This just in: The North Coast Journal doesn’t like Walmart

Wow. What’s with the North Coast Journal and its anti-Walmart fixation? After secret photo montages and signage alerts, their latest eruption has been over an invitation to a grand opening.

Aaaagh! Scary stuff.

So in between knocking back some PBRs and laughing about Ryan Burns’ concern for Mark Lovelace’s penis, we put together a short list of things the NCJ might think about once the store is open and the world does not, despite their hysterics, come to a barbaric end. They might consider paying attention to:

  1. All the people who are then working and shopping at Walmart, whether or not the NCJ wants them to.
  2. The fact that the NCJ hasn’t been a very good news organization in a long time, and turns out to be an even crappier advocacy group.
  3. Oh and here’s one. Remember news? Yeah. You might think about paying some attention to that.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a Walmart. I don’t particularly like the stores and don’t know if I’ll ever have a reason to go into this one. But despite the NCJ’s obsession with the retail giant, no one there has explained why we should all be up in arms about retail activity in a shopping mall. They haven’t clarified why Walmart’s so awful, but Target’s okay, as are Kohl’s, and Sears, and Kmart, etc. In short, they haven’t done shit but point fingers and laugh–which we love! But then we’re not pretending that what we do is news.

‘Occupy Wall Street’ for Dummies

The victim of class warfare on the right can't remember where he left the sign that reads "Occupy the Large Vacant Space Between My Ears," although the snazzy hat conveys roughly the same idea.

For those of you wondering what this “Occupy Wall Street” thing is all about, look no further than the prolific Richard Salzman, who has stepped away from whatever criminal activities he’s on to now to enlighten us.

He explains in a letter to the North Coast Journal that protesters “are using their First Amendment Rights to fight back at the class war that’s been waged for two generations or more by Wall Street bankers and corporate America against working Americans.”

So yay protesters! Because if you can just get all those bad corporations shut down, there will be a lot fewer working Americans to defend.

Thanks!!

North Coast Journal hosts convenient child porn links in Cole Machado child porn story

As traditional ad revenues declined, North Coast Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson encouraged her staff to explore innovative product placement opportunities.

Thank you to the friend who sent this to us! Hugs!!

New NCJ editor not acting all crazy just yet

North Coast Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson appears to have not screwed up anything important in her most recent selection of a new editor.

Hodgson formally announced yesterday that  Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, a Sacramento Bee veteran not everyone in the world hates, would take the helm of the iconic weekly next week.

Peyton Dahlberg replaces Tom Abate, whose six-week tenure began with fascinating radio interviews and glowing “news” stories about the paper’s major advertisers, and ended–inevitably–with involuntary committal.

Peyton Dahlberg, who is not currently on parole and has no restraining orders pending against her, earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s prestigious Graduate School of Journalism. She has a husband and two cats, all reportedly alive.

About Abate, Hodgson would only say, well, nothing.

Carrie, welcome to Humboldt County. There’s this guy named John Matthews we’re just dying for you to meet.

Short-lived NCJ editor accepts new position as unemployed douchebag

Abate Abated!

And we’re gonna venture a wild-ass guess that the new gig wasn’t exactly his idea.

Either way, good luck to Tom Abate. We suspect he’s going to need it.

While we’re on the subject of “good,” dare we now hope that The Hotness That Is Jennifer Savage will return??

Let it be so! And let the schadenfreude begin!!

Journalistic hotness calls it quits

Hey! Who's the dude?

Fallout from the North Coast Journal debacle continues, with contributor Jennifer Savage bidding the formerly hip weekly a less-than-fond farewell.

In a NCJ letter, Jen notes that her popular column, Savage Money, “would’ve marked its second year in the Journal as of this issue, but given the recent editorial change, I regret my enthusiasm for writing it has waned.”

It would also have marked the second year of her being the hottest journalist in Humboldt County, and despite the recent editorial change, our enthusiasm for her has not waned.

At all.

In fact, we bugs are lined up at Mirror HQ now with our sad faces on just waiting for that little kiss goodbye…

Hugs, friend!!

Photo credit Terrence McNally.

Hank Sims out at the North Coast Journal?

The twttersphere is abuzz with this tantalizing tale, but there has been no official confirmation as of yet.

This morning I was asked for my opinion of the NCJ drams, and said:

Hank’s deep-seated fear of being considered pro-Arkley hindered his objectivity, and I think at times he was unable to see past his own ideological biases. But for all of that, he was funny and obviously enormously intelligent, and he had a very broad sense of Humboldt County, if from a very narrow point of view.

