Community

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eureka Rotary, Volunteers Go Rogue, Clean up Problem House

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 10:39 AM

Before the cleanup. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Before the cleanup.
After a day's work. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • After a day's work.













What a difference a day, a backhoe and 10 volunteers can make.

A couple of weekends ago, the Rotary Club of Eureka organized a cleanup of a long troublesome property on the corner of Summer and Del Norte streets. The place was a mess. A junk car sat in the driveway, almost consumed by piles of trash and debris, including an old stove, furniture, clothes and even a few hypodermic syringes.

The place has been vacant, save for one tenant is in the process of being evicted and some squatters, and some neighbors have reportedly taken to dumping trash in its front and back yards. The property itself is a foreclosure owned by Nationstar Mortgage, a Texas company with a portfolio of more than $400 billion in properties.

The city of Eureka is currently fining Nationstar $1,000 a day for code violations on the property. The tab is up to almost $100,000, according to Deputy Public Works Director Brian Issa.

“We started fining them as soon as the bank took over (ownership),” Issa said. “It’s very difficult to get these big banks to do something and I don’t like to spend taxpayer money cleaning up their messes. That being the case, I prefer just to fine them to the hilt … I have to admit, I get a little bit of a warm fuzzy out of it.”

Issa said the place on Summer and Del Norte is emblematic of a larger issue, which is that at any given time, there seems to be some property in Eureka owned by a national bank that is left unattended and winds up being a magnet for squatters and illegal dumpers. The city can procure a warrant and send in a crew to clean these properties up, Issa said, but it’s an expensive process (around $10,000) that demands a lot of staff time.

And, generally, Issa said that because the properties are vacant and unattended, they don’t stay clean for very long. Plus, Issa said he has a philosophical problem with spending taxpayer dollars to clean up a bank’s mess. Instead, the city opts for the $1,000 per day fines, which add up quickly.

“If they’re not going to take care of problems that they have all the resources in the world to do,
we’re going to soak them a little bit,” Issa said. “We’re going to make it hurt.”

Ultimately, Issa said the money collected from these fines — typically more than $100,000 a year — goes to other targeted enforcement actions by the department that it believes will have a more lasting impact.

But Issa said he realizes these properties have an immediate impact on those who live around them, which he said makes the recent Rotary volunteer day so welcome. The volunteers were able to do something that would have been much more difficult — and expensive — for the city to take on.

“Technically, what they did is not legal,” Issa said. “Technically, they trespassed. We can’t do that. But kudos to them. They took on a neighborhood problem and addressed it.”

Rotary Club of Eureka President Matthew Owen said about 10 people turned out for the cleanup event, including his wife and Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass. He said the local McDonalds provided breakfast for the volunteers, Pierson Company donated a backhoe and operator for the effort, and Humboldt Recology donated a large Dumpster to haul away the trash.

When people stopped by while the crew was working to ask what they were doing or thank them, Owen said he tried to stress that this is something any neighborhood group can do. He also said he spent some time later that week knocking on doors in the area and encouraging people to take ownership of their neighborhoods and get involved.

He said he was disappointed to drive by a few days later only to see trash again accumulating on the property. For his part, Issa urged anyone with a problem house in their neighborhood to call the building department at 441-4155 or its inspection request line at 441-4043. And he said people shouldn’t delay, as these houses can “spiral out of control quickly.”

Other folks looking to get involved with cleaning up Eureka can participate in a citywide cleanup from noon to 1:30 p.m. on March 25. The group will be gathering in the McDonalds/Park City parking lot near the Bayshore Mall and dispersing from there. McDonalds will provide free lunch to those who participate.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Milk Run in the Sun

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 9:39 AM

Runners take off on the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Runners take off on the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday.
There wasn't much in the way of fog in Ferndale when runners of all ages pounded the Victorian Village's pavement during the Foggy Bottom Milk Run on Sunday. In fact, the 4-mile, 10-mile and 2-mile loops began and ended under blue sky on Main Street, which was lined on both sides with clusters of cheering onlookers.

