A New Way To Fly?

An interesting development is reported by the Sacramento Business News.  Surf Air, a private membership airline headquartered in Santa Monica and flying out of the old McClellan AFB,  is flying round-trips between Santa Rosa, Hawthorne and San Carlos beginning next month, and will add service between Monterey and Hawthorne and San Carlos in July.  On August 24,  they’ll begin round-trips between McClellan and Hawthorne, San Carlos and Santa Barbara. Then in November they’re adding service between Palm Springs and Burbank and Oakland.

A private airline? Affordable?? Well, maybe.  Surf Air’s customers pay a flat monthly fee starting at $1750 for membership and unlimited flights.  If you’re doomed to fly more than three or four times a month, it starts looking downright reasonable.  Add in the sheer pleasure of not having to deal with the major airlines and…well, I’d sure like to try it.

In another development, Pen Air, which is supposed to start service beween Crescent City and Portland later this year, is making nice with the Redding airport folks and has been heard to say they are interested in flying out of AVC.  We’ll see. Stay tuned. 

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Happy Easter? Bah, Humbug!

Easter is my least-favorite holiday.  At Christmas you get good chocolate and lots of presents.  At Easter you get Peeps. No comparison.

As a kid growing up in Eureka, I was subjected to all kinds of barbaric treatment by well-meaning family members. I HAD to have a new coat, made from scratch by a lady on “A” Street, Audrey Hansen and her mother. Anyone remember them? Every coat involved two or three fittings all of which involved repeatedly being stuck with pins. These days we’d call it child abuse. The ladies were still in business when I was in sixth grade and had to have a Tiger Lily costume for the Christmas Pageant. More pins.

My normal hair wouldn’t do for Easter, either. My grandmother would march me down to Daly’s to have my hair permed. Remember that salon on the mezzanine level?  The sulphurous fumes from the frying hair filled the whole store.  Ah, the good old days.

Like it or not, Easter is a big holiday for retail spending. The National Retail Federation tells us each of us will spend $140 on Easter this year.  I’m not even close. I bought some Reese’s and a Paas egg coloring kit.  Don’t ask.  Our Easter Dinner will be a pork roast rescued from the freezer. I like to slow-cook them so that the house smells good for hours.  

That NRF article includes some fascinating data on how people plan to spend the holiday. almost half of you will be in church.  Which is good.  I don’t go myself, but I definitely  approve of church. Almost a third of you will be surfing the web on Easter, maybe doing some online buying. I asked the friendly staff at Partrick’s the other day about their holiday sales and they reported that while their big days are Christmas and Valentine’s,  Easter comes in a close third,  representing maybe 15% of yearly revenues. That’s pretty much the same as on the national level.  

So Happy Easter, everyone.  Support your local candy store and don’t make your kids get their hair fried. And go to the Zoo. It’ll make you feel good.

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It’s Back?!! OH’S is Coming BACK?

I hadn’t realized it, but according  to a Facebook page there are folks in our community who have been longing for the return of OH’s Town House, Virginia Bass’ steakhouse which closed in 2008. I felt  bad when it closed, because I had always intended to eat there.  Guess I didn’t want it bad enough to actually GO there. In those days,  I was pretty uninterested in steak. Then I discovered the AA and since then I’ve only eaten AA steaks.  I don’t know how they get that char to be so perfect but they are a hard act to follow, if anyone is really interested in opening up another meat palace here.

The thing is,  Virginia and her hubby-in-the-middle Matt Owen are using the Facebook page (bringohsback) and postcards, who knows what else, to float the idea that our 4th District Supervisor is seriously interested in reopening the restaurant that failed so recently. What’s changed?  Other than a few more folks going vegan every week.  Virginia squeaked by challenger Chris Kerrigan to retain her seat in 2014 so she won’t have to face another election for three more years. 

Well, here’s a theory.  The Facebook page shows a thousand “likes”.  That ain’t the same as a thousand investors. I claim the whole idea of bringing back OH’s is spurious and is intended to keep alive the notion that Virginia is a friend to business.  She ran on a platform of bringing in more jobs to the community, and , since she hasn’t done that,  and since she is an honorable person , perhaps she thinks that the only way to bring jobs to the community is to revive OH’s.  I’ll eat my hat if OH’s reopens.  I’ll also try one of their steaks.  Really!!

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No Silver Lining

I was surprised,  as was airport management, apparently,  to hear that the Silver Lining restaurant at the Humboldt County Redwoods whatever airport is closed. That’s a big step backward for the folks who have been promoting the airport and while I don’t think many flyers would cancel a flight because their destination didn’t have a coffee shop, it still doesn’t say much for the infrastructure we offer our visitors.

According to the NCJ,  an attempt will be made to find another operator.  That might be difficult.  Most airport restaurants overlook a busy runway where diners can observe takeoffs and landings more often than four times a day. Maybe the County should contract with Dell’ Arte or Access Humboldt or someone else who can produce a light show to resemble a busy airport. At least it would LOOK like the return of normalcy. Stay tuned. 

Radio Shack Closing

…at Bayshore Mall.  The other stores in the County (Arcata, Fortuna, Myrtle Avenue) will remain open for the time being while radio Shack closes thousands of its locations. The staff at the Mall was very helpful when I asked why Fortuna and Myrtle weren’t answering their phones. It’s because they help live customers over phone calls- don’t you wish everyone did that?-and the stores don’t have answering machines. Yup, that’s right.  They sell them, but don’t have one . The liquidation of the Mall location is well along and is the only store closing I’ve ever heard of that’s being advertised on Craig’s List. Entrepreneurs, check it out. They may have something you can use. 

Things You Didn’t Know About Redding

I call Redding our step-sister city. No one really likes it,  but we’re joined at the hip. The following are factoids gleaned from the Bee, the Record-Searchliight and the Sac Business News.

Their mall, the Mt. Shasta Mall,  is owned by the owners of Bayshore Mall and has roughly the same number of stores.  Unlike our mall, theirs is scheduled for a major renovation to make it more upscale. Hmm.

Like our ACV,  Redding has also this week experienced the return of jet service, except for the flight to SFO that was cancelled this morning.

A couple of WOMEN are kicking butt in IT services.  Their company is called Nerd Chicks , or officially Nerds on Call and is an onsite computer and laptop repair service. I wonder why we don’t have the equivalent over here.   They write a column for the R-S a couple of times a month which is worth watching for if you’re not a complete geek yourself.

..and the good people of Palo Cedro, pop. 1400, are fighting  Dollar General over its plans to build in their community.  They fear the local stores already there will suffer if DG opens. 

Stay tuned.

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Arcata Business Closures

The Mad River Union has a helpful summary of recent business closures in Arcata. These include McKenny’s DIB, the St Vincent de Paul store on K Street, the Hunan Plaza Chinese restaurant (after 27 years!!), the Essence of Humboldt gift shop and , at the end of the month, the Eden seed and gift shop on Ninth Street.  It looks worse when you list them all together. Thanks to the Union for compiling these. No link available. 

The McKenny’s and Shafer’s Moves

After conversing  with staff from both companies,  we have established the following: 

1) The Arcata McKinney’s has indeed closed and is transferring its stock to the Eureka store on Hubbard.  Pay no attention to the TV ads which still show the Arcata store open. 

2) Shafer’s will continue to operate in Henderson Center AND will open a new store at the Old Safeway location on Harris near Harrison.  No word on an opening date.