Thursday, May 24, 2012

Do You Support Caregivers?

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

The Tri-County Independent Living Center, as it does every year, has asked local political candidates to answer a series of questions regarding disability and accessibility issues. The candidates polled this year are all running for a supervisorial seat.

The questions asked included "How would you encourage compliance with the ADA, for businesses?" and "What is your response to the fact that Humboldt is one of only seven counties statewide that still pay minimum wage with NO benefits to our IHSS caregiver?"

Two candidates -- Mark Lovelace and Cheryl Seidner -- didn't respond to the survey.

The others answered most questions similarly -- like nice, thoughtful people. Some share personal experiences, say, of having a disabled family member, or a homeless friend. All seem supportive of In Home Supportive Services. Most want to find ways to pay them better. And as for ADA compliance, the candidates seem keen on compliance with the law, yes, but through helpful means not lawsuits and business shut-downs.

You may read the survey here.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Clit Clamp Caper

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 5:25 PM


Some people shoplift out of desperation; others do it for the thrill. Perhaps the woman pictured above had thrills in mind when she allegedly stole a clit clamp (yes, that's exactly what it sounds like) from Good Relations in Old Town Eureka.

Store Manager Meghan Riley recently sent out an email to give fellow Eureka merchants the, uh, "heads up."

Attached is a picture of a woman suspected of stealing from us on 5-14-12. ... She claimed to be a social worker, and then asked if we were hiring. She has blonde hair, one side is shaved and she has a blue streak. She took the alleged item (A Clitoral Clamp) out of the packaging, and ditched the packaging in a nook of our store.

All of this was caught on security camera, Riley said in a follow-up email to the Journal. The woman left the store before she could be confronted. You could say she got off without being pinched.

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Go Grizz!

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM



Grease up the Dutch oven, knock the mold off the tent, gather up the kids and haul your camping-starved selves over to Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. It's been closed since May 1 because of the state's budget fiasco. It will reopen in time for this Memorial Day weekend.

Moments ago, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved an operating agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation that will keep the park open for a year. After that, who knows? Maybe the state legislature will have arrived at a neat solution. Maybe an asteroid will hit the lovely spot and make other options moot. Maybe the county will decide to run it another year.

Under the agreement, county public works staff-- in particular, the resident park tender at the county's nearby parks (Swimmer's Delight and Pamplin Grove) - will oversee the park; Sheriff's deputies will patrol; state parks staff will manage hazard trees, regulatory issues and the water system; and the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League will kick in some funds - up to $60,000. You, dear picnickers and campers, will also contribute: by loving the place, visiting it and paying the day use and camping fees.

Those fees, by the way, will initially remain at the state level: $5 for day use and $35 per night/per vehicle campsite fee. Instead of using the online reservation system the state uses, the county will allow campers in on a first-come, first-served basis. The camping fees might drop - the board will hold a public hearing in the near future to discuss lowering the camping fees to $25. As County Counsel Wendy Chaitin explained, the board can't introduce a new county park fee without a hearing, so until then they could charge the existing state park fee or ask for donations. Public Works Director Tom Mattson said his department couldn't afford to rely on donations.

For more on the park closures and efforts to keep our local state parks open, you can read the Journal's coverage here.

Now go enjoy that 1940s vibe of the charming peaked-roof visitors center and the ancient thrill of virgin redwoods. And the Van Duzen River, of course.


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Eclipse from Fairhaven

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM


While some were whooping it up in Kneeland or being bowled over by our good luck in Old Town, Jacob Pounds was actually taking photos on the Fairhaven beach. Tripod + Canon S95 (c'mon, it's just a fancy point-and-shoot!) + eclipse mylar = the above ("Cheshire cat sun") and below (halfway through our four minutes of annularity).

His 8-ball isn't too shabby, either.


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Your Dog is Dead

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Guest post from Mark Dondero of Orleans, the land of abandoned dogs:

This is an open letter to whoever abandoned a German shorthair pointer named Toby in Orleans, Calif., on St. Patrick’s Day, 2005.

Your dog is dead. Actually, once you kicked him out of your car and he found his way to our house, he became our dog. He had a red collar with a piece of foil tucked under it. Inside the foil was this note on a piece of yellow steno notepad


I cAn’t live in the
city Anymore. Im A
good dog, I don’t cHAse cAts
I get Along good with
kids & oTher dogs unless
They sTArT something.
I Like to chAse sticks
& dirt clods.

