Saturday, November 30, 2013

The 3rd Most Popular Story On My Blog This Week Is From 2 And A Half Years Ago, And I Didn't Even Write It!

I was perusing some of the settings and stats on this blog and noticed that 166 people this week were checking out a story from two and a half years ago. This made this old story the 3rd most popular story on my blog this week. It was about a couple of dudes getting busted in a Broadway Motel in Eureka. I thought, maybe the guys are out of jail and going after the press. Then after reading an op-ed in today's Times-Standard by Mark Bennett, I realized the traffic was probably from those that released the story in the first place.

It was just a standard police press release and contained pictures and the usual cop speak. I call it cop speak because the police have an official way of writing these press releases which is designed to make things perfectly clear since the subjects are usually being accused of a crime but not yet convicted of one. Cops are pretty careful about wording so that they don't run afoul of a citizens rights or jeopardize their cases in court.


Anyway, I don't do many of these press releases anymore on the blog.  They seem to be an everyday event. It almost wears you down to hear the same stories about heroine or meth dealers, pot grows and the crime that comes along with those industries. Day after day the same thing. And maybe that's why the new Police Chief in Eureka, Andy Mills wants to put a stop to them.

Chief Mills New Eureka Police Chief. Photo Time-Standard.
Enter the sudden new interest in a 2 and a half year old story that was merely a press release from EPD.  An everyday occurrence if you will. It  is my belief that the story was used as an example for those looking at the idea of changing what gets released to the press. So I am assuming that many politicians and police types have been going to this old story and I have asked them to leave a comment as to how they feel about changing the press release process and why?

Chief Mills has proposed that the everyday press releases stop and he will instead put the information out in a list form, once a month. Obviously this would help the image of the city since there wouldn't be the daily stories on radio, TV, newspapers and on line highlighting so many of the bad or ugly elements in town, and the press would have to write about something else or get people on the inside to leak information. Since many leakers are now considered terrorists by our federal government, don't look for too many people on the inside wanting to trade their jobs for a prison cell. The press will still have crime stories from the county and other municipalities and of course, once a month some of us will pour over the long list of people that were arrested the month before. Some of that will still come out but for the most part, people with name recognition or in positions of authority will be reported on and the rest will just be on that list somewhere. Still, this may be a good move for the cities image. My question though, is it good for Eureka residents?

Friday, November 29, 2013

West Coast Sardine Numbers Way Low, Could Be Affecting California Brown Pelicans

The Associated Press  released a story yesterday that tied a decline in California Brown Pelicans to a steep decline in west coast sardines. The numbers aren't  definitive though due to the Sequester going on at the federal level. Counting birds is evidently a low priority during slashing, across the board spending cuts agreed on by congress.

California Brown Pelicans Trinidad Harbor California.
Over the past few months I have noticed a decline in sea gulls where I live along the Northern Humboldt Coast. I haven't seen anyone else document this though, possibly due to the same budget cuts. It may also be that because they are considered a garbage eater sea gulls are on an even lower priority than California Brown Pelicans. I used to see more of them at the market in town or by the gas station. There were more of them than any other bird by far but now there are mostly just crows and ravens with an occasional sea gull. To be fair, I always see the most during salmon and crab fishing season. While sport crab season is open, commercial crab season isn't set to open until December 1st. I'll have to get out and see how many sea gulls I see after the big season opens and give an update here.

Although I haven't been kayaking lately (for the past few weeks) , I did also notice a decline in the local pelican population when at the coast taking pictures and even the last couple of times I was out over the summer. In the past I would always see pelicans when kayaking Trinidad Harbor or when walking the board walk in Eureka. There are still some in Eureka but not many along the rocky coast near Trinidad lately.
Sea Gull eating a starfish on rocks near Trinidad Bay

And then there is the dead zone off the coast of Oregon that comes and goes which is low in oxygen that gets caused by ocean and wind currents. That could also be affecting the sardine populations but there doesn't seem to be enough money to study that although one Oregon biologist says this years larger dead zone could be the cause caused by of global climate change.  

There is also the starfish collapse going on right now along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico. Notice the sea gull eating a starfish in the photo I took two summers ago in Trinidad Harbor. So the big question is, are these events all related? The answers may lie in unfunded studies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Blessing Of The Fleet In Trinidad



The Blessing of the Fleet at the Ceremonial Trinidad Lighthouse. Photo taken from Trinidad Head. 

