Tuesday, October 12, 2021

770 New Laws Coming to California

Posted By on Tue, Oct 12, 2021 at 2:27 PM

You’d be forgiven for not knowing Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the largest expansion of California’s college financial aid system in a generation — he did so during the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants’ first playoff game Friday night.

Hours later, it was all over: Newsom signed his final bills on Saturday, a day ahead of the Oct. 10 deadline to act on the 836 proposals state lawmakers sent to his desk. Of those, he signed 770 (92 percent) and vetoed 66 (7.9 percent), according to Sacramento lobbyist Chris Micheli.

Here’s a look at the significant new laws coming to the Golden State — as well as ideas Newsom prevented from becoming law.

Signed into law:


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Thursday, September 16, 2021

North Coast Journal Inc. Purchases Ferndale Enterprise

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 12:39 PM

The North Coast Journal Inc. has purchased The Ferndale Enterprise, keeping the 143-year-old weekly newspaper in local hands, and will take over publishing the paper next month.

Caroline Titus, who has served as editor and publisher of the award-winning Enterprise for 25 years, said she’s excited to start another chapter in life and to have found a local buyer for the iconic paper.

“After putting to bed more than 1,300 consecutive issues, it’s time I take a break,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier that such a reputable and prestigious publication has purchased Ferndale’s history book and the oldest business in town. It just feels so right.”

Titus, who purchased The Enterprise in 1998 and has served as its editor — and essentially its one-person staff — since 1995 plans to continue reporting for the Enterprise as a contributing editor.

Journal Publisher Melissa Sanderson, who purchased North Coast Journal Inc. from its longtime owners in April, plans to expand the Cream City’s paper to cover the entire Eel River Valley, which has been without regular newspaper coverage since the Humboldt Beacon closed in 2011.

“As a lifelong resident of the Eel River Valley, I’m honored to be trusted with this amazing piece of Humboldt County history,” Sanderson said. “I can’t thank Caroline enough for her 26 years of dedicated work and keeping this important First Amendment publication alive and thriving for our community."

The Enterprise, which published its first edition in May of 1878 and has continuously published since, has earned renown throughout the journalism industry for its unflinching coverage of local issues while stacking up more than 35 state and national awards. In 2019, Titus was named the Cal Press Foundation’s Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year and, in 2016, she won freedom of information and government transparency awards from the First Amendment Coalition, the Nor Cal Society of Professional Journalists and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

“Caroline Titus’ news operation has served Ferndale with honor,” said Joe Wirt, director of affiliate relations with the California Newspaper Publishers Association. “It has also inspired and impressed publishers throughout the state and across the country. May The Enterprise continue to uphold the ideals of California newspapers.”

Journal news editor Thadeus Greenson said the Journal’s editorial staff is excited to take the baton from Titus and help write the paper’s next chapter.

“I’m humbled to carry on The Enterprise’s 143-year tradition of gathering the news that Ferndale needs to know, and excited to work toward bringing regular, reliable and impactful news coverage back to the entire Eel River Valley,” he said.

Sanderson, who can be reached at or 498-8370, said she is excited about the expansion of North Coast Journal Inc. and what the future holds for its publications. She is happy to answer any questions — and to hear any ideas — the community may have.

For information on purchasing subscriptions to the Journal and The Enterprise, visit For information about advertising opportunities, contact North Coast Journal Inc. Sales Manager Kyle Windham at or 496-2950.
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Friday, April 30, 2021

Journal to Run Free Online Obituaries

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 11:34 AM

  • León Villagómez
The North Coast Journal is now running free online obituaries, allowing people to share news of a loved one's passing with the community and celebrate their life.

Readers can submit obituaries honoring the life of a North Coast resident — also called death notices — with or without photos — to at least three days before they'd like to see them posted to our website. Please include your name and contact information. Submissions will be lightly edited for spelling and grammar. (For some tips on how to write a compelling remembrance, click here.)

