Photograph (c) Arcata Eye. All rights reserved. Use of the photograph
graciously permitted by Terrence McNally. www.arcataphoto.com
It was a month ago when we posted news here of the death of medical marijuana advocate Eric Heimstadt. The short note has been among our "most read" since. An official obit came today with word of a memorial at the end of May at the Wharfinger.
You see a man with his eyes set
His head on a bias like, his teeth acting like a mule
Well you know he’d just as well hang your guts on a fence post as say
‘great day in the morning’
Well he a gun fighter
Proud and feared of nothing
Because there ain’t nothing walk on this Earth he’s got to bow down to
Not a man don’t tip his hat
Not a boy don’t know his name
Ain’t no place he ain’t welcome
Because with a gun fighter around trouble just naturally stay away
- Cat Ballou
Eric Vaughn Heimstadt
, 60, was born on April 9, 1949 in Lansing, Michigan to Haline and Bud Heimstadt. He passed away on April 17, 2009 surrounded by family and friends at his place of residence in Eureka, California from B-cell Lymphoma.
Brother to Raymond Heimstadt and formerly married to Pamela Ann Sistrom; Eric is survived by girlfriend Laura Christine Benedict, and his daughter Dianna Lee Heimstadt.
Although Eric was born in Michigan, he lived most of his life in California. He loved the Golden State. He graduated from North Hollywood High School, where he met Laura beginning a decades long friendship. Eric met and married Pamela and moved to Fortuna where his daughter Dianna was born. The family then moved to San Diego for 10 years until their return to Humboldt County in 1999. It was then that Eric started (and later sold) Humboldt Patient Resource Council and in 2002, refined his vision of a Medical Cannabis dispensary with Humboldt Medical Supply.
The proud owner of Humboldt Medical Supply, LLC and a certified alcohol and drug addiction counselor (CADAC) spent the past 13 years of his life advocating sensible regulations and standards for legal medical cannabis production with a mission to consistently provide safe and affordable access for seriously ill patients to medicinal grade Cannabis. Compassion for the responsible patient remains the HMS motto. Humboldt Medical Supply will continue his good work and carry on his legacy.
Eric dedicated all of his personal drive and energy into the pursuit of the HMS, LLC mission to help patients in need. This passion was only superseded by his role as a father. He spoiled his beloved daughter with immense affection and Dianna will miss him terribly.
His accomplishments mirror his life motto, "My heart is pure, there for, I have the strength of ten." A devoted child rights activist, Eric believed that action always speaks louder than words. One of Eric's most remarkable qualities was how much of his skill and learning was self-taught. Passionate; and with unforgettable presence, this hairdresser, skilled mountaineer, chess player, rock music lover, computer guru, sushi connoisseur (as illustrated by his signature sushi shirts), blogger, and avid sci-fi fan seemingly led the lives of ten men.
He prided himself in his ability to overwhelm the overwhelming, to cleverly infiltrate cross-sections of our community in order to build bridges for common good, and to overcome all adversity. Eric's diabolical persona and compassionate nature will remain legend for all who knew him.
Eric’s sense of community extended to support for many local groups, agencies and non profit organizations, including; HIVkids, AIDSLifeCycle, American Cancer Society Relay For Life, Miranda’s Rescue, The Kinetic Grand Championship, Queer Humboldt, North Star Quest Camp, Sequoia Humane Society, Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum, CASA of Humboldt, Humboldt Del Norte Consortium For Continuing Medical Education, The Northcoast Environmental Center, Patients Out of Time, Humboldt Baykeepers, Project No Spank, Timber Heritage Museum, CenterArts, McKinleyville High School Girls Basketball Team, NORML, Sequoia Park Zoo, Humboldt Literacy Project, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, American Red Cross, Angels of Hope, The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine, Discovery Museum, Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, Americans for Safe Access, Humboldt Arts Council, RCAA-YSB Raven Project and the Eureka Skate Park. He was an active political donor and he and his staff worked many hours staffing phone banks during local campaigns.
A memorial will be held in his honor on May 30th at the Great Room in the Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way, Eureka starting at 2:15 P.M. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Humboldt County Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, PO Box 6373, Eureka, CA 95502, or to the Humboldt Medical Supply 2009 Relay for Life Team # 56 at PO Box 4629, Arcata, CA 95518.
Photo by Nadananda, of Friends of the Eel River, who got a call about the banner and hurried out there to check it out.
Amy Arcuri -- she of that peacemaking, old-growth treesitting crew who forged love-and-promises ties with the new owners of Pacific Lumber Company last summer -- called this afternoon to let me know that if I were to drive south on Highway 101 right now, down into Richardson Grove, and if I were to look through the middle of my windshield and really high up into the trees just after I'd passed the visitors' center, I'd see a huge, huge banner.
"It says Respect Old Growth Roots," Arcuri said.
Oh? Did she put it up?
"No, I personally didn't...but I might know a few birds who did," she said, laughing. "And I believe it's only been up since last night."
But she, like those birds, believes that Caltrans' proposed Richardson Grove widening project is untenable as it stands.
"We shouldn't cut any of the old growth roots at all," she said. "And we can't even pull back that pavement because it's going to rip out all the roots when it's peeled back. So, a more progressive method needs to be come up with for that area.
