Humboldt County, Calif — Recovery and clean-up efforts of an overturned semi-truck carrying up to 7,000 gallons of fuel continued today near north bound US-101 out hot Salmon Creek Road in Humboldt County. The Peterbilt tank truck and trailer that collided with a guard rail and overturned on state park property on September 7 has been removed. Approximately 4,000 gallons of fuel was released.
Planning efforts to remove contaminated soil are underway and environmental monitoring will be ongoing throughout the entire clean-up process The park is open to the public. Park hours and services have not been impacted.
It is anticipated that traffic will be restored to normal conditions this evening, though traffic may be restricted in the near future to aid in clean-up efforts.
The collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. For further information, please contact Superintendent Tom Gunther (707) 946-1812.
Sept. 10, 2016
Public notified of gas spill above South Fork Eel River
An estimated 4,000 gallons of gasoline from a petroleum tanker that overturned Wednesday in Southern Humboldt has leaked above the South Fork of the Eel River.
The incident occurred just south of the Salmon Creek exit from northbound U.S. Highway 101.
There is currently no evidence that fuel has entered the water. Assessment of the area continues today, with cleanup efforts expected to begin Tuesday.
The fuel truck overturned with an estimated 7,000 gallons on board. Some of the fuel was recovered in what’s called a “hot stinger operation,” which involves drilling the top of the overturned tank and inserting a pipe to remove the fuel. Recovery efforts, however, were complicated by the position of the truck and its location on the hill.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation is the lead agency for the spill and the recovery. Staff from the Division of Environmental Health (DEH) remain on site and continue to monitor these efforts.
“We don’t believe at this time that the spill presents a threat to public health,” said Susan Buckley, director of the Public Health Branch of the Department of Health & Human Services. “But in keeping with Proposition 65 notification requirements and out of an abundance of caution, we’re making this announcement over the weekend to make sure area residents are informed.”
Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming has completed her review of the investigation into the law enforcement officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Mr. Killian O’Quinn on November 1, 2015.
The following summary is based on the District Attorney’s review of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) report, all recorded statements and audio/video recordings obtained during the course of the investigation, as well as autopsy and toxicology reports.
On November 1, 2015, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Stephen Curtis was on duty in a marked patrol vehicle, wearing his full uniform. At 4:24 pm he was parked on the west side of Highway 255 south of New Navy Base Road, near Samoa, monitoring traffic. A driver pulled up to the patrol car to alert the officer of a green vehicle passing across double-yellow lines and running other vehicles off the road. Officer Curtis then began a search for the vehicle by travelling towards Eureka over the Samoa Bridge. His patrol car Mobile Video Audio Recorder (MVAR) provides information from this point.
At 4:26 pm Officer Curtis caught up to the vehicle, a green Chevy Impala, and began narrating his observations including his reason for a traffic stop. He activated his overhead emergency lights and the Impala signaled to make a right turn onto 4th Street (US101 South). Officer Curtis stated that he can see five occupants in the Impala. The Impala then turned right onto Q Street and pulled over to the curb.
Officer Curtis approached the left side of the vehicle and spoke to the driver, later identified as Killian O’Quinn. The Officer asked, “How’s it going?” and explained the reason for the stop, stating he had a report of “driving like crazy” near the mill. Officer Curtis asked for O’Quinn’s license, registration and insurance. Officer Curtis continued to ask questions and occasionally repeated what is said by O’Quinn.
After a pause he again asked for registration and insurance and suggested it might be in the glove box since it is supposed to be in the car. After again not receiving the requested documents, Officer Curtis asked who owned the vehicle. He then asked questions related to O’Quinn’s statements about staying at a hotel. The Officer then said, “No one’s got ID?”
After standing at the driver’s door for about two minutes the Officer told the driver to step outside and instructed O’Quinn to “Get your hands where I can see them, don’t even think about bolting dude.”
After a slight pause, Officer Curtis asked, “Are you thinking about something?” to which O’Quinn replied, “I’m just thinking about how f—-ed my life is.” The Officer then said, “It’s not, you got pulled over, so there’s beer in the car, I’m not interested about that right now. I want to talk to you outside though.” Officer Curtis followed that directive by telling O’Quinn, “Come on out. You got 3 seconds. Come on, I’m a nice guy.”
As O’Quinn exited the vehicle a struggle began and Officer Curtis attempted to push O’Quinn onto the rear of the Impala. During the struggle a gun (later identified as a Springfield .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol) is visible in O’Quinn’s right hand. Officer Curtis told O’Quinn to, “let go of the gun” and reached for his own firearm after he was unsuccessful in disarming O’Quinn. O’Quinn crossed his own body with the gun and fired two rounds under his left arm, striking Officer Curtis, who was behind him. While being shot, Officer Curtis distanced himself from O’Quinn and fired several rounds at him with his CHP-issued Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol.
