Education

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cutten to Pay ECS $260K Over Interdistrict Fracas

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:35 PM

districtoffice1.jpg
The Cutten School District has agreed to pay Eureka City Schools $260,000 to avoid a potential lawsuit over failing to report all interdistrict transfers for several years, according to a settlement announced by ECS today.

An estimated 25 percent of Cutten students — and 74 percent of that district’s interdistrict transfers — come from ECS, which is supposed to be notified.

“I am pleased they recognized the situation as serious and worked with us to allow the continuous placement of students already attending a Cutten school,” ECS Superintendent Fred Van Vleck says in the release.


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Friday, June 9, 2017

HSU Axes Pepsi Contract

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 5:00 PM

The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.
  • The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.

Humboldt State University President Lisa Rossbacher has decided to sever the school’s ties with PepsiCo after some students came forward opposing its ongoing 40-year relationship with the multi-billion-dollar company.

Under the contract, PepsiCo gave HSU about $58,000 in sponsorship funds for athletic scholarships and scoreboard maintenance in exchange for “pouring rights” guaranteeing Pepsi 80 percent of on-campus food and beverage retail space. With the five-year contract slated to expire June 30 and up for renewal, students urged administrators end the school’s relationship with the soft drink giant — which owns a host of multi-billion-dollar subsidiaries, including Quaker, Cheetos, Doritos, Gatorade and Tropicana.

Specifically, students argued that partnering with PepsiCo wasn’t in line with the school’s stated commitment to promoting social and environmental justice. Additionally, they said the contract denies local businesses the opportunity to sell their products on campus.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tensions Escalate During Saturday Protest in Arcata

Posted By on Sun, May 7, 2017 at 3:04 PM

For the second consecutive day, protesters descended on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday to demand justice in the killing of David Josiah Lawson. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • For the second consecutive day, protesters descended on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday to demand justice in the killing of David Josiah Lawson.

Arcata has been quiet today after protesters' chants echoed through the city's streets for two consecutive days, demanding justice for slain Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson.

More than 100 people descended on the Arcata Plaza yesterday, where they chanted and waved signs before moving on to the Union Town Shopping Center. At the shopping center, which houses Safeway and CVS, the protesters blocked the entrances and exits, refusing to let cars pass unless they first agreed to call the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office to request further investigation into Lawson's killing.

The protest — which came after more than 100 students and community members marched through the streets Friday night — turned tense at times, when some motorists took exception to not being allowed to leave or enter the parking lot. Ultimately, Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman said protesters remained peaceful.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Peaceful Protest in Arcata Demands 'Justice for Josiah'

Posted By on Sat, May 6, 2017 at 9:14 AM

More than 100 people gathered in Arcata to demand "justice for Josiah" Lawson after a judge ruled there isn't enough evidence to hold his accused killer to stand trial. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • More than 100 people gathered in Arcata to demand "justice for Josiah" Lawson after a judge ruled there isn't enough evidence to hold his accused killer to stand trial.

More than 100 people marched through Arcata last night to demand justice for slain Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson and urge law enforcement to continue its investigation.

Chants of “justice for Josiah” and “no justice, no peace,” echoed off downtown buildings and through on-campus apartments as the group marched for more than two hours. At several rallying points, speakers urged those in attendance — mostly students with some community members sprinkled in — to call the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office to urge a thorough and continued investigation.

Earlier in the day yesterday, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge ruled police had not found enough evidence to hold Lawson’s accused killer, 23-year-old Kyle Zoellner, to stand trial on a murder charge. Zoellner was released from jail yesterday, though he could be recharged in the case if the investigation yields new and credible witness statements or forensic evidence linking Zoellner to the stabbing.

Last night, someone had posted some fliers on campus proclaiming, “murderer on the loose!!!” and “Don’t trust this man,” with a picture of Zoellner. The case has been racially charged from the beginning — Zoellner is white and Lawson was black, and there have been allegations that the stabbing was racially motivated, though no evidence was presented during Zoellner’s five-day preliminary hearing to support that.

