What One Party Rule Looks Like

30 years from now, my niece Liberal Leila and other current 2 year-olds might wonder how, back int 2012-14, did a Democratic majority Board of Supervisors (BOS) do what they did to the General Plan Update over the past 2 years.  They also might note that both other members of the BOS were registered as Decline to State. “How did they vote so overwhelmingly conservatively” Leila and friends might ask.  I think the answer lies in part in the HCDCC endorsement meeting last night.

(BTW, if you are not clear on what this BOS has done, please find the April Fools edition of the Mad River Union.  It’s wonderful.)

So, we have in this country two very clear and very different governing philosophies.  One side would admit that government can be good and has a role to play in softening the excesses of capitalism and the free market.  The other side is very skeptical of government and believes if left alone, the market and individuals will make the best decisions on their own.

Unfortunately, we have decided as a community to toss away these two ready-made political parties in favor of only one.  This creates great problems for democracy as public debates of substance,  differences, and even acrimony on matters of policy are limited.  What we are left with is maneuvering, back-room dealing, leverage – oh, and a whole lot of glad-handing.

Last night, the one remaining effective party in HumCo put on an open house and weighed in on two incredibly important subjects that are going to be on the June 6th ballot – the Board of Supervisors and by extension the General Plan Update, and the District Attorney’s race.  Unfortunately, we swung and missed as predicted.  We could not endorse* which was the specific hope, if not strategy of the Bass campaign.  In Matthew Owen’s words, “now the voters get to decide”.

Is that really what just happened Matthew?  Or did you, Virginia and friends join the growing club of people working to short circuit a political system given the new realities of one party rule in Humboldt, AND, I might mention in California.

It’s a big problem for democracy and any hope we have as a community, as a state and nation, and ultimately as a globe if we cannot use our political system to address real problems honestly and openly.  I’m thinking specifically of climate change, but inequality, economic sustainability, etc.  also depend on an open and honest discussion and approach to problem solving.

Matthew, did you notice that during Virginia’s comments she did not mention the General Plan Update?  But the Building Department as a Service Department was the one thing she mentioned at her campaign kick-off.  What is it that can explain that paradox?  Is it possible that the HCDCC is not the best place to discuss a service oriented instead of planning oriented Planning Department?  And wouldn’t it be cool if there was a party where she could express her opinion?

Not only do I think it would be cool, I think it is critical.

Anyway, here is a link to the votes last night.  I added a little subjective categorizing of GPU voting blocks for your mulling pleasure.

* I mean besides in the 5th District!  Hooray for Sharon and for democracy up there.  Let’s start using some Democratic resources to get Sharon elected and to tell Congressman Huffman and the Driscoll bros WTH man?  Also, Mike McGuire and Jim Wood lets stand up for Sharon Latour strongly and loudly!


97 thoughts on “What One Party Rule Looks Like

  1. Old Sam says:

    Matt is truly a perfect example of how the right tries to pervert the election process on various fronts . He aspires to be our local version of Karl Rove. It’s way more important to Matt to win at any cost than it is to win on using a good moral and ethical campaign . This just amazes me the low life tactics that group lives and operates by. They make good examples for me to teach my grandchildren about what NOT to be.

  2. Hum Sue says:

    Thanks for providing the actual votes. I am really surprised that Bass and Owen stuck it to Sundberg with their votes for Sharon. I totally thought they were more closley aligned. It’s nice to see that with their help Sharon pulled off the win! I’ll still never trust Bass and in a way it’s reinforced by her vote against someone who has supported her so strongly. I’m happy to be on top but loyalty should mean something.

  3. IndieOb707@gmail.com says:

    Contrary to hearsay reports of supposedly nefarious and underhanded dealings, I didn’t see Matt twisting, or attempting to, any hands here; in fact it was all quite fair, civil, and above-board.

    What I did see were indecisive members of the HCDCC struck in a state of suspended animation and paralysis, scattered across the board and unable to get themselves on any kind of page. They, and their votes, were more victims of their own doing rather than anything Matt and Virginia perceivedly did. It was more akin to herding cats than any sort of conspiracy. The votes, made independently and of free will, are evidence to that.

    Whether the conspiracy theorists like it or not, Matt and Virginia were quite active afterwards in the meeting– after the endorsement stuff was over and done– taking part in the more day-to-day mundane business of the HCDCC that no one really relishes doing. They got involved and were in the real trenches of doing the hard work that the organization requires.

    It was quite refreshing to see all the candidates speak in the small, informal forum. Note to self: if you run for office, at least show up; Arnie didn’t due to health reasons, and having his statement read as tediously and monotonously as can be was a real downer to all.

    What was surprising was how many of the important HCDCC members DIDN’T show up for such an important issue, and then casted a ‘no endorsement’ vote through proxies. These included Linda Atkins, Shane Brinton, and others. It was shameful. Attendence was paltry at best; at least show up and support your party and specific candidates rather than taking the indecisive weenie way out with a ‘no endorsement’ position.

    All-in-all and as an aside, I think the HCDCC would benefit from having all– or at least more– of its members attend and cast definitive votes. I’d also suggest bringing in more young members: relatively few, if any, in attendance were under 45– and most were 10+ years older than that.

    Oh– and have some invigorating and active enthusiasm, vision and values, and some cohesive and progressive ideas to bring the party together representing our best interests in Humboldt. On that note, Chris Kerrigan truly excelled.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Virginia Bass was not only elected Supervisor by a large majority of voters in her district, she was also elected to the HCDCC, by a very comfortable margin — and that vote was by rank-and file Democrats. Same with Estelle Fennell, by the way.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure how influential the HCDCC endorsement really is these days. Presumably there is some influence, or at least candidates and their supporters believe there is some influence. But I suspect the individual endorsements of well-known HCDCC members probably influence voters quite a bit more than the HCDCC endorsement itself — which means the real prize in these HCDCC endorsement votes is the application of the HCDCC “gag rule.”

    Under this controversial rule, members of the HCDCC are not allowed to support anyone who is opposing a HCDCC-endorsed candidate (well except the three ex-officio members representing U.S. Rep Jared Huffman, State Sen. Noreen Evans and State Rep Wesley Chesbro, they are “the ungaggable”). In other words, if Bass had won the HCDCC endorsement, Kerrigan’s supporters on the HCDCC would have been muzzled, if Kerrigan had won the HCDCC endorsement, Bass’s supporters on the HCDCC would have been muzzled. Now of course those supporters could choose not to be muzzled, by resigning from their seat on the HCDCC — so the gag rule does give them a choice between being muzzled, or being purged.

    So basically Liberal Jon is disappointed, and his pal over at the “Tuluwat Examiner” is incensed, because they were not able to win enough votes to muzzle or purge HCDCC members who support Bass.

    Instead, both Bass supporters like Heidi Benzonelli, and Kerrigan supporters like Pam Service, will be free to publicly endorse their preferred candidate, the candidates will be free to publicize those endorsements, and voters who look to endorsements to help them decide who to vote for can look at all the names and decide for themselves. You know, actual “small d” democracy in action. Imagine that!

  6. Anonymous says:

    By the way, if the HCDCC gag rule says that members of the HCDCC are not allowed to support anyone who is opposing a HCDCC-endorsed candidate, and Virginia Bass is a member of the HCDCC (which she is, having been elected to that post by a large majority of rank-and-file Democratic voters in her district less than two years ago) then what would have happened if Kerrigan had received the endorsement — would Virginia Bass have been forced to resign from her elected seat on the HCDCC in order to be able to support her own campaign for Supervisor?

  7. Carol says:

    As long as Bass and Owens keep calling themselves democrats, I will not support the HCDCC nor will I go to any of the functions.

    1. Anonymous says:

      HCDCC has no control over whether Bass and Owens call themselves Democrats. But go ahead and boycott, the HCDCC is probably a lot better off without the participation and attendance of someone with such poor reasoning skills.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Pointing out someone’s poor reasoning skills makes me a “thug?” Okey-dokey then. Thanks for reinforcing my point about your poor reasoning skills.

    2. Carol, by not showing up, you in a way enable the political heavy handedness. It is definitely not for everyone, and I don’t fault you for taking your stance, but looking around the room for the leadership to lead the next wave of HumCo Dems, I don’t see many. We need people like you, desperately.

