Education

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Gray Whale Found Washed Up on Agate Beach

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 3:20 PM

This photo of the gray whale washed up on Agate Beach was taken under permits NOAA 19091-01 and CA Parks 18-828-52 . - SUBMITTED BY DAWN GOLEY
  • Submitted by Dawn Goley
  • This photo of the gray whale washed up on Agate Beach was taken under permits NOAA 19091-01 and CA Parks 18-828-52 .
A gray whale was discovered washed up on Agate Beach yesterday amid an elevated number of strandings along the west coast of North America this year that has scientists working to uncover the reason for the anomaly.

The adult male’s beaching comes about two weeks after a humpback whale that was found entangled in fishing nets on Samoa beach, resulting in the animal being euthanized after a specialist determined the female would not be able to survive the trauma.

NOAA Fisheries recently declared what is known as an "Unusual Mortality Event," freeing up resources and triggering a multi-faceted scientific review to figure out why gray whales are dying at higher than normal rates.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 212 stranding were been reported along the coast from Mexico to Alaska, with 121 occurring in a U.S., including 34 in California, according to NOAA’s gray whale Unusual Mortality Event” page.

NOAA
  • NOAA
Dawn Goley, a zoology professor at Humboldt State University and director of the Marine Mammal Education and Research Program and the HSU Marine Mammal Stranding Program, says the parks service reported this most recent beaching.

A team has taken blubber samples and other measurements to be sent to NOAA to help determine the cause of death, although — in this particular case — the whale was already well into the decomposition stage, making it harder to pinpoint why the animal died.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Fortuna Police: Evidence Indicates Students had the 'Means' to Carry Out Attack

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 2:30 PM

The two male Fortuna High School students arrested yesterday afternoon for allegedly plotting to harm fellow students may have had the means to carry out the attack, Fortuna Police Chief Bill Dobberstein told the Journal after a press conference this morning.

“There is some evidence that they did have the means,” Dobberstein said, adding the extent of those means is still under investigation.

The police chief declined to answer whether that meant access to firearms or other weapons, but said evidence collected last night at the suspects’ homes, one in Rio Dell and one in Fortuna, indicated the students may have had what they needed to follow through with their plot. Dobberstein also said at this point there are no additional suspects in the case and he doesn’t believe there is any ongoing threat to the public.
Fortuna Union High School District Superintendent Glen Senestraro spoke to parents about how they were notified of the incident and the short notice between the announcement and the press conference. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Fortuna Union High School District Superintendent Glen Senestraro spoke to parents about how they were notified of the incident and the short notice between the announcement and the press conference.
At a joint press conference, Dobberstein and Fortuna Union High School District Superintendent Glen Senestraro stressed that they are limited in what they can release to the public at this point, noting the suspects are juveniles and have certain confidentiality protections and that they don’t want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

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Alleged Plot to 'Harm' Students Thwarted at Fortuna High School

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 at 11:05 AM

FUHSD
  • FUHSD
Two minors are being held at Juvenile Hall after Fortuna police and Fortuna High School thwarted what they believe was a plot to “harm other students,” according to a joint press release.

According to the release, the high school received information of the possible plot yesterday afternoon. The two students were quickly detained, with “information found on their persons indicating the validity to the original report.” The students were taken into custody and search warrants were served at both their homes, according to the release.

Details are minimal at this point but the school and police department plan to hold a joint press conference at noon today. Police ask anyone with information pertinent to the investigation to call 725-7550.

See the full press release copied below:

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Author Chag Lowry to Talk About Yurok WWI Book at Multiple Events

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 3:31 PM

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Formerly local author Chag Lowry, whose graphic novel Soldiers Unknown was the subject of the Journal’s Sept. 26 cover story, will be speaking at a couple local events this weekend.

Lowry, whose book tells the story of three young Yurok men drafted to serve in World War I, will be speaking at Humboldt State University at 1:30 p.m. Friday in room 162 the Behavioral and Social Sciences Building before a presentation and book signing at Northtown Books in Arcata at 7 p.m.

Then, on Saturday, Lowry will be speaking briefly at a screening of the film Wounded Knee to Standing Rock at 7 p.m. at the Eureka Theater.

For more about Lowry’s book and the inspiration behind it, see past Journal coverage here.
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Large Power Outage in SoHum

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 at 10:44 AM

UPDATE:

Power was restored around 10:50 a.m.

PREVIOUS:

A widespread outage in Southern Humboldt has left 4,200 PG&E customers without power and forced Southern Humboldt Unified School District to shutter its campuses for the day, with power expected to be out until this afternoon.

