Monday, April 29, 2019

Rico's Tacos Loses Liquor Licenses after August Cocaine Bust

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 3:35 PM

An agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posts a notice of revocation at Rico's Tacos. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • An agent with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control posts a notice of revocation at Rico's Tacos.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has revoked an Arcata taco shop’s liquor license, effective immediately.

According to a press release, Rico’s Tacos Taqueria has not contested the revocation, which comes about six months after its owner Ariel Arguellas-Sosa was arrested on suspicion of possession and sales of cocaine and methamphetamine. Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force reported seizing more than 3 pounds of cocaine — as well as a combined 10 ounces of heroin and cocaine — and roughly $200,000 in cash last August as a part of its investigation into allegations Arguellas-Sosa was engaged in illegal drug activity.

According to the press release from ABC, agents discovered as a part of that investigation that proceeds from the drug sales were being used to operate the taqueria.

Arguellas-Sosa posted bail in his criminal case and is currently on the lam after failing to appear in court.

See the full press release from ABC copied below:

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Huffman Announces Release of Nearly $30 Million in Fisheries Disaster Funding

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
More than a year after Congress appropriated the funds, members of the the North Coast's commercial fishing industry and a local tribe are slated to receive federal disaster support in the coming months, Rep. Jared Huffman announced this morning.

“Tribes, hardworking fishermen, their families, and coastal communities have been stuck in limbo for far too long waiting for the federal support they deserve,” said Huffman in a press release. “Congress provided this disaster relief funding more than a year ago, but the Trump administration has dragged out the process. Their delays and roadblocks have added unnecessary pain for the tribes and fishing communities who are already dealing with closed fisheries and serious economic hardship.”

The $29.7 million in federal assistance funding is slated to be released to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission on June 1, then distributed to local businesses and individuals, per the press release. The funding was made available through an appropriations bill passed in February of 2018 in response to fisheries disasters dating back to 2015, which included the closures of the 2015-2016 Dungeness crab season and the Yurok Tribe’s 2016 salmon season.

See the full press release from Huffman’s office copied below:

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SECOND UPDATE: Missing Trinity River Swimmer Found

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:19 AM

SECOND UPDATE: The man who was swept away after jumping into the Trinity River near Knight’s Bluff was found alive downstream Saturday more than one hour later and was treated for cold exposure, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including the sheriff's office, CHP and the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department.

The release also notes, as the Eureka office of the National Weather Service did last week, that while temperatures are beginning to climb, local rivers are running high with swift currents.


The swimmer has been found alive.


Multiple agencies are responding to help search for a man who went missing in the Trinity River about 4 p.m. today in the 3500 block of State Route 96 around mile marker 4.61.

“After he jumped in, he wasn’t seen,” a 911 dispatcher relayed to officers.

The river is still very high and not clear, an officer on the scene talking to witnesses reported.

A CHP helicopter was heading to the scene, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s boat was requested and the Hoopa Tribe was preparing to launch a boat.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

A Community Remembers Bill Thompson

Posted By on Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 12:49 PM

A member of the Threshold Choir opens up Thompson's memorial program where lyrics to the song "Walking Each Other Home," is printed. The group and attendees ended the memorial service arm in arm while singing this song together. - PHOTO BY NATALYA ESTRADA
  • Photo by Natalya Estrada
  • A member of the Threshold Choir opens up Thompson's memorial program where lyrics to the song "Walking Each Other Home," is printed. The group and attendees ended the memorial service arm in arm while singing this song together.

Bill Thompson was a man of love, compassion and a commitment to peace that
never wavered in his later years.

Born in San Francisco on May 28, 1929, Thompson died at his Bayside home
on Dec. 24 at the age of 89. He graduated from Vista High School in Southern California and went on to earn a BA in economics at Knox College in 1951. He then
served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1959 and after being honorably
discharged studied at Stanford University for his MBA.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Gun Violence Restraining Order Training Comes to the North Coast

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 5:08 PM

  • City of Arcata

Tomorrow morning the city of Arcata will host a gun violence restraining order training for law enforcement, attorneys and court personnel in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties at the D Street Neighborhood Center.

