North Coast Journal 04-18-13 Edition
The North Coast Journal of Politics, People & Art is a guide to what’s really happening on the far North Coast of California.
north coast - thursday april18, 2013 vol XXIV issue 16 • humboldt county, calif. FREE = ca .. = = = .... ·ca = -= .... .. = = ~ E • en ~ On The atertront Now A national symposium provides afresh view for Humboldt's oceanfront future By Ryan Burns 6 VA waiting game 8 Look, a new guy! 16 Over the hill and on the road 23 The planet gets a day 25 Gosh, godwits 29 Way to ruin relationships 2 North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com table of 4 Mailbox 4 Poem Mountain Poem 23 Calendar 28 Filmland Black Hero, Whitewashed 10% ALL OFF OR MORE *excluding Apple products AUDIO IN APRIL 6 News The Long Wait 29 In Review a book PRODUCTS* On the Plaza • 707-825-7100 8 Blog Jammin’ 10 On The Cover On The Waterfront Now 29 Workshops 31 Seven-o-Heaven cartoon by andrew goff 16 Get Out! Remodeling Our Wheel Estate 32 Field Notes The Most Expensive Lighthouse (Part 1) 17 McKinleyville Arts Night Friday, April 19, 6-8 p.m. 18 The Hum Our Green Earth 20 Music & More! 22 Home & Garden Service Directory 33 Sudoku 33 Crossword 34 Marketplace 37 Body, Mind & Spirit 39 Real Estate This Week northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 3 April 18, 2013 Volume XXIV No. 16 North Coast Journal Inc. www.northcoastjournal.com ISSN 1099-7571 © Copyright 2013 CIRCULATION VERIFICATION C O U N C I L The North Coast Journal is a weekly newspaper serving Humboldt County. Circulation: 21,000 copies distributed FREE at more than 350 locations. Mail subscriptions: $39 / 52 issues. Single back issues mailed / $2.50. Entire contents of the North Coast Journal are copyrighted. No article may be reprinted without publisher’s written permission. Printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink. publisher Judy Hodgson email@example.com editor Carrie Peyton Dahlberg firstname.lastname@example.org art director Holly Harvey production manager Carolyn Fernandez staff writer/a&e editor Bob Doran email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org staff writer Heidi Walters email@example.com staff writer Ryan Burns firstname.lastname@example.org staff writer/assistant editor Grant Scott-Goforth email@example.com contributing writers John J. Bennett, Simona Carini, Barry Evans, William S. Kowinski, Mark Shikuma, Amy Stewart graphic design/production Lynn Jones, Alana Chenevert, Drew Hyland production intern Kimberly Hodges general manager Chuck Leishman firstname.lastname@example.org advertising Mike Herring email@example.com advertising Colleen Hole firstname.lastname@example.org advertising Shane Mizer email@example.com advertising Karen Sack firstname.lastname@example.org office manager Carmen England classified assistant Sophia Dennler 310 F St., Eureka, CA 95501 PHONE: 707 442-1400 FAX: 707 442-1401 mail/office: press releases email@example.com letters to the editor firstname.lastname@example.org events/a&e email@example.com music firstname.lastname@example.org production email@example.com sales firstname.lastname@example.org classified/workshops email@example.com Photo by Ryan Burns. Illustration by Holly Harvey. on the cover: • continue to seriously develop, often by taking classes at CR whenever schedules allow: morning, noon or night. UnfortuEditor: nately, the benefits of this life-long learnI discovered my love of music in a ing do not show up on a spreadsheet. It’s community college class over 45 years ago such a loss to the community to no longer (“Re-Imagining CR,” April 11). I was not a be a priority in the California “commumusic major. Since moving to Humboldt nity” college system. Perhaps College of County in the mid 1970s, participating in the Redwoods could be the exception to music and musical theatre, often through this unwise decision. courses at CR, has sustained me all of Karen Elfers, Arcata my adult life as a great joy and effective stress-reliever. Editor: For many of us in the community, muI emphatically agree with the April 4 sic/theatre is an avocation, not our “day letter (“Audit CR,” Mailbox) complaining job.” Yet it’s a part of ourselves that we of College of the Redwoods cutting its arts and music programs! I’ve played the violin all my life. When I moved up here, I expected the community college to have an orchestra program. But it Everything is better in the mountains didn’t. I couldn’t transfer to HSU as a music major Everything is glowing (where they DO have a The clouds are better — more pronounced full orchestra and a music The lichen POP major program) from a community college that Top-lit trees shimmer and smile while didn’t!? Stout purple irises wave from the sidelines of Humboldt is an art Alderpoint Road rich community. Arts Alive, music festivals, galleries, poetry readings, A lone turkey with a pink-blue head manages traffic, ballet and theaters. Yet and we stop as directed for our CR