Cleaning up the Mess in the T-S Editorial Page Yesterday

From Sid Berg…

“I have witnessed the divisive politics within the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee, as a voting member representing the 5th District. I resigned my position after realizing the direction the majority of the “progressive”(left-leaning) Democrats would dictate on the citizens of this county. In my opinion, they have lost touch with the middle class, workers, and business, all necessary to sustain a viable economy. I will not condone confiscation or erosion of private property rights, and to dictate thought (precursors to 1930s National Socialists in Germany).”

And then goes on to defend voting for Supervisors Bass and Sundberg because…

This county needs hard working, dedicated leadership to build consensus, seek funding and plan viable infrastructure, (including rail) and to create an atmosphere capable of building and sustaining good paying jobs with benefits.”

Sid’s argument here is basically this – liberals are basically Nazi and…jobs.  Wrong Sid.  And more important than your Jonah Goldberg inspired contention  is the contention that short term construction jobs are the type of jobs we need.  We do need construction jobs, we agree, but we want them building homes, apartments, etc where we can begin to live sustainabily – ie around bike lanes.  And this National Socialist isn’t dictating anything to the good people of HumCo.  Actually the reverse is true.  I’m simply asking for choice in housing and am trying to break us free of the stranglehold held by developers, conservative union Democrats, property rights advocates, etc.

Build and expand in both suburbs AND in town and let the market decide (given that the market will include externalities).  The latter is going to take thought, planning and support from the public sector.  Something you, Ryan and Virginia fundamentally don’t believe in.  You’d rather let the Chamber of Commerce plan because that way we’d forget about the needed bike lanes, oh, and river and wetland set backs, oh and promoting actual low income housing, oh, and protecting ecosystem values for the long term, etc.

*searches for arm band*


Richard and Uri (Pronounced “your-eye”.  “Your -eee” would a) be wrong and b) might invoke a cartoon caricature of an Soviet apparatchik.) we’ll talk later regarding your letters.  Cleaning up this mess will take time.

Also, please – Richard, Sid, Uri please join the discussion.  And, for any liberal or progressive out there that is using the term or thought  “evil” to describe developers, etc. – that isn’t the case.  We are all fighting for a better tomorrow.


10 thoughts on “Cleaning up the Mess in the T-S Editorial Page Yesterday

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pretty stupid of Berg to go all Godwin with the Nazi reference. It only undercuts his argument.

    Meanwhile, what is this “stranglehold” by developers, conservative union Democrats, property rights advocates, etc., that is preventing people from having a choice in housing? Who is it that actually developed the mixed-use, affordable, infill development at Plaza Point in Arcata? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that was conservative developer Dan Johnson, the same guy proposing affordable senior housing at the Down Towner location in Eureka (and being attacked for that by the “progressives.” And just a few years back there was another “smart growth” proposal by Danco, in Arcata, that was shot down — not by developers, conservative union Democrats or property rights advocates, but by Arcata NIMBYs.

    Meanwhile, the proposal to give special treatment to Forster-Gill, a huge out-of-area developer, to allow them to put 1,400 suburban housing units and a huge retail development on prime timberland out in Ridgewood was “smart” growth according to Mark Lovelace, who enthusiastically sung that developer’s praises, and then, just coincidentally I’m sure, Forster-Gill gave thousands of dollars to Lovelace’s ally longtime-Republican-turned-Democrat Bonnie Neeley for her spectacularly unsuccessful re-election effort.

  2. jtimmons88 says:

    Good post, Jon. The Unions are under pressure from their memberships to support anything that even LOOKS like a job. Bad situation.

  3. MOLA42 says:

    I wonder….

    There’s some guy out there who lately has taken to calling everyone who disagrees with him “Brown Shirts.” It would be very disappointing to find out Mr. Berg and this other fellow were one and the same.

    For the record, no one is “evil” (except puppy abusers) and no one is a saint. We are just a bunch of folks trying to figure out the best way through this mess called life.

    When someone disagrees with us (Progressive, Regressive, Conservative, Liberal) it does not mean someone wants to get the trains going so they can ship their opponents to the Death Camps. It’s supposed to be a civil discussion, where consensus is reached and we make policy for ourselves we can all live with.

    It starts with listening.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that has read the first ten pages of any credible history of the Third Reich, (obviously not Mr. Berg), understands that Nazi “socialism” was actually Social Darwinism.