The Journal will also continue to run paid obituaries in our weekly newspaper as an option for those who would like to see them print. For more information on print obituaries, contact Mark Boyd at or (707) 442-1400, extension 314.
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Monday, April 26, 2021

HSU's Student-Run News Outlets and Reporters Win Awards; El Leñador SPJ 'Best All-Around Student Newspaper'

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2021 at 12:04 PM

El Leñador newspaper 2020 covers - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • El Leñador newspaper 2020 covers

Humboldt State University's El Leñador newspaper was awarded the "Best All-Around Student Newspaper" by the Society of Professional Journalists for Region 11, a multi-state competition, at the 2020 Mark of Excellence regional awards.

“Winning this award means that people, even outside of this community, recognize the important work that our team puts into producing El Leñador,” said Nancy Garcia, one of three El Leñador editors-in-chief. “That's a really good feeling because we work hard."

El Leñador was founded in 2013 after students majoring in journalism and Spanish came together to create the school's first bilingual newspaper, the only newspaper in Humboldt County that prints news stories in Spanish. Since then, El Leñador has won multiple awards, including the best non-weekly student newspaper in the state by the California College Media Association in 2016.

"Spanish-speaking people in Humboldt County don't have many sources to turn to for news and information so we're trying to bridge that gap, especially in the pandemic,” Garcia said. “Along with that, we also try to cover stories that are relevant to Humboldt's other diverse communities.”

HSU's weekly newspaper The Lumberjack won the Online/Digital Sports Videography award and over at the school's magazine, The Osprey, reporter and photographer Julie Navarro won the Feature Photography award.

El Leñador reporter and artist Kassandra Rice, a political science major and recent graduate, was a finalist in the Editorial Cartooning category for her COVID-19 cartoons.

Thomas Lal, The Lumberjack’s editor-in-chief this semester, was also a finalist in the Breaking News Photography category for his work,“Eureka protests erupt after George Floyd murder.”

Read the full press release below.

Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, the story mislabeled the competition region of the Society of Professional Journalists awards. The competition was a multi-state competition for Region 11, compromising Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Mariana Islands. The Journal regrets the error.

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Journal Changes Ownership

Posted By on Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Clockwise from top, former Journal owners Carolyn Fernandez and Judy Hodgson, new owner Melissa Sanderson and her husband Chris. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Clockwise from top, former Journal owners Carolyn Fernandez and Judy Hodgson, new owner Melissa Sanderson and her husband Chris.

The North Coast Journal Inc. — a media company that includes the 15,000-circulation weekly newspaper and website, plus nearly a dozen publications serving Humboldt County, California — has been sold.

The buyer, Melissa Sanderson, 37, took over as president and publisher March 31. She has worked for the company since 2014, first as sales manager and the past three years as general manager.

The sellers are two long-time friends and business partners, Judy Hodgson and Carolyn Fernandez, who purchased the newly established monthly newspaper in June of 1990, converted it to a weekly in 1998 and launched a string of successful, hyper-local publications. Those include the Insider, a quarterly tourism magazine; the annual Menu of Menus and Wedding Guide; and more recently, the bi-monthly North Coast Trader, a classified paper that reaches six coastal counties in California and Oregon. One Journal publication launched in 2017, the Humboldt Cannabis Magazine, is distributed twice a year to dispensaries throughout California.

Over the past three decades, the Journal has won dozens of major awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia for writing and reporting, design and photography, as well as numerous freedom-of-information awards. The newspaper has been recognized numerous times by the Society of Professional Journalists and the League of Women Voters.

While preparing this press release, Hodgson and Fernandez realized they actually had been working together for 45 years. Hodgson wrote a column, "Fieldbrook Footnotes," for the Union weekly newspaper in Arcata beginning in 1976 while attending Humboldt State University (HSU). She graduated in 1978, joined the staff as a reporter and from 1983 to 1988, served as editor. Fernandez joined the Union in 1976 as a graphic artist, later becoming head of the production department. Both left in 1988 after a change in ownership and, in 1989, worked together again at an advertising agency before purchasing the Journal. The paper was immediately rebranded and redesigned from a quarter-fold into the magazine tabloid format that exists today.

The two now-septuagenarians had been searching to find just the right "next owner" of the Journal for more than two decades. "We are super happy to sell to one of our great employees and a fourth-generation Humboldt County woman half our age," Hodgson said. (Fortunans may recognize Sanderson's maiden name of Huber and the Senestraro branch of the family.)