      Or else we will be stuck with the same old tired narrative created by Richard Marks for another 10 years. Big Tent Dem and muzzle and purge anon are right in that in the end, power comes from numbers. They have figured out that the local Dems will be whatever the numbers say they will be. If that means not endorsing the opponent of a Supervisor ushering 20 more years of 80’s style development, so be it. She is nice and showers gifts and money on us.

      Muzzle anons and Richard are wrong about one thing though, at it’s why this is only ultimately a diversion, not a direction for the Local Dems. Democracy, in that majority rules ALWAYS NO MATTER WHAT is not a Democratic value. One of many examples, so that does sound scary to reactionary anons, a majority vote by the electorate based on polish over substance is not a democratic goal or value. In other words winning is not an end, it is a means to an end.

      The end, for the record, is a sustainable, prosperous, equitable, and thoughtful future for this wonderful and diverse community of people.

      We really need people like you Carol to show up to, until you do, and bring friends, old-school Democrats not only will call themselves Democrats, which is not a problem in itself, but they will have leadership roles and they will be able to earn votes and influence with their volunteer time.

  8. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    Thanks for posting this. I explain Virginia’s vote against Sundberg as pique because Sundberg’s appointment to the Planning Commission is Susan Masten and she is not part of the CPR cabal. In fact, she’s opposed to everything they’re doing and is refusing to participate in the Housing Element discussions.

    It’s amazes me how this comes down to a struggle over what values the Democratic party represents. Is its Republican light or FDR style democracy? The struggle continues but is far from over and right now the faux Republicans appear to be holding their own against being forced back into their natural home – the Republican party. A similar struggle is going on there, with more and more members of that party finding themselves displaced by Tea Partiers, some of whom are well intentioned if misinformed. And while this is going on, the Supremes are taking steps to put the Corporate Personhoods in charge. The environment is losing its struggle for survival and so are the poor and formerly middle class, but some of them don’t know it yet. They’re too busy running to keep up.

    I changed my registration from Democrat to Green some years back, because I hoped they would be some kind of counter to the Republican light faction. But the Greens seems to be completely irrelevant in current politics.

    I’m not sure what to make of it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      The Green Party was just coming into it’s own when David Cobb and his self interest tried to take over and ended up destroying all the credibility that had been built up of several decades. Too bad.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I’m not all that familiar with some of the folks on the HCDCC. But looking at the list of those who voted to endorse Bass, I see the names of several people who I am quite familiar with, like Heidi Benzonelli, Richard Leamon, and Estelle Fennell. These are not people whose “natural home” would be the Republican Party. That’s absurd. Their natural home is the Democratic Party, and any party that would shun folks like these would be much impoverished by doing so.

    3. You are welcome, thanks for your continued vigilance on the Housing Element, etc! (And your big picture analysis nails it)

      I just think Green is a mistake. 2000 taught us that. Until/if we get a parliamentary system, we can’t throw away votes. Ultimately it is because of the power of the nine.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Whine all you want about the terminology, the point stands unrefuted — under current HCDCC rules, an endorsement forces HCDCC members (except the few, the privileged, the “ungaggable” ex-officio members) to choose between coerced silence (gag) or coerced resignation (purge). You are upset because you were not able to force your opponents to be silent or go away. Well ain’t that just a cryin’ shame.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is unbelievable that Chris would only received 10 endorsements and Bass received 9, considering that Bass appointed the owner of Eureka’s chronic blight to the Planning Commission, her autocratic rewrite of this county’s GP guiding principles, her PR work for one of the worst polluters on our bay, her free attendance at a George W. Bush rally on Rob Arkley Jr’s jet, her failure to report that trip on her campaign reports, her attendance and speeches at republican central committee meetings, and the ugly, crystal-clear reminders of several of Bass’ anti-democratic votes on the Eureka City Council eloquently pointed out in Chris Kerrigan’s appeal for endorsement.

    The reasons were clearly articulated by Bass when she slowly chewed her credentials as a good fundraiser for the HCDCC.

    It is notable how every organization in this county has had to downsize their offices…except the HCDCC…

    As for Bass’ election by a “majority of voters” …the majority of eligible voters have been non-voting for over a generation! This singular fact is the reason these right-wing insurgents cannot afford to have a single real democrat win ANY elected or appointed office, the risk of offering a modicum of encouragement, hope, and alternative-perspective to this county’s silent, uninformed majority is simply too great.

  10. Sleep deprived anon, I couldn’t agree more. To rent 129 5th street cost us $12,000 a year. Cross out that expense and we could be Democrats again. We would not need extravegant fundraisers (really fun-raisers for many) and Supervisor Bass’ endorsement pitch would have been left with enough time to mention her thoughts on focusing on customer service at the Planning Department.

    Spot on.

  11. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    Speaking of the Planning Commission and the Housing Element, the discussion was still going at 10:30 p.m. last night when we left. Just couldn’t stay awake any longer. Ulansey and Morris struggled mightily to keep their pet project of second units on TPZ and AE land, but were more or less forced into agreeing to pursue that goal after the HE gets certified to prevent the county falling into housing limbo land. Building second units on TPZ and AE is suggested as a solution to providing more low income housing. If you believe that, you might be interested in buying a bridge to Samoa. Supervisor Bohn was there for the meeting and his appointee Bongio, a strong proponent of private sector solutions to low income housing, didn’t say much.
    The commissioners had to finish last night because they won’t get any more money for these extra meetings. Assuming they did, next stop is the Board of Supervisors on the 21st.

    Supervisor Candidate Sharon LaTour was at the meeting, getting up to speed on planning.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I hope she gets up to speed on something. Watched the debate last night, I felt sorry for her. She seems really nice but the awkward silences were painful to sit through and many of the answers she gave were wrong, or she needed help from Sundberg – no kidding – to explain the issue to her.

      1. I don’t feel you are being sincere here. I don”t think you actually feel sorry for her, if you truly do, don’t. The awesomely awkward silences where her, and your pain is your own.

        It’s too bad Ryan didn’t think more before sending the Open Space Element back to the Planning Commision. Did you notice that he couldn’t answer why he sent the Element back to the PC? The CofC edited my question to remove the connection to the letters paid for by HBE and Mercer Fraser. The second letter played such a prominent role in bullying (it seemed) the BOS to send the GPU back to the PC. Those pregnant pauses may have helped Sharon to avoid what Ryan now agrees is a mistake. Supervisor Lovelace and even Fennell voted against it, what were Ryan and Virginia adding their vote to Rex’s and HBE?

        Did you here the absurdity of Ryan saying the GP were a public process? Yes he was right it took 1 month, actually much longer, closer to 5 when it was all said and done. But the public had no real input. My representative said from the dias she was considering leaving the term “land owner” in the principles out of spite. No, no real public input was allowed during the re-writing of the GP, a set of principles which gave Lee Ulansey and HBE the chance to say the GPU as a whole was inconsistent. They attempted, and only largely failed to leverage the GP changes to reopening the entire GPU.

        Any questions about where the balance of power laid on the principles rewrite, focus on #4. The BOS discussed and negotiated this language in front of 50 people in the audience. Weeks later, new language was introduced and voted on that was pre-written, removing the voted-on principle of discouraging resource conversion. The reason? We don’t know. Supervisor Bass tried and I think failed to make an argument it was changed base on The City of Arcata’s letter.

        Those silences represent a candidate for elected office try to honestly answer a question. Something that Supervisor Bass and Sundberg cannot do. The questions came from unfriendly territory – the Chamber of Commerce – the loan standing conservative and effective political organization in local politics.

        So good luck to you in overcoming your personal pain – I wonder how much of your sympathy for her is based on ideological sympathies. Of course we can’t know that for some reason.

        Did you support Ryan in 2010? From what I hear Patrick Cleary ran circles around him in the debates. He survived and thrived as Supervisor, no? Sharon will/would as well.

        Don’t worry about Sharon. She’ll be fine. And when/if she wins 6/3 HumCo will be better off than it was under Supervisor Sundberg and friends. Trust me on this, we want leaders to take time to do things right and make the right decisions. Sharon’s courage to be unorthodox in a debate setting tells me she is exactly the type of person we want to replace Ryan behind the dais.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Jon, the job is bigger than one vote you disagree with. You are so worried about development, go read the mad river Union article this week. Building is down, way down. And this is with the current plan that is less restrictive than any of the proposed iterations. How do you account for that?

