Friday, February 15, 2013

One Broadway Eyesore Down ...

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 9:40 AM


... oh, we'll diplomatically go with "a few" more to go. 

The image above shows the rubbly remains of the ol' "Action News 6" building on the corner of Broadway and Wabash being loaded onto a truck for haul -- the building sat vacant for years and has been a frequent squatter magnet. 

OK, which Broadway bummer wants to volunteer to go next?


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happening Now: One Billion Rising Flashmob on the Arcata Plaza

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM


At 2:14 p.m. this afternoon, hundreds gathered on the Arcata Plaza for the One Billion Rising V-Day Flash Mob, part of weeklong V-Day Humboldt festivities raising awareness about violence perpetrated against women. (For the complete list of remaining V-Week events, click here.)

Women (and some men) young and old performed a choreographed dance. We present evidence:






The following video was taken by Don Husman.

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Will There Be Red Panda Sex At the Sequoia Park Zoo Today? Fingers Crossed, Y'all!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM


There could be some red hot love is in Eureka's air this Valentine's Day. In a savvy, timely move, the Sequoia Park Zoo chose today to introduce a new female Red Panda to their resident fluffy stud Sumo. (Sumo's previous fellow bachelor Shifu has moved on to the Detroit Zoo to seek some tail of his own.) Best of luck, Sumo! Buy her dinner first.

Press release below from the Sequoia Park Zoo:

Sequoia Park Zoo’s Red panda, Sumo, had a special Valentine’s Day when animal care staff introduced him to his new mate, a female named Stella Luna, for the very first time.
In 2010, Sumo and his brother Shifu came from the Denver Zoo to make Sequoia Park Zoo their home for the next two years. Last summer, they each got the nod of approval to begin breeding and arrangements were made to transfer the pandas to other accredited zoos.
The zoo population of Red pandas is managed by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP), created and managed by zoo professionals. Panda pedigrees from all participating North American zoos are analyzed, and breeding matches are carefully chosen to ensure the best possible genetics for the captive population.
The SSP determined that Shifu should travel to the Detroit Zoo to pair with a female panda there. He was transferred in early December and is getting along well with his new mate. Sumo didn’t seem to mind the absence of his brother and continues to share the habitat at Sequoia Park Zoo with the Indian muntjac.
The SSP designated Stella Luna, a female from the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, to pair with Sumo. After a required 30-day quarantine for health screening in Sequoia Park Zoo’s Animal Care Center, staff recently prepared each panda for their introduction by swapping body scents between the two. “Scent-marking is an important method of communication for pandas,” said Animal Care Supervisor Amanda Auston. “Scent swapping allows each panda to adjust gradually and gives them an understanding that a potential mate is in the area prior to their physical introduction.”
This morning, Stella Luna was transported from the care center to the panda exhibit, where she and Sumo met face to face for the first time.
“For us, it was kind of neat that the timing worked out to introduce them on Valentine’s Day,” said Zoo Manager Gretchen Ziegler. “Of course, the pandas don’t care what day it is. What is important to them is that they come together in mid-winter to establish a bond that works for the timing of the female’s estrus later in spring, like they do in the wild.”
With a bit of luck and love, the pandas may become parents sometime this summer. So bring your loved ones and stop on by the Sequoia Park Zoo to give Stella Luna a warm welcome into our community.
Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife. Established in 1907, Sequoia Park Zoo is the oldest zoo in California and one of the smallest accredited zoos in the country. Sequoia Park Zoo is located at 3414 W St. in Eureka. For more information visit:

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Get Some, Humboldt!: Valentine's Day Tips

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:43 AM


Well, HumCo, the bad news is that the calendar gods have screwed you over again: Valentine’s Day is one of a string of recent holidays that refuses to conveniently fall on a weekend. The good news is there is still plenty of out-and-about fore-foreplay to be had. Make a reservation if necessary and get yer love on. Options below:

Take in some art : Show your valentine how cultured you are by taking her to HSU’s Reese Bullen Gallery for its Collaborate, Create, Communicate exhibit featuring photography, sculpture and paintings based on the holiday appropriate themes of acceptance, diversity and tolerance. An opening reception takes place on Thursday from 4-6 p.m.

Take in some cinema : A dose of Swayze is a good aphrodisiac for every couple, right? Luckily for your night, the Eureka Theatre is graciously hosting a screening of the -- are we calling this thing a classic at this point, or what? -- film Dirty Dancing starting at 7:30 p.m. ($10 couple/$7 single.)

Take in some theater : Redwood Curtain Theatre will tug at your heartstrings with its first preview performance of its latest production The Pitman Painters at 8 p.m. The show tells the story of a group of British miners who learn to express themselves with canvas and paintbrush. Totally romantic! ($10.) 

Take in some dance : SoHum’s Feet First Dancers and Bada Bling! Burlesque will attempt to transport you and your lover into the outer cosmos of love during their V-Day performance, Dance Me to The Moon. The show at the Mateel Community Center features the local feetsmiths' takes on jazz, modern, swing, ragtime and even some aerial feats. Starts at 8 p.m. ($20/$10 balcony.)

Take in some sound : If mood music to you means listening to Grand National Fiddle Champions, look no further than the Arcata Playhouse, which is hosting The Bee Eaters featuring Trinity County-raised sibling fiddlers Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. The musical love making starts at 8 p.m. ($20/$17 adv.)

Take in some offense : Or finally, maybe you got set up on a date with someone you’d rather not take out again. If they’re that lame, surely you can offend them away at Ba-Dum-CHH Comedy’s Arcata Theatre Lounge V-Day shindig Another Awkward Valentine’s, starting at 8 p.m. The night will be classed up by out-of-towner and headliner William Head. ($6.)

Get some, HumCo!


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guns in a Cave

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM


The gun cache found in a cave on Ryan Floyd's property in southern Humboldt was impressive and frightening. One hundred and eleven rifles and pistols, many of them automatics, more than filled a table in a room in the Humboldt County Courthouse, with overflow piled on a couch and leaning against three walls.

"Quite a haul of weapons," as Sheriff Mike Downey put it. 


The cache was found on a 55-acre piece of property belonging to Floyd, who was apprehended following a high-speed chase. Sheriff Mike Downey offered an abridged recap: "Mr. Floyd was seen. He sped away from deputies. We found that the vehicle he was in was stolen. There were a number of issues that led us to search the property. It's a long, convoluted story."

In the initial search of Floyd's property deputies found an astonishing range of evidence of various criminal pursuits, including 117 pounds of dried marijuana bud, 42 grams of hashish, approximately 1 oz of suspected heroin, approximately four grams of suspected methamphetamine, $12,000 cash, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, thousands of rounds of ammunition, six high-capacity magazines, 20 ballistic vests, tactical holsters and empty rifle cases.

They also found jewelry that had been reported stolen by a neighbor, a brand new UTV Kabota Tractor, also reported stolen, a stolen trailer, a concrete cutter, an air compressor, chainsaws and more than 40 vehicles. The empty gun cases led officers to believe there was a stash somewhere on the property; an extensive search brought them to the bunker.


"By the looks of the weapons, they appear to be in good shape, there's no rust on any of them," said Downey. "We've run the serial numbers and we've have 20 hits of possible stolen weapons. We're in the process of verifying who they may belong to, ownership, that sort of thing."

Downey said the Floyd family has owned the property for years. "When I was the sergeant in Garberville, I personally served search warrants on the same piece of property. The people that control the property have a long history of bringing vehicles in, running some sort of chop shop, parting things out. I know 15 years ago there were a lot of cars, generators and ATVs strewn about. It hasn't changed much."


Downey noted that he'd arrested Ryan Floyd's father, who ended up serving some time for his crimes, "but not much."

The sheriff described the property on Flint Rock Road east of Garberville as "very rural." He said the road got its name because "there's a rock on the property where Native Americans used to make arrowheads."

"Why would someone have so many weapons?" wondered a TV newsperson.

"I can't think of any reason to have this many weapons but to sell them, unless you're arming a small militia, said Downey. He figures the value of the cache could be as much as $100,000.

"Some are collector's items; some are banned weapons that would garner a higher price from someone trying to get a hold of an illegal weapon," he said, pointing out a fully automatic belt-fed machine gun. "Based upon Mr. Floyd's criminal history, he's probably not able to possess any of these weapons, so they would be confiscated," he added.

What will the Sheriff do with the confiscated guns? As noted, some of the automatic weapons are clearly illegal under California law. "Many times they're destroyed," said Downey. "If they're legal, we sometimes trade the weapons for other equipment. Sometimes if it's a weapon we need in our own armory we'll retain those."

"We're just glad to have these weapons off the street," said Deputy Steve Knight. "They easily could have gone into someone's hands to be used against us or someone else."

The investigation into Floyd's activities and the history of the weapons is ongoing. If you've had a weapon stolen, it could be part of this cache.


Anyone with information regarding the case is invited to call the Sheriffs office at 707-445-7251 or the crime tip line at 707-268-2539.

Full press release follows:

Subject: Ryan Floyd - Case: 201300634/ 201300582 

On 1-12-2013, approximately 9 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers returned to 500 Flint Rock Road, Garberville. Deputies obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the residence and property after receiving new information from citizens about possible additional stolen property in the residence and on the property.

