Sunday, February 8, 2015

On the Klamath dams front

Posted By on Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge Klamath River at Hopkins Creek, close to Weitchpec. - PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
  • Klamath River at Hopkins Creek, close to Weitchpec.

Former Oregon state senator Jason Atkinson has co-produced a new documentary about the conflict between users of the Klamath River and how they finally hashed out the historic Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement to take out four dams and restore salmon and other habitat. The agreement awaits Congress' approval. The film, by Atkinson and filmmaker Jeff Martin, is called A River Between Us and comes out this spring.

High Country New interviewed Atkinson about it, and notes that he was the "first Republican to ever receive a 100 percent approval rating from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters."

"Atkinson, a fifth generation farmer along the Klamath, has a long personal history with the river. He has fly-fished there since he was old enough to hold a rod and learned from his grandparents — one an Eisenhower Republican, the other, a Reagan-hating liberal — that restoring the Klamath did not have to be a polarizing issue.

HCN reports that Atkinson "hopes the film will help spur Congress to authorize the agreement — what he calls 'the greatest conservation opportunity in America.'” Atkinson, in the interview, says that it's wrong to think of the Klamath River battle as "right versus left, dams versus fish":

"HCN: But today’s political climate makes that kind of model look almost unattainable. Why is it that so many environmental initiatives have become lightning rods for partisanship?

"JA: In my mind it was 1973 when the Endangered Species Act was passed—by a Republican no less. People had no idea what the unintended consequences of that would be. Ten years later, that Act was seen as a declaration of war on small communities across the country, and I would argue that that’s when partisanship really stepped in for the first time in the conservation debate.

"The thing that frustrated me was that having grown up in agriculture, I know that every year, once harvest is done, all the farmers go fishing. Everybody does. So in my own mind, I couldn’t reconcile a narrative that makes those kinds of distinctions — and one that discounts an entire swath of Americans from the public land debate."

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Our Man and the Father of the Nuclear Navy

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 6:31 PM

click to enlarge film_poster_Rickover.jpg
Tonight — very late tonight — on PBS, you can watch the premiere of a film about Admiral Hyman G. Rickover — you know, the fella who built the first nuclear submarine, first nuclear aircraft carrier and first commercial nuclear power plant.

Why? Because you'll learn about a complex, brilliant, controversial person considered instrumental in ending the Cold War. But also because Humboldt resident and retired Navy Rear Adm. Dave Oliver is in the film. Oliver served under Rickover for much of his 32-year Navy career, and he wrote a book about him calledAgainst the Tide: Rickover’s Leadership Principles and the Rise of the Nuclear Navy. It came out in November.

click to enlarge Dave Oliver - PHOTO COURTESY JORDAN N. FENSTER
  • Photo courtesy Jordan N. Fenster
  • Dave Oliver
Oliver also has rubbed elbows with the current presidential nominee for Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. As he tells BookTrib writer (and Oliver publicist) Jordan N. Fenster, he and “Ash” go back to the Clinton days when Oliver was Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for that administration:

“‘He was working on nuclear issues and I was worrying about the number of nuclear weapons in Russia,’ Oliver said. ‘We secretly smuggled 40 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world out of Kazakhstan.’”

There’s more to Oliver’s story than all that – go read up on your neighbor and his book.

The documentary premieres around dessert-time elsewhere in the country. Here in Humboldt, you insomniacs can catch it at 1 a.m. (so, technically, tomorrow) on KEET TV Channel 13. It airs again on Thursday Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.; Friday Dec. 12 at 1 a.m.; and Saturday Dec. 13 at 5 a.m. (Get up, lazy bones! Ya think Rickover slept in?)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Anchors Aweigh!

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 4:15 PM

  • From Lindsay Housaman's Facebook Page.
The North Coast has a new TV news program. Back in spring the Journal caught wind that KRCR out of Redding was launching a news program to rival our local NBC affiliates at KIEM.

The news program, which debuted yesterday at 6 p.m., apparently (although they have web content dating back to Sunday), will air at 6 p.m. on KAEF ABC 23 and at 10 p.m. on KBVU Fox 28 — two of KRCR’s local sister stations.
click to enlarge GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
The station came together in the downtown Eureka KAEF building under the guidance of assistant news director Lindsay Housaman, who will anchor the program. There are four reporters: Candase Chambers, Tyler Dahlgren, Katherine Harwood, and Nick Prete; and weatherman Mike Krueger.

