Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deficit Is Falling But The Press Won't Tell Us, Why?

Dave Johnson writing for Progressive Voices says "Deficit Is Falling Dramatically But, Only 6% Know That.

Johnson blames the press for the fact that 94 percent of us don't know the facts!

Read the entire story at Progressive Voices.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eel River Recovery Project

Dozens of volunteers for the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) monitored water temperature,
flow and algae blooms in 2012 to provide information about the ecological conditions of the Eel
River and to answer questions posed by the community. The ERRP was organized in 2011 in
response to concern about reduced Eel River flows and emerging water quality problems that
include toxic algae. The 2012 citizen monitoring project was aimed at collecting data to test
community questions or hypotheses and was able to confirm that flows have diminished since 1996
when medical marijuana in California was legalized. Data also show major recovery in some parts of
the watershed and provided the answer to questions posed by local volunteers.

The 2012 ERRP monitoring project was able to establish that three major tributaries of the Eel
River, Outlet Creek, Tomki Creek, and Ten Mile Creek, were dry in late summer and fall 2012 when
that was not their historic condition prior to 1996. All three creeks were formerly major producers
of salmon and steelhead, including now endangered coho salmon, and also supplied large amounts
of clean water that helped the mainstem Eel River maintain its ecological balance. The 2012 ERRP
report recommends that Ten Mile Creek be targeted as a top priority for water conservation because
of its historic productivity and because it is near the upper South Fork Eel River coho population
that is one of the last functional population centers in northern California.

Click Here for the rest of the report.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter Is Back!

Frontage Rd. near Crannell Rd. & The Little River
Tonight, Winter will return to the north coast. Expect  low temperatures in the mid to upper 30's along the coast as a winter storm heads into the Eureka area tonight. There is a 100 % chance of rain tonight and a chance of rain or showers through Friday.

The snow level will be around 2,000 feet overnight and that will impact the mountain pass roads such as HWY 199, HWY 299 and HWY 36.  Other road problems may occur due to possible hail from thunderstorms. This hail may effect coastal areas so drivers should remember to use caution and if you encounter heavy hail while driving, slow down but do not break and try not to turn. Sometimes it is best to slow down and pull over to let the storm pass. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Why Do Some Christians Equate Gay With Pedophile?

Stereotypes, many of us are guilty of using them to define people and situations that we don’t fully understand. If someone says something about a catholic priest, some people might think pedophile. Likewise if someone says something like TV evangelist, one might think of crystal meth, hookers or embezzlement. Does that mean that all priests are pedophiles or that all TV evangelists like gay hookers or doing illegal drugs or steal money from their flock?  No. That would be a stereo type. Just because it has happened doesn’t make it the norm.

Likewise, why would I think that Christian radio hosts Matt Barber and Mat Staver are on drugs or pedophiles just because they say they believe in Jesus Christ?  I shouldn't should I?

I bring this up because those two so called followers of Christ unleashed a torrent of anti-LGBT fearmongering on their “Faith and Freedom” show on Friday in complaining about the Boy Scouts of America’s possible lifting of its ban on gay members.

 Media Matters reported.
“It makes no sense to have a Jerry Sandusky as your scoutmaster,” Staver said. “And essentially, that’s what this policy would open the doors to. You’d have somebody who has sexual attractions to the young boys, that he is supervising, taking them out in the woods, developing trust and then having the awful situation that we had with Jerry Sandusky.”

Jerry Sandusky is a football coach and pedophile.
He was a married man but would rather have sex with little boys than his wife. The boy scouts don’t want to let married pedophiles into scouting. Those people are already there and are causing problems because they are hard to weed out. Many so called Christians and conservatives don’t know the difference between having sex with boys and married or adult couples having sex with each other. I think that they confuse the two to mislead other people so that they will equate gays with pedophiles. I think they do this on purpose to put down the so called gay lifestyle. These people are obsessed with gay and child sex. Again, I think this is because they were also misled by those that came before them spreading their message of hate.