When the deputies arrived they located Deanna McDonald, 33 years old and her two small children at the residence. Deputies searched McDonalds vehicle parked at the residence and found a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. McDonald was issued a notice to appear for possession of a loaded weapon by a prohibited person and released at the scene to care for her two small children, one of which was an infant. 

Deputies searched the residence and located stolen jewelry that had been reported stolen in a residential burglary of a nearby residence. Deputies also located a stolen new UTV Kabota Tractor on the property along with a stolen concrete cutter, air compressor and what is believed to be numerous stolen chainsaws. Many of these items were reported stolen from local residences in the Eel River Valley, Dyerville and Highway 36 areas.

Deputies continued the search for a cache of firearms they believed was stashed somewhere on the property. This was based on the numerous empty gun cases they found during earlier searches. During the search of the 55-acre property an alert deputy located a cave in some rocks that was covered with brush. Upon further investigation the deputy discovered the cave was filled with numerous firearms.

Deputies recovered 100 weapons on the property, 99 of which were in that cave. Of the weapons recovered at least 20 are confirmed as stolen. Deputies recovered a fully automatic MG 42 caliber WW II machine gun that is belt fed with a belt full of ammunition. In the weapons cache were numerous assault weapons including SKS, Colt AR-15's, sawed off shotguns with pistol grips and Tech Nine assault weapons. Several of the assault weapons are to believed to be fully automatic. Many of the weapons were loaded.

Deputies are continuing to try to determine what is and what is not reported as stolen property. Citizens that are missing property, especially firearms, who live in the area of Flint Rock may E-mail Sheriff's Property technician Ryan Chamberlain at

This is an ongoing investigation. Additional charges against Ryan Floyd will be sought.

Previous coverage of Floyd's exploits can be found at the LoCO and the T-S.

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CR Removed from 'Show Cause' Accreditation Status

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM

In its struggle to remain an accredited school, College of the Redwoods just took an important step back from the cliff. CR President Katherine Smith this morning received notice that the community college has been removed from "show cause" status -- the final stage before losing accreditation -- and put back on "probation," which is still serious but not borderline catastrophic. (Without accreditation, students wouldn't be able to transfer credits from CR courses to other schools, making its degrees all but worthless.)

Smith struck an ecstatic tone in an email sent this morning to faculty and staff:

Dear CR Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure and extraordinary relief that I can announce to you that the action letter I received from the ACCJC [Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges] this morning has removed College of the Redwoods from Show Cause and placed us on Probation! Congratulations to all of us, as the hard work that we have accomplished has paid off!

The accrediting commission, an arm of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, placed CR on "show cause" status a year ago, citing problems that dated to 1999, including inadequate measurement of student outcomes, insufficient employee evaluations and sub-par communication from the Board of Trustees.

While today's news is certainly positive, the accrediting commission cautioned that CR still has work to do before sanctions are removed entirely. (Click here for a pdf of the commission's letter.) Specifically, CR must foster more opportunities for professional development, address employee equity and diversity, and improve fiscal management, among other goals.

"College of the Redwoods should fully resolve the deficiencies noted by October 2013 or the Commission will be compelled to take adverse action," states commission President Barbara Beno in the action letter to Smith.

But for now, Beno continues, "The institution's accreditation has been extended for good cause."

That's progress.

Smith, who is in her first year as president, following the unpopular and controversial Dr. Jeff Marsee, closed her email to colleagues with gratitude:

"Again, CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for all the effort everyone put into this!  It is indeed a good day at CR!"

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Sign up to get the North Coast Journal delivered to your inbox

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Hate inky fingers but love to turn a page? Today the NCJ rolls out yet another way for you to feel your community. Subscribe to the Early E-Edition of the North Coast Journal Weekly and enjoy the convenience of receiving the Journal delivered fresh to your inbox each Wednesday. And it's FREE, just like the printed edition. You can update your subscription preferences at any time. Try it!




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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel Picks Up Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker (VIDEO) (UPDATED)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 5:24 AM

UPDATE 2/13: Well, it would appear as if Kai's 15 minutes aren't up just yet. Last night Kai was again on Jimmy Kimmel Live in what could conceivably be a recurring segment ... Kai's Korner Movie Review. In this first edition, Kai "reviews" the Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty.

(Spoiler alert: he mostly talks about fluoride and chemtrails.)


# # # # #



Last night, free spirited internet meme of the moment Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker took a ride with late night television host and Humboldt State University public relations official Jimmy Kimmel. To his credit, Kimmel briefly gave Kai the floor (or car) to philosophize on a national stage.