doesn’t have a proper orchestra program. CutApril first dip in the Eel ting music and arts programs would be doing We’re overdue for a good baptizing a huge disservice to our The firm swift spank of cold mountain water on community and future Our bareness is a proper welcome to springtime church generations! It doesn’t matter where a person’s Absolve us, Eel! from; we as a people Absolve us of the sins of zombie vampire humanity, have always been better Cast away the darkness, we adore your light! for those that think outside the box. Jim Henson (puppet master); Danny Resting ashore, we see Elfman (movie score A pair of jays announce the news with flashes of blue composer); Johnny Depp A black and yellow ess of garter snake passing silently (actor); Thomas Gibson (“Hotchner” in Criminal A splash! of sturgeon (salmon?) sparkling and then Minds, Juilliard scholWe slip back in to the cold arship); Peter Jackson (director and producer); L. Frank Baum (author of Duly absolved The Wonderful Wizard We return to the warm rocks of Oz); Benny GoodThe sky groans loudly — trails, oh, contrails… man (big band leader, We resume our shared and deliberate forgetfulness singer); Ella Fitzgerald (African-American vocalAnd a pair of blessed bees consecrates our chests ist); Quentin Tarantino (breakthrough direc— Emily Hobelmann tor); Oprah Winfrey (TV personality); Alex Haley Music Matters (author of Roots); the list goes on! How can we live in a world were imagination and creativity aren’t valued as much as other disciplines? Meghan E. Doty, Eureka Railroad(ed) Editor: I attended the public hearing in Eureka City Council chambers on March 29 (“Political Reality 2013,” From the Publisher, April 4). Linda Atkins raised an important point about the process: Caltrans has these grants available every year. There was not the rush that David Hull insisted on. His mea culpa rang phony with me: he hadn’t worried about the timeline to apply for the grant because he assumed (!) the city had a template for applying for these kinds of grants. Linda pointed out that the deadline was April 2 but stressed that this was a manufactured crisis because the grants are available every year. My question: How can $17,500 in “staff time” be spent between Friday, March 29 and Tuesday, April 2? Whose money is the Caltrans grant, anyway? I keep coming back to a certain question I have asked myself many times recently: How dumb do they think we are? Do they really think we aren’t paying attention? I’ve watched David Hull in action about economic planning several times since his separation from the Harbor Commission. As I listened to his presentation on Good Friday and Linda’s recurrent protests that the process was wrong, I smelled a rat but could trace the source of the stench. Thank you for connecting the dots. Now, what are we political junkies going to do about the “disinterest” in campaign finance reform? Hollie Klingel, Eureka Mountain Poem Just loving that community organizer Editor: Thank you for your enlightening cover story on “HumCPR Rising” (March 28) and publisher Judy Hodgson’s subsequent follow up on Lee Ulansey. I never knew Mr. Ulansey was such a successful community organizer who was able to bring so many diverse groups together for a common cause. It almost reminds me of that man from Chicago who got his start as a community organizer before his foray into politics. Matthew Owen, Eureka 4 North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com Cartoon by joel mielke Editor: Not sure what the intent of Ryan Burns’ “HumCPR Rising” and Publisher Judy Hodgson’s “Political Reality 2013” was; instead of vilifying Lee Ulansey, it made him out to be a shrewd community organizer. In her “My Bully Pulpit” article (May 17, 2012) Ms. Hodgson made some endorsements for the June 2012 elections. Regarding Estelle Fennell, she said, “I’m very leery of this kind of lobbyist being elected to the board.” Yet, she endorsed Mark Lovelace for supervisor, a former lobbyist for Healthy Humboldt. Ms. Hodgson never endorsed a candidate for the 1st District race, and when questioned, avoided answering. Her reasons are OK, yet Mr. Ulansey’s declining to being interviewed is not. Where was NCJ‘s investigative reporting when Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a founding member of Local Solutions and Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County was elected to a county seat? Or the article on Blue Lake Casino or Bill Pierson, the largest political contributors in Humboldt County, between 2002 and 2010? Could this be due to the fact they are one of NCJ‘s largest advertisers and Ms. Hodgson doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds her? Ms. Hodgson claims HumCPR spent “an enormous amount of money that now influences the daily and weekly politics of Humboldt.” The campaign 460s show that HumCPR has never given any political candidate a single check, and unlike NCJ, has never made any endorsements in