Business / Economy

Monday, August 22, 2016

Into and Out of the Theater Business

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 12:07 PM

FROM THE MING TREE WEBSITE
  • From the Ming Tree website

Looking to manage a marquee? Here's your chance. The Arcata Theatre Lounge is on the market for a cool $1.85 million via Ming Tree Realtors. The revamped Art Deco venue has been listed for a week and includes shops rented by Bluegrass Barber and Smug's pizza. 

Over the phone last week, Lara Cox, who owns the theater with her husband Brian, said, "We've done this, we've devoted 11 years of our lives to the theater and it's been awesome … but we're just ready to do something different at this point." That something else may be a project in Humboldt but Cox is tight-lipped about what. There's "nothing we love so much as a project," she said. 

And the ATL's renovation has been that. Cox said that, over the course of five years of working with the city, the pipes, electricity, sound, lighting and kitchen, among other things, have all been updated and brought to code and ADA standards. Given the investment, as well as the business, equipment and liquor license, Cox said with a deep breath, "We feel good about the price. The hardest part of this decision is that we have so many loyal customers and the community has been awesome … it's bittersweet."

Don't panic over where to get your B-movie and pizza fix just yet. Until a buyer steps up, Cox said, it's business as usual. 
McKinlay and Neff in the Minor lobby during renovations. - FILE
  • File
  • McKinlay and Neff in the Minor lobby during renovations.

Meanwhile, a crumpled popcorn bag's throw away, the Minor Theater is on the cusp of opening its doors again. Business partners Josh Neff and Merrick McKinlay have set the date for a Sept. 16 red carpet premiere. (See the Journal's cover story on the purchase and renovation here.) 

After going back and forth with the city over whether the business should be considered a theater or a lounge, like the ATL, Neff and McKinlay have managed to secure permission for their set-up, including an expanded concessions stand stocked with Slice of Humboldt Pie, Smug's, beer and wine. Add to that an ADA-compliant automatic door and an upgraded fire safety system that includes alarms for each theater. 

Neff and McKinlay are finalizing the schedule for opening night and weekend but, so far, it's set to play like a local film fest with short films from the likes of Steven Vander Meer and Violet Crabtree, with locally filmed 1970s schlock homage The Love Witch scheduled later in the fall. 

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Renner's New Owner: No Changes on Horizon

Posted By on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 at 5:43 PM

Renner and its 13 stations from Klamath to Piercy are coming under new ownership. - FILE
  • File
  • Renner and its 13 stations from Klamath to Piercy are coming under new ownership.
Renner Petroleum, one of Humboldt’s bright, homegrown success stories, is being sold to Stockton’s Valley Pacific Petroleum Services, Inc.

Valley Pacific President and CEO Norman Crum said he doesn’t expect the sale to have much of a local impact. “They’ve got a very nice, clean operation running,” Crum said, noting the company’s solid safety record and high morale among employees. “We don’t really want to change anything at this point. If anything, we may have some of our people from Stockton come up to Eureka to see how they’re doing things up here because Renner Petroleum has a very good way.”

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Dredge Report

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 11:59 AM

A stitched-together panorama of the Bayport. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • A stitched-together panorama of the Bayport.
The Journal tagged along with North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Conservation and Recreation District earlier this week on a visit to the dredge Bayport, which is clearing winter storm shoaling that made Humboldt Bay's entrance super dangerous and prevented several cargo ships from docking this spring.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Korbel Mill Sold

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:40 PM

FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD CO. WEBSITE
  • FROM THE CALIFORNIA REDWOOD CO. WEBSITE
The Korbel Mill, which has been for sale for almost two years and closed down last February, recently sold to the Trinity River Timber Company.

Green Diamond Resource Company, which owned the sawmill, announced the sale — which includes the fixed mill assets, a lease of the property and associated log and lumber yards and a log supply agreement with Green Diamond timberlands — in a press release today.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Selling out to Big Soda

Posted By on Sat, May 7, 2016 at 9:36 AM

GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
It was with incredulity that Journal staffers gazed on a slender green can of caffeinated pop dressed up in gaudy packaging that arrived last week.

There, in front of us, was a piece of bona fide swag. A well constructed box with a green ribbon pull, embossed lettering, and printed with a somewhat ominous countdown: 93 days, 15 hours, 47 minutes. It’s unclear what was supposed to happen three months from the box’s arrival; it’s clearly a summer product, but summer was more like 60 days away when the box arrived, and how could the energy drink’s marketers possibly know the minute it would show up at NCJ HQ?

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Raised: Local Economists Talk California's Minimum Wage Increase

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM

thinkstockphotos-rbrb_2765.jpg
Many of Humboldt County’s lowest-earning workers stand to see their lots improve over the next six years, as the California minimum wage increases to $15 per hour.

A bill, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month, will increase the state minimum wage from $10 to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, to $11 in 2018, and then by $1 each subsequent year until 2022. The increase comes as New York signed a similar bump, and following municipal wage raises around the nation, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

What does this mean for local businesses and workers? It’s hard to say at this point.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mayor Jager Hears Realtors' Concerns, Vetoes Ordinance

Posted By on Sat, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Eureka Mayor Frank Jager has vetoed an ordinance for the first time in 20 years, and possibly on the second time in the city's history. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Eureka Mayor Frank Jager has vetoed an ordinance for the first time in 20 years, and possibly on the second time in the city's history.
For the first time in 20 years, Eureka’s mayor has vetoed an ordinance passed by the city council.

Eureka Mayor Frank Jager sent the council a memorandum on Thursday advising that he is vetoing its April 5 vote to pass an ordinance requiring residents to have their lateral sewer lines — those connecting their houses to the main city line — inspected and, if needed, repaired. The ordinance, a similar version of which recently passed in Arcata, requires the inspections and repairs under several conditions, including whenever the property sells to a new owner.

But, citing concerns from real estate agents and homeowners, Jager wielded his seldom used veto power to send the bill back to the council for further consideration.

“I don’t feel the ordinance was vetted well with the community,” Jager wrote. “Other communities considering such an ordinance have held information workshops with the public and taken input from the real estate community. The impact of this ordinance on the homeowner is not a minor expense.”

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Must, Need & Nice: Measure Z Committee Makes Its Recommendations

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 3:42 PM

humboldt_county_ca_seal.jpg
The Citizen's Advisory Committee on Measure Z has finished sorting through the 43 applications it received for funding, breaking the requests up into three categories: "must," "need" and "nice." The process, which involved six meetings and a public hearing, short-listed the "musts" for inclusion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the budget for which will be up for approval by the Board of Supervisors on June 7. The "needs" will return for consideration during the mid-year budget review, and the "nices" will probably not see a cent of the $5.93 million generated from sales tax revenue estimated to swell the county coffers this year.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carson Block Redux: When Stucco Was King

Posted By on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 2:52 PM

A 1924 advertisement touting the modernization of the Carson Block building. - BOB LIBERSHAL
  • Bob Libershal
  • A 1924 advertisement touting the modernization of the Carson Block building.
Local historian Bob Libershal was kind enough to come by the Journal office recently and deliver a copy of an article he found during his duties as archivist for the Eureka Heritage Society. The article, from June of 1924, sheds light on why the H.H. Buhne Company, which bought the Carson Block building from the Carson family in 1923, then chose to coat the gorgeous old building in stucco. A full page advertisement in the same newspaper, the Humboldt Standard, appeared two months later with the names of the contracting firms who did the renovation "in a workmanlike manner." Enjoy!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

There's Weed-Infused Vodka Now

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 2:21 PM

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
We all knew it was coming to this. Humboldt Distillery — which began selling its Humboldt Vodka brand a couple years ago — has released a cannabis-infused vodka called, obviously, "Humboldt's Finest." 

Owner Abe Stevens explains in a press release that the vodka — which doesn't have any THC in it, rendering it legal to sell — has an "herbal and aromatic quality reminiscent of fresh cannabis, and we've found it works very well in place of gin, giving classic cocktails a fresh new spin.” 

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