Demonizing the Opposition:Richardsons Grove, the Pros and Cons of the Caltrans Project

Good people come to different conclusions based on the same facts. We know that.  In spite of movies and books that consistently show good fighting against evil, life is rarely that simple. We know that, too. So why do we demonize those who opposes us?

In the poster above, sweet gentle souls are shown linking their arms in the face of a nuclear tank bearing the words Caltrans and Walmart.  Below is the caption “Expose CalTrans Lies & Mis-Information.” I believe the Richardson Grove Action Committee are sincerely concerned about the trees and the Grove and even about Humboldt County as a whole but, in an effort to promote their cause, they are demonizing other people who feel just as sincerely that they are improving the road without hurting the trees.

Is that necessary?  If the facts are on your side, can’t you just point out the most salient of them without whipping up folks into an emotional frenzy which can lead to unintended consequences?  I’m not saying its wrong to appeal to emotions.  Just wrong to appeal to the anger and fear part of our brains because poking that steaming pit leads to some ugly responses especially among the mentally ill and those who have anger issues on both sides.

This same poster without the tank and with a piece of heavy equipment instead would have been truthful and still emotionally evocative.  If the caption had read, “Getting at the Root of Caltran’s Facts,” then they could have pointed out where they believe there is an error in Caltran’s methodology without resorting to painting the many employees of CalTrans as villains determined to mow down old growth redwoods no matter what the cost.

I know I sound naive but I believe that seeking to tell the truth and appealing to our better emotions may lead to short term losses but long term gains for our society.

Below the fold, I list the facts as I see them.  I welcome a dialogue  from those who have opposing views. We may never agree with each other but we will build a society of mutual respect and goodwill which is worth far more than either side winning this particular issue.

What is the purpose of the project according to Caltrans?

“Industry standard-sized trucks conforming to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) are currently prohibited from traveling Route 101 north of Leggett due to the narrow alignment at Richardson Grove. This location is one of the few remaining areas of the state in which these trucks are not permitted. As STAA trucks have become the national standard, communities with routes unable to provide STAA access are at an economic disadvantage. Truck cargo must be unloaded and transferred to shorter trucks, making goods movement more expensive.

What are some positive  effects of the project?

  • Support local businessesHumboldt is currently at a disadvantage “because truck cargos must be
    unloaded and transferred to shorter trucks coming into and out of the county, which results in
    making goods movement more expensive and less timely. In addition, many local businesses
    must maintain higher inventories due to erratic deliveries and damage during transfers. Local
    companies with major freight needs have relocated out of the area or gone out of business in
    part due to transportation problems. …Several businesses, including
    lumber, floral, food and other manufacturing, as well as the local newspaper, have noted
    higher costs and have considered relocating out of the County.”
  • Support local Consumers-According to one study, local businesses and residents
    pay about 10 to 15 percent more for goods due to poor truck access.
  • Safety–The US Route 101 Safety and Commerce Study” (2005), found that the five mile segment of US Route 101 (PM 0.0 to 5.22), which includes Richardson Grove State Park, … exceeded the statewide average for injury + fatal (132%) and for total number of collisions (175%). During this time period, truck traffic made up 14-17% of the total traffic. … Of the total number of collisions occurring over the course of the study (164), trucks were involved in 26 of the collisions (16%). Of these 26 collisions involving trucks, ten collisions (38%) occurred as a result of hitting an object. The vast majority of these collisions involving trucks (>70%) occurred in clear weather during daylight hours when the pavement was dry.”
  • Provides refuge for bicyclists by increasing shoulders where possible when they can widen without impacting old growth.
  • Drainage will be improved include three culvert replacements

What are the project impacts?

Trees cut or impacted–

  • 7 redwoods from 4 to 19 inches in diameter at breast height.
  • 27 Douglas Fir from 4-23 inches in diameter at breast height.
  • some tan oak and maple also none bigger than 22 inches in diameter at breast height.
  • construction would occur within the root zone of old growth redwoods.

Other impacts–

  • construction of a retaining wall north of Richardsons Grove would impact appearance
  • construction itself will cause temporary noise issues, traffic slowdowns, visual impact as well as temporarily impact businesses in the area.

How is Caltrans mitigating the impact?

  • an arborist has signed off on the work to the trees and will be present whenever ground is disturbed.
  • “the upper four to six inches of duff and native soil (topsoil) will be set aside for placement on
    finished fill slopes to provide the nutrients and a seed bank for natural revegetation.”
  • An archaeologist and a Native American “monitor” will be present whenever the ground is disturbed.
  • a special air “spade” will be used around the roots.

Concerns people have expressed and my responses.

This project will destroy the Giant Beautiful Trees. No large trees will be cut.  The roots will be disturbed but decades ago Caltrans workers cut roots that were buckling the asphalt and there has been no ill effects.

This project will bring in Big Box stores. There is no need to penalize local businesses because of fear of big box stores.  Use existing or create new zoning laws to keep out big box stores.  We’ve done it before.  We can do it again.

This project will allow the military to come to Humboldt. If the military wants to come to Humboldt, fear of crossing the yellow line isn’t going to stop them.  The two lane road that exists now is plenty large enough.  If they can get into the mountains of Afghanistan, sweet little 101 will work just fine.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Here is where I got my facts:

For more information, please contact politely:

Project Manager
Kim Floyd
Phone: (707) 441-5739 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (707) 441-5739      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, TTY 711

Most of this information came from one website here.

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40 comments

  • I couldn’t agree more Kym. Are we actually dismissing reality to further our cause. I started getting leery when our folks started saying the grove was going to be torn apart and old growth would be cut and damaged. That’s not factual. If you can’t plead your case with the truth I don’t want to be there. Their truth is big boxed stores. The military is a ruse. I loved your line that said something like this.. The military can already get through the grove….they just have to go over the yellow line. Anyway, I agree with you. Keep it real and remember all those stormy nights when these good Caltrans men and women came out to clear your road or direct you around some scary situation.

    • Bunny, bless you for remembering the hard work Caltrans’ workers put in. I can remember my dad putting in 36+ hour shifts in a storm with tree limbs falling. Sometimes he would be on a cat on a slipping hillside while the rain poured down into the half open cab and people sitting in warm dry cars would fuss because they weren’t getting where they wanted to go.

    • Well put. Civil discussion is central to a civilized society. I still support the widening of Richardson Grove myself. We all have a right to our opinions and violent overtones portrayed in propaganda posters such as this does nothing for civil discourse. This poster is representative of a propaganda campaign. No old growth is being cut. Widening this section of US 101 will make it a safer place for all of us who drive through. And the big box Costco already does business in Humboldt County. If you don’t support big box stores don’t shop at Costco, bottom line. Hopefully we can disagree without being disagreeable. This poster is disagreeable in my personal opinion.

  • Sadly, some “environmentalists” give environmentalism a bad name. The activists depend upon supporters to send them money. It works better if they exaggerate the hell out of what is happening and any talk about touching the roots of a redwood is scary stuff. They depend upon foolish people that don’t know that redwoods not only survive root pruning well, it actually cause them to thrive. I thing the best analogy to a redwood is a rose bush. I think that the best analogy to the group that’s trying to “save” Richardson Grove is “charlaton”

  • By the way Kym… Thank-you, I appreciate honesty.

    • I don’t think, Ernie, that it is fair to assume the Save the Richardson Grove Group is doing this for monetary gain. I think they believe they are doing what is right. If we assume the other side is working from a place of honesty, perhaps they can offer us the same courtesy. I’m sure there are people with bad intent on both sides but the vast majority of people on both sides want the right thing for the world. They just disagree on what it is.

