Media

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Arrest Video Can't be Kept Confidential, Appellate Court Rules

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM

The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car.

A Eureka police video depicting the arrest of a 14-year-old suspect can’t be considered a confidential personnel record and must be released to the public, an appellate court has ruled.

The court’s unanimous decision upholds a May 21, 2015 ruling by Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson, who granted a Journal petition seeking release of the video, finding the public’s interest in seeing the video outweighed any privacy concerns.

The city of Eureka, which objected to the video’s release, along with Humboldt County counsel, appealed Wilson’s ruling, arguing that he erred by not affording the video the protections granted to police officer personnel records. Because the Dec. 6, 2012 arrest led to a citizen complaint and was used as a part of an internal affairs investigation into one of the arresting officer’s conduct, the city argued the video was a part of the officer’s personnel file and should consequently be barred from release.

But in its 12-page ruling authored by Presiding Justice Barbara Jones, the court dismissed that argument, finding the video was not generated as a part of an internal affairs investigation or a record relating specifically to an officer’s advancement, appraisal or discipline.

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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

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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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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Buzzkill: That's Not the World's Tallest Tree

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2016 at 11:38 AM

FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
If you’ve logged on to Facebook in the last couple days, you’ve probably seen that photo to the right. It’s real, it’s beautiful and it’s in Humboldt County. It’s not, however, the tallest tree in the world.

For whatever reason, the picture has been circulating like crazy lately, and it seems to always be accompanied by a misleading or flat-out wrong caption. There could be a whole study of the virality of images and misinformation conducted about it, but, being stuffy, old truth-seekers, we just wanted to set the record straight.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Appellate Court Wants to See EPD Video, Sets Oral Argument Date

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 10:34 AM

The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car.
Justices in California’s First Appellate District have decided they want to look at the police dash camera video Eureka is trying to keep the public from seeing.

In an unusual order, the justices asked the Humboldt County Superior Court file a copy of the video under seal with the appellate court. But the superior court responded saying it doesn’t have a copy of the video in question and the appellate court is now trying to obtain a copy from the city of Eureka.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Huffman Urges DOJ to Clarify Stance on Pot Advertising

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 1:57 PM

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North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman is urging the Department of Justice to rebuff the U.S. Postal Service’s requests and publicly state that it won’t prosecute businesses who are mailing advertisements for marijuana but are acting in line with state law.

Huffman joined seven of his colleagues in penning a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging her to “clarify” how the Department of Justice intends to respond to the USPS’ referring newspapers to her office for potential prosecution for violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act. By “clarify,” the members of congress mean publicly state “that DOJ will not prosecute individuals who are placing advertisements for marijuana products in accordance with state law.”

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Kid's Channel Coming to KEET

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 12:58 PM

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Kids, adjust your rabbit ears. Local PBS affiliate KEET is planning to launch a new, 24-hour children’s programming channel this year.

The channel will feature PBS Kids shows, according to a press release, offering educational and entertaining programming outside of the classic kids-times — Saturday mornings and before and after school hours.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

El Gañador

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 5:17 PM

TWITTER/@NOTICIASLENADOR
  • Twitter/@noticiaslenador
Humboldt State University’s bilingual student newspaper El Leñador was recently named California’s best non-weekly student newspaper.

At its Excellence in Student Media awards banquet in Los Angeles, the California College Media Association tapped the now 3-year-old paper for its First Place prize for the category of Best Newspaper, with a judge noting that the Spanish-English paper “captures the multicultural component of its audience with flair.”

The paper has been a multi-departmental project at HSU, spearheaded by Journalism and Mass Communications Chair (and Journal columnist) Marcy Burstiner and World Languages and Cultures Chair Rosamel Benavides Garb.

Check out the press full press release copied below, which includes some special kudos for former El Leñador editor and Journal contributor Manuel Orbegozo. You can also view the paper’s award-winning issues here, here and here. And, it’s on news stands now in The Lumberjack, so make sure to pick it up.

From HSU:
Los Angeles, California — The California College Media Association named El Leñador the best non-weekly student newspaper in the state at its Excellence in Student Media Awards Banquet Feb. 20.
The bilingual newspaper received the First Place award for Best Newspaper, competing against monthly and bi-weekly papers from 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities across California.

"As a student journalist this is what you strive for," said El Leñador Editor-in-Chief Javier Rojas. "When this publication started back in 2013 the goal of El Leñador was to give a voice to underrepresented students on campus and now to be called the best newspaper, it's incredible."

In awarding El Leñador first place, the judges said: "It captures the multicultural component of its audience with flair."

El Leñador started in 2013 as an interdisciplinary faculty-student research project with students from the Journalism and Spanish majors teamed up with Journalism & Mass Communication Chair Marcy Burstiner and World Languages and Cultures Chair Rosamel Benavides-Garb.

"Huge credit goes to Manuel Orbegozo and Shareen McFall who were the first two editors of the paper," Rojas said. "They influenced the paper in so many ways and are equally deserving credit of this award."
El Leñador was initially funded by grants from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It also received funding from The Lumberjack, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the President's Loyalty Fund.