I don’t have too much of a problem with people being stupid or ignorant. It is said that you can’t fix stupid and ignorance is rampant in our country.

What I have a problem with are people in a position of power like a preacher, TV host, politician or radio talk show host spreading their own stupidity, hate or ignorance onto others.

If you don’t know the difference between a man married to a woman that prefers sex with boys and a man that wants to marry another man, you should get educated, step down from your position or get off of the crystal methamphetamine.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Good News For Strawberry Rock

From the facebook page of Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace:

Green Diamond Resource Company held a community meeting tonight at the Bayside Grange to inform the public about a number of issues and to hear community concerns. The meeting was very well attended, with somewhere around 250 people crowding into the room.

Their forest practices were recently certified as "sustainable" by the Forest Stewardship Council, though this announcement was met with some skepticism from some in attendance. They discussed changes to their management prescriptions, including moving away from their "even aged management" towards "variable retention", which will retain an average of 27% of the trees in their harvest units (including riparian buffers), and a minimum of 10%. They will also retain any conifers greater than 30" DBH as "legacy trees".

They discussed the progress on the McKay tract community forest project. The 7,600-acre McKay tract comprises greater than 80% of the Ryan Creek watershed. This project would turn 1,200 acres into a County-owned community forest, similar to the Arcata Community Forest, with trails and public access. Around 700 acres would be placed in a conservation easement with management prescriptions similar to the community forest portion, for future transfer to the County. The remaining 5,500 acres would remain in Green Diamond's ownership and management, but with a conservation easement to extinguish all development rights.

The big news of the evening came when Green Diamond General Manager Neal Ewald announced the company is working with the Trust for Public Lands, the Coastal Conservancy and the Trinidad Land Trust to preserve 27 acres surrounding Strawberry Rock, with a public-access conservation easement along the trail up to the site. The announcement was met with applause.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Green Diamond / Strawberry Rock Meeting Today (Wednesday) At Bayside Grange

Photo taken by Eugene, "tree sitter" near Strawberry Rock
A meeting being presented by Green Diamond Resource Company will take place at the Bayside Grange at 6:30 pm on Jacoby Creek Rd. 

The public is invited to come and comment on their forest practices. They are currently interested in removing the trees in the photograph. 

For the complete story see my last post or go to the comments section of my last post and read the 4 part post from Eileen who gave the slide show presentation in Trinidad last Saturday. At issue are 3 THP's or Timber Harvest Permits that Green Diamond has been granted to clear cut the forests near Strawberry Rock above Trinidad Ca. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Trinidad Turns Out At Town Hall To Save Forests Around Strawberry Rock

About 50 or 60 people turned out for a meeting today about the forests around Strawberry Rock. The iconic rock sits above the coastal town of Trinidad California and is a short trip up a trail to world class coastal views and 100 year old trees. Green Diamond Resource Company owns the land that once belonged to those that lived in Tsurai Village, The Yurok Tribe. Rob from Environmental Information Protection Center or E.P.I.C. gave a presentation followed by Eileen who had these great photos to share with the crowd. Emily gave a presentation of a message from a tree sitter. The audio is a bit rough because there was no public address system present.
What was once a sacred site and lookout to the Pacific Ocean is now a tree farm with a few great stands left.  Green Diamond Resource Company has been cutting the property for decades and already has 3 large (roughly 20 acre) clear cuts that are trying to grow back around Strawberry Rock (shown in red with an x above). There are other stands of trees 40 to 85 years old and a watershed of second growth giants that are in the path of the 3 filed and already approved Tiimber Harvest Plans. In the oldest trees there is a healthy forest with a tall canopy and a diverse growth of trees and plants near Mill Creek.