      And, because we have been taught by example (think Madison Ave.) that it is okay to exaggerate and twist facts to promote a good cause, then in the spirit of “doing good” we often promote certain “facts” as truth when we know they aren’t completely real. We need to change ourselves.

      • Possibly you are right Kym, but actually I don’t see any place on your blog that asks me to send money to further your cause. That is the first thing that pops up on Save Richardson Grove. Also, I believe that a lot of people moved up here after they made their fortune doing lord knows what, and they come here with the attitude that they have theirs now, and they want everybody else to stay away.

        You are far too kind Kym. I truly believe that their cause is based in selfishness. The road needs to be safe and legal. The world will NOT move in. We are still too isolated by geography for any mass hoards to move here. If they were actually concerned about the total environment, they would encourage the road that we already have to be made safe, and not build a bypass that would destroy thousands of trees and disturb fragile Earth.

        Expose your belly to these frauds and they will rip your guts out. I know you were trying to play nice, but believe me THEY DON’T, and they don’t care, as long as people send their money and play their game.

        Maybe if They could spend a little time responding on ambulance calls instead of running around The Grove naked-assed, they would see the need for safer roads… Just saying. Don’t ask me to respect SOME of them. I don’t.

        • Gosh darn it, Ernie, I should have thought of asking for money. Feel free to send any in large amounts. Currently, I’m buying chocolate for me and pizza for the protesters in Wisconsin.

          Seriously though, it takes money to run off leaflets and buy gas, etc. I’ve helped run things like this and they are chronically short on money and nobody gets rich. I’ll bet that the money they’ve raised doesn’t even cover expenses and, like usual, some of the leaders are pulling money from their own pockets to pay for basic items like stamps.

  • That’s really funny Kym! I thought your post about the last rally was a joke but I guess you’re pretty serious about this whole demonizing RGAN.

    Just so you can set your mind at ease, no one wants Caltrans workers to be negatively affected by the opposition to the project. In fact, many of your husband’s co-workers are against the project. We’ve spoken to enough people inside Caltrans to know this fact, along with lot’s of other neat little facts about the dirt behind this project.

    Let’s also keep in mind that Caltrans originally planned to push through this project(presumably the plan from the DEIR, not the current FEIR) without an environmental environmental impact report(EIR).

    Hell, the project would already be in the works if it wasn’t for concerned and ethical CT employees giving the “enviros” a heads up so many years ago.

    I must ask why you feel that RGAN is demonizing CT when so many local CT employees are against the project? Do you really take this as a “personal” attack on your husband? If your husband worked for PL, could we blame him for simply doing his job?

    I think not.

    I personally feel that the State budget is affecting ALL State workers. Right?

    I’m with the workers, always! CT shouldn’t be wasting so much money on unnecessary projects while State employees are getting furloughed and losing benefits. If it’s not broken, why fix it? And if could be easily and affordably fixed, why not avoid the controversy?
    Because the rabbit hole goes down further than CT wants to admit. Now we have the nuclear waste transportation concern as well as the Eureka 101 realignment.

    Oh yeah. Don’t forget the four bridges on the Avenue that just came out in the press…

    It’s obvious that despite the project alternatives and damages to RGSP old growth, this project is getting pushed through by something bigger than “po dunk” District 1 CT.

    And not everyone in CT is happy about it…unless they stand to gain something directly from this. Where does your husband stand on that concept? Yourself? Because your bias against us is not only blatant, it’s also quite funny…

    • Jeff,

      I want to address your concerns so I’ll try to touch on each.

      First, Caltrans is not one entity but 1000’s of people. There might even be some who support your cause. However, I would like to see some support of the term “so many” Caltrans employees. I haven’t yet met one.

      I don’t think that the warm man, you, I met the other night at the gas station has any intention of harming any Caltrans’ workers. But I do think rhetoric matters. I think the tank imagery is over the top. I think whoever puts those on the posters is inadvertently promoting violence. And not just on the side of the protesters. Whenever people see what they perceive as over the top imagery, they get angry. Cops, business people, and Caltrans’ workers are just as likely to have anger issues as any one else. They certainly will be moved to respond more violently by the tank photo than by the nude photo. The potential to escalate towards violence is enhanced by the tank photo. Both photos are effective tools but only one creates violence. Why use the tank one then?

      I don’t take this as a personal attack on my husband who isn’t even working on the project. As far as I know, I have nothing personal to gain and have displayed no bias towards you other than disagreeing with you. Please tell me where the unreasonable bias is. I’m not pretending to be a journalist. I’m acting as an advocate for the project because I believe in it.

      Can you tell me how the problem in Richardsons Grove could be “easily and affordably fixed?”

      I think what you are suggesting when you say “Now we have the nuclear waste transportation concern as well as the Eureka 101 realignment” is that you fear that nuclear waste will be transported up 101 if Richardsons Grove realignment comes through? That is the first I have heard of the concern and I will look into it. But why would they transport through 101 when 5 is so much faster?

      The 4 Bridges project that just came out in the press was from a Caltrans’ press release not from a secret informant. I don’t know much about the project yet but I do know there are wooden railings on bridges on the Avenue that are rotten and no longer fit the specs and need to be upgraded.

      Jeff, I know you are trying to do what you perceive as best. But I disagree that some evil entity is trying to destroy Humboldt and using Caltrans to do it.

      I respect your commitment and passion for what you believe in. Please respect mine.

  • I don’t think, Ernie, that it is fair to assume the Save the Richardson Grove Group is doing this for monetary gain. I think they believe they are doing what is right. If we assume the other side is working from a place of honesty, perhaps they can offer us the same courtesy. I’m sure there are people with bad intent on both sides but the vast majority of people on both sides want the right thing for the world. They just disagree on what it is.

    And, because we have been taught by example (think Madison Ave.) that it is okay to exaggerate and twist facts to promote a good cause, then in the spirit of “doing good” we often promote certain “facts” as truth when we know they aren’t completely real. We need to change ourselves.

    • Possibly you are right Kym, but actually I don’t see any place on your blog that asks me to send money to further your cause. That is the first thing that pops up on Save Richardson Grove. Also, I believe that a lot of people moved up here after they made their fortune doing lord knows what, and they come here with the attitude that they have theirs now, and they want everybody else to stay away.

      You are far too kind Kym. I truly believe that their cause is based in selfishness. The road needs to be safe and legal. The world will NOT move in. We are still too isolated by geography for any mass hoards to move here. If they were actually concerned about the total environment, they would encourage the road that we already have to be made safe, and not build a bypass that would destroy thousands of trees and disturb fragile Earth.

      Expose your belly to these frauds and they will rip your guts out. I know you were trying to play nice, but believe me THEY DON’T, and they don’t care, as long as people send their money and play their game.

      Maybe if They could spend a little time responding on ambulance calls instead of running around The Grove naked-assed, they would see the need for safer roads… Just saying. Don’t ask me to respect SOME of them. I don’t.

      • Gosh darn it, Ernie, I should have thought of asking for money. Feel free to send any in large amounts. Currently, I’m buying chocolate for me and pizza for the protesters in Wisconsin.

        Seriously though, it takes money to run off leaflets and buy gas, etc. I’ve helped run things like this and they are chronically short on money and nobody gets rich. I’ll bet that the money they’ve raised doesn’t even cover expenses and, like usual, some of the leaders are pulling money from their own pockets to pay for basic items like stamps.

  • Jeff,

    I want to address your concerns so I’ll try to touch on each.

    First, Caltrans is not one entity but 1000’s of people. There might even be some who support your cause. However, I would like to see some support of the term “so many” Caltrans employees. I haven’t yet met one.

    I don’t think that the warm man, you, I met the other night at the gas station has any intention of harming any Caltrans’ workers. But I do think rhetoric matters. I think the tank imagery is over the top. I think whoever puts those on the posters is inadvertently promoting violence. And not just on the side of the protesters. Whenever people see what they perceive as over the top imagery, they get angry. Cops, business people, and Caltrans’ workers are just as likely to have anger issues as any one else. They certainly will be moved to respond more violently by the tank photo than by the nude photo. The potential to escalate towards violence is enhanced by the tank photo. Both photos are effective tools but only one creates violence. Why use the tank one then?

    I don’t take this as a personal attack on my husband who isn’t even working on the project. As far as I know, I have nothing personal to gain and have displayed no bias towards you other than disagreeing with you. Please tell me where the unreasonable bias is. I’m not pretending to be a journalist. I’m acting as an advocate for the project because I believe in it.

    Can you tell me how the problem in Richardsons Grove could be “easily and affordably fixed?”

    I think what you are suggesting when you say “Now we have the nuclear waste transportation concern as well as the Eureka 101 realignment” is that you fear that nuclear waste will be transported up 101 if Richardsons Grove realignment comes through? That is the first I have heard of the concern and I will look into it. But why would they transport through 101 when 5 is so much faster?

    The 4 Bridges project that just came out in the press was from a Caltrans’ press release not from a secret informant. I don’t know much about the project yet but I do know there are wooden railings on bridges on the Avenue that are rotten and no longer fit the specs and need to be upgraded.

    Jeff, I know you are trying to do what you perceive as best. But I disagree that some evil entity is trying to destroy Humboldt and using Caltrans to do it.

    I respect your commitment and passion for what you believe in. Please respect mine.

  • I think one of the saddest things about this issue is that EPIC and other folks are trashing their hard earned reputation on nonsense. A small group of cynical anti big box elitists are whipping up a tempest in a tea pot. Its embarrassing !

    • I’d like to see the people I respect at Epic turn their attention to the real environmental disasters around here–the massive depredation of our environment by unthinking growers.

  • I’d like to see the people I respect at Epic turn their attention to the real environmental disasters around here–the massive depredation of our environment by unthinking growers.

  • “if the facts are on your side…”

    The facts are on my side. Fuck caltrans and protect this and every grove of trees without compromise. There is no denying Caltrans’ project is part of a much larger operation, that includes compounding “development” forever to come. There is no denying the size and health of Humboldt’s forests are diminishing, let alone of the world’s last ancient redwood groves. There is no denying over 97% of those groves have been slowly wiped out in what’s amounts to a historical blink of an eye. And there is certainly no denying the picture is even more bleak when you broaden the scope to state/national/global levels.

    A tank drawn onto a poster visually expresses that which a million words would take a day to read. Caltrans’ propaganda is real and aggressive…calculated to escape the meek’s radar. Little white lies about costs, projections and impacts are what the meek have come to expect, thus except from companies like Caltrans. Pamphlets with happy workers servicing happy people. Happy spokespeople in nice clothes politely reassuring everybody that the company they work for is operating towards the best interests of the greater local community. Professionals in professional positions professionally assuring us they’re professionals…trust them!

    Kym’s husband works for Caltrans, right? No surprise she’s standing by her man is all, whether she’ll admit it or not. And Caltrans workers are just doin’ their job, yeehaw…just followin’ orders, sir…family’s gotta eat.

    • Random Guy
      Other than the fact that most of your statements are wrong, I find it most offensive that you would make a personal attack against Kym from an anonymous position. She signs her name to what she says. You are the kind of coward the gives environmentalism a bad name. You are working from your passion without engaging your brain.

      Kym has spent considerable time educating herself on the Grove issue. Although I don’t completely trust Caltrans, or any government agency for that matter, It is our responsibility to make sure that they make our highways safe while respecting the environment. Lets make sure that they do it right. It is the least intrusive option.

      • You’re wrong, ernie.

        • Pretty rude, dude.
          Kym’s pretty reasonable and informed, presenting things fairly, thoughtfully, and considerately– and with a good understanding. You might have a different point of view, ok, but she’ll name a problem when she sees it and let other people say their piece back. Maybe it might change my mind, maybe not, but I learn from both and welcome that. Ernie’s the same, and a gentleman. So please be kind and polite so all of us can hear and listen better. Thanks, my friend. Keep the faith.

          peace… skips

    • Random Guy,

      I’ve never tried to hide that not only my husband but my father and grandfather worked for Caltrans. It is certainly reasonable to assume that I might unreasonably be biased in favor of it.

      I tried to lay down what I saw as facts and you are free to take as a large a grain of salt with them as you think my relationship with Caltrans warrants. But I did lay out my facts and where I got them. Thus, I am frustrated that you make me out to be a dupe incapable of thinking for myself and adoringly following my husband. That’s not only insulting but outdated and sexist.

      I agree that redwood groves and forests of all types are shrinking and that we need to preserve them. What I disagree with is that the only way to change this is to demonize Caltrans by using violent imagery and accusing them of lying. Why can’t good people just have come to a different opinion than you?

      The essence of being a good person is understanding that people who think differently than you are not inherently evil. They may indeed be mistaken but just as you would like people to treat you well if you were mistaken, so too should you treat others. It is not right or correct to portray those who oppose the project as crazed, druggies too stoned and stupid to comprehend reality. Neither is it right or correct to portray those who believe this project will not hurt the grove as violent oppressors of the opposition. Good people hopefully looked at the facts and came to different conclusions.

      • You act as though you don’t broadcast an image of your ideals on an almost daily basis through this blog. Nothing you otherwise argue…discuss…talk about…blog…indicates you’d be anything short of indifferent toward this caltrans project, but you go a step further to even be in favor of it. My opinion is different than yours…why can’t good people have a different opinion than yours? Are you demonizing me? Is it because I’m a guy??? Harhar.

        If caltrans advertised “this project will speed up the process of leveling X hectares for permanent infrastructure, X population increase and is also part of shaving off an additional 20% of the remaining forest preserves over the next X yearss” you would not support it. And the fact that they want to build a bigger freeway right through one of the last old growth groves on the planet. That cannot be said enough times. The power of political persuasion has you believing something else is happening, but it’s more of the same. Like so many you’re justifying it primarily as as being “not a big ENOUGH deal” because the predictable powers that be are telling everybody it’s a small insignificant nothing…and that’s what you WANT to believe. Your entire post above is Caltrans blabber regurgitated.

  • Random Guy
    Other than the fact that most of your statements are wrong, I find it most offensive that you would make a personal attack against Kym from an anonymous position. She signs her name to what she says. You are the kind of coward the gives environmentalism a bad name. You are working from your passion without engaging your brain.

    Kym has spent considerable time educating herself on the Grove issue. Although I don’t completely trust Caltrans, or any government agency for that matter, It is our responsibility to make sure that they make our highways safe while respecting the environment. Lets make sure that they do it right. It is the least intrusive option.

    • You’re wrong, ernie.

      • Pretty rude, dude.
        Kym’s pretty reasonable and informed, presenting things fairly, thoughtfully, and considerately– and with a good understanding. You might have a different point of view, ok, but she’ll name a problem when she sees it and let other people say their piece back. Maybe it might change my mind, maybe not, but I learn from both and welcome that. Ernie’s the same, and a gentleman. So please be kind and polite so all of us can hear and listen better. Thanks, my friend. Keep the faith.

        peace… skips

    • Wow, that caption “Artist conception of 101 through Humboldt County after the Big Box invasion” under the photo of a ghastly looking freeway seems to imply that this is what the Grove will look like after the project. That’s misleading. I hope that people looking at that slow down and read what it actually says.

  • Random Guy,

    I’ve never tried to hide that not only my husband but my father and grandfather worked for Caltrans. It is certainly reasonable to assume that I might unreasonably be biased in favor of it.

    I tried to lay down what I saw as facts and you are free to take as a large a grain of salt with them as you think my relationship with Caltrans warrants. But I did lay out my facts and where I got them. Thus, I am frustrated that you make me out to be a dupe incapable of thinking for myself and adoringly following my husband. That’s not only insulting but outdated and sexist.

    I agree that redwood groves and forests of all types are shrinking and that we need to preserve them. What I disagree with is that the only way to change this is to demonize Caltrans by using violent imagery and accusing them of lying. Why can’t good people just have come to a different opinion than you?

    The essence of being a good person is understanding that people who think differently than you are not inherently evil. They may indeed be mistaken but just as you would like people to treat you well if you were mistaken, so too should you treat others. It is not right or correct to portray those who oppose the project as crazed, druggies too stoned and stupid to comprehend reality. Neither is it right or correct to portray those who believe this project will not hurt the grove as violent oppressors of the opposition. Good people hopefully looked at the facts and came to different conclusions.

    • You act as though you don’t broadcast an image of your ideals on an almost daily basis through this blog. Nothing you otherwise argue…discuss…talk about…blog…indicates you’d be anything short of indifferent toward this caltrans project, but you go a step further to even be in favor of it. My opinion is different than yours…why can’t good people have a different opinion than yours? Are you demonizing me? Is it because I’m a guy??? Harhar.

      If caltrans advertised “this project will speed up the process of leveling X hectares for permanent infrastructure, X population increase and is also part of shaving off an additional 20% of the remaining forest preserves over the next X yearss” you would not support it. And the fact that they want to build a bigger freeway right through one of the last old growth groves on the planet. That cannot be said enough times. The power of political persuasion has you believing something else is happening, but it’s more of the same. Like so many you’re justifying it primarily as as being “not a big ENOUGH deal” because the predictable powers that be are telling everybody it’s a small insignificant nothing…and that’s what you WANT to believe. Your entire post above is Caltrans blabber regurgitated.

  • Wow, that caption “Artist conception of 101 through Humboldt County after the Big Box invasion” under the photo of a ghastly looking freeway seems to imply that this is what the Grove will look like after the project. That’s misleading. I hope that people looking at that slow down and read what it actually says.

  • Kym… Thanks for this post. I have to wonder if the histrionic example of Fox News has suddenly been adopted by the “Save the Grove” crowd. Some people are willing to say anything to prove their cause regardless of truth. I had to turn off the KMUD show today as it became clear that facts had nothing to do with the rhetoric. My wife and I disagree on the Grove project but she is also turned off by the propaganda.

  • Great post, Kym. Thanks for your timely message. In light of recent events, we can’t afford to perpetuate the Us-vs.Them mentality. And your advice reminds us not to demonize the demonizers, either. We can understand why environmentalists (and others) employ emotionally-charged rhetoric: it satisfies our human need for group belonging. It’s easy to reduce our world to manageable, simplistic pieces (ie. you’re a tree-hugger, or you’re a bulldozing capitalist). But thanks to people like you, stereotypes are dissolving, leaving room for more rational dialogue.

  • Got you in a Cal-trance

    Hi, we’re Caltrans. We recently cut our employee pay and benefits, but that’s not why I’m addressing you today. Did your town..er…community get any of that federal kick back money? Regardless, one of our friendly and professional representatives has been in constant communication with your city leadersto guide them along the next logical step of city spending: the exciting world of road construction! If we’re gonna get money for it, we’ll find a place to build something in your neck of the woods, and we’ll make sure everybody wonders how they ever got along without it.

    Don’t worry about your small town vibe, Humboldt. They say LA didn’t happen in a day, and it’s completely true. One more day, a little more freeway and a little less forest is nothing to concern yourselves with. Stay positive! Watch your language, mind your manners and good will always prevail! Like us, we’re good…we’re Caltrans.

  • Nonsense…!

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