Wednesday, July 24, 2019

SECOND UPDATE: Reports of Shots Fired Has McKinleyville Neighborhood Sheltering in Place

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 10:35 AM


According to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office all safety restrictions have been lifted and residents are allowed to move freely in the Reasor Road area.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact law enforcement.

There were no injuries at the scene and no gunshot wound victims have been reported at local hospitals, Lt. Samuel Williams said in an email.

The HCSO release on the incident is posted at the end of the story.

Some residents in a one mile circle of the Murray Apartments near Reasor Road are being asked to shelter in place, according to the incident commander’s request after a fight with shots fired occurred between two groups.

Please remember that information is coming in from a multitude of sources and law enforcement is on the scene attempting to sort out what occurred. However, officers are looking for a blue Chevrolet Cavalier with a black male adult as one possible suspect. They also are searching for a possibly discarded firearm.

A perimeter is being set up in the Reasor Road area.

Read the full release from the HCSO below:

On 07-24-2019, at about 10:00 AM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received numerous 911 calls from citizens reporting shots being fired near the 1400 block of Reasor Rd., in McKinleyville. It was reported that a black male adult wearing a black and red sports jersey was involved in the incident and was recently seen leaving the area of Larissa Cr. in a blue sedan. Later reports suggested there may have been an exchange of gun fire between a group of individuals.

Deputies along with members of the California Highway Patrol, Arcata Police, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Cal Fire immediately responded to the area to investigate. Arcata Fire and Mad River Ambulance responded and staged to assist. A Humboldt Alert was issued to those within a one-mile radius of the incident location, directing them to stay indoors.

The scene was secured around the area of Reasor Rd. and Larissa Cr., and an investigation was conducted. Several individuals were detained and later released. It was determined there may have been two groups of individuals involved in an altercation in which a black male adult wearing a red and black sports jersey had discharged a handgun. Deputies and Officers searched the area for the blue sedan. Several vehicles were investigated but were determined not to be involved in the incident. The involved blue sedan was not located. A search of the area was conducted, and no firearms were located. Deputies did not locate anyone who had been injured, and there were no reports made of any injuries or gunshot victims in this incident. The identity of the involved parties is unknown at this time, as they had either left the scene prior to Law Enforcement arrival or were not cooperative in providing information on scene.
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No Service: The Removal of a Long-Unpopular Cell Tower on Trinidad Head Poses Connectivity Issues

Posted By on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 at 9:37 AM

Trinidad Head - DREW HYLAND
  • Drew Hyland
  • Trinidad Head

For decades a large cell tower has dominated the top of scenic Trinidad Head, providing service to users of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, but also creating much displeasure among some local residents. While most people have and use cellphones, many local residents wished the communications companies could find a less conspicuous location for their infrastructure.

Trinidad city officials have traditionally responded that the tower was necessary for the three companies to provide service, that they were bound by a long-term lease and that the tower provided about $50,000 in annual revenue to the city budget.

Last year, however, the Trinidad City Council gave in to pressure from the citizenry. The lease to Verizon, the main tenant, was finally up and the city decided not to renew it. Verizon and the other two companies that rent space on the tower — AT&T and Sprint — had one year to vacate the premises. They are supposed to be out by Sept. 1 but have the option of staying until the end of the year if they pay the city 150 percent of the normal rent for each month they delay.

Verizon built a replacement tower in a nearby quarry owned by Mercer-Fraser but has warned it will provide only minimal coverage to the Trinidad area. Nobody seems to know what Sprint will do and AT&T came up with a temporary solution that got squashed by the Trinidad Planning Commission at its July 17 meeting.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

King Crabs

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 3:25 PM

The Crabs stand for the National Anthem in front of a perfect Humboldt summer evening. - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • The Crabs stand for the National Anthem in front of a perfect Humboldt summer evening.

The Crabs welcomed the West Coast Kings to Humboldt County for the first time with a series sweep. Ten more games left in the season and we’re sitting pretty at 26-13, riding a nine-game win streak.

Friday night’s game was one of the more competitive and exciting games of the year. The Kings looked razor sharp and set to give the Crabs trouble, putting runs on the board and pressuring the defense basically from the jump. Thankfully, our boys responded in kind, even managing to one-up their royal rivals and pull a 5-4 win from the stone.

