Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Crab Trap Limits A-Comin'

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Dungeness Crab

On your mark, get set, scuttle! It's time to ponder the state's new Dungeness crab trap limit program and -- by Sept. 10 -- submit your comments on the Department of Fish and Game's initial study and proposed Negative Declaration.

The program, the result of passage of Senate Bill 369 in 2011, goes into effect in the 2013-2014 crab season. It sets a cap of likely no more than 175,000 traps total allowed to be fished by permitted crab boats, and assigns permitholders to one of seven tiers of between 175 and 500 traps.

You can read previous coverage of crabbing here, here and here.

Here's the DFG's news release:

DFG Announces Public Comment Period for Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program

August 13, 2012

Public Contacts:
Christy Juhasz, DFG Marine Region, (707) 576-2887
Peter Kalvass, DFG Marine Region, (707) 964-9080

Media Contact:
Carrie Wilson, DFG Marine Region, (831) 649-7191

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released an Initial Study and proposed Negative Declaration for the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program as required by Fish and Game Code (FGC) Section 8276.5.

The documents will be available for public comment and review through Sept. 10, 2012.

The project under review is DFG's proposed regulations to implement the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program prior to the 2013-14 commercial Dungeness crab season.

Under statute, the Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program must cap the number of crab traps in state waters at a number that is not yet known, but will be fewer than 175,000. To do so, the department is implementing new procedures that include assigning permit holders to one of seven tiers that will allow them to fish between 175 and 500 traps.

The initial study analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed regulations, which describe how to apply for and use trap tags and buoy tags. The proposed regulations also describe procedures for how new biennial permits can be purchased and replaced if lost.

To obtain the materials, contact Christy Juhasz at DFG's Santa Rosa office: (707) 576-2887 or cjuhasz@dfg.ca.gov. More information and online versions of the documents can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/traplimit_nd.asp.

All comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012 and must include the commenter's name, address and daytime telephone number. Comments may be submitted by mail to:

Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program CEQA
Department of Fish and Game
5355 Skylane Blvd., Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Additionally, comments may be submitted via e-mail (in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format only) to cjuhasz@dfg.ca.gov. If e-mailed, comments must include "Dungeness Crab Trap Limit Program CEQA Comments" in the subject line.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

L.A. Times Says Arcata's Panhandling Ordinance "Goes Too Far"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM


In an editorial that's bound to make the Arcata Chamber of Commerce wince, the Los Angeles Times today came out against the city's 2010 panhandling ordinance, saying:

The city's frustration is understandable, but its remedy is too broad and too punitive, emblematic of the excesses that many municipalities succumb to in confronting the unsightly but all too human problems associated with panhandling.

Political activist Richard Salzman filed suit against the city last year, claiming that the ordinance's geographic restrictions against begging violate the First Amendment. The Times' editorial board agrees:

Yes, it can be irritating to be confronted by poverty while exiting a store, but the tender sensibilities of shoppers cannot be allowed to outweigh the rights of Americans.

A decision on the case is expected soon.

Previously: Cold Shoulders, Spare RightsMedia Maven: Free Speech Now!

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It's Official: This Weather Ain't Normal

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM

If coastal Humboldtians have been wondering just where the heck our summer is, you have good reason: Last month was tied for the cloudiest ever recorded in Eureka, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose database stretches from 1887 through 2005. According to Shawn Palmquist, a meteorologist at the group's Woodly Island station, 22 of July's 30 days were considered "cloudy." Only three times has a Eureka July been so gloomy -- in 1889, 1972 and 1998.

Palmquist explained NOAA's methodology: Each day (from sunrise to sunset) gets divided into eight sections. If zero-to-two of those sections are predominantly cloudy, then the day is considered "clear." If three-to-six sections have cloud cover, the day is deemed "partly cloudy." A full-fledged "cloudy" day is one that's at least seven-eighths blocked from the sun.

