, assistant general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, revealed that seawater already tops the city's weirs for about an hour during very high tides. Franza expects this salt water intrusion, which threatens to kill helpful microbes that digest our solid waste, to get worse as sea levels continue to rise.

So what steps is the city taking to combat climate change?

The SFPUC is already building safety valves on floodgates and pushing for environmentally friendly development toward a future where green roofs, grassy swales, and permeable sidewalks will help stop rainwater from inundating already stressed sewers. It's also working with the Departments of Planning and Public Works to map blocks and lots that are already sinking — known officially as subsidence — and therefore especially vulnerable to flooding from rising seas.

It comes as a shock to learn that the Planning Department doesn't already have maps of areas that are prone to floods, but zoning administrator Larry Badiner told the Guardian, "In the past, floods were related to free-running streams, and since there aren't any in San Francisco anymore, it wasn't an issue."

If liberal SF is in denial, how many other port cities as well? Fascinating article. Might be a good time to invest in gondolas.

More later.

 

Reggae Redux

Well, I've received e-mails and telephone calls about my call for the Mateel to take the step to end the conflict. I've been treated to all sorts of "background information," much of which is contradictory. I'm hearing differing accounts of the mediation from both sides (and all of of second-hand).

Again, my concern is that we're watching a game of chicken in which neither side is going to move before the head-on. I called upon the Mateel to play the grown-up role. My plea extends also to People Productions/Tom Dimmick. I had figured that somebody would make the petition for a preliminary injunction based upon a specific performance claim of action. One side would win, the other would lose, and everybody would move on. Again, the complaint as summarized by Bob Doran looks like a fight for the long haul. I don't think that would be in the best interests of the community. But hey, it's not my fight.

I've also been informed that the court did not make any judgment about the injunction petition when setting the matter weeks down the road. Fine. We'll see what happens on March 5. But whatever the outcome, I doubt the fight will end there.

Meanwhile, I'm neither going to break my egg from the big side nor the little side. I'll just stick with toast this morning. Then I'm going to be in court for the rest of the day. Carry on.

Update: There's all kinds of new stuff over at Bob Doran's Reggae blog, including Tom Dimmick's opposition to the Mateel's petition for injunction and a letter to the community for Mateel supporters to show up at the March 1 Planning Commission meeting.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

 

CNN poll re surge spending

Apparently, 60 percent want Congress to block spending that would support the escalation.

So why is Congress debating non-binding resolutions?

 

Jennifer Bushnell, Rest in Peace

It happened yesterday.

It would have been nice if AP could have spelled her name right.

 

Hurwitz in handcuffs

No kidding! Can the news get more surreal? From the Times Standard:
Hurwitz arrived from Houston, Texas, on a private Learjet chartered by Cockrell Resources Inc. at about 7 p.m. At about 7:30 p.m., a United Airlines employee called a Humboldt County sheriff's deputy stationed at the airport when four men tried to enter the commercial passenger gate instead of the gate for private air travelers.

One of the men became verbally uncooperative, according to a police report, and the deputy briefly placed him in handcuffs.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said she could not release the names of the men, since they weren't cited. The report will go to District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

Several sources confirmed that the man who got angry at being redirected to the proper gate and was handcuffed was Hurwitz, the controversial chief executive officer of Maxxam Inc., the parent company of the recently bankrupt Palco.

The suspect was then released. PALCO spokeswoman Andrea Arnot said that she doesn't know what he's doing here. It would seem that he'd intended to keep a low profile - heh!

So was he profiled?


 

Another Redway power outage and Armagedon

Just woke up to the radio blaring. The power went off sometime around seven tonight. Seems like we've had more outages this year than in the last several years put together.

Now I'm kind of wired.

Well, let's see. Captain Buhne is being threatened with a lawsuit, again over cro-mag anonymous posts from the local victims of what is apparently a prozac shortage. Again, under federal law, there is no liability. However, the posts are the product of a tiresome campaign that is months old conducted by pompous jerks with way too much time on their hands. It plagued my blog for awhile, and this mention will probably drag them over here again. It's okay, I've got the delete function down cold. My inner fascist is claiming his voice.

Meanwhile, is anybody losing sleep over the new y2k threat?
For instance, airlines could be thrown off schedule, creating havoc for travelers. People could miss meetings. Cell phone calls could be mistakenly billed during peak hours. All kinds of automatic orders and messages could be miss-timed.
People could miss meetings?????? Automatic orders could be miss-timed?????

Feels like Armageddon! Or Art Bell's quickening!

A slow news day obviously. Did you know that California never had a senator without a beard until 1921? I didn't know that. Actually, I can't think of a senator with a beard. When is that last time a senator had a beard? B-1 Bob Dornan is the last congressman I can think of with a beard.

The photo is of Senator John Downey Works, the last California senator with a beard.

Okay, I need sleep.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

 

Reggae update, such as it is

Just getting my eyesight back. I went in for a check this morning and the dilation had me walking around like Mr. Magoo. If I close my left eye I can actually see what I'm typing.

