Thursday, August 4, 2016

UPDATED: Reggae Ready to 'Pull the Plug' on Sizzla if Assurances not Met

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Sizzla Kalonji - FLICKR/ELISE
  • Flickr/Elise
  • Sizzla Kalonji
UPDATE: Humboldt Pride has called on Reggae on the River to cancel Sizzla’s performance and issue a public apology to the Humboldt queer community. If Reggae organizers do not comply, Pride will call for ticket holders to boycott the performance.

“It’s a slap in the face to the LGBT Community,” said Zakkary Zoah, Board Member of Humboldt Pride. “His anti-queer rhetoric is well-documented. Giving this man an opportunity to spew his hate isn’t the Humboldt way.”

Previously:

The Reggae on the River festival has received “assurances” from controversial headliner Sizzla Kalonji’s management that “no derogatory speech will occur” during his performance, and staff is prepared to pull the plug on the show if the dancehall star does not follow through.

In an email to the Journal and other media outlets this afternoon, Mateel Community Center General Manager and Talent Coordinator Justin Crellin responded to the controversy that has sparked up surrounding Sizzla’s headlining role at the four-day Southern Humboldt music festival and his history of lyrics targeting the LGBTQ community.

“Please note that Sizzla has been booked on the show since we first announced the line-up over 5 months ago — and we received no concerns about him being on the bill until very recently — despite a great deal of local publicity,” Crellin wrote in the email. “That said, we now recognize there are concerns within the community about his appearance on the show.”

Crellin then notes the assurances received from Sizzla’s management and staff’s having a protocol in place to “pull the plug on his performance should anything like this happen.” Crellin says the festival will also be posting a “values statement” at its merchandize booths and encouraging audience members to sign it in order to share it with Sizzla’s management “and send a message about where we stand as a community and to underscore what we expect from our artists — with the ultimate goal of fostering real dialogue on an issue that is sadly pervasive in Jamaican culture.”

As the Journal reported yesterday, Sizzla has been outspoken in his condemnation of gay people, both in song and in interviews, and is a figure of international controversy, having had shows canceled in multiple countries in the face of large-scale protests from groups that have deemed his work “murder music” because it incites violence against LGBTQ communities.

It should also be noted that Sizzla has a track record of making similar assurances to the one his management reportedly made Crellin, and then breaking them. In 2007, he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, which asked artists to renounce homophobia and drop lyrics promoting violence against gay people from their music, only to continue playing and defending such songs. More recently, he took the stage at Sting — Jamaica’s largest reggae festival — in 2013, reportedly after promising promoters he would not sing any anti-gay songs, only to launch into a lengthy homophobic verse that culminated with his jumping up and down and screaming “battyman,” the Jamaican slang equivalent to “faggot.”

"Sizzla was warned repeatedly before going onstage about not promoting hate music and he went up there and did it repeatedly," Sting's promoter, Isaiah Laing, told Jamaica's The Gleaner newspaper.

Reggae on the River will be Sizzla’s first show in the United States since a tour in 2008, which saw a host of shows cancelled in the face of protests.

Crellin said the festival will donate funds from its 2016 Ambassador Program, which donates 10 percent of funds from the festival’s Ambassador Pass — an exclusive ticket for the event — sales to “charities related to reggae culture,” to a nonprofit working on gay rights issues in Jamaica.

Journal emails to Mateel board members inquiring about what went into the organization's initial decision to book Sizzla to headline its largest annual fundraiser and concerns from the local LGBTQ community have gone unreturned. Crellin has also not replied to a Journal follow up email asking if Mateel staff was aware of and discussed Sizzla's controversial lyrics prior to booking him and when staff received these "assurances" from the artist's management. 

For more on Sizzla’s history — including video from his controversial 2013 performance in Jamaica — and local reaction to his headlining role at this weekend’s festival, see past Journal coverage here.

Below, see Crellin’s email copied in its entirety:

Sorry for the delay in responding to your emails yesterday.  We were having some internet issues and obviously we are in full swing with the production of the event, so we have a lot going on right now.  Please note that Sizzla has been booked on the show since we first announced the line-up over 5 months ago- and we received no concerns about him being on the bill until very recently- despite a great deal of local publicity.  That said, we now recognize there are concerns within the community about his appearance on the show.  We have an assurance from management that no derogatory speech will occur and have protocol in place to pull the plug on his performance should anything like this happen.  We will also be posting a values statement at our artist merchandise booth and will be talking from the stage (and in our press tent) encouraging our audience to sign this document with the intent to share it with his management and send a message about where we stand as a community and to underscore what we expect from our artists- with the ultimate goal of fostering real dialogue on an issue that is sadly pervasive in Jamaican culture.  To this end, we will also be utilizing funds from our 2016 Ambassador Program- which funnels 10% of funds from our Ambassador ticket sales to global charities related to reggae culture- to directly support the work of an NPO in Jamaica that is working to combat this issue and foster tolerance and understanding regarding the LGBTQ community.  I hope this helps answer some of your questions...

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reggae Headliner Re-stokes Murder Music Outcry

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Sizzla Kalonji - FLICKR/ELISE
  • Flickr/Elise
  • Sizzla Kalonji
Reggae on the River kicks off this weekend but the festival’s choice of headliner has some local LGBTQ groups wondering if "Murder Music on the River" might be a more fitting moniker.

In its 32nd year, the four-day summer music festival put on by the Mateel Community Center has confirmed Jamaican reggae artist Sizzla Kalonji will headline Saturday’s lineup, marking his first performance in the United States in eight years. At first blush, the dancehall artist’s appearance is a coup for the festival, as he’s been nominated for Grammys, released more than 60 albums and landed on Billboard’s Top Reggae Album chart 28 times.

But Sizzla, born Miguel Orlando Collins, has also earned a reputation for his homophobic lyrics that some say incite violence against the LGBTQ community. Most recently, Sizzla grabbed headlines when he was banned from performing at Jamaica’s largest reggae festival in 2014 — Kingston’s Sting festival, which is broadcast live to an estimated audience of 315 million people on five continents — for including an extended homophobic verse in one of his songs on the festival’s stage the year before, an act that culminated with his jumping up and down and screaming “battyman,” the Jamaican slang equivalent to “faggot.”


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

UPDATE: Eureka to Discuss Police Video Case Tonight, has Already Spent Thousands on Appeal

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 3:18 PM

Police dash cameras capture loads of footage. But who should get to see it? - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Police dash cameras capture loads of footage. But who should get to see it?

UPDATE:
The Eureka City Council made no report out of closed session Tuesday night, indicating it has not yet made a final decision on whether to petition the California Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling ordering the release of a police video of officers arresting a juvenile in 2012. The city has until Aug. 28 to challenge the appellate court's ruling.

PREVIOUSLY:
In closed session tonight, the Eureka City Council is slated to discuss a recent appellate court ruling upholding a Humboldt County judge’s order to release a police video of officers arresting a juvenile suspect back in 2012.

Meanwhile, records turned over to the Journal this week in response to a California Public Records Act request indicate the city has already spent at least $7,683 unsuccessfully appealing Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson’s ruling. On May 20, 2015, Wilson found the public’s interest in seeing footage of the 2012 arrest of a 14-year-old outweighed any privacy concerns, and granted a Journal petition that sought the video’s release.

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Oregon Man Killed in Logging Accident

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 10:33 AM

coroner.gif
A 31-year-old Oregon man was killed Monday when the tree he was felling came down on him.

Chief Deputy Coroner Ernie Stewart said Travis Jon Cornelison, of Rogue River, was working on a commercial operation for Lord’s Light Logging when the accident occurred near Timber Ridge Lane in the Blue Lake area.

