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For tribes, ‘good fire’ a key to restoring nature and people – The Columbian11.02.21

WEITCHPEC, Calif. Elizabeth Azzuz stood in prayer on a Northern California mountainside, arms outstretched, grasping a handmade torch of dried wormwood branches, the fuel her Native American ancestors used for generations to burn underbrush in thick forest.

Guide our hands as we bring fire back to the land, she intoned before crouching and igniting dead leaves and needles carpeting the ground.

Others joined her. And soon dancing flames and pungent smoke rose from the slope high above the distant Klamath River.

Over several days in early October, about 80 acres (32.4 hectares) on the Yurok reservation would be set aflame. The burning was monitored by crews wearing protective helmets and clothing firefighting gear and water trucks ready. They were part of a program that teaches Yurok and other tribes the ancient skills of treating land with fire.

Such an act could have meant jail a century ago. But state and federal agencies that long banned cultural burns in the U.S. West are coming to terms with them and even collaborating as the wildfire crisis worsens.

Wildfires have blackened nearly 6,000 square miles (15,540 square kilometers) in California the past two years and more elsewhere amid prolonged drought and rising temperatures linked to climate change. Dozens have died; thousands of homes have been lost.

Scientific research increasingly confirms what tribes argued all along: Low-intensity burns on designated parcels, under the right conditions, reduce the risk by consuming dead wood and other fire fuels on forest floors.

To the Yurok, Karuk and Hupa in the mid-Klamath region, the resurgence of cultural burning is about reclaiming a way of life violently suppressed with the arrival of white settlers in the 1800s.

Indigenous people had their land seized, and many were killed or forced onto reservations. Children were sent to schools that forbade their languages and customs. And their hunter-gatherer lifestyle was devastated by prohibitions on fire that tribes had used for thousands of years to treat the landscape.

It enriched the land with berries, medicinal herbs and tan oak acorns while killing bugs. It opened browsing space for deer and elk. It let more rainwater reach streams, boosting salmon numbers. It spurred hazelnut stems and bear grass used for intricate baskets and ceremonial regalia.

Now, descendants of those who quietly kept the old ways alive are practicing them openly, creating good fire.

Fire is a tool left by the Creator to restore our environment and the health of our people, said Azzuz, board secretary for the Cultural Fire Management Council, which promotes burning on ancestral Yurok lands.

Fire is life for us.


Nine years ago, Margo Robbins got a facial tattoo two dark stripes from the edges of her mouth to below her chin, and another midway between them. It once was a common mark for Yurok women, including her great-grandmother.

I got mine to represent my commitment to continuing the traditions of our ancestors, said Robbins, 59, whose jokes and cackling laugh mask a steely resolve.

She would become a leading voice in the struggle to return fire to her peoples historical territory, much under state and federal management. The more than 5,000-member tribes reservation courses along a 44-mile (70.8-kilometer) stretch of the Klamath.

Since 1910, when infernos consumed more than 3 million (1.2 million hectares) western acres, federal policy had considered fire an enemy. Only you can prevent forest fires, Smokey Bear later proclaimed in commercials.

They considered tribal people arsonists, didnt understand the relationship between fires and a healthy forest, said Merv George, 48, a former Hoopa Valley Tribe chairman who now supervises Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Northern California. I heard stories of people getting thrown in jail if they were caught.

But when George joined the U.S. Forest Service as a tribal relations manager in 2008, western wildfires were growing bigger and more frequent; officials knew something needed to change.

Two national forests Six Rivers and Klamath joined a landscape restoration partnership with the Karuk tribe and nonprofit groups. It released a 2014 plan endorsing prescribed, or intentional, burns.

A year earlier, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, had approved a small cultural burn on Yurok land.

It was a victory for Robbins. As a young girl of Yurok, Hupa and Irish descent, she learned the basketry fundamental to her native identity. Tribes use baskets for gathering food and medicinal plants, trapping eels, ceremonial dancing, cradling babies, even prayer.

Weaving is really, really soothing. Its kind of like medicine for your soul, she said, displaying finely crafted baskets at a Yurok firehouse near the village of Weitchpec.

But weaving materials had become scarce, particularly hazel wood. Burns in bygone days helped the shoots grow straight and strong. Under no-fire management, hazel was stunted by shrubs, downed trees, matted leaves.

With grandchildren on the way, Robbins wanted them carried in traditional baby baskets. She needed tribal forests to produce high-quality hazel once more. That meant fire.

After the state-sanctioned Yurok small burn, Robbins and other community members established the Cultural Fire Management Council to push for more.

They allied with Karuk and Hupa activists and The Nature Conservancy to create the Indigenous Peoples Burning Network, which conducts training burns that have drawn hundreds of participants from across the U.S. and other countries. It has expanded into Oregon, Minnesota and New Mexico.

Its really exciting and gives me a lot of hope that the tide is changing, Robbins said. We revived our language, our dances, and now, bringing back fire, well restore the land.


To prepare for the one this month in the Klamath region, Yurok leaders studied weather forecasts, scouted mountainous burn areas, positioned water tanks, uncoiled fire hoses, equipped and drilled 30-plus crew members.

As Azzuz finished her ceremonial prayer, the wormwood that coaxed the first flames was replaced with modern drip torches canisters of gasoline and diesel with spouts and wicks. Team members moved quickly along a dirt trail, flicking droplets of burning fuel.

