Monday, November 15, 2010

Dramatic Rescue Above Agate Beach w/ Update

Posted By on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM


Photo by Ken Malcomson

(Update at bottom of second page)

A 19-year-old woman clung to a slippery sandstone cliff about 150 feet above Agate Beach for at least three hours Sunday afternoon as a rescue crew worked its way through a wild section of Patrick's Point State Park to get to her. The whole while, an orange Coast Guard helicopter circled the scene. 

Earlier, down on the beach, beachcomber Joy Graves had been walking along when she heard a voice crying "Help me!" She looked up the steep lumpy cliff with vertical drop-offs and saw a woman sitting with her legs stretched out perilously close to the edge of one of the dropoffs. "I don't want to die!" the woman cried, recalled Graves later, still down on the beach, as she watched the crews working methodically to set up their rescue. 

Graves, from Oregon, said she called 911. After more than an hour, it seemed to her, rescuers arrived. A man in a yellow slicker from the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department took a post on a lower ridge of sandstone by the beach as the main rescuers assembled in the forest at the top of the cliff about 100 feet above the stranded woman. CalFire trucks staged in the Agate Beach parking lot. A Sheriff's deputy scrambled down the less steep upper section until she was about 50 feet above the woman and stood sentry, appearing to coach the woman to remain calm.

Just after 4:30 p.m, finally, after an excruciatingly long time, a man in climbing gear and a white helmet rapelled down to the woman and, after a long time of securing her to the rope, they slowly ascended, the woman in front of him and appearing to be having difficulty standing. Meanwhile, a con crew in orange jumpsuits had arrived on the wooded clifftop edge south of the rescue scene and was chainsawing a path out of the undeveloped section of park. By 5:30 p.m., the rescuer and rescuee were on safe ground. 

After the rescue, a couple of park personnel talked about the event in the Agate Beach parking lot. They said the area above the cliff face where the young woman had ended up stuck -- with a sprained ankle, they said -- was a less well-traveled part of the park and the rescue team had been led there by a park employee who knew it best. They hadn't heard yet what circumstances had led to the woman's stranding. One of them opined, a bit admonishingly, that these sorts of rescues were all too common in the park.


Agate Beach


Joy Graves, in the long coat, left, heard the woman calling for help.


Help arrived. The woman is just above the two dark parallel gashes in the cliff, to the left and about midway down in the photo.


A rescuer maneuvered her slowly up the crumbling cliff.


After it was over, sentries posted on the beach ascended to the parking lot.


Joy Graves, who made the 911 call.

Photos by Ken Malcomson


UPDATE: Sheriff's news release identifies the stranded woman as Rochelle Machado, 19, of McKinleyville. Here's the release:

Date Released: 11/15/2010
Subject: Woman Rescued From a Cliff
Contact: Brenda Godsey, PIO
Case No#: 201007361
Released By: Brenda Godsey

Location: Patrick's Point State Park/Agate Beach

Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies responded to Agate Beach Sunday afternoon after receiving a report that a woman was stranded on the nearby unstable bluffs. At about 2:30 p.m., personnel with the California State Parks requested assistance with the cliff rescue. Eight members of the all-volunteer Sheriff's Posse responded to the beach and were able to get a harness and rope on the woman. The U.S. Coast Guard launched a helicopter to assist, however, they were limited by foggy conditions. Meanwhile, personnel from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) secured a "Z-rig" to pull the victim up the cliff-face. At the top of the cliff, an inmate fire crew worked to widen the trail for the trucks. The victim was safely brought to the top of the cliff. State Parks personnel then drove her to her car. The victim was identified as Rochelle Machado, 19 of McKinleyville. Machado was cold and complained of pain in her ankle.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Funnies

Posted By on Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Journal contributor Amy Stewart tells an amusing tale about weed, literature and Eureka Books in tomorrow's New York Times.

• At the Humboldt Herald, Paul Gallegos supporter "Richard" (?!?) declares fatwah on Supervisor Mark Lovelace for the crime of supporting Paul Hagen. You got Geisted!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Share It Fairly: How YOU Could Win House of Floyd Tickets!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:19 PM


So, you want to go see the Pink Floyd tribute band House of Floyd at the Arkley Center on Saturday night, but "the economy" just isn't letting your brain part with the $38 it costs to get in.