Trinidad California Thanksgiving Day 2013. Taken from Trinidad Head looking North.

Crab Traps waiting on Trinidad Beach for commercial crab season to open.

A detour  around the crowd gathered for the annual Blessing of the Fleet.

 We are having incredible weather for Thanksgiving on the North Coast and Trinidad is no exception. Overnight lows were in the upper 30's to lower 40's and it was 50 degrees in the shade during the annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Update: Commercial Crab Fishing Season postponed due to disagreement of price between crabbers and buyers. Commercial crab season is technically open December 1st. but there will be no crab brought in until a price is agreed on.   

Sunday, November 24, 2013

California Dr. Talks About Fukushima

Santa Barbara Dr. Stephen Hosea gives a good overview of the Fukushima Diachi Nuclear meltdowns and the perils of trying to retrieve the spent nuclear rods in a bath 4 floors up with no containment building, not even a real roof.

It all starts when his friend catches a blue fin tuna in San Diego. 

Thanks to Ellen for turning me on to this.

A Nice Ending To A Great Weekend, Sunset At Moonstone Beach Ca.

Two Seagulls dart in and out of small surf capping off a fantastic weekend in Humboldt that brought unusually warm and dry conditions.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Fuel Rods Now Being Removed From Fukushima, ABC News Report Possible Evacuations For West Coast US

The removal of 1,331 spent fuel rods and 202 unused rods or assemblies began today in Japan .

The private for profit corporation TEPCO is trying to pull the rods, one by one out of packages in the spent fuel pool that sits 4 stories above ground in a severely damaged Reactor 4 at the Diichi Nuclear Plant complex in Fukushima Japan.  It was said that the removal of each rod was like removing cigarettes from a crushed package with a robot. If a rod is exposed to the air by being brought out of the pool while being transferred to metal casks being put also inside the holding pool, they will burst into flames.  The radiation and plutonium will then escape possibly igniting the entire pool and that would be real bad. How bad? One scientist said that it could require a west coast evacuation.

Watch the ABC News video that was released on Friday.



It should be noted that today, during the first day of the operation there was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake reported off shore and south of the crippled reactor. 

For more see this at Truth Out by Harvey Wasserman.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bergeron Winery Tasting Room Now Open In Trinidad

The new Bergeron Winery Tasting Room is now open in Trinidad Ca. They are open from noon to 7 pm closed Tuesdays. Enjoy your wine with cheeses and breads while looking out at the redwood trees and all just a couple of blocks from the Pacific Ocean. just off US 101.

Petty Bergeron sent me this message back in August when I first started poking around about the new business and the construction going on.

"For those who are not familiar with Bergeron Winery we were established in 2007 in Trinidad. Bergeron specializes in making a Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon.

We also have Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. We look forward to presenting our wine for everyone to enjoy."

 Peggy Bergeron

The tasting room is 4 doors down from the post office which is next to Murphy's Market.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Let The Poor Pay The Taxes The Rich And Corporations Refuse To Pay

During the recent recession that caused most of the people in the world to lose income, the richest 1 percent in our country, the top 440 families of billionaires gained 12 percent in income. This is due to the fact that Wall St. and the Banksters were and continue to be bailed out while home owners and worker were trickled down on.  Oh sure, some banks had to pay fines but compared to the profits that most of these institutions made during the recession, it was just a slap on the wrist or another cost of doing business that will be passed along to the rest of us poor and middle class people.

If just half of those gains that went to those 440 families were spent on child poverty in the US, there would be no child poverty in the US. But why should we make the rich choose between a Lear jet or another yacht? After all, they got their wealth distribution from us to them legally so why should they give half of it away just to keep some kids that aren't even theirs from starving? I have nothing to compel them other than to say, it's the right thing to do.

Corporations can't be asked for the money because their charters require their main objective to be making money for their share holders. That's their job, not feeding poor kids or paying their fair share of the nations taxes for roads, water, sewage, courts, the military or other government necessities.
That's why about two thirds of corporations didn't pay any federal income taxes according to a a government accounting office study from 2008. 

So if the rich and two thirds of the corporations in this country don't want to pony up and help keep this country competitive with good infrastructure, education, health and an environment we would all like to live and do business in, who will? The poor. Let me explain.

