Mad River Union
SAMOA PENINSULA, APRIL 1 – From atop the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, Uri Driscoll is smiling and feeling proud as he looks out over the peninsula and admires the changes he has made since taking the helm at Friends of the Dunes.
Before him, stretching from the highway to the foredune, is a wide swath of genetically modified Roundup-ready corn hemmed on each side with densely planted rows of hybrid pampas and European beach grass. An arc of nutrient-rich dairy waste sprays from a manure gun, showering the dunes with goodness.
These are just some of the changes Driscoll has made since he was elected earlier this year during an awkward and somewhat confusing meeting of the Friends of the Dunes Board of Directors.
At a June 7 meeting, the Friends Board of Directors tackled what should have been a simple matter – approval of the consent calendar, which included a resolution agreeing to search for a replacement for retiring executive director Carol Vander Meer, the minutes from the previous meeting, and a letter rejecting a written request from Driscoll asking that he be allowed to permanently park his horse trailer in the Friends’ parking lot. Mike Wilson made a motion to approve the consent calendar, which was seconded by Mike Seeber. Director Mike Dronkers then
made a friendly amendment to remove the Driscoll letter so it could be revised, but this was rejected by Tamara Gedik, which spurred Wilson to withdraw his entire motion.
This upset Jessica Hall, who made her own motion, which was revised by Trevor Estlow. Vander Meer then told Hall that the motion would have to be amended to comply with the board’s bylaws, which spurred Tom Torma to amend the motion, per the suggestion of staff. This didn’t sit well with Mike van Hatten, who then lost it and went on a tirade before Wilson asked for a roll call vote.
Matt Johnson asked for clarification of the motion, but with the hour getting late and the board having spent three hours on a matter which should have taken two minutes, Wilson demanded an immediate voice vote. Directors voted unanimously in favor of the motion, but were somewhat confused, so they asked Secretary David Hitchcock to explain what they had just voted on.
“Driscoll is now both the executive director and the president of the Friends of the Dunes,” Hitchcock declared.
Wilson blamed the mistake on the complexities of the parliamentary process. “I thought by voting yes I was shooting down the motion, and the friendly amendment, but I was actually voting yes on something I didn’t understand.” The other directors expressed similar concerns. “Where am I?” Dronkers inquired.
Once enthroned, Driscoll unilaterally altered the Friends’ bylaws to make himself dictator for life and changed the name of the organization to Farmers On Our Dunes (FOOD).
Driscoll is now transforming the dunes to conform with his vision of the coast.
“These dunes are more stable than they’ve ever been. We have an aggressive European beach grass planting program,” Driscoll said.
In a gesture of compromise, Driscoll is continuing with efforts to eradicate the yellow lupine, which are now being replaced with the purple lupine. “Purple is prettier than yellow,” Driscoll stated.
As for the corn, Driscoll said, “this monocrop is beautiful stuff. Just the other day we dumped about 800 gallons of Roundup on it. Humboldt Bay wallflowers and all the other pesky weeds melted away, but the corn just grew stronger. We’re growing some of the best goddamn corn niblets you’ve ever had.”
The special strain of corn was bred at Monsanto Bayside Park Farm. Each ear includes both limited cognitive abilities and vision, and emits a piercing screech at the sight of an anti-GMO activist. If cornered, a barbed, three-foot tongue can lash out and rake the protestor with toxic stingers.
Driscoll also plans to partner with Humboldt Baykeeper to produce and market a gray whale/sweet corn chowder soup. He also has plans to open a cyclecross course in the dunes along with a hog farm. These plans, however, may be delayed for a few months.
Driscoll has further upped his public service commitment by also taking on a leadership role in the Bigfoot Bicycle Club. A new initiative will create a network of trails in the Arcata Community Forest specifically designed for horse-drawn mountain bikes.
An amateur thespian, Driscoll recently landed the lead role in a traveling theater troupe’s production of the Vagina Monologues.