Proposed Sequoia Conference Facility, How They Used to Travel to SF and Farewell, Penny E.

Yes, I’m one of those nuts who read the legal notices and once in awhile I actually learn something. Today I learned that the HCOE has filed for a negative declaration for their proposed new 9200 sq ft Sequoia Conference Center to be built in the underused northeast sector of the current HCOE campus at Myrtle and West. The new  Center will have a capacity “of up to 350 occupants to serve as training and meeting space for HCOE employees, teachers, and staff members”. The two modular buildings at the back of the lot will be removed and their functions (nursing and nutritional programs) will be absorbed into the current facility.  The new building will include “public restrooms, a serving and warming kitchen with a food service arrangement , a large meeting space (able to be made into two meeting rooms by means of an operable wall system), an entry/lobby area, an administrative office space/meeting room with a public reception counter, and a truck unloading berth” according to the notice.

Other site improvements will include: ADA compliant access ramps and routes, parking lot re-striping to accommodate 27 new parking spaces, a four-foot vine-covered fence along West Avenue, parking lot islands and planters, new LED lighting, sewer realignment and fire supply lines and a new hydrant and “reconstruction of the Myrtle Avenue driveway to include a dedicated right-turn exit lane.”  School buses currently parked there will be removed to the Glen Paul site.

Those of us who have had the unlovely task of trying to find suitable meeting space in this town are drooling on our keyboards, and we can only hope that the HCOE will continue to make its meeting spaces available when not needed for HCOE business. I remember when the Redwood Tech Consortium used to meet out there. This room will hold more than the Wharfinger or the Aquatic Center and nearly as many as the Adorni, which claims to hold 400 but I think that’s with people sitting on each other’s laps.  There is a comment period, starting yesterday and ending January 7.  Comments go to the HCOE at 901 Myrtle Ave and you can review the whole study at that address or at the Main Library. Let’s hope that this work goes to some LOCAL contractors for a change.

The Overland Auto Stage Company- The Humboldt Historian in the current Winter 2013 issue carries a wonderful article by Robert Palmrose about travel to the Bay Area before the railroad. It was a two- day project during the years 1908-1913 and the article (the whole issue) is must reading but I cannot provide a link as the issue has yet to be added to their archives. A shameless plug: a $30 membership to the Humboldt Historical Society is a wonderful gift for anyone you’re doing business with. Buy one for someone and if you haven’t done so, join up. You’ll be glad you did.

PENNY ELSEBUSCH-I was saddened to hear that Penny Elsebusch has died. I had dinner with her and some other folks in October and she was the same Penny as ever. I used to sit with her and Dave at the old Harbor Group meetings and saw them regularly at Chamber meetings. They were regulars at the Taxpayers’ League (which I am not) also. Dave has been gone for two years now, and both of them were wonderful people who will be missed. Goodbye, Penny.  Whenever I hear the sounds of the races at Redwood Acres, I’ll be thinking of you both.

 

 

 

Is There A Redwood Curtain? Was there ever?

I have a pretty good memory and I ‘ve lived a lotta years . One thing I DON’T remember until recent years is people making believe there is such a thing as the “Redwood Curtain”.

When I was growing up, we felt pretty darn connected to the Bay Area. We went to San Francisco to shop for school clothes. In high school, we slept with our transistor radios (remember?)  under our pillows so we could listen to Les Crane on KGO. Yes, we knew it was a more exciting world down there but we didn’t confuse a long and winding road with a “Curtain” of any kind. The City was just a few queasy hours away (I was one of those kids who got carsick, usually right around Grundy’s, until I started high school.)  And of course, we had the train, another easy mode of travel.

Tell me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t  the “Redwood Curtain” invented by the same folks who brought us the “Redwood Summer” for better or worse, and stuck around afterward? “Redwood Curtain” invokes the allure of inaccessibility, much as does the annoying habit of referring to Humboldt County as part of the Lost Coast. We’re not lost, folks, never have been, unlike the truly inaccessible coast down in the Mattole.

“Redwood Curtain’ has come to have many different meanings.  The other day I heard someone use “Redwood Curtain” as a shorthand way of saying their office in Eureka didn’t come under the scrutiny that their Bay Area offices did. The folks who are trying to stop the CalTrans improvements at Richardson Grove have gone so far as to designate THAT little stretch of road as “the Redwood Curtain” whlch, if widened, will allow a plague of development and disruption which will surely result in Eureka becoming another Santa Rosa.

What about you? Does the Redwood Curtain exist? Does it affect your business in the form of transportation hassles or some other way? As a consumer, has the internet made you more or less likely to shop out of town? Are you in the “Woodman, Spare that Tree” camp or do you want them to fix the damn road? Let’s hear from YOU! And thanks for visiting.

UPDATE: While I was writing this the Historical Society presented Ray Hillman at the library on the topic “Links to the Bay Area” and I asked him where the term “Redwood Curtain” had originated. By the end of the day I had heard from Arlene Hartin, Ray Raphael, Bill Kier and Jerry Rhode, the cream of local historians. With these folks on the case, there will surely be an answer. Mr. Kier had an interesting theory that the term derived from the “Iron Curtain” which was in the news daily during the ‘Fifties.  Watch this space.