Monday, June 29, 2020

Fire Safety Reminders for Six Rivers National Forest

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 4:10 PM

The Six Rivers National Forest was established in 1947. - PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
  • The Six Rivers National Forest was established in 1947.
Six Rivers National Forrest is reminding residents ahead of the Fourth of July weekend that fire restrictions are in effect in the forest to protect visitors, communities, employees and natural resources. 

“Every unwanted wildfire causes needless damage and during this COVID-19 pandemic, increases virus exposure to our firefighters and the public,” Interagency Fire Chief Josh Mathieson said in a release. 

According to the release, fire restrictions prohibit igniting, building, maintaining or using a fire outside of developed recreation sites, designated fire-safe sites, and wilderness areas within the boundaries of the Six Rivers National Forest.

Read the full release below.
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Where to Get Financial Help During Coronavirus in California — and Is It Enough?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 12:48 PM

IMAGES VIA ISTOCK
  • Images via iStock
From hotel rooms for people who are homeless to restaurant meals for seniors isolating for their lives, California has rapidly expanded its safety net in an attempt to catch millions of residents impacted by the coronavirus and its economic aftershocks.

In daily press conferences during the pandemic’s first months, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new “first-in-the-nation” plans to protect vulnerable Californians from illness or financial distress at a dizzying pace.

But months in, the pandemic safety net strains and sometimes snaps under the weight of Californians’ needs. People spend hours calling agency after agency seeking help to buy groceries or pay rent. Many fall through the cracks.

Approximately 16 million Californians, or 53% of all adults, have lost income since March 13, according to estimates from a Census Bureau survey conducted in mid-June. An estimated 3.5 million residents report their family lacked enough food to eat, up from 2.7 million before the pandemic. And 3.3 million have slight or no confidence that they’ll be able to pay July’s rent.

Whether California’s safety net response represents the best the state could do to keep its residents afloat or a one-two punch of overpromising and underdelivering may lie in the eyes of the beholder.

For some of California’s biggest pandemic safety net programs, here’s how the state’s promises square with reality:






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Community Caravan Will Call for Rent and Mortgage Forgiveness

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Centro del Pueblo, Cooperation Humboldt, North Coast People’s Alliance, the Humboldt and Del Norte Central Labor Council, Buenlucha, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other community organizations will host caravan through Eureka calling for banks to forgive mortgages for landlords and tenets who can't pay rent due to COVID-19 related unemployment on Wednesday, July 1.

“In May, my landlord increased the rent of the place where I’ve been living for decades. We live in a trailer park in Eureka. I couldn’t pay for electricity in order to complete the rent amount this month. I’m a single mother of four children, I work as a housekeeper, but due to the pandemic, I have no job. We are here to work, we pay taxes, we are thousands in this situation, we need help and rent forgiveness to start over, as a recognition of all the effort and the long hours that we have worked tirelessly in this country,” Rosa said in an open statement for Centro del Pueblo.

According to the release, the caravan — which is inviting bikes, skateboards, and cars — will meet in the parking lot of the Eureka Labor Temple (840 D Street) at 5 p.m. and will start at 5:25 p.m.

The caravan will follow social distancing guidelines and will require participants to wear masks and stay 6 ft apart. 

Read the full press release below.
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First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Provides Emergency Supplies to Child Care Facilities with Children of Essential Workers

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 11:48 AM

Star Mohatt (left), program coordinator for First 5 Humboldt and Kerry Venegas (right), executive director of Changing Tides Family Services with materials for child care providers. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Star Mohatt (left), program coordinator for First 5 Humboldt and Kerry Venegas (right), executive director of Changing Tides Family Services with materials for child care providers.
First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services recently donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential supplies to child care facilities serving children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The supplies included masks, disinfectants, children's books, wipes, non-contact thermometers and diapers.

“We are committed to helping child care providers adapt and respond to this pandemic so the children of our essential workers receive safe high-quality child care. These supplies are a critical part of our response, and we greatly appreciate the partnership and support of First 5 California and First 5 Humboldt.” Kerry Venegas, executive director of Changing Tides Family Services said in the release. 

