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!
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.
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!
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.
Well, here we are in late January, freezing to death, looking at a drought and coming off a lousy crab season. There IS good news- getting to someplace even colder is now easier.
TRAIN SERVICE BETWEEN EUGENE AND VANCOUVER, B.C.- it’s begun, and it’s a ten to twelve-hour trip with inconvenient departures although the website states in several places that the schedules are to be adjusted in the near future. The new Cascades line overlaps in places with the Coast Starlight, so don’t get them confused while reading the schedules.The State of Oregon bought the two trains with stimulus money and each carries 286 passengers, bicycle storage, outlets, wi-fi etc. The trains were built by Talgo, the US subsidiary of a Spanish company. The multinationals seem to have more faith in US rail than do the Neanderthals running Amtrak. Look at what Siemens is doing in Sacramento: building something like 30 locomotives of which two will end up on the West Coast (and creating thousands of good jobs). I hope to take this train over the summer but as you all know getting to Eugene from here involves either a four-hour drive and finding a place to stash your car OR a tortuous three-bus ride from Arcata to Redding then hooking up with the Starlight to Eugene. The best train seems to be the one that leaves Eugene at 2pm because it’s ALL TRAIN, no long bus rides. It’s a 10 hour ride, all the amenities are promised, including a lounge car, and the fare is as low as $73. Ticket sales are healthy and the State of Oregon did two smart things with this $38M purchase: they bought rolling stock designed to handle the higher speeds if/when high-speed rail becomes an option and they planned ahead of time for increased demand in 2017 when service increases between Seattle and Tacoma. Check out their website- even the food menus look good. The North Coast Journal (Dec 12, 2013) did an excellent summary of the hassles involved in trying to get to Portland from here. Every little bit helps. And if you go all the way to Vancouver, don’t forget your passport (or birth certificate and photo I.D.)
NORTH VALLEY BANK PURCHASED BY TRI COUNTIES: Effective in mid-2014, some of us will be sending our mortgage payments to Chico-based Tri Counties Bank, a merger that will result in a combined workforce of 1100 employees, and a network of banks stretching from Crescent City to Bakersfield. With $3.5B in assets, $3.1B in deposits, $2.2B in gross loans, and 80 branch offices, the new Tri Counties Bank will be the 26th largest in the State. The banks have issued the usual disclaimers about how this change will be painless to customers.
CHINESE TOURISM TO U.S. TO TRIPLE BY 2020: As I prepared to enter the China Buffet in Eureka, a group of Chinese diners emerged and zeroed right in on me. (They always do- I must look helpful.) None of them including their driver spoke much more English than I do Chinese, but they knew what they wanted. “Redwood Park”, they kept saying. “Redwood Park”. Their van was labelled “Joy Tours:” but it was getting dark and I couldn’t figure out whether they would get more joy going south to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, or north to the National Park so I pointed them north, figuring they’d get a kick out of Paul Bunyan at Trees of Mystery. The next day I called Tony Smithers at the HCCVB and asked him about Joy Tours. He was aware of them but apparently the bureau has not specific outreach to Asian visitors.
I suspect that will be changing in the future. 1.5M mainland Chinese visited the US in 2012 and their numbers are expected to reach 5.7M by 2020. California is the most popular destination, followed by New York. Relaxed visa restriction and rising household income are fueling the growth. The LA Times reports that Chines tourism to LA rose 21% in last year and that “Chinese tourists are the second biggest-spending foreign visitors to the U.S. – just behind Indians and ahead of Australians, Brazilians and Japanese- with a average budget of $4400 not including airfare.” Meanwhile, U.S. hotels are not well-equipped for Chinese visitors, especially in terms of Mandarin-speaking staff and Chinese dietary needs. The Chinese tend to stay longer than other tourists (42 nights average) and 36% are here for conventions or business meetings. Talk about a bonanza being dropped in our laps! Gung Hay Fat Choi, everyone. And a Happy Year of the Horse.
REMINDER: Next Friday, January 31 is the deadline for applying for the Fisherman’s Terminal restaurant opportunity, details in our last week’s issue.
