Friday, June 24, 2016

Appellate Court Hears Police Video Arguments

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 1:30 PM

The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car.
  • The dash camera in a Eureka Police Department patrol car.

Can police videos recorded on body-worn and patrol car dash cameras by considered confidential police officer personnel records and hidden from public view?

That’s the question three justices with the California First Appellate District spent about a half an hour wrestling with in a San Francisco courtroom Thursday. It was clear from their questions that the justices felt deeming the video footage as personnel records would represent an enlargement of the protections currently applied under the law, an enlargement that could have a host of consequences. The arguments touched on everything from California’s open records laws to the very purpose of recording police interactions.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Taking A Stand by Sitting Down: Jared Huffman Takes the Floor

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Huffman selfies with his fellow sitters. - TWITTER
  • Twitter
  • Huffman selfies with his fellow sitters.
Congressman Jared Huffman is "standing strong," reported his communications director Alexa Schaffer from Washington this morning. Of course, Huffman is not actually standing, but sitting, on the House chamber floor along with about a dozen other congressional Democrats, to make a point about gun violence. The sit-in commenced yesterday morning, with around 168 House members (out of 188) and 34 senators (out of 44) on the floor and in the aisles by evening. Fortified by doughnuts from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and many boxes of take-out pizza, the protest continued through the night and into today, despite the vote of House Republicans to recess three days early for the Fourth of July holiday.

The protest came in the wake of the largest mass shooting in modern American history: 49 people were gunned down in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12. The alleged shooter, Omar Mateen, was able to purchase firearms despite having been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Four gun control measures, including one that would prevent those having been placed on a terror watch list from buying guns, were rejected by the U.S. Senate on Monday, June 20.

Huffman, who joined his colleagues yesterday, wrote on social media that they were demanding an "an immediate vote on common-sense gun control legislation that has been stalled for years in Congress. A moment of silence is an insufficient response to tragedies like Orlando."

After a vote by House Republicans to cease filming of the proceedings, Democrats continued to document the protest using their phones and social media. Huffman's Twitter feed included some insight into the mood, saying at 4:34 p.m., "We have pizza in the cloakroom to get us through the night. More importantly, we have the courage of our convictions. #NoBillNoBreak."

He said that it was his "proudest day as a member of Congress because we are finally standing up and demanding action on one of the most critical issues facing our country."

Huffman has been a consistent proponent of gun control, saying that the Second Amendment is "not absolute." In 2015 he co-sponsored Senate Bill 407, the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act, which amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to restrict transfer and possession of large capacity ammunition.
Huffman cracked wise throughout the protest using social media. - TWITTER
  • Twitter
  • Huffman cracked wise throughout the protest using social media.

Huffman spoke twice during the sit-in, once on the issue of gun violence and again on the presence of Confederate battle flags in national veterans cemeteries. A provision banning the flags, which Huffman led earlier this year was reversed by House Republicans at 3:10 a.m. Via Twitter Huffman fumed that they had "found the time" to make this decision, despite refusing to vote on a gun bill. 

From the office Congressman Huffman:

Interrupting Historic Congressional Sit-In On Gun Violence, Republicans Once Again Vote to Allow Confederate Flags to fly over National Cemeteries

Washington, D.C.- In the dead of night while civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) led Congressional Democrats in righteous protest to call for a vote on gun safety, Congressional Republicans added insult to injury by quickly reversing an earlier vote on a provision by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to remove Confederate flag displays from national veterans cemeteries. At 3:10 am, without allowing any debate, the Republican House majority approved a partisan conference report that had been filed only hours before, which omitted the Huffman-Gallego-Ellison amendment despite its earlier House approval.

“Amidst a historic protest to demand action on the nation’s gun violence epidemic, in the wake of the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history, we are seeing the real priorities of the Republican majority; they have refused to allow any votes on gun safety, but did find the time to try bring back the racist symbol of the Confederacy. It is shameful that Republicans would once again seek to allow Confederate battle flags, a historic symbol of hate, to be flown over VA cemeteries. Republicans are showing where their allegiance lies — and it is not with the victims of gun violence,” said Rep. Huffman.