Okay, with the number of posts in the previous thread, obviously people are itching for another update. Unfortunately, the only information I have comes from an anonymous post in that thread.
There is a court date set for March 5 to deal with the MCC PP legal fights.
There isn't any TRO against PP.
Maybe Reggae is Rising?
Assuming this is true, what does this mean? Well, it means that the judge wasn't made to feel strong enough about the case to grant the temporary restraining order. It could mean that he finds the case dubious, or it could simply mean that he's being hit with so much information at once that he doesn't want to make a huge decision in such a hurry without a proper hearing.

Either way, I've kind of undergone a switch in perspective over the past few days as I've had time to mull over what I know about the complaint. The allegations go well beyond breach/enforcement of contract, and truly threaten to hemorrhage an already troubled community, and hit everybody with astronomical attorney fees. The Mateel should let go of the child's arm. There's a couple of weeks before the hearing, and no guarantee for either side as to how it will turn out.

Take the damned "guarantee."

Use what leverage you have left to negotiate a decent number and make sure you have full indemnity for the event. That gives you a few years at least.

Set up a payment plan to repay Boots, including some reasonable compensation for his time.

In the meantime, hire Boots to start something new. A smaller event, not necessarily Reggae oriented - held maybe at the Community Park or maybe the Redwood Run site. Maybe plan it around the college spring break.

You can't wait for March 5. There's no guarantee a decision will even be made on that date.

That's my editorial on the topic.

Addendum: I have received an e-mail with information that the TRO was not in fact rejected by the judge but simply that a hearing was set. I have been asked to revise my opinion if possible.

I'll consider any additional information I get in future opinions, but I haven't liked the way this whole thing has been going from the beginning. You know, really, it's just a damned concert. I know it's a lot of money, and I know there are all sorts of principles involved. But it's just a concert.

Second addendum: Look. This is just my opinion. I'm not a judge. I don't have any say in the matter. And I probably don't have all the facts. This opinion is based on what I can see.

But a decision is going to have to be made very quickly. And I can't support a protracted litigation on these issues.

 

Potpourri

The Mateel held a membership meeting last night. I was celebrating my wife's birthday and missed it. Maybe somebody else can report on anything new.

I think there's a Board meeting tonight. No rest for the weary.

....

There will be a protest outside Patty Berg's office today 235 Fourth St., in Eureka, from noon to 12:30 p.m. She wants death and they want life. That's the spin.

Note to leftists. See what the right does? Noon to 12:30. That means working people can attend during their lunch break. One reason among many that the right has run this country for 26 years.

....

The Redwood Chapter of the North Group Sierra Club will be hosting a global warming workshop o
n Thursday, March 1 from 6-8:30 pm. It will be held at the Humboldt Area Foundation, located on the Indianola Cutoff between Highway 101 and Old Arcata Road. For more info, call Gregg at 826-3740 or or greggjgold@netscape.net.

....

Arkley's Eureka Reporter goes dove on us and opposes "the surge."

....

Hey! This blog and some others drew some positive and critical attention from Rich Somerville in this morning's editorial - a follow-up from his previous column on local bloggers. He also says that half the newspaper customers still prefer the paper in print while the rest prefer to read it on a computer screen. My vote is for the former. I'm on the computer for many hours each day, but I still enjoy the ritual of opening up the morning paper at the breakfast table. This morning, I got to read my own name with a sip of coffee.

Somerville clarifies and apparently we aren't in much disagreement about the virtues and limitations of blogging.

....

I saw Pan's Labyrinth last week. My partner is in a long trial and forgot to bring some exhibits to Eureka last week. Despite being dogged by a mean flu, I cut short my Valentines Day dinner with my family and drove up. After delivery I decided I didn't want to drive right back so I went to see the movie. It was probably a mistake for two reasons. First, I really needed the sleep. Secondly, I had been forewarned that it was a very dark film, but I failed to heed. Don't get me wrong, the presentation is spectacular, the musical score beautiful and haunting, and the story extremely powerful. But I should have known that a story taking place in Spain in 1944 probably isn't going to work out for the good guys, and as I watched the film I realized it was a "no way out" kind of scenario reminiscent of Brazil. In fact, it ended with more hope than I'd imagined, but it still left me in a dark mood for the long drive home. On the up side, it's fascinating to see what other cultures are doing with computer generated special effects, which may be democratizing the industry a bit so that such films are not limited to the big studios.

One criticism (spoiler alert!), if I was told not to eat any of the food or my life would be in danger, and I saw a large monster on the end of the table, I wouldn't have touched the damned grapes! It does take a little bit out of a movie when a character acts completely irrationally without explanation. I mean, here's a still of the monster. Would you mess with it?

Monday, February 19, 2007

 

Woodley Island vigil

This Saturday at 6 p.m. Commemorates the 1860 massacres.

Heraldo has the details and the history.

 

Which side are you on?

