Stories from the 2014 campaign trail…

Last year a friend of mine who is part of the local environmental community endorsed my wife, Virginia Bass for her County Supervisor re-election, in writing no less. Although we have differing political views, we’re always able to share respectful, spirited discussions without one side resorting to yelling, being rude or delusional.

Then the sumbitch called less than a week later.

“Yeah, ummm, I’m doing this environment thingie and uhhh, if they get wind I supported Virginia Bass… that would be bad for me.  So I gotta pull my endorsement, okay?”

“Sure, no problem.  For only ninety-nine bucks I’ll take your name off her endorser list.”


“Yup, election law states at $99 or less I don’t have to report your name on any public report. You want your name off - it’ll cost you $99.”

“Okay, sounds good.  I’ll cut you a check tomorrow.”

Eight weeks went by and the cheap bastard hadn’t sent the check.

I know where you live!

I know where you work! Yes, some in the environmental community actually have a real job in the private sector.

So I threatened him with Humboldt County shunning.  That’s right, the environmental community pretending he’s not alive (sounds a lot like how I’m treated by them).

Gimmie the check or it gets leaked throughout Humboldt County that you endorsed Supervisor Virginia Bass for re-election!

You won’t be able to show your face at any environmental event ever again.

  • Natalynne DeLapp will issue an EPIC denial of your existence.
  • Dan Ehresman will make sure you’re SOL at the NEC.
  • Baykeepers will have their Bay Area attorneys file an injunction against you.
  • The 3 Jens (sound kind of like a band ya hear on KSLG, huh?) will chant a curse against you: Jen Savage will pray to her surf gods. Jen Kalt will stop talking GPU update with you. Wait, is that a bad thing? Jen Rice… what does Jen Rice do again?
  • Mark Lovelace will issue a fatwa against you on his private Facebook page stating, “Stop what you’re doing right now and watch in horror at what this person has done. This is happening and it’s truly appalling.”
  • Noah Levy will write a convoluted email that becomes public record.
  • Patrick Higgins will re-educate you on the errors of your ways in only 25 minutes of him speaking non-stop.
  • Mike Wilson will sesquipedalian quibble about your negative dichotomy on environment issues while pedantically working Rob Arkley and HumCPR into the colloquy.
  • Arcata’s Green Wheels (all three of them) will run you over with their bicycles if they see you on the Plaza.
  • Larry Glass will shake his finger at you with a public shout-out admonishment.
  • Gary Graham-Hughes will issue press release with a strong denouncement of you.
  • Hezekiah Allen will ask tough questions of what you’ve really accomplished while Mother Earth is dying.
  • Scott Greacen will give a TedX talk blaming you for not knowing which environmental group he’s with this year.
  • Jack Nounan will paint some bed sheets and string them across the County Courthouse lawn while he goes off on his latest rant – this time against you.
  • Friends of the (fill in the blank) River won’t invite you to their next beer and bong bash on the (fill in the blank) River.
  • “Bad” Bob Ornelas will leave the Carter House bar if you walk in. Okay, he’ll probably take his drink with him.
  • Richard Salzman will highlight your name next to his predictable propaganda of “land speculators” and “developers” when throwing out his latest red meat for the ravenous rabid radical base in his weekly Redwood Progressives email blast.
  • Sylvia De Rooy will write her third (this month) rambling letter to the editor in the North Coast Journal blaming you for the “Gang of Four”®, now called “The Elected Four and the Gang of One”®.
  • Judy Hodgson, the North Coast Journal publisher will write a five-page cover story on how you were a shill for the environmental community and it’s really all your fault the General Plan Update has been delayed 14 years. Many people reading this will believe it to be true.
  • Ryan Burns will do his latest Lost Coast Outpost hit piece on you with his obligatory sensationalized bold headlines, “Local Environmentalist Has Drug and Alcohol Fueled Altercation.” In defense, you were drinking a beer and smoking a joint, so technically he got some of his story right.
  • The Tuluwat Examiner will just make up shit about you on their anonymous blog with one sentence based on fact and the rest complete fertilizer. The same three anonymous people will comment on this blog post.
  • Heraldo will threaten to revive his Humboldt Herald blog from Sacramento just to post obsessive false rumors about you.
  • Liberal Jon will write numerous blog posts each and every day on any Humboldt blog he can locate, blaming you for global warming, errrr make that climate change in Humboldt County.
  • And worse of all, that Matthew in the Middle dude will expose you on his Lost Coast Outpost column. 

Send me the damn check or you’ll never do environment in this town again!

UPDATE: It only took nine weeks and the threat of a “Matthew In the Middle” column to get the check from Mr. Slowhand. You can locate his name on the 460s … or not as he will be one of many “mystery donors”. Election laws state that any contributions of $100 or more (cumulative in a calendar year) must be reported. $99 and less are not reportable and will remain a mystery.

-Inquiring Minds Want To Know-

Two items this past month made me question why our local environmental community really exists.  Are they here to be good stewards and protectors of our local environment or to file lawsuits against deep pockets on behalf of their Bay Area attorneys?

You decide. I call it the “Rob Arkley litmus test.”

Here’s Executive Director of Friends of the Eel River Scott Greacen’s quote from the NCJ’s recent cover story “Growing the Machine,” “The environmental community would have long ago sued the (cannabis) industry into compliance if it existed with a single fixed address and phone number, instead of thousands of them.

So let me get this straight, you know of thousands of outlaw marijuana growers who are polluting our environment … and you do nothing?

Using Greacen’s words again, “…from soil dumping and pesticide use to illegal water diversions and unpermitted grading…

The environmental community has access to the latest real estate holdings from public records and Google Earth so they know who owns what land and could have gone after the bad actors in the cannabis trade. Remember, if you want to make a grown man cry, make him hire an attorney.

Let’s pretend Rob Arkley was an outlaw grower in the hills of SoHum or Willow Creek sucking the streams dry and destroying the land. How many hours would it have taken our local environmental community to have their Bay Area attorneys file a lawsuit? Think of this, had the NEC (Northcoast Environmental Center), Friends of the Eel River and EPIC filed thousands of lawsuits against all the bad dopers, Humboldt County would be a very different place today

Do you think it’s just rumors that the local environmental community has their fair share of outlaw growers and much of the donor base is growers with the bags of cash donations to keep your hands (lawsuits) off us? Amber Jamieson, EPIC’s former office manager, was arrested in 2011 with 495 pounds of processed packaged marijuana with a street value of $594,000 and some 298 marijuana plants. So is EPIC part of the solution or part of the problem? (Note to local law enforcement: if you Google Earth “Rock Pit Road in Fieldbrook, CA” you can have your choice of industrial mega-grows to bust for the next few weeks as I can see all types of environment damage being done in the name of marijuana cash.)

I’ll go even further referencing Peter Pennekamp’s excellent “County Gone To Pot” Times-Standard letter to the editor where he said, “… where is the anger and organizing to stop the insidious damage from the marijuana industry?”

Can you tell me what the local environmental community has done against all the bad marijuana growers who have devastated our County for the sake of cash over the past 30 years?

There’s that silence thingie again.

# # #

Moving on… quoting EPD Chief Andy Mills who says the homeless population behind the Bayshore Mall “produces 25 to 50 gallons of urine and about 100-400 pounds of human feces daily. That turns out to be 146,000 pounds of human waste per year that flowing into the marsh area. Not to mention all the syringes, batteries, oil, spray paint, trash, shopping carts and other debris that comes with the camps.”

During his PowerPoint presentation to the Eureka City Council, Chief Mills showed a photo (below) of a biohazard waste truck saying, “…one of these per month is going into the bay.”

So, here’s a simple question… what is Baykeepers doing about this?

If Baykeepers really cares about the quality of our Humboldt Bay, what are they doing about the pollution they know is seeping into our bay each and every day from the homeless population?

I know it’s not politically correct (or profitable) suing homeless folks as they don’t have deep pockets of cash. Heck most don’t even have pockets. So could Baykeepers have at least paid for some porta-potties down at Devil’s Playground and maybe organized monthly clean-ups of all the garbage and spray paint cans floating in the marsh?

Is it all about progressive community’s perception to each other and lawsuits against wealthy individuals and corporations or is it about grassroots volunteering to keep our environment pristine?

What do you your eyes tell you?