Archive for the ‘Feature’ Category

All Happy Now (by Bailey Fletcher)

Monday, September 19th, 2011


After two years of wanting to go but not being able to find the time (or afford the $5 entry fee), I finally woke up early on a Saturday to make the brief 4-hour window of accessibility into the gorgeous Humboldt Botanical Gardens, which is a burgeoning project full of possibility. It’s quite a steep hike up the hill behind College of the Redwoods but there are plenty of benches along the way overlooking the bay, and shaded gardens that offer reprieve. The path is lined with kooky modern art projects like string tied to trees and buttons lining the ground, but if anything, they are good for a chuckle. The winner of these artsy fartsy projects is hands-down the phenomenal labyrinth at the end. It’s a spiral mound that takes you on a silent, spiritual journey to the center, where traditionally, one meditates until fulfilling the labyrinth’s name-sake, “All Happy Now”.

The title of this project is appropriately”Strings”.

The Foxglove, also known as Dead Man’s Thimbles, has purple pendent flowers that may look charming but it is one of the most poisonous plants known to man. If leaves, seeds, or flowers are consumed, it brings instant death to all living creatures.

From the top of the hill is a rewarding vista of the wildlife refuge and the bay.


Bailey writes at “Humboldt Moments”, where this article was originally posted. Thanks Bailey

Protestors Try to Stop Cal-trans Road Project

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Snow Camp is Cool!!!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

  The two most frequently asked questions I get when I tell people I’m going snow camping are, “Don’t you get cold?” and, “What do you do there?” Well, to address the first question: No, I usually don’t get cold. When one thinks of camping the familiar image of hiking or fishing during the day and sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows at night. Snow camping is not this scenario with snow on the ground. It is COLD and can be dangerous if an inexperienced person tries to do it without help.  Don’t get me wrong; when one has the right gear and supplies, the cold is not as big of an issue but should still be kept in mind. To address the second question, you have to be there to know what it’s like. There are plenty of things to do.

Brief trip walkthrough:

Buying food and other stuff: Ideally, one would have already bought all of his or her food for the trip already and had it all lined out for however long they would be gone for. When I go, this is usually not the case. Freeze-dried food is the only food item I bring from home. Freeze-dried food is generally the meal of choice because it is so light and simple to prepare. Trail mix is a good food for the hike in and is usually bought in the nearest town to trailhead.

Getting registered: When camping, one is required to fill out a back country pass for however long they will be staying. It will have to be carried to camp and out to let the Park Service know you haven’t been eaten in an avalanche or other disaster.

Preparation: It sounds like a real mom speech but it’s true, you should wear sunscreen. It is a hassle and it makes your hands and face all greasy but it is so much better than having half your face peel off when you get home. It only takes a couple trips to realize the benefits.

The hike: During any kind of hiking hydration is extremely important. Being dehydrated is very dangerous but is easily avoided. A hydration pack such as a Camelbak is very handy on hikes to keep your hands free for poles or picture taking, etc. Pacing is also very important. If the pace is too fast, you may burn out too early and be stuck going very slow or other inconveniences. Running is generally not recommended. 

Camp setup: I recommend setting up camp as soon as you arrive because you will have the most energy (and hopefully light) at that point. If you are like me, you will immediately start building things in the snow. Like I said before, you  have to be there to know what I am talking about. Feel free to do lots of stuff in the snow but just remember not to get too wet because it will make the night and next morning a real nightmare.

Hike out: Pretty much the same as the hike in but keep in mind that you will be much more tired and less rested as when you came in so don’t try to go out too quickly.

Remember, this is only a Brief description of a trip. There are many other details that are not included.

Parker Hect

Richardson grove update

Friday, April 15th, 2011

MEDIA ALERT: April 14, 2011 For Immediate Release

Contact: Richardson Grove Action Now (707) 602-7551,

Mass Rally Monday April 18 at Noon To Oppose CalTrans’
Federally-Funded Plan to Widen the Highway Through Richardson Grove State Park

Protest Coincides With Advertised Bid Day for Bulk of Richardson Grove Highway Construction

Humboldt County: Richardson Grove Action Now has organized a rally for Monday, April 18, 2011 at CalTrans District One Headquarters in Eureka to protest the federally-funded plan to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park. April 18th is the advertised bid day for the main phase of construction for the Richardson Grove project. The protest will begin at noon where participants will again demand “No Road Widening Through Richardson Grove.”