FISHERMAN’S TERMINAL RESTAURANT/MARKET
Ever wanted to run a restaurant?
Check this out: “The City of Eureka is soliciting proposals from qualified restaurant/cafe’ operator(s) to establish a restaurant/cafe’ and retail seafood counter at the Fisherman’s Terminal Building located at #4 C Street and Waterfront Drive.” The announcement from the City continues, “An outdoor patio area for alfresco dining is also incorporated into the space. The restaurant/cafe’ is located at the east end of the Fisherman’s Terminal Building with unparalleled views of picturesque Humboldt Bay, and is adjacent to the newly constructed C Street Market square, the Madaket docking facility and Ticket Booth, and Old Town”. The announcement adds, “A low-interest loan may be available to a qualified applicant.”
This is a tremendous opportunity for some entrepreneur to play a major role in our waterfront revitalization, and a couple dozen have already expressed interest. To receive a complete Request for Qualifications package or ask any questions, contact Judy Harrison, Economic Development Coordinator, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 268-1830. Here’s some more info from Economic Development. Be patient if it takes them a while to get back to you; there are only
four 1.5 people in the section and this is a major undertaking. DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTAL IS JANUARY 31, so get busy and be a part of Eureka’s history! And make some money, too.
AIRPORT TURBULENCE: First, the good news, for frequent flyers anyway. The TSA has opened three enrollment centers to enable frequent airline passengers to pass through security more quickly. Once enrolled in the program, flyers will be excused from removing shoes, belts and jackets and from having to remove their laptops to display to the TSA screeners. What’s the catch? Well, they have to be fingerprinted and pay an $85 fee, good for five years. Where are these enrollment centers? At Sac International, Stockton and- wait for it- EUREKA!!! According to the AP, the centers went online on the 15th and, by the way, they refer to our airport as EUREKA, not that six-word name that I can never remember.
So that’s the good news. The bad is that airport usage from 2007 thru 2012 is wildly inconsistent, with SFO increasing by 27% and Oakland and Burbank DOWN by 31%. San Jose declined by 22% while Sacramento, which just opened its new $1B Terminal B (“B” for ”Billion” I suppose) has declined by 18%. I find this puzzling. Who wouldn’t rather fly into Oakland or San Jose than SFO, given a choice? With the recession, the choices are realigning and becoming fewer in number. See the “Fly Humboldt” Facebook page for more info. Also, Ms. Emily Jacobs, Administrator at ACV, has promised us an update on airline recruitment efforts in the near future. So watch this space!
REDDING WANTS FLIGHTS- Redding airport officials and civic leaders, including representatives of the mega- Bethel Church, have met or are scheduled to meet with representatives of United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, American, Delta and Alaska Air with an eye to restoring direct service to LA perhaps as soon as this summer. Shasta County has built up a nonbinding travel bank of $1M and Modesto is hurrying to do the same. Now is the time to start pushing for schedule changes because SFO will be losing one of its runways for several months due to repairs. Note to self: avoid SFO during that time. Everyone wants the LAX routes.
The Bethel Church in Redding welcomes 12,000 visitors a year, many of whom come in by air, but many more of whom come by car from Sacramento or SF. The church has basically taken over their Civic Auditorium. and is a major player in the Redding economy. Think of all the rental cars and hotel rooms! That’s like 3 or 4 Jazz Festivals. We’ll bring you an update soon on local efforts to to bring us more service through ACV. Sorry, I can’t remember the six-word name they want us to call it. I figure this, too, shall pass.
STORAGE WARS, HUMBOLDT STYLE- A couple of weeks ago I showed up at one of those storage locker sales you see listed in the Times-Standard. I wanted to see it if in anyway resembled what you see on TV. The sale was at the Myrtle Avenue Storage Center, the one across the street from John’s Liquors and the taco truck whose name I can never recall but which serves darn good food. A group of about 20 folks were waiting for the sale which was advertised as five units but had shrunk to two by the time of the opening bid. The facility manager, Chris Mikkelson, went over the rules and then led the folks who were interested to a second-level unit. They trooped upstairs and came back down pretty fast. The upstairs unit went for $25.
