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. 

A Call From St Joe’s

I had knee replacement surgery at St Joe’s in December.  I’m the only person I know who still has operations done locally- everyone else seems to be going to St Helena or elsewhere. Me, I’m stubborn.  I live five minutes from St Joe’s and if I’m unhappy with my treatment I want to be able to find my doctor quickly and yell at him/her at length if needed.  So I stayed local.

This morning I got a call from a young man (he sounded young) asking me to “participate in a quality assurance survey regarding my recent experience at St. Joseph’s”.  I explained that my experience wasn’t over. I am still under their care and don’t have my closeout visit for another month. He consulted his instructions and said nothing required the treatment to be OVER before the evaluation. I questioned the value of doing an evaluation of a course of medical treatment that hadn’t been completed but he wanted to press on. Okay,  we’ll go on.

Now he asked:  how would I evaluate the check-in procedure? I had absolutely no recollection of checking in, except that it took place at 5AM which is an ungodly hour. He seemed to accept this.

Next question was: How would I evaluate the treatment I received from the staff?  Which staff, I asked.  Are you asking about the surgeon, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, who?  Which staff?  It just says, Staff, he replied.

At that point I cut my losses and told him I had better things to do than participate in a survey which was totally meaningless.  We all do.

If you get a call like this,- from St Joe’s or elsewhere-  remember it is YOUR time they are helping themselves to. Don’t participate in BS surveys which aren’t gathering useful information,  only being done to cover someone’s ass or to meet some bureaucratic requirement.  The corollary is to speak up or,  better, write a letter when you receive less than your due.  It’s up to us to write effective and fact-based letters of complaint.  Like the one St Joe’s is going  to get if they call me again with that survey.

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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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Humboldt Saltwater Anglers’ Update

We are always proud to share the Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers’ newsletter because a) it’s informative and b) it LOOKS so good.  Here is the latest from this stellar organization. It takes a while to load.  Good things are worth waiting for.

Annals of Customer Service- TriCounty Bank and CCCU

When I saw that strange-looking letter, I knew it meant trouble. Here was a letter from BOTH North Valley Bank and Tri-Counties Bank, which has absorbed them.  At the bottom were TWO signatures, one from each bank. When I worked at Pearl Harbor, the CO used to say, “Split responsibility is no  responsibility.”  The Old Man was right. 

The letter was dated October 3 and notified me that as of October 25, a new servicer, Tri-County, ‘will be collecting your mortgage payments from you” and exhorted me to send all payments due on or after October 25 to TriCounties Bank at a Chico address.  I called both numbers to find out that to expect. My mortgage payments are automatically deducted from my Coast Central account.  I called Coast Central and both of the numbers on the letter. No one knew anything except that one person thought that TriCounties would be sending me a letter, maybe even telling me what my new account number would be. Nothing came.

I called Tri-Counties again and was told that all the information was in the packet that was sent to me. I explained that no packet had been sent. Finally they told me to visit the TriCounties branch after November 1. On the morning of Monday , November 3, my mortgage payment cleared! Now I could avoid a useless trip to Tri-Counties, right? Oh no, I called and was told by a nice young lady that I had to come in, anyway. I obediently drove to their branch, which was having the signage changed. It turned out the only reason for making me come in was to pick up the stupid packet, WHICH THEY COULD HAVE MAILED TO ME.

Now that I know Tri-Counties is in such dire financial  straits that they cannot afford first-class postage and an envelope, I will be following their fortunes with renewed interest. 

Meanwhile, a Friend of the Blog filed the following: 

“I tried to simply cash a small $260 check (usually $300) from my wife, done monthly , mostly in McKinleyville’s CCCU. Both of us have an account at CCCU. I told the teller my member #. I assume somewhere on their screen it would show that I have 10Kin checking alone. I have lived at the same home address with the same phone number for 43 years and have been a member of CCCU for decades. My CDL was expired and the clerk was not going to let me cash the check without an unexpired CDL. When I pointed out much of the above, I was told that next time I would need an unexpired CDL.  I asked the teller to ask management why? Are they law enforcement? What next, you need to be a currently licensed driver?  I have both a current license and a CA ID card. I have never had a point against my license since I started driving at age 15 1/2. DMV is using the same photo for both.  My credit score is well above 800.  I have a VISA with CCCU. I have two monthly deposits from CAL-PERS and Social Security into this CCCU’s checking. DMV never asked for the expired license. I held onto it thinking it would be a valid Government issue photo ID-  not at CCCU. What a tale of woe.” 

What a tale of woe, indeed. Whatever happened to recognizing your customers?

I drop into Tasty Tacos (in Cutten, on Walnut) every week and when Tom announces “Julie, you’re order’s ready,” all’s right with the world. The banks should be learning from small business. Boy, should they. 

Planes and Trains- Transportation Updates

AIR- Redding gets a grant.  Redding has been awarded a $450,000 grant from the Dept of Transportation in the form of a revenue guarantee to help SkyWest defray the cost of replacing their current turboprop (Embraer Brasilia) service with Canadair Regional Jets, according to the Redding Searchlight Record. The grant requires a $50K match and does NOT guarantee that jets will return to Redding but is a necessary first step in that direction. SkyWest recently pulled out of Modesto and is discontinuing service to Chico in December.

RAIL-HSR is on the way.   The California High-Speed Rail Authority took the first step toward actually buying trains, opening bids for a billion-dollar contract to build trains and maintenance facilities. Siemens, which has a location in Sacramento, will be among the bidders, and interest from Chinese and Japanese manufacturers is expected to be strong. The specs are that the trains must be able to deliver passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in three hours. If Siemens prevails, the economic benefits to the Sacramento area would be substantial.

MORE RAIL- The Economist reminds us that HSR is nothing new, in fact it’s been around for 50 years, just kinda slow in coming to California. Fifty years ago this week the Osaka-Tokyo line commenced operations and has “since whisked 5.6 billion passengers across the country without a single serious accident.  Punctuality?  The average delay is  less than a minute.” Japan’s HSR, at 200 mph,  is actually pokey compared with China’s Shanghai maglev  (430 kph) or the maglev being developed to update the Tokyo-Osaka run to a speedy 500 kph, about an hour’s time. This will cost $47B, but the Japanese have a government that is willing to invest in infrastructure. 

STILL MORE RAIL- Closer to home, a three-judge panel of the 1st District Appellate court found that the North Coast Railroad Authority and its partner the Northwestern Pacific Railroad can expand freight service without further environmental review.  Specifically, the panel found that freight rail traffic is interstate commence and not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act.  The envronmental groups that brought the suit, Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, had not announced at press time whether they would appeal. The NCRA’s next step is to raise $5M to rehabilitate the tracks between Windsor and Cloverdale and to recruit customers for the freight service between Napa and Windsor which currently runs twice a week. 

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