Since Green Diamond has already been granted the permits to clear cut the 3 parcels outlined in yellow in the above picture and will have that option until around March of next year there is not a whole lot other than peer pressure that people can do to stop the inevitable pending doom for Mill Creek watershed. This will also drastically change the views for hikers to Strawberry Rock. There is currently at least one tree sitter in the area, his name is Eugene. He lives in a tree and calls radio stations like mine when he hears chain saws in the woods. He knows he is breaking the law by living in a tree on private property but he feels it is the best way to bring awareness to the situation and the best way to keep the saws off of at least one old tree.

Some of the people at the meeting suggested finding ways to find funding to buy the property from Green Diamond  but no one in the room seemed to know a buyer. There will be another meeting on Wednesday night at the Bay Side Grange at 6:30 pm.  This meeting will be presented by Green Diamond and may be an opportunity for people to interact with the company and just maybe, find a stop gap or longer solution that would please the lovers of the forests and the company that owns them. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Why Is The Second Amendment More Important Than The First?

The following is an op-ed submitted to local blog Lost Coast Outpost. It is reprinted here with the author's permission. 

Sheriff Downey, Where Was Your Concern for the Constitution on the Courthouse Steps?
Jeffrey Schwartz / Yesterday @ 8:56 a.m. /  Op-Ed

Image from Safetystate.com
These days, we read and hear on TV, radio and Internet blogs from all kinds of people who are passionately writing and speaking in defense of their constitutional rights. As a lawyer and director of a non-profit devoted to the redress of constitutional violations, I wish this new found interest wasn’t limited to just one section of the Constitution—the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

These same people had a different take on our constitutional rights not too long ago when hundreds of thousands of people gathered around the world and in Humboldt County as part of the Occupy Movement. Back then this was their take on constitutional rights: “I believe in free speech, but….” They ended that sentence with something like this: The right to free speech is not absolute and there should be restrictions when it infringes on the rights of others to walk by or forces them to look at signs they disagreed with or see and smell unwashed people in dirty clothes.

The same people talking now about an absolute Second Amendment right to bear arms complained then of how uncomfortable it was to walk past Occupy protesters to get into the Humboldt County Courthouse. Or how inconvenient it was to walk 100 yards to enter from the other side of the courthouse to avoid the protesters. The First Amendment right to speech and assembly, they said, must be weighed against the rights of others: mostly the right not to confront ickiness and inconvenience.

Now most of these same people who were ready to limit the First Amendment speech a year ago, are infused with invigorated energy at a level unseen in constitutional advocacy to ensure that not an inkling, not an iota of their Second Amendment right be curtailed at any cost.

Where is the, “I respect the right to bear arms, but…” preface to their continued fight to protect constitutional gun rights? Regulating the right to free speech if it means walking around the corner to enter the courthouse is okay to them, but regulating the use of semi-automatic mega rifles to keep them out of the hands of maniacs, no way.

A stark example of this is the recent opinion of Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey. In the Times-Standard recently he stated his support of gun rights. (“Downey says he has constitutional concerns about gun control.” T-S, 1/27/13.) This same Mike Downey last year led the “I-believe-in-free speech-but…” crowd as he cleared the courthouse steps and put up a fence and restricted signs. You won’t find any “buts” in his arguments and actions this time around. (Disclosure: I like Mike Downey. He is kind, caring and compassionate.)

Mike Downey and other Humboldt County law enforcement officers have no qualms fudging our rights to privacy when it comes to searching the home of a medical marijuana patient. But ask a gun show vendor to check to see if a crazy maniac should own a gun, no way. That is an infringement of our Second Amendment right, they say.

Sheriff Downey, where is the “I believe in the right to bear arms but…” scenario when it comes to the Second Amendment? What makes the Second Amendment so much more precious and unregulated than the right to free speech or privacy?

We all agree that you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. There are reasonable limits to our First Amendment rights. Why can’t we agree that you can’t own a semi-automatic assault rifle loaded with a 30-round magazine? Without any limits we make it easy for some crazy person every once in a while to fire one in a crowded movie theater. And that’s more than icky or inconvenient. That’s insane.

Jeffrey Schwartz is a criminal defense attorney and director of the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights in Arcata.

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur