Wednesday, November 22, 2017

As Supes Prepare for Thanksgiving Eve Meeting, Marcus Packs Up His Desk

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 3:14 PM

David Marcus - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • David Marcus
UPDATE: Multiple public defenders’ office employees have confirmed that Marcus has packed up his office, cleaned out his desk and left without addressing employees.

Previously:

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will meet late this afternoon in closed session to discuss the pending lawsuit against controversial Public Defender David Marcus. According to Clerk of the Board Kathy Hayes, the meeting was announced exactly 24 hours in advance via the county's website and posted outside the chambers. No supervisors were available for comment this afternoon.


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Old Town Residents Prepare for Thanksgiving Sock Drive

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 11:23 AM

Boxes of socks awaiting donation. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Boxes of socks awaiting donation.
Those in need of some extra warmth can pick up a pair of socks on Thanksgiving Day, thanks to the volunteers who have been accepting donations of warm apparel in preparation for the holiday.

"It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a few years," says Samantha Sweeney, who lives and works in Old Town. "It's a conscious refusal to take part in the stress of the holiday season."

Sweeney says that on her daily walks through Old Town she sees many homeless people exposed the winter weather.

"I myself have a family member on the street," she told the Journal.

So Sweeney hatched a plan to spend the day serving those in need. She collaborated with a friend and, within a week, the Old Town Community Sock Drive was underway. Sweeney posted notices for donations at several Old Town businesses and dropped off flyers advertising the event, which will begin at noon Thanksgiving Day at Clarke Plaza, the Rescue Mission, the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation and other locations.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Body of Missing Canadian Found by His Father

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 4:44 PM

Felix Desautels-Poirier - COURTESY OF FELIX DESAUTELS-POIRIER'S FAMILY VIA KYM KEMP
  • Courtesy of Felix Desautels-Poirier's Family via Kym Kemp
  • Felix Desautels-Poirier
The body of a Canadian man who was reported missing nearly two weeks ago was found by his father on Monday in a heavily vegetated area of the Arcata Marsh, according to the Arcata Police Department.

Felix Desautels-Poirier, who would have turned 26 on Dec. 27, was traveling through the area with a friend from Quebec when he went missing. According to a family friend, they were camping at the marsh and she woke up on Nov. 7 to find all Desautels-Poirier’s belongings, including the eyeglasses he needed due to severe nearsightedness, but he was gone.

At this time, officials say, no foul play is suspected. An autopsy has been scheduled.


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Monday, November 20, 2017

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Resigns

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 4:09 PM

HUMBOLDT BAY FIRE WEBSITE
  • Humboldt Bay Fire website
The sudden resignation of Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Bill Gillespie, announced this morning by the Humboldt Bay Fire Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors, wasn’t accompanied by much in the way of explanation. Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel, who sits on the JPA board, said that she could not discuss the content of a today’s 9 a.m. closed session meeting, announced last week, in which Gillespie’s position was discussed. She told the Journal she appreciated Gillespie’s service, echoing the language of the terse press release issued at 10:30 a.m.

“I will miss him,” said Bergel.

Matt McFarland, president of Humboldt Bay Fire Local 652, indicated that line-level firefighters have been unhappy with Gillespie’s leadership since he took the position in January 2016, although he declined to speak on the record about specific issues.
“On behalf of the union, what I can add or say is we’ve been through some difficult times with Bill Gillespie,” said McFarland in a phone interview. “We’re optimistic that in the future we can make some cohesive headway.”


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Huffman, Thompson Blast Trump Admin for Leaving California out of Disaster Funding

Posted By on Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 3:21 PM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman and his predecessor issued a scathing joint statement yesterday, blasting the Trump administration for leaving wildfire-ravaged California out of its disaster funding request.

Huffman released the statement with Mike Thompson, who represented Humboldt County and the North Coast for 14 years until redistricting bumped him to California’s Fifth Congressional District in 2012, which he has represented since.

President Donald Trump declared a disaster Oct. 10 in response to California’s wildfires, which scorched more than 220,000 acres, destroyed thousands of structures and killed more than 30 people. But the administration’s $44 billion request for disaster relief from Congress on Friday did not earmark any funds for California, incensing Huffman and Thompson.

“For the Administration to not request even a single additional penny to help rebuild the communities devastated by the worst fires in California’s history is mind-boggling,” the two congressmen said.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

New State Cannabis Regulations Allow for Limitless Grow Sizes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 2:48 PM

GRANT SCOTT-GOFORTH
  • Grant Scott-Goforth
It looks like you’ll be able to munch down on that cannabis beef jerky come January but the stony shrimp cocktail will have to wait.

California dropped its long-awaited emergency medicinal and adult-use cannabis regulations yesterday, setting the rules for legal markets slated to open in 45 days on Jan. 1. The new regulations — released by the Department of Health, Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Bureau of Cannabis Control — diverge sharply in some cases from their draft counterparts released back in April.

The new regulations lift a proposed cap on the size of marijuana farms, loosen restrictions on pesticide testing and clamp down on the potency of edibles. Collectively, the new regulations will dictate exactly how cultivators, manufacturors, distributors and dispensaries can operate, at least at the outset (the regulations will be revised next year).

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NoHum School Board Censures Trustee Amid Resignation Calls

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Arcata High School - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Arcata High School
Four members of the Northern Humboldt Union School board voted to publicly reprimand fellow trustee Jennifer Knight last night, saying her unacceptable behavior over the last two years left them with no other choice.

Board President Colleen Toste told Knight that if she had violated one board policy or bylaw here or there perhaps that could be apologized away, but she has instead continued a pattern of unbecoming conduct despite interventions from other trustees, administrators and staff.

“I can’t allow our district to continue this way,” Toste said.


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Eel River Drowning Death ID'd as Russian Man

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 1:24 PM

Dordzhi Sandzhiev - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Dordzhi Sandzhiev
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has identified a man whose body was found in South Fork of the Eel River near Redway on Oct. 6 as Dordzhi Sandzhiev, a Russian citizen who frequented Southern Humboldt and was known to deputies, according to a press release.

Sandzhiev, whose cause of death was determined to be drowning, was identified using fingerprints.

Local authorities have been in contact with the Russian Consulate, which confirmed the 33-year-old was born in Elista, Russia. When the consulate’s attempts to contact Sandzhiev’s family proved unsuccessful, local residents used social media to make the connection, according to the sheriff’s office.


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Bass Announces $4.8 Million Federal Grant, Ramped Up Needle Disposal Efforts at Packed Opioid Town Hall

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:33 AM

More than 250 people attended the opioid town hall meeting last night put together by state Sen. Mike McGuire and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass. - ANDREW GEORGE BUTLER
  • Andrew George Butler
  • More than 250 people attended the opioid town hall meeting last night put together by state Sen. Mike McGuire and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass.
Speaking before a Sequoia Conference Center packed with more than 250 people for Tuesday night’s opioid town hall meeting hosted by state Sen. Mike McGuire, Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass announced the county has received a $4.8 million federal grant to create a new local opioid help center.

The meeting saw presentations from a handful of local and state officials on the opioid epidemic and a host of questions from the public, most of them centering around the safe disposal of hypodermic syringes locally.

Bass said the center will focus on opioid education as well as finding treatment for its clients. The center will be one of two dozen new “Hub and Spoke” clinics in California. The clinics’ model is an adaptation from Vermont’s system, which has drawn national praised for its opioid addiction work. Bass said she expects to see Humboldt’s hub start to come to fruition in a couple months.

Bass also addressed the topic of needle disposal, which — judging by the questions from audience members — is clearly of public concern. Bass said in the next couple months a number of kiosks will be installed around Eureka purely for the safe disposal of needles. “This is something we have to embrace as a community issue in order to make a change,” she said.

Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson said the “needle tsunami” sweeping across the city could see some relief in the coming months. He said his department has been working with local health service entities to tighten up the flow of needles into the city. Watson didn’t disclose what specific steps the department has taken.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Park Rangers Debunk Tourist Robbery Story

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 10:38 AM

1200px-us-nationalparkservice-shadedlogo.svg.png
The account of five Spanish tourists claiming to have been robbed in Redwood National Park is untrue, rangers established this week. The tourists previously said they returned to their vehicles from a hike at Lady Bird Johnson Grove on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 3, to be confronted by several armed men who came out from the bushes, fired three shots into the air and ordered them to lie on the ground. The park service determined this wasn't true.

"It didn't make any sense," said Greg Morse, chief of Visitor Protection for Redwood National and State Parks. "There were a couple of hundred people at LBJ [Lady Bird Johnson Grove] that day, we were doing tours and we didn't hear any shots."

Rangers also searched the area for shell casings and found none. An interview with the landowner whose cannabis farm on Bald Hills Road was robbed on the same day revealed that the tourists were, in fact, at that site and had lied about their location because they did not want to be associated with the cannabis activity. Morse says they were able to confirm this with the tourists through a third party, although they were reluctant to talk.

Morse says there was a miscommunication between his agency and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, which sent out the original press release the Monday following the robbery. Calls and emails to the sheriff's office this morning were not returned.

In her press release, Candace Tinkler, spokesperson for Redwood National and State Parks, underscored that "visitors should not be concerned about exploring the wonders of their public lands."

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