Monday, October 26, 2020

Witches Float: Photos from the Witches Paddle

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 1:39 PM

A coven of witches gathered on Saturday afternoon at the Eureka Boat Basin public boat launch for the inaugural Witches Paddle in kayaks and canoes, and on stand-up paddle boards on Humboldt Bay. The local version of a nationwide event on the last weekend before Halloween headed east on the incoming tide to the the Samoa Bridge Boat Launch near Halvorsen Park before returning to the put-in location. (See the slideshow below.)
These well-dressed witches on stand-up paddle boards headed back to the put-in location after turning around at the Samoa Bridge Boat Launch near Halvorsen Park. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • These well-dressed witches on stand-up paddle boards headed back to the put-in location after turning around at the Samoa Bridge Boat Launch near Halvorsen Park.

"I was motivated to start this local version of the Witches Paddle on the day Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died," said event organizer Jody Himango, who lives on the Samoa Peninsula. "Next year I'd like to do it as a fundraiser." The event poster invited participants to "Take to the streets and the water. Let's demonstrate our strength and solidarity in a fun, beautiful way."

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Virtual Veils: Photos of Saturday's Remote Dance Performance

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 7:07 PM

My original plan for Saturday evening was to stay home and watch the live-streamed Arcata Playhouse Arts presentation Intersections, Where We Meet. The Playhouse's theater venue has been closed for months and I was intrigued by the potential of seeing more than 40 performers and eight pieces featuring dancers, classical musicians, storytellers, a clown, poets and artists from secret locations all over Arcata, a local beach and Southern California — all from home.
Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday.

And then Mother Nature stepped in, offering a warm, wind-free late afternoon that took my wife and I out of the house with cameras in hand to watch the sunset at Moonstone Beach. There we came across our favorite dancer Shoshanna on the beach and she confirmed, yes, this indeed was the secret location for her improvisational dance performance for the Arcata Playhouse's virtual event. (See the slideshow of the sunset rehearsal and performance below.)

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Local Luthier's 'Pawn Star'-dom

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:30 AM

Wolf Navarro knows everything about guitars. Well, that's what somebody told the producers of Pawn Stars, anyway. Navarro doesn't make that claim himself but when a mutual friend from the NFL/custom car reality show Tackle My Ride shared a photo of the Humboldt guitar craftsman's work, landing him an interview with the Pawn Stars folks, he went for it.

A shot from Season 17, episode 25 of Pawn Stars. - COURTESY OF WOLF NAVARRO
  • Courtesy of Wolf Navarro
  • A shot from Season 17, episode 25 of Pawn Stars.

The History Channel show's guitar expert had just departed and its producers were looking for a new face to show up in the Las Vegas shop to geek out over vintage instruments and music history. Navarro is more than qualified to research and estimate the axes up for negotiation on Pawn Stars, having been in the custom guitar business since 2009, spending time at guitar shows and learning his craft from local artisan Gabe Douge of Black Devil Guitars. 

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Love Story for the Stages

Posted By on Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 3:42 PM

Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland on the NCRT stage. - PHOTO BY EVAN WISHEROPP
  • Photo by Evan Wisheropp
  • Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland on the NCRT stage.

With stages and shows dark, what are a couple of theater kids to do? For local actors, Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland, creativity burns in them and so doth the fire of love and, COVID be damned, both must be expressed! With their show Hamlet at North Coast Repertory Theatre on hiatus, a shared love of Shakespeare between them, and supportive friends on hand, it seems a marriage proposal of epic proportions was on the bill.

Needham came up with the intricate plan. He would send his unsuspecting love on a scavenger hunt across town to locations meaningful to their relationship, guiding her along with Shakespearean quotes and clues, puzzles, costume changes, a Pirates of Penzance treasure hunt and more that eventually led her to North Coast Repertory Theatre where the idle Hamlet set became the perfect backdrop for his proposal.

On September 22, all of Needham’s hard work and ingeniuty paid off (plus that of a handful of close theater friends who helped). When McFarland arrived at NCRT — the outside marquee read "An Ever-Fixed Mark" — she found Needham waiting for her onstage. He sang to her, got down on one knee, revealed the ring and McFarland said 'yes' under stage lights and a shower of confetti. Photographer to the stars, Evan Wisheropp, was there to capture the magic. Dinner from Larrupin' Cafe and homemade pie from mom waited for them in the lobby.

In lieu of live performance, the two lovebirds made a bit of theater spectacle worthy of the Bard himself.

North Coast Repertory Theatre sent out notice of this lovely happening in its latest newsletter. It made us smile. We wanted to share. Congrats to Evan and Caroline! Until the lights come up...
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Friday, August 14, 2020

OK, Zoomer

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 1:43 PM

  • Photo by Patrick Rutherford
Been a while since you’ve had a good laugh? Need to take your mind off the daily horror show of 2020? Can’t get to your favorite entertainment venue because said horror show closed it? There’s a Zoom for that. Get ready to laugh your anxiety off at On the Spot Comedy’s Fundraiser, Match Game: Zoom Edition! on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

You’ve seen these jokers, On the Spot Comedy, at their usual monthly gig in pre-Covid times at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. (No? Well, one day, when this all goes away, “like a miracle,” treat yourself.) It’s good, clean (rated ages 10+) improvisational comedy. As their slogan goes, “You say it, we play it.” And they do a bang-up job of it.

What’s the fundraiser?

The good folks at On the Spot Comedy want to lend a helping hand to their pals at Savage Henry Comedy Club. While the comedians at On the Spot are unaffiliated with Savage Henry, they sympathize with what Humboldt County’s comedy headquarters is going through during the pandemic. The club is doing weekly drive-thru comedy shows where patrons pull around back, tune to a radio station and listen to a live performance from within the club for Venmo donations, but it’s not the same. Times are tight.

“We all want to pitch in to hold the line for the comedy community in Humboldt,” OTS member and event organizer Steve Nystrom said. “We are all friends and fellows of the local comedy scene, and want to help them hold onto the North Coast's only clubhouse for comedy.”

What can Zoom attendees expect?

“The centerpiece of the show is going to be our version of the classic TV game show, The Match Game, bounded by two or three improv games that are tailored to work in a Zoom format,” Nystrom says. “All of the above will include audience participation, including the game show contestants.”

Sounds cool. And that’s not just six months of lockdown talking.

Who’s on the docket? Most of the OTS regulars will be there (plus some veteran faces you haven’t seen in a while). Daniel Amaral, Clint Florka, James Schaeffer, Matt Redbeard, Hadi Adina and Steve Nystrom. The evening’s host is local theater teacher and actor David Hamilton.

How much? A mere $5 (or more if you’re feeling it). Get the Zoom link at

Here are the latest instructions from On The Spot’s Facebook event page:

“The show starts at 7 pm Pacific, sharp! However, because of Zoom security measures, we have to admit everyone manually once you click the link, and this can take some time. Please be patient and don't exit the link prior to being admitted.
We will begin admitting people at 6:15 pm Pacific. Please click the link as soon after this as possible to avoid logjams and lengthy wait times. Once you're in you can just leave it up on your screen and go do something else until showtime.”
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Monday, July 20, 2020

KMUD Accepting Submissions for Virtual Talent Show

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 10:20 AM

DJ Lisa Luv of KMUD Redwood Community Radio. - PHOTO BY ERICA BOTKIN
  • Photo by Erica Botkin
  • DJ Lisa Luv of KMUD Redwood Community Radio.
KMUD Redwood Community Radio is now accepting submissions for its first ever Virtual Talent Show.

Children and adults who reside in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Mendocino counties who want to share their talent (and perhaps win a prize) are encouraged to enter. Submissions will be accepted between July 20 and Aug. 2.

KMUD will post the Virtual Talent Show for viewing and voting on Aug. 10. Go to, KMUD’s Instagram @kmudradio, KMUD’s Twitter @kmud or KMUD’s Facebook page to enter.

For more information, email
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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Sequoia Park Zoo Reopens with Online Reservations

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 7:06 PM

The red pandas will not be the only ones in masks at the Sequoia Park Zoo starting July 7. Visitors will need to make reservations online, which is meant to limit crowds, and wear masks on the premises. (Do not make a fuss over this — even the howler monkeys find it overdramatic.) One-way paths will be marked and guests are asked to observe 6-foot social distance from other households. Just like Super Salmon is doing.

Zoo mascot Super Salmon having a socially distant moment. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Zoo mascot Super Salmon having a socially distant moment.
Read the full press release below.

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Mateel Presents Summer Arts Video Tribute on YouTube

Posted By on Sun, Jun 7, 2020 at 5:09 PM

Missing the Summer Arts and Music Festival this year? You're not alone. The beloved two-day event, typically presented the first weekend in June for the last 44 years, was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2020, the event sees the Benbow State Recreation Area moving and grooving with throngs of art and music lovers and ushers in summer in the redwoods. It is a Southern Humboldt institution and one of the largest fundraisers for the Mateel Community Center with big musical acts, dozens of food, art and craft vendors, dance performances, health and wellness areas, kids' activities and more. Its cancellation is a big loss for the center and the community.

Even though this year's event has been cancelled, the Mateel Community Center has made it so SAMF revelers can reminisce about the good times and hopefully still get their fix. The Mateel is presenting a video tribute of Summer Arts and Music Festivals from years past on its YouTube channel: or at  The tribute includes over two dozen artists including The Real Sarahs, Durand Jones & the Indications, Garbervillle Town Band, Jah9, Delhi 2 Dublin, Lost Coast Marimbas, Afrolicious, Candelaria, John Popper & Object Heavy, Carolyn Wonderland, Brothers Comatose, Motherlode featuring Fred Wesley and Nakho & Medicine for the People.

In a press release about the tribute, Mateel Community Center Board of Directors and staff had this message: "We look forward to the time when we can celebrate together again and hug and love one another. If you’re not already a member please support us and become one, or if you would like to give a donation, we would be very honored to receive it, please visit our website at ... The Mateel will be open as soon as we can. Enjoy, be happy, be well, be love
and be the change we wish to see in the world."
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Friday, June 5, 2020

The Logger Bar is Up for Sale

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 11:53 AM

More bad news, folks: Blue Lake’s Logger Bar is up for sale.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Pacific Partners owner/broker Scott Pesch confirmed that the bar’s owner Kate Martin is selling the 1899 historic watering hole at 510 Railroad Ave., though he wasn’t happy to deliver the news.

“When I was putting the signs up, I just felt, I dunno,” Pesch trailed off. “I went to Logger Bar a couple times, it’s just a great old place. A lot of history.” 

The historic Logger Bar with "for sale" signs. - ASHLEY HARRELL
  • Ashley Harrell
  • The historic Logger Bar with "for sale" signs.

In its earliest incarnation, the Logger was a smoky haunt for locals working in the timber industry and it accumulated an impressive collection of logging memorabilia, including old photographs, saws, hardhats and other gear donated by patrons over the decades.

When Martin purchased the bar in 2012, she kept all that. And with the help of some 100 volunteers, Martin fixed up just about everything else, cleaning, painting, refurbishing and utterly transforming the former dive into a bright, welcoming community tavern.

“It was the kind of place where you always felt comfortable and ran into a friend,” said local farmer Dave Feral, who liked to stop by and check out the live music or play pool. “My fingers are crossed the next owner puts as much heart and soul into it as she did.”

Though the bar is now shuttered due to the pandemic, Martin plans to file an application with the county to reopen when that becomes possible, according to Pesch (the broker).

In the meantime, if anybody has $250,000 handy, that’ll buy you the Logger’s name, liquor license, fixtures, equipment and goodwill.

Martin declined to comment for this story, but Pesch did offer these words about the decision to sell: "Kate's wanting to sell it and kind of move on with herself, her next chapter in her life."

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Kinetic Grand Championship Goes the Social Distance

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 4:21 PM

Hang your heads, for the Kinetic Grand Championship Race as we know it will not take place this year with an Arcata Plaza kickoff and all its attending fanfare. Instead, as Queen Professor President Kati Texas stated in a press release, a three-day Kinetic Sculpture in Place event will take place online, with teams completing challenges on video with their human-powered art mobiles from May 23-25.
"Artists, engineers, athletes, and Glory hogs of all ages will compete in the traditional categories of Art, Speed, Engineering, and Pageantry plus some online exclusive awards just for this year (we all hope.)," the release reads. Whether shelter-in-place orders would mean teams would have to be restricted to household members is yet to be seen. The Memorial Day weekend will also include a Kinetic Kids Challenge, a Remote-abaga Ball Live and viewing documentary and other footage from the Kinetic Museum Eureka. Enjoy Mark McKenna's slideshow of kinetic madness from last year and let it buoy you like a giant floating dragon/horse/crab thing full of exhausted, sunburned people pedaling and paddling as fast as they can.

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