Monday, June 20, 2011

Student missing in Trinity River

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Humboldt County sheriff's officers were patrolling the Trinity River by boat on Monday looking for a Humboldt State foreign exchange student who was swept away Sunday afternoon.

The student, 21-year-old Jian Kang from Renqiu, China, was wading in the Trinity River across from Tish Tang Creek Campground in Hoopa around 4:30 p.m. when he slipped and fell into the fast-moving water, according to the sheriff's office.

Search and rescue teams were mobilized soon after Kang disappeared, but found no sign of him on Sunday. The search resumed Monday by boat and helicopter, and is expected to continue until the light fades, said Lt. Steve Knight. Given the amount of time that has passed, Knight said, hopes of finding the young biology student alive have grown dimmer.

"Unfortunately that river has taken a lot of lives over the years," Knight said.

Kang has been at Humboldt state for the past two years, and the university has been in touch with his family and will provide lodging for them when they arrive, the university said in a press release.


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Friday, June 17, 2011

County Unemployment Drops Again

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 10:29 AM


It's still not exactly a good number, but Humboldt County's unemployment level dropped half a point last month to 10.8 percent. We did it by adding 600 industry jobs for the second straight month, according to data compiled by Dennis Mullins, a research analyst with the Labor Market Information Division in Eureka.

The most growth occurred in manufacturing, government and leisure & hospitality, each of which added roughly 200 jobs. Humboldt improved from 18th to 16th in the county rankings statewide (out of 58 total). With the exception of Mendocino County, which has a nearly identical figure (10.6 percent), our neighbors aren't doing so hot. Del Norte County has 12.8 percent unemployment; Siskiyou is at 16.4; Trinity is a whopping 17.9; and Shasta is 14.7.

Meanwhile, California as a whole lost more than 29,000 jobs last month and now has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country (11.7 percent) -- behind only Nevada (12.1).

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gov. Brown vetos budget

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 11:24 AM

from the Governor's office:

SACRAMENTO - In a YouTube video and veto message released today, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced that he will not sign Senate Bill 69 and Assembly Bill 98, which together comprise the state budget passed by the Legislature on June 15, 2011.

The full text of the veto message is below:

I am returning Senate Bill 69 and Assembly Bill 98 without my signature.

In January, I presented a balanced budget solution with a mix of deep spending cuts and temporary tax extensions subject to voter approval. My plan would put these extended revenues in a lockbox, ensuring that they are only used to protect education and public safety. It would also address California's long term fiscal crisis by substantially paying down the $35 billion wall of debt built up over the last decade.

Yet Republicans in the Legislature blocked the right of the people to vote on this honest, balanced budget.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the Legislature made valiant efforts to address California's budget crisis by enacting $11 billion in painful cuts and other solutions. I commend them for their tremendous efforts to balance the budget in the absence of Republican cooperation.

Unfortunately, the budget I have received is not a balanced solution. It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings. Finally, it is not financeable and therefore will not allow us to meet our obligations as they occur.

We can - and must - do better. A balanced budget is critical to our economic recovery. I am, once again, calling on Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions for a balanced budget and significant reforms. They should also join Democrats in supporting job creation and ending tax breaks for out-of-state companies. If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety- a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Q Street Goat Dairy Plan Shelved

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM

After a heart-to-heart with its neighbors, Arcata's internationally notable goat cheese producer, Cypress Grove Chevre, has agreed NOT to try to buy land on Q Street near its current operation to construct a goat dairy.

A couple of small protests have broken out in front of the cheese maker's Arcata Bottom outfit in recent weeks, and there were even four protesters outside the gate today when CGC spokesperson Bob McCall called the Journal to say he was sending over a very interesting news release.

The release says that after a meeting with about 100 neighbors this Monday, the company decided to seek an alternative site -- somewhere between McKinleyville and Ferndale -- to build "a modern, humane certified, 1,200-1,400 goat dairy using a proven western-European model of maintaining herds within well-ventilated and naturally lit indoor spaces while providing outdoor access for all animals" that will provide 12 living-wage, fully benefited jobs, says the release.

Two quotes in particular in the news release should provoke an approving smile as well as straighten the spine of any upstanding Arcatan (perhaps to be followed by an indignant, but unconvincing, huff):

"I‟m proud of our standing in this community, not only for our cheesemaking, but as excellent neighbors," said Mary Keehn, founder of Cypress Grove Chevre.


"In the end, what spoke loudest to us was the fervor of the opposition rather than the accuracy of information being circulated," commented Pamela Dressler, General Manager of Cypress Grove Chevre.


