Sunday, May 31, 2015

HumBug: Solitary Wasps

Posted By on Sun, May 31, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Along came a black wasp to lay her eggs in a spider. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Along came a black wasp to lay her eggs in a spider.

Working in my garden, I noticed a small blue black wasp flicking its shiny wings as it dashed across the dirt, searching here and there. I can hazard a guess as to what it was looking for: a spider. Much has been written about the social wasps and their organization, diligence and sacrifice for the sake of the hive. Always willing to “take one for the team,” yellow jackets, paper wasps and bald faced hornets are the very model of teamwork.


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Who's Going to Put Out the Fire? Volunteer Firefighters Aging Out of the Service

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2015 at 10:21 AM

click image From an April rescue on the Lost Coast. Shelter Cove VFD was one of several rural departments called in to help. - SUBMITTED
  • SUBMITTED
  • From an April rescue on the Lost Coast. Shelter Cove VFD was one of several rural departments called in to help.

The ranks of volunteer fire departments are dwindling for lack of fresh faces. The New York Times reported on this trend last year, citing several factors including a shift from volunteer to career firefighting, lack of time for volunteering and the aging of rural populations. This last factor has had a decided impact on departments in rural Humboldt County, exactly where their services are most crucial.

“For a little while we were really a geriatrics department,” said Todd Salberg of the Orleans Volunteer Fire Department, “It’s gotten better over the last couple of years. We have a couple more young people involved but, since the close of the woods, it’s been harder to find qualified drivers for our equipment.”

Salberg, who suffered a stroke three years ago, has been re-elected chief five times. With the help of his assistant chief, 80-year old Tom Bouse, he runs the department’s summer hamburger stand next to the gas station. Besides the occasional income from sending an engine to support CALFIRE during wildland fire season, the hamburger stand, open every Wednesday, May through September, is the department’s sole source of income. On the day we spoke they had just raised $900.


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Friday, May 29, 2015

Gavin Newsom Photobombs Garberville

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 6:35 PM

Gavin Newsom (center) poses with Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, Congressman Jared Huffman, Assemblyman Jim Wood, Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris and members of California Cannabis Voice. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Gavin Newsom (center) poses with Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, Congressman Jared Huffman, Assemblyman Jim Wood, Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris and members of California Cannabis Voice.
Just about every name in North Coast weed was there; packed into a sweaty, crowded theater for a glimpse at California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Selfies with the photogenic former San Francisco mayor weren’t the only reasons Garberville’s Redwood Playhouse was standing room only — it was the first substantial outreach from Sacramento’s power players to Humboldt’s splintered-but-increasingly-vocal marijuana growers.

Newsom was flanked by local stakeholders and members of his Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, a 21-member panel consisting of, as he put it, experts both advocating for and vehemently against pot.


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Family: Danielle Bertolini Confirmed Dead

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 7:22 PM

250495_1551087595142850_6975468388572319450_n.jpg

Family members have confirmed that the skull found on the banks of the Eel River this spring belonged to Danielle Bertolini, missing since February 2014. A family member had initially posted the news on the "Help find Sheila Franks and Danielle Bertolini" Facebook page yesterday, but only confirmed with a press release this afternoon. In the release they encourage community members to continue searching for Sheila Franks, whose disappearance they believe to be connected with Bertolini's.

From the Family:


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Stop Calling Stardough's

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 1:30 PM

WWW.SUNNYBLUELAKE.COM
  • www.sunnybluelake.com
Sure, it’s not technically summer yet, but this year’s overcast skies remind us of the Humboldt coastal summers of our youth.

If you’re like us, the permafog has you longing for the sunny embrace of Blue Lake. But you’ve been burned before: throw on your trunks, hop on the bike, the promise of cold beer on your tongue and — damn, it’s cold and cloudy in Blue Lake, too. For years the solution was to call Stardough's (guilty) or another Blue Lake business for a quick weather assessment.

Now there’s an even easier (and less disruptive) solution: The Blue Lake Sun Cam.


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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Grand Jury: Separate Aviation from Public Works

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Ignore that sign - this is the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport. - GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
  • Ignore that sign - this is the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport.
The Humboldt County grand jury just released the results of an investigation into the county’s beleaguered Aviation Division and the six airports it manages.

As you may recall, the Aviation Division is in dire financial straits, expected to end this fiscal year nearly $1 million in the hole and with an ongoing structural deficit in the hundreds of thousands.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Stop. Shop. Robbing is so 2012.

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2015 at 11:06 AM

The Stop and Shop: safer than ever. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • The Stop and Shop: safer than ever.

Quirkily-captioned security cam stills of local ne’er-do-wells still flutter above the cold case, but the notorious Stop and Shop — aka the "Stop and Rob" — on Wabash and B streets hasn’t called in an actual robbery for the last three years.

