— Everyone’s hella geared up for the big event tomorrow, when the California Citizens Redistricting Commission is set to release its for-real first draft maps. Will Humboldt County’s representation in Congress and the state legislature be tossed to the Shasta County wolves? These earlier non-maps would seem to indicate the negative, but we will wait and see.

Tensions are running highToday the Sac Bee blog reported the the commission conducted an internal investigation into an incident last month, when a commissioner made a staff member cry. The incident had a partisan taint, apparently, but the investigation concluded that the tears flew just because everyone was pretty much exhausted.

— Railroad politics are tiresomely heating up again. Apparently someone somewhere is freaking out about the fact that Supervisor Clif Clendenen, Humboldt County’s senior delegate to the board of the North Coast Railroad Authority, has a business near the tracks. Someone has filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging, apparently, that Clendenen is biased against the return of freight traffic between the Bay Area and Humboldt County (a goal that the NCRA itself, at least, has officially given up on.) No particular Clendenen vote or otherwise legally compromising official action seems to have been cited in the complaint.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee yesterday came out strong in favor of railbanking — alleged support of which is the sole sin Clendenen is accused of committing. The committee goes whole hog with this thing, asking the NCRA to think (again) about railbanking the entire troublesome Eel River Canyon, which the authority considered for about half a minute a couple of months ago.

This new press release, this kind of shaky FPPC complaint, yesterday’s legal threat from Friends of the Eel, Marin County Commissioner Bernie Meyers on the offensive about the NCRA shaky operator contract, all above all appointment of hardcore train skeptic Bill Kier to the NCRA board on Tuesday — all signs point to a serious eruption of the railroad war. Maybe something will be resolved this time.

HumDemCentCom press release follows. Full resolution here:


At its monthly meeting on June 8, 2011 the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee (HCDCC) passed a Resolution urging the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) to consider the concept of railbanking in an effort to protect and preserve the railroad right-of-way for future use if and when freight service can be restored to the line through the Eel River Canyon.

Railbanking protects the existing railroad right-of-way for future rail use for a time in the future when it becomes economically feasible to do so. It avoids fragmentation of the right-of-way if the line is deemed abandoned. In the meantime, the right-of-way can be utilized for the benefit of the public in a number of ways such as for excursion trains, utility lines, or bike, equestrian and pedestrian trails.

When resumption of freight service is called for, the right-of-way reverts back to the railroad and any other uses must be abandoned. For more information, check our website at www.humboldtdemocrats.org, on Facebook and Twitter or phone 445-3366.