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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Eureka Schedules Ceremony for Return of Duluwat Island to the Wiyot Tribe

Posted By on Sat, Oct 12, 2019 at 9:17 AM

After 160 years — and some unforeseen delays — it looks like the city of Eureka is prepared to finally and officially return Duluwat Island to the Wiyot Tribe later this month.

While details are still being worked out, the city of Eureka is planning a special council meeting to formally approve the island's return and "a public ceremony to return sacred Duluwat Island (also referred to locally as Indian Island), to the Wiyot people,” according to an event posted to the city's Facebook page titled “Return of Tuluwat,” a reference to a sacred village site on the island. The event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 21 at the Adorni Center, 1011 Waterfront Drive.

Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks said in an  email to the Journal that the special city council meeting will be followed by a celebration. "We are really looking forward to the return of Tuluwat," he said.

Tuluwat, on Duluwat Island, also referred to locally as Indian Island. - FILE
  • File
  • Tuluwat, on Duluwat Island, also referred to locally as Indian Island.
The city and the tribe have been working to facilitate the return of sacred Wiyot land since the Eureka City Council’s unanimous and historic Dec. 4 vote to direct City Manager Greg Sparks to finalize the official transfer of 200 acres of the island to the Wiyot Tribe, for whom the island was home for at least 1,000 years, according to an archeologist, and since time immemorial, according to the tribe. The island is considered the physical and cultural center of the Wiyot universe, a sacred piece of land with the power to bring balance to all else.

Efforts to return the island to the tribe have been slow moving, frustratingly so at times for those involved. Back in May, after already suffering some delays, Eureka City Manager Greg Sparks told the Journal that the unprecedented repatriation of native land was likely a month away, having then been bogged down by some unanticipated issues with the State Lands Commission.

The island was home two Wiyot villages — Etpidohl and the sacred Tuluwat — up until February of 1860, when, in the midst of the tribe’s World Renewal Ceremony, groups of white militiamen raided the island while the Wiyot men were away from the village gathering supplies. As the villages’ women, children and elders slept the militiamen slaughtered them, killing up to 250 people, by some estimates. The groundwork for the theft of the land had already been laid with a claim filed with the Federal Land Claims Office under the Swamp Overflow Lands Act and a “certificate of purchase” for the property issued a month before the slaughter. After the massacre, the stolen island passed through a variety of hands. It was used for cattle grazing for a stretch before a series of lumber mills and a dry dock boat-repair shop combined to leave a toxic legacy.
A vigil crowd gathers for the last time on Woodley Island to mourn and remember the Wiyot people massacred on Indian Island in February 1860. - PHOTO BY TERRENCE MCNALLY
  • Photo by Terrence McNally
  • A vigil crowd gathers for the last time on Woodley Island to mourn and remember the Wiyot people massacred on Indian Island in February 1860.
Eureka purchased 250 acres of the 280-acre island in the 1950s from Ida Bohn Gates and for decades the island lay largely fallow, save for four private residences on its Eureka-facing side. After the tribe purchased back 1.5 acres of the island from the city in 2000 for $106,000, the city donated an additional 40 acres in 2004, and the tribe secured a variety of grants to clean up the toxic contamination left by the mills and the shipyard.

In 2014, tribal members gathered in Tuluwat to finish the World Renewal Ceremony that had been interrupted by the militia’s invasion more than 150 years prior.
The Wiyot Tribe's acquisition of Indian Island - NORTH COAST JOURNAL/JONATHAN WEBSTER
  • North Coast Journal/Jonathan Webster
  • The Wiyot Tribe's acquisition of Indian Island
Experts consulted by the Journal agree the repatriation of this much land by a local municipality to a Native tribe is without precedent in the United States.

"I think it's a big deal," said Bob Anderson, director of the Native American Law center at the University of Washington School of Law who for six years served in the Interior Department, providing legal advice on issues with Indian law and sovereignty. "It seems to me this could be a shining example of what's possible."

As to the tribe’s current plans after taking back ownership of the island, Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez told the Journal previously that fundraising is underway to hold another World Renewal Ceremony in 2020 and that plans are under way to remove invasive Spartina grass from the island and bring “it back to health.”

