Community

Friday, May 25, 2018

State Steps in Amid Surge in HIV Cases

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 10:41 AM

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The California Department of Public Health is stepping in amid a dramatic rise in newly diagnosed HIV cases in Humboldt County and officials believe there are at least 35 people in the community who may not be aware they have been exposed and may be infected, according to a Department of Health and Human Services release.

The state has sent two communicable disease specialists to aid in the outbreak’s investigation with the hope of heading off a public health crisis like one that occurred in Indiana in 2015, becoming one of the worst HIV epidemics in U.S. history.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Arcata Official: FBI Agent Tom Parker Unlikely to Return to Lawson Investigation

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 9:55 PM

Facilitator Renee Saucedo takes input from the crowd. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Facilitator Renee Saucedo takes input from the crowd.
With several attendees expressing frustration over a lack of concrete steps to come out of previous events, Thursday night's Community Dialogue on Race at the D Street Neighborhood Center was marked by a barrage of questions at the two city officials present: City Manager Karen Diemer and City Councilmember Paul Pitino. The questions largely revolved around the investigation into the death of Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson, who was stabbed to death at an off-campus house party on April 17, 2017. Few of the questions were answered.

The meeting, which was facilitated by community organizer Renee Saucedo, began with introductions, an agreement to ground rules and with each participant asked what they would like to see as a result of the meeting. Around 50 people sat in a circle, addressing the question. Many students said they would like the murder solved. Several parents said they were concerned for their children's safety.
Community members called for an exploration of institutional racism.

Charmaine Lawson, David Josiah Lawson's mother, could not attend in person due to a family graduation but a family friend livestreamed the event for her, adding her own questions. Saucedo tallied the responses and narrowed in on the investigation, with Diemer responding to questions from audience members.

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Mother of Slain HSU Student Expected to Call for Reinstatement of Investigator

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 3:16 PM

Josiah Lawson's mother, Charmaine, and grandmother listen to a speaker at her son's 2017 memorial service. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Josiah Lawson's mother, Charmaine, and grandmother listen to a speaker at her son's 2017 memorial service.
The city of Arcata’s Community Dialogue on Race series, which began after the fatal stabbing of Humboldt State University student Josiah Lawson last year, continues tonight with his mother expected to call for the reinstatement of an outside investigator brought on to help solve the case.

According to a release from the family, Charmaine Lawson, who has filed a claim seeking at least $500,000 from the city of Arcata, has asked City Manager Karen Diemer to attend.


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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

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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 registertovote.ca.gov. 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 www.kymkemp.com 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
  • 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
  • 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…”

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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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