Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, North Coast Marine Protected Areas

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM


correspondent Jennifer Savage sends us this friendly reminder that today, Dec. 19, is the first-year anniversary of our North Coast Marine Protected Areas, part of a statewide network of underground "parks" where a variety of protections aim to conserve habitats, critters, fish, plants and cultural resources.

The North Coast MPAs are in state waters between the California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena. You can read the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's handy guide here. They came about through the 1999 Marine Life Protection Act — yep, it was a long haul to form all of these MPAs up and down the California coast, and our Northern California one's were the last to be developed following intensive, oft-contentious sessions with a multitude of stakeholders including fishermen, tribes, biologists and more. Savage played a key role in the process.

Here, we'll let her spread the celebratory news:

Cal Oceans Alerts
…A Healthy Holiday Haul of MPA News

Happy Anniversary, California MPAs
The nation’s first statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) turns one year old on December 19th, which also marks the anniversary of our North Coast MPAs. As such, this month’sICYMI features a raft of attention received by our underwater park system on its first birthday. First stop, Ocean Conservancy’s anniversary blog, which rounds up all our favorite and most adventurous reasons to celebrate California’s MPAs. The San Francisco Chronicle commemorated the anniversary, too, posting a spectacular MPA photo slideshow on their website with some of our favorite scenes from these “underwater parks.”

New Video Features Year-Round Fun in California’s MPAs
How do you MPA? Check out this short and fun-filled video hitting NatGeo and other online sources this week. This one-minute film presents a light-hearted tour of the MPA-studded California coast, with folks enjoying an array of recreational activities enhanced by the wildlife protection MPAs provide. If you love it as much as we do and have ideas for getting it out to wider audiences—like visitor centers, aquaria or travel sites—we’d love to hear from you.

Everybody’s Gone Surfin’, Surfin MPA…
Our friends at, California’s largest tourism site, ran this great piece detailing the surf breaks available for the wildlife-loving surfer. It has a nice write-up on the value of MPAs, explains why protected areas make for great surfing, and details a selection of the best protected surf breaks along the coast of California.

National MPA Report Looks to California to Connect the Dots
A National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration report on the state of marine protected areas in the United States went public a couple of weeks back, looking at progress in conserving the nation’s natural and cultural coastal heritage. California’s success on that score is detailed in a two page spread starting on page 4 that reads like a recipe for the rest of the nation.

Finally, a personal note. My tenure with Ocean Conservancy ends along with 2013. It's been a great four years serving as your North Coast Coodinator and I'm optimistic about continuing my coastal advocacy through the Northcoast Enviromental Center, as well as by being the new co-host for KHUM 104.7 FM's Coastal Currents program each Wednesday at noon. Please feel free to contact me regarding any ocean issues at in the future.

Happy holidays!
Jennifer Savage

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Jason Singleton Responds

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 10:02 AM

The most hated man in Humboldt, whose recent threat of an American Disabilities Act lawsuit was blamed for the closure of Porter Street Barbecue in Arcata, reached out to the  Journal with a rebuttal this morning. Jason K. Singleton, who practices law in Eureka, was the subject this week of a viral wanted poster. Calls for vengeance circulating through social media ranged into the cringe-worthy, but Singleton's ADA suits have been riling up the community for quite a few years.

Here's Singleton's press release:

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ACLU Suing Eureka City Schools for Racial and Sexual Discrimination

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Native American and black students face racial and sexual discrimination from students and staff in Eureka and Loleta according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed today by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Center for Youth Law.

The suit alleges that top officials in the Eureka City Schools District “subject Black and Native American children to a racially hostile educational environment by allowing pervasive racial harassment to persist unchallenged,” according to a press release. The two groups also joined with California Indian Legal Services to ask the Office for Civil Rights to investigate racial discrimination in the Loleta Union School District.

The groups allege that school officials in Eureka intentionally discriminate against black and Native American students, disciplining those students more harshly than white ones, subjecting them to a “racially hostile educational environment” and pushing them out of mainstream schools into alternative schools. They also say school officials tolerate weekly traditions such as “titty-twisting Tuesdays” and “slap-ass Fridays,” where, according to the press release, “students have their nipples, breasts and buttocks grabbed and hit in school hallways, locker rooms and other areas of district schools.”

Defendants named in the suit include members of the Eureka City Schools District Board of Education, District Superintendent Fred Van Vleck and other school officials.