Then we went to inspect the other unit. It was PACKED, I mean really PACKED, to the gills. Anyone who claims they can tell what’s in one of these has got to be psychic. All I could see was the ends of boxes. The second unit went for $25 dollars. The bidding was not as fast or frantic as they try to make it sound ; I didn’t have any trouble following it. Also the successful bidders were given till the end of the next day to vacate the locker. Very civilized, as I had envisioned a frantic race to truck everything out immediately.
Mr Mikkelson told me that these units are very seldom vacant and are mostly rented by people in the neighborhood, which cuts down on the number of abandoned units. Anyway, if you have a truck and want to try your luck watch for the ads. This particular facility is a Kurt Kramer property and immaculately maintained. I don’t think they all are. When I get a chance to follow a winning bidder through the whole process, I’ll report back but I don’t think any fortunes were made the other day. Good excuse for a taco, though.
“COUNTRY OF THE YEAR” – Well, there’s nothing like losing a contest you didnt’ even know they were having. The Economist has named as it’s “Country of the Year” a place that is dealing with some of the same issues that the Redwood Coast is. This country has legalized gay marriage and drugs -ALL drugs- in the last few months. It’s 3M citizens don’t make the news very often and on the map it looks like a sort of tumor growing out of the top of its neighbor, Argentina. Yes, I’m talking about- wait for it-URUGUAY. We might do well to observe the effects of legalization there, if there are any. If anyone is organizing a field trip, let me know.
I have my curmudgeon hat on today, an effect of reading this morning’s papers and blogs. Any of you wanting sugarplum fairies should be reading elsewhere. To begin-
Eureka City Schools, Loleta Union School District Sued for racism, sexism. Is this a surprise to anyone, especially considering the ongoing festering situation in Ferndale? When I was attending Eureka High, the Native American kids were almost completely segregated, to Hoopa. Sounds like things haven’t changed much. If ANY of these allegations are true, and I suspect these may be just the tip of the iceberg, some heads should roll.
Chet Albin Appointed to Eureka City Council- Anyone who has to take down his Facebook page out of fear that his constituents might see it does not have the moral fiber to hold public office. Nor do the folks who orchestrated this outrage.
Jason Singleton Vilified for ADA Suits- Both his letter to the North Coast Journal, reprinted this morning in the Times-Standard and Chris Jones’ My Word in the Times-Standard this morning (links not available for either) tell it like it is. As I posted here last week, if the city/county staff were tasked to do MEANINGFUL ADA reviews before issuing permits, poof! Problem solved. The most distressing news is that otherwise rational businesspeople are trying to address their issue through demonstrating at the courthouse, a useless circle-jerk. Gee, those “Occupy” demos worked out so well…
The GPU has been hijacked and thrown back to the Planning Commission and the Planning Commission is one vote away from being controlled by HumCPR. Not good news when any special interest group has this much clout, especially when the voters are demoralized and disorganized (in comparison.) I happened to notice yesterday while driving on 5th Street in Eureka that the CPR has a storefront now, where the Republicans’ office was. Don’t know how long they’ve been there.
Finally, Two Good People Have Left Us. Leon Berliner and Silas Morrison the younger both had obituaries in the Times-Standard today. My first job in rehab was at Redwoods United, Inc. long after Leon had moved on to the Cornucopia. No agency helped more people with disabilities in this county and that program is sorely missed. Silas was a friend and an unforgettable personality. I will miss him a lot.
Sincere wishes for a happy holiday, despite the foregoing. You can’t ALWAYS have a Merry Christmas. There’s always next year.
…And I don’t know about you but wearing four layers of clothing and STILL having my muscles clenched against the cold is getting old, real old. Here are some of the highlights of the week in business.
HSU’S ECONOMIC REPORT compiled by the ever-helpful Dr Erich Escher shows a mixed bag of indicators; Housing prices are up, but sales are down. Gas prices are in decline also, note the $3.70 ranges in the report, although I just saw $3.54 at COSTCO. Read the whole report; this is a resource we are lucky to have.
