Thursday, September 22, 2016

Internet Drug Sends Eureka High Students to Hospital

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 4:24 PM

  • File
A number of Eureka High School students were hospitalized today after taking a natural hallucinogen.

Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills said it’s believed a student purchased Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds over the Internet and shared them with his friends, many of whom then suffered nausea, vomiting and generally “feeling terrible.” In addition to the students who were hospitalized, some were sent home with their parents, Mills said.

City Ambulance of Eureka transported one student to the hospital, and others were treated by Humboldt Bay Fire or transported to St. Joseph Hospital by their parents.

Mills said he believes all students are expected to fully recover but couldn’t say that with certainty at this point. Eureka High School Principal Jennifer Johnson said it appears some students ingested the seeds not knowing their hallucinogenic qualities. 

Hawaiian baby woodrose is a perennial climbing vine with large heart-shaped leaves and white trumpet-like flowers. It’s large furry seeds grow in pods, and contain Lysergic Acid Amide, a naturally occurring tryptamine that gives off LSD-like psychedelic effects. According to the drug information website, when the seed are chewed they give off a hallucinogenic trip that lasts for six to eight hours. warns that ingesting the seeds is unsafe, and can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, sweating, increased heart rate and high blood pressure. People with psychiatric conditions or psychotic tendencies might also suffer more severe reactions, the site warns.

Johnson said the school's automated phone system has notified all parents of what happened, urging them to talk to their children about the dangers of ingesting unknown substances. She said about 10 students total took the drug, and said they were very cooperative with the school's investigation.

"We do know who the source of the seeds was and that student is facing disciplinary consequences," Johnson said. 

Mills, who spoke to the Journal on his way to St. Joseph Hospital, said the case remains under investigation.

“The main thing from our standpoint is we are investigating it and if we can bring charges on it, we will,” Mills said, adding that officials already believed they have identified the student who purchased the drug and brought it to school. “The problem is, and I could be wrong, but I don’t believe it is a scheduled narcotic. The question then is, what can we charge?”

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Feds Find Improper Care After Fisher Death at HSU

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 10:10 AM

A resting female fisher in the wild. - HOOPA VALLEY TRIBE, REBECCA GREEN
  • Hoopa Valley Tribe, Rebecca Green
  • A resting female fisher in the wild.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently found that Humboldt State University failed to follow laboratory protocols as staff observed the declining health of a dying fisher for nearly a week without calling a veterinarian.

The routine inspection report dated Aug. 3 includes a daily log kept by the animal’s caretakers in the days before the fisher, a rare member of the weasel family, was found dead in its cage:

4/25/16 - "fisher bald patches larger than I last observed, bald patch on belly as well now"

4/26/16 - "fisher appeared to be heaving/retching after exiting box but observed eating right after that. bald patches increasing in size."

4/28/16 - "fisher appears to be thinner and labored breathing wt - 3.67 kg" (Note - was over 5 kg earlier in the year)

(4/29/16 - Fisher not mentioned in daily observations)

4/30/16 - "fisher still breathing heavily. Didn't eat all of canine diet."

5/1/16 - "fisher ate none of yesterday's food, appears extremely weak and wobbly when walking. FM & KC notified" (Note - not veterinarians, and they did not notify veterinarian)

5/2/16 - "fisher found deceased in box. RB notified" (Note - RB is the Attending Veterinarian)

“The Attending Veterinarian was not notified regarding the condition of the fisher over these dates, until after its death,” the report states. “Daily observation of animals by assigned personnel must include prompt communication with the attending veterinarian, or his or her alternate if not available, in the event that any health problems are noted. Failure to consult with a veterinarian could result in suffering and/or a poor medical outcome for the animals.”

The fisher population has declined dramatically over recent decades with the loss of its forest habitat due to logging and, more recently, the threat of poisons used at illegal marijuana grows.  

Richard Boone, dean of HSU’s College of Natural Resources & Sciences, said in a statement that the school is “committed to teaching and research about wildlife so that we can help protect species like the fisher.”

