What’s for Breakfast?

I got a message this morning from Zev, one of the founders of something called the Breakfast All Day Collective.


“Hi Bob,” he began, cordially. “Just wanted to share Outer Space’s fundraising video with you, in case you wanted to share it on The Hum.” Sure. I could do that…

“Contributors of the fundraiser get digital downloads of our newest compilation album, featuring locals like: White Manna, Mister Moonbeam, Clean Girl and the Dirty Dishes, along with bands from across the country.  Thank you!”

I followed a couple of links, and checked out the Bandcamp page for the comp, A Year In Outer Space, featuring 23 bands that have played at Outer Space (or is it in Outer Space?).

An email I received a little later (I’m on their mailing list) repeated the invitation to check out the comp, and filled me in on what they have going on in the week ahead — a couple of shows and an Open Collective Meeting (Wednesday, 1/31/18 at 6:30 at Outer Space) where you can “find out ways to help and get involved!”

At this point, you may be wondering, what is the Breakfast in Outer Space thing? In lieu of retelling a story that was done well by my former editor at the Mad River Union, Lauraine Leblanc, I’ll give you a link [here] to a piece she wrote a little more than a year ago, based on an interview with Zev.


Arcata’s Breakfast All Day Collective works to establish an art space for all ages

At the time the Collective was just about ready to open up an all ages venue, “a long-lasting, safer community space,” on 11th Street in Arcata (across the street from the Portuguese Hall).

If you’ve been following The Hum a long time, you may remember repeated mention of a youth organization called The Placebo, so named since it was an all ages space where drinking and drugs were not allowed. My son, Spencer, was involved at the start — he was in high school at the time, now he’s 30-something. Yes, that was long, long ago.

The first Placebo venue was in a warehouse the kids rented on South G in Arcata where they started putting on shows back in the 20th Century (in 1999). I’m not sure exactly which space it was, but it was in one of the slots near what is is now Redwood Curtain Brewery, or maybe M. Walker Guitars. (Anyone remember?) They did not jump through the requisite hoops with the city and before long they were shut down.


Now you might think and authorities would encourage  a youth-run organization that tried to offer a place where you didn’t have to worry about underage drinking and the other things that go on at wild parties, but no, The Placebo never had any support outside of non-profit angel Libby Maynard, who offered Ink People’s welcome umbrella, just as she’s done for scores of organizations.

The Placebo found a home for a time at the Manila Community Center, but was ultimately shut down. They shared a warehouse on the outskirts of Old Town Eureka with the art collective Empire Squared, splitting it with Synapsis (before Leslie moved into the heart of Old Town). Volunteer organizations always face an uphill battle, and Placebo was homeless for years, and eventually stopped doing shows or anything at all outside maintaining a Facebook page.

That tangent down memory lane brings us back to the present, and what seems to be a successful arts and music based non-profit with a “long-lasting” space known as Outer Space. Here’s what’s going on there: 


Tuesday, they present This Saxophone Kills Fascists with Arrington de Dionyso (from Olympia’s Old Time Relijun, on K Records) on tenor & baritone sax and Ben Bennett on drums (from Philly)…

“taking on the legacy of Spiritual Free Jazz as a vehicle for Punk Protest in the age of Trump.”


Local support comes from my friends Medicine Baul Loves Sound Church, a extremely eclectic experimental combo who are planning an acoustic set…

and Julio Lopezhiler from Eureka with “queer freakfolk.” Tuesday, Jan. 30 , doors at 6:30, music 7-10 p.m. Cover: $6.

Wednesday there’s that Open Collective Meeting, where you can “find out ways to help and get involved.” Perhaps you’re interested in “helping volunteer during open hours or at shows,” or you might want to play music or show your art or do something else collectively. [1/31/18 at 6:30 at Outer Space, 1296 11th Street at M St.]


Thursday, they have the amazing Dub Narcotic Sound System, aka @Calvin Johnson.

“A founding member of the bands Cool Rays, Beat Happening, The Go Team, The Halo Benders, and the Hive Dwellers, Calvin Johnson is also the founder and owner of the influential indie label K Records (see above re: Arrington) based in Olympia, WA.

Kurt Cobain cited Beat Happening’s Jamboree as one of his favorite records, and even got the K Records logo (a small “K” in a shield) tattooed on his arm to “try and remind him to stay a child.”


Since founding his Dub Narcotic recording studio in 1993, he has produced and engineered recordings by many bands and artists.  Calvin has worked with Modest Mouse, Beck, Heavenly, The Microphones, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Blow, Mecca Normal, The Gossip and Built to Spill, among many others.

Local support comes (once again) from The Monster Women, who are all over Humboldt currently since they are on the cover of Insider, the NC Journal’s glossy aimed at the tourist trade.


(They’re interviewed inside too.)

The BAD Collective describes The M-Women as having

their own original sound, a smorgasbord combination of many eras gone by. Drenched in rich vocal harmonies and dance-able quirky beats accompanied by complex poetic lyrics and an flair for artistic costuming! Yes please!

Plus, SLOP, “up and coming fresh and fierce Arcata queer punk rockers.”

Coming next week…


Okay, that’s all for now. See you in Outer Space ~ Bob Doran

Hugh Masekela, “rest in power”

Hugh Masekela died today at age 78, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a place he called home.

His family let the world know…

It is with profound sorrow that the family of Ramapolo Hugh Masekela announce his passing. After a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer, he passed peacefully, surrounded by his family.

A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with profound loss.  Hugh’s global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre, and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memory of millions across 6 continents and we are blessed and grateful to be part of a life and ever-expanding legacy of love, sharing and vanguard creativity that spans the time and space of 6 decades.  Rest in power beloved, you are forever in our hearts.

I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Masekela sometime in the ‘90s on one of his visits to Humboldt. I spoke with him just after he arrived in New York from South Africa for one of many extensive tours of the states.

We skipped through most of his long career in music, one that took him away from Africa, into exile for years back and forth between his home in Africa, and around the world over the course of long career. He wrote and recorded a large body of work and played with many great musicians. (For details, try this New York Times obit, or this one in Rolling Stone.) We started with talk of home.


Where is home for you?

I live outside Johannesburg on a farm.

Are the musicians in your band from South Africa too?

Yeah, all of them.

Is your U.S. tour in connection with a new record?

Well, we come here almost every year. We came last year but only for a short tour of the East Coast. There are many venues and a lot of festivals that like our music and they ask us to come to the states. The record promotion is just part of it.


You call your latest album Black to the Future. Is it a look forward?

In South Africa we have a white past. We were run by whites for 350 years and it’s just a joy to be able to have a government of the majority of the people and to actually live in an environment where being black is not illegal. The name is a pun on Back to the Future, which was a movie, but you know it’s a fact of life in South Africa that the future has to be lived with major consideration and reparation for black lives.

Promise of the Future,

As I recall, your first hit record in America was a called Promise of the Future, so you’ve always been looking forward to a brighter day.

Doesn’t everybody want to live with hope for a better future? You certainly can’t improve the past, it’s already happened. Coming from a community that was oppressed for such a long time you always must look towards the future. With the damage that has been done, we’re working on the future. We’re very future focused and future oriented.

Where are things going in the future of South Africa?

I’m not a prophet, but we’re hoping for it to be a great country and for people to be able to take advantage of new found opportunities and make it a wonderful place. We’re working on making it a better place but even though we are free, it’s not a movie. The realities of the past are with us and we have to improve, but it is a country with great potential.

Do you think things changing for the better?

Let me say that everybody is working on change. People who were privileged before don’t suddenly turn around and say, ‘We’re sorry.’ Of course we had a lot of solidarity and help from the world, but now after we’ve voted, everybody figures that we are okay now and we’ve lost a lot of that solidarity support. But life in certain ls much more enjoyable because we’re not being harassed by cops and death squads and the opportunity is there for us to improve our lives. That in itself is much better than what we had before.

What do you see as the role of the musicians in all of this?

I think a musician is just part of the community now. We’ve always tried to be informative through our access to the broadcasting media, but now it is just as a part of the whole community. In the end I think human beings should live to create a life of freedom, peace and joy. Musicians who are socially conscious should try to make people aware of the necessity of love and peace and joy and hopefully prosperity as well. 

Love is a very necessary ingredient in the lives of human beings. We are a strange breed, as you can tell by some of the deeds that human beings pull off. So I think that love for life, for each other, for the human species, as opposed to romantic love, that is an important message to harp on, especially for our children.

Human beings are inherently very vengeful and violent people. So for example I think that our President and his team were amazing in achieving the kind of peace that we live under in South Africa given our past circumstances. That is a very important thing, because if there is any place where there should be a war in the world right now, it’s in South Africa. And after 350 years of war here, we have seen out first five years of living in peace. There is a great potential for an understanding of how you can live a life in love even when others have wronged you. We hope it may set an example for the rest of the world. I think a musician can play a role in that.

Your music played an important part in the battle against apartheid. How has your role changed now it has ended?

My role hasn’t changed, I never looked at it as a role.I was just part of the 14 million oppressed people and if I was a garbage man I would have had the same feelings. I don’t think I could have expressed them through collecting garbage, it just happened that I worked in a profession where I had access to the media and could help make people aware of what’s happening. My talents come from my people. As my grandmother told me, I was born naked, I didn’t bring any money, any music, any talent, I didn’t have anywhere to live. Everything I have I inherited from the people I come from and their music. So I owed it to them to talk about their trials and tribulations. It wasn’t a role, it was an obligation.

At the beginning of your music career you were in a band called the Father Huddleston Orchestra.

I was the founder of the band.


Who was Father Huddleston?

Bishop Trevor Huddleston was one of the greatest foes of apartheid. He was deported from South Africa in 1955 by Hendrik Verwoerd, who was then Minister of Native Affairs and later became the chief architect of apartheid.

Bishop Huddleston was the chaplain of my boarding school. He got me my first trumpet. He asked me one day, ‘What do you really want to be, what do you want to do?’ because I was always in trouble with the authorities.

I had seen a movie about Bix Beiderbecke called Young Man With a Horn

I said, ‘Father, if I could get a trumpet, I wouldn’t bother anybody anymore. And he got me a second-hand trumpet and a teacher, and in two months time I was beginning to play the trumpet.

Other kids also asked for instruments and he raised the monies and soon we had the Trevor Huddleston Band.

So, this was the school band at St. Peter’s?

Yes, the high school band. We were the first youth band in South Africa ever.

Were you playing American jazz then?

No, we played our own compositions. We had a fantastic repertoire of South African band music and American music, we were great record collectors. South Africa is a country of record collectors, so we had heard all of the great music from America, but we also composed our own songs.

Would you say your own things were a combination of African music and American jazz?

Well, we were not thinking like that, we were just writing songs. We had a better knowledge of American music than most Americans, so we had libraries of African music and American music. We were a product of that experience and we produced our own hybrid, but when we composed, we didn’t say, ‘I’m now composing a song combining African music with American music.

When Huddleston was deported from South Africa he came and met with Louis Armstrong and told him about the band he had started, and Louis Armstrong sent us one of his trumpets, which of course got us fantastic media coverage.

Was Huddleston partly responsible for arranging for you to come to America to study?

No, but he helped me to come to England to study music at the Guildhall School of Music. Miriam Makeba was in the states and she helped me along with Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, they all helped me come and study in the states.

And my interests in music were sort of crisscrossed by many prominent people in music and politics. Yehudi Menuhin and Johnny Dankworth had been deported from South Africa when they visited there. Johnny Dankworth was married to Cleo Laine.

It was a mixed marriage, which was illegal in South Africa, and he and Yehudi Menuhin both hung out with blacks. Huddleston appealed to them to help me to get a scholarship to study in England, which they did.

Did you want to leave because of what was going on politically or was it more just to improve your playing?

I wanted to leave South Africa from the time I started playing, when I was 13 years old. I wanted to have the same access to teachers as someone like a Louis Armstrong or a Dizzy Gillespie or Clifford Brown, Miles Davis or a Lee Morgan or Chet Baker. I was after excellence.

So it wasn’t just politics…

I couldn’t get what I wanted because it was politically impossible. The two things were interrelated.

But after you left, you were not allowed to come back?

It was impossible to come back because when I came [to America], the people who had helped me, Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie, people like that were fundraisers for the civil rights movement in America and in South Africa, people like Mandela and all my schoolmates were being put in jail or were leaving the country.

We were increasingly making Americans aware of what was happening in South Africa, which didn’t endear us to our government. I would have been a masochist to try and condemn the government from overseas and then try to go home.

After 1962 my passport was never renewed. I took it back for renewal, but they never renewed it. I had to make due.

Out of the one and a half million people who left South Africa because of apartheid, only 35,000 of us have returned. Others have established their lives overseas, but some of us were obsessed with our freedom and going back home.

Didn’t you live in Botswana for awhile to be near South Africa?

I lived there for like four years and the death squads came and killed most of my friends, so I had to leave and go into the second exile.


When did you finally go back?

In 1990.

Did you settle right back in?

No, I had to acclimatize and find a means of living, I had to find my place in South Africa.

But your music was well known there already, so you had a start…

Of course. I was in demand, but it doesn’t mean anything, because there were other obstacles. It wasn’t the same as here: There were no booking agencies, there were not enough venues. I had to live a life that I was not accustomed to. Over here I was kind of spoiled.

I also had to help and be involved in building an infrastructure that would elevate the music community. Kids wanted to learn music, and those who were talented wanted to be able to earn money. They needed help and guidance and they wanted to know the things I know. But the circumstances that brought my success in America didn’t exist in South Africa.

You mean with the music business?

Right. Now it’s growing slowly. I’m getting more involved in production and talent development and all of the things that pertain to trying to create a better infrastructure. Until that infrastructure is owned by a black business community, it will be hard to make a change.

Are the record companies still all owned by white people?

They were never owned by anyone else — and you don’t wake up one day and say, ‘We voted, give us your record company.’

You say the album you just released here came out first in South Africa, was that on a black owned label?   

It was on Sony South Africa, part of Sony International.

Are there any black record labels at this point?

I’m forming my own record company, not a black record company per se, but a company that will address where we are coming from and improve those conditions. It will not only be a record company, but also a television company and and a film company involved in distribution. We’re going into business. We’re calling it Chisa, Chisa Entertainment Corporation. When I lived in the states I had Chisa Records, that’s one I started.

What does Chisa mean?

Chisa means put fire. Light the fire.

So that is your plan for the future?

It’s not my plan, I’m doing it. I’m not dreaming about it, I’m in the process of doing it. We are lighting the fire.


We end with what may the most memorable set in the times Mr. Masekela visited Humboldt. It didn’t start the way it was supposed to. He was booked for Reggae on the River to play a set before Reggae faves, Third World. Hugh’s plane ran into fog in our socked in airport. I’m not sure what happened, but he was not on time for his set and the Reggae Ambassadors had to play earlier than planned. They were ripping it up as usual and without notice, we heard a familiar lick, the Third World keyboard player playing “Grazin’ in the Grass,” and Mr. Masekela took over, slowly his band with the reggae band. Amazing…

interview by Bob Doran…

RIP Jim Moore

I heard from an old friend, Wesley Chesbo, the other day. He wondered if perhaps I remembered a friend of his, Jim Moore, who passed away on New Year’s Day. I had to admit, my memory of Jim is fleeting at best, he moved away from Arcata years ago and eventually became something of a mover and shaker in politics on a state level, particularly regarding reading polls. Like Wesley, he spent a lot of time in Sacramento.
For those who don’t know Wesley, well, he was someone I knew from years ago when I worked in the Humboldt State cafeteria. His brother, Walt, was the head dishwasher one fateful summer, but that’s a story for another day, this is about Jim.
I’ve been running into Wes a lot more since he retired from politics. We were both at the memorial service from our mutual friend Kay Chaffey.  Wes gave a eulogy that quoted from an obituary I wrote.
More recently, Wes called when he was planning on localizing an obit for his longtime friend. He sent me his first draft, then we met yesterday and talked about what he wrote. I suggested adding some more personal details, and he did. I also told him I’d like to be among those who published his tribute. I’ll drink one more toast to his memory. I suspect he would like that.


On January 1, Jim Moore died at his home in the El Dorado County town of Camino. He was 66. Even though he had been in declining health for several years, he was still working and his death was unexpected.

Moore was a major influence on the history and politics of Arcata and Humboldt County before he took his considerable skills to Sacramento, working with Governor Jerry Brown, former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, former Senate President and Democratic Party Chair John Burton and others.

During the 1970s while still living in Arcata, Jim Moore was instrumental in the successful ballot fight to stop the construction of the proposed Butler Valley Dam at Maple Creek on the Mad River. Jim played a key role in numerous Arcata City Council races in the 1970s including the election and reelection of long time Councilmember and Mayor Alex Stillman.

In those days when Moore wasn’t immersed in a local controversy or political campaigns he could be spotted sitting up all night at Don’s Donut Bar in Arcata drinking coffee and reading books on physics, math and psychology. Among his favorites were Buckminster Fuller and Wilhelm Reich. What his friends didn’t realize at the time was that Jim was formulating his own theory of human psychology and political behavior that led him to later become one of California’s top political pollsters.

Moore helped to manage all of Wesley Chesbro’s campaigns for City Council, County Supervisor, State Senate and State Assembly. In fact Chesbro’s decision to enter politics in 1974 at the age of 22 was made in consultation with Jim Moore while the two were sitting on a curb at 2:00 AM after a night of listening to Freddy and the Starliners at the Jambalaya Club.

Jim Moore also played  significant role in the election and reelection of numerous Northcoast legislators including former Congressman Doug Bosco, former Senator Barry Keene, and former Asemblymembers Dan Hauser and Patty Berg.

He drafted and successfully led a ballot campaign to establish an ecologically sustainable forest management plan for the city owned Arcata Community and Jacoby Creek forests, directing harvesting revenues to acquisition and development of city park and recreation facilities, including the Arcata Community Center.

Jim Moore will also be remembered by softball players in the 1970s and 1980s Arcata Beer Leagues as a standout hitter and pitcher for the Northbay Grease in their epic Sunday afternoon battles with the Snail Darters and the Golden Rockets.

Friends and associates in Humboldt County knew Jim Moore was a bright and talented political activist, but few if any locally knew what he was capable of on a larger stage.

In 1983 Jim Moore founded the J. Moore Methods polling firm in Sacramento and served as a leading Democratic pollster for Governors, Senate and Assembly leaders, numerous individual legislators and state ballot measure campaigns.

Jim was born in Arcata on March 28, 1951. He was the Son of Dr Herb Moore, an Arcata physician and Mary Moore. He was the nephew of long time Humboldt County Clerk and Former Eureka Mayor Fred Moore.

Jim Moore will be remembered as a highly competitive softball player in his younger years and a vineyard owner and grape grower in his later years.

Above all he will be remembered as a dear, ferociously loyal friend to those who knew and loved him.

Jim Moore leaves behind his loving partner Jan Mathews of Camino California.

A local gathering of Jim Moore’s friends to celebrate his life will be held on January 26th at 5:30 PM at 1166 H Street Arcata. Please enter from the side entrance as the front porch is under construction

Those attending are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice to toast the life, friendship and many accomplishments of Jim Moore.

Please RSVP at (707) 798-6211 if you are planning to attend.


Kris Kristofferson has nothin’ left to lose…

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…”

Kris Kristofferson is playing at the Van Duzer tonight, he will undoubtedly play this song. Tickets were out of my price range, so I’ll miss him, unless I run into him wandering around town. There’s actually a few seats left if you don’t mind sitting in the last row. Click here if you’re interested. (Let me know if you liked the show.)
Watching that vid he made with Rita (once his wife), I learned an interesting factoid: Kris wrote the song when he was working on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana.

I first heard “Bobby McGee” via Janis Joplin, I’m pretty sure it was her biggest hit.

They say the first time Kris heard her recording of it was the day after she died. Sadly, Pearl, the album that included the song, was posthumous.

Janis sang it like she had nothin’ left to lose…

Bill Frisell, A Portrait + Jenny Scheinman playing Bill’s tunes…

It was what they call a “save the date” message, sent out a few weeks ago by my friends in the Redwood Jazz Alliance, the hip crew that puts on cutting edge jazz shows here and there. If you have even a passing interest in jazz, they thought you’d want to see the film Bill Frisell, A Portrait, plus there’s that extra bonus, yes, a movie with an opening act, and oh what an opening act, Jenny Scheinman, a local treasure who’s played with Bill will play some of his tunes (who, unfortunately, Bill will only be there on the big screen).  Let me turn things over to the RJA folks to explain…

Bill Frisell, A Portrait – Trailer from Emma Franz on Vimeo.

We’re excited to be partnering with Arcata’s historic Minor Theatre for an exclusive North Coast screening of Australian filmmaker Emma Franz’s new documentary about the uncategorizable guitar virtuoso Bill Frisell, Monday, February 5th at 7:30 p.m. Violinist Jenny Scheinman, who has played with Frisell in several different bands over the past decade and a half, will start the evening with a selection of his tunes, in a duo with keyboardist John Wood.



When Bill Frisell: A Portrait opened in New York last month, the New York Times designated it a Critic’s Pick, noting that it “upends the myth that the great artist needs to be full of anger, or to behave badly, to be inspired.” Rolling Stone added that “a documentary on this major avant-jazz player [was] long overdue,” while All About Jazz called it “one of the most compelling, entertaining, and informative films made about a living music legend.”A character portrait of the anti-archetype guitar hero, this nuanced film traces the ideas and processes that shape Frisell’s music, providing rare insight into the mind and personality of one of the significant musicians of recent decades.

Full of live music, revealing stories, and intimate access to the normally reclusive Frisell, it follows various collaborations from development to fruition, including the last ever performance of the Paul Motian Trio with Frisell and Joe Lovano. Also featured are Bonnie Raitt, Hal Willner, Paul Simon, Nels Cline, Joey Baron, Jim Hall, Jason Moran, Mike Gibbs, John Zorn, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter and John Abercrombie.

If you haven’t yet checked out the newly renovated Minor, you’re in for a treat: in our humble opinion, it has the best sound and projection systems, the most comfortable seats, and the most appetizing food and drink of any theater in the county. Admission to this special event is $15 (sorry: we can’t offer our usual discount for students & seniors), and seating is limited to 100, so buy your tickets early!

As I assumed the show sold out quickly. I bought a few tix since I didn’t want to miss out. I love the idea of combining a film with some live music, and Jenny never disappoints.


If you were near New York, you might have heard her playing quite different music with her Mischief & Mayhem tour with Nels Cline, Jim Black, and Todd Sickafoose. (Jan. 18-21 at the Jazz Standard)…

Wanna hear a little of Jenny playing with Bill?

By the way, Redwood Jazz Alliance has a show coming up at The Sanctuary, Arcata with Ben Allison & Think Free on another Monday, February 19, (8 pm).
That’s Ben Allison, bass; Kirk Knuffke, cornet; Steve Cardenas, guitar; Allan Mednard, drums (not the drummer in this vid)…

And here’s a little more from Mr. Frisell as one more teaser, in this case playing songs by John Lennon…

Will I see you the Minor? What else do you have planned for tonight? I happen to know where you can get a ticket. Contact me ASAP. I have one available as of 11:30 am. Do it now.

HSU Third Street Gallery closing?

The message from the Third Street Gallery’s director Jack Bentley was an announcement of his pending retirement — not a complete surprise — but it went on to inform all of us that HSU is planning the concurrent closure of the gallery, a shock to many — even to Jack. His letter is a call to arms for those who would like to save this important cultural resource. I’ll let Jack take from there…


Dear Friends,

On next July 30th, after 20 years of managing the programs at the HSU Third Street Gallery, formerly the HSU First Street Gallery, I will leave my employment at Humboldt State University. During my time at the gallery, I have been privileged to participate in a multifaceted and creative collaboration with a wide range of community members, students, faculty, university staff and administration, as well as with all of the wonderful student, regional and visiting artists whose work we have been so lucky to exhibit. I’m very grateful to all of these people who worked with us to help establish community and student accessibility to a wide range of art forms and types of expression. Thank you to all of you for helping us to cement the reputation and the professional standing of the gallery!

