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The Hum: Off Center ~ During Crazy C-19 Times ~ 8/9/2020

The Hum ~ Off Center

It’s been awhile since I’ve written the Hum, and you can’t really blame me for taking a little time off in these crazy times. The column is about what’s going on and, well, there hasn’t been much happening entertainment-wise. After noting all the shows that were cancelled and venues that are on hiatus, due to the deadly virus, there wasn’t much to say. I’ve been trying to stay safe at home since March.

Well, I’m back, and with different sort of piece, including a document that’s a bomb with a lit fuse dealing with something happening on the HSU campus, described to me as a “hostile takeover” of an essential organization. 

Now in a normal year, around this time, with the college students returning to town and the HSU scene blossoming, I’d probably be writing about the launch of the new season for CenterArts, our local entertainment powerhouse that serves as the arty center of the University Center, at the heart of campus life.   

Last year, the Taj Mahal Quartet opened things up, followed by David Crosby and Friends, then The Beach Boys, at various venues, either the Van Duzer Theatre on campus, or the Arkley Center in Eureka. The Associated Students had shows aimed more at the student population, all together they created what could be described as “a vibrant set of programs that will engage the community in Humboldt County.” 

That’s what the University suggested is a press release issued last week about “Changes Underway at UC to Enhance Campus Life.” They promised, “With CenterArts, the University will be making efforts to enhance the programmatic experience for students.” 

That’s not exactly true, since this is not a normal year, and we’re dealing with what I call “the New Abnormal.” There may be a valiant “effort,” but CenterArts actually has nothing scheduled at all, since the national concert business is on hold due to Coronavirus-19. 

That’s according to Roy Furshpan, Executive Director of CenterArts. They have cancelled advance plans that have been in the works for ages, and everything is either off or postponed. He told me that his organization would probably arrange some sort of virtual concerts (with no actual audiences) at some point, but there’s nothing on the books so far. 

Let’s return to that press release about “ch-ch-changes” (to borrow from Mr. Bowie). It begins by announcing “Humboldt State University is making changes at the University Center that are designed to make major improvements to services and programs for students. The changes will affect Dining Services, management of facilities including the UC building and the Student Recreation Center, CenterArts, and Center Activities. In many cases, there will be immediate changes and enhancements, while other moves will take more time and planning.” 

Now at this point, we have to explain a little bit about the relationship between HSU and the University Center. Many believe incorrectly that U-Center is just a branch of the larger campus. Actually, it’s an independent corporation that works for the university to provide various services like feeding and housing students, and keeping them entertained when they’re not going to classes, be they virtual or otherwise. 

While I’ve been on hiatus as a columnist, I’ve spent too much time of Facebook, where I check in daily. That’s how I came across that press release, which I reposted, asking my friends, “What do you think?” 

That p.r. blast left out a lot of information and raised a lot of questions. Many of my Facebook “friends” had opinions, I have to admit, like many, I don’t really understand exactly what’s happening. 

Someone who did not comment publicly sent me a private note via FB Messenger saying they had an important document that will shed much light on the proposed changes. After some convincing they agreed to relay it to me. 

Meanwhile (or as Stephen Colbert would put it, “quarantine-while”) someone on my FB comment thread disagreed with the unnamed p.r. flack who wrote, “There has been, and will continue to be, consultation with students and others on the University Center board as well as student leadership in Associated Students.” 

According to a member of the University Center Board, “The administration never sought approval for these changes from the Board of Directors of the University Center, which is its own corporation and a separate legal entity from the university.” And furthermore they added, “Why bother having a Board of Directors if you aren’t going to let them do their job?”

At a Zoom meeting of the U. Center board on Thursday evening Aug. 6, (which I missed) there was a lot to deal with. While school was out, the HSU administration has been busy. It seems that in July, the Center’s long time executive director Dave Nakamura was placed on “administrative leave,” after working for them for 20-someodd years, in what seems to be a dispute about what that p.r. blast described simply saying, “With Dining Services, the University will be looking to establish a partnership agreement to improve services and lower costs for students.” 

What they don’t say is that all food services will be outsourced to Aladdin Food Management Services, a corporation based in West Virginia. The press release mentions a change only in the immediate future, although Aladdin potentially could run things much longer. 

Previously, University Center ran all of its own food operations on campus, dealing with local vendors when possible, serving fresh food (when possible) at the Jolly Giant Commons, also known as “The J,” The Depot and Windows Cafe in the University Center building, the Library Cafe, and the relatively new College Creek Marketplace. Under the new plan (under the New Abnormal) only The J and College Creek remain, everything else is closed. Everything will be take-and-go. 

According to Dr. Jason L. Meriwether, HSU’s V. P. of Enrollment Management, this new corporate program will be best for the student body price-wise, etc. 

Here’s where push came to pull for Nakamura, who as far as I can tell, felt the Administration had overstepped its control of the Center’s activities. 

In the short term, Nakamura has been replaced by Todd Larsen, from HSU’s Housing & Residential Life as acting Executive Director of UC through Aug. 17. 

In that p.r. blast the unnamed PIO (press information officer) noted, “Larsen will continue to have an expanded role overseeing Dining Services, the Bookstore, and the Campus Marketplace. [And then] Casey Parks will take on a one-year interim appointment as E. D. of the University Center starting Aug. 17.” Parks was on the UC Board as the student rep and was a leader of Associated Students. Quarantine-wise there is a national search for a permanent director starting in Summer 2021. Would you want that job? 

Those applying for the job, are advised to read this letter from Erickson Law Firm, who have advised the University Center board for years. Are you ready for that bomb? Here it is:  

from Erickson Law Firm ~ August 4, 2020 ~ Client No. 304.00 VIA EMAIL to Jourden Lamar Chair of the Humboldt State University Center Board of Directors

Re: HSU Directives for the Operations of the University Center 

Chairperson Lamar and Members of the Board: 

Originally, my office was requested by Dave Nakamura to provide an opinion advising the Humboldt State University Center (UC) regarding the ability of the Humboldt State University (HSU) and its President or delegatees to unilaterally modify the operations of UC, including eliminating commercial services and activities of the UC. However, we were informed late last week that Mr. Nakamura has been placed on administrative leave and relieved of his current position with the UC. Accordingly, we are providing this opinion directly to the Board. 

As discussed in more detail below, an auxiliary organizations is a distinct legal entity that is designed to provide essential campus services consistent with, but separately from, the educational mission of the university which it directly serves. As a separate non-profit public benefit corporation, the UC’s business operations and activities are governed by its own Board of Directors, with HSU having oversight responsibilities of the UC to ensure that it is operating consistent with its Operating Agreement and the policies of the California State University system (CSU) and HSU campus, and that the corporation is fiscally viable. Additionally, HSU’s President may assign programs and activities to campus auxiliaries. However, if HSU unilaterally assumes the management and operations of the campus’ dining services and Student Recreation Center (SRC) activities and functions performed by UC, HSU will likely have exceeded its authority by violating the Operating Agreement between the UC and the CSU Trustees and its Chancellor. 

BACKGROUND 

The UC is an auxiliary organization authorized by, and in good standing with, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and its duly qualified Chancellor, serving to promote the welfare of Humboldt State University and its campus community. Established in 1970, the UC is a non-profit public benefit corporation governed by its Board of Directors composed of representatives from the University’s student body, faculty, administration, staff, and alumni, as wells as the campus’ surrounding community. 

The UC’s operating agreement with the CSU Trustees, effective through June 30, 2028, indicates that the UC will manage, operate and administer the campus commercial services relating to the activities of the bookstore, food services, campus services; and, the campus student union programs relating to recreational and wellness, student recreation and fitness, and professional performance and entertainment events. In 2011, the operation of the bookstore was outsourced to a third party. (Audit of 1 

HSU Auxiliaries (2016), p. 17; UC 2019 Financial Statements, p. 10.) According to the UC financial statements, its primary activities are to develop, finance and operate the University Center building and the dining services on the HSU campus. The UC building houses the major operations of the UC, including the bookstore, dining operations, Center Arts, UC activities, and various clubs and activities. UC also leases space to Associated Students (AS) and offers a variety of conference spaces, meeting rooms, and lounge/study areas both within the UC facility and in Nelson Hall East. UC is primarily supported by dining sales and student fees, with additional revenue from the outsourced bookstore operations and student programming services for Center Activities, SRC, Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center and Center Arts. (Id. at 5.) 

It is our understanding that on July 9, 2020, HSU directed Mr. Nakamura, the Executive Director of the UC, to execute a contract with Aladdin Food Management Services on the behalf of the UC for Aladdin to operate and manage the dining services that are currently managed and operated by UC. In reviewing Aladdin’s draft contract, however, the contracting parties in revision 4 of the draft agreement were HSU and Aladdin; the UC was not a party to the agreement. Revision 5 did not specifically identify the other party to the contract with Aladdin. Aladdin’s contract proposal indicated that the effective date for the contract was July 20, 2020. It is our understanding that HSU has not conducted a formal budget review in consultation with the UC. It is also our understanding, to the best of UC’s knowledge, that HSU has not complied with statutorily mandated bidding process intended to stimulate fair and open competition, protect the public from misuse of public funds, eliminate favoritism, fraud, and corruption, and to obtain the best value, as required under CSU policies. (CSU Contracts and Procurement Policy (April 1, 2020), Sec. II (“Fair and Open Competition”).) 

On July 13, 2020, the HSU President issued a memorandum to the HSU Vice President for Administration and Finance, the HSU Vice President for Enrollment Management and the HSU Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, pertaining to the programmatic oversight of UC, and announcing that, “effective immediately,” UC’s reporting structure was going to be “across multiple divisions” and this change “may impact the purpose and bylaws of the UC Board and [the] operating agreement.” The HSU President further “recommended the purpose, bylaws, and other related items be updated and made current to reflect these changes at this time,” and directed “all internal charges from [UC] to other campus departments” to be suspended until they are reviewed and “appropriate updates are finalized for the board.” The HSU President’s chief of staff was to inform the UC Board chairperson. 

To our knowledge, no contract has been executed between HSU and Aladdin to date. Nevertheless, on or about July 20, 2020, Aladdin representatives arrived on HSU’s campus and began developing plans for “transitioning” the campus’ dining services from the UC to Aladdin. During the July 2020 meeting of the AS, VP Meriwether “shared details on changed [sic] to HSU Dining Services and the Bookstore,” presenting the UC’s Operating Agreement and HSU’s intent to proceed with a request for proposals (FRP) for HSU dining services. (A.S. Announcement.) The RFP timeline was to begin on or about August 1, 2020 and extend through the Spring 2021 semester. (RFP Timeline.) 

During a transition meeting on July 28, 2020, Aladdin stated that it is “not making any money this year,” but that it sees it as an advantage for the RFP process. Additionally, Aladdin has requested potentially proprietary information from the UC relating to its vendors, ordering history, contract pricing, accounting and cash flow, and other information. It is further our understanding that if the UC’s dining services are dissolved by HSU, it may result in approximately 90% of UC’s employees being laid off. Aladdin has asked the UC to consider remaining the “employer” of dining service employees for the 2020-2021 academic year, although Aladdin would be the entity directing and managing all aspects of the employment relationship. Additionally, the VP Meriwether has requested a list of the UC’s student employees in dining services for the stated purpose of communicating with each of them that they will have a job and that the “outsourcing” of dining services is “not a big deal.” 

It is our understanding that HSU Housing, a self-supporting entity of the State, may assume the UC’s dining services and subsequently outsource to Aladdin. It is further our understanding that HSU administrators have indicated an intent to have the Athletics Department operate the SRC. If this occurs, there have been indications that a portion of student fees that is associated with the SRC will be re- directed to the Athletic Department. Moreover, while UC has purchased and inventoried the equipment, supplies and technology necessary for the activities and operation of the SRC, there are indications that HSU and its Athletic Department may seek to assume ownership of UC’s property. 

ISSUES PRESENTED 

1. Whether HSU and its President has the authority to substantially change the Operating Agreement between the UC and the CSU Board of Trustees, including removing a primary function and activity of the UC such as dining services? 

2. Whether the UC is obligated to provide the HSU Vice-President for Enrollment Management, Jason Meriwether, a list of its student employees for the stated purpose of communicating with each of them that they will have a job and that the “outsourcing” of dining services “is not a big deal”? 

3. Whether the UC is required to disclose its proprietary information regarding dining services to Aladdin – which is essentially the competition when submitting proposals for HSU’s dining services solicitation for bids – without any executed contract between Aladdin and HSU (or the UC)? 

