Frivolity

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fair Factor

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 3:50 PM

Majestic food stall flags in the wind. - FILE
  • File
  • Majestic food stall flags in the wind.
Editor’s note: It’s official — the Humboldt County Fair is back. To help our readers prep for what many see as the most important fair experience — the food — here’s a look back at a 2015 walk through of edible attractions at the Ferndale tradition.

You can smell the fryers from the parking lot as you stumble through the lumpy pasture toward the whirring rides and tinny pop music playing on the other side of the turnstiles. Once inside the Humboldt County Fair, the maze of traveling food stands and the barrage of signs for jumbo and beer battered everything can overwhelm. How do you best use the limited real estate in your belly and will you be able to keep it down if you hop on the Tilt-a-Whirl?

Here are some of the heaviest hitters scored 1-5 for three criteria: fair factor, or how on-theme the food is; value, the cost vs. satisfaction and/or bragging rights, keeping in mind that most prices are slightly inflated at these things; and fair tummy, the gentlest way to describe how much this treat is going to hurt you, especially on the Gravitron.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Bright Lights, Small Town

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:39 PM

The view from the Ferris wheel at the Humboldt County Fair. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Photo by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The view from the Ferris wheel at the Humboldt County Fair.

Editor’s note: With the Humboldt County Fair marking its 122nd opening day tomorrow, here’s a look back at Peri Escarda’s 2017 It’s Personal column on the annual event, the arrival of which means that summer is once again drawing to an end.

Growing up in Humboldt County, there was nothing more exciting than the day my parents would announce that we were going to the Fair. They would bundle us kids into the car and make the rambling trek to Ferndale. As we crossed the bridge and headed into the summer fog, I would wait for that moment when the Ferris wheel would sprout from the cow fields. As we approached, we would hear the screams and hard rock emanating from the Tilt O’ Whirl. My feet would begin to tingle and my palms to sweat, as I wondered if I would have the necessary courage — not to mention, height — to attempt what we called the “upside down rides.”

Once in the grounds, my parents would hand out some bills with the stern command to “make it last,” and then head off to the horse races. Whenever we got tired or hungry, we could make our way to the stands and join them. There was always the clang of the starting bell, the echoing voice of the commentator, the blur of the horses thundering past. I would sit with my corn dog and fries, watching not the horses but the sparrows. They would soar in aerial battles right above the stands, tumbling within feet of the spectators’ heads. Somehow, my parents always could be convinced to hand out another fiver, if only we would disappear for a bit longer.

The fair only got better in adolescence. My crew would meet up hours before to “get ready,” and emerge in a cloud of hairspray, our hair feathered back to precision, faces glowing with make-up we didn’t need. Sometimes we were sent back by our parents for skirts that were too short or shirts cut too low. But eventually we would arrive at the fairgrounds, free of our parents’ watchful eyes. Arranging ourselves with careful derision, we were aware of every boy who passed. I came to regret the choice of the particular boy that I let take me up on the Ferris wheel but I’ll never regret the kiss I got there. The wind had stilled and the wheel had stopped, and the two of us hung suspended, with the fields spread out to the horizon and beyond.

Anybody who could regret such a kiss doesn’t know how to live. If you’ve never been kissed on a Ferris wheel, I recommend you rectify that as soon as possible.
I was to return many times to the Humboldt County Fair, eventually as a mother myself: handing out the cash with dire warnings about making it last — and yet holding back a couple of bills, just for that moment when I would relent and hand the money over. I would watch my little ones try their hands at milking a goat or take a ride on a pony or outstretch their palms to pet the warm flank of a gentle cow. And, in later years, I would watch them slink off as teenagers, while my husband and I would wander over to the barns alone, watching the harried mothers wrangle their small children with both a sense of longing and overwhelming relief.

There is so much I could tell a person about the Humboldt County Fair. I know that if the sun comes out, it is likely to be mid-day, but the fog bank will return by late afternoon. I know that it is always worth it to watch the daredevil show, no matter how corny it might appear. I know that Friendship Square is the best place to eat your pie and get away from the wind. I know that the building that houses the quilts and jams will be as peaceful as a chapel, and just as restorative to the soul. I know that if you want to have faith in the next generation, just go to the barns and watch the teenagers ready their animals for the big show. Watch the young men have their ties straightened by their mothers before leading their cows along to be judged. Take the time to sit and talk to an old person; they are everywhere at the fair and what they know will always surprise you. Don’t forget to ride that Ferris wheel — reach for someone’s hand and be open to the possibility of a kiss. But if that kiss doesn’t happen this year, don’t despair. The thing about the County Fair is that, just like summer, it always returns.

