Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blackberry-infused Gin?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Humboldt County may have a boutique distillery in its future.

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Council is holding a public hearing Sept. 7 to discuss the possibility of establishing a production facility -- called the Spirit Water Distillery -- to make gin, vodka and rum.

"We're a long ways from being ready to talk," said Arla Ramsey, vice chairperson of the tribe, reached by phone Monday.

There's a three-step process, starting with the Tribal Council's consideration of a liquor permit, she said. "Once we have that, then we can go for the federal and state permits. ... It's a massive amountof paperwork."

The tribe's distillery business plan envisions a high-end target market of consumers willing to pay more for handcrafted distilled or redistilled spirits with natural flavoring.

Potatoes from Idaho could be used to make vodka that could then be redistilled with local blackberries for flavor instead of artificial additives, Ramsey said. Gin is produced from grains, with juniper berries for its distinctive flavor component.

"But people are also using cinnamon and caraway, black pepper - a whole array of spices," Ramsey said.

There will certainly be other hurdles ahead for the project. Karen Locken, an investigator for the Eureka office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department, said California is one of 18 states that have a three-tiered system, trying to keep producers, distributors and retailers separate.

"We keep making exceptions, however," Locken said. "We have brew pubs that make beer and sell it in their restaurants, like Six Rivers [in McKinleyville]. Robert Goodman manufactures wine and now he's applied for a retail restaurant."

John Carr, public information officer for the ABC in Sacramento, said he is not aware of any other tribe currently in the distillery business. California has licensed 70 distilleries statewide, but none are in Del Norte or Humboldt counties. The closest distillery is Germain-Robin in Ukiah.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Captivatin' Cultivatin'

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Think of outlaws, gardens and Humboldt, and just one plant might pop into your mind.

Well, weed that mental image out of your thoughts, and conjure up instead deep yellow black-eyed Susans, dusky purple smoke bushes, and an exotic Australian pine that's not a pine.

Many of the flowers and trees flourishing at the Humboldt Botanical Garden have been tended and nurtured by jail inmates who volunteer their Fridays to get out from behind bars and grub in the dirt.

"We couldn't do it without them," said David Lemm, work crew coordinator for the botanical garden, which is getting ready for a major fund-raising party on Sept. 10.

"The 215 violators are very good gardeners," said Evelyn Giddings, president of the board of the Humboldt Botanical Gardens Foundation. They're skilled at putting in drip irrigation, fertilizing and countless other common sense gardening chores.

Over the past nine years, jail inmates taking part in the sheriff's alternate work program have fenced in the 44-acre garden site,installed irrigation lines, built trails and amended soil. Last year they put in around 3,500 hours of work, compared with 7,000 hours from other garden volunteers.

The garden hasn't been open much yet -- just 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays -- and that only started in 2010, after years of quiet planting and fund raising. Organizers are hoping to expand those hours before the end of year.

Meanwhile, they're partnering with the sheriff and other public works programs to keep on building and to maintain what they've got.

The partnerships have been good ones, Lemms said, and sometimes last long after incarceration with former inmates volunteering or visiting.

"Several of them have brought their mothers and said, ‘This is what I did when I was in jail.'"

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kinetic Museum Problem Resolved?

Posted By on Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM

At its heart the press release sent out last week by the Kinetic Universe was a plea for help. "CALLING ALL ANGELS AND ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRES: SAVE THE KINETIC MUSEUM!" it shouted in its all caps title.

The problem laid out by Kinetic Universe President Kati Texas seemed dire: "Despite every effort of fiscal and human power, Kinetic Universe is unable to maintain the Kinetic Museum at its current location on Ferndale's Main Street."

As it turned out the solution to the museum problem was not that complicated, all that was missing was a proper channel of communication.

The museum warehouse is full of Kinetic Sculpture Race memorabilia from 40 plus years of racing, and what the KU folks described as "personal belongings" of the late "Glorious Founder" of the Kinetic Race, Hobart Brown. The collection had become a burden with rent and insurance at about $6,500 a year. 


