Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Don’t Buy Exxon’s Fable Of The Drunken Captain

This is an inside look at what really led up to the Exxon Valdez disaster that is still a problem today. The ships radar was off because it didn't work. That's not all...

Investigative reporter Greg Palast shared this with The Guardian UK today.

Don’t Buy Exxon’s Fable Of The Drunken Captain

by Greg Palastfor The Guardian UKMarch 24, 2021

Today, March 24, the 32nd Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster will be commemorated with the re-telling of lies. The official story is, “Drunken Skipper Hits Reef.” Don’t believe it.

The video above is an introduction to the story.

Days after the oil tanker slimed 1,200 miles of Alaska’s coastline, I was in Prince William Sound, launching an investigation for the Chugach Natives of Alaska. It was their coastline.

This story remains untold: the true cause of the Exxon Valdez catastrophe was the oil giant’s breaking their promises to the Natives and Congress, cynically and disastrously, in the fifteen years leading up to the spill.

As to Captain Joe Hazelwood, he was below decks, sleeping off his bender. At the helm, the third mate would never have collided with Bligh Reef had he looked at his Raycas radar. But the radar was not turned on. In fact, the tanker’s radar was left broken and disabled for more than a year before the disaster, and Exxon management knew it. It was just too expensive to fix and operate.

For the Chugach, this discovery was poignantly ironic. Twenty years earlier the Chugach sold Exxon and BP the incredibly valuable port of Valdez—for $1. That’s right, a dollar. But they won something in return: a guarantee of the safety of the waters on which they survived. On their list of safety demands in return for Valdez was “state-of-the-art” on-ship radar.

We discovered more, but because of the labyrinthine ways of litigation, little became public, especially about the reckless acts of the industry consortium, Alyeska, which controls the Alaska Pipeline.

Several smaller oil spills before the Exxon Valdez could have warned of a system breakdown. But Erlene Blake, a former Senior Lab Technician with Alyeska, the Exxon/BP consortium, told our investigators that management routinely ordered her to toss out test samples of water evidencing spilled oil. She was ordered to refill the test tubes with a bucket of clean sea water called, “The Miracle Barrel.”

In a secret meeting in April 1988, Alyeska Vice-President T.L. Polasek confidentially warned the oil group executives that, because Alyeska had never purchased promised safety equipment, it was simply “not possible” to contain an oil spill past the Valdez Narrows — exactly where the Exxon Valdez ran aground 10 months later.

The Natives demanded (and law requires) that the shippers maintain round-the-clock oil spill response teams. Alyeska hired the Natives, especially qualified by their generations-old knowledge of the Sound, for this emergency work. They trained to drop from helicopters into the water with special equipment to contain an oil slick at a moments notice. But in 1979, quietly, Alyeska fired them all. To deflect inquisitive state inspectors, the oil consortium created sham teams, listing names of oil terminal workers who had not the foggiest idea how to use spill equipment which, in any event, was missing, broken or existed only on paper.

 In 1989, when the oil poured from the tanker, there was no Native response team, only chaos.

Continue reading at Greg's web site HERE

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Oregon’s Logging Industry Says It Can’t Afford New Taxes. But Prices Have Never Been Higher and Profits Are Soaring.

 From ProPublica:

Lobbyists claim the timber industry is "up against the ropes." Here's what they're not saying: Lumber prices are at record highs.

by Rob Davis, The Oregonian/OregonLive, and Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Thirty years after Oregon lawmakers began giving the state’s timber industry tax cuts that cost rural counties an estimated $3 billion, industry lobbyists warned them not to follow through on efforts to reinstate the tax this year.

Legislators are considering whether to add to taxes paid by the logging industry after an investigation published last year by Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Oregonian/OregonLive and ProPublica found that timber companies, increasingly dominated by Wall Street real estate trusts and investment funds, benefited from the tax cuts at the expense of rural counties struggling to provide basic government services.

During hearings last week, a parade of industry lobbyists and supporters said now would be the worst possible time to reinstate the tax. What they didn’t tell lawmakers: Lumber prices are at record highs. The huge demand for lumber and the accompanying high prices have helped to boost stock prices and profits for some of Oregon’s biggest timber companies.