Richardson Grove Action Now asks , “If CalTrans can build in a State Park and injure protected old-growth, steal adjacent private property forestland, and violate the Endangered Species Act, what is stopping them from building anywhere for any reason and turning it all into highway?”

The organizers invite all who value living ecosystems and locally-owned business instead of free-trade corridors for interstate commerce to come to CalTrans and declare “HANDS OFF THE ANCIENT FOREST! We are resisting your military and corporate invasion!” Rallyers are encouraged to bring signs, banners, musical instruments, and bullhorns on Monday to make sure that there is no business as usual for CalTrans on the bid day and to deliver the message cancel the plan.

On the morning of Monday April 18th , bicyclists against the highway expansion through Richardson Grove will depart at 10am from the Arcata Plaza for a group ride to the Mass Rally at CalTrans in Eureka.

Richardson Grove Action Now believes that a grassroots movement committed to direct action is key in the struggle against Caltrans’ disastrous and destructive project. Richardson Grove Action Now is interested in organizing with anyone to protect the autonomy of west coast rural communities, and to keep corporate and government entities from ruining our local economy and dominating and bullying us. Organizers know that CalTrans’ highway expansions are supported by U.S. Military and so-called defense agencies that wish to have greater access to and control over the people and natural resources of this region.

Richardson Grove Action Now invites all opposed to the plan to CalTrans this Monday, April 18th to insist on the right to survive and determine what passes through our lives and covers the landscape of our home.

For more info: Richardson Grove Action Now at (707) 602-7551 or email

CR Student Performs in Humboldt Varietyville

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

CR News Students Profile Arcata Plaza

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Urgent Action-Save Pell Grants

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I got this e-mail and wanted to share with all of you.

Attention students!

We have just received breaking news about an opportunity to save Pell
grants from the proposed 15% cut, by supporting Congresswoman Chu’s
amendment on the continuing Resolution to save Pell Grants.
Representative Judy Chu is from LA and is a former faculty member. The
vote on this amendment will Likely occur tomorrow at 2pm, so act now.

Please call your House Representative and say “I’m a student at
(insert college) and I ask that (insert representative) support the
Chu amendment on the continuing Resolution to save Pell Grants”.

To find your House Representative please follow:

Please send this message to all your lists

Richardson grove realignment protest.

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This project has been in the developmental stages for some time.  The initial EIR was very vague in several regards.  There were recycled reports rather than new studies on the current ecosystem and its concerns.  Though Caltrans claim to have no intent of cutting old growth trees for this project the impact from compaction around the roots of several large old trees has been glossed over.  With those trees having very shallow root structures compaction of over half the root structure could cause the trees to eventually fall. 

The reason behind the project is to allow the larger STAA trucks in and out of the area.  For those who are unaware the STAA trucks have been poised to replace the standard freight system by a federal agency.  These trucks are larger, boast larger payload capability, and are also longer and wider than older trucks.  This move can be further explained if you review the EIR document available at the Caltrans office.  There has been a push to make these larger trucks the standard and to phase out the older smaller vehicles.  This is causing many businesses to pay higher premiums to import goods for their businesses.  This may effectively put local trucking companies out of work.  At present, the larger trailers have to be unloaded and re-loaded on to smaller trucks to make the trip in. 

There are arguments against the need for the larger trucks to be able to come in, such as weight restrictions as well as the longer trailer which is only good for moving live stock or people…

The project itself has only 3 alternatives listed, and all have been dismissed by the community as non workable.  Two are for lighting systems, one a timer light the other a sensor system.  The third is a day time restriction for the trucks that would only have a smaller impact on the land comparatively by making a longer pull out for trucks to wait for the evening transportation. This proposed realignment will have several trees cut, the largest of which are old Doug firs that do not stump sprout. Redwoods replenish themselves from the stump using the same root structure. 

Several sections of the road are to be widened to allow safe places to pull out.  A retaining wall is another portion of the project to prevent landslides.  This improvement has been protested because of its proximity to the rehabilitation clinic known as the Singing Trees, as well as a bed and breakfast.  The view has been a large selling point for these establishments, and this retaining wall will interfere with access to these businesses as well as destroy the natural beauty that is highly prized by the local businesses in the area.

