Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pink Tide Rising

Posted By and on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 5:10 PM

The Eureka Women's March gathering at C Street. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Eureka Women's March gathering at C Street.

On Jan. 21 an estimated 5,000 women, men and children (not to mention a few pets) joined the Eureka Women's March, winding through Old Town in solidarity with the Washington D.C. Women's March in protest of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. There were plenty of pink "pussy-ear hats" in the crowd, as well as homemade signs. Photographer Mark McKenna was on the scene capturing the faces, signs and stories at what is being called the largest such march in the city's history. Click the slideshow below for highlights from the day.

Eureka Women's March
Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March Eureka Women's March

Eureka Women's March

By Mark McKenna

Click to View 14 slides

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Redwood National Park Joins Twitter Rebellion

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 4:12 PM

One day after Tweets with references to climate change were deleted from the Badlands National Park account, the Associated Press reports national parks across the country are sending out messages of their own.

Because that's where we are now.

Humboldt County’s own Redwood National Park appears to have joined the growing rebellion against Trump administration restrictions on government employee communications with the media today with this Tweet: “DYK redwood groves are #1 carbon sink / acre in nature? About 200 tons an acre. More redwoods would mean less #climatechange #climate”

According to the Associated Press, the Golden Gate National Park talked about the record setting temperatures in 2016, sending followers to “a report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also known as NOAA.”

President Trump has questioned climate change and called it a "hoax." A park service spokesperson said the Badland Tweets were deleted because an unauthorized person posted them.

This comes as Doug Ericksen, the spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency transition team, told news organizations that agency scientists would likely have to have their work reviewed on a "case by case basis before it can be disseminated,” according to a NPR report.

Death Valley National Park, in turn, tweeted photos of Japanese Americans interned at a camp there during World War II, according to the AP article, as reports circulated about the possible “resumption of banned
interrogation methods and reopening CIA-run ‘black site’ prisons outside the United States.”

Meanwhile a series of “rogue” Twitter accounts are popping up from Rogue NASA to BadHombreLands NPS.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Planning Commission Vote: Ulansey Out, Mitchell In

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 12:19 PM

Screenshot of Lee Ulansey addressing the Board of Supervisors at a past meeting.
  • Screenshot of Lee Ulansey addressing the Board of Supervisors at a past meeting.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 today, with Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson dissenting, to appoint McKinleyville resident and accountant Brian Mitchell to the at-large planning commission seat currently held by Lee Ulansey.

Mitchell, a former McKinleyville school board member and current member of the county’s Assessment Appeals Board, addressed the supervisors, saying he would “listen to everyone who comes to the lectern” and do his best “to forge consensus opinions.”

He also pledged “to play well with others” and said that while it is important to support infrastructure and job growth, the county’s natural environment needs to be safeguarded.

Ulansey, who was described as a “divisive” figure by some public speakers, was among the 16 candidates under consideration for the position. A recommendation to reappoint the Kneeland resident — brought forward Jan. 17 by First District Supervisor Rex Bohn — was pushed back to this week, with the board majority saying they wanted to look at other nominees.

Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, who worked with Ulansey at the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights before being elected, commented today that this was a very difficult decision for her.

“Under normal circumstances, it would be fairly straight forward,” she said. “But this is neither normal nor straight forward.”

She noted the work Ulansey has done on the commission and as the founder of HumCPR, saying he was qualified to continue in the role and has been a strong advocate for rural residents and timber land property owners.

“For that he has my great appreciation,” Fennell said.

She also spoke out against many of the public comments made at the last meeting and in letters and emails to the board, calling them “fake news” and “personal attacks.”

Those comments included claims that Ulansey’s donations to the political campaigns of several supervisors amounted to conflicts of interest.

“Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot be bought,” Fennell said.

Bohn and Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass also recognized Ulansey as a commissioner who did his homework and asked the tough questions while expressing similar sentiments about some of the correspondence they received, which they said included statements like, “We’re going to be watching you.”

“It does feel threatening and it’s not a good feeling, whichever side it’s coming from,” Bass said.

She noted that there is a long history of commissioners donating to political campaigns — all of which are public record. Bass went on to say she was “looking for a consensus candidate as well” and representation of the McKinleyville area has been lacking on the commission.

Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg, the catalyst for examining other candidates for the planning commission post whose constituency includes the McKinleyville area, did not comment other than to put forward his top two choices: Mitchell and Big Lagoon Rancheria General Manager Virgil Moorehead.