At the North Coast Journal, our readers are more important than just another brick in the wall!

We want to keep you comfortably numb and happy. So, we're giving away three (3) pairs (2s) of tickets to our precious NCJ readers. That's $76 you can instead spend on Christmas goodies -- check our Annual NCJ Gift Guide next week for more on that.

But you gotta earn it!

To win a pair of these tickets you have to record a video of yourself singing your favorite Pink Floyd song and post it to our wall on the North Coast Journal's Facebook page or send it to Be brave, Humboldt.

You have until 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 11) to get your video on Facebook at which point the rambunctious NCJ Editorial Friday Drinkdown squad will judge who's Floyd-est. Points for: likability, enthusiasm and whether or not we want to do psychedelic drugs by the end of your song.

Don't know how to post a video on Facebook? Ask someone.

Don't have a Facebook account? Not our problem. Catch up.

Here is a video of the NCJ's newest employee, Alana Chenevert, demonstrating how easy it is to win. (Though we might dock you points if you screw up lyrics like she did.)

VIRAL ALERT! Blogthing reader "Money Mike D" sends along this Alana remix!

Alana's "Money" -- the Money Mike D Remix

UPDATE: First entries (we'll add more as they come in/when there's time.)

BONUS! Put Monika's awesome performance (above) on your phone! Ringtones available in [audio-2] mp3 and m4r formats!

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Hardly Progress

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:16 PM

In an early morning home invasion today on the 2100-block of Progress Street in Eureka, a group of young, male, well-armed thugtwits thwopped one of the residents on the head with a gun -- for which he needed medical attention -- reports the Eureka Police Department. And then when the invaded family refused to surrender their riches the thuglets threatened to steal their little girl. From the EPD's news release:

"When one suspect began dragging the daughter out of the house the family told them where to find the money and a firearm. Other family members directed the suspects to where a Colt AR-15 style .22 caliber rifle was and several thousand dollars in cash.  Also taken were three gaming systems and a laptop.  The suspects then broke into the garage where a small marijuana grow was located."

The news release follows the jump.

Police Department Press Release

Home Invasion Robbery Sends One Man to Hospital

On November 11, 2010 at about 0526 hours, the Eureka Police Department responded to a residence in the 2100-block of Progress Street in Eureka for a reported home invasion robbery. Responding Officers found a 51 year old male who had been struck on the head with a handgun causing injury.  Medical personnel responded and transported the victim to the hospital for treatment.  Officers spoke with the remaining family members and learned that six males had forced their way into the home in the early morning hours on Thursday. All of the suspects carried handguns and forced the family into the living room where they lined them up on their knees.

The suspects demanded valuables from the family.  When they refused the father was struck on the head with the handgun.  One of the suspects threatened to kidnap the family’s daughter who was very young.  When one suspect began dragging the daughter out of the house the family told them where to find the money and a firearm.  Other family members directed the suspects to where a Colt AR-15 style .22 caliber rifle was and several thousand dollars in cash.  Also taken were three gaming systems and a laptop.  The suspects then broke into the garage where a small marijuana grow was located.

The suspects are described as all males in the early to mid twenties wearing hooded sweatshirts and navy blue or black bandannas over their faces.  They are further described as being Asian, Mexican, and possibly one Arab young man.  After the suspects left the family called the police.  The father was treated at Saint Joseph emergency room and released later with moderate injuries.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Terry Liles at 707-441-4032.

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Secure That Wi-fi!

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:10 PM

The Google is rolling though town, crackin' your passwordz.


Reader AJ snapped this shot of their crew coming straight outta out of Cooper Gulch yesterday.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Moxon Out at Humboldt Area Foundation

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Kathleen Moxon, director of community strategies for the Humboldt Area Foundation, is leaving the organization after more than 15 years. And there is speculation that her departure is not voluntary.

