Sunday, July 29, 2012

Music, Beer, Burgers, Pie and Blackberries

It was grey and overcast for most of this years Westhaven Blackberry Festival. That didn't keep very many people away though. Where else are you going to find a fresh baked huckleberry and blackberry pie? 

There were several bands but I just caught one of them and I didn't even get their name but I believe they were Moonstone Heights, at least that's what was on the kick drum. 

Here is a grainy video of the band and some crowd shots. They are playing "Chocolate on my tongue".  
The festival is a fund raiser for the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Slow Traffic U.S. 101 Near Humboldt Hill Day 2

Today we once again have some major backups on northbound U.S. 101 from about College of the Redwoods, all the way to Elk River Road just past Humboldt Hill.  There is no real way around this so just plan accordingly. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

North 101 at Humboldt Hill Slow Due To Caltrans

A steamroller and what looks like some stripping and painting activity near Humboldt Hill exit on north U.S. 101 has traffic backed up for about a mile during the lunch hour today.  Use this post to tell your boss why you were late getting back to work.

Update: Traffic at just before 2 pm is now backed up to at least King Salmon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Natural Gas Leak In Eureka

The Times-Standard twitter feed is reporting that people are being evacuated near Union St. and Creighton in Eureka where construction crew say a 1 inch gas line is free flowing due to a break.

Here is a link to a map of the area.

Update: Evacuations are under way in the area of Union and Creighton.  This is being called a significant rupture. 

Fire Chief Ken Woods reports that the gas has been turned off to the broken gas line.  Thanks to Times-Standard for the latest information on this.  

Westhaven Blackberry Festival This Sunday

The 52nd Annual Westhaven Blackberry Festival will take place this Sunday, July 29th. in Westhaven Ca. 
The fun starts at 10 am and goes until 6 pm. Take U.S. 101 north from Eureka past Clam Beach to 6th Avenue exit.  Follow the crowd.

Sales of fresh blackberry pies, jams, barbecued hamburgers and beverages including beer and wine will benefit the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department.  There will be music, arts and crafts booths and of course  you can try a slice of pie with ice cream.  

Caltrans Removing Eucalyptus Trees From U.S. 101

U.S. 101 Southbound near Murray Field is down to one lane as Caltrans is working on removing some trees.  Originally Caltrans planned to remove all of the trees along that corridor but opposition has them now only removing the last 7 or so trees.  Those trees are said to be a flight hazard for planes at Murray Field and so they will be cut down to their base but the rest will be spared. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Lighthouse Grille

Coming soon to Trinidad is a new restaurant opening in the parking lot of Murphy's Market and the Post Office.  The sign on the door says Lighthouse Grille. 

 It will be owned by the people that currently run Humboldt Homemade Meals. The small building that was Cashie's Catch Cafe is being reconfigured and a small dining room is being added and some outdoor seating will also 

still be available.
Humboldt Homemade Meals uses local vegetables from local farmers markets as much as possible and Humboldt Grass Fed Beef and Pork. They say they use minimal packaging that uses 30 % less materials and 30 % less energy. 

Saturday On Trinidad Bay

The Sun came out over the weekend and I just had to get out on the water for a quick paddle. Trinidad Bay is just about a mile from my house and there is usually free parking right on the beach next to the boat launch but you should have a 4x4 to take advantage of one of the shortest portages of your life. 

There were the usual seals sunning themselves on the rocks but it was too bumpy and windy out there to get any good pictures of them this time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Big Pete's Pizzeria Closes Eureka Location

I was surprised to see the lights on and nobody home tonight as I drove by Big Pete's New York Style Pizzeria on 5th Street.  Big Pete's couldn't make a go of the location that was formerly a Pizza Hut.  While Big Pete's has way better pizza than Pizza Hut, something about the location might be at play.  Pizza Hut still has locations all over the country and Big Pete's still has it's original North Town Arcata location on  G St. where business is booming.

I am a big fan of pizza especially New York Style. It is a thin delicious pizza one can pick up and eat. The thick Chicago pizza pies were something I liked when I was young but I have outgrown those. If you're like me and love New York Style pizza but live in Eureka instead of Arcata you're in luck.  Paul's Live From New York has just opened a second location and it is in Eureka at 6th. and F Street. Paul's Live From New York has been in McKinleyville for years now so I wish them luck in Eureka.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group

 Thanks to all who have joined the struggle to overturn Humboldt County Ordinance 2477 – the Urgency Ordinance. The letters and opinion pieces in the Times-Standard; the on-line petition; our active presence at Board of Supervisor meetings; on-going nightly candlelight vigils; and the united support of community groups have contributed to two important recent developments: the June 19 decision by the Supervisors to modify the curfew provision of the urgency ordinance and the acquittal of three Occupy Eureka activists in Humboldt Superior Court on July 11 on charges of violating that curfew provision.

