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Sunday, August 18, 2019

UPDATE: Missing Humboldt Hiker Found Dead After Massive Search Effort

Posted By and on Sun, Aug 18, 2019 at 5:17 PM

A massive search effort for a missing hiker ended today after rescuers recovered his body in a remote wilderness area near Mirror Lake in the Trinity Alps.

According to the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, the body of Daniel Komins, an EMT and volunteer with Blue Lake Fire, was located after a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew spotted what appeared to be a backpack and 
Daniel Komins sent this photo to his girlfriend Sunday from the top of Thompson Peak in northern Trinity County. The last time he was seen was Monday morning as he headed to L Lake. - TRINITY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Trinity County Sheriff's Office
  • Daniel Komins sent this photo to his girlfriend Sunday from the top of Thompson Peak in northern Trinity County. The last time he was seen was Monday morning as he headed to L Lake.
search efforts narrowed in on the area.

Komins, 34, was an experienced hiker. He was reported missing when he did not return home as planned on Aug. 14.

In a Facebook message, Blue Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ray Stonebarger thanked the rescue teams who searched for Komins as well as those who spread the word he was missing on social media and donated to the search efforts.

“For all of us that knew Daniel, we were blessed. For those that never had the pleasure, I’m sorry that you didn’t get that opportunity,” he wrote. “He really did put a smile on your face. Let’s keep his family and friends tight in our arms and guide them through these coming days.

According to the release, a preliminary investigation indicates that he “may have fallen in the steep and rocky terrain.”

“Although this was not the outcome that was wanted, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office as well as family members of Komins, wanted to thank the Search and Rescue members as well as all other volunteers, for assisting in bringing Daniel Komins home,” the release states.
Read the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office release below:

The Search and Rescue efforts pertaining to Daniel Komins continued throughout the day of August 18, 2019.

The twelve Search and Rescue teams, referenced in previous press releases, began searching their respective areas around first light.

During the late morning, a California Highway Patrol helicopter observed what appeared to be a backpack. The backpack had been off trail, between L Lake and Mirror Lake.

Ground search teams, who were already near the area, went to the location of the backpack in an effort to recover it. The backpack was recovered and later determined to have belonged to Komins.

Search and Rescue members continued to search the area near the backpack, and later located Komins, who was deceased.

Komins’ remains were flown from the area via helicopter.

A preliminary investigation appears to indicate that Komins may have fallen in the steep and rocky terrain.

Although this was not the outcome that was wanted, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office as well as family members of Komins, wanted to thank the Search and Rescue members as well as all other volunteers, for assisting in bringing Daniel Komins home.

Once additional information is obtained, further press releases shall be issued.

Persons of Interest:
Daniel Komins, Date of Birth: April 12, 1985

Agencies involved:
Trinity County Sheriff’s Office
Trinity County Search and Rescue
Trinity County Sheriff’s Auxiliary
Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit
Butte County Search and Rescue
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
California Highway Patrol
California National Guard
Contra Costa County Search and Rescue
Marin County Search and Rescue
Civil Air Patrol
Shasta County Search and Rescue
United States Forest Service
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Reflections at Richardson Grove

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 3:29 PM

Watch for falling rocks and stars in the Upside-Down. (We loved the reflection). - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Watch for falling rocks and stars in the Upside-Down. (We loved the reflection).
As you read on your computer or mobile device, remember that you, too, can unplug, go outside not too far from where you are now and experience a night something like the one in this image. I took a break from plugged-in things for a week and camped for part of it in Southern Humboldt’s Richardson Grove State Park with family. It’s not a wilderness area, but it is in a beautiful natural setting among hills covered in redwood and mixed forests along the South Fork Eel River.

Sitting in the shade in our camp in Oak Flat campground, we counted eight different tree species and a myriad of plants and shrubs without leaving our seats. Not that we sat around all day, although while sitting and tuning in to the surroundings there was plenty going on around the campground to keep me entirely fascinated, whether it was the activities other campers or things happening in the surrounding forest.

