Monday, December 10, 2007

Truths, Inconvenient and Otherwise

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2007 at 11:45 AM


Today on NPR's Morning Edition, Neda Ulaby reports that the new focus on global warming in the media may be "too much of a good thing." Listen here .

To learn more about the effects of global warming on California's water system, check out The California Report 's seven-part series, Climate Change and California's Water .

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Monday Morning Papers

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2007 at 11:43 AM


The Chronicle reports that Humboldt State is now the last member of the California State University system to have no building named for private donors. Probably not for lack of trying.

A new history -- Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans -- is reviewed in the Chicago Tribune . According to the review, the book at least touches on Humboldt County's Chinese Expulsion :

In some places, like Eureka, Calif., marauding mobs drove the Chinese from their homes; in other places, like Truckee, Calif., white threats to burn their communities or boycott their employers effectively prompted the Chinese to flee. In still other places -- Rock Springs, Wyo., for instance -- outright terrorism and assassination accomplished the same end.

On Amazon, reviewer M. L. Lamendola expounds:
Pfaelzer took great pains to thoroughly research events, sort through the facts, and reconstruct what happened. Her method is one of first providing a macro view and then providing a detailed accounting of the subsequent events. For example, she talks about the Eureka method (named after the town of Eureka) in Chapter 4 and explains what it was about. Then, she goes into specific events that occurred as part of putting the Eureka method into practice. Pfaelzer shows the rationalizations that people used to justify their reprehensible behavior.

Eureka was just one of many towns that embarked on a vicious and insane program of forcing the Chinese to leave. In Chapter 5, Pfaelzer uses the same approach to reveal the Truckee method and the atrocities committed there.
The book was written by University of Delaware American Studies Professor Jean Pfaelzer and is published by Random House.

Finally, the Sacramento Bee notes that weasel lovers working to overturn California's anti-ferret law have found very little traction. Ferrets Anonymous, an advocacy group, has been contacting legislators hoping to find a bill sponsor; the only response that the group has received is an "I'll think about it" from our own Assembleymember Patty Berg .

Ferret politics are endlessly fascinating.

Creative Commons -licensed ferret photo by Flickr user (and apparent ferret freak) Stacy Lynn Baum .

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Klamath Dams = Toxic Waste?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 at 11:28 AM

That's the argument being advanced by Klamath Riverkeeper and the Yurok and Karuk tribes in a $1 billion lawsuit filed yesterday. The Associated Press gives the rationale:

The argument is that the Iron Gate and Copco dams south of the Oregon border in Northern California create the perfect conditions for the toxic algae Microcystis aeruginosa by slowing and warming the Klamath River in reservoirs, where the water absorbs agricultural runoff that help the algae grow.

"No one has brought this kind of case pertaining to solid waste, but we think the facts fit the law," said attorney Daniel Cooper of the San Francisco group Lawyers for Clean Water.

"There are areas with algae problems around the state and the country," he said. "The unique factor about the Klamath is there has been extensive sampling demonstrating that highly toxic levels accumulate in the reservoirs and are discharging in the river. And they sampled upstream reservoirs and found no detectable levels of the (algae)."

This news would seem to be grim news for the Klamath settlement talks, which are supposed to be wrapping about now. Something tells me it's not going so ducky in there.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Food Safety Alert! Metromint Flavor Water!

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 at 2:21 PM

This just in from the Co-op folks:
December 6, 2007

The North Coast Co-op has received notification from the FDA and the California Department of Public Health that Soma Beverage of San Francisco is recalling its Metromint Flavor Water with Best Before 2008/12/21 due to possible Bacillus cereus contamination.

Bacillus cereus is an agent of short-term (6-8 hours) food poisoning, symptoms being diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

The Eureka Co-op carries this product and has special ordered several cases for members. If you purchased this item, please check to see if the UPC codes match any in the list below:


Return recalled items to Customer Service in either store for a full refund.

Your food safety is our commitment!

Melanie Bettenhausen
Member Linkages Director
North Coast Co-op

See here for official FDA notice.