HAF Executive Director Peter Pennekamp today confirmed that Moxon and the foundation are parting ways, but he described the split as an amicable result of agency restructuring. In recent years, he explained, the nonprofit has been shifting its focus away from Moxon's area of expertise -- namely, economic and community development. "We're probably becoming less focused on that as a core area," Pennekamp said. This shift is a natural progression, he said, thanks to the advent of other local agencies working in the field, including the North Coast Prosperity Network, the Job Market and the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC). "None of that existed when we started that work in 1995," Pennekamp said.

Others locals involved in economic development said they were surprised by news of Moxon's departure and unaware that HAF was shifting its focus. RREDC Executive Director Gregg Foster -- who worked at HAF alongside Moxon from 1996 to 1999 -- characterized both developments as a loss. Moxon, he said, is a valuable and well-connected asset to the community in general and to RREDC in particular. "On the economic side, she was our connection to the foundation. ... She's a real idea person," Foster said. "She was doing a lot of work on the broadband issue and was able to capture a lot of state attention on that. ... Now we're going to lose that resource."

Foster added that he'd heard nothing about HAF's plans to shift focus away from economic and community development. "Making that decision in the absence of talking to any of us in economic development is, I think, kind of ironic for a community foundation," he said.

Others suggested that Moxon's departure might stem from a personality clash with Pennekamp. "I knew there was some tension there, but I didn't think it had reached the point where she would be leaving," said Patrick Cleary, president of Lost Coast Communications. Cleary and Moxon served together for years as founding members of the Headwaters Fund Board of Directors. 

"I think Kathy was really one of the pivotal players on the Headwaters Fund [Board] in terms of pushing the fund to look at certain things, such as the telemedicine program for Open Door Clinic," Cleary said. "She was one of the leaders in identifying that as an area of leakage where money was leaving the county." He also credited Moxon with being the driving force behind the county's Prosperity strategy for economic development, which focuses on growing local industries rather than trying to attract large outside employers to the area.

Pennekamp said he could not comment on whether Moxon's departure was voluntary since it's a personnel issue. But he offered glowing praise of Moxon, saying that she's done "an absolutely brilliant job" for the foundation and that HAF will likely contract with her as she continues her economic and community development work. Moxon's vacant position will be filled, if somewhat redefined, he said.

A call to Moxon was not returned by the end of the work day. Cleary said he's not worried about her: "I have little doubt Kathy will land someplace where she'll make a positive impact."

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Me & Estelle & Elizabeth Talk Politics at HSU Tonight

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Want to get your local politics on after work today? Swing on by HSU for the annual Schaub Lecture, which goes from 5:30 to 7 p.m. tonight in the BSS Forum building. The topic this year is "Development in Humboldt County," and it will feature a panel discussion between

... with tons of time for audience repartee.

Professor John Meyer, of Humboldt State's Department of Politics, will moderate. Apparently we're going to be talking about sustainable development in Humboldt County, the General Plan Update and the results of the recent election.

I was told that this year's topic was inspired by this "Town Dandy" column -- a contentious one! 

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eureka Man Allegedly Sets House on Fire, Runs Naked in the Street

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 5:13 PM

The press release from the Eureka Fire Department is pretty dry: Yesterday afternoon, it says, the EFD and Humboldt Number One Fire District responded to a structure fire on the 1100 block of J Street. They found one fire burning in the kitchen of the house and another in an upstairs bedroom. Both were quickly extinguished, and no one was hurt.

The only hint of intrigue comes in the last sentence: "The cause and circumstances of the fire remain under investigation, though it does not appear to be accidental in nature."

As you might expect, the neighbors have the juicy scuttlebutt.

In an e-mail chain forwarded to the Journal, nearby residents say the dude who lives there apparently set the fires himself -- and this wasn't the first time. Last week, they say, he set his garage on fire. And the day before that he'd been arrested for "dancing naked on his car in the front yard." He was found similarly sans attire yesterday, they say.

A call to EFD's Assistant Fire Chief Bill Gillespie confirmed many of these particulars. Sure enough, he said, there was a fire at the same location last week. And yesterday, the unidentified man was found starkers. Firefighters wrapped him up in a blanket and took him into custody, Gillespie said, though he couldn't reveal the man's identity or current location except to say he's not at the house tonight, so neighbors can rest easy for now.