It has been a while since I last backpacked in the wilderness, but I used to a lot and I know what it is like to really get away from everything people-related. This wasn’t that. It is a campground. One hears and sees other campers. Even U.S. Highway 101 goes by not far away, though as a two-lane road weaving through giant redwoods. No it isn’t the wilderness, but you are in the forest, with nature all around. Sitting in it and soaking it in absolutely recharged me. Even listening to the wind while unplugged was recharging. We humans are part of nature, not part of the internet. Nature recharges us.
My brother Seth and I watch the world go by one summer night on the banks of the South Fork Eel River in Richardson Grove, Humboldt County, California - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • My brother Seth and I watch the world go by one summer night on the banks of the South Fork Eel River in Richardson Grove, Humboldt County, California
I hadn’t seen the South Fork Eel River looking so good at this time of year in many summers, and it had been longer since I last enjoyed a good dip in it. The Eel was clear and comfortably cool, with far more water in it than I had expected. It’s shallow near the bank where you see my brother and me standing beneath the night sky, easy to wade in. It gets gradually deeper until near the far shore my brother couldn’t reach the surface with his outstretched arm while standing on the bottom. It’s a tranquil stretch with a very slow current. It would be nice for the entire family.

Humanity disappointed me when we came upon the jarring sight of plastic trash left on the bank of the river by swimmers the previous day. I want to express how unutterably lame that is, but I find my vocabulary temporarily reduced to four-letter words. Some … let’s call them jerks, had brought their candy and plastic-wrapped crap to the riverside — and then left the trash there. I wonder what level of care they had, if any. Did they leave it for someone else to pick up? Thanks, that’s really crappy. Or did they not even care that much? Either way we were disgusted with them (“Houston, we’ve found lower life forms!”). We decided we would come back later with trash bags to clean up after them.

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Friday, August 9, 2019

HSU Enters Interim Agreement to Farm Out KHSU Management

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 9:25 AM

Humboldt State University has entered into an interim agreement with Capital Public Radio in Sacramento to provide “programming assistance” to KHSU-FM, which was controversially gutted by the university back in April.

“The agreement allows KHSU to continue airing national and state programming as the university considers various approaches KHSU’s future,” states a university press release. “As a next step, HSU will be assessing options for maintaining KHSU as a vital public service radio station and ensuring its alignment with the university’s teaching mission.”

Under the agreement, which extends through October, Capital Public Radio will serve as KHSU’s station manager and essentially run the station.

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
As far as long-term solutions, the release states that HSU is considering joining ongoing partnership discussions between Capital Public Radio and North State Public Radio in Chico. But the release makes clear HSU is still assessing its options.

Before formally entering into any long-term discussions, the release states new HSU President Tom Jackson Jr. has indicated he wants to clarify “Humboldt’s overall goals for KHSU” and wants to gather input from faculty and students “to learn more about their interest in KHSU.”


“One thing he says he has heard frequently is the importance of the station’s presence and news role in connecting communities stretching from Petrolia to Crescent City,” the release states.

See the full press release from HSU copied below:


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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Unexpected Magic: Rabbit Stargazer

Posted By on Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 10:46 AM

d-featurephoto-banner_1200px.jpg
What makes a photograph special isn’t always what was planned but what happens instead. Of course, sometimes what happens instead can make a mess of things. One has no choice in the matter, but it seems to me that if I’m open to the possibility that something unexpected can make the photo better then delightful surprises will occasionally find me and enter my images.

It doesn’t always happen. Sometimes an outing ends with nothing good. And that is OK. I’ve awakened before dawn and gone out numerous times without bringing home an exciting image. But I don’t feel disappointed at those times because they are only the flip side; I feel the balance that exists and I know that the times when I bring nothing back get me that much closer to the next time that magic will enter the image and give me something special. Is it magic when it happens? Luck? Or just plain probability? I don’t know but it works for me, and I am grateful for it and like working with it.
Taking pictures at regular intervals, my camera caught a curious rabbit that had come out to see what was so interesting. I wonder what it saw. This animation comprises 11 separate still images, each 30 seconds long. That means the rabbit stayed there watching for over 5 minutes. The changing light is moonlight passing behind trees during the exposure. This view is cropped close to the rabbit. August 2016. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Taking pictures at regular intervals, my camera caught a curious rabbit that had come out to see what was so interesting. I wonder what it saw. This animation comprises 11 separate still images, each 30 seconds long. That means the rabbit stayed there watching for over 5 minutes. The changing light is moonlight passing behind trees during the exposure. This view is cropped close to the rabbit. August 2016.
A bit of the magic hopped into the frame one August night in 2016 while photographing the Perseid meteor shower. When I discovered it later, it instantly became the star of my evening’s photos for me. I was photographing from a friend’s house who lived far from city lights. In a darker area over a little hill away from the house lights I’d set up my camera and programmed its intervalometer to take long exposure photographs one after another.

