Mike Dronkers / Tuesday, Dec. 3 @ 10:39 a.m. / Humboldt
What KHUM is doing: live-cataloging Humboldt’s smells, from best to worst.
What KHUM is looking for: Your suggestion for best/worst smells in Humboldt county. Specifically, current smells that are unique to our fair county. [I.e. Waffle cones smell great. But Arcata Scoop’s cones have a sublime palette of odoriferous emanations that only a local could discern.]
Methodology: Most of these have been crowdsourced by KHUM listeners, with spectral ranking loosely moderated by frequency of suggestion. We’ll adjust the list below periodically throughout the day.
Leave your best/worst smell in the comments. Extra credit for crisp descriptions.
- First rain of the season in the redwoods (LoCO Commenter’s Choice award)
- Old growth forest (“burnt blackberries, with a note of forest litter” - KHUM Listener ‘Macho Dan’)
- Lost Coast cedar trees near Petrolia
- Woodsmoke trapped under a fog layer
- Mad River Brewery: (“hops, barley, malt all stewing in the Blue Lake sun”)
- Porter Street BBQ
- Eureka Books: that rich, antiquarian musk
- Waffle cones at Arcata Scoop (also nominated: Redwood Yogurt & Living The Dream)
- Botchie’s Crab Stand in Field’s Landing
- Pierson’s Garden shop at Christmas time
- Blue Ox (“smells like the ghost of redwoods”, says Viviana)
- Larrupin’s BBQ Brisket
- Old Town during coffee roasting
Freshly washed-up eel grass
- Humboldt Bay during crab season
- Arcata Marsh at low tide.
- Your neighborhood grow house(s)
- Dairy air of Ferndale
- Samoa Drag Strip on race day
- Oysterfest Portolet (because alcohol & oysters)
- Reggae on the River Portolet (because heat)
- Hammond Trail, north of Mad River footbridge, where excrement-enhanced water is sprayed o’er the pasture
- Patchouli mixed with non-deodorized body odor smell on an HSU student
- Fortuna’s wastewater treatment plant. (s/0 to Puff n’ Tuff)
- Retail rabbit urine from the rabbiteer who sells rabbit-fur stuff at the Arcata Plaza Farmer’s Market
- That fish guttery on the waterfront in Old Town (LoCO Commenter’s Choice award)
- Solids-settling tank at Arcata Marsh on a hot day
- Pulp mill (extinct, honorable mention)
- Eureka Tallow Company, once located by the mouth of the Elk River (extinct, honorable mention)
Friends of the Dunes’ Suzie Fortner, mud advocate and tour guide, told KHUM exactly why. It’ll all make sense in under two minutes.
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Tomorrow
Humboldt Rd / Jones Ave (Crescent City office): Trfc Collision-No Inj
Us101 S Sprowl Creek Rd Onr / Us101 S (Garberville office): Traffic Hazard
8340 Mm101 (Humboldt office): Request CalTrans Notify
1656 Union St (HM office): AMBER Alert
Redheaded Blackbelt: Caution: Water Leak impacting Southbound Onramp from Garberville
Redheaded Blackbelt: Trinity Alleged Home Invasion, Part II: Not A Pigment of Your Imagination
KINS: PM News 120513
Today was a rough one for the believers in Humboldt as a safe place to raise kids. In response, LoCO poked into crime statistics available on Wikipedia to see just how bad the crime rates are. How do we compare to the rest of the state? Most of the statistics there are taken from the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009 which makes this information four years old. (Let’s crowd source this, Humboldt. Who can come up with more recent information?)
According to the Humboldt County page, we have a population of 133,585. That makes us the 24th smallest county by population. There are 58 counties so we are ranked towards the lower middle.
Then, LoCO poked around in the California Locations by Crime Rate page under Counties. (Note: Clicking the arrows at the top of each column allows you to discover the order that the Counties are ranked for each respective section.)
Humboldt ranks 30th in violent crimes per 1000 persons. We’re on the lower half there but just barely. In property crimes per 1000 though, we rank 18th. We’re in the top third of the state.
