Community

Friday, July 24, 2020

Eureka Street Art Festival Announces Artists for Third Annual Event

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2020 at 12:41 PM

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This year's Eureka Street Art Festival (Aug. 10-15), which will include a virtual component due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature 12 new murals and eight sidewalk poetry installations in the Henderson Center neighborhood (E and F Streets between Henderson and Harris) by Humboldt County and California artists alike.

According to a release, four of the murals will be a "part of the inaugural Native Mural Project, which was created in partnership with the Native Culture’s Fund, the Humboldt Area Foundation and a group of local Native leaders. This project strives to provide a platform for native artists in the local public art scene. These murals will be painted on the Discovery Shop wall on F Street."

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Rio Dell Volunteer Corp Distributes PPE Supplies to Local Businesses

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2020 at 3:33 PM

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The Rio Dell Volunteer Corp is distributing personal protective equipment supplies to the city's small businesses.

According to a release, the supplies were secured by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Arcata Economic Development Corporation.

The city will also be supplying businesses with bilingual placards with information regarding masking requirements.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Yurok Broadband Connect Project a 'Game Changer' for the Tribe

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 6:45 PM

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The Yurok Tribal Council recently approved a $2.1 million project to boost internet speeds and provide access to homes that have never been connected, according to an announcement today.

The Yurok Connect Broadband Project received funding from the CARES Act and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the release states. Yurok Connect is a Tribe-owned wireless internet provider started in 2013.

“The Broadband Project will considerably enhance emergency communications on the reservation for decades to come,” said Yurok Joseph L. James, the chair of the Yurok Tribe, the release. “It will also create a wide range of additional benefits for tribal citizens, ranging from new economic opportunities to improved healthcare options. This is game changer for the Yurok Tribe.”

Read the full release below: 
The Yurok Tribal Council recently approved a $2.1 million project that will significantly boost Yurok Connect’s data transmission speeds and expand its coverage to many family homes that have never had access to the internet.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act-funded, Yurok Connect Broadband Project is expected to be completed before the end of this year. Launched in 2013, Yurok Connect is a Yurok Tribe-owned, wireless internet service provider.

“The Broadband Project will considerably enhance emergency communications on the reservation for decades to come,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “It will also create a wide range of additional benefits for tribal citizens, ranging from new economic opportunities to improved healthcare options. This is game changer for the Yurok Tribe.”

“Yurok Connect customers and tribal government offices can expect to experience a night-and-day difference in the speed of our internet services,” added Jessica Engle, the Director of the Yurok Tribe’s Information Technology Department, who is overseeing this project on behalf of the Tribe. “This project is going to produce many positive outcomes, such as greater access to distance-learning platforms and virtual job opportunities, not to mention all of the other benefits associated with a fast internet service.”

In addition to elevating the Tribe’s emergency communications capacity, the Broadband Project will facilitate meaningful progress in several key areas, including: education, e-commerce, telehealth, natural disaster response and public safety. After the project is complete, Yurok Connect will offer 1 gigabit per second service, which is several times faster than what is currently offered.

Students on the reservation will be able to participate in online learning because the high-speed service offers sufficient bandwidth to sustain online teaching platforms.

Yurok Connect customers will be able to quickly communicate with their primary care physicians and other types of healthcare providers. For the first time, Yurok artists and traditional tradespeople will be able to sell their professional-quality products to patrons all over the world.

The Yurok Reservation, located in far Northern California, is in one of the most technologically disadvantaged parts of the state. Since its inception, Yurok Connect has secured several grants to gradually expand its coverage on the reservation, where the steep, forested terrain makes it particularly challenging and expensive to install broadband equipment.

Prior to receiving the CARES dollars, the IT Department developed a detailed plan for the Yurok Connect Broadband Project and acquired a grant to implement a portion of the now fully funded undertaking.

The department also obtained funding to hire EnerTribe, a Native American-owned firm, to engineer and construct the electronic infrastructure.

