Friday, April 1, 2011

Local tragedy compounded by lack of income.





In the past when we have had local disasters, such as landslides and road failures, the residents and businesses have suffered greatly. We have suffered  from loss of jobs because people couldn’t get to work, and businesses suffered from loss of sales because people aren’t able to travel freely. The upside has usually been that the local contractors and truck drivers get work repairing the damage, so the disasters hurt a few, but help other locals, so it all comes out in the wash. Some of the money that we have paid in taxes comes back to stir the economy, so we can send the money back in taxes again.


Maybe I’m speaking out of turn here, and if I am, please correct me and I will sincerely apologize. But, I haven’t seen one damn piece of local equipment on the slide repair. Have all of the local contractors and truckers said to hell with it? 


Also, I’m no expert, but I know people that would have had that slide open within two days. Three little excavators are like three kids with tablespoons in a sandbox. They need dozers and earthmovers to stack the dirt back down the wide turnout. The road could have been passable long ago!


I really would like an explanation as to why Caltrans approached this repair without any local opportunity whatsoever.


If there are any local people that would have liked to have their equipment on this job and were not given the opportunity. I would seriously like to hear from you. Or if you have an opinion about this project, please comment.


The one silver lining is that our local state and county workers are getting some good overtime pay. Too bad the local contractors are sucking hind tit.

33 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

Okay, I talked about the elephant in the room. All the people that are out of work have the opportunity to say something here.

Rose said...

It's a good question - you do know alot of people with heavy equipment have given up - because of SB 32

Mandating thirty and forty thousand dollar mufflers on a ten thousand dollar backhoe just doesn't pay - so they are selling the equipment out of state and giving up - and that's not even counting the bizarre reporting requirements...

How is it that all this stuff is allowed to go on and no one cares? Even now - who cares that there's no local contractors?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Rose
I'm not that up on SB32, but I thought that was postponed until the recession was over, or maybe the postponement didn’t pass. All I know is that there are a lot of long-faced local contractors that would like some good honest work.

I don’t want to use names and make too firm of statements until I know more. But, as I say this slide would have been small potatoes for some people that I know. But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is some kind of state or federal rule that says that they can only scoop the mud out with backhoes.

It’s insane that the whole hwy 101 traffic is being held hostage while the road is being spooned clean. Do you have any idea what an economic dent the private sector is taking?

Ernie Branscomb said...

As a lifelong contractor, I can tell you that I know about the "good-ol-boy" system. That's were a contractor has a good reputation, does a good job, and everybody likes him. He ends up getting most of the good jobs and gets the opportunity to do joint bids with other favored contractors. There is not a contractor out there that doesn't know what I'm talking about.

The good-ol-boy system is great when you are the good ol boy, but I can tell you that it really sucks when you are not the good ol boy. Sometimes a person really does some soul searching about where you might have gone wrong, or why you got left out of a job that you should have gotten.

It feels just like discrimination, and you don't know why that you are being left out. But you are.

I think that there are a few in Garberville, and Humboldt County, today that feel that way.

Fred said...

It's AB32- California's greenhouse gas law- not SB. Prop 23 would have suspended AB32 until unemployment reached a certain lower percentage but, as one would expect, voters rejected it.

Rose said...

Yeah. Fred's right.

Rose said...

Basically, people are giving up. We all know the "Progressives" don't care - but maybe something like this will wake the normal people up. Instead of making ourselves stronger we are legislating in our own inability to provide - on hundreds of levels.

Ernie Branscomb said...

The law was postponed. Click on California Air Resourses Board

Ben said...

The company doing the work is the one contracted to do the repair on the Avenue at Miranda according to a post on Kym's blog. They moved their excavators right to the site after signing a contract at 3 PM the day of the slide. Obviously an earthmover (can) and a couple of Eukes would be a big help but where is the dirt going? In the bad old days, we would have dumped it in the river or Dean Creek and let the next high water take care of it. I heard complaints from my Cal Trans friends previous to the slide that the State was using out of area contractors and contracting much work that Cal Trans should have been doing at greater expense to the State (and us taxpayers). I think I see some local dump trucks out there...
Just to needle Rose... If there's anything that needs nationalizing in the US it is the cellphone system. The Chinese have assured cellphone and internet reception throughout the country and it is cheap. We will cripple our economic progress with cell monopolies, poor reception and high fees as the companies merge and impose a stranglehold on service and fees.

Rose said...

http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2011/04/green-regulation-machine-saving-planet.html

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks for the link Rose. There is just too much pseudo-science in the world today. Did it all start with Al Gore? Or did it start with the two guys that invented the ozone hole?

With a small bit of research you will find that any scientist that presents an alternative view is viciously axed from any kind of science funding. I don’t understand why that is. Is there that much money in the fraud?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Wow, great minds think alike!

Kym Kemp just did a similar posting to this one grumbling about not using local contractors.

I remember anybody that had a piece of equipment or a truck had a job after the 1964 flood. Many people bought new equipment just to use on the road repair.

As usual Kym did a great job of reporting. Go Here

Ernie Branscomb said...

Some good news. Ben Schill has reported that he is seeing quite a few local trucks now working the slide.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are not using local contractors because of quality issues.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Gee Anon, I wouldn't have signed that statement either.

Fred said...

The law was postponed..

