In secret the sign was chopped down, and in secret it has been re-erected. Sometime between last night and this morning, the Living Styles billboard near the Gannon Slough Bridge (just south of Arcata on Hwy. 101) was repaired in violation of a red tag placed on the structure by the City of Arcata.


Looks like our local George Hayduke has struck again. Barely a week after a Bailey Mortgage billboard was felled on the 101 safety corridor, another plank has taken a face-plant, this one near the Gannon Slough bridge just south of Arcata. And the severed support beams bear the telltale signs of human mischief.


While authorities are seeking whoever chopped down a bill­board along the southbound lanes of the U.S. Highway 101 Safety Corridor, the real mystery may be just who owns the land beneath it — and whether the Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project will prevent the fallen billboard from ever rising again.

Posted 1/3/14

Note: this column appeared in the Dec. 11, 2013 Mad River Union. – Ed.

When I read that Caltrans estimates the cost of removing the billboards along U.S. Highway 101 between Arcata and Eureka at $2 million, my first thought was “Bleep, I know guys who would do it for a can of gas for their chainsaw and a six pack.”

My second thought was that if the fight goes on long enough, climate change will take care of the problem for us. I commuted between the two cities from 1990 to 1994, and during that time, a massive wind storm toppled several of them into matchsticks.


HUMBOLDT BAY – The Rick Bailey Mortgage billboard on U.S. Highway 101 south of Arcata has fallen on its face, and may not go back up.

According to Humboldt Baykeeper Policy Director Jen Kalt, a county building inspector is on scene right now red-tagging the billboard to prevent any reconstruction.