Wednesday, October 14, 2020

About that Mountain Lion Video ...

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 1:37 PM

A mountain lion, like this one, was protecting her cubs, not stalking a runner who came along the family in Provo, Utah. - CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE/FILE
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife/File
  • A mountain lion, like this one, was protecting her cubs, not stalking a runner who came along the family in Provo, Utah.
Chances are most people have seen — or at least heard about — the now viral video of a Utah man who went for a run in a Provo canyon and ended up finding himself face to face with a very angry mama mountain lion.

For six tense and profanity-laced minutes, Kyle Burgess kept filming with his cellphone as he backed away from the cougar, sometimes cussing and other times telling her she needed to go back to her babies, which he had inadvertently stumbled upon on a trail.

“I don’t feel like dying today,” Burgess says at one point in the video posted to his Instagram account.

(Note: He’s OK but had to traverse the same area of the encounter to get back to his car, according to an interview in the Deseret News.)

But, to be clear, this was not a mountain lion on the prowl but a mother protecting her young and making it clear to an unwelcomed visitor in her territory that it was time to get (we can only imagine she would have added a certain expletive here) out, as John “Griff” Griffith, a local naturalist and guide for California State Parks attests to in a recent Facebook video post about the misconception.

“I know a little something about mountain lions,” he says, while taking many a media outlet to task for labeling her behavior as “stalking” in a riff that skirts the conspiracy theory line of why that happened. “That was not a mountain lion stalking. That was a mama mountain lion trying to get someone away from her cubs. There is a difference.”

Griffith notes that Humboldt County is mountain lion country — panning to a shot of Humboldt Redwoods State Park where he says he sees their tracks —  but even though they are around us all the time, the likelihood is most people will never see one. And that is the way they like it.

Mountain lion attacks are very rare, he says, and if it’s going to happen, it will be stealthy, not be with the paw-pounding display the Utah cougar put on for Burgess.

“They are going to attack you usually from behind,” says Griffith, a popular producer of videos about the North Coast parks, who himself went viral in the past with a posting of him dancing with California Conservation Corp crew and hosted the online show Wild Jobs for Animal Planet.

That was the case of former Fortuna resident Jim Hamm, who made international headlines after he barely survived a 2007 attack that occurred during a hike with his wife Nell in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, where she fought off the mountain lion with a pen and a branch.

This Times-Standard photo went viral after the attack. - SCREENSHOT OF DENVER POST
  • Screenshot of Denver Post
  • This Times-Standard photo went viral after the attack.

Jim Hamm died a year ago this week of pancreatic cancer. He was 82.

Griffith says he’s only seen a mountain lion a handful of times, but if you do encounter one, there are basic rules to follow, including make yourself seem as large as possible, make noise, keep eye contact and slowly create space away from the animal. Never run away.

In that regard, Griffith says Burgess did just about everything right.

“The only thing he did wrong was not having a partner,” he says.

For more information on mountain lions, Griffith suggests visiting and
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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Black Voices Humboldt Wins Radio Mercury Award

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 12:29 PM

You may recall the Journal's coverage of the Black Voices Humboldt PSAs Sabina Gallier created for KSLG, amplifying Black residents' experiences with racism in our county. (Spots she gathered input from the community for and produced in the makeshift working-from-home studio in her closet.) Well, the spots got some national recognition from the Radio Mercury Awards yesterday, winning the Best Spot for a Cause by a Radio Station/Group. It's kind of a big deal. 
  • File

In a message to the Journal, Gallier said, "It is an honor to be recognized in an industry that has so much to give in regards to changing communities for the better. To have the voices of Black people heard, listened to, to have their struggles recognized is just the tip of the iceberg in the shift we are seeing, and the work must continue beyond this. I'm thankful to have been given an opportunity to use radio to make a difference."

You can watch the virtual awards show here — the Black Voices Humboldt part,  starts at the 19-minute mark.  
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Saturday, September 19, 2020

NCJ Editor Nabs National Food Writing Award

Posted By on Sat, Sep 19, 2020 at 11:10 AM

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
We are elated to announce today that North Coast Journal arts and features editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 award for best food writing, while the paper’s Media Literacy Issue took second place for best special section.

The nonprofit association includes nearly 100 member papers throughout the country, including many of the nation’s largest weeklies, and its annual journalism awards honor the best work of its membership ranks.

Cahill, who has served as the Journal’s arts and features editor since 2013, was named a finalist in the food writing category — one of the contest’s most competitive, having drawn more than three dozen entries — for three pieces she penned last year.

Butter and Belonging at Red Lobster” reflected on the ostracism and anger she’d felt as a young girl translating for her grandfather at the Social Security office and the buttery balm Red Lobster offered. “Lunch and Legacy at Chin’s” celebrated the life of Ben Chin, who ran Chin’s Café for 20 years and “cooked more than one generation of locals their first Chinese meals and paved the way for other cooks, immigrants and entrepreneurs to follow.” And “We are Never Only Talking About Food” — which ran in our aforementioned Media Literacy Issue — took a critical eye to the world of food writing and why it matters because, “food media, after all, is about people, businesses, politics, science, culture, inequality, privilege, migration, history and community.”

