Worth Dikeman is the right candidate for district attorney
by Richard T. Twiddy, 5/30/2006
Richard Twiddy ... used to work for PG&E at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant. Recently he's got his name out there by being one of the members of the Humboldt Taxpayer's League who supported the lawsuit against the Eureka Redevelopment Agency in regards the Golden/ Vellutini project on the Eureka waterfront. He's also had a number of letters to the editor published on various issues.
A different view on the home depot corporation
by Richard Twiddy, 3/28/2006
Prior to mid-November of 2005 I had very little exposure to the Home Depot stores. I had wandered through the store south of Santa Rosa browsing, and only made one purchase, several years ago. In mid-November my spouse and I traveled to southeast Louisiana to volunteer with the cleanup after Katrina and stayed to continue the rebuilding efforts. We remain in the area today and expect to return home to Eureka sometime in mid-May of this year.
Since arriving here my exposure to the local Home Depot stores has been extensive and for the most part very positive. One example is the store in Chalmette. Chalmette (just south and east of New Orleans) was virtually wiped off the map. There is a Home Depot in the community that was open within days after the storm passed. No other materials supplier is open to this day. Granted, Home Depot is operating outside in their fenced yard and from a very large tent, but they are open and providing much-needed building materials to the surrounding community. For the most part, they have everything any other Home Depot store has available.
Another example: As you can imagine, with so many people evacuated there is a severe shortage of labor in the entire area. Home Depot, in order to staff their stores quickly, just after the storm brought employees from around the country, put them into trailers in the parking lots and continued to provide service to the community. Further, because of the rush for materials and hardware, they keep certain stores open 24 hours. In talking with the employees, they do stocking and other duties but are there to assist any customer who needs help. Slowly, the stores have been returning local employees as they have returned and resettled. According to the staff, not one employee has lost their job because of evacuation.
And finally, and this is a biggie, the local Home Depot in Slidell has provided the nonprofits working on rebuilding efforts with $5,000 credit cards to be spent at their stores without charge. Iâ€™ve seen this happen with the organization I have been working with at least two times (and there may have been more over time that Iâ€™m not aware of). I should also add that Loweâ€™s has done similar donations for Habitat. Moreover, Toyota has donated 50 brand-new pickups to Habitat within the Gulf region.
No other building suppliers or hardware stores, that Iâ€™m aware of, have done anything like what I have described above. In fact, many of the local suppliers are still trying to recover. Several have concentrated on specialties such as lumber or wallboard supplies, or roofing materials, which has been helpful but time-consuming.
My point is this: Home Depot Corporation has had the depth and ability to recover quickly and to provide first-rate assistance to their respective communities in time of need. Moreover, it has been my direct experience that Home Depot (and Loweâ€™s) stepped up to the plate when it was crucial.
(Richard Twiddy is a Eureka resident currently assisting with post-Hurricane Katrina cleanup in Louisiana.)
Home Depot versus local suppliers and hardwares
by Richard Twiddy, 4/12/2006
In a previous guest opinion I wrote how a large corporation such as Home Depot can react and adjust to catastrophic situations such as a hurricane or an earthquake much quicker than a local supplier or hardware.
I have seen the things Home Depot (and Loweâ€™s) have done in Southeast Louisiana.
During my time there, I also have some observations regarding comparison to the local suppliers.
We in Humboldt County have had the good fortune to have some fine building suppliers and hardware stores. Almost every community (Fortuna, Arcata, Eureka and McKinleyville or Garberville) can attest to this statement.
In my previous article, Iâ€™ve described my personal experience and decision that the local suppliers cannot react in any manner as fast as the large corporation, such as Home Depot, in securing and delivering materials.
However, Iâ€™ve noticed that Humboldt area building suppliers, under usual situations, will do well against Home Depot. I have not seen anything within the Home Depot that would be priced lower than locals such as Shaferâ€™s or Piersonâ€™s.
Moreover, Home Depot would never be able to compete with Schmidbauer for lumber quality or price.
And, in my opinion, Home Depot will never be able to stand up with Almquist for woodworkersâ€™ materials or tools.