Smoke billowed. Flames crackled and hissed. Tangles of green and brown foliage were reduced to ash. Young Douglas firs that squeeze out other species were another target.

But larger trees oaks, madrones, conifers were largely unscathed, aside from patches of scorched bark.

Its beautiful and black, Azzuz exulted. By next spring, there will be a lot of hazel shoots.

Hour by hour, torch bearers moved down the slope, igniting swaths of forest floor. Co-workers in radio contact watched firebreaks, ready to douse or beat down stray flames.

There were young and middle-aged, native and non-native, novices and veterans some from area tribes, others from far away.

Jose Luis Dulce, a firefighter in his native Spain and Ecuador, said he wanted to help revive Indigenous techniques in Europe and South America. Stoney Timmons said his tribe the Robinson Rancheria Pomo Indians of California wants to host its own training session next year.

Im getting some good lessons to take back, Timmons said.

The exercise was especially satisfying for Robert McConnell Jr., who spent years with Forest Service wildfire crews, attacking from helicopters and driving bulldozers. Now a prescribed fire specialist with Six Rivers National Forest, he works with fire instead of against it.

I get to feel like Im Indian again when I get to burn, he said. Its encoded in my DNA. Its like theres a spark in my eye when I see fire get put on the ground.

As shadows lengthened, cheery yips gave way to shrieks: Log! Log! A chunk of flaming timber jounced down a sharply angled slope, smacked onto a two-lane road and hurtled into a thicket below, igniting brush along the way.

Although crew members quickly extinguished the flames, the runaway log was a reminder of the jobs hazards.

Nick Hillman, 18, his face glistening with grimy sweat, was unfazed. I know my ancestors want me to be doing this, he said.

When Yurok forestry director Dawn Blake helped light the hillside, she felt a connection with her grandmother, who wove baskets and set fires in the area long ago.

Weve been talking and begging about doing this for so long, just spinning our wheels, said Blake, 49. It feels like were finally being heard.


But tribes want to go beyond training exercises and family burns on small plots. Theyre pushing to operate throughout the vast territories their ancestors occupied.

My ultimate goal is to restore all this land back to a natural state, said Blaine McKinnon, battalion chief for the Yurok Fire Department and a leader of the recent cultural burn.

Relations with federal and state authorities have improved, but complaints persist about permits denied, burns postponed and heavy-handed oversight.

Cultural fire leaders say pledges of cooperation from agency higher-ups arent always carried out by local officials, who fear dismissal if fires get out of hand.

Its a fair point, said Craig Tolmie, chief deputy director of Cal Fire, which struggles to balance the tribes desires for more fire with opposition from a jittery public.

People have really been traumatized and shocked by the last two fire seasons, Tolmie said.

Under state laws enacted this year, tribal burners and front-line regulators will work more closely, he said. One measure requires his department to appoint a cultural burning liaison and provide training and certification for prescribed fire burn bosses.

Another makes it easier to get liability insurance by raising the bar for requiring burn professionals to pay for extinguishing out-of-control fires a rarity but always a risk. Lawmakers also budgeted $40 million for a prescribed fire insurance fund and tribal burn programs.

Still, prescribed burns alone cant rid forests of more than a centurys accumulation of woody debris, Tolmie said, arguing that many areas should be pre-treated with mechanical grinding and tree thinning before fires are set.

Ancient wisdom and scientific research show otherwise, said Chad Hanson, forest ecologist with the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute in California. Regulators are trying to extort tribes by making cultural burns contingent on logging, he said.

Bill Tripp, the Karuk tribes natural resources director, said the solution is empowering tribes to handle prescribed burns while Cal Fire and the Forest Service focus on suppressing wildfires.

The mid-Klamath area is ideal for a teaching center where cultural burners could guide us into a new era of living with fire, said Tripp, who learned from his great-grandmother and was setting small blazes in his remote village by age 8.

Tribes are uniquely positioned to train younger generations about stewardship-oriented fire management, said Scott Stephens, an environmental policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Wed need literally thousands of people doing this burning to ramp it up to a scale thats meaningful, he said.

Talon Davis, 27, a member of the Yurok crew, welcomed the opportunity to show the world what good fire is. He is Robbins son-in-law; his own toddler has been carried in her baskets, as she wished.

This is how were supposed to care for Mother Earth, he said. Put fire back on the ground, bring our home back into balance.

Associated Press reporter Gillian Flaccus contributed to this story.

Follow John Flesher on Twitter: @JohnFlesher

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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What its really like to give blood – Michigan Medicine11.02.21

Tips for a successful blood donation1. First, figure out if youre eligible to donate blood

Its true, the Red Cross and other blood-gathering agencies dont take just anyones blood. They must make sure its safe for donors to give, and safe for the recipients to get.

Still, while about 38% of Americans meet all the criteria to give blood, only 10% actually do it. Thats why shortages happen.

So its time to check the blood donation eligibility guidelines if youre assuming you wont qualify, or if you didnt qualify in the past because of a tattoo or piercing you got, a trip you took, or a medicine you were taking. Guidelines have changed!

If youre a member of the LGBTQ+ community, see the special page for you (and note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with the Red Cross to evaluate potential changes to its donation guidelines for gay and bisexual men.)

If youve recently gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, with a first, second or third dose of any of the vaccines approved for use in the U.S. or Canada, you dont have to wait before donating blood. The waiting period was removed earlier this year. You also dont have to wait after getting a flu shot or most other vaccinations (check the eligibility criteria to be sure.)