          It was offensive , the way she referred to native Americans….she went looking for the indiginous peoples in hoopsa and didn’t see them? Did you notice any of the native Americans in the audience and the strange looks on their faces when she said that? Help me understand how she is going to improve relationships with the native american population by attempting to unseat the first native american Supervisor?

          I did feel sorry for her because she doesn’t understand the issues, even the one thing she is running on, the plan. What does the plan update have to do With the building department? Nothing, but she indicated some relationship to the update taking a long time and illegal buildings? On one hand she said she wants more restrictions, but on the other she criticized the process as cumbersome and one of the reasons people don’t get permits. Do you support her in her endeavor to make the permitting process easier?

          I don’t expect a response because you, like her, fall apart when it comes to specifics. There is no “there” there. I support Sundberg and I hesitate to point these errors out so she can correct them. But like I said, I feel sorry for her.

          1. “Building is down, way down.

            It’s about pattern of growth 17:09, not growth. We need to grow clustered and within reach of an effect public transportation. Not all, but and increasing percentage. The Chamber of Commerce and HumCPR can’t do this. But thank you for playing.

            The PC is doing everything it can to go in exactly the wrong direction, lowering density requirements to the glee of the cadre of realtors in the room.

            “Help me understand how she is going to improve relationships with the native american population by attempting to unseat the first native american Supervisor?” I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Please, please let’s not go there in this blog. I will not politicize Native American tribes for the sake of a Supervisorial race. I don’t know enough about this to comment intelligently on it. It seems from this perspective that Ryan has indeed worked well with our Native American neighbors and community members. Sincere kudos for that and I’m very sure Sharon would like to continue this.

            “What does the plan update have to do With the building department? Nothing.” Interesting.

            “Do you support her in her endeavor to make the permitting process easier?” It depends if the buildings are in the best interest of the community. Yes, we do need to enforce codes and standards. Sorry to be debbie downer, but we do need to be able to plan where we want growth to happen. We always have and we will continue.

            I’d have to see her plan, to say if I support it or not. But I tell you this, I’d trust her instincts, thoughtfulness, and ability to think outside the box created by special interests and anonymous posters over Ryan’s.

            ” fall apart when it comes to specifics” OK, what about the specifics of Guiding Principles, say 4, 6, and 7. Why change those? That’s kinda critical. Ryan is lying on this. He is saying the elements are all that matter. HBE, Mercer Fraser and Lee Ulansy disagree, and we came really, really close to changing the whole ball of wax again when Open Elements went back to the PC. Why did we have to move it back to the PC. Did you see those meetings when it happened. Did you see how frozen the BOS board was when confronted by the letter from Mercer Fraser’s Sacramento Lawyers? That’s why the Open Space Element went back to the PC. And if it wasn’t for an active public motivated by a potential loss of trails (and unfortunately unmoved by loss of habitat setback for wetlands and rivers) Lee probably would have been able to change much more.

            Want more specifics? I’m happy to oblige.

            1. Anonymous says:

              How about that loss of trails? Another bullshit bogeyman. That is a total lie. Read transportation element.

              1. I’m a trails guy. I don’t know if this is a bogeyman or not, because if it is in another part of the plan, that would be the excuse I would use. What the trails debate seemed to be about, and we won’t know because Lee won’t say and anon’s totally won’t say. What it seemed to be about was trails going over personal property. Also disabled people.

                “Another bullshit bogeyman.” Again, anon, that seems insincere from my experience watching and participating in the PC attempt at the Open Space Element. They were specifically going after the trails for some reason. Lee said it was because unlike others he has a deep abiding respect for the disabled.

                Having said that, I am still bitter that the trials brought the people out, not the fish. (or, the land use policy)

  12. Anonymous says:

    “Building is down, way down. And this is with the current plan that is less restrictive than any of the proposed iterations. How do you account for that?”

    Building is always down, way down, after a housing bubble bursts.

    The development industry is wisely preparing to begin the third housing bubble in a generation and it requires the control over local government and appointed offices to pull it off.

    1. Exactly. Want proof? Look around the south side of the courthouse. See which industry is populating those buildings. Realtors. They are doing very well thank you very much Ryan and Virginia. And good for them for being successful. This is not about wanting anyone to be unsuccessful, it’s about all of us being successful.

      1. Anonymous says:

        your premise is ridiculous. the county is issuing something like 40 permits a year. you want to look at the patterns. the pattern is: less new homes and apartment buildings constructed every year. yes, this could be some major conspiracy that our local builders are somehow in league with national companies and banks, buying up real estate on the cheap in preparation for the next great housing boom, but the facts do not support that. the truth is there is not much of an industry left in humboldt county for builders because there is not much buildable land out there.

        1. MOLA:42 says:

          Anonymous 15:43:


          There are all kinds of places to build. Here in Fortuna I’m spitting distance from several developments that are empty or only have one or two houses built on them. I’d be very surprised to learn it’s any different in Eureka.

          They aren’t building houses because there is no demand. Otherwise there would be no empty housing developments around that are already approved and set for building.

          One of these days the housing market here could actually turn around and those places will fill up with housing. But that is not what the development community is trying to sell. They want to build McMansions anywhere they want so people who have the money can pay lots of their money to them.

          That’s why the developers want to open the county up to unregulated building and why some of us think that may be a bad idea.

          1. Anonymous says:

            “That’s why the developers want to open the county up to unregulated building ”

            this is totally false. no legitimate builders want unregulated building, they can’t compete with people who don’t follow rules. ironically, what you have going on out in the hills is 100X worse than any permitted building sites.

            1. MOLA:42 says:

              You have a point.

              Let’s say “Poorly Regulated” then. Or “Rules that have little to no regard to community or ecological concerns.”

              I take it the rest of what I said stands muster?

              1. Anonymous says:

                Totally disagree. They want rule s based on science, not on the planners mood that day. You do understand every housing project (except low income i believe) has to go through a negative declaration or EIR, right? So do you think the builders really want a plan that does not meet the state standards so they can get sued by everybody? Get real. I know that doesn’t meet your expectations, but its true.

                Also Jon, one reason the open space went back was because the definitions weren’t legal, or do you remember that part?

                You are correct there is no demand, what is going to change that? Liberal Jon’s Santa Rosa densities? I believe there is little demand because there are little prospects for job growth, lots of rain, and a relative high mortality rate.

                To believe that developers are buying large tracts of land to sell to high end customers for mcmansions is pure fantasy. Nobody could afford the holding costs. Not even arkley. Do the math, you’re better off buying a CD @ 1%.

                1. MOLA:42 says:

                  So why should the developers care what’s in the GPU?

                  You say the developers only want what is covered by other laws and codes? Cool. So why would the developers want to make any effort (or spend the money) to rewrite a GPU that you seem to feel is a totally irrelevant document? Who’s skin is coming off of who’s nose?

                  Really, I’m trying my best to follow your arguments and they don’t seem to go anywhere.

                  By the way (I know you were addressing Jon) people have been buying hunks of land as speculation since before the Romans. Somehow they often make their money back. Occasionally (in the case of the Down Towner Motel) it doesn’t work out and yet there are still ways to make it profitable to have such costs on the books (probably for one arcane tax purpose or another).

                  Otherwise every unimproved property in the country would be owned by no one (it wouldn’t pay, right?). Arkley currently owns a sand dune or two (currently being used as homeless encampments although I’m sure that was not in the plan). Why would he do that?

                  Are the developers really telling us the GPU drama of the last 14 years means nothing to them? Or are they trying to deflect the argument from their true purposes?

                  1. Anonymous says:

                    A lot of it is the redundancy and duplication of regulation. It is very expensive to have several agencies commenting on the same things in your project, each with their own pet areas. It is awful when their recommendations are in conflict with each other. Many of the big GPU fights are about simply deleting redundant language. Trails is a good example, one part of the plan calls for a countywide trails plan and the other calls for a regional trails plan. Should that language not be at least consistent? What is the purpose of it being in there 2x?

                    When you do a project, you have to pay somebody to design it and review it against the general plan, and all State Federal regulations. When you have a document that makes references to policies that are in the plan a couple of times but are not exactly the same, you have to address it in both instances – at probably $75 to 100 an hour or else risking somebody challenging your project because you addressed the regional trails plan, but absolutely ignored the countywide trails plan that is also in the document. I know it sounds ridiculous, but i have been there in a similar issue. You can already see the tactic being used when people say, “they removed trails from the plan” when trails are clearly not “removed”.

