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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Hole in the Headwaters Fund...To Make a Hole in Richardson Grove

After the sale of Headwaters Preserve by Maxxam operated Pacific Lumber to the State of California, $22 million dollars was allocated to Humboldt County to offset economic loss of the timberlands to the local economy.

$12 million came from the State earmarked for "Economic Assistance".

The $10 million that came from the feds was deemed "Direct Payment" to Humboldt County.

However, the citizens of Humboldt County had been bamboozled . The fund that was intended to improve "economic prosperity and quality of life for all Humboldt County residents" was pirated by a County bureaucracy elected for the special interests of developers. While displaced workers
were forced to work minimum wage jobs, timber community infrastructures collapsed(such as Rio Dell's wastewater cease and desist), and vacant homes turned into meth houses; the fund was squandered during a recession for grants and loans for promoting the corporatisation of Humboldt County.

Aside from using the fund to promote and study "Super Sizing" the Bay and Airport Terminal, county officials misappropriated these funds to serve the interests of Big Box development and to rip Humboldt County wide open for commercialization. "Among those(interests) were the Caltrans project to widen U.S. Highway 101 through Richardson Grove".

Even the local media was influenced with the public fund. "My Word" editorials submitted to the Times-Standard were discovered to have been funded by the Headwaters Fund by Dr. Ken Miller(Thank you Dr. Ken!):

A recent Quarterly Report to the Headwaters Grant Fund reveals money was approved to pay for assistance in “submission of approximately six ‘My Word’ editorials in support of the Richardson Grove Project.” Coincidentally (or not) The T-S archives show in fact six “My Words” supporting the widening through the ancient redwood grove.

Submissions came from:
J Warren Hockaday Ray Flynn Mark Loughmiller Kitt Mann Charles Fiedler Bryan Plumley

The campaign is a line item in their 2/25/09 Grant update report on their accomplishments to date:
“Hired a PR Contractor to manage the EIR summarization, a letter-writing campaign, media outreach, business and public outreach.”


“Assisted in submission of approximately six “My Word” editorials in support of RG Project, written by business owners affected by the restrictions.”

We taxpayers who funded the Headwaters Fund, and constitute “the public,” should have been told that a media campaign, including letters to the editor and six “My Word” OpEd’s, was being funded by public funds.

Essentially, The Headwaters Fund was a "gift" from the State to Humboldt County(at the time, predominantly timber industry workers)from economic impact of Headwaters Deal, with the intentions of "Economically Assisting" the timber community while providing a "Direct Payment" to the county to offset infrastructure loss. But the sale of PL's timberlands to the State came at a cost to everyone, from the tireless efforts from environmentalists, the loss of livelihood for timber workers, and the State taxes paid for the land acquisition by everyone.

In effect, the fund was a "Stimulus Package" for the people of Humboldt, not for the development interests of big business or big development(Does this treacherous tale sound familiar, as with the bank bail-outs?). How did they get their hands on our money, anyway? Who let the fox into the chicken coop?

Don't be a chicken. Say No to the Corporatisation of Humboldt!

Save Richardson Grove. Save Humboldt County!


  1. The plot does thicken with the fox guarding the chickens. Good work uncovering more corruption.

    Amazing how the silence from Caltrans since February is thundering; I am thinking they are swarmed with so many comments against the widening project, they are beside themselves.

    Caltrans, or their insiders must be planning how to get more money from Public Funds to continue their ill conceived ideas. Maybe ask Jirard or whatever his name is. He seems to have his hands everywhere there is fishy stuff going on.

  2. Great points Misty.

    I bet they are out of money.


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