Saturday, October 31, 2020

Death Investigation Underway in Garberville after a Body Found at the South End of Town

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 1:44 PM


A death investigation is underway in Southern Humboldt after a body was located at the south end of Garberville’s main street not far from the exit from Hwy 101.

According to Lt. Jesse Taylor of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the “deceased subject [was] located in the grass.” He explained that the identity of the deceased person was known but was being withheld until family could be notified.

Taylor said the circumstances of the death are at this time are unknown and the “case [is] still under investigation.”

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A Once in a Blue Moon Halloween

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 11:19 AM

  • NASA/JPL-Caltech
Everything had appeared to have aligned for Halloween this year, including its much coveted Saturday arrival complete with the treat of a full moon, the second  this month. (The next time this will happen is August of 2023.)

Even Humboldt County’s notoriously tricky weather is looking to be on its best behavior with a clear, crisp night.

But, let’s face it, this Halloween is once in a Blue Moon in more ways than one. 
(It is also known a Micro Moon (the opposite of a Supermoon) because this full moon is occurring when the Moon is farthest from the Earth, according to NASA.)

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Public Health is “strongly discouraging” the usual tradition of trick-or-treating to avoid the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

“Trick-or-treating without necessary modifications promotes congregating and mixing of many households, particularly on crowded doorsteps, which can increase the spread of COVID-19,” guidance from the state reads. “That type of mixing is not currently permitted in California.”

That doesn’t mean everything is off the table, however, just maybe not the typical parade of costume-clad children making their way through local neighborhoods.

“Obviously. the idea this year is not to be going home to home and mixing households but there are many other ways we can celebrate as a community, so take a look and think of some things you can do with your children, in your household or with at most two additional households, to celebrate the holiday,” she said.

Here’s a brief sampling of possible alternatives.

For example, there will be a Spooky Plaza Car Parade from 7-9 p.m. at the Arcata Plaza, Ninth and G streets. Arcata Main Street and the city of Arcata is inviting families to dress up, decorate their cars and drive around a spooky decorated plaza in a Halloween car parade.

The city of Eureka is offering a Trick or Treating alternative at Sequoia Park, 20/30 Park or Cooper Gulch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with times slot by age group. For more information, visit

Drive-by Trick-or-Treating will be happening at Old Town & Downtown businesses. Drive down First Street to F Street where treats will be available curbside pickup from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last.

The CDPH recommends the following safer alternatives for Halloween and Día de los Muertos:

Attending car-based outings where people do not leave their car, including drive-in events, contests or movies; driving through an area with holiday displays. (Check out the Journal’s slideshow of some haunts across Humboldt here.)

Creating a haunted house or candy scavenger hunt in your home.

Having a scary movie night and Halloween-themed activities such as pumpkin carving and face painting at home.

Día de los Muertos
Altars — Consider placing and creating an altar in a window or outside so others can view from a safe, social distance.

Cemetery Visits — If planning a visit the cemetery, only visit with those in one’s household, wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distancing. Limit time spent to minimum necessary.

Virtual Altar — Create a virtual space to honor lost loved ones. Share with friends and family via email or social media.
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Slater Fire Evacuation Order Lifted, No Growth for Devil Fire

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 10:49 AM

According to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service, evacuation orders relating to the Slater Fire have all been lifted as of 8 a.m. today.

Slater Fire 157,169 acres, 85 percent containment
The release states, an infrared detection flight revealed some 74 acres of fire spread along southwestern Swan Mountain and Thompson Creek headwaters, but "limited" spread elsewhere.

Devil Fire 8,885 acres, 67 percent containment
The release notes "no measurable fire growth for several days."

See the full press release in English and Spanish below:

Continue reading »

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Friday, October 30, 2020

Public Health Confirms Two New COVID-19 Cases

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 4:15 PM

Humboldt County Public Health confirmed two new COVID-19 cases today, making nine this week and a total of 571 to date.

The county also reported that the state has clarified its guidance on political rallies and protests, making explicit that facial coverings are required at both.

County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in a press release that it's important for people to remember that the risk of COVID-19 transmission increases whenever people from different households are brought together.

"It is incredibly important that we work together to keep each other safe in every setting," she said. "Use of facial coverings, distancing and all of the prevention measures we have talked about have helped Humboldt County keep its positivity and case rates lower than most areas of the state."

Today's cases were confirmed after laboratories processed 271 samples, with a test positivity rate of 0.7 percent. To date, Humboldt County has seen 37 people hospitalized at some point in their COVID-19 care and 10 COVID-related deaths.

Humboldt County continues its stay in the "minimal" risk tier under the state's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy," according to California Department of Public Health data released Tuesday, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent and an adjusted case rate of 2.8 per 100,000 residents.

Earlier this week, health officials reminded residents that "two consecutive weeks of a case rate greater than 2.0 would move the county fully into the orange tier."

Meanwhile, the state has an overall test positivity rate of 3.2 and case rate of 7.2 per 100,000 in population.

Nationally, more than 9 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed — including 537,501 over the past seven days — with 228,100 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Statewide, 916,918 cases have been confirmed with 17,571 deaths, according to California Department of Public Health.

Right now, under the lower risk category, most indoor businesses — including bars — can reopen but the county can put further restrictions in place, according to the state. Read more about what it means here.