Wilson put his support behind Nicole Sager, the Yurok Tribe's assistant planning director, saying the commission needed more diversity. Though he voted against Mitchell's appointment, he said he has nothing against him personally and looks forward to working with him.

Ulansey’s term expires on Jan. 31.

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Pedestrian Killed in Eureka Crash

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 11:36 AM

An 80-year-old Eureka woman was killed yesterday morning when she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing F Street.

According to the Eureka Police Department, Maria Bosnar was in the crosswalk on F Street and had the walk signal at about 9:55 a.m. when a pickup truck turning left onto F Street from Harris struck her, causing fatal injuries. EPD isn’t releasing the identity of the 57-year-old driver of the pickup, but said DUI does not appear to be a factor in the collision.

The accident remains under investigation and EPD asks that witnesses call Sgt. Gary Whitmer at 441-4060.

See the full EPD press release copied below:

On January 23, 2017 at about 9:55 a.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to F and Harris Streets in Eureka for the report of an injury traffic collision involving a vehicle and pedestrian. The pedestrian was transported by ambulance to the hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her injuries. Next of kin has been notified and the victim has been identified as Maria Bosnar, 80 of Eureka.

The preliminary investigation indicates that a 57 year old male of Eureka was driving a 1987 Toyota pickup east on Harris Street and was stopped at the red light at F Street. Bosnar was at the north east corner of Harris and F Street waiting to cross F Street. The light turned green for the driver and Bosnar had the walk sign to cross. The driver made a left turn onto F Street and collided with the Bosnar in the crosswalk causing fatal injuries.

DUI does not appear to be a factor in the collision. This is an ongoing investigation; any witnesses to this collision are asked to call Sergeant Gary Whitmer at (707) 441-4060.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Eureka Women's March through an Indigenous Lens

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 4:16 PM

A still from WIlbur's film. - MATIKA WILBUR
  • Matika Wilbur
  • A still from WIlbur's film.

Videographer and photographer Matika Wilbur created a short film documenting this Saturday's march. Wilbur, who is Tulalip and Swinomish, is visiting the Karuk and Hupa Nations as part of her year-long project in which she visits all 105 tribes of California. More information is available at

Wilbur sent the Journal this statement:

"I've had the opportunity to stand in solidarity all over the county with indigenous women from Standing Rock to Chicago to D.C. to the desert warmth of Phoenix and I'm proud to be an era that rejects hatred and instead seeks justice - to be in Eureka among strong indigenous communities who are willing to stand up for the Earth, for equality and who came out on January 21st to show this new administration that our indigenous people will not go quietly into the wind - that treaty rights need to be upheld, sovereignty respected, and justice restored. At the end of the march the indigenous women gathered on the lawn, held hands in a circle and prayed for our communities to come together in a good way. We are seeing a new generation of Peace Makers."

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Canine Cop Calls it a Career

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Sgt. Ron Sligh with Zari. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Sgt. Ron Sligh with Zari.
Zari, the Arcata Police patrol dog, has retired after eight and a half years of service.

During his career with APD, Zari, a German shepherd who joined the force in 2008, was present for more than 1,000 arrests and assisted in many high-risk situations. In 2013, he located a double murder suspect hiding in the bushes and, that same year, also helped search for homicide suspects in the Samoa Dunes and Petrolia.

The patrol dog was born in the Czech Republic and imported to the United States to train at a company called Witmer Tyson. Most of the company’s dogs are born and trained in Germany or the Czech Republic. Zari is retiring because of old age and APD said it is no longer practical for him to serve.

Matthew O’Donovan, an Arcata Police officer and handler for the retired patrol dog Baron, started a GoFund me page in order to fundraise for another canine. The fundraising goal is $15,000, which will pay for the dog and its training, as well as supplies, including a knife and bullet proof vest.

“The K-9 unit plays a vital role in the department,” the charity page states.

Ginger Campbell, nicknamed by the Arcata Police department as the “fairy dog mother,” helped raise money for Zari, who cost about $20,000 to train and get prepared. In order to fundraise for the dog, Campbell reached out to local newspapers and asked the community for help.

“When I said I would fundraise for another dog,” Campbell said, “I just figured it would be $4,000 or $5,000 but when It was about $20,000, I had to do a lot more.”

When she had close to enough money to afford the dog, APD scrounged up enough money to fill the void.

According to an APD press release, Zari took part in many canine demonstrations at schools and community groups. Campbell thinks this is important because the dog helped bridge gaps between law enforcement and local youth.

