Eureka Ward 1 Councilmember Marian Brady. | Screenshot of from Tuesday’s Eureka City Council meeting video.

Marian Brady is displeased.

Eureka’s Ward 1 representative on the city council has long been a believer in the deeply implausible notion of a new east-west rail line being constructed between Eureka to the Central Valley, transforming our harbor into a major international shipping port. So Brady was profoundly disappointed when the Trinity County Board of Supervisors chose not to accept a $276,000 Caltrans grant that would have helped fund a feasibility study for the fantastical project.

At its regular Tuesday night meeting the Eureka City Council officially rescinded its support for the now-nonexistent Humboldt Bay Alternative Rail Route Feasibility Study, and it ended the city’s participation in the UpState RailConnect Committee, the group that’s been pushing hardest for the east-west rail project. 

But before the vote, Brady, who’s been one of the committee’s most devoted members, seized the opportunity to “try to educate” her fellow council members on the folly of Trinity County’s civic leaders.

“I have the right to speak about this,” she declared, though no one had suggested otherwise. The UpState RailConnect Committee spent years trying to bring the railroad to fruition through a transparent public process, she said, and the selfless effort was thwarted by the “small-minded individuals in Trinity County who showed a cowardly side” by caving to public pressure. (Trinity County residents expressed nearly unanimous opposition to the project at the March meeting where the grant was abandoned.)

In order for our harbor to be a fully functioning seaport, Brady continued, it needs to serve as a bridge between China and the rest of the United States. Such a port could give birth to economic growth the likes of which we can only imagine. People might want to, say, build portable housing to “ship to some Third World country,” she suggested.

But no. At the last second the Trinity board “wimped out.”

“There goes our bright future,” Brady lamented. 

Watch her comments below: