Robert Eckart: When The Little Dog Bites – October 8, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Note: In previous installments, the writer documented what he believes are counterproductive threats by letterhead environmentalists, specifically the Environmental Protection Information Center. – Ed.

Finally, a comment of sensibility needs to be made regarding the action EPIC has taken to block the straightening of Highway 101.

I don’t know anyone who lives or visits Humboldt County that is not proud of those trees and their magnificence. I, and many conscious and environmentally active humans like myself, routinely stop at the parking area of Richardson Grove and do exactly what EPIC recommends on its website, namely:

“Feel its sacred spirit; it is a place for contemplation, for healing, for renewal, for communion with the divine. Know the place. Experience its energy.”

This is great. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. Good for the heart, good for the lungs and good for the soul. But I can’t help but wonder, occasionally, how the families of all the scores of people maimed over the years in that narrow stretch of 101 feel about it when they pull over there.

Does not the value of a human life count in your cosmology of environmentalism?

According to the grove ranger, five to 10 of these giants blow down each year. According to crash records obtained from Caltrans, under a freedom of information act request, there is an average of one serious vehicle accident occuring monthly.

Unless we are too dumb to handle this information, let’s maybe put some contemplation into the math, how about?

As a conscious person with my eyes wide open, I can only pray that the advances in green technology and cleaner energy will be enough to meet the challenges humanity is now facing – as we struggle with planetary CO2 rising off the charts.

A large number of these technological advances are being birthed right here in California. As it stands, almost none of these new technologies will be developed to production scale in our state primarily because of the negative effect of these same greenwashed predatory lawyers.

I, like a lot of educated and busy folks, notice these things but sit back with some lackadaisical disconnection from this great challenge, since, other than sorting my own recycling, what more can one person do? It’s a world problem, after all!

On the other hand, when a band of arrogant and self-serving lawyers comes to the village and essentially threatens our volunteers that they will sue us if we attempt to protect ourselves by weed whacking the tall grass and non native invasive species growing between the tracks in the middle of our village – this is where a thinking man in the hills of California is challenged to action.

As we locally face our predicament in Fort Seward, I doubt that any of these EPIC lawyers have heard the call of a pygmy owl in fire distress, nor ever had to cut a fire break to defend his house in the face of a rapidly advancing wildfire. If they had, they might have recognized the moment when they crossed the line of integrity.

My guess is that, most likely, the slop in the lawsuit trough has just been so sweet and piled so high that they missed it.

At the end of The Wizard of Oz, there was a critical moment when the little dog Toto took a bite of the Wizard’s leg and tugged the curtain back. Seeing his posterior was exposed, he shouted: “Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain…” Luckily for all the inhabitants of Oz, they could finally see the machinery of his scam.

Just like the Wizard, who also started out meaning well, I believe that EPIC has lost its bearings and needs public light shed on the mechanics of their alleged “court sealed” settlements and anti-democratic behavior, not to mention its bookkeeping and vats of green dye.

Robert Eckart is a Fort Seward community member.

Tags: , , ,

11 Responses to “Robert Eckart: When The Little Dog Bites – October 8, 2010”

  1. Woody Heort


    You speak so much nonsense that it is hard to take you seriously. Is this an ironic comedy routine? All in all, I have to say that the opinions of yourself and the editor of this paper are coming from the place of zero fact, heaps of opinion (as opposed to evidence) and a bitterness that only comes to fat, middle-aged men who have lost their spunk…keep it up. if you can.

  2. Bob, I hope you’re reading this, because Woody tells us two very important things:

    1. Everything that appears in the newspaper reflects the editor’s opinion.

    2. Only the young and sleek have anything useful to say.

  3. Robert Eckart


    Ha HA !! Using your standards of “intelligence is inversely proportional to girth”, then, it would completely discount the immense body of environmental knowledge that Tim MacKay, rest his soul, brought to the Northcoast Environmental Center over the last twenty years.

