Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SoCal Public TV Further Boosts HumCo Pot Rep

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Our Claim to FameSouthern California public television affiliate KCET recently produced a report on Humboldt County -- which they say is known as "the pot capital of the world" (eat it, Amsterdam!) -- and our conflicted feelings about Prop 19. The segment was picked up last week by PBS's prestigious big dog, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. KCET Associate Producer Alexandria Gales tells the Journal that the "full version" of the story will air tonight on KCET program SoCal Connected

Here, reporter Judy Miller previews the segment in a discussion on SoCal public radio.

Question: Does such coverage further besmirch whatever's left of our county's good name? Or should we embrace it as free marketing? You decide.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ProPublica's Pharm Payoff for Doctors Database -- Who's Local?

Posted on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

The nonprofit investigative reporting outfit ProPublica released yet another awesome project today, this time centered on the financial relationships between drug companies and medical professionals -- the arguably unseemly, the blatantly sleazy and perhaps, in some cases, the actually illegal. Titled "Dollars for Docs," the package includes a story that runs down current lawsuits charging that companies were actively paying doctors to push certain drugs -- a crime -- and another detailing how pharmaceutical companies keep sketchy docs on the in-house payroll

As an adjunct to its reporting, ProPublica published an interactive database containing all the payoffs from drug manufacturers to doctors that it could find -- "[m]ore than $257 million to some 17,700 doctors and other practitioners," according to project editor Stephen Engleberg. Unfortunately, their database is not searchable by city. Scrolling through the thousands of entries pertaining to California, we found only one local: Dr. Donald Baird of Fortuna, who is reported as having taken nearly $50,000 from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

But that was only a first pass. Who else can you find? Use the widget below.

UPDATE: Another local hit on the database is Madeleine Santos Ramos of Eureka Allergy and Asthma Care, listed as having taken $4,775 from Merck for unspecified services. Patient of one of these doctors? Read ProPublica's "How Patients Can Use This Data."

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Arcata Exchange Co-owner, Young Son Die in Plane Crash

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Longtime Arcata resident Keith Newcomer, the original owner of plaza furniture store Arcata Exchange, was apparently the victim of a plane crash Saturday evening in northern Georgia, where he was visiting his son Christopher. The boy, who is believed to be around seven years old, has also been tentatively identified as a victim of the crash. The Jasper County coroner is seeking dental records in order to make a positive identification, according to a Georgia news report

The plane, a single-engine RV-6A, was registered to Newcomer, a licensed pilot who had constructed the aircraft himself with help from other local pilots, according to Arcata Exchange co-owner Gene Joyce. (So-called "amateur" plane-building is common among pilots, Joyce said.)

Newcomer started Arcata Exchange -- then called "Barter is Better" -- in December, 1977. Joyce became co-owner 10 years ago -- almost to the day, he said. 

Joyce described Newcomer, who was 56 years old, as a generous man who loved surfing and flying.

"He believed in living life..." Joyce said. "I think he was happiest when he was working on planes and flying." Newcomer was already an avid pilot when the two men met approximately 12 years ago. 

The cause of the plane crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The "experimental " plane crashed around 6:22 p.m. Saturday at Monticello Sky Ranch Airport, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the Associated Press. The pilot and sole passenger -- now believed to be Newcomer and his son -- died at the scene. According to the Georgia news source, "The RV-6A aircraft was so badly burned, it took Federal Aviation Administration investigators until Sunday to track the plane's registration."

Joyce said Newcomer wouldn't want people to mourn his death. "He wants to see us keep living, and live with his memory and keep the spirit alive," Joyce said. "I know he's with us all right now."

[Photo from Arcata Exchange's Facebook page.]

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Patrick Park, Sera Cahoone & Sea Wolf - Oct. 7, 2010

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 6:53 PM

So. Much. Plaid. 

