Jun 6, 2016

"Jen Kalt has this impression that I am this big corporation but it is just my 80 year old mother and me. Ace Hardware is a cooperative" the County and Ace respond to BayKeeper's claims



This is a link to  article on Baykeeper's website:

http://www.humboldtbaykeeper.org/news/press/1110-mckinleyville-ace-hardware-illegally-fills-drains-seasonal-wetland.html

I received a few emails and calls from people that work and live in McKinleyville upset with the inaccuracies in BayKeeper's claims.

I contacted the County Building and Planning Department and received this email response from Director.

"The wetland matter that Baykeeper is concerned about was not prompted or required by the Planning Department. The wetland fill/ draining violation matter is primarily being addressed by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Staff and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.  A required Emergency Special Permit was issued by the County to immediately remove materials placed in the wetland by Ace Hardware. A follow-up special permit is in progress. At no point did the County permit the filling or draining of a wetland on this property. The filling or draining of a wetland is not an activity the County of Humboldt can approve, until state and/or federal entitlements are secured by the landowner."

 I also with Mr. Kevin Jenkins, who co-owns McKinleyville Ace. He was very forthcoming and told me, " have nothing to hide."

He gave me some background. When Ace was looking to move from their former location and looking at potential sites, the site they chose, "they acquired it from Gary Rynearson."  The former site was an aging building and Mr. Jenkins's business partner did not want to invest money into the numerous issues with the building. Mr. Jenkins said that Rick Littlefield who expanded Eureka Natural Field's is finding this out.

Mr. Jenkins, Kevin Hamblin (who was the Director of Planning and Building at that time), representatives from The State Department of Fish and Game and three or four biologists checked out the site. "We discussed a low impact design for a retention basin."

The son of the owner of a barn on that site had created a jump-off for his motorcycle. "This was compounded by George Martin putting in gravel so he could drive on the road. He does not have money so Baykeeper won't go after him. I just built a two million building" and added that he does not have the money Jen Kalt thinks he has,

"Jen Kalt has this impression that I am this big corporation but it is just my 80 year old mother and me. Ace Hardware is a cooperative."

A month before he bought the property, Pacific Builders hired Travis Schneider. The County approved the plans. He wasn't directly talking to the County about every detail.

"There was heavy rain in November and December that year. Eugene Martin plugged the culvert so that water would not back up in his property. I am working with Eugene Martin to resolve this out of court."

There was some misunderstanding about when Mr. Jenkins was notified about bioswales and instead of anyone asking him about what was being done, "they assumed we were intentionally trying to avoid bioswales." Hattem notified Kalt.

Michael Van Hattem ', from Fish and Game, found some plants that were unique on that field but that field has been plowed several times before.

The photos were taken when the culvert had been backed up and it was then that the 60 day notice was given to Ace Hardware.

That December, "I called a meeting with the Water Board, Fish and Game, Ryan Sundberg, Rob Wall to discuss the situation."

Mr. Jenkins said the water is not flowing anywhere but on his property, it can be pumped out.

"In order for the Clean Act to apply, the water has to be declared by the Army of Engineers as water of the United States." It is yet to be determined of the Clean Water Act jurisdiction will apply.

Because it is a small community, people do not want to be dragged into the middle of Ace Hardware and Baykeeper's threatened lawsuit. Three unrelated people spoke with me, they are only anonymous on record.

One person told me, "Baykeeper is just trying to extort money from Ace."

Another person said the claims in the article above are a lie.

A third person who has a lot of respect for Jenkins and the jobs he provides and his community involvement and is familiar with the property and McKinleyville had this to say.

This person was blunt. "I think this is a smear campaign by Jen Kalt, the Baykeeper's director. It seems like she has a personal beef with Jenkins."

"The wetland in question is next to a decrepit barn." This person claims that the wetland in question is "a piece of horse pasture that Baykeeper has been trying to designate a wetland."

"Everything was approved a long time ago, so why is Baykeeper making an issue now?"

"The photo is not factual, it was taken after heavy rain."

"The area has been roped off due to Baykeeper's shenanigans, how can the culvert project be completed?"

"Baykeeper has not protested the conversion of the old Ace building to a new Eureka Natural Foods or the CVS building. The plants in the pasture also grow in front of McKinleyville High School."

"Ace pays it's employees #12 an hour and more depending on experience and benefits. If it closes, 60 people will lose their jobs."


Jun 4, 2016


THC thumbs up on the Baykeeper part; the rest remains to be seen

https://thclive.net/2016/06/04/environmental-group-sues-private-business-humboldt-county-planning-and-building-to-blame/

I agree with the Baykeeper comments and the hypocrisy of certain environmental groups.

We will have to wait and see if there is any merit to this lawsuit.

Link to a Mad River Union article confirming Eureka Natural Food's expansion and Mckinleyville Ace Hardware to move.

http://madriverunion.com/big-changes-in-mckinleyville/


4 comments:

  1. "Baykeeper" is nothing more than a predatory litigious org. They exist to sue the deepest pockets they can find, they are an extortion racket. They are disgusting, they pretend to be a 'public good' organization.

    Jennifer Kalt is a flat out liar, most publicly proven when she, on a panel with Bill Barnum, lied about him and his family. It was just part of her spiel, and he publicly corrected her, set her straight as to the facts and the history. That doesn't deter her.

    This harassment of Ace Hardware has been going on for a while, and is typical of how they (Barkeeper and Kalt, and the other predatory litigious orgs) conduct business. They're not really any different than Jason Singleton.

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  2. (Damn autocorrect thinks Baykeeper is not a word. Paykeeper - another nickname for them)

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  3. It's nice that Ace is a cooperative and there's an 80-year-old owner, but it's irrelevant to whether any laws were broken. And the number of people employed is not relevant to whether laws were broken or not.

    The anonymous comments all come across as smears themselves. They don't add anything to the reporting because they're worthless observations without attribution.

    All of this gets in the way of an otherwise OK report.

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    1. Unknown, we are going to disagree on this one. I do not know how long you have lived in this area but Baykeeper sues certain businesses. We dont need non profits with one employee selectively suing businesses as a way for certain activists to make a living. We have enough state bureaucracy and if thete is a violation, let them handle it.Baykeeper did not have the same zeal or issue with the environmental damage by pot. Baykeeper's article had errors. Why do you have a problem with anonynmous comments when you yourself comment anonymously. Do you have a problem with so called anonymous blogs that do nothing but smear people? Baykeeper has to prove,yet, laws were broken. Do they ever donate any money to a charitable cause from any lawsuit/settlement that does not benefit them or their staff. Until now, a largely sympathetic liberal media has never investigated Baykeeper or EPIC or organizations they agree with? Why is that?


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