Campbell didn’t just raise money to get the dogs, she also had to raise money to pay for bullet and knife proof vests. She said these are important because the dogs will go to any means to protect their police officer.

“Their main job is to protect the police officer,” Campbell said. “They will die for their police officer.”

Zari will live out his retirement in the care of his handler, APD. Sgt. Ron Sligh, and his family.

Arcata Police Service Canine, “Zari” is retiring after eight and a half years of dedicated service to the community. Zari, the K9 partner of Sergeant Ron Sligh, is retiring due to normal age related ailments that make it no longer practical for him to serve. Zari began his service to the City of Arcata in June of 2008 and his official last day was January 13th, 2017. Zari is a sable colored German Shepherd that was born on March 23rd, 2007 in the Czech Republic. He was imported to the United States by the Witmer-Tyson Kennels of Menlo Park, California in June 2008.
Sgt Sligh and Zari attended the basic patrol handler’s course in Newark, California, which culminated in the Police Officers Standard’s in Training (POST) certification. Since attending the basic handlers course, Sgt Sligh and Zari have attended thousands of hours of maintenance training and certified annually to POST Standards.
During Zari’s career he has responded to numerous high risk incidents in the City of Arcata and all over Humboldt County. As part of mutual aid requests from almost all law enforcement agencies in the county, Zari has been a regional asset.  Some of the more notable incidents that Zari has been involved in are; in 2009 he assisted in the apprehension of a home invasion robbery suspect that attempted to flee the scene. Also in 2009, Zari came to the aid of Sgt Sligh in arresting a suspect that was violently resisting arrest and who had assaulted Sgt Sligh. Again in 2009, Sgt Sligh and Zari responded to assist the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team in searching a vehicle that had crashed during a high speed pursuit, near Willow Creek. The suspects in the vehicle had committed an armed robbery and had been shooting at pursuing officers during the pursuit.
In 2013, Zari located a double homicide suspect who was hiding in the bushes. Zari and Sgt Sligh assisted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s SWAT Team in the apprehension of two homicide suspects in the Samoa Dunes. Zari was part of the muti-agency response to search for a homicide suspect in Petrolia. Zari assisted in the apprehension of another homicide suspect. Zari was called in by Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators to search a residence where a vehicular manslaughter suspect was hiding. Zari located the suspect hiding under a bed.
Zari was present on over a thousand arrests during his career. On the vast majority of those arrests the suspects were taken into custody without resisting or attempting to flee. Within in the last month, Sgt Sligh and Zari were able to arrest a felony warrant suspect, who has a history of fleeing, without incident.
Zari and Sgt Sligh conducted many K9 demonstrations over the years for schools and community groups.  Zari has enjoyed interacting with the department’s staff and made a special friendship with Police Services Assistant Bev Bence in the department’s front office.
Zari will be able to enjoy his retirement in the care of the Sligh Family.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

HumBug: All Aglow

Posted By on Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 3:00 PM

A florescent millipede of the Mytoxia genus needs no black light to glow. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A florescent millipede of the Mytoxia genus needs no black light to glow.
The other day I received my new ultraviolet (black light) 51 LED flashlight from ($9.99). A significant upgrade from my old one. I discovered that some millipedes glow brilliantly under UV. Outside in the dark it's like a different dimension in a sci-fi story — the trees are in the same places but everything else changes. Wherever the rhizomes of the Redwood Sorrel break the surface the black light makes them glow mightily in the yellow green part of the spectrum, while their leaves light up a dim, dark red.

Spots where animals have urinated glow a diffuse yellow, bird droppings light up and here and there some (but not all) mushrooms fluoresce in various colors.

A modest mushroom under white light. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A modest mushroom under white light.

The same fungus, but more fun. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The same fungus, but more fun.

The real stars of the show are the millipedes. While some light up brilliantly throughout their entire body, the cyanide millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana) appears as a twin chain of moving dots.

The cyanide millipede under black light. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The cyanide millipede under black light.
The cyanide millipede by day. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The cyanide millipede by day.
It gets its common name from emitting hydrogen cyanide when it is disturbed. A bit of research on millipedes (class Diplopoda) led me to the High Sierra genus Motyxia, whose members glow even without the need for a black light. There is an interesting article with a cool video clip of them on  
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Largest March in Eureka History

Posted By on Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 4:44 PM

Marchers turn onto Third Street. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Marchers turn onto Third Street.