The accident is being investigated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

From the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office:


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Monday, August 1, 2016

4th UPDATE: Plane Crash Victims Identified

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 2:07 PM

What appears to be part of a plane engine and propeller lie on an access road near the crash site. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • What appears to be part of a plane engine and propeller lie on an access road near the crash site.
4th UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office today identified the four Crescent City residents who died Friday after the medical transport plane they were in crashed in timber land north of McKinleyville.

Pilot Larry Mills, 54; flight nurse Deborah Kroon, 49; flight paramedic Michelle Tarwater, 30; and patient April Rodriquez, 35, were found inside the wreckage of the aircraft that was bound for the Bay Area.

Mills, who had 20 years of flying experience, radioed at 1 a.m. that he was returning back to Crescent City due to smoke in the cockpit. The plane went off radar about 5 miles north of Arcata shortly after the call.

The crash site was found at 10 a.m. on Friday and National Transportation Safety Board investigators were at the scene over the weekend.

3rd UPDATE:
A statement on the Cal-Ore Life Flight website states the company has been informed there were no survivors on the medical plane carrying four, including a patient, that crashed on timber land near McKinleyville on Friday.

“This is one of the saddest moments in our history. We have been told there were no survivors. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the patient and our crewmembers,” a posting on the company website states. “Until we have positive confirmation from the local authorities, we cannot release the identification of those on board. We have critical incident stress management (CISM) teams in the area and we are doing all we can to help those involved. We will provide more information as soon as all family notifications have been made.”

2nd UPDATE:
The National Transportation Safety Board will arrive on scene at 11 a.m. tomorrow to investigate the plane crash north of McKinleyville that killed at least two people early this morning, the county of Humboldt announced in a press release.

The scene has been secured by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, the release states, and efforts continue to find the two unaccounted for passengers on the Cal-Ore Life Flight that went down after departing from Crescent City at about 12:30 a.m.

Local photographer Mark McKenna made it to the crash scene this morning and shared the following photos.

Slideshow
July 29, 2016 Plane Crash
July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash July 29, 2016 Plane Crash

July 29, 2016 Plane Crash


By Mark McKenna

Click to View 12 slides

 

1st UPDATE: (posted 11 a.m.)
Rescue crews have located wreckage believed to be that of a missing Cal-Ore Life Flight that departed Crescent City early this morning bound for Oakland but went missing somewhere near Arcata, and two fatalities have been confirmed.

Scanner traffic indicates the wreckage was found in two debris fields on Green Diamond property north of McKinleyville, and that crews located two possibly deceased people. According to a statement released by Cal-Ore Life Flight this morning, the flight departed from Crescent City shortly before 12:30 a.m. carrying four people — a pilot, a transport medic, a flight nurse and a patient.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Lt. Wayne Hanson said this morning that rescue crews set out early this morning looking for the plane. They gathered at the coordinates were it was last captured on radar, and fanned out from there on foot and all-terrain vehicles.

The county of Humboldt just issued a press release confirming that crews have located the wreckage site, and that two fatalities have been confirmed at this time.

PREVIOUSLY (posted at 8:33 a.m.)
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing airplane that was believed to be carrying three people from Crescent City to Oakland early this morning before the pilot declared an emergency and the plane disappeared from local radar.

According to a brief press release, the twin engine Piper PA31 was in the Arcata area when the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit around 1 a.m. today and reported he was returning to Crescent City. “Radar contact with the aircraft was lost about 5 miles northeast of Arcata Airport,” the press release states.

The sheriff’s office has launched a search for the plane, which carries the tail number N661TC.


The following was sent from the sheriff's office this morning:

This is all of the preliminary information we have on a missing plane in the Arcata area:

The pilot of a twin-engine Piper PA31 declared an emergency due to smoke in the cockpit around 1 a.m. Friday.

The plane was flying from Crescent City to Oakland.

The pilot indicated he was going to return to Crescent City.

