Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Run for the Wall

Posted By on Mon, May 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

If you've followed the news over Memorial Day weekend you've heard about the veteran's biker run, Rolling Thunder, probably because Sarah Palin crashed it for photo op purposes.

Blue Lake resident Tish Sloan took off last week to join her vet dad on a pre-Thunder journey called the Run For The Wall (www.rftw.org). She shot a lot of photos along the way and asked if she might share them with our readers. We do so in honor of our military men and women, living and dead, to help remember them this Memorial Day. Tish takes it from here:

Run For The Wall is a motorcycle ride of military vets from L.A. to Washington D.C., arriving the weekend of Memorial Day [before Rolling Thunder]. The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness of veterans' issues, and of POW/MIAs still unaccounted for. I come from Humboldt County, CA, and did not think of myself as a "patriotic" person -- I am not a fan of the war machine. But being on this ride, and meeting these men and women, I am learning that many of them aren't either. Many of them had no choice in the matter. And they have told me their stories. Grown men have shed tears telling me how much this ride means to them. It has changed their lives to be able to ride together and share their grief, and let go, and heal. 

Bikes lined up in Rancho Cucamonga the day before leaving.

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Bikes in the lot of the meeting hotel in Rancho. Almost all the bikes have the little POW/MIA, and an American flag attached to the back.

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The next morning the place was crawling with older bikers in their vests covered with patches and pins, and the parking lot seemed filled with bikes. I admit that I had a few moments of "Oh my god, what have I gotten myself into.... 10 days of this??", but after meeting some of my dad's friends and receiving very warm welcomes and lots of hugs, I found myself in the lobby after lunch speaking with Terry, a biker and Veteran from Las Vegas. He told me that the ride had made a different person out of him. He'd never been able to talk about his experiences in Vietnam. Then he paused. He was crying. We'd been talking for about two minutes. He showed me a medal of honor that another vet had given him on a previous run. Said it was one of the proudest things he had. Then he said that he wouldn't be going "All The Way" (a RFTW battle cry) because he had to go home for medical treatments. He told me very matter-of-factly that he had cancer due to Agent Orange. Whoa, I thought. This is going to be intense. Then, while explaining how much the run meant to him and how amazing it was that they were all there for each other, he admitted that on his first run in '03 he couldn't bring himself to go down to the wall when they arrived in DC. It was too much. The second year, two other riders, "Ghost" and "Spook", took him by the hand and led him down to it. His voice caught, and as he wiped away a tear he said, "See?"
I was beginning to.

As we start the pack goes on for 2 miles.

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The Angel Fire Vietnam Vet Memorial in New Mexico. Amazing place. You can feel it. A father started building it 5 days after he lost his son in Vietnam in '68. This is the chapel. It sits on top of a hill facing east in Angel Fire, NM. Years later the father brought a handful of New Mexico soil to Vietnam. He walked in the places his son walked, and spread the soil near where he was killed. He then scooped up a handful of Vietnamese soil and brought it back to spread around the memorial.

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My dad in front of the Armory bldg in Goodland, KS. This town also went all out with the flags and an amazing meat and potatoes dinner. Boy scouts helped serve the dinner and cleared our places. They had a BIG ASS flag covering an entire wall.

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The moon over his shoulder.

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Entrance to Junction City, KS. They had hundreds of people lining the streets holding flags. They'd been there for us for 2 hours.

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Honor guard that placed and removed the flags for the ceremony. These guys are not young, and their steps and moves were dead on.

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The pack lined up ready to leave our lunch stop yesterday in Concordia, MO. They really pack 'em in for staging, then they roll out in rows of two ("2 up").

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Scott, our sideman for a while yesterday. This pic didn't really capture it, but for the first time in a while, we had a police escort, so we just flew thru Missouri with no traffic, and he just looked as happy as a pig in shit the whole time to just be cruisin down the highway. Nice guy who saw some gnarly shit and has managed to get over it and be happy to be alive.

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Several cars on the run are decorated like this.

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Someone explained to me that these little towns are so darn patriotic because for the youngsters, military service is one of the only ways out of podunk USA, so they have more enlistees. Because they have more soldiers, they have an inordinately large number of soldiers missing, wounded, and killed in action. They have to be patriotic to believe that their losses meant something. To remind each other that they remember.

