‘This isn’t a Community Park, its a private rent-a-park,’ Says Letter to the Editor

parkview Southern Humboldt Community Park

Southern Humboldt Community Park [Photo by Ann Constantino]

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt.

Dear Garberville,

I read the latest propaganda and alternative facts presented by the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board of Directors on their Facebook page concerning their plans for the Park. As most or all of you know I am opposed to this project or con-job as I call it, I have been called an outsider, detractor, ankle biter, NIMBY and told to “GO KCUF Yourself” by the current Park Board many many times over the years. I have also been sent letters by anonymous people that if I don;t stop, our family house might burn to the ground, In another, if I was seen in town, they will run me over and after a town hall meeting at the Mateel about the Park, I was told if I did not leave right away, my truck might blow up. Well, it didn’t work, but It did make me sell the house we had since 1966. I was told if I didn’t like what was going to happen at the Park, leave! But when people ask me where I’m from, I still say Garberville.

Just because the word “Community” is used in the name, doesn’t make it so. For as much as the businesses in Garberville hate the homeless and trimmigrates that come to the area, what do they think is going to happen with year round camping, concerts and festivals for thousands and thousands of people down at the Park every month? They are planning and proposing a 850 vehicle parking lot at the Park. They claim, currently, the Park attracts 46,000 to 48,000 people each year and wants to increase daily attendance to 800 per day? Let alone the camping, concerts, music festivals and sports tournaments they have requested on top of all of that!

And now, Tim Metz on KMUD stated, they want to install a real big tent down at the Park and have events. Asking for donations to purchase one, between $100,000 to $150,000, Wow, that’s about a 10,000 square foot tent or more? Maybe they come in Mossy Oak?

This isn’t a Community Park, its a private rent-a-park. Here’s what I see, dozens and dozens of porta-poddy’s, every size, shape and color, with pump trucks coming and going on a regular basis, year round 24/7, which to the Park Board is the smell of money…

I would sure hate to be the people getting their water downstream from the Park, if you know what I mean!

I also see hundreds of party goers trying to walk and bike down to the Park on Sprowel Creek Road during these planned events, while thousands of other party goers cars, RV’s, bus’s and local cement trucks, gravel trucks, water trucks and soil trucks try not to hit each other or end up in the river. When was the last time you walked from town to the Park?

Good luck,

Ed Voice & Voice Family
Formally from Garberville/Redway 1961-2015



  • im disgusted

  • I know your plate’s are full. However, I hope you can take just a few moments out of your busy day to read through the links below. They include 16 issues of what was called the “Constant Comment” newsletter, that was published between 2001 to 2004 by Virginia Graziani and John LaBoyteaux, both of whom donated $4000.00 each to the creation of the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) property.

    The purpose of this news letter was to provide a forum for information, ideas and commentary on the SHCP, emphasizing local use and community recreation. After all, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been”.

    The “Constant Comment” newsletters provided transparency, history of events, facts and holding the SHCP accountable to the public and community they claim to benefit. And that themselves (SHCP), did not provide then and does not provide now. This fact is evident, given the fact the SHCP has not allowed the public to attend Board meetings since August 2010,

    Please do not just listen to one side of the story, look to all sides of the issue, from all prospective and opinions This private organization (SHCP) has a controversial 17 year history with the community and the land, please educate yourself before making your decision And please do not forget there are over 600 people in Southern Humboldt that want their voices heard.

    “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it”

















    • Concerned Citizen

      I don’t think anyone is looking at this one-sided but those seeking profit. Profit is their only side of almost everything and you know who I am referring to. Everything Sweet is not…and where is the Chamber of Citizens btw?

  • Ed, you have been at this anti non profit thing since before the Mateel. Time and time again you spread lies and misinformation and people go through the bother of responding over and over, and you keep on going. The Edergizer Bunny. Its amazing. Are you surprised you have pissed people off over the years? People can only handle so much. You are relentless, you constantly change your gripe, you do not negotiate in good faith. If someone addresses your current issue, you find another. A tent proposal? Thats your big scandle? Nobody made you move out of here. Nobody made you sell your house. It certainly was not the mean old park board. Move on for real man. You haven’t lived in so hum for years.

    • “Since before the Mateel”?

      The Mateel became a tax exempt 501c3 org in 1988. The Park Board became a tax exempt 501c3 org in 2002, what the hell are you talking about:

      Ed, you have been at this anti non profit thing since before the Mateel

  • Dozens of Porta potties! Dozens I tell ya!!

  • No it’s cool tim Metz is a Forester so you know he has the best interest of the forest at heart. Capitalists are everywhere, and a nice rural piece of property can’t change anyone into living a more sustainable community oriented park. Go Dazey and crew, make millions.. maybe give some food away while you flash all your money. Silliness. Could be such an asset ignition was really public

  • Just like the “community” center.

  • I agree that we don’t need another outdoor music site.

    But that Hank III show 10 years ago was one of the best shows I’d ever been too!

    • Hank Williams III puts on a real good show. He will really get your toes tapping. He usually comes to our area about once a year. Try to catch it if you can. He plays some good variety also

  • Living In My Vehicle

    A park outside of town that is basically accessible only by motor vehicle. This is the typical drive back to the lander mentality. We need affordable housing in So Hum not an exclusionary park.

  • How can any conscious person stroll along the Eel in July, August and later, and think that large events of any kind are a good idea? On a tiny little 2-lane country road? Really? Just try to imagine that you live near there& honestly think all those vehicles & people will make Life better for that special area… Use your intelligence people. Really

  • Voice has a good point about that narrow winding road not being able to handle the traffic. Anybody addressing access?