Overall though, we aren’t stunningly at risk for crime. Nor stunningly safe.
Just for fun, let’s look a little closer at Humboldt. Some areas are obviously safer than others in our large county.
If we drill down a little into the stats, we can get an idea of how the most populated areas of Humboldt rank compared to each other. On the Humboldt County page under crimes, Wikipedia shows rankings of our main towns.
Violent Crimes per 1000
Rio Dell 2.35
Property Crimes per 1000 show the same relative ranking
Rio Dell 27.92
Just for fun though, LoCO thought it would be interesting to look at how Humboldt ranks in the annual Deaths Due to All Causes compiled by the California Department of Public Health. It is adjusted for age and looks at all causes of death per population. Well, maybe we shouldn’t have looked.
The good news is we don’t have the worst rate like we did in 2010.
The bad news…we have the second highest death rate in the state.
Crime, it might not be our biggest problem.
Photo of Supervisor Rex Bohn from his election webpage.
“San Francisco has its sourdough, Napa its wine. Humboldt has weed,” says this morning’s Sacramento Bee.
And, according to the Bee, Supervisor Rex Bohn wants to brand the county’s marijuana. “Never underestimate the purchasing power of someone who wants a name brand,” the newspaper quotes him as saying.
Apparently, Bohn believes cannabis will be legalized and, with Bohn estimating that a quarter of the our economy comes from the marijuana industry, then branding our local marijuana just makes sense.
“I want Humboldt County to be known for fishing, logging and entrepreneurial beef ranching,” Bohn said. “But the marijuana industry is here. You have to have your head in the sand to think it’s going away.”
Humboldt’s unique lifestyle begets its own unique lexicon, which we will now chronicle here together for future anthropologists and cryptolinguists.
What we’re looking for: Humboldt-specific slang, with special exceptions made for terms that could be used in, say, Mendocino county but can be woven into daily discourse without explanation (See: “Larf”).
Rule of thumb: Would someone moving here want to know it?
Expect some live updating and incorrect alphabetization.
Please offer your suggestions or clarifications below. We’ll clean up the formatting later.
Virtually all Many of the suggestions below come from KHUM listeners, but but now we open it up to you. Let’s go!
UPDATE 11-23-13 11:08am: This list is still expanding with new terms and refined definitinos. - MD
UPDATE 11-26-13: We removed some debunked/nonlocal entries and added still more. -MD
# # #
101: US Highway 101. Colloquially pronounced “one oh one.” Saying “The one-oh-one” betrays non-locality. Holds true for 299, 36, and 96. (h/t Aunt Svea)
Arcata No-Go: The four-way stop dilemma in which all drivers insist that the others proceed first. Alternately known as the Arcata Courtesy Fight and/or the NoYouGo.
Arkleyville: Arcane moniker for Eureka, in reference to local businessman Rob Arkey. Arkleyville bumper stickers can still spotted on old cars.
Black Snake: backcountry water line. Alternate: Humboldt Creeping Blackvine
Bluecata: Rural community behind the hills of northern Arcata. Culturally distinct from Glendale, Blue Lake, and Fieldbrook. Alternate: West Endies
The Bottoms: 1) Arcata’s low-lying hinterlands 2) Ferndale’s low-lying hinterlands. Can also be singular (bottom).
C.A.M.P.: acronym for Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, a paramilitary-style pot eradication task force focused on SoHum and northern Mendocino. Low-flying helicopters were alleged to be in violation of our constitutional rights.
Contractor: 1) see “grower” 2) contractor
Crabbies: shorthand for the Humboldt Crabs baseball club (h/t lbis)
Cream City: amazing and legit nickname for the victorian village of Ferndale
Carson Heights: Eureka’s flagship ‘Fancy Romney Republican’ neighborhood, north of EHS and west of West. May be also known as Cooper Heights.
“BOON”: The correct pronunciation of the Eureka street spelled B-U-H-N-E. This is the most controversial entry in this glossary. (NOTE TO LOCALS: This particular entry was worded by Andrew Goff, who was born at General Hospital)
“Del Nort”: No ‘eh’ sound on Del Norte. It’s the correct pronunciation our northern neighbor. Saying ‘Del Nor-tay’ might feel right, except that the northern county’s etymology seems to be of Portuguese, not Spanish, origin.
