Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kneeland This Morning, in Images

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 8:22 PM


Local photographer Mark McKenna was at the scene of the police investigation in Kneeland this morning. He graciously sent along a few photographs, including one of District Attorney Paul Gallegos riding in a helicopter. Click the images to magnify them.



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Final Tally: One Arrested, One Injured, One Safe and One Dead

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 4:04 PM

From the Sheriff's Office:

Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies continue to investigate the shooting that was reported to official this morning. At about 2:00 p.m. deputies found the body of a deceased adult male near a marijuana grow site. The preliminary cause of death appears to be a gunshot wound. Deputies do not expect to find additional victims but are continuing to search the area.

Investigators have learned that the shooting likely occurred last evening and involved four individuals: the suspect and three victims. Of the victims, one was airlifted to an out-of-the-area hospital for treatment for gunshot injuries. The second victim is deceased. The third victim was uninjured during the incident. The identity of all three victims is being withheld. The suspect, Mykal Wilde, 28 of Eureka, was arrested this morning and has been booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation although Sheriff's Detectives believe there was a dispute over illegal activity.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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Police Search for Kneeland Shooting Suspect

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 10:53 AM

At least one man was severely injured in shootout in Kneeland last night, apparently in a marijuana-related dispute. Police didn't hear about the incident until this morning, when the wounded man is believe to have shown up at Kneeland airport seeking assistance. He is being Medivaced to Redding as we speak.

Stay tuned, however. We are getting signals -- unconfirmed, for the moment -- that this is actually a whole lot worse.

Police are now looking for Mikal Wilde of Greenwood Heights -- white male adult, 28 years old, 6'2", shaved head and goatee. He is believed to be driving a dark green or black Ford F250 four-wheel drive, California license plate number 7B57780. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff's Office: (707) 445-7251.

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: Scanner traffic says that the suspect has been taken into custody on Greenwood Heights Road. Officers on the scene paged animal control to take custody of two pit bulls.

UPDATE, 11:53 a.m.: The CalFire Twitter feed reports what we've been hearing; that three people were found dead in Kneeland this morning. The Sheriff's Office will not yet confirm this.


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Voluntary Spending Cap in Fifth District Race?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Money bagEarlier today we received a breathless press release from Jon Zaglin, a local Green Party member, announcing that Fifth District Supervisor candidates Patrick Cleary and Ryan Sundberg have reached a "groundbreaking agreement" to cap their campaign spending. This revolutionary accord was reportedly reached at a recent Green Party meeting after both candidates voiced their support for publicly funded elections. When a Green Partier in attendance suggested that Cleary and Sundberg could simply make a "gentlemen's agreement" to cap their expenditures, the candidates agreed "without hesitation," according to the release.

"The decision to cap their own campaign spending at a mutually agreed-upon level has the potential to transform political campaigning in Humboldt," Zaglin opines.

Does it really? Reached by phone today, the candidates themselves were decidedly less starry-eyed on the subject. For one thing, they have yet to discuss, much less agree upon, any dollar figures. "A cap without a cap is not really a cap," Cleary said. Then there's the muscular sums already raised and spent in the race. (Sundberg hauled in and spent more than $95,000 and Cleary spent more than $71,000 through June.) 

Here in the midst of the general election season, it's not as simple as pinching off the money hose. "We like the principle," Sundberg said, "but we both have obligations -- I know I do." Sundberg said he needs to go over it with his campaign committee, calculate his fixed costs and factor in promised expenditures on advertising and such.

At best, Cleary said, this was an agreement to agree.

"I don't know if it will work or not," Sundberg admitted. The two plan to meet sometime next week to discuss the details of their agreement agreement.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Humboldt, Nicaragua ... Whatever

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 1:14 PM



H/t to my colleague Heidi Walters for noticing this homage to globalization.

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Penis-free Pot Seshes With Randos

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 11:36 AM

That's the sales pitch for, a sort of Chatroulette for weed smokers looking to get faded commune with random, anonymous weed smokers on camera. Strictly medicinal, of course. (Cough-wheeeeze.) 

The site was created three months ago by one Dan "Chill," a college dropout/Web developer from Playa Del Rey who nabbed his 215 for stomach-aches. Site rules stipulate no minors and no wieners -- or anything else indecent. Users of the randomized cyber-sesh service are tracked to the city level only, leaving them otherwise anonymous (except, presumably, for their smoke-obscured, bloodshot faces).

Mr. Chill says one of his goals is to prove that people can smoke cannabis and still be productive and successful. Just look at him.

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Cypress Grove Sold to Swiss Dairy Conglomerate

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM


One of the biggest success stories in local manufacturing -- Arcata's Cypress Grove Chevre -- has been bought by the Swiss giant Emmi, according to reports reeling off the food industry news tickers this morning.


Emmi said it plans to continue its growth, focusing in particular on the Italian, German, Austrian, UK and US markets, and that the acquisition of Cypress Grove is an "important step in this direction".

