Sunday, July 19, 2015

Humbug: Two Different Strategies for Prosperity

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 2:16 PM

The Buckeye butterfly's eye-like wing spots may serve to intimidate predators. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The Buckeye butterfly's eye-like wing spots may serve to intimidate predators.
I can be sure it's summer now that I’ve seen two of my favorite butterflies. Considered as a pair, they show two very different survival strategies. One is gaudy, covered by nature with large clown eyes, the other is a very “plain Jane” butterfly. You can see them both on any sunny Summer or Fall day.

Look for the Buckeye (Junonia coenia ) on Shasta daisies or almost any patch of blooming Himalaya Berries. Their vivid eye spots may serve to protect them from predators, especially birds, by startling them. The size of those eyes is that of a much larger creature, and there are a lot of them! Fortunately, most birds can't count. So, when it comes to eyes, I guess bigger and more is better. This species does not hide, but patrols and displays its vivid markings wherever it lands. It is common throughout North America.

At the other end of the spectrum is the least obtrusive butterfly I know, the California Ringlet, Coenonympha tullia california. The upper side is a cream or sand color, which matches the tall dry grass where it usually hides. Every live photo I've seen of this small butterfly has its wings closed, showing their pale gray brown underside. Unlike the buckeye, its survival strategy seems to be camouflage rather than intimidation.

The species Coenonympha tullia is a widespread species throughout the northern hemisphere. The california appellation indicates our local subspecies. When I posted a photo from my back yard of the Ringlet on an entomological Facebook page, a fellow from Scotland posted one from there, which was indistinguishable from our locals.

Both are members of the family Nymphalidae so presumably had a common ancestor not too far back on the evolutionary tree. But they have obviously taken very different paths to success.

Camouflage is the California Ringlet's primary defense. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Camouflage is the California Ringlet's primary defense.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Chile vs. Chile: The Arcata Standoff

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 10:29 AM

As discussed last week, chile relleno appears to come in a spectrum. We've been treated to both the traditional Poblano pepper wrapped in batter and the equally sabroso omelet-style yumminess. Our readers, however, took exception this week to our inclusion of the eggy offering from Arcata's Fiesta Grill and Cantina (3525 Janes Rd).

So, first, in our defense, we did call and ask for both kinds, but were told only the egg version was available. The very nice (and very busy) lady on the phone broke down their chile relleno-making process, which she said involved folding the pepper into the batter right on the grill. Mmmm! We were pretty delighted with the spiciness and nice, even batter with the oozy Monterey Jack cheese inside. Yes, we know, Monterey Jack is not exactly traditional, but it's the taste that matters, okay? 

Carmela's in Arcata serves up a more traditional fare. - GRANT SCOTT GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott Goforth
  • Carmela's in Arcata serves up a more traditional fare.
Across town, Carmelas (1288 G St) handed us a hefty package of cilantro-sprinkled goodness. That deep brown batter, that gooey traditional cheese...we could see why people have their platonic ideal of the perfect chile relleno. But...were we comparing apples to oranges? Was the egg version not a worthy contender to the traditional masa version? We decided to withhold judgement. Next week we'll pit Fiesta Grill and Cantina's more traditional version against Carmela's and toss in the much-nominated Valley Azteca to boot. Three chile rellenos in one week? Yeah, we can handle it. Heck, why not nominate yet another Arcata favorite into the ring. The ultimate winner will go up against Fortuna and Eureka's favorites in our ongoing quest to find #humboldtsbestchilerelleno.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 17, 2015

Controversial Place Names in Humboldt County

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 3:52 PM

Seth Kinman, mountain man, furniture builder, killer of Native Americans, has a pond named after him. - ONLINE ARCHIVE OF CALIFORNIA
  • Seth Kinman, mountain man, furniture builder, killer of Native Americans, has a pond named after him.

Last week we ran a story which dipped briefly into the history of Larabee Creek — named for a participant in the Indian Island massacre. Local historian, author and Journal contributor Jerry Rohde was inspired to send us a list of other places in Humboldt County with ignominious eponymy. Below are the results of his search.

(This list contains only names currently recognized by U. S. Geographical Survey. Several other offensive names that were in earlier use have been omitted.)