Read the Journal’s story detailing the push for the island’s return here and check back for more information on the ceremony scheduled for Oct. 21.
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Friday, October 11, 2019

UPDATE: Humboldt County is Fully Re-Powered

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 11:49 AM

FOURTH UPDATE:
The power may be back on but the outage took its toll on perishable food in refrigerators across the region. The county Department of Health and Human Services wants CalFresh recipients to know they can apply to have those losses replaced by phoning the call center at (877) 410-8809 or going into the office at 929 Koster St. in Eureka to start the process. The deadline is Oct. 21.
calfresh.jpg
THIRD UPDATE:
Pacific Gas and Electric restored power to the eastern stretches of Humboldt County yesterday afternoon, with Willow Creek, Hoopa and Orleans all seeing the return of electric service by 4 p.m.

According to Deputy County Administrative Officer Sean Quincey, it now appears power has been restored to the entirety of the county.

SECOND UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says PG&E has notified local officials that repairs on the two major transmission lines that power Humboldt have been completed and “they are currently working to re-energize all Humboldt County customers as quickly as possible today.”

UPDATE:
For those looking for PG&E’s community resource center at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds this morning, you might need a little help finding it, as it’s tucked in the back with nary a sign to help guide the way.

The center, which opened at 8 a.m., a handful of hours after power was restored to the vast majority of the county, consists of a trailer and a tent tucked on the eastern edge of the property, between the BMX track and the raceway (see the area circled in red on the map below). As of about 9:30 a.m., the only folks there were a few PG&E employees and a pair of private security guards milling about the center, which is offering water and electronic device charging to anyone who needs it.
GOOGLE MAPS SCREENSHOT
  • Google Maps screenshot
Meanwhile, power remained out in the eastern stretches of the county as of earlier this morning (PG&E’s outage maps currently appear to be on the fritz, so updates are hard to find). Officials with the county and PG&E have been so far unable to provide any timetable for restoration to the areas along state routes 299 and 96, including Willow Creek and Hoopa.

A look at PG&E's very empty community resource center Thursday morning. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • A look at PG&E's very empty community resource center Thursday morning.

The Humboldt County Office of Education recently sent out a revised lists of schools that are open today, which can be found here.

College of the Redwoods will be back on a normal schedule tomorrow at all sites but the downtown Eureka location, Community and Workforce Education, is open, according to a release.

Power has also been restored to Humboldt State University, but the campus will remain closed today but open back up Friday.  The Health Center Rec Center, Nelson Hall East are now back open for students and a free dinner will also be offered for students, faculty and staff at the J from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

PREVIOUSLY:
Most of Humboldt County is waking up with the lights on.

After just about 24 hours without power, lights flickered on in Eureka at about 12:30 a.m., followed by McKinleyville around 3:30 a.m. As of 6:40 a.m., power had been restored to the vast majority of the county, with the exception of the inland stretch on State Route 299 from the county line through Willow Creek and up State Route 96 through Hoopa and Orleans. (Iłwai kiliwh market is open as is the Hoopa Mini Mart and Service Station, for those needing gas and supplies out there.) Oh, and there’s one customer near Fortuna who, for some unclear reason, PG&E’s map still lists as having a safety related outlet.
A screenshot at 6:40 a.m. of PG&E's outage map in Humboldt County. - SCREENSHOT/PG&E
  • Screenshot/PG&E
  • A screenshot at 6:40 a.m. of PG&E's outage map in Humboldt County.
PG&E shut down power to hundreds of thousands of customers spread through 34 California counties, including an estimated 60,000 in Humboldt County, beginning early Tuesday morning in an effort to prevent wildfires amid windy, dry weather conditions. The company had indicated Monday that Humboldt County would not be included in the blackout, only to reverse course later in the day, leaving county residents little time to prepare.

Tuesday evening and throughout Wednesday, gas stations saw lines spill from their lots and stretch in to the streets, sometimes for blocks, as stores saw runs on bottled water, food and ice. The blackout prompted business closures throughout the county, and most county schools will be shuttered today, with all closures announced yesterday afternoon remaining in effect.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Humboldt County officials indicated the county was faring well thus far but urged safety, preparedness and caution, warning the blackout could stretch into or even through the weekend. But good news came late Wednesday, when PG&E indicated weather conditions had improved and it would begin the process of inspecting lines and working to “re-energize” Humboldt County. About the same time, State Sen. Mike McGuire tweeted that power restoration would be starting that night.

