Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Johanna Rodoni Was at County Fair Board Meeting the Night of Her DUI Arrest

Posted by on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

click to enlarge FROM RODONI'S ASSESSOR CAMPAIGN FACEBOOK PAGE
  • From Rodoni's assessor campaign Facebook page
Johanna Rodoni, a local cattle rancher, executive director of the Buckeye Conservancy and a former county supervisor, attended a meeting of the Humboldt County Fair Association Monday evening before getting arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. Rodoni is a longtime member of the fair association's board of directors.

The board meeting adjourned at about 8:30 p.m., at which point the public was asked to leave while board members held a "private social hour," according to Caroline Titus, editor/publisher of the Ferndale Enterprise, who attended the meeting.

Titus, whose husband Stuart Titus was ousted as general manager of the fair board earlier this year, said she didn't know whether Rodoni consumed alcohol — or even attended — this social hour Monday night, but she said drinking is common at these gatherings, which have become a regular post-meeting occurrence.

In fact, Titus felt compelled to snap a picture (below) of libations on a bar top at a fair association meeting this past spring.

At 10:30 p.m. Monday, Rodoni was pulled over by a Ferndale Police Officer on State Route 211 near Substation Rd., between Ferndale and Fernbridge — roughly three miles from the fair association's office. According to FPD Sgt. Adam Strieker, Rodoni was pulled over for failing to stay in the correct lane and was subsequently transported and booked into the Humboldt County Jail.

Following the death of her husband Roger Rodoni in 2008, Johanna Rodoni was appointed to fill his 2nd District seat on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She mounted a reelection campaign as a write-in candidate that year but lost a tightly contested three-way race to Clif Clendenen. In 2010, Johanna Rodoni ran for county assessor.

A call to Rodoni was not immediately returned.

click to enlarge The bar top at a Fair Board meeting earlier this year. - COURTESY CAROLINE TITUS
  • Courtesy Caroline Titus
  • The bar top at a Fair Board meeting earlier this year.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

These People Are Picking HSU’s Next President

Posted by on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM

click to enlarge HSU_Seal.JPG
A guild of university trustees, faculty bigwigs and community members — including one student rep — has assembled to choose Humboldt State University’s next president. Rollin Richmond, who has held the position since 2002, will leave at the end of the coming spring semester. 

The “Committee for the Selection of the President” —  tasked with reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for the university's top job — meets for the first time on Monday. There will be an open forum from 10 a.m. to noon in the Van Duzer Theater followed by a closed-doors session.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arcata's $4.5 Million Payment Plan

Posted by on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

click to enlarge City_Seal2.JPG
The Arcata City Council approved  a plan this morning to pay back $4.5 million to the state in misappropriated redevelopment funds. Hank Sims at the LoCO did a good job of recapping the issue yesterday, which has also been covered by the Arcata Eye and Journal

The city's plan: Pay the state Department of Finance $1 million in the 2014 fiscal year, and $300,000 a year for the following 10 years. The first three years are expected to be funded by sales of Sandpiper Park mobile home units, which received the majority of redevelopment funds that the city's now on the hook for.

City staff told the council there would be an option to pay the entire amount off earlier, if the city should come up with extra money before anticipated. The council accepted the plan unanimously, though it still requires approval from the Department of Finance.

"I don’t see any reason why a reasonable proposal wouldn't be met by a reasonable acceptance,' Deputy Director of Community Development David Loya told the council.

Council and staff assured attendees that the plan would not affect the city's general fund, and the city was not on the verge of bankruptcy. "This plan was considered in the context of all the services the city provides and the budgeting for future years," Mayor Shane Brinton said.
click to enlarge Payment_Plan.JPG

In a cryptic message to the council, Arcata architect Kash Boodjeh — who's been critical of the city's handling of the loss of redevelopment funding — stood silent for his allotted three minutes of public comment prior to the council's decision. Check out Kevin Hoover's video.

Read the staff report, with the council's approved payment plan, here.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Human intervention

Posted by on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM


click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
That's right, another human puts things right with the world.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
That's Alex Fogg, fairly new to town, prettying and friendly-fying the temporary, dreary walls of plywood flanking the Carson Block Building while it undergoes major rehab.

"The Ink People put me up to it," says Fogg, referring to the artsy outfit which also put him in the orange jumpsuit with "human" printed boldly on the back. The Ink People were put up to it by the denizens of the Carson Block, says Fogg.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
Fogg started with the blue background, which took him eight hours in three sessions to complete. He's just about finished with the white letters ...

click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
Last, he'll add signs for the businesses obscured by the plywood, and maybe some pointing fingers for an extra nudge.
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Biologist Charged in Last Year's $1 Million Embezzlement

Posted by on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

click to enlarge Owl.jpg
Federal embezzlement charges were filed this week against biologist Ron LeValley, who was arrested last year following investigation into a nearly million-dollar grift involving the Yurok Tribe and Levalley's Mad River Biologists. The Times-Standard's Thadeus Greenson reported today that LeValley is expected to appear in court for the first time this month. He and biologist Sean McAllister were arrested in 2012 on suspicion of forging invoices to embezzle the money, along with former Yurok forestry director Roland Raymond, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to embezzle and has cooperated with the investigation.

Here's Ryan Burns' story from shortly after the three men were arrested.
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Snagger Watch

Posted by on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 6:46 PM

click to enlarge The fish has to willingly take that hook into its mouth to be a legal catch. Snagging a fish on its forehead, belly, back, fin, chin — wherever — is not proper, and you can't keep such a catch. This Klamath Chinook looks chin-caught. - PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
  • The fish has to willingly take that hook into its mouth to be a legal catch. Snagging a fish on its forehead, belly, back, fin, chin — wherever — is not proper, and you can't keep such a catch. This Klamath Chinook looks chin-caught.

Going fishing? Or maybe just for a scenic wander along some lonesome, lovely riverbank?

Feeling the latent cop in you itching to bust out and pop some badboy(girl) bootie? 

Whoa, calm down, Vig. This is strictly a legal proposition, a request from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for anglers' friends and fishing-hole frequenters to report anything they know about the illegal practice of "snagging":

"Snagging, also known as foul hooking, occurs when an angler catches a fish using hooks embedded outside of the mouth," says a CDFW news release. "This can occur either intentionally or accidentally, while using various types of fishing gear and techniques. Fish caught by this method are often injured or killed in the process. Anglers in California may not legally keep snagged fish. Current angling regulations include seasonal closures and gear restrictions designed to reduce the incidence of snagging."

Your duty, which you will accept, is to send your "comments, concerns and information on waters where snagging is taking place." The department also wants your thoughts on what to do about this problem. Send all of this to snaggingcomments@wildlife.ca.gov.

So, consider this mission more along the lines of tattling, not apprehending. Now fish on.
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Sex Assault Alleged in Sheriff's Sergeant Arrest

Posted by on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM

click to enlarge Badge.jpg
From a Humboldt County District Attorney's Office press release:

On 10-18-13 at approximately 0540 hours, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office – Criminal Investigations Bureau arrested Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jason Daniels (age 40) for violations of PC243.4 – Sexual Battery, and PC289(a)(1) – Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object. Both of these violations are alleged to have been committed against a single female victim (identity confidential) while Sgt. Daniels was on duty as a peace officer.

Sgt. Daniels has been placed on administrative leave by the HCSO, pending the conclusion and outcome of the criminal investigation.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Redwood Rush

Posted by on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

click to enlarge Ma-le'l Dunes - PHOTO COURTESY THE BLM
  • Photo courtesy the BLM
  • Ma-le'l Dunes
Rush into them gleefully, that is — those tall, barked hunks towering in our national-park sides of the woods, for which we've so pined over the past 16 days. They are open! Shutdown be gone! For now. 

In non-giddy English: Without fear of reprimand or worse (by feds, anyway), you may now enter Redwood National Park and traipse along the trails and otherwise comport yourself legally in them thar woods. That's the word from the NPS folks. And it must be so, because their website's switched back on.

We're assuming this means all else in Humboldt's federal realm has opened once again to its loyal citizenry. The BLM's site's back on, too. Hello, again, Samoa Dunes, Ma-l'el, Headwaters ... .

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Soap. In a Fountain.

Posted by on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge photo__9_.JPG
It's funny because bubbles.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eureka Councilman Lance Madsen Stepping Down

Posted by on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM

click to enlarge Madsen.jpg
Fifth Ward Councilman Lance Madsen confirmed this morning he plans to step down from the council after years of health problems.

Answering his phone from Stanford, where he was awaiting a medical procedure, Madsen said, "I have to keep coming down here — it's getting to the point where I'm missing committee meetings and council meetings. It's not fair to the other council members." Leaving the council will allow him to be more flexible for medical treatment as well, he said.

According to the Times-Standard, Madsen announced his resignation in a letter at last night's council meeting. The council is expected to decide at its Nov. 5 meeting whether to hold a special election or appoint a new council member.

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