North Coast Journal


Tourists, IRS and public radio

The tourists are back among us, eating bagelS and book shopping in Arcata, ogling the architecture in Old Town Eureka. And picking up a free magazine. This is the month we increase our press run back up to 24,000. (During the winter we usually print 22,000 or 23,000 copies.)

If you are a first-time reader, welcome. But likely as not you are a regular and this month's Journal has a number of recurring themes.

One is technology. Although writer George Ringwald is off in Southern California writing a book, he sent us a piece called, "Demons of modern technology." We renamed it, "Get a life, get a phone" for reasons that will become obvious .

And in honor of George's article, we are proud to announce not only are we on the WorldWide Web - you can read Journal articles on the Internet but we also have a real modem and an e-mail address. You can now send in story suggestions, comments, calendar items and letters to the editor to: Letters to the editor should contain a telephone number (not for publication) as well as your name and city in case we have questions.

This month Lisa Ladd-Wilson has further commentary on the O.J. trial (she can't help herself) and Ron Ross has finally written a column most readers will cheer, especially this month, called, "Down with the IRS."

Ross' suggestion is a serious one: Tax consumption (yes, a national sales tax) instead of production (wages).

Maybe his timing is right. Ron has been a bit of a voyeur in his history with the Journal (he also wrote for the Times-Standard from 1981-91). In his first column for the Journal in 1991, he wrote on the nature and importance of taking risks and warned against a government mind-set of eliminating risk from our daily lives.

In the last four years, Ron has explained why the large national debt is not reason for hysteria (or a balanced budget amendment), why vouchers could actually improve the performance of schools, and why an increase in college fees might be a good thing for students and the country. Last year, he opened a real can of worms by suggesting that welfare actually hurts the poor in this country, a timely topic.

This month marks the return of our Restaurant Review Team. Our original Gang of Four retired last fall after four years of service (its last review was covering the opening of Kyoto Restaurant in Eureka). After a careful search we have located a new group of gastronomes. Their first assignment was A Taste of Mainstreet, the food event of the year preceding the Jazz Festival.

After the weighty issue of health care reform last month as a cover story, for April we choose the premiere cycling event of the season, the Tour of the Unknown Coast. And as writer Tim Martin said when he started working on the piece, it is impossible to do a story about the Tour and not do a story on Larry Tubbs.

"Although Tubbs is a study in contrasts, his rough charisma and galloping hubris lay at the center of everything that's happening in local cycling. And the Tour of the Unknown Coast is at the center of that sport," Martin writes.

Don't forget the Tour has 10-, 20- and 50-mile loops for the less athletic among us. Mountain bikes are welcome and so are old one-speed clunkers. The Tour is set for May 14, but you need to preregister.

And since I plugged KEET-TV's pledge drive last month, KHSU asked for equal time. The public radio station housed on campus at Humboldt State University (diverse public radio!) needs to raise $40,000 for operating expenses and another $10,000 to help fix the antennae damaged by the winter storms.

If the winter storm havoc weren't enough, remember the potential havoc lurking in Congress and renew your KHSU membership. The pledge drive runs the first two weeks in April.

KEET-TV, by the way, raised $58,000 of its $62,000 goal last month - just a little shy. But you have a second chance to help April 20-25, during the annual KEET Auction.

Judy Hodgson Editor and Publisher

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