It’s not about science
As a local organic farmer I’ve been following the debate on Measure P very closely, and have been disturbed by the way those opposing Measure P are using every possible argument to try and persuade voters to turn against our local farmers. So, I’ve made a quick Q & A guide to Measure P.
Q. Can I vote yes on Measure P and still be pro-science?
A. Yes. Measure P isn’t about science. It’s about the role of GMOs in Humboldt County. You can vote yes without fear.
Q. If Measure P passes, will our farmers still be able to use hybrid seeds?
A. Yes. GMOs are very different from hybridization and other traditional breeding techniques, and comparing the two is like apples and oranges.
Q. I’ve heard GMO crops will feed all the hungry people in the world. Can I support Measure P without making these problems worse?
A. Yes. Globally, the problem isn’t food production, it is corrupt government, lack of infrastructure, and distribution systems. Locally, a yes vote for Measure P will support local food security.
Q. Will I still be able to get my dog his rabies vaccination, grow my medical marijuana, and eat my favorite corn chips?
A. Yes, Yes, and Yes. Measure P won’t affect any of these things. Measure P is about supporting our local farmers. A yes vote for measure P is a yes vote for our economy!
Please vote yes on P!
Co-op is spreading misinformation
Torm Oakey, Member # 974
Juan for City Council
I recently had the pleasure of meeting and having a conversation with Juan Daniel Fernandez and I am very impressed by him.
When I heard Juan speak about the issues that he is concerned about I knew that he is a person that would be representing me and the larger segment of the population that feels unrepresented in a political system that has became blatantly run by money and power. It feels so good to see someone running for office who is not just spouting out the usual rhetoric and is not backed by established politicians and big donations.
If we truly want change we need to change the system with our votes. Please vote for Juan Daniel Fernandez for Arcata City Council!
Juan got it wrong
In the most recent issue of the Union I want to correct some inaccurate statements by Juan Fernandez who is a City Council candidate, on a number of areas in which I have been involved as a member of City Council, the Excessive Electricity Use Tax, industrial marijuana grow houses, transit and environmental impact of city council campaigns.
Excessive Electricity Use Tax (Measure I): According to Juan, “If anyone thought that growers would move out of town because of the increased electricity use, it didn’t happen. In August there was a bust on Alliance that involved 800 plants.”
Arcata voters approved the Excessive Electricity Use Tax (Measure I) in November 2012 by a margin of 70 percent. The purpose of the tax is to reduce the environmental impact of residential electricity use, which had increased by 25 percent in the previous five years, and reduce the large number of houses and apartments that had been taken over for large-scale industrial marijuana growing. According to statistics supplied to the City by PG&E, more than 600 households (eight percent of Arcata households) exceeded the threshold for the proposed tax.
Since the tax went into effect in October 2013, the number of households exceeding the threshold for the tax is now less than 100, an 80 percent reduction. According to Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman, there has been a very major drop in the number of large-scale marijuana grow houses.
PG&E charged Arcata a large fee to implement the tax and we expected that we would pay the fee off from the tax revenues in less than a year. However, because the tax was so effective and we got less revenue than expected, it will take about six more months for the tax revenues to pay off the fee.
Transit: According to Juan, “our bus services throughout the count is (sic) abysmal… buses only come by once an hour.”
I have been a member of the Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) board for the past four years and am a regular bus rider. While I have been on the board, HTA has added daily service to south Humboldt and Willow Creek, added Sunday service, and now provides twice per hour service on weekdays. HTA has added Wi-Fi and now has a fleet consisting almost entirely of new hybrids and new low-emission non-hybrids.
HTA re-established service to Oregon and Redding and, in the near future, is likely to add service to Mendocino and Lake counties.
Environmental Impact of City Council Campaigns: According to Juan, “Even if they recycle their signs, the process is powered by fossil and nuclear fuels. I believe that people in running for leadership positions should lead by example, not rhetoric.”