                    This costs thousands of dollars for each instance, even if the claim is bogus and you just have to write a letter addressing it, like my case. I can’t imagine what it costs if it is qausi-legitimate because the county adopted a poorly-written and redundant section to appease the left. There are dozens of areas like this, possibly hundreds. If each area of duplication or redundancy adds the potential of a few thousand dollars, you can quickly see why people are fighting this so vigorously.

                    1. You know what would really help then. If we knew who you are and if we could discuss actual details. What I see happening on the BOS and PC has nothing to do about redundancy, that seems to be the talking point.

                      For example, the Guiding Principles were changed by Supervisors Bohn and Fennell. The blogoriffic talking points at the time (repeated by Supervisor Sundberg at the debate last Friday) was that the Guiding Principles are not as significant as the actual policies in the actual elements. ‘

                      Commissioner Ulansey did not agree when he finally his chance at the Open Space Element arguing that he favors a complete redo of the GPU because of the internal inconsistencies. HBE’s letter via their lawyers stated the same.

                      So pardon me if I don’t take you completely seriously on two counts. 1) You bring up good points. I don’t want redundancy either, nor do any of the 5 supervisors. We are not trying to be bureaucratic, we want to be effective in what we want to do – planning. – So state who you are and what the actual problems are so we can fix them case by case – or would that give us too close a look at what your other interests might be?

                      2) Methinks the talk of redundancy (generally rather than specifically which could be done if we have examples of the cost overruns and could weight the costs and benefits) may be a good argument to remove wording one at a time. I fail to see the problem with mentioning both a regional and countywide trail program. If that is your greatest concern, not with not “protecting natural resources for the long term (full stop)” or better yet “protecting ecosystem values for the long term (full stop)”. If you are focusing on getting rid of the horrible legal ramifications of having both a county wide vs regional trail system in two (count them TWO) parts of the GPU, but then allow the BOS to remove language that pledges the goal of protecting agriculture, timberland and natural resources for the long term? In a planning document?

                      Well then you are missing the forest for the trees.

                      Gotta run, peace out.

      2. anonymous says:

        I thought real estate agents and title companies were lose to the court house so they could record deeds quickly.

  13. MOLA:42 says:

    As for Sharon Latour appearing to be “unprepared.”

    Reminds me of another Supervisorial Race… the one where Virginia Bass in debates frequently defended her lack of knowledge of basic issues because they weren’t a part of City of Eureka business. She did promise that once in office she’d be sure to give those issues a look.

    Ms. Bass got a pass, Ms. Latour does not. I wonder why.

  14. officiallyneutral says:

    Thanks, Jon. But… Is Sundberg even a Democrat? Because if he’s not — if he’s Republic, Independent, Decline To State, Whatever — the DCC can’t endorse him no matter what its members may think individually. So maybe all those endorsements of Latour are just routine because she’s a Dem. Wait for the individual endorsements of Bass, etc. to come to light.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “this is totally false. no legitimate builders want unregulated building, they can’t compete with people who don’t follow rules.”


    Builders cut corners, curse government and fight regulations like most other U.S. businesses. Handed the funding by banks, they jumped right on board in saturating the nation in ticky-tacky big home, big profit subdivisions that few could afford and cannot afford today. Tens of millions of American families were tricked and trapped into predatory loans to purchase these monstrosities and the U.S. taxpayer bailed it out.

    It cost half a trillion in the 1980’s, trillions today, and they are busy preparing for the next because no regulations were enacted to stop it. No one has gone to jail.

    So, they learned their lesson and are demanding stricter regs and affordable downtown infill?


    They control all our elected and appointed offices with lap-dogs busy replacing GPU and Guiding Principle language without all those dozens of troublesome public workshops and study groups it took to form them!

    Just like Big Coal in Virginia, Big Speculators want to keep mining the public’s infrastructure and bailouts with far broader and more lucrative results than the sadly maligned working-poor/welfare family made destitute by the chronic, manipulated lack of affordable housing downtown.

    You see, there’s a broker out there that can get them into a nice big home in Cutten.

  16. Anonymous says:

    “I fail to see the problem with mentioning both a regional and countywide trail program”

    I guess you didn’t read. Are these two different things or the same thing?

    1. MOLA:42 says:

      You might have a bit more luck if instead of removing the offending “close but not close enough” wording you then make the effort to make the wording consistent.

      Ulansey got in trouble by removing trail references. That’s what got the peasants storming the castle. If the wording is a problem (I don’t know about that, I’m taking your word for it) then the better way to go would be to agree to which language should be used for consistency’s sake (do we use “regional” or “county” trail system?) rather than removing those references all together.

      I can’t help it if your folk’s ham fisted attempts to water down the document got more attention than you felt comfortable with.

      1. Anonymous says:

        There is a whole section in the transportation plan dealing with trails. What is the purpose of having it in there twice, with different wording? I believe this falls under the “internal inconsistencies” argument that jon wants me to get specific about. OK jon, why is it in there twice, with two different names? You don’t see it as a problem because you aren’t the one who is going to have to write a check for $3,000 for a consultant to analyze your project to make sure it is consistent with the countywide trails plan AND the regional trails plan, or get somebody at the county to say they are the same thing and one of the sections or the other is just superfluous language. Trails are not my big issue, this is just an easy one to talk about because everybody has been reading about it lately.

        oh and by the way, ” Guiding Principle language without all those dozens of troublesome public workshops and study groups it took to form them!” ha ha ha.

        the original guiding principles were formed without any public input, not after a bunch of the workshops. the whole plan was written, and then they started taking public input. they did not use advisory groups or public input to form the plan, they wrote it and then went out and said, “here’s the new plan”. of course they have taken public comment along the way, but please do not confuse this with a bottom-up approach driven by the people like they did in mckinleyville with their plan.

          1. MOLA:42 says:

            Liberal Jon:

            Sorry, I decided to get out when the conversation went circular. Anonymous is NOT listening and is just rehashing the same stuff without any regard to what is being said to him.

            There’s a similar (perhaps the same) person going on and on in the Tuluwat Examiner so there’s a minor blog fashion just now to wear down anyone who disagrees in hopes they will be in possession of the field of battle by default.

            As I’ve said before in an Article in the Tuluwat Examiner (every Wednesday, MOLA:42’s Guide Series… sorry, couldn’t help myself) being the last man standing does not make that person the winner.

            We won’t convince this person of anything; but he won’t convince anybody else either… so let him go.

  17. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    I believe you have been misinformed about the lack of public input early on in the process and the writing of the guiding principles. I remember that time, covered those meetings and wrote about it, and it most definitely was done with a lot of public input. Also, the reason that some items appear in more than one section is precisely because of the need for internal consistency. The overall document is like a pattern in which all the section support the whole.

    Public input is open to interpretation. My observation of the process from the get go is that it wasn’t that there wasn’t a lot of public in put. The issue for Hum CPR, the Builders and Realtors is that they like what the public was saying and they brought in outside fire to undermine the process and create an opening for their fondest dreams to be realized. Goodgle or Duck Duck Go Coalition for Property Rights sometime and you will find that it’s actually a national movement to undermine environmental protections.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace often refers to the “27 public hearings” prior to finalizing the previous Guiding Principles.

    A few straw votes and our new development industry lap-dogs got ‘er done in a fraction of the time.

  19. Anonymous says:

    When was that? There were 27 meetings about the guiding principles before the draft plans were written? What year was this?

  20. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    My memory for dates is not that great. The years tend to run together, but it was back in the early 2000s when the process of hearings and meetings began and everything that is being discussed now was discussed then, and frankly, in my point of view, by people with more intelligence, more openness to input and more experience than we see now on the planning commission. Most of the testimony I saw then favored strong environmental protections, focused growth in urban areas, protection of timber and farmland, and a generally more diversified economy. As for guiding principles, they came first because they were intended to guide the tenor of the plan. The big flap when HUM CPR came on the scene and joined forces with the realtors and the builders was that the public participation section of the framework wasn’t brought forward word for word into the GPU. Meeting after meeting, people decried that the public wasn’t being included, so there is more than a little irony in the fact that Supervisor Fennel rewrote that section over a weekend with no public meetings at all. This is why I say, it was never about input, but about getting their own way in spite of input. This is my observation.