local elections. Lee Ulansey and HumCPR did not win the “super majority” on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors or the Eureka City Council. All the winning candidates and their dedicated team of volunteers presenting a positive message resonated with the voters. Having a different political view is one thing, writing “hit pieces” and calling it news is another. Perhaps the NCJ should change its name to “Judy’s Journal.” John Chiv, Eureka Editor: Charley Custer was very concise in describing the Journal’s “high-piled righteousness” in Ryan Burns initial piece on HumCPR. It was further expounded on when your publisher followed up with her droning on about Mr. Ulansey declining to provide her an interview. Who was it that said, “silence is the only thing that can’t be misquoted”? I’m not affiliated with HumCPR, but if they helped elect some candidates that are not in lock step with the no-growth, big-government, anti-business agenda that has prevailed here for a long time, good for them. The voters obviously had their own reasons to vote the way they did, based on the information the candidates provided them, in spite of the Journal’s endorsement of alternate candidates. After all, President Obama never fails to remind us that elections have consequences? Perhaps, just maybe, your editorial board is out of touch with a larger percentage of your readers and advertisers than you realize on this issue? Kenneth Daer, Kneeland Write a letter! Please try to make your letter no more than 300 words and include your full name, place of residence and phone number (we won’t print your number). Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org l northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 5 Spacious and pleasing — but where are the doctors? photo by heidi walters The Long Wait By Heidi Walters Veterans get antsy as Eureka’s new VA clinic struggles to keep docs I email@example.com t’s soothing inside the new Veterans Affairs’ outpatient clinic in Eureka, with its muted chocolate-and-tan patchwork of wood-toned paneling and floors, soft-blue painted walls, and pamphlet-stuffed racks sprinkled throughout the lobby and hallways. On a recent afternoon, April sun brightened the windows and a few people sat in the lobby waiting area. A clerk was telling a man, 60-ish, that as soon as the clinic gets more doctors — two more are supposed to come on soon — she could schedule him an appointment. She asked, “Would you like to make an appointment to go to the clinic in San Francisco?” He said maybe, and they talked a bit more. After him, another, older man stepped up. No, he said (when it came to that), he didn’t want to go to San Francisco. Would he like to be seen by a nurse? No, he wanted a doctor. This is not an unusual scene these days at the new VA clinic, a remodeled former Safeway on Harris Street that opened for its new life as a medical hub in October. Doctor after doctor has quit since then, according to Judi Cheary, public affairs director for the San Francisco VA Medical Center, which oversees the Eureka clinic and five others. “The patients are justifiably frustrated,” she said. Among them are Philip Sanders, a Vietnam veteran who raises beef cattle and timber out in Orleans. In January, he said, he was told he’d have to wait until April 1 for his annual physical and some lab work his cardiologist wanted done. But as his appointment neared, in late March, he received a card from them saying his April 1 appointment had been canceled and “we will contact you to reschedule.” He called a few days later, but still couldn’t get in. “I can’t wait any longer,” he said. “So I’m making an attempt to make an appointment with a private physician.” Kneeland resident John Mitchell, who was on the USS Pueblo when it was captured by the North Koreans in 1968, said he was told to wait for his regular checkup — a month away — to be seen for a flareup of his irritable bowel syndrome. The San Francisco clinic offered him a nextday appointment — down there. And a free shuttle ride. Huh-uh, he said. “Drive six hours, spend the night in a motel?” he said. “And the shuttle — that’s the trip to hell. You get on this bus and they only stop in Ukiah — the only pit stop. And most old guys like me, we gotta go to the can more than once on the way to San Francisco.” Especially when the bowels are goofy. He decided to ride the illness out. Scotty McClure, an Army veteran who lives in Benbow, said he really liked the doctor at the clinic he saw last year, when he had pneumonia. She spent 55 minutes with him. But then she quit; he said he heard she had a family emergency. Since then, he’s had a cancer scare — some suspicious nodules on his lungs. After the second CT scan, he said, he had to wait 35 days before he finally got in to see a doctor at the clinic. That was last week, and it was good news: no cancer. But he’d fretted over a month, during which time he said he called the clinic “30 to 40 