Music

Friday, October 23, 2020

Eureka Bar Owner Decries 'Selective Enforcement' After Knowingly, Repeatedly Violating COVID Orders

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 5:16 PM

The city of Eureka has threatened to fine a local venue as much as $5,000 per violation if it continues with a scheduled burlesque and heavy metal show tomorrow night that would be in violation of state and county COVID-19 health orders, which still prohibit live entertainment performances.
The Siren's Song Tavern in pre-COVID times. - FILE
  • File
  • The Siren's Song Tavern in pre-COVID times.

Eureka Interim City Manager Miles Slattery said city code enforcement officials reached out to Siren’s Song Tavern owner JD Pegg yesterday after the county’s Joint Information Center informed city officials that it had contacted Pegg three times to notify him live performances remain prohibited but the venue had continued to schedule and advertise live shows, including karaoke nights and local bands. The county has tried the education angle to no avail, Slattery said, so the city’s code enforcement unit contacted Pegg to warn he could face fines of up to $5,000 per violation and potentially misdemeanor citations for operation in violation of the county’s health order.

“Hopefully, this gets his attention,” Slattery said. “This guy could care less. It’s just sad to me. First of all, it’s unfair. There’s plenty of other locations that would like to be doing the same but are following the rules. … If they continue to pursue (the show), we’ll have to take further action.”

Reached by the Journal this morning, Pegg, however, contended that if someone is being treated unfairly, it’s him. Striking a defiant tone, Pegg said the state and local orders prohibiting live performances are unfair to venues in comparatively low risk areas of the state, like Humboldt County, and that he’s fallen victim to “selective enforcement” that allows other venues flaunt the rules while he has been repeatedly contacted and threatened with fines.
“You know how much spread we’ve caused? Zero,” he said. “We’ve been doing live events for three fucking months now. Have we caused an outbreak? Has the Fortuna school district that’s been in session for months now? No. … There’s no fucking COVID here. There’s like 17 cases and they’re all at home. They’re not going out for fucking drinks. I don’t deal in hypotheticals, I deal in reality. That’s what all this COVID shit is, is hypothetical.”

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Local Theaters Go Red Tonight in Support of the Live Events Sector

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 1:46 PM

118518820_3576805242338649_4035780690059476124_n.png
Humboldt County entertainment organizations, including local theaters, will turn on the red light tonight in support of the live events sector, which has taken a heavy hit due to COVID-19.  The idea is to draw attention to a vital industry that has been shuttered since early March, 2020, and most likely will not reopen until well into 2021.

Olivia McGahan, Regional Coordinator with We Make Events-North America, a collective of volunteers from the entertainment industry, has organized the local event taking place tonight from 9 p.m. to midnight in correspondence with events across the United States that will be happening at the same time.

A press release for the event states, "On September 1, 2020, #WeMakeEvents, a coalition of trade bodies, businesses, unions, and live events workers, will light as many as 1,500 venues, and iconic structures in red in over 50 cities across North America to raise public and media awareness in support of the live events sector."

Local participating theaters include Arcata Playhouse, Dell'Arte International, Humboldt Light Opera Company S.P.A.C.E., North Coast Repertory Theater, Redwood Curtain Theatre and Ferndale Repertory Theater.

The release states, "Community members are encouraged to show their support by checking the social media sites of their closest theater where a map of all participating locations will be posted and visiting the aforementioned locations where they can take photos to post on social media using hashtags:
#WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA."
A map of participating local theaters
  • A map of participating local theaters

For more information on tonight's event, see the press release below:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Siren's Song to Sing Again

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 1:45 PM

The Siren's Song Tavern - FILE
  • File
  • The Siren's Song Tavern
In these difficult times, here is a glimmer of hope: The Siren’s Song Tavern will sing again.

The announcement that the Old Town bar and music venue has officially changed hands was made today on its Facebook page.

“We wish the new owner all the luck in this brave new world that is being crafted and look forward to raising a pint together in its future permutation,” the post states, thanking all those who have been a part of the venue over the years. "It is also our hope that you all will extend your patronage to the new owner and enjoy your time there as you did before.”