"We basically inherited the museum along with the kinetic race when the Humboldt Kinetic Association folded in 2007," Texas said in the release. "The building's owner, Sylvia Sterling, was keeping it open out of the goodness of her heart, as a great Kinetic supporter... It's always been a bit of a struggle for a tiny volunteer organization to preserve this history, and we are finally accepting that we are rapidly running out of resources to keep it open." They hoped that someone would help with funding, otherwise the museum's contents might be dispersed.

A subtext in the plea hinted at the ongoing rift between Kinetic Universe and Hobart's son, Justin Brown (see "Game of Kinetic Chicken" from May 2011). There was a suggestion that Hobart's heir should deal with his father's property. "Now that Justin has expressed his interest in preserving the Kinetic legacy and has resurrected the Humboldt Kinetic Association, we think he is probably the best person to take on this honor and responsibility," said KU Treasurer Emma Breacain, who indicated in later communication that they'd been unsuccessful in efforts to contact Justin.

Brown responded to a Facebook query from this reporter within a few minutes saying he was not aware that the Kinetic Universe was trying to reach him. He wondered if the press release could be forwarded to him. Before long he'd called the number Breacain included on the release. She reported later that he said he was "ready to pick up the keys and pay the rent."

"While it won't be quite as simple as that, it's nice to know there is a solution on the horizon, and I'm glad Justin is involved," added Breacain.

Brown called the Journal Sunday to reiterate, "We're definitely taking the museum over; the Humboldt Kinetic Association and I are taking care of it. We've already talked to the owner of the museum and contacted Emma."

Brown was not exactly happy about how the transition went down. "The press release was unfortunate -- that was the first I heard about the problem at all," he said. Furtermore, based on his reading of a 2009 IRS 990 form, he questioned the KU's assertion that they were losing money on the museum. "They had the income to do it, to pay the rent," he said referencing the document, which shows $6,414 as cost of running the museum and $10,166 as income. (Note: Breacain says when she indicated that KU "spent 50 percent more this year than we did last year" she was referring to the race and the museum together. She sees the museum as an expense of running the race "since it's the race's history." ) 

"A lot of people come in the museum and see the stuff. It's very important to Ferndale. It wasn't a total drain in that it actually earned $4,000 that year," said Brown. "Now we're having to use our creative energy with navigating this thing with the Kinetic Universe instead of focusing on the [Kinetic Sculpture] Race."

"I wish we were making money from the museum," said Breacain. "The only income it brings in is a few hundred dollars from the public - that's the only revenue coming in [from Ferndale]. We always had big ideas about things we could do with the museum. There are other ways you could go if you had the staffing. It will be interesting to see what they do if they take it over."

As to how Kinetic Universe claims they ended up running the Kinetic Museum, Brown disputes that too. "They say they inherited the museum as well as the race -- I don't know where that comes from," he said.

"They had a contract with my dad to run the race -- my dad wasn't telling them to do what they wanted with it for the rest of its existence. They don't have a contract any more. Nothing is signed for the next race." He sees the race as his inheritance.

"Justin alludes to a contract we had with Hobart," said Breacain. "Kinetic Universe never had a contract." She is adamant that Hobart never set up any formal agreement with KU regarding the race. "He was just happy that somebody was keeping it going, keeping the race alive."

She definitely does not think the Justin inherited the Kinetic Race. "The whole inheritance issue always seemed funny to me. We were running the race before Hobart's death," she said.

"They're saying they're going to run the race regardless," said Brown. "We're looking at an injunction, but that sucks because we don't really have a lot of funds right now. I'm just not as prepared to do battle as my dad was. He was ready to take whoever on, whenever needed."

"We're not lawyers, but we have lawyers -- Kinetic Universe has an attorney that's handing this," said Breacain. "All Kinetic Universe wants it a stable secure future for the race. I think everyone on both sides wants what's best for the race. We want it to be done well. We want it for the spectators and the racers. It seems like there's got to be a good solution."

While the Kinetic Race is not until next May, Kinetic Universe had set a deadline for resolving the museum problem for the end of September. Brown says he'll take it over once the KU board meets and approves the plans he's made with Breacain, who still says she's "glad Justin is involved."

"The museum is the first step we'll take as the HKA," said Brown. "The landlady is very interested in keeping it in Ferndale and we want to see it stay there. The race was a Ferndale event back in the day and [the museum is] an important landmark." He concluded by hinting that changes may be in store. "I have a vision of redefining the museum, returning to my father's vision of it."

For her part, Breacain seemed supportive saying, "I hope this pans out and I hope he can take the museum to that 'next level' that we haven't been able to."

What remains to be seen is the long-term effect on the future of Kinetics. This museum problem may resolve itself amicably, but there are still two organizations vying for control of the Kinetic Sculpture Race -- and all its glory. 


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Help "Eureka California" play Eureka, California! (UPDATE: VICTORY!)

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM

8/31 BIG UPDATE!: After several generous but less than ideal offers to play at non-Eureka venues or in people's backyards, The Lil' Red Lion -- the-bar-we-all-kinda-knew-they-should-play-at-anyway -- has stepped into the hero role. Eureka California will play Monday, Sept. 5 at, you know, the time bands play in bars.

Dream realized.


8/26: Attention, local music venue stewards!

I'll try not to confuse you, but you'll need to follow close. Eureka California, a band hailing from Athens, Georgia, is currently on tour and is looking for a place to play in Eureka Monday, Sept. 5.

Did you get that?

Eureka California is currently without a place to play in Eureka, California. Take a sec if you need to.

They'd likely be open to playing in Arcata, but I dunno if that's a good idea -- conceivably, that could make clocks run backwards and dogs and cats get along, or something.

Anyway, do the right thing. Let 'em in.

UPDATE: I tracked down a track. This is what Eureka California sounds like, Eureka, California.



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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Special District Board Candidates Finalized

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Sure, most pundits consider 2011 an "off year" elections-wise. But don't tell that to the aspiring community servants listed below, each of whom has nobly stepped forward to run for their respective community service district or school district boards.

Humboldt Community Services District

  • Frank Scolari

  • Dave Saunderson

  • George Davis

  • Kevin H. McKenny

McKinleyville Community Services District

  • Helen Edwards

  • John W. Corbett

  • David Elsebusch

Manila Community Services District

  • Mike Seeber

  • Geronimo Garcia

  • Joy Dellas

  • Robert Rose

  • Zachary Brian Thoma

  • Susan Opalach

  • Jan Bramlett

Willow Creek Community Services District

  • Joe O'Hara

  • Judy M. Gower

  • Bruce Nelson

  • Tom O'Gorman

  • Marc J. Rowley

Resort Improvement District 1

  • Susan L. Fox

  • Roger Boedecker

  • Mark Mitchell

  • Dennis D Harper

  • Nanette Corley

  • Chet Edeline

Blue Lake Union School District

  • Lex Rohn

  • Lisa Hooven

  • Mandi Lewis

  • Lana Manzanita

Ferndale Unified School

  • Rey Urbach

  • Emil Feierabend

  • Kristina Radelfinger

Eureka Unified School District, Ward 4

  • Judy Anderson

  • Susan L. Johnson

Fieldbrook School District

  • Richard Grissom

  • Linda F. Broadman

  • Jeremy Sargent

Fortuna Union High School District

  • Kenneth A. Steele

  • Anita L. Gage

  • Charles Giannini

Klamath Trinity Joint School, Area 6

  • Robin Wild

  • Darlene Magee



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Monday, August 22, 2011

Whale, CSI

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

It probably will be at least two months before marine mammal specialists get enough lab results to make an educated guess about what killed the whale that circled for so many weeks in the Klamath River.

One set of tests will look for toxins produced by freshwater algae. Another batch will assess blubber for contaminants that can build up from lubricants, insecticides, flame retardants and other chemicals in runoff. Samples from internal organs will be studied for signs of cellular abnormalities caused by anything from cancer to bacteria.

As specialists hunt for a cause of death, they’ll also be gathering material for at least two research studies, and storing away samples that could be used in others, said Denise Greig, a wildlife biologist at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

No one wants to be callous about the animal that captivated so many travelers along Highway 101. But amid the sadness, there is also opportunity.

“Fresh tissue in general is pretty much gold,” Greig said in a phone interview on Monday. “I’ve worked at the mammal center for 11 years and this is the first fresh dead whale I’ve ever seen.”

Once an animal dies, clues begin disappearing swiftly. Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi are among the first to go, then cell structures that can point to so many causes of death, then DNA, and finally toxins held in the blubber. So the fresher the death, the greater the store of information for the future.

“We’ll have stuff archived,” Greig said, “so if somebody comes along in five years and wants a piece of gray whale blubber we can say, ‘Yes, we have some.’"

As she spoke, 6-inch-thick layers of the whale’s blubber were still curing in a preservative solution. The blubber might tell researchers not only what this whale was exposed to in ocean, but how that later changed in the river. Blubber's age can be read a little like tree rings, with the newest layers closest to the body cavity, Greig said.

The whale, which died on Aug. 15, was necropsied swiftly that same day and buried on Yurok lands. Roughly 20 people from the tribe, Humboldt State, and two marine mammal centers took photos and samples, examining everything from skin condition to the animal’s blowhole.

“We had to finish by dark and have it in the ground and buried,” said Dennis Wood, a Crescent City veterinarian, and founder of the North Coast Marine Mammal Center.

Nothing jumped out from the external examination as an obvious cause of death, Wood said, although there was one older scrape and one small wound.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Beats, Bodies and Love: Sibling Dispatches From Outside Lands

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Kaylee and Nick Savage-Wright are the Journal's teenaged sister-brother correspondeds covering last weekend's Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. (All photos by Kaylee Savage-Wright.) First up, Kaylee:


After hours of anticipation and dozing off in the car, we finally arrived in San Francisco and headed straight for Golden Gate Park. Getting into the festival was luckily quick and easy; by now we were familiar with the ways of getting through the line at the entrance, stepping past security into the throngs of people and overpriced food vendors and the sounds of music playing from distant stages. Soon my brother and I split up to find our friends and go see the different bands we'd been looking forward to.

I went off to The Joy Formidable and was immediately entranced by their Welsh charm and energy, Ritzy Bryan singing her heart out with her band mates passionately playing at her sides. Down in the crowd everyone shouted out their love and rocked out to Joy Formidable's set. They made a dramatic exit by going crazy during their last song -- Ritzy tore out her guitar strings amidst the roaring of her fans.

After that I headed over to the Polo Field to see The Original Meters with my friends, though I didn't get very into their funk sound. Mostly I was there to save a good spot for MGMT, giving up the chance to see Foster the People, who I love. But I heard MGMT would be incredible. Except that MGMT turned out to be a sort of disappointment. Their psychedelic-pop-rock was enjoyable enough, yet at the same time they played too many mellower songs, losing the energy of the audience that had been so present when they opened up with "Time to Pretend" and "Electric Feel."

Phish, who came on next, were fun to dance to at first, but after a while the constant jamminess got a little boring and I started wishing they would be done.

When their first set ended, my friends and I made our way across the fields to the other end where The Shins would be playing. The crowd was already so large we ended up having to stand off to the side, far away from the stage. By the time they came on I was tired and sore, so I didn't enjoy the show as much as I probably should have, but that's not to say The Shins didn't put on a great performance to end my first day at Outside Lands.

The next morning I arrived early at the Lands End stage to scope out a place near the front. My friends and I had planned to stay there the whole day in order to have perfect spots for the Black Keys and Muse, since we knew thousands of people would be crowding in later, hoping for the same thing.


Starting off the day was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who I'd never listened to before but have now become new favorite artists of mine. They brought vigor and great beats and humor to the stage, driving their fans wild. When Macklemore would announce what song they were playing next I found myself cheering along with everyone else, excited even though I had no clue what the songs were.

Replacing them were The Greyboy Allstars; I don't remember much of them, still blown away by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' performance that I just wanted them to come back on. Still, Greyboy Allstars dished out a great supply of jazz despite a malfunction with Chris Stillwell's bass.


OK Go, another band I never listened to much but ended up falling in love with, put on one of the most fun shows I've ever been to. They didn't have a crazy light show or an insane mob, but they still captured the crowd from the start with their quirky charisma, bright suits, and their poppy, alternative songs. The whole personality of the band ramped up everybody; we all sang along, danced, and just had an amazing time. When I thought they couldn't get any cooler, OK Go took a break from their normal instruments and played a song with only handbells, to "cleanse" us, Damien Kulash said, because San Francisco was apparently too "unwashed." After our cleansing, OK Go also brought on their old band mate, Andy Duncan, to finish a song with them, which really got me.

Unfortunately, they had to end sometime -- and that time came too soon in my opinion -- but I could hardly lament the exit of OK Go as hundreds, probably thousands of people suddenly came rushing in for Arctic Monkeys, crowding in so much we were all literally packed together like sardines, hardly able to move because of how close we'd been smashed in. The swarm got so rowdy I was pushed from my spot in the front back into the fray of fans, finding myself separated from most of my friends and instead surrounded by tall, sweaty guys. Not so fun. Everything was crazier when The Arctic Monkeys, in their badass greaser getup, stepped out onto the stage and set off a mosh pit that happened to be right where I was. At least there were plenty of helpful people ready to pull others up when they were pushed down; I myself was saved a number of times.

When The Black Keys came on things somehow lost even more control. Now I'd lost everyone I knew, stuck all alone between sweating strangers, but it didn't deter me from having a great time dancing (or trying to) as the Black Keys drove the crowd wild. They were the only band I didn't get any pictures of, though, seeing as my arms were pinned to my sides by the wave of bodies around me.

Then there was the almost hour-long wait for Muse. Somehow I ended up getting pushed to the front, just one person back from the gate in a wonderful stroke of luck probably caused by everyone pushing forward, trying to get as close as possible to the stage. Even with my friends nowhere in sight the people around me were all nice and friendly; it's hard not to be when you're pressed awkwardly but resolutely against everyone beside, in front, and behind you. During the wait we chatted and joked about the horrendous smell of B.O. and one guy was kind enough to give me some water, since I was pretty sure I was dying of dehydration and needed something to drink.


Finally, they appeared. Encompassed by smoke and fluorescent lights, Muse brought the crowd surging forward even more, and I was breathless -- not only from their dramatic entrance but also from the weight of too many people crushing me. Regardless of my near-death experiences Muse put on the best show I'd seen that entire festival. I never even liked them a whole lot beforehand and yet those two hours of being in that fanatical, passionate crowd, shouting along to Muse's lyrics, jumping up and down with crazed energy and watching the light show flare out behind the drummer (who I swear looked like Jamie Bell, but later I saw pictures and realized they look nothing alike) was such an amazing and mind-blowing experience that I fell in love for the third time that day.

We called for an encore when Muse's set ended and they obliged, much to our screaming delight. I wish encores lasted forever. Still, it was the best end to Saturday that I could have hoped for, and afterwards, when I'd found my friends, pretty much all I could talk about was how incredible Muse had been.

On the last day I woke up and got ready at a leisurely pace -- there weren't too many bands I knew playing that day so instead of rushing to get to the park early I was planning just to find my friends and let them lead me. A little late to Tune-Yards, the first band I went to see, I was further than I like to be from the stage but still was able to be swept along in the swaying and cheering of the crowd. I got much closer for Latyrx featuring Lyrics Born and Lateef, surrounded by a group of my friends as we all threw our hands into the air and bobbed along to Latyrx's rhymes. While it wasn't wild or super intense it was one of the best performances I'd seen that day.

After they finished I wandered around with some friends, catching a bit of Ty Segall from afar at the Panhandle Stage, refilling water bottles, buying shirts from the merch stand. We headed over to John Fogerty and joined in the carefree dance mob that had assembled behind the sound technician booth as well as the conga sort of line formed within the crowd. Then, worn out from all the skipping and jumping, we flopped down in the grass, watched a group of people get busted for having acid, and relaxed under the sun, enjoying the music from a lower viewpoint.

Besides John Fogerty we checked out STS9 for a little, but no one except me was into it so we left and went back to the Lands End stage where The Decemberists (who none of us cared much for) were performing. My friends and I sat down again; I took pictures of people out of boredom and observed a guy on stilts managing to keep perfect balance as he danced. That was probably the coolest part of being at The Decemberists.

Next on was the headliner, Arcade Fire. I'd had an inner dilemma about whether to see them or Deadmau5, but everyone I was with wanted to see Arcade Fire and I heard they put on an amazing live show, so I went along.

Mistake. I found myself wishing the entire time I'd gone to Deadmau5. First let me say that I do love Arcade Fire and I can't deny their performance was great, but at the same time I hadn't realized how exhausted or hungry I was. And the flailing man to my left was maybe too in love with the band. And the girl in front of me felt the need to lean back so much that her unmoving head was literally in my face the whole time. So with all these put together, plus the fact that I was in a spot far from the stage, I ended up regretting being there.

But it hasn't made me like them any less, because it's not really about having the perfect view or a fanatic horde. It's about the music, the chance for all those different people of different tastes and backgrounds to come together and show their love for this thing they have in common. Sounds totally cliché, I know, but after experiencing three days of Outside Lands, meeting new people, finding new artists to listen to, seeing the hippies and the metalheads and the geeks and everyone else all open up to one another I came to that realization. No matter what we're like in our regular lives, we can discard those walls between stereotypes for a few days and understand what has brought us all together: the music.

And here's Nick's take:

After checking in and getting my media pass, I was ready to experience my third year of San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. The grounds were set up similar to previous years -- broad expanse of grass, vendors and the Heineken dome between the four stages -- but I was stoked with the new side trails connecting the Twin Peaks and Sutro stages, making for faster, more convenient treks between bands.

The five-hour car ride had done its damage, so I hustled towards the nearest porta-pottie. I finally was ready to see some music. The first band I saw was The Joy Formidable. They were especially jamming for an early band on the first day. Right as they ended I sprinted to Collie Buddz to catch the last few minutes of their set. When they finished, I ran into a large group of my friends. We decided to catch some of Phantogram. A really good show, but right as they ended a crowd poured in for Foster The People. Although I love Foster, I wanted to get good seats for MGMT. While waiting for MGMT, I caught The Original Meters, who put on a really good show.


I was slightly disappointed with MGMT. They started off really well, playing some of the better hits, but faded off quickly into some of the more wacky instrumental tracks they have. I'm still really glad I saw them, I'm just not quite sure it was worth it to miss Foster. Anyway, onto the next big disappointment, Big Boi.

I knew he had been arrested a few days prior, but I was confident he would be out on bail and still play. He actually did make it, but then his DJ's equipment had some serious technology issues. Long story short (an hour-and-half long, haha) he never did play, though he did bring Dave Chappelle on for a few minutes. So in sadness and disappointment, I trudged over to the Shins and was quickly re-immersed in joy. And so the first day ended.

I had seen Macklemore & Ryan Lewis around a year ago in some tiny little pub in San Francisco. I knew they were very talented, but I considered them an underground rap group that would never get the recognition they deserved. I was (fortunately) very wrong. They had more energy than any of the bands the day before, and that's not an insult to those bands.

Then it was off to The Stone Foxes. Super fun; some insane moshing went down. Did all of the bands on Saturday get some sort of memo to jam as hard as physically possible? The crowd was also super good the entire day. Anyway, it was now time for some munchies (BLT wraps, all day, every day). With full stomachs and light wallets, my crew and I headed over to OK, Go!

Another energized show. My favorite part was when the main guy came out into the audience and played his guitar. I only stayed for the beginning of the Arctic Monkeys, but what I heard sounded pretty dope. I had to get close to The Roots and Girl Talk, so off I went to the Twin Peaks stage, the "other" headliner stage at the east end of the park. I got there pretty early and saw some of SIA, who was pretty good. I managed to work my way up to being only four or five people back from the front of the stage by the time The Roots started. The six-piece hip-hop band out of Philadelphia put on a great show.

When The Roots ended, I was able to push my way up to second person back, slightly to the right of dead center. I was glad because some chick that had been in front of me earlier decided she couldn't lose her spot for Girl Talk and took a piss right in the middle of the crowd. One of the grossest things I've ever seen. Luckily I was too amped to care, for Girl Talk was about to come on. There is no way to describe how insane the show was. The confetti cannons, the crowd, the light show -- everything was a perfect blend of energy and passion. Saturday was probably one of the best days of my entire life. No, actually it was for sure the best, and I don't see it being topped anytime soon.

Sunday started off slowly for me (being so tired from the previous days), but I was fully awake and ready by the time Latyrx, Lyrics Born and Lateef started. That was fun, but I was now ready for !!! ("Chk chk chk"). They were totally grooving. Next up was Major Lazer. Another great show with good energy in the crowd, plus two of my friends happened to be invited up onto the stage during the show, so that was pretty cool.

STS9 was really fun also, but I think Major Lazer was slightly better. Once STS9 was finished, my friend and I left for Arcade Fire, which I think was the best instrument-backed band I’ve seen. I was able to crowd surf during part of the show and ended up pretty close to the stage by the end.

And with that, the weekend was over. It almost seemed unreal, like a dream or something, but it was actually one of the most real moments of my life. The people who worked, attended and performed at Outside Lands 2011 made what could have just been another music festival into a life-changing weekend.


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mama Whale Passes

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM


Sad news -- especially for those who seized the opportunity to be mesmerized by cetacean sublimeness in the past couple of months. The mama gray whale who had been living in the Klamath River since June 24 -- and who'd been alone since her calf swam back out to sea July 22 -- has died. Monday evening, she beached herself on a sandbar, and she died at 4:19 a.m. Tuesday with people who had been monitoring her health by her side.

Most agreed that mama's health had been deteriorating more rapidly over the last few days. A press release issued by the Yurok Tribe suggested the whale died of natural causes, but a necropsy had yet to be performed.

Tuesday morning, the whale's body could be seen in waist deep water about 25 feet from the Klamath's north shore and roughly a half-mile west of the Highway 101 bridge.

Yurok tribal members and a team from Humboldt State led by professor Dawn Goley made arrangements to move the corpse out of the river, where they could more easily assess its cause of death. White sheets dampened with a boat's hose kept the whale's skin moist so it would be easier to move and analyze, while the team waited for an excavator that would drag the whale by the tail to shore.

Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O'Rourke Sr. summed up the experience in the tribe's Tuesday statement. "To have such a large animal in our presence for so long was a great gift, but now nature has taken its course," he said. "It is truly unfortunate that she didn't try to make it back to her home."

It is. Thanks for the magic, mama.




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Monday, August 15, 2011

Vanishing Congressman

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM

OK, Mike Thompson's running. But not here. And he's sad to leave us. Read all about it in his press release:

Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today announced that he will seek re-election from his life-long home in the reshaped Fifth Congressional district map.  California Congressional district maps, drawn by a voter approved independent commission, were certified as final and formally presented to the California Secretary of State today.  The maps could be challenged in court or by voters, but most observers believe these will be the new districts.   If these are the final Congressional district maps, Rep. Thompson will run from his home in the new Fifth Congressional District.


"It has been an honor to represent the North Coast in both the State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.  I love the area, the people that make it great, and Jan and I have many friends we hold dear. It is sad for me to lose this portion of our district," said Rep. Thompson.


"The lines don't change until the next election and until then, I will continue to work tirelessly for the good of the area.  After the new maps go into effect, I will never forget the North Coast or its issues.  You will always have my ear, my understanding, and we will always work together."

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Times-Standard puts the kibosh on us freeloaders

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Oh no! If we can't figure out how to delete cookies, we're screwed!

Read the announcement... if you're still able to!


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