Time to confront Arcata’s evil neighbor Sun Valley Floral Farms

The man with the power to stop this – Sun Valley CEO and President Lane DeVries

Don’t be fooled by the expanse of pretty irises growing between Foster Avenue and Bay School Road in the Arcata Bottom.

Earlier this year, Sun Valley Floral Farms sprayed that field with the carcinogen glyphosate (aka Roundup) without adequately informing neighbors, the three nearby schools, or anyone in the densely populated Greenview/Windsong neighborhood of Arcata, all of which were downwind of the spraying.

In 2015 the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.” Later the state of California added glyphosate to its list of chemicals that cause cancer. Since then Monsanto and its parent company Bayer, which produces glyphosate, have suffered several high-profile court losses to victims of glyphosate who contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. By now managers of any company that uses glyphosate should well know that in doing so they risk giving workers and neighbors cancer. (A new study shows when combined with other risk factors Glyphosate dramatically increases the risk of breast cancer)*TE

The Arcata Bottom tract is new to Sun Valley’s floral production. It was formerly used to feed cattle, with no chemicals needed. Yet over summer Sun Valley was at it again, spraying the same field with yet another carcinogen: chlorothalonil.

In this case, I watched it happen. My presence was coincidental, as spraying occurred with no public notice. On the afternoon of July 30 a Sun Valley operator sprayed chlorothalonil onto the company’s new field. It was chilling to watch the day’s predictable northwest breeze wafting the chemical across Bay School Road right into neighbors’ homes and yards, and presumably into Arcata.

The next day a large troupe of agricultural workers tarried in this very field, presumably absorbing the toxic impacts of a long-lasting chemical like chlorothalonil. (I learned that the chemical was chlorothalonil by contacting the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s office.)

The state and federal governments list chlorothalonil as a probable human carcinogen and reproductive toxin. Chlorothalonil can contaminate the air traveling beyond the field and has been found in residential neighborhoods in many areas where it is applied. It is a potential groundwater contaminant, is persistent in soils, and is acutely toxic to fish, crabs, and frogs.

In 2016 (the last year for which statistics are available) Sun Valley used 1,152 pounds of chlorothalonil in Humboldt County. Now that the company is cultivating a new field its use of chlorothalonil has undoubtedly risen.

Also in 2016, Sun Valley applied 1,621 pounds of captan—a mutagen and carcinogen that can cause respiratory damage and is highly toxic to fish—and 171 pounds of thiophanate-methyl. Thiophanate-methyl is a possible human carcinogen and suspected endocrine disruptor.

(The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences defines endocrine disruptors as “chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.”) Other dangerous and toxic chemicals used by Sun Valley include diuron (birth defects, groundwater contamination, destruction of aquatic invertebrates) and the infamous 2,4-D (developmental and reproductive toxin, a possible human carcinogen, potential groundwater contaminant).

It’s bad enough that Sun Valley uses these poisons for non-food crops that could easily be produced without them. It’s infuriating that the company would waltz onto a brand new field, formerly free of toxics, and blithely contaminate it as well. Sun Valley might blandly state that “we adhere and comply with state and federal laws” in applying the chemicals, but this may not even be true.

The company has no legal right to contaminate the waters and wildlife of California, which are owned by the people, and Sun Valley certainly has no legal right to poison its workers and its neighbors. Without extensive and expensive monitoring there is no way to adequately ascertain the extent of such contamination.

Companies like Sun Valley count on this difficult process, and deferent county and state officials, to protect their “right” to do whatever they want, no matter the human and environmental costs.

The County of Humboldt and the City of Arcata, and its residents, need to step up and object to Sun Valley’s contamination. There is no reason these irises cannot be grown organically, except that it might cost a penny or two more on the dollar.

So instead, Sun Valley management, including company CEO and President Lane DeVries, has opted to impose these costs onto the lives of workers, neighbors, and the environment.

Greg King Mad River Union Oct 2, 2019

Cher-Ae Heights Casino wants to build a 6-story 100 room hotel on Scenic Drive!

