Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Details Emerge About Gruesome Shark Attack [Victorious Shark-Punch Update]

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM


UPDATE #3: The surfer has been identified as Scott Stephens, a 25-year-old from Manila. Rumors of his death and errant intestines appear to have been exaggerated. He's looking good today and apparently feeling well enough to give KIEM an interview. Stephens reportedly told reporter Kelly May that in order to escape the shark, which researchers believe was a great white, he punched it in the face. Let me repeat that: Dude punched a great white shark in the face and lived to tell about it. May the rest of his life be one long victory lap.

UPDATE #2: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:

On 10-30-2012, approximately 12:00 p.m., Cal Fire received a 911 call from a citizen who advised [that] a surfer had been bitten by a shark at the North Jetty while surfing. The citizen advised Cal Fire [that] the surfer was being attended to by other surfers who were loading the seriously injured surfer into a black pickup truck and transporting the surfer to an area hospital.

A Humboldt County Beach Patrol Deputy was patrolling the area about the same time and was flagged down by a citizen who asked the deputy if he was there for the shark attack. The deputy had not been dispatched yet to the scene and was unaware of the attack. The witness told the deputy the victim had already been transported.

The deputy responded to the local hospital and met with the 25-year-old adult male victim as he was going into surgery. The victim told the deputy he was bitten by a shark while surfing. The victim had an approximate 14-inch bite wound and other wounds on his body that required surgery.

UPDATE #1: The T-S reports that the victim is in "fair condition" at St. Joseph Hospital.


Humboldt Surfrider posted to its Facebook page an update about today's life-threatening shark attack on the North Jetty:

A witness and friend says he saw the victim bob underwater, then his board popped up and he screamed for help. The witness says the bite went from the victim's breast bone to his navel.

The Times-Standard also provided an update, quoting Blue Lake resident Jason Gabriel, who reportedly drove the victim from the beach into Eureka, where he was picked up by emergency responders. Gabriel gave the T-S a harrowing account of the victim's injuries:

"It punctured all the way through. There were guts and meat hanging," Gabriel said, adding that the victim appeared to be in shock. "He was going 'Oh my God, oh my God.'"

The victim has yet to be indentified. 

Shark attacks and encounters have been happening more frequently than normal, according to a story last week in the Christian Science Monitor. Last Tuesday a surfer was killed in a great white attack in Santa Barbara County. Another woman was attacked Saturday while snorkeling in Maui.

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Seven Revelations From Rob Arkley

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Eureka kazillionaire Rob Arkley made some surprising revelations yesterday in a radio interview on KINS radio. Here are the biggest ones:

1)      What Marina Center?

"Frankly it's not my priority right now given the east-west rail," he says.

2)      Arkley's company -- not the City of Eureka -- is the lead agency on the east-west rail project.

"It looks like Security National is gonna be -- we've got the community support and the governmental support. And we're probably going to be hiring an investment banker ourselves who will be negotiating," he says.

3)      Eureka can stop trying to garner support and financing for a feasibility study.

Arkley says that an unnamed private company will now handle it. He's coy about identifying which one: "We know who we're gonna be negotiating with on the entire project," he says before offering a hint. "Someone who operates ports and rails -- think about the biggest one in the world." He continues, "We're going to be giving them an exclusive on the project from our perspective for a year while they do their own studies and try to reverse-engineer users."

4)      Arkley could pay for the railroad himself if he wanted to.

"We [Security National] made the determination that our 300 acres is enough to justify the entire rail," he says. "Our 300-acre Fairhaven site is enough to justify the entire rail expenditure."

5)      The only potential export product he'll identify is lumber. 

Canada has a lock on container shipping, so that's out, Arkley says. Host Brian Papstein asks the billion-dollar question: What will be shipped on these hypothetical trains? "Oh, we'll export lumber," Arkley answers. Never mind that the industry is a fraction of what it used to be, or that the county's own economic development coordinator says, "They're happy with trucks." Arkley predicts that lumber exports will somehow exceed the volumes shipped south in the industry's heyday, in part by opening up a "market for central valley mills." Confusingly he adds, "Same thing on import."

6)      The proposed route has changed.

Rather than ending up in Alton, Arkley now says, "We're talking about going around Korbel and ending up in Anderson [in] an hour and a half, out South Fork Mountain."

7)      Mark Lovelace and "his ilk" are obstructing the train.

Papstein asks, "Why hasn't it happened yet?" apparently referring to permitting, financing, engineering and completing the largest infrastructure project the county has seen in decades. "I think because the Harbor District wants to study it," Arkley answers. Also, County Supervisor "Mark Lovelace doesn't want it, and a few of his minority ilk."

The Harbor District has expressed no intention to study the east-west rail project, specifically. Its commissioners are currently doing fact-finding on multiple rail connection possibilities, including the North Coast Railroad Authority's defunct north-south line. Arkley doesn't explain how this is hindering the project.

"I guess the Harbor District wants to do their own study and I don't get that at all," he says. "I mean, why? We own the land. We're going to get the rail done through a contract. If the Harbor District wants to develop its port, why don't they let us lead?" He laughs. "And then they can see what they can do."

Lovelace has not publicly opposed the project but has expressed skepticism about its feasibility. The Board of Supervisors has heard two items related to the east-west rail project -- a proposal to draft a resolution of support and a proposal to join the UpState RailConnect Committee. Both were approved. 

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Ocean Grove to Host More Murder Music

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Undaunted by public outrage stirred up by the furtive Capleton concert earlier this month, the Ocean Grove Lodge in Trinidad has booked another dancehall performer whose lyrics explicitly call for the murder and brutalization of gays.

This time, in a concert scheduled for Election Day, the performer is Beenie Man, a Jamaican dancehall icon with a history of making reluctant, passive-aggresive quasi-apologies to international consumers, only to backpedal and backslide when he's in hotbeds of homophobia such as Jamaica and Uganda.

As with the Capleton concert, next week's Beenie Man show was arranged by local promoter Beau DeVito of Bonus Man Entertainment.

Local gay rights activist group Queer Humboldt is planning a "peaceful, loving protest" to be held outside the Ocean Grove Lodge on the night of the concert.

According to that group's co-founder, Todd Larsen, Trinidad City Council members Julie Fulkerson and Mike Morgan spoke to Ocean Grove Lodge owner Ron Fleshman yesterday, expressing their concerns about the event.

"He listened but basically said Beenie Man has said he won't play those songs in the U.S.," Larsen said. "I'm like, 'Well, what about the rest of the countries and all the money he makes on Amazon?'"

A call to Ocean Grove Lodge Monday morning was not immediately returned.

P.S. (Capleton update): Some local Capleton apologists were annoyed by the protests, which helped convince the owner of Eureka's Red Fox Tavern, the concert's originally scheduled venue, to cancel the show. These folks claimed that Capleton has grown out of his homophobic youth and no longer performs hateful songs. 

According to firsthand reports, Capleton did indeed lay off the homophobic material while performing here in Humboldt County. But nine days later, performing back in his native Jamaica, Capleton reportedly performed one of his signature hits, "Slew Dem," which calls for the burning and death of gay men.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: Fulkerson said that she and Morgan were not representing the city when they visited with Fleshman yesterday. She described the encounter as "a fairly friendly conversation, given the situation." She said Fleshman pointed to Beenie Man's 2007 signing of the Reggae Compasionate Act, which he has since violated repeatedly, and tried to justify dancehall's rampant homophobia by saying, "Well, it's cultural."

"Mostly I just wanted to have a conversation with him," Fulkerson said. "I think it's important to have that."

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Announcing the Sunday Bus Schedule

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM


Good news, public transportation fans. Your weekend bus options are about to expand. Here's a press release from the Humboldt Transit Authority:

Beginning Sunday, November 4, 2012, the Redwood Transit System (RTS) will operate on Sundays. RTS travels between Trinidad and Scotia with stops in Rio Dell, Fortuna, Eureka, Arcata and McKinleyville.

Sunday Service was made possible through the Unmet Needs Hearings that was directed by Marcella Clem from HCAOG [the Humboldt County Association of Governments] and strong community support from transit advocates like Arcata resident Paul Pitino.

Another result from the Unmet Needs Hearings was bus service to Willow Creek on Saturdays that started this past July and has been very successful. For your voice to be heard or more information on the Unmet Needs Hearings you can visit www.hcaog.net

Other recent improvements to the transit system has been Wifi that was installed on RTS, Southern Humboldt, and the Willow Creek buses so passengers can access the internet for free during their ride. GPS was also installed and soon passengers will have the ability to text a number to get the actual arrival time for the bus at the stop that they are waiting at. 

For more information about the local transit systems in our area go to www.hta.org or call the toll free number at (877) 688-0826.


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Friday, October 26, 2012

County Appoints Hamblin as New Planning and Building Director

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Press release from the county:

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors announced today the appointment of Kevin Hamblin to the position of Director of Planning and Building.

For the past three years, Mr. Hamblin served as the Community Development Director for Del Norte County. Prior to that, he was the Director of Community Development with the City of Eureka for 25 years. From 1981 to 1984 Mr. Hamblin worked as a planning assistant and Director of Planning for the Humboldt County Regional Planning Commission in Winnemucca, Nevada.

While with the City of Eureka, Mr. Hamblin's department handled all of the permitting for the application of the Bayshore Mall, which passed on the 1986 ballot by 85 percent. It stands as one of the few regional shopping centers in the coastal zone and required an environmental impact report, one of the first-ever completed by the City. In addition, Mr. Hamblin directed the permitting of Eureka's Target store, also in the coastal zone, organized the City's Historic Preservation Commission, and was involved with the Eureka Boardwalk from start to finish, among many other projects.

"We are very pleased Kevin will be leading our Planning and Building Department," said Virginia Bass, Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. "He possesses an extensive professional background in planning and building on the North Coast, and has overseen many significant projects that give him in-depth knowledge of our area."

Mr. Hamblin earned a B.S. in geographic planning from Brigham Young University in 1979. His first day with the County of Humboldt will be Nov. 13, 2012.

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Rapacious Weed: News Outlets Eye Enviro Costs of Humboldt’s Pot Farms

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM


Two news stories this week, the first from the Sacramento Bee and a follow-up from Mother Jones, examine the environmental impacts of large-scale outdoor marijuana grow operations, which have exploded over the rural hills of Northern California in recent years.

Both stories point out how the conflict between state and federal laws has effectively stymied attempts to regulate medical marijuana, allowing outdoor growers to harm the environment through illegal stream diversions, grading and the use of herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides and fertilizer.

MoJo quotes several locals, including Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace:

"This is not about marijuana, good or bad. This is just about the reality that this one industry, due to prohibition, has been essentially granted immunity from regulation," Lovelace says. "That's the unintended consequence of federal prohibition."

The Bee, meanwhile, points to the sad irony of our eco-groovy community turning a blind eye to the environmental degradation of the marijuana industry, which a local Fish and Game scientist compares to the timber industry in the days of Charles Hurwitz and Maxxam:

The region is struggling to restore endangered coho salmon in its coastal creeks. Millions of dollars have been spent on restoration projects, and logging and agriculture are under strict regulation. At the same time, marijuana cultivation has exploded.

"What I've seen is kind of similar to how logging used to take place back in the early days, before laws were really strong," said Scott Bauer, an environmental scientist and coho recovery coordinator at the Department of Fish and Game office in Eureka.

Previously: Downey Calls for Backup

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Painting Into The Night

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM


They started in the daytime and painted into the night, light flickering from a campfire merging with spotlights to show their handiwork. And the scene emerging on the large canvas was no surprise: an expression, oft repeated, of the keenest desire of many in our region, including members of local tribes, to see the Klamath River undammed.

The Oct. 6 mural-painting event, in Orleans at the Amayav Market, was hosted by the Klamath Justice Coalition as part of the WaterWrites Mural Project, an effort of the Estria Foundation, a Bay Area public arts organization. The Klamath mural is one of a series being painted around the world, says Nancy Hernandez with the foundation:

"The Klamath mural will be linked with mural projects completed in LA, Oakland, Honolulu, The Philippines, Palestine, and El Salvador."




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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Eureka Woman: "There's a Burglar in My Bed!"

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Press release from the Eureka Police Department:

On 10-25-2012 at about 11:39 am, officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a burglary report at the 2600 block of 6th Street.
Officers were advised that a woman had returned to her residence and located a male subject hiding in her bed. The suspect fled out the door of the residence. He got on a bicycle and rode towards West Avenue. The victim began following the suspect from a distance, while updating the police of the suspect’s location, via her cellular phone.
At about 17th Street, the subject dropped the bicycle and fled on foot. Officers searched the area and located the subject running southbound on County Lane. A short foot pursuit took place and the suspect was quickly cornered in a nearby backyard.
The suspect was given multiple orders at gunpoint, but he was slow to comply. It became necessary to tackle the suspect and he was taken into custody without further incident. The suspect was found to be wearing clothing items belonging to the victim.
The suspect was identified as Curtis Charles Combrink (45 years old of Eureka). A database check of Combrink revealed that Combrink is on active parole for burglary.
Combrink was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for booking on charges of burglary and resisting arrest. A parole hold was also placed on Combrink. Combrink is being held without bail due to his parole status.  
This is an ongoing investigation. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The New Woven Roots Video For "Chicken Coop" Features a Girl in a Chicken Coop

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Check it out, mon! The new video from Arcata reggae bros Woven Roots is all about representin' da Humboldt values: sustainable agriculture, a locavore diet and respect for women. Respek!

How do we know they respek da ladies? Because the video says so in a warning right up front. It says "No Women ... were disrespected in this film." Boom. Neither were chickens, eggs or Swiss chard, thank god. (This chard oppression must end.)

The singer in the video has a bomb-ass chicken coop out in-a his front yard. On his humble farm he raises chickens, grows leafy green veggies and fertilizes his Jamaican accent.

There's also a woman on the farm who helps out with a variety of chores: feeding the livestock, picking vegetables, rubbing hens on her boobs and gyrating in a gold lamé bikini while she's closed up in the chicken coop like some super-sexy farm animal. 

Now, touchy P.C. feminist types might find some of the imagery distasteful -- the ass close-ups, the woman-in-a-cage business, the slo-mo garden hose facial. Please. Must I refer you back to the disclaimer up top? It clearly said no women were disrespected. That includes you. Also, they want you to know that "This video is intended to Inform, Entertain and Humor the People"!

Color me all three! Rastafari!


Previous local music video love: Humboldt Live Sessions

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Humboldt Geology Loses A Founder

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM


The geology department at Humboldt State has lost one of its founders. According to an announcement on the department's page today, Prof. John Longshore, 76, an Emeritus Professor of Geology, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

"John came to HSU in 1965 and together with John Young and Frank Kilmer founded the Geology Department at Humboldt State College in 1966. John led the early grant writing efforts to secure the first analytical tools (petrographic microscopes; atomic absorption, x-ray diffraction & x-ray fluorescence spectrometers) in the department."

In 1984, the announcement continues, Longshore was named Outstanding Professor. He retired in 2000 and taught and advised part-time through 2007. The department is setting up the Longshore Field Geology Endowment "to honor John's dedication to fieldwork and undergraduate geology education at HSU."

The department notes it would like people who knew Longshore to submit their  remembrances of him to geology@humboldt.edu with the subject line "John Longshore." These will be shared with Longshore's family.

You can read the full announcement on the department's website.

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