Saturday, March 31, 2007

Latest On PL/Scopac Bankruptcy Hearings

"Scopac doesn't folow the rules, the rules follow Scopac." said Kathryn Coleman, attorney for Scopac (a PL subsidiary).

That gem of a quote came from yesterdays hearing on whether or not Scopac is a "Single Asset Real Estate" (SARE) debtor. If the judge finds Scopac to be a SARE the company would have to file a reorganization plan within 30 days according to the Eureka Reporter.

I've heard nothing new on the venue debate.

The Ad Hoc Noteholders committee, who Scopac is indebted to, wants to foreclose on Scopacs 220,000 acres of land within a matter of months according to Hanks Sims of the North Coast Journal.

"Lets bring on the battle we all know is going to happen." Evan Flaschen, attorney for the Ad Hoc Noteholders committee.

During the hearing Flaschen reiterated the Noteholder committees claim, "We just want to get back to responsible and sustainable levels of harvesting."

They are borrowing our own rhetoric. This shows the recognition on the part of the Noteholders committee that environmental defenders must be accounted for in their buisiness equation.

As Flaschen has said of the Noteholders- “We're not tree huggers. We're businessmen.”

And the defenders of Humboldt Countys forests are a force to be reckoned with.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Few Nights Ago

When I got to my shelter I dropped my pack and took off my jacket to cool down. That’s when I heard voices coming from the next ridge over. My first thought was, ‘Did they see my light?’

I couldn’t see any light coming from their direction. I wanted to cook my dinner of catfish but didn’t want these folks to know I was there.

Then the shouting started, “We’re surrounded! Load the 57 magnum!” followed by a person imitating gunfire. “I’m too young to die, I’ve got family back home” Brbrbrbrbrbr “Tell my family I love’em Johnny!” Bbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbr.

‘Just some kids playing in the woods’ I thought. ‘But still, I don’t want’em to see me. ‘

More talking over there.

Then a guy yells out, “If there’s anyone who can hear me (pause) within a 20 foot, no, 20 yard radius say something because I’m completely lost”. By the way he was talking it sounded like he was in his late teens or early twenties.

I waited a couple seconds to make sure that no one else was around before I responded.

“You don’t know where to go?”

“No” he hollered back.

“Follow the ridge downhill ‘til you get to the trail”.

“Down the hill?”

“No, follow the ridge down.” I yelled. “Do you have a light?”

“I got a lighter,” he flicked it on. “Can you see me?”

“Yeah I can see you”

“I’m standing on a big log with a stick for a gun and I don’t have any shoes on. I was planning on staying out here for three days,” he said “I threw my shoes away.”

At this point he has pretty much confirmed my suspicion that he is tripping on some kind of hallucinogen.

I think, ‘OK, he’s a wingnut, but I have to help him so he doesn’t die of hypothermia.’

“It’s gonna rain tonight.” I yelled.

“It is?”

“Do you want me to come over and show you where the trail is?”

He yelled back, “You’re not an Iraqi are you?”

“No, I’m not an Iraqi! Not that I have anything against Iraqis. Are you gonna be cool with me if I come over?”

“Yeah, I’ll be cool. Why can’t I just follow your voice?” he asked.

“Cuz there’s a gulch between me and you.”

He paused then muttered, “God I’m so stupid, stupid”

I begin to make my way over to him. Following skinny trails through the ferns and crossing big fallen logs high above the creek. I hear him talking to himself again. I holler to him, “Do you have supplies?”

“Yeah I’m gonna survive!” he said defiantly

“No - SUPPLIES, do you have SUPPLIES?”

He doesn’t hear me because he’s shouting too. Then I realize that this guy might not be able to make it out of the woods tonight in the shape he’s in. I decide to bring him a tarp, blanket and water. Lucky for him I salvaged some pretty good tarps and a dry blanket in the past few days from abandoned camps.

On my way to get the stuff I heard him talking out loud. “I’m sick of robbing, I’m sick of being a robber, a thief.”

Then he calls out, “Are there any big poisonous spiders in this jungle?”

“Not really,” I responded.

“What about brown recluses?”

“Not many, I wouldn’t worry about it” I said.

He freaks out a little about spiders and other creepy crawlies for a moment then he changes the subject.

“I could just do somersaults down the hill.”