The statewide, three-hour training provided by San Diego’s City Attorney’s Office will outline additional resources for law enforcement, attorneys and court personnel to provide an extra safeguard for community members against people who pose a danger to themselves and others, and are in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told the Journal the training will bring together the three entities together to understand the law, come up with a protection that is most appropriate for their jurisdiction and bring a safeguard to the community.

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Fire & Light is Closing Its Doors, Searching for a New Owner

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 1:17 PM

Fire & Light is closing. - COURTESY OF FIRE & LIGHT
  • Courtesy of Fire & Light
  • Fire & Light is closing.
Fire & Light, an iconic Humboldt County business story that mixed creativity with sustainability, is closing unless a buyer can be found.

According to a Facebook page post today, the Arcata-based company known for its colorful glassware “is no longer financially feasible for the company to continue to operate without another significant investment of cash” due to a number of factors.

“At one point, Fire & Light glassware was carried in over 1,100 stores around the country. During the great recession, nearly 500 of those stores closed,” the post states. “Other market factors also have changed significantly since the recession, causing rising overhead costs, dwindling markets, and supply chain complications. Unfortunately, the company never fully recovered from those difficulties despite improved economic conditions.”

The note from owners John and Natali McClurg says they tried to postpone the decision as long as possible and tried to keep the doors open, but the company will be selling its remaining inventory at its showroom through Saturday.

The McClurgs thank their employees — saying they are like family — and the community for its support. They also said they are continuing to search for a buyer.

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North Coast Night Lights: Smoky Coastal Skies and Milky Way

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 11:30 AM

The Milky Way looms over the Pacific Ocean, standing out over the smoky, misty air along California’s North Coast. Smoke from inland fires lingered in the sky. August 2015. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • The Milky Way looms over the Pacific Ocean, standing out over the smoky, misty air along California’s North Coast. Smoke from inland fires lingered in the sky. August 2015.
At the end of the summer of 2015, my brother and I were out around midnight on a great rock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, enjoying the view between ourselves and the rest of the Universe. Fires inland had been burning for weeks, their pall of smoke glowing orange in the sky to the south of us, illuminated from below by the lights of coastal Humboldt County habitations. From out of our view in front of us, a lighthouse cast a cold blue light onto the Pacific to contrast with the orange color of the smoky sky. Above it all, rising from the fog of smoke and ocean mists loomed the Milky Way, a great galactic structure in the sky reminding us of our small part in the cosmic dance around us.

The night sky is a precious gift, a window out into something much larger than we are, a view into the cosmic splendor of which we play such a tiny part. It’s a window denied to those who reside in the city, but we on the California North Coast are fortunate to live where there are few major light sources at night and we can easily get away from them to enjoy rich starry skies. Here we find the natural beauty of the Earth by day, and at night we have the majesty and beauty of the universe to behold. It doesn’t get much better than that for those who love the natural world.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Warming Trend Comes with River Warnings

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 3:38 PM

  • NWS
For many, it seemed like winter was never going to release its grip on the North Coast. But according to the National Weather Service, it appears things are looking up in the mercury department for the next week.

According to the Eureka office, inland temps should reach into the 70s and 80s this week, although there is the potential for a “weak thunderstorm or two” in our neighbor counties of Trinity and Mendocino. As for the coast, the skies are looking to clear up for mild afternoons in the low to mid 60s.

While the warming trend may convince some folks it's time to head straight for our local rivers, the National Weather Service is also warning that the waters are still “running swift and cold.” They add that "even experienced swimmers can lose muscle control very quickly in cold water."
  • NWS
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CHP to the Rescue for this Feathered Family (Video)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 11:37 AM

The wayward family. - CHP
  • CHP
  • The wayward family.
Just because it's cute. Here is some video the CHP posted of a local officer lending a helping hand to a wayward family of Canada geese that he found wandering along the side of U.S. Highway 101 while on patrol south of Eureka.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Pour One Out: No Humboldt Beer at Oyster Fest

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:46 PM

A busy Oyster Festival day in 2017. - FILE
  • FILE
  • A busy Oyster Festival day in 2017.
Less than two months out from the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, controversy is again bubbling up over beer at Arcata Main Street’s fundraiser. The previously local-brew-centric event drew fire last year for requiring donations rather than purchasing from local beverage companies and only pouring Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. beer alongside out-of-towners Lagunitas and SeaQuake at the event. This year, it looks like more discontent is on tap. But without any Humboldt beer.

