Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Defense Attorneys Urge Supes to Scrap Public Defender Hire, Start Over

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:03 PM

  • Thinkstock
It’s very hard to say exactly what recently hired Public Defender David Marcus has been doing for the last five years since his controversial tenure leading Lassen County’s defense services for the indigent came to a close.

The resume Marcus submitted to the county indicates that, since leaving Lassen County in 2012, he has worked for the firm Cella Lange and Cella as a contract attorney, doing transactional real estate and property loss consulting. But that seems to raise more questions than it answers.

Google the firm’s name and you’ll find plenty of listings — on directory sites like lawyers.com — indicating the firm has a Walnut Creek address, but you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more. The firm has no website, and doesn’t seem to come up in any news stories or legal filings on the web. Google the firm’s name and Marcus’ together and you’ll get zero hits.

In an effort to find out more about the firm and Marcus, the Journal called it directly, twice, telling a receptionist we were hoping to speak with someone who’s worked with Marcus or supervised him. No one returned the call. We called back saying we simply wanted additional information about the firm — things like how many attorneys it employed, how many offices it has and what areas of law it specializes in — and the receptionist said there was no one there who could answer those questions. Pressed, he said the firm specializes in “civil law” before assuring someone would return the Journal’s call. No one did.

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Updated: Officials ID Woman Recovered From Humboldt Bay

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation in to the death of a 28-year-old woman whose body was recovered Sunday from Humboldt Bay.

Community Service Officer Stacy Hanson today identified the woman as Richelle Anaya, of Samoa, and said an autopsy has been scheduled to determine a cause of death. Hanson said the sheriff’s office was dispatched to the third span of the Samoa Bridge at 4:10 a.m. Sunday and a search and rescue effort was launched with the Coast Guard later recovering Anaya's body.

“At this time we do not know, it’s under investigation, exactly what happened,” Hanson said.

The sheriff’s office is expected to release more information on the incident later today, she added.

Read the sheriff's office release below:
On Sunday, February 19, 2017 at about 0410 hours, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies along with Eureka Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt Bay Fire and United States Coast Guard personnel responded to the 3rd span of the Samoa Bridge, Eureka for a possible search and rescue. At about 0745 hours, United States Coast Guard located a body near the 3rd span of the Bridge in the water.

The body was later identified as Richelle Brianne Anaya, age 28 of Samoa. This case is under investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

HumBug: Season's Greetings

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 7:26 PM

Ferelia februalis. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Ferelia februalis.

Undaunted by the rain, I was out barbecuing a chicken a few nights ago when, attracted by my porch light, a moth buzzed me. I kept working but noted where it came to rest. Of course I had to investigate, and when I did I noted it was decorated with a lacy black pattern on a pale green background.

A little research in a book I got for Christmas Moths of Western North America led to identifying it as Feralia februalis. No common name is listed. I think I'll call it the February moth.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Ready for Primetime

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM


Amid all the wagging cuteness and elegance on display at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last week, a local pup turned some heads.

More Than Ready, an Irish setter owned by Fortuna’s Tom and Anita Gage that came into the competition ranked 18th in the nation for owner handler dogs, took home a prestigious Award of Merit in the Irish setter best of breed competition. The award is a big win for the Gages and caught the notice of The New Yorker reporter Jia Tolentino. Anyone who took a class from Tom Gage, a retired Humboldt State Univeristy English professor, should recognize him in Tolentino’s depiction:
"Applause rang out; a breed competition had just concluded. A woman in a pink suit ran to greet her husband with brimming, joyful eyes. Her name was Anita Gage, and her Irish setter, Ready—official name: More Than Ready—had just won an Award of Merit. She and her husband, Tom, had travelled for fifteen hours to get to New York from California. Tom, an English professor, told me later, “The beauty of the Irish setter has caught the eye of painters for centuries.” Somehow, we got on the subject of Turkish politics, and for the rest of the dog show, as handlers napped in camping chairs and the animals lined up, Noah’s Ark style, to exit through the loading dock, the two of us talked about Fethullah Gülen."

Check out Tolentino’s full article here, and watch Anita Gage and Ready in action below. (Anita is the handler in pink wearing the No. 10 arm band.)

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Attack of the English Ivy

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 3:24 PM

Conservation groups point to the fact that invasive English Ivy poses a risk to redwoods in arguing for banning sales of the plant in California. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Conservation groups point to the fact that invasive English Ivy poses a risk to redwoods in arguing for banning sales of the plant in California.

A number of conservation groups, government branches and a logging company petitioned for a ban of selling English Ivy in California. Over 20 organizations, including the Environmental Protection Information Center and Green Diamond Resource Co., led a petition to designate English Ivy as a noxious plant.

Tom Wheeler, Executive Director of Environmental Protection Information Center, said the Ivy is harmful to North Coast forests. The sale is already prohibited in Oregon and Washington, and it’s time for California to join their North Coast neighbors.

“English Ivy is a very destructive and invasive species on the North Coast,” Wheeler said. “It’s a direct threat to our most iconic species [the Redwood] but also other vegetation as well.”

