Michael Joyce

Reporter

Michael's love of radio began with snowstorm school closure announcements during elementary school in his native Minnesota.  For over a decade he produced features in Sacramento and then turned to documentary film while obtaining a Master's in Health Journalism. He's just back from the Philippines where he produced both radio and film. "Radio and film inform each other," says Michael. "Good filmmakers hear as astutely as they see, and in radio we're trying to get people to see what they hear."

Courtesy UC Agriculture & Natural Resources

Reports on Sudden Oak Death don’t seem to be nearly as common as they were a few years ago. The invasive plant disease, which has devastated oak stands along the West Coast, continues to spread in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon. But funding, public engagement, and solutions have been hard to come by.

Michael Joyce

Frost apparently lingered a while before choosing the less traveled way.

Johnson sold his soul there. The price was virtuosity.

Yogi Berra’s advice was this: “when you come to a fork in the road, take it."

As metaphors go, crossroads are right up there with rivers and doorways. They seem to conjure a symmetry or polarity we can wrap our heads around. Perhaps an intrigue in positioning ourselves at the intersection of convergence and divergence, or dilemma and opportunity. But intersections have always held fascination for me more for what happens around them. I don’t deliberate my direction so much as wonder what are the stories here?

If there is an intersection in Arcata, California that holds sway for me it is the intersection of Tenth & H. Just one block north of the town plaza. Why? The obvious answer is that here I can find funky books, independent films, a burrito with authentic mole sauce, and a character who runs a cluttered shop with a clear sense of humor. That’s the veneer of the TinCan Mailman Used Bookstore, The Minor Theater, La Chiquita Taco Truck, and The Koop. But veneer is what I wanted to scrape away when I went looking for stories at this crossroads.

NOAA

The West Coast is in its second straight year of unusually warm water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. JPR looks at what makes this particular warming phenomenon so unique, and what consequences may be in store for the Northwest.

Michael Joyce/JPR

As April 20th approaches, civil liberty activist and city officials in Arcata, California are at an impasse.

Is the annual gathering of marijuana smokers at 4:20 PM on April 20th -- so-called “4-20” --  a protected first amendment activity? Or is it a pot party run amok?   

Michael Joyce/JPR

Charles McDaniels likes to laugh. But if you saw where he works your immediate reaction might be to cry.

You see, he runs a warehouse filled with tons of discarded computers, monitors, printers, phones - just about anything with an on-off switch. Then it hits you: if it wasn’t here, where would it be?

Michael Joyce/JPR

They have names like Curry Up, Burger She Wrote, and Dogzilla.

They serve wild boar, plantains, and sea-salted this and caramelized that.

They’re in converted airstreams, school buses, even ambulances, with some being solar powered and others fueled by vegetable oil.

They are food trucks, and they’re now estimated to be a one-billion-dollar industry in this country. But for Esteban Gonzalez it started with about $66.

Michael Jouce/JPR

It’s a crisp, clear, December night in Arcata and locals are lined up to commemorate the centennial of the nation’s oldest surviving theater built for feature films -- The Minor.

Jeff Zeigler: "My mother’s, mother’s sisters were at the opening in 1914 and so as part of the family I came to fill one of the seats 100 years later."

Michael Joyce/JPR

One of the reasons I love books is I can go to my bookshelf, find an old friend, leaf through the pages, feel them - smell them - and reconnect with a memory -  or, in this case, a quote I’ve been trying to recall.

And here it is, from Henry Miller, highlighted and even with an exclamation point:

“We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.”

And that means a good bookstore is like 5-star adventure travel for the soul.

USFS

The Six Rivers National Forest  covers nearly one million acres, from the Oregon-California border south to Mendocino County.

The forest’s new  supervisor is the first local ever to be appointed to the position. And he’s taking the reins of an organization that’s redefining itself as it redefines how to manage the forest.

Michael Joyce

The first time I met Stephanie Stone was swimming. She is not a fast swimmer but a stalwart one. A staunch devotee of open water swimming. Hers is not the kind of personality to be contained by a pool. The lagoons of northern Humboldt County, with the ocean pounding a spit of sand away, Roosevelt elk grazing the brackish shoreline, and the whims of weather calling the shots, all seem to resonate with this midwife who’s grown accustomed to turbulent beauty.

Michael Joyce/JPR

 

The United States Postal Service has been losing money every year since 2007; in total, nearly $45 billion. 

One attempt to remedy the situation has been the consolidation of mail processing centers nationwide. Three slated for relocation are in our area: Redding, Eugene, and Eureka. Residents in Eureka are responding to the likelihood, that by next summer,  their mail will be sorted in Medford.

Michael Joyce/JPR

California’s worsening drought and booming marijuana industry are on a collision course.  As the water levels drop and tensions rise, many are asking questions like: Who is to blame? Who should be rationed? And is there a solution? JPR’s Michael Joyce takes a look at just one angle of this crisis: cannabis and cows.

Michael Joyce/JPR

Across the US, there’s an anticipated 35 percent shortage in the number of obstetrician-gynecologists over the next 35 years.  The situation will be worse in rural counties, half of which already do not have OB/GYNs. JPR takes a look at three potential solutions being explored in Humboldt County and why they may or may not work.

Chris Downer via Creative Commons

The United States is facing a shortage of obstetrician/gynecologists of nearly 25-percent over the next 15 years. 

The strain is already being felt in rural areas such as Humboldt County, California, where the ratio of OB/GYNs to women is about one-third the national average.

Why that is, and what can be done about it,  says as much about the plight of rural health care  as it does about who will - or won’t - be there to deliver our babies.

Michael Joyce/JPR

It’s known as “The Triathalon of the Art World.”

That’s the Kinetic Grand Championship, held in Humboldt County this weekend. JPR’s Michael Joyce followed one team during their frantic, final week of preparation.

Michael Joyce/JPR

This week the University of California is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its agricultural extension program. The UC Cooperative Extension serves all 58 California counties. But the very first county to get on board was Humboldt.

www.humboldtregeneration.com/

You may be familiar with CSAs , or Community Supported Agriculture. These are the subscription farms that regularly deliver boxes of produce to your door. Now, there’s an entrepreneur in McKinleyville, California who is applying the same business model … to beer.

Michael Joyce | JPR

This weekend, the Wiyot tribe of Humboldt Bay, near Eureka, will hold its World Renewal Ceremony. This will be the first time the tribe has performed the ceremony in 154 years. The last time was in 1860, when white settlers ambushed the tribe and massacred more than a hundred people.

Both natives and non-natives have struggled to heal that painful past, and the Wiyot say the ceremony is important to the tribe’s future.