Read the full press release below.

First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services Provide Emergency Supplies to Child Care Facilities Serving Children of Essential Workers Masks

Eureka, CA — First 5 Humboldt and Changing Tides Family Services recently unloaded mission-critical supplies for Humboldt County child care providers caring for the children of essential workers and vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis. The deliveries included boxes of 3-ply masks, disinfectant, children’s books, wipes, 100 non-contact thermometers, and 400 packs of 40-50 diapers each. These supplies will be distributed by Changing Tides Family Services to essential worker child care providers.

“We are committed to helping child care providers adapt and respond to this pandemic so the children of our essential workers receive safe high-quality child care. These supplies are a critical part of our response, and we greatly appreciate the partnership and support of First 5 California and First 5 Humboldt.” said Kerry Venegas, Executive Director of Changing Tides Family Services

“Child care providers are essential workers on the front lines of this crisis. They are putting themselves at risk to care for the children of our hospital staff, law enforcement, grocery, and other essential workers. We owe them a debt of gratitude and are glad we can help with these supplies.” said Mary Ann Hansen, Executive Director of First 5 Humboldt County.

Eureka’s Mayor, Susan Seaman, who serves on the local Humboldt Emergency Child Care Task Force, expressed appreciation for the effort: “we are so grateful to the child care leadership in our community to recognize the needs of our providers and to be able to gather the resources needed to provide that support. When our providers are cared for, our children and families feel more secure.”

The supply delivery is part of a statewide First 5 California program using $4 million in emergency funding to provide 60 days of supplies to child care providers serving essential workers. The distribution of emergency supplies to each county was determined using a formula based on birth rate. First 5 Humboldt purchased the non-contact thermometers as each provider must take temperatures daily.

“It is important that child care providers and families with children have access to critical supplies during this extraordinary time,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California. “Working with our First 5 county partners, we hope this investment provides a measure of relief.”
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Sunday, June 28, 2020

38th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony is Going Virtual This Year

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 6:40 PM

The City of Arcata announced that the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony that takes places annually at the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary will be held virtually this year in light of COVID-19. The Lantern Floating Ceremony commemorates the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and affirms Arcata’s dedication to the cause of peace. The city said in a press release that organizers will be offering alternative ways for the community to share intentions, hopes and remembrance in lieu of lantern floating at the marsh this year.

The press release states, "In order to protect the health and safety of the community this year, community members are invited to share photographs, artwork and inscriptions in honor of departed loved ones and ancestors. Messages of peace and hope for racial and cultural harmony are also encouraged."

A video compilation of community submissions will be released on YouTube on Saturday, Aug. 8 and will include performances of local musicians, poets and speakers.

For more on the event and how you can participate, see the full press release below.

The 38th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony organizers will be offering alternative ways for the community to share intentions, hopes and remembrance in lieu of lantern floating at the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary this year.

The City of Arcata’s Nuclear-Free Zone Committee started the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony 38 years ago to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and to affirm Arcata’s dedication to the cause of peace. The ceremony has since evolved into a beautiful opportunity for the community to come together for a collective moment of remembrance and reflection.

In order to protect the health and safety of the community this year, community members are invited to share photographs, artwork and inscriptions in honor of departed loved ones and ancestors. Messages of peace and hope for racial and cultural harmony are also encouraged.

A video compilation of community submissions will be released on YouTube on Saturday, August 8 and will include performances of local musicians, poets and speakers, including Mayor Michael Winkler. The video and a community message board will also be available for viewing year round at arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org.

Digital submissions can be emailed to us@arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org until Monday, July 20 to be
included in the ceremony video. Late submissions will be included on arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org, but not in the video release.

In addition, community art and inscription submissions will be displayed on the southwest corner of the Arcata Plaza. Physical art submissions can be mailed or dropped off at the Arcata Public Library, located at 500 7th Street, until Monday, July 20.