While the camera photographed, we watched the skies from a location nearer the house and the conveniences of deck chairs and refreshments. I had no idea that a curious furry little critter had come out to watch the stars near my camera until I looked through the images the next day. If I hadn’t been away from my camera s/he wouldn’t have come.
An uncropped view, this is also a composite of two photographs. The camera was set to take photos at regular intervals and made over 500 exposures from here. The large meteor above crossed the sky where you see it, but after the rabbit had left. The smaller meteor flashed in the sky as the rabbit watched. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • An uncropped view, this is also a composite of two photographs. The camera was set to take photos at regular intervals and made over 500 exposures from here. The large meteor above crossed the sky where you see it, but after the rabbit had left. The smaller meteor flashed in the sky as the rabbit watched.
The rabbit sat by my camera for almost six minutes while the camera took pictures. Each photograph was a 30-second exposure, and the rabbit appeared in eleven of them, mostly sitting and looking this way and that in the starry night. It sat fairly still in some of the images, but in others it moved while the shutter was open, becoming streaks or leaving ghost images of its silhouette. Was s/he watching the shooting stars, drawn out by the magic of a meteor shower as I was? I fancy s/he was sharing the wonder of the night sky so full of stars and meteors, airplanes and satellites. Or was it perhaps watching the camera, wondering what that contraption was which sat upon metal legs and clicked every 30 seconds?

The Perseid meteor shower will peak the night of Aug. 12-13, 2019, but with fewer meteors per hour than usual as a bright moon will wash out the dimmer streaks.


To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit and contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx .
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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Battle of the Badges Nets Record-Breaking Day at the Blood Bank

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2019 at 11:24 AM

Yesterday’s Battle of the Badges at the Northern California Community Blood Bank was a competition with one clear winner — patients. The friendly rivalry between 16 local public safety agencies brought the highest number of donors the nonprofit blood bank has seen in a single day since 2001. In total, 188 people gave their time, their blood and the gift of life to those in need.

One-hundred-seventy units of blood were collected and, “in a very close competition, the Eureka Police Department won the battle with 38 donations,” John Gullam, director of Donor Resources at NCCBB said.

Last year, 74 donors participated with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office getting credit for 25 and winning the trophy. So this year was a roaring success. Gullam particularly noted how pleased his organization was to have brought in 50 first-time donors.

“This is hugely important as we work toward replacing Baby Boomers as they become ineligible,” he explained.

This year’s event was only the second annual Battle of the Badges. The idea is to bring in donors during the summer season, which is traditionally a slow time of year for blood banks. So, local public safety agencies are asked to roll up their sleeves and compete to see who can provide the most donor, with a trophy given to the agency with the highest number of givers. Members of the public can also donate and ask that their favorite agency get the credit.

The success of this event will lead to more events like it in the future and Gullam wanted to give special credit to two people.

“Huge thanks to [EPD] Capt. Brian Stevens and Sheriff Billy Honsal for their work promoting the drive and encouraging their staff,” he noted.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: A Humboldt Commute

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 3:36 PM

DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
I was where I wanted to be, out beneath the moonless night sky overlooking the Redwood Highway, watching others passing through the night on their separate journeys to their own destinations. What a wonderfully beautiful commute they had, I thought: redwood forests, clear air, the rivers, perhaps the rugged coast. Lucky we are to live here.

Sometimes you have to stop and get out of the car to see it. It was a shame the travelers couldn’t see much of this amazing night from inside their bubbles of light. The stars were crystal clear, pinprick sharp against the black backdrop of space. The giant of our solar system, Jupiter was the brightest point in the sky. Not far away rested Saturn, the second largest of our sister planets. Between them stretched the great Milky Way.
Folks were going places late one night in Humboldt County, California. I watched them go by. I had no place to go especially, for I was there already. They were illuminating my foreground, painting it in with their strokes of light as they traveled down US 101, the Redwood Highway. At the far end of this visible stretch the road passes over the Eel River. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Folks were going places late one night in Humboldt County, California. I watched them go by. I had no place to go especially, for I was there already. They were illuminating my foreground, painting it in with their strokes of light as they traveled down US 101, the Redwood Highway. At the far end of this visible stretch the road passes over the Eel River.

