Friday, October 31, 2014

Arkley's 'Dog Ranch' on the Market

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

A ranch with a view. - ZILLOW
  • Zillow
  • A ranch with a view.
Ever dream of owning a property that offers room to wander, with ocean front views? Have a cool $2 million to spare? Well, if you answered in the affirmative to both those questions, then Rob Arkley has the property for you.

The Arkley-owned Sequoia Investments X recently put a more than 200-acre swath of property located on the Samoa Dunes on the market, boasting its promise of “seclusion for ranchers, hikers, surfers, beachcombers and fishing enthusiasts, while only a few minutes from historic old town Eureka.” The listing includes an “older home, outbuildings and ranch facility,” as well as some sensitive dune habitats and an ecologically significant piece of coastal forest.

Arkley made some waves back in 2005 when he purchased the property — located just west of the Samoa Bridge — from Simpson Paper Co., dropping in at the 11th hour to outbid Friends of the Dunes, which had been working with the harbor district and the Coastal Conservancy to purchase and preserve the land. “They got in second place,” Arkley told the Journal at the time. “And it’ll never, ever, ever, ever, ever be sold to them. I’m not going to give it to the government agencies. I believe there’s far too much government land.”

Rob Arkley
  • Rob Arkley
So the property — dubbed the “Dog Ranch” for its long-ago use as a home for lumber barons’ hunting dogs — became Arkley’s, one in a string of property purchases the prominent local business man made around the time. Attempts to reach Arkley for this story were unsuccessful, but it appears he’s ready to move on, as the property hit the real estate listings earlier this week.

Carol Vander Meer, executive director of Friends of the Dunes, said she was aware the property was once again hitting the open market. Some time back, Vander Meer said, she received a phone call from Randy Gans, then vice president of real estate for Arkley-owned Security National, asking if Friends of the Dunes was interested in the property. (Gans is reportedly no longer with the company, but did not return a Journal call this week.)

Vander Meer said her organization is extremely interested in the “resource values” of the land, but isn’t currently in a position to purchase it. She said Friends of the Dunes is making inquiries, however, and trying to find an approach that would land the property in some kind of protected status. “It’s a very significant piece of coastal forest,” Vander Meer said, “and it’s like the southern-most range of that forest type, and we definitely want to see that preserved.”

But the property has some issues, namely a network of homeless encampments, which were thrust into the public spotlight last year when a homeless man was shot dead with a crossbow. Vander Meer said she’s hopeful whoever ultimately takes on the property is versed in the social and environmental challenges of working to clean up such encampments.

For more information about the property, view its posting here.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Revelers be Warned

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM

The Arcata Police Department sent out a sternly worded press release this afternoon warning that criminal Halloween tomfoolery will not be tolerated.

No doubt seeking to avoid a repeat of last year’s scary plaza spooktacular — which saw 35 arrests, a man stabbed with a liquor bottle and a cop car mercilessly beaten by a man on mushrooms — APD’s preemptive warning advises that a whole lot of cops will be on the plaza conducting “interactive patrols” Friday night and throughout the weekend to make sure order is maintained. “The APD encourages people to act responsibly, respect the community, designate a driver, and have responsible fun,” the press release states.
One of many Arcata Plaza Halloween victims over the years.
  • One of many Arcata Plaza Halloween victims over the years.

While that seems a simple request, history has shown it to be a bit of a Hail Mary, as the plaza-trashing debauchery has risen to the level of quasi tradition. The best hope for a quiet Halloween seems to be coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, which is predicting rain, hail and lightning in the area Friday night.

So, be safe out there, and try and make some good choices. Read the full APD press release, as well as another coaching parents on how to keep their kids safe, below:


During past Halloween nights, unruly and criminal behavior has resulted in signifcant criminal activity on the Arcata Plaza and within the downtown areas. This activity has resulted in high value vandalism and property damage, unnecessary injuries, and multiple arrests by the police department.

Due to this past behavior, the Arcata Police Department along with officers from other local and state law enforcement agencies will be conducting increased, highly-visible and interactive patrols of the Arcata Plaza and downtown areas throughout Halloween night and weekend.

The Arcata Police Department is committed to maintaining a safe, secure and inviting environment on the Plaza and downtown areas, but will enforce a zero tolerance policy for criminal conduct. As a reminder alcohol consumption and smoking are not permitted anywhere in the downtown areas of Arcata.

There are many alternative events for adults to enjoy on Halloween from live concerts to dancing. The APD encourages people to act responsibly, respect the community, designate a driver, and have responsible fun.


