Archive for the Humboldt County Category

Posted in community, Humboldt County with tags on October 17, 2010 by inretaliation

One of the perils of hanging out with people you don’t really know for many hours at a time:

I had no idea Jack Johnson had six albums. Do you know how long it takes to listen to six albums?  Four hours.

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Weak

Posted in community, Humboldt County with tags , , on April 27, 2009 by inretaliation

About six years ago we lived in a little cabin in the hills on the edge of the ocean.  We had a grand total of 4 neighbors spread throughout the hills.  It was beautiful, maybe even idyllic.  One night I woke up in the pitch black and heard a motor.  I woke Rhett and asked him if he heard it… he did.  We sat quietly trying to determine which of the serpentine dirt roads the car was traveling on and in which direction.  When the tone of the motor continued on unchanged understanding dawned.  Someone was running a generator.  From then on every night if we woke up by chance we could hear the phantom growling of the generator.  That is the extent of my experience with diesel grows in the hills.  It was irritating to move so far out only to hear a motor all night long.

NHS (Northcoast Horticulture Supply) is now selling WhisperWatt generators.  I find disturbing this blatant condonation of diesel grows.  If you live in the hills you can grow plenty in a greenhouse.  If you want to grow indoor move somewhere with PG&E.  Diesel grows smack of greed and indifference for the environment around them.  Greed leads to solecism.  Shame on you NHS, I had thought better of you.ldg5000

Perplexed

Posted in community, Humboldt County, politics on April 20, 2009 by inretaliation

Rhett and I went to the WoodRose for breakfast yesterday, and if it wouldn’t have been for the Independent on the bar I would have thought we were in SoCal.  I saw minidresses, strappy heels, big hoop earrings,  gold chains, 10 gallon Gucci bags, big studded sunglasses, saggy designer jeans, tight designer jeans, perfectly coiffed hair and blue eyeshadow.  All this might seem a bit p2020916shallow but I was a little taken aback.  Where were all the dready hippies, the long flowing skirts over patchwork pants, the smell of patchouli oil and body odor?  Did the hippies breed and come up with some highly mutant strain or did all these people migrate to SoHum for….what?

Don’t tell me they came for the weed.  I thought pot culture was all about bucking the system.  You smoked pot so you could get lost in the way things should be.  I thought people came here to go back to the land and get away from capitalism.  Did all those hippies have kids that rebelled against their lofty ideals but couldn’t escape the place?

If they are Humboldt County’s next generation.  Their parents didn’t teach them their trade very well.  On the front page of the Independent was a story of a pot bust.  8 people and two cars were parked at the bottom of Bell Springs Rd., where it connects with 101.  A sherriff pulled up and asked if they needed any help.  The smell of weed permeated the air so he called for backup and searched the vehicles.  He found 20 pounds of marijuana and $100,000.  All they had to do was drive up Bell Springs Road 100 yards and they would have been fine.  Oh well, as my grandfather would say, they have to pay their stupid tax now.

Our Land

Posted in community, Humboldt County, politics with tags , on April 2, 2009 by inretaliation

That one little word conjures up so many emotions for me.  My parents raised me to believe that it was the only worthwhile investment.  My mother also thought that its collection was the best way to save the environment.  She worked for a Federal Government agency that was trying to clean up the messes that logging had made in Trinity County.  She felt cheated when she found out that BLM leases some of their land to logging companies.  Tax dollars were being used to cause the problem and to clean it up.  She thought nonprofits such as Sanctuary Forest were much smarter than activists who insisted the Federal Government intervene to save the land.  (My sister and I thought it was hilarious that she was married to a millworker.)

With the county gearing up for the adoption of a new General Plan, it seems as if our County’s dividing lines are becoming plain again.  Change is soooo scary.  That doesn’t mean that it is not necessary.  I live around a bunch of really big ranches.  I love driving or hiking by big rolling hills and large stands of forests.  I have friends who recently went in together and bought one of these large ranches.  I couldn’t believe it when they were successful in ending their partnership with each of them having their own land and still being friends.  The ranch was made up of several small parcels.  Some part of me was a little saddened to see the ranch broken up into 4 separate homestead sites.  Two of the partners are now selling a total of four parcels that are across the road from where they are putting their houses.  Wells will have to be drilled and the rolling hills will be broken up by houses and outbuildings.

