Saturday, August 20, 2016

‘Friendly City’ Taking Names for City Manager

Posted By on Sat, Aug 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Regan Candelario - FILE
  • File
  • Regan Candelario
The city of Fortuna is recruiting candidates to replace outgoing City Manager Regan Candelario, who is returning to his Bay Area roots to take the same position in Novato.

The move comes almost exactly three years after he was hired in Fortuna, which is accepting city manager applications until Sept. 22.

With his new job, Candelario, who hails from the East Bay, will take the helm of a larger city — 55,000 residents compared to Fortuna’s 12,000 — and receive a corresponding paycheck bump to $191,000, according to the city of Novato. His first day there is Oct. 24.

When he was hired by the “Friendly City” in 2012, his starting base salary was $107,000.

“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,” Candelario said in a city of Novato release.

From the city of Fortuna:

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 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

From the city of Novato:

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”.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Registration Deadlines Loom for Marijuana Farmers

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 2:24 PM

  • File
Humboldt County marijuana farmer's train to legitimacy is preparing to leave the station.

There are a couple of deadlines looming for marijuana growers throughout the county who want to go legit. Most imminently, Tuesday is the last day for people or businesses to register existing medical cannabis cultivation sites with the county. This is a necessary step for those wanting to be deemed in “good standing” under California’s new Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, a designation that will make folks eligible for “priority processing” for a state license when they come available.

Now to be fully eligible for the “good standing” designation, operations must be fully permitted and reviewed by the Humboldt County sheriff, the district attorney, the agricultural commissioner and the division of environmental health. But the first step down that road is registration, and the deadline to get the three-page registration packets to Planning and Building is the close of business Tuesday (packets can also be sent electronically or postmarked by the end of the day on Aug. 23).

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UPDATED: Bay Billboards No More

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:16 AM


The Humboldt County Association of Governments just issued a press release noting that removal of the 10 billboards won’t just be good for scenery enthusiasts, but also for the Humboldt Bay Trail and the Safety Corridor Improvement Project. See the press release copied below, along with a billboard map.

Motorists on the Safety Corridor will soon have a clear view of the bay.

Caltrans announced this morning that it has reached an agreement with Outfront Media, formerly known as CBS Outdoor, to remove the 10 billboards the company owns along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata. The billboards are slated to come down by the end of the year, according to Caltrans, which would bring an end to years of wrangling that, at one time, saw a billboard bandit take matters into his or her own hands by sawing down several of the signs.

See the full release from Caltrans copied below:

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
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

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Election Council Seat Roundup

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Election season is officially upon us. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Election season is officially upon us.
With the dust settled after Wednesday’s filing deadline, local city council races have solidified.

There was some movement — with one Eureka candidate, Allen McCloskey, bowing out due to health reasons and someone stepping in to take his place on the ballot — at the 11th hour, and it seems most cities will have at least one contested race on their ballots come November.

Here’s the rundown:

Trinidad has two candidates running unopposed for two seats: incumbent Jack West and Humboldt State University Director of Admissions Steve Ladwig.

Arcata has five candidates vying for three open seats: incumbents Michael Winkler, Susan Ornelas and Paul Pitino, along with challengers Daniel Murphy, a local chef, and Valerie Rose-Campbell, a playgroup facilitator for the city.

Eureka will see Eureka Faith Center co-pastor Heidi Messner running unopposed for the city’s 2nd Ward seat, while local accountant John Fullerton and St. Joseph Hospital employee Austin Allison will square off on the race to represent the city’s 4th Ward.

Blue Lake has one qualified candidate for three open seats on the city's council: Adelene L. Jones – an incumbent who is listed as a retired educator on her ballot designation. City Clerk April Sousa said the council will be deciding how to move forward at its next meeting.

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.

Rio Dell has three candidates going after two open council seats, with challengers Bryan K. Richter, a contractor, and Susan Strahan, a local business owner, taking on incumbent Frank Wilson, an electrician.
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Monday, August 15, 2016

Life-Saving Librarian, Narcan Prevent Overdose Death

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 3:37 PM

The use of Narcan appears to have prevented two Humboldt County overdose deaths in the last month. - PRESS OF AC
  • Press of AC
  • The use of Narcan appears to have prevented two Humboldt County overdose deaths in the last month.
The overdose reversal drug Narcan has saved at least two lives in Humboldt County this month.