In his interview with Bob Doran, Boots invoked a Malvina Reynolds song often sung by Pete Seeger. An other Seeger favorite comes to mind (the post title herein), and I'm often asked the question. I have my opinions about various aspects of the controversy, but the allegations of the lawsuit are referencing too many incidents of which I and most of the public know nothing. I don't know what to think, and I'm not going to make any assumptions. I'd rather just let the legal process run its course.

What comes to mind as an answer now comes from Jeanne Houston's Farewell to Manzanar, and autobiographical account of the portion of her childhood spent in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. Her father is being grilled by military intelligence and they ask, "Who do you want to win the war?"

Her father responds: "If your father and mother were fighting, would you want one of them to kill the other, or would you just want them to stop fighting?"

Sunday, February 18, 2007

 

It could get bad folks

Well, I said I wasn't going to comment any further until a hearing. But the information I have suggests that Judge Bruce Watson may be making a decision as early as Tuesday (Monday's a court holiday) - presumably on an early request for a temporary restraining order. I had assumed it would be a couple of weeks before there was any news on that front, but obviously the Mateel views time as a crucial factor.

Bob Doran obtained copy of the complaint and summarizes it at his blog. There are apparently 13 causes of action which go well beyond mere breach of contract and obviously include allegations that probably are not known to the general public - certainly not me.

I don't envy Judge Watson, who has to make a quick decision based upon what will be a flood of information. I'm sure it's taking up a good portion of his weekend. That decision will have huge repercussions, although the losing party will get another swing at plate at the preliminary injunction phase.

I don't know if there's actually a hearing on Tuesday or the whole thing is being decided on the initial documents.

Meanwhile, if the matter ever actually gets to trial, the issues raised in that complaint could mean literally hundreds of witnesses being deposed, and dozens testifying at trial. To all the parties involved - man, if there's any possibility to settle this, please explore it. Otherwise, to the rest of the community - brace yourselves. This could be a rough ride. Where is King Solomon when we need him?

This is probably a hopeless plea, but instead of pointing fingers to blame some party or another of getting us to where we are, I would suggest a more contemplative approach and a discussion about where we go from here. Never mind speculation on what was actually offered at the various mediations - what would a fair settlement look like? Where should there be room for compromise? I'm fond of the phrase "I'm not optimistic, but I'm hopeful." Do cooler heads really prevail?

I may be more heavy-handed than usual about zapping posts which are not productive. The time for screaming is over. Zero tolerance for mindless insults in this thread. You've had nearly 6 months to vent. You've "gotten it out." Now, let's switch to a frontal lobe approach and prove that the human species does have the capacity for free will. In other words, say something intelligent.

Addendum: Bob D. posts that the Planning Commission will discuss ROR at its March 1 meeting.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

 

Not so Sacred Grounds for libel - with punitive damages brewing

From today's Times Standard article entitled "Coffee roaster found guilty on grounds of libel."
Tim Dominick, roasting director of Sacred Grounds in Arcata, was found guilty by a jury Thursday on two counts of libel and one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress against the owners of Bayside Roasters.

Plaintiffs Pamela and Kregen Olsen, owners of Bayside Roasters, say that Dominick used a lapsed Internet domain name registration to his advantage and tried to ruin their business and reputation by linking it to disparaging comments and pornography.

A unanimous jury agreed with the Olsens and awarded the couple just over $37,000 in compensatory damages. Next Tuesday, a judge will review the case and decide on how much Dominick will be fined in punitive damages for his actions.

Dominick's lawyer, Steve Schectman, said that his client did buy the Bayside Roasters domain name in November of 2005 and set up the site so that when a person typed in http://www.baysideroasters.com, it would automatically open the Urban Dictionary Web site to “10 definitions of a--hole.”

Schectman said that on Nov. 29, 2005, when Dominick was notified that the Olsens were seeking an injunction to make him remove the disparaging link, Dominick removed it. The Olsens' lawyer, Bill Barnum, said that in December the couple discovered their domain name was then “Google bombed” so that when the name Bayside Roasters was searched on the Google search engine, a pornographic Web site was the No. 1 Web site recommended.

Schectman denies that Dominick had anything to do with “Google bombing” the Bayside Roasters name, and said that the fact that the jury found him guilty of it was an “emotional judgment” error.

A couple of quibbles about the article. First of all, you are not found "guilty" of a civil tort. You are found liable. Guilt implies a violation of law. Not all plaintiff tort verdicts require a violation of law. I don't know if any laws were violated here.

Secondly, you are not "fined" in a civil case. Again, you are found liable for damages, although the punitive damages award the judge will be considering is akin to a fine in that it is specifically designed to deter abhorent behavior whereas standard damages are simply designed to restore the plaintiff.

Lastly, there's an ambiguity in the article that disturbs me, namely the quote attributed to Pamela Olsen.

”I was five and a half months pregnant and I had a miscarriage the day after this happened. I'm not saying it was his fault ... but Dominick knew I was having such a hard time, and he had no remorse,” she said.