Owner Lee Ok Boon was vague about why the store hasn’t lived up to its dubious reputation lately, saying only that there had been “no problems.” Business was good on the morning we visited, with a steady stream of clients lining up for coffee and cigarettes. One woman waved away the assistance of the extra clerk, clutching a fistful of dollar bills as she waited for Boon to be free. Boon greeted her with a smile.


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Kinetic Race Gets Wet, Photographs from the Front Lines

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2015 at 7:52 AM

The Moonshine Banditos capsize shortly after entering Humboldt Bay during the second day of the 2015 Kinetic Grand Championship. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The Moonshine Banditos capsize shortly after entering Humboldt Bay during the second day of the 2015 Kinetic Grand Championship.
Things got downright damp Sunday, as the Kinetic Sculpture Race's second day began with the ever feared water entry. Some sculptures launched, where others merely wobbled and tipped, before a lively crowd near Eureka's Wharfinger Building. The first waves of racers are expected to approach the finish line on Ferndale's Main Street at about 1 p.m. today, so if you're still itching to catch a piece of the race up close and personal, it's not too late. Check out our Kinetic Primer here for tips on what today's final leg of the race will bring. In the meantime, here's a look back at Day Two's angst-inducing water entry, courtesy of Journal contributors Mark Larson and Mark McKenna.


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

HumBug: The 40-year-old Mystery

Posted By on Sun, May 24, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Freshwater mystery critters. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Freshwater mystery critters.

When I was in the Navy I never minded midnight topside watch on the ship I was on in Long Beach. I've always loved glow-in-the-dark things, and I never tired of looking into the faintly luminous blue fire swirling in the warm bay waters. That was before the Internet and Wikipedia, so my options to look things up were limited. Still, I found out that the glow was caused by phytoplankton, a pretty common phenomenon. Unexplained were the brilliant blue pinpricks moving around not by the eddies of water flow, but seemingly of their own volition. Those, I thought, might be predators in the faintly glowing soup.

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UPDATED: Gavin Newsom to Talk Pot in Humboldt

Posted By on Sun, May 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
UPDATE:
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman issued a press release this afternoon inviting the public to join he and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in Garberville on Friday afternoon to talk marijuana policy (full press release copied below).

And Huffman spokesman clarified for the Journal that Friday's forum isn't officially part of Newsom's committee work on the subject of marijuana regulation, but that Newsom plans to report back to the committee whatever he learns during his stay in Humboldt.


PREVIOUSLY:
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is headed to Humboldt to talk marijuana policy.

Newsom, who’s leading a committee looking at regulations for potential statewide marijuana legalization in 2016, is slated to appear at a “public forum on marijuana policy” being put on by North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman on Friday afternoon in Garberville. But, it remains unclear if the event will be open to the public, as Huffman’s spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment and calls to Newsom’s office went unreturned Friday.

It’s also unclear whether Friday’s meeting is a part of the official listening tour being carried out by Newsom’s committee — which includes former Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. The committee hosted its first forum back in April at the University of California Los Angeles.

Rumors of Newsom’s visit have been swirling since late last week, when Huffman’s office sent out invites to Friday’s event. The invitations — one of which was obtained by the Journal — ask folks to RSVP to Huffman’s office, and bill the forum as a discussion of “the unique public policy challenges related to marijuana legalization affecting California’s North Coast.”

The visit comes on the heels of one in April by members of the State Board of Equalization, who spent a couple of days in Southern Humboldt touring marijuana farms and Wonderland Nursery to help inform potential future tax policies. Huffman and Newsom’s forum also comes as California Cannabis Voice Humboldt is putting the final touches on the latest draft of its land use ordinance initiative, which seeks to regulate and legitimize outdoor marijuana cultivation on large parcels within the county.


The following is the press release from Huffman's office:

***MEDIA ADVISORY***



Huffman to host public marijuana policy forum with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom



GARBERVILLE - Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) will host Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to discuss the unique public policy challenges related to marijuana legalization affecting California’s North Coast.



Huffman and Newsom will meet with a diverse group of stakeholders, including local governments, marijuana advocates, law enforcement, environmentalists and regulators to explore concepts for a common sense framework for marijuana, post-legalization.



WHAT: Marijuana policy forum and public meeting

WHERE: Redwood Playhouse, 286 Sprowel Creek Road, Garberville

WHEN: Friday, May 29, 1 to 2:30 p.m. PT

DIRECTIONS:

From Hwy 101 North: Take 1st Garberville exit, continue onto Redwood Dr. through town, and turn left at the stop sign onto Sprowel Creek Rd. Cross over highway and theater will be on your left attached to College of the Redwoods Instructional Site.

From Hwy 101 South: Take 2nd Garberville exit for Sprowel Creek Rd. and turn right at top of off ramp. Theater will be on your left attached to College of the Redwoods Instructional Site. 

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