Over the weekend, Arcata police officers revived an unconscious 29-year-old man with a nasal spray dose in the department’s first use of Narcan since officers began carrying the medication that counteracts the effects of opioids.

Earlier this month, librarian Kitty Yancheff did the same.

“I never thought I’d have to use it,” said Yancheff, the public service division manager who works at the main library in Eureka. “You never expect it to happen, but you just don’t know.”

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Medical Marijuana Tax Bill Goes Up in Smoke

Posted By on Sat, Aug 13, 2016 at 2:45 PM

The Legislature has backed away from a pair of bills that would have imposed next taxes on medical marijuana. - PHOTO BY SHANGO LOS
  • photo by Shango Los
  • The Legislature has backed away from a pair of bills that would have imposed next taxes on medical marijuana.
The second bill by a North Coast lawmaker seeking to tax medical marijuana has died quietly in the California Legislature, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting.

North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, had authored a unique bill aiming to tax the state’s booming medical marijuana market that appeared to have widespread support, passing the Assembly with a 60-12 vote and easily clearing a Senate committee a couple of months ago. But Thursday, according to the Press Democrat, the bill was shelved by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee without comment. Making things all the bleaker for the bill’s prospects of resurfacing, Wood told the Press Democrat on Friday that he wasn’t given a reason for the committee’s decision and that he is “hugely disappointed.”

Wood’s bill would have imposed an excise tax of $4.75, $9.25 or $13.25 per ounce of produced marijuana bud depending on cultivation volume, and a $1.25 per-plant levy for immature plants. The bill was expected to raise up to $80 million annually, 90 percent of which would have been earmarked for local law enforcement and environmental cleanups.

A bill by North Coast Sen. Mike McGuire that would have imposed a 10 percent sales tax on medical marijuana products died in committee in June, as we previously reported. Opponents of both bills had voiced an ethical problem with imposing revenue generating taxes on a medicine.

The apparent death of Wood’s bill leaves no active medical marijuana tax bills in the Legislature this year. However, Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which seeks to legalize recreational use in California and is set to go before voters in November, does include some hefty tax provisions. Specifically, the measure would impose a $9.25 per ounce excise tax on all marijuana production and a 15 percent tax on all sales. In total, revenue from the proposition is projected to reach up to $1 billion annually.

For more, check out the full Press Democrat story here and prior Journal coverage here.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Council Races Take Shape: Stunning Turn in Eureka's 2nd

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Local election season is officially ramping up. - FILE
  • File
  • Local election season is officially ramping up.

City council races throughout Humboldt County are taking shape and a shocking turn has left Eureka Faith Center co-pastor Heidi Messner running unopposed for Eureka's 2nd Ward seat, which is being vacated by the termed-out Linda Atkins.

Both Wells Fargo broker Matthew Owen and former 5th Ward Councilman Chet Albin had submitted papers qualifying for the ballot but — seemingly at the 11th hour — both informed Eureka City Clerk Pam Powell that they were withdrawing from the race, leaving the little-known (politically, anyway) Messner alone in the race.

In his email to Powell, which was sent at exactly 5 p.m. and a copy of which he provided to the Journal, Owen said he's spent the last six months actively trying to recruit folks to step up and run for the open council seat. But — with a busy work schedule, his post as Eureka Rotary president and more — Owen said he was deciding to bow out of the race with news that there were already two other candidates qualified. In a text message to the Journal, Owen said he was unaware Albin also decided to bow out of the race.

Meanwhile, Eureka’s 4th Ward seat currently held by Melinda Ciarabellini, who announced earlier this week that she won’t seek re-election, is so far being sought by local accountant and former long-time Eureka City Schools Board member John Fullerton and Providence St. Joseph Health lab technician Allen McCloskey. This race could pick up additional candidates, though, as the filing deadline has been extended until the close of business Wednesday, Aug. 17, due to Ciarabellini’s opting out of the race.