Now, in the passage above, Schectman says that the jury's finding on the "googlebomb" allegations was based on emotion. If the miscarriage was allowed into the testimony, it's probably reversible error absent some medical testimony of causation. It would have been extremely prejudicial. So I'm assuming this is a post-trial comment and not her testimony.

It does appear that Domineck probably hung himself with his "I thought it was amusing" testimony. If he'd said "look, I was just playing a prank. I didn't intend to hurt anybody, he'd probably be looking at about 30 grand fewer in damages and no punitives. I bet the jury discussed those ten definitions in several contexts.


 

Another local blog

Humboldt Homestead, consisting of short thoughts and gorgeous photos of life on "the ridge." The blogger goes by the name of "jojo roxx."

These photos are samplings, and there's more great stuff over there.


 

Women's gathering announcement


Humboldt County Women's Gathering
& Planning Meeting

Purpose Statement:
Gather Women and Girls and Friends of Women to
Make Connections - Find Common Ground - Develop Clout
To Enhance the Status of Women in Humboldt County

Next meeting:
Monday, Feb 19 12:30PM
Location: HSU Multi-Cultural Center, Building 55
Parking: pay meters are available, or a permit at Parking Services on Harpst St, first main entrance off L K Wood Blvd (parallels 101, on th East), 1 block north of 14th St.
Directions: Parkg Svc has campus maps! Walk up steps and soon on the left is Bldg 55 / Balabanis House.

Please forward this notice to other women, women's groups, and communities throughout Humboldt Co - so we may gather more interested parties to the network.

The design of the gathering has been discussed. The consensus of the group is to convene a forum for open and inclusive dialogue. This gathering would aim to bring together a diverse, multi-faceted group: women and girls, non-profit & non-Gov't organizations (NGOs), government and municipal agencies, various communities (geographic; ethnically diverse; age-diverse; multi-class), and people who are interested in the status of women in Humboldt County - to meet one another, to discover and form connections.

Rather than lecture or panel format, we envision a dialogue in which all participants share their purposes, concerns and needs; in which individuals can educate one another on their agencies mandates and concerns, or their communities' needs and perspectives. A brainstorming and listening session would identify and surface issues seen as priorities by the various groups and community representatives - to understand one another and to find common ground.

How do we build energy for action: continuity and clout between the participating groups and individuals from throughout the county? We envision this brainstorm of information to motivate energy for action.
We envision sustainable communities that are knowledgeable of its resources with connectivity and ability to network and provide mutual support on shared goals and issues. The sustainability is helping each other to act in a good way. We hope to promote camaraderie and collaboration among people with like energy and aims. A desired outcome is formation of several action circles around common concerns - an infrastructure to increase collaboration and clout.

Outreach, with a personal touch, is key now. We rely on our many sisters and brothers to help us reach the communities, groups and individuals with interest and energy who you know, and who might not otherwise respond to announcements of this forum.

Two DATES for the Women's Gathering have tentatively been set:
-- Monday, April 23, or
-- Sunday, April 29, at HSU's Goodwin Forum
We planned for April to include college students, who have finals in May. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month - and busy with Take Back the Night activities and so forth. The April 21-22 weekend is totally booked at HSU. Is a weekday feasible? Is a Sunday feasible?

Let us hear from you and those you know - to plan a broad and deep gathering of women.
Jene McCovey 707-822-4233 & Lauren Oliver 707-923-0152 LaurenJOliver@aol.com


And here is the CAWA site.

Friday, February 16, 2007

 

Radio show correction

In comparing blogs with newspapers last night I suggested that one factor in newspaper credibility is that they could lose their licenses with deliberate misreporting. Somebody brought the question to my attention. I was going on memory from WW1 censorship. However, what publishers lost in WW1 was the right to use the mail service. I don't know that newspapers have any license other than a general business license. As soon as I googled the question, I found that other countries do license papers, but we don't have a ministry of communication, unless you count the FCC.

Broadcasters of TV and radio have licenses, but that's because the airwaves are public domain. They in effect lease the signal frequencies and the government can set some terms for usage. But I know of no similar controls on newspapers, other than regulations and such.

Maybe Hank or somebody can enlighten us on what regulations do impact newspapers and what the remedies the government has re content, if any. Is there a special office of the Dept. of Consumer Affairs which governs papers?

 

War escalation misses its first benchmark

Dan Froomkin writes about it for the Washington Post. Some highlights:
It seems almost inconceivable: The White House actually invites the press corps to hold it accountable -- but when the time comes, and a key benchmark is missed, the press is silent.

And yet that's exactly what has happened.

Back in January, when President Bush announced that in spite of the public opinion against the war in Iraq he was going to send in more troops, he repeatedly insisted that what was different this time was that the Iraqis were finally serious about stepping up.

....

"You're going to have to -- you're going to have some opportunities to judge very quickly," one senior administration official said at an official background briefing on January 10, a few hours before Bush's prime-time announcement.

