The Abandoned Hulk along Eureka’s Coastline

 SS Dombass III

The S.S. Donbass III began its life as a lend-lease tanker, launched at Kaiser Ship Building, in Portland, Oregon. The ‘T-2’ was nearly identical to all the other tankers that served as oilers in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Tankers of this type were constructed similar to the Liberty Ship and both were considered weak in the keel. They were known to break in half under the right conditions and were even referred to as ‘Kaiser Coffins’ for this reason.

Originally named S.S. Beacon Rock when launched in 1944, she was given to the Russian Navy that same year and renamed. Her main role was transporting fuel from the U.S.’s west coast, through the Bering and Okhotsk Seas and the Sea of Japan to Vladivostok, Russia.

Several U.S. Nay ships were ordered to proceed to the Aleutian Islands, near Adak, Alaska in February 1944. When they got there, they found the bow section of the vessel still afloat with six survivors aboard after encountering a gale and breaking in two.

The Navy tried to get the stranded crew of the dying ship, but they refused aid until the Soviet ship, Belgorod, arrived and took them aboard and towed the section of remaining vessel away. The bow was later scrapped.

The aft section was located and assisted by the American tanker S.S. Puente Hills, which removed another 23 crew members including a woman, before towing it to Port Angeles, Washington with another 20 crew members aboard.

Eventually the U.S. Maritime Commission sold it to Pacific Power & Electric for $125,000, after the company learned the engineering section with its GE turbine-generator, was still working. PG&E towed the section to Eureka, California and beached so it could serve as a power plant, providing Eureka with five-megawatts of power following World War II.

It was dismantled about ten-years later after a new power-plant was built to serve the city and surrounding area.

The Soviets named the vessel after the Donbass region of eastern and southern Ukraine. A coal mining area since the late 19th century, it has become a heavily industrialized territory.

In March 2014, large swaths of the Donbass region became gripped by unrest. This grew into a war between pro-Russian separatists affiliated with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government.

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Pine Nut Mountain Round Up On Hold

The planned roundup of 332 wild horses in Nevada’s Pine Nut Mountains is on hold until late February. ‘Protect Mustangs’ and ‘Friends of Animals’ filed a lawsuit alleging the Bureau of Land Management failed to prepare an environmental assessment as required and didn’t provide adequate public notice of its plans.

The lawsuit also alleges the government has ignored studies showing the fertility control drug PZP alters horse behavior as well as the birthing cycle. The BLM planned to gather all but 132 horses from ranges south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville.

Of the 132 to be captured and released — all 66 mares would have received a 22-month treatment of the vaccine to prevent future reproduction.

The BLM contends an overpopulation of horses in the area has damaged the range, including valuable sage grouse habitat, and reduced availability of native forage grasses needed to support a healthy horse population. The agency will likely proceed with other wild horse gathers planned near Tonopah and Battle Mountain in the meantime.

The Progressive Problem of Profit Making

Apple reported a huge net profit in its fiscal first quarter, topping the nearly $16 billion made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012. Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits.

NBC’s Brian Williams put it this way: “The richest company in the world is Apple to the tune of the most profitable quarter of any company ever — a new record — $18 billion in profits in one quarter. Cash on hand, including investments, $178 billion. No other company even comes close.”

But then he added, “It’s enough money to give every American $556, though they have no plans to do so. Their business model, you see, only works the other way around.”

Evidently, Williams believes a company which makes a profit should give that money away to people who did nothing to earn it. This isn’t the first time he’s tried to ‘take-down’ the tech giant or the U.S. Constitution.

In December 2012, he sat down with Apple CEO Tim Cook, where Williams wondered why the company couldn’t be a “made-in-America company.” He went so far as outlining a political scenario where President Obama was all-powerful.

“Let’s say our Constitution was a little different and Barack Obama called you in tomorrow and said, ‘Get everybody out of China and do whatever you have to do, make these, make everything you make in the United States.’ What would that do to the price of this device?” Williams asked.

Cook changed the argument.