Product review at Strange New Products blog .

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Happy Birthday, Sara Bareilles

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Friday, Dec. 7, is Sara Bareilles ' birthday. She's just turned 28.

Yes, that's Sara at the top of the front page on today's Times-Standard . (She's in this week's Journal too and she has also showed up on the pages of Rolling Stone , People magazine and Entertainment Weekly .)

The L.A.-based singer songwriter is in a somewhat unique position, career-wise. In a couple of days she'll sing on the stage of the moldering, historic Eureka Theater . A film crew will be following her homecoming, recording the event a concert the promoter is calling "Home for the Holidays," playing on the fact that Sara grew up here in Humboldt.

The poster you see above tells part of the story. It's sold out -- :( -- has been for some time now. The "Home for the Holidays" hook on the concert is just a bit of a misnomer. Sara is from here, went to school locally at Eureka High and other schools, but at this point her home is in Santa Monica, at least when she's at home, which is not very often of late.

This summer she wrote a bio for her website . In it she posed and answered this question:

"Where are you from and how’d you end up here?"

Find Sara's answer and an interview with Bob after the jump.

I grew up in Eureka, CA. Since hardly anyone knows where that is, I’ll tell you. It’s pretty much as north as you can go up the coast of California before you stop paying sales tax. (Oregon, baby.)

I lived on several acres of Redwood forest, and spent most of my time in the woods developing a delightfully overactive imagination that I’m pretty proud to say I’ve managed to salvage. I sang in high school choirs and did community musical theatre and played right field softball and rode horses and had my heart broken a few times.

I was borderline normal.

I was incredibly lucky.

I moved to LA to go to UCLA, and realized the world was bigger than my hometown. Way, way bigger, come to find out. In school I studied Communications, but everywhere else I secretly studied the world around me. I felt stupid and wonderful and small and liberated and exhilarated and I started feeling the need to write it all down. So I did. And then I wanted to start singing those things. I played open mics and small shows that started becoming bigger shows and actually started calling myself a musician. I met my band/road mates and finally started sharing music. Because of them, I also rediscovered what "family" means. I met my manager, Jordan Feldstein, who has made tiny opportunities blossom into bigger ones, and now I’m not a waitress anymore. I fell on my ass more than once but figured that I’d rather do this than anything, so what the hell?

And here we are.
Where she was at the time (I'm guessing she wrote that early summer 2007) was on the verge of launching her major label debut, Little Voice . Because her album is on Epic Records, part of the very major Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the launch was a big deal. If you've been following what's going on in the music biz, you know that there's a bit of chaos. To put it simply, the majors are struggling to maintain their position in a rapidly changing media environment.

People are not buying CDs the way they used to, in fact many have given up on CDs entirely and simply own iPods or use their laptops as music players. My generation bought 45s and "long-playing" record albums; today if kids buy something at all, it's a downloaded single, and sometimes the rest of the album, maybe a CD that they rip and pass along.

Radio, Top-40 or otherwise, is not as important as it once was. Songs break on the Internet. With that in mind Epic's June launch of Little Voice was on iTunes with a free download of " Love Song ," the lead single. When her album followed in July, it became the No. 1 iTunes download of the moment. It debuted at 45 on the Billboard top 200, and according to Sara, by now it's sold around 100,000 units between CDs and downloads.

If you haven't heard her hit single , click on the title and it will start up on an embedded device on Sara's website. It's an incredibly catchy thing with a great hook, and no, it's not a love song. There's a touch of attitude in it. It's her message to her producer and her label: She's not going to write the song they're asking for "because you asked for it, because you need one." It's her way of maintaining her independence in what might seem an unequal relationship.

Somewhere amid my looking around the Net for details on Sara's experience in the whirlwind of promoting an album for a major label, a song popped into my head, replacing the irrepressibly catchy hook of "Love Song." It was "Free Man in Paris," Joni Mitchell's tale of what I assume is either some music biz friend or herself.

