Government

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Sheriff's Office Asking SoHum Residents to 'Keep an Eye Out' for Arson Activity

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 1:16 PM

Evidence of a burn scar on a tree. - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Evidence of a burn scar on a tree.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public's help after receiving “several calls” regarding possible arson activity in Southern Humboldt around Wilder Ridge Road and Dutyville, according to a Facebook post.

“Local fire departments have located multiple trees with burn scars and evidence indicating someone is trying to light trees on fire in the area,” the post states. “One report indicates a red Nissan Pathfinder with a grey/silver trailer was seen possibly fleeing from a tree on fire earlier this week.”


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

UPDATE: GoFundMe Effort for Local Coasties Surpasses $10K Goal

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 4:15 PM

A rescue swimmer is lowered down 250 feet to a stranded hiker in this file photo. - U.S. COAST GUARD
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • A rescue swimmer is lowered down 250 feet to a stranded hiker in this file photo.
UPDATE:
Humboldt County made clear how the local community feels about its Coasties with a GoFundMe account surpassing the $10,000 fundraising goal to reach more than $12,000.

Over the course of the last five days, 130 people pitched in on the effort, with many leaving message about what the U.S. Coast Guard means to them and others condemning that these local service members and their families are being held “hostage” in the president’s bid for a border wall.

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Humboldt County residents are stepping up to help local Coast Guard members and their families who are facing financial uncertainty amid the government shutdown.

Just 24 hours after going live, a GoFundMe account set up by the city of Eureka — one of a select 21 Coast Guard Cities in the nation — was closing in on $7,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Many of the donors left comments about their deep appreciation for the men and women who serve here, noting their bravery and "selfless commitment" to protecting the North Coast community.

About 250 Coast Guard service members live in the local area, all of whom are working without pay as President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats continue to be deadlocked for a 28th day over nearly $6 billion in funding Trump wants for a highly controversial border wall.

Meanwhile, service members were told in a since deleted tip sheet by the Coast Guard Support Services, which was reported on by multiple media outlets, to inquire about getting short-term loans, forbearing mortgage payments and even having garage sales to make ends meet until the government re-opens.

Christine Tyson, the city’s executive assistant, says the community response to calls for donations of nonperishable good, cash and gift cards has been tremendous.

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CHP: Driver Says Man Suddenly Appeared in Lane of 101

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 2:42 PM

Police at the scene of the fatal crash. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Police at the scene of the fatal crash.
A man was killed this morning on U.S. Highway 101 after being hit by a car in one of the northbound lanes just north of Humboldt Hill around 6:30 a.m.

His name is not being released pending notification of next of kin, a CHP release states.

According to the release, a 31-year-old Eureka man was traveling northbound when he looked over his shoulder to check for traffic before changing lanes then looked forward to see a man in the lane in front of him, whom he struck.

The driver pulled over onto the right shoulder and called 911. Several other vehicles also hit the victim, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash closed down the northbound highway for several hours, snarling traffic during the morning commute. Read earlier coverage here.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

King Tides Bring Coastal Flooding (with Video)

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 12:36 PM

A rainbow captured over Mad River Beach this morning. - COURTESY OF LYNETTE MATTHEWS
  • Courtesy of Lynette Matthews
  • A rainbow captured over Mad River Beach this morning.
A coastal flood advisory is in effect until 1 p.m. as those high astronomical tides continue along the coast for the next several days.
Known as the “King Tides,” Eureka office of the National Weather Service expects the water levels peak “between 9.2 and 9.4 feet” at the North Spit. The city of Arcata is asking for the public’s help in documenting 15 specific sites in the city, but welcomes other photos of the event. Find out more about the project and how to help here.
NWS
  • NWS

Meanwhile, most sunny skies are in the forecast for the rest of the week after the drenching rains that spoiled any chance of seeing the “Super Blood Wolf” moon on Sunday and the only lunar eclipse of 2019. Read previous coverage of the celestial phenomenon here.

