Friday, July 6, 2007

One of these things is not like the other

Two of these stories offer original reporting and even some – dare we say it? – personality. One of them appears to be a touched up press release.

One is by Kevin Hoover of Arcata's mildly objectionable Arcata Eye.
One is by young Thadeus Greenson of the tenacious T-S. (Actually, we don't know if he's young, but we like to imagine him as a sort of bold upstart in his early '20s, still idealistic and willing to aggressively pursue the story, no matter where it leads...)
One is from the Eureka Reporter.

How quickly can you match'em up?

DeVries, Pellatz save Arcata's fireworks
“I tried everything,” DeVries said. “I actually offered the guy flowers for his office every week for a year. I said, ‘You know what? You’re gonna be looking at the flowers every day, thinking what a good deed you did for Arcata.’”

But it was no use. “There was absolutely no way they could do it,” DeVries said.

He related the bad news to Pellatz, who had one last trick up his sleeve. A longtime member of the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department, Pellatz recalled a visit to a pyrotechnic firm called Fireworks By Boom Boom, located near the Hayfork office of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Pellatz paid Boom Boom a personal call – very personal. Entering the company’s office, he asked, “How far down on my knees and how much whining do I have to do to get fireworks for Arcata?” The firm forewent the offer of kneeling, but buckled after an estimated 10 minutes or so of Pellatzian whining – possibly some wheedling and cajoling as well, though this wasn’t confirmed – and agreed to handle the Arcata fireworks display.

Sparks to fly at Arcata jubilee
The Arcata Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that its “fun-filled and family-friendly” Fourth of July Jubilee Festival will go on as scheduled Wednesday — with fireworks, through the help of a prominent Arcata businessman.

Although the chamber officially canceled the fireworks earlier this month, citing increased costs and slower-than-usual donations, Lane DeVries, chief executive officer of The Sun Valley Group, stepped up in recent days, agreed to underwrite the fireworks and fronted the $10,000 cost.

Benefactor saves Arcata's July 4
Thanks to a last ditch effort by Sun Valley Floral Farms President and CEO Lane DeVries, it looks as if pyrotechnics might light up Arcata's Fourth of July sky after all.

”I'm so excited right now, it's unbelievable,” DeVries said Thursday evening, moments after hearing the news that he might have saved Arcata's fireworks.

Earlier this month, the Arcata Chamber of Commerce, which runs the annual July Fourth Jubilee, announced that it had come up short in raising funds for the event's pyrotechnics. To make matters worse, Pam Godwin, president of the chamber's board of directors, said that the deadline for a deposit on the fireworks had passed in April and the situation appeared hopeless.

Apparently, DeVries didn't get the memo, saying he only found out about the situation Wednesday.

(Extra credit if you can name how DeVries found out!)

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