There are about three dozen people at the courthouse steps now, mostly just chatting in small groups. The theme, of course, is local attorney Jason Singleton, who raised everyone’s ire last week when threatened legal action shut down Porter Street BBQ’s Arcata location. The Porter Street action was just the latest in a long string of Americans With Disabilities Act legal suits — frivolous suits, many say — that Singleton has brought against businesses local and statewide.
Signs have been issued. One young man is wearing a suit, which seems to indicate potential legal fightback, perhaps speechifying. But as of this writing people are mostly using today’s anti-Singleton rally to mill around and catch up.
“What’s going on, Rex?” said one man, walking up to Supervisor Rex Bohn.
“Not too much. How ya doin’?”
“Other than this shitbird, all right,” said the man, indicating the protest’s invisible antagonist.
In addition to Bohn, Supervisor Virginia Bass is here, as is Eureka mayoral candidate Chris Kerrigan. Bass has been handing out a flyer containing her thoughts about how the community can better prepare for ADA litigation. Titled “Be part of the solution,” it carefully places the blame for “legal extortion” not on Singleton or others of his ilk, but on the legislature. Bass writes that she hopes to convene a task force at the beginning of the year in order to explore potential action that local government can take to stem such lawsuits and/or help businesses who find themselves the target of one.
Actually, scratch that about the young man in the suit. It is merely a new News Channel 3 reporter.
Updates coming, if anything of note happens while I stick around.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Today
1656 Union St (HM office): SILVER Alert
1656 Union St (HM office): SILVER Alert
Watch Paul: Arnie Klein Announces New Direction for Campaign
Savage Henry: Unknown Art Styles
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of California’s marine protected area network. Comprised of 124 MPAs, the network is the only one of its kind in the country and serves as not only an investment in our environmental and economic future, but also a testament to public process. Thousands of hours of meetings, debate, review and design resulted in tangible protection that can be felt when you’re out kayaking, birdwatching, surfing, diving, tide pooling or just standing on the beach enthralled by spouting whales, playful marine mammals and abundant fish.
Aside from the sheer visual and visceral pleasures MPAs offer, opportunities to better understand our nearshore ecosystems have arrived via 10 grants aimed at developing a comprehensive baseline monitoring program. Scientists, fishermen, tribal governments and citizen groups from 31 organizations will work together over the course of the next three years to monitor habitats including kelp forests, rocky shores and beaches as well as commercially important fish populations and iconic seabirds.
Proving our uniqueness – and long-term vision – yet again, the North Coast is the first MPA baseline program in the state to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge through a collaboration among Smith River Rancheria, InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Trinidad Rancheria and the Wiyot Tribe.
The North Coast MPA Baseline Program is overseen by a partnership among the California Ocean Protection Council,California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Ocean Science Trust and California Sea Grant.
Visit oceanspaces.org to view descriptions of the awarded projects, receive news and updates about the baseline program and learn more about California’s statewide network of MPAs.
Cleaning up the past
In other news, don’t forget about tomorrow night’s meeting to discuss cleanup of area brownfields, including the former Lousiana-Pacific pulp mill site on the Samoa peninsula.
Hank Sims / Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 @ 3:14 p.m. / Economy
People from Raw TV Ltd., a British television production studio, recently contacted our colleagues at KWPT-FM (“The Point”) with a request for help. They’re putting together a new reality show, and they believe that there might be a Humboldt County resident or two who has what it takes.
This studio is the real deal. They make a whole host of popular reality TV shows, including “Gold Rush” and “Locked Up Abroad.”
Briefly: They’re looking for some badass (and TV-colorful) backwoods professionals to sign on to a three-month job in Siberia. And they’re looking soon. Shooting starts in January. Interested? Listen to the interview that DJ Janet did with the producers a little bit ago, then check down below for contact information.
Good luck, Humboldt County woodsman!
From a message send to The Point by a Raw TV producer:
We are making a new TV series for the Discovery Channel about Sean Van an American logger who has been working in the logging industry for the past 15 years in Siberia. Sean is looking for a highly skilled crew of American loggers to take over to Siberia with him this coming January-April 2014. Sean has managed to secure a contract to harvest and supply trees to a large mill just north of the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. This is a documentary series following both the Logging work and all the associated challenges as well as the experience of Americans living out in Siberia. Sean will remunerate the Loggers with a highly competitive wage, along with expenses and lodgings and they will be filmed taking part in a logging adventure of a lifetime. We are making initial contact with American loggers on behalf of Sean to help him get the best crew together.
I’m reaching out from our New York office but our company is based in London. I was hoping to arrange an interview with someone from your station and our casting producer Gemma Gibbs (currently based in London) to share with the Humboldt County logging community what we are doing. If it is also possible could we also submit this blurb to be read on the air:
A new logging venture is looking for American logging crew members prepared to set out on the adventure of a life time and be filmed doing it for Discovery Channel, shooting from January to April 2014. This will be a paid engagement. If you think you have the necessary experience and what it takes to operate logging equipment, fix mechanical breakdowns or drive trucks in extreme conditions and weather then please send an email with your name and telephone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Dronkers / Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 @ 11:41 a.m. / Economy
Hey, what’s in the most recent Humboldt County Index of Economic activity? Huh? Some people don’t think articles about statistics get clicks. They think you’re easily bored.
The government shutdown complicated the unemployment data, but “leading indicators show positive signs for the local economy with Help Wanted and Buildings Permits up, and unemployment claims down.”
- Gas prices are down
- Hospitality is up by 5.7% over last month
- Home prices are 34.4% higher than this time last year
- Median home price in Humboldt County rose to $243,500 from last month’s $242,750
- Monthly foreclosures continued to decrease
- The Retail Sales Index increased by 0.6 percent, 2.1% above this time last year
- Lumber manufacturing decreased 3.7%
Cypress Grove Chevre, the award-winning and much-lauded high-end goat cheese manufacturer, has been mucho busy this week as the walls go up on its new creamery expansion project. This new facility is going to about double the square footage given over to producing of of one of Arcata’s most prized exports.
The LoCO took a spin over to 11th & Q to witness the work at the invitation of Cypress Grove Customer Service Manager Charles Horn, who you may know in a somewhat different context. Horn was jazzed. The construction, which has been underway for some time now, has, since Monday, entered its most visible phase, with the big cranes lifting the specially constructed concrete slab walls into place. The new facility is scheduled to come online sometime next year.
The project hasn’t been without controversy. Last year the Arcata Eye reported on an appeal against it that had been filed by residents in the general vicinity of Cypress Grove World HQ — the same person, incidentally, whose threatened legal action against Cypress Grove’s proposed goat dairy prompted Cypress G to move their beasts to McKinleyville. But Armstrong lost this one, and now construction is furiously moving forward.
Have you seen that big pile of dirt on Alliance recently? That’s from the expansion project; it’s the dirt that was dug out to make room for the new building’s foundation. Horn said that it’s going to be spread around to terraform the remainder of the parcel, much of which will be given over to a community park/walkway and fruit farm. The company is going to put apple trees, free for the picking, on that somewhat benighted corner of the town.
All the money for the project came from Cypress Grove’s corporate parent, the Swiss cheese behemoth Emmi. (That’s SWISS cheese behemoth. Not SWISS CHEESE behemoth. You get it.) When Emmi bought the skyrocketing Cypress Grove back in 2010, there was a lot of fear of what has since been known as the “Yakima effect” — mega-successful local business gets bought out, new owners promptly get the hell out of Humboldt.
But this huge capital investment seems to prove that Emmi is hanging in Humboldt for the long haul.