The Wow! Thread Part II: You Did It! BR-S5 Not “Brick and Mortar” Voted

40 people crowded the often sparsely populated Board of Supervisor’s chambers again last night for the Planning Commission.  Notably the Commissioners were able to make it too.

The presence of the public standing up for critical, essential, etc. river habitat worked.  The Commission could not “brick and mortar vote” (thanks Gordon Leppig) a previous straw vote that stuck or reduced (sorry, late for work) the set back for streams, rivers, etc.  (BR-S5)

The Open Spaces Element is still getting re-written by a narrow-agenda-focused majority on this Planning Commission, but this was one section that was critical to keep.  To amend as suggested would have been despite the strong protestations of an increasing number of wildlife biologists who know of what they speak.

It’s a start, and it proves so clearly that showing up can make a difference.  We can’t change the balance of power over night, but we can stand up for basic principles and make the argument and/or rational to change what shouldn’t be changed much more difficult.  Sometimes so difficult that a vote or two can be swayed.

I’m not sure where that leaves us on BR-S5, it will be a little bit of Robert’s Rules drama to find out where we go from here, but stay vigilant and thanks to all you who took the time to show up last night.  You made a real, measurable difference.

(The vote on BR-S5 was 3-3 and failed.  It was (Ulansey, Morris, and Bongio) for and (Levy, Edmonds, and Matsen) against.  McKenny abstained.  I fairly certain the difference was Commissioner Edmonds, but don’t have time to double check this now.)



Chris Kerrigan is in and has given himself the option of running against incumbent Supervisor Bass for Supervisor for the 4th District.

People may give Chris flack for being indecisive or non-committal in filing paperwork for both Supervisor and Mayor, but I think it’s brilliant. (but I would, wouldn’t I?)  I don’t think we could find a better candidate, but more importantly, a better Supervisor to represent the 4th District.  And I’m saying that with all due respect to Supervisor Bass who is by all accounts (including my own) is a wonderful and highly capable person.  And if Chris or the voters feel the Mayor position might be a better fit, that option is open to.  In short, the more Chris Kerrigan involved in local civics, the better.  No matter where.  (But HumCo 4th District Supervisor would be a great fit imho 🙂  )

Other news… full on alert for tonight’s PC meeting from Jen Kalt of Baykeeper with Alliance for Ethical Business and the new and quite awesome Tuluwat Examiner rebroadcasting the announcement.

Today is a pretty great day a wonderful night of rain, the sun is coming out as I write this and reports of Chris’ dual filing represent promise and opportunity for June, November and the next 4 years.  Hooray and/or huzzah!

Progressive Democrat Meeting Tomorrow Night

Time:  7pm Thursday night (Feb 27th and recurring every 4th Thursday)

Place:  Humboldt Democrat Central Committee Headquarters, 129 5th Street, Eureka

Time to get out there.  Come join the fun tomorrow at 7 pm if you are interested in “Mobilizing, Organizing and Electing” progressive candidates/voters.  If the main Central Committee is not necessarily as left-leaning as you like but you still want to get involved in a sustainably policy-driving political party.

We re-elected Linda Atkins as Chair last meeting and we will have an Eureka focus for the meeting(s).  However, Linda is open to county-wide interests before and after the meat of the meeting.  The way I would like to envision these meetings as one place progressives can begin to network their often overlapping interests.  It’s “go” time for GOTV (Get Out The Vote)


Late Notice: Tonight’s Planning Commission Meeting Cancelled

From Norma Lorenzo at the PaBD…


The special Planning Commission meeting schedule for tonight has been cancelled, due to a lack of quorum.  The next scheduled special meeting will be Thursday, February 27, 2014 and an agenda will be posted tomorrow.

Thank you.


Norma S Lorenzo

Business Manager

Planning and Building Department

3015 H Street, Eureka CA 95501


Thanks to Mary Ella Anderson who posted this in the comments and others who took the time to email me.  See you Thursday.

The Fun Thread: Madeon for Monday

Starring Nathan Barnatt and Jenny Fine with the moves and Madeon cutting and reassembling some peppy tunes.

I just realized today that the music connoisseur at the beginning is a grown Martin Starr from the amazing series “Freaks and Geeks”.  If you’ve never seen that series, it’s one of the few still available for free on You Tube.  It was a great show and like Fawlty Towers had such a short run that each episode is an instant classic.