EnerTribe is currently re-engineering and building up the Yurok tower sites to accommodate better broadband speeds. The towers will also be equipped with cutting-edge, superior quality hardware to support fast internet velocities. "

We are thrilled to be working with our big brother and sister tribes at such a critical time. The pandemic has impacted Indigenous communities globally in such a devastating way and if broadband can help make it just a little easier for our tribal governments to operate, we are grateful to contribute," said E

nerTribe CEO Forest James (no relation to Chairman James). Simultaneous to the Broadband Project, the Tribe is working on strengthening emergency communications in other substantive ways. Many of the family homes outside of the current internet coverage area also do not have telephone services.

The Yurok IT Department secured two grants to get the existing broadband towers cellular ready and to begin a search for commercial carriers to take advantage of this opportunity, which will vastly expand cellphone reception on the reservation.

The department and EnerTribe are actively looking for a cellular provider to offer this much-needed service. This project is expected to be completed sometime next year.   

“The combination of the CARES Act funding and smart planning has accelerated our efforts to build a brighter future for the Yurok people,” Chairman James said. “I would like to commend the Tribal Council, the IT Department, EnerTribe and THPO for laying the groundwork to make these long-term reservation infrastructure improvements a reality.”

To date, the Tribal Council has strategically invested CARES Act dollars into multiple projects that address different challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. For example, last week, the Tribe broke ground on a 20,000 square foot emergency operations center, which will serve as the headquarters for the Yurok Incident Command Team.

CARES dollars were used to start a forgivable grant program for tribal business owners and entrepreneurs. The Tribe has also sent $1,250 in relief funding to tribal citizens who are facing financial challenges because of the pandemic and are over the age of 18 by December 30, 2020.

The construction of the new internet infrastructure received funding from CARES Act and the three separate organizations, including the Tribal Nations Grant Fund, US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the California Public Utilities Commission.


Launched in 2013, Yurok Connect offers inexpensive broadband internet to individuals, Tribal offices as well as Tribally owned and private businesses. The Yurok IT Department built the whole, wireless internet system from the ground up. The wireless internet service provider is a self-sustaining business administered entirely by Yurok citizens.

Note: Earlier this year, the California Public Utilities Commission funded the Klamath River Rural Broadband Initiative, which seeks to install fiber-optic cable from Orleans to Orick as well as from Weitchpec to Wautec on the Yurok Reservation. This project is currently in the permitting phase and will complement the Yurok Connect Broadband Project.       
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CSU Students Will Need to Take an Ethnic Studies, Social Justice Course Starting in 2023

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:43 PM

Humboldt State University - FILE
  • Humboldt State University - FILE
Starting in the fall of 2023, students attending a California State University campus will be required to take a course addressing ethnic studies and social justice to graduate under a decision made today by the system’s board of trustees.

According to a news release, this is first time in 40 years that a significant change has been made to the general education requirements and a broad spectrum of courses will be accepted.

"Our goal is for CSU students, from every major and in every workplace, to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable society,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White in a release. “This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice. It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems. And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree.”

Read the full CSU release below:


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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Local Educators Call for Collaborative Approach to Navigating Next School Year

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 9:36 PM

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  • Shutterstock
In an open letter to the community, educators from Humboldt and Del Norte counties are calling for a united approach as decisions are made about how to approach the 2020-2021 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter — sent out by the Eureka office of the California Teachers Association and signed by representatives of local teachers’ unions —calls for any decisions to be based on medical science and best educational practices, noting that not all students or staff would be able to return to campus due to either themselves or someone in their household having conditions that put them more at risk.

“Providing a one-size-fits-all plan will not ensure equitable access but will only serve to leave some students further behind,” the letter states. “We call for plans to have multiple options that will allow academic and social-emotional growth for all students.”

Speaking to the difficulties and challenges experience by teachers, families and students during these months of shelter in place, the letter also addresses how this time has highlighted disparities in learning “based on race, class, gender, socio-economic status, and rural versus urban divide.”

“The academic (including learning abilities and modalities), social-emotional, physical, medical, and technological needs of our students must be addressed with equity at the center,” it states. “Educators know we must work diligently to lift up all students. Equity and social justice plans need to be incorporated into everything we do.”

