Public Information at Courthouse Terminals?

One small step for the county. One very small step: According to this Times-Standard article Humboldt County is providing one (soon to be three) terminals that allow access to public documents. But it’s a strange service.  This is laudable in that is does provide a search function so you don’t have to plow through piles of paper copy. But I don’t get it. Three terminals in the courthouse? And, according to the article: “There is a 15-minute time limit for viewing, available from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.” Uh, why can’t they put this same data on the web where it would be accessible from anywhere 24 hours/day? It’s like the County just went from 1950 to 1990. Why not go all the way to 2009?

Humboldt County in Humboldt County At Last

The film Humboldt County that actually had footage shot here a couple years ago is finally getting a commercial release. It’s official release date is September 26th in the following locations:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • San Francisco, California
  • Humboldt County, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Austin, Texas
Humboldt County Film Poster

Humboldt County Film Poster

But if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, there will be a showing as part of the WildRivers 101 Film Festival on August 27th at the Eureka Theater. It will be interesting to see how this film turns out. In spite of what the directors claim (that it’s a character driven movie), pot and pot growing are central elements of the film from everything I have seen. If you want to help promote the film, the directors have a grassroots marketing plan they would love to have you participate in.

However the Humboldt County movie fares, the WildRivers 101 Film Festival has a lot of great stuff in store for us in terms of our own film and media industry. Their web site isn’t updated yet, but according to festival director Mary Cruse, here is a list of events:

The 12-day event kicks off with the local premier of the film, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, at the Eureka Theatre at 7 pm, Wed., Aug. 27. This year’s theme is Humboldt County and technology,  with a Localpalooza night, screening feature films made locally, including REMOTE CONTROL GRANDPA, and WHERE THERE’S SMOKE – about woodland California firefighters, including Honeydew volunteer fire department members.

Independent cinema will be embraced by indie icon, actress Karen Black, and many other visiting filmmakers.

There will also be screenings in the Humboldt Redwoods State Parks, and a section of the guide promoting our parks. All proceeds of those events will go to recreation programs in our local Parks.

Also, there will be an all-day digital media event, which was a big hit last year. This will take place on Sept. 6, in Eureka.  The focus of this year’s presentations will be interactive media (video game design, mobisodes, webisodes), how to make money on short content media (through national ads, internet, other methods of distribution), the importance of editing and sound design, and more, as well as an actor’s workshop at the Eureka Theatre.

Stay tuned…

Prosperity! Revamp

After about a year and a half of struggle we finally unveiled the third version of the Prosperity! Network’s new web site. The saga of this project is a good example of design by committee that is the death of many projects and results in cost overruns on many others. In spite of some valiant efforts to define the goals and features of the site from the beginning, the project kept morphing. There literally was a committee behind the effort, but the make-up of the committee changed from meeting to meeting. Eventually, the county hired someone (Angie Schwab) dedicated to get the project done and that is what she did.

Our role has been to try and advise the Prosperity folks on what can and can’t be done within the project’s budget and to find the best technology to implement what they finally decided on for the site. Early on we chose to build the site Prosperity Web Site Home Pageusing the Drupal platform. At one point, though, during the murkiest time in the development process we suggested abandoning Drupal for something simpler. But the decision was made to go forward with Drupal and for now, that seems to have worked out.

Sometimes working with Drupal is like trying to solve a Rubick’s cube puzzle. One move affects all the other squares and their relationships. So, you might start down a path thinking you are making all the right moves. But then a new feature request comes in, you install a new module and that module doesn’t play nice with something else you’ve installed. Fun. Still, Drupal is the most feature rich, flexible platform we have found in the open source world. I think Drupal will serve them for some time.