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!



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!


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!


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!




UBER is now in Redding, Eureka soon?

The ride-share program UBER is now available in Redding, details HERE.

The Uber website states that services are not currently available in Eureka but that could change momentarily when people start signing up to be drivers. 

This is certainly a welcome development for businesses and seniors, if not for the taxi services in the county. Whoever provides the best service will prevail and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I normally drive everywhere but if I can get a ride to COSTCO at a reasonable price WITHOUT HAVING TO LOOK FOR A PARKING PLACE I just might do it. Rides to Humboldt State, with its horrible parking situation,  are another possibility. 

Let us know if you’ve tried UBER, here or elsewhere. It SOUNDS like a great idea. And please don’t send us any links to the Kalamazoo story.  It’s horrible  but irrelevant.


Train Travel Inches Northward

The trains will soon be rolling again in San Rafael and elsewhere in Marin. Read about it HERE.  “We haven’t had passenger trains operate in the North Bay in any meaningful way since 1958,” said SMART spokesman  Matt Stevens.  “There will be certain areas where we will be running 50 mph, 60 mph and our top speed will be 79 mph.” he said of the testing. “Don’t stop on the tracks and obey all warnings.”


Aviation- The View From Fresno; the AAC Meets Today.

This item was forwarded to us by a Friend of the Blog and , while we don’t know what exactly to make of it, it’s definitely good reading.  After you’ve sampled it, you’ll find yourself wondering if it’s really from Fresno or from here, except that we don’t have a shuttle.  Incidentally, the County’s Aviation Advisory Committee has its monthly meeting today, Tuesday, at 6pm at the Prosperity Center, 520 E Street, Eureka.


Planes flying to and from Fresno these days are bigger – but that means fewer flights. Special to The Bee




When it rains at the airport here, it’s hard to find a passenger more pathetic than someone trying to get to Fresno.

I trudged up to the designated baggage carousel at San Francisco International Airport last Sunday night, less than eager to join the bedraggled looking group of travelers gathered for a promised shuttle bus to Fresno. The 30 or so people looked tired and defeated, as if they were about to join a chain gang. Once again, a flight to Fresno wasn’t going anywhere.


The reason: the dreaded “Canceled due to air traffic control conditions impacting our flight operations.”


The cynical among us interpret that as: When the weather gets a little unsettled at SFO – notorious for delays even when the rain isn’t heavy (as it was this night) or the fog barely there – the smaller regional flights get canceled first so that larger (and more lucrative) national and international planes can fly.


The even more cynical whisper: This flight probably didn’t have a large enough percentage of seats filled, so it was more economical to cancel it.

And when a flight such as this one, which was supposed to depart at 6:52 p.m., is canceled because of weather, the customer service agent merely sighs and says: No hotel, no meal vouchers, no nothing. Oh, and the next Fresno flight isn’t until 2:15 p.m. the next day.

SFO doesn’t just pick on Fresno, of course. (On this night, the Sacramento flight was canceled as well.) And other cities manage to get their licks in, too. Cancellations and delays can plague Fresno-bound travelers in Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas and Phoenix, all of which are Fresno connections for United and American flights. I’ve been stranded in all these cities at one time or another. (I don’t fly Delta, so I can’t speak personally for Salt Lake City, but I’ve talked to others who’ve been stuck there.)

But for whatever reason, SFO seems the best opportunity for a stopover in Traveler Hell. According to flightaware.com, the afternoon San Francisco-Fresno flight was canceled four times between Dec. 8 and Jan. 19. During that same period, it was more than an hour and a half late 15 times.


Here’s the frustrating thing: The potential for disruption has only gotten worse with the recent retirement of the smaller turboprop planes used by SkyWest, which serves Fresno under contracts with United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines and provides the lion’s share of flights to and from Fresno. Now it’s an all-jet fleet. As my colleague Tim Sheehan reported in December, that has meant a tradeoff for passengers: fewer options on the schedule but faster, more comfortable aircraft.


Before I go on, let me say that I am a fierce proponent for Fresno Yosemite International Airport. When flight schedules work, it is much easier to fly in and out of Fresno than drive to Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Yes, sometimes it costs more to do so, especially on some domestic flights, but I’ve also discovered that a Fresno fare is often in the same ballpark as flights out of the Bay Area or L.A. And not having to drive three hours each way and pay more for parking can be priceless.


I also think it’s important to support our airport. Good air service is a quality of life issue. If I had the ear of the aviation gods, I’d ask for even more flights – and the entrance of Southwest Airlines to the market.

But I’m very frustrated about the recent all-jet changes. It used to be that if a flight was canceled or significantly delayed at LAX or SFO, say, you had a chance of being able to get onto a later flight.