Here is Madeon creating? the tune – Pop Culture.   Unfortunately it’s not available on iTunes for obvious copyright infringement reasons.  ’tis a shame.

Happy work week HumCo.  Just 14 more weeks ’til Memorial Day!


From Madeon’s You Tube Description, here are the 39 songs that were sampled for this tune…

“Uploaded on Jul 11, 2011

This is a little idea i’ve been playing around with to implement in my set, hope you like it.


Alphabeat – Boyfriend
Alphabeat – Fascination
Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars
Black Eyed Peas – Gotta Feeling
Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
Capsule – Can I Have A Word
Chromeo – Momma’s Boy
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Daft Punk – Aerodynamic
Daft Punk – Around The World
Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
Deadmau5 – Right This Second
Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
ELO – Mr. Blue Sky
Girls Aloud – Biology
Gorillaz – Dare
Gossip – Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix)
Gwen Stefani – What You Waitin For (Jacques Lu Cont Mix)
Housse de Racket – Oh Yeah
Justice – DVNO
Justice – Phantom Part II
Katy Perry – One Of The Boys
Ke$ha – Take It Off
Kylie Minogue – Wow
Lady Gaga – Alejandro
Linkin Park – Crawling
Madonna – Hung Up
Martin Solveig ft. Dragonette – Boys and Girls
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
Nero – Me and You
One Republic – All The Right Moves (Danger Remix)
One-T – Magic Key
Ratatat – Shempi
Solange – I Decided (Freemasons Remix)
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
The Killers – Losing Touch
The Who – Baba O’Riley (SebastiAn Remix)
Yelle – Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)

Made with FL Studio & Ableton Live, played on a Novation Launchpad & Novation Zero SL MKII.”


I think we did expect an uptick in the public participation, but last night’s Planning Commission (PC) meeting was extraordinary.  There have been only 3 of the Board of Supervisor (BOS) or PC meetings addressing the GPU that have garnered so much attention – three of the Guiding Principle meetings including the June 3rd, 2013 when I personally became involved in this process (10 years or more after many others began theirs) and I think the September 23rd, 2013 meeting.

So what happened?  Lee Ulansey will say it was the hype garnered online because of Supervisor Mark Lovelace’s and Planning Commissioner Noah Levy’s online comments.  I cherish Supervisor Lovelace’s passion if I disagree with the use of any violent imagery (I have not read the article or posts or the interview).  Commissioner Levy was incredibly articulate as always in defending himself against Commissioner Ulansey’s comments and took the opportunity to read his online comments urging people who care about “open space” to come out.

I counted 44 people in the audience around the time of it’s apex about a half hour into the meeting.   I know 40 may not sound like a great deal, but it fills about 1/3 of the room and compared to most nights or BOS discussions with a few esteemed “environmental” stalwarts and the 5 to 10 professionally interested others, 44 is huge!

Most of the public speakers, I’ll guestimate about 90% spoke specifically about trials (late edit – trails), or generally about the process with special mention of trails.  I really am so thankful to all that showed up.  We have so many caring and well spoken citizens in our County.  Thank you.

In my opinion, the speaker of the night was Robert Morris Ayers.

Here is the link to last night’s online video.  I tried but failed to manage to grab and post links as a friend taught be to try.  Thanks for the effort Lydia!

Robert is at 1 hr 37 min.  His comments are particularly significant because he basically said he never has spoken out at a meeting before but what brought him out was the striking out of the final sentence in CO-G5.  And I think he nailed the question of why people were there last night.

Commissioner Levy’s at 2 hr 13 min.

Commissioner Susan Matsen at 2:13 hr…

“I will continue to encourage the public to be here.  Because you need to be here.”


CO-G4. Parks and Recreation.

Consider well maintained and accessible parks and trails offering a range of popular recreation opportunities. and a county wide trail system that meets future recreational and non-motorized transportation demands.

passes 4-2. (Levy, Matsen voting no, Edmonds not present) 2/18/14

Bold language = added, striked language = removed.

The HumCo Democrat Narrative – Chapter I: “The Clique”

The previous attempt at an information inoculation did not prevent the fever unfortunately, so let’s discuss what is going on.