The complaint against Loleta Union School District says the physical and verbal abuse levied at Native American students is perpetuating racist behavior in the region that dates back nearly 150 years.

You can read the complaint against the Eureka City Schools District 
PDF here
. And 
PDF here
  is the Loleta complaint. The full press release is below.

Addendum: The Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria passed a resolution supporting the Office of Civil Rights complaint. Read it 
PDF here

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Leon Berliner Has Left Us

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Leon Berliner
  • Leon Berliner
On Sunday, December 15th, Leon Berliner, owner of Berliner's Cornucopia in Old Town, Eureka, died at age 78 after a brief battle with cancer.

Leon was a man of many titles: Holocaust survivor, staunch Democrat, music lover, baseball enthusiast, card sharp, pool shark, doting grandfather, loving father and dedicated husband of more than 50 years to his wife Diana. (Read the Journal's 1999 cover story about Berliner here.)

Many were touched by his fierce intellect, his kindness and inquisitiveness. He was an active community member until the end of his life — greeting customers at his shop, going down to San Francisco to watch the Giants and hosting his regular poker game.

Berliner embodied how the best of human nature could survive the worst of human atrocities. In accordance with his wishes no memorial will be held, but those who loved him can honor his legacy by upholding the values he held dear. Tonight, put some Beethoven on the stereo.

For the good  times, for our friend Leon.
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Bunting Hunting

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Little bunting. - ROB FOWLER
  • Rob Fowler
  • Little bunting.
A diminutive, pudgy, winged visitor has set Humboldt County's birding community all atwitter. The little bunting has decided to show its beak in the fields of McKinleyville, and, according to a Godwit Days mailer, "hundreds of birders in California and — even from the East Coast and other states — have changed their weekend plans to see this bird, which is only the 5th record for the Lower 48 states and only the 2nd record for mainland California (2 records for the Farallone Islands)."

It's unclear what the "Asian-based" species is doing on this side of the Pacific.

Join the flock by calling 707-822-LOON for updates on the bunting and other rare bird sightings, or visit either of these message boards for updates.
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Body Found On Murder Mountain Identified

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

A body found buried near Jewitt Ranch Road in late November has been identified as Garret Rodriguez, a San Diego man who was reported missing in April.

Rodriguez told his father  he  was coming to Humboldt County to work on a marijuana farm in the SoHum area known as "Murder Mountain." The identification confirms rumors that have been swirling around since his disappearance. The Lost Coast Outpost's Kym Kemp has written about a private investigator's search for Rodriguez, and the investigation picked up steam with a bizarre series of events around Thanksgiving Day. The FBI has joined the Sheriff's Office in the investigation.

From the Sheriff's Office:

The Humboldt County Coroner has identified the human remains located in a gravesite off of Jewitt Ranch Road, Harris area of Humboldt County as that of missing person Garret Rodriguez, 29 years old from San Diego, California. Rodriguez was reported missing by his father to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office on 04-25-2013. His father told the investigating deputy that Garret told him he was coming to Humboldt County to work on a ranch growing medical marijuana. Garret told his father the ranch was located in an area known as “Murder Mountain.”

A Forensic Pathologist has also confirmed that Rodriguez is the victim of a homicide. Anyone with information about this case is requested to contact lead Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detective Jennifer Turner at Ph. 707-268-3642 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ( F.B.I.) is assisting the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.

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Monday, December 16, 2013

St. Joe's Gets Backup in Cancer Fight from Stanford

Posted on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

St. Joseph Hospital today announced that it will have some top-notch help in tackling cancer care, research, training and education. Stanford Medicine is partnering with St. Joe's to provide a variety of services including telemedicine conferences with experts, training for local clinician staff and access to clinical trials.

That last item could eliminate some frustrating and time-consuming road trips. According to a press release, "The clinical trials will offer patients at St. Joseph Hospital access to state-of-the-art treatment that currently requires travel to the San Francisco area for enrollment."

Here's the full announcement from St. Joe's:

St. Joseph Hospital is pleased to announce a new and exciting collaboration with Stanford Medicine. The relationship will involve a series of projects related to cancer care, clinical research and education – all with the goal of continuing to provide local patients with  the highest quality cancer care possible.

