Editor's note: The family of the late Suzanne Seemann, who was killed Thursday while jogging with two friends, has released the following obituary and notice of memorial service to be held Saturday. The obituary will appear in the Times-Standard print edition on Tuesday.
Suzanne W. Seemann
Suzanne (Suzie) Wetzel Seemann died Thursday, September 27, 2012, in a motor vehicle collision in Freshwater during a morning run with friends. Suzie lived a beautiful life, and her death is a tremendous loss for many.
Suzie was beloved soul-mate to her husband, Hank Seemann, and devoted mother to their son, Malcolm, and daughter, Evelyn. Her local family included her mother-in-law, Ann Seemann, whom she adored and who was part of their daily lives. Suzie cherished the love and support of her parents, Bill and Wendy Wetzel; her grandmother, Marie Wetzel (Nana); her sister and brothers, Becky Sodon, Scott Wetzel, and Bill Wetzel; her sister-in-law Caroline Wetzel and brother-in-law Bob Sodon; her brother-in-law, Luke Seemann; and many friends and extended family.
The great love of Suzie's life was raising her amazing and beautiful children in partnership with Hank. Suzie set the gold standard for her approach to parenting and was widely admired and loved for her gentle nature, capacity to give, and dedication to being a mom. Suzie deeply valued the local community of parents and teachers at Garfield School, Wind in the Willows, and HSU Child Development Laboratory, and the nurturing environments they create for children.
Suzie loved outdoor adventures and time in nature with family and friends. She had a passion for bike riding, swimming, hiking, camping, backpacking, and observing the natural world. Hank proposed marriage on a Yosemite mountain peak, and Malcolm was raised in a Yosemite tent-cabin his first two summers. Many friendships were built and nurtured on a trail. Recent summers included joyful family camping with Wendy, Russ, Keenan, and Kai and Seth, Jen, and Nick. Suzie's best birthdays involved waking up in a tent with her family. Days without a run, bike ride, swim, or walk were few.
For the last six years, Suzie's weekly routine included early morning runs for fitness and fellowship. She cherished the bond with her friends and fellow runners Terri Vroman-Little, Jessie Hunt, Tasha Souza, Margaret Morris, Marlene Allen, Harry Kavich, and the rest of the local running community through the Six Rivers Running Club.
Growing up, Suzie was blessed with a loving family and the close presence of her Nana, Grams, Gramps, friend Steph Jeffries, and many other friends. After leaving home for college and adulthood, hardly a week went by without a phone call with her Nana to share their joys and challenges. Her parents loved her deeply and were a continuous source of care and support.
Suzie was a skilled woodworker, seamstress, and craftsperson with inspired project ideas and an eye for precision. She was a gardener who loved fruits and vegetables, peaceful time in the yard and garden, and sharing good food. She doted on the family chickens, hens Quaker and Kack (and until his re-location, the rooster Dotty).
Suzie was a talented teacher who created a rich learning environment for her students at College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University. Midnight oil was burned many evenings to prepare the next day's lecture slides and incorporate the latest weather events. She inspired an appreciation for atmospheric and ocean sciences and earned respect for maintaining high standards.
Suzie was born in Neptune, New Jersey, on August 9, 1972, and moved with her family to Little Silver, New Jersey, in 1983. After graduating from Red Bank Regional High School in 1990, she earned an undergraduate degree at Princeton University and graduate degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of Wisconsin. She met her husband, Hank, at MIT. They married on September 30, 2000, in Green Lake, Wisconsin, and lived in Madison, Wisconsin, until 2006, when they moved to Eureka. Son Malcolm was born in Madison in 2004, and daughter Evelyn was born in Eureka in 2008. Since December 2011 they lived in Bayside.
Suzie was a respected research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at University of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2006, co-authoring several papers for peer-reviewed journals and setting an example as a successful female scientist. From 1999 through 2005, Suzie worked summers in Tuolumne Meadows of Yosemite National Park as visitor center staff and park ranger. Suzie was instructor of meteorology for the College of the Redwoods Earth Sciences Department from 2009 through 2011, and for the Humboldt State University Geography Department from 2011 through 2012.
