Music Tonight: Tuesday, Dec. 6

Now is as good a time as ever to remind you of Word Humboldt’s excellent and ongoing open mic at Northtown Coffee at 6 p.m. You really do get the entire range of what’s possible out there, from the truly sublime to the edge of cringe, and the cost is nothing but your time, an open mind and an ear or two for listening. You might even find inspiration and a desire to become one of the chorus of voices speaking truths about their section of the vast pageant of life…

One Killed in Eureka Fire

One person died in an early-morning fire on Meyers Avenue in Eureka today, according to Humboldt Bay Fire. According to a press release, three engines, a ladder truck and two deputy chiefs were dispatched to a report of a fire in a residential structure with an occupant possibly trapped inside at about 2:40 a.m. The first unit on scene reported a “working fire” in a single-story residence. Inside, the crew found an unconscious person in a bedroom. Crews began CPR on the person pulled from the residence, as well as three pets, according to the press release, but the person and one of the pets died of smoke inhalation. The fire, which was extinguished in about 30 minutes, is believed to have started in a bedroom trash can, though its exact cause could not be determined. “We would like to remind folks to be extra careful at this time of year with candles, heating sources, holiday lights and ornaments,” a Humboldt Bay Fire press release states. “Do not leave open flames unattended and do not overload outlets with multiple plugs. We wish all a safe

Bob’s Footlong’s Comeback

After 72 years in business, Bob’s Footlong, beloved hot dog haunt of teens and truckers alike, shut its doors November of 2021. But like the chili stains on a shirtfront, it seems it wasn’t gone for good. Jessica and Daniel Milich have bought the business, are now, keys in hand, hiring staff and readying to reopen the shop in early January. You can almost smell the chili. In 1949, Bob Broome and Lula Mclure opened Bob’s Footlong as a mobile business selling hot dogs at the Humboldt County Fair and later by the Fortuna movie theater on Main Street. Eventually it moved into the brick-and-mortar location at 505 12th St., where it throve under owners Ozzie and Joanne Smith. They passed the business down to their son and daughter-in-law Mike and Karen Smith, who kept the tradition going before selling to Jose and Tanya Moreno. The Miliches, who’ve purchased the business and will rent the space, which is still owned by Mike and Karen Smith. The Miliches plan to stick to the storied shop’s style, as evidenced by the familiar orange-striped logo with its sly

Music Tonight: Monday, Dec. 5

Los Angeles’ Goon has been around for less than a decade but in that time has built a unique, nocturnal sound around a line-up that includes a member of indie rock minimalist masters Spoon. The sound, like the name Goon, seems so catchy and obvious I’m surprised it hadn’t been snatched up already: Thoughtful songs built around grunge-y post rock that isn’t distorted so much as it is ground-up enough to be sublimated. Like if the radiator in Eraserhead picked up the signal from a long gone, early-’90s college radio station. The northern chunk of the West Coast gets repped tonight too, as Vancouver’s poppy Bridal Party is along for the ride. As to a local opener? Well, that remains to be seen, but with the relatively early 8 p.m. show at the Miniplex, anything goes ($15, $12 advance)…

Anything But Safe’

Editor: PG&E’s Humboldt Bay reactor operated for nearly 13 years from August of 1963 to July of 1976 (“44 Feet,” Sept. 15). While PG&E was claiming nuclear power at Humboldt Bay was “safe, clean and economical,” Science Magazine called PG&E’s nuclear facility “one of the dirtiest nuclear power plants in the nation” in its June 18, 1971 edition. Science Magazine is a peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world’s top academic journals. Was the Humboldt Bay nuclear facility economical? It cost $33 million to build and the cost of decommissioning the Humboldt reactor has run over $1 billion. The ongoing cost of dealing with the nuclear waste has become an albatross around PG&E’s neck and what to do with it has become a gut-wrenching controversy. Doctors John Gofman and Arthur Tamplin, world renowned nuclear researchers stated, “… the illusion of a safe amount of radiation has pervaded all of the highest circles concerned with the development and promotion of nuclear power. The Congress, the nuclear manufacturing and electric utility industries have all been led to believe

No Place for Profit

Editor: What’s to be said of an individual or individuals who fail to take responsibility for the consequences of their greed and thirst for power? What’s to be said of a community that’s exposed to that fallout and fails to change the dynamic that promotes it? The article, “Profit and Pain” (Nov. 17), on the shocking abuses rampant in local nursing homes, outlines just such a scenario. We don’t know what mindset guided the birth of Mr. Rechnitz’s mega-businesses, but as opportunities continued to present themselves for the endless aggrandizement of wealth and power, concern for the welfare of the nursing home residents has clearly fallen by the wayside. If there is one place “profit” has no business (pun intended), it must be in the realm of healthcare. One is free to buy or not buy any product, whereas foregoing needed healthcare can come with a death sentence. Thus is a captive audience dragged into bankruptcy, homelessness and premature death due to the rapaciousness of those who would profit from selling and withholding medical intervention. We don’t have to accept this. We can stand up

