Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Give Us the Slime, the Lies …

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM


... the wretched masses from your election-teeming mailbox.

Because we're hunting for the most scurrilous, most distorted campaign material making the rounds in Humboldt.

It's a contest!

When you see a campaign whopper, drop it off at our office at 310 F. St. in Old Town Eureka, with a little note about what you think is misleading or downright false. You'll get extra points if you cite sources and include URLs where we can research the truth. And we'll need your real name, address and phone number so we can contact the winners.

Or fax the ad(s) and your note to us at 442-1401.

Or take a picture of the offending material, with good enough resolution that we can read all the fine print, and email it with your comments to editor@northcoastjournal.com. Put "election ad contest" in the subject line.

We'll post some of the worst offenders on our blog between now and Election Day. (Don't worry, we won't put up your address or phone number -- just your name and the city you live in.) And we'll crown the grand prize winner, the Supreme Spotter of Sleaze, soon after the election.

The fine print: Just keep it Humboldt. We're looking for the worst of the worst that's being circulated here, in our community. But the topic can be any issue on the November ballot -- local, state or national -- as long as the campaign material lands here. Mostly we're expecting mailers, but if you want to send us locally aired audio or video or other media, go right ahead.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Old Town Sunbather John Tutuska Has Died

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM


A memorial sprang up in front of the Clarke Musuem soon after Eureka resident John Tutuska died on Sunday. The endearing, highly visible Old Town character could often be seen shirtless and deep in meditation in front of the museum. He was 67.

Update, Oct. 16: For those who might have missed this in the comments section below, Tutuska's friends are organizing a memorial at 11 a.m. Nov. 2 at Clarke Plaza, on E street right across from the museum.

Here is what the Journal's Heidi Walters wrote when she declared him "Best Old Town Sunbather" in our 2010 Best Of Humboldt issue:

The sun comes out — when it comes out, oh, praise the sun! — and out comes John Tutuska. Skinny legs in baggy jeans cinched tight. Sandaled feet smooth-brown. Bare torso, creased arms and serene face baked to madrone. Tutuska sits in a chair or stands beside it — a dark, still exclamation against the white, white, eye-shattering white wall of the Clarke Museum. Ah, but he does not worship the sun. He is not here to work on his tan.

“My primary purpose is to meditate,” says the gentle Tutuska. “The sun serves as a jump start to the light within.”

You understand, don’t you? The light glowing in the closed eyelids?

“And once you find the light within, that’s all you have to do. That’s where your social questions get answered. That’s where all your questions get answered. And that’s a place of true healing.”

But why this place, this wall? Well, says he, when the wind is blowing off the water, this is the warmest spot.


Shop owners and workers in Old Town remembered Tutuska fondly on Monday, telling stories of his thoughtfulness and spirit. His cremation is being handled by Humboldt Cremation and Funeral Service.


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SoCal Dispensary Owner Could Face Life in Prison

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

That's correct: A cannabis dispensary owner could wind up serving the kind of prison term that's typically reserved for society's most heinous and violent criminals.

Aaron Sandusky was operating three medical marijuana dispensaries in compliance with state law, but over the weekend a federal jury convicted him of a handful of drug-related charges that carry a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, according to the L.A. Weekly.

Last October, Sandusky received threatening letters from the U.S. Attorney's Office, as did many other dispensaries across the state, as the Journal noted at the time. Local dispensary owners and their landlords have received similar letters.

These federal crackdowns on state law-abiding dispensaries run counter to public statements by President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder (see video above). But, as noted by The Huffington Post, the judge wouldn't allow Sandusky to use those statements in his defense.

Sandusky's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

If You Bought a House in August, You Won

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 5:22 PM

"Now is a great time to buy a house," a Realtor said every single day since the dawn of Realtors. And until The Great American Housing Bubble, they were usually right. Houses were good investments ... until Wall Street started using them as tokens in their rigged casino games.

The housing market has been out of whack for roughly a decade now (see chart below), but the latest numbers from the Humboldt Association of Realtors suggest that prices are settling back down to historical norms. And so, like broken clocks that waited patiently for the return of the hour hand, Realtors may once again be correct: Now just might be a great time to buy a house.

