Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Big Sandy

Posted By on Sat, Jun 29, 2013 at 6:50 PM

From castles to koi fish, squid to sunbathers, sandy creations sprung up alongside the sea in Manila today -- only to disintegrate as the waves advanced.

Terry Devine, one of the Wildberries team members,  sprawls beside the sunbathers the group created. - CARRIE PEYTON DAHLBERG
  • Carrie Peyton Dahlberg
  • Terry Devine, one of the Wildberries team members, sprawls beside the sunbathers the group created.

Among the ephemera were two giant, lanky bodies, seaweed hair steaming down their shoulders, who looked so relaxed they tempted one person after another to lie beside them. If there had been a prize for most interactive sand sculpture, this surely would have nabbed it, said Terry Devine, a member of the Wildberries team that dreamed these two up.

"It went viral," she said, in between offering to take pictures of passerby who wanted their place in the sun.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rallies Hail Gay Marriage Decisions

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Jan Ostrom, left, and Alexandra Wineland. - CARRIE PEYTON DAHLBERG
  • Carrie Peyton Dahlberg
  • Jan Ostrom, left, and Alexandra Wineland.

With chants and kazoos, cheers and party horns, more than 100 people sent up a joyful noise in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse this evening, celebrating a pair of Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage.

Drivers honked in shared jubilation as they passed, and Susan McGee marveled that the support had begun sounding the minute she arrived around 5 p.m. So much had changed in her lifetime, McGee said. Twenty years ago, in a time when gay marriage seemed to be “the idea of science fiction and fantasy … I would never have believed it.” Not just the support from the nation’s highest court, but the acceptance from so many who would once have been hostile or indifferent.

McGee, of the Humboldt Equality Coalition, helped organize the rally along with Linda Shapeero of the Eureka-Arcata PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). They figured that well over 200 people had stopped by the Eureka event sometime during the evening, because they had handed out 125 chant sheets and plenty of people didn’t take one.

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Prop 8 Ban Stands

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Celebrations after Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional in 2010.
  • Celebrations after Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional in 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning a pair of rulings that thrilled gay marriage advocates in California and around the nation.

Justices declined an appeal from supporters of Proposition 8 — which banned gay marriage in California after passing in 2008 — essentially upholding a 2010 ruling by a federal judge that found the law unconstitutional. It may take a few weeks, but Gov. Jerry Brown has told counties to plan to issue same-sex marriage licenses when federal and state rulings are finalized.

The court also threw out parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal benefits for same-sex couples, even in states where they were legally married.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stake-out

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Rogue stakes in the dunes. - CHRIS DRISCOLL
  • Chris Driscoll
  • Rogue stakes in the dunes.

The wooden stakes planted in the Manila dunes are gone again, spurned as an un-sanctioned environmental experiment. The Manila Community Services District removed them today, and is storing the slats at its office if someone wants to pick them up.

According to Steve Werner, a Humboldt County building and planning supervisor, the district had to either amend its existing permit to include the stakes or else remove them from the beach. Werner said the installation of the stakes was "surprising to see without district authorization." The Manila Community Services District owns the land and already has a permit for dune restoration, but that permit doesn't include the rogue stake experiment, which went in without any official approval.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zoo Welcomes Furry Red Bundle of Joy

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

PROVIDED BY SEQUOIA PARK ZOO
  • Provided by Sequoia Park Zoo

Aw. It was a very special Father’s Day for one local couple, Sumo and Stella Luna, who welcomed their first child into the world on Sunday. And this was a furry one. Stella Luna and Sumo are the red pandas at Sequoia Park Zoo.

The four-ounce girl cub was the first red panda born at zoo, and zoo staff have been preparing for her arrival since shortly after mom and dad were introduced on Valentine’s Day.

Zoo visitors can’t see the cub right now, but a video feed of the inside of the red panda’s den should be coming in the next two to three weeks.

View the full press release below.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Frustrated Trail Advocates Launch Rogue Experiment on the Dunes

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Dennis Mayo of McKinleyville sits horseback while Ray Reel of Manila pounds wooden stakes into the sand.
  • Dennis Mayo of McKinleyville sits horseback while Ray Reel of Manila pounds wooden stakes into the sand.
Yesterday afternoon, a small group of people, two horses and a dog hiked along the sandy path from the Manila Community Center across the rolling dunes to the ocean. When they reached the front line of dunes, where vegetation peters out and the beach slopes down to the coastline, two men began shoving and hammering wooden slats into the sand. Before long they had several dozen of the shims standing upright in the valley between two dunes. The planks looked like tiny frontier grave crucifixes waiting for their crossbeams. Before they left, they shoved more planks into the sand of an adjacent valley.

The group was attempting a bit of guerrilla dune restoration, using an unauthorized “bio-mimicry” technique they’d learned about online. The slats, the men explained, are supposed to mimic dune vegetation by catching wind-blown sand and allowing it to accumulate at their bases. Periodically, as the sand level rises, the slats must be lifted up a few inches. Before too long (a year or two, maybe) you’ve got a rebuilt dune. That’s the plan, anyway. But it’s not the official plan.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Phillip Smith-Hanes, the County's Chief Administrative Officer, is Job Hunting

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Phillip Smith-Hanes
  • Phillip Smith-Hanes
County supervisors have had a lot of disagreements over the past three and a half years, but there seems to be consensus on at least one subject: Phillip Smith-Hanes is damn good at his job.

So it will likely be a disappointment to learn that the county's chief administrative officer since December 2009 is one of five finalists for the job of Coconino County manager, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

In case your knowledge of Arizona County names is as bad as ours, Coconino County encompasses the state's north-central region, including the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona. Its population is nearly identical to ours, and with Grand Canyon National Park within its borders, it may be one of the few counties in the U.S. that can rival Humboldt for natural beauty.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oyster Fest: Mellower, but not a Bust

Posted By on Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Hot off the grill. - PHOTO BY GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Photo by Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Hot off the grill.

By noon, Oyster Fest looked positively placid. Not empty, by any means, but no beer lines (!), and more elbow room than a typical Saturday morning farmers’ market.

By all accounts the morning was quieter than years prior.

A local security guard named Annie manned the entrance to Willow and Libation, one of several walkthroughs open to the outside of the plaza. There was some speculation this week about the trickiness of keeping the plaza's entrances fenced off. Annie said the crowds were tame, especially compared to last year. She hadn’t had anyone try sneak through yet. “I don’t think anyone’s drunk enough yet to be that ballsy.”

Big Ron, Peggy and Annie watch for hop-overs. - PHOTO BY GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Photo by Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Big Ron, Peggy and Annie watch for hop-overs.

Journal Editor Carrie Peyton Dahlberg tested another entryway — the back side of Jacoby’s Storehouse — but was politely turned away without a wristband.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

H2-Woes: Klamath Ranchers Told to Shut Off Water

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

cvr-klamath-map.jpg

It’s getting hot on the Upper Klamath. This week, the Oregon Water Resources Department began telling ranchers to shut off irrigation; their rights to Klamath basin water are superseded by tribal rights.

Klamath tribes fought for decades to determine their rights to Klamath River water were the oldest, and won earlier this year. They were joined in calling for increased flows by the Bureau of Reclamation, which runs a federal irrigation project, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as the AP’s Klamath guy Jeff Barnard has reported.

The tense political climate is not unfamiliar. Tribes were granted higher river flows in 2001, despite protest from irrigators in the upper basin. The next year, the roles reversed. The lowered flow in 2002, combined with a large run of salmon, led to the death of 33,000 fish. It was one of the biggest fish kills (or fish die-off, as the Bureau of Reclamation prefers to call it) the U.S. had ever seen.

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Welcome, Jennifer

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, who has written for the Journal about everything from redevelopment to zombie Thanksgiving wrestling to her grandfather’s miso soup, joins our staff this week.

She grew up in New York State and earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Columbia University in New York City. Jennifer was a book editor, food blogger and professor of English in Japan before moving to Humboldt in 2011 with her husband, Eureka native Jason Marak, and their two young children.

She’ll be helping with editing here at the Journal, as well as writing about food, the arts, and well … for anyone who takes on zombie wrestling, the sky’s the limit.

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