times” to try to set up an appointment. “The doctor I saw [last week] told me three doctors have quit, and that she’ll be leaving, too” McClure said. Sanders, the Orleans veteran, also has had some good experiences at the new clinic. He got in to see the optometrist right away. And the clinic’s medication service — run out of San Francisco, with medications mailed directly to his home — is “Johnny-on-the-spot,” he said. But trying to get in to see a primary care provider? It’s nothing like the old clinic, he said. “I never waited more than 10 minutes with the old set up,” Sanders said. Why? What’s going on? Cheary sounded frustrated last week as she talked about the shortage of primary care providers here, at the farthestflung clinic the San Francisco VA oversees. “We’re very much understaffed,” Cheary said. “We’ve had a constant turnover since the doors opened in October.” The old clinic, on F Street, was run primarily by private contractors — three primary care doctors, one nurse practitioner and three medical clerks. It also had five mental health staff employed by the VA. The clinic offered primary care, mental health care, a pharmacy, laboratory tests, X-rays, telemedicine and homebased primary care services. The new clinic, operated by the VA, is supposed to offer the same, plus more: audiology, optometry, podiatry, prosthetics and, eventually, physical therapy. The goal, said Cheary, was to start off with seven primary care providers — a stillunspecified combination of doctors and “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” - Walt Disney 402 2nd Street • Corner of 2nd & E • Old Town, Eureka • 445-1344 Special orders welcome for new books! Used Books • New Books 6 North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com nurse practitioners. Plus, there would be a podiatrist, five registered nurses and five licensed vocational nurses; non-physician specialists in optometry, audiology and phlebotomy; telehealth technicians, administrative staff and clerks. Fully staffed, she said, the clinic should employ about 40 people. But from the start, she said, the clinic has never been fully staffed. The reasons vary. “We hired one doctor, and when we went to do his credentialing, we found he hadn’t exposed that his license had been suspended,” Cheary said. “We hired one woman — who was going to be chief — then she had a family illness and couldn’t relocate.” Other doctors have made it here, but then left — Cheary said she didn’t know how many, nor each one’s specific reason for leaving, but she didn’t think salary was the issue. The VA pays doctors between $170,000 and $195,000. There appear to be two main reasons, she said, that doctors have been hard to recruit and retain. One is workload. Eureka’s VA clinic served 4,814 veterans in fiscal year 2012, and handled 22,950 outpatient visits. Each doctor is expected to carry a workload of 1,100 patients. And the other? “Our primary challenge has been location — doctors not wanting to live in Eureka,” Cheary said. “Or, we had a case where the doctor wanted to live in Eureka but the family didn’t.” As of last week, the clinic employed two doctors and two nurse practitioners. It also is using a telehealth doctor based in Clear Lake. Staff in San Francisco are filling prescriptions and taking care of some other clerical duties. There’s an audiologist on board, and an optometrist and prosthetics specialist, but no podiatrist yet. One of the doctors is only here temporarily and will be leaving in a month. But some new hires are on the way, Cheary said. “We hope to have the chief MD coming in July,” she said. “And we have another MD coming on board at the end of April. And another is coming the first of June. So then we’ll have six primary care providers. And we’re recruiting for an additional MD.” In the meantime, she said, clinic staff are telling people they can use the free shuttle for appointments in San Francisco. Many decline. Cheary said she doesn’t know how many existing patients have been put on hold, waiting for appointments. But she said 64 people are on a waiting list to become VA patients. She also was hesitant to say when the clinic would be fully staffed, because who can know if the new doctors will stay. Again, frustration crept into her voice. Her office has never run into this before. The Clear Lake clinic had a slow start, she said, but nothing like it’s been in Eureka. “When we opened the doors last October, we anticipated the staff we had recruited would come on board, and would stay,” she said. “We, in a million years, never would have anticipated the hiring challenges we’ve had. They’re unusal. They’re unexpected. But we have an obligation to our veterans, and we intend to meet that obligation.” Meanwhile, some patients, including Kneeland resident Mitchell, have called Congressman Jared Huffman’s office for help. “I’m 65,” Mitchell said, “and this tires me out. If you’re 80, you don’t have the energy to light a fire