Tuesday, January 31, 2012

SB-81 passes. Governor Brown is expected to sign it.

From The Sacramento Bee:
"In Tuesday's hearing, Republicans and Democrats representing rural areas joined together to lobby for SB 81, which only applies for the remainder of this school year. The bus cut was triggered when state forecasters determined last month that California would fall $2.2 billion short of a $4 billion tax revenue bump that Brown and lawmakers assumed in the 2011-12 state budget.

"It's a catastrophic problem in my district and in many other rural parts of California," said Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata, who represents the North Coast area. "Eliminating the school bus system creates dangerous situations for many children in California, but for my district it means it would be impossible for many children, if not most children in some districts, to attend school at all."

The cut would have hit some rural districts particularly hard. According to data compiled by the California School Boards Association, the isolated Death Valley Unified School District would lose $1,734 per student this spring. Meanwhile, many suburban districts would lose less than $10 per student.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/01/jerry-brown-lawmakers-back-bill-protecting-california-school-bus-money.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, January 30, 2012

School Bus, or, the missing link.

While most people are reasonable and understanding, some are remarkably small minded and selfish. The recent school bus transportation crisis is a good (bad) example. Some of the small minded and selfish people are saying that Southern Humboldt parents are greedy in wanting their children transported to school at taxpayers expense. Most of these comments are coming from an area that just took the money that was going to be spent to repave Garberville’s Redwood drive. They intend to spend it to make the “safety corridor” between Eureka and Arcata “safer”.

“Stip” money is used to spend on needed road improvements. However, it is more often stolen to help balance the state budget. Mendocino spreads their stip money throughout the county, like Laytonville’s new sidewalks, street lighting, and brick crosswalks. Also Cloverdale, and Fort Brag have had many improvements. The county seat, Ukiah, has not used as much of this funding as the rest of the county. But, Eureka seems to soak up most all of the stip funding. Just recently the board of supes just gave them the money to improve the safety corridor. It seems that they feel justified because Garberville has an “underground economy” that should take care of those things. WRONG! We have no control, nor any vote on how the underground economy spends their money.

Garberville’s only resource is through our elected officials. If they take the money away from road projects and School Bus transportation we simply will not get any. Our elected officials should be taking care of Garberville, and they are NOT. To be fair Garberville pays more than it’s fair share already. Southern Humboldt pays @80% of the Humboldt County Bed tax. Plus the “underground economy” feeds the whole county. Like it or not, if you live in Humboldt you are part of the underground economy. Marijuana is a major supplier of the new money coming into, and feeding our county’s wealth. I don’t use marijuana, never have, never will. I don’t grow marijuana, never have never will. But, the fact remains that we are almost totally dependant upon it. The clear thinking people will realize that fact. Like it or not.

Now, let’s get back to the “unfairness” ditty. How many times have we heard people say that “if you want services, you should live in town?” Isn’t a little two faced to slap the face of the very people that provides the cities with most of their wealth. The timber industry that supported the cities sure didn’t grow their trees in the city. Is it still okay to spend that money in the city? The tourists that come here to see the trees sure don’t see them in the city. They sure as heck don’t catch the fish in the city. The Eel river is a major source of tourism and sport fishing. Does it flow through your city? I mean other than the wealth that it brings into the county.

I know that it is, thankfully, only a small handful people that think that it is unfair to spend any tax money in the rural areas. But, darn, it is hurtful when people say that our roads and school children don’t deserve the tax money that mostly comes from rural industries. Isn’t it a little counter productive to have a Richardson Grove Park Ranger live in Eureka, just so they can send their kids to school? Doesn’t that end up using more road and gas money in the long run? People need to live in rural areas, it is out of the question for everybody to live in town. No offence, because I love Eureka, but I would wither and die if I had to live there. I love the sunshine and can barely make through a Garberville winter let alone continual dreary weather that some people love. How long do you think that those people would like to live in the 100 degree weather that I love?

