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August 24, 2000

 

More fire restrictions

Fairgrounds go to the dogs

Runoff begone

A pair of HouseCalls

 



More fire restrictions

With hot, dry late-summer weather once again turning local forests into potentially dangerous fire hazards, Six Rivers National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management placed additional restrictions on fire use.

Campfires are only allowed in developed recreation sites; smoking must be confined to developed sites, cars and buildings; and the use of internal combustion engines is limited to forest service roads.

Lanterns and stoves that use either liquid or compressed gas fuels are still allowed, although a campfire permit is required. Call the BLM at 825-2300 or the National Forest Service at 442-1721 for more information.




Fairgrounds go to the dogs

The county fair is over, but the Humboldt County Fairgrounds will not be silent this weekend.

The dogs are coming -- 675 of them to be exact, including 140 different breeds, everything from Chihuahuas to Irish wolf hounds, and all of them purebred.

The AKC-licensed show is the first in Humboldt in nearly three decades. Official licensing means dogs who participate in obedience and conformation competitions will be judged by nationally recognized AKC judges and are eligible for points toward championship titles.

Dogs and their owners will be arriving from all over California and Oregon. Event organizer Kathy Wright said there are even entries from Alaska and Arizona.

Dogs are judged in three obedience categories and on conformation, where they are compared to a breed standard, a description of the perfect dog that includes the ideal looks, movement and temperament.

"Our purpose is to keep breeds strong and to improve them," said Wright. She added that the Eureka Kennel Club would like to make the licensed shows an annual event. Plans are already underway for a 2001 show where more than 1,000 dogs are expected to compete.




Runoff begone

"Long ago we identified point sources as a major pollution problem that we had to deal with -- fixed points of pollution coming out of the pipes from industries, for example," said Tom Mays, acting public affairs chief of the State Water Resources Control Board.

But another kind of water pollution is only now getting the attention it deserves -- nonpoint source pollution.

While a factory discharging sludge into a river is a classic example of point source pollution, nonpoint source pollution is less easily identified. It could be pesticides from an agricultural field, silt from human-caused erosion, a faulty septic field, oil from a passenger vehicle's leaky engine, or animal waste from farms and ranches.

Small, disparate sources of pollution can add up to one big problem.

Mays said that while considerable headway has been made in the fight against point source pollution, "We continue to see problems from nonpoint source polluters."

The state Water Resources Control Board and the Coastal Commission will be undertaking a comprehensive program to stop nonpoint source pollution -- one that includes 61 separate management tools.

The program measures will include such measures as runoff controls for construction sites, new procedures for designing and operating marinas, wetland protection and restoration efforts, and pesticide management on farmland.

Of particular interest to Humboldters will be the program's look at the runoff of silt from erosion caused by timber harvesting operations and management measures proposed to help deal with the problem.

"I can see where there is a conceptual interface between the new antipollution effort and forestry regulation, but not a concrete one," said Louis Blumberg, deputy director of public affairs for the California Department of Forestry. He said that the Board of Forestry, which writes regulations for the industry, was working on its own measures to fight silt runoff.

"The goal of the board is to regulate this issue sufficiently that there would be no need for additional regulations."

A large component of the program will be outreach and education to teach people why it is important not to contribute to water pollution. Many people who put pollutants in the water don't even realize it. If you wash a car on the lawn, for example, the soap eventually washes off of your property, through storm drains into the stormwater system, into a stream and finally enters the ocean -- a good example of nonpoint source pollution.

Mays said that while it can be tough to get people to change their habits, he is hopeful. Recycling, for example, was originally greeted with cynicism.

"But if you ask someone about the recycling program now, they will show a heightened awareness and sense of responsibility about waste disposal. I think this nonpoint source pollution effort is a very important environmental program, and I hope that people take responsibility in the same way."


A pair of HouseCalls

[photo of Ron Hazelton]TELEVISION HANDYMAN RON HAZELTON, HOST of a syndicated program called HouseCalls, is taping several segments for the show's fall season in Humboldt this weekend.

"We're doing two projects. We're replacing a '50s vintage plastic countertop with tile in Eureka. And we're building a foot bridge across a small stream in Fieldbrook. It will be kind of a landscape element. It will go from his yard into an orchard," he said in a telephone interview Monday.

In addition to his own show, Hazelton does home improvement segments for Good Morning America on ABC. His first show, The House Doctor runs on HGTV, House and Garden Television. HouseCalls is syndicated nationally by Hearst Entertainment.

"I see the show as a hybrid between Charles Kurault On the Road and The House Doctor," he said. "I really want to travel the country and meet people from different parts of the U.S. and take little side adventures on my way."

When he called he was literally on the road, driving his mobile home along the McKenzie River in Oregon where he and his crew will take a side adventure river rafting.

He spends 16 weeks each year on the road then goes into post production and editing at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. The rest of the time he and his wife live in New York City.

"I don't even have a work bench in the city," he said. "It's a nice contrast."

The HouseCalls crew has nearly completed taping the first cycle of shows for its second year on the air.

"I lay out the route at the beginning of the season," said Hazelton. "Last year we started in the Midwest, then went to New England and down the East Coast. This year I decided to start in Texas. Then we went to Colorado and Washington. Now we're booking our way down the West Coast."

Finding homeowners who want their houses worked on is not difficult. After putting the word out in Humboldt County, the show received around 100 e-mails. Finding the right job takes a bit of work.

"People tell me about projects they want done. We look at them using three criteria. One is, can I get it done in a day? Even though we say we're looking for small projects some people want me to come and put on a room addition or a new kitchen.

"Then it has to be something we haven't done recently. And then the third is the people. We find jobs we like and then pre-interview the folks on the phone and send out a scout to do an in-person interview in the home and take a close up look at the job. We really want people who are excited about being on the show as well as people who are excited about learning something new."

By the time they get to Starr and Esther Kilian's home in Fieldbrook Saturday, Hazelton's crew will have designs for a bridge drawn up and all of the supplies will be ready to go.

"We've only got one day to do these projects," said Hazelton. "If you're only working on the weekends, you want to do all that you can during the week so that when Saturday comes around you've got all the materials. Otherwise you can eat up half your day running back and forth to the home improvement center."

Hazelton travels accompanied by a crew of nine that includes his wife, who is the show's producer. He drives a mobile home. Another vehicle pulls a rolling workshop.

"In the mobile workshop I have everything you wish you had in your garage," he said. "I've got table saws and drill presses, tons of hand power tools, regular manual hand tools. It's very rare that we have to go pick up any tools to do these projects."

Monday HouseCalls heads for the Eureka home of Tim and Jeannie Tilghman. Then on Tuesday the show will visit the Blue Ox Millworks to tape an additional short segment.

The shows taped this weekend are schedule to air some time before the end of the year. Unfortunately the program is not currently aired in the Eureka market. Information about what stations carry the show can be found at www.ronhazelton.com, along with lots of home repair tips.


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