Last week we covered David Tyson and his shady role on the Humboldt Community Services District. Pretty easy to see why he’s on the board…money!!!!
So why have the other 4 joined up? We can’t say for sure but given all their backgrounds it seems as if they joined………….to make money!!!! Here’s a breakdown of who’s “serving” with good ol’ boy Dave Tyson:
1) Alan Bongio.
He’s the owner of Bongio Construction. He was found to be in violation of laws from the California Water Quality Board. Those violations were on his subdivision being built on Manzanita (unincorporated Eureka near Tyson’s family). Wonder if those road improvements helped Bongio with his subdivision! BTW-that subdivision was pretty controversial with the neighborhood, and given the amount of traffic that will be on Manzanita the $ won’t stop flowing from taxpayer coffer’s until there’s a stoplight there!
2) Gregg Gardiner.
Gardiner is the president of the magazine 101 things to do. Gardiner seems to be “semi retired” and into charity/rotary type activities. He’s obviously friends with the local good old boys, such as Matthew Owen and John Fullerton. Or, at least it appears so from this Chiv article:
3) Dave Saunderson.
Saunderson was a construction contractor and owner of Saunderson construction. Ummm, wonder if he’s profited off of road improvements????
4) Frank Scolari.
Scolari was a real estate broker for Coldwell Banker Cutten Realty. Does the HCSD service Cutten you may wonder? The answer is absolutely YES!!! And Frank has been there with hat in hand to sell those HCSD piped homes to the hopeful new homeowners in Cutten. Must be a nice gig with all that inside info on what land will be worth $ after the infrastructure has been paid for by Humboldt Taxpayers.
In case anyone was wondering, the next HCSD meeting is on Tuesday night at 5 PM. They’ll be discussing ripping off taxpayers…ahem….we mean Redmond Road water improvements and annexation of Indianola road.
Eureka, Calif.—On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that it would open offshore oil drilling for nearly all continental waters in the United States, including here along our North Coast. Trump will have to go through us first. Our organizations, the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Humboldt Baykeeper, and the Northcoast Environmental Center, pledge that we will do everything in our power to fight offshore oil and gas development in Northern California.
President Trump’s reckless plan threatens our coast, our economy, and our way of life. We will defend our coast because we cannot suffer the same fate as Santa Barbara in 1969, Port Angeles in 1985, Grays Harbor in 1988, Coos Bay in 1999, and the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. We will not allow offshore drilling because we must move to a post-carbon economy. We will stand with our fishermen and oyster farmers who rely on clean water and a healthy environment.
We stopped President Reagan’s attempts to drill off the North Coast in the 1980s. We will stop President Trump too.
Tom Wheeler, Environmental Protection Information Center, (206) 356-8689, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Kalt, Humboldt Baykeeper, (707) 499-3678, email@example.com
Larry Glass, Northcoast Environmental Center, (707) 845-7136, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumored Developments in the Rocky Creek area and at the end of Redmond Rd appear to be the driving force behind a push to bring water service to these areas. Water connections would mean that subdividing into small parcels would be possible and likely. It’s ironic that Dave Tyson and Dave Hull, local developers best friends, would be pushing this.
From Sundays Times-standard:
The Humboldt Community Services District Board of Directors is looking into expanding water services in the Indianola area along Old Arcata Road between Arcata and Eureka, but area residents have expressed concerns over water services being the first step of urbanizing their beloved rural community.
The district’s general manager David Hull said this issue dates back two decades.
“The residents, landowners out in the Indianola area, were having problems with their wells,” he said.
Wells were running dry, not working or polluted, Hull said.
“It actually turned into a health and safety issue,” he said.
Some residents came to the district’s board to ask for the area to be annexed so they could be hooked into the water system, Hull said. But Humboldt Local Agency Formation Commission rules at that time would have required the services district to provide other services, such as emergency services, to annexed areas.
Hull said the district dealt solely in water and wastewater services.
“That made it costly and near impossible,” he said about the annexation. “Since that time those rules have changed so we can do water service expansion out there.”
So the district board started talking about the annexation again and sent out 439 survey letter to gauge public opinion on the annexation, Hull said. Only 141 surveys were returned with 100 respondents interested in the annexation and 41 not interested in it, according to a staff report.
