Monday, February 25, 2013

Sean Hawk Caught

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Sean Hawk, the possibly armed fugitive suspect in a fatal hit-and-run earlier this month, has been reeled in by the California Highway Patrol.

Hawk is wanted as a person of interest in a Feb. 10 incident on State Route 96 that left Orleans resident Virgil Martin dead. He almost turned himself in last week.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, at 5:43 p.m., after a tipster had called the Yreka CHP office, a CHP officer arrested Hawk out on the Ti Bar Road, according to a news release from Humboldt CHP. Humboldt CHP officers brought down to jail in Eureka.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Kick Some Flower Butt

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Though still prettily leaved, Lupinus arboreus (yellow bush lupine) mostly seems just another unassuming drab denizen of the muted dunescape this time of year, a blob of dark green here, there, amid cream-gold grass, shiny ice plant and fragrant, though even drabber-green, coyote bush.

This is the time-- the best time -- to sneak up on the sleeping L.a. and ATTACK. Bash! Bash! Buuu-ash! Before she busts out into those bright, sunny yellow plumes of intoxicatingly sweet blossoms that quickly turn to seeds that scatter in the sand and get scurried away by critters who drop some and bury some and lose some, helping spread the yellow plant far and wide.


What? Why? What did she ever do to you?

The non-native yellow bush lupine -- introduced to our area by an apparently sentimental fog signal station keeper in 1908 -- edges out native dune mat plants, adds a bunch of nitrogen to the soil and makes it a better place for other non-natives -- and coyote bus, a native plant that normally wouldn't get on so well there, which ends up dominating over time. Short story: Yellow bush lupine and her following ilk end up stabilizing a dune, and it stops being that shifting, dynamic place where wild strawberry, beach layia, seaside daisy and other native plant folk roam. Some people don't think that's right. This is all according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge web page on the yellow bush lupine.

And that's why, every year at this time, Friends of the Dunes gathers a volunteer army and marches out into Lanphere Dunes -- part of the wildlife refuge -- to bash the lupine. In fact, tomorrow -- Saturday, Feb. 23 -- is the group's 35th Annual Lupine Bash.

Wait -- they've been doing this for 35 years out there?! Shouldn't that bush have retreated by now?

Actually, says Carol Vander Meer, Friends of the Dunes' executive director, the lupine and other dune-altering intruders have been beat back in many sections of Lanphere. But Lanphere keeps growing as the Fish and Wildlife Service adds acreage to the protected unit. Saturday's bashers will be working in one such new area.

Even more to the point: It takes a very long time to get rid of the huge seed bank deposited by yellow bush lupine and its critter helpers.

"Usually you work in an area for 10 years, about, because of the seed bank that's there," said Emily Walter, with Friends of the Dunes.

Feel like kicking some lupine hiney? Go here for instructions.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Watch the First Episode of 'Weed Country' and Tell Us How They Screwed Up

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM


In case you slept through the inaugural "Weed Wednesday," below you can watch the entirety of the first episode of the Discovery Channel's "Weed Country" which chronicles the battles between marijuana growers and law enforcement in the Emerald Triangle.


(Note: "Weed Wednesday" ended up being 50 percent less weedy than initially scheduled. The debut of "Pot Cops" has been pushed back to April after "Weed Country" concludes its six episode run. Attention spans across the Triangle applaud.)  

Also, if you happen to notice anything super lame about the episode -- oh, the super dramatic build to a grower NOT getting pulled over stands out -- let us know! 

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The Yurok Casino Is ON

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM

The Yurok Tribe's special election closed yesterday evening and the unofficial results are in: There will be a new casino in Klamath.