I’m not an expert on the bylaws.  I did not have a vote on any of this as an Associate Member so this is not necessarily negligent.  The technical argument here is about the bylaws – whether or not Associate Members are held to the same rules as Members.  If in a court that’s what we would be discussing, however, this is of course only the court of public opinion, which is arguably more important on something like this.  Why?  Because these narratives affect the public’s impression of people who take the time to become involved in civics.

What’s going on.  A tiny minority to include Richard Marks and … that’s about it that I’ve seen who have put their name behind this controversy are carefully building a narrative about what the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) has done in removing Melinda Ciarabellini.  What is true and the heart of this narrative is Melinda Ciarabellini, a lifelong Democrat was removed from her position as Associate Member.

That in itself is hard.  Especially for Democrats as we do strive to be inclusive.  How can a party vote in good conscience to remove a someone, especially an upstanding citizen and genuinely good person like Melinda?   The following are NOT the reasons Councilwoman Ciarabellini was removed; her activity or voting pattern on the Eureka Council, any political disagreements some of the Members had with her, etc..  Melinda was voted to be removed by a majority of the voting Members present because Melinda endorsed a candidate running against a HCDCC-endorsed candidate.

Obviously in our community – in Humboldt and in California especially, we don’t appreciate stories of good people being excluded from this or that club.  It seems unfair, inappropriate, judgemental, authoritarian.  That’s the context for the narrative.  The actors of course have been well established.  You have the low key, soft spoken, good union member (and person) and often “progressive” Richard Marks as the protagonist protecting his friends and political allies.  You have his friends and allies who have been slighted as the victims of the (OK, I’m going to use their language for a bit, bear with me) bullies who have been gagged and then purged by the authoritarian, extreme clique of radicals at the heart of the HCDCC.

That in a nutshell is the narrative.  Is it what happened?  No.  Is there truth in it?  Yes.  How much is subjective and is the reason the narrative has held  up for so many years.

In the end, the HCDCC “clique” narrative is no different that the distracting dramatic  soap-opera quality stories that we are all familiar with at the national level that ultimately leave us with a highly ineffectual federal government.

I think removing Melinda was the right decision.  We do need to be able to elect Democrats that act like Democrats.  We can’t do that except by a vote of the majority.  The lesson of all this?  Get involved.  Help us to define what is a Democrat, and, I have to say, what is a Republican.

I’d also make a plea to the Republicans to pick up the slack.  It’s a huge problem to have only one effective party.  You are going to have to work on your messaging and policy.  My suggestion?  As Julie Timmons suggested, look to Eisenhower for answers.  Eisenhower was not about destroying the middle class or national reaction to the depression, FDR , and WW II helped us create.

“But Jon?  Partisanship is not a thing at the local level – quit it!”

We can’t ignore it either.  In fact, to do so would be unproductive.  Partisanship for partisanship sake is undesirable, but partisanship to help “motivate, organize, and elect” for policy is critically important.  Environmental, working family, and tribal/ethnic /religious/ racial minority-rights organizations are not going to be able to effect change on their own.  Not when reservoirs of money exist to advocate for other interests.  There is an inherent need for an organization dedicated to educating the electorate on their vision of civics and then getting out the vote – i.e. the political “machinery”.  Humboldt Baykeeper, the Eureka’s Teacher’s Association, etc., cannot do it on their own.

What the narrative has allowed is a HCDCC frozen in time and thus ineffectual at having any real influence on policy.  Unfortunately a lack of public policy is what many conservatives desire as it basically allows the Chamber of Commerce to have primacy.

And right now, narratives such as this one promoted by Richard Marks and a few other anons are critical to the Democrat’s recent ineffectiveness in influencing local public policy despite incredibly large electorate mandates for liberal/democratic value/policies at the national level.

Information Inoculation: HCDCC Edition

Remember, John Fullerton is a registered Republican, and Lisa Ollivier was an HCDCC endorsed candidate.

Melinda could have voted for whoever she chooses and remained an Associate Member.  She simply cannot publicly endorse a candidate once the HCDCC endorses one.  There are grey areas in the HCDCC bylaws where good people will disagree and Richard brought those up in his post.  These inconsistencies are being worked on so hopefully, going forward, this particular familiar family drama will no longer happen.

