The Index is here from those hardworking folks at HSU. Seasonal variations show an increase in retail and hospitality and declines in Home Sales, Employment and Lumber. Enjoy!
Best wishes to all in the new year! We are still recuperating but will be back in action soon.
We are always proud to share the Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers’ newsletter because a) it’s informative and b) it LOOKS so good. Here is the latest from this stellar organization. It takes a while to load. Good things are worth waiting for.
Yesterday was December 4 and I could not find a parking spot in Old Town. This year is one of those with only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hate when they do that. We have cause to rejoice- the waterfalls in Yosemite are falling again. No, the drought’s not over but at least the mountains are looking more normal. Elsewhere..
Sacramento papers reported that the July California bar exam had the lowest pass rate of any in recent memory- 61% for first-timers, down from 68% last year. the pass rate for repeaters was only 14%, down from 21%. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but it seems to me that with all the confusion about Prop 47, possibly changing weed laws and definite changes in immigration policy, we shouldn’t be facing these challenges with dumb lawyers. Be forewarned!!
Are you a Twitter user? (I call them twits.) The Economist reports that Twitter has ore than quadrupled its revenues since 2012 but is not expected to be profitable until 2017 if then. One reason is that they devote more cash to compensating their employees than do Google and Facebook. 285M folks log onto Twitter monthly which includes 20% of American smartphone users. 75% of Twitter’s ad revenues are from the mobile market. They observe that Twitter’s user-growth has slowed and that Facebook has four times the number of users. Me? I did two tweets. I’m done. I’ll check in next time there’s civil disorder.
Finally , you looking for a job? The Rite Aid in Henderson Center has NOW HIRING on their marquee. Union jobs! Go for it!
..is holding its official opening tomorrow. Here’s a link to the menu as posted on Facebook (they don’t have their website operational yet) so you can check it out before lunch tomorrow ’cause it sounds like there’s going to be a stampede. You have to scroll down aways to see the whole menu. The beet salad sounds incredible. Good luck to them!
This month’s Index reflects an economy in the doldrums. Although the Composite Index increased 1.2 points this month, it is down 2.2 points from this time last year. Retail and Employment are up, Home Sales, Hospitality and Lumber showed declines. Again our thanks to Dr. Eschker and his hardworking team.
Dr. Eschker and his dedicated group have published their Economic Index for September. They found that in September Hospitality, Lumber, Employment , and manufacturing orders were up, while Home Sales, Retail, unemployment claims, building permits and “help wanted” advertising were down.
AIR- Redding gets a grant. Redding has been awarded a $450,000 grant from the Dept of Transportation in the form of a revenue guarantee to help SkyWest defray the cost of replacing their current turboprop (Embraer Brasilia) service with Canadair Regional Jets, according to the Redding Searchlight Record. The grant requires a $50K match and does NOT guarantee that jets will return to Redding but is a necessary first step in that direction. SkyWest recently pulled out of Modesto and is discontinuing service to Chico in December.
RAIL-HSR is on the way. The California High-Speed Rail Authority took the first step toward actually buying trains, opening bids for a billion-dollar contract to build trains and maintenance facilities. Siemens, which has a location in Sacramento, will be among the bidders, and interest from Chinese and Japanese manufacturers is expected to be strong. The specs are that the trains must be able to deliver passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in three hours. If Siemens prevails, the economic benefits to the Sacramento area would be substantial.
MORE RAIL- The Economist reminds us that HSR is nothing new, in fact it’s been around for 50 years, just kinda slow in coming to California. Fifty years ago this week the Osaka-Tokyo line commenced operations and has “since whisked 5.6 billion passengers across the country without a single serious accident. Punctuality? The average delay is less than a minute.” Japan’s HSR, at 200 mph, is actually pokey compared with China’s Shanghai maglev (430 kph) or the maglev being developed to update the Tokyo-Osaka run to a speedy 500 kph, about an hour’s time. This will cost $47B, but the Japanese have a government that is willing to invest in infrastructure.
STILL MORE RAIL- Closer to home, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Appellate court found that the North Coast Railroad Authority and its partner the Northwestern Pacific Railroad can expand freight service without further environmental review. Specifically, the panel found that freight rail traffic is interstate commence and not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act. The envronmental groups that brought the suit, Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, had not announced at press time whether they would appeal. The NCRA’s next step is to raise $5M to rehabilitate the tracks between Windsor and Cloverdale and to recruit customers for the freight service between Napa and Windsor which currently runs twice a week.
Do you love dogs? Sure.
Do you love OPD (Other Peoples’ Dogs)? Uh, not so much.
Well, as of January 1, California restaurants with patio spaces will be allowed to serve dogs right along with their owners, assuming the owners are human. This “change” will probably affect Humboldt less than more urban regions because plenty of local eateries are already allowing dogs. The rules are that the patios must have separate entrances so that the doggies don’t enter the restaurant itself and they continue to be banned from food preparation areas. The new rule does NOT mandate that dogs must be allowed on patios; that’s up to the proprietors. Nor does it change any of the rules on bona fide service animals.
I’m a dog owner who does not envision taking my dog to a restaurant in this lifetime. For one thing, she’d eat everything in sight. For another, she’d never be able to share space with one of those cute fuzzy little dogs that look and sound exactly like her squeak-toys. The other question is, do I want to share a table with someone else’s dog? When MY dog drools on the table, it’s cute. When YOUR dog does it, it’s disgusting.
I’m all in favor of consumer choice, so when I pass by a patio cafe where chows are chowing down in favor of a human-only environment, that’s a valid choice. I wonder how the majority of Humboldt diners will react to their new dining companions.
Here are some factoids with which to tickle your brain.
TOURISM- As the HSU survey in our last post pointed out, tourism stats are down in Humboldt County. However, our friends in Redding are feeling the same pain, according to the Searchlight -Record, no link available. Isn’t it puzzling or are tourists staying away because of the drought and fires?
CHINA- University of California officials have made no less than 20- that’s TWENTY- trips to China so far this year to woo Chinese students with their lucrative out-of-state tuition payments. Oh, yeah, they’re smart too. And haven’t fried their brains on drugs.
APPLE- now has 2500 workers in their Elk Grove location which started as a distribution center but is now hiring folks who wouldn’t know what a forklift looks like. 89 current vacancies, including one for “Mandarin Team Manager”.
100 OBJECTS- The State of South Carolina, which has imho the slickest tourism of any state, is sponsoring a promotion of “100 Objects” in Orangeburg County ranging from battlegrounds, old schools, gravestones, gardens etc. It’s sort of like “101 Things To Do on the North Coast” combined with a historical scavenger hunt. Any community could adopt this promotion except we’d have to lose the bland word “objects”. “Prizes?” “Treasures?” OK, I can see why they settled for “objects”. Still a good gimmick for a promotion.
SHERLOCK HOLMES- the stories by A Conan Doyle have fallen into public domain. Those of you who always thought you had a future writing screenplays, have at it.
OBAMA- one of his biggest financial supporters is the CEO of COSTCO.
OLIVES- due to the drought, this year’s olive crop is going to be down 45% from last year. Martini drinkers might want to stock up bigtime.
OYSTERS- Rumor has it that a major Marin County oyster producer will start operations in Humboldt Bay.
That’s all, folks, for this week. Stay safe and far away from the fires.