Sanderson has been in publishing since grade school. She made copies and distributed the Fortuna Spartan to all the classrooms in fifth grade. At Fortuna Union High School, where she "majored in at least four sports" as well as FFA, she was ad manager for the Husky Howler and wrote a sports column for Fortuna's weekly newspaper, the Humboldt Beacon. After graduation, she attended both College of the Redwoods and HSU at the same time. She married her husband, Chris Sanderson, and landed her first professional job in the marketing department of the new Bear River Casino in 2005. She was an account rep for the Times-Standard and then managed a radio station until joining the Journal in 2014.

Most new owners of a news media company hope to reassure readers and say they will not change a thing, and then things do, which is what happened at the Union in 1988, according to Hodgson and Fernandez. But Sanderson said she really means it.

"We have strength throughout the company — in sales, design and production, and support staff," she said, but particularly in the award-winning editorial department.

"It's a great publication. We have a strong mission statement. We do really good journalism for this community and I want to keep that going."

Sanderson said her strengths are on the business side of publishing, with a focus on marketing and digital, and she is confident in the Journal's future.

While there were some layoffs and furloughs last year due to the pandemic, the Journal is back up to 21 employees. Circulation, which dipped from 21,000 to 12,000 when many businesses closed and tourism shut down, is back to 15,000.

Sanderson said she is grateful for the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan that helped the company retain employees during the pandemic.

Her plans for 2021 are "to concentrate on growing the Journal, for sure, and help other local businesses" recover and grow.

The Journal's glossy publications, including the Insider magazine, were suspended during the pandemic. They are expected to return to newsstands this year.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Supes Send Letters Seeking Help in TV Programming Standoff

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 12:02 PM

A dispute between two large media companies has kicked local stations off some local televisions. - FILE
  • File
  • A dispute between two large media companies has kicked local stations off some local televisions.
To the annoyance of thousands of Suddenlink customers, access to two local stations – KIEM (Channel 3) and KVIQ (Channel 6) — disappeared Jan. 8 and Third District Supervisor Mike Wilson brought the matter to the attention of the Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday, though the board has no real power over the situation.

The stations are owned by Cox Media Group Broadcasting, which reportedly wants more money for programming fees than Suddenlink is willing to pay. An online statement from Suddenlink described the increases as “exorbitant.”

“This disruption in service prevents residents from receiving local programming and news, which is especially important considering local conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” states a county staff report.

Over the past 15 years, the ability of local governments to regulate media companies has been superseded by new state and and federal laws. Stations that were once independently owned and operated were bought and sold by large corporations. In 2014, California passed the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (DIVCA), basically giving the state more control over cable companies' operations.

In 2019, North Coast Rep. Jared Huffman attempted to bring back some local control with a bill dubbed  the “Local and Independent Television Protection Act,” though it did not pass. A spokesperson from Hufffman’s office said he is currently speaking to Cox Media and trying to remedy the problem.

County Deputy Administrative Officer Sean Quincey confirmed that the problem was a “breakdown in contract negotiations between two large corporations” — adding that local government had little or no legal authority to intervene.

“DIVCA has eviscerated local jurisdictions’ authority to protect ourselves. It took away all the oversight that the counties and the cities have” commented
Access Humboldt Executive Director Sean McLaughlin. He noted that the rates charged by Suddenlink to transmit local programming have increased dramatically over the past few months.

“Six local stations in Eureka are now owned by two absentee owners," McLaughlin said. "Sinclair owns four and Cox Media Group owns two. What can Humboldt do about it? Not much. ... You used to be able to talk to the owners of the stations. Part of the frustration now is that there’s nobody local you can talk to. You have to call Texas or Atlanta to talk to management.”

The supervisors unanimously authorized sending two letters  — one to Huffman and the other to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, asking them to promote legislation that would give some control back to local communities.

“We need our federal and state policymakers to recognize the essential role that
local media play to meet local needs for: public health and safety; education; economic and community development; culture and arts; and civic engagement. Local governments and our communities stand ready to take back local media and rebuild our information ecosystem to secure competition, diversity and localism in the marketplace of ideas,” said the letter to the senators, which was signed by Board Chair Virginia Bass.
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

State Awards $8.6 Million for Hoopa Broadband Project

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 1:05 PM

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved an $8.6 million grant application that will bring high-speed broadband internet service to the Hoopa Valley.

"The beautiful and rural Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation has needed technological upgrades for decades," Tribal Chair Byron Nelson Jr. said in a press release. "As Chairman, I thank the CPUC for helping the Hoopa Valley Tribe achieve this goal. (The project) will allow our people to have access to increased opportunities that will have a positive benefit for all."

The project will bring broadband to the 92,000 acre reservation, California's largest, through fiber optic and wireless infrastructure that will reach nearly 1,200 unserved households and increase speeds to others. Hunter Communications, a fiberoptic services provider in Southern Oregon and Northern California, will lead the project in partnership with the Hoopa Valley Tribe and EnerTribe, a Native-owned consulting firm.

Linnea Jackson, general manager of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District, said the project is "years in the making."

"I am so proud to be a part of the solution to meet this long-standing critical need for our community," she said. "These (California Advanced Services) funds will have a huge impact on our tribal community, including providing students the ability to adequately access online learning, increasing employees' ability to effectively work from home, providing adequate bandwidth for online educational goals, increased access for tele-medicine, improved communications for emergency services and economic development opportunities."

Read the full press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribe here, another from the CPUC here and CPUC's resolution authorizing the grant here.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

WaPo Publishes Scathing Investigative Report on Owner of Humboldt Skilled Nursing Facilities

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM

  • Shlomo Rechnitz
In case you missed it, The Washington Post recently published a scorching investigative report on Brius Healthcare, which, with 80 nursing homes in California, including four in Humboldt County, is the state's largest for-profit nursing home operator.

The story details how Brius received more than $800 million in Medicare and Medicaid funding in 2018 to care for residents at its 80 homes and spent more than 70 percent of it paying "so-called related parties — companies they or their family members partially or wholly own" in a scheme to increase profits. The Post's analysis found that Brius homes pay about "40 percent more per bed on average to related parties than other for-profit nursing homes in California." While the Post notes it is "impossible to determine profits or losses" from any of these privately held related companies from the public record, tax returns "offer a glimpse."

The Post's investigation found that in 2013 alone, Shlomo Rechnitz, Brius' owner, and his wife reported income of at least $31 million from four of these related companies that regularly provide services to Brius' nursing homes. In 2018 alone, the Post reports, Brius paid more than $100 million to dozens of related companies "for everything from medical supplies to rent."

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Two Feathers Hosts 'Dangers of Technology' Forums

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 11:24 AM

Two Feathers Native American Health Services will be hosting seven free virtual forums (open to the public with registration) on the subject: Is Technology Damaging our Native Youth?

The forums will feature national and international experts and are expected to last approximately one to two hours each.

In a press release, Dr. Virgil Moorehead Jr., Executive Director with Two Feathers NAFS, said, “As the global pandemic persists our young people are in more psychiatric distress than ever before. At Two Feathers, we have identified one major issue to be the use and misuse of technology and its impact on child and adolescent development. During these times, this issue has become even more pressing. If you work with children and young adults, are a parent or are just interested in this discussion, we urge you to tune in."

Reservations are required to this free event. Register at

For more, read the full release below:

McKinleyville- Two Feathers Native American Family Services (NAFS) is hosting seven virtual forums focused on technology and its affect on Native youth. They have gathered together national and international experts for this discussion. Everyone is welcome to attend. This is a free event, however reservations are required. Each forum will last approximately one to two hours. A complete schedule with speaker descriptions follows, all times shown are PST:

December 8 @Noon. Clifford Sussman, M.D.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. World renowned expert in treating Internet Gaming Disorder.

December 10 @noon. Tim Kasser, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Psychology. Nationallly recognized expert on the impact of materialism and consumerism on well being.

December 14 @Noon. Devorah Heitner, PhD.

Expert on young people’s relationships with digital media and technology. Founder of Raising Digital Natives. Author of the award-winning book, Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World.

December 16 @Noon. Nicholas Kardaras, PhD.

