Short Ribs and Random Thoughts- July 20 2017

There’s just too much news! Ye’r killing me.

The George Strait Phenom-  Everyone, even the New Yorker,  is celebrating Strait, whose  longevity in country music is amazing.  I have a G Strait story myself. During my Hawaii years, I had a duplex in Waialua, on the North Shore of Oahu, not far from  Schofield  Barracks.  The duplex across from mine had been rented in the past by G Strait when he was a young soldier at Schofield.  The owners, Mr and  Mrs Foo, told me that ever after when he came through Honolulu, he took them out to dinner. I told this to a homeless lady in the Roy’s parking lot who was wearing a George Strait T-Shirt. She said I made her day.

“End of Season”-I haven’t even got used to the idea that it’s summer yet, and the stores are advertising “end of season” sales. That’s so wrong!  

The Kitchen Trial-  I usually don’t comment on the local crime scene but I want to note that in the hubbub surrounding this case, the fact that the young man whose testimony  is most crucial is an HONOR STUDENT.  Can you imagine living though that chaos ?  I hope someone helps him with college.

Two Things You Don’t Know About Me-  I have never taken a selfie.  And I have never watched Game of Thrones.

The Parklets Abide-  remember when Rob Holmlund was first pushing the idea of parklets in Eureka?  I objected to losing more parking in Old Town.  A couple of days ago there was a followup in the Times-Standard.  Apparently a volunteer force from  Old Town businesses was entrusted to monitor parking and concluded that, hey, there’s PLENTY of parking in Old Town.  I’m a big fan of Mr Holmlund but my experience has been different.   The DAY BEFORE the piece came out in the T-S,  I tried to pick up a watch from Ten Window Williams.   When I had dropped it off, I found parking within a block.  When I came back (at 3 pm, carefully avoiding the lunchtime rush) there was nothing on the whole block except a half-space not big enough for an Isetta. Remember those? I ended up parking illegally on the sidewalk. I’m looking at having PT or surgery or both to improve my mobility but even if you’re not disabled THERE’S NOT ENOUGH PARKING IN OLD TOWN. Period. End of story.

Tour de France–  Do you watch it?  It’s the best low-rent travelogue on the air. Sometimes I even see places where I’ve been. It’s great TV. 

Benbow construction continues-  the $10M revamp of the Benbow was supposed to be completed July 17 but is now expected to continue until October.  It will be gorgeous and accessible then but right now the rear entrance is no more and those dreadful steps up the front are the only access.  I love the Benbow but we’ve cancelled a birthday party and I’m sure they’re losing a lot of other  business too. Let’s hope they finish up fast. 

I’m a Democrat and not at all religious,  but last night I found myself praying for Sen. John McCain.  I really did.






It didn’t make any of the local papers but Eureka businessman Don Davenport stood up at the July 21 meeting of the Eureka City Council and made an impassioned plea for more parking in Henderson Center.  Mr Davenport and I have had our differences in the past, but on this subject he’s absolutely right.  Last Monday I tried to meet a  friend who volunteers at the Cancer Society and drove around for fifteen minutes trying to find parking.  I finally resorted to the Rite-Aid lot, where I squeezed into a space that was already occupied by a scooter. Pathetic!

I asked everyone I could buttonhole what the problem was and no one knew. Here’s a wild guess: there’s not enough parking in Henderson Center!!  And with two new restaurants (Zöe and Diver Bar& Grill)  slated to open in the next few weeks, the situation in Henderson Center is only going to get worse.

It’s no better downtown. I routinely drive around Old Town looking for parking and go elsewhere when I can’t find it.  And I have a disabled placard! That means I’m not just looking for marked disabled parking, but ANY parking because I can use the placard in any marked space. I still end up driving elsewhere because there’s not enough parking.

What are our city officials doing about this problem? Making it worse!  Mr. Rob Holmlund, the city’s Community Development Director, has drawn a bead on the few available spaces and would like to see some of them set aside for “parklets”. Thank God the current proposal is only for four such spaces and we’ll all be curious to see if the property owners and merchants in Old Town really benefit from clearing space in front of their businesses. Considering the large population of homeless and poorly-housed folks within a block or two of the proposed “parklets”,  will it really be shoppers who fill the spaces?  We’ll see.

I believe Mr Holmlund’s well-intentioned proposal would be more suitable for Los Altos than for Eureka. 

Ditto for his similarly well-intentioned desire to preserve the neighborhood markets of yesteryear. Yes, neighborhood markets are a great convenience but most of them are just getting by. I miss Songer’s and Cannam’s too but nostalgia won’t pay the bills.  I wish Handee Market and the others all the best,  and hope they survive but if they survive it won’t be because of city planning.  It will be because they’re filling a need. And they have nearby parking.