That was all true. He was a good dog. He had a great time swimming after sticks I’d throw into the Klamath River for him. He loved to go on walks, run, dig after rodents in the field, ride in the back of the truck with his ears flapping in the wind, camp, eat biscuits, be petted. Our neighbor kid loved him. He didn’t like the meter reader or the propane delivery guy, but he loved Bob from Renner Petroleum whenever he delivered kerosene for our heater. He was a great watchdog and barked at everything and everyone.

He was lively and playful right until Mother’s Day this year when he was very lethargic and wouldn’t eat. I took him to the vet the following day and an X-ray showed his lungs were full of tumors. We tried a course of antibiotics and diuretics, but by last Wednesday (May 16) it was obvious he wasn’t getting any better, so I called the vet and told him come prepared to give Toby the spike when he was in Orleans the following day.

Toby, always considerate, saved us all the trouble by having a seizure Wednesday night. He fell over on the living room floor, kicked his legs a few times and died. We buried him the following day on our property under the shade of a big leaf maple tree, close to his friends, the Airedale and the border collie mix.

He will be missed.

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Eclipsed in Kneeland

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM


Eclipsers mobbed Kneeland Airport and the surrounding bucolic countryside Sunday evening to watch the annular eclipse. Meadowlarks sang and the people sprawled their picnicking selves all over the rolling green goodness.

On the tarmac, the fabulous Astronomers of Humboldt and assorted other sky nerds -- bless them! -- brought assorted contraptions for viewing the annular eclipse.

Dan Eaton brought his nifty solar scope, a $62 kit he bought online (its huge image was the hit o' the eclipse:


Sun Frost fridge maker Larry Schlussler brought his low-tech cardboard, tape and reflective mirror gizmo, which cast a nice sharp image:


Michael Quinlan, Kneeland School teacher and principal, brought three long, wood scopes he and the kids made at school (they kept one and gave one to Garfield School and one to the astronomy club):




Of course some people used those elusive glasses (why didn't local stores stock up on more of the darned things?). Others had welding masks and welding mask filters and welding masks mounted onto cameras. Telescopes. Binoculars. And champagne boxes.


Cell phone shots yielded an orphan eclipse next to the shockbright orb:


Everyone clapped when the ring of fire appeared (yes, it was kind of cloudy, but you could see it through some scopes). "Well?" said a guy as the ring changed to a crescent and the smoky eclipse low light slowly traded places with sun and cloud. "Did they speak to anyone? Did anyone receive a message?"

A woman standing apart from it all said she did almost expect the moon people to come down. 

Then the meadowlarks burst back into song. And everyone fled back down the hill. Slowly. Traffic-jammed.


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bringin' da Heat! Your 2012 Rutabaga Queen: Sohotshe Burns!

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM


Gloriously defying conventional wisdom, Sohotshe Burns (known on earth as Wendy Burns) was crowned the 2012 Rutabaga Queen before a raucous crowd at Arcata's Portuguese Hall on Saturday Night. In the end, the much hyped, "Year of the 'Picker" was not to be. Next year, Johnny. Next year.

Queen Sohotshe will go on to be the royal face and head cheerleader for this year's Kinetic Grand Championship next weekend.

The annual Rutabaga Ball was (as always) a colorful, over-the-top affair, as evidenced by the oddness below. (Click pics to biggify.)


Johnny BerryPicker gives his entourage pre-pageant instructions.


The Kinetic Queens about to drop some judgment, yo.


The SS Hobart saves Johnny from, uh, drowning in the Bay? That was it, right?


Soap opera star Sohotshe Burns seduces lots o' mens.


Queens Mo Betta and Texas ham it.


Queen candidate Kitty Lanai exhibits her talent.


Johnny BerryPicker shows his appreciation for the (apparently useless) Journal bump.


Off with their heads!


Everybody dance now!


Despite technical difficulties, Sohotshe and Co. proved that the heat was indeed on.


2011 Queen G-Ma about to declare her sucessor.




G-Ma uses her Werthers Original-encrusted lips to welcome the new royalty into the sisterhood.


Queen Monica comforts the defeated Johnny BerryPicker.


Kinetic Spirit reigns!

Oh ... and there was also a party ...


G-Ma mugs.


Gabe Pressure mean mugs.




Queen Emma is tough on a crown.


Eyes Anonymous channel the '80s.