"The Iraqis are going to have three brigades within Baghdad within a little more than a month. They have committed to trying to get one brigade in, I think, by the first of February, and two more by the 15th," the official said.

As the columnist goes on to describe, the 1st and the 15th came and left, with the promises found wanting. And the press is still asleep.

 

An appeal

The PR war is over as all parties have made their decisions and drawn their lines in the proverbial sand. The conflict is going to be resolved in court, probably within the next few weeks.

Do we really need to continue the war of words? When you post, are you saying anything that hasn't been said a hundred times before? Nothing you say, in any forum, is going to affect the court's decision.

My suggestion is a mutual ceasefire. We wait and see how the court action develops. Then one side (or both) can start screaming and yelling again. In the meantime, we get a couple of weeks of peace and quiet.

I can hope, can't I?

Addendum: No sooner did I finish this post when I was made aware of this. I'm sure that's going to fan the flames.

Second Addendum: Dueling line-ups. Bob D. has posted about this already. Apparently he's also spoken to Boots Hughston about the matter, and there's some overlap in the talent line-ups. I guess if I was an agent for one of the artists I'd hedge my bets as well, figuring at least one concert's going to happen, although that's also a questionable assumption.

Third Addendum: The posts are getting extremely nasty folks. I've eliminated a slew of them tonight, including one that was posted repetatively contain some pretty wild allegations with no sources to support them. Others were just plain offensive.

 

Two requests

1. Please don't post any private e-mails, phone numbers, nor addresses without permission from the owner.

2. Please don't call my workplace about blog business. My e-mail address is kirk@humboldt.net. I check it several times a day.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

 

The Uses and Abuses of Blogging

That's the program title for my radio show tonight. I had planned to co-host the show with another KMUD programmer who has some strong thoughts about anonymous blogging. She was going to invite some guests. However, I haven't heard from her in a while and she hasn't responded to my recent e-mails. If she shows, we'll improvise. If not, Tom Hanson and I will take on the topic anyway.

The show is at 7:00. As always, if you want to call in the studio numbers are 923-3911 and 1-800-KMUDRAD.

 

Case Number DR07104

The Mateel Community Center v. People Productions, LLC., et al.

First cause of action: Breach of Contract.

I'm not in Eureka, or I'd review the file. Anybody up there have some time to wander over to the courthouse and fill us in?

Update: Somebody went in and tried to look at the file, but apparently it's being reviewed by a judge. It will be made available again tomorrow morning after 10:00.

 

Reggae on the River controversy reaches the Associated Press

And they got it wrong.

Also got to hear the Mateel Deal on KMUD last night. The hosts wanted to talk about how wonderful the Mateel Center is, but the callers just kept voicing their views on the conflict. Go figure!

I'm hoping to have some more news later today.

Addendum: Just found this over at Bob's site. It's the Dimmick memo read on the KMUD news on Tuesday night.
Re: Termination of Lease between Mateel Community Center and Dimmick Ranch
January 13, 2006

We are truly disappointed that mediation has not resolved the issues surrounding the annual reggae event. However, our commitment is – and has always been – to the community, and we have and will continue to work closely with key non-profit organizations to uphold this commitment. Our goal is simply to produce a successful event that supports our community and makes public safety a priority. It is for these reasons that we originally entered into the contract for public use of our ranch and aligned with People Productions, which has a 23-year history of managing this event.

Thank You, Dimmick Ranch

 

Humboldt Creamery wants scabs

The strike underway the creamery management has placed an ad in the Eureka Reporter for strikebreakers. Here's the Times-Standard article. What's interesting is that the paper carrying the ad has no article on the subject that I could find. I do think the ER often gets a bad rap from progressives, but this constitutes a glaring omission.

As for the Humboldt Creamery, they really should rethink their long term interests vs. short. They may lose a huge local market. Expect some pressure on the Coop board to ban the products from the stores. As long as they're resorting to Pinkertonesque strikebreaking techniques, I won't be buying their milk. And I've been a loyal consumer for some years now.

It's a Teamsters union (I'm still curious as to why the Teamsters are in the milk business). The issues were briefly summarized in this article of a couple of weeks ago. The strike vote took place last week.

 

If only I knew what a "carbon footprint" is

Got this from the Redwood Progressive:

Save the World While Saving Money: Learn How at Sierra Club-Sponsored Event

Speakers on climate change and displays by energy-saving companies and green organizations will be part of a free March 1 event sponsored by the North Group Sierra Club. Come to the Humboldt Area Foundation from 6-8:30 p.m. to discover ways to save money and the world by fighting global warming, while meeting lots of environmentally conscious people.

Learn how to calculate your carbon footprint while listening to live acoustic jazz and enjoying tasty hors d'oeuvres. Browse through information from local solar and green construction companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations concerned about climate change. Be informed about the Sierra Club's Cool Cities Campaign.