Larabee, Larabee Creek, Larabee Valley:

All named for Henry Larabee, a rancher who lived in Larabee Valley. He participated in the Indian Island Massacre, boasted of having murdered 60 infants at various killing grounds, and shot and killed an elderly Indian who did nothing more than pay Larabee a visit.

Brown’s Gulch:

This tributary to Elk River, located near the Boy Scout Camp, was named for James D. Henry Brown, who local historian Martha Roscoe determined was a leader of the massacre party at Indian Island.

Digger Creek:

This tributary to Yager Creek is south of the Iaqua Buttes. The term “digger” was frequently applied to local Indians and should be considered as offensive as the term “n—” as used in reference to blacks.

Squaw Creek:

Squaw Creek #1 is a tributary to Bull Creek, in the heart of the Rockefeller Forest. A group of white vigilantes massacred local Indians there in the 1850s. Squaw Creek #2 is a tributary of the Mattole River and was the site, in 1863, of another Indian massacre. Squaw Creek #3 is a tributary of the East Branch South Fork River. The term squaw has long been held to be offensive by numerous Indian tribes.

Negro Joe Ridge:

This location lies just below the scenic overlook on Highway 299 west of Berry Summit. It was earlier called N— Joe Ridge. Even if it became “African-American Joe Ridge” it would still be insulting because it perpetuates the use of the name “Joe” as a catchall for male blacks regardless of their true name. In this case, the ridge was named for Leroy Watkins, who was probably the first black in Humboldt County. He was ambushed by two Whilkut Indians in the vicinity and killed both of them.

Kinman Pond:

This body of water is located on Bear River Ridge, southwest of Rio Dell. Seth Kinman had a ranch here in the 1850s. Kinman reportedly would kill Indians on sight.

Felt Springs:

This former hot springs is northeast of Fortuna near the southern edge of Headwaters Forest. It was owned by Dr. Theodore Dwight Felt, who, in 1852, cosigned a letter asking residents from Humboldt Bay to help Eel River area residents massacre Indians. Several Wiyot villages were attacked as a result.

Patrick's Point:

Named for "Old Patrick" Reagan (or Beegan), who live in the area in the 1850s. In July 1854 he shot and killed an Indian boy near Trinidad. He was arrested but escaped while witnesses were being examined. Patrick later lived above Redwood Creek. He discovered an Indian camp nearby and led soldiers to it; he was subsequently killed by the Indians.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#Arcata24HR: A Day in the Life

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Local photographer Leon Villagomez recently pulled an all nighter in his Arcata home. As he sat in front of his computer processing photos, the sounds of the night trickled in: a crack of a bat and cheers from the ballpark; a police siren; bits of animated conversation; hoots from plaza revelers.

That night's sounds inspired an ambitious project Villagomez is launching tonight, when, beginning at 12:01 a.m., he will spend 24 straight hours traversing Arcata and capturing its sights. There's no plan, he says, other than exploring, wandering and documenting. "That's kind of the beauty of this," says Villagomez. "I have no idea what it's going to be."

Villagomez, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, who has lived in Humboldt County for almost five years, will be documenting his 24-hour journey on Instagram, using the hashtag #Arcata24HR. You can follow him there. We'll also be curating his posts on this page (, where readers will be able to see #Arcata24HR unfold in real time. Just be sure to check back often, as Villagomez is planning on posting a handful of pictures an hour, until his likely collapse from exhaustion at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

UPDATE: Local Palliative Care Outfit Launches Pilot Program

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 12:54 PM


ResolutionCare has launched its education portion, Project ECHO, in a nine-month pilot program, also in conjunction with Partnership HealthPlan of California. 

Project ECHO uses a hub and spoke model to " demonopolizes the scarce resource of a palliative care team," according to a press release (see the illustration below, and read more about it here.)

ResolutionCare will provide teams with training and discussion at 10 Northern California health centers for 90 minutes, twice a month during the duration of the pilot program. Read the entire press release at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Racism Behind the Redwood Curtain Part III: Sorry, Not Sorry

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 3:26 PM

Student's truck in the College of the Redwoods Parking Lot. - SUBMITTED
  • Student's truck in the College of the Redwoods Parking Lot.
Although Confederate flags do appear on the occasional barn wall, truck bumper or window, Humboldt County had no real role in the Southern cause. But the War of the States did have a marked effect on the Redwood Coast, according to Humboldt State University history professor Thomas Mays.

