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Oct. 19, 2000


Co-op receives award

Strom-Martin raising funds

Focus on giving in Humboldt

Unemployment hits a new low

HSU still building

Library grants to tribes

in-home care aid arrives

Co-op receives award

More than 1,900 California businesses applied for the state's Waste Reduction Awards this year, but only 10 were chosen.

The North Coast Co-op, with locations in Arcata and Eureka, joins the likes of Apple Computer as an award recipient. The Co-op was commended for its efforts to recycle paper, plastic and compostable materials -- and for reducing the amount of packaging in general by encouraging reuse of bags and boxes.

State Sen. Wesley Chesbro, an Arcata resident and former member of the Integrated Waste Management Board, which administers the award, said he was pleased to see the award go to the Co-op. He said the grocery stores had pioneered waste reduction techniques like bag refunds that are now commonplace.

"These strategies are widespread now, but the Co-op started using them 20 years ago," he said.

The announcement was made during a Waste Management Board meeting held Tuesday in the Eureka City Council chambers.

Strom-Martin raising funds

Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin's campaign stands to make a little money when she throws her fund-raising party Saturday.

The event will fete five individuals who will be honored for contributing to the North Coast community. Tickets for the event, dubbed "North Coast Community Builders," start at $25 and range up to $500 for a group of 10, and there's a silent auction to boot.

Thing is, she doesn't need it. She is running for reelection, but her Republican opponent, Michael Lampson, has announced she will not actively campaign.

So why the fund-raiser? David Hickman, manager of Strom-Martin's Eureka office, said, "Most of the proceeds will be donated to races elsewhere in the state."

See this week's Calendar for details or call 825-6832 to reserve tickets.

Focus on giving in Humboldt

The new wave of philanthropy may be making a shift from gifts of money to gifts of time, according to a recent article in Chronicle of Philanthropy.

That supposition was confirmed in a recent project by Channel 13, KEET-TV. The public television station asked for nominations for individuals and groups that best represent philanthropy. The nominations came back not with the names of big-name donors, but with the names of volunteers.

A public television program, "The Spirit of Giving," honoring those nominated will air Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. The documentary-style program, hosted by Dennis Leonardi, shares lesser-known stories of children and adults.

Many of those featured have personal connections to their causes. Nyle Henderson of Eureka spearheaded a project to identify bone marrow donors after his own son died of leukemia. Recent Eureka High graduate Jon Byington worked to prevent youth suicide after a schoolmate took his own life.

Also honored are the Braille Transcribers of Humboldt; Blue Lake resident Terra Tolley, for her work with cancer patients; the Jefferson Family Group that raised money for a school playground; Jayna Fendrick of McKinleyville for a project assembling personal care bags for local foster children; the Builders Club of Winship Junior High for fund-raising for the Sequoia Zoo; and Marjorie Lauritsen of Eureka, a 25-year volunteer at General Hospital.

Halfway to the garden

The Humboldt Bay Botanical Gardens Foundation announced this week it has raised a little more than $2 million -- half of the funds it needs for the Humboldt Botanical Garden. Supporters are now launching the second phase of the capital drive with an appeal to the public.

Karen Angel, executive director for garden development, said the first half of the capital campaign was considered the "quiet phase." The foundation wanted to make sure there was adequate support for a botanical garden before appealing to the public.

Now that the first $2 million has been raised, there will be higher profile fund-raising efforts, including campaigns to sell Garden Pavers -- engraved bricks to be used in the garden-- and pins with a picture of a native iris.

There is a chance the foundation will get a large portion of the fund-raising done all at once. Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin has promised to introduce a "member's request" for $1 million in state funding for the garden early in 2001.

Angel said that the foundation wasn't counting on the request being included in the budget -- a similar Strom-Martin attempt last year failed -- but she was happy to note that Strom-Martin "is very into gardens herself" and had pledged her support.

The garden, to be located on the College of the Redwoods campus, will include native gardens, a temperate woodland stream and a lookout.

Unemployment hits a new low

In another indicator that Humboldt County's economy remains healthy, unemployment dropped to 4.9 percent during September. That's the lowest rate the county has experienced this year. There are 2,100 more jobs in the county now than a year ago, which has helped offset an increase in the number of people looking for work.

It isn't just the seasonal variations to which the economy is so vulnerable that have brought the rate down, said Steve Hackett, an economics professor at HSU who publishes a monthly analysis of the Humboldt County economy.

"I don't think it's just logging," Hackett said. He believes the rise in employment was "broad based" and a sign that "some of the strength of the national economy is washing into Humboldt County."

"The rate, 4.9 percent, is really good for Humboldt County, even considering the season," Hackett said.

HSU still building

Humboldt State University's plan to turn the Daly Building into a performance space may have been placed on permanent hold, but other construction plans are moving forward.

Two new projects costing approximately $6.5 million are in the works --boating instruction and safety center on the waterfront in Eureka and expansion of the University Center on campus.

The boating instruction and safety center will provide a home to HSU crew teams and boating safety classes. HSU Center Activities, which has been offering the safety classes for about 20 years, hopes to be able to move into its new 17,000-square-foot digs next to the Adorni Center in about three years.

"This will allow us to have a home and offer better programming," said Center Activities Director Dan Collen.

The University Center is a multi-function building with office space, dining areas and the Kate Buchanan Room -- used to hold performances, seminars and conferences. While the entire building is slated for renovation, the Buchanan Room will receive the most dramatic work, including improvements to the room's ventilation, acoustics and aesthetics.

Construction on the University Center will begin next spring and take about a year.

Library grants to tribes

Three Native American tribes have received grants totalling $294,831 from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. The grants are to help preserve Native American culture in library archives and to lessen the "digital divide" by providing Native Americans with Internet access. The three grants were among 11 given nationwide.

The Wiyot tribe will use the funds to try to preserve language and culture through a website. The Yurok tribe plans to put its tribal archive online, and the Hoopa tribe will reestablish a community library.

Wiyot Chairwoman Cheryl Seidner said in a statement that she was "excited to have the opportunity to record our elders and to help forge a stronger link with those who have gone before us."

In-home care aid arrives

The Area I Agency on Aging's new in-home caregiver program, funded by a $643,484 grant from the California Endowment, will increase the number of qualified caregivers, establish a registry of trained and screened workers, and support family members who provide care.

The program will facilitate the hiring of in-home caregivers to assist families caring for elderly members. In-home care can be a positive and less costly alternative to institutional care.

"The whole issue of in-home care has been on the table for 20 years and we're real excited to be able to do something about it," said Sandi Fitzpatrick, executive director of the agency.


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