Here’s How to Help the North Coast Co-op, Says Letter Writer

Letter to the editor

[Background Image from By Johnny_Spasm Own work, Public Domain]

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.

Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

I’m writing this letter to notify the members of the Co-op as well as the general community that the North coast Co-op is in the midst of a financial crisis.

The Co-op for many is a cherished institution—much more than a grocery store–and I feel certain if people knew about the situation help would be forthcoming.

For background information on the crisis I would direct readers to the Lost Coast Outpost Article:  “On Shaky Financial Ground, the North Coast Co-op is Riled by Internal Strife and an Uncertain Future “

 
In the meantime here’s what the community/Co-op members can do to help.
  • Shop as much as possible at the Co-op.
  • For the next few months, consider not taking your senior or member discount
  • For the next few months consider using cash or check instead of debit or credit card  (The Co-op has to pay fees charged by the card companies)
  • Become a member
  • Invest in B or C shares

Please spread the word and do whatever you can do to save this unique and vital part of our community.

Faye Honorof

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86 comments

  • No Thanks. Sorry people, I don’t need a lb of exotic nuts hand-picked by Hindu for $49.99. Usually when a major industry in an area dies, all the subsidiaries go with it. Don’t mean to be harsh, just reality. To be honest I like the Grocery Outlets. Then again I never grew pot, so I don’t have the money for anywhere else!!

    • I don’t grow pot either and I’d rather spend my money on quality local food than at the doctor or for prescriptions for “lifestyle diseases”.

      • ,,Understand where you are coming from… I grow my own veggies and when I shop I buy Organic! As an Economics Major; I DON’T OVERPAY!!!

        • If you’re buying that organic food anywhere in Humboldt County you are overpaying. Unless you’re buying shares in one of the many Community Gardens. Prices around here are absolutely ridiculous and something’s going to have to change in the next couple years or they’ll be a lot more businesses going out of business. Especially in southern Humboldt.

          • Could it be “The County” Tax-theft Certificate scam, and all that that dog & pony show encompasses? How much of a part, the percentage, idk.

            A Foreign* imposed 2% tea tax started a revolting revolution.
            And we haven’t stopped since.
            The free market stop wars.
            How bad do we want it?
            It’s spelled L I B E R T Y.

            Across the board, we’re at 56%. On a scale of one-to-two, hoow dum R wee?

            *foreign to the land juridiction/constitution/ supreme law of ..

      • hrmm lifesytle dieases huh ? are you refering to genic tendiondcies ? or maybe are you implying that those who dont believe the emperors new clothes are somehow less informed and theirfore their health problems are more along the lines of plastic tatas as if they only followed your diet they wouldnt be sick ?

        • yes my fat fingers and deciding that comment sections dont truely matter in such reguards,that it is far better to get others panties bunched than my own over retyping something merely because the smart phone keyboards are not as percise as they could be , truely is a lifestyle statement.
          enjoy the bunched up panties!!!

        • Anti troll league

          Try harder this time. Kym

        • bunched up panties over a commet section comment lol

        • Since you don’t know what the poster means then you are just using it as a box to stand on to make fun of people that have seen proven improvements to their health through cleaner foods consumption. Organic milk over regular milk … milk in general, cost more than gasoline. Have you ever seen children start to sprout facial whiskers because of the growth hormone in their milk? I have. Have you every picked up a conventional apple covered in ‘food grade shellac’ and throw the peels in your compost and wonder why they aren’t readily breaking down? I could go on but your ignorance is too overwhelming to understand that all bodies are different and a growing majority are finding improvements through a cleaner, less chemical dependence food source.

          • oh no i fully u dwrstand what the poster is implying. trouble is , i simply dont buy it. it is all hog wash. i ha e seen “organic” foods from the start back i the early 80s when they hit the shelfs. saw how they were grown in the very same fields as the non organic but were priced at over twice the amount. i have seen the snap program abused across the country at farmers markets. and honestly feel that anyone that has the balls to blame sick people for where or how they buy their food,really must be so full of themselves that even wearing boots wont keep the crap running out of their mouths from getting on others.
            facts are nothing is chemicial free. we have acid rain here caused feom geothermal power in lake county,chemical ladden smoke from burning homes, and radiation from japan. thats not even counting the mecury that naturaly occures around here. keep swallowing the koolaid and thinking that health food nuts are so much better.