This Halloween, the Arcata Police Department encourages people to play it safe. It is anticipated there will be rainy weather this Halloween. Parents and children should carry flashlights when out Trick or Treating and wear a piece of reflective clothing to keep yourself visible to motorists.

For older kids, parents should set a time limit for trick-or-treating and make sure the kids go with friends. Remind kids not to enter a strangers house or car.

Arcata Main Street will be hosting its annual Trick-or-Treat on the Plaza from 4pm to 6pm. Local businesses will be participating in this family-fun event. The Arcata Police Department will also be out handing out candy.

Stay safe and have a Happy Halloween! 

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We Want Short Shorts

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM


Writers of ridiculously tiny prose, your time is running out. Friday — aka Oct. 31, aka Hallowe'en, aka (over there yonder) Nevada Day — is the last day to enter our flash fiction contest.

It's too late to snail mail those suckers to us, so e-mail them to Or, if you have to, drop them off by hand at 310 F St. in Eureka. Address your entries to "North Coast Journal Flash Fiction Contest" and include your name, address and phone number (we won’t print your contact info). 

Entries must be received by 5 p.m.

Each entry must be 99 words or fewer

Multiple entries OK.

No poetry.

No plagiarism.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tour the Brew: Lost Coast's New Facility

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Lost Coast Brewery's new facility is located on the southern boundary of Eureka. It will feature a tasting room when opened. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Lost Coast Brewery's new facility is located on the southern boundary of Eureka. It will feature a tasting room when opened.
Congressman Jarad Huffman was in town last weekend for a fundraiser and tours that included one of the brand new, up and running, $27 million Lost Coast Brewery facility on the very south end of Eureka.

The huge new building (which has not been without its controversy) will replace the brewery’s current production line, and will allow the brewers — when fully functional — to produce four times the amount of beer.

Continue reading »

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Update to Two Homicides Investigated: Victim ID'd

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Partially skeletonized human remains discovered Oct. 14 in a Garberville transient camp next to U.S. Highway 101 have been identified as 30-year-old Robert James Flaherty of Sugarcreek, Ohio, according to Humboldt County Deputy Coroner Trevor J. Enright.

Flaherty's death, of gunshot wounds, is believed to be homicide, says a news release from Enright.

Two recent unrelated deaths in southern Humboldt are being investigated as homicides by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

On Oct. 14, a 911 caller reported finding a body in a transient camp near U.S. Highway 101 and Alderpoint Road in Garberville. An autopsy four days later “revealed the body was a male and he died of gunshot wounds,” according to a sheriff’s news release, which also noted that the coroner’s office “is close to identifying the deceased male.”

On Oct. 19, a 48-year-old woman allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Ethan Loren Stroud in his Shelter Cove home after he allegedly assaulted the suspect and a 43-year-old woman who was his girlfriend. According to a sheriff’s news release, Stroud had “showed up at the residence intoxicated and assaulted the 48-year-old female and the 43-year-old female.”

“During the assault, the 48-year-old female was able to obtain a semi-automatic handgun which she brandished at Stroud, and told him to quit assaulting" them, says the news release. “Stroud not only refused, but aggressively came at the 48-year-old female who was holding the handgun, who then shot Stroud.”

The women “had visible injuries and complained of pain,” says the release; the 48-year-old was taken to the hospital to be treated, and the 43-year-old refused treatment. Nobody’s been arrested yet, but the Times-Standard reports Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight saying the shooting “appears to be self-defense” although the final determination of charges will be made by the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fundraise the Roof

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

  • Thadeus Greenson
On the rooftop of an old two story colonial revival house in Eureka, missing shingles threaten the preservation of Humboldt County’s history.

During a late September rain, water spills over the building’s unique barrel-roofed dormer and trickles down toward a recessed second story balcony of the Gross-Wells-Barnum House, the current home of the Humboldt County Historical Society. Although the roof is not currently leaking, the damage has been done. Coffee-colored stains spoil the floral wallpaper of several rooms, rooms packed wall-to-wall with binders full of historically materials.

With more than 70,000 historical photographs, hundreds of maps and countless categorized documents, the continuing preservation of one of Humboldt County’s largest historical collections is in danger.
  • Thadeus Greenson

Sitting in her office, Lora Ryan, the Society’s office director takes her gaze away from the brown stain on the ceiling above.

“As you can probably tell, we need a new roof,” Ryan said. “But not just for the general upkeep of the house, our main concern is securing the safety of all of our documents.”

Since 1947 the Humboldt County Historical Society has been acquiring, preserving and interpreting historical documents specific only to the North Coast. And it’s collection is extensive. High School yearbooks, city maps, leather-bound police dockets, all housed under the same weathered roof of the Gross-Wells-Barnum House.