The protest last night remained peaceful, though marchers did block off the exits of the Safeway shopping center for about 10 minutes, refusing to let cars leave. The group plans to protest again today at the Arcata Farmers Market.

Local photographer Mark McKenna was at the march last night and shares the following slideshow of scenes from the protest. For more on Friday's court decision, see past Journal coverage here and for more on Lawson's killing see this week's Journal cover story here.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HSU Athletics May Tie University to Pepsi Contract

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 8:55 AM

The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.
  • The athletics department gets about $58,000 in sponsorship funds from HSU's contract with PepsiCo, which give the multi-billion-dollar company "pouring rights" on campus.
Meredeth Garrott walked up to the front of the room. All administrators, students and community member’s eyes fell on the environmental science major as she read aloud the Humboldt State University graduation pledge. She said if the students are held to the pledge, then the institution that teaches them should be, as well, and partnering with PepsiCo is a violation of that pledge.

“I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work,” she read.

For the first time, HSU had a public meeting about its contract with PepsiCo which is up for renewal on June 30. If university administration renews the contract with the multi-billion-dollar company, it will be the third five-year contract in a row.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

HSU Students Take on Pepsi

Posted By on Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 4:46 PM

Pepsi currently holds rights to 80 percent of the retail shelf space on the HSU campus. Some students are looking to change that. - FILE
  • File
  • Pepsi currently holds rights to 80 percent of the retail shelf space on the HSU campus. Some students are looking to change that.
Humboldt State University students are fighting administrators plans to sign another contract with PepsiCo, Pepsi soda’s parent company. The current five-year contract ends June 30, which will be the third contract in the last 15 years.

On Monday, there will be a public meeting — attended by students, administration and the PepsiCo task force — at 3:15 p.m. in the University Center Banquet Room, where they will discuss a student resolution to end contracts with PepsiCo.

Tessa Lance has been spearheading the student movement in what has been an almost year-long battle. She said it originally started as a student green movement in order to cut down on plastics and get closer to the university’s zero-waste goal.


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

HSU Student Fatally Stabbed Amid House Party Fist Fight

Posted By on Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 1:30 PM

FILE
  • File
A stabbing in Arcata early this morning left a 19-year-old Humboldt State University student dead.

Details are scant at this point, but the university issued a press release this morning reporting that the stabbing occurred off campus and is being investigated by the Arcata Police Department, which has a suspect in custody but is still actively investigating.

According to APD Chief Tom Chapman, the stabbing occurred at about 3 a.m. during a fist fight that broke out at a house party. Chapman said in a text message to the Journal that the suspect is not an HSU student but stressed that detectives are still working to track down and interview witnesses.

The victim's name is being withheld until his or her family can be notified and Chapman said APD isn't releasing the suspect's name until additional witnesses can be interviewed.

The university is providing counseling and support services to grieving students (more info, including phone numbers, in the press release copied below). HSU President Lisa Rossbacher also sent out a campuswide email notifying students, faculty and staff of the killing.

“I have no words to adequately describe the sorrow of this loss,” she wrote. “This tragedy is heartbreaking for all of us, and most especially the family and friends of the victim. Our thoughts are with them and we extend our condolences.”

The killing is Humboldt County's fourth homicide of 2017. The county tallied a record 22 last year.

From APD:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ONE DEAD AFTER FIGHT AT ARCATA HOUSE PARTY
On April 15th, 2017 at approximately 3:00 am, officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the 1100 Block of Spear Ave on the report of a stabbing.

When officers arrived, they found a male victim bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Officers immediately began life saving efforts. The man was eventually transported to Mad River Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The assault occurred as the result of an argument at the party.

The identity of the deceased, a 19-year-old male HSU student, will not be released until appropriate notifications have been made.

A 23 year old McKinleyville resident, has been taken into custody related to the incident.

The APD is actively investigating and asks for anyone with information about this incident to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.

From HSU:

A 19-year-old Humboldt State University student was stabbed and killed last night, and Arcata Police have detained a suspect.

