Ocean Salmon Season Showing Signs of Life

Well, it looks like the salmon season on the North Coast has a pulse after all. After the first three weeks of the season produced very little, especially out of Eureka, salmon are finally starting to show up. The hot spot has been right out front of Trinidad. “It’s been like this off and on all season,” said Tony Sepulveda of Shellback Sport Fishing. “I’ve had a handful of days where we’ve done a fish a rod or better.” After long stretches of unfishable weather and the salmon nowhere to be found, the Eureka fleet joined the Trinidad party over the weekend. The fishing was good, with some boats getting limits and others close to it. Most of the boats were working the 03 to 06 lines in 180 to 220 feet of water. There have been plenty of shakers to keep you on your toes as well as plenty of coho. With only 12 days left in the season, it’s good to see some smiles at the dock. It’s been a tough year but it looks like it may well end on a high…

Of Basketball and Role Models

The first time I met Jain Tuey, she was starting her freshman year at Fortuna High School, where I was teaching. After work, I ran into her dad Skip at Safeway and we chatted. The whole time, Jain was holding a basketball against her hip, impatient and glaring at me in her T-shirt and sweatpants. It was early fall and not yet basketball season. I asked her why she was carrying a basketball and she snapped, “I like basketball!” By the time Tuey was an 11th grader, I had been her teacher twice and we were buddies, even though she was always grumpy with me and pretended to not like my style of communication. She could give it back as well. She became my teacher’s assistant when she was 16, following in a long line of assistants who did not care for making copies and running errands. One day, I gave her a dollar to run to the post office, get a stamp and post a letter. The post office was only two blocks away and it didn’t seem like a complex task. I guess…

Summer Fun for Kids

Creative activities to do together at home Summer’s finally here, school’s out and kids are at home … again. The days are now as long as they’re going to get and all that evening light is exciting, especially with restaurants and events opening up. But maybe after more than a year of staying in, summer vacation isn’t quite the novelty it might otherwise be. For parents and caregivers of children who are finding it hard to fill the hours and keep the extended days from becoming just plain long, here are some fresh ways to keep kids engaged in meaningful activity at home. The most seamless way to snap kids out of that familiar restless state is to include them in household activities. This is particularly true for younger children. When you turn dinner prep, bath time, and cleaning into family time, children gain confidence and learn responsibility. It may take a little effort on your part in the beginning if your kids are not accustomed to helping, but it’s worth it to persist through their resistance and endure any whining that may come with…

Hybrid Hits

Werewolves Within and Gunpowder Milkshake REVIEWS WEREWOLVES WITHIN. Surprise or not, I don’t know a whole helluva lot about video games. I’ve dabbled but that particular swath of popular culture is, by and large, foreign to me. So it brought on some trepidation when, before the title card was even revealed, Werewolves Within opened with a Ubisoft logo. (I know enough to recognize the brand.) I didn’t really know anything about the movie up to that point, except that werewolf titles are somehow always compelling, it stars the great Sam Richardson — with whom my wife and I recently became delightfully acquainted in our late arrival to Veep — and the script is credited to Mishna Wolff, formerly best known as an ex-wife of Marc Maron and recently risen to prominence as a memoirist and, apparently, screenwriter. The gamble paid off, though, because the movie bears little resemblance to any video game I’ve played (not saying much). It does, however, manage to balance self-awareness with the goofy, giddy playfulness that is the common denominator of all successful horror comedies. To the insular, oft-snowbound New England…

Vaccine Stories

Journal readers share their vaccine motivations, experiences A couple of months back, as vaccine eligibility was rapidly expanding, and the conversation in Humboldt County quickly began to shift from availability to hesitancy, we asked readers to share their stories. We wanted to hear people’s motivations and fears, how it felt to get the shot and what came after, what felt different and what they were doing different in post-vaccinated life. In the ensuing weeks, we received dozens of replies, with readers sharing their experiences and emotions. Some said they couldn’t wait to get their shots. Others were afraid or skeptical of the vaccine at first but came to feel it was the right thing to do, for themselves, their loved ones or the community, or all three. But the overwhelming overarching sentiment expressed was gratitude. People are thankful for the science and scientists who made this possible, for a newfound sense of hope and security, for the promise of tomorrow. As the Journal went to press July 13, roughly 48 percent of Humboldt County residents were fully vaccinated, with another 6 percent having received one…

Longshadr Emerges from the Shadows

Michael Fields is at pains to point out that Longshadr, his newly unveiled theatrical venture, is not a production company. Rather, it is project-based, existing solely for the purpose of putting on theater. The intention is not to compete with existing theatrical ventures but to expand the universe — a version of Blue Ocean Strategy for Humboldt theater, if you will, that creates a flexible and inclusive approach by mixing and matching audiences and productions on a one-off basis. Notably, Longshadr is a for-profit enterprise with no physical facility or formal structure; all overhead is tied to individual productions. Fields is adopting the philosophy espoused by Max Bialystock in The Producers by inviting the public to act as angels and invest in projects they want to see produced. (Visit www.longshadr.com, email longshadr@gmail.com or call 223-0265 if you’re interested.) It’s an approach that makes perfect sense in the chronically underfunded world of the performing arts and, as Fields says, “Personally, I have written my last grant.” The name Longshadr comes from an old sign that hung over the driveway leading to Fields’ distinctive eight-sided house (“not…

‘Blood Money’