Yesterday, the Humboldt Association of Realtors released its countywide stats for August home sales. Here's where we stand:


NCJ graph based on figures from the Humboldt Association of Realtors

The median price of homes sold in Humboldt County was $220,390, which is where they seem to have plateaued. (The median has been within $20,000 of that mark for almost a year now.) Combine that value with a median household income of $45,409, plus a record-low mortgage rate of just 3.7 percent, and you get the most affordable monthly house payments in more than a decade.

Let's get specific: Say you purchased this hypothetical median-priced home in August, with the standard 20 percent down. Your monthly payment, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance, would be $1,048.45. And say that, by some remarkable coincidence, your household also happened to earn the county's median household income. Your mortgage payments would eat up 28 percent of your income.

When's the last time house payments took such a small bite of local incomes? Go ahead and guess; we'll wait.

It was April 1999 -- 13 years and four months ago. Between then and now, the local bubble peaked (in March 2006) with median-priced home selling for $349,500. The monthly payment on that home would have consumed more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the county's median income.

If you bought a house back then, condolences. But the rest of us can be grateful that the long free fall has brought prices back down to earth.

In case you're curious, here are the median August home prices for Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna and McKinleyville. And just so you can revel at how far out of whack we got, we've also included the high-water mark for each town:

  • Eureka -- $176,100 (high -- $345,000 in Feb. 2006)
  • Arcata -- $235,000 (high -- $608,000 in April 2006)
  • Fortuna -- $201,500 (high -- $465,000 in Oct. 2007)
  • McKinleyville -- $230,000 (high -- $418,000 in April 2007)

It should be noted that individual markets have pretty small sample sizes from month to month, so the highs can be skewed dramatically by the sale of one or two very expensive homes. Still, we're nowhere near these levels anymore.

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Ginormous Weed Bust: $4M of Bud Seized, 17 Arrested

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM


Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (click images to enlarge):

On 10-11-2012, approximately 9:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office assisted by the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant in the 2000 block of Sunset Ridge Road, Blocksburg.

Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located and detained 17 suspects. As deputies arrived and announced their presence one of the suspects, identified as Johines Ibonnet, attempted to jump out the back window of the residence and broke his ankle. He was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injury prior to being booked into jail.


Upon searching the 45-acre parcel deputies found a very large sophisticated marijuana growing and processing operation. The operation consisted of marijuana plants being grown in two large greenhouses estimated to be between 60 feet by 100 feet, along with marijuana plants being grown out in the open and inside the residence. The residence and greenhouses were powered by two commercial sized 25 KW generators. The growing marijuana plants ranged in size from 6 feet to 8 feet tall and were budding. Deputies estimated the growing plants to have at least one to two pounds of marijuana bud being produced on each plant. There were a total of 718 growing marijuana plants located and seized on the property. Inside a large drying shed, estimated to be approximately 60 feet by 40 feet, deputies located and seized approximately 900 lbs of drying marijuana bud. Inside the residence deputies located two commercial marijuana trimming machines being used to trim the dried marijuana bud from the plants. Deputies also located approximately 132 pounds of dried marijuana bud along with numerous drying racks and 261 sealed bags of marijuana bud ready to sell, estimated to weigh approximately one pound or more each, along with packaging material,  scales, a Norinco AK-47 assault rifle with several loaded high capacity magazines, a money counter and approximately $9,500.00 cash.

A total of approximately 1,293 pounds of dried marijuana bud was located. Dried marijuana bud is being sold for approximately $2,000 a pound. The estimated value of the dried marijuana bud seized is $2,586,000.00 wholesale. If the live marijuana plants had been harvested they would had yielded conservatively an additional 718 pounds of dried marijuana bud estimated to be $1,436,000 wholesale. The value of the marijuana seized is estimated to be at least $4 million dollars in just marijuana bud, not including the leaves.

Several of the suspects admitted to investigating officers they were hired to work at the marijuana grow as laborers.

The following is a list of who was arrested at the scene and booked in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of Cultivation and Possession for sale of Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony:

