Aug 29, 2012

What's Unique About Eureka Main Street

“You hear me before you see me,” states Marty L’Herault owner of Old Town Carriage and Company. Marty and his two horses Barney and Buster, are adored by the public. The clip clop of hooves herald the familiar sight many of us are see daily if we live or work in Old Town Eureka.

According to Marty, this is one of the few horse and carriage companies within 500 miles. “I am the only one who does this six days a week. Ninety percent of the people get into the business as a hobby or do it part-time.”

Marty’s love for horses goes back to the 1980s when he drove a carriage in New York’s Central Park. In 1989, he and his wife opened the business in Eureka. In 1995, he sold it to someone in Sacramento. “There was no carriage locally for about 6 or 7 years, so I bought and started a new business.”

Marty only charges $28 for a 20-25 minute ride and $47 for a 40-45 minute ride. This charge is not per person but for the whole carriage. Even with a display sign, Marty has to explain the charges to people. They are very surprised at how reasonable his prices are and Marty has 2 regular narrated historic tour routes.

“I am very fortunate that all of the businesses and the City of Eureka want me to be here,” said Marty. Many larger areas his peers are facing extinction.

Romantic rides, families enjoying a leisurely activity, visitors learning about the area; Marty has been there for all these good times. His eyes light up when he mentions people who used to ride the carriage as children come up to him now as adults and share childhood memories.

Asked to explain why his business is so popular among both locals and tourists, Marty said he remembered what an Amish gentleman told him years ago. “The more we rush into the future, the more we want reach back into something familiar of the past.”

Aug 19, 2012

Come meet Joe

Joe Bonino has either been a business member or a board member or president or volunteer for the following: City of Eureka Budget Advisory Committee, Easter Seals Society , Ink People, Italian Catholic Federation , Eureka Sons and Daughters of Italy, St. Bernard’s Parish, Humane Society of Humboldt County,  Clarke Museum/Old Town, and Eureka/Humboldt Co. Bed & Breakfast Association.

He is also for clean air, water, the environment. On Tuesday, August 21, Joe will formally announce his candidacy for Ward 2, Eureka City Council at 12:15 in front of the Eureka High auditorium.

From Joe's community service, it looks like he appeals to a wide range of constituents. Joe and I share some of the same interests and values. I know him personally yet he did not take my support for granted. He took the time to speak with me and answer questions. Come hear Joe speak, meet him, and decide for yourself.

Aug 15, 2012

Mekong Café to celebrate fourth anniversary in Old Town

John Chiv/For the Times-StandardCreated:   08/15/2012 02:37:12 AM PDT

Mekong Café located at 307 2nd St. in Eureka will celebrate its fourth anniversary this December. They are starting their celebration a few months early by offering an updated menu starting this August and specials featuring Humboldt Grassfed Beef.
The name reflects cuisine which is typical of the region near the Mekong River. “We offer Thai food with a Laotian influence,” said owner Gina Sydathong.
She credits her husband John for opening Mekong since meeting him is what introduced her to the dishes offered. “The love for the food came first, the love for the man later,” said Sydathong.
John Sydathong's family opened the first Southeast Asian store in Humboldt in the late 1980s. They sold the business. John and Gina both worked at Cher-ae Heights Casino and fell in love. They owned Red Eye Espresso in Myrtletowne and wanted to offer food but it wasn't the right timing. After they sold the Red Eye, Gina was training to be a medical assistant but she loved cooking more and Mekong Café was the result.
Cultural pride and offering food similar to what they eat at home is one of the few things that sets Mekong apart, according to Nicole Williams, who has worked at Mekong for three years. The restaurant has daily specials, offering food customized to different spice levels; you can create your own version of Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), and the vegetarian selections have vegetables different than those that are
usually available at most Asian restaurants. Local support is very important to Gina. She uses tofu from The Tofu Shop, purchases produce as often as she can from the farmers market, and has started using Humboldt Grassfed Beef for her specials. You can get entire platters of items such as Whole Cornish Game Hen, Roasted Duck and the recently added Deep Fried Trout as a part of the regular menu.
The improved menu offers a lot of options which is familiar to patrons of Asian restaurants. Their Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles) is prepared as it is in the Chiang Mai region. Dishes on the menu are prepared with herbs grown by Gina so you get that fresh flavor.
They always have live music on Arts Alive. Call 707-269-0555 for more information.

Aug 14, 2012

Decision on courthouse ordinance continued until Sept 25 meeting

After hearing from the Humboldt Human Rights Commission and public comment at this morning's meeting, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors took no action and voted to continue the item regarding the  courthouse urgency ordinance until the September 25 meeting. They also included in the motion a request to the Humboldt County Sheriff's office, the Eureka Police Department and the District Attorney's office not to prosecute certain parts of the ordinance so citizens can have candlelight vigils and exercise their First Amendment Rights.

The Humboldt Human Rights Commission is a group of fine folks. I served with them. Let's see if the good faith demonstrated by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and Human Rights Commission is returned in word and action by those who continue to throw hissy fits and be disrespectful.

