Saturday, June 30, 2012

The World's Back

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 6:58 PM

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After a seven year absence, condo-cruise ship The World is back with us for the weekend. According to wikipedia, the 44,000-ton, 644-foot ship is owned by its 160 or so residents. The ship has 165 apartments, studio apartments and studios, including 88 "guest suites" rented out on short-term basis, as in a traditional cruise ship. Here's her stern...

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A couple of tenders shuttled the good folks between their floating home (now moored opposite the Del Norte pier) and the F Street dock. Hope they're tired of sun--they didn't get any today. Here's one of the tenders loading/unloading its human cargo. Kayak for scale :-)

He/She/It leaves Humboldt Bay Sunday evening.

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Charlie did not get involved--he stayed well out of the way at the municipal marina.

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Other local happenings: Healy Bros. Building Spiffed

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Healy Bros. Building--Almost There!

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM

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Sure has changed since I wrote about the Second Street landmark here in March, 2010. Kurt and Kim Kramer showed off the results of 28 months of work, including a major seismic retrofit, at their “soft opening” this morning.   The first tenants will probably be up and running in September, including The Siren's Song Tavern and the Alternative Building Center. (The Tavern's Phyllis Barba shared with the Journal last month some details about the new watering hole.)

In brief: Healy Bros. Building was built by John and Peter Healy, sons of Irish immigrants, who were raised on a dairy farm in Loleta. The original wood structure, which housed their hardware business, was destroyed by fire in 1908. The brothers then contracted Knowles Evans to build a three-story 60’ x 110’ brick building, to be completed in 75 days at a cost of $9,740.

Since then, the building has housed a men’s clothing store, bicycle manufacturer, liquor distributor, cigar shop, roller rink, dance hall, Lazio’s Restaurant and, most recently, Old Town Bar and Grill.

The City of Eureka was about to schedule the building for demolition following the collapse of part of the east parapet in the January 9, 2010 magnitude 6.5 earthquake when the Kramer's bought it.

The right side of the ground floor is where Siren's Song Tavern will be...

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...and here's Kurt and Kim Kramer, looking pretty happy with their project.

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Old Town Eureka: still alive and kicking!

Other local happenings: About that Big Ass Boat in Humboldt Bay ...

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Poo Lagoon

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

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Ick. Blech. And oh, no: Somebody dumped a big load of crap into Freshwater Lagoon and now the park service has closed the boat launch.

A visitor to the lagoon discovered the mess on the south end of the lagoon by the boat ramp on June 27 and reported it to officials at Redwood National and State Park's Kuchel Visitors Center. Park employees put up closure signs immediately, said Dave Roemer, the park's Chief of Resources Management and Science, on the phone Friday morning. Roemer also sent out a news release today. He said the sewage apparently came from either an RV or a chemical toilet on a boat -- it's hard to tell.

"It's an illegal dump," he said. "A 'dump and run.' The water's pretty nasty, smells like sewage, and it's got green algal blooms."

Nobody saw it happen, and the park service doesn't know the volume dumped. Park rangers are investigating, although it's doubtful they'll be able to figure out who the culprits are, Roemer said.

"Unless somebody calls and reports somebody, we don't have much to go on," he said. "It would be great if someone was on the water and saw it."

Yeah -- and it'd be great if the moment they saw such a dastardly deed happen, they had gone over there and dunked those jerks in their own mess. (We said that, not Roemer.)

Roemer said the park service doesn't know when it will re-open the boat launch. He said folks from Humboldt County's environmental division said that eventually the material will break down in the lagoon and disappear. The park service doesn't do water quality testing at Freshwater Lagoon -- it's not exactly pristine, anyway, because it's cut off from the ocean by the highway and much of it is privately owned.

"It's going to be visual and olfactory cues that tell us when to re-open the lagoon boat launch," Roemer said.

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Hoopa Bust Uncovers Weed, Heroin, Assault Rifle

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Press Release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 06-28-2012 at about 1330 hours Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Eureka Police Department served a search warrant at a residence located on Hostler Ridge Road at Community Road, Hoopa. Robby Ray Farr Jackson age 33 lives at the residence along with his two daughters age 3 and 5 and his girlfriend, who is the mother of their two children.
 

