Friday, January 18, 2013

Man Arrested After Walking Past Elementary School With Shotgun

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Press release from Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 01-18-2013, approximately 10:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls regarding a man with a gun, described as a rifle walking on Walnut Drive towards the Cutten Elementary School. Initial reports were the man was wearing a Camo colored backpack. Deputies were immediately dispatched to the area and arrived within three minutes. Deputies located the man who at that point had walked past the front of the elementary school. The man was holding a 12 gauge Remington 870 shotgun above his head as deputies arrived. The man was wearing a camouflaged tactical vest loaded with sixteen rounds of 12 gauge buck shot and slugs. The shotgun was unloaded. The deputies immediately detained the man and asked him what he was doing. The 18 year old male told the deputies, “I am on the way to the courthouse to make a point that law enforcement can not protect kids and I am going to protect the kids.” The 18 year old male was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation and his weapon was seized.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eureka Inmate Leaps To His Death

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Update Jan. 22: The fatal fall brings to 16 the number of inmates who have died in Humboldt County's jail since 2000, according to county sheriff's records. Except for 2001, when four inmates died, the annual death rate has ranged from zero to two. A three-year streak of no deaths at all behind bars ended in 2012, when two inmates died of what were described at the time as natural causes.

Original post: Press release from Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:

On 01-17-2013, approximately 8:00 a.m. a Humboldt County Correctional Officer witnessed a 56 year old male jump from the second tier in a housing unit in the Correctional Facility. No one was around the inmate when this occurred. Jail medical was immediately notified and life saving efforts were initiated by staff. The Eureka Fire Department and City Ambulance responded and assisted in the life saving efforts. The inmate was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased by a doctor.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and Humboldt County Coroner are all investigating the incident.  It is unknown exactly why the inmate jumped. The inmates name is being withheld pending the notification of next of kin by the Humboldt County Coroners Office. The inmate resides in Eureka and was in custody for violation of probation.

Previously 12/12/12: Inmate Dies in Humboldt County Jail

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Good Are You At Naming Airports?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM


If you think you've got a snazzier name for our local airport than the current lame "Arcata/Eureka Airport" moniker than speak up now, citizen! In a press release issued today, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors announced it is seeking public input for a new airport name. Send your ideas to

One caveat: the board really, really wants the new name to include the words "Humboldt" and "Redwoods." So, seemingly, "Bob Marley Memorial Airport" is out. Good luck, wordsmiths!

Full press release below:

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday decided that the County will explore the idea of renaming the Arcata-Eureka Airport, and they invited the public to submit their thoughts and possible names for consideration. One of the goals of this project is to make the airport easier to find for those interested in coming to Humboldt County.
The Board of Supervisors agreed that the County’s glorious Redwood trees are a feature that sets this area apart from others and draws significant interest from visitors. In addition, the public has shown interest in incorporating the County’s name into the airport’s title. The Board of Supervisors is requesting that the airport’s name include the terms “Redwoods” and “Humboldt.”
If you would like to submit your ideas for the airport’s new name, please send an email to The deadline for submissions is Feb. 26.


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Who Shot The Ducks?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 12:13 PM


Somebody with a deep desire to enter the new year with some seriously bad karma blasted the life out of 21 ducks up off Fickle Hill Road. It happened on Dec. 29. Five different ducks species were represented among the dead. The weapon used was possibly a shotgun. And not a one was plucked and stripped of its meat, but rather, as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife news release reports:

"... the ducks were abandoned to spoil next to the road."

Hence the bad karma: This was no hunger killing. State code prohibits such waste. And, besides, 21 ducks would be over the bag limit. If you know anything about this, Fish and Wildlife would like to talk to you: (707) 445-6493.

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Fortuna Man Shot at Samoa Beach

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Press release from Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

            On 01-15-2013, approximately 7:00 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy was dispatched to a local hospital emergency room to meet with a gunshot victim. When the deputy arrived he met with the 28 year old male victim and his wife, who are Fortuna residents. They told the deputy they drove to SamoaBeach, off New Navy Base Road, at approximately 5:30 p.m. They parked in a turnout approximately 100 yards north of the Samoa Beach County Campground, exited their vehicle and walked towards the beach. When they arrived at the beach they went for a walk, south along the wave slope, for about 30 to 45 minutes, when they heard two or three gunshots. They did not see anyone in the area. The gunshots were seconds apart. After the second shot her husband felt a burning sensation in his buttocks and foot.  He saw his foot was covered in blood. They ran back to their vehicle and drove to the hospital to seek treatment. They have no idea who did this or why. There are no suspects at this time.  The victim is expected to recover from his injuries.

            Deputies responded to the area described and checked the area. No witnesses, other victims or suspects were located.

                        Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539 .

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stop Having Lots o' Snow Fun In Kneeland, Jerks

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office sent out a press release this morning to remind Humboldt County residents that neither Kneeland nor its bountiful piles of white joy belong to them. Also, be really careful wherever non-Kneeland place you fools end up.

The entire press release follows. Read it now:

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has been receiving complaints from private property owners in the Kneeland-Greenwood Heights area due to low snow levels. The Sheriffs Office and property owners would like to remind snow seekers that Kneeland is primarily all private property, and deputies are issuing misdemeanor citations for trespassing. 

Snow seekers should utilize the Horse Mountain, Six Rivers National Forest areas for recreational activity. If you do plan to recreate in the snow remember wet and cold weather can cause hypothermia. A cell phone, map or GPS is also very helpful. Keep in mind not all rural areas have cell phone coverage and cell phone batteries need to be fully charged.

In closing, we're not gonna remind you how crazy fun it is to play in the snow at Kneeland School. Because that would be mean. 

# # # # #

UPDATE 1/15 12:01 p.m.: Oh, so the Journal were curious about how many citations had been handed out to local snow thiefs. Sheriff's Lt. Steve Knight says that deputies warned some folks who were trespassing on Sunday afternoon, and another batch on Monday morning, but so far haven't actually cited anyone for misdemeanor trespass. So why put out a press release saying deputies "are issuing misdemeanor citations"?

"Because we will. And we can. And we have in the past," says Knight.

So there.


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Trying Again on Wave Energy

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The latest West Coast foray into wave energy is coming from Newport, Ore.. That's where Oregon State University's (take a deep breath) Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center plans a big, "utility scale" test site that will be connected to the electric grid.

The thing will be five miles offshore, and will zing its electricity landward through undersea cables, according to Oregon State. The university says project developers got $4 million in September from the U.S. Energy Department, and describes that as a "first installment."

Its press release says in part:

The Pacific Marine Energy Center will have four "test berths," open spaces of water dedicated to testing individual devices or small arrays of devices, each of which will be connected to the community's electrical grid. It will also collect data associated with environmental and human dimension impacts. Completion will take several years.

Those test berth locations haven't been chosen yet.

The full press release is below:

1-14-13 CORVALLIS, Ore.  - The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, or NNMREC, which is based at Oregon State University, has chosen Newport, Ore., as the future site of the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy test site in the United States - the Pacific Marine Energy Center.


The Pacific Marine Energy Center, or PMEC, will test energy generation potential and the environmental impacts of wave energy devices, at an ocean site about five miles from shore. Subsea cables will transmit energy from the wave energy devices to the local power grid, and data to scientists and engineers at on-shore facilities.

The first installment of funding for PMEC was received in September, 2012, consisting of $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, along with a non-federal cost match.

"PMEC represents a major step toward the development of energy from Oregon's ocean waters," said Jason Busch of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust. "I'm certain that Oregon will reap benefits from PMEC for many years to come, and the research and development performed at PMEC will help usher in this new form of reliable electricity from the sea."

PMEC design and specific site characterization will begin soon, along with the permitting and regulatory process. NNMREC will continue to work with a variety of partners to develop additional funding sources. The exact ocean location for the PMEC site will be finalized in the next few months in a zone that has been selected in collaboration with ocean stakeholders - an area that will not impede shipping lanes and takes environmental impacts into consideration.

The Pacific Marine Energy Center will have four "test berths," open spaces of water dedicated to testing individual devices or small arrays of devices, each of which will be connected to the community's electrical grid. It will also collect data associated with environmental and human dimension impacts. Completion will take several years.

"This site selection builds on the global reputation of Oregon State University in both renewable energy research and marine science," said Rick Spinrad, OSU vice president for research. "Future research results from this site will help ensure our state's leadership in these critical areas."

The development and operation of this facility will provide jobs and other economic development as it attracts researchers and device developers to the Oregon coast from around the world, officials said. While under development, the Ocean Sentinel, NNMREC's mobile ocean test buoy platform operating out of Toledo, will continue its work testing energy devices at its ocean test site north of Yaquina Head.

Advances in wave power technology are also one example of the growing partnerships between OSU and private industry. The university just announced a major new initiative, the Oregon State University Advantage, which includes such programs as the OSU Venture Accelerator and the Industry Partnering Program. It's expected to help create 20 new businesses within the next five years while enhancing student education and Oregon's economic growth.

In an extensive site selection process, NNMREC worked with four coastal communities to consider both technical criteria and community resources.  The options were narrowed last fall to Reedsport and Newport, the two communities that best matched the needed criteria for PMEC. Site selection teams from those communities submitted proposals in December.

The selection was ultimately based on ocean site characteristics, marine and on-shore cable routes, port and industry capabilities, impacts to existing ocean users, permitting challenges, stakeholder participation in the proposal process, and support of the local fishing communities.

"Both communities were committed to finding a home for PMEC," said Kaety Hildenbrand of Oregon Sea Grant, coordinator of the site team process. "They spoke to their own strengths and demonstrated their unique assets."

Belinda Batten, director of NNMREC, said the communities were similar in their capacities and capabilities, and the final choice focused on making PMEC a global competitor among international test facilities. All coastal communities will benefit from the growth of this industry on the Oregon coast, she said.

The Oregon Wave Energy Trust has supported PMEC and helped create a wave energy development regulatory process that meshes the needs of ocean stakeholders and the state. The agency has also helped address key points in Gov. Kitzhaber's 10-year energy plan, including how wave energy is integrated into Oregon's power grid while maintaining high environmental standards.

NNMREC is a partnership between OSU and University of Washington, focused on wave and tidal energy respectively, and receives a substantial part of its funding from U.S. Department of Energy. NNMREC operates a non-grid connected wave energy testing facility in Newport north of Yaquina Head and supports intermediate scale device testing in Puget Sound and Lake Washington. PMEC will complete the wave energy device test facilities.

About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon's only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation's top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its more than 26,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.



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Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Loleta Divided...

Posted By on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM


(Click images throughout this story to "biggify" them.)

In Saturday's chilly, pre-dawn hours, supporters of the over 80-year-old Loleta Meat Market gathered, hung signs and set up a table full of donuts for what was scheduled to be a weekend-long protest. But to be clear, the sprinkled pastries they provided were not made by neighboring Loleta Bakery.

"No, they don't make donuts. Donuts aren't classy enough we were told," said Loleta resident Becky Davy before revealing the origin.

"Good ol' Safeway," she said. 

The mostly Facebook-organized protest was aimed at the owners of Loleta Bakery, Peter and Jeanie van der Zee, who late last week gave the meat market owners a 60-day notice to vacate (the van der Zees own the building). The issue? They need the space. The very successful four year old bakery would like to expand customer seating and production into the current meat market location, a decision which has divided the town.

"They don't even act like part of this community," said protester and former bakery employee Elaine Jones who worked at the bakery from its opening day until just over a year ago. 


While the protesters waved signs and discussed grievances out front, Loleta Meat Market owner Pixie Setterlund sliced steaks as part of her regular day-to-day preparations in her shop's back room -- a space that shares an open door with the bakery's back room. 

"We're only the second family that's ever owned this place," said Setturland, who has worked at the shop for 26 years and and owned it for 14. She hopes that the town's furor will help illustrate how important her work is to the community she feeds. 

On the other side of the wall, bakery owner Peter van der Zee says the decision to evict Setturland was "heart wrenching." He looked at all the options, considering moving to another location, but in the end if his business was to remain financially viable he had to expand.

"I have the utmost respect for Pixie. She's good people. What she does with sausage -- she's an artist," he said. "But if I don't do this Loleta Bakery won't be here next year."

Van der Zee says he's discussed other options with Setturland, like moving her operation down the street to the old Gilded Rose building which he also owns. Setturland says that won't work and, in fact, why doesn't the bakery move then.

"He doesn't understand that I can't pick up my walk in cooler. You can do that with your coffee maker, your panini maker," she said. "We're wired in 80 years."

In the event that she is forced to close her doors, Setturland says she'll likely join her brother at the Ferndale Meat Co. -- the siblings own both businesses jointly.


The protesters ranks swelled to over 50, as the day wore on. Some yelled "please do not support the bakery" at potential customers. Some chanted "Save The Bacon!"

Summoned by bakery staff, Sheriff's deputies arrived mid-morning to monitor proceedings. In the park across the street meat market supporters grilled up samples of Pixie's famous sausage. 

"This stuff is the best," the grillmaster remarked (full disclosure: I ate some.) "And it's local."

Soon he'll likely have to drive a bit farther to get it. 



The hardcore meat lovers kicked things off at 7 a.m.



Protesters react to reading Peter van der Zee's quotes in the Times-Standard.




HCSO on the scene.


The Loleta Meat Market's three-legged mascot "Keggers" eyes the Loleta Bakery.


UPDATE 1/14: We're inching our way toward good news, sausage fans. After Saturday's community outpouring, the meat and bread camps decided to schedule another meeting to see if they could come to some sort of compromise. Thus, on Sunday the owners of both Loleta businesses walked down to the old Gilded Rose building and discussed the logistics of a potential Loleta Meat Market move. 

"I felt that it was a remarkably positive, congenial meeting," said Loleta Bakery co-owner Jeanne van der Zee, who said the meeting was not a result of the weekend protest. She'd have liked to have it earlier, but emotions were running high. According to van der Zee, she and her husband Peter have offered "financial and neighborly support" and have extended their initial 60-day eviction notice though she declined to say for how long.

There's still a lot to be hammered out if anything is going to happen. Meat market owner Pixie Setturland's daughter Jenny Aubrey said a move down the street would still be something of a financial stretch for her mom but said they may again reach out to the community for fundraising help. But, for the moment, the future of sausage in the Eel River Valley is a bit more hopeful than it was.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Huffman Giving Away Tix to Obama Inauguration

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM

How cool is our new Second District U.S. congressdude? He jams with rockstars. He sends campaign materials that you can wash dishes with. And now he's offering us, his constituents, a chance at free tickets to see President Obama's second-term swearing in ceremony in D.C. on January 21.

From his office:

WASHINGTON- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced today that his office has tickets for President Barack Obama's Inauguration that are being made available to constituents in the 2nd Congressional District through a limited-time lottery this weekend.  The Inaugural Ceremonies will be held in Washington, D.C. on January 21.

"I'm looking forward to the 57th Presidential Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremonies and I'm excited to be able to invite my constituents to join me for this historic event," said Huffman. 

"If you've dreamed of attending a Presidential Inauguration but thought you'd never get a ticket, here's your chance.  We have a limited number of tickets and we've set up a lottery system to allocate them.  To be eligible to win, you must enter by midnight Pacific time, Sunday, January 13th, 2013, and be a resident of California's Second District. To enter, all you need to do is go to my website,  and fill out the form.  I'll notify recipients by the close of business on Monday, January 14th, 2013. 

"Thank you for your interest in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.  I hope to see you in Washington!"


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Sandpiper Still in Limbo

Posted By on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM

A chain link fence surrounds most of Sandpiper Park, the unfinished mobile home park on South G Street in Arcata. The exception is a row of five houses facing the street where work is complete. Only the corner home is occupied. Two more have "sold" signs in their windows, but one of the low income buyers who signed up to buy a unit just backed out of the deal, the agency working on funding the park was told Friday morning.

"Essentially the project is disintegrating," said David Loya, Arcata's community development deputy director. In the newest complication, he said, Coast Central Credit Union has put the brakes on further loans to buy the mobile homes because of funding disputes between the state and the successor to Arcata's now-dead redevelopment agency.

The man behind Sandpiper, Maurice Priest, president of Resident Owned Parks Inc. is still hoping the state will reverse its position and allot the $500,000 needed to pay off contractors and complete the mobile home park. He stopped by Sandpiper last week to talk with future park manager Bob Hurney about what to do next. Porch steps were missing from the caged units; the lumber to build them was piled in the central parking area. Steps or not, Priest wanted Hurney to get address numbers onto each unit. Because he's worried that news about the park's financial troubles will hurt sales, he hired an advertising company to create a television commercial for the park to run on Humboldt cable channels.

While he's waiting for Arcata to work out its disagreement with the California Department of Finance, Priest is weighing his options. The almost complete project clearly has value, and he's certain he could leverage that to find other funding somewhere, although he's not sure where.

In Arcata City Council chambers Friday, Loya laid out options for the committee. Send off an official response to the state's rejection of a request to retain $2.4 million allotted for the Sandpiper project and hope the bureaucrats realize "they've erred in their decision." Plan B: "Lodge a formal complaint with Starfleet Command."

The successor agency oversight committee opted for Plan A.



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