"I think Caltrans is trying hard to please everyone, but they still can't commit to not cutting the old growth roots."
The man who died in last night's strange weedjack-turned-police chase -- see here and here -- was a local, reports acting coroner Frank Jager. He was 21-year-old David Fields, whose city of residence is unavailable at this time. He was definitely from Humboldt County, though.
The other suspect in the case, a 19-year-old man from Antioch, has been transported to Redding for medical attention, Jager said. He is expected to survive.
Follow-up release (to this) from the HCSO:
As released earlier, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office responded to a call of shots fired near School and Anderson Road in McKinleyville. Further investigation revealed that a group had met at the intersection of School and Anderson to conduct a marijuana sale. During the transaction, one of the two buyers returned to his nearby vehicle (the gold Jeep Grand Cherokee) and returned with an AK-47. The second buyer produced a handgun. One of the suspects ordered everyone to the ground in the middle of the street. They took approximately 14 pounds of marijuana and left. As they drove away they fired several shots from the vehicle. There were no reported injuries.
Two large plastic bags containing processed marijuana were found near the Jeep at the Willow Creek scene.
Holy fucking moly. Sheriff's office press release:
UPDATE: The survivor is a 19-year-old male from Antioch. Note below that both suspects sustained gunshot wounds to the head, but the press release states that neither the CHP nor the Sheriff's Deputies fired their weapons. More info in a few minutes.
Shortly before 11:00 last night the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a report of shots fired near School and Anderson Roads in McKinleyville. The reporting party indicated the suspects were driving a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee had fired several shots from an AK-47 assault rifle. A short time later another caller reported seeing somebody in a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee waving a weapon out the window on Giuntoli Road in Arcata. A sheriff's deputy responded to the area and spotted the vehicle traveling eastbound on Hwy 299. The deputy followed the vehicle at a distance while waiting for additional deputies to arrive. With additional sheriff's units in place, deputies attempted to conduct a car stop on the vehicle. The driver failed to yield but instead accelerated with deputies in pursuit. About five miles into pursuit the passenger in the Jeep fired three to four shots at the pursuing deputies. The suspects fired at deputies six more time - each time firing between two and four rounds.
Officers from the California Highway Patrol arrived to assist and placed a spike strip near mile marker 36. As the suspects approached, they fired on the CHP officers, striking two of their vehicles. The vehicle continued for approximately one more mile until it slowed and exited the roadway into a gravel turnout. The Jeep struck a three-foot dirt barrier that bordered the turnout and then went over the side of the highway. The car came to rest about 200 years below the roadway.
A short time later one of the occupants was spotted climbing back up the embankment. He appeared to have sustained a gunshot wound to his head but was alert and responsive. He indicated he had attempted to kill himself. He was wearing a bulletproof vest. He was transported to a local hospital where he was stabilized; he was later transported out of the area for further medical treatment.
The second person in the vehicle was located near the vehicle. He was deceased and appeared to have a bullet wound to the head. His name is being withheld pending the notification of next of kin.
Neither Sheriff's Deputies nor CHP Officers fired their weapons during the incident. No law enforcement officers were injured. The California Highway Patrol and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office are investigating the case. The injured man has not been arrested as the investigation is still in the early stages.
Ladies and gentleman -- Brooke Grant of Hoopa, your 2009-2010 Miss Indian World ! Grant, a Hupa/Yurok/Karuk/Chippewa, was crowned at the massive Gathering of Nations Powow that took place last month in New Mexico.
Lots of info at the link above, plus a cool Miss Indian World slideshow right here .
UPDATE: Thanks to Treehugger for unearthing this video of Grant's performance. Homegirl has some serious pipes!
That's was a pretty disgusting story out of Fortuna in this morning's Times-Standard. According to reporter Sean Garmire, the district attorney's office has filed charges against Robert Newell, former curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum, for allegedly swiping museum exhibits and hawking them on eBay. Garmire writes that Newell fessed up to the Fortuna Police Department, which found several missing items and sales receipts totaling in the thousands of dollars. The thefts allegedly took place between February and April of this year.
So it is with some amazement that we turn back to Jessie Faulkner's glowing profile of Newell in the March 8 Times-Standard. The profile itself is fine -- even better than fine, in retrospect. Because with hindsight we can see that Faulkner the kind of innate, subconscious reportorial instinct that we hacks kill for.
Take the lead paragraph:
If anyone has a grasp of Fortuna's early history, it's likely to be new Fortuna Depot Museum Curator Bob Newell, whose family first came to the area in the 1850s.
Yes indeed! His grasp on Fortuna's early history was stronger than anyone could have imagined.
Newell is also addressing the needs of the museum's youngest visitors. Realizing that a shelf full of antique typewriters whose hard-to-push keys are within reach is just too much temptation, Newell set up a hands-on site.
Can this be coincidence? I maintain that there was some tiny voice whispering inside Faulkner's head that led her to this particular anecdote and phraseology. Bravo! Trust your gut, Jessie!
Now imagine Newell reading this story on the day it came out. Did he see it as a sign that the world was onto him? Did he start looking over his shoulder?
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