Michael Joyce


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."

"It absolutely is an illegal party.”
6:04 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Where There’s Smoke: Officials, Activists Tussle Over 4-20 Party In Arcata

A crowd gathers in Arcata's Redwood Park to celebrate 4-20 on April 20th, 2008.
Credit 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?   

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"Most People Just Buy It And Don't Worry ..."
6:30 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

The Koop: Reclaiming The Flood Of Electronic Waste

Charles McDaniels holds just one small part of the e-waste stream he helps recycle at The Koop in Arcata, California.
Credit 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?

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"Never Give Up, Right?"
4:55 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Coming To America: Taco Truck Entrepreneur Makes Good

Esteban Gonzales with his truck La Chiquita, at the corner of Tenth and H in Arcata, California.
Credit 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.

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"A Symbiotic Kind Of Experience ..."
9:00 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

The Minor Theater Has Seen The Entire History Of Motion Pictures

Co-owner David Phillips stands in front of the marquee for the Minor Theater, the oldest feature-movie theater in the US
Credit 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."

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"You're Tapping Into The Psyche Of The Town"
10:34 am
Sun February 15, 2015

The Tin Can Mailman Reflects A Community's Changing Interests

Wadeth Bory owns the Tin Can Mailman Bookstore in Arcata, California
Credit 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.

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2:24 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

The New Face Of The Forest Service in Six Rivers Forest

Merv George is the new supervisor of the Six Rivers National Forest. A member of the Hoopa Valley tribe, he's the first local ever to be appointed to the position.
Credit 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.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
9:05 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Who Will Deliver Our Babies: OB Care In Humboldt County Nears Breaking Point

Open-water swimmer/midwife Stephanie Stone, at Big Lagoon in Humboldt County, CA.
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.

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"Neither Rain Nor Snow ..."
4:45 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Postal Service "Right-Sizing" Not Popular In Humboldt

Humboldt County residents are skeptical of a US Postal Service plan to have their mail sorted in Medford.
Credit 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.

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Who Gets The Water?
5:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Cows Versus Cannabis In Humboldt County

Gary Belli on his Ferndale ranch
Credit 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.

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Midwives To The Rescue?
7:12 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Three Possible Fixes For Humboldt OB/GYN Dilemma

Dr. Jack Anderson has Anderson has been delivering babies in Humboldt County for nearly 40 years and thinks it may be time to turn the prevailing US childbirth model upside down.
Credit 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.

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Fragile Rural Health Care System
8:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

OB Care In Humboldt County Nears The Breaking Point

Credit 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.

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45th Annual Kinetic Grand Championship
9:58 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Humboldt's Kinetic Sculpture Race: Where Art and Engineering Collide With Imagination

Drilling for Glory, the entry created and piloted by Team Tempus Fugitives
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.

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Happy Birthday!
6:15 am
Mon May 12, 2014

100 years of University of California Extension Service

(L to R) Humboldt dairyman Dennis Leonardi, UC Extension director Yana Valachovic and UC Extension advisor Jeff Stackhouse celebrate the Extension Service's centennial.
Credit 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.

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A Head For Business
5:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Humboldt County's Community-Supported Brewery

McKinleyville farmer/brewer Jacob Pressey scythes grain for his next batch of beer.
Credit 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.

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World Renewal Ceremony
3:44 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Wiyot Tribe Heals Ancestral Home

Cheryl Seidner, Wiyot elder and councilwoman, stands near the Wiyot Center in Loleta, California.
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.

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