Environment / Natural Resources

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Celebration of Life for Lucille Vinyard

Posted By on Sat, May 7, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Lucille Vinyard - RON MASTROGIUSEPPE
  • Ron Mastrogiuseppe
  • Lucille Vinyard
The "Mother of Redwood National Park," a woman who once gave a funny, irreverent interview to the Journal about activism, widowhood and Ronald Reagan's predilection for makeup, Lucille Vinyard, is being honored at Humboldt State University on Sunday, May 22. 

Vinyard, who passed away in December, a day after her friend and fellow activist, Susie VanKirk, was instrumental in preserving sections of old growth redwood during the 1960s. The debate about logging was so contentious that, at one point, she had to be escorted in and out of meetings, for her own safety. Dan Sealy, vice-president of the Northcoast Environmental Center's board of directors, described her as a "really, really brave person."

"She loved to hike, loved to be outdoors and she wanted everybody to love the outdoors the way she did," said Sealy.

Community members are invited to bring their own recollections of Vinyard to share on May 22. 

From Sue Leskiw of the Redwood Region Audubon Society:

Community members are invited to gather for a Celebration of the Life of Lucille Bartlett Vinyard, who passed away on December 30 at the age of 97. The event will be held on Sunday, May 22, starting at 2 p.m. at the Kate Buchanan Room on the Humboldt State University (HSU) campus (directions at www.humboldt.edu/maps/rooms). A few invited speakers will share remembrances of Lucille. Then, attendees can add to her story via an open mic (2-minute maximum each). After the reminiscences, participants are welcome to mingle and enjoy champagne and desserts. A selection of Lucille’s journals, correspondence, diaries, reports, and photos from her HSU archival collection will be on display.

Lucille was an accomplished environmental activist and conservationist, known to many as the “Mother of Redwood National Park.” In 1964, she helped form the North Group of the Sierra Club’s Redwood Chapter and led in the battle to preserve the remaining ancient redwood forests in the region. She was a founding board member of the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) and the Redwood Natural History Association. Lucille is also remembered for her efforts to pass the California Coastal Zone Protection Act and the California Wilderness Act.

If you would like to contribute a short piece about Lucille for sharing through the NEC website, send them to fomuir@gmail.com. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the HSU Library’s Vinyard and Van Kirk Trust, to help pay for archiving the records of Lucille and Susie Van Kirk (who passed away one day after Lucille) or to the Vinyard/van Kirk Environmental Education Fund, which supports sending local children to outdoor camp. The link for the HSU account is https://library.humboldt.edu/giving/vankirk.html. To make a camp donation, send a check payable to North Group Sierra Club, P.O. Box 238, Arcata CA 95518. Please write “Camper Fund” in the memo line.

If you have questions, contact Sue Leskiw at sueleskiw1@gmail.com.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Full Report: Judge Allows Bulk of PalCo Marsh Evictions to Proceed, Saying "I Have 11 Litigants"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 6:39 PM

A current camp in the PalCo Marsh. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A current camp in the PalCo Marsh.
OAKLAND — Eleven homeless people in Eureka cannot be evicted from a long-established homeless encampment on Monday unless the city complies with yet-to-be-determined conditions for their alternative shelter, a federal judge ruled from the bench this afternoon.


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

'A Significant Threat': Eureka Responds to Lawsuit, Offers Contradictory Declarations

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 4:49 PM

The Devil's Playground, a looming liability concern for the city of Eureka, must be removed by early summer or the city risks losing its insurance coverage.
  • The Devil's Playground, a looming liability concern for the city of Eureka, must be removed by early summer or the city risks losing its insurance coverage.
The city of Eureka is arguing in a federal court filing that there is no need for a judge to issue a temporary restraining order halting the city’s planned May 2 eviction of homeless people living in the PalCo Marsh, because there’s no threat that they will be irreparably harmed by being forced to relocate. Further, the city argues, if there is a threat of irreparable harm, it would be to the city if it's forced to delay the evictions, which it argues could jeopardize millions in grant funds, expose the city to liability and enable an ongoing environmental disaster.

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'Minimum Standards': Federal Suit Seeking to Halt Marsh Evictions to be Heard Friday

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 8:55 AM

A camp on the waterfront. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A camp on the waterfront.
On Monday afternoon, local attorney Peter Martin and Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson got together for lunch. The topic of the day was a lawsuit Martin was working on and looking to bring against the city stemming from its ordering about 150 homeless people in the Palco Marsh to vacate the area by May 2.

Day-Wilson had reached out to Martin in the hopes of dissuading him from filing the lawsuit and, according to Martin, during lunch she explained to him that the city simply didn’t have any money to help relocate the soon-to-be-displaced marsh residents. “I’m always a little bit suspicious of government officials who tell me they don’t have any money, because it seems they have money for the things they deem important,” Martin said.

By the end of the day, Martin had filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, alleging the city was violating their constitutional rights and the protections of the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance Act. On the surface, the main tenet of Martin’s argument is a pretty simple one: By pushing people out of the marsh and enforcing its anti-camping ordinance when there isn’t enough shelter space to accommodate them, the city is illegally criminalizing homelessness and violating people’s rights.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

TL;DR: Five Themes to Up-cycle from the Green Issue

Posted By on Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 9:43 AM

green_issue.jpg
Did you throw away too much time this week? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a recycled version of this week's Green Issue, and five reasons why Humboldt County is a great place to go Zero Waste.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Droppin' (Recreational) Pots for Dungeness

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 6:53 PM

DREW HYLAND
  • Drew Hyland
Dust off your kayak and stock up on butter. While commercial fishing for both rock and Dungeness crab is still on hold in our county due to unsafe levels of toxic domoic acid, which can prove harmful and even deadly to humans, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced recreational Dungeness crab fishing is a go in Humboldt County. 

The department's press release today lists "Recreational Dungeness crab fishery open along mainland coast south of 40° 46.15 N Latitude, at the Humboldt Bay entrance, Humboldt County, including ocean waters of Humboldt Bay" as open and safe according to recent testing. Rock crab is still not clear for recreational fishing, and there is no word on when or if there will be a commercial crab fishing season.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

TL;DR: Five Things You Need to Know About This Week's Cover Story

Posted By on Sun, Apr 17, 2016 at 11:10 AM

cover0414.jpg
Busy week? We get it, and we're not judging. Here are some highlights from “Until the Sun Sets” to get you caught up.

On April 6, federal, state and tribal officials descended on Yurok Tribal land to ink a new pact to remove four hydroelectric dams that have choked the Klamath River for decades. It was a historic day, but beyond the pomp and circumstance, what does the deal really mean for the river and the new path forward toward dam removal?

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

TL;DR: Five Things You Might Have Missed in This Weeks’ Cover Story

Posted By on Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 2:52 PM

The Alexandre family in front of the K-rails. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • The Alexandre family in front of the K-rails.

If you were too busy enjoying the great outdoors to read about the great outdoors, we understand. Here’s a summary of this week’s cover story, “Shot Up and Shut Down.”

In the final week of February, Joseph Alexandre, a farmer at Alexandre EcoDairy Farms in Ferndale, pushed a set of concrete K-rails into the parking lot next to Fernbridge and welded them together, blocking access to the river bar below the bridge. The lot, which is partially owned by the Alexandres, has been the point of entry for many people who like to hike, picnic, off-road, target shoot, and – sadly – dump their garbage on the river bar. The Alexandre family says there has been little recognition that the public river bar is next to their private property, and stray bullets are endangering the lives of their employees and dairy cows. Here are five things we learned while researching this story.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Orville Magoon, architect of Humboldt's jetties, dies at 87

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Orville Tyler Magoon - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • submitted photo
  • Orville Tyler Magoon
While his legacy in Humboldt County may live in for another century or more, Orville Tyler Magoon, the engineer who rebuilt the Humboldt jetties, has died. He was 87.

Magoon, who was featured in the Journal’s Dec. 19, 2013 story “Treacherous Maw,” came up with the idea of reinforcing Humboldt’s notoriously crumbly jetties with dolosse, massive, steel reinforced concrete forms modeled after a goat’s ankle bone. The Army Corps of Engineers would go on to pile 6,000 of the 42-ton dolosse around the jetties’ heads, which in 1977 drew the designation of being a historical civil engineering landmark. The jetties are still holding strong, 45 years after the dolosse were installed. And, in a 1994 interview with the Times-Standard, Magoon said that, with proper maintenance, the reinforced jetties should hold up much longer than 100 years.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Dos and Don'ts of Water Pups

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 2:01 PM

A juvenile sea lion washed ashore this morning on the North Jetty. - COURTESY OF ROBERT FRANKS
  • Courtesy of Robert Franks
  • A juvenile sea lion washed ashore this morning on the North Jetty.

Reports are mixed on whether this little sea lion washed to shore this morning on the North Jetty while caught in these heavy ropes or was just sheltering against them, but he managed to return to the water without help from volunteers from the Northcoast Marine Mammal Center. The tag and brand you see mean he probably came to visit from San Miguel Island. Volunteers will be returning to the jetty at around 5 p.m.today to haul away the debris, and help keeping the beach clean would be welcome. They will meet at Bunkers parking lot. The Marine Mammal Center reminds folks that this is baby season for our flippered friends: Harbor seals will be having pups, and mom sometimes puts them on shore while she goes hunting. Baby sea lions and elephant seals will sometimes also make their way to shore, although they generally shouldn't be there. If you see any marine mammal on the sand, call the Marine Mammal Center at 951-4722. The center will send volunteers to monitor or rescue them. Lynda Stockton, stranding coordinator at the center, asked us to remind people not to touch, bother or take selfies with marine mammals, as it might stop mama from coming back.
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