The day's winners included Michael Guerrero for the men's 4-mile with a time of 23:22 and Lanore Bergenske for the women's 4-mile at 29:16. First over the finish line for the 10-mile were Aaron Campbell at 56:44 and Tami Beal at 1:10:15. August Garcinero finished the 2-mile in 10:27 and Elsa Nolan covered it in 13:05. Complete results will be posted on the Six Rivers Running Club website
Michael Guerrero, winner of the 4-mile, still had enough energy for this move. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Michael Guerrero, winner of the 4-mile, still had enough energy for this move.

Lanore Bergenske was the first woman of the day to cross the finish line in the 4-mile. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Lanore Bergenske was the first woman of the day to cross the finish line in the 4-mile.
At 2 p.m. the street was packed for the shortest of the day's races, the 2-mile. Instead of lightly bouncing pros with sinewy calves and hi-tech shoes, the starting line was packed with kids of all ages. They jostled and chatted, hooting and clapping for the last runners from the 10-mile. Mike Pigg announced to the crowd that this year's goal was to not have anyone fall down, then led the countdown to the start.

The 2-mile race was a younger crowd overall. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • The 2-mile race was a younger crowd overall.
Serious runners wove their way to the front of the pack and the crowd spread out. Once over the finish line, participants big and small (a few in strollers) headed for the tent stalls for orange wedges and cartons of chocolate milk, taking photos with their medals in the sunshine.

Mike Pigg informs the kids up front that this year's goal is to have nobody fall down at the start. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Mike Pigg informs the kids up front that this year's goal is to have nobody fall down at the start.

Post-race cool down in the afternoon sun. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Post-race cool down in the afternoon sun.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Puppy Plucked From Humboldt Bay to be Adopted by Rescuer

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 1:17 PM

This puppy was plucked out of Humboldt Bay after being dropped from the Samoa Bridge by an unknown suspect. She is set to be adopted by one of the fishing crew members who helped rescue her. - COURTESY OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of the Sheriff's Office
  • This puppy was plucked out of Humboldt Bay after being dropped from the Samoa Bridge by an unknown suspect. She is set to be adopted by one of the fishing crew members who helped rescue her.

One of the fishermen who rescued a puppy thrown off of the Samoa Bridge is set to adopt her.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is currently looking for the man who dropped the young dog off the bridge's middle span around 9:30 a.m. on Monday. The suspect is described as a white male, late teens to early 20s, wearing a red-brimmed baseball hat with yellow writing. He fled the area on a black and white bike.

The puppy was rescued by a fishing crew that witnessed the incident and boated over to help the dog.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office.

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
On Monday, March 13, 2017, at approximately 0930 hours, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report that someone had dropped a puppy off the middle span of the Samoa Bridge. A fishing crew on a boat witnessed the incident and was able to rescue the puppy from the water. An Animal Control Officer responded to investigate, and took custody of the puppy.

The female puppy was transported by the Officer to a local veterinarian and is in good condition. The puppy is currently at the Humboldt County Animal Shelter and will soon be adopted out to one of the persons who rescued her.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, late teens early 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat with a red brim with yellow writing and a white flannel jacket The suspect left the area in an unknown direction riding a black and red bicycle.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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Sheriff Downey: 'It Has Been An Honor to Serve'

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 11:27 AM

Sheriff Mike Downey addresses members of  his office and local officials during a departmental review Monday before his retirement in May. - COURTESY OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of the Sheriff's Office
  • Sheriff Mike Downey addresses members of his office and local officials during a departmental review Monday before his retirement in May.
Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey thanked the men and women under his command during a departmental review on Monday as he counts down to his last weeks in office and the end of a three-decade-long career in law enforcement.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Humboldt County. It has been an honor to serve you guys,” he said.

More than 100 members of his department and local officials attended the noon gathering at the Sequoia Conference Center, with Downey personally shaking hands and speaking with each person as he walked down the line of seats set up in the room.

The sheriff, who was first elected in June of 2010, announced last month that he would retire in May.

Downey said he’s seen a lot of changes during his 31 years with the sheriff’s office in Humboldt County, but the main tennent and vision of law enforcement remains the same: providing “good reliable service to the public.”

“You can never forget that,” he told the members of his department.
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Update: Bodies of Mother, Girls Recovered From Klamath River

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 3:52 PM

Elizabeth Palmer, with her two daughters, Lizzie and Victoria. - GOFUNDME
  • GoFundMe
  • Elizabeth Palmer, with her two daughters, Lizzie and Victoria.
Update: The CHP confirmed today that the bodies of Elizabeth Palmer and her two young girls have been recovered after their car crashed into the Klamath River over the weekend.

