Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Police Investigate School Threat, Deem it Not Credible

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 8:35 PM

Arcata High School - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Arcata High School
Police investigated a suspicious note found on the Arcata High School Campus yesterday that contained a “threat of violence” but determined it not to be credible.

According to an Arcata Police Department press release issued this evening, the note threatened that the unspecified violent act would be carried out tomorrow, May 24. Police and the school district conducted a joint investigation and determined the threat not to be credible, but the release notes APD will work with the district to “ensure the safety of everyone at school” and will provide an increased police presence on and around campus.

APD reminds residents, “If you see something, say something.”

See the full press release copied below:

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Business Owner Doxxed Over Utility Box Art Spat

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2018 at 4:05 PM

The now white utility box near the corner of Fifth and G streets that once showcased "Cat Food." - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • The now white utility box near the corner of Fifth and G streets that once showcased "Cat Food."
In the week since she stood before the Eureka City Council to lament the brightly painted utility box out in front of her business, Molly Green has received a lot of backlash, some from thousands of miles away.

The rift began when Green showed up at her business near Fifth and G streets in Eureka — SCRUB Spa and Event Venue — to find that, without her knowledge or approval, the utility box out front had been painted with a bright, whimsical mural titled “Cat Food” that featured a variety of food-shaped felines. A few days later, Green voiced her displeasure to the Eureka City Council, calling the mural a “really large, ugly, poorly done eyesore” and threatening to campaign vigorously against each of the councilmembers unless they did something to make the mural go away.

The Lost Coast Outpost ran a story headlined “Outraged Eureka Business Owner Convinces City to Cover Cat Painting Right Meow” about Green’s heated council comments a couple of days later, detailing her frustration and the city’s subsequent move to paint over and replace the mural.

The post ended up on the front page of Reddit, an American social news aggregation and discussion website, with a note revealing all of Green’s personal contact information. In an interview, she played the Journal a voicemail from New York in which an unidentified man refers to her as a “cunt,” “a moron” and “uptight.”

“Congratulations, now everyone in every fucking state knows what a piece of shit you are. From California to New York,” he said.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Remembering Curley Tait, Ferndale Legend

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 3:56 PM

Friends and family gathered at Belotti Hall in Ferndale May 20 to celebrate the life of Robert "Curley" Tait, a former model and Chicago blues nightclub owner who for much of his life was well known and well loved for his restaurant, Curley's Bar and Grill, which served California-style favorites for 16 years in Ferndale. The restaurant closed in 2011, re-opening briefly at a new location in Fortuna, but according to Tait's obituary, the spunky octogenarian — who had open heart surgery in 2001 — had found other hobbies, including teaching a Jazzercise class.

Tait, who died  at home in Ferndale on May 1o, was immortalized in this 2000 Journal cover story, which details his origins as a dishwasher in his family's Evanston, Illinois, restaurant who went on to manage famous '60's pop band Spanky and Our Gang. After that chapter of his life closed and his marriage began to fray from the pressures of life on the road, he landed in Ferndale by chance, opening a restaurant at the then-empty Victorian Inn in 1970. That enterprise didn't last but Tait went on to build a career as a local restaurateur, managing The Brewery, opening a French seafood restaurant called "Tango" and managing Arcata stalwarts Abruzzi and Plaza Grill. Between restaurant booms he raised Arabian horses in Ferndale.

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Want to Vote in June? Register by the Stroke of Midnight

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 1:31 PM

"I Voted" stickers only go to those who register. - MANUEL J. ORBEGOZO
  • Manuel J. Orbegozo
  • "I Voted" stickers only go to those who register.
Monday, May 21, is the last day to register to vote in California's June 5 primary election, which will see residents in the Fourth and Fifth Districts marking their choice for supervisor, the first contested judgeship in decades and an unusually dynamic battle for auditor-controller — not to mention several unchallenged races along with candidates vying for state and federal posts.

The deadline for making your voice heard is just before the stroke of midnight by visiting Read the Journal's coverage on the auditor-controller and judgeship races here and here then pick up this week's edition for a look at the supervisorial candidates and a slew of election letters.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Caps and Gowns

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:31 PM

There's cap flair, and there's cap flair. - SAM ARMANINO
  • Sam Armanino
  • There's cap flair, and there's cap flair.