Hear from Karina Junge, one of only 60 teachers selected nationwide for climate change training, about how she is incorporating what she learned into her classroom at Zane Middle School. Receive an update on local efforts to combat global warming from Jennifer Berman, director of the Redwood Alliance's Climate Action Project.

The Humboldt Area Foundation is located on the Indianola Cutoff between Highway 101 and Old Arcata Road. For more information on this free event, call Gregg at 826-3740.

Addendum: Here's a "carbon footprint" calculator.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

 

No Joke - Al Franken for Senate


From his intro message:
Hi, I’m Al Franken. I'm running for the United States Senate here in Minnesota.

I'd like to talk to you about why I'm running.

I’m not a typical politician. I’ve spent my career as a comedian. Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I’m ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I’m asking you to give me.

I want you to know: nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next twenty months I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously.

....

It’s different now than it was for me and Franni. When Franni’s sisters were using them to go to college, Pell Grants paid for 90% of a college education. Today, they pay for 40%. And President Bush, with the help of his Republican allies in Congress, have even tried to privatize Social Security. You should have heard Franni when they tried to do that.

It’s different for middle-class families, too. These families are being squeezed harder and harder every year. Maybe you know what it's like to be one health crisis away from bankruptcy. Maybe you, or your parents or grandparents, can't afford prescriptions. Maybe you have kids, and you’re worried about paying for their college. Maybe someone you love is in Iraq, and you don’t know how long they’ll have to stay there, or what will happen when they come home.

Middle-class families today struggle with that feeling of insecurity—the sense that things can fall apart without notice, outside of your control.

Your government should have your back. That should be our mission in Washington, the one FDR gave us during another challenging time: freedom from fear.

....

My political hero is Paul Wellstone. He used to say, “The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.” I may be a comedian by trade, but I’m passionate about the issues that matter to your family because they mattered to mine, too. And I’m ready to work as hard as I can to help us build a better future together.

Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you on the trail.
I'm sorry. I mean, I'd vote for him and I hope he wins, but my perception is going to be forever compromised by the old SNL schticks, particularly the one about the 80s being the "me" generation as in "me, Al Franken." Never mind Stuart Smalley.

A side note - this is also a huge break for Thom Hartman! A year or so ago I e-mailed Tom Seaborn (I keep wanting to type "Sam" - I wonder of Tom looks anything like Rob Lowe) of KGOE to request that he bring Al Franken to the Eureka airwaves. He responded that was going to stick with Hartman because he was fairly certain that Franken was going to be running. Kudos.

Photo is from Wikipedia.

 

Lost Epiphany

Upon numerous recommendations I've Netflixed the first season of the apparently acclaimed series Lost - sort of David Lynch does Gilligan's Island. I have to admit - it's well written and entertaining. But why do I get the feeling that all the mysteries have been tossed out to us when the writers have no idea what they're going to do with them? It's been about 5 episodes since they found a polar bear on the tropical island and still no explanation. Do we ever get to know what the main heroine did that she was shackled on the plane (I'm told that she gets tied up a lot in the series). And by the third season have we learned what the tree-eating monster really is?

The series reminded me of another, but I couldn't put my finger on it until last night. It's trying to be Twin Peaks. Not that it would impress me much if it succeeded. Although I watched most of the older series, I never really got into it. Again, all my friends told me how deep it was, and how it was "transgressive and counter-hegemonic." Well, at 42 years old I finally figured out last night why I didn't like the series. It was fucking creepy. Every episode from beginning to end. Over the years of watching David Lynch movies it becomes pretty obvious that he's a one-trick pony, appealing to a very narrow range of emotions in everything he does. I think I watched the series hoping for some kind of dynamic turn that gave it some sort of meaning, but when the network put the kabosh on the series he threw a tantrum and killed off all his characters in one climactic if uninteresting finale.

Well, Lost isn't creepy, no matter how dark the musical score. You don't believe the music after awhile, because it doesn't deliver. It flirts with darkness, then retreats from it - every single episode. The island is evil, then it's good, then it's evil, then good. The characters are bad, but then, deep down, they're all really good. Fate has selected all of them - for a reason as the bald guy who used to be crippled suggests. The rock star kicks his drug habit. The con man is really a wounded child inside a rough exterior. The Barbie doll is actually not as shallow as we are led to believe. The abusive Korean husband really cares for his wife after all. And so on.

And all of the sudden as I'm writing this I realize that after 8 episodes I care for these characters so much that I can't remember any of their names.

I'll probably see the first season out. Maybe it'll grab me by then.

The promo poster is from Wikipedia. I can see that nobody major has died by the third season. Yawn.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

 

No Reggae No Cry

Darryl Cherney was kind enough to send me his lyrics for posting. He wants to emphasize that he believes the history reflected in the lyrics is now correct, and would like to hear from anybody who feels otherwise.


