Old Town was significantly more fabulous than usual this afternoon as former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Carson Kressley was in town filming segments for a new show called Carson Nation that will appear on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network and air this coming May.
The Journal caught up with Kressley and his film crew at Shipwreck in Eureka where he was kind enough to explain the premise of his new project. "Our mission is to go to small towns all across America, which people think don't have great style, but show people that they can use their local resources and find great things, whether it's vintage clothing or a local salon or spa." Besides Shipwreck, The Spa at Personal Choice in Eureka was also scheduled to be Nation location.
Three local individuals are getting the Carson treatment. "We're making over a couple for their dream wedding, which we're going to shoot later on this week. And then we're doing a woman who's in the Coast Guard and giving her a new look for her retirement." For those concerned that "Humboldt" isn't represented in the makeover candidates, he continued, "And we're making over a guy who hasn't shaved his beard in like five years or something. Yes, he has that classic 'raised by wolves' look." That narrows it down.
The segment we witnessed saw Carson and, one would presume, one of the makeover-ees shopping in Shipwreck for accessories. "This is my favorite store in Humboldt County!" Carson exclaimed. The formula seemed to be as follows: Carson examines a product, makes an adorable comment, moves on to the next item. The best unscripted moment occurred when the UPS dude rolled in with a package for Shipwreck's owner Marcy Bruce:
Carson: "Why are all UPS men sooo cute? And look, he has a package."
UPS dude: "Uh, it's for her."
Word has it that after the jaunt to Shipwreck, Kressley and crew were off to Hurricane Kate's for lunch, and then on to Heuer's Florist to pick out wedding flowers.
No word yet whether or not Carson Nation will make it to the Carson Mansion. We'll keep you posted.
In a complaint filed in November in Humboldt County Superior Court, Nancy Nunez accuses Redwood Memorial Hospital for improperly treating her after she was in a motorcycle accident, resulting in the loss of parts of her fingers that had been cut off in the accident. Nunez's complaint alleges that she was not transfered quickly enough to another medical facility, and that the hospital didn't preserve her severed fingers properly.
Nunez also accuses Humboldt County of not preparing the hospital to deal professionally with such cases.
The Courthouse News Service, in a brief report on the complaint, summed up the charges thusly:
"She seeks damages for medical malpractice, negligence, medical expenses, loss of earnings and earning capacity, housekeeping services, loss of enjoyment, costs and interest."
And here's the complaint (thanks, CNS).
Last week we previewed the upcoming federal civil suit over the strange death of Martin Cotton II back in 2007. Cotton died of a subdural hematoma in the Humboldt County Jail following a violent struggle with the Eureka Police Department.
After the jump: The three trial briefs filed with the Federal District Court of Northern California. These three briefs lay out the case that will be made at trial by the plaintiffs -- Cotton's father and daughter -- as well as the two sets of defendants: the City of Eureka and individual EPD officers, and the County of Humboldt and county correctional officers.
The briefs are published through the amazing DocumentCloud service, which we just signed on to and which I'm trying to get a handle on.
The median price of a house sold in Humboldt County has dropped to its lowest level since March of 2004, according to data released today by the Humboldt Association of Realtors (HAR). The October value of $238,000 represents a 32 percent decline from the peak of the housing bubble -- in March, 2006 -- when the median-priced county home went for a whopping $349,500.
The steepest declines have occurred in Arcata, where median prices topped $400,000 12 times during the bubble (including an anomalous monthly value of $608,000 in 2006). The latest value is down to $259,000.
Add in an average 30-year mortgage rate of 4.62 percent -- the lowest rate on record -- and you have the strongest buyers' market in years.
At the risk of statistical overload, here's another informative way to view the current market's overall health: Standard or "conforming" mortgages (as in the kind most everyone got before lenders went apeshit and starting giving loans to everyone, including dead people) require that your monthly house payment not exceed a third of your gross income. That's how much banks figure your family can handle without falling into debt.
In Humboldt County we hovered right around that healthy ratio until 2002, when mortgage payments began their perilous climb. At the peak of the bubble, the average local mortgage payment was a ridiculous, completely unsustainable 67 percent of the median county income. In other words, homeowners were paying roughly twice what they reasonably should have been paying on their house payments.
The October number is back down to 34 percent, the lowest it's been since March of 2002.
Recology, the San Francisco-based parent company of Recology Humboldt County (nee City Garbage Company of Eureka), is facing growing resistance to plans for a massive dump in the middle of the Nevada desert. The proposed Jungo Landfill, which would receive as much as 4,000 tons of garbage daily, is slated to be located in the Black Rock Desert near Winnemucca, in Nevada's own Humboldt County.
Many residents of our easterly namesake are decidedly reluctant to accept Northern California's waste. Groups like Nevadans Against Garbage vehemently oppose the Jungo Landfill, saying it would likely contaminate a nearby aquifer, befoul the air and, well, trash their beloved desert landscape.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid has come down on the side of the opposition. "I just decided enough is enough," he recently told the Wall Street Journal. "Why should Nevada be the place where other states send their garbage?" According to the WSJ story, county commissioners throughout Nevada are worried that the Jungo Landfill fracas could set a precedent; they fear that growing public resistance could jeopardize a major source of income for their rural, low-income jurisdictions. (Humboldt County, Nev., could receive as much as $1 million per year in fees.)