In the mean time I hope we can maintain the relatively nuanced discussion in public that we’ve had during the meetings.  We’ll see.

Also, John (Chiv), we have three registered Democrats in the DA’s race already.  We are still a political organization and do have to usually support Democrats.  Sometimes we chose not to endorse registered Democrats, if, in a nutshell, they don’t act like Democrats.

Who’s the judge of that you might ask?  The voter-elected Members of the HCDCC.  Believe it or not they are on registered Democrats ballots once every 4 years.

Another reason “Why You Need to Vote!”

From the Times Standard November 3rd, 2013
From the Times Standard page A3 November 3rd, 2013

How Much Does Plutocracy Cost? HumCo Edition

You are welcome Humboldt.  Here are Supervisor Bass’ and Supervisor Sundberg’s end of year 460.

What the heck is a 460?

A 460 is a form California’s FPPC requires campaigns, political organizations, etc to file periodically.  When candidates are required to file can be found here.  Most likely the only time Ryan and Virginia will have to report before the June election will be Mar 17th and May 17nd.  Any spending after May 17th will not have to be declared until after the election.  (I think this is a huge loophole in the regs)

A candidate has to file a 460 if they accumulate more than $1,000.  Any single contributor that has donated a total of $100 during a calendar year will have to be itemized on these forms.  In addition, any candidate that receives $1,000 or more from a single contributor will have to file a from 497 within 24 hrs.  It’s really amazingly simple if you take some time to wrap your head around it.

Also, remember, these are State regs and are much more inclusive and telling than federal regulations with their gaping loopholes thanks to the 5 Men In Black (robes).  These forms will tell a pretty good and true narrative of who is supporting who and how a campaign decides to spend its money.  It’s not the whole story as there are still PAC’s out there (and Republicans and conservatives will warn you about the unions), but I wonder if even these unless extremely slippery like Sunshine for Humboldt will have to file 460’s.  Honestly, I’ll be learning with you on this over time.

So, without further delay… here are the 460’s …yeeey!

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

Supervisor Virginia Bass.

Here are some highlights…

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg:

Ending Balance 2013 … Started 2013 with $22K, made over $32K in contributions (see below), spent about $10K and is left with $ 41,900 as of Jan 1, 2014.

$1,500 Contributors:

D&R Miller Family LLC, Eureka Readymix, Harper Motors, Humboldt Builders Exchange !, Hooven and Co.  Inc., Humboldt Sanitation ($1,700), Jim Furtado (full disclosure, Liberal Mom loves her JLF home.  Ugh!) (with in-kind donation, over $3,000), Kramer Investment Corporation, Lee and Cathy Ulansey!,   Robert and Debra McBeth, Russ Cattle Co., S and W Properties LLC, Shaw and Petersen Insurance Inc.,

$1,000 Contributors:

Moser Properties,Tom’s Trash,  Trinity County Consulting Engineers ,

“Ugh” Contributors:

Don Tuttle (Democrat of the Year, 2013) – $200, Dennis Mayo ($100), Supervisor Fennell (duh), Fred Sundquist (City Ambulance Owner and HumCPR Board Member) – ($500), former HCDCC Member Mike Pigg, Pierson Company ($500), Frequent BOS Chambers guests: Monte and Debbie Provolt ($100),  Ben Shepherd (In Kind – $300), and Bill Bertain ($200).

Supervisor Virginia Bass:

Virginia filed a 460 beginning 7/1.  This means she received at least $1,000 in contributions sometime earlier in the year which you can find on previous 460’s on file at Humboldt County Elections.  (If you go say “hi” to the wonderful staff there for me.)

In  this period Supervisor Bass came into the period with $22K, received $39K in contributions, spent $1K, so is left with $59,000 to pummel any and all upstarts.

$1,500 Contributors: (contributors in green also contributed to Sundberg’s campaign)

D&R Miller Family ($1,750), Michael Dominick (Coastal Business systems), Eel River Transportation and Salvage Yard (“Thanks, V for any role you might have played in helping us to acquire the publically funded and quite awesome Arcata Recycling Center, you and your friends on the City Council are the best, really!  We all know a private organization will work much better than the non-profit ACRC.  Damn hippies anyway with their separation of recycling streams, etc.”), Eureka ReadyMix, Jim Furtado, Harper Motors, Humboldt Builder’s Exchange PAC, Hooven & Co. Inc., Humbodlt Deputy Sheriffs Organization ($2,500!!) Woah, where are our public employees getting that kind of money?  Holy Cow!, Humboldt Recycling, Kramer Investments Corporation, Debra McBeth, Russ Cattle Company, S&W Properties, Shaw & Peterson Ins. Inc.Fred and Linda SundquistKathy Ulansey (“Thanks V. for my husband’s awesome gig – he loves it and is doing a great job!”)