Survivors include husband Hank, son Malcolm, and daughter Evelyn, all of Bayside; parents Bill and Wendy Wetzel, and grandmother Marie Wetzel, of Little Silver, New Jersey; sister Becky Sodon (brother-in-law Bob, niece Belle) of Navesink, New Jersey; brother Scott Wetzel (sister-in-law Caroline) of Milford, Connecticut; brother Bill Wetzel of New York City; mother-in-law Ann Seemann of Eureka; brother-in-law Luke Seemann; sisters-in-law Danae Seemann-Peppas and Aliki Seemann-Daglas; uncles Andy Hocker and David Docker; and cousins Elizabeth George, Emily Hocker, and Diana Harper. Suzie was preceded in death by grandparents Richard and Martha Hocker; grandmother-in-law Marie Rohde; father-in-law Howard Seemann; and "baby girl Seemann" in 2006. Suzie leaves many grieving friends in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Yosemite, Wisconsin, Humboldt County, and elsewhere.
A memorial service to celebrate and remember the gift of Suzie's life will be held at Freshwater School on Saturday, October 6, at 10:30 a.m. Contributions may be sent to a memorial fund established at Umpqua Bank (992682542).
UPDATE 9/30: Suzanne Seeman Obituary Released
The jogger killed yesterday in a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured her two companions was Suzanne Wetzel Seemann, an HSU geography lecturer and the wife of Hank Seemann, Humboldt County's deputy director of environmental services.
Suzanne Seemann specialized in oceanic and atmospheric science, according to a press release from Humboldt State University, which described her as an "extraordinarily talented and popular instructor."
She has also lectured at the College of the Redwoods, and before coming to Humboldt had worked for the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological and Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
An older resume from her days as a researcher in Madison shows that she had an undergraduate degree from Princeton, and dual masters' degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution in environmental engineering and applied ocean physics and engineering.
According to an article in today's Times-Standard, her survivors include two children, aged 7 and 4. She was 40 years old.
Update 10:29 a.m.: The other two joggers, Terri Vroman-Little, 50, and Jessica Hunt, 41, were in stable condition this morning at St. Joseph Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Holy Betty Rubble wig! Press release from the Eureka Police Department:
The female has been purchasing items at various stores (Safeway, Walgreen’s, K-mart, and WalMart) by using stolen checks. The checks were stolen from the Humboldt Hill area of Eureka.
The female is described as a white female adult, heavy build, with straight dark colored hair (that is believed to be a wig or resembles a wig). The suspect sometimes wears larger round clear colored glasses and on occasion carries a large blue bag style purse.
The checks are roughly written with the original payee name and the numerical amount scratched out and different names and amounts written in. If asked the suspect presents a stolen driver’s license as identification.
The white truck is possibly a Mazda, extended cab, with a canopy. There are distinct stripes on the driver’s side of the truck. The woman is normally the passenger in this vehicle.
The photos will also be available on the department’s website and FB soon.
Anyone with information on the suspect’s identity and/or that of the truck’s driver is urged to contact Police Services Officer Suzie Owsley at 441-4325 ext. 2.
Previously: The Eureka Wal-Mart Has Been Blessed
The Two Rivers Tribune has more. Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On 09-27-2012, approximately 10:30 a.m., a California Highway Patrol Officer conducting a follow up investigation discovered a deceased female in a residence on Little Moon Lane, Hoopa. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Hoopa Tribal Police responded to and took custody of the scene. Sheriff’s detectives were notified and also responded to the residence. At 2:50 p.m. a search warrant was issued by the Humboldt County Superior Court and detectives entered the residence. Further news releases will be made as the investigation continues.
The mother of two young children was the jogger killed this morning after a car left the road on Myrtle Avenue near Ole Hansen Road, a relative has confirmed. The Journal is withholding her name for now to ensure that all family members can be notified.
The woman, 40, is married to a Humboldt County official.
She was jogging with two other women when a Kia Spectra left the road and hit all three, according to the California Highway Patrol. The two other women were seriously injured and a dog was killed. The Kia was later found abandoned.
