The Stoplight

The long-awaited stoplights at the corner of Walnut and Fern are hanging from their prospective poles, wrapped in what looks like brown paper bags.  They’ve been hanging for a few days now.  I guess we’re waiting for a big hand to come out of the sky and activate things.  A little while ago there was a truck with a big reel of copper wire but he’s gone.  It’s convenient that there’s a Farmers’ Insurance office at the corner because there are sure to be a few fenderbenders when the lights turn on.  Don’t look up !  Look ahead of you.! 

The backstory is HERE.

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Harassed at the Cutten Post Office! Beware the Trump thugs!

I went to my post office Monday as I do most days and I parked in the empty disabled space right by the front door.  I mention this because I have a small      4″x 4″ sticker on my car that says “Stop Bigotry” with a styled graphic (not a cartoon) of Trump that makes him look better than he does.  You have to be right next to the car to even see it.

As I got into the PO a young guy about 30, six feet, bland looking with short hair and a beard, approached me and asked me if I was voting for Hillary or for Trump. Hillary, of course, I replied. He proceeded to tell me, as fact, that Bill and Hillary were responsible for 88 murders so I guess he was an Alex Jones fan.  If I had wanted to converse with him, I would have told him that getting away with 88 murders is quite an accomplishment for someone in the public eye but I didn’t want to hear any more so I just walked down the hall to my PO box.  

I took my mail and started to leave but the guy had waited for me and now he wanted to talk about Benghazi.  I told him to look it up on Snopes and headed for the door. He still wouldn’t shut up and I ended up calling him an asshole.  He drove away in a white pickup.

The next day I called the main post office and asked what I should do if it happens again. They suggested calling “the local police”.  And I would suggest if this happens to you, saying very loudly “Don’t talk to me”. Then if they persist, call the cops.  You never know. They might show up.

Those of you who know me, know that I’m 5’2″, am about to turn 69 years old and park in a disabled space. Wonder if he would  have picked on someone his own size?

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The Bees

It was a Suddenlink guy who gave me the word. “You’ve got a beehive on your garage!”

There it was:  a delicate construct of paper right under the eaves.  The bees were hanging out in the flowery bush near the garage door.  They were busy but not aggressive.  The hive would require  someone standing on a ladder to remove it.  What to do?

I consulted my ‘neighbors” NextDoor and two of them referred me to the same beekeeper. The Humboldt Beekeepers website had about 100 people listed who might be approached to remove and harbor bee colonies. I didn’t want to call 100 people, so I called the fellow recommended by my Neighbors.  He was very pleasant.  We made an appointment. He didn’t show. I called him. We rescheduled. He didn’t show again. I called him a third time.  I never heard back.

Then my friend Conan Cavanaugh up in McKinleyville told me that Bob Smith was a beekeeper. Bob Smith is One Of The Best People In Humboldt,  and you know him as one of the founders of Mad River Brewing.  I reached him through the brewery and he journeyed to my place in Cutten to review the situation. “They’re not bees”, he said, although they looked for all the world like small bees. They were officially wasps,  and could be removed by hosing the hive at twilight or after dark.  I felt bad that I’d caused him to make a trip to Cutten for no reason. That’s okay, he said.  He was on his way to a practice in Eureka with his bagpipe band.

Only in Humboldt…

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Welcome to Our City, Chief Mills

     Sometimes the consultants get it right. 

     The headhunters charged with finding us a new police chief- excuse me, I meant another new police chief- stated it correctly: “Eureka is unique, a rural area with serious urban issues.” Chief Mills is apparently going into this with his eyes wide open. And I guess it’s just a coincidence that the Chief is arriving just at a time when I feel my home town being taken away from me.

     I live a simple life. When I moved into my very average house in Cutten, all I demanded  was a good yard for dogs, closeby amenities like a grocery to minimize driving and  a sense of safety and security. Do I still have it? Not so much,  since a few months ago when a parolee from Oregon went on a rampage starting at Walnut and Redwood and smashed a few car windows before racing through my neighbors’ backyards before eventually being apprehended nearby.  Why he skipped my yard is a mystery.  Maybe he’s afraid of old dogs. All I know is, the tranquility is gone. 

     There was a time when I could walk my dog in Sequoia Park. Not any more. There are too many shady characters lurking along the pathways looking for a quick pickup or a drug deal. Some of them were involved in a shooting on Glatt Street the other day. But the real reason I can’t walk my dog there anymore is the huge number of unleashed or unsupervised dogs. The folks who enter the park on the Glatt Street side walk right past the sign advising that all pets must be on a leash. A large family approached me with a pit bull that was on a leash,  alright, but it was one of those extendable leashes and they thought it was just hilarious to let their dog growl and snap at my dog while letting it approach to within about half an inch. My dog was terrified and tried to get away. I ended up face down in the mud but managed to hang onto my dog. Then I had to listen to how sorry they were. I regret to this day I didn’t call the police but I was so shaken up I didn’t even get their license.

      So there’s assignment No. 1, Chief. Reclaim Sequoia  Park for us.  Instead of parking a black and white on W Street to catch those villains (like me) who don’t come to a complete stop at the corner, how about putting a black and white near the Glatt Street entrance?  A little deterrence there could do wonders. Let’s try it.  

     As I said, I live a simple life.  I shop at Winco at least twice a month but now that people are being carjacked in the Winco parking lot in broad daylight, it doesn’t seem as welcoming as it used to. Or as safe. Can you help us with ensuring folks can patronize our biggest grocery store without placing themselves and their kids in jeopardy? We’d sure appreciate it.

     I suppose you’ve heard about the series of spectacular car-pedestrian and car-motorcyle collisions.  Fifth Street is a death trap for pedestrians, especially those of us who actually try to use the clearly marked crosswalks, especially at the corner by Denny’s. When I took driving at Eureka High, they used to tell us that “pedestrians have the right of way in California”.  How about a little enforcement? It couldn’t hurt, could it?  I turn at the intersection of H and Hodgson nearly every day of my life.  I am usually impressed with the politeness  of the other drivers but that wreck the other day hit pretty close to home.  It’s sobering to think that the only thing between you and sudden death is a split second of someone  else’s attention. A stoplight or an officer nearby would do wonders. 

     So Chief, we’re glad to have you here,  and glad that you’re going to go through with this career change although it must have been disconcerting to learn that the fellow who hired you is moving on himself after only nine months on the job. When you need a break,  take a stroll through the Sequoia Park gardens.  One of your  predecessors and his wife have devoted thousands of hours to maintaining the flowers because the city can’t afford to. It’s that kind of town. 

     Welcome to Eureka .