4. Whether it is appropriate for the UC to remain the “employer” of dining service employees for the 2020-2021 academic year, despite Aladdin being the operator and manager of dining services? 

SHORT ANSWERS 

1. No. HSU does not have the authority to unilaterally and substantially change the Operating Agreement between the UC and the CSU by removing the dining services portion of the UC’s operations without properly proceeding through the mechanisms established by statute, regulations, policies of the CSU Board of Trustees, and the terms of the Operating Agreement. Further, HSU assuming dining services from the UC would run contrary to the Operating Agreement entered into between the Board of Trustees of the CSU and its Chancellor and the UC to operate the dining services. Also, by unilaterally acting to cause the UC to no longer be fiscally viable, HSU is effectively dissolving the corporation and the auxiliary’s status as being “in good standing” with the Chancellor’s Office without going through the proper procedures. 

2. Yes. The UC must provide HSU with a list of employee names to the extent that this information is subject to public inspection under the McKee Transparency Act. However, the UC is not obligated to disclose the personal contact information of its employees. Additionally, if the HSU Vice President were to contact the UC’s employees to “assure” 

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them that they have a job and that outsourcing “is not a big deal,” this act would be on the behalf of HSU, not the UC. 

3. No. Irrespective of whether Aladdin executes a contract with HSU, the UC is not required to disclose proprietary information to Aladdin. Moreover, the UC likely is not required to disclose proprietary information to HSU, as such a disclosure to a public entity could subject what is intended to be proprietary information to disclosure under the CPRA. 

4. Likely not. By remaining the “employer” of dining service employees that are, in fact, under the control and direction of Aladdin, a private for-profit company, the UC would be operating outside the scope of its Articles of Incorporation and the activities and functions set forth in its Operating Agreement with the CSU Board of Trustees. While such an agreement may provide the UC with a new revenue source if it were to lose dining services, it would also come with a continuing risk of liability, including tax liability for the income that is not related to its exempt purpose under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) and California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701d. 

DISCUSSION 

I. Authority and Control of the UC Generally 

A. The Structure and Operations of the UC 

California State University auxiliary organizations are organized and operated for the benefit of the California State University. Specifically, CSU auxiliary organizations “promote and assist” the CSU Board of Trustees (“Trustees”) by “engaging in activities that are essential and integral to the mission and purpose of the California State University.” (Educ. Code § 89913(b); see also 5 CCR § 42401.) Auxiliary organizations generally exist for the purpose of providing essential activities and performing functions closely related to, but not normally included as a part of, the regular instructional program of the university. (See Associated Students v. Board of Trustees (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 667, 669; see also 5 CCR § 42401(b)-(d).) Whether due to limitations on State funding or restrictions under California law or regulations, the CSU Trustees and their Chancellor have found that, despite certain functions being important to the mission of the CSU and its campuses, those functions “are more effectively accomplished by the use of an auxiliary organization rather than by the Campus.” (Operating Agreement, Sec. 1.) 

Under the Education Code, California State University auxiliary organizations are “independently governed corporations that are legally separate from the California State University.” (Educ. Code § 89913(c).) In this instance, UC is organized and operated as a tax-exempt, nonprofit public benefit corporation formed for charitable purposes. (Restated Articles of Incorporation; Corp. Code § 5111.) Under federal and State law, an exempt organization, such as UC, is exempt from taxation if it is organized and operated for exempt purposes, including charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes. (Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 501(c)(3); Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) § 23701d(a).) Specifically, an exemption organization must not be organized or operated to benefit private interests. (IRC § 501(c)(3); RTC § 23701d(a).) Further, the assets of the organization must be irrevocably dedicated to exempt purposes, including upon dissolution or if it becomes impossible to perform the organization’s specific purposes. (Id.) 

As a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, the activities and affairs of the UC are “conducted and all corporate powers [are] exercised by or under the direction of the board [of directors].” (Corp. Code § 5210(a).) Corporate powers include the ability to enter into contracts, bring or defend a legal action, or transfer property. (Corp. Code § 5140.) The UC’s Board of Directors (“Board”) may further delegate the management of the corporation’s activities and day-to-day operations, however its function to govern cannot be delegated. (Kennerson v. Burbank Amusement Co. (1953) 120 Cal.App.2d 157.) Unlike many other nonprofit public benefit corporations that determine the number, composition and, if appropriate, voting membership of their respective boards (Corp. Code §§ 5150-5153), a CSU auxiliary organization’s board of directors is required to include in its voting membership university administrators, staff, faculty, non-campus personnel, and students. (Educ. Code § 89903(a)(1); 5 CCR § 42602(b)(2).) Moreover, where an auxiliary organization is primarily funded by student fees collected on a campus or system-wide basis, Education Code section 89903 requires that at least a majority of the board be students with full voting privileges, unless the Trustees determine that there are legal or contractual barriers. (Educ. Code § 89903(a)(2).) Nevertheless, as a nonprofit public benefit corporation, it is UC’s Board that directs UC’s business, affairs and activities. 

Although independently governed and legally separate entities, CSU auxiliary organizations are prohibited from operating outside the regulation and oversight of the CSU system. Specifically, auxiliary organizations must comply with the regulations and policies established by the CSU Trustees, the executive orders (“EO”) of the CSU Chancellor and, if serving a single campus, the policies and procedures governing the campus. (5 CCR § 42402; Executive Order (“EO”) 698.) Further, the CSU Trustees have determined that it is appropriate for auxiliary organizations to perform certain “essential functions” that are “integral part[s] of the educational mission of a campus” and the CSU. These functions include managing, operating and administering bookstores, food services, campus services, instructionally-related programs and activities, and student union programs, such as recreational and wellness programs, professional performance and entertainment events, so long as they are conducted in accordance with applicable policies, rules, and regulations. (5 CCR § 42500(a); Operating Agreement Sec. 2.) 

The structure and operation of CSU auxiliary organizations such as UC are subject to many statutory frameworks, including those governing (1) tax-exempt corporations, i.e. federal Internal Revenue Code and California’s Revenue and Taxation Code; (2) nonprofit public benefit corporations, i.e. California Corporation Code; and (3) CSU auxiliary organizations, i.e. California Education Code and its implementing regulations in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Nevertheless, UC’s Board remains responsible for directing the business, activities and affairs of UC, including, but not limited to, planning the year’s programs and activities, adopting corporate policies and long-term plans, and approving all expenditures and fund appropriations. (Educ. Code § 89904.) 

B. Oversight and Responsibilities of HSU in Relation to UC 

Although CSU auxiliaries are legally separate corporations from the CSU system and the campuses they serve, they are designed to provide essential campus services consistent with the educational mission of the university. Pursuant to the Education Code, Title 5 and subsequent delegations of authority or responsibility, numerous entities and positions have the ability to impact the operations of a campus auxiliary organization including the CSU Trustees, Chancellor, campus president, campus chief financial officer (“CFO”), and the auxiliary’s governing board. Each has oversight responsibilities and, in some instances, the authority to significantly limit or impair the operations of an independently governed and legally separate corporate entity.  

An auxiliary organization that primarily serves a single campus, as is the case with the UC, is required to report to the campus president and chief financial officer (CFO) in a variety of instances. Specifically, the campus Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is charged with overseeing the auxiliary organization to ensure compliance with the objectives stated in Section 42401 of Title 5, which include: (1) providing the fiscal means and the management procedures that allow the campus to carry on activities providing those instructional and service aids not normally furnished by the State budget, (2) providing effective operation and to eliminate the undue difficulty which would otherwise arise under the usual governmental budgetary, purchasing, and other fiscal controls, and (3) providing fiscal procedures and management systems that allow effective coordination of the auxiliary activities with the campus in accordance with sound business practices. (5 CCR § 42401; Operating Agreement, Sec. 3.) Every five years, the campus must review an auxiliary to ensure the operating agreement between the auxiliary and the CSU is current and the auxiliary’s activities are in compliance with the agreement. (Id.; EO 1059.) The CFO’s review is confirmed by either updating the operating agreement or submitting a letter to the campus president with a copy to the Chancellor’s Office certifying that the review was conducted. (5 CCR § 42401; Operating Agreement, Sec. 3.) As part of the periodic review of an auxiliary’s operating agreement, the campus president “should examine the need for each auxiliary.” (EO 1059(II)(B).) 

Further, the campus president “is responsible for the educational effectiveness, academic excellence, and general welfare of the campus, over which he [or she] presides.” (5 CCR § 42402.) Accordingly, with regard to a campus auxiliary organization, the campus president is responsible for each of the following: 

(a) Ensuring the propriety of the auxiliary’s expenditures (Educ. Code § 89900(b)); 

(b) Ensuring the integrity of the auxiliary’s financial reporting (Id.); 

(c) Exercising prudent judgment in the utilization of auxiliaries (EO 1059 (I)(C); 

(d) Ensuring fiscal viability the auxiliary (Id.); 

(e) Requiring auxiliaries submit programs and budgets for review at a time and in a manner 

determined by the president (5 CCR § 42402); 

(f) Reviewing the programs and appropriations of the auxiliary and ensuring compliance with 

CSU and campus policy (5 CCR § 42402); 

(g) Requiring discontinuance of a program or appropriation if the campus president determines 

it to be inconsistent with CSU or campus policy (Id.); 

(h) Compiling and submitting to the Chancellor the public relations policies of campus auxiliaries 

(5 CCR § 42502(i); and 

(i) Ensuring costs incurred by CSU for services, products, and facilities provided to an auxiliary are properly and consistently recovered (EO 1000). 

From the list above, HSU’s responsibilities for oversight are to ensure UC conducts its business in compliance with the Education Code, the policies of the CSU and campus, and the operating agreement. To make these necessary determinations, HSU is required to review UC’s expenditures, operations, and activities. For the HSU president to exercise responsibility over the entire campus program, all campus auxiliaries must submit annual budgets and programs to the HSU president for review and approval. (5 CCR § 42402.) Therefore, once UC’s Board approves an annual budget, it is required to submit the budget to the HSU President for approval. If the HSU President determines UC’s budget, expenditures or a program is not consistent with CSU or HSU policies, the President may instruct UC to refrain from a specific program or appropriation until further review and, if necessary an appropriate adjustment is made. (Id.

As part of the oversight authority, a campus president also has the authority to utilize campus auxiliaries. Specifically, as delegated by and through the Chancellor’s Executive Order 1059, a campus president is “responsible and accountable for prudent judgment in the utilization of campus auxiliaries …” (EO 1059(I)(C).) Included within that responsibility is the authority to determine whether the campus or an auxiliary should have ownership of a campus program or activity. (EO 1059(II)(C); Operating Agreement, Exhibit A, “CSU Auxiliary Organization Compliance Guide,” (“Exhibit A”) Sec. 10.6.2(a).) For a campus president to assign certain campus activities or programs to an auxiliary requires the approval of the CSU Chancellor or designee, as well as the execution of a written agreement. (Operating Agreement, Exhibit A, “CSU Auxiliary Organization Compliance Guide,” Sec. 10.6.) When an auxiliary accepts ownership of a program or activity “it also assumes the associated legal obligations and liabilities, fiscal liabilities, and fiduciary responsibilities.” (EO 1059(II)(C).) Indications of ownership include: 

• Authority and discretion to contract for services or materials required by the activity 

• Responsibility for business losses 

• Legal liability as an owner or principal entity 

• Fiduciary obligations associated with the activity 

• Responsibility for establishment of operating and administrative policies 

• Primary control or discretion over the expenditure of funds 

(EO 1059(II)(C).) 

A determination of ownership of an activity or program is not necessarily tied to: 

• Employment of individuals granted signatory authority related to the activity (e.g., person or persons who can sign a letter or other related documents on behalf of a principal entity) 

• Ownership of the facility where the activity occurs 

• Authority to request an expenditure 

• Academic or similar programmatic control over the activity 

(Id.; see also Exhibit A, Sec. 10.6.3.) 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, there appears to be no provision that expressly authorizes a campus president to remove a campus activity or program from an auxiliary. Further, if assigning an activity to an auxiliary that is a willing-recipient requires the approval of the CSU Chancellor, it is reasonable to presume that removing a contracted function from an auxiliary in good standing with the Chancellor would, at minimum, also require the approval of the Chancellor or designee. (5 CCR § 42406.) Moreover, an auxiliary that fails to meet one or more of the basic criteria for remaining in good standing may only be placed on probation or suspension if the Chancellor follows specific procedures, including providing the auxiliary with notice of the violations and opportunity to respond. 

Accordingly, similar to corporate parent companies, the CSU and the university campus are able to “exercise general executive responsibility for the operations of [a campus auxiliary] and review its major policy decisions” without demonstrating the existence of control or violating an auxiliary’s separateness. 