“We were disturbed by this animal’s death, take responsibility for failure to observe proper protocols, and have taken corrective actions to ensure that a mistake like this doesn’t happen again,” Boone said.

According to HSU, where the animal spent most of its nearly 10 years after being dropped off at the campus as a baby, the fisher had health issues.

Jodie Wiederkehr, who runs the Center for Ethical Science out of her home in Chicago, said she is asking the USDA “to launch a full investigation into this incident and levy the largest fine allowable against Humboldt State University of at least $10,000 per non-compliance.”

Wiederkehr said her nonprofit chronicles citations at laboratories across the nation, which she described as a “hidden issue.”

In the case of the fisher, Wiederkehr said she believes the university should be fined and questions how the incident happened in the first place.

“Common sense doesn’t even take over,” she said. “ … No one even thought to contact the veterinarian and say, ‘This animal is suffering.’”

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

HSU Softball Stopped One Win Shy of National Title

Posted By on Sun, May 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

The Lions celebrate their national championship with the ice bath of victory. - FACEBOOK/UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA
  • Facebook/University of North Alabama
  • The Lions celebrate their national championship with the ice bath of victory.
The Lumberjacks entered Saturday needing just one win to become national champions. It wasn’t meant to be.

The Humboldt State University softball team dropped both its games Saturday to lose the best of three NCAA Division II national championship series in Denver to the University of North Alabama. HSU got off to a good start in the series Friday against North Alabama, which boasts the nation’s third best offense, thanks to a 5-0 shutout from ace pitcher Madison Williams.

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Graduation Day Downpour: An HSU Commencement Slideshow by Mark Larson

Posted By on Sun, May 15, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Journalism graduate Rebekah Staub displayed her diploma as she left the stage in a downpour at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences commencement on Saturday morning, May 14 in HSU's Redwood Bowl. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • Journalism graduate Rebekah Staub displayed her diploma as she left the stage in a downpour at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences commencement on Saturday morning, May 14 in HSU's Redwood Bowl.

Rain fell during most of HSU's first commencement ceremony on Saturday morning, the weather thematically appropriate for HSU's informal motto: "I love Hills, Stairs & Umbrellas!" Most of the large crowd of attendees came prepared with umbrellas and rain gear, but HSU staff handed out free plastic ponchos to those who missed the weather forecast. The graduates sat patiently in their soggy regalia throughout the ceremony, but were apparently too chilled at the end to perform much of a toss of their soggy mortarboard hats into the air.

HSU Graduation 2016
HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016 HSU Graduation 2016

HSU Graduation 2016

By Thadeus Greenson

Click to View 18 slides

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Garden Tours with Homeland Security

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Janet Napolitano addresses a group in the lobby of the Potawot Health Village. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Janet Napolitano addresses a group in the lobby of the Potawot Health Village.
The head of the University of California, who served for four years as President Obama’s secretary of Homeland Security, spent some time this week exploring Humboldt County.

Her itinerary included visits with the United Indian Health Services, a float to the oyster beds on Humboldt Bay and a tour of Arcata Community Forest.

The visit was the first by an acting UC president, and if you’re wondering why the leader of the University of California system — the closest campus of which is UC Davis — was in Humboldt, you’re forgetting about the UC Cooperative Extension, which coordinates and operates a multitude of agricultural and natural resource programs in Humboldt County with a variety of partners.

Napolitano’s tour began, on a rainy Wednesday morning, at the UIHS Potawot Health Village, a sprawling complex of clinics, gardens and restored land in northern Arcata.

After a short prayer under the bright paintings and high wooden ceilings of the health center’s lobby, Alme Allen, who’s in charge of facilities and traditional land management, led a tour of the center, stopping once to point a Cooper’s hawk that had landed in a wax myrtle in the wellness garden.

Alme Allen talks about a canoe built for the health village. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Alme Allen talks about a canoe built for the health village.
Allen talked about the history of the UIHS, its focus on health care and wellness for the underserved native populations of the North Coast, and the pace at which it's grown, offering services now to 15,000 people in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.