More than 2,600 HSU students were expected to earn degrees in the 2017-18 academic year, and over 1,900 participated in the 2018 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12, according to Humboldt State University's marketing and communications department.

Thousands of students, families and friends packed HSU's Redwood Bowl to watch students walk the walk, often with some extra flair to their personalized caps and gowns. The ceremony began with the College of Arts and Humanities in the morning, followed by the College of Natural Resources and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies. Check out the slideshow below for highlights from the day.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cannabis-Related Lights Polluting SoHum Skies

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2018 at 4:37 PM

A greenhouse glowing in Southern Humboldt in late April.
  • A greenhouse glowing in Southern Humboldt in late April.

Editor's note: This story first appeared on and is reposted here with permission.

Once again spring brings light to the hills of the Emerald Counties — large industrial lights that flood valleys, glow into neighbors’ windows and possibly confuse wildlife, disrupting natural cycles. Rural communities complain that greenhouses constructed specifically for growing marijuana bring unwanted light into rural areas usually only lit by the stars, the moon and an occasional pinpoint of light from a distant cabin.

Concerns about the lights vary. Many rural residents are worried about environmental issues, ranging from the light creating problems for animals that are nocturnal hunters to the it impacting the night skies, making it more difficult to view the stars. Others are concerned about lights shining in their homes and the generators that power them disturbing quiet neighborhoods.

Many greenhouses lighting up the night in Southern Humboldt this month.
  • Many greenhouses lighting up the night in Southern Humboldt this month.
According to Kyle Keegan, a local resident who has studied the issue, “[A]n increasing body of scientific knowledge tells us that altering the day/night cycles of environments can have a profound effect on the physiology of human and nonhuman species, as well as ecological systems.”

Keegan said, “The whole phenomenon of light pollution was not taken seriously until the last decade.” But, he said, scientist have become increasingly concerned as they’ve looked into the situation.

Keegan particularly worries that the large number of greenhouses lighting up the dark will affect nighttime pollinators, such as moths. He worries that the glow will attract moths and other insects. “If they are out there chasing that light, they are not being pollinators,” Keegan explained. This can disrupt natural processes and possibly change our local ecology.

Keegan says the number of uncovered greenhouses appears to have slightly decreased in his neighborhood this year. However, in March 2013, as the following light map shows, there were few lights showing beyond those found in towns.

Light map from March 2013 for Southern Humboldt. - LIGHTPOLLUTIONMAP.INFO
  • Light map from March 2013 for Southern Humboldt.

By last year, light pollution had exploded.

Light map from March 2017 for Southern Humboldt. - LIGHTPOLLUTIONMAP.INFO
  • Light map from March 2017 for Southern Humboldt.

One side effect of the uncovered greenhouse lights is that they are frequently confused with wildfires. Firefighters, most of them volunteers, are then roused from their beds and sent chasing the false fires wasting their time and their resources.

When low-flying fog hangs over a greenhouse, water droplets amplify the light. This can look like wildfire to observers and even trigger calls to bring firefighters and inmate crews. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • When low-flying fog hangs over a greenhouse, water droplets amplify the light. This can look like wildfire to observers and even trigger calls to bring firefighters and inmate crews.

Possibly of the most importance to the actual grower is that having a light source provides a beacon to the greenhouse and the light itself is illegal. According to Humboldt County regulations, “Cultivators using artificial lighting for mixed-light cultivation shall shield greenhouses so that little to no light escapes. Light shall not escape at a level that is visible from neighboring properties between sunset and sunrise.”

According to a spokesperson for the Humboldt County Planning Department, “The Planning and Building Department line is the best contact for light complaints…”


Many, if not most, greenhouse owners cover their lights but, the glow from the ones who don’t continues to frustrate rural neighborhoods.
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Friday, May 11, 2018

What Is Going On With the Beer at Oyster Fest?

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 12:47 PM

A busy Oyster Festival Day in 2017. - FILE
  • FILE
  • A busy Oyster Festival Day in 2017.
The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, a notoriously big and boozy annual celebration of all things bivalve, has been the subject of a rumor mill in the hops-and-barley  set lately. Several local brewery owners told the Journal that the event — which in the past has seen its organizers dogged by controversy about their choices to fence the Plaza or charge admission — will not feature any local beer this year, but is instead going with an out-of-town corporate brewer, Lagunitas.

Arcata Main Street Executive Director Jeanette Todd soundly rejects this rumor, saying that local brewery Redwood Curtain Brewing Co. and Crescent City-based Sea Quake Brewing will both be pouring, not Lagunitas. But things are tense, largely due to a March meeting between Todd and several local brewery owners, a meeting from which participants came away with widely different perceptions.

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Fundraiser for the Haysmers: Longtime Local Couple Lost Home, Collections to Kilauea Eruption

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 6:37 AM

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Phil and Lunel Haysmer, former longtime Humboldt County residents who founded Eureka’s Many Hands Gallery, after their home and nearly everything they own was destroyed when a lava fission opened on their street in the Leilani Estates on the Big Island.

Astra Burke, who worked for the couple for 12 years before buying their Old Town gallery when they retired in 2012 to move to Hawaii, is helping organize the online effort, which can be found here. Burke also has a collection box at Many Hands where people can donate.

“Literally, they have their car and their dogs and the clothes they were wearing,” she said.

Complicating matters, Lunel Haysmer was in the hospital due to a health emergency when the evacuation orders came.

Gone amid the lava flows were many personal items, including a lifetime-worth of art that was both created and collected by the couple and numerous priceless artifacts acquired during their decades together.

“Losing the art we have both made and collected along with journals, photographs, books and tools will be the hardest,” a May 6 posting on the couple’s blog reads.  “In the meantime, we have each other and our dog-kids and an awesome community of neighbors and friends.”

According to news reports, the fission that opened near the couple’s home was spraying lava fountains 230 feet in the air.

Burke said the Haysmers are still waiting to hear whether insurance will cover any of their losses and she hopes the GoFundMe account will at least help the couple, which was so involved with their adopted Humboldt home for more than 20 years, get back on their feet.

For the time being, the couple is staying with people who have opened their home to evacuees from the Kilauea eruptions while they prepare to start over.

“We have spent our entire 32 years together creating — we don't plan to stop now — it may just take a while and we may go at a slower pace,” the Haysmers’ blog reads. “We also thought this would be our last big adventure — but now that we own a one-acre lot of pahoehoe, looks like we are due for yet another one.”
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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Arcata Sets Meeting on McKinley's Removal

Posted By on Sun, May 6, 2018 at 11:02 AM

McKinley statue on the Arcata Plaza. - PHOTO BY SAM ARMANINO
  • Photo by Sam Armanino
  • McKinley statue on the Arcata Plaza.
While those in favor of putting the future of President William McKinley’s statue before voters continue to gather signatures to place the issue on the ballot, a scoping meeting — one of the first steps in the monument’s removal — is scheduled for May 17.

The Arcata City Council voted 4-1 in February to take down the bronze work that has stood center stage in the plaza since 1906. Read previous coverage here, here and here.

The May 17 meeting will include a project summary, public discussion and potential alternatives to the removal to initiate the environmental review process that is required because the statue is considered a “historic feature” of the plaza under the city’s General Plan.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

'Diversity Day' Coming to the Arcata Plaza

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 12:11 PM

  • We Are Your Community

The Arcata Plaza will look a bit different for tomorrow’s farmers market.

Diversity Day, the culminating event of the We Are Your Community project, will take over the plaza’s southwest corner with the aim of raising awareness about the diversity of people living on the North Coast.

Erin Youngblood-Smith and Amy Mathieson, a pair of Humboldt State University masters in social work students, launched the project with the aim of bridging the gap between the local community and students of color. Through an outreach and marketing campaign, the project seeks to help people in Humboldt County, which is 84 percent white according to the U.S. Census, better understand the experiences of students of color on and off campus. (Read more about the project here and check out its Facebook page here.)

Diversity Day will see a variety of local organizations — including the North Coast Journal — tabling on the plaza during farmers market to engage with the community on the subject of diversity, hand out information and discuss the issues and experiences affecting people of color in Humboldt County. The event — which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — will also feature cultural demonstrations, a kids area with face painting and other activities, and a raffle.

Speaking for the Journal, co-editors Jennifer Fumiko Cahill and Thadeus Greenson will be on hand, ready to answer questions about what we do, gather feedback and take suggestions, particularly as they relate to covering diversity on the North Coast. We hope to see you there.
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