Yurok Tribe members voted 61 percent to 39 percent in favor of a proposal by the tribal council to take $9.6 million of a $27.5 million settlement from the United States government and use it to build a hotel-casino on land near existing tribal offices. Another $500,000 will go toward attorneys fees. And the remaining $17.4 million, according to the tribe's election office, will be divvied amongst the 5,000 tribal members thusly:

Members Ages 60 and Older receive $4,500 ($2,965,500)
Members Ages 18 to 59 receive $3,500 ($13,002,500)
Members Ages 0 to 17 receive $1,000 ($1,432,000)

The settlement came out of a class action suit filed by a dozen tribes in 2006 -- Nez Perce, et al v. Kenneth L. Salazar, et al. Another 30 tribes joined the suit in 2008. They accused the federal government of mismanaging tribal resources and revenues. The total settlement was $1 billion.

Some Yurok Tribe members opposed to the council's proposal said a casino wasn't viable, and they'd prefer the money be distributed evenly to the tribe's members. (See our story in this week's issue.)

Last year, the Hoopa Valley Tribe received its portion -- $49.2 million -- and similarly was divided on how to distribute it. The council wanted to invest some of it into youth and elder programs; many members wanted to split it evenly amongst the people. In the end the Hoopa Tribe's council voted to distribute 65 percent of it to tribal members -- $10,000 apiece -- and then put to a vote what to do with the rest. The people voted for it to be fully distributed to them as well.

Turnout for the Yurok Tribe's election was 56 percent; 1,016 voted for the proposal and 642 against. The election results will be certified Monday.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Congressman. On the Bay.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

"You can learn a lot about this community by spending a couple of hours on Humboldt Bay," said Congressman Jared Huffman, who is here in Humboldt County for a quick President's Week visit. After meeting this morning with Humboldt State University President Rollin Richmond and others at the college, he took a tour of Humboldt Bay on the Humboldt Bay Harbor District's new fire boat. 

Harbor Commissioner Mike Wilson narrated the excursion, highlighting plans for what the district calls a "National Marine Research and Innovation Park" (NMRIP) in conjunction with HSU on the site of an abandoned mill on the bay. HSU is interested in using the site to study harnessing wave and offshore wind power and biomass energy conversion in association with its Schatz Energy Research Center.

Huffman chats with  harbor commissioners  Richard Marks and   Mike Wilson (click to enlarge)

The new congressman serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources, which, Huffman said, "includes a lot of things very important to this community: our forests, our fisheries; it includes Native American affairs. So I think it's a great committee for me to serve on for the 2nd Congressional District, and I look forward to getting to work."

Just last week Huffman had his first opportunity to address Congress on the House floor. The subject: climate change. "That was by design," he said. "I really think that climate change is the biggest, most important issue that nobody's talking about right now. And I hope to be part of changing that in the months and years ahead."

What exactly can the federal government do?

"A lot. Certainly there are some things I'd like to see Congress do," he said. "Whether we can marshal the politics to make that happen, we'll see. There's a lot that the Obama administration can do under existing authority, and I'm going to support that if we can't do things through Congress. That includes some rulemaking under the Clean Air Act, carbon pollution rules for new power plants, probably some things on existing coal-fired power plants as well."

Huffman said he's definitely not a fan of tar sands. "I'm not supportive of the Keystone XL pipeline. I hope we don't go there, because at a time when we have the opportunity to choose clean, safe, renewable energy, doubling down on the dirtiest possible fossil energy is taking us in the wrong direction."

He'd rather focus on things like fuel economy and alternative energy sources. "The research dollars on things that will lead us to new fuels and new energy storage and battery technologies is going to be really important to all of this," he said.

The next stop on Huffman's Humboldt fact-finding mission today was a meeting with doctors and other practitioners from the Humboldt Bay Medical Society. Tomorrow morning he meets with elected city and county officials from Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties.

PREVIOUSLY: Mike Thompson. On a River.

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Parking Lot Monitors

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM


This was nothing new. All the cars parked under the row of big Leyland cypresses that divide the parking lot at First and D streets were kersplatted in white drips and blops. And the pavement all around these bombed cars was, as usual, devastated. Whitewashed.