If youve recently had COVID-19, you need to wait until youre a few weeks after your positive test or symptoms before donating.

SEE ALSO: Feeling Helpless as the Pandemic Continues? 26 Things You Can Do to Help

One of the eligibility criteria that has tripped me up from time to time is the level of hemoglobin in my blood, which relates to levels of iron. In fact, this is pretty common, especially for women, and the Red Cross offers information about why its important and what you can do.

Each donor gets a rapid hemoglobin test as part of the pre-donation process, but you dont want to make the trip to a donation site only to find out your level is too low.

So, I take an iron supplement and a vitamin C supplement to help my body absorb the extra iron, and I try to eat iron-rich foods in the weeks before a donation. If you think you might have low iron, talk to your health care provider about whether you should take a supplement.

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The Red Cross has an easy-to-use online scheduling system that lets you find a blood donation time and location thats convenient for you (you may live in an area served by another blood-gathering organization, but they likely have one too.)

Most donations take about an hour from start to finish, but with COVID precautions and staff shortages this can stretch out a bit longer at peak times. So dont book a donation time that starts an hour before a crucial meeting or when you have to pick someone up.

I try to pick donation times after lunch, so I can have a meal about half an hour to an hour before I arrive. This gets sugar into my bloodstream so Ill be less likely to feel woozy after I give. But no matter what time you give, make sure to have at least a snack before you go.

The day before your appointment, youll get an email nudging you to take care of the pre-donation questionnaire and get a digital Rapid Pass that will speed your way through the donation process. This just takes a few minutes and includes important information about eligibility that might be specific to your area (such as whether you were informed you ate at a local restaurant associated with a hepatitis A outbreak).

This tip is crucial: Start drinking extra water a few days before your appointment. Getting fully hydrated will plump up your veins and make your donation go more smoothly.

By the day of your appointment, you should be so well-hydrated that your urine is nearly colorless and you find yourself needing bathroom breaks more often than usual. Also, avoid coffee, tea, cola or other caffeine-containing drinks and foods on the day of your appointment, since they make your body get rid of water faster.

Plan your outfit: Short sleeves, or sleeves you can unbutton and roll to above your elbow, are a must. You can wear a sweater or jacket before and after you donate. Dont wear a skirt or dress because its not easy to get on and off the high donation cot in one. (I found that out the hard way. Never again!) Super-tight jeans or waistbands arent a great idea either.

If you want a great detailed explanation of what happens at a blood donation appointment, the Red Cross offers a full blow-by-blow.

Check out the list below for a quick run-down of what you can expect along the way.

Bring your ID, so they can make sure youre you. If you have a donor card from a past donation, bring it, too.

Wear a mask. Blood donation drives are health care settings, so its likely required, though that could change depending on local COVID case rates.

Bring your smartphone or something to read in case you have a bit of a wait.

If you didnt do the Rapid Pass in advance, be ready to go over all the eligibility questions about your health and travel history, and other topics, on the computer of the staff member assigned to you.

Even if you did do the Rapid Pass, you will still have a few more questions to answer. Be honest about everything they ask they will keep the information confidential.

If youre with a friend and get deferred from donating because of how you answered a question, but you dont want to tell the friend the reason, you can say it was low iron or something.

If youre concerned you might have low iron, ask them to test your hemoglobin first before you invest too much time in the appointment. This involves a pinprick on one of your fingertips to get a drop of blood. If your level is too low on the first try, they can test it one more time from a different finger.

Youll get your temperature, pulse and blood pressure taken so basically, giving blood includes a free health screening!

Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor, your body relaxed and your breathing calm when they take your blood pressure.

If youre anxious about needles, use distraction to keep yourself from worrying. Enjoy the sound system thats playing upbeat music. Trade stories or crack jokes with the staff (they have a long day on their feet). Do some patterned breathing. And tell the staff that youre not a fan of needles so they can help you through the process.

Theyll ask you which arm you want to give from. Some people prefer to try to give from their non-dominant arm, but honestly there is no pain afterward so it should not matter. And sometimes the easier-to-access veins are on your dominant arm, so using it might make things go more smoothly to use that one.

The staff will put a blood pressure cuff on you and narrate every step of the process, from using a marker to outline the vein theyll use, to cleaning your skin to prevent infection, to inserting the needle and telling you when to squeeze or roll the soft roller or squishy ball theyll put in your hand.

The needle goes in on the inside of your elbow, and staff are excellent about doing it as quickly and painlessly as possible. Thankfully there really arent many nerve endings in that spot, so its more like a moment of discomfort than pain.

Once youve started the actual donation, youll be surprised at how quickly it goes 15 minutes or so depending on the size of the vein and how hydrated you are. You need to keep rolling that object in your hand to keep the blood flowing. You can read something on your smartphone in your other hand to pass the time.

A key tip: Dont talk or laugh much while youre actually donating; this will deplete the oxygen in your blood and make you more likely to get woozy when youre done and you sit up.

Theyll stop your donation after theyve collected about 500 milliliters of blood, which is about 2 1/3 cups. Since your body has about 1.5 gallons of blood, this is an absolutely safe amount to take.

Most of the blood goes into a bag, but before youre done they will also collect small amounts in a few vials, for testing.

When youre done, theyll take the needle out painlessly, put gauze over the needle site, and have you press on it and elevate your arm to accelerate the clotting off of the insertion point. Then theyll put a bandage on it and use red gauze wrap to hold it in place. Wear that red wrap with pride for the next hour or so! Keep the bandage in place a while longer.

