Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stone Lagoon Revival

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM

  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
  • Stone Lagoon
There used to be a sweet little campground at Stone Lagoon that you could boat to — the only one of its kind in Humboldt County, with six hideaway boat-in campsites across the water from the highway. Alas, in March 2011, the cash-strapped state park system closed it.

Now a private tour operator, Kayak Zak's, wants to re-open it, and owner Marna Powell is throwing a big shindig out there this weekend to raise money for the effort. In fact, Powell has been quietly applying private capital, with state park blessings, to revive other tourism amenities at the state-park run portions of Stone Lagoon — namely, the visitor's center. That rustic presence on the shore was closed a couple of years until Powell took possession of it last June and made it Kayak Zak's HQ. Powell says the deal was she could run her business there; she says she decided to revive the visitor center, and campground, on her own.

The building was in bad shape. Powell booted out the rats, cleaned up the mold, fixed the broken stuff and moved out a bunch of junk that had piled up for years, she says.

"You just cannot have a vacant building on the coast," she says. "It is still a work in progress."

She says there's lots of reasons the state park dubbed her — a for-profit business — the savior of an abandoned public space. Mainly, she says, it's probably because she "may be the only person with a weird enough background and relationships in the community who could have pulled it off."

Powell's fundraiser to open the campground is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center, 115336 U.S. 101 in Trinidad just north of the Little Red Schoolhouse. Kayak tours, raffles, live music, lovely lagoon.

Read more about Stone Lagoon here, and here.
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Jared Huffman Will Call You Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 10:42 AM

That's right — the North Coast Congressman is fielding questions about the government shutdown tonight in a "telephone town hall" meeting.

Sign up here to get on the list, and Huffman will call you into the party line to discuss the party line at 7 p.m.
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Update: 5.0 Quake West of Eureka! Downgraded

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Update: The USGS map now lists the quake as a 4.9 — hardly worth getting up off the couch for. Blame the error on the furloughs.


Shake, rattle, roll. The USGS site (over which hangs a disclaimer about possible inaccuracies from the government shutdown) reports a 5.0 quake struck 52 km west/northwest of Eureka. It was strong in the Journal office. A slow build to a rolling climax. Who else felt it?

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Update: Solved! Eureka's City Manager Mystery

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM

UPDATE: Eureka Mayor Frank Jager says Panos has indeed left the building, and the items on next week's agenda are strictly procedural.

Jager says he put the items on the agenda per Councilmember Mike Newman's request. The first item sounds like it stemmed from concerns Newman had over city council members going directly to the city manager individually, rather than giving him direction as a council.

The second — the "performance evaluation" — is related to the search for the next city manager and what attributes the council is looking for, says Jager.


Original post:

Help us figure this out: 

Eureka City Manager Bill Panos submitted his resignation almost a month ago, and his final day was supposed to be Oct. 4. So why is the city council still talking about him in closed session?

There was a city manager performance evaluation scheduled for closed session at the Oct. 1 meeting, with just three days left of his scheduled tenure. (His evaluations have been appearing on closed session agendas as far back as Aug. 20.) Next week's meeting agenda? There it is again — a performance evaluation for a city manager who has supposedly left the building.

We've made a couple of calls, but no one's willing to talk about a closed-session item. A voicemail left for Panos was not immediately returned.

Help us out here, Humboldt. What's the deal?
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

NCRA Director Gives Agency a Withering Indictment on his Way Out the Door

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Here's what the NCRA line looks like in the Eel River Canyon. - RICK SANCHEZ
  • Rick Sanchez
  • Here's what the NCRA line looks like in the Eel River Canyon.
Anyone who even casually follows the exploits of the North Coast Railroad Authority has seen a particularly absurd example of government folly — a state agency led by a cabal of evangelical cargo cultists with an unfunded mandate to resurrect an insolvent rail line

In recent years, two members of the agency's board of directors have tried tactfully but persistently to suggest that the emperor is starkers. One of those, Humboldt County representative Bill Kier, resigned from the agency in May. The other, Marin County representative Bernard H. Meyers, announced yesterday that after six years on the board, he won't be seeking reappointment. His resignation letter and an accompanying Q-and-A are, in a word, badass  — the epistolary equivalent of this.

We'll refrain from publishing all 7,000-plus words here, but Find links to both documents, all 7,000-plus words, at the bottom of this post. Below you'll get some choice snippets that give a flavor of Meyers' indictment. The lawyer and former Novato City Councilmember describes a public agency that:

Continue reading »

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Huffman on the Shutdown

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

What's Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) doing to end the government shutdown? Well, he wants to tell you. Tomorrow. By Twitter and Facebook. Just thought we'd pass it along. Also, you can read his Oct. 1 statement to the House of Reps here.

The news release:

Huffman to Hold Twitter and Facebook Q&A Sessions, Discuss Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) will hold a Twitter question and answer session and “Facebook Friday” this Friday, October 11. He will answer questions on Twitter from 11:00-11:30 a.m. PT and will be answering questions for his “Facebook Friday” throughout the day.

