Woof. The latest issue of the Humboldt Economic Index is a major bummer. The leading indicators of our economic health "universally soured in November," the report states. The monthly economic barometer, assembled by students in H.S.U.'s economics department, measures changes (with seasonal adjustments) in six sectors of the local economy. Here are the lowlights:
Unemployment claims -- up
Help wanted ads -- down
Number of building permits issued -- down
Number of homes sold -- down (albeit slightly)
Median price of a home -- down
Retail sales -- down
Lumber manufacturing -- down
Hospitality -- down
See? Bummer. Perhaps searching for a silver lining, the authors of the report note that national markets are faring better than ours, so things might start looking up "if local trends mimic general ones." And one more bright (?) note: Local gas prices fell four cents to $3.94 per gallon. Just in time for Christmas.
Deck the walls of your Occupy tent and color the sidewalks, then get yourself on home for your usual seasonal merrymaking. Occupy Humboldt's takin' a break.
That's the news from Humboldt State University's campus-based Occupy camp -- news graciously passed along by the university's official media arm via Paul Mann. The news release notes a lineup of closing ceremonies. Here ya go, the news release (with minor cleanup):
"Dear Occupy Humboldt and Friends,
Please help make Thursday, Dec. 8 a beautiful day. In celebration of our beautiful Occupation, we will be hosting a rally/jamboree. After a fantastic 'American Autumn', we will be packing it up on the morning of the 9th, for Winter Break. For the festivities on the 8th, please see the line up below, and share this link!
Many of us will be spending the night of the 8th at the encampment. Please join us! BRING TENT!!! BRING INSTRUMENTS!!! JOIN US!!! INVITE PEOPLE!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!
Dec. 8 Line Up
Noon -- 2:30 p.m.: Occupation Beautification -- Sign-Making Workshop, Sidewalk Chalk Bash, and Coloring Out of the Lines
2:30 -- 5:30 p.m.: Rally! Move to Amend Teach In and Rally! Learn About the Corporate Take Over of Democracy, and How To Take It Back!
5:30 -- 6:30: Occupy Humboldt, Calif.
6:30 p.m. till Bedtime: DANCE PARTY!!!
Morning of Dec. 9: Roll Up the Encampment!
Please share this invite with your friends and social networks.
This week's Journal cover story prominently features the mixed martial arts debut of 16-year-old Eureka High junior Taneisha Kyle at Blue Lake Casino's October NorCal Fight Fest event.
Below you'll find some YouTubed video of that fight. Skip to 9:15 on the first vid for introductions and round one. Rounds two and three follow.
Rounds two and three. Kyle's opponent 26-year-old Jamie Nevena taps out at 7:40.
And some more pics:
A Eureka city block was evacuated and Hwy. 101 traffic diverted for nearly two hours this morning after a semi truck backed onto the sidewalk, breaking through a PG&E natural gas vault and severing a pipe. The recessed access vault was located in the sidewalk outside the county's Republican Central Committee headquarters at 311 Fifth St.
Eureka Fire Department Capt. Chris Jelinek said the call came in around 8:10 this morning, possibly from the truck driver who caused the leak. The smell of butyl mercaptan -- the odorant added to natural gas to detect leaks -- filled the area as fumes poured from the severed 1.5-inch pipe.
The block between Fourth and Fifth and D and E streets was evacuated along with the south side of Fifth St., including Starbucks. The Eureka Fire Department diverted northbound traffic to Seventh St. and closed sections of D and E streets while PG&E workers dug into the asphalt to reach the surrounding pipes.
By 9:45 the leak had been contained and one lane of northbound Hwy. 101 was opened. Capt. Jelinek said the area is now safe and PG&E should complete the repair work within an hour or two.
As you know if you read this week's paper, Eureka's monthly arts night, Arts Alive! takes place Saturday night and many of you be out and about.
Occasional Journal contributor Jim Hight produced this fine little vid extolling the many virtues of Arts Alive with Benjamin Bettenhausen handling camera duties. Our own art critic R.W. Evans is among those interviewed. You'll also see accordionist Rick Fugate (our pick as Best Arts Night Noisemaker) and a lot more creative types doing what they do. Take a few minutes and watch it. You're sure to see someone you know.
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Edit: *Critical Race Gender & Sexuality Studies* :)