Peri Escarda was born and raised in Humboldt County and worked for two decades as an instructional aide. Now that her kids have moved out, she's busy writing.
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Monday, August 6, 2018

Crabs Season is over and Everything is Garbage

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 3:29 PM

MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar

Well, folks, it’s over. Humboldt’s best summer distraction
has come to a close and now we are all forced to confront the empty misery of
our Crabs-less existences. No more heckling, no more Crusty, no more dynamic renditions of "Go Big Red," no more band at all! Baseball has abandoned Arcata, not to return for 11 months. It’s always a difficult week after our boys head back
home. The town feels … empty. F Street is no longer a perilous route that only
the most courageous and resolute dare ford. We’ve no place to gather together
and bond as a community. It is a time for mourning and bereavement.

The Humboldt Crabs finished the season with a series sweep
against the Bay Area Blues, an all-star team on the eastern side of the bay.
Our boys ended up 37-10 on the year and unloaded 19 runs in the final game of
the season, an explosive display on par with the fireworks Saturday night.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Five Things to Know About Summer in Humboldt

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 12:23 PM

moonstone_grill_magnum.jpg
Editor's note: Summer has arrived, not that you'd necessarily know it by stepping outside today (see item No. 1) although the National Weather Service is forecasting a warming trend this weekend with temperatures in the low 70s on the coast and close to 100 degrees inland. Too help you ease into the season, here's a blast from the past — but still on point — 2013 column by Jennifer Savage with a few tips on surviving summer in Humboldt.

1. Summer on the coast means fog (freaky weather patterns notwithstanding). Out here at the ocean, the seasons go like this: rainy, windy, foggy, glorious. Right now we're heading into "June gloom," which means by July, those of us ensconced on the coast will be climbing the walls — or more likely into our cars to escape to Willow Creek or Miranda for some sunshine, heat and river action. Start off by following all the general good-time safety rules, whether you're rivering or hiking, beaching, biking, etc. Know the area, bring enough food and water, let people know where you're going and when to expect you back, and check the weather.


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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Eureka Makes Its Mark on Sunset Magazine List

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 1:40 PM

The Madaket on the bay. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The Madaket on the bay.
Here’s some good news for Eureka: While not No. 1, the city has taken the second slot on Sunset Magazine’s list of “20 Game Changing Places to Live” that is coming out in the February edition.

The vignette accompanying the entry goes as follows: “This small seaport spent a decade restoring its waterfront with a newly completed 6-mile pedestrian trail. Adding to the charm are grand 19th-century homes, proximity to redwoods, and more artists per capita than anywhere else in the state.”

Congratulations on the accolades, Eureka.

For the record, Sacramento took top honors while Truckee, Fresno, Carlsbad, Carson City, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Salida, Colorado and Missoula, Montana, rounded off the Top 10.

Read the full list here.
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fast Food Giant Launches 'Munchie Meals' Targeting Recreational Stoner Cash

Posted By on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 3:22 PM

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN WEBSTER
  • Photo illustration by Jonathan Webster
Not to be left off the multi-billion-dollar cannabis bandwagon, fast food giant Jack in the Box announced earlier this week that it’s launching a line of stoner-targeted snacks.

“Jack’s Munchie Meals” will come with two tacos, five mini churros, three crispy chicken strips, a small drink and a serving of half curly fries and half regular fries, so, you know, all cravings are covered. Oh, and the new snack pack will be on sale for $4.20, you know, just so everybody gets their giggles. The idea is apparently the product of a partnership between the fast food chain and Merry Jane, a cannabis-focused digital media company started by rap legend Snoop Dogg, who once passed a weed collection bucket through the crowd at a concert in Eureka.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Ugly Holiday Sweater Fun Run in Photos

Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2017 at 8:41 AM

Clearly winning Christmas. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Clearly winning Christmas.
The third Friday of December is now officially National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – a clothing statement even non-Christians can wear. Our local second annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Fun Run was held Dec. 17 on the Arcata Plaza as a fundraiser for Humboldt Educare and organized by Arcata Main Street.

Given Humboldt Educate was the fundraising recipient, it was no surprise that a large number of youngsters, along with adults of all ages, participated in the 1-mile and 5-kilometer runs. Their ugly sweaters reflected a wide range of cute, naughty or nice and funny home-made creativity as well as selections purchased on the Internet.

Prizes were given out in a mix of categories for the "ugly" apparel. In the 1-mile run, Braden Dyar, 18, was the first male to cross the finish line (8:41) and Ruth Godline-Sullivan was the first female (8:42). Krystal Mendez was the first female to cross the finish line in the 5k (20:14) and Jasper Severn was the first male (18:11).

Whether you need a bit of motivation to lace up your shoes and go work off some of that holiday bounty or are just hungry for a bit of Christmas nostalgia as you pack up the decorations, take a look back at this slideshow from Mark Larson.


