I'm a Libertarian living in Humboldt County, CA. I've lived here in Eureka since 1973 and joined the Libertarian Party in 1992. This blog will mostly focus on local political issues, but I may stray into state and national issues as well, when I can't help myself. Please post your comments by clicking on the "comments" link at the bottom of each post. Although I do moderate comments, you need not be a registered user to post them.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Humboldt County Sheriff Sued!!!
Humboldt County, Nevada, that is. I was taken aback when I first checked this Sacramento Bee article on a Humboldt County Sheriff's deputy being sued for illegal stops. Took a second to realize it wasn't our Humboldt County. Anyway, they're in trouble for stopping cars just to shake them down for money. I personally think this happens a lot more than is reported.I'm not saying it happens here so much, although I do believe most of the drug busts from traffic stops in Northern CA are the result of profiling and not because those arrested violated any traffic laws.
Got an invite from an old National Guard buddy yesterday to Like this Veterans' Party of America Facebook page. Not sure how serious of an idea this is but I'm not going to bite. What is it about veterans that makes them more knowledgeable than anyone else in regards politics? Sure, I can think of some veterans that seem pretty sharp. I can also think of some, like Senator John McCain, that I loathe. I can't imagine Liking, or supporting, a group just because they call themselves veterans. They'd need to have some specific stands on issues I support.
Good read in this week's North Coast Journal on how Obamacare policies are working out here in Humboldt. It has me back to being worried again.
Someone commented here on an earlier post that their old provider wouldn't accept the Obamacare policy. I called mine and asked if they would accept my Obamacare plan Anthem- Blue Cross. They said they would, but I didn't mention Obamacare. The article says other providers accept Anthem- Blue Cross, but not the Obamacare version. Guess I won't know for sure until I go in there again.
Looks like Assistant City Manager Mike Knight didn't get the promotion to Eureka City Manager once again. Isn't that at least the second time? I'm sure he's feeling a bit frustrated. If he didn't want the job he wouldn't have applied for it. The top pick is some new guy from out of state. I suppose there's something to be said for searching a large group for the best qualified candidate. There's also something to be said for going with what you know and someone who seems pretty sure to hang around. Maybe I take it personally?
I got a little miffed when I applied for a full time position at Juvenile Hall. I'd put in a lot of volunteer time prior to applying. I might have even had one of the permanent part- time positions at the time. Yet some guy who came in later and put in a lot less time got the job ahead of me. He didn't last long, moving on to work at the jail within a few months. Told ya so! The National Guard was like that, too, although for my first few years I never really sought promotion- heck, I never really pursued promotions. I figured when the time came to get promoted, I'd get promoted.
I'd put my time in and thought I might be ready for a squad leader position. I'd be next in line for it but some new guy- fresh out of the service- would join the unit and take the position ahead of me. That happened to everyone. Not just me.
I didn't care much at first. It did kind of grate on my nerves after a while. Having some guy who ran a sewer plant for the Air Force jump in ahead of me as squad leader of a combat engineer unit. Hate it when stuff like that happens, even when I see it happen to someone else.
This Capitol Public Radio article
has a map and graph with some of the state's current reservoir levels.
Ruth Lake isn't included. Interesting that the two down in the far
reaches of Southern California appear full. For a readable picture just click on the link provided and scroll down.
I've been reading more and more lately of water dowsers, or witchers, being hired to find water in areas of the state hard hit by the drought. Some say dowsing is a fraud. Others say it's worked real well for them. I don't know, but I played around with dowsing back in the early 80s although I didn't search for water. I was working at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant at the time. One day one of the guys from the shop came up the hill carrying a bent welding rod in each hand. A short end of maybe five inches was bent at a 90 degree angle to allow for use as a handle. Pretty much like the picture, but the short end was just wire and the pointing end was longer.
He'd hold the rods in each hand with the long part pointing to the front. As he'd walk along, every now and then the rods would move together and they'd cross. The guy would say, "Right here", and they'd mark the spot. They were looking for a water line, or some such, and he thought dowsing might work. For some reason I don't recall if he found what he was looking for. I don't believe they never dug up the spots he pointed out.