Diesel Dope: Indoor marijuana grown from lights powered by diesel generators. (h/t dire wolf)
Drizzlepiss: Fog that is almost rain. Alternates: Fogging, Pizzle, Snot
Faugust: A moniker of August. It can get foggy in NoHum in summer.
Ferntucky: A moniker of Ferndale
Fortucky: A moniker of Fortuna
Freeway Ball: A left field home run from Arcata Ballpark (h/t KHUM listener Vikki), one that lands on US 101
Frumboldt: Born and raised in Humboldt. ‘Becomeboldt’ happens to permanent transplants.
Green Rush: economic and agricultural phenomenon, refers to a post-2000 influx of growers, often associated with a lack of land stewardship and/or care for community. Can be indoor/outdoor. Alternates: Pot Miners, Greed Growers, Gold Rushers, Get-Rich-Quickers (h/t Heady Green)
Grow Ho: (noun, sexist pejorative) She who hangs with growers, a green gold digger. Alternate: Potstitute
Grow House: a residence in which one or more rooms is used for marijuana production. Sometimes identifiable by blocked-out windows, raggedy landscaping, un-neighborly inhabitants, and structure fires.
Grower: Shorthand for marijuana farmer. Never associated with a food, flower, or oyster farmer.
Growdozer: A conspicuously expensive, inefficient, customized, and otherwise underutilized pickup truck or SUV driven by someone who doesn’t care if you know what they do for a living. Sometimes a status symbol, sometimes replaced annually. Alternates: Humboldt Cadillac (h/t Joel Mielke) or Grower Truck
Growrrage: a garage converted to a marijuana grow room (h/t Sup Dog)
Gulchers: A frequenter or resident of Cooper Gulch park in Eureka. Gulchers are not necessarily disc golfers, but they are certainly high and sometimes up to no good. Alternate 1) a person making his home out in an urban green belt. Alternate 2) those who live in Whale Gulch, a canyon on the coast shared by Mendocino and Humboldt counties (h/t August West)
The Hill: a generic term for a remote growing/trimming operation. I.e.: “I’m going up The Hill this weekend.”
HenCen: A discarded nickname Henderson Center
Hendo: An approved nickname for Henderson Center
Humboldt Crud: the cold, sniffles, & hacking generally endured from December-February, thought to be brought on by abundant moisture and/or mold (h/t Amy)
Humboldt Hilton: The county jail (also, see ‘Salmon House’) Alternate: Pink House
Humboldt Honey: a female whose attractiveness positively correlates with her innate Humboldtness; transcends traditional beauty standards
Humboldt Slowdown: “There’s my exit, I’d better start slowing down now.”
Humboldt Time: Like whenevs, bro
Jaws: (nautical origin) the treacherous entrance to Humboldt bay. Often used in conjunction with “crossing the bar.”
The “J”: Humboldt State University’s largest residential dining hall/recreation center
Larf: low-quality trim detritus. UPDATE: “shitty buds that never tightened up and got hard. They are all loose and airy, “larfy.” (h/t Jake)
Milkcan Game: hypercompetitive annual football game between Fortuna and Ferndale high schools (h/t @rockhouse)
Mom & Pop: small, family-based marijuana farm. Frequently outdoor, often only for supplemental income. (h/t Heady Green)
Murrish’s: A SoHum cred-heavy name for what is now the Shop Smart in Redway, formerly Murrish’s Market.
Myrtletown: mostly residential ‘hood near Eureka northern border. Known for friendly locals, as well as streets, lawns adorned with semi-functional boats,RVs.
NoHum: shorthand for northern Humboldt county, whose Mason-Dixon line is debatable but generally thought to be in the Scotia area.
Oklahoma by the Sea: A moniker of McKinleyville.
The Peninsula: almost always refers to the finger of land between Manila and the Jetty (which, in turn, is almost exclusively in reference to the North Jetty). Alternate: The Spit
Pierson Home: post-war architectural residential template common in Eureka and Arcata, characterized by ‘modern’ design. Features include low-sloping roofs, exposed ceiling beams, floor to ceiling windows, and open floor plans. (h/t Honey Bear)
Real Dull: a moniker of Rio Dell (h/t John Wayne)
Redwood Curtain: mythical and metaphorical palisade that insulates Humboldt county from the real world, for better and worse (h/t abalone_girl)
Redwood Summer: Summer of 1990 in which environmental protests of old-growth redwood forests hit critical mass
Reggae: 1.) shorthand for Reggae On The River, a summertime music festival 2.) reggae
Rosewood: Eureka neighborhood along southern F street known for prestige and errant swine
Rippers: A marijuana thief who pulls the almost-ready plants from an outdoor farm. Usage may be in decline Alternate: rip-off (h/t Heady Green)
SMIG: Single Mother Indoor Grower
Salmon House: 1) Humboldt County jail 2) dormant live-music venue in Arcata circa 2006 and/or 1992 (h/t beel)
Scene: Cannabis garden & associated people, equipment, & location. Alternate: Sitchee
SunnyBrah: Twenty-something male resident of Arcata’s toniest suburb who probably drives a growdozer
Spangers: Panhandlers asking for “spare change.” Can somehow rhyme with both “strangers” and “bangers”(h/t to Sup Dog and his 20+ supporters).
SoHum: Shorthand for southern Humboldt.
Soooouthboooound: see “Freeway ball”
Steelie: shorthand for Mad River Brewery Steelhead ale. Alternate: actual steelhead fish
Stinky Beach: An unstinky, west-facing beach inside Humboldt bay, near the south end of Hikshari’ Trail. Inaccessible by car. A now-defunct tallow plant once spewed a sublime palette of odoriferous emanations downwind.
The Square: Hoopa tribal reservation
Tavern Row: The bar-laden north side of the Arcata plaza, comprised of Everett’s, Toby and Jack’s, The Alibi, and Sidelines. Heavily trafficked by students, police, and spangers. (h/t arcatanative)
Trustafarian: (pejorative, used outside of Humboldt but is a must-know word in Arcata) A Humboldt State University student whose family wealth, atrophied ambition and lifeless eyes are easily spotted. (I.e: Ras Trent)
Trimmigrant: a migrant laborer who trims raw marijuana buds into a sale-ready form. Fall is trimmigration season.
Tuppies: Rural safe deposit box; cash is buried in Tupperware (or similar) underground. Only an issue during wildfire. Similar to Bank of the woods, Bank of the Hill
Two Street: a retro moniker of 2nd street in Eureka.
Plazoid: (pejorative) Leisure specialist (h/t Kevin Hoover) who refines his/her craft on Arcata’s town square. Often associated with homelessness, begging, and the thing Arcatans complain about
Union/Uniontown: former name of Arcata
Upriv: (Orig. Hoopa) shorthand for upriver (anotonym: “downriv”, h/t KHUM listener Mario)
Westside: Eureka’s most densely-populated neighborhood, up and coming. Home of the Jefferson Project
Humboldt County has more than incredible beauty. It has small, unique communities that add sweetness to its natural landscape. Honeydew, a tiny town near the coast in Humboldt has a delightful tradition. Once a month, the county bookmobile arrives at the tiny school and provides a library on wheels for the town and the surrounding countryside.
Rudi Weber, who provided the above photo, explained,
The Book Mobile arrives at the school monthly with the requested books for the students and Community. This has become a social occasion, Farmers Market , Art and Craft Fair.
The new world of the Internet is still a distant possibility and it may even be unwanted. The students love the interaction with the adult Community and the feel of real books. Call it a throw-back in time, it works here.
According to Weber, the Honeydew School does not have library space. The nearest library in the Mattole School 15 miles away with “a limited assortment of books.”
Weber knows that change will inevitably change this remote corner of Humboldt also, but, he says, “The occasion of the bookmobile is today’s fun and reality for Honeydew.”