Radar contact with the aircraft was lost about 5 miles northeast of Arcata Airport.

We believe there were three people on board.

The Humboldt County Sheriff is searching for the aircraft.

The tail number is N661TC.


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Sunday, July 31, 2016

HumBug: Who's Your Daddy?

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 3:00 PM

A daddy long legs (Opaline) on the photographer's hat brim, cleaning its, well, long leg. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A daddy long legs (Opaline) on the photographer's hat brim, cleaning its, well, long leg.
Late last night, I took the dogs out for their final walk when I noticed a small member of the arachnid family of Opiliones on a rhododendron leaf. This is what I learned as a little kid as "daddy long legs." Sometimes known as harvestmen, they look like a spider with unusually long legs and a tiny body. There is a popular rumor that they produce one of the deadliest venoms known, but their fangs are just too tiny to inject it. This is not true. No known species of this creature has venom glands and they have tiny pincer like mouthparts rather than fangs. About the only way you could get sick from them is smelling their unusual and unpleasant odor. They are harmless. Some hunt other tiny arthropods and others are scavengers. And although they might resemble spiders from a distance, their bodies are not divided into parts, but are of a single piece.
A cellar spider casts a shadow on a window frame. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A cellar spider casts a shadow on a window frame.
They are not the only animals called Daddy Longlegs. Cellar spiders and craneflies also go by that name.
Cellar spiders are a true spider of the family Pholcidae, which spin webs and hang in them vibrating wildly when disturbed. Although they have amazingly long legs and tiny bodies, they are not closely related to the Opiliones. Like all true spiders their structure is divided into two parts: a cephalothorax and abdomen separated by a constriction.
The lanky crane fly. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The lanky crane fly.
Craneflies are a member of the insect order Diptera (having two wings), family Tipulidae and although they have extremely long thin legs, they are insects and not closely related to either of the others. They have wings.
A cluster of Opiliones. Harmless, but come on. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A cluster of Opiliones. Harmless, but come on.
My late wife hated spiders so much so she demanded I kill any found in the house. She was also justifiably afraid of yellowjackets, as she had been stung repeatedly. One day a yellowjacket was buzzing around inside the house. She demanded I kill it. It led me a merry chase until the tiny chainsaw droning stopped suddenly. Seconds later, when I looked behind my desk a cellar spider had already bundled the wasp in silk. Sally said I could leave that one alone.

And, no — the cellar spider's venom is not particularly potent and craneflies can't bite at all.


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Thursday, July 28, 2016

UPDATED: Humboldt Dog Tests Positive for Rabies

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 4:56 PM

27e58a86d6b9d0c90432dc79eb784355_400x400.jpg
UPDATE:
The 11-month-old dog that was euthanized after contracting rabies earlier this month had undergone its first round of rabies vaccination, which starts at around 3 months old with series of subsequent boosters, and was “legally vaccinated for its age,” said Amanda Ruddy, consumer protection supervisor with the division of Environmental Health.

“Of course, with all vaccinations, immunity does build up over time,” she said.

One of the owners told the Journal that his dog interacted with about half a dozen people in the time frame of the infection at two locations: his work and home.

Ruddy said the investigation and outreach by the health officials is still ongoing.
“The parties involved have been extremely cooperative,” she said.


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Korean War Vets, Coasties Remember the Fallen

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 9:50 AM

Korean War veteran Warren Longnickel, 83, of Carlotta and fellow veteran Don Biasca head down the dock to board the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dorado for the commemorative wreath ceremony. U.S. involvement in the “Korean conflict” ended in 1953. - TED PEASE
  • Ted Pease
  • Korean War veteran Warren Longnickel, 83, of Carlotta and fellow veteran Don Biasca head down the dock to board the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dorado for the commemorative wreath ceremony. U.S. involvement in the “Korean conflict” ended in 1953.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dorado eased off Woodley Island Marina’s outermost dock Wednesday morning with valuable cargo aboard and a solemn task to perform.