In fact, the only thing that Home Depot will excel in is availability. The Home Depot Corp. and distribution system is far superior to anything Iâ€™ve seen in Humboldt.
When you go into Home Depot, you have access to almost anything a builder would need in one location.
My experience is that if one local supplier has something, then every other supplier in the area has the same thing. There is little selection at any of the locals.
And, when you need to order something that is not in stock locally, you have to pay up front and wait. If the ordered material is wrong in some way, then you have a problem which the locals refuse to help. Not so at Home Depot. They have an extensive selection and if something is wrong, just bring it back.
I have no stock with Home Depot but we need them in Eureka. God bless Rob and Cherie Arkley for attempting to get our community up to speed with the 21st century.
Humboldt Taxpayers League
Minutes of Board Directors Meeting
October 11, 2006
Present: Board Members, Phil Nyberg, Dick Twiddy, Sam Merryman, Art Chase, Bernice Huston, Jerry Partain, Howard Rien, & Vee Sorenson. President Gene Senestraro. Executive Director, Judy Billingsley. Three regular members, 8 guests (including 2 media- Channel 3 & Times Standard) Total attendance: 21
A motion was made by Dick Twiddy, seconded by Nyberg to support Measure X [Fortuna Elementary School Bond]. Motion passed.
Dick Twiddy stated his study of city expenditures showed many places where spending could be cut, thereby eliminating the need for additional taxes. Twiddy passed out a list of the Leagueâ€™s Propositions and Measures recommendations for review. This information will be released to the media.
EUREKA CITY COUNCIL
EUREKA REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Certified copy of portion of proceedings.
Meeting of July 3, 2007.
SUBJECT: Public hearing - Public Hearing â€“ City of Eureka 2007-2008 Budget.
Richard Twiddy, Eureka, added his support for public safety, and stated that he would like to see more money for the police department this year for neighborhood policing. He expressed a need to know more about the demographics of the city and the need to look closer at how people are employed. He suggested something must be done to bring in more taxes or bring in more businesses and to reduce the number of people who are working for the city.
Richard Twiddy said at 5:15 PM, 01 February 2007
I agree that Public Art is a difficult territory.
Too often the public who contribute to the cost don't get a say in what they would like! In most cases if a person buys something they have a choice, but with Art the choice is oftem made by others.
Of course most people who complain haven't been to meetings to discuss commissioned work before it is produced - maybe better public awareness of potential work is something to aim at? Locally we have quite a few new pieces of sculpture - some everyone (almost) likes. Others no one likes. Does anyone ever follow up after the work has been installed to see what local people think of it?
We also need to remember that taste changes with time, as can been seen with some classical music, which is universally acclaimed today, but which did not go down well with the public when it was first performed.
Another thing to remember is that we don't want to spoil natural beauty by putting a sculpture on top of every hill top! If every roundabout has a sculpture on it, soon no one will notice tham at all.
Are we being conned? - Often we are! One problem is that local Arts Officers will commission 'consultants' to find a short list of potential artists. The end cost of getting an Arts Officer to pay a consultant to find a well known artist means that the cost paid is often far more then the work could be produced for when there are usually many struggling local artists who would jump at the chance to produce something significant for their own area, and at oftem a fraction of the cost! Local artists are often aware of the local public too!
Art should stimulate debate and interest as well as simply be there to make the place look nice (or otherwise) but it will stay in place long after the 'artist' has gone home.
One main difference today is that often artists do not produce their own work, but get someone else to do it (yes, I know that some masters often got apprentices to work on their paintings), but too often now the famous artist is simply an ideas person and produces nothing!
I could go on for hours! Art is fun isn't it?
Continuation of Utility Users Tax
City of Eureka
November 7, 2006 Election
Why you should Vote NO on Measure "U"
City talks about declining revenues due to state action but fails to mention that Eureka's own Redevelopment Agency (ERA) has diverted, over the redevelopment years, $10,000,000 from the city's general fund. And, that ERA currently owes the city over $5,000,000, that is collectable! Remember too, that the Eureka City Council is also the ERA and controls the spending of both. Don't be fooled, by the Finance Advisory Committees (FAC) recommendation either, they actually recommended higher taxes, higher maximum, and for a longer time period. Then it was heard at a FAC meeting that in so doing it would make it easier for the taxpayers to defeat the tax at the polls! Remember also, that the two previous FACs included the option of the ERA repaying what they owe. That option was ignored by the council.