The Humboldt County Data Dashboard was recently updated to include hospitalization rates by age group, death rates by age group and case totals by ZIP code, the latter of which are reported in "a range of 0 to 5 for case count until the area surpasses 5 total cases," according to a county news release.

After that threshold has been reached in a ZIP code, the exact number will be included.

Continue reading »

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County to Begin Reviewing Applications for Outdoor Live Performances

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 3:56 PM

Health Officer Teresa Frankovich
  • Health Officer Teresa Frankovich
The state of California has released limited guidance that could allow live performances to resume in a limited capacity outdoors on the North Coast in the near future.

The interim rules — which the state is expected to followed up with more thorough guidance soon — allow two types of live performances in counties in the “minimal” risk tier, like Humboldt. The first essentially just dovetails with the social gathering guidelines the state released earlier this month, which allow no more than three households to gather for physically distanced or masked outdoor get-togethers. The state has now clarified that if those groups want to play music, do something theatrical or otherwise perform together or for each other, that’s allowed, so long as no more than three households are involved.

Continue reading »

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Increased Risk of Sneaker Waves Sunday night to Monday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 2:54 PM

The National Weather Service Eureka has issued a warning to beachgoers as a swell will bring sneaker waves on the coast Sunday night into Monday.

According to NWS, periods of smaller waves will be accompanied by sudden larger waves that have the potential to sweep beachgoers into the water.

NWS advises residents to not be caught off guard by otherwise good weather and to avoid steep beaches, rocks, and jetties.

"Remember to never turn your back on the ocean," the warning reads. 
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Suspect Arrested for Illegal Burn That Caused Church Fire

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 1:54 PM

Smoke rising from the Church Fire. - CALFIRE
  • CalFire
  • Smoke rising from the Church Fire.
The Church Fire, which began earlier this week near Highway 169, has been determined to be caused by an escaped illegal debris burn at the residency of Louie Meyers, who has been arrested for alleged reckless burning, reckless burning during a declared state of emergency and burning during a burn suspension.

The vegetation fire was contained at 1 1/2 acres with two structures and one commercial vehicle destroyed.

"The CAL FIRE Humboldt - Del Norte Unit would like to remind the public the burn suspension is still in effect. While cooler temperatures have become more prevalent, heavier vegetative fuels remain critically dry and will continue to carry fire. Burn permits are required year-round by the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, and, depending on the time of year and pile size, may also be required by CAL FIRE," the release states.

Read the full press release below.
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Preparing to Fall Back, Huffman Touts Daylight Saving Bill

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 12:59 PM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
With Californians staring down the reality of moving their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, North Coast Representative Jared Huffman is touting a bill he's co-sponsoring that would allow states the option of staying on daylight savings time all year.

When the clocks fall back Sunday morning, we'll gain an hour of sleep but lose an hour of daylight. Huffman isn't too bullish on the tradeoff, and remains hopeful the bill he's co-sponsored with Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) will get some traction before the end of the year.

“I don’t want to extend the year 2020 by a single minute, much less a full hour!” Huffman quipped on Twitter.

In 2018, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 7 to switch permanently over to daylight saving time but the measure needs to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the state Senate, which hasn’t happened yet. And even if it did, California would simply join the ranks of a dozen states waiting for required Congressional approval to make the switch — that is, unless the bill co-sponsored by Huffman passes and is signed into law, giving states the right to choose for themselves how to set their clocks.

But for now, remember to set your clocks back an hour before going to sleep Saturday night.
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Cash Blitz: A Look at Who's Spending to Influence Your Vote for California's Legislature

Posted By and on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 10:01 AM

  • Shutterstock
State law caps the amount donors can give to a legislator’s campaign — but these special interests can spend as much as they like mounting their own campaigns to praise or trash candidates. And the money interest groups are pouring into these “independent expenditure committees” has reached dizzying heights.

So far more than $31 million of this unrestricted political spending has been pumped into California’s Assembly and Senate races.

“The spending is focused down on just a handful of competitive races but the numbers are enormous,” said Doug Morrow, who tracks spending with his political research group DSM Analytics.

Independent expenditure committees also tend to play hardball. If candidates go too negative, they risk turning off voters. But a committee with a nebulous name — say, the “Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class” or “Keeping Californians Working” — can afford to offend whomever they like.

Here’s an exploration of the most lucrative spenders on these committees — and what they want out of the Capitol.

Oil and gas

Who they are:

As major employers in California with a unionized workforce and huge budgets to spend on campaigns and lobbying, oil companies such as Chevron, Valero and Phillips, as well as gas and electric utilities like PG&E and Sempra, have a lot of clout in the statehouse. But as the Capitol’s dominant Democrats push to combat climate change, oil, gas and other energy companies also face headwinds.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

All Ghouled Up

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 7:29 PM

Hodgson and W Street in Eureka - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Hodgson and W Street in Eureka
Humboldt County brought its A-game to the Halloween scene this year, with some spooky offerings to send chills down your spine. So beware out there and enjoy this slideshow of hauntedly inspired homes, if you dare. Want to show us what you've got going? Send a photo with a brief description to editor@northcoastjournal.come. Happy Halloween!
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