EAST-WEST Rail Grant Video and O Those Willow Creek Peaches

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group presented an overview of Trinity County’s recently obtained grant to study an East-West rail route.  Will this be the study that  finally drives the stake through the vampire’s heart?  I’m all in favor of studies. They’re nonpolluting, for the most part,  and they keep State and County employees off the street. So I say, Study ON!  Study it to death!!  Good training for fledgling Associate Governmental Program Analysts, or whatever they’re called these days.

Anyway, the recent program was a preview of the study.  The only concrete fact that stayed in my mind after the meeting (and I’m still thinking about it) is this: there are NO incorporated cities in Trinity County.  None.

Charlie Bean provided the following  two videos of the presentation.

HERE is Part One.

And HERE is Part Two.  Many thanks, Charlie.

Well, all this talk of Points Eastward coincides with the appearance, however ephemeral , of WILLOW CREEK PEACHES at Murphy’s. They had some last week  that were about the size of tangerines and really ugly,  but God were they good!  Eating-over-the-sink good.  Hopefully they’re be back soon. And all this talk of Willow Creek peaches reminds me of the several happy years I spent as a member of the Eureka Kiwanis. Kiwanis used to have a powwow during the summer hosted by the Willow Creek Club that everyone looked forward to all year. They had a pit bbq, excellent food and everyone had a great time and everyone went home with something.  I came home with a lug of tomatoes so big and ripe I carried them around to the  neighbors that very night.  And I don’t like tomatoes! but these were fantastic.

One year my big shepherd jumped into the river and couldn’t get out because he was so weighed down by his wet fur.  Ben Doane of the HCSO waded in and rescued him.  (Thanks, Ben! I’ve never forgotten that.) I don’t know if Kiwanis still has its Willow Creek barbecue, but go if you’re invited. Hearts are broken and mended, careers are trashed and salvaged and there’s lots of good eating. A lot of the folks I knew from then have  passed but I hope the Willow Creek club is still going strong. Good people.

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HARBOR GROUP MEETS WEDNESDAY! TODAY!!

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group will have its monthly luncheon Wednesday, July 27, at the Samoa Cookhouse.  The presentation will be by Richard Tippett, who will discuss the Upstate California Rail Connect Feasibility study grant. Fried chicken! Complete lunch for $15 or soup/salad for $11. RSVP to 441-1974 or to luncheon@humboldtworkingport.org

See you there!

 

HARBOR GROUP TO MEET WEDNESDAY JUNE 29- THA to present

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group is having its monthly luncheon on Wednesday, June 29 at the Cookhouse which will feature a presentation by the Timber Heritage Association. Those are the great folks who bring out the speeder trains on holidays and are working on a round-the-Bay tourist train.  

The flyer for the event is HERE.   Pork steak! See you there!

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Harbor Blues- They’ve Got ‘Em in Portland,Too.

We’re not the only port city longing for more business. This review from the Mail-Tribune, sent in by a Friend of the Blog,  summarizes the West Coast situation. Here are a couple of quotes that I found quite chilling:

From a shipping exec:  “Ports such as Portland don’t generate enough traffic for carriers to justify making calls “.  Really heartening for the Humboldt Bay Harbor situation.  Or how about this,  from the same source:

Zaninelli said officials who don’t understand the industry hire people ill-equipped to run carriers.

“People who don’t know what they’re doing appoint people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

Read the whole article HERE.

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Harbor Working Group to Present Forum on DREDGING

Talk about a timely topic! Their program on Wednesday the 27th will address the recent $7.5M grant and plans and projects for the Humboldt Bay Channels. Click HERE for more info. Fried chicken too!  Ask them for a bib. See you at the Cookhouse!

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The Harbor Working Group keeps on keeping on.

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group’s meeting last Wednesday (Feb 24) was not well-attended. They had missed their connection with the Times-Standard again so there was no publicity and the attendees were those like myself who mark our calendars for the last Wednesday on the month. There were less than 20 of us including Dan Hauser, Karen Brooks, Nick Angeloff, Marian Brady, Dave Hull, Richard Marks and the ever-affable Leo Sears.

(Background/Disclosure; I served on the 2012 Prosperity task force that recommended a study be done of the feasibility of an East-West railroad. It WAS done but hope springs eternal and the folks on the task force who disagreed with its finding that the E-W route was impractical sort of morphed into the Harbor Working Group which is also a descendant of the old Committee for Port Development. Pay attention, there will be a test. Personally, I’m an advocate of spending a billion or so to rebuild the north-south route through the Eel River Canyon with passenger-grade rail.  This is an investment  that would pay off many times over but I can’t get anyone interested.)

So those of us gathered at the Samoa Cookhouse heard from a knowledgeable gentleman named Bill Carlson who works for the USDA in Oregon and knows a lot about  agriculture and its markets. He considers PHB (an acronym for Port of Humboldt Bay)  to be the “most underdeveloped deep-water port on the West Coast”.  Grays Harbor, WA, near Aberdeen, ended up with a giant shipping and transfer facility run by the shipping giant PASHA, for which PHB was one of the competitors. PHB lost out because of not having rail access.  One of Grays Harbor’s big customers is a Midwest soybean co-op.

Currently agricultural products from the Central Valley are shipped south to Oakland for transfer.  This includes a lot of alfalfa and hay to Japan.  Almond hulls and walnut shells are shipped for use as abrasives (!)  All these could be shipped out of PHB,  along with rice to Japan.  The whole conundrum of the E-W scheme is: what is there to ship?  There is a Walmart distribution center in Gerber, where Union Pacific has 20 acres available for development as a ag hub.

The most striking assertion, to me, was that a route from Gerber to PHB could be patched together using existing rail lines which would only require 12 miles of new rail.  That’s a lot different and a lot cheaper than building a 200-mile stretch of rail from scratch.

I hope that the Group will make Mr Carlson’s presentation available on its website HERE as it used to do in the past but the website  looks like no one is paying it much mind. Still, you should pay attention to what these folks are up to. They just might be on to something.  12 miles??

I’ll be posting the meeting notices from now on. Last Wednesdays!

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