Already, an informal memorial run is being planned for this Saturday:
This morning's press release from the California Highway Patrol:
On 09/27/2012, at 0550 hours, Terri Vroman-Little, age 50 of Eureka, Jessica Hunt, age 41 of Eureka, and another female of Bayside, CA (who's identity is being withheld pending family notifications) were jogging northbound on west shoulder of Myrtle Ave., south of Ole Hansen Road. For unknown reasons, a 2005 Kia Spectra, driven by an unknown subject, left its lane of travel and struck all three of the female joggers. Jessica Hunt and Terri Vroman-Little sustained major injuries due to the collision and were transported from the scene to St. Joseph's Hospital. The third female sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. Additionally, one of the jogger's dog was struck and killed during the collision. The driver of the Kia fled the scene directly following the collision. The Kia was later found abandoned by Eureka Police Department officers on California Street in Eureka.
Myrtle Ave. was closed for approximately 4 hours due to the investigation. This collision remains under investigation and several possible leads as to the identity of the driver of the KIA are being investigated.
This from Red Fox Tavern owner Brian Swislow's Facebook page:
For anyone who is interested, We at THE RED FOX TAVERN are cancelling a show set for October 11th.
Yes, Oct. 11 was the day Capleton was set to bring the fyah. So, ya.
The Jamaican-born reggae singer had successfully performed without incident to a sold out crowd at the Red Fox in November of 2010. A previous show had been canceled in 2004. In recent weeks, a local Facebook group protesting the show gained a considerable following due to Capleton's history of anti-gay lyrics.
UPDATE 2:57 p.m.: The Journal spoke with Red Fox Tavern co-owner Brian Swislow this afternoon. He confirmed that the decision to scratch the Capleton show was made due to pressure from the gay community and other artists that perform regularly at the venue.
"I have high respect for the gay community at large. This was never out of disrespect," Swislow said.
While he was sure he'd lose significant cash due over the canceled gig, the business he stood to lose if he went on with the show would have been a greater blow.
"I can't lose 80% of the people that frequent my club over one show," he said. "All I can hope is that the gay community steps up and supports our club."
UPDATE: 9/27, 8:43 a.m.: The Facebook event page for the controversial Oct. 11 Capleton show run by Bonus Entertainment was updated late last night to read "NOT CANCELLED," has added a new poster that reads "Club T.B.A." and added the following message:
"CAPLETON is NOT CANCELED...Nah worry about those people trying to take our reggae away...The people spreading the lies and misinformation will be held legally accountable for their actions and words.
The Journal has emailed Bonus Entertainment and we'll let you know if a new fyah zone is arranged.
Above: Capleton, with Bonus Entertainment's Beau Devito, about to go onstage for his 2010 Red Fox Tavern performance.
UPDATE: 9/27, 10:16 a.m.: Bonus Entertainment's Beau DeVito emailed us back to let us know that "Capleton is performing in Humboldt at a undisclosed location to support uncensored reggae." We asked for clarification.
"We are not releasing the venue name until the show day," he said.
Further, he was perturbed at the Journal -- and me personally -- for "helping to hurt the show," particularly because he had arranged for me to attend the 2010 Capleton performance and "to not review the show is not telling the truth."
OK. Since the previous Capleton show had been mired in similar controversy, I'd wanted to go to see if there was anything to all the fuss. So, I went. Admittedly, there was no anti-gay rhetoric -- that I could understand, anyway -- spouted from the stage. People who love dancehall reggae peaceably enjoyed them some dancehall reggae. No incidents. There. But none of that is really the point.
Again, Beau, if you feel the Journal has in some way slighted you, we invite you to use our widely distributed paper megaphone, just like anyone the Journal has written about. Letters to the editor are limited to 300 words, we've gotta have your address and phone number, and the deadline is noon Monday -- but we really prefer, like, 11 a.m., 'cuz we call every letter writer before noon. Anywho, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the new novel Deadman's Bust, former Humboldt grower Cory Marchese has written what Blogcritics.org calls "a real page-turner" about two brothers growing pot in the Humboldt hills in 1992:
The adventure takes us right into the heart of George H. W. Bush's "War on Drugs," the Medellin cartel, rogue cops, and a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
It's Marchese's first novel. According to his biography on his own site corymarchese.com, Marchese moved from Minnesota to Humboldt in 1991 "to grow pot and learn to surf." Yeah, he's a bit of a cliché, but one many locals no doubt would cotton warmly to. As he writes:
Having been raised solo by a progressive mother in a not-so-progressive place -- a cold, hard, bleak, God forsaken place -- he felt an immediate affinity to Humboldt's people and culture. For years, he spent his time surfing, growing, and generally enjoying life until the DEA, like a drunk angry father, put the leather belt beat down on it. That bust would become a defining moment, having a most acute and lasting impact on the well-being of his psyche.
Marchese spent two and a half years in prison after he was busted. After that, in 1998, he started a construction company in the Bay Area, which he is still running today. And, he notes, these days he is "crime free, drives like a granny, and has a perfectly healthy fear of authority."
He's a novelist, now, too.
The Two Rivers Tribune reported recently that certain rock-headed word wags have been sneaking onto the broad river bar that swings into the Trinity River outside of Hoopa and rearranging the "Fish On" that for years has been spelled out in large rocks there.
Yes, they're making cute little cuss words. Notes the TRT:
The first occurrence the rocks were rearranged by an unknown party to read "F&%$ On," the second "F&^% Off," and the third "F&%$ Off" again. Each time the Carpenter family and friends have fixed the vandalism by placing the rocks to spell "Fish On" again.
The rock-spelled "Fish On" is not some groovy kickback sentiment, not a simple "Rock on, dude" kinda deal. Rather, as the TRT's Manuel "Warrior" Sanchez noted in a 2009 story in the TRT, it's a symbol of the 1970s fish wars in which tribal families had to fight the federal government for their traditional fishing rights. The TRT has republished that story, explaining:
We hope republishing the article ... will remind those in our community who may have forgotten, or never learned, the solidarity and importance of "Fish On" to the Hupa way of life.
An excerpt from Sanchez' story underscores the seriousness of those sometimes deadly events that "Fish On" memorializes:
The biggest and bloodiest part of the fight happened on the Klamath River. Federal agents were stopping people from gill-net fishing in the mouth of the Klamath River. There were people being beaten with billy-clubs, their boats were being swamped by federal boats, and some lost their lives.
See? Not funny to mess with that. Vandals, educate yourselves.
The ice cream parlor/restaurant Bon Boniere, a longtime institution on the Arcata Plaza, abruptly closed up shop and said goodbye yesterday.
Owner Kellen Moore, who took over the business in 2001 with several partners, is not leaving the ice cream business completely; her staff will still be selling ice cream cones and sandwiches out of Bon Boniere's Old Town Eureka location. And the business is not leaving Arcata entirely; its ice cream production facility is in the Foodworks Culinary Center in Arcata's Aldergrove Industrial Park.
Moore said she decided to focus on just one operation, and, after crunching some numbers, determined that the Eureka location was more profitable. She explained that three of the four owners are currently working on degrees in non-ice cream related areas and the time it took to run two businesses was getting to be an issue. “It was a tough decision. We were still making money [in Arcata], but you have to look at the hours it takes – it becomes the quality of life issue. Life won.”
An educated guess would suggest that competition was coming from the new Ultimate Yogurt franchise distributorship shop on another corner of the Plaza and the very successful Arcata Scoop, winner in the "Best Ice Cream/Yogurt" category in this week's Journal readers' poll.
A little something for the brain to chew on, before Green party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein speaks at HSU Monday night, is this guest post from Carl Gibson, co-founder of US Uncut. Anyone still weighing our presidential options may want to read it, and/or stop by the Kate Buchanan room in Humboldt State's University Center from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, when Stein will be speaking.
Gibson's piece, which we're reposing with his permission, has appeared on his blog and on Huffington Post, among other sites:
President Jill Stein?
By Carl Gibson
"Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason."
- José Maria de Eça de Queiroz
"There is no such thing as not voting; you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote."
-David Foster Wallace
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."
Some would argue the upset of the century was the New York Giants ending the New England Patriots' undefeated season in 2008. It could've been the 4-3 defeat of the USSR in the 1980 Olympics by the US hockey team. But one upset could dwarf both of those -- Jill Stein getting elected president in 2012.