  • I have walked that stretch of road and it’s one to be alert on, that is sure. Even driving, the gravel trucks are pretty big and they run all day long every day.
    This is an important issue.

  • I love the park and am grateful for all the work that’s been put into creating a space for the community.

  • Ann Constantino

    I am against park development for a lot of reasons stated here before. What has already happened there has cost many birds their breeding and wintering habitats. I saw virtually no Harriers this winter, far fewer White-Tailed Kites and no Varied or Hermit Thrushes. Last summer there were fewer Lazuli Buntings, no Grasshopper Sparrows and fewer warblers of all kinds.

    My guess is many park supporters would be sensitive to this habitat loss if it were happening far away, an abstract symbol of the kind of development many people moved here to avoid.

    But a “need” for what is planned at the park has been identified and heels have been dug in to defend the right of the “community” to have it.

    May we please consider the larger community that includes the creatures whose habitat, well-being, and rights have had no representation in the debate? At some point human beings must pull back from paving paradise if we are to have any chance of preserving our own habitat. Opposing the dismantling of the EPA is not enough.

    Imagine if all the money to be spent developing the sports fields were used to improve the fields we already have, to which kids can actually walk and play on their own? No child will be able to walk to this new facility.

    One of the saddest aspects of this debate is what Ed alludes to above. I have been shamed and felt despised for holding the opinion I have, as though I were standing in the way of some great humanitarian cause.

    How will the community heal from this episode?

    • There are not enough sports fields currently to support all the need for the current sports available between kids an d adults. Yes that’s right, adults would like a place to play ball also!

      • SoHumSun,

        Here is Redwood Fields, its 11 acres in Cutten, with a population of approx 3100 people. Built on TPZ land.

        • Now, here is the back drop of Redwood Fields and the greater Eureka area it serves (Redwood Fields w/yellow push-pin).

          At the 2010 census, the population of the City of EureKa was 27,191 and the population of Greater Eureka area was 45,034.

          And again, its 11 acres. What is the population of Southern Humboldt? And why do they want 16 acres for ballfields?

      • Here’s what’s stated in the Staff Report concerning “Ballfields” to the Board of Supervisors:

        From the bottom of page 3:

        “A number of mitigation measures described in the EIR will reduce all the potentially significant impacts of the project to less-than-significant levels except one. Impact AGFR-1 on page 4.2-10 of the Draft EIR states the proposed construction of ballfields will result in conversion of approximately 16 acres of farmland. No feasible mitigation was identified that would reduce the level of significance, so it is identified as a significant, unavoidable impact. A Statement of Overriding Consideration will therefore need to be adopted by the Board of Supervisors explaining the rationale for approving the project despite its significant and unavoidable impacts.”

        And page 7, at the bottom of item 4:

        “During the dry summer months of the year, the stream flow in the South Fork Eel River already drops to levels that make it lethal for certain native aquatic species. Taking large amounts of water out of the river to irrigate the ballfields during the dry summer months will reduce the stream flows below existing levels, which will further reduce its viability as habitat for certain native aquatic species.”

        Link to Staff Report: https://humboldt.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2991609&GUID=0354E9F9-A938-47AD-B8FC-AE2A5D8C2BC5&Options=&Search=

  • When I moved here 35 years ago, this sort of environmental degradation would have been considered an outrage, especially had it been proposed by the timber industry. Since then, there has been perhaps a power shift in the regional politics and somehow the attitudes and the rhetoric have changed so that those who would protect or at least try not to further harm the river, the creatures, and the plants that made us all believe that we lived in a beautiful place are now to be ignored and even castigated. The changes proposed in the proposal for zoning change will forever alter how we live here to the detriment of all succeeding generations. The great horned owl thinks your rich people’s “park” is a hoot.

    • Just think of all the leaking oils, radiator fluids, pee and other things that will run off during rains….right straight into the river. Loggers trashing the river=bad. Everyone else doing the…OH LOOK SQUIRREL!

  • All I can say is that I am glad Ed Voice is no longer in this community.

  • What is the problem with a sports complex if they are not using water when river flows are low? I’ve been raising a child in sohum the last few years and there are not enough sports fields. There are dozens of soccer, baseball, and basketball teams all crammed in to redway school. Teams can only practice one day per week. It’s a joke. Children need access to real facilities and to be able to practice two or more times per week.

    • Charles, the South Fork Eel River cannot support irrigating 7 acres of turf grass ball fields, that would require 2-3 million gallons a month from May to October, on top of the 10-15 acres of commercial crop farming, 10 acre private vineyard and 30 acre private cattle grazing currently at the Park (560,000 gallons a month June to September w/o vineyard). The Park only has riparian water rights:

      “Only the natural flow of water can be diverted under a riparian right. Water that is imported into a watershed from another river, stream, or creek cannot be used under a riparian right. Water cannot be stored during a wet time for use during a drier time under a riparian right”

      They would need to engineer a rain water catchment pond and or store ground water from the property that is not hydrologically connected to the South Fork Eel River. Either way, these two examples were not discussed or included in Park development project EIR.

  • Jerry is exactly right about how we would’ve stood in front of Timber Industry bulldozers if they were the ones destroying sensitive habitat. It’s yet another case of the “Liberators” become the rich oppressors. The Redway & Miranda fields could be upgraded for way less money than starting new in an inaccessible zone. Again, I ask you to imagine the sheer amount of new traffic on that tiny little 2-lane country road. That IS the real bottom line…really

  • The scam called a community park. I was a fool who donated .I was told it would never be a concert venue by Steve himself .