If youre squeamish about seeing your own blood in the collection bag, dont worry it hangs down the side of the cot while youre giving, and once theyve clamped it off and laid it on the cot, you can easily pivot out of the way once you sit up and not ever see it.

Listen to the instructions they give you about avoiding alcohol or caffeine that day, as well as lifting heavy things or exercising. Theres a reason for these instructions! Consider this a free pass to take it easy for the rest of the day but be sure to keep drinking water to replace the fluids youve lost.

Keep the paper they give you, which has a unique bar code specific to you and a number you can call if you develop any symptoms. For instance, if a cold or COVID-like symptoms start the day after you donated, you need to tell them right away so they dont give your blood to someone who might be much more vulnerable to those infections.

If you feel faint or not quite right, tell them. You can sit on your cot a bit longer, or go to the recovery cot near the snack area.

Thats it!

Now you can enjoy those snacks and juices that the nice volunteer will offer you in the recovery area. Dont feel greedy if you want a second helping.

Sitting at the snack table for 15 minutes, with both your feet on the floor, is important to making sure youre OK before going back to your day. It also gives time for some of the sugar from the snack and juice get into your bloodstream.

And when you do leave, pat yourself on the back. You just gave enough blood to save up to three lives.

You can even trace the journey of your donated blood through the Red Cross app, and get an alert about which hospital it ended up at after testing and processing.

And while youre on the app, make your next donation appointment, for at least two months from now, or longer if your iron levels were on the low side.

And thats how you can keep the cycle of giving blood and saving lives going.


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The Best New Knives and EDC of November 2021 – gearpatrol.com11.02.21

Variety is the spice of knife. There, I said it. Is that sentence a terribly cheesy pun? Yes. Is it inarguably true? Also, yes. You just have to take a look at the panoply of selections below to see what I mean.

After all, with our very broad definition of what constitutes a knife or an EDC item, a vast array of options continue to roll out on the reg. This month we have four different knives and multitools most notable for the how their handles and in some cases, their blades are adorned.

At the same time, we have three tools that pack loads of function into compact forms. Whether you're looking to pop a bottle, tackle some detailed engineered or change a mountain bike tire by the side of the trail, this stuff has you covered no groan-inducing wordplay required.

For its latest collection, Opinel teamed up with Jrmy Groshens, a young French tattoo artist who travels and works from a 1972 Digue camper called the Outdoor Tattoo Truck. Not surprisingly, the three eye-catching knives he designed including the lvation shown here are inspired by nature and tattoos. Bad news: the collection is sold out. Good news: a restock is coming mid-month, and you can sign up to be notified when it happens.


If there's anything cooler than a knife, it's an axe particularly one used for shredding. Gerber's new giveaway features both. One lucky winner will score the eye-popping results of a team-up between tattoo artist and designer Luke Wessman and country music star Tim Montana: a custom Fender American Professional II Telecaster Deluxe, as well as three American-made knives from the Gerber Custom program (two Fastballs and a Sedulo), plus a Pelican 1150 Protector Case. Two runners-up get everything but the axe. It's free to enter and the deadline is November 12th.


This holiday season brings new wrapping for a beloved mini multitool. This streamlined beauty features a blade, nail file, screwdriver, scissors and key ring, adorned with a tactile woven pattern in five metallic colors Brass Gold, Gentle Rose, Infinite Gray, Hazel Brown and Iconic Red. Pro tip: it makes a great little stocking stuffer.

Price: $44.99


Speaking of new wrapping, here's another Victorinox getting a seasonal treatment. The relatively loaded Climber Lite boasts 17 practical functions, including large and small blades, corkscrew, scissors, screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a multi-purpose hook and an LED flashlight. But this particular edition, limited to 10,000 pieces, also features a removable moon-shaped charm and scales festooned with stars, snowflakes and summits.

Price: $99.99


At a glance, you'd be forgiven for mistaking WESN's latest drop for a mutated paperclip. But this minimalistic 2.75-inch creation offers more than meets the eye. As you might guess, it has a bottle opener. This tool also packs a flathead screwdriver/scraper (lower right corner above) and a pry bar top. Pretty dang handy for something you can attach to your keychain and forget all about, until you need it.

Price: $40


Meanwhile, Wolf Tooth's latest offering is a veritable wonderland of indispensable bike tools. What you see above all condenses into one compact rectangle that's about the size of a small candy bar. But when needed, it separates into three multi-tools. The far left one features pliers, all kinds of screwdrivers, a spoke wrench, valve core wrench and more. The center one is a tire lever and rim dent remover. The one on the right boasts a chainbreaker, a utility knife and a tire plug inserter, plus space for tire plug inserts, a valve core and a spare blade. What else do ya need?

Price: $139


With more than two weeks of Kickstarter crowdfunding time left, this high-tech e-screwdriver has already raised more than 57 times its goal. For working on computers, gadgets, watches and frankly, other tools, it appears pretty handy and versatile. Highlights include four different modes, 28 multifunctional bits, the ability to magnetize and demagnetize depending on the project and a streamlined, ergonomic form factor about the size of a smartphone that easily fits in your pocket.


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Our Kind of Happy Hour – Isthmus11.02.21

media release: Join us for our first hybrid Our Kind of Happy Hour!