“Honestly, it’s not so much about price it’s about the skills, et cetera,” Cook responded. “Over time, there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S. Not necessarily people, but the education system stopped producing them.”

Two years of free college ought to fix this. Not!

Threat of a Cold War and the Real Cold War

Governors in six states declared emergencies, but shortly afterwards weather forecasters began to see that they had gotten it wrong. Initially, the National Weather Service said a monster storm would bring up to three-feet of snow, powerful winds and widespread coastal flooding along a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast.

This caused people to rush to local stores to stock up on supplies, transit systems closed down, and the airlines grounded their fleets. Then near-marshal law, keeping people inside and vehicles off of the street was enacted.

This cost NYC businesses over $7 million in lost revenue.

News of this monster storm led the evening newscasts on all the major networks. And by the time it was over only a few inches fell in New York’s Central Park while another few inches dropped on Long Island.

These are the same people who claim they can predict climate change, 100-years from now, but can’t get a 24-hour forecast correct.

But there’s story far more important than the threat of a few snowflakes.  The federal government charged Russian three men with operating a spy ring operating in New York City.

Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy are charged with gathering economic intelligence for Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.  Buryakov posed as a banker for Russia’s Vnesheconombank, while both Podobny and Sporyshev worked for the Russian Federation in New York.

‘Economic intelligence’ concerns production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, as well as labor, finance, taxation, and other aspects of a nation’s economy or of the international economic system. It also allows a nation to estimate the size of possible military threats and is also valuable in estimating the intentions of a potential enemy.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. In June 2010, federal agents broke up a 10-person Russian sleeper cell embedded in various U.S. communities. That operation was also managed by two Russian intelligence agents posing as low-level Russian diplomats.

Going a step further — it isn’t a far stretch to think ‘Radical Islamic’ sleeper-cells are already operating within the U.S.  After all, a member of ISIS/ISIL admitted to the Jerusalem Post last August, following the murder of American journalist James Foley, that they are already within our borders.

“They infiltrated us with those who pretend to be Muslims and we have also penetrated them with those who look like them,” he claimed.

We’re being snowed when it comes to what is and is not important.

Fortuna’s Star Hotel Burns

A major fire broke out in downtown Fortuna during the early morning hours today, engulfing part of a block of Main Street. Engines from Ferndale, Scotia, Eureka and elsewhere helped battle the blaze and provide coverage.

Star Hotel

The structure involved is the historic Star Hotel building. Located on the corner of 11th and Main Streets, the Star Hotel was a popular destination from the 1880’s to the 1950’s.

So far no word what caused the fire.

In 1876 the Star Hotel building was named in honor of Andrew and Jacob Starar, who owned a ranch near the Mad River. They kept a herd of elk in a fenced area in town, which was probably the town’s source of meat at that time and Andrew  even owned most of the town at one time, selling  part of it to Henry Rohner, for whom Rohnerville is named.

star_hotel_1024 (2)

Rohner purchased 350 acres donating it to Fortuna for its first city park. The deed of the parkland was signed by Abraham Lincoln, and a replica is housed at the Park’s Depot Museum.

In the early 1900’s Henry’s widow, Mary sold the town a total of 53 acres of the family’s land in three installments. This is now the location of the present-day Rohner Park.

Their daughter, Elizabeth Rohner, sold the third section of land to the City for one dollar with the stipulation that the park’s name never be changed.

The brothers are also Fortuna’s connection to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, believed to be in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, Arizona.  The mine’s named after Jacob Waltz, who discovered it in the 19th century but kept its location a secret.

After leaving California the Starar brothers went to Mexico, and then sometime in 1866 or ‘67, returned to the U.S. settling in Arizona next to Waltz. Andrew purchased a part of a mine claim from Waltz on August 8, 1878.

Many speculate that the diggings he purchased was part of the famed mine.

Details About Harry Reid’s Latest Accident Change

The accident threatening Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid’s vision took place in the bathroom, instead of the living room of his home as first reported. The new detail supposedly fills in the account of how he suffered broken bones around his right eye and four broken ribs.

In recounting the New Year’s Day accident, Reid said he was doing an exercise routine when the strengthening-band snapped and “catapulted” him backwards and to the side, and into some cabinets. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time he’s hurt himself, nor is it the first time the story has changes.

In early 2011, Reid claimed he was jogging in the rain when he slipped and fell, injuring the right side of his face. A few days later a spokesperson amended the story saying Reid had put his foot on the bumper of a car to tie his shoe when he slipped, producing the injuries.

According to the website, ‘Alzheimer’s Reading Room,’ balance and walking problems often present before the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Meanwhile, Reid underwent surgery in Washington, D.C. where doctors repaired the bones around his eye socket and drained the blood that gathered in the front and back of the eye.

2014: The Hottest Year on Record?

Recently, the Associated Press reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, but has since issued a correction saying the 650 million-to-one statistic was out of context. They also say the original story omitted an explanation of the margins of error in its calculations.

Read the AP’s correction:

In a story Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that the odds that nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000 are about 650 million to one. These calculations, as the story noted, treated as equal the possibility of any given year in the records being one of the hottest. The story should have included the fact that substantial warming in the years just prior to this century could make it more likely that the years since were warmer, because high temperatures tend to persist.

The story also reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, but did not include the caveat that other recent years had average temperatures that were almost as high — and they all fall within a margin of error that lessens the certainty that any one of the years was the hottest.

An earlier version of the story quoted Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis as noting that the margin of error makes it uncertain whether 2014 was warmest, or the second, third or sixth warmest year. She said that regardless, the trend shows a “clear, consistent and incontrovertible” warming of Earth. That reference to the margin of error was dropped in later versions.

Kind of changes the whole global warming argument, huh?

By Not Watching My Step

It was early this afternoon when I thought it would be nice to go out in the backyard and toss the ball for the dogs to fetch. They’re great at running it down, but still need much work at dropping it at my feet.

That’s where my ‘nice’ idea took a turn. Several times I instructed one of the two dogs to drop the ball, which they did, unfortunately it was right where they were standing and nowhere near me.

I had to retrieve the ball myself.

Focusing on the ball, I started across the length of the yard one more time. This time though, I stepped in a pile of dog-crap.

Immediately my foot slipped out from under me as I tried to regain my balance. It did me no good as I fell anyway.

Now falling, is one thing, but what happened next, I cannot fully account for other than to say it happened. As my left foot slid forward, I twist my body to the right and toppled backwards.

Then somehow, my face collided with my knee or my knee banged into my face, giving me a blooded nose. All I could do for a few seconds is lay in the grass and watch as stars swirl about my head.

The dogs were sympathetic to my plight as one brought the ball over to me, while the other vigorously offered to help clean my face with her tongue. That’s when I decided stars or no stars I had to get up off my back.

So needless to say, no more ball for a while, as I have a hell of a head ache now.

A Plan to Replace Harry Reid

In a Washington Examiner article, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato is naming Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid as 2016′s ‘Most Endangered Democrat,’ suggesting Republicans’ run Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval against him in the upcoming election cycle.

This fits directly with a prediction I made in August 2009 shortly after Sandoval decided to Sandoval step down from a life-long appointment as a Federal Judge to run for governor.

“Brian Sandoval is quitting his lifetime appointment as a Federal Judge in order to run for the state’s governorship. Sandoval was Nevada attorney general before he quit to take over the bench and had been chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission before he bailed from the job to become AG.

Simply put — Sandoval isn’t a real public servant. Instead he’s using ‘public-service,’ to climb the ladder to what he believes are ‘bigger and better positions.’

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb, predicting he’ll quit as Nevada governor to run for the U.S. Senate, if the opportunity arises.”

Granted, I felt certain at the time he was going to bolt from the governor’s mansion the moment John Ensign resigned. Surprisingly, Sandoval appointed then-Congressman and fellow-Progressive Dean Heller to the position instead.

My prediction was on, my timing was off.

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