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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eureka Seeks Dismissal of PalCo Marsh Lawsuit; Plaintiffs Look to Make it a Class Action

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:46 AM

A camp on the waterfront. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A camp on the waterfront.

The city of Eureka is asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit brought by 11 people challenging the city’s May 2 eviction of the PalCo Marsh homeless encampments.

Meanwhile, Peter Martin, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, has informed the court he intends to turn the case into a class action suit, which could bring in additional plaintiffs and increase potential liability for the city.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In Solidarity

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 3:29 PM

About 100 people gathered at the Humboldt County Courthouse yesterday for a candlelight vigil to honor those killed in violent altercations across the country over the past week. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • About 100 people gathered at the Humboldt County Courthouse yesterday for a candlelight vigil to honor those killed in violent altercations across the country over the past week.
A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Humboldt County Courthouse last night for a “solidarity vigil,” an event promoted through word-of-mouth and social media. The vigil’s Facebook page asked, “What must change so that these systems meant to protect us, truly protect all of us — especially our loved ones who are Black, Native, brown, LGBT…?”
 
Tamara McFarland, of Bayside, one of the informal organizers of the “Solidarity Vigil for Our Beloved Community,” arrived early to place 11 framed portraits of recently killed black persons and the five deceased Dallas law enforcement officers on the courthouse steps.
 

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Sunday Scenes in Sunny Blue Lake

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Allen Mann, of Fieldbrook (second from left), entered his 1960 Chevrolet Impala in the 12th annual Bill Nessler Car Show that followed the Annie & Mary Day parade in Blue Lake on Sunday. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Allen Mann, of Fieldbrook (second from left), entered his 1960 Chevrolet Impala in the 12th annual Bill Nessler Car Show that followed the Annie & Mary Day parade in Blue Lake on Sunday.

Hot rides, tunes and even a wookiee: Blue Lake had it all Sunday. Between the Annie & Mary Day Parade, the 12th annual Bill Nessler Car Show and the Folk Life Festival, there were plenty of sites. Luckily, local photographer Mark Larson was there to capture some of the fun. Check out his slideshow below.

Slideshow
Annie and Mary Days 2016
Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016 Annie and Marry Days 2016

Annie and Mary Days 2016

By Mark Larson

Click to View 15 slides


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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Honoring the Fallen

Posted By on Sun, Jul 10, 2016 at 8:34 PM

Mike Grimaldo, of Fortuna, held a flag with a blue stripe at the candlelight vigil in Fortuna on Friday evening. "The Thin Blue Line" is a symbol used to commemorate fallen law enforcement officers. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Mike Grimaldo, of Fortuna, held a flag with a blue stripe at the candlelight vigil in Fortuna on Friday evening. "The Thin Blue Line" is a symbol used to commemorate fallen law enforcement officers.

The rain held off but tears were common in the crowd of more than 200 during the Friday evening candlelight vigil in Rohner Park in Fortuna. After the events in Dallas, the vigil had been quickly organized  by Sandi Petersen and others of Eel Valley Crime Stoppers, as well as Humboldt County supervisors Rex Bohn and Estelle Fennell.

“We wanted to honor the Dallas policemen killed and injured and to show support for our local law enforcement,” said Petersen.

Many local law enforcement and fire department personnel attended the vigil, along with their families, friends and community members.

On average, 161 law enforcement personnel are killed in the line of duty each year, according to Humboldt County Undersheriff William Honsal, who led off the speakers at the vigil. He added a moving account of the impact of the Dallas shooting on his staff and their desire to show support for their Dallas peers.

Honsal then lit the first candle in memory of those in Dallas and began sharing the flame with those in attendance.

Bohn and Fennell both recounted how they had spent time Friday working with local law enforcement personnel and had observed how they were affected. “Even so, today, I watched them treat some ne’er-do-wells with gentleness and without bias,” Fennell said.

“We’re so lucky to have our local law enforcement,” said Bohn. “They show so much competence and professionalism, and do their job by the law. There were a lot of sad faces today at the courthouse. Let them know when you see them how much you appreciate them.”

Slideshow
Police Vigil
Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil Police Vigil

Police Vigil

By Mark Larson

Click to View 11 slides


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Friday, July 8, 2016

Speak Up, Speak Out, Write In

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 2:06 PM

ncj_july-smgraphic---fb-v6.jpg
Almost every day of the past week has brought news of a fresh tragedy. Alton Sterling, shot and killed by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Philando Castile, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Five officers killed, and another seven wounded, by a sniper during an otherwise peaceful protest on the streets of Dallas, Texas. One woman, Jennifer Rooney, killed and three other commuters injured after a gunman opened fire on a highway in Tennessee.

Police shootings, the Black Lives Matter movement, the safety of law enforcement, gun violence, racial tension, public safety — we know that these are not just national issues, but issues that affect our lives here in Humboldt County. So we are turning the mic over to you, our readers, and asking you to contribute your voices to this discussion. Your frustration, grief, support and solutions are all welcome in a special section of next week's edition of the Journal. Please email your response, up to 300 words, to letters@northcoastjournal.com, by midnight of Sunday, July 10. Please include your contact information (it will remain private, but we always include writers' full names.)
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Goodbye, Jerry Partain

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 12:40 PM

FILE
  • File

A prominent conservative voice on the North Coast and occasional Journal contributor, Gerald L. "Jerry" Partain, passed away on Monday, July 4. He was 91. Partain helped establish the Humboldt State University four-year Forestry Program. He was also the former director of the California Department of Forestry.

Ken Fulgham, a former student of Partain's who went on to become department chair for HSU's Forestry and Wildland Resources Department, described Partain as a "great guy,"

"He was very bright, obviously, and very much a visionary team builder, a great communicator, and really dedicated not only to forestry but the professionalism of forestry," said Fulgham.

Partain's legacy with the Journal includes a passionate guest column about the establishment of the Arcata Community Forest, and he frequently lent his opinion as an interviewee in articles dealing with issues of taxation and conservation. He was a unique voice for a group that often goes under-represented in local media, and he will be missed.

From the family:


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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Eureka Mulls Going True Ward

Posted By on Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 10:40 AM

An old ward map for Eureka. The wards remain the same, but some of the council members have changed since this was put together (Natalie Arroyo now represents the 5th, and Kim Bergel represents the 3rd).
  • An old ward map for Eureka. The wards remain the same, but some of the council members have changed since this was put together (Natalie Arroyo now represents the 5th, and Kim Bergel represents the 3rd).

The Eureka City Council will consider Tuesday whether to scrap its long-maligned electoral system.

Currently, Eureka has a kind of hybrid system. Each of the council’s five members represent a ward of the city, within which they were required to reside when they ran for office. This provision has seen a lot of council hopefuls moving into new homes and apartments in the lead up to elections and a host of carpetbagging allegations. But when it comes to Election Day, the contests are decided through a citywide vote, meaning a resident of the 1st Ward has as much say as anyone in the 5th Ward as to who will ultimately represent the 5th.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

#Eureka24HR: A Day in the Life

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 8:04 PM

resize.jpg
Remember #Arcata24HR? It was the project undertaken by local photographer León Villagómez and brought to you in the pages of the Journal last year in which he spent 24 straight hours traversing Arcata and photographing its sights.

Well, Villagómez is at it again, this time wanting to capture all Eureka has to offer. He’ll begin his journey at midnight tonight, and continue snapping away throughout town until midnight tomorrow. You can follow along with Villagómez in real time on Instagram using the hashtag #Eureka24HR. We’ll also be curating his posts on this page (www.northcoastjournal.com/eureka24hr), where readers will be able to see #Eureka24HR as it unfolds. Just be sure to check back often, as Villagómez is planning on posting a handful of pictures an hour, that is until his likely collapse from exhaustion at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.

Check out #Arcata24HR here, and you can find the write up we did on it here. And click here to follow along with #Eureka24HR.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Centenarian, Rotarian, One of a Kind: Jim Howard Honored

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 4:16 PM

The plaque honoring Jim Howard at Third and E streets. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The plaque honoring Jim Howard at Third and E streets.
Today, fellow Rotarians honored Jim Howard — the longest-serving member of Eureka’s Rotary Club, four-and-a-half term Eureka city councilmember, Old Town revitalizer and centenarian — for his service to the community.