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

TL;DR: How Andrew Mills Barely Escaped Humboldt

Posted By on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 10:31 AM

mills_cover.jpg

In case you missed it, Humboldt County bid former Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills adieu last week. We offered a handful of stories looking at his tenure in town and what’s next for EPD. We encourage you to take a few minutes to look at the coverage and weigh in. But there are also a few things we weren’t able to squeeze into last week’s edition, like the five times Humboldt County almost killed Andrew Mills. Here's the rundown:

When he got lost in community forest: “One of the things I’ve learned: Chiefs of police can get lost in the woods, too, and your little iPhone compass doesn’t work when you can’t get cell reception,” Mills told a Times-Standard reporter, less than a week into his new job in 2013, confessing that a job in Arcata’s Community Forest turned a bit tense before he found his way out.

When he got swept off the jetty: On Nov. 5, 2016, Mills decided to walk out onto the jetty to take pictures of large waves sweeping in. The National Weather Advisory had warned of 19- to 22-foot waves over the weekend and asked people to “stay safe … by staying farther back from the surf and off the rocks and jetties.” It’s a frequent warning on the North Coast, and one that Mills apparently missed. In the blink of an eye, a wave smashed him and left him holding onto the jetty rocks for dear life. Luckily, after being pummeled by a few waves, Mills was able to get back to his feet and back to his car, having lost only some skin off his knees, his cell phone and a bit of confidence. “The real thing is, compared to the power of nature, we are insignificant,” he told the Journal a few days later.

When he jumped into a sewage pit at the PalCo Marsh: While talking with some homeless men camping in the PalCo Marsh, Mills jumped off a concrete slab onto what he thought was solid ground only to find it was, in fact, a deep pit of stagnant water and human waste. The horrified men rushed to help the chief, who was “up to his armpits” in sewage, out of the pit. Mills described himself as mad but he somehow managed to avoid death by E Coli infection.

When he unwittingly waded into a Second Amendment gauntlet: Frustrated by the high rates at which firearms were being stolen in Eureka — and the higher rates at which his officers were finding them in the hands of felons and criminals — the police chief proposed a local gun control ordinance. Tepid by lefty standards, the ordinance would have only required gun owners to make sure their firearms were secured and locked up when left unattended in their homes or businesses. But within moments of its announcement, Mills was dogpiled by a virtual mountain of Second Amendment enthusiasts, like Robert Wenzel, who posted the following on the Journal’s website: “Maybe Mills should move to San Franfreakshow. This is just another waste of taxpayer dollars that accomplishes nothing except add further restrictions to personal liberty. Good to know that Mills is another Kalifornia libtard politician.” Frustrated and battered, Mills withdrew the proposal less than a week after its announcement, saying his department would focus instead on “education.”

When officers unloaded 43 shots downtown: We may be projecting a bit here, but we imagine Mills had a minor heart attack upon hearing that his officers had unloaded 43 bullets onto the streets of downtown Eureka shortly before 5 p.m. on a Tuesday. Again, possibly projecting, but we imagine that feeling only intensified when he learned that the suspect — Clayton Lee Lasinski — didn’t fire a shot at the officers and was only hit once in the barrage. At a press conference the day after the chaotic shooting, Mills said he understands “each officer is personally accountable for every round that they discharge and where that round ends up.”

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Scenes from the Folklife Fest

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 11:55 AM

Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Jenny Scheinman's performance was a highlight of the 39th annual Humboldt Folklife Festival.
The week-long Humboldt Folklife Festival in its 39th year drew large crowds to its events this year, according to Patrick Cleary, one of the many Humboldt Folklife Society members who organized the event. Cleary said this year's festival was dedicated to the memory of Susan Anderson, one of the original members of the Humboldt Folklife Society back in 1978 who died this past year.

Personal highlights for me included Thurday's Bluegrass and Beyond show that included Clean Livin', Jenny Scheinman and The Compost Mountain Boys at the Dell'Arte Amphitheatre. Scheinman's virtuoso skills on the fiddle and singing of her creative and sometimes very personal lyrics were outstanding.

Scheinman first played solo on tunes from her latest release Here On Earth (a tribute to fiddle tunes). John Wood then accompanied her on his keyboard for songs that she has written that were very personal, funny, sad and a few based on her memories of growing up in Petrolia behind the "redwood curtain."

The Folklife Festival came to a close on Saturday in Blue Lake with its All Day Free Fest of workshops and18 bands performing on two stages. Check out the full slideshow below.


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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rodeo Bucks Along

Posted By on Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Danny Fales, of Eureka. - THOMAS HARDY
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Danny Fales, of Eureka.
The Fortuna Rodeo is hitting full stride, with busy days planned today and tomorrow, when the adults will take center stage. But Thursday was all about the juniors, and local photographer Thomas Hardy was there to catch the little ones in action.

For a full schedule or rodeo festivities, including the famous rodeo BBQ hitting plates tomorrow, click here.


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