Monday, April 9, 2012

Vote for Me – But This Isn't a Political Sign!

Posted by on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM

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It seems like a simple thing to label an advertisement as political or not. There's the message -- on a political sign it usually goes something like, "Elect so-and-so for whatever." Then there's the color scheme -- red, white, and blue seem to show up a lot. Last, take a look at the image on the sign -- is it some politician's smiling mug?

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Just how political that approach is -- or isn't -- is a subject of a debate in Fortuna, where a sign promoting 2nd District supervisorial candidate Estelle Fennell has prompted complaints to the city manager's office. If the blue and white billboard, which sports a picture of grinning Fennell, is indeed political in nature, then it violates Fortuna ordinances regarding both the size and timing of political signs. The sign says, "Vote June 5 Estelle Fennell SUPERVISOR-Fighting For YOUR Future, Paid for by Estelle Fennell for Supervisor."

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Fortuna Municipal Code § 17.05.180(D)(b) reads,

One political campaign sign not exceeding four square feet in area or four feet in height is permitted on private property. These signs shall be removed within 10 days after the election. Such signs shall not be erected prior to 30 days before the election. 

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"It looks and walks like a political sign, so therefore the city's position is that it must be a political sign," said City Manager Duane Rigge. He said that the sign has been up for at least three weeks -- far in advance of the one-month rule. Following a consultation with the city attorney, Rigge sent Fennell a cease-and-desist letter, also requesting that she take down smaller signs posted in a downtown storefront.

As of Saturday however, the billboard remained, Rigge said. He's unsure how the city will deal with it. "We were hoping she would come forward and do something about it," he said.

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But Fennell isn't ready to concede the point. "It's not a political sign; it's an ad," Fennell said in an interview. "We consider the issue resolved." Despite the ordinance, she invited her opponent to respond with his own sign. "Clif [Clendenen] is free to put up a billboard too, in our view," she said.

Here's the text of the city's letter:

Dear Ms. Fennell,

Thank you for responding to the city's concerns regarding campaign signs that are posted prior to the time stipulated in the Municipal Code § 17.05.180(D)(b), and removing campaign signs prematurely posted in the window of a business on Main Street.

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The same ordinance section limits the size of campaign signs (i.e. signs that advertise a candidate who is running for office) to not greater than four-square feet or four-feet in height. This applies equally to signs mounted on private commercial property, banners hung on a building's exterior, or glued onto a roadside billboard. In all cases, a political campaign sign permit (no charge) is required to identify the proposed location for approval by city staff. The posting of all such signs is limited to a window of time beginning 30 days before an election.

All candidates are requested to abide by the same set of fair-play regulations during a time of potentially heated emotions. Any provocation viewed as taking advantage of the prescribed rules can initiate intense discussion within the community.

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As you noted, letters to the editor endorsing candidates are not regulated by the city. Nor are radio spots promoting a candidate. However, signs that encourage people to vote for a candidate are regulated by each local jurisdiction.The regulations are not uniform from community to community but each jurisdiction does provide a regulatory environment for political signs. It makes no difference whether you pay someone to post or mount a sign or are provided space free of charge. Nearly all campaign signs are paid for [by] the candidate or by a committee to elect a candidate.

In the spirit of civic mindedness and fair play, the city is requesting that you and all political candidates conduct your campaign within the established guidelines. Your attention to this matter in a timely fashion will be most appreciated,

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Sincerely,

Duane V. Rigge

City Manager

 

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Arrests at Courthouse Protest

Posted by on Sun, Apr 8, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Humboldt County Sheriff officers arrested a half dozen protestors Saturday night on the steps of the County Courthouse.

A crowd of around 120 had assembled in answer to an invitation to a post-Arts Alive! candlelight vigil to protest the "urgency ordinance" passed March 27 by the Board of Supervisors in response to complaints about the actions of Occupy Eureka protestors.

Among other things, the new ordinance restricts protests to the sidewalk in front of the courthouse between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. The candlelight protest was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and run at least until 10.

At around 9:45 p.m. a Sheriff Deputy warned protestors on the courthouse steps that they would have to leave that area or face arrest.

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Bill Thompson and Richard Gilchrist opted to stand their ground and commit civil disobedience. 