The downstairs fire was evidently started on a wooden chair, and the upstairs fire was set on a mattress and bedding, Gillespie said. "We didn't see a lot of reason why those started where they did," the chief deadpanned. Until the investigation concludes, though, he can't go so far as to deem it arson.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

One year, 500 artists, 1000s of pieces of work

Posted By on Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 9:40 PM

One year ago, Arcata received a significant arts injection via Victor Hernandez's the Humboldt Arts Project. Since then the project has featured seven Arts!Arcata exhibits and, more impressively, initiated the successful two-day Humboldt Arts Festival drawing thousands of people out to what is evolving into the I Street art corridor. All in all, over 500 local artists had a chance to show off their work thanks to The Humboldt Arts Project -- an exponential increase in A-town art traffic.

To celebrate, the Humboldt Arts Project is throwing another party. Or, more accurately, four simultaneous parties: Ironside Gallery, the Robert Goodman Good Taste wine tasting room, Humboldt Brews and the Jambalaya, all during Friday, Nov. 12's Arts!Arcata, 6 to 9 p.m.

There will be samba.

HAP creator, organizer and gentle curator Victor "Vico" Hernandez answered a few questions on what's worked and what makes it all worthwhile.

What goals have you achieved with the Humboldt Arts Project over the past year and what goals do you hope to achieve over the next?

I think that one the most important goals I've achieved with the HAP has been the ability to bring together artists in our community in a common cause to enrich our community through the sharing of our art. I may not be around forever, and I understand the importance the existence of such an organization. Therefore, I hope to be able to establish the HAP as a nonprofit so that it can exist once I am gone, as an independent entity with the support of the community.

Any artist success stories directly attributable to HAP? For example, anyone "discovered" through being part of HAP? Gone on to sell work or show in galleries?.

I know of a few artists whom have gone from showing their first time at the HAP to now showing in places like the Accident Gallery.

Do you see the public enjoying the art or the party more? Thoughts on that?

I believe that the public is definitely drawn by the party, but once they step a foot in the gallery they truly come to appreciate the value of the exhibit. It has been a key to create a balanced enviroment that has the energy of a party, but also create a space where people can get lost in the art that is beign exhibited.

Running HAP is obviously a huge amount of work. What makes it worth doing?

The art, the people, the community. I have come to realize that the greatest payment for my work has been the human connections that I have made with other artists, local businesses and the general public. I have made many new friends in the process. I have been inspired by many of them. Although there have been times when I have felt overwhelmed, it always makes it worth it when I see the public come to our events and share with us the love for human life, art and creativity.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Farm Bureau Fandango

Posted By on Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:31 AM


The Humboldt Beacon's report this week on the Humboldt County Farm Bureau's annual gathering at the Scotia Inn provided some (somewhat ancient) figures on the financial prowess of our county's "top five" agricultural products:

"In 2006 agricultural production was $294,787,100 with 690,000 acres in agricultural use and 67,000 of those acres intensively farmed. During this same time, the top five crops were Timber at $171,631,700, Nursery Products at $49,116,900, Milk at $29,727,000, Cattle at $19,816,200, and Pasture/Range at $8,672,500. ( Significant agricultural resources are located near Fortuna, Arcata, and Blue Lake among other locations."

But the best part of the report was on the gatherers' dutiful consumption that evening of many of those wonderful homegrown products:

"The salad was a combination of CR Farm tomatoes and cucumbers provided by Noah Corp and Franz Rulofson with the melon provided by John LaBoyteaux. The rolls were made from Humboldt County Wheat grown by John LaBoyteaux and provided by Glee Brandon. Bill Fales provided the Valley Flower Vegetables potatoes for the mashed potatoes. The mountain of stew came from Jay Russ and Lee and Eileen Mora of Humboldt Grass Fed Beef. Drew Clendenen of Clendenen's Cider Works provided the apples for the dessert which was topped off with Humboldt Creamery Ice Cream. The tables were adorned with flowers from Holly Kreb and wine was from Briceland Vineyards."

And after the richly satisfying meal, the attendees retired to the lounge where they each lit up a Purple Kush fattie in silent commemoration of the county's tippy top ag product (conservative estimate: $500,000,000 a year). No, wait, the report didn't say that.

Anyway, a good time was had by all.

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