  • more-weed.png
    Elber Dejesus Ivonnet
    , male 53 years old from North Bergen, NJ. Bailed
  • Geyler Melo-Pueyol, male 22 years old from Miami, Fla. In Custody, $75,000 bail
  • Richardo Mateos-Perez, male 22 years old, from Homestead, Fla.In Custody, $75,000 bail
  • Fernando Olvera, male 39 years old, from Santa Rosa, Calif. Bailed
  • Luis Manuel Sosa-Vega, male 47 years old, from Santiago, Cuba. In Custody $75,000 bail
  • Jose Pulido, male 42 years old, from Los Reva, Mexico. In Custody $75,000 bail, ICE Hold
  • Hildegarde Safont-Arias, male 42 years old, from Hialeah, Fla. In Custody $75,000 bail
  • Disney Bolanos-Chacon, male 41 years old, from Charlotte, N. C.In Custody $75,000 bail
  • Jonines Ibonnet, male 42 years,from Oakland, Calif. Bailed
  • Terrence Henderson, male, 43 years old, from Eureka, Calif.In Custody $75,000 bail
  • Pauline Ionie Barnes, female, 44 years old, from Green Island, Jamaica.Released on O.R.
  • Arlettis Rodriguez-Alverez, female, 22 years old, from Hileah, Fla. Released on O.R.
  • Dayana Isabel Padron, female, 19 years old, from Blocksburg, Calif. Released on O.R.
  • Elizabeth Enamorado De Padron, female, 40 years old, from Santiago, Cuba. Released on O.R.
  • Hyacinth Hypatiae English, female, 48 years old, from Bridgeville, Calif.Released on O.R.
  • Idalmis Leyva Ivonnet, female, 62 years old, from Charlotte, N.C. Released on O.R.

Michael Lewis Iverson Jr., 35 years old from Eureka, California was also arrested at the marijuana growing site, however he was only arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant with a bail of $30,000.00.


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tonight's Controversial Capleton Show Will Be At ...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM

After weeks of fyah spewin' between dancehall enthusiasts and LGBT activists, Bonus Entertainment's Beau DeVito just made the following announcement about the location of tonight's controversial Capleton show via da Facebooks:

CAPLETON @ the ocean grove tonight...30adv at peoples records arcata and nhs arcata....doors at 9...Blaaze it !!!

That would be the Ocean Grove Lodge in Trinidad. Adjust your life accordingly.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Found Footage Shows Bigfoot Going on Murderous Rampage

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM


The hoax is over! It brings us no joy to report this terrifying news: The legendary Bigfoot, long portrayed as a shy and benevolent forest dweller with rubbery extremities, has been revealed as a savage and calculating predator. His latest rampage was captured by a television crew right here in Humboldt County, where they'd come to film a Ghost Hunters-type reality show.

The harrowing footage has been cobbled together into a feature film. Behold the bloodcurdling trailer below:

Based on the rain-drenched shot of the Fieldbrook General Store (28 seconds in), coupled with the filmmakers' ominous warning that "Seeing. Is. Believing," we hereby advise all rural residents to remain indoors, at least until you can be reasonably sure that no one will make you watch this thing sober.

And if that's not enough Sasquatch for you, there's another Bigfoot found footage flick coming from Lionsgate. The storyline sounds amazingly similar, but the setting is Siskiyou County.

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A Different Sort of Green House

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:04 AM


Green buildings are the wave of the future. And our local schools are catching that wave with students from Arcata and McKinleyville high schools Humboldt Regional Occupational Program building trades construction class involved in the planning, design and every phase of the building process of a just-completed green home in McKinleyville. 

The kids and their instructors invite you to join them at an open house this weekend in a celebration of the completion of a two-year construction project -- Friday, Oct. 12, 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1245 Chelsea Way McKinleyville.

For more information, contact instructor Dave Enos at (707) 498-3438.

Details on the Craftsman-style house were provided by Enos.

The home includes:

The roof-mounted, 12-panel solar array is rated at 2.33kW and should generate over 10kW of power each day. The system uses Emphases Micro Inverters to convert the DC power to AC power. The system should generate enough electricity to meet the majority of the home's electrical energy needs. The system can be monitored on site and on-line to determine the energy production of the system at any given time.
The heat recovery ventilator is designed to replace indoor air with fresh, outdoor air on a 24/7 schedule. The attic location of the HRV unit allows the ducting to pull in outside air from the west side of the home and to bring the fresh air into the three bedrooms and family room and to pull the exhaust air from the kitchen and two bathrooms. The exhaust air pre-heats the fresh, incoming air and recaptures 80% of the heat energy from the exhaust air. The system is designed to completely replace all of the home's air with fresh air once every three hours. Air-tight homes need to be mechanically ventilated to provide fresh, healthy air for the home's occupants.
All the kitchen appliances are LG brand. The microwave doubles as a ventilation fan and exhausts air to the outside. The all-stainless steel dishwasher is one of the quietest on the market and is Energy Star rated. The electric range is one of LG's nicer units and comes with self-cleaning and convection oven capabilities. The electric range option was taken in order to utilize the solar PV system's potential.
Further energy-efficient features:
The majority of windows in this home are located on the south and west sides of the house. The first-story concrete slab and slate are heat absorbing surfaces, designed to assist in heating the home. The design uses daytime natural lighting to minimize the lighting energy needs.
Exterior wall cavities are a full 6" thick and filled with Ultrafit-DS fiberglass blown-in insulation. All wall cavities have been sealed between the studs and exterior sheathing, reducing air infiltration. Half-inch closed cell insulation strips were placed between the interior stud wall and the interior drywall on the house's exterior walls. This thermal-break lessens the heat loss created by conduction through the studs and the drywall. The second story floor is insulated on the lower side of the floor joists. This insulation provides an oven-effect for the upper floor hydronic in-floor heat system as well as a sound barrier between floors. The blown-in attic insulation has an R-38 rating. Each room is insulated between common walls to reduce sound transmission. The first-story, 5" thick slab is insulated with 2" rigid foam. The slab is protected from moisture infiltration by a 15 mil vapor barrier.
The house was built using Anderson windows and sliding glass doors which are vinyl, dual-paned glass. The windows and doors are Energy Star rated. The Anderson manufacturing company uses recycled materials to build the frames for their window and door products.
The home has been designed to surpass the California Title 24 energy efficiency standards by more than 40%. This high efficiency rating qualifies the home for the PG&E Solar Homes Partnership Program. A small number of homes are able to qualify for this program due to difficulty of reaching the efficiency standards.
The house lighting is either light emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent (CFL). This lighting requires a very low energy demand and will greatly reduce the replacement interval. The interior electric sub-panel is located in the mechanical closet allowing circuit breakers to be readily accessible. The short circuit line lengths reduce wire-length runs and materials used. Each room has multiple phone and cable connection points for the Cat and coax cables. A structured media center hub is located in the garage. This centralized media center allows for all of the home's present and future communication needs to be upgraded from one convenient location. The ceiling fan is designed to keep the air moving and assist in relocating the heated air throughout the house. The refrigerator wall area has a smart-wire connection port to be used with a Smart Fridge.
The home was painted with Green Label, low-VOC paint. The carpet is 100% BCF Polyester. The carpet pad is approved by the Green Building Council and exceeds the CRI indoor air quality standards. Cabinets were built with solid cherry wood and plywood and contain no formaldehyde off-gassing products.
The home is heated with a 96% efficient natural gas condensing hot water heater. The hydronic heating system creates no dust and uses the natural convection properties of warmed air to circulate heat. PEX tubing and individual room thermostats allow for heat to be delivered to only the rooms requesting heat. The plumbing/ electrical mechanical closet is centrally located in the home, allowing for short plumbing runs. Low-flow water fixtures were used to minimize water and energy usage. Short plumbing runs allow for lower energy usage and less water consumption when transferring heated water.


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lots O' Guns and Weed on O Street Eureka

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM


Press release from Eureka Police Department

On 10/08/12, at about 1:10 PM, investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) and Criminal Investigative Services (CIS) Units served a search warrant on a suspected marijuana grow house on the 2700 block of ‘O’ Street, Eureka.  The warrant was in response to citizen complaints about suspected illegal activity there including commercial marijuana cultivation.  Investigators detained two adult Laotian males and two adult females inside the residence.  Two small children were also present in the home.

During a search of the property, investigators uncovered evidence of a recently harvested for-profit indoor marijuana cultivation operation inside a detached two-car garage.  Approximately 24 1/2 pounds of dried, untrimmed marijuana was located inside the garage.  Another approximately 3 ½ pounds of drying marijuana was found inside the main residence along with 8 pounds of processed marijuana packaged for sale in multiple bags.  In all, a total of approximately 36 ½ pounds of marijuana was seized.


Investigators also located 12 firearms in the residence including 8 assault-style rifles (including AR-15 type .223/5.56mm and .22 LR calibers) and 4 handguns. Two of the handguns were loaded.  Ammunition and numerous detachable magazines for the weapons were found including 3 illegal high-capacity pistol magazines.  A Military issue “Interceptor” body armor vest with ceramic hard armor plates was located with the firearms. Additionally, one of the loaded pistols, Glock 22 (.40 caliber), was found under a mattress in one of the bedrooms that was shared by a child.


