A Foggy Humboldt Future

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Deer in Fog

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The future is always foggy.  What will happen from any change is difficult to know.  We can see the future only through the blur of our own opinions and personalities.  But failure to act because we fear the consequences is also going to effect the future and usually not in a good way.

The Richardson Grove Realignment Project worries some people.  They are afraid of the change.  Setting aside any impact to the park itself (which I wrote a lot about before and don’t believe  believe will be significant), I think lots of people are worried that the Richardson Grove Realignment project will change the character of Humboldt.

However, change is always unstoppable. In my philosophy, the idea is to ride the changes that are inevitable and shape them when you can.  I believe, marijuana is going to be legalized sooner or later.  Probably sooner.  Currently, this county’s economic well being is based on an economy which like timber and fishing is going to fade to a thin veneer of itself (which doesn’t mean that we can’t get make some sort of decent economic living out of the marijuana industry even after it is legalized but it will not be the economic powerhouse it is now).  I’ve seen poverty before.  I’ve seen an area where survival was paramount and environmental concerns slipped away almost entirely.

If we love the North Coast and want to protect the environment, we need to make sure that it is economically healthy.  One of the ways to do that is to provide cheaper shipping for small local businesses.  This helps them survive.  Large big box businesses survive just fine with the higher shipping fees.  It is a very small percentage of their overall costs but smaller businesses pay a much larger percentage of their costs.

One of the major concerns Dr. Miller and other opponents of the project have broached is that of more truck trips into the county.  In my opinion, there will be no significant increased through truck traffic.  Interstate 5 provides the best run (higher speeds and a straight shot) to points north just as it currently provides the best run for trucks coming from the north and headed south of us.

Any trucks not specifically coming to the North Coast from the south will use 5. Those already coming into the county will no longer have to offload and go to smaller trucks or come through the north (which is already STAA accessible).  Those trucks leaving the county can use the larger STAA trucks to ship their items–larger loads in cleaner trucks equals cost savings and less pollution.

101 was recently diverted onto the Avenue of the Giants by Pepperwood.  I was there as the “small” trucks attempted to navigate those curves and nearly ended up squashed. Realignment will ease the situation in the Grove.  Hopefully, resulting in safer roads.

I don’t want the beautiful rounded hills of Humboldt to be lost to big box stores and ticky tacky houses. But a safer roadway doesn’t point us inevitably in that direction.  Being small business friendly doesn’t lead us inevitably in that direction either.  In fact, it almost assuredly leads our community to a healthy economy based in part on local healthy businesses that can afford to export products.

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48 comments

  • Well articulated Kym. Lately listening to the news and seeing the ridiculous claims of the far right in regards to health care reminds me that fear of change is often an enemy that clouds our eyes to reason. This is of course seen in the bigger picture but it begins of course in our own personal fears. Power often sees this inclination of the human as a means to create what it wants to control and a mob type paranoia ensues. I have been wanting to do a post on the health care reform, because we have a lot of family and friends who are part of the far right and just seem unreasonable to me, and yet I love them and want to to help them see more clearly and not be led around like puppets. I can see that in this post you are likewise trying to shed reasonable light on a local issue. Thoughtful debate should continue, and I really don’t want big box stores, but this county really does need some diversified economic growth.

    • it seems to me that the right is motivated by the greed of their corporate masters than fear. Follow the money. Someone wants this unnessary project. I wonder who? We received a bying club order yesterday and the driver in his 94′ truck says he has been driving though the grove all his life and his truck does just fine.

  • Well articulated Kym. Lately listening to the news and seeing the ridiculous claims of the far right in regards to health care reminds me that fear of change is often an enemy that clouds our eyes to reason. This is of course seen in the bigger picture but it begins of course in our own personal fears. Power often sees this inclination of the human as a means to create what it wants to control and a mob type paranoia ensues. I have been wanting to do a post on the health care reform, because we have a lot of family and friends who are part of the far right and just seem unreasonable to me, and yet I love them and want to to help them see more clearly and not be led around like puppets. I can see that in this post you are likewise trying to shed reasonable light on a local issue. Thoughtful debate should continue, and I really don’t want big box stores, but this county really does need some diversified economic growth.

    • it seems to me that the right is motivated by the greed of their corporate masters than fear. Follow the money. Someone wants this unnessary project. I wonder who? We received a bying club order yesterday and the driver in his 94′ truck says he has been driving though the grove all his life and his truck does just fine.

  • It’s funny sometimes what little things create such big fears in folks. I can’t see the character that makes Humboldt (especially SoHum) what it is changing anytime soon, even with a smoother flow through Richardson Grove.

  • It’s funny sometimes what little things create such big fears in folks. I can’t see the character that makes Humboldt (especially SoHum) what it is changing anytime soon, even with a smoother flow through Richardson Grove.

  • Sure, go ahead and use reason as the linchpin for your argument. Make it clear and easily understandable.

    Thanks a lot — not.

    Now the next time I attend a town hall meeting I won’t be able to scream at the top of my lungs like a four-year old throwing a tantrum and spew forth unintelligible babble about how the real reason behind the project is so that Obama can bring in the trucks, tanks and APC’s that will be used to truck us all to FEMA labor camps.

  • Sure, go ahead and use reason as the linchpin for your argument. Make it clear and easily understandable.

    Thanks a lot — not.

    Now the next time I attend a town hall meeting I won’t be able to scream at the top of my lungs like a four-year old throwing a tantrum and spew forth unintelligible babble about how the real reason behind the project is so that Obama can bring in the trucks, tanks and APC’s that will be used to truck us all to FEMA labor camps.

  • And for our friends hoping for the return of the railroad, this song is for you …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9YRYzRwqXc&feature=player_embedded

  • And for our friends hoping for the return of the railroad, this song is for you …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9YRYzRwqXc&feature=player_embedded

  • Kym
    Your reasons for wanting to realign Richardson Grove make a lot of sense. I know you love the Grove, and Humboldt County, and you wouldn’t make a decision like that lightly. So, I respect your opinion. I like the fact that you researched the potential damage, and the alternatives before endorsing the project. I wish other people would open their minds and realize how much we need a truck legal road. Realigning is the best possible option. I know what the land is like anywhere near the grove. A bypass is not practical.

    Just about every reason to appose the project has been answered and explained. The biggest reason given is that they didn’t want more people or traffic. That just plain won’t happen for a variety of reasons that have also been explained in great detail.

    Thanks for making the reasonable argument for us.

  • Kym
    Your reasons for wanting to realign Richardson Grove make a lot of sense. I know you love the Grove, and Humboldt County, and you wouldn’t make a decision like that lightly. So, I respect your opinion. I like the fact that you researched the potential damage, and the alternatives before endorsing the project. I wish other people would open their minds and realize how much we need a truck legal road. Realigning is the best possible option. I know what the land is like anywhere near the grove. A bypass is not practical.

    Just about every reason to appose the project has been answered and explained. The biggest reason given is that they didn’t want more people or traffic. That just plain won’t happen for a variety of reasons that have also been explained in great detail.

    Thanks for making the reasonable argument for us.

  • The so called “sensible” reasons for this project are debunked at the link i provided on the previous thread where Dr. Miller exposes the BS that Caltrans has been spewing as well as offering some healthier and more reasonable alternatives.

  • The so called “sensible” reasons for this project are debunked at the link i provided on the previous thread where Dr. Miller exposes the BS that Caltrans has been spewing as well as offering some healthier and more reasonable alternatives.

  • Opening our county to STAA through truck traffic does not constitute change. It is what has happened nearly everywhere else, it is part of the problem, not the solution. It is 19-20th century technology. It is not new, exciting, interesting, necessary, or locally beneficial in the long run.

    Developing our port with a maritime highway with short-sea shipping (SSS) is change which would accommodate almost all of the County’s shipping needs not already met by the existing smaller, and mostly local trucks. SSS is extremely efficient. Trucks are not, even new ones, which get 4-6 MPG. and are therefore exquisitely sensitive to rising fuel costs. SSS costs are relatively resistant to rising fuel prices, and also lend themselves to non-fossil fuels. SSS is interesting, exciting, new, innovative, and federally fundable. And best of all, SSS would be home-ported here, right here, for the entire west coast.

    But if we subsidize the large trucking industries with the RG project, SSS becomes economically less competitive, as trucks cherry-pick loads.

    Those who claim change is inevitable, yet are blind to the inevitable development changes all along the 101 corridor from the Bay Area to Portland are at minimum hypocritical. Caltrans speaks to this the loudest when it touts 101 as a commercial thoroughfare and economic lifeline. Large franchise retailers (Home Depot, planned for Marina Center, and WalMart in particular) and interstate trucking companies are some of the biggest lobbyists favoring RG realignment.

    Change is inevitable, yet some is more desirable than other kinds. We have the power to influence the kind of change, we do not have to passively ride waves determined by those whose formulae have ruined so many places.

    Opening the southern route for STAA trucks will increase truck traffic, more so over time, as large franchise retailers who obey the laws no longer have to turn around after entering Humboldt from the north. Many of these trucks are larger simply due to the sleeper cabs added to the cab, for the long haul. Heavy loads are already maxing out the volume of the smaller trucks, so larger trucks offer no benefit for a majority of Humboldt shippers.

    If truck traffic did not increase, shipping, which like any business is subject to volume of use, would cost more for special trips to this backwater. The whole idea is to increase traffic, spur development, and facilitate the domination of our goods movement by the trucking industry.

    Yet, there has been absolutely no evaluation of the foreseeable increased traffic, or the cumulative impact of that traffic when combined with the 16,000 additional DAILY vehicle trips associated with the Marina Center in Eureka. Those who believe that change and growth are inevitable and desirable contradict themselves when they assert that 101 will never be any busier than it currently is. Therefore, we have an obligation to evaluate the impacts from the truck traffic, including noise and air pollution, safety (they are over-represented in fatal vehicle accidents, accounting for 14% of fatalities, but only 3% of vehicles), road maintenance costs, congestion and its effects on businesses, and their links to particular kinds of development.

    Safety is not the purpose of the RG Project; STAA trucks passing each other in opposite directions is the purpose. Safety is easily accomplished with reduced speeds, since most accidents are caused by cars, not trucks, due to speeding, inattention and collisions with trees or other vehicles.

    Contrary to those who insist that these questions have been asked and answered, Caltrans has never addressed any of these issues, yet its claims that truck traffic will not increase, or that cutting and compacting the roots of 28 old growth redwoods will not harm the trees, are unsupported by any credible evidence. They are simply Big Lies, without foundation. I challenge anyone to show us where Caltrans has analyzed the downsides of this project.

    We have a unique opportunity to exploit a natural geographic advantage that fosters creative economies without being over-run by global financial forces that have homogenized much of the rest of the country. But it takes vision, and the political will to determine our own futures, rather than be passively victimized by non-local corporations, such as Maxxam, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Goldman Sachs.

  • Opening our county to STAA through truck traffic does not constitute change. It is what has happened nearly everywhere else, it is part of the problem, not the solution. It is 19-20th century technology. It is not new, exciting, interesting, necessary, or locally beneficial in the long run.

    Developing our port with a maritime highway with short-sea shipping (SSS) is change which would accommodate almost all of the County’s shipping needs not already met by the existing smaller, and mostly local trucks. SSS is extremely efficient. Trucks are not, even new ones, which get 4-6 MPG. and are therefore exquisitely sensitive to rising fuel costs. SSS costs are relatively resistant to rising fuel prices, and also lend themselves to non-fossil fuels. SSS is interesting, exciting, new, innovative, and federally fundable. And best of all, SSS would be home-ported here, right here, for the entire west coast.

    But if we subsidize the large trucking industries with the RG project, SSS becomes economically less competitive, as trucks cherry-pick loads.

    Those who claim change is inevitable, yet are blind to the inevitable development changes all along the 101 corridor from the Bay Area to Portland are at minimum hypocritical. Caltrans speaks to this the loudest when it touts 101 as a commercial thoroughfare and economic lifeline. Large franchise retailers (Home Depot, planned for Marina Center, and WalMart in particular) and interstate trucking companies are some of the biggest lobbyists favoring RG realignment.

    Change is inevitable, yet some is more desirable than other kinds. We have the power to influence the kind of change, we do not have to passively ride waves determined by those whose formulae have ruined so many places.

    Opening the southern route for STAA trucks will increase truck traffic, more so over time, as large franchise retailers who obey the laws no longer have to turn around after entering Humboldt from the north. Many of these trucks are larger simply due to the sleeper cabs added to the cab, for the long haul. Heavy loads are already maxing out the volume of the smaller trucks, so larger trucks offer no benefit for a majority of Humboldt shippers.

    If truck traffic did not increase, shipping, which like any business is subject to volume of use, would cost more for special trips to this backwater. The whole idea is to increase traffic, spur development, and facilitate the domination of our goods movement by the trucking industry.

    Yet, there has been absolutely no evaluation of the foreseeable increased traffic, or the cumulative impact of that traffic when combined with the 16,000 additional DAILY vehicle trips associated with the Marina Center in Eureka. Those who believe that change and growth are inevitable and desirable contradict themselves when they assert that 101 will never be any busier than it currently is. Therefore, we have an obligation to evaluate the impacts from the truck traffic, including noise and air pollution, safety (they are over-represented in fatal vehicle accidents, accounting for 14% of fatalities, but only 3% of vehicles), road maintenance costs, congestion and its effects on businesses, and their links to particular kinds of development.

    Safety is not the purpose of the RG Project; STAA trucks passing each other in opposite directions is the purpose. Safety is easily accomplished with reduced speeds, since most accidents are caused by cars, not trucks, due to speeding, inattention and collisions with trees or other vehicles.

    Contrary to those who insist that these questions have been asked and answered, Caltrans has never addressed any of these issues, yet its claims that truck traffic will not increase, or that cutting and compacting the roots of 28 old growth redwoods will not harm the trees, are unsupported by any credible evidence. They are simply Big Lies, without foundation. I challenge anyone to show us where Caltrans has analyzed the downsides of this project.

    We have a unique opportunity to exploit a natural geographic advantage that fosters creative economies without being over-run by global financial forces that have homogenized much of the rest of the country. But it takes vision, and the political will to determine our own futures, rather than be passively victimized by non-local corporations, such as Maxxam, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Goldman Sachs.

  • Dr. Miller,
    I respectfuly appreciate your opinion, but I just don’t think that I can recieve an overnight shipment from San Francisco to Garberville on a hydrogen powered SSS barge. Trucking will always have to be here. Your “Moderization” may very well return us to the dark ages. The north coast will never become the hub of anything. Our heyday has past, and honest business is strugling to stay alive.

    Agreed, Maxam helped put us into the position of weakness that we now find ourselves in , but it is our polititians that allow unfair competition from offshore products. We can only be protected from offshore products by having fair ballance of trade laws. We aren’t going to get fair trade laws until we find a way to stop Wall Street from electing our politicians for us.

    Just as a side note: It distresses me to have to disagree with Suzy Blah Blah on her choice of experts.

    • The 5 year wait irony is a self-fulfilling prophecy. RG will take 2 years, unless successful litigation prolongs the effort. With a focus on SSS & a maritime highway anywhere near that of RG, SSS could be implemented before RG. Schneider dock and Steve Pepper are ready to go.

      And for those who want overnight deliveries, most are already currently accomplished, but modern barges travel at 12-15 knots, meaning the trip from SF or Portland would only take a day or so. Besides, why should the rest of us suffer the adverse consequences so that a very few can have something delivered by truck a few minutes faster than already happens or could by sea?

      Consider that we are deprived of very little under current conditions. With internet shopping, and most conveyances carrying heavy loads that do not benefit from STAA trucks, why rush into something so irreversible with such dire consequences that will be with us forever, and forever change the landscape as trucks no longer need avoid this corridor? And if the absurd claim that bigger trucks equals fewer trips were true, those trips would be expensive without the savings from frequent trips.

      Industries clamoring for these trucks are doing quite well, thank you. O&M has been successful for over 60 years, but wants slightly cheaper rates on imported insulation. DeVries Flowers and Humboldt goat cheeses are similarly vocal and similarly successful without these trucks, yet they are willing to sacrifice our quality of life for these trucks.

      And the 4-lane bypass? That was discarded 10 years ago due to the astronomical cost (over $400 m, then) and insurmountable enviro impacts.

      There are many factors affecting development, the least of which is the absence of a 4-lane highway, but RG is a huge one, and without spending a dime, or waging zoning wars, we can discourage undesirable development, not just of Big boxes, but also of truck congestion on our currently quite pleasant highways, with all the associated safety, maintenance costs, and pollution issues.

      But one must ask why WalMart & Home Depot are lobbying so hard for STAA access, as noted in this quote from the Del Norte STAA access plan:

      ““[T]he growth of retail business is similarly impeded. Home Depot opened a store in Crescent City in 2006-along with WalMart…but its trucks must re-load their cargo in Oregon from 70 to 45-foot trailers prior to traveling through Del Norte County.” Del Norte County)

  • Dr. Miller,
    I respectfuly appreciate your opinion, but I just don’t think that I can recieve an overnight shipment from San Francisco to Garberville on a hydrogen powered SSS barge. Trucking will always have to be here. Your “Moderization” may very well return us to the dark ages. The north coast will never become the hub of anything. Our heyday has past, and honest business is strugling to stay alive.

    Agreed, Maxam helped put us into the position of weakness that we now find ourselves in , but it is our polititians that allow unfair competition from offshore products. We can only be protected from offshore products by having fair ballance of trade laws. We aren’t going to get fair trade laws until we find a way to stop Wall Street from electing our politicians for us.

    Just as a side note: It distresses me to have to disagree with Suzy Blah Blah on her choice of experts.

    • The 5 year wait irony is a self-fulfilling prophecy. RG will take 2 years, unless successful litigation prolongs the effort. With a focus on SSS & a maritime highway anywhere near that of RG, SSS could be implemented before RG. Schneider dock and Steve Pepper are ready to go.

      And for those who want overnight deliveries, most are already currently accomplished, but modern barges travel at 12-15 knots, meaning the trip from SF or Portland would only take a day or so. Besides, why should the rest of us suffer the adverse consequences so that a very few can have something delivered by truck a few minutes faster than already happens or could by sea?

      Consider that we are deprived of very little under current conditions. With internet shopping, and most conveyances carrying heavy loads that do not benefit from STAA trucks, why rush into something so irreversible with such dire consequences that will be with us forever, and forever change the landscape as trucks no longer need avoid this corridor? And if the absurd claim that bigger trucks equals fewer trips were true, those trips would be expensive without the savings from frequent trips.

      Industries clamoring for these trucks are doing quite well, thank you. O&M has been successful for over 60 years, but wants slightly cheaper rates on imported insulation. DeVries Flowers and Humboldt goat cheeses are similarly vocal and similarly successful without these trucks, yet they are willing to sacrifice our quality of life for these trucks.

      And the 4-lane bypass? That was discarded 10 years ago due to the astronomical cost (over $400 m, then) and insurmountable enviro impacts.

      There are many factors affecting development, the least of which is the absence of a 4-lane highway, but RG is a huge one, and without spending a dime, or waging zoning wars, we can discourage undesirable development, not just of Big boxes, but also of truck congestion on our currently quite pleasant highways, with all the associated safety, maintenance costs, and pollution issues.

      But one must ask why WalMart & Home Depot are lobbying so hard for STAA access, as noted in this quote from the Del Norte STAA access plan:

      ““[T]he growth of retail business is similarly impeded. Home Depot opened a store in Crescent City in 2006-along with WalMart…but its trucks must re-load their cargo in Oregon from 70 to 45-foot trailers prior to traveling through Del Norte County.” Del Norte County)

  • Honest business is struggling to stay alive?

    Add a few nails to their coffins if Wal-Mart and big boxes make it up here.

    How come NO ONE on the pro-project side can confute the fact that big boxes and big development are really pushing hard for this? So hard that this was exposed in the bribery of the Times-Standard op-eds paid by Headwaters Funding.
    http://saverichardsongrove.blogspot.com/2009/05/hole-in-headwaters-fundto-make-hole-in.html

    And Kym, how can you compare fear of “change” to “pot legalization”? “Fear” and standing up for what you believe in as a patriotic American are two different things. Let’s try to remember that it is our right to dissent. If you want a Santa Rosa lifestyle, go ahead. No one is stopping you. Unless it happens to be up here.

    No one here in Humboldt that I know of is afraid of postive change. Most of us are just trying to get by, and not screw anyone or anything over in the process. The project proponants are driven(literally) by greed. It is a blessing that we live here in Redwood paradise. Why would anyone want to move the city up here?

    That’s the negative change that we can all stop, together. That is our right. And you can apply fear mongering tactics by claiming that we are afraid of change(which is REALLY funny in itself). I hope I see you along with Rose and Ernie standing with Cal-Trans if it comes down to it. I have a feeling that I won’t.

    Actions speak much louder than words. All hear from the pro-project side are words without justification, proof…or heart.

    That’s why I fear no evil…

  • Honest business is struggling to stay alive?

    Add a few nails to their coffins if Wal-Mart and big boxes make it up here.

    How come NO ONE on the pro-project side can confute the fact that big boxes and big development are really pushing hard for this? So hard that this was exposed in the bribery of the Times-Standard op-eds paid by Headwaters Funding.
    http://saverichardsongrove.blogspot.com/2009/05/hole-in-headwaters-fundto-make-hole-in.html

    And Kym, how can you compare fear of “change” to “pot legalization”? “Fear” and standing up for what you believe in as a patriotic American are two different things. Let’s try to remember that it is our right to dissent. If you want a Santa Rosa lifestyle, go ahead. No one is stopping you. Unless it happens to be up here.

    No one here in Humboldt that I know of is afraid of postive change. Most of us are just trying to get by, and not screw anyone or anything over in the process. The project proponants are driven(literally) by greed. It is a blessing that we live here in Redwood paradise. Why would anyone want to move the city up here?

    That’s the negative change that we can all stop, together. That is our right. And you can apply fear mongering tactics by claiming that we are afraid of change(which is REALLY funny in itself). I hope I see you along with Rose and Ernie standing with Cal-Trans if it comes down to it. I have a feeling that I won’t.

    Actions speak much louder than words. All hear from the pro-project side are words without justification, proof…or heart.

    That’s why I fear no evil…

  • Kym, another lovely post. Kudos. I agree with your position on Richardson Grove. Forgive me, but I must gently dissent on one point: pot legalization as a politically viable outcome. This is a nonstarter outside of the Emerald Triangle. None of the stated candidates for CA Governor has offered any support for legalization. Not Newsom, not Brown. The issue is even less viable at the federal level. Show me where the Obama Administration has offered any public support for legalization. Politicians are terrified to support legalization because being pro street drugs is about as politically deadly as being pro tax increases.

    For this to change there must be a large and strong constituency to push back against the knee-jerk anti-drug viewpoint that has been hammered into the electorate since at least Nancy Reagan. But ask yourself: what is the state-level and federal-level constituency that will drive this victory? Drug users? Politically nonviable. The law enforcement community? Nope — fighting illegal drugs is their business and budget source. School teachers? Get real. Veterans? Mostly no. Christians? Nope. Labor unions? Nope. The business community? mostly no. Rational social libertarians and the educated elite: Yes, but there aren’t enough of them.

    The idea of taxing pot is seen by some as a way to create a constituency for legalization, but I don’t think so. Now you are fighting the battle for the combination of (i) legalizing a street drug and (ii) imposing a new tax. Now get 2/3 in the CA legislature to support that combination.

    So, Kym, I think the most likely outcome is a continuation of pot being a low priority to law enforcement in certain areas of the US (e.g., Humboldt and the rest of rural CA) that remain production centers, and that enjoy a certain price premium thanks to it being more vigorously enforced elsewhere in the US.

    • Zeno,

      I can’t decide if I hope you are right or I hope you are wrong. For the North Coasts’ sake the easy, most lucrative route is if pot stays illegal but the problems associated with it make me hope you are wrong.

      I don’t think we face legalization in the next year or even two but within 10 or 20, it seems almost certain to me. The conversation about legalization is everywhere. The comfort zone of the American public is very high with pot ( sorry, couldn’t resit the terrible pun.) Twenty years ago, marijuana smoking was considered wild. Now almost everyone has tried it at least in their youth. As people grow ever more relaxed about weed, they are more likely to vote for legalization and politicians are less likely to see it as the kiss of death to their careers.

  • Kym, another lovely post. Kudos. I agree with your position on Richardson Grove. Forgive me, but I must gently dissent on one point: pot legalization as a politically viable outcome. This is a nonstarter outside of the Emerald Triangle. None of the stated candidates for CA Governor has offered any support for legalization. Not Newsom, not Brown. The issue is even less viable at the federal level. Show me where the Obama Administration has offered any public support for legalization. Politicians are terrified to support legalization because being pro street drugs is about as politically deadly as being pro tax increases.

    For this to change there must be a large and strong constituency to push back against the knee-jerk anti-drug viewpoint that has been hammered into the electorate since at least Nancy Reagan. But ask yourself: what is the state-level and federal-level constituency that will drive this victory? Drug users? Politically nonviable. The law enforcement community? Nope — fighting illegal drugs is their business and budget source. School teachers? Get real. Veterans? Mostly no. Christians? Nope. Labor unions? Nope. The business community? mostly no. Rational social libertarians and the educated elite: Yes, but there aren’t enough of them.

    The idea of taxing pot is seen by some as a way to create a constituency for legalization, but I don’t think so. Now you are fighting the battle for the combination of (i) legalizing a street drug and (ii) imposing a new tax. Now get 2/3 in the CA legislature to support that combination.

    So, Kym, I think the most likely outcome is a continuation of pot being a low priority to law enforcement in certain areas of the US (e.g., Humboldt and the rest of rural CA) that remain production centers, and that enjoy a certain price premium thanks to it being more vigorously enforced elsewhere in the US.

    • Zeno,

      I can’t decide if I hope you are right or I hope you are wrong. For the North Coasts’ sake the easy, most lucrative route is if pot stays illegal but the problems associated with it make me hope you are wrong.

      I don’t think we face legalization in the next year or even two but within 10 or 20, it seems almost certain to me. The conversation about legalization is everywhere. The comfort zone of the American public is very high with pot ( sorry, couldn’t resit the terrible pun.) Twenty years ago, marijuana smoking was considered wild. Now almost everyone has tried it at least in their youth. As people grow ever more relaxed about weed, they are more likely to vote for legalization and politicians are less likely to see it as the kiss of death to their careers.

  • Jeff
    We had common ground on Maxam, and we have common ground on Walmart and Home depot. So why are we swinging from trees and stopping safe roads when the real enemy is our politicians that allow unfair offshore competition.

    Why don’t we join to stop the politicians, Wall Street, and China from taking our jobs and ruining our economy?

  • Jeff
    We had common ground on Maxam, and we have common ground on Walmart and Home depot. So why are we swinging from trees and stopping safe roads when the real enemy is our politicians that allow unfair offshore competition.

    Why don’t we join to stop the politicians, Wall Street, and China from taking our jobs and ruining our economy?

  • Why don’t we join to stop the politicians, Wall Street, and China from taking our jobs and ruining our economy?

    Call me crazy but stopping a single road project might be easier.

  • Why don’t we join to stop the politicians, Wall Street, and China from taking our jobs and ruining our economy?

    Call me crazy but stopping a single road project might be easier.

  • “Call me crazy… I would never do that Heraldo. Just misinformed. But, it makes more sense to fight the real problem, not just the road.

  • “Call me crazy… I would never do that Heraldo. Just misinformed. But, it makes more sense to fight the real problem, not just the road.

  • I agree with your last point. I’m just saying, realistically, the road will be built long before “politicians, Wall Street, and China [stop] taking our jobs and ruining our economy.”

  • I agree with your last point. I’m just saying, realistically, the road will be built long before “politicians, Wall Street, and China [stop] taking our jobs and ruining our economy.”

  • I think a lot of us would like to see Short Sea Shipping and other alternatives to trucking but they aren’t realistically in the works for the next five years or so to the best of my knowledge.

    In my opinion, the chances of Humboldt becoming Santa Rosa-ized will depend on a lot of factors including having four lane highways coming here from elsewhere. Caltrans isn’t planning on that happening anytime soon or they wouldn’t have poured millions into the Confusion Hill bridges that only have 2 lanes. Nor would they waste time on realigning Richardson Grove, they would begin a project to put in a four lane highway which would connect with the rest of the states large highway systems. They haven’t. There are no plans to do so. Ergo no vast conspiracy to make Garberville into a vast mall and Jack in the Box haven.

  • I think a lot of us would like to see Short Sea Shipping and other alternatives to trucking but they aren’t realistically in the works for the next five years or so to the best of my knowledge.

    In my opinion, the chances of Humboldt becoming Santa Rosa-ized will depend on a lot of factors including having four lane highways coming here from elsewhere. Caltrans isn’t planning on that happening anytime soon or they wouldn’t have poured millions into the Confusion Hill bridges that only have 2 lanes. Nor would they waste time on realigning Richardson Grove, they would begin a project to put in a four lane highway which would connect with the rest of the states large highway systems. They haven’t. There are no plans to do so. Ergo no vast conspiracy to make Garberville into a vast mall and Jack in the Box haven.

  • yo yo head spinna

    Ever wonder why humboldt is so hooked on the pot economy, its because people keep wanting to move here regardless of the fact that there is no jobs and wether they move here to grow pot or grew up here eventualy alot of people grow some pot to make ends meat. if we could develop some key industrys localy we could help to put people back to legal jobs and improve the countys reputation as something other than just the weed capital. Trying to focus on tourism alone is not enough, even if the eco tourism market grows it will not be enough to provide average citizens jobs. We also have a huge housing problem in the county! No one can find affordable housing and it is driving many first home buyers and prospective buyers out of the area for more reasonable areas that have enough jobs. What we are doing to humboldt by limiting growth despite more people moving here is creating artificial scarcity, the land adds to this scarcity, but so does county planning. Its basic supply and demand, if we could build some more nice homes or open up some large rural subdivisions we could actualy start seeing new growth and people who wanted to have a place to call home could afford to do so. Look what happened to hum brews, they used to manufacture there beer localy but they got so big they had to relocate to chico to export the brews. If the 101 was better for shipping then local buisnesses would keep there industrial base localy.

  • yo yo head spinna

    Ever wonder why humboldt is so hooked on the pot economy, its because people keep wanting to move here regardless of the fact that there is no jobs and wether they move here to grow pot or grew up here eventualy alot of people grow some pot to make ends meat. if we could develop some key industrys localy we could help to put people back to legal jobs and improve the countys reputation as something other than just the weed capital. Trying to focus on tourism alone is not enough, even if the eco tourism market grows it will not be enough to provide average citizens jobs. We also have a huge housing problem in the county! No one can find affordable housing and it is driving many first home buyers and prospective buyers out of the area for more reasonable areas that have enough jobs. What we are doing to humboldt by limiting growth despite more people moving here is creating artificial scarcity, the land adds to this scarcity, but so does county planning. Its basic supply and demand, if we could build some more nice homes or open up some large rural subdivisions we could actualy start seeing new growth and people who wanted to have a place to call home could afford to do so. Look what happened to hum brews, they used to manufacture there beer localy but they got so big they had to relocate to chico to export the brews. If the 101 was better for shipping then local buisnesses would keep there industrial base localy.

  • Great picture. The fog makes it look a little bit like a pastel drawing than a picture. It adds a cool effect to it.

  • Great picture. The fog makes it look a little bit like a pastel drawing than a picture. It adds a cool effect to it.

  • After reading all the various opinions some reason based others more emotional, I find it hard to take a position pro or con about the project. I guess the fact is that the future is unknowable regardless of our projections.

    One thing I know is that traveling through Richardson Grove is a small celebration for my family. We rarely have enough time to do Ave. of the Giants, but we always slow down, open the windows and sunroof (cracked in winter) and enjoy the natural beauty and the peaceful austerity of the towering trees. I would be loathe to lose this experience to an expressway drive-thru and I hope that if an alteration does take place that it will honor the beauty.

  • After reading all the various opinions some reason based others more emotional, I find it hard to take a position pro or con about the project. I guess the fact is that the future is unknowable regardless of our projections.

    One thing I know is that traveling through Richardson Grove is a small celebration for my family. We rarely have enough time to do Ave. of the Giants, but we always slow down, open the windows and sunroof (cracked in winter) and enjoy the natural beauty and the peaceful austerity of the towering trees. I would be loathe to lose this experience to an expressway drive-thru and I hope that if an alteration does take place that it will honor the beauty.

  • Mr. T
    I couldn’t agree with you more. The realigning of the Grove won’t change the beauty or wonder that we all enjoy. But, it will help to keep you and your family from being run over by a truck while you are in the midst of your reverie.

    I’m very sorry to be so dramatic, but it seems that there is a lot of drama surrounding this issue. The facts are that it will remove two 8inch redwoods within the park, and possibly cut the roots of some surrounding trees. Root pruning is very survivable, in fact it encourages new root growth, the same as limb pruning encourages leaf growth. The most harmful thing to a redwood is overcrowding.

    The realignment of the grove will stop any thoughts of doing a very environmentally damaging bypass.

  • Mr. T
    I couldn’t agree with you more. The realigning of the Grove won’t change the beauty or wonder that we all enjoy. But, it will help to keep you and your family from being run over by a truck while you are in the midst of your reverie.

    I’m very sorry to be so dramatic, but it seems that there is a lot of drama surrounding this issue. The facts are that it will remove two 8inch redwoods within the park, and possibly cut the roots of some surrounding trees. Root pruning is very survivable, in fact it encourages new root growth, the same as limb pruning encourages leaf growth. The most harmful thing to a redwood is overcrowding.

    The realignment of the grove will stop any thoughts of doing a very environmentally damaging bypass.

  • They don’t call it the Redwood Curtain for nothing…

    Furthermore…

    “While the tree roots may extend as far from the trunk as the tree is high, the only part of the root that can actually absorb water and minerals are the tiny, delicate root hairs in the last inch of each root tip…construction activities can cause problems in two ways: damage to root hairs which means they can’t absorb water and minerals, and cutting off the roots air supply by paving, adding soil, or compacting soil above them. The end result is that the tree starves and the roots suffocate and die.” Larry Caplan, Horticulture Educator, Purdue University http://blogs.mcall.com/master_gardeners/2009/09/paving-over-tree-roots-say-goodbye-to-your-tree.html

    “The new pavement will be (CTPB) “Cement Treated Permeable base to minimize the thickness of the structural section, provide greater porosity, minimize compaction of roots and minimize thermal exposure to roots from Hot Mix Asphalt paving.””NCP Site

    Lime(found in cement) is a poison, for humans, fish and especially for acid loving trees such as our Coast Redwoods. I myself have personally experienced this travesty. I recently removed an Oak Tree hanging over a customer’s home that was over a century old. The customer was concerned that the Oak had succumbed to SOD(sudden oak death) and wanted the tree removed for safety and to protect the surrounding Oaks from the disease. After further research, we discovered that the tree had Lime poisoning, and the home’s concrete foundation that covered less than half of the drip line of the oak tree had taken less than two decades to poison the tree to death:
    “Lime is a major component of cement and as such is found in all concrete products and is also used for stabilizing earth and for some landscaping activities. Lime easily dissolves in water, just like sugar, to make the water and slurry strongly alkaline (pH 11-13), which burns and kills fish, insects and plants that come in contact with it, much the same way acid burns us.” North Shore City, New Zealand Pollution Prevention Brochure

    For the project advocate’s arguments in regards to safety:

    “The DEIR Does Not Establish That This Project is Necessary for Safety

    The DEIR tries to support the need for the project on the basis of safety. On February 15, 2008, pursuant to a Public Records Act request, EPIC received from Caltrans the CHP information on traffic accidents in the Richardson Grove stretch of Highway 101. But the studies it refers to do not show what the DEIR states.9 The report date is February 13, 2008. What the tables reveal is that for the stretch of Highway 101 from mile post 0.920 to 2.120 which is the scope of the project, for a period of 5 years, there were only 6 accidents involving trucks, two of which occurred within one minute of each other on August 16, 2004 at 11:10 and 11:11 p.m, and only one of the five involved two trucks going in opposite directions. Notably, there have been no truck accidents since June 21, 2005. The CHP Report to the Legislature from August 2005, which evaluated the effect of Vehicle Code 35401.710 advised that there were no collisions, citations, verbal warnings, complaints, or highway incidents involved licensed carriers of livestock vehicles on the identified portions of Highway 101.11 Thus, the evidence does not support a claim that this project is necessary to allow more room for trucks because trucks are involved in or cause accidents.” Scott Greacen of EPIC

  • They don’t call it the Redwood Curtain for nothing…

    Furthermore…

    “While the tree roots may extend as far from the trunk as the tree is high, the only part of the root that can actually absorb water and minerals are the tiny, delicate root hairs in the last inch of each root tip…construction activities can cause problems in two ways: damage to root hairs which means they can’t absorb water and minerals, and cutting off the roots air supply by paving, adding soil, or compacting soil above them. The end result is that the tree starves and the roots suffocate and die.” Larry Caplan, Horticulture Educator, Purdue University http://blogs.mcall.com/master_gardeners/2009/09/paving-over-tree-roots-say-goodbye-to-your-tree.html

    “The new pavement will be (CTPB) “Cement Treated Permeable base to minimize the thickness of the structural section, provide greater porosity, minimize compaction of roots and minimize thermal exposure to roots from Hot Mix Asphalt paving.””NCP Site

    Lime(found in cement) is a poison, for humans, fish and especially for acid loving trees such as our Coast Redwoods. I myself have personally experienced this travesty. I recently removed an Oak Tree hanging over a customer’s home that was over a century old. The customer was concerned that the Oak had succumbed to SOD(sudden oak death) and wanted the tree removed for safety and to protect the surrounding Oaks from the disease. After further research, we discovered that the tree had Lime poisoning, and the home’s concrete foundation that covered less than half of the drip line of the oak tree had taken less than two decades to poison the tree to death:
    “Lime is a major component of cement and as such is found in all concrete products and is also used for stabilizing earth and for some landscaping activities. Lime easily dissolves in water, just like sugar, to make the water and slurry strongly alkaline (pH 11-13), which burns and kills fish, insects and plants that come in contact with it, much the same way acid burns us.” North Shore City, New Zealand Pollution Prevention Brochure

    For the project advocate’s arguments in regards to safety:

    “The DEIR Does Not Establish That This Project is Necessary for Safety

    The DEIR tries to support the need for the project on the basis of safety. On February 15, 2008, pursuant to a Public Records Act request, EPIC received from Caltrans the CHP information on traffic accidents in the Richardson Grove stretch of Highway 101. But the studies it refers to do not show what the DEIR states.9 The report date is February 13, 2008. What the tables reveal is that for the stretch of Highway 101 from mile post 0.920 to 2.120 which is the scope of the project, for a period of 5 years, there were only 6 accidents involving trucks, two of which occurred within one minute of each other on August 16, 2004 at 11:10 and 11:11 p.m, and only one of the five involved two trucks going in opposite directions. Notably, there have been no truck accidents since June 21, 2005. The CHP Report to the Legislature from August 2005, which evaluated the effect of Vehicle Code 35401.710 advised that there were no collisions, citations, verbal warnings, complaints, or highway incidents involved licensed carriers of livestock vehicles on the identified portions of Highway 101.11 Thus, the evidence does not support a claim that this project is necessary to allow more room for trucks because trucks are involved in or cause accidents.” Scott Greacen of EPIC

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