SAFEWAY IS HIRING!!

In Eureka, anyway. Good local Union jobs! Everyone starts out part-time. Do not be fooled by the phone listings in the phone book. The first is actually the pharmacy,   the second answers with a fax tone.
 No, instead go online at Safeway.com, click on “careers’ and download the application form then call the customer service number, 269-0133, when you’re ready to bring it in. Good luck!

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We’re Gonna Have a BOAT PARADE!!!

The Greater Eureka Chamber announces in its newsletter that on Saturday, July 11 a Lighted Boat Parade will be held in conjunction with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  “The Lighted Boat Parade will showcase beautifully decorated boats of all sizes adorned with a dazzling array of lights and sounds, circling the Bay from the Eureka Public Marina to Halvorsen Park beginning at 8:30 PM.”

The City of Eureka,  Eureka Main Street,  the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum,  the M/V Madaket, and the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center have joined forces with the Chamber to coordinate this event.

We haven’t had a parade like this in years, or if we did, I missed it.  The last time we  were supposed to have a boat parade I and several other cars full of folks drove around the Adorni Parking lot looking in vain for a parade. This time it’s for real!

“To participate in the boat parade, please contact Amanda at Eureka Main Street at 442-9054.” 

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MY FAVORITE BUSINESSES- Shopping at the Grocery Outlet

When I first discovered the Grocery Outlet, they were in a slightly different location than they are now. The old place was in the same part of town, I just can’t remember where, so if anyone does, tell us please. The old one was a bit more adventurous for the shopper. The used to carry jams from Turkey and honey from places like Moldova. Every visit was an adventure. If you saw something you liked, you had to just grab it because it might disappear, never to return.

Since the move, it’s a different experience. Gone is the schadenfreude I used to feel from mixing with the hoipoloi.  These days I’m one of them, and glory in my identification with the 99%. GO is evolving, too.  Nowadays, like Safeway, they send you emails about their current offerings. I go about once a month (my food comes from Winco, COSTCO, Murphy’s and Safeway, in pretty much that order). I always go when there’s a food drive on.  Not only can you fill your bag cheaply, they stock the kinds of food you want for a food drive- canned soups and stews, peanut butter, tuna. I go to buy for the food drive,  then end up buying more stuff for myself than for Food for People. This last time GO was featuring Harris Ranch ground beef in 3 lb chubs for $10 and change. Considering the godawful rise in GB prices lately ($4.99/lb at Safeway) this is a no-brainer.  Made two meat loaves.

They still have the weird imports and the domestic non-starters too.  I bought tapenade from Peru and low-sugar marmalade from Smucker’s for $1.99.  (The NO-sugar version version goes for over $3 at Murphy’s.) They have Irish cheese and I picked up some Stilton, very cheap. They have a lot more fresh produce than they used to and their beer prices are excellent.  Definitely the first stop when I’m giving a party. 

So if you haven’t been  there, give GO a try.  Nice people,  good prices.  And on top of everything else, it’s just across the parking lot from Mike’s DriveUp,  of Garlic Fries fame.  I’ve never appreciated the Garlic Fries,  but Mike’s is the only place in Humboldt -as far as I know-  where you can get an LA Tommy’s-style cheeseburger, sloppy. drippy, gooey. With chili? Of course.

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The REAL High Crime Counties

The data crunchers at FindTheHome have an interesting approach . If you count robbery as a “violent” crime as opposed to a mere property” crime,  the “high crime” areas shift and San Francisco becomes the highest crime area in the State! Take a look at this great interactive graphic that shows, among other things, that Del Norte’s crime rate is twice ours.  I always knew Crescent City was a pit.  I just didn’t have proof.

I think this statistic-  how likely are you to be a victim of crime in general- is a lot more useful than splitting it up.  YMMV.  It’s a great map.  Have fun with it.

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SUPPORT THE LETTER CARRIERS’ FOOD DRIVE

Tomorrow, Saturday May 9, you have two painless opportunities to do something good for the community. Take that plastic bag that was left for you earlier this week, or any other bag, fill it with food for those in need, and set it out for your letter carrier to pick up tomorrow. Save gas! Save hassle! Help someone!

This is a huge undertaking.  Last year’s NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) food drive netted 43,409 pounds of food, which amounted to a third of all food donations received by Food for People last year. Food for People helped 12,000 people in Humboldt County last year,  half of whom were children. 10% of our population needs help to have regular meals. You all know the statistics.  They translate into hungry seniors and kids, among others. 

Those of you who have the pleasure of knowing me know that I never give a party without setting out a can for FFP donations. One of my neighbors used to bring over all her expired food.  She’s passed away now but when I think of her, that’s the first thing that comes to mind, that she was chintzy with the food drive. Don’t be that guy! Fill up those bags! (I use Grocery Outlet) and give till it hurts.  Then to reward yourself cruise by the Zoo and enjoy the Brew at the Zoo from 4-8pm.  Another great weekend in Humboldt!

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The RCMF 2014

Before the memories have faded, I wanted to say something about the Redwood Coast Music Festival,  formerly the Jazz Festival,  that wrapped up a couple of weeks ago. This year we had the added pleasure of being able to show out-of-town friends why Humboldt is so special. 

The headliners were a mixed bag. Dana Fuchs was very theatrical, very talented but left us cold. Curtis Delgado,  on the other hand, was a complete knockout, and I can’t believe I’d never heard of the guy. He has several songs on You Tube. Other knockouts included the Au Brothers and Miskha Lake, both from New Orleans. 

Then there were the dancers. Ah, the dancers.  How do they learn that stuff? And the kids!  If I had learned to dance like that as a kid…You look around and there are a few faces missing from last year. But there are always the kids.  And there will always be more. 

The Music Festival is expected to raise $300,000 for local causes this year. What a wonderful way to spend a Spring weekend1  See you next year.

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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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.