A press release from the office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, reproduced here, announces that the outgoing governor has appointed the Fortuna Mayor Pro-Tem to fill Bonnie Neely's former seat on the California Coastal Commission.
MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. - Dodging power lines, a Coast Guard a helicopter airlifted a man stranded on a small island in Redwood Creek near Orick last night.
The 45-year-old boater made it to the island after his boat capsized while gathering redwood logs in the creek. He yelled for help after making it to the island and his shouts were heard by people nearby a local RV park.
The Orick Fire Department and Humboldt County Sheriff's Office both responded and found the man standing on a small island in the middle of Redwood Creek. He started a small camp fire to stay warm and dry his wet clothes. Due to the strong current flowing through the creek swelled by recent storms, the first responders determined an airlift would be the safest and fastest way to rescue the man. At 11 p.m., a Coast Guard MH-65C Dolphin helicopter launched from Air Station Humboldt Bay.
"One key to the safe rescue of this boater was the fact that the sheriff on the ground in Orick notified the flight crew of power lines crossing Redwood Creek directly over the island," said Lt. Todd Vorenkamp, the pilot on the helicopter. "Had we not known about those power lines before arriving overhead they would have posed a much greater danger to the helicopter and flight crew."
A sheriff deputy used a marine band radio to communicate directly with the helicopter crew and, once the helicopter was staged on scene, he had the man walk to the north end of the island away from the power lines.
"Being able to talk directly to the sheriff was important to the overall success and safety of the rescue mission," said the copilot, Lt.j.g. Brent Hardgrave.
The helicopter arrived on scene and lowered its rescue basket to the man and hoisted him to safety. Due to the presence and proximity of the power lines, Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Linder, the aircraft's flight mechanic prepared to perform the hoisting evolution while using his night vision goggles, and was able to keep tail of the aircraft clear of the wires. The aircraft then returned to the Coast Guard Air Station at Arcata Airport and delivered the man to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.
The Coast Guard recommends that all Lost Coast residents and visitors use extreme caution when recreating and working on the inland waterways of Northern California. Winter and spring runoff, high water levels and frigid water temperatures combine to make the rivers and streams in the area extremely hazardous. Also, all those spending time on or near the water should wear personal floatation devices and be equipped with emergency signaling devices and a marine band VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard or other emergency services.
For the Dec. 16 North Coast Journal's poetry feature, we published "Simple Winter Song (A Winter's Solstice Carol)," whose lyrics and music were composed by Fortuna resident Steve Brackenbury. In our print edition, we ran the lyrics. In our online edition, we ran the lyrics and the sheet music.
Now we present to you a live recording of the song. Brackenbury sent us a link to the recording, with this explanation:
Last Saturday night, Easton Stuard, a prominent jazz musician in Eureka who is studying in Illinois for his doctorate, came to our home and played for a Christmas party. He played his jazz arrangement of my piece. I recorded it around midnight and it sounds like it: dark, late, iced and chilly as a cold moon; reflective light off the silver of bark...
Happy Winter Solstice...
Humboldt State sophomore Cooper Plaxco went missing Christmas Eve while snowboarding British Columbia's Whistler Mountain resort, the Press-Democrat reports.
"He was good at everything he did," said another friend, Liz Randol. "He was the sweetest kid."
If you missed this front-page story in Sunday's Sacramento Bee, give it a read. Reporter Peter Hecht shows how some industrious weed cultivators in Humboldt County, which he calls "America's most renowned bastion of illicit marijuana growing," are stepping up efforts to capitalize on that renown.
As Hecht frames it, the entrepreneurial members of the Humboldt Growers Association -- along with supportive politicians like former county supervisor Bonnie Neely -- don't take kindly to the idea that we could get left behind while large-scale producers elsewhere drink our milkshake. But as we saw with Prop 19, some of the most fierce resistance may come from within their own community.
One minor clarification to the story: Hecht says District Attorney Paul Gallegos was "the only prosecutor in California to publicly endorse Prop 19," which wasn't exactly the case. (Okay, maybe "clarification" isn't quite the word.)
We first encountered Eureka inventor Doyle Doss hawking his hummingbird feeder helmets at the Arcata Farmers' Market this summer (see below). This weekend that invention and more of his work were featured prominantly in "Behind the Many Faces of Innovation 2010," in the busines section in the Sunday New York Times.
A few moments ago, Eureka Mayor Frank Jager told the Journal the subcommittee that has been interviewing applicants to fill the vacant Fourth Ward seat on the City Council has narrowed the field to two: Rex Bohn and Melinda Ciarabellini.
Jager said that he will announce his choice Monday, after which the City Council should schedule the appointment for a vote at its regular Jan. 4 meeting.
Ciarabellini recently retired from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office at the rank of captain. Last week she told the Times-Standard that her priorities were the budget, education and economic development.
Eureka's Fourth Ward seat represents the tony areas around St. Joseph Hospital and Sequoia Park, with ultra-tony Lundbar Hills attached incongruously to its rear. (PDF map here.) The seat became vacant when Jager was elected Mayor in November.
In related news: The Journal has been receiving reports that someone has been conducting telephone polls asking for residents' perceptions of the four candidates who stepped forward to be considered for the Fourth Ward vacancy, among other things. Jager said that he's heard the same thing, but otherwise has no knowledge of it.
"It's a bit odd," he said. "Somebody out there is interested in it. You could have your suspicions, but I don't know for sure."
Jager declined to speculate, but reiterated that he had no part in the polling and did not expect to be shown the results.
The Bay Citizen reports that the Oakland City Council last night caved to pressure from the feds and suspended plans to license four large-scale industrial marijuana grows within its city limits. According to the Citizen, city staff is going to rejigger the proposal to smooth out potential conflicts with state law, then bring it back before the council Feb. 1.
For the time being, though, Humboldt County growers continue to get the best of both worlds. Oakland, Eric Holder -- we salute you.
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010, will be the first time since 1638, and only the second time since year 1, that the winter solstice date coincides with a total lunar eclipse.
Rolling Stone reports that he died today due to complications from multiple sclerosis. Entertainment Weekly adds that he passed away "in a northern California hospital." We'll see what we can get.
UPDATE: Assistant Coroner Charlie Van Buskirk that Beefheart died at Mad River Hospital early this morning. He knows this only because hospital staff called him with a procedural question at around 6 a.m.
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