No Reggae No Cry new words by Darryl Cherney; to the tune of No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley

I remember when we used to play
At the Fireman's hall in G'ville
Until somebody burned it to the ground
Out of ashes was born the Mateel

The benefits moved to the Octogon
To the vets hall and the grange
But for a world beat show they were too small
To raise more than pocket change

No Reggae no cry, No Reggae no cry
Humboldt hippie, don't shed no tears
No Reggae no cry

So Carol B. went down to French's camp
To put some Reggae on the River
To fund a hall, the Arthur's helped us out
It seemed that Reggae would deliver

With PB's trees we milled some the wood
He'll be happy to remind us
With volunteers we built the Taj Mateel
Our hall-ess days were now behind us

Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright

No Reggae no cry, No Reggae no cry
Bay area dready, don't shed no tears
No Reggae no Cry

The next few years, the Reggae profits grew
But the pay was not worth self-destruction
And so PB and Carol and Doug Green
Left the hall to form People Productions

And Reggae grew from 1 day, to 2, to 3
As the Ganja kept getting finer
Listen to Jimmy, to Ziggy, Rod and Toots
The price went up with each Headliner

No Reggae no cry, No Reggae no cry
Coordinators and crew, don't shed no tears
No Reggae no cry

Then PB said, we've outgrown French's camp
The venue problems are systemic
And as the talks with the Arthurs fell apart
He quit to represent Tom Dimmick

While the Mateel Board was starting to burn out
Then for two years there was no money
So Taunya Stapp she wrote the Redwood Times
Not everyone thought this was funny

No Reggae no cry, No Reggae no cry
Good people of Piercy don't shed no tears
No Reggae no cry

A war of words was raging in the press
And so they went to mediation
And when it failed, the audit was released
And Dimmick withdrew his location

PB howled, Carol she just cried
While Doug Green went to put his Boots on
A civil war has broke out in this town
Tell me which side are your roots on?

Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright

No Reggae no cry, No Reggae no cry
Humboldt Nation (Mateel Community Center
People Productions, Chamber of Commerce) Don't shed no tears
No Reggae no cry

 

Topical Tuesday - random samplings of news & blog posts

For you ROR conflict junkies, we've made headlines in the Times Standard again. Nothing new.

....

In his latest blog post Carson Park Ranger reviews the most recent op-ed piece by our own Steven Lewis. Steven's op-ed piece proposes a war on the Ents for the sake of the planet. Maybe we should nickname Steven "Saruman."

....

Save Ancient Forests reports that the HSU recycling program will be hosting a video of Wise Use gury Ron Arnold, noted for such brilliant prose as:
"We're out to kill the fuckers. We're simply trying to eliminate them. Our goal is to destroy environmentalism once and for all" - Ron Arnold, as quoted in The War Against the Greens, p.7.
The video will be shown in Siemens Hall tomorrow (Feb 14), time unknown. I don't know what the HSU Recycling Program's agenda is with the video, but I'm all for colleges presenting a balance of opinion. Makes the classroom discussions much more interesting for one thing.

....

Barack Obama is off to a good start in Iowa apparently. But he's also smarting from his first campaign gaffe.

....

At In These Times Karen Greenburg provides 8 reasons to close Guantanamo.

....

Oh yeah, and North Korea will be disarming for cash.

Monday, February 12, 2007

 

San Francisco Scandals: Sex and Sock Puppets

Some of you may recall a recent lively thread here on Newsom's power affair with his campaign manager's wife. Well, it turns out the sex revelations came on the heels of a scandal, the nature of which may be familiar to Humboldt County residents. Apparently, the SF mayor's press secretary, Peter Ragone, attacked local reporters on blogs using fake names.

From the SF Bay Guardian:
Ragone had been caught posting to SFist and other blogs under several fake names and then lying to me and other journalists to cover it up. Just as the controversy over Ragone was coming to a head Jan. 31 — when Newsom told reporters he was "disappointed" with Ragone but dismissed the incident as no big deal — the San Francisco Chronicle broke the story that Newsom had an affair with an employee, Ruby Tourk, who was the wife of his campaign manager and longtime close adviser, Alex Tourk.

....

In Newsom's absence, Ragone's problems began to unfold, starting with a Jan. 25 post by SFist editor Jon Shurkin, who had discovered multiple commenters posting from Ragone's computer, all using the same petty style to attack the SFist's Rita Hao and other Newsom critics. Ragone then did the same thing on KGO-TV's blog, going after reporter Dan Noyes.
Of course, anonymous posters attack people all the time, as we well know. Would it have been as scandalous if Ragone had simply posted as "anonymous?" Was he trying to give the impression that he was Joe Sixpack? In the editorial, the Bay Guardian refers to Ragone's conduct as "scorched earth tactics," but I'm thinking that's a bit melodramatic just from what is described in the article. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to dig up the SFist story for the actual content of the posts. Too tired right now.

I like the sex scandal more.

 

Why Bush may not attack Iran

The implications in Iraq - given that the Shiite majority is allied with Iran - even the "good guys." A number of commentators have addressed the quandary, but it's come to a head now.

