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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Amid Controversy Over New Policy, KHSU Volunteer Tried to Thwart Studio Move

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 5:00 PM

View inside the DJ booth. - ALEXANDER WOODARD.
  • Alexander Woodard.
  • View inside the DJ booth.
Humboldt State University is on alert after a KHSU volunteer apparently tried unsuccessfully to convince the station’s engineer to sabotage its looming move to a new studio location on campus in order to “stick it to” the station’s general manager and a university vice president.

In an email sent shortly after 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, volunteer Matt Knight urged the engineer to “throw out an anchor — discover problems that might take weeks — and weeks — and weeks to rectify,” in an effort to delay or otherwise hinder the station’s move from HSU’s theater arts building, which is undergoing seismic retrofitting, to Feuerwerker House. The move is expected to be completed next week.

KHSU General Manager Peter Fretwell. - COURTESY OF HSU.
  • Courtesy of HSU.
  • KHSU General Manager Peter Fretwell.
While it’s unclear exactly what Knight hoped to accomplish by stalling the move, the email makes clear he viewed it as an act of insurgency against KHSU general manager Peter Fretwell, who he refers to as a “psycho … bent on pile-driving KHSU into the ground as part of his sick revenge fantasy,” and HSU Vice President for Advancement Craig Wruck, who oversees the station.

Both Fretwell and Wruck have been on the receiving end of widespread public criticism since the abrupt firing of popular and longtime KHSU program director Katie Whiteside in May, which has prompted a public outcry (see "Static at KHSU," Aug. 30). Knight’s email comes amid what Wruck himself has described as a “caustic work environment” at the station, with recent weeks having seen the station’s Community Advisory Board advance a no-confidence vote in Fretwell, a station employee accuse Wruck of shouting her down during a staff meeting (accusations that ultimately prompted the university vice president to enlist a law firm to threaten legal action against the employee, as well as news outlets that reported her allegations) and general accusations on all sides of ulterior motives, bullying and retaliation.

The Journal received Knight’s email anonymously but has independently verified its authenticity. Reached today, Knight declined to comment for this story but did provide the Journal with a follow-up email he sent the engineer Monday morning apologizing for his “stupid email.”

“I had absolutely no right to make that sort of request of you,” the short follow-up states.

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Update: I-5 Back Open

Posted By on Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 10:06 AM

Flames from the Delta Fire near an Interstate 5 exit on Saturday. - INTERAGENCY FIRE MANAGEMENT TEAM
  • Interagency Fire Management Team
  • Flames from the Delta Fire near an Interstate 5 exit on Saturday.
Update: Caltrans reports Interstate 5 has reopened between Redding and Mount Shasta.
PREVIOUSLY:
The Delta Fire has grown to nearly 41,000 acres and continues to force the closure of a stretch of Interstate 5 this morning with another evaluation of the threat to public safety set to take place this afternoon, according to a Caltrans tweet.

Two “soft closures” have been established in areas of the blaze, now 5 percent contained, affecting the communities of Lakehead and Dunsmuir with certain conditions but the interagency fire management team notes that “visitors and tourists will not be granted access.”

For up-to-date information, visit here.


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Flight 93 "Tower of Voices" Memorial to be Dedicated Today

Posted By on Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 8:30 AM

The Tower of Voice memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93. - NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
  • National Park Service
  • The Tower of Voice memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93.
Encircled by trees and rising above a sprawling Pennsylvania meadow brimming with wild flowers, the 93-foot Tower of Voices is being dedicated today in memory of the 33 passengers and seven crew members who died aboard Flight 93 amid the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Each of them — including former Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Manager Richard Guadagno — are represented by the 40 wind chimes that cascade down the concrete memorial.

The design, according to the Flight 93 Memorial’s website, is meant to allow their silenced voices to continue to resonate with “tones that convey, through harmony and discord, both the serenity of the site and the tragic event.”

The 10 a.m. ceremony will be live-streamed on the Friends of Flight 93 website, which can be found here.
richardguadagno911.jpg

Guadagno, 38, is believed to have been among the passengers and crew who stormed the cockpit after hijackers took over the flight, bringing down the plane on an empty field rather than its intended target, thought to have been the U.S. Capitol.