Napolitano seemed suitably impressed, asking questions during each portion of the tour. And she didn’t shy away from the Humboldt County rain, eschewing an offered ride out to the Potawot garden for a walk through the center’s restored riparian area.
A rainy walk through the restored riparian area. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • A rainy walk through the restored riparian area.
There, in a cluster of greenhouses, Napolitano heard about the cooperative extension’s partnerships with the UIHS. Those involve programs to both eductate people about nutrition — starting young, in many cases — and provide them with food, plants and skills to grow and cook them.

The garden is an impressive array: bee hives, more than 100 fruit trees, including apples, pears, plums and peaches (garden manager Ed Mata admits Willow Creek has Arcata beat for peach climate, but they get some good ones) as well as pineapple, guava, kiwi, artichokes and a host of vegetables.
The Potawot garden has culinary and medicinal herbs as well as fruit and vegetables. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • The Potawot garden has culinary and medicinal herbs as well as fruit and vegetables.
Mata especially likes getting kids turned onto weird veggies — kolrabi and romanesco, for instance — to help them build an appreciation for growing and eating vegetables.

In addition to a farmers’ market and free plant starts for UIHS clients, the garden provides food for ceremonies, funerals and other community events.

It’s all part of various efforts by UIHS and the cooperative extension to decrease high local diabetes rates and bring nourishment to so-called “food deserts” — communities or neighborhoods where access to fresh food is limited or nonexistent. Many local tribal communities are considered food deserts.

Deborah Giraud, who’s worked for the cooperative extension for 32 years, said reaching Native populations with the their programs has always been a priority. The local extension is the only entity in California to qualify for the USDA’s Federally Recognized Tribe Extension Program, Giraud said, which provides grant funding for agricultural programs.
Garden manager Ed Mata, left, talks with Napolitano, right. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Garden manager Ed Mata, left, talks with Napolitano, right.
Mata said he feels like the education aspect is catching on in the communities that use the UIHS garden and other resources. Community Nutrition Manager Jude Marshall said the start giveaways have gotten more popular every year, and more plants in backyards and community gardens means more food security.

Napolitano, who served as the governor of Arizona from 2003 through 2009, asked if this had been a good year for growing. Yes, they assured her — this spring’s combination of sun and rain has been great for the garden.

“It’s a lot different than Arizona,” she said. 
Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg gets his picture taken with Napolitano. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg gets his picture taken with Napolitano.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Humboldt County Grand Jury: 'Be Wise, Immunize'

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:03 PM

In its first report of the year, the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury took a look at the county’s low vaccination rates, noting we currently rank 54th out of the state’s 58 counties when it comes to kindergartners and seventh graders.

The grand jury hones in on transportation as a major barrier to getting the county’s little ones all their shots, and also urges the Humboldt County Office of Education to take on an oversight role for school’s reporting of vaccination rates, including the posting of those rates to a data website, The grand jury report has been met with ridicule in some circles, as it seems to ignore the fact that there are lots and lots of people in Humboldt who just don’t believe in vaccinations, but the recommendations also seem to have some merit.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

HSU Settles Suit with Ousted Indian Program Director

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 1:26 PM

Jacquelyn Bolman - SACNAS
  • Jacquelyn Bolman
A former Humboldt State University program director and student mentor has settled the lawsuit she brought against the university last year, agreeing to accept $105,000 in exchange for dropping the suit and refraining from criticizing the school.

Jacquelyn Bolman, former director of HSU’s Indian Natural Resources Science and Engineering Program, alleged in the federal lawsuit that the university violated her free speech, due process and civil rights when she was fired in October of 2014. The firing, which Bolman claimed came in retaliation for her criticizing the university’s treatment of and advocacy for minority students, prompted weeks of student protests.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

HSU Students Killed the Cup

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Humboldt State University recently placed in the top rankings in a national waste reduction program called Kill the Cup, in which zero waste enthusiasts encouraged people on campus to ditch their single-use cups for nifty logo-bedecked reusable mugs. The Jacks got in on it, as well as staff and faculty. The campus Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) worked to educate people on how to reduce or eliminate waste from their daily lives. HSU came in first place for Social Awareness, measured by how many people uploaded a photo of themselves with a reusable cup to the program's app, and third place for actual waste reduction, competing against much larger institutions such as the University of Florida and University of Washington. Participating coffee shops counted a 25.7 percent reduction in single use cups.

HSU will receive a $500 grant rewarding its efforts; WRRAP says it will be used towards diverting office waste

"The competition might be over but this is only the start of a movement that will ultimately phase out disposable cups at HSU forever," said Meredith Garrett, director of WWRAP's Take Back the Tap Program.

Jacks football players and mascot "Lucky" pose with reusable cups. - HSU
  • HSU
  • Jacks football players and mascot "Lucky" pose with reusable cups.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

CR Scholarship to Honor Fortuna High Grad Killed in Umpqua College Shooting

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 11:42 AM

Jason Dale Johnson receiving his high school diploma last spring. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Jason Dale Johnson receiving his high school diploma last spring.
College of the Redwoods is asking the community to donate to a scholarship fund in honor of Fortuna High grad Jason Dale Johnson, who was killed in the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon on Oct. 1.

Johnson had recently completed a six-month treatment program and, as part of a “new way of life, clean and sober,” had returned to complete his education just three days before the mass shooting claimed his life.

“He was turning his life around and he was ready for a change” his cousin and CR staff member Jennifer Bailey said in a press release. “He always extended his hand to those who were hurting. He was always one for the underdog.”

College of Redwoods is working with the community to establish a scholarship in Johnson’s name that will aid students, “just like Jason, who need financial assistance as they pursue their own triumphant return to college.”

The college hopes to raise $2,000 by March 1, so it can begin offering the scholarship to returning students in the fall of 2016.

Anyone interested in donating to the scholarship fund can contact CR’s Scholarship office at 476-4191, or email

From College of the Redwoods:

Jason Dale Johnson was just three days into his return as a student at Umpqua Community College when his brightly lit future was suddenly taken on October 1st, 2015.

Before his passing, and upon his return from a six-month treatment program through the Salvation Army, Jason found a new way of life, clean and sober.

Jason’s story is that of redemption, grace and courage.

Studying general education, Jason was determined to meet his educational goals through Umpqua Community College. “He was turning his life around and he was ready for a change” said his cousin, and CR staff member, Jennifer Bailey. “He always extended his hand to those who were hurting. He was always one for the underdog.”

In light of this terrible tragedy that prevented Jason from pursuing his own path of triumph, the Redwoods Community College District family asks the community to help create a special scholarship for students, just like Jason, who need financial assistance as they pursue their own triumphant return to college.

CR’s goal is to raise $2,000 in efforts to create a scholarship that will forever live on in Jason’s name, a kind-hearted and daring individual who never gave up.

We have the opportunity to lend our hand to honor Jason, by contributing to the Jason Dale Johnson Triumphant Return Scholarship.

Although donations will be always be accepted, the Scholarship Office hopes to reach our goal by March 1st so we may begin to offer this scholarship to students beginning in fall of 2016.

For more information, please contact the CR Scholarship office at 707-476-4191, or email

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

HSU's New Provost was Controversially Ousted from Last Admin Post

Posted By on Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Alexander Enyedi
  • Alexander Enyedi
Humboldt State University’s next provost will arrive on campus in January with a fair amount of baggage from his last stint as an administrator, for which he’s remembered as either a rogue dean or fierce equality advocate, depending on whom you ask.

Alexander Enyedi, who’s hire was announced by HSU President Lisa Rossbacher Dec. 1 following a more than a year-long search, is currently a biology professor at Western Michigan University, where he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences until June, when his contract was unceremoniously allowed to expire. WMU Provost Timothy J. Greene’s decision not to renew Enyedi’s contract — and to effectively strip him of dean duties back in January — caused a bit of a firestorm on campus, where 200 people showed up at a board of trustees meeting to support Enyedi, a pair of deans resigned in solidarity, 1,300 people signed a petition demanding his reinstatement and faculty issued Greene a no-confidence vote over the decision.

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