Crabs’ pitcher Josh Mollerus had a brief but strong outing, going four innings and striking out seven while only allowing two runs. Four Crabs logged multiple hits. Riley Cleary and Jalen Smith had two singles apiece, Kyle Knell had a single and a triple, and Dawson Bacho had a single and his fifth home run of the year.

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North Coast Night Lights: A Milky Way Time-Lapse Medley

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 12:25 PM

  • David Wilson
One can sit beneath the stars and watch them as they slowly traverse the skies; it merely requires your patience. But are we actually sensing them move? Or is it that our glance from time to time notes only that that the stars have changed position? Our perception moment by moment is that they are still, but the infrequent glance will note their slow progress across the sky.

Were one to stay out on a clear night for hours on end, one would still never catch the stars' movement — only that their positions had changed between looks. The human eye needs relatively rapid changes in a scene to detect differences from moment to moment. One might look every ten minutes and note that the stars have moved relative to a tree branch or other earthly object. Ten minutes later and they’ve moved noticeably more. Yet each time you look they seem to be standing still.

Imagine you had an entire evening to spend out there under the sky and you looked up at the stars once every 30 seconds. Each time, they are still. But between looks they have moved just a little. If you stayed out there for several hours and peeked at the stars every thirty seconds, you’d see a lot of snapshots of the sky, each one just a little different from the last as the stars moved across. It would require a lot of patience, and you would still never actually sense any movement. But if we were to string all the glances together like a flip-book, we’d be able to see that motion. Did you ever make a flip-book animation as a kid on a pad of paper? Some of you did. A time-lapse animation is similar to the flip-book.
Time-lapse is a technique that gives the appearance of speeding up extremely slow-moving things, and it works on the same principle as the flip-book. In a time-lapse, the camera takes photographs at regular intervals, each photo recording the scene’s changes since the last photo. After shooting a series of these still images, one can string the stills together just like the frames of a movie — indeed, they then become the frames of a movie. Each frame of the scene shows the slightly changed positions of objects in it. If we play the frames rapidly enough one after another our eyes and brain will record the changed position of objects from one frame to the next as motion.

Each scene in this time-lapse medley was from a different night. During each of those nights I set the camera to take photographs regularly, approximately one new photograph every thirty seconds. Thus over an hour of two photographs per minute it would take 120 photographs.

When the frames are put together into the form of a movie and played back rapidly at 24 frames/second we can see the motion of all of the stars, planets, meteors, airplanes, and satellites sped up dramatically. The motion is increased so much that the distance something traveled in an hour now only takes about five seconds – now we can see the stars move!

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Huffman Helps Pass Minimum Wage Bill; Legislation DOA in Republican Senate

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 1:49 PM

North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman joined a majority of his House colleagues this morning in voting to gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an to $15 an hour over the next six years.

If approved by the Senate and signed by the president (both of which seem unlikely), the legislation would increase wages for as many as 27 million Americans and potentially lift 1.3 million families out of poverty, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office. Known as the Raise the Wage Act, the bill has been priority for the Democratic Caucus and passed the House on a 231-199 vote with just three Republicans supporting it and now heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said he will not take it up.

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
McConnell and other Republicans have referred to the bill as a "job killer" that would depress the economy. The CBO report did find that the bill could lead to a "decline in employment of as many as 1.3 million people."

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, recently released a report noting that the United States is in the longest period in its history without a minimum wage hike since the earnings floor was created. The report notes that the spending power of a minimum wage worker is 17 percent less today than a decade ago, and 31 percent less than it was in 1968.

California's minimum wage is currently $12 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees and $11 an hour for those with 25 or fewer workers. It will reach $15 an hour for employees of larger companies in 2022 and for those of smaller ones the following year. That means the legislation would have no direct impact in Huffman's district. In the press release, he explained that he's supporting the measure because he thinks it would give minimum wage workers a "fair shake" and be good for the economy.