Probably some parts of it. What you might be referring to is a recent court decision that put AB32 on hold because the court didn't feel other options to the Cap and Trade thing weren't given adequate consideration.

I wouldn't hold out much hope as courts generally tend to favor government.

Anonymous said...

I understand they are paying the truck drivers with subcontractor IOU's .I heard John Neal pulled out because of no real paycheck

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks anon.
I don't know what the issues are here, but I know that there are real issues. There are Local Humboldt contractors that are honorable and competent.

It's probably before most people's time here, but Van Meter construction cleared Carl's slide. They peeled that whole hillside clear, and that hill was straight up and down, compared to this slide.

Van Meter also worked on the Confusion Hill slide. That slide was straight up and down on both sides of the road. There are various Humboldt County contractors that could have handled the Dean Creek slide. Not only could they have handled it, they would have looked forward to having a piece of cake job like this one.

There should have been a protocol of local contractors to be contacted. It goes down kind of hard to see more work and money leaving the area.

Dave Kirby said...

Shea is the outfit who did the dirt work on the Confusion Hill bridges. They lost three of their guys in that plane crash just below Old Briceland Rd.

Eric Kirk said...

I'm told that a few locals have been hired. A couple of names were given to me, but I don't see any reason to post them. I'm a little sour on blog commenting and personal agendas lately, and the last thing I want to do is have morons speculating on why these few were chosen.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eric
I can understand how you feel about the "morons", especially the ones that make vicious attacks, character assassinations, and then run hide.

The working people are my people and I will support them in any way that I can. You might want to join me. I know that there is some sour-grapes over the way the job came down. All I want to do is help establish a protocol for disaster relief. I think that we are sorely lacking in the southern Humboldt area. Humboldt county needs that income. As you know, southern Humboldt has not had a lot of “wealth” lately, and we need all the help that we can get. Like I say, you might consider joining me.

The other thing that I should say, is the job seems to have shifted into high-gear lately, and it appears that the road will be open Monday. I hope that they will leave it open. The cost to the private sector is enormous when it is closed.

Anonymous said...

Gee, maybe Caltrans doesn't want a bunch of dope heads running caterpillars and dump trucks.

MAYBE CALTRANS HAS HIGHER STANDARDS THAN YOU FUCKING LOSERS DO!

Ernie Branscomb said...

I have no doubt that Caltrans has high standards. However, I question their inability to see that Humboldt county needs the jobs. People lives should be considered.

I feel that it does a real disservice to the workers of Humboldt county to categorize them as you did. It is a lie and you are a coward.

Anonymous said...

Jobs are needed everywhere. Better it goes to law abiding citizens than riff raff like your lot. Last thing we need is someone crippled or dead at the hands of a doper. Go ahead and pretend to be proud of your drug addicted community Mr. Branscomb, and go ahead and continue to play the victim. Poor you!

Eric Kirk said...

Thank you anonymous poster for confirming the validity of my decision not to post the names of the local "losers" working hard to to convenience your ass.

Anonymous said...

To make a correction John Neill did not pull off the job, and he is happy to have a job. He is also very impressed with how the job is being run but wish more locals got put on it.

concerned tax payer said...

while some of the things i have read on this blog are true,many are incomplete, understates, misleading, and most of all uninformed. The three people that died in the airplane crash worked for roy e ladd not jf shea. while jf shea is from out of town they are also a very large compang with offices all over the us. redding is just one. humboldt county is a big looser when it comes to this slide. not only did the traffic get interrupted, but business, school children were unable to attend school. this hurts the students and the budgets for the schools affected. all the funding for this job will be going out of the county and not spent here in humboldt. the funding for this disaster would have been spent in humboldt county at local small businesses and services, which in turn would have generated tax dollars that are badly needed in humboldt. so much to say and so little time to say it. please call your elected officials and let them know this is work that could and should have been done by local workers.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eric
The reason that I leave some of the hurtful "Anonymous" comments here is because I want the readers to see the mentality of the people that we are dealing with.

We do have a high percentage of people in this commumity that will freely admit that, their very sanity depends on a daily dose of "The Medicine". That aside, the great majority of southern Humboldt people are clear-headed working people that could easily pass a drug test any any time or place.

Just because a large percentage of people that live here are compassionate people that accept the other dregs of society that have been driven here, doesn't mean that most of us are drug addled. By far, most are not on any kind of drug.

Our working people, and our Humboldt county contractors were entitled to a fair opportunity to work those jobs made available by the slide.

I have no problem with the contractor that got the job, I’m sure that they are honest hard working people. My problem is that we were just handed a Humboldt county stimulus package that was pissed away to Los Angeles and Redding instead of staying here.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Taxpayer
Thank-you for the correction, Roy E Ladd was the contractor that was working on Confusion Hill. Their pilot and engineers were in that plane crash.

I was at the accident. They didn't suffer even a second. Small consolation, but sometimes a relief.

I really don't know where to start addressing what went wrong with the contract being given away, when the work is needed right here in Humboldt so badly.

I'm sure that whoever made the decision got paid the same no matter what so, there is no skin off their noses, but if their livelihoods depended upon local work, they would see the situation entirely differently.

kathleen said...

whoever mr. anonymous is has some real trouble issues. completely uninformed. really angery, and hurts the conversation by rational normal speaking people. no i don't due drugs, but i can guess who does.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again since many of you have short term memory issues. Last thing we need is someone crippled or dead at the hands of a doper.

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