What follows are the events observed at the protest itself. 

The air was electric with the sound of people talking and gathering to save the redwoods that are going to be impacted by this project.  A member of the Yurok tribe spoke about their sacred oath to protect the redwoods and the reason it is necessary to protect these wonderful trees.  The gathering at the entrance to the Caltrans building was a mass of bodies.  Six individuals were connected to one another using tubes fashioned to highlight the urgency to stop this plan.  Similar to the way that redwoods are interlinked, the protesters hands are connected together to block access to the entrance of this building.  Drums rolling, trumpets playing, and crowds chanting make the environment grow intensity.

It was impossible to get a straight interview from anyone in the building due to the yelling and music.  The protest has so far not been met with anything but support.  There is a call for the people at Caltrans to cancel the plan for the realignment.  People (who) were very willing to throw out comments about their own personal perspective about Caltrans, all were more or less negative.  There was a large element of those that have blindly protected the redwoods for years. were it not for these individuals many more of these trees would be gone forever.  The quality of the comments provided was not the kind that can be repeated in print, but the raw feel of energy being put displayed there had its own vitality. 

Brush clearing was scheduled to start on the 18th of January despite the project not yet being approved by the regional planners.  Caltrans has tried to push this project through despite the overwhelming community disapproval of the project. It was scheduled to be completed over the next 3 weeks following the brush clearing.  Phone trees were activated and people rallied to save the trees from the destruction that Caltrans wants to perpetuate. People have tied them self to trees and taken other steps to prevent the construction from moving forward, and no root studies have been done yet.  When asked,  Caltrans representatives acknowledged that there were no scientists requested to do studies and no new materials supporting the project moving forward in officially outlined procedures…they are trying to damage the root structure with no environmental research to show the level of impact they will have.  This is a wonton destruction of several old growth trees.  Caltrans also claim to have no intent to cut them down but the compaction of the roots that they are laying out in the plans will kill the trees as effectively as cutting them down.  Redwoods have a very shallow root system that run for miles.  They are interconnected by roots that run through these forested areas.  To de vilify the individuals that are trying to push this project through would be criminal.  They refuse to look at any other alternative to the construction proposed because they don’t want to use the trucking companies time by making trucks wait tell dark to travel, or pay to add lights with censors to allow the trucks to travel through without traffic in opposing lanes and make their progress safer.  Please join the brave individuals who are sacrificing their time and energy to keep these trees preserved.  You can also help by bringing food and other necessities to those in the grove. 

The protest started in Arcata and moved south to Eureka.  Over 300 people showed up during the course of the day to show their support for the prevention of the cutting of these trees.  Two of the protesters agreed to an interview on the bus on the way back to Arcata. 

We need to contact our local senator, congressman, and other government officials, house seat members to request a cessation of the battle to cut farther into this grove of trees that have won the hearts of Humboldt natives and visitors alike.  Preservation of this beautiful landscape through the use a stoplight or signal light, to indicate the presence of these trucks or a time restriction on the trucks would be preferable. Rather than realigning the most amazing view of some of the largest and oldest trees to have graced this earth that can still be seen from the road let us explore these other alternatives.  People have to take an extra 20 minutes in their drive with the lights, but it’s better than a 60% plus root compaction on more than half the old growth trees still near the road.  None shall be cut they proclaim, but the truth is that the compaction alone will likely ring several of the trees causing a much slower demise.  Let’s all take what action we can from writing a letter to actively supporting those who are helping us all by being on the front lines to make sure that action cannot be taken before the people are heard.

If you want to support those protecting the trees call 707 602-7551 or e-mail

Portrait of a Journalism Student

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Agustin Garcia is a resident of Eureka California, a full time student at College of the Redwoods, and a part time cook at the Abruzzi restaurant located on the plaza in Arcata.  Eighteen years ago Agustin was born in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Eight years after his birth Agustin’s family moved to Eureka.  After graduating High school Agustin enrolled in College of the Redwoods, where he is currently in his second semester.  As of the 2011 Spring semester Agustin is taking a Spanish 2A class, an American institutions class (poly sci), a concepts in physical fitness class, and an Introduction to Journalism class.  Agustin is perusing his associates degree and as of yet has not decided on a major.
    Agustin is the fourth born child of a family of five, he has three older sisters an older brother and a younger brother.  Besides working at Abruzzi Agustin enjoys playing soccer recreationaly and is interested in photography.  Agustin especially likes to take landscape photography but has lately begun to delve into street photography.  Recently Agustin received a Nikkon D3000 camera and has been thoroughly enjoying it.  Agustin will be bringing his camera along with him when he travels alone to Oaxaca, Mexico this upcoming May.  Agustin has not been to Oaxaca since his family moved to Humboldt County ten years ago and is very excited to return for a visit.
    Through his employment at the Abruzzi Italian restaurant Augustin has developed a passion for Italian cuisine and cooking.  Augustin anticipates a promotion in the near future from his current position of cooking salads and appetizers to being responsible for cooking entrees along side Erin, the head chef.  Augustin would like to pursue a career as a chef as he gets older and hopes to one day travel to Italy to learn more about the trade.

Dissecting Flaws and Uncovering Truths

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

It’s a Friday night, and for the past few days you have had a horrible sore throat. You’re convinced it’s strep, and know quite well that it can’t go away without the help of anti-biotics. So you decided to go to the local emergency room, where you’ll wait for the next six hours, only for a doctor to sit with you for five minutes to determine you do indeed have strep throat. With insurance, the hospital and medication runs about one hundred and thirty dollars, and without the insurance, nearly eight hundred dollars. This circumstance leaves many who do not have insurance at a cross road, pay a large chunk of money to not be sick or stay sick, miss work or school and infect the people around them. Today there are over 50 million people without health insurance, and situations like the one above occur all too often. Americans today are surrounded by ideologies, many of which envelop the health care system, and in turn affect the perceptions of the issues surrounding them. Howard Zinn, a historian, playwright, and social activist, defines ideology as “ A dominant pattern of ideas.” Ideology comes down to culture, and how ideas are encouraged and pushed into the heads of thinking people. Zinn believes that the ideas behind ideologies are safe, for the reason that they don’t threaten recognized wealth and power, which is why so many of these ideologies go unnoticed. In present day society we are convinced to believe that ideologies are purely the thoughts that come from our own minds, when in reality, we are unknowingly influenced by our families, communities, and cultures.

Not all ideologies are accepted, and the people who go against them, are not necessarily accepted as well. This is the situation of Michael Moore, creator of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko, two very controversial documentaries dealing with ideologies of the American people. In Sicko, Moore discusses numerous ideologies of the American health care system, and cleverly dissects the flaws and uncovers the truth about other health care systems around the world. In the film, Moore takes us from Great Britain, France, Canada, and Cuba and back to the United States where he compares the practices of each country to that of America’s. Moore discusses one very important ideology throughout Sicko, that of, is socialism really as horrible as Americans make in out to be? Americans have been taught to think the only efficient way a government can be run is with a democracy, and nothing else. Because of this, we have a tendency to view countries, which use socialism or capitalism, as bad and obviously not as good as the United States. In doing so, we blind ourselves from seeing how these other countries do in fact have great health care systems, the majority of them, better than ours. Dancing around a very touchy subject, Moore tries to convey his opinion on whether or not socialism is bad, by giving statistical, anecdotal, and testimonial types of evidence, each equally important in changing the minds of his viewers.

Along with the ideology’s Moore shows us in his film Sicko, we are faced with ideologies everyday, unknowingly. From choosing a religious faith, to deciding if you’re a democrat or republican, we are brought back to Zinn’s definition of an ideology, a dominant pattern of ideas. Every situation you are put into deals with a pattern of ideas, and some of those situations become dominant patterns. With choosing a religious faith, many times it is decided by parents, who force a dominant pattern of ideas on their children, or by the community in which a child is brought up. As human beings we must always keep an open mind to the ever changing world that surrounds us, and with the ideologies that have consumed us, it is getting more difficult as time goes on.
There is one last question we must ask ourselves, and that is, why do people as a whole have such a problem admitting when something is not working? It took centuries for the development of equal rights, for women to vote, for the acceptance of gay rights, so lets not let our health care system become shadowed by ideologies from the past.

-Michelle Stacey