“Americans who are paid the federal minimum wage, even those who are employed full-time, are not making enough money to pay rent or to support themselves or their families,” he said in the release. “That’s unacceptable and it’s unsustainable for families who are struggling to afford the basic essentials, and it’s bad for the economy. I’m glad to support the Raise the Wage Act to finally raise the federal minimum wage and give a fair shake to millions of hard-working Americans.”

Read the full press release from Huffman's office copied below and find past Journal coverage of local efforts to increase the minimum wage here.

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Coastal Commission to Re-hear Trinidad Hotel Project in August

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 9:38 AM

The California Coastal Commission will again consider whether the hotel development proposed by the Trinidad Rancheria on the bluffs above Scenic Drive is consistent with state coastal protections when the commission meets in Eureka next month.

On June 12, an obviously conflicted commission voted 6-3 to object to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ determination that the project is consistent with the California Coastal Act, largely due to questions surrounding where the hotel will get its water from. The rancheria has asked that the city of Trinidad supply water for the proposed 100-room hotel adjacent to Cher-Ae Heights Casino but the city has not yet committed and has several studies underway to determine whether the city’s water source — Luffenholtz Creek — has sufficient capacity to meet the city’s current and future needs along with those of the hotel.

An artistic rendering created by the Trinidad Rancheria of what its proposed Scenic Drive hotel project would look like from Trinidad Bay. - TRINIDAD RANCHERIA
  • Trinidad Rancheria
  • An artistic rendering created by the Trinidad Rancheria of what its proposed Scenic Drive hotel project would look like from Trinidad Bay.

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Patchwork Victories for the Crabs

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 at 9:03 AM

Humboldt Eagles - Tuesday Night

We’ve got some ball players up here in Humboldt County, I tell you.

Due to some scheduling issues, Tuesday’s game, originally scheduled against the Redding Ringtails as part of a two-game series, was played against the Humboldt Eagles under-19 team (back to back bird-themed teams). They are, if you are unfamiliar, a summer league team for the county’s best baseball players born in the 2000s who travel throughout the state with the ultimate goal of playing in (and ideally winning) the statewide tournament. They were generous enough to hop in at the last minute to save our butts from a baseball-less Tuesday.

The Eagles took the field wearing blue and white jerseys eerily similar to some prior-season Crabs’ garb, the stands chock full with their parents, siblings and friends. Us Crabs fans were drastically outnumbered. I barely got to stand in my accustomed seat. Life can be hard sometimes.

We weren’t sure what to expect from the Eagles. Personally, I was leaning toward a blowout. I hear “19-U” and I think “high school kids, should be pushovers.” But they put that nonsense to bed right quick. They came out swinging and let the Crabs know this was not a game they could sleepwalk through. Spending the weekend bapping on chumps did not prepare our crustaceans for some real baseball and they spent the first three innings waking up and getting into gear. Truth be told, I thought the Eagles were going to fly away with it. Thankfully, the Crabbies used their large-sized pincers to clip the Eagles’ wings.

Dawson Bacho is greeting by jubilant teammates after hitting his fourth home run of the year. - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Dawson Bacho is greeting by jubilant teammates after hitting his fourth home run of the year.

Four Crabs tallied multiple hits in the game Tuesday evening. Hendo went three for four with two doubles, Koko and Dom Souto each batted .500 for the night, as did Dawson Bacho, but he gets special mention because he knocked the game’s only homer — a two-run shot to dead center in the bottom of the sixth that gave the Crabs a 3-0 lead and some much needed breathing room. Souto is now second on the team with four dingers this season and has found his bat. He’s hitting .300 this month and .353 since July 5.

The Eagles used this game as something of a showcase or warm-up game. Their opening pitcher threw two innings and we saw a new glove on the mound every inning after that. Some of those kids can deal, man. It was crazy. Their opener, Garrrison Finck, whom I call Johnny Utah for his resemblance to the Swayze character in the seminal film Point Break, and Merick Sears in particular impressed. They both showed great poise on the bump and made a couple of our guys look downright foolish — swiping at empty air like a blind man chasing a fly. I hope to see many of these kids in Crabs uniforms in the years to come. (I promise it’s much more fun when we cheer for you).

