Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Maxxam Decides to sell Scotia in 2007, Avoids Local News Coverage.

Associated Press writer Lisa Leff recently wrote a story saying that Maxxam has decided to sell the Pacific Lumber Company town of Scotia, Ca. in 2007. Seems to be no mention so far in the local newspapers.

Notable paragraphs from the AP article:

In the past five years, the company has closed two mills, repeatedly threatened bankruptcy and laid off hundreds of employees. Some worry whether selling Scotia signals that PalCo is preparing to leave town altogether, making buying a house there a risky investment.

"It's at the point here where the people don't know if they will have a job next week or not," said
[Mel] Berti, who like many old-timers speaks nostalgically of the days before the family that owned PalCo sold it to Maxxam in 1987.

[ Pacific Lumber's vice president for strategic planning, Dennis] Wood pointed to the high-tech saw mill Pacific Lumber built in 2004 as evidence that it sees a future in the redwoods it would still own after unloading Scotia. The company is also renovating the site of one of its old mills into a light industrial park it hopes would attract other businesses, such as a brewery.

Still, his sunny prediction came the same day the company quietly laid off 90 more workers. Berti, a veteran city councilman in nearby Fortuna, heard about it from workers who came into Hoby's Market.

"It's sad to see such a beautiful community go out the window," he said. "But time moves on. You have to go along."


At 1/03/2007 07:39:00 PM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

Hey, Mr. or Ms. SAF -- I just cross-posted this on Eric's blog, but I'll tell it to you, too.

I have no idea how you managed to avoid the coverage of the Scotia sell-off in every newspaper in the county over the last year or so. It's been fairly consistent. Can you, a Palco watcher, really have missed it all? It makes no sense.

I'll go back and dig up links to all the coverage if you want, but I'll start you off with the stories from our own paper that I remembered off the top of my head -- here, here and here.

Really, it's stunning to me that you wouldn't have known about this before. Unless you don't read the local papers.

At 1/03/2007 09:19:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, I just came over to complain to the management for getting me into trouble, but it's my own fault.

But maybe they're going to sell it even more now!

At 1/04/2007 01:23:00 PM, Blogger saf said...

Hank, you have missed the point. The news you have failed to report is Maxxams recently stated intention to sell Scotia in 2007.

Thank you for forcing me to clarify.

At 1/04/2007 03:33:00 PM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

Really? That's the big news? That's like a page A6 story, maybe ... mostly because it ain't never, ever going to happen.

The commenter on Eric's site is right -- the EIR is going to be way too complex. But there's more than that. There's the whole Rio Dell annexation thing to be got through, as well as the complexities of the state Subdivision Map Act.

Have you ever known a project this big to be done in a year? It would seem that you are chiding local media for not printing Palco spin.

At 1/04/2007 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAF obviously isn’t trying to make a case that the town is being sold this year - its simply reporting that MAXMAM has made that announcement.

Furthermore, id hardly say it was A6 news. it was in Forbes, Fox news, ABC news, LA times, MSN money, Canada, Europe, Australia. but not within 100 miles of Scotia. It was reported in Texas almost as much as it was in California!

I also think it newsworthy that this article was not a PL press release. it wasn’t even on their website when I read it on the AP.

At 1/04/2007 04:58:00 PM, Blogger Hank said...

That big list of media outlets you name -- they didn't "report" that Scotia would be sold in 2007. They ran an Associated Press end-of-year feature on a unusual, quaint, dying corner of small-town America. The "news" itself wouldn't even be A6 news for any of those publications. It wouldn't be Z36 news in any of those publications. It's maybe A6 here.

Regardless, if SAF isn't trying to make the case that Scotia will be sold in 2007, and presumably doesn't believe it him/herself, why that headline? Why not something more SAFish -- "AP Swallows Maxxam Hype"? Why blame local papers for not swallowing it?

I mean, there's maybe a story, there -- did Palco people really tell that to the AP reporter, do they really believe it, and if so, why, given the immense bureaucratic challenges ahead of them, why?

I may do something like this next week, but it doesn't seem like the point that SAF was trying to raise. SAF, if I understand him/her correctly, was saying "Holy Moly, the deal's going down this year! Where the Hell is the local media?" Which is ridiculous, as I've said, because there's just about zero chance of the deal going down this year, the AP notwithstanding.

Tell me, do you really want me to do like the AP reporter did with this bit of "news" -- rush it into print uncritically?

At 1/04/2007 06:55:00 PM, Blogger noel adamson said...

On a more loosely related note, AP has a current story on Helios, Icarus and Hyperion, the new world's tallest known trees and the men who discovered them here.
story link

At 1/05/2007 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I would be concerned about any tree named "Icarus."

In the sci fi series Babylon 5 a character died while serving on a ship with that name. I would never step foot on anything with that name that flies, especially in such a badly written universe as Babylon 5!

At 1/05/2007 02:51:00 PM, Blogger saf said...

I see your point Hank but I think you kind of gave the headline your own meaning. I was just pointing out that the AP reporting that Maxxam had made a "decision" to sell Scotia in 2007 seemed to be flying under the local media radar. In hindsight a better headline would have been " AP Reports Maxxam Decision to Sell Scotia in 2007, No mention in local media."

Noel, Thanks for plugging the article.

Eric, I agree that Icarus is not the best name to give the tree but what can you do?

At 1/05/2007 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Hank said...

OK, SAF -- peace pipe! Keep on bloggin'.

At 1/14/2007 06:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all have got to be kidding! This HAS been in local news for a while. The city of Rio Dell has been looking in incorporating Scotia into Rio Dell for at least the past year due to PL's announcement to sell Scotia. Quit smoking so much of HumDope County"s primary crop, it has aktered your sense of reality.


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