Assuming that a campaign uses about 100 paper signs, which weigh about 10 pounds total, the associated greenhouse gas emissions for manufacturing the paper would be about 10 pounds of CO2, the energy equivalent of one-half gallon of gasoline, which would drive the average car about 14 miles. Energy to make plastic signs is about the same.
I did door-to-door campaigning in my last three campaigns exclusively by walking and bicycle and reached the door of every registered voter in Arcata myself. I challenge Juan and the other candidates to stop driving in their campaigns, a much larger environmental impact than campaign signs or campaign mailers.
Michael Winkler, Member of Arcata City Council
Juan Fernandez responds to Michael Winkler's letter
Mr. Winkler's is wrong.
Excessive Electricity Use Tax (Measure I)
The ONLY reason the PG&E fees will be recovered is because PG&E had to lower the baseline of what is considered excessive tax (Winkler personally told me this). The lowering of the base line was done arbitrarily and brings up the fact that now PG&E can lower the base line anytime they want. Not to mention that Mr. Winkler is only addressing the cost to implement the user tax and does not speak to the fees associated with the collection and upkeep of this system.
Mr. Winkler also points out to the drop in grow houses, except that there are three problems with this. First, besides the 800 plant bust off Alliance in August, This month, we saw a grow house bust off of Spear with 1,000 plants. So for all the talk of Measure I succeeding, we still see large scale busts in Arcata. Second, if there ARE more busts due to the PG&E situation, then Mr. Winkler's assertion that that the tax was only business related in disingenuous. Third, if the rise in busts is due to information being provided to the police via PG&E, then we have a real serious legal problem (especially if it was done without warrants).
Yes, the county service is a little better than the service in Arcata (A&MRTS), which does not provide service on Sundays. However, Mr. Winkler's claim that there is “twice per hour service on weekdays” only works if you travel between Eureka and Arcata, but if you need to travel to or from Mckinleyville or Fortuna, then you only get once an hour service.
Environmental Impact of City Council Campaigns
Again, Mr. Winkler chooses to omit some facts. He talks about the amount of emissions associated with paper manufacturing (and plastic signs), but he forgets to factor in the gas emissions associated with recycling those signs, transportation of the signs (gas, tires for trucks, etc) the energy used for the inks, and the little metal stands, the visual pollution caused by the signs, the list goes on and on.
As for myself and a couple of other candidates, we HAVE been going door to door and I challenge Mr. Winkler to avoid using lawn signs during his re-election campaign.
The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is studying THREE water use options, while trying to solve our “Use It or Lose It” water rights issue.
We are actively pursuing all three options simultaneously; they are 1) water sales to another public agency, 2) local water sales, and 3) water flow down the river and estuary to benefit the environment. Although a preliminary trans-county pipeline study is the first to be completed, it is not the first choice—no choices have been made! Environmental studies are more expensive to perform and cannot be done “in the office” as can preliminary engineering studies.
We are working with resource agencies, tribes and other environmental professionals to figure out what data we need to support an instream flow option, should the directors decided to perfect our water rights in that way.
Again, the HBMWD directors have made no decisions on our water rights issue, and we welcome input and interest from the public. Monthly HBMWD meetings are the second Thursdays at 828 Seventh St., Eureka, starting at 9 a.m. We have posted many documents on our website (HBMWD.com), and all directors can be emailed directly from the website.
It’s a difficult situation to understand with engineering, water law, and environmental science all combined, so please visit us in person or online!
Sheri Woo, PE, HBMWD Director, Division 2
PS. THANK YOU to everyone who conserved water on Oct. 15 and 16! The intertie project is a success and now Eureka, Arcata, and McKinleyville have more resilient and reliable water systems.
Diversify the economy
In light of the move to draft a marijuana land use ordinance, I want to offer my concerns. When people talk about the environmental impacts of growing marijuana, they usually point to the largest grows, indoor grows or water use.
