Here for your enjoyment is the January economic index from Dr Escker and his hard-working crew. Home sales and employment were up in January, retail sales. hospitality and lumber were all down.
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.
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.
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.
Social Security wants my sister’s birth certificate. Her copy is in a storage locker in Sonora, she thinks. I head down to the Courthouse. It’s drizzling.
For the first time ever, I try parking in the gravel lot at the North end of the building. Big mistake. I drive a lowslung car. The lot consists of huge cavities in the gravel. My car rocks back and forth as I pull into a space, listening to the oil pan scraping the gravel. I wouldn’t call it “accessible” but at least it’s on the same block. After a long, long walk back to the front entrance, I go through the security line. A table near the elevator is marked “Courthouse Information.” A young man fields inquiries while not missing a beat of his cellphone conversation. I need to go to the 5th Floor, which means going to the 4th, then switching elevators to ride to the 5th.
I enter the offices of the Clerk/Recorder. The view from here is normally stunning, but today it’s gray and dismal. There are four or five workers inside and one woman who appears to be doing research of some kind. The workers approach helpfully. I only need one.
I have already downloaded and filled out the request form. A pleasant man says he’ll be back in five minutes. He is. I pay the $25 for a super-official document because I really don’t know what kind they want.
In the elevator I look at the certificate. I remember her doctor, a nice man who died in a plane crash, leaving a young family. Remembering him makes me sad.
The drizzle continues.
Do you love dogs? Sure.
Do you love OPD (Other Peoples’ Dogs)? Uh, not so much.
Well, as of January 1, California restaurants with patio spaces will be allowed to serve dogs right along with their owners, assuming the owners are human. This “change” will probably affect Humboldt less than more urban regions because plenty of local eateries are already allowing dogs. The rules are that the patios must have separate entrances so that the doggies don’t enter the restaurant itself and they continue to be banned from food preparation areas. The new rule does NOT mandate that dogs must be allowed on patios; that’s up to the proprietors. Nor does it change any of the rules on bona fide service animals.
I’m a dog owner who does not envision taking my dog to a restaurant in this lifetime. For one thing, she’d eat everything in sight. For another, she’d never be able to share space with one of those cute fuzzy little dogs that look and sound exactly like her squeak-toys. The other question is, do I want to share a table with someone else’s dog? When MY dog drools on the table, it’s cute. When YOUR dog does it, it’s disgusting.
I’m all in favor of consumer choice, so when I pass by a patio cafe where chows are chowing down in favor of a human-only environment, that’s a valid choice. I wonder how the majority of Humboldt diners will react to their new dining companions.
Just returned from the Bay Area and found this message in my in-box. Came as quite a shock since I closed my PayPal account a year ago, mostly because I was tired of all the emails and warnings about mischief with PayPal accounts. All they wanted was for me to update my credit card details. Yeah, right.
IF you receive something like this, go to the PayPal website and click the “Contact Us” button. PayPal will ask you to forward the bogus message to them so they can investigate.
The world is full of dreadful people, isn’t it?
The first ten channels on the television in the Super 8 on the Alameda in San Jose were Indian. Bollywood Indian, not tribal Indian. So was the entire staff of the motel, including the studious young man who jiggled the reservations to find us a room that we would take a day earlier than planned without having to change rooms after the first night. We had planned to come down Friday but when my cousin called and said my sister was “in crisis” we started driving south, badly packed and apprehensive.
My friend Chris did most of the driving while I fretted. Thinking about my sister, thinking about when we were kids, thinking about what shape she would be in, or whether she would still be alive, since my brother-in law’s cell wasn’t responding. When we got to Valley Medical Center, we discovered it was still under construction. We went into three wrong parking lots before finding the right one. The clerk at the desk was very calm when giving us directions to her room so we figured the news couldn’t be too bad. When we got to her room my brother-in-law and a cousin were there. My sister had “stabilized” during the night, they said. She was unrecognizable – breathing mask over her nose, stuck full of needles and cables and hoses, but she could squeeze my hand.
She had been poked in so many places that her skin was mostly blotchy purple. They were concerned about bleeding in her stomach so she couldn’t have liquids. They would let her suck on a sponge, then five minutes later she’d ask for another. She can’t remember anything but they said this may be temporary. The nurses are wonderful. All the sappy things you’ve heard about nurses being angels is true. They are.
She is restrained so she won’t pull out the nose clip that ‘s feeding her oxygen and the food tube that also goes up her nose. She pulled out the nose thing in just an instant with both me and my brother-in-lay standing right there, she was so quick. At the end of the day they released her from the restraints and a minder or sitter was assigned to watch her overnight. Did I mention this is a wonderful hospital? The next day I stayed with her, mostly making the tiny adjustments to her bedding that become supremely important when you’re bedridden. I dared Chris to find something interesting in San Jose and he called from a Japanese garden that he said was first rate. I couldn’t talk him into going to the Rosicrucian Center, right near the hospital. A couple more family members came by. My sister was more lucid. The crisis had passed. We had a late Japanese dinner near North Fourth Street. It was wonderful.
Monday I had to make the drive back to Eureka. The drive seems longer every time. It occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a haole or Anglo other than our family members for days.
The Humboldt Economic Index. produced by Dr. Erick Eschker and his team at the Economics Department of HSU, does not show a pretty picture this month. The leading indicators are, shall we say, mixed.
Lumber is up, but Hospitality, Retail and Home Sales were down in July, as were building permits and help-wanted advertising. On the positive side, manufacturing orders are up slightly and UI claims are down. The national jobless rate declined to 6.1 percent in June while the unemployment rate was 7.2, virtually the same as the State as a whole.
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for: gas prices. “Both California and the Northern California region have seen 8% decreases in their average gas prices this month, while Eureka’s average price stayed at $4.25 in June.” Enjoy the report, and our continued thanks to the HSU team.
A new law just signed by Governor Brown (AB 2486) and effective immediately allows wine and cider tasting at Farmers’ Markets under the following conditions:
-The wineries (or cideries) must grow ALL the fruit in their product
-Only one winery can hold tastings on a given day
-Each Farmers’ Market can determine whether to hold testings
-The tasting area must be cordoned off
-Samples are limited to 3 ounces of wine or cider per adult customer.
The bill, which was authored by Assemblyman Mark Levine, D-San Rafael, passed both houses UNANIMOUSLY.
The delightfully named Portia Bramble of the North Coast Growers’ Association reported that Winnett Vineyards from Willow Creek would be a likely participant at the Arcata Farmers’ Market, at least by next season. This is one story which does not seem to have a downside.