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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Can Californians Afford Electric Cars? Wait Lists for Rebates are Long and Some Programs have Shut Down

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2022 at 10:46 AM

Electric cars at Niello BMV dealership in Sacramento on September 12, 2019. - PHOTO BY ANNE WERNIKOFF FOR CALMATTERS
  • Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
  • Electric cars at Niello BMV dealership in Sacramento on September 12, 2019.
When Tulare resident Quentin Nelms heard California was offering a hefty state subsidy to help lower-income residents buy electric cars, he applied right away.

But it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. 

Nelms spent four months on a waitlist before he was accepted into one of the state’s clean-car incentive programs in January. He qualified for $9,500 that he planned to use to buy a 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E. But after discovering that several dealerships had raised the car’s price by more than $10,000 during the time it took to get the grant, he could no longer afford the roughly $53,000 cost.

“We got into this program and it’s not helping like it’s supposed to,” Nelms said. “It’s useless at this time because there’s nothing out there and the cars that you do find, everything’s gone up in price.”  

Affordable and efficient electric vehicles are critical to California’s efforts to tackle climate change and clean up its polluted air — by 2035, the state plans to ban all new sales of gas-powered cars.

But the state’s incentives and rebates for lower-income people who purchase electric cars have suffered from inconsistent and inadequate funding.



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Monday, August 1, 2022

Buckle Up for a Busy Month in Sacramento

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2022 at 11:40 AM

Fast-food workers and other SEIU members marched to the Capitol to deliver postcards and petitions in support of AB257 to the Governor's Office on May 31, 2022. - PHOTO BY FRED GREAVES FOR CALMATTERS
  • Photo by Fred Greaves for CalMatters
  • Fast-food workers and other SEIU members marched to the Capitol to deliver postcards and petitions in support of AB257 to the Governor's Office on May 31, 2022.
Welcome to the final countdown.

Today, state lawmakers will reconvene in Sacramento after a month-long summer recess — during which some traveled abroad on trips funded by special interest groups that lobby them on various issues — for the final, frenzied month of the legislative session.

Legislators face an Aug. 31 deadline to determine the fate of hundreds of bills. Hanging over the high-intensity process is the Nov. 8 general election, which could affect how some lawmakers — especially those vying for contested seats in the state Assembly and Senate — vote on hot-button proposals.

In a preview of the difficult decisions facing lawmakers, hundreds of fast food workers were set to rally at the state Capitol Sunday night in support of a bill that would permit the state to negotiate wages, hours and work conditions for an industry that employs an estimated 700,000 people. A similar measure failed to pass last year.



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Friday, July 29, 2022

Former Arcata McKinley Statue May Soon Have a New Home

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 5:16 PM

The statue of President William McKinley's removal from the Arcata Plaza in March of 2019. - CITY OF ARCATA
  • City of Arcata
  • The statue of President William McKinley's removal from the Arcata Plaza in March of 2019.
After being kept at an undisclosed location since being removed from the Arcata Plaza in the early morning hours of March 8, 2019, it appears the statue of President William McKinley is one step closer to regaining his place in the sun.


The Canton Repository reported July 22 that the Timken Foundation of Canton — which officially took control of the bronze work by noted artist Haig Patigian — has decided the Stark County Courthouse, where the 25th president once practiced law, should be the sculpture’s new home and asked Stark County commissioners to “accept the statue as a donation for the corner of Tuscarawas Street and Market Avenue.”

"It's an exciting project for the city and the county," Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton told the newspaper. "It's a way to honor William McKinley and have a statue of him downtown."

The county commission, equivalent to the Board of Supervisors, still needs to cast an official vote on the matter.

More than three years have elapsed since the nearly 9-foot memorial to the president felled by an assassin’s bullet in 1901 was placed on a bed of tires in a flatbed truck to make the 2,600-mile trip to McKinley’s one-time home of Canton, Ohio, where he is buried and his presidential library is located.

Commissioned by Arcata rancher George Zehnder as a tribute to the slain McKinley, whom he had admired, the statue survived the Great San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and held court over the plaza for more than 100 years before being removed.



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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

New Police Accountability Laws Up Demands on State Agencies

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 9:51 AM

ILLUSTRATION BY MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR., CALMATTERS; ISTOCK
  • Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters; iStock
California Department of Justice agents realized they were short-handed just hours after a Los Angeles police officer shot and killed an unarmed man on Hollywood Boulevard. 

