Dr. Eschker and his hardworking crew at HSU have added another dimension to their Humboldt Economic Index; a specific tracking of the manufacturing sector. That sector, which will likely generate the sought-after high-paying jobs so badly needed to stabilize our Humboldt economy, increased its index by over 30% in the past year. This is huge and shows a very positive development even though not associated with an increase in employment. Enjoy the Index here and many thanks to those who worked on it and the sponsors.
It’s that time of year again. I just now noticed that the Times-Standard always posts it’s “Best” list on April Fool’s Day. Good move.
This year’s list didn’t have any major gaffes like last years (darn) which proclaimed the STILL unfinished Holiday Inn on Broadway in Eureka as one of the winners. There were a few surprises. Porter Street BBQ won over Humboldt Smoke House, which surprised me, and I thought the Banana Hut was an excellent choice for Best Business Lunch- good food and you can walk to it from anywhere downtown. I don’t agree that Ramone’s is the best bakery although they’re certainly among the most expensive. I’m a Cherry Blossom fan, myself.
Hole-in-the-Wall, the Hunan in Henderson Center, Brick & Fire, and Bob’s Footlong’s (Fortuna) all got their props. Happy Donuts, next to the new VA office, won for Best Donuts, but they really should have won for “Best Cheap Lunch”. They have a platter with three spring rolls with dipping sauce for $4.99 and if you don’t like cilantro you can call the night before and they’ll make you a cilantro-less version and set it aside for you. The donuts are pretty good, too.
I DO find it hard to believe that Shamus T Bone’s steaks beat out the AA’s. That will bear investigating.
But the prize for “Most Ironic” choice is The Works as favorite source for CD’s/Records/Tapes. The beloved store has lost much of its business since the move to larger quarters on “C” Street and is in a precarious situation. So go down there and BUY something if you want your favorite to survive. Support ALL our local businesses with your wallets, not just your admiration. Admiration don’t pay the bills.
The apparent closure of the Loleta Bakery raises questions that a lot of us may not have thought about since we took our first business classes. Whether we were schooled at Stanford or by the SBDC, the one principle that applies to all businesses is that you need to have a successorship plan. It doesn’t have to be a long document but it should make clear what happens if one of the partners or family members becomes incapacitated or has to leave the business. It’s a standard part of any business plan. and no lender will release funds without one. One or even two illnesses shouldn’t shut down a business.
The chaos and confusion around the bakery’s closing leads me to conclude that there WAS no business plan. Since it’s impossible to get financing without a business plan I have to conclude further that the owners were wealthy enough to open the business without third-party financing, and without a plan. Now 20 people are out of work and facing an uncertain future.
Loleta is not the only town to be invaded by outlanders with more money than sense. When they start businesses that thrive, it’s called investment. When they screw up, they cause a lot of grief to a lot of people. Here’s wishing the very best for the employees and the people of Loleta .
The other local closure, Big Louie’s in Eureka, has been free of the drama seen in Loleta. Harold Lawrence has been an exemplary corporate citizen, supportive of community causes and youth sports. I wish him the best, and really hope the franchise will reopen. Meanwhile, when you open your business, think ahead to the time when you may be incapacitated or worse. Your family and your employees deserve better than to be left drifting. A lot better.
Well, not literally next door but only a couple of counties over, Archie “Red” Emmerson of Redding was recently reported by Forbes.com as back on their list. His Sierra Pacific Industries, based in Anderson, owns 1.9 million acres or forest in Northern California and Western Washington and his current wealth is estimated at $3.1 billion. At that level it’s hard to keep track of rankings but Forbes placed him at #520 of the 1,645 billionaires on this year’s list of the world’s richest people.
The Emmerson’s have strong ties to Eureka. Emmerson’s late wife, Ida, was a Eureka native and legend has it that they met at the Ingomar Club. He has donated $500K in her memory to Hospice of Humboldt to build a 12-bed facility for end-of-life care, to be located off Timber Falls Court, south of Harris Street. The entire cost of the facility is unclear to me but Hospice’s capital campaign goal is $2.5M and groundbreaking is scheduled for “Spring 2014″, whenever that is. I just drove by the site and it is definitely beautiful and peaceful.
