Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Patrick Higgins For 5th Distric Supervisor

Fifth District Harbor Commissioner Patrick Higgins has announced his run for County Supervisor for the same district. I live in this district and support his efforts on the Harbor Commission. We disagree on the overall potential of the railroad but both support some sort of passenger service if it were feasible.

Overall, I am supportive of his candidacy and will most likely support it with an official endorsement.

I have never officially endorsed any candidate for any office in Humboldt County but this could be my first.
(photo from Humboldt Herald)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Specter looks to revive 9/11 suits against Saudis

By Chris Mondics

Inquirer Staff Writer

In a sign that the bitter litigation between victims of the 9/11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia is far from over, Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday introduced legislation that would overturn court rulings barring lawsuits that contend the desert kingdom helped cause the terrorism.

Specter (D., Pa.) said the legislation would clarify that lawsuits by U.S. citizens could go forward without a sign-off from the State Department.

Fishing Industry Or Big Agra Business?

In 1930 water was diverted from the Klamath River and sent south to irrigate desert land. Homesteaders were given a chance to make a go of it at Tulelake north east of Bakersfield. At one time the lake was so vast, there was a paddle wheel boat that ferried people across the shallow but large lake. The homesteaders experimented with many different crops, this link to the Tulelake Homesteaders
(Based on the book The Years of Harvest - A History of the Tule Lake Basin, by Stan Turner (with contributions from the 1981 historical research project of South Eugene High School); the Ave. Press, Eugene, Ore.; c1988) tells of one farmer that was able to use some of the poor high alkaline soil to grow horseradish.
"Otto Schaffner had been one of the last Tule Lake Basin homesteaders, in 1948-49, taking a northeastern plot of the basin that was high in alkali. After working gypsum into the ground for several years, he began to grow horseradish in 1954. In the late 1950's, Schaffner went into the horseradish processing business with the help of a University of California food technologist who developed a formula for a marketable sauce. The Tulelake Horseradish Co. was founded. Tulelake remains the major horseradish producing area in the United States".

There are areas north east of Bakersfield that today appear to have snow on the ground during 100 degree temperatures. It is actually salt that has built up in the soil. This is a perfect place for solar farms, but I digress.

There is another interesting article from AlterNet published earlier this year. It is about the water that is diverted to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley for crops and the harm done to the countries largest commercial fishing industry. That's right, California, according to the latest numbers available is by far the number one commercial fishing state in the union.

I bring all of this up because on Christmas, there was a shortage of horseradish available at stores in So Cal where I spent Christmas. We eventually found some for the prime rib so all was well. But on my way home I saw these signs posted along Interstate 5 north of the Grapevine. Mostly they were in dead fields across the freeway from healthy green ones. Sometimes they were next to hundreds of bee hives.

This one in particular stood out. With the bright green crop directly behind it. Just a few feet behind the sign were dark green fields with water down the rows. It didn't look like a congress created dust bowl to me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Orbs In The Trees

Here is some more grainy video from Fullerton, where Christmas lights are as common as grow houses in other parts of the state.  This is a drive down a street 2 blocks from Fullerton Community College.

One of the home owners has a large lift and that's how it all started.  He put some of these orb things in the trees in front of his house and neighbors asked if he would do it for them and he now has one huge job every year.  You buy the orbs, lights, extension cords and supply the power  he puts them up and takes them down.  Just put in your Pink Floyd C.D. and drive down the street.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just around the corner from my mom's house in Fullerton Ca. a house with almost as many lights as Chevy Chase also has music broadcast on a tiny FM transmitter on 104.7.   I already had that programmed into my radio.  I took this video while listening to their small station in my car.

Click here if you don't see video.
One block over is a street that for about 5 blocks has lighted balls hung from the trees.  I'll try to remember to video that tomorrow or before I get back to Eureka.  It is also something to see.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

MSNBC's Keith Olberman Special Comment On Senate Health Care Bill

Part One:

Part Two:

I couldn't say it better than Keith Olberman.  Joe Lieberman, a hand full of  Democrats and all of the Republicans in the Senate have destroyed this health care bill and turned it into a windfall for insurance companies.  This bill should be junked and a new one taken up next year.  Thanks Mr. Lieberman for being the proverbial turd in the punch bowl.  You stink.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anaheim lofts sell to bidders at huge discount

My brother had this over at his blog today.  Seems property values are down all over the state. 
Here's an excerpt from the O.C. Register

A live-work unit sold for $332,000 – some $169,900 off the original asking price.

