Friday, September 08, 2006

Any doubt what Local Solutions' agenda is?

Any doubt what Local Solutions' agenda is?

It's identical to the so-called "Alliance for Ethical Business."
A quick look at their websites shows the same roster of anti-Palco postings, the same claims to fame, including getting Gallegos elected and protecting him from the Recall. The same people involved, Salzman, Twombly, Ken Miller, Michael Shellenberger, the same agenda.

You've seen the proof of connection if you have been reading any of the posts on this blog -

The genesis of Local Solutions appeared in another "My Word" in the Times Standard. This one was ostensibly penned by Michael Twombly.

Maxxam machinations demand local solution
My Word by Michael Twombly
Article Last Updated: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 6:12:41 AM PST

The full text of his My Word in the FIRST COMMENT on this post.


  1. Maxxam machinations demand local solution

    My Word by Michael Twombly
    Article Last Updated: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 6:12:41 AM PST

    The Los Angeles Times reported recently on a closed-door meeting between Charles Hurwitz, CEO of Maxxam (parent of Pacific Lumber) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They conferred on the likelihood of Pacific Lumber's impending bankruptcy. The meeting included Undersecretary of CAL-EPA James Branham, formerly of PL and "broker of the Headwaters deal." The Times editorialized, "Californians may get to see up close how well or ill the revolving door of public service/private industry serves the public's purpose."

    Hurwitz, through his myriad of shell companies, took many hundreds of millions of dollars from this once proud, sustainable and responsible company by mortgaging PL's vast timber assets. He intentionally burdened PL and its spin-offs with so much debt that they cannot legally cut enough timber to pay off the approximately $100 million in annual interest on the debt while still covering operating costs. Rather than make up for this shortfall from the hundreds of millions he has taken from PL, Hurwitz has found it eminently more profitable and expedient to threaten PL's bankruptcy and the termination of hundreds of its loyal employees.

    His strategy is win/win; if the North Coast Water Quality Control Board holds to the protections of the Headwater's agreement, PL goes bankrupt and Hurwitz walks away with his hundreds of millions (and probably sues the state). If the Water Quality Control Board gives in and allows the Eel and Freshwater cuts, Hurwitz takes the trees and prepares for bankruptcy a year later.

    What is clear is that CEO Hurwitz needs to keep our PL timber workers and their families anxiously advocating for Maxxam's interests while he engineers PL's bankruptcy and their termination.

    This paper chose to poke fun at "La La Land" in a subsequent editorial, rather than ring the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy alarm bell. But more than 50 citizens, landowners and even former PL employees spoke before the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday, clearly and eloquently detailing Maxxam's bankruptcy strategy. They recounted the number of companies which have been purchased by Maxxam, only to be looted into bankruptcy, their pension plans emptied, their assets mortgaged, and finally their employees terminated. They warned the board that Hurwitz, master of junk bond piracy, had already enriched himself by borrowing on PL's timber assets and then moving the money to Maxxam, anticipating PL's bankruptcy.

    It is heartening to see this maturing political awareness of Humboldt citizens just as so many saw through Maxxam's failed attempt to buy the recall of District Attorney Paul Gallegos in 2004. Charles Hurwitz believes that he will be able to obfuscate, frighten, misdirect and divide our community and keep his stolen profits, leaving Pacific Lumber in financial shambles. He believes that Pacific Lumber's past reputation, loyal workers and former positive influence in Humboldt County will cover the stink of his strategy, coupled with his assumption that no one will be able to understand and uncover his financial manipulation and the money trail leading directly to his pockets.

    I believe we need to join together to defeat Maxxam's strategy and to make Humboldt County's forests and timber industry permanently sustainable.

    To do this, we may need to accept the difficult decision to slow PL's rate of cutting and decrease its workforce to sustainable levels, despite bondholders' demands. Humboldt County must look clearly at the long-term future of Pacific Lumber and take direct control of our collective destinies. One promising option would be to allocate Headwaters Fund money to determine if and how we and PL's own employees could purchase PL through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Another potential worker retraining solution under consideration is nurturing forest and watershed restoration industries in the county.

    Our community is coming to better understand what Maxxam has planned for Pacific Lumber and its workers. We are coming to see that we are all in this together against Maxxam, and that, if we are to survive Hurwitz' PL bankruptcy strategy, we must take control of Pacific Lumber's future today, because it is tied to our future.

    If and when Hurwitz declares PL's bankruptcy, this community must protect its workers by "piercing the corporate veil" of Pacific Lumber -- by going directly after Maxxam and personally after CEO Charles Hurwitz. The district attorney's lawsuit is one avenue which, if successful, could result in Maxxam being legally forced to assume the liability for the harms it has caused the county, the land, the water and PL workers. Other legal actions may have to be taken against Maxxam and Hurwitz if and when bondholders line up to clear-cut Humboldt County forests in payment for Hurwitz' billion-dollar borrowing.

    One thing is for sure, as evidenced by testimony before the Board of Supervisors: The people of Humboldt County are asleep no longer. Are we too late to save PL and our timber industry from Hurwitz? Will we be able come together to defend PL and Humboldt County from Maxxam's "final solution?" Our future as a community and as an economy depends on us finding an alternative (and local) solution.

    Michael Twombly is a founder of Local Solutions PAC, a political action committee; He lives and works in Bayside.

    The opinions expressed in this My Word piece do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard.


  3. The oh-so-ethical "R Trent Salzman" is emailing for volunteers and money for Nacy Abrams, Larry Glass and Ron Kuhnel. Watch out, city of Eureka.

    In a message dated 9/16/2006 3:32:20 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

    Clearly what happens in Eureka affects us all in Humboldt County.

    The current city council in Eureka has voted 4-1 to reject the funding for a public study intended to determine the "highest best" use for the balloon track property on Humboldt Bay. Subsequently they voted to cut short the public comment period on a zoning change for that same property, depriving citizens of their three minutes to address the council. This same council has voted 4-1 to oppose funding for the library, and they voted 4-1 against a resolution to recognize civil unions.

    It is time for a change on the Eureka City Council.

    Three dynamic and qualified individuals have stepped forward to answer this call: Nancy Abrams, Larry Glass and Ron Kuhnel. Now it is up to all Humboldt County citizens to support these candidate in their bid to serve on the Eureka City Council.

    Abrams and Glass are sharing a headquarters in Old Town Eureka and they need your help. They are asking for volunteers to put in a single three hour shift one evening next week between 6pm-9pm. If you can help, please call Kris Keller at 407-9407 (or the headquarters 442-9800), or send an email to: to find out how you can get involved.

    If you can not give of your time to support these council candidates, then please make a donation.
    You can do so online with a credit card at: and
    or by U.S. Mail to the following addresses:

    Friends of Nan Abrams
    po box 6935
    Eureka 95502


    Friends of Larry Glass
    po box 6247
    Eureka Ca 95502

    Give generously, the future of Humboldt County depends on it!
    (Please include your occupation and employer.)

    The headquarters is located at: 517 Opera Alley (between 2nd and 3rd and F &G) Old Town Eureka 442-9800


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.