From one of the judges: “At a time when restaurants and food writers are examining the roles of equity, inclusion and appropriation in our industry, Jennifer Fumiko Cahill writes about the intersection of food, family and race in heartfelt and informative ways. Her story ‘Butter and Belonging at Red Lobster’ tells a personal and multi-generational story of assimilation into American culture through the lens of an iconic brand. I loved this story in every way.”

If you missed any of these pieces, we urge you to take some time to give them a read. If not, we encourage you to double back — they’re wonderful pieces of writing filled with poignant moments and layers of insight.

When it comes to our Media Literacy Issue, we’re proud to learn AAN’s esteemed judging panel deemed it the worthwhile endeavor we envisioned when we launched the first one a couple years back, hoping to help readers better navigate a rapidly changing media landscape while lifting the veil of our own operation. And we’re not at all ashamed to finish second to the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2019 issue, for which it tapped 15 staffers to contribute. (The Journal, meanwhile, has an editorial staff of five.)

If you missed our 2019 Media Literacy Issue, it detailed the struggles of Humboldt County’s old-growth daily newspaper under hedge-fund ownership, how that fits into a national trend and what it's like lead a paper hemorrhaging staff, why Native representation matters, how journalism is being taught at some local high schools, the importance of parody news, the role television coverage plays in presidential elections, why the media needs to better cover the environment, what it means to be a local movie critic or music writer, and how we are never only talking about food (another hat tip to Cahill).

Please join us in giving a virtual hand to the entire NCJ staff, all of whom deserve some credit for these awards from the reporters who wrote the stories and the editors who edited them to the graphic designers who laid them out and the advertising and administrative staff that keep the proverbial wheels on the bus. And we’d like to offer a special shout out and thank you to the group of freelancers who made this issue possible: Deidre Pike, Marcy Burstiner, Cutcha Risling Baldy, Vicky Sama, Jennifer Savage, Collin Yeo and John J. Bennett.

And a final big thank you to our advertisers and you, our readers. You’re the reason we get to do this every week. Thank you.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Local Theaters Go Red Tonight in Support of the Live Events Sector

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 1:46 PM

Humboldt County entertainment organizations, including local theaters, will turn on the red light tonight in support of the live events sector, which has taken a heavy hit due to COVID-19.  The idea is to draw attention to a vital industry that has been shuttered since early March, 2020, and most likely will not reopen until well into 2021.

Olivia McGahan, Regional Coordinator with We Make Events-North America, a collective of volunteers from the entertainment industry, has organized the local event taking place tonight from 9 p.m. to midnight in correspondence with events across the United States that will be happening at the same time.

A press release for the event states, "On September 1, 2020, #WeMakeEvents, a coalition of trade bodies, businesses, unions, and live events workers, will light as many as 1,500 venues, and iconic structures in red in over 50 cities across North America to raise public and media awareness in support of the live events sector."

Local participating theaters include Arcata Playhouse, Dell'Arte International, Humboldt Light Opera Company S.P.A.C.E., North Coast Repertory Theater, Redwood Curtain Theatre and Ferndale Repertory Theater.

The release states, "Community members are encouraged to show their support by checking the social media sites of their closest theater where a map of all participating locations will be posted and visiting the aforementioned locations where they can take photos to post on social media using hashtags:
#WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA."
A map of participating local theaters
  • A map of participating local theaters

For more information on tonight's event, see the press release below:

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Friday, August 21, 2020

Billboard Gets Unsanctioned Anti-racist, Anti-KKK Facelift

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 11:54 AM

The billboard as it looked this morning. - MURF
  • Murf
  • The billboard as it looked this morning.
The Les Schwab Tire Center billboard between Eureka and Arcata got a provocative, anti-racist facelift overnight. The three figures have been altered to look like members of the KKK and the words now state, “Fuck the KKK!!! Hiding under Sheets for over 155 years.”

The Ku Klux Klan is a well known white supremacist group particularly known for committing violent, terrorist attacks on Black Americans. They frequently wear white robes and cone-like hats with masks.

A few readers reached out to us about the change. One said, “I was not too sure the intent … of the message. To be honest, it’s quite unsettling.”

We reached out to Les Schwab and while they an employee there said they were aware of the alteration to the sign, they had “no comment.”

A Google street view of the billboard's original appearance. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • A Google street view of the billboard's original appearance.
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Friday, August 7, 2020

SoHum E-Bike Entrepreneur Featured in NYT

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 9:31 AM

The New York Times has a feature on Southern Humboldt local Mike Radenbaugh, who turned a teenage penchant for tinkering into the multi-million dollar business Rad Power Bikes, which has sold more than 100,000 electrical bikes.

Radenbaugh and his co-founders Tyler Collins and Marimar White-Espin — all Humboldt State University graduates — were selected for Forbes prestigious 30 Under 30 list in 2017.  The design for the bikes began back when Radenbaugh was a student at Southfork High School and often was struggled to get to class.