The Depot was packed nearly to capacity on Thursday, Oct. 7, for three (mostly) acoustic musicians -- Patrick Park, Sera Cahoone and Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

One disadvantage that acoustic musicians have is the audience noise. Despite most folks actually paying to get into the show, a couple of people here or there will start out whispering to their friends, and the collective whispers turn into a dull roar that's hard to ignore for the sake of the music. This show was no different. The musicians did everything they could -- they told silly stories about their songs while they tuned, they brought each other up on stage during their sets -- but the crowd murmur barely quieted down the whole night. What a shame. 

Having seen my share of shows in the HSU Depot, I do need to mention that the sound and lighting folks have done a pretty great job of dealing with the challenges of the low ceilings and boring cafeteria-style walls. It doesn't initially strike you as the best venue in town, but HSU is offering (officially 18-and-over) shows for the younger set, and making do with the space they have available, and the season only gets better from here. The Apples in Stereo are playing in there next, on Thursday, Oct. 28. You can hear their song "Dance Floor" on the music player at

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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The Hell That Is Los Angeles Now 40 Minutes Closer

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Good news for the movers and shakers, those insufferable people who are always jetting off from ACV to points around the world: Starting in December, Horizon Air is going to offer direct flights both from and to beautiful Los Angeles!

This is indubitably an upgrade of sorts. Used to be, to get to Lipstick City one was forced to pass through the somewhat lesser glories of the greater Redding area first. No longer! The new arrangement preserves the Redding stopover for those who go in for that sort of thing, while also adding an option for the Eureka business traveler to hightail it straight to the nation's dream factory.

Read on. Seems like Redding gets screwed in this whole deal. Which is fine.

Horizon Air Upgrades Eureka Flights With More Nonstop Service to Los Angeles

Eureka - Starting Dec. 1, Horizon Air will change its Eureka flight schedule to operate more of its flights nonstop to Los Angeles.

Horizon has two roundtrips between Eureka and Los Angeles, and currently both southbound flights and one northbound flight make an intermediate stop in Redding. Effective with the new schedule, one of those southbound flights will become nonstop.

In Redding, Horizon will continue to offer a morning southbound nonstop and evening northbound nonstop, but it is eliminating the mid-morning northbound flight from Los Angeles that makes an intermediate stop in Eureka and the midday southbound nonstop.

"We're making these changes to reduce unprofitable flying and better match capacity with the current demand for service," said Dan Russo, Horizon's vice president of marketing and communications.

Here are the current and new schedules:

Current schedule

Departs, Arrives, Stops


Eureka-Los Angeles -- 6 a.m.-8:44 a.m -- 1 (Redding)

Eureka-Los Angeles 11:45 a.m.-2:23 p.m -- 1 (Redding)


Los Angeles-Eureka -- 9:15 a.m-11:15 a.m. -- Nonstop

Los Angeles-Eureka -- 8:10 p.m.-10:58 p.m. -- 1 (Redding)


Redding-Los Angeles -- 7 a.m.-8:44 a.m. -- Nonstop

Redding-Los Angeles -- 12:45 p.m.-2:23 p.m. -- Nonstop


Los Angeles-Redding -- 9:15 a.m.-12:20 p.m. -- 1 (Eureka)

Los Angeles-Redding -- 8:10 p.m.-9:55 p.m. -- Nonstop


Schedule effective Dec. 1


Depart, Arrive, Stops


Eureka-Los Angeles -- 6 a.m.-8:42 a.m -- 1 (Redding)

Eureka-Los Angeles -- 12:40 p.m.-2:34 p.m -- Nonstop


Los Angeles-Eureka -- 10:15 a.m-12:10 p.m. -- Nonstop

Los Angeles-Eureka -- 8:10 p.m.-10:57 p.m. -- 1 (Redding)


Redding-Los Angeles -- 7 a.m.-8:42 a.m. -- Nonstop

Los Angeles-Redding -- 8:10 p.m.-9:53 p.m. -- Nonstop


Horizon has served Redding since 1992 and Eureka since 1994. Horizon serves 45 cities throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Baja California Sur (Mexico), and British Columbia and Alberta (Canada). Together, Horizon Air and Alaska Airlines serve more than 90 cities and are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK).

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Eureka Moment

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The grizzled fifty-something slowly marches along, up one sidewalk and down another, over the crosswalk and up and down once more. And again. He stares straight ahead, unsmiling as he traces the border between street and storefront, weaving a great big Old Town net as the boombox clutched in one hand broadcasts the spell: Walk this way, walk this way, walk this way, walk this way ... pulling in those bookstore folks ... T.N.T, I'm a power load...T.N.T., watch me explode ... now summoning the spaghetti eaters. It's as if he plans to capture us all and drag us back to that better wild time when he was at his best.

Definitely not at his best right now. Disheveled, scraggly-haired middle-timer, looking a little bit dirty, a little bit mean. Too young to be pitied but too old to humor. Well maybe he doesn't care what you think. Maybe this is his last walk on this patch of planet, his last broadcast, his last march, his final goodbye and final f-you, blasting us all with his old-fashioned shit trying to disturb us one more time. Tomorrow he blows up the world. Or ODs. Or -- hell, probably he'll rise again, simmer over his coffee, then square his shoulders to the mission and march back out to enthrall us once more.

I hope so. The bicycle trumpeter on the plaza was fine, with his resounding Saints Go Marching In-addled medley. The accordionists, always welcome. And Mr. Electric Guitar Man -- Jimmy! -- dude, come back! But there's a trail of concrete especially reserved now for that hardrockin' time-travel man.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Newman Responds to Osborn Campaign Finance Questions

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM


Eureka City Council candidate Mike Newman didn't respond to Journal freelancer John Osborn's questions regarding campaign finance in time for this week's story -- apparently there was some miscommunication about deadline -- but respond he did. His answers, along with Osborn's questions, are below.

1. How much money do you plan on raising in this election?

My support is organic. I'm not running around with my hand-out. I'm asking the community for support & the response comes in the forms of handshakes & nods and, sometimes, checks in the mail.

2. What is your reaction to amount of money your opponent has raised so far?

I haven't really looked at this process as adversarial. I'm running my own race. I'm just trying to offer the community an opportunity to try a fresh approach to these problems that are currently plaguing us and work to improve our situation, collectively, going forward.

3. In the context of the campaign finance ordinance approved by the city, what kind of indicator does this race show, money-wise, about what to expect when the new restrictions take hold in 2011.

I do not know that this campaign is an indicator of the future; I think it is more of a snapshot of the pressing needs of the community in these hard economic times. People want good paying jobs; they want to be safe in their community and want blighted land cleaned up and put to use. These issues have come to a head and there is strong support for myself who supports addressing those issues now. The next election cycle may not be as contested and may result in different funding levels.

True support should be reflected at the polls & it's my hope that money isn't the primary factor in the elections process. I've walked Eureka and spoken to Eureka Residents & business people about their hopes for this election. I like making the connection one-on-one & giving Eurekans a voice. 

4. Even with a personal pledge to only accept donations of $500 max, you still managed to raise almost four-times the amount of money compared to Ron. If a self-imposed campaign contribution cap was meant to limit the money in the race, why is it that you accepted so much cash?

I think I'd have to begin my answer by questioning your premise AND wording; I'm a little confused by the question. I have kept my personal pledge to not accept donations over $500 but I do not believe I ever did pledge to accept $500 in total and then stop accepting donations as your question would imply, nor did I pledge to make my maximum donation to be capped at $500....look at the video interview with Charles Douglas. As far as I know, my opponents have not made any publicized pledge to only accept donations of $500 max or to limit their total donations.

I believe the ordinance was meant to keep one or two major donors from buying the election with major thousands of dollar donations as we have seen in the past.

Would you & I be having this exchange IF I had received the least amount of money? As I said before, I haven't set my sights on raising cash. I entered the race, I'm playing by the same rules as everyone else and I'm connecting with the citizens & business-persons of Eureka . When the polls open on Election Day & votes are cast, Should we question the motives & the voice of the electorate? Should the ultimate winner, whomever that might be, return the votes they've received because someone feels that they've received too many votes? Aren't community donations to candidates representative of THE COMMUNITY'S VOICE in this contest? How do you run for office, on the basis of improving the process, and accept support from some of the community, while denying others their voice? Some people have given $25 to my campaign, some $50 & some $500...which should I return & on what basis?

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thompson Lands $9.8M For Open Door Clinic

Posted By on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Mike ThompsonHealth care reform is coming to town: Congressman Mike Thompson today announced that Open Door Community Health Centers will receive $9.8 million in federal funding to build a new facility in Eureka. The money stems from the federal Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March and is aimed at curtailing insurance industry abuses and expanding coverage for families, seniors and small businesses.

Open Door Chief Executive Officer Hermann Spetzler said in a press release that all of Humboldt County will benefit from the new, state-of-the-art facility, which he said will be "a giant step toward improving access to primary care." 

Thompson weighed in, saying that the funds "will go a long way to create jobs, provide quality health care, and expand access in our community, something that's especially important to families in rural areas like ours."

The remainder of the press release:

Designed in cooperation with LACO Associates of Eureka, the facility will be an example of smart design, energy efficiency and patient comfort. "We believe this clinic will be a model for health care in terms of design, services and quality long into the future," concludes Spetzler.

"Open Door has been a great asset to our community, and building a new clinic is good for Eureka," said 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely. "The expanded clinic will reach more seniors, children and families and provide employment opportunity in the health care professions. The construction phase will bring good-paying jobs and be a boost to our economy."

Open Door provides care to more than 40,000 Humboldt and Del Norte County residents every year. Open Door is a Federally Qualified Health Center receiving about 10 percent of its budget from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide care to low income and uninsured individuals. Open Door offers medical, dental and mental health services.

The Affordable Care Act is comprehensive health care reform designed to provide quality care for families, seniors, and small businesses, prohibit coverage denial to individuals with pre-existing conditions and invest in health care infrastructure and innovation. The bill is paid for and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years, and $1.3 trillion over 20 years. In California's First District alone, it will improve coverage for 395,000 residents who already have health insurance by prohibiting annual and lifetime limits on care, making sure insurance companies can't drop people from coverage if they get sick, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost of preventive care.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Choose Love Art Show Looking For Submissions

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 2:36 PM

In Jen Savage's Art Beat column, this week, she mentioned the upcoming Choose Love art show, to be held during the November Arts Arcata, at Redwood Raks. 

Six Rivers Planned Parenthood's Advocates for Choice committee is looking for both submissions of love-themed art (for show only, or to donate to SRPP), as well as performers for the open mic that will happen that evening. 

For more information, contact Chelsea at 707-442-2961 ext. 243 or


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NCJ at the CMJ

Posted on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Hi, I'm Melissa Culbertson. You may know me from my days as a "Left of the Dial" DJ on KHSU, or have at least heard my voice overnight on 94.1 KSLG. I love music and everything to do with it, so I have chosen to spend my life finding new music and sharing it with anyone who will listen to me. Being as this is my life's purpose, I am going to attend this year's CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival in New York City this Oct. 19-23.

I'm sure you're asking yourself: Why I should care? This is why. I am going share all my newfound knowledge of music, film and the entertainment industry with you, the North Coast Journal reader. I'll be representing the NCJ for the five-day event, which features more than 1,200 live performances all over the city, blogging for the Journal and also calling into 94.1 KSLG with updates and happenings.

In addition to the music scene, there will be many panel discussions and seminars featuring recording artists, DJs, producers, promoters, college radio programmers, managers, industry executives, and journalists. These various industry leaders will share their thoughts with the next generation of entertainment professionals and hangers-on.

The festival is also chock-full of film. Festival Director Bonnie Gallenter describes it as "one of the premiere events to showcase thought-provoking films with an eye toward pop culture, political and social commentary, human rights and what CMJ has always been known for: music." Many important movies of our generation were introduced at CMJ, including Pulp Fiction, Fight Club and American History X.

New to the festival this year is CMJ Play, which is described as an intensive gaming and music seminar. Video games have become an important part of how people are exposed to new music. Millions of fans discover and engage with the music and musicians they enjoy through video games.

If you can't make it to NYC yourself, remember to check the North Coast Journal blog and tune into 94.1 KSLG for all of the updates, news and mayhem. 

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