Now, to get back to more unfairness directed toward rural folks. Just a few short years ago, we had a thriving timber industry, selective cut, sustained yield, and all that. We had small schools in every small town; Ettersburg, Fort Seward, Alderpoint. We even had a Southern Humboldt school in Eel Rock, we called it “The Eel Rock institute of higher learning”. I won’t go into all the reasons for the demise of the timber industry, but it happened through no fault of the people of Southern Humboldt. As the logging and lumber mills closed, it was deemed prudent to close the schools and bus the remaining children to school, thereby saving money in the long run. In fact it was mandated by the state that now doesn’t want to pay for the transportation to school.

Now back to a plea for understanding. We have no problem spending our money in the cities, we just want a little tit-for-tat. I don’t have any children in school, but I can see the wisdom in getting the kids to school so they can learn. They need transportation funding!

I know that some of you don’t know, but about 25% of the kids that come to school in Southern Humboldt come malnourished and under clothed. Tired, hungry, and cold is no way to learn anything. The Rotary club is doing what they can to make sure that the kids get fed. Other groups are helping clothe the kids. But without busing it is likely that they just won’t get to school. Now, you can moralize, point fingers of blame, and talk about all the problems, but when you get to the other side, almost all clear thinking people will realize that it is not the kids fault. And, if it makes you feel any better, I have personally witnessed the success of getting the kids to school. More than one of the kids, that might have given up, have gone on to become award winning students and even more than one have become foreign exchange students. Giving up on a kid, or their education is the worse possible thing to do!

Oh, by the way, don’t let the City’s business people hear you say that marijuana doesn’t bring them any money. I’m sure that they don’t want them to stop shopping in the city.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Environment

I should start this post with the disclaimer that I am no expert in the field of ecology. But, I have an open, scientific mind, and believe strongly in facts, and I have seen much more history in the South Fork of the Eel Valley than most. All the branches of my father’s family have lived in the South Fork of the Eel since the 1850s. I’ve heard most all of the pioneer stories; some of them were actually true.

I like to consider myself to be an environmentalist, but I am more and more reluctant to group myself with some of those radical fuzzy thinkers out there that think that all you have to do to save a tree is simply love it. I find it amusing that the iconic redwood has become the symbol of saving a forest. The redwood tree is probably the most durable and healthy tree on the whole north coast. I would be the first to shed a tear over the thousands and thousand of old-growth trees that have already been cut, and I would be the first to agree that they cut way too many of the old-growth redwoods trees during Maxxam’s (and others) reign of destruction. However, there are still thousands and thousands of old-growth redwoods left, and indeed they need protection, but the millions of second growth trees that are now growing, are by far the healthiest trees on the north coast.

The Tan Oaks are suffering from sudden oak death, but so far it doesn’t seem to be as bad as we expected it to be. Some pepperwoods are also being sapped by sudden oak death. One of my favorite trees is the Maple tree that has the bright yellow leaves in the fall. If you look around you, you will discover that the redwoods out-number the maples by at least a thousand to one. The maple tree is mostly held back because it is a very tasty tree to squirrels and deer. Porcupines also love to strip the bark of the maple. As kids we would gather the winged seeds and throw them into the air to watch them slowly propeller-spin to the ground. On windy days we would go up on the windy ridge above my grandmother ranch and throw the winged seeds high into the air and watch them spin clear out of sight. I wonder how many maple trees that we planted as kids.

What made me start thinking about these kinds of things is a discussion that I read on another blog about how clear-cutting a redwood forest wouldn’t hurt the fish runs. I agree that it would be possible to grow even sized trees, then clear cut them, and haul then out without tearing up the ground with overhead cables. But, and this is a big but! There is far more to consider than simply the fish. Other critters are forest dwellers, and they might be impacted.

The total environment should always be considered. The flying squirrels, especially, live in old grow, and less than healthy trees. They nest in rotten cavities in the tree trunks, like only an old growth forest has. By selective cutting of harvestable trees, the old growth habitat can be maintained and valuable lumber can still be produced. The flying squirrel is just one thing to consider. There are many critters that live in a forest.