In November the board directed district staff to prepare a second survey letter that would be sent out to the 298 residences that didn’t respond to the first survey letter, according to a staff report.
“That’s what the discussion was [on] Tuesday night,” Hull said.
On Tuesday evening the district board met and heard input from members of the public and instead of voting to send out the second letter as drafted gave staff direction to add to it.
“Based on public input we’re going to add more detail into the public letter,” Hull said.
About 16 residents came in with concerns about how the district would be profiting or benefitting on the annex, he said.
“I was directed to prepare a second letter to all landowners detailing the entire annexation process by bullet point stating there is no profit to the district, the district will not proceed unless there is the majority of the public interested, that we don’t know what the cost per parcel will be at this time but there will be a cost to landowners most of which would be added to property tax bills under a special assessment,” Hull said.
But this staff direction from the board didn’t quell all the concerns of at least two Indianola area residents.
Indianola resident Aryay Kalaki said he thinks the survey process should start all over again — meaning the second letter CSD staff is in the process of drafting should be considered the first survey letter — because the letter sent out in October only contained the positives of the annexation.
“The problem is they already sent out an initial letter that didn’t have any of the pertinent information that could affect them,” he said.
Kalaki said he’s concerned what annexation and water service expansion could mean in the future.
“Water is the crucial factor in development,” he said.
County Planning and Building Department director John Ford said anytime utilities already installed make that development in that area easier and more attractive.
“That doesn’t translate into planned development at this point,” he said.
Ford said he’s not aware of any future development plans in the Indianola area but that doesn’t preclude any from happening further down the road.
“The first step in all likelihood would be to create new parcels,” he said.
But this would require a subdivision map and public input so concerned citizens would have to opportunity to be heard, Ford said.
Hull said the services district is only focused on providing water to Indianola if the majority of residents want it.
“The Humboldt Community Services District doesn’t do land planning,” he said.
The district board is also in the midst of annexing a separate piece of land along Redmond Road that abuts the southern-most edge of the proposed Indianola annexation area. Redmond Road resident Jonathan Weber said he’s not against the idea of him and his neighbors being hooked up to the water system but is against what development could be put in after water service expansion and how the board went about notifying stakeholders.
“They had very little information in the first [letter],” he said.
But Weber said it’s a good thing that the services district is redrafting the second letter.
“We really want the public to make an informed decision,” he said.
Humboldt Community Services District was created in 1952 to provide water services to the unincorporated areas surrounding Eureka. It maintains 160 miles of water and wastewater pipes, 10 water tanks and 40 water and wastewater pumping stations over 15 square miles, according to the district’s March 2017 water and wastewater rate study. The proposed Indianola expansion area would add 1,090 acres to the district, Hull said in an email.
The Humboldt Community Services District Board of Directors publicly meets twice a month. The redrafted letter will be up for further discussion and possible approval on Jan. 9 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom next to the facility lobby at 5055 Walnut Drive, Eureka, according to the Humboldt Community Services District website.
The proposed annexation of the Indianola area would add 1,090acres to the Humboldt Community Services District, which currently services 160 miles of water and wastewater pipes, 10water tanks and 40water and wastewater pumping stations over 15square miles
MAPS CONTRIBUTED BY THE HUMBOLDT COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT
The Humboldt Community Services District board is also in the midst of annexing a piece of land along Redmond Road that abuts the southern-most edge of the proposed Indianola annexation area.
This guy sounds just like our own local bully Robin P. Arkley
Silicon Valley billionaire loses bid to prevent access to public beach
Court decision is blow to Vinod Khosla and other wealthy landowners seeking to buy renowned beaches, making public land private
Martins Beach must be opened to the public, according to a California court order.
A California court has ordered a Silicon Valley billionaire to restore access to a beloved beach that he closed off for his private use, a major victory for public lands advocates who have been fighting the venture capitalist for years.
An appeals court ruled on Thursday that Vinod Khosla, who runs the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and co-founded the tech company Sun Microsystems, must unlock the gates to Martins Beach in northern California by his property.
The decision is a major blow to Khosla and other wealthy landowners who have increasingly tried to buy up the internationally celebrated beaches along the California coast and turn public lands into private property.