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They were arrested just before 10 p.m. and taken to jail. Gilchrist, age 76, is a Vietnam veteran; Thompson, age 82, is a veteran of the Korean War and a survivor of the battle of Pork Chop Hill. Both are active in the local chapter of  Veterans for Peace and have participated in Friday evening anti-war vigils at the courthouse and on the Arcata Plaza for years.

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"I wanted to get a bunch of people out there to defend the First Amendment in light of the emergency ordinance," said organizer Dave Meserve, a former Arcata city councilman. "A lot of people feel it's a violation. Beyond that you have cops out there doing their job and people making a statement by being arrested." 

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The officers returned around 45 minutes later and arrested two more protestors: another member of Veterans for Peace  Robin Donald and activist Kim "Verbena" Starr, who has been part of the Occupy Eureka protest since the beginning. Starr was arrested March 31, with three others in a similar protest against the ordinance. According to Occupy stalwart James Decker, two other protestors were arrested and taken to jail later. All six arrestees were released last night.

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"I think there's a big amount of concern about what the Board of Supervisors did," Meserve added. "I don't know what the next step is, but we have to keep the pressure on."

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Postpone Your Illicit Outdoor Activities, Eurekans

Posted by on Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

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Reschedule that steamy walk through Old Town with your Zumba instructor, wait 'til tomorrow to resume your impulsive car window-smashing, and for Zeussakes put on a damn shirt!

We're guessing you don't want your dalliances preserved on the most trafficked website in the cosmos. So, just for today, cool it.

Back for another look since it last visited us in January 2011, NCJ staffers spotted the Google Street View car's eye-in-the-sky rollin' down Second Street Friday at 12:50 p.m. If you were in the vicinity, we hope you had pants on.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Marine Protected Areas From On High

Posted by on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Journal graphic designer and photographer Drew Hyland zoomed through the skies on Monday to get a look at the sites along our stretch of coast that could become marine protected areas under the Marine Life Protection Act.

Check out his great video, below. After that, if you haven't already done so, you might want to weigh in on the draft environmental impact report on these proposed protected areas. You have until April 16 to comment on the draft -- in writing and at the final public hearing, next Wednesday, April 11, in Eureka (details after the video).

The Draft Environmental Impact Report analyzes potential impacts of Marine Protected Areas in California's North Coast Study Region, from Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County to the California/Oregon border. As part of the Marine Life Protection Act, protected areas are being designated up and down California's coastline.

See the proposed sites on Google Earth.

You can read the DEIR on the state Department of Fish and Game's website, http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/impact_nc.asp.

You can read printed copies at these public libraries: Del Norte County's Crescent City Branch and Smith River Branch libraries; Humboldt County's Eureka Branch, Trinidad Branch, Hoopa Branch, Ferndale Branch, Fortuna Branch, and Rio Dell libraries; Mendocino County's Ukiah Branch, Willits Branch, Round Valley, Fort Bragg, and Coast Community Branch libraries; Sacramento County Public Library.

You can also read copies at the DFG field office in Eureka (619 Second Street) and the DFG field office in Fort Bragg (2330 N. Harbor Drive).

Or just go rant and praise -- or turn in your written comments -- at the final public hearing, in Eureka (the ones in Fort Bragg and Crescent City have already taken place): Wednesday April 11 at the Red Lion Hotel (1929 Fourth Street, Eureka, CA 95501).

 

Send your written comments to:

MLPA North Coast CEQA Comments

Department of Fish and Game

c/o Horizon Water and Environment

P.O. Box 2727

Oakland, CA 94602

Or send them by email: MLPAcomments@HorizonWater.com. (Include "MLPA CEQA Comments" in the subject line.)

Be sure to put your name, address and daytime telephone number on your comments. Postmark them by no later than 5 p.m. on April 16. if you jump through all the hoops correctly, your comments will be included in the final EIR.

You can read more about the MLPA in previous Journals here and here and here.

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Plaza Design to be Reborn, Sans 'Design'

Posted by on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

From Plaza Design's Facebook pagePlaza Design remains dead (the Arcata Economic Development Corp. shut it down last month for defaulting on a large loan), but their flagship store location on the corner of the Arcata Plaza will soon be reincarnated as, simply, "Plaza."

The new tenant, a retail store owned by Baroni Jewelry creator Sarah Baroni, will reportedly offer similar fare and is scheduled to open in time for next month's Arts Arcata festivities.

Here's a press release for ya:

Local Jewelry Company Baroni to open

a Cornerstone Store as Plaza,

a place of inspiration, with home and personal accessories.

Arcata, CA-April 5, 2012

Sarah Baroni, creator and designer of locally-owned Baroni jewelry, believes in giving back to and supporting the local community. With this in mind, Baroni will be taking over the former Arcata Plaza Design space and will re-open the store with a new name, Plaza, in May, 2012.

"Like so many of us, I was really sad when I heard that Plaza Design was closing," says Sarah. "To me, Plaza Design has been such a cornerstone of the Arcata Plaza. We really wanted to keep the Arcata plaza local and vibrant, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. Our idea is to keep the offerings similar, but with a slightly different twist. We're so excited to bring vitality back to this area!"

The name Plaza was chosen to honor the legacy of Plaza Design as well as to symbolize what Baroni plans to create: a gathering place and center of the community that is also a sanctuary of home furnishings and décor, personal accessories, jewelry, local artisans such as Fire and Light, and unusual gifts and cards.

The new store will open with a gigantic "Fresh Start Inventory Clearance Event", held April 13-16, 2012 coinciding with Arts! Arcata on Friday night. Sale event hours will be Friday, 10am to 9pm, Saturday, 10am to 6pm, Sunday 11am to 4pm and Monday, 10am to 4pm. Plaza will then close again for an interim for renovation and redesign for a May reopening.

Baroni has made its home in Arcata, CA for 21 years, since its formation in 1991. For further information, contact Baroni at 707.822.8067.

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Yurok Embezzlement Fugitive Surrenders

Posted by on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM

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Roland Raymond, the primary suspect in a $900,000 embezzlement case involving the Yurok Tribe, turned himself in this morning and has pleaded "not guilty," according to the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office.

"I've been in contact with his attorney for the last two days arranging it," Chief DA Investigator A.C. Field told the Journal this afternoon. Raymond is now in custody, held on $1 million bail. He has reportedly acquired the services of attorney Patrik Griego, with Eureka's Jannsen Law Firm.

A press release from Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander follows:

Subsequent to negotiations last evening, at 9:30 this morning, fugitive-at-large from the $900,000 Yurok Tribe embezzlement case, Roland Raymond, surrendered at the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office. Mr. Raymond had been at large since the February 23rd execution of search and arrest warrants at his Eureka home.

The case stems from the District Attorney's Office's five-month investigation of over $870,000 in Federal funds appropriated to the Yurok Tribe for wildlife preservation, including the spotted owl research project conducted by Eureka-based Mad River Biologists. Records indicate that other funding misappropriations by Mr. Raymond put the overall figure closer to one million dollars.

Co-Defendants Mad River Biologists founder and director Ronald LeValley and Associate Sean McAllister have already been arrested and charged with Felony Embezzlement of Public Funds, Grand Theft and Conspiracy.

At 1:15 p.m., during Mr. Raymond's arraignment, Del Norte Superior Court Judge Philip Schafer accepted Raymond's not guilty plea to Embezzlement of Public Funds, Grand Theft and Conspiracy. During the discussion of bail, District Attorney Jon Alexander cited the fact that Raymond, as the Yurok Tribe's Director of Forestry, was the chief principal in the conspiracy and had been at large since late February. Mr. Alexander asked for and received a one million [dollar] bail amount on Mr. Raymond.

The Del Norte District Attorney's Office has been in communication with the Department of the Interior, the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding their possible trial of the case in federal court.

Said Alexander, "Given the majority, if not total amount of embezzled funds being federal, we were glad to assist our colleagues in the federal government with our investigation, arrests and criminal charging."

"The Yurok Tribe is an integral part of Del Norte County. The fact that Roland Raymond and his co-conspirators used conservation programs designed to protect creatures and wildlife sacred to their culture, makes this crime especially offensive to me and it will be pursued vigorously," said Alexander.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Joe Mark Leaving St. Joe's

Posted by on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 3:38 PM

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A couple of hours after word hit the Humboldt rumor mills, the St. Joseph Health System confirmed Wednesday afternoon that top boss Joe Mark is leaving, effective June 30.

In a press release, St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial hospitals said Mark and his wife want to spend more time with their young granddaughter in Ohio. Mark did not return a call seeking comment.

Mark's departure comes just days after the two hospitals announced 68 layoffs, and later clarified that nearly one-third of those ousted are nurses or other clinical personnel. Mark blamed those cuts partly on reduced demand for elective surgeries and outpatient care.

Meanwhile, in a move that could further eat into both hospitals' business, the system is considering a ban on sterilizations, including cutting or blocking a woman's fallopian tubes after C-section deliveries.

The hospital system press release says:

Eureka, Calif. - April 4, 2012 - After six years on the job in Humboldt County, St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals CEO Joe Mark announced today that he will leave the organization on June 30 in order to relocate to the Midwest to spend more time with family.

"Throughout his tenure, Joe and his team have achieved many notable accomplishments," said Kevin Klockenga, Regional Executive Vice President for Northern California of St. Joseph Health System. "Among those was the successful effort to raise $12.6 million locally for St. Joseph Hospital's new patient care facility that will open this summer. Additionally, Joe helped us recruit 30 new physicians to Humboldt County during the past two years."

Mark said he will miss his many colleagues and friends from the region.

"I am proud to have partnered with so many fine people these past six years including trustees, physicians, volunteers, employees and community leaders who have all contributed to building a successful future for St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals," said Mark. "My work here is coming to a close and I am leaving our two hospital ministries in very capable hands."

"My wife Peggy and I are very excited about being active grandparents to our 18-month-old granddaughter Cate and to reuniting with our families in Ohio," said Mark. "We have made wonderful friends here in Humboldt County and it will be difficult saying goodbye to them and the beauty of the North Coast."

Mark came to St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka as a consultant in November 2005. He was asked to serve as interim CEO of St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals in January 2006 and accepted the job full time with St. Joseph Health System in September 2006.

Klockenga said recruitment of a new CEO will begin shortly with the goal of having a new chief executive in place by early summer.

PREVIOUSLY: St. Joe's Lay Off 68 / St. Joe's "Vastly" Downplays Layoffs

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Contest: Comment Poetics

Posted by on Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

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You’ve already heard about our 99 words or fewer Flash Fiction Contest (deadline April 10). We’ve decided to add a new contest, Comment Poetics with a shorter deadline, in fact it's today only.

Among the entrants so far:

Repeat Journal commenter and big fan PHARM, who always begins with a compliment and seems to favor repetition:

Very nice site!

cheap viagra,

cheap viagra,

cheap viagra,

cheap viagra,

cheap viagra

 

Billigfluege London Frankfurt, aka “person,” entered this bit of anarchic freeform prose:

Roll Normal, liberal attempt budget official hot exist battle group weak phone surely shake above operation sure instance set derive create economic test twice index put serve lose safety present nevertheless student since and slip leadership big path fashion visit supply college who employee week level cut weak pay oil either international speech forward payment typical visit carefully safety policy form distinction leader observation customer most drawing talk aye direct membership creation domestic himself rise report county profit contract shout institution thought finding shoe work

 

tricAbirl submitted a piece in Russian we’ve yet to translate:

Приглашаем Вас в социальную финансовую сеть МММ -2011 С . П . Мавроди .

МММ -2011 работает с января 2011 года , тоесть уже 16 месяцев .

За это время все участники успешно получают выплаты , притом немаленьке .

Все еще действует акция каждому новому участнику 20 долларов в подарок .

Если хотите вложить свои деньги , то существуют депозиты с разной степенью доходности

от 20% до 75% в Месяц !

Если размещаете вклад на :

3месяца , увеличение вклада в 3 раза .

6 месяцев , увеличение вклада в 13 раз .

12 месяцев , увеличение вклада в 407 раз .

 

Then there’s this from the enigmatic Rose:

erggh, typos.

 

Editing my own comment,

so much to say,

but it's too much

for people to hear.

 

Comment portion above

should read:

The other thing people need to know

is what happens

AFTER the race is won

 

and what Salzman does then.

 

Was going to go

into what happens

if he doesn't

get what he wants,

or what can happen

when he does,

but that's a story

for another time.

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