Being an environmentalist, I believe that the world is far too populated, seven billion people is way beyond a sustainable number of people. We may be able to feed and provide for that many people, with great co-operation and great care of the environment, but human nature and especially human greed will never allow the world to continue with that many people. Too many people is the worlds biggest crisis.

Having this many people means that we have to worry about what helps, and what hurts, the environment. Forest products are the best way to sustain the environment. Trees grow on sunshine, soil, and water. When they are cut and put into buildings, they are sequestering carbon. If you are somebody that is concerned about the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, you should see the wisdom of using forest products. I believe that we can maintain a healthy forest by selective cutting and lumber production. All that it takes is to have some forest practice rules that consider ALL the environment, critters, fish, animals, plants, and yes….. Humans.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sacramento Meeting with Noreen Evans and Wesley Chesbro

The following links are broadcasts done on Southern Humboldt school's trip to Sacramento.

KMUD broadcast on Southern Humboldt's visit to the Capitol
The link will take you to the archives. Scrool down the list until you come to "Local news, 6:00 PM edition" Tuesday January 24, 20012.
(The school issue starts about halfway through.)

This Broadcast is a report done By Lisa Morehouse who works for KQED

The photo is by Lisa Gribi. It is a thankfully fuzzy photo of me holding a sign walking in circles in front of the California State Capitol.

I wasn't part of the meetings inside the capitol with Senator Evans and Congressman Chesbro. We stayed outside and peacefully walked in circles. One of the demonstrators asked me if I was having fun, because I was doing a lot of smiling. It hadn't occurred to me before, that I was smiling. But I guess that I was. I was glad to see such a large turnout, because a few people that I know, who wanted to come, didn't make it. I estimate that there were around 300 people there. That is an outstanding turnout for a small community. To put it colloquial terms, that Southern Humboldt is so uniquely known for, the lady standing next to me said, "Wow! We don't have this many people show up to a spaghetti feed!" I knew most all of the people there, and most of the kids. It was about all the people that I thought might be there, plus a few that quite suprised me for being there.

Jim Baker and I had a talk about the history of the early settlement of the Sacramento Valley. It's much more fun when you can stand there and point out all the places. We get to talk about things that you just can't talk about without a deep background in California history. Some things just take too much explanation if you are not familiar with the players.

When the school reps came back outside, I was with Dennis O'Sullivan. When I looked to my right, Congressman Chesbro was approaching me. We shook hands and stared talking about how many people were there. Chesbro addressed the crowd and told us that he very much understood the bus situation and he was very much on our side. He told us that he expected the funding bills to pass but he was afraid that Governor Jerry Brown might veto them, but he was trying to get a personal meeting with the Governor to explain the dynamics of a small widely spread school district, and how very important busing was in so many ways.

As I was listening to him talk, I looked to my left and Senator Noreen Evans was standing beside me. Dennis O'Sullivan Introduced me, and I mentioned that Robin Shelley said to tell her hello. The Senator said that they were teen-age friends. I mentioned to the Senator that I used to do the refrigeration at A-1 Foods in Laytonville. She said that surely we had met before because she used to be a clerk there for her grandparents(?). Ain't small towns great? I told her that I was pleased that she understood small town dynamics. She replied that she was very familiar with small towns, and their people. It left me feeling like smiling a lot more. Robin has great taste in friends!

Evans echoed Chesbro in that they were on our side and they would try hard to fulfill our wishes. Evans said she had never seen such a large percentage of people from such a small town show up on the capitols steps. Wesley Chesbro said that he had listened to Lisa Morehouse's KQED's California Report and knew that other legislators had listened to it also, they mentioned that Chesbro's district was in the news that morning.

The other, most important thing that Chesbro said when he shook my hand, that he had read my blog this morning! I have witnesses! Eat your heart out Kym Kemp!

Branscomb,  Evans, O'Sullivan, and Chesbro. Photo by Lisa Music

More info at Lost Coast Outpost, Kym Kemp


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. B go to Sacramento.

Janis and I are going to go to Sacramento, along with about 200 other Southern Humboldt School District representatives.
From California watch:  In protest of state budget cuts that threaten school busing, representatives from the Southern Humboldt Unified School District are traveling to Sacramento to meet with their state lawmakers, Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Eureka, and Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa. The district anticipates a large turnout of students and families and welcomes other districts to join them.
"At Southern Humboldt Unified, Stewart hopes the district can siphon enough money from the classroom to provide some bus service, but it won't be "anything near" the 11 routes it offers now, he said. It also will consider charging students who are not low-income to ride the bus and ask families to carpool.
"There's really not many viable alternatives than, say, driving your kids to school," Stewart said. "When you talk about driving an hour to bring your kid to school and then you've got to drive an hour home, that's two hours, and you've got to repeat that in the afternoon. … We're talking a huge expense."
Stewart predicts that without bus service, attendance will fall, hurting funding even more.
"It's kind of a snowball," he said. "We can't get them here because we have no money, they can't get here, we have less money, and on and on." 
The school district is making a government field trip for the students out of the trip to Sacramento. I understand that the students are writing essays on why they should be chosen. A lot of parents and school representatives are going along. Long time school board member Dennis O'Sullivan and other school district officials will be meeting with Wes Chesbro. Other people involved with the trip to the capitol seem to be well organized. I, however, am still a little bit confused as to our function on the trip. I am deeply troubled by the damage that not having busing in southern Humboldt will do to our small tight-knit community. More on the damage later. I am going mostly to come up to speed on the possibility to save our community for certain disaster for some local families. It is heart wrenching, in these poor economic times, to see people losing their jobs. If nothing else, I want to go along to Sacramento to empathize with the people most affected. Like I said, I'm deeply troubled by the whole darn situation.

I understand that about 47 people have been given lay-off notices. I have heard that some of them have already found other jobs, but even if they have, that is a job that somebody else won't be getting. 47 families without employment is not good. The job loss has far reaching impact to the local business and housing prices.

The students that are being bused to school will have to find other means to get there. Some have drivers licenses, but they can't drive other kids until they are old enough to have passengers. So, students can't even give their siblings a ride to school. The students that have trouble getting to school anyway may drop out. Some parents may move closer to a school in another city, that won't help our struggling school district, they already have declining enrollment.

One other big problem that I see, is the kids that already come to school hungry and malnourished. They either come from poor or neglectful families. The community has already been providing a "back-pack" program for those kids. The back-packs are filled will nutritional food that gets them through the week. It's hard for a student to learn when they are hungry. I'm not sure what will happen to those kids if there is no way to get them to school.

I'm mostly discouraged by the fact that our politicians seem to have their own priorities and I have never seen much good come out of meeting with them. Maybe I'm cynical, so I'm going with a positive attitude that we can make a difference. I personally know many of the people losing their jobs. They are generous and caring people that have helped the community in so very many touching ways that I don't know where to even begin.  So, even though I don't have much hope, My wife and I owe it to these people to at least make a showing at Sacramento.

We are taking our own car, so we will be able to stop and go when we chose. Janis will take her camera and do some photo's for posterity. We don't intend to be in anybodies face. If the cops tell us to put the camera down, we will. I don't intend to risk Janis having her camera mistaken for a gun and slammed into her face like Felix Omai. And, I don't intend to be anywhere near pepper spray. If a cop tells me to "disperse" I will run in as many directions as I can. I am actually looking forward to the experience! If you are going, we'll see you there!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gingrich rips John King

For those of you who missed it.

I don't know about you, but I am sick to death with debate forums that invite candidates to participate in a debate, then hold the candidates hostage to their own agenda. Whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent or other, I think that it is time to discuss the issues and not the "issues". Knute probably won the hearts and minds of many Americans with his wise reply to a smutty question by John King. I liked the way that he didn't even give King an easy way out, but nailed his toes to the floor as he tried to squirm away.

For those of you who missed it click on the following video.........

ADDENDUM: More stupid questions. This one is from Fox News. I just wanted to prove that I'm "fair and balanced".:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Internet censorship?

Photo by Kim Sallaway

          Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page  for explaination.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Cozumel, Here we come!

I gave a peak preview in a post a while ago about going on a ten day vacation in March. We will be flying from Arcata to San Francisco on the little wind-up prop plane. I shouldn’t make fun of the plane because it is one of the most dependable workhorses in the small airline industry. It is a turboprop Brasilia. But, it has a lot of prop noise that gets right inside your head and rattles around. Anyway, it will take us to San Francisco, where we will board its big brother for a direct flight to Chicago. When we arrive in Chicago, we will be about as far away from our destination as we were in San Francisco. So, then we will board a plane for Fort Lauderdale Florida. The flights are all as cheap as we can get, so the accommodations are crowded and the seats are hard a concrete, the good thing is it is all free… more later.

Then, we will rest in Fort Lauderdale for a day, then board a cruise ship to Belize, a small country just south of the Yucatan peninsula.  From Belize we will cruise to Cozumel Mexico. Then back to Florida. The cruise ship accommodations will be the lap of luxury, we will almost be able to forget the airplane rides.

Now the great part, the trip is all paid for by Radio Shack. My wife is a Radio Shack dealer, and she earned an “Incentive Trip”. That is where, if you meet certain goals, you earn points toward the trip. It’s kind of like a class average grading system, but it’s based mostly on sales. We look good because our sales were within the goal standards, and the other Radio Shack stores didn’t do as well, so we came out on top of the heap. It’s more than just a little humbling to be winning a trip. When we bought the Sears Catalogue Store in 1974, Sears was the number-one retailer in the United States and had been for a few years. Sears started their steady decline through mismanagement, and we got to enjoy the agony of the steady slide downhill. A man by the name of Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) helped Sears with their fall from grace. It was difficult to be a part of the decline. All of the managers that we dealt with were inflexible, and were quick to point out that they were the number-one retailers, and they knew what they were doing, so, the problem with sales must surely be you!

We struggled with sales the whole time that we owned the store. We actually did fairly well, and we were one of their better stores. We even won a set of luggage one year as an incentive prize. But, Sears continued to bottom-out until one morning we came to work and turned on the television display just are they were announcing that all of the Sears Catalogue stores were closed. We had leases, bills and NO business. We were able to hold on long enough to open a Radio Shack. I won’t bore you with the many sad details of moving from a Sears Store to a Radio Shack. We made way less for a while but we won a trip to Hawaii the first year. Eventually the store started making money and we have traveled most all over the near world on Incentive trips. London, Switzerland, Ireland, Bermuda, Hawaii, Alaska and more. This year, Cozumel and Belize.

The trips that we take, we could actually leave our money at home. All travel, accommodations, luggage handling and meals are provided. They pick you up at your door and take you back to your door. In our particular case “Our Door” is Arcata. Like in, “You live where???” Garberville??? Is that really a place??

I wanted to study a little bit about the culture of the places that we would be visiting, so I would know what to look for. The first place that I started to research was Fort Lauderdale. There were three Fort Lauderdales. One up river at the forks, until it was destroyed. Then one at half way between the forks and the ocean. Then the last Fort was at the ocean. Something about three different Seminole Indian wars. The Seminole Indians were never defeated by the white guys. I also found out that some of the Seminole Indians were actually blacks. They had slavery in the southern states of the Mississippi delta hundreds of years before the California Gold Rush. When a slave would escape they would head deep into the swamps to avoid being recaptured. They eventually formed alliances with the Seminole Indians. Some of them even formed marriages, and made babies. So I have a jumping off point to study the history and culture. It sounds interesting.

By the time I get to Belize, I’m sure that I will know what I want to study there. Spyrock already gave me some tips. Thanks Spy! I know that In Cozumel, back in the 1500s you could buy a wife for 200 coco beans. Coco is still the way to my wife’s heart. Maybe I will go on a coco bean trading expedition!

Bu.. buu... but, what happened to global warming???

(CNN) -- A Coast Guard icebreaker and a tanker carrying 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products could arrive in icebound Nome, Alaska, as early as Thursday, the Coast Guard said.

The Sitnasuak Native Corp. of Nome contracted the double-hulled, Russian-flagged tanker Renda to deliver the fuel products to the community of 3,600 on Alaska's west coast after ice formed over the Bering Sea in the wake of a ferocious November storm that prevented the last delivery of the season via barge.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, is escorting the fuel tanker through the ice-covered waters in the first-ever attempt to supply fuel to an Arctic Alaska settlement through sea ice.

A two-ship convoy was 97 miles from Nome early Tuesday, Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, told CNN. The convoy could arrive late Thursday or early Friday.

The Healy battled through 50 miles of ice Monday, she said, stopping for crew rest and maintenance around 7:30 p.m.

During the journey, the Healy has broken through ice ridges as high as 4 feet and plate ice up to 2 feet thick, Coast Guard Capt. Craig Lloyd, who is coordinating the mission, told CNN.

Nome's mayor told CNN she was hopeful the ships meet the current schedule, but "ice is dynamic" and could slow their arrival. Officials also want to ensure the operation is done safely, Mayor Denise Michels said.

"People are excited here in town. This is big news for us," said Michels.

Tuesday's low was around 25 degrees below zero, another shivering day in a cold snap that descended on Nome.

Francis said unmanned aircraft from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks equipped with ground-penetrating radar had flown over the ice between the ships and Nome and determined it is thinner than what the ships had been through so far.

The ships will have to break through about 300 miles of ice during the complete journey, the Coast Guard said. The tanker will get to within about a half-mile of Nome harbor and transfer the fuel stocks to on-shore storage by hose, the Coast Guard said.

Lloyd said Nome had enough fuel to last until about March, but the delivery was attempted now because it would have been even more difficult then.

The village of Noatak, near the Arctic Circle, also has reported fuel shortages, officials said.

Other towns and villages in the state are coping with separate weather-related problems and heavy snow.

Cordova, an isolated coastal town of about 2,000 people some 150 miles east of Anchorage, was one of the hardest-hit locales, with the state National Guard sending Guardsmen and resources after weeks of record snowfall left the city buried under an 18-foot wintry blanket.

Cordova is "isolated off the state highway system," according to the National Guard, and the sea and airport are the only ways in and out of the area.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said 50- to 60-mph wind gusts and 18 more inches of snow to Cordova came Monday night and early Tuesday. Officials are worried about the threat of avalanches near the town's airport.
The oil port of Valdez also was coping with heavy snow loads.

In a normal year, Cordova and Valdez get about 300 inches of snow. "We have received that not in a season but the last 60 days," said John Madden, director of the state emergency department.

About 75 military personnel and civilians were assisting Cordova, with a focus first on clearing roads for emergency vehicles and ensuring homes occupied by the elderly and families with children don't suffer roof collapses from all the snow.
Two commercial structures collapsed and two boats top-heavy with snow turned over there, Madden said.

Valdez and Cordova are among the most-prepared cities in the nation for nasty weather, Madden told CNN. They have extensive plans and hold cold-weather exercises.

But "even with all their best efforts, they are falling behind," Madden said.

A storm and two avalanches, meanwhile, prompted state highway officials to close Seward Highway between Potter Marsh and Girdwood, southeast of Anchorage.

Monday, January 9, 2012

State of the weather, Jan 2012

Mark Twain said “We all grumble about the weather….but nothing is done about it”. We have been having a very sunny, but cold, winter. My grandmother Ruby always said that, “A dry winter is a cold winter”. The weather has been a sure topic to get a response lately. Try saying something like, “wow, what a beautiful day”. If you are in a crowd, everybody will have a different remark. I was by a person the other day when the thought that we were having wonderful weather was mentioned, he actually got angry. He said that “if we don’t start getting some rain, it is going to be a disaster.” Than he went on to ramble something about fish runs and gardens and not to mention drinking water. Most people are slightly worried, but they don’t let it ruin an otherwise nice day.

Justt for the record, (if I had access to records) we’ve had dry winters before. Sometime in the early ‘70s, we had 22 inches of rain, shortly thereafter we had over 100 inches. In 1964 we had snow in May, the river dried up that summer to the lowest flow that the south fork ever recorded, then that winter we had the worse flood in recorded history.

In the early ‘70s we had temperatures so cold that it froze and broke the fire hydrants in Redway. Every exposed pipe, and some not so exposed, froze and broke. It was a plumbers nightmare. So be careful what you ask for, you might get it.

Back in history the world weather got so warm that people moved from Europe to Greenland. Greenland was so warn and fertile that they grew produce and grain there. They had many years of competition free prosperity. Then the mini ice-age hit. Greenland froze over. Most people starved, the rest made it back to Europe.

Ten thousand years ago the Great Lakes of America were covered with a glacier. The British Isles were also covered with ice. Global warming happened very rapidly between then and now. The only reason that I mentioned that is because I don’t think that mankind had anything to do with the global warming that melted the Great Lakes and defrosted England. But it did happen. As I said, it got so warm that they farmed Greenland. But, for some strange reason it all reversed and the world got cold again. We are on a warming cycle again, the world weather is changing. I think that we are just too comfortable taking all the blame for the weather warming.

I was looking at a chart of Antarctica the other day. The chart showed areas in brilliant red shade, that were melting, and the ice was disappearing. In the same chart, in a very faint light blue color it showed the areas where the ice was gaining and getting deeper. I thought at the time, if the colors were exchanged, and the light blue was change to brilliant red and the red was changed to light blue, it would have looked like a very dramatic increase in the ice thickness.

When I was a kid I used to pick mussels on a rock at shelter cove. We would take a twelve foot long board with us as a bridge to get out on that rock. When I go out to that same rock today. I never have any trouble getting out to it. So, either the sea level hasn’t risen, or the world has raised it out of the ocean. The sea seems to have dropped at least a foot. Shelter Cove may have lifted in elevation from some of the earthquakes. Plus, I don’t think that Shelter Cove is in the subduction zone of plate tectonics. If it is, it is on the side of the San Andreas fault that would be diving, because the fault line is east of the cove at the base of the mountain.

So, there is just a lot about the weather that I just don’t know. But like Mark Twain said. Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Annoying “Biggest stories of 2011”

Annoying “Biggest stories of 2011”
Hmmm… If the Biggest Stories of 2011 were really that big, wouldn’t you already know about them??? I secretly suspect at the end of the year news-people have kicked back just a little bit too much and got into the party spirit just a little too much. Sometime between Christmas and New-Years they have a few moments of sober thought. Their thoughts are probably filled with “Oh crap, it’s almost the end of 2011 and I haven’t gathered any news! I know! I’ll just reprint all of last years big stories!, There, I’m done. I think that I will just go sit on the couch and sip some more holiday cheer.”

Who was it that said “there is nothing more stale than yesterdays news”. Yep, that’s how I feel about it too. Especially when the best that some local news services can do is bring you the latest traffic accidents, or where they had a fire last night, probably the best story last year was where Channel-3 from Eureka did a forced interview on; “Who pooped and peed on the bank?” (they never did find out). I was always told that a lawyer or a news anchor-person was never supposed to ask a question unless they already knew the answer.

Sometimes I wish they would tell us things like “Why the Eureka officials kept the fact that Wall-Mart was coming to town such a big secret.” That would interest the heck out of me. How does it happen that a town that knows everything, and can’t keep even a small secret, keep the fact that a frickin’ Wal-Mart is coming to the Bayshore Mall. You’d think that would be important for people to know! I would have to call that one of the “biggest unreported stories of 2011”.