The Emmersons (he has two adult sons) have a pretty spiffy place (click on the thumbnail photo to enlarge) but I don’t have the address and I wouldn’t give it to you if I did. I’m always grateful for any philanthropy in our needy community. Who knows? I may be a customer for that hospice myself, one day. The family has a foundation and I’m sure they give to many worthy causes but if you were trying to figure out what percentage of Mr. Emmerson’s wealth is being given to Hospice, on the back of an envelope, I already did it for you. My calculator won’t accept the right number of zeroes but the way I figure it, $550K equals .0000001 of $3.1B, or .00001%. Please feel free to correct my math- it’s not my strong point.
Obviously, our favorite billionaires are those who, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, are leaving their fortunes to worthy causes. Despite the talk about income inequality, the ranks of the super-rich are growing. Forbes counted 1,645 billionaires on its new list of the world’s richest people, up from 1,426 on last year’s list. This concentration of wealth can do a lot of good, or a lot of evil. What do you think?
In its relentless march toward world domination, Dunkin Donuts has announced the franchises are available in Eureka, Crescent City and 40 other locales in NoCal. Follow this link for more info, and good luck!
I went into The Works yesterday to get the new Pharrell CD and to see if they could order me an old Fred Neil album that I must have lent to someone and found that they’re not taking new orders! Darren (who works with Bandon , the owner who bought the business from Larry Glass) said that business has been so bad lately that The Works is definitely in jeopardy. The move to “C” Street gave them a bigger space for performances and readings but they lost a lot of the foot traffic they had over on “F” Street.
You know the story. A dollar you spend at Target or another chain or ITunes or Amazon leaves the county; a dollar you spend in a local business is recirculated locally. Plus I don’t know another place in Eureka that will take special orders; if anything happens to The Works, where will I go when I want to replace my CD of Donald Fagan’s New York Rock and Soul Review (Mike McDonald, Phoebe Snow, Boz Scaggs etc) that is wearing out I’ve played it so much? Or some wonderful old vinyl records? Clearly this is a quality of life issue, and anyone who is familiar with (for example) Amazon and their practices knows that’s not the answer. No, the answer is to support our local businesses much as we support our local farmers. So whenever there’s a break in the rain, go down and do some shopping at The Works, 210 “C” Street in Old Town or order over their phone which is 442-8121.
I’ll see you down there. Oh, and they’ll have the Pharrell CD next week.
Have you seen “Captain Phillips”, which was deservedly nominated for Best Picture of 2013? You can still catch it on pay-per-view and it’s powerful. Did you know that the line “I’m the Captain now.” which has become the season’s catchphrase and was referred to by the New Yorker as an “iconic line” was IMPROVISED? Improvised by a Somalian taxi driver who had never performed in a film before? Here’s the story:
Barkhad Abdi was six years old when war turned his native Somalia into an inferno. The family fled to Yemen, where his father taught math and eventually settled in Minneapolis, where there is a sizable Somalian community. Abdi was working as a limo driver for his brother’s company when the word came that auditions were being held at the local community center for Somalis to act in “Captain Phillips”, directed by Paul Greengrass (who filmed United 93 among other major films) and starring Tom Hanks as the skipper of the Alabama Maersk, the cargo ship that was attacked by Somail pirates in 2009. Abdi and half a dozen other Somalis were hired by Greengrass.
When they started filming the scene where the pirates have boarded the ship, Abdi felt that the point wasn’t being made clearly enough to Hanks and/or his character that things had changed. So he came out with the line, “Look at me. I’m the captain now,” which sends chills down your spine every time you see it. Greengrass kept the line in. He knew gold when he saw it.
As an employer, do you encourage creative improvisation in your company? You don’t have to be Steve Jobs or Paul Greengrass to do so. When your people come up with something wonderful, tear up your script, throw out your business plan and go with your gut, like Greengrass did. “I’m the captain now” is a classic line on the level of “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” or “Nobody’s perfect.” The genius is in knowing when to dump your carefully laid plans. The proof is in the watching.
