Friday, May 23, 2014

We Are the Champions

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 8:00 AM

  • Photo by Bob Doran.

All over the county and beyond, men and women are wired with caffeine, hunched in backyards and garages, frantically welding and painting the finishing touches on their human-powered sculptures for the Kinetic Grand Championship race this weekend.

View the strange fruit of their labor on Saturday, May 24 at around 10 a.m., when the parade of whimsy on wheels starts cruising the Arcata Plaza for the judges. The whistle blows at noon, and they're off. You can trail along on the sidelines, but keep off the road and out of the way of the racers and their costumed pit crews. Nobody needs an obituary that weird. (Run over by a giant pie? Really?)

Once the race reaches the Manila Dunes, eat, drink and be merry at the pit-stop party before the sculptures hit the sand (some harder than others). Once they've logged their miles on the beach, it's the Dead Man's Drop. Not foreboding at all. Just a 100-foot dune down which racers will roll like golf balls into a sand trap, with prizes given for most thrilling spills. Organizers warn that you'll want water, sunscreen and mosquito repellant. If you survive the bugs and the racers survive the drop, it's across the Samoa Bridge to Eureka's Halvorsen Park for games, grub and the New Belgium Brewery beer garden at the Super Secret After Party. Whoops, now it's in the paper. Our bad.

Come back to the Samoa Bridge ramp on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to see the teams go amphibious, floating (fingers crossed) in the bay. You can travel alongside the sculptures in something a little more conventional, like a kayak from Humboats, or as part of the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center's guided tour ($30, $25 HSU students). Once back on land, the racers head to Eureka Natural Foods for a pit stop before the grueling uphill and possibly terrifying downhill road to Loleta. Sorry, the after party is racers-only on Sunday.

On Monday, the final leg of the tour ends somewhere between noon and 5 p.m. on Main and Brown streets in Ferndale, as teams speed, stumble and haul themselves and their works of art across the finish line with as much battle-worn pride as one can have in, on and around what is essentially a giant, rolling — and likely broken — toy. They will rest, they will revel and they will start scheming for next year.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mad Funny

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM


This weekend is all about wacky people in a madcap race around the county. Set the mood on Friday, May 23 at the Eureka Theater with a big-screen showing of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at 7 p.m. ($5).

Hard to fathom how the same director who chiseled out Judgment at Nuremberg rediscovered his funny bone, but Stanley Kramer managed it. Spencer Tracy stars as a cop on the trail of a crook, played by Jimmy Durante, who kicks the bucket in a traffic accident. With his last breath, he utters a clue to the location of $350,000 (inflation, folks) from a tuna factory heist. Witnesses on the scene get greedy and take off on a race to find the loot, with Tracy right behind them.

Be careful when you sip your beverage — comic greats Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, Ethel Merman and Buster Keaton are all in the fray, basically teaching the history of American comedy in two hours and 40 minutes of panic, slapstick and logistical nightmares, finally ending with the oldest laugh in the book.

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Tonight's Setlist: Thursday is For Rocking

Posted By on Thu, May 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Let's address the heavy riffs preparing to unleash themselves via Humboldt's Lord Ellis and Austin's Adrian (& The Sickness) tonight at the Jambalaya.

Frontwoman Adrian Connor also handles the Angus Young duties in AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles, so she's no stranger to delivering seriously charismatic performances. With (& The Sickness), the dread-locked Adrian expands into a sweeter, but no less edgy, sound. 

Heavy rock gods Lord Ellis — featuring members of legendary local bands The Hitch, Dragged by Horses, Wasabi and Grimace — open. Doors at 9 p.m., music at 10 p.m., cover is $5 and this show is 21-and-over.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Around Humboldt County

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Kristie Alberti, Amanda Loftis and Megz Madrone of Tribal Oasis Belly Dance were among the scores of entertainers on Saturday, May 17, the first day of the Humboldt Arts Festival at Arcata's Creamery District. - PHOTOS BY BOB DORAN
  • Photos by Bob Doran
  • Kristie Alberti, Amanda Loftis and Megz Madrone of Tribal Oasis Belly Dance were among the scores of entertainers on Saturday, May 17, the first day of the Humboldt Arts Festival at Arcata's Creamery District.
Humboldt State University President Rollin Richmond awards Bryn Robertson her graduate degree at the college's centennial Commencement on Saturday, May 17. - PHOTOS BY BOB DORAN
  • Photos by Bob Doran
  • Humboldt State University President Rollin Richmond awards Bryn Robertson her graduate degree at the college's centennial Commencement on Saturday, May 17.
Just before her coronation, Rutabaga Queen Glitterina Sassypants (aka Jessica Pearson) is surrounded by her entourage backstage at the Rutabaga Ball on Saturday, May 17 at Bayside Grange Hall. - PHOTOS BY BOB DORAN
  • Photos by Bob Doran
  • Just before her coronation, Rutabaga Queen Glitterina Sassypants (aka Jessica Pearson) is surrounded by her entourage backstage at the Rutabaga Ball on Saturday, May 17 at Bayside Grange Hall.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Alt-Pop Power and Some Reggae

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Flagstaff's Greco sounds like something from 1980s Britain, delivering a sound somewhere between old new wave and retro Euro pop. Joining Greco at the Jambalaya are A-town's mega-poppers The Wild Lungs, plus Arcata grinders Gout. Doors at 9 p.m., music at 10 p.m., cover is $5 and this good time is limited to those aged 21-or-over.

Taste some Greco here and put your ear to The Wild Lungs, below.

Simultaneously, Oahu reggae stars The Green bring dub-heavy roots reggae to the Mateel Community Center. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m., tickets are $25 and this one is all ages.
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tonight's Setlist: Celebrate Good Times, Come On

Posted By on Sat, May 17, 2014 at 8:20 AM

First, please note the return of the Humboldt Arts Festival! The fest brings even more art and cool to the Creamery District all weekend long. 

Oh, yes. Let's get our party on with Soul Night XXXI: The Vibe Doctor is Out. The purveyors of Humboldt's most successful dance event characterize graduation weekend as "the time where our town is overrun with parents driving the wrong way and drunken cousins from Chico slappin' five." More importantly, they continue, "It's also when our resident Vibe Doctor, Matthew Freedom, is packing up and moving to Pennsylvania." Please attire yourself in all black to both mourn and celebrate this departure. As part of the ceremony, DJ Red joins the crew. Tickets are $5, doors open at 9 p.m. This party is 21-and-over.

Here's a lil' blast from the Soul Night past if you need a taste:

Meanwhile, over at the ATL, a show for those graduates not saddled with parental entertaining. Go on, get filthy with LOUDPVCK and Psy Fi. Doors open at 9:30 p.m., cost is $20 at the door, $15 advance, must be 21-or-over.

The weekend is only the beginning, Humboldt. Don't miss upcoming goodness.
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Friday, May 16, 2014

"Turn up" at the Rutabaga Ball

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Get ready to trip the light kinetic. Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner and Humboldtians know what that means: The Kinetic Grand Championship! Before the peddling and paddling starts, though, Humboldt needs a new Rutabaga Queen. Someone has to reign over the wacky proceedings and it can't just be anybody.

The Rutabaga Ball is Saturday, May 17 at the Bayside Grange in Arcata. It's unlike any other pageant. Contestants vie for the coveted position of Rutabaga Queen, showing off their talents, ball gowns, knowledge and general kookiness. It's an evening of ridiculous rivalry, peculiar pomp and live music from the Lost Luvs. 

You can get your tickets at the door. General admission is $10, but you can save three bucks by bringing your own, reusable cup. 

For the Glory!
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Paddle Up

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Up a creek lately? Humboldt State University's Center Activities has got your paddle. Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, grab a few of your nearest and dearest for Family Fun Day Paddles ($20, free for kids under 18, 50 pound minimum). Choose a kayak and let folks at the center show you how to coast along Humboldt Bay and take in the sights. Best of all, nobody will have a free hand to text.

Unless you're looking for something a little more romantic, in which case the Sunset Paddle on Thursday nights might be more your style ($40). Be at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center two hours before sunset for a guided tour of the bay — a little history, a little natural science and as romantic a view as one can enjoy in a foamy, orange vest. Register by Monday for a Thursday tour by emailing or calling 443-4222.

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Open Lighthouse

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM

  • US Coast Guard
Head out to Trinidad Head today for a rare public glimpse of the Trinidad Lighthouse — a treat for people who love lighthouses and/or hate crashing into rocks.

The lighthouse is changing hands — the Coast Guard is transferring the property to the Bureau of Land Management — with a ceremony today featuring docent-guided tours and presentations from Native American dancers and the BLM.

That’s the active Trinidad Head lighthouse, on the west side of the rocky outcropping — not the lighthouse on Trinity Street overlooking Trinidad Bay. Details are still being worked out, but the BLM plans to hold open-lighthouses more frequently in the future.

The ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m. and the BLM recommends you show up early.

The full press release:

The Bureau of Land Management and United States Coast Guard, along with numerous Trinidad community partners, will celebrate transfer of the Trinidad Lighthouse from Coast Guard to BLM ownership in a ceremony at Trinidad Head Friday, May 16. This ceremony is related to the active lighthouse on the west edge of Trinidad Head, not the well-known Memorial Lighthouse, a replica of the original, on Trinity Street in Trinidad.

When: The ceremony begins at 12:30. Arrive early, as parking will be congested and there is a half-mile walk from the parking area to the dedication site.

Who: BLM State Director Jim Kenna will be joined by representatives from the U. S. Coast Guard, California State Parks, the Six Rivers National Forest and Trinidad community leaders. They will discuss the lighthouse transfer and other partnerships aimed at conserving California's Coastal Resources.

Other events: There will be presentations by local Native American dancers and Trinidad children. Trinidad Museum docents will lead walks to the lighthouse.

There will be photo and video opportunities during presentations and the guided walks and interview opportunities with BLM, Coast Guard, Tribal and community leaders.

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Sit Crisscross Applesauce! It's Storytime!

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Remember that book that always ignited your imagination when you were a child? Remember the fascinating illustrations? You know, that book that made bedtime something to look forward to. Maybe it was the beginning of your love for books, or maybe it sparked the storyteller inside of you. It's time to celebrate that book and introduce the love of words to the current generation of children.

It's Children's Book Week, a time for sharing the joy of words and stories with the kids in your life. Grab some lunch after the Arcata Farmer's Market, then take the fam over to Northtown Books for Storytime! Pull up a spot in the story circle at 3:30 p.m. and listen to local author Caroyln Lehman and other community members will read from their favorite children's books. Of course, there will be snacks and chances to win free books. And, in the spirit of keeping the love of books alive for generations to come, a portion of any of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Arcata Library!

To some people, every week is book week; Maybe this week will be when that becomes true for your kids. And, they'll all live happily ever after!

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