It's estimated that both President Obama and Mitt Romney will draw out anywhere between 45 and 60 million apiece in November, according to 2008 turnout numbers. But according to one USA Today poll, an estimated 90 million people who could vote this year probably won't, as they're disappointed in both candidates and major political parties. What if just two-thirds of those 90 million people turned out for a candidate with a truly bold vision, who isn't beholden to corporate donors or bought party elites? It would be a colossal upset for the establishment, and a big win for citizens.
Even though the left was upset at Obama, they didn't produce a primary candidate to pull him away from his conservative tendencies. Despite filling his cabinet full of Wall Street and U.S. Chamber of Commerce types like Tim Geithner, Eric Holder and Bill Daley, persistent violations of Pakistan's sovereignty with CIA-sponsored drone strikes, extrajudicial assassinations of US citizens abroad, and openly appealing a federal judge's decision that the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process rights was unconstitutional without producing one witness or shred of evidence to argue the contrary, this president is running unopposed in his own party. Democratic Party officials urge us to cheer for whoever is wearing the blue jersey, only because the guy in the red jersey would be even worse.
We all watched with horror as the Republican Party desperately made a front-runner out of every sorry candidate they fielded, from Rick Perry to Michele Bachmann, all to watch their campaigns burn out in flames of stupidity and scandal. Even outright preposterous candidates like Herman Cain had their time in the #1 spot in the anybody-but-Mitt freak show also known as the 2012 Republican primaries. As Rachel Maddow documented, even those at the highest level in the Republican Party have an open disrespect for Mitt Romney. He's the right's John Kerry -- an out of touch mega-millionaire from Massachusetts with a penchant for flip-flopping on any issue to appease the current crop of voters to whom he happens to be speaking. And by picking noted big-spender turned deficit hawk Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt proved he's willing to placate the far-right instead of appeal to independent and undecided voters.
Obama's most notable accomplishments, like a health care reform law that did away with pre-existing conditions, a $90 billion investment in the green energy market and the killing of Osama bin Laden, are overshadowed by the fact that his own Department of Justice refused to press charges against any executives of the biggest Wall Street banks that played a part in the 2008 financial heist, despite ample evidence of fraud on a truly massive scale. Any promise of environmental stewardship by this administration should be taken with a grain of salt, as Obama has approved the first leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in spite of numerous environmental disasters caused by similar pipelines in very recent history. And one Republican Party spokeswoman openly admitted that Romney's economic proposals, upon which he's basing the entirety of his candidacy, is the same as George W. Bush's program, "just updated" -- more tax cuts for the rich in return for the elimination or privatization of government services. It's like DEVO's co-creator said -- choosing between Obama and Romney is like choosing between Coke and Pepsi.
Jill Stein is a candidate that the other 90 million of us can get excited about. Picture the populist candidate Barack Obama once was in 2008, minus the financial support from Wall Street banks and oil companies, and the fawning coverage from mainstream media outlets. In her Green New Deal, she's vowing to end drone strikes, tightly regulate Wall Street, halt all government-funded construction of fossil fuel-dependent projects, and end all foreign wars and occupations. She unabashedly calls for higher top tax rates like we saw in the days of FDR and Eisenhower, and the immediate closure of corporate tax loopholes that bleed out billions to overseas, tax-free bank accounts where the elite have stashed anywhere between $21 trillion and $32 trillion. As president, she would appoint Supreme Court justices who believe corporations are corporations, not people, and fight to get corporate money and influence out of the political process. She's even been recently arrested protesting Fannie Mae in Philadelphia. And unlike other Green Party candidates of the past, she's running not to speak on certain issues or get mainstream candidates to talk about doing the right thing. She's actually running to win, and has ballot access in nearly every state.
I used to say I'd hold my nose and vote for Obama because a Romney presidency would be an even bigger disaster than an Obama presidency. But I'm voting for Jill Stein, because I shouldn't have to hold my nose to vote for someone. Imagine if two-thirds of those 90 million disillusioned voters did the same thing by voting for Jill Stein and ousting tea party Republicans and corporate Democrats from the House and Senate. Isn't that worth showing up at the ballot box on November 6th? It would be the upset of the century.
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