SINGLETON STRIKES AGAIN: According to the Mad River Union, it was an ADA lawsuit filed by Mr Singleton that caused the closure of Arcata’s branch of Porter Street Barbecue. I don’t know why business owners can’t get it through their heads that after 30 years the ADA is not going away, but there you go. Unfortunately, the food at their Eureka store has declined considerably. The last few times I had their chili, it contained a spongy meatlike substance that almost seemed like stomach tissue or tripe. I’m sure it’s legal but sure isn’t very appetizing. When, oh when, will someone open a REAL barbecue here? But then I’m a Carolina girl. I’ve had the real stuff.
There is voluminous guidance from the State and from employers’ group on meeting ADA/FEHA standards and it’s not all that hard to understand. If only our city and county permit processes incorporated the ADA requirements, no one would have to be surprised after they’ve already spent money. I’ve been hearing this same complaint for years. This is a wasteful and expensive way to do business and it doesn’t have to be this way. I notice that the Wendy’s in Eureka which previously closed allegedly due to some sort of ADA issues is hiring and getting ready to open for business again. Maybe they’ve learned something.
ANNALS OF GREED, or It Must Be Nice Dept: Republican State Senator Bill Emmerson of Redlands resigned his seat and a week later was named a senior vice president of the California Hospital Association “where he will oversee the group’s in-house and contract lobbyists. ” Every State employee is drilled on the requirement that a year must pass before conversations that might be construed as lobbying can take place but by the subterfuge of having him “oversee” the effort, he’s free to pursue the best interests of the CHA, which are not necessarily in the best interests of our citizens. Former Sen, Michael Rubio did similarly a few months ago, working now for Chevron.
CALTRAIN NEWS: The CalTrain Board has announced that daily ridership is now in the 50,000 range, up from 30,000 ten years ago. CalTrain is also installing racks and other equipment to encourage cyclists to come aboard. All good news.
I’m going to stop now because this has really been a horrible week of homicides, deaths by fire and generally un-holidayish happenings. Maybe next week will be better? Let’s hope so. See ya at the Truckers’ Parade Saturday evening.
Counting your blessings on Thanksgiving Day, on the Redwood Coast, is an overwhelming job, which is why I am not trying to be inclusive. Here are just a few items which have come to my attention lately, for which we should give thanks.
First, we should give thanks and remembrance to the three loggers who died on the weekend of October 19-20. It doesn’t seem to me that enough attention was paid to these incidents and we can never give enough emphasis to the dangers of logging.
Let’s also, on the verge of the Christmas holiday, remember the 25 or 30 of our friends and neighbors who have lost their jobs due to the closure of Ray’s Food Place in Eureka. I never saw more than two or three customers in the place and I don’t know how they kept it open as long as they did, but it’s gone now. If you know any of those employees, show a little more kindness than usual.
Let’s be grateful for the farsighted educators of Ferndale High School for purchasing a 3-D printer for their engineering class. The friendly staff has advised that Mr. Michael Baggot, 786-5900, can be contacted for a possible appointment to observe the machine. ‘Way to go, Ferndale!
Let’s also be grateful for community groups like the Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers (HASA) who devote many hours to the welfare of our precious Bay. Here is a link to their newsletter, which is a great one. It will take a minute or two to load, but is worth the wait. What a pleasure to see our friends Ben Doane and Pat Higgins and thanks to Casey Allen for keeping me on the mailing list.
Not local but still neat: did you know that there is a movement afoot to install chargers for electric and hybrid vehicles all along Route 66? There’s a festival coming up in Kingman, AZ to commemorate the Mother Road going green.
We can be grateful that despite what seems like an all-out effort by Amtrak to stifle our passenger trains, the Surfliner and the San Joaquin have more riders than ever.
And finally, not local but I bet he’d love the Redwood Coast, movie star Kirk Douglas, who has survived blacklisting, bad movie roles, strokes and God knows what else, has just published his TENTH novel at the age of 94. Long may he wave, and I hope I have his ambition at his age. Have a great holiday and don’t forget to count your blessings.