Thursday, January 13, 2011

National Geographic: 'How Marijuana Works'

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM

[Note: This is the first of two science-related posts today. Yay for science.]

Below is a clip from an upcoming two-night TV special from National Geographic called "Drugged," which will examine the bio-chemical effects of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. Nat Geo says:

"Drugged: High on Marijuana" uses visual effects and CGI to take the viewer on a trip [pun intended?] through the human body. [Yeah, but does it queue up well with "Dark Side of the Moon"?] Using testimony from those who enjoy using the drugs, and those who have been addicted [?], the episode offers an insight into the realities of these drugs. 

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fire at PG&E Plant, Utility Asks Users to Conserve

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM

[UPDATE: The power plant was reactivated by 6 p.m. Wednesday night.]

A fire broke out around 2:10 this afternoon at Pacific Gas and Electric's Humboldt Bay Generating Station. It was quickly extinguished, and the cause remains under investigation, according to a release from PG&E.

At the request of the fire department, all power-generating units at the station were shut down. Consequently, power will be at a premium tonight on the North Coast, so the utility company is asking customers to ease back on their energy consumption: Save the vacuuming and clothes drying 'til tomorrow if you can. Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances. You know the drill.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Former RREDC Exec Director Jeff Zander Arrested

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Remember Jeff Zander? He was the semi-legendary con man that the Redwood Region Economic Development Corporation hired to be its executive director a couple of years ago -- inexplicably.

As detailed at the second link above, dating from a year or so ago, Zander had plenty of unresolved legal troubles before he came to Humboldt County. Among them was a federal law enforcement investigation relating to his tenure as economic development director of Utah's Paiute Tribe. Even before he got the RREDC job, the Paiutes were alleging that Zander used his position at the tribe to embezzle federal grant monies.

On Dec. 8, a federal grand jury handed down an indictment against Zander relating to these allegations. It's a pretty decent read, containing as it does details of Zander's alleged misappropriation of grant funds, which include the formation of several shell companies that "subcontracted" work from the Paiutes. Also: Income tax evasion. 

Two sources connected to the case confirm that Zander has been arrested, though there appears to be no Googleable news coverage of this.

Download the latest federal indictment against Zander here.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Montel Williams For Humboldt Tourism Commissioner

Posted By on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Yes, yes indeed! Do as the man says and come check out our fat buds! We will hook you up and send you home happy!

(Despite what our new hero says, though, you can give the Appalachian Trail a pass.)

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

CR Not Involved in New Negotiations for Jefferson School Site

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 2:05 PM

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Mike Newman -- the "new man" on the Eureka City Council (one of four new members, actually) -- stirred up some shit at his first council meeting, on Dec. 7, when he announced that he wasn't comfortable with the scheduled purchase of the abandoned Jefferson Elementary School site. The campus has been in escrow since September, when the previous city council voted unanimously to purchase the property from Eureka City Schools. This consensus was reached (reticently, by some) after years of work by the Westside Community Group along with staff of the city's community development and redevelopment departments -- not to mention a heated tête-à-tête with College of the Redwoods, whose president and board had also expressed interest in purchasing the grounds.

At the Dec. 21 council meeting, members of the Westside Community Group went ballistic, walking out in a huff as Newman voiced his concerns with the deal. Ultimately the council voted 3 to 1 (with passionate dissent from Linda Atkins, the sole holdover from the previous council, and in the absence of Melinda Ciarabellini, who had not yet been confirmed) to hold off on closing the deal pending a closer look at the financials. This move sparked rumors that the fix was in -- that CR had secretly arranged to sneak in the back door and take ownership of the school while the new council members served as the doorman.

Today, CR issued the following press release, which patently denies any such clandestine arrangement. But neither do they rule out the possibility for renewed interest in the future, should everything line up just right. Look for more on all this in next week's Journal. (Click "more" to read the press release.)

"With the newly formed Eureka City Council considering its options with the city's proposed purchase of the Jefferson School building, College of the Redwoods wants to make it clear to everyone that it is not involved in any negotiations to buy the property," said CR President Jeff Marsee. "CR has not been in any negotiations regarding Jefferson School since the CR Board of Trustees voted to withdraw its purchase offer on March 17, 2010."

Marsee said CR would not be involved in any negotiations with Eureka City Schools regarding Jefferson School unless the City of Eureka decides to not buy the property and the CR Board of Trustees expresses an interest in reviewing the issue. The trustees also consider it essential [that] the community be supportive of the purchase. 

Marsee added that CR currently leases the Eureka Downtown Instructional Site on a yearly basis. With that lease set to expire in fall 2012, the CR Trustees have asked the college's administration to conduct a thorough survey of potential available properties to house a new downtown instructional site in Eureka. That survey process will go through the college's District-wide Facilities Planning Committee.
The possibility remains that CR would negotiate a new lease to remain at the Downtown Site, Marsee said.

"For more than five years the Eureka Downtown Instructional Site has steadily grown and provided increasing educational access by expanding its variety of classes and programs to the community," Marsee said.

CR conducts a number of successful operations at the Downtown Site, including for-credit general education and career technical classes, community education courses, as well as contract education, business training and CR-Plus (for those over 50) programs. With the expansion of new career technical education courses at CR - such as water and wastewater operations, paramedic, management supervision and solar photovoltaic and solar thermal installation - the college is looking for space to house the new programs.

"CR respects the purchase process that the Eureka City Council is undergoing with Eureka City Schools and the west side neighborhood's proposal for Jefferson School," Marsee said.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Solutions: John Matthews and Jen Savage Solve Your Problems!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Romantic entanglements? Financial woes? Weird fungus behind your knees? Roommate from hell? Children making you crazy? Bloodstains on the couch? Friends treating you badly? Or maybe you have no friends? Well, now you do! No matter what your problem, big or small, your new best friends John Matthews and Jen Savage (you know us from KSLG 94.1 FM) will address your needs and find a solution to what vexes you. All submissions kept utterly anonymous. Take a listen, then drop us a line at jennifersavage@northcoastjournal.com.

Listen here.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Local Music On Hold

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 2:21 PM

In this age of computerized phone systems, we all spend more time than we'd like on hold, usually listening to bad music. When the Journal moved into our new offices over the summer we got a new digital phone system complete with some of the worst hold music ever -- renditions of old Elvis tunes and the like embedded in a chip. It sounded like something played on an ancient Casio or a bad electric calliope. We had the option of supplying our own, but it had to be music we had rights to use (watch out for ASCAP and BMI, they're everywhere).

I volunteered to come up with something and assembled a few semi-ambient instrumentals by an artist I knew would not mind, Cloaks, my son Spencer's recording project. We put them on an MP3 player plugged that into the system and now when you call the Journal office (something I do often) you hear a little bit of Cloaks. Cool.

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According to an email we received this week, the County of Humboldt is doing something similar with their phone system. As Supervisor Clif Clendenen explained in an email exchange, "We used 'Old Plank Road' (minus vocals) from Huckleberry Flint for a few months as the County hold music to have local music replace the canned crap from the phone company."

Now Karen Clower, who serves as program coordinator for the County Administrative Office, is seeking more local band contributions. Interested? Check in online at co.humboldt.ca.us, click on "Attention Local Bands and Musicians" and you'll find the following:

 

Humboldt County will be featuring local bands and musicians on its phone system's hold music.

ATTENTION LOCAL BANDS and MUSICIANS

WOULD YOU LIKE TO REACH A NEW AUDIENCE?

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

- Music must be instrumental only

- You must be authorized to perform the musical work

submitted

- Formatting should be MP3 or WAV File

- Length should be no more than 45 seconds including

your introduction

- Your instrumental should be preceded by a 5 second spoken introduction of yourself and/or your band.

- Please note featured music will be rotational

- You must complete an Authorization to use Copyrighted Work

- Authorization to use Copyrighted Work can be found HERE or at co.humboldt.ca.us under Press Releases and Bulletins (Attention Local Bands and Musicians) - (link is in announcement PDF)

-Submit completed Authorization to use Copyrighted Work and your MP3 or WAV File to:

COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT

COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

825 5th Street, Rm. 111, Eureka, CA 95501

Questions: Contact Karen Clower at (707) 445-7266

or Fax (707) 445-7299

cao@co.humboldt.ca.us

 

Warning: Do not try to fax an MP3 - the sound quality will be terrible.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Gold Sellers Beware!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM

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A full-page ad in this week's Journal (page 4) calls one and all down to the Best Western Bayshore Inn, so that the good folks at Ohio Valley Gold and Silver Refinery, in town for one week only, might offer fine prices for your precious metal collectibles. They'll be there Tuesday through Saturday, the ad says.

"During this special event, anyone is welcome to bring all types of gold, silver and platinum to the refinery and turn it in for instant payment," the ad reads. The idea, apparently, is that by selling directly to a "refinery," you'll be getting a better price.

Hold on a moment, though. Numerous reports from across the nation accuse the company, which operates under a variety of aliases, of dirty dealing and scammery. The Texas Examiner undertook its own covert investigation, and discovered the company offering prices way below market value. The Bowling Green Daily News notes that the company has a record of bounced checks and Better Business Bureau complaints, and was the subject of a trademark infringement case brought by the makers of "Antiques Roadshow."

More on this in the next Journal. Meanwhile: Proceed with extreme caution, and please tell your friends.

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