Seventeen years later, the pain of his loss is evident as Diqui LaPenta recalls their time together, her voice breaking with emotion as she talks about the man she knew and once thought she might marry.

“It’s a blessing to have loved so deeply to hurt so much,” LaPenta says. “No, it’s something you don’t get over, but you get through it. Over and over again, you get through it.”


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Thursday, September 6, 2018

UPDATE: Delta Fire Explodes in Size: Closure of I-5 Impacting SR 299

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Delta Fire closes down a stretch of I-5. - CHP
  • CHP
  • Delta Fire closes down a stretch of I-5.
UPDATE:
CHP in Redding posted on Facebook that there is currently no estimated time for Interstate 5 to reopen, reiterating that the agency understands the importance of the roadway but public safety is its No. 1 priority.

“At this time, we do not have an estimated time of opening. There are several debris in the roadway which have to be removed, bridges to inspect, guardrail to repair, signs to inspect,” the post states. “Please know we are trying our hardest. We want to ensure it is safe to open before it is opened to traffic.”

PREVIOUSLY:
The rapidly growing Delta Fire reportedly began yesterday just before 1 p.m. as three separate fires near the Vollmers exit on Interstate 5 at the north end of Shasta Lake. The fires combined into an inferno that burned quickly over a large area – 15,294 acres as of this morning.

With a 45-mile stretch of Interstate 5 shut down on the northbound side from Fawndale Road north of Redding and southbound at Mott Road, north of Dunsmuir, due to the blaze, Caltrans is cautioning drivers to expect heavier than normal traffic on State Route 299 between Weaverville and Redding.

For up-to-date traffic information, visit http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

InciWeb reports that fire behavior was extreme “with rapid rates of spread up to one mile per hour…observed. The fire front was up to three miles wide on the northern side with approximately 300-foot flame lengths.”

Jefferson Public Radio report that residents in the area are posting photos of a pyrocumulus cloud — also known as a fire cloud — which can create a turbulent atmosphere inside that results in a self-generated thunderstorm. A similar phenomenon occurred in the Carr Fire, which would go on to spawn a massive fire whirl that killed a firefighter and caused a swath of damage with winds up to 165 miles and a base the size of three-football fields.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

NYT Story Examines Heroin's Impact on Local Tribes and its Link to an Ailing River

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 4:26 PM

The Klamath River near Ishi Pishi Falls. - FILE
  • File
  • The Klamath River near Ishi Pishi Falls.
The New York Times this week explores the devastating impacts of the nation's opioid crisis on Kaurk, Hoopa and Yurok tribal communities, placed in the context of their connection to the struggling health of the Klamath River — an integral link between the tribes as well as their past, present and future in the region.

It’s no secret that Humboldt County as a whole has been hit hard by the scourge of addiction with more opioid prescriptions than residents and an overdose death rate that is three times the state average and almost twice that of the nation — most involving methamphetamine or opiate intoxication.

But the tribal communities of Humboldt’s remote corners form an epicenter of that addiction epicenter, leaving few — if any — families untouched, a statistic that plays out across the nation.

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sac Bee Looks at Rural Policing and a Kettenpom Couple's Terrifying Ordeal

Posted By and on Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM

gund.png
Rural residents know that a 911 call to law enforcement may result in an hours long wait for a response. On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee posted the culmination of several months of research into the problem.

Leading the article is the story of how in March of 2011 a Trinity County couple, Jim and Norma Gund, had their throats slashed by a murderer when they responded to a request from a Trinity County Sheriff Cpl. Ron Whitman to check on their neighbor who had called 911 for help. Whitman was almost 100 miles away in Weaverville.

According to the Bee’s story, “[T]he drive — through rugged forest and over steep passes — would take almost three hours.”


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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Popular Musician and Tribal Leader Merv George Sr. Dead at 74

Posted By on Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s. - PHOTO COURTESY MERV GEORGE JR.
  • Photo courtesy Merv George Jr.
  • L to R: Merv George Jr., his father, Merv George Sr., and his grandmother Winnie George, after a jump dance ceremony in the early 1990s.
Merv George Sr. — Hoopa tribal member, religious dance leader and popular musician — died yesterday afternoon after suffering a severe stroke earlier in the week. He was 74.