Tom, on the other hand, appears to have spent much of the last few years cultivating a keen interest in Tom, and seems genuinely surprised that the rest of us don’t care about his brief stint here 30 years ago with his ex-wife and paid-for house, or the long list of all the things he knows, or his singing career or pirate impersonations or any of it.

Where Hank listened, Tom won’t shut up. Where Hank recognized and encouraged the intelligence of his staff, Tom participated–gleefully, by all accounts–in what was essentially a hostile takeover of the NCJ’s newsroom.

In Tom we have all of the same biases with none of Hank’s humanity. What I think, ultimately, is that Judy Hodgson just went to great lengths and considerable expense to shit down her own throat.

What’s your take?

We could fuck up his campaign for half of what she’s making

In this week’s North Coast Journal, Team Gags’ high-priced fake campaign manager learns what reporters do for a living.

Originally thought to be a priceless work of art, this photo turned out instead to be, like its subject, a total and complete fraud.

Arts Gallegos

Inside District Attorney Paul Gallegos’ campaign headquarters — 321 3rd St. in Old Town Eureka — Arts Alive! patrons were exhibiting their native behavior: milling about, socializing, vaguely gazing at paintings while gnoshing delicate mouthfuls of crackers and oily salami. At the counter of the former coffee house, a woman absentmindedly ran her fingers through a basket of campaign buttons while chatting with the volunteers on the other side. In the course of their banter she offered an endorsement as tepid as the San Pellegrino orbiting the room in clear plastic cups: “Regardless of personal feelings,” the woman said blithely, “I don’t think we have another candidate who’s a better option.”

Impassioned, full-throated endorsements have fallen off a bit since 2004, when Humboldt County’s DA fought off a recall challenge bankrolled by villainous Texan Charles Hurwitz’s Pacific Lumber Company. Such an enthusiasm decline is to be expected, argued Gallegos’ campaign manager Natalynne DeLapp. “It’s the nature of the job,” she said after side-stepping some new arrivals. “If you’re in the court system, you’re not going to be happy.” And with roughly 12,000 cases prosecuted each year, that makes for plenty of unhappy voters. Still, as the campaign swings into full gear (phone-banking sessions are now happening four days per week) DeLapp is cautiously optimistic — though with four candidates in the field, she admitted that a runoff is very likely. “It’s gonna be between Allison Jackson and Gallegos,” she predicted confidently.

DeLapp casts challenger Paul Hagen in the role of potential spoiler. The former environmental prosecutor could split the progressive vote, she said before launching into a litany of reasons why he shouldn’t. “I don’t know who told him to run,” she said bitterly. Regardless, Gallegos has more than seven years of experience. “Paul’s grown into this job,” DeLapp said. “We’ve trained him on our dime, [and] he needs to be able to continue.”

Gallegos himself stayed busy pressing palms and greeting supporters as they filed through the room, which was adorned with paintings of ocean waves. DeLapp pulled him from a jovial huddle to speak to a reporter. Yes, he said, a November runoff is likely inevitable. “Numerically you’d have to expect that.” And he agreed that whether his experience serves as an asset or a liability will depend largely on each voter’s experience with the court system. Personal grudges are unavoidable, though. “That’s part of the job,” Gallegos said, “which is why I focus on doing [the job] rather than keeping it.”

– Ryan Burns

Mielke’n It

North Coast Journal features Mirror for 38th issue in a row.

Meanwhile, back at the North Coast Journal…

Informed readers are pointing out some logic gaps in Hanky-Panky Sims’ latest prog reach-around. His basic premise: A few senselessly oppositional folk on the left may have fought to block any development project Rob Arkley put forward, but this whole Marina Center shitstorm is still Arkley’s fault because he didn’t consult with them first.

Brilliant!! Because that would have changed everything!

The Town Dandy did get one thing right, though. If the Coastal Commission does block cleanup of the site, the Balloon Track could, as Hank stated, “sit there as is for another 100 years, leaching its ugly self into the Bay, and the Coastal Commission would never say boo.”

That in a nutshell is what an environmentalist victory would look like here.

So yay!! Nobody wins.

City councilman takes on Town Dandy

Hanky Spanky

Hanky Spanky

Hank Sims, one of the north coast’s premier wordsmiths, got his ass verbally handed to him Thursday by Eureka City Councilman Jeff Leonard, a man not universally known for his powers of expression.

Better still, the little Jeffster needed fewer than 200 words to dismantle Hank’s long-winded lamentation about how “it’s something close to insane” to think a majority of city councilmembers might share informed views of the Marina Center’s Environmental Impact Report within a couple of weeks, instead of dragging this shindig out until, say, Jesus comes back.

