September’s Letters To The Editor – October 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eli out at RCBC

An open letter to the community:

In the light of recent events, I feel the need to submit a statement of my own. As the owner of Redwood Curtain Brewing Company, I, Drake Mollberg, do not condone Eli LaRue’s actions in any way, shape or form.

I feel his actions in the early hours of Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, were unacceptable. I hope this is not construed as a reflection of Redwood Curtain Brewing Company’s role in the community. My family, wife, and two children treasure this community and intend to support it for years to come.

I would like it to be known that effective immediately, Eli LaRue is no longer a partner in Redwood Curtain Brewing Company. I truly hope he takes this event as an impetus to take some time to look at his behavior and its impacts on others and to improve upon himself. I have encouraged him to seek professional help.

On a personal note, I would like to also apologize to the two women this event has affected, Ms. Jen Abels and Ms. Maral Attallah. I am very sorry for Eli’s actions and again, feel they were out of line and completely unacceptable. I wish to sympathize with your situation and wish you peace in the future.

Again, my deepest apologies to everyone involved in the incident, to our community and our loyal supporters. Nobody deserves to go through such an ordeal!

My deepest sympathies,

Drake Mollberg, owner

Redwood Curtain Brewing Company



LDS site deteriorating

Former LDS meetinghouse: New use, homeless encampment. It’s not just a toxic waste dump site anymore….

And so the couching begins…

I did not check for needles and condoms but will take all bets…

This is an example of what not to do with a community asset and why California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review is required for major projects. Most jurisdictions would not allow demolition of a sound building without, or until the new use is determined for the site, an approved use.

Allowing the accumulation of debris, and bare soil conditions maintained on contaminated land invites problems. This is typical and foreseeable. Processing hazardous materials on site by importing fill, combining and regrading compounds the potential problems. The determination of the extent of the problem and what to do about it before it becomes a problem is why there is a CEQA process.

The City of Arcata avoided the public review required by CEQA by allowing the demolition of the historic LDS meetinghouse in an expedited fashion as requested by the Church of Latter day Saints. This request was accommodated by the community development director. A determination that a “ministerial” decision was allowed under certain conditions in Arcata. The granting a limited “over-the counter” building permit for demolition in this case.

Although this size project would normally require CEQA review, because the permit was limited, the foundation would remain, no fill imported and no grading, the community development director was allowed, by his interpretation of code, to do this. However, as you can see, the foundation was removed anyway, fill was imported, and the site was re-graded.

The applicant saved $5-6 thousand in planning fees, the building permit cost $800 approximately The community development director determined appeal of his decision would cost $1,800 approximately. Eventually a proper review might occur if the regulating agencies would step up and do their job, or if the conditions worsen. It appears at least one person has found a new spot, or a place to throw the trash.

Marc Delany


Stein walks the talk

Election season got you bummed out, feeling like none of the major candidates and their multi-billion dollar election machines really care about you? One presidential candidate does care, and she will be in Humboldt to show you!

On Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State, the Green Party nominee for President of the United States, Dr. Jill Stein, will assure audience members that a choice between the lesser of two evils is not the only option for voters in this election. This is a free event open to the public.

On her California college tour, Stein will speak directly to those who believe politics can do better. The only candidate to refuse corporate money, she walks the talk. Having earned public funding, achieved ballot access in nearly every state, and hit two percent in a recent national CNN poll, Stein’s third-party candidacy is as real as it gets.

The Green Party is a national political party unified around Ten Key Values, including the pillars of grassroots democracy, social and economic justice, non-violence, and ecological wisdom. Based upon the philosophy of decentralization, Greens are organized by local chapters that utilize education, advocacy, and involvement in local government to foster engaged citizenship from the ground up.

Stein has been running a national grassroots campaign on a progressive platform dubbed the “Green New Deal.” Harkening back to the Roosevelt-era job creation program, Stein boldly proposes to put 25 million Americans to work by opening local employment offices.

“Green” means that much of the work will be geared toward building sustainable communities. Stein’s plan means that every worker in Humboldt County would be guaranteed a living-wage job; every family would have health insurance under a single-payer Medicare-for-All program; and every HSU student would have free tuition (not to mention student loan forgiveness).

An Occupy Wall Street supporter, Stein has spoken in General Assemblies and is sometimes called the “candidate for the 99 Percent.” In August, Stein was arrested at a Fannie Mae sit-in where she was protesting home foreclosures.

This event is being organized by the local Humboldt County Greens in conjunction with the Humboldt State Campus Greens, a club committed to politically unifying the student voice behind a demand for more inclusive decision-making.

Steve Luther



See Jill at HSU Monday

In 2000 the choice between “Bush and Gore made me want to Ralph.” In 2004 there was Skull & Bones Club I & II, not much choice in the lesser of two evils.

2008 HOPE in Barack overshadowed real change promoted by Green Presidential Candidate former congress woman Cynthia McKinney. We had a chance to see and hear her at the Kate Buchannan Room of HSU.

This year, Barack and Mitt, more of the same except fewer people will show up to vote at this ‘who cares’ election. Again this year, we will have the chance to see and hear the Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein at the Kate Buchanan Room at HSU, Monday Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.

After seeing her and hearing her, you can be confident of who you really want for president, there is no rational reason to be afraid of who wins anymore.

Paul Pitino



A whale of a pickle

 Maybe this goes into the “You’re clearly not from around here” category. I had a funny encounter driving back this afternoon around 3 p.m. from Mad River Beach after walking my dogs. The road was completely blocked in both directions so neither cars, runners nor cyclists could pass the enormous silver whale of a bus-RV-limo.

The stranded bus/RV/limo/whale. Photo courtesy Ellen LeBel

I walked over to asked if they were broken down and help with a tow and to figure out how long I might be stuck there. The guy in the red shirt was fumbling to unlock the bike rack at the back at the request of an impatient cyclist wanting to get by. Red shirt explained what happened.

“We got too close to the fence on the right and a big thick wire got caught on the bumper and pulled out a fence post and we had to stop.” Another of the hipster attired travellers came over to ask “How did we get in this pickle?” I said, stating the obvious, that it started with having such a huge vehicle on a narrow country road.

Red Shirt added, “It didn’t help that the driver is from Manhattan.”

I laughed and heard a whacking sound as someone on the other side axed the offending wire to free the bumper. As I headed back to my car I took this photo.

Then I heard a bystander tell the driver from New York, a tall guy in a sarong, to pull over into the driveway by the barn. He gunned it, perhaps feeling pressure to clear the road but not knowing that Red Shirt had not finished locking the bike rack.

One by one, all three bikes crashed onto the road. I smiled and waved at Red Shirt as I drove by. He looked disgusted and resigned. Guess it’s already been a long trip. (Who needs reality TV when it’s happening right here?)

Ellen LeBel


Fine forest stewardship

Thanks for the info on the progress of the Ridge Trail and the current activity in the Arcata Community Forest. I commend the city of Arcata resources people, and their timber contractor, for the excellent job on the thinning/harvest work in the community forest.

As a Fickle Hill resident, I get a look at the logging site, passing by a couple of times each day, and I am impressed.  It’s good to know there are still loggers who know how to do this careful selective work.

The city timber has been very good to us, funding so much park acquisition and development; it’s great to see it being so well done.

Ed Munn



A questionable fee

Many in Arcata and Blue Lake have received bills from CalFire recently, typically for $115 per parcel, in accordance with Assembly Bill X1 29.

What do you get for your $115? Protection from vegetation fires during official fire season. If your house catches fire, don’t call CalFire; your local fire district is responsible. CalFire will assist only if that agency requests aid.

According to records kept by the Arcata Fire Protection District, in 2011, CalFire responded to a mere 16 fires in the Arcata Fire district, which covers Arcata, Bayside, Manila and McKinleyville. For this hundreds of parcels will each pony up $115.

The tax of $150 per habitable structure is the same for everyone in the State Responsibility Areas; one size fits all. Residential lots in town where vegetation fires are rare pay the same as remote rural holdings.

Highly flammable Sierra foothill and southern California properties get the same rate as we do here on the Asbestos Coast. Value of property is not a factor.

The whole tax is $150, but if you live in a local fire district, your fee is reduced by $35. For those covered by Arcata Fire District, that’s $115 a year for vegetation fires, and $108 to Arcata to protect your house. Now does that sound like the right balance of risk and value?

With the proliferation in the last few decades of rural home construction, combating wildland fires has grown more complicated and expensive. California taxpayers have footed the bill for a privileged few. Reform was needed, but Assembly bill X1 29 simply concentrates the burden onto a smaller group.

The people to talk to about this are our state representatives:

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro

(707) 445-7014

(707) 445-6607 (fax)


State Senator Noreen Evans

(707) 445-6508

(707) 445-6511 (fax)

Susan Nolan



Arcata looking shabby

Why does G Street this morning (and most) look like the Oakland Coliseum parking lot after a Raider game? The seagulls are always happy over in this part of town.

Can the City experiment with just one garbage can in town (other than on the Plaza)?

Also, where are our trees on the “Gateway to Arcata,” which we were promised as part of that project?

 Chad Sefcik