According to a post on Merv George Jr.’s Facebook page, his father was being transported home from Redding Mercy Hospital when he died. “He had my mom by his side and he went peacefully,” George Jr. wrote, adding that “he waited until we got near Weaverville and could see the Trinity River before he left us.”


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Thursday, August 30, 2018

North Coast Night Lights: The Essence of Eureka, 1990

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 3:50 PM

“The Essence of Eureka” captured on a single 35mm frame of film in November 1990. - DAVID WILSON
  • David WIlson
  • “The Essence of Eureka” captured on a single 35mm frame of film in November 1990.
In 1990, the LP pulp mill out on the Samoa Peninsula represented the essence of Eureka. Logging, of course — and the smell. Logging was economic king in those days, at least on the legal side. But I’m no historian, nor do I mean to stir up politics here. I’m a photographer, and this scene grabbed my attention for its striking light.

The attraction of night photography for me is the opportunity for unusual light. It grabs me, it pulls my eye, and it tugs at my imagination. Most photographs you see were shot in daylight. They are images so common that for me it’s a challenge to find something interesting to photograph in daylight, or some unique way to photograph it. While I acknowledge the benefits of a good challenge, I prefer that of finding and using light at night. Night light is more unusual to find in a photograph, and the camera sees it in such a unique way that people often think a photograph I shot never happened, or could never happen. Or that a computer generated it. It requires thinking differently, and I enjoy it. It doesn’t necessarily require a computer, either.

“The Essence of Eureka” is a photograph I shot on film in 1990 from beneath the north end of the Samoa Bridge, looking west-ish toward the peninsula. It’s a double exposure, made in-camera on a single 35mm frame of film. I was a photography student at Humboldt State University at the time.

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Flatmo's Dragon Slays at the Smithsonian

Posted By and on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Duane Flatmo, Tin Pan Dragon, 2006. - PHOTO BY LIBBY WEILER
  • Photo by Libby Weiler
  • Duane Flatmo, Tin Pan Dragon, 2006.
Editor's note: With Black Rock City once again rising up amid the great sandscape of Nevada’s desert expanse, we thought now would be a good time to take another look at the fantastical work of Humboldt County’s own Duane Flatmo, whose dragon creation is part of the Smithsonian’s No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibit on the annual gathering.

The title is inspired by a longstanding “no spectators” saying at the event, according to curator Nora Atkinson, who organized the exhibit in collaboration with the nonprofit that puts on Burning Man, in an article on the Smithsonian website.

"It’s all about being there, being fully present, and not just observing,” Atkinson says in the article. “Two of the 10 principles of Burning Man are radical participation and radical inclusivity, meaning that there are no outsiders. Everyone is part of the experience.”

The reign of Flatmo’s dragon in the Renwick Gallery, located just steps from the White House, is drawing to end Sept. 16 but below you'll find a look back at arts and features editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill’s coverage when the artist and B
urning Man aficionado was readying for the show in November of 2017.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

UPDATED: Divided Arcata City Council Stalls Student Housing Project

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:11 AM

Conceptual photo illustration of how The Village project would look from the perspective of the Westwood neighborhood. - CITY OF ARCATA
  • City of Arcata
  • Conceptual photo illustration of how The Village project would look from the perspective of the Westwood neighborhood.
The Arcata City Council, meeting this morning with Councilmember Michael Winkler absent, having recused himself from the issue, deadlocked on The Village, a controversial off-campus student housing project, leaving the development’s future uncertain.

The council voted 2-2, with Councilmember Paul Pitino and Mayor Sofia Pereira dissenting, on a motion from Councilmember Susan Ornelas that would have approved the project in principle while requiring Humboldt State University and the developer to modify their proposal to include family housing in the project, which as proposed would house 600 students. Earlier in the meeting, an HSU administrator told the council that including family housing in the development isn’t viable due to liability concerns and a lack of demand.

After Ornelas’ motion failed for lack of a third vote, Pitino moved to approve the project as proposed. But Ornelas abstained from the vote in “protest” of what she deemed a lack of willingness from the developer and HSU to think creatively and to compromise. Councilmember Brett Watson also abstained without explanation, halting the motion.

With the council having failed to come to a consensus, the project appears stalled and it’s unclear under what circumstances it could be brought back for further consideration.

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