Our June was normal, with 12 cloudy days, Palmquist said. So far in August, six of the nine days have been cloudy, putting us on pace to exceed the monthly average of 14.

As Hank Sims pointed out on the Lost Coast Outpost last month, it's been unseasonably chilly, too: Eureka was the most unusually cold place in the U.S. thorugh the first six months of this year, again according to NOAA.

It should be acknowledged that the rest of the country would probably trade their summer weather for ours in a hot minute: July was the hottest month on record in the United States.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Outsiders

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Once again, our teen correspondents Nick and Kaylee Savage-Wright are heading to San Francisco for this weekend's massive, seriously eclectic (and sold out) Outside Lands Festival, where headliners include Neil Young (Friday), Metallica (Saturday) and Stevie Wonder (Sunday). Here's a little preview of what they have planned. Check back next week for a report on what they saw and heard.


Despite such a great music scene existing in Humboldt County, not everyone gets to appreciate it. Many of the venues aren't open to people under 21, and quite a few of us who don't make that cut look forward to the music festivals outside of Humboldt, Sasquatch, Coachella and Outside Lands for example. The latter is an event I've attended for the past three years and each time was a rewarding experience, whether it was discovering a new band to obsess over, getting to see an already loved band live, or just walking from stage to stage, exploring the area, meeting people I wouldn't otherwise have the chance to know, and breathing in the anticipation and energy in the air.

Outside Lands (happening this Friday through Sunday in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park) is sold out for this year, so if you don't have a ticket, you'll have to get creative fast. You can try StubHub or Craigslist, for example, but be prepared to pay way above the original price.

Having gone to Outside Lands for the past couple years I consider myself festival-savvy, though every year I still think of something I forgot, or wish I'd brought, like different shoes. Anyone who has attended a large music festival knows the basics of surviving the event - for those going to Outside Lands for the first time I offer you some useful navigation tips and advice on getting the most you can out of the experience.

Outside Lands is an amazing way to somehow relax and go wild at the same time - you can either join in the fray of rambunctious crowds or sit on the outskirts, hearing the music from afar and watching the show on the large screens placed on both sides of the stage. As for getting through those crowds, you might find yourself blocked from friends by stubborn people who won't let you by sometimes, just try to maneuver around them without causing a scene. I've found that being polite and apologetic will help you squeeze your way through the mass to a front row spot, or at least somewhere close. You might want to stake out a seat hours before the band you want to see is playing if you're really determined - that worked well for me last year to see Macklemore, OKGO, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys and Muse (right in the front for almost every performance!).

Between shows you can wander over to the merchandise booths before hurrying to where the next band you want to see is playing. There's always something to do. It's rare to find yourself sitting around bored, though all the walking does wear you down (like I said before, bring good shoes!) and there are plenty of places to rest if you need it.

Keeping yourself sustained and hydrated is important in daily life, and even more so at these kinds of festivals. Between all the moshing, dancing, singing and rushing to and fro, your energy will probably reach its limit, so make sure to stop at the refillable water stations and browse the food trucks or vendors for some amazing San Francisco fare. For those festivalgoers who are of legal drinking age, Outside Lands includes a number of breweries and wineries. If you've got a sweet tooth as big as mine you'll want to stop by Choco Lands in McLaren Pass and sample some delectable treats.

Another thing to do between performances is entertain yourself with the many stalls set up between stages: From clothes to trinkets there's plenty to peruse. There are also comedy/variety acts in The Barbary (I don't think I'll be able to pass up Neil Patrick Harris, and there's also Reggie Watts, David Cross, and Chris Hardwick). And Juxtapose magazine works together with the OL crew to bring in a group of artists doing daily live-paintings and installations, which are beautiful to see, brought to life.

Finally, make sure that you'll have somewhere to stay (most places might be booked up; for something different check www.airbnb.com). Learn how to navigate the busy streets or buses to the festival, and you'll be set.