Previously
A diver working alongside the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department this morning found a car in the Klamath River that is believed to contain the remains of Elizabeth Palmer and her two young daughters.

The car slid off of State Route 96 and into the rain-swollen river Sunday evening. Jose Paredes Chavez, the father of the two girls, 4-year-old Lizzie and 15-month-old Victoria, was also in the vehicle, which was swept away as he tried to unbuckle one of his daughters from her carseat, according to a GoFundMe page established by Palmer's sister. Chavez then climbed up the 500 foot embankment to find help.

The California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Trinity County Search and Rescue, and U.S. Coast Guard searched for the vehicle but were not able to safely continue rescue efforts, according to a press release from the CHP on Tuesday, which said they would continue to search when the weather abated.

Citizens in the small town of Orleans decided to act. A community member who is an experienced diver volunteered to go to the site where they thought the car could be found, a back water eddy near where the vehicle left the bank, leaving marks along the shore. Penny Eckert, a member of the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors, did not name the community member, but said he and a friend with a jet boat were able to put in about a half mile from the site, and that the fire department stood by as shore support.

A rescue diver was also on scene in case something went awry. It took the team less than 40 minutes between leaving the fire department and arriving at the site to find the car. They used cables to secure it to several trees before calling the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. Eckert could not confirm that the bodies of the family were in the car, although they have been presumed dead since Tuesday morning.

"Our greatest hope is that we are able to give closure to this family that has already suffered so much," said Eckert. "This tragic event has really helped our community focus on how important we are to one another."

The GoFundMe crowdfunding site for the family's funeral expenses has already reached $19,795 of its $20,000 goal, with 323 people donating in one day.

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The Political Climate With Jill Stein at HSU

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Jill Stein speaking at the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State University on March 8 at 6 p.m. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Jill Stein speaking at the Kate Buchanan Room at Humboldt State University on March 8 at 6 p.m.

Jill Stein stepped on stage as a welcoming crowd of more than 300 community members clapped and cheered. She raised a peace sign in the air, which brought people in the Humboldt State University lecture hall to their feet.


Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee, came to campus to discuss a wide array of political topics yesterday. Although subjects ranged from vaccinations to Russian agents, there seemed to be a few general themes throughout the night.


Indigenous rights and solidarity, environmental activism, political establishment and the future of the American people were recurring themes that dominated questions and discussion more than over three hours. The discussion was followed with questions and praise from community members and students.


“Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump,” Stein said. “Hands down, if he wasn’t sabotaged by the DNC.”



Just before Stein came on stage, she was introduced and welcomed by a handful of students and community members. Nicola Walters said she was honored to have put her body on the line at Standing Rock and Stein won her vote by doing the same.


“I was honored to stand alongside Indigenous elders, Veterans for Peace, activists from the American Indian movement and water protectors from across the country for something that was bigger than myself,” Walters said.


Walters is a student in the middle of her thesis in Southern Humboldt focusing on environment and communities. She said the only reason she picked up a ballot this year was to vote on local races and measures, but she ended up filling the bubble for the Green Party as a vote for the environment.

Another community member welcomed Stein by playing a song she wrote and composed titled, “Water is Life,” which was inspired by Standing Rock before the election.


Sarah Torres, one of the people who introduced Stein, began by saying she wanted to acknowledge that everyone present for the event was on Wiyot land. “You took my land from so long ago,” she sang to the slow acoustic sound of her guitar.




According to the Humboldt County Election's Office, Stein received a little more than 3,000 votes in the county, which saw a 73 percent voter turnout. In comparison, Hillary Clinton took more than 33,000 votes in Humboldt and Donald Trump took about 18,300, while Gary Johnson finished with with about 1,200 local votes. But nationally, Stein has been criticized for siphoning votes away from Clinton in what proved to be crucial battle ground states, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where she received more than 1 percent of the vote, according to CNN.


Stein's low Humboldt County vote total didn't seem to diminish her enthusiasm for the county. “For me,” she said, “this is where I get my batteries recharged.”