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Claudia Pedreros' Brother Says Husband Was Abusive

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM

In an interview with Chilean newspaper El Patagón, Marcos Pedreros says that, prior to her arrest, his sister Claudia had been suffering domestic abuse from her husband, Robert Parker, and her father-in-law, Robert Parker Sr.

Claudia Pedreros, 30, has been charged with murder and child endangerment for allegedly drowning her 2-year-old daughter Sophia in the Trinity River last month.

Marcos Pedreros, an Army officer in Chile, says in the story that his family only recently learned of the abuse Claudia was receiving. According to the report, Marcos says he called his sister two weeks before Sophia's death and she confessed that she was having trouble in her marriage, but that the trouble was being resolved.

On a recent visit from Chile, Claudia's mother saw how Claudia and Sophia were being treated and got into an argument with Robert Parker, after which he threw both Claudia and Sophia out of the house, Marcos Pedreros says.

Marcos Pedreros is quoted as saying that he and the rest of Claudia's family in Chile had been trying to get her to return to her home country with Sophia, but that Robert Parker would not allow it. She had proof of his abuse on her cell phone, he says, though he's not sure if that proof still exists.

In an email to the Journal, Marcos Pedreros said that he is coming to Humboldt County later this week to help his sister and to present evidence that has yet to be revealed.

In a phone interview this afternoon, Robert Parker declined to comment specifically about the allegations. "I'm not going to respond to his claims or anyone else's claims at this point," Parker said. "I don't have the energy to respond to every opinion. I would rather respond to him [Marcos] personally, to give him that consideration."

He denied that Claudia was considering moving back to Chile permanently, and he reaffirmed his feeling for Claudia. "I love my wife very very much," he said. "I stand by her, and I maintain that."

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Eureka High Mural Unveiled -- Finally

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 9:33 AM

"Our history defines who we are. It shapes us into this moment, the present..."

So begins the inscription on a mural by former Eureka High School student Hannah Larkin, set to be unveiled at the school cafeteria Wednesday morning. 

One thing you can say about Eureka High: It has history. Founded at the end of the 19th century, it's the oldest continually operating high school on the North Coast. When Larkin was attending Eureka High, she decided she wanted to tell part of that long history with a mural -- a long mural. It took longer than planned, and getting the mural hung at the school took still longer, but now the historic project is done.

"Finally," as Larkin said with a sigh when she called with an invitation to see the unveiling. The mural saga began in 2004 when she was enrolled in the EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) program during her senior year. "You're supposed to do a project that benefits the community, do something on your own," said Larkin. "I'd never done one before, but I decided to do a mural."


She did not really have a lot of guidance on how to proceed. No one at the school knew much about murals. She called noted muralist Duane Flatmo; he advised her on the proper type of plywood to use. "Other than that, I just kind of winged it," she said.

Pulling together some funding from local businesses, family and friends, she bought a stack of plywood and some paint and dug into history, via class yearbooks. "I ended up spending a few months scanning images from all of the yearbooks of Eureka High, ever," she said -- 105 years worth. "It took a long time to go through the yearbooks because I was looking and learning, like, oh-my-gosh, these people look amazing."

She selected photos of the school, its students and teachers, especially candid shots, searching for "different clothing styles, the uniforms of the sports teams from back then, things with a different feel."

She ended up with a photomontage, arranged chronologically with people and scenes divided into decades starting with the1900s. After transferring the images by projecting the collage onto the plywood sheets, enough for a 48-foot long montage, she began the long process of painting faces, hundreds of them. It took longer than planned and she was still painting when she graduated in 2005.

By the time she finished in May 2006, things had changed at Eureka High. "I had originally planned it for a certain hallway at the school, but because of retrofitting and other things on their to do list [installation] kept getting pushed back and pushed back," she said.

When the earthquake retrofit was done, it was determined that the hall she'd chosen would not work out. Another space was selected, then another. "They've had like four principals in four years so I had to keep going to new principals and say, 'Hey, I don't know if you know about my project, but I'm waiting to have it put up. Can you help me push it along?' They'd say yes, then another one would come in and I'd have to do the same thing. It's been sitting there for years. Now -- finally -- it's up."

EAST teacher Ron Perry, who helped shepherd the project, explained that Larkin's work was part of a Eureka High initiative called Pathways. "Pathways are essentially high school majors. Students can pursue career interests and receive credit for it. She did this as part of her service pathway." Perry sees her persistence seeing the project though as "emblematic of what we want out of EAST. Think about it; how much passion did it take to see this through and finish it?"