“During the war, Humboldt was like a lot of frontier areas in the United States; the U.S. stopped garrisoning frontier posts, and some of the largest Native American fights took place,” he says.

When the troops left Fort Humboldt, local tribes saw an opportunity to reclaim their indigenous land and began escalating violence against white settlers. This drew a weighty and horrific response from vigilante groups.

“The home guard used it as an opportunity to solve their ‘Indian problem’ once and for all,” says Mays. Attacks against Native Americans by the local militia escalated, prompting the U.S. government to send some “very unhappy” Civil War volunteers to Fort Humboldt. “They didn’t want to be up here, they wanted to be fighting in the war. Locals weren’t thrilled that they weren’t rounding up Indians. And there were frontier attacks on all sides. By 1863, volunteers were pulled out. Then Seth Kinman and others showed up.”

Kinman, who is suspected of participating in the 1860 massacre of Wiyot women and children on Indian Island, was one of many locals who took part in routine massacres and “round ups” of Native Americans during and after the Civil War. Those not killed were pressed into slavery, exposed to infectious disease or marched to reservations far away from their tribal lands. Landmarks in our region bear the names of men who participated in this genocide. Larabee Valley, for example, is named for Henry Larabee, who once boasted of having “killed sixty infants with his own hatchet.” The Kelsey Recreation Trail, in the Marble Mountains, bears the name of Ben Kelsey, who slaughtered Native Americans as part of the Sonoma Gang before becoming a founder of Arcata.

When a society is structured in a way to systematically advantage one group over another, this is known as systemic racism. The philosophy of Manifest Destiny and blunt dehumanization used to justify the genocide of Native Americans on the North Coast are blatant examples of systemic racism, but other forms still exist, in our schools, our jails and public institutions.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Center for Youth Law recently brought a lawsuit against Eureka City Schools, alleging racial and sexual discrimination against African American and Native American students. An investigation into the allegations and a subsequent study reveal that students of color were disproportionately disciplined for minor infractions and shunted into non-college-track courses.

In March 2014 the City of Eureka retracted a draft letter of apology to the Wiyot tribe for the Indian Island massacre. City officials felt that the original letter, which acknowledged the participation by Eureka citizenry in the massacre and offered a formal apology for a “massacre of unfathomable proportions," might expose the city to litigation, a fear that appears to be unfounded. A second letter, vague in language, was proffered instead.

Although Native Americans make up just 6 percent of Humboldt’s overall population, they account for 17 percent of those suffering housing insecurity, according to a recent draft report from the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition. Both Native American and African American children are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system.

Still, leaders in the African American and Native American communities say that strides are being made.

“Systemic racism is not as much of a problem as running into racism individually,” says A.V. Powell, head of Humboldt County’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Powell says when he first moved to Humboldt County in 1965 and began work at the pulp mill, his white coworkers criticized the decision to hire him. “Most of the people who worked at the mill were two or three generations and they felt … that I was stepping into their personal territory. For years I ran into that problem even as I became senior operator, actually basically in charge of training them. They still said I got in because of affirmative action, I said, ‘Well you got in because your daddy worked there.’”

Today, Powell says that the organization is focused on political action.

“Our goal is to get as many young people as we can to vote and get them interested in their government,” he says. “I try to impress upon them that people of my generation died for that right. If you’re not part of the team, then you can’t play ball.”

Chag Lowry, program manager for the Native Cultures Fund at the Humboldt Area Foundation, says media focus on the problems rather than the solutions is a common, unacknowledged example of systemic racism.

“Who chooses how to portray us is important,” says Lowry. “When we start to go to systemic racism, we don’t focus on the efforts native people are undertaking.”

The relative youth of most tribal governments, the inherited trauma of the boarding school system, the lack of native voices in Humboldt State University’s administration, all of these could be considered examples of systemic racism, according to Lowry.

“Everything goes back to how this place was founded,” he says. “But I tend to look at more contemporary structures that are present.”

The True North Community Organizing Network, which is also under the umbrella of the Humboldt Area Foundation, recently hired a native community organizer. Local tribes are involved in providing social services for their members, care for children and elders, education outreach, language revitalization services, environmental oversight and cultural events. Lowry says these important aspects of contemporary tribal life are often underrepresented by the media.