Harbor Lofts is the latest project to slash prices to unload unsold units during a depressed real-estate market. In March, developers of Stadium Lofts, adjacent to Angel Stadium, offered 60 unoccupied units at up to 40 percent off original prices.

The archecture looks a lot like something coming to the Eureka water front. Instead of a major league stadium being next door though, there will be a nice Home Depot on the bay. Yep, instead of being within walking distance of Dave and Busters, The Duck Pond, Anaheim Stadium, the Center Street Promenade and even Disneyland, our development will be next to a hardware store. I'm sure they'll be able to sell them to someone.

I mean, the living quarters will be above the toxic waste cap.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh Christmas Branch, Oh Christmas Branch...

My dad who lives next door, always has a Christmas tree.  Sometimes fake, sometimes real.  This year he and Joey who also lives next door, decided that they would have a truly green Christmas tree.  They cut a couple of branches off one of our pine trees and stuck them on an old milk can for a base.  They decorated it and put some lights on it and it looks great.  It also has that fresh pine smell and we didn't have to kill a tree or buy a fake one from China.  This is a good idea for someone that doesn't have the room for whole tree as it sits in a corner so no one sees the back side, except for the cats.

It's not perfect but it does instill that holiday feel.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tax The Rich

A Bloomberg National Poll conducted Dec. 3-7 shows two- thirds of Americans favor taxing the rich to reduce the deficit.  The story.

Where Else Would They Go?

.  People without houses protested the closure of the Tarp Camp at Eureka City Hall tonight.

A group of just under 20 held signs and waited for dinner that was to come any time. Kimberly (Verbena) Starr was arrested Sunday night by Eureka P.D. and is still being held . Times-Standard said she was arrested for trespassing, resisting a peace officer and a probation violation.

Last Sunday, the E.P.D. in a show of force closed the Tarp Campground in the parking lot of the City Hall that had been going for a month.

On the bright side, temperatures should only dip into the 30's tonight.

In one of the richest counties in the U.S.A.  things are not much better.
An estimated 20,000 people in Orange County are homeless.

A Peacefull Protest

The temerature was about 30 degrees. Driving home last night past the Eureka City Hall, I saw about a dozen people on the sidewalk on 5th street in front of City Hall with signs in protest of the closing tarp city.

I got this from Jack Nounnan:
A report of this ongoing People Project effort

Continuing Encampment At City Hall For People Without Homes.

We will continue with our encampment before City Hall for those who need shelter from this bitter cold front... as temperatures dip to the low 20's. We know that without some cover and even with blankets, many are being driven to keep walking entire nights, their only hope to just survive!

We begin setting up at 5:30 to 6:00 each day and welcome all to come support our encampment for the right to be left in peace to continue fulfilling dire daily human needs.

To all receiving this message: Tell others and come visit with us
We need your presence and your calls to this Çity Çouncil - to do their job!
Eureka City Council members: One message for all 707- 441-4172

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Letter To The Mayor Of Eureka and the City Council

The Honorable Mayor and Council members, I am writing to inform you of my deep disappointment in closing the Tarp City at the City Hall parking lot on Sunday night. It was 25 degrees at my house that night. How could you choose to kick these people out of the City Hall parking lot on such a cold night? Your decision to allow the EPD to solve our homeless problem is a travesty. What if someone dies of exposure? What about the parking lot that you had said would be looked into for the homeless? You didn't do your job and so the homeless came to you. They camped on your doorstep and you turned them away in sub freezing temperatures and made the police out to be the bad guys. What is your solution? Lock everyone up? What will that cost?

Kicking the preverbal can down the street to the Eureka Police Department shows your lack of compassion and lack of ideas. If all of the homeless are breaking the law by sleeping in their cars or on sidewalks, are you willing to arrest all of them and provide shelter and food in the jail? Is this the solution? I pray not. It is neither cost effective nor is it  humanitarian thing to do.

I suggest you come up with a plan and come up with one soon, before someone dies of exposure.

I don't live in Eureka so I haven't been very critical or the way you run your city, but I do work there. I assure you that you now have my full attention and I look to see some progress soon on this issue or I will do my best to call all of you out for your lack of compassion, sense of duty and ineptitude.

Tom Sebourn, speaking for myself and those that have no one else to turn to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

40 Homeless Juveniles In Eureka Need Help

Capdiamont's web blog had this story on Saturday. 
Local homeless advocate Betty Chin located the kids and is asking for help.  Items needed are phone cards, blankets, cots, sleeping bags, dark colored tarps, tents, foam pads, canned food, camping stoves, personal hygiene items etc.
I checked out the drop off location this morning and left some supplies.   The location to drop off donations is North Coast Surgical Specialists, 2321 Harrison Avenue, near St. Johseph hospital.  Their hours are 8 am to 5 pm week days.
I hope to get Betty Chin on the air to talk more about this.  Capdiamont says some of the kids are wards of the County.

Also here is an up date to the closing by EPD of the Tarp Shelter Homeless Camp at Eureka City Hall.
Jack Nounnan sent me this.
Eureka police crackdown and close self managing shelter providing food and safe sleeping for those without homes

Police last night surrounded, made arrests then tore down the month old tent shelter complex set up at the Eureka City Hall, Humboldt Co., Calif., under siege by the Eureka Council, warning this weekend they would not tolerate this safe haven much longer.This encampment has fulfilled the immediate needs of people without homes, who daily face harsher weather conditions of night cold and/or rains. They're a people neither permitted on private or public lands. Where are they to go?

Among us are older folks, including numbers of vets, some handicapped with broken bodies, folks terribly stressed by their lives, those who've lost jobs, mothers and fathers, and many young, with all kinds of professional, academic and hard working backgrounds, all appreciative of a safe haven and still intent upon not just survival, but making a life.

We ask everyone who hears this message to help by reaching the Eureka City Council and other City officials in demanding real answers be offered to meet these immediate needs.
Eureka City Council members: One message for all 707- 441-4172

In talking with one city official Sunday, it was made clear we would be raided soon, and they 'asked our cooperation' in finding another place. We know of none, as surely as they do... precisely why we have been there. The threat of arrest and worse already drove most back to the streets for the night.

Warning signs of arrest and barricades were posted Friday around the City Hall parking lots where the encampment has set up each evening, providing home cooked food, and fresh bedding..and in the morning dismantled and gone before business begins. Police have been more obvious, cruising by often, one stopping to ticket or arrest some of the homeless on the sidewalk adjacent to the camping site for J walking or miscellaneous charges.

Police had originally and publicly stated if the encampment did not interfere with business, it was not their problem. The encampment has been open to all, turning no one away who needed a meal, but making clear to all that to stay and use the shelter, meant no drinking or drugs while there and monitored throughout the night.
City officials have asked what we want and been told:

1) People without homes need to have a safe space to sleep and cover themselves against

the weather, called "camping" by the city and criminalized.

2) People be given the right to manage such a space, without city oversight or police


3) City ordinances, which criminalize rest or sleep be eliminated, which are in direct

violation of the 8th Amendment to our Constitution... and thus resolving police enforcement.

of harassing, ticketing, confiscation of personal property and worse.

4) Lastly that it be recognized that the cities present position of planning and developing procedures for the future will obviously meet only a mere fraction of the critical need, regardless of when they finally take effect, while none of such city planning meets the immediate needs of the great many people without homes.

These same officials asked if we were prepared to manage a space provided for those without homes and were told; "Of course", just as we've done for the past month at the doors of City Hall.

The ambivalence of city authorities and the community is an ongoing dilemma. On one hand great enthusiasm and benevolence by certain people, churches, the city and even official police endorsement for providing food and clothing during the day, but with nightfall, the city and police turning against their presence, sending the wrong message to the community at large, of city sponsored prejudice through enforcement of their illegal ordinances.

This direct action confronts a massive crisis situation faced by numerous cities, towns and counties throughout the U.S., being added to daily by economics and lost jobs.The times are so similar to what people faced in the Great Depression, the Hooverville's and Grapes of Wrath, our own folk lore, our history as a people for everyone's acknowledgement and understanding, but not if being ignored. Your neighbors and /or someone's neighbors are losing their home every day...some having to find their way in the streets. Why this departure from our common sense and good will toward anyone's financial crisis leading to even greater deprivations and mental stress? 

Update: Local activist, Kimberly (Verbena) Starr was arrested last night at the encampment and as of 2:30 this afternoon was still in jail.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Get Ready For Snow On The North Coast

Hard freeze warning is in effect from 2 am to 9 am Sunday.  Rain is on its way and it isn't going to warm up much.  Tomorrows high for Big Lagoon and Trinidad should be around 36 degrees.  That means a good chance for snow at sea level.
See Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service.

Oshun Yoga Boutique & Juice Bar, Now Open In Trinidad!

