Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thompson's Earmark Wish List

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Rep. Mike Thompson Rep. Mike Thompson, our perennial squeaky wheel in the U.S. Congress, has requested $387 million from the federal gubmint for 128 projects including:

  • $80 million to restore salmon habitats
  • $5 million to widen Hwy. 299 for big semis (do the Richardson Grovies know about this?)
  • $5 million for St. Joseph Hospital’s new tower construction
  • $3.9 million to modernize Arcata's fire services facility
  • $3 million to bring redundant broadband to the county
  • $2.9 million to acquire 159 acres of Arcata forest, currently zoned residential
  • $1.5 million for Eureka's long-planned Martin Slough Interceptor wastewater project
  • $1.2 million for the Hoopa Tribal Police Department
  • $350,000 in Homeland Security funds to restore the antique lighthouse lens in Ferndale and build a "museum-quality facility" in which to display it
Here's the full list , courtesy the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat .
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Buy American Pot

Posted By on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 12:07 PM

As addressed in Kym Kemp's cover story and Hank's latest Town Dandy , many locals are fretting about legalization summoning economic ruin upon Humboldt County. Could very well happen. But what are the implications of this argument ? The comedic minds behind Reason TV imagine an honest campaign from the American Marijuana Growers Association:

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Friday, March 26, 2010

C'mon, Google Broadband!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 3:36 PM

C'mon, Google Broadband!: Humboldt County's Redwood Region Economic Development Commission launches its bid to bring the Google municipal mega-broadband initiative to our fair county. Their finely crafted pitch to our new Google overlords gets in plenty of well-deserved digs at the goofball yokels who have jumped into lakes and renamed their towns to win the heart of the
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Free Film Rumors Roil Humboldt County

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM


We've been getting a lot of chatter over the transom today, and it all centers around an alleged free showing of the acclaimed documentary Food, Inc. next Friday night at the Arcata Community Center. As we walked down to the taco trunk for lunch, news of this event was on everyone's lips. Could it be, as some suggested, that this so-called free screening would be held in conjunction with the annual Plan It Green Conference , scheduled for the Community Center the same weekend? Could the government somehow be involved?

One thing's for sure -- whether true or false, the word-of-mouth whisper campaign behind this rumor is shockingly effective.

Unfortunately, the Journal could find no one to either confirm or deny. However, a super-secret source did bring in this wadded-up flyer that was purportedly found inside a dumpster somewhere near the 500 block of I Street, Eureka. We present it here; you may draw your own conclusions.


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The 99 Plant Rule

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The 99 Plant Rule: Friend o' Journal Tim Stelloh writes about the wackadoodle new regulations that Mendo County is about to lay down on its medical marijuana growers. From the Anderson Valley Advertiser
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wiggins Semi-Steps Down, A Week Too Late

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM


The Sacramento Bee is reporting that State Senator Pat Wiggins has decided to take what they're calling "partial leave" from the legislature in order to deal with her still-undisclosed medical condition. Apparently, Wiggins will pretty much stay at her Sonoma County home except when summoned to the Capitol to cast a vote.

This move comes one week after a deadline to register a special election to fill Wiggins' seat. (We wrote about that deadline last week, and last fall we wrote about the strange effort to keep her in office.)

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Posted on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

By Hank Sims

On Monday, candidates for local office filed their Form 460s -- financial disclosure documents periodically required by California's Political Reform Act. They tell you where the campaigns are getting their funds and how they are spending them.

Yesterday the Journal went down and photographed all umpteen million pages of the most recent round of disclosure, and after getting the A-OK from our legal advisors we now present them to you. This is a pretty funky way of going about making these things public -- you can see my thumb in some of the images -- but it'll have to do.

We wrote up a quick analysis of the documents for this week's Journal, and have appended that to this blog post for those of you who don't get the paper until tomorrow. But take a gander yourselves. Find anything interesting? Post us a comment, or drop a line.