When Agents searched the residence they located the following items: a small amount of a controlled substance they believed to be heroin, three rifles, one which was an assault rifle, two shotguns, a semi- automatic pistol with a high capacity magazine, and a smoking pipe for controlled substances. Additionally Agents located 20 outdoor marijuana plants growing behind the residence that were seized.
 
Agents arrested Jackson for cultivation of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a residence for drug sales, possession of a high capacity magazine, possession of a smoking pipe for controlled substances, possession of an assault rifle and child endangerment. Jackson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka and his bail has been set at $ 50,000 dollars.
 
Jackson’s girlfriend was left at the scene to care for their two small children. An arrest warrant will be requested through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s for her arrest for child endangerment. A copy of the report will be sent to the Humboldt County Child Welfare Services.
 

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Drunken Confusion Leads to Fickle Hill Shooting

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 06-26-2012, approximately 1:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a possible intruder in a residence in the 4000 block of Fickle Hill Road, Arcata. While the deputies were enroute the Sheriffs Office dispatch received a call that the intruder had been shot.
 
              Deputies increased their response to Code Three and medical was notified to respond. When deputies arrived they spoke with the homeowners, a twenty four year old male and an 18 year old female. The homeowners told the deputies they were awakened by their dogs barking. When the male homeowner yelled at his dogs to be quiet, an unknown male voice answered from inside their home. The male homeowner saw an unknown male and an unfamiliar dog in his living room. The homeowners told the unknown male to leave their residence. The unknown male told the couple to leave his residence. The homeowners saw there was a vehicle parked outside their residence that had crashed into their gate post. The homeowners went to a nearby neighbor and asked for help. The neighbor, a 42 year old male, and the male homeowner returned to the residence. The neighbor brought a shotgun with him for defense. When they entered the residence they again asked the subject on the couch to leave. The subject on the couch was very intoxicated and appeared to believe he was in his own home.  He jumped up from the couch and came at the neighbor who was holding the shotgun. The neighbor fired the shotgun one time. The male subject was struck in the abdominal area causing a significant injury.
 
              The injured male was transported to a local hospital and is in critical condition.  Sheriff’s Detectives were called to the scene to investigate. No arrests were made and the case is being referred to the Humboldt County District Attorneys Office for review.

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Solomon Concedes

Posted By on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM

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It'll be close in the end, but Norman says he won't quite have anough votes to overtake Republican Dan Roberts for the No. 2 spot in the November runoff against Jared Huffman. Here's his press release:

Democrat Norman Solomon has narrowed the vote margin with Republican Dan Roberts to only 172 votes throughout the six counties comprising California's 2nd Congressional District.

Fewer than 1,000 ballots remain to be counted in Sonoma County, the only county still tallying ballots in the district.  While the 172-vote gap is expected to narrow still further as Sonoma County processes its final outstanding ballots, it has become numerically very unlikely Solomon will overtake Roberts as these few remaining ballots are tallied.

Accordingly, this morning Norman Solomon contacted Dan Roberts and offered congratulations on his second-place finish in this "top two" primary race. 

Solomon provides the following statement as this campaign for Congress concludes:

"The ideals that have propelled this campaign will continue to energize people across our congressional district in the years ahead.  To overcome a status quo of perpetual war, extreme Wall Street power, chronic inequities and environmental degradation, we will keep working for peace, social justice, a healthy planet -- and genuine democracy.

"I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has made our grassroots campaign possible.  Staff members and many others have worked long hours with great dedication, skill and creativity.  More than 7,000 different individuals have made donations.  Hundreds of caring volunteers have been actively engaged.  With enormous generosity -- devoting their time, talents and a wide range of personal resources to our campaign -- so many people have given a tremendous gift of idealistic engagement in the politics of participatory democracy.  They have inspired me every day, and I will always be deeply grateful.