An ‘Easy’ Solution

Editor: So, three mass shootings in as many days (“We Will Not Hide,” Nov. 24). I am musing on this as I struggle to open my bottle of Vitamin B Complex, sealed with plastic around the cap and then — surprise! — another seal under the cap with an “easy tab.” Easy? Really? I may need to ask my partner for help, but he’s swearing, engaged in trying to hack open the new salt container. “Since when,” he says, through gritted teeth, “has salt become such a potential hazard that it needs layers of safety packaging?” He’s chiseling at the carton with a knife by now. I’m envisioning a visit to the ER. (Why hasn’t there been a class-action lawsuit for those injured by impenetrable packaging?) “Since the time before we had such easy access to firearms, and some disaffected guy killed people by poisoning Tylenol,” I answer, ripping at the easy tab. Our way of dealing with that was apparently to make products so hard to access that most potential murderers give up, exhausted and probably injured, before carrying out their plan. My tab

Eureka’s Street Railways

The good old days in Eureka, I’ve heard, were the 1920s and 1930s, when a family could enjoy a Sunday excursion by streetcar from Old Town to Sequoia Park. There, they could enjoy a picnic next to the duck pond before riding home, rattling down the tracks on long summer evenings. Eureka’s streetcars had been around long before the inter-war years, however, and their history can be conveniently divided into two periods: horse-powered and electric-powered, with a six-year hiatus between. Horse-drawn Railroad, 1888-1897 The Eureka Street Railroad Co., chartered in 1887, made its first run on the evening of August 20, 1888, when a horse-drawn car made the trip from 2nd and A (near present-day Living Styles) to Myrtle Avenue via Second, E and Fifth Streets. Within four years, the company laid 4 1/2 miles of track to Broadway and Wabash and to Myrtle Avenue, with spurs on California, E and H Streets as far south as Trinity Street.  The venture was short lived. After the company’s President and General Manager, Richard Fernald, died in 1897, the full extent of the company’s dire financial situation became

Music Today: Sunday, Dec. 4

The Cal Poly Humboldt Wind Ensemble is putting on a matinee performance at Fulkerson Hall today at 2 p.m. ($10 general, $5 children, free for students). The program will be heavy on American composers, and will include pieces by Aaron Copeland, John Barnes Chance, William Schuman and others. I like a good wind ensemble, beyond the mildly humorous evocation of airflow in the name, the sound is really quite arresting. Interestingly, proof of vaccination and booster is required, but not mask wearing, which is instead strongly suggested. I suppose it would be a bit difficult to play the euphonium or bassoon with that particular pandemic accessory in place…

Humboldt County Correctional Facility’s Inmate Holiday Art Contest

2022 marks the fifth year for the Humboldt County Correctional Facility’s (HCCF) Inmate Holiday Art Contest. Inmates in HCCF dorms are given art materials and are asked to work together to paint a holiday scene. Inmates that create the winning painting receive a special Christmas movie and popcorn. The voting ballot is here at inmateart.northcoastjournal.com. Voting is open from Dec. 1 through Dec. 18, 2022. Vote for your favorite art and help spread a little holiday cheer!…

‘Tridemic’ Threatening Local Hospital Capacity

Following a trend seen across the state, region and country, local hospitals are nearly at capacity amid a surge in respiratory illnesses that’s being dubbed a “tridemic” or “tripledemic” by some. “With the circulation of multiple respiratory illnesses, such as RSV, influenza and COVID-19, we, like the rest of Northern California, are experiencing a significant increase in visits to our emergency department, most notably pediatric patients,” Providence St. Joseph Hospital spokesperson Christian Hill told the Journal by email. “In some cases in order to ensure patients receive the level of care that meets their specific needs, they are transferred to an appropriate care setting out of the area.” During a press briefing before Thanksgiving, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly warned that COVID transmission was increasing throughout the state, noting that a hospital in San Diego had begun using an overflow tent to treat patients outside amid a surge in flu cases. The surge has grown so severe in some areas, like Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties, that officials instituted a “assess and refer” policy, giving first responders the authority to decide whether a

Oberon Plans its Final Weeks

Nicholas Kohl, owner of Old Town’s Oberon Grill, has announced the restaurant will close its doors for good after December. The business will be open through at least Dec. 31, during which time he and the staff will be juggling one last round of holiday parties. A number of factors played into the decision, according to Kohl, including the continuing impacts of COVID, rising energy costs and a disappointing summer recovery that fell short of hopes. “I had to start evaluating after our second mechanical failure that was in October.” Before the disruptions and supply issues brought on by the pandemic, he says, repairing the restaurant’s stove hood would have taken a couple hours to repair. Instead, work was held up a week waiting for a part. He estimates the two closures cost $20,000 including lost revenue, labor, inventory and continuing overhead. Kohl says he was looking ahead at winter and realized he needed to start talking with staff and letting them know the business would be closing. He’ll be listing the building for sale, as well as the liquor license in the coming weeks.