But if they couldn’t see much of the world’s beauty beyond the lights of their vehicles, the people passing in their cars were active participants in my own view of the night’s magic. Every car or truck streaking past cast its stroke of light upon the canvas before me. Now the bright beams of a truck, next a small car’s weak lights, but each filling the foreground with light and detail in different ways. They were painting my scene in with light, spreading their illumination and color upon the landscape like paint onto a canvas.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Barney the Old Town Horse Has Died

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 10:38 AM

Barney with his former owner Marty L'Herault in 2013. - FILE
  • File
  • Barney with his former owner Marty L'Herault in 2013.
Blue Ox Historic Village announced on its Facebook page last night that “Barney,” the Old Town Carriage Co. draft horse, died unexpectedly over the weekend.

According to the short post, Barney had been treated for a variety of ailments of late but “it appears that there was some type of neurological issue that came on suddenly.”

A well-known sight on Old Town streets with his hoofs making a clip-clop sound as he sauntered slowly along, Barney was almost 20.

Read the Blue Ox post below:
A Sad Day at Blue Ox: Barney, the Old Town Carriage Company draft horse passed away unexpectedly last Saturday. Brendon, Barney's owner, worked with Barney for some time, trying to figure out what was wrong. He was treated for an abscess in his foot, then for colic, but It appears that there was some type of neurological issue that came on suddenly. Barney was almost 20 years old ~ though he seemed much younger!
Barney was a stunningly gorgeous animal, much loved by many ~ including Nina our mare! It is a very lonely place without his huge presence.
We invite people that have pictures of Barney to forward them to us, either here on Facebook, or by email. We will be making a display to share with everyone.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Airport Equipment Upgrades Leading to Flight Disruptions

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 1:51 PM

The California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport. - FILE
  • File
  • The California Redwood Coast – Humboldt County Airport.
Flying out of Humboldt is always tinged with the possibility of delays or cancellations but flights over the next few days are going be disrupted by equipment upgrades rather than the usual affliction of weather.

According to a release, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, is working on navigation equipment on the main runway, which is expected to be completed by Monday.

“I know the FAA is working as quickly and efficiently as they can to get this replacement done,” Cody Roggatz, the county’s director of aviation, said in the release. “Their team is working diligently to minimize disruptions to flights, but some arriving and departing flights may be impacted until this work is done.”

Read the full county release below:


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Thursday, July 25, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Kneeland Road, One Year Later

Posted By on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 11:09 AM

As the world turns beneath the Kneeland Road, a moon recently full rises in the southeast to chase the Milky Way across the night sky. Humboldt County, California. July 18, 2019. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • As the world turns beneath the Kneeland Road, a moon recently full rises in the southeast to chase the Milky Way across the night sky. Humboldt County, California. July 18, 2019.
Have you ever really thought about the difference between night and day? An interesting difference between day and night is that from one year to the next there are differences between night skies, but no differences between daytime skies. It may be a little odd-sounding if you haven’t thought of it, but it’s not strange when you do.

Daytime is about the sun. It comes up over there, turns night into day, and then goes down over there. We all know this. The light on any given date is exactly the same year after year, with only atmospheric differences causing any variation. This is because after one year the Earth is in the same position in its orbit around the sun as it was the previous year, and it will be the next year and so on. Any changes in that schedule are so gradual that they could take millennia to notice. The moon may come and go from the daytime sky, but it has no effect on the quality of light when it shares the sky with the sun.

But the night! Nothing dominates the night like the sun dominates the day. The quality of light varies dramatically from night to night. It can be completely different on the same date from one year to the next. The moon’s light is the greatest influence, but it will appear for only half of the month. When it is out its light is always changing as it waxes or wanes from one night to the next, and it rises and sets most of an hour later each night.
A snapshot of the night from July 18, 2019, shows the planets Saturn and Jupiter guiding the Milky Way across the sky. The moon, waning but still 98 percent full, had just risen in the southeast. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • A snapshot of the night from July 18, 2019, shows the planets Saturn and Jupiter guiding the Milky Way across the sky. The moon, waning but still 98 percent full, had just risen in the southeast.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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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