At the June 19 Humboldt County Supervisorial Meeting, the supervisors voted 3-2 on a motion to direct county staff to look into modifying the ordinance to, in part, “lift the current ban for the 24 hour use curfew and to change the ban on permitting the use of displays.  
Displays would not be allowed from the hours of 9:30pm to 6:00am.” Joining Supervisors Lovelace and Bass in support of the motion, Supervisor Sundberg expressed the sentiment that he would rather err on the side of supporting Free Speech.

In another part of this motion the CAO Phillip Smith-Hanes was tasked to “direct the City of Eureka to appoint two members to participate in the further discussion of the permanent ordinance.” A related task directed the CAO “to continue work on the Long term Ordinance for the use of County Properties.”

The new ordinance is not on the July 17 Board of Supervisors agenda.
 No exact date has been given for when the language modifying the ordinance will be presented to the Board for their approval and first reading. We will let you know the date when we have that information.

On July 13, in Courtroom 2 on the second floor of the Courthouse, after six days of trial and jury deliberations, three activists were declared to be “Not Guilty!” of charges that they violated the curfew provision of the ordinance. 
Kimberly Star, Amanda Tierney and Peter Camacho were arrested for holding a candlelight vigil on the Courthouse steps on March 30 three days after the ordinance became law.

Arguments during the trial centered on the question—does the county legislature have the authority to trump 1st Amendment Constitutional rights? County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles instructed the jurors to consider the trio's mental state during the incident.Public Defender Casey Russo, representing Peter Camacho, stated it this way: “If the activists believed their actions were protected (by the First Amendment), and if that belief was found reasonable by the jury, then they didn't have the required mental state to have committed this ‘crime’.”

Kimberly Starr said in her closing arguments, “We hold strongly to the firmly planted belief that no government body can trump the Constitution. The Board of Supervisors tread where no government in the U.S. should go. This courthouse is a visible, central, and most reasonable and traditional place for protest activity in Humboldt.”
In her closing argument, Amanda Tierney told the jury: “Today, I ask that you say yes to the elixir that should always fuel our democracy…the freedom to express our opinions and engage each other in a social dialogue.”

After the verdicts were read and Judge Miles had dismissed the jurors, some of the jurors, a news reporter, and several supporters met informally for the first time in the hallway outside the chamber. One juror commented
"We believed they had the right to be there and we believed they thought they could be there.”

Where do we go from here?
 We need to continue to remind the Board of Supervisors that many individuals and groups want them to rescind the urgency ordinance. This sentiment was expressed to the supervisors by the County Human Rights Commission. In their letter of  June 11 to the Board, the Commission not only conveyed their unanimous recommendation to repeal the ordinance, but also urged the Supervisors to begin "working together on developing appropriate ways to deal with issues of free speech; public health and safety; and rights to assemble, speak, and demonstrate on public property.”

The ordinance, as written, is overly broad and contains elements that would most likely be found unconstitutional. Any efforts to modify the ordinance to make it acceptable to the courts could simply lead to more mistrust and increased legal costs.  It would be better to repeal it and leave it behind.  As things stand, even the language in the motion to modify the ordinance is problematic: the motion uses the word ‘displays,’ but that word is nowhere to be found in Ordinance 2477.

The supervisors are still engaged in flawed process hastily introduced by Supervisor Jimmy Smith when he called for the Emergency Hearing resulting in the adoption of the urgency ordinance
 An acknowledgement that the flaws of the process and ordinance were the result of a hasty response carried out in the heat of the moment would set the stage for an open, positive process where the community and the Board could work together to find solutions to the problems raised to the fore by Occupy Eureka’s presence at the Courthouse.