Some highlights:

On the similarities between the man he hatcheted who claimed to be Jesus and the actual Jesus: "There's not so much difference between him and who they sell as Jesus anyway, is there? … He was a fat, rich white guy."


On what people say now when they see him: "They say, 'Hey, you're Kai. You're that dude with the hatchet.'"

On how he planned to build an elaborate tree house with his hatchet: "I'm just a badass motherfucker."

On not wanting/needing a home: "What the hell are you talking about? I am home."

On giving money away: "The quickest way to devalue a currency is to stop believing in it."

On providing for his fellow man: "I jack hella shit from Wal-Mart and Target! I'm talkin' like big grocery carts!"

At the end of interview, Kimmel presented Kai with spankin' new Mini Mal surfboard and a wetsuit for making the trip down to Los Angeles. Will Kai surf off into the sunset? Are his 15 minutes up? Stay tuned, kids, and enjoy the full interview below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

(Oh, one more thing. For all you Kimmel-hating Humboldtians out there, here's the payoff you're going to have to settle with. Following image from Kai's personal Facebook page.)


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker: The Early Years

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 3:04 PM

UPDATE 2/11: Well, Kai made it onto Jimmy Kimmel. Watch that.

# # # # #


Let's run through some logic. You are reading this blog using the amazing internet. Therefore, you are familiar with the internet. One could then also conclude that you are familiar with the overnight hatchet-wielding memesation known as Kai the Homefree Hitchhiker who earlier this week smash, smash, suh-mashed his way into America's idol-craving hearts. 

(If, for some unfathomable reason, you missed Kai's rise to internet superstardom, go here. And watch him on the Colbert Report here.)

Why does this matter to you, Humboldtian? As the Lost Coast Outpost noted earlier today, Kai's personal Facebook page lists "Eureka, California" as the place Kai "lives in." -- so feel free to claim him as your hometown hero and check out the following picture from Kai's Facebook page taken on the Arcata Plaza.


But seeing Kai on the Plaza triggered something in my brain: I've totally ran into this guy before. So I went back through my photos and, sure enough, found our hero in a series of shots I'd taken for the Journal's End of the World Issue "Plaza Prophecies" piece back in December. Kai kept quiet on his thoughts on Armageddon that day. Perhaps he knew better.

Congrats on the fame, Kai. And if you do end up, as rumored, on Jimmy Kimmel Live in the near future, remind him that he owes us a visit.


And if you made it this far and still don't know what we're talking about...

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Eureka Wages Going Up?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

The "Fair Wage Folks," a local committee working toward raising the minimum wage in Eureka, submitted petitions yesterday with signatures of approximately 2,700 voters. Depending on how many of those pass muster, the Eureka Fair Wage Act could be on the ballot in June. 

"We look forward to about 1,400 of Eureka's workers getting a raise," said James Decker, one of the Fair Wage Folks, citing wage statistics from the latest census. "If we make the spring ballot, that will happen in July 2013."


At this point it's up to City Clerk Pam Powell to check the validity of the signatures. The minimum for consideration is 1,370, 10 percent of those who voted in the 2011 election; 15 percent speeds up the process. If the petitions meet either threshold, the clerk will present the ordinance to the city council. They could pass it as written or opt to put it to a vote for the electorate. "We think it will go to a vote of the people, but anything is possible," said Decker, noting that, in July 2012, the minimum wage increase was submitted to the city council and they voted against implementation. He sees a reversal as unlikely. 

If, as the Fair Wage Folks hope, the clerk's office certifies 2,055 as valid, the matter must be put to a vote within 103 days, in the June election. If somewhere between 1,370 and 2,055 signatures are valid, the ordinance will be on the ballot in November 2014. 

The Eureka Fair Wage Act is modeled on a similar ordinance passed by voters in San Jose last November. San Jose's Measure D raised the minimum wage to $10 an hour within the city. California's minimum wage is $8 an hour; the federal minimum is $7.25.
While San Jose's ordinance is across the board -- for all employers -- the Eureka version would exempt businesses with fewer than 25 employees, "the mom and pops in Old Town" for example, said Decker.

The Fair Wage Folks did not spend much money gathering signatures. So far they have not even reached the $1,000 threshold that would require a filing with California's Fair Practices Commission. The committee's first ever fundraiser was a Fair Wage Cafe in December at the Eureka Labor Temple with speakers, music and free food, "mostly to inform people," according to Decker. Another is planned for March 23, tentatively returning to the Labor Temple. 

Decker figures they'll need some money come election time to combat those opposing the ordinance. "I expect some of the big boxes like Walmart and Target to put up a fight," he said. "They're the lowest-paying retailers."


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