            • That may have been how it was in the 80’s but it is not part of the organic cert now. Yes, some of the chemicals used on organic are just as bad as conventional. I have no comment about the SNAP program because I am talking organic grown vs conventional foods only. I have worked in the ag industry from putting in orchards and care, grafting, being a flagger (ag cat/crop dusters), running tractors/harvesters/bobtails, working the packing houses for fruit, working in both beef and dairy ranches. They are attributing a great deal of my failing health issues as to working in ag and the chemicals I was exposed to while farming.

              If you are eating food that is saturated in poisons through its whole life, it is going to affect you. Those strawberry fields next to the schools … they fumigate those with deadly poisons. The stuff they fly in with the rice at planting are poisons; the herbicides they apply regularly on rice is poison and then the plant sits and takes up those poisons from the soils and the water. The feed they give to cattle in feed lots, the ‘hot mixes’ they feed to the animals have ground up animal parts — yes, they are feeding vegetarian animals flesh mixed with all sort of chemical crap and hormones. That crap gets deposited in the animal’s fat and then people consume it. You can’t wash off poisons with a special soap if that is what is in the soil and waters and ‘crop maintenance’ programs. That is why organic can not be grown next to conventional. Organic needs to step up the anty by reducing more know carcinogenic in their maintenance and grow programs. Yes, it cost more but as it becomes more mainstream and more common, in theory the price should go down. Better heath equals less trips to the doctor. I don’t know how much you pay for a doctor but the price is $$.

              If most people had to grow their own food, I think there would be a greater appreciation for farmers. Instead of supporting mega corporations, support a local farmer (many will trade and barter) or grow your own food even if its a tomato in a pot or radishes. Learn to save your seeds because that is another commodity that is in trouble with the GMO but that is another subject. If you don’t have the inclination, at least read the labels and know who you are supporting. Many of the ‘organic’ companies are being snapped up by mega corps like Nestle who’s CEO is on the record saying water is not a human right.

              Clean water and clean food would do the world a great service in the health of people if we would only stop with the politics and arguing about who’s poison is worse. Clean water should be a right to every living creature on this earth. Our children deserve to have clean food not some over processed, radiated, sugar laden crap that they enrich with synthetic ‘vitamin’ that the body can’t use and has little to no nutritional value — its just a belly filler. . But I fear that it is really just a vicious circle that only supports the big corporations and the pharma industry.

    • Have you shopped at Dollar Tree?
      Everything is $1

    • The thing that happens when the rest of us are narrowly defined by the limiting choices we have to make, within the the arc of life, is that we don’t and can’t conduct ourselves like we did in the past. For any of us who want to stay viable, in our personal and professional lives, we must accept the fact that we are constantly changing with forces often beyond our control. I can’t even use Windows XP without a warning that no further patches or updates will be available for an outdated operating system. We’ve been programmed to use all available information so that we can incorporate better practices and then those new practices become the benchmark on which to further improve every aspect of our lives. The farmer is a dying breed, the farm will soon be a 100% multinational corporate controlled venture, and our choices will certainly be reduced on the altar of profit.
      How many languages, how many species, have gone through the process of reduction, and elimination because of the nature of change?
      I suppose the idea of a true local economy and sustainable practices would help us realize our dependence on logistics to bring the world to Humboldt.
      Here’s a radical thought. Why not see the hundreds of thousands of acres of land that’s been farmed for weed, as perfectly set up to help grow a sustainable local food economy. The infrastructure has been put in place and technology could minimize our reliance on trucks and petroleum to feed an ever changing mindset that thinks that shopping on a computer screen is sustainably minded, nor the reality of limiting your choices to the realistic definition of local.
      What does the Co op mean to the next generation raised on the computer and television screens? It means the value of local and Co operative market philosophy will soon be relics of the past, like the statue in the plaza that seems to have disrupted more of the student population about things you really can’t change. …the past.
      Teach your kids the value of learning how to farm and encourage them to understand what it means to lose control of your food supply.
      The philosophy of the corporate culture is to disconnect us from our need for just the simple things in life, and to rely on the sheer devastating impact of a mindset that we can’t be happy or satisfied without the Emporer’s new clothes. Cheers

      • In my 1911 I trust

        Uh, cause those lands are still privately owned? And people may want to only grow food for themselves on that privately owned land. If they do decide to grow good organic food for others they may want a fair price, as defined by them, they owners of the private land, not the consumer who doesn’t have a stake in that food except to purchase it. Unless you believe in the gov’t seizing land and forcing people to grow food on it, which I believe is defined as slavery. Cheers!

