10.7.08 McKinleyville Press
By John Frederick
Last week’s guest opinion by Pete Nichols, the Executive Director of the Humboldt Baykeepers, was an attempt to try to discredit Dennis Hunter by laying smoke screens to mask the truth. He tried to make these smears look like the truth. Disgusting. Blaming Dennis for the problems at the Eureka Ice plant, when in fact Dennis did not operate nor manage that facility, is a smear. Stating that Dennis has not offered a solution to the problem of supplying ice to the fishermen – a smear. The ice plant is being rehabilitated and Pete Nichols has nothing to do with that. Acting as though the Humboldt Baykeepers actually care about the fishermen is a joke.
The Humboldt Baykeepers are no friends of the fishermen.
To state that the last place the fate of the fishermen should lie is in the hands of the harbor district is just so much BS. Wait until these people run someone against Dennis Hunter and watch them state how the fishermen are a prime concern for the harbor commissioner wanna-be. Just say whatever works to further your cause.
When the Woodley Island Marina needed to be dredged because the boats were bumping the bottom at low tide, the Humboldt Baykeepers threatened a lawsuit because they wanted the dredge spoils tested for toxins. After the Harbor District spent $200,000 for the testing, all the while delaying the dredging and boats were being damaged, no toxins were found. The harbor district has agreed to suspend using the pipe to the dunes for beach disposal of the spoils at a cost of $3 million, and now will take the spoils out 3 miles to the approved dredge disposal site at a cost of $10 million. So should we taxpayers appreciate the Humboldt Baykeepers taking care of the bay? That would be a no.
Blaming Dennis Hunter for a fishing vessel that sunk in the south bay is another smear. Dennis never owned the boat and certainly did not own it at the time it sank. Stating that “Hunter Enterprises had dodged the massive fines that could/should have been his fate” – they did not own the boat so just how does that logic work? I sell Pete Nichols my car and he gets drunk and hurts someone and I am to blame? That is the nonsense reasoning Pete Nichols uses.
So what was that guest opinion all about? Pete Nichols wants to make Dennis Hunter look bad, as though he is derelict in his duties as a harbor commissioner. Pete Nichols wants to get Dennis Hunter off the harbor commission so that nothing will be built unless it is for recreation or conservation. No marine terminal, no harbor improvements, no big freighters and let’s just put another shovelful of dirt on the railroad. Let’s just stop all job creation activities. Let that school enrollment go down because the parents of those children have to move out of the area to find a job and raise a family. Let those doctors move out of the area because there are not enough employers with qualified health care plans to keep them interested in the area. We don’t need no stinking jobs.
And by the way, it is not the Bay District, it is the Humboldt Bay (the area of jurisdiction) Harbor Recreation & Conservation District, sometimes shortened to the harbor district. They are Harbor Commissioners, not Bay Commissioners. Development of the harbor is the main concern of the State of California. If you need proof take a look at the Harbors and Navigation Code for the State of California. This is the how and why of the Harbor District’s formation. Check out the California Harbors and Navigation Code, Section 4061. The “board” referred to is the County Board of Supervisors:
“If the commission, after a careful survey, investigation and examination, finds and reports to the board that the improvement, development or protection of the harbor is not practicable, or that it would involve too great an expense, its report shall be filed, and if it is approved by the board, the harbor commission shall cease to exist. If the commission finds that the harbor can be improved, developed
or protected, and that the public will be benefited by its improvement, development or protection, and the cost will not be disproportionate to the benefits to be derived, it shall provide detailed plans and specifications for the best and most feasible plan of improvement, development or protection of the harbor.”
It will be interesting to see how the vote comes out on the Marine Terminal Improvement Project which would fulfill the requirements laid down by the state. Stay tuned for further developments.