By the Numbers: California’s Mild 2022 Wildfire Season

As California emerges from its “peak” wildfire season, the state has managed to avoid its recent plague of catastrophic wildfires. So far in 2022, the fewest acres have burned since 2019. State Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci said California had “a bit of luck” with weather this summer.  Although enduring yet another drought year, much of the state was spared the worst of the heat and dryness that can spark fires. And in some instances, well-timed rain came to the rescue.  Cal Fire officials also attribute some of the mild wildfire season to their emphasis on clearing away vegetation that fuels fires. Cal Fire Chief Joe Tyler said the $2.8 billion spent in the last two years on forest management made a difference, with the work “moderat(ing) fires approaching communities.” “We are not out of the woods yet.” Gov. Gavin Newsom Mindful that wildfires can spark at any time in an environment driven by climate change, California officials have their fingers crossed after Gov. Gavin Newsom pronounced “the end of peak fire season” in mid-November. While California has entered an age of year-round fire seasons

NCJ Preview: Flash Fiction, Title IX Update and Street Luge

This week we’re celebrating the winner and finalists of the Journal’s annual 99-word Flash Fiction Contest. We’ll talk about the brief and sometimes bonkers tales from local writers and how our judges choose from the bevy of submissions. We’re also looking into an impending audit of Cal Poly Humboldt’s Title IX protocols and what it means for life on campus. And if you haven’t heard of street luge, we’ll give you a quick rundown on a speedy downhill sport and our county’s local champion Ryan Farmer. Hit subscribe for weekly updates on Humboldt stories. …

Music Tonight: Saturday, Dec. 3

The Eureka Symphony is presenting its Winter Festival program at the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts tonight (and last night) at 8 p.m. I’m always happy to juice up the Symphony’s performances and this one looks like a real corker, with pieces by Rimsky- Korsakov, Prokofiev, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge and more. There will even be a rendition of Alan Silvestri’s suite of music from the score to the beloved holiday film The Polar Express. Tickets range from $19-$49, and rush tickets are available at the box office at 7 p.m. sharp for $15, $10 for students. As with previous symphony performances, proof of vaccination and a mask are required to attend. …

El Pulpo Magnifico to Light Up Arts Alive

Bring your sunglasses to Arts Alive Saturday, Dec. 3, as local artist and Burning Man regular Duane Flatmo will be firing up El Pulpo Magnifico, recently touring heir to the retired legendary kinetic sculpture El Pulpo Mecanico. The enormous mechanical octopus will brandish its flaming tentacles from 6 to 9 p.m. at the foot of E Street, where Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate has set up its new digs, weather permitting. Cross your fingers/suction cups it doesn’t rain. See the full press release below. El Pulpo Magnifico to Heat Up Eureka’s December Arts Alive!…if its not pouring rain. By all accounts, Humboldt’s kids were extra good this year. So, as a pre-Christmas reward, El Pulpo Magnifico, the giant, flaming metal octopus creation of longtime local artist Duane Flatmo, is scheduled to wiggle its way down to the December edition of Eureka Main Street’s Arts Alive to help keep Humboldt’s holiday shoppers warm and terrified.  In case you’re confused, El Pulpo Magnifico is the bigger, badder, shinier offspring of Flatmo’s previous creation El Pulpo Mecanico, which retired to Austin, Texas a year ago. Flatmo’s new machine retains the charm of

Music Tonight: Friday, Dec. 2

For the last three decades and over the course of nine records, the Young Dubliners have been committed to producing a sound that marries traditional Irish folk tunes with contemporary rock. The result is a career with solid cult-status, and a fairly loyal and enthusiastic fanbase, won over by constant touring in the pre-COVID world. Once more out on the road at an ebb of the pandemic, the group will be playing Humbrews tonight at 9 p.m. ($25)…

Humboldt Artisans Crafts & Music Festival this Weekend

The uber-festive Humboldt Artisans Crafts & Music Festival returns for its 41st annual event this weekend, transforming Redwood Acres Fairgrounds into a holiday marketplace filled with all the comfort and joy you hope for at this time of year. The annual tradition happens the first weekend in December, so that means this year, it’s happening Friday, Dec. 2 (noon to 9 p.m.), Saturday, Dec. 3 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 4 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) with admission running $5 at the gate, or free with a gift donation to the Humboldt Bay Firefighter toy drive — and free for kids and seniors and after 5 p.m.). What makes this event so beloved? You’ll run into everyone you know (that you haven’t seen since the last Crabs game, anyway), there’s live music, three buildings filled with art, crafts, goodies and gifts, and food and beverage options galore. The gifts you find at the Humboldt Artisans Crafts & Music Festival are guaranteed to delight. Nothing says “I love you” like handmade gifts. Local artisans, crafters, makers and musicians will appreciate your support and