        • It was a community based solution, not a government based one. If we could unify parts of the county where people wanted to participate, I do not believe in lookin at government for any solution.
          If you think you truly own your land, try not paying your yearly tithing, your permits, your fees, etc. Freedom is merely a well crafted illusion. I’ll continue to play along with the notion…
          Cheers

          • In my 1911 I trust

            I believe we already have those. They are called CSA’s. The sad thing is that it is very hard to make a living with a CSA unless you charge a high price. A lot of food production is subsidized by the gov’t. The big ag farmers who are mass producing food, both organic and not, are overproducing. The reason they do this is to keep food prices low so they can continue to receive gov’t subsidies and don’t have to go out of business. About 40% of all food produced in the USA is wasted, thrown in the trash, not consumed. This makes it very hard for anyone to just start growing food for a living. If there was free market competition in the food industry about 30% of farms would go out of business. I’m not saying that I don’t agree with you, i’m saying that your solution is not realistic because in order for it to work, there would need to be a complete revamping of the food industry. One where there was no gov’t intervention and no subsidies were given, which at this point would be next to impossible. Now,your comment about actually owning land was a bit off topic, we all know we need to pay our property taxes otherwise we lose our homes to the gov’t, which is the absolute biggest load of BS in this country. Regardless of that, you still have no stake in land that is privately owned by land owners who make their yearly payments to the gov’t. If you would like me to post links to where I got my info I would be happy to, but I have already posted those links regarding our waste of food in another RHBB article a couple months ago. Cheers!

      • ya lost me Sid, back on “we must accept the fact that we are constantly changing with forces often beyond our control”, if not before, “farmers are a dying breed r & r”.

        “Bring the world to Humboldt”, did not make the priority list.

        Repeat after me:

        Culture is not based on profit.

        Some of us are NOT FOR SALE.

        • It was a reflection on a cultural trend to look outside of the community for the solutions. We are growing soft on our 21st century mindsets and that, from what I gather from all your posts, are working hard to correct with language steeped in a culture and tradition of “” do it yourself”.
          I’m lamenting the loss of the ways our ancestors had to struggle with things we take for granted. Apparantly my thought process to words, is still in need of some refining.

        • When The Stock Market Crashed In The 20’S , We Were a 90% Rural population. 10% urban. From what I’ve heard it’s close to flipping . What does that mean for our society more and more dependent on goods and services from well beyond our borders.

        • You, with all due respect, are a dying breed as well. From the responses you garner here, most people might not even know the importance of that which you write. The time and energy you spend here would and could be taken to a whole ‘nother Level.
          Some do, and yes, we are a dying breed. It’s a jungle out there.

          Teach those children well.
          Cheers and thank you for your words.

        • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vQrsEVg63Dg

          As I always say , look to the patents for the technologies to make sense of the questions that are often raised, but never really answered. Honestly.

      • Well said.

      • Go to the Farmer’s Market and you will see many friendly faces of mj growers. Compare their food prices to the Co-Op. Now look at who supplies the co-op of local foods — these quasi pot growers/farmers. Its how they flew for many years.
        My problem is I suspect mismanagement of funds. Our family does support the co-op through membership and purchases but I look at how its run just on the outside and listen to grumbling employees and it makes one wonder. Now that the dope $ is on a downward spiral, the coop is struggling as well. Maybe they need get back to basics and start cutting From The Top!

    • Yep, lower your damb prices then I’ll consider shopping there. Until then, enjoy the crisis you created by ripping off your own community.

    • I’m pretty sure the Co-op doesn’t have nuts for $50 a pound. What they do have is great, low priced locally grown organic produce, they support local companies by selling their products in their stores, local grass fed beef & a great bulk department, which also carries locally grown grains. I shop in many different stores, and I don’t buy the higher priced name brand products at the Co-op, but they are there for the customers who want to. But, I do buy the bulk of my fresh foods at the Co-op & they have the best meats & produce in Humboldt county! Shop local, buy local! Oh, and one more thing, they treat their employees well & have a great benefit package! Thank you, Faye, for your letter!

  • If the Co-Op employees don’t want to lose their jobs, they should start working a bit harder like their competition at other food stores such as Safesy, Rays, or Wildberries.

    I spend almost $200 a trip sometimes and 3 workers and talking at customer service and look at me like I’m weird to expect them to help with bagging. The lines also take a lot longer than other stores to get through.