Then in a wave, lights started flickering on, making Humboldt County, the first county in the state to lose power, the first to get it back in a blackout that PG&E cautions may be the new normal with a changing climate increasing wildfire risks.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sen. McGuire: PG&E to Begin Restoring Power to Humboldt Tonight

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 6:54 PM

Restoration of electrical service to Humboldt County will begin tonight, according to North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire.

McGuire tweeted at about 6:20 p.m. that the process may take several hours as PG&E conducts line inspections, adding that restoration to Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, Trinity and Marin counties will begin tomorrow afternoon. Other sources not authorized to speak publicly about the situation told the Journal that PG&E had deemed weather conditions safe to launch survey flights late this afternoon to inspect the lines, a necessary step before restoring power.

A conference call to brief the press set up by PG&E scheduled for 6 p.m. was inaccessible to some reporters, including the North Coast Journal, which got only a busy signal when trying to dial in. According to local reporter Kym Kemp, who was listening to the call, a PG&E representative indicated Humboldt County could see power restored tonight but made no guarantees.

The county of Humboldt, meanwhile, sent out a press release immediately following PG&E's press call indicating the company is "reporting that it has been given the 'all clear' to immediately begin the process to restore power to the county." The press release warns, however, that this doesn't mean power will immediately be returned to Humboldt and residents should continue to plan to spend at least tonight without power.

"While PG&E can use the same restoration techniques for this event as it uses for general storms, this is a significant outage and therefore restoration for Humboldt will happen in phases," the press release states. "Some residents may begin receiving power restoration as early as tonight, but full restoration may take several days."

Electrical service to Humboldt County customers shut off shortly after midnight this morning as a part of PG&E’s efforts to prevent wildfire, which saw the company shut down its power grids in at least parts of 34 California counties, affecting hundreds of thousands of customers.

The barren shelves at Eureka's WalMart on Tuesday evening. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • The barren shelves at Eureka's WalMart on Tuesday evening.

Power has been out throughout Humboldt County for much of the day, prompting runs on gas and groceries, as residents braced for what officials warned could be five days or more without electricity.

The Humboldt County Office of Education posted a notice on Facebook notifying parents that all county schools and districts will be closed Thursday with the exceptions of Blue Lake School District, Eureka City Schools, Fortuna Union School District, Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District (except Trinity Valley Elementary, which will be closed), Kneeland School, Mattole School District, Redwood Coast Montessori, Orick School, Maple Creek and South Union School District.

From the county of Humboldt:

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is reporting that it has been given the “all clear” to immediately begin the process to restore power to the county. Please note that this does not mean that electricity will be restored immediately to the entire county. To be clear, residents should plan for another night without power. While PG&E can use the same restoration techniques for this event as it uses for general storms, this is a significant outage and therefore restoration for Humboldt will happen in phases. Some residents may begin receiving power restoration as early as tonight, but full restoration may take several days.

Roads:

In the event that you encounter a traffic signal that has been impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutdown (PSPS) event and it is not working, please treat it as a four-way stop. Do not just drive through the intersection without stopping. Slow down as you drive during the outage as it may be difficult to see traffic signals that are not working. Stop, and look both ways when you come to an intersection before you proceed.

Law enforcement officers will conduct additional patrols to ensure public safety, which remains Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (Sheriff’s OES) first priority. Drive slowly, and use caution on roadways. Avoid driving if possible. Roads should remain clear for emergency responders.

Be cautious when using a portable heater, and make sure generators and propane stoves are placed in well-ventilated areas. Never leave candles unattended. Service restoration can cause power surges. Use caution when power is restored and watch for fire hazards as appliances come back online.

Go to prepareforpowerdown.com or call 1-877-9000-PGE for information on PSPS or to sign up for alerts. Follow Sheriff’s OES Facebook page for the latest information. facebook.com/HumboldtCountyOES

City Updates:

Rio Dell asks that residents reduce water usage in order to conserve generator fuel.
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UPDATE: County Officials Urge Residents to Stay Safe, 'Take Care of Your Neighbors' During Blackout

Posted By and on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 12:11 PM

UPDATE:
According to Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Deanna Contreras, the company will only be opening one community resource center in Humboldt County — not the two previously indicated — and it won’t be up and running until 8 a.m. tomorrow.

The center will be located at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and will offer bottled water, restrooms and an electric charging station.

Humboldt Bay Fire is also opening up a charging station for medical and other electronic devices at its classroom at 3030 L St. in Eureka.

PREVIOUSLY:
At a press conference this morning, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal urged the public to remain calm amid a Pacific Gas and Electric power outage that is expected to last at least through tomorrow afternoon and may stretch in to next week.

“This is a power outage. This is not a public emergency,” he said, urging residents to refrain from calling 911 unless there is a true emergency.

The sheriff further emphasized that PG&E is the best source of information for estimates as to when power may be restored to Humboldt County and urged the public to check the company’s website, which has been spotty since the company announced the shutdowns across much of the state Monday afternoon. Humboldt County was added to the list that has now grown to 34 counties on Tuesday, when the company realized that shutting down transmission lines in neighboring counties in an effort to prevent wildfires would sever Humboldt from the grid, cutting power to most of the county.

Lines stretch down the street at a gas station in Arcata. - KALI COZYRIS
  • Kali Cozyris
  • Lines stretch down the street at a gas station in Arcata.
Honsal said the county Office of Emergency Services has been activated and will work to get information out to the public as quickly as possible, posting updates on its Facebook page, including information on open stores and gas stations.

PG&E is opening community resource centers today at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and College of the Redwoods, where residents can get bottled water, use restrooms and charge medical and other electronic devices. Additionally, Humboldt Bay Fire is opening a charging station in its classroom at 3030 L St. in Eureka. But Honsal emphasized that the centers are not shelters.

Humboldt County Public Health Officer Donald Baird said all local skilled nursing facilities and hospitals are operating on generators, and that the county Department of Health and Human Services is planning to do home visits to check on vulnerable patients.

“We are trying to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room,” he said.

Baird urged residents to “stay home” if they don’t need to go out and to “be safe.”

“Take care of your neighbors,” he said. “If you have an operational generator, share your power.”

County Administrative Officer Amy Nilsen said most county offices will be closed to the public at least through today, including libraries. The Humboldt County Superior Court is also closed today, though the airport in McKinleyville is open and, a few slight delays aside, fully operational.
The vacant parking lot in front of a shuttered WinCo Foods on Wednesday morning. - KALI COZYRIS
  • Kali Cozyris
  • The vacant parking lot in front of a shuttered WinCo Foods on Wednesday morning.
Nilsen said the county is trying to conserve the energy resources it has to keep the jail and other essential services operational.

Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Bill Reynolds urged the public to be “hyper vigilant” while using alternative lighting and heating sources through the blackout, and local Calfire Chief Kurt McCray cautioned that the county is under a red flag warning for dangerous fire conditions.

“The real test for us is going to be the next 48 to 72 hours,” he said, prompting Honsal to chime in to urge residents to call 911 immediately if they see a fire.

According to the National Weather Service, highs in Eureka are expected to reach 61 degrees today, with winds of up to 15 mph.

Honsal said this blackout, which officials expect to last at least through tomorrow afternoon, after which it could take PG&E up to five days to restore power to its entire grid, stands as a reminder of how dependent Californians are on the utility company. He said local government will have to look at how to improve redundant resources here in the future, adding that PG&E hasn’t given him a direct explanation of why the Humboldt Bay Power Plant couldn’t be used to provide electricity to local customers amid the blackout in other parts of the state.

Overall, officials indicated things have gone smoothly, given the blackout and the short notice PG&E provided local residents.

“So far, knock on wood, things have been managed,” Honsal said.

We’ll continue to post additional information throughout the day so check back for updates.
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3rd UPDATE: PG&E to Open ONE Local Resource Center with Water, Bathrooms During Blackout

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 7:40 AM

3rd UPDATE:
According to Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Deanna Contreras, the company will only be opening one community resource center in Humboldt County — not the two previously indicated — and it won’t be up and running until 8 a.m. tomorrow.

The center will be located at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and will offer bottled water, restrooms and an electric charging station.

Humboldt Bay Fire is also opening up a charging station for medical and other electronic devices at its classroom at 3030 L St. in Eureka.