Below is a picture of the McDonald's menu taken in 1979 in my Southern California home town.
The Big Mac on the menu costs .65 cents. The minimum wage for both California and federal was set at $2.90 per hour. Today that Big Mac costs somewhere around $3.79 cents today in the same state which is about 580% more that it cost in 1979. If the minimum wage had kept up with the cost of the Big Mac it would be about $16.00 per hour today. Instead it is half of that here in California.
Photo from Jay Freeman

So you can see what is wrong with our economy. A few fat cats have taken all the cream and most of the milk and left us with the scraps to fight over. Our buying power has gone down as fewer and fewer people can afford products that continue to rise in cost.

My fix? Raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour. The cost of labor has actually gone down for most products we buy so while the Big Mac may go up a dollar, most people would have 7 more dollars per hour to make up that dollar. This also wouldn't put many people out of work because it would apply to everyone that has employees so your competition would be under the same labor burden as you are.

The problem with the current minimum wage, aside from the obvious points I have already made, is the fact that someone that works full time qualifies for many different kinds of welfare. They also pay almost no federal taxes because they are in poverty. Full time workers are in poverty all over this country so they haven't anything to give back in the way of taxes or charity. If they were suddenly making double or more in actual wages, these millions and millions of people would not only be raised out of poverty, they wouldn't require as much welfare or state help either. And the added benefit that will help fix the country will come from the increased payroll taxes paid by the poor.

Think about it, if Wall St., much of Main St. and the richest folks in this country don't want to pay the taxes that help keep our country competitive and healthy, let the poor do it by letting them pay taxes and take part in what used to be called the American dream.

The current gap between the rich and the poor in this country is out of step and threatens the stability of our great country. Me must act now because as Senator Bernie Sanders says "Dispair is not an option."

Caltrans And Other Construction Work Near Trinidad and Westhaven


According to a recent Caltrans press release:

A seismic retrofit project at the Westhaven Drive Undercrossing Bridge and the Sixth Avenue Overcrossing Bridge on US Highway 101 near Westhaven is scheduled to begin with placement of temporary guardrail on Monday, November 18. Work hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction of travel, and motorists may experience minor traffic slowdowns. Bridge work will consist of reinforcing bridge columns.
Westhaven Drive US 101 Undercrossing just south of 6th ave. 

This seismic retrofit project will also include work at the Trinidad Road Undercrossing Bridge beginning in January 2014. The contractor is Golden State Bridge, Inc. of Martinez.

The project is estimated to be completed by summer 2014. Please watch for bicyclists when traveling through the area, and remember to Slow for the Cone Zone.  


In addition to all that work by Caltrans, there is extensive work being done on Scenic Drive from Trinidad to about 500 feet south of Lanford Road. The new 6 inch pipe will replace an old deteriorating 3 inch water pipe. This will help increase fire safety but may cause delays on Scenic Drive between Trinidad and Lanford Rd.

Here is some information from a PDF put out by the Planning Commission.

Rancheria 2013-02: Grading Permit and Coastal Development Permit for
construction of approximately 2,300 feet of 6 in. water main along Scenic Drive in
order to meet current City standards and provide adequate fire flows to the Trinidad
Rancheria. Work also includes tie in to existing laterals, a new fire hydrant, flush
hydrant, valves, paving and erosion control. The project will replace an existing 3 in. 03-20-13

DRAFT Planning Commission Meeting Minutes Page 3 of 5
Water Pipe Trenching Machine Trinidad
water main connection from Scenic to Westhaven along Lanford and under Hwy
101. The Lanford Road portion will remain to serve existing connections, and the
portion running under the freeway will be capped and abandoned in the future.
Located within City of Trinidad and Humboldt County Rights-of-Way along Scenic
Drive from Main Street to approximately 500 ft. south of Lanford Road.

Parker clarifies that the Stability and Alquist-Priolo sections should be disregarded; they are
language left over from the previous Caltrans project last month. This project is on a more
stable section of Scenic Drive and the Alquist-Priolo regulations apply to human-occupied
structures.

Commissioner Comment
Commissioner Becker clarifies that this project is not meant to increase usage, and Planner
Parker responds that yes, but the project is improving pipes to standard sizes, which means
larger pipes. This will improve fire flows on Lanford Rd and reduce the likelihood of failure
from undersized lines. It will not increase available service connections, though.
See entire PDF

Friday, November 15, 2013

Harvest Dinner & Full Moon Dance In Trinidad

The Uptown Kings and Special guest Psyched Elvis will play the Trinidad Town Hall This Saturday, November 16th.  No-Host Bar 6;00 pm and Dinner at 6:30 pm with Homemade salad & hearty soups, handmade breads and fall desserts.

