Thursday, December 1, 2016

Caroline Titus Wins Free Speech Award

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Enterprise Publisher and Editor Caroline Titus. - RYAN BURNS/JOURNAL FILE PHOTO
  • Ryan Burns/Journal file photo
  • Enterprise Publisher and Editor Caroline Titus.
Caroline Titus is one of two reporters being honored by the First Amendment Coalition this evening during the California Press Foundation's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Titus will receive the Coalition's Free Speech and Open Government Award as an acknowledgement of her 18-month battle with the Humboldt County Fair Association over disclosure of its financial records. The long court battle, which began not long after her husband, Stuart Titus, was let go from the fair board in 2012, was covered by Titus in The Ferndale Enterprise. The Tituses filed a successful First Amendment and wrongful termination suit, alleging that the Fair Board had fired Stuart Titus because he refused to suppress his wife's coverage of the fair board.The Tituses settled their suit for $150,000 in January of 2016, after an intense back-and-forth that included an attempt by the fair association to subpoena her gynecological records.

Reached yesterday by phone, Titus said she was "extremely proud" to be receiving the award, but in the meantime, "the beat goes on." She was putting the latest issue of the Enterprise to bed even as she prepared her acceptance speech.


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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

UPDATED: Sheriff's Office: Father Sought in Eureka Child Abduction Case

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM

Anthony Lux and Allison Shirey - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • Anthony Lux and Allison Shirey
Update:

Anthony Lux returned his 4-year daughter, Alison Shirey, to her legal guardian last night. Lux and his daughter were the subject of a three day search after he took her from her guardian's home Sunday night.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, Lux stated he had received advice that he had the legal right to remove his daughter from the home. Selena Zorilla-Mendoza, the HCSO public information officer, said there were no plans to press charges against Lux at this time.

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at about 10:50 p.m. Anthony Lux met with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies to return his daughter, Allison Shirey. Lux spoke with Investigators and stated he had received advice that there were no court orders in regards to Allison’s guardianship and he had legal rights to remove Allison from the home. Lux agreed to return Allison after speaking with Investigators after realizing his actions were unlawful and plans on pursuing custody of his daughter.

Deputies returned Allison to her guardian and was removed from the missing persons system. Allison was in good health and good spirits.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public and media for their assistance in attempting to locate this child.

Previously:

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is searching for 4-year-old Eureka girl who was reportedly taken by her father on Sunday night without permission.

Anthony Lux, 31, was given a ride to St. Joseph Hospital from a Hillside Court residence where he was last seen with Allison Shirey but did not check in and has not been seen since then, according to a sheriff's office release.

The girl's legal guardian, who has temporary custody of Allison, was in another part of the home when Lux left with his daughter, officials said.

Read the full sheriff's office release below:
On Sunday, November 27, 2016 at about 7 p.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 4100 block of Hillside Ct. in Eureka for a reported child abduction by parent. The reporting party told deputies when she was in another part of her residence, Anthony Lux (31) unexpectedly left with his daughter, 4 year old Allison Shirey. The reporting party provided court documentation stating she has temporary physical and legal custody of Allison. Lux did not have permission to take Allison from the residence.
It was later discovered Lux received a ride from the residence on Hillside Ct. to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Lux did not check into the hospital and has not been seen since. Lux has connections in Alderpoint, Eureka, McKinleyville, Montegue (Siskyou County) and Chico (Butte County). Lux’s whereabouts are unknown at this time.
Anthony Lux is a white male adult, 5’8”, 160 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an olive colored pea coat, black pants, and black shoes.
Allison Shirey is a 4 year old girl, 3’ tall, 50 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing pink pants with owls on them and a white shirt with blue and pink flowers.
A Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) was issued for Lux. 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.

Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly identified the relationship between Allison Shirey and her legal guardian. The Journal regrets the error.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Huffman Demands Accountability for Treatment of Pipeline Protesters

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Protesters are pepper sprayed while occupying the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. - ROB WILSON
  • Rob wilson
  • Protesters are pepper sprayed while occupying the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman penned a letter to President Barack Obama today requesting an immediate meeting to “demand accountability for (the) alarming treatment of Water Protectors and peaceful demonstrators at the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.”

Huffman, who penned the letter with Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Arizona), also took the opportunity to denounce the Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to close the Oceti Sakowin camp. Both Huffman and Grijalva led 21 members of Congress earlier this month in urging Obama to deescalate tension in the Standing Rock protests. It seems those urgings went unheeded, as circumstances have deteriorated since then with daily reports of violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

From the congressmen: “[H]eadlines of mass injuries, frigid water being sprayed at demonstrators in sub-freezing temperatures, and of rubber bullets and similar anti-riot weapons being fired at peaceful, unarmed civilians, make it clear that this situation is only getting worse.”

See the full press release from Huffman’s office copied below, and their full letter can be seen by clicking here. And for more on the pipeline project and local efforts to combat it, see past Journal coverage here.

Reps. Huffman, Grijalva Demand Accountability for Brutal Law Enforcement Tactics at DAPL

Washington, D.C.- Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today requested an immediate meeting with White House and Department of Justice officials to demand accountability for alarming treatment of Water Protectors and peaceful demonstrators at the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, and to denounce the closure of the Oceti Sakowin camp. The lawmakers, who jointly led 21 Members of Congress in urging President Obama to deescalate the tension at Standing Rock in a November 14 letter, noted today that circumstances since then have only deteriorated:

“[H]eadlines of mass injuries, frigid water being sprayed at demonstrators in sub-freezing temperatures, and of rubber bullets and similar anti-riot weapons being fired at peaceful, unarmed civilians, make it clear that this situation is only getting worse.  Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers letter announcing the closure of the Oceti Sakowin camp to demonstrators represents a concerning and disappointing course of action by the federal government.

“We question the plan and reasoning given by the Army Corps of Engineers to close the Oceti Sakowin camp to the Water Protectors. The members of the Standing Rock Sioux and the hundreds of Americans who join them in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline are constitutionally protected in their right to peaceably assemble.”

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

HumBug: I Gotta Get Out More

Posted By on Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Close up of fruit flies mired in suds. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Close up of fruit flies mired in suds.
Confined to my house for some weeks by illness, I missed my usual walks along the Van Duzen River. Fortunately for me there is seldom a shortage of insects wherever I go. While I was more or less bedridden an inordinate number of tiny flying bugs had invaded my home. Although I had no fruit rotting in the house I was pretty sure they were fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Tiny, tan, with ruby red eyes they are usually drawn to rotting vegetable matter or red wine. I followed them to my currently working batch of sauerkraut. Fortunately, my crock has a water seal which prevented them from getting in and polluting the lot. So, I set about getting rid of them.
The accumulation of fruit flies in the trap after about 1 hour. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The accumulation of fruit flies in the trap after about 1 hour.

The best method I've found so far is to cover the bottom of a small bowl with soap suds and stick a piece of old fruit (banana seems to work best) in the middle. The little critters try to land on the bubbles, the soap destroys the integrity of the water balance across their skin, and they die in seconds. Once or twice a day I renew the suds.
Glow worm in my backyard. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Glow worm in my backyard.
To all you rugged outdoorspeople anxious to get out there despite the rains and drizzle, my first two brief outdoor excursions yielded half a dozen glow worms under my redwood trees at night and a tick I picked up while walking along the side of the road. So be careful when you go out. Our local ticks flourish in damp weather.
Tick found on my leg. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Tick found on my leg.


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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Murder Arrest in Hoopa

Posted By on Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 12:10 PM

Lorence  Emmanuel Bailey's booking photo.
  • Lorence Emmanuel Bailey's booking photo.
In the early hours the day after Thanksgiving, Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call at a home in Hoopa Valley and found wounded woman who died at the scene. Deputies have arrested Lorence Emmanuel Bailey for her murder and his bail is set at $1,000,000.

This is Humboldt County's 20th homicide of the year.

Read the full press release below.


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Friday, November 25, 2016

Three Years On, The Edge Tries to Stay Sharp

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Volunteers retain their anonymity while reading copy for the Edge in 2013. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Volunteers retain their anonymity while reading copy for the Edge in 2013.
Humboldt County's only newspaper exclusively focused on coverage from and about the region's homeless is still plugging along, three years after its debut in October 2013. Some things have changed ― such as the original staff and funding sources. Some big plans have not come to pass, like the street vendor program originally scheduled to begin in 2016. But The Humboldt Edge continues to print stories from people whose voices otherwise might not be heard – people on “the edge” of poverty and homelessness.

In the Edge’s September/October issue, a volunteer interviewed Stacy Cobine, who was part of the lawsuit against the city after the eviction of the Palco Marsh. Cobine, a dollmaker, spoke candidly about addiction, health problems and her attempts to stabilize as she bounced from the marsh to the Multiple Assistance Center to a rented room. An Edge volunteer who goes only by “Blu,” a disabled woman who regularly visits the camps to talk to people and encourages them to share their stories, conducted the interview.

“We are so grateful for her going out there and getting stories,” says Katrina Martin, the Edge’s editor. “She’s the first volunteer we’ve had that actually goes out and interviews people.”

The Edge’s all-volunteer team also regularly tries to recruit contributors by handing out papers and pens.
“We encourage people to write,” says Dave Rosso, who regularly contributes to the paper although he is himself housed. “We tell them we will transcribe for them.”