Howard operated Jim’s Shine Stand in Old Town Eureka from 1954 to 1990, having taken it over from his stepfather W.M. Turk, who opened it in 1938. The shoeshine stand, which was once close to the present Eureka Police Department Old Town kiosk at Third and E streets, is the site of a new plaque bearing Howard’s name and photo.

At 100 years old, Howard does not move as fast as he once did. Asked how he was feeling, he told the Journal, “aging slowly.” As Rotarians, city councilmembers, Old Town old timers and associated well-wishers gathered for the ceremony, Howard sat in Rotary member Chuck Ellsworth’s truck, drinking from a carton of milk and eating a cookie.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Grand Jury Blasts Behavioral Health Board for Lack of Oversight

Posted By on Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 8:47 AM

FILE
  • File
The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board, which is statutorily tasked with oversight of the delivery of mental health services locally, has been largely ineffective, making few recommendations and failing to deliver its mandated annual reports to the Board of Supervisors, according to a recent report by the Humboldt County grand jury.

The grand jury is recommending that the board not only submit its past due reports but that it also undergo “training to fully understand its duties and roles, and to proceed proactively to carry out the requirements” of state law. The grand jury’s report notes that the 15-member behavioral heath board is made up of “well-intentioned” people who are “well versed” on mental health issues, but it says the volunteer board members are “overwhelmed due to the amount of work.”

That work, according to the report, consists of sitting through monthly meetings in which administrators with the county Department of Health and Human Services and its Mental Health Branch made presentations. “The board did not proactively engage in making recommendations, advise (the board of supervisors) or evaluate procedures and programs,” the report states.

The report notes that this state of passivity continued even after a county consultant, W. Brown Creative Partners, issued a report that was critical of the culture within the department and “described serious and ‘special problems’ within the mental health branch." It also continued even as most of the branch’s psychiatrists resigned in 2015, setting off a widely publicized crisis within the department. Grand jury interviews, the report states, “confirmed that there was no discussion of either the Brown Assessment Study or the mass resignation of physicians by the (Behavioral Health Board).”

The grand jury's recommendation is that the behavioral health board expand its membership, catch up on its past-due reports, undergo training and “study and then proceed to proactively carry out the requirements” of state law. Further, the grand jury is recommending that the board of supervisors more actively oversee the board and that it ensure the behavioral health board has “sufficient resources and authority” to fulfill its duties.

A press release from the grand jury is copied below and the full report is available in PDF form below.

Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury
John Heckel, Foreperson

Press Release: 6-17-2016
For Immediate Release

The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board

The 2015-2016 Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury (HCCGJ) received several complaints regarding the Mental Health Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Those complaints conveyed dysfunctional work guidelines, distrustful working relationships, unresponsive upper management, mass resignations, and an unsupportive work environment. The complaints reflected the concerns of a broad base of community mental health advocates and Mental Health Branch staff. The number of complaints and the wide spectrum of those filing complaints instigated this HCCGJ investigation.

While many Humboldt County department heads and elected officials could have been more proactive in identifying problems within the Mental Health Branch of DHHS, this role is specifically assigned to the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board by the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act of 1991. The HCCGJ finds that the BHB failed to exercise this important role.

A review of the BHB actions revealed few recommendations, fewer comments on policies, little advice to governing bodies, and seldom reviewed or evaluated community mental health needs. The Minutes from the board’s meetings reveal the BHB’s time was primarily spent listening to reports from the DHHS and Mental Health Branch employees. The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury could find no evidence that mandated annual reports had been filed for several years with the Board of Supervisors.

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury recommends that the BHB submit its past due annual reports to the BOS and thereafter submit, in a timely manner, its required written annual report. The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury recommends that the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board undergo training to fully understand its duties and roles, and to proceed proactively to carry out the legal requirements of the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act.

With any coverage of this Grand Jury report please include: Access to the entire Grand Jury report may be obtained by going to www.humboldtgov.org/510/Grand-Jury 

Full Report


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