This is a fund raiser benefit for the Westhaven Center for the Arts and the Trinidad Civic Club.

Tickets:
Advance $30
$25 for TCC/WCA members

At the door:
$35
Call Debbie Dew 707-677-9493 for information and advance tickets.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Randi Rhodes Let Go By Premiere Radio

UPDATE: Premiere Radio Has A Change Of Heart! See BradBlog for details. 

Talk radio is an ever changing game. Liberal Talk Radio is no different other than the fact that it is about 1/200 of the size of Right Wing Talk radio if you consider the amount of hours available on commercial talk radio in the US. I'm going by Karel numbers so give or take, actual hours may vary some.
photo from Wikipedia

So it is with some sadness that liberal talker Randi Rhodes will be leaving Premiere Radio Networks for an as yet unknown future. Randi Rhodes is a former enlisted US Air For mechanic that did a great job as a liberal talk show host, especially when it came to the topic of war and defense and all the baggage that can bring to the table.

I was never able to add her to KGOE because I had Dr. Laura in her time slot replaced by Ed Schultz and then Thom Hartmann. When I added Karel to the station 3 to 6 pm we became live on most weekdays from 3 am till 9 pm and also 10 pm to 2 am. That's 22 hours a day during the week. I just had no reason to take her show because I also had Coast to Coast AM  live and nowhere to really put it.

Below is a deeper look into Randi Rhodes, Bain Capital LLC, Clear Channel and Premiere, the radio biz and an old lawsuit that should prevent, well just go see the story at The Brad Blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GMO's Are Safe And Twice As Many Americans Should Take Statin Drugs. Really?

There is no need for alarm. Evidently we are not what we eat. And the LDL cholesterol connection thing is just a coincidence with the news today that that twice as many Americans should be on statin drugs.


From Genetic Literacy Project:


Can science self-correct, in effect protect against sloppy or politicized research? Scientists can try—but the success of those efforts depends in large measure upon the integrity of journalists and advocates to address their own reporting mistakes.
photo from npr.org



But as GLP executive director Jon Entine reports in Forbes, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Consumers Union and prominent anti-GMO journalists are discouragingly but predictably silent after multiple science publications severely challenged an alarmist RNA study they had hyped.

Read more

I have to say that most scientists don't think GMO's are harmful to human health. With that said, this debunking of a study about LDL Cholesterol and GMO's comes out the same day I get a report from ABC News saying that a new study says about twice as many Americans should be taking Statin drugs (like Lipitor) to lower their bad Cholesterol as are currently on the drugs. 


Coincidence? Maybe. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eureka Veterans Day Celebration At Adorni Center


Choose Veterans Charities Wisely

The Tampa Bay Times has a list that they are calling America's Worst Charities. The list shows what they say are the 50 worst charities based on the amount of money raised and the amount of money spent on raising money.

On that list were 5 charities for US Veterans. In honor of our veterans this Veterans Day, I thought I should pass these along so that if you choose to give to veterans charities, you give to ones that actually help veterans more than themselves.

Here are the 5 that made the naughty list:

1. National Veterans Service Fund
2. The Veterans Fund also Veterans Fund Inc.
(this charity didn't show up in a simple google search)
3. Veterans Assistance Foundation
4. Circle of Friends for American Veterans
5. Our American Veterans
(this charity didn't show up in a simple google search)

The list of 50 worst charities based on spending and fund raising can be found here at The Tampa Bay Times

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunny Today And Tomorrow Along North Coast


The forecast is nice for this weekend. A bit cold but not too windy and lots of sun today and tomorrow. These pictures just south of Trinidad Ca. today. Enjoy because rain is expected for Veterans Day on Monday. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is California Being Fracked?

Update: Climate Scientists Send Letter To California Governor Jerry Brown That Calls For Fracking Ban In State. 

I saw this in my inbox today. 

Fracking Goes To Sea: California Regulators Startled To Learn Of Offshore Hydraulic Fracturing

No  public disclosure or environmental impact analysis was ever done!
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) gave “categorical exclusions” to oil companies for frack jobs on existing offshore oil rigs, allowing them to proceed with the activity in the federal waters off the Golden State.