Based in Arcata, California, Cypress Grove Chèvre is a US manufacturer of ripened goat's cheese specialties in the premium segment.

Urs Riedener, CEO of Emmi, said: "Cypress Grove Chèvre's premium cheese specialties will be an ideal complement to our US product range. The expanded product line will allow us to strengthen our position in our largest foreign market, the US."

The Arcata Eye has reassuring words for people who might be concerned about the acquisition:

Cypress Grove Sales Manager Bob McCall said that the Arcata Bottom manufacturing facility, which directly employes more than 40 people, will continue to operate and even be upgraded soon. He said Emmi appreciates Cypess Grove’s unique culture, and won’t dilute the brand.

“Humboldt Fog will be made in Humboldt County and Cypress Grove stays in Arcata,” McCall said. “We’re kind of the jewel in their crown.”

UPDATE: Click through for Cypress Grove's press release.


Northern California Cheesemaker Will Maintain Current Leadership and Location Under New Ownership

Arcata, CALIF. (August 20, 2010) - Cypress Grove Chevre Founder Mary Keehn announced today her company has been purchased by Emmi Holding (USA) Inc. For Cypress Grove Chevre, maker of award-winning goat cheeses since 1983, operations will continue with their current leadership and in the same location in Humboldt County, California.

Emmi, founded as a dairy owned cooperative in 1907, is the largest milk processor in Switzerland. Emmi-Roth Käse USA is a leading manufacturer, importer and marketer of high-end specialty cheeses and fresh dairy products.

"We have been approached several times in recent years by companies that wanted to purchase us, but it was never the right time or fit" said Keehn. "In Emmi we have found a partner that shares our values and commitment to quality and offers us the resources to invest in our creamery, our employees and our local farms. We will be able to continue doing what we do well and even improve in the areas of quality and innovation."

"Together we have more opportunities for growth and success," said Fermo Jaeckle, CEO of Emmi-Roth Käse USA. "As cheese makers, we are committed to American-made artisan cheeses, and goat cheeses have played a leading role in the remarkable growth of this category."

Keehn said that ensuring a successful future for Cypress Grove was first and foremost in her mind when making the decision to sell the company she started, nurtured and grew to become one of the most highly regarded goat cheese brands in the US.

"It was a difficult, but very good decision for the future of the company, our employees, the local farms and the quality of our products," said Keehn, who will be able to spend more time exploring new styles of cheeses and developing new products. "I have so many ideas, but we've been limited by time and resources. This infusion of expertise and capital will allow us to explore new avenues and grow in a healthy manner."

About Cypress Grove Chevre (

Cypress Grove Chevre is the leading producer of fine American goat cheese including the top-selling American artisanal classic, Humboldt Fog. Founded in 1983 by Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove continues a tradition of innovation by introducing original American cheeses to the marketplace, such as Truffle Tremor and new Herbs de Humboldt. Based in Humboldt County, CA, where the Redwoods meet the Pacific, Cypress Grove's award-winning family of products can be found at fine retail outlets and restaurants across the country. Cypress Grove's mission is to provide its customers with an innovative and unique selection of cheeses while taking care of its employees, community, dairies and the environment.

About Emmi

Emmi Group is the largest Swiss milk processor and one of the most innovative premium dairies in Europe. In Switzerland. Emmi focuses on the development, production and marketing of a full range of dairy and fresh products as well as the production, ageing and trade of primarily Swiss cheeses. Outside Switzerland, Emmi concentrates on brand concepts and specialities in European and North American markets. The primary focus in fresh products is on lifestyle, convenience and health products. In the cheese business, Emmi positions itself as the leading company worldwide for cheese from Switzerland. Emmi's customers are primarily the retail trade, the food service sector and the food industry. In 2009, Emmi achieved net sales of CHF 2.62 billion and employed some 3,525 people (full-time equivalents) in Switzerland and abroad.

About Emmi Roth Käse USA

Emmi Roth Käse USA is the largest subsidiary of Emmi Group and strives to be the leading artisan cheese and premium fresh dairy provider. Emmi-Roth Käse USA offers a wide range of award-winning cheeses and specialty dairy products like Swiss Premium Yogurt and Caffe Latte, Emmi's chilled coffee drink made with fresh roasted coffee and the finest milk. The cheese assortment ranges from imported specialties from Switzerland and other European countries to artisan cheeses crafted with pride in the heart of America's Dairyland. Emmi Roth Käse USA delivers the highest quality products with unique taste experiences primarily to the US retail and food service customers.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Assembly Member Evans Endorses Cleary

Posted By on Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Assembly Member and state senate shoe-in candidate Noreen Evans today announced that she is endorsing Patrick Cleary in his bid for Fifth District Supervisor. In a press release, Evans said Cleary has "the skills and experience to help Humboldt County create new, sustainable jobs and get our local economy back on track, while protecting our open space and investing in green technology."

Cleary chimed in with a quote of his own, saying, "Cooperation between state and local governments is more important now than ever. Next year as Supervisor, I will work closely with Senator Evans to marshal state and local resources to support Humboldt County's local small businesses, create sustainable jobs and protect our environment."

Evans joins Cleary's growing list of endorsements.

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Palling Around

Posted By on Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:26 AM


Last night, some sixty odd Humboldt County residents jumped on the opportunity to follow in President Obama’s footsteps and pal around with a "terrorist."

Educator and frequent Fox News target Bill Ayres made a scheduled appearance at Arcata’s Northtown Books to give a short talk on the state of the education in America and to discuss his new collaborative comic book To Teach: The Journey, In Comics.

Outside, about twenty members of the Humboldt Tea Party Patriots carried signs protesting Ayres appearence. While most never made it in the door, a few Tea Party members sat respectfully through Ayers speech to ask some Weather Underground-related questions during the Q&A session that ended the night. Bill graciously responded.

The night was almost without incident except for the following exchange between a man (who did not appear to be affiliated with the local Tea Party chapter) that walked in just as Ayres stepped to the microphone:

Man: "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Ayres!"
Ayres: "What?"
Man: "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Ayres!"
Ayres: "I can't."

Ayres invited the man to stay, which he declined by backing out the door while flipping the bird.



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Outside Lands -- All-Ages and Worth the Drive

Posted By on Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 6:00 AM


Note: Teenage sister-brother freelancers Kaylee Savage-Wright and Nick Savage-Wright submitted the following review of the Outside Lands festival.

Being situated between San Francisco and Portland makes Humboldt County a convenient stop for touring bands. Unfortunately, those bands tend to be big either on the folk scene or classic rock has-beens -- and even when the performer is someone a kid might want to see, outside of the occasional Arcata Community Center gig, the shows are likely 21-and-over. What's a young person who loves live music to do? Find a ride to San Francisco in August, that's what. For three years, Another Planet Entertainment has gathered bands from all over the world, literally and musically, and assembled them in the City's great Golden Gate Park. This year, the festival slimmed down to two days from three, but was no less stellar.

Day One

(Nick) Arriving at the park, the sounds of People Under the Stairs greet us as I impatiently wait to get through the gate -- the security team is efficient, but we were running late. Once inside I set aside my hunger for the music for something more immediate and made my way to the food booths. After the five-hour car ride, the delicious food was much appreciated. This is no typical festival fare, but a broad sample of San Francisco treats. I was finally ready to join the crowd in front of Pretty Lights stage, where I immediately lost myself in the music. In the words of a fellow enthusiast, "They killed it!" An hour-and-a-half later, Bassnectar played, and although a power outage briefly interrupted the set, the show was sick. Dazed and confused by the barrage of electronics, I retired to the grass meadow in the center of the circle of vendors.

After catching a second wind, I headed towards Wolfmother and spent a half-hour immersed in their heavy rock'n'roll, which brings to mind classic Sabbath-meets-The Doors -- a connection they acknowledged, breaking into "Riders on the Storm." I broke for early seats at Cat Power and The Strokes. Good call -- even though I arrived 30 minutes before Cat Power, and around two hours before The Strokes were even scheduled to play, I was still close to 40 rows back. After Cat Power's solid performance, I was ready to be stoked by The Strokes. I fully was. All in all, a solid day of music, by some of the world's best performers. The first day of Outside Lands was truly magnificent. 

Day Two

(Kaylee) After a late morning and long wait through security, we arrived at the festival just in time to catch the end of Phoenix, who I love, but since there was no way to get further than the edges of the crowd I had to stay on the outskirts where everyone stood blank-faced, not dancing, despite the infectious beats and crowd-surfing of singer Thomas Mars.

Chromeo provided a much more exciting show, however, bringing in their charisma and electrofunk sound to the set, along with the cheering of many women and girls. Following them was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, riling up their fans, who swayed and sung along to the mix of indie, folk, and rock with heartfelt adoration. I myself had never listened to Edward Sharpe, but after their performance I was captivated and wished along with everyone else that they wouldn't leave the stage.

They did, though, and left us to wander for a bit, catching part of Temper Trap and having some time to check out the rest of the festival goodness. Outside Lands is a prime example of how a music festival can be musically extraordinary and environmentally conscious -- something the Humboldt crowd can relate to. Staking out a spot for Kings of Leon wasn't easy. I ended up pushed back further than I'd started, but the family band rocked and serenaded the crowd until my legs ached, and at times I wished I could just sit down, but songs like "Sex on Fire" rekindled my energy. Kings of Leon demonstrate what it means to be rock. Great headliners and a fine end to our Outside Lands experience.

Keep an eye on for next year's line-up and details -- and rumor has it, the fest returns to three days. Here's hoping!

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