I went up to the stash and then decide to go further and get the dirty frying pan that some campers had left behind a few days ago so I could wash it in the creek. I grabbed a sleeping pad and the blanket and roll them in a tarp and tie it off with some cord. I start back down the hill.

Then he starts sounding off in military fashion,
“ Sound off 1-2, sound off 3-4, sound off 1-2-3-4 3-4!”

I call out, “Hey soldier.”

“Yes Sir!”

“You need some water?”

“I have a container but it’s empty,” he says.

“I’ll bring you some.”

“I bet I could just somersault down this hill,” he says again.

I go down and cross the creek. For a second I consider bringing the pan along in case I have to defend myself. I decide against it, too easy to accidentally kill the guy if I hit him in the head. Can’t have this guy dieing in my area.

I start to head up a trail that will bring me up to the ridge he’s on. As I approach his location I call out, “Where are you?”

No response.

“Can you hear me?” I shout.


I got very quiet and turned my light off. I was started to wonder if he was crouching in the bushes somewhere close by, afraid of me. The inherent danger in the situation became palpable.

I give out a loud howl.

“I can’t hear you,” he shouts. He’s still a ways off.

I continue up to the ridge and suddenly I’m on a gravel trail. This guys lost within 50 feet of a main trail.

I get closer to him by walking on wind felled trees. When I finally see him he’s about ten feet away from me. Fairly big and tall but not overweight. He’s carrying a pretty big stick. He’s got blondish buzzed hair and a few days worth of stubble. He’s dressed in typical suburban clothes, jeans and a sweatshirt but without shoes. Looks to be in his early twenties.

“Everything all right?” I ask

“Yeah”, he says. “I’ve been thinking a lot about my past. I’m always ordering my friends around, making them do this or that. Cokes never had this kind of effect on me before. “

“I wanted to come out here and stay for three days.”

I introduce myself. “My name’s _______.”

“I’m Ted,” he says.

“Are you tripping?” I ask.

“I took some coke and speed,” he says.

“Someone said I couldn’t make it so I just jumped out of the car with a bag of Fritos and a water bottle.”

“You’ve been out here all day?” I ask

“Yeah. What are all those lights, are those people?” He points toward the horizon.

Those are just houses I tell him.

“Man I’m glad you’re here,” he says. “I thought I was surrounded by enemies. They look like people coming at me with swords.”

“I guess I don’t need this anymore”, he says, brandishing the stick. “It was for defending the castle.” He throws it down into the ferns.

“Man, I went kind of crazy.” He points to his bare feet and ankles.
I shine my light on his feet and see that he has been drawing designs on them with a ballpoint pen. Then he shows me his hands and forearms. On one arm is a devilish looking face and the word “cruz”.

On his wrist is a swastika. I hide my shock and disapproval.

On his other arm are designs and words too. On that wrist he has written “suicide soon”.

Oh man…

“I need to use a phone.” he says, “I need to call my dad and tell him went I crazy and that I need a ticket back home.”

I think about the cell phone in my pocket but hold my tongue. I’m not gonna give this guy anything but the bare essentials of survival, water and shelter.
I offer him the tarp and blanket but he refuses,” I need to use a phone,” he says.

“Were you in the military?” I ask.

“Yeah, for two years.”

“Did you serve?”

“ I was over there but didn’t see any real action. My cousins are still over there.”

He starts telling me about a girl he met here in Humboldt. Her parents own a country club he says. He thinks she’ll help him if he calls her. I doubt it but say nothing.

”Let’s get going,” he says.

We work our way to the trail and head towards the road. Along the way he keeps saying, “ow, ouch,” from walking on the sharp gravel. Then “Pain, misery, suffering. This worlds full of it.” He pauses. “But Jesus went through a lot worse, he died for us.”

“Yep” I say, “a lot of people are suffering.”

“But Jesus went through a lot worse,” he responds.

“Crucifixion’s a helluva thing.” I say

“They still do it in some countries,” he says, “I saw it on Real TV.”

I lead him down to the edge of the park where his shoes are waiting in a trashcan.

“I’m gonna turn back,” I say, “Have a good one.”

“Thanks,” he says.

New Blog- Humboldt County Forest Monitor

I have started a new blog that will focus specifically on questionable timber harvest plans and forest practices in this region(click here to view). I will add a link in the sidecolumn soon. Due to the large quantity of clearcut logging operations and the few numbers of people monitoring them, the content of this blog will be focused on the most egregious plans.

