Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Swine Flu Death

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 4:50 PM

From the Humboldt County Public Health Office:

A Humboldt County woman who tested positive for H1N1 Influenza died this morning in a local hospital. The resident, in her mid-50s, was reported to have no underlying medical conditions that would have exacerbated her illness.

To protect her privacy, no additional information about her case will be released.

Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ann Lindsay extends her condolences to the woman’s family and friends.

This death is the third in Humboldt County believed to be related to H1N1.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sun Valley Searches High and Low

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 2:23 PM

The heck with the local yobs. Sun Valley Group's gone south to fill jobs. To Colusa and Sutter and Glenn counties, specifically. Says the story in the Colusa County Sun Herald:

An Arcata flower company's unusual search for workers has plucked about 15 new employees from the Mid-Valley area, and about 15 more have agreed to relocate.

"They have hired people from Colusa County and Sutter County. We will continue to recruit from Colusa County and surrounding counties until our goal of 100 is met," said Kathy Craigo, owner of a local public relations firm who is coordinating the employee search for The Sun Valley Group.

The Herald notes that it's financially tough for some of the new hires to move to Humboldt, however, so "The Sun Valley Group has added $200 to each of the new employee's weekly paycheck to help offset the cost of temporary housing and moving."

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Big Sneaky Burl Elephant

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Oh, burl! The L.A. Times has managed to feature Poor Orick in an economic-fallout story and deftly dodge The Answer To Why Has Poor Orick Gone Doggone Belly Up?

No, it isn't the writer's thesis: The slow housing market, which led to the closure of the town's last mill on Oct. 15.

The slowdown is hurting communities throughout Northern California, including tiny Orick, population about 300. Life here in rural Humboldt County is marked by the sudden appearance of a herd of elk in a clearing and gentle tides on the rocky seashore a few minutes outside town.

Many residents have never ventured the 700 miles south to sprawling, smoggy Los Angeles, and don't much care to. Yet their fate is inextricably linked to the construction of subdivisions, apartments and condos in Southern California.

OK, sure, the mill closure's a damned shame for the 48 employees and for the town itself. Devastating, in fact. But it's more the door slamming into the timber industry's backside there than the actual booting that launched it toward the exit.

Come on, you know The Answer To Why Has Poor Orick Gone Doggone Belly Up? Any old-timer will rant you: Redwood National Park. Killed logging, killed beach burl gathering, killed beach fishing, killed beach RV camping, killed town, killed hope. And the town's been living on burl fumes ever since.

So, what, are Orick people finally letting the park off the hook? The story features Ron Barlow, who worked 34 years at the mill.

Barlow is thinking of applying for a job at nearby Redwood National Park, which would keep him out in the woods where he has spent most of his working life. Still, he knows his old company's departure will mean big changes for Orick.

Oh, damn. Not a whiff of irony? Not a single spitting dig at the park? Either the L.A. Times writer really did manage not to get trompled by the elephant in the room, or Orick really has lost all of its spirit.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh, Snap, Arnold!

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Too awesome not to blog. Did Gov. Schwarzenegger hide a crude coup de grace in his veto of a bill by Assm. Tom Ammiano? Sure looks like it, says Capitol Weekly!

Here's a direct link to the document in question.

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MLPA Science Advisory Team Picked

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 10:43 AM


The scientists who will advise development of marine life protection areas on the North Coast of California have been appointed -- by outgoing Department of Fish and Game Director Donald Koch, who resigned last week and whose last day in office will be Nov. 1.

The science team includes several notables -- but not all of the vying notables, no doubt -- from around these parts: Eric Bjorkstedt, based in Trinidad with the National Marine Fisheries Service; HSU professor Dawn Goley with the Marine Mammal Education and Research Program; HSU Professor David Hankin with the Fisheries Biology Department; and Ron LeValley with Mad River Biologists.

There's a slew of others from along the pertinent stretch of coast. They'll have their first offical confab Oct. 30 in Eureka.

Here's the whole news release, issued this morning by Annie Reisewitz of the MLPA Initiative:

Marine Life Protection Act Science Advisory Team Members Announced for North Coast

California Department of Fish and Game Director Donald Koch announced today a panel of science advisors to assist in redesigning marine protected areas along the north California coast. The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT) will provide scientific support for the MLPA Initiative.

"The scientists I have appointed to the advisory team are each uniquely qualified for this important task," Koch said. "Their experience and expertise in marine resources conservation make them well-suited to provide accurate, insightful advice and will help ensure that all decisions made in the coming months will be firmly rooted in the best available science."