Hank went so far as to warn the city that it “may live to regret” not allowing a month or more to study all of the “pages and pages of detailed legal and scientific analysis” prepared by all of those numerous agencies.

Why the melodramatic flourishes? Because, Hank argued, the development project is almost certain to end up in court, and the city better be sure enough of its position to justify shelling out major coin to defend it.

The threat of litigation aside–the Town Dandy urbanely observed that the council’s “great haste in this matter has an odd smell.”

Oh snap, right? Hank straight pwned those smelly Marina Center yes-men, didn’t he??

You decide.

Jeff replied:

Hank – Here are a few clarifications regarding the process to help address your concerns:

The Draft EIR was published November 2008. 179 written comments were received, including comments from 17 different agencies. 850 pages of total comments.

The comment period closed January, 2009. The City and the consultants paid to develop the EIR have been weighing the objections and responding to the comments for the past 10 months.

The Final EIR includes a 22 page Errata section. This section reviews all of the changes made to the Draft EIR as a result of the comments received.

Any lawsuits filed over the EIR or the project will be the responsibility of project applicant – not the City of Eureka. Standard practice for California cities in today’s litigious society is to require legal indemnification at the start of the project.

Our next meeting on October 20th will kickoff public comment on the Final EIR. There is no action item on the Agenda.

Hope that info helps provide some extra clarity – see you on the 20th!

Photo swiped from here.

Carson Park Mofo jumps on the publicity-whore bandwagon

Admittedly, though, he is a looker.

Admittedly, though, he is a looker.

All right, all right, bro.

Here. Have some hits.

Feel better?

Hugs!!

(But a little PS, if we may? No one deserves to have condescending and derogatory “news” articles written about them by people who–kind of like you– seem to think disagreement with the writer’s beliefs is a sign of incurable stupidity. That’s what’s wrong with the cable news shows you seem to be so enamored of and why no one we know watches them. They’re arrogant, inaccurate and unfair. So was Bob Doran’s characterization of a group of people in Fortuna who oppose the current range of health reform options. But hey–thanks for giving us another opportunity to point that out.)

The North Coast Journal gets it right

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Over the past week, numerous Humboldt Mirror readers have remarked on a North Coast Journal article in which reporter Bob Doran, covering a Tea Party meeting in Fortuna, quoted a woman he called Amy Wahlberg, who was reportedly booed and jeered for suggesting that health care is a right and not a privilege.

Discussion centered around the startling fact that many of us know Amy not as Wahlberg but Doran–Bob’s wife. That the quote in question appeared to reflect a bias manifested elsewhere in the story compounded the problem, and Bob’s clumsy attempt to conceal his wife’s identity obviously made things worse.

The good news? Publisher Judy Hodgson isn’t having any of it. From the current edition of the Journal comes this extraordinary–and appropriate–statement:

To Our Readers, an Apology

Two weeks ago a veteran member of our editorial staff made an error in judgment. He had offered to cover a controversial meeting in Fortuna–to take photos and report on the gathering he and his wife planned to attend anyway. It turned out his wife spoke at the meeting, the crowd reacted strongly and negatively, and he reported accurately on the exchange he considered pivotal to the coverage. Only he used her maiden name, one that she uses in her work as an artist and elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the intent was clear: to conceal or obscure her identity and to mislead readers. It was an ethical lapse we consider serious and we sincerely apologize.

The story, “Tea in Fortuna: Frightened patriots attempt to make sense of health care reform” by Bob Doran, is available on our Web site with an amended footnote. Doran has been the Journal’s arts and entertainment editor, covering all things cultural, since 1998.

Judy Hodgson

St. Joseph nurses accused of re-enacting scene from classic disaster comedy

Nurse Bonnie Ratchet

Nurse Bonnie Ratchet

The North Coast Journal‘s Ryan Burns reports that four ICU nurses and a supervisor placed on administrative leave from St. Joseph Hospital have now been fired for allegedly “over-sedating patients, disregarding medication schedules and spending too much time on the Internet — all while maintaining a ‘party-like atmosphere’ during night shifts.”

One of the five nurses, who worked the night shift together, told Burns, “Part of the reason we get paid more is to be up all night. There’s a lot of slack time. We read books, play games, watch the Internet, go check eBay.”

Potlucks and jam sessions were also part of the nightly routine, Burns reported, with two of the nurses involved “regularly strumming their guitars.”

The one nurse dumb enough to participate in this interview said the crew first made sure nearby patients were sedated, adding, “It’s actually very soothing.”

Okay. Well, if you say so, friend.

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