It is with the sincerest hopes for tomorrow that Phyllis, Matthew, and Nate make the following statement. As of today,...

Posted by The Siren's Song Tavern on Tuesday, July 21, 2020
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Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth 2020 Celebration

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 10:30 AM

Join the Eureka Chapter of The NAACP and Black Humboldt for today's Juneteenth celebration happening from noon-11:30 p.m. at various online locations. 

The event includes performances from Black Humboldt artists, music, virtual vending from local POC businesses, Knowledge for Power sessions, hands-on workshops led by local black professionals and more.

Here's how to participate:

Zoom: Meeting ID: 328 941 2424
Facebook: @BlackHumboldt
Radio: 98.7 FM & 91.1 FM 88.1FM
Television: Humboldt Local AH11

For more information on Juneteenth and the celebration today visit Black Humboldt's website
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Outer Space is Losing Its Space

Posted By on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 at 11:33 AM

The Outer Space Collective announced today via Instagram that it will have to find a new home in a month's time. The 1110 M St. building where the organization has held performances, workshops and community meetings and events since 2017  has been sold, and members are in the process of hunting down a new location, starting with an "emergency planning meeting" on Friday at 7 p.m.

The post asks for support with the transition in the form of: "Having your classes and workshops, coming to our final shows, giving us a heads up on real estate options, and offering help with the move and storage space in the case of an interim time between spaces."

Collective member Lisken Rossi says the organization has known about the impending sale of the building for about a year but, “It was all taking so long, some of us were like, it’s been so long maybe the sale’s not actually going through.”

Ice Balloons at an Outer Space show in October of 2017. - FILE
  • File
  • Ice Balloons at an Outer Space show in October of 2017.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mateel Announces Reggae Legacy to Replace ROTR

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:54 PM

reggaelegacy.jpg
After High Times abruptly cancelled this year’s Reggae on the River festival, the Mateel Community Center Board of Directors decided to offer an alternative event located entirely at the financially strapped Community Hall. Today, they announced what they are calling the Reggae Legacy 2019 event on the traditional ROTR dates, the first weekend in August.

According to the announcement, the all-ages event will be “dedicated to the life of Carol Bruno.”

Bruno, who recently died, is the universally acknowledged powerhouse behind the early days of the event but her place in the event history was battered by the so-called Reggae Wars that split the Southern Humboldt community.

The cancellation of Reggae on the River, which annually brought thousands flocking to the small towns of Southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino, was expected to leave motels empty and small businesses scrambling to fill the financial gap at a time when those communities have already been hit hard by the downturn in the cannabis industry.

“It was a huge disappointment that High Times cancelled,” said Michelle Bushnell, board president of the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. “[Reggae on the River] was one of our biggest money makers. Once [an event] doesn’t happen in our area, it is hard to get it to start back it up again. … I am concerned that money-making events like it are dwindling away. [The festival attendees] utilize our motels and restaurants and when you don’t have that influx, it is harmful economically.”

High Times stepped in to produce the event in May of 2018 after the Mateel Community Center landed in desperate financial straits when the previous year’s festival lost $140,000, leaving the Redway nonprofit facing a $430,000 budget deficit.

Bushnell explained that the hotels, restaurants and food markets got a “huge” bump in sales from Reggae on the River. “I’m sure they are having cancellations right now.”

“For the smaller stores, it was more like 25 percent, depending on the weather,” she said.

However, she said, Reggae Legacy could partially mitigate the financial impact.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

UPDATE: Reggae on the River Cancelled

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2019 at 6:46 PM

The High Times sign was a popular backdrop for selfies last year. - FILE
  • File
  • The High Times sign was a popular backdrop for selfies last year.
UPDATE:

Dusty Hughston, a Mateel Community Center board member, confirmed that the 2019 Reggae on the River show has been cancelled. “It’s real. They called me and the treasurer,” he told Redheaded Blackbelt.

The Mateel Board will release a complete statement but at this time Hughston said that though the board won’t have the money from Reggae this year, they have continued to pay down the Mateel’s debt.

Hughston said that with the closure of the big event, the Mateel will put on a smaller event at its hall in Redway. “We’re going to do something that weekend at the Mateel,” he said.