The appointed members of the SAT include:

•    Larry Allen, California State University Northridge, Department of Biology (Terminal Island)
•    Eric Bjorkstedt, National Marine Fisheries Service (Trinidad)
•    Mark Carr, University of California, Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab (Santa Cruz)
•    Chris Costello, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (Santa Barbara)
•    Kevin Fleming, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Natural Resources Division (Sacramento)
•    Steve Gaines, Marine Science Institute (Santa Barbara)
•    Dominic Gregorio, State Water Resources Control Board (Sacramento)
•    Dawn Goley, Humboldt State University, Marine Mammal Education and Research Program (Arcata)
•    David Hankin, Humboldt State University, Fisheries Biology Department (Arcata)
•    John Largier, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay)
•    Ron LeValley, Mad River Biologists (Eureka)
•    Phillip Levin, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Fisheries (Seattle, Wash.)
•    Steven Morgan, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay)
•    Steven Murray, California State University Fullerton, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Fullerton)
•    Karina Nielsen, Sonoma State University, Department Of Biology (Rohnert Park)
•    Peter Raimondi, University of California, Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab (Santa Cruz)
•    Steven Rumrill, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (Charleston, Ore.)
•    Astrid Scholz, Ecotrust, Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center (Portland, Ore.)
•    Craig Strong, Crescent Coastal Research (Crescent City)
•    Stephen Wertz, California Department of Fish and Game (Los Alamitos)
•    Will White, University of California, Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory (Bodega Bay)

Their first meeting will be on October 30 in Eureka. This will be a joint meeting of the North and South Coast SATs. More information and an agenda may be found at

The MLPA, enacted into law in 1999, directs the state to reexamine and redesign California's system of MPAs, which are discrete geographic marine or estuarine areas designed to protect or conserve marine life and habitat. The purpose of the act is to protect the state's marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational and research opportunities provided by marine ecosystems.

A regional approach is being used to implement the MLPA along the state's coastline, with the current efforts focusing on the north coast from the California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena in Mendocino County. Though the California Fish and Game Commission is the ultimate decision-making authority for implementing the MLPA, the extensive stakeholder-driven planning process will include a region-specific Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF), SAT and stakeholder group charged with providing information and recommendations to the Commission.

SAT members are charged with providing scientific advice to the regional stakeholder group regarding issues such as MPA placement, size and habitat considerations, and assist by reviewing draft documents and addressing scientific questions raised by the BRTF or the regional stakeholder group. The SAT members will also work closely with the stakeholder group to guide stakeholder development of draft MPA proposals.

The biologists, ecologists, oceanographers and economists who have been appointed to the North Coast SAT are scientists with specific expertise in marine life protection, the use of MPAs as a management tool, underwater ecosystems found in California waters, the biology and habitat requirements of major species groups in the state's waters, and water quality and related issues. Their expertise is specific to the north coast region.

The Commission will be asked to adopt MPAs in each study region along California's coast. Recommendations for the current north study region will be developed between now and late 2010, when the BRTF is expected to make a final recommendation on the north coast MPA proposals.

The first of the five study regions to be redesigned was the central coast; the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a final package of MPAs for this region in April 2007. The next study region to be redesigned was the north central coast, for which regulations were adopted on August 5, 2009.  The south coast is nearing the end of the process as the north coast is just beginning. The San Francisco Bay will be the last region to be studied.


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Monday, October 26, 2009

On the hunt for illicit marijuana

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Minnesota.On the hunt for illicit marijuana: Humboldt's national rep for pot continues with the Washington Post doing a little compare and contrast today, first covering a Mexican raid in the hills of Acapulco, then following Sgt. Wayne Hanson bundling up bales of pot in Six Rivers National
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Bong Water Ruled Illegal

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 9:31 AM

works.Bong Water Ruled Illegal: In
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fortuna biz' hummingbird feeder in Boing Boing

Posted By on Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 2:32 PM

birth.Fortuna biz' hummingbird feeder in Boing Boing: A wearable hummingbird feeder sold by Fortuna-based is featured on the hipster blog. Wondering how you might wear a bird feeder? There's a YouTube vid that shows how it
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

MLPA Effort Kills Blue Whale

Posted By on Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM

MLPA Effort Kills Blue Whale: Fish reporter Dan Bacher writes that the blue whale that washed ashore in Fort Bragg earlier this week was in fact killed by private contractors mapping the sea for the controversial North Coast implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act. The contractors' boat apparently struck the 72-foot whale -- a female that had recently given
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama Not Unlike Fine Wine

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 3:52 PM

In its exploration of President Barack Obama's ill-deserved Nobel, this week's The New Republic cites the academic work of Fieldbrook winemaker (and husband o' Journal) Bob Hodgson. The Nobel Peace Prize is just as fraudulent as the blue ribbon wines defrocked by Hodgson, argues Jonathan Chait.

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