A 911 caller told police the man was threatening people on the morning of July 15, 2021, waving what appeared to be a pistol in a busy tourist pocket. The object in his hand turned out to be a lighter with a pistol grip. 

The fatal shooting was the first test of a law requiring the Justice Department to investigate police shootings of unarmed civilians. The agents would need to interview witnesses, mark evidence and canvass nearby businesses for surveillance footage, according to documents detailing the state’s response. 

The department’s budget for these complex shooting investigation teams allotted three agents; the department sent 12.

Even so, justice officials would later say, it wasn’t enough — calling their deployment “inadequate.”



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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Crabs Stay Hot With Combined No-Hitter

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 5:50 PM

The Humboldt Crabs put together yet another dominating week in the season as both the pitching staff and lineup were firing in all cylinders. The weekend was highlighted by a combined no-hitter from Crabs pitchers Nick Perryman and Eureka local Garrison Finck, which came not even a week after Caleb Ruiz threw his own complete game shutout.


Pitching has been a strong point for the Crabs for much of the season and with a deep bullpen to pull from in games, there is always a fresh arm waiting in the wings to close the door if needed. The Crabs pitching staff gave up only 10 runs in five games while the offense combined for 46 runs which allowed them to win all but one game.


The week started with a two-game series against Medford Rogues, which had also spent the previous weekend in Arcata playing the West Coast Kings team in town to face the Crabs. Tyler Davis led the way for the offense on Tuesday night against the Rogues, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning before and followed it up with a triple in the third and a solo home run in the eighth inning as well.

Crabs catcher Tyler Davis heads back into the dugout between innings on July 24 while facing the Fairfield Indians. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs catcher Tyler Davis heads back into the dugout between innings on July 24 while facing the Fairfield Indians.

While talking about timely hitting and capitalizing on offensive situations, Crabs Manager Robin Guiver praised the team’s ability to bring runners in more consistently, pointing to Davis’ hitting as a prime example.


“We’ve had some clutch moments for sure where we’ve been able to cash in,” Guiver said following Sunday’s game. “Earlier this season we were leaving a lot of guys on base. Every game we’d go and look at the box scores after and have 17, 18, 19 guys left on base. Which is good because it means we’re getting guys on base. But we’ve got to cash in and we’ve been doing a better job of that lately. Tyler Davis has just been an RBI machine for us, he cashes in. He had one where he didn’t today and it’s like the first time that he hasn’t cashed in in a long time with a runner on third and one out. He’s human but he's got 40-something RBIs, so he’s been awesome.”


With Davis and the rest of the Crabs' offense taking care of business at the plate, it gave plenty of breathing room for regular Tuesday starter Marcelo Saldana to do what he has done best this season and shut the game down. Through seven innings of work, Saldana struck out nine batters while only allowing three hits and one walk. From there, Drew Woody finished the job for the last two innings, only giving up one run to seal the Crabs’ victory 10-1.

Crabs pitcher Marcelo Saldana prepares to throw a pitch in the bullpen before the start of the Crabs' game on July 24. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs pitcher Marcelo Saldana prepares to throw a pitch in the bullpen before the start of the Crabs' game on July 24.

Wednesday was a somewhat frustrating game for the Crabs as they battled an early 2-0 Medford lead and while they clawed a run back in the second inning, would ultimately fall short 3-2. While starting pitcher Ethan Brodsky gave up only two runs on three hits while striking out seven batters, the Crabs struggled offensively, stranding eight runners on base even while Davis had four stolen bases on the night.


The weekend would prove to go more smoothly for the Crabs, according to the final score scores. Friday’s game against the visiting Fairfield Indians was a close affair initially with Fairfield taking the lead in the fourth inning before the two teams traded single run innings up to the sixth frame where the Crabs strung together four runs. They scored another four in the next inning before getting another two runs off of AJ Esperanza’s second home run of the night and ultimately won 13-3.

Crabs catcher AJ Esperanza into home plate to score during the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 23. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs catcher AJ Esperanza into home plate to score during the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 23.

Esperanza has been one of the most effective Crabs batters over the course of the last week, hitting .333 over 14 plate appearances and maintaining the same average with runners in scoring position. His two home runs on the week bring him up to a total of four which puts him second on the team behind only Davis who has seven.