Erik Rydberg wearing a jacket that reads "#NoDAPL" at the Jill Stein discussion held at Humboldt State University on March 8. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • Erik Rydberg wearing a jacket that reads "#NoDAPL" at the Jill Stein discussion held at Humboldt State University on March 8.

A long line of people lined up to ask questions of Stein during the event and when time started to run short, organizers instituted two lightning rounds were people got only a minute to ask Stein whatever was on their minds.

Questions ranged from her view on vaccinations, indigenous rights and our present political climate took up the last hour and a half. Responding to a handful of community members, Stein said she was never anti-vaccination, though she said she questioned big pharmacy companies and their research on vaccinations.


In a little more than three and a half hours, Stein and the gathering discussed topics that ranged all over the political spectrum. She spoke of climate change, the democratic party, Bernie Sanders supporters, DAPL and urged the younger generations to get involved.


“No pressure,” Stein said. “But it’s always the younger generation to make the transformative change.”

The event was organized by Climate Crisis and HSU's Green club. Banners were displayed inside the KBR while Jill Stein discussed politics on March 8. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • The event was organized by Climate Crisis and HSU's Green club. Banners were displayed inside the KBR while Jill Stein discussed politics on March 8.


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Monday, March 6, 2017

CHP Investigating Fatal Weekend Accidents

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 11:41 AM

chp-patch.gif
The California Highway Patrol is investigation two fatal accidents over the weekend, including the death of a man who was struck Saturday night on Redway Drive after apparently walking in front of a Peterbilt tank truck — the second Southern Humboldt pedestrian death in one week.

On Sunday evening, the 83-year-old female driver of a Toyota Camry died after being ejected from the car when it suddenly veered off U.S. Highway 101 in northern Mendocino County and down an embankment before hitting a culvert pipe that sent the vehicle airborne near Ryan Creed Road.

Neither of the victims has been identified. The woman in the Camry was from Phoenix, Arizona. The pedestrian was a 50-year-old Redway resident who became the second such fatality this week. On Feb. 25, 32-year-old Travis Rothwell was killed after being hit by a car as he ran across U.S. Highway 101 near the Garberville exit.

Read the full CHP press release on the March 4 incident below:
On March 4, 2017, at approximately 2017 hours, a 1994 Peterbilt tank truck driven by Leroy Thomas was traveling southbound on Redwood Drive, just north of Redway Drive. A pedestrian was walking northbound on Redwood Drive, within the northbound lane for vehicle travel. It was dark, rainy and the roadway was wet. For reasons still under investigation, the pedestrian continued walking in the roadway and the front of the Peterbilt collided with him. The pedestrian was thrown approximately 60 feet and came to rest on the west shoulder of Redwood Drive. The pedestrian sustained major injuries as a result of the collision. Redway Volunteer Fire Department, City Ambulance of Eureka and Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies assisted CHP with medical aid and traffic control. The pedestrian was immediately transported to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville by City Ambulance. He was later taken to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna. The driver of the Peterbilt was uninjured and evaluated for DUI, which did not appear to be a factor. The pedestrian succumbed to his injuries on March 5, 2017, at 0750 hours. Humboldt County Coroner case number 201701057.
The pedestrian's name is being withheld, pending next of kin notification by the Humboldt County Coroner. This incident remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP office.

Read the full CHP press release on the March 5 incident below:
On March 5, 2017, at approximately 1915 hours, a 2003 Toyota Camry was traveling northbound on US-101, just north of Ryan Creek Road, at a slow rate of speed. For reasons still under investigation, the driver suddenly veered towards the west and off of US-101, traveling down a steep embankment west of the roadway. The Toyota collided with a culvert pipe on the west embankment, launching the vehicle into the air. The driver appears to not have been wearing a seatbelt, and became ejected from the Toyota during the impact. The Toyota overturned on top of the driver, and then continued down the embankment. The driver was immediately given life saving medical efforts by several citizens who witnessed the collision, but to no avail. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene at 1938 hours, by Willits Ambulance EMS personnel.

Caltrans assisted with traffic control during the vehicle recovery, along with the Little Lake Fire Department, and Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor at this time. The driver's name is being withheld, pending next of kin notification by the Mendocino County Coroner. This incident remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP office.