(Sammons Enterprise v. Superior Court (1988) 205 Cal.App.3d 1427, 1434.) Further, the management of any auxiliary’s day-to-day operations may be delegated by its board of directors to any person(s), company or committee. (Ibid.; Corp. Code § 5210; see also Oliphant v. Home Builders (1917) 34 Cal.App.720.) 

II. HSU’s Intended Conduct Potentially Results in the Unilateral Dissolution of the Dining 

Services of the UC Without the UC’s Consent 

The types of actions being contemplated at HSU have occurred before in the CSU system. Specifically, as indicated above, CSU auxiliary organizations are “entities designed to provide essential campus services consistent with the educational mission of, but separately from, the university they directly serve.” (1988 Cal AB 1643, 1988 Cal Stats. ch. 1615.) When the president of CSU Chico proposed dissolving the interest of the Associated Student, a campus auxiliary, in providing commercial services and to establish other auxiliaries to operate the commercial services, it raised “serious questions about the potential for liability to the state.” (Id. at Sec. 1(a)(4).) In 1988, the State Legislature responded by enacting Education Code Section 89905.5 in order “to ensure that auxiliary organizations continue to be operated in a manner that is separate from, but related to, the state so as to protect the state from possible liability.” (Id. at Sec. 1(a)(5).) 

Education Code Section 89905.5 prohibited an auxiliary of CSU Chico from discontinuing its commercial services “without providing the campus with adequate notice of its intent to discontinue the service, and the opportunity to continue the service through other means.” (Educ. Code § 89905.5(a).) Further, until specific conditions are met, “[n]o commercial service operated by an auxiliary organization on the California State University, Chico, campus or any aspect of the management of the commercial services shall be taken over by the Trustees of the California State University, the Chancellor of the California State University, the president of a campus of the California State University, or another auxiliary organization.” (Educ. Code § 89905.5 (b).) Those conditions are: 

(1) The entity seeking to assume all or part of the management of the commercial service has demonstrated that the commercial service has substantial programmatic or financial difficulties. 

(2) The governing board of the auxiliary organization currently operating the commercial service has been provided adequate opportunity to respond to the concerns demonstrated pursuant to paragraph (1). 

(3) The governing board of the entity seeking to assume all or part of the management of the commercial service has approved the assumption of the new programmatic or financial responsibility. 

(4) The auxiliary organization currently operating the commercial service has been provided adequate compensation for any losses, including, but not limited to, property, inventory, services, or employees directly resulting from the assumption of all or part of the operation of the commercial service by the entity. 

(Educ. Code § 89905.5(b).) 

Where an entity is going to assume responsibility for commercial services, it must first “be established as an official [CSU] auxiliary organization operating separate from, but related to, the university of 

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service so as to protect the state from all possible liability associated with the operation of commercial services.” (Id. at (c).) 

If Education Code Section 89905.5 applied to all CSU campuses, the attempts of HSU to subvert the functions and operations of the UC, as well as the terms and provisions of the Operating Agreement, would be a clear violation of the Education Code. Specifically, food services are commercial services generally grouped with bookstores and other campus services, separate from housing. (5 CCR § 42500.) It is our understanding that, while HSU, its housing department, and Aladdin appear to have an interest in assuming the dining services of the UC, neither have demonstrated that the dining services, as operated by the UC, have substantial programmatic or financial difficulties. Further, the UC has not received any notice of substantial programmatic or financial difficulties, nor been given opportunity to respond to any concerns. Nor has HSU or CSU approved the assumption of the dining services and resulting financial responsibility. Moreover, it is our understanding that Aladdin is a private company and has not been established as an approved auxiliary organization of the CSU. Further, if Section 89905.5 applied to HSU, either HSU or Aladdin would be required to adequately compensate the UC for its losses directly resulting from the assumption of its dining services. 

As indicated above, HSU has the authority to review the UC’s operating agreement and its activities to ensure the activities are compliant with the operating agreement and the agreement is current. (EO 1059; UC Operating Agreement Sec. 3.) As part of the periodic review, the HSU President “should examine the need for each auxiliary and look at efficiency of the auxiliary operations and administration.” (Id.) However, as indicated above, as a nonprofit public benefit corporation, the activities and affairs of the UC are “conducted and all corporate powers [are] exercised by or under the direction of the board [of directors].” (Corp. Code § 5210(a).) Accordingly, HSU does not have the authority to unilaterally direct the day-to-day business operations of the auxiliary, nor the authority to dissolve an auxiliary organization. It is our understanding that the UC’s activities, including the dining services are consistent with its Operating Agreement. It is further our understanding that, pursuant to UC policy 201, the UC’s budget was sent to the HSU President in May of 2020. To date, the UC has not received the President’s approval. However, according to the Board of Directors meeting minutes from April 9, 2020, the UC’s 2020-21 draft budget indicated a deficit of approximately $1.3 million. (See Meeting Minutes, p. 4.) 

In his memorandum on July 13, 2020, the HSU President indicated that he reviewed the “need” for each campus auxiliary, but did not indicated whether HSU no longer needs the UC. In fact, by contracting with another entity to assume the UC’s dining services, HSU indicates that dining services are needed by the campus. However, the CSU Board of Trustees and the CSU Chancellor have already determined that it is not only necessary, but also in the best interests of the CSU and HSU to have the commercial dining services managed, operated or administered by the UC. (Operating Agreement, Sec. 2; Exhibit A, “Compliance Guide,” Sec. 4.5.1(b).) 

Irrespective of this determination, HSU appears to be attempting to contract directly with Aladdin for food service management, without complying with statutorily required bidding processes. Further, the unilateral outsourcing of a major program of the UC fails to respect the UC’s separate role and relationship, existing functions, and the applicable decision-making standards. 

By dissolving the interest of the UC in the campus dining services, HSU further increases the liability of the CSU system. Specifically, if there were a breach of the terms of HSU’s contract with Aladdin, HSU will have placed itself and the CSU system at risk for non-compliance with all statutes, regulations and other requirements necessary for public contractual agreements. HSU would further essentially be acting in direct contradiction of the CSU Board of Trustees and Chancellor and in violation of the Operating Agreement if it were to contract directly with a for-profit entity to manage the campus’ dining services. Further, if HSU does decide to directly outsource campus food services and assume the function, the existing operating agreement and property lease between the CSU and the UC would need to be amended by all parties to delete the food services function. (Operating Agreement Sec. 2, 20 and 25.) Such an amendment would require approval by not only the HSU President, but the UC board and the CSU Chancellor’s Office as well. 

Unilateral termination of all or any portion of the 2018-2028 Operating Agreement and Lease between the CSU and the UC does not appear to be contemplated by the parties to the document. By its terms, only the CSU may terminate the operating agreement, and then only for breach or failure to comply with an agreement requirement and with 90-days written notice (including a “curing” provision). (Id., Sec. 22.) In such a case, the leased premises could be taken back for “civil defense” purposes or in a national emergency, or, in the event that the premises are required for an unanticipated CSU need or exclusive use, with sufficient notice. (Id., Sec. 25.) 

Finally, UC’s budget analysis indicates that if Dining Services are outsourced and the SRC student fee is directed to away from the UC, the financial loss likely will cause the UC to no longer be financially viable and will effectively result in its dissolution. Generally, the process for formally dissolving a nonprofit public benefit corporation requires the organization’s Board of Directors to vote to approve the winding up and dissolution of the UC, a certificate evidencing that election, and a copy filed with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. (Corp. Code § 6611(a).) The certificate must be signed and verified by at least a majority of the Directors then in office and it must set forth that the UC has elected to wind up and dissolve by election of its Board of Directors and evidence that the UC does not have members. (Id. at (b).) Prior to the directors of an auxiliary acting to dissolve the organization, they will take action to accomplish a dissolution plan that is consistent with applicable laws and statutes. 

During the winding up process, the UC must request a letter from the Office of the Attorney General that either waives objections to the distribution of the nonprofit corporation’s assets or confirms that it has no assets. The property and assets of the UC are irrevocably dedicated to charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes. (Restated Articles of Corporation, Arts. 2.2, 2.3, and 2.5(b)-(c).) The UC is not organized for the private gain of any person and “[n]o part of its net earnings will inure to the benefit of its directors, trustees, officers, private shareholders or to individuals.” (Arts. 2.2 and 2.5(b).) If UC were to wind up and dissolve, it’s Articles of Incorporation provide that, “after paying or adequately providing for the debts, obligations, and liabilities of the Corporation, all net assets, other than trust funds,” are to be distributed to a successor organization that is organized and operated for charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes, and is approved by the HSU President and the CSU Chancellor. (Restated Articles of Corporation, Art. 2.5(c).) Additionally, the UC should file its final returns and any outstanding returns. 

Once the UC is wound up, a majority of the Directors then in office must sign and verify the certificate of dissolution. (Corp. Code § 6615(a).) The signed and verified certificate of dissolution must be filed with Secretary of State and accompanied by either a written confirmation from the Attorney General that the UC has no assets or a written waiver of objections to the distribution of the UC’s assets by the Attorney General. (Id. at (b) and (c).) The Secretary of State’s acceptance of the certificate of dissolution will cease the UC’s existence. (Corp. Code § 6615(c).) After the Secretary of State accepts the certificate of dissolution, it will then notify the Franchise Tax Board and the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts of the UC’s dissolution. However, the Attorney General requests that a dissolving entity also provide notice to its office to ensure that the entity is withdrawn from its registry. 

III. HSU is Able to Demand Limited Information Regarding the Employees of the UC 

Under the California Constitution, all people have an inalienable right to pursue and obtain privacy. (Cal. Const. Art. I § 1.) However, an individual’s right to privacy is not limitless or absolute. Rather, the expectation of privacy must be reasonable in light of the customs, practices, and physical settings surrounding particular activities. (Hill v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal. 4th 1.) Additionally, reasonable limitations that are not unduly burdensome are permissible. (In re Alcala (1990) 214 Cal.App.3d 345.) Violations of another’s right to privacy are actionable as invasions of privacy. Actionable invasions fall into four distinct kinds of activities: (1) intrusion into private matters; (2) public disclosure of private facts; (3) publicity placing a person in a false light; and (4) misappropriation of a person’s name or likeness. (Hill, supra, 7 Cal.4th at 24.) Each “kind of activity,” however, requires the existence of a legally protected privacy interest, a reasonable expectation of privacy in the circumstances, and a showing that the invasive conduct was unwarranted and highly offensive. (Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc. (2009) 47 Cal.4th 272.) 

The names and salaries of California public employees are information generally in the public domain under California Public Records Act, applicable to government agencies. (International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 319, 327 (Local 21).) While the UC is not a government agency, thus not subject to the CPRA, as a CSU auxiliary organization it is subject to the McKee Transparency Act, which requires the UC to make available to the public for inspection the disclosable records that it maintains. (Educ. Code § 89913 et seq.) Information that is exempt from disclosure under the CPRA is also exempt under the McKee Transparency Act. (Educ. Code § 89915.5.) Accordingly, while the identity of auxiliary employees is not considered “exempt” from disclosure, the personal contact information of such employees would be exempt to the extent that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. (Educ. Code §§ 89913, 89916(a)(5); Govt. code § 6254.3; see also, Local 21, supra, at p. 329-330.) 

In contrast, the “directory information” of students is generally disclosable under both the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the California Education Code. However, before disclosing this information, the educational institution must notify students of the information that may disclosed, and the scope of access allowable for “legitimate educational interest” to “officials and employees.” (20 USCS § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. 99.31; Educ. Code §§ 76210(b); 76240; 76221(a)-(j).) Directory information includes name, address, phone number, and email address. (34 C.F.R. 99.3; see also HSU Catalog 2020-2021, p. 305.) 

Accordingly, while the UC may provide names of its employees to VP Meriwether, it is not required to provide their contact information. Mr. Meriwether may obtain that information from the directory information that HSU retains for its students, subject to is campus policies. (E.g. HSU Email Policy (Policy No. P16-01).) Additionally, the UC should consider adopting a “records access” policy that would clearly set forth the information it considers disclosable or non-disclosable because the information would be against the UC’s fiduciary interests. It is our understanding that the AOA may have a template records access policy for use by its members. 

IV. The UC is not Required to Disclose Proprietary Information to Aladdin Food Service 

Management 

Records that are exempt from disclosure generally include corporate proprietary information. (Educ. Code § 89913(d); Govt. Code § 6254.15.) Under the McKee Transparency Act, “[a]ccess to records used, owned, or maintained by auxiliary organizations must be balanced by the need to protect … an  auxiliary organization’s fiduciary interests.” (Educ. Code § 89913(d).) Trade secrets are not subject to disclosure. (Educ. Code § 89916.5(a).) For the purposes of the McKee Transparency Act, “trade secrets” means: 

[I]nformation including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that does both of the following: 

(1) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. 