At this time we are asking you to do the following:
1.     Write letters and emails to the  Board and the media, asking the Board to proceed as recommended by the County Human Rights Commission:
Jimmy R. Smith <> 476-2391 
Cliff Clendenen <> 476-2392
Mark Lovelace <> 476-2393
Virginia Bass <> 476-2394
Ryan Sundberg <> 476-2395
2.     Keep those letters to the editor and “My Words” going to the Times-Standard:               
3.     Join us in thanking the Human Rights Commission for their
4.     Come to the Board of Supervisor’s meeting – we’ll alert you to the date of the meeting where the modification to the Urgency Ordinance will be presented and read.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bomb Squad Removing Ordinance From Eureka Waterfront

Some digging at the edge of the water between H and I Streets has piles and piles of tailing's piled under tarps as preparations are being made to extend the waterfront boardwalk north from it's current location.

A 150 millimeter artillery shell has been discovered and the Eureka Times-Standard newspaper on its twitter site tonight says the EPD Bomb Squad used a small robot to retrieve the recently uncovered shell.  Unfortunately the robot seems stuck at the moment. Here is a tweet from the Times-Standard. "Robot has been having technical difficulties. Looks like they are going to put it on a wagon and pull it over to the safety box. Reporter back at the scene."

The story is still unfolding.

Update: The bomb shell was put into the safety container but when they were loading it onto the truck they dropped it. It didn't go off and they are weighing their options.

Update: Times-Standard says the bomb is safely on board the bomb squad trailer.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trinidad Under Construction

The pier project is just about finished. The old creosote timbers that held the old pier are gone, along with the toxins that they leached into the sea life in Trinidad Harbor.  The new steel and concrete pier stands in its place and is ready for a lot more than just fishing.

The sidewalks have been torn up to put in handicap ramps and those little yellow rubber bumps that help the blind to navigate crosswalks. Along with that construction is a new buried power cable to run the new street lights that are being installed.  The new lights shine down but not up and out.  This allows for better star gazing on clear nights.  

In on case the sidewalk is brand new.  What was once dirt for pedestrians to use crossing under the 101 freeway is now a brand new expanse of concrete.  More work is scheduled to be done on the 101 bridge in the future.  Much of this is part of the Trinidad Gateway Project.

Susan Morton and her horse drawn Redwood Express stands ready for passengers on Saturday afternoon. Behind them one can see the Trinidad Museum and 2x4 construction of what is to become the new library. 

Cashie's Catch Cafe, which sits empty on the parking lot across from the post office has been closed all year. The business has been recently bought by new owners and they have some grand plans for the little restaurant.  Currently the owners of Humboldt Homemade Meals, and now the new owners of the Catch or what ever they are going to call it are tearing out the patio and getting ready to ad an enclosed dining room.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jack In The Box Returning To Eureka

The only Jack in the Box restaurant in Eureka closed several months ago and rumors have been circling around as to what would move into the old Jack in the Box building.  I have confirmed that it will in fact be another Jack in the Box.  So you two for .99 cents taco lovers are in luck and those that want fast food breakfast served all day are also going to be pleased. 

Welcome Back Jack!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ned Barsuglia, Pillar Of Humboldt Crabs Baseball Passed Away Today.

It is with much sadness and a  profound appreciation we can never truly express, the Crabs have to report that Ned Barsuglia has passed away. Ned joined the Crabs in the 1950s and was instrumental in keeping the Crabs running for more than 50 years. Ned originally served as chief scout and recruiter, later taking over as general manager and board president. Ned also lined up sponsors, found the players summer jobs and was a constant consultant. It is because of Ned's dedication and love for the game, that we all get to experience the longest consecutive, collegiate, summer baseball team known as the Humboldt Crabs.  Our thoughts are with Ned's family and friends at this time of loss.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mad River Bridge To Be Removed This Summer

Eureka – Caltrans has announced that the Mad River Bridges project on Route 101 remains on schedule for all lanes and ramps to be open by late winter 2012. “We are still ahead of schedule,” said Caltrans Resident Engineer Tom Fitzgerald, “and construction work is currently being done for the new Central Avenue offramp and the rebuilding of the northbound onramp, also from Central Avenue.”

“The old truss bridge is scheduled for demolition later this summer, and some off highway work will continue through spring 2013. This will include planting and landscaping activities.” Fitzgerald said.

A southbound bicycle detour has been lifted for the project, and the northbound detour will be removed once road work is completed this winter.

Golden State Bridge is the contractor with Mercer Fraser Company sub-contracting earthwork and paving.

India Gives Big Pharma The Finger!