I know, people on welfare will care little about how the economy will be affected. And who can blame them? They need to stretch their dollars as far as they can. Then there are the poor school teachers that barely make a living, they will shop there. Actually anybody that likes to get a good bargain will shop there. You will probably even find me shopping there. But I know full well that Wal-mart will kill Eureka. Talk about “Giant sucking sounds” Wal-Mart is the suckiest. Those of us in the know, know that Chinese products will always be better and cheaper, because China keeps the value of the currency below ours. And… The big one, they don’t have any environmental restrictions.

Believe me, nobody works harder than the American worker. Those that still have jobs are being worked to death. What’s up with that? Either you don’t have a job, or you work too hard. So, China doesn’t outwork us! Should there be some news service telling us why Chinese products are cheaper than ours? Shouldn’t somebody tell us why all of our jobs, and money have moved to China? Shouldn’t some news service tell us why we are losing more and more jobs every day? Shouldn’t they tell us why we can’t afford to bus our kids to school? Why we can’t support a family with a job like we used to be able to do? Why our jobs get poorer? Why can’t we just go out and find just any job? Why dosen’t the news services tell us, in depth, how America is being sucked dry, so the average person can understand it. Maybe they could even make it interesting. Clue one and two; China Manipulates the value of the money to keep dollars flowing to their shores. They don’t have environmental restrictions.

Let’s see. How many of us know that they were going to pave Garberville’s Redwood drive, but our supervisor gave the money away to fix the road between Eureka and Arcata? What??? You say. "Garberville hasn’t been paved since the trees were planted and the power lines were undergrounded." You remember when they did that don’t you? Harry Pritchard was the supervisor. You remember him don’t you? Why didn’t we know about the money give away until it was practically a done deal. I wouldn’t have even known about the money being given away if it weren’t for Mark Lovelace saying something like, “I think that we should ask the people of Garberville how they feel about this”. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to scream bloody murder in time, so OUR Dist 2 Supervisor Clif Clendenen gave out road money to throw on the “Safety Corridor” between Eureka and Arcata.

Most people don’t have the time to decide how to spend county money. They split the county into 5 supervisor districts, and then they elect 5 supervisors to watch-out for our interests. How the heck does giving Garberville street money to Eureka and Arcata represent us in-any-way! ???

I would expect the Eureka and Arcata supervisors to vote to fix the corridor, and they did. I would expect the other two supervisors to be somewhat ambivalent, because it was a toss-up benefit for them, but they voted AGAINST it. But, OUR supervisor, who has the most rural roads in the whole county, voted to give road money to the most expensive nightmare in Humboldt. Plus, it is highway 101! A state highway. The state has other means of raising money. The county doesn’t. Where is the news service that explains this to us? Who was it that said that “It is time to sharpen our pitchforks?

But, what do we get for news? A rehash of last years traffic accidents, fires and marijuana busts.
Thank God for blogs!

On the lighter side, My wife and I had a very good year in business and in health. We are very happy with everything but the state of our government. Well… it’s little disappointing that we no longer have a newspaper delivered to Garberville, but, the great side is that I didn’t have to read “Biggest stories of 2011”. And we are going to lose the school busses that bussed our children to school. I don’t even see a small upside to that, other than maybe it will wake people up to the fact that people need jobs. You can’t feed anybody, or anything, shuffling money. Even the rich need to eat.

The feds and local law enforcement raided the heck out of the marijuana fields. That raised the price of weed and the people that didn’t get busted are noticeably happy. And, our DA was soft on the ones that did get busted. I guess that might have been a twice told tale in the news.

How’s your life going? Do you have a great job? I do, so I’m not complaining there, but I see a lot of people that don’t, and that concerns me. All in all, 2012 looks like it will be a banner year, one that will be remembered, and go down in the annals of history. Wanta’ bet?