As it stands, Humboldt Cider Company will be on offer along with wine from Willow Creek’s Trinity River Vineyards, but the beer will be exclusively from SeaQuake out of Crescent City.

After canceling a March 13 “brewery outreach luncheon,” the nonprofit sent out a beverage proposal to local beer and cider outfits pitching the “mutually rewarding” benefits of partnership: “With a patronage of approximately 15,000 people in the time span of only 7 hours the Annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival is a wonderful opportunity to expand your customer base while supporting programming and activities in downtown Arcata.” The proposal states that festival goers drain 125 to 145 kegs of beer and cider via eight taps and suggests other events throughout the year for those businesses that aren’t in a financial position to partner up for the June 15 oyster festival.

Six Rivers Brewery owner Meredith Maier says she talked with a few other Humboldt brewers and sent her best offer of a 50 percent discount on 30 kegs of beer. That offer was declined in an email from Arcata Main Street’s Victoria Joyce, calling the decision “complicated” and indicating deals had been reached with three beverage producers.

Joyce hasn’t encountered pushback personally but says she’s heard about it secondhand. “There seem to be some hard feelings but Arcata Main Street reached out to all the breweries and asked them to make proposals for our festival. We evaluated all of them and figured out how much they’d cost,” she says, before choosing “the offer that was going to be most beneficial to our organization.” Joyce says it’s hard being a nonprofit and keeping up with the rising costs of the event, which is its most significant fundraiser by far. “It’s a tough position. It’s a tough place to be.”

She says the offers were “very generous,” adding, “I hope that they will be part of oyster fest again in the future.”

Maier says she was disappointed by the rejection and she wants to support Arcata Main Street, but “not at the expense of local businesses.” She notes that many of the business owners she talks to are experiencing a 20 to 30 percent downturn in sales, admitting that even Six Rivers Brewery sales declined for the first time last year and everyone, from owners to servers, is making less money. That makes it tough to offer discounts any deeper to the festival.

“We have 50 to 60 employees here that we have a responsibility to,” Maier says, adding that distributors getting the beer to the festival wouldn’t be making money either.

“More than ever we need to support each other,” she says. “If you start out of spite sticking it to businesses around town, slowly but surely those businesses will disappear.” She says she’s reluctant to speculate on Arcata Main Street’s finances, but, “sure seems to me that if you’re going through 150 kegs, you should be able to make a profit.”

Briar Bush, who handles sales and marketing at Lost Coast Brewery, says it’s being “blocked out again. … With a high degree of condescending, passive aggressive pillow talk,” from Arcata Main Street. All of which amounts to, he says, paraphrasing a Seinfeld character, “no beer for you.”

According to Bush, Lost Coast Brewery offered a buy-one-get-one deal up to 15 free kegs, similar to Six Rivers Brewery, but was turned down. In years past, he says the company had only given a few kegs for free, noting that most local festivals only ask for one to three free kegs, though he sees a trend with larger events treating craft breweries like big corporate producers and requesting larger discounts that are hard for smaller outfits to swing. “I’m not disappointed about the loss of the marketing or the sales. I feel like it’s a loss to the community itself,” says Bush, lamenting what he sees as a lack of local focus at the event. “I thought the oysters were local — are they going to start bringing in oysters from Seattle?”

Asked about concerns the festival is becoming less locally focused, Joyce responds, “I don’t see that at all,” given the fact that the food vendors are mostly local, area nonprofits benefit from booths on the plaza and “SeaQuake is in Crescent City and Crescent City is not that far away.” Joyce also says Arcata Main Street’s mission of supporting local businesses isn’t hindered by eschewing local breweries in favor of cost savings. “What we’re doing is for the downtown and for the businesses in Arcata. … None of [the breweries] are technically in our district because Arcata Main Street is a location-based organization. They’re definitely our neighbors.”

The Booth Brewing’s operations manager David Franklin still hasn’t heard back officially that the company’s offer to match every purchased keg with a donation has been rejected. “I think it’s probably an oversight or an accident,” he says.

Still, it’s frustrating.

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