On July 10, South Carolina lowered the Confederate flag for the final time in the state’s capital, turning the controversial piece of cloth over to a state history museum. The flag had gained national attention after the shooting of Charleston churchgoers Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor and Susie Jackson by a self-proclaimed white supremacist. Discussion of the Confederate flag on the Journal’s own website and Facebook page generated a hefty amount of criticism on both sides, with some readers emphasizing heritage and others hatred. The flag, say many, is just a symbol. Yes, say others, but what it symbolizes is worthy of a critical eye. It remains to be seen if that same critical eye will be applied to the our own legacy of slavery, genocide and racism, a legacy that has no stars and bars to point at, no banner to wave nor to lower.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original post stated that the City of Fortuna does not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A city employee emailed to say as of July 1, 2015 this had changed.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

HumBug: Giddyup!

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM

Cowgirl ants have a flock of aphids exactly where they want them. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Cowgirl ants have a flock of aphids exactly where they want them.
Having rained the day before, the sky hung low and menacing over the warm, muggy, quiet clearing. Strangely at that moment there were very few insects in a place I expected to see many. I was reminded of an old jungle movie. The words – “It's quiet. Too quiet!” – ran through my mind. Where were the bugs? It is unusual to not see any.

Just to have something to do I took a shot of a thistle in perfect full bloom and my eye was drawn to a dark spot behind a leaf axil. It moved, so I looked harder. It was a fairly large ant, nearly half an inch long, working diligently herding a flock of aphids. I have read about this behavior. The ants diligently protect and care for their charges. In return, the aphids secrete a sweet substance called honeydew, which the ants eat.

If the aphids are their cows and ant workers are all female, it makes them “Cowgirl ants.” Menace them with your finger and the ants will take a threatening pose, even attacking if you push it.

I took a few photos using the flash as supplemental illumination, finally returning my little camera to my pocket. It occurred to me to take another photo from a different angle. As I was retrieving the camera there was a flash. I thought I might have left it “on” until the flash I saw was followed by a very loud sharp thunder crack. Alone in an open clearing, I decided to let that last shot go and hustled my way out of there only to get drenched by rain on the way.

I guess the rest of those insects knew something I would have been wise to heed, that inclement weather was on its way.   

Ants herding aphids. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Ants herding aphids.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , ,

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Racism Behind the Redwood Curtain Part II: Stars, Bars and the Backs of Cars

Posted By on Sat, Jul 11, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Truck parked in front of the Yellow Rose in Petrolia, CA. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Truck parked in front of the Yellow Rose in Petrolia, CA.

In Part I of this series we explored the hidden, often lonely world of Humboldt County’s online white supremacist community. But, of course, not all intolerance lurks online. We put the call out to the community to share their experiences with racism in Humboldt County, and gathered a lot of comments on one aspect in particular: Why would anyone sport a Confederate flag this far north of the Mason-Dixon line?

Humboldt County has no deep ties to the Deep South. Our lone Confederate notable, brigadier general Gabriel J. Rains, both fought and protected Native Americans from his post at Fort Humboldt before leaving to join the secessionist cause. (He also has the dubious distinction of being one of the first inventors of the modern land mine.) It doesn’t appear that there are any public buildings or monuments named after Rains or other Confederate soldiers in Humboldt County, meaning that we will be unaffected by a proposed bill in the California State Senate that would ban public property from having the names of Confederate leaders. Further down the coast, Fort Bragg (named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg), may be in for a dramatic change. While there was a Confederate contingent in Southern California, Humboldt remained loyal to the Union cause.

And yet, the Confederate Flag still appears under the redwoods and fog from time to time, like a Joker card flashing to the surface of a well-shuffled deck. The Hawg Wild Bar in Orick no longer flies it, and it has been mostly exterminated from the parking lot of Ferndale High, but as Journal columnist Marcy Burstiner recently pointed out, it is alive and well on the bumpers of some local vehicles, and even on windows in Eureka's Old Town.