For more information, please visit arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org or email
us@arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org.
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Friends of the Dunes Presents the Dispersed Sand Sculpture Festival

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 5:56 PM

Friends of the Dunes announced that a physically-distanced version of its 25th Annual Sand Sculpture Festival will take place during the entire month of July. The modified event, called the Dispersed Sand Sculpture Festival, will take place in lieu of the annual Sand Sculpture Festival previously scheduled for July 25, 2020 at Samoa Drag Strip.

Getting outdoors and creating art in a socially distant and responsible way?
We dig it.
2019 Sand Sculpture Festival - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • 2019 Sand Sculpture Festival

In the press release, organizers invite household groups to "create sandy masterpieces on local beaches, post creations on social media, vote for their favorite sand sculptures, and be entered to win exciting prizes."

2019 Sand Sculpture Festival - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • 2019 Sand Sculpture Festival
The press release goes on to say, "Rather than taking place at a designated beach on a designated day, the Sand Sculpture Festival will take place throughout the entire month of July at any beach the sculptors choose to sculpt. For the health and safety of participants and interested spectators, Friends of the Dunes is asking sand sculpting teams to practice physical distancing, which means teams should only consist of households or people that are sheltering together. Before households start sculpting, it is important to check the tides and always keep an eye out for dangerous sneaker waves."

Prizes include $100 cash for the sculpture with the most votes, and a chance to win a free Friends of the Dunes membership.
2019 Sand Sculpture Festival - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • 2019 Sand Sculpture Festival
July will be here in just a few days, teams, so on your marks, get your pails and tools together and get out there! For more information on rules, prizes and how to enter, read more from Friends of the Dunes below.

Friends of the Dunes is excited to announce that a physically-distanced version of the 25th Annual Sand Sculpture Festival will be taking place during the entire month of July! During the Dispersed Sand Sculpture Festival, household groups are invited to create sandy masterpieces on local beaches, post creations on social media, vote for their favorite sand sculptures, and be entered to win exciting prizes.


Humboldt beaches are open and have an ample supply of sand and plenty of space to make all of your sand-sculpting dreams come true! Rather than taking place at a designated beach on a designated day, the Sand Sculpture Festival will take place throughout the entire month of July at any beach the sculptors choose to sculpt. For the health and safety of participants and interested spectators, Friends of the Dunes is asking sand sculpting teams to practice physical distancing, which means teams should only consist of households or people that are sheltering together. Before households start sculpting, it is important to check the tides and always keep an eye out for dangerous sneaker waves.


To be entered into the competition, teams should email images of their sculptures to info@friendsofthedunes.org along with the location of the sculpture, the date it was created, the team name, the name of the sculpture, and if applicable, the name of the business partner that your team is representing. Make sure that the images are in color, are not blurry, or taken from too far away. Teams will be entered for a chance to win the following prizes:


People's Choice: $100 cash prize for the sculpture with the most votes from you!

Golden Shovel: Only available to teams representing a business partner.

Teams can also win bragging rights and a free Friends of the Dunes membership when competing for the titles of:

Best of Show

Most Dedicated Diggers

Most Photogenic

Most Imaginative

Staff Pick


Don’t forget to post your sculptures on social media! Although it is optional, households that post their sculptures and the location of their sculptures on social media with the hashtags #SandSculptureFestival2020 and #FriendsoftheDunes, as well as tagging @humboldtbaysocialclub and @friendsofthedunes, will receive $5 off of a food purchase from our generous partners at the Humboldt Bay Social Club. After a long day of sculpting, you can reward your team with fresh oysters and a cold drink around the fire pit. Posting hashtags and locations is encouraged so that interested beachgoers can admire the sculptures in person before the tides wash them away. Those seeking out sculptures can search for the hashtags online, and are encouraged to maintain safe physical distancing.


Friends of the Dunes will post emailed images of the sculptures on their website as soon as possible, which means that spectators can start voting for the People’s Choice award right away! Proceeds raised from vote purchases will support free dune education and stewardship programs.


