Co-op’s Info Kiosk A Dying Tradition
Kevin L. Hoover
I STREET – For decades, people have used Co-op’s info board, now a kiosk, to hook up with rides, lodgings, bongos, even love and now, a meteorite. But though folks still can be seen peering at the hand-scribbled cars at the curbside kiosk, there aren’t as many of them these days – cards or curious customers.
The reason, of course, is online advertisement website Craigslist, the immediacy of which has sucked the life out of things like newspaper classified ads and the info kiosk.
“It’s definitely a dying thing,” said Co-op Outreach Coordinator Melanie Bettenhausen. She said she can see the kiosk from her office, and these days it is mostly a gathering point for people with dogs and cigarettes.
Bettenhausen said from time to time, it is suggested that the kiosk be removed or repurposed, but Co-op hasn’t any enthusiasm at the moment for the inevitable preservation fight which would ensue.
Suggestions for a new kiosk mission include a bike parking area and a location for sstorage of emergency preparedness supplies.
Arcata Main Street President David Neyra said he has used the kiosk, that it offers and city/HSU connection. He hopes it is retained. “I remember when people drove to Arcata to use it,” Neyra said. “It is a connection.”
Marilyn, a woman who is advertising a college student room for rent via a kiosk card, said she uses it and Craigslist as well. “I’ve always gotten good kids through it,” she said. “I hope they keep it.”
Another woman selling duck eggs said she has used it for “years and years,” as Craigslist doesn’t allow food advertising. “It’s useful,” she said.
Commenters on the popular Facebook page, “Remember in Arcata When…” said the info-cards were more popular when they were posted in the store window. Co-op moved the cards to the kiosk to reduce crowding at the entrance.