Just like every day before this. Oh, maybe it was a different set of cars parked there each day -- each unsuspecting driver amazed she'd found such a spendid spot so close to her office or the Old Town shops and restaurants. Score! (Pllllop.) A few cars always looked familiar, though, as if they'd been there before and often -- look at all the crap on them, plopped on day after day and the driver not caring about the slow-motion and, um, shitty paintjob. Maybe perversely inviting it. Anything to cover that aging Kia fade.

But every day, a fresh new splatter-bomb of bird poop.

Ravens? They were always chortling and laughing around there, acting proud and guilty. Gulls? You can always blame the gulls. But wait -- who's that, shifting about fitfully and fatly on that limb up there, grumbling like a dinosaur? And there's another one, and another. Another!


A man walked by, swinging a little wide of the potentially annoying woman staring up in the trees. "Herons," she said to him. "Herons?" he said, nicely. Then added, "I wonder if that's why the city doesn't seem to cut these trees like they do all the others in town."

Smart feller. He's right, turns out (and forgive me if you Old Town oldtimers already know all this). Tom Coyle, the City of Eureka's parks and maintenance manager, said night herons -- much smaller than their blue heron cousins -- have roosted in those cypress for at least 10 years. Sometimes there've been a near-dozen of them; lately there are fewer. And yes, the city prune crew -- Coyle's folks -- give the herons' trees (these ones, and a Monterey cypress by the Adorni Center) easy treatment so as not to disturb them. It's an arrangement they worked out with the state fish and wildlife folks some years back.

"Heron nesting and roosting habitat is protected around the bay," Coyle said. "The only pruning we do on those cypress is we prune them for clearance around the parking lot lights. And then we'll prune them up a little bit for pedestrian clearance."

Such head-bonk-proofing will not, necessarily, protect a person from a well-aimed heron offering.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hit-and-Run Suspect Almost-Nab

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM


The person of interest in the investigation of a hit-and-run that killed a young Orleans man earlier this month came within inches of turning himself in today up at the Salmon River Outpost in Somes Bar.

Sean Forrest Hawk, 27, of Orleans, has been a fugitive since Feb. 10 when a Ford pickup he's alleged to have been driving plowed into Virgil Martin, also of Orleans, who was walking along State Route 96. Martin, 25, was killed. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the pickup -- identified by witnesses as Hawk -- fled the scene. Later that day, a CHP helicopter located the pickup several miles from the scene. Hawk has been hiding ever since, and the CHP issued a warning that he might have a .22 caliber rifle on him and is potentially dangerous.

That didn't stop Earl Crosby, who works for the Karuk Tribe, from approaching Hawk this afternoon when he saw him near Reynolds Creek about three miles north of Somes Bar (which is about seven miles from Orleans).

Crosby said he was heading back to his office in Happy Camp when he saw Hawk walking along the road. So he called the California Highway Patrol to report it. And then he drove back up the road to talk to Hawk. "I said to him, 'It'd be a good idea to turn yourself in,'" Crosby said. "'The cops are looking for you and you better do something.' And he said, 'Yeah, I better do something.' 'Well,' I said, 'jump in my truck and I'll bring you to the store and you can turn yourself in.'"

Hawk said OK and jumped in his truck, Crosby said, and they drove to the Salmon River Outpost. When they got there, Crosby said, Hawk got out, said "thanks," and started walking back upriver.

"I said, 'Hey, Bud, do what you said, turn yourself in,'" Crosby said. He said Hawk shouted back that he was going to.

Crosby said Hawk looked "as tweaked as he normally is."

"I feel bad that he didn't turn himself in," Crosby said, "but it would have been silly to try to restrain him. There's a good chance he has a gun. Hopefully he will turn himself in before he gets hurt or somebody else gets hurt -- and so the family of Virgil Martin can have closure. This is a golden opportunity to turn himself in, get in out of the rain."

When we spoke to Crosby around 5 p.m., he and the other folks at the store were still waiting for the CHP to arrive.