When the gallery was founded in 1998, it was established as a community outreach program with the mission to provide a fine arts venue and an exhibition program, readily accessible to our North Coast community, while simultaneously providing a hands-on site for HSU students to learn and implement museum and gallery practices. The gallery was established as an independent department within the university, with its own budget.


jackinside3rdst 2.jpg

[Jack showed me the Third Street Gallery when it was under construction a little more than a year ago.]

Currently, with its location in Eureka and with over 26,000 visitors annually, Third Street Gallery is by far HSU’s most visited, most popular fine arts gallery. In readers’ polls published by the North Coast Journal, HSU Third Street Gallery was selected as the North Coast’s Best Art Gallery in 2011 and 2016. Thanks to the work of our students and to the support of our community and university colleagues, the gallery has garnered a reputation that stretches way beyond our region and draws visitors and artists from far and wide.

When I formally notified the university administration of my plan to leave the university, I made a series of recommendations to ensure the gallery’s smooth transition to successor management in order to continue the gallery’s service to students and to the community.

Not long after notifying my supervisor of my intention to leave, I learned that a proposal to shut down HSU Third Street Gallery had been submitted to the (HSU) President’s Cabinet and had been subsequently passed along to HSU’s University Resources Planning Committee (URPC) for further study.

Couched in the language of budget reductions, the proposal is a thinly disguised resource grab by another university department in which the gallery would be shut down and its budget and assets would be absorbed by other on-campus programs.

In this proposed scenario Third Street Gallery, in its Eureka location, would be shuttered in 2019, its budget would be slashed by a one-third and the remaining two-thirds of its budget would be directed to on-campus exhibition programs. Effectively turning its back on making exhibitions accessible to the broader North Coast community, the proposal calls for the remaining two thirds of Third Street’s former budget to pay for an ill-defined, untested future program in the university’s two galleries located on campus, the Reese Bullen Gallery and the Goudi’ ni Gallery, both of which have very low accessibility and visitation rates. In other words, the proposal would shut down a successful cultural outreach program on the gamble that they could do a better job on campus. This idea is the opposite of creative—it’s destructive.



[This was the gallery, again under construction last year, this time showing the fine new floor being added the building. The university made a considerable investment preparing the new space. What were they thinking? Are they thinking at all?]

To date, the committee that is charged with studying this proposal has made no effort to contact me or to consult with stakeholders in the gallery, or with the community, and that is probably by design. The less feedback that they receive, the easier it will be to shut Third Street Gallery down.

And this is why I’m writing to you. You are the stakeholders whose voices need to be heard. Shutting down Third Street Gallery is not a foregone conclusion. This is still a proposal. However, its outcome is dependent on the input and opinions shared with the committee and decision makers. You can help keep the gallery open by making your opinion known and taking a stand as a stakeholder in the gallery.

If you want to help, this is what you can do: You can write an email letter of support for the continuation of the gallery and its programs. You can write any type of email:

A simple short note that addresses your general support of the gallery.

Or you can be more elaborate, touching on some important subjects to address:


The best strategy in this type of letter writing is to copy your email to everybody of concern. That way nobody can deny your contribution to the discussion.

Please address you letters to the two Co-Chairs of the HSU University Resource Planning Committee:

Mark Rizzardi, Professor of Mathematics, Co-Chair, URPC and Alex Enyedi, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Co-Chair, URPC.

Please use the long email string of addresses below to assure that all of the parties involved in this issue will be apprised of your sentiments.
Email to:

To my friends and acquaintances, I’m leaving the university voluntarily, because it’s time to make a change in my career and my life. So please focus your comments on the gallery rather than on me. This is still in the proposal stage to close the gallery by 2019. Your timely comments can determine the future.

Please feel free to share this email with anyone who you think could help.

Thank you for your attention to this issue.


Jack Bentley

Director, HSU Third Street Gallery


Ending note from Bob: Jack gathers found photos and shows them to his friends. This one seemed appropriate to me. The whole thing doesn’t make sense and shows that the driver messed up leaving a problem that will be difficult to undo. Let’s see if HSU can change direction before making this decision.

A change of plans, from Jane and Campground to a midwife tale…

Sometimes things don’t follow straight paths. Take this evening for example, it didn’t go according to plan at all. We’d planned an evening at Richard’s Goat and the Miniplex. A documentary called “Jane” was playing.


Director Brett Morgen mined the National Geographic archives to tell the story of Jane Goodall, whose research on chimpanzees changed they way we relate to our fellow primates. Morgan, called the “mad scientist” of documentaries by the New York Times (see “Crossfire Hurricane,” “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “Chicago 10,” etc.) He drew on footage of young Jane by Dutch nature photographer Hugo van Lawick shot in the ’60s and thought lost(Hugo eventually married Jane.) With a soundtrack by Philip Glass, it seemed to be just the thing for a Monday night.

A couple of those cheesy mac ‘n’ cheeses from the Goat and we’d call it dinner and a movie. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. They were out of mac ‘n’ cheese and were down to the last of their tater tots too. And, the barkeep wondered if I’d bought my ticket online because “Jane” was sold out in advance. I’d actually visited the website earlier looking for the showtime and thought of buying advance tickets, but figured Monday night there wouldn’t be that big of a crowd. I should have paid the $1.25 service charge. Live and learn.  Maybe we’ll try again Saturday when it shows again (or Wednesday, Dec. 27, of the following Saturday).

It was good that the Miniplex is doing well, but it threw a wrench in our plans. On to Plan B. Mondays are often off nights for restaurants, but we’d find something. I’ve been hearing about a new place, Campground, that’s due open in the new building a block from the Plaza where the NEC was years ago (until a fire that began in the classic bar Marino’s took out the whole block).

The folks at Salt have been working on the brand new space for months and I’ve asked them when it might be done more than once. I’d heard through the grapevine it was finally done and they were supposed to have a “soft opening” on Sunday followed by a “hard” opening later. Not sure if that happened.

We cruised by and saw that there was action inside. We found a place to park by the Co-op and went to check it out. The place looked warm and inviting, but the hostess informed us we had to have a reservation. I pointed out there were plenty of empty seats, but she insisted that it was “invitation only.”

Could I take home a menu so I could see what on it? No, not until Wednesday, when the have an official “grand opening.” Whatever. I should have snapped a pic of the menu, but I figured I’d find it online. I didn’t. Maybe I wasn’t googling it right, but I found nothing about the place except Jack Durham’s item in the Mad River Union from summertime, until today… (thanx Georgia)


Sounds good. Anyway, it was for Plan C. Since we were getting hungrier, we decided on savory pie for dinner at Bittersweet, a Slice of Humboldt Pie to be exact. In my case a Chilean Potato empanada and a Pulled Pork & Green Chili empanada, washed down with a blood orange cider. Good stuff.

The place was full of what seemed to be the college crowd. The industrial open beam look makes if kind of on the loud side, but people seem to like that — it makes it seem like there’s something happening. However, it’s not a place for intimate conversation. We headed out out when we’d finished our pie.

Last stop: a visit to La Dolce Video in search of entertainment. We settled on a new French film called “The Midwife” with Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot, two marvelous actors.

Claire (Ms.Frot) is honesty incarnate. A midwife, she has devoted her life to others. At a moment when she is preoccupied by the imminent closure of the maternity clinic where she works, her life is further turned upside down when Béatrice (Ms.Deneuve), her father’s former mistress, turns up on the scene. Béatrice is a capricious and selfish woman, Claire’s exact opposite…

Sparks fly, while in the background babies are born. All of the reviews seem to mention the fact that it’s the kind of story you don’t see in American films with real characters like the people you know, not superheroes or spies or… well, you get the picture. It was a fine way to spend an evening relaxing on the couch. We’ll save “Jane,” mac’n’cheese and Campground for another day…