See the rest of the story here

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rainy Day Music Show Saturday On The Interwebs

 We have a brand spanking new episode of

The Classic Rock Rewind coming up Saturday morning 8-10 am Pacific time. Click the link for the free player. If you see this too late, the show re-airs on Monday from 10-Noon on

If you see this too late, the show re-airs on Monday from 10-Noon on
Photo has nothing to do with the show. These are tractors and the show is music. However, these are nice Humboldt tractors.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Classic Rock Rewind Monday 10-Noon Pacific

 My show, The Classic Rock Rewind is on today going 10 am-Noon Pacific time on 

This show is dedicated to Jay Bird the founder of Radio Vegas Rocks.  Jay died early this month which is why we were not on radio vegas for a couple of weeks. The station is still going and we were aired on Saturday but if you missed that show, tune in today for The Classic Rock Rewind. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

So, There Is This Classic Rock Show I Do Saturday Mornings 8-10 am

 I have an all new episode of The Classic Rock Rewind coming up in a few hours going Saturday morning 8-10 am on and the app at  Some old classics from The Smothers Brothers show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Join us at the links, it's free and we even pay the artists through BMI, ASCAP and SECAC. 

I shot this picture coming in to Moonstone Beach from Little River California near my home. 

Dr. Shirley Weber Becomes the First Black Woman to Serve as Secretary of State in California

 SACRAMENTO, CA - California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks issued the following statement on Dr. Shirley Weber becoming the first-ever Black woman to serve as Secretary of State in California:

“Today, California made history and helped move our country forward with the appointment of Dr. Shirley Weber as Secretary of State. As the first-ever Black woman to serve as California’s Secretary of State, Dr. Weber continuously demonstrates what it means to lead with a moral conscience.

In her own words, Dr. Weber stated, ‘As I tell people how ironic it is that a girl whose father could not vote, whose grandparents never had a chance to vote - is now responsible for 40 million Californians and their right to vote’.

The California Democratic Party is proud of this historical day as we look forward to working with California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber.”

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Altice officials announced today that they've reached agreement with Cox Media Group

 Altice officials announced today that they've reached agreement with Cox Media Group to allow for retransmission of "local" broadcast TV stations in Eureka's Designated Market Area (DMA) which includes Humboldt County.

Sean Taketa McLaughlin, executive director for Access Humboldt shared this statement:

"We understand that an agreement has been reached between Cox Media Group and Altice that will again allow for retransmission of Cox Media Group (CMG) owned stations KIEM (NBC) and KVIQ (CBS) over the cable systems in Humboldt County (Eureka DMA) as well as five other markets and eight other TV stations across the nation. Altice owns the cable system operating as Suddenlink that provides TV, internet and telephone service in the Cities of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Ferndale, Blue Lake and Trinidad as well as areas of Humboldt County from Scotia to Big Lagoon.

"Humboldt County sent a strong letter to our Congressional delegation calling for policy changes that would return jurisdiction to local governments.  The letter also called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconvene a Localism Task Force to consider the harms of media consolidation and lack of  local accountability in the information ecosystem. At the State Legislature, Access Humboldt is calling for an audit of cable TV and local broadcasters performance during the pandemic - for the purpose of finding solutions to close the digital divide.  Our goal is univeral access to open secure networks that meet local needs and interests - esp:  public health and safety; education; economic and community development; culture and arts; and civic engagement.

"On behallf of our local governments, Access Humboldt will continue to seek ways to avoid such a problem in the future. And we will also ask both Suddenlink (Altice) and  Cox Media Group's stations KIEM (NBC) and KVIQ (CBS) to be accountable to our local community as much as possible."  

On a related note, today Access Humboldt joined with national groups in asking that President Biden quickly name a fifth FCC Commissioner to fill the agency  for the work ahead.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has jurisdiction over broadcast TV and cable TV, and much harm has occured through that agency during the past four years.  The FCC bears responsibility for the policy failures we see across our media and broadband internet landscape.

Finally - we ask our State Legislature to reform the failed regulatory regime under the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act, which eviscerated local jurisdictions' authority to negotiate with absentee owners of critical communications infrastructure.  

For more information contact Sean Taketa McLaughlin:

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Access Humboldt is a non-profit, community media & broadband access organization serving the residents and local jurisdictions of Humboldt County on the North Coast of California USA, managing resources that include: streaming channel online; cable access TV channels; KZZH FM 96.7 community radio; media collection on Community Media Archive; a wide area broadband network with dedicated optic fiber connections to twenty locations serving local jurisdictions and community anchor institutions; broadband access wireless networks; a Community Media Center with studio and other production equipment and training on the Eureka High School campus; and ongoing operational support for public, educational and governmental access media services.



Sean Taketa McLaughlin

Executive Director

Access Humboldt

P.O. Box 157, Eureka, CA 95502

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