But despite their best efforts and consistently offering places to meet and drop off submissions in three different Northern Humboldt cities, the paper has lately run thin on content written by homeless people. Instead it features interviews transcribed by volunteers and articles written by homeless advocates. The November/December issue features two articles by members of Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, Rosso’s memories of being a homeless 20-year-old in Munich, Germany and a thorough list of resources. It also has several poems written by people struggling with housing insecurity, and original art.

“It saddens my heart to see my fellow human beings treated like nothing,” reads one poem, by Megan Bauer. “They don’t know that not two months ago I was the one flying that sign for food and shelter.”

Many contributors participate in a writing group at the Multiple Assistance Center. But the challenge for Edge volunteers is, well, finding more volunteers.

“It’s hard to find one of us to recruit volunteers,” says Martin, gesturing to the five-person team that gathered for their most recent advisory board meeting at the Arcata House, adding that they had discussed bringing in social work students from Humboldt State University. Lack of volunteers has reduced the distribution of the paper and stalled efforts to create a vendor program.

“We even received a grant for a vendor program but we had a vendor coordinator who didn’t realize the time commitment and had to bow out,” says Martin. “We still have some funds from the grant to pay a small stipend to the vendor coordinator. We would like to move forward.”

The advisory board says its goals include getting the paper into the hands of policy makers and local officials, to educate the “haves” about the “have nots.”

The Edge originally had a small grant to jumpstart its efforts but it now scrapes by with donations and advertisements from local businesses. Although resources are tight, somehow it still manages to scrape together enough money to print 5,000 copies every two months.

“I am the one who does the bookkeeping and I am always amazed that we have donations,” says Martin. “You have a little faith in the universe, and things happen.”

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Crab Countdown

Posted By on Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 11:00 PM

Last season's first, long-awaited crab coming in at the Eureka waterfront. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Last season's first, long-awaited crab coming in at the Eureka waterfront.

If you haven't got your own pots to drop or if picking and dipping crab is as much work as you want to do, you're likely counting the days until commercial Dungeness crab fishing begins. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has given the green light to fishing north of the Humboldt Bay jetty starting Dec. 1 to the Oregon state line. Commercial boats will have to wait to fish south to Point Reyes until we get the all-clear on levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can cause nausea, dizziness and even death. Recreational crabbing has been on in our county since Nov. 5.

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Eureka Rotary Members Donated 110 Turkeys to Rescue Mission

Posted By on Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Standing L-R: Matthew Owen, President, Rotary Club of Eureka; Mindy Bussman, Rotarian and George Petersen Insurance; Virginia Bass, Rotarian and County Supervisor; Ron Lawton, manager of Safeway; Charlotte McDonald, Eureka Main Street; Mike Dearden, manager of Eureka Wells Fargo; George Orwen, Rotarian. Front Row: Bryan Hall, Executive Director, Eureka Rescue Mission - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Standing L-R: Matthew Owen, President, Rotary Club of Eureka; Mindy Bussman, Rotarian and George Petersen Insurance; Virginia Bass, Rotarian and County Supervisor; Ron Lawton, manager of Safeway; Charlotte McDonald, Eureka Main Street; Mike Dearden, manager of Eureka Wells Fargo; George Orwen, Rotarian. Front Row: Bryan Hall, Executive Director, Eureka Rescue Mission
The Rescue Mission's industrial freezer was too full to walk into earlier this week, thanks to the donation of 110 turkeys from the Rotary Club of Eureka.

Rotary president Matthew Owen said he put the call out to Rotary members after finding that the shelter only had 10 turkeys to feed the 100-plus people expected at their holiday dinner. On Monday Rotary members arrived with a truck full of frozen turkeys, which were purchased at a discount from Safeway and Grocery Outlet.

Bryan Hall, executive director of the Mission, expressed his gratitude on Facebook, posting the video including below and saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" On Nov. 20 the Mission provided shelter for 153 men, women and children. Hall added that they are still in need of coats and gloves. Many people come to the Mission for dinner but then return to the chill of the night, and Mission staff try to outfit them with warm clothing and hygiene kits before they go.

The Mission's holiday dinner takes place the day before Thanksgiving. Just down the street, St. Vincent dePaul's dining center was preparing to feed around 500 people on Thanksgiving Day. The center's cook, Mary Price, said they had received 12 hams and 27 turkeys, enough to tide them over until Christmas. Community donations of hams, pies, vegetables and other food are still welcome up until 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, when the feast begins.