I don't know anyone who hasn't loved going to Outside Lands, even after going three years in a row it's still an incredible adventure I'm looking forward to. Whether it's discovering new band to obsess over, getting to see an already loved band live, or just walking from stage to stage, exploring the area, meeting people you wouldn't otherwise have the chance to know, and breathing in the anticipation and energy in the air - you'll love it.

For additional information, go to  SF Outside Lands -- enjoy!

--Kaylee Savage-Wright


Nick's Picks

Are you attending Outside Lands 2012? Unsure about who to see? Take a look at the list below and maybe it will help you decide.

Stevie Wonder

I'd say Stevie Wonder is the No. 1 musician to see at Outside Lands 2012. He's arguably the best musician alive. Signing to Motown Records in 1961 the 11-year-old "Little Stevie Wonder" is still performing and recording today. Redefining music and social standards alike, Stevie Wonder is one of the most positively influential people in the world. I have personally been a fan since I was little and have been excited for Outside Lands ever since he was added to the lineup. He's playing for over two hours, and begins an hour before Skrillex even starts, so there is no excuse not to see him. Definitely the one person you don't want to miss.


Skrillex is the only dubstep headliner and will definitely put on a great show. He will likely have the youngest and most animated crowd, and he will match that intensity on stage. Sonny John Moore has been making music and touring since 2004, but didn't release his debut EP, My Name is Skrillex, until 2010. That EP coupled with Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, turned Skrillex into a star -- one of the new pioneers of dubstep/electro music. There will be a lot of bass heads at Outside Lands and even if you don't like that type of music Skrillex's show will probably have more energy then any of the other headliners. Playing at the end of Sunday night, Skrillex will be a good finish for an amazing festival.

Big Boi

Big Boi is the biggest hip-hop artist in the festival. After last years power outage fiasco (his DJ's equipment had a power failure, and he was unable to perform) he owes the crowd a great show and I think he will deliver. He plays in between MiMOSA and Passion Pit, so I would recommend seeing him if you like either of them.

Foo Fighters

Interestingly the Foo Fighters had their debut performance in 1995 at The Jambalaya, in Arcata, CA. The founding member is the renowned ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, which is enough to like the band already; his band mates Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, and Pat Smear are icing on the cake. Their raw energy and intense style makes them my favorite rock band of the festival. They play Friday from 6:10-7:25 at the Lands End stage.

Reggie Watts

Reggie Watts is a decent musician, comedy aside; but it's his humor that makes him excellent. Known for his viral video "What About Blowjobs?" and his classic song "F*ck Sh*t Stack," Reggie has always been able to blend comedy and music. The main conflict at his time is Wallpaper, who I think is pretty sub-par to Reggie. Not the best show for small children or scrooges however.

Mark Farina

I would recommend any jazz fans with dome access to see Mark Farina's show. Unfortunately show is 21+, so I won't be able to see his "Mushroom jazz." He's playing 4-5:30 on Sunday in The Dome By Heineken, 21+ only.

--Nick Savage-Wright

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eureka Resolves to Reaffirm Commitment to Create Jobs

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Last night, the Eureka City Council unanimously voted to adopt a harbor revitalization resolution presented by a community group, but only after it was determined that the document doesn't legally bind them to do anything.

Councilmember Linda Atkins said she was concerned about some of the big-ticket projects listed as goals in the resolution, including container shipping and the east-west rail proposal. She said studies have shown those goals to be unrealistic and expressed doubt about achieving public approval for them. But the rest of the council voiced support for the document, saying it showed vision and served to reaffirm their commitment to creating jobs.

After public comments and some discussion among the council, Atkins asked City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson whether the resolution would create any legal obligations for the city. The language of the document asks the council to resolve, among other things, to develop "within one year a cohesive and coordinated marketing plan" and to work with other agencies "to obtain funding/financing for infrastructure projects such as dock repairs and improvements; dredging [and] East-West rail ... ."