(2) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. 

(Educ. Code § 89916.5.) 

Further, the information must be redacted before turning over the auxiliary organization’s records pursuant to a public request. (Id.) This redaction must not be overlooked in order for the UC to demonstrate that it has affirmatively taken reasonable steps to protect its information. (Civ. Code § 3426.1.) 

Moreover, the UC should not produce any proprietary information to HSU. Specifically, the UC must “maintain adequate records and …prepare such periodic reports showing its operations and financial status as may be required,” for audit by the CSU Board of Trustees and its Department of Finance. (5 CCR § 42404) Additionally, the UC must submit its programs and budgets to the campus president for his or her review. (5 CCR § 42402.) However, there would be no reason for the UC’s budget to include product quantity per order, nor would it include vendor information or contract prices. Further, financial data, proprietary information, and trade secrets that are produced by the UC to HSU and then maintained by HSU are subject to disclosure under the CPRA if the public interest served by disclosure of the record outweighs the public interest served by not making the record public. (San Gabriel Tribune v. Superior Court (1983) 143 Cal.App.3d 762; California State University, Fresno Assn., Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 810, 836.) Accordingly, with some exceptions, it is recommended that the UC not include in its records and reports to the CSU and HSU information that is a trade secret if those records and reports will be maintained by the CSU or HSU. 

Further, even if HSU executed a contract with Aladdin, it would not entitle Aladdin as a third-party private contractor to the UC’s proprietary information. Absent the consent of the UC, disclosure of its trade secrets to a competitor is not required if the information is not public. 

V. Student Employees Likely Should Not Remain Employees of the UC if Aladdin Were to 

Receive a Contract to Operate HSU’s Dining Services. 

As discussed above, California State University auxiliary organizations are organized and operated for the benefit of the California State University. Specifically, CSU auxiliary organizations “promote and assist” the CSU Board of Trustees by “engaging in activities that are essential and integral to the mission and purpose of the California State University.” (Educ. Code § 89913(b); see also 5 CCR § 42401.) Auxiliary organizations generally exist for the purpose of providing essential activities and performing functions closely related to, but not normally included as a part of, the regular instructional program of the university. (See Associated Students v. Board of Trustees (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 667, 669; see also 5 CCR § 42401(b)-(d).) 

The UC is organized and operated as a tax-exempt, nonprofit public benefit corporation formed for charitable purposes. (Restated Articles of Incorporation; Corp. Code § 5111.) Under federal and State law, an exempt organization, such as the UC, is exempt from taxation if it is organized and operated for exempt purposes, including charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes. (Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 501(c)(3); Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) § 23701d(a).) Additionally, an exemption organization must not be organized or operated to benefit private interests. (IRC § 501(c)(3); RTC § 23701d(a).) The assets of the organization must be irrevocably dedicated to exempt purposes, including upon dissolution or if it becomes impossible to perform the organization’s specific purposes. (Id.) 

By remaining the “employer” of dining service employees that are, in fact, under the control and direction of Aladdin, a private for-profit entity, the UC would be operating outside the scope of its Articles of Incorporation as well as the activities set forth in its Operating Agreement with the CSU Board of Trustees. While such an agreement may provide the UC with a new revenue source if it were to lose dining services, it would also come with a continuing risk of liability. The income from this “co-employer” agreement with Aladdin may be taxable business income because it is not related to an exempt purpose under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) and California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701d. Further, neither the UC’s Articles of Incorporations nor its Bylaws contemplate contracting for the corporation to provide business services to for-profit entities. Finally, co-employers generally have to have contractual relationships with terms and provisions that are exhaustive. By entering any contractual relationship with Aladdin, the UC may be “co-signing” on to HSU’s non-compliant service contract with Aladdin. 

Conclusion 

Auxiliary organizations, like the UC, are designed to provide essential campus services consistent with the educational mission of, but separately from, the university they directly serve. As a legally separate non-profit public benefit corporation, the UC’s business operations and activities are governed by its Board of Directors, with HSU having oversight responsibilities of the UC to ensure that it is operating consistent with its Operating Agreement, policies of the CSU and campus, and that the corporation is fiscally viable. Additionally, HSU may assign programs and activities to campus auxiliaries. However, if HSU intends to assume the management and operations of the campus’ dining services and SRC activities and functions performed by UC, without the consent of the CSU Chancellor or the UC’s Board of Directors, it is our opinion that HSU likely will be exceed its authority by violating the Operating Agreement between the UC and the CSU Trustees and its Chancellor. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. 

Very truly yours, 

Rex Randall Erickson 

Here’s that p.r. blast as posted on Humboldt State Now

Changes Underway at UC to Enhance Campus Life ~ Aug 04, 2020

“Humboldt State University is making changes at the University Center that are designed to make major improvements to services and programs for students.

The changes will affect Dining Services, management of facilities including the UC building and the Student Recreation Center, CenterArts, and Center Activities. In many cases, there will be immediate changes and enhancements, while other moves will take more time and planning. There has been, and will continue to be, consultation with students and others on the University Center board as well as student leadership in Associated Students.

Given its size and scope, the UC plays a vital role in delivering student life programming across campus.

Student life activities are especially important at a residential campus like HSU, and students have been vocal about wanting to see a variety of improvements. A priority will be creating a full calendar of events and activities throughout the semester.

With Dining Services, the University will be looking to establish a partnership agreement to improve services and lower costs for students. Due to the challenges of the pandemic, there will be a short-term service agreement for the upcoming academic year. Proposals will be sought for a longer-term agreement that would begin in Fall 2021.

Other changes will result in expanded space for student clubs and organizations, as well as for student programming. One such space is the site of the Bookstore, which will be moved to a new space with better access for customers.

Student employment levels in Dining and other UC programs will be maintained through the pandemic and beyond as currently planned. In some cases, the number of student employees will be expanded.

With CenterArts, the University will be making efforts to enhance the programmatic experience for students, while also continuing to provide a vibrant set of programs that will engage the community in Humboldt County and the surrounding communities of the North Coast.

Two different areas are now assigned oversight of the University Center. Most of UC’s operations will fall within Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, where the UC Executive Director will report to Dean of Students Dr. Eboni Turnbow. Center Activities will now report to Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports Jane Teixeira, with the goal of further integrating the programs with intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports.

Todd Larsen from Housing & Residential Life will serve as acting Executive Director of UC through Aug. 17. Afterwards, Larsen will continue to have an expanded role overseeing Dining Services, the Bookstore, and the Campus Marketplace.

Casey Parks will take on a one-year interim appointment as Executive Director of the University Center starting Aug. 17. Parks has served on the UC Board and brings robust experience as a student-centered leader in her role with Associated Students.

In partnership with the UC Board, the job description of the Executive Director will be updated, with the goal of a permanent director starting in Summer 2021.”

Needless to say, there’s a lot more to this story. I’m working on obtaining the recording of the Thursday University Center Board meeting, which I understand my former co-worker Ryan Burns (of Lost Coast Outpost) attended virtually. The HSU administration will have more to say. Watch for more as things continue to unfold. Let me know what you think.

Same week, another Hum ~ tons of music, YouTubage, SoundClouds, etc. ~ 2/5

I promised more… Here’s The Hum Feb. 5-9 part two…

The activists at EPIC ask, “Love good music? Interested in local wood craftmanship?” You know I do. The Environmental Protection Information peeps have a benefit coming on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Arcata Playhouse, 7:30-10 p.m. with Axon Orchestra, a Django-inspired trio with Fabrice Martinez on violin, Dusty Brough on guitar, and Miles Jay on stand-up bass.

Not necessarily the lineup playing Feb. 5

I know Fabrice from Fishtank Ensemble, who I’ve heard at the Playhouse years ago (and loved). Also, “this event will also feature the release of a year-long project of two hand-crafted, horse drawn ‘gypsy wagons’ that will be rolled out for the first (and possibly only) time in Humboldt before they get shipped to Topanga Canyon.” I suspect Fabrice is pivotal in all of this, but I wonder how it happened without my hearing about the “project.” Show up early, 6:30-ish, for a pre-show soup/bread meal (sound like a Crib thing).  

Whomp Wednesday has moved to the Miniplex, at least Feb. 5, this week with the “cyberdelic extra terrestrial music producer” Tripzy Leary from Vancouver, BC, “Morphing together psychedelic alien synesthesia with rich analogue bass frequencies that are spread across cyberspace…”

There’s also Minnesota at the ATL..

…and Pink Talking Fish at HumBrews, bands I talked about in the paper last week. 

That1Guy Radio…

At HumBrews Thursday (2/6) they have That1Guy (aka Mike Silverman) on his Magic Pipe, a strange homemade contraption that started out as a double bass and mutated with various gadgetry. He also plays the Magic Boot and the Magic Saw, with more electro-magic. It’s hard to explain. Best to see him do his magic.

Also on Thursday, Elwood, a folk and soul musician from La Grande, OR, plays at Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. starting at 8 p.m.

The Thursday concert at the Old Steeple with iconic singer Iris DeMent and special guest Ana Egge is totally sold out, which is the case with a lot of the shows there.

Hawaiian slack key master Led Kaapana is there Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. There tickets available for that one. 

This weekend plus: Feb. 6-9, at Blue Lake Casino, they have the 11th Annual Inked Hearts Tattoo Expo, where you can meet tattoo artists and watch them work, or get a tat yourself.

Poster art by Sonny Wong

Somewhat unrelated, they have the “first ever” Sushi Eating Contest at Sushi Blue Saturday at noon. (Registration on Friday at noon.) “Contestants will be challenged to eat a large amount of sushi (some quite spicy) in the fastest amount of time,” (three minutes or less). The prize? More sushi (a gift certificate, so you can share) and 200 bucks. 

Semi-related, music, music, music, with ace cover band The Undercovers on Thursday (playing well chosen covers), then on Friday, Bleach, “the Bay Area’s most authentic Nirvana tribute band, and Saturday, the SoCal beach/rock/reggae band, Safety Orange, who are slightly Sublime-ish.

Saturday, Feb. 8, the Miniplex rocks heavily with Big Business. “They play heavy rock. On that, we can all agree. Things get tricky when you try to classify exactly where on the musical spectrum the dynamic duo’s racket falls. ‘I guess psychedelic heavy metal punk rock? I don’t know,’” says drummer Coady Willis, formerly of Murder City Devils. As of press time the mandatory local openers is “TBA,” but I’d suggest White Manna. Ask Colin, he’ll know. 

At the ATL Saturday, it’s a “Decades Dance Party” with Gabe Pressure, GMNIITE and Copperton3 spinning music from decades past (take your pick).

“Dust off those poodle skirts, flapper dresses, zoot suits, tweed pants, bell bottoms, jump suits, and come out to hear timeless hits remastered.” Plus at midnight, a special performance with pianist Bailee Barnett with the ATL Dance Team. (Yes, they’re back.)

At HumBrews, same Saturday, MONEY, Humboldt’s own “homegrown Pink Floyd tribute, is planning on doing the full Animals album, with lights and projections by Shawn Lei

Sunday I’ll be watching the Oscars with friends, but there are big parties in several places that show movies: the Minor and the Miniplex in Arcata, and the Eureka Theatre in Eureka where Absynth will be performing, maybe in tuxedos. Dress up for the Red Carpet, talk about films you maybe saw on tv. Whatever.

If your not going to watch the Oscars, up at the Van Duzer Sunday CenterArts has the Hot Rats Live! World Tour Plus Other Hot Stuff 1969 flash from the past with Dweezil Zappa and company playing masterworks by Frank. Kevin will be there. (He may even be writing something. No one tells me what’s going on.)  

Extra BONUS:

Anyway, that’s it for now. See ya somewhere… 

The Hum ~ What’s Cookin’? ~ 2/5 ~ part 1

What’s Cookin’? plus reggae for Bob, a benefit for the Playhouse “and more”

The late great Bob Marley was born Feb. 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, Jamaica

If you’ve been following the Hum for awhile, either since a quarter of a century back when it started, or lately, well, lately I’ve been nostalgic about the good ol’ days. I haven’t talked much about the real beginning of my writing career, such as it is. I was a Humboldt grad, but never a journalism student.

I was earning a living cooking, when a late reentry college student, a guy named Guy Cross, started a monthly entertainment newspaper called Edge City.

Guy with glasses: Guy Cross Edge City publisher w/partner

He knew me as the chef at the Silver Lining…

(We once did a cooking video together)

…and he knew I liked music “and more,” so he asked me to write for the fledgling paper about whatever I was interested in. 

One of my early assignments was to go to a local reggae concert. The 2nd annual Bob Marley Festival at the Eureka Muni had Aswad, Judy Mowatt and a fine Humboldt band, Rod Deal and the I-Deals, all brought together by the late Queen of Humboldt reggae, Carol Bruno. The show was in February in celebration of Bob’s birthday, Feb. 6, always a good time to hear reggae.

This year on Thursday, Feb. 6, which would have been Bob’s 75th birthday, El Gee and Booty Shakin Productions offer “A Celebration of Bob Marley’s Life” at the Arcata Theatre Lounge featuring Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and The Black Soil Band and a special Bob Marley Tribute set featuring our own Ishi Dube, Madi Simmons and Vidagua (with Madi’s daughter, Lorenza)and DJSarge OneWise

Tarrus Riley

Headliner Tarrus Riley is a top flight reggae singer/chanter, and saxophonist Dean Frazer’s bands are always tight as a drum.

The reason that festival in the early ’90s came to mind was not because of Jamaica, but because of the late Rod Deal, who wrote timely anthems about what was happening in SoHum, like “2,000,000 Acres,” about the fight against the destruction of the redwood forest, and “Helicopters,” about the CAMP days when the government was raiding farms in the woods. He sang, “Helicopters are causing us to be afraid for life. Helicopters, one or two are always in sight. Helicopters, they’re violating our constitutional rights.” 

It’s Reggae on the River 1991, not Raggae…

A few years back Ishi, a Humboldt homegrown guy who was raised in SoHum, pulled that song out of the past for a remix, renaming it “Choppers,” and reminding us of a time when the herb was totally black market, before it was rebranded as cannabis, when the War on Drugs was fought by people on both sides wearing camo as more than a fashion statement. I’ll be surprised if Ishi doesn’t play that anthem on Bob’s day. 

Ishi Dube ~ Choppers ~ 2011

BTW, in advance of the big show, Tarrus Riley will be in town for a meet and greet Wednesday (2/5) from 5-7 p.m. at Proper Wellness Center in Eureka at 517 5th St. Can you guess what they sell there to help you to get well? (Yes, they also deliver.) 

Another flashback from my personal past came in an email inviting me to an Arcata Playhouse benefit dance party coming up Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. with Home Cookin’. I hope I don’t have to tell you too much about all the good things happening at the Playhouse, where in addition to a great variety of music shows, they host “theatre by all ages, for all types,” and “and more” like oversized puppets, an Artists in the School program, their teen program Apprentice Entertainment, etc. 

Home Cookin’

Haley Davis, the new Playhouse publicist noted, Home Cookin’ is “composed of legendary local musical veterans, Joyce Hough, Gary Davidson, Fred Neighbor and Mike LaBolle serving up savory musical entrees with a saucy backbeat.” (A food reference is mandatory.) 

For me, to start with, I’d probably put Fred second on the list, since he’s married to Joyce, and they’ve been in bands together for around 50 years. I’ve been dancing to their music for decades. In a way, they were also instrumental in the founding of the Hum.

In 1993, Edge City had changed hands and I was writing for a younger editor, Chris Lauer. I had shifted my work at the monthly to interviews with big name artists who were coming to town, everyone from Jimmy Cliff and Mickey Hart to Ray Manzarek and Michael McClure. I pitched a local story about an anniversary show at the Jambalaya — the club was marking 20 years since it was founded by Fred and Joyce, who took over the bar formerly known as Dan and Jerry’s at a time when they were the house band, Freddy and the Starliners.

Freddy and the Starliners album 1977 ~ two lps, one live at the Jambalaya

They weren’t really cut out to be club owners, a hard, mostly thankless job (just ask Pete Ciotti, who just sold the same club), but their various bands still played there. 

Anyway, Chris wasn’t interested in an interview with a local band, so I shopped the idea around. Jack Durham, then the B-section editor for the Arcata Union liked my idea. (BTW, Jack is now the publisher/editor of the Mad River Union.) That was one of the first pieces I did for a paper other than Edge City. Ultimately, it led to my longstanding Hum column, which started in the original Union

Bouncing back to the times when Fred and Joyce owned the Jam, they eventually sold it to Andrew Cairns, who then sold the club to their friend Chloe Damus and a couple of others. It was a golden time for the Jambalaya culturally with musicians like Elizabeth Cotton, Etta James, Robert Cray and The Meters gracing the small stage, and too many local folks to mention, along with poets reading their work. 

A friend and Westhaven neighbor of mine, Dixie Gorrel, started serving home-cooked meals at the Jam Fridays. The dinners became popular enough that it led to her starting a full scale restaurant in Westhaven, calling in Larrupin. The rest is more Humboldt history.

I mention this for a couple of reasons: First, the Jam is scheduled to reopen under new ownership in mid-February. (You probably read about it in the Union last week.) Second, another old friend of mine, Darcey Lima, who worked with me at the Silver Lining, has been doing something along the lines of what Dixie did years ago, but at the Logger Bar in sunny Blue Lake.

Darcey’s Dinner runs from 5-7 p.m. the first and third Friday of every month, with occasionally an extra bonus. There’s a meal Feb. 7, (The Stallions plays songs by Ween after at 9 p.m.), then there’s Darcey’s Special Valentine’s Day Dinner Feb. 14. Date night? That night, Eyes Anonymous plays “cheesy love songs and songs about break-ups.” Sounds romantic, right?

Jeff DeMark ~ photo by Bob Doran

A little more reminiscing about the early days of the Hum, 25+ years ago: One of things I wrote about was a one-man-show called Writing My Way Out of Adolescence by my old friend, Jeff DeMark. The first in a long line of stories “and more” from the Blue Lake raconteur. He’s still doing the same sort of thing, only different. He dropped me a email recently saying: 

 Inscrutable Rabbit

“I’m doing a show at the Westhaven Center on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. The band is Inscrutable Rabbit and includes my [twin] brother Paul and John Dillon on guitar. John gigged in bands in the Bay Area for many years: funk, pop, jazz, etc. He moved up here maybe 18 months ago. He is the brother of Amy Dillon, who is married to artist Jack Sewell of the old Sewell Art Gallery. Tim Breed will also be playing with us. He is currently the drummer in the [Trinidad country western band] Tidepool High Divers and led the Psychedelvis Band,” who mixed Elvis tunes with Bowie covers, to interesting effect. “We will be doing almost exclusively original songs, a bunch of mine, others by Tim and John. And I’ll be performing a couple of stories and maybe a poem or two, also.  

“One of the stories is about Doug Sahm. Maybe you know this, but I got to know him at Slim’s [Boz Scaggs old nightclub] in SF, and he started coming up here, going to Crab’s games and hanging out semi-regularly. He died of a heart attack at age 58, 20 years ago this past November, and I want to pay tribute to him. 

“The other story is called ‘Pickle Anarchist,’ about working at McDonald’s. I wrote it for the Dell’Arte ‘Stories in the Tent’ event and they performed it with Jeff Kelley telling the tale. I’ve only done it once, so it’s very fresh.

I asked about the band’s name

“The Rabbit is a small sculpture I bought at a New Orleans flea market on Frenchman Street a few years ago. I liked the look of him and the title, “Don’t Underestimate Me”, made it imperative to buy it.  So many people feel underestimated and the Rabbit is there for people.  I call him Inscrutable because if you look at his face it’s an inscrutable gaze.  

These lyrics from the Rabbit say it all:

“The Rabbit is a freedom fighter

puncturing inflated balloons

filled with ego gas

nobody needs that crap.
Nobody knows what they’re doing

even if they act like they do

they’re just as confused as you

so just keep going.”

“So that’s the scoop. Any publicity will be much appreciated. Thanks, Jeff.”

Jeff sent this, complete with paid advertising.
That gives me an idea. Wanna see your ad in The Hum? Let’s talk…

I wrote what amounts to another column about the rest of stuff going on around the north county area, but I guessing Jack will balk at the amount of ink and paper required to put it in the paper. Plus, we haven’t really figured out how AB-5 is going to effect my work, ‘cause freelancers like me are in the crosshairs, but that’s a rant for another column. (See part 2.)

The Hum: Get Festive ~7/25

Neukom peach ~ photo by Bob Doran

As July inches toward August, and the peaches are ripe, and the college students start trickling back into town, it seems like as good time as any for a festival of one sort or another. And there are a bunch of them, perhaps too many in fact. 

Let’s start with something I’m moderately involved in, something called a “FleART Market” in the Creamery District. “Join local vendors on Sunday, July 28th 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for a special day of not just any old flea or art market, but a flea AND art market, where art, weird stuff, and cool junk is itching to be sold.” 

I actually bought an EZ-Up a few years ago for a similar Creamery event where I turned it into a makeshift photo studio. This time I think I’ll do 3D portraits this time. And I have too much stuff in my life, especially CDs, so I’ll have some of those.

At FleArt it’s 15 items.

Expect “traditional booths,” and a “brand-new innovative idea, the Express Fifteen Aisle,” with sellers offering 15 items or less (like in the grocery store). 

They promise “musical minglings” by Space Socks and The Blue Lake Choir (both involving Arcata Playhouse founder Jackie Dandeneau), and Humboldt Drummers with Jesse J (as in Jonathan), who is fresh from a summer Humboldt Drum Camp. Also the Pub is finally open so you can check out their new space, and their wood-fired pizzas, pub fare and local beer.

Timmy Gray at the first Creamery Festival 2013 ~ photo by Bob Doran

Along with stacks of CDs, you’ll be able to listen to Foot Fall, a collection of ambient music pieces created by Timmy Gray for a Creamery Festival in 2013. The work is a sonic “soundscape” of the Creamery and thereabouts, intended to be put on your portable music player so you can listen while you walk around the space that inspired it. It’s very cool, like its creator. Downloads available free of charge. 

Also Sunday, July 28, the 59th annual Westhaven Wild Blackberry Festival. Yes, the 59th. Let that sink in. It’s a firefighter benefit, for the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Dept. held at the Westhaven Fire Hall and “proudly sponsored” by the Westhaven Ladies Club, from 10 a.m, ’til 4 p.m. Traditionally the “ladies” bake a bunch of homemade pies (they warn, “hurry because they sell out quick”) along with berry jams. There’s bbq, and kids stuff including fire trucks and Smokey the Bear, plus “artisan vendors” and music by The Sand Fleas (10 a.m.), Moonstone Heights, That Buckin’ String Band and Rinky Dink String Band “in that order.”

The ongoing Eureka Summer Concerts (6-8 p.m. at the foot of C St.) continue Thursday, July 25, with the Johnny Young Band, a “rockin’ country” band (or a “country hits” band depending on who you ask).

Aug 1 (again a Thursday) catch hot Cajun fiddler Tom Rigney and his band, always popular at the Redwood Coast Music Festival.

Friday, July 26, the Miniplex has Pieces, a duo collaboration that Hudson Glover explains, “toys with the boundaries of noise, dance, pop, psychedelia, and digital glitch. Rose Cherami and IDHAZ rarely have the time to leave the Bay, but we are lucky to have them up here. They will both be be doing solo sets and will then perform together so you can get the full taste of what their label/collective True Indigo has to offer.”

Hudson goes on to note, “Local support will be coming from Comma Comma,” of which Mr. Glover is a member. “Alex (upright), Henri (sax), and I (synth/rhodes) will be debuting two compositions that we’ve been working on for several months inspired by late ’60s minimalism and space music with liberal use of polymeter and key changes.” Sounds good to me.

The 30th annual Roll on the Mattole runs noon to midnight Saturday, July 27, out in Petrolia at the Mattole Grange, a fundraiser for the Honeydew Volunteer Fire Company. There’s a “Firefighters Challenge” VFD muster (hose contests), things to eat and drink, crafty booths and music, music, music…

With Ishi Dube and the Tuff Riddim Band (reggae), Rosewater (jazzy Dead tribute), Black Sage Runners (rock a la Cream etc.) The Bandage (alt. something), and locals, Mattole Muddstompers, Potholes 3 and Bodhimind (you’ll have to fill in genres). “Please no dogs, no glass containers, and no overnight camping at the Grange.”

Eureka declares Saturday “Get Out and Play Day 2019 on July 27” (#gopd2019 *for Jada who doesn’t care for #hashtags). There’s playful stuff all over town, but Sequoia Park seems to be a focal point with Blue Rhythm Revueproviding a soundtrack followed by a movie/cartoon at 8:30 p.m. Spiderman into the Spider-Verse.

Local rock and/or roll band, Wild Otis, hits Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. Saturday (again 7/27) starting at 8 p.m. That’s Norman Bradford and Rick DeVol on guitar & vocals (both from Dead On), with bassist Dan Davis and drummer Jimmy Moore as rhythm section.

At Blondie’s, touring Zen Mountain Poets are joined by locals band LodeStar, with Goodshield Aguilar and Linda Faye Carson. (Linda also hosts CampChair Concerts at noon Sundays at the foot of F St. in Eureka. BYO chair.) 

Zen Mountain Poets are a “psychedelic neo-prog folk jazz” combo from San Luis Obispo County referencing Ram Das saying they’re “who’s here now and who hears now… a gathering of musicians, poets, artists, dreamers, manifesters, dedicated to expressing heartfelt original songs that take our audiences on journeys.” 

LodeStar played with unrelenting passion at the recent Humboldt Folklife Festival, moving from the Street Stage last year (shown above) to rock the Main Stage. You get the picture (now). LodeStar @ 8 p.m. Saturday with Poets @ 9:30.

You are officially invited to “join Soul Party regulars DJ Red, #JAYMORG, and Funky T-Rex for another record slinging session at Humbrews Saturday (7/27) starting at 9 p.m. This time it’s a “summer, summer, summer time party!” whatever that means. As always, “still a 100% vinyl affair.”

The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival comes to the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m. with Mendelssohn, Schubert and more modern classical pieces. If you’re out East, they’re also at the Hyampom Community Hall Friday, and at the Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center in Weaverville on Saturday.

All Seasons Orchestra

A little later Sunday at the D Street Neighborhood Center, the All Seasons Orchestra plays classics for its annual Summer Concert (’tis the season). They note, “ASO welcomes players of all ages. If you play a musical instrument and love to make beautiful music, [this] is your opportunity to participate in a community orchestra.”  They rehearse Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Experience psyche music of varying shades at the Miniplex, Monday, July 29 (8 p.m.) The bill is topped by JJUUJJUU, “a rotating ensemble of domestic & international collaborators, wrangled by Los Angeles-based musician, Phil Pirrone and collaborator Andrew Clinco (aka Drab Majesty mastermind Deb Demure)” of Desert Daze festivals fame. 

Not new, but I shot this vid by the band when they grabbed an empty slot at the North Country Fair after hearing about it on the radio that day.

Local support comes from “space-rock cosmonauts” White Manna, whose Cardinal Fuzz album, Ape on Sunday,’ was recorded in Freshwater. I picked up a copy of the vinyl edition, but couldn’t get them to cut loose with one of the purple vinyl special edition, which is now sold out, as well as the CD version. I think you can get a copy of the record at the show, or download it on Bandcamp.

Once again the Manna boys are paired with Opossum Sun Trail. “This is 21st century Cosmic American Music,” according to a Savage Henry review, with “hints of twisted Ennio Morricone, the sound of a spaghetti sauce stain on a Nudie-esque cowboy shirt.” How does a dirty shirt make noise? You’ll have to ask the Savage who wrote that. (Me.) 

That’s all for now, see you at the FleART Market for festive fun.

The Hum: Where It’s @ ~ 6/13-16

What’s going on? Where exactly is it @? Here’s some things you can do in Humboldt and vicinity…

Lone Star Junction plays a little Merle Haggard

https://www.facebook.com/events/1090640184454832/

Country and Spaghetti Western Music

Mojave Green and Lone Star Junction, “two of the most kick-ass Humboldt bands around” offer “an evening of rockin’ Outlaw Country covers and originals that are sure to supply the necessary soundtrack to your beer drinking Thursday night,” June 13, at The Jam (for a change).

The Eureka Summer Concerts Series celebrates a 22nd season of free shows Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. at Madaket Plaza @ the foot of ‘C’ St. in Eureka.

Starting June 13 with R&B by Fargo Brothers, then June 20 reggae with Irie Rockers. (BTW, they killed opening for Mykal Rose the other day.) Lots more to come in the series, including more “tributes.” 

June 27    Nate Botsford (Crossover Country)

July 4       Clean Sweep (R&B/Funk)

July 11     Britnee Kellog (Hot Country)

July 18     Journey Revisited (Journey Tribute Band)

July 25     Johnny Young Band (Favorite Country Hits)

Aug 1       Tom Rigney (Cajun/Zydeco)

Aug 8       Big City Swing Committee (Retro Swing)

Aug 15     Heartless (Heart Tribute Band)

In McKinleyville that same Thursday evening (6/13), it’s the other Chamber Mixer, this one for the Humboldt County Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. Bring your business card, buy some raffle tickets at Satori Wellness. You don’t need to be a member to attend, alternating between NoHum and SoHum.

Friday, June 14 is an Arts! Arcata night.

Friday (7 p.m.) Northtown Books welcomes Jacqueline Suskin to read from her new poetry book, The Edge of the Continent Volume Two – The City. You may recall in Vol. 1, she wrote of Humboldt and thereabouts as she sold freeform work at the Poem Store at the Farmer’s Market and elsewhere.

by Jacqueline Suskin

The further adventures find her heading south, a “move through the struggle of finding beauty, purpose, and joy in urbanity, and in doing so discover the infinite inspiration that exists in a place as unique as Los Angeles.”

Now she says, “Humboldt here I come! Heading north to Arcata for some river time and a few special book events: Friday the 14th reading at 7pm @northtownbooks and Sunday the 16th 5-7pm @creative.sanctuary for a writing workshop and potluck celebration to follow! Can’t wait to see all of my forest folks!”

Friday evening at The Basement it’s the Greg Camphuis Quartet. “Jazz gets electric!” Need we say more? (Maybe.) 

Rancher Rick Levin sez, “Wow…..what a week of heat! But the weather is cooling and that’s gonna make a beautiful evening for Cadillac Ranch Under the Stars out in Blue Lake on Friday, June 14th at The Mad River Brewery from 6:00 – 8:30. Y’all Come!”

Returning to O-Day Saturday, The Basement has PD3 (L to R: Fred on guitar & Junior on bass plus Paul DeMark on drums).

Saturday evening (6/15), it’s the first Outer Space outdoors “Forest Show” of the season. “Meet in the big grass field at Redwood Park at 5:30 p.m. The walking audience takes off at 6” to hear Mash YellowBird, Blood Hunny, Cornbread Willie “and more!” The O-Space folks ask, “Please respect the forest! This show is a safer space for all creatures big and small, animals and plants alike.” Email outerspacearcata@gmail.com with any questions.

Mazzotti’s on the Plaza has smokin’ reggae on that night by the “legendary” Warrior King and The Rootz Warriors from Jamaica on their “Nuf Fraid Tour.” It’s a 21+ show, doors at 9:30 p.m. hosted in partnership with Proper Wellness Center, a medical cannabis dispensary in Eureka.

Same Saturday at the Blue Lake Casino presents Cherry Poppin’ Daddies in the Sapphire Palace. Remember “Zoot Suit Riot” from 1997, a song that helped kick off the neo-swing movement? Frontman Steve Perry is still at it.

Last year the Eugene-based band released Bigger Life, which Perry says has, “songs that will allow us to touch base with our punk/ska audience [as we] continue to play the all swing, classy theater type shows that are our bread and butter.” So, neo-swing/ska/punk? Why not?

Sunday, June 16, at 3 p.m. at Graves Museum, catch “For the Love of Cohen: Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert,” an intimate afternoon of classic songs by one of my favorite songwriters. Laura Hennings and Patti Hecht aka Gin & Laura are joined by Jerryl Lynn Rubin (piano), Matt Wardynski (clarinet), Randy Carrico (bass) and Jonathan Claasen (drums) for songs they love. “Hallelujah!”  

Same Sunday, aka “Sundaze” at The Jam, Deep Groove Society has dance music by Ben Annand


Ben

Jan van Lier

Marjo Lak

and Joe-E.

The Hum: Reunion Time

It’s golden. Last weekend it was the 50th anniversary of the Kinetic Sculpture Race and there was much gold to be found. (Somehow this was the second Golden Anniversary Race, and K-Universe explained that, but I didn’t buy it.)

That’s me far right on the back row

Kinetic time is over for this year, but there’s plenty of other stuff going on this weekend, stuff I’ll miss since I’m heading to my hometown, Walnut Creek, to party with other members of the Las Lomas High School Class of ’69. Yes, it’s our golden anniversary class reunion. 

Me in 1969 ~photographer unknown

Friday, May 31, while I’m off having dinner and taking pics of my old classmates, there’s a Humboldt  Folklife Society Barn Dance at the Arcata Vet’s Hall with the usual suspects involved — The Striped Pig String Band and caller Lyndsey Battle — with a very special guest caller Nigella Baur, who happens to be graduating from high school. Supervisor Mike Wilson’s daughter Nigella (who I know as Ella) has been calling squares for awhile (she also plays in a rock band, Petty Education). The Folklifers invite you to “come celebrate spring and the end of school,” (and Ella’s acceptance at UC Berkeley). Doors at 6:30 p.m. with instructed dancing from 7-10 p.m. “No experience or partner needed, and all ages welcome.” 

Friday is also Art Night Kick-off day for the 21st annual North Coast Open Studios. The semi-countywide event was started  in 1999 by local artists Sasha Pepper and Susan Fox “to create an opportunity for visitors to view art, talk with the artists, explore the creative process, and expand their art collections.” 

The main OS tour days are this Saturday and Sunday and next (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 & 2 and 8 & 9), but a bunch of eager artists are open an extra evening from 6-9 p.m. A schedule of Friday night-specific artists is available in the info packed NCOS guidebook (with maps), also online at www.northcoastopenstudios.com. 

May 31. 2019

With Humboldt’s rep for colliding events, is should also be noted that NCOS Art Night overlaps with Trinidad Art Nights, also running from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, June 1, with galleries open, the Circus of the Elements fire show…

music by Jesse Jonathan’s kids’ Blue Dragon Steel Band and others, and only a couple of NCOS artists.

(probably not the current lineup)

Check TrinidadArtNights.com for a full schedule. 

When you look at that map of artists, you may wonder why there’s no one from SoHum listed. Years ago, when they expanded to two weekends, I warned them that all the artists from South County set aside the first weekend in June for the annual Summer Arts & Music Festival put on by the Mateel Community Center. It’s in the 43rd year this year June 1-2 at Benbow State Recreation Area along the “majestic” Eel River, south of Garberville. 

Sunday’s headliner

The fest features more than 150 craft, food and non-profit booths, with over 70 performances on four stages with the focus on local bands, dance troupes, DJs and kids stuff. The non-local headliner on Saturday is reggae/world beat chanter/activist Nattali Rize on her Ever Rising Tour. Sunday it’s three SoCal Sublime-influenced bands touring together: Tomorrows Bad Seeds, The Aggrolites and Long Beach Dub Allstars, a band that’s about as Sublime as you can get, while no longer including any members of the original trio. 

Looking for your Dead fix? Sunday at 1:15 p.m. it’s “a SAMF exclusive,” US Blues with “an all star cast of Humboldt County musicians” paying tribute to the “Pigpen era” of Grateful history. That’s Andy B from Cold Blue Water and Piet Dalmolen from Money, Full Moon Fever, etc. on guitars and vocals (FMF plays Friday, 5/31 at the Wave). There’s Norman Bradford from Wild Otis on bass, Object Heavy’s B Swizlo on keys, and Alex Litzinger from Miracle Show on drums.

I wish I was there to reminisce about that time the Dead played at Las Lomas High (with Pigpen), but my old radio buddy Gregg McVicar is putting together a ‘60s mix for the party, something he does daily for “UnderCurrents,” a nationally syndicated public radio feed. It used to be broadcast on KHSU right after Gus Mozart’s “Music Box,” but I’m not sure if it’s still on or what the deal is now (or what the future holds for our beloved station). 

Speaking of tribute bands, Night Moves: Tribute to Bob Seger & Creedence Clearwater Revival plays at Wave Lounge (@ Blue Lake Casino) on Saturday, June 1. The 6-piece band is basically a twofer adding CCR tunes to The Silver Bullet Band songbook. Of course Credence was a local fave when I graduated from Las Lomas, coming from elsewhere in Contra Costa County (El Cerrito) and peaking in 1969 with their big hit, “Proud Mary.”

Thursday, May 30, at Siren’s Song, sort of along the same lines (but without covers), The Blank Tapes, which is the nom de band of L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist, Matt Adams, who “has produced over a dozen albums of ‘60s inspired folk-rock-surf-psych-soul-pop” for various labels, including the latest, Candy. Also on the bill, TERMINATor “total babes” from Seattle with a new EP, Visual, and for local support, Mojave Green described as “Eureka Spaghetti Western Americana Rock-N-Rollers who always put on a great show!!” (I concur.)