People lined up on bridges to greet us all along our route. Huge flag hanging from a scissor lift!

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This is Josh at the VA hospital in WV. He was in Iraq for 10 years. Told me they used to get equal time off for time served in active duty. After putting in a year, they changed in to half time. So he got to see his daughter born, then got shipped out. When he got back she was walking and talking. He offered me a ride the next day into Rainelle - one of the more impressive receptions. Josh was riding for his cousin, killed in action in Iraq 9th of Jan. '08.

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Sometimes the pic says more than any words could.

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Lined up to leave the memorial in WV. About 800 by now.

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The war memorial in WV is designed like a sundial. On the ground are the names of the state's fallen. It's designed so that the point of the shadow falls on the soldiers name at the time and on the day of his death.

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This guy was up there the whole time, taking pix, and spent a long time kneeling and touching one name (missed that pic) then he stood and watched the riders take off while tears ran down his face.

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Lindsay and her little brother PJ. She can read and spell and do simple math. She's 3. We had a great chat.

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Platoon leaders. The pack is split up into 8 platoons with their own leaders, assistant leaders, and 'rear gunner' at the back. Keeps the pack organized and provides breaks in the pack for trucks and cars to get thru if necessary. They also act as camp counselors when problems come up.

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Me and my dad in front of the WV war memorial. I have no idea what's up with my expression here. Note the big green pin. It says "FNG" - stands for "Fuckin New Guy," a military expression for newbies. When we get to the wall, someone random turns it upside down to show that you are no longer the "FNG". Also got a compliment on this day on my cool boots from a gnarly biker. :)

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Plaque on one of the side sections to honor recent KIAs from WV. Desert Storm guys would be my age.

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WWII KIAs outnumber other wars by an insane number. Two of my grandpas were there. My dad's step-dad was a 101st airborne paratrooper who was at Normandy. My dad's dad was a Medic in WWII, awarded the Bronze Star because he went out into an active battlefield to retrieve a wounded soldier that 3 other medic teams had died trying to get. He got him. He never talked about it until his last years. Came home a shut-down man. Became an accountant and played golf. He died of a heart attack while I was directing "The Laramie Project" in '02. Dedicated the show to him. There were several times during this trip that I felt their gaze.

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The WWI wall is opposite the Vietnam wall. I noticed that most of the guys that were able to go into the middle stayed as far away from the Vietnam wall as they could. One guy only made it to the railing outside the circle, and was leaning on it white-knuckled and trying to contain himself. As we were walking out, my dad stopped and put a hand on his back. The man exhaled, turned and accepted my dad's hug. I hear my dad say, "It's all right..." before I left them. He later said, "THAT is why we are here."

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This is just the West Virginians lost in Vietnam.

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Arch over entrance to Arlington. "On fame's eternal camping ground their silent tents are spread, and glory guards with solemn round, the bivouac of the dead."

The west face of the arch is inscribed with the words:

"Rest on embalmed and sainted dead, dear as the blood ye gave, no impious footsteps here shall tread on the herbage of your grave."

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So. Many.

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"Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God"

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The walls of the Lincoln Memorial are inscribed with a speech of his. This is the end of it. It was spoken in reference to the Civil War, but rang so true in our current context.

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Almost the entire contingent of Run For The Wall just after the group photo in front of the Lincoln Memorial, which is behind me. In the distance are the empty reflection pool (drained for repairs), the Washington Monument, and the Capitol.

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The one name I was able to find on the wall of the two that people gave me: a college friend of my college professor. So many names...

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Unfortunately, I let my memory card fill up at that point and didn’t get other photos I wanted of the final experience. It seems anti-climactic, but it also reinforces a lesson that I am often reminded of... it isn't about the destination. It's about the journey. I feel I learned more about our country and about patriotism and about politics than I could post in several essays. I learned a few things about myself, about my dad, and about my beliefs. And I think I was there to help a few of these guys. I am still reeling from all of it. Can only sum up the entire experience in a few words: honor. gratitude. loss. grief. family. debt. pride.

And the words of a trucker somewhere in middle of the ride upon seeing the pack of bikes flying the colors, in his mid-west drawl, "Now that's America - right there on those bikes."

Mission accomplished.

 

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Know Your 2011 Kinetic Sculptures! (UPDATING!) (NOW WITH SOUND!)

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

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Morning drizzle gave way to glorious sunshine as the 2011 Kinetic Klass gathered on the Arcata Plaza Saturday. Does that signal a glorious weekend is upon us? Time will tell.

The following is an almost komplete (we'll keep adding to it) and helpful guide to this years kompetitors and their exploits.

(For a preview of this year's race, click here.)

Photos by Andrew Goff and Venatore Media's Preston Drake and Travis Turner.

Roll call!:

Tigers and Amazons - Spirit of the Glorious Founder Award Winner

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There was some pre-race controversy due to some members of Eureka High School East Lab's T&A sculpture allegedly being less than 16 years of age, therefore making them ineligible to participate. Chants of "Let Them Race" were heard. Birth certificates were produced. Tension between racers and race officials were high. We'll let you know how it goes.

12:01 update: T&A circled the Plaza at noon with the rest of the sculptures. Until we hear otherwise, we'll assume things are smoothed.

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1:32 p.m. update: Apparently, things aren't all smooth. Speaking with KHUM's Larry Trask, T&A team member "Sarah" revealed that in order for their sculpture to compete, team member parents had to sign up as official racer. She went on to promise that even if race officials don't consider her team "Ace-worthy," T&A would meet the requirements. "I'm doing this for me," she said." For the glory, indeed.

2:39 p.m. update: The Journal spoke with Kinetic President Monica Topping about the T&A kontroversy. She stated unofficially that she was "98% sure they're banished." More as it deveolps.

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UPDATE: We spoke with Alice Krause, the mother of two of the T&A racers who seemed none too happy about the kontroversy she and her daughters had to endure leading up to the race. Listen below.

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And then, of course, the racers, Sara and Tess Krause, themselves...

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After some brief tension clearing, Glorious Reason and fellow racer Justin Hobart Brown gave his two cents on the issue.

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We attempted to conduct similar interviews with Kinetic Universe President Monica Topping and Queen Blue LaRue. Both declined our request. Topping remarked, "Nothing positive can come out of anything I say right now."

UPDATE: In what has to be perceived as something of an olive branch, Tigers and Amazon were awarded the "Spirit of the Glorious Founder Award" by race officials. For the Glory, indeed.

"Random Tandem"

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One of the more kontroversial kontrapions of Day 1, Random Tandem crossed the finish line at Halverson Park well ahead of any other scuplture leading to allegations of "kourse manipulation" from KHUM's Amy Berkowitz among others.

When the Journal asked Team Captain "Jeremy" whether his two-man operation was in fact an official entry he presented his laminated "Pilot" badge and stated that they were a late entry to combat evidence that they were not announced from the stage on the Plaza by Berkowitz.

Okay, but that race number is suspicious, dude.

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Heroes of Gloryopolis - 1st Place Pageantry Award Winner

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Know Your Heroes of Gloryopolis!:

Queen Redonkulous! Superpower: The Donk!; Captain Obvious! Superpower: Obliviousness!; Salaman! Superpower: Amphibiousness!; Silver Lining! Superpower: Positivity!; Major Etiquette! Superpower: Politeitude!; Sonic Avenger! Superpower: Underwater Noise Cancellation!; Flying Squirrel Girl! Superpower: A Birds Eye View!; Brick House! Superpower: Destruction!; The Spark! Superpower: Seven Pounds of Glory Shoved Into a Three Pound Sack!; Mega Moxie! Superpower: Sticktuitiveness!

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Attack of the FunGuys - Most Improved Award/Best Pit Crew Award Winners

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Be sure to watch Kinetic Kelebrity Brian "Funguy" Slayton's kontraption when it enters the water tomorrow morning. "It's never been water tested," team member "Joe" told the Journal.

Awesome.

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After a grueling first day, Funguys arrived at Halverson Park, where we informed Brian, "You look like hell."

He replied, "And I feel half that good."

We then chronicled a standard "FunGuy Doublefist."