    • HaHaHa Safeway workers work hard? You can hardly find one! Prime crush time and they have all the self checks off and one check clerk in the morning work days in Eureka. Fortuna Safeway is ok … at least I think its a Safeway — it doesn’t act like one which is a good thing. Arcata safeway = pass on by! Ray’s in McK is basically closed down. I’m not feeling like living my life dangeriously so avoid the EUK Rays. Are they even still open? That whole side of town is too freaky. I use to love Wildberries until they went hipster. The employees have the worse attitude of ‘dgf’ than their high prices. I don’t need their attitude from the employees nor the clientele. I’m just a local. I’m not a hipster needing a scene to act out my drama and not a trust fund baby so stopped supporting that business if you can’t at least be nice to people. I do need to look at Grocery outlet — haven’t looked at them since they got big, they use to be more of a salvage grocery discount store.

  • Your thinking of Eureka Natural Foods. Lol

  • I love the Co-op and will continue to shop there. Local products. Local people. The loss of the Co-op would be a loss to the Community. If writing a check will help, I will happily do so. Oh, and look at me, signing my ACTUAL name. Like a responsible adult. But then, I’m not spewing anonymous BS.

    • Thanks for your support. Unfortunately they can’t get a loan based on the will of a few core shoppers. They need to adjust their management model, and remove the excess weight, like most of us who néed to make tough decisions on our personal and professional decisions. Why should careful observation of 3 wolves and two sheep voting on what’s for dinner, matter?

    • Hate to break it to you but using your ACTUAL name doesn’t make you better than anyone else here, anonymous or not.

      • Oh, I don’t think I’m better. Far from it. But posting inaccurate BS is a lot easier when your name isn’t attached. Not that ALL anonymous trolls do that; I presume some are very nice people.

  • Downfall of local business is a sad story, and the working class can’t support, but I am sure there are lots of people out there that have inherited wealth and could support..

  • When they upgraded years ago they did so with the intended purpose of competing with safeway. Big mistake.
    How is it an “institution”? By acting like a big corporation you mean?
    Many many people voiced concerns but were silenced when the re-model was discussed. The community feel was lost after that.
    The employees attempted to unionize but were shut down and run out.
    I remember Bobby who tried for years to get better employee treatment&was run off. No he wasnt the easiest personality but he knew a lot about workers rights. He worked there for awile pre-expansion with no union talk.

    The deli only uses organic food when “in season and cheaper”. The foods ive gotten at the delis at both locations have been completely undercooked and crappy. Theyre not even organic products! Everyone looks miserable back there.
    I just went the other day and everything i had on my list was at least a dollar more and in some bulk products 3-5 more than i usually pay. I cant afford it on a fixed income and so its like whole foods who has made healthy eating classist.
    They purport to be against gmo’s and big corporations yet they carry crappy quality brands again to compete with safeway. Ill stick with enf at least they have all organic food for real in their deli cuz they dont sell conventional produce&have good sale items. I actually found more local produce at the mckinleyville enf than the co-op.

    When i moved to humboldt in mid-90’s the arcata co-op was the hardest place to get a job, it was thriving and no one wanted to quit it was such a good job. It was so perplexing as to why they chose to try to compete with safeway, and why they chose to re-do the store the way they did. It used to be so nice.
    I remember seeing the people in suits with their computers and electronic gadgets show up and say they were a big firm the co-op hired to compete with safeway, they were in the aisles everytime i went for weeks. Arcata was way more hippie then so they looked really outta place!
    I dont find it community orintated to monopolize local products either, such as the local completely whole wheat non processed flour. The co-op agreed to sell it as long as the company didnt sell to any other local store. That sucks. Thats how they get to charge so much for it, again making it so poor folks cant get a good local product.

    Nor did it sound sustainable to me to have a live lobster tank with lobsters flown in from Maine every other day. Yes this was the plan for the new eureka co-op until folks protested it. For real. Sound familiar, whole foods style? Thats the kind of hypocritical BS that turns folks off. You going to defend that Faye?

    Im not surprised to hear theyve fallen on hard times, i cancelled my membership years ago. They do not follow the guidelines of a true co-op and thus should not be called one. Change the name and let someone open a real co-op thats truly owned by the members. I get more back from my enf rewards card than i ever did with the 1% back thing the co-op changed to.
    They lost the spirit of the place. Hiring secret shopper security to bust shoplifters is part of why their prices are high.
    Its been so sad to see the decline, hasnt been the same since the remodel that put them in so much debt. I should say the parking lot created a lot of the debt.
    Heres hoping a real community co-op can re-emerge! Ill advocate everyone go there and see if you can afford any of your usual items. If not tell them why and dont go again. I will definitely not advocate for people to shop there more, sorry lady, theyve done it to themselves.

    I try every few months to see if its any better but it hasnt been in years and years and years. Keep the basics cheaper at least.
    I think the co-op got used to the og indoor growers who could spend 15 on a pint of gelato. Maybe they forgot the rest of us exist.
    They did it to themselves.
    [edit]

    • They’ve been union for years.

