The final vote tally sure was a nail-biter, but leading news outlets are now confirming that the failed re-election bids of Mike Newman and Chet Albin will usher in the first all-female city council in Eureka's 160-year history.
With mustache-free governance set to convene shortly in a seaport near you, it appears some of us are taking the news better than others. From the look of things, Mayor Frank Jager isn't on the short list to win the Susan B. Anthony Award.
Evidence of hizzoner's Testosterone Withdrawal Disorder was on display when he opened the inaugural post-election meeting by introducing Eureka's Ward 4 representative as "Councilman Ciarabellini." If I'm not mistaken, Jager was referring to Melinda Ciarabellini.
Perhaps the good Mayor was tired? Possibly. The genderific flub was delivered, however, during the first item on the evening's agenda. (Visit the @BuhneTribune Twitter feed to view the clip.)
Or, did the 160-year glass ceiling shattered by councilwomen-elect Kim Bergel and Natalie Arroyo crash someone's party? Whatever the explanation, it looks like a certain presiding official could use a bro-hug.
Quack, Quack ...
Whether he likes it or not, Mayor Jager's conservative-veering henchmen, Chester and Michael, are scheduled to depart the council dais — stage-right — around the time most Eurekans are finishing up their last-minute Christmas shopping.
Speaking of last-minute, was anyone other than councilman Albin in favor of handing out $30,000 to a consultant last month to whisper in our ears about what a charming, popular cruise ship port-of-call the Eureka harbor would make — if only we could swindle a few gullible cruise lines into docking here?
Anyone taking that bail will have to overlook the fact that Eureka is renowned for suffering the coldest summers in the lower 48, its Julys and Augusts pretty much an endless string of one damp, dreary day after the next. The other three seasons — drought years aside — normally trend windy or wet; not the first thing that pops into most people's minds when planning a vacation.
Having pocketed a 30-large "consulting fee," trade consultant and Cruise the West Vice President Bruce Conner doesn't dwell on such trifles. With Albin smugly looking on, Conner addressed a recent council meeting, where he glad-handed our electeds into accepting our seaport's viability to accommodate northward-bound cruise junkets. Did Conner even look at our harbor? Well then surely he's aware of the majestic, Chernobyl-like grandeur of our defunct, bayside pulp mills. The homeless tent cities ringing the bay are another unique can't-miss; I'm told the going rate for taking an Instagram selfie with a homeless dude sets you back one pack of generic smokes.
But here's hoping the "Con" succeeds. As proposed, Eureka would be penciled into ship itineraries that presently include, according to the presentation, other, aesthetically comparable ports of call.
You know, like Santa Barbara and Seattle.
Chief Ugg Boots'
Urban Bicycle Bash-up
Forget about enticing tourists to cruise the bay. Extreme sport hipsters will flock to town when word gets out about the latest adrenaline-rush hitting the streets of Eureka.
Just in time for the dark, rainy streets of winter, Chief Ugg Boots' way-cool plan to forbid cyclists from riding on the sidewalk could transform Eureka's non-existent bike lanes into exciting, do-or-die corridors of mayhem.
It turns out our top cop, Andrew Mills — a groovy SoCal expat — is a marketing genius. And just think, no consulting fee required!
As Chief Ugg apparently is well aware, several pinch-points throughout town force cyclists to "share" all of about six-inches of roadway with speeding automobile traffic. A couple of our narrower passages also happen to be the busiest: Henderson and E streets (pictured), and Buhne and S streets feature paper-thin bike lanes with frightening, tire-swallowing storm drains.
As a result, sharing the road beside any vehicle larger than a Mini Cooper gives thrill-seeking cyclists a choice between getting arrested for daring to encroach on the chief's sacred sidewalk (while saving their life), or risking it all in a round of Urban Bicycle Bash-Up.
As a bonus, any cyclist maimed in a transit bus vs. bike collision could, one imagines, be in for a hefty insurance settlement.
Bungee-jumping and zip-lining? Suddenly looking a little tepid by comparison, huh?
—– Ryan Hurley
Ryan Hurley is a Eureka-based attorney. Know where the bodies are buried? Email Ryan: email@example.com. Follow him if you dare: @BuhneTribune.