    Kev: As for Woody, he ort to get his buff partner to sniff his ears for the smell of sawdust, since fireseason is not over yet…

    As for me, well I am gonna take his advice and join some spunky health club…

  4. Woody Heort

    Easy boys…easy….Kevin H.-I like your paper as much as the next guy but your recent series of attacks against EPIC truly do seem a bit bizarre. Most importantly, they are attacks published without out any real evidence, fact or corroboration. Why all the vitriol? And I do wonder why (Kevin) you are publishing something that really just sounds like a lot of specious, hackneyed propaganda against environmentalism and the coalitions that ultimately serve the public good. I suspect that you know better.

    And by the way, I suspect that you (Bob) might be happier if you stepped back and enjoyed life a little more, gained a little you appear to be seeing a tempest in a tea pot.

    P.S. Kevin, yes, the young do have something worth listening to; so drop your prejudices and open your ears. You might learn something.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents, all the best, Woody

  5. My recommendation, Woody, is that you try reading for comprehension.

  6. Laura Moss

    Reading for comprehension??! Wisdom of Tim? Wow. Amazing. Please, do leave him out of this.

    Kevin, it is obvious that you intend (however indirectly) to cause harm to EPIC. Not only that, you intend to further polarize the already confused community here. These attacks are not unintentional, and you cannot distance yourself from them. You knowingly print lies as facts.

    In my opinion, you should really think about whether you are prepared to deal with the repercussions of your irresponsible actions–by continuing to smear a legitimate non-profit, and promote statements you know to be false in those attempts. This hate campaign has gone far enough. And to pretend that you are somehow objective, ha!

    Robert Eckart, you should lay off the accusations– or at least get your facts straight. You make more of an idiot of yourself here than you do even when you pretend to be a legitimate fire safe council representative, only to be exposed by your neighbors and the agencies. Who do you think believes you? Oh, that’s right, you dropped that identifier on your byline (or should I say Kevin did).

    My advice? Mr. Eckart you should drop the yellow journalism racket, (and your jerk behavior as a landlord, as well) and go back to the communications business. The community’s pity for your loneliness has peaked.

    Go back to your Russian Rails internet scheme if they will take you. Maybe your website is down because your business here isn’t panning out quite as well as you thought?

    Whatever you do, stick to working with big business, and sucking in those lip smacking government contracts for “internet security” and your rural internet connectivity schemes. This is where your slimy and dishonest behavior fits in as status quo.

    Your constant attacks against the lawyers who work with EPIC? Whoa.

    Do you even know who you are talking about? Do you know their history, or their finances?

    What the $(*#%?

    Talking to the AG? What?

    Do you honestly think people believe that?

    I guess if you type it, and Kevin is stupid enough to publish it, they might…

    Why on earth would you overlook the lawyers that are actually guilty of your accusations?

    The corporations who profit from taxpayers, and corruption?

    Is it because you are a beneficiary of such deals, through your government contracts in Iraq, and more locally here in Eureka?

    I couldn’t find the quote you attribute to EPIC’s website ( What are you talking about? Where is it? (link please).

    You can’t find the link, because it doesn’t exist.

    You are a quack. You are a fake, plainly a liar.

    And after all of these weeks of painfully annoying posts on this godforsaken website, I’m tired of it.

    One really obvious example of your annoyingly sloppy assertions:

    Since when does someone FOIA a state agency? While there is a relatively equivalent “Public Records Act” request to be made at a state level, why write (and print) such obvious lies? (Freedom of Information Act request is something you make to Federal agencies, not state).

    Think about it. Other people do.

    Go back to your other life Bob.

    Kevin, for God’s sake, stop publishing lies. People here value honest, compelling discourse. We do not appreciate slanderous, inaccurate crap.

    Please, just make it stop.

  7. Gosh, Laura, I guess I’m busted. Here I was, twisting my mustache, trying to wreck EPIC and polarize the community, then YOU come along and out me for my sinister intentions. Well, drat. You win this one, Laura Moss, but I’ll be back! I just have to find some new set of well-meaning innocents to undermine.

  8. Laura Moss

    Thanks, Kevin for taking responsibility for your actions, in however snide a tone.

    I don’t remember you having a mustache.

    The only time I’ve actually ever seen you in person was when you were hanging out with the Tea Party in front of Northtown Books as Bill Ayers was presenting inside.