As O’Quinn fell to the ground near the left rear of the Impala, Officer Curtis moved to a position near the right rear of the vehicle. Officer Curtis’ attention was drawn away from O’Quinn when a passenger began to open a right side passenger door of the Impala. During that time, the video shows O’Quinn leaning up and pointing his firearm in Officer Curtis’ direction. Officer Curtis then fired several more rounds at O’Quinn while transitioning to a different position of cover and O’Quinn fired a final round at Officer Curtis. Officer Curtis then twice told O’Quinn to “drop the gun” and O’Quinn finally drops the gun. The last shot was fired at 4:31 pm. When people in the neighborhood start to come to the scene Officer Curtis is heard saying, “Stay back please.” Officer Curtis also transmitted a message to CHP Dispatch, advising that he had been shot but was not down and that he had four passengers in the car at gunpoint.
The first emergency units (Eureka PD, Humboldt Bay Fire, City Ambulance) arrived at 4:36. Eureka PD Officers removed the four passengers (3 men and 1 woman) from the Impala, who were later interviewed by members of the CIRT. Paramedics with Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance, provided on-scene medical care to O’Quinn (including CPR) and Officer Curtis. Both were ultimately transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment. At one point during his medical care, O’Quinn vomited. Medical staff noted the heavy odor of alcohol. At approximately 5:10 pm, the treating physician pronounced O’Quinn deceased. Officer Curtis’ medical treatment included the removal of a bullet from his upper right thigh.
The description of the incident by all four passengers and a witness who lived in the neighborhood coincided with the recording. Passengers also made clear that O’Quinn had been driving recklessly. At one point a passenger offered O’Quinn money to drive “normally.” The front passenger stated he initially thought O’Quinn was hiding a beer in his lap and later realized it was a gun. Several passengers gave the opinion that the officer acted appropriately; one stated, “The officer’s life was in danger even before he knew it.”
Evidence collected at the scene included the firearm used by O’Quinn and spent .45 caliber shell casings indicating he had fired three rounds at Officer Curtis. It was later determined that one round entered Officer Curtis’ body, lodging in his upper right thigh and another passed through his uniform without striking him. The investigation determined that Officer Curtis fired a total of 11 rounds at O’Quinn.
Dr. Mark Super conducted the autopsy of Killian O’Quinn on November 4, 2015. He determined the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. According to the toxicology report, O’Quinn’s blood alcohol was 0.18 (more than double the level for an impaired driver) and he also had oxycodone (0.06 mg/liter) in his system.
From all the evidence and witness statements, the District Attorney finds the shooting was a justifiable homicide under Penal Code section 196(2) which states: Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers and those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, (2) when necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or in the discharge of any other legal duty. Faced with a clearly lethal threat, Officer Curtis fired his weapon in self-defense.
District Attorney Maggie Fleming has advised Killian O’Quinn’s family of her decision.
The City of Fortuna is seeking an experienced, progressive, energetic municipal administrator to be the new City Manager. Known as “The Friendly City”, Fortuna is a small, rural community of just over 12,000. We are located in Humboldt County, 20 miles south of Eureka and 250 miles north of San Francisco. Eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to the scenic Eel River; Fortuna is in the heart of the Redwoods offering quality rural living with outstanding outdoor recreation activity and Community Events year round.
Incorporated as a City in 1906, it is governed by a five-member City Council that is elected at-large in November of even numbered years. The City operates under a Council/Manager form of government with the City Manager and the City Attorney appointed by the City Council.
City of Fortuna’s City Council and Management team are dedicated to making Fortuna the best it can be. Most are natives of this scenic City and all of them have the common goal of seeing this beautiful Eel River Valley Community thrive.
The City Manager is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of Council goals and policies; maintains effective relations with and is responsive to the City Council; serves as the chief Administrative Officer of the City, provides leadership and direction to the organization; serves as liaison between the City staff and the City Council; and manages the day-to-day operations of the City. Candidates who promote collaborative work effort and value teamwork and empowering staff members are ideally suited to this position.
The City of Fortuna is interested in a City Manager who will seek creative approaches to challenges encountered by the city, especially in the area of budgeting. Candidates with a strong background in municipal finance and economic development are highly desirable. The ideal candidate will manage the City’s finances in a prudent manner and have the ability to identify potential issues and problems as they are developing and recommend alternatives and solutions to the City Council.
Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in public or Business Administration or a closely related field. A Master’s degree is desirable, as is possession of or the ability to attain an ICMA Credentialed Manager designation. Experience as a City Manager, Assistant or Deputy City Manager or Department Head in a community where economic development, customer service, high ethical standards and open communications exist and are valued is strongly desired. An equivalent combination of education and experience which provides the required knowledge skills and abilities to perform the job will be considered. Residency within the City of Fortuna is desired.
Retirement – PERS 2.0% @ 55 formula for Classic members, 2% @ 62 for NEW members
Medical/Dental/Vision Coverage for Manager plus Dependents – Employee Cost
Employee only $76.36 per month
Employee + 1 $130.32 per month
Employee + 2 or more $179.00 per month
Life Insurance – $10,000, paid by City
Vacation – 1-6 years: 80 hours annually, 7-11 years: 120 hours annually, 12 years and over: 160 hours annually
Holidays – 12 holidays per year (includes 3 floating holidays)
Sick Leave – 8 hours’ accrual per month
For complete job description and job application, contact the City of Fortuna, 621 11th Street, Fortuna, CA 95540, (707) 725-7600, or www.friendlyfortuna.com. Application packets, including a cover letter, required application form, and resume, must be received by 4:00 pm, Friday, September 2, 2016.
Annual Salary: Dependent on Qualifications
Excellent Benefits Package
The City Council is pleased announce the hiring of Regan Candelario as Novato’s new City Manager. Mr. Candelario will start his employment as the City’s 7th City Manager on October 24.
Mr. Candelario has served as the City Manager for the city of Fortuna in Northern California since 2012. Prior to Fortuna, he was the City Administrator for the City of Guadalupe (2010 - 2012), located in Santa Barbara county. Mr. Candelario’s experience also includes 3 years as a project consultant for redevelopment agencies and 17 years with the City of Santa Ana, where he was promoted to Community Development District Manager of District One with responsibility for the coordination of multiagency services to Santa Ana’s residents, businesses and community based organizations.
Mr. Candelario grew up in the San Francisco East Bay area where he attended Moreau High School. He and his wife of 26 years, Shelley, have three children.
“We are extremely pleased to have Regan join us” stated Mayor Pat Eklund. “He distinguished himself during a rigorous screening and interview process and will bring excellent skills and experience to the City of Novato. We are excited about working with him and the community in achieving our goals.” Mayor Eklund added “We would like to sincerely thank Assistant City Manager Cathy Capriola for serving as Interim City Manager. We were and are truly fortunate to have someone of her caliber serve our community.” The City Council appointed Ms. Capriola as Interim City Manager beginning in January 2016 after the departure of former City Manager Michael Frank.
The City Council retained the services of Bob Murray & Associates (BMA), which specializes in public sector executive recruitments, to help coordinate the process of finding a new City Manager. With BMA’s assistance, the Council narrowed a field of 30 applicants to five, who were invited to participate in interviews with three assessment panels. Two of the panels were comprised of community members appointed by the City Council, while the third panel included City employees. One of the community panels included a local city manager, who provided perspective on the candidates as someone in the profession. The City Council as a whole also interviewed the five candidates. After the first round of interviews, the Council invited two of the candidates, including Mr. Candelario, back for a final interview.
Mr. Candelario holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CSU, Long Beach. He has also obtained the Credentialed Manager designation from the International City Manager Association (ICMA) and has served on several policy and advocacy committees with the League of California Cities. Mr. Candelario indicated “I am excited about this opportunity. Novato is a wonderful City with great people. I am honored to be continuing my local government career in Novato and very much look forward to working with the people of Novato and leading the already successful City organization”.
BILLBOARDS TO BE REMOVED ALONG U.S. HIGHWAY 101From HCAOG:
BETWEEN EUREKA AND ARCATA
EUREKA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has come to an agreement with OUTFRONT Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) to remove ten billboards along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata by the end of the year.
The negotiations were initiated as part of the development and eventual permitting of the Eureka-Arcata Corridor Improvement project. More information about this project is available at www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/eureka_arcata/.
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) is pleased to learn that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has reached an agreement with OUTFRONT Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) to remove ten billboards along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata by the end of the year. Removal of these billboards will help Caltrans meet one of the California Coastal Commission’s conditions for permitting the Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project. The Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project is a safety project to reduce collisions at intersections on Route 101 and has been a regional priority for over ten years. The Coastal Commission,
in its Consistency Certification, required removing billboards in the Coastal Zone, to the maximum extent feasible, to mitigate the proposed project’s visual impacts at Indianola Cutoff. Some of the billboards to be removed are located on publicly owned land, without permission of the underlying landowner.
This agreement will also benefit the Humboldt Bay Trail, as some of the billboards subject to this agreement conflict with the location of the proposed trail. The Humboldt Bay Trail is an active transportation and “complete streets” project to build a safe, multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists, ADA accessible, and separated from cars and trucks. The City of Arcata plans to begin constructing the northern segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail in 2017. The County of Humboldt has initiated the engineering and permitting phase for the southern segment; there is as yet no funding secured for the construction phase.
The Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project also remains in the engineering and permitting phase. Construction funding has been authorized by the California Transportation Commission, but construction will likely not begin for at least three to four years.
The Humboldt Bay Trail is being collaboratively developed by HCAOG, County of Humboldt, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, Caltrans, State Coastal Conservancy, North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), and a variety of other agencies and organizations. For more information on trails, see the “State of the Trails Report: Expanding Regional and Local Trail in Humboldt County” (June 2016) at hcaog.net.
Fortuna will see two candidates — former Councilmember Dean Glaser and local business owner Tami Trent — running unopposed for its two open council seats.Ferndale will see a pair of contested races. Vying for an open council seat are incumbent Daniel Brown and challenger Patrick O’Rourke, who lists his occupation as educator. For the mayor’s chair, incumbent Don Hindley will see a challenge from Steve Nunes, who is retired.
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