PREVIOUS:

The perennially troubled event, Reggae on the River, has been cancelled as of 5:30 p.m. today.

While little information was immediately available, last year’s ticket sales were dismal.

High Times stepped in to produce the event in May of 2018 after the Mateel Community Center landed in desperate financial straits when the previous year’s festival lost $140,000, leaving the Redway nonprofit facing a $430,000 budget deficit.

According to the Reggae on the River’s website, ticket holders will be refunded within 10 business days.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

A 'Dark Day' at KHSU

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely.
The first sign arrived yesterday afternoon, when KHSU staff members received an email from Craig Wruck informing them there would be a mandatory meeting for all paid staff today at 9 a.m.

“I apologize for the extremely short notice, but this is an important meeting,” Wruck wrote.

When staff arrived for the meeting this morning at the new studio space in Feuerwerker House, however, they were separated. Morning Edition host Natalya Estrada and Development Director David Reed were sent to another building on campus, where they were informed of the changes and the fact that they would be the only staff members spared in the reorganization, with Reed being named interim station director. Meanwhile, Wruck was informing the balance of the staff that their positions were being eliminated, effective immediately.

As this was happening, 32-year volunteer Ed Campbell, who hosts “A Wandering Ear,” showed up to prepare for his 10 a.m. show to find his keycard no longer worked.

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
He knocked and Wruck reportedly agreed to let him in to do his classical music show. He played about an hour’s worth of music before putting on Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Requiem Canticles.” As it played, he walked out, later explaining that Wruck and administrators could deal with the dead air. Campbell said he chose “Requiem Canticles” as the last thing he’d ever play over the station’s airwaves because it was the last significant piece Stravinsky composed and has “a bunch of finality to it.”

Outside, KHSU Producer Jessica Eden smiled and hugged volunteers who stopped by to inquire what was going on. A University Police Department patrol car sat parked nearby.

“It was a great station and we really put our hearts into it for years and years,” Eden said. “They’ve just destroyed a beautiful community resource. Shame on them.”

The upheaval included Peter Fretwell, whose tenure as general manager was fraught with controversy after the sudden firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside in May.

Along with the staff reductions, which the university press release states will result in “significant savings,” all volunteer-run programs are under “indefinite suspension.”

Eden pointed out that administrators announced this decision just days after KHSU finished a community pledge drive trumpeting how listener’s donations would support local programing. The pledge drive hadn’t fully met its goal but was widely considered to have been successful, staff said, noting that some donors and sustaining members who had walked away from the station last May in the wake of the controversial firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside firing had come back.

“Then they do this right after they took people’s money,” one volunteer grumbled.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate the Life of Merv George Sr.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 4:11 PM

Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Laura Lee George holds up her cell phone to play a version of "Chocolate Ice Cream Cone" after telling the crowd that her husband was bullied because he was the smallest in his class and the only one who wore glasses. He started singing the song on the school bus and caught the attention of the "pretty girls," according to his son Merv George Jr.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of Merv George Sr., a Hupa religious dance leader and frontman of The Merv George Band, which for decades kept local dance floors buzzing at venues big and small. George was remembered Sunday as a talented musician with an easy smile who was dedicated to the communities he was a part of.

Check out local photographer Mark McKenna's slideshow below of images from Sunday's celebration of George's life. To read more about George, see past Journal coverage here. Donation's in George's honor can be made to the Merv George Memorial Music Fund at the Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524.

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Popular Musician and Tribal Leader Merv George Sr. Dead at 74

Posted By on Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s. - PHOTO COURTESY MERV GEORGE JR.
  • Photo courtesy Merv George Jr.
  • L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s.
Merv George Sr. — Hoopa tribal member, religious dance leader and popular musician — died yesterday afternoon after suffering a severe stroke earlier in the week. He was 74.

According to a post on Merv George Jr.’s Facebook page, his father was being transported home from Redding Mercy Hospital when he died. “He had my mom by his side and he went peacefully,” George Jr. wrote, adding that “he waited until we got near Weaverville and could see the Trinity River before he left us.”


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