Familiar faces abound in Arcata, as well, where incumbents Michael Winkler, Susan Ornelas and Paul Pitinio have all re-entered the ring, along with challenger Daniel Murphy, who will be looking to unseat one of the three sitting councilmembers as the group vies for three seats.

Down in Fortuna, where the filing deadline has also been extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, due to an incumbent — Douglas Strehl — bowing out of the race, Tami Trent and former Councilmember Dean Glaser have thus far thrown their hats into the ring for the Friendly City’s two open council seats.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ticket to Ride: Veteran Helps to Bring About Bus Pass Program

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 12:19 PM

A Redwood Transit Bus rolls into HSU’s library circle. Photo by David Lawlor.
  • A Redwood Transit Bus rolls into HSU’s library circle. Photo by David Lawlor.
U.S. Navy veteran John Gengenbach arrived in Eureka two years ago this month with his remaining possessions packed in the Chevrolet Tahoe that he slept in at night.

This was not how he planned to come to the West Coast.

The now 58-year-old Gengenbach and his longtime partner Lynn Brascugli-Damberg had been readying for retirement. They were going to sell their home and the antique shop they operated in Minnesota, move to California, and open a bed and breakfast on the Smith River.

All that changed when she was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. Over the course of her illness, they lost their house and their business. Then, Gengenbach lost her.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Housing 30 People in 60 Days: The Clock Starts Today

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 4:38 PM

Supervisor Virginia Bass speaks at the launch of the city and county's Housing First campaign. The cleaning supplies were donated by a local outreach group as a "welcome home" gift to new renters. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Supervisor Virginia Bass speaks at the launch of the city and county's Housing First campaign. The cleaning supplies were donated by a local outreach group as a "welcome home" gift to new renters.
Today the city of Eureka and county of Humboldt officially launched their Housing First campaign. The get-together from noon to 1 p.m. at city hall featured light refreshments and a discussion on how to house 30 people in 60 days, an “achievable goal” recommended as the initial step for implementation of a larger Housing First plan by Focus Strategies, a consultancy firm hired by the city to help solve its entrenched homelessness problem. But how successful the city has been, and will be, on implementing Focus Strategies’ recommendations depends on who you ask.

Recommendations from Focus Strategies, which Eureka paid $80,000 in 2014, include adopting a county-wide Housing First model. Eureka has historically borne the brunt of countywide issues with homelessness and poverty. In January of 2016, the city and county met for a historic joint meeting and later agreed to adopt and implement the recommendations of the report, which also included strengthening the Mobile Intervention and Services Team (MIST), creating low barrier pathways to housing and using data systems to track progress.

“We’ve kind of been doing it all along with the implementation of the MIST Team, and [Multiple Assistance Center], as well as setting people up in the container village,” said Melinda Petersen, Eureka’s housing projects manager in a phone interview, referring to the joint project between Betty Chinn and the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights, in which shipping containers were converted into small dwellings. “What we’re trying to do is kick off 30 folks in 60 days. We’ve been moving them along since January, housing folks.”

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

UPDATE: Eureka to Discuss Police Video Case Tonight, has Already Spent Thousands on Appeal

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 3:18 PM

Police dash cameras capture loads of footage. But who should get to see it? - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Police dash cameras capture loads of footage. But who should get to see it?

The Eureka City Council made no report out of closed session Tuesday night, indicating it has not yet made a final decision on whether to petition the California Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling ordering the release of a police video of officers arresting a juvenile in 2012. The city has until Aug. 28 to challenge the appellate court's ruling.

In closed session tonight, the Eureka City Council is slated to discuss a recent appellate court ruling upholding a Humboldt County judge’s order to release a police video of officers arresting a juvenile suspect back in 2012.

Meanwhile, records turned over to the Journal this week in response to a California Public Records Act request indicate the city has already spent at least $7,683 unsuccessfully appealing Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson’s ruling. On May 20, 2015, Wilson found the public’s interest in seeing footage of the 2012 arrest of a 14-year-old outweighed any privacy concerns, and granted a Journal petition that sought the video’s release.

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