Read the full NYT story here.

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Alder Bay Administrator Did Not Know Possible Source of Facility's COVID Cases Before Bloomberg Column, T-S reports

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 6:48 PM

The administrator of Alder Bay Assisted Living did not know how the COVID-19 virus might have been brought into the facility, leading to the deaths of four residents, before reading about a Bloomberg column on a local news site, according to a Times-Standard story. 

The column “Confessions of a California COVID Nurse” by well-known author Michael Lewis quotes Humboldt County Public Health nurse Erica Dykehouse, who was conducting contact tracing, reportedly tying the Alder Bay infections back to a methamphetamine dealer who refused to isolate himself and spread the virus, among other observations about the local situation.

Read more about the column here and the full Times-Standard story here.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Column Quotes HumCo Nurse Tying Fatal COVID-19 Cases to Meth Dealer who Refused to Isolate

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 4:28 PM

The strain of COVID-19 infection that ultimately killed four residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living reportedly started with a methamphetamine dealer who dismissed public health’s advice and refused to isolate himself, Humboldt County Public Health Nurse Erica Dykehouse reportedly told famed author Michael Lewis, who was penning a column for Bloomberg.

Lewis’ column, “Confessions of a California COVID Nurse,” focuses on Dykehouse’s contact tracing investigations, in which she works backward from a positive COVID-19 test, trying to find everyone the new positive case may have exposed to the deadly virus. It offers some illuminating insight into the job, as a well as a level of detail about cases that local officials to date have refused to offer.

Continue reading »

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Sinclair TV Stations Peddle Debunked COVID Conspiracy Theories

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2020 at 4:32 PM


While the controversial America This Week segment had been slated to run on KAEF's 11 p.m. broadcast today, Sinclair has decided to hold it for further review, according to North Coast News' Nazy Javid.

"Our parent company further reviewed this week's planned episode of ATW and has decided to delay its airing for one week," she wrote in an email. "The ATW team plans on spending the coming days bringing together other viewpoints to air on the show to add additional context to the segment. All stations, including ours, have been notified not to air this episode and will instead be re-airing last week's episode in its place."

If you happen to catch an America This Week segment on a local news broadcast on one of Sinclair's vast array of television stations — including Eureka's KAEF North Coast News — featuring the maker of the debunked documentary Plandemic, pay it no mind. It's the work of snake-oil conspiracy theorists.

The nonprofit MediaMatters published a thorough debunking of the segment here, so we don't feel any need to go to those lengths. But please rest assured that, no, Anthony Fauci, head of the White House coronavirus task force and perhaps the nation's best known infectious disease expert, did not create COVID-19, as one chyron provocatively asked, nor is there any evidence that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Also, for the record, there is no evidence that "healing microbes in the ocean" help treat the virus, nor that flu vaccines increase the odds of getting COVID-19, that vaccines kill millions of people or hydroxychloroquine (that again) cures or prevents the disease. To further clarify the record, there's also no evidence the boogeyman, unicorns or Neverland are real.

And if you need further evidence that featured guest and Plandemic producer Judy Mikovits is just peddling fiction, consider that YouTube, Facebook and multiple other platforms have removed the film from their sites for containing "potentially harmful misinformation." Have you seen the shit that YouTube and Facebook deem OK for public consumption? OK. Enough said.

America This Week host Eric Bolling followed the segment with an interview of Fox News medical contributor Nicole Saphier — because, balance! Even Saphier dismissed Mikovits' rantings as conspiracy theorist nonsense, though she added the unfounded claim that virus likely was man-made in a laboratory. (Again, there is no evidence this is true.)

If you want to read a transcript of the segment, you can find it here. The Journal reached out to KAEF North Coast News to see if it had aired the segment or plans to but did not receive a response.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Film Crews Coming to Humboldt with COVID-19 Protocols

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 6:08 PM

At the end of June, the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission announced Humboldt was back open for the movie business. And while screens at movie theaters have once again gone dark in California, a pair of small production crews are set to film for a week each on the North Coast this month, with more scheduled for fall.
The crew of Ava DuVernay's 'A Wrinkle in Time' in Sequoia Park in 2016. - FILE
  • File
  • The crew of Ava DuVernay's 'A Wrinkle in Time' in Sequoia Park in 2016.
One project, which is fitness related, is paused due to an injury, according to Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine. The other, a short film, is on schedule and includes a COVID-10 protocol compliance officer among its team of fewer than a dozen.

In an email to the Journal, Hesseltine wrote that the film commission consulted with a registered nurse to come up with a set of guidelines "based on the state, unions and public health requests." It includes testing prior to arrival, symptom and temperature checks, protective gear and hygiene practices. The usual craft services spreads will be replaced by boxed meals. "We are asking the productions to self-isolate themselves and not mingle with the local community; we ask the same of our local community to protect everyone's health while we try to help the health of the economy," she wrote.

Continue reading »

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