Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seven-O-Heaven Contest Ends in "Controversy" (Updated)

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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First off, thanks to the dozens of readers who took half a second to submit captions for our NCJ Book Issue-inspired Seven-O-Heaven Caption Contest. Your pithy entries made the Journal editorial posse, at various times, laugh, cry, scratch our heads and/or fear for the future of our species. Way to go!

But one entry stood out above the rest. By effortlessly acknowledging the essence of both Will's character and the content of Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs in a palatable and succinct handful of words -- c'mon, brevity, people! -- local anonymous blogger Heraldo won our hearts with his awe-inspiring entry, "So that's what's living in my beard." Ding ding ding! Bravo.

That's when the conflict arose. How can a prize -- in this case a collection of books by Humboldt authors -- be awarded/delivered to a shadowy, identity-less figure who only dwells in the safety of cyberspace? Tough one. So. We hate to have our first Seven-O-Heaven contest end mired in controversy but, sorry Heraldo -- the referee has reversed his decision.

Instead, we award the locally produced word bricks to Humboldt Herald frequenter and real person Mitch Trachtenberg. Judging by his caption submission, "There has to be a 'Next Page' button here somewhere," perhaps Mitch is less than optimistic about the future of books. Hopefully he'll enjoy these.

However, to make sure there are no hard feelings, we are prepared to offer Heraldo the title "First Runner Up," which carries with it the prize of a gift certificate for a free sundae at Bon Boneire. The catch? He/she/they/it has to come claim their bounty at NCJHQ in Old Town. You're close right? Does Heraldo have a sweet tooth? Time will tell.

(See the winners and other entries by CLICKING)

UPDATE: Heraldo cries foul on our judging methods!!! Can we really blame him?

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Rabies Update

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 4:26 PM

As promised the county's public health office released a follow-up press release today about the human rabies infection that was diagnosed last week, but there's not much new information. Officials are still looking for the animal that caused the infection, and the patient's condition has not changed substantially over the weekend, according to the release. (The victim is at a Sacramento-area hospital.)

"We want to stress that there is no risk to the general population," Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ann Lindsay said in the release. "Everyone who needs post-exposure treatment is receiving it."

Reached by phone, Public Health Dept. Senior Program Manager Mike Goldsby said he couldn't comment on the patient's condition. However he did acknowledge that "It's a serious situation."

Goldsby said the victim did not immediately report having had contact with an infected animal. "My understanding is that the patient had seen some local providers and when the condition worsened [the patient] was then transferred out of the area. ... It took a while for this [diagnosis] to happen. Typically what occurs is a person reports a contact or a bite -- a potential infection. That gets investigated and then it's determined if it's necessary to administer a vaccine. With this one there was no initial report of contact or a bite."

There has only been one recorded case of human survival of rabies in the absence of preceding vaccination or postexposure prophylaxis -- a teenage girl from Wisconsin who contracted the disease in 2004. 

"The number-one thing residents can do to protect themselves and their families is to vaccinate their domestic animals," Lindsay said in the press release. "Secondly, residents should notify law enforcement of any animals exhibiting unusual behaviors."

Thanks mostly to domestic animal vaccinations, human rabies in the United States is rare. Since the 1990s, only one or two cases have been reported each year. 

Asked if there would be any more updates forthcoming on the patient's condition or the source of the infection, Goldsby said he didn't know, but that he hoped for progress on the identification of the source. And he expressed sympathy for the victim.

"Of course our heart goes out to this family and this individual," Goldsby said. "You never know. You hope for the best."

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Human Rabies Case in Willow Creek

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 6:06 PM

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A Willow Creek resident has tested positive for rabies. That's about the extent of information released so far by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services.

The CDC informed local public health officials of the diagnosis this afternoon. The infected animal has not yet been identified, according to a press release from the county health department.

Information on human rabies can be found here. If symptoms exhibit themselves before a vaccine has been administered, the chances of survival are brutally grim. It's unknown whether the victim had such vaccination. The full press release is below.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed local public health officials this afternoon that a Willow Creek resident has tested positive for rabies.

The source of the disease has not been identified. Rabies is transmitted by the saliva and neural tissue of infected animals. State and local officials are contacting people who may have been exposed and encouraging them to seek treatment. Preventative vaccines, also known as post-exposure prophylaxis, have been proven to be 100 percent successful at preventing illness.

Human rabies in the United States is rare. Since the 1990s, only one or two cases are reported each year. There has never been a documented case of human-to-human transmission of rabies. While the disease is more common in other countries, widespread vaccination of domestic animals in the U.S. keeps the number of human cases low.

"As in many locations, Rabies is endemic in Humboldt County wildlife," said Dr. Ann Lindsay, Humboldt County Health Officer. "The number-one thing residents can do to protect themselves and their families is to vaccinate their domestic animals. Secondly, residents should notify law enforcement of any animals exhibiting unusual behaviors."

The victim is receiving care at a Sacramento-area hospital. "Our thoughts are with the victim's family during this very difficult time," Lindsay said.

We will likely have additional information available next week.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homicide in Willow Creek

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM

A Willow Creek man and his father got into a gunfight last night while defending the man's home from burglars. Both men were shot in the exchange; the father, 50, was killed. Here's the press release from the Sheriffs Office:

On 05-04-2011, 10:20 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office responded to a residence in the 400 block of Sunset Place, Willow Creek in regards to a residential burglary. Deputies met with the homeowner who told them unknown suspect(s) had broken into their home when they were away during the last few days. The suspect(s) stole firearms and electronics from the victims' residence. The homeowner told the investigating deputy he had no idea who may have committed the crime.

On 05-05-2011, 1:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was notified of a shooting which occurred in the 400 block of Sunset Place, Willow Creek. Deputies and medical personnel were immediately dispatched to the scene. The residence was the same home that deputies responded to and conducted a burglary investigation on May 4, 2011. [Continued]

When deputies arrived they located two victims, the resident and his father who had come over to spend the night in case the suspects returned. The 50-year-old father was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel, twenty five year old son was shot in the ankle and was treated on scene by medical personnel and released at the scene.

Deputies learned during their investigation the victims were concerned the suspects may return to their home to steal additional items. The son and his father armed themselves in case the suspect(s) returned. At approximately 1:00 a.m. several suspects showed up at the residence. The son and father confronted the suspects and shots were exchanged. The suspects fled the scene; at least one suspect is believed to have been shot during the firefight. Detectives are currently on scene executing a search warrant at the residence. Detectives located a stolen 2006 Toyota Silver pickup truck in the driveway of the residence, which they believed the suspects drove to the scene.

Anyone with information regarding this case is requested to contact the Sheriffs Office immediately and ask for Detective Rich Schelisger 707-268-3642 or Detective Steve Quenell 707-268-3646.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You Write Seven-O-Heaven

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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In case the attention lavished on local authors in this week's NCJ Book Issue has you feeling a bit jealous, we at the Journal wanted to give you, the readers, the opportunity to do some brief writing of your own.

Like, really brief.

This week's cover features Seven-O-Heaven star Will Startare delving into local author Amy Stewart's latest word brick Wicked Bugs (see Wicked Popular). Here's your challenge: How would/should/could Will react to Amy's prose?

Your mission, should you be bored enough to accept it, is to author your own one-panel comic to be included in next week's Journal. Hell, we'll even throw in copies of this issue's featured books. Sound fun? No? Too bad.

Don't blow this, Humboldt. Write now.

(E-mail your wit to editor@northcoastjournal.com. Do it.)

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Arkley and Lovelace Smackdown!

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM

The rhetoric employed by Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace and Security National President and CEO Rob Arkley in e-mails released by the County today as the result of a Public Records request filed by Arkley assistant Shirley Fuller (and first reported on LoCO) might strike some as childishly heated. But when put in the proper arena, the verbal grappling is actually quite appropriate.

Try this, Arkamaniacs!:

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Thompson: Bin Laden's Death a 'Defining Moment in Our Nation's History'

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Mike ThompsonCongressman Mike Thompson last night issued an ebullient statement on the death of Osama bin Laden. "The search for the world's most wanted terrorist has finally ended," he declared.

The impact of Bin Laden's death cannot be overstated. For over two decades, Bin Laden and his terrorist network have brought death and destruction to communities around the world. This is a defining moment in our nation's history and, I hope, a turning point in the ongoing war on terrorism.

I would like to thank the intelligence community and our Armed Forces for their hard work bringing Bin Laden to justice. While our fight against terror is far from over, I am hopeful that Bin Laden's death will bring us one step closer to peace.

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A Last Farewell to John Ross

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 9:18 AM

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Around 40 friends of the departed John Ross gathered at the tiny Trinidad Cemetery on May Day to observe International Labor Day, say one more goodbye to Ross and scatter some of his ashes to the winds. The site was the tombstone of E.B. Schnaubelt, who died in 1913. It is engraved with the words, "MURDERED BY CAPITALISM." Ross, when he was alive, claimed that he would have conversations with Schnaubelt at the gravesite and he wrote about them in a 2004 book with that title.

The celebrants decked the tombstone with red flowers (as in red for the blood of the workers) and a small musical ensemble led the crowd in "Solidarity Forever," "The Internationale," and an adaptation of "Johnny Too-Bad," the 1970s reggae hit about a Jamaican outlaw.

~ Malcolm Terence

Sunday's celebration was a continuation of one Friday evening at Northtown Books in Arcata, where Ross held court and read his work over the years. There a circle of his friends and fellow poets told stories of his rambling life and read poems John wrote over the course of several decades. When the reading was done, they toasted his memory with red wine, ate cake, told more stories, then headed off into the Arcata night.

~ Bob Doran

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Poet Jerry Martien served as host for the reading.

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Videos from the reading after the break...

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