What concerns me the most is the overall number of people who are growing.
Probably two-thirds of everyone in the rural parts of Humboldt is growing marijuana. There is just no way for that level of growing to be benign. That’s major agricultural development, happening in our forest home.
That many people growing represents a sizable fragmentation of habitat, especially when you consider the fact that most grow sites expanded in recent years. It is complex ecosystems, like forests, that provide the crucial life-support systems we depend on.
In order to protect and enhance the integrity of the forest we live in, decreasing the number of grow sites needs to be a priority. Diversifying our economy will be healthier, socially as well as ecologically.
Fernandez for Arcata
I support Juan Fernandez for City Council because he will not sacrifice his values to gain popularity.
He is less concerned about dog parks and more concerned about human rights.
He will sincerely strive to help Arcata become a more transparent and comfortable place for people of all backgrounds.
The way he projects himself does not carry any trace of arrogance.
He does not act like he is superior to anyone else and yet is still able to hold authority in his interactions with everyone.
I am voting for Juan Fernandez because he is not afraid to truly care. Most importantly, he knows how the city works and will be an invaluable resource to the city if elected into office.
Juan a quality candidate
I support Juan Fernandez for Arcata City Council for many reasons. Arcata is very fortunate to have a candidate of such high caliber and integrity.
I moved to Humboldt County, and particularly Arcata, for a reason. Over the past 10-plus years, Arcata has degraded rapidly.
The Humboldt state of mind that I moved here for is no longer represented in the Arcata city politics, to say the least, and the culture is under attack and likewise shifting.
Juan has the awareness, integrity, inspiration, vision, and skillset that Arcata desperately needs.
I want to see relationships with HSU improved, an interconnected loving and abundant community, a car-free Plaza, city-run Internet, and Arcata to embrace and rock the local economy like none other.
This means facilitating and incubating the legal cannabis industry, really dealing with the corrupt influences of the state trick
ling through HSU, and embracing sustainable technology to foster economic resilience.
Support Measure Z
I am writing to show my support of Measure Z, which is appearing on our November ballot.
I am voting yes on Measure Z because it is an equitably applied tax (sales tax one-half cent), it is protected from attachment by the state, and it provides support for law enforcement, volunteer fire departments and rural ambulance service.
I understand that I am depending on the positive discretion of my county supervisors to budget these funds to their best use and I have high expectations for improved services as a result of the passage of this measure!
Steve Paine, retired manager and retired volunteer fireman
Re-elect Al Gore
As I recall, there was a time when Bill and Hillary really planned to act for the people.
They would learn only a piece of the role of Diebold in mid-terms (all rigged – threw out most good Dems and brought in their cons electronically).
Bill and Hillary then concluded they better play ball with those powers...
I believe that Al Gore should once again be elected president, this time with verifiable paper ballots.
Many problems with GMOs
I am writing again about Measure P.
There seems to be a desire to use tunnel vision when promoting GMO acceptance. Out side of the derisive use of tags for anyone supporting Measure P as anti-science, tribal and fear mongering, there seems to be an effort to avoid talking about the larger picture of the GMO/Pesticide effect on living things.
Pro-GMO arguments have focused on the potential benefits from one or two GMO crops while glossing over the concerns with the related use of a plethora of pesticides. We’re told that Monsanto’s RoundUp is less harmful than some other pesticides, but what about nicotinoids?
There are several different brands of nicotinoid products out there; Bayer released one brand that was designed as a coating on GMO seeds, the resulting sprout has the chemical within its cells. The crops were sewn and matured. The bees went to work with the result that between 330,000,000 to 500,000,000 bees died. Many beekeepers experienced 100 percent loss.
Bayer, Sygenta, Monsanto, BASF, and Dow Chemical supply 75 percent of the worlds market of pesticides. A Green Peace study found that, “243 (or 46 percent) of the 512 pesticides they sell world wide are particularly hazardous for humans and for nature.”