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One...

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Two...

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Yahoo!

 

The NewlyDeads - 1st Place Art/Spectators Award Winners

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The NewlyDead team displayed impressive pagentry while entering the Arcata Plaza accompanied by a New Orleans-style brass jazz band.

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Mr. Fish (ACE)

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When the Journal asked this sculpture for its official name, the driver said, "listen." He pushed a button a button and a deep voice uttered "MR. FIIIIIIIIISH!" If you've seen the Mr. Fish commercial, you know it.

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The Bottom Feeders

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2011 marks Bottom Feeder Captain Duane Flatmo's 30th year of Kinetics. Earlier this month the Journal spoke with Duane about the significance of the milestone. Read more here.

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Betty Betty Chinn Chinn - Best Junior Entry Award Winner

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Melvin (ACE)

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Coho Cruiser

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Knee High Puppet Stage

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Road Warrior - Best Bribe Award Winners

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Tempas Fugitives (ACE) - 2011 KINETIC GRAND CHAMPIONS!!!

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Sleek, sturdy and superb. Tempas Fugitives kicked all of the asses and were declared 2011 Kinetic Grand Champions. Glory acheived.

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The Jeep - You Klever Rascals/Biggest Splash Awards

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Spilt Milk

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Bonnie and Clyde Death Machine - Racer's Choice/6:32 Award Winners

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From KHUM interview: "We're cruising at 25 with 45's!"

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Sprocket Brothers Private Eyes (ACE)

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Sprocket Brothers Private Eyes held the distinction of having the fastest time among ACE Award-worthy sculptures. Not too shabby.

A Piece of Cake (ACE)

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Bouncing Friendly Gnome (ACE)

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Red Rocket 53

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Falcon Mobile

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Horseless Carriage 2.0

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Horseless Carriage 2.0 may have lost their ACE Award but were, for what's it's worth the first sculpture across the finish line in Ferndale on Day 3.

 

Hook and Ladder 420 - Most Cited by Kinetic Kops Award

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Slugtastic - Mediocre Award Winners

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Visualize World Peas

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Fros 'N' Peas (ACE) - One For the Little Guy Award

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Woody Endeavor (ACE) - Best Engineering/Golden Flipper Award Winners

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Naughty Bears Picnic Basket

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The Last Cycle

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Baggage Claim (ACE) - Teddy Bear Award

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Baggage Claim shocked many by being the first sculpture to cross the finish line at Crab Park on Day 2. Kudos, ladies!

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Parlour Car - Golden Dinosaur Award

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KHUM Radio's Larry Trask reported that the Parlour Car is the first sculpture of 2011 to break down. Broken axle. Bummer.

5:45 UPDATE: ... and yet they made it to the finish line. Cheers, crew.

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Glamorous Gladys - Best Campsite Award Winner

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June Moxon' Green Giraffe gaffed by going the wrong way at the noon whistle. Giraffes aren't that smart. They eventually figured it out.

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The Cyclops - Golden Flipper Award

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That's right. Just a unicycle. Those who witnessed The Cyclops make its way through the sand said it was "a sight to behold." KHUM reported that it took Cyclops took three glorious attempts at Dead Man's Drop before making it through.

Bozo & Reason (ACE)

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Rotary Adopts Playhouse

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

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We love what Jackie Dandeneau and David Ferney have created since they took over a portion of the Old Creamery building in Arcata five years ago and turned it into the Arcata Playhouse. Between traveling and local theater companies, musical acts of all sorts, the Playhouse family series and work with youth, they've built the space into vibrant community resource. And they've done so at a time when grant and foundation support for the arts has become more difficult to obtain and nonprofits are often hard-pressed to hold onto staff and keep the doors open. So, we're happy to pass along their report of a new community collaboration between the Playhouse and a local Rotary group. The Playhouse is already a great place to see a show, but somehow it's going to get nicer.

Press release follows:

In the spirit of community giving the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise has taken on the Arcata Playhouse as a project for an extreme makeover or as they like to call it, a "SWOT Operation" (Serving With Our Talents)."  In a two-phase project Rotary and the Playhouse will work together over the summer to accomplish a variety of tasks meant to both improve the overall aesthetic of the Arcata non-profit venue and address some of much needed electrical upgrades.

The first phase of the makeover will involve a 10-day shutdown of the Playhouse from June 6-16 and will focus mainly on an electrical upgrade of the theater lighting systems, sound-proofing and a redesign of the concessions area. The work will then resume for the second phase of the project in mid-August when new curtains will be added, painting will be done and work on the concessions and lobby areas will be finished.  Both organizations will be coordinating volunteer labor and acquiring materials donations for the project as well as fundraising efforts.

In their fifth year as a community arts organization, the Playhouse has proven itself to be a great addition to the Arcata and Humboldt County cultural scene with exceptional music, theater and variety performances. The Playhouse is also known for its family performance series, youth workshops and teen programs.

"It is a dream come true," said Jackie Dandeneau of the Playhouse about the project. "We have worked so hard at getting this place going for five years that it is a real treat to have Arcata Rotary come to us and offer their help. I can't tell you how thrilling it is."

After meeting Jackie at a Fire in the Belly event at the Playhouse in the fall of 2010 and seeing all of the great work that the Playhouse is doing for the community, Rotary member Barbara Browning approached the club about doing a makeover for the Playhouse. "The first project we did for the McKinleyville Family Resource Center was so successful on so many levels that we are inspired to do it again," said Browning. "Volunteers enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to participate in something fun and meaningful, and a momentum of positive change was started at the Family Resource Center that can still be felt when you walk through the door there.

"The Playhouse is a perfect venue for a ‘SWOT Operation' because of the broad spectrum of community members it serves, and because they have their own enthusiastic volunteer and member base to help complete such an ambitious project. It's incredibly exciting and rewarding to see what we are able to accomplish together as a community when we are able to focus our efforts."

The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise is a community service organization made up of local business and professional leaders who are also a part of the more than 29,000 other Rotary Clubs in 161 countries.www.arcatasunrise.org

A musical fundraiser is planned for Saturday, August 6 with the line-up to be announced as well as on-going fundraising efforts at the Playhouse over the summer. If you would like to contribute to this project, tax deductible donations can be sent to Arcata Playhouse, 1251 9th Street, Arcata, CA 95521.  If you would like to inquire about volunteering you can call (707) 822-1575.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bye bye, Kneeland P.O.?

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM

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(Photo courtesy of JA Robbins)

Heck of a party hubbub up there at the Kneeland Post Office today as neighbors wandered in in trickles and bursts to say goodbye to retiring Post Mistress Bonnie Lee Clark. Today was Clark's last day -- she worked 12 years at the tiny Kneeland outpost and 26 total for the Post Office in general.

Over the phone, around 3 p.m., her voice barely audible over the laughing and talking in the background, Clark said, "It's time to move on."

She seemed to be referring to more than her departure. By now, Kneeland folks have also heard that the Kneeland Post Office itself might be retired later this year. Could be they were also coming by to wallow in a bit of pre-emptive nostalgia. Anyone who's relied on that little white house with its 96 boxes might shed a tear right about now -- maybe it's where you got your mail; maybe you were on its delivery route of 230 more boxes; maybe it's where you referred to the community bulletin board when you had a need or a beef or a thing to peddle. Or maybe you just counted on it as a wayside respite after a long uphill slog by bicycle on the famed Kneeland route.

The rumor is that the lease has not been renewed for the little P.O., whose landlord is apparently a next-door neighbor. But the Post Office doesn't give out such information. An ending lease might be a reason to prompt the USPS to scrutinize a post office to see if it's a good place to save money, USPS spokesperson Gus Ruiz said over the phone this afternoon. He didn't know if that was Kneeland's situation (the regular spokesperson for this region was away). But he did say that the Kneeland Post Office is indeed on a list of P.O.'s slated for "potential discontinuance." That's potential.

"No decision has been made yet," Ruiz said.

He said the next step is to conduct a customer questionnaire and to hold a community meeting -- neither has been scheduled yet.

The USPS announced in January it would start closing about 2,000 post offices and that it was reviewing 16,000 more for possible closure; the service has been hemorrhaging for five years.

"In 2006, before the recession, when our volume [nationwide] was at its peak, we delivered 213 billion pieces of mail in the U.S.," Ruiz said. "That has declined to 175 billion. At the height, in 2006, we delivered six to seven pieces of mail to every address we deliver to. Now it's two to three pieces of mail per day per mailbox. So it's costing us the same to deliver fewer pieces."

Ruiz said the decline in volume is attributed mainly to the economic recession and a shift away from paper mail.

"A lot of our mail -- business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-business -- has all gone to electronic conveyance," Ruiz said. "There has been a slight increase in standard mail -- advertising mail. But it's not significant enough to overcome the loss we're seeing with First Class declines. There's also been a decline in foot traffic coming into the post office to do business at the counter. "

Ruiz didn't know the particulars of Kneeland's situation. But he said the USPS is studying all of the post offices slated for potential closure to determine if they can save enough by closing them while continuing their mandate to provide universal service; the data collected in that study isn't public.

Well. The P.O. has had a rather bonny good run up there in Kneeland -- it has operated continuously from 1880 to present (except for one year, between 1891 and 1892, according to ye olde Wiki). And it ain't closed yet.

As today wound to a close up there around 4 p.m., Bonnie Lee Clark, the retiring Post Mistress, was closing out her career with a transfer of duties to the new Kneeland Post Mistress, Bonnie Stanfield.

"That's my rule, only Bonnies can work here," Clark joked.

Bon voyage Bonnie and bon chance Bonnie!

 

 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photos and Video from Pedreros Child-Murder Case [Updated]

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 2:41 PM

In this week's issue of the Journal interns Travis Turner and Preston Drake-Hillyard report on the tragic case of Claudia Pedreros, the McKinleyville woman accused of drowning her 2 1/2-year-old daughter Sophia in the Trinity River last weekend.

 

Here we offer supplemental material that we were unable to include in the print edition. In the video above, Arcata defense attorney Russell Clanton, who is representing Pedreros, urges people to keep an open mind. He spoke to reporters outside the courtroom Tuesday afternoon after Pedreros' arraignment hearing was postponed until June 1.

Clanton's comments imply that his client may plead not guilty by reason of insanity. "She's obviously had some mental health issues in the past," he says. "It's clear that those problems are part of this case." Later, perhaps in reference to Pedreros' alleged confession, Clanton urges the media "to refrain from accepting rational conclusions from irrational statements."

Following Clanton's comments, Robert Parker -- Pedreros' husband and father to Sophia -- tearfully reads a statement to reporters. 

 

For photos by Drake-Hillyard, click "more."

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When an interpreter told Pedreros the charge against her, she laughed briefly.

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A neighbor of the Parker/Pedreros family, Ben Steffen, told the Journal that on the day before Pedreros went missing he saw her walk across the street bare-footed with a framing hammer, which she placed in a black plastic bag with grass trimmings. Steffen had heard Pedreros arguing with her father-in-law earlier in the day.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Budget Cuts?

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

The NCJ would like to thank the City of Eureka for our new, freshly painted "4-way sto" located at the corner of 3rd and F sts. We agree that "p"s are ointless and assé and are glad to see savings assed on to Eureka taxayers.

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Yes, all four ways.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Update: Missing Toddler Found Dead

Posted By on Sun, May 22, 2011 at 1:00 AM

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Police sources report that a 30-year-old McKinleyville woman, Claudia Parker, who had left her in-laws' home in McKinleyville late Friday night was found the following morning walking naked down Hwy 3 near Coffee Creek Road in the Trinity Lake area. It is assumed that Parker left Humboldt County with her 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Sophia Parker, but the girl was not with her mother. 

Update: The Record Searchlight reports:

The missing Humboldt County girl was found dead this afternoon in the Trinity River and her mother will be charged on suspicion of her daughter's murder.

Parker initially said she does not remember driving to Trinity County or if she had her daughter with her. She later told officials she thought the girl was with her. Parker's 2008 silver Kia sedan (Calif. License 6GKR186) was found in a campground nearby. Personal items discarded from the car, including children's toys, were found on Hwy 3 and on Hwy 299. Police searched for the toddler along the full route the car followed. Claudia Parker was originally booked in Weaverville on child endangerment charges.

Journal interns Travis Turner and Preston Drake-Hillyard of Venatore Media went to Trinity County and filed a report after speaking with Search Incident Commander Sgt. Ray Hurlburt from the Trinity County Sheriff's Dept.

Sgt. Ray Hurlburt on missing toddler

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A California Highway Patrol Helicopter searches Trinity Lake near Coffee Creek on Saturday, May 21 for a two-year old who went missing.  The search started when police found the mother walking nude down Hwy 3 near Trinity Lake Campground. photo and cutline by Preston Drake-Hillyard  

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Search and Rescue, Trinity County Sheriff, US Department of Forestry and volunteers gather at Trinity Lake Campground near Coffee Creek on Hwy 3. The campsite was where they found a silver 2008 KIA sedan, the car driven by Claudia Parker/Pedreros, 30, of McKinleyville. The car was also occupied by her 2 1/2 yr. old daughter, Sophia. photo and cutline by Travis Turner.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Salzman Sues Arcata Over Panhandling Law

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 4:02 PM

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Political activist/consultant/sign maker Richard Salzman (above right) filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court yesterday against the City of Arcata, claiming that the liberal mecca's panhandling ordinance is unconstitutional.

Ordinance no. 1399, which narrowly passed the Arcata City Council last March, made it illegal to panhandle "in an aggresive manner." It also prohibits panhandling in certain geographic regions. For example, you can't beg for money within 20 feet of any of the followig: ATMs, check-cashing businesses, entrances to stores, restaurants or bars, bus stops, foot bridges and intersections.

Salzman has no beef with the ban on aggressive panhandling, but he claims that those spacial restrictions violate the First Amendment. In March of this year the Arcata City Council refused to back down in the face of Salzman's threats of litigation; with a 4-1 vote the council decided not to amend the ordinance.

In his complaint Salzman claims that "the ordinance was passed for the unlawful purpose of driving out the homeless population ... and the City unlawfully singles out the homeless for discriminatory treatment."

Read the full complaint here.

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Rabies Miracle?

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM

A remarkable turn of events in the story of a Willow Creek resident who was diagnosed with rabies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): According to the Two Rivers Tribune, the victim's family expects the victim to make a full recovery. The TRT story identifies the victim as "a young girl."

If both the diagnosis and the predictions of recovery hold true, this would be only the second recorded case of human survival of rabies in the absence of either pre- or postexposure prophylaxis. The first -- and so far only -- such case occured in 2004, when a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl recovered after contracting the disease from a bat, according to the CDC.

County officials could not confirm the prospects for recovery. "We don't have any information to disclose about the child's condition beyond saying that her condition is improving," said Humboldt County Public Education Officer Heather Muller.

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release today announcing that the investigation into the source of the disease is "winding down" without a positive identification.

"Our main suspect is feral, unvaccinated cats, but we have investigated other wild and domestic animal sources as well," county health officer Dr. Ann Lindsay said in the release.

The rest of the release is below.

Public Health, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health, conducted several hundred interviews of residents in the Willow Creek area. The purpose of the interviews was to determine if other people were at possible risk of contracting rabies.

"While no definitive exposures were identified, out of an abundance of caution the decision was made to vaccinate some individuals who had come into contact with the patient," said Lindsay. "This includes medical personnel and family members."

Lindsay said, "Because of the heightened awareness and our investigation, we identified two other individuals who were at possible risk from animal bites that were unrelated to this situation. Those two are receiving vaccination as well."

The resident is currently in stable condition and showing improvement. Lindsay said "Public Health Nurses are in contact with the hospital and the family. We are encouraged by the news that the patient has improved."

Public Health nurses continue to meet with concerned residents and investigate possible leads.

"The number-one thing residents can do to protect themselves and their families is to vaccinate their domestic animals," Lindsay said. Several low-cost vaccination clinics are scheduled. Call (707) 445-6200 for more information or to get a copy of the schedule.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Huh.

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Guess what, kids? Bonus vague Seven-O-Heaven!!! Yay!!!

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Note: This is, in no way shape or form, journalism.

UPDATE: Countdown: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2...

Hugs!

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