Offshore fracking, like the controversial onshore practice, uses water, sand, and potentially hazardous chemicals to blast through shale to “stimulate” the flow of oil and gas. They differ in that offshore fracking is still primarily used to stimulate existing oil wells, and isn’t yet associated with new drilling.
So far, FOIA-based investigations by journalists and environmental groups have turned up at least 15 instances of frack jobs approved in federal waters with categorical exclusions, and, reportedly, more are planned by offshore oil producer DCOR.

Fracking on land is riddled with questions about environmental hazards, but BSEE now claims the practice offshore is safe, only requiring 2 percent of the water and 7 percent of the sand used onshore.
However, very little is known about the environmental effects of offshore fracking, since no studies have been done to determine the contamination hazards or other risks. Given the basic activities known to be associated with onshore fracking, potential impacts could include spills of hazardous chemicals, which would degrade ocean water quality, and destabilization or even well blowouts. What’s more, “swarms” of minor earthquakes around the actively producing shale formations in Texas and Ohio have been attributed to fracking in those states, provoking concern for the triggering of tremors in what is an already seismically active area.

This initial revelation of ongoing offshore fracking came as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests filed with the Department of the Interior by theAssociated Press
and Santa Barbara-based community organization the Environmental Defense Center, which just released a new report on the issue.
The investigations have found over 200 instances of fracking operations in state and federal waters off California,
 all unbeknownst to a state agency with jurisdiction over the offshore oil and gas industry.

According to federal guidelines, categorical exclusions are intended for projects that don’t warrant an environmental review because they don’t normally “result in significant environmental harm.” For example, the US Forest Service issues them for land and water restoration projects, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service does so for activities like maintenance and management of existing facilities.

In this May 1, 2009 file
        photo, offshore oil drilling platform 'Gail' operated by Venoco,
        Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file
In this May 1, 2009 file photo, offshore oil drilling platform ‘Gail’ operated by Venoco, Inc., is shown off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif.

  • It still surprises many Americans when they learn that California, a state with perhaps the greenest of environmental reputations, remains home to offshore oil and gas production in waters better known for surfers and sea lions. In recent weeks, Californians themselves, including even some state regulators, have been surprised to find out that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been secretly occurring along their coastline for years, without any analysis of its potential environmental impact.
  • A commercial, industrial activity like offshore fracking is “the antithesis of what a categorical exclusion was originally intended for,” according to Environmental Defense Center attorney Brian Segee.
  • Recent reports show that relevant authorities within both state and federal agencies were in the dark about the issuance of categorical exclusions for offshore fracking activity. Officials from the California Coastal Commission, which has the authority to determine whether or not proposed oil and gas activities in federal waters comply with certain state environmental standards, reportedly said in August that the agency had no idea the practice was occurring, because it had not been routinely informed by federal agencies like BSEE.

  • Meanwhile, according to records discovered by Truth-out.org, some officials at BSEE only learned that others within the agency had approved offshore fracking while gathering information for external inquiries about the activity, and seemed to be surprised that environmental impact review for frack jobs in the federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS, hadn’t occurred. “Has there been an EIS [environmental impact statement] to assess the environmental consequences of fracking on the OCS?,” one official asked in an email. “How can we begin to review permit requests without that?”
  • Californians have seen the results of oversight failures from exemptions and exclusions before. A major blowout at Unocal’s Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969 pumped over 3 million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific and blackened 35 miles of coastline. It was later determined that Unocal received a waiver from federal standards — akin to a categorical exclusion — so it could use inadequate well casings, which caused the blowout once they ruptured. The Santa Barbara blowout became a cautionary tale of lax governmental oversight and one of the foundations of the modern environmental movement.
  • The Environmental Defense Center concluded its report by calling for an immediate federal moratorium on offshore fracking, until environmental impact studies are completed. They argue that such studies will not only inform regulators, but also bring badly needed transparency and public participation to a process that so far has been bureaucratically opaque. As they put it, “If history is any guide, the federal government’s lax oversight of fracking and other well stimulation practices within the Santa Barbara Channel is cause for significant concern.” The long list of American communities impacted by hydraulic fracking and offshore oil spills, often following industry’s promises of safety, lends credence to their call.

  • Mark Dennin is an intern with the Center for American Progress’s Ocean Policy program, where Shiva Polefka is a Research Associate.
    By Mark Dennin, Guest Blogger and Shiva Polefka,
     Oct. 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

  • Communities For Justice and Peace
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