North Coast Journal

NEWS BRIEFS - May 1996


Drug addicts and alcoholics who qualified for Social Security benefits primarily because of their addictions will be cut off Jan. 1, regardless of whether they are in an addiction treatment program. The new law will affect 683 people in Humboldt County, according to the Eureka Social Security Office.

Some addicts will be able to continue receiving benefits if they have other physical or mental disabilities, but they must apply as soon as possible -- and no later than July 28 -- to the office at 1001 Searles St. for a new medical determination.



Barring any last-minute glitches, Humboldt County will be on the big screen again. This time our forests and shores will provide the setting for a tropical island where dinosaurs roam.

"The Lost World," Stephen Spielberg's sequel to "Jurassic Park," will probably film scenes here in August, with set builders arriving as early as May 15, according to Kathleen Gordon-Burke, film liaison for the Convention &Visitors Bureau.

Unlike "Outbreak," which was filmed in Ferndale in 1994, "The Lost World" will not hire extras. But food services, hair stylists, rental car agencies, office workers and others should be on the lookout for opportunities associated with the film, says Gordon-Burke.



At press time, the Blue Lake Planning Commission had scheduled its third session over the controversial Ultrapower tire-burning proposal for April 29. The planning commission's decision will be sent to the City Council for final action on the 90-day test burn.

Concerns over air pollution drifting west, however, moved some Arcata residents to urge the Arcata City Council to speak out against the tire burning. In response, the council members voted to write a letter to their Blue Lake counterparts advising them of the Arcatans' worries and asking them to consider this in their environmental review.



Blue Lake also is scrambling to recover state money it needs to reconstruct a critical Mad River levee damaged in last December's floods.

"We found out we were denied because the head person at OES (Office of Emergency Services) felt that we had a pre-existing condition (rather than an emergency condition)," said City Clerk Karen Nessler.

The city's staff is drafting an appeal to the decision. "We can prove that it was not a pre-existing condition," said Nessler. Shoring up the banks is important for down-river communities as well; sewage from the Blue Lake treatment plant could be drawn into the Mad River in winters if the levee isn't fixed. "If the water is as high as Dec. 29 but of longer duration with more snow melt," the floods could reach as far as the plant, said Nessler.



After tussling for years about opening winter shelters, the county supervisors and the Eureka City Council agreed last month to work together with human service agencies to create a permanent housing facility for homeless adults and children.

"It's still a hope and a dream but it's the closest we've come," says Simone Taylor, shelter program director for Redwood Community Action Agency, which is likely to be one of the main players in creating a shelter.

Taylor says that RCAA is particularly interested in creating a place that supports people in moving out of homelessness and dependency "by giving people the tools they need to really change their lives."



Seventy-four percent of the members of Eureka's Ingomar Club voted to endorse its board of directors' decision to accept women members. The vote was taken after 50 members signed a petition requesting a vote of the full membership on the action taken by the board.




Louisiana-Pacific Corp. and the Surfrider Foundation have agreed that less is more. The $350,000 fund set up after L-P and Simpson were found responsible for pollution on the north jetty will be used to support many small projects in the bay, ocean and dunes instead of one large beach-use facility.

Disagreement over how the fund would be spent nearly unraveled the 1991 settlement. "At the beginning, I would have guaranteed this would end up back in court," said Peter Pennekamp, head of the Humboldt Area Foundation, which will manage the fund. But after "wisdom on both sides (prevailed) I was surprised and pleased to be wrong."

Earnings from the fund will result in about $14,000 a year in small grants for recreation, public access, research and education activities. Grant applications will be available in the fall. For details, call 442-2993.



After announcing in late March that low pulp prices would force it to close its Samoa mill temporarily, Louisiana-Pacific Corp. struck a deal with its chip suppliers that allowed the company to reduce its losses enough to keep the mill working.

The company praised its suppliers for "drastically" cutting the cost of the chips they sell to the pulp mill and preventing layoffs of L-P's 225 workers. Timber companies had few other options, however. Since Simpson closed its pulp mill in February 1993, L-P has been the only major buyer of wood waste in the area.

"We wouldn't have any other place to send it which would create a big solid waste issue," said Ken Skaggs, chief financial officer for Blue Lake Forest Products. Skaggs says Blue Lake ships about eight truckloads of chips a day to L-P.



A preliminary hearing in the murder case against Humboldt State University Professor Larry Angelel will be held June 11.

Angelel is accused of the murder of his wife, Lonna Rae Angelel, who disappeared in December. At press time, Municipal Court Judge Bruce Watson was considering whether Angelel's personnel file from the university ought to be made available to the prosecution.

Lonna Angelel's son, Michael Angelel, has filed a civil suit against his stepfather, Larry Angelel, seeking damages and costs associated with his mother's death, including counseling and funeral expenses. Larry Angelel is still in custody at Humboldt County Jail with bail set at $1 million.



Rules for the 1996 fishing season will allow commercial salmon fishing off the shores of Hunmboldt County for the fist time since 1991.

The quotas developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council -- whose recommendation is expected to be ratified by the U.S. Commerce Department -- will allow 2,500 chinook salmon to be taken in August and 6,000 in September. Size limits have been raised to 27 inches along the entire California coast to protect the diminishing winter run chinook, which tend to be smaller than fall run chinook.

All ocean fishing for coho salmon will still be banned. The National Marine Fisheries Service is under pressure from a federal court and environmental groups to list the coho as "threatened," which would prompt corrective action in many Humboldt County watersheds.

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