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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ruth Reservoir Back up to the Brim

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 4:45 PM

Ruth Lake. - PHOTO BY DAN MENTEN
  • Photo by Dan Menten
  • Ruth Lake.
Ruth Reservoir is full again thanks to an abundance of wet weather over the last two months, with the North Coast area seeing nearly 16 inches, or 258 percent of the region's normal rainfall amount, since Oct. 1.

With a stormy Thanksgiving weekend in the forecast, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is predicting the reservoir will rise even further.

Read the full press release from the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District below:
Eureka – The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District (HBMWD) announced today that Ruth Reservoir, the source of water supply to over 80,000 residents of the Humboldt Bay area, has filled for the first time in Water Year 2016-17 (which started on October 1, 2016). The reservoir holds 48,030 acre-feet of water when full, or 15.65 billion gallons.

Also since October 1, 15.58” of rainfall had accumulated as of midnight of November 23. This represents 258% of the normal amount of rainfall during that period. Additional rainfall on November 23 and through the rest of Thanksgiving week is expected to cause the reservoir to rise further, providing additional flow over the spillway at Matthews Dam, which impounds Ruth Reservoir. During October and November, HBMWD has been running its hydropower plant up to its capacity of 1350 megawatts, with 250 cubic feet per second of water flowing through both turbines (or approximately 134 million gallons per day).

The following graphs show lake levels in 2015 and 2016, as well as power production and river flows below the dam. This is the earliest in the water year that Ruth Reservoir has filled during the past ten years. Drought conditions did not exist on the Mad River last year, and so far, Water Year 2016-17 has been one of the wettest on record.

Formed in 1956, HBMWD supplies water to seven municipal water supply agencies, including the Cities of Arcata, Blue Lake and Eureka, and the following Community Services Districts: Fieldbrook-Glendale, Humboldt, Manila and McKinleyville. HBMWD also provides water directly to approximately 200 residences and businesses in Arcata and on the Samoa Peninsula.


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Father, son plead guilty to fatal Hoopa shooting

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 1:56 PM

THINKSTOCK
  • Thinkstock
A father and son pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to their roles in a fatal Hoopa shooting in March of 2015 that left one man dead and two others wounded in a dispute over a marijuana deal. Hoopa resident Daniel Peter Colegrove, 73, died after being transported to a hospital in Redding.

Under the plea agreement, Rodney Vincent Ortiz, 54, and Vincent Rudy Ortiz, 27, each face a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleading guilty to one count of use of a firearm during a drug transaction and one count of use of a firearm causing murder, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 2.

Read the full press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office below:
SAN FRANCISCO – Rodney Vincent Ortiz and Vincent Rudy Ortiz (collectively, the defendants) pleaded guilty today in federal court today for their respective roles in the March 21, 2015, drug related shooting and murder on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, Calif., announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The guilty pleas were accepted by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge.

According to the plea agreement, the defendants committed the shooting and murder following a dispute over a drug transaction that took place a week earlier. Vincent Ortiz, 27, of Willow Creek, Calif., admits he sold what was supposed to be a pound of marijuana to Victim 1, a resident and member of the reservation.

When Victim 1 complained that the amount of marijuana was less than a pound, Vincent eventually traveled with his father, Rodney Ortiz, 54, to Victim 1’s residence to resolve the dispute. Rodney Ortiz admits he brought a loaded firearm to the residence; Vincent Ortiz admits he knew Rodney Ortiz brought the loaded firearm and that it was foreseeable his father would use the weapon to shoot Victim 1.

When the defendants arrived at the residence, they encountered a group of people inside. An argument ensued between Victim 1 and Rodney Ortiz, resulting in Rodney Ortiz shooting Victim 1 and Victim 2 in the head. Rodney Ortiz then shot Victim 3 in the head and shoulder before fleeing the scene with his son, Vincent.

Victim 1 died as a result of the shooting, but Victims 2 and 3 managed to survive. In his plea agreement, Vincent Ortiz admits he aided and abetted Rodney Ortiz’s use, carrying, and discharging of the firearm in furtherance of and in relation to the drug conspiracy and the resulting murder of Victim 1. Vincent Ortiz also acknowledges in his plea agreement that he reasonably could have foreseen the shootings of Victims 2 and 3.

A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on December 17, 2015. In the indictment, the defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D), use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) and 2; and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j) and 2, obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(a)(1)(C) and (k), and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

Pursuant to today’s plea agreement, the defendants both pleaded guilty to one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and one count of use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime causing the murder of Victim 1.

The defendants are next scheduled to appear before Judge Seeborg on May 2, 2017, for a sentencing hearing. The maximum statutory penalties for use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime are life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years imprisonment, to be imposed consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.

The maximum statutory penalty for use of a firearm causing murder is life imprisonment. Each crime carries a maximum term of 5 years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Hopkins is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique and Jessica Meegan. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Eureka Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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