Day-Wilson said the resolution does not carry any legal weight. Atkins said that "in the spirit of cooperation" she would support the document. Thus was the council resolved.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

FOUND: Rail Propaganda Data Source [Updated]

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Update, 3:20 p.m.: In a follow-up email to the Journal, the Humboldt Bay Harbor Group's citizen leader, Susana Munzell, confirmed that the data now being used to promote the east-west railroad project is from a 15-year-old study that operated under a very different set of hypotheticals:

As I recall, the information came from a study by a professor at UC Berkeley for the Harbor District's harbor deepening project.  More info later if I can locate it.

Original post:

Yesterday we reported on the "rah rah rail" resolution that will appear before the Eureka City Council tonight, and we wondered about the "economic modeling" cited therein. The "summary" that precedes the resolution paints a colorful picture, casting the battle over Humboldt Bay's future as a fight between Ayn Randian leaders whose economic visions are grounded in hard data and, on the other hand, nay-saying, no-growth whiners whose motives are nigh unfathomable.

One major thrust of this treatise, which is being presented by the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group, is that local governments and citizens should support the construction of an east-west rail line connecting Humboldt Bay to the national rail system in the Sacramento Valley.

No source is given for the "economic modeling" cited in the document as evidence that a "revitalized harbor" could:

  • Handle up to 5 million tons of cargo per year;
  • Create more than 3,500 jobs;
  • Increase local payroll by more than $90 million; and
  • Increase gross regional product by more than $400 million

In an email to the Journal, the group's citizen leader, Susana Munzell, said:

The modeling, figures and projections for harbor jobs and funds are listed in documents from the Harbor Commission, among them Waterfront Revitalization Plan; The 2003 Harbor Revitalization Plan; 2009 Economic Development Plan and Draft Strategic Plan; the Shore-Based Aquaculture Terminal Project, and  county documents such as the Harbor Revitalization Plan, the Local Coastal Plan, etc.

The Journal so far hasn't found the figures in any of those studies, but we did come across a close fit in a 15-year-old economic impact report commissioned by the harbor district. Back then, U.C. Berkeley economist John Quigley attempted to predict the economic benefits of a series of major infrastructure improvements to the harbor, starting with a deepening project.

The report was used in an attempt to sell voters on the creation of a harbor assessment district -- a proposal that was rejected by voters in 1997. Regardless, using estimates provided by harbor district staff, Quigley estimated that, with major investments from both local taxpayers and the federal government, a series of major infrastructure projects could, among other things: 

  • Increase shipping to more than 5 million tons of cargo per year (by 2005)
  • Create 3,000 jobs;
  • Increase local payroll by more than $90 million; and
  • Increase gross regional product by more than $400 million

Is this the economic modeling being used today by the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group? If so, it's more than a little bit problematic. As Munzell herself notes, there have been numerous studies and reports since Quigley's, none of which have agreed with his robust predictions. Even at the time they were greeted with skepticism. For example, in this 1998 memo to local business leaders, Gregg Foster, then with the Humboldt Area Foundation, noted that, "The cargo shipping assumptions used in the Quigley report significantly exceed any other projection made to date." 

Another problem: The major component of Quigley's assumptions was not a rail connection but the harbor deepening project -- which has already been completed.

Also: It's not 1997. As justification for building an east-west rail, which is how it's being used here, Quigley's analysis is both off-topic and hopelessly obsolete. 

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KMUD In Deep

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM


KMUD radio (91.1 FM Redway/Garberville) -- the funky, feisty radio station (aka KMUE 88.1 in Eureka, KLAI 90.3 in Laytonville and 99.5 FM in Shelter Cove) that knits the independent hinterlands into a tight community -- is in jeopardy.

"We don't have any cash," said Rob Bier this morning (Tuesday) on the phone. Bier is president of the board of directors of Redwood Community Radio, which owns the stations. Bier said the board realized its dire situation about two weeks ago. Since late last week, he and staff have been on the air explaining the problem and feverishly fundraising. "Between our indebtedness and our anticipated revenues, we didn't have anything left over. The cupboard is bare."