2nd UPDATE:
The city of Arcata has announced that Arcata House Partnership is open and will be oeffering lunch and dinner until 6 p.m. to community members in need today at its annex, located at 501 Ninth St.

Additionally, the nonprofit is partnering with the Arcata Police Department to deliver meals to community members with mobility or transportation challenges. To arrange for delivery, call Arcata House at 298-7610 or APD at 822-2424.

UPDATE:
Pacific Gas and Electric will be opening two community resource centers today, offering bottled water, restrooms and electronic device charging stations, at College of the Redwoods and Redwood Acres Faigrounds during the ongoing blackout, according to Humboldt County Deputy Administrative Officer Sean Quincey.

With Humboldt County having gone dark around 1 a.m. as a part of PG&E’s massive grid shutdown to prevent wildfires, which is impacting customers in 34 California counties, the county is holding a press conference at 10:30 a.m. to provide additional information. But Quincey told the Journal that the county will also be setting up a medical device charging station at 3030 L St. in Eureka.

Quincey urged local residents not to call 911 unless there is a critical incident or medical emergency. Additionally, the county is asking residents to conserve water and sewer service.

For those in need of supplies to get through the blackout, which is expected to last at least into tomorrow afternoon and may extend into next week, a few stores and gas stations are open this morning, running on generator power. Specifically, Target in Eureka, Murphy’s Markets in Sunny Brae and Westwood in Arcata, and Valley Grocery in Ferndale are confirmed to be open, as is Blue Lake Rancheria’s gas station near Blue Lake Casino.

The North Coast Community Blood Bank, meanwhile, is in need of donations and remains open, with bloodmobiles at Hoopa High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Arcata Co-Op from noon to 4 p.m.

And for those needing something to get them through the blackout, Eco cannabis dispensary in Old Town Eureka will be open all day.

“Everything else may be closed, but this is Humboldt County!” exclaimed one excited man leaving the dispensary around 9 a.m.

Check back shortly for additional information from this morning’s press conference and scroll down below our original post to see a full press release from the county.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

County Officials: Prepare for Days Without Power

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 7:25 PM

Humboldt Bay Power Plant. - YULIA WEEKS
  • Yulia Weeks
  • Humboldt Bay Power Plant.
Following up on an emergency alert sent out earlier this evening, the county of Humboldt has issued a press release warning that most, if not all, Pacific Gas and Electric customers will lose power beginning at midnight tonight and should be prepared to be without power for at least a few days.

The outage is hitting Humboldt and some 33 other California counties as a part of PG&E’s plan to shut down portions of its grid in high wind and low humidity conditions in an effort to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

The county is warning that power will likely be out at least until Thursday afternoon, but adds that it may take PG&E up to five days to restore power to all customers, meaning Humboldt customers may have to do without until early next week. The reason for the delay in restoring power is that after the winds die down, PG&E will need to inspect its transmission lines to ensure none have been damaged before turning power back on.

The county has activated its emergency operations center, which is working with local partners to respond to the looming outage.

“Public safety is the first priority,” the press release states. “Emergency dispatch will continue to operate during the outage. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Do not call 911 for information about the power outage. Outage information is provided by PG&E.”

See the county’s full press release copied below for more information about how to prepare for the coming days:


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SECOND UPDATE: Shutdown to Hit Humboldt

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 6:47 PM

UPDATE: PG&E has notified the county that “all customers” in Humboldt County will lose power at midnight due to a power shutoff in another county, affecting major transmission lines to Humboldt.

“Please prepare for an extended power outage. 9 1 1 should only be used for life threatening emergencies,” an alert from the county states. “The Sheriff's Office will issue more information when P G & E provides outage or restoration time estimates. Please check on family and neighbors with medical needs.”

UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says it is preparing for the potential of a PG&E power shutdown due to gusty winds and dry conditions.

PG&E describes the region as being in the “potential scope of this PSPS, in addition to the 30 counties identified Monday.”

"The company has been notifying potentially impacted customers and will continue to do so, via automated calls, texts and emails. However, customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance," the PG&E release states. "It is very possible that customers may be affected by a power shutoff even though they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions."