“I’m looking forward to talking with Northern Californians about what I’m doing to end the government shutdown,” Congressman Huffman said. “I am focused on reopening our government, and this will be a great opportunity to connect with my constituents and discuss with them exactly what I’m doing.”

For the Twitter Q&A, constituents should tweet their questions or comments to @RepHuffman and use the hashtag #AskJared. Congressman Huffman will answer as many questions as he is able.

For the “Facebook Friday,” constituents should leave their questions or comments as replies to this Facebook post, and Congressman Huffman will respond to as many questions as he is able.

Congressman Huffman can be found on Twitter at Twitter.com/RepHuffman and on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepHuffman

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Show us yer growler!

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro grinnin' like a fool at Track Seven Brewing Co. in Sacramento while Gov. Jerry Brown signs his growler bill, AB 647. - PHOTO COURTESY WES CHESBRO'S OFFICE
  • Photo courtesy Wes Chesbro's office
  • Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro grinnin' like a fool at Track Seven Brewing Co. in Sacramento while Gov. Jerry Brown signs his growler bill, AB 647.

Any growler will do, at any brewery — Lost Coast, Six Rivers, Redwood Curtain, you name it — come Jan. 1. That's when Assemblymember Wes Chesbro's growler bill goes into effect. 

A growler (shh, Kiwi!) is a glass beer vessel about 4-pints-hearty, in which beer connoisseurs and picky drunks enjoy refills of fresh-crafted local brews straight from a brewery. Current state law says a growler can only be used in the brewery where it was purchased. Ches' new law, AB 647 — signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown, says a news release — scraps that old piece of prudery and allows a brewery to refill any growler as long as it slaps a new label on the bottle with its name, and the beer's name, on it. The new label has to cover any old labels on the bottle.

“Growlers have become an increasingly popular way for customers to buy beer because it allows them to sample and safely transport craft brews to their homes to enjoy," says Chesbro in the release. "They won’t have to buy a growler for every brewery they enjoy, which promotes the reuse of glass containers.”

It also promotes fun and coolness at those backyard BBQs.

We wrote about this pressing issue previously, here.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The County's Guiding Principles in Time-Lapse

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Arguments at the county government level don't get much more fundamental or important than the ongoing debate over the guiding principles in Humboldt County's General Plan Update. In essence it's an argument about priorities for future land use. In planning for the next 20-odd years do we want to emphasize environmental protections and productive resource lands by focusing development near existing services such as water and sewer? Or should we favor individual property rights, allowing landowners more freedom in choosing where to live and how to be stewards of the land?

In this week's issue we look at the latest contentious revisions to those guiding principles. For background see our previous coverage here and here. Below you'll find a list of the original principles, most of which had been in place since 2004, along with new versions drafted by members of the current majority on the Board of Supervisors. (Current version in bold.)

Continue reading »

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Well, that's offputting

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

  • Creative Commons, Interiot and Rainer Zenz
  • Tapioca pudding
White, slimy nodules of tapioca-like substance oozing from your lovely fresh-caught salmon. Yick. It's a find only Walter Bishop would find delightful.

Anyway — the Two Rivers Tribune reports that "Chinook salmon caught in the Klamath River were found infested with a white and egg-shaped parasite named Henneguya embedded in their muscle tissues."

The parasite is not harmful to people, the story reports. And how does it get in the fish in the first place? Says the TRT:

"While at sea, the fish are subjected to sea lice that attach themselves. The sea lice eat the skin and blood of the fish, breaking their first layer of outer protection, which allows the parasite to enter the body."

The story notes that the lack of cleansing, higher river flows might have contributed to the spread of the parasites. Although the story doesn't elaborate, possibly because it's obvious, it appears these parasites enter the fish in their freshwater phase, according to a report by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:

"When post-spawned salmon decompose, the cysts rupture and release spores into the water where they are likely ingested by an invertebrate intermediate host such as a tubificid worm. Infectious stages (triactinomyxons) for juvenile salmon develop in the invertebrate host and are released into the water column.

Read the TRT's full account, where you'll also find a striking photo of a Henneguya-infected Klamath Chinook salmon.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

How Much Did EPD's Free Truck Cost?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

  • Eureka Police Department
Humboldt County's beefiest new truck was given to the Eureka Police Department gratis by the Defense Department last week. The catch? EPD had to pay to haul the 25-ton truck down here from Fort Lewis in Washington.

How much does that cost, you might wonder? $5,500, total said EPD Chief Murl Harpham. The department paid $2,500 and the Sheriff's Office chipped in $3,000 more.

Don't call it an "assault vehicle," Harpham says. It's for officer safety. And, he continued, conspiracy theorists need not worry — the new Emergency Response Vehicle is not signaling a militarization of the police department, nor is it the first step to take away everyone's guns.

Read Thad Greenson's Times-Standard article about the EPD's new toy here.
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