Zane, showing off that good energy - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Zane, showing off that good energy

This was a super duper fun game and I hope we can play the Eagles more in the future. Intra-county games are a riot (sometimes less figuratively than we’d like) and getting the chance to see the talent we have here is a great experience. Can we get a weekend series next year? Managers, make it work.

Redding Ringtails

Wednesday night’s game was ... something. The Crabs did everything they could to lose this game and just couldn’t pull it out. I mean they used every last trick in the book, but they didn’t have the mustard.

Our boys scored in each of the first four innings to put the lead at 8-1 and they seemed poised to continue the smackdown. Two innings and two more runs later and the game was all but over. It was 10-1 and we were waiting for the ninth to come around. I almost left, I really did. I almost neglected my own rule and cut out early. I was tired and bored of watching them crush a "lesser” team. And so we come to the eighth inning.

We brought in Ryan Rodriguez, a reliever out of U.C. Davis (???) and, judging by the snap of the catcher’s glove, one of our harder throwers. He’s had a couple of tough outings, which happen as a pitcher. Sometimes you’re just off, you can’t find the plate or when you can you’re serving up meat antsy to be pulverized. Wednesday was a bit of both. He promptly walked the first two batters on 10 pitches and plunked one batter to load em up. Now, as any tee-ball pitcher could tell you, bases loaded with one out is not a great place to be. This is where you throw safe and let your fielders take care of business. But he plunked another, moving in a run. And then the Ringtails hit a double that was a very fine kind of hair away from being a grand slam. And then he hit another batter to load the bases again. Graciously, the next batter popped up for the second out of the inning. But then he walked another. At this point, manager Robin Guiver walked out and gave the crowd a mercy killing, bringing in Dalton Smith to close out the game.

But folks, Smith walked the next batter. I know, I wouldn’t have believed it unless I were party to it. If you’ve been counting, that cut the lead from 10-1 before the eighth, to 10-6 in the top of the eighth with two outs, the bases loaded, and the tying run stepping up to the plate. If anyone tells you momentum doesn’t exist in sports spit in their face. This shit is contagious and this game is Exhibit A. Smith took a moment behind the mound, screwed his head on straight, and struck the next batter out after giving him a full count. My blood pressure was forever raised. It truly was the most disastrous inning I’ve ever seen the Crabs play.

The Crabs were unable to extend the lead in their half of the inning but thankfully dispatched those damned Cats with minimal fanfare and only one more hit-by-pitch in the top of the ninth to win 10-6. Now you see what I mean when I say they tried their darnedest to lose this game. The Ringtails scored six runs on two hits. Alas, they could not, and so the Crabs stand at 23-13.

Heckle of the Series

Nothing especially funny or inspired was screamed. Step your game up, Hecklers.

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers to Zane for almost busting the conductor’s stand on Tuesday. That’s the energy we need, my long-haired friend. Never don’t stop.

Big, Huge, Massive Jeers to the mid-50s dude who asked the (maybe) 16-year-old 50/50 ticket girl to kiss his tickets and make them lucky. That’s just so indescribably gross and weird and inappropriate and weird and gross. Honestly I wish I knew your name so I could call your wife.

to that 50/50 girl for standing tough and just saying “No.”

to the folks going tongue diving in the latter innings of Wednesday’s game. I’m glad you two are so passionate about swapping bacteria, and your future children will thank you for their excellent immune systems, but no one wants to see that at a ball game. And also, a 5 year old pointed at you and said to their grandfather, “They’re drunk, huh?” Yes kid, they were.

Naughty List

Crabs staff is mad lax this year so none. But we have, unfortunately, lost Vinny Bologna to school transfer nonsense. We mourn his parting, dude was raking.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks to Retire by Year's End

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 3:31 PM

Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks has announced his plan to retire at the end of the year in a letter sent to the mayor and city council.

“It has been my great personal and professional pleasure to have served as City Manager of Eureka since May 2014,” Sparks wrote in his retirement letter. “After 40 years of working in local government, I plan on retiring by the end of 2019.”