From Think Progress:
U.S. intelligence and military officials have stated that Iranian weapons shipments “are going to Shiite militias that include rogue elements of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi army militia.” But U.S. officials have not been as vocal about possible Iranian support for a separate Shiite militia, the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution In Iraq (SCIRI). The Mehdi Army and SCIRI are rivals, and both have armed wings .

Yesterday, Kevin Drum speculated that Iran might be providing the SCIRI militia with weaponry. Drum wrote, “In other words, if we had to guess where the bombs were going, we might guess that SCIRI’s militia is getting a share of the action too.” There’s no need to guess any longer. CNN’s Michael Ware has confirmed that Iranians have been supplying weapons to SCIRI.

In Dec. 2006, Bush met with the head of SCIRI — Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim — for the second time and applauded his “commitment to a unity government” and his “strong position against the murder of innocent life.”


So how would the ruling coalition hold up if we attacked Iran? Inquiring minds want to know.

The photo is also from Think Progress, which appears to have pulled it from the White House site itself.

 

Mateel Press Release re failed mediation

Well, this is the first in what I assume will be a war of words this week and beyond. If any other individuals or entities has any press releases of their own, I'll post them. I'm not going to be commenting much after this point as I'm already burned out on the topic and there probably won't be much new to talk about. I'm also instituting a special rule for this topic - I want to see arguments of substance rather than gratuitous insults. As it is, the controversy is well beyond old. I'm reserving the right on this topic to remove any posts which I don't believe to be constructive. If you feel it should be different, you can start up your own blog in less than 5 minutes time. Just hit the orange square with the B in it up in the left corner. I'll be happy to link to it. Well, maybe not happy, but I'll do it.

And I expect there will be court filings soon. Not today - it's a court holiday.


Talks with Dimmick Fail to Resolve Reggae on the River® Site Dispute

February 12, 2007. Redway, CA

A mediation held on February 8, 2007, between the non-profit Mateel Community Center and Piercy landowner Tom Dimmick over whether Reggae on the River® would be held on the Dimmick Ranch failed to resolve the heated controversy. At issue is Dimmick's announcement that he intends to cancel the Mateel's ten-year lease because the non-profit ended its contract with the events promoter, People Productions, after that for-profit entity announced that it would not fulfill its obligations under the production agreement.

The long-standing contentious relationship between People Productions and the Mateel Community Center came to a climatic ending this year when it was announced that for two years the for-profit production company had raised little or no money for the community center. A recent attempt to audit People Productions’ Reggae on the River® accounting showed disturbing implications for the non-profit center. The audit was returned with a scope limitation showing three major areas of material weaknesses in the production company’s financial reporting that are material to the accuracy of the financial statements given to the Mateel's Board of Directors. Per contract, People Productions, LLC. collected the income, paid the expenses, and maintained the accounting records of Reggae on the River® 2005 -- yet did not fully cooperate with the auditor. Further, as former People Productions partner Paul Bassis left the partnership and moved to work as a representative of Tom Dimmick, an apparent conflict of interest and perceived ethical breaches only served to heighten suspicions.

The Mateel Community Center maintains that it's lease with Tom Dimmick is still valid and, accordingly, plans to put on Reggae on the River® 2007 are well under way with new promoter Boots Houghston of 2B1 Multimedia of San Francisco. The Mateel also maintains that People Productions founder and President Carol Bruno resigned publicly at the Mateel Community Center's annual meeting last November 2006 in front of 400 people. Bruno denies having done so. Bruno’s statement made at that meeting can be viewed at "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_d-gLLOQ-s".

"We are extremely disappointed that Tom Dimmick is not honoring his contract and his word," said Mateel Executive Director Taunya Stapp. "Furthermore, Dimmick's announcement that he plans to hold a similar reggae concert on the same dates on his land constitutes nothing less than a for-profit takeover of our non-profit's community-supporting event." The Mateel is considering all of its available options to ensure that Reggae on the River® 2007 will go on as planned.

Tom Dimmick has indicated that he plans on holding a multitude of events on his land every year as part of a larger plan. "That he feels he must destroy the community center's biggest fundraising event, which benefits scores of non-profit groups every year with much needed funds, is very sad. It would be hard to imagine how he could walk down the street and hold his head up in this town given what we know of his plans." She added, "Millions of dollars are at stake here. It's not surprising that some people are placing their own self-interest above that of the community. That is the community's investment that they will be reaping."

"The active and ongoing continued interference in our event simply will not be tolerated." said Mateel Vice-President Garth Epling. "Dimmick seems to be advocating a scorched earth policy regarding Reggae on the River® -- if he can't do it his way, then no one will have a concert. We believe in the spiritual message of reggae -- unity and respect. The concert will go on and the Mateel will prevail," added Epling.

Reggae on the River is a Registered Trademark of the Mateel Community Center.


Addendum: By request I am also linking to a letter posted at Bob Doran's Reggae blog by Cassandra Taliaferro.

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