Coast Seafoods v Humboldt Bay.


Sadly lost in the onslaught of local and national news (not to mention the onslaught of storms this winter) is an important meeting Harbor Commission tonight which seems to pit the interests of one incredibly powerful out-of-town employer against many scientists, fisherfolks and hunters.

Here is a quote from from Will Houston’s article in today’s Times Standard.

Several environmental advocates, bird hunters, fishermen and researchers state the project’s revised environmental impact report still does not address their concerns about the expansion’s impact on sensitive eelgrass beds in the bay and the wildlife that rely on them.

Coast Seafoods’ original proposal from 2015 was to expand 620 acres.  The current proposal is to expand to 256 acres which, for perspective, is the equivalent of 193 football fields within the bay.

From Mr Houston’s article…

Coast Seafoods — which is owned by the Portland-based Pacific Seafood — is currently the largest mariculture business operating in Humboldt Bay with a 300-acre operation in the northern portion of the bay. The proposed expansion would add 256 acres of intertidal oyster culturing to Coast Seafood’s operations in two phases.

Greg Dale is an operations manager for Coast Seafoods and is also a Harbor Commissioner.  Thankfully he will be recusing himself. As Mike Wilson’s seat has yet to be filled, all three commissioners which include Larry Doss, Patrick Higgins and Richard Marks will have to approve the expansion at tonight’s meeting.

From the article former CA Fish and Wildlife scientist Scott Frazer..

“They have failed to take into account the comments they have already been given and to accurately and appropriately address those comments. Many of us feel like we’re being basically ignored.”

From fox Greg Dale regarding our hen house…

“There has never been anybody doing more monitoring than what we’re doing now and what we’re proposing to do. Honestly, I think the folks that have advised us in this project and agencies that have worked on it have done quite a bit of work to reach some sort of solution to minimize any impacts, if there are impacts.”

For another perspective, here is a link to Dennis Halligan’s My Word from yesterday’s Times Standard.  He agrees with Mr. Dale that the net benefit of this expansion outweighs the costs.  I will say that this one excerpt makes me wonder if Mr. Halligan is being completely forthright.

For me, one of the ironies in this whole debate is that the Audubon Society has teamed up with the waterfowl hunters (I am a duck hunter) to stop this project. Both organizations are worried about the brant, which is a good thing. However, the waterfowlers are interested in maintaining or expanding eelgrass so they have more brant to shoot. Interesting dynamic/ strange bedfellows there.

Maybe there are some, maybe many, wildlife enthusiasts who would like to ban hunting, but it seems to me this group would be in the minority.  Our bay is an incredibly productive and complex ecosystem as is the human society that has developed along its shores.  This is about allowing a successful ecosystem to thrive alongside the demands of us humans.  That includes our human needs to feed ourselves (fisheries and oysters) and our need to recreate (hunt and photograph).

BTW, thank you to the reporting by the Times Standard and Will Houston. Also, if you, like me, don’t know a brant from Grant, here is an upset brant taking a “defensive posture”.  He (or she?) is looking at you Commissioners.  Let’s just step away and not piss her/him off any further.  We don’t want this to get ugly.


When “Illegals” are not Illegal.

“Illegals”.  It’s a shorthand noun to group undocumented immigrants into a one word slogan.  It’s a poor use of the English language and it’s confusing.

There is an ongoing defense of the use of this slur by right-wing talkers and legislators.  Any internet comment zone will defend it’s use, but the reason this term exists is it is a politically valuable epithet to those worried that they are losing their culture or power in our society.

Yesterday, President Elect Trump, who is not known for his attention to linguistic details used this term completely out of context.  To be used properly, to distinguish it from an outright slur, “illegals” should be short hand for “illegal immigrant” which should be refer to breaking the laws of the United States.  It has no meaning in Germany, especially when he is talking about legal Syrian refugees.

Here, via John Amato, is the quote President Elect Trump had with editors from the UK’s Times and Germany’s Bild.

“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from, and nobody even knows where they come from.”

Given this use in this sentence, how are we to understand this word if it has no connection to legal status?  The word he is looking for is of course “immigrants” but it comes out as “illegals”.

The battle for and against the use of the slur “illegals” is not new.

Here is an excerpt from a column from 2006 by a Denver Post staff columnist Cindy Rodriguez.