To meet payroll today for its nine employees, the board deferred paying its bills -- including, significantly, its PG&E bill and rent for its transmittal tower space.

So, what happened?

Bier said the nonprofit got a grant of about $90,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to upgrade three of its four transmitters and convert the signals to high definition. As part of the deal, the station had to put up a matching amount -- about $70,000.

"On paper, we managed to show we had matching funds," Bier said. "They released their grant and we went to work."

In reality, the board didn't yet have the matching funds. But it was under the gun to begin the work, Bier said. The grant as well as the construction permit from the FCC had deadlines -- use 'em or lose 'em. So the board drew from other internal accounts and took out about $90,000 in loans, which are now coming due. Bier blames the fiasco on a combination of poor decision making, wishful thinking and "a bad spot of weather in March" which hindered the rigging crew brought up from the Bay Area to put up a new antena on a tower; the crew had to return a second time, which doubled the costs and put the nonprofit $58,000 in the hole, said Bier.

"We started robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said. "We were expecting to raise money but we didn't raise enough. We also purchased equipment before we went to our listeners and supporters and asked them to pay for it. And our estimates for the equipment were a year out of date -- and those costs went up ... so we got stung there, too. This is not the way to do business."

It's hard to imagine life without KMUD. Since May 28, 1987, when KMUD radio first went on the air, it's been a vital hub: Something happens -- an election, a mudslide, a federal raid, or something else big or interesting in Southern Humboldt -- and everybody tunes in to the small, Redway-based station's local news programs to find out what's happening and chime in on the discussion. In between the action: music and storytelling, poetry and pondering, spiritual questing and reports from afar. KMUD is as community-radio as they come, offering everything from "Al Jazeera News" to "Hot Potatoes" and "Jomama's Blues" and "Thank Jah it's Friday." Oh, and those seasonal weeks of fundraising, when the volunteers, board members and staff cheerfully pester listeners to cough up.

The good news is, work on one of the transmitters is finished -- KMUE in Kneeland is now operating at 10,000 watts, a vast improvement over its previous, wimpy 1,250 watts -- and equipment for the remaining two has been built and paid for and will be installed soon, bringing HD and clearer signals to listeners.

The bad news is, Bier thinks they can eke out an existence for the next three months ... but after that? It depends on the fundraising.

"We're proceeding on the assumption we're going to get there," he said. "We made a mistake, and that's a very hard thing to say, because the main job of the board of directors of a nonprofit is to watch the money. But we're a bunch of amateurs, volunteers... ."

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Double Trouble! 15-Year-Old Twins Arrested This Morning in Eureka

Posted By on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 08-7-2012, approximately 4:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a residential burglary interrupted at a residence in the 4800 block of Allen Court, Eureka. The homeowners were sleeping when they thought they heard their garage door open. The husband got out of bed to check on what was going on and looked around. The husband checked the residence inside and outside and determined nothing out of place and the garage door was closed. Since he was already awake, the husband left the residence and drove to a nearby market to buy cigarettes. The husband was gone a short period of time leaving his wife asleep in the residence. When he came back home he saw his garage door was now open and the door leading into the residence from the garage was ajar. The husband entered his home and found dresser drawers and cabinets were open. The husband grabbed a handgun and called 911.  He found a 15 year female juvenile hiding in the back bedroom. He detained the female until deputies arrived. When deputies arrived on scene they learned the suspect had entered the victims unlocked vehicle parked in the driveway, and used the garage door opener to open the garage. The suspect also stole items from the car. While deputies were conducting their investigation and they located a second suspect, the 15 year old twin sister of the first suspect, hiding in the bushes. Deputies found property and recovered property stolen from the home, which included cell phones, car keys, make up, jewelry and other items. Both juvenile females were arrested for residential burglary and transported and booked into Humboldt County Juvenile Hall. Both female suspects reside in Eureka.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

East-west Rail Propaganda, Anyone?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM


A resolution on the agenda for tomorrow's Eureka City Council meeting asks council members to swear allegiance to the riduculous controversial east-west rail proposal, and the resolution is preceded by an almost comically biased "summary" of the issue. (Read the full text in pdf form here.)

