You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

For those of you who missed it, Daniel Mintz’ interview with Allison Jackson in last week’s Independent can be found here on at the Arcata Eye.


Mintz’ interview of Paul Gallegos of last month is also available.


He also interviewed Kathleen Bryson.  Her blog contains some corrections to the article.


And he interviewed Paul Hagen.


The Humboldt Sentinel covered Paul Hagen’s press conference of a couple of weeks ago.  His supporters make some statements (including an amusing slip up early on), then the candidate spoke, and then answered questions from reporters.  He addressed the Code Enforcement Unit at the end of the third clip.

Part one

Part two

Part three


Paul Gallegos recently issued a statement about his most recent sentencing.


And you can hear interviews (some of which have already happened) and candidate debates courtesy of CLMP.  Here’s the schedule.  The past shows should be available in the KMUD archives.  Hagen’s was tonight.  Gallegos’ was a week ago.  Brysons’s was supposed to be last night, but it looks like that was moved.

Dianna Heimstadt, daughter of Eric Heimstadt, is writing about politics, local and national, with some focus on marijuana issues.  Check out The Heimstadt Post.  I met her at the post-legalization economy conference last week.  Her enthusiasm is catching.

We can use more fresh thinking and young blood in the Humblogosphere.

Overheard recently at the Eureka branch of Pete’s New York Style Pizza, while waiting three hungry kids for the waitress who was speaking to a customer on the telephone.

Customer: Wah wah wah (think adult voices in the Peanuts cartoon)

Waitress: Sorry sir.  None of our menu pesto pizzas has artichokes.  However, you can add a topping.

Customer: Wah wah wah wah.

Waitress: That one has tomato sauce, not pesto.  We have only two pizzas with artichoke hearts, and they are both tomato sauce not pesto.

Customer: Wah wah wah.

Waitress: Well sir, you can order one of the pesto pizzas and add artichoke hearts as an additional topping.

Customer: Wah wah wah wah wah.

Waitress: The only special pizzas we have with artichokes are the tomato sauce pizzas.  You can also substitute pesto for tomato sauce, but that will be a little extra.

Customer: Wah wah.

Waitress:  No, we would have to charge extra.

Customer:  Wah wah wah wah.

Waitress: Sir, you can order any of our pesto pizzas and just add artichoke hearts.

Customer: Wah wah wah.

Waitress: Yes sir.  You don’t have to have all of the toppings.  But if it’s not one of the specials then we have to charge for additional toppings.

And it went on.  With her on-the-job training I should invite the waitress to join the Community Park Board.


Great deal in Eureka at Flips for Kids, the children’s gymnasium in Myrtletown.  For a reasonable price you can leave your kids there on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 to 9.  Lots of kids show and they play while you have some adult time.  Some friends treated my wife and me to a splurge dinner – our first visit to Restaurant 301.  Pricey, but I loved everything I tried.  I’d never tasted anything like their carrot lime soup!  I also recommend the duck, though I wonder why we can eat that fowl medium rare but not chicken.  They have a huge wine list, including bottles priced as high as…. $25,000.00.  Our waiter said that he has yet to sell one of those bottles, and mentioned that they were sweating hard during that last earthquake.

And the kids, they didn’t even miss us.


I guess I’m in the minority, but I’m actually enjoying the Battlestar Galactica spin-off prequel Caprica, which takes place 50 years before the afore-mentioned series and apparently leads up to the first war with robots.  It explores the question of whether artificial intelligence can become sentient to the point where it is entitled to ethical considerations – a theme dating back to Azimov’s I Robot (forget the movie) and further explored in science fiction series ever since.

Well written and brilliantly acted by accomplished stars and new faces.  But what is fascinating about the series aesthetically is the retro-30s combo of decor and garb – both series being reminiscent of the old French sci fi film Alphaville in which very little appeared to be futuristic.  You hear about the advanced technology, but much of it – guns, telephones, even computers – looks pretty 20th century.  Battlestar Galactica looked very much our time, so the throwback series looks like the 30s, complete with fedoras and hair nets.  The idea is to remind us of certain basic human traits which, ostensibly, will hang with us no matter how advanced the technology.  It’s effective.

There’s also a very amusing theme.  The general society is polytheistic.  They are opposed by a terrorist group which is monotheistic, deemed dangerous by the prevailing culture because monotheism adopts moral absolutes which generate destructive results.  The robots in the first series were monotheistic, but this series drives it home so that we don’t confuse the cause as something alien.

The storyline is complex.  There’s very little action.  By all accounts, the audience just doesn’t have the attention span.  I hope it survives to see another season, but given the fate of Firefly and other brilliant but canceled series, my hopes aren’t up.


Ed Gale, the cult-following actor famous for George Lucas’ bomb of a movie Howard the Duck is coming to the Bay Area.  I’d completely forgotten the film.  I’d read the comic book as a kid.  Among many criticisms of the movie was what I’d thought to be Lucas’ insistence on providing some sort of quasi-rational explanation for the presence of a human child-sized duck wandering the neighborhoods of Cleveland.  My interpretation had always been that Howard was a hard working guy living in Cleveland who was normal in every way except that he just happened to be a duck.  Being a duck presents certain problems in society.  Think Kafka’s Metamorphosis and mellow it out a bit – that’s what I’d thought the storyline to be.

But apparently Lucas was loyal to the actual plot.  Alas, Howard came from a planet of talking ducks.  He was skilled in something called “quack fu.”  (Sigh).  Dumbed down from the outset.


And just for fun, Bobo Fett (am I spelling that right?) does King Crimson.

I just don’t quite know what to make of this quote from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan posted by Atrios – responding to evidence that Pope Benedict XVI had participated in the cover-up of child abuse by clergy.

The leader of the nation’s second-largest diocese urged his congregation to pray for the pope, saying he was suffering some of the same unjust accusations once faced by Jesus.

I just don’t remember that part of the Gospels.  Was it mentioned in the Book of John?  John was always my least favorite of the Gospels.

Don’t worry though.  The Pope won’t be intimidated!

Obama will host the second Seder ever to be held in the White House.  It boggles the mind when you think of it since pols when pontificating on some moralist theme often refer to the “Judeo-Christian tradition.”  It’s often an overstatement.  After some religious right figure called for the moment of silence in lieu of school prayer and referencing such practice as “Judeo-Christian,” a Jewish comedian whose name I can’t remember remarked, “I was raised in a Jewish household and I can tell you that we never once had a moment of silence, unless we were all sleeping!”

My religious studies professor in college (Noel King, who died last year :&( ) referred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as the “quarrelsome family of a mother and two daughters.”  And it could be argued that Judaism and Islam have more in common with each other than either with Christianity (“there is no god but God” is a quote in reference to what some of them perceive to be the polytheism of the Christian trinity).

But over the past few decades it has become fashion in Christian fundamentalism to deem Jews automatically saved (a serious point of contention).  So with at least the facile elements of anti-semitism in check, why was there never a Seder held in the White House before last year?  Nixon had problems with Jews, but what about the other presidents?  Boggles the mind.

Kudos to Obama for doing it, without making a huge deal out of it.  Maybe it’ll become a permanent tradition.  Sure, it’s merely symbolic.  But this is some powerful symbolism.

I wonder if they put oranges on the Seder plate.

Anyway, the New York Times provides the brief history (including the WH protocols compromised to accommodate last year’s Seder) leading into this year’s event.

The NCJ tracks the money in the local races, and already the bucks are falling into place in the 4th and 5th District supervisor races, the DA race, and the Assessor’s Race.   Not too many surprises really.

Bonnie Neely is out in front in the 4th District race, boosted by a 10k bomb from the Blue Lake Rancheria.  Virginia Bass is just behind Bonnie.  Humboldt Redwood Company is playing both sides of the fence there.  Jeff Leonard is far behind in the money race, but maybe his unique signs will make up the difference.

Blue Lake Rancheria dropped 10k in the 5th District Race as well, splitting it between Cleary and Sundberg.  You have to peak at the pdf links for more details, and Pat Higgins is obviously behind.  He did bag c notes from Sohum residents Jan and Linda Derkson and well as the blogging couple of Greg and Carroll Connors.  He also got $250 from Carlos Quilez and his wife Jessica Puccinelli. A look at Cleary’s list of donors, including a couple of progressive attorneys, reveals a definite divide among progressives.

Ryan Sundberg meanwhile has donations from HRC, Johanna Rodoni, as well as some business offerings.

Jeff Lytle obviously hasn’t yet solicited for donations.

In the Sheriff race, Mike Hislop has bagged some moderately sized donations and fundraised pretty well considering that so far the local punditry has not been given him a serious chance to overcome Downey’s extensive support.  Downey is 10 grand up this round, and he has extensive support from leaders and fellow travelers of HumCPR.

In the Assessor’s race Johanna is way out in front with over 21 grand already.  Not too many surprises on her list.  She has support from Sohum business leaders including Wallan, Satterlee, and Johnson.  Jon Brooks has raised just over 6 thousand, two grand coming from the Blue Lake Rancheria.  Mari Wilson, the candidate working in the office itself who had been the heir apparent, has some catching up to do.

I don’t really have much to add to the NCJ summary of the DA race.  Paul Gallegos reports a few moderately sized donations from long term strong supporters, but it’s clear he’s just getting into the swing of the campaign.  Kathleen Bryson raised over 8 grand on donations of $100.00 or less, which means she’s hustling hard for the grassroots support.  Paul Hagen actually disclosed more than required, which as the NCJ notes, revealed an eyebrow raising source of support (I think Worth Dikeman specifically donated $99.00 so that Hagen would not be forced to reveal him as a supporter, but Paul H. seems to relish transparency from top to bottom).  Allison Jackson has done very well so far, with support from some of the usual conservative sources.  She has a $500 donation from HumCPR leader Lee Ulansey.

A new agreement with Russia in nuclear arms reduction.  It excludes missile defense systems, but will that be enough to make it bipartisan for Congressional ratification?

TPM compiles the info.

Just remarking that Eugene Genovese, ex-communist turned conservative, once remarked that he found right wingers to be so much more polite than left wingers.  He’s a stand up guy actually, part of that sidelined conservative intellectualism.  I wonder if he’s revised his opinion over the past year.

Whatever you think of incumbent Mendo D.A. Meredith Lintott, why do even progressive writers find it so necessary to discuss the physical (or photogenic) appearance of a woman candidate?

I don’t mean to sound “politically correct” or anything, but there are serious issues in the race warranting their attention.  Granted, the AVA has always been something like a left version of the Humboldt Mirror.

I’d like to know why the driving passerby’s flipped them off.  Much more of a story there.

Addendum: Actually, in finishing the column I found the final paragraph to be the most interesting.

THE SANTA ROSA COPS might want to re-think their villains. The other day they held a hostage training with the hostage takers being “an extreme environmental activist group” whose behavior was similar to “situations that have occurred.” Really? Where?

Were they saving the best for last?

This article, “When the Land’s Worth more than the Trees,” expounds on an issue dear to home and relevant to the GPU debate.  From the article:

With timber prices flatlining and real estate values rising, many private forestland owners are shifting their gaze to building homes rather than growing trees. Landowners elsewhere in the country, under pressure to maximize returns, have looked to convert forests into subdivisions and resorts as trees become less valuable than the land they occupy.

The unprecedented change in land ownership raises concerns about the impact on wildlife and natural resources, as well as the increased costs of protecting residents from forest fires. Nationwide, about 1 million acres of forestland are lost to development every year. In the Pacific Northwest, it begs the question: What does the future for forestry look like in a region defined by it?

Much more through the link.  Thanks to Healthy Humboldt for bring my attention to it.


March 2010