"Winning First Place was well-deserved," said Burstiner. "In just three years, these students have created a newspaper that serves not just the Latino community on campus but the wider Latino community of Humboldt County."

Rojas and his team will deliver the second issue of the spring term this week. "It makes me proud on many levels," Rojas said. "But I'm more happy for the staff and editors that came before me that had a heavy influence on the paper. "

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Want to Win a Night at the Benbow Inn (Plus Wine and Chocolate)?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 2:53 PM

You could be here. - FILE
  • File
  • You could be here.
Did you blow Valentine’s Day? Are you sitting in your cubicle right now wondering why that chocolate rose and repurposed post card didn’t do the trick? Or maybe you’re at your desk, contemplating a lifetime of loneliness because you showed your partner the door after he/she showed up with a heart shaped pizza, a bottle of André and a VHS copy of Point Break? No matter the depths of your despair, we’re here to help you turn those wrongs into a right.

Remember the photo contest we announced last week, the quest for the perfect shot to capture winter in Humboldt County? Well, we’re announcing today that the winner of said contest — whoever shoots the majestic photo ultimately selected by Journal staff as the best of the bunch — will receive a night’s stay at the historic Benbow Inn, a bottle of vino and some Dick Taylor chocolate on us. That ought to be enough to get you back on some solid footing with your partner or to get you on the good foot with someone new. Or, at the very least, it seems like a pretty damn classy way to be miserable.

If you need to brush up on the entry guidelines, check out our original post here. Good luck.
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Huffman Backs Bill to get USPS off our Backs

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 3:24 PM

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Last month, the U.S. Postal Service contacted the Journal to tell us we were breaking federal law by including medical marijuana advertisements in our paper, which is mailed to subscribers through the USPS. Those advertisements, of course, are legal in the state of California. 

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fair Association Ordered to Pay $45K in Attorney Fees

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Caroline and Stuart Titus. - FILE
  • File
  • Caroline and Stuart Titus.
A local judge has ordered the Humboldt County Fair Association to pay more than $45,000 in attorney’s fees to a Davis lawyer who successfully represented Ferndale Enterprise Publisher Caroline Titus in her public records lawsuit against the association.

Titus filed suit in April seeking access to the association’s financial records after multiple requests under the California Public Records Act went unanswered. After months of requests and a plea to Humboldt County First District Supervisor Rex Bohn proved fruitless, Titus retained attorney Paul Nicholas Boylan and filed suit.

In June, the association and Titus reached a settlement under which the association agreed to make its financial records open to the public, as is required by the association’s lease agreement with the county. Boylan then pursued attorney fees in excess of $100,000 for his work on the case.

In a written ruling filed last week, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen determined Boylan’s request exceeded the fair local market rate, which Reinholtsen put at $400 an hour. The judge consequently ordered the association to pay Boylan’s fees in the amount of $44,760 for the almost 1,112 hours he worked on the case “involving an important issue benefitting the public.” Additionally, Reinholtsen ordered that the association reimburse Titus and Boylan for $1,000 in costs they incurred bringing the case.

“What a shame that 18 HCFA board members, their general manager, their attorney and Bohn ignored our requests and forced us to seek a legal resolution,” Titus said in an email to the Journal. “The most important result of our case is that the fair signed a [memorandum of understanding], stating that all financial records will remain open to the public, per the terms of the lease … so no one will (hopefully) have to go through this again.”

Titus said Boylan offered to settle the fee claim back in July for $33,840, but the association’s attorney, Randy Andrada, who represents the California Fair Services Authority (which essentially acts as the association’s insurance carrier), made a counter offer of just $10,000. From there, the parties went to court.

For his part, Boylan said the association’s settlement stance in the case constituted a waste of taxpayer money. He estimated that Andrada likely billed the California Fair Services Authority as much as $40,000 while avoiding settlement and unsuccessfully opposing the Enterprise’s fee motion.

Boylan estimated that the entire affair cost the CFSA somewhere in the neighborhood of $85,000, some $51,000 more than his original settlement offer. "And," he added, "the entire failure was financed with public tax revenues in the form of dues from public agencies paid to CFSA.”

Humboldt County Fair Association Richard Conway did not immediately return a call seeking comment for this story.

Titus and her husband, Stuart, also recently received a separate $150,000 settlement from the HCFA in a federal First Amendment and wrongful termination lawsuit they brought against the association after its board voted 11-8 in 2013 not to renew Stuart’s contract as the association’s general manager, a position he’d held for 22 years. In the suit, the Tituses alleged that the board fired Stuart in retaliation for his unwillingness to keep Caroline from writing pieces in the Enterprise that made fair board members look bad, as well as his repeated reminders that the board should abide by state open meeting laws.

Editor's Note: In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Paul Nicholas Boylan is currently representing the Journal in the city of Eureka's appeal of a local judge's ruling ordering a portion of a police dash camera video released to the public. Read more about that case here.
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