Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 17, 2004 · Page 3
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 3

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Page 3
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COMMERCE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2004 - 3 Oysters vs. cows along Marin coast Dairy runoff during rain delays oyster harvests in Tomales By TERENCE CHEA Associated Press Writer MARSHALL, Calif. - Martin Strain reached into the greenish- blue waters of Tomales Bay and pulled up a mesh bag full of gnarled Pacific oysters - the center of a long-running dispute between dairy ranchers and shellfish growers in this coastal community 50 miles north of San Francisco. Heavy rains have forced oyster farms to shut down for weeks at a time this winter as runoff from neighboring dairy ranches boost pollution levels in the waters where the oysters are grown. Dairy ranchers say they've invested heavily to prevent cow waste from reaching the bay, but oyster farmers say not enough is being done to keep the water clean, and the pollution is hurting their business. "It's an unfair situation," said Strain, the owner of the Point Reyes Oyster Co., who has grown shellfish on Tomales Bay for 19 years. "By not forcing these people to obey the law, they're putting us out of business." Sandwiched between Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marin County coast, Tomales Bay is the largest of four regions in California where shellfish are grown commercially. It's considered one of the state's cleanest bays because it doesn't have industrial pollution. Tomales Bay still has its share of pollution problems stemming from leaky septic systems, soil erosion, wildlife waste, mercury contamination and agricultural runoff. In recent years, poor water quality has led to local beach warnings and degraded marine habitat. While the pollution affects sport fishermen, swimmers and kayakers, oyster farmers have been hardest hit. Oysters, which consume algae filtered through their shells, are seen as an indicator of the bay's health. "They're really the canary in the coal mine," said Gregg Langlois, a marine biologist with the state Department of Health Services. "They're our first line of defense in ensuring a high level of water quality." When rainfall is heavy, manure from the dairy ranches run into creeks that feed Tomales Bay and raise counts of fecal coliform bacteria, an accepted measure of water quality. The dangers of consuming contaminated oysters made headlines in 1998, when about 170 people got sick after eating raw oysters from the bay. Under state law, oyster farmers aren't allowed to harvest for up to a week when it rains half an inch or more to allow time for the oysters to filter out the contaminants. Oyster farms, which have been closed as many as 100 days annually in recent years, have been shut down at least 69 days since October because of rain, Langlois said. "It's been a tough winter," said Terry Sawyer, co-owner of Hog Island Oyster Co., one of six oyster companies that operate on the bay. "Progress is never fast enough. It's our bottom line that's affected." Shellfish growers say the closures limit the number of oysters they can harvest, hurts the reputation of their product and makes business unpredictable. The other shellfish growers successfully lobbied state officials to pass the 1993 Shellfish See RUNOFF, Page 5 Herman Magdaleno/The Daily Journal Russ Carlsen, manager at the new Audio-Video store next to dfm Car Stereo on North State Street, demonstrates last week the home sound and video system set up in the "living room" of the model house built inside the showroom. Audio-Video wires showroom 'home' By LEEANN LAMBERT The Daily Journal Technology has come a long way in the last half century from tinny transistors and teensy television screens to whole-house audio systems, surround sound and wall-mounted, flat-screen TVs. Walking through the doors of Ukiah's new Audio-Video showroom, next to dfm Car Stereo on North State Street, people will find a "house" set up with the latest in the audio-visual universe, said Manager Russ Carlsen. "It's basically a model house without a roof and doors," said Carlsen about Audio-Video's display floor, which includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, home office, home gym and even an outdoor deck all connected through one sound system with access panels in each room the size of a light switch plate. "We're trying to emulate what people might have in their own homes," he said, plus a little more. For example, in the "living room" there's two different surround sound systems installed so people can listen to them and then select the system that would best fit the size of their rooms, Carlsen said. Each of the rooms in the model house also features different types of television screens from thin plasmas screens and compressed, high-quality LCDs that hang like pictures on the wall to massive rear-projection screens. "We are also building a home theater," Carlsen added, in the back of the showroom, which will have a large projection TV, a 100-inch screen, nine to 12 seats and full surround sound. "We're still putting it in," he explained, since they have been using that room as a work room to complete the remodeling of the high-tech "house" and the new store that is connected to dfm's longtime location. Carlsen said dfm first began thinking about opening the Audio-Video showroom two years ago and started last year cleaning out and remodeling the new showroom. Along with the pew facilities, dfm has also increased its cellular telephone stock in the new store, he said, with the goal of having on-hand all the accessories available for wireless phones. Additionally, the Audio-Video store staff helps educate people about the lat- est multimedia options, Carlsen said, including the new digital light processing television screens, which have "better black levels" that maintain image quality in rooms with higher light levels. Furthermore, video technology is getting ready to make a leap "almost as big as when televisions went from black and white to color," he said, creating screens that have better definition, less distortion and more vivid colors. Television's technology, he continued, has basically remained the same since the 1950s with the first little TV screens just being stretched out to fill larger displays. However, with the newest video technology, Carlsen said, people "can have cinema quality screens in their own homes." Besides designing audio and video systems, Audio-Video's staff installs the systems in people's homes complete with wiring for cable, data lines and satellite. Audio-Video's showroom is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call Audio- Video and dfm at 462-2626. Writer: Guitar Center gobbling up instrument market ByALEXVEIGA AP Business Writer LOS ANGELES - The year was 1964. The Beatles had conquered America, and the first Guitar Center store opened in Hollywood, selling instruments and amplifiers to a generation eager to play rock 'n' roll. Four decades later, Guitar Center Inc. is the nation's biggest purveyor cf music equipment in a $7 billion industry in which most of its competitors are still mom- and-pop stores or small regional chains. The company has thrived by bringing a big-box approach to the business, using its size and buying power to oner more variety and lower prices than its rivals - a strategy mat has allowed other retailers, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to dominate their industry segments. Nationwide, the Westlake Village-based company operates 124 Guitar Center stores and 19 American Music Group outlets. Its customers range from professional musicians to baby boomer hobbyists with plenty of disposable income and an urge to relive their rock 'n' roll days. "It's like a shrine," Steve Hammond, a 49-year-old guitar collector from San Francisco, said as he surveyed a back room at the 30,000-square-foot store in Hollywood. Designed like an Old West saloon, it contains scores of vintage guitars. A cream-colored, 1958 Fender Stratocaster, was selling for $39,950. A Fender Squier was going for $99. Elsewhere in the store, old and young patrons browsed rows of amplifiers, keyboards and drums. Guitars in myriad colors and shapes lined the walls. Among them were a pink bass shaped like a daisy and black guitars that seemed fit for death metal music. A muffled jumble of noise filled the store as customers in glassed-in chambers tried out instruments. Some spend hours in the rooms without buying anything, but that's not a problem. Outside, Rian Barton, of Pasadena, beamed after saving $200 on his new Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. "This is the best place for guitars I've ever seen," the 14-year-old said. Since going public in 1997, Guitar Center has succeeded with investors; its stock is hovering near its 52-week high of $37.10. Net income for the fourth quarter was $19.7 millipn, a 47.1 percent increase from a year earlier. Fed by five straight quarters of sales growth, net income for the year jumped 45.9 percent to $36.9 million on revenue of $ 1.3 billion. "They beat the competition on selection, they beat the competition on service, and they beat them on price, the three legs of the stool that really drive store choice," said Richard Nelson, an See GUITAR, Page 5 Lake, Mendocino engineers ; group to meet on Thursday ; The Lake-Mendocino Engineers Association' (LMEA) will be holding its monthly dinner and! meeting on Thursday at Angelo's Italian! Restaurant, 920 N. State St. in Ukiah. A social; hour starts at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and a' meeting at 7 p.m. ! The featured speaker is Roger Foote, a Ukiah; native and environmental health specialist for; the Mendocino County Department of Health' Services. He will present a PowerPoint slide, show describing the programs within! Environmental Health. Special attention will be; given to hazardous waste dumping, septic systems and West Nile Virus. The public is invited! to attend. ; For reservations, contact Lori Price at 263-' 2341. : Phoenix Hospice to sponsor : 'Living Into Dying' workshop : Author and teacher Nancy Poer be offering a; workshop on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at; the Golden Rule Ranch sponsored by Phoenix Hospice of Mendocino County. ! The workshop is to explore the "spiritual con-! siderations and issues of the threshold journey of; dying and how we can support our loved ones at' this time," says workshop information from hos- • pice. Poer will also offer concrete guidelines and; tools for those interested in home funerals, it; continues The workshop will be held at the Golden Rule Ranch and there is a $25 fee that includes lunch.! Preregistration is required because space is lim-! ited. For more information or registration, call Phoenix Hospice at 459-1818. '. Retired teachers group to hold : luncheon meeting on Monday ; The Mendocino County Division #55 Area I; of California Retired Teachers Association is; scheduled to hold its next meeting on Monday at • the Ukiah Garden Cafe. ! There will be a gathering and social at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch for $9. '! The program features Jessie Escobedo, the" new principal at Grace Hudson Elementary 1 School. He was principal at Eagle Peak Middle School for the last three years. Prior to that hej was assistant principal at Piner High School with; the Santa Rosa City Schools. County Web site is looking for calendar items ' Anew visitors' information calendar has been, installed on, Mendocino County's official web site. Any group or organization that would like to submit an event to be' listed should go online to, click, on the calendar and fill in the calendar submission form. Events should be open to the public. Priority is given to events for large numbers of visitors^. Major events will be displayed up to 18 months in advance. Smaller events will appear from three to six months ahead of time. is produced by the Mendocino County Alliance, which promotes Mendocino County wine, food and attractions and provides visitor information services. For more information, call MCA at 462-7417 or visit National Forest woodcutting permits to go on sale in April : Personal use firewood cutting permits sales? will resume April 1 for the Grindstone District 1 and April 15 on the Upper Lake and Covelo Districts, Mendocino National Forest. The minimum volume of wood per permit is four cords, with the cost per cord at $5. Permits may be purchased at the District Offices at the Forest Supervisor's Office in Willows. In Mendocino County and Lake County, there' is a quarantine to prevent the spread of sudden'^' oak death disease, so cutters may not transport" any wood from these counties to other counties' outside the quarantined area. For more information, contact the Grindstone" District at (530) 963-3128; the Upper Lake >: District at 275-2361; the Covelo District at 9836118; or the Forest Supervisor's Office inj Willows at (530) 934-3316. ; / Leadership Mendocino seeks ; applicants for upcoming year Leadership Mendocino, the county-wide nonprofit group whose mission is to educate "people who want to make a difference in our communi-. ty," has applications available for the next class year which begins in September. Applications are available at the Greater- Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, 200 S. School, St., or via e-mail (as a PDF file) from program co-director Rusty Eddy at '. Any resident of Mendocino County may apply. Tuition for the 2004/2005 class year is $600 per person. Applications will be accepted through the end of April. Interviews will be scheduled in May. ; Leadership Mendocino meets one day a month for 10 months in various locations' throughout the county. ': For more information on Leadership Mendocino, or to obtain an application, call the' group at 463-6707 or e-mail Eddy at k

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