‘I demand that Speaker Ryan allow a vote on common-sense gun safety measures, such as implementing universal background checks, closing firearm sale loopholes, keeping firearms out of the hands of terrorists, supporting law enforcement and first responders, and fixing our mental health system. We will not break for a congressional ‘recess’ until we are allowed to vote on the commonsense, bipartisan bill to reduce gun violence. No bill, no break!”

Just last month, the House of Representatives passed the Huffman-Gallego-Ellison amendment to the 2017 VA funding bill, to prohibit federal taxpayer funds from being used to fly the Confederate battle flag at cemeteries operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA currently permits the display of the Confederate flag on Memorial Day as well as on Confederate Memorial Day at 131 facilities. 
A view from the floor of the House. - TWITTER
  • Twitter
  • A view from the floor of the House.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Centenarian, Rotarian, One of a Kind: Jim Howard Honored

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 4:16 PM

The plaque honoring Jim Howard at Third and E streets. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The plaque honoring Jim Howard at Third and E streets.
Today, fellow Rotarians honored Jim Howard — the longest-serving member of Eureka’s Rotary Club, four-and-a-half term Eureka city councilmember, Old Town revitalizer and centenarian — for his service to the community.

Howard operated Jim’s Shine Stand in Old Town Eureka from 1954 to 1990, having taken it over from his stepfather W.M. Turk, who opened it in 1938. The shoeshine stand, which was once close to the present Eureka Police Department Old Town kiosk at Third and E streets, is the site of a new plaque bearing Howard’s name and photo.

At 100 years old, Howard does not move as fast as he once did. Asked how he was feeling, he told the Journal, “aging slowly.” As Rotarians, city councilmembers, Old Town old timers and associated well-wishers gathered for the ceremony, Howard sat in Rotary member Chuck Ellsworth’s truck, drinking from a carton of milk and eating a cookie.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Eureka Woman Released after Thursday's Manslaughter Arrest, Victim Identified

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM

A 21-year-old Eureka woman arrested last week on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter has been released from jail after no charges were filed against her in the case.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Adryan Nicole Pollock shortly after after 6 p.m. on June 16, after she’d allegedly lost control of the 2008 Dodge pickup she was driving on State Route 299. The vehicle rolled over, ejecting a hitchhiker passenger — Hugh Grant Jr. 78, of Klamath — who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Grant suffered fatal injuries while Pollock and four other passengers — her husband, a friend and her two young children — were uninjured. (The initial CHP press release spelled Pollock’s first name Adrian.)

DUI is not believed to have been a factor in the crash, according to CHP.

Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming said her office hasn’t filed charges against Pollock in the case because it still hasn’t received any reports from CHP, prompting the jail to release Pollock under California Penal Code 825, which prohibits jails from holding arrestees for more than 48 hours unless charges are filed against them.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 19, 2016

HumBug: A Day in the Marshes

Posted By on Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 3:01 PM

A common green darner at the Arcata Marsh.
  • A common green darner at the Arcata Marsh.

Last Friday a friend treated me to my first stroll through the Arcata Marshes. Contrary to the preconception the name gave me, I did not need hip boots or have to battle alligators. Although it's a place well known to local birders, there were few birds to be seen. What I did see were some great views and remarkable insects. The continuous breezes kept the air free of mosquitoes. The neatly tended wide gravel paths allowed me to stay far enough away from the grasses to be safe from ticks. It is a lovely place and I will visit again.

At last, the black saddlebags. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • At last, the black saddlebags.
Among the dragonflies I saw was a “lifer” for me, a black saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) put on a show for us, darting here and there in the lee of a willow bush. Although it would not alight or stand still even briefly, I took dozens of shots and managed a couple good enough to help me verify my initial identification. This species is one of the four species monitored by the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership, so I will enter it into their database.
A passing salute from a Lorquinn's admiral. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A passing salute from a Lorquinn's admiral.
I also saw a blue-eyed darner and a common green darner dragonfly. There were others, but they were either too fast or too far away for me to identify. We saw a few western tiger swallowtails, an anise swallowtail, a Lorquin's admiral, and several cabbage butterflies.

An online friend who monitors such things noted that she did not have the Black Saddlebags in her database of species in the marshes. Now, my photo and report can be added to them. Although there will be no ticker-tape parade or warm handshake from the president I do like adding to what is known when I can.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Grand Jury Blasts Behavioral Health Board for Lack of Oversight

Posted By on Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 8:47 AM

  • File
The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board, which is statutorily tasked with oversight of the delivery of mental health services locally, has been largely ineffective, making few recommendations and failing to deliver its mandated annual reports to the Board of Supervisors, according to a recent report by the Humboldt County grand jury.

The grand jury is recommending that the board not only submit its past due reports but that it also undergo “training to fully understand its duties and roles, and to proceed proactively to carry out the requirements” of state law. The grand jury’s report notes that the 15-member behavioral heath board is made up of “well-intentioned” people who are “well versed” on mental health issues, but it says the volunteer board members are “overwhelmed due to the amount of work.”

That work, according to the report, consists of sitting through monthly meetings in which administrators with the county Department of Health and Human Services and its Mental Health Branch made presentations. “The board did not proactively engage in making recommendations, advise (the board of supervisors) or evaluate procedures and programs,” the report states.

The report notes that this state of passivity continued even after a county consultant, W. Brown Creative Partners, issued a report that was critical of the culture within the department and “described serious and ‘special problems’ within the mental health branch." It also continued even as most of the branch’s psychiatrists resigned in 2015, setting off a widely publicized crisis within the department. Grand jury interviews, the report states, “confirmed that there was no discussion of either the Brown Assessment Study or the mass resignation of physicians by the (Behavioral Health Board).”

The grand jury's recommendation is that the behavioral health board expand its membership, catch up on its past-due reports, undergo training and “study and then proceed to proactively carry out the requirements” of state law. Further, the grand jury is recommending that the board of supervisors more actively oversee the board and that it ensure the behavioral health board has “sufficient resources and authority” to fulfill its duties.

A press release from the grand jury is copied below and the full report is available in PDF form below.

Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury
John Heckel, Foreperson

Press Release: 6-17-2016
For Immediate Release

The Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board

The 2015-2016 Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury (HCCGJ) received several complaints regarding the Mental Health Branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Those complaints conveyed dysfunctional work guidelines, distrustful working relationships, unresponsive upper management, mass resignations, and an unsupportive work environment. The complaints reflected the concerns of a broad base of community mental health advocates and Mental Health Branch staff. The number of complaints and the wide spectrum of those filing complaints instigated this HCCGJ investigation.

While many Humboldt County department heads and elected officials could have been more proactive in identifying problems within the Mental Health Branch of DHHS, this role is specifically assigned to the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board by the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act of 1991. The HCCGJ finds that the BHB failed to exercise this important role.

A review of the BHB actions revealed few recommendations, fewer comments on policies, little advice to governing bodies, and seldom reviewed or evaluated community mental health needs. The Minutes from the board’s meetings reveal the BHB’s time was primarily spent listening to reports from the DHHS and Mental Health Branch employees. The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury could find no evidence that mandated annual reports had been filed for several years with the Board of Supervisors.

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury recommends that the BHB submit its past due annual reports to the BOS and thereafter submit, in a timely manner, its required written annual report. The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury recommends that the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board undergo training to fully understand its duties and roles, and to proceed proactively to carry out the legal requirements of the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act.

With any coverage of this Grand Jury report please include: Access to the entire Grand Jury report may be obtained by going to 

Full Report

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hitchhiker Killed in Rollover Crash

Posted By on Sat, Jun 18, 2016 at 11:21 AM

A single car rollover crash on State Route 299 left an unidentified hitchhiker dead on Thursday and a 21-year-old Eureka woman jailed on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Adrian Pollock was driving eastbound in her 2008 Dodge pickup with her two young children, her husband, a friend and a hitchhiker shortly after 6 p.m. For unknown reasons, Pollock lost control of the vehicle on a curve and the pickup overturned. The hitchhiker, who was seated in the right front seat, was apparently not wearing a seatbelt was ejected from the vehicle. He sustained fatal injuries.

DUI is not believed to be a factor in the crash, but Pollock was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and booked into the Humboldt County jail, according to the CHP press release.

Last year, Humboldt County recorded 28 vehicle related fatalities, three shy of the record set in 2009 and equaled in 2012. This was at least the ninth roadway death recorded so far this year.

For more information, see the full CHP release copied below:

On Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 6:09 pm, 21 year old Adrian Pollock of Eureka, CA, was driving her 2008 Dodge pickup eastbound on SR-299 at the East Fork Campground, just west of Willow Creek.  Her passengers were her two young children, her husband, her friend, and a hitchhiker.  For reasons still under investigation, Ms. Pollock lost control of her vehicle in a left hand curve and ran off the south roadway edge of SR-299.  The pickup overturned and the hitchhiker, seated in the right front seat, was fully ejected and sustained fatal injuries.  All surviving occupants were transported to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata with minor injuries.  The children were properly seated in child passenger safety seats and were uninjured.  Ms. Pollock was subsequently arrested for vehicular manslaughter and booked into the Humboldt County Jail. 
The identity of the deceased passenger is withheld pending notification of family.
DUI was not a factor.  The roadway was not closed.  The vehicle was not impounded.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area is investigating this traffic collision.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Former HCSO Sgt. Jason Daniels Found Not Guilty

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 2:13 PM

Jason Daniels - FILE
  • File
  • Jason Daniels
Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming has confirmed that a jury found former Sherrif's Office Sgt. Jason Daniels not guilty of two counts of sexual assault this afternoon.

The trial, which lasted six days, stems from accusations dating back to 2013, when the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office arrested Daniels on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while detaining her on Aug. 29, 2013. A second woman later stepped forward to allege that Daniels had sexually assaulted her on March 13, 2013.

The Journal's original coverage can be found here.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Aggressive Hitchhiker Spotted in King Salmon

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Hitchhikers in King Salmon are relentless, but at least they're polite. - PHOTO BY RANDY SCHUETZLE
  • Photo by Randy Schuetzle
  • Hitchhikers in King Salmon are relentless, but at least they're polite.

It proved to be a pretty epic first kayak trip for Liz Bagnell.

Bagnell, a sales consultant for Northwood Chevrolet, had just moved down to King Salmon from Cutten, and set out to get to know her new neighborhood by hopping a kayak for the first time to paddle around the residential channels in her new backyard. A few minutes in, something caught her attention.

“Out of nowhere, I heard this kind of rustling and looked back, and (a sea lion pup) was playing in my wake,” Bagnell said. “After about 30 seconds, he hopped up onto the back of my kayak. It happened really quick. Then, he just sat there, just like Sea World, just looking around.”

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let Your Kids Drink and Pick Up the Tab...For EPD

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM

It’s high school graduation time, and the kids are ready to cut loose. They’re going to drink anyway, you reason, so shouldn’t they be doing it in the safety of your home? NO, says the Eureka Police Department. Thanks to a social host liability law, passed by the Eureka City Council in 2014, you could be fined a  minimum of $250 for serving minors in your home. And if the cops have to come back for the same problem within a year, they’ll ask you to pick up the tab for their services on top of subsequent charges of $500 for the second offense, and $1,000 for a third time.

The ordinance came in response to what Humboldt Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention called “alarming rates of underage drinking along with related risk behaviors and consequences.” According to the 2014 California Healthy Kids Survey, most high school-aged children in Humboldt County were drinking in private homes, with and without the knowledge of their parents or guardians. The survey also reported that in 2013, 17 percent of ninth graders and 30 percent of 11th graders reported binge drinking within a 30 day period. Over half of all 11th graders reported that they had obtained alcohol from adults in their friends’ homes.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Comments


Facebook | Twitter

© 2016 The North Coast Journal Weekly

Website powered by Foundation