Kintay Johnson, assistant director of the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services department at College of the Redwoods, says that many of the students of color who come into his office feel isolated and unwelcome in Humboldt. Johnson, who spoke about his experience as an African American at a recent TedX event, moved to Humboldt from Pensacola, Florida 12 years ago. He said that the racial atmosphere in Humboldt was a welcome change from his hometown, where profiling was a common police practice. He has seen a few examples of overt racism, including an incident in which a stranger who accosted him and his friends on the Arcata Plaza, spewing racial epithets.

“He did look a little intoxicated,” says Johnson. “ Maybe that made him feel like he had the freedom to say these things. I brought it up in class and someone said there are a lot of those people running around here, it’s just not as overt in the South. That’s when I started seeing Confederate flags, and I just thought ‘Whoa, what is this doing here, 3,000 miles away from the South?’”

Johnson says that the Confederate flag, which was much more prominent where he grew up, is “not a symbol of heritage. It’s hate.” His first reaction when he sees it is to avoid whoever is wearing or displaying it, but because he works with the public this can be difficult. So instead he leans into the conflict, trying to change hearts and minds.

“I try to break down any stereotype they may have heard about black people, to help them see that those negative images they see on TV or whatever, they’re not true,” he says, recalling the time he was called to help a student who had a Confederate Flag tattooed onto the back of his neck. “It took me aback, but then I thought, ‘I’m really going to help this guy. I’m going to make this the best experience he’s ever had, and that’s how I’ll help.’ So I did.”

Michael Ross, a local business owner who moved to Humboldt from Chicago, also says that Eureka has been a welcoming environment for him and his family. Ross says he has had experiences in which he felt he was being racially profiled by the police. He said an officer with the Eureka Police Department was discriminatory and rude towards him during a traffic stop, and that the station did not give him a complaint form. But for the most part, Ross’s experience has been in line with national statistics regarding racial attitudes in the United States, which show Humboldt County as one of the country’s most tolerant regions.

Still, both Ross and Johnson say that they feel safer and more welcome in Eureka and Arcata. Johnson says he was racially profiled and stopped by law enforcement in McKinleyville. Neither men feel totally comfortable in Fortuna, Ferndale or McKinleyville, especially after dark. Ross and his wife, who is white, have occasionally received the “mad eye” from people when they go out in public. Ross says that they respond by “playing up the kissy kissy, lovey dovey,” once moving seats in a restaurant to be closer to some intolerant patrons, who eventually left.

In May of this year, a postal worker in Eureka reported being physically and verbally abused while delivering mail. He says that his assailants called him the n-word before they punched him. The case has been referred to the district attorney’s office, who had not returned our call as of press time. The local chapter of the NAACP has also not returned our calls.

Ross, who cuts an imposing figure, says that he isn’t on the receiving end of a lot of racially-motivated behavior because, ultimately, “most racists are cowards.” He is more concerned about his daughter, who will soon be entering the public school system. His wife is an educator, and she and her colleagues can provide a “safety net” during grade school, but the recent ACLU lawsuit against Eureka City Schools has made him nervous about what will happen when she goes to highschool. The couple talked about it before their daughter was “even conceived,” and they continue to talk about it "constantly."

“I'll be teaching her how to handle herself when she's confronted with some of these stupid ideals,” says Ross, who has already begun talking to his daughter about her African heritage and the aspects of her background he says aren’t taught in history class. “She'll be armed with power. When you know background and when you know the truth, you can look someone in the face when they say something stupid. And then we're definitely going to work on self-defense, because I can't live knowing that someone would hurt my little girl without her knowing how to defend herself.”

Ross and his wife are working to change the school system “from the inside,” preparing the way for their daughter to have a safe experience. He says that he will be teaching his little girl as he was taught, to “defend yourself first and talk politics later.”

Ross’s concerns speak to the hidden side of racism on the Redwood Coast. Confederate flags and other symbols can be painted over or taken down, but the systems that support racism are often both hidden in plain sight and a challenge to uproot. In part III of our series we will look into institutional racism in Humboldt County.