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Don't Drive Over The Fire Hose, Eejits

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Nobody died in the house fire on T-Bone Lane (near Indianola) early this morning, which Humboldt Bay Firefighters doused within 10 minutes after they began attack.

But, dangit, somebody -- a firefighter-somebody, or two or three or more -- could have been seriously injured because of all the dingdongs driving over the fire hose (pinching the water supply) while the firefighters were inside the burning house. Says the news release from Humboldt Bay Fire North Battalion:

The California Highway Patrol was requested to the scene to close the Indianola Cut-off from U.S. 101 to Myrtle Avenue. Prior to CHP's arrival, numerous vehicles drove over the water supply hose connecting the fire hydrant to the fire engine. This potentially endangered numerous firefighters that were inside of the structure fighting fire at the time.

HBF notes that it is, in fact, illegal to drive over a fire hose. Someone on the scene recorded the license numbers of the offending vehicles, and their owners could be cited.

Damages to the house might amount to $50,000. Here's the news release in full:

February 19, 2013

Subject :
Residential Structure Fire at 155 T-Bone Lane, Eureka
Contact :
Battalion Chief Chris Emmons

On February 19th, 2013 at 6:58 A.M. two Humboldt Bay Fire personnel were driving in the area of Indianola Rd. and T-Bone Ln and noticed a large amount of smoke coming from behind a residence. Upon further investigation, a fire in an occupied single family residence was discovered. One bedroom of the residence had smoke and fire coming from the window. One firefighter made contact with two residents and ensured that all occupants had exited the structure while the other firefighter attempted to contain the fire to one room with a garden hose.

Simultaneously, a full structure fire response was requested with an additional automatic aid engine from Arcata Fire Protection District. The first arriving engine secured a water supply and attacked the fire. Other personnel ventilated the structure to assist with smoke removal and containing the fire to the room of origin. The fire was controlled within 10 minutes. While involved in extinguishing hot spots, firefighters found electrical sources that could not be secured. Pacific Gas and Electric was summoned to the scene and made the scene safe for firefighters by disconnecting the electrical source. Total damage estimates of the fire may approach $50,000. The cause remains under investigation.

One resident sustained a minor injury upon exiting the structure and City Ambulance was requested to the scene to evaluate the resident's injury. The resident declined further treatment. Representatives from the American Red Cross were requested to respond to the scene to aid in finding temporary lodging for the occupants.

The California Highway Patrol was requested to the scene to close the Indianola Cut-off from U.S. 101 to Myrtle Avenue. Prior to CHP's arrival, numerous vehicles drove over the water supply hose connecting the fire hydrant to the fire engine. This potentially endangered numerous firefighters that were inside of the structure fighting fire at the time. Humboldt Bay Fire is reminding drivers that it is illegal to drive over a fire hose and they may be cited by law enforcement. License numbers of the vehicles that drove over the hose were obtained and law enforcement will be notified.  

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Abortion Prayers Unfazed By This Morning's Hail Storm

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM


Early Tuesday morning, as cold and hail sucker punched Humboldt, Eureka City Councilman Lance Madsen sat alone in a camping chair on the sidewalk, hunkered down under an umbrella with plastic covering his legs, attempting not to freeze. He is one of those who have pledged to be a peaceful, sign-wielding presence on the side of the road leading to Six Rivers Planned Parenthood as part of the national, evangelical 40 Days For Life campaign.

Today is day seven.

"Do I look warm?" Madsen said with a chuckle as tiny circles of frozen weather tumbled off his umbrella. To his left sat a sandwich board with his group's slogan: "PRAY TO END ABORTION."

"It's not meant to intimidate anybody," Madsen said of the vigil. "It's just prayer."


The numbers haven't been particularly intimidating. The Journal visited the site of the vigil twice last week, finding three people both times. A kickoff event held on the evening of Feb. 12 drew about 20 people. While some of the movement's locations are holding 24/7 vigils, the Eureka version is committed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m -- supporters sign up for one hour shifts. At times, a video camera sitting on a tripod aimed at the street leading to the clinic was visible, but protesters we talked to said it had not been turned on and that it was simply a deterrent for any trouble. (I did not see the camera running.)