  5. Sid Berg says:

    Hi Jon, Just found your page. Kinda new to this kind of forum, to answer some of your comments:
    I hope you are not a full blown National Socialist (yet)! I merely eluded, that it appears to me that’s where this party is headed if we don’t start thinking for ourselves.The final straw for me was when a resolution was submitted by a local voting HDCC member, with an electronic author signature from Ventura County, blindly supporting State Legislation which if passed called for the confiscation of legally owned private property, without compensation. The entire committee overwhelmingly voted to represent ALL Democrats in Humboldt County and to send letters supporting such BS! (Fortunately Gov. Brown vetoed it, saving the state $$$ defending a lawsuit.) We are not Ventura County, and living in our rural community, we should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as long as it does not infringe on the life and liberty of someone else. I have a mind and I will listen to arguments on all sides of an issue, and will make a judgment on what I think is the best for my peers, be it neighbors, friends or brother and sister union members, based on subject matter. I may be right, or wrong, but I will keep an open mind until I have heard the pro and con and will make a decision. I applaud your activism and would not attempt to discourage it. I only ask that you do your best to unite the Democratic Party, not tear it apart. Fortunately, the Republicans can’t get it together either, but the day they reach out to the middle class and union members, beware!
    I have supported Chris in the past and I support Virginia now. I don’t work for her or her campaign, and I am not a friend of the Chamber of Commerce or huge developers. Unfortunately,or fortunately depending on your view, they create building trades jobs, of which without, many of us would not have been able to remain in this area. The big divide between us seems to be growth vs no growth. Anonymous 09:40 pretty much nailed it. Plaza Point was a publicly funded commercial,low income mixed use project that utilized no apprentices, did not pay prevailing wages and supported low wage jobs, with a high rate of return for the developer. We need manufacturing or high wage jobs capable of generating a tax base large enough to fund our trails, recreation enhancements and public services. Its up to the voters to decide what’s in store for our future!
    We probably have more in common than you think, and I would be happy to have a visit with you over a pint of Steelhead or a Dutch Bros. after the election.
    Sid Berg, Proud union retiree and lifelong Democrat from Humboldt Co.

  6. Sid, Thank you for the kind words and we probably agree on many things.

    I wouldn’t characterize what I’m doing as tearing apart the Democratic Party as much as trying my best to politely show the door to values that don’t belong in the Democratic Party. The Rand Paul/Rush Limbaugh/Ralph Reed Republicans have created an entity that is so anti-thought that there is no alternative to the Democratic Party in California. That is why good people like Virginia and Matthew and people with hyper libertarian views on land use like Supervisor Fennell, who lead a lobbyist group for goodness sake, have found a home in the Democratic Party.

    We should be a big tent party, but not big enough to support values anathematic to our Democratic values.

    Now, when there is only a choice of two parties, this gets complicated. That’s why more activism, not less is what is in order.

    I don’t know you well, I do know you have been a pillar in Democratic and union activities and fundraising for quite a while.

    At some point though, you have to look around you. You may not be a friend of the Chamber of Commerce or huge developers, but who do you think they will vote for Tuesday? They will be voting for Virginia and Ryan.

    I know we will disagree on land use policy and I know why. I’d love to have the conversation. Thank you for checking out Jonah’s book, I’m a big fan of listening to the right so I know them pretty well. They are good people, we just fundamentally disagree on things like, say, the top marginal tax rate, or, say, if global warming exists and if it does what we should do about it.

    If you could follow one more link, it would be this on There are smart people, with expertise in t planning that have great ideas about how we can plan for a sustainable, livable, productive future. These decisions are best made in public, with the public interest at heart and with a great deal of input from professionals guided by the values of our community.

    Not by HumCPR, and having been to countless BOS and PC meetings since exactly one year ago June 3rd, I’ll tell you this… our planning has been most definitely directed by property rights owners, not the public interest.

    Given the power of developers, contractors, mortgage and real estate brokers, having a property rights organization leveraging power behind the scenes of the BOS is analogous to a Wall Street financial lobbyist leveraging power at Washington. Local power the public should be wary of is in land ownership and development, nationally that power is Wall Street.

    I’m pretty sure we agree on maybe not quite having such an open mind when a congressman has Wall Street as a supporter. I don’t think we agree on being as sceptical of our good friends who make a living with land as the commodity or the resource.

    The Democratic Party is about protecting productive timberland and agland now and for the long term. It is about sustainable living wage jobs, it’s about being able to accommodate growth as long as there is growth with no discrimination based on ethnicity. It is also about being proactive, not reactive or myopic. The Republicans surely are not going to be thinking about tomorrow’s jobs, as long as the market place is happy, they are happy.

    Sid, we as Democrats have to think about tomorrow and build a better one beginning today. My advise would be to get involved again and stop dropping ridiculous rhetorical bombs. If or when we start reversing the status quo growth pattern of exurbs and suburbs that has enveloped the rest of California, we will need smart people, especially Democrats btw, who understand that living wages for construction and affordable housing will have to be part of the smart growth that has to happen.

    And smart growth does have to happen, Supervisor Bass doesn’t get this. Chris does, and his leadership along with people like Supervisor Lovelace, Sharon LaTour’s, Commissioner Levy’s and Commissioner Matsen and possibly even Commisioner McKenny.

    So if Plaza Point failed from a union point of view, that was wrong. Let’s work together to fix that. It’s going to be complicated, but we do have the will and good people to get where we need to go. As long as we don’t outsource planning to the Chamber of Commerce and individual land owners.

    Yes, that begins to infringe on the founding phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in such a strong way that Democrats and civil libertarians will unite with most conservative Republicans and property rights activists to prevent “Big Government” from planning. That’s a problem, and if you don’t see how the status quo already begins to infringe on the public’s right to fight for a sustainable future for our children, then we will have to have many Dutch Bros coffees.

    Cheers, and enjoy CBTS – I’ll be canvasing hopefully.

      1. Probably should have said huge land owner like green diamond and other members of the WLRG. But that is a good question. Danco would be one, can you help me develop a list?

        BTW, I don’t think I would use that term on my own, it was Sid who used it first and I was probably responding to his point by asking him who he thought the huge developers would vote for.

        Actually, now, thankfully I used his exact phrase and wipe my hands of your point – ask Sid.

        btw, thanks for joining the conversation Monte, congratulations on your victories yesterday.

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