The agenda item was prepared by members of the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group, an amorphous collection of citizens that has been meeting for the last nine months or so. Exactly which members is unclear: More than 50 are listed on the website for Prosperity!, the regional economic development initiative of which the working group is a part. Eureka council members Marian Brady and Linda Atkins are both listed among the members, though Atkins said she was not involved in drafting this resolution and, in fact, was unaware it existed until last week, when City Manager David Tyson called to ask if she was OK with having it on the Aug. 7 agenda. She's not. Atkins told the Journal that she plans to ask the mayor to postpone the item so council members can examine it more closely. A call to Brady was not immediately returned.

On first reading, the resolution itself may seem reasonable enough. Divided into six bullet points, it asks the council to "affirm its commitment to create jobs and sustainable economic growth through Humboldt Bay's harbor" by pursuing such common-sense measures as strategic planning, marketing and collaboration with other government agencies.

But tucked into this laundry list of promises, the resolution asks councilmembers to swear their support for "rail service connecting [Humboldt Bay] to the national rail system" and to promise that they'll pursue funding for the east-west rail project, specifically.

As the Journal explained back in May, this endeavor has prompted a great deal of skepticism given the vast financial, political, practical and environmental challenges that would attend laying 125 miles of new rail across a mountainous path that bisects two national forests.

The Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group's stated purpose is to "unify the community on the future use of the harbor portion of Humboldt Bay to create sustainable jobs and economic growth while maintaining environmental integrity." If the document on tomorrow's agenda is any indication, the group seems to be pursuing the George W. Bush approach to unity: "Either you're with us ... or you're with the enemy."

"Some promote expanding" port activities on Humboldt Bay while, "on the other hand," the document sneers, "comments have been made such as ... 'We don't really want that (harbor) business here' and 'Why rail? That is 100-year-old technology.'"

No source is given for these gross mischaracterizations of the main arguments against throwing public money into the east-west rail pursuit. Nor does the document cite the "economic modeling" used to estimate what the rail-doubters are supposedly costing the region (more than $400 million and 3,500 jobs).

[Update: The source appears to be a 15-year-old report based on an entirely different set of hypotheticals.]

Atkins is concerned by the document. "There's so much in here that are just statements that don't have any basis in any research that I know of," she said. She recalled a 2003 study (available here) commissioned by the City of Eureka and the harbor district that recommended a more measured approach to economic development on the bay -- one that focuses on aquaculture, marine-dependent industrial projects, tourism and marine science.

Atkins said she did attend a few meetings of the community group, "but then when it developed into this port-and-rail, massive mega-structure cheering team, I decided to quit going to the meetings and let them go their own way."

Eureka City Manager David Tyson said he didn't know who actually wrote the resolution, but he said, "I validated [that] it's in the interest of council to have it on the agenda, and I was asked to place it on the agenda by my bosses."

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Eureka Man Arrested After Stabbing Daughter's Boyfriend

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 08-02-2012, approximately 8:15 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a fight in progress and one of the combatants was stabbed. The fight was occurrung at a residence in the 1100 block of Freshwater Road, Eureka. Deputies responded to the scene and met with the 20 year old male victim, the suspect and a witness. The fight had ceased when the deputies arrived.  The victim showed deputies a deep knife wound in his left side near the rib cage. Medical responded to the scene to treat the victim.

Deputies interviewed all involved and learned the victim and the suspect, who was identified as Steven Robert Trembly, 54 years of Eureka, who is also the homeowner, became involved in a physical fight. During the fight Trembly stabbed the victim one time in the side with a buck knife. The victim is dating the suspect’s adult daughter, who witnessed the fight and assault.
Trembly was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for assault with a deadly weapon. His bail is set at $50,000.00.
The victim remains in the hospital.

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