Indigenous Sovereignty: Land, Food, Art with Anastasia Adams and nibiiwakamigkwe

We welcome Indigenous artists Anastasia Adams and nibiiwakamigkwe as they perform excerpts from Taiquaa//Ambe Omaa (come here), a multidisciplinary collaboration of Yup'ik, Mtis, and Anishinaabe lifeways through Pic-eine'rkin throat singing, textile, storytelling, and visual symbol. Performers draw on survival tools of Indigenous existence and relationship to land, community, culture and resilience as audiences deepen their understanding of place. This project premiered at the Madison New Music Festival. Quayana + Miigwech.

This presentation will occur in the Chazen Museum of Art Mead Witter Lobby. Attendance is limited and tickets are required to attend, so be sure to get your tickets now!

Unable to join us live at the Chazen Museum of Art? A video of this performance will be live streamed on the Chazen Museum of Art Facebook page. No registration is required for streaming from home.

Personal bios:

Anastasia Adams is a reconnecting Alaskan Yup'ik performer and educator based in Teejop//Madison, Wisconsin. She earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Millikin University and has traveled across the Midwest as both a performer and music director. She is currently working on a masters in Atmospheric Sciences. She is drawn to emulate and create sounds which express and set scene.

nibiiwakamigkwe is an Onyota'a:ka, Anishinaabe, Mtis, and waabishkiiwed Two-Spirit artist and organizer working in traditional Indigenous craftwork and contemporary Woodlands style to foster awareness of land protection, Indigenous cultural landscapes, and complexity of identity.

They currently co-own and operate giige, an Indigenous and Queer art and tattoo space, in Teejop//Madison, Wisconsin.

Chazen Museum of Art's Covid-19 Policy: Effective August 5th, all students, employees, and visitors to campus are required to wear masks when inside campus buildings, including the Chazen Museum of Art.

Please note: nibiiwakamigkwe & Anastasia Adams will need to remove their masks while throat singing. They will be situated a minimum of 12 feet from the closest audience members during this time.

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National salon franchise coming to Milwaukee’s Third Ward – BizTimes Milwaukee11.02.21

Last updated on October 28th, 2021 at 03:59 pm

Denver-based Sola Salon Studios will soon open a franchise location in Milwaukees Historic Third Ward.

Located at 505 E. Menomonee St., the salon will include 28 fully equipped private studio suites where local beauty professionals can launch and operate their own business. Construction is currently underway at the 6,100-square-foot corner space, with completion scheduled for mid-November, according to a news release. Previously, the storefront housed a Chiropractic Company office.

This will be Solas first location in the city of Milwaukee and its seventh in southeastern Wisconsin. The Third Ward salon is owned by local real estate investor and franchise operator John Mathie.

Sola Salon Studios has more than 545 locations in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, housing more than 16,000 independent beauty professionals. Its salons offer a variety of services, including laser hair removal, waxing, hair styling, skin care, and nails.

Were so proud to bring Sola Salon Studios to the Third Ward and to offer local hair stylists, estheticians, nail technicians, tattoo artists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and makeup artists a beautiful, safe space to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, said Anna Nassopoulos, general manager at Sola Salon Studios-Third Ward.

With Solas turnkey solution for aspiring entrepreneurs,stylists customize their own studio, set their own hours and pricing, and receive full commission on retail products, according to the release.

The Third Ward location features private one-on-one spaces with ample storage, oversized sliding/locking doors, floor-to-ceiling walls for privacy, all utilities, Wi-Fi, and full-spectrum lighting. As a safety precaution against COVID-19, the business has invested in bipolar Ionization for its HVAC system to help remove airborne viruses.

Read the latest issue of STUFF, a BizTimes Media publication highlighting Wisconsin careers in manufacturing, construction and the trades. Click here to learn more about STUFF.

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Bypassing the ‘headache of downtown,’ food businesses gravitate toward Forest Avenue – Press Herald11.02.21

On, or just off, the indistinguishable 1.4-mile stretch of outer Forest Avenue that lies between Woodfords Corner and Morrills Corner amid the hair salons and nail salons; the car washes and dog washes; the Asian, Arab and African markets; the storefront churches; the tattoo parlors; and the modest eateries a small cluster of new food businesses have opened, or are set to open, perhaps signaling a shift for a pocket of Portland that is more often seen as a thruway than as a destination.

Just this year, a Speckled Ax coffee production facility, Falafel Time, Coveside Coffee and Pizzaiolo Bar & Grille have opened; Friendly Discount beverage has morphed into Back Bay Superette; Bingas Wingas has announced plans to move to outer Forest Avenue; and Belleville bakery has secured a location for a production kitchen.


Within the last six years, Rosemont Market opened its production facility on Stevens Avenue, a mere locally farmed Brussels sprouts throw from Morrills Corner; Otto Pizza opened a nearby delivery hub and restaurant on Read Street; Paella Seafood opened (now temporarily closed because of a building fire); and Bird & Co. began to welcome crowds near longtime Woodfords Corner success stories Bayou Kitchen and Big Sky Bread.

Food entrepreneurs, incidentally, arent the only business people to show interest in the neighborhood; three cannabis shops are in the works for immediately north of Woodfords Corner alone, and a fourth already has opened.

The new food businesses say they are drawn to the area by less expensive rents (though prices are already edging up, according to realtors and business owners), available production space, plentiful parking, proximity to the Portland peninsula, potential for new customers in underserved neighborhoods; and, in at least a few cases, the thing that drives most other people crazy about outer Forest Avenue the traffic.

