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Thursday, February 21, 2019

PIT Count Finds Almost 1,500 People Without Shelter in Humboldt

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 3:11 PM

A homeless man in Eureka. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • A homeless man in Eureka.
Almost 1,500 people spent the night of Jan. 22 without shelter in Humboldt County, according to results of the Point in Time count released by the county Department of Health and Human Services.

The biennial count held Jan. 23 found that 1,473 people had experienced unsheltered homelessness the night before, more than double the number counted in 2017. That puts Humboldt County's rate of homeless people per 10,000 in population at about three times the state average of 34, according to U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development data.

The PIT count is part of a national effort to tally sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, as requirement by HUD. The numbers are then used to designate funding to help address homelessness and housing insecurity. On a single day in January, volunteers all over the U.S. head out to count and survey homeless people.

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McKinley to be Removed, Sent to Ohio in Very Near Future

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 10:30 AM

McKinley will be coming down in the very near future. - FILE
  • File
  • McKinley will be coming down in the very near future.

President William McKinley’s days on the Arcata Plaza are officially numbered.

The Arcata City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to move forward with the removal of the statue of McKinley at the city’s center and to have the statue moved to Canton, Ohio, which has promised to fund the effort.

Without any discussion, the council voted to approve an environmental review of the project and to move forward with taking McKinley down from the center of the Arcata Plaza, where he has stood for more than a century. After the vote, the council briefly discussed relocation options before forming a consensus that Canton is the best future home for the statue of the nation’s 25th president.

But the council also stressed a sense of urgency, with councilmembers Paul Pitino and Sofia Pereira asking staff to get the statue down as soon as possible and not to delay as plans are worked out to ship the statue to its new home.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Arcata Poised to OK Relocating McKinley. The Question is, Where?

Posted By on Sat, Feb 16, 2019 at 10:33 AM

Arcata City Council poised to OK McKinley relocation Wednesday. - FILE
  • File
  • Arcata City Council poised to OK McKinley relocation Wednesday.
The Arcata City Council is poised Wednesday to take a big step toward ridding the the city’s center of the statue of President William McKinley, where it has stood for more than a century.

Earlier this week, the city’s planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that the council certify an environmental impact report on the removal project, make necessary general plan amendments and find that there are “social concerns” that override the need to maintain the Arcata Plaza’s historic nature. On Wednesday, staff is recommending the city council approve the environmental review, approve the relocation and give some guidance as to just where McKinley will go.

There appear to be a number of options for the statue, which was unveiled on the plaza in 1906 but has become — in the eyes of some — a symbol of American imperialism and the suffering inflicted on native people throughout the world, prompting the council to vote last year to remove it. The environmental review document proposes the statue be moved to a city storage facility but the council can choose to modify that.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Remains Found by the Eel River in 2016 Identified

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 1:54 PM

George Preston Daniels - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • George Preston Daniels
When George Preston Daniels didn’t show up at the Humboldt County Courthouse on March 24, 2016, for charges stemming from what authorities said they believed was a marijuana rip-off, he became a wanted man. But, most likely, he was already dead.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today that remains found along the Eel River in May of 2016 were identified last month as belonging to Daniels.

Over the spring and summer of 2016, bounty hunters from a local bail bonds office had scoured the area — even hiring a small plane at one point to search for Daniels’ vehicle — to no avail, in spite of a reward offered by his bail bondsman.

In fact, his body had been found in May of that year by a person canoeing the Eel River near Stafford. At the time, Chief Deputy Coroner Ernie Stewart said it appeared the body had been there "quite some time" and the case was being treated as a homicide.

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Humboldt Bay Closed as Surf Pummels the Coast

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 12:20 PM

harbor_closeure.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Humboldt Bay harbor entrance until futher notice due to the high surf.

Any vessel requesting to enter the safety zone is required to contact the Coast Guard VHF-FM channel 16 between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or to call the Humboldt Bay Sector at 839-6113 between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

The closure comes as high surf pummels the coast with breakers expected to reach heights of 25 feet. Read more about Humboldt's weather story here.
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UPDATE: Coast Guard Closes Harbor Entrance Due to High Surf, Winter Weather Continues (Video)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 10:38 AM

harbor_closeure.jpg
UPDATE:

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Humboldt Bay harbor entrance until futher notice due to the high surf.