The way I see it, he said, you just can't win it...
Everybody's in it for their own gain.
You can't please 'em all.
There's always somebody calling you down.
I do my best, and I do good business.
There's a lot of people asking for my time.
They're trying to get ahead.
They're trying to be a good friend of mine.

I was a free man in Paris; I felt unfettered and alive.
There was nobody calling me up for favors.
And no one's future to decide.
You know I'd go back there tomorrow, but for the work I've taken on: stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song...
When I caught up with Sara (and it wasn't easy) she was on a radio promo blitz tour back east, far from home.

Are you in L.A.? Or on the road?

We're in Virginia, doing some Christmas radio stuff. Various radio stations put on these Christmas shows with a bunch of artists doing short sets. Tonight we're in Norfolk playing with Collective Soul and some other bands.

You're not playing Christmas songs are you?

No. We'll do a short version of our set. It's fun. We get to run around and meet all sorts of musicians. It's a good time.

How are you coping with the whirlwind of activity? Looking you up on the web it seems like you're everywhere. It brought to mind that song by Joni Mitchell, "Free Man in Paris" where she talks of "the work I've taken on, stoking the star maker machinery behind the popular song." How do you feel about it being in the middle of it?

It's all very exciting. There's a word that keeps coming up, it's all a bit surreal. I don't know many people who have gone through it. Every step is something we have to figure out for ourselves. I figure it'll be nice to look back at where we were a year ago, two years ago, three years ago and see the slow progression always moving in the right direction. In that sense it's really exciting.

What direction are you moving in?

It's growing, the fan base is growing, we're playing bigger shows in bigger venues. The song's on the radio. It's all very exciting.

And you attribute this mostly to having the Epic label machine behind you?

Well, yeah. In a lot of ways. (She pauses.) We are very fortunate to have the resources of the label behind us.

Of course this is all happening at a time when major shifts are happening with the power of the major labels. They seem to be in a struggle trying to figure out how to survive.

It's true. It is definitely a climate of fear, people wanting to make really safe decisions, nobody wanting to take risks. So you're lucky if you get the time of day. But in the end, it's an industry that wants to continue to function, to make money and all of those things.

Listening between the lines to your songs, I don't get the sense that you're a safe act. Your hit "Love Song" is questioning the whole idea of producing music to meet the demands of the industry. Isn't that what it's about?

Absolutely. And I never really considered myself... I don't think the label looks at me as a 'safe act.' It wasn't like we finished the record and all of a sudden the machine started rolling and everything started skyrocketing. We've been on the road consistently since the beginning of this year. We've been working at this for over six years. It hasn't been an overnight thing. I don't feel like they saw what I have to offer and went, 'Oh, yeah, we just need to put her out there and everyone's going to freak.' It wasn't like that and it still isn’t. So, I was lucky that they took a bit of a chance on me. But I really believe in what we do in terms of performance, what we give live as performers. We've been fortunate to have people be responsive to that.

I heard Epic is sending a film crew along for your homecoming show.

Yeah. We're going to get the show taped and have a little behind the scenes footage of what it's like to be home, to kind of show everybody Eureka.

You mention your dad in a couple of your YouTube videos. He's called me a few times: when you were going to be on the Today Show, when your song went up on iTunes. I think it was your mom who sent me the Careful Confessions album when it came out.

They've been staunch supporters. It will be interesting to come home. I don't get to come home as often as I like. Especially coming back for a show, it brings this whole other element.

Do you still think of Eureka as home? I get the impression that L.A. is home.

Eureka is still home to a certain extent, but in terms of the place I feel most comfortable and most at ease, that changes as you get older and you make a life for yourself. It's a cliché, but home is where you hang your hat. My home is where I live in Santa Monica.

Or maybe your suitcase. How much time have you spent in Santa Monica this year?

Probably a month or two. Not all at one time. I've been out a lot. My idea of home has changed this year. I'm learning to be mobile and keep everything I need with me.

Is there space in all that moving around for writing more songs?

For sure. I don't get a lot of alone time on the road, but there are all these experiences that kind of stay up in your brain. They're all there and ready to draw on when it's time to write.

Do you think the next set of songs will be an analysis of what's been happening to you in the last year or so?

I don't know. I don't have the next set finished, but I suppose some of that will be in there. And also some on relationships, broken hearts and what that means.

Is there time for broken hearts in your busy schedule?

(laughs) There's always time for broken hearts.

You dad was telling me something about flying into Eureka last minute if the writer's strike ends this week, because you're booked on the Letterman Show.

We're waiting. We won't know until the day before or whatever. We're confirmed for Dec. 6, but if the strike doesn't end, we won't be on and we'll look at some other dates and try again eventually.

And then, " next stop Vegas "?

I wish.

Have you played Vegas? ["Next stop Vegas" is a phrase from her song, " Vegas ."]

We did a radio show in Vegas. It was kind of like what we're doing now, a festival the station put on. We were one of a bunch of acts playing.

Is headlining in a Vegas lounge really some sort of dream?

We haven't done it yet, but we're looking forward to it. I'm a fan of slot machines. That's where you can find me.

You know we have plenty here in Humboldt now.

I know, I've been there. Blue Lake !

I was just there. They've redone the bar with a touch of Vegas. It's pretty cool. They just opened it. I was out there dropping quarters.

That's doing your job as a casino patron.

For the Eureka show, you're coming with your band, but also Raining Jane .

Yes. They came up the last time we were there.

For the show at Mazzotti's in 2005 .

Exactly. They're some of my best friends and they're great musicians as well. It's good to bring them up and share this with them.

Anything special planned for the show?

I don't know. No fireworks or anything. We're just going to do a good show.

What else? How about this thing with James Blunt ?

That's right. It's the VH-1 "You Oughta Know Tour" in February.

A long one?

As far as I know it's about a month. It should be cool; it's the first time "You Oughta Know" is doing a tour with a male and a female artist. That's cool to me because I'll represent for the females. Plus we're playing some legendary venues, the Warfield in San Francisco, the Wiltern in Los Angeles, places I've been going to see shows at forever. And I can't wait to play them.

Out there for " the girls across the nation who will eat this up ."

Yeah. (laughs)

What did you mean by that?

It's a commentary on the idea of selling your art to people. It was like conjecturing from the label side of things, they'll sell it to "girls who will eat this up. You know it's your soul, but you bottle it up."

Is that the market for your music: girls across the nation?

Well, there's a thread of that. But I think one of the most rewarding things is that there doesn't seem to be just one demographic. We seem to get people from all over.

Do you know how many CDs you've sold?

I've been told it's close to 100,000.

That's pretty good. Is that including downloads, which I suppose are not exactly CDs?

I think it's all-inclusive, although the songs are separate. "Love Song" has sold exponentially more than the others. I don't know the numbers on it.

I guess the word they use now is "units." You don't say records.

That's right.

But there's something about you're music that makes me think of records. "Love Song" is the sort of thing you used to find on a 45, maybe in some jukebox.

That's a really cool. Thanks. I like that idea.

We talked a little longer but didn't say much. For those who made it this far, here's the details on the show:

Sara Bareilles and her band play Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Eureka Theater. Doors at 6:30, showtime at 7 p.m. with another local boy, Mario Matteoli from The Weary Boys, opening the show (he's great) plus Sara's SoCal friends Raining Jane at 7:50, Sara is scheduled to come on around 8:45.

If you miss it, I'm guessing you might see some of the show on YouTube. Watch for it...

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Eureka Books: Sold!

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2007 at 1:15 PM

eka books

It could have been a real tragedy for Eureka intellectual life, but what a happy ending!

Eureka Books, an indispensable Old Town institution, has been bought by two of the bookiest people we know: Scott Brown, editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine and pinch-hitting columnist , and Amy Stewart, celebrated author and Journal gardening expert .

Read their dueling blog posts here and here .

Carlos Benemann, we salute your years of service! Congratulations, Scott and Amy!

UPDATE: Read the bookmongers' official press release ( .doc ).

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Press Issues and Global Warming

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2007 at 11:17 AM


Copies of the new NCJ are usually hitting Arcata and Eureka right about now. Not this week. It looks like there were some problems at the printers last night, and the Journal won't be going out until this afternoon or tomorrow. We haven't seen any copies yet.

Here's a tease, though. This week, the Journal is participating in a nationwide effort to look back at what has happened in the 10 years that have followed the Kyoto Protocol, the first international treaty designed to tackle climate change. The "Kyoto at 10" project was sponsored by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies , a trade association to which we belong, and led by the awesome folks at the News & Review papers.

Fifty papers from across the United States and Canada contributed to "Kyoto at 10." We could print only a small selection of the work. We ran an essay by Bill McKibben , a story about California's climate change initiatives, a first-person look at the Kyoto convention and a piece by our own Heidi Walters about the van Eck Forest, a patch of redwoods up in Fieldbrook that is serving as a test case for a new front in battling greenhouse gas emissions. I wrote about it in my column, too.

Here's the AAN press release on "Kyoto at 10." Here's links to almost all the stories by the papers participating in the project. That page will be updated as more papers file their work.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Disemvowelment In Effect

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2007 at 8:17 PM

We've been blissfully troll-free in the month that the Blogthing has been live, but it was only a matter of time.

Notice: Trollish posts herein and henceforth will be disemvoweled. If you really want to see what has been posted you can figure it out, but you'll have to put in a bit of work. People who have used this technique have reported that it has generally been successful.

With that, let me introduce to you our first disemvoweled poster: biggun. Biggun, your trollery and crudity and atrocious spelling bore us to tears, but it doesn't bore us as much as listening to you and your confreres whine about your posts being deleted.

Link to online disemvoweling tool.

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Muddy's Hot Cup gets quieter

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2007 at 1:26 PM

This official announcement (from Muddy's Hot Cup) came in Tuesday morning. Look for further details in the Hum this week. - Bob

December 4, 2007

No More Music at Muddy's -- Again?
Live entertainment at Muddy's Hot Cup of Northtown is cancelled until further notice. In a hearing with the department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Monday, the City of Arcata took a hard-line stance against music at Muddy's. The City of Arcata has chosen to aggressively enforce a stipulation from the ABC stating that entertainment cannot be "audible" beyond the premises. This stipulation was placed on Muddy's Beer and Wine license based on the Arcata Police Department's experiences with the former business, Muddy Waters Coffee Company, which had a history of causing many complaints. The current management of Muddy's has formally requested that the stipulation be changed to hold the entertainment noise levels to the City of Arcata Noise Ordinance – the same standard that everyone else in Arcata is held to.

More of the press release and a letter from Arcata Chief of Police Randy Mendosa after the jump.

The hearing was called due to the complaints of one neighbor. Over 14 neighbors living on the same block as Muddy's have gone on the record saying they are not bothered by music at Muddy's. Because of the City's hard-line enforcement policy towards Muddy's the music is canceled until the stipulation can be formally reviewed.

"Muddy's is one of the last all-ages music venues in Arcata. Killing music at Muddy's would be a huge blow to the artistic community in our town," said Melody Walker, a local musician and the would-be new entertainment coordinator Muddy's Hot Cup. "The ABC condition of 'no audible entertainment' is completely unreasonable and impossible to comply with," she added. "The City taking a hard-line stance on this issue is effectively a ban on music at Muddy's."

"We want to follow the City of Arcata's noise guidelines just like every other business is asked to do," Says Muddy's proprietor Corey Stevens. "We don't want to be singled out and held to this absurd standard for reasons unrelated to the current business. I think the vast majority of Arcata citizens support music at Muddy's so I don't see why the City government is so against it. Unfortunately, I may be forced to lay off some of my employees. I think this is an example of an elected City government really not serving its constituents. If you would like to make your opinions known on this issue I would recommend contacting Arcata Police Department or the Arcata City Council."

Northtown residents are concerned about the termination of nighttime entertainment hours for more reasons than the loss of music. "Muddy's is a safe place for students to hang out." Says Northtown resident Kat Fountain, "If Muddy's is closed at night that will be one more stoop for transients to gather and harass passers by."


Bob writes: I spoke with several people about the music situation at Muddy's on Tuesday, including the neighbor who complained. Those at the city of Arcata asked me to contact Chief Randy Mendosa for official comment. I didn't hear from him until after press time. When he called he mentioned he'd been contacted a number of times following Corey's press release. The chief offered to forward a note he prepared for the City Council on the issue. It follows:

From: Randy Mendosa - Arcata P.D.
Subject: Muddy's
Date: December 4, 2007 5:08:16 PM PST

The Press Release from Corey Stevens, DBA Muddy’s Hot Cup, came as quite a surprise to me today. There was an ABC License hearing yesterday at the Courthouse before an Administrative Law Judge. The ABC was represented by their staff attorney. Some members of APD including myself were called as witnesses. Each officer testified as to what they observed and subsequently documented. I just checked with the ABC Office in Redding and was told it will take around a month before the judge will release his ruling.

This is not a police issue but rather a license issue between Corey Stevens and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The reason ABC filed the complaint is that a nearby resident (Nancy Tobin) came forward with a complaint about ongoing noise problems. To give you more background and a context of the situation, I will place in your council mailboxes, a copy of Nancy Tobin’s January 27, 2007 letter to me and the ABC.

Now here is the "rest of the story":

The business was originally approved by the City to be a coffee house. At some point after the coffee house operation was underway, the original owner decided to add alcohol sales. Since the business is in a converted house it is considered by the ABC to be in a residential area. The ABC license has a specific clause that prohibits noise from being heard from outside of the building. I believe this condition has been in place since the original ABC license was issued to the original owner.

Corey Stevens came to see me on December 15, 2005 when he was starting an escrow account to purchase the business. I made it extremely clear to Corey that my recommendation to ABC would be to continue the license condition that amplified music would not be allowed under the ABC license. The reason behind my recommendation was a proven fact that amplified music cannot be contained within that old house without disturbing neighbors.

During that December 2005 meting, Corey acknowledged a full understanding of the noise issues associated with the building. Corey said his plan was to change the business format to venues like puppet shows and Dell'Arte performances; and he was also interested in a wine bar option. He promised me that when he owned the business noise would not be an issue and music would not be heard outside of the building.

During the past year I have met with Corey on more than one occasion to discuss the on-going noise complaints. My intent was to act as a mediator, albeit unsuccessful, between Corey and Nancy Tobin. I never suggested that the noise condition on the ABC license be waived as I obviously have no authority in that matter.

The Press Release many of you received was sent by Corey Stevens. Neither the Arcata Police Department nor the ABC have directed him to cease doing business. To say that APD has suddenly taken on a hard-line stance to ban music is quite disingenuous indeed!

For further information, I would refer people to Robert Farrar, the supervisor of the Redding ABC Office.


Muddy's music maven Melody Walker offers rebuttals to the Chief's letter...

"This is not a police issue but rather a license issue between Corey Stevens and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control."

As far as I know, the ABC is required to consult with the APD and City Manager to determine appropriateness of a license. The best way I've heard it described is that a city's police department is the "eyes and ears" of the ABC. Naturally, with what we know about small town police, their vision is not always 20/20; a blind eye may be turned towards some businesses while others may be watched like hawks. The ABC is an organization with no accountability while the city and the APD we CAN hopefully sway towards a stance that more reflects the sentiments of their constituents.

"Since the business is in a converted house it is considered by the ABC to be in a residential area."

But it is considered by the police and the city to be a commercially zoned business. The APD could do a service and point that out to the ABC.

"The reason behind my recommendation was a proven fact that amplified music cannot be contained within that old house without disturbing neighbors."

Correction: without disturbing NEIGHBOR.

"During that December 2005 meting, Corey acknowledged a full understanding of the noise issues associated with the building. Corey said his plan was to change the business format to venues like puppet shows and Del Arte performances; and he was also interested in a wine bar option. He promised me that when he owned the business noise would not be an issue and music would not be heard outside of the building."

Starting a new small business is not a good time to be standing up to the man over technicalities. Does Corey wish he had tried to get condition-free license off the bat? I'm sure he does. But it's doubtful that it would have helped his fledgling business.

During the past year I have met with Corey on more than one occasion to discuss the on-going noise complaints.  My intent was to act as a mediator, albeit unsuccessful, between Corey and Nancy Tobin.  I never suggested that the noise condition on the ABC license be waived as I obviously have no authority in that matter.

Authority? maybe not, but input? Certainly.

"The Press Release many of you received was sent by Corey Stevens.  Neither the Arcata Police Department nor the ABC have directed him to cease doing business.  To say that APD has suddenly taken on a hard-line stance to ban music is quite disingenuous indeed!"

The APD and ABC have ALWAYS directed Muddy's to stay silent. "Shut up and drink your beer" has been their attitude. Muddy's doesn't NEED a wine and beer license to stay in business, so, depending on the court decision, Muddy's may decide to drop the license altogether and just be a Music and Coffee venue. What's sad is that no other business in town is being asked to do the same thing. The ABC and APD have colluded to give Muddy's an ultimatum: Beer or Music.

While Corey could play their game and pick one or the other, that would validate an inherently flawed question. Though at the moment there is Beer and no music, this is because we are waiting on the judges decision and recommendation to the ABC. We can't really do anything for the time being except sit and be good...but that doesn't mean we can't still talk about it. In 30 days we should know more about what is going to happen, but we could use the community support in the meantime to help us get this stipulation removed from the license. The APD can recommend that Muddy's is responsible enough to have live music under the city's noise guidelines.

What's disingenuous is suggesting that the APD plays NO part in ABC regulation and enforcement.

It's a sticky situation, but someone has to stick up for music in this town. There is no reason for Music to be effectively regulated by the ABC. And there is no reason for the APD and one neighbor to exacerbate  the problem by using the ABC to push their own agendas on Northtown.

- Melody

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Can Indonesia Save the Bay?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2007 at 12:14 PM

The Eureka Reporter seems to think so. In today's paper, they give front-page coverage to a meeting that took place yesterday between Deddy Saiful Hadi, head of Chancery/Consul for Economics with the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, and the City of Eureka.

According to the report, the meeting was a success. Hadi, unprompted, said "Eureka is a 'leading' Northern California city 'in a very strategic location, being on the bay.'"

He then added that the "ports in Los Angeles and also in Oakland are near capacity, so although Humboldt Bay’s port is small by comparison, it is in a pivotal position."

Pivotal position? Hurrah! Humboldt Bay is saved!

But wait, I thought it was China the Bay was looking to for salvation. Is Indonesia really in a position to pull the region out of its economic doldrums?

Once again, the Reporter seems to think the answer is yes.

But a Sept. 2006 article in the Economist paints a less optimistic picture of Indonesia. When that article was written, some 39m Indonesians, 18% of the population of 220m, were officially poor. That number was up 4m from the year before. (In China, on the other hand, the poverty rate is steadily decreasing.)

Government officials admit their target, a poverty level of 8.2% by 2009, is anyway unattainable. The current economic growth rate of around 5% is insufficient to provide all new job-seekers with employment, let alone dent Indonesia's huge unemployment tally. Ministers did announce earlier this month an extra $1.4 billion for poverty alleviation in 2007, 18% up on 2006.

For many Indonesians, according to the article, "the future remains pretty bleak."

Hadi, it seems, forgot to mention this at yesterday's meeting, but his Economic Affairs Vice Consul Khasan Ashari, did tell participants that "My country is one of the biggest producers of pearls."

Pearls? No matter how many Indonesia produces, one thing is for sure, that industry won't ever increase cargo ship traffic in the Bay.

UPDATE: Indonesia is also the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. For more info check out the U.S. Department of Energy's LNG page and this 2003 article from the Asia Times.

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