The collaboration includes: a new cancer telemedicine tumor board program; access to cancer clinical trials; and access to educational programs at Stanford for St. Joseph Hospital physicians and staff. The tumor board program is a formal way for a multi-disciplinary group of physicians to discuss treatment options for complex or rare cancers. This new relationship allows us to use telemedicine technology to present local cancer cases to physicians at Stanford via WebEx. The program will launch with gynecologic oncology cases.

Additionally, Stanford will provide St. Joseph Hospital access to cancer clinical trials and will assist in the training of clinical research staff. Clinical trials are protocols for cancers that do not respond to routine treatments. The clinical trials will offer patients at St. Joseph Hospital access to state-of-the-art treatment that currently requires travel to the San Francisco area for enrollment.

Leaders from St. Joseph Hospital and Stanford joined together at a special reception on Friday, December 6 in Eureka to formally announce the collaboration to local physicians and members of the community. Although Stanford will have no direct involvement in patient care at St. Joseph Hospital, their partnership will provide valuable resources to physicians and patients at our hospital.

“We are very excited to begin this new collaboration with Stanford,” said David O’Brien, MD, President of St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals. “The tumor board program and clinical trials with Stanford present new opportunities for our hospital to advance cancer care for patients in our community.”

Douglas W. Blayney, MD, the Ann and John Doerr Medical Director of the Stanford Cancer Center and professor of Medical Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine said “We are very excited about the collaboration between St. Joseph Hospital and Stanford Medicine. Stanford's mission is "to care, to educate and to discover." Our partnership with the hospital will involve a series of innovative cancer projects that touch all three areas of this mission."

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Angry Town

Posted By on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM


is floating around, a special “get-out-of-town” for Jason  Singleton,  the  Eureka-based attorney whose Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuits have led some businesses in Humboldt County and elsewhere to shut down under the crushing costs.

Instead of being considered a hero for the disabled, Singleton is un-revered by many — a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” according to Carmichael-based attorney Catherine Corfee, who told the Journal several years ago that there are valid ADA cases out there ... just not Singleton's.

The latest suit-provoked closure to piss off Singleton's Humboldt neighbors is that of Porter Street Barbeque in Arcata, which gave up last month. The owner, Scott Seelye, told the Mad River Union's Jack Durham "the restaurant was barely getting by, sometimes struggling" and he couldn't afford the $40,000-some in upgrades Singleton's suit demanded. Seelye also told the Union that, 18 years ago when he opened the restaurant, he got all the permits required.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The New Guy: Thadeus Greenson to Join the NCJ

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Thadeus - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Thadeus

He won't be moving into his new job until sometime in the new year, but we're happy to let you know that Thadeus Greenson will be taking over as the North Coast Journal's news editor.

Jennifer and Thadeus - BOB DORAN
  • Bob Doran
  • Jennifer and Thadeus

There's a lot work to do — he'll have help from Arts and Features Editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill (above). They'll make a strong team with the rest of the Journal crew.
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chris Kerrigan to Run for Eureka Mayor

Posted By on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Kerrigan's Facebook profile pic
  • Kerrigan's Facebook profile pic
Looks like former Eureka City Councilman Chris Kerrigan is ready to pursue his second act on the city's political stage. Kerrigan, who was just 20 years old when he was first elected to represent Eureka's 4th Ward back in 2000, tells the Journal that he'll be running for mayor next year, challenging incumbent Frank Jager.

"I think Eureka needs some positive change and positive vision," Kerrigan said by phone this afternoon. "I plan on putting together a set of policies and proposals that meet that vision."

His candidacy should inject some drama into next year's election. Back in 2004, Kerrigan defeated now-supervisor Rex Bohn in a campaign that got rather ugly, revealing a bitter political divide in Eureka.

If anything, that divide has only expanded in the intervening years, and with the upcoming appointment of Chester "Chet" Albin to represent the 5th Ward, the council is leaning farther right than it has in recent memory.

But Kerrigan said the issues facing the city go beyond partisan politics.

"Eureka has serious issues that it needs to proactively address: crime, traffic safety, the lack of business investment." He suggested that the city's troubles seem to have caused a communal malaise. "I think there’s a lack of pride, unfortunately, and that needs to be changed. We need proactive-type policies to address those issues. Once we do that, we’ll see pride and investment increase."

Kerrigan has yet to file his official candidacy paperwork but said he'll likely do so after the holidays.
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