The name of the student is being withheld while family is being notified.

The incident occurred at an off-campus location. The investigation is being led by Arcata Police Department, with support from the University Police Department.

HSU officials are reaching out to the family of the student, and will be offering counseling and other support for friends, faculty, and others on campus who knew him.

Students who are in need of support during this time are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students office at 707.826.3504 or visit that office in Siemens Hall 211. For assistance any time, students can contact Counseling & Psychological services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

Letter from Rossbacher:

Dear University Community:

I am deeply saddened to share news with you that one of our students has died after a stabbing last night. I have no words to adequately describe the sorrow of this loss. This tragedy is heartbreaking for all of us, and most especially the family and friends of the victim. Our thoughts are with them and we extend our condolences.

We are reaching out to provide support and counseling to members of our University community. We will also be in contact and offering support to family members.

The student’s name is currently confidential while his family is being notified. Because the incident occurred off campus, the investigation is being led by the Arcata Police Department with significant assistance from University Police.

For assistance any time, students can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707.826.3236. Staff or faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707.443.7358.

Sincerely,
Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.
President


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Sunday, April 2, 2017

TL;DR: Adventures on the Coral Sea

Posted By on Sun, Apr 2, 2017 at 9:24 AM

Couldn’t read the cover story this week? Don’t sweat it. But if you want the Journal to take you on a voyage of undercover drug operations, diving dogs and shipwrecked treasure aboard the Coral Sea research vessel you should click here.


This week we took a deep dive into the rich history of Humboldt State University’s research vessel, uncovering an exciting past of treasure hunters and cocaine smugglers. Here's a glimpse into the Coral Sea's past in four bullet points.


Air Traffic Control

AREN FIKES
  • Aren Fikes


Ronald Markowski, the owner of the Coral Sea in the early 1980s, used the vessel as a floating headquarters to radio instructions to his pilots, who were smuggling large amounts of cocaine and marijuana into the United States. The airplanes were filled with cocaine supplied by some of the most wanted drug rings in the world connected to Pablo Escabar's Medellian Cartel.

The operation wound up in the crosshairs of the DEA's "Operation Skycaine" investigation, which culminated in the convictions of 42 smugglers. "Mastermind of Skycaine Narcotics Ring Found Guilty," read a 1984 headline of a Chicago Tribune story about Ronald Markowski's guilty pleas, which would later see him sentenced to 45 years in prison without the possibility of parole.


After the vessel was seized, it was wired for video and sound by Florida’s DEA to spy on well known drug rings. They caught on to a smuggling operation involving a albatross sea plane and 6,600 pounds of cocaine, thus coined the operation’s name “The Albotross Sting.”


A Captain Character

Glenn Miller sitting with Suzie the seal he rescued and nursed back to full health. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Glenn Miller sitting with Suzie the seal he rescued and nursed back to full health.


Glenn Miller yelled “seal” and his trusted first mate Mac the Diving Dog ran off the back of the Coral Sea and leapt into the cold pacific ocean. Glenn Miller, a sea-salty captain, built the ship exactly to his liking.


Miller was a local celebrity in his home city of Santa Barbara and the Coral Sea was well known as a $3 million chartered diving vessel. Charters came with a Glenn Miller experience which involved his charismatic animals and his attitude of doing what he wanted whenever he wanted.


Miller positioned a helicopter that sat boldly toward the back of the vessel, but mostly just used it to fly back and forth to Santa Barbara to see rodeos. One time, Miller found an injured seal which he brought home and named Suzie the Seal. He had to let her go after a brief lawsuit, but only after Suzie became best friends with Mac the Diving Dog.


Treasure Quest

The Coral Sea sitting next to a U.S. submarine that resurfaced in need of hull repairs. Glenn Miller was quick to aid them and recieved an award from the US navy for his help. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The Coral Sea sitting next to a U.S. submarine that resurfaced in need of hull repairs. Glenn Miller was quick to aid them and recieved an award from the US navy for his help.