They opened about two weeks ago next to the Post Office. I had wanted to get a smoothie so I thought I would give it a try this morning. I had a Berry Local-Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana & Apple Juice. It was great! Not sure if I'm going to take any yoga classes but I have considered it.

More info about classes, hours and kids activities at http://www.oshunyoga.com/

Bring your own glass or jug and save .25 cents.  Or get your smoothie to go in a corn based eco freindly cup.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Ever Happened To Old Glory Radio?

All the links are down.  Tom Fredrickson has not posted for a couple of months now.  Old Glory used to be the conservative voice of the airwaves in Myrtle town and on the internet representing Humboldt County.
Recently, another local blogger,  Carson Park Ranger was seen on a milk carton.
I started to get a bit worried when Highboltage blog stopped blogging.  He is down for a bit but is alive and around.  I will update on Highboltage when he says it is ok to do so.
Still, what has become of Old Glory Radio?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twenty-Seventh Night of PEOPLE PROJECT Safe Sleeping Space on City Hall

December 1, 2009

Contact: Verbena (707) 442-7465

PEOPLE PROJECT, a grass roots organization of local houseless people and their allies have been providing shelter and food on the steps of Eureka's city hall for twenty seven nights and plans to continue to do so until the city stops criminalizing houseless people and gives land where houseless people can be without harassment. PEOPLE PROJECT began the safe sleeping space on city hall which immediately meets immediate concrete needs for many people such as Mary. Mary is sixty five years old. She was a military combat nurse in Vietnam, where she was shot in the back, and was one of the last of the troops evacuated out of Da Nang. Mary has been living on the streets since she lost her home six months ago. She cannot stay at the Eureka Rescue Mission mission because of her companion dog, a yellow lab called Goldie. Mary needs Goldie for protection and warmth. At night he is the only heat source she has and because many people shun and harrass her, she needs Goldie for protection and companionship as well. A month and a half ago, Mary underwent open heart surgery to have two heart valves replaced, and she has been rushed to St. Joe's emergency room several times since the operation- only to be released back to the streets. If it weren't for PEOPLE PROJECT's tent at city hall, Mary would be sleeping in the mud where she is subject to attack from an array of people ranging from punk kids looking for a thrill to those who claim their duty it is "to serve and protect" but instead terrorize, to the poverty pimps who tear up her camp after first politely leaving a note with useless referrals that do not apply to Mary and her homeless situation.

When Mary is hungry, she can choose between St. Vincent de Paul's “free meal” (where as of November first she and all the other meal attendees can only have one tray of food and then must promptly leave) or she can eat out of a dumpster.

Even that single tray of food once a day is now endangered. WinCo Foods, which is a major contributor to the free meal, has threatened to withdraw from the program. The store management claims that houseless people are being wasteful with WinCo's refuse. This is based on the allegation that houseless people feed the birds their scraps (hard bread), and as a result, a seagull was run over by a vehicle while feeding on crumbs. This death of a seagull has raised more outrage from WinCo than the murder of Martin Cotton II, a homeless resident of Eureka, who was brutally beaten by Eureka Police officers Laird, Whitmer, Winkle, Watson, Siipola, Franco, and Baird in front of the Mission and then in the jail where he died in custody.

Mary and Martin's experiences are not unique. Due to our current oppressive economic, political and social systems, commonly held perceptions and state policies criminalize houseless folks as being a nuisance, lazy, and undeserving of respect. These perceptions sanction police to treat houseless community members as criminals even though they have a dignified (not luxurious) right to sleep and live. In Eureka, houseless residents are brutalized, humiliated, and denied their god given rights as well as their Constitutional rights every day. Like Mary, many other houseless people are veterans, some from the current wars in the middle east. As a result of the new policy requiring women to participate in large numbers in combat zones, we are seeing a huge increase in the number of women vets. Many of these vets are young mothers with children. Families like these try to fly below the radar because they know if they turn to conventional sources of help like the Department of Social Services, they will have their children stolen from them. Instead, they try to "pass": by day, working minimum wage part time jobs while by night, they are hunted, hounded from place to place as they desperately try to find some refuge where they can lay their heads. PEOPLE PROJECT plans to continue to help provide that refuge. We need the support of the community. Where is the moral outrage? Where are the churches?

Breathe Deep The Gathering Gloom...

Not a cloud in the sky today.  The fog bank is still off shore and won't come in until late this afternoon.
What looks like clouds are actually contrails or chemtrails.  These are caused by jet traffic over Humboldt County.  Take a deep breath and enjoy!

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur