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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fire & Light is Closing Its Doors, Searching for a New Owner

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 1:17 PM

Fire & Light is closing. - COURTESY OF FIRE & LIGHT
  • Courtesy of Fire & Light
  • Fire & Light is closing.
Fire & Light, an iconic Humboldt County business story that mixed creativity with sustainability, is closing unless a buyer can be found.

According to a Facebook page post today, the Arcata-based company known for its colorful glassware “is no longer financially feasible for the company to continue to operate without another significant investment of cash” due to a number of factors.

“At one point, Fire & Light glassware was carried in over 1,100 stores around the country. During the great recession, nearly 500 of those stores closed,” the post states. “Other market factors also have changed significantly since the recession, causing rising overhead costs, dwindling markets, and supply chain complications. Unfortunately, the company never fully recovered from those difficulties despite improved economic conditions.”

The note from owners John and Natali McClurg says they tried to postpone the decision as long as possible and tried to keep the doors open, but the company will be selling its remaining inventory at its showroom through Saturday.

The McClurgs thank their employees — saying they are like family — and the community for its support. They also said they are continuing to search for a buyer.


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North Coast Night Lights: Smoky Coastal Skies and Milky Way

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 11:30 AM

The Milky Way looms over the Pacific Ocean, standing out over the smoky, misty air along California’s North Coast. Smoke from inland fires lingered in the sky. August 2015. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • The Milky Way looms over the Pacific Ocean, standing out over the smoky, misty air along California’s North Coast. Smoke from inland fires lingered in the sky. August 2015.
At the end of the summer of 2015, my brother and I were out around midnight on a great rock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, enjoying the view between ourselves and the rest of the Universe. Fires inland had been burning for weeks, their pall of smoke glowing orange in the sky to the south of us, illuminated from below by the lights of coastal Humboldt County habitations. From out of our view in front of us, a lighthouse cast a cold blue light onto the Pacific to contrast with the orange color of the smoky sky. Above it all, rising from the fog of smoke and ocean mists loomed the Milky Way, a great galactic structure in the sky reminding us of our small part in the cosmic dance around us.

The night sky is a precious gift, a window out into something much larger than we are, a view into the cosmic splendor of which we play such a tiny part. It’s a window denied to those who reside in the city, but we on the California North Coast are fortunate to live where there are few major light sources at night and we can easily get away from them to enjoy rich starry skies. Here we find the natural beauty of the Earth by day, and at night we have the majesty and beauty of the universe to behold. It doesn’t get much better than that for those who love the natural world.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

CHP to the Rescue for this Feathered Family (Video)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 11:37 AM

The wayward family. - CHP
  • CHP
  • The wayward family.
Just because it's cute. Here is some video the CHP posted of a local officer lending a helping hand to a wayward family of Canada geese that he found wandering along the side of U.S. Highway 101 while on patrol south of Eureka.

Enjoy!
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letter from Legislators: KHSU Gutting a 'Slap in the Face'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:19 AM

khsu_2018_cymk_transparent.png
Adding to a growing list, current and former North Coast legislators are calling on the California State University Chancellor’s Office to suspend any decision-making on the future of KHSU until new top administrators arrive at Humboldt State University.

HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and Vice President of Advancement Craig Wruck, who oversees KHSU, are both slated to retire this year.

State Sen. Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Jim Wood, retired state Sen. Wes Chesbro and retired Assemblymember Patty Berg penned a strongly worded letter that describes HSU’s decision to gut the public radio station as “a slap in the face to Humboldt County and the North Coast.”

“The reckless manner and timing of HSU shutting down this amazing station could not have been worse and it’s time for the long-term decision making by a short-term administration to stop,” the letter states. “Major decisions made behind closed doors, and with zero transparency, simply do not work for this community. It hurts the credibility of the University and makes everyone’s job harder (especially the incoming President). There was absolutely no reason for this situation to unfold as it has and we want it to stop.”

Find previous Journal coverage on the situation here, here, here and here or pick up this week's edition.

Read the full letter below:

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

KHSU Dismantling Rebuked, KEET Board to Discuss Possible Radio Venture

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:54 PM

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
The recent turmoil at KHSU and the possibility of exploring a radio endeavor will be one of the discussion topics at KEET’s Board of Directors meeting Thursday but no decisions are slated to be made at this point, according to station Executive Director David Gordon.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt State University Department of Journalism and the University Senate have both come out against the administration’s decision to dismantle the campus public radio station, which stunned staff and the community.

In a Facebook posts and in an interview with the Journal, KEET’s Gordon emphasized that KHSU is just one topic on the agenda for the board’s regularly scheduled meeting and that time for public comment and seating will be limited.

“It’s just basically do we have any interest in pursuing any sort of radio venture,” Gordon said, noting recent events brought the issue to the forefront.


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North Coast Night Lights: Musings at Moonstone Cave

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 11:24 AM

DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
We stood in the mouth of the cavern, looking out through a great broken crack in the blackness into the night as if through a window into another world. It fired our imaginations, conjuring mysteries in the night. What is it about caves that stirs us so inside? My thoughts wandered and stories began to play across my mind as my imagination took me to a time that might have been earlier that day. …

… Hiking the redwood forests of Humboldt County earlier in the afternoon, my two companions and I had stumbled onto a stone stairway in the woods. Its worn steps led up a hill and into the goosepen of a great redwood tree. We had all hiked this area before but none of us had ever seen the stairs or the tree, not even the hill it was on. I admit I was more than a little confused. I consider myself to have an excellent sense of direction and have never gotten lost in the forest before, but how could I have missed this until now? Were we where we thought we were? My companions were as confused as I.

The stairs seemed ancient, small ledges of rock covered in moss, lichen and fallen debris. They led up into the dark opening at the base of the tree where the redwood opened to accommodate them, widening as though it had been growing around the steps for a thousand years, enticing travelers to enter and explore its mysteries. We accepted the invitation.
Imagine, if you will, a stairway to the darkest recesses of your own mind, where the only journey you will make is within, and the only fears you will face are your own. This is a place you cannot find on a map, cannot reach on foot — yet a familiarity of places known hangs about it like the cool Humboldt mists. … (Thank you, Rod Serling) - Note: this is a composite image of two Humboldt places and only exists in the imagination. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Imagine, if you will, a stairway to the darkest recesses of your own mind, where the only journey you will make is within, and the only fears you will face are your own. This is a place you cannot find on a map, cannot reach on foot — yet a familiarity of places known hangs about it like the cool Humboldt mists. … (Thank you, Rod Serling)Note: this is a composite image of two Humboldt places and only exists in the imagination.
The steps climbed up and into the tree’s hollow, and then immediately descended again to vanish into the darkness underground. The beam of my headlamp revealed the staircase curving out of view in the shadows below us. We looked at each other there at the top of the stairs — to explore, or no? My companions flicked their own headlamps on in answer. Down we went.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

'This is Heartbreaking:' Vigil Commemorates Second Anniversary of Lawson's Killing

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 11:35 AM

Charmaine Lawson speaks to the crowd gathered to honor her son and demands justice for him on the second anniversary of his killing. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Charmaine Lawson speaks to the crowd gathered to honor her son and demands justice for him on the second anniversary of his killing.
Encircled by more than 100 people at the center of the Arcata Plaza during a candlelight vigil on the second anniversary of her son’s death, Charmaine Lawson took the microphone and fell silent. She took off her red hat with “Josiah” embroidered across the back, doubled over and wept until a friend embraced her. She collected herself and started again.

“I really don’t have much to say,” she said. “This is really emotional. I want to thank you guys for continuing to show up for my son, for continuing to show up for my family, for continuing to show up for this community. I don’t even know what to say. This is heartbreaking.”

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

KHSU Protesters at the Arcata Farmers Market

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 6:40 PM

Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area.

More than 100 protestors gathered on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday morning to share their frustrations, sadness and anger about Humboldt State University's decision on Thursday to cut the community programming volunteers and most of the staff at KHSU-FM. (The remaining two staff members David Reed and Natalya Estrada have since resigned, as well.) The protesters mingled and shared theories about HSU's motives, before organizing into a protest march around the farmers market area on the plaza. See photos in the slideshow below.

"The fact that they did this right after the recent fund drive shows what a bad neighbor HSU has become," said Rick Levin, a former underwriter, volunteer musician for live shows and on-air helper during pledge drives. "And now they're blaming the community for not supporting it enough."

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Last Employee Leaves KHSU

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 3:09 PM

khsu_2018_cymk_transparent.png
KHSU’s Morning Host Natalya Estrada submitted her resignation to the university today, leaving the public radio station without a single employee just two days after the administration announced an across-the-board “reorganizing” that included laying off most of the staff and “indefinitely suspending” community-based programming.

Her departure follows that of David Reed — Humboldt State’s appointed choice to take over KHSU — who stepped down Friday, saying he declined the interim post and had not been consulted before the university sent out an announcement outlining changes at the station.

In a column sent to local media, Estrada explained her decision and her views on the events that have unfolded at the station in recent months, culminating in Thursday’s sweeping move, which the university said would result in “significant savings” with the intended goal of “preserving quality programming for the North Coast.”

Read previous Journal coverage here and here.

“Thank you all for letting me into your morning commute, for telling me your stories of hope, tragedy, triumph and love. Thank you for letting me speak your truths through an omni-directional microphone,” Estrada wrote. “Thank you for letting me take your photos and for calling me in the morning to let me know it’s White-THORN not Whitehorn. I will forever hold KHSU in my heart and memory as a place of acceptance, peace and home to the hardest working folks I’ve ever met.”


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Friday, April 12, 2019

Release of Sex Offender to Garberville Denied

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 2:31 PM

Humboldt County Courthouse - FILE
  • file
  • Humboldt County Courthouse
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Judge John Feeney today denied the placement of a man deemed by the courts to be a sexually violent predator for the second time in less than a year, this time to Garberville.

However, according to a Times-Standard article, Feeney did agree with his attorney’s argument that Joshua Cooley should be released but stayed his ruling until a suitable housing situation could be found.

According to the Redheaded Blackbelt, that could include rotating stays at Eureka motels. Another hearing has been set for May 5.

Feeney made a similar finding back in August of 2018, when he blocked Cooley’s release in a rural Freshwater neighborhood after an outcry from neighbors and opposition from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff William Honsal.


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