As a non-profit organization, the Humboldt County Historical Society relies heavily on volunteers, membership fees, bookstore sales and special fundraising events in order to continue its existence.

On Dec. 6, the historical society will hold its first annual holiday gift auction to fundraise for a roof estimated at $50,000. The event will offer a historical presentation, live music and a silent auction of holiday gift baskets at the Eureka Inn Ballroom, the same inn Helen Wells Barnum helped restore in 1960.

Built in 1902 for Helen’s grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Reuben Gross, the Eureka home at 703 Eighth St. was inhabited by the family for generations. In 1993 the house was donated to the Humboldt County Historical Society through Helen’s will.

“Helen was a history lover,” Ryan said. “The house was her legacy.”

For the past 21 years, the historical society has honored Helen’s legacy by making the Gross-Wells-Barnum house a place for researchers, intrigued out-of-towners, curious locals and, more generally, history lovers.

Library Assistant Stefanie Baldivia has only been with the historical society since January. But arguably nobody knows each room of the house better than she does. Whether it’s helping a patron track down a family relative’s history or sitting behind her computer sifting through paperwork, Baldivia has spent enough time in the house to know it has something different to offer.
  • Thadeus Greenson

“The value of this house lies in its beauty,” she said, staring up toward the stained glass window in the research library. “On a sunny day when the light shines through this room, it’s like sunning a warm cat.”

For Baldivia, the decorum and unique architecture of the house make for a respectable atmosphere she likened to “leather armchairs and smoking jackets.”
The Humboldt County Historical Society, with more than 3,000 members worldwide, is currently working toward putting the house on the national historic registry, a move that could secure federal funding for general maintenance and upkeep.

In the meantime, the society continues to seek donations and volunteers to support the preservation of the house and its contents.

Editor's Note: This post has been updated from a prior version.
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'Days of Action' Sparks Protests

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Protesters wave signs at the intersection of Ninth and G streets in Arcata on Oct. 18. - PATRICK EVANS
  • Patrick Evans
  • Protesters wave signs at the intersection of Ninth and G streets in Arcata on Oct. 18.
As protesters march and rally across the nation in solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri, about 20 people gathered in the Arcata plaza last week to protest police brutality. They held signs and demanded an investigation into the Sept. 18 killing of 22-year-old Thomas “Tommy” McClain by a Eureka police officer.

McClain was shot when Eureka police involved in an unrelated surveillance operation confronted him in his cousin’s front yard in Eureka. According to the Eureka Police Department, officers feared McClain was armed and waiting to continue a confrontation he'd had with a man in his neighborhood minutes before. McClain had a BB gun, which officers thought was a real handgun, tucked into the waist band of his pants. Eureka police chief Andy Mills said at a recent press conference that the shooting appears justified, and occurred when officers saw McClain reach for the gun, ignoring police orders to keep his hands up.

The rally was part of Days of Action against Police Brutality, a national week of protest held annually for the past 19 years. Redwood Curtain CopWatch, a Eureka-based group that monitors local law enforcement agencies, organized the local event.

Humboldt State University sociology graduate Kelsey Reedy, 23, said she was at the Arcata protest on Oct. 22 because she thought local police are allowed to get away with mistreating and harming civilians.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of them, we shouldn’t need protection from the police,” she said

Reedy waved a cardboard sign at passing cars that read “stop killer cops,” and some drivers honked or shouted in support as they passed. She said the shooting of McClain made her look critically at police in Humboldt. “I thought we were above that here, I thought we held our cops at a higher standard,” she said. “It’s time to hold the police accountable.”

Frank Ontiveros, 23, a literature major at Humboldt State, said many of his fellow protesters were demanding answers about the shooting. Ontiveros’ sign said “hands up,” a phrase made popular by protesters in Ferguson.

“I want to spread awareness about the problem [of police brutality] here in this area,” Ontiveros said, adding that he feels like police officers are immune to the law. “Police brutality is way out of hand, it has always been a problem, but it has gotten to the point of zero accountability.”

After the rally in the plaza, protesters bicycled and shared rides to get to Cesar Chavez Park in Eureka, where CopWatch held an all-night vigil for people who are homeless.

Organizer Angie Hart said the vigil provided a safe space for people who are homeless to hang out and have a meal. Hart said homelessness is criminalized, and police can give homeless people tickets for camping.

For dinner, CopWatch members cooked pasta, hot dogs and vegetables provided by local donors.

“We stayed out all night in the rain, under a big tarp.” Hart said.

For breakfast the next morning the group went to the county courthouse in Eureka at 5 a.m. to serve hot tea and coffee to people being released from jail.

