The Best Things In LIfe Are Free – at Bug Press

Last weeks’ Mad River Union, an indispensable paper if there ever were one, featured an announcement from Arcata’s venerable Bug Press that in celebration of the National Parks Service centennial and in view of the budget cuts with which the NPS is struggling, “Bug Press is sharing restored National Parks and Works Progress Administration posters as a gift to the community, and a plea to help support parks. Donations to help NPS can be made directly at http://nationalparks.org/support-parks.

To encourage donations, Bug Press is offering  restored National Park posters through Friday, June 17.  A selection of 11 original WPA designs, including those for the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion and Lassen will be available daily at the front counter at 1461 M Street in Arcata. Quantities are limited. (707) 822-2001.

FREE!  I found the Bug Press office on a quiet street kind of near Arcata High and walked in. It was a peaceful scene.  There didn’t seem to be anyone there.   I scored five GORGEOUS posters including one of the Castillo at  St Augustine during the period when it was renamed Fort Marion.  That’s going to my brother in Jacksonville. I left $10, probably should have left more. 

Anyway, get over there before the 17th.   And thanks, Bug Press, for a truly great gift to the community.

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Shopping for Tires

My tenant borrowed my car.   When he brought it back he said someone should look at the tires. So I took it to Gosselin’s.

A nice young guy there looked at them  and pronounced that I didn’t need tires, at least not till late in the year. What I needed if anything, he said, was an alignment. Okay.

It was late on a Friday so I didn’t pursue it right then.  The next week I took the car into Old Town Brake.  Old Town is a very different experience now that Wally has retired. The staff were unfamiliar to me although I’ve been going there for 15 years.  No, they said, an alignment wouldn’t do.  I needed new tires and would surely die before sundown without them.  They wanted $650.  I thought  that was way too high and told them I’d think it over.

I went online and found a set on the COSTCO website. $375 and change. Now, that’s more like it.  (I drive a 2007 PT Cruiser which is why I don’t like to spend much on car stuff.)

Then I Googled some more and found reviews that said you couldn’t make an appointment for tires at COSTCO.  You may end up waiting a long  time. I like to get in and out of COSTCO  real fast, so I demurred.

Finally I went back to Gosselin’s and spoke with Tim.  He inspected the tires and said I should come back around September.  Their price: $384.68 for Doral radials.

Guess where I’m buying my tires In September? Take a wild guess!  What a pleasure when supporting local business turns out to be the smart thing to do! God bless Gosselin’s. They’ve made a customer for life.

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Harbor Blues- They’ve Got ‘Em in Portland,Too.

We’re not the only port city longing for more business. This review from the Mail-Tribune, sent in by a Friend of the Blog,  summarizes the West Coast situation. Here are a couple of quotes that I found quite chilling:

From a shipping exec:  “Ports such as Portland don’t generate enough traffic for carriers to justify making calls “.  Really heartening for the Humboldt Bay Harbor situation.  Or how about this,  from the same source:

Zaninelli said officials who don’t understand the industry hire people ill-equipped to run carriers.

“People who don’t know what they’re doing appoint people who don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.

Read the whole article HERE.

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The HSU Economic Index for April is IN

Here’s the latest from Dr Eschker and the hardworking crew.  “The Unemployment Claims and the Manufacturing Orders are up this month, while Building Permits and Help Wanted Advertising have decreased over the previous month.”   Humboldt County unemployment is 4.7%  compared with the State as a whole which is over 5%

Read the whole report HERE.

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The Importance of Internships-and an appreciation from a recent intern

Our friends at StreamGuys  forwarded this letter  from a recent intern who became an employee through HSU’s Business Internship Program.  I would just add that in the many years I worked in HR and employment there was NO greater indicator for college grads than having completed an internship. NONE.

I had a client, who had a degree from CR in Office Practice,  who didn’t know the proper format for a simple business letter.  She explained, “They teach us all these different computer programs but no one teaches us how to DO anything”.  That’s where internships come in. Please consider contacting the HSU School of Business if you can host an intern. It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s the letter:

On April 27th, the HSU Business Department, The Patricia D. and William B. Smullin Foundation Board, The McLean Foundation, 36 student interns, and local business leaders gathered at the Arcata Theater Lounge to celebrate. The Smullin and McLean Foundations’ generosity has brought HSU’s Business Internship program to life, a private and public sector partnership.

The program pairs eager students with local businesses interested in soon-to-be graduates. Real world learning begins when students apply for the program with references and a letter of interest.

Under the vision of Dean John Lee; Dr. Hari Singh and Chris Gaines, the HSU Business Department’s Internship Coordinator, has enthusiastically leveraged his professional network to connect interns with local businesses. Every two weeks Chris meets with the interns as a group to discuss challenges we are facing.

HSU’s Business Internship Program is beyond teaching basic work experience; it is providing career experience relevant to student’s degrees.

StreamGuys gave me a full time position after graduation, something I would not have without the forward thinking of the HSU Business Department, The Smullin Foundation, The McLean Foundation, and our local businesses. I want to thank all involved and both myself and my employer want to thank HSU School of Business for being on target and looking towards the success of the areas small businesses and the future of its graduating students. We want to encourage future students and local business that have an interest to learn more as this great program continues next year!

Thank You,

Timothy Labelle

Jonathan Speaker, StreamGuys, Inc.

Three Things I Didn’t Know Until Now

Forwarded for your edification:

‘Fraid of spiders? Get used to them. Every household in the United States harbors about 100 of them.  But they only kill about seven people a year. Snakes kill five. This was in Better Homes and Gardens so it has to be true.

That actor who plays The Asshole in the National Car Rental ads, the guy who doesn’t want to talk to mere humans and negotiates a raise with himself, is Patrick Warburton, who played Elaine’s idiot used-car salesman boyfriend, the one who told her she was going to Hell.  I sure didn’t recognize him. Guy is a genius. I didn’t used to appreciate those ads but I’ve seen the light.

The unemployment rate in Shasta County  is 8% according to the Redding Searchlight-Record.  That’s compared to 5% for Humboldt County.

(Bonus)   According to the same paper, Red Emmerson of Sierra Pacific Industries is still rich. In fact, his Forbes ranking increased from 481 to 435 while his worth remained about the same, meaning some folks above him in the list had a tough year.  HERE’S the story.

(Another bonus)  Wild Rose Farm in Blue Lake is the larges quinoa producer in the US. You would have known that if you’d read the Greenway newsletter last week.

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Do You Hate Cilantro? You’re In Good Company.

If you know what it is, you’re probably one of the people who hate it.

That’s ten percent of the population, and it includes me.  There are several websites that discuss the leafy offender sometimes known as “Chinese Parsley” .  HERE’S one of them. To those of us who have the anti-cilantro gene, it tastes like soap. While you can generally go into a Mexican restaurant and order “no cilantro”  (forget the salsas- they all have cilantro)  with at least some response, I’ve never had any luck avoiding cilantro in Thai or SE Asian places. I just stay away from Thai. 

What bought this to mind was a recent conversation with a relative who is very well-informed and yet was completely unaware of the cilantro issue. But word is getting around;.  The network comedy Undateable had the following dialogue:

“I’m going to start calling you Cilantro”.

“Why”

“Because you spoil everything”

Do you hate it too? Let us know.

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The January Economic Index Is In

Dr Eschker’s hard-working team reports that “The Monthly Foreclosures data in Humboldt County have been updated. There is a decrease in both Notices of Default and Trustee Deeds since our last update and since their peak after the housing bubble burst. These measures of foreclosure are at or near long run averages, which is an indication that the county housing market has bottomed out.”

Read the full report HERE.

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