Another factor in the boomlet may be the recent sales of several of Stephen Mardigans buildings on Forest Avenue. After Mardigan, who owned several properties there, including his own Avenue Auto Sales, was convicted of illegal gambling in 2019, he had to forfeit many of his real estate holdings. During a walk down Forest Avenue, headed north from Woodfords Corner, Teresa Valliere, president of the neighborhood association Friends of Woodfords Corner, pointed out several that are showing signs of new activity.

Weve been driving by the strip for at least four years, said Belleville bakery owner Chris Deutsch, who has lived in the neighborhood with his young family for almost that length of time. Its nice to see some movement there, new businesses popping in and new businesses opening up. Its certainly an up-and-coming area that has some opportunities for sure.

He said his own decision to locate on outer Forest has more to do with drastically needing a new production space, more so than the location itself. When he opened the tiny Belleville on Munjoy Hill four years ago, he was baking 75 to 100 croissants a day.

Two years later, customer demand called for 300 to 400 each day, and during the pandemic, numbers swelled to 500 to 600. Weve been making hundreds of croissants in 250 square feet, Deutsch said. Thats not a sustainable model nor does it allow us to do any more. Thats why we sell out. We physically cant make any more.

He hopes to reopen the bakery, which has been closed since May but for occasional popups, and to open the Belleville production facility with a walk-up retail window in February. Once settled on Forest Avenue, in the attractive, neatly painted shingled building he has leased, Deutsch expects to produce 1,000 pastries a day.

A 10-minute walk away is the new Speckled Ax coffee production facility, tucked into Walton Street, about a block off Forest Avenue. Although the focus is production, there is small retail sales counter with to-go cups of the distinctive wood-roasted coffee, as well as bagels from Rose Foods, which itself opened on Forest Avenue near the University of Southern Maine in 2017.

Speckled Ax had been roasting coffee for its two Portland coffee shops in South Portland in a facility near the Maine Mall. For several years, owner Matt Bolinder looked for a cheerier space, but faced stiff competition from the cannabis and beer industry. He was relieved to finally lease space on Walton Street, the former home of Izzys Cheesecake. This was perfect.

Beyond production, he sees potential to service a new part of town for folks that wanted our coffee but werent necessarily going to be heading into downtown, as well as to pilfer some of nearby Starbucks business, where he frequently observes lines of backed-up cars. Maybe, he thinks, we can service folks who would be more into our coffee. And one day, Bolinder would like to open the production facilities so the public can see where the coffee comes from.

While his rent is actually higher than he paid in South Portland, the space is much more pleasant, he said.


Avoiding the headache of downtown and capitalizing on passing outbound traffic was very much on Pat Scallys mind when he opened the sizable Pizzaiolo Bar & Grille in July in the old (1990s) Raouls Roadside Attraction dance bar, and later a rotation of other restaurants, which had been standing empty for some five years. Also, he loves the distinctive big red building. Its my favorite building in Portland. I like the looks of it. And all the history of it. And the fact it has a parking lot, Scally said.

Scally has operated Pizzaiolo on Cumberland Avenue since 2016, selling New York-style pizza by the slice, a practice he has continued on Forest Avenue from a glass display case immediately to the right of the door. Your white pies here, red pies here, specialty pies down here, he says, pointing proudly. In the Bronx, even they dont have as many (varieties) as I do. Twenty-four different kinds. Hes expanded the menu at the bar and grill, offering chicken wings, shrimp scampi, meatball parmesan and more, and the place has live music, too.

Forest Avenue narrows to one sometimes agonizing lane for about a mile in front of Pizzaiolo. Some 19,000 to 25,000 cars a day drive by, according to state Department of Transportation studies. Woodfords Corner is the second-busiest intersection in the state. Morrills Corner is the busiest. (The citys Department of Public Works and planning office as well as the state Department of Transportation are working on redesigning Morrills Corner, based on the 2018 Portland-South Portland Smart Corridor Plan, which devoted almost 10 pages to the Woodfords Corner/Morrills Corner stretch.) Commuters may seethe, but Scally spied an opportunity.

They are sitting in traffic anyway so Ive got their attention, he said. Instead of waiting, vexed and frustrated, he thinks theyll pull in for a fast slice, or even a whole pizza (on their way home to Windham that itd still be hot when they get home), or maybe a deal on drinks and appetizers, which are priced enticingly low on weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. By the time you are done, the traffic is gone, Scally figures.


Qutaiba Hassoon, owner of Falafel Time, which opened in an old Papa Johns earlier this month, selling its namesake falafel as well as kebabs, pizza, baba ghanoush and more, is likewise well aware of the traffic. Between 3 and 7 p.m., the cars are bumper to bumper, he said. Consequently, his dad, who used to own Haggartys, a British-Indian-Middle Eastern eatery just a half mile away on Forest Avenue, suggested his son focus on dinner. But Hassoon noticed something else thats far harder to see on the characterless commercial stretch the neighborhood. I said, there are a lot of offices and a lot of (University of New England) students. Even lunchtime, its busy.

Sam Patel and his wife, Radhika Shah, reached a similar conclusion, mostly by accident. For 10 years, Patel has co-owned Friendly Discount Beverage with his uncle and another partner (he has since bought them out). For just as long, they have been trying and failing to get a spirits license from the state, which would allow them to compete with the nearby, well-established RSVP Discount Beverage. Last June, after Hilltop Superette on Munjoy Hill got such a license, Patel and his wife bought the store. But a funny thing happened on the way to their beverage business dreams. It turned out they enjoyed running a market.