“I feel like I’m figuring it out a little bit in the second half of the season,” Esperanza said. “Just trying to really shorten my swing, stay within myself and go after good pitchers and I was able to do that a couple times.”


Esperanza says that he has been enjoying the atmosphere of playing in Arcata Ballpark as well as working with his teammates to help each other improve on the field as the season has gone on.


“It’s so fun,” Esperanza said. “I just feel so lucky to be able to play with this crowd on this team. It’s a super special environment. The teammates are great. Everyone is helping everyone out and it’s just been an awesome summer.”

Crabs catcher AJ Esperanza gets set to catch a pitch in the bullpen before the start of the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 23. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs catcher AJ Esperanza gets set to catch a pitch in the bullpen before the start of the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 23.

Along with his offensive output, Esperanza has also been a big part of the Crabs' defensive strengths behind the plate as one of the Crabs’ three primary catchers this season working with the bullpen staff.


“It’s been great just trying to sort of learn about all our pitchers,” Esperanza said. “Build those relationships and work with those guys to help them bring out their best game. And we’ve had some success, it’s been fun to catch a lot of these guys. We’ve got a lot of talented arms.”


Saturday night was another night for the pitchers to be proud of this season as Perryman and Finck combined to lock the Fairfield offense out of the game with a no-hitter. The two pitchers each struck out seven batters for a combined 14 over nine innings with the only traffic on the basepaths coming from a handful of walks.

Crabs pitcher Nick Perryman throws a pitch against the Fairfield Indians on the way to a combined no-hitter on July 23. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs pitcher Nick Perryman throws a pitch against the Fairfield Indians on the way to a combined no-hitter on July 23.

The 15-0 final result was the sixth shutout for the Crabs this season and a welcome "bounce-back" game for Perryman, who started the game, after an outing last week where he didn’t allow a run but wasn’t fully satisfied with his own performance.


“Yesterday was definitely a good feeling to have a bounce-back start,” Perryman said after Sunday’s game. “My previous two or three, they weren’t bad but they weren’t what I want out of myself, you know? I hold myself to a higher standard. So yesterday was just a big day for me, a confidence booster. The game plan going into that start was just to get ahead early and be efficient and I was able to do that yesterday.”


For Perryman, the prospect of a no-hitter was on his mind less than his approach to each at bat where he aimed to be aggressive and execute on the game plan that he established prior to the start.

“The only thing I try to think about is ‘be aggressive, attack and just get ahead,’” Perryman said. “If I can get ahead it’ll be my game and I’ll just let them hit the ball and let my defense work for me, we have a great defense out here.”

Crabs pitcher Garrison Finck walks beside the dugout before the start of the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 20. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs pitcher Garrison Finck walks beside the dugout before the start of the Crabs' game against the Fairfield Indians on July 20.

Even when Perryman handed the ball over to Finck, he was confident in his fellow pitcher’s abilities and praised his efficiency and effectiveness on the mound to close out the game through the remaining four innings.


“He’s a strike thrower and he just got in the zone, got in a good groove and he didn’t let up,” Perryman said. “From pitch one to his last one. I think he threw 40 pitches in four innings. That’s called being efficient right there. That’s how you do it. And he was all over the zone, he filled it up and was great.”


On Sunday, the Crabs took the lead in the first inning but it was by no means comfortable as Fairfield came back and scored three runs of their own to take the lead briefly before the Crabs lineup responded in kind with three more runs of their own to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Crabs held onto that one-run lead for three innings while Sunday starter Ruiz was forced to work significantly harder this week than he did a week before during his shutout. Relief finally came for the Crabs in the sixth inning when Drew Porter hit an RBI double to extend the lead, followed by a Jackson Giacone RBI single to score Colby Lunsford, who made his way from first to third base after a single and currently leads the team with 19 stolen bases. The Crabs took the win with a final score of 6-3 to close out the week and bring their current record to 26-10 on the season.

Crabs pitcher Drew Woody (Left) and Andrew LaCour (Right) head back to the dugout after Woody completes an inning of work against the Fairfield Indians on July 24. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs pitcher Drew Woody (Left) and Andrew LaCour (Right) head back to the dugout after Woody completes an inning of work against the Fairfield Indians on July 24.

Guiver was complimentary of his team’s pitching staff after a couple of particularly strong weeks for the Crabs bullpen and noted how even when guys have an off day they are able to keep games competitive and allow the Crabs to challenge for the win.