When figuring ways to shape public opinion, the first thing any savvy strategist does is craft phrases that will elicit a desired response….

That is exactly what is happening with the immigration debate.

To avoid dealing with complex problems in our nation – crumbling public schools, senior citizens who have lost their pensions, a shrinking middle class – some politicians are taking the easy way out by focusing on undocumented immigrants.

Those politicians are being goaded by nativists, racists and brainwashed people who are confused in our culture of fear.

Their term of choice: “illegals.”

That shorthand term for “illegal immigrants” – which they use as a noun, making linguists cringe – is being used repeatedly by reactionary commentators and politicians in every venue available.

…If Ms. Rodriguez only knew then where we were headed.

Here is a video about the I Word from 2010 sponsored by Race Forward.


The campaign that featured the video above was the center piece of the Bill O’Reilly clip below.  The segment was run in 2012 during the Obama/Romney general election for President and we can compare the right wing priorities then and now.  O’Reilly was saying this is a left wing crazy-talk talking point because we were all trying to avoid talking about the economy.  This is ironic because in 2016, with a slow and steady economy under President Obama, it was still the favorite talking point of the Republican selection for their nominee.

Those of us who were witnesses to the election  of 2o16 have to remind everyone what it was about.  We have to continually remind people that Donald Trump’s linguistic slip-up not only demonstrates complete ignorance to geo-political realities, it is a foundation of how the man thinks and why his supporters voted for him.

“Illegals” is a slur.  People like Bill O’Reilly defend a very limited rhetorical space where it can be used with some cruel and patronizing legitimacy, but when used outside of those limitations we as a society need to acknowledge it for what it is.

And if you think this is some left-wing keyboard-slammer who is misguided and confused, please allow Rush Limbaugh conservative Rick from Los Angeles remind all of us how Trump was elected as the Republican nominee.  It was all about the immigrants in their candidates mind, whether they are U.S. Citizen children of undocumented parents or not.   Rick understood this was just another con from his party’s eventual nominee.   Turns out Rush did too, but he didn’t care because he knew Trump voters didn’t care about the barely-concealed rhetoric of hate was disingenuous or the policies he was selling were lies.  They wanted to vote for someone who was saying what they wanted to hear.

(Note:  it’s difficult to listen to this clip because as on-target Rick was about everything else at the time, he had no idea who was about to win the election.)

From the L.A. conservative caller Rick..

With all due respect, Rush, on Chuck Todd’s show, he specifically said, when asked the question, “You mean you’re going to rip the families apart?”

He said, “No, I’m not going to rip the families apart, they all have to go, even the U.S. citizen children.

He then got into the middle of the debate, and the argument between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, when Ted wanted legalization and Marco wanted citizenship as part of a comprehensive plan. He said that they were both wrong, that they were both being absurd, that they all had to go “or we don’t have a nation of laws.” Come on! You were watching the debates as well as the rest of us were. You know exactly what he said and you know exactly the way he ridiculed everybody on that stage.

Immigration policy is critical for Tea Party and Trump Republicans to win elections, even when many business conservatives need the cheap labor that lax immigration policies and enforcement often allow to inflate profits.  The solutions really are simple and would include serious penalties for those employers hiring undocumented immigrants.

But think about how that goes over behind closed Republican doors with it’s outsized influence from the business community.  Instead of Republican-lead solutions on immigration policy that would include heavy penalties on employers of undocumented immigrants, what the rest have to be subjected media talkers and political demagogues bending the language to sow resentment and fear of an already vulnerable group.

Occasionally, when used out of context, we get a glimpse of the truth behind the slur.   Being an “illegal” in Trump’s mind has nothing to do with our nation’s laws.  It makes one wonder what, then, all the fuss is about.


An Holiday Wish Comes True Unexpectedly.

From a My Word in today’s Times Standard by Renee Saucedo.

In late November 2016, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, detained my mom at the San Francisco Airport and deported her that same night to Mexico. She is 81 and has dementia, complicated by diabetes, anxiety and depression. She needs around-the-clock care, and I am her main care provider. Deporting a little old lady who can’t think straight or care for herself is cruel and inhumane. And my family, as millions of other families do when they’re forcibly separated, have suffered greatly.