It was the 63rd anniversary of the “end” of the Korean War — a war that reached a United Nations armistice on July 27,1953 but, in truth, has still not ended.

Wednesday morning, five surviving Korean War veterans, all in their 80s, came aboard the Dorado for a quiet annual ceremony, laying a wreath between the jaws of the Eureka Jetty to remember 24 Humboldt sailors, soldiers and airmen who didn’t make it back from that war. For the United States, the Korean “Conflict” lasted from 1950 into 1953, but for these men and for thousands more, the battles continue.

“I still remember them,” said 83-year-old Warren Longnickel, of Carlotta, who, after 20 years in, left the service as a master sergeant. He read the names of the 24 Humboldters who died there, as a Coast Guard sailor rang the bell after each name.

Bill Odonnell, whose father — another Bill and a Korean War vet who died last year — helped organize the ceremony with the Coast Guard.

“Let us not forget that they went to war not for conquest and not for gain, but only to protect the innocent,” Odonnell said. “They suffered greatly in 1,000 forgotten battles. They added luster to the codes we hold most dear — duty, honor and country.”

Odonnell and Korean War veterans Longnickel, Leo Sears, Don Biasca, Carl Nelson and Jack Coleman — all in their 80s — came aboard the Dorado to commemorate the official end of the Korean War. They were greeted by Dorado skipper Lt. Andrew Russo and his Crescent City crew, as well as Coast Guard Humboldt Sector Capt. Arthur Snyder and his operations officer, Cmdr. Kevin Barres.

The Dorado steamed down from its berth in Crescent City for the ceremony because Humboldt’s cutter, the Barracuda, is down for maintenance.

It was an honor to have these men aboard, Russo said. “These people fought for freedom, so it’s nice to give back and honor them for all their sacrifices,” he said. “With everything going on today — all the terror attacks — it’s a reminder that we can overcome.”

U.S. military estimates show nearly 37,000 people — Americans, allies and Koreans — killed during the three years of U.S. involvement in the war in the early 1950s; 103,284 were U.S. troops wounded in action. But other estimates place the casualties much higher — 1.2 million Korean and Chinese military, and 1.6 million civilians.

The Dorado steamed slowly out of Humboldt Bay to the mouth of the Jetty. There, Don Biasca threw a wreath overboard, and it drifted out to sea on the tide.

The Coasties, vets and observers offered a prayer for the fallen, as fishermen nearby trolled for salmon.

“We remember these men not with fear, but with love,” Odonnell said.

The fog started to lift as Dorado turned and headed back to shore. 

Slideshow
Korean War Memorial 2016
Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016 Korean War Memorial 2016

Korean War Memorial 2016


By Ted Pease

Click to View 9 slides


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Court Doc: Mom is Suspect in Fortuna Hit and Run; Showed Signs of Intoxication

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz.
An initial CHP investigation indicated the mother of one of two teenage girls who died after a July 12 hit and run crash was the driver and that she showed signs of intoxication shortly after the collision, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“At that point, however, there was no evidence establishing her as the driver of the Jeep and a chemical test to determine her level of intoxication was not sought,” states the document, which was made public today.

Described as one of two “parties of interest” by the CHP, the investigation also indicated Marcia “Marci” Kitchen “concealed the Jeep behind her residence immediately after the collision and has since made attempts to dissuade her son from providing a statement to law enforcement,” according to the document.


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Sunday, July 24, 2016

In Celebration of National Moth Week

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 4:39 PM

California Ctenuchid, about 20 mm long. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • California Ctenuchid, about 20 mm long.
In observance of National Moth Week, I thought I'd mention a few of our unusual local mothy residents.

Together with butterflies, moths comprise the order “Lepidoptera,” roughly translating to scale wing. A good rule of thumb to distinguish between the two is that butterflies have thin antennae terminating in a club shape, while moths (with a few notable exceptions) have different types of antennae.

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