“They’ve been doing really well,” Guiver said after Sunday’s game. “Caleb [Ruiz] looked a little tired today, honestly, he threw a lot of pitches. Last Sunday he went nine innings in a 2-0 game and we had to ride him hard and he’s definitely looking a little tired today. But he still grinded through five innings and kept it down so we’ll take it. Drew Woody came and did a real nice job today too. Yesterday’s no-hitter was pretty sweet. A good start by [Nick] Perryman, got his pitch count up a little bit so we had to get him out of there. And Garrison Finck came in and did a great job pounding the strike zone.”

Crabs second baseman Nick Leehey celebrated with teammates on the way back the dugout after rounding the bases by hitting a double then reaching home on an error on the night that the Crabs celebrated 'Christmas in July' on July 23. - THOMAS LAL
  • Thomas Lal
  • Crabs second baseman Nick Leehey celebrated with teammates on the way back the dugout after rounding the bases by hitting a double then reaching home on an error on the night that the Crabs celebrated 'Christmas in July' on July 23.

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When Employers Steal Wages from Workers

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM

ILLUSTRATION BY MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR., CALMATTERS; ISTOCK
  • Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters; iStock
Some of the lowest wage workers are getting their livelihoods stolen by their own employers.

Employers deny workers overtime premiums, ask them to work “off the clock” or take their tips.

In California, workers lost nearly $2 billion from not being paid the minimum wage in 2015, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

Most often the victims of wage theft are women, immigrants and people of color, researchers say; many work in restaurants, construction, hotels, car washes, garment businesses, farms, warehouses, and nail salons. These workers are among those who bore the brunt of job losses during the pandemic and have the most ground to make up.

For years, California’s lawmakers have tried solving the wage theft problem by strengthening labor laws. Most workers who file wage theft claims wait months or years before getting a resolution; only a fraction who prevail get repaid lost wages.

Usually no one goes to jail for the theft.



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UPDATE: Both Suspects in Fourth of July Assault Arrested

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 10:28 AM

The two suspects in a Fourth of July assault of a Black man on Eureka's waterfront in which he reported being called a racial slur have been arrested.

According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's Office release, Joseph Bradley Boxell, 20, was arrested July 25 by a deputy who initiated a suspicious vehicle check at 9:42 a.m. on Sprowl Creek Road near Tooby Memorial Park while on patrol in the Garberville area.

The release states Boxell, who was with a teenage girl, initially gave the deputy a false name. Once identified, he was arrested on the warrants the Eureka Police Department had issued earlier this month for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and assault by force causing great bodily injury.

Boxell was also arrested on suspicion of a probation violation and giving a false identification to a peace officer, according to the sheriff's office.  The teenager with him was released at the scene.

Another warrant on suspicion of assault by force causing great bodily injury was issued for 21-year-old Dylan Cody Olivas in connection with the Eureka case.

Olivas was arrested July 17 on suspicion of assault and battery in relation to the 4th of July assault. He was also booked on bench warrants on suspicion of resisting arrest, public intoxication and DUI, according to Eureka Police Department spokesperson Brittany Powell.

Witnesses to the Eureka assault or anyone with additional information is asked to contact Officer Spencer Barrett at sbarrett@ci.eureka.ca.gov or 707-441-4060.


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Monday, July 25, 2022

Millions in Federal Funds Set for Upgrades, Studies at Local Airports

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2022 at 2:51 PM

Three Humboldt County airports — the California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport in McKinleyville, Murray Field Airport outside Eureka and Rohnerville Airport outside Fortuna —  are receiving Federal Aviation Administration funding for studies, upgrades and updates, according to a news release from North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman.


The vast majority — $13 million of $16.1 million slated for the region in a federal funding package that Huffman supported — will go toward repaving and stabilizing the main airport’s runway, work that was last done in the early 1990s, the release states.


Construction on the project to extend the life of the runway is expected to begin in 2023 and entails stripping off 2 inches of asphalt and replacing it with 6 inches of fresh asphalt, which will also better equip the runway to handle the larger planes now coming in. Lighting and electrical infrastructure will also be updated.


“These airports are vital parts of our region that have been long overdue for funding to better serve the folks who rely on them. Investments in a lifeline airport like ACV are essential for the safety of the traveling public and to the economies of rural areas,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in the release. “We need to maintain and improve this infrastructure regularly to meet the increasing demands. I’m glad to have delivered this funding, which will help fuel our local economy and boost safety, commerce, and tourism in air travel.”