Protesters in San Francisco -- who already have beef with Recology on other matters -- have joined the fight, as has Burners Without Borders, a group of activist participants in Burning Man, the annual bacchanalia held elsewhere in the same desert (roughly 50 miles west, as the Golden Eagle flies).
Last week, a press release from Recology's Winnemucca branch announced that the company had hired a new director for the explicit purpose of "advancing understanding and support of the Jungo Road project in the Humboldt County community."
From the Sheriff's Office:
Late last night Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a report that a man had been shot on US Highway 101 near Benbow. At about 11:45 p.m., deputies arrived and found that a man had been shot; and the man who shot the other man was the reporting party.
The driver of a truck reported he had been traveling southbound on Hwy 101 when he came upon a man standing in the traffic lanes. The driver, A 26-year-old-man from Gridley, CA, said he stopped to check on the welfare of the man. The driver rolled down his passenger side window to talk with the man, but the man began to act strangely and tried to get into the truck. The driver reported he tried to drive away but the man jumped into the bed of his truck. Records show the driver called 911 via his cell phone several times during the incident but the cellular service was poor and he was disconnected. With the man still in the bed of his truck, the driver grew more concerned as the driver kept hunting knives in the bed where the man was. The man started banging on the rear cab window, eventually breaking it. The man then attempted to crawl into the cab.
The driver stopped his truck and got out after arming himself with a handgun he kept in his truck. The man also got out of the truck ; the driver said he then drew his gun. The man advanced on the driver and they got into a short tussle. The driver ran to the front of the truck and the man got into the driver's seat. The driver reporting hearing the engine rev and he was fearful that the intruder was going to run him over. The driver reported that he ran past the man in the driver's seat and shot at him one time. The man inside the truck was struck by the bullet and remained inside the truck. The driver who shot him remained at the scene until law enforcement arrived.
In addition to the initial deputies who responded, two Sheriff's Detectives and an Evidence Technician responded to the scene to conduct interviews and gather evidence.
The man who was shot was stabilized at a local hospital and then flown to an out-of-the-area hospital and is in stable condition. Detectives will know more when the man is able to provide a statement. Detectives are attempting to confirm his identity.
As of this writing, no arrests have been made and the investigation is in its early stages. Additional information will be released as becomes available and appropriate. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call Detective Rich Schlesiger at (707) 268-3642.
When the Journal first reported on the U.S. Navy's plans to increase training in the Northwest Training Range Complex in January, 2009, reaction was slight. Since then, environmental groups and city councils have joined what the SF Chron calls "a growing chorus" of governmental bodies and citizens resistant to what they see as a lack of concern for marine life.
Now, at the request of Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Napa Valley), representatives from the United States Navy will hold public meetings regarding the Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC) on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 5 to 7 pm at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka.
From the press release:
“I requested that the Navy come to the North Coast to provide information for the community and answer their questions regarding the NWTRC,” said Congressman Thompson. “A highly trained Navy, transparency regarding planned activities off our coast, and protection of marine life are not mutually exclusive.”
The NWTRC is one of many Navy Range Complexes used for training of operational forces, equipment and other military activities. Based at Whidbey Island, near Puget Sound in Washington, the Navy has been training in the NWTRC since World War II. The bulk of the air, surface and subsurface activity takes place in waters off the state of Washington, but the scope of influence covers approximately 122,400 nautical miles and extends from Washington to the southern tip of Humboldt. Training exercises vary in scope and effect, and in California, are carried out between 12 and 250 miles offshore.
For more information contact Congressman Thompson’s office at 707-962-0933 in Fort Bragg or 707-269-9595 in Eureka.
...but don't want the hassle of a public election? Here's your shot (that is, assuming you live in the Fourth Ward). The City of Eureka is now accepting applications to fill Frank Jager's Fourth Ward seat, which he's leaving to become mayor. Through the city's rather unorthodox electoral process, that means Jager gets to name his replacement -- subject to council approval.
Many criticize our public officials; few have the moxie it takes to become one. Now's a good time to throw your hat in the ring, Fourth Warders.
Applications are being accepted by the Eureka Mayor's office for appointment to fill a vacancy on the Eureka City Council, in the Fourth Ward, for a term ending November 6, 2012.
All applicants must be residents and registered voters within the Fourth Ward of the City of Eureka. Applications are available at the City Clerk's office, 531 "K" Street, Room 208, Eureka.
Completed applications must be returned to the City Clerk's office by 5:00 p.m. Monday, December 13, 2010.
For more information, please call 441-4175.
Pamela J. Powell
City Clerk, City of Eureka
For Mayor Elect Frank Jager, Contact: 441-4167
Redwood wins (sort of):
Fortunately, says The Courier's news report, "the elderly resident of the room below the corner of the dwelling which bore the brunt of the impact was having breakfast in the lounge, and was unaware of the incident."
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