From the Bay City News and CBS Broadcasting we learn that an aircraft piloted by a Whitethorn resident Daniel York became entangled in a vineyard this morning just after taking off from the Healdsburg Airport.
York and his passenger, Arthur Gagnier of Oakland, were not hurt. The airplane was.
Healdsburg police Sgt. Rick Urteago said pilot Daniel York of Whitehorn was taking off around 11 a.m. and was 25 feet in the air when wind caught the white Escapade two-seater plane and pushed it to the left.
The plane descended to about 4 feet and its wheels caught a wire on one of the vines, spinning the plane around, Urteago said. One of the plane's wings was damaged, Urteago said.
The mishap -- from the gusty blow to the downward plunge to the shocking twirling about -- is reminiscent of another's experience with the vine, ol' Titus Maccius from way back in 190 BC:
The great evil of wine is that it first seizes the feet, it is a crafty wrestler.
Amy in the NYT: The New York Times comes out with its long-awaited profile of Humboldt County literary darling Amy Stewart! Stewart -- whose new book, Wicked Plants, is a police lineup of the botanical world's bad boys -- provides the NYT writer with some advice about how to murder her husband.
Two hundred grand from the state for Humboldt County energy independence! Hot stuff! Humboldt County has an absolute abundance of green energy potential, and a just-announced grant should go a long way toward making at least some of it a reality.
Press release from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority:
Local Partnership Wins Grants for a
Renewable Energy Secure Community
Humboldt County is on its way to being a pioneer in the quest for local energy self-sufficiency. The California Energy Commission has awarded a local partnership a $200,000 grant from the CEC's Public Interest Energy Research program to plan for energy security and prosperity in Humboldt County by using homegrown renewable energy. The partnership includes the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) at Humboldt State University, and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Project work is expected to start July 1, 2009 and continue through July 31, 2011.
The CEC grant will be supplemented by a $38,800 grant recently awarded by the local Headwaters Fund to the Schatz Center to carry out the economic analysis portion of the work.
The goal of the project is to create a strategic plan that will empower Humboldt County to develop its renewable energy resources in an effort to meet 75% to 100% of the county's electricity demand as well as a significant fraction of its heating and transportation needs. The plan will examine a full range of renewable energy resources, energy efficiency and demand management options, and energy storage and conversion technologies.
RCEA, a Joint Powers Authority that serves all of Humboldt County, will oversee the project and will assist with various tasks. SERC will conduct the engineering and economic analyses. PG&E will provide in-kind technical assistance and data and will engage in efforts to explore collaborative partnership opportunities.
This project is a natural follow-on to the Humboldt County Energy Element report prepared by SERC, RCEA and others in 2005. That report found that renewable energy resources in Humboldt County, biomass, wind, and wave power, are more than adequate to meet all of our energy needs. This grant will fund the detailed engineering and economic analyses and development of a strategic action plan for the use of our local renewable energy resources.
According to SERC Director Peter Lehman, "This grant is a wonderful opportunity for Humboldt County to lead the way to the renewable energy future our world needs. We're very pleased to be working with RCEA, PG&E, and the people of Humboldt County to start down this road."
RCEA was formed in 2003 as a Joint Powers Association, representing seven municipalities (the Cities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna, Trinidad and Rio Dell) and Humboldt County. RCEA's purpose is to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable resources available in the region.
The surviving half of last week's dope robbery-turned-shoot-’em-up has been booked for the murder of his partner, local resident David Fields. From the Sheriff's Office:
Brian Cole Fiore was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility last evening after being transported from the Sacramento County Jail. He was booked on two counts of attempted murder, robbery, felony evasion of a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety, and negligent discharge of a firearm. Additionally, he was booked for the murder of David Fields, the second occupant in the vehicle in last week's pursuit. Fiore's bail has been set at $1 million and he is expected to be arraigned this afternoon.
First Returns Mirror State: The first wave of Humboldt county absentees are in, and they pretty much mirror the state results thus far -- all the Schwarzenegger/Democrat initiatives get a solid rejection with the exception of 1F, the feelgood stick-it-to-legislature initiative.
UPDATE, 9:51 p.m. -- First precinct results in -- here -- essentially no change.
"The risk for contagion posed by this case likely has passed," said Humboldt County Public Health Officer Ann Lindsay, addressing reporters in what looked like the county's swine flu war room this afternoon. On the day previous, the county had received confirmation of its first case of the H1N1 influenza, a new variant of the virus that arose in Mexico last month and quickly spread itself throughout the world. And despite the fact that the new bug turns out to be far less virulent or deadly than had been feared, it turns out that the county had been extraordinarily lucky in its first brush with the swine flu.
As Lindsay told it, a local woman in her 20s had been traveling out of state last month, visiting an area where the virus had already taken root. She fell somewhat ill on April 28, and when she drove back to town on May 3 she had developed a full-blown case of the flu, as well as an attendant case of pneumonia. She checked herself into Mad River Hospital the day she got back, and stayed there, in isolation, for four days. While there, she was swabbed for swine flu germs and her sample was sent off to a state laboratory. By the end of the four days, she had recovered fully and could no longer transmit the virus to others, so she was released. None of the hospital personnel who treated her have come down ill, Lindsay said. For our purposes all indications are that the rogue strands of RNA stayed put right there in the unfortunate victim's insides, until such time as they were defeated entirely.
If you'll notice, the results from the test didn't come back for nearly two weeks. This, Lindsay said, was somewhat unusual in her experience, and likely a result not only of the swine flu pandemic but of the budget crisis gripping California. The waiting period did have consequences, she hinted, but thankfully in this case they were not severe.
"In this case, the results did not get back soon enough to be of any importance in deciding what medication to use in treating the patient," she said. "It does speak to the fact that those of us in public health feel like we are public safety entities, just like fire and law enforcement, and there are public safety elements of public health that are underfunded, and the laboratory system is one of them."
Spring Break for 'Humboldt County': It may not have performed so well domestically, but it will all be worth it for filmmakers Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs when they bring Humboldt County to the bubble-filled, Ecstasy-drenched techno cinemas of the Balearic Isles! Humboldt County takes its star turn at the Ibiza Film Festival later this month!
Humboldt County public health officials are at this moment confirming Humboldt County's first case of Swine H1N1 flu.
There is no cause for alarm, citizens. According to a press release that was embargoed until the exact millisecond of this item's publication, the victim -- and why did I almost write "suspect"? -- has already recovered. She acquired the exotic illness while traveling out of state, and public health personnel believe she had already passed the stage of contagion by the time she checked herself into the hospital.
More information to come, and as always you can get updates straight from the swine's mouth at humboldthealthalert.org.
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Just my Freedom of Speech in America.