English Ivy is not a native species, it was brought over from European settlers as ornamental plant, but has since spread throughout public lands. Because the plant is not indigenous to the North Coast, it out competes the plants like Salal and Huckleberries, which are indigenous to this area.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food Sovereignty, Tribal Sovereignty

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Potawot Community Garden farm stand. - COURTESY OF POTAWOT COMMUNITY GARDEN, UIHS
  • Courtesy of Potawot Community Garden, UIHS
  • Potawot Community Garden farm stand.
When the Northern California Tribal Courts Coalition (NCTCC) was awarded a grant to improve tribal health last year, it didn’t hesitate in identifying food as the keystone. Spearheaded by Program Director Cynthia Boshell, NCTCC will roll out its first Tribal Youth Food Sovereignty Camps later this month. The all-day camps will consist of hands-on education, discussion and participation in growing and cooking native foods. In order to serve youth on the coast and inland, the camp will be repeated on consecutive days: Wednesday, Feb. 22 in Potawot; Thursday, Feb. 23 in Klamath and Friday, Feb. 24 in Orleans.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Eureka Rallies Behind Planned Parenthood

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:37 PM

A crowd of more than 200 pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood supporters carry signs, chant and wave to passing drivers on Fifth Street outside the Humboldt County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon. - MARK LARSON
  • Mark Larson
  • A crowd of more than 200 pro-choice and pro-Planned Parenthood supporters carry signs, chant and wave to passing drivers on Fifth Street outside the Humboldt County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

The Humboldt County Courthouse lawn was filled Saturday with more than 200 people waving signs and chanting in a show of support for Planned Parenthood, which has come under threat with the new administration and Congress. Many passing motorists honked and waved in shows of support, though some offered a thumbs-down condemnation. Local photographer Mark Larson was there and shared the following slideshow.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

HumBug: Winter Pygmies

Posted By on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM

A 1/2-inch grouse locust on my garage door. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A 1/2-inch grouse locust on my garage door.

Today, on the front garage door was the tiniest grasshopper you are ever likely to see, its body measuring about ½ inch long. Its general body shape, short antennae, and large hind legs, were unmistakably those of a grasshopper (sub order Caelifera). Its size, coloration and the fact that it was out in the middle of winter told me it was a member of the Tetrigidae family or grouse locusts also known as pygmy grasshoppers. Both regular grasshoppers and their pygmy cousins are members of the order Orthoptera, which also includes crickets, camel crickets, Jerusalem crickets and katydids (all of which have long antennae).

A 1-inch shield backed katydid. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A 1-inch shield backed katydid.
Unlike most other grasshopper families, adults of this group are known to survive through winter. During the summer I've seen many of these tiny hoppers along river bars, where they feed on algae on rocks. With the river swollen from recent rains, I guess they've headed for higher ground. This is the third one I've seen lately at my house which is about half a mile from the nearest river.
An immature katydid (about  3/4 inch long) eating one of my roses. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • An immature katydid (about 3/4 inch long) eating one of my roses.

Once I get my fly tying paraphernalia back together I may try to imitate these. Since they live so near the water, the fish may well see them as a tasty and familiar morsel.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Journal News Editor Wins Freedom of Information Award

Posted By on Sat, Feb 11, 2017 at 10:51 AM

  • Thadeus Greenson

The Society of Professional Journalists Northern California officially announced yesterday that Thadeus Greenson, the Journal's news editor, won a James Madison Freedom of Information Award. It's an award Caroline Titus of the Ferndale Enterprise took home in 2016, and the Journal's then staff writer and editor Hank Sims and Emily Gurnon won in 2005.

Greenson is being recognized for his "years long battle with the city of Eureka over the release of police camera footage of an arrest." (That arrest by then Eureka Police Sgt. Adam Laird and the departmental drama that followed it are, coincidentally, the subject of next week's cover story on stands Wednesday.) The end result of Greenson and the Journal's pursuit of the video, in Humboldt County Superior Court and then in the California First District Court of Appeals, was a state precedent-setting opinion that kept the city — and any others in California — from treating police camera footage as confidential officer personnel records.

Particularly in our current climate, with heightened awareness of police misconduct and the potential abuses of power, that ruling in favor of transparency is a win for journalists throughout the state, the public and those police departments working toward trust in the communities they protect. We could not be more proud of Greenson's work on this story and in every issue of the Journal.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Building a More Inclusive University

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 2:29 PM

  • File
Richard Boone walked back and fourth in front of a group of campus community members who gathered in Humboldt State University’s Goodwin Forum on Thursday. Behind Boone, the university’s dean of natural resources and sciences, was a large projection screen that read, “Campus wide discussions: Inequalities, justice and inclusion.”

Boone, who was recently appointed to his post in July of 2016, led the discussion on creating a more inclusive and safer campus community. All students, staff, faculty and administrators were invited to have a dialogue on how the school can be more inclusive to undocumented students, people of color and the LGBTQ community.

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