The NCJ Wrap



Here's a preview of all the scintillating stories and fascinating factoids you'll find in this week's paper:

On the cover, Heidi Walters comes out of the woods with the California Department of Fish and Game and hits the asphalt running. Walters examines the new role the DFG is playing in urban planning. It's the perfect time -- it turns out -- for the paradigm shift since so many general plans are in the process of being updated at the moment. By getting involved now, the DFG hopes to ensure that fish and wildlife aren't just protected in our forests, but in our cities as well.

In the Town Dandy, the NCJ's Great Helmsman shares the paper's rationale for how it voted in the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy case. After seriously mulling over the advice of readers, the Journal finally went with its gut and "pulled the lever" for the Mendocino Redwood Company.

Japhet Weeks digs deeper into the Martin Cotton case, trying to narrow down the possibilities of how and when the 26-year-old, who died in police custody last August in Eureka, sustained the blunt force trauma that killed him.

Seth Naman kayaks Willow Creek and his friend loses -- sorry, loans -- his boat to one of the river's "scariest most gut-wrenching sieves." A sieve, in this case, is not what you think it is, it's "a hole in a rock, or a hole in between rocks, where water rushes through. ... the mortal enemies of river runners ..."

In Table Talk, Bob Doran gives a baguette a bath and calls it lunch. Actually, he calls it pan bagna, and these savory little sandwiches from the south of France sound pretty tasty.

Then in the Hum Doran finds out how the Asylum Street Spankers -- arriving in town soon -- came up with their crazy name. Also Willie Nelson is coming to the county. And the finger-popping, Lindy Hopping Jazz Fest will be in full swing -- pun intended -- this weekend.

In Review this week takes a look at two CDs and a DVD, all recommended. The film The Real Dirt on Farmer John is a "dramatic story about a dark chapter in the history of middle America, told by an uninhibited artist who happened to be at ground zero with his camera, his wits and his creative spark," writes "Chef Boy" Ari LeVaux. Sea Lion, a new CD release from The Ruby Suns, is worth a listen, according to Mark Shikuma: "Sea Lion is an excellent, imaginative sophomore recording, fronted by a talented singer-songwriter-producer, who shows one can knit together a wide patchwork of influences, both organic and industrial, into a contemporary pop format, resulting in an otherworldly (and warm) musical quilt," he writes. And Vs. (Definitive Edition) by Mission of Burma is "one of the most powerful and unique rock albums of its era, and a turning point for the American underground," according to Spencer Doran.

If you don't want to bring your entertainment home to you, Jay Herzog recommends going to the theater. Israeli film The Band's Visit is "well worth seeing" in his opinion. In Bruges is also worth the ticket price, though "Ultimately the movie suffers a bit from the fact that it's a hit-man comedy — a very good one, but an example of a sub-genre that's pretty played out at this point (10 years ago, pre-Pulp Fiction, it would have seemed much bolder)." And if your heart is set on a period piece, you might like The Other Boleyn Girl, although Herzog gives it a lukewarm endorsement: The film "wasn't quite the overheated soap opera I feared it would be, though it was a bit of a slog," he writes.

Or you could avoid cinemas all together and drive up to Crescent City for the 10th Annual Aleutian Goose Festival. Or go out in search of a spaghetti-sprouting Polychaete worm named Cirriformis, just 10 cm long, lurking in the smelly sulfidic mud of the bay.

And last, but not least, check out this weeks poem, a rumination on spring, penned by poetess Stephanie Silvia.

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