In Plan to Aid Sick, India Cuts Out Big Pharma

- Common Dreams staff
Legislators in India have announced a $5 billion plan to bring free medicine to hundreds of millions of Indians who today go without access to health care, officials said Thursday. Under the proposal, the government has chosen to cut out big pharmaceutical firms, such as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, and will only buy generic versions of drugs for the program, a blow to Western drug makers who have vastly profited from India’s markets.
A pharmacist gives free medicine provided by the government, to a patient inside a government hospital in Kolkata July 3, 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri)Specialists told the New York Times the initiative could be the first step toward a more comprehensive universal health care system in India.
Currently, about 71 percent of spending on healthcare across the country comes directly out of consumer's pockets. “As a result of high health care costs, 40 million Indians are pushed into poverty each year,” Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, healthcare committee adviser for the Indian government told the New York Times.

Trinidad Art Nights Tonight!

Don't forget!  Trinidad Art Nights tonight!

 Trinidad East
The Saunder's Park Gazebo- Skate Ramps provided by the Mckinleyville Skate Park Alliance. Fireshow by Circus of the Elements at 8:45!
Ocean Grove - Afterparty starts at 9pm. Rude Lion spinning Reggae and Hip Hop. $5 cover.
Oshun Yoga- From 530-630 Donation based Yoga with Karilily and photography of Trinidad with Mary Huddleston.
Salty's- Music by JD Jeffries. Photography by Wendy Carney.
Trinidad Museum- Tim O'Gara from L.A. with CD's, original tunes
Trinidad Trading Company- SAGE, female acappella quartet
WindanSea- TBA
Trinidad West- click for map
Beachcomber- TBA
Trinidad B&B - Accoustic set by Tim Breed until 8pm. On display is art by Sam Lundeen.
Trinidad Eatery- Rick Gustafson Photography
Bergeron Winery, Trinidad, CA tasting
Charlie Sleep, Guitarist
Appetizers provided by the Chefs at the Eatery
Moonstone Crossing- Featured artist is Nathalie Craig.
Town Hall (Click to view the Featured Artist(s))
Trinidad Art Gallery- Joe Garceau Band, originals. This is soon to be the Trinidad Art Coop, now looking for members!
Trinidad Massage & Spa Cottage- Paintings by Rebeccah Crow. Also Chair Massage, Lavender Sake, Raw Chocolate.
Trinidad Library- Enjoy music performed outside by the Arcata HS Trio.
Throughout Trinidad
The Redwood Express
Horse Drawn Wagon Rides
8$ adults 5$ Children
For more information contact:
Susan Morton
707 496-1398 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What Obama Cares Means For Business Owners

The Affordable Care Act or Obama Care as some call it, ( I like Obama Cares) will have implications on business owners.  Even small businesses without employees need to keep up on the law as it is being written.  Yes, you may have heard all kinds of things about the horrors of this new legislation but what you may have not known is that it isn't even written yet.  For the most part, the law will be written as it is implemented.

While I would have preferred that we have a system like Medicare where we all pay in and get a basic service.  Those with lots of money could still purchase private insurance but everyone would be covered for basic health care.  Unfortunately that is not what we have yet.  The Affordable Care Act relies on a public mandate to purchase insurance from private companies and businesses that are in the business of making money.  They are not in the business of health care, if they are corporations they are required to show a profit.  It is in their charters that they bring profits to their share holders if they are public corporations.  If the government were the system, we could spend less on commercials with cartoon lizards or other advertising. We could buy prescription drugs in bulk and save, instead of paying the highest prices in the world.  There are many more arguments for Single Payer Health Care here in the U.S. but what we have is what we have.  That's why I wanted to share with you the perspective of what this all means from someone in the insurance business.  My sisters are owners of an insurance company and they have to deal with this stuff before we do so that they can explain it to us when we finally get around to wrapping our minds around this historic  new  law.

Here is what they are saying to business owners about the Affordable Care Act:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Regulations, Regulations, Regulations!

Regulations, regulations, regulations! The Affordable Care Act set up the provisions for the new health care law.  Now administrators (not elected officials) write the interim rules that will eventually lead to the regulations.  The interim rules are set to give a “heads up” to all involved so they can begin to plan, adopt and coordinate these rules into practice.  The interim rules can be changed if there is enough pressure on those writing the rules.  That is why so much of the actual law is still an unknown. 

Over the next couple of years, while all these laws start as interim rules and then become regulation, business owners need to pay attention and begin implementing these regulations as they arise.  Staying on top of these rules from the onset will make the transition so much easier.  Waiting until the last minute to comply will cause much undue stress. Owners of businesses will find that they need to spend much more of their time (or hiring someone to do it for them) to keep up on all the new rules.