UPDATE: Organizers report that the official tally for Saturday's march was between 7,000 and 8,000 people, which is roughly six percent of Humboldt County's total population.


Thousands of people turned out to Eureka's waterfront this afternoon in what event organizer Nancy Stephenson has said was the largest march in the city's history. The Eureka Women's March, held in solidarity with other Women's Marches around the world, began at Fisherman's Plaza at First and C. Due to start at 1 p.m., by noon the plaza had already filled, and Old Town sidewalks were packed with hundreds protesters waving signs, many wearing the signature pink "pussy ear" knit caps that have become a symbol of protest against President Donald Trump's admission to grabbing women's genitals without their consent.

The signs in the crowd reflected a diverse spectrum of concerns regarding Trump's platform. Many reiterated their solidarity with women and advocated for reproductive rights. Others expressed their support for LGBTQ, immigrant and environmental rights.

"Hey, ho, the pussy-grabber must go," chanted one contingent.

"Donald Trump eats pizza with a fork," read another sign.

Protesters found creative ways to resist the elements. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Protesters found creative ways to resist the elements.
Peggy and Rachel Grossman, a mother and daughter, waited in a line that spilled out the door of Ramone's Cafe before the march, holding umbrellas and protest signs. Rachel, a College of the Redwoods student who voted for the first time in this election, said she came out to support other women and to be with her mother.

"We're standing in solidarity and supporting women," said Peggy Grossman. "We are standing up for other minority groups as well."

"It's important to show that there are people who have respect and kindness," added their friend Lu Hicks.

A driving rain sent some people under tents at the plaza, but it had ceased by the time the speakers began. A diverse group of men and women spoke briefly about their concerns for the administration, calling for unity and offering suggestions on how to organize under the new administration.

Cheryl Seidner of the Wiyot Tribe led the crowd in a moment of silence and prayer.

Dr. Wendy Ring encouraged people to take action and ask their local governments to become sanctuary cities and to implement strong climate action plans.

Terry Uyeki, one of the march's organizers, recalled her grandparents' experiences in Japanese internment camps and called for attendees to stand in solidarity with Muslims and immigrants.

Songs performed by Joanne Rand and the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir earned loud applause, as did a poem read by Sue Lee Mossman, inviting people to "come walk in the rain with me."

A large crowd at Fisherman's Plaza. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A large crowd at Fisherman's Plaza.

The crowd was so large that, once the march began it bottlenecked as people followed a marching band along the waterfront. A large section of the crowd split off and went down First street, where they reunited and filled F Street, turning north on Third, turning around to return to the plaza. The mood was largely positive and the crowd was filled with families, couples and dogs.

An hour after the Women's March ended a separate splinter protest by a local anarchist group blocked traffic at Fourth and H Streets. Four arrests were made.

Protesters stand their ground. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Protesters stand their ground.

Editor's Note: This post was updated to correct the names of Dr. Wendy Ring and Sue Lee Mossman, as well as to reflect an accurate number of arrests.
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Applicants Line up For Ulansey's Planning Commission Seat

Posted By on Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 10:39 AM

Lee Ulansey addresses Humboldt County Supervisors. - HUMBOLDT COUNTY VIDEO
  • Humboldt County Video
  • Lee Ulansey addresses Humboldt County Supervisors.
So far, at least 16 candidates have turned in paperwork to be considered Tuesday for an at-large position on the Humboldt County Planning Commission after the supervisors decided to explore their options rather than simply reappoint current seat holder Lee Ulansey.

Some of the applications date back to 2010, while 11 others were turned in after the Jan. 17 meeting when First District Supervisor Rex Bohn brought forward Ulansey’s appointment.

That prompted an extended discussion about protocols the board adopted back in 2011 — which include the option of a prolonged selection process for commission and committee members with a public discussion on how an empty seat would be filled and candidate interviews.

Continue reading »

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Silent People in Black Protest on Arcata Plaza

Posted By and on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 2:32 PM

  • Mark Larson
Several dozen protesters joined the People in Black Inaugural Day Vigil on the Arcata Plaza this morning. They held signs or simply expressed their First Amendment rights with their silent presence as they gathered at the same time as the inauguration. Their goal was to share their concerns about and objections to the incoming administration.

Another, noisier, protest was held in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, with protesters making speeches and knocking down a symbolic wall.

People in Black Vigil on Arcata Plaza
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People in Black Vigil on Arcata Plaza

Mark Larson attended a silent Inauguration Day vigil on the Arcata Plaza.

By Mark Larson

Click to View 12 slides

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