If you weren’t already a little suspect of this plan, the Rancheria has hired Dave Tyson to help try and jam this through……….

WTF St. Joseph Heath?

Passed along to us so we’ll share it with you:

St. Joseph Health – Humboldt County has begun FIRING union members over the phone as of 8:00 am this morning.

The corporate greed and the corporate agenda has now replaced any level of commitment to the values once envisioned by the founding Sisters. This is incredibly disappointing but not surprising when you consider the leaderships actions as of late.

This is an incredibly sad day for Humboldt County and the marvelous legacy of the founding Sisters.

As the largest private sector employer in Humboldt County and the regional healthcare provider, St Joseph Health should be committed to growing and retaining jobs, which are so incredibly vital to a healthy local economy, a physically healthy community and better quality of life for our families.

We are going to be calling on St Joseph Health to cease this retaliatory behavior and the blatant disregard for the safety of our patients, to honor the contractual obligation to negotiate in good faith with and to provide notice to both Nuhw National Union of Healthcare Workers and the California Nurses Association with regards to any reductions, and demand that they meet their charity care obligation with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and that they do right by our community and abide by their obligation to provide the best care possible for our families.

I encourage the community to call 707-445-8121 and ask for the hospital president and let her know how you feel.

Also express your concerns with Senator Mike McGuire and let Mike know how devastating this is to our community.

As for me and my team we will keep fighting for the best interest of our community and our union members.

In Solidarity Allen McCloskey

Union Steward

Assembly Delegate for CA District 2

Join the calls for adequate key staffing at St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals this Monday

Members of National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) declare a staffing crisis at St. Joseph Eureka and Redwood Memorial Hospitals and expose the dangerous and unhealthy impacts on patient care. They call for immediate staffing in critical departments.

On Monday, September 10, at noon, on the front sidewalk of St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka, dozens of hospital providers and nurses will demand that both hospitals adequately staff key departments immediately so that they do not continue to compromise patient care.

“For months, those of us who work closely with patients have informed Hospital Management that certain gaps in staffing are causing dangerous situations for our patients,” states Allen McCloskey, Union Steward with NUHW and Lab Technician at St. Joseph Eureka. “At least two patient deaths are being investigated because the Hospital used bed alarms instead of hands-on care. We are offering concrete proposals that the Hospital can implement to remedy this crisis, and they have ignored us.”

“I suffered first-hand the impacts of St. Joseph’s under-staffing,” says Ruby Sierra, a Monitor Technician in St. Joseph’s Progressive Care Unit (PCU). “I was the only Monitor Tech working my shift and my Manager denied my requests for cover when I needed to use the bathroom. For the sake of keeping patients safe, I remained at my station and urinated all over myself. Nobody should have to go through the humiliation and physical torture I went through.”

Recent reports show St. Joseph’s profits are more than healthy and that the Hospital failed to provide the amount of charity care it promised the State it would.

“Nursing Assistants care for more patients than what is realistic and safe,” states Lesley Ester, RN, a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital and Union representative with CNA. “I don’t understand why the hospital administration is risking patient care if it can afford to adequately staff our hospital. What will it take—more patient deaths?”

Community allies and public officials will also attend the press conference.

Monday, September 10, at noon, on the front sidewalk of St. Joseph Hospital

Trump proposes Soviet Union style revamp of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

After passing their windfall tax give away to the rich (Exxon alone gets 7 Billion!)Scrooge Mc Trump comes up with this disaster

In yet another eye-popping move, this week Trump called for sharply cutting and bizarrely restructuring the nation’s flagship program for providing food aid to poor people. His 2019 budget proposal takes aim at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

SNAP helps keep one in four US children and millions of disabled people adequately fed. The administration’s proposal would slash the SNAP budget by $213.5 billion between 2019 and 2028—a nearly 30 percent cut. Republican stalwarts like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) have been pining for such such cuts for years. What makes the Trump budget document so jarring is how it proposes to deliver those savings. It would dole out food boxes, through what White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called a “Blue Apron-type program.”

