Billboard Butcher Strikes Again


A  second safety corridor billboard fell today at the hands of a nefarious, saw-wielding advertisement adversary. The nearly 30 billboards lining Highway 101 have been a source of displeasure and controversy for some Humboldt residents for years. Bay views — enjoyed while zipping down the highway in climate controlled automobiles — are spoiled by the loathsome structures, they say.

Well, someone decided to do something about it, and the guerrilla tactic may last. Last Thursday a Bailey Mortgage sign was chopped, as the Mad River Union was the first to report. Before crews could repair the sign, the Humboldt County Building Division slapped it with a stop-work order. As it turns out, there's a lot of debate and confusion about who owns the land that the billboards are on. The review necessary to rebuild the signs is imposing — and for now has completely blocked the idea of repairs. That's on top of the recent Coastal Commission approval of highway conditions with the caveat that as many billboards be taken down as possible. Read past coverage of the signs here and here and here.

Then, sometime overnight, the Living Styles furniture ad fell. Perhaps fueled by news that the first felled billboard might not go back up, the radical(s) behind the "timbering" of the signs seemed to have struck again. Or maybe it was a copycat? Or maybe they knew before taking saw to wood that the owners of the billboards would  have a dickens of a time reposting them? It's unclear. But the Sheriff's Office is investigating the vandalism.

If this proves to be a trend, you better enjoy the gleaming tokens of capitalism while they last.

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