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SECOND UPDATE: County Office of Ed Posts Outage School Closure Page

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 3:56 PM

SECOND UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Education website server is being shut down at 8 p.m., so the page with school closures related to the PG&E outage will not be available after that time. The office said in a release that its Facebook page will be kept up to date as much as possible and parents should check there for the latest information.

UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Education has started a PG&E public safety power shutoff information page for parents. As of 4:30 p.m., Trinity Valley Elementary School (others in the Klamath-Trinity will remain open), Big Lagoon School and all of the Southern Humboldt Unified School District campuses were slated to be closed tomorrow.

The website can be found here and states that information will be updated as “warranted.”


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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Caltrans: Arborist to Check out Health of Eucalyptus on 101

Posted By on Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 9:00 AM

The eucalyptus stand on the Safety Corridor is get a check-up. - COURTESY OF THE CALTRANS
  • Courtesy of the Caltrans
  • The eucalyptus stand on the Safety Corridor is get a check-up.
If you notice some activity next week around the row of eucalyptus trees that has stood sentry along the banks of Humboldt Bay for nearly a century, that's because they're getting another “overall health and safety” assessment, according to Caltrans.

In a Facebook post, the agency says the southbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 101 by the stand will be closed beginning “as early” as Oct. 7 — 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. — to allow a third-party arborist to examine the trees.

“The most important aspect of this is safety. We understand the trees were planted in the 1920s,” the post states. “We just want to make sure they’re holding up and reduce the chances of falling limbs hurting someone or worse. We’re hopeful a scientific look at the situation will help us optimize safety.”

Caltrans states that the closure “closure isn’t expected to have a significant impact on cyclists, pedestrians or motorists.”

Concerns about the health of the stand were raised last year.

A professional arborist hired by the county of Humboldt in connection with the expansion of the Humboldt Bay Trail found that “the trees as a whole are in an advanced state of physiological decline.”

“In my opinion, there is no reasonable method for mitigating these risks through pruning, cabling and bracing or the moving of targets,” arborist Torrey Young wrote in a 17-page letter to the board of supervisors. “If allowed to remain, the risk of failures will increase over time. The health of these trees will continue to decline. … I recommend removing the entire stand to grade. The physiological and structural conditions that render these trees a risk will worsen over time and cannot be effectively mitigated except via removal.”

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted last November to look at moving forward with removing the northern portion of the stand.

Facebook post from Caltrans:


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Friday, October 4, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Avenue of the Imagination

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 2:28 PM

DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
Imagine, if you will, a journey down an avenue through corridors of towering redwoods. Between them the stars hang motionless in the sky, while streaking past beneath you fly the yellow dashes of the road. This is a road you think you know. But this night your journey will end in another destination, and what you find there is for you alone …

Would that I could lose myself in the world of that intro. I enjoyed the strange trip inside as I wrote, a dream that I didn’t want to fade. But really the tale is for the viewer to create within. We each have our own personal experiences that shape the stories that course through our thoughts as we look deeply into these or any images. What I shared in the introduction was a glimpse at the narrative in my own head around these images, with or without the crystal ball.

A reader asked last week, “What makes an image or photograph unique?” And the short answer was that there is no short answer, but perhaps a little discussion would be a place to start. A full discussion requires a lifetime, and much of it will be an internal dialog. Rather than trying to offer a cookbook for it, maybe I can give some tools for you to build on.
To what strange trip might this road lead? Safe travels, I hope.  Humboldt County, California. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • To what strange trip might this road lead? Safe travels, I hope. Humboldt County, California.
At the core of it is considering things from outside the box. Yes, there is always a box around the box, so just try to get out of the box you’re currently thinking within. Practice thinking and seeing in new ways. It would benefit anyone to understand the elements of design and the principles of design, and I recommend looking those up and thinking about them until you’re fairly familiar them. But don’t get stuck on them as absolutes because none of them is set in stone. Do what you will with them in your consciousness; what matters most is to let them steep in your subconscious. In a recipe do you have to use exactly a quarter teaspoon, or can you make it a dash or two? I say make it a dash. I get nervous if things have to be too precise. As with a chef who with enough experience stops worrying about precise measurements, the artist can also play by feel with the elements of design once they’ve been percolating in the subconscious long enough. Look them up and start them steeping.


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