Don't be fooled, by the new option to lower the tax rate. The council has always had the option to reduce or completely eliminate the tax. Adding that option to the ordinance is a joke, simply to make it sound better for the voters. Remember this is a tax increase, as costs go up, so does your tax, businesses will increase their prices to cover their increases and the taxpayer gets a double whammy! The city has the ability to provide required services without this unfair, so called "temporary tax".
Agree with the Humboldt Taxpayers League recommendation and VOTE "NO"ON MEASURE "U".
s/ Howard Rien
s/ Richard T. Twiddy
s/ Eugene J. Senestraro
s/ Phil Nyberg
s/ G.L. Partain
Recall backers & opponents raise funds, trade barbs
By Kevin L. Hoover, Eye Editor
Aided by fresh infusions of cash, both sides in the recall effort against District Attorney Paul Gallegos dueled via press release and television commercial last week, attempting to undermine each otherâ€™s credibility. A criminal investigation was launched over confidential documents apparently stolen from the DAâ€™s office, while at weekâ€™s end, each side took time out to rally their troops and raise more money.
Financial disclosure forms filed Thursday tallied nearly $85,000 donated to the Safety Yes! Recall Paul Gallegos Committee by the Pacific Lumber Company this year. The forms list the donor as "Palco, an affiliate of MAXXAM." That brings PLâ€™s donations to a total of more than $154,000 since the recall drive began. PL also donated over $2,000 in non-monetary contributions in the form of hotel accommodations at the Scotia Inn and cell phones.
Other cash donors included Lewis Logging for Fortuna, $5,000; Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Ore., $2,350; Lonnita Will of Fortuna, $2,500; Rasmussen Wood Products of Blue Lake, $1,000; Richard T. Twiddy of Eureka, $500; and Gary D. Macy of Fortuna, $100.
From mid-January to mid-February, the anti-recall Friends of Paul Gallegos (FOPG)amassed almost $76,000 from 1,800 individual donors. That gives FOPG some $175,000 in total donations, from about 2,500 donors. The largest donation was $12,000 from Rob and Cherie Arkley of Eureka. FOPG took in a few other donations in the low four figures, but the bulk of the contributions, listed in an inch-tall stack of disclosure forms, are well under $1,000. Numerous in-kind contributions of artwork, clothing and other goods were also received for use as auction items.
Proposed city budget authorized
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/04/2007 04:26:07 AM PDT
Councilman Jeff Leonard said that much of the police department's man power is spent responding to calls, and asked about implementing a much-talked about community oriented policing program, which would consist of a team of officers that could do more in-depth investigating and some problem-solving-oriented police work.
Tyson estimated that the program would cost $500,000 to $650,000 to implement, and the Finance Advisory Committee was tasked with ideas as to how to raise those funds. It is due to report back to the council in October.
During the public comment period, Finance Advisory Committee member Richard Twiddy said he didn't understand why the city couldn't cut one quarter of a percent from each department's budget to create the needed funds. The suggestion wasn't immediately followed up on, and the budget was passed.
Committee charged with finding funds for Eureka
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 07/10/2007 04:28:28 AM PDT
At last Tuesday's meeting, Finance Advisory Committee member Richard Twiddy suggested that shaving a fraction of a percent of the rest of the city's budget could go a long way to coming up with those funds.
Ogden said an answer likely won't come that easy.
â€I suspect there's not going to be a silver bullet, unfortunately,â€ he said, adding that across the board reductions will only get the city so far. â€œWe've already done that so many times, it's getting a little old.â€
Proactive policing: Cure for Eureka ills?
Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 08/04/2007 04:12:36 AM PDT
At a previous council meeting, committee member Richard Twiddy suggested shaving a fraction of a percent across the budget from all departments to come up with the funds. Glass said he likes the idea, and isn't sure why it didn't get more consideration. Ogden, however, said he isn't sure across-the-board cuts are the best option.
â€The one-size-fits-all approach is not really too good,â€ he said, adding that those cuts are often felt harder in smaller departments.
This seems to relate to a larger problem facing Eureka -- boosting a stagnant revenue stream -- that has also been handed to the Finance Advisory Committee to solve. Ogden said the committee is currently looking at funding for the POP program and then will have to look into ways to help get some extra funds for the fire department before brainstorming some revenue-generating ideas.
â€That will be something we will be turning our attention to full force after the first of the year,â€ Ogden said, adding that increased taxes and fees will likely be the only solution.
â€The only way you're going to get the kind of additional revenue the city needs is through levies. If you want to dance, you've got to pay the fiddler. You just can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.â€
CR board candidate looks to amend college's reputation
I am a candidate for the College of the Redwoods board of trustees, District 4, along with Richard Dorn and Cole Machado. I have just read (via electronic) the League of Women Voters and KEET-TV plan a debate among the candidates today at 7 p.m. I would like to offer my sincerest apology to my co-candidates, the League and KEET-TV. I will not be able to attend the debate. My wife and I are currently in southeast Louisiana doing volunteer work and will not be back in time to participate. We have been here since early September and will not return until mid December. This is our second trip since 2005.
I would like to offer my congratulations and â€œthank youâ€ to the other two candidates for stepping up for our community. The Redwood Community College is a major benefit to our community. As such, community residents must be willing to stand up and help make things right. In the past, the community college has had an outstanding reputation around, and outside, the state. Not so today. The threat of accreditation loss, reductions in professional staff and cost concerns have been caused, in my opinion, by a lapse in management in recent years. Examples include Downtown campus misuse and non-use to capacity, curriculum philosophy and a lack of clear understanding of future goals. Academia, while important, has not been balanced with technical training. Not everyone needs a four-year degree, but most everyone would like, and needs, a job with fair pay. The community college can help.
If elected, I intend to work, through the board of trustees, full time to help move the community college away from ingrained Luddite thinking. I want to push toward more cooperation and coordination with business and community leaders in joint programs and training. And I want to push the state toward directing community college resources toward local communities. We should plan and spend locally.
We in Humboldt County want and need a vibrant, workable and healthy Redwood Community College. If elected, I can be instrumental in making that happen.
Please watch the candidate debate, get informed, ask questions and, finally, vote on Nov. 6.
Any questions to me may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard T. Twiddy Eureka
MY WORD: CR needs forward thinking
Article Launched: 10/25/2007 01:27:31 AM PDT
I am a candidate for College of the Redwoods Board of Directors, District 4, along with Richard Dorn and Cole Machado. I have become aware that the League of Women Voters, along with KEET-TV, held a candidate debate on Oct. 17. With apologies to the other candidates, the League and KEET, I was not able to attend the discussions in person.
Currently, my wife and I are in southeast Louisiana volunteering. We have been here since early September and will not return until mid-December. This is our second trip since 2005 and had been arranged well before my candidacy. I would like to offer my congratulations and â€œthank youâ€ to the other candidates for stepping up and agreeing to perform some very important duties, if elected.
The Redwood Community College is a major benefit to the local community. As such, community members must be willing to stand up and help make things right.
In the past, Redwood Community College has had an outstanding reputation within, and outside, the state. Not so today. The threat of accreditation loss, reduction of professional staff and cost concerns have been caused, in my opinion, by mismanagement in recent years. Examples include: Downtown campus use or non-use to capacity, curriculum philosophy and lack of clear guidance towards goals.
Academia, while important, should be balanced with technical training. Not everyone needs a four-year degree. Most everyone wants, and needs, a job with adequate and fair pay.
If elected, I intend to work, through the Board of Trustees, full time to help the community college move away from the Luddite thinking of the past. I want to push towards more cooperation and coordination between business and community leaders in joint programs and training. And I want to push the state towards directing resources towards the community college needs. We should be planning and spending locally.
We in Humboldt County want and need a vibrant, forward thinking and healthy Redwood Community College. I can be instrumental in making that happen.
I may be reached at email@example.com with any questions.
Richard Twiddy is a candidate for College of the Redwoods Board of Directors, District 4. He resides in Eureka.