On Dec. 22, 2016, I received a call from Congresswoman Pelosi’s office saying that my mom’s Humanitarian Application for re-entry had been accepted. By Dec. 30, she was with us again at home in Eureka.

Congratulations and best wishes to you and your mother Ms Saucedo may there be no more further anxiety of separation in 2017 or … ever.

Keep doing what you do, all of us in Humboldt depend on your good works.  Thank you and happy 2017 to you and your mother!

District 02 ADEM Results: Huzzah!

Here are the results, thank you HCDCC Chair Bob Service!


It’s tough to make out, but it was an old school landslide for the progressive slate that you can find here.

Maybe it is a contrarian in me, but as much as I welcome this news and I congratulate good friends and good Democrats and wish them all the best for the next couple of years as our (2nd Assembly District Democrats) representatives, I can’t help but be a little nervous with the results.

As one candidate brought up, I think with credence, this wasn’t a very democratic process as she was left off of the progressive slate and did not even get a chance to petition for inclusion.  This criticism is not meant to reflect poorly on Bobby Shearer who lead the creation of this slate or anyone else on this slate, in my mind these are FDR Democrats without the inherent racism.  You know, Democrats in the vein of Senator Sanders.

Still, going forward, and believing in a sustainable future, we need to make sure this process becomes less susceptible to malfeasance such as a sort of blue-washing or Democrat-washing of candidates in the vein of a, say, Supervisor Virginia Bass lead slate.  Democrats, especially FDR and Bernie Sanders Democrats, have to remember the route forward for Democratic victories and, importantly, governance, with Democratic principles is by standing with principle, not moving further and further right with the Republicans.

Remember, we are one of 80 Assembly Districts, if a simple slate had this much effect here…

One more thing.  Phyl Specer was not a member of the slate and won by 8 votes over Jeffrey Reynolds.  He wrote this in his statement “It’s the basis of a simple message about what Democrats stand for: Continuing the American Revolution.”

I do not believe Democrats stand for continuing the American Revolution.  The first and second (attempted) revolts are over.  It’s time for Democrats to lead America to building a country run by the people sustainably and indefinitely into the future.  Revolutions are by their very nature not sustainable.  We in America have a pretty good thing going sans one Party that is intent on destroying what we have and returning us to the type of government that governed over a society before the industrial era.

But what about Bernie’s political revolution?  Lookit, I can buy that as rhetoric, but we should allow the Republicans be the party of destruction, secession and revolution.  Democrats should work toward a society that is sustainable and powered by people.  Democratic-lead governments evolve to the needs of a changing society, modern Republican-lead governments are here to revolt and destroy that which FDR and even Lincoln helped build.

It’s a distinction Democrats must learn from the environmental movement.  Our blue marble can not stand incessant cycles of revolutions.

Live Blogging the ADEM Elections.

The 1 minute introductions from about 20 to 30 candidates are over.  It went off in true Democratic style, friendship, good cheer, technical difficulties, a tiny bit of friction between candidates and a whole bunch of community spirit shared, via cellphone, between both voting polls, one in Ukiah and the other here at the Labor Temple in Eureka.

You still have time.  When I left to post this, the line to vote went out the door.  Apparently this large of a turn-out isn’t unusual.

Come out and join us, there is still time.  You can read about the candidates here and here.  Please join us!  Here is a local slate of candidates.  You’ll notice only 6 male candidates on this slate.  I think Jeffry Reynolds made a really strong pitch, especially mentioning FDR.

The Labor Temple is located on E at 8th St. in Eureka.




An Important Election Today. Get to Eureka’s Labor Temple!

Please join me and many other Democrats as we select 14 members, 7 men and 7 women, to represent Democrats from our 2nd Assembly District.

This election happens only once every two years, and those people you vote in will be shaping California’s Democratic Party going forward.

Here are more good people saying good things about how and why you should get out to Eureka’s Labor Temple today.  See this link for a great local slate of candidates.

Here is where you can go to find out more about the female candidates.

And the male candidates

Not convinced?  Here is Allen McClosky giving a great 2 minute pitch on why you should show up in this storm.  (Facebook is not non-proprietary inter-tube friendly.  Sorry!)