    I knew then, based on listening to your questions and interactions with the Tea Partiers protesting Bill Ayers in Arcata that you had a shallow if irreverent concern for real issues.

    Of course I never bothered to read your paper at that time, to see what you wrote about it, I had no interest. Your lack of critical analysis became clear to me as an eyewitness to your interactions with the intense wingnuts on the street.

    It appeared to me that you were fascinated by the conflict, and uninterested in the implications or causes for their dangerous and reactionary presence.

    I personally think that Arcata and the surrounding communities would benefit from special interest journalism, but one that actually benefits the diversity of people here, by holding the culprits accountable (large corporate interests, corrupt politicians, rapists and the like) instead of inspiring the less powerful to fight each other.

    Your paper could easily benefit the people that you are writing to and about. Instead you like to provide space and encourage them fight–and let them use obvious lies and slander to do it–so that everyone looks bad.

    As far as your comment on this string:

    Yes, you can play the victim. You certainly know how to do that.

    What if, instead, you actually did go after harmful issues and the people who cause them?

    What if you uncovered interesting and compelling stories that exposed the real bandits threatening working class people here in Humboldt?

    You do that, however round-about, for starters.

    If that’s where you focused your editorial power, you could gain a loyal readership.

    Instead of befriending wingnuts like Bob Eckart, you could find the heart of this community.

    Your paper could provide a voice for those being victimized by a broken system that actually hurts people through unjust courts, poisoned ecosystems and misappropriated tax dollars!

    I’m doubtful that you are interested in those stories, however, because to expose real and deeper problems require diligence, credibility and most importantly honesty.

    The issues that plague our local community are so bad (as you know from your police log writings) there is no need to fake it. The corruption is so obvious. The injustices so apparent. The ecological impacts so disturbing. None of these require exaggeration, or slanderous attacks.

    Instead, you will likely take the lazy route to selling papers, by helping one rat fight another inside the cage.

    It’s really too bad.

  9. Laura,

    You are right about one thing, I was fascinated by the Tea Party that evening. My mission on that occasion wasn’t analysis, but data collection. The analysis comes later.

    I’ve never written about that Tea Party-Ayers event, though it is a fascinating story of tribal conflict. I still have my notes and will try to get that out this week as there are election-relevant points in there.

    It sounds like you want the Eye to be Greenfuse. But there’s already a Greenfuse. Why would I duplicate what another periodical is already doing? They’re what they are; we’re a general-interest community newspaper.

    There are lots of people who disapprove of what Robert Eckart said, and what the Tea Partiers said and did. There are surely people who don’t approve of your comments. There are those who don’t like the letter that EPIC et al wrote to NCRA, or that we published it.

    If we obey all those calling for each other to be shut down, then the pages of the newspaper would be blank, and how interesting would that be?

    What we all ought to do is express our opinions frankly, listen to each other, figure out what’s real and unreal and identify common ground. That’s my approach to the newspaper’s content.

    You boast of not reading the paper, but speak with authority and finality about what’s in it. If you’re really able to know what people think, what their intentions are, the person’s depth or shallowness, their interests and so on just by looking at them, you have a unique gift.

    I don’t have that ability. I have to talk to people on the street, ask them questions and write down the answers, and sometimes they are people whose company I disenjoy. But it’s my job.

    Regular Eye readers know that we have devoted significant space to environmental pollution issues, sometimes much to the distress of certain interests in both industry and government. It’s been a sort of specialty of the paper, actually.

    Regarding Robert: Apart from the brave insults and sniping on the blogs, there are perfectly rational people in our community who wonder what the leading local environmental groups really do to improve things. Eckart was willing to step forward and specify his objections, with attribution. It gives EPIC an opportunity to get its message out and explain what it does. Now our readers will be able to weight the respective arguments and form informed opinions.

    Eye readers are intelligent and discerning. They tell me they like reading things they don’t agree with in the paper, things that challenge their assumptions and set their pulses racing. After 14 years, they expect this, and continue to pay us to provide this service.

    If you want to, call me sometime and we can talk about this stuff in more depth. 826-7000.


  10. Mark Sailors

    How can someone comment on a story, if they didn’t read it?
    Just sayin’

  11. This has been a Great series. Very eye-opening, no pun intended. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.