Please add your voice by commenting below or emailing

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original post included a reference to a white supremacist symbol on the side of a local truck. The Journal has since spoken to the owner of the truck, who told us we misidentified the symbol. The Journal regrets the error.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Reluctant Cyclist, part 3

Posted By on Sat, Jul 11, 2015 at 8:51 AM

click image Alas.
  • Alas.
Look, I was ready, sporting my styley bike pants, pannier packed and motivation high. Unfortunately, my tire was low – and no matter how much I tried to inflate it, the rubber stayed squishy to the squeeze. I ended up lifting the bike into the truck bed – a working tailgate would be nice at times like this – and driving it to Revolution Bicycles, the place from whence it came all those years ago

They are nice people, the people who work at Revolution. They've never made me feel dumb for knowing nothing about bikes. And yet, due to my own awareness of my cluelessness, I walk in wearing embarrassment like it's a T-shirt saying, "Not An Actual Bike Person." 

I wheel my bike over to the repair area and explain that "this" – I point to the tire, apparently unable to identify it by name – "isn't holding air." Also, I continue, "The... chain?... uh... won't shift?" Because that's another thing I noticed a couple days ago – that the front version of the things that shift into different gears isn't working. Usually I just leave that one alone and switch the back one up-and-down – see? I don't even know the parts to explain what is (not) happening. 

When Justin, one of the owners, says hi to me and compliments my bike on being ridden, I tell him I'm writing about bicycling for the Journal. The repair guy asks my name for the form he's filling out, and after I say it, he says, "Oh, I've read a lot of your stuff" in a tone that is neither compliment nor derision, which leaves me unable to determine if reading my stuff has been a good experience for him or a bad. I stand awkwardly until he says, kindly, that he'll have an estimate for me tomorrow. And then I leave.

Now, it's possible to someone not living in my head, that I appeared normal. Or my dorkiness could have been as obvious as it felt. Hard to say. In any case, the bike is in cleverer hands and I hope to have it back soon. 

In the meantime, some thoughts following my last post, on bicycling home over the bridges from Eureka. The morning ride had taken place after 9 a.m., but my return trip was squarely in the midst of rush hour. 

Number of miles ridden (one-way): 4.0
Time traveled: 23:51 minutes
Number of other pedestrians passed: 2
Number of times actively feared for life: 5

Vehicles speeding by are much worse when they come as a relentless onslaught instead of an occasional hazard. The increased traffic also meant that passing cars didn't scoot over nearly as much, which was especially troublesome when I had to go around the people walking over the bridge – not their fault, but room does not exist for a car to go around a cyclist going around a pedestrian. And drivers sure can't seem to just maybe slow down for a minute while we all work this out. 

Finally, because I have upset someone who feels my "attitude about cycling is a real downer," let me first say some things I love about riding my bike: the view, the exercise, the fun of going downhill, the satisfaction of having ridden. 

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Friday, July 10, 2015

UPDATE: Names of Firefighters Killed in Crash Released

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 1:12 PM

From the California Highway Patrol:

UPDATE: The two U.S. Forest Service firefighters that died in this traffic collision have been identified as 29 year old Dale Alexander Mendes of Willow Creek (Driver) and 19 year old Jason Fritz Price, Jr. of Weitchpec (Right front passenger).


The firefighters ¬— whose names haven’t been released — were reporting missing earlier in the day after they reportedly left work in the Salyer area Wednesday night and failed to return Thursday morning, according to a CHP press release. Investigators believe the SUV drove off Seeley McIntosh Road and went into the water some time between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, but it’s unclear when.

See the full CHP press release copied below:


WILLOW CREEK, Calif. – On the afternoon of Thursday, July 9, a citizen reported to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Willow Creek unit of an overturned vehicle in the Trinity River near Kimtu Beach. The CHP and other emergency personnel responded to the scene and located an overturned black Toyota SUV submerged in the Trinity River with two deceased occupants. A preliminary investigation indicates the vehicle drove off Seeley McIntosh Road sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.

It was previously reported to the CHP Redding Communications Center that two U.S. Forest Service firefighters left work in Salyer Wednesday night and never showed up for work Thursday morning. CHP and Humboldt County Sheriff Department units searched possible travel routes and were initially unable to locate the missing firefighters or their vehicle.

The two deceased occupants are confirmed to be that of the two missing firefighters. The identification of the two victims are being withheld until their families are notified.

The California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area office is investigating this traffic collision. Our thoughts are with the U.S. Forest Service and the community of Willow Creek in the loss of two firefighters dedicated to serving their community.


  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

Care2 Take Action?


Facebook | Twitter

© 2022 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation