Monday, March 31, 2014

Supes to Consider GPU Slowdown

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 3:46 PM

click to enlarge Courthouse_Web.png
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday whether to pump the brakes on its General Plan Update, which is some 14 years in the making, in response to a plea from county planning staff.

County Planning Director Kevin Hamblin sent the board a letter last week noting that the Humboldt County Planning Commission is slogging through twice-weekly special meetings in a push to review the county’s Housing Element, which is due to the state July 1. Keeping a “relentless” schedule, Hamblin said the commission is steadily working its way through the document, making “slow but steady” progress.

Nonetheless, Hamblin informs the board that the commission will need to schedule additional special meetings to finish its review of the housing element or risk missing the state's deadline, which could leave the county ineligible for certain housing and community development grants. And, Hamblin goes on, the county’s Advanced Planning staff is currently having a terrible time keeping up with all the work. “Staff finds themselves preparing draft segments of the General Plan element only hours before their publication and discussion by the Planning Commission,” Hamblin writes. Further, Hamblin tells the board he believes there is a significant possibility that staff will have to change and recirculate the Housing Element’s draft Environmental Impact Report. “The current schedule offers a potential perfect storm for the Advanced Planing staff, which would be completely overwhelming,” Hamblin writes.

So, Hamblin is asking the board to consider putting off its review of the Open Space and Conservation Element of the GPU, currently slated to take place through April and into mid-May, until September. The board is slated to discuss Hamblin’s request at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

To view Hamblin’s letter to the board, as well as his proposed schedule for the process moving forward, see the county staff report here. For more on the GPU process in general, check out this recent Journal cover story.
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Update: Journal Snags TEN Awards

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Second Update, final results: Make that FIVE FIRSTS, one second (in the photo essay contest), plus the four blue ribbon honorable mentions.
click to enlarge NCJ.jpg
Update: The CNPA folks just shipped along four more awards announcements for the Journal. These ones are our Blue Ribbon Finalists, which means they were among the top four finalists in their categories. And the BRFs are ...

BEST GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION: "Trinity River: Flow v. Water Rights Claims," by Miles Eggleston and Holly Harvey, which places the Trinity River in the context of the larger California water picture, for the story "Water's for Fighting."

BEST ENTERPRISE REPORTING: "Water's for Fighting," an epic dissection by Grant Scott-Goforth of California's use and over-allocation of its water resources, and how the Trinity River fits in.

BEST COVERAGE OF BUSINESS NEWS: "Ferndale Gothic," the rollicking tale by Ryan Burns about Ferndale's power couple Caroline Titus, editor of the Ferndale Enterprise, and her husband, Stuart Titus, the town's mayor and ousted fair manager.

BEST COVERAGE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT: "HumCPR Rising," by Ryan Burns, about the secrecy-bound advocacy group's rise to power in county government.

click to enlarge NORTH COAST JOURNAL GRAPHIC - Map of the federal Central Valley Project; Trinity River flow v. water rights claims - BY HOLLY HARVEY AND MILES EGGLESTON
  • By Holly Harvey and Miles Eggleston
  • NORTH COAST JOURNAL GRAPHIC - Map of the federal Central Valley Project; Trinity River flow v. water rights claims

Previously
:

Journal staff writers and photographers won a total of six awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2013 Better Newspapers Contest. Notice came via email Thursday. Each award is either a first of second place finish, to be announced at the BNC awards show May 2 in San Jose.

And the winners are …

BEST WRITING: “Dead and Disconnected” by Heidi Walters, the troubling tale of the coroner’s search to identify a man found dead in a homeless camp.

AGRICULTURAL REPORTING: “Subdividing Humboldt” by Grant Scott-Goforth, an examination of embattled landowner Bob McKee’s influence on southern Humboldt. 

BEST FEATURE STORY: “Main and Loleta” by Heidi Walters, a profile of the tiny town embroiled in a dispute between the meat market owners and the folks who own significant Main Street real estate. 

BEST SPORTS STORY: “Fish On” by Heidi Walters, about the fishing frenzy down at the mouth of Klamath last fall during a record salmon run.

PHOTO ESSAY: “Ruins” by Grant Scott Goforth, a gleaming capture of the beauty inhabiting Humboldt’s forgotten, falling-down, derelict structures.

PHOTO ESSAY: “Making Wood Sing” photos and story by Bob Doran, a look at Humboldt’s many luthiers turning out banjos and mandolins, electric and acoustic guitars for all the world to pluck. 
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Jazzy Jumpin' Jehosephat

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:38 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
Well, swoosh, that was Jazz Fest 2014.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
click to enlarge Tom Rigney fiddling that "Orange Blossom Special" - PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
  • Tom Rigney fiddling that "Orange Blossom Special"


Saturday night at the Eureka Muni saw a flood of young and old slipping around the dance floor in slick duds and shiny shoes or hip tennies. Who knew so many kids could swing dance? There were quite a few of them kicking it up with the Fogtown Dandies:


And of course there were some real smoothies out there who could teach the younguns a thing or two:

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson

[image-21]
Then there's that teacher down in SoHum who's got the dance steps covered: Mattole Elementary's Malia Freedlund, who was dancing Saturday night with some of her students, including siblings Makenzie and Kaden Chambers.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson

And some people just got silly. Which is allowed.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson

click to enlarge jfIMAGE14.jpg

More pics:

Continue reading »

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Roadhouse Resurrection

Posted By on Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 2:31 PM

click to enlarge Caspar.jpg
The venerable Mendocino County Caspar Inn is reopening — at least in some capacity — according to announcements on the inn's Facebook page. The inn is booking shows, but not rooms. The spot was/is a favorite for local bands willing to make the haul and, sure enough, Arcata's own Rooster McClintock has already petitioned to play the hallowed hall. Get your updates at www.casparinn.biz or the inn's Facebook page.

Journal chum Jennifer Savage wrote a eulogy for the Caspar Inn when it closed in February 2013.
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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Local Boy Garners Industry Award

Posted By on Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 10:36 PM

click to enlarge Important. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Important.
Picture a joint where the pool table’s slanted and the jukebox skips. Your Twix just got stuck in the machine and the coin return doesn't work. Oh, and the coffee’s cold. Nuh uh. Lucky for us, that kind of dilapidation is banished to the imagination ‘round here, thanks to the fine work of nationally recognized machine man Dan Marchetti, the president of Rendezvous Music & Vending.

Marchetti was named the National Automatic Merchandising Association 2014 Vending Operator of the Year, a prestigious industry title that awards his community service, innovation, business ethics and “consistent support of the Vending and Coffee Service Industry.”

Right on, Dan — but don’t rest on your laurels. Humboldt County’s hungry and would-be amused need you.

From a press release:

Continue reading »

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Friday, March 28, 2014

First Liquor Trucks Leave the Pulp Mill

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

click to enlarge EPA coordinator Steve Calanog and Coast Guard Ensign Leigh Van Lear explain the pumping process. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • EPA coordinator Steve Calanog and Coast Guard Ensign Leigh Van Lear explain the pumping process.
The very rain soaking reporters and government officials at the Samoa pulp mill this afternoon could have overflowed tanks of toxic chemicals near Humboldt Bay, Environmental Protection Agency coordinator Steve Calanaog said, had his agency not installed temporary overflow tanks.

EPA bigwigs, Congressman Jared Huffman, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Strike Team and others visited the pulp mill site to see the first two truckloads of pulping liquors off to Longview, Wash. (See this week's cover story, "Liquor Run.")

click to enlarge North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman thanked the agencies involved the pulp mill clean up. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman thanked the agencies involved the pulp mill clean up.
There was a jovial and at times earnest mood as Huffman thanked the coordination and quick efforts of the agencies. While the EPA monitors thousands of toxic superfund sites, EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld said, the agency doesn't see situations like the pulp mill every day. Explosives and other dangerous chemicals were left unattended, unrefrigerated and in corroding tanks and labs. "There was no lock on the door — nothing," he said. "This is really an enormous mess."

He also relieved the mill's former employees of blame for the dangerous conditions. "This is not their responsibility. This is the responsibility of a company that left in the middle of the night."

Calanog said the EPA is conducting a civil investigation into the conditions left by Evergreen Pulp.

click to enlarge Workers lower a pump into one of the liquor tanks. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Workers lower a pump into one of the liquor tanks.

Noting that the Wiyot Tribe's World Renewal Ceremony was taking place not far across the waters of Humboldt Bay, Blumenfeld said "This is the beginning of a renewal here as well."

click to enlarge The first truck to Washington is filled with black liquor. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • The first truck to Washington is filled with black liquor.

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County Declares Shenanigans on Itself

Posted By on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:08 PM

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Humboldt County just blew the whistle on itself.

Apparently, the county violated California's open meeting law last week. County staff seems to regret the error and to be taking steps to correct the situation. Check out the full press release below:

County Unintentionally Violates Brown Act, Takes Steps to Improve Compliance

On Tuesday, March 25 the County of Humboldt became aware of a recent Brown Act violation that occurred when a majority of the Board of Supervisors attended a meeting that was not publicly noticed. The violation was committed unintentionally on Thursday, March 20 at a meeting at the Humboldt County Courthouse.

Staff organized the meeting and Board members were invited to attend. Inadvertently, more than two Supervisors attended. The meeting where the violation occurred was designed to improve the community budget meetings and the technical aspects of presenting those meetings to the public. The County’s budget itself was not a topic of discussion. No action was taken at the meeting. Notes from the meeting have been posted on the County’s web site at co.humboldt.ca.us/portal/budget.

The Ralph M. Brown Act is California’s public meetings law, intended to ensure that public business is conducted in the public view and with public participation. The Act defines what constitutes a meeting of a public body.

The County of Humboldt regrets this mistake. The County recognizes the importance of the Brown Act and is committed to improving its ability to comply with the state’s open meeting laws. Since the violation occurred, County staff members involved in organizing the meeting have received renewed training on the Brown Act.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Coffee or T and A?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge FROM THE BIKINI BREWS FACEBOOK PAGE
  • from the Bikini Brews Facebook page

Prepare for sudden stops, turns and slow-downs on Fourth Street in Eureka. Humboldt locals Michael Williams and Tao Chan are resurrecting that little drive-thru kiosk shop (Mary Hana's florist/juice bar/Indian take-out, Nikki's Crab Stand) as Bikini Brews, a java pitstop with scantily clad baristas and Muddy Waters coffee. Sure, roll your eyes, but the Tip Top isn't open for breakfast. It's not the first in the biz (see: Bottoms Up in Modesto, Calif.; XXX Espresso in Spokane, Wash.; the Peek-A-Brew franchise). It's like a bikini car wash, only with scalding hot coffee. Should be fine.

Bikini Brews won't be percolating until later this spring, but if you like your barista job and just wish there was more leering, it's hiring. Sorry, no dudes. Other than that, the only real requirement according to Williams is that you are "comfortable working in a bikini." Not so much emphasis on the brewing skills. Williams says that, unlike at more risqué shops, you won't have to wear pasties or lingerie since it will be "a little more conservative." The call for applicants on its Facebook page promises "a fun (and well heated!) environment." One hopes.

And remember folks: Nothing actually happens in the Cappuccino Room.


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Respect, Please

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:43 PM

click to enlarge Tuluwat, Indian Island, at super high tide earlier this year. - PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
  • Tuluwat, Indian Island, at super high tide earlier this year.

Beginning tomorrow, the Wiyot Tribe will hold its first World Renewal Ceremony in 154 years. And the tribe is asking for the public's respect:

"While it is customary not to turn away anyone who wishes to participate with an open heart, free of anger toward anyone, we ask that the community respect the sacredness of this ceremony," says an open letter from the tribe to the public. "This is not a demonstration or spectator event." (Read the full letter below.)

The ceremony is intended to “put the world right,” as Wiyot Tribe member Cheryl Seidner explains.

“This is like the beginning of our new year, when everything is green,” she says.

Until the 1860 massacre, the Wiyot had held the ceremony annually; the tribe intends to resume that tradition. But contrary to what has been reported elsewhere, this year’s ceremony will not be an attempt to finish the ceremony interrupted in 1860. It will be a new ceremony, a fresh beginning, says Seidner.

And, to repeat: The ceremony is very sacred. For the past week, many Wiyot who will be dancing in the ceremony have been praying and fasting. Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday they will continue to fast, and they will dance.

Here is the tribe's full request:

An open letter from The Wiyot Tribe:

He’ ba’ lo’,

Re: Attendance at the 2014 Wiyot World Renewal Ceremony

On March 28-30, 2014, the Wiyot Tribe will be holding its first World Renewal Ceremony since February 1860. This sacred ceremony will take place over three consecutive days at Tuluwat on Indian Island, Pi’mad on the South Jetty, and at Rrawuraghu’muk at Table Bluff Reservation.

While it is customary not to turn away anyone who wishes to participate with an open heart, free of anger toward anyone, we ask that the community respect the sacredness of this ceremony. This is not a demonstration or spectator event. The Wiyot Tribe will provide transportation by boat to and from Tuluwat for the dancers, their families and supporters, and Wiyot Tribal Citizens. Parking along Highway 255/ Samoa Bridge is not permitted. Furthermore, attempting to walk across the marsh or cross the channel from Woodley Island is extremely dangerous and not advisable, and there are not any public facilities at Tuluwat, The Wiyot Tribe accepts no liability for anyone attempting to make their way to Tuluwat. No video, photography, or recording is allowed and we ask that no one attempt to record the ceremony from a distance.

We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and all of those who worked to help bring this historic event to pass, so that the Wiyot Tribe can once again “set the world right” and promote ongoing healing for the entire community. We ask that anyone who does wish to show their support by attending the ceremony refrain from coming until the final day, March 30, at Table Bluff Reservation. For more information, please contact the Wiyot Tribal Office during regular business hours at 707-733-5055.

Juwaksh,

The Wiyot Tribe Council

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3rd Update: Police Investigating Eureka Double Homicide;

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 6:01 AM

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The second of two men shot to death Wednesday evening in a Harris Street home has been identified by the Humboldt County Coroner's Office as 25-year-old Lance Delbert Henry.

Henry and Richard Charles Storre Jr., 60, were both found dead of gunshot wounds to the head by Eureka police at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Police took Vincent Earnest Sanchez, 29, and Henry's half-brother, into custody at he scene and he was later booked into jail on suspicion of murdering both men.

The Times-Standard is reporting that Henry and Sanchez were both staying at Storre's residence.

Previously:

The suspect arrested after a double homicide in Eureka on Wednesday evening has a criminal history that includes one case that captured local headlines a few years back.

According to court records, Vincent Earnest Sanchez, 29,  was arrested for separate DUI offenses in 2007 and 2008 and later convicted of both. In 2009, he broke into the Ingomar Club armed with a long sword and a hatchet and was alleged to have caused more than $10,000 in damage before officers arrested him with the help of a police dog. The Times-Standard covered the arrest at the time.

Sanchez was charged with second-degree burglary, resisting arrest and vandalism in the case, though the latter two charges were later dismissed as a part of a plea deal that saw him sentenced to serve 288 days in county jail and three years probation. Last year, Sanchez was again arrested for felony vandalism, but the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor in a plea agreement that saw him sentenced to three years probation.

Previously:

A Eureka man was arrested this morning on suspicion of double murder after police found two men dead of gunshot wounds to the head at a residence on the 2100 block of Harris Street on Wednesday evening.

Police detained Vincent Earnest Sanchez, 29, at the scene for questioning and later arrested him on suspicion of two counts of murder based on evidence collected at the scene. Sanchez is considered the lone suspect in the case, according to police.

click to enlarge Sanchez
  • Sanchez
Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris identified one of the victims as Richard Charles Storre Jr., 60, of Eureka. Parris said releasing the identification of the second victim might take some time, as he's still working to positively identify the man and notify family members.

As of 9 a.m., detectives remained at the small residence in the upscale Harris Street neighborhood processing the crime scene. The house, which is shielded almost entirely from view from the street by a large hedge, was blocked off with yellow crime scene tape.

Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills said it appears the victims were known to the Sanchez, who Mills said officers found in the yard as they arrived. Mills said there were no signs of forced entry into the residence and there is no known motive for the killings at this time.

Previously:
Eureka police launched a homicide investigation Wednesday evening after finding two dead men in a house on the 2100 block of Harris Street.

According to a press release, officers responded to a report of an injured person at the residence shortly before 6 p.m. but arrived to find the man dead “with obvious signs of trauma. When officers cleared the residence, they found a second body.

The two men have been identified but police are currently withholding their names until their families can be identified.

See the full Eureka Police Department press release below:

Updated release:

Eureka Police have made an arrest in the murder of two Eureka men.

On March 26, 2014 at 1757 hours, Eureka Police officers were dispatched to 2109 Harris Street in Eureka on a citizen’s report of an injured person in the house at that location. Officers entered the house to render first aid and found a man deceased with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Officers checked the rest of the house for other persons who may need help and found a second person deceased as well. He too suffered from a gunshot wound to the head.

Based on evidence collected at the scene investigators believe the crime was a double homicide. One person was detained at the scene and now has been arrested as the lone suspect in the murders. Investigators will continue to process the scene for the rest of today. The deceased have been identified but their names are being withheld until family members have been notified by the Coroner’s Office.

The suspect is Eureka resident: Vincent Earnest Sanchez, DOB: 04-30-1985 who was booked into jail for two counts of homicide.

Initial release:

On March 26, 2014 at 1757 hours, Eureka Police officers were dispatched to 2109 Harris Street in Eureka on a citizen’s report of an injured person in the house at that location. Officers entered the house to render first aid and found a man deceased with obvious signs of trauma. The officers checked the rest of the house for other persons who may need help and found a second person deceased in the home as well.

Detectives and evidence technicians have been called to investigate the deaths and process the scene. Based on information collected at the scene, the crime is being processed as a homicide.

The deceased have been identified but their names are being withheld until family members have been notified.

Anyone with information about this investigation should call the Eureka Police at (707) 441-4044.


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