Six Rivers Planned Parenthood has responded. The same day the vigil began officially, Feb. 13, it sent out messages to supporters via email, social media and its website announcing the "Pledge-A-Picketer" campaign to raise funds and awareness. As of today, SRPP reported that it had raised $4,907.

If either cause seems worthy to you, feel free click these:

40 Days for Life:
National website
Local Facebook page

Six Rivers Planned Parenthood:


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"White Pride" Enthusiast Arrested For Punching Girls in the Face on the Ferndale River Bar

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Plus two other arrests. Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:


(Left to right: Doug Flowers, Curtis Flowers, Chris Hanly)

On 02-17-2013, approximately 1:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received 911 call from a citizen who reported three males were at a large party in the area of East Ferry Road, Ferndale and were assaulting several people. Sheriff's Deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers and Ferndale Police responded to the scene. While deputies were enroute they were advised the three male suspects were attempting to leave the area in a dark colored KIA Rio. A Ferndale Police Officer spotted the SUV near Fern bridge and stopped it. Deputies and CHP Officers joined the Ferndale Officer and detained the three males who were in the Kia. The officers saw the occupants had fresh injuries to them and showed signs of alcohol intoxication. The officers could also see open alcoholic containers in the vehicle. All three subjects identified as Douglas Wayne Flowers, 43 years old, from Fortuna and Curtis Flowers, 22 years old, from Fortuna and Christopher James Hanly, 23 years old from McKinleyville were detained. Douglas Flowers is the father of Curtis Flowers. Curtis was the driver of the KIA Rio. Medical was requested to respond to the scene and treat them for their injuries.

Deputies then contacted witness and the victims. They were told by the witness and victims that the Flowers and Hanly showed up at the party on the Ferndale Riverbar intoxicated. The suspects shouted "White Pride", as they walked around through the crowd. They were asked to calm down by party attendees. Curtis Flowers started pushing people and challenging them to fight. An 18 year old female attempted to leave the party in a Toyota Pickup truck because of Curtis Flowers behavior. As she got into the truck Curtis Flowers walked up to the truck and swung the truck door open. In doing so the door struck another 18 year old female who was watching what was occurring and standing near the pickup truck. When the female who was struck by the door made a comment about being struck by the door to Curtis Flowers, he punched her in the face with a closed fist. When the injured female got back up Douglas Flowers then punched her in the face knocking her back to the ground. The female immediately fell to the ground a second time. Meantime the female who had been in the truck exited the truck to assist the assaulted and injured female and she was punched in the face, which knocked her to the ground and unconscious. A 16 year old male who was close by came to both females aid and was punched in the eye by Curtis Flowers. Then all three suspects Curtis Flowers, Douglas Flowers and Hanly began punching him in the face after knocking the 16 year old to the ground.

Deputies could see the sixteen year olds eye was swollen almost shut. One of the eighteen year old females received a broken jaw which required surgery at a local hospital. The other female refused medical attention.

Curtis Flowers was transported by ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital to be treated for a cut on his neck and was admitted, however he fled from the hospital on 2-17-2013 around 5:00 p.m. Fortuna Police checked the area for him and were unable to locate him. Curtis Flowers is on active State Parole for a conviction of Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Curtis is wanted for Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury, Driving under the Influence, Assault and Battery, and Violation Parole. A Be-on-The-Lookout was broadcast to local Law Enforcement.

Douglas Flowers and Hanly were both arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Douglas Flowers was booked for Assault Causing Great Bodily Injury and Public Intoxication. His bail was set at $50,000.00. Hanly was booked for Assault, Probation Violation and Public Intoxication and was released on his own recognizance.

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.

The Sheriff's Office will be increasing patrols in the Eel River area for the foreseeable future to help curtail parties and other criminal activity.


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