The other issue that is neglected by the pro-GMO argument is the politics that are involved. The problem with that is in the irresponsible way that our government operates. The sway that wealthy corporations have on our government, and on our political process, is frightening. Corporations in this country have succeeded in effecting a reduction of government funding for testing and monitoring our food. The result is that these manufacturers of hazardous chemicals are assigned the task of testing and monitoring themselves. This leads to inadequate information available to us, the public.
We are surrounded by counties where measures similar to Measure P, have passed, including in Oregon. Many people want non-harmful crops to feed and clothe their families.
We can’t get along without the bees who pollinate our crops, but we can get along with the occasional worm in our corn, the occasional spot on our apples or the occasional weed in our gardens. (The loss of milkweed in the USA is directly linked to the dramatic reduction of the Monarch Butterfly.)
By passing Measure P and encouraging Organic farming with our dollars we will be better off than learning techniques to use more chemicals that potentially harm all living things and will be in the foods we eat the clothes we wear and the water we drink.
Michael A. Tout
Thanks for the process
For the past year, the Humboldt County Public Works Department has been drafting plans for improving auto, bicycle and pedestrian safety on Central Avenue in McKinleyville, receiving public input via a website and a large public meeting this past spring.
On Sept. 24, Public Works presented the first drafts for review and response.
I wish to thank the county for inviting the public to participate in this process, and equally to thank Redwood Community Action Agency for moderating the two open meetings.
For more information on the project and for an opportunity to comment, go to connectmckinleyville.com.
You’re making a mistake
Oct. 14, 2014
Theresa Lambino, Manager Consumer and Industry Contact United States Postal Services
San Francisco District
P .O.Box 193000
San Francisco, CA 94188-3000
Congressman Jared Huffman
317 Third Street, Suite #1 Eureka, CA 95501
Dear Ms. Lambino and Congressman Huffman:
We are requesting that the US Postal Service provide us with a financial breakdown of any perceived cost savings related to possible consolidation of the Eureka Mail processing facility with Medford, Oregon. Sadly, we sent Board representatives to Washington, DC to meet with the Postal Service on this very important issue and your office refused to meet with us.
We are extremely frustrated that the Postal Service continues to move forward with plans to move the Eureka mail processing facility to Medford without engaging the local stakeholders. We believe this to be a disingenuous attempt to sidestep local input in the decision making process-
While we understand the current financial situation of the US Postal Service, we do not believe that moving Eureka’s mail processing facility to Medford, Oregon will result in significant cost savings for the US Postal Service. In fact, given the ongoing problems with weather conditions and fragile road systems during winter months, will only serve to increase Postal Service costs overall.
It is our hope that the US Postal Service will realize that the Eureka mail processing facility provides processing and delivery services to a very large rural county that relies heavily on prompt and efficient mail service, and we do not believe that the cost savings projections justify the consolidation. Once again, as stated in our letters dated July 15, 2014 and August 22, 2014, we are requesting that you abandon any decision to move the Eureka mail processing facility to Medford, Oregon.
Rex Bohn, chair
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Reverse the inappropriate bike trail
I am a frequent user of the Arcata Community Forests, including the Sunny Brae Forest (SBF).
I estimate that over my 25 years in Arcata I’ve covered over 10,000 miles on these beautiful trails.
In all that use I have never seen anything like the current downhill racing of mountain bikes that is occurring in the SBF, in a manner that is unsafe for and discourteous to other trail users.
The engineered high-speed downhill mountain bike trail that was constructed in the Sunny Brae Forest raises significant issues that merit public process:
• The high-speed “black diamond”* mountain bike course in SBF was constructed under supervision of the city Environmental Services department with no public process despite this course contradicting at least two standards of the City’s Forest Management Plan. *In the words of advocates of high-speed downhill mountain bike riding at a recent Forest Management Committee meeting.