Monday, March 26, 2007

April 13th Day Of Action Against Sierra Pacific Industries

From Forest Ethics website:
"On April 13, we’re launching the first major action in our public campaign against SPI. Our “Sierra Chainsaw Massacre” Day of Action will expose SPI’s destructive practices."

Locally, SPI is a large contributer in the destruction of Oldgrowth forests. The company is currently logging 129 acres of Oldgrowth Douglas Fir forest in Davis Creek and Bear River, near the coastal town of Petrolia, Ca. They have two more logging plans being reviewed and one that was rejected but will likely be revised and re-filed at some point.

SPIs first mill is in Manila, and is still operating right now. They are bringing the giant logs there from Davis Creek. Trucks delivering one-log loads have been reported by several eye witnesses (no pictures taken).

The company makes widespread use of clearcutting, usually followed by spraying cancer causing herbicide .

Stay Tuned.

Waterfront Greens Press Release

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Attention: For Immediate Release

Waterfront Greens Insist on Progressive Policies from Congressman Thompson

At their meeting yesterday afternoon, the Waterfront Greens voted unanimously to adopt a resolution detailing their concerns over the lack of meaningful action by Congressman Mike Thompson on a host of issues related to the war and the erosion of civil liberties.

This resolution will be brought directly to Thompson’s doorstep with the Waterfront Greens continuing their participation in the growing Dream Big Coalition protests at his Eureka office, located on 3rd Street at the corner of D Street in Old Town, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. every Monday. Members of the Waterfront Greens will deliver the resolution to Thompson’s representatives at Noon, then make themselves available for questions from the press.

"With the House vote this week in favor of continuing the war until near the end of Bush’s presidency, we really think our Congressman is not reflecting the will of his constituents, who want the Iraq occupation to end this year," said Jaime Rose, the Chair of the Waterfront Greens. "We see representatives like Barbara Lee standing up for what’s right and progressives on the North Coast deserve no less. Impeachment of this President is not off the table by a long shot."

In addition to calling for support for Woolsey’s HR 508 to end occupation this year and require reparations to the Iraqi people, the Waterfront Greens cited a raft of populist legislation which Congressman Thompson has yet to sign on with to repeal the President’s ability to seize control of state National Guard units, require investigation of torture and other abuses by US intelligence agencies, to restore habeas corpus, prevent abuse of privacy and preclude the opening of mail without warrant.

"Where was our representative when torture was funded by the Congress and outsourced to gulags overseas?" said Xandra Manns, the Treasurer of the Waterfront Greens. "We must question what our country stands for when these outrageous crimes are allowed to go on and on without bringing the perpetrators to justice."

While Congress gets the weekends off for the politicians to return home to their districts, Congressman Thompson has so far rejected calls by the Dream Big Coalition to hold public town hall meetings in Eureka to answer these questions face to face.

"If this is our Congressman, he should make himself available to all the people," said Martha Hart, the Co-Chair of the Waterfront Greens. "These weekly protests at his offices across the district will only turn into sit-ins because he refuses to address our issues without spinning, deflecting, delaying and confusing the issues."

Waterfront Greens members also pointed out the conflict between Thompson’s sudden leadership of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence and his sizable contribution from Lockheed Martin in the last election.

"Pay to play politics must not be tolerated if we are to be a democracy," said Maria Hershey, Historian of the Waterfront Greens. "We need an investigation of how intelligent our intelligence agencies really are after telling us about the weapons of mass destruction we never found in Iraq."

The meeting also addressed progress on local issues such as police review, election reform, genetic pollution and the fantastic work already done through the new Adopt-A-Park program for the South Fork of Cooper Slough at the corner of 16th and J Street. Plans are in the works as well to expand the ongoing yard tree planing program and introduce a Community Garden in Old Town, as well as to issue a comprehensive Legislative Agenda outlining holistic solutions to community problems.

The Waterfront Greens are grassroots Green activists from Northwestern Eureka, Samoa, Fairhaven and Indianola committed to the implementation of a populist agenda of sustainability and social justice using the politics of empowerment to break the stranglehold of the two-party system. Their next meeting is on Saturday, April 7th at 1:30 p.m. at Has Beans Café, located at 2nd and I Street in Old Town Eureka. Call 441-0702 for more information.

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