Any vessel requesting to enter the safety zone is required to contact the Coast Guard VHF-FM channel 16 between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or to call the Humboldt Bay Sector at 839-6113 between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

PREVIOUS:
weatherstory3.png

Another winter storm warning is in effect for the region, with elevations above 2,500 feet slated to see another 10 to 20 inches of snow, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, rain, hail and possible thunderstorms are forecast for the coast along with large swells expected to reach up to 25 feet by this evening, with increased “run-ups on beaches” and waves “topping and washing over large rocks and jetties.”

The weather service has issued a high surf advisory and urged mariners
“to exercise extreme caution or stay in port until the threat subsides” and to “contact the U.S. Coast Guard for information regarding harbor and bar closures.”

“These large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean waters,” according to NWS. “Beachgoers need to stay farther back from the surf and off of jetties or rocks, and mariners should use extreme caution when operating near the surf zone.”

(If that's getting you down, enjoy a moment of Zen with reader Nick Jones' video capturing Humboldt's natural beauty amid the region's deep plunge into winter this week.)

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Water Main Break Starts Vacation Early for Two Fortuna Schools

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 9:26 PM

FUHSD
  • FUHSD
A broken water main is forcing the closure of two Fortuna Schools tomorrow.

East High posted, “School is CANCELLED for tomorrow due to a water main break. Mr. Millsap will be at school from 9-11 tomorrow morning for anyone who wants to come pick up work to do over break.”

Fortuna Union High posted, “Attention! Both East and Fortuna High will be closed tomorrow, 2/15, because of a broken water main. There is no current running water at the school. Enjoy the week off! See you Monday, 2/25.”
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Grandmother Rock

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Beneath the stars and the Milky Way, Grandmother Rock gazed out across the Pacific in her endless contemplation, while the stars wheeled about Polaris above. The crescent moon, invisible past the left edge of the photograph, provided some of the landscape illumination as it set into the mists, while from inside College Cove some kind of light emanated, throwing light on Pewetole Island. The bright light on the horizon was one of five or six fishing boats out at sea that evening. Occasionally they would train their powerful beams toward shore, bright enough to cast shadows. - Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Beneath the stars and the Milky Way, Grandmother Rock gazed out across the Pacific in her endless contemplation, while the stars wheeled about Polaris above. The crescent moon, invisible past the left edge of the photograph, provided some of the landscape illumination as it set into the mists, while from inside College Cove some kind of light emanated, throwing light on Pewetole Island. The bright light on the horizon was one of five or six fishing boats out at sea that evening. Occasionally they would train their powerful beams toward shore, bright enough to cast shadows. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019.
It was nearly dark when I arrived at the Trinidad Head parking area. Sunset gazers had seen the sun set some 45 minutes earlier and were heading for their cars when I struck north up the beach. Night was descending and in the waning light I could see the footprints of the evening’s activity in the sand. Low tide would be in a little over half an hour. My destination was Grandmother Rock, a huge rock in the apparent profile of a figure forever staring out to sea.

Only a faint glow remained over the western horizon, and stars were beginning to show all over the sky. The crescent moon hanging over the Pacific would set in about an hour and helped cast a delicate glow on the world. The retreating tide’s fresh sand was a faint lightness stretching out before me, and I was making the only marks in the new smoothness. Rocks and driftwood slipped by as shadows beside my soft tread. It was dark enough to tempt my flashlight but to do so would have set back my night. I continued without it.

I think about mountain lions when I’m out there at night, particularly if I’m alone. It freaks me out. But for some reason I reasoned they wouldn’t be looking for me at the beach. I’m not sure there was any reason in that at all, really, but I did note that the wind was coming from the shore, so I knew they wouldn’t smell me. I didn’t read all those Tarzan books for nothing.

I heard water ahead. I’d forgotten about the creek. I could make out its shape as I approached. Close across the stream loomed the towering form of Grandmother Rock, but I needed to cross to get the angle I wanted. Mill Creek isn’t especially large but in early February it was certainly in healthy condition and was too wide to jump across. I looked around. Maybe I could find a way over there.

Splash!

My heart slammed into my chest and I froze. The splash was close. A fish? It seemed too large. I had been walking without my light, and I saw little more than shadows as I peered toward the sound.

Splash!

It didn’t sound like a critter’s splash this time. I turned on my light, already figuring what it was: the sandy sides of the creek caving in as the stream eroded them. You know the miniature cliffs that are fun to help cave in when you’re a kid. I might still be one.

With the light on I saw that I wouldn’t be able to cross without getting wet, and there was no way to line up the shot that I wanted from this side of the creek. There were some rocks I could have used to hop across but not all by myself in the dark, carrying a camera bag, a large tripod and wearing a pack. That seemed like a bad idea easily avoided, the kind of thing one might read about in the news blogs the next day.