The beach was a popular destination for fishing, surfing and other recreational activities for nearly a century, and the previous owners provided a general store and public restroom. But Khosla eventually bought the property and in 2010 closed public access, putting up signs warning against trespassing.
Khosla, who has a net worth of $1.55bn and does not live on the property, has faced multiple lawsuits and legislative efforts to get him to open up the gate to the beach near Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The law in California states that all beaches should be open to the public up to the “mean high tide line”.
The decision this week, affirming a lower court ruling, stems from a lawsuit filed by the Surfrider Foundation, a not-for-profit group that says the case could have broader implications for beach access across the US.
“Vinod Khosla, with his billions of dollars, bought this piece of property and said, ‘No, no, the public isn’t going to use this anymore. End of story,’” the Surfrider attorney Joe Cotchett said by phone on Thursday. “He got away with it for many years … This is probably one of the most important public right-of-access cases in the country.”
Khosla’s refusal to restore access has made him something of a symbol of the immense wealth in the tech industry and rising income inequality in the region.
Last year, his attorneys claimed that he would open the gate to the beach only if the government paid him $30m, an amount that state officials said was unreasonably high. In October, Khosla also sued two state agencies, accusing the government of using “coercion and harassment” to infringe on his private property rights.
The California coastal commission, established by voters in 1972 to protect public use of the coast, has reported that beachgoers have increasingly complained about private security guards telling them they are trespassing on private property and forcing them to leave the public beaches.
“The issue here is, can wealthy private individuals buy up our beautiful beaches for their own use?” said Cotchett, adding that he expects Khosla to appeal the decision and attempt to bring the case to the US supreme court.
Khosla’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Khosla recently made headlines when he downplayed the problem of sexual harassment in the venture capital industry, which has recently been exposed as a major concern among female founders. “I did not know that there was any discrimination,” Khosla said at a recent event, adding that it was “rarer than in most other businesses”.
3,000 People Will Die Because California Lawmakers Extended Cap-and-Trade
Celebrated as one of California’s greatest climate policy achievements, it’s actually a massive blow to the cause of environmental justice worldwide.
Richmond, California, has been my home for the past 15 years. It’s also home to the largest refinery on the west coast, operated by Chevron, California’s single largest stationary source of greenhouse gas emissions.
For almost four years, Richmond’s environmental justice advocates have been campaigning to prevent Chevron from embarking on a major refinery expansion that would allow the facility to process dirtier, heavier tar sands crude. The campaign fought to convince the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the regional air pollution regulator, to establish a refinery-based cap on greenhouse gases and toxic co-pollutants. Such a cap would help reduce the toxic pollution hotspots in Richmond and neighboring refinery communities. Public health experts estimated that such a cap could save 800–3,000 lives regionally over 40 years.
Chevron, awash in tar sands dreams, fought back. They argued that the state cap and trade system, administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), already regulated carbon emissions and that additional BAAQMD regulations would interfere with the state’s policy. But in April 2017, CARB sent a game-changing opinion to BAAQMD, clarifying that not only was it okay for BAAQMD to impose stronger rules, but that the state supported them, and “agree[d] more can and must be done to deliver real reductions in pollutants that are impacting the health of residents living near refineries.”
On the day before Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, BAAQMD approved a motion to finalize the world’s strongest and most ambitious refinery pollution cap, a remarkable achievement won after years of grassroots, community struggle.
Cap and trade bill a blow to environmental justice
Chevron couldn’t let that victory stand. They went to Sacramento to kill the rule, and they succeeded. The cap and trade bill, which the California legislature passed Monday night, blocks the ability of local air quality agencies from establishing rules limiting greenhouse gases.
The bill also includes a host of other concessions to polluters, including giving away tens of billions of dollars’ worth of free carbon emissions allowances (the vast majority which benefits the oil and gas industry), and allowing polluters to buy carbon offsets instead of actually reducing emissions.
By buying offsets, a polluter like Chevron can continue polluting as usual – or even process tar sands and thus increase their emissions. Offsets let polluters off the hook while allowing pollution hotspots to perpetuate, condemning communities like mine to decades more of toxic pollution.
What racism looks like
Race is the most important predictor of whether a person lives near pollution. You see it in Richmond, where almost 80 percent of people living within a mile of the refinery are people of color.
