FREE hospitality classes

From the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau:

“All front desk staff, concierge and visitor-serving employees in Humboldt County’s hospitality industry are invited to attend a free concierge classroom at the Humboldt Bay Tourism Center.

According to the release, the class will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both Monday, May 2 and Monday, May 9, and include a free lunch. The tourism center is located at 205 G Street in Old Town Eureka.

The release states that the courses will feature Paul McNally, the manager of the Ingomar Club, who will talk about hospitality etiquette, including dress, grooming, speech and behavior to provide “World Class Service”; Cari Shafer, manager of the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka, who will discuss front desk customer service issues and service recovery for “Making It Right”; and Alegria Sita, wedding officiant and owner of Gala Weddings & Events, who will provide tips on how to make referrals, assist guests and convince them to “Stay Another Day.”

Participants will also get a free Humboldt canvas tote bag, according to the release.

Call or email the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau at 707-4435097 or admin@redwoods.info to reserve a spot in one of these classes.”

I am delighted to see another of these programs come along.  They are needed periodically. I blogged before about taking a visitor to the old Seafood Grotto where she asked the waitress what there was to do in the area and the waitress answered “Nothing”.  Then she asked about the oyster stew and the waitress wrinkled her nose and said “Eeeww! I wouldn’t eat those things!”  They closed shortly after.  Wonder where she’s working now?

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Aviation News

A lot of hoopla was generated to welcome the “new” service at ACV yesterday (jet vs prop, bigger planes) but the Country’s Aviation Advisory Committee couldn’t come up with a quorum for its November 24th meeting. A number of important items were listed on the agenda for that day, including “Nominations and elections of HCAAC Board Members” and the annual presentation /status report to the Supervisors.  An additional meeting of the HCAAC has been scheduled for Dec 15, apparently to deal with that. It was mentioned during the non-meeting that the airport will be issuing a press release around Christmas to address drone registration and assistance  available from ACV and from the FAA.

Meanwhile the folks in Redding have added a new daily flight to SFO, the story HERE.  
Redding now has three flights daily to SFO, just like we do.   It is clear that community support is very, very important in luring air service to Humboldt.

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Yowza! Your neighbors are making piles of $$$ thru Air BnB! Or not.

Would anyone, I wondered idly, be crazy enough to list their place in Humboldt on Air B and B?  Well, apparently over 200 of you in Eureka have signed up, see HERE,  and in the other towns, there must be even more. Check it out!  You may see your neighbors’ house!!

You’ll surely see some houses you recognize, and the Eureka listings include a popup trailer and a couple of boats. I had no idea.  Really.

 

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Annals of Customer Service

 

This really happened.
I was shopping for a winter jacket at a local store which shall be nameless (because this could have happened anywhere in Humboldt) . I found one that looked right but it had a fur collar- not exactly my style,  plus I figured it was fake anyway. I flagged down a salesclerk and asked if it was real. She went to consult someone and came back saying, “Yes, it’s real. It’s fox.”

FOX!  I couldn’t believe it. “Isn’t that an endangered species?” I asked.  I don’t know whether they’re endangered or not.  My neighbor says there are foxes in our ‘hood in Cutten but I never see them.

“No, it’s really fox”, the clerk said.  “It’s right here on the tag. See?”

I looked at the tag.   It said “FAUX”, not “fox’.  I explained the difference.  She was sort of interested.

That incident made me wonder what local employers are doing for customer service training now that the Eureka Adult School is no more. Years ago, the Chamber sponsored training for retail employees.  The legend is that their training got its start when the waitstaff at the old Seafood Grotto were heard telling visitors who asked what there was to do in Eureka, “Nothing”.  The Chamber is under financial duress at present and I would’t expect any expensive initiatives from them for awhile.  

Retail is critically important in this County; it provides thousands of jobs, not all of which are minimum wage jobs.  It provides training; most people’s first jobs were in retail.  Retail trains people to communicate,  problem solve, handle cash and a dozen other skills. 

Including, maybe,  the ability to distinguish “faux’ from “fox.” The fake fox fur turned out to be detachable.  I’m trying to decide if I should give it to the dogs to play with or if that would encourage aggression toward small critters.  I guess I’ve already done irreparable harm with all the “squeaky” toys I’ve given them. The faux mice and faux birdies have taken their toll.

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Let’s Talk About Guns

 

(PLEASE SEND YOUR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, WHO ARE SUFFERING GREATLY THIS WEEK.)

When it comes to guns, everyone’s got an opinion. What I am presenting here are not opinions, but statistics that were gathered by a gun enthusiast from South Carolina, Dr. John Rheney, who has been the outdoor columnist for the Orangeburg Times & Democrat since 1984. Click HERE for his complete article.  They are followed by some California statistics from the State departments of Public Health and Justice.  If you have information to the contrary, kindly post it with your sources or better yet a link.  Enjoy!