Coast Flood advisory from the National Weather Service:
* COASTAL FLOODING...High astronomical tides will cause moderate flooding in low lying areas along the Redwood Coast. The water level is expected to peak between 9.2 and 9.4 feet MLLW at the north spit tide gauge.

* TIMING...High tide is at 11:11 AM at the Humboldt Bay north spit tide gauge. Flooding may begin an hour before or continue for an hour or two after high tide.

* IMPACTS...Low lying areas will experience minor flooding including...but not limited to...roadways in King Salmon and the Arcata bottoms.
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Friday, January 18, 2019

Flood Watch This Afternoon as More Rain Arrives

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 12:36 PM

Damage caused to a Shelter Cove home. - CHERYL ANTONY OF SHELTER COVE FIRE
  • Cheryl Antony of Shelter Cove Fire
  • Damage caused to a Shelter Cove home.
The Coast Guard (working without pay due to the government shutdown) this morning authorized the reopening of the Humboldt Bay harbor after heavy surf Thursday prompted the closure.

The waves upwards of 30 feet, which damaged at least eight homes in Shelter Cove, also necessitated the closure of Centerville Road due to hazardous conditions. (If you are wondering why, check out the video below.)


But the rain is sticking around for a while, at least through Sunday, and the Eureka office of the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch beginning at 4 p.m. today through late Saturday for areas of Del Norte and northern Humboldt County.

For the latest information about specific areas of Humboldt, visit the National Weather Service website here and enter a city or ZIP code in the top left-hand corner search box.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Eureka Takes up Collection for Coasties Working Without Pay

Posted By on Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 12:59 PM

FILE
  • File
The city of Eureka announced today that it is stepping up to do what the federal government currently can not: Make sure local Coast Guard service members can feed their families while they are working without pay during the government shutdown.

A designated Coast Guard City, the city of Eureka will be accepting donations of non-perishable food, gift cards and cash donations for service members and their families at city hall, 531 K St., and will also be accepting checks mailed to the City Manager’s Office at the same address.

The city has also set up a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $10,000, which can be found here.

There are approximately 250 local Coast Guard service members, all of whom are currently working without pay amid the partial shutdown, as President Donald Trump and Democrats continue their stand off over $5.7 billion in funding Trump has requested for a wall along the southern border. The service members have reportedly been told by superiors to inquire about getting short-term loans, forbearing mortgage payments and even having garage sales to make ends meet until the government re-opens.

With the longest government shutdown in U.S. history in its 27th day, former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen blasted the shutdown, the first to first to force members of the U.S. military work without pay, calling it "disgraceful" and "insulting."

In its press release today, the city also announced it will be opening some public facilities — including its gym, with adjacent locker rooms — to furloughed employees who may need them.

“The city of Eureka recognizes that this is a difficult and stressful time for Coast Guard members and all federal employees,” the city press release states. “Therefore, the city invites Coast Guard members and furloughed federal employees to utilize the Adorni facilities at no cost during the furlough. Please bring your federal ID to access.”
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UPDATE: Waves Upwards of 30 Feet Expected to Pound the Coast

Posted By and on Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 8:34 AM

coastguard.png
UPDATE:

The National Weather Service is reporting: As of 8 am: The Coast Guard has observed 20 foot or greater breaking waves at Noyo, Humboldt, and Crescent City - Safety zones now enforced.

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As rain, high winds, as well as thunder and lightning pound the North Coast, local roadways are taking a beating. Though almost all of the main roads are open, there are many minor impacts from ponding on the roads to power lines down. Cheryl Antony from Shelter Cove Fire reminds people, “Slow down. There will be more trees down … and flooding.”

The National Weather Service is warning of hazardous ocean conditions today, with gale force winds early on and waves upwards of 30 feet predicted to pummel the shore. The high seas are expected to impact local crabbers, who were already hit with major delay for the recreational season.

“The Humboldt Bay bar will likely close at some point due to the high waves on Thursday,” according to a NWS post.
The large surf prompted the county to close Centerville Road, which is not slated to reopen until Friday morning. Read previous coverage here.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SECOND UPDATE: Incoming Storm Brings Flood Watch, Wind/High Surf Advisories

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 10:10 AM

Centerville Road overrun by surf on Dec. 17.  The road will be closed Thursday at 5  a.m. until Friday at 7 a.m. - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • Centerville Road overrun by surf on Dec. 17. The road will be closed Thursday at 5 a.m. until Friday at 7 a.m.
SECOND UPDATE:

A Small Stream Flood Advisory was issued just before 5 p.m. today for Southern Humboldt, which is in effect until 7:15 p.m.


UPDATE:

The county has pushed back its closure of Centerville Road to 5 a.m. Thursday and continuing until 7 a.m. Friday due to hazardous surf.

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As you may have heard, a big winter storm is heading our way today bringing the usual ensemble of rain, heavy winds and high surf.

A wind advisory is in effect from 1 to 10 p.m. today, while a high surf advisory goes into effect at 5 a.m. Thursday and will continue to 5 a.m. on Friday with “rapid building waves up to 30 feet" forecast. The National Weather Service expects the highest surf to hit along west and southwest facing beaches.

For the latest information about specific areas of Humboldt, visit the National Weather Service website here and enter a city or ZIP code in the top left-hand corner search box.

“Heavy rain will result in sharp rises on main stem rivers as well as smaller streams and creeks through Thursday,” according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service advisory. “A few thunderstorms tonight will contain heavy downpours and brief small hail.”

Southern Humboldt will be under a flood watch from 6 p.m. today until tomorrow morning with the Eel River expected to “rise tonight and Thursday, cresting Thursday afternoon or Thursday night,” the weather service states.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

UPDATE: Eureka Mulls Changing Course on Tourism Spending; Visitors Bureau Warns of Dire Consequences

Posted By on Sun, Jan 13, 2019 at 12:38 PM

The city of Eureka is rethinking its $370,000 in annual tourism spending. - LONELY PLANET
  • Lonely Planet
  • The city of Eureka is rethinking its $370,000 in annual tourism spending.
UPDATE:

In the wake of the death of Tony Smithers, the Eureka City Council today pulled an agenda item scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting to consider withdrawing its $370,000 contribution to the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau.

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The city of Eureka is considering drastically changing its approach to attracting tourists — and their dollars — to the city.

For decades, the city has contracted with the Eureka Humboldt Visitors Bureau — formerly the Humboldt County Convention and Visitor Bureau — to market and promote the city, giving it a portion of its transient occupancy tax that currently equals about $370,000 in annual funding. The bureau’s long-standing approach has been to largely focus marketing and promoting the redwoods, a global draw, counting on the trees to bring tourists to the area, where they then stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants and — hopefully — extend their stay by a day or two.

But city staff is now urging the council to instead focus on rebranding Eureka as a destination unto itself, and marketing the city accordingly.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Search Suspended for Missing Canadian Hiker

Posted By on Sat, Jan 12, 2019 at 4:04 PM

Rick Raymond Eastep - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Rick Raymond Eastep
The search for a missing Canadian hiker was suspended this afternoon after four days of what the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office described as “intensive searching by crews from eight different agencies” that was hampered by “bad weather, high tides and large surf.”

Rick Raymond Eastep of Ontario sent a text earlier this week reporting that he was injured while traversing the Lost Coast. A backpack and supplies belonging to the 32 year old were found by rescue crews and appear to have been washed up by the surf, according to the HCSO release today.

The search effort included “helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, ATVs, ocean rescue boats and specialized search and rescue teams, including dog teams, to search over 26 miles of rugged water and coastline, and 16 miles of wilderness trails,” the release states.

“During that search, several other items belonging to Eastep were located. No sign or evidence other than the items previously mentioned have been located as of Jan. 12,” according to the HCSO.


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