News from the Center – Oct/Nov 2018

It seems like once a year the financially infeasible and environmentally destructive east-west railroad concept is brought back from the dead and actually talked about as a real project. Most of our readers simply laugh this off as impossible and believe it’s never going to happen. In a sane world that might be true, but look who sits in the White House today, busy dismantling decades of hard won environmental regulations and safeguards.


As we can clearly see, elections have consequences and potentially dire impacts on the planet. Critical elections will take place on November 6 at local, state, and federal levels. These elections can possibly stop the further dismantling of our very important environmental “safety net” type regulations, but only if everyone participates. For example, in Michigan, less people voted in the presidential election than did in the primaries. Had the people who voted in the primaries voted in the November elections, those electoral votes might have gone to the democratic candidate for president.

It’s time to take your right to vote as a responsibility, not just an option. Locally, the City of Eureka and the Humboldt Bay Harbor District have candidates running who have actually aligned themselves with the Trump inspired MAGA (Make America Great Again) movement. These folks are big supp

orters of turning Humboldt Bay into an industrial port and building the environmentally destructive east-west railroad to supply it. Read more in Tom Wheeler’s story on page 3.

In addition to our local elections, there will be other items for you to vote on. Propositions can be very confusing and titles can be misleading. Be sure to read the information provided in the sample ballot mailed to voters before the election. Also check the NEC website later in October where we will post the HOPE Coalition’s voter guide when it becomes available.

There are 11 propositions on the California November 2018 ballot. Here are three controversial examples:

• Proposition 3: California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative

• Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative

• Proposition 12: Farm Animal Confinement Initiative.

The Sierra Club states that Proposition 3 benefits campaign funders and can harm the environment: “Prop 3 is a pay-to-play water bond for billionaires.” See their full editorial in the Mercury News at:

The Sierra Club also opposes Proposition 6. According to their July 9 press release, “the measure is an attempt to repeal Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, passed last year that raises about $5.2 billion a year to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges and improve public transit service. The funding is raised through an increase in taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, marking the first gasoline tax increase since 1984.”  Also, the California Chamber of Commerce estimates more than 680,000 good paying jobs would be eliminated if this proposition passes.

Proposition 12 is extremely controversial and it pits PETA and Friends of Animals against Center for Biological Diversity, Organic Consumers Association and the Humane Society. You should read extensive arguments on both sides of this to make up your own mind. For more detailed information on each of these and the other eight propositions, go to

At the NEC, we’re keeping tabs on what’s happening with Last Chance Grade; Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests bill (H.R. 6596), which was introduced in Congress on July 26, 2018; two California state bills to ban smoking in our state parks and beaches (SB 835 and SB 836); and the changes being proposed to SB 1029, which was once called the Great Redwood Trail Act.

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our Summer Slough Social at Carol & CJ Ralph’s house! The hikes through Lanphere Dunes were a highlight of the day, as was the delicious food and musical trio. It warmed our hearts to see so many of our supporters in one spot. Don’t miss out on this next year—mark your calendars for August 25, 2019!

On September 15, the NEC coordinated our 39th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day! The same weekend at the North Country Fair, we held our Second Annual Endangered Art Show and led another fantastic All Species Parade. Check out the photos on pages 5, 8 , and 10 in this issue and on our website!

Coming up, mark your calendar for the return of the NEC Movie Night! Thursday, October 25 at the Arcata Playhouse, we’ll be showing the films Letter to Congress and Emptying the Skies. Both of these films are thought provoking and we plan on having some discussion afterwards. Doors open at 6 p.m., movies start at 6:30 p.m.