As of Tuesday, the mural was covered with tarps awaiting a Wednesday morning unveiling ceremony. Larkin, who is about to complete her art degree at Humboldt State, will be there to give a short speech at what Perry describes as an all-star honor breakfast.

"Every semester each teacher picks one student as an all-star," he explained, "not necessarily the kid who got the best scores or who's the best athlete, but someone whose making the most effort working towards their educational opportunities. It's the same sort of effort Hannah put into finishing this. We admire that."  

The last panel in Larkin's mural shows students from post-2000, the new millennium, more than 100 years after the school was established. It concludes with her thoughts on past and future:

"Our history defines who we are. It shapes us into this moment, the present. But the future is yet to be written, yet to be lived... leaving us endless opportunities to change, to grow and redefine ourselves."

Did her long, often frustrating art project redefine her? She's not sure. One thing she's sure of, she's glad it's done.


Hannah's Senior class yearbook photo (courtesy of Hannah Lakin)

Below: The mural in place (photo by Ron Perry)


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Smoke Weed with Willie in September

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM


Crazy! CenterArts and KHUM just announced that the used-to-be-Red Headed Stranger -- no stranger to heartland-y farmers -- is on the road again and will serenade the Cow Town on Sept. 9! Note, Humboldt: Tickets go on sale on Monday, June 20 -- one week from today!

Here's the deets:

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Early Morning Fog

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Monday morning fog - photos by Barry Evans



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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Times They Are A-Changin' at KHSU

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 5:39 PM

KHSU-FM, the radio station that broadcasts from the campus of Humboldt State University, is about to overhaul its programming schedule, and will save some money in the process. Wait, before you politicos grab your pitchforks, no, they're not axing "Democracy Now," as was monetarily discussed in 2008 when there was a change in leadership at the station. (See "Station Identification," July 31, 2008.)

They are, however, losing one of their more popular programs, "A Prairie Home Companion," basically because it costs an arm and a leg to air. Garrison Keillor, who has announced he'll be retiring in 2013 and is cutting back in the meantime, does a double-dip charging stations who run his show a fee for his American Public Media syndicate on top of the fee for the show. Dropping that one program will mean $21,000 savings. They're also dropping another Saturday show, "Mountain Stage," replacing it with some similar-style syndicated music programming.

Another big shift is one only night owls will notice: BBC World Service and BBC Newshour have filled a weekday block from 2-6 a.m. (except Fridays when it started at 3) since some time after Oregon-based Jefferson Public Radio purchased the local BBC outlet KZPN. The BBC shows will be replaced with an hour of assorted talk radio at 2 (including the full hour version of the locally produced "A World of Possibilities" on Thursdays), followed by an extra dose of  NPR's Morning Edition, which under the new schedule will run from 3-9 a.m. M-F.

There are other changes (Sista Soul finally gets a full 2 hours), but we'll let KHSU's press release explain them for now. It's followed by a handy FAQ they prepared in advance (since no one but KHSU programmers knows about the changes, the questions are presumably assumed), and a look at the new grid, which BTW, does not take effect until July 1. 

 KHSU to make program changes July first

Public radio station KHSU will make some changes to its programming starting July 1. Most of the significant changes are being made to trim a budget hit by cuts in state funding and other revenues.

The most notable changes will affect weekend programming. "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Mountain Stage" will be cancelled and other programs will shift on Saturday and Sunday. The other major change will eliminate the "BBC World Service" from the very early weekday morning line-up.

The NPR's "Weekend Edition," currently a two-hour program starting at staggered times Saturday and Sunday will be expanded to three hours. Weekend Edition will now start at 7 a.m. both days and air until 10 a.m.

Due to that change, other programs will shift.  On Saturday, "Car Talk" and "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" will air an hour later at 10 and 11 a.m., respectively. On Sunday, the "Conscious Contact Gospel Hour" will start an hour earlier at 5 a.m. The station will also add a repeat performance of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" on Sunday at 10 a.m. to give listeners a second chance to catch the popular news quiz show.

Longtime Saturday afternoon programs, "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Mountain Stage" will be retired. General Manager Ed Subkis says replacing these two shows was a painful, but necessary financial decision,

"These are two shows our listeners have enjoyed over the years, but they also come with a noticeable price tag. "A Prairie Home Companion" is the most expensive entertainment show on our schedule, totaling more than $21,000 in program and affiliation fees."

Subkis added that a six-month appeal seeking listener support specifically for "Prairie Home" did help pay its cost for this fiscal year, but did not raise enough to cover the full expense of buying the show.

KHSU will keep the "funky and fun feeling" of its Saturday afternoon line-up with a new program, "American Routes," airing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The show, produced in New Orleans by folklorist Nick Spitzer, "explores the shared musical and cultural threads in American styles and genres of music" through stories, interviews and both recorded and live music.

"Beale Street Caravan" a show produced in Memphis, Tenn., follows at 3 p.m. with an exploration of blues and other music from "this birthplace of Rock and Roll." "Beale Street" moves from its early Sunday morning time slot.

The Celtic music program "The Thistle and Shamrock" will move from a Sunday evening slot to follow "Beale Street" at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

A variety of talk and entertainment programs will replace the "BBC World Service" between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on weekdays. NPR's "Morning Edition" will now start at 3 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. and will be updated throughout the morning.

Subkis notes that KHSU will still carry BBC news during "The World," which airs at 4 p.m. on weekdays. He adds that diehard fans of "A Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage" and the BBC can still hear these shows on the internet by going to their websites for archives, podcasts or live streams from other stations.

KHSU's children's and storytelling programs, "Redwood Earlines" and "The Whippy Dip Radio Show," previously on Saturdays at 11 a.m., will move to Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. Subkis says the change was prompted by shifts in the Saturday morning programs, but for other reasons, too.

"We talked to teachers and parents about this move," says Subkis. "The suggestion was that we move these shows to a time later in the day because families and children have many Saturday activities that take them away from the radio."

Both shows also feature folksongs and stories in the folk tradition, which make a good fit directly before the "Folklife Woodshed."

Other changes include an extra half-hour in Sunday's "Sista's Place" program, now starting at 2 p.m. and a move for the "Latino USA" news magazine to Fridays
at 1:30 p.m.


Complete details of all the changes can be found on KHSU's website at

KHSU can be found at 90.5 FM in the Humboldt Bay area and on repeaters in communities around Humboldt, Del Norte and Curry counties.  KHSU is licensed to Humboldt State University.




Q:     Why change the KHSU program schedule?

A:      For many reasons. Some are financial - we were paying a significant amount of money but did not have a significant audience or attract enough financial support to pay for some of these programs.  Other changes were made to improve our program flow so that listeners will continue to enjoy the theme of our programming for a longer period of time.  In some cases, we wanted to "put our best foot forward" and air our most popular programs at times when more people would be likely to hear them.  Last, we wanted to add some new and exciting programs to our schedule.

Q:     I used to hear my favorite program at a particular time. Why is it now gone?

A:      In most cases your favorite program is not gone; it has just been moved to a different time of the week.  This is especially true on the weekends.  Take a look at the new schedule (link is below) and see.

Q:     I love "A Prairie Home Companion" and now it's gone.  Why?

A:      We love "A Prairie Home Companion" also, but we can no longer afford it.  This was the single most expensive entertainment program on the KHSU schedule.  Our fees to American Public Media for affiliation and the rights to air "A Prairie Home Companion" totaled more than $21,000. American Public Media required us to air the show on Saturday afternoon - not a "prime time" for radio audience. Even with months of special targeted fundraising we were unable to break even and raise the money we needed to continue to air the program.

Q:     And the BBC World Service overnight?  That's gone too.

A:         Pretty much the same reason as "A Prairie Home Companion."  The BBC is an expensive program service that aired at a time when there was very little audience.  In today's economy, we just can't afford to pay large fees for programs that few people can listen to.

         We still have BBC news on "The World," which airs weekdays from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM. 

Q:         Don't you have to pay for the programs replacing the BBC?

A:      No.  There is no charge for the earlier feed of NPR's "Morning Edition," which will replace most of the BBC hours. This is already paid for with our program fees to NPR. The other early morning hours replacing the BBC are filled with programs that come to us at no charge.

Q:     What is new with all of these changes?

A:      Our favorite new program is "American Routes" on Saturdays from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, replacing "Mountain Stage."  This program looks at many musical styles and performers as they intersect with unique aspects of American culture. It's all connected and unified through the music.  "American Routes" is produced and hosted by folklorist and American music expert Nick Spitzer.

 Q:    Why did you take "Mountain Stage" off the air?

A:         "Mountain Stage" was another of our shows with a noticeable price tag.  It's been on the air at KHSU for many years, and many of the programs were repeats.  We think "American Routes" is a good replacement with a similar appeal but a fresher sound.

Q:     If I can't hear "A Prairie Home Companion", "Mountain Stage" and "The BBC World Service" on KHSU, where can I hear them?

A:      The internet.  You can go to the programs' websites to find archives, podcasts or lists of other stations that air these programs where you can listen in real time.

Q:     Why are you airing so many hours of "Morning Edition"?

A:         "Morning Edition" is an evolving program.  News is always happening and "Morning Edition" is up-to-date as most of us on the West Coast are still sleeping.  Night owls and early risers in the KHSU audience can now hear the timely news of the day when it first happens.  NPR updates "Morning Edition" throughout the morning as stories evolve, so there is always fresh news in the later hours of the program.

Q:     And "Weekend Edition"? Why are you adding another hour of that program?

A:      Most people's lives change on the weekend. They sleep in later or do domestic and recreational activities on a different schedule than during the week. Our new schedule for "Weekend Edition" - from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM - will allow more opportunities to hear the entire program as it accommodates weekend lifestyles.  This change also makes the Saturday and Sunday schedules consistent with each other as we air the program at a regular time on both days.

Q:     I listen to "Wait Wait - Don't Tell Me" on Saturday.   Why are you airing a repeat now on Sunday?

A:      You may listen to the whole show on Saturday, but as we noted above, people have busy and changing lifestyles on the weekend.  "Wait Wait" is one of our most popular programs.  A repeat on a more leisurely Sunday morning will allow people to hear the program if they missed it on Saturday, or if they just want to enjoy its clever humor again while news the show pokes fun at is still timely.

Q:     Why did you move your children's programming from Saturday morning to Sunday evening?

A:      We talked to teachers and parents about this move.  The suggestion was that we move these shows ("Redwood Earlines" and "Whippy Dip Radio Show") to a time later in the day because families and children have many Saturday activities that take them away from the radio. We chose early on Sunday evening as the best place to move these shows for two reasons.  First, the weekend is winding down by then and families tend to be settling in back at home; and second, many of the songs and stories in these programs come from a folk tradition, and what better way to tie this in than to air these shows before "The Folklife Woodshed"?

Q:     What else is changing?

A:      On Sundays, "Conscious Contact Gospel Hour" now begins an hour earlier in the morning; "Sista's Place" expands an extra half-hour and now begins at 2:00 PM; and "Latino USA" moves to Friday afternoons at 1:30 PM.  We'll also hear a variety of discussion, music or entertainment programs early in the AM before "Morning Edition."

Q:     How can I comment about programming on KHSU?

A:         That's easy.  Send us an e-mail at:


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Measles Alert

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

A 22-year-old Humboldt County woman has been diagnosed with measles, the first case of the highly infectious disease here in more than a decade. The county's public health branch is alerting residents who may have been exposed to the disease and asking them to contact their medical care providers (and stay home) if symptoms appear.

You may have been exposed if you were at the following restaurants during the time period stated:

  • The China Buffet, 1835 4th St. in Eureka on Friday, May 20 between 1 and 4 p.m.

  • Hometown Buffet in the Bayshore Mall on Monday, May 23 after 5 p.m.

  • Hometown Buffet on Tuesday between 10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If you were at the China Buffet during that time period you should watch carefully for symptoms until June 10, after which time the incubation period will have passed, meaning you're in the clear. If you were at Hometown Buffet, the safe zone arrives June 14.

Initial symptoms of measles resemble the flu: red eyes, runny nose, cough and a fever. The telltale rash typically takes a few days to appear, said Public Health Officer Dr. Ann Lindsay. Again, anyone with symptoms should a) stay home, and b) contact your medical provider. If you don't have one, call the county public health branch at 445-6200.

Here's why this is so scary: Among people who have not been vaccinated (or who were born after 1957 -- older Americans are presumed immune), 90 percent of those who are exposed will become infected. More information here.

Measles outbreaks have taken hold in Europe (3,500 reported cases) and Asia (the Humboldt County woman contracted the disease after traveling to China). The U.S. is on pace to have the most cases it's seen in more than a decade. The problem is exacerbated by parents who are superstitious about vaccines, choosing to protect their children from the thoroughly debunked notion that the MMR vaccine causes autism rather than the well-documented -- and potentially lethal -- risk of a measles infection.

Measles vaccines are available through most family practice doctors and pediatricians as well as the county's Public Health Branch (again, 445-6200). The $15 fee for kids can be waived if parents can't afford it. The adult vaccine costs $90. 

The tentative good news is that no other cases have yet been identified here, but Dr. Lindsay said she "fully expects" this won't be the last case we see for another 10-plus years. 

The county's news release is here.

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