I have been accused of being a hypocrite.  I have my land, now no one else should be able to buy land around me.  I spent 7 years living here and working here and searching for available land before I found it within my price range.  I don’t mind people buying raw land and building on it.  I just want the big ranches saved or at least not broken up into 10 acre parcels.  It takes me 25 minutes to get my daughters to school because I like it that way.  I want to be far away.  I think one of the biggest banes of this country’s existence is suburbia.  I think there should be rural land and urban land, not rolling hills of track homes.  Cities should build up not out.  Or at least up faster than out. Rural land should be for hardy, resourceful people.  Those who are willing to wait and watch diligently for their opportunity.

In preparation for this post I listened to HumCPR’s meeting that happened on March 19th.  The people who spoke were very well informed. It is worth listening to, HumCPR meeting at Healy Senior Center I am not sure I agree with how scary they seem to think everything is.  They very seldom mention the fact that there are four different versions of the plan under consideration.  This is my favorite map to look at. General Plan Map I love seeing how the different versions will effect different places. (Especially mine)

How do we make room for all the people who want to share our lifestyle while retaining the lifestyle?humboldt-county-california-660973-g

Meanies

Posted in community, Humboldt County, school on March 26, 2009 by inretaliation

You know that John Prine song, In a town this size?  Well if you don’t, its about small town gossip.  Our town has its favorite juicy tidbits.  There are some people who are constant sources of good conversations.  Mostly though, we talk about our institutions, the store, the bar, the soon to open(maybe) nursery, the nonprofit groups, and the juiciest of all, the school district.

There are strong supporters of the school, and very strong detractors. The two groups seldom agree on anything.  Although, lately they seem to be finding common ground, in the maintenance man.  The district does not have enough money for a janitor, but because of the wisdom of state budgets it has enough for a full time deferred maintenance employee.  Deferred maintenance is anything that has been put off so long it has become a hazard, like the water system.  Only one person applied for the job, a nonlocal. He drives an hour and a half to his job.

Small towns have hidden rules as in, it’s just the way things are done.  It is easy to spot people who are visitors because of a million tiny things.  The way they drive, the look on their face as they walk into the store, you know stuff like that.  I am sure the locals can make them a little nervous also.  We see the same people so much we stare at a new face.  Not a, “I think you have something in your teeth” stare, a “who are you and what are you doing here”, stare.

Back to the new guy.  At first he seemed to be doing a good job.  He didn’t talk to anyone but he was making the place look nice.  Then he decided that he need to make sure things were safer. There are a lot of rules for schools, I mean can you imagine the lawsuits over hurt kids… scary.  So newbie decided to put cones up in front of the school gate and in the middle of the road, he felt that peoples parking, and driving habits were unsafe.  Extremely difficult to find fault with, but mildly irritating all the same.  Next it was the school garden, its locked now because kids would go in by themselves and that was unsafe.  We have to have a babysitter at all school meetings because that many kids running around after school hours is unsafe, even though the parents are there.  All mildly irritating.

He recently decided to push his authority over the line of mildly irritating.  He was giving the insurance lady a tour of the school grounds, and chris20weston20big20brother20hey20oa couple of preschool parents were pushing their kids on the swings.  When asked if he knew who they were he said no.  He should know, they are there three days a week.  There is not that many parents to keep track of.  Any one else at the school would have known them.  Preschool parents or visitors of any kind now have to sign in at the office to play on the playground.  I understand the validity of this rule at big schools or even moderate schools.  Everyone in our town knows everyone else.  Even if we have never talked to them we know who they are.  If one of the teachers didn’t recognize someone on school grounds they would walk up and introduce themselves, it does happen about once a year.  City rules are seldom practical for rural places and vice versa, unfortunately bureaucrats, and insurance companies keep trying to get away with one rule fits all.