Our friend Doug Rose has reminded us that he is selling his pond-and-water lilies business in McKinleyville and he’s listing it at only $7K. That’s an awfully cheap price to get into a an enterprise with lots of growth potential. I’ll let Doug tell the rest of the story:
“Seasonal (March-August) pond plant business available in McKinleyville. Established 12 years with good client base and assumable land lease with room for expansion. Facilities are fully developed with 10×12′ greenhouse, automated watering system, sheltered potting area with weed cloth covering all growing areas. Inventory includes 160 mother plant varieties of hardy water lilies with complete history, growing characteristics and graphic displays for every plant. Business consists of wholesale, retail and internet. Must sell by July 4th. $7000 is walkaway price. ” His phone is (707) 839-0588, his cell is (707) 616-0111 and the website is right here. There’s also a video on You Tube
and his email is email@example.com. (Sorry, I’m having problems with links again but the link to the website is good.) If you haven’t met Doug, he’s an amazing person.
Good luck in your new business!
Here’s some food for thought. You might see a few surprises.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY(January): 7.9%
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN SAN FRANCISCO: 4.8%
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN MEXICO: 4.76% (December 2013) (Time Magazine) Yes, Mexico!
SHASTA COUNTY MEDIAN HOME PRICE JAN 2014: $180K (DataQuick)
HUMBOLDT COUNTY MEDIAN HOME PRICE JAN 2014: $247K (HAR)
CREEPYIEST CREDIT CARD: Capitol One, which according to the LA Times, recently sent its cardholders a contract renewal authorizing the com[any to contact its cardholders by any means including visits to home and workplace, and gives permission to “modify or suppress Caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose.”
MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSED by LA lawmakers for employees in large hotels: $15.37/hour.
APPLE Computer now has more stores in Shanghai than in San Francisco. (Economist)
CHINA’S $3.3 TRILLION consumer economy is about 8% of the total, and is likely soon to overtake Japan as the world’s second-biggest consumer. Half of the world’s new shopping malls are being built in China. (Economist).
MOST CONGESTED HIGHWAY IN CALIFORNIA: I-5 in LA County. “In 2012 alone, vehicles spent an extra 6.6 MILLION hours on the road, due to heavy traffic.” (LAT).
PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS WHO BELIEVE THE SUN GOES AROUND THE EARTH: 26% (National Science Foundation).
I thought that flu shot was supposed to save me from the shivers, shakes and runny nose that has kept me inside all week, but I guess that was a different strain. This week you’re getting some stories from near and far that Redwood Coast businesses, citizens and consumers may find of interest.
3-D PRINTING HITS REDDING: Both Shasta High School and Enterprise High School have purchased and deployed MakerBot Replicator2 machines at $2300 each and students are experimenting with them right now. We know they’re being used in biotech and and architectural design but I just saw a statement that they’re being used in the CULINARY field but it didn’t explain how. Well, you could design a heckova wedding cake with one of these things, and at $2300 they’re definitely affordable. Shasta High is using them to make team souvenirs, for starters.
TONIGHT SHOW LEAVING BURBANK: and taking 160 well-paying jobs with it. About three years ago, we were having lots of exposure on the show because apparently one of the producers fell in love with Humboldt. Remember Tom Green and the guy in Old Town swinging the firepot around? Green named Duane Flatmo the Most Interesting Person in California. I don’t think Jimmy Fallon is going to show us that kind of love. Hopefully Jimmy Kimmel can be lured up here and shown the light.
JANUARY HUMBOLDT ECONOMIC INDEX: From those wonderful people at HSU, shows the median home price creeping back up again, from last month’s $234K to $247K, and home sales the strongest since July 2005. Our county unemployment rate is currently 7.9%, California’s is 8.3% and national is down to 6.7%. Here’s the complete update and I’m going back to bed to watch Pawn Stars. Stay warm and dry. It’s apparently going to be a dreadful weekend.