    • The thing that happens when the rest of us are narrowly defined by the limiting choices we have to make, within the the arc of life, is that we don’t and can’t conduct ourselves like we did in the past. For any of us who want to stay viable, in our personal and professional lives, we must accept the fact that we are constantly changing with forces often beyond our control. I can’t even use Windows XP without a warning that no further patches or updates will be available for an outdated operating system. We’ve been programmed to use all available information so that we can incorporate better practices and then those new practices become the benchmark on which to further improve every aspect of our lives. The farmer is a dying breed, the farm will soon be a 100% multinational corporate controlled venture, and our choices will certainly be reduced on the altar of profit.
      How many languages, how many species, have gone through the process of reduction, and elimination because of the nature of change?
      I suppose the idea of a true local economy and sustainable practices would help us realize our dependence on logistics to bring the world to Humboldt.
      Here’s a radical thought. Why not see the hundreds of thousands of acres of land that’s been farmed for weed, as perfectly set up to help grow a sustainable local food economy. The infrastructure has been put in place and technology could minimize our reliance on trucks and petroleum to feed an ever changing mindset that thinks that shopping on a computer screen is sustainably minded, nor the reality of limiting your choices to the realistic definition of local.
      What does the Co op mean to the next generation raised on the computer and television screens? It means the value of local and Co operative market philosophy will soon be relics of the past, like the statue in the plaza that seems to have disrupted more of the student population about things you really can’t change. …the past.
      Teach your kids the value of learning how to farm and encourage them to understand what it means to lose control of your food supply.
      The philosophy of the corporate culture is to disconnect us from our need for just the simple things in life, and to rely on the sheer devastating impact of a mindset that we can’t be happy or satisfied without the Emporer’s new clothes. Cheers

  • I shop there often, mostly for produce and meat. In those areas they are far superior to ENF; other things not so much. I’ve been a member for over 30 years, and will continue. I hope they can make some sound financial decisions and survive. Competing with Safeway is a fools errand. They aren’t Safeway, and that’s why so many of us shop there.

  • ive been a coop member 10 years,theyve great produce & meat dept. support as is necessary or go eat shitty winco or safeway crap…your call .

    • Funny how you make it seem like there are no other options, when in fact there are plenty. If you feel the need to pay more, to make yourself feel better, then go ahead.

    • I have not been in the co-op for years but was never impressed with them or their products. The co-op is overpriced as far as I am concerned and I shop at Safeway and they have organic foods and we really like their meats. I do go to enf sometimes or Riversong in Willow Creek if I am looking for something that Safeway does not carry but I really can’t afford to shop at either of them for most things but the natural food store prices are comparable to Rays and I don’t go there if I don’t have to either.

      • It’s crazy how high prices are at Rays! For such low quality food too. I know enough about growing food to say, there is a big difference between organic food at Safeway and organic food at the coop- and not just the price either! Nobodies perfect and I get annoyed by the faux lefty yuppies at the coop but it is the best game in town for quality and I don’t mind paying more for good food and skimping on other things. Politics be damned.. I just go for the good food! I have to disagree with people claiming the meat department is so great though, I have never liked Humboldt grass fed beef. Way better at wild berries they have bear river beef which is my favorite.

  • If Coop has lost ability to sustain itself, community should save it? What paradigm-shifting adjustments and innovations are being offered and implemented by management to re-capture market share?

  • Not to mention their continued employment of overly aggressive security staff. I remember a case a few years ago where an undercover guard did an MMA beatdown of a woman who was shoplifting, and last year a friend of mine intervened when a guard was being inappropriate with a woman in the store and the guard responded by calling the cops on him. Poor guy ended up in handcuffs for helping a cornered woman stand up to a bully. If I’m going to be upcharged 25% on every product I want to at least feel ethically sound about the business I’m supporting, so I make a point of not giving the Co-Op my money.

  • Love these elitist members. Those of us who live paycheck to paycheck salute your arrogance.

    ENF discriminates in employment and The CoOp apes their practices. These fake foodie elites think violating state and federal law is a badge of honor.

    I hope all these overpriced grocery emporiums go under. Then the spoiled yuppies and old hippie stoners can eat cake like the rest of us.

    • And just how does ENF discriminate in employment?