under these people.” Huffman said last Friday that his office has been working with the Eureka VA clinic for the past few months, and has helped six veterans get appointments. “But I’m sure there are more of them out there needing assistance,” he said. The San Francisco VA office assured him that issues in Eureka would be resolved by summer, Huffman said, and he intends to make the VA stick to that vow. Cheary noted that if any patients have gotten appointments, it isn’t because of a congressman intervening. The limited staff is taking patients by triage — urgent cases first, she said. l Prescription Medication Round-Up Saturday April 20, 2013 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Eureka High School District Parking Lot at J & Huntoon Street FREE ▲ DR. PAUL DOMANCHUK OPTOMETRIST Greg Rael Law Offices Practice devoted exclusively to Criminal Defense since 1976 1026 Third Street, Eureka I S ION VCENTER THE Bring your expired, old or unused prescription medication, over-thecounter medication, vitamins, pet medication in original containers. Please remove or cross out names. Medical sharps will be accepted in approved containers only! We also accept narcotics!! Sponsored by Eureka School District/Eureka High School, the Eureka Police Department, and Humboldt Waste Management Authority Keep Our County Clean And Safe! ▲ Providing Eye Care & Eye Wear for over 50 years. (707) 445-9666 616 H STREET • EUREKA 443-1619 For more information, Contact: Brent Whitener Household Hazardous Waste Supervisor (707) 268-8680 northcoastjournal.com • North Coast Journal • Thursday, April 18, 2013 7 Blog Jammin’ TRAUMA / BY GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH / APRIL 16, 1:33 P.M. MEDIA / BY CARRIE PEYTON DAHLBERG / APRIL 16, 12:52 P.M. After the Marathon Humboldt State University Professor Tasha Souza was stopped in her tracks by crowds ﬂeeing explosions after ﬁnishing the Boston Marathon yesterday — a race she attended to honor a lost friend. Souza was unharmed, but the day was already a poignant one for her, because she’d been running in honor of her friend Suzanne Seemann, who was killed by a car while jogging with friends from the Six Rivers Running Club in September. “I’m physically OK,” Souza said, calling from Los Angeles while waiting for a ﬂight home. “I went into the race a bit emotional.” After crossing the ﬁnish line, Souza said she was overcome with emotion while remembering her friend. “My plan was to go back to the ﬁnish line and because I was so upset, I decided to go back out and stretch and calm myself down.” Souza was two blocks away, walking back to the ﬁnish line from the Boston Common, when she heard the explosions. “We thought ‘was that a cannon? Was that thunder?’” she said. “That’s when I was stopped in my tracks. I’m lucky I didn’t see the carnage. I just saw people horriﬁed, running towards me.” The bombing, which ofﬁcials are calling a terror attack, killed three — including an 8-year-old boy — and injured more than 100 others. Arcata attorney Chris Hamer was registered for the event but didn’t attend — she’s been under the weather lately and hotels were too expensive. “This is the ﬁrst time I have ever signed up for a marathon and not run it,” Hamer wrote in an email. “As it turns out, the explosions occurred about the time I probably would have been crossing the ﬁnishing line, if I had run the marathon.” Safely in Arcata, Hamer experienced ﬁrsthand some of the concern and confusion that followed the bombing, as people around the country scrambled to ﬁnd out if friends and family were harmed. “Today’s Times-Standard lists my status as unknown,” she wrote. “I have now had 112 phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages asking if I am OK. I am sorry to cause so many people worry, but touched so many people cared.” Other runners from Humboldt County also are apparently OK, according to reports in the Lost Coast Outpost and Times-Standard. ● READ FULL POSTS AND SEE PHOTOS AT A New Journal-ista We’re all happy to welcome Grant ScottGoforth, an Arcata native who will be writing, editing, comforting the afﬂicted and afﬂicting the comfortable along with the rest of us here at the North Coast Journal. You might recognize his byline from the Times-Standard (sorry, Kimberly Wear, but hat tip for spotting and growing local talent). Grant graduated from Humboldt State University in 2011 with a degree in journalism. He’s coming aboard with the title of staff PEACE PARK IN GARBERVILLE. PHOTO BY JACOB SHAFER. writer/assistant editor, and he’ll be helping with the production end of getting the paper of community angst — and waterballoonout each week, along with writing insightful ings — for many years now. It’s on county news and feature articles. You can reach him property. The Veterans of Foreign Wars used at firstname.lastname@example.org to manage it. They got tired of the strain and, eventually, Encimer and his partner, ● Kathy Epling, took charge. They own Tiger ACTIVISM, GARBERVILLE, GOVERNMENT / Lily Books, near the park. They also are with BY HEIDI WALTERS / APRIL 15, 7 P.M. Veterans for Peace, and Encimer says the county signed an agreement allowing them Parks and Heck to manage the park. For about 2 ½ years, said Going to the Board of Supervisors meetEncimer in a call to the Journal today, they’ve ing tomorrow? To, perhaps, hear the depressbeen keeping the place picked up. And, he ing report on the state of our state’s roads says, they didn’t hear a peep from Public and their desperate repair needs? Works about this vacating business. He heard The report goes county by county, about it on KMUD radio. discussing embarrassing things like their PCI Encimer is especially incensed that after all (pavement condition index, where a new the meetings and involvement of the commuroad rates “100” and a failed road is a “0”). nity, this ﬁnal proposal has wound up on the Humboldt County’s PCI was 64 in 2012, and consent agenda without a public hashing. according to the report, to bring Humboldt’s ● roads up to snuff in 10 years would requiring pouring $687 million into “pavement needs,” COPS, WIFI / BY BOB DORAN / $174 million into “essential components” and APRIL 11, 12:07 P.M. $119 million into bridges. Yep, our roads need Suddenlink Reward $10K almost a billion dollars. Roads. Important, but, snooze. Please just ﬁx them. Remember a month or so ago when some Take heart: Paul Encimer, one of our denimrods cut off connections all over the voted outside agitators (he’s a Mendo man), county by chopping into Suddenlink’s ﬁber is going for possibly a much more lively item: optic cables? The $5,000 reward the comthe county public works staff’s recommendapany was offering to help catch the culprits tion to abandon the Jim Demulling Memorial just got doubled. Veterans Grove, a shady triangle of trouble “After conversations with the Sheriff’s and love between Highway 101 and Redwood Ofﬁce, we agreed that doubling the reDrive in Garberville. Notes Public Works’ ward would be a compelling incentive for agenda document: members of the community who might have If the property is vacated, the property relevant information,” Suddenlink’s Humcan be utilized and managed in a more boldt County Director of Operations Wendy restrictive manner like other County properPurnell said in a written statement. ties … Possible restrictions could include ● hours of operation, as well as limitations on what types of uses are permitted. ENVIRONMENT, GOVERNMENT, RAILVacating the property also could make ROAD / BY RYAN BURNS / APRIL 10, 6:13 P.M. way for the county to lease or sell it. NCRA Tackles Legal Challenge, This grassy glade is otherwise known as Peace Park, and it and its constant swirl of Supports East-West Study homeless denizens have been the subject Today’s meeting of the North Coast Railroad Authority’s Board of Directors saw plenty of impassioned arguments, lots of squabbling over legalese and at least two cases of hurt feelings. The two most no- www.northcoastjournal.com/blogthing 8 NORTH COAST JOURNAL • THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 • northcoastjournal.com table results were these: 1) The board voted 8-1 to delete key parts of a 2011 resolution, thus invalidating an environmental impact report that it ﬁled just two years ago and which was ﬁnanced with $3 million of public money from the California Transportation Commission, and 2) The board joined a long list of government agencies in approving a resolution in support of a feasibility study for the mythic east-west rail line, but only after scratching out some of the language and adding some terms of its own. By backing away from the environmental impact report, the board hopes to sidestep a legal challenge from two environmental groups — Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics — that are suing the state agency, alleging that the report doesn’t comply with state environmental law. (See the groups’ letter to the board from a link on our website.) It’s also an apparent admission by the board that it has no plans in the foreseeable future to rebuild the north-south rail line through the Eel River Canyon, which has been out of commission since 1999. Hurt feelings No. 1: Scott Greacen, executive director of Friends of the Eel River, was offended by what he felt were derisive comments from board member John McCowen about environmental groups. But he was more offended by the board’s actions. Those groups weren’t the only ones upset. Leishara Ward, a transportation planner with the California Department of Transportation, stepped to the lectern to say that the board should either abide by the terms of the EIR or return that $3 million. In response, NCRA board members and staff made a curious argument: They said that even though they don’t believe their agency is bound to comply with the terms of the EIR, the $3 million in public funds that paid for it wasn’t a waste because, hey, there’s