Below: Links to PDF documents, each somewhere between three and seven megabytes.


Virginia Bass

Jeff Leonard

Bonnie Neely


Patrick Cleary

Patrick Higgins

Jeff Lytle

Ryan Sundberg


Kathleen Bryson

Paul Gallegos

Paul Hagen

Allison Jackson


Mike Downey

Mike Hislop


Jon Brooks

Johanna Rodoni

Mari Wilson

For the rundown that appeared in this week's Journal, click on through.

Ticket to the Fights

Need more proof that this is going to be a bruiser of an election? The most recent round of financial disclosure tells the tale. Between Feb. 1 and March 17, candidates for local office collectively raised over a quarter of a million dollars, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission Form 460s that were filed in the county elections office Monday.

Going by sheer dollar volume, the race for Fourth District Supervisor seems to be gravitating toward its natural place at the top of the ticket. During this cycle, incumbent Bonnie Neely raised $43,259 in cash and non-monetary donations. Top donors? The Blue Lake Rancheria kicked in $10,000 to the Neely campaign last week, and fellow Coastal Commission member Steven Blank -- the chair of the California chapter of the Audubon Society -- chipped in another two large. Former District Attorney Terry Farmer, Neely's husband, loaned the campaign $5,000. Attorney Zach Zwerdling gave $1,300, and McKinleyville forester Michael Atkins and the Humboldt Redwood company each gave $1,000. On the other side of the ledger, Neely spent around $10,000 on political consulting and research -- $4,000 to Sacramento political consultants Duffy & Capitilo and $6,000 to EMC Research, a Seattle pollster.

Neely's main competitor (at least insofar as the money game is concerned) is Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass. She raised only $24,315 in this disclosure period -- but that's on top of the $53,000 she accumulated in January. Bass is showing lots of donations in the $200-$1,000 range, with a couple of outliers: Regular donors from the conservative side of the aisle like auto dealer Harvey Harper ($2,000), property developer Steve Stromberg ($1,500) and others gave a little more. Humboldt Redwood, hedging the bet, also gave a grand to Bass. At the moment, Neely has the slightly larger war chest -- $39,149 cash on hand to Bass' $33,159.

Eureka City Councilmember Jeff Leonard better be concentrating on his ground game, because his fundraising efforts are a dismal third in this race: Just $2,728 raised since February, and only $838 in the bank.

Weirdness abounds in the District Attorney race. Incumbent Paul Gallegos is the fundraising champion in this period, with $27,093 taken in -- however, $20,000 of that was from a loan from a David Gallegos of Weston, Fla. David G. also chipped in a $5,000 donation. Gallegos also appears to be outsourcing his campaign -- the physical address for his campaign committee is a West Hollywood office apparently belonging to a political consultancy called "ML Associates." Meanwhile, the DA candidate with the least name recognition -- former prosecutor Kathleen Bryson -- has, according to her disclosure forms, apparently accomplished the very unusual trick of raising $8,450 in increments of less than $100 while taking in only $300 in donations above that amount. Bryson has also loaned her campaign $5,000. Fellow challengers Paul Hagen ($10,347 raised) and Allison Jackson ($13,674) are close to neck and neck, though Hagen got there with the help of $7,400 in loans from himself and his campaign treasurer, Eureka conservationist Maggie Herbelin.

If there's a surprise in this round of disclosure forms, it's the massive amount of money flowing into the downticket race for Humboldt County Assessor. Eel River Valley political force Johanna Rodoni raised a whopping $21,473 in her campaign for this unglamorous office, mostly through sub-G contributions from the historic Rodoni donors. Challenger Jon Brooks is far behind, raising $6,595, including a $2,000 boost from the Blue Lake Rancheria. Assistant Assessor Mari Wilson, who must have thought herself the heir apparent, is left in the dust by this sudden intrusion -- the forms say she took in $6,315, but most of that was Wilson spending her own money on the campaign.