    • You’re so funny! We live pay cheque to pay cheque too and still use the co-op. We cut corners in a lot of ways but not on quality foods. My boss asked why I didn’t go to Winco — maybe because I’m tired of being cornered and accosted in the parking lot. Because I am tired of asking for assistance in the store and have employees turn their back on me telling me ‘its not their job’ or ‘they don’t have time’.
      I do need to check out the grocery outlet. I need to drive up to mck to check on mum so maybe that would be a nice adventure.

  • Mateel, Co-op, what is next?

  • When you base your business on the backs of disposable income from an industry that dries up, what do you expect? Much like the Mateel, poor financial leadership based on the green rush. If you cater to your regular joe and his income, you’ll always have customers. If Trader Joe’s can offer health food at the costs they do, there shouldn’t be an issue. The Co-op even has abundant local competition with lower prices, how can they expect people to continue to over pay?

    • WillSmithFreshPrinceOfHumCO

      Exactly like eureka natural food which is way cheaper accross the board, except maybe for some produce items or bulk. Grass fed local ground beef @ wildberries and co-op is like 5+ dollars eureka natural its just below 4. Plus they give you 3% back on ALL purchases. I looked into becoming a member of the co- op but it’s not really worth it.

  • Less money available and increased competition are difficult enough to deal with separately and a real challenge when both exist at the same time. A stressful time for all involved.

  • I understand that the perimeters of the cannabis industry changed. But seriously thank bad practices of the state and the county supervisors for this. I mean, if the state and county had taken some precautionary measures and kept the growing of cannabis to under 10,000 square ft across the board, there would have been room in the market for all.. but instead the county and the state have chosen to make some really bad choices when it comes to the health and wealth of the majority, and consolidate that to the 1% minority, which for our economy is actually really bad. A few rich people, and many people not thriving makes for a poor economy.
    Best of luck to the co-op in these transitional times.

    • Humboldt Hillsman

      The low prices of cannabis have nothing to do with legalization in California or local cannabis regulations. Cannabis prices have been dropping for a decade because of both the decrease of law enforcement on cannabis locally and the gradual shift of other states policies towards cannabis.

  • https://inakanoseikatsu.com/田舎暮らしをはじめよう/
    This will probably be the fate of the triangle soon. In Japan in rural areas, the government is giving away house, at little to no cost because there is no economy rurally. You do not have be a citizen to get one. So here is a website for people wanting a free house in Japan. JFYI

  • The Co Op should team up with the Mateel Center, two broken business models who can’t seem to get their heads out of their collective ass’es

  • I stopped shopping at the Co op when they built the new place with a parking lot too tight and small for full size pickups, forcing me to park on the street and run the Homeless Obstacle Course including leaps over crapped on sidewalks and aggressive dogs attached to aggressive people. So I guess I missed all the drama.

  • Mary Ella Anderson

    If you read Ryan Burns’ article, you would know that all the other grocery stores saw this downturn coming and prepared for it. The co-op, under GM Melanie Bettenhausen and Board President Colin Fiske did not. In fact, they still haven’t come up with a plan to sell groceries and make a small profit, which is what a food co-op strives for. With no plan in place, giving them more to lose is not helpful. First, they need to stop losing money. The workers who are unionized, that is the clerks, cashiers and floor staff, are the ones who bring in the money by available for shoppers. They work plenty hard. The middle and upper management are not unionized and President Fiske has announced that he opposes any discussion of unions at the management level. All the good things about the co-op will go away without better management at the top.

  • WillSmithFreshPrinceOfHumCO

    EUREKA NATURAL FOOD IS WAY CHEAPER, AND THEY GIVE YOU 3% BACK ON EVERY PURCHASE!!!! IT’S LIKE COSTCO BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR A MEMBERSHIP.

  • Businesses failing, crime escalating, families exiting, are all a direct result of our supervisors decisions to attack the biggest product of Humboldt County. Ask anyone from any other area what comes to mind when Humboldt County is mentioned. The good ol boy system is alive and well, as we watch our community crumble and our county government prosper. Everyone please stand up and recognize before you have nothing and are trapped.

    • Or the result of them having ignored illegal activities until they ran rampant and ruined life for everyone else.

    • Yes, the county government has destroyed the source of the county’s wealth.

      • How true. How sad.

        How have we let Order Followers be in charge for so long?

        Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people. -Jefferson

        No higher-order being would place this kind of control on another if they truly knew reality.

      • The first source of the county’s wealth was salmon and logging. However greedy taking threatened its continuance and regulation was put in place to save what was left. Why should the greed in pot growing be treated as if it is some sacred cow that cannot be touched? A lot of people jeered when the loggers, who paid plenty of taxes, complained about lost jobs, the mill worker’s complained about lost jobs. Yet, with those examples in front of you, you do exactly the same thing with less cause.