The Journal hasn’t caught a broadcast of the program yet — if you saw the debut, tell us what you think. 
  • From Lindsay Housaman's Facebook Page.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

We Want Short Shorts

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

click to enlarge CVR-typewriter-bang.jpg

Writers of ridiculously tiny prose, your time is running out. Friday — aka Oct. 31, aka Hallowe'en, aka (over there yonder) Nevada Day — is the last day to enter our flash fiction contest.

It's too late to snail mail those suckers to us, so e-mail them to Or, if you have to, drop them off by hand at 310 F St. in Eureka. Address your entries to "North Coast Journal Flash Fiction Contest" and include your name, address and phone number (we won’t print your contact info). 

Entries must be received by 5 p.m.

Each entry must be 99 words or fewer

Multiple entries OK.

No poetry.

No plagiarism.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AT&T Blames 'Fiber Issue" for Blackout

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge We don't know what local AT&T customers looked like when their service was restored last night, but we imagine it was something like this.
  • We don't know what local AT&T customers looked like when their service was restored last night, but we imagine it was something like this.
Scores of AT&T customers found themselves cut off from the rest of the digital world Monday afternoon, as the company experienced what it described cryptically as a “fiber issue.”

The outage hit early Monday afternoon and lasted until the evening, leaving AT&T cell phone, Internet and U-verse customers without service. Some poor souls who rely on AT&T for home phone, internet and cell phone service experienced a complete telecommunications blackout. This morning, AT&T spokesman Alex Carey released the following statement:

“Due to a fiber issue, some customers in the Humboldt County area may have experienced issues with their wireline, wireless and U-verse services. AT&T technicians worked diligently to resolve the issue and service is currently running normally. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Carey declined to say how many customers were affected or how long the “issues” persisted, saying he couldn’t elaborate beyond the statement.

A Journal reader passed along the following, taken from the website, which tracks service interruptions and outages nationwide. The screenshot is of the site's map of reported AT&T outages as of 5 p.m. Monday. It seems to indicate Humboldt County was far from the only area experiencing an "issue." With Carey declining to elaborate, it's unclear if the outages were related in any way.

click to enlarge image001.png

Editors Note: This story was updated from a previous version to correctly attribute the pictured outage map.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Star is Born and El Pulpo be thy Name

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM

click to enlarge oliver_pulpo.PNG
Humboldt County’s most famous flaming octopus has fully arrived on the national stage.

El Pulpo Mecanico, the brainchild of Kinetic hall-of-famer Duane Flatmo, has for years been appearing at Burning Man, an arts festival in the Nevada desert, and has become a favorite of its cult-like following. But now, the fire spewing machine is going mainstream.

First, the newly dubbed “pyropus” made an unexpected appearance on former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s HBO show, Last Week Tonight. (The appearance comes toward the end of the two minute segment, but is worth the wait.)

But that’s just the beginning, as Flatmo’s tentacled friend is due to be featured on a Burning Man themed episode of The Simpsons on Nov. 16, when some three million viewers will watch Bart, Homer and company party on the playa. Flatmo said he was touring El Pulpo around Burning Man when he ran into a lawyer-type who told him Simpsons Director David Silverman was at a nearby camp and wanted to meet him. Turns out Silverman is a big-time Burner, known for strolling around playing a flaming tuba. Obviously, the two hit it off.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Huffman on Colbert!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

click to enlarge colbert.JPG
UPDATE: The Huff's Colbert segment indeed aired. Check it out right below. There's a lot of talk about sharks.

Huffman shared a bit about what ended up on the cutting room floor on his Facebook page:

Now that the Colbert show has run, I can tell you there were some really funny scenes that didn't make the cut. In one, he poured himself a huge glass (to the brim) of my homemade wine and started drinking it, saying he detected flavors of "liberal overreaching" and "projecting weakness to our enemies." In another, he made me play volleyball against him on a makeshift court in the hallway. We had a discussion about fugitive methane losses, which he called silent but deadly. And lots of marijuana stuff ended up not making the cut. It's interesting to see how they edited 2 hours of taping down to the final segment. Lots of fun!
PREVIOUSLY: Congressman Jared Huffman recorded a segment for the Colbert Report back in July, and has been teasing details about on his Facebook page since; apparently he was unsure when the show would air. 
click to enlarge Jared1.JPG
It looks like tonight's the night: If you've got cable TV, tune into Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. to (probably) catch Huff on national TV. He apparently appeared in a "Better Know a District" segment, which "offers a humorous explanation of a different United States Congressional district in each segment and generally includes an interview with that district's member of Congress," according to Wikipedia. Huffman's district, as we all know, should provide plenty of fodder for the funny man.

When Huffman took to Facebook in May to ask his constituents if he should appear on the show, he got an overwhelmingly supportive response, including on commenter who wrote, "Prepare to meet your maker. I have yet to see one of your congressional colleagues look good after being manipulated by Stephen. It's funny stuff but usually at the expense of ones dignity. So yes of course, do it!"

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wait a Second... Sunset Magazine's Dubious Geography

Posted By on Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 6:49 AM

click to enlarge Sunset.JPG
If you saw Tuesday’s edition of the Times-Standard, you couldn’t have missed the splashy, above-the-fold cover feature about Sunset Magazine's most recent issue featuring Humboldt County on it’s own cover.

The hypish piece was “special to the Times-Standard,” and was essentially a story about the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau’s efforts to help the venerable West Coast culture and travel magazine showcase Humboldt. It’s not that far a stretch. Sunset is based out of the Bay Area and Humboldt County destinations have been featured in it a number of times. And this kind of thing is sort of the CVB's job, right? But while the bureau was patting itself on the back in local media, the five-million-reader Sunset committed an egregious faux pas.

A caption embedded on the magazine’s cover shot of a sparkling colorful beach vista reads “Moonstone Beach, near Trinidad, California.” But, after careful examination by the Journal’s panel of experts, it’s very clear that is, in fact, NOT Moonstone Beach. It’s Luffenholtz Beach, located just a few miles north. So getcher facts straight, Sunset, and, Humboldt County Convention and Vistors Bureau — maybe give your next visitors a better map.

If you're into seeing the local sights showcased on a national stage, Sunset also posted a slideshow from its Humboldt tour to its website (with another geographically questionable title: "Top 24 Sites on California's Lost Coast). You might see someone you know.
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Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Patriot Among Us

Posted By on Sat, May 3, 2014 at 11:58 AM

  • Humboldt State University
The North Coast Journal's own Media Maven, Marcy Burstiner, recently took home the Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union's 2014 Patriot Award for her support of free speech rights and open government.

Burstiner, who chairs the Humboldt State University Journalism Department and is the faculty advisor to the university's newspaper, The Lumberjack, is a founding board member of the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights. She also regularly takes on First Amendment and government transparency issues in her monthly column for the Journal.

Greg Allen, who sits on the Redwood ACLU's board, said Burstiner was a clear choice for the board. Pointing specifically to Burstiner's March 27 column, "The Big Chill," which took on the county's protest ordinance and Arcata's practice of deterring pro-marijuana gatherings in Redwood Park on April 20, Allen said Burstiner's had a huge impact on the local community. He credited her column with helping push the board of supervisors to repeal the protest ordinance, and said her insight on Redwood Park's 4/20 gatherings was profound, as she equated the gatherings to political speech protected by the First Amendment.

"Marcy was the first person to say it that way," Allen said. "Christ, I've been heavily involved in the weed movement and the ACLU for years, and I'd never thought of it that way."

For her part, Burstiner said the award is a recognition that people care about free speech rights and working to protect them. "What was nice wasn't so much getting the award," she said by e-mail. "The award made me realize how many people there were in Humboldt County who also felt that our First Amendment Rights are really important and that it is really important that we work to exercise and protect them."

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Monday, April 14, 2014

New News News

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge DSC_0337.JPG
The empty, dilapidated front room of the KAEF building at Sixth and E streets in Eureka will soon be bustling with news hustlers, if all goes according to plan, and Humboldt County’s only TV news program will have competition for the first time in almost 10 years.

“We are looking forward to elevating the level of broadcast news available in the market,” KRCR Redding News Director Jennifer Scarbrough says in a not-so-subtle dig at KIEM News Channel 3. “We genuinely believe viewers in all of our areas deserve the best news product they can possibly get.”

Details are light at this point and plans are being finalized, but Scarbrough says the news program is a go. The broadcaster’s sister stations — KAEF 23 (our local ABC affiliate) and KBVU 28 (our FOX affiliate) — are both likely candidates for a local news program, she says.
click to enlarge DSC_0342.JPG
The station hasn't decided on a launch date, nor is it giving out information about how many reporters or other employees it will hire for the Eureka station. The station is currently advertising for an assistant news director position. Scarbrough will act as the news director, splitting her time between Eureka and Redding.

Is the Humboldt County market big enough to support another TV news program? “We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think that was the case.”

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