So the Journal's doing a sit-down interview with Rep. Mike Thompson Thursday -- the day after his big health care town holler -- and we'd like to open-source the thing.
What do you want to ask Mike Thompson? The more incisive the better, and I promise to push the question until he answers or bleeds.
Wait a minute, that's not in Humboldt County. But Inez's Dancing & Diddling Girls Girls Girls isn't far from the Humboldt River -- Nevada's longest (river), which begins in this lovely town that is home to Inez's and other such charm schools for girls. That is -- nevermind. And the Humboldt National Forest is nearby.
Alas, there end the similarities: That region's faring much better than our own. A report in the Aug. 18 Fortune Magazine , "Elko, Nevada: Where the recession never hit," rubs it in:
Indeed, the economic news in this community of 19,000 is astonishingly cheerful: Housing prices are stable. Commercial building is up. Tourist events are drawing bigger crowds than last year. Unemployment is about as low as you'll find [6 percent, up from 3.5 percent last year]. The casinos are down only slightly. And the town's four legal brothels are having a busy summer.
Yes, it's because of the gold boom.
Well, whatever. My friend Susan has weighed in on our Best-of-Humboldt issue -- coming up soon! Get your votes in! -- and she says Inez's is, in fact, her pick for the best-named brothel in town. Although, she says, she's personally partial to the name "Sue's Place." Of course.
I'll again be Keith Henty's guest on tomorrow morning's edition of The Jefferson Exchange, starting at 8:05 a.m. or thereabouts and blathering on for 10 or 15 minutes or so. Topic? Dunno! Keith was vague this time around. Humboldt County, I suppose.
Tune in! That's on the News & Information Service of Jefferson Public Radio -- 91.5 FM around Humboldt Bay, or online at www.jeffnet.org.
Humboldt State University sophomore Martin Stubbs, from the Kula district of East Maui in Hawaii, is presumably glad to be back in good old Humboldt and chillin' in the redwoods after having survived a gauntlet of drunken shithead ruffians in Polipoli State Park earlier this month, reports today's The Maui News.
He and a friend had been stargazing in the remote park, and on their way out of there they encountered the beercan-throwing, window-smashing, "We're-gonna-kill-you," eye-busting perps.
The traditional card games drew the biggest crowds a couple of Fridays ago during this year's Sovereign Day celebration on the Hoopa Valley Tribe's reservation.
The drumming and singing would befuddle a non-stalwart -- how can a person make a good decision with all those tricky spirits messing with your head? That's the idea, at least so I gathered from a brief description a tribal member gave me. I'm sure I'm missing some subtleties, but hopefully not delivering too hackneyed of an interpretation.
Anyway, it was exciting! And for more on the Hoopa Valley Tribe's present state of mind -- what with a new chairman and all, who's promising to escort convicted drug dealers off of the reservation and shut the door tight -- you can check out this week's North Coast Journal . Hard copy out now; online version up tomorrow!
At a sparsely attended public forum last night at Eureka's City Hall, Eureka City Councilman Larry Glass announced that he and his fellow Ad Hoc Housing Task Force members have decided to abandon controversial proposed changes to the municipal code that would have created a complaint-driven rental housing inspection ordinance. In its place, Glass suggested a program in which all Eureka landlords -- even those renting a single unit -- must register for a business license with an annual fee of $15 for the first unit and five dollars for each additional unit.
Glass called the new proposal "a registration and contact information requirement," which would include an optional landlord notification service for properties that receive numerous emergency service calls. The proposal also calls for the creation of a new program coordinator position, which would be funded through "a shifting of resources."
Most in attendance (the crowd of 15 or so was made up almost entirely of landlords and property managers) seemed pleased with the new proposal and relieved that Glass had backed away from previous calls for a complaint-driven inspection system. At a public workshop held last week at the Wharfinger building, numerous landlords vehemently opposed such measures, calling them "Gestapo" and "Draconian."
The new business license fee structure would replace the existing ordinance that charges an annual fee of $55 for all rental complexes of four or more units, plus $11.50 for each non-owner employee.
Some in attendance remained leery of any changes to existing regulations, including one man who questioned the tax repercussions of the new ordinance, suggesting that the license requirement would qualify landlords as self-employed, thus forcing them to pay higher taxes. Glass countered that most landlords are already licensed. City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner said she'd investigate the issue.
Glass said he wasn't convinced this was the right move. "I think that [the new proposal] should be less controversial than the other concept, although I believe the problem is pretty serious that we have in this town, and I'm not embarrassed by the things we were proposing before," he said. "But I have been persuaded that they're not gonna fly." He promised to oversee the new system -- should it be approved by the City Council -- and meet with staff regularly to ensure that it achieves its goals.
The Housing Task Force has been working for two and a half years, attempting to resolve crime and blight issues surrounding "problem properties" in Eureka. "I am a little skeptical [about the new proposal] because I've been watching this a long time," Glass said sullenly. "But who knows? Maybe this will do it. It's worth a shot."
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Another protector lost. Rest easy brother.