$1,000 Contributors:

Jonathan Flyer Lilly J Ranch, Patrick Murphy,

$500, and “Ugh” Contributors:

Paul Barielles? ($100)?  NOOOO! Not Sarah’s Father maybe?  Say it ain’t so., Melinda Ciarabellini of course ($500), Linda Disiere ($200) (“Thank you for the Planning Commission gig!  It’s awesome.”), Supervisor Fennell ($100 again, duh!), Christine House !? ($250 – a “Thom Hartman and Rachel Maddow Democrat”  Chriiiistiiiine !!!! (camera pans up in a spiral motion as I shout her name to the sky) (Star Trek Wrath of Khan reference for the non-nerds), Humboldt Redwood Company LLC ($500), Chris Lehman?! ($150) (see Christine House reaction above), James Morrison ($500), Craig Perrone ($500), Pierson Company ($500), Rendezvous Music and Vending ($500), Richard Twiddy ($500).


Do you see a trend here?  Can you start to see why regional planning is a non-starter with Supervisors Bass and Sundberg?  Their constituents are not the voters, they are private industry.  Appropriately Jim Furtado takes the prize for top donor on these 460’s.  He more than anyone thrives on continued sprawl, the exact opposite type of development we need as a county, state, nation and globe, if we want to take the next step in sustainability.  It’s going to be tough to make that argument when the public has that kind of money stacked up against them.

Remember, this is only the beginning we have 3 more 460’s to go for each campaign for the June election.  Plenty of time for you, young up-and-coming developer, to start taking your shot at the big time.  All it takes is a pen, a check and a well supplied bank account and you too can be a part of HumCo politics.

Similar 2010 coverage.

The Thin Green Line(s)

There were two metaphorical thin green lines last night at Humboldt County’s Planning Commission.  The first was represented by Gordon Leppig and Mike Van Hatten, two California Fish and Wildlife employees and the second was the increasingly decreasing border between wetlands and rivers and the land developers, property owners, foresters, realtors, weed growers, land speculators etc. crave.

What happened to the green line of people defending and protecting the environment?  That deserves more virtual ink than I have time for.

For the time being below is a highly controversial element from last night that was tabled as Commissioner (and thanks to Google I just found out, realtor, what a surprise) Linda Disiere was starting to pay attention to caution coming from both Planning Department staff and county council on the absurdity of cutting back firm setbacks as Commissioner Ulansey was quite insistent must be removed.  (note – I did the best I could to transcribe this from the “smart board”  I’m working on a time and fund budget of no time and $0 – any corrections would be appreciated) (like what the heck did I type with “chigiting”, ugh.)

This was tabled as Commissioner Linda wanted to hear from more on the ground people, by which she seemed to mean developers.  Given the rhetoric of interest in public comments, I don’t think Linda would mind if you weren’t a developer and still had a strong feeling on this.  Please, check out the archived video of this and previous PC meetings if you have the time.  Again, this is a planning disaster happening in real time*.  We could use some activism right about now.

* Specifically as Gordon Leppig noted last night, paraphrasing, … we are headed to having 1984 protections in 2035. (at approximately 18:30 if you are watching the video)

Planning Commision Version
BR-S10 – Development Standards for wetlands and other wet areas.  Development standards for wetlands and other wet areas: including natural ponds, springs, vernal pools, marshes, wet meadows (ehigiting standing water all year long or riparian vegetation) and wetlands as defined in the California Fish and Game Code Section 2785(g) shall be consistent with the standards for streamside management areas as applical including required buffer setbacks.  required buffer setbacks for these areas are as follows:
seasonal wetlands – 100 ft
perennial wetlands – 200ft
Buffer may be reduced based on site specific information and consultation with DFG.
Lee Ulansey motion  Linda second for discussion.
Tabled for next Tuesday.