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Uber Arrives on the North Coast as Company Crisis Continues

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 8:46 AM

This is what Uber looks like.
  • This is what Uber looks like.
There’s a new transportation option in town, but it comes with some baggage.

Uber — the online ride sharing service that offers an alternative to taxi cabs — recently made its debut in transportation-starved Humboldt County. But Uber’s expansion comes in the midst of what can only be described as a rough six-week stretch for the company.

The Journal, having publicly advocated for more transportation options as a way to help curb Humboldt County’s impaired driving epidemic, was eager to take this new Uber thing for a local spin. For the uninitiated, Uber works like this: Customers download an app to their phone, which then connects them to a fleet of independent contractors driving around looking for fares. And because there’s little overhead for the company — drivers use their own cars and pay for their own insurance and gas — rates are generally cheaper than cab companies, which are in scarce supply in Humboldt County anyway. Some are also drawn to Uber because you enter your credit card information directly into the app, which means there’s no cash exchange in the car — you simply say thank you (give a tip if you wish) and go on your way.

So on a recent Wednesday, I downloaded the Uber app to give it a spin. I was looking for a ride from the Journal’s office in Old Town Eureka up to my home in McKinleyville. When I punched in my address, the GPS on my phone told me there was a driver about 11 minutes away. I wasn’t quite ready to leave, so I held off. About an hour later, ready to head home, I brought the app up on my phone. No drivers were available. Worried I’d missed my window, I waited. Five minutes passed. Then 10. Then 15. Finally, after about 20 minutes, the app let me know a driver was free and could be at the office in less than 10 minutes. I agreed, packed up my stuff and went outside on the lookout for a red Ford hybrid driven by “Piers.”


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center Fined $160,000 by State

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:48 PM

David Brodsky with his mother, Marie White. - PHOTO BY LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Photo by Linda Stansberry
  • David Brodsky with his mother, Marie White.
Eureka Rehabilitation Center, one of the four skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County owned by Brius Healthcare, was hit with eight fines yesterday at $20,000 each.
The facility, which was visited by state inspectors in December, has been dogged by allegations of understaffing and improper patient care. It was one of three facilities slated for closure last year as the Brius and its local administrative branch, Rockport Healthcare Services, negotiated for an increase in MediCal reimbursement rates with the region's distributor, Partnership Healthcare Services. Brius, a healthcare giant that has a virtual monopoly on skilled nursing care in Humboldt County, ended up closing only one of its facilities, Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.

The state's inspection seems to confirm that this facility was, despite the insistence of Brius representatives to the contrary, understaffed. The California Department of Public Health has not provided the Journal with a manifest of the incidents that led to the fines, but the incident codes associated with each penalty, as found on the website for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reveal a pattern of poor patient care.

One $20,000 fine corresponds to a failure of the facility to provide the "necessary care for highest practicable well being," which means residents are not being cared for in accordance with a "comprehensive assessment and plan of care."

Another fine was levied due to the facility failing to meet federal guidelines for "sufficient staff to meet the needs of resident[s]." The facility was also found not to have "an appropriately functioning [Quality Assessment and Assurance] committee," according to the description of the violation code on the CMS website.

And Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center was fined five separate times, at $20,000 each, under violation code F323, the statute that requires administrators "make sure that the nursing home area is free of dangers that cause accidents."

The son of a former patient at Eureka, David Brodsky, complained to the Journal last year that lack of adequate staff and an unsafe environment contributed to his mother's fall and her placement on hospice care in August 2016. He said he had spoke with the administration and lodged a complaint with the state, but the CDPH website says that none of the five fines for safety violations were associated with complaints, meaning that investigators may have independently found hazards at the facility unrelated to the complaints of Brodsky and others. The CDPH did substantiate five complaints at the facility in 2016 related to quality of patient care, violations of discharge and transfer rights and mental abuse.

Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness Center was also hit with state enforcement actions and has been asked to pay $4,000 for two separate incidents of failing to self-report abuse.

When the potential closures were first announced, the company blamed the high cost of bringing in registry nurses from out of the area for an alleged fiscal shortfall of $5 million. The company insisted that without a hike in reimbursements, it could not pay a competitive wage that would attract qualified staff in Humboldt County, where there is a shortage of nursing personnel. The company also blamed the region's marijuana industry for diverting staff away from its facilities.