Anyone who has used a meal-kit service like Blue Apron might envision a chilled box featuring fresh meat and vegetables ready to be cooked into a sumptuous meal. The White House budget described something quite a bit more austere:

Under the proposal, households receiving $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package, which would include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish.

In other words, a box brimming with a bunch of cans and jars.

One might think an idea so confidently proposed might have the weight of a think-tank white paper, a university study, or a US Department Agriculture pilot program behind it. Not this one, reports Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich. “The idea that USDA would provide millions of low-income people packages of food on a national scale has not been floated by conservative think tanks, promoted by industry, or sought by previous administrations,” she reports. A USDA spokesman told her that the idea emerged from the mind of USDA chief Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor and agri-businessman with no experience in hunger or poverty policy.

Not surprisingly, anti-hunger advocates went ballistic. In a press statement, Lisa Davis, senior vice president of the anti-hunger group Share Our Strength, declared it a “disturbing and harmful agenda.” Robert Greenstein, president of the think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, warned that “more homelessness and hunger would inevitably follow” from SNAP cuts.

Annie Lowrey, who covers economic policy for The Atlantic, delivered a blistering inventory of the “food box” plan’s faults on Twitter. Here’s how it started:

Annie Lowrey@AnnieLowrey

    1. What if you don’t receive your box one month?
    2. What if you’re homeless?
    3. What if you don’t have a place to receive mail?
    4. What if you move frequently?
    5. What if you have allergies?
    6. What if the box gets wet, or animals get into it?



It’s not ideology, it’s all about greed for more money and power

Despite similar views on Christianity, gays and white supremacy it’s really greed and money that is the real glue that causes the Trumpies to stick with the Russians and the oligarchs.

Dear Leader Trump reportedly used a White House meeting with the prime minister of Georgia last year to talk about a long-stalled real estate project in the former Soviet satellite state.

Two former Trump business partners tell Forbes that Trump brought up plans to build a Trump Tower in Georgia during his meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili last May.

As president, Trump has vowed to not be involved in making deals that benefit his businesses and has instead given responsibility for running his businesses to his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

According to The New Yorker, Trump first unveiled plans to build a Trump Tower in the Georgian city of Batumi in 2011.

What’s more, the New Yorker writes that the proposed deal to fund the tower’s construction raised concerns about whether the project would be used as a vehicle to launder money.

“The deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as ‘red flags’ for bank fraud and money laundering,” the publication writes. “Moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the tower was held back in 2012, however the project has completely stalled since then and workers haven’t even dug any foundation for the proposed tower.


Honey Oil’s not so sweet side

butane 2

With two “honey oil” operations exploding on the same day, we thought that now is a really good time to open the discussion regarding these clandestine and dangerous operations. The fact is, there is a lot of it going on in Humboldt. Not just in the “big cities”, but out in the countryside as well.

Why is this process so prevalent? Number one, it’s highly profitable. Nuff said. Number 2, this area has been inundated with folks showing up for the green rush. People from back east, the midwest, down south and even from foreign lands have flocked to the area to try and take a piece of the huge money pie. However, many of these folks aren’t very good at farming, and there’s a lot of inferior cannabis being produced by inexperienced and not very smart growers.

What is one to do when you can’t sell your product, even when it’s being produced in Humboldt? Just like the strip miners of the past in California, there’s always a way to turn a nice profit. The side effects are environmental destruction and dangerous conditions……but that can’t get in the way of profit folks!

These explosions happen every so often in the area, but we predict that they will become much more common. After all, with the “psuedo-legalization” going on there will be a huge market for edibles made with the honey oil extracted using butane. Cannabis profiteers know this, and they will produce what the public will pay for.

The only way for this ridiculous behavior to be lowered is to make it less profitable. So, when you’re buying cannabis products take a little time to research whether the producers are using the “best practices”. After all, cannabis may help relieve the pain your experiencing, but it can also make your pain seem meaningless in comparison to our local fish…..

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