CopWatch organizer Sovryn Sabjen said the group plans to patrol Humboldt neighborhoods and record police actions. Volunteers will listen to radio scanners and follow police with cameras.

“We want [police] held to the same or higher standards as other citizens,” Sabjen said.
“We want this killing of young people in our community to stop.”

Attempts to reach Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman for comment for this story were unsuccessful.

At the conclusion of a multi-agency investigation led by EPD, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office will review the McClain shooting and determine if there's reason to believe officer Stephen Linfoot acted criminally when he shot McClain three times. Linfoot is currently on administrative leave from the department, pending the investigation's conclusion.
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AT&T Blames 'Fiber Issue" for Blackout

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM

We don't know what local AT&T customers looked like when their service was restored last night, but we imagine it was something like this.
  • We don't know what local AT&T customers looked like when their service was restored last night, but we imagine it was something like this.
Scores of AT&T customers found themselves cut off from the rest of the digital world Monday afternoon, as the company experienced what it described cryptically as a “fiber issue.”

The outage hit early Monday afternoon and lasted until the evening, leaving AT&T cell phone, Internet and U-verse customers without service. Some poor souls who rely on AT&T for home phone, internet and cell phone service experienced a complete telecommunications blackout. This morning, AT&T spokesman Alex Carey released the following statement:

“Due to a fiber issue, some customers in the Humboldt County area may have experienced issues with their wireline, wireless and U-verse services. AT&T technicians worked diligently to resolve the issue and service is currently running normally. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Carey declined to say how many customers were affected or how long the “issues” persisted, saying he couldn’t elaborate beyond the statement.

A Journal reader passed along the following, taken from the website, which tracks service interruptions and outages nationwide. The screenshot is of the site's map of reported AT&T outages as of 5 p.m. Monday. It seems to indicate Humboldt County was far from the only area experiencing an "issue." With Carey declining to elaborate, it's unclear if the outages were related in any way.


Editors Note: This story was updated from a previous version to correctly attribute the pictured outage map.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lanterns in the Elements

Posted By on Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 10:14 AM

The shadow puppet show was set up next to the Mad River bank, as viewers enjoyed the presentation from the bridge. - MANUEL J. ORBEGOZO
  • Manuel J. Orbegozo
  • The shadow puppet show was set up next to the Mad River bank, as viewers enjoyed the presentation from the bridge.
Folks braved the elements last night and migrated toward the banks of the Mad River, where the Four on the Floor Theatre's Elemental pageant was in full swing. Stilt walkers, shadow puppets and paper lanterns were there to delight, and the fun continues today with fun and games at the (indoor) Mad River Grange from 3 to 6 p.m. and a barn dance tonight. Local photographer Manuel Orbegozo was out in the Blue Lake wind Friday night and shared the following shots.
Shadow puppeteers entertained the crowd as part of Four on the Floor Theatre's community spectacle titled "Element." - MANUEL J. ORBEGOZO
  • Manuel J. Orbegozo
  • Shadow puppeteers entertained the crowd as part of Four on the Floor Theatre's community spectacle titled "Element."
A fire dancer performs a solo act at the Blue Lake Havest Days. - MANUEL J. ORBEGOZO
  • Manuel J. Orbegozo
  • A fire dancer performs a solo act at the Blue Lake Havest Days.
Barbara Reisman picks up a lantern at the Blue Lake Harvest Days community pageant. - MANUEL J. ORBEGOZO
  • Manuel J. Orbegozo
  • Barbara Reisman picks up a lantern at the Blue Lake Harvest Days community pageant.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Stormy Weather

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

  • Grant Scott-Goforth
Enjoy this afternoon’s balminess while it lasts: starting tonight it’s gonna get a lot colder, wetter and windier.

The National Weather Service is predicting up to a couple of inches of rain through the weekend and gusts along the coast of up to 45 miles per hour. Gusts in exposed areas, like Kneeland, could get up to 60 miles per hour on Saturday, according to NOAA’s Matthew Kidwell.

There’s even — and this is unlikely — a slim chance of a “brief, isolated tornado” associated with the cold front. While it’s possible, Kidwell stressed that it’s more likely that a water spout or funnel cloud could form over the ocean, and that it wouldn’t likely be any stronger than the forecast gusts. The weather service issued a wind advisory for Saturday afternoon.

Those gusts are a more widespread threat, he said, as we haven’t had winds that strong since spring 2013, and trees are susceptible to falling over. The storm could bring small bouts of hail among the expected thunderstorms, and temperatures are likely to drop into the mid 40s Saturday night.

Careful out there, Humboldt.
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