How did the Samoa Pulp Mill change ownership from Evergreen Pulp to Freshwater Tissue Co without the debts of Evergreen being paid? This includes $900,000 owed the Water Board, the severance pay owed the mill workers and perhaps other debts.  It seems whenever the mill is in trouble, it changes ownership behind closed doors.  Why doesn't the fine follow the property?  Why wasn't the debt to the workers included as part of the deal with Freshwater? What happened to Evergreen anyway?  Why can't the workers put a lien on the property before it changes hands again?  Just asking... Maybe someone else knows.
salty old dog
9/30/2010 10:50:16 am

One scenario (though not a pretty one) would have Bob Simpson actually working in the interests of the Chinese.

You see once Bob started spinning his fantasy everyone who was owed money by Lee & Mann agreed to give up their liens and claims against Evergreen in order to "make the new deal work." The union, the suppliers, the workers, the politicians who were fooled by this and gave up their legal claims for this dog and pony show were, sadly, suckers.

Lee and Mann, well they are lookin rosey right now. No more debt, they actually can take the mill back now, free and clear. Kind of like old uncle Matthew sells those lots to the suckers on land contracts. He always gets them back but he keeps the down payments.

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repeat
10/1/2010 04:33:59 am

Like Bob said, The only people to collect from is Evergreen Pulp (which is no longer) Lee and Mann sold the company to a holding company in the virgin islands shortly before it shut down.The only people with money (Lee & Mann)are the people that skipped out. All the public relations Evergreen carried on didn't mean squat(we are here for the long term). Virgina Bass (as public relations rep) was even on the payroll for a short time. Evergreen was platent concerning faking the public. Didn't anyone see this? I believe all the workers only wanted to do was recoup what ever was lost(by fighting for the mill). You are right the pulp mill stinks. Long term exposure can have bad effects. So does sunlight and a myraid of other things in our enviroment I believe ,for the sake of property values you have pursued the endeavor. I also believe you (the people concerned) will move out of "west Eureka" as soon as they go up. So,at the end of the day in the real world we are all a bunch of selfish people under a guise of"do gooders"

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10/1/2010 03:33:29 pm

Another question, if Freshwater was really planning to start up soon, why didn't it have the necessary permits. On May 19, 2010 the E.P.A. sent Freshwater a letter that said that certain things must be fixed to "control the hazardous air emissions from the pulping systems including the oxygen delignation system controls" before the mill could open. Freshwater had the permits to construct, but never turned these into the permits to operate the necessary equipment despite the fact that these permits took a while to be processed. All the while, Freshwater was sounding like they were going to open soon. As of a couple of weeks ago, they still had not applied for these permits. Makes you wonder.

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john q. public
10/2/2010 02:42:54 am

It is time for Dist. Atty. Paul Gallegos to investigate the whole Evergreen Pulp/Freshwater Tissue fiasco. Investigate Bob Simpson, , Nolan, Benbow, David Tsang, Evergreen Pulp, Freshwater Pulp, Lee & Mann, Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn, and anyone else that has had anything to do with Evergreen Pulp and Freshwater Tissue.

It's time for an end to this bullshit.

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10/2/2010 03:30:17 am

I have deleted 2 comments allegedly written by Bob Simpson. As I mentioned earlier, I will delete all such comments, because I cannot be sure that they were written by Bob Simpson. Earlier comments were submitted and then Mr. Simpson threatened to sue me, yet again, because he claimed I wrote them. Anyway one of these recent comments had to do with how Freshwater avoided the debts of Evergreen by something called the California bulk sales statute. The other comment was about why he never spent the money to get the necessary air permits to run necessary equipment.

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10/2/2010 04:19:59 pm

For the record, the two comments that Mr. Simpson said he did not write have been deleted. They were not written by any of the supporters of this blog. If Mr. Simpson will look closely at the comment in which someone confesses to writing them, the person says they know Mr. Simpson and says it has been a hard two years. We assumed this meant it was an ex mill worker.

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Local Traditions
10/3/2010 10:42:25 am

The regulatory purpose of fines is to bring operations into compliance, not put them out of business. What good would that $900,000 do now? The workers' health insurance claims were paid, per contract, a good thing. The WARN act monies are small and also wouldn't make a difference in workers lives now, two years down the road.

Unfortunately this mill was marginal, rarely efficient enough or well enough equipped/managed/operated to be both profitable and compliant.

My understanding is that the Caribbean corporation "Worthy Pick" gave a $20M note to Freshwater, probably against the equipment and fixtures. The note's terms are secret but I'm certain the terms are part of why Simpson can't raise capital or borrow against the mill's value. Basically, Lee and Man said "We can't make this mill profitable and we need it off our books. If you think you can do better, go ahead and try. But we won't partner with you, you'll have to start like we did, with a substantial investment"

I disagree that Lee and Man was disreputable. They invested heavily in pollution controls, paid union scale, and hired local managers. Other than local bigots, they were held in high regard. The end was abrupt and messy, but no worse than the previous ownership crash and burns. It just that the last bankruptcy is always the worst because its the end. The Railroad, PALCO, and Creamery bankruptcies left much larger unpaid debts.

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1st amendment
10/4/2010 06:53:23 am

Westeureka;
Its going to be OK !

Parodius

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