Sparks, who hailed from West Des Moines, Iowa, was tapped for the city manager position in 2014 after then-City Manager Bill Panos resigned abruptly after only nine months in office.
Greg Sparks
  • Greg Sparks

Before coming to Eureka, Sparks was the city manager for West Des Moines. In his 40 years working in local government, Sparks has served as town manager for Mountain Village, Colorado, and city Aadministrator in Owatonna, Minnesota, and Worthington, Minnesota.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Crabs Clip Hawks' (Cardinals'?) Wings

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 7:33 PM

Coming in to Sunday’s game against the Ukiah Hawks, the Crabs had scored 47 unanswered runs against their opponents. That is not a typo. After a straight up bummer 5-3 loss against the San Leandro Ports on Tuesday July 9, the Crabs went on a tear.

In their second and final game against the Ports, they won 13-nil. Then came the Hawks, who — judging from the fact that they call themselves the Hawks and yet wore St. Louis Cardinals gear the whole weekend — aren’t exactly a crack bunch.
A youngster throws a dart for the ceremonial first pitch. Future Crab? - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • A youngster throws a dart for the ceremonial first pitch. Future Crab?
Friday evening they were understaffed to the point that one of their coaches played first base. The Crabs trounced them 20-0 with the slaughter rule in effect (The “slaughter rule”, if both teams agree, means that the game ends after the seventh inning should one team be down by 10 or more runs at that point, thank god); the Hawks’ coach got one of their two hits, as it happened. Saturday night, the Crabs won 14-0 and ostensibly went out and had a team wide bacchanal, as they allowed two runs and won by a measly 11-run margin, 13-2 on Sunday. Each game ended in the seventh inning. For those not mathematically inclined, that’s a total point differential of 45 for the series, which would be a blowout in a single basketball game.

It’s easy to forget how good these kids are. It’s easy to harp on Koko for not rushing a grounder with enough haste, or Henderson for making the big throw to third instead of safely hitting his cutoff man. It’s understandable to normalize their abilities and think to yourself, “Pfft, I could do that. I could make that play.” Just like it’s easy to think that Steph Curry looks kind of short on TV. But that’s only because he shares the court with a bunch of 6-foot, 10-inch behemoths and stands a meager 6 feet, 3 inches. You can’t make that play. These kids can ball.

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Man Arrested in 2018 Homicide Investigation

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 12:44 PM

Barnes - EPD
  • EPD
  • Barnes

Jason Barnes, 46 of Eureka, has been booked into the Humboldt County jail on suspicion of killing 58 year-old Bernhard "Ben" Bertain.

On Dec. 22, 2018, a verbal altercation between Barnes and an unnamed female reportedly occurred at the Burre Center in Eureka. An employee working at a nearby business witnessed the altercation and placed herself between Barnes and the female, according to a press release from EPD. Barnes continued to yell at the female and the employee when Bertain, who witnessed the altercation, got out of his parked car and stood next to the employee, trying to convince Barnes to leave the center. The Journal confirmed with Eureka Police Capt. Brian Stevens that Barnes allegedly struck Bertain in the torso with the edge of the skateboard deck before fleeing the scene. According to the press release, Bertain had then refused medical treatment and continued his business at the center and went about his day.

Three days later, Humboldt State University Police received a 911 call from Bertain asking for an ambulance because he was having trouble breathing. Bertain was found at an Arcata storage facility and was sent to Mad River Hospital, from which he was later flown to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa for a “higher level of care.” Bertain died after arriving at the Napa hospital and an autopsy report later found that Bertain’s death resulted from injuries he suffered during the alleged assault by Barnes.

Bertain's family informed the Napa County Coroner’s Office about the altercation and it then contacted EPD about the investigation. A detective was assigned to the case and on July 5, the detective received the full autopsy report and later found the Burre Center altercation records and was able to determine Barnes as a suspect. Barnes was already in custody at the Humboldt County jail on unrelated charges and is now being held on $1 million bail. 

“This was a tragic situation that resulted from a concerned citizen, Ben Bertain, intervening into a situation to stop what he recognized as a heated verbal alteration that likely was going to turn into a physical assault,” the press release states. “This level of intervention is not uncommon in our community but the outcome this time resulted in the loss of a life. This tragic event should serve as a reminder to the citizens of Humboldt that it is almost always safer to observe and report when you witness a crime or potential crime that is about to occur.”

Read the full EPD press release below:

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