On Sept. 8, Vincent Hambright, Rockport's CEO, told a group of worried seniors and their family members at Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center that, should they have to leave the facility they had come to think of as home, the company would do  everything in its power to make them comfortable and see them properly accommodated. Advocates argued that the threat of closure was a venal power move by the company, one that would endanger the lives of hundreds of current and future patients who would have to travel hundreds of miles out of the area to find skilled nursing beds. Hambright insisted the company was suffering an unsustainable loss due to importing staff. When family members and patients insisted that the facility was understaffed despite this expense, citing conversations with overworked nursing assistants and problems with improper wound care, Hambright shot back that this was absolutely untrue.

But one former staff member at Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center called its understaffing "a nightmare," and said patients were "covered in feces" and suffering falls, especially during the night. And the company's own financial records revealed that, collectively, the five Humboldt facilities sent close to $5 million back into the coffers of companies owned or associated with its owner, Los Angeles-based billionaire Shlomo Rechnitz.

According to research conducted by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, financial penalties do not seem to be a significant motivator for facilities to improve care. Many fines are whittled down to a smaller number in litigation or dismissed entirely. Medicaid covers the cost for skilled nursing facility chains to challenge fees in court, according to advocates, which creates a disincentive for the state to pursue litigation.

The NUHW's research revealed that in the past three years, the state dismissed $23,000 of the $60,000 in penalties levied against Brius holdings in Humboldt County. According to a report In 2014  the company that brought in $77 million in profits from its California facilities, according to a report filed with the California Attorney General's Office.




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Monday, February 27, 2017

Discontinuing a Trail in Arcata's Community Forest

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 11:44 AM

Tim Canning relocates a fern during trail maintenance day in Arcata Community Forest. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Tim Canning relocates a fern during trail maintenance day in Arcata Community Forest.
Early Saturday morning, volunteers gathered in Arcata Community Forest for a trail building work day.

Organized through a partnership between the city of Arcata and the Humboldt Trails Council, 25 volunteers spent the morning working on a section of Trail 4, which was recently rerouted to avoid a steep and slippery section of trail.

Dennis Houghton, parks facilities natural resources supervisor for the city, was directing the transplanting of more than 30 ferns, aided by Rees Huges, a volunteer coordinator of the Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards (and sometimes Journal contributor).

“When we first started four years ago, we had seven or eight people showing up, and now we have a 25 person core group, which has been really good,” Houghton said. “Bottom line is each and every event is open to all, and we encourage people to come and help out. We’ve been partnering with [Humboldt State University], Arcata High School, and the local Boy Scout and Girl Scout Clubs, all helping make this forest accessible and safe to enjoy.”

By the end of the day, more than 100 yards of old trail had been filled with ferns, fallen logs, branches and forest duff and was clearly no longer a path for the bikers, hikers and equestrians who use the forest. David Guyer, a volunteer at the event, said, “I’ve recently moved back to the area after 20 years, and it’s one of the highlights of my week to come out make a good effort. Replanting ferns today was really fantastic.”

The Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards meet at 9 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of every month (excluding December), and welcome volunteers to come help out.
(Left to right) Gary Friedrichsen, John Sullivan, George Nickerson and Orleen Smukler pass limbs down the slope to mix in with replanted ferns. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • (Left to right) Gary Friedrichsen, John Sullivan, George Nickerson and Orleen Smukler pass limbs down the slope to mix in with replanted ferns.
City of Arcata Parks, Facilities and Natural Resources Supervisor Dennis Houghton. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • City of Arcata Parks, Facilities and Natural Resources Supervisor Dennis Houghton.
Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards Coordinator Rees Hughes. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Arcata Community Forest Trail Stewards Coordinator Rees Hughes.
Dennis Houghton directs Naomi Winger, John Cortenbach, Rees Hughes, Alex Orozio, Zachary Matthews, Dan Calderwood and Joshua Sears as they move a fallen tree to block access to the discontinued trail. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Dennis Houghton directs Naomi Winger, John Cortenbach, Rees Hughes, Alex Orozio, Zachary Matthews, Dan Calderwood and Joshua Sears as they move a fallen tree to block access to the discontinued trail.
Volunteers pose for a group photo. - BEAU SAUNDERS
  • Beau Saunders
  • Volunteers pose for a group photo.

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