Here is the NCPA:

Make the Democratic Party Work for WE THE PEOPLE!
The Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) for AD2 will be held:
Saturday, January 7, 10:00am-12:30pm
Labor Temple
, 840 E Street, Eureka (at 9th St.)

Democrats from the 2nd Assembly District will elect 7 women and 7 men to represent AD-02 at CA Democratic Party conventions as DSCC delegates. You will also vote for 1 candidate for the Executive Board. Delegates we elect will attend two state conventions, in 2017 and 2018. This year the delegates will vote for the new State Democratic Party Chair.  Next year they vote on the Party platform.

Lots more info on Facebook at

Candidates speak beginning at 10:00am.  You may sign in, vote and leave any time between 10am and 12:30.  Not a Democrat?  You can re-register on the spot.  Please carpool if you can.
NCPA is pleased to have several of our members running – we are pleased to endorse and support Robert Shearer, Allen McCloskey, Lesley Ester, Helene Rouvier, and Peter Martin. These folks have joined a slate of progressive Dems, and while NCPA has not endorsed the entire slate, we encourage you to check out their great informational website at

North Coast People’s Alliance

Here is a statement from candidate Peter Martin

Dear Fellow Progressive,

There is an election for delegates to the Democratic State Central Committee on January 7, 2017.  I am part of a slate of former Bernie Sanders supporters who are running for election to the committee.  If you have a few minutes to come and vote on January 7, 2017, we would appreciate your support.

Where: Labor Temple, 840 E Street, Eureka

When: Saturday, January 7th anytime between 10:30 a.m and 12:30 p.m.

(just walk in and vote, it will only take 5-10 minutes )

Our slate of candidates embody the set of values our district came to rally behind for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid: putting principles before politics to represent the needs of everyday people and the environment. We are carrying the torch of the Political Revolution. Real change has to be bottom-up and people-powered. We hope you’ll join us at the polls January 7 and stick with us through 2017 and beyond as we bring our party back to its progressive voter base.

More information on our slate is on the web at:




Political Resolution: Minimize Manipulation

It’s a pretty simple concept and it’s important.

On some level I think speaking directly to voter’s concerns were the strength of both the Sanders and Trump campaigns.

Trump spoke to like-minded Americans directly through frequent informal interviews on cable and directly through his prolific use of Twitter.  Although I believe his candidacy is all about manipulation, I think many of those who voted for him believe they are in on it and stand to benefit from a little lie here or there.

Here are a couple of hints that Trump voters don’t mind being lied too because some or most of the time they know what is going on, and presumably, those times they don’t, they trust the man has their back.

Exhibit A:  A link by fellow local blogger Fred Mangels to an article by Justin Raimoneo about those of us suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).  (Yes, this rhetoric is starting already.)

“Especially when discussing Trump’s views on immigration, hysterical TDS victims assume there’s no difference between the president-elect’s rhetoric (get out!) and his proposed policy (deporting known criminals who are in this country illegally).”

Exhibit B:   This amazing call by a conservative caller “Rick” to Rush Limbaugh during the heat of the election when Trump’s chances seemed impossible, even to most conservatives.

Rick: With all due respect, Rush, on Chuck Todd’s show, he specifically said, when asked the question, “You mean you’re going to rip the families apart?”

He said, “No, I’m not going to rip the families apart, they all have to go, even the U.S. citizen children.”

He then got into the middle of the debate, and the argument between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, when Ted wanted legalization and Marco wanted citizenship as part of a comprehensive plan. He said that they were both wrong, that they were both being absurd, that they all had to go “or we don’t have a nation of laws.” Come on! You were watching the debates as well as the rest of us were. You know exactly what he said and you know exactly the way he ridiculed everybody on that stage.

Rush Limbaugh: Yeah, well I guess the difference is—well not the difference, I guess the thing is, this is gonna enrage you. You know, I could choose a path here to try to mollify you, but I never took him seriously on this!

Rick: 10 million people did.

Rush Limbaugh: Yeah, and they still don’t care. My point is they still don’t care. They’re gonna stick with him no matter what.

Rick: But this is why Trump is going to get annihilated. Because nobody called him out early on about his absurd policies. (me:  … oops…)

Rick, I wish you would have been right.  Turns out Republican voters value power over principle or truth and both Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump get this.

(A great article on this call from Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic can be found here.)

Of course voter manipulation isn’t only a conservative vice.  From Hillary’s complete avoidance of her connections to Wall Street to Bernie’s promises of free college education, all politicians are guilty on some level.

But we are entering unchartered territory in 2017 with an impending Trump Administration and we all have to do what we can to make sure truth and reality are integral to our public discussions of politics and policy.  Minimizing manipulation will lbe a continuing resolution of mine even if I hadn’t consciously made this a priority previously.

I contend that those politicians and/or organizations who work to maximize truth-telling and minimize manipulation will, eventually, be rewarded.  I think Bernie and his approach to politics was a sterling example of this from 2016.  Let’s hope for hundreds or thousands of more Bernies in 2017 and beyond.

Sunday Morning Links



This county needs a health plan — stat! (Today’s Times Standard)

  • I don’t think higher wages from the county is the answer, or daily air service.  The problems are deeper and we require federal programs to assist rural areas like ours.  One idea would be better programs to pay for medical school for students willing to spend 5 to 10 years of their lives in our provincial rural backwater. (that is obviously not how I view the North Coast)  Another is federal money to help rural areas maintain the first rate medical care that urban areas can enjoy.  You know, something akin to a 3 letter program from FDR’s America.  Not the WPA or TVA or CCC, what about a RHA (Rural Health Administration).  Obviously these are not solutions that will be available to us in the next 4 years.

Will Donald Trump Cave on Social Security?  (Today’s NYT)

“What Mr. Trump actually will do is unknown, but his actions so far don’t inspire confidence. By law, the secretaries of labor, the Treasury and health and human services are trustees of Social Security. Mr. Trump’s nominees to head two of these departments, Labor and Treasury — Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive, and Steve Mnuchin, a Wall Street trader and hedge fund manager turned Hollywood producer — have no government experience and no known expertise on Social Security.

His nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, a Republican congressman from Georgia, has been a champion of cuts to all three of the nation’s large social programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

Arguing the Truth with Trump and Putin  (Today’s NYT)

Let us imagine the conversation we would be having if we were not preoccupied with Mr. Trump’s denial of the C.I.A.’s conclusions. We would now be discussing the appropriate response to the hacking. We would be talking about consequences for the American electoral process in general and for the results of this election in particular. We would be asking why it matters if Russia’s hacking efforts were intended to benefit Mr. Trump. …

Double standards in politics are not uncommon. They are not even necessarily wrong. But they are also not obvious, or obviously correct: They need to be understood and articulated. The conversation we should be having right now is a complicated one. We should be talking about how public opinion is formed in an interconnected world.

The Tent Cities of San Francisco  (Today’s NYT)

“Californians came together for public works in the mid-20th century — freeways, public housing, the finest public schools and universities in the nation. Caring for the least among us, however, has never been a hallmark of California liberalism, and our most notable innovations of the past 50 years have been more about environmental conservation, tolerance and technology — sustainable agriculture, gay marriage, Snapchat — than formation of mutual aid societies, except for communes and cults that end with industrial-scale marijuana cultivation or mass suicide. The technology industry takes this to a millennial extreme by celebrating the moral neutrality enshrined in Google’s corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil.””


Covered CA Extends Deadline for January Coverage Until Monday

coveredcalifornia_tmOpen enrollment for Covered California plans happen once a year.  This year this period began November 1st and goes through January 31st.

Generally, you have to apply by the 15th of the month for coverage that begins on the 1st of the next month.

However, for coverage that would begin on January 1st, Covered California has extended their deadline, again.  It was to be tonight but checking the website just now, it turns out the deadline is now Monday at 8 p.m.

For more, including hours (They are open today until 6pm PST and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST) and phone number (800) 300-1506, visit the link below.

Having said all that, keep this in mind.  The Monday deadline is only if you are looking for coverage to begin in January.  You sill have until the end of January to sign up for coverage that will begin in February or March.

Here is a link to their site.  Be careful of imposters, because there are a great deal of them that come up if you search for Covered California.

Some Morning Internet Tubes

A “My Word” from 99 year old Mayer Sagel in the Times Standard today.

Ungoverning in North Carolina

North Carolina Republicans Sink to New Depths

The World, Not Just Assad, Is to Blame for Aleppo Tragedy