So I would ford the stream. I took off my shoes and socks, rolled my pants up over my knees, and waded across. This had not been in the plan. It was about 40 degrees out, and don’t tell the Midwest folks, but it felt cold. And now my feet were going to be wet and my socks were going to have sand in them and I would have to do it all again on the way back, too. Ah, photography!

I set up just on the other side of the creek.. Grandmother Rock sits atop a pile of huge rocks, the chunks of stone that Mother Nature had chiseled away from what once had been a gigantic boulder as she sculpted Grandmother’s contemplative figure.

I had one idea for a photograph in my mind for this trip: a long exposure with the north star Polaris above Grandmother’s head. In a long exposure from that angle, the trails made by the stars would create rings around her that could represent different things to different people. I also wanted Pewetole Island in the image if possible. I found a single spot that would give me that angle: it was on the steep side of a sloping boulder but from there it would all fall into line. I climbed up, wedged my tripod in and perched there next to it.
The Grandmother abides. In this much shorter exposure, the stars and other celestial objects have been stopped. Sister Galaxy Andromeda is the bright, smeared “star” near the top to the left of the Milky Way. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • The Grandmother abides. In this much shorter exposure, the stars and other celestial objects have been stopped. Sister Galaxy Andromeda is the bright, smeared “star” near the top to the left of the Milky Way. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019.
I stayed in that spot for almost an hour and tried different exposures and slightly different angles, some zoomed in, some zoomed out. The lights of half a dozen fishing boats shone across the horizon, sometimes themselves directing beams of light toward me bright enough to throw shadows. The fading moonlight and the final vestiges of dusk’s glow on the horizon cast the softest of light onto the shore.

The star trail image I’m sharing here was a 699-second exposure. The star trails you see show how far the stars moved across the sky as Earth’s globe rotated beneath me. Watching the stars turn I could feel I was on the surface of the Earth, the light of their myriad billions falling upon my face as the planet revolved beneath me.

I would have stayed longer to make more images but for a couple of considerations. One was that by then the tide had been coming in for half an hour and was beginning to send waves up the beach to the rock I was using, and the other was that I’d told my mom I’d come watch the second half of Warriors game with her. I packed up, climbed down, removed my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants, forded the creek again and headed back down the beach.

(And the Warriors won.)
This animation alternates between two frames, one long exposure in which the stars became streaks, and one shorter exposure from moments later in which they are still points. The smudgy “star” at the top to the left of the Milky Way is our sister galaxy Andromeda. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • This animation alternates between two frames, one long exposure in which the stars became streaks, and one shorter exposure from moments later in which they are still points. The smudgy “star” at the top to the left of the Milky Way is our sister galaxy Andromeda.

To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.
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UPDATE: Wind Gusts Could Reach 50 MPH This Afternoon, Slide Closes 36

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:51 AM

weatherstory2.png
UPDATE:
Caltrans has updated that State Route 36 is open to one-way controlled traffic.

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Humboldt County will continue to see rain, wind and mountain snow for the next week, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather service, which reports a forecast of “multiple rounds” of an “active and wet pattern.”

A wind advisory remains in effect for the coast today until 3 p.m. with gusts as high as 50 mph possible and the Eel River is under a flood watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

While unclear if it’s weather related, more than 1,200 PG&E customers in Eureka lost power this morning, according to the company’s outage page, joining hundreds of other Humboldt County residents who were also left in the dark. No cause or estimate for restoration was available as of 8:30 a.m.

To find out about outages in specific areas, visit https://m.pge.com/#outages.

Meanwhile, a rock slide has closed down State Route 36 west of Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Storm Update: Flood Watch for SoHum, Eel River; Wind Advisory on the Coast

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 7:11 PM

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The Eureka office of the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Humboldt and Mendocino coasts from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday as another storm system rolls through the region bringing "heavy rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow."

Flood watches are also in effect for Southern Humboldt and Mendocino County starting late tonight and continuing through Thursday afternoon and for the Eel River at Fernbridge.

The heaviest rain is forecast for tonight into Wednesday with moderate levels continuing into Thursday, which is expected to cause “rapid rises” on area rivers with some expected to reach monitor or flood stage, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services reports that the Eel River is forecast to reach flood stage at Fernbridge late Thursday afternoon, but the information will continue to change over the next 24 to 48 hours.

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka. To monitor river conditions, visit NOAA's Calfornia Nevada River Forecast Center website here.


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