“I don’t believe this board has a mandate to give away our assets.”

Humboldt Herald


The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Commission had a full house at the Wharfinger Thursday night, but it didn’t win them any jackpots.

Dozens of residents got up to oppose any partnership with Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest investment bank, to develop Humboldt Bay.  Many invoked the destruction wrought by Maxxam — an outside corporation that exploited Humboldt County to the detriment of locals — and suggested less emphasis on industrialization and more on recreation and conservation.

“My candidate [for the Harbor Commission] lost by 162 votes,” said Whitethorn resident Anna Hamilton.  “I don’t believe this board has a mandate to give away our assets.”

Supporters of the Goldman giveaway were also in attendance, though in smaller numbers.

“Some people are afraid of having something good happen to Humboldt County,” said Patricia Daily, who hopes port and rail development will take trucks off the roads.

After a presentation of the Redwood Marine Terminal Business Plan, Commissioner Pat Higgins called it unfeasible.  Shipping trends on the Pacific coast are down, he said, and expansion of the Panama Canal will allow ships to bypass the West Coast altogether.

Commissioner Mike Wilson asked the board to “seriously consider” retracting an earlier decision to move forward with the Plan, drawing cheers from crowd.

The Plan relies on cruise ships as the principal generator of revenue.  Higgins suggested the Commission focus on making Humboldt Bay a destination for travelers before relying on cruise ships.  He said the Plan “doesn’t sound like clover coming up to me.”

The public can submit written comments on the Plan thru July 26.

Eureka Reporter: Residents turn out for presentation of draft marine terminal plan