still a lot of good data in there. As NCRA legal counsel Chris Neary said, “The environmental impact report will stand as an informational document.” Hurt feelings No. 2: Board Chair Paul Kelley said he was annoyed that it took the Land Bridge Alliance, the organization pushing for an eastwest rail study, so long to approach the NCRA board. This was quickly smoothed over. At board member Bill Kier’s suggestion, language was added to the resolution stating that a) the feasibility study should include the existing north-south right-of-way as a viable alternative, and b) it should address ﬁnancing for the project. Kier made a veiled reference to a certain local businessman who said in a radio interview last October that the whole project “pencils out” with private funding. Proponents are now advocating a public-private partnership, and Jan Kraepelien, one such proponent, suggested ﬁnancing the study through the Headwaters Fund. ● EDUCATION / BY HEIDI WALTERS / APRIL 10, 4:43 P.M. EDUCATION, SPORTS / BY HEIDI WALTERS / APRIL 10, 4 P.M. BUDGET, FORTUNA / BY HEIDI WALTERS / APRIL 9, 4:48 P.M. CAP’N ZACH’S CRAB HOUSE More Lovin’ on CR Well, amid all the sad talk of budget cuts and squinched offerings for students, the good money-news keeps a-comin’. First it was a vow from the community to round up the money to keep the college’s baseball program going. Now it’s a windfall for the college’s gerontology care program. According to the college, its Health Occupations Programs will be injected with $250,000 from the law ﬁrm Janssen Malloy LLP, of Eureka — the ﬁrm that helped whip Skilled Healthcare in a class-action lawsuit and has won court-approval to give some of the settlement money to CR to raise more nurses. (But just because the settlement was reached, the nursing home troubles continued, as the Journal reported last year.) As part of the settlement, Skilled Healthcare has to meet legally mandated minimum stafﬁng levels. That’s why the law ﬁrm wants to direct money to CR’s geriatric nursing program. CR’s Dean of Health and Emergency Response Occupations, Dr. Pat Girczyc, said CR educates about 75 percent of Humboldt County’s registered nurses and the majority of its licensed vocational nurses. ● Safe! (CR Baseball) After much ballyhooing from the stands — and promises from community members to raise some dough — College of the Redwoods plans to bring back baseball. The college’s 46-year-old intercollegiate baseball program was benched a couple years ago, in one of the college’s budget-trimming moments. Men’s soccer was cut, too, and so far the college hasn’t announced its reinstatement. (Women’s soccer also took a seat last fall, but that was because the program couldn’t get enough players; a person on the phone today at CR’s athletic department said unofﬁcially that women’s soccer is back and “they’re heavily recruiting right now.”) Defenders of the baseball and soccer programs attended a recent board of trustees’ meetings — coaches noting the worthiness of athletics for young minds and bodies, high school soccer players pining to be on the CR team, former players, and others. Baseball’s comeback will depend mightily on those fundraising promises, said a news release from the college, to pay for such things as “equipment, ﬁeld improvements and travel.” Ante up, ball fans. ● Fortuna Facing Cuts The City of Fortuna is facing a $435,669 shortfall this coming ﬁscal year and will have to make what a news release from the city today calls “signiﬁcant cuts to the City budget”: “The City Council is resolute about addressing this ﬁnancial situation at the earliest possible opportunity and is prepared to make tough decisions to regain the very conservative budgeting practices that led to the development of solid reserves for the City over the past 20 years. The Council has also stated that use of reserves to provide services over the next ﬁscal year is not desired and will only be the last option.” Regan Candelario, who has been the city manager since September last year, said by phone this afternoon that where the cuts might occur has not been decided yet. He said staff will be looking at all areas of city government for ways to trim expenses. Candelario said some charts will be up by the end of today on the city’s website detailing “some basic stuff about recent increases in health care costs, retirement beneﬁts, gas” and so on. ● Fresh from our Boat to You DUNGENESS CRAB OPEN THURS - SUN (market and weather permitting) 11am - 6pm • 839-9059 Corner of Central & Reasor, McKinleyville AND OPEN 365 DAYS Large phó $799 443-6812 • 5AM-9:30PM 2916 Central at Henderson, Eureka www.HappyDonutsAsianFood.com northcoastjournal.com • NORTH COAST JOURNAL • THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 9 On The Waterfront Now A national symposium provides a fresh view for Humboldt’s oceanfront future By Ryan Burns inter-related challenges, trying to strike a balance between commerce, the environment