I was at Safeway in Linda Mar last Saturday and saw a little card table set up – someone was collecting signatures for something. I sidled up to see what was being discussed – and it was the “Save the Quarry” folks passing out hard copy cards attempting to make a case that the geologically stable quarry was somehow in danger, and my signature might help save it. In fact, there were at least four tables set up at that shopping center. Each one trying to collect signatures, and trying to get those signatures without volunteering any information other than the eco-spin printed on those not very green, glossy printed cards. The first three I spoke to did not know (or claim to know) the developers name, his backing, background, or anything else. One older “Volunteer” – probably a paid shill who organized the others – was able to come up with the name “Huele” but nothing else. Other questions about the zoning and need for quarry saving were met with a similar lack of integrity.
That interaction led me to start looking into where the money was coming from. I went to the URL on the card (thepacificaquarry.com) to do some reading….But I am also an inquisitive nerd, I started looking for where the money was coming from to fund these signature drives, pay for the offset printing, web development and the rest. The site looks pretty slick. although the content does leap to a lot of conclusions easily rebutted that I will discuss in a seperate post. But what I wanted, really, was contact info. No contact info on the site other than a generic email “info@” link and a 650 phone number. Strange for such a big project to not want thier street address to appear.
Since there was a website, I looked up who owns the domain, and noticed something odd. Whoever it was did not want anyone finding out their identity too easily. The DNS registration for thepacificaquarry.com is deliberately obfuscated and looks like this (Click for a full copy): dotcomwhois info
If you don’t work in this stuff, I will explain what you are looking at – DNS is “Domain Name Service” and to have a domain name, you must register that name, and provide administrative, technical and billing contact information. If you are up to something that maybe is not so good, you might want to hide that information, so you use a domain proxy service who stands in your stead for the registration. This is a common practice in some of the sleazy underbelly of the interwebs – you know, porn sites, on line pharmacy sites from the bahamas, and eco friendly real estate rescue operations. It’s perfect for developers from Michigan who would rather those tree hugging hippies in California not learn too much about the rust belt profiteer seeking to wreck our beach and city.
Continuing to dig, I did finally identify Paul Heule as the “Developer” that the card table jockeys dared not speak of. Mr. Heule is the VP, and son of the founder of the Eenhorne group . Their website isn’t much better but they don’t seem to need to obfuscate that one. Compare THEIR whois info: eenhornwhois – that is what whois from a legitimate site looks like.
In this stage, despite all the granola crunchy feeling goodness on the website, the fact remains that these parties are telling the truth selectively or not at all. This is not a “Save the quarry” or “Restore the Quarry” – this is “We want to build apartments in the Quarry”. Apartments are where they make their money, and compared to the festering suckhole that is Michigan, the California market must look really good. THE quarry does NOT need “restoration” – that would mean putting most of a very large granite rock back – and what is being proposed is not a “Restoration”, it is simply “Development”. Despite the “Green” feel to thier slick marketing, all of that touchy feely eco-goodness could be started today, if they just didn’t need to slap up a couple of hundred “Low income” oceanfront apartments to do it.
Our on line research quickly shows that Eenhorne is little more than an apartment management outfit. They do not own or operate hotels or retail outlets, they run apartment complexes. Below is his bio, cribbed from the Eenhorne webpage. From the bio, I am sure he is very good at making money from apartment complexes, and he certainly should continue to do that – in Detroit or maybe Flint.