        • “Why should the greed in pot growing be treated as if it is some sacred cow that cannot be touched?” America’s first religion – all plants are sacred.

          In the American Republic there can be no law that compels specific performance, including the payment of any TAX, except excise tax on gasoline, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, they must be uniform throughout the states. Less than five Americans out of a hundred know this truth.

          If people let the gov’t decide for them what food they eat and what medicine they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny. -Jefferson

          “The power to tax is the power to destroy”. – Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall.

          • Trees are plants. Tobacco is a plant. Heck even grains and flavorings to brew beer and distill liquor are plants.

            California played fast and loose with the Constitution by legalizing pot. It certainly knew it would leave the State commercially and made no effort to indict it. It pretended otherwise to supposedly avoid having to meet interstate commerce rules. It’s an embarassing prevarication by smug children thinking they want to play with matches without understanding they are burning down the house.

            The Constitution has a mechanism for amendment. That means that the framers intended it to change. To argue that nothing new is permitted is a false as the State of California legalizing pot. They may very well get away with it because no politician is interested in fighting that battle but the people who think they are being clever by using word play to circumvent the Constitution are doing it irreparable harm by making it serve as their personal football. When the Constitution has been so disrespected it has no more power, the door is open for idiots to run rampant. This is not mindless obedience- this is preserving what offers more permanent guarantees of freedom for the most people.

  • I was once in the coop in eureky a couple of years ago. A suave gentleman was perusing the aisles openly stuffing his jacket with treats. I notified the manager who then approached the thief who simply walked out the door. When I asked the manager if he would call the police he said it’s not worth it since they have a hands off approach to thievery. I felt awkward paying for my groceries and have ever since.

  • The other small, local businesses need the communities support too. Just because the co-op didn’t know what they were doing doesn’t mean we should spend all of our money with them to help them. There are other businesses who rely on our support too. Those businesses are dealing with rising costs and labor and merchant fees too. Every business deals with that.
    The co-op should submit their 2019 plan of how they are going to pick up the pieces, because I know a lot of people who feel it’s a waste of their money to shop there right now. They are already a lost cause and the money we would potentially spend there wouldn’t be useful as they are too far gone.

  • Seems like a lot of things are going by the wayside.

    Seems like most people have less money to spend now.

    Hope they keep at least one of the co-ops open, it has a lot of good food.

  • We will continue Shopping at wildberries marketplace as we have since 1997. The coop has had inflated prices since building both new stores in eureka and Arcata. Phil’s model seems to still be working at top of The hill g street Arcata. The county hasn’t killed the golden goose just yet.

  • I’m a co-op member and recently they have stopped printing their”deals list” with over 100 items on sale. They said it was too costly to print or even post online. I use that to make a list and spend over $200 at least once a month, which I won’t be doing without the list. So the co-op will be losing that much from just one customer..me, .how many others? Seems like really bad business decision to me. Perhaps upper management, lol, regime change is in order. I love the co-op and Winco is also worker owned, and so important to support.

  • When not living becomes the best decision.............

    It’s all about the money. Big Box stores are now in the food business. Target, Walmart, Costco and even K-Mart. They buy from the lowest cost suppliers and mark up their goods to sell to buyers who a shopping for the lowest costs. Much of our food comes from outside countries like Chile, Panama, Mexico and China. The apples you buy at Safeway or WINCO are months old. They are sealed and chilled so they don’t rot. The same can be said for other perishables. It has little to do with quality and everything to do with quantity. It has everything to do with Supply and Demand. I live on a limited monthly income. I can buy apples at WINCO for $.98 a pound. At Safeway they are $1.49 a pound and at the CO-OP they are $2.49 a pound or higher. They sell using the word “organic”. WelI, l can’t afford “organic”. My options are don’t eat apples or eat only a couple a month. Same argument for vegetables. WINCO sells tomatoes at $.98 a pound in season (that’s another issue WINCO and other stores use to raise prices) yet the Farmer’s Market sells at $3.99 a pound claiming their’s are organic. Again I can buy at $.98 a pound and I can take home six or eight tomatoes or I can buy one at the Farmer’s Market or the CO-OP because they are locally grown and organic. It has little to do with who raises them and all to do with the price to the consumers. Maybe Donald Trump and the top 1%’ers can afford the prices, but I am at the bottom 30%’ers. My disposal income can’t afford the prices. It’s called Capitalism. The only way I can afford a four dollar tomato is if I offset the price by eliminating other purchases. And the marginalizing lowers the quality of my life. I risk the organic for the taste and lower cost availability. And yet we elected the likes of a Donald Trump making it even more impossible to increase the quality of life of most of us. They win we lose!! And the economics are not getting better. The haves are getting more at the expense of the have nots. And we wonder why the fringe population are resorting to shoplifting, robbery, drugs and raising the next generation of a prison population. It is a huge shift in the richer getting even richer and the rest of us getting poorer. Like the Roman Empire the America we live in will eventually collapse by imploding. I won’t see it, but your children will.