"Although I will not be on the general-election ballot in this congressional race, I'm certain the political energies that galvanized and fueled our campaign will strengthen future movements for social change.  This particular campaign has ended, but the imperative to create a better world continues.  Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.'  Our challenge is to do all we can to hasten the process."

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Arrests Made in This Weekend's Loleta Stabbings

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 06-24-2012, approximately 12:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a loud party at 591 Cannibal Island Road, Loleta with as many as fifty vehicles reported to be associated with the party per the caller. Deputies responded and met with the occupants of the residence who agreed to quiet it down. The occupants were family members and their friends, and were determined to be adults.
              On 06-24-2012, approximately 3:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Fortuna Police were dispatched to a fight in progress involving numerous people in front of 591 Cannibal Island Road, Loleta. The Humboldt County Sheriff Dispatch center received a call from a hysterical female at that address stating that several people had been stabbed. Medical personnel were also dispatched to the scene.
              When deputies arrived they found victims on the ground in various locations around the residence with several screaming for help. At least one victim was inside the residence with serious stab wound injuries.Several people were still fighting and deputies were breaking up fights while trying to attend to victims. Deputies learned that at least thirty people had been involved in the fight and many more had attended the party.  The party had been posted on Facebook, and was initially just family members and friends, but quickly grew. Alcoholic beverages were being consumed at the party. At least thirty people were determined to be involved in a physical fight at one point, with many fights breaking off into smaller groups. While the fights were occurring at least two or three people brought out knives and began stabbing people indiscriminately.   
              At least five people treated at the scene were treated for stab wounds. There is believed to be at least two more victims that have been stabbed, possibly more. All five stabbing victims were treated and released from local hospitals. Some received numerous stab wounds to various parts of their bodies.
              Two of the stabbers were taken into custody, more arrests are possible. Those suspects arrested are identified as:

Kurtis Shane Day, 20 years old from Rio Dell arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. Bail set at $50,000.00
 
Aaron Storm Eubanks, 19 years old from Fortuna for assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, bail set at $500,000.00
 
              Both were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. The Sheriffs Office is NOT releasing booking photos of the suspects because detectives are still interviewing witnesses and victims who are being used to assist with identification of suspects.
              A Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff received a five inch laceration to his arm when he tackled Eubanks who tried to run from the deputy while taking him into custody. It is unknown how the deputy was injured. The deputy was treated and released.
              Detectives are assigned to this investigation which is still ongoing. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking information regarding this case. Detective Sergeant Diana Freese is the lead investigator and she can be reached at 707-268-3639 or messages can be left at the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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The Mess at JPR

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Things have been tense for the last few months at southern Oregon-based public radio network Jefferson Public Radio as Southern Oregon University and the station's fundraising arm, the JPR Foundation engaged in a tug-of-war over JPR's future.

In the latest twist, on Saturday, JPR Executive Director Ron Kramer, who has been running JPR for 38 years, announced his resignation effective June 30, when his contract with SOU runs out.

Starting with a station on the campus of SOU in Ashland, Kramer built a public radio behemoth with 22 stations between Eugene and Mendocino, including two in Humboldt County: KNHM-FM broadcasting from Bayside and KNHT-FM out of Bunker Hill near Rio Dell.

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How big is the JPR empire? According to an audit commissioned by the Oregon University System chancellor's office, JPR and its nonprofit support foundation had a combined annual budget of $4.2 million and assets in excess of $9 million as of June, 2010.

As reported in the Medford Mail Tribune, the dispute between the university and JPR began with that audit. The initial concern was with JPR Foundation's foray in non-radio endeavors, in particular a project to restore the historic Holly Theater in Medford and build a new station headquarters in an adjacent building.

JPR already owns the Cascade Theater in Redding, a similar rehab project that has been successful so far. The Foundation also runs the southern Oregon Internet provider, JEFFNET.

Why did the JPR Foundation want to get into non-radio businesses in the first place? JPR answers the question in a FAQ on its website:

"SOU has consistently reduced its direct support for JPR beginning in 2001. During this period, the university's contribution toward the cost of operating JPR has fallen from 12 percent of JPR's operating cost to 5.7 percent."

Fund drives and underwriting are not paying all the bills, so they need the income from JEFFNET and the Cascade; the Holly would add more to the pot and move JPR studios out off the SOU campus. SOU, on the other hand, sees the fundraising needed for JPR's growth as competition for SOU's own support foundation. Kramer disagreed. While it did not come up in the audit, the Holly will also be in competition with the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater.

The auditors' report concluded that there must be separation between the foundation and the stations it supports, and that Kramer's double role as head of the radio operation and the JPR Foundation creates a conflict of interest. Essentially, he was getting too big for his britches. Following the audit, SOU President Mary Cullinan terminated Kramer's job as executive director of the radio network, but he remained head of the foundation, which is not under university control.  

Separating OSU and the foundation will not be that easy, in part because OSU does not own all of JPR's 22 FCC licenses; the foundation owns eight. Exact details of the separation agreement have not been revealed since it's still being negotiated, but we know that OSU is demanding that the foundation relinquish control of its licenses, and that the foundation board balked at that demand. OSU responded with arm-twisting, suggesting that costly legal action could put individual board members at risk financially.

When the board threatened to resign en masse last week, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped in calling for a 90-day "cooling off" period, then a return to mediation. OSU backed off on its threat to the board, and the board members did not quit, but Kramer figured he was still at risk, thus his resignation from the foundation and from radio station management (he was fighting his firing). With Kramer leaving, JPR's future remains uncertain. It's probably not the kind of cooling off anyone had in mind.

 

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

From the Publisher

Posted By on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

 

(UPDATE 6/28: The second paragraph in this original post inaccurately implies that members of the Timber Heritage Association “agreed” on the final Bay Trail Plan.

By “we” I was referring to the Bay Trail Advocates alone. By the time the plan was finalized, Don Banducci, a long-time member of THA, had joined Bay Trail Advocates as well.

I apologize for any misunderstanding. A updated, more complete version of this column appears in this week’s Journal and on the website here.)

 

We have a plan -- please help Tuesday

(This is a preview of a column by Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson that will be updated after the supervisors meet and run in the next edition of the Journal.)

I've been busier than usual these past four months on a project not related to the Journal.

In March I joined Dennis Rael (co-owner of Los Bagels) and Rees Hughes (a retired HSU administrator) to form the Bay Trail Advocates. We began meeting regularly with three other people: the president of the Timber Heritage Association and two other Timber Heritage board members. Our meetings were informal and unofficial. We had one purpose: to see if we could find enough common ground to put a plan on paper with goals we could all support -- a plan based in reality. In other words, at every step we asked, "Can we find money to do this?"

Our motto became: "We love trails and trains -- and we have a plan."

The Bay Trail Plan includes three things we support: Timber Heritage Association's proposed Redwood Heritage Museum, a tourist train between Samoa and Arcata, and a multi-modal, paved bicycle and pedestrian trail around northern Humboldt Bay.

The trail would start in Eureka behind Target, run north along the waterfront through Arcata and end at Timber Heritage's leased property behind the Samoa Cookhouse, where historic train and logging equipment is currently stored. The trail could be built within the North Coast Railroad Authority's right-of-way, possibly beside the rail line, which has not been used or maintained in 15 years.

The key to museum/tourist train/trail plan is the 1983 federal law that allows unused rail corridors like ours to be "railbanked" -- saved for future passenger and freight train use forever. But in the interim, the property can be used for a trail or a tourist train.

If you travel much outside Humboldt County, you will see hundreds of communities across the nation that have used this law for rails-to-trails and rails-with-trails projects. A good source of information is the Rails-to-Trail Conservancy, www.railstotrails.org. You will also see there are now more than 30 examples of the return of freight service.

In 2007, the Humboldt County Association of Governments commissioned a study on how to create a Humboldt Bay Trail between Arcata and Eureka, a "highest priority" link in the California Coastal Trail. That study has been sitting on the shelf for five years. Option Four is a blueprint on how to create this trail relatively soon for a price we can afford: $4 million.

In addition to meeting regularly with some Timber Heritage folks, we started seeking advice from the staff of the cities of Eureka and Arcata, Humboldt County, the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), Caltrans, the Harbor District, the Coastal Commission -- and other potential stakeholders. We began reaching out to community groups that could be affected by this plan. Finally, we began lobbying our elected officials in Eureka and Arcata, and our Humboldt County supervisors, one-on-one.

We are asking Humboldt County supervisors to cast an important vote on Tuesday, June 26, at 9:30 a.m. We are requesting that they send a letter to the North Coast Railroad Authority asking the NCRA board to form a committee of stakeholders to study railbanking and bring back recommendations in four months --  in November.

This is not an issue of freight vs. trails. Trails are an interim use for railbanked lines. To use the right-of-way for a trail until the railroad's private operator, Northwest Pacific Railroad (NWP) has a viable business plan and capital would not be in conflict. When freight service returns, trains have priority. The right-of-way can be shared and the trail relocated alongside.

The upside for those working today on the return of freight service is that the rail corridor would be preserved and maintained, and the line would be kept whole and unfragmented. If we don't do something to protect these railroad easements, they could revert to private property owners, according to several attorneys who have looked at this issue.

This is an important fork in the road for the Bay Trail Plan. We need to show our supervisors that the community supports a serious look at railbanking and what it could mean.

If you can, please be there Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., Board of Supervisors chambers in the County Courthouse.

For more information and to register support for the Bay Trail Plan, visit: www.baytrailplan.org

 

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Mary Jane: The Contest - The Winners!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

 

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The Contest: We all assume cannabis will eventually get past the current quasi-legal medical marijuana stage. When it does, Humboldt needs a plan for the future. Branding will be über -important. With that in mind, we’re looking for a catchy (new) brand name for Humboldt-grown marijuana. Entries we made in the comments to this post (see below) and on Facebook.

The Prizes: We are giving away a pair of tickets to opening weekend of Dell’Arte’s Mary Jane: The Musical, the must-see show of the summer that launches the Mad River Festival this weekend out in Blue Lake.

We also have a bunch of tickets to  the High Times 2012 Medical Cannabis Cup  Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond with ganja-related panels and workshops and displays from med-pot shops plus the “Official High Times Medical Cannabis Cup Party” Saturday night with Del The Funky Homosapein among the musical acts. 

The Results (The Winners!)

Our panel of expert judges has deliberated and come up with some winners.

Grand Prize Award: Humbuds

Gerald Hooker wins two tickets to see Dell'Arte's Mary Jane: The Musical on opening weekend and a Mary Jane T-shirt. Unfortunately he will not be able to see the show this evening since tonight's performance has been called off on account of rain.

Second prize winner, Jacques, gets two tickets to the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup for his brand name: Humboldt Dream.

Runners up: George Kush for HumGrown, Barrett Kelly for Humtasty Smooth, Jeff B. for Safety Meeting 101 and Timmy for Los(t) Toast -- all win tickets to the Cannabis Cup. Journal cartoonist Joel Mielke gets honorable mention for Humboldt Old Growth, although as a staffer he gets no prize.

Special mention to Frumboldt. The name was popular with the judges however, as a member of the Mary Jane cast pointed out, Frumboldt is an existing brand name for bongs (made here in Humboldt) and the company is one of the sponsors for Mary Jane: The Musical.

Our expert panel included the Journal staff, the esteemed Dell'Arte Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle, who plays Mary Jane, Queen of the Emerald Ball in The Musical, and MJ cast member Janessa Johnsrude, who play dreadlocked Humboldt Honey Chanterelle La Plaza Dancer.

Local pot writer Sharon Letts weighed in before departing for the Cannabis Cup. She is currently on assignment for Nug Magazine and Weed World UK  covering the Cup and Mary Jane: The Musical (she loved it, says it's almost a whole new show, better than last year).

And we had Mr. Garth-Culti-Vader, local hip hop musician and ganja advocate, who recently released a new album Original Dankster, with his unique take on the industry. 

Thanks to our judges and to all who entered.

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