Since I had an interest in treasure hunting at the time, that piqued my curiosity and I went down to the shop and asked for a couple of the welding rods so I could try it myself. Right away I tried it on a quarter laying on the pavement. Sure enough, when I walked over it the rods crossed, forming an X over the quarter. I gave it a few more tries and it worked every time. Took the rods home and went to a vacant lot on the corner of Pennsylvania and Myrtle Avenue. That's where that fitness place is now across from PG&E. I tried it there and found the coin I laid down. Then I tried it without placing something on the ground. Yep, the rods crossed over every now and then, too, but I didn't know what they were reacting to. I consulted with my friend and master treasure hunter, Mike Wood, who was also trying the dowsing rods. He put them through their paces with his critical eye and finally came to the conclusion that, if you played with the rods long enough, they seemed to point to wherever you wanted them to. Maybe that's how they work?
Those of you concerned about fisheries issues may be interested in this Sacramento Bee Oped on the status of our sardine fisheries and related regulations. There's been some news stories lately about lower sardine populations, or their impending doom, depending on who you hear it from. The writer seems pretty knowledgeable about the subject.
The Times- Standard announces Eureka Police Department's "new" Most Wanted program. They'll be publishing pictures of thieves wanted by police. Except I don't think this is anything new. They were publishing most wanted pictures up until fairly recently. Maybe it's because they restarted them under the new police chief? Or maybe it's because these are just petty thieves and the old ones involved more serious crimes? Or maybe that last version was Humboldt's Most Wanted? I forget if it was Eureka's or Humboldt's. Regardless, I don't recognize any on the current list. I'm not sure what that says about me. Either I don't hang in bad crowds, or maybe I don't get out enough?
This has to be one of those must watch events. CNN reports a guy plans to jump of the top of Mt. Everest in a wing suit. If you haven't seen those wing suits, they basically turn a person into a super fast glider. I don't see how he can make it, but I'll be watching.
We watched a show on TV a while back about wing suits. Guys would jump from high cliffs and go flying down to lower elevations really fast- about 150mph. Awesome footage from their helmet cams. I don't have the guts to do it but it must be quite a thrill for those that do. One of the guys featured on the show ended up getting killed later on. Ran into a tree or something. They didn't show that one.
The San Jose Mercury News reports on a couple prominent scientists who say radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown will likely be little, if any, threat to those of us on the west coast.
As should be expected nowadays, the first comment to the story is from someone claiming the scientists are wrong, if not lying, and that one is just a shill for the nuclear industry. Where have we heard that sort of thing before? In this case, who is being the denier? In fairness to that commentator, if the radiation were a deathly threat to the entire coast, what would we likely be hearing from the powers- that- be? Perhaps the same thing we're already being told?
Headed down to UCSF Sunday. We started on a different route than usual. Instead of going down Henderson to Broadway and then to 101, we went up F Street to Herrick Avenue. I thought it might be quicker. It didn't seem quicker. Anyone ever note the time or distance difference between those two routes? I was actually surprised the rivers were as high as they were despite the recent rains. We even saw some boats on the Eel River. Still, getting to Southern Humboldt and Mendocino, it was sad to see so much brown. There was a bit of green, but the grass that was growing was awfully short. In patches, too. How can that be? It would be all brown but for a few patches here and there of green. Weird, but sad and scary. I'd noticed right after we left Eureka that my Air didn't seem to be working right. It seemed a bit warm. I've only used the truck's air conditioner once. I usually just turn the dial on the dashboard button to Air and that's more than enough, even when the outside temperature is in the hundreds. This time it didn't seem cool and refreshing. It felt weak and almost warm. I thought at first it was just me. I think it was around Laytonville I decided it was getting uncomfortably warm so switched to A/C- the air conditioner. That didn't seem to do any good, either. I mentioned to the wife something seemed to be wrong with the air conditioner. Maybe it lost it's coolant? As we got into Willits and pulled into the Taco Bell, we heard this buzzing, whirling type sound, as if some pump turned on. I figured it had something to do with the A/C problem since the sound came from behind the glove box where I believe the air conditioner is. When we got out of the truck I noticed there was no pool of water forming under the truck as usually happens when we stop. That's from water condensing under the