Far North

Pole Fight: Fortuna Art Installation Draws Councilmember’s Ire

Fortuna City Councilmember Dean Glaser wanted to be very clear that he didn’t intend to sit passively by and watch the Arcatafication of his city. “There’s two people in the audience. There’s 14,000 people in this city,” Glaser declared at the council’s Aug. 18 meeting. “Where is the support for this monumental idea to put something in our city that makes a statement, just as the statement of any single liberal city, whether it be in California or the other 50 states, that expresses pacifism, liberalism, the conquest of the ideals that a community or a city has? I consider Fortuna to be a very conservative city. … I don’t think something like this should be on any city property. I don’t need to be driving down Main Street and seeing it in front of the Monday Club. It’s going to tick me off. I don’t like this kind of political statement.” So just what was the focus of Glaser’s ire — in his words, the physical political expression of “pacifism” and “liberalism” that was going to conquer the very ideals of the Friendly City?…

More Than Imitation

Mocktails that shine on their own Much inspires us to drink. We lift a glass in celebration or raise one in sympathy. We drink to ease social interactions, to find some liquid courage. We debrief at happy hour, bond at the bar and get giddy at brunch. To meet for a drink is how we do. For those of us whose minds go and go and go and go, a drink serves as a fast, effective way to shut off the worries, frustrations and endless counting of to-dos. No wonder people have been imbibing, according to NatGeo, for at least 9,000 years. But — to chuck the obvious out there — booze comes with some downsides. Consistent drinking can do all kinds of damage to the body and mind. Traveling from Point A to Point B in Humboldt typically requires a car, so if Point A is where you’ve been drinking and Point B is home, a lot of risk lies in between. So what’s a fun-loving person to do? Is it possible to foster the intimacy of being in a bar in a healthier…

‘Disappointed’

Editor: The “F-bomb” in a headline? I was disappointed to once again see the use of expletives in the NCJ a few weeks back (“Fucking Rich People,” Aug. 29). The review was by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, a superb writer, but the headline was distracting. Unfortunately, NCJ allows profanity to crop up in articles. I am talking about the “seven dirty words” George Carlin so effectively lampooned in the 1970s. It debases your otherwise high standards for journalism. First of all, those four-letter-words are offensive. Why alienate people when it isn’t needed? And if you think it makes you sound hip or folksy, then that is just pathetic. But more importantly, using cuss words in writing is just plain lazy. The English language has much beauty and ingenuity. The NCJ has great writers. You can do better. Keep it clean, please. Amy Dillon Sewell, Eureka…

New Baby Names

Naming your baby can be a daunting task. After all, it’s literally how they’ll introduce themselves to the world in person and on résumés. You need something you can coo to an infant, shriek at a teenager and whisper softly as you massage your temple when their offspring are careening around your home during the holidays screaming at full volume because evidently there are no rules at their house. But the days of cribbing names off relatives, repurposing a last name or blending your partner’s name with yours are gone. No, you need to brainstorm something entirely new that speaks to your unique child and the life they’ll carve for themselves in the world. Something with flair that’s not disconcertingly ethnic. Immigrants have been modifying their names since they started streaming through Ellis Island, while those dispossessed of their homelands and cultures have been creating their own names since, well, America’s founding fathers started dispossessing them. But for some of us, this is all new territory that is somehow also shrinking underfoot as our peers scramble to snag all the good names. And once you…

Survey Markers and Olympic Medals

Observant walkers strolling down Ninth Street in Eureka between A and L streets may have wondered about the occasional incongruent circular metal discs anchored into the south sidewalk bearing the words “CALIFORNIA DIVISION OF HIGHWAYS,” “HUM-101” and the date 1971. Incongruent because Ninth is outside Caltrans jurisdiction. In fact, the discs are centerline markers of what would have been the realignment of U.S. Highway 101, taking off from what is now Bayshore Mall, staying south of Fourth and Fifth streets, and rejoining the present-day highway west of the Eureka Slough bridge. Had the plan gone ahead, drivers would be zipping through Eureka at 65 mph in the same way they now bypass downtown Arcata. Rather than dwell on the what-ifs of Eureka’s recent history, I’d like to discuss the discs themselves. Despite nearly 50 years of assault from the elements and being stepped on, they’re as legible as ever. That’s because they’re made of bronze. Not so long ago, metal survey markers were usually cast from brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. Invented around 500 B.C., brass is found ubiquitously in decorative and/or precision…

An Arcata Blessing

A blessing on your contrasts, Arcata– baseball caps and dreadlocks, bicyclists and bikers, Budweiser 12-packs vying to outnumber Downtown Browns. Nuclear free zone where a 100 foot American flag waves beside the lupine-lined highway. Dodge turbo diesel pickups roar past homemade bio-diesel subcompacts. Bless white blossoms drifting to the sidewalk, whiffs of ganga wafting from prim Victorians, your independent bookstore, asphalt-covered trailer court. The plaza where McKinley no longer owns the center of attention. Instead, there stands nearby, a proud Portland toilet. Your thrift stores, charter schools and churches, shelters and bumper stickers: “No more children in cages,” and “Jesus is my best friend,” Raids on immigrants and meth labs. “War is not the Answer” yard signs nod to their “Support Our Troops” neighbors. Bless signs next to sewers reminding “This drains to Jacoby Creek.” Egrets, cattails, and flocks of shorebirds swooping in perfect tandem, populate the marsh where waste ponds progressively filter sewage until it’s water pure enough for oysters alive-o in the bay Blessings on you, Arcata,– I’ve traveled so far to call you home.…

A Great Concept But …

Editor: Read with interest the article “Supes Pass Housing Plan” (Aug. 29). Several years ago, we tried to go the “tiny house” route for a family member in Brainard, Minnesota, as Brainard had passed zoning changes allowing tiny homes to be built on substandard lots to help with housing issues. The problem was, we couldn’t find a contractor to take on the project as we were told there wasn’t enough money in it for them. Why build a tiny house for around $50,000 when they could build a standard size one for around $250,000 (in Minnesota)? Tiny houses are a great concept but not sure if it’ll really work unless it’s a “do it yourself” project. Carol Krueger, Eureka…

Vaper Beware

It’s time to put down that vape pen. Seriously. Shortly before the Journal went to press Sept. 10, news broke that the nation had recorded its sixth death from a mysterious outbreak of lung disease related to vaping or e-cigarette use that has resulted in at least 450 cases spread across 33 states. The rash of illnesses and hospitalizations have vexed health officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have now launched a full-scale investigation. Those who have fallen ill have reported using either e-cigarettes, cannabis vaping cartridges or both in the weeks or days prior to the onset of symptoms, spurring increasing doubt that the practice of inhaling steam loaded with compounds and chemicals should be considered a “healthier” alternative to smoking. The California Department of Public Health is investigating approximately 60 cases of acute lung disease related to vaping, saying most involve patients who had recently vaped cannabis products. Some of those products were purchased on the illicit market, according to the department, and it remains unclear if any of the illnesses have been linked to licensed…

Taiko Swings up to Humboldt

A retro tribute to Japanese American internees Imagine a 1940s dance hall full of swing dancers sporting pin curls and pompadours moving to the big band sound of saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Now imagine the precision of traditional Japanese taiko drumming leading the beat and the dance taking place in the mess hall of a World War II Japanese American internment camp. This is how local visual artist and Team Taiko founder Amy Uyeki describes the planned January 2020 event “Swingposium on the Road.” Team Taiko is the core group members of Taiko Swing Humboldt, the organization hosting the Swingposium in collaboration with the event’s creators the San Jose Taiko. Taiko Swing Humboldt was created solely for this event and is asking the community for support through a Gofundme page. The Swingposium will be held at the Bayside Community Center and will highlight stories from Japanese American camp survivors through swing dancing, musical performances and audience participation. San Jose Taiko Artistic Director Franco Imperial has described the event as “an immersive theatre experience” where the “audience isn’t passively sitting in their seats, they are in…

Lend A Hand If You Can

It’s been an active week for a news junkie like myself. Johnathan Franzen took a backheel approach to climate change in the pages of the New Yorker and, in doing so, cemented for all time the terminal uselessness of the establishment liberal position on nearly any topic. A brave banjo-wielding man busted the crap out of the charging bull statue on Wall Street, exposing its hollow core — an act millions of us could peacefully replicate on any given day in the streets of this country to pop the thin balloon-skin of the death cult of capitalism. Our president redrew the lines of a hurricane to justify the stupid eruptions of his stupid brain, as his administration hastily redrew the rules to deny sanctuary for Bahamian climate refugees fleeing Hurricane Dorian. Make no mistake, this is evil fascist bullshit but with the added patina of an emperor without clothes. The people running this country are actively lying to you to prop up a demented White Power King. I’m not a fan of bullshit, so forgive me if I say it like it is: This really…

Remembering Richard Guadagno, passenger 19A on Flight 93

Editor’s note: In marking the 18th anniversary of 9/11, we are taking a moment to remember Richard Guadagno, the former manager of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, who died on Flight 93 and is widely believed to be one of the passengers and crew who stormed the cockpit, bringing the plane down on an empty field rather than its intended target, thought to have been the U.S. Capitol. As part of an interview with the Journal last year, Diqui LaPenta, who was his girlfriend on that day, said one of the best ways to honor his memory is to visit the refuge or just “appreciate where we live and do everything you can to protect the natural beauty.” The following is the full story on Guadagno from the Sept. 13, 2018 edition. September is an especially difficult month for Diqui LaPenta. On Tuesday, she marked 17 years since her boyfriend Richard Guadagno was killed amid the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. His birthday will soon follow. Guadagno was just two weeks shy of turning 39 when he died, believed to be one of…

UPDATE: Eureka Gas Leak Causing Evacuations, Closing Streets

UPDATE: According to Humboldt Bay Fire, the leak has been contained but I Street to Waterfront Drive will remain closed while crews remain on scene. PREVIOUS: Humboldt Bay Fire is asking the public to stay clear of Waterfront Drive and I Street due to a gas leak. In a Facebook post around 12:20 p.m., the department says “roads are blocked and nearby businesses have been evacuated. PG&E on scene.” Few other details were immediately available. …

Photos from Mad River Enduro

On Saturday, Sept. 7, mountain bikers came from all over the West Coast for Mad River Enduro. The race is a rare chance for mountain bikers to ride a trail system normally closed to the public as the trails are on Green Diamond land and are maintained by the Redwood Mountain Biking Association. This year’s race was the second annual enduro and took place over the course of two days. The first day was devoted to practice runs, registration and setting up camp in the designated lot on Taylor way in Blue Lake. Shuttle service on the first day was provided by Revolution Cycles in Arcata. See photo highlights from the first day in the slideshow below. By 9 a.m. the following day, the racers are off as the first race begins. The races run until 4:30 p.m., when everyone gathers around Mad River Brewery for food and drinks provided by both the brewery and BlackBerry Bramble BBQ. Then the night wraps up with awards at the podium and a celebration. Check out the race results here.  …

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