Power went out last night at 11:09 p.m. to almost all of the Southern Humboldt region. While PG&E had planned maintenance in the area today, a company spokesperson says the outage is unrelated — noting it is also not a part of any of the company's planned Public Safety Power Shutoffs — and the company has helicopters, which took off as soon as the fog lifted this morning, out checking lines from Bridgeville to Garberville.
SCREENSHOT OF PG&E'S OUTAGE MAP
  • Screenshot of PG&E's outage map
“Multiple personnel are in the area working on the issue,” the spokesperson said, adding that the outage appears to stem from a pocket of outages in the Leggett area.

According to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services, “The Humboldt Alert test scheduled for 10:17 this morning has been canceled due to the unscheduled power outage in southern Humboldt. Drills and notification tests are always subject to cancellation if the message or activity may be confusing during a real event.”

PG&E representative Deanna Contreras sent the following press release:


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Friday, October 11, 2019

Turmoil Continues in SoHum School District

Posted By on Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 9:33 AM

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Students and parents face another transition after Southern Humboldt Unified School District Superintendent Don Boyd and South Fork High School Principal Cyndi Aguiar handed in their resignations during a closed session school board meeting last night.

“I was surprised,” said board member Michelle Bushnell when reached by phone last night. “And disappointed for our community.”

She said she couldn’t comment on the reasons the two resigned.

The last two years have seen a number of high profile conflicts in the district. A South Fork High School coach of 14 years and eventually its athletic director, Andy Olsen resigned in 2018, there was a lawsuit after Student Service Technician Ann Constantino's job was eliminated, a dispute over closing Agnes Johnson Elementary School in Weott and the controversial release of long-time music teacher Paul Schmollinger.

Boyd and Aguiar, both of whom were hired in 2017, are slated to finish out the school year.

“We negotiated with them to stay until June 30,” Bushnell said.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

3rd UPDATE: PG&E to Open ONE Local Resource Center with Water, Bathrooms During Blackout

Posted By on Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 7:40 AM

3rd UPDATE:
According to Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Deanna Contreras, the company will only be opening one community resource center in Humboldt County — not the two previously indicated — and it won’t be up and running until 8 a.m. tomorrow.

The center will be located at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and will offer bottled water, restrooms and an electric charging station.

Humboldt Bay Fire is also opening up a charging station for medical and other electronic devices at its classroom at 3030 L St. in Eureka.


2nd UPDATE:
The city of Arcata has announced that Arcata House Partnership is open and will be oeffering lunch and dinner until 6 p.m. to community members in need today at its annex, located at 501 Ninth St.

Additionally, the nonprofit is partnering with the Arcata Police Department to deliver meals to community members with mobility or transportation challenges. To arrange for delivery, call Arcata House at 298-7610 or APD at 822-2424.

UPDATE:
Pacific Gas and Electric will be opening two community resource centers today, offering bottled water, restrooms and electronic device charging stations, at College of the Redwoods and Redwood Acres Faigrounds during the ongoing blackout, according to Humboldt County Deputy Administrative Officer Sean Quincey.

With Humboldt County having gone dark around 1 a.m. as a part of PG&E’s massive grid shutdown to prevent wildfires, which is impacting customers in 34 California counties, the county is holding a press conference at 10:30 a.m. to provide additional information. But Quincey told the Journal that the county will also be setting up a medical device charging station at 3030 L St. in Eureka.

Quincey urged local residents not to call 911 unless there is a critical incident or medical emergency. Additionally, the county is asking residents to conserve water and sewer service.

For those in need of supplies to get through the blackout, which is expected to last at least into tomorrow afternoon and may extend into next week, a few stores and gas stations are open this morning, running on generator power. Specifically, Target in Eureka, Murphy’s Markets in Sunny Brae and Westwood in Arcata, and Valley Grocery in Ferndale are confirmed to be open, as is Blue Lake Rancheria’s gas station near Blue Lake Casino.

The North Coast Community Blood Bank, meanwhile, is in need of donations and remains open, with bloodmobiles at Hoopa High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Arcata Co-Op from noon to 4 p.m.

And for those needing something to get them through the blackout, EcoCann dispensary in Old Town Eureka will be open all day.

“Everything else may be closed, but this is Humboldt County!” exclaimed one excited man leaving the dispensary around 9 a.m.

Check back shortly for additional information from this morning’s press conference and scroll down below our original post to see a full press release from the county.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

SECOND UPDATE: County Office of Ed Posts Outage School Closure Page

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 3:56 PM

SECOND UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Education website server is being shut down at 8 p.m., so the page with school closures related to the PG&E outage will not be available after that time. The office said in a release that its Facebook page will be kept up to date as much as possible and parents should check there for the latest information.

UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Education has started a PG&E public safety power shutoff information page for parents. As of 4:30 p.m., Trinity Valley Elementary School (others in the Klamath-Trinity will remain open), Big Lagoon School and all of the Southern Humboldt Unified School District campuses were slated to be closed tomorrow.

The website can be found here and states that information will be updated as “warranted.”


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Friday, October 4, 2019

North Coast Night Lights: Avenue of the Imagination

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 2:28 PM

DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
Imagine, if you will, a journey down an avenue through corridors of towering redwoods. Between them the stars hang motionless in the sky, while streaking past beneath you fly the yellow dashes of the road. This is a road you think you know. But this night your journey will end in another destination, and what you find there is for you alone …

Would that I could lose myself in the world of that intro. I enjoyed the strange trip inside as I wrote, a dream that I didn’t want to fade. But really the tale is for the viewer to create within. We each have our own personal experiences that shape the stories that course through our thoughts as we look deeply into these or any images. What I shared in the introduction was a glimpse at the narrative in my own head around these images, with or without the crystal ball.

A reader asked last week, “What makes an image or photograph unique?” And the short answer was that there is no short answer, but perhaps a little discussion would be a place to start. A full discussion requires a lifetime, and much of it will be an internal dialog. Rather than trying to offer a cookbook for it, maybe I can give some tools for you to build on.
To what strange trip might this road lead? Safe travels, I hope.  Humboldt County, California. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • To what strange trip might this road lead? Safe travels, I hope. Humboldt County, California.
At the core of it is considering things from outside the box. Yes, there is always a box around the box, so just try to get out of the box you’re currently thinking within. Practice thinking and seeing in new ways. It would benefit anyone to understand the elements of design and the principles of design, and I recommend looking those up and thinking about them until you’re fairly familiar them. But don’t get stuck on them as absolutes because none of them is set in stone. Do what you will with them in your consciousness; what matters most is to let them steep in your subconscious. In a recipe do you have to use exactly a quarter teaspoon, or can you make it a dash or two? I say make it a dash. I get nervous if things have to be too precise. As with a chef who with enough experience stops worrying about precise measurements, the artist can also play by feel with the elements of design once they’ve been percolating in the subconscious long enough. Look them up and start them steeping.


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With New CA Charter School Rules Official, Here’s the Latest on Incoming K-12 Laws

Posted By on Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 9:47 AM

Gov. Gavin Newsom, flanked by authors Sen. Connie Leyva and Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, prepares to sign a charter school transparency bill earlier this year. - PHOTO FOR CALMATTERS BY RICARDO CANO
  • Photo for CALmatters by Ricardo Cano
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom, flanked by authors Sen. Connie Leyva and Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, prepares to sign a charter school transparency bill earlier this year.
The most significant set of revisions to the state’s charter-school law in more than two decades was signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, putting new curbs on a segment of public schools that has grown over time, particularly in cities, to enroll more than 600,000 California kids.

Negotiated over months among lawmakers, charter school advocates and organized labor, the new laws are expected to make it easier both for local school boards to deny new charters and for high-performing charter schools to stay open. Charter schools will have to operate within the boundaries of their authorizing districts, and charter school teachers will also have new credentialing requirements.

The legislation followed a high-dollar election in which charter schools were a flashpoint between school reformers and unions anxious to slow the growth of the largely non-unionized educational sector. But it also addresses school quality and oversight issues that have cropped up as the number of California charter schools has burgeoned to some 1,300.

The new laws were celebrated as progress by Newsom and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who both beat back rivals heavily backed by wealthy pro-charter donors, and portrayed as a compromise by the California Charter Schools Association President and CEO Myrna Castrejón. More restrictive charter proposals – including a cap on charters in California – stalled early in the session. “I’m lovin’ this,” Newsom said as he signed the bill, but he added that he was “not naive,” and does not assume the charter debate is over.

Though the high-profile charter school clash got most of the attention, hundreds of proposals were introduced this year with potential impact on K-12 education. Only a fraction made it to Newsom’s desk, as with most legislation. High-profile bills to lower local parcel tax thresholds and prohibit schools from hiring teachers through third-party programs such as Teach For America, for instance, fell short of passage.

A number of measures that cleared the Legislature remain to be signed or vetoed by Newsom, who ­has until Oct. 13 to make a decision. Big proposals that have yet to be decided would push back school start times for California middle and high schools, put a $15 billion state bond for education on the March 2020 ballot, and enhance paid maternity leave protections for teachers.

More bills, however, have been signed and enacted already. Here are some of the most notable new California education laws affecting the state’s K-12 and early childhood pupils and educators.

Check back at CalMatters.org for updates on our running tally leading up to the Oct. 13 deadline.

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