    • It’s a fallacy to say that Trump has created or even contributed to the lowering the average persons share of US wealth. The trend has been ever upwards since NAFTA sent the earnings of Americans workers overseas and gave rise to the international corporations.

      That trend has been as true under Democrat Presidents as under Republican Presidents. It’s a comforting idea that it can be blamed on one person, especially if you hate him anyway. The truth is much more complex. But if one person is to blame, it Bill Clinton. Each President since then has merrily negotiated American’s earning away on the international stage in the name of ‘looking Presidential.” Until Trump of course.

      The graph below shows no- as in zero- change in that trend under one party or the other:

      • Trump's mantra. Money for nothing, chicks are free.

        Have you checked the stock market? The last two days it has been up, but the previous 12 days it has been down. Big time down. And before that DOWN it was down!! Why? Financial experts say part of the reason have been tariffs. Trump’s tax give away to the rich he claimed (lied) would bring everyone’s annual income end of the year amount would be $43,000. I don’t know about you, but my year end income after taxes has gone down. Yet big corporations got the most liberal tax breaks ever. And what did they do with their mega tax money. They gave themselves increased salaries and then to make matters worse they bought back their own stock increasing the company’s net worth. JPMorgan Chase & Co’s chairman was paid 108 million dollars in 2016. This year his salary was increased to 280 million dollars plus over a million dollars in stock. This was all due to Republicans and Trump. Know how much I got from Trump’s lie. $280 yearly increase last year. And NO increase this year. And because of Trump’s misguided tax breaks the cost of living has gone up. And the number of corporations who Trump said would create over a million new jobs because of returning their overseas businesses to America………………………ZERO! And 12 American corporations have moved their productions OVER SEAS. Know how much you saved on the purchase of a new Harley Davidson motorcycle………ZERO. The price went up!! And the lowering of the unemployment numbers was due to Obama not Trump. You should know the financial climate is bad when Sear goes bankrupt. And bellwether corporation General Electric is just about to file bankruptcy. Wells Fargo cheated thousands of customers and they were charged a chump change fee. They never lost a dollar in profit.

        I agree that wages did go up marginally during the time period in your chart. But that was due to post war employment was not reduced because of the Korean War. And the 20% group has increased by big numbers. Better put there are more rich people and corporations that own 99.9 percent of our wealth and millions who have slide down with wealth. It is so bad that anyone who makes $43,000 per year can’t afford to buy stock. High end stock has passed $1000 per share. Only people with lots of money can afford to buy stocks like Amazon or Apple. Berkshire Hathaway sell for $248,000 per share. Seaboard Corp. sell for over $4000 per share. Priceline Group Inc sell for over $2000 a share. Alphabet Inc. sell for about $1000 per share. Amazon.com Inc. sells for just over $1200 per share. And even more stock sells for around $500 a share. Realistically you have to be rich to become even richer. And what has the working man lost? Company retirements. Increased health care insurance. Shortly increased FICA. And who is going to pay for Trump’s spending for things like the Wall, Everytime he goes to Florida it costs the taxpayer around three million dollars. His junkets to Scotland and shithole Africa and Iraq another seven million per trip. to play golf on HIS gold course $7 million taxpayer dollars. We owe around 21.6 trillion dollars to countries like China, Korea,, Saudia. Britain and Japan and yet Trump spends like a drunken oil worker. We own $810 billion dollars in interest. I could go on and on, but I think Trump is digging his own hole which your children and their children and their children will be paying for the next 100 years…………or more

        • If Trump is digging a hole, which arguably increasing debt is just such a hole, he is following in the footsteps of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Carter and every other President since Andrew Jackson. In fact the deficit champ was Obama, followed by George W Bush.

          It would be nice if you provided some documentation for your allegations that its all Trump’s fault but I suspect that there isn’t any. The point of making a profit in the stock market is to buy when the stock is low in price than ride it until it peaks, not complain about not being able to afford it at its peak. I would also point out that just about everyone having a pension plan, institutional or personal, is “invested” in stocks. Stocks owner ship reduces the cost of everything from insurance to medical benefits.

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