Free speech comes with responsibility. And the right to express opinions extends to all. When I see that courtesy given to me and others;  when I see an effort on part of the Occupiers and their allies to respect and balance needs of all citizens; when I see the local media give equal voice to other than just the a few Occupiers and their views, the First Amendment will be applied fairly.

Aug 11, 2012

He Walks The Talk

You already know he is running against Linda Atkins . You know he is employed by Humboldt State. Here is a little more about Joe Bonino.

Public transit is one of the many issues important to Joe. He rides his bicycle and he takes the bus to work every day. He has been doing this since 1995. Clean air, the environment is something he has been passionate about long before the election.

Public safety and job creation are also important to Joe. He told me that there are 3 immediate and crucial issues that Eureka City Council will be dealing with: a new police chief, a new city manager, and the General Plan. "What kind of council member do you want ?," he asked me. Linda Atkins believe in "expanding government" and "I believe in limited government."

Joe will have a website up soon. Instead of listening to me or any one else, take the time to check it out. Meet Joe and decide for yourself.

Aug 10, 2012

Joe Bonino to challenge Linda Atkins

As of 5 PM on August 10, No one is running against Melinda Ciarabellini for Ward 4 in Eureka. Joe Bonino is the challenger to Linda Atkins for Ward 2.

Whiplash Curve spotlights local jewelry

John Chiv/For the Times-Standard

Sometimes one ending is a new beginning.
Whiplash Curve is the new business and brainchild of Bonnie Stephens and Eleanor Mattingly.
The store had a soft opening on July 31 and is located at 423 1st St. in Eureka. Stephens and Mattingly are the former owners of Graystone Jewelers.
”Whiplash curve” is jewelry term widely present in art nouveau and represents a different style and direction that Stephens and Mattingly are taking with their business. When they decided to downsize a few months ago due to recession, Stephens and Mattingly had a few options. They eventually decided to concentrate on offering selections of their own work and certain select vendors.
Health Sport by the Bay was looking for a larger location and Whiplash Curve needed a smaller location. Both properties are managed by the same landlord and so the businesses switched locations. “It was serendipity,” said Stephens.
Stephens and Mattingly did offer their own creations at the old store, but at Whiplash Curve there will be more items available on display, and they say they are going to do a lot more custom work.
”This is an opportunity for us to highlight more of our own designs,” said Mattingly. Offering local and regional items allows them to work directly with the jeweler and cuts out the middleman.
Stephens and Mattingly also want to offer jewelry mostly available in the U.S because “the diamonds are conflict-free”and the items are recyclable.
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 707-407-3520 for more information.

Aug 6, 2012

It's Official, Rex Bohn Sworn in today

Rex Bohn was sworn in at noon today by Hon. Judge Watson and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor Chamber was packed with family and friends.

Former 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith was one of the many elected officials and personal friends that showed up to congratulate Rex. Rex's speech was short, simple, and humble. He thanked his family and wife, Jimmy Smith, long-time friends, fellow supervisors and staff.

"I look forward to protecting people's rights" and "We need to take off the handcuffs from small businesses. We need jobs, not just for young people but everybody" are two subjects Rex mentioned in his speech. The last is one that rings very true and is a concern close to me. It is one of the many reasons I supported Rex. He gets what the daily struggle is for someone like me. He gets to the point.

Kay Recede of Channel 3 asked him "what issues will you tackle first?" After humorously referring to the field drainage issue in Fields Landing that he got a call about at 8:05 AM this morning, Rex responded with "General Plan issues". He said he wants to do what is best for the citizens of Humboldt County and that the Plan getting published and distributed was a great step. He also added that when he was out walking during his campaign, this was not the biggest issue.

Aug 1, 2012

What Makes Eureka Main Street Unique

 You have been on the boat, now meet the goat.

Gelou, a Nigerian dwarf goat is the new mascot for the famous 1910 Madaket and was raised on the boat yard that also housed the famous local ferry.

Gelou is pictured here with Dalene and Leroy Zerlang. Most locals are already familiar with the Zerlang family and the Madaket connection. If you have not yet experienced a cruise or want to know more, visit

The Madaket is the last of seven ferries on Humboldt Bay. The ferry system was the main transportation from the Peninsula to the mills and was closed down in 1971. So what makes the Madaket unique?

It is the oldest certified passenger carrying vessel in continuous service in the Unites States. It has the smallest licensed bar in the State of California, hence the affectionate name, “the booze cruise”.  Besides the cocktail cruise, there are narrated cruises which allow you to see Eureka from a different perspective.

Leroy explained that “instead of looking at the water, you are looking at the city of Eureka from the boat. Views you don’t see when you are normally driving through.”

The day I was talking to Leroy and Dalene, passengers awaiting a cruise were more interested in getting their photo taken with Gelou than local history. Gelou made a rare appearance that day and seems to be a natural for the camera.