Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Gun Violence Restraining Order Training Comes to the North Coast

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 5:08 PM

CITY OF ARCATA
  • City of Arcata

Tomorrow morning the city of Arcata will host a gun violence restraining order training for law enforcement, attorneys and court personnel in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties at the D Street Neighborhood Center.

The statewide, three-hour training provided by San Diego’s City Attorney’s Office will outline additional resources for law enforcement, attorneys and court personnel to provide an extra safeguard for community members against people who pose a danger to themselves and others, and are in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told the Journal the training will bring together the three entities together to understand the law, come up with a protection that is most appropriate for their jurisdiction and bring a safeguard to the community.


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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

Warming Trend Comes with River Warnings

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 3:38 PM

NWS
  • NWS
For many, it seemed like winter was never going to release its grip on the North Coast. But according to the National Weather Service, it appears things are looking up in the mercury department for the next week.

According to the Eureka office, inland temps should reach into the 70s and 80s this week, although there is the potential for a “weak thunderstorm or two” in our neighbor counties of Trinity and Mendocino. As for the coast, the skies are looking to clear up for mild afternoons in the low to mid 60s.

While the warming trend may convince some folks it's time to head straight for our local rivers, the National Weather Service is also warning that the waters are still “running swift and cold.” They add that "even experienced swimmers can lose muscle control very quickly in cold water."
NWS
  • NWS
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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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Friday, April 19, 2019

Pour One Out: No Humboldt Beer at Oyster Fest

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:46 PM

A busy Oyster Festival day in 2017. - FILE
  • FILE
  • A busy Oyster Festival day in 2017.
Less than two months out from the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, controversy is again bubbling up over beer at Arcata Main Street’s fundraiser. The previously local-brew-centric event drew fire last year for requiring donations rather than purchasing from local beverage companies and only pouring Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. beer alongside out-of-towners Lagunitas and SeaQuake at the event. This year, it looks like more discontent is on tap. But without any Humboldt beer.

As it stands, Humboldt Cider Company will be on offer along with wine from Willow Creek’s Trinity River Vineyards, but the beer will be exclusively from SeaQuake out of Crescent City.

After canceling a March 13 “brewery outreach luncheon,” the nonprofit sent out a beverage proposal to local beer and cider outfits pitching the “mutually rewarding” benefits of partnership: “With a patronage of approximately 15,000 people in the time span of only 7 hours the Annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival is a wonderful opportunity to expand your customer base while supporting programming and activities in downtown Arcata.” The proposal states that festival goers drain 125 to 145 kegs of beer and cider via eight taps and suggests other events throughout the year for those businesses that aren’t in a financial position to partner up for the June 15 oyster festival.

Six Rivers Brewery owner Meredith Maier says she talked with a few other Humboldt brewers and sent her best offer of a 50 percent discount on 30 kegs of beer. That offer was declined in an email from Arcata Main Street’s Victoria Joyce, calling the decision “complicated” and indicating deals had been reached with three beverage producers.

Joyce hasn’t encountered pushback personally but says she’s heard about it secondhand. “There seem to be some hard feelings but Arcata Main Street reached out to all the breweries and asked them to make proposals for our festival. We evaluated all of them and figured out how much they’d cost,” she says, before choosing “the offer that was going to be most beneficial to our organization.” Joyce says it’s hard being a nonprofit and keeping up with the rising costs of the event, which is its most significant fundraiser by far. “It’s a tough position. It’s a tough place to be.”

She says the offers were “very generous,” adding, “I hope that they will be part of oyster fest again in the future.”

Maier says she was disappointed by the rejection and she wants to support Arcata Main Street, but “not at the expense of local businesses.” She notes that many of the business owners she talks to are experiencing a 20 to 30 percent downturn in sales, admitting that even Six Rivers Brewery sales declined for the first time last year and everyone, from owners to servers, is making less money. That makes it tough to offer discounts any deeper to the festival.

“We have 50 to 60 employees here that we have a responsibility to,” Maier says, adding that distributors getting the beer to the festival wouldn’t be making money either.

“More than ever we need to support each other,” she says. “If you start out of spite sticking it to businesses around town, slowly but surely those businesses will disappear.” She says she’s reluctant to speculate on Arcata Main Street’s finances, but, “sure seems to me that if you’re going through 150 kegs, you should be able to make a profit.”


Briar Bush, who handles sales and marketing at Lost Coast Brewery, says it’s being “blocked out again. … With a high degree of condescending, passive aggressive pillow talk,” from Arcata Main Street. All of which amounts to, he says, paraphrasing a Seinfeld character, “no beer for you.”

According to Bush, Lost Coast Brewery offered a buy-one-get-one deal up to 15 free kegs, similar to Six Rivers Brewery, but was turned down. In years past, he says the company had only given a few kegs for free, noting that most local festivals only ask for one to three free kegs, though he sees a trend with larger events treating craft breweries like big corporate producers and requesting larger discounts that are hard for smaller outfits to swing. “I’m not disappointed about the loss of the marketing or the sales. I feel like it’s a loss to the community itself,” says Bush, lamenting what he sees as a lack of local focus at the event. “I thought the oysters were local — are they going to start bringing in oysters from Seattle?”

Asked about concerns the festival is becoming less locally focused, Joyce responds, “I don’t see that at all,” given the fact that the food vendors are mostly local, area nonprofits benefit from booths on the plaza and “SeaQuake is in Crescent City and Crescent City is not that far away.” Joyce also says Arcata Main Street’s mission of supporting local businesses isn’t hindered by eschewing local breweries in favor of cost savings. “What we’re doing is for the downtown and for the businesses in Arcata. … None of [the breweries] are technically in our district because Arcata Main Street is a location-based organization. They’re definitely our neighbors.”

The Booth Brewing’s operations manager David Franklin still hasn’t heard back officially that the company’s offer to match every purchased keg with a donation has been rejected. “I think it’s probably an oversight or an accident,” he says.

Still, it’s frustrating.

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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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