Once a month the preschool holds a board meeting at the school.  We had requested that the principal share with our board the repercussions of the newbies day with the insurance lady.   Newbie came and stood over her shoulder as we asked questions.  He whispered something in her ear walked off, and two seconds later the fire alarm went off.  Uh oh end of the meeting we need to practice the fire drill.  Fine, I need to find something to throttle anyway.

School Daze

Posted in community, Humboldt County, school with tags , , on March 20, 2009 by inretaliation

studyingSTAR testing is just around the corner for school children across California.  My oldest is in second grade so this year she will take the test for the first time.  I live in small town.  Their are only fourteen kids in my little girls class, and it is a multi grade classroom. K-3  Theoretically this would be great.  Can you imagine the one on one time?  Can you imagine it being a part of the older kids curriculum to teach the younger ones?  It seems like you retain information better when you have to teach it.  Unfortunately this teacher sucks.

Ok I am being dramatic she doesn’t suck.  She is mediocre, unimanginative, dislikes her job.  My girl has been with her for three years, and loves her.  I found out this winter that my girl is behind.  Her reading and math are at the first grade level.  The wierd thing about this was how I found out.  I did not get a bad report card (all E’s and plus’s), I did not receive a telephone call, I was not asked for a parent teacher conference.  I asked for harder work and was shown the work my girl was doing with the first graders.  I understand the logic, the more kids are on the same level the less levels you have to teach.  This teacher shows up for school after I do half of the time.  She misses more days then most of her class.  We are a necessary small school so no pink slips are coming our way.  She has tenure so each infraction must be documented in order to be evaluated.

I took my girl out of school one day a week for some extreme one on one time.  I have received many comments on how fast she is picking things up.  I have to drive two hours a day for school.  My success at home makes me want to take her out completely.  My girl cries at the thought.

Notes have been coming home about extra homework because of testing.  I was told to have her read the directions for her work herself as practice for testing.  I have been all year why haven’t you?  I don’t want it to bother me that she is behind but it does.  I don’t want anything to be hard for her.

I think I liked school better when I was the one who had to go.

Spilled Milk II

Posted in community, Humboldt County, politics on March 17, 2009 by inretaliation
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photo courtesy of Unity Peterson

I am going to gossip now, nothing I write has been backed up by any investigative reporting.  I just know people who have worked at the Creamery for a long time.  Did you see the photo of Ghilarducci in the Ferndale Enterprise last week?  I guess the Ferndale Enterprise sent a reporter to Scottsdale Arizona were Ghilarducci is known to have a second house.  They knocked on the door and he answered.  The reporter said something like,”sir some citizens of Ferndale would like you to comment on the financial state of the Creamery.”  The photo was shot as he was slamming the door.  My sources inform me that Ghilarducci’s main crime was making the Creamery look better than it was.  Not long ago they had a choice to expand or be bought out.  They chose to expand, that is when they acquired the two other facilities in California.  the better the Creamery looked the bigger bonuses Ghilarducci received.  All this would probably have been fine if our little economic downturn didn’t pop the bubble.  It turns out the Creamery is slightly overextended.  The board is meeting with all of its creditors and it looks like deals will be made and all theoretically will be well.

Ghilarducci received a $95,000.00 dollar bonus last year.  Maybe that would have been the time to fess up that he was not being completely honest about the rosy state of affairs, but no he took his money and ran…. to Arizona.  He grew up in Humboldt County and a lot of the Creamery workers and dairymen went to school with him.  I guess they will think to check the books next time even if their friend says he is making them rich.

The dairymen are sure taking a new interest in the Creamery.  They can be seen with some regularity roaming around the Creamery site.  This is slightly unusual since the only part they used to be interested in was the office.  Can you blame them though it is their land that is the collateral for this particular business.  I can not imagine watching land my family has had for generations slip through my fingers.  Painful.