Seven per cent (7%) of Americans hunt.

A survey found that 32 percent (32%) of Americans either own firearms or live with someone who does. This is down from 50% in the late ’70’s.

In 1977, a third of Americans lived in a household with at least one hunter.  In 2014, that number had declined to 16%.

While the number of guns being sold has held steady or increased, the guns are being concentrated in fewer hands.  22% of Americans own a gun as opposed to 31% in 1985.

About 35% of men and 12% of women own a firearm. 31% of people over 35 years old own a firearm.  Only 14% of people under 35 do.

Republican households owning guns: 50%.  Democrats: 25%.

Whites are twice as likely to own a gun than other races. People with higher incomes are much more likely to own guns than the poor.

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It’s mating season!!

No, not for you- for our ungulate friends at Prairie Creek and elsewhere on the North Coast. For the next couple of weeks, the elk will be sorting out their family matters and in some instances providing a loud and graphic demonstration of the mating process and its accompanying battles. A link to the appropriate Visitors’ Centers is HERE and the folks at Prairie Creek, 488-2039, are very helpful.  Check in with them for tips on safe viewing and give your kids a seasonal treat.

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Here’s the Humboldt Anglers’ Summer Newsletter

The Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers have provided their beautiful and informative newsletter again. It can take a few minutes to download but it is definitely worth the wait. In the near future our salmon and Black Rockfish populations are in trouble.

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Tower Bridge Fundraiser Sells Out In 15 Seconds

Sacramento’s Tower Bridge is the venue for a farm-to-fork dinner coming up on September 27 which sold out nearly 700 tickets in 15 seconds. That can happen with online fundraising.  Ticket prices ranged from $175 to $625, and the Sac Convention & Visitors Bureau’s CEO was heard wishing he had a bigger bridge to work with.

Now I’m NOT for one minute suggesting we have a dinner on the Samoa Bridge. People would be shivering so hard the structural integrity would be threatened.  But I think the concept of using an unlikely venue is a great one.  Isn’t everyone tired of the Wharfinger? Everyone is tired of seeing men traipse around in high heels, too. It stopped being funny about forty years ago when women quit wearing them. 

We have some great possibilities here.  The Timber Heritage Society has rolling stock at Samoa that could be used for excursion runs to Eureka. What about the recently closed fire station near Myrtle/West? Everyone loves fire stations. For that matter, what about the OLD fire station on J Street near Eureka High? That is a really neat building inside. Maybe you could charge for giving people a chance to slide down the pole. Hey, I’m trying. 

My point is, before you plan another pancake breakfast or car wash, think about our unique resources and use them as intelligently as the folks in Sac have done. They’re just like us, except they have more money. 

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OYSTER FESTIVAL-Too Big For the Plaza?

It was only a couple of days before Saturday’s Festival that I took a really good look at the festival map. I discovered to my horror that the powers-that-be at Arcata Main Street had decided to eliminate the parking lot/shuttle stop on Samoa Boulevard down around K Street “due to not enough use”, as the staffer told me when I called to complain. Their revised plan was to cut off access to the Plaza from the North so that anyone who rode the shuttles and got off at their stops on 11th Street had to walk all the way down to 7th Street to get access.

I know three extra blocks doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re (hopefully temporarily) disabled as I am that’s a real issue. I’m using a cane due to a recent knee replacement and three blocks is beyond my comfort zone so I called Arcata Main Street and spoke with a nice person who directed me to their “ADA parking” off 7th Street. Those dear folks, with all the good intentions in the world, had set side a big fat 16 parking spaces for a festival expected to attract 16,000 oyster fans. Even the person I was speaking to realized how silly that sounded. I don’t recall the actually ADA setasides for outdoor Festivals but it’s a helluva lot more than 1 in 1000. 

So we ended up showing up at before 8am in order to get a closeby parking space. In a way, it was great because by the time the Plaza got hot and crowded, we were ready to go home. On the other hand, when you leave at noon you miss a lot of stuff.  I found myself wondering WHY the Festival is on the Plaza in the first place. There’s no connection between the Plaza and the Oysters and the Festival disrupts the Farmers’ Market every year. Moving it to the Community Center would lost the “Festival” aspect. The Festival should be held on the BAY!!  Woodley Island isn’t part of Arcata Main Street’s domain plus it’s too small and getting everyone on and off the island would be a nightmare.  But looking ahead to an era when lots of interesting developments are coming up in Samoa, I hope that one day the Festival will expand its footprint,  reducing the congestion.  We can only hope.

Congratulations to AMS and their volunteers for another successful Festival, but let’s put a little more thought into the arrangements next year. 

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