$7,980.00 cash was found in the pockets of the two male residents.  The cash was seized as suspected marijuana sales proceeds.

Officials with the City of Eureka’s Building Department responded to assess safety and code enforcement concerns associated with the indoor marijuana grow.  (The grow was determined to be well-outside the provisions of the City’s Medical Cannabis Ordinance).  Due to electrical/fire hazards (unpermitted/unsafe wiring) that were identified, a PG&E worker was dispatched to cut power to the property.   The POP Unit will also be contacting the property owner and issuing a “Notice and Order” requiring the owner(s) to take corrective action to abate the problem.

Resident Jeperson Mykham (age 24) was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for unlawful marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, maintaining a place for purpose of selling a controlled substance, possession of an assault weapon, unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine, probation violation, and child endangerment.  At the time of his arrest, Mykhma was on probation for carrying a concealed firearm.

Resident Somchanh Khousinnavong (age 22) was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for unlawful marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of an assault weapon, unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine, and child endangerment.

This investigation is still on-going.  Similar charges are anticipated to be filed by the District Attorney’s Office against the two adult female residents (who were detained and released at the scene to care for their children).

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373 or the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.  Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding criminal activity, including drug activity, is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line 707-268-2539.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Rowdy With Big G

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Journal stringer and electronica fan Travis Turner contributed this piece about Wednesday's big, big EDM show presented by World Famous at Blue Lake Casino featuring Big Gigantic and Adventure Club. 


by Travis Turner

If your life has been missing ample amounts of rowdy saxophone, electronic bass and live drumming, then you are probably ready for the monstrous sounds of Big Gigantic. As the name implies they are taking a colossal swing at the electronic dance genre and getting super-sized results.
Big G, as they are sometimes called, consists of Dominic Lalli - who plays the sax and produces the tracks - and Jeremy Salken on drums. The two Colorado natives had a humongous year moving up the bill to headline music festivals, tour and stage their own sold out show at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in their home state. At Red Rocks they made their mark by using 3D projection software to map the rocks for the first time.
To be succinct, they kill it. Big time.
I have never written about a band, group or musician I didn't feel a connection with; whether it was the style, the vibe or the sound. After watching Big G three times this summer - at Lightening in a Bottle in Southern California and twice at High Sierra Music Festival - I have to say they are at the top of my list of EDM performers. After a trio of experiences I can't wait to see them again.
To add a bit to my stokedness, I spoke with Lalli on the phone last week.

Travis Turner: I watched the videos from Red Rocks and it seemed to be an incredible show. How was your experience?

Big G: It was such an epic thing for us and Red Rocks is just an amazing venue. To be home and sell it out the week of is unbelievable and we had a great party out there. It was the first time we video mapped the rocks and it was just a great, great time. Super epic.

TT: What's your inspiration for being out there making music?

BG: We love to make music and play music and throw a great party. We wanted to make something different in the electronic dance genre.

TT: Been up to Humboldt County yet?

BG: No, we haven't really toured the West Coast yet except for a few things like a show with Bassnectar, so this is a good opportunity for us to get out there and hit the West Coast hard. We have a huge production and lighting rig with some LED pods inside. So it's cool we are really getting to do our own show and tour the West Coast and put our flavor out there.

TT: You had a pretty big summer on the festival scene. How was that compared to the last couple of years? It seems you took a big jump on the bill.

BG: Yeah, for sure. One of the most exiting things is we headlined our own night at a new festival called Summer Set with Pretty Lights. Beyond that we did Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands along with a bunch of really cool festivals all over the country. We had a really good summer and a ton of really nice spots while we were touring.

TT: How has that translated to you as far as your fan base? Are people embracing the new sound you're putting out there?

BG: Yeah, absolutely. It's phenomenal. We did a bunch of shows in front of huge crowds and that in turn gets your fan base pumped up. Now we come out and we get to do a more grassroots way of promoting our sound. It's just awesome.

TT: Anything you are really looking forward to as far plans for the rest of the year.

BG: Just getting out to the West Coast and hanging with all the people there. Also, we are the opening headliner for the Snow Globe Music Festival [South Lake Tahoe].

Big Gigantic  will be playing Oct. 10, at the Blue Lake Casino & Hotel along with Adventure Club  and up and coming EDM artist GRiZ. You can download all of Big Gigantic's and GRiZ's music online for free.

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