The 3,000 people that analysis showed would die prematurely if the refinery cap was not put in place – their deaths will not be evenly spread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. They will not be evenly distributed between rich and poor, white and black. Science and data shows us that they will predominately be people of color.
This is institutional racism: when a bipartisan legislature pushes through public policies like AB 398 that look at the “big picture” and “mean well,” but really just perpetuate patterns of inequality and discrimination.
“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in 1963 to his fellow clergymen who disagreed with his strategy of nonviolence. King excoriated moderate whites who asked him to wait for “a more convenient season” to fight for justice, and said those moderates, not conservative extremists, were the biggest obstacle standing in the way of civil rights progress.
As many environmental groups in California and across the country celebrate their cap-and-trade “victory,” I’m reminded of the moderates King chastised. He knew that they were the biggest obstacle to progress. 50 years later that struggle persists. King hoped for understanding but was left with disappointment.
Tonight, as I write this from my home in Richmond, I am disappointed. The vote is over. And despite our efforts, 3,000 people will die, many of them in my town.
After the vote, the California Environmental Justice Alliance tweeted, “EJ communities will suffer the consequences, but our spirit is intact. The EJ community will fight another day.”
I am trying to keep my spirit intact. I am reminding myself of Dr. King’s admonition to always see injustice, and do my part to bring just grievances to the power structure. And since Dr. King ended his letter on a note of hope, I too will try to be hopeful, even during these dark days when racism is rampant in ways both obvious and subtle.
“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”
By Michelle Chan
Michelle Chan is the Vice President of Programs at Friends of the Earth. She is the founder of BankTrack, and currently is the Vice President of the Board of Amazon Watch. She has served on the boards of Ceres, the Council for Responsible Public Investment, the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment; and was a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Advisory Committee. In 2002, Michelle received the Social Investment Forum’s Service Award for outstanding contributions to the field of socially responsible investing.
This post was sent to the Examiner by Gary Graham Hughes
Monsanto is bad. In an age where facts and truth are ambiguous, a clearer thought has never crossed my mind. Monsanto might even be one of the most depraved organizations in American history; at least top ten. But Monsanto keeps winning because corrupt government officials keep working with the company to hide just how toxic one of its top-selling products is (among other things). Yeah, we’re talking about Roundup.
Given that Monsanto has its biologically engineered hands in practically everything to do with American agriculture, it’s rare to see any institution — let alone an entire state — take on the giant. But California just did it. On Wednesday, the state’s Environmental Health Hazard Assessment listed Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, as cancer causing.
Glyphosate probably causes cancer. And Monsanto knows it. The official who lead the EPA’s investigation into whether Roundup caused cancer literally bragged that he “should get a medal” for killing the administration’s inquiry during a call with the company. Right now at least 800 people are suing Monsanto after allegedly contracting non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from the pesticide, according to CNN.
California’s decision to list glyphosate as cancer-causing comes from an independent analysis published by the International Agency for Cancer Research. Its findings said that the pesticide is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Despite Monsanto’s best effort to fight California’s labeling, the state’s Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by the company to halt glyphosate’s classification. As of July 7, the chemical will be categorized as “known to the state to cause cancer.”
Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co’s popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.
Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision “unwarranted on the basis of science and the law.” The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is “probably carcinogenic” in a controversial ruling in 2015.
Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto’s next generation of biotech crops, is under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state’s plant board voted last week to ban the chemical.
OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate under Proposition 65 will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court and after requests for stay were denied by a state appellate court and the California’s Supreme Court.
Monsanto’s appeal of the trial court’s ruling is pending.
“This is not the final step in the process, and it has no bearing on the merits of the case. We will continue to aggressively challenge this improper decision,” Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, said.
Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65 would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Warnings would also be required if glyphosate is being sprayed at levels deemed unsafe by regulators.
Users of the chemical include landscapers, golf courses, orchards, vineyards and farms.
Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.
Monsanto has not calculated the cost of any re-labeling effort and does not break out glyphosate sales data by state, Partridge said.
Environmental groups cheered OEHHA’s move to list the chemical.
“California’s decision makes it the national leader in protecting people from cancer-causing pesticides,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.