The letter calls for a number of health and safety protocols to be put in place — including an increase in school nurses and ensuring access to basics like hand-washing stations — if schools were to open, as well as collaborative plans for addressing distance learning or hybrid approaches, and calls for an increase in local, state and federal funding to support schools and the public services that “that lift up our communities.”

“Educators’ voices along with the needs of students, parents, and administrators must drive all academic plans for our students in the 2020-2021 school year,” the letter states.
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Huffman Joins House Majority in Approving Defense Budget; Trump Threatens Veto Over Confederate Names on Bases

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 5:48 PM

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North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman today voted with the House majority to approve the National Defense Authorization Act, noting that while he has concerns about its size, he worked with his Congressional colleagues to include amendments addressing climate change, protecting public lands and cleaning polluted waterways, among others, in the bill.

Passed by a bipartisan vote of 295 to 125, the annual budget act authorizes $732 billion in discretionary spending for U.S. national defense for fiscal year 2021, according to Huffman’s release.

President Donald Trump threatened to veto the bill because it would require the Pentagon to rename bases and infrastructure bearing names of those who served in the Confederacy, according to national media reports.

The bill would also ban the display of the Confederate flag on Department of Defense property as well as create a $1 billion Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fun. It does not provide funding for the border wall.

“This year’s NDAA is another unique opportunity to secure many priorities for my constituents, like blocking the Trump administration’s new nuclear arms race, addressing climate change, cleaning up polluted waters, and protecting our public lands – including my Northwest California public lands bill which I am happy to see pass out of the House for the second time this year,” Huffman states in the release. “For these reasons, I ultimately decided to vote for this year’s defense authorization bill in the House, and I will keep working with my colleagues to reduce the military budget and make other necessary fixes to the bill so I can hopefully support final conference report.”

Read the full release from Huffman’s office below:


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Siren's Song to Sing Again

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 1:45 PM

The Siren's Song Tavern - FILE
  • File
  • The Siren's Song Tavern
In these difficult times, here is a glimmer of hope: The Siren’s Song Tavern will sing again.

The announcement that the Old Town bar and music venue has officially changed hands was made today on its Facebook page.

“We wish the new owner all the luck in this brave new world that is being crafted and look forward to raising a pint together in its future permutation,” the post states, thanking all those who have been a part of the venue over the years. "It is also our hope that you all will extend your patronage to the new owner and enjoy your time there as you did before.”

It is with the sincerest hopes for tomorrow that Phyllis, Matthew, and Nate make the following statement. As of today,...

Posted by The Siren's Song Tavern on Tuesday, July 21, 2020
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Sunday, July 19, 2020

38th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony Submissions Deadline is July 20

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2020 at 3:08 PM

Arcata Lantern Ceremony 2019. Photo courtesy of Mark Larson.
  • Arcata Lantern Ceremony 2019. Photo courtesy of Mark Larson.

If you would like to contribute to the community video compliation taking place this year in lieu of the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony, the deadline is Monday, July 20.

More on that from the City of Arcata:

The City of Arcata would like to remind the community that the 38th Annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony deadline for submissions is Monday, July 20.

The City of Arcata’s Nuclear-Free Zone Committee started the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony 38 years ago to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and to affirm Arcata’s dedication to the cause of peace. The ceremony has since evolved into a beautiful opportunity for the community to come together for a collective moment of remembrance and reflection.

For the health and safety of the community, ceremony organizers are offering alternative ways to share intentions, hopes and remembrance in lieu of lantern floating at the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary this year. Community members are invited to share photographs, artwork and inscriptions in honor of departed loved ones and ancestors. Messages of peace and hope for racial and cultural harmony are also encouraged.

A video compilation of community submissions will be released on YouTube on Saturday, August 8 and will include performances of local musicians, poets and speakers, including Mayor Michael Winkler. The video and a community message board will also be available for viewing year round at arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org.

Digital submissions can be emailed to us@arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org until Monday, July 20 to be included in the ceremony video. Late submissions will be included on arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org, but not in the video release. In addition, some community art and inscription submissions will be displayed in downtown Arcata. Physical art submissions can be mailed or dropped off at the Arcata Public Library, located at 500 7th Street, until Monday, July 20 during regular book-drop hours.

For more information, please visit arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org or email
us @arcatalanternfloatingceremony.org.

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Sequoia Park Zoo Remains Open, Online Reservations Required

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2020 at 1:49 PM

In a press release sent out Friday, the Sequoia Park Zoo announced that it is still open. In light of the latest state mandates related to COVID-19 that have led to some sectors having to reduce operations again, the Zoo announced that its outdoor operations do not fall under these restrictions and, with exception of its gift shop, the zoo is open and operating.

The press release notes that online reservations are required before guests visit and that face masks and social distancing of at least 6-feet between groups are also required. To make a reservation, visit www.sequoiaparkzoo.net.

Super Salmon (Zoo mascot) holds one of the new signs to help promote safety around the Zoo. - SUBMITTED
  • submitted
  • Super Salmon (Zoo mascot) holds one of the new signs to help promote safety around the Zoo.

Read more from the zoo in the full press release below.


The Sequoia Park Zoo is OPEN! While the latest State mandates related to COVID-19 spread have led to some sectors having to reduce operations again, the Zoo's outdoor operations DO NOT fall under these restrictions. The Zoo Gift Shop will now be closed as it is considered an indoor operation. Please visit our website at www.sequoiaparkzoo.net for up to date information and to make required reservations for your next visit.

Additional safety measures you will notice on your next Zoo visit include requiring Zoo staff and guests to wear face masks, directional signage on some pathways, encouraging social distancing of at least 6-feet between groups, increased cleaning and sanitization practices and closing certain high touch areas. These key safety measures have been implemented as part of our re-opening plan with the County. Please visit sequoiaparkzoo.net/covid-19 for more details on what to expect during your visit.

The Sequoia Park Zoo will be open daily Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM with last entry at 4:00 PM. The Zoo will be closed every Monday. Online Reservations Required via www.sequoiaparkzoo.net .


What: Sequoia Park Zoo is OPEN! (online reservations now required)
When: Daily, Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Where: Sequoia Park Zoo, 3414 W Street, Eureka
Admission: Varies, check website for details: sequoiaparkzoo.net/visit


Sequoia Park Zoo inspires conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect and passion for wildlife.
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Friday, July 17, 2020

County Breaks Down First Five Months of COVID-19 Pandemic Response; Costs Exceed $4.3 Million

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 6:46 PM

Humboldt County's COVID-19 pandemic response, both in unincorporated areas and cities,  has cost more than $4.3 million, which includes pay for more than 200 staff who have been assigned to Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

"The Sheriff and I, as well as Public Health Director Michele Stephens, have directed this response, and we have asked staff to get the job done and done quickly. They have stepped up to the plate and worked tirelessly to make that happen. I continue to be enormously impressed by and deeply appreciative of their dedication to this effort and to their community and their massive accomplishments to date," Humboldt County Health Officer Teresa Frankovich said in the release.

The release also states that the county's response has been pivotal to the steady rate in COVID-19 case growth, as county rates have "remained well below state and national averages, and certain sectors of the economy have been cleared to reopen where in other parts of the state they have not."

The county's COVID-19 reported cases have reached 181, as Public Health announced three new cases today.

The county's response also required staff with specialized skill sets and extensive experience to work extra hours to put together an Alternate Care Site, bring critical testing resources to the county and train disaster service workers in contact tracing, according to the release.

The release also breaks down local business revenue losses.

"From March 20 to June 23, roughly 800 of Humboldt County’s more than 7,000 businesses self-reported upward of $44 million in revenue losses. Nearly 2,400 jobs have been lost permanently and are not expected to come back," it states.

The EOC is also recording and documenting response activities performed by staff to account for expenses and ensure maximum reimbursement for the county and all agencies working on the COVID-19 response.
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Read the county's full release below and view the full county breakdown of costs here

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