Over last 17 and 18 weeks, it blew my mind how fun it is and how much it serves its purpose on the hill, Patel said. Its a one-stop shop, for produce, food. You can order stuff from the kitchen. We take EBT. You can get all your vices under one roof your Pringles, even your cat and dog food. It serves this huge purpose.

That got him rethinking Friendly Discount Beverage: Why are we competing with our competitors on Forest Avenue over booze? It doesnt make any sense, Patel said. Lets pivot and lets do something for that neighborhood, for the community, something that is a bit more convenient than going to Hannaford and Shaws. On that part of Forest Avenue, there isnt anything that screams, I can run across the street and get my eggs and milk and cheese.

Earlier this month, they rebranded themselves Back Bay Superette, and added items like Cabot cheese, local farm eggs, lemons, salad dressing and Shake n Bake. We still have huge selection of wine, a huge selection of beer. We never removed anything, Patel said. We added groceries and produce and to-go food, and soon coffee. The essential stuff.

He hopes to capture both the hundreds of workers in the micro-area and the commuters.


For now, running across outer Forest Avenue seems unimaginable, or certainly unsafe. But Nell Donaldson, director of special projects in the Portland planning department and Valliere, of Friends of Woodfords Corner, can imagine it, and they are working toward that vision. For one, Valliere pictures a street crossing where Baxter Woods abuts Forest Avenue. She imagines bump-outs, a raised road surface, and pedestrians and students regularly, and safely, crossing from Baxter Woods and the Deering Center neighborhood to get something to eat on Forest Avenue. She imagines better landscaping, improved sidewalk snow removal and businesses with attractive street-facing facades north of Woodfords Corner, all things that could encourage pedestrians and community.

That kind of idea is part of a national urban planning movement focused on the 5-minute or 10-minute neighborhood. The walkshed, Donaldson said. We hear from people all the time people want to be able to walk to a coffee shop, people want to be able to walk to buy milk. We want everybody to be in walking/biking distance of the critical things they need.

Another issue in the citys sights is affordable housing. Those are honestly two things that stretch of Forest Avenue could use some work on, she said.

She added a caution. A lot of this movement to find new places is great, Donaldson said.

But its worth remembering the well-established food businesses on outer Forest Avenue, including many owned by immigrants, that are also attracted to the area by the affordable rents.

We want to make sure we are not displacing, that we are still leaving spaces for people who cannot afford rents as they go up, Donaldson cautioned. That is the double-edged sword. That is something we are thinking about.

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Bypassing the 'headache of downtown,' food businesses gravitate toward Forest Avenue - Press Herald

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Guest column: Tales from the library | Opinion | – Tillamook Headlight-Herald11.02.21

It is time for part two of our staff's earliest recollections of the library. First up is Librarian Kelsey's memories of coming to the Tillamook County Library as a child. For her, it was "really about the memory of sitting down for storytime. I can still see the shape of the room and the little raised box of carpet around all the shelves, a shade of orange, and then I remember getting book recommendations from Kathy when it was over and the kids and parents were milling about." Kelsey also fondly remembers the special days when library employee Judy was the saran wrap expert for post-storytime treats. "Judy was always in charge of wrapping the cookies or treats for storytime, and I remember this because it was actually kind of difficult for my child hands to get her saran wrap packages open, trying to figure out where the end was and not having lots of patience when a cookie was at stake."

Speaking of Judy, she still works for our library and she has some memories of her own. "Back in the good ole days we had a great neighborhood of families with kids that always interacted with each other. It was a big deal to get our very own library card. I remember we would all walk the four or five blocks to the library and were so excited with the books we could take home with us. I loved the smell of new books, and it was a special treat if we went to story time. In those days they used a check out punch card machine. When they punched our card, it had a metal strip and if you were fast enough you could tattoo your hand with the ink."

Courtney, who works at the library in Pacific City, has great memories of her elementary school library. "I found my favorite childhood books at the school library, Scrub Dog of Alaska and Gentle Ben by Walt Morey. I loved these books so much that I had my mom find the rest of the other books Walt Morey wrote so I could read those as well. And then I was hooked." She credits those early years in the library as being instrumental in helping her decide to pursue a career as a librarian.

For Laurie, her best memories are associated with the feel of a real book in her hands. "While I understand the appeal of E-books, for me to hold the book in my hand and smell the scent of the paper, turning the pages as a rite of accomplishment, will always be my first love." Laurie also is very appreciative of how much the librarians helped her children feel special when they went to the library.

Kealani also mentioned the smell of library books as something she associates with childhood visits to the library. "Its the smell of thousands of old books, books written on paper that no one uses any more, with covers that have been hand bound with actual thread. Its slightly musty, but not moldy. Its cozy, like being swaddled in an old afghan made by your grandma." One of Kealani's best memories from childhood was the day she was handed her first library card. "I still remember the feeling I had when the woman handed me my very own card, complete with my own signature on the back. I was so proud, so excited. I felt like a real grown-up. A plastic card, with my name on it. Its the little things in life, truly."

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Inkin the Coast takes place this weekend – WXXV News 2511.02.21

Tattoo artists from all around the world are Inkin the Coast this weekend at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

The doors opened today for ink lovers to come out and enjoy piercings, live music, and tattoos.

Inkin the Coast also gives people a chance to get tatted by some of their favorite TV artists from shows like Inkmaster.

The event was first held ten years ago with hopes of creating harmony between local artists and bringing more harmony between local artists and bringing more revenue to the Coast. Voice of the Tattoo World Dr. Carl Blasphemy said, Walk in the door, you get a smile instantly. You walk through find your favorite tattoo artist. You dont need an appointment; you can walk right in and get a tattoo same day. In addition to that, we have some piercings. We have great merchandise here. We have a bunch of jewelry, clothing back in the back. We have reptiles for sale here this weekend. So, its more than just tattooing. You dont have to get tattooed to have a great time here.

Doors close tonight at 11 p.m. but will open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 a day, weekend passes are $45. Children ten and under are free. All passes are available at the door.

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Phantom 8 Tattoo & Piercing Colorado tattooing and body …11.02.21

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The Oatman Massacre: Rescued by the Mojave – InMaricopa.com11.02.21

This is the second in a series about the massacre of the Oatman family in 1851 after leaving Maricopa Wells.

You will recall that two girls in the Oatman family, 13-year-old Olive and 7-year-old Mary Ann, were left alive and taken as slaves to the village of the men who slaughtered their family. For a nightmarish year, the two girls suffered mistreatment and deprivation at the hands of their captors.

We will relive the next chapter in the Oatman girls history from Olives perspective.You are Olive Oatman. You are now 14 years old. You have been a slave in the village of your captors for a year, suffering abuse, overwork and hunger, still carrying fresh in your mind the horror of the slaughter of your parents and siblings, which you and your little sister, Mary Ann, now 8 years old, were forced to witness.

Each new day brings the prospect of more labor as you and Mary Ann are forced to perform the most arduous tasks. You pray constantly for rescue from this nightmare existence, but white men never visit this remote village and as the days, weeks and months pass, your hope fades.

One day, a group of people belonging to the Mojave (Mohave) tribe visits the village where you and Mary Ann are being held. The Mojave tribal leader, Espaniola, and his wife are among the group. Espaniolas wife, Aespano, asks her husband to buy you and your sister from your captors. Initially he is told you are not for sale, but, at his wifes insistence, he increases the offer until a deal is struck. You are traded for some vegetables, a few blankets, miscellaneous trinkets and two horses.

There is no tearful farewell when you and Mary Ann leave the village of the men who butchered your family and enslaved you.

You now have to walk with your new owners to their home, several hundred miles away, on the banks of the Colorado River near what is now Needles, California. Topeka, the daughter of Espaniola and Aespano, shows you kindness something you have grown unaccustomed to. She gives you blankets to sleep on and makes some leather soles to protect your feet.

Rather than abusing and enslaving you, the Mojaves celebrate your arrival and give you a small lodge to live in. The family adopts you and Mary Ann. Espaniola tells the people, Let everyone help raise them. If they are sick, tend to them. Treat them well.

The tribe prospers and you are given a plot of land to farm and accepted as members of the tribe. They give you the name Aliutman, a derivation of your real surname, and they tattoo your lower face with the blue markings of their tribe.

You and Mary Ann become very close to your adoptive parents and sister, and you master the Mojave language quickly. Your new life is a striking contrast to the life of slavery and abuse endured for the past year. You have plenty of food, you play games and swim in the Colorado River. Even though you work your little plot of land, you enjoy hours of rest and freedom every day.

But despite the pleasantness of a new life, Mary Ann is unable to release the trauma of her familys slaughter. She cannot stop grieving. She is frequently ill and often too weak to work. Her poor health is a constant concern to you.

In 1855, four years after the massacre, there is a season of drought. Crops fail and many of the Mojave tribe die of starvation. It is a time of great suffering. You are now 18 and Mary Ann is 11. You have clung to each other and formed a bond of love and mutual dependence that few people could ever understand.

Mary Anns health worsens, and despite all you and Aespano do to try to save her, she dies of starvation. Before dying, she tells you she knows that caring for her has been a great burden to you and she believes you will be better off after her death. Your grief over her loss can only be imagined. Kind-hearted Aespano is nearly inconsolable.

It is the Mojave custom to cremate their dead, but you are allowed to lay your little sister to rest after the manner of your own people. You bury her in the little garden you have tended together.

The famine becomes more severe. More people die. You are suffering from advanced malnutrition and with the loss of Mary Ann, you long for death. Aespano is determined she will not lose you like your sister. In an act of unselfish love that probably saves your life, she unearths a stash of cornmeal she has been hoarding and gives it to you. Your strength returns and soon you are able to resume working in your garden.

But, once again, your life is about to change. A man named Francisco, who is a member of another tribe, tells the post commander at Fort Yuma that he knows your whereabouts. The commander accepts his offer to act as a representative of the U.S. government and negotiate for your return to White society.

At first Espaniola resists, but in days of talks Francisco makes threats of retaliation by the army. Espaniola, who had heard stories of how troops from Fort Yuma attacked a neighboring tribe, killing the men and burning the village, fears for his people and is forced to accede.

You, Olive Oatman, have accepted your new life. You have become part of a family part of a tribe. You have nearly forgotten how to speak English, and now, when you learn that once again your future has been decided by others, you burst into tears.

To be continued in the December edition of InMaricopa magazine.

C.M. Curtis, American Western author and historian, is the best-selling author of 11 books, including eight westerns. His books can be found on and

This story was first published in the November edition of InMaricopa magazine.

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