Now that chance is greatly reduced. With smaller planes, for example, there were usually three to four San Francisco-Fresno flights a day, for example. Now there are only two, at least this time of year.

And consider what it’s like now to try to book a flight out of Fresno through Los Angeles on United. There’s only one flight a day in this season at the not-so-convenient time of 1:15 p.m. So much for going through LAX to New York and arriving at a reasonable hour, or trying to get an international flight without a lengthy layover.

There are two United flights a day going from Los Angeles back to Fresno, but they’re both in the evening. If one gets canceled, guess what: You might have to wait another day to get home, unless you want to rent a car. (On a more optimistic note, United seems to be offering good options to Denver, with three daily flights from Fresno in winter and four on the timetable for summer.)

For my canceled flight last Sunday, I admit I was already a little cranky. I’d started in Athens, Greece, about 20 hours before, and after one of those slowly-dribbled-out four-hour flight delays dues to mechanical problems on my Frankfurt-San Francisco leg, thelast thing I wanted to see was my Fresno flight canceled.

Because I was connecting from an international flight, I didn’t hear about the shuttle at the gate, and the first customer rep I talked to didn’t inform me. It wasn’t until I’d asked to speak to her supervisor that I learned a Fresno ride was possible. (The lesson: Always ask about options.)

My fellow travelers were cranky, too. When the United employee showed up with a beleaguered-looking sign that said “Fresno,” asking us to follow her to one of the shuttle buses, she wasn’t exactly going to win a popularity contest.

The 12 other passengers who squeezed with me into the shuttle, one of two, weren’t in a mood to bond. The three-hour ride was sullenly quiet, except for the guy who complained about the crying baby.

All this said, I don’t want to be a total whiner. With airlines today cutting flights to boost passenger loads, air travel can be rough no matter what airport you fly from. On the plus side, I got home safely, which was the important thing. And I was thankful, actually, that the airline provided a shuttle bus for a canceled flight – something I’d never experienced before.

I don’t know if there’s an easy solution to any of this, either, unless all the people who drive from Fresno to bigger airports changed their ways, thus filling up those bigger jets and requiring more flights each day. Oh, and perhaps throwing in a new runway at SFO, too?

Still, I’m going public with my frustrations. If nothing else, it makes me feel a little better to vent. By the way, if you’re so inclined, share with me your own Fresno air travel woes by email or at www.fresnobeehive.com. I can collect them in one place – and maybe even pass them on to someone who might make a difference. And, at the very least, I’ll commiserate. Sometimes all you want to do is just get home.

Donald Munro: 559-441-6373, @donaldbeearts

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/entertainment/performing-arts/donald-munro/article55899150.html#storylink=cpy



“When you have bigger airplanes, it’s so much easier to get rebooked.”


United Flight 5555

Operated by Skywest Airlines dba United Express

Status: Canceled due to air traffic control conditions impacting our flight operations




City: San Francisco, CA, US (SFO)
Gate: 73A
Check-in Terminal: Terminal 3, Concourse F
Scheduled Time: 4:11 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016
Estimated Time: Canceled
Estimated Date:

City: Eureka, CA, US (ACV)
Gate: 2
Scheduled Time: 5:21 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016
Estimated Time: Canceled
Estimated Date:

Aircraft and weather

Aircraft: Canadair Regional Jet 700 aircraft #N773SK

Weather conditions: SFO, ACV


United Flight 2519

Operated by Skywest Airlines dba United Express

Status: Delayed due to severe weather conditions in our route network (Arrived Gate 51 Minutes Late – Diverted to Medford, OR, US (MFR))




City: Medford, OR, US (MFR)
Check-in Terminal:
Scheduled Time: 2:49 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016
Actual Time: 2:51 p.m.
Actual Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016

City: Eureka, CA, US (ACV)
Scheduled Time: 2:40 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016
Actual Time: 3:31 p.m.
Actual Date: Fri., Jan. 22, 2016

Aircraft and weather

Aircraft: Canadair Regional Jet 700 aircraft #N773SK

Weather conditions: MFR, ACV


Aviation News

A lot of hoopla was generated to welcome the “new” service at ACV yesterday (jet vs prop, bigger planes) but the Country’s Aviation Advisory Committee couldn’t come up with a quorum for its November 24th meeting. A number of important items were listed on the agenda for that day, including “Nominations and elections of HCAAC Board Members” and the annual presentation /status report to the Supervisors.  An additional meeting of the HCAAC has been scheduled for Dec 15, apparently to deal with that. It was mentioned during the non-meeting that the airport will be issuing a press release around Christmas to address drone registration and assistance  available from ACV and from the FAA.

Meanwhile the folks in Redding have added a new daily flight to SFO, the story HERE.  
Redding now has three flights daily to SFO, just like we do.   It is clear that community support is very, very important in luring air service to Humboldt.