Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lost Logger Redux

One of Joe Blow's afterlives was a logger. In the mid-seventies he became aware of an ever-growing adversarial change in attitudes and in the law regarding the logging and timber industry. Most of this negative impact was believed to be caused by the ever-expanding population growth, including retired people and environmentalist-motivated, pot growing, so-called “back_to_the_land” transplanted Southern California Hippies. It was the Redwood National Park sale that really impacted his business and got his attention. The environmental movement, widespread propaganda against old growth timber harvesting, political glad-handing, new restrictive laws and new invasive agencies, he soon learned, were far more destructive and threatening than a few “pot farmers” trying to enforce a new way of life.

Joe fought the good fight, but in the end lost the battle and went the way most old loggers go. In Joe's case, in an effort to retain some dignity, he took his businesses out of state. Since “home is where the heart is,” throughout those years away Joe remained aware of how the timber industry and his remaining friends were managing. One of his concerns was how the directly affected communities were dealing with, what he considered a hostile takeover by the environmentalists and big timber companies. Where was the anger and the backlash? It seemed like the rough and tough timber man and woman just rolled over like a cowed dog. They took their generational losses as if it was ordained by God. Most local business people's attitude was, “Oh well, what can we do?” But, somethings apparently changed in thirty years. All that anger didn't just go the way of "old loggers." Thirty to forty years of constant battles and the struggle to stay alive and to defend and protect your family from repressive attitudes, laws and the narrow-minded, thin-skinned, changes people.

It seems turnabout is fair play. At least that is what's being reported by Heidi Walters for the NC Journal: Unhappy Camp - Reliving the bad old ’80s way up in there the hills – An excellent article on some of the “local” signs of the times.

Why it took 30 years for short-sighted business people to stop voting their pocket books must have something to do with the fact their Ronald Reagan experiment in capitalist domination didn't work for the small business person and land owner like they believed it would.

Frankly, this is a lesson all the pot growers, a.k.a. “pot farmers” should take to heart. Some people have long memories and deeply buried resentments. Lets not forget all the people that exploited all that easy money, either. Since they are the ones that ran interference for the growers and made the whole process possible. Now, according to the news in today's Monday, October 18, 2010, Times-Standard paper, 'A neighborhood problem': Eureka neighbors take to courts to fight grow house -- and win, you can run a commercial, in-house grow operation with 79 or more plants right in the middle of a Eureka residential neighborhood and the police won't bother you even when everyone complains. Why did it take 14 “plaintiffs,” people in the neighborhood, filing suit in court to get the operation stopped even when the Judge said:
“The evidence supports a conclusion that the nuisance conducted on the premises interfered with plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of their property,” Reinholtsen wrote in the ruling. “The plaintiffs suffered substantial actual damages, and the use of the premises by defendant and his tenants was unreasonable.”
EPD Detective Neil Hubbard concluded by saying:
With the seemingly ever-increasing gray area of the state's marijuana law, Hubbard said frustrated neighbors may be wise to follow the Hillsdale Street neighborhood's lead. He said this is increasingly a problem that falls outside of police hands, noting that the tenants at Ebenstein's house were not arrested nor charged for the grow operation.

Hubbard said he's never heard of a small claims case like the one brought forward by the Hillsdale neighbors, but would like to see more of them. [Emphasis added]

“The grow houses are really not so much of a police problem anymore,” Hubbard said. “It's a neighborhood problem. I'm glad to see (the Hillsdale neighbors) stepped to the plate and took this on. ... It's going to take that kind of thing to improve these properties. I'd like to see more of it.”
When Judge Reinholtsen concludes “that the nuisance conducted on the premises interfered with plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of their property,” and “suffered substantial actual damages” and the use of that property was “ unreasonable,” I'd like to know what is police business these days?

What does it mean when the local police start telling citizens, that when they've got a problem that threatens their health, children, life, and property that it's time for them to start taking matters into their own hands? Maybe our city fathers know something we don't and when it comes to cutting back on so-called “public safety” their only doing what's obvious and necessary. If so, we live in a rather convoluted mess, that's for sure.

If that's the case, then maybe it's time to take another look at California gun laws and concealed carry permit issues. If we can't count on the police, then the only ones left are “us.” Old loggers know what that means.

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