Cliff Berkowitz / Wednesday, June 3 @ 9:02 a.m. / Art
This morning I spoke with Monica Topping who's heading up this year's program along with 3 artists, Teresa Saluzzo; Dana Ballard; and Adam Dias. This will be the 17th Open Studios event, taking place all up and down the county from Rio Dell to Trinidad. The event goes from 11am till 5pm both Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7 and June 13-14. You can find full color guidebooks all over the county or online at 2015 northcost openstudios.com
Veterans from Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties are bound for Washington, D.C. on Thursday to reflect upon their service in World War II and Korea. North Coast Honor Flight raised funds locally to ensure that their trip is free.
Honor Flight organizer and Vietnam veteran Steve Justus spoke with KHUM today about this years' honor flight.
They don't talk much about explosive details. They talk about what the can opener was like, and who was where, and what this ship looked like... Mostly they just ease back into that time in their life when, as those young boys, they actually saved a nation.
Justus said that Honor Flight also helps bring closure to many of these soldiers' experience. "One of the more common themes that I hear from them was, 'I finally got my parade.'"
Justus spoke of a tank soldier who fought in Okinawa who spent his later years working at a gas station in Rio Dell. "These people are around us and they've been around us all our lives, and we haven't known it."
Keeping the trip free for veterans was easy, said Justus.
"We just put a call out to Humboldt county and said 'folks, this is what we'd like to do and if you'd like to support us, please send us money.' And the money just started rolling in."
He later reiterated his gratitude for "Humboldt county, the most generous place in the world."
Listen to his KHUM interview below.
Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, June 2 @ 9:04 a.m. / Trails
Emily and I spoke with Sheila Parrot and other city engineer's about Eureka's new public safety campaign. You have probably seen posters and banners all over town. It is part of a large effort to reduce pedestrian vs vehicle accidents in the City. In past years, Eureka has had a much higher than normal rate of these types of accidents for it's population size. This campaign has is in concert with the reduction of speed limits, new radar signs and new countdown crosswalk signs at all lights within the city.
The California Welcome Center can't keep its doors open if it doesn't find some help soon, Arcata Chamber of Commerce executive director Sandy Scott told KHUM today.
According to a press release, the chamber is "looking for new partners in running the CWC or another organization to take it over. Our hope is that this will lead to positive discussions about its value to the tourism industry in Humboldt County."
Part of a statewide network, the local California Welcome Center [CWC] franchisee is managed by the chamber, which Scott said absorbs its ~$30,000 deficit annually.
"We pay for the privilege of having this as a franchise," she said in a followup interview. She emphasized that CWC sends tourists to points all over Humboldt, not just Arcata. "We're honored to be serving the whole county."
Asked to explain the value of the CWC, Scott said it "supports local business, and that what we want to do - help our local businesses be and stay successful." Hear her elevator pitch below:
Scott is "very optimistic" that a solution will arise in time. She said that despite Yelp and GPS-assisted mobile search options, visitors still appreciate the human touch.
"We just had two, maybe 21 or 22 year-olds in here and they walked away with brochures even though they had their smartphone in their hand. People like to have that.
Certainly it's probably less imperative than it was 30 years ago, but people still like to walk in and have that personal contact. Sometimes we'll ask them how can we help them, and they don't even know what questions to ask."
Hear the full KHUM interview below.
From the Arcata Chamber of Commerce:
We are writing to inform you of discussions about the California Welcome Center (CWC) in Arcata, which is housed and managed by the Arcata Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber Board has determined that we need to make changes in the way the CWC is run, making it more effective and self-sufficient. We are seeking partners to play a larger role in helping with the CWC, or, alternately, another organization to take over stewardship of it.
The CWC has been a major project of the Arcata Chamber for the last 15 years. It hosts nearly 15,000 visitors annually, and they all get a warm greeting along with tips about things to do, places to eat, and lodging. The link to the larger network of California Welcome Centers throughout the state is positive. We believe the Center plays an important role in serving visitors, which, in turn, benefits the businesses and economy of our region. That’s why we’ve worked hard to keep it active and functioning.
However, the CWC has also become more than the Arcata Chamber can handle on our own.
This is a reality that the Board has had to acknowledge after many months of discussions. The primary reason is financial. Over the years, and especially during the recent recession, the Chamber’s funding from other organizations has slowly dwindled, while costs have continued to rise. That’s not to cast blame, but it is the reality, and we don’t expect that prior levels of funding will be restored. We’re also not prepared to ask Chamber members to pay higher dues to subsidize the CWC.
That leaves us looking for new partners in running the CWC or another organization to take it over. Our hope is that this will lead to positive discussions about its value to the tourism industry in Humboldt County. Our goal, ultimately, is a stronger CWC and a Chamber of Commerce that is more financially secure.
We hope to have a plan in place by September of this year, with changes underway no later than December, and we will strive to keep you informed. Feel free to contact us at 822.3619 if you have questions or concerns.
Cliff Berkowitz / Friday, May 29 @ 9:07 a.m. / Event
This morning I spoke with "Castastrophy" about this weekends bout with Viva Roller Derby up from Chico to take on the Widow Makers. Doors open at 5pm, the bout begins at 6pm.
Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, May 27 @ 4:47 p.m. / I Don't Believe You
The singer talks about moving back to her homestate, touring with her mother in law, and what it's like to be featured on NPR's Morning Edition. [Also, the panoramic photo above reveals a glitch in the matrix.]
Listen to Eilen Jewell's music and chitchat below.
Cliff Berkowitz / Wednesday, May 27 @ 9:01 a.m. / Education
This morning I spoke with Connor Callison of Eureka High who took first place and Genevieve Regli who took 2nd place in the INNOVATE! Business Challenge. They competed with about 150 other students from area high schools. Both winners get a cash prize to help start their businesses and more money to help promote it.