Next week: more of this!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ferry or Bridge?

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM


A couple winters have passed since the federal department of transportation awarded $120,000 to Humboldt County to make improvements to the McCann Ferry -- a couple of winters, and numerous high-water boat trips back and forth across the Eel River by the intrepid boatman and handful of residents who live on the cut-off side of the river. When the water rises high enough to inundate their low-lying bridge, they have to rely on that ferry boat to get to and from work, school, shopping and everything else. When the winter rains are over -- usually by June -- and the bridge, which is partly just a gravel ramp, emerges, they can drive across it again.

The award -- among $39 million total in grants to ferry systems across the United States that were announced in October 2010 -- is to be used to put in ADA-compliant ramps and launches, construct a waiting area for passengers and the ferry operator, and buy a new boat, motor and safety equipment.

Well, wondered resident Trisha Whitlow recently, where are the improvements?

"Just to let you know we have not seen one cent of that grant," Whitlow wrote last month on the Journal's website. "They fixed a different trail with pea gravel but it is not much for some one that can hardly walk down."

It turns out, however, that Whitlow and her grandfather, Oral Whitlow ("Papa"), have had just enough time, waiting on the ferry improvements, to ponder what they'd really like to see happen.

"The current boat is only four or five years old," Trisha said when we called her up this week. "And Papa says a boat lasts 10 years. That county boat is still in mint condition. Papa said we don't need the money for a new boat at all, or an engine. And the ADA compliant ramp and launches they were talking about putting in? Papa says that's ridiculous, because they want to put them in the creek -- and when creek is up, the ramp would wash out. Why not use the grant instead to put an extension on the bridge?"

It's an old argument. The bridge ends about midway across the river, and a gravel ramp completes it. Trisha Whitlow says her grandfather spent thousands of his own dollars studying and drawing up plans for extending the bridge, and he has the equipment to do the work. But the county board of supervisors killed the idea of extending the bridge, or building a new one, long ago. Unless the board revives the issue, it's still dead, said Public Works Director Tom Mattson this week by phone. Besides, the grant money awarded the county for ferry improvements can't be used for anything else. (For more on this, you can read the Journal's "The Other Side of the River.")

As for the promised improvements -- these things take time. Hoops to jump through, approval letters to receive, maps and studies and permits ... . The county only just now has been cleared to enter the environmental review phase.

"It will probably be next summer before any construction begins," Mattson said.

And it won't be a bridge.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

If you're going to dump a body in Eureka …

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM


… here's a jarringly specific go-to location courtesy of the script scribes at the CBS mucho dramatico cop drama Criminal Minds.

But first, a little background on this scene from last week's 'sode: As part of (we're guessing) a far-from-standard plea deal, FBI Special Agent David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) must visit an incarcerated serial killer once a year to get the name and location of the bodies of girls killed while the murderer was still at-large. The catch? Since he's so committed to justice, Rossi agreed to meet every year … on his birthday! What a stone cold badass!

Anywho, watch the video below and then change your Memorial Day weekend Humboldt hiking plans.

If there's anyone local who shares the name on that card at the end ... man, that's creepy!

Let's see ... what else did we see on TV recently ... uh ... oh right! Bobo!


As long as we're talking about bits of Humboldtness on the national stage, we'll just mention that famous local bigfoot hunter Bobo was featured on The Colbert Report a couple weeks back. Sure, Bobo is one of the stars of Finding Bigfoot, now in its second season. But, c'mon. Face time on Comedy Central trumps Animal Planet appearances any day.

Bobo is part of the team assigned the task of finding an elusive Florida "Super PAC-er." (It's near the end.)

The Colbert Report

Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Report's in Search of Mr. Larose

Hmm, anything else local goin' huge? Oh, Michelle Obama mentioned Sara Bareilles in a tweet yesterday discussing her fav tunes to work out to. Blam!

OK. Now we think you're caught up.

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Humboldt Parents Rejoice!

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:12 PM


The Journal's annual Summer of Fun issue is creeping onto newsstands countywide today (and online tomorrow). As always, it features an exhaustive list of seasonal camps, classes, outings, adventures and  distractions that will get the kiddos out into the world and off your couch (so you can plant yourself there in peace).

So, grab a copy. And be sure to note the cover design by Journal graphic wizard Lynn Jones -- a birthing process chronicled in the video below.

Video by Drew Hyland.

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