cooling coils of the air conditioner. Yep, I think the coolant leaked out. So we drive the rest of the way with just Air on and it just isn't doing it. I was more uncomfortable than Connie, at first. I like to feel air flowing around me. It seemed to get worse when the sun was really blasting us. As we approached San Rafeel, Connie said she was getting a bit warm. Just have to suffer through it. At least it didn't seem to affect the mechanical operation of the truck. We ended up buying dinner at the Willits Taco Bell rather than do the San Rafael A & W Root Beer. Good decision. Those 7 Layer Burritos really hit the spot. I wouldn't have been as happy with the skimpy A & W burgers and fries. Later in the evening we thought about maybe having pizza delivered to our room at the Villa Inn next time. We'd never tried that in San Rafael. We checked the phone book and online and it looked like there were a number of places to order from, unlike Novato, where we used to stay. Some were a bit pricey, but Extreme Pizza caught my eye. Maybe we'll try that next time? Speaking of internet, I don't know if it was my laptop or the WiFi connection at the Villa Inn. What a pain! It seemed to work well for the first hour or so. After that, it took minutes just to check a page. Then it just seemed to freeze up completely. I kept getting a message that some script wasn't running right. Next morning it seemed even worse, at least after I got through entering my sweeps. Then it would stall for five or ten minutes on one page. I finally gave up. Got to UCSF a bit earlier than usual- a good thing. Parking was fairly tight already, at least for the bigger vehicles. If we had a smaller car we we'd have more spaces available. As it was we found a decent spot. Always a worry for me, and a relief once we've parked. Being early, we had a little more time to kill than usual so I went out to the truck and brought the laptop inside. I'd e-mailed Antich Automotive the night before asking for a ballpark figure on what it would cost to recharge the cooling system on my truck. I was hoping for a reply (never got one).
Didn't work. The laptop actually seemed to be working fairly quick compared to earlier in the day, but I couldn't even come close to logging in to the UCSF WiFi. Hate their system, but whatever the problem was, I couldn't log in. The laptop radio showed I was connected with a good signal. I just couldn't get online to log in. Waste of time.
Got out from the doctor appointment late. To add insult to injury we ran into a traffic jam shortly after getting off the Golden Gate Bridge. Probably didn't hold us back as much as it felt like but, since we were running late anyway, that was a bummer.
I wasn't looking forward to spending five hours or more in a truck with no air, but what else could we do? I ended up just cracking my window a bit. Wasn't really that bad, except the noise of the air and traffic was tiresome. Couldn't hear the radio very well, either.
So glad to get to Cloverdale. That's kind of a sign for me that we're out of Shitsville. Went to the Shell station in South Cloverdale and bought some drinks and food. I'm getting to like that place, but a little pricier than if we'd just bought dinner at the Willits Taco Bell.
Refilled with gas at Brown's at the south end of Willits. I'm tired of the Willits Safeway hassle. Prices are usually pretty close. I noticed as we drove by Safeway that the Arco station across the street seemed to have Safeway's prices beat. I believe they have last two times we went through there. Maybe we'll try that place next time?
We get to Eureka and the fog kicks in bit. Even before the fog kicked in the windshield started steaming up. I was thinking of trying the defroster. I'm not sure how much the defroster has to do with the air conditioner. I didn't want to make things worse, assuming running the A/C could make things worse.
We really didn't have much choice so I turned on the defroster. I was surprised that I could feel the air coming back on me. I told Connie maybe we should have turned it on earlier when the Air wasn't working well. Then we hit fog and I had to turn on the wipers. Problem with that is my truck's wipers are almost worse than the problem as they streak so much. A real pain and, yes, I have replaced them a number of times. Got hard to see, but we made it into Eureka and the windshield seemed to clear up as we got into town. Then a funny thing happened; As we're on Harris Street and stop at a light Connie says she hears the noise again- that buzzing motor type sound. Yep, I hear it, too. I was hoping the defroster wouldn't cause that same noise. Then, as we turn on E Street, we hear it again. We hear it 3 or 4 times. Then I realize the noise starts whenever I press the brake pedal. When we heard it in Willits I was breaking, too. Hmmm??? I thought it was the air conditioner. Apparently pressing the brakes does something. I'll have to ask about that when I take it into the shop. The brakes seem to be working fine, but maybe something about the way the brakes work affects the air or fans running? Didn't hear the noise when the fans weren't running. Oh, well. We made it back. If only there was an easier way to do this.