Playing in the sand at our local beaches is a great way to kick off the summer season, so grab your buckets, pack a picnic, and start sculpting! For full details on how to participate in the Dispersed Sand Sculpture Festival and how to vote for your favorite sculptures, please visit our website.
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Saturday, June 27, 2020

The First Days of COVID-19 in Humboldt Via Email, LoCO Reports

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 8:06 PM

The Lost Coast Outpost looks at the first days of the COVID-19 response through the lens of county officials’ emails, including discussions on when to declare an emergency and the effort to supply local healthcare providers with needed equipment.

Read the full story here.
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Mother Ordered to Stand Trial in Fatal Shooting of Son, T-S and LoCO Report

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 5:14 PM

gavel.jpg
The Times-Standard and Lost Coast Outpost are reporting that a Superior Court judge has ordered a Eureka woman to stand trial for allegedly fatally shooting her teenage son.

Pamela Millsap, 38, is facing charges of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of child abuse. Read the full story here and here.
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Could Racially Motivated 911 Calls Become Hate Crimes?

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 4:37 PM

A California proposal could make racially motivated 911 calls a hate crime. - ILLUSTRATION BY ANNE WERNIKOFF FOR CALMATTERS; ELEMENTS VIA ISTOCK
  • Illustration by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters; elements via iStock
  • A California proposal could make racially motivated 911 calls a hate crime.

Barbecuing at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Selling water without a permit. Both instances in which a Black person was doing something deemed criminal by a white person. Both instances in which a white person called the police.

Now, as racial tensions continue to flare as the nation protests the death of George Floyd and others, a California lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would make discriminatory 911 calls a hate crime, joining a handful of states in pushing to criminalize emergency calls. Three states — New York, Oregon and Washington — have recently enacted new laws.

California’s proposal “would provide multiple pathways for justice for victims of racially weaponized 911 calls,” said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, an Alameda Democrat and the bill’s author.

He said calling the police when no crime has occurred can be “incredibly dangerous” for victims since officers have wide latitude to detain people in ways that can quickly escalate. The bill, however, isn’t in print yet. Bonta says he is still formulating the circumstances in which Californians may be punished for bias.

Similar instances of racially motivated 911 calls have occurred across the country. In May, a white woman walking her dog in Central Park called the police on a Black birdwatcher after he asked her to leash her dog.

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life,” said Amy Cooper, the dog walker, during the recorded incident. The governor of New York signed legislation making these types of 911 calls a crime.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta says 911 calls have been “weaponized” against Black people and Californians need to understand that’s “unacceptable” behavior.

In California, making a false police call is a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine and up to a year in county jail. But there are currently no other protections for those on the receiving end of a racially motivated police call.

In 2017, there were 28.1 million calls to 911 in California, the Orange County Register reported. And the Los Angeles area handled 8.5 million calls that year alone. The California Highway Patrol is largely responsible for 911 calls made on cell phones and often directs emergency calls to the appropriate authorities. Who would be responsible for tracking these types of calls remains unclear. As demands to “defund the police” continue to grow, questions remain about a larger police role. The California Police Chiefs Association had no comment on Bonta’s proposal.

For an instance to qualify as a hate crime, there has to be proof that the victim was targeted because they belonged to a protected group. Bonta said proving these calls are hate crimes “can definitely be a challenge.” He pointed to the Central Park incident as an obvious example of a racially motivated call.

“She knew exactly what she was doing,” Bonta said. “He was not harassing her. She was calling based on race.”

Continue reading »

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Upcoming Ramp Closures in Arcata

Posted By on Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 4:09 PM

Ramp closures are coming. - CALTRANS
  • Caltrans
  • Ramp closures are coming.
Ramp closures will be happening in the Arcata area over the next few days, according to a Caltrans Facebook post.

On Sunday, the westbound State Route 299 off-ramp to southbound U.S. Highway 101 ramp and the southbound U.S. Highway 101 on-ramp to eastbound Route 299 ramp will be fully closed for guardrail and barrier work from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Southbound lane closures will be in effect on U.S. Highway 101 from
the St. Louis Road overcrossing to the Arcata overhead bridge (PM 87.4-87.8) on Sunday, June 28 and Monday, June 29 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
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