    1. MOLA:42 says:

      Sounds pretty close to my own memory of what was happening…

      I wasn’t in the area at the time… but I followed what was happening in my home town as closely as I could with the Times Standard online… then you got all the news and the public commentary that went with it (LoCO now has all the commentary but not much of the news).

      I could even follow along with the “Eureka Reporter,” the voice for all of those poor unfortunates who were being “ignored” by the GPU process.

      The bottom line for me is one can not have everything one’s own way… especially with something as broad and all inclusive as a GPU. But I think the process came as close as possible to providing consensus… and would have perhaps achieved consensus (a document we all could life with even if parts of it made us unhappy) if the sore losers had stopped belly aching about their retched lots in life and resumed making their contributions.

      1. Anonymous says:

        You must be talking about the critical choices report. It is my recollection there was no discussion of guiding principles until the drafts were written and the “preferred alternative ” was crafted. Most of this plan is and was based on false information about the availability if land and infrastructure. Look up the info on shelter cove, where the county was using 4400 potential houses to meet their state numbers while none of those had any potential due to the infrastructure and physical constraints of the land.

        The reason they did that is because the 70% infill model does not work due to lack of available land, water & sewer in the developed areas but they had to show a certain # of sites available or lose their grant money for cdbgs and open themselves up to lawsuits for no housing element.

        This plan works really well to completely cut off new construction because it had dozens of references to development impact fees, which according to one planner I talked to would be $50,000 to $100,000 per house. The great thing about the impact fees was that they would be so high people wouldn’t do anything and if they did, the county just had to hold the money for 5 years and return it and not actually do anything to offset the supposed impacts. Of course this was sure to be challenged in court but at the time, the county had plenty of money for these type of lawsuits and had a “bring it on” attitude, knowing they most likely had the deepest pockets and ability to stall out litigation for years.

        Once it was proven the numbers of potential housing units were bogus, they had to go out and try to rezone properties in mckinleyville, the only area with decent capacity for water and sewer. This went against McKinleyville community plan and caused a huge problem, as it ignored the 10 years of input from McKinleyville citizens. Left and right rallied to save their plan and Sundberg delivered, brokering a consensus, for the most part, between the county, the community, and the services district.

        The bottom line is the conditions that existed in 2000 are not the same as they are now and the guiding principles weren’t based on reality, even back then.

  21. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    I’m reminded of an article the Onion ran shortly after the housing bubble collapsed. The headline was “Angry public demands a new bubble.” The “reality” at that point in history was that growth can go on forever, that it’s good planning to build houses that will increase in value so quickly that you will be able to sell at a profit within two or three years, maybe less in some markets. There were prior to 2008 many economists warning that the housing market was unsustainable but they did not have the ear of the mass media. And I have the impression that the realtors and builders, who were doing so well prior to the collapse, thought it was all happening because they were so good at deciding what to build and selling it. When that wasn’t happening anymore, they started looking around for someone to blame and they were the ones demanding a new bubble. They still are demanding a new bubble.

    In that period, homes were not perceived as a dwelling you bought to raise a family and build community, but an investment that you held for a certain time until you could make a profit and then move on. The exact opposite of building community and stability in a community.

    Let’s keep in mind that the last 30 years of building and development have taken place under a planning document developed in 1984. We are still operating under rules that were seen to be appropriate in 1984 and it is now 2014.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just because your sky didn’t fall hardly reflects reality.

    Record numbers of foreclosures are still taking place and the trillions in bailouts and low-interest loans are recent history, still having huge impacts, hell, it tanked the world economy! Banks in Greece held large quantities of U.S. “AAA” investments that nothing but millions of American families suckered into buying homes bigger than they could afford.

    In another great example of who’s still in charge of this county, witness Bass’ coy references to “bringing hundreds of new jobs to Humboldt Bay soon to be announced”.

    After a long, long legacy of toxic industries that cut and run, leaving us with a bay surrounded in brownfields, the biggest inhibitor to this county’s economic growth, THE LAST THING Bass wants to reveal is just how toxic this industry might be…keeping the focus on “jobs” is deceptive and disgusting.

    How many more cancers do we need, how much does that cost us??

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, but if you bought a home you couldn’t afford, that is your fault. If you bought a home as an investment rather a place to live and raise your children, that is your fault. It means you were either stupid, greedy, or both. How do you get “suckered” into buying a home?

    How do you know how toxic whatever she is talking about is before it is revealed? I’m sure baykeeper, et al will keep us informed, our are they “in on it” too?

    1. MOLA:42 says:

      I’m glad to see you preaching responsibility for one’s actions. It’s a good thing there were people like you on the job when the banks began failing due to their own greed in selling the mortgage bubble to the unsuspecting public in the first place. Otherwise there would have been bailouts and no one would go to prison… hey, wait a minute…

      The standard of this nation is: “When you are a Little Guy you are on your own. When you are one of the Big Guys, the sky’s the limit and you have no responsibility for your actions.”

      Your empathy for the hard plight of others is noted.

      As Ms. Bass has evidently said nothing substantial about her “jobs” project yet… we really don’t know how toxic it will be… on any level.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I didnt support the bailouts either.

    The plight? They wanted to buy a big house and flip it, or keep up with the Joneses? No, no empathy here. I feel different about people who lost their jobs and then their homes, but the people who went for a 0% interest for five years and flip it, not so much.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You would have to be willfully uninformed at this stage to miss the articles, books and news reports of lenders using complex “tricks and traps” to fool American families into falsely believing they could afford a home they were buying. This is from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s economic research that launched her political career. The same mechanisms are being utilized today by the major automakers that also flooded markets with more profitable big cars that few can afford, cars that are rapidly being repossessed.

    These kinds of practices, including usurious interest rates, were illegal for half a century in the U.S. for damn good reason.

    FYI Bass is talking about a wood pellet factory producing large quantities from our Tan Oaks to ship to China. The binding agents are, in fact, toxic.

    1. Anonymous says:

      You have to be willfully uninformed to sign a loan document and not understand the terms of the agreement.

      Water is toxic too. And gasoline, and bleach, and vinegar, oh my! Whatever will I do? I have these toxins in my garage and in my kitchen.

      Where can I get one of these repoed luxury cars? Sound like a good deal.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Only on the blogs can one find statements so ignorant and cruel that they defy imagination.

    Why do you think America’s small towns are saturated in used, late model and low mileage car dealerships and local Realtors are doubling as property managers?

    But why stop your idiocy there? When it’s your turn for surgery, be sure to read all the paperwork and review THAT industry’s unique legalese with an attorney so you understand that when they “sold” you the latest, costliest gizmo that failed, it will be YOUR FAULT for buying it!! Then, you will have no excuse for being shocked by the $250,000 liability limit placed on your damages for being tricked and trapped by the hospital and doctors.

    The eclipsing years of every historic empire are marked by identical increases in greed and the laws required to enforce and protect it, enabling the empire’s predatory machine to turn inward against its own citizens. It happens over and over again, an unsustainable economy based upon your neighbor’s economic misfortune is doomed to collapse.

    BTW, it’s not the toxins in your home that are killing you, its the dozens of industrial heavy metals, dioxins and PCB’s already accumulated inside you, toxins emitted in their tonnage, protected by law and the “free market” that hands you the bill for the clean-up and the surgery.

    “Water is toxic”, so let’s have toxic factories again on our bay?

    Are you 10 years old?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Please answer your rhetorical questions. I must be too stupid to get it. I was not aware small towns are “saturated” with dealerships. It seems to me there are admit the same # of dealers in humboldt there was 30 years ago. I am guessing local Realtors are doubling as property managers because you have to be a Realtor to manage property.

    What does “toxins emitted in their tonnage” mean?

    I am not 10, but the point was that you have already decided something may use toxins and therefore not good before anybody has seen an EIR.

    Water can be toxic, depending on how much you drink, so it is a decent analogy. Until we know the quantities and mitigation measures of a possible factory on the bay it is impossible to understand the potential negative effects. Unless you’re mind is already made up.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The point is that Bass knows our bay is already surrounded in toxic brownfields from unaccountable polluters with untold health impacts and unknown millions of taxpayer dollars in cleanup, YET, local media lets her get away with keeping the next industry secret and without any public assurance of safety or accountability!

    This is truly astonishing.

    Since you are not a child, your effort in diminishing this public reality with incomparable nonsense is idiotic. No one’s health is being threatened by too much water.

    If you bothered to read the Wall Street Journal you would know that all the major auto manufacturers are facing massive loan defaults for the exact same tricks and traps that tanked the housing market and the world economy with it. It is estimated in the trillions of dollars, along with usurious student loans, home loans, credit card, and health care debt…a repeat of history when greed becomes an issue of national security.

    We can disagree on the number of late-model autos available downtown, however, Realtors sell properties and property managers manage properties!

    This has changes since 48% of Humboldt County homes became rentals according to the Census and realty offices are jumping on the disgraceful gravy-train of 20%-25% home affordability rates according to the Humboldt Home Builder’s Association AND Healthy Humboldt, herding people into rentals. When I moved to this county there was ONE “property manager” located in Arcata!

    1. green anon – You have been on fire – thank you so much for being part of the conversation here and elsewhere. I think it’s so essential to lay down a little 411 once in a while.

      You noticed the water as toxic too. That apparently is a thing – I’ve read it before – maybe locally, maybe not. But I think that is kinda a symptom of a confused rhetoric/policy argument, if you start to argue that water is toxic, well then night might be day too.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The time for public assurance of safety is when the person applies for a project. You know, when there are facts on the table and plans to look at, not hyperbole.

    I agree, greedy people buying cars too expensive for their budget and houses too big trying to keep up their appearances is very bad for the economy.

    Property managers have to be licensed real estate agents, dummy.

    Wait, I thought you were against development? You want to increase the affordability index? Increase supply.

    LJ – there was no 411 later down here, just more bs. The water -toxicity thing has escaped you – the point was almost anything can be toxic if not treated properly or used in an irresponsible manner. Shooting down a potential employer because they “use toxic materials” as a course of their business means we can never have another business open, ever again.

    1. It doesn’t escape me at all. There exists an MSDS for water (material substance data sheet?). You are right. What is so great is you, again, lose the forest for the trees. Worrying about water as toxic is exactly the problem with our local brand of speculator/not really conservative/DTS/anon philosophy. It’s what brings us public participation that results in private participation. It’s what brings us land speculators as environmentalists and disability advocates. In the end it’s what allows a Democratic majority BOS (with two DTS) to pass the most conservative of GPU Guiding Principles possible. One that makes the Tea Party happy and one that cannot protect resources for the long term.

      In short, worrying about the toxicity of water is comparing the essential chemical of life to poison.

      Water is essential to life. I think we can agree with this. And yes, you can also drown in water. But …duh. That is the point. If your rhetoric is comparing water to poison, you might want to re-evaluate your logic.

  30. Anonymous says:

    “Property managers have to be licensed real estate agents, dummy”.

    For someone enjoying accusing others of “missing the point” you take the cake.

    Not one local property manager is listed under the “Realtor” section in the phone book because Realtors sell properties “dummy”. And, until fairly recently you rarely, if ever, entered a realty office in Humboldt County to find their staff shilling for landlords…until that market became flooded.

    You also need a good Tudor to rediscover fundamental principles of proportionality.

    Only a stomach-dragging mouth breather could possibly confuse personal responsibility in avoiding drinking too much water, or inhaling too much oxygen, with the irresponsible and unaccountable industries leaving legacies of brownfeilds along America’s waterways, in some cases, requiring the evacuation of entire communities.

    Your transparent arguments and comparisons are childish and idiotic attempts to pigeonhole tens of millions of American families as “greedy” when today’s contracts require “licensed professionals” to explain complex legalese, **AND THEN** have those same “licensed professionals” purposely manipulating, tricking and trapping families into loans with unexplained conditions that triggered prohibitive penalties, interest rates and balloon payments that generated foreclosures and more fees, but ultimately collapsed the world economy!

    Where have you been?

    The few class action lawsuits filed in states that still allow class action lawsuits have revealed the extent of fraud still being held-up in court by legions of corporate attorneys. Most families cheated out of their home cannot afford to sue B of A, nor wait 10 years for a paltry settlement.

    As for Humboldt Bay….Where’s the hyperbole?

    The time for public assurances that any new industry will be held accountable on Humboldt bay is EXACTLY when that candidate is promoting industrial development BECAUSE of Humboldt Bay’s well-known legacy of unaccountable corporations and local governments unwilling to hold them to account in the public interest.

    There are no rational limitations to withholding mere assurances for the public! However, Bass ‘n Bohn are fresh out of employment with one of our community’s worst polluters, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for a complete clean up.

    Thus, it is conceivable that Bass ‘n Bohn are avoiding assuring us that THIS TIME it will be different, due to their expectation of employment with the next unaccountable polluter on Humboldt Bay.

    Local media’s failure to demand these questions during a campaign mirrors this city’s history of also looking the other way, it also explains why the vast majority of voters avoid the polls.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I assume you have some data to back up your hyperbole? Every real estate agent I have known has also managed at least a couple of properties for years. Maybe you’ve been at the wrong Realtors? Every one of those property managers is a licensed Realtor, whether they advertise it or not.

      Good lecture on proportionality. Where did I make the case about drinking water and personal responsibility?

      Oh, I didn’t.

      What I said was if you borrow more than you can afford, it is your fault. That is what caused the economic meltdown. Greed, by the banks, the borrowers, everybody. You ever buy a house or a car? The purchase price is in there somewhere. If you sign a contract and don’t see the price, shame on you.

      Bass announces some potential new industry and you go off on a tangent about the past practices of a different industry. Do you think the rules are any different now?

      Oh and you want to talk about environmental damage and home/rent prices, look to the growers. Where’s the outrage in the left? Where s the anger about massive watershed damage, poisens, substandard wages, benefits, and working conditions for the trimmers? You’ve got a minimum wage initiative that will affect a few hundred people, but ignore the rape, imprisonment, and murders committed in the name of our largest industry.

      When I see the same level of scrutiny applied by the progressives, baykeeper, and the other environmental organizations to the pot industry as they apply to the rest of us, I will take you seriously.

      Yes, let’s get an assurance from bass about a new business on the bay while we give a pass to the people in the hills poisening the water in the rivers and killing the wildlife because they are friends, vote the right way, and donate to our favorite causes.


      1. Oh and you want to talk about environmental damage and home/rent prices, look to the growers. Where’s the outrage in the left? Where s the anger about massive watershed damage, poisens, substandard wages, benefits, and working conditions for the trimmers? You’ve got a minimum wage initiative that will affect a few hundred people, but ignore the rape, imprisonment, and murders committed in the name of our largest industry.

        I am outraged by the environmental myopy illustrated by the growers – legal and illegal. Join with me to fight them. Funny how Ryan and Bohn and even Bass are not fighting this. I think, unfortunately both Sharon and Chris would disagree with me on this. But one takes what one can get.

        I honestly don’t care one way or another morally. I appreciate it makes people money – fine. If it’s legal, regulated and tax appropriately. Tax enough that we can plan well and enforce those plans – just like development. Smart growth would fit for a slogan for development and the development of a weed farm industry. Have the public sector be smart about it, don’t leave it in the hands of private industry to figure out what we want to do for the long term. That’s the BOS’s job, not the Chamber of Commerce’s or KMUD’s.


  31. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    Reading through these comments, it’s instructive as to how a meme of one-party rule comes down to a shouting match between two anonymous posters. It reinforces the idea that as we focus on electronic devices and rely on media for information, our attention span gets shorter and shorter.

    1. Thanks Mary. I’m struggling right now to find time to do what I can and should. I wish, for example, I still could make time for the Housing Element. Ugh! And I care about these issues too – it is just that time is so limited.

      Thank you for being such a devoted advocate! As always.

  32. Anonymous says:

    “Where did I make the case about drinking water and personal responsibility?”

    HERE: “Water is toxic too”
    (You used your drinking water analogy to diminish the toxicity of the brownfields on our bay.)

    AND HERE: “If you sign a contract and don’t see the price, shame on you.”
    (They NEVER borrowed more than they could afford! Tens of millions of Americans were purposely and illegally tricked and trapped into a host of mechanisms triggering unexplained and complex fees, interest rate calculations, and balloon payments by the “licensed professionals” that are legally responsible for calculating and explaining complex contract law.)

    “Bass announces some potential new industry and you go off on a tangent about the past practices of a different industry.”

    The past practice of virtually every industry that left our entire bay surrounded in brownfields is hardly a a “tangent”! Every new idea from a politician for our bay should include public assurances that the past is understood and to be avoided, especially if you’re serious about attracting future industries that are cleaner and accountable.

    “look to the growers. Where’s the outrage in the left?”

    If you want to find the outrage on the left, you merely need to read the publications by the left, EcoNews, Friends of the Eel, Epic… too bad you don’t subscribe to their newsletters. The rural homesteaders were also furious about the damage…but got real quiet after realizing that any effective and fair regulations against the growers, would also have to include all water users utilizing the same pesticides, phosphates, fertilizers and illegal extraction techniques taking place by the “good people” and their vineyards, Olympic pools, trout farms, lakes, commercial gardens and livestock.


    “Every one of those property managers is a licensed Realtor, whether they advertise it or not.”

    You might want to call a local property manager, I couldn’t find one that is a licensed Realtor, nor are they required to be.


    It appears you are correct Jon, anyone bothering to “debate” a lying troll is keeping you from more important activities, however, I disagree with Mary. “One party rule” is ALL about property in Humboldt County, and the kind of buffoons busy weaving lie upon lie.

    What the electronic media provides, and what our corporate owners fear, is that the free-flow of debate, however coarse, does, in fact, enable participants to hone their world view and deflate opponent’s irrational ideologies. It is an otherwise non-existent medium from which to practice the language of change from which actual change evolves. It is a potential motivator to get involved.

    Very dangerous.

  33. Anonymous says:

    California requires property managers to have or work under someone who holds a real estate broker’s license. The only exception to this law is for property owners who manage their own buildings. The state Department of Real Estate (DRE) requires broker-applicants to document experience and/or educational training in the field and to pass a state licensing exam. Continuing educational requirements apply to all brokers. Brokers are subject to license suspension or revocation for failing to uphold laws relating to the management of property, as well as other real estate laws. Property managers are not required to hold any separate certification specific to property management, but many property managers do.

    Look it up fool.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Only a fool would quote a law that proves him wrong.

    Thanks for the amusing paradox.

    Property managers do not require a license, but the corporation they work under must have one on staff…somewhere…. (probably New Jersey). Many businesses have similar requirements, like restaurants in California that must have a single licensed food safety employee on staff, however, it does not make all chef’s licensed…”Dummy”.

    Ahhh…..except for an advertised Realtor, each requiring licensing to work as a Realtor, yet, finding themselves in Realty offices that never used to be bothered with managing others rentals…until half the residences in town are no longer owner-occupied…another booming predatory business.

    I do apologize for calling you a liar, you are merely ignorant. You thought you had picked the easiest response from the list above when you should have ignored the only one you answered.

    Thank you again, what fun….

    1. This conversation is the one we are lacking in public and thank you both for having it here public (ish) ly.

      I feel my job locally is to help define left and right in a broken party system. That involves being a little divisive, not for divisiveness’ sake, but in order to help facilitate a conversation like this.

      Both individuals know so much more about realty than I do and it’s really instructive to have this conversation. My hunch is that eventually one of the anons will discover that this conversation is no longer helping his (probably) cause.

      That takes us back to the conversation and one party rule. I don’t believe the right can have a conversation that would not involve ideologues anymore – the left can.

      My other job is to help connect the left despite our differences and to help people, left and right, to see how much we actually have in common. So I am both interested in AND believe this when I say I see both green anon’s and Mary Ella’s point. I think what is important though is to not get caught up in the small stuff – each doing what we can to bring real issues, civics, activism and everyday people back into the political process.

      We all have the little bit we can do and I want to tell both you green anon, and Mary E. and even blue anon, again, thank you!

    2. Anonymous says:

      My fault, I was under the impression we were talking about property management firms, since you were pointing out the apparant increase in “property managers”. I understood that to along the lines of ” contractors” or “plumbers”, where the owner has to have a license. You are correct, the employees do not each need a license. I should have recognized your superior intellect early on and given up.

      1. Let’s be really, really clear. This is not about intellect. This is about logic and simplicity. Things don’t need to be complicated, in fact the more you keep things simple, the more people will understand what’s going on.

        To learn things, I really need to break things down and make them simple – I’m kinda really dumb that way.

        No, this isn’t smart vs dumb, superior intellect vs inferior intellect. It’s transparency vs non-transparency, honesty in debate vs. deception (ie Chet Albin as a Democrat), etc. etc. I could go on.

        But what it isn’t, but something the right would love to make it is smart v dumb. Count me on the dumb side of that equation. Proudly.

        Dumb, but very interested in learning more about the world today than I knew yesterday.

  35. Anonymous says:

    “…to help people, left and right, to see how much we actually have in common”.

    I can assure you Jon, no amount of “Kumbiya” will impact “One Party Rule”!

    From Wall Street to Main Street, power is never voluntarily shared, and defeat is never conceded. Even within this thread, on a rural blog, being “right” over a single point is followed by more BS excuses, sarcasm and insult.

    Ideologues making ludicrous assertions divert attention from the strongest responses by selecting the one that appears weakest. This is a clever and desperate debating dodge that can seem to discredit the strongest truths that were ignored…but the ideologue MUST get that single little point correct! We see this tiring technique of “debate” aggressively employed by the right-wing whenever they appear in rare televised debates defending the indefensible.

    Compromise, reaching across the isle, finding common ground, keeping it positive, keeping it constructive, offering solutions, this is all part of right-wing framing and the left needs to discard it ASAP before we can make any progress. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading “Brightsided, How Positive Thinking is Destroying America”, by Ehrenreich. It’s a hilarious little masterpiece.

    Like they say, “the only lesson from history is that we never learn its lessons”.

    It’s hard to fathom how “civilization” has come this far without understanding a reality as fundamental as the divisiveness and polarization that necessarily precedes every successful social justice movement in human history. Our ancestor’s sense of fairness and justice provided the courage to shout their demands with confidence, unmoved by the criticism from their community’s rich that have cleverly turned “divisiveness”, “polarization”, and even “debate” into dirty words. (Can you remember the last time any local media featured a real debate?).

    “I think what is important though is to not get caught up in the small stuff – ”

    Maybe, maybe not.

    Most of the major social changes in history began as isolated and seemingly insignificant observations of an injustice. As we explore the “small stuff” we discover its links to the bigger picture.

    Land use policies in this county, and nation, have many tentacles. The sudden saturation of rental homes and the profusion of predatory property managers is merely another alarming example of the disappearing middle class. Home ownership remains the primary source of capital for Americans living in a capitalist economy.

    Please post your observations on the Housing Element meetings. Who was in the room?

    1. “power is never voluntarily shared” –
      absolutely. Politics is about policy, but also power. Power resides in people, and the people can be motivated, organized and elected by understanding, and participating in the conversation. The conversation has to be inclusive not exclusive. Always.

      Also always is compromise. I’d like to see a reduction in the human global population right now. We don’t have that power, so we have to compromise, how are we going to turn around our exponential population growth proactively instead of reactionary? That’s kinda a compromise that many on the left haven’t accepted.

      I think much of where we disagree might be in terminology or definition of what it means to compromise.

      One thing is true though, and I’ve learned this from my many hours listening and watching the hucksters on the right, (they are hucksters b/c their first priority is to use politics to make a living) – you need to be positive to engage people, and this goes back to the formula people => power => politics. Or is it people => politics => power.

      Whatever it is, the left needs to grab the reigns of power back from the right until the right believes in the legitimacy of the public sector. We have to run this on our own until they come to the table again. That means that the left will have to figure out how to deal with the (can’t think of the biological term of when one organism uses another, not parasite, that isn’t kind or fair…there is a term and it’s frustrating..)…those that are using the power of the left of center party to simply stay in power. This is to include people, apparently, like Congressman Huffman unfortunately.

      I don’t really have a problem with President Obama though. I think his policy decisions have been fair for what he has to work with. I lay the problems of his administration – like the inability to pass a public option or the NSA problems etc, etc, etc with our inability as a people to get out on the streets and demand change.

      We’ve lost the conversation to Rush over the past 40 years. Goldwater became mainstream with Nixon and then Reagan then Rush. They did ultimately by winning the conversation. We have the evidence on our side now and can win back the conversation if we do it with a lesson from our friends on the right. The lesson is – do it with passion, joy, and an optimistic vision of the future. And we can do this honestly, even if we understand the potential disasters looming, for example in Canada’s tundra, because that vision is not impossible, possibly improbable, but not impossible. It won’t be possible if we are not motivated as a populace. We can’t be motivated without optimism.

      So, I will put Ehrenreich’s book to the top of my list, but I’m going in highly biased against his premise.

      I will say this. Whatever it is that you get that allows you to go one on one and take on the talking points is working and the left needs your passion, knowledge and fighting spirit. But we also need to reach out always and consistently or else in the vacuum, Rush, Glenn and tabloid media will have more power than they should. Because left or right, people are good.

      “Most of the major social changes in history began as isolated and seemingly insignificant observations of an injustice. As we explore the “small stuff” we discover its links to the bigger picture.
      Land use policies in this county, and nation, have many tentacles. The sudden saturation of rental homes and the profusion of predatory property managers is merely another alarming example of the disappearing middle class. Home ownership remains the primary source of capital for Americans living in a capitalist economy.
      Please post your observations on the Housing Element meetings. Who was in the room?”

      I don’t disagree with any of this.

      Who was in the room? McKinleyville civic groups were strongly represented and these I’ve noticed are pretty far right. I don’t recall their names, but at least one or two were there regularly. Ben among them. Tina , Julie , Mrs. Provolt of course – always and forever there. That Democrat from Mac Town, forget his name, I think he was thinking of running once, John ? he was there and I was totally unimpressed. Mary Ella and ?? (I’m so sorry) are stallwarts – Mary consistently going to the podium to say so much more eloquently what I wanted to but couldn’t. Were there more Mary? Those are the people I remember. You of course can see most of them from the public comment portions of the PC meetings. (Oh and the 6th Supervisor representing his properties in Blue Lake Ken S.)

      The point is of course that no one is there except those that have a monetary interest in the process. I would be there but I have no time and right now my time is better spent doing the little I can to change the makeup of the PC.

      Venting to follow…..

      This is why I get so upset at the PPWG. There is absolutely no evidence that there is any public associated with this process – only private, at least in reality until something stirs those with non-monetary but lifestyle issues – like a trail.

      It really bothers me that no one showed up during the Open Space Element outside of our two fearless professional state biologists and a handful of private sector/non-profit/?? professional biologists to include Dan, Jen and Scott when they were running rough-shot over basic environmental protections for streams and wetlands. The public did not show up until TRAILS! ugh.

      Venting complete.

      Anyway, not sure if that’s what you wanted, but that’s what you got. Thanks again for the input and keep up the good fight. I think you are making a difference because information is also power and you sharing it – especially in an actual debate – really helps. Thanks.

  36. Anonymous says:

    “Anyway, not sure if that’s what you wanted, but that’s what you got.”

    I’m sure you realize Jon that your Housing Element report above is the only public report in existence, other than what the staff presents to the supervisors at the end of the process, which is the dictated harangue of the lobbyists. ..and a word or two from a housing advocate… If the public were informed, (which they need to be to want to vote, and to vote intelligently), they would need to know who is dominating local politics, why they are doing it, and what it costs in public subsidies and lost affordable housing opportunities. Alas, we have no local journalists in this example, except you.

    “Also always is compromise.”

    We’re not talking about global overpopulation here Jon! When 50 powerless, unorganized, under-represented, and outraged people showed up demanding trails be returned to the agenda, what exactly have they received months later? ZIP. Compromise is only attained between competing powers…otherwise, there’s no need to compromise, indeed, our opponents never do.

    It is precisely due to the lack of power on the left that compromise is promised by candidates long before they are even elected!!!! They promise to “bring people together”, “listen to both sides”, “compromise”, “be inclusive”, “reach across the isle”, etc. And, once in office, that’s exactly what they do in trying to be reelected. Thus, left-leaning voters become further discouraged and walk away…leading to even more promises of compromise, and more voter abstentions.

    Clearly, the HCDCC today is a product of being “inclusive” for its own sake.

    “grab the reigns of power back from the right”

    If the left is ever to hold an elected and appointed majority to assert their legitimate role in local government it must be by knocking on the doors of Eureka’s non-voting majority. for nearly 2 years, Anxious first-time voters are signing up in droves wherever minimum wage measures are appearing on ballots. That’s how 10 people were able to qualify it for the ballot locally and yet, local media is dead-silent while the Eureka Chamber of Commerce hammers local organizations and associations lecturing against it.

    A “conspiracy”? Or, just the uncompromising, non-inclusive, backdoor business as usual in Humboldt County?

    1. I don’t disagree with any of that. Continued thanks for adding your perspective to the blogosphere – it’s inspiring and it’s the fighting spirit (through public participation) and informed and reasoned argument that the left needs. Hooray for green anon – do you live in the 1st Ward?

  37. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    Just getting back to the thread. Regarding the Housing Element (HE), now that it’s back to the Board of Supervisors some of the more damaging inserts have been dropped. The thing that struck me about the Planning commission (not including Levy and Masten in this generalization, is that they have a deep distrust of their staff and they are intent on righting what they believe are wrongs that were visited on them by county government in the past.

    One of the funniest things that happened at the Board of Supervisors was Humboldt Association of Realtors reaction to the mapping of tsunami zones. Tina Christensen complained that if properties are declared to be in the tsunami zone realtors won’t be able to sell them. Labels are bad for business, I guess.

    Several of the Supervisors, Chair Bohn in particular, argued to keep a provision the Planning Commissioners had insisted on adding that would make the country responsible not just for tenant’s rights (something defined in California law) but also for landlord’s rights. It took two County Counsels and both the Planning Department head and his assistant to persuade them that in law landlords have responsibilities rather rights. There was some disgruntlement that the county wouldn’t take on the responsibility of identifying what landlord rights were and how the county could protect them.

    Basically, the state of California is trying to move ahead into the 21st Century and the Gang of Four and their buddies on the PC are intent on moving backwards to a mythical 1950s, a time before integration and all that environmental hippie tree hugging crap.

    It’s a toss up as to whether the HE will emerge in good enough condition to pass muster as the state level. It’s a shame because funded housing projects are probably the only ones that are going to be built for some time, given the prevailing economic doldrums, and if the HE doesn’t get approved they won’t get funded or built.

    The show continues on May 5.

    1. Mary Ella, may I re-post this as a post attributed to you of course. Alternatively I could attribute it to a frequent comment-er. I’ve already thought of a title…”Dispatches from the Housing Element” 🙂 I second green anon’s thank you!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Thank you Mary!

    Imagine what a professional journalist could do with such material, however, I would settle for a cartoonist at this point.

    If we had journalists present they could compare Bohn’s distaste for GMO food labels to Tina’s dislike of Tsunami warnings, what’s next, having to tell potential home buyers that they’re being tricked and trapped into predatory loans? My favorite moments include the refrain by Tina and the others trying to “balance” the public outrage over the trails issue explaining how their “voices are never heard”…as if they haven’t been camped there for over a decade.

    Notice how Arkley’s lobbyist disappeared after the gang of 4 took over? I’ll never forget Jan Turner demanding that her name be removed from a housing document prepared by the lobbyists, she stood up in the room and railed about it being a sham.

    We have plenty of local stories to enlighten and entertain readers and no one to report them.

  39. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    I am a journalist, although not working for money anymore. There are actually two kinds of journalism. The one that’s practiced most today is the one where you tread a careful line in order to preserve your access to authority figures and information and the other is advocacy where you take a more adversarial approach to authority. I am now practicing the latter. Some issues back, Columbia Journalism Review did an analysis of both and came to the conclusion that both are necessary for an informed populace. I believe that others, Daniel Mintz, for instance, are watching these meetings online and do write reports. His appear frequently in the Mad River Union. I attend these meetings partly because I am concerned about the future of affordable housing for the increasing numbers of seniors, the boomers, and so on, but unlike Tina and Kent and Julie, I don’t have an economic interest in the outcome.

    1. MOLA42 says:

      Shine on you crazy diamond!

      Aside from no money, practicing advocacy journalism can also be lonely. Your’re pretty much on your own and sometimes it seems no one listens, no matter how hard you work. Plus, watching those meetings can be a dull chore.

      I’m glad you are there for us. I hope to hear more.

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