• The Arcata Forest Management Plan specifically precludes A) “high speeds on downhill grades,”and B) “developed recreation” while in this same Objectives section stating unequivocally that the Community Forest is to provide “a back country experience.”
A staff member of the Environmental Services department justified to me the special-purpose facility of this engineered course as equivalent to a bocce ball court or skate park as provided elsewhere by the City, which justification entirely ignores the established standard in the Forest Management Plan that specifically precludes exactly that kind of “developed recreation” in the Arcata Community Forest.
• This special-purpose facility includes engineered and constructed ramps, jumps and steep banked turns, and the debacle of the “ride through tree,”which is an insult to any naturalist and is objectively contradictory to the “back country experience” standard in the Forest Management Plan.
• Both mountain bike advocates and City staff have characterized this course as “advanced” and needing to have signage (e.g. “black diamond”) and with a physical “filter” to preclude use by individuals who do not possess adequate skill and athletic prowess (i.e., this high-speed downhill course is so technical that it should only be used by a limited subset of highly skilled mountain bikers).
• Subsequent to the construction of this high-speed downhill course, mountain bikers are now racing at high speed from top to bottom of the SBF, essentially converting all the SBF trails into a mountain bike race course and creating dangerous conditions for all trail users throughout the SBF.
• The way that this trail has been taken over by high speed downhill mountain bikers, although it is still formally undesignated, has eliminated for other users the most frequently used loop trail in SBF.
One option that could resolve the current trail conflicts and eliminate this trail’s contradictions with the Forest Management Plan is that this inappropriate high-speed “black diamond” “directional downhill” mountain bike course could be re-designated as “for all bikes this trail is directional UPHILL ONLY,”and otherwise open to all users, and that the high-speed downhill mountain bike ramps and jumps be decommissioned.
Regarding the ‘Reopen Dry Lagoon Campground’ event
Dear Friends and Community Partners,
I need to correct information that we previously released regarding our fundraiser to reopen Dry Lagoon Campground at Humboldt Lagoons State Park.
On Oct. 6, Redwood Parks Association (RPA ) Executive Director Cathy Bonser informed me via email that after speaking with boardmembers, RPA has decided that it will not be a partner in our event.
Rest assured that this event will still takie place with all the great music, food and drink that we have advertised! The only change is that if you donate an item to our silent auction it will not be a tax-deductible donation.
So, in a nutshell, on the night of Nov. 1 the “Reopen Dry Lagoon Campground” event is being hosted by my company, Kayak Zak’s and Humboldt State University Recreation 220 students.
We are not non-profit organizations. If you previously received a donation request on RPA letterhead, please disregard it as we have a new letter for you. Oh, but please do feel free to donate!
The Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce has graciously stepped in to support our event in ways that they can legally do so. GTCC has rented the Town Hall and will be selling Beer and Wine as a fundraiser for the Chamber. We will be simultaneously using the Hall as a fundraiser for Dry Lagoon Campground.
A “Humboldt Lagoons State Park” fund has been set up with Humboldt Area Foundation. HAF is not legally allowed to fundraise, take money at fundraisers or disperse money for fundraising and therefore HAF is only a partner in spirit at the Nov. 1 Trinidad Town Hall event.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to this fund please visit hafoundation.org/donations/donations.php.
The Mad River Union is our greatly appreciated media sponsor.
The Pilot Rock Ramblers and Monahan, Martin and Sleep are both wonderful local bands donating their talents to rock the Town Hall.
Orick’s Edie Baker from Edebee’s Snack Shack is working for peanuts and will be wrapping burritos to order including chicken, vegan and gluten-free options.
Yummy sweet treats are being provided by off-duty State Park employees who really wish the State had funds for deferred maintenance and we wouldn’t have to hold a fundraiser.
My apologies for any confusion this may have caused. We hope to see you rockin’ the Trinidad town Hall on Nov. 1!
Most sincerely yours,
Marna Powell, owner, Kayak Zak’s