Charmaine Lawson: Settlement means ‘nothing,’focus is on justice Charmaine Lawson still hasn’t cashed the $200,000 check that came as a part of her settlement agreement with the city of Arcata. She says it took her four days to even open the envelope it was mailed in and it has now sat for weeks atop her son’s urn. Filed in November of 2018, the lawsuit alleged the city and its officials violated Charmaine Lawson’s equal protection rights by inadequately and incompetently investigating the April 15, 2017, stabbing death of her son, 19-year-old David Josiah Lawson, with racism and bias contributing to what the suit described as the city’s “deliberately indifferent” treatment of the case. The settlement agreement — which in addition to the $200,000 payment includes the city making a $25,000 donation to the David Josiah Lawson Memorial Scholarship fund and agreeing to the painting of a memorial mural — was reached in April but announced by the city July 7, about a week after a federal judge officially dismissed the case. Speaking to the Journal, Charmaine Lawson said the settlement isn’t about the money but her…

The Log Connection

“… an admirable artifice which, by reducing to a few days the labour of many months, doubles the life of the astronomer, and spares him the errors and disgust inseparable from long calculations.” — Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827) on logarithms At the start of the pandemic — seems so long ago! — the media showed us graphs of COVID’s weekly progress. They were usually one of two types: “linear” or “logarithmic” (or “log”). Linear graphs had the number of cases on the vertical axis in even increments such as 0-1000-2000-3000 … (adding 1,000 for each step), while logarithmic ones went 1-10-100-1,000-10,000 (multiplying by 10 for each step). Since the rise in the number of cases was roughly exponential (the more people infected, the faster the spread of the infection), the linear plot went up steeper and steeper with time, while the logarithmic plot approximated a straight line. Which made sense if you understand logarithms, but I heard from plenty of folks who were put off by the awkward word and uncomfortable memories of school days. Blame Scottish polymath John Napier. He meant well but, in coming…

Arcata Seeking Applicants to Fill Council Seat

Anyone interested in filling the Arcata City Council seat left vacant last month after Mayor Sofia Pereira stepped down to become the county’s Public Health director has until July 19 to apply. At a June 24 special meeting, the city council opted to move forward with an appointment rather than hold a special election to fill the remainder of Pereira’s term, which ends in November of 2022. Qualifications include being an at least 18-year-old Arcata resident who is registered to vote with a city address and those interested must obtain at least 20 but no more than 30 signatures from registered voters who live in the city. “Once applications are received, nomination signatures will be verified and candidate statements will become available for public review,” a city news release states. “A City Council Candidate Forum will be scheduled to interview the applicants who qualify.” Details on the interviews and ways for the public to participate are upcoming. The new councilmember is expected to be sworn in at the beginning of the Aug. 18 meeting. For full details on how to apply, read the city’s release…

Retro Dread Redux

False Positive and No Sudden Move REVIEWS FALSE POSITIVE. To dispense with it at the outset: Yes, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is part of the conversation. It has been for more than half a century. It arguably invented — or at least created a lasting identity for — mainstream American horror movies and, in so doing, created its own ripple-effect of sub-genres within sub-genres that is still being repeated. As always, there is an argument to be made by scholars with better educations than I about predecessors, pretenders, etc., but, in its way, Rosemary’s Baby was Jaws before Jaws. As innovative as it was (and continues to be), that movie is very much a product of its time, one of the earmarks of which being its apparent relative silence on the politics (geopolitical, gender and otherwise) of the day. One of the subversive successes of the movie, of course, is the implicit discussion of women’s lack of agency in American culture, much less dominion over their own bodies. (It gets a little dicey when we bring director and convicted child rapist Roman Polanski into the discussion.)…

Reliable Rockfish Catches Keeping Fleet Afloat

With an early closure of Pacific halibut and a slow start to our salmon season, the one steady fishery at the moment is rockfish. From Shelter Cove north to Crescent City, limits of quality rockfish and ling cod have been the norm. In a season with not much left to fish for, they’ve been a blessing. From charters to private boaters, it’s refreshing to know that you can head to where they live and almost count on coming home with a bounty. For the boats that make a living on the water, it’s been a godsend. With our salmon numbers on the decline and a halibut quota that doesn’t seem to match abundance, rockfish has been the one species we can count on. The season in the Northern Management Area for boat-based anglers, which includes Del Norte and most of Humboldt County, runs from May 1 through Oct. 31, seaward of 30 fathoms (180 feet), and Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 rockfish may be taken at any depth. For a complete list of rockfish regulations, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Groundfish-Summary#north. Weekend marine forecast Northerly winds and seas will…

The Cost of Cannabis Carbon

Editor: The huge cannabis operation in Elk River installed industrial size electrical service indicative of a large carbon footprint, which is likely the norm for Humboldt County regulated operations. Unfortunately, the planning process failed to establish carbon emission standards to weigh the emission levels in comparison with sun grown cannabis by small family operations, and the supervisors have yet on provide guidance. Thus, Humboldt County has encouraged and subsidized increased carbon and heat emissions which are driving global warming and forest fire intensity rather than minimizing the impacts. What can the county do to level the economics playing field while minimizing the carbon footprint? I request an accounting of carbon impacts from small family sun grown operation emissions with those of large grid tied operations as a predicate step to a county carbon tax and rebate to fund hand tool forest fuel reduction using pyrolysis of slash and sequestration of the char on site in the soils of the forest — sufficient to offset cannabis operation emissions. We can not afford or survive the impacts or costs of climate change; thus tax and rebate is…

California Dolphin