Last quick note, because we're running out of both time and space: The Blue Lake Rancheria, as expected, went in big on the race for Fifth District Supervisor -- but it went in two ways at once. The rancheria, by far the largest single donor in recent election cycles, gave $5,000 each to Patrick Cleary, a Blue Lake Rancheria business partner, and Ryan Sundberg, a member of the Trinidad Rancheria.


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Orick to be Center of Universe

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Last night, a buttload of local well-to-do's met at the Mateel Community Center to discuss the potential impacts of marijuana legalization and its affects on the local economy. Little did those concerned that we're about to plunge into an economic abyss know that their prayers for a brighter Humboldt tomorrow had already been answered. But weed has nothing to do with it. No, our new identity as the faux-hometown of the biggest star on earth was decided in the Disney War Room.

Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus has signed on to star in the adaptation of of the young-adult novel Wings by Aprilynne Pike. And this isn't some one shot deal. Wings is the first book in a Twilight -esque, four-part series. How does this tie into Humboldt? Here's a Wikipedia synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Laurel has lived her whole life on her family's land near Orick, California and the Redwood National Park, where she was homeschooled by her hippie parents. So when she moves to Crescent City, CA to attend public school, Laurel has some adjustments to make. While she misses being outdoors all the time, she's getting along pretty well at her new school and soon befriends David, a handsome and sweet boy who understands Laurel and her strict vegan diet. Things are looking up until a bump between Laurel's shoulders sprouts into a giant flower on her back.

Hesitant to confide her recent affliction to her parents, Laurel seeks help from David, and together they investigate the strange phenomenon of her "wings." Their only clue is that—much to Laurel's embarrassment—when she was about three years old, she was found on her parents’ doorstep in a basket, with no knowledge of where she came from.

That's right. Orick.

Miley is currently shooting another dramatic film elsewhere and was unavailable for comment. Online reports are unclear on if Disney actually plans on shooting on the North Coast. Sounds like Humboldt Film Commission head Mary Cruse has some lobbying to do. But the big question is... can I be an extra?

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Tsunami Test

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Tsunami Test: In a couple of moments, the Emergency Alert System will be activated and the tsunami sirens are going to go off. This is a test. This is only a
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rabid Dog Bites Human

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 5:34 PM

rabies virus Holy yikes! This just in from the Humboldt County Health Department: An unvaccinated Trinity County dog that bit at least one person tested positive last Thursday for rabies. "Three adults and two children, all Trinity County residents, came into contact with the dog and are undergoing a series of injections to prevent rabies infection," the release states. No one in Humboldt County is believed to have been exposed. 

The rest of the release follows the break.

"Rabies in domestic animals is extremely rare in California," said Health Officer Ann Lindsay. "In Humboldt County, we haven't had a rabid dog in more than 20 years." Lindsay noted that the canine-variant strain rabies is believed to have been eradicated in the U.S.

While final test results will not be available for four to six weeks, it is believed the Trinity County dog was infected with a skunk variant, which is carried by both skunks and foxes. "The elimination of canine-variant rabies in the U.S. is one of the major public health success stories of the past 50 years," said Public Health Branch Director Susan Buckley. "Widespread vaccination of household pets stopped canine-to-canine transmission. But dogs can still get rabies from wildlife -- such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats -- and they can still infect humans." 

Vaccination remains incredibly important, Lindsay said. "Rabies is endemic among wildlife in Humboldt County, and vaccinating your dog is required by law," she said. "You're not just protecting your pet. You're also protecting your family, your neighbors and anyone else who may come into contact with your animal." 

A viral disease of the central nervous system, rabies is one of the oldest and most feared diseases reported in medical literature. Once symptoms appear, there is no known treatment that can cure the disease. According to the World Health Organization, rabies kills an estimated 55,000 people globally each year. Very few humans have been known to survive the infection. 

A follow-up investigation to identify additional exposures, if any, is being conducted by Trinity County officials with the assistance of the Humboldt County Public Health Branch.

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