Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Clogged Pipes

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 9:26 PM

Apparently there's quite a few people who make use of the "Humboldt Blogs" Yahoo Pipe that I put together a few months ago. That's really gratifying, because I love dinking around with software and this is the first time I've actually built anything that the general public has found useful.

For the uninitiated, the "Humboldt Blogs" pipe is a feed of feeds. It gathers together all the work of 15 or 20 Humboldt County bloggers and publishes a precis on a single page, or in a single RSS feed. It's updated in real time. You can find an example of it over on the sidebar of this blog, under the "Around Humboldt" heading.

But there's a problem. In the last couple of days, the Wordpress bloggers have completely destroyed the Pipe. Anytime anyone on Wordpress post a picture, the whole system explodes. Yahoo Pipes comes to a screeching halt. It's Yahoo's fault, not Wordpress's.

Smart people are apparently working on the problem right now, and a fix is expected in the next couple of days. Until then, Heraldo, House of Sand and Fog, Humboldt Review and this here new NCJ blog are banished from the Pipe. Pipe fans -- you'll have to check those blogs manually for the time being. Capdiamont is exempt because he hasn't posted any photos.

Seems like I'm missing at least one other Wordpress blog. Did erase someone and then forget about them?

Just like this NCJ Daily Wordpress.com blog, the Pipe is intended to be an interim solution. Soon we'll have a new and mindblowing way of doing things.

When the Yahoo team fixes the Pipe, I'll let y'all know. Also -- if you have any blog favorites that are missing from the Pipe, please do suggest them.

UPDATE: And as soon as I write this, Capdiamont posts a photo and borks the system. Capdiamont, you're benched.

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Be Mike's Phone Friend

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 5:25 PM

Want to chat with a real live Congressman?

WASHINGTON – This Thursday, Congressman Mike Thompson will host a live town hall meeting via telephone and he is inviting every resident of the 1st Congressional District to join him. Participants will be able to directly ask Congressman Thompson questions about issues that impact the 1st District and he will respond on-the-spot for all participants to hear.

"Telephone town halls are a great way to bring residents from across Northern California together to share their concerns and get real-time answers," said Congressman Thompson. "I’m looking forward to hearing questions on important issues like healthcare, the war in Iraq and climate change and then sharing what I’m doing in Congress to help. I hope everyone will use this opportunity to make their voices heard."

When: Thursday, November 1st from 7 PM to 8 PM

How to join: When the call starts, dial 1-866-447-5149 and enter the pass code 13293


Just $1.99 per minute.

Kidding! Free.

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We're So Proud

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 4:54 PM

others

Former NCJ muckracker Cat Sieh is raising hell up in Bellingham, Wash. What happens when a culturejacking fast food chain tries to weasel out of a fair-and-square deal? Cat Sieh busts its ass, that's what!

Result.

Way to fight the power, Cat!

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Bay District $$$

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 4:25 PM

Six days until the big election, and the story right now is up in the Fifth Division, where incumbent candidate Charles Ollivier is embarking on a big media push. According to papers filed with the Elections Office on Tuesday, Ollivier made a last-minute $5,000 TV buy this week. He also spent $2,300 on a new round of mailers.

Where'd the cash come from? From Ollivier himself. The candidate loaned his campaign $5,000 this week. That's on top of the $3,000 he floated himself earlier in the month. It'll be interesting to go back and check disclosure statements after the election. The usual way of things is that someone with deep pockets will backfill those loans after the election is over.

The Ollivier campaign pulled in around $10,000, apart from the loans. Notable donors: Supervisors Jimmy Smith ($100) and Jill Geist ($200), former assemblyman and railroad boss Dan Hauser ($100) and Ollivier's brethren in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ($1,000).

Ollivier's opponent, Pat Higgins, isn't as flush. It's harder to get a handle on his totals because his people filled out the forms wrong, but it looks like Higgins took in about $9,000 total. A whole lot of $100-$500 donations here and there. Higgins campaign manager Bill Kier kicked in $1,000, as did nursery owner Richard Hesselein of Allentown, N.J. Higgins heads into the home stretch with only $1,330 in the bank.

Down in the Second Division, the big story has been the powerhouse fundraising prowess of 77-year-old incumbent Roy Curless, utterly shredding the field with $23,980 raised. As of last week, Curless was sitting on a $7,000 war chest. By contrast, challenger Carlos Quilez has raised only $4,015 total, and $1,000 of that was a loan to himself. Notable donors? Sonja Baur of Garberville ($500) and SoHum attorney -- and friend of the NCJ -- Eric Kirk ($100). Quilez's disclosure forms list Kirk's occupation as "retired." Hopefully this means he will be able to devote even more time to his blog.

Takeaway: By the numbers, at least, things are looking pretty darn good for the incumbents right now. There's a lot of grassroots hustle and bustle working for Higgins and Quilez, but will it be enough?

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Co-op Controversy on KMUD

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Self-proclaimed " militant, yet peaceful, non-violent revolutionary vegan" activist Martha Devine aka Granny Green Genes writes alerting us to a segment on tonight's 6 p.m. KMUD news (Halloween edition) on the "Co-op Controversy," featuring interviews with Dana Silvernale, Co-op activist and Humboldt County Green Party Chair and Co-op Interim General Manager Howard Julien addressing, as Martha puts it, "the perceived corporatization of our Co-op" and presumably touching on the general membership meeting held Sunday at the Bayside Grange. (See Table Talk Oct. 25 .)

Martha also notes that Co-op management has "agreed to 'vent the meat' and will be installing exhaust fans (TWO of them) in the butcher shop next week.... We will finally get some relief and we'll ALL be able to enjoy a far more 'pleasureable shopping experience,' be we vegans,vegetarians, or omnivores...."

And speaking of omnivores. I've set up a Google alert for stories mentioning Michael Pollan, whose best seller, The Ominivore's Dilemma , is now in paperback. Yesterday's alert took me to a story posted on Grainnet , a feed industry newsletter, about the first Executive Leadership Summit for the American Feed Industry Association last weekend in Dana Point, CA.

One panel focusing on "Trends Driving the Food Business" included speakers from McDonald’s and the supermarket chain Royal Ahold . A couple of things jumped out. Larry DeVries v. p. of concept and menu development at McDs dropped a term I've not heard: "Glocal," which he "used to describe the world as becoming one interconnected neighborhood."

The reason the news item came my way was comments made by Alan Noddle of Dutch food giant Royal Ahold (a name with great pun potential), operators of Stop & Shop and Giant supermarket chains back east.

Grainnet reports:
"Noddle provided a detailed 'state of the industry' perspective on food retailing including the trend of consolidation, the growth of the discount sector, massive investment in technology, sustainability and food safety, nutrition and health as well as his predictions on what the future holds."

(See the Journal story, " Grocers and Lifestyles .")

What do these trends mean to the feed industry?

"[Noddle] provided several tips and insights, just a few of which included (1) product innovation is key to growth; (2) fund research for better products; (3) be proactive on the industry’s significance to the food chain; (4) invest in employee education; and (5) read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan."

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Don't Get Comfortable

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 1:00 PM

surfer.

Hello, friends!

This is going to be the temporary home of the North Coast Journal blog. We're going to get this party started here on Wordpress before that glorious day when we make the jump to our own homepage.

How long will we be here? Maybe a couple of weeks. Probably a month or more. Perhaps as long as a decade. But we've got things to say, damn it, and we're not going to wait around any longer.

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