Wildlife hazard assessment and management plans and electrical systems studies for Murray Field Airport and Rohnerville Airport were also included in the funding.

“We really want to thank Congressman Jared Huffman for the continued support he provides for us on the North Coast,” Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass said in the release. “Receiving over $13 million in Federal Aviation Administration funds would not have been possible without his ongoing partnership. These projects will have an impact on so many residents and visitors in our region for years to come.”

The funding also includes upgrades in Sonoma County.

Read the full release below:

San Rafael, CA – Congressman Jared Huffman today announced $16.1 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airport improvement projects in California’s Second Congressional District. The funding is going to four airports along the North Coast to assist with much needed upgrades and rehabilitation and was allocated through the FY2022 federal funding package that Rep. Huffman voted to pass.



“These airports are vital parts of our region that have been long overdue for funding to better serve the folks who rely on them. Investments in a lifeline airport like ACV are essential for the safety of the traveling public and to the economies of rural areas,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “We need to maintain and improve this infrastructure regularly to meet the increasing demands. I’m glad to have delivered this funding, which will help fuel our local economy and boost safety, commerce, and tourism in air travel.”


The funds through the FAA Airport Improvement Program will pay for runway rehabilitation and extensions in Humboldt and Sonoma counties. More than $13 million will repave and stabilize the runway at the California Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport (ACV), which was last done in the early 1990s. The project will stabilize the runway and allow it to operate safely for another 10-20 years and better handle the larger aircraft that now service ACV. The main runway will have 2 inches of asphalt removed and replaced with 6 inches of fresh asphalt. Outdated lighting and electrical infrastructure will also be replaced and upgraded. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2023.



Also funded are wildlife hazard assessment and management plans and electrical systems studies for Murray Field Airport outside Eureka and Rohnerville Airport outside Fortuna. In Novato, $900,000 will go toward extending the Gnoss Field Runway and $1.725 million will allow Petaluma Municipal Airport to rehabilitate the aircraft apron.



“We really want to thank Congressman Jared Huffman for the continued support he provides for us on the North Coast,” said Virginia Bass, Fourth District Supervisor and Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “Receiving over $13 million in Federal Aviation Administration funds would not have been possible without his ongoing partnership. These projects will have an impact on so many residents and visitors in our region for years to come.”



“Petaluma Municipal Airport is thrilled to receive $1.75 million from the FAA for this critical ramp rehabilitation project. This funding will allow us to replace aging asphalt, upgrade the pavement subcase, and allows us to continue providing a safe airport environment for all users, including tenants, emergency response aircraft, local businesses, and aviation community events. Thank you to Congressman Huffman for his continued support,” said Dan Cohen, Airport & Marina Manager for Petaluma Municipal Airport.


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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Some COVID Orphans in California Will Get Financial Help

Posted By on Sun, Jul 24, 2022 at 6:25 AM

Martin (left) and her sister Miranda Basulto (right) pose with a framed portrait of their parents for a photo in front of their home in Coalinga on June 28, 2022. Miranda is eligible for a state bond given to kids who lost a caregiver (or both) because of COVID. - PHOTO BY LARRY VALENZUELA, CALMATTERS/CATCHLIGHT LOCAL
  • Photo by Larry Valenzuela, CalMatters/CatchLight Local
  • Martin (left) and her sister Miranda Basulto (right) pose with a framed portrait of their parents for a photo in front of their home in Coalinga on June 28, 2022. Miranda is eligible for a state bond given to kids who lost a caregiver (or both) because of COVID.
In a small town in California’s Central Valley, a trio of siblings lost both their parents to COVID-19 within two weeks of each other in 2021. Their deaths made the oldest son a pseudo-parent to his teenage siblings overnight and forced the brothers and sister to figure out a future without their mom and dad.  

In California, 32,000 children under 18 have experienced the death of a parent or primary caregiver from COVID-19, according to research by the Global Reference Group for Children Affected by COVID-19. Those children — so-called “COVID orphans” — are likely to face not just financial hardship but a lifetime of mental health, educational, relational and emotional challenges, researchers say.

Now, California has become the first state to create a financial safety net for some COVID orphans when they reach adulthood. The state has allocated $100 million in its recently adopted budget for the Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment for Children Trust Account Fund, which will seed trust funds for low-income children who lost a parent or primary caregiver to COVID-19. Trust funds will also be created for long-term foster youth.    

The funds, known as “baby bonds,” would be started with state money and allowed to grow until the child turns 18. At that time, the young person would be able to access the fund for housing, education or other expenses.

“It will make it so that people who are in the most need, who’ve lost a parent or caregiver to COVID, will have a little bit of extra help,” said Emily Walton, policy director of COVID Survivors for Change, a national organization advocating for benefits for Americans impacted by COVID-19. “The lack of several thousand dollars could stop a child from jumping on to the next thing and getting an education or getting a job in a place where they know they can be successful.”

The details of the plan will be laid out later this summer in one of several trailer bills, which add specifics to the state budget. Advocates say eligibility will most likely be tied to enrollment in Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance system for low-income Californians. Amounts deposited are expected to reflect the age of the child and how long before that person turns 18.

“It will make it so that people who are in the most need, who’ve lost a parent or caregiver to COVID, will have a little bit of extra help.”

Emily Walton, policy director of COVID Survivors for Change

In the Central Valley agricultural town of Coalinga, Martin, Angel and Miranda Basulto felt lost after both of their parents died in January of 2021.

Their father, Martin Basulto, a truck driver, thought he was exposed to COVID-19 at work. Their mother, Rosa Garcia Cortez, who worked as a front desk receptionist at a local hotel, got sick after taking care of their dad. Basulto, 44, and Garcia Cortez, 46, were taken to a local hospital and within weeks they were both dead.

Overnight, Martin, now 27, was in charge of his family. He moved back home from Fresno to take over responsibilities like paying the mortgage and making sure his sister Miranda got to high school on time.

“In the beginning, I didn’t care about school. I was so angry,” said Miranda, now 17 and about to start her senior year. “We are all going to die someday so what is the point of trying in life?”

But then someone asked her if she wanted to die without living up to her full potential.

“That hit me because I know my parents wanted to do a lot of things in their life they couldn’t do,” she said. “So, I want to live my life to the fullest potential.”

She’s on the honor roll now and looking forward to college — a dream her father had for her.

The baby bonds are critical for their family, Martin said. He remembers their parents would help him with groceries or step in when he could not pay his own phone bill when he first moved away.

Now it’s his turn.

“The smallest amount can go a long way,” Martin said. “I want her to be prepared for when she goes to college and I’ll help in any way I can so any other help available is greatly appreciated.”



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Friday, July 22, 2022

Centro del Pueblo Holds Vigil Against Hate

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2022 at 12:22 PM

Garden volunteer Karen Villa spoke at the vigil held in the Sanctuary Garden on Thursday, July 21. - MORGAN HANCOCK
  • Morgan Hancock
  • Garden volunteer Karen Villa spoke at the vigil held in the Sanctuary Garden on Thursday, July 21.
Community members gathered at Centro del Pueblo's Jardin Santuario last night to stand against hate and offer support in the form of notes, candles and speeches for the community's immigrant population after the garden's welcome sign was vandalized.

The sign was spray painted over in black ink with the words "AMERICA USA" scrawled in red.

Centro del Pueblo has been working on the community garden, known as the Jardin Santuario or Sanctuary Garden, for the past year and a half as a way to connect and empower Humboldt's Latinx residents and immigrant community to learn and share their gardening knowledge.

During her speech last night, Karen Villa, a community organizer with Centro del Pueblo, said the name of the garden and the design of the welcome sign was intentional to make immigrant community members feel safe in the garden.

"We made sure there was diversity, made sure that we were being represented, made sure that the people in that [design] looked like (what) it would be like to be in the sanctuary garden. ... We wanted to make sure that when we are in this space, we feel safe and when I say safe, it's not just, 'I feel OK and don't feel threatened,' it's feeling safe to put the music we want to put on," Villa said, later adding that after getting the news and seeing what happened to the sign was "hard."

Arcata Police Sgt. Brian Hoffman told the Journal the vandalism meets the threshold of a hate crime due to the fact that the garden is run by Centro del Pueblo, a community organization that connects with Humboldt County's immigrant indigenous population.

Centro del Pueblo is inviting volunteers to visit the garden during their open hours, Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

See photographer Morgan Hancock's photos of the vigil below.
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