  • I really wish they werent developing the area by the parking lot off kimtu, there are many of us that take our dogs to that area to throw the ball. I heard its a kids play area??? Or are they renting out more land for vineyards? Seems a poor choice of location,doesnt the county have to be informed of any new projects?
    I did not know the park was going to be available for people to rent the land to grow grapes. I would not have donated the money i did had i known that was the plan. I dont think its even an organic vineyard. That land with grapes is habitat loss for many birds and other critters, and grapes spread powdery white like crazy and are high water use.

    • Nope you’re wrong, most grapes are dry farmed, after they are established. And powdery mildew is death to grapes so they are sprayed w sulfur. Sulfur spray is organic, not great but better than powdery mildew.

  • The narrow, busy access road issue is a legit concern!
    So……. How about having a shuttle that runs to the park, from the largest parking lot in Garberville? Where is that? Well, it is controlled (owned?) by none other than Steve Dazey!
    That parking lot at Dazey’s Supply (formerly ‘So Hum’ – Ace, formerly Pyramid Pins, formerly a bowling alley) could be used A LOT more efficiently, with lanes to access the back (lumber & materials area) of the business. There could be parking for 30-40 cars if planned out well, and striped /appropriately marked.
    Let’s encourage Steve to use that BIG space more efficiently, for the betterment of the community, and with such use it would not be a detriment to his business there!! Seriously. Ask him, nicely, to do that for the community!
    What you say, Steve??!?

    • Dazey’s does not own that property. They rent or lease it from Ron Olsen.

      • Dazey still has the control of the property/ the ability (and the funds, should he decide to spend them to benefit the community) to simply fix some of the pavement and paint some lines. Not too expensive and possibly a literal ‘life saver’ when it come to less traffic on Sprowl Creek Road!

        • You should try shopping there sometime and tell me there is room for parking other than the business they are doing. And technically it is an employee owned company now and up to the employees if they would like to contribute part of their parking lot/lumber yard…. You know, because Steve is such a greedy guy and all… Maybe you should try talking to him and getting to know him a little, he’s a pretty nice guy.

    • What good is a parking lot for 30-40 cars if there is a huge concert? Shuttles are a good idea, as the winding road down to the park is unfeasible, but what to do with the rest of the cars? Clog up the streets of G-ville? Grrrr.

      • They want to have parking for 850 vehicles on-site at the Park and claim;

        “there are an additional 1454 parking spaces between Garberville and Redway, excluding parking lots for businesses, and will bus people in, like the Mateel does for their events.”

        Do you know where these “1454 parking spaces between Garberville and Redway”?

        The Planning Commission approved one Music Festival per year over two days, with up to 4000 attendees, 1000 vendors, staff, volunteers and camping for 1000 on-site. And 5 events, concerts or fundraisers per year with up to 2000 attendees and 500 vendors, staff and volunteers, over an undisclosed number of days and camping for 500 on-site.

        This is on top of an unlimited amount of private and public concerts, events and sports tournaments up to 800 people per day over an undisclosed number of days and camping on site.

  • For all those critiquing the park, may I suggest you take a look at your own land, if you possess a title from the state, that is. How much habitat have you destroyed? Shall we re-introduce the grizzly to your back yard? Why not give your land back to the Native Americans? I think these are actually all good ideas. The park constitutes massive generosity bequeathed by some folks with money and some with not as much. Folks disingenuously speak of a narrow two lane road as if we have much more than that around here. We certainly do need another venue and in fact, we could use all the venues we can get. The First Amendment guarantees us Freedom of Assembly, which some folks here seem to be against. The park was re-instituted agriculture. Anyone can go there anytime–you don’t need to rent it or pay for it.

    As far as having to drive there–you’ve got to be kidding. So what you want is to drive you car 45 minutes down the mountain to Garberville and then walk to the park. Actually you can! So get off your butt and do so if you’re so against driving.

    Three cheers for Steve Dazey, Tim Metz, and the whole group who made this wonderful dream a reality that keeps on giving. And for the record the overwhelming number of non-profits don’t have voting members, just boards of directors. So get over it. Thank you Community Park for keeping open space, habitat, gathering spots and having to deal with the tiny super wing nuts who have tried to spoil it for the rest of us. Go team!

    • What do tim Metz and Steve are give us? A 20% discount so you can still pay higher than anywhere else? Garberville is full of back to landers turned yuppies. Chat aqua too. A bunch neo hippie capitalists that are padding their families accounts, like good Americans. Fuck the poor and hard working. Pay to play. Bunch jokers. The park is fine the way it is. And those grapes look great!

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      IF I had 4000 acres of my own in SoHum, damn skippy I’d give half of it back to the Wiyot free of charge. Why? Because I could, and ask for absolutely nothing in return. And grizzlies? If I could be certain they wouldn’t be killed off by growing operations and poisoned food sources I’d support a reintroduction program. How about that?

  • “So get over it.” from Grin……you sound like those who support Trump…….

    It is interesting to read the cogent comments civil citizens circulate among the lashings from the lackeys of the FLAH flavor.

    Wow….what a contentious cacophony of cultivators of the new Z generational culture.

  • Dazey’s building center is a business, not a parking lot. Been down there lately? There is no room for a parking lot because the hardware store is operating as a hardware store. Sorry if u don’t like that, but it was needed. Did u go to so Hum builders before it closed? It was all but empty. Sorry if that wasn’t good for the community in your opinion, but there are people that think the town square area should be a parking garage, but those community members didn’t get what they wanted either. Can’t please everyone.