According to Miller, the Coral Sea was completely decked out for treasure hunting. "Half the shit on this boat is just for treasure hunting," Miller once said, according to a book written about the boat's treasure-hunting past..


After the Coral Sea was outfitted for adventure, Miller and a strong crew set out in search of 300-year-old treasure from a spanish galleon shipwreck named the Maravilla. They had just made it to the other side of the Panama Canal when they were held at gunpoint by the Colombian Navy.


Miller’s close connections to newspapers and his congressmen helped in a negotiation between the Colombian government and the United States to let the vessel go. It was eally just a bump in the road for Miller and his crew in the year long adventure.


They eventually found treasure, at least enough to break even from the trip and repay investors. The crew parted ways and Miller left to film the movie Deadly Encounters, where he was killed in a helicopter accident over the Grand Canyon.


Sailing into Retirement

The Coral Sea was renamed the Hernan Cortez II by Florida Department of Natural Recourses and shipped to Louisana to be cut in half and extended in the middle. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The Coral Sea was renamed the Hernan Cortez II by Florida Department of Natural Recourses and shipped to Louisana to be cut in half and extended in the middle.


After the Coral Sea's role in the war on drugs in Florida, the ship sat dormant until the Florida Department of Natural Resourses took an interest in the vessel. The agency's previous research vessel, the Hernan Cortez, was on its way out, so the agency purchased the Coral Sea at auction and sent it to Louisiana, where the one-time luxury yacht was cut in half, extended 15 feet in the middle and reborn as a research vessel.


The department would soon cancel most of its research projects and found little use for the now 90-foot boat. It went up for auction in November of 1996.


HSU purchased it a couple of years later for $418,000. Fuller, the current ship's engineer, said most students are unaware of the vessel's history. Today, the vessel is used by a number of organizations including the National Weather Service and even the Navy to research the changing tides of the pacific.
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

TL;DR: The Innovate Business Challenge

Posted By on Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Anna at her stand in 2014. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Anna at her stand in 2014.

Happy Sunday! Too busy to read all of this week’s story about Humboldt County Office of Education’s Innovate Business Challenge? We get it. Here’s the elevator pitch: Since 2010, local high school students have been competing to win up to $8,000 in cash and prizes for their small business plans. They are mentored along the way by successful local entrepreneurs, who help craft their ideas around costs and marketing before the final five competitors go before a Shark Tank-style panel of judges. Past winning ideas include a pencil eraser that doubles as a stylus, a 3D printing program, cruelty-free veal and a clothing company. Check out the full article here, or just enjoy this bonus interview with one past winner, Ferndale High School graduate Anna Gomes.

North Coast Journal: So, Anna, what are you doing these days?

Anna Gomes: I’m getting adjusted to my new classes, I’m in my third year at U.C. Davis, majoring in agricultural and environmental education.


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Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Kids are More Than Alright

Posted By on Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 2:04 PM

cover.jpg
The Humboldt State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication just found out a story its investigative reporting students authored for the Journal placed in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 11, meaning it was one of the best pieces of student journalism published in California, Hawaii, Arizona and Nevada last year.

The piece, “Homeless State University,” was the JournaI’s Dec. 9 cover story and the culmination of a semester’s worth of work for department chair and NCJ columnist Marcy Burstiner’s investigative reporting class. It explored how Humboldt’s housing crunch impacts students, leaving some homeless while trying to get their education.

If we do say so ourselves, the piece was fantastic and worthy of some regional — and national — recognition. If you haven’t read it already, we encourage you to go back and read the piece and wish the students well. If they finish first in the April regionals in San Diego, they’ll move on to nationals.

No matter how they finish, we’ll take this opportunity to again thank Burstiner and students Sam Armanino (our current rockstar editorial intern), Alexander Badger, Andrew Butler, Brian Cohen, Jessica Ernst, Sarah Fasi, Jonathan Gomez, Ashley Groze, Caitlyn Kaifer, Jen Kelly, Christian Lara, Roxana Moreno, Geneva Peppars, Vanessa Rodriguez and Esther Trevizo for their outstanding work.



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