Ivy league educated psychologist, best-selling author, internationally renowned speaker and an expert on mental health, addiction and the impact of our digital age.

December 21 @Noon. Douglas Gentile, P.D.

Professor of Psychology at Iowa State. One of the world’s leading scientific experts on the effects of media on children. Named one of America’s best 300 professors by the Princeton Review.

January 5 @3pm. Louis Cozzolino, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University. Author of numerous award-winning books focused on interpersonal neurobiology & education.

January 12 @Noon. Andrew Doan, M.D.

Ophthalmologist, Neuroscientist & recognized expert in digital media addictions. Author of best-selling book, Hooked on Games.

Dr. Virgil Moorehead Jr., Executive Director with Two Feathers NAFS said, “As the global pandemic persists our young people are in more psychiatric distress than ever before. At Two Feathers, we have identified one major issue to be the use and misuse of technology and its impact on child and adolescent development. During these times, this issue has become even more pressing. If you work with children and young adults, are a parent or are just interested in this discussion, we urge you to tune in. Moorehead added, “This conference is open to all but is targeted especially for those who are interested in improving the mental health of our children.”

To view a full agenda visit the Two Feather website: or on their facebook page at: You must reserve your space in order to attend:
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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Huffman to Host Virtual Town Hall on Presidential Transition

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2020 at 1:48 PM

Jared Huffman - CONGRESS
  • Jared Huffman
Congressman Jared Huffman will hold a virtual town hall on the Presidential transition on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m.

Rep. Huffman and guests will discuss the "peaceful transfer of presidential power, the status of President Trump’s many challenges to the election results, and the challenges and importance of holding President Trump and his executive branch officials accountable during a new administration," according to a press advisory from Huffman's office.

Viewers can tune in via Huffman's Facebook page (, Access Humboldt AH11 (Suddenlink Cable Channel 11) and on radio at KZZH-LP 96.7FM.

For more on the event, read the advisory below.

Rep. Huffman to Host Virtual Town Hall on the Presidential Transition

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. PST, Congressman Jared Huffman will hold a virtual town hall on the Presidential transition, with special guests Caroline Fredrickson, a Senior Fellow at Brennan Center for Justice, and former President of the American Constitution Society, and Paul Rosenzweig, a Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute who served as a Senior Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel Ken Starr.

Rep. Huffman and his special guests will discuss the peaceful transfer of presidential power, the status of President Trump’s many challenges to the election results, and the challenges and importance of holding President Trump and his executive branch officials accountable during a new administration.

Participants are encouraged to ask questions in the Facebook video comments section during the event for a chance to have their question read aloud and answered live. They can also submit their questions in advance to

Event Details:

When: Thursday, December 3, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM PST


Congressman Jared Huffman
Caroline Fredrickson, Senior Fellow at Brennan Center for Justice
Paul Rosenzweig, principal at Red Branch Consulting

Where: (This is a partial list.)
KPCA: Comcast channel 26 and U-verse 99 in Petaluma service area, and on radio at 103.3FM and streaming at
Marin TV Education Channel (Comcast Ch 30 and AT&T Ch 99) and streaming online at
Live on Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, KZYX 90.7FM Philo, KZYZ 91.5FM Willits and Ukiah, and 88.1FM Fort Bragg.
Access Humboldt AH11 (Suddenlink Cable Channel 11) as well as on radio at KZZH-LP 96.7FM

Please be advised that this is a virtual event; members of the press and public should not attempt to meet in person with the Congressman and his guests.

Prior to joining Brennan Center for Justice, Caroline Fredrickson held multiple leadership roles at the American Constitution Society. She has also served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, and as General Counsel and Legal Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Before that, Caroline was Chief of Staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. She has been widely published and appears frequently in the media on topics including labor law, anti-discrimination law, and human and civil rights issues. She holds a law degree from Columbia and recently joined Georgetown Law as a Visiting Professor.

Paul Rosenzweig is the founder of Red Branch Consulting PLLC, a homeland security consulting company and a Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute. He is also a Senior Advisor to The Chertoff Group. Mr. Rosenzweig formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. He is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University and a Board Member of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy. Twenty years ago, he served as a senior counsel in the investigation of President Bill Clinton.
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