  • I like the park the way it is.

  • Last week I emailed the Supervisors about the Park Boards rezone and development plans. Here is the reply from Supervisor Bohn::

    “I truly wished for your efforts more people were opposed to the park but I don’t hear from them. I truly know there are others but at the recent planning commission meeting very few showed up”

    And here was my reply:

    1. The Park Board has spent over $350,000.00 on this project and they have everything to lose if they did not get people to turn out for the Planning Commission meeting!

    2. Out of the 100 or more people that did attend the Planning Commission meeting, only 30 people spoke in support of the Park project and most of them were sitting and past SHCP Board members, paid staff & employees, investors, current lease holders and paid consultants.

    3. How do you know that the people attending the Planning Commission meeting, that did not speak, were from Southern Humboldt?

    4. How come no one that spoke or submitted written comments at the Planning Commission meeting represented a single local Southern Humboldt advocacy group or non-profit organization, i.e. using or leasing the Park for events, fundraisers, concerts, festivals, camping or sport tournaments?

    5. And, if this project is such a great boon and boom to the community, how come there was no support given from the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Garberville/Redway Rotary, Lyons, Kiwanis, motels/hotels, restaurants, private/charter or public schools, youth groups or youth sports teams, non-profit organizations, including NorCAN (North California Association of Non-Profits), KMUD Radio, either Local Newspapers, Local Fire Departments/Districts, Banks/Credit Unions, Hospital District or Community Services District?

    6. If the public knows the Planning Commission is just going to recommend the project and kick it up to the Supervisors for approval, why would you drive to Eureka on a cold and stormy winter night, if you didn’t have to?

    7. What is the population of Benbow, Cooks Valley, Garberville, Redway, Alderpoint, Weott, Myers Flat, Miranda, Shelter Cove, Whitethorn and Briceland? I would guess, the people who attended the Planning Commission meeting was less than 1%!

    8. If it doesn’t matter where the people or children are from, holding signs that say; NO Rezone, No Amplified Music, SAVE Prime Ag Land, WATER is LIFE and Protect Wildlife, do you know the capacity of the Supervisors Chambers?

    • “Out of the 100 or more people that did attend the Planning Commission meeting, only 30 people spoke in support of the Park project and most of them were sitting and past SHCP Board members, paid staff & employees, investors, current lease holders and paid consultants.”

      That’s not even close to true. By “investors” I guess you mean people who have loaned money to the Park and two of three of them were there. They are also either current or ex-board members. We have two paid staff, and yes, both were there. There are two lead holders, and yes, both were there. We had two paid consultants there.

      We also had about 30 parents of kids who need sports fields. Some of them brought their kids who were playing in the lobby as the meeting took place.

      As for local business support, the donations they give us are overwhelming. And some of the business owners were present at the meeting. All of the youth sports groups are supportive and are participating in the planning for the sports fields and are already holding meetings. Every single youth sports group.

      And to have one percent of a community drive sixty miles to attend a meeting on a rainy night (your description) is phenomenal. I doubt there is a precedent.

      If you were part of the community you would know the people who attended, and know that they are from Southern Humboldt.

      When the the Commission requested that all who oppose the project raise their hands I counted four. I think maybe two had left or didn’t raise their hands. One of the opposition verbally stated that she doesn’t oppose the park project itself, but only amplified music events she thinks she will be able to hear from her property. Two of them are known activists who not only oppose the sports facilities, but also agriculture – wishing that the Park would remain a nature preserve and only that. The last one is Ed who is obsessed and opposes everything about the park.

      The Park was never intended to be strictly a nature preserve. It is used by people of all walks of life, including the local bird watching group. But in a community which is starting to look like something from the movie Children of Men, the Park is addressing the needs of families who are excited about the sports facilities.

      We also have a younger set of adults who want to use the park for reasonable music events. It’s not my favorite aspect of the plan, but whenever we have solicited input from the community, musical events are the number 1 priority. That’s consistent with Sohum culture, and being a Community Park means that you have to be responsive to all the aspirations and needs of the community.

      We look forward to the end of this long expensive process. We have been praised by environmentalists for the extent and scope of our plans – even altering the plan significantly when the wetlands report came in. While most projects would stick to their guns and look for “mitigations,” we simply moved the planned sports fields to a non-problematic area.

      And with the EIR behind us we will finally be able to focus primarily on the dream itself.

      The Board of Supervisors are set for final approval of the EIR and rezone on March 28. Unfortunately, unlike the Planning Commission meeting, the BOS meet during the work day. But we welcome all support.

      • It’s funny cuz you’re a lawyer so just good at arguing (and defending criminals) and also of course they’d have a lawyer on the team over there… what else is funny is you must know the area, right? And the fact that people ARE muscled and threatened all the time here. You know it’s true . And just like our president, if you got.moneu, you got power. So maybe Mr voice is far on one side, but I don’t doubt for a second he was threatened. I know business owners who were threatened by local yuppie baller business owners to fire homeless Pepe cuz they didn’t like them. Open your eyes, Esquire Kirk, you lawyers are hilarious. Plus, you say investors. I thought it was donations. Maybe part of the problem is calling it community and donations when it’s actually just a clique of investors. Oh I like that. A community of donators or a clique of investors.. which side are U on?

      • the purpose of the park is to make money from, not for, the public. its dishonest to promote the project as a matter of public interest. when talking with real people in public, support is NOT overwhelming, but indifferent, primarily because people arent aware of the issue at all.

        how much money are you making to litigate the issue, eric?

      • Thank you for making my point(s) Eric, however, by “investor”, its not just about their private/secured loans, its the amount of compounded interest (some monthly, some annually) they are making from the Park. In most all private/secured loans to the Park, they have and currently accruing years and years of compounded interest @ double current interest rates. How come you will not make these loans public? Even as we speak, you have private/secured loans on your books since 2000, 2008 and 2013, that are all compounding interest…

        More than half of the people that testified in supporting the Park Boards rezone and development (Planning Commission) have an financial interest doing so, and its not for the public benefit, e.g.:

        SHCP Board members, paid staff & employees, investors, current lease holders and paid consultants.”

      • “As for local business support, the donations they give us are overwhelming. And some of the business owners were present at the meeting”

        Yes Eric, what does “overwhelming” mean, in dollars & cents? You never publicly disclose how much money (what you call donations) you get from local business, but we get to see all the advertising they receive on your facebook pages and website.

        Here is what you stated on the internet, why becoming a business sponsor for the Park is so beneficial to themselves:

        “The Southern Humboldt Community Park thanks its 2016-2017 Sponsors! As we look toward this years sponsors to come. We are delighted to help promote local business’s throughout the year as sponsors of one of Southern Humboldt’s most sought-after events as they contribute to the wealth and health of our beautiful Southern Humboldt Community. In Fall Splendor’s 7th year, we are very pleased with where the event has been and where it is going. From Bollywood to the Swing Era, A Magical Masquerade to a Night in the Orient and The Mermaids Ball, we have raised over $140,000 for the park. With the exorbitant costs of the EIR on top of annual operations, this handsome amount has been of great help, but only begins to cover our costs. Park Sponsorships are the necessary key to success for this fantastic event as they underwrite the up-front costs. 2016/17 is going to see a dynamic transition for the Park. The California Environmental Impact Review was released by Humboldt County Planning Department in May. An intense six year process of completing studies and compiling the documentation required by California and Humboldt County to apply for an 87 acre zone change is now in the County process. The 45 day public review period ends June 27th. After that, the project must come before the Planning Commission and then the Board of Supervisors for final approval. By the end of this year we should be a legal, fully operational park! Southern Humboldt will be able to plan a park with recreational amenities such as sports fields, improved walking, hiking and biking trail systems, dedicated areas with on-site parking and public facilities for hosting special events and cultural events and the playground at Tooby. A fully operational park will be a boon for the Humboldt Business Community. More tourists, more weddings, more cultural and sporting events will bring added business to our shops, restaurants, markets, and overnight lodging facilities. Together, we are in a unique position to create a park that will unite us, raise our spirits, add to our economy and leave behind a lasting legacy. We are contacting you to share our excitement in these accomplishments. Ways you can help: ~ Become a Sponsor: Your donations will help with upfront costs of Fall Splendor, our major fundraising event. See the enclosed Sponsor Matrix to see how you may assist, and the perks you will receive from your contributions. ~Become an In-Kind Sponsor : Many items, skills and services are needed to make this event a success. Donations of Beer, Wine, and Food Items, are all needed. ~ Donate to our Silent Auction: Items small and large are a great way to contribute. ~ Volunteer: An event like this can take up to 100 volunteers. From working with a team leader now, setting up the event, or filling in that night, it takes a lot of hands to create something so successful and magical.”

        At what cost do you benefit from the Park and its development?

        “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” ~ Cree

      • “We also have a younger set of adults who want to use the park for reasonable music events. It’s not my favorite aspect of the plan, but whenever we have solicited input from the community, musical events are the number 1 priority. That’s consistent with Sohum culture, and being a Community Park means that you have to be responsive to all the aspirations and needs of the community.”

        Eric or Park Board:

        1. Define “reasonable music events”?

        2. Where & When; “we have solicited input from the community, musical events are the number 1 priority”?

        3. Since the SHCP is a private/non-membership organization, where is it stated; “being a Community Park means that you have to be responsive to all the aspirations and needs of the community”?

        4. Since you say youth sports leagues have out grown Redway School, does that mean these “younger set of adults” have out grown music events at the Town Square, Garberville Theater, Benbow, Cooks Valley and the MCC?

      • I suppose if it was “consistent with the SoHumculture” to allow motorcycle racing that would be okay with the board as well. I also strongly suspect that, once the rezone becomes reality, the enthusiasm for sports fields will die a slow death.

      • “And with the EIR behind us we will finally be able to focus primarily on the dream itself”

        Wow Eric, your project “EIR” is what holds your feet to the fire with all the mitigation measures and conditions of approval you are required to comply to by law. The “EIR” does not go away, its with you for the life of the project.

        Have you seen the “Recommended Conditions of Approval”? Even if you get approval from the BOS, you still have dozens of mitigation and monitoring plans that include both one-time requirements and other requirements for the life of the project. Which also include county, state and federal requirements that all have public comment periods of 21 to 30 days. These comply to your “EIR” mitigation and adaptive management plan for traffic, parking, water demand, water discharge, wastewater, storm-water, wetland dredge & fill, easement permits and creek crossings. None of these have been completed and still need approval of the Planning Commission. In other words, allot more public process…




    • Stop lying Ed. I was at the meeting. The crowd was asked to raise their hands if they were there to show support for the park, 90%of the hands went up. I heard several people talk in favor of the park who were boosters from local sports teams.
      And the chamber where to meeting was held was PACKED. I had to stand outside the room with 20 other supporters until the recess when I made it inside.
      Ed I hope you find a productive hobby, closer to your home. Stop bullying, SoHum doesn’t want you, and you don’t even live here.

      • The Truth; if you want to live up to your name, when have I said “I live here”? Because its been awhile.

        Are you say’n, you only have the right to opposition, harming or degrading the biological diversity of a watershed, wildlife habitat, eco-system or wetland only if you live there? I’m sorry, but the South Fork Eel River belongs to the people of the State of California, not the Park Board…

        You should change your name to ad hominem!

      • Mr. The Truth, your account of 90% support is what’s commonly refered to as “bullshit”, given one of the districts own lawyer’s account in this thread.

  • i agree with ed. one of the best “parks” in the world already exists right there in that exact spot…mother nature left alone. once they start “development” its gone forever.

  • Is this the same area that was stolen from that rancher who wanted to sub-divide for homes? He lost everything fighting the people who were against it, if I remember right. The opposers cried out against their view being disturbed by lighted homes at night.

    Other towns fought hard against stadiums being built in their impoverished areas, knowing full well they wouldn’t draw the crowds. The stadiums were built anyway, & are now crumbling in disrepair. Residents call them the new Fema Camp Prisons. (ever see the hate list against all Constitution defenders?) The towns, counties, are ridiculously deep in debt.

    The road is too steep & narrow for mass transit. They will have to use eminent domain to widen & improve the road, or to build “healthy communities” walking paths.
    Be advised.

    Thank you for your voice, Mr. Voice.
    I’ll now start reading through the list of links you thoughtfully provided.

    • “The road is too steep & narrow for mass transit. They will have to use eminent domain to widen & improve the road, or to build “healthy communities” walking paths.”

      And just where in the county road budget is that? Our roads are crumbling, our county road crew has other priorities, and I don’t think widening the road down to the park is very high on their to-do list.

      The county can barely keep up with the crumbling roads in SoHum, let alone find funding for widening the road down to the park. Let alone deal with the huge legal battles over “eminent domain” issues. That road, with all the gravel trucks that use it, is just not capable of carrying the traffic that music festivals would engender. And I don’t see any short term fix for that problem.

  • Veterans friend

    I agree with Mr. Voice 100%
    Dazeyland. 😠

  • I think the uses the park will accomodate will be limited by several issues. The vehicle access problems will be hard to overcome. Can’t imagine the backup when north bound traffic has to stop at Sprowel and Redwood Dr. after any festival. I did attend a concert down there and the dust kicked up in the parking area was intense. I also attended a KMUD luau at the barn that was sweet and much less problematic. Any permits issued for large events will have to address these issues and I don’t know that these concerns can be mitigated. Another consideration is the future of the local economy and the actual need for development in the face of declining incomes and population.

    • Dave Kirby, just so you know, even though the CHP, Humboldt County Public Works and Caltrans are on the record not supporting the size of events proposed at the Park because of the public safety concerns on Sprowel Creek road, this was never discussed between the Planning Commissioners when they approved the project to go forward to the Board of Supervisors. And this was after I reminded them of these facts in my testimony.

      And I thought it odd, the Sheriff did not make any comments or recommendations. Come to find out from Sheriff Downy, he was unaware of the project, said he would look into it…

  • Dave Kirby is the voice of reason here, along with Jerry&Ann. Small is still beautiful and we are a small town…not even a traffic light for 50 miles N & S. Picnics&Potlucks at the barn are about the right speed& size appropriate for a “Community” Park in a rural neighborhood. Not all grandiose Visions are meant to be manifested. Sustainability needs to be top priority. Kudos to the people who are making our down town areas attractive! Art & architecture never go out of style. Redway school is actually a great campus & deserves to be upgraded, as does Miranda. This is where our kids and grandkids live a huge part of their Lives& by proxy, us too. The amount of dollars that have been spent to date@Park could’ve made both campuses truly wonderful places….really

  • Tara Sutherland

    I am beyond excited for the sports complex. It is something that has needed to happen around here for our children and adults. I think it’s a good way to keep our kids entertained and get exercise and keep them away from drugs and alcohol. If they are going to allow mass grows by permits for “profit” which use “our land waters” then using it for something that actually benefits the community is well worth it!!

  • No park needed. I agree both Redway School & Miranda deserve to be upgraded, the children spend a big part of their life there, if the Community park crew really had the best interest @ heart (being the community) I feel these two issues being plain as day would have been addressed by them waving their flag’s saying see what we did, however most can agree there is ulterior motives @ work here. There is no support from Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, Garberville/Redway Rotary, Lyons, Kiwanis, motels/hotels, restaurants, private/charter or public schools, youth groups or youth sports teams, non-profit organizations, including NorCAN (North California Association of Non-Profits), KMUD Radio, either Local Newspapers, Local Fire Departments/Districts, Banks/Credit Unions, Hospital District or Community Services District? The downtown area is looking great BTW with the recent remodel of several storefronts including Flavors,Cecils building. I hear the owner recently acquired the block between the old bank & Eel River Cafe with a complete facelift coming soon, way to go Josh. Then we also have The Got Respect Store that was designed to Feng Shui specifications that just pops as your driving threw town Yahoo. I see things improving but again No park needed

  • I would not oppose a football / soccer field and a baseball diamond for the use of local sports events. But using it for large concert venues is absolutely ridiculous, there are a lot of people including myself that live Close Enough to that Park to where the music would be rattling their Windows all night long. I can already hear reggae and the summer arts festival loud enough for my place. Not to mention the traffic in Garberville and getting on and off the freeway at Sprout Creek that a large concert venues would generate. Kimtu and Sproul Creek would be fucked

  • In a parallel universe far far away: Community members would be railing at the county for not doing their jobs about fixing our terrible roads and demanding walking/bike paths vs trying to stop a park because of the bad roads. EV and others would have used their many hours to percure hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of grants for our park ( trails, ball fields, fruit trees, skate park, BMX track, insert your favorite here) instead of trying to tear it down, and costing the park hundreds of thousands of dollars. The park would be a central location for community events, for weekend music festivals bringing cheer and things to do, events for the youth as well as money for the local economy.

    • WTF, are you kidding me! No one I know has ever cost your park “hundreds of thousands of dollars”, the different Park Boards over the years have done it to themselves. And why would I spend even one second to “percure hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of grants for our park”, when its not “our” Park? Its private property owned and operated by a private corporation. And guess what, only the Park Board can “percure hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of grants for our park”!

      You are blaming the wrong straw-man, ask the Park Board at their next public Board meeting! Oh yeah, that’s right, they don’t have Board meetings open to the public! Maybe if the Park Board operated like most public benefit and charitable organizations, maybe you would have support from everyone in the community and get something done.

      And what are we “trying to tear down”? I cannot speak for others, but as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing wrong with the Park or Tooby Park, as long as it stays like it is right now. But I do not support the past and current Park Board. They need to be open, transparent and accountable to the public, period!

      BTW, people have been asking the County to improve Sprowel Creek Road for a very long time, since before the new bridge and our old house was built at Rivercrest in 1966.

      May I make a suggestion, use your real name, if you want to be believable and have any standing…

      • not EV ~ According to the Park Boards 990 tax returns from 2003-2015, the Park Board has spent or paid out over $512,000.00 in salary’s, i.e. Kathryn Lobato. and that does not count more than $17,000.00 paid to “Fundraising Consultants”, i.e. Stephen Dazey and Jennifer Metz.

        If you have something other than false accusations;

        “EV and others would have used their many hours to percure hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of grants for our park ( trails, ball fields, fruit trees, skate park, BMX track, insert your favorite here) instead of trying to tear it down, and costing the park hundreds of thousands of dollars”

        Please provide that documented proof.

    • not EV ~

      Please read the link http://www.sohumpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SHCP-ArticlesOfInc-2002-01-29.pdf

      Its the SHCP Articles of Incorporation. Please point out where its the Park Boards tax exempt and charitable purpose to provide projects that would generate “money for the local economy”?

  • We sure do love to use and abuse that word “community” around here, don’t we?! It was flamed out by both sides during the Reggae War, comically claimed by both sides. What a great trigger word for propaganda and manipulation! I don’t want the development. I didn’t want Reggae to blow up into a huge scene. I’m bummed that Benbow Arts Fair is going the same route. I sure don’t think we need more big concerts for stupid people to get stupider. I donated to the original idea of the park but not for this! I love the river. I love the forest. I stand with the natural world. I stood against the GP, LP and Maxxam logging machines and now I stand against wtf-happened-to-them “hippies” who would impact the struggling river and forest to blow up huge weed grows or huge festivals. I love music, a little smoke and a good party but…We have lost our way. Come back to earth!! Here’s an old classic….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzZP47nT6Hc

  • The park is great! I’m there all the time and love it. If there weren’t any changes to it that would be fine with me. However there are many interests and uses possible, just because I like the peaceful parklike setting doesn’t negate anyone else’s ideas for use. Lets do it all and get along!
    (However I doubt if the grape guy was vetted much, that’s gonna be trouble down the road I predict. After rains what is that bubbly soapy substance running off by the little foot bridge by the barn?)

  • To Ann Constantino,
    I have some differences of opinion on the park than you. However I in no way would ever hold it against you. I think that your knowledge of the birds is very awesome, and if I knew all that you knew I would probably be against the development. I reallly think we need additional softball and baseball fields. But I don’t like the idea of concerts at all. I went to the public hearing and it sounds like concerts have not even been approved, so hopefully they won’t be. Also the way the park is zoned now has less protection for the birds, because they could just build a subdivision if they wanted, and that would be worse for the birds and animals thanks the sports complex. Agriculture zones property has little protection from nature from what the planning dept told us. Anyhow, I respect your opinion 😊

  • Hopefully, these comments will help the park board to go & walk& sit quietly at the park. Inhale the Peace, the quiet, and hear what Nature has to tell you. “Let it be”

  • Ugh. There goes Ed ranting and raving again. Honestly Ed, move on. I raised three kids in SoHum and I have five grandkids living there now. They need recreation. They need this. Why can’t the community have this? Tons of responsible study and work has obviously been put into this. You don’t even live in Humboldt County. I have seen emails that you have sent the County, the Park’s Executive Director, and the Board of Directors, and you, sir, are full of hate.

    • Jim Gramm, if you have these emails, please post them!

      “They need recreation. They need this”

      Are concerts and music festivals for 2500 to 5000 party goers per event “recreation”?

      “Why can’t the community have this?”

      Because more than 600 people in Southern Humboldt do not want “this”!

      “Tons of responsible study and work has obviously been put into this.”

      The only thing obvious to me, the studies were bought and paid for by the Park Board!

      “You don’t even live in Humboldt County”

      And either do allot of the people who signed the Park Boards petition(s) and support letter(s). Did you know CEQA stands for the “California Environmental Quality Act”? Not the Humboldt County Environmental Quality Act. That means its regulated and complies to state laws, not just Humboldt County. Did you know the Park Boards GPA (General Plan Amendment) has to comply to California laws and guidelines? Did you know, Humboldt County has no oversight over the Park Board as a 501c3 and State of California tax exempt charitable and public benefit corporation, its only overseen by the State (Attorney General) and Federal agencies (IRS)! So yes, you are correct, I do not “live in Humboldt County”, I don’t have too, I live in California…


  • Bob and Marilyn Casey

    You’re lying again, Ed. We were at the meeting. I’m not exactly sure what you gain by lying, but someone so willing to spread such misinformation makes us nervous.

    • I don’t have anything to “gain by lying”, that’s why I tell the truth and can back it up with facts. It explains why it makes you “nervous”…

  • Mateel Community Center

    I would like to express my support in writing for the operation plan submitted to you by the Southern Humboldt Community Park. This park represents a great opportunity for the Southern Humboldt community and I applaud the vision of the park’s board of directors to make it a multi-use area that can serve current needs while also being broad enough to allow for the changing needs of a growing community for long into the future.
    While I support the park’s plan in its entirety as an average community member, I am also employed as the Event & Talent Coordinator with the Mateel Community Center and, as such, would like to weigh in specifically about events at the park. I know you’ve heard a lot of negative feedback from a handful of concerned citizens about events at the park, especially larger-scale events, yet I feel it has been clear in public meetings that community support for these kinds of events far outweighs those who would not like to see the park used for this purpose.
    Specifically, I have heard complaints about noise impact, traffic/ parking congestion, and pedestrian safety as reasons why the county should not allow larger-scale events at the park. While these are certainly legitimate concerns, I feel all could be successfully mitigated in a way that would allow these events to take place safely and with minimal impact to the surrounding neighborhood. The Mateel Community Center has a great track record of doing this work, and in more densely populated communities, like Benbow, where we have successfully staged annual events like the Summer Arts and Music Festival and Reggae On The River and maintained good working relationship with our neighbors.
    Though we have received very few noise complaints from Benbow neighbors for any of our events, which should suggest that sound levels have been quite tolerable, there are also a number of things that can be done to minimize sound impact. Clearly a professional sound study would need to be conducted to identify areas of concern and to determine the best placement for stages, speakers, etc. Also, with the modern sound systems we are now using for our festivals, we have the ability to set the trajectory of the speakers to throw sound a specified distance before essentially dissolving it into the air.
    In regards to parking/ traffic concerns, Benbow actually has less available parking than the community park’s plan allows for, so this move would be improving the current situation for the Summer Arts & Music Festival. Our experienced parking and traffic control crew, headed up by Jerry Von Dohlen for more than a decade, has been extremely effective at allowing a smooth traffic flow for residents of Benbow and both freeway back-ups and illegal parking are virtually non-existent. Though delays are occasionally encountered at the festival gate at Benbow, the community park’s traffic plan also has a much longer processing area which will prove invaluable in keeping traffic moving on Sprowel Creek Rd.
    Festival shuttles have also been an important way we’ve been able to minimize traffic congestion and parking issues in Benbow and though this has been promoted as the primary way for Redway and Garberville residents to commute to the festival, the parking capacities of these two towns has been more than adequate at current attendance levels and we’ve never received a single complaint from a local businesses or neighbor about the way the shuttle parking impacts the community. Additionally, we would also be able to maintain use of the parking lot next to the Benbow golf course for auxiliary parking and as a shuttle stop for attendees coming up from the south. These shuttles will also be the best way to ensure pedestrian safety as foot traffic would not be allowed on Sprowel Creek Rd. during the event and all pedestrians would be required to access the event via the free festival shuttles.
    I should also note that the Mateel Community Center has a great track record of working with our local and state agencies and we would welcome the opportunity to sit down and work together to mitigate any of the above concerns or other areas I have not specifically touched on in this letter. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I encourage you to reach out to me directly if you are interested to speak further about these matters. I also strongly urge you approve the park’s operation plan as it stands as this park will surely enhance the quality of life for all Southern Humboldt residents and will also be an economic boon to an area sorely in need of new income opportunities.
    Justin Crellin
    Mateel Community Center

  • I guess this has been the best kept secret for the Southern Humboldt Community Park Board of Directors and their “public” rezone process with the Humboldt County Planning Department, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Given the fact not one word has been made public or even mentioned in their 800 page Environmental Impact Report concerning re-locating the Garberville Rodeo from Benbow to the Community Park until now! And its going to be held over 3 days? I guess wanting 1 and 2 day commercial concerts, festivals and camping for between 2500 to 5000 people 6 times a year was not good enough. And the fact they are asking for an unlimited amount of events, concerts, camping and sports tournaments for up to 800 people per day all year was not good enough either. Now, as per Humboldt Independent article (April 18, 2017) the Park Board will be hosting the “Garberville Rodeo In The Redwoods” at the Park from June 16th thru 18th 2017.

    So much for a public process and say good-bye to any or all wildlife habitat that currently calls the Park its home. Say good-bye to the water in the South Fork Eel that supports threatened and endangered coho, chinook and steelhead fisheries. Say good-bye to open space and a pristine place for everyone to enjoy.

    Next time you bump into a Park Board member, ask him or her what their “Guiding Principles” are for the Park and where the public can read them? Maybe they should read the Lorax by Dr, Seuss…

    “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money” ~ Cree

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