Arcata’s Mazzotti’s has started doing shows, mostly reggae, like Jesse Royal who plays Monday, June 3. He’s a Jamaican up-and-coming singjay, whose debut album, Lily Of Da Valley, came out on the New York-based label Easy Star Records, best known for Dub Side of the Moon (reggaefied P-Floyd covers).

Wednesday, June 5 2019 HumBrews

More reggae Wednesday, June 5, at Humbrews when “legends will be in the building,” specifically The Mykal Rose + Sly & Robbie Summer Groove Tour with an emphasis on the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner era of Black Uhuru. Who is coming over? Natty Dreadlocks. “Oh I can see you brought some herb for me, Natty Dreadlocks.” Locals Stevie Culture and DJ Tanasa Ras open the show.

Before we leave reggae, let’s talk Reggae on the River for a minute. Several headliners were announced last week and instantly caused a stir. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley is at the top of the bill, not surprising since he and his partners bought a controlling share in High Times, who started putting on RotR last year.

“It is now an honor to be a part of the High Times legacy that I’ve been a fan of for so many years,” said Jr. Gong in an official statement. 

Toots and the Maytals are naturals having played RotR many times. (Toots was one of the first to use that word on a song, “Do the Reggay,” a single that was a hit in 1968 (when I was a junior). 

Then there was Sizzla, who can’t seem to shake his history of homophobia. Protests were lodged immediately (his scheduled Mateel show was cancelled last year) and just as quickly he was kicked off the Reggae bill. High Times apologized saying, “We were not aware of his history (candidly I don’t know the artist) but as soon as we were alerted to his unfortunate past we immediately pulled the plug. Sorry…” Never mind. 

not current, but you’ll get the idea…

Tourettes Without Regrets: Humboldt! Is coming Saturday, June 8 to the Arcata Playhouse offering, “A night of dirty haikus, rap battles, wild aerialists, burlesque, comedy and much more,” according to SF Weekly. Main man slam poet Jamie DeWolf is a former local (“born and raised in Humboldt”) who brings a troupe up from the Bay Area for multifaceted fun including an Open Freestyle Rap Battle with a $100 cash prize and an Open Poetry Slam with another cash prize. Expect circus acts, kinky mayhem, “and MORE!”

It’s a busy weekend at the Playhouse with another show Sunday, June 9, featuring San Francisco-based Supermule, a collective of disparate players exploring traditional American music on banjo, guitar and fiddle, plus and keyboards, with former local Mike Emerson tickling the keys.

The Hum: Turning Gray Skies Blue + (plus) + more

People all over the world (everybody), join hands (join), start a love train, love train… The next stop that we make will be soon The O’Jays

After working as a music writer for several decades now, I’ve assembled a massive collection of records, CDs, etc. I wish I could say they’re well-organized — alphabetized or whatever — but they’re not, not at all, except a side collection of music by local artists. One corner of my office is dedicated to shelves full of CDs by Humboldt-based artists (and a few tapes), A to Z selections by artists from Absynth Q and Afromassive to Yer Dog and Robert Ziino. 

The other day I was talking with my friend, the musician/deejay Lyndsey Battle, about local bands. She was thinking about doing a segment of her show on KHUM show featuring locals. I invited her over and we started going through my stash looking for music by folks that she hadn’t heard. We didn’t get far, maybe to the end of “D”s with the rare Dynamite Sweater demo. When she returned the discs, I asked what she’d liked best. The first one she mentioned was one she hadn’t heard before, the eponymous album by Barking Dogma, with none other than Tim “Timmy” Gray on drums and vocals, among others.

Barking Dogma

Now as it turns out, Arcata Playhouse is hosting a benefit for Timmy Friday, May 3 (doors @ 7 p.m. showtime @ 7:30). The musical evening, titled “Get On Board the Love Train,” will raise money for his medical expenses. As Joyce Hough explains, “Several years ago [he] was diagnosed with a rare degenerative brain disorder which has restricted his ability to pursue his widely recognized talents as a musician and sound engineer/designer.” 

Timmy Gray at work

Even if you don’t know his name, chances are you’ve heard Timmy’s work. In addition to Barking Dogma, he was a member of Lance Romance (a long time ago), The Bayou Swamis, The Joyce Hough Band and other bands. He also recorded a mess of local bands, and served as music director for Dell’Arte for over 20 years. 

The upcoming Mad River Festival will feature “Turning Gray Skies Blue: The Music of Timmy Gray” with directed by Dell’Arte artist director Michael Fields. The Dell’Arte Company will celebrate “a lifetime of work” by their resident sound designer, with a “concert for the ages” featuring music he wrote for Mary Jane: The Musical, Blue Lake: The Opera, Wildcard, Grasshopper and the proverbial “much more!” (June 21, 22, 28, & 29 @ 8 p.m.)

Friday’s show at the Playhouse features the aforementioned Lyndsey Battle with Cory Goldman

Old Dog with Marty Dodd, Gary Davidson, Tom Pexton, and Dave Deason…

and a solo set by guitarist/handyman Jeff Landon, who just happens to be replacing the gutters on my house as I compose this column. (He’s also been working on a new song for the show that I can’t tell you about.)

(Jeff is on guitar and vocalst.)

Closing the show will be dance music by Home Cookin’ with Joyce Hough, Fred Neighbor, Mike LaBolle, Gary Davidson (again) and Timmy.

“Join us for an evening of celebration as we lend our friend Tim a hand on the Love Train,” says Joyce, adding, “You can also assist Tim at GoFundMe: gofundme.com/timgraylovetrain.” Advance tix recommended. Get ‘em at Wildberries or online at brownpapertickets.com.

Elsewhere

Coming to Humbrews Thursday, May 2, it’s Sepiatonic, an “electro-vaudeville” outfit from Portland, Ore. somehow combining “brass, bass, beats, bellydance, and burlesque.” A local connection is oneKarolina Lux, who says, “Hellooo Humboldt peeps! ‘Tis I, your long-lost returning HSU Marching Lumberjack bellydancing trumpet-playing friend 😉 back with my band/dance project Sepiatonic, and we are ready to RAGE the face off Humbrews… We have house/bass beats, we have brass, we have bellydance and babes. Please come by…xoxo”

If you know your Humboldt art history, you know that the deep roots of the amazing art umbrella org Ink People Center for the Arts lie in founder Libby Maynard’s printmaking. Their latest project is a back-to-the-roots thing, the Old Town Ink Lab, a “makers space for print media and literary arts” opening in Eureka at 212 G Street. The space will feature several printing presses, as well as work stations, tools, resources, and equipment for public use. They mark their Grand Opening Friday, May 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. when the public will have an opportunity to say hello and make their own prints on one of the presses at no charge.

Deadhead alert: Friday (5/3) at Humbrews catch Garcia Birthday Band (aka GBB) allegedly “the premier Grateful Dead Tribute in the Pacific Northwest,” based in Portland, formed in 1999. They play on days that are not Jerry’s b-day.

At the Alibi, late that same Friday, “a rockin’ night of heavy psych music” by The Freeks from L.A. and CV from Eureka. “Music at 11 p.m. sharp. Bring earplugs.” Nuff said.

You might know the soulful folksinger Chris Webster from her Sacto band Mumbo Gumbo. She plays without them at the Arcata Playhouse Saturday evening (5/4, 8 p.m.) backed by the extremely accomplished accompanist Nina Gerber, who is best known for her role as Kate Wolf’s guitarist. 

The Humboldt State Calypso Band, led by Professor Eugene Novotney, plays that same Saturday in HSU’s Fulkerson Recital Hall (also @ 8 p.m.) For 33 years they’ve been dedicated to “maintaining an accurate and authentic connection to the roots of the steel band movement, and to the innovative musicians of Trinidad,” with this special show dedicated to the memory of the late Clifford Alexis, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, who built and tuned the first set of steelpans made for the HSU Calypso Band and played with them dozens of times. Yes, of course, they’ll be playing one of his tunes, also one dedicated to him. 

Okay, that’s all for now… Take a dip in the pool with Visible Cloaks…

The Hum: 4/20 2019

If you live in Humboldt, you can imagine why four-twenty is such a big deal here – and it has nothing to do with blackbirds baked in a pie. For the uninitiated, 420 (or 4:20, or 4/20) is code for getting baked, as in the consumption of marijuana, or to be P.C. cannabis. Exactly why that number is lost somewhere in a smoky mist of lost memory cells for some.

The urban legend website Snopes.com debunks the theory that 420 comes from the California penal code section relating to marijuana use and pooh poohs the notion that there are 420 active chemical compounds in pot (for what it’s worth, High Times says there are 315). The folks at Snopes guess that the term came from a group of Marin County teen stoners who gathered every afternoon at 20 after 4 to share a smoke. (Was it pure chance that the initial legislative deal implementing California’s medical marijuana initiative Prop. 215 was Senate Bill 420?)

A controversial 4/20 gathering in Arcata’s Redwood Park 2008 ~ photo by Bob Doran

Whatever the source, the time and associated date have become synonymous with herb culture, which means it is an auspicious day to do something that stony types might want to attend, with special attention to jammish music, Dead stuff and, of course, reggae.

It’s 4/20 time at Humbrews, with Deadheads gathering for Hammond B-3 organist Melvin Seals and JGB in day two of a two-night run. (You’re supposed to know Melvin played keys for the Jerry Garcia Band.)

On Saturday, the Wave at the Blue Lake Casino celebrates 4/20 with The Miracle Show. You are invited to “bring back those flashbacks of that indescribable feeling that a great Dead show gave us all,” (for those not at the JGB show).

All day (noon-midnight) Blondie’s celebrates RedwoodStock on 4/20 with La Mancha, Over Yonder, Jade Moon (from L.A.), Los DuneBums, Cornbread Kelly. Flying Hellfish and Tonalites.

Forever Found (in Eureka) celebrates the “End of Prohibition” with a big reggae-centric bash with Rasta vet Don Carlos, plus Woven Roots and Object Heavy and local DJs and live artists galore. (Starts at 3 p.m.)

Skip ahead to 4:20

The Hum: A quick KHSU R.I.P. plus more…

Gregg “Vinny” DeVaney @ KHSU Pledge Drive ~ photo by Bob Doran

I’m in mourning. My dear friend died the other day. It’s not like it was a surprise. My friend’s health wasn’t that great, and frankly, as I grow older, I lose friends all the time. But losing KHSU is different. I was still suffering from a rough 2018, when I lost my radio co-conspirator Gregg “Vinny” DeVaney of Fogue fame, then my mom gave up on life. Oh well, what else can you say but R.I.P… I could go on and on, but that may have to wait for another day…

And in the end, Ed Campbell played a requiem by Stravinsky…
Phil Ricord gathered names for an R.I.P. ad in the Union ~ photo by Bob Doran

For now it’s time for some Humming…

The Sanctuary regularly hosts artists in residence. This time they’re puppeteers. They present Poppo & Baloney and the Dream Circus April 18, 19, and 20, an original tale told by a “multidimensional cast of puppets, dancers, and live musicians” in collaboration with students from Dell’Arte (and others, including my young friend Vela). “All things are possible with a little make-believe and your imaginary friend.” Kid friendly, but for adults too. Thursday and Friday @ 7 p.m. Saturday matinee @ 2 p.m. “Kids 12 and under FREE!”

David Jacob Strain and Bob Beach play some blues and more Thursday, April 18 (7-9 p.m.) at Westhaven Center for the Arts. David’s been playing mean slide guitar for decades, lately with Bob’s virtuoso harmonica.

Orpheus leads Eurydice away from the Underworld

Your chance to hear the Orphic Percussion Quartet in concert comes Friday, April 19 at the Arcata Playhouse. You might ask, what is “orphic’?

According to Classic Wisdom.com, “The Orphic religion, as well as their texts, was said to have been associated with the literature from the mythical poet, Orpheus. In the myth of Orpheus, his wife Eurydice suffers a fatal encounter with a snake. By journeying to the Underworld and composing a song that softens the heart of Hades, Orpheus is able to win his wife’s resurrection, but on one condition: he mustn’t turn back to look at her on his way out. Of course, he can’t resist one last look, and he immediately loses his love a second time. From then on, Orpheus can only recall Eurydice’s ghost through song.”

Young marimba master Cameron Leach spoke for the Orphic group. I started by asking about a connection with the local outfit Marimba One, who are usually responsible for marimba shows at the Playhouse. “We are sponsored by Marimba One,” he noted, adding, “although I’m personally sponsored by a different manufacturer.”

How would he describe the music? Is it classical music, neo-classical, experimental?

I’d characterize our music under the umbrella of “contemporary percussion ensemble music.” We are doing our best to bring together two things that sometimes are viewed as disparate in the contemporary music landscape—things that are easily listenable and accessible to a wide range of audiences, but also very high quality and substantial pieces that push the art form.

We think these two can go hand in hand, and are continuing to develop that idea through new commissions from exceptional composers. I’d say that in and of itself is an identifying factor of the group. We also all have experience marching with various drum corps, which is particularly uncommon among concert percussion ensembles. 

The instrumentation for the group is percussion quartet. We don’t really gravitate towards a particular setup, but recently we have been performing and commissioning pieces for mallet quartet (2 vibraphone and 2 marimbas—instruments that are typically provided at venues), and also smaller “suitcase pieces” which only require instruments that can be easily packed and transported.”

Friday, April 19 is your last chance to experience playwright Eve Ensler’s Any One of Us: Words from Women in Prison, this time at the Eureka Women’s Club. There’s a gourmet dinner at 6 p.m. Showtime at 7.

Remember those bluesy rockers the Clint Warner Band from a decade ago. They were allegedly “dubbed the ‘Hardest Working Band in the Region’ for 5 years straight” a decade ago. Well, they’re back to “melt the stage down” for a reunion show in the Wave Lounge at the Blue Lake Casino on Friday 4/19.

Also on Friday (4/19), Full Moon Fever returns to the Jam with tunes by the late great Tom Petty.

Yes, Piet and Pete are together again. Says Jam owner, Pete Ciotti, “I’m gonna be rejoining Full Moon Fever for a night this Friday April 19th at The Jam. It’s gonna be fun to dust off the guitar and sing some Tom Petty. I hope you all can make it out! 2 sets!!”

It’s kinda like 4/20-Eve crosstown at Humbrews, with Deadheads gathering for Hammond B-3 organist Melvin Seals and JGB starting a two-night run 4/19 & 20. (Melvin played keys for the Jerry Garcia Band.)

More on 4/20 haps coming tomorrow…

The Hum: Jenny Scheinman visits the City of Looms

Robbie, Jenny and Robbie

There’s a brief moment in local fiddler Jenny Scheinman’s movie/concert thing, “Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait,” when we see a man with a hat shot from below. He seems serious at first, like he looking off toward some unknown future. Then he looks down and sees the camera (and with it the cameraman), and that far-away serious look breaks momentarily, and he starts to smile. You’re supposed to smile for the camera. Sometimes you can’t help yourself.

Still from Chapel Hill, N.C., 1939 by H. Lee Waters

The cameraman was one H. Lee Waters (“H” for Herbert, but no one called him that), who ran a photo studio in Lexington, North Carolina (with help from his wife) for over half a century — 1926 on. 

He mostly made a living doing portrait work: weddings, school groups, people at church, shopping, at work, anywhere groups gathered, but as the Depression hit, the luxury nature of photography hurt his business. He had to find find another way to make some money with a camera, and he did, with a movie camera. 

H. Lee used his to make what he called Movies of Local People, focused on exactly that: folks at work, in the street, kids on playgrounds, parades, again, anywhere groups gathered in small towns in the South. The short flicks were shown in movie theaters before the main attraction — usually some Hollywood fare — and he got a small percentage of the take. As a side result the lives of “local people” were captured forever, set in amber for posterity. 

H. Lee’s work lives on. His negatives went to the Davidson County Historical Museum and the movies ended up in the Archive of Documentary Arts | David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Shooting in North Carolina and portions of Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, Waters produced 252 films across 118 communities. There’s a treasure trove there. 

At some point someone one at Duke burned a DVD of some of the (silent) movies, and gave it to Jenny. She was enchanted and wrote hours of music, matching the feel with Appalachian instruments. Jenny’s friends Robbie Fulks and Robbie Gjersoe, both multi-instrumentalist string players from Chicago, signed on to fill in the musical gaps, again with a timeless Appalachian feel. 

Jenny talks about creating a soundtrack for H. Lee Water’s films.

Finn Taylor, a Berkeley-based filmmaker (think Sundance) was enlisted. He worked with editor Rick Lecompte, and sound designer Trevor Jolly, to turn the raw footage into something new. The project was initially rolled out in 2015 via Duke Performances (like CenterArts, but for Duke University in Durham). What you’d have to call a multi-media event centered on a Carolina town called Kannapolis, once known as “the City of Looms,” home to a textile mill.

Getting off work at the mill.

You may know Cannon for towels, sheets, stuff you’d find at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, or K-Mart or wherever. They used to make that stuff in company towns like Kannapolis, until 2003 when Cannon went bankrupt and closed the mill. The Cannon label became part of Iconix, “a portfolio of strong global consumer brands across fashion,” etc. alongside Boxer shorts, London FogOcean Pacific and other product lines (plus Peanuts Worldwide, Charles Schultz’ brand). In short, they’re now made in China (or thereabouts), instead of in the U.S. of A. (A YouTube search for “Kannapolis implosion” shows you a huge factory collapsing, and with it, metaphorically, the textile business. 

Returning to Jenny’s musical “Moving Portrait,” it doesn’t exactly touch on current events, and is more interested, at least musically and visually, in the outer edges of America, where the South met the rest of the country, and the old met the new. 

Jenny is originally from Petrolia (where “shift happens”). Her fiddle took her across the country to play post-modern music with the likes of John Zorn and the downtown New York crowd. She’s played in righteous babe Ani DiFranco’s band, made Mischief & Mayhem with guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Jim Black, and bassist Todd Sickafoose, then came home, metaphysically and musically with a more folky record, The Littlest Prisoner (2014).

That was followed by Here on Earth (2017), which draws on the music she wrote for the Kannapolis project. It pulls you deep into the Appalachians, with tunes redolent of Scotch/Irish roots and touches of the blues, familiar yet totally original.

There’s resonator guitar and banjo, a little bit of electric guitar (Bill Frisell plays on the record, and but I’m sure the two Robbies suffice)…

…the only thing missing is the visuals.

I’ve been waiting patiently for her to bring it home, and thanks to gentle prodding from the folks at the Arcata Playhouse, it’s happening, and in a bigger venue, the Arkley Center, on Friday, April 5. There might be a few tickets left on this one-night-only performance. (Or maybe there’s a miracle out there.)

Listen to Lyndsey Battle speak with Jenny Scheinman about the show on KHUM radio.

“These are America’s home movies. They contain a clue to our nature, an imprint of our ancestry. They were shot before Americans had sophisticated understanding of film, and capture truthfulness that one is hard-pressed to find in this day and age now that we are immersed in a world of social media, video and photography. These people can dance. Girls catapult each other off seesaws and teenage boys hang on each other’s arms. Toothless men play resonator guitars on street corners, and toddlers push strollers through empty fields. They remind us of our resilience and of our immense capacity for joy even in the hardest of times.” – Jenny Scheinman

Jenny Scheinman ~ photo by Bob Doran

Event promoter and coordinator David Ferney from the Arcata Playhouse became aware of the project in 2015 when it first premiered at Duke University where is was commissioned. The university originally approached Scheinman with the idea of creating a performance piece with the archival footage of H. Lee Waters. Scheinman enlisted filmmaker Finn Taylor as a collaborator on the final project. Ferney had his eye on the performance film project and spent three years trying to coordinate a Humboldt screening.

“I knew it was special and felt that it needed to be presented in Humboldt.” said Ferney. “I originally approached Merrick McKinlay at the Minor Theatre and we planned to present it there, but we felt the capacity was just too small. Jenny suggested the Arkley and everything fell into place.”

The Minor wanted to stay involved so in addition to being a sponsor, they are providing the projections for the movie. “The Arkley has been great with helping us make it all work. It has really been a coming together of a great team to bring this special project to our Humboldt community.” said Ferney.

About Robbie Fulks and Robbie Gjersoe:

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Robbie Fulks, a mainstay of the Chicago folk scene, has released 10 solo records on the Bloodshot, Geffen, Boondoggle (self produced ), and Yep Roc labels. He’s made multiple appearances on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Mountain Stage,” and “World Cafe”, PBS’s Austin City Limits; NBC’s TodayLate Night with Conan O’Brien, and 30 Rock. Film use of his music includes True Blood and My Name Is Earl. From 2004 to 2008 Fulks hosted an hour-long performance/interview program for XM satellite radio, “Robbie’s Secret Country.” His compositions have been covered by Sam Bush, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms, Rosie Flores, John Cowan, and Old 97s. As an instrumentalist, he has accompanied everyone from the Irish fiddle master Liz Carroll to New Orleans pianist Dr. John.

Robbie Gjersoe is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter & occasional engineer and producer who has worked on a variety of musical projects wide-ranging in style and content over the last 30 years. He plays guitar, bottleneck slide, resonator, dobro, baritone ukulele, mandolin, nylon string, cavaquinho, viole, 12-string, lap steel, pedal steel, and bass. With Screen Door Music, which he co-created, he has composed and performed soundtracks for many films including Grand Champion, Robbing Peter, and Vanishing Of The Bees. His music was used in the movie The Hot Flashes and the TV show The Mentalist.

About Finn Taylor:

Finn Taylor wrote and directed Dream With The Fishes (Sony Classics), Cherish (Fine Line), The Darwin Awards (Fox and Icon Entertainment) and Unleashed (Level 33 and Voltage Entertainment) and co-wrote Pontia Moon, produced by Paramount Pictures. A three-time Sundance alum and native to the SF Bay Area, his recent feature documentary, Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait, premiered at the National Gallery at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and is continuing to tour throughout the country through 2019.

His most recent feature film, Unleashed, won six audience awards, at festivals across the country, including MVFF39, and was picked up for US distribution by Level 33 and foreign distribution by Voltage Entertainment. Variety, in its 50th Anniversary edition, selected Finn Taylor for its prestigious list of “The Top 20 Creatives to Watch.”

Jenny writes saying,

“Hello friends! Here we go again – more music and shows! A week from today my movie and live music piece Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait will commence a tour of the west coast. This piece is about community, so I’m especially excited to be finally presenting a hometown gig at The Arkley Center in Eureka!

We will also be bringing ‘Kannapolis’ to The Savannah Music Festival where I will be in residence as a teacher for a full week along with Bryan Sutton, Darrell Scott and Mike Marshall – very much looking forward to that!

In May and June Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game will be in the northeast, midwest and west coast. We have been working really hard to finish our debut album – it is mixed, nearly mastered, and we will be celebrating its official release at Newport Jazz Festival in early August.

Also I wanted to let you know that I will be leading a new string program at Jazz Camp West this summer in beautiful La Honda, CA. The faculty there is extraordinary, and from my friends’ accounts it is a completely transformative experience to attend. Feel free to email me with questions, and please spread the word to string players far and wide. 

Thank all of you so much for listening and staying involved in the arts. 

Love & gratitude,
Jenny

Jenny Scheinman on Tour:
April 4 – La Jolla, CA – Lawrence Family JCC (Kannapolis)
April 5 – Eureka, CA – Playhouse Arts @ The Arkley  (Kannapolis)
April 6 – Corvallis, OR – Oregon State University (Kannapolis)
April 11 – Savannah, GA – Savannah Music Festival (Kannapolis)
May 9 – Brooklyn, NY – Barbes (Parlour Game)
May 10 – Brooklyn, NY – Barbes (Parlour Game) 
May 11 – Baltimore, MD – An Die Musik (Parlour Game)
May 12 – Millheim, PA – Mother’s Day Matinee @ Elk Creek Cafe!(Parlour Game)
May 14 – Durham, NC – Sharp Nine Gallery (Parlour Game)
May 15 – Columbus, OH – The Refectory (Parlour Game)
May 16 – Madison, WI – Art + Literature Laboratory (Parlour Game)
May 17 – Chicago, IL – The Green Mill (Parlour Game)
May 18 – Chicago, IL – The Green Mill (Parlour Game)
May 19 – Cleveland, OH – Nighttown (Parlour Game)
June 4 – Berkeley, CA – The Freight & Salvage (Parlour Game)
June 5 – Healdsburg, CA – Healdsburg Jazz Festival (Parlour Game)
June 7 – San Diego, CA – The Athenaeum (Parlour Game)
June 22-29 – La Honda, CA – Jazz Camp West (Teaching Residency)
August 3 – Newport, RI – Newport Jazz Festival (Parlour Game)
photo by Bob Doran