Reporting, reporting, reporting, this will be the name of the game.  All these new regulations, for practical purposes, mean that everything needs to be reported.  More of every company’s income (time and money) will go to set up and implement the reporting of their data so as to be compliant with the regulations.  Like it or not this is what we all face. We might as well come to terms with it so we can move on. Resisting will waste even more of your time, talent and profit. 

If you are worried about the future and what is ahead for you, do not be afraid to contact us.  We are here to help you work through these times.  No one knows the details of what is ahead, but as we find out we will continue to share it with you.  If you would like to talk to either Lisa Boyajian or Angela Gambino you may reach us at (714)680-5900 or check out our website at . We work with all major health carriers (Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, Health Net, Kaiser, United, and Sea Change) and will continue to stay up to date with them as these regulations come to fruition. 

Old Town Rockin' With Old Cars, High Bars and Rock & Roll

The band L.C. Diamonds rocked Old Town Eureka tonight with an extra hour of music that went until 9 pm.
Motorcycles lined up along 1st. St.  waiting for judges

Plaza and stage next to Humboldt Bay

The Eureka Summer Concert Series continues through July and into August with free music on the Eureka Boardwalk at the foot of C street. Concerts are usually 6 pm to 8 pm Thursdays, but tonight's concert was a part of "Old Cars and High Bars" and required the extra hour.  Classic cars 1972 and older and cool bikes and motorcycles were judged and trophies were handed out.  Rocky's Off Road  was a main sponsor of the event that raised money for the local Seniors "Meals On Wheels" program.  

Some come by kayak for the music 

D.J. Pete Meyer (center lane) and myself on the big slide
Next to the concert was Johnston's Amusements and a small carnival that had set up for the Independence Day celebration.  They were going to pull out tonight but the carnival has decided to stick around for the weekend. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Better Know Your Safe And Sane Fireworks

I have always been a big fan of the 4th. of July! BBQ's, dad was home, there might even be home made ice cream. My favorite event of the day was a toss up though. To this day I don't know what is more fun, going to the fireworks stand or lighting them off. Ok, I have to admit that lighting them off is a bit more fun but picking out those great fireworks can be a crap shoot.

This year I noticed the flyer handout at my local stand had those new bar codes next to the pictures of fireworks. I could just scan the code with my phone and learn more about that firework. What I didn't expect was the video! The fireworks sold at the stand near my house and from what I have seen the stands in McKinleyville are TNT products. At their web site (removed due to TNT request)  there are several videos of fireworks from beginning to end. Sadly though not all of them are in video form. There is also a rating system that is used both on line and at the stands. The system is not complete but for the most part there 3 main categories rated 1 through 5 stars with 5 being best. 1 is the amount of noise, 2 is the height or altitude and the third is color. Sometimes at the stand the stickers next to the fireworks will have these three codes but what they don't tell you is what they really look like or how long they go. The videos do this well and you can see the difference between some of the $20 dollar items compared to the $2 or $3 dollar items.

For some people the package assortment is the best and easiest way to buy them. If you have a younger child and the show is mostly for them, one of these and a single bigger item for a finale would probably get the job done. For adults, the bigger, the better. Adults are usually less interested in snakes and smoke bombs.   Remember that in California, there are no fireworks that leave the ground or have wheels. This is why many of the fireworks look somewhat the same. A little time on the computer might help in picking out the best bang for your buck. I say that figuratively because in California they don't go bang, they crackle.
Be safe but have fun. A roadside flair off to the side is a safe way for lighting those pesky fake sparklers. The old ones on a metal wire were outlawed but the new ones on wooden sticks still flare up when they ignite which sucks if you are the one holding the bic lighter. A road flare doesn't care if it gets burned. Also have a bucket of water as well as a hose around just in case.

Now for some bad advice but it's what I always do. If you have a paved area free of trees, shrubs or dry grass, you can put up a platform about 5 or 6 feet high to light the fountains on. THE FIREWORKS SAY RIGHT ON THEM TO PLACE ON LEVEL SURFACE. They used to say "ground" so as long as the platform is level and you have taken the precautions, you can have a much more exciting show with a platform. An aluminum ladder works well. Use the paint holder area or even the top of a 6 foot or shorter ladder. If you can't get it flat and level, forget it. Also KEEP FIREWORKS OUT OF THE WOODS! Remember, only use outdoors and under adult supervision. 

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur